951: Hard Forking

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 7m
July 30th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Sir Corwin Underwood, Sir Dwayne Melancon Grand Duke of the Pacific NW, Sir Onymous of Dopatch, Jimmy James, Gareth Edwards, Jboy

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Chase McCarthy, Sir Karl with a K, Dame Beth Baroness of Baja Arizona, Sir Joho, Sir Dave Baron of Kansas City, Nicholas Robinson, Sir Richard Bangs, Mark Carter, Lance Fisher

Cover Artist: Conan Salada

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EuroLand
EU explores account freezes to prevent runs at failing banks
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:40
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed.
The move is aimed at helping rescue lenders that are deemed failing or likely to fail, but critics say it could hit confidence and might even hasten withdrawals at the first rumors of a bank being in trouble.
The proposal, which has been in the works since the beginning of this year, comes less than two months after a run on deposits at Banco Popular contributed to the collapse of the Spanish lender.
It also come amid a bitter wrangle among European countries over how to deal with troubled banks, roughly a decade after a financial crash that required the European Central Bank to print billions of euros to prevent a prolonged economic slump.
Giving supervisors the power to temporarily block bank accounts at ailing lenders is "a feasible option," a paper prepared by the Estonian presidency of the EU said, acknowledging that member states were divided on the issue.
EU countries which already allow a moratorium on bank payouts in insolvency procedures at national level, like Germany, support the measure, officials said.
"The desire is to prevent a bank run, so that when a bank is in a critical situation it is not pushed over the edge," a person familiar with German government's thinking said.
To cover for savers' immediate financial needs, the Estonian paper, dated July 10, recommended the introduction of a mechanism that could allow depositors to withdraw "at least a limited amount of funds."
Banks, though, say it would discourage saving.
"We strongly believe that this would incentivize depositors to run from a bank at an early stage," Charlie Bannister of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), a banking lobby group, said.
The Estonian proposal was discussed by EU envoys on July 13 but no decision was made, an EU official said. Discussions were due to continue in September. Approval of EU lawmakers would be required for any final decision.
Insured DepositsThe plan, if agreed, would contrast with legislative proposals made by the European Commission in November that aimed to strengthen supervisors' powers to suspend withdrawals, but excluded from the moratorium insured depositors, which under EU rules are those below 100,000 euros ($117,000).
Under the plan discussed by EU states, pay-outs could be suspended for five working days and the block could be extended to a maximum of 20 days in exceptional circumstances, the Estonian document said.
Existing EU rules allow a two-day suspension of some payouts by failing banks, but the moratorium does not include deposits.
The Commission, which declined to comment on the discussion, had previously excluded insured deposits from the scope of the moratorium tool fearing it "may have a negative impact on market confidence," according to a press release published in November.
Many states supported a suspension of payouts only during the so-called resolution of a failing bank - the process which imposes losses on lenders' investors and possibly also uninsured depositors, while preserving the continuity of the banking activities, the document said.
Most countries opposed bolder plans for an early moratorium.
Additional reporting by John O'Donnell in Frankfurt; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Alexander Smith
Schulz Warning if Italy is Not Given Aid by the EU The Refugee Crisis Will Explode Again | Armstrong Economics
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:02
SPD chancellor candidate Martin Schulz has come out and warned that if Italy is not given support, then it will send the refugees to Germany which it can no longer afford to accept any more. Schulz is warning that the refugee crisis in Germany will explode, IF Italy is not provided support from the European Union. Schulz is saying that since 2015, over one million refugees had infiltrated Germany and it is just beyond control. The question becomes whether this will get much worse and disrupt the German elections in the come of September.
If the EU does not stop the refugee invasion, they are going to suffer a tremendous economic decline beyond imagination going into 2021.
Trade war? EU ready for economic counter-sanctions if US anti-Russia bill signed '' top officials
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:48
Top economy officials of several EU states say they won't shun from striking back at the US if the sanctions that would hit Russia's energy sector and its European partners are signed by Donald Trump. Some suggested EU's Russia sanctions could also be lifted.
The sanctions bill, approved by the US Senate and sent to President Trump for his signature, would immediately affect Russia-EU projects such as the Nordstream II pipeline project. The companies doing business with Russian oil and gas firms include the likes of BASF, Shell, Engie, OMV, Wintershall and Uniper.
German economy minister Briggette Zypries on Thursday hinted at the possibility of a full-fledged trade war erupting between Europe and the US, if the latter enforces sanctions affecting European companies.
''There is a possibility of counter-sanctions, which the World Trade Organization foresees in this case,'' Zypries told German broadcaster ARD, as cited by Die Welt.
Describing Berlin's response to the possible sanctions as ''harsh,'' the German media outlet suggested the officials were ready for a ''trade war'' if necessary.
READ MORE: Economics first: 'US Congress clearly targets Nord Stream-2'
There is an understanding that with the new restrictive measures the US is trying to push forward its own interests in the energy sector, Die Welt quoted Michael Harms, Managing Director of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, as saying.
"The sought [after] sanctions against pipeline projects are designed to boost energy exports from the US to Europe, create jobs in the US, and strengthen US foreign policy," Harms said.
Following the adoption of the US bill targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea by the US Congress, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel strongly criticized the American lawmakers' decision.
"Our stance remains that we will not accept any extraterritorial use whatsoever of these US sanctions against European companies. President Trump knows that, and so do the State Department and the US administration. Sanctions policies are neither a suitable nor an appropriate instrument for promoting national export interests and the domestic energy sector," Gabriel said in a statement issued Friday.
Saying "what happens next is now up to President Trump," the minister once again urged Germany's American partners "to coordinate our policies towards Russia closely."
Nothing more than a desire "to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine" stands behind the European sanctions on Moscow, the German foreign minister said, stressing that "if the Russian leadership makes a move and we are finally able to make progress as regards implementing the Minsk agreements, it is also conceivable that these sanctions will be gradually eased."
Austria has taken a similar stance, with the president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Christoph Leitl, stating that "Europe must not let this [sanctions] happen."
Speaking to the Austrian national public broadcaster, ORF on Friday, the politician said that Americans wanted to muddle the economic relationships between Russia and Europe, to press with their own interests in trade, economic and energy policy.
"If these sanctions are implemented, there is no doubt that Europe will be firmly united [against them]," Leitl said.
He added that the situation could then be used as an opportunity to lift EU sanctions against Russia, Austria Press Agency reports.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern issued statements lambasting the American bill.
READ MORE: 'Peculiar move': Merkel lashes out at new US anti-Russia sanctions
Kern and Gabriel penned a joint statement concluding that the fallout from the sanctions ''would add an absolutely new and highly negative aspect in relations between the US and Europe.''
Hamburg attack was by 'failed asylum seeker' who shouted 'Allahu Akbar'
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 15:09
A man shouting "Allahu Akbar" stabbed to death one person and wounded six others in a supermarket in the German city of Hamburg on Friday.
The attacker, who was born in the United Arab Emirates, was overpowered by passers-by and arrested.
Olaf Scholz, the mayor of Hamburg, said the attack had been motivated by "hate" and added that the suspected attacker was a failed asylum seeker whose deportation had been blocked because he lacked identity papers.
"I am outraged by the vicious attack that killed at least one Hamburger today," he said.
"It makes me especially angry that the perpetrator appears to be a person who claimed protection in Germany and then turned his hate against us."
C iting security sources, Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported that the 26-year-old perpetrator was known to police as an Islamist. News agency DPA reported that security authorities were investigating evidence the man had Salafist ties.
The attacker stabbed to death a 50-year-old man believed to be a German citizen
Police said that he "struck out wildly" at others, wounding five more in the supermarket - a 50-year-old woman and four men aged 19, 56, 57 and 64.
Another 35-year-old man was hurt while overpowering the attacker in the street alongside other passers-by shortly after the killing.
A ll of the wounded were being treated or operated on in hospital, some of them for serious injuries, police said.
Police officers secure the area after a knife attack at a supermarket in Hamburg Credit: Paul Weidenbaum/AP A police murder unit and a specialist politically-motivated crime squad are investigating the attack and were able to secure the suspected murder weapon.
German daily Bild published a picture of the attacker in the back of a police car with a white, blood-soaked bag over his head, and reported that he cried "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) during the attack.
"Suddenly I saw a man smeared with blood running along the other side of the road with a knife," an eyewitness identified as Ralf W. told Bild. "He shouted out 'Allahu Akbar' as he was running."
A female witness standing in line at the supermarket till also told NTV rolling news channel that "as he was running out... he held up his arms and shouted 'Allahu Akbar'."
"I thought I was in a horror movie, I thought he would kill me," an unnamed woman who had been in the supermarket told rolling news channel NTV.
She said she feared she would die, as she was "queueing for the till and couldn't get away".
Police investigators work at the crime scene after a knife attack in a supermarket in Hamburg Credit: Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters T he suspect fled the supermarket after the attack.
