827: ELBOOB

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 37m
May 22nd, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Dave Thomson, Sir Tyler Fox, Kieron Cassidy, Sir Dwayne Melanin Arch Duke of the Pacific Northwest, Sir Davey of the Sooner State

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How I Acted Like A Pundit And Screwed Up On Donald Trump | FiveThirtyEight
Thu, 19 May 2016 22:46
Since Donald Trump effectively wrapped up the Republican nomination this month, I've seen a lot of critical self-assessments from empirically minded journalists '-- FiveThirtyEight included, twice over '-- about what they got wrong on Trump. This instinct to be accountable for one's predictions is good since the conceit of ''data journalism,'' at least as I see it, is to apply the scientific method to the news. That means observing the world, formulating hypotheses about it, and making those hypotheses falsifiable. (Falsifiability is one of the big reasons we make predictions.) When those hypotheses fail, you should re-evaluate the evidence before moving on to the next subject. The distinguishing feature of the scientific method is not that it always gets the answer right, but that it fails forward by learning from its mistakes.
But with some time to reflect on the problem, I also wonder if there's been too much #datajournalist self-flagellation. Trump is one of the most astonishing stories in American political history. If you really expected the Republican front-runner to be bragging about the size of his anatomy in a debate, or to be spending his first week as the presumptive nominee feuding with the Republican speaker of the House and embroiled in a controversy over a tweet about a taco salad, then more power to you. Since relatively few people predicted Trump's rise, however, I want to think through his nomination while trying to avoid the seduction of hindsight bias. What should we have known about Trump and when should we have known it?
It's tempting to make a defense along the following lines:
Almost nobody expected Trump's nomination, and there were good reasons to think it was unlikely. Sometimes unlikely events occur, but data journalists shouldn't be blamed every time an upset happens, particularly if they have a track record of getting most things right and doing a good job of quantifying uncertainty.
We could emphasize that track record; the methods of data journalism have been highly successful at forecasting elections. That includes quite a bit of success this year. The FiveThirtyEight ''polls-only'' model has correctly predicted the winner in 52 of 57 (91 percent) primaries and caucuses so far in 2016, and our related ''polls-plus'' model has gone 51-for-57 (89 percent). Furthermore, the forecasts have been well-calibrated, meaning that upsets have occurred about as often as they're supposed to but not more often.
But I don't think this defense is complete '-- at least if we're talking about FiveThirtyEight's Trump forecasts. We didn't just get unlucky: We made a big mistake, along with a couple of marginal ones.
The big mistake is a curious one for a website that focuses on statistics. Unlike virtually every other forecast we publish at FiveThirtyEight '-- including the primary and caucus projections I just mentioned '-- our early estimates of Trump's chances weren't based on a statistical model. Instead, they were what we ''subjective odds'' '-- which is to say, educated guesses. In other words, we were basically acting like pundits, but attaching numbers to our estimates. And we succumbed to some of the same biases that pundits often suffer, such as not changing our minds quickly enough in the face of new evidence. Without a model as a fortification, we found ourselves rambling around the countryside like all the other pundit-barbarians, randomly setting fire to things.
There's a lot more to the story, so I'm going to proceed in five sections:
1. Our early forecasts of Trump's nomination chances weren't based on a statistical model, which may have been most of the problem.
2. Trump's nomination is just one event, and that makes it hard to judge the accuracy of a probabilistic forecast.
3. The historical evidence clearly suggested that Trump was an underdog, but the sample size probably wasn't large enough to assign him quite so low a probability of winning.
4. Trump's nomination is potentially a point in favor of ''polls-only'' as opposed to ''fundamentals'' models.
5. There's a danger in hindsight bias, and in overcorrecting after an unexpected event such as Trump's nomination.
Our early forecasts of Trump's nomination chances weren't based on a statistical model, which may have been most of the problem.Usually when you see a probability listed at FiveThirtyEight '-- for example, that Hillary Clinton has a 93 percent chance to win the New Jersey primary '-- the percentage reflects the output from a statistical model. To be more precise, it's the output from a computer program that takes inputs (e.g., poll results), runs them through a bunch of computer code, and produces a series of statistics (such as each candidate's probability of winning and her projected share of the vote), which are then published to our website. The process is, more or less, fully automated: Any time a staffer enters new poll results into our database, the program runs itself and publishes a new set of forecasts. There's a lot of judgment involved when we build the model, but once the campaign begins, we're just pressing the ''go'' button and not making judgment calls or tweaking the numbers in individual states.
Anyway, that's how things usually work at FiveThirtyEight. But it's not how it worked for those skeptical forecasts about Trump's chance of becoming the Republican nominee. Despite the lack of a model, we put his chances in percentage terms on a number of occasions. In order of appearance '-- I may be missing a couple of instances '-- we put them at 2 percent (in August), 5 percent (in September), 6 percent (in November), around 7 percent (in early December), and 12 percent to 13 percent (in early January). Then, in mid-January, a couple of things swayed us toward a significantly less skeptical position on Trump.
First, it was becoming clearer that Republican ''party elites'' either didn't have a plan to stop Trump or had a stupid plan. Also, that was about when we launched our state-by-state forecast models, which showed Trump competitive with Cruz in Iowa and favored in New Hampshire. From that point onward, we were reasonably in line with the consensus view about Trump, although the consensus view shifted around quite a lot. By mid-February, after his win in New Hampshire, we put Trump's chances of winning the nomination at 45 percent to 50 percent, about where betting markets had him. By late February, after he'd won South Carolina and Nevada, we said, at about the same time as most others, that Trump would ''probably be the GOP nominee.''
But why didn't we build a model for the nomination process? My thinking was this: Statistical models work well when you have a lot of data, and when the system you're studying has a relatively low level of structural complexity. The presidential nomination process fails on both counts. On the data side, the current nomination process dates back only to 1972, and the data availability is spotty, especially in the early years. Meanwhile, the nomination process is among the most complex systems that I've studied. Nomination races usually have multiple candidates; some simplifying assumptions you can make in head-to-head races don't work very well in those cases. Also, the primaries are held sequentially, so what happens in one state can affect all the later ones. (Howard Dean didn't even come close to defeating John Kerry in 2004, for example, finishing with barely more than 100 delegates to Kerry's roughly 2,700, but if Dean had held on to win Iowa, he might have become the nominee.) To make matters worse, the delegate rules themselves are complicated, especially on the GOP side, and they can change quite a bit from year to year. The primaries may literally be chaotic, in the sense that chaos theory is defined. Under these conditions, any model is going to be highly sensitive to its assumptions '-- both in terms of which variables are chosen and how the model is parameterized.
The thing is, though, that if the nomination is hard to forecast with a model, it's just as hard to forecast without a model. We don't have enough historical data to know which factors are really predictive over the long run? Small, seemingly random events can potentially set the whole process on a different trajectory? Those are problems in understanding the primaries period, whether you're building a model or not.
And there's one big advantage a model can provide that ad-hoc predictions won't, which is how its forecasts evolve over time. Generally speaking, the complexity of a problem decreases as you get closer to the finish line. The deeper you get into the primaries, for example, the fewer candidates there are, the more reliable the polls become, and the less time there is for random events to intervene, all of which make the process less chaotic. Thus, a well-designed model will generally converge toward the right answer, even if the initial assumptions behind it are questionable.
Suppose, for instance, we'd designed a model that initially applied a fairly low weight to the polls '-- as compared with other factors like endorsements '-- but increased the weight on polls as the election drew closer. Based on having spent some time last week playing around with a couple of would-be models, I suspect that at some point '-- maybe in late November after Trump had gained in polls following the Paris terror attacks '-- the model would have shown Trump's chances of winning the nomination growing significantly.
A model might also have helped to keep our expectations in check for some of the other candidates. A simple, two-variable model that looked at national polls and endorsements would have noticed that Marco Rubio wasn't doing especially well on either front, for instance, and by the time he was beginning to make up ground in both departments, it was getting late in the game.
Without having a model, I found, I was subject to a lot of the same biases as the pundits I usually criticize. In particular, I got anchored on my initial forecast and was slow to update my priors in the face of new data. And I found myself selectively interpreting the evidence and engaging in some lazy reasoning.
Another way to put it is that a model gives you discipline, and discipline is a valuable resource when everyone is losing their mind in the midst of a campaign. Was an article like this one '-- the headline was ''Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump's Polls'' '-- intended as a critique of Trump's media coverage or as a skeptical analysis of his chances of winning the nomination? Both, but it's all sort of a muddle.
Trump's nomination is just one event, and that makes it hard to judge the accuracy of a probabilistic forecast.The campaign has seemed to last forever, but from the standpoint of scoring a forecast, the Republican nomination is just one event. Sometimes, low-probability events come through. Earlier this month, Leicester City won the English Premier League despite having been a 5,000-to-1 underdog at the start of the season, according to U.K. bookmakers. By contrast, our 5 percent chance estimate for Trump in September 2015 gave him odds of ''only'' about 20-to-1 against.
What should you think about an argument along the lines of ''sorry, but the 20-to-1 underdog just so happened to come through this time!'' It seems hard to disprove, but it also seems to shirk responsibility. How, exactly, do you evaluate a probabilistic forecast?
The right way is with something called calibration. Calibration works like this: Out of all events that you forecast to have (for example) a 10 percent chance of occurring, they should happen around 10 percent of the time '-- not much more often but also not much less often. Calibration works well when you have large sample sizes. For example, we've forecast every NBA regular season and playoff game this year. The biggest upset came on April 5, when the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Golden State Warriors despite having only a 4 percent chance of winning, according to our model. A colossal failure of prediction? Not according to calibration. Out of all games this year where we've had one team as at least a 90 percent favorite, they've won 99 out of 108 times, or around 92 percent of the time, almost exactly as often as they're supposed to win.
Another, more pertinent example of a well-calibrated model is our state-by-state forecasts thus far throughout the primaries. Earlier this month, Bernie Sanders won in Indiana when our ''polls-only'' forecast gave him just a 15 percent chance and our ''polls-plus'' forecast gave him only a 10 percent chance. More impressively, he won in Michigan, where both models gave him under a 1 percent chance. But there have been dozens of primaries and only a few upsets, and the favorites are winning about as often as they're supposed to. In the 31 cases where our ''polls-only'' model gave a candidate at least a 95 percent chance of winning a state, he or she won 30 times, with Clinton in Michigan being the only loss. Conversely, of the 93 times when we gave a candidate less than a 5 percent chance of winning, Sanders in Michigan was the only winner.
WIN PROBABILITY RANGENO. FORECASTSEXPECTED NO. WINNERSACTUAL NO. WINNERS95-100%3130.53075-94%1512.51350-74%116.9925-49%124.025-24%222.410-4%930.91Calibration for FiveThirtyEight ''polls-only'' forecastBased on election day forecasts in 2016 primaries and caucuses. Probabilities listed as ''>99%'' and ''99%'' and ''
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Super PAC Seeks IRS Audit of Clinton Foundation - Washington Wire - WSJ
Fri, 20 May 2016 05:41
The conservative super PAC American Crossroads said Monday it filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service requesting an audit of the Clinton Foundation, following articles last week about how the foundation aided a for-profit company part-owned by people with ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The complaint by the group'--founded by Karl Rove, a former political adviser to President George W. Bush and a writer for The Wall Street Journal's op-ed pages'--cites a Journal article as well as a New York Post article that quoted government watchdogs criticizing the Clinton Foundation commitment.
The Journal article documented the Clintons' ties to the owners of Energy Pioneer Solutions Inc. that benefited from a $2 million commitment coordinated by the Clinton Global Initiative, a wing of the foundation. Julie Tauber McMahon, a close friend of former President Bill Clinton, owned a 29% stake in the company, while Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias owned 5% and Mark Weiner, a supplier to political campaigns and a longtime friend of the Clintons, owned 5%.
Under federal law, tax-exempt charitable organizations aren't supposed to act in anyone's private interest but instead in the public interest, on broad issues such as education or poverty.
The Clinton family foundation has been a focus of criticism over donations received from governments and corporations that had business before Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state and that could be affected by decisions she would make if elected president.
''These two articles appear to provide 'probable cause' for an IRS investigation into whether the Clinton Foundation wrongly provided private benefits to close friends and supporters of the individuals who control the organization,'' American Crossroads President Steven Law wrote in the complaint. ''In fact, it is undisputed that the Clinton Foundation used its charitable assets to aid a for-profit corporation owned by people with direct personal and political connections with the Clinton Family, which in turns controls the Clinton Foundation.'' He called the foundation ''unlike any other family-linked charitable foundation in memory.''
The IRS didn't respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Mr. Clinton, Angel Urena, told the Journal last week that ''President Clinton counts many CGI participants as friends. ''Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian called the commitment an instance of ''mission-driven investing'...in and by for-profit companies,'' which he said ''is a common practice in the broader philanthropic space, as well as among CGI commitments.'' Mr. Minassian responded to a request for comment Monday with a link to a Medium blog post by the foundation defending its work and denying allegations of wrongdoing. He also pointed to a blog post by a University of Notre Dame Law School professor, Lloyd Mayer, that said the foundation had not broken any rules. The Clinton campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
American Crossroads, one of the biggest pro-Republican super PACs in the last presidential election, has so far played a limited role in the presidential race. It has spent just $136,000 on ads against Mrs. Clinton, currently the Democratic front-runner and has said it is planning for now to focus on Senate races.
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Bill Weld, Running as a Libertarian, Likens Donald Trump's Immigration Plan to Kristallnacht - NYTimes.com
Sat, 21 May 2016 15:06
William F. Weld, the twice-elected former Republican governor of Massachusetts, who was last seen campaigning in the 2006 Republican primary for governor of New York, now hopes to be on a national ticket as the vice-presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.
And he is already on the attack.
In his first interview since accepting an invitation to be the running mate of former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, Mr. Weld assailed Donald J. Trump over his call to round up and deport the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.
''I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear that, honest,'' Mr. Weld said Thursday.
Mr. Weld, 70, was not uniformly critical of the presumptive Republican nominee. ''I don't consider myself part of the Never Trump movement,'' he said, expressing admiration for Mr. Trump's success in the primary contest.
''I'm not horrified about everything Mr. Trump has done at all,'' he said, adding: ''I think he's done a lot. But when I think about some of the positions, I think they're way out there.''
Where he differs with Mr. Trump most sharply is on Mr. Trump's call for mass deportations.
Asked if he believed Mr. Trump was a fascist, Mr. Weld demurred. ''My Kristallnacht analogy does evoke the Nazi period in Germany,'' he said. ''And that's what I'm worried about: a slippery slope.''
After a circuitous answer, he eventually came to a conclusion. ''No, I wouldn't call Mr. Trump either a fascist or a Nazi,'' Mr. Weld said. ''I'm just saying, we got to watch it when we get exclusionary about people on account of their status as a member of a group.''
Mr. Weld also objected to Mr. Trump's repeated threats to impose tariffs on goods imported from Mexico and China. ''That's a pretty good prescription to having China be the only superpower in about 10 years,'' he said, leaning forward to make sure a reporter understood him. ''China '-- not the U.S.''
Mr. Weld's best known previous turn on the national stage was in 1997, when he resigned as governor to focus on his appointment by President Bill Clinton as ambassador to Mexico.
That did not go well: He was blocked by Senator Jesse Helms and withdrew his nomination after a heated battle in which Mr. Weld, a pillar of what was left of the moderate northeastern Republican establishment, loudly assailed Mr. Helms and the archconservatives who stood behind him.
A former prosecutor, Mr. Weld could appeal to some disaffected Republicans on a ticket alongside Mr. Johnson at a time when other efforts by Republicans to recruit a third-party candidate '-- in part in the hopes of keeping anti-Trump Republican voters from staying home and costing the party's lower-tier candidates '-- are close to fizzling.
Mr. Weld said Mr. Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2012 who is seeking the party's nomination again, spoke to him last weekend about running. Their hope is to amass enough support in national polls to be included in the presidential debates. If that happened, Mr. Weld said hopefully, it would not be impossible to envision a minor-party ticket winning the White House.
But he also did not protest too much when asked how he would reassure those who, mindful of his willingness to roll the dice in politics, might question his level of commitment to a national run.
Graphic | Where Trump Breaks With the Republican Party Donald J. Trump is set to be the Republican standard-bearer, but when it comes to some of his policies, he is out of sync with many Republican leaders in Congress.
''There's some truth in that,'' said Mr. Weld, who now works at a law firm, Mintz Levin, and its lobbying arm, ML Strategies. ''I do like to climb mountains in politics, and I do enjoy running for office.''
The Libertarian Party says it already will be on the ballot in 32 states and is working on the rest. It will pick its presidential and vice-presidential nominees at a convention over Memorial Day weekend in Orlando, Fla.
Mr. Weld suggested that the Libertarian message, which emphasizes civil liberties and small government, could appeal to younger voters.
Discussing foreign policy, he spoke critically of the Iraq invasion of 2003 and of putting ''boots on the ground'' in the Middle East to project American strength. But he was supportive of the Obama administration on the Iran nuclear deal that Republicans frequently criticize.
''I thought the game was worth the candle there, and that's politically incorrect in almost all circles '-- certainly in Republican circles '-- but I think I do feel that way, and I followed that closely,'' Mr. Weld said, adding, ''I know John Kerry quite well and I saw his going back and forth, and rather admired it.'' (Mr. Weld unsuccessfully challenged Mr. Kerry in the 1996 Senate race.)
Asked about Hillary Clinton, Mr. Weld noted that he had known her since they were both in their 20s. ''I've always just thought of her as a really great kid,'' he said.
Mr. Weld said he possessed a deep libertarian streak, and pined for a time when that was more widespread in the Republican Party. He complained about the polarization in Congress and remembered his early days working on Capitol Hill, before law school, for Senator Jacob K. Javits, Republican of New York.
''It was a totally different era and a wonderful era,'' he said. ''It was wonderful to be in Washington in those days. And things absolutely got done.''
The "Good German" syndrome
Sat, 21 May 2016 14:42
The "Good German" syndrome People still blame the Germans for allowing Hitler to do the evil that he did, and in particular for pretending not to see the Holocaust as it occurred around them. Germans at the time thought: * I didn't vote for him* most people don't support him* I engaged in some forms of protest* although the forms of protest I engaged in were mocked and derided by the government and by those in the media, I did everything I could do and I sure felt good about myself as I protested* if it weren't for the fact that the government would arrest and possibly kill me, I would have done more* I didn't see anything directly, so I wasn't sure of how bad it actually was* people in positions of high authority convinced me that whatever they were doing was for the best* I live in a civilized, democratic country, certainly the most civilized and democratic that has ever been, and my country wouldn't do evil things* these people were going to destroy our country, so what we had to do was just self-defense* why do you blame us when we're the victims?* there are many people in my country who support our government with a radical fervor, many of them my neighbors and relatives, and I want to get along with them or I fear their reaction should I dare to express dissent* anyone who expresses the least amount of dissent faces the general hatred of the public* anyone who expresses the least amount of dissent may lose his or her job or livelihood* anything I might have done wouldn't have made any difference* the people who are doing the work of the government are 'our troops', and must be supported in whatever they have to do on our behalf* the alleged victims of my government aren't fully human, and their lives aren't worth even the slightest inconvenience or risk to our lives* the alleged victims of my government have a false and evil religion, and my true religion gives me the right to eliminate them* after the sufferings we've faced, no one can dare tell us what to do* what my country is doing is actually for the improvement of the lives of what busybodies describe as its 'victims'* my country right or wrong (no, sorry, that is someone else - the Germans weren't that stupid)* our leaders are particularly blessed and wise, with a direct line to God, and would never do the wrong thing. Can Americans today see the similarities between Hitler's Germany and Bush's America? Of course, the Germans said that they couldn't have known the evil that the Third Reich was capable of. It is perhaps unfair to say that every American who isn't doing everything possible now to stop the insanity is personally morally responsible for the death of every Iraqi. However, there is an immoral crime of the highest order being committed in America, and somebody is morally responsible. History teaches us lessons if we care to learn them.Fascism watchDissent pageIndex of WebsiteHome Page
