826: Ten Times

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 54m
May 19th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Andrew Largeman, J-Nonymous

Associate Executive Producers: Kent O'Rourke, Baroness Monica Lansing, Anonymous, Russel Hickey, Sir Tony Morengo

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat


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Dvorak's Law
Boosting beauty in an economic decline: mating, spending, and the lipstick effect. - PubMed - NCBI
Wed, 18 May 2016 19:03
Although consumer spending typically declines in economic recessions, some observers have noted that recessions appear to increase women's spending on beauty products--the so-called lipstick effect. Using both historical spending data and rigorous experiments, the authors examine how and why economic recessions influence women's consumer behavior. Findings revealed that recessionary cues--whether naturally occurring or experimentally primed--decreased desire for most products (e.g., electronics, household items). However, these cues consistently increased women's desire for products that increase attractiveness to mates--the first experimental demonstration of the lipstick effect. Additional studies show that this effect is driven by women's desire to attract mates with resources and depends on the perceived mate attraction function served by these products. In addition to showing how and why economic recessions influence women's desire for beauty products, this research provides novel insights into women's mating psychology, consumer behavior, and the relationship between the two.
Elections 2016
Here's what happened at Saturday's dramatic Nevada Democratic convention - The Washington Post
Mon, 16 May 2016 04:04
Social footage captured the raucous Nevada Democratic Convention on May 14 in Las Vegas. (Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)
Saturday's raucous state Democratic convention in Nevada encapsulated a lot of the themes of the party's 2016 election in a relatively short period: complex delegate math, inscrutable processes, allegations of deceit, fury '-- and a result that doesn't do much of anything to shift the race's eventual outcome.
Nevada's process for sending delegates to the national convention in Philadelphia is among the most complex. When the state caucused in late February, the fourth state on the calendar for the Democratic Party, the results of that process favored Hillary Clinton. Twenty-three of the 35 total bound delegates were given out proportionally in the state's four congressional districts, giving Clinton a delegate lead of 13 to 10. The results of the caucus suggested that after the state convention '-- which bound the state's seven at-large delegates and five delegates who are elected officials or party leaders '-- Clinton would end up with a 20-to-15 lead over Bernie Sanders, with Clinton winning one more delegate from the at-large pool (4-to-3) and one more from the party-leader pool (3-to-2) than Sanders.
The people who attend the Democratic convention this weekend were chosen during voting in early April. At that point, Sanders out-organized Clinton, getting 2,124 people elected to the state convention (according to the tabulation at the always-essential delegate-tracking site the Green Papers) to Clinton's 1,722. That suggested that voting at the state convention would flip: Sanders would win those 4-to-3 and 3-to-2 contests, giving him a 7-to-5 victory at the convention and making the state total 18-to-17 for Clinton instead of 20-to-15.
But that's not what happened, as best as we can piece together.
On Friday, Sanders's campaign released a statement (apparently after a conversation with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid) thanking his supporters in the state and saying that working together "respectfully and constructively on Saturday at the Nevada Democratic convention" would help the party beat Donald Trump in November. On Saturday morning, though, there was tumult.
Prior to the state convention, some Sanders supporters began an effort to shift the convention rules in a way that they viewed as more favorable to their candidate. One of those changes, the Las Vegas Sun reported, was a process for verifying voice votes; another took issue with the state party chairwoman, Roberta Lange, heading up the convention. Supporters at the event circulated petitions to the same end. The scene was set.
The first report from the credentials committee on Saturday morning indicated that Clinton had a slight edge in delegates. Sanders fans voted against that report, per Jon Ralston, and then demanded a recount '-- but this was simply a preliminary figure. As in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, the final total delegates went through a process of realignment as the day progressed.
That was when the vote to approve the rules as written '-- Roberta's Rules versus Robert's Rules, as some Sanders backers dubbed them '-- was conducted by voice vote. The motion, seconded by a Sanders supporter, passed '-- which is when the room, in Ralston's phrasing, "erupts." Ensuing speakers, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (a Clinton supporter), were interrupted by a vocal group of Sanders supporters at the front of the room.
There was some sort of scuffle, though it's not clear what, and an apparently unrelated medical emergency.
All of that tension set the stage for the final votes. The ultimate total reported by KOLO-TV was 1,695 Clinton delegates to 1,662 for Sanders, giving Clinton that one-delegate total in the at-large and party-leader pools. But the drama was far from over. Fifty-six Sanders delegates '-- enough to swing the majority '-- were denied delegate status, mostly because they weren't registered as Democrats by the May 1 deadline, according to the state party. (The Sun reports that eight potential Clinton delegates suffered a similar fate.)
Convention leaders declined to reconsider those 56 delegates, and, spurred by the casino '-- because the event was already well past its scheduled ending time '-- adjourned for the day. Sanders supporters refused to concede, remaining in the casino's ballroom after the event had ended. Eventually, casino security and law enforcement officials entered to force the Democrats out of the space, even turning off the lights to get them to depart.
Thanks to Clinton's victory in Nevada on Saturday, hard-fought on the carpeted floor of the Paris hotel and casino in Las Vegas, her lead over Sanders extends to 282, per delegate-counter Daniel Nichanian. Had Sanders's supporters been successful on Saturday, that margin would have been 278 '-- a number that still demands that the senator win two-thirds of the remaining pledged delegates to take the lead.
What probably worries Clinton supporters at the moment, though, isn't their candidate losing the nomination. It's the prospect of a scene like that in Las Vegas playing out before a national television audience in July in Philadelphia.
Hillary Clinton's 'hacked' Benghazi emails: FULL RELEASE '-- RT America
Mon, 16 May 2016 04:46
On the back of widespread public interest RT has decided to publish in their entirety a series of memos which were allegedly sent from a one-time White House aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The emails, which were allegedly sent by former political adviser Sidney Blumenthal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were forwarded to RT by a hacker using the alias ''Guccifer.''
Guccifer was credited with hacking the AOL email account of Blumenthal last week, though the authenticity of the emails has not been verified.
The purported memos appear to contain sensitive information regarding the September 11, 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, as well the January 2013 hostage crisis in In Amenas, Algeria.
Blumenthal has been refraining from comments so far. RT reached Blumenthal's son Max, who confirmed that his father will not be making any remarks about the leak.
In the leaked emails distributed to the media, Guccifer copied and pasted the correspondences into new files using bold Comic Sans text layered over a pink background, possibly as a security precaution. The letter 'G' on the memos appears to be the hacker's watermark.
Below are 4 letters dating from September 12, 2012-February 16, 2013. Any omissions are unintentional, as we are publishing all of the information that has been provided to us in the interest of full disclosure.
Excerpt missing
Excerpt missing
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Bernie Sanders Supporters Propose 'Mobilizing Voters' to Beat Donald Trump - NYTimes.com
Mon, 16 May 2016 13:11
A group of Bernie Sanders supporters who have worked or volunteered for his campaign have come up with a draft proposal calling for the Vermont senator to suspend his presidential bid after the June 7 California primary, eventually concede to Hillary Clinton and build an independent organization aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump.
The three-page document addresses a question now facing Mr. Sanders's most ardent supporters: how to harness the energy of a movement now that his presidential bid appears to be bowing to the reality that Mrs. Clinton will capture the Democratic nomination. The document suggests building ''an organization, completely independent of the Clinton campaign,'' to defeat Mr. Trump before focusing on other goals after the November election.
About a dozen current and former Sanders staff members and volunteers have been collaborating on the draft proposal, which was obtained by The New York Times and first reported by Politico.
While the authors believe Mr. Sanders will win the California primary, they write that ''barring a miracle,'' he will not become the party's nominee. Two of the authors, who are former campaign staff members, confirmed the authenticity of the document. The authors all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were working without the campaign's authorization.
The draft lays out a scenario for Mr. Sanders's leaving the race. ''Senator Sanders may graciously concede and enthusiastically endorse Hillary Clinton's bid to defeat the threatened right-wing takeover of our country by Donald Trump at this time, or may withhold that final step in anticipation of discussions with the Clinton camp before the convention,'' the draft says.
Michael Briggs, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign, called the draft plan ''totally irrelevant.''
''We are focused on winning the Democratic nomination,'' Mr. Briggs said in an email. ''This document is something that neither the senator nor anyone he works with has seen. We have no idea who wrote it. We could care less about the document.''
He added that Mr. Sanders ''expects to win more delegates in the weeks ahead'' and that ''he is campaigning to win the nomination.''
However, the authors argue that Mr. Sanders should pivot away from trying to win the nomination after California votes. He should build an organization to ''facilitate the growing voice of a new generation of activists'' to focus initially on defeating Mr. Trump in November.
Such an organization would be devoted to ''mobilizing voters to defend our democracy in November 2016 and beyond,'' the authors of the plan write.
The draft says Mr. Sanders can help bring together ''young, newly political Sanders supporters'' who see ''rejection of Hillary and the Democratic Party establishment as core to their identity.'' They suggest that his supporters should work to influence the party's platform at the Democratic National Convention this July in Philadelphia, and that Mr. Sanders should host his own ''convention'' on transforming American politics, separate from the party's gathering.
''Coming out of their own convention, the goal will be to launch the best organized independent expenditure organization in history and give the vast (and deeply anti-establishment) base a vehicle into which they will wholeheartedly pour their energy,'' the draft said.
The proposal included a section about the challenges of building an independent organization, chief among them fund-raising. They write that Mr. Sanders will have to decide whether such a group would take money from ''wealthier progressives'' and even suggests the possibility of creating a panel of volunteers who would decide whether to take large donations.
The group says Mr. Sanders is in a similar position as Senator Barack Obama after he energized millions of supporters during his 2008 presidential campaign. However, the authors say Mr. Obama failed to capitalize on the opportunity to change the power structure in America.
''Does Bernie Sanders and his campaign facilitate the growing voice of a new generation of activists who can rack up the defeat of Donald Trump as their first major achievement?'' the draft asks. ''Or does he raise hell at a party convention and leave the remains of his organization to be picked over by the existing groups on the left that, to date, have been mostly marginal to the broad majority of Americans and Sanders supporters alike?''
The authors say, ''Bernie Sanders will have to decide these priorities.''
Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private - NYTimes.com
Mon, 16 May 2016 18:15
Donald J. Trump had barely met Rowanne Brewer Lane when he asked her to change out of her clothes.
Donald was having a pool party at Mar-a-Lago. There were about 50 models and 30 men. There were girls in the pools, splashing around. For some reason Donald seemed a little smitten with me. He just started talking to me and nobody else.
He suddenly took me by the hand, and he started to show me around the mansion. He asked me if I had a swimsuit with me. I said no. I hadn't intended to swim. He took me into a room and opened drawers and asked me to put on a swimsuit.
''Rowanne Brewer Lane, former companion
Ms. Brewer Lane, at the time a 26-year-old model, did as Mr. Trump asked. ''I went into the bathroom and tried one on,'' she recalled. It was a bikini. ''I came out, and he said, 'Wow.' ''
Mr. Trump, then 44 and in the midst of his first divorce, decided to show her off to the crowd at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
''He brought me out to the pool and said, 'That is a stunning Trump girl, isn't it?' '' Ms. Brewer Lane said.
Donald Trump and women: The words evoke a familiar cascade of casual insults, hurled from the safe distance of a Twitter account, a radio show or a campaign podium. This is the public treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president: degrading, impersonal, performed. ''That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,'' he told a female contestant on ''The Celebrity Apprentice.'' Rosie O'Donnell, he said, had a ''fat, ugly face.'' A lawyer who needed to pump milk for a newborn? ''Disgusting,'' he said.
But the 1990 episode at Mar-a-Lago that Ms. Brewer Lane described was different: a debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew. This is the private treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the up-close and more intimate encounters.
The New York Times interviewed dozens of women who had worked with or for Mr. Trump over the past four decades, in the worlds of real estate, modeling and pageants; women who had dated him or interacted with him socially; and women and men who had closely observed his conduct since his adolescence. In all, more than 50 interviews were conducted over the course of six weeks.
Their accounts '-- many relayed here in their own words '-- reveal unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct, according to the interviews, as well as court records and written recollections. The interactions occurred in his offices at Trump Tower, at his homes, at construction sites and backstage at beauty pageants. They appeared to be fleeting, unimportant moments to him, but they left lasting impressions on the women who experienced them.
What emerges from the interviews is a complex, at times contradictory portrait of a wealthy, well-known and provocative man and the women around him, one that defies simple categorization. Some women found him gracious and encouraging. He promoted several to the loftiest heights of his company, a daring move for a major real estate developer at the time.
He simultaneously nurtured women's careers and mocked their physical appearance. ''You like your candy,'' he told an overweight female executive who oversaw the construction of his headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. He could be lewd one moment and gentlemanly the next.
In an interview, Mr. Trump described himself as a champion of women, someone who took pride in hiring them and was in awe of their work ethic. ''It would just seem,'' he said, ''that there was something that they want to really prove.''
Pressed on the women's claims, Mr. Trump disputed many of the details, such as asking Ms. Brewer Lane to put on a swimsuit. ''A lot of things get made up over the years,'' he said. ''I have always treated women with great respect. And women will tell you that.''
But in many cases there was an unmistakable dynamic at play: Mr. Trump had the power, and the women did not. He had celebrity. He had wealth. He had connections. Even after he had behaved crudely toward them, some of the women sought his assistance with their careers or remained by his side.
For Ms. Brewer Lane, her introduction to Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago was the start of a whirlwind romance '-- a heady blur of helicopter rides and high-end hotel rooms and flashing cameras.
''It was intimidating,'' she said. ''He was Donald Trump, obviously.''
Boarding School 'Ladies' Man'It started at the New York Military Academy, a small, severe boarding school 90 minutes' drive north of New York City. Strictly enforced rules prohibited girls from setting foot on the all-boys campus unless it was a special occasion. And on those special occasions, young Donald Trump paid careful mind to the kind of girls he brought to school. They had to be gorgeous '-- 10s, in his future parlance.
''Donald was extremely sensitive to whether or not the women he invited to campus were pretty,'' recalled George White, a fellow student in the class of 1964.
''For Donald,'' he added, ''it's display.''
He steadily built an image as a young playboy amid the deprivations of a single-sex military school, where most boys craved but rarely enjoyed the company of a girl. By senior year, his classmates had crowned him ''ladies' man'' in the yearbook, a nod to the volume of his dates.
He wasn't bringing the same girl. He had a variety of girls coming up. Donald was bringing in very pretty women, very sophisticated women and very well-dressed women. You could always tell they were of a higher class.
''George White, high school classmate
Asked how he had earned the ''ladies' man'' title, Mr. Trump at first demurred. ''I better not tell you '-- I'll get myself in trouble,'' he said. He later elaborated, saying he had ''a great feeling'' and ''a great like'' for women.
The Alpha TrumpMr. Trump grew up with an influential role model for how to deal with women: Fred C. Trump, his powerful and unyielding father.
The elder Mr. Trump exerted control no matter how big or small the decision, as Ivana Zelnickova learned over dinner one night in the late 1970s. Her boyfriend, Donald Trump, had invited her to join his siblings and parents at Tavern on the Green, the ornate restaurant in Central Park.
When the waiter came to take orders, Ivana made the mistake of asking for what she wanted. Fred Trump set her straight, she recalled in a previously unpublished interview with Michael D'Antonio, the author of ''The Truth About Trump.''
Fred would order steak. Then Donald would order steak. '... Everybody order steak. I told the waiter, ''I would like to have fish.'' O.K., so I could have the fish. And Fred would say to the waiter:''No, Ivana is not going to have a fish. She is going to have a steak.'' I said, ''No, I'm going to have my fish.'' And Donald would come home and say, ''Ivana, why would you have a fish instead of a steak?'' I say, ''Because I'm not going to be told by somebody to have something which I don't want.''
''Ivana Trump, ex-wife
Mr. Trump defended his father's conduct. ''He would've said that out of love,'' he said. If his father had overruled her fish order, Mr. Trump said, ''he would have said that only on the basis that he thought, 'That would be better for her.' ''
The elder Mr. Trump did not hide his more traditional views on gender. When his son hired a woman, Barbara A. Res, as his head of construction in the 1980s, Fred Trump was mystified and annoyed.
Fred did not like the idea that Donald had hired me. ''A woman?'' Donald told me that. But I could tell by the way Fred treated me. He used to say that all the time: ''You don't know what you are talking about.'' When I would complain to Donald about Fred, he would say, ''Fred didn't want me to hire you or didn't think it was a woman's job.''
''Barbara A. Res, former Trump executive and author of ''All Alone on the 68th Floor''
Mr. Trump said it was a different era. ''My father,'' he said, ''probably never would have seen a woman in that position.''
Mr. Trump still holds up his parents as models, praising his stay-at-home mother for understanding and accommodating a husband who worked almost nonstop.
''My mother was always fine with it,'' he said, recalling her ''brilliant'' management of the situation. ''If something got interrupted because he was going to inspect a housing site or something, she would handle that so beautifully.''
''She was an ideal woman,'' he said.
The Company of WomenWith his purchase of the Miss Universe Organization, Mr. Trump was now in the business of young, beautiful women.
They craved his advice and approval, a fact he seemed to understand well.
Temple Taggart, the 21-year-old Miss Utah, was startled by how forward he was with young contestants like her in 1997, his first year as the owner of Miss USA, a branch of the beauty pageant organization. As she recalls it, he introduced himself in an unusually intimate manner.
He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought, ''Oh my God, gross.'' He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like ''Wow, that's inappropriate.''
''Temple Taggart, 1997 Miss Utah USA
Mr. Trump disputes this, saying he is reluctant to kiss strangers on the lips. But Ms. Taggart said it was not an isolated incident.
At the gala celebration after the show, she said, Mr. Trump immediately zeroed in on her, telling her how much he liked her style and inviting her to visit him in New York to talk about her future. Soon enough, she said, he delivered another unwelcome kiss on her lips, this time in Trump Tower. After boasting of his connections to elite modeling agencies, he advised her to lie about her age to get ahead in the industry, she said.
'' 'We're going to have to tell them you're 17,' '' Ms. Taggart recalled him telling her, ''because in his mind, 21 is too old. I was like, 'No, we're not going to do that.' ''
His level of involvement in the pageants was unexpected, and his judgments, the contestants said, could be harsh. Carrie Prejean, who was 21 when she participated in the Miss USA contest in 2009 as Miss California, was surprised to find Mr. Trump personally evaluating the women at rehearsal. ''We were told to put on our opening number outfits '-- they were nearly as revealing as our swimsuits '-- and line up for him onstage,'' she wrote in her memoir, ''Still Standing.''
Donald Trump walked out with his entourage and inspected us closer than any general ever inspected a platoon. He would stop in front of a girl, look her up and down, and say, ''Hmmm.'' Then he would go on and do the same thing to the next girl. He took notes on a little pad as he went along. After he did this, Trump said: ''O.K. I want all the girls to come forward.'' '...
Donald Trump looked at Miss Alabama.
''Come here,'' he said.
She took one more step forward.
''Tell me, who's the most beautiful woman here?''
Miss Alabama's eyes swam around.
''Besides me?'' she said. ''Uh, I like Arkansas. She's sweet.''
''I don't care if she's sweet,'' Donald Trump said. ''Is she hot?'' '...
It became clear that the point of the whole exercise was for him to divide the room between girls he personally found attractive and those he did not. Many of the girls found the exercise humiliating. Some of the girls were sobbing backstage after he left, devastated to have failed even before the competition really began to impress ''The Donald.''
''Carrie Prejean, 2009 Miss California USA
Mr. Trump, in an interview, said he would ''never do that.'' Such behavior, he said, would bruise egos and hurt feelings. ''I wouldn't hurt people,'' he said. ''That's hurtful to people.''
A Preoccupation With BodiesMr. Trump was not just fixated on the appearance of the women around him. He possessed an almost compulsive need to talk about it.
Inside the Trump Organization, the company that manages his various businesses, he occasionally interrupted routine discussions of business to opine on women's figures. Ms. Res, his construction executive, remembered a meeting in which she and Mr. Trump interviewed an architect for a project in the Los Angeles area. Out of the blue, she said, Mr. Trump evaluated the fitness of women in Marina del Rey, Calif. ''They take care of their asses,'' he said.
''The architect and I didn't know where he was coming from,'' Ms. Res said. Years later, after she had gained a significant amount of weight, Ms. Res endured a stinging workplace observation about her own body from Mr. Trump. '' 'You like your candy,' '' she recalled him telling her. ''It was him reminding me that I was overweight.''
Her colleague Louise Sunshine experienced similar observations from Mr. Trump when she gained weight. But she saw it as friendly encouragement, not a cruel insult. ''He thought I looked much better thin,'' she said. ''He would remind me of how beautiful I was.''
Whenever possible, Mr. Trump wanted his visitors to see his most attractive employees, as Ms. Res learned.
We had a big meeting once. I grabbed one of the women in the office and sent her in to get lunch orders. Donald said, ''Not her.'' She didn't look great. He got another woman to take the lunch orders. That was purely about looks. He wanted the people in that room to think that all the women who worked for him were beautiful.
''Ms. Res
Mr. Trump frequently sought assurances '-- at times from strangers '-- that the women in his life were beautiful. During the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, he sat in the audience as his teenage daughter, Ivanka, helped to host the event from onstage. He turned to Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee, Miss Universe at the time, and asked for her opinion of his daughter's body.
'' 'Don't you think my daughter's hot? She's hot, right?' '' Ms. Lee recalled him saying. 'I was like, 'Really?' That's just weird. She was 16. That's creepy.''
Ms. Brewer Lane, who dated Mr. Trump for several months in 1990 and early 1991, said it did not take long for him to solicit her view on the attractiveness of two of his previous romantic partners, Marla Maples and Ivana Trump.
He did ask me, on a scale of 1 to 10, what I thought of Marla. I thought that was very boyish of him. He asked me the same thing about Ivana. I said, obviously, she is your wife. A beautiful woman. What could you say but a 10? I am not going to judge your wife.
''Ms. Brewer Lane
Mr. Trump said he did not know Ms. Brewer Lane very well, despite dating her. ''I wouldn't have asked anybody about how they rate other women,'' he said.
Kissing, and Telling EveryoneHe liked to brag about his sexual prowess and his desirability as a date, no matter who was around.
Barbara J. Fife, a deputy mayor under David N. Dinkins, New York's mayor in the early 1990s, was not especially close to Mr. Trump. But that did not stop him from telling her why he was in such a hurry one day as he sat in her office at City Hall.
''I have this great date tonight with a model for Victoria's Secret,'' Ms. Fife recalled him telling her.
''I saw it as immature, quite honestly,'' she said.
At his office in Trump Tower, Mr. Trump seemed eager for his colleagues to hear about his new companion, Ms. Maples. When The New York Post feasted on her supposed satisfaction with him in bed, captured in the headline ''Best Sex I've Ever Had,'' Mr. Trump was unabashed, Ms. Res said.
He absolutely loved that. He waved it around the office. ''Did you see this?'' Everyone who worked there were kind of horrified. We all thought it made him look bad. He didn't.
''Ms. Res
Mr. Trump denies boasting about the headline. He seems more bashful these days, saying he cannot recall how many women he has dated. ''Not as many as people would think,'' he said. ''I'm not somebody that really loved the dating process.''
Women as Trusted ColleaguesTo build his business, Mr. Trump turned to women for a simple reason: They worked hard '-- often harder than men, he told them.
When Mr. Trump hired Ms. Res to oversee the construction of Trump Tower, he invited her to his apartment on Fifth Avenue and explained that he wanted her to be his ''Donna Trump'' on the project, she said. Few women had reached such stature in the industry.
He said: ''I know you're a woman in a man's world. And while men tend to be better than women, a good woman is better than 10 good men.'' '... He thought he was really complimenting me.
''Ms. Res
He entrusted several women in his company with enormous responsibility '-- once they had proven themselves worthy and loyal. Ms. Sunshine had little experience in real estate, but as a top campaign fund-raiser for Gov. Hugh Carey of New York, she had fulfilled a lifelong wish for Mr. Trump: She secured him a vanity license plate with his initials, DJT, which adorned his limousine for years.
It's something he had wanted since his father bought him toy cars. By some gift of God, I was able to obtain it for him. He was beyond thrilled. And I became the woman in his life who could do no wrong. And he became the man in my life who was going to be my mentor.
''Louise Sunshine, former Trump executive
Ms. Sunshine worked for Mr. Trump for 15 years, becoming a major New York real estate figure in her own right. Ms. Res remained at the company for 12 years, left after a disagreement over a project and then returned as a consultant for six more years. Both expressed gratitude for the chances Mr. Trump had taken on them.
In a rough-and-tumble industry thoroughly dominated by men, Mr. Trump's office stood out for its diversity, recalled Alan Lapidus, an influential architect who designed the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City.
He is a lot more complicated than the cartoon character. The top people in his company were women, like Barbara Res. For any company to hire a woman as chief of construction was actually startling. I don't know of a single other developer who had a woman in that position. The respect for women was always there. That's why, in spite of the comments he makes now '-- and God knows why he says these things '-- when he was building his empire, the backbone was women.
''Alan Lapidus, architect
Dismissive NicknamesTo women who had climbed to positions of power outside his company, Mr. Trump's behavior could feel like a jarring throwback.
Alair A. Townsend was for a time the highest-ranking woman inside New York's City Hall during the Koch administration, with the title of deputy mayor for economic development. But when Mr. Trump called her, she said, her position seemed less relevant to him than her gender.
He was dismissive. It was always, ''Hon,'' ''Dear.'' Things he wouldn't have said to a man. It was designed to make you feel small. And he did that repeatedly.
''Alair A. Townsend, former deputy mayor
It was an unthinking habit when he interacted with women, colleagues said. ''At Trump Tower,'' said Ms. Res, his longtime colleague, ''he called me Honey Bunch.''
Wife and Partner, and RegretNo single figure better encapsulated the paradoxes of Mr. Trump's treatment of women in the workplace than his first wife, Ivana.
He entrusted her with major pieces of a corporate empire and gave her the titles to match. She was the president of Trump's Castle, a major casino in Atlantic City, and the Plaza Hotel, the storied complex on Central Park South in Manhattan. ''She ran that hotel,'' Ms. Res said. ''And she ran it well.''
But he compensated her as a spouse, not a high-level employee, paying her an annual salary of $1 for the Trump's Castle job, according to her tax documents. And he grew to resent her outsize role. By the end of their marriage, Mr. Trump wrote in his 1997 book, ''The Art of the Comeback,'' he regretted having allowed her to run his businesses.
My big mistake with Ivana was taking her out of the role of wife and allowing her to run one of my casinos in Atlantic City, then the Plaza Hotel. The problem was, work was all she wanted to talk about. When I got home at night, rather than talking about the softer subjects of life, she wanted to tell me how well the Plaza was doing, or what a great day the casino had.
I will never again give a wife responsibility within my business.
''Donald J. Trump, presumptive Republican nominee
He seems to have kept his word. His current wife, Melania, has marketed her own lines of beauty products and jewelry. But Mr. Trump remains mostly uninvolved in her work. After calling it ''very successful,'' he struggled to describe it.
''What is it on television with the sales?'' he asked. ''What do they call that? Not Home Shopping, the other one.''
Accusations and DenialsOnce his first marriage started to collapse, Mr. Trump faced his most serious allegations of aggression toward women.
When ''Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,'' by the journalist Harry Hurt III, was released in 1993, it included a description of a night in which Mr. Trump was said to have raped Ivana in a fit of rage. It also included a statement from Ivana that Mr. Trump's lawyers insisted be placed in the front of the book. In the statement, she described an occasion of ''marital relations'' during which ''I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited toward me, was absent.''
''During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,'' the statement said. ''I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.''
Mr. Trump denied raping Ivana, and she did not respond to a request for comment. After the allegation re-emerged in the news media last year, Ivana said in a statement, ''The story is totally without merit.''
