772: Grim Math

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 8m
November 8th, 2015
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Executive Producers: Sir Dwayne Melancon Duke of the Pacific Northwest, Anonymous, Sir Woody, Patrick Seymor, Sir David Julian, Sir Jim Earl of Suffolk County MA, Kevin McLaughlin, Alex Zoghlin, intelliARMOR LLC, Matthew Janiszewski

Associate Executive Producers: David Best, Sir Chris Speers, Danny Baker, Mike Gallamore

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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How To Use Trigger Warnings -
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 01:15
Patrick Paglen discusses when trigger warnings are and are not appropriate.'--
Someone showed me a publication of Emmanuel Kant's Critiques that came with a content warning. I had a lot of reactions to this, most of them somewhere in the ranges of sarcasm and indignation. I've also listened to a teacher friend of mine complaining about students arguing with them about their work because the readings were ''triggering'' or traumatic and offensive. I'm a stalwart defender of content warnings, but these experiences lead me to conclude that some best practices in adopting or expecting content warnings are in order.
Specifically, we need practices that honor rather than misappropriate serious medical concerns.
Content warnings come in various types. They could be general and simple, like ''danger: foul language ahead,'' or more common and specific. ''NSFW'' is an abbreviation for Not Suitable For Work, meaning ''don't look at this in a professional environment.'' Ratings systems, like the standard ones for movies and video games, allows us to gauge what we find age-appropriate. Finally, ''trigger warnings'' are an effort to warn viewers or readers that the content contains explicit material depicting or exploring situations commonly known to be related to various stress-induced disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and such material can ''trigger'' an involuntary flashback, panic-attack, or stress-reaction. Graphic depictions of violence is the most common trigger, whether it be domestic, military, sexual, or racial.
I want to emphasize that triggers ought to be associated very specifically with stress and trauma related disorders, and the involuntary reactions associated with them are just that: involuntary, and significantly negatively impact the individual's daily functioning, not just putting one in a bad and anxious mood. The individual might burst out in violence, scream, run directionless, or freeze up, all regardless of their social situation or environment, and risk danger to themselves or others without meaning to. If you have experienced something like this, please seek professional therapeutic help. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and similar maladies can be managed and treated, and tools are available to help with flashbacks and their aftermath.
Having a stress disorder does not mean total loss of agency. It means taking into account some unique personal needs while enjoying the same things everyone else does, and opting out of certain things based on what you feel you can handle at the moment. This means taking full and active responsibility for your choices and actively seeking information to make the best choice. You want to see a move playing in the theater but it's rated ''R,'' so you read some synopses and reviews, then make a call whether you can handle it in a theater, at home or in other personally safe space'... or choose to see another movie. Speak to the professor before signing up for the anthropology class studying the military operation that you happened to be a part of. Let them know of your interest and why, but let them know of the particulars of your condition and how you manage it; they can either accommodate you, and let you know what's in store so you can decide if it might be better to take another course. It is very important that, if you have episodes, you know what sets them off, and to what intensity. Some people can read very descriptive depictions of the types of violence they witnessed or experienced and be fine, but are triggered by unrelated phenomena. This phenomenon could be so unique that no amount of trigger or content warning will help. No lecturer, video blogger, author, or performer could possibly predict that someone might be triggered by something innocuous like blue-colored drapes.
The only times you can be rightly be upset with a content provider or distributor is if the content includes commonly known triggering subjects, but the book descriptions, movie trailers, syllabus, and general themes advertise something far different, giving no indication that there's troubling content within. This kind of thing does happen, and can rightly upset anyone regardless of any stress disorder.
Now if you are a content provider or distributor, your courtesy need not be limited to vague rating systems. If the title or description of the work does not already heavily imply troubling content, nor is backed up by a rating system or an age-gate, then make a short, explicit warning beforehand. If the content is online, use content warnings liberally! The internet is a place where anyone in the world can stumble upon the work you published without even looking for it, and could not possibly be prepared for your material if you did not give a reasonable warning. They might decide they want to view your material, but not at the present time or space they initially found it. If the material is in a limited access environment such as a classroom or workshop, you can have a discussion in the beginning of class or in the syllabus about the expectations of how to read the materials. Remember that whatever the media or setting, strong emotional reactions not related to stress disorders are still relevant. A video internet viewer who has no medical condition but still doesn't enjoy explicit content must be given enough information to opt out of viewing. With this in mind, an artist or presenter, especially through internet or television, would be wise to give a general ''content warning'' with some indication of what to expect, rather than the more specific ''''Trigger Warning.'' ''NSFW'' though, is an elegant shorthand.
If you do not have a medical condition, but are sensitive to certain subjects, consider your environment. On the internet, you have quite a bit of power to opt out of entertainment you don't like, even those that offer no warnings. If you are in the library researching for your idle curiosity, there is infinitely more opportunity to filter content than the internet without explicit content warnings. And if you are in a class or workshop, you are not expected to enjoy or agree with the content you are studying; you are expected to study it. Demanding abridgment of a syllabus because you're uncomfortable with your emotional reaction to it is not legitimate, and insults those who navigate their studies while managing the risks their medical condition imposes on them. If you find issues with the content of your studies, then address the concern in political and educational terms: is this content necessary or constructive to your course's purpose, and does its troubling aspects outweigh what you can learn by examining it?
These questions, though, are for an entirely different discussion.
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Elections 2016
Hillary has injectibes
Why do some people think the pyramids were grain stores? - BBC News
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:35
Image copyrightGetty ImagesUS presidential hopeful Ben Carson has attracted attention and some ridicule this week for saying Egypt's pyramids were built to store grain. As most schoolchildren know, they were actually tombs for pharaohs. But where did the granary idea come from, and would it even have worked?
Egyptian history isn't something American presidential candidates are usually quizzed about on the campaign trail, but this week Republican Ben Carson faced a barrage of questions after it emerged he believed the pyramids were built by the Biblical figure Joseph for storing grain.
This was revealed on Wednesday when Buzzfeed published a video of Carson addressing students at a Michigan university affiliated with his Seventh-day Adventist Church 17 years ago. But the famed neurosurgeon, currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, told inquisitive journalists that his views had not changed.
So where does this granary theory come from?
In the Old Testament, Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, where he later interprets a pharaoh's dreams and helps the Egyptians survive a seven-year famine - by storing grain. There is no mention of pyramids in the Bible's version of the story but in the Middle Ages people started to write them into the story.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Carson is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church "If you go to St Mark's cathedral in Venice, there's a medieval depiction showing people using the three great pyramids of Giza as granaries in Joseph's story," says John Darnell, a professor of Egyptology at Yale University.
"If you didn't have access to the structures, the idea had some currency."
It's like saying the Tower of London was built as a granary storeJames Allen, Brown UniversityThe belief was also popularised by Saint Gregory of Tours, a sixth century Frankish bishop, who wrote: "They are wide at the base and narrow at the top in order that the wheat might be cast into them through a tiny opening, and these granaries are to be seen to the present day."
The Book of John Mandeville, a popular 14th Century travel memoir, also referred to "Joseph's Granaries, which he had made to store the wheat for hard times".
But Darnell says the idea began to fall out of favour during the Renaissance, when people made more detailed studies of the pyramids.
"Now of course we know the pyramids were burial chambers - albeit just one element of far greater complexes. The architectural predecessors and descendants of pyramids, their internal passageways and the function of their spaces can be traced right through the period into the new Kingdom of Egypt," he says.
The story of Joseph is supposedly set in the time of Egypt's Middle Kingdom, Darnell points out, which is centuries after the pyramids of Giza were built.
Image copyrightThe Trustees of the British Museum.Image caption A painted wooden model of a granary from Egypt in around 2200 BC Egyptologists have also questioned other aspects of Carson's pyramid theory. Whatever held Joseph's grain "would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it", he said in his 1998 lecture.
It wouldn't make sense to build gigantic monumental granariesJohn Darnell, Yale UniversityHe added: "And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they'd have to be that way for various reasons."
His argument appears to have been that the chambers were hermetically sealed to preserve grain. But Darnell rejects this logic.
"The major internal element of the pyramids is stone and brick - there wouldn't be much space for grain, and it would be huge waste of power and engineering," he says. "Plus we know ancient granaries tended to beehive-shaped and quite small. It wouldn't make sense to build gigantic monumental granaries - it would take ages to grain in, and smother everyone when it poured out."
Egyptologist James Allen of Brown University agrees. "There's no way in the world an ounce of grain would be stored in a structure like that," he says. "It would be totally impractical. It's like saying the Tower of London was built as a granary store."
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Ben Carson has become known for his controversial comments This is only one of a number of comments from Carson that have taken some Americans aback. Others include his suggestion that being gay is a choice, that Muslims aren't qualified to seek the US presidency, and President Barack Obama's healthcare reform was "the worst thing" since slavery . However, none of these statements appears to have affected his poll rating.
Darnell argues that the pyramid theory is "somewhat surprising and scary", coming from a leading contender for the presidency, but he also sees this as an opportunity.
"Egyptology isn't known as being a major topic in politics. But we are actually facing some remarkably similar situations to then - a jockeying for power and influence in the world, a rising power in what is now Turkey, a political and military vacuum in what is now coastal Syria and Lebanon," he says.
"If candidates would take a closer look at ancient Egypt'... it might contribute to how they approach problems today, and that would make me very happy."
Genesis 41:49 Commentaries: Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:34
And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
41:46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget his misery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, when the famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and important labours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that his father Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of our troubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Let these events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread of life throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bids you, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open his treasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of every age and nation, without money and without price. But those who slight this provision must starve, and his enemies will be destroyed.The fulfillment of the dream here commences. "By handfuls." Not in single stalks or grains, but in handfuls compared with the former yield. It is probable that a fifth of the present unprecedented yield was sufficient for the sustenance of the inhabitants. Another fifth was rendered to the government, and the remaining three fifths were stored up or sold to the state or the foreign broker at a low price. "He left numbering because there was no number." This denotes that the store was immense, and not perhaps that modes of expressing the number failed.48. he gathered up all the food of the seven years'--It gives a striking idea of the exuberant fertility of this land, that, from the superabundance of the seven plenteous years, corn enough was laid up for the subsistence, not only of its home population, but of the neighboring countries, during the seven years of dearth.No text from Poole on this verse. And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much,until he left numbering,.... At first he took an account of the quantities that were bought and laid up, how much there was in each granary, until it amounted to so much, that there was no end of numbering it; it was like the sand of the sea, an hyperbolical expression, denoting the great abundance of it:
for it was without number; not only the grains of corn, but even the measures of it, whatever were used; so Artapanus, an Heathen writer, says (p), Joseph, when governor of Egypt, got together the corn of seven years, an immense quantity.
(p) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 23. p. 430.
And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
49. as the sand, of the sea] For this comparison cf. Genesis 22:17, Genesis 32:12.Verse 49. - And Joseph gathered (or heaped up) corn as the sand of the sea, - an image of great abundance (cf. Genesis 32:12) - very much, until he left numbering (i.e. writing, or keeping a record of the number of bushels); for it was without number. "In a tomb at Eilethya a man is represented whose business it evidently was to take account of the number of bushels. Which another man, acting under him, measures. The inscription is as follows "The writer or registrar of bushels - Thutnofre," (Hengstenberg, 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 36). He then had him driven in the second chariot, the chariot which followed immediately upon the king's state-carriage; that is to say, he directed a solemn procession to be made through the city, in which they (heralds) cried before him אברך (i.e., bow down), - an Egyptian word, which has been pointed by the Masorites according to the Hiphil or Aphel of בּרך. In Coptic it is abork, projicere, with the signs of the imperative and the second person. Thus he placed him over all Egypt. ×•× ×ª×•×Ÿ inf. absol. as a continuation of the finite verb (vid., Exodus 8:11; Leviticus 25:14, etc.).Links
Genesis 41:49 InterlinearGenesis 41:49 Parallel TextsGenesis 41:49 NIVGenesis 41:49 NLTGenesis 41:49 ESVGenesis 41:49 NASBGenesis 41:49 KJVGenesis 41:49 Bible AppsGenesis 41:49 ParallelGenesis 41:49 Biblia ParalelaGenesis 41:49 Chinese BibleGenesis 41:49 French BibleGenesis 41:49 German BibleBible Hub
Genesis 41:49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:32
Parallel Verses
New International VersionJoseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.New Living TranslationHe piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure.English Standard VersionAnd Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.New American Standard BibleThus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.King James BibleAnd Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.Holman Christian Standard BibleSo Joseph stored up grain in such abundance--like the sand of the sea--that he stopped measuring it because it was beyond measure. International Standard VersionJoseph stored up so much grain'--like sand on the seashore in so much abundance!'--that he stopped keeping records because it was proving to be impossible to measure how much they were gathering.NET BibleJoseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure. GOD'S WORD® TranslationJoseph stored up grain in huge quantities like the sand on the seashore. He had so much that he finally gave up keeping any records because he couldn't measure it all.JPS Tanakh 1917And Joseph laid up corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until they left off numbering; for it was without number.New American Standard 1977Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.Jubilee Bible 2000And Joseph gathered wheat as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number.King James 2000 BibleAnd Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he quit numbering; for it was without number.American King James VersionAnd Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.American Standard VersionAnd Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number.Douay-Rheims BibleAnd there was so great abundance of wheat, that it was equal to the sand of the sea, and the plenty exceeded measure. Darby Bible TranslationAnd Joseph laid up corn as sand of the sea exceeding much, until they left off numbering; for it was without number.English Revised VersionAnd Joseph laid up corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.Webster's Bible TranslationAnd Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.World English BibleJoseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number.Young's Literal Translationand Joseph gathereth corn as sand of the sea, multiplying exceedingly, until that he hath ceased to number, for there is no number.Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary41:46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget his misery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, when the famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and important labours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that his father Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of our troubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Let these events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread of life throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bids you, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open his treasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of every age and nation, without money and without price. But those who slight this provision must starve, and his enemies will be destroyed.Pulpit CommentaryVerse 49. - And Joseph gathered (or heaped up) corn as the sand of the sea, - an image of great abundance (cf. Genesis 32:12) - very much, until he left numbering (i.e. writing, or keeping a record of the number of bushels); for it was without number. "In a tomb at Eilethya a man is represented whose business it evidently was to take account of the number of bushels. Which another man, acting under him, measures. The inscription is as follows "The writer or registrar of bushels - Thutnofre," (Hengstenberg, 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 36). Gill's Exposition of the Entire BibleAnd Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering,.... At first he took an account of the quantities that were bought and laid up, how much there was in each granary, until it amounted to so much, that there was no end of numbering it; it was like the sand of the sea, an hyperbolical expression, denoting the great abundance of it: for it was without number; not only the grains of corn, but even the measures of it, whatever were used; so Artapanus, an Heathen writer, says (p), Joseph, when governor of Egypt, got together the corn of seven years, an immense quantity. (p) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 23. p. 430. Genesis 41:49 Additional Commentaries
CYBER!
Teen who hacked CIA head going after FBI official | TheHill
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 21:11
The teenaged hackers who exposed the personal email account of CIA head John Brennan are hacking into more government officials' accounts in retaliation for the FBI investigation into their actions.
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The duo, which calls itself Crackas With Attitude, told Vice Motherboard Wednesday that they have hacked into FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano's personal account.One of the hackers, known as Cracka, told the publication that they had also obtained Giuliano's phone number and called him.
''I called it and asked for Mark and he's like 'I don't know you but you better watch your back' and then he hung up and I kept calling and he was getting mad then he didn't pick up,'' Cracka told Motherboard via online chat.
The FBI has not confirmed the group's claims.
WikiLeaks last month posted a handful of documents stolen from Brennan's personal email account by an apparent teenage hacker. According to reports, the hacker posed as an employee of Verizon and got access to Brennan's account from the telecom company.
The hackers told Motherboard Wednesday that they gained access to Giuliano's account by breaking into a Comcast email account belonging to his wife and exploiting the information they found there.
Brennan's documents are largely draft forms of agency memos and other notes. Nothing on the account appears to be classified, but one document does contain personal information about Brennan's wife and family members, including addresses, birthdays and Social Security numbers.
Brennan lambasted the hackers themselves and the media for suggesting that he was ''doing something inappropriate or wrong or [in] violation of my security responsibilities'' by using the personal account.
An unnamed law enforcement official previously told The New York Post that he expected officials to ''make an example'' out of the group to ''deter people from doing this in the future.''
Cracka said the second hack on Guiliano wasn't intended to acquire any specific information.
''We didn't target him for anything interesting, we targeted him because FBI are [sic] investigating us,'' he said.
Caliphate!
Frequently Asked Questions | Counter Extremism Project
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:18
What is the Counter Extremism Project?The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) is a non-for-profit, non-partisan international policy organization formed to help confront the growing strength of extremist groups worldwide.
Why was CEP formed?The alarming rise of extremist groups is an extensive, complex and urgent challenge that governments cannot combat alone. There is not just a role, but a responsibility for private groups to organize in opposition to extremists and give their support networks the thorough and sustained scrutiny necessary to thwart them.
Who is CEP?CEP is a global organization of former government officials, policymakers, subject matter experts and statesmen working to develop the best strategies and practices to counter extremists. We represent no single nation or political party, but have joined efforts to help combat a threat to all our countries, and to the security of peace-loving, humane people everywhere.