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Trump's Financial Report? That's Rich - Bloomberg View
Sat, 21 May 2016 17:44
Donald Trump has once again made his income and wealth objects of fascination and confusion in the 2016 presidential race -- this time, by filing an updated personal financial disclosure form with the Federal Election Commission.
''I filed my PFD, which I am proud to say is the largest in the history of the FEC,'' Trump said on Tuesday. ''I have built an incredible company and have accumulated one of the greatest portfolios of real estate assets, many of which are considered to be among the finest and most iconic properties in the world. This is the kind of thinking the country needs.''
While Trump's iconic (but relatively modest) real estate portfolio hasn't actually allowed him to claim membership in the top tier of major New York real estate developers for decades now -- based on the square footage or value of the properties he's owned and brought to market -- the new personal finance disclosure did give him the opportunity to put more public clothing on his finances.
What were the ''incredible'' numbers the presumptive Republican presidential nominee disclosed in the new filing? More than $557 million in ''income,'' up from $362 million he disclosed in an FEC document filed last July. Hold on, though.
In a press release, the Trump team also described that $557 million as ''revenue.'' To be clear, ''income'' is meant to be the amount of money Trump puts in his own pocket each year and ''revenue" is the amount of money his businesses pull in (before expenses and other goodies that reside above the bottom line). As he did in his July release, Trump appears to be conflating income and revenue in his public disclosures.
These figures also look a little odd when paired with reporting from Crain's Aaron Elstein, which showed that Trump received a New York State tax break reserved for households with annual incomes of $500,000 or less. Trump received the breaks automatically because he was on a list of eligible recipients. ''Could a reason be that his income in certain years was actually under the $500,000 threshold?'' Elstein asked. ''No one who knows will say.'' (Trump's representatives and state officials agree that taking the break was a mistake.)
Trump also noted in the press release this week that his net worth had recently ballooned to an unspecified figure ''in excess of $10 billion.'' That's soared handsomely from the $8.7 billion he said he was worth when he announced his presidential run last June, and the $10 billion he said he was worth only a month after that. It's also far more than the $2.9 billion figure that my Bloomberg News colleague Caleb Melby arrived at after reviewing Trump's holdings in July.
Trump, who flirted with personal bankruptcy in the early '90s, has never publicly offered an independently vetted assessment of all his debts. Indeed, much of the financial information he discloses is self-reported. Until that changes, there's a good chance that a strong dose of grade inflation runs through all of the net worth figures cited above.
There's a method to all of this for Trump. Despite a long history of major business failures, he has used claims of outsized wealth as proof that he's a business titan and savvy deal-maker -- skills he claims will accompany him to the White House. Trump has also gotten decades of traction with the media by offering wildly differing statements about how much money he has, coaxing flocks of newspapers, magazines, TV shows and Web sites into ping-pong matches in which interviewers guess at what he's worth just as he sends another magical number back over the net. (Disclosure: I wrote a Trump biography, ''TrumpNation,'' for which he sued me in 2006 because, among other things, it questioned the size of his fortune. The suit was later dismissed.)
Trump has courted inclusion in the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans ever since the tally was first launched in 1982. He made the cut that year, when the magazine gave him props for an unspecified share of a family fortune estimated to be $200 million. Casino regulators, on the other hand, combed through his books as part of a licensing process at the time and they calculated that Trump had just $6,000 in savings, received a $100,000 salary from his wealthy father, and had snared a $1 million commission for completing a New York hotel deal -- all balanced against a $35 million credit line from a bank. In short, he appeared to be light on savings and potentially swamped in debt, which isn't typically a recipe for robust personal wealth.
Trump climbed the Forbes list in subsequent years, earning his place in 1989 based on the notion that he had $1.7 billion. Then he disappeared entirely in 1990, not to return until 1996. Forbes speculated that Trump's wealth in 1990 may have dropped to zero, when, in fact, his personal loan guarantees of $900 million at the time put him well below even that. He appeared on the Forbes 400 again in 1996 and has been a mainstay ever since.
In 2004, while I was trying to assess Trump's wealth, he told me that he was worth $4 billion to $5 billion before lowering the figure later that day to $1.7 billion. My sources -- individuals who worked with Trump and had a good sense of his finances -- thought he was worth $150 million to $250 million. Trump sued me for publishing that figure as part of a range of assessments of his wealth, saying it had damaged his reputation and business. Among the documents discussed during the litigation was a Deutsche Bank assessment from 2005 that put Trump's net worth at about $788 million; at the time, Forbes had pegged Trump at $2.7 billion, he was telling bankers and regulators that he was worth $3.6 billion, and he was telling me he was worth $5 billion to $6 billion (a billion or two more than what he had told me the year before).
By any measure, Trump is a really rich dude. But his fixation on ceaselessly tossing out sky-high figures displays a routine neediness that's cause for concern in a candidate for the presidency. It also is something you don't see in a long line of wealthy businesspeople stretching from Rockefeller and Buffett through Gates and Zuckerberg -- all of whom chose to do other things than brag about their riches.
''A fellow asked me that once and I said, 'I don't know,'' Nelson Bunker Hunt once told a congressional panel grilling him about his net worth. ''But I do know people who know how much they are worth generally aren't worth much.''
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:Timothy L. O'Brien at tobrien46@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story:David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net
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MS804
Richard Quest
MS804-KINKY NEWS NETWORK | New York Post
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:33
This is CNN? Kinky!
CNN personality Richard Quest was busted in Central Park early yesterday with some drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot, law-enforcement sources said.
Quest, 46, was arrested at around 3:40 a.m. after a cop spotted him and another man inside the park near 64th Street, a police source said.
The criminal complaint against Quest said the park was closed at the time '' something Quest should have known because of all the signs saying ''Park Closed 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.''
Quest was initially busted for loitering, the source said. Aside from the oddly configured rope, the search also turned up a sex toy inside of his boot, and a small bag of methamphetamine in his left jacket pocket.
It wasn't immediately clear what the rope was for.
The criminal complaint says the officer at the scene was able to ID the drug because of ''his prior experience as a police officer in drug arrests, observation of packaging which is characteristic of this type of drug, and defendant's statements that . . . 'I've got some meth in my pocket.' ''
He was charged with loitering and criminal possession of a controlled substance. His unusual get-up didn't lead to a lewdness charge because he wasn't exposing himself, the police source said.
Quest's unidentified companion was given a summons for not carrying any identification, the source said.
Quest's lawyer, Alan Abramson, had a much more innocuous version of events.
''Mr. Quest didn't realize that the park had a curfew,'' Abramson said. He was simply ''returning to his hotel with friends.''
At a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court, Quest agreed to undergo six months of drug counseling in return for an ''adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,'' which means the misdemeanor charges against him will be dropped and the case sealed if he stays out of trouble and completes his drug program.
He was released with no bail after spending most of the day behind bars.
Abramson predicted after the hearing that ''the case will be dismissed.'' He declined to answer questions.
Quest, known for his hollering antics and stunts on the cable news network and its international counterpart, declined comment, as did a CNN spokeswoman.
On his official CNN bio, the network calls him ''one of the most instantly recognizable members of the CNN team.''
''He has become one of the network's highest profile presenters,'' and his ''dynamic and distinctive style has made him a unique figure in the field of business and news broadcasting,'' the network's Web site says.
He was reportedly once offered a position for the English-language version of the controversial Al Jazeera network, but said he turned it down because being gay and Jewish, he didn't think it would be a good fit.
Additional reporting by Adam Buckman
Equipment switch
Flight radar.com etc
3 Sky Marshalls
Original wreckage, from what?
VIDEO-Egypt Air recovery video Hmmmm
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:56
EgyptAir Flight 804: No explosion detected by satellites - LA Times
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:49
An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar screens and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday. Read the full story here.
The plane disappeared from radar screens almost four hours into the flight.It was 10 miles inside Egyptian airspace over the Mediterranean Sea at the time of disappearance, about 175 miles from the Egyptian coast. Debris was found near the Greek island of Karpathos, but airline officials later said it didn't belong to the missing jet.66 people were on board the plane: 56 passengers and 10 crew members.Among the 56 passengers, 30 were Egyptian, 15 were from France, two from Iraq, and one each from Britain, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Kuwait and Canada. There were two babies and one child on board.
Egypt, Greece conclude naval training in Alexandria - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online
Thu, 19 May 2016 21:01
Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 May 2016An Egyptian-Greek maritime military exercise held in Egyptian regional waters and on the beaches of Alexandria concluded Monday according to armed forces spokesperson Brigadier General Mohamed Samir.The joint military training between the two nation's navies, named Alexandria 2016, was held to encourage "the continuation of the development and the consolidation of military relations between Egypt and Greece," Samir's statement read.
The army spokesperson added that "the armed forces leadership is keen on the exchange of expertise with various countries to develop officers' skills in combat efficiency," as well as "unifying operational concepts between [the two] countries."
The training included exercises on maritime surveillance on enemy targets, avoiding mines, countering pirate attacks, live fire exercises, and using air defense weapons to secure maritime units.
Short link:
Swerving = BS
ACARS-Smoke can be vapor from decompression
Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System
Data Points to Rapid Loss of Control Aboard EgyptAir Jet - NYTimes.com
Sat, 21 May 2016 17:48
CAIRO '-- A piece of luggage adrift in the Mediterranean Sea. Floating nearby, a passenger seat from a plane. Scraps of metal, scattered personal belongings and, finally, the grim discovery of human remains.
As the investigation continued Friday into what caused an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo to suddenly and violently plunge from the sky, the discovery of the debris allowed search crews to home in on the location of the crash '-- an area about 180 miles north of Alexandria, Egypt '-- even as its cause remained a mystery and the subject of intense speculation.
Data that was transmitted from the aircraft to operators on the ground, published Friday by a respected aviation journal, revealed a rapid loss of control, with alarms and computer-system failures in the seconds before the plane was lost from radar.
The transmissions are evidence of a catastrophic failure, but do not answer the crucial question: What caused it? Why would a plane with a good safety record and experienced pilots fall from the sky on a clear spring night?
No bulk wreckage has been found, and the parts of the aircraft most likely to provide clues for investigators '-- including the voice and data recorders '-- are also the ones most likely to quickly sink to the seafloor.
An Egyptian official has said that investigators consider terrorism to be one possible cause of the disaster, but no terrorist group has claimed responsibility. Officials cautioned that there was no direct evidence to suggest a bomb aboard the plane, or any other deliberate act of sabotage.
The plane, a twin-engine Airbus A320 jet, went down Thursday while flying through a cloudless night sky en route to Cairo from Paris.
Graphic | The EgyptAir Flight: Moment by Moment EgyptAir Flight 804, en route from Paris to Cairo, disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday morning after it abruptly turned and dropped in altitude.
The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority provided what a spokesman called a definitive timeline on the disaster. The agency reported that the flight was proceeding normally at 1:48 a.m. Cairo time on Thursday, when Greek traffic controllers last spoke with the pilot, who seemed in good spirits.
At 2:27 a.m., when the plane was passing from Greek to Egyptian-supervised airspace, the controllers in Athens tried and failed repeatedly to reach the pilots by radio. Even attempts on an emergency frequency failed.
At the same time, technical data was being transmitted from the plane automatically through its Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or Acars, which modern jetliners use to provide status updates to maintenance and operational centers on the ground.
Representatives of Airbus and the Federal Aviation Administration said they could not confirm the authenticity of the technical signals. Dina El-Fouly, a spokeswoman for EgyptAir, declined to comment on the apparently leaked data.
''We cannot say anything, because we have already launched a committee to investigate the crash,'' she said. ''It hasn't told us anything until now.''
The data, first reported on AVHerald.com, is written tersely in abbreviations and codes. Robert W. Mann, a former airline executive and an industry analyst, said the jargon in the messages told a compelling, although incomplete, story.
At 2:26 a.m., a message indicated that the right cockpit window had been opened. This could have been done to vent smoke, Mr. Mann said, or something else could have caused the breach.
Over the next two minutes, there were two smoke indications, one in a bathroom and another in the avionics bay, the part of the plane where much of its electronic equipment is housed.
Mr. Mann cautioned that these messages did not necessarily mean that there was a fire. The messages could also have been prompted by rapid decompression of the aircraft, which can produce condensation that the plane's sensors could mistake for smoke.
Finally at 2:29, there were two more alerts having to do with the plane's flight control computer systems.
''The last two are troubling,'' Mr. Mann said. ''You are starting to really see things rapidly degrade.''
First, there was a problem with the autoflight control computer. The jet would have been flying near its maximum speed and elevation at that time. That is the most efficient way for jetliners to fly, and it is safe, but pilots prefer to rely on autopilot systems in those conditions because if they were to ever lose control of the plane, it could be hard to regain, Mr. Mann said. That is why pilots sometimes call those conditions the ''coffin corner.''
The last message had to do with the spoiler elevator controller, which essentially controls the flaps responsible for pitch and roll control. The computer controlling these failed as well.
''It looks to me like you have a progressive flight control system failure,'' Mr. Mann said. It is over the course of two minutes, which might have seemed like an eternity on that plane, but is relatively fast.
This is also the moment that the plane left Greek airspace, and at 2:29:40 a.m., Greek controllers lost the aircraft's trace, just inside Egyptian airspace, about halfway between Crete and Egypt.
Around this time, the plane made a 90-degree turn to the left and then a full circle to the right, dropping precipitously to 15,000 feet from 37,000 and then plunging again to 9,000 feet before it disappeared from radar.
The crew never gave any indication of a technical problem or other difficulties on board, even during the final, fatal minutes when the plane itself was transmitting data indicating a catastrophic failure.
One former crash investigator said that radar evidence pointing to a series of sharp maneuvers in the moments before radar contact was lost suggested that the plane was almost certainly not under the control of the pilots.
Whatever upset the Airbus was so sudden and violent that it could not be compensated for by the plane's automated safety systems.
''In my mind, this basically opens two axes of possibility: either a sudden technical problem or some kind of illicit or terrorist act,'' said the expert, Alain Bouillard, a former chief investigator for the French Bureau of Investigations and Analyses.
Given the limited amount of evidence available so far, experts said it was difficult to say with any certainty what kind of technical failure could have brought the plane down.
One possibility, Mr. Bouillard said, might be a malfunction in the plane's cabin pressurization systems that could have caused the fuselage to rupture. At high altitude, such a rupture could be potentially catastrophic if the crew was unable to initiate a controlled descent to a lower altitude and make an emergency landing.
If the inquiry fails to uncover strong evidence of a technical problem, experts said the possibility of a more sinister chain of events would most likely take prominence. But given the circumstances of this accident, particularly in the absence of a claim of responsibility by a terrorist group or intelligence pointing to a perpetrator, it could take months to prove with any certainty that it was a terrorist act.
An initial review of the passengers aboard against American terrorist watch lists have found no matches, according to Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who has received several briefings on the investigation.
The Islamic State, considered the most likely group behind the attack, is normally quick to announce its role, as it did last fall after the crash of a Russian flight over Egypt's Sinai Desert.
''It's important to note that attribution in the theater of terrorism is crucial,'' said Michael S. Smith II, a managing partner of Kronos Advisory, a firm specializing in terrorism research.
What may be most valuable to investigators '-- and perhaps far more difficult to recover '-- is material that would have quickly sunk to the seafloor.
If that debris is scattered over a wide area, and the pieces are relatively small, it would suggest that the plane broke up in the air '-- supporting the theory of an onboard explosion. However, if the debris field is concentrated in a relatively small area, that would indicate that the aircraft hit the surface of the water largely intact.
The plane's two data recorders, or ''black boxes,'' if they can be recovered, would also provide important clues.
The shock wave of an onboard explosion, for example, may have been captured by the microphones of the cockpit voice recorder, experts said; such a blast would also instantly disable the flight data recorder. In the event of a technical failure, Mr. Bouillard said, the data recorder '-- which tracks information including the plane's position, speed, altitude and direction '-- would normally continue to function until the moment of impact.
Officials could also not rule out that one of the pilots intentionally brought down the plane.
The flight track of the Airbus on Thursday indicated that it crashed halfway between Crete and Egypt, which could mean it landed on what scientists refer to as the Mediterranean Ridge.
The ridge has been pushed upward by the African plate of the earth's crust sliding under the Aegean Sea, deforming and crumbling the seafloor, said William B.F. Ryan, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University who has studied the Mediterranean seafloor.
The water there is about 1.5 miles deep, and picking out wreckage at the bottom from among the bumps, which are perhaps 50 to 100 feet in size, could be complex, he said.
If the plane crashed farther to the south, the wreckage would lie on a smoother plain at a depth between 1.7 and 2 miles, Dr. Ryan said. In that case, the search would go faster '-- and the much-desired answer to what caused the crash could come quicker.
Correction: May 20, 2016
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to a comment by Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, the Egyptian Army spokesman, about the wreckage found. He made the comment '-- ''There is no doubt'' that the debris was from the EgyptAir plane '-- in a telephone interview, not in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
Follow Kareem Fahim on Twitter @kfahim.
Kareem Fahim reported from Cairo, Marc Santora from New York and Nicola Clark from Paris. Reporting was contributed by Nour Youssef from Cairo; Kenneth Chang from New York; Dimitris Bounias from Athens; Ben Hubbard from Beirut, Lebanon; and Dan Bilefsky from London.
Crash: Egypt A320 over Mediterranean on May 19th 2016, aircraft found crashed, ACARS messages indicate fire on board
Sat, 21 May 2016 17:50
By Simon Hradecky, created Thursday, May 19th 2016 03:35Z, last updated Saturday, May 21st 2016 13:30ZAn Egyptair Airbus A320-200, registration SU-GCC performing flight MS-804 (dep May 18th) from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Cairo (Egypt) with 56 passengers and 10 crew, was enroute at FL370 over the Mediterranan Sea about 130nm north of Alexandria (Egypt) and about 210nm northnorthwest of Cairo when the transponder signals of the aircraft ceased at 02:33L (00:33Z). The aircraft was located crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, there were no survivors.
Search and Recovery
On May 19th 2016 France is joining the search and rescue efforts dispatching ships and aircraft into the search area, which is already being scanned by Greek and Egypt aircraft and ships.
On May 19th 2016 a good number of civilian ships in the area have, according to MarineTraffic, veered off their intended courses and are now steaming towards a common position at approximately N33.4 E29.7 approximately 30nm eastnortheast of the last ADS-B position. A first ship "Oceanus" has already reached that position and is nearly stationary there.