B ut "people were running after him with improvised weapons, chairs and sticks... they ran after him into a side street," Ralf W. told Bild.
"People chased after the killer with chairs, they were throwing them at him," bakery worker Shaylin Roettmer told DPA.
The witnesses slightly injured the attacker while they were overpowering him, before handing him over to police.
Police cars outside the supermarket in Hamburg Credit: @MarcoZitzow P olice blocked off the lively and diverse high street dotted with cafes and shops in the northeast of the port city, Germany's second largest and host of the G20 summit of world leaders in early July.
Anti-terror officers armed with automatic weapons patrolled the scene and onlookers gathered behind strips of red-and-white police tape.
While the attacker's motives remain unknown, Germany has been on high alert about the threat of a jihadist attack, especially since last December's truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage in which a Tunisian rejected asylum seeker and ex-convict, Anis Amri, 24, ploughed the stolen truck through a crowd.
BTC
Hard Forking
PayPal Announces First Partnerships in Bitcoin Space
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:30
PayPal has announced partnerships with three major payment processors in the bitcoin space '' BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin.
Though the online e-commerce pioneer stopped short of integrating bitcoin into its digital wallet or payment processing services directly, the move marks PayPal's first formal offering to the bitcoin community.
In a blog post penned by senior director of corporate strategy Scott Ellison, PayPal revealed that online merchants will now be able to accept bitcoin via all three companies through its PayPal Payments Hub, its product that enables customers to accept credit cards, mobile carrier payments and other payment methods through a single integration.
Ellison lauded BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin for their commitment to ensuring consumer protections on their platforms, while suggesting that the offering will appeal to a number of its key customer groups, writing:
"We believe digital goods merchants will be excited to work with these industry-leading companies to sell ringtones, games and music and get paid with bitcoin."
Notably, the announcement follows the decision of PayPal subsidiary Braintree to partner with Coinbase earlier this month.
PayPal is available in 193 markets and 26 currencies. With 143 million active registered accounts and $6.6bn in revenue at the end of 2013, the e-commerce giant brings the potential for new users and new business to the bitcoin economy.
Embracing innovationEllison went on to suggest that PayPal is committed to embracing innovation, and that this has lead to its early support of bitcoin. Further, he suggested the company will be monitoring its first formal bitcoin trial to assess how it moves forward with the payment method, writing:
"We're proceeding gradually, supporting bitcoin in some ways today and holding off on other ways until we see how things develop."
PayPal cited its commitment to allowing businesses freedom of choice and promoting safer buying experiences as key reasons for its decision.
BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin will pay a referral fee to PayPal for new business they gain through the platform, meaning their existing pricing structures will be unaffected by the move.
Support for select business modelsEllison framed the decision as the latest way PayPal is seeking to support the bitcoin ecosystem, pointing to its past efforts to help companies in the bitcoin mining space accept PayPal for their products.
However, Ellison suggested that PayPal is conscious of the controversies that have dominated this segment of the bitcoin industry, and that its support will continue for merchants that meet certain criteria, writing:
"To safeguard customers, we've decided not to work with merchants who pre-sell these products. This is consistent with our approach to pre-sales of other goods; we hold off anytime we determine that pre-selling may not provide a good buyer experience."
In recent months, a number of bitcoin mining companies, including early and current market leaders such as Butterfly Labs and CoinTerra have faced lawsuits from customers for failing to deliver equipment on advertised timelines.
Addressing security concernsIn his statements, Ellison also suggested that PayPal has been monitoring conversation surrounding how bitcoin will be regulated, clarifying that PayPal will only seek to work with bitcoin companies that offer certain consumer protections.
Reitterating that PayPal needs to follow local laws and regulations in every market it serves, Eillson wrote:
"For this reason, virtual currency exchangers and administrators interested in working with PayPal in the future must secure the appropriate licenses and put anti-money laundering procedures in place."
PayPal also stated that while other cryptocurrencies have been available for some time "only bitcoin has achieved significant scale" in the payments space to date.
Images via PayPal
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Is The Bitcoin Civil War Over?
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 17:09
Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Before I get going, let me start out with the usual disclaimer. I'm not a Bitcoin expert, nor do I claim to be. I love people who live and breathe Bitcoin every day, and I have the utmost respect for all of you, but that's not me. As you can tell from a quick glance at my website, my current focus revolves around the current political environment as well as the geopolitical implications of a declining U.S. empire. That said, I've been involved in Bitcoin since 2012, and I care deeply about it. In my opinion, globally interconnected humans functioning within decentralized systems of economics and political governance provide the best framework for the human species going forward. We have the tools, we just need the desire.
Today's post is about an alt-coin that is about to fork from Bitcoin, led by a contingency in the civil war known as the big blockers. This piece is not meant for newbies, but is written for people who own Bitcoin and already have a good understanding of all the drama that's been going on and may continue to periodically resurface after August 1. If you aren't already up to speed on these things you should probably stop reading. The post will just sound confusing and won't have much impact on your decision making anyway.
First of all, I don't think there will be any debate around what the ''real Bitcoin'' is following the fork and creation of an alt-coin called Bitcoin Cash (BCC). This coin will be a pet project of big blockers wanting to both save face, and also potentially hurt the original Bitcoin (BTC). Only time will tell if some of those considered ''bad actors'' will try to target the original Bitcoin out of pettiness, but you should never underestimate what people with a lot of money/power and huge egos will do. History is replete with the ruins of the crazed actions of these types of individuals.
If you control your private keys, you should be able to access BCC sometime after August 1st. Some people are describing this as a dividend, although it seems more like an asset spinoff to me. Either way, BCC will have some sort of value on or around August 1st, and a market will start being made. So how should people concerned about potential bad actors on the side of BCC think about all of this? Let's start with a few tweets from Whale Panda that I think are important to ponder.
With that in mind, take a watch of this recent interview of Roger Ver. Roger is considered to be one of the largest holders of Bitcoin out there, and owns bitcoin.com.
That video definitely made me feel that Roger could act in a hostile way following the launch of BCC. I really hope he swallows his pride and doesn't go down that route, but we can't make that assumption. I think we absolutely need to prepare for the possibility that some bad actors will try to harm Bitcoin using BCC. Here are a few more tweets from Whale Panda.
Since I think Whale Panda is onto something, the most logical way to defend against the threat from a market psychology perspective is to hold onto your BCC even if you think it's garbage. You have to understand that if bad actors want to make Bitcoin look bad and their alt-coin look good, price will be a huge part of their strategy.
It might make sense to not dump your BCC right away, which could let bad actors control the entire float. If you do that, they can then dump their BTC on the market while controlling all the BCC and ensure it goes up while Bitcoin drops. I'm not saying this is my assumption, I'm saying its possible. As such, hold on to your BCC to prevent them from executing this strategy. Then if BTC does drop as BCC rises, you have dry powder to take the other side of the trade. The risk in this strategy is that BCC crashes right away and never recovers and you lose that free money, but if that happens you'll still probably benefit from a rising BTC price.
At the end of the day, everyone should do what they feel is right. I could be completely nuts here. I'm just putting all of this out there in the event some of you haven't thought through this potential outcome yet. I at least want people to be aware of what might happen. I have no idea of the likelihood of such a scenario.
Personally, I hope Roger, Jihan and whoever else don't go down that route. If they do, they will be rightly demonized and remembered as the egomaniacs who tried to kill Bitcoin. Sure float your alt-coin and let people choose, but don't start playing nefarious games. If you do, the Bitcoin community will rally together like never before and it won't be good for you. I ask that you stand down.
Caliphate Down Under
Australian Police Want a New Law to Covertly Turn All Phones into Listening Devices | Armstrong Economics
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 14:45
In picturesque Australia, the Queensland police are proposing new laws that would allow them to turn your internet connected products into listening devices to spy on your conversations. Of course, they are claiming they need this legislation to fight terrorism. The extent of terrorism in Australia has been minimal at best and it has not been the target as is the case in Europe or the United States. This amounts to:
Sydney Yugoslav General Trade and Tourist. Agency bombing (1972)Sydney Hilton bombing (1978)Sydney Israeli consulate and Hakoah Club. bombings (1982)Turkish consulate bombing (1986)French consulate bombing (1995)Endeavour Hills stabbings (2014)Parramatta shooting (2015)Minto stabbing attack (2016)The proposed legislation of the Queensland Police is for anything but terrorism. This is turning into big brother and it will be really used for tax evasion '' the real target of such legislation.
Terrorists plotted to blow up Australian aeroplane, says PM Malcolm Turnbull
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 14:46
Australian security services have disrupted a plot to blow up an aeroplane, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.
Police arrested four people in connection with the alleged plan.
Counter-terrorism raids took place took place in Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Turnbull said they were "designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia".
It is not known what the specifics were or when the attack was scheduled to take place, but is believed an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was the intended weapon.
The operation was carried out by the Australian Federal Police, the New South Wales state police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the country's domestic spy agency.
"Four men have been taken into custody and are assisting police with their enquiries," a police statement said.