In the early 1990s, Jill Harth and her boyfriend at the time, George Houraney, worked with Mr. Trump on a beauty pageant in Atlantic City, and later accused Mr. Trump of inappropriate behavior toward Ms. Harth during their business dealings. In a 1996 deposition, Ms. Harth described their initial meeting with Mr. Trump at Trump Tower.
Donald Trump stared at me throughout that meeting. He stared at me even while George was giving his presentation. '... In the middle of it he says to George, ''Are you sleeping with her?'' Meaning me. And George looked a little shocked and he said, ''Well, yeah.'' And he goes, ''Well, for the weekend or what?''
''Jill Harth, former pageant promoter
Mr. Houraney said in a recent interview that he was shocked by Mr. Trump's response after he made clear that he and Ms. Harth were monogamous.
''He said: 'Well, there's always a first time. I am going after her,' '' Mr. Houraney recalled, adding: ''I thought the man was joking. I laughed. He said, 'I am serious.' ''
By the time the three of them were having dinner at the Oak Room of the Plaza Hotel the next night, Mr. Trump's advances had turned physical, Ms. Harth said in the deposition.
''Basically he name-dropped throughout that dinner, when he wasn't groping me under the table,'' she testified. ''Let me just say, this was a very traumatic thing working for him.''
Ms. Harth, who declined to comment, gave the deposition in connection with a lawsuit that alleged Mr. Trump had failed to meet his obligations in a business partnership. Mr. Trump settled that case but denied wrongdoing. Ms. Harth withdrew her own lawsuit against Mr. Trump alleging unwanted advances, but she has stood by her original claims.
Mr. Trump said it was Ms. Harth who had pursued him, and his office shared email messages in which Ms. Harth, over the past year, thanked Mr. Trump for helping her personally and professionally and expressed support for his presidential candidacy.
Defending His RecordMr. Trump says the world misunderstands his relationship with women.
He sees himself as a promoter of women '-- a man whose business deals, like the purchase of the struggling Miss Universe pageant, have given them untold opportunities for employment and advancement. ''Hundreds and hundreds of women, thousands of women, are the better for it,'' he said.
He has groomed his daughter, Ivanka, to run his company. And as a chief executive, he said, he admires women for a work ethic that can exceed that of the men around them. Mr. Trump recalled a telling exchange with a female worker.
I've said, ''Why don't you go home and take it easy now, just go relax.'' ''No, Mr. Trump, I have to finish this job.'' And I said, ''Boy, you really are a worker.'' And it would just seem that there was something, that they want to really prove something, which is wonderful.
''Mr. Trump
Several women who have held positions of power within the Trump Organization in recent years said they had never known Mr. Trump to objectify women or treat them with disrespect.
''I think there are mischaracterizations about him,'' said Jill Martin, a vice president and assistant counsel at the company. Ms. Martin said Mr. Trump had enthusiastically supported her decision to have two children over the past five years, even when it meant working from home and scaling back on business travel.
''That's hard with women lawyers,'' she said. ''For me, he's made it a situation where I can really excel at my job and still devote the time necessary for my family.''
After competing in the 2009 Miss USA pageant, Laura Kirilova Chukanov, a Bulgarian immigrant who lived in Utah, met with Mr. Trump in his New York office and explained that she wanted to make a documentary about her home country. Mr. Trump encouraged the project and followed through on a promise to put her in touch with his production company.
''He genuinely wanted to know what I wanted to do with my life and how he could help,'' Ms. Chukanov said.
A Damaging CritiqueBut when Mr. Trump lost confidence in women, he could inflict lasting damage on their lives.
After Alicia Machado won the 1996 Miss Universe title, something very human happened: She gained weight. Mr. Trump did not keep his critique of her changing body quiet '-- he publicly shamed her, she said.
I told the president of Miss Universe, a very sweet woman, I said I need some time to recuperate, to rest, to exercise, to eat right. I asked them to bring me a doctor to help me '-- to have a special diet and get exercise, and they said yes. They took me to New York, installed me in a hotel. The next day, they took me to the gym, and I'm exposed to 90 media outlets. Donald Trump was there. I had no idea that would happen.
I was about to cry in that moment with all the cameras there. I said, ''I don't want to do this, Mr. Trump.''He said, ''I don't care.''
''Alicia Machado, 1996 Miss Universe
Mr. Trump said he had pushed her to lose weight. ''To that, I will plead guilty,'' he said, expressing no regret for his tactics.
But the humiliation, Ms. Machado said, was unbearable. ''After that episode, I was sick, anorexia and bulimia for five years,'' she said. ''Over the past 20 years, I've gone to a lot of psychologists to combat this.''
What the hell just happened in Nevada? Sanders supporters are fed up '-- and rightfully so - Salon.com
Tue, 17 May 2016 00:19
Chaos erupted at the Nevada Democratic convention on Saturday as supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over the awarding of the state's 35 pledged delegates. Clinton edged Sanders in the Nevada caucus on Feb. 20th (52.6 percent to 47.3 percent). On April 2, however, the state party held its Clark County convention and Sanders mobilized more delegates than the Clinton campaign (1,613 to 1,298), which swung the delegate count in his favor.
At the state convention this weekend, the final step in the process, Sanders supporters hoped to secure the lion's share of the remaining 12 delegates. Instead, the delegate allocation rules were abruptly changed and Clinton was awarded 7 of the 12 delegates. State party chair, Roberta Lange, told caucus-goers that the ''ruling by the Chair is not debatable; we cannot be challenged and I move that'...and I announce that the rules have been passed by the body.'' Predictably, a chorus of boos followed and the convention was forced to end on a frenzied note.
What happened in Nevada is likely to happen elsewhere. The perception that the DNC has thrown its institutional support behind Clinton has only deepened the internal divide within the party. The Sanders wing is pissed off, and rightfully so.
The establishment support for Clinton was apparent in the superdelegate gap. Superdelegates are a noxious device to begin with, but they're part of the process and, however objectionable Sanders supporters find them, no rules have been broken on that front. In New York, however, where the process wasn't so much rigged as designed to make it uncommonly difficult for non-incumbents or Democratic challengers to compete are problematic at best, particularly in this climate.
Then there's the Hillary Victory Fund, which has become a massive fundraising vehicle for the Clinton campaign. The HVF was created by the DNC and Clinton's super PAC Hillary for America as a means of raising funds both for the Clinton campaign and down-ballot races across the country. Individuals can give over $350,000 to the joint committee if they donate the maximum amount to Clinton, the DNC and the state parties. Federal elections laws, however, do not allow individual donations to specific candidates to exceed $2,700.
The problem, though, as Politico reported two weeks ago, is that Clinton, aided by the DNC, appears to be skirting this rule and funneling large-dollar donations back to her campaign via the HVF. ''The victory fund,'' the report indicates, ''has transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, but almost all of that cash ($3.3 million, or 88 percent) was quickly transferred to the DNC, usually within a day or two, by the Clinton staffer who controls the committee.'' At best, this is a violation of the spirit of the elections laws and, more importantly, an affront to Democrats supporting Bernie Sanders.
It's not at all surprising '' or wrong, to be fair '' that establishment Democrats would support Hillary Clinton. Clinton is a party veteran and a known commodity. She's been at the center of Democratic politics for decades. Sanders, on the other hand, has been an independent for much of his career in the Senate, though he's caucused with the party for years. Sanders is also well to the left of mainstream Democrats, which is part of his appeal with primary voters.
But the Democratic establishment can maintain neutrality in this process without compromising their preferred candidate. The fact is, Clinton has received at least 2.5 million more primary votes than Sanders. She was '' and is '' likely to win the nomination. There's no need to rig the process or skew the rules in her favor '' doing so only adds to the suspicion that the process itself is undemocratic, which is ruinous to the party's long-term viability.
It's still unclear what the hell happened in Nevada. The optics are terrible '' that's for sure. Ultimately, the state's few remaining delegates are meaningless and won't alter the dynamics of the race. But the reports are sufficiently murky that both Sanders and Clinton supporters will grow more entrenched as a result of what happened there. That won't hurt the Sanders campaign, but it will undermine the efforts of the DNC and the Clinton campaign to unify the party against the GOP and Donald Trump.
Close Your Porn Tabs Before Posting Screenshots to Your Congressional Campaign Page
Tue, 17 May 2016 16:11
Mike Webb is running for U.S. Congress in Virginia's 8th district, and he would really appreciate your vote. He would also appreciate, judging from a screenshot uploaded to his Facebook page earlier today, a little alone time with the pages ''IVONE SEXY AMATEUR'' and ''LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY.''*
For over six (!) hours and counting now, Webb has had the below post sitting on his campaign page with porn tabs hanging out for all the world to see.
Now, to be fair ''IVONE SEXY AMATEUR'' and ''LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY'' could be anything.
Except that some quick googling reveals that, no, both of those are in fact pornographic videos. Which is fine! Curiosity is natural. Congratulations to the hopeful Congressman for sticking to his guns.
But, you may be asking yourself, was this embarrassing bit of technological transparency worth his special alone time reward? Judging from the users' responses...
...sure, maybe.
We've reached out to the Webb for comment, and will update if and when we hear back. Hopefully his hands will free up soon.
*Update 6:07 p.m.
The full title of the second film is in fact ''LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY,'' not ''LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BODY'' as was previously stated. Gawker regrets the error.
Update 6:32 p.m.
Webb has a brand new Facebook post up that seems like it maybe addresses the porn tab controversy'--though it's impossible to say for sure. We've copied the relevant(?) portion below:
Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems. Well, the Geek Squad techs testified to me, after servicing thousands of computers at the Baileys Crossroads location that they had never seen any computer using their signature virus protection for the time period to acquire over 4800 viruses, 300 of which would require re-installation of the operating system. We are currently awaiting their attempt at recovery of files on that machine accidentally deleted when they failed to backup files before re-installation, a scenario about which Matthew Wavro speculated openly to me before we were informed by the Geek Squad that that had indeed occurred....
But, now let me tell you the results of my empirical inquiry that introduced me to Layla and Ivone. Around Powerball lottery time, January 9, 2016, I calculated the odds that my friend Rev. Howard John Wesley and I working independently arrived at the same prayer plan, and I was able to determine that there was about a one in a billion chance that that could have occurred in the way that it did. (https://www.facebook.com/search/top/'...). Well, as much as folks like Duffy Taylor want to hope that the Devil is waiting for Christian candidates on a particular pornographic website to infect his or her FEC data file is even more improbable than my Paul and Silas story, and I know that Duffy Taylor is not a man of faith belief; so, I don't know how he empirically arrives at his conclusion. I couldn't see the probability or possibility without a RAND computer.
But, that is the news that will never be printed, but no matter. We found a few more ''silent majority'' worms today, but we also picked up a few more of the faithful. So, not a bad day, at all.
You can read the whole post over on his Facebook page here.
Update 6:56 p.m.
Mike Webb offered the following comment to Gawker via email:
One commenter about a half hour ago told me that I needed to hire a new social media director, and others earlier were concluding that the candidate declared DOA in his press debut before Christmas in the local press'--six months before a Republican challenger ever gets picked up'--today is toast for sure. But, when I read that post about the social media director, we were up 42 likes on Facebook, and I don't know how many on Twitter. Just now, I looked at Facebook, again, and we are up 75, far outpacing my rival who defeated me with establishment support in the nomination convention.
From a faith based perspective and as a preacher's kid, I probably would not be comfortable with ''adult'' topics, but politically, within certain parameters, as a conservative with many libertarian ideas, it can and should be discussed. In this campaign and in the exploratory phases we touched on dating sites and the song'' that entraps many in Nigerian scams and we have on many occasions discussed the taboo topic of forcible sexual abuse that in 2014 in Virginia found young white girls below the ages of 17 exponentially more likely the victims than any other than victims of this crime, and, in our own Falls Church, we have some brave parents continue to break the silence with their ''We Support the Girls'' campaign. So, from that perspective, I do not really see a problem with the viewing of some tabs on a screenshot, even if it does show the scrutiny to which some candidates for office are subjected. In December one viewer blew up images from my social media page to suggest that I was engaging in subliminal messaging.
Thanks for clearing that up, Mike!
[h/t The Daily Caller]
Senior Writer at Gawker
PGP Fingerprint: 1B2B 2229 8096 1A6E 7744 8847 F32A CCC5 1E69 7FED|PGP Key
Bill Clinton was frequent flier on pedophile's private jet 'Lolita Express' '-- RT America
Sun, 15 May 2016 06:39
Newly released flight logs show former US president Bill Clinton flew on convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's infamous ''Lolita Express'' jet at least 26 times.
Initial reports in January suggested Clinton was on board the billionaire's Boeing 727 on ''only'' 11 occasions, but documents obtained by Fox News show he flew with Epstein more than two dozen times.
Between 2001 and 2003, while Hillary was serving as a US Senator, Bill took a number of ''extended junkets'' around the world with the hedge fund manager.
There were also a number of other passengers identified on the manifests, usually with their initials or first name, including one named ''Tatiana.''
Clinton reportedly ditched his Secret Service detail for at least five flights, even though there does not appear to be any of the required paperwork for signing the detail off.
Epstein served 13 months for soliciting ''prostitutes'' as young as 14 and is now a registered sex offender.
The flight logs showing those traveling with Clinton on board the plane, which reportedly had a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls as young as 12, included socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who prosecutors believe procured underage girls for Epstein.
The FBI began investigating Epstein in 2006 when evidence emerged showing dozens of young girls may have been used as sex slaves by him and his famous friends.
A total of 40 women were identified by the FBI as having been illegally procured by Epstein, but a "sweetheart deal" in 2008 led to his single solicitation charge and short sentence.
The arrangement saw authorities agree not to press any criminal charges against "any potential co-conspirators of Epstein.''
The billionaire was also registered as a ''Tier 1'' sex offender.
More questions arose over the relationship between Epstein and the Clintons, leading him to plead the fifth when asked if he knew the former president personally during a separate case in 2010 and 2011 when he was sued by some of his alleged victims.
Last year, it emerged that Epstein allegedly transferred $3.5 million from his secret Swiss bank account to the Clinton Foundation around the same time as the FBI began investigating him.
One of the prosecutors involved in Epstein's ''sweetheart deal,'' Matt Menchel, contributed $1,000 to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid and $2,500 to Democratic Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who in April was tipped to be Hillary's running mate.
He also sent $25,000 to a separate Clinton charity in July 2006, reported Radar.
Beyond the powerful couple, Epstein is linked to other well-known public figures such as former Clinton Press Secretary George Stephanopoulos, Britain's Prince Andrew, TV personality Katie Couric, actor Kevin Spacey, and filmmaker Woody Allen.
READ MORE: '‹Britain's Prince Andrew accused of using 'under-age sex slave'
From Bernie Sanders Supporters, Death Threats Over Delegates - NYTimes.com
Tue, 17 May 2016 19:31
Thrown chairs. Leaked cellphone numbers. Death threats spewed across the Internet.
No, this is not the work of Donald J. Trump supporters, some of whom have harassed critics of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It was angry supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders who were directing their ire at the Nevada Democratic Party '-- and its chairwoman, Roberta Lange '-- over a state convention on Saturday that they think was emblematic of a rigged political system.
''It's been vile,'' said Ms. Lange, who riled Sanders supporters by refusing their requests for rule changes at the event in Las Vegas. ''It's been threatening messages, threatening my family, threatening my life, threatening my grandchild.''
The vicious response has come as millions of new voters, many of whom felt excluded by establishment politicians, have flocked to the insurgent campaigns of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has all but locked up the nomination, but many backers of Mr. Sanders remain enraged as his hopes of being the Democratic candidate dwindle.
Audio | Recording of a Voicemail Roberta Lange Received
Although Hillary Clinton won the Nevada caucuses in February, the Sanders campaign worked hard to win delegates at county conventions and was hopeful that it could emerge from the state with an equal number of delegates or more. But the state convention, held at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, deteriorated into chaos after nearly 60 of Mr. Sanders's potential delegates were deemed ineligible amid a dispute over the rules. The convention concluded abruptly after security staff no longer felt it could ensure the safety of the participants, many of whom were yelling and throwing things.
Though the raucous Republican nominating fight was the one that appeared to be careering toward a contested convention, the drawn-out fight on the Democratic side has emerged as an ugly intraparty feud in its own right, threatening hopes for unity ahead of the July convention in Philadelphia. Mr. Sanders faces a virtually insurmountable delegate deficit, but has pledged to carry on his campaign despite the long odds.
Mr. Sanders has promised, if he is not the nominee, to help defeat Mr. Trump, and even though he has scaled back his attacks against Mrs. Clinton he still asserts that he would be a better general election candidate. The Sanders campaign is still fighting vigorously for every delegate that remains on the table, and his supporters have shown little sign of warming to his opponent.
''What Nevada shows is the kindling is there,'' Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist, said of the energy within Mr. Sanders's base of support. ''The question is, what is he going to do with it?''
The backlash against Ms. Lange in Nevada echoes what happened in Colorado last month when supporters of Mr. Trump bombarded Steve House, the chairman of the State Republican Party, with complaints of disenfranchisement. He received thousands of calls after his cellphone number was disseminated online.
Supporters of Mr. Sanders used similar tactics to exert pressure on Ms. Lange, who has received more than 1,000 calls since Saturday night and as many as three text messages per minute. The threats, which came from men and women from across the country, were haunting and personal.
''Loved how you broke the system,'' one person wrote in a text message that said he or she knew where Ms. Lange's grandchildren went to school. ''Prepare for hell. Calls won't stop.''
Another person left a voice mail message saying he thought Ms. Lange should be ''hung in public execution'' for her actions.
''I'm scared for my family,'' Ms. Lange said. ''Scared for my kids.''
Audio | Recording of a Another Voicemail Ms. Lange Received
Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, said the Vermont senator did not condone violence of any kind. However, he said the campaign was still determining whether it would challenge the Nevada results.
''The senator believes that the Democratic Party all over the country would serve its own interests better if it were to figure out a way to welcome people who have been energized and excited by his campaign into the party,'' Mr. Briggs said. ''It would behoove the party to be more welcoming and engage those people.''
The Democratic National Committee is hoping that what happened in Las Vegas stays there and that the prospect of Mr. Trump's winning the presidency brings the party together in time for the July convention.
''We're confident that Democrats will be united and energized at our convention and throughout the general election,'' said Mark Paustenbach, a committee spokesman. ''Our candidates have each said they will work hard to make sure that Donald Trump and his dangerous and divisive policies never set foot in the Oval Office.''
Bill Clinton ditched Secret Service on multiple 'Lolita Express' flights: Report - Washington Times
Wed, 18 May 2016 12:21
An investigation into official flight records of financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's ''Lolita Express'' are once again dragging former President Bill Clinton into the national spotlight.
Flight logs obtained by Gawker in January 2015 put Mr. Clinton on the billionaire's infamous jet more than a dozen times '-- sometimes with a woman whom federal prosecutors suspect of procuring underage sex victims for Mr. Epstein. Fox News reported Friday that records show Mr. Clinton declined Secret Service protection on at least five flights.
The network's investigation reveals Mr. Clinton flew on the Boeing 727 ''Lolita Express'' 26 times, more than doubling the previously reported 11 trips.
''Bill Clinton '... associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile. Why would a former president associate with a man like that?'' said Conchita Sarnoff of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, Fox reported. Ms. Sarnoff also authored a book on Mr. Epstein titled ''TrafficKing.''
Mr. Epstein was arrested in 2005 and signed a plea agreement in 2007 with the U.S. Attorney's Office, accepting a single charge of soliciting prostitution. He agreed to a 30-month sentence, registered as a ''Tier 1'' sex offender with the U.S. Virgin Islands and paid dozens of young girls under a federal statute providing for compensation to victims of child sexual abuse.
FILE - This July 27, 2006 arrest file photo made available by ... more >A Clinton spokesperson did not return the network's emails requesting comment. Martin Weinberg, Mr. Epstein's attorney, declined multiple inquiries into the flights.
Fox News said that the U.S. Secret Service declined to answer multiple Freedom of Information Act requests on the trips.
Vermont's Burlington College, Where Jane Sanders Was President, Will Close - The Atlantic
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:59
The end of the school year doesn't just mark graduation at Burlington College, the small Vermont institution led by Jane Sanders from 2004 to 2011. The school announced on Monday that it will shut down later this month, facing insurmountable financial difficulties. The closure comes after years of difficulty for Burlington College, a small school founded in 1972 for nontraditional students.
''It is with great sense of loss to the educational community that Burlington College's progressive and unique educational model will no longer be available to students,'' the school said in a statement.
Many of the school's financial difficulties date to Sanders's tenure as president. She has been a frequent presence alongside her husband, Senator Bernie Sanders, on the presidential campaign trail. In announcing the closure, the school blamed the "crushing weight of the debt" from the purchase of a new campus in 2010, during Sanders's tenure. Burlington said its bank had pulled the school's line of credit. The college was already at risk of losing its accreditation'--which is essential for receiving federal funds and conferring legitimacy'--if it could not resolve its financial difficulties.
When Jane Sanders became Burlington College's president in 2004, she had previously served as interim president at Goddard College, her alma mater, about an hour east of Burlington. Bernie Sanders served as Burlington's mayor from 1981 to 1989. (Jane Sanders holds a a doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies from the Union Institute, a nontraditional school that critics sometimes call a diploma mill. Union made national headlines during the 2012 campaign because Marcus Bachmann, husband of then-Representative Michele Bachmann, also received his doctorate there.)
In an in-depth report on the school's struggles earlier this year, Politico's Maggie Severns laid out her approach:
In an interview with the Burlington Free Press at the time, she cited building enrollment and expanding the school's small endowment as priorities. The college adopted a plan to offer more majors and graduate-degree programs, renovate its campus and grow enrollment a couple of years later. And in 2010, Sanders and the board went further: She brokered a deal to buy a new plot of lakefront land with multiple buildings from the Roman Catholic Diocese to replace the college's cramped quarters in a building that used to house a grocery store. The college used $10 million in bonds and loans to pay for the campus, according to reports by the Burlington Free Press.
The land was 33 acres on the shores of Lake Champlain. Ironically, the diocese was selling the land at the time because it was cash-strapped. The purchase was huge'--especially for a school whose annual budget didn't crack $4 million. Jane Sanders plan was to bet big. To finance the deal, Burlington issued tax-free bonds, took a $3.5 million loan from the diocese, and received a $500,000 bridge loan from Tony Pomerleau, a wealthy local real-estate developer and close friend of the Sanderses.
But the land deal proved to be a white elephant. The school did increase its enrollment, slightly (on Monday, administrators said they had 70 students after last week's graduation, plus another 30 who had placed deposits to join the incoming class), but not enough to make up the difference. Nor did donations rise enough to remain solvent.
Sanders left her post in 2011, for reasons undisclosed. Her successor Christine Plunkett tried to bring more financial stability but failed, and in 2014, its accreditor placed it on probation. Plunkett resigned. In November 2014, interim President Mike Smith sold 25 of the original 33 acres to a local developer for $7.5 million. Of that, $4 million went to the diocese to pay for the land'--Burlington College hadn't paid for all of it yet'--and the rest went to the school's bank.
That wasn't enough, leading to today's announcement. Burlington College was always a fragile concern. Its website notes that in the early days, it ''had no financial backing, paid its bills when they came due, and paid its President when it could.'' Jane Sanders's plan to place a big bet on expansion in order to put the school on a more solid long-term footing was similar to decisions made by other college presidents, and sometimes those bets simply don't work out.
But several questions at a press conference held by the school's president and dean elicited surprising replies. Asked whether Jane Sanders was to blame for the closure, President Carol Moore and Dean Coralee Holm declined to answer, even as they acknowledged that that the college's press release, in naming the land purchase as the reason for the closure, implicitly pointed a finger in her direction. Smith and Holm also declined to comment on whether there was a federal investigation into the college, or whether the FBI or other authorities had interviewed faculty, staff, or administrators, or if they'd sent any subpoenas. Those ''no comments'' may raise eyebrows, since it's generally assumed that if the answer was no, administrators would simply have said so.
A spokesman for Bernie Sanders's campaign said the campaign would not be commenting on Burlington College's closure. Jane Sanders could not immediately be reached for comment.
There is no small irony to the fact that even as Bernie Sanders has made the crushing weight of student debt on many U.S. students a centerpiece of his campaign, the college his wife led has succumbed to its own crushing debt. Bernie Sanders has called for free tuition at public colleges and universities, which he says he would provide by increasing federal funding to cover two-thirds of the cost'--in large by through a tax on the financial sector'--while asking states to provide the final third. (Many observers have labeled that reliance on states unrealistic.) Sanders would seek to prohibit the federal government from profiting on student loans.
Burlington College, of course, is a private college, rather than a state-supported one. Politiconoted that the average annual cost of more than $25,000 is more than $10,000 higher than the average for private colleges in the United States. Even as tuition has risen across the U.S., many smaller schools have struggled to keep up financially, and some have been forced to shutter. Burlington is now the latest member of that roll.
Dying GOP Senator Apologizes to Muslims for Donald Trump - The Daily Beast
Thu, 19 May 2016 02:22
Bob Bennett spent his last days letting Muslims know how sorry he was that an Islamophobe had become his party's all-but-certain nominee.
Former GOP senator Bob Bennett lay partially paralyzed in his bed on the fourth floor of the George Washington University Hospital. He was dying.
Not 48 hours had passed since a stroke had complicated his yearlong fight against pancreatic cancer. The cancer had begun to spread again, necessitating further chemotherapy. The stroke had dealt a further blow that threatened to finish him off.
Between the hectic helter-skelter of nurses, doctors and well wishes from a long-cultivated community of friends and former aides, Bennett faced a quiet moment with his son Jim and his wife Joyce.
It was not a moment for self-pity.
Instead, with a slight slurring in his words, Bennett drew them close to express a dying wish: ''Are there any Muslims in the hospital?'' he asked.
''I'd love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologize to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump,'' Bennett told his wife and son, both of whom relayed this story to The Daily Beast.
The rise of Donald Trump had appalled the three-term Utah senator, a Republican who fell victim to the tea-party wave of the 2010 midterms. His vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, had alienated many conservative activists in his state, who chose lawyer Mike Lee as the GOP nominee for Senate instead.
But as Bennett reflected on his life and legacy in mid-April, following the stroke, he wasn't focused on the race that ended his political career. Instead, he brought up the issue of Muslims in America'--over and over again.
He mentioned it briefly in a hospital interview with the Deseret News, a Utah news outlet. ''There's a lot of Muslims here in this area. I'm glad they're here,'' the former senator told the newspaper in April, describing them as ''wonderful.''
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''In the last days of his life this was an issue that was pressing in his mind'... disgust for Donald Trump's xenophobia,'' Jim Bennett said. ''At the end of his life he was preoccupied with getting things done that he had felt was left undone.''
Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigrants from America had outraged the former senator, his wife Joyce said, triggering his instincts to do what he could on a personal level. They ultimately did not canvass the hospital, but Bennett had already made an effort in his last months of life.
As they traveled from Washington to Utah for Christmas break, Bennett approached a woman wearing a hijab in the airport.
''He would go to people with the hijab [on] and tell them he was glad they were in America, and they were welcome here,'' his wife said. ''He wanted to apologize on behalf of the Republican Party.''
''He was astonished and aghast that Donald Trump had the staying power that he had'... He had absolutely no respect for Donald Trump, and I think got angry and frustrated when it became clear that the party wasn't going to steer clear of Trumpism,'' his son relayed.
Bennett's Mormon faith also played into his beliefs on Trump and Muslims: the billionaire's proposal to ban Muslims prompted the LDS Church to issue a statement in support of religious freedom, quoting its founder saying he would ''die in defending the rights'... of any denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.''
''That was something my father felt very keenly'--recognizing the parallel between the Mormon experience and the Muslim experience. [He] wanted to see these people treated with kindness, and not ostracized,'' Jim Bennett said.