What, exactly, is CEP going to do confront extremism?CEP will confront this threat by exposing and holding accountable their financial and other support; by serving as a best-in-class database of information about extremist groups and their supporters to governments, the private sector, the press, NGOs and other interested parties; by conducting a sophisticated media campaign to counter extremist ideology, and disrupt their messaging and recruiting; and assisting governments in the formulation of policies to degrade and stop extremist movements.
Who does the CEP consider extremists?CEP is focused on groups whose ideology and practices threaten international peace and stability and the security and values of civilized societies, whether by force or terror or politics. From Boko Haram in Nigeria to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots based in multiple countries, CEP will oppose any group that imposes an extremist ideology, gives sanction to violence, rejects basic human rights, and suppresses economic and social progress.
What makes CEP distinctive from any of the other such efforts around the world?CEP offers a comprehensive approach to address extremism internationally. Our leadership is bipartisan and multinational. While aiming to educate the public about the dangers of extremism, CEP is not modeled as a think-tank. Rather, CEP is an action and policy organization with a multi-pronged approach to countering extremism including by implementing media, regulatory, economic and counter-narrative campaigns against extremists and their supporters worldwide. We are committed to concrete deliverables and practical and action-oriented counter extremism solutions to fully counter the extremist threat on an international level.
Petition | Counter Extremism Project
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:17
CEP is calling on Twitter to immediately take action and adopt policies to stop extremists from misusing the social network. Extremists are misusing Twitter to spread terrorist propaganda, radicalize and recruit new members, and target at-risk youth. Twitter must take action now to stop extremists from weaponizing the Internet.
ISIS's presence on social media is a cancer. It continues to metastasize, largely unaddressed by government, the private sector, or social media companies. One of the most pressing public safety and national security issue we face today is without a doubt the hijacking and weaponization of social media platforms by extremist groups to radicalize and recruit new members, and plan violent attacks against innocent people around the world.
Help us demand action from Twitter. Please sign the petition and join the CEP community in holding Twitter accountable. Together we can send a message and demand Twitter take action to disrupt extremists online.
F-Russia
Metrojet Flight 9268 UPDATES: Fake Beards ''Chatter'', Global TSA and Russia's Real Investigation
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 16:05
by Scott Creighton
Watching CNN milk the cash-cow that is the story of the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 is torture. They have been all over the spectrum when it comes to this event, first saying it definitely wasn't a bomb of any kind, then saying the tail section fell off due to a bump it took back in 2001 and now they are saying it's certainly the work of some ''ISIS'' affiliate working in the airport in Egypt.
They're just dancing around like puppets on a string, right?
Be that as it may, there have been a few news worthy developments in the story as the investigation continues.
''Chatter''The guys in the fake beards were chattering. That MUST mean ''ISIS'' did it!
US and British ''intelligence'' agencies are reporting that the basis for their conclusion that ''ISIS'' bombed Flight 9268 is based on ''chatter'' they intercepted between supposed ''ISIS'' members in Sinai speaking with ''ISIS'' members in Syria.
Western intelligence sources have said British and U.S. spies intercepted ''chatter'' from suspected militants suggesting that a bomb, possibly hidden in luggage in the hold, downed the plane.
U.S. television network NBC said some communications between Islamic State leaders in Syria and the Sinai Peninsula included boasts about bringing down the jet. ''They were clearly celebrating,'' it quoted U.S. officials as saying. Reuters
This ''chatter'' story is making it's way across the collective blog-o-sphere.
But what exactly does this ''chatter'' consist of? What did they say? When did they say it? Who exactly are the guys ''chattering'' with? Are they rebels or US Special Ops assets ''chatting'' with Israeli Secret Intelligence Service (''ISIS'') members?
No one knows because'...
No Shared IntelWhile the unnamed officials are busy leaking ''chatter'' stories to reporters, unfortunately they aren't that concerned with sharing the information with the two countries responsible for conducting the real investigation.
Russia complained that intelligence gathered by London and Washington about its jetliner has not been made available.
If Britain had information about a bomb on the plane, it's ''really shocking'' that hasn't been shared with Russia, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, speaking in Moscow.
British officials declined to say what intelligence was shared with other countries. CBA
Why wouldn't our guys be sharing intel on all this ''ISIS'' chatter? Don't you think they would want to team up with the Russians and get these guys as fast as possible?
For that matter, one might think our ''intelligence'' services would team up with Russia and help them wipe out the terrorists in Syria that much faster. After all, we've been fighting them for over a year now, right?
Oh wait. We hired, trained and equipped the terrorists in Syria. I forgot about that.
So tell me again why the US and British intelligence services not sharing intel with Russia about the ''ISIS bombing'' of this plane?
The TSA Goes GlobalIn keeping with the mantra ''never let a good crisis go to waste'', TPTB here in the states have decided to use the fake ''ISIS'' bombing story as an excuse to take the failed TSA global.
Yes, that's right. The TSA is supposedly going to be going to various nations to show them how to screw up their screening efforts like they screw them up here in 'Merika.
Johnson's statement said security improvements would include ''expanded screening'' for items on aircraft, additional assessments of security at foreign airports in partnership with foreign authorities, and unspecificed ''offers of other assistance to certain foreign airports'' related to aviation and airport security.
The statement said that the enhancements were intended ''only for certain foreign airports in the region.'' It did not specify which airports would be involved. A U.S. official familiar with the matter said that all the airports affected were in the Middle East.
The official said security enhancements by the U.S. would be put in place by local airport authorities and operators in conjunction with U.S. government representatives. The Star
So the TSA is going to be sending some of it's experts over to foreign countries to help them make sure ''ISIS'' can't bomb their planes, right?
Unfortunately, a study released this week shows the TSA failed at stopping 95% of efforts made by investigators trying to get bombs and guns into sensitive areas of various airports around the country. 95% folks.
Unfortunately, as lots and lots of evidence has shown, the TSA needs to get lucky to actually stop anyone. That's backed up by a new report from the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General '-- its internal department watchdog, more or less '-- details of which were shared (PDF) with the US House Committee on Oversight and Government by IG John Roth.
Basically none of it was good. The IG sent auditors, who were not trained in counterintelligence or how to evade the TSA's checks, to a number of different airports across the country. The systematic failures in TSA security checks were consistent across every airport, with auditors seeing 95 percent success rates smuggling bombs and guns into secure areas of airports.'' The Verge
So what do you do when you have a grossly negligent security system in place here in the states? Well, you export it of course. I mean, why not?
Oh Shit. Real Testing UnderwayI just think I will leave this here for you guys to have a look at. It probably explains why US ''intelligence'' assets are now pushing hard on the ''ISIS'' bomb story.
Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said that Russian experts had taken wipe samples from all the plane fragments and passengers' luggage to trace possible explosives. ''The necessary samples have been taken from all the elements where traces of explosives can be found. All these samples have been delivered to Moscow where they are being studied and analyzed by top class experts with the help of state of the art modern equipment. I can tell you with full responsibility that if there are traces of explosives, they will be found without fail,'' Puchkov said adding that all the findings would be published.'' TASS News Agency
Uh oh. A real investigation is taking shape. Better get that BS ''ISIS'' story out there.
Now I don't know what happened on Halloween day this past Saturday but I can tell you, Flight 9268 didn't blow up mid-flight because ''ISIS'' had a shoulder mounted rocket launcher. And I can tell you that ''ISIS'' didn't suddenly get control of a truck mounted system or shoot it down with Russia's invisible BUK system from Ukraine. And I can also tell you that a bump to the tail section from back in 2001 didn't cause it to spontaneously combust either.
Did someone deliberately plant an explosive on the flight trying to send a message to Russia about what they are doing in Syria?
I don't know. It's possible I guess, but not likely.
More likely however is the possibility that someone let a sidewinder get away from them while engaging in some war games over in the Arava desert in Israel and now they are doing everything they can to cover it up. That was my conclusion two days after the tragic incident and that's still my theory now. Nothing our unnamed intelligence services or our fake-beard wearing ''ISIS'' guys have said since have changed my mind on that one. I guess when those tests are completed by the Russians, we'll all have a slightly better understanding.
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Filed under: Metrojet Flight 9268, Scott Creighton
Syrian rebels used sulfur mustard and it is a small item in the New York Times: where are the front page headlines?
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 01:09
"Insurgents in Syria used sulfur mustard in August"
Reuters changes "rebels" to "fighters" in covering chemical attacks
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 01:10
Migrants
Boots on the Ground in Deutshland
Hey John and Adam,
Philipp from Germany here. I would like to offer some perspective on the refugee crisis and Germany's efforts to deal with the migrants.
I work 100m from a camp as dude named Ben/designer and there are also some that are opening up near where I live. I also talked to a doctor and people who work for companies building camps.
In the recent years Germany increasingly had not enough housing. One theory is that Merkel is building these houses now with EU money with the plan to use these houses as cheap housing for students of universities or low income families once the refugees leave. There are already plans to build permanent housing and the German economy seems to be thriving with all these contracts for construction companies and others.
I think that's a good plan and really hope most of the people will be leaving the country rather soon. Many of these economic "refugees" are entitled, don't respect the property of others or the goods the are given to them for help.
Groups are ganging up on police, shitting in doorways so nobody will come in. Female helpers in the camps are not allowed to use the toilet without an escort since too many of them have been raped. They also started destroying the camp until the organisers threatened to turn off the WiFi hotspots. Cleaning companies are refusing to clean because the conditions are unbearable. There's disease. They were trying to enter a military base in a neighboring town, so they had to ship them off to somewhere else. They walk on country roads in the dark. Police cannot deal with other crime anymore since they are are always dealing with refugee related issues. And all the organizing parties in different levels of the government are not talking to each other which only furthers the chaos that has already ensued.
Hope this report is interesting to you.
Greetings
Philipp Henke
Migration crisis: EU gambles on sweeteners for Africa - Telegraph
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:57
The plan emerged on the eve of a key letter that David Cameron will send to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, setting out his demands for reforming Britain's relationship with EU.
But critics described the proposed migration scheme as ''madness'' and warned it would push the British public towards voting for the UK to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum.
The EU's way to stop illegal mass migration from Africa is to make it legal. This is sheer madness
Nigel Farage
Mr Cameron has promised to negotiate a better deal for Britain's membership of the EU before putting the new terms to a vote in an ''in/out'' referendum by the end of 2017.
On Tuesday, he will use a major speech to make his strongest threat so far that he could recommend an ''out'' vote if Europe turns a ''deaf ear'' to British requests for change.
However, some of Mr Cameron's own Cabinet ministers have privately given up hope that he will secure the kind of radical changes to Britain's EU membership that they want.
The Prime Minister will seek to press his case for European reforms in face to face talks at Wednesday's summit on the migration crisis, in Valletta, Malta.
But he will first have to decide whether to accept the controversial new blueprint for addressing the migration crisis by opening the path to European life for thousands of African people.
While British officials appeared sceptical about the proposal, Mr Cameron faces an awkward decision on whether to veto the plan and risk infuriating other European leaders whom he needs to woo in order to secure his referendum reforms.
Under the plan, a leaked draft of which has been seen by The Telegraph, students, doctors and entrepreneurs from African states '' who represent the elite of society - will be given language training, visas and job offers to entice them to travel to Europe.
Officially, the plans are intended to undermine the multi-billion pound illegal smuggling industry by offering migrants legal routes to Europe, meaning fewer people risk death at sea.
However, a leaked draft of the text confirms that the scheme is essentially a carrot to encourage African leaders to take back tens of thousands of illegal migrants whom European countries want to deport.
The action plan commits leaders to "the creation of positive synergies between negotiations on visa facilitation and discussions in other areas such as readmission."
The EU will offer £1.3 billion in aid under what is being called a ''trust fund'' for countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya to address the ''root causes of irregular migration''. The money is to be used to persuade countries to accept failed asylum seekers.
The plan proposes ''promoting legal channels for migration and mobility from and between African countries''. The recommendations include helping Africans find work in Europe by connecting labour agencies in ''with a view to facilitating placements and job opportunities''.
Migrants should be given language training before they travel, while African college qualifications for ''one or more professions'' should be recognised by European countries. That could, for example, allow teachers, doctors or accountants trained in Kenya to find work highly-paid work in Germany or France.
The blueprint says visa rules should be relaxed, administration fees abolished and relatives of migrants should be allowed to join them once they have reached Europe. Tellingly, it suggests the visa arrangements for the holders of African diplomatic passports should be revised.
Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party leader, said: ''The EU's way to stop illegal mass migration from Africa is to make it legal. This is sheer madness.''
Sir Bill Cash, the Conservative chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee, said the migration crisis could tilt the referendum in favour of exit from the European Union.
''The British people are watching,'' he said. ''I have previously said there would be a tsunami and we would be swamped '' and now we are told it is to be three million people. We have to keep control of our borders.''
The plan would not have a direct impact on the UK because Britain is not a member of the Schengen common migration zone within the EU, where border checks have been scrapped.
However, thousands of migrants massed at Calais in northern France and caused chaos earlier in the year, bringing traffic through the Channel Tunnel to a halt, stowing away inside lorries and cars, with some making it through illegally to enter the UK.
A British diplomat said: "Issues of legal migration remains a matter of national competence for the UK and nothing in the draft text compels the UK to change its long-standing position."
Regaining full control of Britain's borders through reforming EU laws on legal migration is one of the top demands for reform among Eurosceptic MPs and campaigners.
But Downing Street gave no indication that there would be any major changes to EU rules on ''free movement of people'', to the dismay of Mr Cameron's Tory colleagues.
Mr Cameron will send a long-awaited letter on his EU reform demands to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, on Tuesday. However, Downing Street said it would contain only the ''broad outlines of the Prime Minister's agenda''.
As disclosed by The Telegraph last month, Mr Cameron's demands include explicit guarantees that the pound will be protected and the Euro is not the official currency of the EU; and an explicit statement that the UK will not be part of moves towards creating an EU ''superstate''.
His package of requests also contains demands for curbing the welfare entitlements among EU migrants in the UK, and measures to boost economic competitiveness in the European single market. But the ''specific details'' will be negotiated in a series of meetings afterwards, Number 10 said.
In a speech later on Tuesday, Mr Cameron will claim he is willing to recommend that voters choose to leave the EU if he cannot get the deal he wants, despite declaring previously that he wants Britain to remain a member.
He will ask the ''In'' campaign how it can defend the status quo and challenge ''Out'' supporters to say what being outside the EU would mean for economic security.
He will say: ''If Britain's concerns were to be met with a deaf ear, which I do not believe will happen, then we will have to think again about whether this European Union is right for us. As I have said before '' I rule nothing out.''
However, Mr Cameron's demands left his Tory colleagues unimpressed. One Cabinet source said: ''We are in a powerful position in Europe and we have got to be ambitious. We should be asking the Europeans for big reforms. But this is all smoke and mirrors.
''It looks like the PM is not even asking for radical changes and therefore we are not going to get much back.''
Another Cabinet minister said: ''I would like Parliament to have the option of whether we implement EU directives or not. The UK Parliament must be sovereign. Our relationship with the EU must be primarily focused on the single market, and we need significant and radical reform of freedom of movement.''
Two other Cabinet ministers said Mr Cameron must restore the sovereignty of Parliament over EU directives.
Analysis: EU leaders offer Africa a grand bargain over migration with no bearing on the real world
Hungary to vote on EU migrant quota plan challenge
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 17:00
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Envelopment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:38
Envelopment is the military tactic of seizing objectives in the enemy's rear with the goal of destroying specific enemy forces and denying them the ability to withdraw. Rather than attacking an enemy head-on as in a frontal assault an envelopment seeks to exploit the enemy's flanks, attacking them from multiple directions and avoiding where their defenses are strongest. A successful envelopment lessens the number of casualties suffered by the attacker while inducing a psychological shock on the defender and improving the chances to destroy them.[1] An envelopment will consist of one or more enveloping forces, which attacks the enemy's flank(s), and a fixing force, which attacks the enemy's front and "fixes" them in place so that they cannot withdraw or shift their focus on the enveloping forces.[2] While a successful tactic, there are risks involved with performing an envelopment. The enveloping force can become overextended and cut off from friendly forces by an enemy counterattack, or the enemy can counterattack against the fixing force.[3]
According to the United States Army there exist four types of envelopment:[1]
A flanking maneuver or single envelopment consists of one enveloping force on a flank. attacking one of the enemy's flanks. This is extremely effective if the holding forces are in a well defensible spot (e.g. Alexander the Great's hammer and anvil at the Battle of Issus) or if there is a strong, hidden line behind a weak flank (e.g. Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) and Battle of Rocroi).A pincer movement or double envelopment consists of two simultaneous flanking maneuvers.Hannibal devised this strategy at this tactical masterpiece, Cannae Early in World War II the Germans frequently employed this tactic and encircled huge numbers of the enemy during the Blitzkrieg attacks on both the Western Front during the Battle of France and during Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front.An encirclement whereby the enemy is completely surrounded and isolated in a pocket. The friendly forces can choose to attack the pocket or invest it (to stop supplies getting and to prevent breakouts) and wait for a beleaguered enemy to surrender.A vertical envelopment is "a tactical maneuver in which troops, either air-dropped or air-landed, attack the rear and flanks of a force, in effect cutting off or encircling the force".[4]^ abUS Army, FM 3-90 (Tactics), July 2001, 3-12^US Army, FM 3-90 (Tactics), July 2001, 3-13^US Army, FM 3-90 (Tactics), July 2001, 3-15^vertical envelopment, encyclopedia.com, Retrieved 2009-12-03. Quotes "The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military".
