828: White, Male & Yale

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 17m
May 26th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Robert Bruckner, Sir Otaku

Associate Executive Producers: Phil Bennett, Sir Christopher Dolan, Baron Sir Chad Biederman

Cover Artist: MarG

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MS804
BREAKING: The Captain Of Flight MS804 Is A Muslim Linked To Major Muslim Terrorist Involved In Killing Americans In Benghazi | Walid Shoebat
Sun, 22 May 2016 20:21
By Walid Shoebat
So look what we have here. Amr Khaled is a well known Muslim Brotherhood Jihadi of the first class known in Egypt. And what do we know. Look here. He shares his friendship and old photos on that flight with the captain of the crashed Egyptian flight MS804, Mohammed Said Shaker/Shukeir.
Amr Khaled: ''I was with Captain Ahmad Shukeir in the plane that is missing in one of my journeys. He is the kindest of pilots whom I travelled with. May Allah have mercy on him and give patience to his family. I hope who reads my words to pray for him and the rest of the passenger''
This spells trouble.
So who is Amr Khaled? He is a Jihadi who lent material support to Jihadists in Benghazi that killed Americans.
For evidence, here, Ahmad Musa, a well known journalist and TV personality correctly exposes Amr Khaled showing from his own voice of sending young men to Libya and Benghazi for Jihad. Khaled is an Islamic tele evangelist who runs a TV show called ''The Makers of Life'' and in the video link which Ahmad Musa exposes when Khaled sent material support to Libya during the attacks in Benghazi which killed Americans. Here is Khaled's own words from the video [translated by Shoebat]:
''This is a message to our brothers in Mistrata, Tripoli and Benghazi. May Allah get vengeance from the evil doers (West). Allah will give you victory. We pray for you day and night. We sent young men to aid you [from Egypt] from our program Makers of Life to Benghazi. We sen you doctors. I dispatched a team and will communicate with you continually with the team in Benghazi and we will do our efforts and continue communicating via Youtub. We want [Islam's] justice to be established through your hands in Libya.'' (see video link in the article)
The evidence is clear. Khaled was linked to Benghazi from his own video. In our research during the Benghazi fiasco, we exposed Egyptian doctors sent to participate while the attack was happening. (Read our ironclad report)
Here Khaled (the same guy you see on the photo) is calling for victory for the Jihadists against the west in Libya (May 2nd, 2011)
In the above video, it is almost identical message ''we have sent aid to you in Benghazi, we will aid you'... pray for you '...'' with the youth saying ''Amen''.
So why is he linked to the pilot? We will continue our research into this. Shoebat.com was able to obtain the crew list and the names of every passenger on the Egyptian flight from the Arabic sources for examiniation. The pilot was Mohammed Said Shaker from Badarshin in Giza (who you see with Amr Khaled in the photo) and his co-pilot was Mohammad Ahmed Mamdouh Ahmed Aassem.
Khaled in the plane shows the photo and compliments the pilot for their friendship.
The plane crashed despite that it had three security crew: Mahmoud Ahmed Abdul Razek Abdul Karim, Ahmed Mohamed Magdi Ahmed and Mohammed Abdel-Mouneim al-Ghonaimy al-Kayali. There was no heat signals to show an explosion on board and one possibility is the usual we see in Egypt, it was a kamikaze style suicide. American investigators concluded that the pilot had steered the airplane into the sea, Egypt rejected the idea of suicide and still insists that the crash was caused by an unspecified mechanical failure.
Guess who I believe: The Americans.
The swerving of the aircraft suggests some kind of struggle inside the cockpit, said Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International.
He said the pilots could have been trying to control an aircraft disabled by an explosion, like in 1976 when two bombs exploded on a Cuban passenger plane after takeoff from Barbados and the pilot tried to steer the aircraft away from a beach.
Or they could have been struggling with someone trying to take control of the plane.
''It could have been a fight in the flight deck between crew members, one suicidal and one not. Or a hijacker trying to gain access,'' Baum said.
ITS NOT SAFE TO FLY ANYMOREAs we stated yesterday. It is simply not safe to fly anymore. Who could vet all these? I flew nearly 3000 flights for years and I decided to suspend flying altogether after years of experience. Smuggling a soda pop as a bomb (thats very easy to make too) is a breeze. No one can trust the growing number of Muslims working in the airline industry. Lists of employees and workers are suspect and should be an eye-opener to traveling these days.
I can even take a look at the passenger list and find issues. AlMutairi is a name on the passenger list and should be of interest since two Gitmo released with the same last name and are most likely related:
There is ''Al Mutairi, Nasser (Kuwait) Chapter 2, also see WikiLeaks and the Guantnamo Prisoners Released After the Tribunals, 2004 to 2005 (Part One of Five)''
''RELEASED OCT 09, WON HABEAS PETITION (Jul 09) Al Mutairi, Khalid (Kuwait) Chapter 7, also see Judge Orders Release From Guantnamo Of Kuwaiti Charity Worker, Guantnamo And The Courts''.
Then there is Salaheldin Abu Laban (the clan is Palestinian not Egyptian) and one can find that name of a list of arrests in Syria for joining a terror group Hizbul-Tahrir. There are two coptic Christians on the list of passengers.
While we cannot confirm if these terrorists were some of the actual passengers but vetting all this is nearly an impossibility unless we can profile. Soon you will see more planes crashing down from the sky and the costs of running the airlines will be immense.
After the November attacks, the French authorities have used the threat of terrorism to justify raids of employee lockers at Charles de Gaulle, as well as a systematic review of the roughly 87,000 airport employees who have badges giving access to secure areas that include the tarmac, baggage handling and cargo storage zones. Those reviews have led the authorities to revoke dozens of badges for security reasons, according to the airport police.
Other examples from Germany. A Turkish-born airport cleaner known to the authorities as a hardline Islamist had an access to major German airports' most sensitive security areas almost a year after Berlin authorities briefed an airport safety watchdog of his ties to radical beliefs, a report has revealed.
The employee, identified in a new report by Germany's Morgenpost on Wednesday as ''Recep ','' was eventually sacked in October 2015 after four years of working for the German airport operator FBB, which runs Berlin's Tegel and Sch¶nefeld airports. However, his dismissal was triggered not by concerns over a possible terrorist threat but by a separate incident involving a security breach. He had been apprehended by airport security officers while attempting to smuggle a knuckle-duster into the security area of Sch¶nefeld airport, the newspaper reported.
To have a pilot linked to this Jihadi should sound alarm bells.
Every Five Minutes A Christian Is Killed For The Faith, Click Here To Save Christian Lives
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The Inspiration Behind Rescue Christians
A Race Against Death
Save Your Brethren
Walid Shoebat's ClassicInterview with the BBC
Walid Shoebat's First Appearanceon Bill O'Reilly
Walid's Last Interview on CBN
Obama's Brother In Bed With Terrorists
Greatest Holocaust In Human History
Egypt Involved in Benghazi Attacks
Evidence: Syrian Rebels used Chemical Weapons (not Assad)
Benghazi Select Committee
Malik Obama / IRS scandal
Obamas' Wahhabist Fundraising Empire
New Shoebat Foundation Initiative:Rescue Christians in Pakistan
The Shoebat Foundation's New Sister Site
EgyptAir: The coincidence with the Israeli exercise in the Athens FIR - MAP - OnAlert.gr
Mon, 23 May 2016 14:42
Της ÎÎ(C)ΑÎ'Î'ΑΣ ΗΛÎΑÎ--Η ΤρÎφή σÏα σενάρια Ïερί καÏάρριÏης ÏÎυ μÎιραίÎυ αερÎσκάφÎυς Ïης EgyptAir δίνει ÏÎ Î"εÎ"Îνός όÏι σÏην ÏεριÎχή Î"ινόÏαν ήδη αÏό Ïην ÏρÎηÎ"Îύμενη ημέρα ισραηÎ>>ινή άσκηση, με άδεια αÏό Ïις εÎ>>Î>>ηνικές αρχές.
ΌÏως είχε ήδη Î"ράÏει ÏÎ Onalert.gr ÏÎ ÎσραήÎ>> είχε δεσμεύσει μια ÏÎÎ>>ύ μεÎ"άÎ>>η έκÏαση, η ÎÏÎία βρίσκεÏαι νόÏια Ïης ΚρήÏης και βόρεια Ïης Î"ραμμής Ïης Αφρικής αÏό Ïην ÏεριÎχή Ïης ΑÎ>>εξάνδρειας ΑιÎ"ύÏÏÎυ μέχρι και Ïη Î'εÎ"Î"άζη σÏη Λιβύη.
Σύμφωνα με Ïη Î'ΟΤΑÎ' A0992/16 Ïης Αθήνας, η ΕÎ>>Î>>άδα Ïαραχωρεί αυÏή Ïην ÏεριÎχή Î"ια Ïην ισραηÎ>>ινή άσκηση υÏό Ïην ÏρÎϋÏόθεση να καÏαÏίθενÏαι κανÎνικά σχέδια ÏÏήσης αÏό Ïα ισραηÎ>>ινά αερÎσκάφη, σύμφωνα με ÏÎυς διεθνείς κανÎνισμÎύς, να βρίσκÎνÏαι σε εÏαφή με Ïην Αθήνα και να ÏαρακÎÎ>>ÎυθÎύν διαρκώς Ïη συχνόÏηÏα κινδύνÎυ Î"ια Ïην ÏερίÏÏωση ÏÎυ ÏρÎκύÏει κάÏι έκÏακÏÎ.
Η ÏεριÎχή ήÏαν δεσμευμένη αÏό Ïις 18 Î'αϊÎυ.ΠιΠσυÎ"κεκριμένα η ÏεριÎχή είχε δεσμευÏεί Î"ια Ïις ακόÎ>>Îυθες ημερÎμηνίες:Î'άιÎς: 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31ÎÎύνιÎς: 01, 02, 03, 06
Σύμφωνα με Ïη Î'ΟΤΑÎ' η δέσμευση ίσχυε Î"ια Ïις ώρες μεÏαξύ 03:00 και 11:00 ώρα Î'κρίνÎυιÏς, δήÎ>>αδή 06:00 0 14:00 ώρα ΕÎ>>Î>>άδÎς.
ΤΠαερÎσκάφÎς Ïης EgyptAir ÏέÏαξε μεν σÏην ÏεριÎχή ÏÎυ είχε δεσμευÏεί, αÎ>>Î>>ά σε διαφÎρεÏικό χρόνÎ.
Είναι χαρακÏηρισÏικό όÏι σÏις 03:37 ώρα ΕÎ>>Î>>άδας κηρύχθηκε σε φάση αβεβαιόÏηÏας, ενώ σÏις 03:41 κηρύχθηκε σε φάση κινδύνÎυ.
Η ÏρώÏη Î'ΟΤΑÎ' Î"ια ÏÎν Îρισμό Ïης ÏεριÎχής έρευνας και διάσωσης, όριζε ως εÏίκενÏρΠÏων ερευνών ÏΠσημείΠÏÎυ χάθηκε αÏό ÏΠρανÏάρ και αÏÎÏυÏώνεÏαι σÏÎν διαδρασÏικό χάρÏη ÏÎυ Onalert.gr με ÏΠκίÏρινΠασÏεράκι.
ΑκÎÎ>>Îύθησε και δεύÏερη Î'ΟΤΑÎ' αρι; 20 Î'αϊÎυ, η ÎÏÎία όριζε Ïην ÏεριÎχή μέσα σÏΠεÎ>>Î>>ηνικό FIR ÏÎυ δεσμεύÏηκε Î"ια Ïις έρευνες.
ΣÏÎν χάρÏη ÏÎυ Onalert.gr αυÏή η ÏεριÎχή αÏÎÏυÏώνεÏαι με ÏράσινΠχρώμα.
ΤέÎ>>Îς με ÏΠμωβ χρώμα είναι η ÏεριÎχή ÏÎυ είχε δεσμεύσει η ισραηÎ>>ινή αερÎÏÎρία Î"ια Ïην άσκηση. Η Î'ΟΤΑÎ' με αριθμό A0992/16 ÏÎυ δέσμευε Ïις συÎ"κεκριμένες ÏεριÎχές αÏÎσύρθηκε καθώς Î>>όÎ"ω ÏÎυ αÏυχήμαÏÎς ÏρÎφανώς ανεσÏάÎ>>η η άσκηση.
ΌÏως ÏρÎκύÏÏει αÏό Ïα σÏίÎ"μαÏα Ïων Î'ΟΤΑÎ', η ÏεριÎχή ερευνών Î"ια ÏΠαερÎσκάφÎς ενÏός ÏÎυ FIR Αθηνών, είναι μέσα σÏην ÏεριÎχή ÏÎυ είχαν δεσμεύσει Îι ισραηÎ>>ινές δυνάμεις Î"ια άσκηση.
EgyptAir pilot spoke to air traffic control 'minutes before flight MS804 crash' | Africa | News | The Independent
Mon, 23 May 2016 21:45
The pilot of the doomed EgyptAir flight spoke to air traffic control in Egypt for several minutes just before the plane crashed, a French television station has claimed.
M6 said that the pilot told Cairo control about the smoke which had engulfed parts of the aircraft and decided to make an emergency descent to try to clear the fumes.
This account directly contradicts the official claim that there was no distress call from the plane.
M6's story, quoting unnamed French aviation officials, was not confirmed by the French air accident investigation agency, the BEA.
No such information had been passed by the Egyptian authorities to three BEA investigators who had flown to Cairo to take part in the official inquiry, the agency said.
M6 said that the pilot of the Egyptair A320 had "a conversation several minutes long" with Cairo air traffic control after the plane ran into difficulties in the early hours of Thursday morning.
As a result of the conversation, the pilot decided to make an ''emergency descent'', depressurising the cabin, in an attempt to clear smoke fumes which had invaded the front of the aircraft.
Just after the Paris-Cairo flight vanished on Thursday, there were contradictory claims about distress calls or signals. An airline spokesman initially said that there had been a distress call from the airbus. This statement was denied by the Egyptian military and withdrawn by EgyptAir.
The claims follow reports of leaked flight data showing trouble in the cockpit and smoke in a plane lavatory just before the plane crashed.
Officials have cautioned it's still too early to say what happened to the aircraft, but mounting evidence points to a sudden, dramatic catastrophe that led to its crash into the eastern Mediterranean.
The Egyptian military on Saturday released the first images of aircraft debris plucked from the sea, including personal items and damaged seats. Egypt is leading a multi-nation effort to search for the plane's black boxes '-- the flight data and cockpit voice recorders '-- and other clues that could help explain its sudden plunge into the sea.
Images of EgyptAir wreckage
"If they lost the aircraft within three minutes that's very, very quick," said aviation security expert Philip Baum. "They were dealing with an extremely serious incident."
Authorities say the plane lurched left, then right, spun all the way around and plummeted 38,000 feet (11,582 meters) into the sea '-- never issuing a distress call.
The Facebook page of the chief spokesman for Egypt's military showed the first photographs of debris from the plane, shredded remains of plane seats, life jackets '-- one seemingly undamaged '-- and a scrap of cloth that might be part of a baby's purple-and-pink blanket.
The spokesman, Brig-Gen. Mohammed Samir, later posted a video showing what appeared to be a piece of blue carpet, seat belts, a shoe and a white handbag. The clip opened with aerial footage of an unidentified navy ship followed by a speedboat heading toward floating debris.
Flight 804 left from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport on Wednesday night en route to Cairo with 66 people aboard. The first available audio from the doomed flight indicates that all was routine as the pilot checked in with air traffic controllers in Zurich, Switzerland, around midnight, before being handed over to Italian air traffic controllers in Padua (Padova): Pilot '-- "This is 0-7-2-5 Padova control. (Unintelligible) 8-0-4. Thank you so much. Good day er good night."
The communication, taken from liveatc.net which provides live air traffic control broadcasts from around the world, occurred about 2 hours before Greek air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane.
Greek officials say at 2:24 a.m. local time the flight entered the Athens sector of Greek airspace. Twenty-four minutes later, controllers chatted with the pilot, who appeared to be in good spirits.
In Greek, the pilot quipped: "Thank you."
At 3:12 a.m., the plane passed over the Greek island of Kasos before heading into the eastern Mediterranean, according to flight data maintained by FlightRadar24.
Less than 15 minutes later, about midway between Greece and Egypt, a sensor detected smoke in a lavatory and a fault in two of the plane's cockpit windows, according to leaked flight data published by The Aviation Herald.
Messages like these "generally mean the start of a fire," said Sebastien Barthe, a spokesman for France's air accident investigation agency. But he warned against inferring too much more from the reading. "Everything else is pure conjecture."
At 3:27 a.m. Greek time, air traffic controllers in Athens attempted to contact the plane to hand over monitoring of the flight from Greek to Egyptian authorities, according to Greek officials. There was no response from the plane despite repeated calls, including on the emergency frequency. At the same time, a sensor detected that smoke had reached the aircraft's avionics, the network of computers and wires that control the plane, according to the leaked flight data.
Turkish airline pilots claim they saw UFO where EgyptAir plane vanished | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 24 May 2016 19:07
Two Turkish airline pilots have made an extraordinary claim they saw a UFO flying over their plane just an hour before the doomed Egyptair jet crashed.
Mystery still surrounds the cause of the downing of the jet, an Airbus A320, which plunged into the sea last Thursday, killing all 66 people on board, en route from Paris to Cairo.
Now one of Turkey's biggest news outlets has reported that two pilots said they saw an object with green lights pass by their passenger jet as they approached Istanbul's Ataturk Airport from Bodrum at around 11.30pm on Thursday.
The doomed Egyptair Air flight taking off from an airport in Austria last year. Two Turkish airline pilots claim they saw a UFO flying over their plane just an hour before the doomed Egyptair jet crashed
It happened as the aircraft passed close to the Turkish capital's Silivri district when the plane was at an altitude of 17,000 feet.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the pilots told air traffic controllers: 'An unidentified object with green lights passed 2,000ft to 3,000ft above us.
'Then it disappeared all of a sudden. We are guessing that it was a UFO.'
The EgyptAir plane crashed around 500 miles away in the Mediterranean about an hour later.
Some of the debris that has been recovered from the Mediterranean from flight MS804
The General Directorate of State Airports Authority said it did find anything on its radars that could be linked to what the Turkish pilots had described. Pictured is a lifejacket from the doomed flight
The General Directorate of State Airports Authority said it did find anything on its radars that could be linked to what the Turkish pilots had described.
The spotting of a UFO comes as they mystery about the plane crash deepened after claims the pilot spoke about 'an emergency descent' aimed at putting out a fire.
It was initially claimed Mohamed Said Ali Ali Shoukair lost all radio contact before the Airbus A320 plunged into the sea.
The spotting of a UFO comes as they mystery about the plane crash deepened after claims the pilot Mohamed Said Ali Ali Shoukair, pictured, spoke about 'an emergency descent' aimed at putting out a fire
But aviation sources in Paris have now said he contacted Egyptian air traffic controllers to say he was going to make an emergency landing because there smoke filling the plane.
There was 'conversation several minutes long' between Captain Shoukair and the controllers, which amounted to 'a distress call', according to French TV station M6.
However, the claims were last night denied by EgyptAir. A spokesman said: 'Claims made by the French TV station are not true. The pilot did not contact Egypt air control before the incident.'
Rapid descents involve dramatic changes in cabin air pressure, and can be extremely dangerous, but the claims about the flight's last moments fit in with earlier information.
Relatives of those who died on board the flight grieve at a funeral service at an orthodox church in Cairo
According to Greece's defence minister, Pano Kammenos, the plane dropped sharply from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet, and then made 'sudden swerves'.
As it entered Egyptian airspace, over the Greek island of Karpathos, the first turn was a sharp, 90-degree one to the east, and then there was a full circular loop.
A leaked data report also suggests that a fire blazed across the flight deck minutes before disaster -suggesting a catastrophic electronics malfunction.
The new information made terrorism seem 'less likely', although it has still not been ruled out.
Egypt president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi broke his silence on the crash yesterday, saying a submarine would be used to find the jet's 'black box' data and voice recorders, which emit a locator signal for only a month before batteries run out.
He said 'all scenarios are possible'.
EuroLand
EU Vows To Block All Elected 'Far Right' Populists From Power
Tue, 24 May 2016 15:35
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The President of the unelected executive arm of the European Union (EU) has vowed to block all right wing populists from power across the continent, shortly after acquiring the power to exert ''far-reaching sanctions'' on elected governments.Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, promised to exclude Norbert Hofer, the leader of Austria's Freedom Party (FP–), from all EU decision-making if elected ahead of yesterday's presidential vote.
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''There will be no debate or dialogue with the far-right,'' the liberal bureaucrattoldAFP.
The FP– has been Austria's top-polling political force for some time. However, after leading the pack for most of the presidential race, the right-wing candidate lost out by 0.6 per cent to the Green party, after the inclusion of postal votes, and months of Europe's mainstream media calling the centre-right populist ''far right''.
Right wing populists are periodically topping the polls across the continent '' in France, Sweden, Holland, and now Austria '' and anti-migrant populists are already in power in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
Mr. Junker's definition of ''far right'' is somewhat broad, noted by him previously describing Hungary's conservative president, Viktor Orbn, as a ''fascist.''
With the continent-wide democratic surge to the right, the anti-democratic Commission could be in for a challenge in their attempt to exclude each and every elected government they deem to be ''far right.''
However, as of 2014, the Commission was handed a batch of new powers that it could plausibly use to do just this '' powers already being mobilised against Poland's elected, conservative leaders.
The Commission can now trigger a ''rule of law mechanism'' (Article 7 TEU) against nations it perceives as deviating from ''the common constitutional traditions of all Member States.'' Ultimately, ''far-reaching sanctions'' can be exerted, and a country can be stripped of all voting rights in the EU and have funding blocked.
In January this year, Frans Timmermans, the first ever unelected Commission ''vice president,'' who is in charge of ''human rights,'' triggered the mechanism for the first time against Poland's government which came to power in a record-breaking, landslide election in 2015.
The new government has subsequently become embroiled in a showdown with their constitutional court over the appointment of new liberal judges and the organisation of Poland's state broadcaster.
Mr. Timmerman and Commission gave Poland an ultimatum and deadline to back down by, which expired yesterday. As reported by Breitbart London today, the commissioner has now travelled to Poland to ''negotiate'' with the government there. There is no precedent to indicated what will happen next.
However, the backlash has already begun against the new, explicitly anti-democratic EU powers. Hungary's Victor Orb n has vowed to help Poland fight the Commission, and other Eastern, Visegrad nations are likely to join the growing coalition.
''In the future, please have more restraint in instructing and reprimanding the parliament and the government of a sovereign, democratic country,'' Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro wrote to Mr. Timmermans in January.
''This is not the union, not the kind of membership that we have agreed to,'' said Witold Waszczykowski, the Polish foreign minister.
Rule of law - European Commission
Tue, 24 May 2016 15:36
The rule of law is one of the founding principles stemming from the common constitutional traditions of all Member States, and is one of the fundamental values upon which the European Union is based. Respect for the rule of law is a prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental values listed in the Treaties, including democracy and fundamental rights.
In recent years the Commission has been confronted with crisis events in some Member States which revealed systemic threats to the rule of law. The Commission adopted a new Framework to address systemic threats to the rule of law in any of the EU's Member States in its 2014 Communication.
The objective of the Framework is to prevent, through a dialogue with the Member State concerned, that an emerging systemic threat to the rule of law escalates further into a situation where the Commission would need to make use of its power of issuing a proposal to trigger the mechanisms of Article 7 TEU.
If such a threat cannot be effectively addressed by the safeguards at national level, or by the existing instruments at EU level, in particular infringement procedures, the Framework could be applied.
The Framework establishes a three-stage process: a Commission assessment, a Commission recommendation and monitoring of the Member State's follow-up to the Commission's recommendation. At all stages, dialogue should continue between the Commission and the Member State concerned.
If however no solution is found within the Framework, Article 7 TEU will always remain the last resort to resolve a crisis and ensure the Member State complies with EU values. Article 7 TEU provides for special mechanisms with far-reaching sanctions in case a Member State does not respect the fundamental values referred to in Article 2 TEU, including the rule of law.
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Austria on knife-edge as presidential race too close to call
Tue, 24 May 2016 15:36
Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) candidate Norbert Hofer casts his ballot during the second round of Austrian President elections on May 22, 2016 in Pinkafeld (AFP Photo/Dieter Nagl)More
Vienna (AFP) - Austria's closely-watched presidential election was too close to call Sunday, as projections showed a near dead heat between Norbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party and ecologist Alexander van der Bellen.
Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPOe) won 50.1 percent of the vote, compared to 49.9 percent for van der Bellen, the projections on public television showed, with a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.
A huge influx of asylum-seekers, rising unemployment and frozen reforms has driven voters away from the two centrist parties that have dominated Austrian politics since 1945.
They are being forced to watch the battle between Hofer and van der Bellen from the sidelines after their candidates failed to make it through a first round for the largely ceremonial post of president.
Instead, disgruntled Austrians flocked to the FPOe's "friendly face" who has pushed populist themes with a winning smile instead of the inflammatory rhetoric used by party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.
But observers have warned that beneath the smooth image lurks a "wolf in sheep's clothing".
He has already threatened to seize upon never-before-used presidential powers and fire the government if it fails to get tougher on migrants and boost the faltering economy.
Gun enthusiast Hofer, who was left partially disabled after a paragliding accident, has denied that he posed a risk as president.
"I am not a dangerous person," the FPOe star told reporters Sunday after voting in his home town of Pinkafeld, in the eastern Burgenland state.
Hofer's win would also pave the way for the FPOe to head the next government after parliamentary elections, scheduled for 2018.
- 'Pest and cholera' -
A victory for the far-right is bound to send shockwaves across the crisis-hit European Union.
While the FPOe's allies including France's Front National will rub their hands in glee, it represents a major headache for EU leaders.
Ahead of the vote, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned "there will be no debate or dialogue with the far-right".
Back in 2000, more than 150,000 people marched in the Austrian capital against the FPOe -- then led by the late, SS-admiring Joerg Haider -- after it entered a much-maligned coalition with the centre-right.
This also led to international isolation and turned Austria into an EU pariah.
But times have changed, with eurosceptic and populist parties now posing a serious threat to traditional centrist governments.
In Austria -- the receiver of some 90,000 asylum requests last year -- the main parties have been haemorrhaging support to the FPOe, which consistently scores more than 30 percent in opinion polls.
The demise means the Social Democrats (SPOe) and centre-right People's Party (OeVP) could fall short of being able to re-form their "grand coalition" at the next scheduled election in 2018.
In the last vote three years ago, they only just managed to secure a majority.
Although former Green Party leader Van der Bellen enjoyed backing from many public figures including new Chancellor Christian Kern, he has been a divisive figure, with conservative Austrians accusing him of pandering to the left.
"It's a choice between pest and cholera. Whoever wins, I will wake up on Monday to somebody whom I don't want to represent Austria," said a mother-of-two in her thirties, refusing to give her name, after she cast her vote in Vienna.
The postal vote could prove a tie-breaker in the agonisingly tight race.
Close to 900,000 people -- or a record 14 percent of Austria's 6.4 million eligible voters -- cast their ballot by mail this year. A final result is not expected until Monday.
Netflix and Amazon face 20% European content quotas in Europe - CNET
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:09
Netflix is already investing in European content, making shows such as "Marseille," starring Gerard Depardieu.
NetflixNetflix, Amazon and other streaming services operating in Europe will be required to ensure that at least 20 percent of their content is European, according to new European Commission proposals.
The Commission published its proposals on Wednesday as part of its edict to create a single digital market in Europe. A large part of its mission is to promote the European film industry and ensure that its citizens have access to homegrown content alongside films and TV shows created in the US. Streaming services will therefore also be compelled to contribute financially to creating European works.
The proposals, first rumored last week, also require video-sharing services to take responsibility for protecting children. This will require the introduction of tools to flag harmful content and age-verification and parental-control systems.
"The way we watch TV or videos may have changed, but our values don't," said Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society G¼nther H. Oettinger. The new rules will help to "ensure a level playing field, responsible behavior, trust and fairness in the online platforms environment," he added.
Netflix and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Is THIS democracy? Germany planning EU takeover by seizing MORE top roles | Global Geopolitics
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:18
It's always amazing to see how slow people come around to waking up and seeing what's happening around them. Imagine the outrage after the slow thinking politicians in Europe realize Germany has controlled 2/3 of the Troika for over a decade now.
''You have not anchored Germany to Europe,'... You have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you'll find it will not work.''
'' Margaret Thatcher
The year is 2016 and Europe is now dominated by Germany again.
Welcome to the Fourth Reich.
GERMANY has been accused of orchestrating a takeover of the EU by taking control of five key roles.
Worried Eurocrats have warned politicians now ''need to be German and a socialist'' to gain a position of power within the organisation '' which has also been described as an ''insult to diversity.''
The concerns were raised after the German president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz announced his desire for longtime aide and fellow German Markus Winkler to become deputy secretary general.
He is also proposing Monika Strasser as the next director for budgetary affairs and and wants to parachute several other Germans into the Parliament's administration.
This comes at a time when Klaus Welle is already the institution's top civil servant, while the European People's Party, which is the parliament's biggest group, is run by Manfred Weber.
The planned influx of Germans to the Parliament's most important positions has startled Eurocrats, including Philippe Lamberts, the Belgian president of the European Green party.
'...
Another said: ''This has never been seen before. Even at the Commission, this would make people speechless.''
Schultz, however, rejected claims he was attempting to fill the Parliament with German politicians.
Full article:Is THIS democracy? Germany planning EU takeover by seizing MORE top roles (Express)
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Migrants
Greece starts clearing out thousands from makeshift migrant border camp | Reuters.com
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:46
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Turkish Government Wants Texas Officials To Investigate Harmony Charter Network '' Houston Public Media
Thu, 26 May 2016 05:59
The charter network focuses on math and science education and runs more than 40 schools in Texas.
Lawyers hired by the Turkish government have asked the Texas Education Agency to launch a full investigation into Harmony Public Schools.
The charter network focuses on math and science education and runs more than 40 schools in Texas, making it the state's largest charter network and the second largest in the country.
''We're not anti-charter. We're not trying to displace thousands of Harmony students,'' said John Martin, senior counsel with Amsterdam and Partners which filed the complaint. ''We're trying to get to the bottom of several red flags related to discrimination, self-dealing and immigration visa issues.''
The complaint alleges that Harmony has abused the immigration visa system to hire Turkish nationals, that it's discriminated against other non-Turkish employees and that it's given a large portion of contracts to affiliated companies or former employees.