His concern for Muslims was not the only issue he raised in his last days: to his brother-in-law, he spoke urgently on plans for low-income housing in Salt Lake city; to his son Jim, he mentioned a land management plan to mitigate the effects of drought.
''His sense of humor was still there,'' his wife recalls, as the former senator lay bed-ridden, unable to swallow or stand up. At the end of his days, Bennett cried out, ''Procrustes!'''--a reference, and a joke about, the Greek mythological figure who stretched or cut off people's legs in order to force them to fit on a bed.
As this all occurred, letters flowed in from former staff and friends from a long career in politics. One former aide recalled a time where she had lied to a television producer to excuse her boss's lateness for an interview. Outed by the producer, the senator had found out about the fib.
'''I never want you to lie for me, and I'll never ask you or any of my staffers to lie for me,''' the staffer, who asked to remain anonymous, recalled Bennett saying to her. ''I realized that I was working for a man of great integrity. It was something kind of stuck with me.''
At his D.C. area funeral'--he had two, the second in Utah'--there was an outpouring of grief from both sides of the aisle. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke at the service.
''As someone who worked hard to bring both sides together to solve problems, it was only fitting that Bob Bennett brought together the Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader to deliver remarks at his memorial service,'' Tara DiJulio, a former Bennett spokesperson, told The Daily Beast. ''When there was a problem before us, he always worked hard and challenged his staff to find common ground between both parties without wavering on his core principles.''
The Tea Party wave that ousted Bennett from the Senate in 2010 was one of the first signs of popular discontent that has arguably led to the tsunami of support for Donald Trump. As that initial wave receded, it swept away many of the values that Bennett cherished: bipartisanship and concern for vulnerable refugees among them.
But even as he was passing away, Bennett struggled to press the issues'--to ensure that though his life was ending, the ideas he held dear would not go with it. He died Wednesday, May 4.
Where To Invade Next
Tue, 17 May 2016 06:48
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Migrants rape friend at Norwegian asylum center, shoot crime on ...https://www.rt.com/news/333269-migrants-rape-police-norway/Feb 22, 2016 -Migrants rape friend at Norwegian asylum center, shoot crime on video. Four migrants have been charged with rape in Norway after assaulting their 19-year-old friend, whom they knew before arriving in Europe, local media report. The video of the crime made by the assailants has become key evidence in the case.In Norway, Just One Per Cent Of Migrants Arriving At Northern Border ...www.breitbart.com/.../in-norway-just-one-per-ce...Mar 4, 2016 - In northern Norway only one percent of migrants who crossed the border from Russia have been granted asylum. Norwegian media VG reports just 67 who made the journey across Russia to the northern most border of Norway were accepted as legitimate asylum seekers by the authorities of the Scandinavian country.My AccountSearchMapsYouTubePlayNewsGmailDriveCalendarGoogle+TranslatePhotosMoreShoppingWalletFinanceDocsBooksBloggerContactsHangoutsEven more from Google
Portugal's Example: What Happened After It Decriminalized All Drugs, From Weed to Heroin | VICE News
Tue, 17 May 2016 16:15
As diplomats gather at the United Nations in New York this week to consider the future of global drug policy, one Portuguese official, Jo£o Goul£o, will likely command attention that far outstrips his country's influence in practically any other area. That's because 16 years ago, Portugal took a leap and decriminalized the possession of all drugs '-- everything from marijuana to heroin. By most measures, the move has paid off.
Today, Portuguese authorities don't arrest anyone found holding what's considered less than a 10-day supply of an illicit drug '-- a gram of heroin, ecstasy, or amphetamine, two grams of cocaine, or 25 grams of cannabis. Instead, drug offenders receive a citation and are ordered to appear before so- called "dissuasion panels" made up of legal, social, and psychological experts. Most cases are simply suspended. Individuals who repeatedly come before the panels may be prescribed treatment, ranging from motivational counseling to opiate substitution therapy.
"We had a lot of criticism at first," recalled Goul£o, a physician specializing in addiction treatment whose work led Portugal to reform its drug laws in 2000, and who is today its national drug coordinator. After decriminalizing, the first inquiries Portugal received from the International Narcotics Control Board '-- the quasi-judicial UN oversight body established by the UN drug convention system '-- were sharp and scolding.
"Now things have changed completely," he went on. "We are pointed to as an example of best practices inside the spirit of the conventions." Indeed, Werner Sipp, the new head of the board, said as much at the UN's Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna earlier this year.
'It was the combination of the law and these services that made it a success. It's very difficult to find people in Portugal who disagree with this model.'
Though often narrowly assessed in reference to its decriminalization law, Portugal's experience over the last decade and a half speaks as much to its free public health system, extensive treatment programs, and the hard to quantify trickle down effects of the legislation. In a society where drugs are less stigmatized, problem users are more likely to seek out care. Police, even if they suspect someone of using drugs, are less likely to bother them. Though at least 25 countries have introduced some form of decriminalization, Portugal's holistic model and its use of dissuasion panels sets it apart.
The rate of new HIV infections in Portugal has fallen precipitously since 2001, the year its law took effect, declining from 1,016 cases to only 56 in 2012. Overdose deaths decreased from 80 the year that decriminalization was enacted to only 16 in 2012. In the US, by comparison, more than 14,000 people died in 2014 from prescription opioid overdoses alone. Portugal's current drug-induced death rate, three per million residents, is more than five times lower than the European Union's average of 17.3, according to EU figures.
Related: Here's What to Expect at the Big Drug Meeting This Week at the UN
When Portugal decided to decriminalize in 2000, many skeptics assumed that the number of users would skyrocket. That did not happen. With some exceptions, including a marginal increase among adolescents, drug use has fallen over the past 15 years and now ebbs and flows within overall trends in Europe. Portuguese officials estimate that by the late 1990s roughly one percent of Portugal's population, around 100,000 people, were heroin users.
Today, "we estimate that we have 50,000, most of them under substitution treatment," said Goul£o before adding that he's recently seen a small uptick in use of the drug, predominantly among former addicts that got clean. This reflects Portugal's tenuous economic condition, he contends.
"People use drugs for one of two reasons '-- either to potentiate pleasures or relieve unpleasure '-- and the types of drugs and the type of people who use drugs carries a lot according to the conditions of life in the country," he remarked.
Parallel harm reduction measures, such as needle exchanges and opioid substitution therapy using drugs like methadone and buprenorphine, he said, serve as a cushion to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and a rise in overdoses even if the number of users injecting heroin happens to increase for a period of time.
"I think harm reduction is not giving up on people," said Goul£o. "I think it is respecting their timings and assuming that even if someone is still using drugs, that person deserves the investment of the state in order to have a better and longer life."
Such statements, once considered radical, are becoming more appealing to drug officials in other countries. Decriminalization and harm reduction lends greater attention to the human rights of users while allowing law enforcement resources to be spent elsewhere. And though it's a major shift, Portuguese decriminalization is not a revolution in terms of international law.
Drugs are still illegal in Portugal, drug dealers and traffickers are still sent to jail, and the country has carefully kept itself within the confines of the UN's drug convention system that inform national drug laws. For decades the three treaties were seen as prescribing jail time for users, but experts have long contended '-- and governments now increasingly recognize '-- that they give countries wide latitude in how to treat and police users.
When Portugal decriminalized, UN member states were just years removed from a 1998 special session of the General Assembly that convened under the fanciful pretext of eliminating drug use worldwide. On Tuesday, member states adopted a new outcome document that is meant to reposition drug policy. It stops short of what many advocates would have liked, excluding the actual words "harm reduction" while failing to address the death penalty for drug offenders, which member states noted repeatedly on Tuesday. The document reflects both an evolution in drug policy in many parts of the world over the last two decades, but is also a testament to the continued influence of conservative countries that still favor interdiction.
Related: How Russia Became the New Global Leader in the War on Drugs
Goul£o himself is skeptical of some aspects of marijuana reform in places like the United States, which he says can conflate medical use with recreational markets. "Sometimes I feel the promoters of this discussion are mixing things together using a lack of intellectual seriousness," he said.
Though heroin use is often highlighted to show the efficacy of Portugal's model, today most users that come before panels are in fact caught with either hashish or cannabis, said Nuno Capaz, a sociologist who serves on Lisbon's dissuasion panel. Between 80 to 85 percent of all people who report to the panels are first-time offenders and deemed to be recreational users, meaning their cases are suspended.
For those who have been repeatedly caught or are identified as addicts, the panels can order sanctions or treatment. Recreational users may face fines or be ordered to provide community service. If an addict refuses treatment, they are required to check in regularly with their "family doctor" '-- the medical professional in the person's locality that provides checkups and other services to them under Portugal's free national healthcare program. Such a close, pre-existing relationship between medical professionals and Portuguese residents is another feature of the model, and one that could be hard to replicate in a country like the US.
"If the person doesn't show up at the doctor, we ask the police to personally hand them a notification so they know they are supposed to be in a specific place," said Capaz. "The important part is to maintain the connection to the treatment system."
The role of police coordinating with health officials to ensure treatment demonstrates the altered relationship between them and drug users over the past decade and a half, and one that contrasts dramatically with how police orient themselves in countries like the US.
"This small change actually makes a huge change in terms of police officers' work," said Capaz, referring to decriminalization. "Of course every police officer knows where people hang out to smoke joints. If they wanted to they would just go there and pick up the same guy over and over. That doesn't happen."
Working in parallel to government efforts, non-profit groups play a role in providing clean needles and even distributing crack pipes as a way to entice drug users into the network of state service providers.
Ricardo Fuertes, project coordinator at GAT, an outreach organization founded by people living with HIV, works at one of the group's drop-in centers, nestled in a residential building in Lisbon. The location, he says, is a sign of the decrease in stigma towards drug use.
"It's very obvious that it's a place for people who use drugs. It's very open, but we don't have complaints," said Fuertes, referring to the drop-in center. "The general population even comes to get tests done. I think it shows this isn't a ghetto service."
But care and outreach providers and the people they help have felt the pinch of Portugal's economic troubles. In 2011, the country was bailed out by the European Union and the IMF, and later passed austerity measures that imposed considerable cuts on public services.
Related: Here's How Zero-Tolerance Drug Policies Have Damaged Public Health Worldwide
Goul£o said that drug treatment programs have been relatively insulated, but funds for job programs that could help employers pay the wages of drug users were decreased. Fuertes went a bit further, saying that some providers have had to lower costs. He explained that government funding may be allocated only for a year at a time, making long-term planning difficult.
"It's not easy for many people, and of course people who use drugs are not the exception," he said. "We see many of our clients facing very difficult situations."
Portuguese health workers refer to Greece as a cautionary tale. Wracked by a budgetary crisis and the austerity conditions of repeated bailouts, Greece experienced an explosion of HIV transmission rates after budget cuts left health programs drastically underfunded. According to EU figures, only Greece and Latvia experienced larger cuts than Portugal to its public health services between the period of 2005 to 2007 and 2009 to 2012.
And yet Portugal experienced no discernable rise in HIV transmission '-- the cushion effect in action.
"Usually the focus is on the decriminalization itself, but it worked because there were other services, and the coverage increased for needle replacement, detox, therapeutic communities, and employment options for people who use drugs," said Fuertes. "It was the combination of the law and these services that made it a success. It's very difficult to find people in Portugal who disagree with this model."
In the run-up to the UN General Assembly's special session, Goul£o cautioned that countries had to consider their own domestic environments first in learning from Portugal's experience.
"We don't assume that this is the silver bullet, but in my view it has been very important because it introduced coherence into the whole system," he said. "If our responses are based in the idea that we talking about addiction, that we are talking about chronic disease, talking about a health issue '-- to have it out of the penal system is a clear improvement. It was really important for our society because it allowed us to drop the stigma."
Follow Samuel Oakford on Twitter:@samueloakford
Topics:ungass, portugal, drugs, decriminalization, drug treatment, united nations, special session, drug policy, united states, politics, crime & drugs, jo£o goul£o
German Gov't to Employ 100,000 Immigrants for One Euro an Hour
Wed, 18 May 2016 16:45
In Germany, the latest scheme by the government of Prime Minister Angela Merkel to deal with Europe's migrant crisis envisions hiring of up to 100 thousand asylum-seekers in a new state program for the employment of immigrants.In the midst of the immigration crisis, Berlin has announced the deployment of a controversial program known as ''one-euro jobs.''
Though the plan is to employ the workers at less than subsistence wages, Germany's Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles is speaking of the new plan as a ''springboard'' for migrants to enter the labor market.
The program was forged as a means of dealing with the ''forced inactivity'' of tens of thousands of migrants living in refugee centers with nothing to do, waiting for documents that sometimes takes months and sometimes never arrive at all.
Now, for no more than twenty hours a week, illegal migrants can work at a nominal salary, which advocates say will allow them to scrape together a few euro more while providing a needed service for the community. Analysts say that the immigrants will amass a mere 84 euro per month, which more or less corresponds to the personal expenses of asylum seekers.
The unskilled labor being offered to the migrants includes serving food, repairing beds and watering plants as ''mini jobs'' that refugees can undertake in exchange for wages of a euro an hour.
Ladle and spatula in hand, Zaid, a 23-year-old Iraqi immigrant, lifts the cover off a pan filled with goulash and potato croquettes. As he spoons out serving-size portions, he tries to explain to other migrants the recipe for this ''very German'' dish, seasoned with oil and beef broth.
From 6:30-8:30pm, Zaid is employed by the city of Berlin to distribute dinners to another 152 Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan and Moldovan refugees, who reside in a Berlin gym that has been transformed into a temporary shelter.
''In the short term, this is a judicious measure since otherwise the refugees would have no chance to work,'' said Ronald Bachmann, an economist at the RWI institute based in Essen. While their requests are being processed, asylum-seekers have no right to work legally.
''Seeing refugees working also sends a political signal,'' said Bachmann, referring to the rampant criticism of migrants living at the expense of the German State.
The new plan is not without its critics, with human rights groups comparing the scheme to sweatshops whose products are regularly boycotted by first-world nations.
Conservatives have also been quick to criticize the plan, such as Stefan von Borstel of Germany's Die Welt newspaper, who claims that the plan is a ruse by the government to improve employment statistics.
In the meantime, the experiment is already active in many German cities in Germany. In Bavaria, 9,000 migrants are already at work, while in Berlin there are some 4,000 asylum-seekers employed in this type of job. In the city of Hannover, immigrants can work repairing bicycles, sorting clothes or accompanying children to the nursery, in exchange for German classes.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter
Germans Increasingly Oppose Mass Immigration
Mon, 16 May 2016 20:08
Germans are becoming increasingly sceptical of mass immigration, with large numbers refusing to approve of their country accepting refugees and a record number putting national identity before being ''global citizens''.
According to a survey by GlobeScan for BBC World Service, a record number now define their primary identity as ''German'', with only a minority approving of immigration from other countries.
When asked whether they agree with the statement ''I see myself more as a global citizen than a citizen of Germany'', only a total of 30 per cent agreed, and of those only 4 per cent strongly agreed. In contrast 57 per cent disagreed, of whom 18 per cent disagreed strongly.
GlobeScan has asked the question eight times since 2001, and this is lowest level of agreement ever recorded. In 2002, over 60 per cent said they felt more like ''global citizens'' than citizens of Germany, but that figure has since dropped by more than half.
A curiously large number of people also decline to give opinions on immigration, inter-racial marriages and accepting refugees, suggesting a trend away from supporting these things but a lingering refusal to openly oppose them.
For example, only 34 per cent of Germans approve of mixed-race marriages, with an unusually high 46 per cent refusing to give an opinion and 20 per cent disapproving. The percentage not answering the question is far higher than in any other country. The next highest, Russia, is just 15 per cent.
On the topic of immigration from other countries, German respondents were also unusually coy, with 44 per cent refusing to give an opinion. Another 36 per cent disapprove of immigration, while just 27 per cent approve of it.
Original Article
Topics: Europe, Immigration, Miscegenation, Signs of Hope
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Sociaal protest legt Frankrijk week plat | Sociaal protest | De Morgen
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:28
Grote betogingen, blokkades, stakingen... Sociaal protest in Frankrijk zal vanaf vandaag tot grote hinder leiden. Belgen die naar Frankrijk willen, vragen maar beter na in welke mate dat problemen oplevert.
Punt van discussie is voornamelijk de nieuwe arbeidswet, de 'Loi Travail', die er door de regering werd doorgedrukt. De hervorming moet het voor bedrijven makkelijker maken om mensen aan te werven of te ontslaan. Maar terwijl heel wat werkgevers de nieuwe wet steunen, zijn de vakbonden tegen.
Vorige nacht begonnen de vrachtwagenchauffeurs al te staken. Morgen komen in Parijs agenten op straat, terwijl het openbaar vervoer stilvalt en mogelijk ook het vliegverkeer hinder zal ondervinden.
Wat de precieze impact zal zijn op landgenoten die naar Frankrijk willen reizen, is niet helemaal duidelijk. Zij doen er wel goed aan zich vooraf te informeren.
Words Do Matter
Translators in Germany falsifying translations to favour Sunnis - YouTube
Wed, 18 May 2016 12:32
IDAHO | DAHOT International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:49
From the organisers: ST. PETERSBURG CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA Today, May 17, 2016, rainbow balloons were released into the air above St. Isaac's Cathedral to celebrate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in St. Petersburg, Russia. For the eighth year, ''Coming Out'' LGBT group organizes celebration of IDAHOT, and throughout these years, the situation with freedom '...
'Not about bathrooms': Critics decry North Carolina law's lesser-known elements - The Washington Post
Mon, 16 May 2016 12:40
DURHAM, N.C. '-- In this state where the modern bathroom wars began, some church and civil rights leaders have begun to spread the word that there's plenty else to worry about in the controversial new law known formally as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.
The law not only reverses a Charlotte ordinance that had extended some rights to gay and transgender people. It also prevents city and county governments from setting a minimum-wage standard for private employers and limits how people can sue for discrimination in state court. And it contains a provision allowing for remaining parts of the law to stand if others are struck down in court.
Those provisions, opponents say, are pernicious attempts to roll back rights, and they have been tucked into a bill that has a very different public face.
''This is really a devious bill that harms workers under the guise of regulating bathrooms,'' said Harold Lloyd, a professor at Wake Forest University School of Law.
A campaign is underway to explain just that to North Carolinians such as John Houston, a 70-year-old pastor from Kinston, who says he shares Gov. Pat McCrory's moral conviction that a law is needed to make people use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate.
On May 9, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced dueling lawsuits regarding HB2, a law that requires people to use public restrooms according to the sex they were assigned at birth, rather than the one they identify with. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)
Activists and groups including the state NAACP are now on a crusade to educate conservative voters such as Houston, who agree with the law because of deeply held religious beliefs or live in more-conservative parts of the state, about its additional components.
They say the totality of the law disproportionately affects African Americans, women and immigrants along with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and is reminiscent of the policies of the segregation era.
Even as the heated debate on transgender bathroom accommodations spreads across the country in response to Friday's directive from the Obama administration to all public schools, opponents of the new law are crisscrossing the state, often invoking the civil rights battles that took place here and throughout the South in the 1950s and 60s.
''This is not about bathrooms. It's about whether or not you can codify hate and discrimination into the laws of the state,'' said the Rev. William Barber II, who leads the North Carolina NAACP and is also fighting the state over its voter-identification law.
Barber and other opponents said the law, which was introduced, debated, passed and signed in a single day in March, was put forward to help McCrory (R) and Republican legislators hang onto their seats in what is bound to be a contentious November election in a state whose liberal cities and conservative countryside have turned it a solid shade of purple. McCrory is in a tight race with Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has denounced the law and said he wouldn't defend it.
''This is about November. It's about wedge issues, and it's about sexual and racial fears,'' Barber said. He said it is the latest manifestation of the ''Southern strategy'' employed by Republicans to gain political support based on fear of the other.
''It's almost sad that they're living in a historical time warp and they believe that they can run these little wedge issues and people can't see through them.''
A spokesman for McCrory did not return requests for comment, nor did the bill's sponsors. The governor took action to try to blunt the backlash, banning discrimination in state personnel decisions and calling for the legislature to enact a law reversing the provision that makes it difficult to sue for discrimination in state court.
But in places like rural Kinston, whose population is about 68 percent black, many said they agreed with the transgender bathroom part of the law for moral or religious reasons, but that they knew little about the minimum-wage and employment-discrimination provisions.
''If you're going to lose millions of dollars and affect everyone in this state, maybe it ain't right,'' Houston said. Lenoir County, where Kinston is located, gives free breakfast and lunch to all students, a program funded in large part by federal dollars.
The White House said Thursday it would not cut federal funding to North Carolina while the lawsuits are winding their way through court.
[Federal judge upholds controversial North Carolina voting law]
Barber went to western North Carolina earlier this month to talk about the issue, and he plans to have what he calls a ''Moral Monday'' protest in Raleigh this week. At least 54 people protesting the law, which is also called House Bill 2 (H.B. 2) and which Barber calls ''Hate Bill 2,'' were arrested at a sit-in at the state Capitol last month.
Barber said he tries to present the totality of the law, and people typically disagree with it once they learn more about the transgender issue and minimum-wage provisions.
At least one legislator who voted for it said he didn't realize all that the law encompassed. North Carolina state Rep. George W. Graham Jr., who represents Lenoir County and voted for the bill, told the Raleigh News and Observer that he didn't know until after the vote that the legislation dealt with issues of minimum wage and discrimination suits.
''Those are two of the major things that are antithetical to what the state's history has been about and its evolution over the last 50 years,'' said state Sen. Daniel T. Blue Jr. (D).
The campaign against H.B. 2 is similar to one that advocates waged in the wake of a battle over voting rights here after the state passed a controversial voting rights law, one of the strictest in the nation in 2013. The Justice Department and state civil rights groups sued. In April, a federal judge upheld North Carolina's law; the groups have appealed.
Barber said the law and a redrawing of the state's congressional maps led to an ''unconstitutionally constituted legislature passing unconstitutional legislation.''
U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, a North Carolina native whose father grew up in the segregated South, also used the language of the civil rights movement that Barber and others have employed when talking about H.B. 2. In a news conference Monday, she compared conflicts about bathrooms and transgender people to Jim Crow laws.
McCrory said on ''The Mark Levin Show'' on Monday that he takes issue with people comparing the bathroom law to the civil rights struggle.
''There is absolutely no relevance between the issue of civil rights for African Americans, which went through a tremendous struggle, and the issue of how do we determine the gender of a person going into our public showers or public restrooms or public locker rooms,'' McCrory said.
He said the church in which Lynch grew up supports the law; her father was the pastor at White Rock Baptist Church in Durham for years. The church said last week the pastor has not taken a public position on the law.
Lynch's lawsuit is suing over ''compliance and implementation of Part I'' of the North Carolina law, not the other sections. The Justice Department did not respond to a request seeking comment.
''Who would you be in 1963?'' Nancy ''Mama Nia'' Wilson, executive director of SpiritHouse, an arts and organizing group in Durham, said she asks people after she explains the law.
That appeal has not yet changed the minds of voters such as Carlos Parker, who was chatting with a friend at Christian Cuts barbershop in Kinston. He didn't know about the other provisions of the bill but agrees with McCrory's stance on bathrooms.
''I'm with McCrory. I hate to say that,'' said Parker, 38. ''I think McCrory is standing his ground for religious beliefs.''
You can be fined for not calling people 'ze' or 'hir,' if that's the pronoun they demand that you use - The Washington Post
Wed, 18 May 2016 12:39
That's the official legal guidance from the New York City Commission on Human Rights:
The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers[, landlords, and all businesses and professionals] to use an [employee's, tenant's, customer's, or client's] preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual's sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual's identification.
Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir. [Footnote: Ze and hir are popular gender-free pronouns preferred by some transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals.] '...
Examples of Violations
a. Intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual's preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman ''him'' or ''Mr.'' after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses '...
Covered entities may avoid violations of the NYCHRL by creating a policy of asking everyone what their preferred gender pronoun is so that no individual is singled out for such questions and by updating their systems to allow all individuals to self-identify their names and genders. They should not limit the options for identification to male and female only.
So people can basically force us '-- on pain of massive legal liability '-- to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it's a lie.
We have to use ''ze,'' a made-up word that carries an obvious political connotation (endorsement of the ''non-binary'' view of gender). We have to call people ''him'' and ''her'' even if we believe that people's genders are determined by their biological sex and not by their self-perceptions '-- perceptions that, by the way, can rapidly change, for those who are ''gender-fluid'' '-- and that using terms tied to self-perception is basically a lie. (I myself am not sure whether people who are anatomically male, for example, but perceive themselves as female should be viewed as men or women; perhaps one day I'll be persuaded that they should be viewed as women; my objection is to being forced to express that view.) We can't be required to even display a license plate that says ''Live Free or Die'' on our car, if we object to the message; that's what the court held in Wooley v. Maynard (1978). But New York is requiring people to actually say words that convey a message of approval of the view that gender is a matter of self-perception rather than anatomy, and that, as to ''ze,'' were deliberately created to convey that a message.
What's more, according to the City, ''refusal to use a transgender employee's preferred name, pronoun, or title may constitute unlawful gender-based harassment.'' The label ''harassment'' is important here because harassment law requires employers and businesses to prevent harassment by co-workers and patrons and not just by themselves or their own employees; this is particularly well established for harassment by co-workers, but it has also been accepted for harassment by fellow patrons. So an employer or business that learns that its employees or patrons are ''refus[ing] to use a transgender employee's preferred'' pronoun or title would have to threaten to fire or eject such people unless they comply with the City's demands. (The logic would also apply to landlords having to threaten to eject tenants who refuse to use co-tenants' preferred pronouns or titles, but that's less certain.)
But of course ''ze'' and ''Ms./Mrs.'' are just examples. We have to use the person's ''preferred '... pronoun and title,'' whatever those preferences might be. Some people could say they prefer ''glugga'' just as well as saying ''ze''; the whole point is that people are supposed to be free to define their own gender, and their own pronouns and titles. Seems improbable that some people would come up with new terms like that? Well, 10 or 20 years ago it would have seemed pretty improbable that today New Yorkers would be required to call some people ''ze.'' Check out this list, which already includes ''zie,'' ''sie'' (not the German version), ''ey,'' ''ve,'' ''tey,'' ''e,'' ''(f)ae,'' ''per'' and ''xe.'' Why wouldn't some creative folks decide they want to add still more?