Seven Network television reported that 40 riot squad officers stormed an inner-Sydney house before an explosives team found a suspicious device.
Mr Turnbull said he was briefed on the progress of the operation by security agency chiefs.
"My number one priority, and that of my government, is the safety and security of all Australians, and the public should be reassured that our security and intelligence agencies are working tirelessly to keep us safe," the prime minister said in a statement.
Security at airports across the country has been increased after the operation, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Mr Turnbull advised travellers to get to airports earlier than usual.
29 July 2017Cyclists at the start of the first stage of the Tour de Pologne cycling race, over 130km from Krakow's Main Market Square, Poland EPA
28 July 2017Israeli border guards keep watch as Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray outside Jerusalem's old city overlooking the Al-Aqsa mosque compound Ahmad Gharabli/AFP
28 July 2017A supporter of Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif passes out after the Supreme Court's decision to disqualify Sharif in Lahore Reuters/Mohsin Raza
27 July 2017Australian police officers participate in a training scenario called an 'Armed Offender/Emergency Exercise' held at an international passenger terminal located on Sydney Harbour Reuters/David Gray
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27 July 2017North Korean soldiers watch the south side as the United Nations Command officials visit after a commemorative ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the Korean armistice at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas Reuters/Jung Yeon-Je
26 July 2017Bangladeshi commuters use a rickshaw to cross a flooded street amid heavy rainfall in Dhaka. Bangladesh is experiencing downpours following a depression forming in the Bay of Bengal. Munir Uz Zaman/AFP
26 July 2017The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft for the next International Space Station (ISS) crew of Paolo Nespoli of Italy, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia, and Randy Bresnik of the U.S., is transported from an assembling hangar to the launchpad ahead of its upcoming launch, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov
25 July 2017A protester shouts at U.S. President Donald Trump as he is removed from his rally with supporters in an arena in Youngstown, Ohio Reuters
23 July 2017Indian supporters of Gorkhaland chant slogans tied with chains during a protest march in capital New Delhi. Eastern India's hill resort of Darjeeling has been rattled at the height of tourist season after violent clashes broke out between police and hundreds of protesters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) '' a long-simmering separatist movement that has long called for a separate state for ethnic Gorkhas in West Bengal. The GJM wants a new, separate state of "Gorkhaland" carved out of eastern West Bengal state, of which Darjeeling is a part. Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images
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23 July 2017Demonstrators clash with riot security forces while rallying against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela. The banner on the bridge reads "It will be worth it" Reuters
22 July 2017The Heathcote river as it rises to high levels in Christchurch, New Zealand. Heavy rain across the South Island in the last 24 hours has caused widespread damage and flooding with Dunedin, Waitaki, Timaru and the wider Otago region declaring a state of emergency. Getty Images
22 July 2017A mourner prays at a memorial during an event to commemorate the first anniversary of the shooting spree that one year ago left ten people dead, including the shooter in Munich, Germany. One year ago 18-year-old student David S. shot nine people dead and injured four others at and near a McDonalds restaurant and the Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping center. After a city-wide manhunt that caused mass panic and injuries David S. shot himself in a park. According to police David S., who had dual German and Iranian citizenship, had a history of mental troubles. Getty
21 July 2017Palestinians react following tear gas that was shot by Israeli forces after Friday prayer on a street outside Jerusalem's Old City Reuters/Ammar Awad
21 July 2017Ousted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters as she arrives at the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha
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20 July 2017Marek Suski of Law and Justice (PiS) (C) party scuffles with Miroslaw Suchon (2nd L) of Modern party (.Nowoczesna) as Michal Szczerba of Civic Platform (PO) (L) party holds up a copy of the Polish Constitution during the parliamentary Commission on Justice and Human Rights voting on the opposition's amendments to the bill that calls for an overhaul of the Supreme Court in Warsaw Reuters
20 July 2017A firefighter stands near a grass fire as he prepares to defend a home from the Detwiler fire in Mariposa, California Reuters
19 July 2017Michael Lindell ,CEO of My Pillow reacts as U.S. President Donald Trump attends a Made in America roundtable meeting in the East Room of the White House Reuters
18 July 2017Giant pandas lie beside ice blocks at Yangjiaping Zoo in Chongqing, China. Yangjiaping Zoo provided huge ice blocks for giant pandas to help them remove summer heat Getty Images
18 July 2017People ride camels in the desert in Dunhuang, China, as stage 10 of The Silkway Rally continues AFP/Getty Images
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18 July 201717th FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Team North Korea practice under coach supervision REUTERS
17 July 2017IAAF World ParaAthletics Championships - London, Britain - July 17, 2017 Reuters/Henry Browne
17 July 2017Workers check power lines during maintenance work in Laian, in China's eastern Anhui province AFP/Getty Images
17 July 2017Russia Kamaz's driver Dmitry Sotnikov, co-drivers Ruslan Akhmadeev and Ilnur Mustafin compete during the Stage 9 of the Silk Way 2017 between Urumqi and Hami, China Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
17 July 2017Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks with Special Operations Command soldiers during a visit to the Australian Army's Holsworthy Barracks in western Sydney AAP/Brendan Esposito/via Reuters
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16 July 2017Men in traditional sailor costumes celebrate after carrying a statue of the El Carmen Virgin, who is worshipped as the patron saint of sailors, into the Mediterranean Sea during a procession in Torremolinos, near Malaga, Spain Reuters/Jon Nazca
16 July 2017People participate in a protest in front of the Sejm building (the lower house of the Polish parliament) in Warsaw, Poland. The demonstration was organized by Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD). Members and supporters of the KOD and opposition parties protested against changes in the judicial law and the Supreme Court EPA
16 July 2017People prepare to swim with a portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong on the bank of the Yangtze River in Yichang, Hubei province, China to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Chairman Mao swimming in the Yangtze River. REUTERS
15 July 2017A woman takes a selfie picture with her mobile phone next to the statue of Omer Halisdemir in Istanbul, in front of a memorial with the names of people killed last year during the failed coup attempt . AFP/Getty Images
14 July 2017French President Emmanuel Macron gestures next to US President Donald Trump during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. AFP/Getty Images
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13 July 2017Philippine National Police chief Ronald Bato Dela Rosa holds an M60 machine gun during a Gun and Ammunition show at a mall in Mandaluyong city, metro Manila, Philippines Reuters
13 July 2017Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker embrace before the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, Ukraine Reuters
13 July 2017US President Donald Trump (R) and First Lady Melania Trump disembark form Air Force One upon arrival at Paris Orly airport on July 13, 2017, beginning a 24-hour trip that coincides with France's national day and the 100th anniversary of US involvement in World War I Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
12 July 2017Iraqis walk on a damaged street in west Mosul a few days after the government's announcement of the liberation of the embattled city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters Getty
12 July 2017Iraqi boys wash a vehicle in west Mosul a few days after the government's announcement of the liberation of the embattled city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images
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11 July 2017Afghan policeman pour fuel over jerry cans containing confiscated acetic acid before setting it alight on the outskirts of Herat. Some 15,000 liters of acetic acid, often mixed with heroin, were destroyed by counter narcotics police Hoshang Hashimi/AFP
11 July 2017Residents stand amid the debris of their homes which were torn down in the evicted area of the Bukit Duri neighbourhood located on the Ciliwung river banks in Jakarta Bay Ismoyo/AFP
11 July 2017Boys play cricket at a parking lot as it rains in Chandigarh, India Reuters/Ajay Verma
10 July 2017Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Istanbul AFP
10 July 2017Police from the anti-terror squad participate in an anti-terror performance among Acehnese dancers during a ceremony to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Indonesian police corps in Banda Aceh AFP/Getty Images
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10 July 2017New Mongolia's president Khaltmaa Battulga takes an oath during his inauguration ceremony in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Reuters
10 July 2017US army 1st Division, US air force, US Navy and US Marines, march down the Champs Elysees, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, in Paris during a rehearsal of the annual Bastille Day military parade AFP
9 July 2017Participants run ahead of Puerto de San Lorenzo's fighting bulls during the third bull run of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, northern Spain. Each day at 8:00 am hundreds of people race with six bulls, charging along a winding, 848.6-metre (more than half a mile) course through narrow streets to the city's bull ring, where the animals are killed in a bullfight or corrida, during this festival, immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" and dating back to medieval times and also featuring religious processions, folk dancing, concerts and round-the-clock drinking. AFP/Getty Images
8 July 2017Iraqi women, who fled the fighting between government forces and Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in the Old City of Mosul, cry as they stand in the city's western industrial district awaiting to be relocated AFP
8 July 2017US President Donald Trump arrives for another working session during the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany AFP/Getty Images
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7 July 2017People climb up on a roof to get a view during riots in Hamburg, northern Germany, where leaders of the world's top economies gather for a G20 summit AFP/Getty Images
7 July 2017A military helicopter rescues people trapped on the roof of the Ministry of Finance by an intense fire in San Salvador AFP/Getty Images
6 July 2017Donald Trump arrives to deliver a speech at Krasinski Square in Warsaw, Poland. AP
6 July 2017A firefighter conducts rescue operations in an area damaged by heavy rain in Asakura, Japan. Reuters
6 July 2017Anti-capitalism activists protest in Hamburg, where leaders of the world's top economies will gather for a G20 summit. AFP/Getty
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6 July 2017Crowds gather for the start of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. AFP
5 July 2017A member of the Iraqi security forces runs with his weapon during a fight between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq.