On May 20th morning Egypt's Military announced, Egyptian naval aircraft and vessels found debris from the A320 aircraft as well as personal belongings of passengers about 290km (156nm) north of Alexandria (Egypt).
UBI
From anonymous producer
Hi Adam, Please do not read my name on the show if you mention this letter.
In your latest show, 827, you mentioned confusion as to why "everyone is so hyped on UBI" (paraphrased).
I think there are TWO primary contributing factors.
Firstly: As a millennial, at least in my friend groups, if you bring up the topics of automation or the future of careers and potential in the work force, there is one resounding consensus: hopelessness. We all see automation as a forgone conclusion. Everyone is essentially (used on purpose) in a state of existential listlessness with regards to their future. I have friends, smart friends, friends with electrical engineering degrees from top 50 universities who work for minimum wage in coffee shops! We're all clamoring for the few jobs that exist, while knowing in the back of our minds that the majority of us are and will be unemployed.
So when someone brings up UBI, their thought process is "Wait, I don't have to have a pyrrhic work-life balance? I can actually do things I enjoy and don't have to return to my parents in shame and debt? Yeah sign me up!"
That is why millennials love the UBI- we see the job market as bad and only getting worse, and UBI offers us something other than shame, debt, and starvation. Make no mistake, shame and resignation of the future are the two largest descriptors of millennials. I'm sure you can trace other seemingly anomalous aspects of millennial behavior to these (need for distractions, alcoholism, etc)
The second reason is more sinister, and may be a bit crackpot:
I believe some of the hype for UBI is being manufactured, and integrally related to the ideas BLM et all. Let's assume prima facie that the US doesn't want it's people to revolt. I think that is a reasonable assumption. If the powers that be" know some heavy bullshit is coming down the pipe, they would want to stop as much as possible the people from revolting if it is seen as the government's fault. Keep in mind, the US is a society primed for revolt- as you might not "its in our DNA". Our cultural narrative is that of rebellious heroes. Americans love an underdog for exactly that reason.
So, how would a "sitting power" stop the people from rebelling in the future? Subtle pressures. Subtle confluent forces stopping anything from ever starting. Let's look at BLM: it is a divisive movement that is doing more harm than good for race relations in the US. (I actually suspect a common cause of both BLM and the SJW phenomenon, if you're interested I can send another email). Why is BLM dividing the people? Because it is much harder to lead a group of the disaffected if they have pre-programmed internal conflicts.
How does this relate to UBI? UBI is literally the government doling out livelyhoods to those that have none other. This, obviously, engenders an affection for the government. How much more strain can you put on a dog if you're the only way it eats? How much longer before it bites the hand that feeds? I would wager significantly longer. Faced with the prospect of revolt due to blatant tyranny or injustice, or coasting along as a peasant, I think most would chose the latter when push comes to shove.
Then again, maybe it is just a crackpot idea.
ITM,
History of UBIE - Unconditional Basic Income Europe
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:40
UBIE was started at the end of the European Citizens' Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income which was launched in 2013 as the first step towards the consolidation of a movement for Basic Income in Europe. This initiative '-- the very first of its kind worldwide '-- achieved to collect 300,000 signatures in the EU and involved more than 25 countries across the EU.
have triggered the creation of new groups promoting UBI in several european countries such as Greece, UK, Portugal, Romania.
Participants of the first meeting in Brussels
The preparation process of the European Citizen's Initiative started in April 2012, with a first meeting organised in the European Parliament of Brussels.
About 50 participants from all across Europe participated and decided to form a Working European Citizens' Committee. This committee met quarterly and became the informal decision-taking body of the ECI Campaign. Since April 2012, the committee met in Paris, (july 2012) Munich (september 2012), Firenze (october 2012), Strasbourg (february 2013), Koln (may 2013), Berlin (september 2013, Luxembourg (december 2013).
At the last meeting in Luxembourg, the Committee decided unanimously to create a new formal organisation to keep up the momentum generated during the European Citizens' Initiative and build the movement further.
Another meeting took place in Brussels on february 17th 2014 with organisers from 17 european countries including Norway. It was decided to name our organisation ''Unconditional Basic Income Europe ''(UBIE).
Meetings of UBIE have been in Athens (september 2014), Vienna (january 2015), Maribor (march 2015)
In june 2015 UBIE was accepted as an AISBL (Association internationale sans but lucratif '' International Non-Profit Organization) in Belgium. We are only waiting for the publication to the official journal of Belgium now.
Thank you to all who to what has been a very long and tortuous process, both with your work on the constitution and with your generous donations so we could afford to apply.
The final constitution is in French: Constitution_ UBIE_FR.pdfThere is an English version to be read here: Constitution_UBIE_EN.pdf
We had to make some small changes to get it through the legal requirements for AISBL, but it is pretty much as we agreed in September in Athens.
About Basic Income Earth Network - BIEN
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:38
Founded in 1986, the Basic Income European Network (BIEN) aims to serve as a link between individuals and groups committed to, or interested in, basic income, i.e. an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement, and to foster informed discussion on this topic throughout Europe.
Members of BIEN include academics, students and social policy practitioners as well as people actively engaged in political, social and religious organisations. They vary in terms of disciplinary backgrounds and political affiliations no less than in terms of age and citizenship. In the course of two decades, ''BIEN'' has become somewhat of a misnomer, as scholars and activists from other continents have actively joined the network.
Common to all is the belief that some sort of economic right based upon citizenship '' rather than upon one's relationship to the production process or one's family status '' is called for as part of the just solution to social problems in advanced societies. Basic Income, conceived as a universal and unconditional, if modest, continuous stream of income granted throughout life to all members of a political community is just the simplest and most striking element in an expanding set of social policy proposals inspired by this belief and currently debated, if not already implemented.
To actively foster this debate, BIEN publishes a newsletter which provides an up-to-date and comprehensive international overview on relevant events and publications. It organises bi-annual BIEN-congresses where people from more than twenty countries have met to report and discuss basic income and related proposals in connection with a broad spectrum of themes, such as unemployment, European integration, poverty, development, changing patterns of work career and family life, and principles of social justice.
BIEN expanded its scope from European to the Earth in 2004. It is an international network that serves as a link between individuals and groups committed to or interested in basic income, and fosters informed discussion of the topic throughout the world.
Learn more about us:>> Executive Committee>> Annual Reports and Treasury Reports>> A Short History of BIEN>> Our National Affiliates across the World>> Contact Us
Executive CommitteeBIEN's Executive Committee (''EC'') is elected by the General Assembly for a period extending to the latter's next meeting. The Executive Committee can co-opt other people for specific tasks, but without voting rights. It meets at least once a year at the Secretary's initiative. Within the limits set by the decisions of the General Assembly, it takes any action it judges useful to the pursuit of BIEN's purposes.
Members of the Executive Committee, 2014-2016
Co-chair
Louise Haagh lh11@york.ac.uk, University of York, United Kingdom
Co-chair and News editor
Karl WIDERQUIST Karl@Widerquist.com, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Qatar.
Secretary
Anja Askeland askeladda@hotmail.com, Borgerl¸nn BIEN Norge and Unconditional Basic Income Europe
Treasurer
Borja Barragu(C) borja.barrague@uam.es, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
EC Members for News & Outreach
Pablo YANES pyanes2007@gmail.com, Secretary of Social Development, Mexico City, Mexico
Toru YAMAMORI toruyamamori@gmail.com, Doshisha University, Japan
Andrea FUMAGALLI afuma@eco.unipv.it, University of Pavia, Italy (non-voting)
Conference Organizer: To be announced
Non EC members with official roles in BIENHonorary Co-Presidents
The Honorary Co-Presidents are past co-chairs of BIEN who continue to be actively involved in BIEN and who have been confirmed in this status by the General Assembly.
Claus OFFE offe@hertie-school.org, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany
Guy STANDING guystanding@standingnet.com, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Eduardo SUPLICY esuplicy@senado.gov.br, Federal Senator, S£o Paulo, Brazil
Website manager
Joerg Drescher joerg.drescher@iovialis.org, Project Jovialism, Kiev, Ukraine
Members of the International Advisory BoardThe International Board consists of the current members of the Executive Committee, the representatives of the recognized national affiliates (listed below) and all the former members of BIEN's Executive Committee.
ChairPhilippe VAN PARIJS, Universit(C) catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Former members of BIEN's Executive Committee:Almaz ZellekeIngrid Van NiekirkKelly ErnstJames MulvaleDorothee Schulte-BastaDavid CasassasSimon BirnbaumAlexander de RooJurgen De WispelaereSen HealyLena LavinasEdwin Morley-FletcherEri NoguchiJos(C) Antonio NogueraClaus OffeIlona OstnerSteven QuilleyGuy StandingEduardo SuplicyRobert J. van der VeenWalter Van TrierLieselotte Wohlgenannt
Annual Reports and Treasury ReportsMinutes of the General Assembly and Treasurer's reports
Treasurer's reports:
A Short History of BIENThe origins (1983-1986) '' An idea, a collective, a prize. In the Autumn of 1983, three young researchers decided to set up a working group in order to explore the implications of an extremely simple, unusual but attractive idea which one of them had proposed to call, in a paper circulated a few months earlier, ''allocation universelle''. Paul-Marie Boulanger, Philippe Defeyt and Philippe Van Parijs were then, or had recently been, attached to the departments of demography, economics and philosophy, respectively, of the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). The group became known as the Collectif Charles Fourier. Its main output was a special issue of the Brussels monthly La Revuenouvelle (April 1985). But along the way, it won a prize, with a provocative summary of the idea and its putative consequences, in an essay competition on the future of work organised by the King Baudouin Foundation.
The first meeting '' With the money it thus unexpectedly earned, the Collectif Charles Fourier decided to organise a meeting to which they would invite a number of people to whom the idea of an unconditional basic income had, they gradually discovered, independently occurred . This became the first iinternational conference on basic income, held in Louvain-la-Neuve in September 1986, with sixty iinvited participants. This was quite an extraordinary event, with many seemingly lonely fighters suddenly discovering a whole bunch of kin spirits. They included, among others, Gunnar Adler-Karlsson, Jan-Otto Andersson, Peter Ashby, Yoland Bresson, Paul de Beer, Alexander de Roo, Nic Douben, Ian Gough, Pierre Jonckheere, Bill Jordan, Greetje Lubbi, Edwin Morley-Fletcher, Claus Offe, Riccardo Petrella, David Purdy, Guy Standing, Robert van der Veen and Georg Vobruba.
Seeds of a lasting network '' At the final session of the conference, several participants expressed the wish that some more permanent association be created, with the task of publishing a regular newsletter and organising regular conferences. Guy Standing proposed calling this association Basic Income European Network, which gathered an easy consensus, since no one could beat the beauty of the corresponding acronym (BIEN). Its purpose, later enshrined in its Statutes, was formulated as follows: BIEN aims to serve as a link between individuals and groups committed to or interested in basic income, and to foster informed discussion on this topic throughout Europe.Peter Ashby (National Council for Voluntaty organisations), Claus Offe (University of Bremen) and Guy Standing (International Labour Organisation) became co-chairmen. Walter Van Trier (University of Antwerp) became secretary, and Alexander de Roo (parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament) treasurer.
BIEN's past and current activities '' From 1986 on, in addition to smaller events, BIEN has been organising one major international congress every second year, in an increasingly structured and professional way. In each case, a major academic or international organisation has accepted to host it, and financial support has been forthcoming from many sources, both public and private, both national and international. BIEN's first two congresses were small enough to lend themselves to the publication of proceedings, but subsequent congresses had far too many contributions for them to fit into a volume of proceedings. Many of the papers presented were independently published and several found their ways into three books largely inspired by BIEN's congresses:
Philippe Van Parijs ed., Arguing for Basic Income. Ethical Foundations for a Radical Reform. London & New York: Verso, 1992Robert J. van der Veen & Loek Groot eds., Basic Income on the Agenda.Policy Options and Political Feasibility. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000Standing, G. ed., Promoting Income Security as a Right. Europe and North America, London: Anthem Press.Since 1988 BIEN published a Newsletter three times per year since 1988 (33 issues, some in collaboration with the London-based Citizen's Income Study Center). Publication of the Newsletter has been discontinued, but instead since January 2000 BIEN has started publishing a regular NewsFlash. BIEN's NewsFlash appears every second month and is dispatched electronically to over 1500 subscribers. Since 1996 BIEN maintains a very substantial website. All issues of the newsletter and the newsflash can be downloaded from BIEN's website. Finally, BIEN keeps an archive in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) which includes, among other items, a great number of books and reports on BI. The titles currently stored in the archive are listed here (updated November 2010).
After its Congress in Barcelona (2004), BIEN extended its scope: now its name is Basic Income Earth Network. All life members of the Basic Income European Network, many of whom were non-Europeans, automatically became life members of the Basic Income Earth Network.
Shut Up Slave!
Britain takes digital ID out of beta as U.S. lags
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:03
Identity Management
Britain takes digital ID out of beta as U.S. lagsBy Adam Mazmanian, Bianca SpinosaMay 20, 2016British citizens can access tax, pension and drivers licensing information through a single, secure login called GOV.UK Verify. The system is set to exit a public beta and go live the week of May 23.
Under GOV.UK Verify, the U.K. Post Office, the recently privatized Royal Mail, and a host private companies -- including credit bureau Experian, mobile provider Verizon and the bank Barclays -- act as brokers to leverage existing secure credentials for use in governmental transactions.
The shared service credential model is expected to expand across departments in the U.K. to offer citizen access to the full range of government functions.
By contrast, U.S. efforts to provide citizens with a single credential to access government services can be charitably describe as lagging.
The IRS has on its own tried to offer taxpayers access to their prior-year returns using knowledge-based security protocols, resulting in breaches numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The tax agency is going to reboot the Get Transcript tool soon, with tighter security features. Other agencies have their own use-specific logins, but nothing like the overarching access offered by UK.GOV Verify.
It's not for lack of trying.
Until recently, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace was the main locus of activity on this front. The effort, housed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, gives grants to private companies and non-profits to run pilots in the establishment of federated identities along the lines of what GOV.UK Verify have achieved, using a mix of commercial and official credentials to confirm individual identities.
Jeremy Grant, who used to head NSTIC, told FCW that the U.K. has the advantage when comes to authority, resources and discipline. The U.K., Grant said, corralled all the efforts into its shared service model, and shut down duplicative programs.
"In the U.S., while the White House indicated that all agencies should use the shared service, there have not been any real consequences for agencies that go their own way," Grant said. "So U.S. efforts depended more on a 'coalition of the willing' when it comes to agencies adopting this approach. And that makes things go slower."
The UK.GOV Verify was also better funded, with five times the spending for a government serving a population one-fifth the size of the U.S.
"This let the [U.K.'s Government Digital Service] team build a very competent, sophisticated, robust operation and solution, and ensured that agencies there weren't scrambling for budget to pay for Verify," Grant said. "In the U.S., a pass the hat approach was taken to fund things, there was no dedicated funding. That set up a very different dynamic."
The closest thing in the U.S. to UK.GOV Verify is Connect.gov -- imagined as a single log-in to access the range of government services. It was launched as an NSTIC project, and designed as a cloud-based shared service that agencies could sign up to use, essentially as their front door. The Post Office was tapped as a partner in identity proofing, and as a likely hub of any in-person verification activity that had to take place. But the effort, like the British work, was to tap commercial partners.
The project was also seen as the means to accomplish the goals of a 2014 Obama administration executive order that required that "all agencies making personal data accessible to citizens through digital applications require the use of multiple factors of authentication and an effective identity proofing process, as appropriate."
The target date for completion set forth in the order was April 17, 2016.
The project seemed to gather steam when the General Services Administration took over the project from NSTIC and issued an RFI to vendors in mid-April 2015, seeking information on a federated digital identity ecosystem.
According to contracting documents, the Department of Veterans Affairs was planning on consolidating its identity-proofing applications to incorporating the Connect.gov ID. The firm SecureKey had a contract to provide broker hub service, while Verizon and ID.me were providing credentialing services. But the RFI never blossomed into a request for proposals.
The newly enfranchised 18F organization at GSA announced in a May 10 blog post that it had taken the lead, "to tackle the inconsistent, difficult experience that the public has logging in and proving their identity when interacting with the government online."
In the post, 18F said they are taking cues from the lessons learned in the design of GOV.UK Verify.
"This system is designed to be your one account for government'...The end goal is a drastic reduction in both the time it takes to accomplish certain tasks and a significant reduction in the amount of paperwork or forms that need to be submitted," according to the blog post.
While 18F says it will build on the foundations of the Connect.gov effort, it appears that the Connect.gov brand will be retired. It's not clear what will become of all the work that private companies put into trying to participate in a federated credentialing ecosystem.
F-Russia
FACT SHEET: The FY2017 European Reassurance Initiative Budget Request | whitehouse.gov
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:16
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 02, 2016
The Administration today announced an FY2017 Department of Defense funding request of $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI). This request, which quadruples last year's ERI funding level, represents a significant augmentation of our efforts to ensure peace and security in Europe. Over the past two years, the United States has increased military activities in Eastern and Central Europe to reassure allies and partners of our commitment to their security and territorial integrity. The persistent, rotational U.S. air, land, and sea presence in the region provided for by ERI funding began following the Russian occupation of Crimea and continues today. In June 2014, President Obama announced the ERI to increase U.S. force presence in Europe, expand exercises and training with NATO Allies and partners, and augment prepositioned equipment for use in joint exercises. Allies reinforced these efforts at the September 2014 NATO Summit in Wales when they agreed to the Readiness Action Plan, which included a series of assurance and adaptation activities to enhance NATO's defense posture and increase allied readiness and responsiveness. The ERI budget request for 2016 of nearly $800 million, which Congress fully supported, provides continued U.S. participation in assurance activities and additional steps to build the resilience and capability of allies and partners.
The FY2017 ERI request marks a significant upgrade of these efforts and is intended not only to continue assurance measures but also to enable a quicker and more robust response in support of NATO's common defense. ERI funding will enable the United States to expand and deepen activities within five established lines of effort:
Increase Presence: The United States will maintain its commitment to a persistent rotational presence of air, land, and sea forces in Central and Eastern Europe for training. In order to enhance deterrence, the United States will also augment its force presence in Europe through continuous U.S. armored brigade rotations.Conduct Additional Bilateral and Multilateral Exercises and Training: In addition to increased presence, the enhanced U.S. force presence in Europe will enable more extensive U.S. participation in exercises and training activities with NATO allies and partners, improving overall readiness and interoperability. Enhance Prepositioning: As announced in June 2015, the European Activity Set (EAS), which includes one U.S. armored brigade combat team's vehicles and associated equipment, is being prepositioned on the territory of several NATO allies, including Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, in order to support exercises and training throughout Europe. The FY2017 request will place additional Army Prepositioned Stock (APS) in Europe. These additional combat vehicles and supplies are intended to reduce force deployment times and enable a rapid response to potential contingencies.Improve Infrastructure: Improvements throughout Europe on installations such as airfields, training centers, and ranges, will improve allied military readiness in the region and provide for quick dispersal of forces if required.Build the Capacity of Allies and Partners: ERI funding will continue to build the capacity of Central and Eastern European allies and partners to defend themselves and enable their full participation as operational partners in responding to crises in the region.A list of U.S. military efforts to date under the President's European Reassurance Initiative can be found at: http://www.eucom.mil/operation-atlantic-resolve