The complaint also alleges that the system has ties to a controversial Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who's been accused of trying to overthrow the Turkish government.
Harmony CEO Soner Tarim said that the complaint is a political attack from a Turkish administration hostile to critics.
''You know this was established here, as a nonprofit organization,'' Tarim said. ''That's why I call it a political move and it's a witch-hunt. And we have nothing to do with Turkey.''
Tarim, who is a dual citizen with Turkey, said that the current president there, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has received little support from Turkish Americans.
He pointed to Harmony's successes, like a $30 million federal grant and continued expansion.
This isn't the first time Harmony charter schools have faced state and federal investigations, though it's never faced sanctions.
A spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency said that they've received the complaint and will decide the next steps.
Ministry of Truth
US Congressmen Seek to Create Ministry of Truth
Thu, 26 May 2016 14:47
A new legislation is being introduced in the US House of Representatives which aims to improve Washington's efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation>> spread by Russia, China, and other countries.
The bill, H.R. 5181, called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016, comes amid growing calls in Congress and in many NATO capitals to do more to fight foreign disinformation campaigns>>.
Sponsored by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) who co-authored the bill alongside Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), the new US legislation would, among other things, set up a Center for Information Analysis and Response to analyze foreign government information-warfare efforts>>. The center would also develop and disseminate fact-based narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners>>. The bill, upon formal submission, would become one of at least two circulated in Congress in recent years seeking to change some US international-media operations. In April, the bill, called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016, S.2692, sponsored by Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, was introduced in the US Senate.
The Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016, according to US lawmakers, seeks to promote an independent press>> in countries that are seen by Americans as vulnerable to foreign disinformation. According to congressman Adam Kinzinger, the House bill seeks to incorporate a whole-of-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions>>, which will set up innovative partnerships to combat information warfare with organizations that have experience in countering foreign propaganda>>.
Those selected to serve as US information officers will be selected from a list of participants in educational and cultural exchange programs, from countries deemed vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns>>. Under the bill, a new Center for Information Analysis and Response would play the coordinating role. Led by the US State Department, it will operate with the active participation>> of the Department of Defense, the US Agency for International Development, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (which oversees VOA and RFE/RL, among others), the intelligence community and other relevant agencies>>. The bill also would set up an Information Access Fund, which would assist in the training of local journalists, as well as award grants and contracts to non-government and civil society organizations, research centers, private sector companies, media organizations and other experts outside the US government that have experience in identifying and analyzing disinformation methods used by foreign governments.
If created, the new agency will add to the effort of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), including the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa). The BBG was established in accordance with the International Broadcasting Act (Public Law 103-236) in 1994. The BBG oversees the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), which provides multimedia broadcast distribution, as well as technical and administrative support to the broadcasting networks. The IBB manages a global network of transmitting sites and an extensive system of leased satellite and fiber optic circuits, along with a rapidly growing Internet delivery system servicing the 61 languages of the BBG networks The BBG became a formally independent, autonomous entity on October 1, 1999 as a result of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (Pub.L 105-277). The BBG has 3,592 employees and a budget of over $750 million.
US international broadcasters '' including radio, television and Internet '' reach 206 million people weekly in unduplicated audience worldwide.
The BBG is composed of nine members who are supposed to have expertise in communications, media, or international affairs. The Secretary of State automatically has one seat. Although the remaining eight members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, the positions are supposed to go to four Democrats and four Republicans to reflect the nonpartisan mission of the BBG, but the appointment process can be very political. Members are appointed as it suits the political needs and timing of the White House. In some cases, positions are not filled in a timely manner, leaving the US international broadcasting (USIB) subject to partisan bias because of unbalanced representation on the BBG or rudderless due to insufficient representation to establish a quorum. Although the BBG was created by Congress to provide a firewall against political influence on its news broadcasting, its structure and lax observance of bylaws and agreed practices invites internal conflict and the creation of fiefdoms by individual governors. Moreover, as documented by the State Department Inspector General, the ability of BBG members to serve simultaneously on the corporate boards of nonprofit-affiliated broadcasters such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) can lead to conflicts of interest.
The introduction of the new US legislation has a certain international background.
Last September the EU launched a rapid response>> team of officials within the European External Action Service (EEAS) to deal with Russian propaganda>>. The team monitors Russian foreign broadcasting and advises the EU and national authorities and their media campaigns accordingly. The group helps>> journalists in the Eastern Partnership countries '' Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The officials are ready to communicate and help provide journalistic training.
The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE) became functional in January 2014. Based in Riga, Latvia, it contributes to improved strategic communications capabilities>> within the Alliance and Allied nations. It's main missions for 2016 include: Study how social media is being used as a weapon in hybrid warfare>>, support the development of a NATO Military Committee Strategic Communications policy and doctrine>> and other things related to information warfare. Last May, NATO launched a training program in Riga, teaching advanced counter-propaganda techniques designed to help member states assess and counter Russia's propaganda in Eastern Europe>>. Twenty intelligence analysts, psychologists, and military and defence personnel from across NATO countries will be trained in what is known as Target Audience Analysis, a scientific application developed by the UK-based Behavioral Dynamics Institute, that involves a comprehensive study of audience groups and forms the basis for interventions aimed at reinforcing or changing attitudes and behavior. Significantly, the methodology increases the resilience of susceptible audiences and enables them to withstand foreign propaganda effects. The program is funded by the Government of Canada through a contribution to the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence.
The program is delivered by the UK-based Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL Defence), which has worked for the UK Ministry of Defence and the United States' Department of Defense for a number of years and is the world's only company licensed to deliver the Behavioral Dynamics process, and a team of Information Warfare experts drawn from seven nations, called IOTA-Global. SCL's team of leading experts in Target Audience Analysis, Military Influence experts from IOTA-Global and leading academics from the Behavioral Dynamics Institute, will run the course over a three-month period at the National Defence Academy of the Republic of Latvia in Riga on behalf of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence.
The development of events scenario seemingly lifted whole from the pages of George Orwell's 1984. With the experience of working for special services, Orwell wrote a book that served as a warning of what was to come. The author was blowing the whistle. The US is leading the race creating a new Ministry of Truth. NATO and the EU obediently join the effort in an attempt to launch a multi-layered and multilateral global brainwashing offensive.
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Facebook to update Trending Topics - BBC News
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:49
Image copyrightGetty ImagesFacebook has announced changes to the way it runs its Trending Topics feed, following an internal investigation.
There will be more training for staff and the feed will no longer rely on a list of news organisations, including the BBC, Washington Post and Buzzfeed News, to validate subjects.
The feed, which lists popular headlines along with a brief description, has been accused of political bias.
However, Facebook's report found no evidence of this.
Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said the investigation analysed 3,000 reviewer decisions following allegations that conservative issues were being suppressed.
Image copyrightfacebookImage caption An example of the column, which appears on the right hand side of the platform for logged-on members The site was accused by anonymous former employees of tampering with its Trending Topics feature, promoting "progressive" views and websites over content presenting views from the American right.
Current and former staff were also interviewed by the firm.
The findings were revealed in a 12-page letter, addressed to US Senator John Thune but also published online, in response to Mr Thune's questions about the workings of Trending.
The Trending Topics feed currently works as a mixture of AI and human input, with potential subjects being suggested via algorithm and then reviewed by staff.
They are a mixture of popular subjects discussed on the social network and sourced from 1,000 media organisations. There was also a list of 10 organisations used to determine importance.
However, "as much as half" of the topics suggested algorithmically are rejected "because they do not make sense at the time or are duplicative", Mr Stretch said.
Media captionThe BBC's Dave Lee reports from outside Facebook headquarters in CaliforniaSo-called "stale topics" - events still popular in discussions after two days but with no new developments - and "junk hashtags" - popular topics not related to actual events - are also sidelined, he added.
Topics with sources in foreign languages may also not be included on the grounds that the team may be unable to identify them, Mr Stretch explained.
The report did find that historically some topics that were discussed over a long period of time did not show up algorithmically.
For example, hashtags relating to the Black Lives Matter campaign failed to appear in December 2014 and were not manually inserted by the Trending Topics review team either.
However, the topic "Ferguson", which related to the police shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri, was added to compensate for this, wrote Mr Stretch.
Some Facebook users have queried the relevance of Trending Topics, which at the time of writing range from a "reported wardrobe malfunction" by US socialite Paris Hilton to the results of the Austrian presidential election.
Emails Show NPR Cancelled Interviews With Anti-Iran Deal Congressman | Mediaite
Tue, 24 May 2016 22:40
NPR backtracked its claims last week that it never cancelled interviews on the Iran Deal with Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo after staffers for the Kansas congressman produced emails proving that it had happened.
An Associated Press story Friday reported that NPR accepted $100,000 from a a White House-allied pro-Iran deal organization called the Ploughshares Fund in order to fund ''national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and budgets [and] Iran's nuclear program'...'' Ostensibly, NPR policy did not allow that grant to slant coverage, but the arrangement received renewed scrutiny after Obama national security advisor Ben Rhodes named the organization as one of the tools the administration used to echo their talking points.
One of the claims AP made was that Pompeo asked NPR to appear as a counterweight to pro-Iran deal congressman Adam Schiff, who frequently appeared on the network, but was denied. NPR diputed that claim, saying ''it had no record of Pompeo's requests.''
But when contacted by The Washington Free Beacon, Pompeo's office readily produced emails negotiating an interview time. NPR later cancelled the interview: ''The show managers have decided that there are already too many interviews in the works this week and that we don't have the resources to take this one on. Perhaps there will be another opportunity,'' a producer wrote.
Apparently another opportunity would not be coming. ''Morning Edition is a bit full on Iran at the moment. I'm glad to be in touch and hope you'll check back with us for future conversations,'' a producer told Pompeo a month later.
After the Free Beacon reached out for comment, NPR admitted their initial denial was in error. ''Rep. Pompeo was booked to discuss the Iran deal in August 2015, but the interview did not take place,'' a spokesman said. NPR did not respond to the Free Beacon's questions about why they initially said they couldn't find evidence they had spoken with Pompeo's office.
[Image via screengrab]'--'-->>Follow Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) on Twitter
SJW / BLM
| National Review-BedTIme Story Privilege
Wed, 25 May 2016 12:15
Bedtime-story privilege?According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they're ''unfairly disadvantaging other people's children'' by doing so.
In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since ''bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . . [desired] familial relationship goods,'' he wouldn't want to ban them, but that parents who ''engage in bedtime-stories activities'' should definitely at least feel kinda bad about it sometimes:
''I don't think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people's children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,'' he said.
But Swift also added that some other things parents do to give their kids the best education possible '-- like sending them to ''an elite private school'' '-- ''cannot be justified'' in this way.
''Private schooling cannot be justified by appeal to these familial relationship goods,'' he said.
Mizzou's paying the price for lame response to racial protests | New York Post
Thu, 26 May 2016 10:16
If the University of Missouri thought its concessions to Black Lives Matter radicals would boost its appeal to students, it looks like it made a big mistake.
Six months after the radicals garnered national attention with fiery protests against supposed campus racism '-- and with Mizzou's school year set to start in August '-- the university faces an enrollment drop of nearly 1,500 students. And a potential budget shortfall of $32 million.
''I am writing to you today to confirm that we project a very significant budget shortfall due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention,'' interim chancellor Hank Foley said in an email recently.
Just deserts? Seems so. After all, the school's handling of the protests couldn't have been worse.
The Black Lives Matter crowd at Mizzou, recall, was piggybacking on national protests over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. But as Jillian Kay Melchior noted on Heat Street and National Review, the rallies didn't just disrupt lives; they sparked fear.
''I know I'm not alone in saying that I felt very unsafe and targeted when I encountered'' protesters, one student wrote the chancellor.
Yet rather than restore order quickly, officials sought to appease the protesters: The demonstrations continued. Protesters took over a campus quad. One (now-fired) professor threatened a student cameraman. President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin stepped down.
By January, it was clear applications to Mizzou had dipped '-- and officials themselves cited the November turmoil on campus. Maybe the school learned its lesson, maybe not. Either way, it's paying a price.
Elections 2016
Guess Who? '' The Albuquerque Trump Protests Were 100% Organized Political Astroturf'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 26 May 2016 15:06
This Reuters Article describes the rioting mob from New Mexico last night:
Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police officers who responded with pepper spray outside a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump in Albuquerque, New Mexico, police said.
Hundreds of protesters tried to storm the convention center in New Mexico's biggest city, knocking down barricades and throwing objects at a door and then hurling rocks and bottles at mounted police in riot gear, the Albuquerque Police Department said on Twitter on Tuesday and video posted online showed.
Several police officers were injured, the police tweeted. (read more)
However, what the article doesn't mention is that the protesting groups were 100% organized political astroturf. Notice the sign above, and see the caption ''PSL''?
''PSL'' stands for ''Party for Socialism and Liberation''. Here's a copy of their organizing flyer prior to last night's protest rally:
You can visit their website HERE and find out all about them.
The second group, ''The Red Nation'', you can visit HERE and see their social justice endeavors.
Who do you think is funding these endeavors?'....
The same guy funding Hillary Clinton, George Soros, '' The Billionaires Super PAC
Priorities USA Action is a pro-Clinton Super PAC that is not allowed to coordinate with the Clinton campaign, but is permitted to spend its money to support her. The Super PAC, which includes several well-known billionaires, said it had raised $8.6 million to support Clinton in April, ending the month with $46 million available. Among other uses, the group is planning to utilize the money to pay for negative ads against Trump, a CNBC article reported.
Some of the donors supporting Clinton include:
Media tycoon Haim Saban, one of the co-owner's of Univision, who gave $1.5 million.Haim Saban's wife, Cheryl, who donated another $1.5 million.George Soros' son, Alex Soros, who bequeathed $1 million '-- Soros Senior had already bestowed $6 million to Priorities USA Action last year. [ SEE THIS LINK ]Daniel Abraham, known for founding the company that introduced Slim-Fast, who contributed $1 million.Former hedge fund manager and current chief scientist of medical research firm D.E. Shaw Research, David E. Shaw, who gave $750,000. (read more)
North Korean envoy rejects Trump overture to meet leader | Reuters
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:35
Mon May 23, 2016 | 4:48 PM EDT
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a "kind of propaganda or advertisement" in his election race, a senior North Korean official said on Monday.
Trump, in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters in New York last week, said he is willing to talk to the North Korean leader to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program, proposing a major shift in U.S. policy toward the isolated nation.
"It is up to the decision of my Supreme Leader whether he decides to meet or not, but I think his (Trump's) idea or talk is nonsense," So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told Reuters on return from Pyongyang after attending the first ruling party congress in 36 years.
"It's for utilization of the presidential election, that's all. A kind of a propaganda or advertisement," he said. "This is useless, just a gesture for the presidential election."
"There is no meaning, no sincerity," So added.
As a candidate, U.S. President Barack Obama made unfulfilled campaign promises to meet the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he said.
North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test in January and launched a long-range rocket in February, triggering tougher international sanctions and the adoption of a more hardline position by South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
So, who is also North Korea's ambassador to the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament, reiterated that his country was prepared to return to stalled six-party talks on its nuclear program. China and Russia backed the idea, but the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan reject it, he said.
"As a responsible nuclear state ... we will never use them first," So said. "If the United States use their nuclear weapons first, then we have to use also that one."
"If the United States gives up their hostile policies and changes their attitude, then we also (can) have relations as a normal country," So said. "To South Korea, we proposed high-level military talks but South Korea refused now."
South Korea dismissed on Monday a North Korean proposal for military talks as "a bogus peace offensive" and said it was formally rejecting the overture because it lacked a plan to end the North's nuclear program.
So said that North Korea would not share nuclear technology with other countries. "As a responsible nuclear state, we keep and observe the obligations of non-proliferation of nuclear technology".
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
Pay Attention To Libertarian Gary Johnson; He's Pulling 10 Percent vs. Trump And Clinton | FiveThirtyEight
Tue, 24 May 2016 21:00
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson during an interview in Washington, D.C., on May 9.
Gary Johnson might be on the verge of becoming a household name.
At the moment, he's probably most often confused with that plumber who fixed your running toilet last month or your spouse's weird friend from work who keeps calling the landline, but he's neither '-- he's the former governor of New Mexico, likely Libertarian candidate for president, and he's polling at 10 percent in two recently released national polls against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
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A Morning Consult survey published Tuesday and found Clinton getting 38 percent of the vote, Trump 35 and Johnson 10, with 17 percent undecided. A Fox News poll conducted from May 14-17 showed Trump leading over Clinton, 42 percent to 39 percent, but Johnson at 10 percent as well. Lest you think this is some fluky May development, a Monmouth University survey conducted in mid-March '-- while the political universe was still busy wringing its hands over the Republican nomination '-- found that in a three-way race, Clinton would get 42 percent, Trump 34 percent and Johnson 11 percent.
Given that Trump and Clinton are sporting historically high negative ratings, Johnson's polling makes a fair bit of sense; Gary Johnson is neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton. He might not win a state, but he could make some noise.
Of course, it's still early, right? Yes, of course. It's May, and there are six more months for your hair to gray and for your friends to wither down to just your pet after innumerable ill-advised political conversations over drinks, but Johnson's polling numbers are nothing to sneeze at, if history may be our guide.
In early May 1968, George Wallace, whose candidacy as a third-party candidate running on what can politely be called an anti-civil rights message has been much-talked about this year, got 14 percent in a Harris Survey as well as in a Gallup poll; he eventually won nearly 14 percent of the national vote.
The most serious third-party candidate in recent memory was Ross Perot, who third-wheeled his way onto the political stage in 1992 and 1996, eventually taking 19 percent and 8 percent of the national vote in those respective years. In May of 1992, Perot, a former businessman, was polling gangbusters; a Gallup poll found him at 35 percent and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey had him at 30 percent. Perot entered the race in February of that year, a few weeks after the county was initiated to the first of Bill Clinton's sex scandals, and in the midst of a tough economy for President George H.W. Bush '-- plenty of voters were looking for other options. Four years later, he was still polling well for a third-party candidate, but not nearly at his 1992 levels: May polls (not to be confused with maypoles) had Perot at 17 percent (ABC/Washington Post), 12 percent (NBC/Wall Street Journal), and 10 percent (Gallup).
But that was the '90s, back before most of us in the interior of the country had ever even seen an avocado let alone mashed it up on toast. How have third-party candidates polled recently? Johnson ran as the Libertarian candidate in 2012, and won about 1 percent of the national vote, becoming the most successful Libertarian candidate ever; in polls done in May and June of 2012, he was polling at 2 percent. Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee in 2008, also polled at 2 percent in the late spring of that year.
It must be noted that Johnson is not yet the Libertarian nominee. The party will be holding its nominating convention this weekend in Orlando, where he will face Austin Petersen, a young party operative, as well as former fugitive millionaire businessman John McAfee, who was once called ''extremely paranoid, even bonkers'' by the prime minister of Belize.
Given that this is 2016, no result should be ruled out.
Harry Enten contributed research.
State Department audit faults Clinton on email use | Fox News
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:30
A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report by the agency's inspector general Wednesday.
It cites "longstanding, systemic weaknesses" related to communications. These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious.
The review came after revelations Clinton exclusively used a private email account and server while in office. Clinton is now the likely Democratic presidential nominee.
The 78-page report says the department and its secretaries were "slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership."
Unbelievable: Hillary Clinton Campaign bus involved in Deadly Crash '' The Washington Star-News
Wed, 25 May 2016 22:17
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The ordeal began at about 11:30 a.m. Friday morning, along Interstate 81, which runs through the center of Scranton PA, said state police spokeswoman.
The Hillary Clinton campaign tour bus was driving north when it ran off the road and crashed into the highway median turning on it's side.
Two Pennsylvania State Troopers were the first on the scene. Seeing what happened, the heroic officers went into the bus as the tires still turned and smoke pillowed from the vehicle to pull out any survivors.
Within minutes a coroner arrived and placed one elderly female body in a body bag and sent it downtown. It was then Federal officials questioned the coroner, ''Has Mrs. Clinton been killed?''
The Coroner replied, ''Well, she kept saying she was alright, but everyone knows she is a liar, so I sent her body down to the morgue.''
The busy stretch of road was closed in both directions of Interstate 81, but reopened later Tuesday afternoon.
Ambassador Stevens could not be reached for comment.
This story is a part of our Sunday Funny feature, a 21st century version of the Sunday Comics. The Sunday Funny series is not based on reality and is meant purely for amusement and entertainment purposes. Enjoy.
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Democrats Preparing A Coup To Oust Debbie Wasserman-Schultz | Addicting Info | The Knowledge You Crave
Thu, 26 May 2016 06:22
As the Democratic Primary wraps up and tensions continue to flare, Capitol Hill Democrats are quietly discussing a possible coup to oust DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Wasserman-Schultz, who has been seen as wildly divisive in the primary, is facing a mountain of criticism and uphill battles as she braces for a tough primary fight in Florida.
According to an exclusive, in depth report from The Hill, Democratic Senators have been meeting together to draw up a plan to force the Florida Congresswoman to resign. One Democratic Senator, who is pro-Clinton and who remained anonymous, told The Hill:
''There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's head on. I don't see how she can continue to the election. How can she open the convention? Sanders supporters would go nuts.''
It's worth noting that these Democratic lawmakers couldn't actually oust Wasserman-Schultz; only the National Committee could do that, and would rely on talks between Clinton and Sanders.
Another Democratic Senator echoed these sentiments, saying if the party hopes to attract young people, Wasserman-Schultz must go:
''We need to get this figured out and come together. Hillary's got the nomination. She needs Bernie's energy. It's time for her to accommodate. It's time to pick hard-nosed people to cut through things and figure out a deal. They [young people] need to know this is their party.''
However, not all Democratic Senators are cooling to Wasserman-Schultz. Senator Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring at the end of this term, said the Congresswoman ''has done a good job,'' and said, ''If you look at her platform committee appointments, she really gave a lot of room to Bernie supporters.''
Senators Bill Nelson, Tim Kaine, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeanne Shaheen, and others have gone on record with The Hill vehemently denying the attempted coup and pledging their support. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic Chair Xavier Baccara have also expressed their support for the DNC Chairwoman.
The only member of he Senate to endorse Sanders, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, has remained neutral, but chastised Wasserman-Schultz for ''adding gasoline to the fire'' after the contentious and disastrous Nevada convention.
An aide to Joe Biden told The Hill that the Vice President supports her.
The issue surrounding Debbie Wasserman-Schultz continues to divide Democrats with roughly two months to go until the national convention in Philadelphia.
Featured image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Shut Up Slave!
US Law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did last year - The Washington Post
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:04
Here's an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week.
Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime '-- yes, really! '-- through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.
Armstrong claims that "the police are now taking more assets than the criminals," but this isn't exactly right: The FBI also tracks property losses from larceny and theft, in addition to plain ol' burglary. If you add up all the property stolen in 2014, from burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and other means, you arrive at roughly $12.3 billion, according to the FBI. That's more than double the federal asset forfeiture haul.
[In tough times, police start seizing a lot more stuff]
One other point: Those asset forfeiture deposit amounts are not necessarily the best indicator of a rise in the use of forfeiture. "In a given year, one or two high-dollar cases may produce unusually large amounts of money '-- with a portion going back to victims '-- thereby telling a noisy story of year-to-year activity levels," the Institute for Justice explains. A big chunk of that 2014 deposit, for instance, was the $1.7 billion Bernie Madoff judgment, most of which flowed back to the victims.
For that reason, the net assets of the funds are usually seen as a more stable indicator '-- those numbers show how much money is left over in the funds each year after the federal government takes care of various obligations, like payments to victims. Since this number can reflect monies taken over multiple calendar years, it's less comparable to the annual burglary statistics.
Still, even this more stable indicator hit $4.5 billion in 2014, according to the Institute for Justice '-- higher again than the burglary losses that year.
One final caveat is that these are only the federal totals and don't reflect how much property is seized by state and local police each year. Reliable data for all 50 states is unavailable, but the Institute of Justice found that the total asset forfeiture haul for 14 states topped $250 million in 2013. The grand 50-state total would probably be much higher.