5 July 2017A U.S. MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile is fired during the combined military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea against North Korea at an undisclosed location in South Korea A.P
4 July 2017North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un looks on during the test-fire of inter-continental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 Reuters
4 July 2017Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony following the talks at the Kremlin Reuters
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3 July 2017Belarussian servicemen march during a military parade as part of celebrations marking the Independence Day in Minsk, Belarus Reuters
3 July 2017Ambulance cars and fire engines are seen near the site where a coach burst into flames after colliding with a lorry on a motorway near Muenchberg, Germany Reuters
2 July 2017Protesters demonstrating against the upcoming G20 economic summit ride boats on Inner Alster lake during a protest march in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg will host the upcoming G20 summit and is expecting heavy protests throughout. Getty Images
1 July 2017Protesters carry a large image of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as they march during the annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. Thousands joined an annual protest march in Hong Kong, hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his visit to the city by warning against challenges to Beijing's sovereignty. AP
30 June 2017Jockey Andrea Coghe of "Selva" (Forest) parish rides his horse during the first practice for the Palio Horse Race in Siena, Italy June 30, 2017 Reuters
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30 June 2017A man takes pictures with a phone with a Union Flag casing after Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) inspected troops at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison as part of events marking the 20th anniversary of the city's handover from British to Chinese rule, in Hong Kong, China June 30, 2017 Reuters
29 June 2017A protester against U.S. President Donald Trump's limited travel ban, approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, holds a sign next to protesters supporting the ban, in New York City, U.S., June 29, 2017 Reuters
29 June 2017Israeli Air Force Efroni T-6 Texan II planes perform at an air show during the graduation of new cadet pilots at Hatzerim base in the Negev desert, near the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva AFP/Getty Images
28 June 2017A woman gestures next to people spraying insecticide on a vehicle during a mosquito-control operation led by Ivory Coast's National Public and Health Institute in Bingerville, near Abidjan where several cases of dengue fever were reported AFP/Getty Images
28 June 2017An aerial view shows women swimming in the Yenisei River on a hot summer day, with the air temperature at about 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit), outside Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia, June 28, 2017 Reuters
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27 June 2017A Libyan coast guardsman watches over as illegal immigrants arrive to land in a dinghy during the rescue of 147 people who attempted to reach Europe off the coastal town of Zawiyah, 45 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, on June 27, 2017. More than 8,000 migrants have been rescued in waters off Libya during the past 48 hours in difficult weather conditions, Italy's coastguard said on June 27, 2017 AFP/Getty Images
27 June 2017Investigators work at the scene of a car bomb explosion which killed Maxim Shapoval, a high-ranking official involved in military intelligence, in Kiev, Ukraine, June 27, 2017 Reuters
26 June 2017A man leaves after voting in the Mongolian presidential election at the Erdene Sum Ger (Yurt) polling station in Tuul Valley. Mongolians cast ballots on June 26 to choose between a horse breeder, a judoka and a feng shui master in a presidential election rife with corruption scandals and nationalist rhetoric AFP/Getty Images
26 June 2017People attend Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a play ground in the suburb of Sale, Morocco REUTERS
25 June 2017A plain-clothes police officer kicks a member of a group of LGBT rights activist as Turkish police prevent them from going ahead with a Gay Pride annual parade on 25 June 2017 in Istanbul, a day after it was banned by the city governor's office. AFP/Getty Images
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25 June 2017Pakistan army soldiers stands guard while rescue workers examine the site of an oil tanker explosion at a highway near Bahawalpur, Pakistan. An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing more than one hundred people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel, an official said. AP
24 June 2017Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a landslide that occurred in Xinmo Village, Mao County, Sichuan province, China REUTERS
23 June 2017Student activists shout anti martial law slogans during a protest in Manila on June 23, 2017 AFP/Getty Images
23 June 2017A diver performs from the Pont Alexandre III bridge into the River Seine in Paris, France, June 23, 2017 as Paris transforms into a giant Olympic park to celebrate International Olympic Days with a variety of sporting events for the public across the city during two days as the city bids to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Reuters
23 June 2017Debris and smoke are seen after an OV-10 Bronco aircraft released a bomb, during an airstrike, as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over parts of Marawi city, Philippines June 23, 2017 Reuters
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22 June 2017Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) stands under pouring rain during a wreath-laying ceremony marking the 76th anniversary of the Nazi German invasion, by the Kremlin walls in Moscow, on June 22, 2017 AFP/Getty Images
22 June 2017Smoke rises following a reported air strike on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa, on June 22, 2017 AFP/Getty Images
22 June 2017Iraqis flee from the Old City of Mosul on June 22, 2017, during the ongoing offensive by Iraqi forces to retake the last district still held by the Islamic State (IS) group AFP/Getty Images
21 June 2017Girls stand in monsoon rains beside an open laundry in New Delhi, India Reuters
21 June 2017People take part in the 15th annual Times Square yoga event celebrating the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, during classes in the middle of Times Square in New York. The event marked the international day of yoga. Reuters
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20 June 2017Faroe Islanders turn the sea red after slaughtering hundreds of whales as part of annual tradition Rex
20 June 2017A firefighting plane tackles a blaze in Cadafaz, near Goes, Portugal Reuters
15 June 2017A person participates in a journalists' protest asking for justice in recent attacks on journalists in Mexico City, Mexico, 15 June 2017 EPA
11 June 2017Poland's Piotr Lobodzinski starts in front of the Messeturm, Fairground Tower, in Frankfurt Germany. More than 1,000 runners climbed the 1202 stairs, and 222 meters of height in the Frankfurt Messeturm skyscraper run AP
11 June 2017A runner lies on the ground after arriving at the finish line in Frankfurt Germany. More than 1,000 runners climbed the 1202 stairs, and 222 meters of height in the Frankfurt Messeturm skyscraper run AP
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11 June 2017A troupe of Ukrainian dancers perform at Boryspil airport in Kiev, on the first day of visa-free travel for Ukrainian nationals to the European Union Getty Images
11 June 2017A troupe of Ukrainian dancers perform on the tarmac at Boryspil airport in Kiev, on the first day of visa-free travel for Ukrainian nationals to the European Union Getty Images
11 June 2017French President Emmanuel Macron with his wife Brigitte Trogneux cast their ballot at their polling station in the first round of the French legislatives elections in Le Touquet, northern France EPA
11 June 2017A Thai worker paints on a large statue of the Goddess of Mercy, known as Guan Yin at a Chinese temple in Ratchaburi province, Thailand. Guan Yin is one of the most popular and well known Chinese Goddess in Asia and in the world. Guan Yin is the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion in Mahayana Buddhism and also worshiped by Taoist EPA
11 June 2017A Thai worker paints on a large statue of the Goddess of Mercy, known as Guan Yin at a Chinese temple in Ratchaburi province, Thailand. Guan Yin is one of the most popular and well known Chinese Goddess in Asia and in the world. Guan Yin is the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion in Mahayana Buddhism and also worshiped by Taoists EPA
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10 June 2017Volunteers spread mozzarella cheese toppings on the Guinness World Record attempt for the Longest Pizza in Fontana, California, USA. The pizza was planned to be 7000 feet (2.13 km) to break the previous record of 6082 feet (1.8 km) set in Naples, Italy in 2016 EPA
10 June 2017Jamaica's Olympic champion Usain Bolt gestures after winning his final 100 metres sprint at the 2nd Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
10 June 2017Usain Bolt of Jamaica salutes the crowd after winning 100m 'Salute to a Legend' race during the Racers Grand Prix at the national stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Bolt partied with his devoted fans in an emotional farewell at the National Stadium on June 10 as he ran his final race on Jamaican soil. Bolt is retiring in August following the London World Championships Getty Images
10 June 2017Usain Bolt of Jamaica salutes the crowd after winning 100m 'Salute to a Legend' race during the Racers Grand Prix at the national stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Bolt partied with his devoted fans in an emotional farewell at the National Stadium on June 10 as he ran his final race on Jamaican soil. Bolt is retiring in August following the London World Championships Getty Images
10 June 2017Police officers investigate at the Amsterdam Centraal station in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A car ploughed into pedestrians and injured at least five people outside the station. The background of the incident was not immediately known, though police state they have 'no indication whatsoever' the incident was an attack EPA
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10 June 2017Police officers investigate at the Amsterdam Centraal station in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A car ploughed into pedestrians and injured at least five people outside the station. The background of the incident was not immediately known, though police state they have 'no indication whatsoever' the incident was an attack EPA
10 June 2017Protesters stand off before police during a demonstration against corruption, repression and unemployment in Al Hoseima, Morocco. The neglected Rif region has been rocked by social unrest since the death in October of a fishmonger. Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was crushed in a rubbish truck as he protested against the seizure of swordfish caught out of season and his death has sparked fury and triggered nationwide protests Getty Images
9 June 2017A man looks on at a migrant and refugee makeshift camp set up under the highway near Porte de la Chapelle, northern Paris Getty Images
9 June 2017Damaged cars are seen stacked in the middle of a road in western Mosul's Zanjili neighbourhood during ongoing battles to try to take the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters Getty
9 June 2017Smoke billows following a reported air strike on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa Getty Images
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9 June 2017Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures next to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto during a welcome ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
9 June 2017Soldiers and residents carry the body of a Muslim boy who was hit by a stray bullet while praying inside a mosque, as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who has taken over large parts of the Marawi City, Philippines REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
8 June 2017Opposition demonstrators protest for the death on the eve of young activist Neomar Lander during clashes with riot police, in Caracas Getty Images
8 June 2017Neomar Lander, a 17-year-old boy was killed during a march in the Chacao district in eastern Caracas on Wednesday, taking the overall death toll since the beginning of April to 66, according to prosecutors Getty Images
8 June 2017Former FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Getty Images
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8 June 2017Former FBI Director James Comey testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Getty Images
8 June 2017Usain Bolt of Jamaica trains at the University of West Indies in Kingston. Bolt says he is looking forward to having a party as he launches his final season on June 10 with what will be his last race on Jamaican soil. The 30-year-old world's fasted man plans to retire from track and field after the 2017 London World Championships in August Getty Images
8 June 2017Acquanetta Warren, Mayor of Fontana, California, reacts after US President Donald Trump introduced himself before the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, US REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
8 June 2017Frenchman Alain Castany, sentenced to 20 years on charges of drug trafficking in the 'Air Cocaine' affair, leaves the prison in Santo Domingo, on his way to France, where he is being transferred for medical reason Getty Images
8 June 2017A woman reacts at the place where 17-year-old demonstrator Neomar Lander died during riots at a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, June 8, 2017. The sign reads: 'Neomar, entertainer for ever' REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
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30 July 2017Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) get ready for the military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the army at Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. REUTERS
At least 70 people have been charged with terrorism since 2014, said Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
He added: "The primary threat to Australia still remains lone actors, but the events overnight remind us that there is still the ability for people to have sophisticated plots and sophisticated attacks still remain a real threat.