Agenda 2030
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Bill Gates: Only Socialism Can Save Us From Climate Change
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:15
So says Bill Gates in a dogmatic but somewhat confused interview with The Atlantic in which he simultaneously pours scorn on green tech solutions but insists that more of them are needed '' on a scale bigger than the Manhattan Project '' if we are to deal successfully with a problem whose nature he admits may well have been exaggerated by environmentalists.
Confused? You should be:
Here are some of things we learn about the mysteries of Gates's mind.
Gates has no patience for climate change deniers '' Republican politicians in particular '' but is far too grand to explain why they're wrong.
He didn't evince much patience for the argument that American politicians couldn't agree even on whether climate change is real, much less on how to combat it. ''If you're not bringing math skills to the problem,'' he said with a sort of amused asperity, ''then representative democracy is a problem.''
Gates made his fortune in what used to be one of the least regulated sectors of the US economy. But still he has little faith in free markets as a driving force for innovation.
''Yes, the government will be somewhat inept,'' he said brusquely, swatting aside one objection as a trivial statement of the obvious. ''But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.''
He thinks the forthcoming UN climate talks in Paris are largely a waste of space because they're just not going to be radical enough.
It's good to have people making commitments. It's really good. But if you really look at those commitments'--which are not binding, but even if you say they will all be achieved'--they fall dramatically short of the reductions required to reduce CO2 emissions enough to prevent a scenario where global temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius. I mean, these commitments won't even be a third of what you need.
Yes, you read that correctly. On the basis of no evidence he is prepared to venture in the interview, Bill Gates is agitating for the near total decarbonization of the world economy.
To head off a rise in average global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels'--the goal set by international agreement'--Gates believes that by 2050, wealthy nations like China and the United States, the most prodigious belchers of greenhouse gases, must be adding no more carbon to the skies.
Private enterprise cannot achieve this because there is no financial incentive to do so. (It appears not to have occurred to Gates that the reason there is no financial incentive because there is no genuine need and therefore no demand. If there had maybe he would have been a green tech billionaire rather than a software billionaire).
Well, there's no fortune to be made.
Bill Gates is not totally stupid. He knows electric cars suck.
People think, Oh, well, I'll just get an electric car. There are places where if you buy an electric car, you're actually increasing CO2 emissions, because the electricity infrastructure is emitting more CO2 than you would have if you'd had a gasoline-powered car.
But he does, sort of, believe that government has access to a magic money tree and that it does something called 'investment' '' which isn't at all the same, oh no, as splurging taxpayers' dollars on pointless crap like Solyndra.
Realistically, we may not get more than a doubling in government funding of energy R&D'--but I would love to see a tripling, to $18 billion a year from the U.S. government to fund basic research alone. Now, as a percentage of the government budget, that's not gigantic.
Bill Gates thinks that heavily-subsidized green tech like wind and solar has worked really well. Then he goes onto admit in virtually the same breath that, no actually, it hasn't worked well at all. Go figure.
Wind has grown super-fast, on a very subsidized basis. Solar, off a smaller base, has been growing even faster'--again on a highly subsidized basis. But it's absolutely fair to say that even the modest R&D that's been done, and the various deployment incentives that are there, have worked well. Now, unfortunately, solar photovoltaic is still not economical, but the biggest problem of all is this intermittency. That is, we need energy 24 hours a day. So, putting aside hydro'--which unfortunately can't grow much'--the primary new zero-CO2 sources are intermittent. Now, nuclear is a non-CO2 source, but it's had its own problems in terms of costs, big safety problems, making sure you can deal with the waste, making sure the plutonium isn't used to make weapons. So my view is that the biggest problem for the two lead candidates is that storage looks to be so difficult. It's kind of ironic: Germany, by installing so much rooftop solar, has it that both their coal plants and their rooftop solar are available in the summer, and the price of power during the day actually goes negative'--they pay people to take it. Then at night the only source is the coal, and because the energy companies have to recover their capital costs, they either raise the price because they're not getting any return for the day, or they slowly go bankrupt.
In fact, Bill Gates thinks that all those greenies bigging up solar are a bunch of liars.
They have this statement that the cost of solar photovoltaic is the same as hydrocarbon's. And that's one of those misleadingly meaningless statements. What they mean is that at noon in Arizona, the cost of that kilowatt-hour is the same as a hydrocarbon kilowatt-hour. But it doesn't come at night, it doesn't come after the sun hasn't shone, so the fact that in that one moment you reach parity, so what? The reading public, when they see things like that, they underestimate how hard this thing is.
Bill Gates '' did he make this clear? '' thinks green tech is a crappy sector to invest in. That's why he thinks it's so important that Government steps in to force the private sector to invest in it. Because otherwise, obviously, it wouldn't. Free markets: so totally overrated, aren't they?
I think dozens and dozens of approaches should be funded at the R&D level, and then people like myself, who can afford to take big risks with start-up companies, should'--because of climate change'--be willing to put some number of billions into the spin-offs that will come out of that government-funded activity.You can't expect that it will be like a digital thing. So you do have to bring a more patient investor, and even a lower return threshold, to this than to other things.
Bill Gates thinks the environmentalists could be talking nonsense
The heating levels have not tracked the climate models exactly, and the skeptics have had a heyday with that. It's all within the error-bar range. To me, it's pretty clear that there's nothing that relieves this as a big problem. But when people act like we have this great certainty, they somewhat undermine the credibility. There's a lot of uncertainty in this, but on both the good and the bad side.
By overclaiming, or even trying to ascribe current things more to climate change than to other effects, environmentalists lend weight to the skeptics.
But it's certainly not going to stop Bill Gates talking nonsense, no sirree, about the necessity of taking radical steps to deal with this potentially non-existent problem.
That's why'....we need innovation that gives us energy that's cheaper than today's hydrocarbon energy, that has zero CO2 emissions, and that's as reliable as today's overall energy system. And when you put all those requirements together, we need an energy miracle. That may make it seem too daunting to people, but in science, miracles are happening all the time.
Bill Gates: wouldn't have been so much better for all of us if he'd just bought up some remote island in the Pacific, hollowed out some volcano to build his secret base, and just worked on something relatively innocuous like plotting a war between China and the US guaranteed to result in mutual nuclear annihilation? This climate change nonsense of his is so much more dangerous'...
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Zbigniew Brzeziński Quote
"In the technetronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason."
Zbigniew Brzeziński, Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era
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Breaking: President Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline | VICE News
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 17:43
President Barack Obama announced on Friday his decision to reject TransCanada's permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, seemingly bringing to a close one of the most controversial and hard-fought environmental battles in recent years.
"This morning Secretary Kerry informed me that, after extensive public outreach and consultation with other cabinet agencies, the State Department has decided that the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States," he said, adding "I agree with that decision."
In a statement, TransCanada said broad support
"TransCanada and its shippers remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project," said Russ Girling, the company's president and chief executive officer. "We will review our options to potentially file a new application for border-crossing authority to ship our customer's crude oil, and will now analyze the stated rationale for the denial."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama had caved to "deep-pocketed special interests and extremists."
"Given this project's importance to North American energy independence, the question still remains not if but when Keystone will be built. Republicans have no intention of giving up on common-sense jobs ideas like Keystone," he said. "Our nation's long-term need for the energy and jobs Keystone would provide will certainly outlast the little over a year remaining in the term of the current Administration."
The $8 billion pipeline would have transported 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada's tar sands to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Environmentalist drew a line in the sand over the project, saying approval would be "game over for the climate."
Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the decision represented a "courageous leap forward" in combatting climate change.
"Rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is right for our nation, for our children and for our planet," she said. "It would have locked in, for a generation or more, massive development of among the dirtiest fuels on the planet '-- posing a serious threat to our air, land water, and climate. The proposal, pushed largely by the fossil fuel industry, was a recipe for disaster. In no way was the pipeline in America's national interest."
Related: If This Part of Antarctica Collapses, Sea Levels Could Rise 10 Feet
Obama's decision comes just days after TransCanada requested a delay from the administrating in deciding on whether or not to green light the project.
Following TransCanada's request, the State Department, which Obama designated as the lead agency to review the permit, said it would continue its deliberation of the company's proposal. And the White House said Obama would make a decision on the project before the end of his term.
Obama's rejection comes ahead of UN climate talks in Paris later this month, where diplomats will seek to secure a deal on cutting carbon emissions in order to keep global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Age levels.
Jennifer Morgan, global director or the World Resources Institute's climate program said Obama's decision would send a signal that would reverberate within the UN negotiations.
"It shows that the Obama administration is serious about moving the country toward clean, renewable energy sources." she said. "A strong agreement in Paris will reaffirm the need to accelerate the pace and scale of this shift toward a zero carbon economy."
Follow VICE News on Twitter: @vicenews
Topics:tipping point , environment, keystone xl pipeline, president barack obama, transcanada, climate change, global warming, co2, tar sands, fossil fuels, nebraska, acquifers
America has built the equivalent of 10 Keystone pipelines since 2010 and no one said anything
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:25
While TransCanada Corp. has been cooling its heels on its Keystone XL proposal for the past six years, the oil pipeline business has been booming in the United States.
Crude oil pipeline mileage rose 9.1 per cent last year alone to reach 66,649 miles, according to data from the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) set to be released soon.
Between 2009 and 2013, more than 8,000 miles of oil transmission pipelines have been built in the past five years in the U.S., AOPL spokesperson John Stoody said, compared to the 875 miles TransCanada wants to lay in the states of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska for its 830,000-bpd project. By last year, the U.S. had built 12,000 miles of pipe since 2010.
''That's the point we make,'' Stoody said. ''While people have been debating Keystone in the U.S. we have actually built the equivalent of 10 Keystones. And no one's complained or said anything.''
On Monday, TransCanada asked the U.S. State Department to suspend review of its controversial Alberta-to-Nebraska pipeline in the latest episode of a six-year drama that has seen as many as five environmental reviews, numerous legal challenges and a rejection in 2012 by President Barack Obama.
Despite TransCanada's request for a pause, the U.S. President still rejected the project. He announced on Friday that he would not approve the Keystone application, saying the project did not serve the nation's interests.
The 487-mile southern leg of the project, dubbed the Gulf Coast project, between Cushing, Okla. and Texas refineries came on stream in 2014.
While the northern leg of Keystone XL remains under review, the Lower 48s have seen new oil pipes crisscrossing the country.
''If you look at 2010 versus now we have seen historic realignment that has transformed the infrastructure situation,'' said Afolabi Ogunnaike, analyst at Wood Mackenzie. ''There has been tremendous investment in pipelines and more investments are coming on.''
The U.S. midstream infrastructure is responding to a near-doubling of U.S. production over the past six years. The U.S. saw an 11.6 per cent increase in crude oil transport via pipelines in 2014, according to AOPL data.
But as U.S. oil production eases in response to lower crude prices, the rapid build-up could see pipeline capacity exceed production in the Bakken in North Dakota and even the Permian basin straddling Texas and New Mexico, Ogunnaike estimates.
''The low oil price environment is allowing the crude oil logistics to catch up to supply,'' he said.
Armed with shipping commitments despite low crude prices, key pipeline operators are proceeding with many projects to alleviate the bottlenecks, which could add as much as 8.7 million barrels per day by 2018, Reuters data shows.
Last week, Houston-based pipeline company Enterprise Product Partners said it would have US$7.8 billion of major capital projects ready by the end of 2017. Tulsa, Okla.-based shipper Magellan Midstream Partners raised its capital expenditure by US$200 million to US$1.6 billion in its earnings announcement Tuesday. TransCanada has reported higher volumes on the Keystone Pipeline System in its third-quarter earnings, while Enbridge Inc. is also looking to expand its presence in the Gulf Coast.
Much of the opposition in the U.S. has focused on crude rail terminals, especially in California and Oregon, which has led to delays on some rail projects. In many states, pipeline is viewed more favourably than the sight of crude-bearing rail cars barreling down town centres.
''There is some local opposition, but we don't have local or inter-state projects that are attracting the same level of scrutiny as Keystone XL seems to have. Keystone XL is an international issue,'' Ogunnaike says.
But for many the fight against Keystone XL pipeline remains a high priority in a larger battle to combat climate change.
''I have always opposed Keystone XL,'' tweeted Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Monday. ''It isn't a distraction '-- it's a fundamental litmus test of your commitment to battle climate change.''
But the opposition has done little to stop the surge of Alberta crude flowing through the U.S. pipeline systems: Canadian crude oil exports to the U.S. soared to 3.4 million barrels per day in August '' a new record.
yhussain@nationalpost.comTwitter.com/YAD_FPEnergy
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New U.N. report underscores the grim math behind the global carbon budget --- " And it finds that 1.5 degrees Celsius, a target embraced by many developing nations, would require even ''earlier and much stronger action.''"
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:40
With less than a month to go until the all important U.N. climate change conference in Paris, yet another key report has reinforced how off target the world is from the goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And it finds that 1.5 degrees Celsius, a target embraced by many developing nations, would require even ''earlier and much stronger action.''
The United Nations Environment Programme's sixth ''Emissions Gap'' report, released Friday, provides an overview of the ''intended nationally determined contributions'' (or INDCs) that nations have proposed leading into Paris. Last week the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change released a similar inquiry that suggested that current pledges could possibly keep the world to 2.7 degrees Celsius, but UNEP is not so optimistic. It says 3 to 3.5 degrees Celsius can be expected, with a two-thirds probability, if all the pledges are implemented, including those that are ''contingent'' on funding and other actions.
A key problem identified in the UNEP report is that the Paris agreement is not expected to take effect until 2020 '-- and by then, significant time will have been lost. And the inexorable math of the carbon budget does not forgive delays. Rather, the more you emit, the less you have remaining to emit at any (reasonable) time in the future, due to the long residence time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
This inevitably means that waiting to cut emissions, or putting cuts off into the future, makes any target harder to achieve.
''The report confirms unequivocally that current mitigation pledges by more than 140 nations are taking the planet to a warming trajectory well above 2C; and emphasizes the need for a negotiation process that will review those and future pledges with the aim to increase their level of ambition,'' says Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project and a researcher at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia.
Let's get into the math a little, to see why this is so.
First, UNEP finds that in 2014 the world emitted 52.7 billion metric tons, or gigatons, of carbon dioxide equivalents '-- a total that includes carbon dioxide from all sources (fossil fuels, deforestation and land use change, and more) but also other greenhouse gases, like methane and nitrous oxide. Rather startlingly, there is actually a very large uncertainty range around even this present day number, from 47.9 to 57.5. So annual emissions could actually be a lot higher, even now.
To have a two-thirds or better chance of staying below 2C, and assuming action begins in 2020, UNEP finds that this annual number needs to be down to 42 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2030. For 1.5 degrees C, it needs to be down to 39.
However, the current pledges, including those that are conditional, only get the world to 54 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2030 '-- not much different from where we are now. It's not that the pledges achieve nothing '-- they actually cut annual emissions by 4 to 6 gigatons, relative to where they might otherwise be in 2030, as the world population and its energy demand continue to grow.
But the pledges are still not enough and leave behind an ''emissions gap'' of 12 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year that new policies will have to close if we want to keep within the 2 degree target, at least with a two-thirds or greater probability.
But actually, it's tougher than this. The UNEP report admits that even 42 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents, in 2030, won't be enough unless still further steps also occur down the road. We will not only have to bring emissions to absolute zero at some point in the 2060s or 2070s, but furthermore, will likely have to implement ''negative emissions'' technologies that will actually pull carbon dioxide out of the air again. Or as the report puts it:
All scenarios analyzing 2 °C pathways that follow the Cancun pledges until 2020 and with a least-cost starting point in 2020, require strong reductions after 2020. They also rely on so-called ''negative emission technologies'' such as bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage.
UNEP's chief scientist Jacqueline McGlade confirmed by email that the 42 gigatons in 2030 scenario is one of these '-- it assumes no major actions taken before the year 2020, and therefore does indeed rely on negative emissions later in the century.
It's obvious how planting a large number of trees pulls carbon out of the atmosphere '-- bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, is not so dissimilar. It means burning trees or plants to get energy (which is carbon neutral if these trees or plants then grow back again), but simultaneously sequestering all of the carbon that results from that burning in the ground (which gets you from carbon neutral to carbon negative).
However, there are significant objections to BECCS at the scale that might be required to really make a dent in an atmosphere filled with as much carbon as we will have put there by the late 21st century.
One involves the amount of land that would be required. ''Some institutions have called for producing 20 percent of human energy needs from bioenergy of all sorts by 2050,'' writes Tim Searchinger, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute. ''That would require an amount of biomass equal to all the plants harvested annually across the entire world today: all the crops, crop residues, wood and grasses eaten by livestock. The world does not have the room.''
''The feasibility of large scale deployment of negative emission technologies is still a contentious issue,'' admits the UNEP report. Needless to say, any 1.5 degree C scenarios will also require negative emissions.
The role of negative emissions in many scenarios for achieving 2C was recently criticized by Kevin Anderson, a researcher with the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester, in an essay in Nature Geoscience. Referring to a scenarios database kept by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Anderson wrote that:
Of the 400 scenarios that have a 50% or better chance of no more than 2°C warming (with three scenarios removed >due to incomplete data), 344 assume the successful and large-scale uptake of negative-emission technologies.
Anderson then performed an analysis suggesting that instead of assuming negative emissions, quite sharp CO2 cuts are needed '-- and fast '-- to actually stay with the carbon budget.
''As scientists, we must now leverage the clarity gained by the budget concept to combat the almost global-scale cognitive dissonance in acknowledging its quantitative implications,'' Anderson wrote. ''Yet, so far, we simply have not been prepared to accept the revolutionary implications of our own findings, and even when we do are reluctant to voice such thoughts openly.''