Agreement that could lead to U.S. troops in Libya could be reached 'any day' - The Washington Post
Sun, 22 May 2016 14:23
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT '-- The U.S. military's top general said Thursday that the Libyan government is in a ''period of intense dialogue'' that could soon lead to an agreement in which U.S. military advisers will be deployed there to assist in the fight against the Islamic State.
''There's a lot of activity going on underneath the surface,'' said Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ''We're just not ready to deploy capabilities yet because there hasn't been an agreement. And frankly, any day that could happen.''
Dunford spoke to a handful of journalists while returning to the United States from Brussels, where he met with military chiefs this week from numerous NATO nations. There is interest among some NATO nations in participating in the mission, Dunford said, but the specifics of who and what would be involved remain unclear. The operation will likely focus on training and equipping militias that pledge loyalty to Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, the leader of the new Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), which is backed by the United Nations.
[Who in Libya will the U.S. send weapons to? It's complicated, says a top general.]
''There will be a long-term mission in Libya,'' Dunford predicted, adding that NATO will want a request from the new government in order to get involved.
A small number of U.S. Special Operations troops have been deployed to the Libyan cities of Misrata and Benghazi to assess who could be partners for U.S. forces since late last year, U.S. officials acknowledge. Dunford declined to comment on their operations Thursday, but said the United States is looking for ways to make ''a unique contribution'' to the effort.
The advising mission could be complicated by not only security concerns, but political ones. Sarraj's government has not yet been accepted by either existing rival government in Libya, the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) and the elected House of Representatives in the eastern part of the country. He also appears to be counting on support from militias in Misrata and forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, a Libyan military officer who launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamist links in 2014. The Misratans and Hifter's troops have been known to square off against each other in armed clashes.
The coalition leadership structure for the Libyan mission also isn't clear. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said early this month that he anticipated the Italian government would take the lead in it. However, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has ruled out a large ''invasion'' of Libya, and reports emerged this week that Renzi was backing out of deploying troops in support of the U.N.'s support mission in Libya.
Asked about the possibility of Italy stepping back from the Libya mission, Dunford said Thursday that he spoke to their chief of defense, Gen. Claudio Graziano, this week and did not anticipate that would be the case. Rather, the Italian government is still doing planning for the mission but has set conditions for getting involved, Dunford said. They include the unity government requesting Italian intervention and identifying who should be trained, and there being demonstrated international support, possibly through a U.N. Security Council mandate.
''The details of that aren't specific,'' Dunford said. ''But I think with those broad details in place, the Italians have indicated to me that they are committed to the mission.''
The U.S. dialogue with the unity government has been spearheaded by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Peter W. Bodde and Jonathan Winer, the State Department's special envoy for Libya. Winer tweeted Thursday to expect the unity government to ask for help to train and equip soldiers to fight Daesh, another name for the Islamic State, and to receive it.
On Monday, the United States and international partners announced in Vienna that they are prepared to provide humanitarian, economic and security assistance if requested, including weapons, and to support a request by the Libyan unity government for an exception to a U.N. embargo that was put in place in 2011 as the country faced an internal war after the fall of strongman Moammar Gaddafi.
The United States and other world powers say they are ready to supply Libya's internationally recognized government with weapons to counter the Islamic State and other militant groups gaining footholds in its lawless regions. (AP)
Army Gen. David Rodriguez, the chief of U.S. Africa Command, said Tuesday that officials are now waiting to see how the U.N. examines the Libyan request, which must include details about who will receive weapons.
''The support for the GNA and how they need it and how they want it, we'll just have to see how that develops over time,'' Rodriguez said, speaking of the Libyan government.
Missy Ryan contributed to this report.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that ongoing dialogue centers specifically on the Libyan government, not U.S. officials.
Related stories:U.S. established Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against the Islamic State
Five years after uprising, Western nations prepare to intervene again in Libya
Brexit
British celebrities back remaining in EU in a letter | Reuters.com
Fri, 20 May 2016 16:08
British stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Helena Bonham Carter are among more than 250 celebrities who have signed a letter urging Britons to vote to remain in the European Union. Rough Cut - no reporter narration.
TRANSCRIPT +
SUBTITLED ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) British actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Helena Bonham Carter are among more than 250 celebrities from the arts world who have signed a letter urging Britons to vote to remain in the European Union. Some of Britain's best-known artists, musicians and writers are also signatories to the letter in the Guardian newspaper that warns of the country becoming "an outsider shouting from the wings" if Britons vote to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum. "Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative ... Our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away," they said. The letter was coordinated by "Stronger In", the official campaign to persuade voters to stay in the EU that is also backed by Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron's governing Conservative Party is deeply split over the issue. Other signatories to the letter include singer Paloma Faith, designer Vivienne Westwood and writer John Le Carre. The move by "Stronger In" is likely to be seen as an attempt to broaden the EU debate beyond economics and immigration. Though opinion polls have given sharply different pictures of public opinion, betting odds on Friday indicated a 79 percent implied probability of Britain voting to stay in the EU.
EuroLand
Franse tankstations staan droog|Vakantie| Telegraaf.nl
Sun, 22 May 2016 13:59
Vooral in het noorden en westen van Frankrijk, onder meer in de bij toeristen populaire regio's Normandi en Bretagne, is de situatie penibel, maar ook rond Lyon staan verschillende tankstations droog. Het gaat dan vooral om benzinepompen langs N-wegen of bij supermarkten '' langs de snelweg zijn tot nu toe geen grote problemen geconstateerd.
Op de kaart hieronder is te zien waar er niet meer getankt kan worden. Gasoil betekent diesel, Sp95 en Sp98 zijn respectievelijk Euro 95 en Euro 98 loodvrij. Klik hier als u deze site op uw mobiele telefoon bekijkt.
De gebrekkige bevoorrading is het gevolg van stakingen tegen het beleid van de linkse president Hollande. Hij voerde eerder een nieuwe arbeidswet in die het voor werkgevers makkelijker maakt om personeel te ontslaan.
Ook brandstofleveranciers staakten, waardoor de bevoorrading bij tankstations schaars is. In paniek zijn automobilisten de laatste dagen brandstof gaan hamsteren, wat ook weer tot tekorten leidde. Bij meerdere tankstations is een maximum afname ingesteld.
Advertentie
Inmiddels lijkt de bevoorrading weer op gang te zijn gekomen. Hoe lang het nog duurt voor de situatie weer normaal is, is onbekend.
Migrants
Greece sends 51 migrants back to TurkeyRussia urges joint action with US against Syria's al-Qaida
Fri, 20 May 2016 16:09
May. 20, 2016 | 06:13 PM
A Syrian refugee woman holds her 40-days old son as a girl stands with them at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Kostas Tsironis
LGBBTQQIAAP
Details of NC Bathroom Bill - Minimum Wage BS
Adam,
I know you teased it on the last show (which I am almost done listening to) but I did to a preliminary analysis on HB2 as well as some other similar bathroom bills with an interesting second-half-of-show theory if you're interested.
Below is what you should be focusing on from HB2 - Part II:
PART II. STATEWIDE CONSISTENCY IN LAWS RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT AND CONTRACTING SECTION 2.1.
G.S. 95-25.1 reads as rewritten:
"§ 95-25.1. Short title and legislative purpose.purpose; local governments preempted.
(a) This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "Wage and Hour Act."
(b) The public policy of this State is declared as follows: The wage levels of employees, hours of labor, payment of earned wages, and the well-being of minors are subjects of concern requiring legislation to promote the general welfare of the people of the State without jeopardizing the competitive position of North Carolina business and industry. The General Assembly declares that the general welfare of the State requires the enactment of this law under the police power of the State.
If you want more - do not hesitate to ask.
As always, TYFYC
DC
CYBER!
The TSA is failing spectacularly at cybersecurity
Fri, 20 May 2016 20:33
The report centers on the the way TSA (mis)handles security around the data management system which connects airport screening equipment to centralized servers. It's called the Security Technology Integrated Program (STIP), and TSA has been screwing it up security-wise since at least 2012.
In essence, TSA employees haven't been implementing STIP properly -- that is, when they've been implementing it at all.
STIP manages data from devices we see while going through security lines at airports, namely explosive detection systems, x-ray and imaging machines, and credential authentication.
The bottom line is that the TSA hasn't followed DHS guidelines for managing STIP equipment, and the risks are grave, as spelled out in the report. "Failure to comply with these guidelines increases the risk that baggage screening equipment will not operate as intended, resulting in potential loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of TSA's automated explosive, passenger, and baggage screening programs."
"System owners" were preventing patchesIf you thought the long security lines, missed guns, sexually creepy staff, and copied master keys for your bags were bad, just wait until you see the laundry list of infosec basics that TSA staff let slide. IT Management Challenges Continue in TSA's Security Technology Integrated Program is nothing to read before bed if you want to sleep the night before your next flight.
In addition to unpatched software and a lack of physical security that allowed non-TSA airport employees access to IT systems, the auditors found overheated server rooms and computers using unsupported systems -- and much more.
The observed "lack of an established disaster recovery capability" noted by the OIG is particularly scary. If a data center was taken out by natural disaster, passenger screening and baggage info would be rendered inaccessible.
Not only that, but there was no security incident report process in place, and there was "little employee oversight in maintaining IT systems." And, auditors were not pleased at all that non-TSA IT contractors maintained full admin control over STIP servers at airports.
Intended as a positive note in an otherwise terrifying cavalcade of opportunities to hack the hell out of any given airport's security, IT Management Challenges Continue pointed out that TSA had indeed taken steps to resolve its STIP security issues.
"For example," the report said, "according to a TSA staff member, system owners may no longer prevent implementation of software patches due to concerns with system performance."
That sound you just heard was the collective rage-scream of 40,000 information security professionals who endured TSA security theatre to fly to RSA San Francisco last February, and the 20,000 expected to fly to Las Vegas for Black Hat and DEFCON in July.
All I'm saying is, I can't imagine how outraged hackers and infosec workers will feel when they find out what's in these reports. Not to mention normal people, too.
"12,282 high server vulnerabilities"Papers in the DHS's IT Management Challenges audits have reported these problems since 2012 and focused on specific airports. These include Chicago O'Hare (2012), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (2013), Dallas/Fort Worth (2014), and San Francisco (2015). This new report was based on an audit at DHS data centers at the Orlando International Airport "to further assess the extent of STIP deficiencies and the actions the TSA has taken to address them."
As part of this year's final report, auditors watched TSA staff as they scanned STIP servers located at two DHS data centers and the Orlando International Airport. The scans "detected a total of 12,282 high vulnerabilities on 71 of the 74 servers tested."
One of the vulnerabilities sitting in plain sight dated back to 1999.
"Another cause for the software vulnerabilities," the report explained, "was that TSA did not test IT security controls on STIP airport servers or IT components of TSEs prior to equipment deployment."
Even the audit was incomplete due to TSA security failures. Eight STIP servers at Orlando couldn't be scanned, as the TSA didn't have any procedure in place to provide either remote scans, or reports.
The report concluded with 11 recommendations of super-basic IT security practices, like not deploying servers with known bugs and updating the damn software when they're supposed to. These changes "should resolve many of the STIP IT security deficiencies identified in this and prior OIG reports," DHS Inspector General John Roth said.
The TSA agreed to make changes, but that's probably because TSA counted their options in this situation, and got to a total of one.
The DHS Office of Inspector General considers the issues to be open "until TSA provides supporting documentation that all corrective actions are completed."
Yeah, proof is probably a good idea, considering these reports have been blistering the TSA's cybersecurity hide with the same problems for five years running. The "strongly worded letter" approach doesn't seem to be working all that well.
But times have changed. Maybe when these audits began, there just wasn't enough cybersecurity awareness going around to slap TSA's attention into the here and now of taking computer security seriously.
Like the saying goes, there's no time to avoid a life-threatening cybersecurity incident like the present.
Images: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes (TSA x-ray); Jakub Pavlinec / Getty Creative (cables)
Big Data
FCC wants a chief data officer
Fri, 20 May 2016 14:41
FCC wants a chief data officerThe Federal Communications Commission is looking for a chief data officer, the agency announced with a May 18 job posting.
The CDO will be charged with managing the quality, governance and security of the FCC's data, as well as charting strategies for applications of existing FCC datasets, including those dealing with spectrum use.
The CDO will also drive the development of new programs and policies and the procurement of new data sets and IT systems.
Applicants will need to be able to obtain a top secret security clearance. The position will pay between $123,175 and $170,400.
A source close to the issue said that while FCC components have CDOs, the FCC does not currently have an agency-wide CDO. The FCC did not return an official request for comment by press time.
The FCC was among the first federal agencies to appoint a CDO back in 2010, though the debate over what exactly a CDO should do, and whether they're needed in the first place, have taken place.
Applications will be accepted through June 10, according to the job posting.
Posted by Zach Noble on May 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM
Millennials
Venmo is turning our friends into petty jerks '-- Quartz
Fri, 20 May 2016 14:33
Stephanie, a 24-year-old living in New York City, went over to a friend's apartment one recent night for a laid-back night of watching Master of None on Netflix. When she got there, the friend offered her some wine, and they spent a few hours catching up.
But on her way out the door, Stephanie was surprised to see a notification on her phone from the digital wallet app Venmo. Her friend had just requested a payment of $6 for the wine they had shared.
''I couldn't believe she was charging me for the glass of wine she poured me herself,'' Stephanie said. ''This friend has always been really intense about money, but Venmo is definitely giving some people an easier outlet for that kind of behavior.''
Venmo, whichlaunched in 2012and has since been acquired by PayPal, connects directly to users' bank accounts, allowing them to immediately pay others or request money from them.Exploding further in popularityin the past year, the name itself has become a verb'--among thoseunder age 30or so, ''Venmo me'' is a common request.
''If I buy somebody's beer I just hope the next time that person will buy my beer''I don't want to invoice my friends for every experience that we share.'' Along with other money-sending services like Chase QuickPay and Square Cash, the app has become a welcome solution for common dilemmas like splitting utilities with roommates, dividing cab fares with friends, and sharing the costs of a group brunch. However, some young people are finding that the app's convenience''and the faceless nature of requests''have emboldened the tight-fisted among us to nickel and dime close friends without confrontation.
Kristen Chiucarello, a 28-year-old nanny in New York, says she has actively refused to download Venmo, despite pressure from her friends, in order to avoid such uncomfortable situations.
''I prefer to stick to cash transactions and transactions in person,'' she said. ''If I buy somebody's beer I just hope the next time that person will buy my beer''I don't want to invoice my friends for every experience that we share.''
But for many others, once free-wheeling nights out with friends are now followed up with digital IOUs. In the past, someone might buy drinks for a friend at a bar, who would of their own accord offer to pay the cab ride home or buy the next round. Rather than an app, arrangements like these rely on generosity and unspoken trust. It is a sign of friendship to feel unconcerned about the possibility of being stiffed, and confident that everything will even out in the end.
Now, however, such transactions may be followed with a passive-aggressive charge the next day or even late the following week, sometimes over dollars and cents of differences in price. A friend recently requested $4 for the difference between a drink she bought me and a cheaper drink I bought her in return. Another friend charged me $10 for a cab when I had previously bought her a $12 drink, so I felt prompted to charge her back.
One Venmo user told me that a co-worker had invited her to coffee, only to request $3.79 in reimbursement afterward. Similar stories abound. One Venmo user told me that a co-worker had invited her to coffee, only to request $3.79 in reimbursement afterward. Another said her roommate charged her $3.32 for a shared garden rake.
''When he moves, am I supposed to ask for my $3 back?'' she asked. ''Venmo is making everyone stingy and strange.''
Of course, stingy''or some might say, overly frugal''people are an age-old phenomenon. Most of us have at least one friend who makes splitting the dinner bill a huge headache. Annaliese Nielsen, who lives in Los Angeles, said she's been keeping a running list of people she prefers not to dine with for years.
''These are people who fit the profile of someone who would Venmo for a drink that they bought me,'' she said. ''This behavior existed before Venmo; now there is just an easy utility for it.''
Just as Venmo has inspired stinginess in some, it's prompted generosity in others. Nielsen says that the women in a large, secret Facebook group she manages have used it in the past to buy dinner for a group member who has had a bad day, while others have used Venmo to quickly''and discreetly''send rent money or emergency funds to friends in need.
Certainly, Venmo behavior is influenced by socio-economic class. For some people in lower-earning jobs, a $5 difference in price actually does matter. Venmo has also made it easier to hold people accountable for kicking in on shared gifts and simplified the lives of roommates trying to divvy up the electric bill. And it's offered a simple way of clearing up theever-polemical practiceof splitting the bill. People who are vegetarians or teetotalers can pay their fair share without having to finance the steak and top-shelf whiskey of the person next to them.
But despite these advantages, Venmo risks defiling the long-held, unspoken rules of social outings. The app can turn time spent with friends into a revelation that everyone has been stealthily keeping tabs on each other all along.
So while the app is certainly useful in many contexts, let's all work to enjoy the convenience without slipping into pettiness.When sharing a dinner with friends, don't request that those who got slightly more expensive entrees send a dollar each for the average cost they upped the bill. Buying a round of drinks, when you can afford it, is a nice gesture and an increasingly lost art. And if you forgot your wallet on a trip to the coffee shop, I don't want you to send me $4.25. It's my treat''just get me back next time.
We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.
Agenda 2030
Oregon Local News - Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:01
Environmental groups say science is clear, so textbooks should be, tooIn a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.
''It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,'' said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. ''Climate education is not a niche or a specialization, it is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.''
The resolution passed Tuesday evening calls for the school district to get rid of textbooks or other materials that cast doubt on whether climate change is occurring and that the activity of human beings is responsible. The resolution also directs the superintendent and staff to develop an implementation plan for ''curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and climate justice in all Portland Public Schools.''
Bill Bigelow, a former PPS teacher and current curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools, a magazine devoted to education issues, worked with 350PDX and other environmental groups to present the resolution.
''A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,'' Bigelow says, accusing the publishing industry to bowing to pressure from fossil fuels companies. ''We don't want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.''
In board testimony, Bigelow said PPS' science textbooks are littered with words like might, may and could when talking about climate change.
'' 'Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,' '' he quotes Physical Science published by Pearson as saying. ''This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it's being taught in Portland schools.''
Bigelow is also the co-author of a textbook on environmental education, A People's Curriculum for the Earth. Asked if this resolution will cause the district to buy new textbooks, such as his book, Bigelow said Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit, not a money-maker.
''What we're asking for is not: Buy new stuff,'' he said. ''What we're looking for is a whole different model of curriculum development and distribution.''