"In light of this information, it's very important that everyone in Australia remains vigilant."
Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin said the investigation was likely to be ''very long and protracted''.
Goldwater Rule
Psychiatry Group Says Members Can Comment on Trump's Mental Health - Scientific American
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 20:18
A leading psychiatry group has told its members they should not feel bound by a longstanding rule against commenting publicly on the mental state of public figures'--even the president.
The statement, an email this month from the executive committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association to its 3,500 members, represents the first significant crack in the profession's decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians' behavior. It will likely make many of its members feel more comfortable speaking openly about President Trump's mental health.
The impetus for the email was ''belief in the value of psychoanalytic knowledge in explaining human behavior,'' said psychoanalytic association past president Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist in Chicago. ''We don't want to prohibit our members from using their knowledge responsibly.''
That responsibility is especially great today, she told STAT, ''since Trump's behavior is so different from anything we've seen before'' in a commander in chief.
An increasing number of psychologists and psychiatrists have denounced the restriction as a ''gag rule'' and flouted it, with some arguing they have a ''duty to warn'' the public about what they see as Trump's narcissism, impulsivity, poor attention span, paranoia, and other traits that, they believe, impair his ability to lead.
Reporters, pundits, and government officials ''have been stumbling around trying to explain Trump's unusual behavior,'' from his seemingly compulsive tweeting to his grandiosity, said Dr. Leonard Glass, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. The rule against psychiatrists offering their analysis of the emotions, thought patterns, and beliefs underlying such behaviors, Glass said, robs the public ''of our professional judgment and prevents us from communicating our understanding'' of the president's mental state.
Last week, in an essay in Psychiatric Times, Glass called the prohibition on such communication ''an unacceptable infringement on my right and duty'' to discuss issues ''where the perspective of psychiatrists could be very relevant and enlightening.'' He ended the essay by announcing his resignation from the American Psychiatric Association, which adopted the rule in 1973. He had been a member for 41 years.
Called the ''Goldwater rule,'' the prohibition on offering opinions about the mental state of public figures was adopted after some psychiatrists answered a 1964 survey on whether Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate that year, was mentally fit for the Oval Office. The rule states that it is unethical to offer a professional opinion about a public figure's mental health, including the presence or absence of a disorder, without that person's consent and without doing a standard examination. In March, the psychiatric association reaffirmed the rule.
The group acted despite growing criticism that the Goldwater rule is outdated and even unethical for preventing psychiatrists from pointing out behaviors that raise questions about a government official's mental state. No other medical specialty has such a rule; cardiologists are not prohibited from offering their views of an official's fainting spell, for instance, as long as they make clear that they have not examined the person.
Although opposition to the Goldwater rule has existed for years, it intensified with Trump's candidacy and then election. In October, a book titled ''The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President'' will be published.
''When the book comes out, there will be renewed furor about the Goldwater rule, since it is precisely about what is wrong with him,'' said psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired professor at Harvard Medical School who is now in private practice in Los Angeles.
A number of psychologists have spoken to reporters about what Trump's statements and actions might reveal about his emotional and cognitive state. Although the American Psychological Association ''prefers'' that its members not offer opinions on the psychology of someone they have not examined, it does not have a Goldwater rule and is not considering implementing one, an official told STAT.
The psychoanalytic association went further. In its July 6 email, it explicitly stated for the first time that the organization does not subscribe to the rule. That position had been implicit for years, but the association's ''leadership has been extremely reluctant to make a statement and publicly challenge the American Psychiatric Association,'' said one psychoanalytic association member who asked not to be publicly identified criticizing the other group.
One stated rationale for the Goldwater rule is that psychiatrists need to examine patients in order to properly evaluate them. In fact, for decades the State Department and other federal agencies have asked psychiatrists to offer their views on the psychological state of foreign leaders, Glass pointed out, evidence that government officials believe it is possible to make informed inferences about mental states based on public behavior and speech.
''In the case of Donald Trump, there is an extraordinary abundance of speech and behavior on which one could form a judgment,'' Glass said. ''It's not definitive, it's an informed hypothesis, and one we should be able to offer rather than the stunning silence demanded by the Goldwater rule.''
The Goldwater rule has long been odd in that violating it carries no penalties. In principle the psychiatric association could file a complaint with a member's state medical board. That has apparently never happened. Nor has the association ejected a member for violating the Goldwater rule. That is something it, as a private association, would be legally permitted to do.
A state agency, however, is subject to the U.S. constitution, civil liberties experts say, and penalizing psychiatrists for speaking out would likely be a violation of their first amendment rights.
Republished with permission from STAT. This article originally appeared on July 25, 2017
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President: Bandy X. Lee: 9781250179456: Amazon.com: Books
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 14:52
The consensus view of two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the nation and our own mental health.
This is not normal.
Since the start of Donald Trump's presidential run, one question has quietly but urgently permeated the observations of concerned citizens: What is wrong with him? Constrained by the American Psychiatric Association's ''Goldwater rule,'' which inhibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures they have not personally examined, many of those qualified to answer this question have shied away from discussing the issue at all. The public has thus been left to wonder whether he is mad, bad, or both.
In THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP, twenty-seven psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts argue that, in Mr. Trump's case, their moral and civic ''duty to warn'' America supersedes professional neutrality. They then explore Trump's symptoms and potentially relevant diagnoses to find a complex, if also dangerously mad, man.
Philip Zimbardo and Rosemary Sword, for instance, explain Trump's impulsivity in terms of ''unbridled and extreme present hedonism.'' Craig Malkin writes on pathological narcissism and politics as a lethal mix. Gail Sheehy, on a lack of trust that exceeds paranoia. Lance Dodes, on sociopathy. Robert Jay Lifton, on the ''malignant normality'' that can set in everyday life if psychiatrists do not speak up.
His madness is catching, too. From the trauma people have experienced under the Trump administration to the cult-like characteristics of his followers, he has created unprecedented mental health consequences across our nation and beyond.
It's not all in our heads. It's in his.
DPRK
State Department Bans Travel to North Korea'...
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:22
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced a revised set of travel restrictions for U.S. citizens considering travel to the DPRK.