Or what if some people insist that their title is ''Milord,'' or ''Your Holiness''? They may look like non-gender-related titles, but who's to say? What if someone decides that one of the 56 genders is indeed especially noble or holy and that those really are the preferred gender terms? Or even if ''Your Holiness'' is understood as purely religious (again, why would that be so, given that the point is that people are supposed to be free to define their own gender self-conception and the words that go with it), presumably the same logic that applies to gender-related self-chosen titles would apply to religion-related self-chosen titles. Both sex and religious discrimination are, after all, prohibited by the same laws; by the City's logic, if you call a Catholic priest ''Father,'' you'd have to use whatever other self-chosen religious titles people insist on. Nor is the mandated ''ze''-talk analogous to simple requirements that people be treated the same regardless of race or religion (requirements that may themselves be constrained by the First Amendment in some situations). The analogy would be if the government demanded that people have to be addressed using their own preferred race- or religion-linked titles '-- hypothetically, enforcing people's demands that ''you need to use the title 'Sun Person' when you refer to me, because I'm black,'' or ''you need to use the title 'rav' with me because I'm Jewish,'' or ''you need to use the title 'friend' with me because I'm a Quaker,'' or ''you need to address me as 'thee' rather than 'you' because I'm a Quaker.'' Such a requirement would be just as bad as the ''ze'' one.
And this isn't just the government as employer, requiring its employees to say things that keep government patrons happy with government services. This is the government as sovereign, threatening ''civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct'' if people don't speak the way the government tells them to speak. Nor is this likely to stay in New York City: The New York officials are arguing that this is just what the New York gender identity discrimination ban requires, and indeed it is part of the standard ideology expressed by many transgender rights activists; the same logic would be easily applicable by jurisdictions that have gender identity discrimination bans, or will have such bans; the federal government is taking the view that existing federal bans on sex discrimination also in effect ban gender identity discrimination, and the New York analysis would equally apply to that view; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has already taken the view that it is illegal under federal law to persistently call employees by pronouns that correspond to their anatomical sex but not their gender identity, though it has not yet had occasion to opine about ''ze.''
Feel uncomfortable about being forced to use terms that express social status views (''Milord'') or religious views (''Your Holiness'') that you may not endorse? Well, you should feel uncomfortable about people being forced to use ''ze,'' which expresses a view about gender that they might not endorse. And, more broadly, I think we should all feel uncomfortable about government regulators forcing people to say things that convey and support the government's ideology about gender.
Thanks to the pseudonymous Richard E. Thompson (Federalist Society Blog) for the pointer; Prof. Josh Blackman also blogged about this issue a few months ago.
Gitmo LowLands
Heerlijk helder Formule 1
Mon, 16 May 2016 19:57
Heineken zou op het punt staan om een sponsordeal te tekenen met Formule 1-organisator FOM. Het gaat dan om een overeenkomst van 130 miljoen euro of meer.
De Nederlandse bierbrouwer moet volgens de berichten al vanaf de Grand Prix in Canada op 12 juni zichtbaar zijn langs het circuit met reclame-uitingen. Ook is Heineken in gesprek met verschillende Formule 1-teams, waarvan er (C)(C)n wordt gekozen als partner voor verdere sponsoring.
Of de deal gerelateerd is aan de ontwikkelingen van Max Verstappen is momenteel nog niet te zeggen. Bij Toro Rosso was er al een biersponsor (Estrella Galicia 0.0), maar op de auto's van Red Bull Racing is op dit moment geen biermerk te vinden.
Foto: pixabay.com
Plotting Jihad in the Poconos'--Who the Hell is Fethullah Gulen?
Wed, 18 May 2016 13:08
Fethullah Gulen is a proponent of stealth jihad. In one of his sermons, the fiery imam said that in order to reach the ideal Muslim society ''every method and path is acceptable, [including] lying to people.''
In another he instructed his followers: ''You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers '... until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere.''
His instructions have been well-heeded.
Gulen's tentacles now extend into ''all the power centers'' of the U. S. government, including the Oval Office.
Dalia Mogahed, President Obama's Muslim advisor, has endorsed the Gulen movement which critics believe seeks to restore the Ottoman Empire and to establish a universal caliphate.
Recently Ms. Mogahed, the first woman to wear a veil in the White House, said: ''I think the G¼len movement offers people a model of what is possible if a dedicated group of people work together for the good of the society. I also think that it is an inspiration for other people and Muslims for what they can accomplish.''
Asked about the movement's hidden agenda, Ms. Mogahed told Sunday's Zaman, a Turkish newspaper owned by Gulen, that she usually does not attach any importance to such allegations.
Gulen and his millions of minions have helped to topple Turkey's secular government, establish thousands of madrassahs (Muslim religious schools) throughout Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and form a new country known as East Turkistan, a radical Islamic state.
His schools serve to indoctrinate students in Turkish language, culture and religion so that they may take part in the restoration of the Ottoman Empire.
Nurettin Veren, a top administrator of the Gulen schools says: ''These schools are like shop windows. Recruitment and Islamization activities are carried out through night classes.''
Rachel Sharon-Krespin, MEMRI's chief Turkey analyst, writes: ''His (Gulen's) followers target youth in the eighth through twelfth grades, mentor and indoctrinate them in the ???kevi, educate them in the Fethullah schools, and prepare them for future careers in legal, political, and educational professions in order to create the ruling classes of the future Islamist, Turkish state.''
Over 150 Gulen schools have been established throughout the United States '' '' and all receive full funding from US taxpayers.
The schools are manned, for the most part, by Turkish administrators and teachers who arrive in the US with H1B visas '' '' visas for individuals who are needed to occupy positions that cannot be filled by domestic workers. In truth, many of these imported educators teach in subject areas, such as elementary education, where unemployed and fully certified American teachers are standing in the unemployment lines.
Most of the imported Turkish educators are expected to kick-back 60% of their salaries to the Gulen movement.
The Gulen schools are so radical in their political and religious objectives that they have been outlawed in Russia and Uzbekistan . Even the Netherlands, a nation that embraces pluralism and tolerance, has moved to cut funding to the Gulen schools because of their imminent threat to the social order.
Yet the Gulen schools continue to open at the monumental rate of eight to ten a year throughout the U.S. and leading politicians '' '' both Democratic and Republicans '' '' regularly appear at Gulen gatherings to offer their endorsement of the militant imam's educational endeavors.
The new spokeswomen for the Cosmos Foundation, a non-profit Gulen enterprise that operates thirty-three charter schools in Texas, is Karen Hughes, who previously served as President George W. Bush's Under-Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy.
Ms. Hughes has declined to state how much money she is receiving for her efforts to further the Gulen schools.
The Texas Education Agency shelled out $68 million in 2010 to the Cosmos Foundation.
Few Texas tax-payers have uttered a word of protest.
Thanks, in part, to friends like Senator Bob Casey, the Gulen movement recently has opened several charter schools in Pennsylvania, including the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania in State College, the now-failing Truebright Science Academy in Philadelphia, and the Young Scholars of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh.
Paul L. WilliamsFamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Paul L. Williams is the author of Crescent Moon Rising: The Islamic Transformation of America, The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books.
Noble Partner>>: Provocative Military Exercise Near Russia's Border
Wed, 18 May 2016 18:34
Exercise Noble Partner is a reoccurring training event that takes place at Vaziani Training Area, Georgia. The exercise is the largest annual training event to bring together US and Georgian forces. It is scheduled to take place May 11 to 26.
On May 4, the US equipment arrived at the port of Poti. This is the first time ever the M1A2 Main Battle Tank has been deployed to Georgia as an illustration of US ability to project power around Russia's periphery.
The exercise includes approximately 500 Georgian, 150 United Kingdom and 650 US service members, incorporating a full range of equipment, including US M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, M119 Light Towed Howitzers and several wheeled support vehicles. Participating US forces are elements of NATO Response Force.
Alongside US forces, Georgian servicemen will operate their T-72 Main Battle Tanks, BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicles and several wheeled-support vehicles.
The exercise emphasizes the ability of NATO to demonstrate power projection. It is also a critical part of Georgia's training for its contribution of a light infantry company to the NATO Response Force (NRF). Georgia is not a member of NATO. It voluntarily contributes to the NRF. The US acts as the sponsor of Georgia's participation in the force.
This is a confirmation of the relationship between the US and Georgian Armed Forces and the strategic relationship between our countries. Euro-Atlantic cooperation between Georgia and the United States today is stronger than it has even been>>, said Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, US Commanding General, Army Europe.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, Georgian President and the High Commander of the Georgian Armed Forces, chimed in, saying These exercises will advance the Georgian armed forces and the Georgian people's purpose '' to integrate with NATO>>.
Russia has strongly condemned the provocative military activities near its border. We regard this ongoing exploration>> of Georgia's territory by NATO forces as a provocative step aimed at escalating the military and political situation in the South Caucasus. To a large extent, this is encouraged by Washington's and its allies' open connivance at Tbilisi's revanchist ambitions>>, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry mentions the statement of David Usupashvili, Georgian parliament speaker. On the very same day the US equipment arrived in Poti, he said that while part of the country's territory is occupied, the mission of the Georgian armed forces remains unfulfilled>>. The speaker noted that the key to fulfilling the mission is not only the heroism of Georgian soldiers and officers>> but also assistance from NATO member-states.
The exercise is not an isolated event but a part of a broader picture.
Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania may expand NATO's maritime presence in the Black Sea. NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow confirmed this information speaking at a Conference on Black Sea Security, Sofia, Bulgaria in late April. We need to consider a more persistent NATO military presence in the region, with a particular focus on our maritime capabilities>>, he said. Ukraine and Georgia may be invited to join the NATO standing force.
It makes remember the US Navy recruiting poster with a large-deck flattop and the caption: 90,000 Tons of Diplomacy>>. Romania has initiated a proposal to create a permanent NATO naval task force in the Black Sea and Bucharest intends to discuss its project during the July summit of the Alliance in Warsaw. Ankara has demonstrated an interest in enhancing maritime cooperation with its Black Sea neighbors. In early April, Turkish vessels visited Batumi (Georgia), Varna (Bulgaria), Constanta (Romania) and Odessa (Ukraine), and conducted exercises with the ships of the host nations as part of annual Deniz Yildizi (Sea Star) exercise.
Meanwhile, the US Marine Corps Black Sea Rotational Force maintains its presence close to Constanta in Romania (Mihail Kogălniceanu airbase). This country provides the US with a naval support facility in Deveselu. In April, the United State sent F-22 Raptor fighters to Romania.
The F-22s are almost impossible to detect on a radar and so advanced that the US Congress has banned Lockheed Martin from selling them abroad. Formally, it was part of the Rapid Response program showcasing how effectively and rapidly US warplanes and support can be moved to a forward operating base located near Russia.
The basing of the AEGIS Ashore missile defence system in Romania is also seen as a provocative step by Moscow. The system's Mk-41 launcher is capable of firing long-range cruise surface-to-surface missiles to strike targets deep inside Russia's territory.
No doubt, all the provocative military activities mentioned above will make Russia take appropriate steps to deter the threat and introduce changes into its operational planning.
Some efforts to revive the Russia-NATO dialogue have been undertaken recently. In late April, the Russia-NATO Council held its first in two years meeting to address the problems of bilateral relationship. Russia and the United States launched negotiations on cybersecurity. The cooperation between Russia and the US in Syria has been producing positive results. All in all, it has offered a gleam of hope for European security. Conducting provocative military activities in the proximity to Russian borders is the way to dash the hopes. Exercise Noble Partner aggravates tensions, which are already running high on the continent. The hard efforts to restart the crucially important contacts may be in vain.
Defense and diplomatic analyst
US, other powers want to arm Libyan government
Wed, 18 May 2016 18:38
VIENNA (AP) '-- In a move fraught with risk, the United States and other world powers said Monday they would supply Libya's internationally recognized government with weapons to counter the Islamic State and other militant groups gaining footholds in the chaos-wracked country's lawless regions.
Aiming at once to shore up the fragile government, and prevent Islamic State fighters and rival militias from further gains, the U.S., the four other permanent U.N. Security Council members and more than 15 other nations said they would approve exemptions to a United Nations arms embargo to allow military sales and aid to Libya's so-called "Government of National Accord."
In a joint communique, the nations said that while the broader embargo will remain in place, they are "ready to respond to the Libyan government's requests for training and equipping" government forces.
"We will fully support these efforts while continuing to reinforce the UN arms embargo," the communique said.
With support from all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the plan is unlikely to face significant opposition from any quarter.
The communique was issued at the end of the talks that gathered U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and top officials from more than 20 other nations to discuss ways to strengthen Libya's fledgling government. The aim is to give the internationally recognized administration more muscle in fighting Islamic State radicals and end its rivalry with a group to the east claiming legitimacy.
The step will boost the government's efforts to consolidate power and regain control over Libyan state institutions like the central bank and national oil company. However, it also comes with risks, not least of which is that the arms may be captured or otherwise taken by the Islamic State or other groups.
Kerry called the plan "a delicate balance."
"But we are all of us here today supportive of the fact that if you have a legitimate government and that legitimate government is fighting terrorism, that legitimate government should not be victimized by (the embargo)," he told reporters.
Libyan Premier Fayez al-Sarraj said his government would soon submit a weapons wish list to the Security Council for approval.
"We have a major challenge ahead of us," in fighting extremists, he said. "We urge the international community to assist us."
Before the meeting, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier outlined the high stakes at hand.
"The key question is whether Libya remains a place where terrorism, criminal human smuggling and instability continue to expand, or if we are able, together with the government of national unity to recover stability," he told reporters.
The challenges are daunting.
Libya descended into chaos after the toppling and death of Moammar Gaddafi five years ago and soon turned into a battleground of rival militias battling for powers. More recently, the power vacuum has allowed Islamic State radicals to expand their presence, giving them a potential base in a country separated from Europe only by a relatively small stretch of the Mediterranean Sea.
Also worrying for Europe is the potential threat of a mass influx of refugees amassing in Libya, now that the earlier route from Turkey into Greece has been essentially shut down. British Foreign Secretary David Hammond said his government had received a request from the Libyan government to bolster its Coast Guard '-- a project "which will address Libyan concerns about smuggling and insecurity on their border but will also address European concerns about illegal migration."
In Libya, meanwhile, the U.N.-established presidency council on Monday effectively gave the go-ahead for 18 government ministers to start work, even though they have not received backing from the parliament.
The council was created under a U.N.-brokered unity deal struck in December to reconcile Libya's many political divisions. It won the support of a former powerbase in the country's capital, Tripoli, but failed to secure a vote of confidence by the country's internationally recognized parliament, based in Tobruk, a city in eastern Libya.
The U.N. deal also created the internationally recognized government, through a de facto Cabinet to administer the country under Prime Minister-designate Fayez Serraj and the 18 ministers will answer to him.
Divisions in theTobruk parliament between boycotters and supporters of the new government have prevented the house from reaching a quorum to endorse the council.
Obama Nation
Wendy's Turns to Self-Serve Kiosks to Offset Higher Labor Costs - Eater
Mon, 16 May 2016 21:54
In a move meant to offset higher minimum wages taking effect in states across the country, fast-food giant Wendy's will be offering self-serve kiosks to many of its franchisees later this year.
Though some reports suggested the kiosks would be made available at all Wendy's by the end of 2016, spokesperson Bob Bertini says it will be up to individual franchisees whether or not they install the kiosks.
Below, the statement from Wendy's in full:
The majority of Wendy's restaurants are franchise-operated. We are in pilot now with self-service order kiosks, which we expect to make available for installation by our franchisees later in 2016. Whether they choose to do so will be up to them. Earlier news reports were not quite accurate. We did not say kiosks would be available at every restaurant by end of year. We do continue to invest in technology to help mitigate the inflation we are seeing on the wage front.
In an earnings call on Wednesday, company president Todd Penegor said that "managing labor pressure" will be critical "to make sure that we provide a new QSR [quick-service restaurant] experience but at traditional QSR prices."
Wendy's has placed an increasing emphasis on tech as wages have begun rising in regions across the country. Last year, the company opened a technology and innovation center called 90° Labs in Ohio, which it said would be used to "develop differentiating, interactive digital experiences for our customers, employees and franchise system."
Other restaurants are making similar moves to combat rising wages. McDonald's is testing self-serve kiosks in some of its stores, which CEO Steve Easterbrook called "progress" in the company's most recent earnings call. Some have speculated that the greater use of tablets '-- and even robots '-- could also be on the horizon. Other restaurants, like Shake Shack, are choosing instead to offset higher-wages the old-fashioned way: by raising prices.
Eater Video: The Decline of An Empire
FACT SHEET: Growing Middle Class Paychecks and Helping Working Families Get Ahead By Expanding Overtime Pay | whitehouse.gov
Wed, 18 May 2016 16:44
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 17, 2016
We're making more workers eligible for the overtime that you've earned. And it's one of the single most important steps we can take to help grow middle-class wages.
President Barack Obama, La Crosse, WI, July 2, 2015
Every week, millions of Americans work more than 40 hours a week but do not receive the overtime pay they have earned. Tomorrow, the Department of Labor will be finalizing a rule to fix that by updating overtime protections for workers. In total, the new rule is expected to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million more Americans who are not currently eligible under federal law, and it is expected to boost wages for workers by $12 billion over the next 10 years.
For much of the 20th century, the 40-hour workweek was a pillar of economic security for working families. The rules of the road were simple: if you were called on to put in extra work, your employer had to pay you extra regardless of whether you received an hourly wage or a salary. This left most Americans with more money in their pockets, more time to balance obligations at home and at work, and the opportunity to get ahead with more time outside of work for school or additional training.
Yet over the past 40 years, overtime protections eroded as a result of inflation and lobbyists' efforts to weaken them. The share of full-time workers qualifying for overtime based on their salaries has plummeted from 62 percent in 1975 to 7 percent today'--even though the protections are more important than ever. Parents now have more demands on their time, with all parents working in more than six out of ten households with children. And despite a recent acceleration in wage growth and businesses adding 14.6 million jobs over a record 74 straight months of job growth, most Americans have seen relatively stagnant wages for the past few decades.
That's why tomorrow, the Department of Labor is finalizing a rule to update overtime protections so they can help millions more Americans. The final rule, which takes effect on December 1, 2016, doubles the salary threshold'--from $23,660 to $47,476 per year'--under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime (hourly workers are generally guaranteed overtime pay regardless of their earnings level). Additionally, this new level will be automatically updated every three years to ensure that workers continue to earn the pay they deserve.
Increasing overtime protections is another step in the President's effort to grow and strengthen the middle class by raising Americans' wages. This extra income will not only mean a better life for American families impacted by overtime protections, but will boost our economy across the board as these families spend their hard-earned wages.
In March 2014, President Obama signed a memorandum directing the Department of Labor to modernize our nation's overtime rules, which have been comprehensively updated only once since the 1970s.
Overtime protections were first put into place by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and established the general standard that workers be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week. In general, all hourly employees are guaranteed overtime, and salaried employees are presumed to have the same guarantee unless they both: (1) make more than a salary threshold set by the Department of Labor, and (2) pass a test demonstrating that they primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. A limited number of occupations are not eligible for overtime pay (including teachers, doctors, and lawyers) or are subject to special provisions.
Tomorrow's rule takes into account input from 270,000 public comments and extensive outreach meetings with employers, business associations, small businesses, workers, worker advocates, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and state and local government representatives. It will:
Raise the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 a year, or from $455 to $913 a week. This doubles the current salary threshold while being responsive to public comments regarding regional variations in income by setting the salary threshold at the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest income Census region (currently the South). Tying the salary threshold to the lowest-wage region of the country has strong historical precedent in previous rulemakings. Raise Americans' wages by an estimated $12 billion over the next 10 years, with an average increase of $1.2 billion annually. At the same time, employers retain considerable flexibility in how they comply with the new rule, such as increasing salaries to at least the new threshold to keep positions that are primarily executive, administrative, or professional exempt from overtime pay; paying overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week; or reducing overtime hours. Extend overtime protections to 4.2 million additional workers who are not currently eligible for overtime under federal law. Others who may already be eligible for overtime will also benefit as the higher salary threshold will serve as a useful bright line test for workers'--and their employers'--to understand whether they are eligible for overtime. The number of workers in each state who will benefit from the rule can be found HERE. Update the salary threshold every three years. The updates will ensure the threshold is maintained at the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest income region of the country. Based on projections of wage growth, the threshold is expected to rise to more than $51,000 with the first update on January 1, 2020. Raise the ''highly compensated employee'' threshold '' from $100,000 to $134,004 '' above which only a minimal showing is needed to demonstrate an employee is not eligible for overtime. This upper threshold was designed to ease the burden on employers in identifying overtime eligible employees since it is more likely that workers earning above this high salary level perform the types of job duties that would exempt them from overtime requirements. Respond to employers' concerns by making no changes to the ''duties test'' and allowing bonuses and incentive payments to count toward up to 10 percent of the new salary level. Workers earning more than the salary threshold are still subject to the duties test to determine eligibility for overtime. In their comments to the proposed rule, employers argued that changing the duties test would be difficult and costly to implement, and the final rule leaves the existing duties test in place. Additionally, for the first time, employers will be able to count bonuses and commissions toward as much as 10 percent of the salary threshold.The Department of Labor will also release three technical guidance documents, designed to help private employers, non-profit employers, and institutions of higher education come into compliance with the new rule.
UW Considers Welcoming Homeless Camp | KUOW News and Information
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:23
A homeless camp could be coming to University of Washington for 90 days during the winter of 2017. School officials will consider letting the group called SHARE set up a tent city on campus.
The idea is old news to Seattle Pacific University and Seattle University, which have already hosted SHARE camps in recent years.
Peter Choi is a junior from South Korea, studying at SPU. He said he was nervous to have homeless people on campus, but that the experience completely changed his outlook.
"It really helped me to understand the emergency of homelessness in Seattle, so that was really good for me," he said. "Actually, I changed my minor to sociology to learn more about homelessness in Seattle, so that was a huge influence."
UW officials said they were inspired to consider a tent city after learning homelessness is on the rise in King County.
SHARE has been struggling with finances for its indoor shelters. If approved, the 100-person camp would be set up in a campus parking lot during winter quarter. No tuition or taxpayer monies would go toward the encampment. Rather, the university would raise private funds to cover costs, according to the website.
For now, the university is gathering public input and will hold open houses on the idea this Monday and Tuesday.
The meeting times are:
Monday, April 11, 6:30 '' 8:30 p.m. University Congregational, 4515 16th Ave N.E., Seattle
Tuesday, April 12, 12 '' 2 p.m. Room 250, the HUB, University of Washington campus
IDAHO | DAHOT International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:49
From the organisers: ST. PETERSBURG CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA Today, May 17, 2016, rainbow balloons were released into the air above St. Isaac's Cathedral to celebrate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in St. Petersburg, Russia. For the eighth year, ''Coming Out'' LGBT group organizes celebration of IDAHOT, and throughout these years, the situation with freedom '...
Shut Up Slave!
FBI calls proposal to exempt its biometric database from privacy laws a formality | The Daily Dot
Wed, 18 May 2016 19:27
The FBI doesn't want Americans knowing if their biometric data is stored in its Next Generation Identification system, replete with finger and palm prints, iris and facial scans. And despite concerns from privacy and civil liberties groups that the Bureau is collecting this information through unsavory means, it can keep these records secret.
On May 5, the Justice Department submitted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to the federal register, publicly exempting the Federal Bureau of Investigation's NGI system from several provisions of the Privacy Act, which requires federal agencies to share a subject's files so that the information can be verified or corrected. According to the submission, the FBI seeks exemption because disclosing that the information exists could interfere with the Bureau's ability to ''detect, deter, and prosecute crimes.''
Why then, nearly two years after the current version of NGI was implemented, has the Justice Department now made this submission to the federal register?
''It's possible that someone woke up and realized that they needed to do this in order to bring their actions that they were already carrying out into conformity with the law,'' says Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
''It is a remarkable collection of data on Americans, and that's potentially a lot of power to concentrate into one place.''
But almost a year ago, William McKinsey, the FBI section chief in charge of Next Generation Identification, told me that ''we absolutely comply with the privacy act, down to the letter.''
So, what gives?
According to Christopher Allen, an FBI spokesman, the Bureau's 'proposal' was merely a formality, as the Privacy Act already contains exemptions for intelligence and law enforcement agencies' records systems. But if an agency intends to apply a rule, Allen explains, it is required to state so on the record. ''The exemptions taken for NGI are largely the same as those taken for '... most FBI systems of record,'' Allen adds, though he declined to comment on the timing of the latest submission.
Trying to read the Privacy Act, particularly the exceptions, is akin to trying to decipher the Rosetta Stone. The circular contradictions and double negatives are enough to make one dizzy. But regardless of whether the FBI is correct and it is exempt from Privacy Act's provisions, its interpretation of how it is bound by the federal law is likely to go into effect. The reason: The proposal is open to public comment for about 30 days following its submission, after which the DOJ will submit its final rule on its own proposal. Or, as Jay Stanley of the ACLU put it, ''and then it does whatever it wants.''
To some, the idea of law enforcement having their biometric data in an impenetrable database may cause little concern. ''I have nothing to hide,'' is oft the argument. But inaccurate federal records have the power to negatively affect lives, says Stanley, such as when the FBI's National Crime Information Center falsely identified one Maryland woman as ''unsuitable'' for a low-level security clearance, costing her her job. ''It is a remarkable collection of data on Americans, and that's potentially a lot of power to concentrate into one place,'' Stanley says. ''There are always questions about accuracy, which are now even sharper.''
This saga began nearly a decade ago when the FBI struck a $1 billion contract with Lockheed Martin, the mammoth security and aerospace corporation. Lockheed won the bid to overhaul the Bureau's seemingly antiquated Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and overlay it with the biometrics carnival known as NGI. The upgrades were done in increments; Lockheed replaced the hardware in 2010 and revamped the fingerprint algorithm the following year. But in 2014, the FBI announced that the final component was complete: its facial recognition system.
''One of our biggest concerns about NGI has been the fact that it will include non-criminal as well as criminal face images,'' Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), wrote in 2014, ''and you could be implicated as a criminal suspect.''
When presented with Lynch's concern nearly a year ago, Stephen Morris, Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services division (CJIS), insisted that ''the face pictures we maintain in NGI are mugshot photographs '... they come from time of arrest.''
But in another document (the System of Records Notice) published concurrently with the 'proposal' on May 5, the Justice Department writes that the NGI system covers, ''Individuals who have provided biometrics (e.g. palm prints, facial images)'' for purposes including, ''employment, licensing, military service, or volunteer service'' and ''immigration benefits, alien registration and naturalization, or other governmental benefits.''