Bigelow said the district already has climate-change literacy curriculum, such as at Sunnyside Environmental School, and he wants that knowledge to spread.
School board member Mike Rosen introduced the resolution. He also leads NW Ecoliteracy Collaborative, a project focused on environmental curriculum standards. However, he says that work has been on hold.
''I have become concerned about its ability to make progress and not have a conflict with being a school board member,'' Rosen said, noting that he is now instead working part-time for the Audubon Society of Portland. ''I don't want there to be a conflict between my school board work and this nonprofit.''
Shasta Kearns MooreReporter503-546-5134email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Twitter:@ShastaKMFacebook: ShastaKearnsMoore
Ministry of Truth
CIA 'mistakenly' destroys copy of 6,700-page US torture report | Americas | News | The Independent
Fri, 20 May 2016 14:03
The CIA inspector general's office has said it ''mistakenly'' destroyed its only copy of a comprehensive Senate torture report, despite lawyers for the Justice Department assuring a federal judge that copies of the documents were being preserved.
The erasure of the document by the spy agency's internal watchdog was deemed an ''inadvertent'' foul-up by the inspector general, according to Yahoo News.
One intelligence community source told Yahoo News, which first reported the development, that last summer CIA inspector general officials deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document.
Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
The 6,700-page report contains thousands of secret files about the CIA's use of ''enhanced'' interrogation methods, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other aggressive interrogation techniques at ''black site'' prisons overseas.
The full version of the report remains classified, but a 500-page executive summary was released to the public in 2014.
Cheney: CIA Torture Report Is Full of Crap
Christoper R. Sharpley, the CIA's acting inspector general (CIA IG), alerted the Senate intelligence panel that his office's copy of the report had vanished in August.
And Senator Dianne Feinstein, the driving force behind the 2014 report, sent letters to the CIA and Justice Department confirming the spy agency's inspector general ''has misplaced and/or accidentally destroyed'' its copy of the report.
Douglas Cox, a City University of New York School of Law professor who specialises in tracking the preservation of federal records told Yahoo News: ''It's breathtaking that this could have happened, especially in the inspector general's office - they're the ones that are supposed to be providing accountability within the agency itself.''
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (Getty Images)
''It makes you wonder what was going on over there?''
Another copy of the report exists elsewhere within the CIA, which is waiting for the conclusion of a years-long legal battle over the document.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr opposed the publication of the report in 2014. Since taking power he has attempted to recover copies of the report that were distributed throughout the Obama administration.
Last week, a federal appeals court panel blocked an effort to reveal the full version of the controversial report under the open records law, claiming the document was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because the document is officially controlled by Congress.
Congressional documents are exempt from the open records law.
Feinstein is now calling for the CIA inspector general to obtain a new copy of the report to replace the one that disappeared, according to The Hill.
In a letter to John Brennan, Director of the CIA, she wrote: ''Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than an 'accident'''.
She added: ''The CIA IG should have a copy of the full Study because the report includes extensive information directly related to the IG's ongoing oversight of the CIA.''
Cori Crider, a director at international human rights organisation Reprieve said in a statement: ''Clearly the CIA would rather we all forgot about torture. But it's stunning that even the CIA's own watchdog couldn't manage to hang onto its copy of the Senate's landmark report about CIA black sites. One worries that no one is minding the store.''
A spokesperson with the CIA indicated that it will wait for the litigation over the document to play out before deciding how to proceed, according to The Hill.
Bank$ters
Senator asks Fed about SWIFT heist
Fri, 20 May 2016 14:34
Cybersecurity
Senator asks Fed about SWIFT heistBy Chase GunterMay 19, 2016In February, cybercriminals stole $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh with a malware scheme that manipulated the software the bank uses to process transactions via the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system, which moves billions around the globe every day.
The attack involved siphoning funds from a Bangladesh account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has asked New York Fed President William Dudley what is being done to improve cybersecurity in the wake of one of the largest bank heists in history.
"It is my understanding that there is no evidence of any attempt to penetrate Federal Reserve systems or that any Federal Reserve systems were compromised in connection with these recent incidents," Carper said. "However, these cyberattacks raise important questions about the security of the SWIFT system and the ability of its members to prevent future attacks."
Carper asked about the Federal Reserve's protocols for sharing potential cyberthreat information, whether the Federal Reserve plans to amend its cybersecurity or internal control policies and whether it has provided technical assistance to improve SWIFT security. Carper also wants the Federal Reserve to describe what it has done to coordinate with affected entities since the attack.
He contacted SWIFT Managing Director Patrick Antonacci seeking similar information on SWIFT's protocols and plans, as well as the repercussions facing SWIFT members that do not adhere to security standards and the technical, operational, managerial and procedural controls members encounter when they access the organization's system.A SWIFT alert sent to users on May 13 disclosed that there had been a second instance of malware targeting banks in an effort to obtain the kind of authenticating information necessary to transfer funds out of member accounts.
"The attackers clearly exhibit a deep and sophisticated knowledge of specific operational controls within the targeted banks -- knowledge that may have been gained from malicious insiders or cyberattacks, or a combination of both," the release states.
Carper requested responses and briefings with his staff from both organizations by June 17.
About the Author
Chase Gunter is an FCW editorial fellow.
Mental Hygiene
Adults Throwing Temper-Tantrums Could Be Suffering From Disorder CBS New York
Fri, 20 May 2016 18:27
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) '-- People usually associate temper-tantrums with children, but adults are being caught now pitching a fit.
CBS2's Dick Brennan reported that more and more adults are being caught on tape throwing temper-tantrums. They kick, scream, fall to the floor, and throw things '-- and it doesn't take much to set them off.
Adults throwing tantrums are also being caught on video thanks to today's technology. But could there be something more going on?
''Most of us are able to get angry, and express our frustration in a constructive way,'' therapist Diane Kolodzinski said.
But for others, Kolodzinski said something as simple as spilled milk is literally enough to send them over the edge.
''They go zero to 100 really fast,'' she said.
These adults who throw these temper-tantrums could be suffering from a condition called intermittent explosive disorder.
''The people who have this disorder cause a lot of suffering,'' Dr. Igor Galynker, a psychiatrist, said. ''They themselves suffer, and they make a lot of other people suffer when these people are subject to aggression.''
Galynker said as many as one in 20 people now suffer from the disorder.
''A person who has intermittent explosive disorder feel they don't have control,'' Galynker explained.
Experts said what differentiates the disorder from a bad temper is the disproportionate response.
''Yelling, screaming, throwing things, hitting the wall,'' Kolodzinski detailed. ''They could hit the other person or push them.''
Cursing at someone who cuts you off while driving is pretty typical, but chasing the car down and ramming it could be the behavior of someone suffering from the disorder.
One man, who started a vlog about living with the disorder, said he was relieved to finally find out the root of his overreactions, and even more comforted to learn it's treatable.
''When I got a grip on the illness, I started to work hard to do something about it,'' he said.
Experts said treatment typically includes therapy and learning techniques to self-soothe.
''There is definitely hope out there and help out there, if you reach out,'' Kolodzinski said.
Experts said those with the disorder may also experience a sense of relief after an episode, followed by remorse or embarrassment.
Ottomania
Republic of Turkey Targets Houston-Based Charter School | The Texas Tribune
Fri, 20 May 2016 18:23
Charter school advocates rally at the Texas Capitol during a scheduled lobby day April 29, 2015.
Lawyers working for the Turkish government plan to file a complaint with the Texas Education Agency next week against Houston-based Harmony Public Schools, alleging financial malfeasance and other misconduct, school officials said.
The Republic of Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is waging a well-documented war against critics, hired London-based Amsterdam & Partners last fall ''to conduct a global investigation into the activities of the organization led by moderate Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen,'' according to the firm's website. Gulen is a reclusive Turkish expatriate living in Pennsylvania whom news reports have linked to Harmony and other U.S. charter schools. Harmony, which focuses on science and math education, is the second-largest charter network in the United States and the largest in Texas. It operates 46 schools here where nearly 31,000 students are enrolled.
Amsterdam filed a civil lawsuit against Gulen in December in U.S. district court accusing him of being a terrorist and building a "parallel structure" within the police and judiciary to topple the government, according to a Reuters report. In March, Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant for Gulen and his brother.
Harmony officials have vehemently denied any connection to Gulen and say the complaint, which they learned about by accident, is a politically motivated attack by Erdoganfollowing a June 2015 election in which his party lost its 13-year majority control.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained its hold on parliament in a subsequent vote, but Harmony officials note that Erdogan's party received little support in the summer election among Turkish Americans who voted absentee.
''It's a witch hunt,'' said Soner Tarim, Harmony's CEO.
An Amsterdam & Associates lawyer, John Martin, on Thursday confirmed the firm's plans to file a complaint with the state against Harmony but declined to immediately offer further details. The firm has enlisted the help of longtime Austin lobbyist and Republican political consultant Jim Arnold, who registered as an agent for the Turkish government last month. Arnold did not respond to calls or an email requesting comment.
In February, the firm filed a complaint with the California Department of Education urging the agency to conduct an investigation into the financial practices of the Magnolia Public Schools, a charter school network that operates 11 schools in California.
Harmony came under fire about five years ago when the New York Times and 60 Minutes ran pieces exploring possible connections between the rapidly growing charter school network and Gulen, who reportedly encourages his followers to promote science and math education.
Many of the school's founders '-- a group of Turkish professors and businessmen '-- are Gulen followers, according to the reports, which detail the network's overwhelming use of Turkish teachers and Turkish-owned contractors and raise questions about fair hiring and bidding practices.
Harmony has been the subject of several related federal and state investigations and other audits, including by the Texas Education Agency.
But Tarim, the Harmony CEO and co-founder, noted that none of them has led to charges or sanctions and that the school has only grown in popularity, with an annual waiting list of about 30,000. He said the private market has backed eight bond sales for the school, requiring a close look at its financials. Harmony has also recently received a major grant under an Obama Administration program and has a Triple-A bond rating, he said.
''It clearly indicates the quality, efficiency of our organization,'' he said. "We are a transparent organization."
Some conservative activist groups in Texas, including the Eagle Forum,have targeted Harmony, saying its schools use taxpayer dollars to promote Islam and anti-American ideology.
Harmony officials and supporters, which include the Texas Charter Schools Association, have vigorously denied the claim and point to the schools' popularity and success in the state.
Tarim said Harmony has no connection to Gulen and does not teach Islam.
"I don't want our state legislators to be influenced or controlled by another country that has minimized respect to human rights and disrespected freedom of speech," he said, citing Erdogan's efforts to punish political cartoonists for drawings critiquing him.
Erdogan also has gone after journalists, with Turkish reporters being investigated and put on trial and foreign ones harassed and deported, according to a BBC report this month.
Harmony officials say they found out about Amsterdam's complaint by accident this week when one of Gov.Greg Abbott's education policy advisers copied one of the school's public relations consultants on an email reply to Arnold, the Austin lobbyist. In the original message, Arnold asked a different Abbott adviser if the adviser could meet with him and his client, Amsterdam & Partners, ''who represents the Republic of Turkey," to discuss the 30-page complaint.
It ''will outline a series of allegations concerning Harmony's financial operations as well as other alleged misconduct,'' he wrote, according to a copy of the email provided by Harmony.
''Because of the size of Harmony, the amount of state funding they receive, and the seriousness of the allegations we will make in the complaint, we are meeting with key education officials to discuss the complaint in detail prior to filing it,'' he added.
A spokesman for the governor's office, John Wittman, said he could not confirm the email and did not immediately respond to a question about whether Abbott's advisers met or scheduled a meeting with Arnold or Amsterdam.
Arnold worked in national politics before managing former Gov.Rick Perry's successful campaign for lieutenant governor in 1998. He has worked for more than 20 years as a ''volunteer trainer'' with the International Republican Institute ''in emerging democracies around the world, most recently working with Syrian pro-democracy advocates in Turkey,''accordingto his website.
Harmony officials say they were familiar with Amsterdam because the school received a voluminous, 90-part open records request from the firm in November asking for everything from ''documents sufficient to identify each and every employee'' to all communications between Harmony and multiple state and federal agencies.
The school estimates the cost of producing the records to be $690,000, a charge it says Amsterdam is disputing with the Texas attorney general's office.
Disclosure: Harmony Public Schools and Jim Arnold have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. Find a complete list of donors and sponsors here.
NA-Tech News
Google patent would glue pedestrians to self-driving cars May 19
Thu, 19 May 2016 21:49
The company wants to coat autonomous vehicles with a sticky substance so that if they hit a pedestrian, the person would be glued to the car instead of flying off.
"[The pedestrian] is not thrown from the vehicle, thereby preventing a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object," says the patent, granted on Tuesday.
Google(GOOGL, Tech30) explains that an "adhesive layer" would be placed on the hood, front bumper and front side panels of a car. A thin coating would protect it until an impact occurred.
Google patent shows how a self-driving car could protect pedestrians with a glue-like coating.Google's plan for self-driving cars is well known. The company has been testing its vehicles on roads in California and Arizona and is reportedly looking to hire people to test its cars for $20 an hour.
The company now has 23 self-driving Lexus cars on the road and 34 of its mini prototype cars. The fleet is traveling about 10,000 to 15,000 miles every week in self-driving mode.
Related: Google takes on Echo and Siri with 'Home' and assistant
Google believes self-driving cars can help people get around easily and safely, but its vehicles aren't perfect.
The company says all but one of the accidents so far have been the fault of human drivers in other vehicles. The one accident that Google admitted its self-driving car was responsible for was a fender bender that caused no injuries.
Google's ultimate goal is to have a system of cameras, sensors and software that can predict and avoid almost all dangerous driving situations.
"However, while such systems are being developed, it must be acknowledged that, on occasion, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian still occur," Google said in its patent filing.
While the double-sided tape concept could mitigate some pedestrian injuries, the concept is far from ideal if it pinned a victim between the car and another object.
"Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents," a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.
CNNMoney (New York)First published May 19, 2016: 12:06 PM ET
Elizabeth Holmes Admits Theranos' "Technology" Is A Fraud: Restates, Voids Years Of Test Results | Zero Hedge
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:13
The billion dollar baby has now, officially, gone bye bye.
Just when you thought that the biggest ever "multi-billion" private company that also happens to be an utter fraud, would quietly disappear before it risked attracting even more unwarranted attention from regulators, enforcers, and criminal investigators which could potentially lead to prison time for "billionaire" Elizabeth Holmes, here she comes again reminding everyone of her fallen from grace presence, in this case with what should be the terminal news for this company, namely that as the WSJ reports (and as the company confirms) Theranos has told federal health regulators that the company voided and revised two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices and has issued tens of thousands of corrected reports to doctors and patients.
As a reminder, the basis for Theranos ludicrous $9 billion valuation which it appears was achieved without anyone doing any actual due diligence, were the "Edison" machines which were touted as revolutionary - not just by Holmes but by the fawning media and even the Clintons. Theranos has now told regulators that it threw out all Edison test results from 2014 and 2015, effectively confirming it has no proprietary technology, and also validating that its valuation should be zero.
Worse, Theranos has told regulators that it used the Edison for 12 types of tests out of more than 200 offered to consumers and stopped using the devices altogether in late June 2015. In other words, Theranos' insane "valuation" was achieved on the basis of doing only 6% of blood tests in house (all of them erroneously we now learn), and outsourcing 94% to companies whose products actually worked and many of whom likely had a far lower valuation than the one at which a bunch of idiot billionaires "valued" Holmes' worthless company.
In the process of commiting fraud and building up her valuation, Holmes repeatedly gambled with people's lives, sending them clearly wrong results. As a result some patients have received erroneous results that might have thrown off health decisions made with their doctors, the WSJ reports. All this is needed is one death and there is a criminal case.
So why come clean now?
The move is part of Theranos's attempt to persuade the agency not to impose stiff sanctions it threatened in the aftermath of its inspection of the company's Newark, Calif., laboratory. The voided and revised test results are one of the most dramatic steps yet taken by Theranos.
Company records reviewed during the inspection showed that the California lab ran about 890,000 tests a year. The inspection found that Edison machines in the lab often failed to meet the company's own accuracy requirements.
In other words, Theranos may have put as many as 890,000 lives per year in jeopardy with its fake technology.
The good news, this is now officially game over for if not Elizabeth Holmes, then certainly her company:
''There have been massive recalls of single tests in the past, but I'm not aware of one where a company recalled the entirety of the results from its testing platform,'' said Geoffrey Baird, associate professor in the department of laboratory medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. ''I believe that's unprecedented.''
The company also commented:
In response to questions from The Wall Street Journal about the blood-test corrections, Theranos spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said: ''Excellence in quality and patient safety is our top priority and we've taken comprehensive corrective measures to address the issues CMS raised in their observations. As these matters are currently under review, we have no further comment at this time.''
That's rich, pardon the pun. Less rich, if only on paper, will be Holmes who will have ample opportunity to make numerous comments during trial.
* * *
Finally, the question everyone should be asking is who enabled this fraud for so many years? The simple answer: everyone, and especially those who have an agenda to conduct one endless infomercial for a product that ended up being an epic fraud. Here is a sample (courtesy of Bruce Quinn).
August 30, 2013"Theranos: The Biggest Biotech You've Never Heard of."San Francisco Business Times. By Ron Leuty. Here.
September 8, 2013"Elizabeth Holmes: The Breakthrough of Instant Diagnosis."
The pivotal Wall Street Journal article, by Joseph Rago. HereA Stanford dropout is bidding to make tests more accurate, less painful - and at a fraction of the current price.
September 9, 2013
"Secretive Theranos emerging partly from shadows."
SF BizJournal, SF/Biotech, by Ron Leuty, subtitled, "The biggest biotech you've never heard of." Here. October 9, 2013"Just a Drop Will Do."Pediatric News. By William Wilkoff. Here.
November 6, 2013
"What Heath Care Needs is a Real Time Snapshot of You."
WIRED, By Daniela Hernandez. Here.November 13, 2013."One Small Ow-eee."PediaBlog. By Ned Ketyer MD. Here.
November 18, 2013"Creative disruption? She's 29 and Set to Reboot Lab Medicine."
MedPageToday. By Eric Topol. Here.
February 18, 2014
"This Woman Invented a Way to Run 30 Lab Tests on Only One Drop of Blood."
WIRED again, by Caitlin Roper. Here. WIRED revisits Holmes, with an interview.
February 28, 2014
"Stanford Dropout Revolutionizes Blood Tests"
Take Part, by Liana Aghajanian. Here.
June, 2014
Hematology Reports (Open Access Journal). Full article PDF: Here.Chan SM, Chadwick J, Young DL, Holmes E, & Gotlib J (2014). Intensive serial biomarker profiling for the prediction of neutropenic fever with hematologic malignancies undergoing therapy: a pilot study. Hematology Reports 6(2).
June 12, 2014
"This CEO is Out for Blood."
Fortune, by Roger Parloff. Here. Featured as cover story (picture).
June 17, 2014
"Elizabeth Holmes, Who Wants To Shake Up The Blood Testing Industry, Is A Billionaire At 30."
Forbes [blog], by - Zina Moukheiber. Here.
July 2, 2014
"Bloody Amazing."
Forbes [blog 7/2, and Issue, 7/21], by Mathew Herper. Here.
June 3, 2014US Patent: "Systems and Methods of Sample Processing and Fluid Control in a Fluidic System."PDF, Patent 8,742,230 B2, 80 pp.. Here."This invention is in the field of medical devices...portable medical devices that allow real-tie detection of analytes from a biological fluid...for providing point-of-care testing for a variety of medical applications."