Still, boil down all the numbers and caveats above and you arrive at a simple fact: In the United States, in 2014, more cash and property transferred hands via civil asset forfeiture than via burglary. The total value of asset forfeitures was more than one-third of the total value of property stolen by criminals in 2014. That represents something of a sea change in the way police do business '-- and it's prompting plenty of scrutiny of the practice.
More from Wonkblog:
The surprising reason more police dogs are dying in the line of duty
Most Americans don't realize it's this easy for police to take your cash
Police chases kill more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning '-- combined
Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.
Gesprek Wollaars is opgenomen, maar is hij ook afgeluisterd? | NOS
Mon, 23 May 2016 18:15
Jeroen Wollaars in Berlijn NOS
Joost SchellevisResearchredacteur
Vreemd is het wel: de telefoonverbinding wordt verbroken, en vervolgens hoor je alle antwoorden die de persoon aan de andere kant eerder in het gesprek heeft gegeven. Alsof er een bandje wordt afgespeeld. Het overkwam zondagavond Nieuwsuur-presentator Marille Tweebeeke in een gesprek met NOS-correspondent Jeroen Wollaars in Berlijn.
"Ik was met Jeroen een kruisgesprek aan het voorbereiden, toen ik dacht: h¨, hij vertelt gewoon precies hetzelfde nog een keer", aldus Tweebeeke. "Ik hoorde gewoon het hele gesprek opnieuw. Een hele gekke gewaarwording."
Het komt vaker voor. Ook de in Turkije opgepakte columniste Ebru Umar maakte het mee, net als Iran-correspondent Thomas Erdbrink en advocaat Olivier van Hardenbroek.
Veel mensen denken daarbij meteen aan een telefoontap. "Ik ook", zegt Duitsland-correspondent Wollaars. "Ik kan me niet voorstellen waarom je anders zo lang een gesprek opnieuw zou kunnen afspelen", meent hij.
Dat is echter onwaarschijnlijk, zeggen experts uit de telecomwereld tegen de NOS. "Een telefoontap ga je nooit terughoren", zegt een security-medewerker van een telecomprovider, die anoniem wil blijven omdat hij van zijn werkgever niet met de media mag praten.
Telecomprovider Vodafone, dat het Nederlandse deel van het gesprek tussen Wollaars en Tweebeeke afhandelde, heeft de kwestie onderzocht en denkt eveneens dat een tap is uitgesloten. Ook andere medewerkers in de telecomindustrie hebben dat oordeel.
"Aftappen kan helemaal geen invloed hebben op het netwerk", zegt een andere medewerker uit de telecomwereld op voorwaarde van anonimiteit. "Daar zijn standaarden voor. Het gesprek wordt door de telecomprovider doorgestuurd naar de tapkamer, maar die kan niet ingrijpen in het gesprek."
Wat dan wel de oorzaak is, is moeilijk te zeggen. Mogelijk zijn er wel degelijk geheime diensten in het spel: meerdere experts opperen dat er een vervalste mobiele zendmast (in jargon: een imsi-catcher) kan zijn ingezet. Politie en de geheime diensten kunnen die gebruiken om verkeer naar mobiele telefoons op een bepaalde plek te onderscheppen - bijvoorbeeld in het politieke hart van Berlijn, waar de NOS kantoor houdt en waar Wollaars dus vandaan belde.
In tegenstelling tot een traditionele telefoontap hebben die vervalste zendmasten wel invloed op het netwerk: ze onderscheppen het verkeer, slaan het op en sturen het verkeer door naar de juiste bestemming. "Als er iets verkeerd kan gaan, is dat het wel", aldus de telecom-medewerker. Zo'n imsi-catcher kan ook door een buitenlandse geheime dienst zijn neergezet: imsi-catchers zijn doorgaans niet zo groot als een 'echte' zendmast en dus makkelijker te verstoppen.
Maar het blijft speculatief, benadrukken ze. Er zijn namelijk tal van mogelijke oorzaken. Er kunnen fouten in het netwerk zitten, waardoor de spraakpakketjes nog een keer zijn verstuurd. Vodafone denkt dat zo'n probleem met het 'bufferen' van het gesprek de oorzaak is, zegt woordvoerder Alexis van Liebergen. Een andere optie is dat er een softwarefout in het toestel van de ontvanger zit.
Caliphate!
ISIS Executes 25 People By Dipping Them In Nitric Acid Until Their 'Organs Dissolved' | weird | Indiatimes Mobile
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:00
When the Islamic State (ISIS) really hates you, they just don't kill you - they end you.
According to Iraqi reports, ISIS executed 25 people in Mosul, a city considered their stronghold, by "by lowering them in a vat of nitric acid", the Daily Mail reported.
Then men were accused of being Iraqi government spies, and were tied together with a rope and lowered in a basin containing nitric acid. For those who don't remember high school chemistry, Nitric acid can eat through organs.
A source told the media that they stayed in the basin "till the victims' organs dissolved."
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The ISIS Will Kill You For Literally Anything. Here's Proof
Nitric acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:01
Nitric acidNamesIUPAC nameNitric acid
Other namesAqua fortis, Spirit of niter, Eau forte, Hydrogen nitrate, Acidum nitricumIdentifiers7697-37-2 Y3DMetB00068ChEBICHEBI:48107 YChEMBLChEMBL1352 YChemSpider919 YEC Number231-714-21576Jmol 3D modelInteractive imageInteractive imageKEGGD02313 YMeSHNitric+acidPubChem944RTECS numberQU5775000UNII411VRN1TV4 YUN number2031InChI=1/HNO3/c2-1(3)4/h(H,2,3,4)
Key: GRYLNZFGIOXLOG-UHFFFAOYAO
PropertiesHNO3Molar mass63.01 g·mol''1AppearanceColorless, yellow or red fuming liquid[1]Odoracrid, suffocating[1]Density1.5129 g cm''3Melting point''42 °C (''44 °F; 231 K)Boiling point83 °C (181 °F; 356 K) 68% solution boils at 121 °C (250 °F; 394 K)Completely miscibleVapor pressure48 mmHg (20 °C)[1]Acidity (pKa)-1.4[2]1.397 (16.5 °C)2.17 ± 0.02 DThermochemistry146 J·mol''1·K''1[3]''207 kJ·mol''1[3]HazardsSafety data sheetICSC 0183PCTL Safety WebsiteCOT+R-phrasesR8R35S-phrases(S1/2)S23S26S36S45NFPA 704Flash pointNon-flammableLethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):138 ppm (rat, 30 min)[1]US health exposure limits (NIOSH):TWA 2 ppm (5 mg/m3)[1]TWA 2 ppm (5 mg/m3) ST 4 ppm (10 mg/m3)[1]25 ppm[1]Related compoundsNitrous acidSodium nitratePotassium nitrateAmmonium nitrateRelated compounds
Dinitrogen pentoxideExcept where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).Y verify (what is YN ?)Infobox referencesNitric acid (HNO3), also known as aqua fortis and spirit of niter, is a highly corrosivemineral acid.
The pure compound is colorless, but older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to decomposition into oxides of nitrogen and water. Most commercially available nitric acid has a concentration of 68% in water. When the solution contains more than 86% HNO3, it is referred to as fuming nitric acid. Depending on the amount of nitrogen dioxide present, fuming nitric acid is further characterized as white fuming nitric acid or red fuming nitric acid, at concentrations above 95%.
Nitric acid is the primary reagent used for nitration '' the addition of a nitro group, typically to an organic molecule. While some resulting nitro compounds are shock- and thermally-sensitive explosives, a few are stable enough to be used in munitions and demolition, while others are still more stable and used as pigments in inks and dyes. Nitric acid is also commonly used as a strong oxidizing agent.
Contents
Physical and chemical propertiesEditCommercially available nitric acid is an azeotrope with water at a concentration of 68% HNO3, which is the ordinary concentrated nitric acid of commerce. This solution has a boiling temperature of 120.5 °C at 1 atm. Two solid hydrates are known; the monohydrate (HNO3·H2O) and the trihydrate (HNO3·3H2O).
Nitric acid of commercial interest usually consists of the maximum boiling azeotrope of nitric acid and water, which is approximately 68% HNO3, (approx. 15 molar). This is considered concentrated or technical grade, while reagent grades are specified at 70% HNO3. The density of concentrated nitric acid is 1.42 g/mL[inconsistent]. An older density scale is occasionally seen, with concentrated nitric acid specified as 42° Baum(C).[4]
Contamination with nitrogen dioxideEditNitric acid is subject to thermal or light decomposition: 4 HNO3 '†' 2 H2O + 4 NO2 + O2. This reaction may give rise to some non-negligible variations in the vapor pressure above the liquid because the nitrogen oxides produced dissolve partly or completely in the acid.
The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) remains dissolved in the nitric acid coloring it yellow or even red at higher temperatures. While the pure acid tends to give off white fumes when exposed to air, acid with dissolved nitrogen dioxide gives off reddish-brown vapors, leading to the common name "red fuming acid" or "fuming nitric acid" '' the most concentrated form of nitric acid at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP). Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are soluble in nitric acid.
Fuming nitric acidEditA commercial grade of fuming nitric acid contains 90% HNO3 and has a density of 1.50 g/mL. This grade is much used in the explosives industry. It is not as volatile nor as corrosive as the anhydrous acid and has the approximate concentration of 21.4 molar.
Red fuming nitric acid, or RFNA, contains substantial quantities of dissolved nitrogen dioxide (NO2) leaving the solution with a reddish-brown color. Due to the dissolved nitrogen dioxide, the density of red fuming nitric acid is lower at 1.490 g/mL.
An inhibited fuming nitric acid (either IWFNA, or IRFNA) can be made by the addition of 0.6 to 0.7% hydrogen fluoride (HF). This fluoride is added for corrosion resistance in metal tanks. The fluoride creates a metal fluoride layer that protects the metal.
Anhydrous nitric acidEditWhite fuming nitric acid, pure nitric acid or WFNA, is very close to anhydrous nitric acid. It is available as 99.9% nitric acid by assay. One specification for white fuming nitric acid is that it has a maximum of 2% water and a maximum of 0.5% dissolved NO2. Anhydrous nitric acid has a density of 1.513 g/mL and has the approximate concentration of 24 molar. Anhydrous nitric acid is a colorless mobile liquid with a density of 1.512 g/cm3, which solidifies at ''42 °C to form white crystals. As it decomposes to NO2 and water, it obtains a yellow tint. It boils at 83 °C. It is usually stored in a glass shatterproof amber bottle with twice the volume of head space to allow for pressure build up. When received, the pressure must be released and repeated monthly until finished.
Structure and bondingEditThe molecule is planar. Two of the N-O bonds are equivalent and relatively short (this can be explained by theories of resonance. The canonical forms show double bond character in these two bonds, causing them to be shorter than typical N-O bonds.), and the third N-O bond is elongated because the O is also attached to a proton.[5][6]
Acid-base propertiesEditNitric acid is normally considered to be a strong acid at ambient temperatures. There is some disagreement over the value of the acid dissociation constant, though the pKa value is usually reported as less than ''1. This means that the nitric acid in diluted solution is fully dissociated except in extremely acidic solutions. The pKa value rises to 1 at a temperature of 250 °C.[7]
Nitric acid can act as a base with respect to an acid such as sulfuric acid:
HNO3 + 2H2SO4 '‡Œ NO2+ + H3O+ + 2HSO4''; K ~ 22The nitronium ion, NO2+, is the active reagent in aromatic nitration reactions. Since nitric acid has both acidic and basic properties, it can undergo an autoprotolysis reaction, similar to the self-ionization of water:
2HNO3 '‡Œ NO2+ + NO3'' + H2OReactions with metalsEditNitric acid reacts with most metals but the details depend on the concentration of the acid and the nature of the metal. Dilute nitric acid behaves as a typical acid in its reaction with most metals. Magnesium, manganese and zinc liberate H2. Others give the nitrogen oxides.[8]
Nitric acid can oxidize non-active metals such as copper and silver. With these non-active or less electropositive metals the products depend on temperature and the acid concentration. For example, copper reacts with dilute nitric acid at ambient temperatures with a 3:8 stoichiometry:
3 Cu + 8 HNO3 '†' 3 Cu2+ + 2 NO + 4 H2O + 6 NO3''The nitric oxide produced may react with atmospheric oxygen to give nitrogen dioxide. With more concentrated nitric acid, nitrogen dioxide is produced directly in a reaction with 1:4 stoichiometry.
Cu + 4 H+ + 2 NO3'' '†' Cu2+ + 2 NO2 + 2 H2OUpon reaction with nitric acid, most metals give the corresponding nitrates. Some metalloids and metals give the oxides; for instance, Sn, As, Sb, and Ti are oxidized into SnO2, As2O5, Sb2O5, and TiO2, respectively.[8]
Some precious metals, such as pure gold and platinum group metals do not react with nitric acid, though pure gold does react with aqua regia, a mixture of concentrated nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. However, some less noble metals (Ag, Cu, ...) present in some gold alloys relatively poor in gold such as colored gold can be easily oxidized and dissolved by nitric acid, leading to colour changes of the gold-alloy surface. Nitric acid is used as a cheap means in jewelry shops to quickly spot low-gold alloys (
TSA
TSA Security Head Fired Over Long Lines
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:36
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) - The head of security for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has been removed from his position, according to an internal TSA memo on Monday seen by Reuters, after the agency was criticized for long lines at airport security checkpoints.
Kelly Hoggan, who had served as TSA assistant administrator for security operations since May 2013, was replaced by his deputy, Darby LaJoye, who will serve on an acting basis, according to the memo from agency head Peter Neffenger.
Long security lines at U.S. airports this spring have frustrated travelers and caused thousands of passengers to miss flights. TSA has blamed the problem on a lack of security screeners and an increase in passenger volumes.
Hoggan came under fire at a U.S. House Oversight Committee hearing on May 12 for receiving over $90,000 in bonuses and awards over a 13-month period in 2013-14.
Earlier this month, TSA said it would add screeners at the country's busiest airports.
About 231 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines from June through August, up 4 percent from the same period last year, according to trade group Airlines for America.
In the memo, Neffenger said TSA is doing a better job of moving passengers through security at Chicago's O'Hare Airport after particularly long lines at the nation's second-busiest airport made national news several weeks ago.
He also said TSA has established a National Incident Command Center at agency headquarters in Washington to track daily screening operations nationwide and shift resources in advance of higher predicted passenger volumes.
A TSA spokesman said the agency does not comment on personnel matters. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh)
Elite$
Angelina Jolie gets new role as visiting professor at LSE | Film | The Guardian
Tue, 24 May 2016 00:13
Angelina Jolie said she was very encouraged by the creation of the course and hoped other universities would follow suit. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
She met her husband Brad Pitt while playing an assassin, and won an Oscar for her portrayal of a sociopathic patient in a mental hospital, but Angelina Jolie's latest role may be her most surprising yet.
The Hollywood actor and director has been appointed a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, teaching a course on the impact of war on women.
From 2017, Jolie will join the former foreign secretary William Hague as a ''professor in practice'', the university announced on Monday, as part of a new MSc course on women, peace and security, which LSE says is the first of its kind in the world.
The course, it says, is intended to ''[develop] strategies to promote gender equality and enhance women's economic, social and political participation and security'', with visiting professors playing an active part in giving lectures, participating in workshops and undertaking their own research.
Jolie, who became a UNHCR goodwill ambassador in 2001 and is now a special envoy, said she was very encouraged by the creation of the course, and hoped other universities would follow suit. ''It is vital we broaden the discussion on how to advance women's rights and end impunity for crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual violence in conflict.
''I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students, as well as to sharing my own experiences of working alongside governments and the United Nations.''
The one-year course, for which students can apply from this autumn, will run from the beginning of the 2017 academic year. An LSE spokeswoman said Jolie and Lord Hague would teach at least once a year for the period of their fellowship, ''as often as their schedules, and their commitment as agreed with the centre director, will allow''.
Visiting professors in practice was a title given to people ''who have appropriate distinction within their area of (non-academic) practice'', the university said in a statement. ''It includes individuals who have achieved prominence in public service, or who have attained distinction in their profession and through their practical experience.'' The role is unpaid.
Also appointed as visiting professors in practice are Jane Connors, director of international advocacy at Amnesty International Geneva, and Madeleine Rees, secretary general of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Jolie and Hague have been working together since 2012 on the issue of preventing sexual violence in conflict, jointly chairing a global summit on the subject two years later, the largest ever international gathering on the subject. They were both present last year at the launch of the LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security.
A British parliamentary report published last month found that the UK-led initiative arising from the global summit was at risk of collapse without the personal leadership of Hague, who stood down as an MP at last year's election and is now a peer.
The Lords select committee inquiry into the Foreign Office found the government has no five-year plan to implement its sexual violence in conflict initiative, no coherent list of the countries being prioritised and no adequate means for diplomats to measure whether pledges made are being implemented.
Depression Economy
RideAustin Turns TNC Lemons into Lemonade '-- Austin Startups
Mon, 23 May 2016 16:12
RideAustin Turns TNC Lemons into LemonadeProposition 1 failed and Uber and Lyft left town. Business is down at restaurants and bars and it sometimes takes 45 minutes to get a taxi. Members of the Austin community have launched a non-profit Transportation Network Company (TNC) called RideAustin to fill the void with a transparent, high quality, well funded solution whose only priority is Austin. Whether you voted for or against Proposition 1, now is the time for Austin to unite.Some of us were for Proposition 1, but more people voted against it. Different people had different reasons but that doesn't change where we are today'Š'--'Šat an impasse where Uber and Lyft say they won't come back under our current ordinance and the changes they require are not acceptable to City Council. Meanwhile, Austin has no TNC operating at scale and our transportation options suck.
The main issue was around fingerprinting of drivers, but the election was lost on egos and emotions. Uber and Lyft's campaign tactics offended the City Council and many voters. There was no agreement about the safety benefits of fingerprinting or the practical implications on the TNC business model because we just don't have enough information. There was a game of chicken with Uber and Lyft threatening to leave and many doubting that they would actually do it.
The repercussions are severe. We expect the economic impact will be hundreds of millions of dollars in the end. We are less safe than we were before because there are thousands of black-market drivers picking up riders on Facebook and Craigslist. Startup TNC's are overwhelmed. People are pissed and it's only going to get worse.
That's why Austinites for and against Proposition 1 are coming together to create RideAustin'Š'--'Ša non-profit TNC whose only priority is Austin. There are vast financial and technical resources assembled and they have been working around the clock since a few days after Proposition 1 failed. There is a long way to go, but I believe it's off to an impressive start and we have early indications that they will be successful.
Why This Can WorkWe've heard already about how challenging it would be for someone to come take the place of Uber and Lyft. Some of the challenges faced by startup TNC's that have launched in response to Proposition 1 haven't been encouraging. With so much regulatory risk, it's hard to attract the venture capital investment needed to launch a TNC business.
However, a non-profit TNC has some unique advantages. It's easier to fund because contributions are tax deductible and investors aren't focused on a financial return so the risks are different. As a non-profit and community-focused solution it has extra press and goodwill needed to achieve critical mass quickly. With a single-metro focus it doesn't have to always worry about ''how will this scale to hundreds of cities?''
This is going to be really, really hard, but I've seen the current demo and product roadmap and I believe this team can deliver.'Š'--'ŠJoshua Baer
If it weren't for the world-class technical team behind this project and significant financial contributions from Austin Tech leaders, we wouldn't give this a second glance. Big thanks should go out to Andy Tryba and the team at Crossover for diverting their resources and burning the midnight oil to get this done. Others from both sides of the issue have also spent countless hours on it and contributed a lot.
It's like Uber and Lyft walked away from a factory full of workers and a long list of repeat customers. If RideAustin can act quickly to provide a high-quality solution then we can walk into the empty factory and start it up again, capturing a large portion of the market in a short period of time for a fraction of the cost.
The solution has got to be great. The app needs to be reliable and the service needs to be dependable. It might not be quite as fast as Uber or quite as cheap as Lyft Line, but Austinites just need to know they can press a button anywhere in the city and have a safe, reliable ride within a few minutes.
Was this my first choice? No way. I wanted Proposition 1 to pass so that Uber and Lyft would still be operating like they were a few weeks ago. But Proposition 1 failed and now we are hurting. It's time to focus on what's next for Austin instead of waiting months or years for someone else to fix it.'Š'--'ŠJoshua Baer
Fully Compliant with Austin RegulationsRideAustin will comply with all Austin ridesharing regulations. Drivers will be fingerprinted and vehicles will be inspected. They will use trade dress and won't be allowed to drop-off in bus lanes. We'll put them to the test in a totally transparent way and see how they work.
Let the Light Shine InAs a non-profit, there is an opportunity for unprecedented transparency. Many of the debates around Proposition 1 went in circles because there just isn't enough data about TNC usage. We don't know enough about how many drivers there are, how many riders there are, or how they use the service. We don't really know for sure whether TNC's are safer than Taxis or not.
RideAustin will be completely transparent about all aspects of its operation and open the data up for research and study. In a few months we'll all have a lot more answers and be able to have a more informed debate.
This is the opportunity for Austin to contribute to the global ridesharing debate. Let's bring data to the table and answer some of these questions about safety and market dynamics definitively. We hope that researchers from all over the world use this data to learn more about urban mobility and make TNC's even better.
All Solutions are WelcomeWe believe we should support all transportation solutions that meet some basic criteria.
Get Drivers back on the road obeying city regulationsGet Riders the fast, safe and inexpensive transportation they have come to expectBe transparent about safetyDon't use city resources to pick winners and losersThis includes Uber, Lyft, GetMe and anyone else who wants to play along. Austinites should have multiple options.
Maybe we can do better than the duopoly that exists in most other markets around the world. Maybe the emergence of a free market in Austin'Š'--'Šthe only large city without Uber and Lyft'Š'--'Šwill attract the interest of other large technology players who want to enter the market. The obvious players are already here'Š'--'ŠAustin is already testing Google's autonomous cars on the streets, Apple has their second largest office other than Cupertino here, and Mercedes launched Car2Go here. It's not just small startups who will see this as an exciting opportunity.
We're supporting RideAustin because it looks like the best option we've got and we're not going to just sit around and do nothing. If you've got a better idea, we're interested in supporting you, too.'Š'--'ŠDan Graham
It's Time to Stand Together for AustinIf you voted for Proposition 1 or against it, then you should support this community based initiative with your patronage and with your donations. Download the app to sign up as a rider or driver, post it to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter, and make a significant donation personally and from your company.
If you are an Austin-based business, you should pre-purchase travel credits for your employees or make a corporate donation. In order to launch successfully it takes up-front capital to hire drivers while both supply and demand builds.
This is the time for the Tech and Innovation Community to engage with the rest of our city and be part of the solution. We're often criticized for not voting, not donating and only complaining when things don't go our way. This isn't just about Tech, but we should be the strongest supporters.
This is the perfect opportunity for the Austin Tech Community to work together with the rest of Austin to make Austin better.
http://RideAustin.com
Signed byDavid AltounianFounderMotion Computing
Mason ArnoldFounder & Cookie MonsterGreenling & Veggie Noodle Co
Gene AustinCEOBazaarvoice
Joshua BaerFounder & Executive DirectorCapital Factory
Evan BaehrFounder & CEOAble Lending
John BerkowitzFounder & CEOOjo Labs & Yodle
Bill BoebelFounder & CEOPingboard & Webmail
Kevin BrandCEO and Founder(512) brewing company
Sara T BrandFounding General PartnerTrue Wealth Ventures
Barbary BrunnerPresidentAustin Technology Council
Andrew BuseyFounder & CEOConversable
Maggie Louise CallahanFounder & CEOMaggie Louise Confections
Kevin CallahanCo-FounderMapMyFitness
Clayton ChristopherFounderSweet Leaf Tea, Deep Eddy Vodka & CAVU Ventures
Chelsea CollierPrincipalIntercambio
Craig CummingsCo-FounderRidescout
Gordon DaughertyDirectorCapital Factory
Sam DeckerCo-Founder Capital Factory & Mass Relevance (Spredfast)
Hugh ForrestDirectorSXSW Interactive
Richard GarriottFounderPortalarium & Origin Systems
Arlo GilbertCEOTelevero
Dan GrahamFounder & CEOBuildaSign & Notley Fund
Erik HuddlestonCEOTrendkite
Brett HurtFounderData.world, Bazaarvoice & Coremetrics
Bryan JonesEntrepreneur in ResidenceCapital Factory
Josh Jones-DilworthFounder & CEOJones-Dilworth International
Ricky JoshiCo-founder and CMOSaatva Luxury Mattress
Laura KilcreaseManaging DirectorTriton Ventures
Joseph KopserCo-FounderRidescout
Joe LiemandtFounder & CEOTrilogy
Higinio O. MaycotteCEOUmbel
Jack McDonaldCEOUpland Software
Bryan MenellCo-Founder Capital Factory
Mike MillardDirector of Innovation and Technology CommercializationAscension Health
Donald ParkChief of StaffVista Equity Partners
Nate PaulPresident & CEOWorld Class Capital Group
John PriceCEOVast
Mellie PriceFounderFront Gate Tickets, Softmatch & Capital Factory
Courtney PowellCEOReal HQ
Mike RollinsPresidentAustin Chamber
Joe RossCo-Founder & PresidentCSID
Danielle RoystonCEO Versata
Jan RyanFounder Social Dynamx & Women@Austin
Fred SchmidtCo-Founder & CEOWild About Music, Toy Joy & Austin Rocks Texas
Eugene SepulvedaCEOEntrepreneur's Foundation of Central Texas
Venu ShamapantGeneral PartnerLive Oak Venture Partners
Amos SchwartzfarbManaging DirectorTechstars Austin
Justin SiegelFounder & CEOATX Angel
Chris SkylesFounderSkylesBayne
joahspearmanCo-Founder & CEOLocaleur
Sean SpectorFounder & CEODropoff
Krishna SrinivasanGeneral PartnerLive Oak Venture Partners
Chris TaylorFounder & CEOSquare Root
Rob TaylorCEOConvey
Charles ThornburghFounder & CEOCivitas Learning
Kenny TomlinFounder & CEORockfish Interactive
Michael TraftonDirectorCapital Factory
Andy TrybaCEOCrossover
Tyson TuttleCEOSilicon Labs
Dustin WellsFounder & CEOHeadspring
Spencer WellsFounder & CEOInsitome
RideAustin invents alternative to Uber, Lyft
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:22
The tech and engineering worlds collided in Austin to develop a nonprofit ride-hailing app called RideAustin. USA TODAY
Joe Deshotel, a spokesman for RideAustin, explains the ridesharing platform at its unveiling in Austin Monday. The new community-based, non-profit ridesharing initiative is designed to fill the void by the departure of Uber and Lyft.(Photo: Rick Jervis)
AUSTIN '' Faced with a ride-hailing void after a contentious regulation battle pushed Uber and Lyft to leave the city, Austin tech leaders created an alternative '-- a non-profit ride-hailing company backed by local donations.
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On Monday, they unveiled RideAustin, an app that came together in the 16 days since Austin voters on May 7 rejected a proposition by Uber and Lyft that would allow the companies to essentially self-regulate and bypass the city's mandate for fingerprint background checks on drivers. Two days after the failed vote, Uber and Lyft shut down operations in Austin.
The companies have faced similar challenges in Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia and a host of other cities.
Austin-based engineers worked around the clock in the two weeks since the failed vote here to launch the app and initiative. To fund the platform, RideAustin collected private donations from locals and tapped corporations that pre-paid for thousands of local rides, said Joe Liemandt, a local tech entrepreneur and RideAustin co-founder.
RideAustin began recruiting drivers on Monday and expects to start rides in mid-June.
''This is by Austin, for Austin,'' Liemandt, said. ''Tech can't solve this problem alone. We are one leg of the stool. The way the community came together on this has been amazing.''
RideAustin will work much the same way Uber and Lyft do, with a downloadable app and pick-up algorithms designed to cut down on wait times, he said. It will also have a feature that allows riders to donate to local charities. Its founders say they plan to fully embrace the city's background checks.
Joe Garcia, a lobbyist for Yellow Cab Austin, said local taxi officials question RideAustin drivers being allowed to operate initially just in the downtown area and whether the non-profit will have adequate insurance coverage, among other issues.
"We think there are a lot more questions to be asked," he said.
RideAustin's unveiling marks the latest salvo in a battle simmering since December when the city passed an ordinance requiring more stringent fingerprint screenings for the ride-hailing drivers. Uber and Lyft had performed their own background checks since launching here in 2014.
The companies reportedly gathered 65,000 signatures to put a proposal on the ballot that would allow them to run their own background checks on drivers and spent more than $8 million to sway voters their way. When the vote failed, the companies made good on their promise to shut down their apps in Austin, angering many residents and more than 10,000 drivers who relied on Uber and Lyft for income.
Ken Flippin, 43, a former driver for both Uber and Lyft, said his ride-hailing wages contributed to between 20% and 90% of his monthly income. He said he's skeptical that a non-profit could compete with private companies, but was encouraged by the initiative. He planned to sign up.
''A new alternative system could be better for drivers,'' he said. ''It's intriguing.''
In its early days, the new service will limit itself to the downtown and airport areas, growing out from there to ensure quality of service and that the city's requirements are being built into the platform, said Andy Tryba, another RideAustin co-founder who recruited engineers in this high-tech hub to build the platform from the ground up.
''We're really excited,'' he said. ''You get to really start with a blank slate.''
Unlike Uber and Lyft, RideAustin officials will share their data for public research, Liemandt said. That research could help answer questions kept secret by the private companies, such as whether lower prices actually draw more riders or whether price surges discourage them.
''We're going to be opening the box to how all these ridesharing [companies] work,'' Liemandt said.
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Foxconn replaces '60,000 with robots'