Not everyone agrees with Anderson, but all parties seem to concur that the current Paris pledges aren't enough '-- they'll have to be tightened further, and more ways of limiting carbon will have to be found. The UNEP report singles out a particularly prominent one '-- restoring forests in developing countries could close the 2030 emissions gap by as much as 9 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents, at least theoretically (though real world constraints would surely lessen these gains significantly). The report also says that ambitious actions by cities and subnational actors can also shave off another gigaton or two per year.
In the end, then, what's really coming into focus just before Paris is just how much farther the world has to go to cut its emissions '-- and how little time remains for that to happen.
Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment.
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FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Actions to Ensure that Nuclear Energy Remains a Vibrant Component of the United States' Clean Energy Strategy
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 18:42
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 06, 2015
As detailed in the Climate Action Plan, President Obama is committed to using every appropriate tool to combat climate change. Nuclear power, which in 2014 generated about 60 percent of carbon-free electricity in the United States, continues to play a major role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. As America leads the global transition to a low-carbon economy, the continued development of new and advanced nuclear technologies along with support for currently operating nuclear power plants is an important component of our clean energy strategy. Investing in the safe and secure development of nuclear power also helps advance other vital policy objectives in the national interest, such as maintaining economic competitiveness and job creation, as well as enhancing nuclear nonproliferation efforts, nuclear safety and security, and energy security.
The President's FY 2016 Budget includes more than $900 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the U.S. civilian nuclear energy sector by leading federal research, development, and demonstration efforts in nuclear energy technologies, ranging from power generation, safety, hybrid energy systems, and security technologies, among other things. DOE also supports the deployment of these technologies with $12.5 billion in remaining loan guarantee authority for advanced nuclear projects through Title 17. DOE's investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation's energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility.
Today, the White House is announcing and highlighting the following actions to sustain and advance nuclear energy, including:
Launching the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear: DOE is establishing the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) to provide the nuclear energy community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear reactor designs toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet. GAIN will provide the nuclear community with a single point of access to the broad range of capabilities '' people, facilities, materials, and data '' across the DOE complex and its National Lab capabilities. Focused research opportunities and dedicated industry engagement will also be important components of GAIN, ensuring that DOE-sponsored activities are impactful to companies working to realize the full potential of nuclear energy. GAIN will feature: Access to Capabilities: Through the Clean Energy Investment Center in DOE's Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), GAIN will provide a single point of contact for users interested in a wide range of nuclear energy related capabilities and expertise. As an initiating step, Idaho National Lab will serve as the GAIN integrator for Office of Nuclear Energy capabilities. Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Database: DOE is also publishing the Nuclear Energy Infrastructure database (NEID), which provides a catalogue of existing nuclear energy related infrastructure that will enhance transparency and support nuclear community engagement through GAIN. NEID currently includes information on 802 research and development instruments in 377 facilities at 84 institutions in the United States and abroad. Nuclear technology developers can access the database to identify resources available to support development and implementation of their technology, as well as contacts, availability, and the process for accessing the capability. Small Business Vouchers: To support the strong interest in nuclear energy from a significant number of new companies working to develop advanced nuclear energy technologies, DOE plans to make $2 million available in the form of vouchers to provide assistance to small business applicants (including entrepreneur-led start-ups) seeking to access the knowledge and capabilities available across the DOE complex. This will enhance the ability of GAIN to serve a broader segment of the nuclear community. Information on available capabilities can be found HERE.Assisting Navigation of the Regulatory Process: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), consistent with its role as an independent safety and security regulator, will provide DOE with accurate, current information on the NRC's regulations and licensing processes. DOE will work through GAIN with prospective applicants for advanced nuclear technology to understand and navigate the regulatory process for licensing new reactor technology.Convening Second Workshop on Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors '' The NRC and DOE will hold the Second Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors Workshops in spring 2016. The successful first workshop was held in September 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to explore options for increased efficiency, from both a technical and regulatory perspective, in the safe development and deployment of innovative reactor technologies. This would include examining both near-term and longer-term opportunities to test, demonstrate, and construct prototype advanced reactors, and evaluate the most appropriate licensing processes. Supplementing Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Nuclear Energy: Today, DOE is supplementing its existing solicitation that makes up to $12.5 billion in loan guarantees available to support innovative nuclear energy projects. The solicitation states that eligible projects can include construction of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear facilities. In addition, the new supplement clarifies that project costs for an eligible project that are incurred as part of the NRC licensing process, such as design certification, construction permits, and combined construction and operating licenses (COL), could be eligible costs that may be financed with a loan guaranteed by DOE. Establishing Light Water Reactor (LWR) Research, Development, and Deployment Working Group: DOE is formally announcing the establishment of the LWR Research, Development, and Deployment (RDD) Working Group to examine possible needs for future RDD to support the development of competitive advanced LWRs, as well as maintain the safe, efficient operations of currently operating nuclear power plants. The group will consist of federal, national laboratory, and industry participants. Recommendations are expected to DOE by February 2016. Addressing Small Modular Reactor Needs through Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors: Today, DOE's Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) is signing an agreement with NuScale to establish new cost-shared modeling and simulation tools under the CASL Energy Innovation Hub at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This agreement specifies the work that will be done by CASL to install and support the use of its virtual reactor tools on NuScale systems and by NuScale to simulate performance questions using CASL tools. Through this agreement, CASL tools will be expanded to better simulate SMR operation and inform design decisions. These efforts can lead to more efficient reactor designs that improve lifetime operation in a power plant. Investing in SMR Licensing: DOE began investing up to $452 million dollars over six years starting in FY 2012 to support first-of-a-kind engineering costs associated with certification and licensing activities for SMRs through the NRC. By utilizing cost-share agreements with private industry through a licensing technical support program, DOE supports the domestic development of these innovative nuclear technologies, thereby strengthening American manufacturing capabilities and the associated nuclear supply chain, improving domestic employment opportunities, and creating important export opportunities for the United States. It is expected that the first SMR design application will be submitted to the NRC in late-2016.Designing a Modernized LWR Control Room: DOE is partnering with Arizona Public Service's Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to design a modernized control room for an operating commercial LWR. Working together through a cost-shared partnership, DOE's LWR Sustainability Program and Palo Verde will consider the best way to replace traditional analog systems with digital systems that optimize control room operations. This work supports the long-term sustainability and efficiency of the currently operating nuclear power plants by assisting nuclear utilities to address reliability and obsolescence issues of legacy analog control rooms.
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Lawmaker Claims NOAA Altered Climate Change Data, Issues Rare Subpoena for Internal Research Docs - Oversight - GovExec.com
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:25
A key House chairman and climate change skeptic is extending a months-long clash with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by issuing an unusual subpoena seeking internal scientific research documents that the agency considers confidential.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, first requested documents from NOAA in July, following publication of a peer-reviewed study by Tom Karl, director of the agency's National Centers for Environmental Information. It concluded that the rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as, or faster, than that seen during the latter half of the 20th century, according to a NOAA spokesman. That would refute the notion offered by some that global warming has slowed in recent years.
Arguing that other scientific studies contradict that conclusion, Smith followed up with further requests for NOAA documents and with meetings and emails between congressional and agency staff. Their inability to reach an agreement on the completeness of the document record prompted the Oct. 13 subpoena to NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.
''It was inconvenient for this administration that climate data has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades,'' Smith said in a statement. ''The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made. NOAA needs to come clean about why they altered the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration's extreme climate change agenda. The agency has yet to identify any legal basis for withholding these documents. The committee intends to use all tools at its disposal to undertake its constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibilities.''
Smith also expressed suspicion that NOAA has a political motivation and rejected NOAA's assertion of a ''confidentiality interest'' that he said was not recognized by his oversight committee. ''Despite what some critics claim, the subpoena is not only about scientists,'' he said. ''Political operatives and other NOAA employees likely played a large role in approving NOAA's decision to adjust data that allegedly refutes the hiatus in warming. The subpoena covers communications about that decision. The committee needs to understand the full context of NOAA's decision-making process.''
His letter demands NOAA and the scientists' global data sets, methods of analysis, and documents and communications related to sea temperature readings from buoys and ships from 2014-15.
NOAA spokesman Ciaran Clayton in a statement to Government Executive on Wednesday said that the agency had provided Smith's staff with links to all the scientific data, but had withheld documents stemming from deliberative scientific discussions that took place before the study's end product was final.
"There is no truth to the claim that the study was politically motivated or conducted to advance an agenda,'' Clayton said. ''The published findings are the result scientists simply doing their job -- ensuring the best possible representation of historical global temperature trends is available to inform decision makers, including the U.S. Congress.
"We have been transparent and cooperative with the House Science Committee to help them better understand the research and underlying methodologies,'' she continued. ''We have provided data (all of which is publicly available online), supporting scientific research, and multiple in person briefings. We stand behind our scientists who conduct their work in an objective manner. '...We have provided all of the information the committee needs to understand this issue."
On Oct. 23, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, ranking member on the Science panel, wrote to Smith saying the subpoena ''appears to be fishing expedition, rather than engaging in focused oversight with a legitimate goal in mind.'' The issue in question is a study, not a federal decision by an agency, she said, hinting that Smith may be intending to forward the inside information to outsiders in climate-change skeptic circles.
Subpoenaing information from the executive branch ''for the purposes of providing it to third parties is not a legitimate exercise of Congress' oversight powers,'' Johnson continued, adding that past chairmen have not forced the National Science Foundation to ''disclose the innermost details of peer-reviews of extramural research grants, except in extreme instances where fraud was alleged.''
Johnson it ''saddens'' her to write such a letter about what she characterized as Smith's bid to generate press releases and ''harass the Executive,'' without having ever uncovered substantive problems through oversight.
In a Nov. 3 column in The Wall Street Journal, Holman W. Jenkins Jr. applauded Smith's moves to challenge NOAA's ''sleight of hand'' in adjusting global temperature readings and accused NOAA of having ''proved itself pliable to the propagandizing urge.''
''Without prejudging the case, gut instinct has always indicated that, if there's a major global warming scandal to be discovered anywhere, it will be found in the temperature record simply because the records are subject to so much opaque statistical manipulation,'' Jenkins wrote. ''But even if no scandal is found, it's past time for politicians and the public to understand the nature of these records and the conditions under which they are manufactured.''
(Image via FloridaStock / Shutterstock.com)
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EuroLand
Women on their period dress in white to protest tampon tax - Independent.ie
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:49
*Warning - graphic*Published 08/11/2015 | 13:25
Women on their period donned white trousers, "forgoing tampons and pads", to protest outside the Houses of Parliament against the 'tampon tax'.
Tampons and sanitary items are currently classed as a 'luxury item' which means a five per cent levy on the products, which has been dubbed 'the tampon tax'.
Research has suggested that UK women could fork out up to £18,450 in their lifetime on these products.
Last Monday, the UK Government voted 305 to 287 to block a call to remove the levy.
Protesters Charlie Edge and Ruth Howarth decided to stand outside the Houses of Parliament in white trousers, "forgoing tampons and pads", to show that sanitary items are a necessity, not a luxury.
"They're not luxury items, anymore than jaffa cakes, edible cake decorations, exotic meats or any other number of things currently not taxed as luxury items".
"Maybe bleeding on their doorstep will get the tories to do something about this?"
The controversial protest has already received a lot of criticism, in particular on social media.
Taking to Facebook, Charlie Edge wrote that the protesters got "lots of dirty looks" but also a lot of support. "Everyone keeps saying 'omg how quickly would we get free tampons if everyone stopped wearing them?!'".
The original post was shared over 9,000 times and got over 11,000 likes.
Posting an update, Edge explained the motivations behind the protest, stating that it was "not to upset passers-by".
"People are talking about it. This isn't just 'three girls outside parliament with blood stains'. This is three more people who are angry about something, encouraging the millions of other people who are also angry about the same thing, to talk about it".
To the people who complained that the method of protest was "gross", Edge wrote that "that was the point".
"Periods are gross".
"They can cause you so much pain that you physically can't move from the foetal position on the floor. They can make your head hurt, your stomach hurt, make you throw up, mess up your bowels'... They make you feel consistently uncomfortable for a week. And if you aren't lucky enough to be 100% regular, they can surprise you at the worst of times and you end up looking like me, but not as part of a protest, but in the middle of a restaurant or class or supermarket".
"They are gross. And tampons and pads are a necessity".
"Most people really don't like seeing period blood... so (tampons) should not be classed as a luxury".
"The tampon tax has been decided on almost entirely by cis men".
"Cis men don't have uteruses. They don't have periods. They should not get to dominate laws that do not affect them".
"Don't tell me how to feel about something that you can't experience.... Quite frankly, it's none of your business what anyone else decides to put up their vagina".
To criticism that the the protest was unhygenic, Edge said that the ladies brought changes of clothes and wet wipes to clean themselves up before heading home.
"If we all decided to freebleed forever, then yes. That probably would be pretty unhygienic.
But I promise you that IF we all decided to freebleed forever, we wouldn't have to pay for sanitary items".
"It's an issue that is based in sexism, classism, and a corrupt capitalist system".
The protest also raised money which was donated to homeless shelters, women's shelters and the refugee crisis.
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Lufthansa staff start longest-ever strike leaving almost 60,000 passengers grounded
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 16:24
(C) Ralph Orlowski / ReutersMembers of cabin crew union UFO stand during a strike in Frankfurt airport, Germany, November 6, 2015
Lufthansa has canceled 520 flights scheduled for Saturday, with at least 58,000 passengers expected to be affected as cabin crew went on their longest-ever strike in a 2 year-long pensions dispute. Cabin staff joined the strike for the first time.The Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO) plans to stage walkouts over the course of the next six days.
Strikes by pilots have already cost Lufthansa 130 million euros so far this year. Equinet analyst Jochen Rothenbacher told Reuters that walkout costs could total 20 million euros ($21 million) a day, depending on the number of cancellations. Should the union strike for seven days, as promised, it could cost the company 140 million euros.
All European and domestic services have been scrapped, with the exception of some flights between Munich and Frankfurt, as well as three Frankfurt-London Heathrow links. No intercontinental flights will be hit, however, the airline said, with the exception of one connection between Dusseldorf and Newark, New Jersey.
Saturday's stoppage will last until 2200 GMT, UFO said. UFO reassured that no strike is planned on Sunday because most people traveling that day will be doing so in a private capacity, not on business.
The union began walkouts Friday afternoon, affecting flights to and from the airports of Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. Friday's work stoppage grounded over 37,000 passengers as 290 flights, including 23 intercontinental services, were canceled.
"Lufthansa will do its utmost to keep the effects of a strike to a minimum and to inform passengers as soon as possible," the company said, adding that it regrets any inconveniences caused by the strike.
According to the union, industrial action was "unavoidable" after Lufthansa and UFO failed to reach an agreement over early retirement benefits and pensions. UFO wants the current system of early retirement provisions to remain unchanged, while Lufthansa argues that the system is too expensive, given low-cost rivals such as Ryanair and Easyjet breathing down the company's neck. Lufthansa wants to scrap an arrangement under which pilots can retire at 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until they reach the statutory retirement age of 65.
Flights operated by Lufthansa subsidiaries, such as CityLine, Germanwings, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines are not affected by the potential strike actions and will therefore run as planned.
Germany spied on EU allies: new report
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 16:24
The BND spy station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria. Picture: Diether Endlicher/DPA
Germany's intelligence agency eavesdropped on many of the country's closest European allies, including France, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Britain, according to new reports.
Among the targets are several embassies in Germany, and international organisations such as the Red Cross, Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.
The German intelligence agency BND has already been accused of eavesdropping on officials at the French foreign ministry and presidency, as well as the European Commission, on behalf of its US counterpart, the NSA.
Public radio RBB and Spiegel Online had earlier claimed that the BND had also spied on its own account on several embassies and administrations of "European states and allies".
Spiegel, without giving any sources, said Saturday that "the BND had systematically spied on 'allies' across the world, including on the interior ministries of the United States, Poland, Austria, Denmark and Croatia."
It said the spying targets included the US delegation at the European Union in Brussels and the UN in New York, the US Treasury, and several embassies in Germany -- including those of the US, France, Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Vatican. It also spied on the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross and Oxfam, Spiegel said.
Germany expressed outrage when information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that US agents were carrying out widespread tapping worldwide. But the BND soon came under fire itself over claims that it had carried out spying on European allies on behalf of the NSA.
Belgium and the Netherlands in June launched probes into the claims of espionage.
Portugal, the Eurozone's Next Greece | New Eastern Outlook
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 13:35
The illusion that all is well in the Euroland following the brutal Greek austerity agreement this summer is soon to be rudely disrupted by a new Eurozone crisis, this in what was hailed as the IMF and ECB ''success story''''Portugal. Very soon, perhaps in a matter of weeks, it will become clear again, as in Greece, or in Germany in 1931, that austerity, spending cuts and tax increases are not a way out of a national economic crisis.
The October 4 national parliament elections have blown the pretty facade off of a game of statistical manipulation, financial tricks and outright fraud that allowed a conservative free market government to claim success in ending Portugal's severe economic crisis.
The government of Prime Minister Passos Coelho, a free market neo-liberal, lost the majority. His right-wing Forward Portugal Alliance (PAF) won the most votes of any party, but his austerity coalition lost their majority, winning only 38.5% of the vote. Almost two-third, 62% of all voters voted for one of the anti-austerity parties of the left socialist coalition. Coehlo has been in power since June 2011 when the Euro crisis caused panic exit of high-debt Eurozone countries by international investors.