Once in full effect there will be a travel ban in place restricting all travel using U.S. passports. U.S. humanitarian groups and entities requesting travel to the DPRK will need to request a specific passport from the State Department.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) '' The U.S. government on Friday said it will bar Americans from traveling to North Korea due to the risk of ''long-term detention'' in the country, where a U.S. student was jailed while on a tour last year and later died.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has authorized a ''Geographical Travel Restriction'' on Americans to forbid them from entering North Korea, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
''Once in effect, U.S. passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea, and individuals will be required to obtain a passport with a special validation in order to travel to or within North Korea,'' Nauert said.
The move was due to ''mounting concerns over the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea's system of law enforcement,'' she said. (read more)
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North Korea: Time for Talks Says U.S. Expert Don Gregg | Time.com
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:04
North Korea is ''The longest running failure in the history of American espionage.''
That's the assessment of Donald P. Gregg, arguably, the man who knows more about North Korea than any living American.
Gregg, 89, is a retired State Department and CIA veteran, a North Asia specialist, and a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. He says the absence of direct dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea has to change. ''We can't deal with them if we don't understand them, and we won't understand them if we aren't talking to each other,'' he says.
Although Gregg's thinking may be out of sync with much of what's coming out of the Trump White House and the Congress '-- both are pushing for more sanctions in response to North Korea's recent ICBM launch and its continued efforts to expand its nuclear arsenal '-- he has found an ally in South Korea's new President, Moon Jae-in, who called for new talks with North Korea last week.
The two sides haven't spoken since 2015 and the U.S. has shown little interest in negotiating with North Korea since President George W. Bush branded North Korea, along with Iraq and Iran, the ''Axis of Evil'' in his 2002 State of the Union speech.
Gregg, who has been to North Korea six times, rejects the prevailing view in Washington that meeting with North Korea rewards bad behavior. Instead, he says talks are necessary to ''keep a dangerous situation from becoming worse.'' He also opposes sanctions, saying they haven't worked and they only serve to make North Korea more intransigent.
Read more:South Korea's President Moon Jae-in: The Negotiator
In an interview at his Armonk, New York, home, Gregg is quick to acknowledge that dealing with North Korea can be difficult and frustrating. He dismisses the country's bombastic threats to annihilate the U.S., South Korea and other perceived adversaries. ''The North Koreans aren't suicidal. They don't want a war,'' he says. Despite the rhetoric and the propaganda, he says the that North Korea's leaders are ''thoughtful, well-educated pragmatists.''
I first met Don Gregg 43 years ago in Seoul, where he was the Central Intelligence Agency station chief while I was the North Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal. The American Embassy was full of savvy Korea hands, including career diplomats Ambassador Phil Habib and political counselor Paul Cleveland. North Korea was a source of tension and so too was South Korea under its authoritarian leader, Park Chung Hee. Gregg, who had come to Korea after nearly a decade with CIA in Japan, was a lousy source, remote and taciturn. But when he spoke, it was clear he had an encyclopedic knowledge of North Asian geopolitics.
Gregg returned to Washington in 1975 where he continued to work for the CIA, until, after 31 years with the agency, he resigned in 1982 to become Vice President George H.W. Bush's National Security Advisor. When Bush became President, he named Gregg Ambassador to South Korea, a position he held for four years.
Gregg then became Chairman of the Korea Society, a New York-based nonprofit known for its thoughtful essays about the Korean Peninsula, until 2009. During his years as the Society's head, he went to North Korea five times. He last visited North Korea in 2014 and he remains in touch with North Korean diplomats at the United Nations and elsewhere.
Gregg supports Moon's overture to North Korea, saying it is reminiscent of former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung's ''Sunshine Policy'' which led to a softening of relations between the two Koreas. Kim, who was South Korea's President from 1998 through 2003 and who had close ties to Gregg, advocated greater contact with North Korea, coupled with substantial economic investment. He went to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, in 2000 for a summit meeting with Kim Jong Il, then North Korea's leader (and the father of Kim Jong Un, the country's current leader.) The Sunshine policy remained in effect until 2008 when one of his successors took a harder line against North Korea.
Read more:Five Questions About North Korea's Missile Tests You Were Afraid to Ask
Gregg says that Kim Jong Un, North Korea's current leader, is ''smart, tough, and a risk taker'' who sees his nuclear arsenal as protection against a U.S. attack. Although he doesn't see North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons and its missiles, Gregg says that nuclear proliferation is a bigger problem than just North Korea, and that he is personally more worried about Pakistan's nuclear weapons and war engulfing the Middle East than he is about North Korea.
Gregg also says the U.S. is na¯ve in thinking China will try to curb North Korea's militaristic ambitions. ''China's bigger concern is a reunited Korea,'' he says, and it has been consistent in opposing the continued presence of U.S. troops nearby in South Korea. ''The Chinese aren't going to carry water for us,'' he says.
After each of his trips, Gregg says that he wrote or met with White House and State Department officials, urging talks. He says his efforts have been consistently rejected or ignored.
He has also urged negotiation of a peace treaty to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War. That agreement was signed by the U.S., China, and North Korea in 1953.
Gregg laments that ''it is very hard to find anyone in Washington with experience, knowledge, and an open mind when it comes to dealing with North Korea. Everyone knows malnutrition is a problem, but people are shocked when I tell them Pyongyang is an attractive, functioning city,'' he says.
There is no guarantee that talks will make a difference. As B.R. Myers has written in a thoughtful book, The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves '-- And Why It Matters, the north's leaders use ''race-based nationalism'' to control their people. Myers writes that Pyongyang would appear weak to its own people if it renounced its nuclear ambitions. Myers also writes that South Korea's Sunshine Policy ''failed to generate even a modicum of good will from the North.''
Those arguments notwithstanding, it is hard to argue against increasing our diplomatic efforts with North Korea. While U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis may be right in saying we would win a war with North Korea, he is also right in saying that any war would be ''catastrophic'' '-- to our allies and most probably to ourselves.
President Trump has made contradictory statements about North Korea. Along with his increasingly belligerent threats, Trump, while campaigning for the Presidency and in an interview with Bloomberg News in May, said that he would be willing to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, ''under the right circumstances.'' Those circumstances weren't defined.
Don Gregg is right in thinking talks should begin without preconditions. Now is the time to do so.
Ministry of Truthiness
scaramucci - Google Search JERSEY SHORE
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 23:51
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They Are NOT Broke'--Snopes' GoFundMe Is a Scam To Fund a Dirty Divorce
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:17
Snopes is in trouble. According to a self-launched fundraiser, the ostensible fact-checking website, founded in 1994, is on the financial ropes and needs your support to stay open. A GoFundMe for the supposed hoax-debunking site has since been set up and is going viral. If it continues raising money at this current rate, it will easily surpass its goal of $500,000 by the end of the day.
While Twitter followers flock en masse to throw money at David Mikkelson, one of the controlling partners in the Snopes business, they'd do well to understand why it is he has no money.
Snopes, as a business, is not broke. David Mikkelson '-- who's been accused of defrauding the website to pay for prostitution '-- is broke.
Snopes' estimated value is in the tens of millions, with a daily revenue intake around five figures '-- a day. They are currently ranked in the top 2,600 websites globally as well as being in the top 700 domestically. The behemoth 'fact-checker' is nowhere near being broke.
However, thanks to a dirty divorce between David Mikkelson and his ex-wife Barbara Mikkelson, the company has turned into a glorious shit show.
If you read their GoFundMe page, David alleges the site is being ''held hostage'' by a ''vendor'' it contracted with in 2015 and ended its ties with this spring. He claims that the Snopes site and this ''vendor'' are engaged in a legal battle that could eliminate their ''financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.''
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READ MORE: Snopes, the Supposed Arbiter of 'Fake News' -- Accused of 'Defrauding Own Site to Pay for Prostitutes'
However, as the Nieman Lab at Harvard University reports, that legal battle seems to be an argument between Snopes co-founder David Mikkelson and his ex-wife, Barbara Mikkelson, over control of the company.
The ''vendor'' mentioned in the GoFundMe is Proper Media, Barbara's side of the Snopes business venture she began after the divorce in 2015.
Essentially, David Mikkelson is begging for money to fight his ex-wife for control over their fact-checking empire. He even notes this on the GoFundMe page, ''(not to mention covering our legal fees).''
As Nieman Lab notes, Snopes parent company Bardav, Inc. and the vendor, Proper Media, filed complaints against each other over issues stemming from that contract termination. Snopes alleges that Proper Media continues to control the advertising on Snopes.com, and is withholding revenue from those ads from the Snopes team. Proper Media, meanwhile, alleges that David Mikkelson ''has engaged in a lengthy scheme of concealment and subterfuge to gain control of the company and to drain its profits.''
''Mikkelson was unhappy that Barbara maintained ownership of half of what he always considered to be his company after the divorce,'' Proper Media's original complaint reads. ''Thus, after Proper Media's purchase of Barbara's share, Mikkelson sought to finally gain control of Bardav by aligning and conspiring with (Vincent) Green.''
Yes, this mudslinging conspiracy talk is actually coming from the people who claim to be the arbiters of online truth.