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:11
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Workers have complained in the past about conditions in Foxconn's factories Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.
One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post.
Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."
China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.
In a statement to the BBC, Foxconn Technology Group confirmed that it was automating "many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operations" but denied that it meant long-term job losses.
"We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control.
"We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China."
Since September 2014, 505 factories across Dongguan, in the Guangdong province, have invested 4.2bn yuan (£430m) in robots, aiming to replace thousands of workers.
Kunshan, Jiangsu province, is a manufacturing hub for the electronics industry.
Economists have issued dire warnings about how automation will affect the job market, with one report, from consultants Deloitte in partnership with Oxford University, suggesting that 35% of jobs were at risk over the next 20 years.
Former McDonald's chief executive Ed Rensi recently told the US's Fox Business programme a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour would make companies consider robot workers.
"It's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who is inefficient, making $15 an hour bagging French fries," he said.
SCIENCE!
Big Science is broken
Tue, 24 May 2016 15:22
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Science is broken.
That's the thesis of a must-read article in First Things magazine, in which William A. Wilson accumulates evidence that a lot of published research is false. But that's not even the worst part.
Advocates of the existing scientific research paradigm usually smugly declare that while some published conclusions are surely false, the scientific method has "self-correcting mechanisms" that ensure that, eventually, the truth will prevail. Unfortunately for all of us, Wilson makes a convincing argument that those self-correcting mechanisms are broken.
For starters, there's a "replication crisis" in science. This is particularly true in the field of experimental psychology, where far too many prestigious psychology studies simply can't be reliably replicated. But it's not just psychology. In 2011, the pharmaceutical company Bayer looked at 67 blockbuster drug discovery research findings published in prestigious journals, and found that three-fourths of them weren't right. Another study of cancer research found that only 11 percent of preclinical cancer research could be reproduced. Even in physics, supposedly the hardest and most reliable of all sciences, Wilson points out that "two of the most vaunted physics results of the past few years '-- the announced discovery of both cosmic inflation and gravitational waves at the BICEP2 experiment in Antarctica, and the supposed discovery of superluminal neutrinos at the Swiss-Italian border '-- have now been retracted, with far less fanfare than when they were first published."
What explains this? In some cases, human error. Much of the research world exploded in rage and mockery when it was found out that a highly popularized finding by the economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhardt linking higher public debt to lower growth was due to an Excel error. Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame, largely built his career on a paper arguing that abortion led to lower crime rates 20 years later because the aborted babies were disproportionately future criminals. Two economists went through the painstaking work of recoding Levitt's statistical analysis '-- and found a basic arithmetic error.
Then there is outright fraud. In a 2011 survey of 2,000 research psychologists, over half admitted to selectively reporting those experiments that gave the result they were after. The survey also concluded that around 10 percent of research psychologists have engaged in outright falsification of data, and more than half have engaged in "less brazen but still fraudulent behavior such as reporting that a result was statistically significant when it was not, or deciding between two different data analysis techniques after looking at the results of each and choosing the more favorable."
Then there's everything in between human error and outright fraud: rounding out numbers the way that looks better, checking a result less thoroughly when it comes out the way you like, and so forth.
Still, shouldn't the mechanism of independent checking and peer review mean the wheat, eventually, will be sorted from the chaff?
Well, maybe not. There's actually good reason to believe the exact opposite is happening.
The peer review process doesn't work. Most observers of science guffaw at the so-called "Sokal affair," where a physicist named Alan Sokal submitted a gibberish paper to an obscure social studies journal, which accepted it. Less famous is a similar hoodwinking of the very prestigious British Medical Journal, to which a paper with eight major errors was submitted. Not a single one of the 221 scientists who reviewed the paper caught all the errors in it, and only 30 percent of reviewers recommended that the paper be rejected. Amazingly, the reviewers who were warned that they were in a study and that the paper might have problems with it found no more flaws than the ones who were in the dark.
This is serious. In the preclinical cancer study mentioned above, the authors note that "some non-reproducible preclinical papers had spawned an entire field, with hundreds of secondary publications that expanded on elements of the original observation, but did not actually seek to confirm or falsify its fundamental basis."
This gets into the question of the sociology of science. It's a familiar bromide that "science advances one funeral at a time." The greatest scientific pioneers were mavericks and weirdos. Most valuable scientific work is done by youngsters. Older scientists are more likely to be invested, both emotionally and from a career and prestige perspective, in the regnant paradigm, even though the spirit of science is the challenge of regnant paradigms.
Why, then, is our scientific process so structured as to reward the old and the prestigious? Government funding bodies and peer review bodies are inevitably staffed by the most hallowed (read: out of touch) practitioners in the field. The tenure process ensures that in order to further their careers, the youngest scientists in a given department must kowtow to their elders' theories or run a significant professional risk. Peer review isn't any good at keeping flawed studies out of major papers, but it can be deadly efficient at silencing heretical views.
All of this suggests that the current system isn't just showing cracks, but is actually broken, and in need of major reform. There is very good reason to believe that much scientific research published today is false, there is no good way to sort the wheat from the chaff, and, most importantly, that the way the system is designed ensures that this will continue being the case.
As Wilson writes:
Even if self-correction does occur and theories move strictly along a lifecycle from less to more accurate, what if the unremitting flood of new, mostly false, results pours in faster? Too fast for the sclerotic, compromised truth-discerning mechanisms of science to operate? The result could be a growing body of true theories completely overwhelmed by an ever-larger thicket of baseless theories, such that the proportion of true scientific beliefs shrinks even while the absolute number of them continues to rise. Borges' Library of Babel contained every true book that could ever be written, but it was useless because it also contained every false book, and both true and false were lost within an ocean of nonsense. [First Things]
This is a big problem, one that can't be solved with a column. But the first step is admitting you have a problem.
Science, at heart an enterprise for mavericks, has become an enterprise for careerists. It's time to flip the career track for science on its head. Instead of waiting until someone's best years are behind her to award her academic freedom and prestige, abolish the PhD and grant fellowships to the best 22-year-olds, giving them the biggest budgets and the most freedoms for the first five or 10 years of their careers. Then, with only few exceptions, shift them away from research to teaching or some other harmless activity. Only then can we begin to fix Big Science.
Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$
US mulling plan to infect mosquitoes with bacteria to curb Zika virus '-- RT America
Thu, 26 May 2016 14:59
The US could soon adopt an unconventional method of fighting the Zika virus, using a common bacteria to do so. The strategy would involve infecting mosquitoes with the bacteria and releasing the males into the wild.
The idea to use the Wolbachia pipientis bacteria as a tool against the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is the brainchild of biotechnology startup MosquitoMate. The fate of the innovative method has been left up to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is currently reviewing it, Nature reported.
The company's plan involves rearing mosquitoes infected with a particular strain of the bacteria and releasing the males into the environment. If the males mate with females who do not carry the same strain of Wolbachia, any fertilized eggs would not hatch because the paternal chromosomes would not form properly.
This, according to MosquitoMate '' a company started by researchers at the University of Kentucky '' would result in a dwindling mosquito population and consequently less spread of diseases, Nature reports.
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The current proposal being reviewed by the EPA comes after three years of testing by MosquitoMate, in three different states. The strategy has so far reduced the wild mosquito population by more than 70 percent in those areas, according to Stephen Dobson, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and founder of the company.
In addition to using Wolbachia to target the Asian tiger mosquito, MosquitoMate is also using it to target the Aedes aegypti mosquito, thought to be the main vector for the Zika virus. The company began field trials of infected A. aegypti mosquitos in Clovis, California earlier this month, and has applied to conduct similar tests in Florida and Orange County, California.
Researchers hope that targeting mosquitoes with Wolbachia will lead to less spread of Zika, dengue, and Chikungunya, among other viruses.
The EPA's decision on MosquitoMate's application will come after a public comment period that ends on May 31.
Meanwhile, other groups are also investigating how to defeat the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Researchers from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and Michigan State University began field trials of Wolbachia-infected mosquitos last year in Guangzhou. The researchers are releasing 1.5 million male Aedes aegypti per week, and plan to increase that number to five million per week by the end of August, according to Nature.
''Our mosquito factory is currently the largest one in the world,'' Zhiyong Xi, a medical entomologist and microbiologist at Michigan State University, who oversees the project, told the journal.
It comes just weeks after a Brazilian study found that Wolbachia significantly reduced the ability of mosquitoes to transmit the Zika virus, a close relative of dengue, which has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly. The virus has swept through South and Central America and the Caribbean, making its way north to the US.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that it is partially responsible for the outbreak of the Zika virus, saying it had failed to introduce mosquito control policies over the last few decades.
CYBER
SWIFT Attacks in the Global Economic War
Mon, 23 May 2016 15:44
Recent headlines confirm that the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Communication) has suffered multiple cyber attacks. SWIFT is a privately run Belgium-based provider of financial messaging, considered essential to move money around the world. The system is so important that to be denied access to it is essentially to be cut off financially from the rest of the world. That is what happened to Iran in 2012 in conjunction with sanctions and the pain was severe. Many believe that regaining access to SWIFT was the Iranians top priority in negotiations.
It is important to understand that SWIFT is not, at least not directly, controlled by the United States.Rather, it is governed by a multi-nation board. Still, it is viewed to be part of the United States-led global financial community. American sanctions carry tremendous weight.
The fact that the United States exerts a great deal of influence through sanctions because of SWIFT has not gone unnoticed. Nations such as China and Russia clearly do not want to be threatened with being cut off. This is noted in comments made in THE BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS:
Myth No. 3: The United States can continue to control the world financial system. Although not without controversy, the extraterritorial provisions of US-led sanctions provide the backbone to freezing Iran out of the global economy. (That is, the ability to impose harsh penalties on non-US firms for conducting significant business or transactions with Iranian companies.) China's Bank of Kunlun, for example, was sanctioned by the United States in 2012 for facilitating ''significant transactions'' and financial services to designated Iranian banks.
'...
This sudden move underscored to other countries the inherent risks in relying on a single access point to international banking, and encouraged them to take a number of moves to mitigate those risks. China, for example, is on schedule to launch an alternative to SWIFT, possibly by the end of 2015. Known as the China International Payment System, it is designed to process cross-border renminbi transactions, in a welcome alternative to the patchwork system of processing Chinese currency payments'--making the renminbi a more global currency. The system will provide a legitimate alternative to SWIFT.
Russia recently launched its own alternative to SWIFT for domestic payments, as part of a larger move to get away from Western dominance of the international financial system'--specifically citing fears of exclusion from SWIFT stemming from Western sanctions over the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
'...
Decades of sanctions have had diffuse global consequences, and emerging trends show that US-led sanctions will not enjoy the same level of legitimacy it has in the past. Given US economic dominance and the appearance of effectiveness, it is understandable how sanctions have become somewhat of a panacea for international diplomacy. The reality, however, is that without better evidence-based policy-making, the United States will find itself unprepared to deal with the broader spectrum of sanctions consequences.
This commentary is significant because it is a warning to America that we will not be able to rely on economic sanctions in the future to curtail nuclear development. SWIFT works because it is the only credible alternative for international transactions. Getting cut off means losing access to the world. That is why the Atomic Scientists note the significance of a China-led alternative emerging. It is important to note, however, that China's efforts are only credible if other nations agree to use their cross-border payment system. It has to work and it also has to attract other participants to be effective. One of the attractions is that many countries fear American spying through SWIFT. Edward Snowden's leaks indicated that SWIFT was a means for American spy agencies to monitor international transactions.
China unveiled their alternative to SWIFT, CIPS (China International Payment System) at the end of last year. This coincides with their creation of an alternative to the Western-led World Bank. Our government tried to keep other nations from working with the Asia Development Bank in order to maintain greater control of international finance. Those efforts were ineffective as 57 nations joined the bank as founding members including many key American allies. According to experts such as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, this was a clear sign that American financial hegemony was ending.
'...
Now, there are two reasons (spying and perceived vulnerability) to look to CIPS as an alternative to SWIFT. If enough banks join CIPS, SWIFT's economic sanction potential will be eliminated. There is no doubt that China is making these points with all trading partners and allies. This goes along with the recent establishment of a gold-yuan fix and other measures seemingly undertaken to replace our dollar-based system. As we have shared before, China's official policy is to replace the American dollar with a global currency. They publicly state that they wish to ''de-Americanize'' the world.
Navy official sounds alarm on cyber workforce shortage
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:07
Cybersecurity
Navy official sounds alarm on cyber workforce shortageBy Sean LyngaasMay 24, 2016Janice Haith, deputy CIO of the Navy, is concerned about the government's ability to retain skilled cybersecurity personnel.
The Navy is fighting a losing battle trying to keep cyber specialists in its workforce, according to Deputy CIO Janice Haith.
There is a revolving door in which the Navy trains IT professionals who then go on to lucrative jobs in the private sector, Haith said May 24 at a conference hosted by Gigamon.
The workers the Navy does retain face a tall order in securing both shipboard and land-based IT systems, she added.
"We have a workforce which is not adequately prepared to do this, and we are definitely relying on industry to help us with that," Haith said, adding that the problem is not unique to the Navy but common across government. "You may see us outsource a lot more because we don't have the skill set for that."
Officials from across the military services held a meeting on May 23 in which they discussed the shortage of civilian IT personnel based overseas, she added. The fiscal 2017 defense policy bill pending before Congress would offer some relief in terms of deployment times and more training opportunities for Navy officers, Haith said.
Pentagon officials -- including Adm. Michael Rogers, who leads U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency -- have publicly advocated for a more flexible workforce in which their IT personnel can rotate in and out of the private sector. As Haith noted, another option is to outsource more cyber services, which NSA is also exploring.
The Naval Supply Systems Command recently issued a call to contractors to train "ethical hackers" at the Navy who can probe networks for vulnerabilities. Such "red teamers" are in short supply in the Defense Department because the private sector is poaching them.
In the meantime, spending on nuts and bolts continues. Haith estimated that the Navy has spent about $700 million on cybersecurity tools since a 2013 breach, attributed to Iranian hackers, of the unclassified portion of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
Haith had choice words for the acquisition process. Despite some progress in getting more cyber tools into the hands of sailors, she said, "The law is hampering what we need to do, and until they change the law, we can't go as far as we need to go."
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.
Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.
Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.
WTC7
Saudi Press: U.S. Blew Up World Trade Center To Create 'War On Terror'
Tue, 24 May 2016 13:58
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TEL AVIV '' The Saudi press is still furious over the U.S. Senate's unanimous vote approving a bill that allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. This time, the London-based Al-Hayat daily has claimed that the U.S. planned the attacks on the World Trade Center in order to create a global war on terror. The article, written by Saudi legal expert Katib al-Shammari and translated by MEMRI, claims that American threats to expose documents that prove Saudi involvement in the attacks are part of a long-standing U.S. policy that he calls ''victory by means of archives.''
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Al-Shammari claims that the U.S. chooses to keep some cards close to its chest in order to use them at a later date. One example is choosing not to invade Iraq in the 1990s and keeping its leader, Saddam Hussein, alive to use as ''a bargaining chip'' against other Gulf States. Only once Shi'ism threatened to sweep the region did America act to get rid of Hussein ''since they no longer saw him as an ace up their sleeve.''
He claims that the 9/11 attacks were another such card, enabling the U.S. to blame whoever suited its needs at a particular time; first it blamed Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and now Saudi Arabia.
September 11 is one of winning cards in the American archives, because all the wise people in the world who are experts on American policy and who analyze the images and the videos [of 9/11] agree unanimously that what happened in the [Twin] Towers was a purely American action, planned and carried out within the U.S. Proof of this is the sequence of continuous explosions that dramatically ripped through both buildings. '... Expert structural engineers demolished them with explosives, while the planes crashing [into them] only gave the green light for the detonation '' they were not the reason for the collapse. But the U.S. still spreads blame in all directions.
The intention of the attacks, writes al-Shammari in his conspiracy article, was to create ''an obscure enemy '' terrorism '' which became what American presidents blamed for all their mistakes'' and that would provide justification for any ''dirty operation'' in other countries.
The terror label was applied to Muslims even though it was Muslims who helped America defeat the Soviets and bring an end to the Cold War, he writes. The problem, asserts al-Shammari, is that the U.S. must always find a new impetus to have an adversary, for ''the nature of the U.S. is that it cannot exist without an enemy.''
Al-Shammari's article comes amid a torrent of vociferous articles in the Saudi press that range from accusing the U.S. of being ''schizophrenic'' and in cahoots with Iran to publishing warnings that if passed, the ''Satanic'' bill would ''open the gates of hell.''
Former 9/11 Commissioner Won't Rule Out Saudi Royal Family Foreknowledge of 9/11 Plot
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:05
A former member of the 9/11 Commission on Tuesday left open the possibility that the Saudi Royal family knew about the 9/11 terror plot before it happened.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., asked members of the panel at a House Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing to raise their hands in response to this question:
''How many of you there believe that the royal family of Saudi Arabia did not know and was unaware that there was a terrorist plot being implemented that would result in an historic terrorist attack in the United States, in the lead up to 9/11?''
Two of the four panelists raised their hands, but Tim Roemer, 9/11 commission member and a former congressman from Indiana, did not. Neither did Simon Henderson, director of the gulf and energy policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
''Congressman, that is just too difficult a question for someone to raise their hand or put their hand down,'' Roemer explained. He then suggested Rohrabacher read 28 classified pages of the 9/11-commission report that describe overseas support for the 9/11 attackers.
The exchange begins at the 2 hour, 14 minute and 31 second mark here:
Those 28 pages remain classified despite calls for their release from several former members of the 9/11 Commission '-- a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel that from 2002 to 2004 investigated the 9/11 attacks and the intelligence failures that allowed them to succeed.
Senator Bob Graham, co-chairman of the commission, has suggested that the pages contain ''substantial'' evidence of Saudi involvement '' both by the government and private citizens. ''I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn't speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn't have a high school education'' could've carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States,'' Graham said on ''60 Minutes'' last month.
Graham and his Republican co-chair, former Sen. Porter Goss, have joined 9/11 victims' family members, activists, and Congressional leadership to call for the release of the 28 pages. The chapter was initially classified by the George W. Bush White House, fearful of upsetting a U.S. ally. Despite twice promising to release the pages, President Obama has withheld them.
In response to public pressure in the wake of his fourth visit to Saudi Arabia last month, Obama asked James Clapper, his director of national intelligence, to review the possible declassification of the pages. Obama told CBS's Charlie Rose last month that ''My understanding is that he's about to complete that process.''
Roemer has previously described the 28 pages as a ''preliminary police report,'' so it is likely that it lacks definitive conclusions about the knowledge of the Saudi royal family. But he clearly wasn't ready to rule it out.
Rohrabacher left no doubt about his views, saying that ''the Saudi royal family [has] been right up to their eyeballs in supporting radical Islamic terror in the Middle East.''
Former congressman and 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee on May 24, 2016
NA-Tech News
Why the Virtual-Reality Hype is About to Come Crashing Down - WSJ
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:26
Makers of virtual-reality headsets think 2016 will be the year of VR. The experience ''is radically different than any computing experience you've had before,'' says Marc Metis, a vice president at HTC Corp., maker of the Vive headset.
Content creators,...
Investigators raid Google Paris HQ in tax evasion inquiry
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:43
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Spotify's Financial Results Reinforce How Broken the Music Business Is - Fortune
Thu, 26 May 2016 06:20
May 24, 2016, 12:35 PM EDTE-mailTweetFacebookLinkedinShare iconsBased on almost every metric that matters, Spotify is the most successful streaming music service in the world, with almost 90 million subscribers and close to $2 billion in annual revenues. Yet its recently-released financial results show that despite its massive success, it is still incapable of making a profit'--and because of the way the music business works, it may never make one.
Although Spotify doesn't have to submit financial reports to stock market regulators because it isn't publicly traded, its Luxembourg-based parent company filed results with that country's corporate registrar. The picture painted of Spotify's business gives new meaning to the question, ''Is the glass half full or is it half empty?''
On the upside, Spotify's revenues accelerated in 2015, growing by about 80% to 1.95 billion Euros or about $2.1 billion U.S. dollars. That was almost twice the growth rate that the company saw in 2014. At a time when Apple Music and other competitors have been pouring resources into expanding their reach, Spotify seems to have increased its lead. Its user base climbed almost 50% to 89 million, up from 60 million in 2014.
On the glass-half-empty side of the equation, however, Spotify's losses also expanded to $206 million, up from $184 million in 2014. Despite the larger losses, some observers cheered this news because the company's red ink didn't increase as quickly as its revenues did. But that silver lining disappears if you look more closely at the costs that really matter.
Spotify's single biggest expense are the payments it has to make to record labels and music publishers, as they are for every other streaming music service, whether it's Apple Music or Rdio or Deezer. In 2015, the amount that Spotify had to pay for royalties and distribution fees climbed by 85%, to about $1.8 billion. In other words, costs grew by more than revenues did.
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Everywhere you look in the online music industry, you see the same picture. Deezer postponed a planned public offering because its financial picture was so bleak. In some cases, contracts with record companies forced Deezer to pay more than it was making in revenue by streaming popular songs. Rdio filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by Pandora, a company whose investors are pressuring it to sell itself to the highest bidder. But who would want to buy it?
Even Spotify, which has been planning for a public share offering for some time, was forced to raise a $1 billion round of convertible debt financing earlier this year in order to fund its operations because equity investors weren't prepared to put in more money at the valuation the company wanted.
That's partly because the digital music business looks increasingly fragile, at least the way it is structured currently. Of every dollar that Spotify brings in the door in revenues, about 85 cents goes right back out the door again in the form of payments to the music industry. That number is climbing at a faster rate than the company's revenues are, and still there are complaints that streaming music services don't pay enough money to artists. Where does all of this ultimately lead?
In its filing with the Luxembourg regulator, Spotify said that it is hopeful that it will be able to turn a profit at some point soon. ''We believe our model supports profitability at scale,'' the company said. ''We believe that we will generate substantial revenues as our reach expands and that, at scale, our margins will improve.'' This is a brave statement, but how is it even remotely realistic? Are record labels going to suddenly cut more favorable deals than they have in the past?
Spotify is currently in negotiations to re-sign most of the deals it has with record industry, but there's no indication that it will be able to do so at historical rates. In fact, even though they own a small stake in the company, some labels may want to charge more because Spotify has become so dominant.
Meanwhile, the streaming music business is so terrible financially that Spotify recently announced that it is moving even further into video with plans to expand its current music video feature into a full-fledged streaming video service with original programming. Not only is this a business that everyone from Netflix and Amazon to Apple and Google are going after, but it also has extremely high costs'--higher even than the music business. Is that likely to save Spotify? It's difficult to see how.
Major Pandora investor pressures company to sell - LA Times
Thu, 26 May 2016 06:19
An activist investor is putting pressure on Internet radio giant Pandora Media Inc. to sell the company, which is facing increasing competition in the growing streaming music industry.
Corvex Management, a hedge fund run by Keith Meister, on Monday wrote a letter to Pandora's board of directors encouraging the company to hire an independent investment bank to explore options including a sale.
In his note, included in a regulatory filing, Meister questioned recent decisions by the company, including the sudden appointment of founder Tim Westergren as chief executive, and the acquisition of online concert ticket merchant TicketFly.
Meister, a protege of billionaire Carl Icahn, suggested potential buyers could include Internet companies, mobile device makers and media conglomerates.
"Simply put, we believe Pandora can become an even more differentiated product and a more valuable business as a part of a larger enterprise," Meister said.
New York-based Corvex said in the filing that it owns 9.9% of Pandora's stock, or 22.7 million of the Oakland-based company's shares.
Pandora's stock jumped 7% to $10.69 a share in midday trading on Wall Street.
Pandora spokeswoman Stephanie Barnes did not comment directly on Meister's letter, but said in a statement that the company "is on the cusp of realizing an extraordinary vision."
"We are confidently investing to fully capture the massive opportunity ahead of us," Barnes said. "Our management team is in constant dialogue with shareholders about our business strategy and committed to delivering results and long-term value."
Founded in 2000, Pandora was one of the early leaders in streaming music, allowing users to create stations based on their own tastes. It counts roughly 80 million active users.
But the company has faced increasing competition from newer rivals, such as Spotify and Apple Music, that give users more control over which songs they want to hear.
In March, the company brought Westergren in as its chief executive, a job he first held from 2002 to 2004. Some had previously speculated that Pandora would pursue a sale, but Westergren's hiring appeared to quash those rumors.