Having criminal and noncriminal facial images floating around in the same system is troubling, according to the EFF, especially when one considers the quality of the images being fed into NGI and the system's accuracy promises.
NGI is not designed to make a single positive match when biometric data is inputted to identify its human source. As Ibers of Lockheed told me last year, when it ran NGI side-by-side with its legacy system for five days, ''NGI identified 910 additional matches that the [old] system did not identify.'' According to documents obtained by the EFF, the FBI only ensures that ''the candidate will be returned in the top 50 candidates'' 85 percent of the time ''when the true candidate exists in the gallery.''
As many outlets have noted, this accuracy rate pales in comparison to Facebook's DeepFace system, which boasts a 97 percent positive match score. ''The nation's most powerful law enforcement agency is getting outgunned by a social network,'' the Verge wrote. Last summer, Morris of the FBI offered the following response:
''Our ability to use facial recognition technology is strictly monitored and regulated but '... when you talk about commercial industry folks, they are governed by one thing, and that's their bottom line.
''Just because it works,'' he added, ''doesn't mean we can use it.''
And just because low resolution images ''work'' in NGI, EFF suggests, doesn't mean they should be used.
In setting up NGI, the FBI partnered with many state DMVs, using license headshots to put the new facial recognition system to the test. (Yes, there's a law enforcement exemption in the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, too). When accessing Oregon's facial images for quality purposes, ''examiners reviewed 14,408 [images] '... and found significant problems with image resolution, lighting, background and interference,'' EFF writes. ''Examiners also found that the median resolution of images was 'well-below' the recommended resolution of .75 megapixels (in comparison, newer iPhone cameras are capable of 8 megapixel resolution).''
Having criminal and noncriminal facial images floating around in the same system is troubling, according to the EFF.
The imprecision could lead to false charges, the rate of which may only increase as the database grows. Morris of the FBI said last summer ''we have about 24 million images in our inter-state photo file in NGI.'' This year, according to Stephen Fischer Jr., chief of multimedia productions for the FBI's CJIS, the number has grown to 26 million.
''With great power comes great need for checks and balances,'' says Stanley of the ACLU. ''And what we are seeing here, instead of great checks and balances being built commensurate with the power of this database, we're seeing the FBI seeking to wriggle out of such checks and balances.''
But the FBI says it is doing no such thing. Last year, for instance, Morris of the FBI said that NGI was built for scalability purposes, meaning a new, measurable biometric could be added at any time. ''Let's just say three, four, five years down the road there is a new biometric modality,'' he said, ''whether that is DNA, iris [scans] or voice or anything like that,'' the FBI would have to go through the same privacy considerations that led it to be able to use facial recognition in NGI, for instance.
And in regard to the FBI's latest proposal, Allen of the FBI adds that the the Bureau may choose to waive its exemptions in order to disclose information'--that is, as long as it would ''not compromise law enforcement or national security efforts.''
London's Royal College of Midwives executive Cathy Warwick supports new abortion time limit | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 19 May 2016 00:40
Britain's biggest maternity union has joined forces with abortion providers and radical feminists in an 'extreme' campaign to abolish the legal limits on abortion.
The Royal College of Midwives, which represents nearly 30,000 midwives and health workers, is calling for women to be allowed to terminate an unborn child at any stage of pregnancy '' and face no criminal sanctions.
Abolishing abortion law would do away with the current time limit of 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which a woman can only have a termination for medical reasons.
The campaign comes after a 24-year-old woman was recently jailed for deliberately inducing a miscarriage when she was eight months pregnant.
Cathy Warwick, who is the The Royal College of Midwives Chief Executive and General Secretary
But critics fear such a radical change in the law will lead to healthy foetuses being aborted late in pregnancy for reasons including being the 'wrong' sex or simply for the convenience of the mother.
The RCM's new policy was formally announced in a new 'position statement' published last week, which has already sparked a rebellion among the union's members.
The continued criminalisation of abortion in the UK may drive women to access abortion services which are neither safe nor legal, and which may prove harmful or even fatal. Accordingly the RCM supports the campaign to remove abortion from criminal law
RCM Abortion Position Statement published last week
Around 200 midwives and maternity workers signed a letter to the union's board condemning the 'utterly unacceptable' move, on which they say members were not consulted.
'For the organisation that represents us to support the radical position that all protections for unborn children should be removed right through to birth, and without any consultation of us members, we find utterly unacceptable,' the letter states.
'We, the undersigned, therefore wish to state that the RCM does not speak in our name.'
Signatory Michelle Viney, a midwife of 15 years' standing, said: 'Why could the RCM think it could do this without asking any of their members? I find it so shocking.
'I financially support it, but I wouldn't want to be paying a fee towards an organisation which is going to be campaigning for something which, morally, I 100 per cent disagree with.'
The Mail on Sunday can also reveal astonishing links between the head of the RCM and Britain's biggest abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which is driving the 'We Trust Women' campaign.
BPAS chief executive Ann Furedi (pictured), said abortion should be accepted as a form of family planning. She is married to sociology professor Frank Furedi, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party
BPAS runs a nationwide chain of abortion clinics and receives £25 million of public money to carry out more than 63,000 terminations a year on behalf of the NHS.
But Cathy Warwick, the £155,000-a-year Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCM, has been a trustee of BPAS for at least five years, and in 2014 became Chairman of the abortion provider, with ultimate responsibility for the charity's strategy and direction.
Her BPAS position '' which is unpaid '' is not mentioned in her RCM biography.
Since Professor Warwick became Chair of Trustees, BPAS has taken an increasingly political direction with a key objective being to 'expand our advocacy for the decriminalisation and destigmatisation of abortion throughout the UK', corporate papers reveal.
Left, The RCM Abortion Position Statement and right, The Royal College of Midwives badge. The college was established in 1881 with the Latin motto Vita Donum Dei, meaning 'Life is the gift of God'
In February, as BPAS launched its 'We Trust Women' campaign to 'decriminalise' abortion, Prof Warwick signalled the union supported the campaign '' meaning the professional body was ranked alongside feminist groups such as The Fawcett Society, the National Union of Students' Women's Campaign and Southall Black Sisters.
Last Friday, the position was confirmed in its statement, which reads: 'The continued criminalisation of abortion in the UK may drive women to access abortion services which are neither safe nor legal, and which may prove harmful or even fatal.
'Accordingly, the RCM supports the campaign to remove abortion from criminal law.'
If these aims were ever implemented, it would mean the introduction of abortion up to birth for any reason. We object to this new extreme position taken by the College. It is out of keeping with what we take to be the ethic of our profession
Letter to RCM chief signed by 200 midwives and maternity workers
The document, which emphasises the rights of women, makes no reference to the moral rights of the unborn child.
This is despite recent calls to lower the legal limit for abortions.
Survival rates for premature babies have improved massively in recent years and now 80 per cent born at 25 weeks survive.
Last night, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Alton of Liverpool said the RCM's support was 'shocking'.
He added that he found it 'extraordinary' that midwives 'who have a high calling '' bringing babies into the world' were 'being frogmarched into carrying out terminations'.
Citing the cases of two Christian midwives in Scotland who resigned after refusing to care for women who had undergone abortions, he added: 'It is bad enough for people to lose their jobs and to have their consciences trampled upon.
'But in addition, that the Royal College which represents them '' without any consultation with its membership '' is campaigning for a more draconian abortion law, will shock any fair-minded person.
'Next year there will be eight million abortions since it was legalised in Britain, and it is not the job of midwives to add to that number.'
The British Pregnancy Advice Service 'We Trust Women' campaign document (pictured) states: 'The abortion time limit would be removed from criminal law. There is no doubt that abortions post viability raise particular moral concerns for many...but there is no evidence that [it] leads to an increase in later terminations'
BPAS is led by Ann Furedi, its £145,000-a-year Chief Executive, who is a former Cosmopolitan journalist turned advocate of abortion as a method of birth control.
In 2000 Ms Furedi said: 'It may be time to understand that, for women, abortion is an essential method of family planning and accept it as such.'
Most abortions carried out in Britain today are authorised under the 1967 Abortion Act on the grounds that continuing with the pregnancy would jeopardise a woman's mental health. Such abortions are allowed up until 24 weeks' gestation.
Only a tiny proportion of abortions take place at 24 weeks or later: there were 211 such terminations in 2014
After that, they are only legal on 'medical' grounds '' if continuing with the pregnancy would endanger the life of the woman, or the unborn child has severe health problems.
Consequently only a tiny proportion of abortions take place at 24 weeks or later: there were 211 such terminations in 2014.
The We Trust Women campaign explicitly states that 'the abortion time limit would be removed from criminal law,' if it succeeded.
It claims there is 'no evidence that removing criminal sanctions leads to an increase in later terminations'.
Canada and parts of Australia have already 'decriminalised' abortion altogether, it adds.
Concerned midwives and 'pro-life' campaigners dispute this, saying there is evidence of increased late-term abortions in the Australian state of Victoria after its Abortion Law Reform of 2008.
Sally Carson, a trained midwife from Chester, said: 'Midwives are for delivering live babies wherever possible and trying to preserve the lives of those born prematurely. These babies are not tumours that they can just remove.'
Tory MP Fiona Bruce, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, said: 'To propose abortion up to birth for any reason at all is, I believe, completely out of step both with the society and many of society's representatives in Parliament. We need to stand against this.'
A well-placed source said last night the Government had 'no plans' to amend the 24-limit or weaken abortion laws.
In a study of 1,787 adults between 19 and 32, new study finds a significant relationship between depression and social media usage. Specifically, the more social media someone uses the more likely it is that they suffer from depression even after controll
Thu, 19 May 2016 02:22
Importantly, because this is descriptive data (describing the world as it is instead of manipulating variables) it is impossible to determine the direction of this effect. It is possible that (a) using social media causes depression, (b) having depression causes people to use social media more, (c) both depression and social media use are caused by other, unmeasured variables or (d) some combination of a, b and c.
While it's unsatisfying to not be able to make bold claims about causal mechanisms, this sort of descriptive research is an important first step in discussing complex phenomena.
Trains Good, Planes Bad
Mid-air emergencies over France for Germanwings and Ryanair flights | AdelaideNow
Tue, 17 May 2016 19:10
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Mid-air emergencies for two flights over France. Picture: Wikimedia.TWO flights have declared on-board emergencies in the air above France.
A Ryanair flight from Liverpool to Spain and a Germanwings flight from Dusseldorf to Faro have both been redirected, reported The Sun.
Both planes landed at Bordeaux airport after declaring medical emergencies on board the aircraft.
Ryanair flight FR9886 issued an in-flight 7700 squawk alert, the code given to an in-air emergency.
Germanwings plane 4U9642 issued a similar alert just minutes later.
Both planes were redirected after passengers fell ill on board the flight.
A Ryanair spokesman said: ''This flight from Liverpool to Alicante diverted to Bordeaux after a customer became ill on board. The crew called ahead to request medical assistance, the aircraft landed normally and the customer disembarked and was met by medics for further treatment.
''The aircraft will depart to Alicante shortly and Ryanair apologised to customers for the short delay to their flight.''
The Germanwings flight was also redirected after a male passenger aged between 60 and 70 fell ill with heart problems.
Originally published as Mid-air emergencies over France
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Mid-air emergencies for two flights over France. Picture: Wikimedia.
TWO flights have declared on-board emergencies in the air above France.
A Ryanair flight from Liverpool to Spain and a Germanwings flight from Dusseldorf to Faro have both been redirected, reported The Sun.
Both planes landed at Bordeaux airport after declaring medical emergencies on board the aircraft.
Ryanair flight FR9886 issued an in-flight 7700 squawk alert, the code given to an in-air emergency.
Germanwings plane 4U9642 issued a similar alert just minutes later.
Both planes were redirected after passengers fell ill on board the flight.
A Ryanair spokesman said: ''This flight from Liverpool to Alicante diverted to Bordeaux after a customer became ill on board. The crew called ahead to request medical assistance, the aircraft landed normally and the customer disembarked and was met by medics for further treatment.
''The aircraft will depart to Alicante shortly and Ryanair apologised to customers for the short delay to their flight.''
The Germanwings flight was also redirected after a male passenger aged between 60 and 70 fell ill with heart problems.
Originally published as Mid-air emergencies over France
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Planes divertedMid-air emergencies over FranceA RYANAIR flight and a Germanwings plane have been diverted to a French airport after on-board medical emergencies.
Paradise turns uglyFrom beachside paradise to hell on earthIT WAS once an iconic destination for glamorous beachside holidays. Not anymore. Now it's overrun by gangs and violence.
CarnivalCCTV shows woman falling off shipA SEARCH is underway for a passenger seen in surveillance footage climbing up a deck railing before plunging backwards into the Gulf of Mexico.
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Ministry of Truth
Voice of America to target Americans despite ban on funding domestic news distribution, critics say - Smith Mundt CONFRONT PROPAGANDA
Wed, 18 May 2016 15:50
While ''Information intended for foreign audiences'' (such as Voice of America '' VOA programs) ''may, upon request and reimbursement of the reasonable costs incurred in fulfilling such a request, be made available, in the United States,'' Section 1078 of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 (U.S. Public Law 112-239) also says that ''No funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States.''
By U.S. law, knows as the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and the Department of State are not authorized to use taxpayers' money to influence public opinion in the United States or to otherwise propagandize to Americans. It appears, however, that the Voice of America (VOA) is now spending public money to help distribute its programs specifically to American citizens and U.S. residents and to promote such domestic distribution of VOA programming.
A press release, issued by the Voice of America on May 30, 2013, strongly suggests that VOA executives have spent U.S. taxpayers' money to specifically arrange for domestic distribution of VOA programs intended for foreign audiences. They definitely appear to have used U.S. taxpayers' money to promote U.S. domestic distribution and domestic reception of VOA programs despite a prohibition on using appropriated funds ''to influence public opinion in the United States.''
U.S. government officials and employees, whose salaries are paid by U.S. taxpayers, appear to have been definitely actively involved in making arrangements with a private firm for domestic distribution of VOA programs. Targeting American citizens with VOA programs designed for foreign audiences is still against the law if appropriated funds are used. Any BBG payments using appropriated funds to any organization to make VOA programs available specifically in the United States would be illegal, while such payments to make VOA programs available outside of the United States are legal. They are concerned that U.S. government officials may be wasting taxpayers' money for purposes not authorized by Congress.
The key issue is whether U.S. taxpayers' money is being spent by Voice of America executives or other Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) employees to actively target Americans for reception of VOA programs. The question to be asked of VOA executives is who paid for setting up domestic U.S. phone numbers to access VOA programs and whether any appropriated U.S. funds were used to make these arrangements.
Critics have pointed out that the U.S. law permits VOA and other BBG employees to make VOA programs available for U.S. domestic distribution upon request, but if these government officials are also making active efforts to arrange for and promote U.S. domestic distribution of VOA programs, they may be violating at least the spirit of the U.S. law, these critics say.
''We are delighted that for the first time in its 72 year history VOA broadcasts will now be available inside the United States,'' a Voice of America press release quotes VOA Director David Ensor as saying. ''There are so many people in diaspora communities in this country who want to hear news in their own language, and we can provide it,'' David Ensor is further quoted as saying.
At least the tone of the VOA press release suggests that VOA officials have been actively involved in trying to target specific U.S. communities. Whether this is legal or not remains to be seen. It could be Somali Americans now that U.S. government officials are interested in influencing, but tomorrow it may be another group of U.S. citizens and residents, critics warn.
It is perfectly legal for Americans to access VOA programs on the Internet or to call phone numbers set up for foreign audiences to listen to VOA programs on mobile phones. Critics point out, however, that setting up phone numbers specifically for Americans to listen to VOA programs would be illegal if appropriated U.S. funds are being used for that purpose. They point out, however, that they are not lawyers and do not offer any legal analysis or legal advice.
Critics have warned also that Voice of America and Broadcasting Board of Governors executives would focus on domestic distribution of VOA programs while neglecting foreign audiences. This appears to be true, as badly managed Voice of America often fails to report critical U.S. news, including news from the White House, the State Department and the U.S. Congress, while its executives have been busy arranging for domestic distribution of VOA programs.
In a recent example of mismanagement at the Voice of America, VOA English News had only two sentences on the White House National Security Council (NSC) press briefing Friday afternoon and announcement of President Obama's scheduled meeting in Poland with Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko, while VOA staff was busy writing a 623-word press release on VOA programming being now made available in U.S. by mobile phone. See: ''Voice of America gives Obama '' Poroshenko meeting announcement two sentences'', BBG Watch, June 1, 2013.
On June 2, another VOA English News report on President Obama's trip to Europe which starts today had only 161 words compared to 623-word VOA press release promoting domestic distribution of VOA programs. Voice of America failed to report in any length for its foreign audiences on a White House press briefing Friday afternoon by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes devoted to President Obama's upcoming trip. Many U.S. and international media outlets had full-length reports on the NSC briefing.
The VOA Charter states that ''VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.'' (U.S. Public Law 94-350)
Voice of America Director Director David Ensor said in a recent interview that VOA is not be a mouthpiece of the White House or anybody else.
''Voice of America is not a propaganda organization and it is not a mouthpiece of the White House or of anybody else. It is a proud journalistic organization more than seventy years old.'' '-- VOA Director David Ensor
But the Voice of America faces strong bipartisan criticism in the U.S. Congress.
In response to a multitude of news omissions, violations of the VOA Charter, and news reporting mistakes in recent years and months, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has announced his intention to introduce a bill that would eliminate federal funding for the Voice of America, which was established by the U.S. government in 1942.
It is believed to be the first such defunding proposal advanced in Congress in VOA's history under its many directors.
Rep. Salmon described his initiative to defund VOA as the fifth ''Shrink Our Spending'' (SOS) bill in a series of bills to be introduced over the next few months to cut wasteful and duplicative spending. He charges that the VOA management is ignoring the VOA Charter.
Another bill dealing with the Voice of America, the United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4490), has already been unanimously approved in a fully bipartisan action by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, of which Rep. Salmon is a member, and sent to the whole House for consideration.
H.R. 4490 introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward Royce, with Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel and seven other co-sponsors, would not abolish the Voice of America but would subject it to much stricter management controls. Some fear that some of these controls may also limit VOA's journalistic independence, although elements of the VOA Charter, which calls for accurate and objective news, have been incorporated into H.R. 4490.
Supporters of the bill, including the the Executive Board of AFGE Local 1812, a union representing Voice of America journalists and other employees, does share some concerns but believes that the bill, with a few changes, should be enacted.
VOICE OF AMERICA PRESS RELEASEMedia Relations / Press Releases
VOA Programming is Now Available in U.S. by Mobile PhoneLeft to right: George Cernat (Chief Marketing Officer of AudioNow), David Ensor (VOA Director), and Addie Nascimento (Chief of Digital Syndication, BBG's Office of Strategy and Development) signed today's agreement.
May 30, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. '' The Voice of America has signed a new agreement with the leading digital call-to-listen platform, AudioNow, to provide VOA programming inside the United States. The new agreement expands an on-going relationship between VOA and AudioNow, which already distributes programming from VOA in 34 languages by phone.
''We are delighted that for the first time in its 72 year history VOA broadcasts will now be available inside the United States,'' said VOA Director David Ensor. ''There are so many people in diaspora communities in this country who want to hear news in their own language, and we can provide it.''
People in the United States can dial a U.S. area code and a seven-digit phone number and hear the same audio from VOA radio or television programming that they once received in their home country.
Sample access numbers for VOA programming on AudioNow are as follows:
Amharic213.493.0122Creole213.493.0190Somali231.460.1083Vietnamese213.493.0225The Somali diaspora in Canada, Norway, and Sweden have received VOA programs through AudioNow for several years. In April, AudioNow tracked over 500,000 calls to its two phone numbers for VOA Somali in Canada. Calls averaged about twenty minutes.
''We have had a huge success reaching a Somali-speaking audience outside the United States via AudioNow,'' said Abdirahman Yabarow, Chief of VOA's Somali Service. ''Our Somali audience in Canada and other countries listens to our programs by phone because they know that they can trust VOA broadcasts.''
The Voice of America's agreement with AudioNow sets a new course for VOA, following the U.S. Congress' amendment of legislation in January 2013 that had prohibited VOA from providing programs in the United States for most of the 72 years it has been on the air. The agreement also gives AudioNow the potential to offer a U.S. audience all 46 of the languages broadcast by VOA.
''Our mission is to connect anyone, anywhere to the news that matters with just a simple telephone call,'' said Elan Blutinger, CEO of AudioNow. ''We're very proud of our long partnership with VOA, whose programs play a tremendous role in informing and engaging audiences around the world.''
The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcast service providing programming in 46 languages on radio, television, the Internet, live streamed audio and video, over social media platforms, and through more than 2,300 media outlets worldwide. It broadcasts approximately 1,800 hours of programming to an estimated audience of 164 million people each week. VOA is funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
AudioNow, based in Washington, DC, is the leading call-to-listen platform in the world. With broadcast partners on every continent, AudioNow extends the reach of radio by connecting mobile listeners to their favorite radio stations through a simple telephone call. The AudioNow platform uses proprietary ''HD'' voice design and patent-pending technology that serves all mobile platforms. AudioNow has more than 1,800 broadcast partners, including global leaders such as the United Nations, BBC, RFI, Voice of America, Entravision, C-SPAN and IMG College. In 2013, AudioNow delivered 2 billion listening minutes to its broadcast partners and connected users 84 million times to its platform. For more information, please contact Rebecca Walker at rebecca.walker@audionow.com.
For more information about this release, contact the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write to publicrelations@voanews.com. For more information about VOA, visit the Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main news site at www.voanews.com.
Link to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 112-239).
(a) United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948- Section 501 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1461) is amended to read as follows:
'Sec. 501. (a) The Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors are authorized to use funds appropriated or otherwise made available for public diplomacy information programs to provide for the preparation, dissemination, and use of information intended for foreign audiences abroad about the United States, its people, and its policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, the Internet, and other information media, including social media, and through information centers, instructors, and other direct or indirect means of communication.
'(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors may, upon request and reimbursement of the reasonable costs incurred in fulfilling such a request, make available, in the United States, motion pictures, films, video, audio, and other materials disseminated abroad pursuant to this Act, the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.), or the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.). Any reimbursement pursuant to this paragraph shall be credited to the applicable appropriation account of the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors, as appropriate. The Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall issue necessary regulations''
'(A) to establish procedures to maintain such material;
'(B) for reimbursement of the reasonable costs incurred in fulfilling requests for such material; and
'(C) to ensure that the persons seeking release of such material have secured and paid for necessary United States rights and licenses.
'(2) With respect to material disseminated abroad before the effective date of section 1078 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013''
'(A) the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall make available to the Archivist of the United States, for domestic distribution, motion pictures, films, videotapes, and other material 12 years after the initial dissemination of the material abroad; and
'(B) the Archivist shall be the official custodian of the material and shall issue necessary regulations to ensure that persons seeking its release in the United States have secured and paid for necessary United States rights and licenses and that all costs associated with the provision of the material by the Archivist shall be paid by the persons seeking its release, in accordance with paragraph (4).
'(3) The Archivist may undertake the functions described in paragraph (1) on behalf of and at the request of the Secretary or the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
'(4) The Archivist may charge fees to recover the costs described in paragraphs (1) and (2), in accordance with section 2116(c) of title 44, United States Code. Such fees shall be paid into, administered, and expended as part of the National Archives Trust Fund.
'(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to require the Secretary or the Broadcasting Board of Governors to make material disseminated abroad available in any format other than in the format disseminated abroad.'.
(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section, or in the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), may be construed to affect the allocation of funds appropriated or otherwise made specifically available for public diplomacy or to authorize appropriations for Broadcasting Board of Governors programming other than for foreign audiences abroad.
(c) Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987- Section 208 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 (22 U.S.C. 1461-1a) is amended to read as follows:
'(a) In General- No funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States. This section shall apply only to programs carried out pursuant to the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.), and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.). This section shall not prohibit or delay the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from providing information about its operations, policies, programs, or program material, or making such available, to the media, public, or Congress, in accordance with other applicable law.'(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure. Such material may be made available within the United States and disseminated, when appropriate, pursuant to sections 502 and 1005 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1462 and 1437), except that nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors to disseminate within the United States any program material prepared for dissemination abroad on or before the effective date of section 1078 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
'(c) Application- The provisions of this section shall apply only to the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors and to no other department or agency of the Federal Government.'.
(d) Conforming Amendments- The United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 is amended''
(1) in section 502 (22 U.S.C. 1462)''
(A) by inserting 'and the Broadcasting Board of Governors' after 'Secretary'; and
(B) by inserting 'or the Broadcasting Board of Governors' after 'Department'; and
(2) in section 1005 (22 U.S.C. 1437), by inserting 'and the Broadcasting Board of Governors' after 'Secretary' each place it appears.
(e) Effective Date- This section shall take effect and apply on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section.
Melbourne University advertises female-only jobs in bid to remedy gender imbalance in maths - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Thu, 19 May 2016 02:19
The University of Melbourne is advertising three academic positions for women applicants only.
The University of Melbourne has taken the extraordinary step of opening up jobs to female applicants only in an attempt to drive change in the male-dominated area of mathematic academia.
Only about a quarter of all mathematics academics in Australia are female, and the university is now advertising three positions in its School of Mathematics and Statistics for female applicants only.
It is believed to be the first time it has limited applications to women only for permanent academic positions.
The jobs, in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, may range in level from lecturer, to senior lecturer, to associate professor, depending on the candidate's experience.
