932: Roundly Debunked

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 3m
May 25th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Charles Couch, Susan Stevens, Duncan Martin, Chris Daly

Associate Executive Producers: Sleepy Doc, Hans Furberger

Cover Artist: ZeD

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Manchester
Manchester United vs Ajax: Anti-terror cops throw ring of steel around Europa League final in Stockholm after Uefa confirm game will go ahead
Wed, 24 May 2017 10:10
European showpiece takes place in the Swedish capital, an increasing jihadi hotspot, less than two days after a bomb killed 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester
ANTI-TERROR cops have thrown an impenetrable ring of steel around Manchester United's Europa League final in Stockholm amid heightened fears of another terror attack.
Uefa officials have confirmed European showpiece WILL go ahead in the Swedish capital, an increasing jihadi hotspot, less than two days after a bomb killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
EPA
Anti-terror security measures have been put in place outside the Friends Arena to stop any kind of attackJose Mourinho's stars are being protected around the clock by gun cops as they prepare to take on Ajax.
For all the latest on the horrific terror attack that left 22 dead in Manchester follow The Sun's live blog
But the mood among travelling fans was sombre in the wake of an attack which injured dozens and cast a shadow on the city.
EPA
The 50,000-capacity Friends Arena in Stockholm will host tomorrow night's Euroap League final between Manchester United and Ajax
EPA
A worker wheels out security equipment at the Friends Arena in Stockholm
EPA
Ground workers make adjustments to security measures ahead of tomorrow night's Europa League final in StockholmSecurity on high alert as Manchester United to face Ajax in Europa League finalManchester United and City officials and players - as well as Ajax - have expressed an outpouring of sympathy in reaction to last night's harrowing news.
Uefa football chiefs are expected to insist the game must go on but players from both sides are expected to wear black armbands and observe a minute's silence before kick-off.
A heavy police presence has dominated Stockholm since Monday, with police helicopters circling the skies and armoured cars patrolling the streets.
And fears of crowd trouble among boozed-up fans took a back seat as the world of football stood defiantly in the face of terror.
Getty Images
Manchester United are due to take on Ajax in the Europa League final
PA:Press Association
Manchester United and Ajax are set to go head to head in the Europa League final just 48 hours after the terror attacks at a concert in Manchester
Getty Images
The Friends Arena is due to host the showpiece final in Sweden
London News Pictures
At least 22 people have been killed during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester
AP:Associated Press
Swedish police are on high alert following attacks in the city in recent months
EPA
The Stockholm force Svensk Polis have been on high alert after an Uzbek asylum seeker drove a lorry into shoppers in April Reds players will fly into Stockholm this afternoon and leave straight after the game tomorrow night, while their wags fly in tomorrow morning and leave tomorrow night.
United are having meetings with Uefa this morning in a bid to wear black armbands during the final.
Flags at Old Trafford have been lowered to half mast as the city unites over the incident.
A Manchester United spokesman said: "We are reviewing our security plans and have been working through the night. Meetings will take place today to decide how to proceed."
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been advising fans to be vigilant in Stockholm and turn up to the match early because of security checks.
A spokesperson said: ''Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Sweden. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
''There's a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
''You will need to have your ID card or passport with you on the day of the final so that your identity can be checked against the details provided with your application.
''If you're a ticket holder and not in possession of valid ID card or a passport, you will not be allowed in to the stadium.
Keep up to date with all the build-up to Ajax vs Manchester United in the Europa League final with our LIVE blog
''If you lose your passport while in Stockholm, you'll need to apply for an Emergency Travel Document from the British Embassy in Stockholm.
''Manchester United fans should use entrance A, Y, K and H at the south east corner of the arena
''Please note that entry to the stadium can be slow - there will be ticket checks and body searches at the entrance to the turnstiles, get to the stadium early - doors will open three hours before kick-off.''
Uefa statement ahead of final
UEFA is shocked by last night's attack in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected.
There is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the Uefa Europa League final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks.
Uefa has been closely working with local authorities and the Swedish FA for many months and the terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project.
Furthermore, a number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm last April.
Due to the tight security arrangements, UEFA urges fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible, as detailed checks will be made at the entrances, resulting in potential delays in accessing the stadium.
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham pays tribute to victims of the Manchester Arena explosion
Found at the Scene in Manchester: Shrapnel, a Backpack and a Battery - The New York Times
Wed, 24 May 2017 20:47
The bomber in the Manchester terrorist attack appeared to have carried a powerful explosive in a lightweight metal container concealed either within a black vest or a blue Karrimor backpack, and may have held a small detonator in his left hand, according to preliminary information gathered by British authorities.
Remnants of backpack
The initial analysis of the bomb, based on evidence photographed and collected at the crime scene, does not specify the size or type of explosive used in the bomb's main charge but suggests an improvised device made with forethought and care.
Possible detonator located in suspect's left hand
Law enforcement images of metal nuts and screws propelled by the blast, and of damage nearby, show that the bomb's makeshift shrapnel penetrated metal doors and left deep scuffs in brick walls.
Nuts and screws used as shrapnel
And a review of the location of those killed shows most of the fatalities occurred in a nearly complete circle around the bomber, Salman Abedi, whose upper torso was heaved outside the lethal ring toward the Manchester Arena entrance.
Approx. location
of detonation
Doors to
Victoria
Station
Approximate
area of blast
Doors to
Victoria
Station
The New York Times
All of these are indicators of a powerful, high-velocity charge, and of a bomb in which its shrapnel was carefully and evenly packed.
The location of the bomber's torso, and the apparent absence of fatalities in a line between the blast site and where his remains landed, was said by one explosive disposal technician who examined the images to indicate that the explosive charge was more likely in a backpack than in a vest, and propelled the bomber away from the blast.
Certain details of the bomb further suggest a desire by a bomb-maker to reduce the risk of a dud.
The authorities found a mangled Yuasa 12-volt, 2.1 amp lead acid battery at the scene, which is more powerful than batteries often seen in backpack bombs or suicide vests. The battery, used for emergency lighting and other applications, can be bought for about $20.
12-volt battery that was possible power source
The possible detonator, which British law enforcement officials said was carried in the bomber's left hand, is also unusual for a manual detonator in a suicide device, in that it appears to have contained a small circuit board soldered inside one end.
It is not clear from the law enforcement images if the object was a simple plunger switch, or included a timer or a receiver that could be operated remotely via radio signal '' or some combination, or something else.
Such redundancy, if the object was the detonator, could give the bomber or a cell more than one option for deploying the device, and suggest that the bomb was not as simple in design as many terrorist devices, which often are crude and prone to failure or haphazard effect.
One independent analyst of improvised explosive devices, Michael C.L. Johnson, suggested that the object might be an electronic cigarette and unrelated to the bomb's detonation '' an understandable case of investigators focusing on a crime-scene detail early in a case.
Western bomb disposal technicians who reviewed the images for The New York Times said that a more thorough analysis of the device is difficult without more information, and that assessments of the bomb could change as the authorities analyze it further and if they collect more evidence. But its apparent overdesign, including the more powerful than usual battery, could flow from a bomb-maker's difficulty in building a reliable detonator.
US leak of Manchester attacker's name strikes new blow to intelligence sharing | UK news | The Guardian
Thu, 25 May 2017 01:17
American officials have been criticised for leaking the identity of the Manchester bomber before British police officially named him.
Salman Abedi was identified in media reports that attributed ''US officials'' as the source even as their British counterparts remained tight-lipped.
The disclosures renewed concerns over leaks from Donald Trump's administration two weeks after the US president revealed classified information, apparently from Israel, to Russia's foreign minister in a White House meeting. Critics warn that US allies may be less willing to share intelligence in the future.
Although UK journalists had Abedi's name, the UK government and Greater Manchester police declined to confirm it more than two hours after it appeared in the US press. Earlier in the day, the government indicated it might not release the name at all on Tuesday because the investigation was continuing.
On Monday night, a correspondent for America's ABC network tweeted: ''Leading theory is Manchester was a suicide bomber, US senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation tells @ABC.''
On Tuesday, CBS and NBC were quick to name the suspect believed to have blown himself up following an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. The Reuters news agency, an international organisation with headquarters in London, also published the name, citing ''three US officials'', before British police made it public.
The Trump administration's apparent indiscretion seems likely to cause consternation in London and could raise questions about future cooperation in the long term.
Thomas Sanderson, director of the transnational threats project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies thinktank in Washington, said the disclosures would be irritating to the British. ''Suddenly you've got 10,000 reporters descending on the bomber's house when maybe the police wanted to approach it more subtly,'' he said.
Sanderson warned of ill judgment and lack of discipline in the White House. ''This is a leaky administration. What does that mean for sharing information we need to going forward? The UK and Israel are probably our two biggest sources of intelligence. Now they're thinking, 'Is this going to cause us damage every time we share?' Then you have to calculate every piece of information.''
Perry Cammack, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, added: ''I don't think in and of itself this episode will do lasting harm; I sense this was a miscommunication. But the context is that we're in the midst of a political crisis in Washington of the first order. The institutions are leaking at an unprecedented rate. It feels like things are under stress here.''
Asked if the UK would be less willing to share information in future, Cammack, a former state department official, replied: ''I hope we're not at that point yet and I suspect we're not. There are broad relationships that are personal in many cases but I'm sure people are paying attention. It is happening in the context of quite a turbulent time in Washington and, if it goes on indefinitely, there is some scope for partners to reevaluate the integrity of information.''
Frustration in the UK was expressed by professor Lawrence Freedman, who was a member of the official inquiry into the Iraq war. ''US seems to have been passing stuff from last night to their journos. It will get to the stage where UK officials will stop sharing,'' he tweeted.
Freedman, professor of war studies at King's College, London, was asked in a tweet why the US would have disclosed the name. Freedman replied: ''An American colleague suggests simple indiscipline. Showing off what they know.''
In spite of Freedman's warning that the UK might withhold information in the future, it is unlikely as the UK is the main beneficiary of the intelligence-sharing relationship.
Hillary's HitList
From Dr Producer
ITM, Adam,
Holy shit, son! I just listened to the latest NA show, the read of the 4th-year surgery resident's account regarding the fishy stuff that went down at Washington Hospital Center involving then-inpatient Seth R. I am a practicing cardiologist of 24 years, and this sounds like a genuine report. The jargon is consistent and spot-on. Very, very suspect. MAJOR PHARMA MONEY in this place and all kinds of shady "science" going on. This is also the hospital where a very good friend and graphic designer works, and I am told that the overwhelming majority in this hospital is ALL-IN with the Clintons. I know this for a fact. This is most intriguing. Mind you, this guy was a "VIP" of sorts, BUT A VERY LOW-LEVEL VIP. I've seen VIPs in teaching hospitals, and this guy would not have risen to the level justifying all the restriction of entry as was the case with Rich. Doesn't make sense!!!! At that point he was a DNC employee, not a household name. I had no idea he survived even long enough to get to the hospital; I fully assumed he died in the street. And I tell you this in strictest NA confidence, it would be so easy to snuff somebody out in an intensive care unit, it isn't funny. This smells bad.
Please keep my name out of this, but take this for an honest professional reaction,
Sean Hannity goes on Twitter rant against Media Matters
Thu, 25 May 2017 12:20
Sean Hannity went on a Twitter rant against Media Matters for America (MMFA) on WednesdayThe not-for-profit organization released a list of Hannity's advertisers for those wishing to boycott his show over his coverage of DNC staffer Seth Rich's murderHannity had suggested on his show that Rich's murder happened after he contacted WikiLeaks Authorities say they have no evidence that Rich was leaking DNC information to WikiLeaks On Tuesday night, Haninty said he would not longer be discussing the story out of respect for Rich's family 'Liberal fascism. MMFA is targeting my advertisers to silence my voice. They hope to get me fired, ' he wrote Wednesday.Sean Hannity blasted Media Matters for America (MMFA) in a lengthy Twitter rant on Wednesday, saying the not-for-profit organization was trying to get him fired.
The Fox News anchor started furiously tweeting early Wednesday morning, after the progressive media watchdog group published a list of his advertisers for a boycott of his show.
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Hannity has been under fire late for his reporting on DNC staffer Seth Rich's murder.
'Liberal Fascism. Mmfa is targeting my advertisers to silence my voice. They hope to get me fired. Rush, O'Reilly, Beck, Imus, & now me.
'Notice MMFA only does this to conservatives. Smear, slander, malice, half truths, purposefully taking things out of context. Why...
'Why do they not go after NBC hosts or CNN hosts? Serious questions will now be raised on funding, tax status, and political agenda.
Hannity claimed in his tweets that the progressive not-for-profit was trying to get him fired'Why didn't they go after HBO Real Time? Colbert? Simple, MMFA only wants to silence conservatives. Who funds them? Who are political friends,' Hannity wrote.
He then went on to post several stories about the organization to his Twitter, including articles about George Soros' connection to the organization.
One of the articles was from right-wing outlet Breitbart, and claimed that Media Matters was secretly plotting to 'stop' that them.
About four hours later, Hannity went back on Twitter and reiterated his anger.
'To all my friends. TODAY, George Soros, & Hillary Clinton supported Mediamatters is targeting all of my advertisers to try and get me fired.
'Spoke to many advertisers. They are being inundated with Emails to stop advertising on my show. This is Soros/Clinton/Brock liberal fascism.
'Mediamatters is hoping advertisers will give into pressure and they will silence freedom of speech. Liberals, do you support this effort?' he asked.
Another three hours later, he returned and said that Bill Maher and Colbert can make 'vile comments' about the president, yet MMFA is 'SILENT #hypocrisy'.
On his show, Hannity has given considerable air time to rumors that Seth Rich was murdered after reaching out to leak Democratic Party secrets to WikiLeaks.
But so far, authorities have not found any evidence that Rich had contact with the organization.
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On Tuesday, Hannity switched gears and said he would not longer be discussing Rich's murder, out of respect for his family.
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Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation | Fox News
Wed, 24 May 2017 20:50
On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.
We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.
'Panic' at DNC over Kim Dotcom's claims about Seth Rich | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 24 May 2017 00:30
An anonymous 4 Chan poster claims that internet hacker Kim Dotcom's allegations that murdered Democratic aide Seth Rich was the source of Wikileaks has sparked 'complete panic' within the DNC.
The nameless individual, who claims to have spent 20 years working in DC, said the latest conspiracy theory, that Rich was killed because he was the source of the DNC leaks, had terrified high ranking officials.
Conservative TV host Sean Hannity has since repeated the claims that 'panic has set in at the highest levels of the Democratic Party.'
'I know for certain that the Seth Rich case has scared the s**t out of certain high ranking current and former Democratic Party officials,' the 'insider', who has provided not information to back up his claims or that he works in DC, wrote on the controversial discussion site 4 Chan.
An anonymous 4 Chan poster says that internet hacker Kim Dotcom's allegations that murdered Democratic aide Seth Rich was the source of Wikileaks has sparked 'complete panic' within the DNC
The nameless individual, who claims to have spent 20 years working in DC, wrote that he had never seen 'such a panicked reaction'
They added that this was why DNC executives had 'backed away from impeachment talk.'
'They know the smoking gun is out there, and they're terrified you will find it, because when you do it will bring the entire DNC, along with a couple of very big name politicians,' he added.
Conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Rich, who was gunned down in D.C. last July, are again swirling thanks to Dotcom's bold, and unsubstantiated claims, and a debunked news report from local station Fox5.
Seth Rich was shot in the back last July in D.C. Conspiracy theories have swirled around about his death, as some try to make a connection between Rich and Wikileaks' release of Democratic National Committee emails, which most believe were hacked by the Russians
Conservative TV host, and Trump supporter Sean Hannity, repeated the claim that 'complete panic' had set in at the DNC
Last Monday, Fox5 ran a piece in which an individual, Fox New legal commentator, Rod Wheeler, said it was 'confirmed' that Rich had ties to Wikileaks.
Wheeler was identified as the Rich family's investigator.
In reality, Wheeler's investigation has been funded by a third-party, and the Rich family sent him a cease and desist.
'As we've seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts. We have seen no evidence. We have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press,' Rich's family said in a statement. 'We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth's murderers.'
People on the right have been trying to connect the dots between Rich and Wikileaks, as it would provide an explanation for why Rich was killed, and also taint the storyline that Russia was behind the Democratic National Committee hack.
Since the Fox5 story came out, not only did Rich's family refute the claims, but D.C. officials pushed back.
Internet hacker Kim Dotcom took to Twitter over the weekend and said he was involved in releasing the Democratic National Committee's emails to Wikileaks, along with murdered staffer Seth Rich
Online mogul Kim Dotcom said over the weekend that he knew Seth Rich and knew that the staffer was Wikileaks' source, of which there is zero evidence
Big name conservatives including Sean Hannity have been fanning the flames of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. The Fox News personality later invited Kim Dotcom on a future show
'This is a robbery that ended tragically,' Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue told the local NBC affiliate News4. 'That's bad enough for our city, and I think it is irresponsible to conflate this into something that doesn't connect to anything that the detectives have found.'
'No Wikileaks connection,' he enunciated.
But just as NBC, along with CNN and the Washington Post '' including a deep dive by the Post's Dave Weigel on how the Rich story really is 'fake news' '' tried to drown the conspiracy theories, Dotcom and several figures on the right brought it back.
Dotcom, a German-Finnish internet entrepreneur known for founding Megaupload, jumped into the conversation Friday, four days after the Fox5 story ran.
He said he knew murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Rich who 'gave the political party's trove of emails to Wikileaks.'
'I knew Seth Rich. I know he was the Wikileaks source. I was involved,' Dotcom cryptically tweeted on Saturday.
'If Congress includes #SethRich case into their Russia probe I'll give written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was Wikileaks source,' Dotcom tweeted.
It was then a back-and forth on Twitter with Fox News host, and prominent President Trump supporter Sean Hannity, that got Dotcom to articulate a second time, that Rich was Wikileaks' source.
Shortly thereafter, Hannity called on Dotcom to be a guest on his television and radio shows and demanded that Congress look into the young staffer's murder.
'Is it possible that one [of the] greatest lies ever told is soon exposed?' Hannity mused, previewing an 'announcement' that Dotcom planned to give.
The anonymous DC insider has since added that the DNC was 'near open panic' about such claims.
'To even mention this name in D.C. Circles [sic] will bring you under automatic scrutiny. To even admit that you have knowledge of this story puts you in immediate danger. If there was no smoke there would be no fire. I have never, in my 20 years of working in D.C. Seen [sic] such a panicked reaction from anyone.'
He added that both Podesta and Hillary Clinton had received anonymous calls and emails from people who shared their belief in the conspiracy theory.
According to an account from Radar Online, Dotcom will release more information on the matter Tuesday, once he talks to his lawyers.
Hannity also suggested that, 'Complete panic has set in at the highest levels of the Democratic Party,' though offered no proof.
On Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich chimed in.
'We have this very strange story here of this young man who worked for the DNC who was apparently assassinated at four in the morning having given Wikileaks something like 23,000 '' I'm sorry, 53,000 '' emails and 17,000 attachments,' Gingrich said on Fox News Sunday.
'Nobody's investigating that, and what does that tell you about what was going on, because it turns out it wasn't the Russians, it was this young guy who, I suspect, who was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee,' the former House speaker continued.
'He's been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigate his murder. So, I'd like to see how [former FBI director Robert] Mueller is going to define what his assignment is, and if it's only narrowly Trump, the country will not learn what it needs to learn about foreign involvement in American politics,' Gingrich added.
EXPLOSIVE REVELATION: HIGH-RANKING DNC REP ATTEMPTED TO STOP DETECTIVE INVESTIGATING SETH RICH MURDER
Thu, 25 May 2017 01:07
In a groundbreaking report, it was discovered that Donna Brazile, former DNC Chairwoman and high-ranking DNC rep, tried to put an end into the Seth Rich investigations. Ms. Brazile allegedly called the private investigator handling the case, accused him of ''snooping'' and demanded to know why the investigation was still going on.
VIA WND:
''The high-ranking DNC official that called the police after I inquired about Rich's case was Donna Brazile,'' veteran homicide detective Rod Wheeler told WND. ''Why shouldn't I reveal who it was?''
Brazile, who was also a CNN contributor and a Hillary for America donor at the time, was caught providing Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton with questions that would later be asked of Clinton at a televised CNN town hall. In an interview with Fox News before the election, Brazile denied leaking the questions to Clinton. But in a March 17, 2017, column for Time magazine, she finally admitted doing so, saying it was a ''mistake I will forever regret.''
A spokesman for the Rich family has repeatedly criticized detective Wheeler, who was hired by Rich's family in March to find the DNC staffer's murderer, for not ruling out the possibility that Rich may have leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The Rich family recently sent Wheeler a ''cease and desist'' order to stop his investigation into the murder.
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New report alleges outside influence in Canada's 2015 federal election
Wed, 24 May 2017 15:25
Foreign money funnelled towards Canadian political advocacy groups affected the outcome of the 2015 federal election, according to a document filed last week with Elections Canada and obtained exclusively by the Herald.
The 36-page report entitled: Elections Canada Complaint Regarding Foreign Influence in the 2015 Canadian Election, alleges third parties worked with each other, which may have bypassed election spending limits '-- all of which appears to be in contravention of the Canada Elections Act.
The Canada Elections Act states that ''a third party shall not circumvent, or attempt to circumvent, a limit set out . . . in any manner, including by splitting itself into two or more third parties for the purpose of circumventing the limit or acting in collusion with another third party so that their combined election advertising expenses exceed the limit.''
''Electoral outcomes were influenced,'' alleges the report.
The Canada Elections Act also states: ''No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate'' unless the person is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
''Yet the outcome of the 2015 election was skewed by money from wealthy foreigners,'' alleges the complaint, submitted by Canada Decides, a registered society with three listed directors '-- including Joan Crockatt, a former Conservative MP for Calgary Centre, who lost her seat to Liberal Kent Hehr, now the MP for the once long-held Tory riding and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. The other two directors include Chad Hallman, a University of Toronto political science student.
The number of third parties registered during the 2015 general election more than doubled, to 114 compared with 55, in the 2011 election.