Pandora has made a flurry of acquisitions to propel its growth and diversify its business by entering new segments such as live events and building on-demand features to better compete with others in the space.
It bought data firm Next Big Sound about a year ago, and paid $450 million for online concert ticket service Ticketfly in October. In November, it bought assets from now-defunct streaming rival Rdio to help it build more on-demand options. Pandora is also working to expand internationally, but needs licensing deals with record labels to do so.
Yet Meister questioned Pandora's growth strategy. The company's shares have fallen more than 45% in the last year.
"We have become increasingly concerned that the company may be pursuing a costly and uncertain business plan, without a thorough evaluation of all shareholder-value-maximizing alternatives," Meister said.
MORE:
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Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder
Spotify financials raise questions about streaming economics
Thu, 26 May 2016 06:15
Spotify nearly doubled its revenues in 2015. Huzzah! But the company's financial results for last year should also be a spur for the music/tech world to have some hard conversations about the sustainability of pureplay music-streaming in its current form.
Spotify's revenues may have grown 79.8% year-on-year to '‚¬1.95bn in 2015, but the company still recorded a net loss of '‚¬173.1m '' up from '‚¬162.3m the year before.
Digging in to the key figures first: Spotify's cost of sales grew faster than its revenues '' up 85.3% to '‚¬1.62bn, accounting for 83.5% of Spotify's turnover.
The company's investment in R&D grew 18.4% to '‚¬143.3m and its general and administrative expenses rose 51.8% to '‚¬116.4m, while Spotify's sales and marketing costs grew by 42.5% to '‚¬246.5m.
The concerning thing here is the margins involved: sales and marketing costs alone sucked up more than three quarters of Spotify's '‚¬321.7m gross profit. In a market where Spotify's key rivals are now Apple, Google/YouTube and Amazon '' tech giants with hefty cash reserves and built-in marketing platforms to take advantage of '' Spotify's marketing costs are only going to increase.
Bright spots? Spotify's subscription income grew by 78% in 2015 to '‚¬1.74bn, as it ended the year with 28 million subscribers. Its advertising revenues grew faster though: up 98.2% to '‚¬195.8m, although ads remain just over 10% of Spotify's overall turnover compared to nearly 90% for subscriptions. That 10-90 ratio of ads-to-subscriptions hasn't changed since 2013.
Meanwhile, Spotify hailed 3bn streams from its Discover Weekly playlist in 2015: ''This is the future of music and you should expect to see a lot of progress in this area during the coming years,'' claimed the financials report.
But back to those hard questions, anticipated in the directors' notes to the financials. ''We believe our model supports profitability at scale,'' they claimed. ''We believe that we will generate substantial revenues as our reach expands and that, at scale, our margins will improve'... Subscription-only models have not yet proven scale and free user models, whilst scaling, have not proven a path to profitability. Spotify has the combined power of both.''
That combined power, though, has so far seen Spotify accumulate net losses of more than '‚¬566m since the start of 2009, arriving at a point in 2015 where cost-of-sales were 83.5% of its turnover; and where R&D, sales/marketing and general/administrative costs were 7.4%, 12.7% and 6% respectively.
In an increasingly-competitive market with wealthy 900lb gorillas as rivals, Spotify can't let up on its spending any time soon.
Yet any attempt to rework its margins '' something that a growing number of voices within the music/tech ecosystem are mooting, quietly '' risks further inflaming the artist community, and would meet resistance from rightsholders.
In 2016, publishers want a bigger share of streaming income, and labels want Spotify to match Apple Music's payout percentages. And this is the state of affairs that Spotify will be taking out to investors if and when its long-awaited IPO gets underway.
There are positives to be found in Spotify's financials but if, as PRS for music boss Robert Ashcroft recently told Music Ally, the health of the digital music ecosystem should be judged on how sustainable its pureplay services are, the figures present some harsh realities too.
Stuart Dredge
Twitter moves away from 140 characters, ditches confusing and restrictive rules | TechCrunch
Tue, 24 May 2016 15:20
Partially confirming earlier reports, Twitter announced this morning plans that will begin to distance it from its strict adherence to the rule that tweets can only contain 140 characters. The company says that, among other changes designed to welcome new users to its service, it will no longer count media attachments and @names in replies toward your 140 allowed characters. However, links will still count '' a decision we understand has its roots in making Twitter's character counter more intuitive.
That is, characters you see in the composer interface should count, even if they are in links. But you won't see characters for things like pictures, videos, GIFs, polls and Quote Tweets, which is why they will not count.
Meanwhile, the change with @replies is designed to make it easier for users to have group conversations on the service.
When many users begin to chime in on a conversation thread, being able to reply to everyone has required that you limit your words. At some point, you simply have to drop people's names (their @username) from your tweet in order to fully express your thoughts. The update will change that, as the tweet no longer includes the leading @mentions '' they are displayed differently in the user interface.
Twitter has often struggled with being too confusing to new users, not only because its restrictions on how much you can type, but also because of its less than transparent rules around who can see your tweets. That has required savvier Twitter users to develop workarounds in order to make sure their tweets are seen by the widest audience.
Another change in the works will eliminate the need for one of these ''hacks'' '' placing a period before a reply that begins with the @ sign. (E.g., .@). This was necessary because Twitter has a rule that hides tweets that start with a username from reaching all your followers.
Originally, this rule was implemented to help keep Twitter's timeline clear from person-to-person conversations that could clutter up the experience with idle chitchat. But it was never an ideal rule to have in place. After all, Twitter is a great big, public conversational platform '' the fact that you could follow chats between other users you cared about was part of its draw.
In order to make sure your entire audience could see your replies, many Twitter users began placing a period in front of their response. This soon became a new '' if unofficial '' convention. But it also helped to create a sort of ''secret language'' on Twitter which newer users often felt was alienating.
Twitter is now trying to move away from a past where new and weird rules had to be explained, so new users can more intuitively understand how to use the service. This is more critical than ever, given Twitter's stalleduser growth.
''One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler,'' said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, in a statement. ''We're focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster. This is what Twitter is great at '' what's happening now, live conversation and the simplicity that we started the service with.''
The company also noted that other changes to improve its user-friendliness have been working out '' fewer than 2% opted out of Twitter now showing tweets that were missed while away, and a new, topic-focused onboarding flow increased follows by 48%, and mutual follows by 56% on average, on Twitter's mobile apps.
Twitter says that, following the changes, new tweets that begin with usernames will reach all your followers. The company also says you can retweet a reply to signal you want it to be viewed more broadly.
One final change involves being able to retweet and quote your own tweets '' something that wasn't possible before, and a bit of an annoyance to those who use Twitter as a platform for sharing their own content or links.
Because not everyone sees your initial tweet, many users wanted a way to later rebroadcast their same tweet again '' but Twitter prevented this. Of course, to some extent this helped to cut down on spammers who could overrun the timeline with the same reposted content. But it also limited users who wanted to make sure their good tweets were seen '' or, in the case of quoting tweets, wanted to comment on their original post without having to compose a new tweet.
To make this possible, Twitter will enable the Retweet button on your own tweets, so you can easily retweet or quote tweets.
Twitter is making the announcement about the changes today, in order to give developers time to prepare.
As this change will impact the hundreds of thousands of products built on top of Twitter's platform, Twitter is offering a grace period while developers transition their products. The changes will impact the public REST and Streaming APIs, Ads API, Gnip data products, and Display products like Twitter's Fabric Kit for embedded tweets and timelines displayed on web and mobile, the company noted in a blog post aimed at developers.
Twitter did not give an exact timeframe for when the changes would go live, beyond ''the coming months.''
Apple Opening Siri, Developing Echo Rival '-- The Information
Tue, 24 May 2016 22:43
Apple is upping its game in the field of intelligent assistants. After years of internal debate and discussion about how to do so, the company is preparing to open up Siri to apps made by others. And it is working on an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and microphone that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer.
Opening up its Siri voice assistant to outside app developers is the more immediate step. Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.
To read the full article:
Vice Media lays off 20 staff in restructuring plans | Media | The Guardian
Wed, 25 May 2016 12:23
Website of Vice Media, which recently rejected move by staff to gain recognition by National Union of Journalists. Photograph: Vice Media
Vice Media has laid off about 20 staff based in the US, London and in two foreign correspondent positions as part of restructuring plans.
It comes as Josh Tyrangiel, a former Bloomberg journalist who was hired last year to oversee the development of a nightly programme to be aired on HBO, is being promoted to oversee the company's news division.
The lay-offs came to public attention on Tuesday after a Vice News foreign correspondent, Harriet Salem, said on Twitter that she and another foreign correspondent were losing their jobs, as well as the London editorial team.
It is understood, however, that the bulk of the Vice News operation in the UK, which comprises 18 people working in video production and other roles, will remain intact. In addition to the two foreign correspondents, the cuts involve the departure of three staff in London and 15 staff members in the US.
Tyrangiel is in the process of implementing plans to ''unify'' all of Vice's various news divisions, according to a source familiar with the matter. They expected this to result in the hiring of new staff, alongside plans to open offices in Hong Kong and San Francisco in the coming months.
A senior figure to lead the UK team would be announced in the coming months, the same source confirmed.
The developments come after Vice's UK arm rejected a push for union recognition by a group of staff, bucking a growing trend that has seen unionisation at digital media businesses including at the outlet's main base in the US.
At a meeting in London last month, Vice UK staff were told that the National Union of Journalists would not be recognised but staff were offered the chance to set up an internal staff council.
A Vice UK worker, who was involved in the unionisation move, said: ''These redundancies are shocking and an insult to the multi-award winning workers who have put so much into making Vice News a success.
''The total lack of transparency and consultation also raises serious questions about the company's recent pretence at staff engagement, while failing to recognise the desire of many staff to unionise''
Speaking about the developments across the company on Tuesday, a Vice spokesperson said: ''The plan in place will expand Vice's news offerings across digital and TV, continue the recent of wave of newsroom hires, add additional foreign bureaus and marshal the company's existing news divisions into one cohesive powerhouse.''
In apparently unconnected comments, Vice Media's CEO, Shane Smith, last week spoke of what he described as a looming ''bloodbath in the next 12 months'' in the digital, mobile and terrestrial sectors.
Google Aims to Kill Passwords with Project Abacus | Threatpost | The first stop for security news
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:14
Google Updates Safe Browsing Alerts for Network AdminsApril 8, 2016 , 12:56 pm
According to Daniel Kaufman, head of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects, the way Project Abacus works is it monitors how individuals use their phone from keystroke speed, pattern of speech, location, rhythm of your walk, facial features, the way you swipe open your phone and anything else your phone can sense that can be used to create what's called a Trust Score to prove your identity.
If a stranger steals your phone, the idea is, the phone's sensors would identify unusual user behavior. Next, the dynamic Trust Score for phone would suddenly plunge and the phone would log out of any open accounts on the phone or just remained locked.
''We have these phones and these phones have all these sensors in them. Why couldn't it just know who I was, so I don't need a password?'' Kaufman said at last week's 2016 Google I/O conference. He said that over the past year Google has created a Trust API that will be rolled out in June to beta customers and if all goes well will be rolled out for all Android users before 2017.
Of course the quid quo pro is that Google gets to snarf-up even more data about you. But Google has said the sensor data used to generate the Trust Score would be locally processed and not sent to the Google cloud to be added to your digital dossier it has of you.
The project was originally introduced at last year's Google I/O conference. At that time Regina Dugan, a Google senior executive, said the Trust API would be used for locking and unlocking your phone as well as opening apps. She claimed the system is tenfold more secure then fingerprint sensors and 100x safer than 4 digit PIN codes.
The idea is not novel. Apple has its own password-killing tech with its TouchID and Microsoft has its Windows Hello biometric system introduced with the Windows 10 operating system. This is also not Google's first time at the password rodeo either.
Google officially launched Smart Lock at last year's Google I/O conference. Smart Lock is a password manager for Android and Chrome users that saves credentials on one devices for later use on all other supported devices and services.
According to Google, 70 percent of users forget their passwords once a month. Add that to another Google stat that estimates that on average it takes 2.4 attempts to guess a correct a password before we get it right.
Africa: Google to Train a Million Young Africans in Digital Skills
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:15
According to Google, there'll be half a billion internet users in Africa by 2020. It sees this as a great opportunity for African businesses and digital entrepreneurs, but they've identified a gap in digital skills.
"To help close this knowledge gap, Google is pledging to train 1 million young people in Africa in digital skills in the next year, as part of our contribution to growing Africa's digital economy," Bunmi Banjo, Google Africa marketer and digital education lead, writes on the company's blog.
Google is working with its partner, Livity Africa, in two training programmes: Digify Bytes, aimed at helping young people develop a digital career, and Digify Pro, a three-month immersion programme to develop digital specialists for jobs in companies or digital agencies.
In April, Google launched the Digify Africa portal - an online learning platform housing a range of digital skills tutorials and courses. "Available to anyone in Africa, it's been designed to be as 'light' as possible to help people manage data usage," Banjo says.
What is content, what is marketing? What is all of this to you? pic.twitter.com/sDQk7wexj4
'-- Digify Africa (@DigifyAfrica) May 7, 2016
Success stories
When Chebet Mutai from Nairobi, Kenya attended Google's "Women, Technology and Entrepreneurship" event in 2012, it persuaded her to quit her day job at a bank and follow her dream of opening up a business in fashion.
Mutai used her own savings to buy two sewing machines, rent a workshop, and started her company called Wazawazi, an amalgamation of two Swahili words meaning "open-mindedness".
Today, Mutai has 12 employees, and exports her leather bags and accessories across the world.
See what else people gained from the course:
The best decision @SifisoBhengu_ made was joining #DigifyPRO. We had a chat w/him on his reflections on the course. https://t.co/gWDot5HKVY
'-- Digify Africa (@DigifyAfrica) May 18, 2016
It's happening now
Google said the internet is able to offer a huge platform to start new businesses or expand existing establishments. "We're committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution.
"The internet is a growth engine, and it's for everyone. There's never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Africa."
Source: Google Africa
7 of the oldest Federal IT systems still wheezing away
Wed, 25 May 2016 23:20
Announced by IBM on Nov. 16, 1976, the IBM Series/1 was a small, general purpose computing system.
There are some seriously old IT systems at work in the federal IT arsenal and some that are 56 years old have no real retirement date.
That was one observation from a report issued this week from the federal watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office.
''Agencies reported using several systems that have components that are, in some cases, at least 50 years old. For example, the Department of Defense uses 8-inch floppy disks in a legacy system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation's nuclear forces. In addition, the Department of the Treasury uses assembly language code'--a computer language initially used in the 1950s and typically tied to the hardware for which it was developed,'' the GAO stated.
The Office of Management and Budget has begun an initiative to modernize, retire, and replace the federal government's legacy IT systems. As part of this transition, OMB drafted guidance requiring agencies to identify, prioritize, and plan to modernize legacy systems. However, until this policy is finalized and fully executed, the government runs the risk of maintaining systems that have outlived their effectiveness, the GAO stated.
Here is a look at some of the oldest systems in the government's IT world.
Department of the Treasury
System: Individual Master FileAge: ~56Function: The authoritative data source for individual taxpayers where accounts are updated, taxes are assessed, and refunds are generated. This investment is written in assembly language code'--a low-level computer code that is difficult to write and maintain'--and operates on an IBM mainframe.Replacement coming?: No -The agency has general plans to replace this investment, but there is no firm date associated with the transition.Department of the Treasury
System: Business Master FileAge: ~56Function: Retains all tax data pertaining to individual business income taxpayers and reflects a continuously updated and current record of each taxpayer's account. This investment is also written in assembly language code and operates on an IBM mainframe.Replacement coming?: No -the agency has general plans to update this system, but there is no time frame established for this update.Department of Defense
System: Strategic Automated Command and Control SystemAge: 53Function: Coordinates the operational functions of the United States' nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts. This system runs on an IBM Series/1 Computer'--a 1970s computing system'--and uses 8-inch floppy disks.Replacement coming?: Yes -The agency plans to update its data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals by the end of fiscal year 2017.Department of Veterans Affairs
System: Personnel and Accounting Integrated DataAge: 53Function: Automates time and attendance for employees, timekeepers, payroll, and supervisors.It is written in Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL)'--a programming language developed in the 1950s and 1960s'--and runs on IBM mainframes.Replacement coming?: Yes -The agency plans to replace it with a project called Human Resources Information System Shared Service Center in 2017.Department of Veterans Affairs
System: Benefits Delivery NetworkAge: 51Function: Tracks claims filed by veterans for benefits, eligibility, and dates of death. This system is a suite of COBOL mainframe applications.Replacement coming?: No -The agency has general plans to roll capabilities into another system, but there is no firm time frame associated with this transition.Department of Justice
System: SentryAge: 35Function: Provides information regarding security and custody levels, inmate program and work assignments, and other pertinent information about the inmate population. The system uses COBOL and Java programming languages.Replacement coming?: Yes -The agency plans to update the system through September 2016.Social Security Administration
System: Title II SystemsAge: 31Function: Determines retirement benefits eligibility and amounts. The investment is comprised of 162 subsystems, some of which are written in COBOL.Replacement coming?: Yes -The agency has ongoing modernization efforts, including one that is experiencing cost and schedule challenges due to the complexities of the legacy software.This story, "Not dead yet: 7 of the oldest federal IT systems still wheezing away " was originally published by Network World.
US govt spending billions on ancient systems - Software - iTnews
Thu, 26 May 2016 05:52
The US government spent US$61 billion (A$85 billion) of its US$80 billion 2015 IT budget maintaining decades-old systems at the expense of innovation, the country's national auditor has found.
In a report released yesterday [pdf], the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed the US government was wasting billions of dollars by refusing to upgrade from woefully outdated platforms.
The GAO cited the example of a nuclear weapons co-ordination platform used by the Department of Defense which runs on an IBM Series/1 computer. The 16-bit machine uses 8in floppy disks for storage and dates back to the 1970s.
Defense also joined the Commerce, Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs departments to be outed as still using Windows 3.1
The watchdog similarly called out the Justice Department's use of a COBOL-based platform for monitoring its inmate population; the 40-year old platform used by the Transport Department to track incidents involving hazardous materials; and the use of Windows 2003 servers at Homeland Security.
Several agencies told the watchdog they planned to update some of the platforms: Defense's nuclear systems will be overhauled before the end of next year, Justice said it would begin upgrades this coming September, Transport promised its platforms would be modernised by 2018, and Homeland Security gave a tentative 2016 date, dependent on funding.
Despite the promised improvements, the GAO revealed the US government was actually likely to spend US$7 billion less on modernisation efforts next year than it did in 2010.
"Federal IT investments have too frequently failed or incurred cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes," the report stated.
"The federal government has spent billions of dollars on failed and poorly performing IT investments which often suffered from ineffective management, such as project planning, requirements definition, and program oversight and governance.
"[It] runs the risk of continuing to maintain investments that have outlived their effectiveness and are consuming resources that outweigh their benefits."
The Obama administration has requested an 11 percent increase for its US$89 billion IT spend for the 2017 fiscal year.
Out There
Mandela effect | The Truth & The Light Ministries
Sun, 22 May 2016 20:07
What is the Mandela effect you may ask?
TheMandela Effectis a theory put forth by writer and ''paranormal consultant'' Fiona Broome who theorizes that false memories are in fact glimpses into parallel worlds with different timelines.
The phrase was coined after African president Nelson Mandela who many people claimed to remembered him dying in prison back in the 1980's. Of course, Nelson Mandela did not die in prison in the 1980's but more recently in the year 2013.
The so called ''false memories'' continues to show up in other areas. Take for instance the following cases and ask yourself what do you remember:
Many people who believe in the theory insist that they remember the popular children's book series 'The BerenSTAIN Bears'' as''The BerenSTEIN Bears.''How about Dan Akroid, do you remember the spelling of his last name as I do?
Well now his last name is spelledAykroyd.
Do you remember a film called ''Interview with A vampire''?
Well now is called ''Interview with THE vampire''
There are many more, but I'll give you just one more.
In the original Star Wars do you remember Dark Vador saying to Luke:
''Luke I am your father''?
Well now is ''No I am your father''.
So what's really going on here, is there a glitch in the matrix?
Are we merging into parallel timelines and universes?
If you are a bible believer then the answer is clearly no.
The Mandela effect is designed to make you believe that this is exactly what's going on as an effort to distance you further away from God.
If time traveling or time shifting would be possible the bible would have clearly tell us about it. Not only that, the text on the bible that you have at home would also change along with the timeline distortion. However, we are already told in the bible that the Word of God does not change because God Himself does not change. (Malachi 3:6 KJV)
We do however have evil people changing the word of God through different translations but that's another topic that I previously already covered.
So why are people remembering one thing and then when we look for those very things now they seem to be changed?
Answer: Because they have been changed, just not in the way that they want you to think it has.
Example: Back in the 1980s there was no internet and Nelson Mandela found himself very ill in prison to the point that rumors began to circulate at that time that he died in prison.
These rumors circulated in America and were imprinted in people's memories. Fast forward to the 90's and Nelson Mandela resurfaces in the news. This created a wait a minute moment in people's minds because they have something in their memories concerning he being previously dead back in the 80's.
This is in fact a planted false memory.
What about the name change of ''The BerenSTEIN Bears
to''The BerenSTAIN Bears?
This children's book first debut in 1962. Again, no one had internet back in 1962 which suggest that the name was in fact ''The BerenSTEIN Bears''. Plenty of people since then have the name imprinted in their memories as such. Now fast forward to the age of the internet. The name now has been switch to show all over the internet as The BerenSTAIN Bears not BerenSTEIN.
The people's reaction?
They are questioning if there's a ''glitch in the matrix''.
Thankfully someone saved a copy of an old TV guide showing the cartoons of these bears as ''The BerenSTAIN'' so this is proof that they changed the name not that we slipped into a different reality or that there are glitches in the matrix.
There's are no glitches only coning, deceiving evil spirits working behind the scenes with a group of evil elites who sold their souls to Satan.
But how about the Star Wars switch from ''Luke I am your father'' to ''No I am your father''? '' You may ask.
Again, the original film came out in 1977 a time before the internet and everybody remembers the original line which says ''Luke I am your father''. Fast forward to current times and you will find that the film has been remastered and re-release on DVD; it is on this current version that it now says ''No I am your father''.
People's reaction?
OMG, we're merging into a different reality because I know for a fact that it used to say''Luke I am your father''!
My response: Not a chance. In this case just like the cartoon bears' case, people have the correct memory but are given a false claim that what it currently now says it what it has always said. Not true!
So what about the name of Dan Akroid, when did it change?
We all remember 80s movies and we also remember seeing the spelling names of the actors as they write them on the screen and in movie posters. This is where we remember seeing the name of ''Dan Akroid'' in film related material of movies like Neighbors and Ghost busters back in the day.
Now, you need to understand that in order to enter into Hollywood, every star wannabe must make pacts and contracts with secret societies that are associated with Satanism which they rather call 'Luciferism''. Without blood oaths and secret pacts, no one enters Hollywood let's be clear on that.
Secret oaths & pacts are made and signed in blood. Its only after these pacts are made when we get to see these actors on the screen and that's the case with every single one of them. We all heard about the casting couch, but a few are willing to talk about the casting rituals.
Now fast forward to recent times and you will find that Dan Akroid is now ''Dan Aykroyd''.
Once again, you memory goes from the time before the internet to now when they changed everything related to what you remember. So if you go now to the internet you will only find the current versions of what's being changed not the old ones.
And if you ask Dan about it, don't expect to hear the truth from a member of a secret society such as Hollywood. Many people don't realize this but Hollywood is in fact a secret society all to themselves.
Moving on, the same goes with the movie ''Interview with A Vampire''. The movie came out in 1994 just before the internet took off and everyone remembers the correct title, but now that the internet is in full steam, versions of the new one have been planted all over the internet & people are being puzzled by it.
Now let me say this'... There's bound to be a person who may have the original VHS or books of any of the material mentioned here, containing the correct spoken lines or correct text spellings in it.
I however guarantee you that if any one that has the originals try to upload them to the internet to discredit the new versions, they will be more likely scrubbed out of the internet in no time. The agenda once again is antichrist; they want you to believe in all sorts of things that are not biblical in order to get you as far away from God as possible. Time traveling, time shifting, and merging timelines all fall under the same category as with witchcraft & magic which is what they want you believing in.
Also, if we're merging in and out of ''different realities'' then we don't have a God who is in control of time and space. What we have instead is chaos rather than order and our God is a God of order.
Is this a conspiracy?
Before I answer that, you must first know what a conspiracy is and what the word means. A conspiracy is when 2 or more agree to bring about a particular agenda. So the answer is yes!
We have evil spiritual forces guiding and working with sold out elite forces for the sole purpose of bringing about an ungodly agenda. This is the meaning of 666.
666 is an unholy alliance of three manifestations of evil. These manifestations are (Fallen angels, Demonic spirits, and a fallen humanity which = to 6.6.6.) '' 6 is not only the number of man, but is also the number of sin. A mixture of man with demons and fallen angels = an unsafe able beast.
As Christians we need to be sober and vigilant and not allow for the things of this world to control our minds. Jesus implored us over and over not to let anyone deceive us.
Examine all things, judge all things, and discern all things.
Amen!
Agenda 2030
Love in the time of climate change: Grizzlies and polar bears are now mating - Weather - Omaha.com
Mon, 23 May 2016 19:24
1 imageA.E. Deroche / University of Alberta
This bear, which was three-fourths grizzly and one-fourth polar bear, can be seen at the Ulukhaktok Community Hall in Ulukhaktok, in Canada's Northwest Territories.
The Washington Post|Updated 22 minutes ago
BARROW, Alaska '-- Most Alaskans and Canadians have a bear story - tales of fearsome grizzlies, even polar bears. But a mix of the two?
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Season Approaches: U.S. Hits Record 127 Months Since Major Hurricane Strike
Tue, 24 May 2016 22:40