The decisive campaign issue this time was the severe austerity Coehlo's coalition had followed since 2011. Calling for easing of austerity and even a rethink of Portugal's relation to the Euro, much as in Greece last January when Alexei Tsipras and his leftist anti-austerity propelled Syriza into power.
In Portugal a left-communist-socialist bloc of parties led by Socialist Party leader Socialist leader, Antonio Costa, got an absolute majority in the Assembleia or parliament. Despit the clear, overwhelming voter choice against more austerity, Portugese President Cavaco Silva, a former member of Coehlo's pro-Euro party has named Coehlo to form a minority government, pledged to continue the bread and water treatment.
Justifying his rejection of normal democratic norms, Silva declared in a bizarre argument, ''In 40 years of democracy, no government in Portugal has ever depended on the support of anti-European forces, that is to say forces that campaigned to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro, in addition to wanting the dissolution of NATO.''
Revealingly, Silva's words recalled the reign of the corporativist brand of fascist dictatorship under Ant"nio de Oliveira Salazar some four decades earlier, far more than those of a president of a democratic republic. Given what recently took place in Greece and last year in Cyprus, it suggests ominously where the EU is headed, and that is precisely in the direction of a Soviet-style or George Orwell-style 1984 rule from top, this by faceless EU technocrats serving the agenda of corporate giants and political networks who care not for the traditions of true democracy or representative rule or basic human decency.
Faked numbers
The argument of everyone from Angela Merkel to Brussels EU faceless commissioners is that any anti-austerity breaking with the Troika in Portugal, as in Greece, is not to be tolerated. They all repeat the mantra of the ''success'' of the four years of Coehlo austerity in bringing Portugal back on her economic feet. The problem with that is that it's a deliberate lie. Look closely at unemployment, the best true measure of economic progress.
Since Coehlo became Prime Minister of a right-wing austerity right-wing austerity regime in 2011 he has pointed to official unemployment numbers as proof the austerity ''cure'' was working. His message was clear: ''Just be a little more patient, dear citizens, and we soon will be in paradise. Just trust the IMF, the ECB, the EU governments'...'' Month after month until this summer, official numbers of jobless fell.
Notably, just since the explosion of the Eurozone crisis in 2011, the EU Statistics office, Eurostat, has made a convenient change in the definitions of unemployed. That year Brussels told all EU governments that their statistics agencies such as the German Statistischen Bundesamtes (Destatis) could not count unemployed people in training programs or government funded job schemes as unemployed, even though they had no real work.
Since 2011, Portugal's government agencies under Coehlo doctored their employment statistics to make things look better, much better than they really were. It seems Coehlo's government borrowed a page from the fraudulent Washington Labor Department tricks to put a rosy glow on Portugal's economy by showing steadily declining unemployment even though growth was stagnant. The tricks included such things as dodgy data classification. Neither the 300,000 mostly young, well-educated jobless people who left Portugal for other countries during the crisis years, urged on by the government, were counted in the official unemployment numbers. Nor were people who had given up looking for work. Those who gave up looking, as there were no jobs, were put in a basket named e latter, who are officially called the ''discouraged unemployed,'' and were only counted as ''inactive,'' and not unemployed. The same was true of part-time or occasional workers who want to work full-time.
According to economist Jos(C) Maria Castro Caldas, at CES, a respected center for social studies at the University of Coimbra, the Coehlo government also gave companies grants in order to ''employ'' unemployed people on an unpaid basis. The unemployed were forced to take on the often pointless jobs because they would otherwise lose their welfare payments. ''That's perverse,'' Castro Caldo said. He estimates, when all the tricks are accounted for, the reality is that, ''One of five Portuguese citizens who is able and willing to work can't find a job. Maybe one out of four. Those are the real numbers.'' That puts true unemployment in Portugal in the range near 25% of the workforce wanting work. And that four years into the ''cure.''
In return for the Troika's '‚¬ 78 billion bailout, Coehlo's government rammed through severe pay, pension and public spending cuts as well as major tax hikes, mainly in VAT or sales taxes which hit the lower income population worst. Higher taxes and rising real unemployment are not an economic ''recovery,'' at least not in my book.
Debt
The second disastrous part of the unviable Coehlo austerity regimen is the fact that Portugal's public debt remains astronomical. Today Portugese public debt is a whopping 130% of GDP in a Eurozone where 60% was supposed to be the rigorous top limit. Worse, unlike Italy which has about the same percentage of debt-to-GDP, Portugal's debt is 70% held by foreigners, like banks in Germany and elsewhere. By contrast a mere 35% of Italian debt is owed abroad, making the country less vulnerable to a greek-style capital flight crisis. Historical experience shows that once the public debt of a country hits 130% of GDP it is unsustainable. So Portugal has unsustainable debts, most of the money owed to foreigners, with the economy still in deep trouble, and a likely political crisis to boot. Default as is a real possibility in coming months.
Coming Political Crisis
This is the real backdrop to what now is shaping to be a major political crisis, something that would make the likelihood of a foreign debt exit from Portugese state bonds a near certainty, a la Greece in 2012. Then the deceptive recent financial calm in the Eurozone will change dramatically. Following the controversial renomination of Coehlo in a minority regime, the socialists and allied left anti-austerity parties in the parliament forming a majority have pledged to bring the new Coehlo government down in a vote of no confidence. It could come as early as November.
The moderate Socialist party and its allies '' the Communists, Greens and Left Bloc '' now control 122 seats in Portugal's 230-seat parliament. Indicating the left coalition parties are serious about forcing change, on October 23, they blocked appointment of the centre-right's choice for speaker of parliament, electing their own candidate instead. They also promised to present a motion rejecting any program that retains the core of the previous government's policies. Interest rates on Portugese bonds have started rising on fears of a full-blown political crisis and paralysis requiring new elections next summer and a paralyzed caretaker Coehlo minority until then.
The entire Euro project was from the beginning built on a rotten foundation from above, the infamous Maastricht Treaty. It never had the interests of the people of Europe at heart, only the major banks and their allies. Now the chickens are coming home to do more than roost.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
Armageddon
White House prepares for catastrophic solar flares that could end civilization | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 16:01
Massive electromagnetic pulse caused by solar flares could bring an end to modern civilization as we know itExtreme space weather event could wipe out power for months and render cellphones and internet uselessOne study estimates that in the U.S. alone it could cost the fragile economy up to $2.6 trillionNow the White House are preparing for the threat after a major solar flare narrowly missed the Earth in 2012Strategy includes improving prediction abilities as forecasters only have been 15-60 minutes warning and how to protect energy grids By Hannah Parry For Dailymail.com
Published: 12:50 EST, 3 November 2015 | Updated: 05:07 EST, 4 November 2015
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The U.S. government are preparing for a catastrophic solar flare which could wipe out power across the world for months.
The last powerful geomagnetic solar storm which hit the earth was in 1859 which caused telegraph lines to explode, setting fire to some telegraph offices, and power to fail across Europe and North America.
In today's far more advanced and technological world, experts the effects would be devastating.
The massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from solar flares could wipe out power grids, bringing an end to modern civilization as we know it as cellphones, credit cards and the internet were rendered useless.
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The U.S. government are preparing for a catastrophic solar flare (pictured is a flare in March 2010) which could wipe out power across the world for months
In the U.S, alone researchers estimate the cost on the fragile economy would be up to $2.6 trillion, according to a 2008 National Academy of Sciences study.
The report warned that power outages after an extreme solar storm could last months or even longer if it wiped out the transformers.
A catastrophic solar storm came terrifyingly close in 2012 but passed the Earth's orbit without striking the planet.
With scientists predicting a 12 per cent chance that one could hit by 2022, the White House is preparing a contingency plan.
'Frankly, this could be one of the most severe natural disasters that the country, and major portions of the world, could face,' space weather consultant John Kappenman told Gizmodo.
The last powerful geomagnetic solar storm which hit the earth was in 1859 which caused telegraph lines to explode, setting fire to some telegraph offices, and power to fail across Europe and North America.
John P. Holdren Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, admitted the solar storms posed a 'significant challenge'.
'Space weather is a naturally occurring phenomenon that has the potential to cause substantial detrimental effects on the Nation's economic and social well-being,' he said.
'This is a real and present danger, this is a real threat,' added Bill Murtagh, assistant director to the Washington Post.
A space weather action plan and strategy have now been drawn up which will focus on preparing the United States for the disaster.
The six-step plan includes establishing a benchmark to accurately measure the threat of events, such as the Richter magnitude scale used for earthquakes and focus on improving forecasting technologies.
One of the big dangers of space weather is that forecasters currently have just 15 to 60 minutes warning time before an extreme event.
The plan would allow for new satellites in space and new technologies on the ground to give a more adequate warning of the disaster.
Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights, like those shown above Norway, are caused by the flow of electrically charged particle that are thrown out by the sun during solar storms. Solar events like the one that caused this aurora are relatively minor compared to the one that hit the Earth in 1859
Research will also be carried out into the potential effects a weather event would have on America and its critical infrastructure, which will allow the government to create a response and recovery plan.
Schools, academia, government agencies, the media, the insurance industry, nonprofits, and the private sector will all be involved if the worst does happen, according to the strategy.
The government has already taken steps towards their goals such as replacing old satellites which are crucial to forecasting the solar storms.
They are also working on a way to protect and regulate the electric grids from a space storm, to stop power being wiped out completely, and are assessing a proposal to replace Extra High Voltage (EHV) transformers destroyed by a solar event.
But the strategy warned that 'much more needs to be done' to protect America from the threat.
The U.S. government are also taking a global view and the last step involves working with other countries to prepare for such an event.
The steps are similar to contingency plans for natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and wild forest fires.
The image above shows the numerous effects a solar flare could have on the world
Major solar flares are caused by a build-up of magnetic energy that releases blasts of radiation across the solar system.
While there is a steady stream of particles buffeting the planets of the solar system from the sun '' known as the solar wind '' flares and eruptions send intense blasts of radiation and particles.
HOW SOLAR FLARES IMPACT EARTH Solar flares can damage satellites and have an enormous financial cost.
Astronauts are not in immediate danger because of the relatively low orbit of this manned mission.
They do have to be concerned about cumulative exposure during space walks. The charged particles can also threaten airlines by disturbing the Earth's magnetic field.
Very large flares can even create currents within electricity grids and knock out energy supplies.
A positive aspect, from an aesthetic point of view, is that the auroras are enhanced.
Geomagnetic storms are more disruptive now than in the past because of our greater dependence on technical systems that can be affected by electric currents.
These vary in frequency with the activity of the sun and often blast off in directions far away from the Earth. However, severe solar events are thought to threaten the Earth every 100 years or so.
The last major coronal mass ejection to hit the Earth, known as the Carrington event, was a powerful geomagnetic solar storm in 1859 and is thought to have been the biggest in 500 years.
While a large solar flare in March this year knocked out radio transmissions in some parts of the world.
A massive solar phenomenon would disrupt transport networks, cause blackouts and disrupt satellites, according to studies.
GPS systems could go down leaving train networks and shipping badly affected, while satellite communication and high frequency radio communication used by aircraft, could also go down meaning global transport would be hit.
Oil drilling also relies heavily on GPS for accuracy and could result in a fall in oil production and dry up of fuel for motorists at the tanks
Power grids could also be effected, leading to blackouts in some areas.
Experts warn individuals to be prepared by stashing an emergency kit with enough fresh water, food and medication to last for the first 72 hours.
While some extreme doomsday preppers put aside several years worth of food, water and medication and have even invested their money in gold rather than banks.
Others suggest using a Faraday cage - a conductive, grounded, metal container that shields its contents from electrostatic and electromagnetic influences.
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Chemtrails
MOLD CHEMTRAILS-You are now Breathing Ethylene Dibromide, Virally Mutated Molds, Nano-Particulates of Aluminum and Barium, and Polymer Fibers with Unidentified Bio-Active Material >> You are now Breathing Ethylene Dibromide, Virally Mutated Molds, Nano-Pa
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:54
This image showing a relatively pristine earth was taken during the Apollo Missions between 1969 and 1972. The earth floats like a beautiful blue and white jewel in space with no haze or luminosity covering it.
THE EARTH BEFORE THE ERA OF CHEMTRAILS
Compare it with the next few images of earth taken during the era of chemtrails. Shocking isn't it?
BLOOD TESTING REVEALS BARIUM 150 TIMES HIGHER THAN SAFE
Do you have toxic levels of Barium and Aluminum in your blood? A number of people living in Arizona have discovered that they have blood levels of Aluminum or Barium 150 times higher than the amount considered safe. Many are experiencing the classic symptoms of Barium poisoning. Barium damages the immune system, causes dose-related muscle weakness up to total paralysis including the heart & lung muscles.
Arizona, like the rest of the country has experienced heavy chemtrailing since 1997. So there is good reason to suspect there may be widespread problem with toxic levels of Barium & aluminum in the U.S. population,
LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS TO 69.3 YEARS IN THE USA
HOW MUCH IS 8 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE WORTH?In 2003 life expectancy in the USA was 77.6 years. The drop to 69.3 years since 2003, a drop of over 8 years in less than 6 years, is startling information. This period of time just happens to coincide with a time when there has been non-stop spraying of chemtrails coast to coast on an almost daily basis. There is plenty of scientific research proving that any increase in airborne particulates causes a corresponding increase in the death rate of the exposed population so imo the chemtrails are a glaringly obvious factor in this significant drop in expected life span.
WIDESPREAD CHEMTRAIL SICKNESS IN IDAHO; SEDATIVES FOUND IN CHEMTRAILS
THE IDAHO OBSERVER
According to a report published 8/28/06 in The Idaho Observer recent lab reports found the following in samples of chemtrail fall-out:bacteria including anthrax and pneumonia, 9 chemicals including acetylcholine chloride, 26 heavy metals including arsenic, lead, barium, mercury and uranium, 4 molds and fungi, 7 viruses, 2 cancers, 2 vaccines and 2 sedatives.
PATIENTS HIGHLY CONTAMINATED, DOC BLAMES CHEMTRAILS
An Arizona Doctor speaks out after finding high levels of Barium contamination in his patients:
'''... patients are coming in with frequent headaches, sinus congestion, asthma and ear infections'... I attribute this to the chemicals which our government is spraying in OUR air!'... the ''hair analysis'' labs which I run on some of my patients are all indicating HIGH levels of Barium. My own hair analysis indicated high Barium levels'... high levels of barium in our hair means either barium is being stored from digestion or the hair is being contaminated by an outside source[barium from chemtrails]. I am quite concerned with this violation of our environment by a government that denies it is occurring'... One only has to step outside and look up at the sky to see our tax dollars at work''
CHEMTRAIL POLYMERS LINKED TO MORGELLONS?
Chemtrail aerosol fibers enlarged 60X above
''Polymer chemist Dr. R. Michael Castle has studied atmospheric polymers for years. He has found that some of them contain bioactive materials, which can cause ''serious skin lesions and diseases when absorbed into the skin.'' He has identified microscopic polymers comprised of genetically-engineered fungal forms mutated with viruses. He says that trillions of fusarium (fungus)/virus mutated spores), which secrete a powerful mico-toxin, are part of the air we breathe.''
MORGELLONS/NANO-TECHNOLOGY DISEASE IN HUMANS NIGHTMARE NANO-TECH INFECTION
Jan Smith has been suffering from Morgellons/Nanotechnology disease for over 10 years now. Her impressive research and
documentation has put her in the forefront of those working to unravel the mysteries of this horrifying new disease. The research and documentation presented at the link below is a must read. Please pass this information on to your doctors, congressional representatives and the media.
Before It's News
Shut Up Slave!
Teacher Timothy Gledhill convicted of assault for squirting ex-girlfriend with a water pistol | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 21:30
Timothy Gledhill, 40, wept in court when he was told his appeal had failedHe told the judge that 'holding a water pistol isn't illegal, it's a toy'The judge, at Canterbury Crown Court, said what he did 'wasn't funny'By Ted Thornhill for MailOnline
Published: 08:47 EST, 6 November 2015 | Updated: 10:43 EST, 6 November 2015
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A maths teacher has been convicted of assault after squirting his ex-partner with a water pistol.
Timothy Gledhill, 40, wept in court when he was told a judge would not be overturning the conviction.
Gledhill feared professional ruin after he was found guilty of soaking his furious victim with a child's toy in a 'humiliating' attack during two heated rows.
Timothy Gledhill (pictured left and right), 40, wept in court when he was told a judge would not be overturning the conviction
During the appeal he was asked if the water had struck Catherine Weir in the attack and Gledhill told the judge and two magistrates that it was a question of probability.
He said he had fired the water pistol and could not rule out that water had not accidentally hit her, but added: 'I haven't done anything wrong.'
Canterbury Crown Court was played a recording of the incident, which happened on a bridge in Canterbury, made by Ms Weir in which she was heard to shout: 'Stop it, stop it. Stop shooting at me.'
Gledhill told the appeal panel: 'She was just trying to get me into trouble. It isn't illegal to hold a water pistol. It's just a toy.'
Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl and the magistrates dismissed the appeal saying they could not accept Gledhill's version of events.
The judge said: 'What you did wasn't funny. It was done to humiliate your former partner.
'You thought you were being clever in covering your tracks. But she was a victim of an assault and there is no doubt about it.
'You knew perfectly well what you were doing. You did it to in some way humiliate her and to put one over on her.'