June 20, 2014"Theranos: Small Sample, Big Opportunity."Decibio [Consultancy blog]. By Eric Lakin. Here.
July 8, 2014
"Nanotainer Revolutionizes Blood Testing." VIDEO
July 15, 2014"Meet Elizabeth Holmes, Silicon Valley's Latest Phenomenon"San Jose Mercury News, by Michelle Quinn. Here.
July 15, 2014"Theranos bringing 500 new jobs to Scottsdale's SkySong."Phoenix Business Journal. By Angela Gonzales. Here. [SkySong is an ASU-affiliated tech park].
July 21, 2014"Meet Elizabeth Holmes, the Youngest Female Self-made Billionaire Changing the World with Medical Technology."Women's ILAB, by Katherine Melescuic. Here.
August 11, 2014
"Ignoring Lab Industry, Theranos Goes Its Way."
"My Visit to Walgreens for Theranos Lab Tests." DARK REPORT (Paper by subscription only). Table of contents here.
September 8, 2014
TechCrunch / Youtube Interview with John Sheiber. VIDEO.Here.,For further details, see here.
September 8, 2014
"Elizabeth Holmes takes Theranos' blood test to tech movers, shakers."
Biotech SF / Bizjournals - by Ron Leuty. Discussion of TechCrunch presentation. Here.
September 29, 2014"This Woman's Revolutionary Idea Made Her A Billionaire '-- And Could Change Medicine."Business Insider. By Kevin Loria. Here. See also June 4, 2015.
September 30, 2014
"Queen Elizabeth: Mystique of Theranos founder grows with Forbes' richest ranking."
Biotech SF / Bizjournals - by Ron Leuty. Here.October, 2014"Health Plans Deploy New Systems to Control Use of Lab Tests."Managed Care. By Joseph Burns. Here.Does not directly cite Theranos. Cites contrasting viewpoints on the value of direct easy inexpensive test access:October 1, 2014
"How One Entrepreneur is Transforming Blood Testing."
Slate - by Kevin Loria. Here. [Reprint from Business Insider, 9/29, above.]October 16, 2014"She's America's Youngest Female Billionaire - And a Dropout."by Rachel Crane. CNN/Money. Here. [Text & Video.]
October 27, 2014"Theranos Due Diligence: Company Profile, SWOT Analysis, Market Opportunity."Decibio. Consulting group profile of Theranos and its valuation and market position (73 pages; $850). Here. Table of Contents, here. Additional description here.
November 7, 2014
TEDMED - Youtube - Elizabeth Holmes at TEDMED. VIDEO.Here.,For further details, see here.November 7, 2014"Major Upside for Walgreens Stock"InvestorPlace. By John Divine. Here."The single biggest catalyst for WAG stock in the future may be the company's decision to partner with the privately held health-tech firm Theranos."
December 8, 2014
Fortune/Youtube - Theranos Billionaire Founder Talks Growth. VIDEO.
Video interview with Pattie Sellers. Here.For further details, see here.
December 8, 2014"Here's How the World's Youngest Self-Made Female Billionaire Shows People She's In Charge."Business Insider. By Richard Feloni. Here.
December 8, 2014"The New Yorker on the Promise, the Secrecy, and the Challenges of Super-Startup Theranos."MedCityNews. by Meghana Keshavan. Here.
December 12, 2014"Behind the Curtain at Theranos."NBC News. (Video). Interview with Ken Auletta. Here.For more detail, see here.
December 14, 2014"Blood Test Innovation: Less Cost, No Big Needle"Information Week/Healthcare. By Larry Stofko. Here.
January 28, 2015
"Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos: Transforming Healthcare by Embracing Failure."
Youtube. Stanford Graduate School of Business. Here.
February, 2015
"Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Health Care, 2015: #7, Theranos"
Fast Company (staff), here.February, 2015
"Vetting Theranos"
Laboratory Economics [trade journal, subscription]. By JonDavid Kipp. Here.February 2, 2015.
"CEO Q&A: Craig Hall."
Real Estate Daily. By Christina Perez. Hall was early investor in Theranos. Here.
February 3, 2015
"Breakthrough Branding: Theranos, with Walgreens, Revolutionizes Healthcare."
Brand Channel. By Sheila Shayon. Here.
February 3, 2015
"Will Theranos Turn the Lab Industry Upside Down?"
Market Financial Analysis. Here and here. Order here ($99).
February 6, 2015
"Ten Things to Know about America's Youngest Female Billionaire."
Business Insider. By Koa Beck. Here.
February 5, 2015
"Disruptive Technology Main Focus at Clinton Health Conference."
California Healthline. By Lauren McSherry. Here.President Clinton, Fourth Annual Health Matters Activation Summit. "Access to health information is a basic human right," said Elizabeth Holmes, a young Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded Theranos, a blood analytics and diagnostics company. [President] Clinton, who applauded her work to provide low-cost testing to the general public, said the company is valued at $9 billion. See also at Clinton Foundation.org, here.
February 10, 2015
"Elizabeth Holmes - Theranos"
Upstart. By Teresa Novellino. Here.
February 10, 2015
"Theranos CEO: Avoid Backup Plans."
INC (from Stanford Business School.) By Deborah Peterson. Here."I think that the minute that you have a backup plan, you've admitted that you're not going to succeed."
February 17, 2015
"Stealth Research: Is Biomedical Innovation Happening Outside the Peer-reviewed Literature?"
JAMA. By John P.A. Ionnanidis. Here."Theranos is just one example among many for which major efforts and major claims about biomedical progress seem to be happening outside the peer-reviewed scientific literature...stealth research creates total ambiguity about what evidence can be trusted in a mix of possibly brilliant ideas, aggressive corporate announcements, and mass media hype." See comment at Healthnewsreview.org here (February 23, 2015).February 27, 2015
"Tech company Theranos pushes consumer lab-testing bill."
Arizona Republic. By Ken Tucker. Here.For legislative text, here. For a blog on the topic, here. For cloud version of the legislative text, here. Article in March 2015 Laboratory Economics [subscription, here.]
February, 2015
"Theranos: Blood Tests that Need Just a Tiny Sample."
Walgreens website, "At the Corner of Happy and Healthy," accessed 2/17/2015. Here.
March, 2015
"Secret Shoppers Disappointed by Theranos."
Laboratory Economics. By Jondavid Klipp. Here (subscription).Summarizes experiences of "secret shoppers" from Piper Jaffray, an Arizona lab, The Dark Report, and a California lab. Most reported 3-day results and many reported standard venipuncture.
March 2, 2015
"Meet the Most Impressive Woman on Forbes' Female Billionaire List."
Identities.Mic. March 2, 2015. By Julie Zeilinger. Here.March 5, 2015
"Millennials and Money: New Kids in the Forbes Billionaires Club."
National Center for Business Journalism. By Rian Bosse. Elizabeth Holmes noted. Here.
March 6, 2015
"Theranos Files Comment In Support Of Food and Drug Administration Oversight Of Laboratory-Developed Tests."
Theranos Press Release. Here.The comment letter, dated 3/1/2015, 4 pages, here.
March 7, 2015.
"Health care in America: Shock treatment. A wasteful and inefficient industry is in the throes of great disruption."
The Economist. Theranos mentioned. Here. Also here.March 9, 2015
"Theranos and Cleveland Clinic Announce Strategic Alliance to Improve Patient Care through Innovation in Testing."
March 9, 2015
"Cleveland Clinic Taps Theranos, Bets on Cheaper Diagnostics."
Healthcare Finance News. Anthony Brio. Here.
March 9, 2015.
Fox News Cleveland Clinic/Theranos Interview. VIDEO.
Fox News Online. Here. Additional notes, here.
March 9, 2015
"Cleveland Clinic Enters 'Long-Term Strategic Alliance' with Theranos, Inc."
Crain's Cleveland Business. By Timothy Magaw. Here.
March 9, 2015
"Elizabeth Holmes: 2015 Horatio Alger Award Winner."
Horatio Alger Association. Webpage, here. Press release, here.
March 13, 2015
"Theranos Seeks FDA Approval for Early-detection Ebola Test: George Schultz."
Silicon Valley Business Journal. By Ben Soriano. Here.
March 17, 2015
"Mark Cuban Talks Healthcare Investing: Soon Our Bodies Will Be Big Math Equations."
MedCity News. By Stephanie Baum. Here.''Sensors are the next opportunity,'' Cuban said. He also voiced his enthusiasm for companies like 23andMe and Theranos.
March 23, 2015
"Boies Schiller Set to Open Palo Alto Outpost."
The Recorder. By Patience Haggin. Here.April 7, 2015
"Patients Can Soon Get Lab Tests Without Doctors' Orders."
Arizona Republic. By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez & Ken Alltucker. Here.
April 8, 2015
"Theranos One Step Closer to Consumerizing Health."
Decibio [Blog]. By Eric Lakin. Here. [Arizona consumer test law.]
April 9, 2015
"Arizona Health Law Could Boost Theranos' Biotech Prospects."
USA Today [America's Markets]. By Marco Della Cava. Here.
April 16, 2015
"Elizabeth Holmes."
TIME [100 Most Influential People.] By Henry Kissinger. Here.
April 17, 2015.
"How Elizabeth Holmes became inspired to transform blood testing." VIDEO
April 20, 2015
"The Doctor is Out: LabCorp to Let Consumers Order Own Tests."
Bloomberg. By Cynthia Koons. Here., Also: In slightly different version, same author, Bloomberg Business Week, 4/27/15.April 20, 2015
"What News at Theranos? Lab Firm Expands in AZ."
"In Arizona, New Consumer Direct Access Law is a First Win for California-Based Theranos."
"Theranos: Many Questions, but Very Few Answers."
Dark Report (subscription). Here.
April 27, 2015"World's Youngest Billionaire - Another Steve Jobs?"
CNBC. By Abigail Stevenson. Here.
April 27, 2015
"Occam's Razor and the Secrecy of Theranos. A Bunch of Crock? No."
Medcitynews. By Meghana Keshavan. Here.
April 28, 2015
"Guest List, State Dinner, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan."
Washington Post. Here. (Including Ms. Holmes.)May 5, 2015
"Theranos Sticks It to Critics, Plans Expansion of Lab Services."
San Francisco Business Times. By Ron Leuty. Here."Can Theranos Disrupt the Clinical Lab Testing Market? An Objective Look at Advantages, Liabilities, and Challenges That Must Be Addressed."[Pathology] Executive War College. By Dr. Robert Boorstein. [Deck] Here.
May 7, 2015
"Theranos Jump Starts Consumer Lab Testing."
Fortune. By Ron Parloff. Here."My last routine blood tests, drawn at my physician's office...cost me $433 out of pocket, even after application of my ''gold''-level insurance....Had I not been insured, the lab's price for those tests would have been $2,411, according to the explanation of benefits sent me. The same tests, according to Theranos's price menu, would have cost me $75."
May 7, 2015
"New Laboratory Testing Firm Seeks to Shatter Old Diagnostic Testing Model."
May 7, 2015
"Silicon Valley Lab Testing Startup Hires Clinton Advisor."
Bloomberg. By Caroline Chen. Here. (Similarly: Here.)
May 11, 2015
"Our Editor Describes Visit to Theranos Test Center."
Dark Report. (Subscription). Here.Sidebar: "Comparing Patient Visit with Advertised Benefits."
May 11, 2015
"Airbnb Chesky, Theranos Holmes among presidential entrepreneurs."
USAToday. By Marco della Cava. Here.Winners met with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and President Obama.
May 11, 2015
"Elizabeth Holmes on Joining the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship Initiative."
Theranos/news/posts. By Elizabeth Holmes. Here.June 2, 2015.
Elizabeth Holmes: Charlie Rose. VIDEO.
Here. Comment, Kevin Loria, June 4, 2015.
June, 2015
"Collecting More Dollars From Patients:Why It's Time For Clinical Labs and Pathology Groups to Move To The Retail Model."
Dark Report [Trade journal, white paper]. Here.This white paper does not mention "Theranos" but covers the topic of retail access to laboratory tests.
June 19, 2015
"Personalized Technology Will Upend the Doctor-Patient Relationship."
Harvard Business Review. By Sundar Subramanian et al. Here.
June 21, 2015
"The Benefits to Your Brain of a Work Uniform."
Providence Journal [Chicago Tribune]. By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz. Here.
June 22, 2015.
"With Carlos Slim, Billionaire Elizabeth Holmes Brings Innovative Blood Testing Method To Mexico."
Forbes. By Dolia Estevez. Here.
June 23, 2015
"Theranos' New Deal with Billionair Carlos Slim May Take It to Another Level."
Biz Journal SF. By Ron Leuty. Here.
July 2, 2015
"Controversial Multibillion-Dollar Health Startup Theranos Just Got a Huge Seal of Approval from the US Government."
Business Insider. By Laren F Friedman. Here.July 2, 2015
"Disruptive Diagnostics Firm Theranos Gets Boost from FDA."
Fortune. By Roger Parloff. Here.
July 3, 2015
"Theranos Blood Test: The Insanely Influential Stanford Professor Who Called the Comapny Out for its 'Stealth Research.' "
Washington Post. By Ariana Eunjung Cha. Here.
July 24, 2015
"Biden Visits Theranos Lab as Part of Healthcare Innovation Summit"
USAToday. By Marco della Cava. Here.Theranos Press Release, here. The Suffield Times, here.
July 24, 2015
"Theranos Pushing Direct to Consumer Blood Testing."
Health IT Outcomes. By Christine Kern. Here.
July 30, 2015
"Theranos' Holmes Marks 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid with Vision for Next 50 Years."
Business Wire [press release]. Here.
August 11, 2015
"Nickles Takes On Theranos."
O'Dwyer PR Inside News, here. (Nickles is a Washington policy group).
August 17, 2015
"A Good Month for Blood."
Laboratory Equipment. By Michelle Taylor. Here.
August 19-20, 2015
"Leveraging Pharmacies for Rapid Diagnostics."
7th Annual Next Generation Diagnostics Summit (Two-Day Track on Pharmacies).
While not specific to Theranos, a two-day meeting on lab tests in the pharmacy space.
August 24, 2015
"Labcorp is Reaching Past Doctor's Office to the Patient."
Investors Business Daily. By Gillian Rich. Here.
October 5, 2015
"Elizabeth Holmes on Using Business to Change the World."
Forbes. By Sarah Hedgecock. Here.
October 6, 2015
"Self Made Billionaire on Re-inventing Blood Tests: It's Like Cocaine."
Vanity Fair. By Emily Jane Fox. Here.
October 6, 2015
"How Theranos is Disrupting the Health Care Industry."
Bloomberg. [VIDEO 6:38 min.] Here."A cholesterol test is $2.99, whereas it could cost hundreds in other locations...The response from the lab industry, they have so aggressively seeded false information about us into the press, into journalists, into physicians in the market we are in."
October 7, 2015
"Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Deliver Keynote Address at 2015 Medical Innovation Summit."
Craigs Cleveland Business. Here.
October 12, 2015
"Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes Call on Women to Help Each Other."
Fortune. By Michael Lev-Ram. Here.
October 12, 2015
"CME Group Announces Elizabeth Holmes as the 2015 Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award Receipient."
* * *
Finally here is Draper ssociates' Tim Draper - board member and first investor in Theranos - explaining why "the company is fantastic...I believe 100 % in Elizxabeth Holmes and her company," blaming the recent turmoil on media backlash and the status quo pushing back against someone who is 'disrupting' - which we now know is entirely 100% false as Holmes' just admitted her company's 'product' is a fraud...
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get to be worth $9 billion on a "technology" that was nothing but fraud.
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.9(56 votes)
Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$
Congress, Obama wrangle over anti-Zika spending | News | DW.COM | 19.05.2016
Fri, 20 May 2016 13:51
The US Senate has approved $1.1 billion for efforts to fight the Zika virus amid concerns that summer mosquitos might spread it in North America. Europe will be spared, according to the World Health Organization.
The Senate voted 68-30 to add anti-Zika measures to a 1.1 billion (982 million-euro) spending bill on Thursday, in defiance of the House of Representatives. The lower house of Congress had voted on Wednesday for a $622 million package, amounting to only a third of the funds sought by President Barack Obama, while demanding health cuts elsewhere to avoid deficit spending.
Obama had in February asked for $1.9 billion (1.7 billion euros) to fight Zika's spread via mosquitos and sexual contact. Severe defects in newborns have already dominated headlines in South America, especially Brazil.
The congressional votes set the stage for difficult negotiations between the Senate and House on a compromise bill amid surveys showing the American public worried about Zika.
Funding "just not enough," says Frieden
Tom Frieden, who directs the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the Associated Press on Thursday that the House of Representatives' measure was "just not enough."
Lack of funding would hamper the CDC's ability to monitor women and babies with the virus over coming years, fight the mosquitoes that spread it, and develop better diagnostic tests, he said.
"This is an unprecedented situation," Frieden said. "We've never had a situation before where a single mosquito bite could result in you giving birth to a child with a terrible birth defect that could change the rest of your life."
To fight Zika, Obama's team has already allocated a leftover $600 million, mostly from the successful fight against Ebola. The White House called the House's plans for Zika woefully inadequate.
WHO plays down risk in Europe
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) described the risk of a Zika outbreak in 18 European countries as only "low to moderate" as the northern hemisphere heads into summer.
Risks were higher in Black Sea coastal areas of Georgia and Russia and the Portuguese island of Madeira off Africa, the WHO added.
It cited the presence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carry the Zika virus that can cause birth defects if contracted by a woman during pregnancy.
British health protection professor Paul Hunter said any outbreak in Europe would be "relatively short-lived."
Joint pain, fever
Zika can cause microcephaly, a form of brain damage, in unborn children. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment. In most adults symtoms are mild in the form of a rash, joint pain or fever.
Since 2015, Brazil as the epicenter has recorded 1.5 cases of infection.
Last week, the WHO urged pregnant women not to travel to Rio for the Olympics.
ipj/msh (AFP, epd, AP, Reuters)
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-Robert Gates: White House Doing Disservice To Troops By Avoiding The Term 'Combat' - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 14:25
VIDEO-dumpert.nl - ISIS video met Nederjihadi
Sun, 22 May 2016 14:17
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We weten ook niet hoe het hier terecht is gekomen, vermoedelijk heeft iemand zijn auto­radio­hand­leid­ing hier laten slingeren. Excuses voor het ongemak, maar scroll vooral even door.
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Hieronder staat het, nog even doorscrollen.
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VIDEO-"There Is NO WAY I Won't Be Our Nominee!" Hillary Clinton Interview pt.1 - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 06:06
VIDEO-Terrorism likely cause of air crash in Egypt which kills 66 | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 05:42
The Americans are talking about a bomb, and Egypt's Aviation minister thinks terrorism is the likely cause, but what is clear is 66 people have died in the crash of an Airbus in the waters off Egypt.
Fifteen are French, and Paris and Cairo have vowed to work together to find the culprits, and the plane.
The Egyptians had said the Greeks told them they found blue and white wreckage from the missing plane south of the island of Crete. This was later denied, but it is highly likely the Paris to Cairo A320 lies beneath the surface in this zone. There has been much confusion over several hours about the finding of wreckage, but the crash site remains unknown and no debris has been discovered.
At the time of its disappearance, the plane was flying over water 3000 metres deep, which could complicate salvage if it crashed there.
''If you analyse the situation properly, the possibility of having a different action or having a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical fault,'' said Egypt's Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi.
The head of the Russian secret service, the FSB, agrees with him. The plane fell off the radar when it entered Egyptian airspace. Within minutes the alarm was raised as the crew was not responding to calls and it became clear the plane was in difficulties of some sort.
Flight trackers revealed the plane had banked severely and lost height at around the time radar contact was lost. One merchant vessel reported seeing a bright explosion in the sky. A frigate of the Greek navy is investigating this claim.
President Barack Obama has offered US assistance including the use of an Orion spotter plane to join Greek planes criss-crossing the search zone and with a total of 12 nationalities involved there is no shortage of offers of international help.
''Another air disaster has been added to the list of recent accidents in Egypt, and it will certainly build economic pressure on the authorities, and security concerns. The cause of the accident will only be determined in the days to come,'' reports euronews' Mohamed Shaikhibrahim.
VIDEO-Washington could take part in EgyptAir investigation | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 05:39
Washington has yet to indicate whether it will take part in the investigation into the apparent crash of EgyptAir Flight MS804 which went missing over the Mediterranean south of Greece earlier on Thursday.
Under global rules, the US could do so as the country where the engines were produced can expect to participate. The United States is where the EgyptAir passenger jet's engine maker Pratt & Whitney is based.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it would assist Egypt ''as necessary'' in its investigation into the plane's disappearance.
The White House said it was too soon to determine what caused the aircraft to go down.
''US national security and aviation experts have been in touch with their counterparts in France and Egypt to offer assistance. Many of you all have probably also seen the announcement from the Department of Defense that the United States Navy is working to deploy a P-3 Orion aircraft to provide support for the search of the missing jetliner,'' White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a news briefing, offering condolences to the families of the victims.
A US official quoted by Reuters said US agencies feared Egypt might try to keep American investigators at arms length due to historical tensions dating back to the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the US coast in 1999.
News of the latest crash came through as NATO foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels to discuss security challenges.
''I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with the family and friends of all those on board of the EgyptAir plane that is missing this afternoon. We know that there is a British passport holder on board, got onto the plane in Paris and we are providing support to the family. Obviously we are anxiously awaiting further news of what may have happened to this aircraft,'' said the UK's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also offered his condolences, saying the alliance was on standby and ready if requested to assist in the search for the EgyptAir plane.
VIDEO-WHO confirms first case in Africa of Brazilian-strain of Zika | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 05:18
The Brazilian strain of the Zika virus has been found for the first time in Africa. The World Health Organisation has confirmed an outbreak on the island chain of Cape Verde is the same strain as the one blamed for birth abnormalities in Brazil. Cape Verde has reported three cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by a small head size that can lead to sever development problems in babies.
VIDEO-UN sounds alarm over record-breaking temperature rise | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 05:09
"Records are not being broken, they are being smashed, and on a fairly consistent basis."
Another month, another record high temperature. Figures released by NASA show that 2016 is on track to being the hottest year ever recorded, and the UN is sounding the alarm.
''This is the 12th straight month that we have seen temperatures records broken,'' explained Claire Nullis, from the World Meteorological Organisation. ''What is particularly concerning is the margin at which these records are being broken'...They are not being broken, they are being smashed, and on a fairly consistent basis.''
The UN is calling for the urgent implementation of the Paris climate deal which commits countries to keeping the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
The El Nino weather system accounts for some of the rise in temperatures in 2016, but climate observers say it merely worsened conditions on an already rapidly-warming planet triggered by human emissions.