The head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Aleks Owczarek, said the decision had been taken to promote change.
"We clearly have an issue with attracting female applicants appropriately to our workforce," Professor Owczarek said.
"So this is an agenda to attempt to address that."
Reaching gender equality in maths stubbornly slowWomen are notoriously underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but mathematics has the lowest representation of all studies.
Lesley Ward, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Australia, and chair of the Women in Maths Special Interest Group of the Australian Mathematical Society (WIMSIG), told ABC's PM it gets worse the more senior the rank.
"The Act specifically permits an organisation to engage in what is overtly a discriminatory act, but for the purposes of ensuring that there is equal opportunity overall."
Discrimination lawyer Rowan Skinner"At the first academic rank of associate lecturer it's still only 30 per cent women, by the time you get up to the second highest rank of associate professor it's down to under 20 per cent women," Professor Ward said.
"At the highest rank, of professor, it's 9 per cent women, according to the most recent data we have from 2014."
She said there were many reasons for the low percentages, but a key cause was unconscious bias which sees men promoted more often than women.
Because of that, Professor Ward welcomed The University of Melbourne's move, saying change so far had been slow.
"There have been many measures taken by universities and by individuals and by professional societies to help the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equity in these disciplines," she said.
"In some disciplines it's been harder than others and in mathematics it's one where it's taken a particularly long time."
Equal Opportunity Act allows for positive discriminationThe University of Melbourne positions have been advertised using a special measure of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act.
"The use of this kind of special measure that we're using has been used with regards to Indigenous employment," Professor Owczarek said.
"For this kind of positions, permanent continuing academic positions, I believe it might be the first time it's been used," he added.
Discrimination lawyer Rowan Skinner said the Act allows organisations to take actions to promote equality.
"The Act specifically permits an organisation to engage in what is overtly a discriminatory act, but for the purposes of ensuring that there is equal opportunity overall," Mr Skinner said.
Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$
Text - H.R.897 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 19 May 2016 02:57
H. R. 897
To amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters, and for other purposes.
Mr. Gibbs introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1.Short title.
This Act may be cited as the ''Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015''.
SEC. 2.Use of authorized pesticides.
Section 3(f) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136a(f)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''(5) USE OF AUTHORIZED PESTICIDES.'--Except as provided in section 402(s) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Administrator or a State may not require a permit under such Act for a discharge from a point source into navigable waters of a pesticide authorized for sale, distribution, or use under this Act, or the residue of such a pesticide, resulting from the application of such pesticide.''.
SEC. 3.Discharges of pesticides.
Section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''(s) Discharges of pesticides.'--
''(1) NO PERMIT REQUIREMENT.'--Except as provided in paragraph (2), a permit shall not be required by the Administrator or a State under this Act for a discharge from a point source into navigable waters of a pesticide authorized for sale, distribution, or use under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or the residue of such a pesticide, resulting from the application of such pesticide.
''(2) EXCEPTIONS.'--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the following discharges of a pesticide or pesticide residue:
''(A) A discharge resulting from the application of a pesticide in violation of a provision of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act that is relevant to protecting water quality, if'--
''(i) the discharge would not have occurred but for the violation; or
''(ii) the amount of pesticide or pesticide residue in the discharge is greater than would have occurred without the violation.
''(B) Stormwater discharges subject to regulation under subsection (p).
''(C) The following discharges subject to regulation under this section:
''(i) Manufacturing or industrial effluent.
''(ii) Treatment works effluent.
''(iii) Discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel, including a discharge resulting from ballasting operations or vessel biofouling prevention.''.
War on Vaping
Department of Transportation bans e-cigarettes in checked baggage
Thu, 19 May 2016 03:10
"Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous, and a number of recent incidents have shown that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent and important safety measure."
The rule codifies an FAA safety alert you may have seen at the airport already, and passengers are actually still free to carry e-cigarettes and batteries onto the flight, just as long as they don't start vaping or charging the batteries in mid-air.
Agenda 2030
Q&A: Author of 'feminist glaciology' study reflects on sudden appearance in culture wars | Science | AAAS
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:52
A glacier cave located on the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina.
Last week, science historian Mark Carey of the University of Oregon, Eugene, found himself thrust into the limelight as the latest target of conservative-leaning bloggers questioning federally funded research. In 2013, Carey received a 5-year National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Grant, one of three NSF grants he has held. He is a prolific scientist, with more than 30 articles and book chapters, as well as three books under his belt. But one article he co-authored'--published in January in Progress in Human Geography'--included a hot-button word guaranteed to draw some bloggers' ire. The article, ''Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research,'' has become the latest talking point in an ongoing controversy about NSF-funded research.
ScienceInsider talked with Carey about defining a feminist glaciology framework, how social and humanities research can help inform scientific knowledge, and how he feels about this unexpected extra attention.
Science historian Mark Carey urges the inclusion of women's viewpoints in discussions of icy landscapes.
Dustin Whitaker
Q: Were you aware about the brouhaha over your paper? How do you feel about it?
A: Professional research is published in journals for specialists in a given field. When removed from that context and described to nonspecialists, the research can be misunderstood and potentially misrepresented. What is surprising about the brouhaha is the high level of misinterpretations, mischaracterization, and misinformation that circulate about research and researchers'--though this has, unfortunately, been happening to scientists for centuries, especially climate researchers in recent decades.
The good news is that people are talking about glaciers! But there's much more to the story than just the glaciers. People and societies impose their values on glaciers when they discuss, debate, and study them'--which is what we mean when we say that ice is not just ice. Glaciers become the platform to express people's own views about politics, economics, cultural values, and social relations (such as gender relations). The attention during the last week proves our point clearly: that glaciers are, in fact, highly politicized sites of contestation. Glaciers don't have a gender. But the rhetoric about ice tells us a great deal about what people think of science and gender.
Q: Were you aware that ''feminist glaciology'' might draw strong reactions? Was that the hope?
A: We chose the title ''feminist glaciology'' to provoke discussion about who is producing knowledge about glaciers and what the implications of that existing knowledge are, including whose voices are left out and what types of scientific questions are asked (and which ones might thus be ignored). We also wanted to present a variety of different sociocultural forms of glacier knowledge that go beyond science, to generate discussion. Our goal was to ask questions about the role of gender in science and knowledge'--to start a conversation, not conclude the discussion.
Q: What is your primary interest, as a researcher? What other research projects are you involved in at this time?
A: I am a historian of science [and] environmental historian studying the history of glaciology as a scientific discipline, as well as how glaciers have affected societies around the world. People tend to think of glaciers as being far away, slow moving, and largely unimportant. But they actually affect millions of people worldwide by providing water for agriculture and hydroelectricity, creating icebergs that affect international shipping, influencing sea levels, and storing climate records in ice layers, among others.
I study how glaciers affect nearby societies, especially when they unleash glacial lake outburst floods and avalanches, but also through hydrologic impacts as shrinking glaciers increase seasonal runoff variability. I also examine how scientists have studied glaciers over time, whether [they are studying] 75 years of draining and damming glacial lakes in Peru, or the history of drilling ice cores at Greenland's Camp Century military base during the Cold War. I frequently collaborate and co-author with glaciologists, climatologists, and hydrologists, as well as anthropologists, engineers, and geographers.
[I also co-founded and am co-director of the] Transdisciplinary Andean Research Network. We study not only how glacier retreat alters the amount of water flowing out of glaciers (the natural sciences piece), but also how that water is allocated downstream among diverse populations that range from indigenous residents to hydroelectric companies (the social science aspects).
Q: In your paper, you mention the importance of including viewpoints from female scientists as well as indigenous women who may have a different viewpoint on landscapes than men. Are there any concrete examples of how feminist geography has actually altered or even improved understanding of landscapes or the environment?
A: If one goal of glacier research is to help the people living in places like the Alps and Alaska adapt to shrinking glaciers'--and the associated floods, landslides, and seasonal variation in water flows for irrigation and hydroelectricity generation'--then it is important to study more than the physical properties of ice. Social scientists like myself work to understand those complex societies, their politics and economies, their cultures, and, yes, their gender relations because patriarchy and sexism marginalize certain segments of the population, just as racism marginalizes indigenous, Latino, and other peoples.
Our paper argues that social science and humanities research can contribute to the development of appropriate strategies for specific and diverse societies to adapt to change. A woman's experience securing postdisaster aid, rebuilding a home, and raising a family after a glacial lake outburst flood has destroyed her community is different than those of men. And for glaciologist Erin Pettit, the founder of the Girls on Ice program for young women to study glaciology, there is something productive and empowering that happens when high school girls learn science and conduct field research in an environment without boys.
Q: Is the idea of including a feminist science framework on the upswing?
A: When we mention that women are less represented in scientific fields studying glaciers, this is not surprising but is something we, as a scientific and professional community, need to address. There has been an increase in women studying glaciers since the 1980s, following the civil rights and equal rights movements that ushered more women and underrepresented groups into science careers. But according to geologist Christina Hulbe, women are still not participating in equal numbers or on equal footing with men in glacier-related sciences, especially at the more senior level.
There is a large and ever-growing community of researchers in science and technology studies who have been analyzing science through the lens of gender since the 1980s. The research is partly about men versus women in science but more deeply about issues of credibility and legitimacy in science: Who is able to make credible statements about the natural world, given the larger societal structures of inequality? What qualifies as legitimate science? In our current era that increasingly recognizes the importance of indigenous and other local knowledge, there has been more pluralizing of environmental knowledge, which has helped draw more researchers to the study of gender and science.
Q: The idea of man versus nature does seem inherent in a lot of geo-stories. And of course, man versus ice is in a way the ultimate extreme version of that story, from Earnest Shackleton to Into Thin Air to Chasing Ice. How does that man versus nature framework affect our understanding of glaciers or the natural landscape?
A: In the 19th century, glaciologist John Tyndall prevailed in early scientific debates about glacier motion'--in part because Tyndall was a more prestigious and accomplished mountaineer than his scientific rival James Forbes. Historian Bruce Hevly concludes that manly mountaineering feats influenced the credibility of Tyndall's science. [Ed. Note: This was called the ''Great Glacier Controversy'': Forbes had contended that glaciers ''flow'' and can behave plastically; Tyndall contended that they move by thawing and refreezing. Both were somewhat right.]
A century later, when the first all-women scientific expedition went to Antarctica from Ohio State University in 1969, journalists worried that they would be ''lonely'' or suffer a run in with a ''mad seal.'' At the same time, men were portrayed as risking death to unlock the continent's ''awesome secrets.''
Our paper suggests that these broader societal classifications have historically influenced the reception of science [conducted by women]'--with men's science more valued. We then ask whether these kinds of societal values about gender still influence science and scientists' credibility. Do we still privilege the heroic, risk-taking, conquest-oriented scientific projects (like data gathering in remote parts of Antarctica) over more ''mundane'' projects that don't involve adventure and risk into wild nature? Note that we are talking about how broader sociocultural values influence the reception and perception of science, not about individual scientists and whether their science is valuable or solid, which is not the point.
Please note that, in an effort to combat spam, comments with hyperlinks will not be published.
VIDEO-US Senate passes bill for 9/11 families to sue Saudis | euronews, world news
Thu, 19 May 2016 13:59
The US Senate has approved legislation that allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government.
Saudi Arabia denies any involvement in the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and has threatened to pull billions of dollars from the US .
The bill has been spurred by unpublished work that cites some evidence that Saudi government officials and other Saudi citizens living in the United States had a hand in the terrorist plot.
However a Sept. 11 commission, has since found ''no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded'' Al Qaeda or the 9/11 plotters.
The ''Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act'' (JASTA) still has to be put before the House of Representatives.
The bill is vehemently opposed by the Obama administration and the president has said he will veto it.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained: ''This legislation would change long standing international law regarding sovereign immunity, and the President of the United States continues to harbour serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world.''
Republican senators have dismissed this argument claiming the bill is overdue and because it only applies to attacks on US soil, it does not risk lawsuits against the United States.
VIDEO-Roads, railways and refineries hit in two-day French strike | euronews, world news
Thu, 19 May 2016 13:54
French transport workers on the railways and roads have delivered a patchy response to the Communist CGT union's call for strike action to protest against labour law reforms.
International trains were unaffected but domestic services were cut by 80% in some places, although a minimum service was able to run. With the strike lasting two days it seems many travellers made other plans, and many stations appeared quiet.
On the roads it was lorry drivers who were up in arms at, among other things, overtime bonuses being slashed to 10% from 25%. They blockaded many roads and refineries in the north, creating local petrol shortages, and have called on their driver colleagues in the south to join them.
As the reforms make their way though parliament opposition to them is mounting and protests are spreading. The Socialist government insists they are needed to relaunch the French economy.
VIDEO-Italian region votes to scrap anti-Russian sanctions | euronews, world news
Thu, 19 May 2016 13:52
A council in Italy's northeastern Veneto region, is urging its national government to abandon EU international policy and recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. A resolution was carried calling for the change and subsequent lifting of economic sanctions against Moscow which the council says are crippling its economy.
Stefano Valdegamberi who is from the separatist Northern league said his region has suffered severe damage from the sanctions against Russia. ''Our goods have been embargoed. With this vote, we want to send a strong message to the Italian government and the European Union to change the policy towards Russia.''
Opposition member Graziano Azzalin criticised the vote saying, '' Veneto is a region and not a sovereign state, it can not decide on foreign policy issues. This resolution will not have any effect, it is just propaganda for the Northern league.''
The Veneto region's economy relies heavily on the export of its glass production.
Earlier this week Ukraine's Ambassador to Italy criticised the councilors calling on them to support efforts to achieve the return of Crimea to Ukrainian control.
VIDEO-Clashes in Idomeni as migrant frustration boils over | euronews, world news
Thu, 19 May 2016 13:47
There have been more violent clashes over night between police and migrants in the tent city that has been created on Greece's northern border with the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
The incidents began earlier on Wednesday evening when hundreds of migrants ran towards a police block, pushing a train wagon to break through to the other side.
The camp at Idomeni is housing around 11,000 people who want to reach the more prosperous EU regions.But since Macedonia closed its border the pressure cooker environment has triggered regular unrest.
Thu, 19 May 2016 06:04
VIDEO-Voting Machine Counting Problems In Districts That Favor Hillary In Kentucky! - YouTube
Thu, 19 May 2016 05:53
VIDEO-Bernie Sanders Supporter Angie Morelli BURNS MSM Presstitute Ralston On National TV! DO YOUR JOB! - YouTube
Thu, 19 May 2016 05:47
VIDEO-Hillary Clinton Sure Doesn't Want to Release Those Wall Street Speech Transcripts | SUPERcuts! #327 - YouTube
Thu, 19 May 2016 05:27
VIDEO-Criticism Continues of Hillary Clinton's Wall Street Speech Judgment - YouTube
Thu, 19 May 2016 05:23
VIDEO-Delusional Bill Kristol Throws A Tantrum On CNN - YouTube
Thu, 19 May 2016 05:22
VIDEO-US Ambassador on Int'l Anti-Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia Day Commends Efforts by 'LGBT Persons and Our Straight Allies' | MRCTV
Thu, 19 May 2016 04:37
In a video message marking ''International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia'' Tuesday, U.S. ambassador to Australia John Berry commended ''all efforts by LGBT persons and our straight allies to secure basic rights and freedoms for everyone.''
VIDEO-Networks Ignore New Details of Bill Clinton's Connections to Pedophile Epstein | MRCTV
Thu, 19 May 2016 03:28
During their Tuesday evening newscasts, all of the ''big three'' networks ignored explosive new details about former President Bill Clinton's relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein. ''It's no secret that former President Bill Clinton had a relationship with Jeffrey Epstein,'' reported Fox News' Shannon Bream on Special Report, ''A prominent businessman who went to jail as part of a plea deal he reached while being investigated amid allegations that he was a pedophile, who had sex with scores of underage girls and used his staff to procure the victims.''
According to Bream, it was known that the former president had traveled on Epstein's private jet 11 times. ''A jet accusers say was equipped for sex with underage victims and was used to travel to Epstein's private island nicknamed ''Orgy Island,'' Bream stated.
But, newly released documents revealed that Clinton had traveled at least 26 times using Epstein's aircraft to locations ''around the globe.'' The documents didn't stop there. ''On at least five occasions that they did travel together, Secret Service did not accompany Clinton,'' Bream continued.
VIDEO-OpIcarus: Anonymous shuts down Bank of England and 12 more international banks
Thu, 19 May 2016 03:25
Hacktivist collective Anonymous continues its assault, titled OpIcarus, on the banks of the world with further DDoS attacks on 13 additional international banks. Among others, Anonymous also claims to have shut down, what appears to be the Bank of England's internal email server '' mail.bankofengland.co.uk '' which at the time of writing was still down.
IBTimes UK reached out to the Bank of England, but has not got a response until the time of writing.
More from IBTimes UK
Anonymous affiliated hackers going by the name of s1ege and Scrub posted several tweets claiming to have shut down various international banks in the span of four days. On 9 May, s1ege tweeted about shutting down the National Reserve Bank of Tonga and attacking the Central Bank of Sweden the following day; while Scrub tweeted about bringing down the website of the Central Bank of Bhutan.
On 10 May, the websites for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Central Bank of Montenegro also appeared to be briefly down, which s1ege boasted about on Twitter. Yet another Twitter account posting new reports about OpIcarus also boasted about shutting down the website of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. The next day yet another tweet talked about shutting down the Central Bank of Jordan.
However, the most number of banks were hit on 12 and 13 May. Six banks, including the Bank of Korea, the Central Bank of Myanmar, the Central Bank of Lao, the Bihar Gramin Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Bank of England appeared to have their websites taken offline for a brief period. The exploits were once again posted on Twitter by s1ege and scrub.
S1ege, believed to be a member of the Ghost Squad branch of Anonymous hackers, opened up about the motive of targeting international banks in an interview. He said that the main focus of launching the cyberattacks was to "start an online revolution" to retaliate against the "elite banking cartels [are] putting the world in a perpetual state of chaos." According to the hacker, all banks are potential targets. However, the focus for future attacks will be on "NASDAQ, NYSE and Paypal".
At the time of writing, the websites for the Central Bank of Bhutan, the Central Bank of Myanmar, the Bihar Gramin Bank, the Central Bank of Montenegro and the Bank of England (mail.bankofengland.co.uk) were still inaccessible.
None of the affected banks have disclosed information about the extent of damage the cyberattacks may have caused. Every hack appears to have affected the websites in varying degrees, with some websites being down for a few minutes while others remaining inaccessible for hours. Anonymous' campaign against international banks is expected to continue throughout the month of May and IBTimes UK will be covering the attacks.
Most of the websites are now back online while a select few remain downReuters
VIDEO-ABC, NBC Ignore Conservative Summit at Facebook to Discuss Surpression | MRCTV
Thu, 19 May 2016 02:51
Major conservative leaders convened at Facebook headquarters Wednesday to discuss the recent scandal of suppressing conservative trending topics. But you would never know it if you were watching ABC's World News Tonight or NBC Nightly News. Kudos to CBS's Evening News for not only mentioning the highly anticipated meeting, but giving it a full segment to boot! ''Facebook held a summit of conservative leaders today to address allegations that the world's leading social media website has a tendency to face left,'' stated Anthony Mason kicking off their minutes long briefing.
CBS's John Blackstone reported that Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked with roughly 15 of the conservative movement's biggest movers and shakers. ''Including former Republican Senator Jim DeMint, Barry Bennett, a senior Trump adviser, and commentator Glenn beck,'' Blackstone reported.
VIDEO-Donald Trump unveils his potential Supreme Court nominees - CNNPolitics.com
Thu, 19 May 2016 00:21
The list includes: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado, Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas.
In a statement, Trump said he planned to use the list "as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices" and said the names are "representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value."
The announcement is the latest example of Trump's unorthodox campaign. Presidential candidates rarely mention specific people they would nominate and instead often talk about the profile of potential nominees. But Trump was questioned during the Republican primary campaign about his allegiance to conservative causes and releasing the list could quell those concerns.
At the time, Trump also said the members present at the meeting should submit names to him and he would put them on the list.
Some prominent Republicans who vigorously opposed Trump's campaign during the primary have begun rallying around the real estate magnate, arguing that Trump would at least nominate more conservative justices than Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Five of the 11 names were floated in March by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which Trump said was assisting him in compiling a list of potential nominees.
Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor and law professor at American University Washington College of Law, described the list as "red meat to conservatives. These are 11 well-regarded conservative judges with consistent credentials; folks who I think could reasonably be expected to try and follow in Justice Scalia's footsteps."
They are also relatively young, he said. "So this list is meant to tantalize and mobilize conservatives."
The list is notable, Vladeck said, in part because there are no surprises. "I would not have been surprised to see this exact list from almost any of the other Republican candidates," he said. "These people tend to be more into strict interpretation of the Constitution who are more skeptical of unenumerated rights like privacy and who are more likely to side with conservative social movements, certainly than someone like Merrick Garland," a reference to the nominee put forth by President Barack Obama to replace Scalia.
Conservatives signal support
The list was warmly received by Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.
"The names on this list would need to be vetted, obviously, but they all seem to share in common a record of putting the law and the Constitution ahead of their political preferences," Severino said. "The court needs more justices who will base their decisions on the law, not politics, even under pressure, especially since the next president is likely to determine the direction of the court for a generation."
John Malcolm, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage foundation who compiled and published the foundation's list of eight potential Supreme Court nominees in March, called Trump's selections "excellent."
Malcolm said the list should be reassuring to those conservatives who have had doubts about Trump's judicial appointments.
"This is a pretty fine list that I would think would satisfy for most conservatives," Malcolm said. "If these are the kinds of people whom he is going to consider, that should satisfy any conservative."
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, reacted positively to the list, saying it was a "smart move" for the Republican presidential candidate to put out the names.
"It's reassuring for conservatives to know what he'll be looking for were he elected president," Cornyn said as he stepped off the Senate floor and reviewed a CNN copy of Trump's press release with the 11 possible nominees listed.
"Obviously, he's never been in a position to make appointments like a governor and others who have been in an executive position. He's been a businessman, and so I think this does provide some reassurance and conservatives will find it encouraging," Cornyn added.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, meanwhile, called Trump's list "impressive" in a statement.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said shortly after the list was released that the names wouldn't be described by any Democrats as "consensus" candidates. He noted that was the description Republicans used for Garland. Senate Republicans have vowed to not hold a vote on Garland, citing the upcoming presidential election and the opportunity for the next president to make the selection.
"I would be surprised if there are any Democrats who would describe any of those 11 individuals as a consensus nominee," Earnest said.
When Trump mentioned the names of Pryor and Sykes back in February, liberals were quick to pounce.Ian Millhiser, writing for the liberal Center for American Progress, highlighted comments Pryor has made against Roe v. Wade and called him a "fairly orthodox conservative."
Millhiser pointed to the fact that Sykes backed a voter ID law and she sat on a three-judge panel issuing a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the contraception mandate against for-profit companies in 2013
Some surprising choices
Six of the 11 picks are federal judges on U.S. courts of appeal, all of whom were nominated to their current positions by former President George W. Bush. The five other candidates sit on the benches of state supreme courts.
The list contains several notable judges who are conservative favorites and, surprisingly, some who have ties to people who have opposed Trump's insurgent candidacy.
Sykes, who hails from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, once interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas in 2013 for a Federalist Society event. She's the ex-wife of conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, who is a prominent member of the #NeverTrump movement.
Charlie Sykes told CNN that while his ex-wife "would be an outstanding choice" and "would make a great justice," he doesn't "trust" or "believe" the presumptive GOP nominee would make the right picks.
Willet, who serves on the Texas Supreme Court and was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Perry, featured prominently on a list put forward by the Federalist Society. But he once posted a "Donald Trump haiku" on Twitter the day Trump launched his presidential campaign, writing: "Who would the Donald/ Name to #SCOTUS? The mind reels. / *weeps -- can't finish tweet*."
Lee, an associate justice on the Utah Supreme Court since 2010, is the brother of Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who enthusiastically endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the GOP primary and has yet to come around to supporting Trump. The Utah senator said as recently as last week that Trump "scares me to death."
Two names that are frequently on the top of most conservatives' Supreme Court lists are not present in Trump's statement.
One is Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington, D.C., who is a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy. The other is Paul Clement, who served as solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration and is a former clerk of Scalia. He is widely believed to be one of the top Supreme Court advocates practicing today and has argued more than 80 cases.
CNN's Dana Bash, Ariane de Vogue and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
VIDEO AUDIO-Laws of Physics - YouTube
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:58
VIDEO-NYC to begin spraying for Zika over Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV
Wed, 18 May 2016 17:25
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NEW YORK '-- New York's Department of Health is launching an all-out assault against mosquitoes amid growing concern about the Zika Virus.
While assuring residents that the virus is not spreading in the city, it says local mosquitoes are spreading other diseases like the West Nile Virus.
With mosquito season upon us, the city is going to begin a three day aerial bombardment of marsh and other non-residential areas at some two dozen sites in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Officials say they will use "environmentally friendly" larvicide to kill the infant mosquito larvae.
With projected hot and damp weather the mosquito population is expected to have huge growth this season.
Residents we spoke to in Marine Park, Brooklyn said they were concerned and relieved that the city is taking action.
Mike Nagar said he's skeptical about how safe the chemicals are that will be sprayed.
Standing beside his pregnant wife, Daniel Cicolello said he's concerned because the mosquito-borne Zika virus impacts pregnant women.
It is known to cause birth defects. It is not considered dangerous for most people.