Wilma, the last major hurricane to make landfall in U.S., roars into Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. (AP photo)
(CNSNews.com) '' With hurricane season set to start next week, Tuesday marks a record 127 months since a major hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division, which keeps data on all the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. since 1851.
The last major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 or above) to hit the U.S. mainland was Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.
Although a major hurricane typically strikes the U.S. about once every two years, no major hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. for more than 10 and a half years.
The second longest stretch between major hurricane strikes was between the major hurricane that struck in August 1860 and the one that struck in September 1869, NOAA records show. The third longest stretch was between the major hurricane that struck in September 1900 and the one that struck in October 1906.
Wilma was one of four major hurricanes '' including Hurricanes Dennis (July 10, 2005), Katrina (Aug. 29, 2005) and Rita (Sept. 24, 2005) - that came ashore in the U.S. during the 2005 hurricane season. (The season starts on June 1 and runs through November 30.)
Hurricanes Wilma, Rita and Katrina killed almost 4,000 people and caused an estimated $160 billion in damage that year, making it ''one of the most active hurricane seasons in recorded history,'' NOAA said in a statement marking the 10-year anniversary of the 2005 hurricane season.
Because of the massive death and destruction caused by Wilma, Rita, Katrina and Dennis, their names have been retired by the National Weather Service.
''On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season,'' according to NOAA.
''Over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of 3 hurricanes, 1 of which is classified as a major hurricane (winds of 111 mph or greater)'' on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Such storms are capable of causing ''devastating'' or ''catastrophic'' damage.
The current drought in major hurricane activity is a ''rare event'' that occurs only once every 177 years, according to a study published last year by researchers at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) entitled The Frequency and Duration of U.S. Hurricane Droughts.
NOAA's official ''2016 hurricane season outlook will be issued on May 27th,'' Dr. Gerry Bell, hurricane climate specialist at the agency's Climate Prediction Center, told CNSNews.com.
However, there is a chance the 127-month record will be broken this year with the decline of the 2015-2016 El Nino, a warming of the ocean surface, that was one of the three strongest on record. There is a 75 percent chance of a transition to La Nina, a cooling of the ocean surface, by this fall, according to NOAA.
Dr. Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist and hurricane specialist at the University of Colorado, tweeted that based on data going back to 1878, major hurricane activity is more likely to happen during the La Ninas that follow El Ninos.
According to The Weather Channel, last winter's El Nino ''played a significant suppressing role in the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season'.... The odds may shift a bit toward a more active Atlantic hurricane season in 2016, but El Nino's absence doesn't guarantee that outcome.''
An analysis of five hurricane seasons following strong El Ninos found that the number of Category 3 or above hurricanes ranged from one (1973,1983) to five (1958).
In a statement on its website last year, NOAA expressed concern that the ''unprecedented stretch'' between major hurricanes could induce Americans living in coastal areas to suffer from ''hurricane amnesia'' and not be adequately prepared for the next hurricane strike.
''It only takes one storm to change your life and community,'' warned a NOAA website for this month's Hurricane Preparedness Week, which lists seven steps ''to prepare for a potential landfalling tropical storm or hurricane'' accompanied by storm surges and heavy rainfall.
''Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States,'' according to NOAA. ''Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities during landfalling tropical cyclones.''
President Obama, so far, is the only president since Benjamin Harrison not to have a major hurricane make landfall in the U.S. during his term. Harrison, whose term of office did not include a major hurricane strike, served from 1889 to 1893.
(CNSNews/A.Grubbs)
Grizzly-polar bear hybrid is shot dead in Canada, raising new global warming fears
Thu, 26 May 2016 06:23
When a young Inuit hunter took aim with his rifle he thought he had spotted a polar bear or an Arctic fox on the crest of a snow-covered hill in northern Canada.
But the photographs of his kill posted on social media by Didji Ishalook, 25, have sparked feverish interest among scientists and a fascinated public.
''They're saying it's a grizzly-polar bear hybrid,'' he said in an interview with The Toronto Star.
Mr Ishalook had actually shot a rare cross between the two species, who normally live in very different climates.
Determining whether it is a grolar or a prizzly '' depending on which species in father or mother '' will have to wait for the results of DNA testing.
But its existence adds to suspicions that global warming is pushing grizzlies into polar bear territory, increasing the frequency of such couplings with potentially devastating consequences for the snow-dwelling species, according to Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological studies at the University of Alberta.
''I hate to say it, but from a genetic perspective, it's quite likely grizzly bears will eat polar bears up, genetically,'' he told The Washington Post.
The hybrid, shot around Hudson Bay, featured the snowy pelt of the polar bear and the large head and claws of the smaller grizzly.
With sea ice melting, scientists believe the two species '' which are genetically similar and can produce fertile offspring, but are considered separate species because they fail to prosper in each other's environments - will reproduce together more often.
That is bad news for the polar bear, the world's largest land predator, which is seeing its shrinking territory invaded by roaming male grizzlies.
Mr Ishalook, who caught his bear in accordance with laws that allow native peoples to hunt for small numbers of animals, said he planned to send the rare fur to a taxidermist.
War on Weed
Texas House Panel Approves Full Legalization of Marijuana In 'Unprecedented' Move - Counter Current News
Wed, 25 May 2016 12:43
The proposal would make Texas the fifth state in the United States to fully legalize recreational marijuana use. In a surprising, and ''unprecedented'' bipartisan move, the proposal was approved in a House panel vote.
Even more surprising to many was the fact that the author of the bill cited his Christian values as being the catalyst for the bill and his support for full legalization.
Republican David Simpson of Longview explained in an op-ed piece that it was his belief in God, and his distrust of government, as well as criticism of the ''War on Drugs'' which led him to sponsor the marijuana legalization bill.
''As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity's charge to be stewards of the same,'' Simpson explained. ''I don't believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.''
The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved the bill which would make it legal to buy and sell marijuana in Texas.
According to the local Houston Chronicle, the panel's three Democrats joined two Republicans giving House Bill 2165 a ''decisive 5-2 victory.''
This vote came only days after a 4-2 vote to decriminalize marijuana. This marked the first proposal to decriminalize that has made it out of a Texas legislative committee to date.
''Marijuana policy reform continues to make unprecedented progress this session,'' Phillip Martin of the organization Progress Texas commented on Twitter, following the vote.
Simpson penned the House Bill 2165, listing it as ''an Act relating to repealing marihuana offenses.''
That's because the bill looks to suspect ''state jail felony'' convictions related to marijuana, and instead have such sentence replaced with offenders being ''on community supervision.''
The only hangups were some aspects of the language that needed refining, which politicians wanted to make sure kept it illegal for minors to consume marijuana without parental supervision.
(Article by M. David and Reagan Ali)
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-Fight Zika by making your smartphone into a supercomputer
Thu, 26 May 2016 15:01
Alexander Perryman, a research teaching specialist at Rutgers University's Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens, said that the time that researchers could get on a traditional supercomputer would equal only "tens of thousands of hours or hundreds of thousands of CPU [central processing unit] hours."
But with the Worldwide Community Grid, he said, researchers could get the equivalent of 30,000 years of CPU time during the same time frame. "It's a tremendous amount of orders of magnitude more than we could get from a traditional supercomputer," Perryman said.
That amount of power is crucial when researching a disease such as Zika, according to Rutgers associate professor Joel Freundlich, who runs a lab within the Center for Emerging and Re-Emerging Pathogens.
Freundlich said that unlike a disease such as cancer, which has attracted massive amounts of research over decades, the Zika virus until recently has drawn little interest among drug developers.
Getting access to IBM's grid, Freundlich said, "is a massive sort of jump start to the drug discovery effort," helping to weed out the many compounds that aren't likely to address Zika, and identifying what will be relatively few compounds that offer a better chance of fighting it.
VIDEO_US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear force operations
Thu, 26 May 2016 14:59
Treasury's master business file, which contains all tax data on individual business income taxpayers, likewise is written in that same assembly language code, which was first used in the 1950s, and maintained on the old-school IBM mainframe.
While Treasury has general plans to replace the systems, "there is no firm date associated with the transition," GAO's report said.
In addition to Defense, the departments of Treasury, Commerce, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs "reported using 1980s and 1990s Microsoft operating systems that stopped being supported by the vendor more than a decade ago," GAO said.
And the Social Security Administration "reported rehiring retired employees to maintain its" systems which use COBOL, the computer programming language which was widely used '-- in the 1970s '-- according to GAO.
COBOL is also used by the Justice Department in its program to provide information about prison inmates, and the VA, which uses it for employee timekeeping and to track veterans' benefits claims and dates of death, the report said.
VIDEO-Eagles of Death Metal singer criticised for Muslim conspiracy comments | euronews, world news
Thu, 26 May 2016 14:39
Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse Hughes has been slammed for claiming the ISIL attack on a Paris theatre last November was part of a Muslim conspiracy.
Hughes and his band were performing when militants burst in killing 90 people.
The singer has repeatedly accused theatre staff of being in on the attack.
It has spurred Ismael El Iraki, a French Arab who was at the concert, into posting an open letter to him on his Facebook page saying he never thought he'd become a spreader of fear.
In an interview with the right-wing Taki magazine earlier this month, Hughes claimed Bataclan members of staff stared at him with ''Arab envy'' and that ''terrorists were already inside'' the venue when the shooting started.
''I saw Muslims celebrating in the street during the attack,'' he said. ''I saw it with my own eyes. In real time! How did they know what was going on? There must have been coordination.''
Former fan El Iraki concluded his letter asking Hughes to stop and return to the real spirit of rock and roll.
VIDEO-France: Nuclear strike raises stakes in showdown over labour reforms | euronews, world news
Thu, 26 May 2016 14:37
With pumps at more than 4,000 petrol stations in France now partially or fully dry, the showdown between the government and the hardline CGT union over contested labour reforms intensified on Thursday.
Nationwide blockades and rallies, travel disruption and a strike at the country's nuclear power plants are putting more pressure on Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls who insists the law won't be withdrawn.
''The text will now go to the Senate where there is a right-wing majority which will put forward its propositions,'' Valls said on French TV on Thursday morning.
''And these will obviously be poles apart, not only from what we put forward but also from what those demonstrating are expecting. So changing course is out of the question.''
In a sign of some flexibility, however, he added: ''There can always be modifications, improvements.''
After oil refinery shutdowns, Thursday's strikes at nuclear sites have taken the stand-off one stage further. Power cuts are not expected but tension is growing as France prepares to host the Euro 2016 football tournament in two weeks time.
Jean-Claude Pitte, an official with the UNSA trade union in Harfleur in Normandy, said the government's decision to force the measures through the lower house of parliament without a vote killed any possible compromise.
''We didn't refuse to talk,'' he said.
''They forced it through and we are very sorry about that. There is a lack of democracy and discussion with workers.''
Already watered down and now causing divisions within government ranks, the reforms seek to make hiring and firing easier. The government says it is crucial to fight unemployment stuck at above 10 percent of the workforce. The CGT says it would dismantle protective labour regulation.
France has some of the most protective labour regulations in the euro zone.
The bill retains measures giving more flexibility to employers to agree in-house deals with employees on working time. It also offers companies less restrictive conditions for layoffs made for economic reasons.
VIDEO-CNN Cuts To Protesters Chanting "FUCK DONALD TRUMP" In Albuquerque New Mexico! - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2016 14:22
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VIDEO-MSNBC host mistakenly calls Bill Cosby "Bill Clinton" during report on his sex assault case - YouTube
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VIDEO-Todd: Clinton Campaign 'Making a Leap' By Claiming Trump Was Rooting for Financial Crisis - YouTube
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VIDEO-State Department Can't Definitively Say Clinton Email Server Was Never Successfully Hacked - YouTube
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Thu, 26 May 2016 13:36
VIDEO-RED-HANDED: Katie Couric Caught Editing Video to Push Anti-Gun Lies'... >> Louder With Crowder
Thu, 26 May 2016 06:06
Courtney KirchoffWednesday May 25 2016
Remember last summer when every media person with a fax machine recited the narrative that David Daleiden's undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood were ''deceptively edited?'' Uh huh. Well guess what? Katie Couric has a new ''documentary,'' Under the Gun, intended to push the anti-gun agenda and drumroll please'... SHE DECEPTIVELY EDITED THE VIDEO. This is what some in the industry call a ''smoking gun.''
Here's the clip that made the final cut:
Couric wants to show how stupid, careless and uniformed gun-owners are. Her edited segment tries to paint pro-gun people as having no answers to the typical leftist talking points.
Except in the actual interview? The one that happened, in real life, before being cut by bleeding heart leftists intent on pushing a narrative, the narrative being ''gun-owners are heartless cretins'' and ''guns are, like, super bad things, you guys''? Right, that interview paints a much different story. Spoiler-alert: Couric is a lying liar who lies. The gun supporters? Turns out, pretty informed. With the benefit of being right. Also protected by the Second Amendment.
Thanks to the Washington Free Beacon for the four minute audio segment:
Imagine being Katie Couric today. You wake up thinking, ''Wow, I'm, like, such a badass. I'm totally going to nail those gun rights people with my new documentary! I'll, like, win all the awards!'' She probably even thought Beyonce would write a song about her.
Then, whoops, it's 2016. Everyone, including their decrepit grandmother, has a way to record the actual event, then share it with the rest of the world. So rather than drinking your full cup of self-congratulatory glee, you're eating your own foot. Advice? Add a little Siracha sauce, Katie. It'll spice it up, make it more palatable.
Katie is merely following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who lied about background checks, and Hillary Clinton, who has admitted Americans are wrong on guns. She's also going to appoint an anti-gun nut SCOTUS to the court.
Still don't believe us when we say the left isn't after your guns? Discrediting gun owners is step one. The left is doing their best to paint us all as irresponsible hicks who know nothing of guns, safety, and who care little for victims of ''gun violence.''
The truth is different. You know it, I know it.
Speaking of gun narratives which should be shot to hell? The gun show loophole myth. Behold, truth:
NOT SUBSCRIBED TO THE PODCAST? FIX THAT! IT'S COMPLETELY FREE ON BOTH ITUNES HERE AND SOUNDCLOUD HERE.
VIDEO-ABC: Women Will Be 'Upset' With Trump's Attacks on Clinton Affairs | MRCTV
Thu, 26 May 2016 05:20
[See NewsBusters for more.] Journalist and Hillary Clinton fan Cokie Roberts on Tuesday insisted that women will be ''upset'' if Donald Trump continues to highlight Bill Clinton's past affairs and mistreatment of women. Talking to former Clinton operative turned Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, Roberts huffed, ''Women will be very upset if they think that another woman is being blamed for her husband's infidelities.'' She also insisted that Trump's new campaign ads will have ''very little effect.'' Stephanopoulos described the Republican as ''going into the playbook of the 1990s.''
VIDEO-Networks Duck and Cover, Ignore WashPost Poll on Native Americans Not Being Offended by 'Redskins' | MRCTV
Thu, 26 May 2016 05:16
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
The Washington Post released late Thursday for Friday's print edition a surprising poll that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the term ''redskins'' which dealt the apologist liberal media a massive blow in their quest to force the NFL's Washington Redskins to change their name.
In the days since, the ''big three'' networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC saw no reason to inform their viewers of this survey that was a blow to their narrative that such terminology is not only offensive but extremely hateful.
VIDEO-Mr. Rogers "It's a Beautiful Day in This Neighborhood" - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2016 05:05
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VIDEO-Star Wars "I am your father" Scene Full - UNEDITED 2000 vhs - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2016 04:55
VIDEO-TSA Administrator: Not Much Difference Between Private and Gov't Screeners | MRCTV
Thu, 26 May 2016 04:06
Transportation Security Administration Administrator Peter Neffenger told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday that there would not be much difference in performance for private contractors who screen airline passengers at the nation's airports versus TSA screeners. Read Full Story
VIDEO-TSA Administrator: Automated Screening Lanes Could Reduce Airport Screening Times | MRCTV
Thu, 26 May 2016 03:57
Transportation Security Administration Administrator Peter Neffenger told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday said that automated screening lanes like the ones at an airport in Atlanta may be the key to reducing waiting times for airport screening. Read Full Story
VIDEO-Jason Chaffetz Calls for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's Impeachment
Thu, 26 May 2016 03:51
House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz Wednesday called for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's impeachment, saying he should face the proceedings because "he provided false testimony to Congress and misled Congress.""He had documents in their possession at the IRS that were under subpoena, and they failed to protect those, preserve those and provide those," the Utah Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "When you get a subpoena, it's not optional. Imagine if the IRS sent you a summons, sent you a subpoena and you didn't provide it; you would go to jail."
Chaffetz testified at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, presenting his committee's findings and make the case to impeach Koskinen, who did not appear. The IRS said in a statement that Koskinen, who has just returned from a trip to China where he had met with world tax leaders, did not have enough notice about the meeting, reports Politico.
Chaffetz and others seeking Koskinen's impeachment say that he withheld documents related to the IRS tea party-targeting scandal, and that he did not tell the truth about erased tapes of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, who is at the center of the scandal.
The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in June to determine what action, if any, should be taken against Koskinen.
Chaffetz said Wednesday that impeachment proceedings are a "tool given to us by the founding fathers" that allow for a safety valve if an official is not serving the country's best interests.
And he does not believe that the documents involved were destroyed accidentally.
"When they talked to the inspector general, they made no effort to go out and find these," he said. "They didn't even look in five of the different areas. I'm not buying it. They lied to Congress ... they don't provide them to Congress even though they told us they had them, then they went ahead and destroyed them. You can't do that and get away with it."
(C) 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
VIDEO-House Moves to Impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen | MRCTV
Thu, 26 May 2016 03:45
Crossposted on NewsBusters.
On Tuesday, the House began proceedings to impeach current IRS chief John Koskinen for his role in stonewalling the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal. Impeachment is something that hasn't been done, according to Fox New's Bill Hemmer, for a non-president since 1876.
VIDEO-FNC's Bret Baier Absolutely Dismantles Hillary Spox on IG Report About Her E-Mail Server | MRCTV
Thu, 26 May 2016 03:40
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon conducted a number of interviews on Wednesday in reaction to the State Department Inspector General's scathing rebuke of Clinton's private e-mail account and server, but none measured up to FNC's Special Report host Bret Baier and his calm, thorough dismantling of Fallon.
Baier jumped right into the substance by showing video of Clinton repeatedly claiming her e-mail server was legal before noting that ''[a]s you know, the Inspector General's report says something completely different'' and providing an extensive quote from the IG about Clinton having failed to seek approval and notify the State Department.
VIDEO-Vietnamese rapper busts some rhymes to Obama
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:52
The last Republican standingWed, May 04, 2016 -(1:00)
Images of AprilMon, May 02, 2016 -(1:00)
Afghanistan's first female orchestraMon, Apr 18, 2016 -(0:45)
Images of MarchFri, Apr 01, 2016 -(1:31)
Who has nuclear weapons?Fri, Apr 01, 2016 -(0:44)
What America really thinks about tortureWed, Mar 30, 2016 -(1:37)
A floating school for a slum on stiltsFri, Mar 18, 2016 -(0:54)
Thirst for clean waterFri, Mar 18, 2016 -(0:57)
World recognizes International Women's DayTue, Mar 08, 2016 -(1:23)
Images of FebruaryTue, Mar 01, 2016 -(1:00)
What makes a city a great place to live?Tue, Mar 01, 2016 -(1:05)
Girls train to box their way to glory for...Tue, Mar 01, 2016 -(1:04)
What's so super about Super Tuesday?Mon, Feb 29, 2016 -(1:06)
The road to Super TuesdaySun, Feb 28, 2016 -(1:00)
FIFA rogue's galleryFri, Feb 26, 2016 -(1:10)
A history of the Oscars' best actorsFri, Feb 26, 2016 -(0:21)
Pope Francis makes headlinesThu, Feb 25, 2016 -(0:46)
Assange's lawyers call for court to overturn...Mon, Feb 22, 2016 -(1:18)
London Fashion WeekMon, Feb 22, 2016 -(0:46)
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Washington's baby panda scales treeWed, Feb 10, 2016 -(0:18)
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Hard times in Atlantic CityThu, Jan 28, 2016 -(1:54)
What is Zika?Thu, Jan 28, 2016 -(0:53)
Fifth aniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprisngTue, Jan 26, 2016 -(2:15)
Famous Faces of the World Economic Forum 2016Fri, Jan 22, 2016 -(1:18)
Gaza's parkour teamThu, Jan 21, 2016 -(0:44)
Kicking the habit in KabulThu, Jan 21, 2016 -(1:27)
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VIDEO-Donald Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' Elizabeth, Albuquerque NM, 05-24-16 - YouTube
Wed, 25 May 2016 14:06
VIDEO-Now French voters call for FREXIT after Germany face demands for EU referendum | theunituk
Wed, 25 May 2016 12:45
With Britons set to go to the polls in June, there are increasing signs the UK's referendum is paving the way for other European countries to question their own relationship with Brussels.
It comes after calls for Germany to have their own EU referendum in the aftermath of the migrant crisis.
In a fresh blow to the EU, 53 per cent of the French voted in favour of holding a UK-style referendum on the country's membership.
Such a response from one of the EU's founder members will undoubtedly ruffle feathers in Brussels.Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen welcomed the poll results in a recent blog post, saying French demands for a referendum were ''extremely encouraging''.A quarter (25 per cent) of French people also want to see an end of free movement throughout Europe after the EU's Schengen zone was heavily criticised in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
Marine Le Pen welcomed the poll results
Alongside Germany, France is considered the central pillar of the European project.But a struggling economy and a faltering government has fuelled a rising Eurosceptic sentiment in France, as well as an escalating migrant crisis and a surge in popularity for the far-right FN.And with France's neighbours across the Channel winning negotiations with Brussels, many French voters are asking why their government cannot do the same.In a University of Edinburgh survey of 8,000 voters in Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Spain and Sweden, France was the only country where a majority said they would back holding a UK-style EU referendum.
But France is not the first European country where voters are demanding their own chance to leave the EU, with both the Netherlands and the Czech Republic saying they want to follow Britain in holding an in-out referendum.
In a Dutch poll, 53 per cent supported an in-out vote, while the Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka warned a ''Czexit'' could follow if Britons choose to leave the EU in June.
Anand Menon, a professor of European politics at King's College, said: ''The British referendum is a laboratory for other referendums in Europe.
''Such trivialisation could produce devastating effects.''
While a central member of the EU, France, like Britain, has always been traditionally hostile to further European integration.
In 2005 French voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed European Constitution, sending political reverberations throughout the EU.
A third (33 per cent) of French people surveyed would back a so-called Frexit, while 45 per cent would vote to remain and 22 per cent are undecided, according to the University of Edinburgh poll.
While France leaving the EU seems unlikely, the ''surprising'' result from a country ''at the heart of the EU'' shows other European nations holding referendums after Britain is a real possibility, according to Dr David Lees, a Teaching Fellow in French Studies at the University of Warwick.Dr Lees told Express.co.uk: ''A referendum in France is an absolute possibility. Certainly, if Britain votes to leave the EU in June, I think France will be under increasing pressure to have a referendum.
''Especially because a Brexit would change the entire nature of the EU.
''It's a logical thing to do to keep everything afloat in the EU.''
Dr Lees added: ''After Britain's negotiations with the EU, it is only natural for France to look to the UK and say: 'We contribute more to Europe than the UK does, so why can't we negotiate?'
''I think the French will have to hold a referendum, there's no other way of looking at it. You have to give into that kind of popular demand.''
France and Germany are considered the central pillar of the European project
An increasing Eurosceptic sentiment in France is linked to the country's long-term economic turmoil after the Eurozone crisis and the ongoing migrant crisis in Calais, with many people pinning France's troubles on the EU.Dr Lees said: ''France is facing a significant crisis, a crisis of migration. There is also a massive dissatisfaction with Fran§ois Hollande who remains the least popular president of the Fifth Republic.''The French government doesn't seem to have any sense of improving things economically and I think this explains the dissatisfaction and why some people may be looking to blame the situation on the EU.''Ms Le Pen's FN has capitalised on this widespread dissatisfaction in France, with the Paris attacks and Europe's migrant crisis fuelling a rise of the far-right in France.
Ms Le Pen, who has long campaigned for France to leave the EU, has vowed to hold a referendum if her party wins the presidential elections in 2017.
The FN leader has been highly critical of Angela Merkel's contribution to the EU, accusing Fran§ois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy of ''blindly following'' the German Chancellor who has been ''a disaster for the EU''.
Ms Le Pen recently said during an interview on French television: ''Germany is doing whatever it likes regarding the economy and immigration.
''When Merkel opened wide her arms to migrants, they then came to France.''
In February the far-right leader declared Britain's negotiations with the EU were ''the beginning of the end'' for the union, saying she was ''delighted'' the bloc ''seems to be backing down''.
While an ''out'' campaign in France does not have the political backing from respected politicians, Dr Lees said the continuing migrant crisis could ''lead people to taking more extreme views''.
If a right-wing government headed by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is elected in next year's presidential elections, France is likely to seek to follow Britain's example in renegotiating its relationship with the EU, according to Mr Lees.
Welcoming the news of a potential Frexit, Ms Le Pen said French demands for a EU referendum ''confirm what I have increasingly felt while travelling: the French have started a rebellion against the EU.
''The French are thirsty for liberty and sovereignty.''
The FN leader added: ''Returning to an expression which amused and intrigued the English press last year, 'Call me Madame Frexit!' That name suits me more than ever.''
VIDEO-Conflicting reports emerge over fate of downed EgyptAir flight - YouTube
Wed, 25 May 2016 05:49
VIDEO-PaperID: A Technique for Drawing Functional Battery-Free Wireless Interfaces on Paper - YouTube
Wed, 25 May 2016 05:21
VIDEO-how to set the stage for whistle blowers and Snowden
Tue, 24 May 2016 21:02
AMYGOODMAN: Today, a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive: A former senior Pentagon official speaks out for the first time about how his superiors broke the law to punish a key National Security Agency whistleblower. By now, everyone knows how Edward Snowden revealed the government spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you need to know the story of John Crane, who worked 25 years for the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office, which helps federal employees expose abuse and corruption. He now says whistleblowers have little choice but to go outside the system.
Crane is coming forward to speak about what happened to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who revealed the existence of a widespread illegal program of domestic surveillance. Drake's house was raided by the FBI in 2007. He was charged in 2010 under the Espionage Act. In 2011, he pled guilty to a minor misdemeanor of unauthorized use of a government computer. He did not serve jail time.