They see the results in flooding of coastal cities, massive arctic ice melt and the largest coral die-off in recorded history.
VIDEO-Thousands storm heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 05:04
Iraqi security forces have opened fire on protesters who stormed the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.
The thousands involved in the uproar included supporters of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr:''We are committed to the orders of Moqtada al-Sadr, it's a peaceful protest. It has become clear now who is behind the bombings in Sadr city, Kadhimiya and Adil neighbourhoods. Today, the Iraqi government has proved that it is a leader of terrorism.'' roared one protestor.The Iraqi prime minister,Haider al-Abadi, condemned the attack and occupation of government facilities:''What happened today the storming of government's facilities and tampering with public property, cannot be accepted the law must take its course with every transgressor.''It is the second time the government compound has been besieged amid calls for an end to government corruption and security failures.
VIDEO-MH17 crash: victims families sue Russia and President Putin | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:57
The families of victims of downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 have launched a lawsuit against Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.
The legal action, filed in the European Court of Human Rights, is seeking almost nine million euros in compensation for each passenger killed. In all, 33 next of kin, from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia are suing the Russian state and its leader.
The claim is reportedly based on the passengers right to life.
Last year, Dutch investigators concluded the doomed jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014 by a Russian-made Buk missile.
All 298 passengers and crew on board were killed. Most were from the Netherlands.
The flight was en route to Kuala Lumpar from Amsterdam at the time.
The West and Ukraine blame Russian-backed rebels for the crash. Moscow has accused Ukranian forces.
VIDEO-EgyptAir MS804: First images of recovered debris released | euronews, world news
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:53
The hunt for missing EgyptAir flight MS804 intensified on Saturday as Egypt's military released a video of the first debris found during its search in the Mediterranean Sea.
Life jackets, parts of seats and luggage were among items on display '' the search has also reportedly recovered body parts.
For the moment, It remains unclear whether the aircraft's all important black boxes' have been located, despite some reports claiming they have.
Egypt and five other countries continue to search a wide area in the eastern Mediterranean where the plane plunged killing all 66 passengers and crew on board during its scheduled flight from Paris to Cairo.
Investigators have confirmed smoke was detected in various parts of the Airbus 320's cabin a few minutes before it disappeared.
The cause of the crash still remains a mystery, however, with France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault saying on Saturday ''all hypothesis were being examined and none favoured.''
Despite theories that a bomb may have been smuggled on board, no terrorist group has so far claimed responsibility.
VIDEO-Universal Basic Income Has Begun - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:47
VIDEO-Kerry: $3.4 billion European Reassurance Initiative. 19 May 2016 - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 04:18
VIDEO-GOV.UK Verify - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:05
VIDEO-Stephen Colbert has a Seussian cautionary tale for disaffected young Bernie Sanders fans
Sat, 21 May 2016 15:41
On Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert started things off with a look at the election, and it took him all of 10 seconds to mention Donald Trump. Trump "is slowly unifying the Republican Party," Colbert said. "All it took was no other options, and then a few more weeks to make sure there's no other options." But the big story was Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Oregon and Kentucky, and the increasing tensions between Bernie Sanders and his supporters, and the Democratic Party.
The Green Party has invited Sanders to join their ticket '-- "nothing's more green than recycling an old candidate," Colbert quipped '-- and now "thousands of disaffected Bernie supporters may be faced with a choice: go to the Green Party, or begrudgingly vote for Hillary, just like Hillary supporters do." But splitting the Democratic vote can have serious consequences '-- and has had serious consequences, Colbert said, bringing out a children's book on Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate who hit his high-water mark in 2000. "Young voters don't know about Bush v. Gore, but trust me, this has all happened before," he read. "Thanks to Ralph Nader, who gave it his all, we got Cheney, whose heart was three sizes too small." Enjoy the entire Seussian cautionary tale in the video below. Peter Weber
VIDEO-Trump campaign admits it did not raise $6 million for veterans - CNNPolitics.com
Sat, 21 May 2016 15:29
Following the rally in Des Moines, Iowa, the Trump campaign said the event raised $5 million and Trump personally contributed an additional $1 million. But campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN Friday the amount raised was actually less than $6 million.
Lewandowski said he did not "know the exact number" off the top of his head and would confirm the number in coming days. He explained the discrepancy by saying at the time of the rally, Trump believed he had raised $6 million but more money had been pledged than was actually donated.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Lewandowski said the fundraiser actually netted about $4.5 million. Lewandowski told CNN that number is incorrect.Trump has made support for veterans a cornerstone of his presidential bid, saying at the January 28 fundraiser, "Our vets are being mistreated... and it's not going to happen anymore."
But the fundraiser was light in details from the very beginning. The website initially setup to collect funds did not disclose which charities would benefit but simply said "Honor their valor" and "Donate now to help our veterans."
Since the event, questions about the money raised have followed him on the campaign trail.
In March, after a CNN report aired questioning the contributions, Trump's campaign provided a list showing 27 veterans organizations had received a total of $2.9 million to date, but the campaign did not confirm when the rest of the funds would be dispersed.
The list showed that the majority of the money that had been donated at that time came from Trump's foundation or the foundations of two of his friends, businessman Carl Icahn and pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart J. Rahr.
The campaign did not identify any contributors Friday who pledged funds without following through in actual donations.
Charities that have benefited from the fundraiser include Fisher House Foundation, Green Beret Foundation and Disabled American Veterans, while others, such as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said they did not want to receive any of the contributions.
VIDEO-Donald Trump Tells N.R.A. Hillary Clinton Wants to Let Violent Criminals Go Free - NYTimes.com
Sat, 21 May 2016 15:28
LOUISVILLE, Ky. '-- Donald J. Trump accused Hillary Clinton on Friday of wanting to let violent criminals out of prison and ''disarm'' law-abiding citizens in unsafe neighborhoods, and warned that women, in particular, would be at greater risk if she were elected president.
Accepting the endorsement of the National Rifle Association at its annual convention here, Mr. Trump '-- who has not always been the staunchest opponent of stricter gun controls '-- said the November election would be a referendum on the Second Amendment. He claimed, hyperbolically, that Mrs. Clinton, his likely Democratic opponent, ''wants to take away your guns.''
''Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate ever to run for office,'' he said.
Mrs. Clinton has called for tightened restrictions on guns, but not for abolishing the right to own them.
Mr. Trump, whose record of sexist remarks, among other things, has left him at a potentially crippling disadvantage among female voters, polls show, appealed directly to women in his speech, imbuing his defense of gun rights with an undercurrent of fear.
''In trying to overturn the Second Amendment, Hillary Clinton is telling everyone '-- and every woman living in a dangerous community '-- that she doesn't have the right to defend herself,'' Mr. Trump said. ''So you have a woman living in a community, a rough community, a bad community '-- sorry, you can't defend yourself.''
If Mr. Trump's comments seemed reminiscent of an era when crime rates were far higher '-- the Willie Horton ads attacking Michael S. Dukakis, the Democratic nominee, in the 1988 presidential race came to mind '-- they also appeared somewhat at odds with the broad bipartisan consensus on the need to reduce incarceration rates and prison populations: Mr. Trump sought to frighten voters about the idea of criminals being released from prison.
Graphic | Where Trump Breaks With the Republican Party Donald J. Trump is set to be the Republican standard-bearer, but when it comes to some of his policies, he is out of sync with many Republican leaders in Congress.
He said Mrs. Clinton's agenda was ''to release the violent criminals from jail,'' freeing them to roam the streets and put ''innocent Americans at risk.''
He even tried out a new epithet for Mrs. Clinton: ''heartless Hillary.''
Calling Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ''heartless hypocrites,'' he dared them to ''let their bodyguards immediately disarm,'' an apparent reference to their Secret Service protection.
''Let's see how good they do,'' Mr. Trump said. ''Let's see how they feel walking around without their guns and their bodyguards. In the meantime, nobody else can have the guns, right?''
Mr. Trump's efforts to shore up his support among the N.R.A.'s more than five million members could help him in the Rust Belt states that he would need to carry to win the White House. But Mrs. Clinton must strike a more delicate balance on the issue: In the Democratic primaries against Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has a mixed record on gun control, she has taken an aggressive tack against firearm manufacturers and sellers.
In a general election contest with Mr. Trump, however, Mrs. Clinton would vie with him for the loyalties of white voters in a number of battleground states where support for gun rights runs deep. Indeed, in recent weeks, as she campaigned before largely white, working-class audiences in Appalachian and Great Lakes states, she has de-emphasized gun control and focused more on job creation and economic aid for financially struggling communities.
But on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton will speak at a dinner of the Trayvon Martin Foundation's ''Circle of Mothers'' in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a group offering support to women who have lost a child to gun violence. And she is expected to press the issue to win over voters in Los Angeles, Oakland and other California cities before that state's primary on June 7.
Maya Harris, a senior policy adviser to Mrs. Clinton, dismissed Mr. Trump's attacks on Friday, saying he was ''peddling falsehoods.''
Interactive Feature | Are You Concerned About the Republican Party's Future? There is deep concern among Republicans about political divisions and the future of the party, a new Times/CBS News poll shows. We want to hear from the party's longtime members or those who have just registered as Republicans.
''Along with the vast majority of Americans, Hillary Clinton believes there are common-sense steps we can take at the federal level to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the Second Amendment,'' Ms. Harris said.
Since announcing his presidential bid, Mr. Trump '-- who himself has a concealed carry permit and whose two oldest sons are avid hunters '-- has fashioned himself a fierce advocate of gun rights. He has released a policy paper on the Second Amendment, has called for making concealed carry permits valid in all 50 states and routinely tells his audiences, as he did again here on Friday, that terrorist attacks like those last year in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., might have been prevented if more people were armed.
But his support for gun rights has not always been so absolutist.
In his 2000 book, ''The America We Deserve,'' he wrote that he ''generally'' opposed gun control, but criticized the N.R.A.'s outsize lobbying power, saying, ''I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.''
After President Obama spoke in 2012 at a vigil for those killed in the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: ''President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown, Connecticut.''
On Friday, however, Mr. Trump took his support for gun rights an additional step. In January, he said he wanted to end gun-free zones in schools. In his speech here, he said he wanted to do away with them entirely.
''We're getting rid of gun-free zones,'' he said, arguing that more guns would mean less gun violence, as his audience cheered.
Officially throwing the N.R.A.'s support to Mr. Trump, Chris W. Cox, executive director of the group's political and lobbying arm, warned that Mrs. Clinton would appoint liberal justices to the Supreme Court who would roll back gun rights.
Interactive Feature | The Electoral Map Looks Challenging for Trump Current polls show an uphill battle for Donald Trump should he and Hillary Clinton face off in the general election.
''We have to unite and we have to unite right now,'' Mr. Cox said. (He also played a clip of Mrs. Clinton talking about the Second Amendment, but not before ''accidentally'' playing a video showing Mrs. Clinton barking like a dog.)
The Secret Service prevented attendees from bringing knives and guns '-- ordinarily commonplace accessories at the convention '-- into the hall where Mr. Trump was speaking, prompting some grumbling.
There was also some grumbling about the presidential campaign, despite the N.R.A.'s endorsement.
Dan Kelsey, 57, an I.T. consultant and N.R.A. member from Columbus, Ohio, said he was not excited about Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, and was worried that Mr. Trump might shift his position on the Second Amendment.
''He talks a good game, but I'm not sure what his core values are,'' Mr. Kelsey said. ''He's a good entertainer and marketer, but I don't know what he really believes.''
Yet to other members of the group, Mr. Trump's promises to support the Second Amendment were reassurance enough.
Dianne Jennings, 67, a certified N.R.A. pistol instructor from Dayton, Ohio, said she had ''nothing nice to say'' about Mrs. Clinton: ''Basically, I detest her.''
Ms. Jennings said that she found Mr. Trump ''entertaining'' and ''not politically correct'' and that she thought he would do a good job as president.
''I think people are just terrified of his persona, but I think he has a lot of different personas,'' she said, ''and he can use the right one in the right situation.''
VIDEO-Flying elbow gave us a flash of another Justin Trudeau
Fri, 20 May 2016 19:33
Justin Trudeau is one of the world's most popular heads of government right now, enjoying sky-high approval ratings both in Canada and internationally. But the bloom may be coming off the rose for the Canadian prime minister.
First, there was an unfortunate outburst in parliament. The lower house was preparing to vote on the issue of assisted dying. This is a complicated issue, with vexing technical, medical, legal, and moral elements. Faced with a tight timeline, Trudeau's Liberal government had used various parliamentary procedures to speed up voting.
The house was nearly ready to vote on the legislation. The voting would commence once the Conservative and Liberal party whips took their seats. However, the Conservative whip was impeded '' intentionally but not forcefully '' from getting to his seat by several MPs from the New Democratic Party milling about between the government and opposition benches.
Trudeau, seeing his blocked path and wishing to get on with the voting, strode across the Commons, took the whip by the arm, and pulled him through the gaggle of obstructing MPs. In doing so, he elbowed a New Democratic member in the chest, causing what appeared to be substantial pain. The incident is now being labelled ''elbowgate''.
At first, Liberal MPs cheered the prime minister's intervention. It was one more move by a tactile, athletic, and take-charge politician. But once it became clear Trudeau had hurt another member, all hell broke loose.
Rough and tumbleTrudeau's behaviour was unacceptable and unnecessary. He rightfully regrets it and has apologised. What makes the behaviour more noteworthy is that it was a very appropriate metaphor for his more general manhandling of parliament. Faced with looming legislative deadlines '' both self-imposed and judicially demanded '' Trudeau and his parliamentary leaders have begun to substantially curtail the rights of the opposition parties to critique and debate legislation.
Add to this his willingness to change Canada's entire electoral system '' likely to his party's advantage and without a referendum '' and many are beginning to contend that he looks little different from the previous prime minister Stephen Harper, a man very willing to bend the rules to his will.
The Canadian parliament is a strange place, and one governed by a series of rules and conventions. Some of these traditions and practices are trivial. For example, the reason why the Conservative whip did not simply walk around the group of MPs blocking him by walking down the government side of the aisle is likely because practice dictates he walk down the opposition side.
But these little rules reflect larger principles, such as conventions around sufficient time for debate and review, for the consensual setting of calendars, and for occasionally opposition led debate. The prime minister appears all too willing to manhandle these conventions as well.
Family tiesThese events do not reflect well on Trudeau. Nor, at least for some of the population, does his wife's recent lamentations that she is insufficiently staffed to address all the correspondence and request she receives (a fact I do not doubt).
Trudeau was initially seen as just one half of an appealing pair. His wife, Sophie Gr(C)goire-Trudeau, is equally charismatic and charming. They both seemed to possess a grace that others run ragged by the difficulties of managing careers and young children could only wish for. Now that's starting to ring hollow.
The Trudeaus have busy lives, almost unimaginably so. No one should begrudge them the staff they are afforded by virtue of Justin Trudeau's position. But voters do have the right to note that he spent much of the last campaign reminding voters that those who make even half as much money as his (already wealthy) family are in no need of government assistance for child care. They are also right to feel duped by his showy refusal to cash the child care support cheques the government sent his family and every other family like it.
The Trump factorI have my own doubts that these events will hurt Trudeau, in the aggregate at least.
Two facts about modern politics seem relevant here. First, politics is increasingly about personality, and voters are attracted to politicians willing to thumb their noses to authority, tradition, and at the mainstream. Plato observed this thousands of years ago, and we see it today in Donald Trump, in Bernie Sanders, and in Trudeau.
These three obviously do not share the same politics, but all are willing to thumb their noses at convention, to the delight of at least some voters.
Second, voters are not rational and reflective actors. They are motivated reasoners, seeking out justifications for the actions of the politicians they like. We should not blame them for this too much '' they merely use the brains nature has given them.
Trudeau is not the first politician to try to bend the rules of the game, and he will not be the last to pay the price for doing so. But we should probably not expect that reckoning to come too soon.
VIDEO-Paris attack suspect refuses to speak | Reuters.com
Fri, 20 May 2016 15:27
Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving Paris attacks suspect, appears in a French court for the first time but refuses to speak. Jillian Kitchener reports.
TRANSCRIPT +
Expectations were high when he arrived at court, but Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in November's Paris attacks, didn't say a word, and the hearing was over almost as soon as it began. Abdeslam's lawyer, Frank Berton, said his client WOULD talk when ready. But that would not be today. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LAWYER REPRESENTING SALAH ABDESLAM, FRANK BERTON, SAYING: "He feels like he's being spied on 24 hours a day. He's illegally being kept under video surveillance, which was imposed by the justice minister, outside of any framework of law. He doesn't understand, he has the impression that the way he is being treated is completely different and that bothers him and doesn't encourage him to collaborate with judicial instructions." The 26-year-old was placed under formal investigation on terrorism and murder charges in April, after his extradition from Belgium. Prosecutors believe Abdeslam is the sole survivor of the Islamist group that attacked Paris on November 13 last year, killing 130 people. The lawyer representing the victims says they want him to be aware of the pain he's caused... and for justice to be served.
VIDEO-Donald Trump's EgyptAir response points to the dangers of an unfiltered president
Fri, 20 May 2016 14:02
With his snap judgment Mr Trump once again set the heads of diplomats and national security advisers spinning.
"It prejudges the outcome," Robert Gates, the former US Defence Secretary, said.
"It's always better to wait until you act, know what the facts are before you open up." He suggested Mr Trump "ought to try that occasionally".
But with Mr Trump there is no pausing for thought before the knee-jerk tweet, no internal filter before the bombshell comment on live television.
Again and again he has made spontaneous pronouncements without any reference to conventions, or the historic and current diplomatic positions of the country he hopes to lead.
Witness earlier this week when he was asked if he would speak to Kim Jong-un. Sure, Mr Trump replied, he would have "no problem" sitting down with the repressive dictator. In one off-the-cuff remark he dismissed decades of US foreign policy.
See also his statements about having Japan and South Korea develop nuclear weapons, or Nato being "obsolete".
Even keeping up with is own policy reversals from day to day can be confusing. He had previously called Kim Jong-un a "maniac".
How would the world react to such an unpredictable president? How would the financial markets react? How long before a late night tweet threatens nuclear war? It's easy to see turmoil ensuing.
But Mr Trump's supporters expect nothing less of him. His completely unfiltered proclamations are just what they like to hear.
They see it as evidence he is not constrained by the diplomatic niceties that shackle other politicians. He is able to say what they are thinking, he won't bow to the Chinese leader like President Barack Obama did, and if he thinks a plane was blown up he won't wait for Egyptian authorities to tell him.
Did Mr Trump have a crystal ball in the EgyptAir case? No, he was just guessing. But the immediacy of his response will reinforce the impression among his supporters that he will be tougher on terrorism than Mrs Clinton.
Between now and the election in November each attack around the world will be cited as a further reason to introduce his proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, and to build his wall to stop terrorists coming in from Mexico.
And what if there is a Paris-style attack on US soil before the election? As Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, put it: if there was such a catastrophic event voters might well decide to "roll the dice with Trump".
VIDEO-"Tell Me Why US Believes This Is An Act Of Terror?" "This Is A Theory Based On LACK OF INFORMATION" - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:44