Gledhill voluntarily left Canterbury College in February and took up a post at Canterbury Academy.
He spent a significant amount trying to clear his name and failed - but the teacher has had the full support of his new school.
Head teacher Phil Karnavas said Gledhill has spent several thousands of pounds trying to clear his name.
He said: 'It has left most of us somewhat surprised that A, it got that far and B, we've ended where we have.
Canterbury Crown Court (pictured) was played a recording of the incident made by Ms Weir in which she was heard to shout: 'Stop it, stop it. Stop shooting at me'
'Mr Gledhill continues to have my full professional and personal support.
'The bottom line is he's a really nice, honourable and decent bloke that has found himself in a situation that none of us would like to find ourselves.
'He was so morally offended by it and so upset by the fact that he was carrying the record for something he didn't recognise as being anything other than being a bit daft.
'It's cost him a significant amount of money and has experienced a significant degree of nervous anxiety and professional stress.
'I think spraying someone with a water pistol doesn't really seem to me to be an offence to public safety let alone a halfway appropriate use of public money.'
The teacher, of Sturry, Kent, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 costs for the assaults on Ms Weir in July 2014.
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NWO
TPP Text Confirms A Handout to Fossil Fuels | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 01:13
WASHINGTON - After years of closed-door secret negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is finally seeing the light, and the published text confirms that it is just as toxic a deal for the climate as expected.
A close look at the text reveals that the TPP would: rollback multilateral environmental agreements, weaken conservation rules, give new rights to the fossil fuel industry to challenge climate protections, and lock in natural gas exports and fracking.
350.org Policy Director Jason Kowalski issued the following statement:
''The TPP is an act of climate denial. While the text is full of handouts to the fossil fuel industry, it doesn't mention the words climate change once. The agreement would give fossil fuel companies the extraordinary ability to sue local governments that try and keep fossil fuels in the ground. If a province puts a moratorium on fracking, corporations can sue; if a community tries to stop a coal mine, corporations can overrule them. In short, these rules undermine countries' ability to do what scientists say is the single most important thing we can do to combat the climate crisis: keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The United States should be in the business of supporting the just transition to a 100% renewable energy, not propping up the fossil fuel based economy of the past. While institutions across the planet are divesting from fossil fuels, the TPP would double down on the industry's destructive business model. The agreement works at absolute cross purposes to governments' attempts to reach a strong climate deal in Paris. As the world accelerates towards a clean energy future, the TPP is a dangerous detour that must be avoided.''
Zeph Repollo, Philippine Campaigns Coordinator of 350.org, who helped lead a massive protest against the TPP in the Philippines (photos below), added:
''Building inclusive economies for a better world requires people's participation and definitely not corporate manipulation. Locally, nationally, and globally, the people's movement to stop the fossil fuel industry that thrives in the same global economic order - favoring profits more than people-, is gaining momentum. The TPPA is a symptom of fear and desperation, a massive bid to overthrow any resistance people might throw at them. But people across all member parties, including non-member countries resist to be bound by the interest of corporate capitals. ''
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2TTH
Controversial Russian media mogul found dead in Washington
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:48
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Monsantoo
All Monsanto GMO Cornfields Burned Down in Hungary | Peaceful Warriors
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 08:40
Hungary has located and destroyed 1000 acres of maize that was found to be grown with genetically modified seeds. Hungary is a nation where genetically modified seeds are banned along with other genetically modified ingredients.
GARD Pro Not Registered
According to Upriser, ''Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been ground with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.''GMO seed checks take place even though seed traders are required to make sure there products are not genetically modified.
Upriser also reported, ''The free movement of goods within the EU means that authorities will not investigate how the seeds arrived in Hungary, but they will check where the goods can be found, Bognar said. Regional public radio reported that the two biggest international seed producing companies are affected in the matter and GMO seeds could have been sown on up to the thousands of hectares in the country.''
When farmers found out they were using GMO seeds, they complained and supported the destruction of their crops. They are upset that they were given GMO seeds that they thought were safe.
GARD Pro Not Registered
As of May 2015, Hungary had not responded to the new EU legislation making GMOs legal in all countries unless they specifically opt out. Germany looks like they may opt out. Scotland has opted out within the UK.
Hungary has burned down GMO crops before.Source: iquestioneverything.net
GARD Pro Not Registered
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
NA-Tech News
Amazon FireTV and Stick to include Alexa
Websites can keep ignoring ''Do Not Track'' requests after FCC ruling
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:39
Websites will not be forced to honor consumers' "Do Not Track" requests as the Federal Communications Commission today dismissed a petition that would have imposed new requirements on companies like Google and Facebook.Consumer Watchdog had petitioned the FCC to "initiate a rulemaking proceeding requiring 'edge providers' (like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn) to honor 'Do Not Track' Requests from consumers." The group's proposed rule would prevent online services from requiring consumers to consent to tracking in exchange for accessing Web services, preventing online services from sharing personal information of users with third parties when consumers send Do Not Track requests.
Further ReadingWhen consumers enable the Do Not Track setting in their browsers, they send an HTTP header in an attempt to opt out of third-party tracking conducted by analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. Some companies have committed to honor Do Not Track requests, but they are mostly ignored. (Ars readers can visit this website to opt out of advertising network tracking.)
Consumer Watchdog wanted the FCC to impose rules using its Title I and Section 706 authority to regulate "information services." The group pointed out that the FCC intends to impose new privacy rules on Internet service providers under Section 222 of the Communications Act, the privacy portion of the Title II common carrier regulations that the FCC is applying to broadband providers such as Comcast and AT&T. But those rules don't apply to websites.
"Consumers' privacy concerns about the Internet extend far beyond the broadband providers who are impacted by Section 222," Consumer Watchdog wrote. "Many consumers are as concerned'--or perhaps even more worried'--about the online tracking and data collection practices of edge providers... edge providers collect the same sensitive personal information that broadband Internet access service providers collect, and that the Commission is committed to protecting. If the Commission does not act to regulate the collection of personal information by edge providers, the Commission will in effect be granting a regulatory advantage to the edge providers, implicating concerns of market distortions."
The FCC's dismissal of the petition didn't address whether the commission has authority to impose the rules under Title I or Section 706. Instead, the FCC noted that when it reclassified broadband as a common carrier service, it did not intend to ''regulat[e] the Internet, per se, or any Internet applications or content.''
"Rather, as the Commission explained, its 'reclassification of broadband Internet access service involves only the transmission component of Internet access service,'" the FCC said. Consumer Watchdog's proposed requirement on edge providers would be "inconsistent with the Commission's articulation of the effect of its reclassification," and inconsistent with its plans for new privacy rules that affect only broadband providers, the FCC said.
Julia Reda '' Ancillary Copyright 2.0: The European Commission is preparing a frontal attack on the hyperlink
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:46
The European Commission is preparing a frontal attack on the hyperlink, the basic building block of the Internet as we know it.This is based on an absurd idea that just won't die: Making search engines and news portals pay media companies for promoting their freely accessible articles.
The newest attempt for ancillary copyright is the most dangerous attack on the hyperlink yet
Earlier attempts at establishing this principle resulted in Germany's and Spain's ancillary copyright laws forpresspublishers. These attempts backfired '' with tremendous collateral damage. In the European Parliament I was able to defeat repeated attempts by EPP MEPs to sneak into my copyright report text passages asking for an extension of these laws to the European level. But this newest attempt is the most dangerous yet.
According to a draft communication on copyright reform leaked yesterday (via IPKat), the Commission is considering putting the simple act of linking to content under copyright protection. This idea flies in the face of both existing interpretation and spirit of the law as well as common sense. Each weblink would become a legal landmine and would allow press publishers to hold every single actor on the Internet liable.
Ancillary Copyright Law reloaded: A new path towards the old goalIn the draft at hand, the Commission bemoans a lack of clarity about which actions on the Internet need a permission and which ones do not: in legal terms, they put forward the question when something is an 'act of communication to the public'.
This is a reference to a ruling of the European Court of Justice in the Svensson case. While on one hand the judges established that the simple act of linking to publicly available content is no copyright infringement, because it does not reach a new public, a few questions were left open bis this ruling, however: For example when exactly content can be seen as accessible by the public and how e.g. links surpassing paywalls are to be treated.
Oettinger'sProblem with ancillary copyright law: it is not absurd enough
The key point is that the Commission frames ancillary copyright laws for press publishers as an attempt by a few member states to solve this problem legally. Instead of criticizing the substance of these laws they only bemoan the possible 'fragmentation' of European law by these different implementations. A coherent European answer to the problem behind all this is a neccessity. The reform of the executive rights on an EU-level is aparantly another attempt to fulfil the goals also pursued through the introduction of ancillary copyright law.
However, the depiction of this goal by the Commission is playinly wrong: Ancillary copyright laws do not answer the questions poised by the European Court of Justice. It is rather an attempt to cross-finance struggling publishing houses by asking thriving internet companies such as google to pay up for linking to publicly available articles '' to give price tags to exactly the same act of linking that has been clearly pronounced non-infringing by the European Court of Justice.
The Commission seems to want to reach the same by defining exclusive rights further, so the 'clarity' it seeks can only mean: sheer linking to content protected by copyright shall be seen as providing access to them, and require therefore explicit permission. This plan is a departure from the basic principle behind the Svensson ruling, which permitted free linking on the Internet, without the need for active examination of whom the linked material belongs to.
The most dangerous incarnation of the ancillary copyright zombiesDigital commissioner G¼nther Oettinger (CDU '' EPP), afiirmed dozens of times over the last months that he is considering the introduction of an 'instrument' on the European level to compensate the publishing houses' sinking income caused by lower sales and less income through advertisement:
Even Martin Schulz (SPD '' S&D), President of the European Parliament, struck a similair tone this week at the 'Publishers' Summit' when he confirmed that 'we need to clarify the relation between press publishers and digital platforms in the matter of copyright.'
The publishers are clearly wielding so much influence through lobbying that there is nothing that can stop big-party politicians from trying to misapply copyright law in order to support obsolete business models:
Not the complete failure of pushed-through legislation like the one in Germany '' where not only the hoped-for increase in revenue stayed away, but where the fast and meek introduction of a free licence for google, a grand backpedalling by the publishing houses, is a possible violation of German law.Not the collateral damage done to Spain's IT-economy, where the ancillary copyright law forbid granting free licences, making the collection of newspaper articles by non-profit organizations illegal even when publishers would like to support it; and forcing Google to completely shut off it's news service in Spain due to lack of probability.Not the 'vast majority' of thousands of Europeans asking for the freedom of linking in the Commission's copyright consultation.Not the exclamation of our IT-industry and warnings from scientists.Not the repeated distinct rejection of introducing such plans into the report on the copyright directive by the European Parliament.The prospective 'instrument' '' Needing permission to link to something '' would be the bluntest tool yet employed for a completely mistaken cause that is being pushed through against all odds. This would have even more dramatic effects than everything seen so far regarding ancillary copyright laws in Germany and Spain.
The damage would be humongousProtecting linking by copyright law would change the Internet as we know it today beyond all recognition.
Posting, sharing and sending links is a trivial every-day activity. It is impossible for both users and internet platforms to examine the legal status of every link. Content can change constantly online, so these examinations would actually have to take place constantly. What is more, every link leads to texts or pictures copyrighted by someone '' no matter whether they know it or not; no matter whether they want to profit from this or not.
Subsequently there will be legal uncertainty, confusion, and waves of dissuasion carrying legal fees for everybody '' it would sever the Internet's neurons in order to promote the interests of the few. We can not let that happen!
Repell this advance right nowThe leaked text is not a law proposal, but just a summary of the Commission's plans for next year. The plan is supposed to go public on the 9th of December. Affecting change in the now-known versions is nigh impossibly until then. But sometimes controversial proposals are leaked to test them '' if there is no protest, the plan can be unworriedly pursued.
Stop breaking the Internet!
It is hence even more important to become active now!Tell the Commission that pursuing the introduction of ancillary copyright law means barking up the wrong tree '' no matter whether it is introduced as a privilege, or a restriciton to free linking is enacted. Do not allow the vested interests of the publishers' lobby to destroy free communication on the Internet! Remind your representatives of them having rejected such approaches to introduce ancillary copyright laws with clear majorities in the past. Many representatives are worried about the competitiveness of European companies '' explain to them that liability for linking brings uncalculable risks with it for the European IT-industry and threatens to nip innovation in the bud! Encourage them to make clear once and for all:Stop breaking the Internet!
To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.
My name is Julia, I'm the Pirate in the European Parliament.I'm fighting to make copyright in the EU unified, progressive and fit for the future. Will you join me? JuliaRedaMEP
Alex Blumberg's podcast revolution is just beginning. NPR: this is your warning
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 15:56
There were few things more addictive this summer than listening, with alternate delight and wonder, to Starlee Kine's Mystery Show podcast. In each episode, Kine goes off in pursuit of the answer to some odd question, like, ''How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?'' or, ''What is the origin of this cool-but-weird belt buckle?'' Whatever the assignment, Kine doggedly pursues the truth, taking the listener through a daisy chain of Hollywood assistants to chef's conferences in Arizona, along with her.
I confess: I was hooked from the start. But after the first few episodes aired, it became harder to get my fix. The episodes came intermittently. The last one, about the origins of a Welcome Back Kotter lunch box, was posted on July 30. Before that there hadn't been an episode since June 18.
So when I interviewed Alex Blumberg, the co-founder of Gimlet Media, the new podcast network that produces Kine's show, I couldn't help myself. I had to know. ''When's Mystery Show coming back?!'' I asked him.
''Sometime next year,'' he said. ''I don't want to promise anything more than that. It is a very interesting beast to produce.'' It turns out that the show's premise '' solving mysteries '' necessarily makes production a little ad hoc.
''Mysteries take a long time to solve. First you have to get to the solution. And then, and then '...'' He paused. ''The other thing is that the solutions have to be interesting.''
The Mystery Show Case #3: Belt BuckleThis turns out to be a fitting metaphor for what Blumberg is seeking to do with Gimlet Media. He's trying to do high quality work, the network has promised to be the ''HBO of podcasts'' but the fact is, high quality work takes a lot of work '' and experimentation.
Since founding the company last year, Blumberg and his partner Matt Lieber have had a slew of success. Mystery Show hit #1 on iTunes, and the network's two other shows, Reply All and Startup, have respectable followings. But for Blumberg, running the business is a learning process. A process they're learning while they're previously launched shows are racking up five million downloads a month.
''Every show that we've launched has been way harder, required much more time and energy and thought than I thought it would,'' Blumberg said.
He described the cost-per-minute of well-produced radio as potentially ''astronomical''. Though he also said he thought the risk was worth it: ''you give yourself a chance to build a bigger audience that way.''
I learned everything I know from Ira Glass. I sound exactly like him.
Alex BlumbergThe company has seen some significant revenue come in over the past year. They are coy about sharing precise numbers. At various times over the last year, in interviews and in episodes of their podcast Startup, the company has mentioned figures like $1.5m in overall investment; up to $700,000 in projected ad sales for Reply All in particular over the next year; and $900,000 just sitting in a bank, waiting to be spent.
Blumberg is quick, throughout our conversation, to express doubts about the financial success his company has seen so far and tamp down expectations. He thinks the company has been ''cut a lot of slack''. They have raised something like $2m but more is coming. And Blumberg, who seems to be a bit anxious by nature, often emphasizes that it could stop at any moment.
It's tempting to read those protestations as sly bits of theatre. It's not that one doubts Blumberg's sincerity, his manner is friendly but not robotically so. He swears occasionally (''Holy shit'', ''Talking out of my ass'') but not so much that it become alienating, and even has a kind of charming nervousness attached to his ''ums'' and false starts. But in some ways he is the engineer of his own charm; his manner is also the product of a life spent producing audio journalism.
For the 15 years before he founded Gimlet, Blumberg was an NPR stalwart. He was a longtime producer and host on This American Life. (''I learned everything I know from Ira Glass,'' Blumberg said. ''This joke that I have from Ira [is that] I sound exactly like him.'') He does.
Ira Glass. Photograph: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for The Webby AwardThen, an episode he produced in 2008 called The Giant Pool of Money, which basically laid out the subprime mortgage crisis in terms anyone could understand, went viral. After that he moved on to found Planet Money, which took the This American Life approach to radio theatre and applied it to financial topics. So he has had a lot of practice in the art of careful self-editing and presentation '' he tells me that when they did The Giant Pool of Money, the episode went through something like 47 drafts to get through before it aired.
While Blumberg says Gimlet is still ''trying to figure things out'' creatively, its shows so far feel very deliberate, the products of careful thought and editing. At their best they have a kind of friendly cleverness, where the intelligence is clear but not alienating. Possibly the best way to describe the shows as a group is that they have a ''meta'' aesthetic. Of non is this more true than the first podcast the network launched, for example, called StartUp. And the episodes directly chronicled the launch of '' you guessed it '' Gimlet Media.
This straightforward writing of its own mythology as a business is startlingly effective, not just as narrative art but as marketing strategy. (Blumberg has told other interviewers Startup was, consciously, a marketing tool.) By dramatizing the process, Startup has given listeners a reason to be invested in Blumberg's success from the start.
By dramatizing the process, Startup has given listeners a reason to be invested in Blumberg's success from the start
And there are a lot of listeners, as it happens: episodes of Startup routinely make the high end of the podcast charts. Many of its listeners have joined the ''membership network'' Gimlet has set up for itself. While they wouldn't disclose precise numbers, Blumberg told me that these memberships '' for $60 a year, you get a T-shirt and access to some podcast pilots and other extras on the Gimlet website '' have provided a significant revenue stream for the company.