In total, the 114 third parties spent $6 million and many of those third parties were funded by California-and New York-based Tides Foundation '-- which is known in Canada for holding numerous anti-Canadian oil campaigns.
In 2015, Tides Foundation donated $1.5 million of U.S. money to Canadian third parties in the election year, according to the report.
Crockatt's seat was one of the 29 targeted by an organization called Leadnow through its ''largest ever campaign'' called Vote Together. The complaint by Canada Decides alleges that foreign money ''spawned'' Leadnow and helped fund an elaborate campaign to oust the ruling Conservative Party.
Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says Canadians should be concerned about any kind of foreign involvement in our elections.
''The whole concept and idea of foreign influence in an election is an important issue and is something that Canadians should not tolerate,'' Bratt said Monday.
Tides Foundation and Leadnow representatives did not return repeated phone calls and emails from the Herald to respond to concerns raised by Canada Decides.
A December 2015 Leadnow report, Defeating Harper, discusses how effective its campaign was in the 2015 general election. ''The Conservatives were defeated in 25 out of 29 ridings, and . . . in the seats the Conservatives lost, our recommended candidate was the winner 96 per cent of the time.''
Leadnow's Defeat Harper report also states: ''We selected target ridings with field teams run by paid Leadnow organizers . . .''
Crockatt lost her Calgary Centre seat by 750 votes. Conservative MP Lawrence Toet lost his Manitoba seat of Elmwood-Transcona to the NDP's Daniel Blaikie by just 61 votes. Former Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver lost his seat to Liberal Marco Mendicino with a margin of 3,490 votes. Only six per cent of voters in that riding voted for the NDP candidate, who complained of Leadnow's tactics on Twitter.
Leadnow staff members flew around the country on numerous occasions, as Facebook postings and photographs show, to distribute flyers and put up signs. Also, 57 local polls were commissioned across 37 ridings urging citizens to strategically vote for the most winnable, left-of-centre candidate in order to defeat the Conservative candidate.
There is an $8,788 spending limit per riding for the election. NDP candidates and even CUPE complained about Leadnow's activities being anti-democratic.
''This is not a partisan issue or a case of sour grapes by Conservatives,'' insists Hallman, 20.
''This is a Canadian issue. This affects all Canadians whether you're an NDP, Green, Liberal or Conservative. You should be very concerned about foreign money being spent in Canada during an election campaign.''
Crockatt, who prior to becoming a Member of Parliament was a journalist, including a stint as an editor with the Calgary Herald, said researchers from Fredericton to Nanaimo worked for 18 months gathering information on this issue.
''Foreign money meddled in a big way in our election and that's not right,'' she added. ''Americans are rightly concerned about Russia hacking into U.S. government emails. Well, this appears to be much worse '-- foreign money, in many cases by very wealthy people '-- was donated and arguably changed the outcome of our Canadian election. It needs to be taken seriously and investigated.''
In the 2015 annual report of the California-based Online Progressive Engagement Network (OPEN) where Ben Brandzel, one of Leadnow's founders, currently works, he said: ''We ended the year with . . . a Canadian campaign that moved the needle during the national election, contributing greatly to the ousting of the conservative Harper government.''
Just how greatly these foreign organizations and money contributed to interfering in the Canadian election needs to be investigated by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, states Canada Decides.
''The threat to Canadian election sovereignty is real and must be eliminated by the Commissioner as quickly and decisively as possible,'' adds the report.
It appears as though Yves Cote, commissioner of Elections Canada, is considering doing just that.
Cote admitted during an April 13 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee that an investigation needs to be launched following questions by Conservative Senators Linda Frum and Bob Runciman.
''Issues of significance have been raised . . .'' said Cote, during the senate committee hearing, ''which in my view deserves Parliament taking the time to looking at the situation, trying to understand what has happened, what is likely to happen and then taking measures . . . to make sure there is compliance.''
Cote added that ''the Supreme Court of Canada said the objective of maintaining a level playing field is, for them, a very important objective.''
Senator Frum is planning to introduce a private member's bill updating the Canada Elections Act to prohibit third parties from accepting foreign funding for domestic political activity.
Canadians can only donate $1,550 to political parties and candidates. Union and corporate donations have been banned completely, and yet in the Senate hearing, Commissioner Cote said that as long as foreign money is donated to a third party six months prior to the election writ being dropped, the amount that can be donated is endless.
Frum made the following observation during the April 13 senate hearing: ''I could take a cheque for $10 million from Saudi Arabia, from Iran, from China '-- I could take any amount of money from a foreign contributor so long as I, a Canadian citizen, am receiving it?''
Cote said as long as funds are received six months before an election ''the third party is free to use that money.''
''Most Canadians would be very alarmed by this,'' added Frum. ''This happened in the 2015 election.''
Former Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver lost his seat by 3,490 votes. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story.
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Reporters Fall for Fake Document of Trump Making Absurd Demands in Israel
Tue, 23 May 2017 16:12
AP
BY: Alex Griswold
May 22, 2017 11:33 am
Reporters on Monday fell for a fake "White House" document that supposedly showed President Donald Trump making unusual demands of his Israeli hosts during his trip abroad.
The Twitter account Rogue White House Senior Advisor on Friday shared what it claimed was Trump's demands ahead of a trip to Israel, including roughly a metric ton of sugary and non-kosher junk food.
While the account's motive remains unclear, its shtick is to share shocking and outlandish "insider" stories about Trump while providing no evidence. The account has never provided verification that it is actually run by a White House staffer.
Some elements of the purported demands were obvious jokes. The demand that microwaves remain unplugged was a mocking reference to White House advisor Kellyanne Conway's bizarre comment that the appliance could be used for spying, and the request for electoral maps to be posted on each walls mocked Trump's tendency to allude to his victory.
Nonetheless, Jerusalem Post journalist Anna Ahronheim saw the image and believed it was legitimate.
Other reporters at the Jerusalem Post, Business Insider, the Nation, NBC News, the Washington Post, and Mother Jones soon shared Ahronheim's tweet.
One of the reporters to retweet Ahronheim was Glenn Kessler, editor of the Washington Post's Fact-Checker blog. Kessler deleted his retweet when the error was pointed out and began correcting the record.
Eventually, Ahronheim tweeted out a correction.
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Reckless social media law threatens freedom of expression in Germany - EDRi
Wed, 24 May 2017 11:18
By Kirsten Fiedler
At the end of March 2017, with Federal elections on the horizon, the German Justice Minister Heiko Maas proposed a law on ill-defined ''social networks''.
Minister Maas has proposed the law which places a variety of obligations on the companies, in the apparent hope that this will lead profit-motivated companies to take over private censorship measures. Following years of deletions of perfectly legal content by, for example, Facebook, Minister Maas seems to believe that this will lead to outcomes that are appropriate in a democratic society based on the rule of law.
In short, the law, in the absence of any real evidence to suggest that this is the case, appears to be based on a vague hope that a number of coincidences will happen, as a result of the law being adopted. In particular:
the hoped-for responses that the private (often foreign) companies will not be counter-productive (by allowing extremists gain support by portraying themselves as victims of censorship, for example);the hoped-for responses of the private companies will not lead to unpredictable restrictions of freedom of expression, contrary to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 52.1), the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 10.2), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 19), etc;the hoped-for responses of the private companies will achieve the above results in a durable way, despite the ever-changing nature of online communications;the companies will make appropriate choices with regard to the data protection rights of individuals whose content they delete and whose personal data they share with complainants;that, by extraordinary coincidence, it is (as required by international law) necessary and proportionate to address 24 very diverse offences (civil and criminal) in the proposed measures, in the hope that the impact will be identical.The law would require social networks to offer users ''an easily recognisable, immediately accessible and always available process for registering complaints about illegal content''. Platforms could be heavily fined if they fail to remove notified content from their sites within 24 hours '' or up to seven days for less clear-cut cases. Obviously, the companies will use their terms of service to delete content and avoid risk. Minister Maas appears to hope that they will do so in the easiest way (by deleting legal content) and will assess each of the complaints on its merits.
The draft network enforcement law (''Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz''), initially claimed to be a measure to fight hate speech and ''fake news'', is now broadened to include pornographic content and many other offences. What is worse, the new draft law also contains a clause requiring social networks to retain and make individuals' personal data available. There is, of course, no obligation on the German state to take any action whatsoever or use that data, even in cases of dangerous criminal activity, despite Minister Maas' assertions that the problem(s) being addressed are so serious that the law needs to be rushed through before the elections, generating positive headlines for himself.
A provision on upload filters for the prevention of the re-uploading of notified content has been removed from the initial draft, probably because this is contrary to existing EU law (E-Commerce Directive, Article 15). However, the proposal still contains the possibility to establish content filters to identify and delete already existing content.
EDRi-member Digitale Gesellschaft harshly criticised the fact that the draft law turns social networks into an unpredictable, profit-motivated police force of the internet and privatises law enforcement. The expansion of the criminal catalogue and the inclusion of the possibility to request personal data of private individuals further intensifies the damage to freedom of expression. Moreover, the organisation warned against the introduction of ''real-name policies'' (or more active enforcement of such policies) through the legislative backdoor.
In Germany, every request to disclose the identity of a user requires two legal bases '' one granting the right to information and one authorising the handing over of the information. While the German Telemedia Act (§ 14, TMG) regulates disclosure, the Federal Court deduces the right to information from the principle of good faith in case of violations of personality rights. Critics fear that if the new law introduces a binding clause in the Telemedia Act, the path for information inquiries is open to everybody. German citizens have suffered for years from excessive access to personal data under the transposition of the EU's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), which has been used to coerce individuals that are accused of copyright infringements to either pay or face lengthy and costly court cases.
The proposed new law means that anybody '' under the pretext of violation of personal rights and without the intervention of a judge '' could potentially make inquiries about the identity of internet users. This would lead to a chilling effect and thus to considerable restrictions of the freedom of expression and communication as well as increased threats to whistleblowers. In addition, access to personal data of individuals would make it very easy to abuse the law for other forms of hate crimes. Users could, for example, request access to home addresses. Since no court nor prosecutor has to check whether an infringement on personal rights has been reported, the online service is made responsible for the assessment whether to hand the information over or not.
Another addition to the draft law is a procedure to prohibit the distribution of pornography. The effects on group chats, such as WhatsApp which might also be affected by the law, depending on the scope, will be interesting as partially public exchanges of legal content such as pornography would suddenly become the focus of deletions.
In total, 24 criminal offences have been added to the latest draft, including counterfeiting and fake news for the purpose of treason against the nation, defamation of the state and its symbols, as well as insults to the Federal President.
Finally, the draft was criticised for its bad definition of ''social networks'', which in case of doubt could also include e-mail platforms and other services. The latest draft mentions a user threshold of two million, which is open to interpretation. The question arises whether many other platforms would fall under the new regulation if unregistered users who simply visit a site are taken as a basis for the definition.
It is also unusual in the legislative process that the opinions of organisations have not been sought. Finally, the legislative process is now being fast-tracked, ignoring the public consultation phase, as the Ministry of Justice already hastily notified the EU Commission of the draft without waiting for the passing of the deadline for submissions.
German hate speech law: The scope is broadened before its adoption (only in German, 29.03.2017)
https://netzpolitik.org/2017/hate-speech-gesetz-schon-ausgeweitet-bevor-es-in-kraft-tritt/
Terrorism, Pornography, treacherous counterfeiting: German Ministry of Justice broadens the draft network enforcement law drastically (only in German, 28.03.2017)
https://digitalegesellschaft.de/2017/03/ausweitung-entwurf-netzdg/
Draft network enforcement law (only in German)
http://www.bmjv.de/SharedDocs/Gesetzgebungsverfahren/Dokumente/RegE_NetzDG.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2
Parliamentary question on how the German state deals with hate speech (only in German, 14.10.2016) http://andrej-hunko.de/start/download/doc_download/863-schriftliche-frage-zur-groessenordnung-der-100-000-von-facebook-geloeschten-internetinhalte
(Translation is part of a blogpost, available at https://edri.org/edri-awards-2016/)
(Contribution by Kirsten Fiedler and Joe McNamee, EDRi)
Europese ministers willen filter op Facebook en YouTube, Nederland tegen | NOS
Wed, 24 May 2017 11:12
Facebook, YouTube en Twitter moeten ongewenste content gaan filteren. Dat vindt de Europese Raad van Ministers. Het is een controversieel onderwerp waar gisteren uren over is gesproken, Nederland is tegen.
De overeenkomst zoals die nu op tafel ligt, houdt in dat sociale media als Facebook, Twitter en YouTube verplicht worden om op hun site video's te blokkeren waarin wordt aangezet tot haat, geweld wordt aangemoedigd. Voor kinderen zou content met pornografie geblokkeerd moeten worden. Hoe dat precies in zijn werk moet gaan, is onduidelijk.
Hiermee zouden de online diensten in wetgeving gelijkgesteld worden aan tv-zenders. Staatssecretaris Dekker vindt dat het te ver gaat, zegt hij tegen het ANP.
Hele internet"Het is goed om minder onderscheid te maken tussen traditionele kanalen en wat er op internet gebeurt, maar nu dreigt zo ongeveer het hele internet eronder te vallen." Naast Nederland zien het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Denemarken, Zweden, Finland en Luxemburg ook niks in het voorstel. Landen onder aanvoering van Duitsland en Frankrijk waren wel voor.
Het voorstel wordt nu voorgelegd aan het Europees Parlement. Ook daar lijkt een meerderheid voor te zijn. D66-Europarlementarir Marietje Schaake is tegen. "Dit stelt online platforms gelijk aan tv-zenders. Dat is niet te doen." Schaake wijst erop dat de platforms voor een heel groot deel bestaan uit video's van gebruikers en dat dat een andere strategie vereist.
De Europarlementarir vreest daarnaast dat met dit voorstel er te veel verantwoordelijkheid komt te liggen bij de grote techbedrijven. "Die gaan dan beslissen wat goed en fout is zonder daar transparant over te zijn."
30 procent-normDe maatregel zou er ook toe leiden dat tv-zenders en videodiensten zoals Netflix minstens 30 procent Europese producties moeten aanbieden. Ook dat vindt Dekker geen goed idee. "Kijkers bepalen zelf wat ze goed vinden." Daarnaast waarschuwt de staatssecretaris er in het FD voor dat Netflix-gebruikers mogelijk met hogere kosten worden opgezadeld.
Het Europees Parlement gaat samen met de lidstaten en de Commissie naar het voorstel kijken. Dat betekent dat er nog dingen veranderd kunnen worden.
EU action needed: German NetzDG draft threatens freedom of expression - EDRi
Wed, 24 May 2017 11:17
By Maryant Fernndez P(C)rez
On 22 May 2017 six civil society and industry associations sent an open letter to eight EU Commissioners asking to take action against the German bill on ''Enforcement on Social Networks'', the ''NetzDG''.
This bill asks social media companies to take down content, including perfectly legal material, that social media companies like Facebook can arbitrarily label as ''hate speech'', ''fake news'', ''pornographic content'', among other categories. In addition, the draft law de facto imposes filtering of content, despite the fact that such technology cannot understand context and will, therefore, inevitably lead to still more legal content being deleted. The basic aim of the bill is, of course, well-intentioned. However, the way this bill is drafted appoints social media companies as arbiters of legality and ''the truth''. Furthermore, this bill breaches EU law, which establishes that all restrictions to fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, must be provided for by law, necessary and proportionate (Article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union). In addition, EU law also prohibits imposing general monitoring obligations on companies. If adopted, this unprecedented law would serve as a bad example for other states, including countries with serious democratic deficits.
In its role as the ''Guardian of the Treaties'', the European Commission has the duty to ensure the draft law is compatible with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The letter explains that this ''would translate into at least responding to Germany with a detailed opinion expressing incompatibility with EU law under the ongoing notification process''. EU Commissioners took a ''solemn oath'' not to be influenced (''either to seek nor to take instructions from any Government or from any other institution'') by Member States in exercising their duties.
This letter adds to previous criticism expressed by EDRi and leading experts, such as Professor Wolfgang Schulz. The letter is still open for signatories in the coming days. You can read the letter below or here (PDF).
Dear President Juncker,
dear First Vice-President Timmermans,
dear High Representative Mogherini,
dear Vice-President Ansip,
dear Vice-President Katainen,
dear Commissioner BieÅkowska,
dear Commissioner Jourov,
dear Commissioner Oettinger,
The signatories to this letter represent civil and human rights organisations as well as industry bodies representing the Internet technology sector. We are writing to call on the Commission to ensure compliance of Germany's draft Network Enforcement Law (as notified on 27 March 2017) with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
While no one would object to the aim of curbing illegal hate speech and other unlawful content online, the draft law would unquestionably undermine freedom of expression and information. In practice, a distinction between content that is 'manifestly' unlawful and not manifestly unlawful is only very difficult to make. The legality of individual statements must always be assessed in its specific context. This, coupled with very tight time limits (24 hours or 7 days) for takedowns and draconian sanctions, will strongly incentivise online companies to simply take reported content down, thereby chilling freedom of speech online.
Beyond that, the draft law also requires social networks to immediately remove or block any copies of the unlawful content that are located on the platform. This obligation would, in practice, necessitate content filters searching the whole platform to automatically take down content in a fully undifferentiated manner. Automatically identified content, which is used in a totally different context, e.g. a parody, would be taken down because filters are 'blind' to contextual circumstances. We would like to stress that these kind of content filters would be unprecedented in a free democracy '-- so far only a handful of countries with serious democratic deficits require similar systems.
With respect to the above, we also see grave conflicts with established EU law. In various cases the European Courts stressed that measures put in place to protect a public interest, including the protection of a fundamental right, must strike an appropriate balance with other fundamental rights. We do not see how a proposal that profoundly undermines freedom of expression would pass that test.
Furthermore, the law's content filtering requirement runs counter to EU law that protects fundamental rights by prohibiting general monitoring obligations.
In addition, the draft law will also have negative economic implications for the EU. The German draft law is a national measure which will lead to far greater regulatory fragmentation and runs against the Commission's policy agenda as well as the spirit of a Digital Single Market. That is particularly obvious with respect to the obligation to store removed content within the Federal Republic.
On the basis of our concerns, we call on the Commission to live up to its role of guardian of the Treaties and make sure national rules are compliant with EU law and case law. In concrete terms, this would translate into at least responding to Germany with a detailed opinion expressing incompatibility with EU law under the ongoing notification process.
We would like to thank you for your time and attention.
With kind regards,
James Waterworth, Vice-President, CCIA Europe
Siada El Ramly, Director General, EDiMA
Joe McNamee, Executive Director, EDRi
Fanny Hidv(C)gi, European Policy Manager, Access Now
TJ McYntyre, Chair, Digital Rights Ireland
Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, Director, Center for Democracy and Technology
EDRi - Defending rights and freedoms online
Wed, 24 May 2017 11:16
This bill asks social media companies to take down content, including perfectly legal material, that social media companies like Facebook can arbitrarily label as ''hate speech'', ''fake news'', ''pornographic content'', among other categories. In addition, the draft law de facto imposes filtering of content, despite the fact that such technology cannot understand context and will, therefore, inevitably lead to still more legal content being deleted. The basic aim of the bill is, of course, well-intentioned. However, the way this bill is drafted appoints social media companies as arbiters of legality and ''the truth''. Furthermore, this bill breaches EU law, which establishes that all restrictions to fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, must be provided for by law, necessary and proportionate (Article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union). In addition, EU law also prohibits imposing general monitoring obligations on companies. If adopted, this unprecedented law would serve as a bad example for other states, including countries with serious democratic deficits.
In its role as the ''Guardian of the Treaties'', the European Commission has the duty to ensure the draft law is compatible with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The letter explains that this ''would translate into at least responding to Germany with a detailed opinion expressing incompatibility with EU law under the ongoing notification process''. EU Commissioners took a ''solemn oath'' not to be influenced (''either to seek nor to take instructions from any Government or from any other institution'') by Member States in exercising their duties.
This letter adds to previous criticism expressed by EDRi and leading experts, such as Professor Wolfgang Schulz. The letter is still open for signatories in the coming days. You can read the letter below or here (PDF).
Dear President Juncker,
dear First Vice-President Timmermans,
dear High Representative Mogherini,
dear Vice-President Ansip,
dear Vice-President Katainen,
dear Commissioner BieÅkowska,
dear Commissioner Jourov,
dear Commissioner Oettinger,
The signatories to this letter represent civil and human rights organisations as well as industry bodies representing the Internet technology sector. We are writing to call on the Commission to ensure compliance of Germany's draft Network Enforcement Law (as notified on 27 March 2017) with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
While no one would object to the aim of curbing illegal hate speech and other unlawful content online, the draft law would unquestionably undermine freedom of expression and information. In practice, a distinction between content that is 'manifestly' unlawful and not manifestly unlawful is only very difficult to make. The legality of individual statements must always be assessed in its specific context. This, coupled with very tight time limits (24 hours or 7 days) for takedowns and draconian sanctions, will strongly incentivise online companies to simply take reported content down, thereby chilling freedom of speech online.
Beyond that, the draft law also requires social networks to immediately remove or block any copies of the unlawful content that are located on the platform. This obligation would, in practice, necessitate content filters searching the whole platform to automatically take down content in a fully undifferentiated manner. Automatically identified content, which is used in a totally different context, e.g. a parody, would be taken down because filters are 'blind' to contextual circumstances. We would like to stress that these kind of content filters would be unprecedented in a free democracy '-- so far only a handful of countries with serious democratic deficits require similar systems.
With respect to the above, we also see grave conflicts with established EU law. In various cases the European Courts stressed that measures put in place to protect a public interest, including the protection of a fundamental right, must strike an appropriate balance with other fundamental rights. We do not see how a proposal that profoundly undermines freedom of expression would pass that test.
Furthermore, the law's content filtering requirement runs counter to EU law that protects fundamental rights by prohibiting general monitoring obligations.
In addition, the draft law will also have negative economic implications for the EU. The German draft law is a national measure which will lead to far greater regulatory fragmentation and runs against the Commission's policy agenda as well as the spirit of a Digital Single Market. That is particularly obvious with respect to the obligation to store removed content within the Federal Republic.