Health officials note that there have been 78 cases of Zika reported in the city, but that all the patients have recovered.
Weather permitting, the aerial assault is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Thursday.
VIDEO-Email from President Obama: I've Got News For You on Overtime | whitehouse.gov
Wed, 18 May 2016 16:42
Vice President Biden Speaks on Overtime PayListen in on the Vice President's remarks in Columbus, Ohio at 2:30 pm ET
What You Need to Know About the Update to Overtime Rules
Every week, millions of Americans work more than 40 hours a week but do not receive the overtime pay they have earned. Tomorrow, the Department of Labor will be finalizing a rule to fix that by updating overtime protections for workers.
In total, the new rule is expected to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million more Americans who are not currently eligible under federal law, and it is expected to boost wages for workers by $12 billion over the next 10 years.
Email from President Obama: An Update on OvertimePresident Obama wrote this message to petition signers to announce that the Department of Labor will be finalizing a rule that expands overtime pay to millions of American workers.
I wanted you to be the first to know about some important news on an issue I know you care deeply about: making sure you're paid fairly.
Tomorrow, we're strengthening our overtime pay rules to make sure millions of Americans' hard work is rewarded. If you work more than 40 hours a week, you should get paid for it or get extra time off to spend with your family and loved ones. It's one of most important steps we're taking to help grow middle-class wages and put $12 billion more dollars in the pockets of hardworking Americans over the next 10 years.
For generations, overtime protections have meant that an honest day's work should get a fair day's pay, and that's helped American workers climb the ladder of success. That's what middle-class economics are all about. But after years of inflation and lobbyists' efforts to weaken overtime protections, that security has eroded for too many families.
One of the many Americans who has been working hard but struggling to keep up is a single mom from Tucson, Arizona, Elizabeth Paredes. As an assistant manager at a sandwich shop, Elizabeth sometimes worked as many as 70 hours a week, without a dime of overtime pay. So Elizabeth wrote to me to say how hard it is to build a bright future for her son. And she's not alone: Today just 7 percent of workers qualify for overtime pay based on their salaries. Compare that with 1975,when more than 60 percent of workers qualified for overtime pay based on their salaries. This policy just hasn't kept up with the times.
The fundamental principle behind overtime pay comes from a Depression-era law called the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helps ensure that workers who put in more than 40 hours per week should generally get paid more for that extra time. I directed Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and the Department of Labor to update and modernize the overtime rules and uphold that principle.After more than a year of listening to workers, employers, and concerned citizens like you, the Department of Labor will issue a new rule tomorrow to make it clearer to workers and business which workers qualify for overtime pay. It doubles the salary threshold and automatically updates it every three years. The rule takes effect December 1.
This is a step in the right direction to strengthen and secure the middle class by raising Americans' wages. When workers have more income, they spend it - often at businesses in their local community - and that helps grow the economy for everyone.
Americans have spent too long working long hours and getting less in return. So wherever and whenever I can make sure that our economy rewards hard work and responsibility, that's what I'm going to do. Every hardworking American deserves a paycheck that lets them support their families, gain a little economic security, and pass down some opportunity to their kids. That's always worth fighting for.
Thanks for raising your voice on this critical issue - we couldn't have done it without you.
President Barack Obama
VIDEO-Prince death: What bodyguard has to say about Prince, pain and addiction - CNN.com
Wed, 18 May 2016 16:38
Prince's bodyguard, who says he's been working for the megastar since 2012, spoke to CNN Sunday as he came out of an invite-only memorial for Prince. The service was held at the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall where Prince worshiped in Hopkins, Minnesota, near Minnetonka.
"I was Prince's bodyguard up until the day he died," said Chris Gaither, who goes by the name "Romeo."
He is certainly built for the job. Gaither is a towering figure. Dressed in an electric blue suit, he was one of the last to leave the private memorial attended by a few hundred people.
"It was truly beautiful, fitting for someone as well known as Prince. We acknowledged his memory and his presence and everything that he's done for this world and for generations to come," Gaither said softly.
But his tone quickly changed when the question of Prince, painkillers and addiction came up. Gaither said he wanted to set the record straight and dispel "all the lies" out there."I packed this man's bag on the daily. I have been on tour with him for months. So if anybody had an addiction that would be something you would see. That would be something that you would know," he said.
Did he see anything at all that pointed to even a dependency? "No, no," Gaither said forcefully.
Bodyguard was in Texas when he got call
Gaither said Prince had sent him home to Texas for a week. It was something Prince would do when he wanted to rest. Gaither said he was helping out a friend when he received a phone call that shook him to his core. The person on the other end of the line told him Prince was dead. He says he found out just minutes before breaking news bulletins flashed around the world.
"I immediately stopped what I was doing. I couldn't concentrate on anything I was doing after that," he said. "I went all over the world with him. And suddenly he was just gone."
In the three weeks since the singer's death, Gaither says he's been frustrated with all the "talk" accusing Prince of being addicted or even dependent on drugs of any kind.Emergency landing after Atlanta concert
That talk began when Prince's plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, six days before his death. Unnamed sources told several media outlets that Prince was treated for a possible overdose.
Then law enforcement sources told CNN opioid painkillers had been found on Prince's body and in his home when he was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park complex April 21 in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
On May 6, an attorney came forward saying that he represented pain and addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld in California. Kornfeld had sent his son Andrew "on a life-saving mission" to evaluate Prince's health.
It was too late. Andrew Kornfeld was one of the people who discovered Prince's lifeless body.
But key evidence in Prince's death -- the autopsy and toxicology reports -- have not yet been released. No official cause of death has been given and the investigation into his death (which now involves the Carver County Sheriff's Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's office) is still going full throttle.Gaither said he certainly never saw evidence of Prince misusing medications in his four years protecting him around the globe.
"He may have had an issue where he had to go to the doctor and they prescribed something for him, but as far as him abusing stuff, that's not him. When it comes to health, he's the fittest person," Gaither said.
Gaither did note that doctors visited Prince from time to time.
"Only time doctors would come in, they would give him a B-12 shot, something like that, when he might have been feeling sick or low on energy. But other than that, he wasn't taking stuff. He had more energy than everybody just off his natural presence."
CNN's Bill Kirkos contributed to this report.
VIDEO-What is in the Queen's Speech 2016? All 21 Bills - and what they mean - Mirror Online
Wed, 18 May 2016 16:23
David Cameron is already under fire after the Queen revealed his "watered-down" plan for his next year in government.
Unlike last year's bumper package, the 21 Bills unveiled at the State Opening of Parliament avoid controversy and many have been announced already.
That means pro- Brexit Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Tory PM of "jettisoning" bigger ideas in a "helter skelter pursuit of the Referendum".
So what was actually in today's lavish, pompous, 63rd Queen's Speech by Elizabeth II?
From House of Lords reform to tearing into human rights law, not to mention a prisons and social care shake-up, there's plenty for the PM's enemies to get their teeth into.
Here is a run-down of all 21 Bills - and what they mean.
Read more:Queen's Speech 2016 debate live: MPs debate proposals
1. Digital Economy BillForces porn sites to verify users' ages to "protect children from online pornography".
Also gives everyone the legal right to demand broadband of 10Mbps.
The "very remotest properties" will have to pay some of the cost themselves.
Customers will get automatic compensation from broadband firms when things go wrong.
Public bodies will identify people who owe the government money more quickly, clawing back billions - some of it from the hard-up.
2. Modern Transport BillSets the 'framework' for Britain's first spaceport - but doesn't yet confirm where it'll be.
Hints more than one could be built in future.
Also puts driverless cars on UK roads by clearing the way for mass-market insurance.
3. Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure BillPrivatises the Land Registry to reduce the national debt despite angry complaints it could make home ownership less transparent.
Reforms Compulsory Purchase to base it on the market value of land.
Cracks down on 'misuse' of planning law that is blocking new Tory housing schemes from being railroaded through.
4. Local Growth and Jobs BillEnds the system that shares business rates across Britain and makes councils raise all £26bn of them locally instead.
Activists warned this would cause a "race to the bottom" that helps rich areas get richer. There's a safety net but no details on it yet.
Also lets new-style mayors hike business rates to support big infrastructure projects.
5. Better Markets BillMakes firms (including the Big Six energy providers) allow faster switching between providers and gives "more protection when things go wrong".
Speeds up decisions from the Competition and Markets Authority and allows markets to become more crowded.
In theory this will drive down prices but expect complaints from those who opposed previous privatisations.
6. Bus Services BillForces bus firms to make their data about fares, routes and times open to app developers.
That'd mean apps like Citymapper in London could be introduced properly in small towns across the country.
Also allows directly elected mayors to take power of bus services like in the capital.
Expect complaints and fears about both of these from some bus firms.
7. NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) BillClamps down on migrants forced to use the NHS who have not paid their fare share.
This includes extending the number of services migrants have to pay for, and banning some people in the EEA from free healthcare.
The only countries in the EEA that aren't in the EU are Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein.
Tory ministers won't know until the end of May "at the earliest" whether they can apply the law in Wales or Scotland.
8. Pensions BillExtends Tory manifesto pledges to give people more control over how to spend their pensions.
New rules include capping early exit charges and restructuring the services that give advice to consumers.
Tory ministers say this will give "more targeted support", something activists often complain is code for cuts.
Other activists complain pension freedoms will disadvantage people who make the wrong decisions.
9. Children and Social Work BillForces cash-strapped councils to give more help to children leaving care including guaranteeing them services like housing.
Ministers say this will stop the toll of care leavers making up 70% of Britain's sex workers and a quarter of prisoners.
Courts will have to tip their balance from temporary foster homes to permanent adoptions that give more stability.
10. Education For All BillStages a major climbdown on Tory plans to force all schools into academies by 2020 by only "setting a foundation" for that system.
Schools in worst-performing council areas will still be forced out of council control.
And head teachers at the best-performing schools will head up Multi-Academy Trusts, despite these being criticised by Ofsted.
11. Higher Education and Research Bill
Allows tech firms like Facebook or Google and start-ups to launch their own universities.
Although this isn't in the press briefing, it's thought £9,000-a-year fees will also be hiked for the first time since 2012 by rising with inflation.
A new Teaching Excellence Framework will be introduced over four years to drive up standards.
And universities will be forced to publish new data on how many poor and ethnic minority people they take - amid complaints the Tories' high fees are putting those people off.
12. Prison and Courts Reform BillFrees prisons from government control and sets up Reform Prisons with more independent powers.
Forces prisons to publish data on prisoner education, reoffending and employment when lags are released.
Plans to let inmates nearing the end of their terms out to work on weekends, even for serious offenders, look to be revived.
13. National Citizen Service BillEnshrines the Tories' flagship National Citizen Service programme into law permanently.
Schools and councils will be forced to "promote" the scheme whether they think it's useful or not, and future ministers will have to deliver reports on how well it's working.
More than 200,000 children have already taken part in the programme, the government says.
14. Lifetime Savings BillSets up the Help to Save scheme which George Osborne announced in the Budget, giving workers who save £50 a month a 50% bonus of up to £600 after two years (and another after four years).
Adults under 40 can get a bonus on savings of up to £4,000 a year that they put in a Lifetime pe.
Campaigners complained both of these schemes would help middle-class savers more than the working poor.
15. Finance BillThis is the annual Budget document but it gets a special mention in the Queen's Speech.
That's because it will contain the 'Soft Drinks Industry Levy', better known as the sugar tax.
It will hit fizzy drink firms with taxes worth up to 24p per litre of Coca Cola, forcing them to reduce their drinks' sugar content or hike prices to put people off.
£160m extra will be given to primary school sport, up to £285m to let secondary schools extend the school day, and £10m to expand 1,600 school breakfast clubs.
16. Small Charitable Donations BillSimplifies rules on Gift Aid to allow smaller charities to claim a 25% bonus from bucket collections, where people haven't signed to say they're eligible.
The rules will apply especially to charities that operate from a small community building.
The maximum top-up payment rose from £1,250 to £2,000 a year last month.
17. Bill of RightsAppears to water down pledges to scrap the Human Rights Act by saying it will be "revised" and consulted on fully by Parliament.
And the words Human Rights Act do not appear in the text of the Queen's Speech itself.
But it steams ahead with plans to introduce a British Bill of Rights, the whole point of which was to replace the Human Rights Act.
18. Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding BillLaunches a fresh crackdown on extremism that will see hate preachers hit with a ''civil order regime'' to stamp out their ''brainwashing'' of youngsters.
Ministers will intervene on councils which ''fail to tackle extremism'' and new rules will bar radicals from contact with children, for example as teachers.
The Queen said it would ''prevent radicalisation, tackle extremism in all its forms and promote community integration''.
19. Criminal Finances BillCracks down on tax evasion by making it a criminal offence for firms to not stop their staff facilitating illegal activity.
That will tighten up current laws which let firms get away with helping tax evaders by playing dumb.
The National Crime Agency will be given new powers to crack down on tax shirkers and make it easier to seize illicit funds.
20. Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) BillBritish soldiers could be prosecuted if they damage ancient sites during war.
The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill will make it a crime to blow up protected monuments, such as Palmyra in Syria which was targeted by bloodthirsty Islamic State jihadists.
UK troops already avoid deliberately damaging such sites, which include libraries and museums.
But it will be made a specific offence under plans to ''make a strong statement about the UK's commitment to protecting cultural property in times of armed conflict'', guidance notes to the Speech revealed.
21. Wales BillMore power heading to WalesLast but not least, voting for 16 and 17-year-olds in Wales moves a step closer in this proposed law.
The Government wants to allow the Welsh Assembly ''control over its own affairs, including what it should be called, its size, electoral system and voting age''.
There is a majority in the Senedd to lower the voting age and means youngsters could take part in elections to the Assembly and local councils.
But they would remain barred from casting a ballot in UK-wide polls, such as general elections and referendums.
What's missing?The Queen's Speech vows to limit the House of Lords' powers after peers embarrassed Tory ministers with a string of defeats. This isn't included in the list above because it doesn't need a full Bill to take place. Read more here.
There's no mention of scrapping the hunting ban but again, this would happen without the need for a full Bill.
In guidance notes to the speech ministers promise to plough on with the under-fire 7-day NHS, keep spending 0.7% of GDP on aid and 2% on defence, build more homes and plough on with the Northern Powerhouse.
So, has David Cameron watered down his plans?
Queen's speech 20161of 16
VIDEO-John Kerry Heckled in Rome; Activist Shouted ''You Created Daesh!'' (Video) InvestmentWatch
Wed, 18 May 2016 12:44
Submitted by IWB, on May 17th, 2016
US State department along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey created ISIS.
It only takes a few moments to share an article, but the person on the other end who reads it might have his life changed forever
VIDEO-Barbara Boxer TROLLS Bernie Sanders Supporters at Nevada Democratic Convention - YouTube
Tue, 17 May 2016 19:02
VIDEO-Black Lives Matter Activists Tear Down Students' Pro-Police Display | Fox News Insider
Tue, 17 May 2016 18:11
Krauthammer on New Trump 'Scandals': If That's the Best They've Got, Then Plan for Inauguration
Gutfeld: 'Media Says Minorities Are Victims of Police, Yet More Die When Cops Back Off'
A "Blue Lives Matter" display at Dartmouth College to pay tribute to law enforcement officers was torn down on Friday and replaced with Black Lives Matter signs.
The school's College Republicans had received permission to put up the display in honor of National Police Week on a bulletin board in the school's student center.
But within hours, the display was torn down and in its place were flyers, which read: ''You cannot co-opt the movement against state violence to memorialize its perpetrators. #blacklivesmatter.''
The activists who put the new flyers stood guard over the bulletin board for the whole day, while the College Republicans worked to resolve the situation through the school's administration.
The school eventually intervened, granting Black Lives Matter control over a bulletin board down the hall from the Blue Lives Matter display.
College Republicans wrote a letter to Dartmouth's president and board of Trustees asking for equal treatment.
''All we ask is that the protections and freedoms of self-expression afforded to other student organizations be extended to us," the letter said. "We do not see the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements as mutually exclusive.
''It is possible to recognize the service and contributions of law enforcement officers while simultaneously pushing for reform to correct the grave mistakes of the small minority of officers. On National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, we just hoped to highlight the monumental sacrifices made by these officers to protect us every day.''
The president of the College Republicans, Michelle Knesbach, joined On the Record to explain the full story. She said that the school's administration applied a double standard by letting Black Lives Matter have their own billboard without making them go through the three-week process to get approved.
Watch the interview above and read more about the story here.
Trump's Ex-Girlfriend: NY Times Misquoted Me in Anti-Trump 'Hit Piece'
'I Don't Need Hillary 'Fighting for Me'': Female Voters Sound Off in Luntz Focus Group
Clarence Thomas: Don't Hide Your Faith in a 'World That Seems to Have Gone Mad with Political Correctness'
VIDEO HARBINGER-Obama Claims Transgender Kids are new 'protected class'
Tue, 17 May 2016 16:41
Steven CrowderTuesday May 17 2016
The new leftist agenda being forced upon school-aged children, if you couldn't tell, is transgenderism (see Third Graders Forced To Read Transgender Book About 'Boy in Dress' and Oregon Schools Officially Lets Boys Play Girls Sports'... Because Transgenderism). Well, it's about to get worse, because President Obama has decided that this is important enough of an issue that it demands his immediate attention and/or voice.
You know, because this nation must, with great agency, ensure dongs in the ladies room'...
Transgender and LGBT students are vulnerable to potential bullying and it is society's responsibility to protect them, President Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed News Monday.
''We're talking about kids,'' the president said from the Roosevelt Room in the White House. ''Anybody who has been in school, in high school, who has been a parent should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority, kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially. They're vulnerable.''
Obama's comments referred to laws being passed around the nation that in various ways ban transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
Really? The most pro-abortion politician this country has ever seen wants to claim that boys who dress up as girls are vulnerable and need to be protected? What about the babies who survived abortions (the ones Obama voted against protecting, even outside of the womb)? Were they not vulnerable? How about the high school girls who aren't comfortable getting changed next to someone who has a penis, regardless of how they self identify? Are they not vulnerable?
As usual, ''vulnerable'' in this instance really means ''whatever liberals can politicize today.''
Yesterday it was gay wedding cakes. Today it's tallywhackers in the ladies room. Tomorrow it will be retroactively removing hate-speech from films that speak out against tallywhackers in the ladies room.
Someone haul that little tyke off in cuffs. Words hurt, you little bastard. Words. Hurt.
Speaking of transexuals using the wrong bathroom, if you're still not clear on the laws in play, SchoolHouse Rock put together a great little diddy to help you figure it out. Good times.
VIDEO-Obama marks 'Homophobia and Transphobia Day' - Washington Times
Tue, 17 May 2016 16:16
Embroiled in a controversy over transgender bathrooms in schools, President Obama marked ''International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia'' on Tuesday with a statement urging Americans to treat everyone with respect.
Mr. Obama said the worldwide event celebrates ''the dignity and inherent worth of all people, regardless of who they love or their gender identity.''
''I am proud that my administration has made advancing the human rights of LGBT individuals a specific focus of our engagement around the world,'' he said. ''At the same time, there is much work to be done to combat homophobia and transphobia, both at home and abroad.''
The administration issued a controversial rule last week directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathroom facilities consistent with their ''gender identity,'' rather than the gender on their birth certificate. Schools that don't follow the guidance could risk losing federal funding.
Governors in some states are saying they won't comply with the guidance.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was first celebrated in 2005.
In too many places, LGBT individuals grow up forced to conceal or deny who they truly are for fear of persecution, discrimination, and violence,'' Mr. Obama said. ''All nations and all communities can, and must, do better.''
VIDEO-Clinton Takes on Heckler At Rally: 'It's Time People Stop Listening to Republican Propaganda' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Tue, 17 May 2016 14:46
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton confronted a heckler at a Monday rally in Kentucky, suggesting the woman had been misled by ''Republican propaganda.''
The interruption from the protester came when Clinton said Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is trying to ''undo'' the accomplishments of his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.
It was not clear what the heckler shouted from the video, but Clinton responded, ''Oh yes is is ma'am. Yes, it is. You are entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.''
''It's time people stop listening to Republican propaganda about the economy, education and health care,'' Clinton added after saying she'd be willing to meet with the protester. ''Now you know, I have no problem with people expressing themselves. But I do wish when people have an opinion, and I'm not making a comment about this lady, but I'd wish you'd get the facts. Because the facts are really clear.''
Clinton's comments on the center-right media resemble similar remarks her husband, former President Bill Clinton, has made on the campaign trail. Earlier this year, for instance, he sparred with a veteran and contended the man's mind had been ''poisoned by lies.''
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook:
VIDEO-'They Spun It': Former Model Claims NY Times Misquoted Her in Trump 'Hit Piece' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Tue, 17 May 2016 14:44
A former model who once dated Donald Trump refuted claims made about their relationship in a New York Times article during an interview on Fox News' ''Fox and Friends'' Monday.
Rowanne Brewer Lane called the article ''upsetting.''
''The New York Times told us several times that they would make sure that my story that I was telling came across,'' Brewer Lane said. ''They promised several times that they would do it accurately. They told me several times '-- and my manager several times '-- that it would not be a hit piece and that my story would come across the way that I was telling it and honestly, and it absolutely was not.''
Image source: YouTube
Brewer Lane said the publication ''spun'' her remarks ''to where it appeared negative.''
''I did not have a negative experience with Donald Trump, and I don't appreciate them making it look like that I was saying that it was a negative experience because it was not,'' Brewer Lane said.
According to the Times article, ''Donald J. Trump had barely met Rowanne Brewer Lane when he asked her to change out of her clothes.''
The Times quoted Brewer Lane as saying that she met Trump at a pool party and that he ''seemed a little smitten with me.''
''He just started talking to me and nobody else,'' Brewer Lane said according to the article. ''He suddenly took me by the hand, and he started to show me around the mansion. He asked me if I had a swimsuit with me. I said no. I hadn't intended to swim. He took me into a room and opened drawers and asked me to put on a swimsuit.''
Brewer Lane said on ''Fox and Friends'' that she attended the party but hadn't brought a swimsuit because she ''had not really planned on swimming,'' and Trump offered her one.
''He asked me if I wanted one. I said OK, sure,'' Brewer Lane said, adding that she didn't feel ''like it was a demeaning situation.''
''That's what I told the Times, and they spun it completely differently,'' she said. ''I don't know how many other girls feel like they were misquoted, but I know that for a fact I was, and I don't want that out there.''
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked Brewer Lane if Trump has ever mistreated women.
''Not that I've ever seen,'' Brewer Lane replied. ''Absolutely without a doubt, no.''
According to the Times, more than 50 interviews ''conducted over the course of six weeks'' reveal ''unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct'' displayed by Trump.
Trump denied the report on Twitter.
Watch Brewer Lane's interview below:
VIDEO-Trump Challenges London's Muslim Mayor to I.Q. Test, Warns Him, 'I Will Remember Those Statements' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Tue, 17 May 2016 14:39
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump continued his ongoing spat with London's newly elected mayor, Sadiq Khan, Monday as he brushed off the British official's recent criticisms and challenged him to an I.Q. test.
Sadiq Khan, London's newly elected mayor, speaks at an election event in London April 28. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Khan, the first Muslim to hold the office, has been outspoken with his distaste for the the GOP candidate's call for a moratorium on Muslims entering the U.S. '-- even though Trump has said he would make an exception for the mayor. Khan has contended that Trump's view of Islam is ''ignorant.''
During a Monday interview with Piers Morgan on ITV's ''Good Morning Britain,'' Trump admitted that he is offended by Khan's comments and challenged him to ''take an I.Q. test.''
''I think they're very rude statements, and frankly, tell him I will remember those statements '-- they're very nasty statements,'' Trump said.
''When he won, I wished him well. Now I don't care about him. I mean, it doesn't make any difference to me about him,'' the Manhattan businessman added. ''Let's see how he does; let's see if he's a good mayor.''
Later in the interview, Trump argued that, because ''Britain's been a great ally,'' the country would not automatically move to the ''back of the queue'' in trade deals with the U.S. during a Trump administration if the country chose to withdraw from the European Union. The Republican was referring to a warning President Barack Obama issued in April that, should British voters choose to leave the EU, the U.S. would not immediately broker bilateral trade deals with the U.K.:
Our focus is negotiating with a the big block to get a trade agreement done. '¨U.K. is going to be in the back of the queue. Not because we don't have a special relationship but because given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, the U.S. wants to have access to a big market, with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements.
''With me, [the country will] always be treated fantastically,'' Trump said. ''I don't want to say front [of the line] or anything else. With me, they'll be treated fairly, but it wouldn't make any difference to me whether they were in the EU or not.''
(H/T: CNN)
Follow Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) on Twitter
VIDEO-Roberta Lange Illegally Ends Nevada Convention #nvdemconvention - YouTube
Tue, 17 May 2016 08:06
VIDEO-CNN suggests NY Times didn't fully quote woman in Trump report: 'As a journalist, that's concerning' - YouTube
Mon, 16 May 2016 18:19
VIDEO-A Rant Against Sports Illustrated and 'Fat Model' Marketing'... >> Louder With Crowder
Mon, 16 May 2016 13:31
Steven CrowderWednesday February 17 2016
The latest, greatest and biggest trend these days is giant models. Well, giant WOMEN models. Still haven't seen giant male models with unsightly man-bewbs. Isn't that interesting? But I digress.
This plus-size model craze is not really about big beauty. It's about making fat girls feel good about themselves. Plus modeling has NOTHING to do with reflecting normal bodies. Case in point? The Sports Illustrated cover with Ashely Graham.
So what's the message to young women here? ''It's okay to be big and beautiful! Diabetic-size even. So long as you have a skinny face, perfect hair, skin teeth and Photoshop skills.''Fat models are not demanding that bigger women be judged on their talents but FORCING their gelatinous bodies in front of our faces.If you're obese and claim ''I'M PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE AND SEXY AND BEAUTIFUL!'' I'm going to look, judge and say ''No you're not.''Many of these plus-size models are charlatans. They deliberately stay big, FAKE exercise to claim that they're actually healthy and then turn it into a cottage alternative fitness industry. Case in point https://www.instagram.com/p/9LoHxDTZ-a/Most guys would prefer a different model. If that's hateful, then overtime a guy goes to a bar to pick up a date and he picks one chick over the other, that TOO would be hateful. Models don't need to be an intersection of the populace, they need to be beautiful. No one's expecting them to discover the next cure for cancer, we just want to look at them borderline naked. That's it. The market has spoken. It doesn't need to be a thing!What do you think? Tweet me at @scrowder so I can tell you how fantastically wrong you are.
VIDEO-This April Was The Hottest on Record, NASA Says | TIME
Mon, 16 May 2016 13:27
It was the hottest April on record this year, according to NASA, and increasing temperature patterns show 2016 is on the way to becoming the hottest year in recorded history.
The space agency has released its latest figures, showing this April was 1.11 degrees Celsius warmer than average April temperatures between 1951 and 1980, CNN reports. That also means April was the seventh month in a row to see global temperatures at least 1 degree Celsius higher than average.
The pattern began in February, when NASA said that month broke global temperature records by a ''stunning'' margin, The Guardian reports. The temperature record in February 2016 was 1.35 Celsius warmer than usual.