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Agenda 2030

NOT IN SCHOOLS-FINAL Climate Change Reso 5.11.16 MR revised.pdf
UN sounds alarm over record-breaking temperature rise.mp3

Caliphate!

ISIS video met Nederjihadi.mp3

Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$

WHO confirms first case in Africa of Brazilian-strain of Zika.mp3

Elections 2016

DN-media analyst Bob McCheseney.mp3
Hillary Clinton on Trumps tweets about MS804-lies.mp3
Trump Love EgyptAir Terror Conclusion.mp3

Elite$

CFR-Membership_Roster2014.pdf

JCD Clips

Air Force woman general taking over.mp3
bayer buying Monsanto 1.mp3
bayer buying Monsanto 2.mp3
cbs anti-pot.mp3
do you need to defend -- Hillary.mp3
fit bit and bneyond.mp3
fitbit 2.mp3
FRANKEN-SALMON.mp3
hillary says she won.mp3
Indians in Canada and Black Lives matter.mp3
kids sue over climate change.mp3
Last plane clip ABC fire story.mp3
Taiwan discusses split from China.mp3
TSA lines soft.mp3
Turkey cracks down on itself update.mp3
Uber story.mp3
valerie and Nora.mp3
weather is not climate India heat.mp3
ZIKA update another new angle.mp3

MS804

First images of MS804 devris released WTF.mp3
MH17 crash- victims families sue Russia and President Putin.mp3
MS804-Heres exacly what the Egyptian Minister said about the probability of terrorism.mp3
NATO ready to help search for MS804.mp3

Shut Up Slave!

GOV.UK Verify Promo Reel.mp3

SJW / BLM

Intersectionality Video-SPLC-tolerance-dot-org.mp3

UBI

Universal Basic Income Thom Hartman and U-BIEN.mp3

War on Men

Flying elbow gave us a flash of another Justin Trudeau.mp3
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