On the basis of our concerns, we call on the Commission to live up to its role of guardian of the Treaties and make sure national rules are compliant with EU law and case law. In concrete terms, this would translate into at least responding to Germany with a detailed opinion expressing incompatibility with EU law under the ongoing notification process.
We would like to thank you for your time and attention.
With kind regards,
James Waterworth, Vice-President, CCIA Europe
Siada El Ramly, Director General, EDiMA
Joe McNamee, Executive Director, EDRi
Fanny Hidv(C)gi, European Policy Manager, Access Now
TJ McYntyre, Chair, Digital Rights Ireland
Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, Director, Center for Democracy and Technology
close
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Comey
The Inside Story on How Trump Dropped the Hammer on James Comey | US Defense Watch
Tue, 23 May 2017 16:13
Millennium Report
Don't believe the fake-media story that Trump made a mistake or huge gaffe by firing Comey.
Don't believe the media narrative from the left that it was an attempt to silence Comey from some investigation into Trump.
Don't believe the RINO narrative that Comey is a good guy just trying to do his job in terrible circumstances and the timing was bad.
Don't believe the lie that Comey was admired and respected by career FBI investigators and agents.
Don't believe the lie that Trump's ''tweets'' are not professional and have no strategic purpose. His tweets are weaponized and deadly.
James Comey is a poisonous snake of the highest order'... a deep-water Swamp Denizen who has been highly paid to deliberately provide cover for high-level corruption by the Clintons and Obama. He is has been central to trying to destroy the Trump campaign and then the Trump administration from the start. He is as dirty as they come in DC. He had highest-level cover (the FBI no less) and was deep into an effort to eliminate Trump. Trump had to move hard, fast, and at exactly the right time to cut the head off the snake without getting bitten by the snake or being finished by the other swamp denizens.
Begin by noticing how the President fired Comey when Comey was 3,000 miles away from his office, that Comey had no inkling he was being cut, that all his files, computers, and everything in his office were seized by his boss Sessions and the justice department. This was not a violation of protocol, it was tactical. Notice how Prez Trump compartmentalized the strike and did not inform any of his White House ''staff'' to prevent leaks. Notice how he emasculated Comey and the swamp denizens by letting them know in a tweet that the Attorney General got information (surveillance ''tapes'' from the seizure of Comey's office) to let Comey and his handlers know that Trump's DOJ has the goods on them. This was a brilliant, strategic and totally imperative move at exactly the right time against horrible, evil and corrupt powers infesting our government.
The swamp is on notice that the President is on to them, they are sweating bullets because their criminal games of corruption are being pursued and they know it. They are screaming and ranting because they are desperate denizens of the swamp who are beginning to realize they are roadkill.
THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE COMEY SCAM. Taken from credible public sources (readily available if you want to look or want me to send them to you), with a few reasonable ''fill in the blank'' conclusions of my own.
The Highlights:
Comey was a minor assistant US attorney in the late 90's. He only gained power and money by being the DOJ official who ''investigated'' and cleared Bill Clinton of any wrong-doing in Clinton's totally corrupt pardon (for huge payoffs) of criminal financier Marc Rich as Clinton was leaving the Presidency. This is how Comey began his career as a creature of the ''swamp'' years ago, as a servant of the Clintons.
Comey provided ''cover'' for the Clintons in their gaining incredible power and wealth after leaving office through pardoning a billionaire money-launderer, arms dealer and criminal. Comey was a key piece in how the Clintons upped their corruption game and gained incredible wealth through their foundation after leaving the White House. A huge part of the scheme was giving Marc Rich a free pass when he should have spent life in prison, and that is what Comey covered-up for the Clintons. This set up Comey to be part of the corruption machine, making him powerful and wealthy.
Immediately after doing the Clinton's dirty work as a DOJ official, Comey resigned from the DOJ and took a position as the head attorney (Counsel) of the Lockheed Martin company, a huge military contractor. While he was in that position Lockheed became a major contributor (millions) to the Clinton Foundation and its fake charity spin-offs. In return for these payment to Clinton Inc., Lockheed received huge contracts with Hillary's state department. Comey was the chief legal officer of Lockheed throughout this period of contributions to Clinton Inc. in return for State Dept. contracts.
In late 2012, after overseeing Lockheed's successful relationship with the Hillary State Department and the resulting profits, Comey stepped down from Lockheed and received a $6 million dollar payout for his services.
In 2013, the largest bank of England, HSBC Holdings, was deep into a scandal. Investigations by federal authorities and law-enforcement had revealed that for years HSBC had been laundering billions of dollars for Mexican Drug Cartels, channeling money for Saudi banks who were financing terror, moving money for Iran in violation of the sanctions, and other major criminal activity. HSBC's criminality was pervasive and deliberate by the Bank and its officials. HSBC was a huge Clinton Foundation contributor (many millions) throughout the ''investigation'' and Bill Clinton was being paid large personal fees for speaking at HSBC events (while Hillary was Sec of State). Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department did what they were paid to do, and let HSBC off of the hook for a paltry 1.2 Billion dollar fine (paid by its stockholders), and not one Director, officer or management member at HSBC was fired or charged with any criminal. Exactly when everyone involved with HSBC Bank (including the Clintons and all of their ''donors'') were being let off without penalty, and cover had to be provided to HSBC, Comey was appointed as a Director and Member of the Board of HSBC (in the middle of the fallout from the scandal). He was part of the effort to cover up the scandal and make HSBC ''respectable'' again.
After about a year as HSBC director, despite his lack of any law enforcement experience, no DOJ leadership experience, and no qualifications for the job, Comey was appointed FBI director by Obama. The only qualification Comey had was that the Clintons and their cronies knew Comey was in bed with them, was compromised and was willing to do their dirty work. Comey was appointed to the FBI right when Hillary was leaving the State Department, and was vulnerable to the FBI because she had been using a private-server, mis-handling classified information, selling access to favors/contracts from the State Department to Clinton Foundation Donors (including Comey's Lockheed Martin), and much more. Remember that this was about the time the Inspector General of the State Department found over 2 billion ''missing'' from the State Department finances during Hillary's tenure.
The obvious conclusion is that Comey was appointed to the FBI (along with other reliable Clinton-Obama cronies) to run interference for the Clintons and Obama's at the nation's federal law enforcement agency(in conjunction with a corrupt Department of Justice). Comey was and is owned by the Clintons. He owed all of his power and wealth to being part of their machine and providing them with cover.
In late 2015 and early 2016, information began to come out about the Clinton Foundation and its use by the Clintons as a multi-billion dollar slush fund for corruption and political favors. (even Chelsea's wedding had been paid for by the ''charity) This was right as Hillary was beginning her campaign for President. It was revealed that the Foundation had never completed required reports or had an audit. Supposedly the FBI, under Comey, began an ''investigation'' of the Clinton Funds. A ''professional'' accounting firm was brought in by the Clintons to do a review, file some reports, make recommendations to the Clinton Foundation Board, and provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Clinton Fund operations. Predictably, one of the partners in the firm that was chosen (and paid lots of money) is the brother of James Comey (FBI Director). This brother owes James Comey $700,000 for a loan James gave him to buy a house, and presumably some of the money from the Clinton Fund was used to make payments to James on the loan. Over 2 years later and nothing has happened as a result of the FBI ''investigating'' the Clinton Funds under Comey.
No one in congress or federal law enforcement was intending to actually pursue the Clintons, but Judicial Watch and other independent sources obtained information proving that Hillary had been running her own server, sending out classified information, etc. This information began to come out right in the middle of her campaign to be coronated as President. A ''show'' investigation had to be performed to appear to look into it and clear her. Who to use?'...the reliable shill James Comey.
As head of the FBI, Comey (and his lackeys in key positions) deliberately screwed up the investigation into Hillary's use of a private server and her plain violation of national security law on classified information. The investigation was deliberately mis-handled in every aspect. Comey gave immunity to all of Hillary's lackeys, did not use subpoenas or warrants, lost evidence, allowed the destruction of evidence, failed to do any searches or seizures of evidence, did not use a grand-jury, did not swear witnesses, did not record testimony, allowed attorneys to represent multiple suspects (corrupting the testimony). Everything that could be done to ruin the FBI investigation and to cover for Hillary was done. A ''slam-dunk'' case became a mess. Immunity was given every witness even though they provided no help. Maybe more importantly, by focusing the FBI on the email scandal, attention was drawn away from the much bigger scandal of the Clinton Foundation that could bring down a huge number of corrupt politicians, lobbyists, and even governments.
Originally, Comey's job was simply to totally botch the Hillary investigation and ruin the case against her and her minions within the FBI regarding he emails. At the same time Comey also started work on a parallel assignment to illegally ''wiretap'' and surveil Donald Trump and every other person involved in the Republican campaign. He was tasked with digging up any dirt or fact that could be used to hurt the Trump campaign later. This included using a fake ''dossier'' paid for by the Clinton campaign to obtain authorization for the surveillance and to try to associate Trump's campaign with the Russians. Under Comey's direction the Trump/republican campaign was monitored and surveilled and all information was provided to the Obama White House and the Clinton camp all during the campaign.
Lorretta Lynch was supposed to complete the coverup for Hillary as Attorney General by issuing a finding that the deliberately botched FBI ''investigation'' did not justify prosecution of Hillary. But someone screwed up and Bill Clinton was video'd meeting with Loretta Lynch in Arizona shortly before she was supposed to make her decision on Hillary (interference with a federal investigation), and Lynch could no longer credibly squash the Hillary scandal. The solution, give the job to James. The Clintons owned him and he would have to do whatever is necessary to provide cover.
Comey goes on national TV and violates every rule of the FBI, the Justice Department and American law enforcement by revealing some of the FBI's ''evidence'' of what Hillary did (enough to make it look like the FBI and Comey did some investigation), then declaring that there was no ''intent'' and clearing Hillary. He did what he was ordered to do. The Justice Department and Obama backed Comey's coverup and it looked like Hillary had survived the scandal.
Then, right before the election, the NYPD obtained pervert Anthony Wiener's laptop and found classified emails from Hillary on the laptop. The NYPD began leaking details to new-media outlets, and the story was about to explode. Comey once again stepped in to cover Hillary. He short-circuited the NYPD leaks by publicly acknowledging the laptop and the emails, but then claimed just days later that hundreds of thousands of emails had all been reviewed and ''nothing new'' was on the laptop. Once again, he had done his job. Providing cover and FBI ''protection'' for Hillary on the newest scandal when it broke.
If Hillary had won, Comey would have kept right on providing cover for the corruption of the Clinton machine. He would have kept the FBI paralyzed, prevented the Clinton Fund from being investigated, and continued to do his job as the Clinton's personal scandal eraser at the FBI.
BUT TRUMP WON.
The Swamp and its bottom-dwelling denizens realize they are at risk from this political outsider who is not connected to the uni-party machines. Before Trump takes office, a ''failsafe'' plan is implemented to ruin Trump's administration and try to force him out of the Presidency. The key players committed to the plan are the democrat politicians, the RINO establishment, the media, the Obama-Clinton operatives imbedded throughout the intelligence agencies and the entire bureaucracy, and most importantly, the Obama DOJ and JAMES COMEY. The scheme is to smear Trump with Russian ''connections,'' through a fake FBI ''investigation'' and more importantly, to trap him into a charge of criminal interference with the FBI. COMEY IS THE CENTRAL FIGURE IN THE SCHEME TO TAKE DOWN TRUMP.
The surveillance of the Trump campaign is continued after he is elected, all participants are ''unmasked'' illegally, and the transcripts are leaked throughout the government and to the media. When General Flynn appropriately calls Russian officials on behalf of Trump, they brush off the old fake ''dossier'' and all of the surveillance of the campaign, and Comey creates the ''Russian Conspiracy'' investigation. With help by RINO swamp kingpin and warmonger sell-out McCain, the fake ''Russian pee dossier'' is leaked to the press. There is no actual evidence of any collusion or connection between Trump or his campaign with Russia, but that does not prevent Comey from initiating an ''investigation'' at the FBI. This provides Comey with protection from Trump firing him immediately. Comey (or his minions) constantly leak news of the ''Russia Investigation'' to the media, and the media does its scripted part by screaming constantly about ''Russia.'' The Democrats fill their role and constantly scream about ''Russia.'' McCain and the RINO establishment do their part by promising to ''investigate'' how the Russians influenced the campaign.
Immediately after Trump is sworn in, the DOJ Hillary/Obama operatives and Comey start the direct attack. This is before Sessions has been appointed to the Department of Justice and the DOJ is still controlled by Obama operatives. DOJ Obama appointee Sally Yates approaches the White House with news that General Flynn had been in contact with Russia and alleges that he might be compromised. She reveals that there is an FBI ''investigation'' into the Russia ties (which they are constantly leaking to the media themselves). The White House Counsel (who Yates talks to, not Trump) asks for some more information.
The day before the promised additional information is to be provided by Yates to the White House, Comey sets up a dinner with Trump. If he can get Trump to ask about Flynn or try to intervene regarding Flynn or Russia then Trump can be charged with ''interfering with an FBI investigation.'' MY OPINION IS THAT COMEY SURVEILLED AND ''TAPED'' THIS MEETING IN HIS ATTEMPT TO SET UP TRUMP.
This is a two-pronged attack. It protects Comey and DOJ democrat holdovers from being terminated by the new administration because they are involved in an ''ongoing investigation'' that they control the timetable on(albeit one with absolutely no evidence). If Trump fires Comey then he is ''interfering with the investigation'' which is itself a federal crime that the FBI could then ''investigate.'' Alternatively, if they can get Trump to question Comey about Flynn or try to get him to back off of Flynn or the ''Russia'' investigation, then they again have him ''interfering.''
Trump knows it is a set up by Comey and that he is probably being recorded (tips from FBI or DOJ who are not part of the corruption?) Maybe because his phone calls in the White House as President have already been bugged and released to the media. (FBI is in the best position to do this) Maybe because he was used to the Mafia in NY trying to shake him down every time he built a hotel. Comey tells Trump that Trump is not under investigation regarding Russia, but that others involved with the campaign are being investigated. Trump does not take the bait and attempt to intervene about Flynn or the Russia scam. Later, Flynn is cut loose because he is being used by Comey and the Obama-holdover Justice to try to damage Trump. He did nothing wrong, but if he stayed the charge of ''interfering with an investigation'' might seem to have teeth. Comey verbally tells Trump on two more occasions that he is not being investigated, but refuses to state this fact publicly or when testifying in Congress.
Trump knows everything I have gone through above about Comey. But he has to move carefully. He has to get his Attorney General and Deputy AG in place, get enough leverage on the Russia narrative, and ideally get rid of Comey in a way that allows him to obtain all the information that Comey has been accumulating (if he is taping Trump he is taping others). Comey, and others testify in Congress. Under oath, both Sally Yates and Intelligence officials from the Obama administration state that there has been no actual evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. More importantly, Comey, while refusing to say that Trump is not under investigation, testifies that he has informed the Senate Intelligence Committee heads who exactly is under investigation regarding Russia.
Trump tells almost no one at the White House that he is moving against Comey (so no leaks'... no listening in on his conversations) Trump somehow contacts Sen. Grassley (the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee) and confirms that Comey told the Senator that Trump was not under investigation personally. Trump gets both the Attorney General and the new Deputy Attorney General to legitimately review Comey's unprofessional actions at the FBI and to recommend in writing that Trump terminate Comey. Somehow Comey goes to California (at the request of AG Sessions or already scheduled and someone at FBI telling Trump?).
Trump seizes the moment and acts. While Comey is in California, 3000 miles away and 7 hours from his office, Trump prepares a letter firing him (with Sessions and the Deputy AG recommendations attached). In the letter Trump states that he had been told 3 times by Comey that he (Trump) was not under investigation. The letter is hand-delivered to the FBI headquarters by DOJ officials to lock-down and seize everything in Comey's office, including all surveillance files (''tapes'') of Trump and others. All of Comey's files, docs, computers and ''tapes'' are taken to Sessions at DOJ. They are not taken to the White House or Trump, but to Sessions, who has every right to have them. Sessions can tell Trump that Comey had surveillance tapes of Trump that contradict what Comey has been telling Trump, and perhaps tapes of conversations with other swamp ''conspirators.'' But Trump does not have them personally or at the White House.
Comey learns he has been fired when the media broadcasts it in California. He had no idea it was coming and he is ticked. On cue, the Democrat politicians and media begin screaming about Trump's ''interference with the Russia investigation'' in accordance with the plan to set up Trump for that charge. The Swamp wants to blow up the Russia narrative using Comey, and Comey is set to testify before Congress to try to hurt Trump by saying he was interfering with the FBI investigation. Comey intends to follow through with the plan to take down Trump.
But because of his brilliant timing on this, Trump has Comey's files, documents and information safely with Sessions at DOJ. Trump sends out a ''crazy'' tweet that says: ''James Comey better hope that there are no ''tapes'' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.''
The media and the politicians go crazy about the ''inappropriateness'' of this tweet. They accuse Trump of ''taping'' everyone at the White House (forgetting that the Presidents phone calls with foreign leaders have been ''taped'' without his knowledge.)
Notice that Trump did not say he taped anyone, or that he has any tapes at the White House. It seem apparent that Trump is telling Comey that the DOJ (who has every legal right to possess it) has the surveillance information and files from Comey's office, the ''tapes'' obtained and kept by Comey. Comey and all the Swamp Creatures understand the clear message'... their plan has failed and Trump's DOJ is now holding all the cards.
The whole Russia interference scheme crashes and burns. While the mouthpiece media, Hollywood and the insane fringe continue to scream about Russia and Comey being fired, the politicians who will soon be in the crosshairs of a legitimate (and ticked) FBI and DOJ are starting to fall strangely silent. Comey realizes all the leverage is with Trump and that he will be lucky if he is not added to the Clinton Death List because of his knowledge (better not take any baths near an electrical outlet or get on any airplanes).
Comey tells Congress he will not testify and writes a public letter to the FBI accepting his firing and telling them he does not want to discuss why or how he was terminated. Senator Grassley and Senator Feinstein (she must be covering her butt in fear '...) issue public statements confirming that Comey told them that the ''Russia Investigation'' does not involve President Trump personally.
AG Sessions and his Deputy AG use the Comey trove of information to determine who has been part of the Comey Syndicate at the FBI. They will be appointing an ''interim'' Director of the FBI shortly who has not been compromised by Comey, Clinton or Obama. That ''interim'' Director does not have to be approved by Congress or anyone, and can immediately begin cleaning house at the FBI of all Comey/Clinton/Obama minions, initiating investigations of the Clintons, Clinton Fund, violations of intelligence confidentiality laws by Susan Rice and Obama, human trafficking in DC, political corruption'... draining the Swamp. Using the Comey files they can be fairly certain they are not getting another Comey as an ''interim'', and they do not have to wait for the circus of appointing a new permanent ''Director'' through Congressional approval. Most of the heavy lifting on rooting out FBI corruption and starting investigations into the swamp will be done by the ''interim'' before a new director is appointed. I suspect the Trump administration hopes the approval FBI Director process will be slow and tedious, so there is no political interference with the housecleaning that is starting.
In one masterstroke, Trump has eliminated a truly toxic and dangerous enemy to his administration and our country, dealt a horrendous blow to the Clinton/Obama and deep state machines, begun the restoration of the integrity of the FBI and the DOJ, and gained incredible ammunition to begin hunting the foul creatures in the swamp.
'-- Lisa Frank
Happy Hunting President Trump'... and God Bless!
Contempt of Congress - Wikipedia
Tue, 23 May 2017 22:23
Contempt of Congress is the act of obstructing the work of the United States Congress or one of its committees. Historically, the bribery of a senator or representative was considered contempt of Congress. In modern times, contempt of Congress has generally applied to the refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by a Congressional committee or subcommittee'--usually seeking to compel either testimony or the production of requested documents.
Contents
In the late 1790s, declaring contempt of Congress was considered an "implied power" of the legislature. Early Congresses issued contempt citations against numerous individuals for a variety of actions. Some early instances of contempt of Congress included citations against:
In Anderson v. Dunn (1821),[1] the Supreme Court of the United States held that Congress' power to hold someone in contempt was essential to ensure that Congress was "... not exposed to every indignity and interruption that rudeness, caprice, or even conspiracy, may mediate against it."[2] The historical interpretation that bribery of a senator or representative was considered contempt of Congress has long since been abandoned in favor of criminal statutes. In 1857, Congress enacted a law which made "contempt of Congress" a criminal offense against the United States.[3]
The last time Congress arrested and detained a witness was in 1935.[4] Since then, it has instead referred cases to the United States Department of Justice.[5] The Office of Legal Counsel has asserted that the President of the United States is protected from contempt by executive privilege.[6][7]
Congressional rules empower all its standing committees with the authority to compel witnesses to produce testimony and documents for subjects under its jurisdiction. Committee rules may provide for the full Committee to issue a subpoena, or permit subcommittees or the Chairman (acting alone or with the ranking member) to issue subpoenas.
As announced in Wilkinson v. United States,[8] the Congressional committee must meet three requirements for its subpoenas to be "legally sufficient." First, the committee investigation of the broad subject area must be authorized by its Chamber; second, the investigation must pursue "a valid legislative purpose" but does not need to involve legislation and does not need to specify the ultimate intent of Congress; and third, the specific inquiries must be pertinent to the subject matter area that has been authorized for investigation.
The Court held in Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund[9] that Congressional subpoenas are within the scope of the Speech and Debate clause which provides "an absolute bar to judicial interference" once it is determined that Members are acting within the "legitimate legislative sphere" with such compulsory process. Under that ruling, Courts generally do not hear motions to quash Congressional subpoenas; even when executive branch officials refuse to comply, the Courts tend to rule that such matters are "political questions" unsuitable for judicial remedy. In fact, many legal rights usually associated with a judicial subpoena do not apply to a Congressional subpoena. For example, attorney-client privilege and information that is normally protected under the Trade Secrets Act do not need to be recognized. [10]
Following the refusal of a witness to produce documents or to testify, the Committee is entitled to report a resolution of contempt to its parent chamber. A Committee may also cite a person for contempt but not immediately report the resolution to the floor. In the case of subcommittees, they report the resolution of contempt to the full Committee, which then has the option of rejecting it, accepting it but not reporting it to the floor, or accepting it and reporting it to the floor of the chamber for action. On the floor of the House or the Senate, the reported resolution is considered privileged and, if the resolution of contempt is passed, the chamber has several options to enforce its mandate.