That StartUp's listeners would be loyal enough to cherish a T-shirt is not surprising. Podcasts are, after all, having something of a cultural moment. And, as Blumberg points out, heavily produced podcasts like This American Life, or Serial, which take a lot of time to develop, are actually leading the market. People have an appetite for stories that are well-constructed and carefully told.
I ask Blumberg if he ever worries that the growing popularity of podcasts, and whether the intervention of private enterprises like his threaten the existence of public radio. ''Are you kidding?'' he asked. ''Public radio has dominated this market. Had they sort of been organized more effectively they could have locked it up right away.''
''They have too many advantages. They have immense, immense platforms through which to launch new podcasts,'' he pointed out, singling out Invisibilia as a successful show launched under the NPR brand. ''They were already the market leader in what people actually wanted to listen to.''
He is prepared to take credit for some shifts in the industry, along with This American Life. ''I'm glad that we're shaking it up. I'm glad that people who were not making much money are now making more money because of that,'' he said.
The issue of ''making more money'' is an interesting one in audio. Usually, the announcers read the ads themselves, as happens on any other podcast. But the ads on Gimlet shows are slightly more ''produced'' than most. One recent ad, for example, saw Blumberg himself interview an actual user of Squarespace, a frequent podcast advertiser, rather than just reading a scripted segment.
''Users want better ads, advertisers want ads that users like,'' Blumberg said. ''As long as we can stay within that venn diagram circle where both people are satisfied, that's great.''
Blumberg seems to have an old-fashioned attitude towards his listeners. ''The reason our ads are effective is that people trust us.'' The challenge for him is ''keeping the deal straight in our heads and the heads of our listeners [so] that we can say: 'I'm not saying anything that I don't believe here, but we all know I'm saying something on behalf of an advertiser.'''
Already he, and Gimlet, are getting pretty skilled at threading the needle. The latest episode of StartUp, for example, chronicled the debate about Nazanin Rafsanjani, Blumberg's wife, joining the company. The episode was largely about the costs and consequences of such an arrangement for the Blumberg family, but there was more to it. Rafsanjani ended up in the role of creative director, where she'll be in charge of writing the ads. She explicitly likens her role to that of Don Draper on Mad Men.
And so, the episode of Gimlet achieved two purposes: potential advertisers know that Rafsanjani is their point person. And the listener, intruiged, hopes to hear a pitch session not unlike one of Draper's fantasias.
''We're doing an episode on that, actually,'' Blumberg said.
Facebook won't let you type this - Nov. 5, 2015
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:34
Facebook(FB, Tech30) is blocking any link to Tsu.co on every platform it owns, including Messenger and Instagram. It even went back and deleted more than 1 million Facebook posts that ever mentioned Tsu.co, making pictures, videos and comments disappear in an instant.
You can type the name "Tsu," but you'll be blocked if you write "Tsu.co" or post any link from the site.
Facebook claims Tsu links are spam that are annoying the community. Tsu thinks Facebook is a bully trying to kill off competition.
"We're persona non grata," said Sebastian Sobczak, who founded Tsu. "You can type in all sorts of seedy websites, and you can get to them. But not us. We don't exist."
This time, it's blocked on Facebook Messenger. Note how none of the messages goes through.Tsu is a tiny new social network that claims to share its advertising revenue with its users.
Unlike most social media sites, including Facebook, which keep 100% of the profit from the ads displayed on your page, Tsu only keeps 10%. You keep 45%. The chain of friends that invited you to Tsu split the rest.
That means there's a financial incentive to post on Tsu, invite people to Tsu, and direct people to your Tsu page. There's even incentive to send people to the Tsu pages of the folks who you brought into the Tsu network.
Your Facebook feed could easily be flooded with Tsu.co links.
And that's exactly what Facebook has encountered. Tsu users were creating fake accounts to boost their pages. Facebook says its users started reporting Tsu.co links as spam, which Facebook defines as "sending bulk messages, excessively posting links ... and sending friend requests to people you don't know personally."
On September 25, Facebook cut off Tsu.co completely.
Tsu said it had been receiving a decent amount of traffic from Facebook, averaging more than 2,534 visits a day. When that dropped to zero, Tsu appealed to Facebook, arguing that it didn't violate Facebook's terms of service, because it did not pay users to push content to Facebook.
It didn't work.
Facebook says it will unblock Tsu if it changes just one thing: Tsu users shouldn't be able to simultaneously post to Tsu and Facebook.
"We do not allow developers to incentivize content sharing on our platform because it encourages spammy sharing," said Melanie Ensign, a Facebook spokesperson.
CNNMoney spoke to a dozen Tsu users. Most are photographers, models and other artists drawn to what they say is Tsu's more equitable pay-for-content program. Most of them haven't made a dime yet. But they feel this Facebook block is unfair.
Here's what happens when you post any mention of Tsu.co publicly on Facebook.Claudia Everest is a 47-year-old cancer survivor living in northern England. To pass the time during chemotherapy, she started A Dog A Day, drawing 25 dogs every day and selling her work from home. She's furious that Facebook deleted every post in which she ever mentioned Tsu.co -- 7,500 by her estimate.
"Facebook either completely removed or labeled them as malicious content," she said. "If you take a look at my cartoons I think you will agree that the idea that my work is malicious is laughable."
Carolina Franco, a 28-year-old model in Colombia, thinks Facebook's strategy is an attempt to keep its users from flocking to a competitor.
"Very few people even know about Tsu," she said. "I don't believe that Facebook and Instagram want Tsu to go viral. it would cost them a lot of money."
Related: The 3 places where Facebook censors you the most
Related: Almost everyone now uses Facebook on mobile
Related: China censors money transfers on Tiananmen anniversary
CNNMoney (New York)November 5, 2015: 2:15 PM ET
Facebook is censoring links to competitor social network Tsu and deleting old mentions / Boing Boing
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:32
Log in to Facebook, create a post, and type in ''Tsu.co.'' Facebook will censor the link on all its platforms. That means facebook.com, as well as Messenger, Instagram, and the Facebook apps for iOS and Android.
Facebook did something a lot scarier, too. The retroactively censored over a million Facebook posts which mentioned Tsu.co. So those Facebook posts, and associated images, videos, or comments? All deleted by Facebook. Gone.
The word "Tsu," which is a competing social network, is okay. But "Tsu.co," or any links from the domain, are automatically censored.
Tsu links are spam, says Facebook.
Facebook is a gigantic censorship-happy bully that wants to kill off competitors, says Tsu.
In Facebook's defense, they do have a point here.
Tsu is a new social network, and so far it's small. Tsu has around 4 million users, Facebook has 1.4 billion and climbing. Unlike Facebook, Tsu promises to share advertising revenue with users. Maybe it's a scam. It definitely incentivizes scammy spammy comments that degrade the experience of Facebook users, I'll give 'em that.
"We're persona non grata," Tsu founder Sebastian Sobczak told CNN, which reported on the Facebook blocking here.
"You can type in all sorts of seedy websites, and you can get to them. But not us. We don't exist."
Could Facebook decide that linking to Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, DeviantArt, Behance, eBay, Etsy, or anything else isn't okay on their platform? Could Facebook blacklist news organizations or political speech that is not in their interests, and censor that material? Could Facebook block content that mentions Black Lives Matter, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Barrett Brown, the names of innocent people the government knows are innocent who are locked up at Guantanamo Bay without trial and without hope of release? Yep.
Sure it could.
More: Is Facebook afraid of social network rival Tsu? [ZDNet]
UPDATE: Oh, hey, wow. Just tried to share this Boing Boing blog post on Boing Boing's Facebook page, and on my personal Facebook page. Nope. Here are the messages I got.
To get around this, I Facebooked a link to my tweet complaining that my Facebook post was blocked.
Also, this Boing Boing blog post you're reading doesn't actually link to Tsu.co. It only contains the text, "tsu.co." No hyperlink. There are no links to Tsu in this blog post, but Facebook is blocking me sharing my blog post because Facebook says it contains a link to tsu.co.
Got it?
Hell yeah it's tedious. And that's what this kind of sneaky passive-aggressive technocensorship does. Makes it just that much harder for you to have a conversation that the platform owner does not want you to have. It's why the free and open web still matters, and why walled gardens that someone else owns and operates are a dangerous place to live.
Warning: TITTIES. Nipples, Nazi slogans, and racist slurs against Syrian war refugees have all collided on German Facebook to create the ultimate viral headline, and we at Boing Boing are *so very on it.* A German photographer came up with a provocative way to pressure Facebook to do something about the recent surge in racist, ['...]
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READ THE RESTThe Orwell estate filed a bogus copyright and publicity right theft against an inactive Cafepress store where no one had ever bought one of the ''1984 is already here'' shirts or tea-towels on offer from film critic Josh Hadley.
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Prince Harry: I might experiment with gay men if my relationship doesn't work out · PinkNews
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 21:18
Prince Harry has said he might try relationships with men if he ''changes his mind'' about women, while on a night out with his current girlfriend.
Harry and his girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, were taking a night out together at The Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill on Friday, when Harry was slipped the phone number of Vincenzo Ianniello.
He reportedly accepted the number happily, and promised to call Mr Ianniello if he changed his mind about dating women.
Mr Ianniello later tweeted about the exchange: ''I gave Prince Harry my number tonight, he promised he'll call me if he changes his mind about women. Or men. #epicwin''
Last week Conservative peer Lord True suggested the law needs to be changed to prepare for a married lesbian Queen who conceives using donor sperm.
Friends close to James Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's younger brother, dismissed rumours that he is gay but also say he's not ''bothered'' by them.
In November 2012 Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, wrote a letter supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust in its campaign against HIV.
Earlier in 2012 Harry came under fire for using the word ''queer'', but was defended by Peter Tatchell, who pointed out that Harry has made a video diary in which he kisses and licks the face of another male soldier.
VIDEOS-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-"Bill Nye's Global Meltdown" on National Geographic Explorer - YouTube
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 16:24
WATCH: US missile test sparks UFO hysteria on social media - Newstalk
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:59
UFO hysteria gripped parts of the US last night after people from California to Arizona spotted mysterious lights streaking across the skies.
Social media was buzzing with pictures and videos of the mysterious phenomenon.
It forced the military to intervene - and admit the lights were caused by US navy missiles being tested off California coast.
In a statement, a spokesperson said that "Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted scheduled Trident II (D5) missile test flight at sea from USS Kentucky, an Ohio Class SSBN, in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California. The tests were part of a scheduled, ongoing system evaluation test".
The statement adds that the missile was not armed, and that missile tests are not routinely announced.
You can see a video of the 'UFO' below:
9:34 8 Nov 2015Newstalk 6 hours ago
VIDEO-U.S. official: '99.9% certain' bomb felled Metrojet flight - CNN.com
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:53
The growing belief was indicated by several senior U.S. officials in the intelligence, military and national security community who spoke to CNN on Saturday.
The remarks are stronger than those made by President Barack Obama Thursday when he said there was "a possibility" a bomb was on Metrojet Flight 9268, which disintegrated over the Sinai Peninsula October 31, killing all 224 people aboard.
The view also contrasts with the cautious stance taken by Egyptian officials, who are in charge of the main investigation into the air crash and insist that no conclusion has been reached yet.
"All the scenarios are out on the table," Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of the investigation, told reporters Saturday. "We don't know what happened exactly."
The growing confidence in the bomb hypothesis comes as Russian authorities continue to fly home the remains of victims for identification.
A fourth Russian government plane carrying victims' remains flew Sunday from Cairo to St. Petersburg, where a memorial service was held at the city's St. Isaac's Cathedral. The cathedral's bell was rung 224 times, in memory of each victim.
So far, the remains of 58 victims have been identified through DNA testing, Russian state broadcaster Russia 24 reported.
ISIS chatter analyzedThe belief that a bomb was most likely to blame centers to a large extent on British and U.S. intercepts of communications after the crash from the Islamic militant group ISIS' affiliate in Sinai to ISIS operatives in Syria, according to officials.
The Sinai affiliate has publicly claimed responsibility for downing the Russian jet, which was flying from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, but so far hasn't explained how it was done. That's prompted questions about the claim among some observers, considering ISIS' tendency to often publicize its acts for propaganda value.
The ISIS messages monitored by British and American intelligence agencies are separate from the group's public claims, a U.S. official has said.
The two Western countries have been analyzing the specific language in the chatter to determine to what extent the operatives were talking about the type of bomb and detonator used, and whether that language was a true representation of what happened, one official told CNN.
Several officials said it's the specificity of the chatter that has directly contributed to the U.S. and British view that a bomb was most likely used.
Bergen: Why ISIS is on a roll
Talks over possible FBI role in investigationBut officials in Washington and London don't have all the pieces of the puzzle at their disposal. Neither country is directly involved in the Egyptian investigation into the crash or has physical evidence from it to examine.
Talks between the United States, Egypt and Russia could result in the FBI providing some experts, particularly bomb technicians, to assist in the investigation, according to a U.S. official.
Muqaddam, the head of the investigation, said Egyptian authorities have not been provided any information or evidence tied to reports suggesting that a bomb took down the flight. He urged the sources of the reports to pass along related evidence to Egyptian investigators.
The investigation does include experts from Egypt, Russia, France, Germany and Ireland -- countries that are connected in various ways to the aircraft that crashed, an Airbus A321-200.
Opinion: What's at stake for Putin in investigation
Noise heard at end of cockpit recordingThe TV station France 2 reported Friday that European investigators who analyzed the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from Flight 9268 are saying the crash is not an accident.
The investigators said the cockpit voice recorder indicates an explosion, and the flight data recorder shows the blast was not accidental, according to France 2, a CNN affiliate.
Muqaddam, however, was more circumspect in his comments Saturday on the contents of the flight recorders.
He confirmed a noise was heard in the final second of the cockpit recording as the aircraft was on autopilot and ascending. But he offered no description of the sound, saying a specialized analysis would be carried out to identify it.
The crash might have been caused by a lithium battery or a mechanical issue, Muqaddam said, noting that the investigation was being hampered by bad weather.
Efforts to repatriate British, Russian touristsAmid concerns over what happened to Flight 9268, Russia and Britain have suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and have been working to bring citizens home from the resort, while other countries have issued travel warnings.
Passengers flying back to Britain or Russia are traveling without their checked luggage, which is being transferred to cargo planes immediately on check-in -- a reflection of fears that the Russian plane was brought down by a bomb placed in the luggage hold.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office says there is "a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device."
Russia, which initially played down suggestions that the crash was caused by terrorists, is using its own cargo planes, while the UK is using Egypt Air cargo planes, according to Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry. Three cargo jets filled with luggage departed Sharm el-Sheikh Saturday, with a similar number anticipated Sunday, the ministry said.
Russia has flown 11,000 tourists home from Egypt in the past day, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Sunday, according to Russian state media, with 55 more flights scheduled later in the day.
The UK's Department for Transport said that 1,945 passengers returned to Britain on nine flights Saturday, with eight more flights scheduled to return Sunday.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tweeted that he expected about 5,000 UK nationals to return Sunday.
A backlog of about 4,000 British vacationers who had been due to travel home Wednesday and Thursday remain stranded at the resort, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.
U.S. 'interim' stepsU.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told CNN that officials were taking "precautionary interim steps" to increase security on international flights into the United States during the investigation of the Egypt air disaster.
"ISIL is out there now active in a lot of different areas and, while this investigation is pending and because we have this group claiming responsibility, we believe it's significant to do these things on an interim basis," he said, using an alternative name for ISIS.
Johnson said authorities are evaluating whether additional measures were necessary.
DHS chief seeks to reassure American fliers after downing of Russian plane
CNN's Brooke Bowman, Salma Abdelaziz, Olga Pavlova, Radina Gigova, Ray Sanchez, Ian Lee, Samira Said and Sarah Sirgany contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Chuck Todd: Ben Carson's 'Personal Story' Hurt Because Politicians Lie | MRCTV
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:49
Video cross-posted here at NewsBusters. On Sunday's Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd did his best to play up the alleged damage Ben Carson has done to his presidential ambitions after questions arose regarding his personal biography. The NBC News Political Director stressed that because ''we're conditioned to assume regular politicians embellish things'' questions over Carson's biography could ruin his image ''because his candidacy is built on his personal story, his personal success, his honest and trustworthiness.''
VIDEO-Secret military operations to divert LAX planes for a week | abc7.com
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:29
LOS ANGELES (KABC) --
Mysterious maneuvers over the Pacific are forcing a change in Los Angeles International Airport landings late at night, meaning noise for thousands of people in the flight path.Instead of landing from the east over Inglewood, planes begin flying from the west and over the ocean to keep noise levels down, but due to secret military operations, the airspace over the Pacific is closed to incoming flights for the next week.
"We clearly understand that neighbors and communities east of the airport will experience noise and we apologize for that," said Nancy Castles, LAX public relations director.
The military is not saying what exactly is causing the change, and LAX claims it's also in the dark. Castles said all they know is planes can't be flying at low altitudes to our west.
Six years ago, ABC7 cameras captured a military operation in downtown LA. Helicopters were seen swooping between high-rises, close enough that residents were able to see armed soldiers in camouflage outside their window.
Authorities claimed it was part of a training exercise designed to ensure the military's ability to operate in urban environments and to prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployment.What's going on this week is a mystery.