John Crane and Edward Snowden's stories are told in the new book, Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden. In dozens of hours of interviews with reporter Mark Hertsgaard, Crane described how in December 2010 Drake's lawyers filed a complaint with the inspector general alleging he had been punished in retaliation for his whistleblowing, and that the crimes Drake had been charged with were, quote, "based in part, or entirely," unquote, on information that Drake provided to the Pentagon inspector general during its investigation of the NSA whistleblowers. In other words, the indictment had unmistakable similarities to the confidential testimony Drake had given to Crane's staff at the Pentagon's Inspector General's office. This suggests investigators had not simply given Drake's name to the FBI, but shared his entire testimony.
Mark Hertsgaard recounts this and much more of Crane's story publicly in his book, Bravehearts. In it, Hertsgaard tells how Drake's arrest, indictment and persecution sent an unmistakable message to Snowden: Raising concerns within the system meant he would be targeted next. Edward Snowden has responded to Crane's revelations by calling for a complete overhaul of the U.S. whistleblower protections. Snowden told The Guardian, quote, "We need iron-clad, enforceable protections for whistleblowers, and we need a public record of success stories. Protect the people who go to members of Congress with oversight roles, and if their efforts lead to a positive change in policy'--recognize them for their efforts. There are no incentives for people to stand up against an agency on the wrong side of the law today, and that's got to change," Snowden said. He continued, "The sad reality of today's policies is that going to the inspector general with evidence of truly serious wrongdoing is often a mistake. Going to the press involves serious risks, but at least you've got a chance," he says.
Well, for more, we're joined here for the first time by John Crane, formerly with the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office, which helps federal employees expose abuse and corruption. And we're joined by Mark Hertsgaard, who is the correspondent at Nation magazine, author of the newly published book, Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now!
JOHNCRANE: Thank you.
AMYGOODMAN: So, John Crane, talk about why you are coming out publicly for the first time.
JOHNCRANE: I'm coming out publicly for the first time because what Edward Snowden did is it was the largest, most massive classified leak in this country's history. And so we have two separate issues here, that one is we, I think, need to make sure that there won't be any more massive disclosures like that, but we can only assure that, should we have a whistleblower protection system in place that will make sure, one, whistleblowers have the confidence to step forward without having their own individual identities compromised, and when they step forward, that they're not subject to multiyear retaliation.
AMYGOODMAN: Talk about where you worked'--people may not even realize the Pentagon has an Inspector General's Office'--and what you were in charge of.
JOHNCRANE: Yes. I was with the Inspector General's Office. I worked there for 25 years. I was a senior executive there. I was one of the founding generations there. I had an office that was largely responsible for transparency and for accountability. Transparency meant that I dealt with the media, Congress. Accountability meant that I was responsible for the overall whistleblowing process. DOD is a huge agency. We have 1.2 million military. We have almost 700,000 civilians. We have half of the federal workforce. I was charged to make sure that within the Pentagon, that there could be principled dissent that would help to inform senior management regarding the way senior management made their own decisions, and'--and that that system guaranteed that those people stepping forward would not be destroyed.
AMYGOODMAN: And that included, you oversaw the NSA, as well.
JOHNCRANE: Yes.
AMYGOODMAN: So when did you start to get nervous? When did you start to get alarmed?
JOHNCRANE: I got alarmed fairly early on, because since I was responsible for working with the Hill, when we received the first whistleblowing complaints, the so-called four plus one'--Drake was called "plus one" because he wanted to have confidentiality maintained'--that I then went up to the House and Senate Intel Committees, and they were making complaints about a large multibillion-dollar program that was responsible to gather huge amounts of information from U.S. citizens also. And it was simply behind schedule, over cost. It wasn't meeting acquisition milestones. So we, of course, met with the Congress, and then we started a 18-month audit effort to see whether or not the various allegations brought to us were actually valid, that we found that most of their concerns were valid, and then we had the audit report issued in December of 2004.
One of the very important points of that audit report was'--was that this is our audit report, IG DOD audit report, talked about a climate within the NSA regarding management reprisal. As the inspector general DOD, by statute, it is our responsibility making sure management reprisal does not take place. When I saw that, I said, "Look, we now have a civilian reprisal investigator on staff, Daniel Meyer, and he is now the whistleblower ombudsman for the larger intelligence community." And I wanted him to have the matter investigated, because we had made a finding. And I was subsequently told that we could not have the matter investigated, and that was the first warning flag to me that there was a problem.
AMYGOODMAN: So, I want to go to National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in his own words. He was initially charged under the Espionage Act for leaking information about waste management at the agency, but the case against him later collapsed. We talked to Thomas Drake in 2012 about his case.
THOMASDRAKE: I was charged under the Espionage Act as part of an indictment that was handed down on me in April of 2010. There was five counts under the Espionage Act for retaining'--not leaking, retaining'--national defense information, although the government alleged that I was doing so for the purpose of disclosure to those unauthorized to receive it. I was also charged with obstruction of justice, as well as making false statements to FBI agents. ...
My first day on the job was 9/11. And it was shortly after 9/11 that I was exposed to the Pandora's box of illegality and government wrongdoing on a very significant scale. So, you had the twin fraud, waste'--you know, the twin specters of fraud, waste and abuse being committed on a vast scale through a program called Trailblazer, a multibillion-dollar program, when in fact there was alternatives that already existed and fulfilled most all the requirements of Trailblazer, even prior to 9/11.
AMYGOODMAN: What happened to both Thomas Drake and Bill Binney and other NSA officials was frightening. We had a chance in April of 2012 to interviewNSA whistleblower William Binney. He was appearing on Democracy Now! in his first-ever television interview, and he described what happened when FBI agents raided his home after he became a whistleblower. This was right before they raided Tom Drake's house, but this was Bill Binney's description of what happened to him.
WILLIAMBINNEY: I live in Maryland, actually four miles from NSA.
AMYGOODMAN: And what happened?
WILLIAMBINNEY: They came busting in.
AMYGOODMAN: Who's "they"?
WILLIAMBINNEY: The FBI. About 12 of them, I think, 10 to 12. They came in with the guns drawn, on my house.
AMYGOODMAN: Where were you?
WILLIAMBINNEY: I was in the shower. I was taking a shower, so my son answered the door. And they of course pushed him out of the way at gunpoint and came running upstairs and found me in the shower, and came in and pointed the gun at me while I was, you know'--
AMYGOODMAN: Pointed a gun at your head?
WILLIAMBINNEY: Oh, yeah. Yes. Wanted to make sure I saw it and that I was duly intimidated, I guess.
JUAN GONZLEZ: And what did they'--what did they do at that point? Did they begin questioning you? Or they just took you to headquarters? Or'--
WILLIAMBINNEY: No, no. Yeah, they basically separated us from'--I was separated from my family. Took me on the back porch, and they started asking me questions about it. They were basically wanting me to tell them something that would implicate someone in a crime. And so, I told them that I didn't really know'--they wanted to know about certain people, that was'--they were the ones that were being raided at the same time, people who'--we all signed'--those who were raided that day, all of us signed the DOD IG complaint. We were the ones who filed that complaint.
AMYGOODMAN: The Pentagon'--
WILLIAMBINNEY: The Pentagon DOD IG, against'--
AMYGOODMAN: '--inspector general complaint.
WILLIAMBINNEY: Against NSA, yes, talking about fraud'--basically corruption, fraud, waste and abuse. And then'--
AMYGOODMAN: Tom Drake was raided at the same time?
WILLIAMBINNEY: No, he was raided in November of that year. We were just the ones who signed it, were raided.
JUAN GONZLEZ: So, and who were the other people that were raided that same day?
WILLIAMBINNEY: Diane Roark, Kirk Wiebe and Ed Loomis.
AMYGOODMAN: Diane Roark worked for the Senate committee?
WILLIAMBINNEY: Diane was the senior staffer. She had the NSA account on the HPSCI side, on the House side.
AMYGOODMAN: So, they were the four, and plus one was Drake. His house would be raided soon after. John Crane, if you could explain'--Bill Binney ultimately would not be charged. Bill Binney, by the way, is a double amputee.
JOHNCRANE: Correct.
AMYGOODMAN: But Tom Drake was charged, and you noticed something very similar about the charges against him and what he revealed to your office.
JOHNCRANE: Yes. I was very concerned, because when there was a 10-count indictment returned, that three of the counts involved him housing information at his home. I was concerned that'--well, first, he was a confidential whistleblower. And under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, that their confidentialities are not revealed, and they can only be revealed under two separate circumstances, that, one, you have to ask the whistleblower whether they can have their identities revealed, and, two, only if there is no other alternative. This is a case where this was not a threat to health, safety'--immediate threat. And my concern was'--and this was actually raised through the Government Accountability Project, because they represented him'--was that three of the charges could have related to whether or not he was following advice from the inspector general DOD. And I was concerned that should he have had housed material at his home, based upon IG DOD advice, he was then being on trial'--put on trial under the Espionage Act because he was a confidential informant working with the IG, inspector general.
AMYGOODMAN: We're going to break, but I have to ask: What happened to you when you started raising these concerns? You're there supposed to be protecting whistleblowers'--
JOHNCRANE: Right.
AMYGOODMAN: '--in the Pentagon and the NSA.
JOHNCRANE: Right.
AMYGOODMAN: And you are now becoming a whistleblower.
JOHNCRANE: Right. I was shut down, that I was the IG DODFOIA appellate authority also. And'--
AMYGOODMAN: Meaning when people asked you, under the Freedom of Information Act, for information.
JOHNCRANE: Absolutely. So, when his attorneys came to us, they wanted to see whether'--in the 2004 audit, that whether in those work papers that there was exculpatory information regarding why Drake acted the way he did. As the FOIA appellate authority, I was in charge of simply gathering all of the information in the agency, that'--those are documents that should have been retained, that they should have been permanent record. Some of them were also secret documents, top-secret documents, sensitive intelligence documents. There's a very strict protocol regarding how those are handled, where they are, and if and when they are destroyed, and, of course, by whom. Those were answers I could not receive, and that was highly unusual.
AMYGOODMAN: We're going to continue this discussion in a moment. John Crane, former senior official at the Pentagon, has revealed major privacy and security lapses within the government's whistleblower program. For a quarter of a century, he worked with the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office, which is supposed to help federal employees expose abuse and corruption. This is a secret chapter that even Edward Snowden did not know about but is now coming to understand, what was happening within the government. And we're going to speak with Mark Hertsgaard, as well, when we come back, to get a full picture of how this all fits together. His new book is out; it's called Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden. Stay with us.
VIDEO-Washington Journal Representative John Mica R-FL | Video | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:47
May 24, 2016Representative John Mica on Airport Security Lines Representative John Mica (R-FL), a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, talked about ongoing concerns with wait times at airports, as well as the Transportation Security Administration's efficiency and effectiveness.
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO-U.S. schools evacuated over 'automated' bomb threats | Reuters.com
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:45
Multiple schools across the U.S., including in California and Colorado, are evacuated or placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure after receiving automated 'robocalls'. Gavino Garay reports.
TRANSCRIPT +
An elementary school in Parker, Colorado was evacuated as a precautionary measure after receiving an automated bomb threat. Local media reported that schools in Colorado Springs and Pueblo were also evacuated after receiving the so-called 'robocalls'. The threats extended to some schools in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin and California, and similar threats were reported in the U.K. In late April, an anonymous video posted on social media threatened "American students" with death and prompted multiple Ohio schools to close. Authorities later said the threats were not credible. Local police are working with federal agencies to investigate the these latest computer-generated bomb threats.
VIDEO-Insurers are looking for Obamacare price hikes
Tue, 24 May 2016 14:31
Consumers on the lowest-tier "bronze" plans could see some of the biggest jumps in prices if preliminary requests are ultimately approved. In some cases, insurers are abandoning the low-premium offering altogether.
A unit of CareFirst Blue Cross in Virginia said it will transition all of its bronze plan members to mid-tier, or so-called silver, plans in 2017. The switch will mean a 70 percent price hike for those customers, according to the company's rate request filing.
Bronze plans have been some of the biggest sources of losses for insurers because the low rates attract sick patients who cost more, but often drop coverage during the year.
"Tons of people came in, got what they needed and left. And they ended up 20 percent '-- in some cases 30 percent '-- more expensive than those who came in and stayed," said Dr. Martin Hickey, CEO New Mexico Health Connections, a nonprofit cooperative insurer.
VIDEO-What to Know About the Airbus 320 Jet Amid EgyptAir Search - ABC News
Tue, 24 May 2016 13:21
The Airbus A320 is one of the most common jets in the sky and it's the same model of the EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea last Thursday with 66 aboard. An ABC News aviation contributor deems it "a great aircraft with a superb safety record."
Fast FactsHere some fast facts to know about the Airbus 320, according to Airbus:
The first A320 entered service in 1988. Since then, it's carried more than 10.5 billion passengers. (That's over 2.5 million passengers a day).The A320 family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321.There are 6,713 A320s in operation as of last month. An A320 takes off or lands every two seconds.Today's A320s have an operational reliability of 99.7 percent.EgyptAirThe cause of the EgyptAir crash remains under investigation. ABC News' aviation contributor Steve Ganyard said "we still know too little to suggest that the A320 has a problem that would threaten the flying public's safety."
Before the EgyptAir flight disappeared en route to Cairo from Paris last week, Airbus 320s were involved in 11 deadly crashes, in addition to the Germanwings plane that was intentionally crashed by a co-pilot in the French Alps last year, according to The Associated Press. An Airbus spokesperson could not immediately confirm the number of deadly crashes.
Ganyard told ABC News, "The A320 is a great aircraft with a superb safety record -- which is why it is hard to conceive of a mechanical problem that would have led directly to [the EgyptAir] crash."
As the desperate search for the EgyptAir flight's black box continues, a spokesperson for Airbus told ABC News today, "In line with ICAO Annex 13 rules, Airbus is providing full technical assistance to the French Investigation Agency - BEA - and the Egyptian Investigation Authorities who leads the technical investigation. The Airbus Safety team coordinates our response and support to the authorities, including local support in Cairo."
"The official authorities in charge of the investigation will start the research to determine the location of the pingers with the appropriate means," the statement said. "This search could take from a few days to a few weeks."
VIDEO-Will #Trump's Rise Spell Doom For Our Planet? - YouTube
Tue, 24 May 2016 08:19
VIDEO-EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Nigel Farage: The Speech That Might Result in BREXIT
Tue, 24 May 2016 08:12
(ht LRC)
VIDEO-Farrakhan on Hillary Clinton: 'That's a Wicked Woman" - YouTube
Mon, 23 May 2016 23:34
VIDEO-VA secretary: Disney doesn't measure wait times, so why should VA? | Washington Examiner
Mon, 23 May 2016 20:45
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday compared the length of time veterans wait to receive health care at the VA to the length of time people wait for rides at Disneyland, and said his agency shouldn't use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn't either.
"When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what's important? What's important is, what's your satisfaction with the experience?" McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. "And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure."
McDonald's comments angered House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted out Monday afternoon, "This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines."
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McDonald faced questions at the breakfast about the VA's lack of transparency surrounding how long veterans must wait to receive care at VA facilities around the country. The agency has weathered controversy over the past several years due to its struggle to provide timely care for many patients.
The VA secretary said most veterans report being satisfied with their care and argued that the average wait time for a veteran seeking VA treatment is only a matter of days.
He said he did not believe a measure called the "create date," which gauges a veteran's wait time by counting from the day the veteran first requests care, was a "valid measure" of a veteran's VA experience.
The Government Accountability Office released a report in April exploring the metric used to count a veterans' wait time, called the "preferred date." The measure does not count from the time a veteran first calls to make an appointment.
Also from the Washington Examiner
"I don't know what happened to Mitt, but it is weird; it is bizarre," said the former House speaker.
'05/23/16 4:24 PM
Top Story
"I don't know what happened to Mitt, but it is weird; it is bizarre," said the former House speaker.
'05/23/16 4:24 PM
VIDEO-Donald Trump unveils creepy-sounding Instagram attack ad targeting Bill Clinton - AOL
Mon, 23 May 2016 20:37
Donald Trump is escalating his critiques of former President Bill Clinton's decades-old incidents of alleged sexual misconduct.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee's campaign on Tuesday posted a video on his Instagram account featuring interview clips of women who have accused the former president of sexual misconduct. The video included past comments from Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer.
SEE ALSO: Al Gore rips apart Trump's position on climate change
Set to creepy, minor-key music, the video spliced together the accusation that Clinton "assaulted" women before playing a clip for Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton laughing.
"Is Hillary really protecting women?" Trump read the caption in the video.
This isn't the first time Trump has targeted Clinton's history with women. Of the women mentioned in the video, Clinton has denied Willey's accusation that Clinton grabbed and kissed her at the White House in 1993.
Broaddrick alleged in 1999 that Clinton had sexually assaulted and raped her more than two decades before. Sherevivedthose allegations earlier this year. Clinton, through a lawyer, has long ago denied her claims.
RELATED: See a list of potential Trump running mates:
Scott Brown
Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts was the first current or former senator to endorse Trump. He was known in the Senate as a moderate, and he could help pick up votes with some in the less conservative wing of the Republican Party.
He has supported abortion rights and is in favor of banning assault weapons, but he carries a blue-collar, populist persona. Brown memorably drove a pickup truck to campaign events during his 2010 Senate run in Massachusetts, which was to fill a vacant seat.
Trump acknowledged that Brown may very well be his pick.
During a January event in New Hampshire, Trump said Brown was cut out of "central casting" and could be his vice president. Brown said at the time that Trump was "the next president of the United States."
(Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Newt Gingrich
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich could provide Trump with exactly what he is looking for in a running mate '-- an experienced lawmaker who pushed legislation through Congress for years.
Though he has been actively aboard the Kasich bandwagon in recent days, Gingrich has come to Trump's defense regarding both the establishment backlash to his candidacy and the controversy the frontrunner found himself in after initially failing in a CNN interview to disavow support from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Jeff Sessions
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is the only sitting senator to endorse Trump '-- and he has already been tapped to lead Trump's national-security advisory committee.
"A movement is afoot that must not fade away," Sessions said during the Alabama rally where he announced his support last month.
Sessions is one of the staunchest supporters of Trump's hard-line plan to crack down on illegal immigration. The senator could also give Trump credibility in the South.
(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Paul LePage
"I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular," Gov. Paul LePage of Maine said while announcing his support for the GOP frontrunner last month on "The Howie Carr Show."
The governor is comparable to Trump when it comes to provocative remarks. In January, LePage found himself at the center of a national firestorm after he made some racially tinged comments about out-of-state drug dealers who come into Maine and "impregnate a young white girl" before leaving.
"Now I get to defend all the good stuff he says," LePage has said of Trump.
LePage also entered politics after a successful business career, but he was reportedly staunchly opposed to Trump's candidacy before suddenly coming on board.
(Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Chris Christie
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is the only 2016 GOP presidential candidate who has endorsed Trump since leaving the race.
Christie could help Trump with more moderate GOP voters, and he certainly has the bombastic personality that would serve as a useful surrogate for Trump, though the two also fiercely criticized each other when they were both candidates in the race.
Back in November, Trump said Christie could have a "place" on his ticket.
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Mike Huckabee
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who was once in the 2016 GOP presidential race, has been defending Trump in recent weeks. Plus, his daughter is now working as a part of Trump's campaign.
Last week, BuzzFeed reported that advisers close to Huckabee thought the vice-president nod was in the cards for their guy.
Of all the former 2016 White House contenders, Huckabee may be closest to Trump ideologically. Huckabee struck a populist tone on cultural issues and, like Trump, vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare if elected.
(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
John Kasich
Aside from a few brushups in the fall, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has barely touched Trump along the trail. The same can be said for Trump, whose most brutal attack against Kasich is that he "got lucky" because of the natural-gas reserves in his state.
It has been rumored that Trump would be interested in Kasich as his running mate, though Trump has also recently started criticizing Kasich on the campaign trail.
Kasich has the political experience that Trump says he's seeking. Kasich also hails from the Midwest, one of the most competitive regions in the past few presidential races.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Rick Scott
It has been an ongoing rumor that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida will endorse Trump after Scott wrote a gushing op-ed article in USA Today in January.
Like Trump, Scott rose to power from the business world. But Scott also has clout in the largest general-election swing state. In addition, he has six years of government experience behind him after being elected to office in 2010.
Of note: The hospital company where Scott served as CEO had to pay a $1.7 billion Medicare fraud penalty in 2000.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Sarah Palin
We can dream, right?
John McCain's running mate in 2008, Sarah Palin was a big get for Trump when she endorsed the frontrunner over Ted Cruz, whom she had vigorously campaigned for during his Senate run in 2012.
If Trump is interested in a sharp break with the Republican establishment, picking Palin would certainly send that signal.
It's an open question, however, as to whether she boosted or hindered McCain's run during the 2008 race.
(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Monday's video was also the latest of Trump's broadsides against the former president on Instagram. In a post earlier this year, Trump invoked Bill Cosby and Monica Lewinsky, captioning the former president under the headline, "Liar, Liar."
Trump's push to undermine trust in Clinton comes as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee continues to maintain low levels of popularity among female voters. Trump has received the lowest favorability ratings among female voters of any major 2016 presidential candidate.
Democrats are already hammering Trump for his numerous inflammatory statements about women.
Last week, a super PAC backing Hillary Clinton posted an ad prominently featuring Trump's past comments on women's bodies. The ad showed women reading his statements about famous women, included his assertion that "a person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10," as well as his judgment that reality-television star Kim Kardashian does not have a good body but "absolutely" has a "fat a--."
Despite his new targeting of Bill Clinton's past allegations, the real-estate magnate has taken a different tone previously when addressing the former president's conduct.
Watch Trump's ad below:NOW WATCH: Hillary Clinton says she's open to the idea of having Mark Cuban as her running mate
See Also:
SEE ALSO: Some of the GOP's most vulnerable candidates are doing verbal gymnastics to avoid Donald Trump
VIDEO AUDIO-Rogue Wave - In The Morning (Official Audio) - YouTube
Mon, 23 May 2016 20:24
VIDEO-Do Martyrs Get Virgins or Raisins? - The Rush Limbaugh Show
Mon, 23 May 2016 19:27
May 23, 2016BEGIN TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: Fareed Zakaria GPS. On Fareed Zakaria's Global Positioning Satellite show on CNN, he played a clip of the... I guess there's a documentary out there called Why They Hate Us. Who do...? The State Department convened a seminar after 9/11 entitled, "Why do they hate us?" Meaning the imams, militant Islamists and terrorists: Why do they hate us? It's our fault! What have we done to make them mad? After playing a clip from it, he had an interview with an author and Muslim reformer Irshad Manji. Irshad Manji. So Fareed Zakaria addresses the idea that the Koran promises a martyr 72 virgins in the name of Islam.
ZAKARIA: (haltingly) The Koran promises a martyr in the name of Islam, 72 virgins. Is that true?
MANJI: It is not true.
ZAKARIA: Manjisays that several scholars studying the original text came toy startling realization.
MANJI: Nowhere in the Koran does it promise 72 virgins, 70 virgins, 48 virgins. What it promises, as far as heaven goes, is something lush. The Arabic word for "virgin" has been mistranslated. The original used that was used in the Koran was the word for raisin, not virgin, in other words, that martyrs would get raisins in heaven, not virgins.
RUSH: Pshew. I'd like to be there when they tell them this. "Uh, sorry! Not virgins. You were misinformed. Here are 73 raisins." You envision that? Now, when I saw this... You know, I don't just stop here. I just am not wantonly accepting of this stuff. I actually dug into this. I found out that it is an ongoing controversy within Islam, the definition of the word that has been translated virgins as it's used by militant Islamists as they recruit. It is unsettled.
It really is unsettled what it actually means, and there is one interpretation that does mean raisins. Now, what are raisins? The reason they think "raisins" here is specific. What are raisins? Does anybody...? (interruption) You know what a raisin actually is? It's a dried grape, dried prune, shriveled up. You gotta think of this in the right way now, Snerdley. Dried up, shriveled up, dried out, worn out. Think of all of the... The opposite of virgin. So it means grape, raisin, what have you.
So this does mean that the bin Ladens and the other imams and the Ayman al-Zawahiris and so forth are purposely promising virgins when they know it's raisin. If we would just treat these guys the way Democrats treat Republicans, we could discredit these people inside of a week. Can you imagine, say, Hillary Clinton going on TV and just laying into bin Laden for this? "How dare you mislead all these young men, all of these youths, promising them virgins when it's raisins?" And then compare it to Republicans, somehow, some way. We can dream.
END TRANSCRIPT
VIDEO-The rise of American authoritarianism, explained in 6 minutes - Vox
Mon, 23 May 2016 18:40
Almost all political experts and pundits underestimated the support that Donald Trump could attract within the Republican Party. But years ago, a small group of political scientists studying authoritarianism published research that forecast the rise of a candidate just like Trump.
VIDEO-Los Angeles braces for arrival of Zika virus | Reuters.com
Mon, 23 May 2016 15:58
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Afghanistan's first female orchestraMon, Apr 18, 2016 -(0:45)
Images of MarchFri, Apr 01, 2016 -(1:31)
Who has nuclear weapons?Fri, Apr 01, 2016 -(0:44)
What America really thinks about tortureWed, Mar 30, 2016 -(1:37)
A floating school for a slum on stiltsFri, Mar 18, 2016 -(0:54)
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World recognizes International Women's DayTue, Mar 08, 2016 -(1:23)
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The road to Super TuesdaySun, Feb 28, 2016 -(1:00)
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A history of the Oscars' best actorsFri, Feb 26, 2016 -(0:21)
Pope Francis makes headlinesThu, Feb 25, 2016 -(0:46)
Assange's lawyers call for court to overturn...Mon, Feb 22, 2016 -(1:18)
London Fashion WeekMon, Feb 22, 2016 -(0:46)
Will Blatter's ban be lifted?Tue, Feb 16, 2016 -(1:30)
New York Fashion Week: The ShowsMon, Feb 15, 2016 -(0:51)
Zika can't stop carnivalThu, Feb 11, 2016 -(1:07)
Who is John Kasich?Thu, Feb 11, 2016 -(0:59)
Washington's baby panda scales treeWed, Feb 10, 2016 -(0:18)
All eyes on the New Hampshire primaryMon, Feb 08, 2016 -(1:49)
Images of JanuaryFri, Feb 05, 2016 -(1:00)
Zika virus transmitted in U.S.Fri, Feb 05, 2016 -(1:23)
Hard times in Atlantic CityThu, Jan 28, 2016 -(1:54)
What is Zika?Thu, Jan 28, 2016 -(0:53)
Fifth aniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprisngTue, Jan 26, 2016 -(2:15)
Famous Faces of the World Economic Forum 2016Fri, Jan 22, 2016 -(1:18)
Gaza's parkour teamThu, Jan 21, 2016 -(0:44)
Kicking the habit in KabulThu, Jan 21, 2016 -(1:27)
The hottest year everWed, Jan 20, 2016 -(0:29)
Young Syrians dream of homeTue, Jan 19, 2016 -(2:15)
Martin Luther King Jr. DayTue, Jan 19, 2016 -(1:47)
VIDEO-The Mandela Effect Is Just The Beginning Of Our Awakening!! (Global Shift In Consciousness) - YouTube
Sun, 22 May 2016 21:43