Inherent contempt Edit Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).
Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its "inherent contempt" authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, Jr., a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who was charged with allowing clients to remove or rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.[11]
MacCracken filed a petition of habeas corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken.[12][13]
Presidential pardons appear not to apply to a civil contempt procedure such as the above, since it is not an "offense against the United States" or against "the dignity of public authority."[14]
Statutory proceedings Edit Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia;[15] according to the law it is the "duty" of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action.
The criminal offense of "contempt of Congress" sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.[16]
While the law pronounces the duty of the U.S. Attorney is to impanel a grand jury for its action on the matter, some proponents of the unitary executive theory believe that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President and that compelling the U.S. Attorney amounts to compelling the President himself[citation needed ]. They believe that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch. The legal basis for this belief, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote ''The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.'' This approach to government is commonly known as "departmentalism'' or ''coordinate construction''[citation needed ]
Others believe that, under Article II, the principal duty of the President is to execute the law; that, under Article I, the law is what the lawmaker'--e.g. Congress, in the case of statutory contempt'--says it is and the Executive Branch cannot either define the meaning of the law (such powers of legislation being reserved to Congress) or interpret the law (such powers being reserved to the several Federal Courts); any attempt by the Executive to define or interpret the law would be a violation of the separation of powers; the Executive may only'--and is obligated to'--execute the law consistent with its definition and interpretation; and if the law specifies a duty on one of the President's subordinates, then the President must "take care" to see that the duty specified in the law is executed. To avoid or neglect the performance of this duty would not be faithful execution of the law, and would thus be a violation of the separation of powers, which the Congress and the Courts have several options to remedy.
Civil procedures Edit Senate Rules authorize the Senate to direct the Senate Legal Counsel to file a civil action against any private individual found in contempt. Upon motion by the Senate, the federal district court issues another order for a person to comply with Senate process. If the subject then refuses to comply with the Court's order, the person may be cited for contempt of court and may incur sanctions imposed by the Court. The process has been used at least six times; but the civil procedure can only be used against Executive branch officials "in certain limited circumstances."[citation needed ]
Partial list of those held in contempt since 1975 Edit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(September 2010) PersonSubcommittee/CommitteeChamberUltimate DispositionRogers C.B. Morton (Republican),Secretary of Commerce
November 11, 1975Subcommittee of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce
Not consideredMorton released the material to the subcommittee.Henry Kissinger (Republican),Secretary of State
November 15, 1975House Select Committee on Intelligence
Not consideredCitation dismissed after "substantial compliance" with subpoena.Joseph A. Califano, Jr. (Democrat),Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
August 6, 1978Subcommittee of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce
Not consideredCalifano complied with the subpoena about one month after the subcommittee citation.Charles W. Duncan, Jr. (Democrat),Secretary of Energy
April 29, 1980Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Operations
Not consideredDuncan supplied the material by May 14, 1980.James B. Edwards (Republican),Secretary of Energy
July 23, 1981Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Operations
Not consideredDocuments were delivered to Congress prior to full Committee consideration of the contempt citation.James G. Watt (Republican),Secretary of the Interior
February 9, 1982Subcommittee of House Committee on Energy and Commerce
February 25, 1982
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Not consideredThe White House delivered documents to the Rayburn House Office Building for review by Committee members for four hours, providing for no staff or photocopies.Anne Gorsuch (Republican),Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
December 2, 1982Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation
House Committee on Public Works and Transportation
House of RepresentativesAfter legal cases and a court dismissal of the executive Branch's suit, the parties reached an agreement to provide documents.Rita Lavelle (Republican),EPA official
April 26, 1983House Committee on Energy and Commerce
House of RepresentativesIndicted for lying to Congress; convicted; sentenced to 6 months in prison, 5 years probation thereafter, and a fine of $10,000Jack Quinn (Democrat),White House Counsel
May 9, 1996House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Not consideredSubpoenaed documents were provided hours before the House of Representatives was set to consider the contempt citation.David Watkins,White House Director of Administration
Matthew Moore, White House aide
Janet Reno (Democrat),Attorney General
August 6, 1998House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Not consideredDocuments in question were revealed during the impeachment of President Clinton.Harriet Miers (Republican),Former White House Counsel
July 25, 2007House Committee on the Judiciary[17]
February 14, 2008 House of Representatives[18]On March 4, 2009, Miers and former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush Karl Rove, agreed to testify under oath before Congress about the firings of U.S. attorneysJoshua Bolten (Republican), White House Chief of StaffEric Holder (Democrat), Attorney GeneralJune 20, 2012House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform[19]
June 28, 2012 House of RepresentativesFound in contempt by a vote of 255-67[20][21]Lois Lerner (Democrat)Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division
March 11, 2014House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform[22]
May 7, 2014[23] House of RepresentativesFound in contempt for her role in the 2013 IRS controversy and refusal to testify. The Department of Justice has been directed by the House to appoint special counsel. (See: Finding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress (H.Res. 574; 113th Congress))Bryan Pagliano (Democrat)IT director, Hillary Clinton aide
September 13, 2016House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform[24]
September 22, 2016[25] House of RepresentativesFound in contempt by a vote of 19-15 for failing to appear during the September 13th and September 22nd hearing after being subpoenaed and subsequent refusal to testify.Backpage.com?Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
March 17, 2016[26] SenateFound in contempt for failing to provide documents in an investigation into human trafficking. Upheld by Supreme Court on September 13th.Other legislatures in the U.S. Edit Various U.S. states have made similar actions against their own legislatures violations of state criminal laws. Sometimes, those laws can even be applied to non-sovereign legislative bodies like county legislatures and city councils.
^ "Anderson v. Dunn 19 U.S. 204 (1821)". justia.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "Anderson v. Dunn 19 U.S. 204 (1821)". justia.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ Act of January 24, 1857, Ch. 19, sec. 1, 11 Stat. 155. ^ Wright, Austin (15 May 2017). "Why Flynn could easily beat his Senate subpoena". Politico. Retrieved 17 May 2017 . ^ Congressional Research Service Report RL34097, Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure, Todd Garvey (May 12, 2017). ^ Memorandum for the Attorney General from Theodore Olson, Re: Prosecution for the Contempt of Congress of an Executive Branch Official Who Has Asserted a Claim of Executive Privilege, 8 Op. Off. Legal Counsel 101 (1984) ^ Memorandum for the Attorney General from Charles J. Cooper, Re: Response to Congressional Requests for Information Regarding Decisions Made Under the Independent Counsel Act, 10 Op. Off. Legal Counsel 68 (1986) ^ "Wilkinson v. United States 365 U.S. 399 (1961)". justia.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund 421 U.S. 491 (1975)". justia.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ https://www.mayerbrown.com/files/Publication/ec1203b2-a787-44ac-8344-5d5fab374ffa/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/11509b8b-df81-4db6-9e89-1d1b16c20856/White-Paper-Congressional-Subpoena.pdf ^ "William P. Mac Cracken, Jr. Papers". ecommcode2.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "Jurney v. MacCracken 294 U.S. 125 (1935)". justia.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "This is the Statement of SEN. Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Minority Member, before the Senate Judiciary Committee". senate.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ Askin, Frank (July 21, 2007). "Congress's Power To Compel". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2010 . ^ Eggen, Dan (April 11, 2007). "House Panel Issues First Subpoena Over Firings". The Washington Post. ^ "2 U.S. Code § 192 - Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ Stout, David (July 25, 2007). "Panel Holds Two Bush Aides in Contempt". The New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2007 . ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 60". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. February 14, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2008 . ^ Perez, Evan (June 20, 2012). "House Panel Votes to Hold Holder in Contempt". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 20, 2012 . ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 441". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. June 28, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012 . ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 442". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. June 28, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012 . ^ "Lois Lerner's Involvement in the IRS Targeting of Tax-Exempt Organizations - United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform". house.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress". foxnews.com. May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "Examining Preservation of State Department Records - United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform". house.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "Examining Preservation of State Department Federal Records - United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform". house.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2017 . ^ "Majority Media - Media - Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee". www.hsgac.senate.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2017 .
Contemporaneous | Definition of Contemporaneous by Merriam-Webster
Tue, 23 May 2017 22:21
contemporary, contemporaneous, coeval, synchronous, simultaneous, coincident mean existing or occurring at the same time. contemporary is likely to apply to people and what relates to them. Abraham Lincoln was contemporary with Charles Darwincontemporaneous is more often applied to events than to people. contemporaneous accounts of the kidnappingcoeval refers usually to periods, ages, eras, eons. two stars thought to be coevalsynchronous implies exact correspondence in time and especially in periodic intervals. synchronous timepiecessimultaneous implies correspondence in a moment of time. the two shots were simultaneouscoincident is applied to events and may be used in order to avoid implication of causal relationship. the end of World War II was coincident with a great vintage year
Copacetic
CYBER!
Hackers may have names of thousands of Florida gun owners | WPEC
Tue, 23 May 2017 13:46
Hackers may have names of thousands of Florida gun owners. (MGN)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) '-- Officials say hackers may have obtained the names of more than 16,000 people who have Florida concealed weapon permits.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Monday they had discovered a data breach of the online payment system that processes payments for applications and permits.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has ordered a review of the department's cybersecurity measures. State law enforcement is investigating the breach, which authorities suspect originated from overseas.
The agency stated that no financial information was obtained.
The department also warned that the breach may have revealed the social security numbers of 469 customers. The agency plans on offering free credit protection for one year to these individuals.
The Florida Legislature in 2006 passed a law that made the names of concealed weapon permit holders confidential.
Barack Obama's team secretly disclosed years of illegal NSA searches spying on Americans | Circa News - Learn. Think. Do.
Wed, 24 May 2017 03:22
The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an ''institutional lack of candor'' and that the improper searches constituted a ''very serious Fourth Amendment issue,'' according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.
The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.
SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
Portland Burrito Spot Shutters Amid Claims of Cultural Appropriation - Eater Portland
Wed, 24 May 2017 00:35
Just shortly after WWeekannouncedKooks Burritos '-- a small burrito pop-up with events at the Tight Tacos food cart in Southeast '-- the operation has shuttered and deleted much of its online presence. The closure coincides with public outrage at what some are calling the restaurant's ''appropriation'' of another culture's ''intellectual property.''
Speaking with WWeek, Kooks Burritos owners Kali Wilgus and Liz "LC" Connelly said they developed their menus in part by picking ''the brains of every tortilla lady there [Puerto Nuevo, Mexico] in the worst broken Spanish ever,'' and this description of its research practices as well as other comments within the article spurred editorials and debates across the internet.
The Mic news website bought national attention to Kooks Burritos with its coverage, titled, ''These white cooks bragged about stealing recipes from Mexico to start a Portland business.'' It reads, ''The problem, of course, is that it's unclear whether the Mexican women who handed over their recipes ever got anything in return.''
Today, the Mercreleased its coverage, beginning with the claim, ''Portland has an appropriation problem.'' The article continues:
Week after week people of color in Portland bear witness to the hijacking of their cultures. Several of the most successful businesses in this town have been birthed as a result of curious white people going to a foreign country. Now don't get me wrong: cultural customs are meant to be shared. However, that's not what happens in this city.
And a spreadsheet featuring ''white-owned appropriative restaurants'' in Portland has also emerged. It includes several of the most popular restaurants in the city, with recommendations for nearby alternatives owned by people of color.
In recent years, the topic of cultural appropriation in food has been widely discussed in America, and the latest development shows some Portland restaurateurs and local residents continue to be at odds. The Kooks Burritos coverage by WWeek now has nearly 500 comments, and there are few signs a consensus will be reached.
Ben & Jerry's bans two scoops of same flavor until marriage equality comes to Australia
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:51
Ben & Jerry's | Instagram
Ben and Jerry's is lobbying for marriage equality in Australia
Ben & Jerry's announced today that it was barring customers at is 26 stores in Australia from ordering two scoops of the same flavor.
It's doing so to highlight the lack of marriage equality for LGBTI people in Australia.
'Imagine heading down to your local Scoop Shop to order your favorite two scoops of Cookie Dough in a waffle cone. But you find out you are not allowed '' Ben & Jerry's has banned two scoops of the same flavor. You'd be furious!' said the company in a statement.
'But this doesn't even begin to compare to how furious you would be if you were told you were not allowed to marry the person you love.
'So we are banning two scoops of the same flavor and encouraging our fans to contact their MPs to tell them that the time has come '' make same sex marriage legal! Love comes in all flavours!'
To accompany the initiative, the ice-cream giant is installing post boxes emblazoned with rainbows in each of its Australian stores. It wants customers to write a postcard to their MP urging them to back marriage equality.
'We will make sure that the postcards are delivered before the final parliamentary session on June 13th, before the budget is announced ''We see this as the next opportunity for to achieve marriage equality, so we need to act NOW!'
'At Ben & Jerry's we love love, and we think most Australians do too. More Australians than ever before believe everyone should have the right to love who they love '' and marry them too, if that's what makes you happy. Let's make it happen!'
Ben & Jerry's is known for taking a stand on social issues. This is not the first time that it has spoken in support of marriage equality.
In the UK, the company teamed up with LGBT advocacy group in 2012 to promote marriage equality '' renaming one of its flavors as 'Appily Ever After' and featuring two figurines of grooms on the packaging.
Similarly, in Germany, the company supports the Ehe F¼r Alle movement: a conglomerate of over 60 organizations supporting marriage equality. To celebrate, it renamed its Cookie Dough ice-cream into 'Yes I Dough'.
In the US it was among the many companies to sign an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in early 2015 urging it to legalize same-sex marriage across the country.
In summer 2015, when marriage equality was made legal across the US, it temporarily renamed Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor as 'I Dough, I Dough'.
EuroLand
Germany Is Quietly Building a European Army Under Its Command | Foreign Policy
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:53
Every few years, the idea of an EU army finds its way back into the news, causing a kerfuffle. The concept is both fantasy and bogeyman: For every federalist in Brussels who thinks a common defense force is what Europe needs to boost its standing in the world, there are those in London and elsewhere who recoil at the notion of a potential NATO rival.
But this year, far from the headlines, Germany and two of its European allies, the Czech Republic and Romania, quietly took a radical step down a path toward something that looks like an EU army while avoiding the messy politics associated with it: They announced the integration of their armed forces.
Romania's entire military won't join the Bundeswehr, nor will the Czech armed forces become a mere German subdivision. But in the next several months each country will integrate one brigade into the German armed forces: Romania's 81st Mechanized Brigade will join the Bundeswehr's Rapid Response Forces Division, while the Czech 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, which has served in Afghanistan and Kosovo and is considered the Czech Army's spearhead force, will become part of the Germans' 10th Armored Division. In doing so, they'll follow in the footsteps of two Dutch brigades, one of which has already joined the Bundeswehr's Rapid Response Forces Division and another that has been integrated into the Bundeswehr's 1st Armored Division. According to Carlo Masala, a professor of international politics at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich, ''The German government is showing that it's willing to proceed with European military integration'' '-- even if others on the continent aren't yet.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has repeatedly floated the idea of an EU army, only to be met with either ridicule or awkward silence. That remains the case even as the U.K., a perennial foe of the idea, is on its way out of the union. There's little agreement among remaining member states over what exactly such a force would look like and which capabilities national armed forces would give up as a result. And so progress has been slow going. This March, the European Union created a joint military headquarters '-- but it's only in charge of training missions in Somalia, Mali, and the Central African Republic and has a meager staff of 30. Other multinational concepts have been designed, such as the Nordic Battle Group, a small 2,400-troop rapid reaction force formed by the Baltic states and several Nordic countries and the Netherlands, and Britain's Joint Expeditionary Force, a ''mini-NATO'' whose members include the Baltic states, Sweden, and Finland. But in the absence of suitable deployment opportunities, such operations-based teams may as well not exist.
But under the bland label of the Framework Nations Concept, Germany has been at work on something far more ambitious '-- the creation of what is essentially a Bundeswehr-led network of European miniarmies. ''The initiative came out of the weakness of the Bundeswehr,'' said Justyna Gotkowska, a Northern Europe security analyst at Poland's Centre for Eastern Studies think tank. ''The Germans realized that the Bundeswehr needed to fill gaps in its land forces '... in order to gain political and military influence within NATO.'' An assist from junior partners may be Germany's best shot at bulking out its military quickly '-- and German-led miniarmies may be Europe's most realistic option if it's to get serious about joint security. ''It's an attempt to prevent joint European security from completely failing,'' Masala said.
''Gaps'' in the Bundeswehr is an understatement. In 1989, the West German government spent 2.7 percent of GDP on defense, but by 2000 spending had dropped to 1.4 percent, where it remained for years. Indeed, between 2013 and 2016 defense spending was stuck at 1.2 percent '-- far from NATO's 2 percent benchmark. In a 2014 report to the Bundestag, the German parliament, the Bundeswehr's inspectors-general presented a woeful picture: Most of the Navy's helicopters were not working, and of the Army's 64 helicopters, only 18 were usable. And while the Cold War Bundeswehr had consisted of 370,000 troops, by last summer it was only 176,015 men and women strong.
Since then the Bundeswehr has grown to more than 178,000 active-duty troops; last year the government increased funding by 4.2 percent, and this year defense spending will grow by 8 percent. But Germany still lags far behind France and the U.K. as a military power. And boosting defense spending is not uncontroversial in Germany, which is wary of its history as a military power. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel recently said it was ''completely unrealistic'' to think that Germany would reach NATO's defense spending benchmark of 2 percent of GDP '-- even though nearly all of Germany's allies, from smaller European countries to the United States, are urging it to play a larger military role in the world.
Germany may not yet have the political will to expand its military forces on the scale that many are hoping for '-- but what it has had since 2013 is the Framework Nations Concept. For Germany, the idea is to share its resources with smaller countries in exchange for the use of their troops. For these smaller countries, the initiative is a way of getting Germany more involved in European security while sidestepping the tricky politics of Germany military expansion. ''It's a move towards more European military independence,'' Masala said. ''The U.K. and France are not available to take a lead in European security'' '-- the U.K. is on a collision course with its EU allies, while France, a military heavyweight, has often been a reluctant participant in multinational efforts within NATO. ''That leaves Germany,'' he said. Operationally, the resulting binational units are more deployable because they're permanent (most multinational units have so far been ad hoc). Crucially for the junior partners, it also amplifies their military muscle. And should Germany decide to deploy an integrated unit, it could only do so with the junior partner's consent.
Of course, since 1945 Germany has been extraordinarily reluctant to deploy its military abroad, until 1990 even barring the Bundeswehr from foreign deployments. Indeed, junior partners '-- and potential junior partners '-- hope that the Framework Nations arrangement will make Germany take on more responsibility for European security. So far, Germany and its multinational miniarmies remain only that: small-scale initiatives, far removed from a full-fledged European army. But the initiative is likely to grow. Germany's partners have been touting the practical benefits of integration: For Romania and the Czech Republic, it means bringing their troops to the same level of training as the German military; for the Netherlands, it has meant regaining tank capabilities. (The Dutch had sold the last of their tanks in 2011, but the 43rd Mechanized Brigade's troops, who are partially based with the 1st Armored Division in the western German city of Oldenburg, now drive the Germans' tanks and could use them if deployed with the rest of the Dutch army.) Col. Anthony Leuvering, the 43rd Mechanized's Oldenburg-based commander, told me that the integration has had remarkably few hiccups. ''The Bundeswehr has some 180,000 personnel, but they don't treat us like an underdog,'' he said. He expects more countries to jump on the bandwagon: ''Many, many countries want to cooperate with the Bundeswehr.'' The Bundeswehr, in turn, has a list of junior partners in mind, said Robin Allers, a German associate professor at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies who has seen the German military's list. According to Masala, the Scandinavian countries '-- which already use a large amount of German-made equipment '-- would be the best candidates for the Bundeswehr's next round of integration.
So far, the low-profile and ad hoc approach of the Framework Nations Concept has worked to its advantage; few people in Europe have objected to the integration of Dutch or Romanian units into German divisions, partly because they may not have noticed. Whether there will be political repercussions should more nations sign up to the initiative is less clear.
Outside of politics, the real test of the Framework Nations' value will be the integrated units' success in combat. But the trickiest part of integration, on the battlefield and off, may turn out to be finding a lingua franca. Should troops learn each other's languages? Or should the junior partner speak German? The German-speaking Dutch Col. Leuvering reports that the binational Oldenburg division is moving toward using English.
Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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Shut Up Slave!
How to stop Facebook from accessing your Microphone | iMore
Wed, 24 May 2017 01:18
Facebook has gone on record to state that it is not listening in on your conversations, but those coincidental ads seem really creepy. You can turn off the microphone.
If you've ever received an advertisement in your Facebook feed that was eerily related to something you were just discussing with a friend, you might be thinking that Facebook is listening in on your conversations through the Messenger app, of which you may have given permission to access the microphone when you started using it.
Facebook has gone on record to state that it does not listen in on your conversations.
Facebook does not use your phone's microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people's conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true. We show ads based on people's interests and other profile information '' not what you're talking out loud about.
We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.
But, it is a really creepy coincidence when your mom tells you, in a face-to-face conversation (not via any chat method) that she needs Apple Cider vinegar for a recipe and then less than a half hour later, she sees an advertisement for apple cider vinegar (this actually happened to my mom and I). Even though Facebook says its not listening, you might be wishing you could make sure its not.
You can. Just as you gave Facebook permission to access your microphone, you can revoke that access in your iPhone's privacy settings. Here's how.
Note: If you revoke permission for Facebook to access your microphone, you won't be able to use it to send audio chats and you won't be able to share Facebook Day stories in Messenger without re-enabling it.
How to turn off the microphone in Facebook Messenger.In order for any third-party app to have access to your iPhone or iPad microphone, you have to give permission when it first asks for it. When you first installed Facebook Messenger, you may have given permission for Facebook to access your microphone. If you'd like to revoke that permission, you can do so in the Settings app.
Note: The official Facebook app does not request permission to use your microphone, so you only have to do this for the Messenger app.
Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.Tap Privacy.Tap Microphone.Tap the Messenger switch to turn it off.You should also review other apps you've given permission to access your microphone and disable any that you don't actually use its microphone feature with.
Any questions?Do you have any questions about how to stop Facebook from accessing your iPhone or iPad microphone? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.
Elite$
Chelsea Clinton's Husband Joins Silicon Valley Based Investment Firm
Fri, 19 May 2017 14:36
Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky / AP
BY: Nick Bolger
May 19, 2017 8:36 am
A Silicon Valley investment firm has hired Chelsea Clinton's husband as its new vice chairman.
Marc Mezvinsky began his work for the firm, Social Capital, in April a spokesperson said, according to Bloomberg.
Social Capital founder Chamath Palihapitiya said Mezvinsky's role will be to build relationships between the firm and governments, investors, and companies.
"I have seen firsthand his ability to think strategically and engage equally well with both CEOs and engineers. He has a common touch which is rare for someone with such deep experiences and relationships in politics, finance and philanthropy," Palihapitiya said of Mezvinsky.
The son-in-law of Bill and Hillary Clinton has long been in finance. He has previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group, been partner at 3G Capital, and founded Eaglevale Partners, a hedge fund he closed in 2016:
The Washington Free Beacon warned readers in 2015 not to give money to Mezvinsky's Eaglevale, citing reports that he was not very good at his job. One of the fund's most embarrassing moments, which certainly contributed to the decision to close the fund, came because of a bet Mezvinsky took on the Greek economy that ended up costing investors nearly $25 million.
SCIENCE!
Pure phallacy: authors wrote hoax gender paper 'to show up academics' | News | The Times & The Sunday Times
Wed, 24 May 2017 15:17
For too long the penis has been viewed as a part of the male anatomy. For too long it has been considered merely a reproductive device. No more. It is, instead, ''an enacted social construct'' that is ''exclusionary to disenfranchised communities'', ''isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity'' and, when used for ''manspreading'', associated with climate change.
That, at least, is according to a gender studies paper published in a peer- reviewed social science journal.
What does it all mean, though?
Absolutely nothing '-- and that is precisely what the authors intended. Two American academics have confessed to writing a deliberately nonsensical paper to expose what they consider to be the low academic standards of gender studies scholarship.
''We wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the'...
White Helmets
Syria's White Helmets suspend members caught on camera during rebel execution '-- RT News
Fri, 19 May 2017 14:47
Syria's White Helmets have suspended several members of their rescue team after stomach-churning footage emerged showing rebel militants conducting a summary execution of a man in the town of Jasim, with the White Helmets helping get rid of the body.
Graphic images released on Wednesday show blood pouring out of the execution victim's head. After the man is shot dead on camera '' in front of a large crowd in the town of Jasim in Daraa, southern Syria '' volunteers from the White Helmets move in to dispose of the body, AMN reported.
Read more
On Thursday, Syria's White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, issued a statement, acknowledging that their volunteers' actions ''did not fully uphold the strict principles of neutrality and impartiality.''
''Two Civil Defense volunteers were seen to act improperly and not in accordance with the voluntary Code of Conduct for Syria Civil Defense members,'' the statement said, adding that the members have been suspended for three months.
''Syria Civil Defense expects each and every volunteer to perform their duties to the highest professional standard, as the individual actions of one member impact the reputation of all volunteers and the organization as a whole,'' the statement noted.
The group explained that earlier this week, members of Syria Civil Defense received a request from local authorities to ''dispose of the body of a person that had been sentenced to death by the local court for murder.''
The problem appears to be that the White Helmets' local team leader failed to seek ''permission from his superiors before agreeing to the request'' to dispose of the body, and was later dismissed, the group said.
Hailed as peace-bearing heroes by the mainstream media, the White Helmets have long been plagued by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups. Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said late last month that the White Helmets support terrorists and cover up their crimes.
READ MORE: White House claims on Syria chemical attack 'obviously false' '' MIT professor (VIDEO)
''The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL], but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,'' Zakharova said, as cited by TASS.
She noted that ''there is documentary evidence'' showing that White Helmets members were in fact part of certain operations by the terrorists. Zakharova said there are videos showing Syrian troops being tortured and executed in the presence of White Helmets.
Read more
The Western mainstream media have repeatedly ignored all these reports, however, Zakharova said. The group's behavior during the alleged chemical attack on Syria's Khan Shaykhun on April 4 is ''particularly worth mentioning,'' she said.
''It was the allegedly-irrefutable evidence provided by them that gave the US a pretext to carry out an act of aggression against the Syrian Shayrat Airbase on April 7,'' Zakharova noted, adding that that the Swedish NGO Doctors for Human Rights had accused the White Helmets of falsifying information about their humanitarian work in Syria by producing staged videos.
The group's website meanwhile states that White Helmets volunteers have saved ''90,922 lives '' and this number is growing daily,'' with rescue workers actively ''operating in areas outside of government control'' in Syria.
Yet a Canadian journalist and rights activist, Eva Bartlett, who has traveled to Syria multiple times since the start of the conflict, said that while members of the group ''purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib [but] '...no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them.''
Bartlett noted during a highly-emotional speech at the UN in December, that ''their video footage actually contains children that have been 'recycled' in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say, August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.''
Aleppo residents also told RT that the group's rescue efforts go only as far as to release dramatic videos, saying the White Helmets are nothing but ''camera posers, thieves, and raiders.''
Caliphate!
Why Sweden has an improbably severe problem with hand grenades '-- Quartz
Tue, 23 May 2017 12:30
Sweden third largest city, Malm¶, has built a reputation as the country's Chicago. But it's not just gun violence that's blighted the port city. It's borne the brunt of the hand-grenade attacks that have been on the rise in Sweden in the last couple of years: the number of grenade attacks jumped from eight in 2014 to 52 in 2016.
In most of them nobody was hurt, but an eight-year-old British boy, Yuusuf Warsame, was killed after a grenade was thrown into a flat in Gothenburg. He was the only death from a grenade attack since 2014, according to the Swedish Police Authority. There have been two injuries in that time period. Prime minister Stefan L¶fven dubbed the summer of 2015 ''the summer of unrest.''
Many of the grenades have been smuggled in from the Balkans, explains Manne Gerell, a criminology researcher at Malm¶ University who has been studying the attacks. ''They are surplus weapons from the civil war,'' he says, but ''it's not as well established exactly how they've come in [to Sweden].'' In some cases, buyers of other smuggled weapons are given the grenades cheaply or for free as a bonus.
Last December, the government proposed tougher penalties (link in Swedish), which should take effect this July. The possession of explosives, such as grenades, would be penalized on the same scale as carrying firearms. The government proposed raising the minimum prison term from 6 months to a year, and imposing a new penalty scale of 3-6 years for the most serious cases. ''Those who go out with a weapon should know that it could be several years before they are allowed to see their family outside of a prison again,'' L¶fven told parliament earlier this month.
Though the attacks appear random, authorities believe many to be linked with organized crime. ''In most cases, either the suspect or the victim is associated with a criminal network,'' Gerell says. He suggests the hand grenades are mainly used for intimidation, since many have been thrown into empty cars and buildings. The attack that killed Warsame was linked to an underworld feud.
These grenade attacks have occurred alongside a record influx of asylum seekers, which the main anti-immigrant party, Sweden Democrats, have been quick to capitalize on. ''It's always people from other countries that do these things,'' Jorgen Grubb, the party's chairman in Malm¶ told Reuters. ''What Malm¶ needs is to put up a red stop sign.''
Previously dubbed Europe's most refugee-friendly country, Sweden has experienced rising unease over immigration. This has benefited the Sweden Democrats, once a fringe political group, who are now hoping to win a quarter of the votes in the 2018 general election (polls currently put them at 17%).
While some immigrants have been behind hand-grenade attacks, Gerell dismisses the argument that immigrants are driving a crime wave. ''It's a bit more complicated than that,'' he says, adding that though there was a record influx of immigrants, ''In Malm¶, crime overall has actually been falling in the past five years.''
Ministry of Truth
Journalists' brains function at a lower level than average, study says - Business Insider
Mon, 22 May 2017 11:51
Journalists also are apparently good at managing the stresses that come with their jobs. UNClimateChange / Flickr
Journalists' brains show a lower-than-average level of executive functioning, according to a new study, which means they have a below-average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking.
The study, led by Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and leadership coach, analysed 40 journalists from newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and online platforms over seven months. The participants took part in tests related to their lifestyle, health, and behaviour.
It was launched in association with the London Press Club, and the objective was to determine how journalists can thrive under stress. It is not yet peer reviewed, and the sample size is small, so the results should not be taken necessarily as fact.
Each subject completed a blood test, wore a heart-rate monitor for three days, kept a food and drink diary for a week, and completed a brain profile questionnaire.
The results showed that journalists' brains were operating at a lower level than the average population, particularly because of dehydration and the tendency of journalists to self-medicate with alcohol, caffeine, and high-sugar foods.
Forty-one percent of the subjects said they drank 18 or more units of alcohol a week, which is four units above the recommended weekly allowance. Less than 5% drank the recommended amount of water.
However, in interviews conducted in conjunction with the brain profile results, the participants indicated they felt their jobs had a lot of meaning and purpose, and they showed high mental resilience. Swart suggested this gave them an advantage over people in other professions in dealing with the work pressure of tight deadlines.
Journalists scored pretty high on:
Abstraction, the ability to deal with ideas rather than events. It's related to the part of the brain where the most sophisticated problem-solving takes place. In other words, it highlights the ability to think outside the box and make connections where others might not see them.Value tagging, the ability to assign values to different sensory cues, such as whether something is a priority or has meaning. Scoring highly in this area indicates a good ability to sift through information and pick out what's important.Journalists scored lower on:
Executive function. As well as the traits mentioned above, low scores for executive function also suggest poor sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. Many participants reported they had no time for breaks while working.Silencing the mind, which is related to the ability to have thoughts without getting distracted by them, or a powerful ability to focus. Low scores indicate the opposite, suggesting journalists have a hard time preventing themselves from worrying about the future or regretting the past.Compared with bankers, traders, or salespeople, journalists showed that they were more able to cope with pressure. Traits that make journalism a stressful profession are deadlines, accountability to the public, unpredictable and heavy workloads, public scrutiny, repercussions on social media, and lower pay.
The results, however, showed that the journalists were on average no more physically stressed than the average person. The blood tests showed that their levels of cortisol '-- known as the stress hormone '-- were mostly normal.
"The headline conclusion reached is that journalists are undoubtedly subject to a range of pressures at work and home, but the meaning and purpose they attribute to their work contributes to helping them remain mentally resilient despite this," the study says. "Nevertheless, there are areas for improvement, including drinking more water and reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption to increase executive functioning and improve recovery during sleep."
Petition update · Signature Count Dropping - Checking Into It · Change.org
Tue, 23 May 2017 16:05
Petition updateMay 20, 2017 '-- UPDATED BELOW
---------------------------------------------
It has been brought to my attention that late last night, the signature count started going backwards. From the time the first screen capture was taken (by a supporter) until now, some 6 hours later (different time zones), more than 2,000 signatures have disappeared.
I have signed petitions here in the past, and I am not aware of a way to un-sign one once it has been signed. I have reached out to Change.org to find out why this might be happening.
-Matt
----------------------------------
I got a response from the folks at Change.org regarding the signature count dropping. Also, please note that prior to this reply, I got a message from a friend of mine who runs a very successful news aggregation website who told me the cause was essentially the same exact thing. The following is the text of the email:
"Hi again, Matt:
I wanted to follow up with you again today and say that I heard from our folks that the signature difference came from two sources: the removal of fraudulent signatures, as I mentioned earlier, and/or signatures being removed automatically due to invalid addresses.
Apologies for any alarm or confusion this has caused. Let me know if you have other questions!"
PreviousPetition To Save Last Man Standing Gaining Traction
NA-Tech News
Stressful lives of older tech workers
Wed, 24 May 2017 11:01
The average age of Googlers is 30. Notice only one of these Googlers has gray hair. Flickr/haynes
There's no question the tech industry is filled with satisfying, high paying jobs. But a career in tech comes with a deadline of sorts.
After you turn 50, you'll likely find yourself struggling for job security and respect.
In tech these days, people in their 20's are worshiped. "Young people are just smarter," Mark Zuckerberg infamously said back in 2007.
People in their 30's are tolerated. "Don't fund anyone over 30" was the unwritten VC rule back in 2007, too.
Tech workers in their 40's are starting to look over their shoulder. (A group at Google called 'Greyglers' is for Google employees over 40.)
As for people in their 50's? Many are under tremendous stress. And those in their 60s and older are very hard to find. Even CEOs over a certain age face a constant stream of when-are-you-going-retire questions.
Business Insider talked to a handful of men and women over 50 who have collectively worked at companies like Amazon, Dell, Google, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, VMware, and others to hear their stories of what the tech industry is like for them today. Most of them asked us to keep their identities and employers' names hidden as they weren't authorized to talk to us.
Some had recently retired. Some had been laid off. Some were still working, but under threat of layoffs. Some were thriving in senior or middle management positions. One had jumped to a startup. And one had actually retired for a few years and then come back to the workforce in a senior tech role at a major tech company '-- at age 58.
Ageism everywhereAlmost all of the people we spoke with said they had directly experienced ageism at their jobs after they turned 50.
TheInternshipMovie.com
One said he even had to inflict it. He was a former manager at a huge global tech company that had multiple rounds of layoffs.
"There's definitely age discrimination," he told us. When it came time for him and other managers to choose employees for pink slips, "age is one of the decision points."
Another 55-year-old, who was recently laid off from his senior management position at a major tech company, agrees.
He told us, "Sooner or later, your corporation will get rid of you, not because you're old, but because they are concerned what kind of face they put in front of their clients," he said.
"They want to be thought of as youthful, to look progressive, and they won't put a guy out there who is 60 years old. I know it's stupid, but you would be surprised how many people think like that."
The case against ageismFiring people just because of their age is illegal, says labor lawyer Kelly Dermody at firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco.
Lawyer Kelly Dermody, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Businesswire/Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein
Age discrimination is a hard thing to prove, but an increasing number of Californians, the home of Silicon Valley, are trying.
In 2012, across all industries, there were 3,488 age discrimination employment complaints filed with California's Department of Fair Housing and Employment.
In 2014, age complaints jumped to 4,510.
"What's happening in the tech sector is a general trend toward youth," Dermody tells us.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Salesforce have young work forces. Google's median age based on data from 2014 is the ripe old age of 30. (See chart on median employee age from salary analyst PayScale, below).
"At some Silicon Valley companies, the top executives are explicit in their preference for workers under 35," she says.
The youth-loving culture is having an effect. Older workers are getting left out '-- or at least feel like they are. "There are tons and tons of lawsuits filed for age discrimination," Dermody says.
More Californians these days are suing for alleged age discrimination than for alleged racism, she says.
"In California in the last couple of years, age claims as a percentage of claims within the state agency have been much higher. They are leading out claims of race," she says.
BI Graphics/Mike Nudelman via PayScale
Killing yourself to keep a jobOne 63-year-old IT worker we spoke with is three years away from retirement, with kids still in college. He's working for a major US tech firm that has had layoffs in recent years.
He's the last one standing from his former department after all of his co-workers were laid off or quit for other jobs.
He survived the layoffs because he's "in a little niche" with some specific programming/networking IT skills that the company is contractually required to provide to certain customers.
Shutterstock
He also survived because he's been constantly updating his tech skills, learning all the latest new tech, as well as knowing the older stuff. So he's become a jack of all trades.
"A lot of people get tied into working on a customer account and the routine for the account. And once the account contract is over, they're gone," he says.
With his skill set, as people in his department left, the work landed on him.
"I went from 15 projects at one time to 50 projects on my plate, no two the same. Personally, I'm getting kudos from management for taking leadership. But it still ticks me off seeing what's going on around me. "
But there's a been huge cost to him. He's had two heart attacks, and he says the second one came after working for 38 hours straight.
Why doesn't he quit for a new job? Offers are slim for a guy his age and he can't relocate. He's taking care of his elderly parents who live nearby.
"What choice do I have?" he tells us.
The skills quagmireOne big problem with older workers is that they fall into a trap where their skills get outdated over time, many of them told us. They do a project and gain expertise, which leads to more similar projects, then leadership positions in the field, until they become experts in that one field '-- and no others.
And then, as happens in many industries but particularly high-tech, that field falls out of favor. Instead of being retrained in the hottest tech stuff, they often wind up with pink slips.
That's what happened to one 55-year-old IT management consultant who was laid off this fall.
He was a high-paid senior director when his company cut him and his whole team.
He's not bitter. The consultant in him looks back and sees what he did wrong. He was an expert in supply-chain management '-- that is, helping companies save money on stuff they have to buy from vendors.
That was a consulting field that was trendy a few years ago. But today, the big trends in consulting are helping companies write mobile apps, move their tech from their own data centers to the cloud, and doing big-data analysis projects.
"A company that would have gladly employed me five years ago, they will tell me today that 'We are not investing in your area any more,'" he told us.
Now he's back in school studying the hot new thing, data science. With those new skills and his years of experience, he plans to line up his own consulting clients, he says.
Flickr/Vancouver Film School
"In the tech industry, very few people last in a job more than two years. You have to be prepared, mentally, financially, and skill wise to keep changing jobs," he says adding that tech workers over 50 should ultimately be ready to go it alone.
"Prepare yourself to become an independent contractor. Don't take it personally. This is how corporations behave now. It sucks, but this is reality and there's nothing we can do about it." he says.
The successful over-50 workers we talked to, who didn't get laid off and are still working in senior management positions, all offered similar advice: New skills, new skills, new skills.
They advise all tech workers to spend time playing with the new stuff and building up a personal resume, whether it's writing a mobile app with the newest language, dinking with a DYI hardware project, or learning about other new tech.
"I always maintained my intellectual curiosity and my broader love of tech," says a 59-year-old who left retirement about a year ago to become a senior vice president at a growing tech company.
"If you've lost it, rekindle it as a way to be able to take on other things and to show employers you can take on other things."
Even tougher for older womenWhen it comes to being a woman over 50, things can be even scarier.
One woman we interviewed was a product manager for several huge Silicon Valley firms for decades. When a relative called her and asked her to do a startup with him, she almost turned him down.
If it failed, she was afraid she wouldn't be able to get another job, she told us. Ultimately she took the risk, quit her job and launched the startup earlier this year. But the process took more thought than it would have for, say, an engineer in his 20s.
Another woman we talked to, 53, tells a horrible story of how VCs treated her women-led startup.
This woman has a spectacular resume. She's worked on everything from rocket science to being an exec for an IT consulting company that quadrupled its revenue to $1 billion under her direction.
She left that senior management job to do a startup with two other women, a CEO in her early 60's and a COO also in her 50's. The CEO had been running a successful education company and wanted to spin-out the online unit into its own startup.
But when the women tried to raise funding, the VCs turned them down flat. Some of them were blatant about their ageism and sexism, too.Meg Whitman, 59, is CEO of HP. Rick Wilking/Reuters
"They told us, you're a double whammy. You're three women cofounders and you're all in your 50's or older, not a startup being run by a 20-something guy. They were blatant about it. They didn't pull any punches. They weren't trying to hide their reasons for saying no, or be subtle," this person told us.
In the end, the CEO didn't raise the money and shut down the startup.
The 53-year-old IT consultant went back to the corporate world, taking a job for an iconic Silicon Valley company.
As a woman in tech, she shrugs off that experience and has not been deterred by it, she says.
She's been fighting, and winning, this kind of thing her whole career, she says. As a young woman it was almost worse, she says. She was constantly being told she was too young (or too young looking) to get choice assignments or promotions. That didn't stop her either.
"I had to fight for it," she said. "I had to be assertive. I had to raise my hand a couple of times and say, 'I want a chance to do that!'"
She still thinks she'll do another startup one day, but won't do it if she has to depend on VC money to get it going.
"I'm going to retire in a couple of years. My plan is to be out at 55. I might do some startup stuff, something of my own," she says. "The VCs' negativity wouldn't stop me."
The glass ceiling of respectAnother woman we talked to, now retired, landed a job at a very desirable tech employer when she was 55. She had made a name for herself at a big, iconic Valley hardware company, where her age had worked in her favor, and was poached away.
"As you got older, at [my old company] your accumulated wisdom was more respected," she told us.
YouTube
She hit culture-shocked at her new employer, a company where the median worker age was about 30, and where the company "valued energy and unique ideas more than it valued what I'll label as 'wisdom,'" she told us.
While no one made snide age-related remarks to her, and she liked the work, her younger co-workers didn't want to listen to her feedback or ideas.
They started to view her as "a party pooper if I'd say I'd 'been there, done that' and that their idea doesn't work. People didn't take it well," she said. After a while, she simply stopped sharing her experience and gave up on the idea of climbing high in this company.
"I ended up realizing that what it would take to get ahead was both physical and emotional energy. I had plenty of physical energy, but had trouble getting the emotional energy. The way I looked at it, they were paying me nicely. I'm happy with the work I'm doing. I'm going to stay at this level," she said.
The secret benefit of getting olderDespite all the stress that many older tech workers feel, getting older isn't an automatic kiss of death for a tech career, successful ones tell us.
We talked to a couple of people who were thriving.
One benefit of getting older is that you have a vast network of people throughout the industry.
You also understand office politics and can work them to your benefit.
One example is Peter Greulich, who worked for IBM for 30 years and retired from the company in 2011, and wrote a book about his experience called "A View from Beneath the Dancing Elephant."
In it, he tells the story of how he was about to be laid off and narrowly escaped it by working all his many contacts inside IBM until he found a manager to hire him. Greygler is an actual common term referring to older Googlers. Here's one of the oldest and best-known Googlers, Vint Cerf. Google
From that experience, he learned that "the responsibility was on me for 30 years in my career to always train myself for my next job," he told Business Insider.
He sought out projects that would allow him to move inside the company, doing everything from marketing to sales to product management to technical roles. He learned to read the tea leaves and jump to new jobs.
Another successful older worker we talked is 58 today, and landed at a startup a few years ago after spending decades at a global tech firm.
He says the biggest mistake he sees from other older workers is ignoring their network until its too late and they've already lost their jobs.
He told us he made the same mistake.