"And plus if it's a military thing it's a good thing, that means they're making it safer for us so I wouldn't let it bother me," said Steve Devosion of Inglewood. "I'd be more interested in them not doing something about what's going on than them doing something about what's going on."
(Copyright (C)2015 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
VIDEO-Counterterrorism Expert: Twitter Beefed Up Process for Reporting Bullying and Harassment, Not So for Extremists | MRCTV
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:11
The CEO of a non-profit group whose mission is ''to combat the growing threat from extremist ideology,'' testified before a House committee last week that a ''designated global terrorist'' who is on the UN Security Council sanctions list used Twitter to issue a ''kill list of 100 U.S. servicemen'' and yet, a month later was able to use the social networking site to call for violence against two servicemen.
VIDEO-CBS Evening News Blames Thursday's Severe Weather on Global Warming | MRCTV
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:45
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Off the top of Thursday's CBS Evening News, the topic of conservation was the severe weather threatening those in the Midwest but in addition to looking at the storm track and damage thus far, the reason for the storms was hyped as being a consequence of global warming.
Anchor Scott Pelley ruled in an opening tease that ''[t]ornadoes in Texas'' struck ''on the same day that a new study blames climate change for a surge in severe storms and wildfires.''
VIDEO-Ben Carson's unusual theory about pyramids - CBS News
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:34
By Erica Brown and Ellen Uchimiya
NAPLES, Florida -- Ben Carson stood by his long-held belief about ancient pyramids in Egypt, that they were used to store grain, rather than to inter pharaohs.
Asked about this Wednesday, Carson told CBS News, "It's still my belief, yes."
The subject came up when Buzzfeed published a 1998 commencement speech delivered by Carson at Andrews University, a college founded by Seventh-day Adventists.
"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs' graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don't think it'd just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain."
In the same speech, he went on to say, "[W]hen you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they'd have to be that way for various reasons. And various of scientists have said, 'Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that's how--' you know, it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you."
Carson reiterated to CBS News that "the pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments....You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time."
What Carson has in mind here is the seven years of plenty in Egypt, referred to in Genesis, when "Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure." In the Bible, Joseph fed Egypt and the rest of the world during the seven years of drought that followed.
(C) 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Secret Military Operations To Divert LAX Planes For A Week >> Infowars Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 13:42
Mysterious maneuvers over the Pacific are forcing a change in Los Angeles International Airport landings late at night, meaning noise for thousands of people in the flight path.
Instead of landing from the east over Inglewood, planes begin flying from the west and over the ocean to keep noise levels down, but due to secret military operations, the airspace over the Pacific is closed to incoming flights for the next week.
''We clearly understand that neighbors and communities east of the airport will experience noise and we apologize for that,'' said Nancy Castles, LAX public relations director.
The military is not saying what exactly is causing the change, and LAX claims it's also in the dark. Castles said all they know is planes can't be flying at low altitudes to our west.
Read more
VIDEO-President Obama: 'Possibility' of bomb on Russian plane
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 05:44
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CNN's Miguel Marquez reports. "],"descriptionPlainText":"Investigators are uncovering new clues about the final seconds of Metrojet Flight 9268. 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CNN's Kyung Lah reports."],"descriptionPlainText":"The cockpit recorder can be crucial in an air disaster investigation. 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CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports."],"descriptionPlainText":"Egyptian officials have yet to weigh in on the U.S. intelligence report that the Russian plane crash was caused by an ISIS bomb. CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports.","headlinePostText":"","headlinePreText":"","headlineText":"Egypt: 'Premature' to draw conclusion about plane crash","headlinePlainText":"Egypt: 'Premature' to draw conclusion about plane crash","iconImageUrl":"","iconType":"video","isMobileBannerText":false,"kickerText":"","media":{"contentType":"image","type":"element","cutFormat":"16:9","elementContents":{"caption":"Debris belonging to the A321 Russian airliner areseen at the site of the crash November 1. ","imageAlt":"Debris belonging to the A321 Russian airliner areseen at the site of the crash November 1. 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CNN's \u003ca href=\"http://www.cnn.com/profiles/rene-marsh-profile/\" target=\"_blank\">Rene Marsh\u003c/a> reports. "],"descriptionPlainText":"U.S. intelligence suggests a bomb was planted on Metrojet Flight 9268. 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"],"descriptionPlainText":"The latest U.S. intelligence suggests that the crash of a Russian passenger jet flying over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt was most likely caused by a bomb on the plane planted by ISIS or an ISIS affiliate, according to a US official familiar with the matter.","headlinePostText":"","headlinePreText":"","headlineText":"U.S. intelligence suggests ISIS bomb on Russian plane","headlinePlainText":"U.S. intelligence suggests ISIS bomb on Russian plane","iconImageUrl":"","iconType":"video","isMobileBannerText":false,"kickerText":"","media":{"contentType":"image","type":"element","cutFormat":"16:9","elementContents":{"caption":"The wreckage of a A321 Russian airliner in Wadi al-Zolomat, a mountainous area of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Russian airline Kogalymavia's flight 9268 crashed en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg on October 31, killing all 224 people on board, the vast majority of them Russian tourists. 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Romanian government resigns following protests319
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AP10:33 a.m. EST November 4, 2015
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has announced the resignation of his government following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people. USA TODAY
Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, adjusts his collar during a June meeting with foreign media at the government headquarters in Bucharest. Ponta has resigned following protests over the deadly Bucharest nightclub fire.(Photo: Vadim Ghirda, AP)
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) '-- Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced the resignation of his government Wednesday following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.
"I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too," Ponta said in a statement.
Some 20,000 people took to the streets of Bucharest Tuesday evening in a spontaneous protest calling for the resignation of Ponta, Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea and a district mayor where the Colectiv nightclub was located.
They shouted "Shame on you!" and "Assassins!" and waved Romanian flags. Anger has been brewing for some time in Romania against the government, which many perceive as being corrupt, and Friday's fire has added to the discontent.
President Klaus Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page late Tuesday: "I understand what is being asked and what is expected, and they are right, someone has to take political responsibility." He added, "The next step is for politicians, who cannot ignore this sentiment of revolt."
Witnesses said the fire broke out during a heavy-metal concert in the basement club when a spark ignited foam decor, sending panicked people stampeding for the single-door exit. The death toll stands at 32, with some 130 still hospitalized, dozens of them in serious or critical condition.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1Myt86o
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Romanian government resigns following protestsRomanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced the resignation of his government Wednesday following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.
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AP10:33 a.m. EST November 4, 2015
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has announced the resignation of his government following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people. USA TODAY
Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, adjusts his collar during a June meeting with foreign media at the government headquarters in Bucharest. Ponta has resigned following protests over the deadly Bucharest nightclub fire.(Photo: Vadim Ghirda, AP)
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) '-- Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced the resignation of his government Wednesday following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.
"I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too," Ponta said in a statement.
Some 20,000 people took to the streets of Bucharest Tuesday evening in a spontaneous protest calling for the resignation of Ponta, Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea and a district mayor where the Colectiv nightclub was located.
They shouted "Shame on you!" and "Assassins!" and waved Romanian flags. Anger has been brewing for some time in Romania against the government, which many perceive as being corrupt, and Friday's fire has added to the discontent.
President Klaus Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page late Tuesday: "I understand what is being asked and what is expected, and they are right, someone has to take political responsibility." He added, "The next step is for politicians, who cannot ignore this sentiment of revolt."
Witnesses said the fire broke out during a heavy-metal concert in the basement club when a spark ignited foam decor, sending panicked people stampeding for the single-door exit. The death toll stands at 32, with some 130 still hospitalized, dozens of them in serious or critical condition.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1Myt86o
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VIDEO-Yale Student Shrieks At Prof For Denying Her 'Safe Space' [VIDEO] >> Infowars Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
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A new video shows a student at Yale University screaming at one of the school's professors for allegedly failing to make the campus a ''safe space'' for students.
Yale University has been hit by controversy in the past week after professor Erika Christakis, associate headmaster of the school's Silliman College, sent an email to the college's members suggesting that they shouldn't be overly sensitive about Halloween costumes that engage in ''cultural appropriation.'' Instead, Christakis encouraged students to tolerate them and avoid trying to censor expression.
''Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious '... a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?'' Christakis wrote. ''American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.''
In response, Christakis and her husband Nicholas (Silliman's headmaster) have been besieged by calls for their resignation by students who say they have made Yale a dangerous place for black students. The controversy has become even more intense because of simultaneous allegations that the school's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter held a ''white girls only'' Halloween party.
Read more
VIDEO-Climate change is killing our sex drive, study says - CNN.com
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 01:41
According to a study, the last of those mojo-killers -- and the climate change that is causing more scorching hot days -- could be bringing down the birth rate in the United States.
Although the number of births in the United States went up last year for the first time since 2007, the U.S. birth rate has mostly been on the decline for at least a century. More couples have access to birth control and work opportunities for women have increased. Economic downturns, such as the recent 2007 recession, also contribute to baby busts. But the new study suggests that really hot days could also take a toll.
Researchers used historical vital statistics and other sources to look at the number of babies born about nine months after really hot days, which they defined as above 80 degrees, based on National Climate Center Data from weather stations across the United States.
The researchers found that, for every day that soared above 80 degrees -- and in many cases above 90 degrees -- between 1931 and 2010, there were 0.4% fewer births nine months later. The impact of one of these scorching days was that about 1,165 fewer babies were born across the United States.
Over a larger period, this could mean about 100,000 fewer births in the United States every year, based on climate change models that predict the number of these really hot days will increase from the current number of about 30 a year to about 90.
"I wouldn't say it is the end of human civilization, but I would suggest it is going to add to the cost of climate change," said Alan Barreca, associate professor of economics at Tulane University. Barreca is the lead author of the study, which was published Wednesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit economic research organization.
Although previous research has supported the idea that heat hurts fertility, one of the advances of the current study, Barreca said, is that it asks the question whether fertility ramps back up when temperatures cool down. The answer? Not much.
There was an uptick in babies born between 11 and 13 months after heat spells, suggesting that couples put off their procreation by a couple of months, but this increase only made up for 32% of the decline at nine months.
"People might be constrained to conceiving in certain calendar months because they have time off work," Barreca said. And if those precious few days in the month that a woman is fertile are thwarted by hot weather, that could be it for the year, he added. The authors did not look at whether birth rate rebounded more than the initial 32% in the years after a heat spell.
The fact that birth rates drop nine months after temperatures spike suggests that hot weather is having a direct effect on fertility, Barreca said. Although the study notes that rising temperatures can wreak havoc on income levels and food prices, both of which could discourage couples from having children, these factors would probably have more of a delayed effect on birth rate. It might take several months, for example, before a heat spell affects harvest and drives up food prices, for example.
It is easy to guess how things could cool down in the bedroom as they heat up outside. Just feeling uncomfortable could decrease, as the authors call it, "coital frequency." But studies suggest high temperatures can also hurt reproductive health, by impairing sperm function, reducing testosterone levels and interfering with menstruation.
However, temperature probably has a lot less effect on when people have children than it did decades ago, when fewer people had air conditioner units and more people worked outside, said Kevin Bakker, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the current study.
Instead, factors such as the type of work people do have probably had more of an effect on decreasing the U.S. birth rate, Bakker said.
Barreca agrees with this assessment.
"Temperature's role has probably been pretty negligible compared to other things like access to birth control (and) increasing labor opportunities for women ... but it would suggest that, if anything, it's adding on to the other things going on," he said.
VIDEO-Discussion Syrian Refugee Crisis | Video | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 17:01
November 5, 2015Academics and State Department officials talked about Europe's response to an influx of Syrian and other refugees in several nations,'... read more
Academics and State Department officials talked about Europe's response to an influx of Syrian and other refugees in several nations, focusing on the situation in countries that were points of entry or final destinations for refugees.'‚They discussed the economic and societal challenges that the influx of new European residents posed and the ways governments and other institutions on the continent and around the world could better respond to the mass migration.'‚Panelists also took questions from members of the audience.
''Europe's Refugee Challenge: Responses to an International Crisis'' was a program of the Wilson Center's Global Europe Program, co-sponsored by the Middle East and Global Sustainability and Resilience programs. close
Javascript must be enabled in order to access C-SPAN videos.
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
September 29, 2015U.S. Role and Strategy in the Middle EastThe presidents of non-governmental organizations involved in humanitarian aid assistance testified at a hearing on'...
August 26, 2014European Union Economic Policy PrioritiesPanelists talked about the future of the European Union and its policy priorities for the European economy, energy'...
August 25, 2014Future of IraqA panel of academics discussed the future of Iraq after the new wave of violence from ISIS* threatened security in the'...
November 20, 2012Middle East PolicyPanelists talked about the challenges in the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in President Obama's second'...
VIDEO-U.S. Plane Shot Victims Fleeing Doctors Without Borders Hospital: Charity - NBC News
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:58
KABUL, Afghanistan '-- A U.S. warplane shot people trying to flee a burning hospital destroyed in airstrikes last month, according to the charity that ran the facility.
"Thirty of our patients and medical staff died [in the bombing]," Doctors Without Borders General Director Christopher Stokes said during a speech in Kabul unveiling a report on the incident. "Some of them lost their limbs and were decapitated in the explosions. Others were shot by the circling gunship while fleeing the burning building."
The hospital in Kunduz was bombed on Oct. 3 as Afghan government forces fought to regain control of the city from Taliban insurgents.
After the U.S. gave shifting explanations for the incident '-- which Doctors Without Borders has called a war crime '-- President Barack Obama apologized to the charity. The U.S. and Afghan governments have launched three separate investigations but the charity, which is also known as M(C)decins Sans Fronti¨res (MSF), is calling for an international inquiry.
Thursday's report added: "Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building."
It also detailed operations in the hospital in the days leading up to the bombing, and said staff had noticed that more Taliban fighters were arriving for treatment.
"In the week starting September 28, [the majority of the wounded fighters] shifted to primarily wounded Taliban combatants," according to the report.
GALLERY:Inside Afghanistan's Bombed Hospital
On Oct. 1, the group "received a question from a U.S. government official in Washington, D.C., asking whether the hospital or any other of MSF's locations had a large number of Taliban 'holed up'," the report said. "MSF also expressed that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures as a condition to our ability to continue working."
The charity does not ask which armed group patients belong to as a matter of policy. Fighters are also prohibited from bringing weapons into the hospital, according to MSF.
The report, which gave a detailed log of its communication with military officials during the attack, also detailed the injuries suffered by staff and patients when the hospital came under attack as it was treating casualties.
It highlighted that the left arm of an MSF nurse was "hanging from a small piece of tissue" after he suffered a "traumatic amputation" in one of the blasts.
When asked to comment on MSF's account, a senior defense official told NBC News:
"The Defense Department and U.S. military are conducting two separate investigations into the October third airstrike in Kunduz and are in active discussions with representatives from Doctors Without Borders to determine the facts. While the incident remains under investigation we are unable to publicly release any findings."
Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the DoD remains "committed to conducting investigations that are thorough and transparent."
"Since this tragic incident, we have worked closely with MSF to determine the facts surrounding it. Just yesterday, Resolute Support commander Gen. John Campbell met personally with MSF representatives," Davis said in a statement. "We continue to work closely with MSF in identifying the victims, both those killed and wounded, so that we can conclude our investigations and proceed with follow-on actions to include condolence payments. We are also committed to working with MSF to determine the full extent of the damage to the hospital, so that it can be repaired in full."
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VIDEO-Stephen Walt: Shirtless Putin - YouTube
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VIDEO-US strength not just through 'occupying countries' & 'firing missiles' - Obama '-- RT USA
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 21:16
America's world supremacy is not about the number of occupied countries and fired missiles, believes the US president. Its international strength relies on diplomacy, protection of human rights and cooperation with other nations.
''The measure of strength internationally is not simply by how many countries we're occupying, or how many missiles we're firing, but the strength of our diplomacy and the strength of our commitment to human rights and our belief that we've got to cooperate with other countries together to solve massive problems like terrorism, but also like climate change,'' the Washington Examiner cited Barack Obama as saying on Wednesday while addressing a 350-person fundraiser in Potomac, Maryland.
Obama made the statement on the seventh anniversary of his first-term presidential election, answering Republican critics that label his external policy as toothless.
As recently as February, the president acknowledged that the US relied on its military strength and other leverage to achieve its goals, saying that ''American leadership'' at times entails ''twisting the arms'' of states which ''don't do what we need them to do.''
READ MORE Obama: 'We have to twist arms when countries don't do what we need them to'
''We occasionally have to twist the arms of countries that wouldn't do what we need them to do if it weren't for the various economic or diplomatic or, in some cases, military leverage that we had '-- if we didn't have that dose of realism, we wouldn't get anything done, either,'' President Obama said in an interview with Vox.
In May, Obama gave a speech at West Point Military Academy's graduation ceremony in which he said ''America must always lead on the world stage.''
''If we don't, no one else will. The military that you have joined is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership,'' Obama said.
READ MORE Obama: Military to remain backbone of America's leadership
He stressed that the US military potential remains at the core of America's ability to influence changes abroad, therefore the Pentagon reserves the power to launch unilateral attacks when US interests are directly threatened.
''I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it's our willingness to affirm them through our actions,'' Obama stated.
''The question we face '' the question you will face '' is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead, not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also to extend peace and prosperity around the globe,'' the president told the cadets.
Obama made headlines again in August when he told a press briefing that US "tortured some folks," speaking about enhanced interrogation tactics in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
READ MORE Obama on CIA's post-9/11 tactics: 'We tortured some folks'
''In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did things that were contrary to our values,'' Obama said.

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