So, as their supports continue to throw money at the GoFundMe campaign '-- at the current rate of $30,000 per hour '-- the reality is, that their efforts are most likely in vain.
READ MORE: Snopes Conveniently Silent on WaPost's Dangerous Fake Story About Russia Hacking US Power Grid
As media analyst, Thomas Baekdal pointed out Monday in a series of Tweets, people should '-- like Snopes tells them to do '-- remain skeptical.
Nieman Lab reached out to both David Mikkelson's company and Barbara Mikkelson's company. However, they only received a reply from Proper Media, Barbara's venture.
''Proper Media suggests that the media conduct its own fact-check of the fundraising plea posted today on Snopes.com,'' Karl Kronenberger, counsel for Proper Media, wrote in an email response. ''In summary, today's post only confirms Proper Media's allegations that Mr. Mikkelson has drained the company's bank accounts and is unable to operate Snopes profitably without Proper Media's expertise and management.''
What these new revelations show us is that Snopes '-- a website that gained notoriety for debunking online myths '-- is a cluster fuck.
Fraud, embezzlement, and using company funds to pay for prostitution are just a sampling of the accusations against the CEO of the fact-checking website.
As TFTP reported last year, in November, David remarried '-- his new wife is a former porn actress and escort '-- and is now one of the site's fact-checkers. As for these accusations, reports the Daily Mail,
READ MORE: Snopes Conveniently Silent on WaPost's Dangerous Fake Story About Russia Hacking US Power Grid
''They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of 'embezzlement' and suggesting he is attempting a 'boondoggle' to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas.''
In a court document from last June, Barbara contended, ''He's been depleting the corporate account by spending monies from it on his personal expenses,'' such as purchasing his 'girlfriend's' ticket to Buenos Aires and $10,000 for a ''personal vacation'' to India.
As Claire Bernish so eloquently pointed out last year, one point incontestably underpinning the personal battle behind the scenes at the company demands an urgent question '-- with money as the seemingly only motivator, can the public ever be assured Snopes' checked facts are accurate at all?
Perhaps Snopes has finally been Snoped.
Snopes, in Heated Legal Battle, Asks Readers for Money to Survive - NYTimes.com
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:27
Snopes, the fact-checking website that once focused on debunking flimsy internet rumors but has expanded into a 16-person operation that calls out political leaders for dishonesty, is locked in a legal battle that it says has drained the money it needs to survive.
The site, which gets all of its revenue from advertising, created a crowdfunding page on Monday, raising $500,000 from readers in one day to remain operational indefinitely. It says that Proper Media, the vendor that runs its advertising services, has withheld the site's revenue and has refused to relinquish control of the site. That leaves Bardav '-- the company that owns and operates Snopes '-- with no way of moving the site to a new host or installing its own ads, said David Mikkelson, a founder of the site.
''We have had no income whatsoever for the last several months,'' Mr. Mikkelson said in an interview on Monday.
When asked how long the site could last without a successful fund-raising drive or legal victory, Mr. Mikkelson responded: ''Not a whole lot longer.''
Proper Media and its lawyers tell a starkly different story. They say that Snopes employees will continue to be paid from the advertising revenue, and that Mr. Mikkelson should be removed from the company because of wasteful spending.
The two sides, which have sued each other in separate claims, present entirely conflicting descriptions of who owns the company and what is being withheld from whom. The earliest chance for resolution appears to be a court hearing scheduled for next week.
Whether the squabbling will affect Snopes's ability to produce its popular mythbusting remains to be seen, but the disputes are unlikely to be settled until there is legal clarity on the underlying structure of the company.
Proper Media considers itself an owner of Bardav, not a vendor. As Proper Media tells it, Barbara Mikkelson, Mr. Mikkelson's ex-wife, sold her 50 percent share to Proper Media in 2016, but for tax purposes it was bought in the name of its individual members ''for the benefit of Proper Media.'' Two Proper Media officers, Drew Schoentrup and Christopher Richmond, would get 20 percent stakes in Bardav, while three others would own 3.33 percent stakes.
Proper Media said the deal included Mr. Schoentrup taking a seat on a two-person board alongside Mr. Mikkelson.
But Mr. Mikkelson, who owns the other 50 percent of the Bardav shares, said that Mr. Schoentrup does not sit on the board, and that the five shareholders should be viewed individually, as opposed to collectively, giving Proper Media equal ownership.
Mr. Schoentrup's on or off status on the board is crucial in Mr. Mikkelson's decision to cancel Bardav's contract with Proper Media, which handles many of the technological and advertising services for Snopes. In March, Bardav gave Proper Media a 60-day notice that it would be terminating the contract, effective May 8. Mr. Mikkelson said the contract was agreed to when Snopes was a much smaller company, but now it had its own business-focused employees and other services ''can be obtained much more cheaply from other vendors.''
Karl Kronenberger, a lawyer for Proper Media, said in an interview on Monday that Mr. Mikkelson cannot cancel the contract without calling a board meeting '-- which, in Proper Media's view, would include Mr. Schoentrup. The company has continued as if the contract remained valid.
Last week, a court ordered Proper Media, which cannot directly pay Snopes employees, to release $100,000 of the advertising revenues to Bardav, on the condition that the money be used for expenses and not be paid to Mr. Mikkelson, according to Mr. Kronenberger. Proper Media sued Mr. Mikkelson in May, accusing him of mismanaging the company's funds and abusing his position. (Mr. Mikkelson said he hadn't received money from the company this year aside from expenses and salary, which he said made him the lowest-paid employee at Snopes.)
Mr. Kronenberger said Mr. Mikkelson has locked Proper Media out of Bardav's bank accounts and ''key databases it needs to do its job,'' and he disputed that Proper Media had locked Bardav out from making technological changes.
''Mr. Mikkelson has absolute control of this domain name,'' Mr. Kronenberger said. ''He can move it within minutes.''
As for the advertising revenue, ''Our position is nothing is being wrongfully withheld,'' he said.
But on the crowdfunding page, Mr. Mikkelson wrote that ''although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site's hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or '-- most crucially '-- place advertising on it.''
Both sides hope a court hearing scheduled for Aug. 4 will begin to bring some clarity. Proper Media hopes the judge will remove Mr. Mikkelson from the company, while Bardav is hoping the judge requires Proper Media to hand over the rest of the advertising revenue, including some money from before the contract termination took effect.
For more than 20 years, Snopes has been a destination for batting down the urban legends and viral misinformation all too commonly found on the internet, first in email forwards and later in popular but misleading articles. At first run entirely by David and Barbara Mikkelson, it developed a reputation as an authority on declaring simply whether such tidbits could be believed.
In recent years, the site added staff as it took increasing aim at the routine falsities of the political process. In December, Facebook made Snopes a key part of its efforts to combat fake news, including it in a group of fact-checkers that would be alerted if enough users flagged an article as fake.
On Monday, Snopes used its website and social media accounts to promote its crowdfunding effort. It reached its $500,000 in about one day.
''We're just trying to pick a number that we're sure we can continue operations for, let's say, through possibly the end of the year, or at least the next several months while all this is happening,'' Mr. Mikkelson said.
#SaveSnopes
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:23
Snopes.com in Danger of Shuttering
Snopes.com, which began as a small one-person effort in 1994 and has since become one of the Internet's oldest and most popular fact-checking sites, is in danger of closing its doors. So, for the first time in our history, we are turning to you, our readership, for help.
Since our inception, we have always been a self-sustaining site that provides a free service to the online world: we've had no sponsors, no outside investors or funding, and no source of revenue other than that provided by online advertising. Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income.
We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site's hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or '-- most crucially '-- place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.
Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.
As misinformation has increasingly threatened democracies around the world (including our own), Snopes.com has stood in the forefront of fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online. It is vital that these efforts continue, so we are asking the Snopes.com community to donate what they can. (Our suggested donation is $10, but if you can give more please consider doing so '-- every little bit helps.)
We need our community now more than ever, as it is only through your support that Snopes.com can remain the community and resource we all know and love.
Sincerely yours,
Team Snopes.
Please note that any amounts sent to Snopes.com through gofundme.com or otherwise are purely a donation, and this is not an offer to purchase securities or any other interest in Snopes.com(or its parent company). All donations are non-refundable, and you will own no equity, debt, or other interest in Snopes.com(or its parent company) as a result of your donation. Since Snopes.com(and its parent company) is not a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, donations are not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution but will be allocated in their entirety to operating expenses, legal fees, and the continuation of our overall mission to fight misinformation.
Snopes.com Implodes, Resorts To GoFundMe | Zero Hedge
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:25
Via StockBoardAsset.com,
Snopes.com is a liberal blog from 1994. The website claims to be the internet's oldest and most popular fact-checking site. Last year, Snopes Co-Founder was accused of embezzling company money, and spending it on prostitutes.
Now you can find the blog begging for $500k in funding via GoFundMe. So, far the campaign has raised $18,000 in 3 hours via 710 people...
Another victim of the fake news campaign backfiring on the left.