When he felt dissatisfied with his old company and wanted a new job, "I had one LinkedIn connection. I didn't know what LinkedIn was." He studied up and "now I have almost 1,000."
And he brushed up on everything else to make himself more current, too.
"I have a Galaxy Note, I have an iPhone, a Twitter account. I have Facebook, I'm even on on Google+. I delve into the tech as much as I can," he adds.
The upshot is, tech workers need to understand that they'll be fighting the perception of being "outdated" as their careers mature.
As long as they can show that they are masters of the new stuff as well as the old, ageism will be more like an annoying fly, something to swat away, than a deadly virus.
Says the guy who ditched retirement to go back to work:
"If you have the energy, passion, and desire to change the world, then doing exciting things in tech in your 50s or even in your 60s is possible. Don't be afraid. You can bridge the gap."
NWO
World Government Summit
Mon, 22 May 2017 11:46
SPEAKERS
The World Government Summit brings together prominent leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as international thought leaders and pioneers. They engage in inspirational, thought-provoking, and future-focused dialogues that aim to shape the future of governments and help improve the lives of citizens worldwide.
VIEW ALL SPEAKERS
Armageddon
RIAA Says Artists Don't Need "Moral Rights," Artists Disagree - TorrentFreak
Mon, 22 May 2017 12:48
Most people who create something like to be credited for their work. Whether you make a video, song, photo, or blog post, it feels 'right' to receive recognition.
The right to be credited is part of the so-called ''moral rights,'' which are baked into many copyright laws around the world, adopted at the international level through the Berne Convention.
However, in the United States, this is not the case. The US didn't sign the Berne Convention right away and opted out from the ''moral rights'' provision when they eventually joined it.
Now that the U.S. Copyright Office is looking into ways to improve current copyright law, the issue has been brought to the forefront again. The Government recently launched a consultation to hear the thoughts of various stakeholders, which resulted in several noteworthy contributions.
As it turns out, both the MPAA and RIAA are against the introduction of statutory moral rights for artists. They believe that the current system works well and they fear that it's impractical and expensive to credit all creators for their contributions.
The MPAA stresses that new moral rights may make it harder for producers to distribute their work and may violate the First Amendment rights of producers, artists, and third parties who wish to use the work of others.
In the movie industry, many employees are not credited for their work. They get paid, but can't claim any ''rights'' to the products they create, something the MPAA wants to keep intact.
''Further statutory recognition of the moral rights of attribution and integrity risks upsetting this well-functioning system that has made the United States the unrivaled world leader in motion picture production for over a century,'' they stress.
The RIAA has a similar view, although the central argument is somewhat different.
The US record labels say that they do everything they can to generate name recognition for their main artists. However, crediting everyone who's involved in making a song, such as the writer, is not always a good idea.
''A new statutory attribution right, in addition to being unnecessary, would likely have significant unintended consequences,'' the RIAA writes (pdf).
The RIAA explains that the music industry has weathered several dramatic shifts over the past two decades. They argue that the transition from physical to digital music '' and later streaming '' while being confronted with massive piracy, has taken its toll.
There are signs of improvement now, but if moral rights are extended, the RIAA fears that everything might collapse once gain.
''After fifteen years of declining revenues, the recorded music industry outlook is finally showing signs of improvement. This fragile recovery results largely from growing consumer adoption of new streaming models..,'' the RIAA writes.
''We urge the Office to avoid legislative proposals that could hamper this nascent recovery by injecting significant additional risk, uncertainty, and complexity into the recorded music business.''
According to the RIAA it would be costly for streaming services credit everyone who's involved in the creative process. In addition, they simply might not have the screen real estate to pull this off.
''If a statutory attribution right suddenly required these services to provide attribution to others involved in the creative process, that would presumably require costly changes to their user interfaces and push them up against the size limitations of their display screens.''
This means less money for the artists and more clutter on the screen, according to the music group. Music fans probably wouldn't want to see the list of everyone who worked on a song anyway, they claim.
''To continue growing, streaming services must provide a compelling product to consumers. Providing a long list of on-screen attributions would not make for an engaging or useful experience for consumers,'' RIAA writes.
The streaming example is just one of the many issues that may arise, in the eyes of the record labels. They also expect problems with tracks that are played on the radio, or in commercials, where full credits are rarely given.
Interestingly, many of the artists the RIAA claims to represent don't agree with the group's comments.
Music Creators North America and The Future of Music Coalition, for example, believe that artists should have statutory moral rights. The latter group argues that, currently, small artists are often powerless against large corporations.
''Moral rights would serve to alleviate the powerlessness faced by creators who often must relinquish their copyright to make a living from their work. These creators should still be provided some right of attribution and integrity as these affect a creator's reputation and ultimately livelihood.''
The Future of Music Coalition disagrees with the paternalistic perspective that the public isn't interested in detailed information about the creators of music.
''While interest levels may vary, a significant portion of the public has a great interest in understanding who exactly contributed to the creation works of art which they admire,'' they write (pdf).
Knowing who's involved requires attribution, so it's crucial that this information becomes available, they argue.
''Music enthusiasts revel in the details of music they adore, but when care is not taken to document and preserve that information, those details can often lost over time and eventually unattainable.''
''To argue that the public generally has a homogenously disinterested opinion of creators is insulting both to the public and to creators,'' The Future of Music Coalition adds.
The above shows that the rights of artists are clearly not always aligned with the interests of record labels.
Interestingly, the RIAA and MPAA do agree with major tech companies and civil rights groups such as EFF and Public Knowledge. These are also against new moral rights, albeit for different reasons.
It's now up to the U.S. Copyright Office to determine if change is indeed required, or if everything will remain the same.
Clock Boy
Federal court throws out Irving 'Clock Boy' lawsuit - Story | KDFW
Fri, 19 May 2017 18:46
DALLAS - A federal court has thrown out the civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of the Irving teenager known as ''Clock Boy.''
The lawsuit alleged that the city of Irving and Irving school district discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed at Irving MacArthur High School in September of 2015.
Mohamed, a Muslim teenager who was 14 years old at the time, brought a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher. But an alarm on the clock went off in his English class and the teacher confiscated it. He was sent to the principal's office.
''A.M. never stated the device was anything other than a clock, never threatened anyone with harm, never claimed to have made a bomb, and never attempted to scare or cause alarm to anyone. When he asked for his parents, he was told that he could not speak with them because he was in the middle of an interrogation,'' his attorney argued according to the court's ruling.
The lawsuit claimed Mohamed's civil rights were violated when he was interrogated at length without his parents and arrested on hoax bomb charges.
When his father finally arrived at the school several hours later, the court documents state he "tried to explain to Officer Howman that A.M. was interested in robotics and created things, but she was unwilling to listen to his explanations."
Police originally said Mohamed was not very forthcoming and the school as concerned that the device was possibly the infrastructure for a bomb. Officers acted in an abundance of caution.
''It was a very suspicious device. We live in an age where you can't take things like that to school. Of course we've seen across our country horrific things happen. We have to err on the side of caution," Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd told FOX 4 in 2015.
The charges against Mohamed were later dropped but the school still suspended him for three days.
Mohamed's story went viral on social media and was invited to the White House, participated in Google's science fair and included in Time's ''Most Influential Teens of 2015'' list. The family eventually moved to Qatar where Mohamed was given a scholarship.
''We hear over and over again about how great this has been for Ahmed because he got to meet the president and got to meet some famous people. Those things have lasted five minutes,'' attorney Susan Hutchison said. ''Moving his whole family, losing their home here, the constant barrage of horrible, hateful, mean, terrible things that people are saying to this little boy'... he has to endure that all day, every day.''
The city and school district both denied violating Mohamed's rights or discriminating against him because of his religion. On Friday, a judge granted their request to dismiss the suit.
''Plaintiff does not allege any facts from which this court can reasonably infer that any IISD employee intentionally discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed based on his race or religion,'' the ruling states.
Mohamed's attorneys now have until June 1 to submit additional facts that might help prove discrimination; otherwise, the case will be closed.
The lawsuit sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages along with attorney fees.
RELATED:
Science!
Elsevier Wants $15 Million Piracy Damages From Sci-Hub and Libgen - TorrentFreak
Fri, 19 May 2017 18:43
'Pirate' sites Sci-Hub and LibGen face millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed by Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers. Elsevier has requested a default judgment of $15 million against the defendants for their "truly egregious conduct" and "staggering" infringement.
Two years ago, academic publisher Elsevier filed a complaint against Sci-Hub, Libgen and several related ''pirate'' sites.
The publisher accused the websites of making academic papers widely available to the public, without permission.
While Sci-Hub and Libgen are nothing like the average pirate site, they are just as illegal according to Elsevier's legal team, which swiftly obtained a preliminary injunction from a New York District Court.
The injunction ordered Sci-Hub's founder Alexandra Elbakyan, who is the only named defendant, to quit offering access to any Elsevier content. This didn't happen, however.
Sci-Hub and the other websites lost control over several domain names, but were quick to bounce back. They remain operational today and have no intention of shutting down, despite pressure from the Court.
This prompted Elsevier to request a default judgment and a permanent injunction against the Sci-Hub and Libgen defendants. In a motion filed this week, Elsevier's legal team describes the sites as pirate havens.
''Defendants' websites exist for the sole purpose of providing unauthorized and unlawful access to the copyrighted works of Elsevier and other scientific publishers. Collectively, Defendants are responsible for the piracy of millions of Elseviers' copyrighted works as well as millions of works published by others.''
As compensation for the losses it has suffered, Elsevier is now demanding $15 million in damages. The publisher lists 100 works as evidence and argues that the maximum amount of $150,000 in statutory damages is warranted in this case.
''Here, Defendants' willful conduct rises to the level of truly egregious conduct, justifying the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work,'' Elsevier's team writes (pdf).
''The Preliminary Injunction constituted such notice by a court, and Defendants have flagrantly disregarded the Preliminary Injunction by continuing to operate their piracy enterprises.''
Not only did the defendants ignore the preliminary injunction by continuing to operate their websites, Sci-Hub's operator stated that she chose to willingly disregard the court order.
''Moreover, Elbakyan has publicly stated that she is aware that Sci-Hub's actions are unlawful and that this Court has enjoined her infringing activities, but that she intends to continue to defy the Court's Order.''
The amount is also justified based on the scale of infringement, Elsevier stresses. The sites in question offer dozens of millions of copyrighted works which are downloaded hundreds of thousands of times per day.
A good chunk of these papers are copyrighted, many by Elsevier. In fact, when the original complaint was filed, Elsevier had trouble locating ScienceDirect-hosted articles that were not available through Libgen.
''Here, the scale of Defendants' infringement is so staggering that a reasonable estimate of appropriate damages, even if based on a lower, license- fee-based metric, would be difficult, if not impossible, to calculate,'' Elsevier's legal team writes.
Since the court's clerk has already entered a default against the defendants, it's likely that Elsevier will win the case. As a result, Sci-Hub and Libgen will likely have to relocate again. Whether Elsevier will see any damages from the defendants has yet to be seen.
Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan wasn't really sure how to comment on the million dollar claims. She described Elsevier's requests as ''funny'' and ''ridiculous,'' while confirming that the site is not going anywhere.
''The Sci-Hub will continue as usual. In case of problems with the domain names, users can rely on TOR scihub22266oqcxt.onion,'' Elbakyan tells us.
In hindsight, Elsevier may regret its decision to take legal action.
Instead of taking Sci-Hub and Libgen down, the lawsuit and the associated media attention only helped them grow. Last year we reported that its users were downloading hundreds of thousands of papers per day from Sci-Hub, a number that has likely increased since.
Also, Elbakyan is now seen as a hero by several prominent academics, illustrated by the fact that the prestigious publication Nature listed her as one of the top ten people that mattered in science last year.
What's Going On With That Big New Academic Journal 'Hoax' - Digg
Sun, 21 May 2017 12:12
Two decades after NYU mathematical physicist Alan Sokal shook up the academic world by getting a hoax paper ("Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity") published in a prominent cultural studies journal, a pair of academic writers revealed on Friday that they had pulled off a "Sokal-style hoax" on a peer-reviewed social science journal. Here's what's going on.
Peter Boghossian And James Lindsay Revealed Friday That Their Article In The Journal 'Cogent Social Sciences' Was A HoaxBoghossian and Lindsay submitted a paper titled "The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct" to Cogent Social Sciences, a peer-reviewed, open access journal '-- and it got published. Writing for Skeptic, they described the paper as "ridiculous by intention" and filled with fake sources:
Assuming the pen names ''Jamie Lindsay'' and ''Peter Boyle,'' and writing for the fictitious ''Southeast Independent Social Research Group,'' we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn't be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions.... This already damning characterization of our hoax understates our paper's lack of fitness for academic publication by orders of magnitude. We didn't try to make the paper coherent... After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn't say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.
[Skeptic]
Skeptics Of The Social Sciences And Gender Studies Were Quick To Latch On To The HoaxAs Boghossian and Lindsay wrote in their Skeptic piece, the hypothesis behind the hoax paper was that " if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal."
With that hypothesis seemingly confirmed, critics of gender studies and the social sciences have applauded the hoax for exposing the field once again:
[It] makes a point far more important than any paper in that journal: it shows that over the past 21 years since Sokal's hoax, the social sciences remain rife with obscurantist nonsense'--an academic miasma. Of course, not all people or areas in social science or the humanities are full of such nonsense, but cultural studies, including women's studies, are particularly prone to the toxic combination of jargon and ideology that makes for such horrible ''scholarship.''
[Why Evolution Is True]
While the publication of Boghossian and Lindsay's paper is damning for Cogent Social Sciences, is it an indictment the entire academic field? After the hoax began making the rounds, pushback started circulating as well.
Hoaxes Don't Only Target The Social SciencesAs Ketan Joshi points out in his critique of the hoax, while Boghossian and Lindsay, like Sokal, targeted the social (ie. "soft") sciences with their article, the "hard" sciences have fallen victim to similar hoaxes in the recent past '-- including a paper written entirely in autocorrect that was accepted by a nuclear physics conference, and a paper about a fake lichen:
These hoaxes are consistently presented in a meaningful context '' as being valuable demonstrations of a worrying shift to predatory journals, and a consistent lowering of standards in these journals. These hoaxes do not demonstrate the wholesale failure of biology, or computer science, or medicine. There is no ideological skew against mailing lists in the computer sciences; nor is there a anti-lichen religious fervour in biology. To suggest that this is the case, based on each of those instances alone, would be completely weird.
[Ketan Joshi]
Writing after the lichen debacle, Berkeley molecular biologist Michael Eisen pointed the finger at the shoddiness of peer-review in general:
[P]eer review is a joke. If a nakedly bogus paper is able to get through journals that actually peer reviewed it, think about how many legitimate, but deeply flawed, papers must also get through. Any scientist can quickly point to dozens of papers '' including, and perhaps especially, in high impact journals '' that are deeply, deeply flawed.
[Berkeley Blog]
The Trouble With 'Cogent Social Sciences' Boghossian and Lindsay point out in Skeptic that Cogent Social Sciences appears on the Directory of Open-Access Journals, which is a fair point '-- scholars are supposed to consult the DOAJ when trying to find a good quality journal to submit their work to. But as Joshi points out, the DOAJ is not infallible:
[W]ith regards to the aforementioned hoax science paper about lichen, it was noted that ''for DOAJ publishers that completed the review process, 45% accepted the bogus paper''.
[Ketan Joshi]
And as James Taylor notes at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, the first journal the hoax paper was submitted to wanted nothing to do with it '-- and redirected the authors to the "pay what you want" Cogent Social Sciences:
The first journal that Boghossian and Lindsay submitted their hoax paper to, and that rejected it, was NORMA: The International Journal for Masculinity Studies. This journal doesn't even hit the top 115 journals in Gender Studies. So, what happened here was that they submitted a hoax paper to an unranked journal, which summarily rejected it. They then received an auto-generated response directing them to a pay-to-publish vanity journal. They submitted the paper there, and it was published. From this chain of events they conclude that the entire field of Gender Studies is ''crippled academically''. This tells us very little about Gender Studies, but an awful lot about the perpetrators of this ''hoax'''.... and those who tout it as a take down of an entire field.
[Bleeding Heart Libertarians]
TL;DRThe success of Boghossian and Lindsay's hoax paper is a very good reason to stop submitting or reading Cogent Social Sciences (which likely won't be a problem, as prominent sociologists don't seem to have heard of it), but the fault appears to lie more with the frailties of peer review than the frailties of the social sciences.
Digg is what the internet is talking about, right now. It's also the website you are currently on.
War on Weed
Could CANNABIS treat epilepsy? Hundreds of thousands of patients could 'benefit from new drug'
Thu, 25 May 2017 01:04
A study found that cannabis reduced seizures by half in youngsters with a severe form of epilepsy
A CANNABIS-based drug could help hundreds of thousands with uncontrollable epilepsy.
A study found it cut seizures by half in youngsters with a severe form of the condition.
Getty Images
A cannabis-based drug was found to cut seizures by half in youngsters with a severe form of epilepsyAnd for one in 20, the therapy stopped the fits altogether.
Experts said the ''exciting'' drug offers hope to 200,000 NHS patients with epilepsy that does not respond to treatment.
It could also be safer for women in their 20s and 30s wanting kids, with current anti-epilepsy drugs known to be harmful to unborn tots.
Getty Images
The cannabis-based drug could help hundreds or thousands of people with uncontrollable epilepsy DON'T SNOOZE YOU LOSEGetting less than SIX hours' sleep a night 'doubles chance of early death'
NOT FIT FOR BUSINESS7 popular fitness trackers are 'WAY OFF the mark' and overestimate how many kcals you burn
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCHAs drink-drive deaths are rising, here are the units you can have before going behind the wheel
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!This is what happens to your body when you turn 30 (and yes you will get grey hairs down there)
CAUGHT IN A TRAPMen addicted to porn 'at risk of erectile dysfunction because their sexual tolerance is higher'
'I WASN'T SKINNY ENOUGH'Anorexic woman blasts the NHS after 'docs tell her she's not lost enough weight' for treatment
NO NEED TO OVARY-ACTThere are apparently five different types of vagina... so which do YOU have?
MIND OVER MATTERWhat are the symptoms of anxiety, how can it be treated and who else suffers? From Zayn Malik to Will Young
SHOT OF PROTECTIONShould my child have the flu vaccine, what are the side effects and are there any risks?
SLEEPY HEADGetting too MUCH sleep 'could be an early warning sign of dementia' - so how much is too much?
THE BATTLE TO SAVE LIVESMilitary doc reveals how Manchester medics faced horrific 'war zone' injuries
MIRACLE CHOPPERATIONLife-changing transplant gives 40-year-old man a new penis... but it's the WRONG colour
Something's brewing!Why drinking trendy 'detox teas' promoted by celebs could lead to an unexpected pregnancy
Sex SecretsProstitute who earns £2,000 a week reveals the average penis size ... and how much she enjoys work
BETA CHOCKERSEating just one chocolate bar a day 'can reduce risk of stroke by 23 per cent,' study claims
Heartbreaking memoriesWife of terminally ill dad on A Time To Live reveals he has died... and her pride at show
SUN-LIGHT RELIEFVitamin D could help ease chronic pain and insomnia, say experts
PLAGUED BY TERRORIn the aftermath of Manchester bomb attack experts warn 'one in three survivors are at risk of PTSD'
'WORLD FIRST'Dad whose hand was SEWN into his stomach to heal after it was ripped to shreds in accident to have pioneering op
But scientists warn ­sufferers not to self-medicate with street-bought weed.
Kids with Dravet syndrome were given cannabidiol, which does not contain the ingredient that triggers highs.
Professor Helen Cross, a paediatric neurology consultant at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, said it made a major difference.
Mother appears on This Morning to discuss cannabis as treatment for son's epilepsy
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - 'There's Stuff Circulating on the Internet!' GOP Rep. Hints at Seth Rich Conspiracy During CNN Segme - YouTube
Thu, 25 May 2017 12:24
VIDEO - LISTEN: Reporter decked by Montana candidate Greg Gianforte was just hauled off in an ambulance
Thu, 25 May 2017 01:13
LISTEN: Reporter decked by Montana candidate Greg Gianforte was just hauled off in an ambulance
BUSTED: Mar-A-Lago employee and convict's wife working for Trump during overseas junket
'Do you consider yourself a leaker?': Watch Wolf Blitzer hammer Chaffetz over role in Trump-Russia scandal
'Pope looks like he's being held against his will': The internet goes nuts over Trump's weird Vatican photos
'That's all he wanted': Devout Catholic Sean Spicer gets cut from Trump's visit with Pope Francis
AG Sessions failed to report meetings with Russian officials on security clearance forms: DOJ
'White genocide in space': Racist fans seethe at diversity in new 'Star Trek' series
Defense attorney arrested after telling rape victim Trump would deport her if she testified
Fake Russian intel on Lynch-Clinton collusion prompted Comey investigation into Hillary's emails: report
Top Education Department official resigns '-- and cites DeVos diverting 'critical' resources to charter schools
VIDEO - Manchester bombing investigators hunting network of terrorists swoop on suspect with 'suspicious package' in Wigan just hours after dramatic machine gun raid as number arrested reaches seven
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:57
UNDERCOVER cops hunting a network of terrorists swooped on a suspect with a ''suspicious package'' in Wigan today as the number of arrests made over the Manchester bombing reached seven.
The arrest came just hours after officers armed with machine guns and wearing gas masks raided a flat in Manchester city centre '' amid claims the bombmaker could still be at large.
SWNS
The suspect who police said was carrying a suspicious package is led away
SWNS
Plain clothed Cops swarm on the man in Wigan today
Press Association
Police have raided a block of flats close to Manchester Piccadilly Station following Monday's attack in the city
PA:Press Association
Armed police outside Granby House in Granby Row, Manchester
This is the first picture of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi
Handout
Salman Abedi, pictured at Didsbury mosque, was known 'up to a point' to the intelligence services, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said
This evening armed cops raided a block of flats in Blackley, Greater Manchester, and arrested a woman in connection with the bombing. Later they made their seventh arrest, a man in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
The swoops came after three men were arrested just streets away from where Manchester nail bomb terrorist Salman Abedi lived as Theresa May raised the UK threat level to ''critical'' for the first time in 10 years.