Art

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Brexit

Nigel Farage- The Speech That Might Result in BREXIT.mp3

Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$

Fight Zika by making your smartphone into a supercomputer.mp3
Reid- Republicans Going To Put Off Funding Zika Until Fall ‘When All The Mosquitoes Are Leaving Town’.mp3

Elections 2016

313804503-State-Dept-IG-Hillary-s-E-mail-Scheme-Violated-Federal-Law.pdf
Andrea Mitchell and Mika tag team Hillary EMail Lies.mp3
CNN-Boxer no clinton in IG report-blowing kisses to convention in nevada.mp3
Cokie Roberts on Women Will Be ‘Upset’ With Trump’s Attacks on Clinton Affairs.mp3
FNC-Clinton spokeshole and what reporters didn't hear.mp3
State Department Can’t Definitively Say Clinton Email Server Was Never Successfully Hacked.mp3
Todd with Clinton Press Secretary-Clinton Campaign 'Making a Leap' By Claiming Trump Was Rooting for Financial Crisis.mp3
Vann Jones on Trump bringing up Bill Clinton's sordid past.mp3

EuroLand

France- Nuclear strike raises stakes in showdown over labour reforms.mp3

JCD Clips

ANC news on trump versus warren.mp3
Army cadets the fist and beyonce.mp3
Austria.mp3
brooklyn museum protest.mp3
brooklyn museum protest2.mp3
cbs anti-pot.mp3
Clinton email cbs.mp3
DW report on clinton and the report.mp3
earthquakes.mp3
france strike.mp3
Germans must speak german.mp3
hillary email complete ABC.mp3
Kenneth Star Baylor Rapes.mp3
NA QUIZ refugees ONE QUESTION.mp3
NA QUIZ refugees TWO ANSWER.mp3
netflix in Europe.mp3
old computers cost taxpayer.mp3
PBS wrap clinton Trump.mp3
seattle blackout.mp3
zika doofus on CBS.mp3

Ministry of Truth

Ministry of Truth!-BILLS-114hr5181ih.pdf

NA-Tech News

US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear force operations.mp3

Now 666

LOCAL PACKAGE-Shoud you microchip your child?-Unabashed Propaganda with NO QUESTIONING THE CREEPINESS.mp3

SJW / BLM

BLM Protesters Disrupt Yiannopoulos Event at DePaul University.mp3
MSNBC guest drops 'The Wire' as a reason why Baltimore cops are unfair.mp3
MSNBCJamal Smith MTV News Praises Violent Protesters as ‘Expressing Their Humanity;’ ‘Accomplished Their Goal’.mp3
Susan Rice at Florida International University-Is This Commencement??.mp3
WashPost Poll on Native Americans Not Being Offended by ‘Redskins’.mp3

The Mandela Effect

Mandela Effect-1-Luke I am your Father.mp3
Mandela Effect-2-Snow White - Magic Mirror On The Wall Scene 2.mp3

TSA

TSA Administrator Ptere Neffenger-1- Automated Screening Lanes - Tech Bonanza!.mp3
TSA AdministratorPeter Neffenger-2-not much diff between tsa and private.mp3
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