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Agenda 2030

Obama at Rutgers - Climate change not for political spin-KICKER.mp3




NYC to begin spraying for Zika over Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island.mp3

Elections 2016

Andrea Mitchell-Criticism Continues of Hillary Clinton's Wall Street Speech Judgment.mp3
Bernie Sanders Supporter Angie Morelli tells Maddow what really happened with Kicker from vice chair.mp3
CNN suggests NY Times didn't fully quote woman in Trump report- 'As a journalist, that's concerning'.mp3
CNN-Votimg machine problems then SNAP hillary wins.mp3
CNN-Voting machine problems LEAD IN.mp3
Delusional Bill Kristol Throws A Tantrum On CNN.mp3
Donald Trump on Muslim Ban- ‘Sure I’d Back Off On It’-SUGGESTION.mp3
Fox Bizz News-Clinton Foundation Fraud Whistleblower Charles Ortel.m4a
How Hillary Will Overcome Trump Business Expertise.m4a
Megan Kelly-Trump interview-Book PR.mp3
Mica Hillary clinton shorty on transcripts.mp3
Obama Preaching At Princeton About Stupid Trump.m4a
Roberta Lange Illegally Ends Nevada Convention #nvdemconvention.mp3


Chinks in the Armour-Italian region votes to scrap anti-Russian sanctions.mp3
Clashes in Idomeni as migrant frustration boils over.mp3
Roads, railways and refineries hit in two-day French strike.mp3


Whoopi Scoffs at ‘Classified’ Clinton Emails- ‘Nobody Said Jack Until She Was Running!’.mp3
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whoopie Classified-ISO.mp3
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whoopie what happened-ISO.mp3
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JCD Clips

28 pages update and explanation.mp3
equal pay for actresses.mp3
napolitano clinton oundation.mp3
Paris strikes.mp3
SANDERS NEVADA unreported DN.mp3
sanders on ABC with nervous schultz.mp3
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sanders violent turn best threat ABC.mp3
trump kissinger and the bomb ABC.mp3
TSA revolt continues.mp3
ZIKA cbs 10 TIMES.mp3
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US Ambassador to Oz John Berry on Int’l Anti-Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia Day Commends Efforts by ‘LGBT Persons and Our Straight Allies’.mp3

Ministry of Truth

CBS-Summit at Facebook to Discuss Surpression.mp3

Words Do Matter

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hillary clinton-2003-language as a weapon-IN CONTEXT.mp3
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