Police are now assessing the package being carried by the suspect arrested in Wigan with bomb squads reportedly called in.
Abedi, who US officials said was identified by a bank card found among his remains, detonated a nail bomb on Monday night killing 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert, with many of his victims being youngsters.
He is thought to have been a ''mule'' using a device built by someone else, the BBC reports, amid fears the bomb maker could still be at large.
A police source told the Manchester Evening News: ''They don't waste bomb makers. The reason we have gone to critical is because he is still out there and the fear is that he will strike again before they get caught.''
Police chiefs have said they are investigating the possibility of ''a network'' linked to the bomber, admitting there are gaps in their knowledge.
Greater Manchester Police make arrest in Nuneaton in connection with Salman Abedi
PA:Press Association
A woman was arrested tonight in connection with a raid in Blackley
PA:Press Association
Armed police were pictured at the address in Blackley, Manchester, in a raid connected to Monday's attack
Dramatic moment cops raided the suicide bomber's home in the Fallowfield area of Manchester
Helpers attend to people inside the Manchester Arena after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device
The Sun's front page todayFootage from scene of new armed police raid in central ManchesterToday the dad of Abedi, who claims his son is innocent, was arrested in Libya.
The younger brother of the bomber, Hashem Abedi, has also been arrested in Tripoli along with his older brother in the UK yesterday.
The father told the Associated Press from Tripoli: "We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us."
CC Ian Hopkins on Manchester attack: 'This is a network that we are investigating'Armed police and men clad in balaclavas also stormed the Granby House building on Granby Row, in central Manchester today.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed a controlled explosion had taken place at the address and that a nearby railway was briefly closed during the raid.
A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: "Officers have this afternoon carried out a search at an address in Manchester City Centre as part of the investigation into the horrific incident at Manchester Arena.
"That search is ongoing.
"In order to do this safely we briefly closed a railway line, but it has now been reopened."
It has been suggested that the property is an Airbnb rental.
Three men arrested in connection with Salman Abedi suicide bombing at Manchester ArenaThe Home Secretary Amber Rudd this morning said it's "likely" Abedi "was not doing this on his own" as police arrested three more men in South Manchester in connection with the incident.
A Libyan family, a father, his wife and their two sons, aged in their late teens or early 20s, were taken away by armed police who raided a property on Aston Avenue, Fallowfield, at around 2.30am on Wednesday, neighbours said.
The house is less than a mile from the former home of Abedi.
The BBC has since revealed that two people who knew Salman Abedi had made separate calls to authorities with concerns about the man's views, including that being a suicide bomber was ''OK''.
The Sun revealed the killer is suspected of receiving terror training in Syria, where he may have visited secretly while seeing family in Libya.
Ray Collins-The Sun
Soldiers were pictured arriving at The Houses of Parliament this morning to help support police
Ray Collins-The Sun
The Government has activated Operation Temperer, providing up to 3,800 troops to support the police
Getty Images
Soldiers arrive by bus and head toward a building near New Scotland Yard police headquartersToday French interior minister Gerard Collomb has said the Manchester bomber is believed to have travelled to Syria and had "proven" links with the Islamic State terror group.
Mr Collomb said: "He was a British national of Libyan origin, he grew up in Great Britain.
"All of a sudden he travelled to Libya and then most likely to Syria, became radicalised and decided to commit this attack."
The monster '' who was killed when he detonated a bomb at Ariana Grande's gig on Monday night that killed concert-goers as young as eight '' was born and grew up in Britain.
Abedi's family originally hail from Libya and he is thought to have visited the North African country - also a haven for ISIS fighters - regularly in recent years.
Sources said there were fears Abedi may have taken advantage of the conflict to make the simple journey across the Med to Syria without alerting the British authorities.
One revealed: ''His potential ties to Syria now very much forms one line of inquiry.''
PM Theresa May increases UK threat level to critical following Manchester terror attack by Salman Abedi
SWNS:South West News Service
Police outside Didsbury Mosque this morning where it is reported bomber Salman Abedi prayed
SWNS:South West News Service
Armed police outside Manchester Piccadilly train station during rush hour this morning
London News Pictures
Armed police officers patrol at King's Cross station in London this morning as the terrorism threat level has been raised to critical
Reuters
Forensics investigators work outside the Manchester Arena two days after the attackThousands run screaming after 'explosion' at Ariana Grande gig in Manchester Arena
PA:Press Association
Forensic officer was seen holding a 'know your chemicals' booklet during a raid of the nail bomber's home
The book the forensic officer was clutching outside the addressEight-year-old schoolgirl Saffie Roussos was named as one of the victims along with student Georgina Callander, 26-year-old John Atkinson and brave aunt Kelly Brewster, 32, who shielded her niece from the deadly blast.
Mums Alison Howe, 44, and Lisa Lees, 43, were also killed while waiting for their kids to leave the show and teenager Olivia Campbell who sparked an emotional TV appeal have also been listed among the dead.
Also confirmed dead are Angelika and Marcin Klis, a Polish couple whose daughter launched a desperate appeal to find them yesterday.
Friends of ''iconic'' Martyn Hett, 29, and young farmer Nell Jones, who is believed to have been on crutches at the time, confirmed both were killed.
Police today said they were "confident" they know the identity of all the people who died. They also confirmed an off-duty police officer died in the attack.
Jane Tweddle-Taylor, from Blackpool, was also killed at the Manchester Arena after going to pick a friend's daughter up.
Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, and Michelle Kiss are the latest victims confirmed dead after warped killer Salman Abedi detonated his bomb as fans left the gig.
The horrific attack came as:
The Sun has launched 'Together With Manchester' appeal and donated £100,000 to get it goingAt least 22 people died and a further 64 were injured, with 20 still "critical"Terrorist named as British-born Salman Abedi, 22, who was 'known to MI5'Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it's "likely" Abedi "was not doing this on his own"Cops raided two addresses and arrested Abedi's brother Ismail, 23The second brother of the bomber, Hashem, has also been arrestedBomber's dad Ramadan Abedi who denied his son is linked to militants or the suicide bombing has been arrestedReports that two people who knew Abedi made separate calls to authorities with concerns about his viewsThree more men have been arrested across the city this morningToday a man with a suspicious package was arrested in WiganThis evening cops raided a house in Blackley, Greater Manchester, and arrested a womanPolice are investigating "a network" linked to the bomber amid reports killer was a 'mule'French interior minister said bomber is believed to have travelled to Syria and had "proven" links with IsisTheresa May raised the UK threat level to "critical"The Government has ordered up to 3,800 troops on the streets to support the policeVictims included an eight-year-old girl and an aunt who shielded her niece from blastThe Queen praised the people of Manchester for their compassionAriana Grande's concerts in London on Thursday and Friday cancelledBusiness management student Abedi's identity emerged soon after armed cops dramatically stormed his home in Manchester, at around noon yesterday.
The uni dropout's older brother, computer expert Ismail, 23, was arrested in a separate raid and was being quizzed by anti-terror cops last night.
It came hours after Abedi had blown himself up in the foyer of a packed Manchester Arena, as 21,000 fans left a concert.
Abedi's device - thought to have been wrapped with nuts and bolts to send out a cloud of deadly shrapnel - detonated at 10.33pm.
The death toll currently stands at 22 - with the youngest victim aged just eight.
Of the grim casualty total, 12 children under 16 were injured and it is understood 20 people are still "critical" out of a total of 64 injured.
They are said to be suffering from "horrific injuries" including major organ damage and potential loss of limbs, Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has said.
SWNS:South West News Service
Police outside a house on Aston Avenue, Manchester, believed to be in connection with three new arrests this morning
SWNS:South West News Service
Armed police outside Manchester Piccadilly train station this morning as the Met confirmed increased police numbers and operations across London
PA:Press Association
Police officers outside Downing Street after Scotland Yard announced armed troops will be deployed to guard "key locations"
EPA
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said it's ''likely'' that Manchester bomber ''was not doing this on his own''New video of moment door of suspect in Manchester Arena terror attack
Getty Images
Police officers arrive at the home on Elsmore Road in Fallowfield, Manchester this morning
AP:Associated Press
Armed police keep guard near Victoria Station in Manchester this morning
Men Syndication
Dramatic footage showed two heavily armed terror cops raiding a homePolice raid house of Manchester arena bomber Salman Abedi after terror attacksUS security sources, citing British intelligence officials, said Abedi was born in 1994 to parents who had fled to the UK to escape the Gaddafi regime.
His dad is understood to have left the UK in 2011 to try and overthrow the Libyan leader.
The Mail Online reports when Gaddafi was killed the family put a massive flag on the roof of their house.
Neighbour Debbie Smith, 53, said: ''I think they were glad he was dead.''
Follow The Sun's live blog for the latest updates as they break
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said Abedi was known "up to a point" to the intelligence services.
When asked in an interview with the BBC this morning if the attacker was a "lone wolf" or not Rudd said: "It seems likely, possible, that he wasn't doing this on his own."
PA/SWNS
Saffie Rose Roussos, eight, was killed in the suicide bomb attack, teachers say
Georgina Callander, pictured here with her pop hero Ariana, was also among the dead
Facebook
Mums Alison Howe and Lisa Lees were waiting to collect their teenage daughters at Manchester Arena in the foyer together when they were killed
Martyn Snape
The heartbroken mother of bombing victim Georgina Callander was overcome with grief at the vigil
MEN MEDIA
A heartbreaking note left by a nine-year-old girl in the wake of Monday night's terror attack
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MANCHESTER ARENA ATTACK
News UK, publisher of The Sun, has made a corporate donation of £100,000 to the appeal.
Here's how you can show your support....
ONLINE: www.justgiving.com/TogetherWithManchester
TEXT: Text TWMC50 and amount to 70070 '' eg TWMC50 £5
(you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10)
Injured teen with blood pouring from her leg after deadly Ariana Grande explosion at Manchester Arena
Theresa May has said the threat level has been raised to critical and that the Army will support cops
SWNS:South West News Service
Nell Jones, 14, has been confirmed dead after the attack at Manchester Arena
Facebook
Friends have paid tribute to John Atkinson, who has been named as one of the victims
Martyn Hakan Hett/Facebook
Martyn Hett was killed at the Manchester Arena when a suicide attacker set off a bomb as fans left an Ariana Grande concert
Kelly Brewster/Facebook
Brave aunt Kelly Brewster, 32, who shielded her niece from the deadly Manchester Arena suicide bomb blast was named as the fourth victim
SWNS:South West News Service
Angelika and Marcin Klis are the latest victims confirmed dead after their daughter launched a desperate appeal to find themScreaming heard amid chaos at Manchester Arena following 'loud bangs'Theresa May said Britain is braced for further terrorist attacks after the atrocity.
The military will be providing armed guards for key locations across London including Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster and embassies, Scotland Yard said.
The Government has activated Operation Temperer, providing up to 3,800 troops to support the police in their security operations.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed 984 members of the military would help today at the request of police.
slaughtered by a cowardTwo 14-year-old schoolgirls and an off-duty female police officer taking her kids to concert are latest victims of Manchester bombing massacre
TOWER OF 'TERROR''Shots fired' as Manchester terror cops arrest woman after armed raids on high-rise flats
WORLD UNITES IN GRIEFMonuments around the globe light up in red, white and blue of Union Jack in tribute to Manchester victims
INSTRUMENT OF DEATHChilling pictures of Manchester attacker's deadly home-made nail bomb - with hand-held detonator smeared with blood and melted battery which triggered blast killing 22
BEFORE THE BLASTManchester bomber Salman Abedi caught on CCTV at Arndale shopping centre buying 'bomb blast rucksack'
'HE HASN'T GOT LONG LEFT'Bradley Lowery's heartbroken mum reveals his cancer is 'spreading at a fast rate'
FIGHT TO SAVE SAFFIEBrave first-aider relives moment he held dying Saffie Roussos, 8, in his arms and told her 'you'll be ok' after Manchester terror attack
The Sun SaysThe harm done by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell sucking up to the IRA
massacre in manchesterManchester bombing latest news and live updates '' 'shots fired' in Blackley
WE WERE 'WARNED'Manchester bomber's mum and college classmates 'WARNED authorities about how "dangerous" he was'
blood brothersManchester bomber's dad insists his son is INNOCENT of concert atrocity because 'we don't believe in killing' - as fiend's brother is arrested for links to ISIS in Libya
ARE YOU THE LUCKY WINNER?Winning Lotto numbers for Wednesday 24 May 2017 £24.7million jackpot
'THE SCARIEST 24 HOURS OF MY LIFE'Father shares pics of his daughter, 14, who suffered serious injuries in Manchester
RIDING TO HIS DEATHHorrific moment motorcyclist captures his own death on helmetcam in devastating crash
FORTRESS BRITAINSoldiers scrambled to protect Westminster, No10 and Buckingham Palace as they join armed cops on Britain's streets in race to foil 'imminent' second terror attack
TYNCHY RIDERJapanese porn star Kohey Nishi, 24, is just 3ft 6in tall and dominates the country's X-rated movie scene
SINGER'S INSULT TO VICTIMSX Factor flop Steve Brookstein sparks fury with Manchester attack conspiracy theory
'BULLIED TO DEATH'Teenage mechanic who was 'caged and set of fire' at Audi garage hanged himself after months of bullying
HOMELESS HEROES of manchesterHomeless men tell how they cradled dying women and pulled nails from children's faces after terror attack
Following an emergency Cobra meeting, Mrs May said the independent body which sets the threat level has increased it from ''severe'' to ''critical''.
She said: "This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.
The defiant PM described the massacre as ''callous and cowardly'' and declared ''terrorists will never win''.
Cowardly ISIS warlords - hiding in Syria - have claimed responsibility for the gutless attack.
London News Pictures
An injured man is led from the arena in Manchester after the chaos shortly after the concert finishedDO YOU KNOW THE BOMBER?
Call us today on 020 7782 4103, email exclusive@the-sun.co.uk
Or text 07423 720 250
SWNS:South West News Service
Dramatic moment armed cops arrested a 23-year-old man outside Morrisons in Chorlton, south Manchester yesterday morningMum describes moment she 'saw' Manchester Arena suicide bomber before deadly terror attack
SWNS:South West News Service
Flowers and messages in memory of the victims of the Manchester terror attackPeople flee Manchester Arena after fatal 'explosion' during pop concertThousands gathered last night to remember the victims of the atrocity in a series of vigils across the country.
The people of Manchester have been encouraged to "get back to normal" as the city vows to continue with its day-to-day business.
But while the city's mayor Andy Burnham said it is important to send out a message that the people will not be "beaten", he also said the city is going through "very difficult times".
He confirmed the Great City Games is set to go ahead this weekend.
The blast detonated in the foyer near the box office as thousands of pop fans left the concert, many going to Victoria station
Dramatic footage captured the moment concert-goers ran for their livesPM Theresa May delivers defiant statement after terror attack at Ariana Grande gig in Manchester
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VIDEO - What Stevie Nicks Has To Say About Cellphones Will Make You Ashamed To Be A Cellphone User'... | Society Of Rock
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:56
Photo Credit: Youtube Channel - tparbs
Stevie Nicks Is Beautiful'... Yet Candid!Stevie Nicks is truly one of the most beautiful things about music, even today. She has many nicknames. Our fairy godmother, the rock goddess, the queen of everything etc. But a new one to give her is'... 'Cellphone Shamer'? Can you even imagine a scenario where Stevie Nicks is offending anyone or anything? As we've said before, she can really do no wrong, so the answer to that question be NO. But if you're a cellphone user, proceed with caution!
What you're about to watch is a video where Stevie Nicks is having a sit down interview and the topic of cellphones is brought up. Stevie Nicks is immediately put off by the idea of cellphones. Not at the interviewer, but just at the idea of people using cellphones. So like I said, if you're a cellphone user and you love Stevie Nicks (which we assume is the case, because otherwise, how are you here!?) proceed with caution!
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VIDEO - A New UFO Documentary Suggests Marilyn Monroe Was Killed Because She Knew About Aliens
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:54
Marilyn Monroe has a small but weird role in the new documentary Unacknowledged. Image: WikipediaEvery time someone releases a documentary about UFOs, we secretly hope this is the one with the smoking gun that changes the world and proves aliens exist. Well, we don't think Unacknowledged does that, but it's not lacking in fascinating conspiracy theories.
Directed by Michael Mazzola, Unacknowledged follows Dr. Steven Greer, who takes viewers through what he believes is a well-documented history of the United States covering up the existence of evidence of extraterrestrials.
One example is in this exclusive clip, which suggests Marilyn Monroe was killed because she threatened to leak classified information.
Now, is this true? We obviously don't know. And it's probably not even the first time someone has made this claim. But theories like that are why we watch movies like this in the first place. And this is just one clip in a much larger story.
Unacknowledged is now on digital and will be available on VOD May 23.
Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo
VIDEO - Search | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:48
About C-SPAN Resources Follow C-SPAN Channel Finder Find C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Found C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("");if (provider['STATUS'][0] == 1){var cspan1 = provider['CHANNEL'][0].split(',');$.each(cspan1, function(index, value) {cspan1[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan1 = cspan1.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPANChannel " + cspan1 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][1] == 1){var cspan2 = provider['CHANNEL'][1].split(',');$.each(cspan2, function(index, value) {cspan2[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan2 = cspan2.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN2Channel " + cspan2 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][2] == 1){var cspan3 = provider['CHANNEL'][2].split(',');$.each(cspan3, function(index, value) {cspan3[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan3 = cspan3.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN3Channel " + cspan3 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] + "*" : "") + "");}if (hd)$('nav.channel-finder div').append("* Not available in all packages and areas. Please contact your provider if you don't see C-SPAN on your channel lineup.
");}else{$('nav.channel-finder').html("");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Your Provider Does Not Carry C-SPAN ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Request C-SPAN");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("C-SPAN is carried by these providers:
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");$('nav.channel-finder div form').append("* Last Name:
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VIDEO - Search | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:47
AllVideosClipsPeopleMentionsBills
About C-SPAN Resources Follow C-SPAN Channel Finder Find C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Found C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("");if (provider['STATUS'][0] == 1){var cspan1 = provider['CHANNEL'][0].split(',');$.each(cspan1, function(index, value) {cspan1[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan1 = cspan1.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPANChannel " + cspan1 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][1] == 1){var cspan2 = provider['CHANNEL'][1].split(',');$.each(cspan2, function(index, value) {cspan2[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan2 = cspan2.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN2Channel " + cspan2 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][2] == 1){var cspan3 = provider['CHANNEL'][2].split(',');$.each(cspan3, function(index, value) {cspan3[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan3 = cspan3.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN3Channel " + cspan3 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] + "*" : "") + "");}if (hd)$('nav.channel-finder div').append("* Not available in all packages and areas. Please contact your provider if you don't see C-SPAN on your channel lineup.
");}else{$('nav.channel-finder').html("");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Your Provider Does Not Carry C-SPAN ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Request C-SPAN");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("C-SPAN is carried by these providers:
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")});}}});});function submitRequest(){var formData = $('#request-cspan').serializeArray();var userid = window.providers['K2USERID'];var firstname = formData[0]['value'];var lastname = formData[1]['value'];var email = formData[2]['value'];var message = formData[3]['value'];if (validateEmail(email)) {$.ajax({type: "POST",url: "//www.c-span.org/common/services/getChannel.php",data: {userid: userid, firstname: firstname, lastname: lastname, email: email, provider: window.selectedprovider, zip: window.zip, message: message}}).done(function(data){if (data == '{"STATUS":"SUCCESS"}'){$('nav.channel-finder').html("");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Thank You For Your Request ");}});}}function validateEmail($email){var emailReg = /^([\w-\.]+@([\w-]+\.)+[\w-]{2,4})?$/;var ret = true;if(!emailReg.test($email))ret = false;return ret;}function compareNumbers(a, b){return a - b;}(C) 2017 National Cable Satellite Corporation
VIDEO - Former CIA Director Saw Intelligence Information | Video | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 24 May 2017 15:23
May 23, 2017 Russia and the 2016 Elections John Brennan, the former CIA director, appeared before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible ties with the Trump campaign.
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
VIDEO - Dr. Hans Utter - ''Music, Mind Control, and Psychobiology, Pt. 1'' - #232 - YouTube
Wed, 24 May 2017 11:07
VIDEO - Manchester: CNN, MSNBC Focus On Russia Collusion Coverage | The Daily Caller
Wed, 24 May 2017 10:12
CNN and MSNBC largely ignored breaking news of a terror attack Monday night in England for nearly an hour to rehash news about President Trump and accusations his campaign colluded with Russia during the election.
Initial reports of explosions at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester came in around 6 p.m. EST, and Fox News began extensive coverage of the attack around 6:50 p.m. By then at least 20 were reported dead and hundreds wounded in what was quickly becoming a clear instance of a major terror attack.
CNN's Erin Burnett and MSNBC's Chris Matthews were obviously eager to dive into the Washington Post report at the top of the 7:00 hour, and their segments were literally torn between that news and news of people getting blown up at the concert. WaPo reported that Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence officials to publicly deny the existence of any evidence his campaign colluded with Russia.
CNN and MSNBC briefly cut to news of the attacks before 7 p.m., but both networks opted to devote the bulk of the following hour to a discussion of news regarding the report on Trump and Russian collusion accusations. MSNBC devoted just 26 minutes of that hour to news of the massive terror attack. And CNN covered the attacks for just under 20 minutes.
''Police say there have been a number of fatalities and a serious incident after a concert at Manchester arena,'' Matthews said in the opening of his segment. People at the arena are heard screaming in the background of his segment, as a video clip from the arena plays. ''A senior U.S. intelligence official tells NBC news there has been an explosion. We'll get the latest on that in a minute.''
''We begin however, with the shocking news in Washington tonight,'' he continued, quickly switching to a topic deemed more important. Matthews spent the next 20 minutes discussing the report on Trump, before briefly getting back to the attack.
WATCH:
Burnett did not even mention the attack at the beginning of her segment on MSNBC. Viewers who tuned in at 7 p.m. would have had no clue the attack was happening until about 17 minutes into her show.
''Breaking news '-- a stunning report,'' she said in her opener, teasing the report on Trump and a silly dispute over whether Melania batted his hand away on their trip Monday, but making no mention of the terror attack.
''I'm going to talk to the Washington Post reporter breaking this story,'' she said. ''Trump and Israel denying something he was never accused of '-- did he incriminate himself? And the presidential putdown. Did Melania refuse to take the president's hand?''
WATCH:
Ten minutes later, here's what the screens on CNN and MSNBC looked like:
Fox News, meanwhile, continued coverage of the devastating attack:
WATCH:
About two-thirds of the way into their respective segments, CNN and MSNBC gave way to the more compelling breaking news story and finally switched coverage back to the terror attack for the remainder of the hour. Both networks had spent more than 30 minutes ignoring the attack in order to focus on the negative Trump news.
While some of the details of the Washington Post report are new, the thread of the Trump campaign asking intelligence officials to tamp down on media reports accusations of collusion with Russia is old news. Reports circulated as early as February that Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to deny reports that campaign advisers were communicating with Russian intelligence agents during the campaign.
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VIDEO - Fidget spinner fad: Adults don't get it, and that's the point - CNN.com
Wed, 24 May 2017 09:38
Don't know what a fidget spinner is? Not to worry -- most people who aren't in touch with school-age children don't have a clue. (When I asked a class of 30 college students, only two knew what they were.)
A fidget spinner has two or three paddle-shaped blades attached to a central core. Squeeze the core, give the blades a flick and they spin. That's it. With a price between US$3 and $4 and available in all sorts of color schemes, many children can carry around a pocketful.
The hula hoop is probably the most famous. Over the course of a few months in 1958, an estimated 25 million were sold -- enough so that every child in America between the ages of five and 11 could have owned one. Soon, however, most hula hoops stopped spinning and began collecting dust. Similar toys fads include troll dolls, super balls, Rubik's cubes, Beanie Babies and jelly bracelets.It's impossible to predict which toys will become the focus of faddish enthusiasm. It helps if the price tag falls within a child's budget, if it's small enough to be brought to school and if it appeals to both boys and girls. But these aren't hard and fast rules.
Cabbage Patch Kids ($25 -- equivalent to about $60 today) hit it big in 1983 when frustrated, holiday present-buying adults competed for the limited supply of dolls in stores. (They were eventually issued "adoption certificates" that could be exchanged for the dolls when production runs caught up with demand.)
Adults are often ambivalent about children's fads. Some get caught up in the enthusiasm, like those who invested in the Beanie Baby bubble, convinced that the toys could only grow more valuable with each passing year. (They didn't.)Others try to read meanings into toy fads. Progressives might worry that children are being exploited, separated from their allowance money by "Big Toy" marketers. ("Wouldn't it be better if children played with wooden blocks, instead of commercialized plastic?")And conservatives might fear that toys will corrupt children's values. During the jelly bracelet craze, some claimed that those thin rings of plastic gel were actually dangerous sex bracelets, with each color referring to a particular sexual act (and having one's bracelet broken required the wearer to perform that act). Of course, critics of all stripes can suspect that the toys distract kids from their responsibilities to focus on their studies.All of this exaggerates the significance of toy fads. Play is undeniably important to childhood development, but particular toys rarely have dramatic effects. Most parents have probably given a small child a nicely wrapped present, only to have the child ignore the gift in favor of playing with the ribbon.Adults imagine that war toys or sexist toys or racist toys or meat toys (which trouble vegetarians) or occult toys (which concern evangelicals) will produce adults with bad values, but it's hard to find much evidence to support those claims. No doubt some women who are feminists owned a Barbie as a kid.See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.
Toy fads are important because they represent something novel, different. An important part of childhood is gradually separating yourself from your family and becoming your own person. We can see this when middle-school children announce a taste for music that diverges from what their parents enjoy; it's a way of declaring, "I'm my own person."
We can imagine slightly younger kids comparing fidget spinners -- yours is an interesting color or really sparkles when it spins, while mine spins for a really long time. Fidget spinners are all the more fun to the degree they're subterranean, with most adults clueless.
They're getting a lot of attention today, but like all fads their novelty will inevitably fade: They'll soon be stuffed in the corners of dresser drawers, waiting to provide little jolts of nostalgia when they're rediscovered a few years down the road.
Joel Best is a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.
VIDEO - Dr. Hans Utter - ''Music, Mind Control, and Psychobiology, Pt. 1'' - #232 - YouTube
Wed, 24 May 2017 03:27
VIDEO - Manchester terror attack suspect identified as Salman Abedi | Fox News
Wed, 24 May 2017 00:39
British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who launched a deadly attack at a Manchester Ariana Grande concert, hours after the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the blast.
Salman Abedi, 22, was identified as the man who detonated an improvised explosive device at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, killing more than 20 people, some of them children, and injuring dozens more, Manchester police confirmed in a news conference on Tuesday. At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured, emergency responders said. An 8-year-old girl was among the dead.
A European security official told the Associated Press that Abedi was British. No additional details about Abedi were immediately available.
TIMELINE OF RECENT TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST THE WEST
Expand / Collapse It was previously reported that Abedi was 23, but police clarified that another 23-year-old man was arrested. Two warrants have been issued at two separate residences. Officers used a police-controlled explosive device to gain entry into one home.
ISIS claimed on Tuesday that "a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings" then detonated them, but Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that the U.S. had not yet verified that the terror group was responsible.
The explosion unfolded outside Manchester Arena as Grande's concert was coming to a close. The pop star, who wasn't injured, reportedly suspended her Dangerous Woman Tour following the attack. She wrote on Twitter, "broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words."
Officials believe the device was packed with shrapnel, built to inflict as much human damage as possible, according to U.S. law enforcement sources. Manchester police said one of their priorities is to investigate whether the attacker acted alone or had some kind of support.
Politicians both at home and abroad condemned the attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack ''appalling, sickening cowardice."
MANCHESTER ARENA WAS PACKED WITH ARIANA GRANDE'S YOUNG FANS
''We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,'' she said.
President Donald Trump slammed those responsible for the attack as ''losers.''
''I won't call them 'monsters' because they would like that term'... I will call them, from now on, 'losers' because that's what they are, they're losers.''
Fox News' Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
VIDEO - John Podesta Unloads on Trump - POLITICO Magazine
Wed, 24 May 2017 00:37
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Donald Trump is ''unfit for office,'' a president whose actions are often ''absolutely crazy'' and whose White House has ''a complete disregard for the truth.'' His firing of James Comey, the FBI director overseeing an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and whether Trump's advisers colluded with it, amounts to ''close to an obstruction case'' against the president.
But, says John Podesta'--the sharp-tongued campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton whose 60,000 hacked emails are at the heart of that FBI investigation into the team of the man who defeated them'--don't expect impeachment proceedings anytime soon.
Republican congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have chosen to ''Velcro their own political fate'' to Trump's and won't pursue allegations against the president of their own party unless forced to do so by a 2018 midterm election debacle or further revelations. ''It is clear to me that Republicans on Capitol Hill are not going to begin to turn on him at this point,'' Podesta says.
His scathing comments about a presidency in crisis'--and the Republicans who ''enable'' Trump'--came in an exclusive new interview for The Global Politico about Clinton's shocking election defeat and the still-unfolding investigations swirling around Russia's role in it. The wide-ranging conversation covered everything from infighting on last year's Clinton campaign (''if those 70,000 votes had gone differently in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, '... we would have all been geniuses'') to Watergate comparisons (unlike Trump, ''Nixon, for all his flaws '... was a serious person'') to why Clinton lost and whether her new PAC means she's running for president again (''quite frankly, she's done with that'').
But most of the hourlong interview consisted of Podesta's most extensive comments yet on two dramatic weeks in Washington that began with Trump's firing of Comey and ended with Trump departing for his first foreign trip as president even as a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, was named to oversee the widening probe.
In the immediate hours after the firing, the White House claimed Comey was forced out because he had mishandled the investigation last year of Clinton's private email server. But Trump himself soon undercut that explanation, telling a TV interviewer that in fact he had removed Comey with thoughts of the ongoing Russia collusion investigation in mind and even, according to the New York Times, repeating that directly to the Russian foreign minister in an Oval Office conversation in which he also called Comey ''a nut job.''
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Podesta was still incredulous about all this when we talked Saturday at his Northwest Washington home.
''It's laughable, really laughable that Donald Trump would fire Jim Comey because of his interference which damaged Hillary Clinton. I mean, it was laughable from the very beginning,'' Podesta says. ''Just a complete misreading of reality.''
Like Clinton, Podesta remains adamant that Comey's late intervention in last year's campaign'--he reopened the closed probe of Clinton's private email server just 11 days before the voting'--likely cost her the presidency. But he thinks Trump mistook their criticism of Comey for a blank check to fire the director amid the current Trump-related probe. ''I still think what Jim Comey did last fall was wrong,'' Podesta says, ''but he shouldn't have been fired, given the circumstances that he was leading this investigation.''
Podesta, who served as White House chief of staff during the impeachment of Bill Clinton and then became a top Obama White House counselor at the end of his presidency, has years of experience with the different varieties of executive branch dysfunction, and he sees Comey's firing as a symptom of a Trump White House that is broken. He wrote a Washington Post op-ed on May 12 saying the president should fire top advisers, like current chief of staff Reince Priebus, who are unable to confront Trump with unpleasant realities.
''The problem in the Trump White House is they have no one who really stands up to him,'' Podesta says. ''He's impetuous, he's impulsive, he fires things off and, if anything, they enable him rather than trying to contain what are moves that in any other context would seem, you know, absolutely crazy. '... If they're going to try to right this place and be able to be effective, I think they need a much stronger team who can resist his impulses and tell him that he's wrong.''
I asked Podesta whether Bill Clinton had lied to him during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, as aides have said Clinton did to hide his affair with the former intern'--and what he would say to Trump's increasingly beleaguered advisers now, as they are sent out to offer cover stories that the president himself soon discards or release information quickly proved to be incorrect.
''Look,'' Podesta responded, ''you need to probe that, and I think that you need to be sure that the information that you are providing is contextualized, and you're not exaggerating the problem. And I think one of the things that we've seen in this White House is that they have a sort of complete disregard for the truth. So, they'll say one thing one day, Trump will tweet something the next day, and they're onto a different story.'' The White House, he argued, has a responsibility ''to basically put out straight information, and, in order to do that, I think you've got to ensure that you're getting straight information, and they seem to have little regard for that.''
Ultimately, it's Trump's fault and not the staff's, Podesta says, arguing the past couple of weeks have proved that Trump is ''incapable of doing the job.'' Podesta says he believes the new revelations, with Trump linking the firing to the Russia case, amount to ''close to an obstruction case, either in the political context of impeachment, or in the context of a criminal grand jury investigation to indict somebody for obstruction.''
As a matter of politics, however, Podesta says congressional leaders seem determined to stick with Trump, making impeachment unlikely for now, and a removal from office under Article 25 of the Constitution, by the president's own Cabinet and vice president, even unlikelier. ''You know, Betsy DeVos signing her name to throw Donald Trump out of office is kind of hard for me to imagine right now,'' he says.
As for Ryan and McConnell on Capitol Hill, ''I think they have concluded that their only chance of getting, you know, tax reform or repealing Obamacare, is to stick with Trump,'' Podesta says. ''And they'll take the consequences. But I think they're empowering him in their decision to Velcro their own political fate to his, and it could mean that in the midterm elections, they pay a healthy price for that.''
But Podesta, who may be the closest thing the Democratic Party has to a wise man right now even after the ignominious 2016 election defeat, isn't ready to call 2018 just yet. ''If the Democrats were to be so successful as to take back control of the House, then I think, you know, all bets are off,'' he says. ''I think you'd see a much more serious congressional investigation going on.''
***
Inevitably, much of the conversation with Podesta returns to the 2016 campaign, and the stunning events of last fall and even to one day in particular, Friday, October 7.
At one point that day, the main news looked to be a statement from senior officials in the Obama administration confirming that the Russians were indeed responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails in an effort to affect the U.S. presidential election. Then, just after 4 p.m. the Washington Post broke the news of the ''Access Hollywood'' tape in which Trump could be heard bragging about sexually assaulting women. That revelation seemed so politically damaging to the Republican presidential nominee that an event just minutes later was almost lost in comparison: the release by WikiLeaks of the first of what would eventually be thousands of hacked emails from Podesta's email account.
Podesta had no idea until that night that his email had been completely compromised'--an action, he says, that resulted from one of his assistants following the advice of a campaign technology aide and clicking inadvertently on a link (''you can't come back and blame the victim,'' he says)'--and that he and others at the time did not fully understand the effect the Russian hacking, along with the spread of Russian-pushed fake news, was having in a ''subterranean'' way on the campaign.
Then came that explosive Comey letter 11 days before the balloting. And we've been arguing ever since about not only Comey's action, but whether and how it might have resulted in the election of Donald Trump.
Clinton has taken a lot of heat for attributing her loss to Comey and appearing to minimize other factors'--like her own decisions. In our interview, however, Podesta took much the same approach.
First, though, he acknowledged the loss was on them. ''We bear responsibility, and it's a great burden, and I feel it every day. I mean, we lost this election; we won the popular vote by 3 million votes, but we lost the Electoral College and lost the election to Donald Trump. So, we have a burden of his having the keys to the White House, and you know, codes to the nuclear football,'' he says.
But he insists Comey did matter. ''We had a lead, and that lead really substantially narrowed after Comey's letter,'' he says, though he acknowledges the criticism that the campaign had not campaigned aggressively enough in the three states that ultimately swung the election and appeared to confirm accounts he had disagreed with campaign manager Robby Mook about the distribution of resources to one of those states, Wisconsin. ''We probably should have done more in Wisconsin; we didn't advertise there until the very end. But you know, at the end of the day, we lost Pennsylvania anyway, and we had thrown everything we could at Pennsylvania. So, it is what it is.''
And he came back to Comey in arguing that's where the late ''swing'' to Trump mattered among a group of voters who thought ''it was just OK to blow up the system because the system wasn't working for them, and they would take a flier on someone they viewed as unfit to be president,'' pointing out that ''when we set out to prove that he was temperamentally unfit, and unqualified to be president, we convinced 60 percent of the American public of that. Unfortunately, 20 percent of his voters believed that and still voted for him, and I think that was part of it.''
But if Comey was part of it and voters ''taking a flier'' was part of it and Vladimir Putin was another part of it (he had a ''grudge'' against Clinton, Podesta argues, going back to her days as secretary of state), another big factor, he acknowledges, was Trump himself. ''He does create a vortex and a kind of trap for his opponents, which is, he says, you know, something outrageous, and if it's not outrageous enough to dominate the news, he just amps it up,'' Podesta says. ''And it's easy to fall into the trap of always being kind of in his story.''
***
So how does Trump's story, the one we are all now endlessly caught up in, end, I asked? Will we see a repeat of the Watergate era, when Podesta and the Clintons first entered politics, and ''impeachment'' was first broached in the modern era?
''It's hard to imagine how this keeps going for an entire presidential term,'' Podesta replied, noting that unlike Nixon, Trump benefits from the protective cocoon of a Republican Congress. ''Right now, there's nothing that compels him to leave. So, we'll just, you know, it'll unfold as it unfolds. But every day, there's kind of new fodder for thinking that he can't do this job.''
Susan B. Glasser is POLITICO's chief international affairs columnist. Her new podcast, The Global Politico, comes out Mondays. Subscribe here. Follow her on Twitter @sbg1.
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VIDEO - African American Caucus leaders looking for answers as to why U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' microphone was cut off - LA Times
Wed, 24 May 2017 00:32
May 22, 2017, 10:17 a.m.
The head of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus said Monday he was working with state party officials to determine who was responsible for cutting off the sound to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' microphone as she spoke to the group at the party's convention on Saturday.
"This is a very unusual situation, and we are collectively trying to figure out a path forward to address what happened and make sure these things do not happen in the future," Caucus Chairman Darren Parker said.
Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat whose acerbic comments on President Trump have brought her national attention in her 14th term, was in the middle of a rousing speech against Trump on Saturday night when she was approached by a man who appeared to work for the convention center.
"Hey, leave her alone," audience members shouted as he interrupted to speak to her privately, prompting Parker to show the man away.
"That's all right, that's OK '-- they try to shut me up all the time," Waters quipped to loud cheers as she continued to speak.
But the sound from her microphone was cut off shortly thereafter, sending the room of about 300 people into confusion. That didn't stop Waters. As a few voices shouted in anger, she got down from the podium, telling the audience they could still have a conversation.
She finished her speech from the floor, as the crowd chanted "Impeach 45."
A manager for the Sacramento Convention Center told The Times on Monday that the contractors who pulled the plug on the event were not center employees. Parker said the caucus had initially believed the man to be a convention staff or city employee. But after working with a Sacramento City Council member over the weekend, caucus leaders determined the audio was provided by an outside firm hired by the state Democratic Party.
The audio company has not been identified, he said, and a look into what happened is ongoing. Parker called the incident unusual and disrespectful.
The caucus meeting ran late. When an event has run over its time slot in the past, Parker said, the caucus has been billed for the extra expenses.
"We are working directly with statewide officers to make sure that these outside contractors are properly instructed on how to act and how to treat our guests," he said.
VIDEO - [WATCH] Rachel Maddow: Trump Team Does Not ''Get To Make Their Own News | Deadline
Tue, 23 May 2017 16:05
Visiting Stephen Colbert's The Late Show to celebrate her status these days as host of the No. 1 program on cable news, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow got asked if President Donald Trump's overseas trip was an opportunity to calm things down at home, and maybe his being too tired to tweet might be a ''positive thing for him.''
Maddow dismissed that idea, noting Washington Post reported Friday night,as Trump's plane took off, that there is a significant person of interest in the FBI probe who currently is working actively in the White House as a senior adviser. She said she finds it ''mysterious'' Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon got sent home Monday as former NSA Michael Flynn signaled he will plead the Fifth, telegraphing subject of her next program.
''They don't get to make their own news any more,'' Maddow asserted. ''Once you're the first president in U.S. history who is under counterintelligence investigation by the FBI, and likely under a criminal obstruction of justice probe for something that you openly committed, and then bragged about to the Russians before you bragged about it to NBC News, you don't get to make your own news any more .
''At this point the news of the Trump administration is the news of people investigating it and figuring out what's really going on.''
After an ad break, Colbert and Maddow '' both of whom have benefited enormously ratings-wise, from Trump being in the White House, pondered his political future. Maddow said she thought Republicans would step up if investigation findings warranted action. Colbert, however, noted people lowered their ''standards and norms'' to elect him POTUS ,and suspects that degrading will only continue ''as we pick sides'':
VIDEO - WeAreMASTODONe.mp3
Tue, 23 May 2017 14:12
VIDEO - Despite media censorship: Seth Rich parents thank people for help finding son's killer '' Fire Andrea Mitchell!
Mon, 22 May 2017 11:36
No matter how much the media desperately tries to get people to focus away from the murder of Seth Rich and make false claims that the parents don't want the hunt for his killer, Rich's parents are very thankful for those helping to find his killer. Kim Dotcom who claims to know Seth Rich will have a public statement released on Tuesday, though we don't know if he will have any bombshells related to Seth Rich. What we do have is a video statement released by Seth Rich's parents a couple of weeks ago, thanking people on the Internet for help finding the killer of their son.
Despite media censorship: Seth Rich parents thank people for help finding son's killerThe media can lie and obfuscate all they want. It's no coincidence that once the story about Seth Rich's murder came up again last weekend, the so called ''leaks'' from the Washington Post and New York Times began. The Democrats and Hillary Clinton are trying to hide something regarding the murder of Seth Rich. The only way they know how is to illegally leak information to these two failing newspaper in hope of drawing American's attention to the so called Russian collusion that doesn't even exist.
The truth on Seth Rich's murder will come out, and his parents will have some sort of vindication. But until it does, the media and Democrats are going to do whatever they can to avoid covering the story of Seth Rich and his mysterious murder last July.
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VIDEO - In 1998, Maxine Waters Called Impeachment a 'Coup d'etat'
Mon, 22 May 2017 11:31
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), along with her colleague Al Green (D-TX), is a leader of the impeach-Trump movement. But in 1998, Waters called impeachment a "coup d'etat." And she wasn't just upset about because she thought Bill Clinton was not guilty, she was upset at the use of the institution of impeachment. She called it an "unapologetic disregard for the voice of the people" and an "abuse of power in the collecting of so-called 'evidence' and the denial of the presumption of innocence." But isn't this exactly what she's proposing doing to President Trump?
VIDEO - Are Cape Coral canal levels improving with Charlotte County wate - NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida
Sun, 21 May 2017 15:01
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Since the end of April, millions of gallons of water have been pumping into Cape Coral canals 24 hours a day.
The measure is being taken because the city has been hard hit by the serious drought.
''It's frustrating; it's very frustrating," said Ron Brandich as he walked down his back steps to his pontoon boat.
Brandich lives on a canal near Nelson Road in Cape Coral and has been landlocked for quite some time.
"We've lived here five years and ... this is the lowest I've seen it," he added.
Brandich and other neighbors around him are stuck on land because their boats are either stuck or can't be put into the water because of how low the water level is.
"The boat cannot be moved," Brandich said as he stood over his beached pontoon.
Hope is on the canal's horizon, though. The city is no longer relying on Mother Nature and has been pumping in millions of gallons of water into its canals from a reservoir in Charlotte County.
''It's not good, so filling those canals up is a top priority,'' said Jeff Pearson, the city's utility director.
The water, which can be pumped out at as much as 17 million gallons a day, is taken from a large pool of water in Punta Gorda. It travels along US-41 and eventually into the canals.
This will not only help boaters like Brandich but also the water restrictions that have been placed on residents, and residents' overall safety since the city's fire fighters rely on the canal water.
"We're seeing positive results north of Pine Island Road," says Pearson. "If there was a grass fire, [or] anything like that, the fire department can draft water from the canals and put the fire out."
Even with the pumping, Brandich says he's only seen the water go up a few inches this month and says it will take more than manpower to help this drought.
''We need help from the big man in the sky," Brandich said with a laugh.
The city started pumping water on April 28 and says it has the resources to pump for 90 days.

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