* * *
Some additional "color" from iBankCoin:
A key member of Facebook's ministry of truth, Snopes, has hit a major snag which may force them out of business. Apparently too cheap or stupid to run a contract for their primary source of income past an attorney, the 'arbiters of truth' appear to be in major financial trouble after claiming a vendor is holding ad revenues hostage, and have set up a gofundme page which has raised $130,000 of it's $500,000 goal within hours.
We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage.
Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income. ''savesnopes.com
That outside vendor was none other than San Diego based Proper Media, which bought out Snopes co-founder Barbara Mikkelson's share in the company for $3.6 million following a nasty divorce.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune:
Established in 2003, Bardav, Inc. was the joint venture of Snopes creator David Mikkelson and his then-wife Barbara Mikkelson, who each owned one share and 50 percent of the company. The couple divorced in 2015. In July of 2016, Barbara sold her stake to Proper Media's five equity holders for $3.6 million.
Prior to the sale, Bardav had contracted Proper Media for web development and advertising services on Snopes.com, with the companies agreeing to split revenue earned from advertisements.
In May, Proper Media filed suit against Bardav and Mikkelson with the San Diego Superior Court of California over ownership of the site, alleging that Mikkelson attempted to gain control over the business and block Proper Media from its share of profits. Snopes counter sued, arguing that Proper Media has not paid Snopes its share of advertising revenue since March. Motions by both the plaintiffs and defendants are scheduled to be heard on Aug. 4.
Who could have imagined that the biased 'fact-checking' website run by militantly liberal rabid anti-Trumpers and co-founded by a cheating, whore mongering, cat-abandoning, embezzling degenerate would sign a sloppy contract?
The arrangement with Proper Media follows revelations that David Mikkelson secret PayPal account to allegedly funnel advertising revenue from Snopes into his personal accounts so that he could travel around the world banging whores behind his wife's back '' according to court documents obtained by Wesearcher / Gotnews.
As iBankCoin reported in December, while engaging in debauchery behind his wife's back, Mikkelson wrote off just about everything as a business expense, embezzling a reported $98,000. The Snopes co-founder has since settled down and married a [NSFW] part time porn actress, Snopes.com administrator (spicy!), and sex worker. As in, she has a website devoted to being a whore. Apparently she's a pretty good one despite being ''past her time as an adult model.''
In the same divorce papers, David Mikkelson fired back, claiming his ex-wife Barbara took millions from their joint account and bought property in Las Vegas.
No word on whatever happened to the cat'...
MSNBC Makes History With Ratings Win
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:15
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MSNBC beat rival Fox News as the most-watched cable network during prime time (8-11 p.m.) last week, attracting the most total viewers during the week of July 17-21.
It was the first time in the network's history that MSNBC grabbed the weekday ratings crown, Nielsen indicated. The network has now beaten CNN among total primetime viewers 29 out of the last 30 weeks.
MSNBC averaged 2.34 million viewers in weekday primetime slots, which was slightly ahead of Fox News, which brought in an average of 2.25 million viewers.
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MSNBC's primetime lineup consists of hosts Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell.
''Year to-date, MSNBC is the fastest growing cable network in total viewers, adding 865,000 sets of eyeballs while CNN has lost 128,000 viewers over the same time period, according to Nielsen's weekday primetime data,'' The Wrap reported.
MSNBC also beat CNN for total daytime (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) viewers, as well as morning (6 a.m.-9 a.m.) viewers, thanks to Morning Joe.
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The morning news talk show has beaten CNN's New Day, which runs at the same time, for 30 weeks in a row.
RATINGS: @MSNBC most watched of all cable networks in weekday prime for 1st time in network history https://t.co/Behq60g8eapic.twitter.com/tdSvVLgRa2
'-- MSNBCPR (@MSNBCPR) July 24, 2017
The Hill columnist Joe Concha told The Wrap he believes MSNBC's success has stemmed from being more transparent in their coverage, in that they don't attempt to hide their progressive tilt.
He said having ''true opinion hosts'' during primetime slots ''allows MSNBC to be more provocative'' than networks like CNN. Trump's comments against CNN have also made it difficult for that network to keep up.
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''Trump's attacks on CNN impact it in the sense that no Trump supporter will watch the network now based on preconceived notions alone,'' Concha said.
''So, if liberals are watching MSNBC and conservatives and populists watch Fox News, there ain't much leftover for CNN,'' he added.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's program, The Rachel Maddow Show, was the highest-rated show out of the three major cable news networks, averaging 2.94 million total viewers in the 9-10 p.m. slot.What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.
Monsanto
Someone is PURPOSELY planting disease at Chipotle to make their stock shorts valuable '' GOVERNMENT SLAVES
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 15:10
Chipotle's stock has plummeted in the past week after a norovirus outbreak has cast doubt on the chain's nascent recovery.
The outbreak, which sickened more than 100 customers in Virginia, according to reports, has also renewed speculation about a conspiracy theory that Chipotle is the target of corporate sabotage.
The theory first emerged after the 2015 E. coli outbreak tied to Chipotle restaurants in 14 states.
It claims that parties shorting Chipotle's stock '-- meaning they stand to gain financially when the chain's shares plummet '-- orchestrated the illness outbreaks by planting harmful bacteria in Chipotle restaurants.
''Chipotle short-sellers saw their ambitions rewarded with $55 million in less than one day, thanks to this most recent incident,'' Aaron Allen, a principal at the restaurant-consulting firm Aaron Allen & Associates, wrote on Monday in a LinkedIn post that was shared by Bloomberg. ''Though it might seem far-fetched, there are some facts that suggest the near-endless food safety scandals plaguing Chipotle belie something more sinister than simple misfortune.''
He pointed to past incidents of companies targeted in bizarre plots, including one in 2005 in which a woman planted a severed finger of her husband's coworker in a cup of Wendy's chili. She was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison.
Allen also raised questions about some of the details surrounding Chipotle's outbreaks. He said 60% of outbreaks took place between December and May, while Chipotle's were from August to December 2015 and, most recently, in July 2017. He also said Chipotle had four times as many norovirus outbreaks expected for a chain its size, and that each incident of foodborne illness sickened far more people than is common.
Even before the latest norovirus scare, it was somewhat unprecedented for so many illness outbreaks to be linked to a single chain.
A conspiracy theory about Chipotle is gaining steam
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:18
View photos
(A recent norovirus outbreak has revived a Chipotle conspiracy theory.Facebook/Chipotle)
Chipotle's stock has plummeted in the past week after a norovirus outbreak has cast doubt on the chain's nascent recovery.
The outbreak, which sickened more than 100 customers in Virginia, according to reports, has also renewed speculation about a conspiracy theory that Chipotle is the target of corporate sabotage.
The theory first emerged after the 2015 E. coli outbreak tied to Chipotle restaurants in 14 states.
It claims that parties shorting Chipotle's stock '-- meaning they stand to gain financially when the chain's shares plummet '-- orchestrated the illness outbreaks by planting harmful bacteria in Chipotle restaurants.
"Chipotle short-sellers saw their ambitions rewarded with $55 million in less than one day, thanks to this most recent incident," Aaron Allen, a principal at the restaurant-consulting firm Aaron Allen & Associates, wrote on Monday in a LinkedIn post that was shared by Bloomberg. "Though it might seem far-fetched, there are some facts that suggest the near-endless food safety scandals plaguing Chipotle belie something more sinister than simple misfortune."
He pointed to past incidents of companies targeted in bizarre plots, including one in 2005 in which a woman planted a severed finger of her husband's coworker in a cup of Wendy's chili. She was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison.
[Money Basics: What is a robo-advisor?]
Allen also raised questions about some of the details surrounding Chipotle's outbreaks. He said 60% of outbreaks took place between December and May, while Chipotle's were from August to December 2015 and, most recently, in July 2017. He also said Chipotle had four times as many norovirus outbreaks expected for a chain its size, and that each incident of foodborne illness sickened far more people than is common.
Even before the latest norovirus scare, it was somewhat unprecedented for so many illness outbreaks to be linked to a single chain.
View photos
Customers enter a Chipotle restaurant in Seattle, Washington November 20, 2015. REUTERS/David Ryder
More (A Chipotle restaurant in Seattle.Thomson Reuters)
That anomaly gave rise to the corporate-sabotage theory two years ago.
"Chipotle's E. coli outbreaks are not random chance," said an article published in late 2015 on the website Natural News. "They are the result of the biotech industry unleashing bioterrorism attacks against the only fast food company that has publicly denounced GMOs."
The article accused the biotech industry of planting E. coli in Chipotle's food in a "malicious attempt to destroy both the reputation and finances of the Chipotle food chain." It was shared thousands of times on social media, even though there was no evidence to back up the claims.
But even some scientists were stumped by anomalies surrounding Chipotle's illness outbreaks.
For example, Chipotle conducted hundreds of tests on its food and preparation surfaces and never identified a source of the E. coli outbreak. That's somewhat unusual. In five similar high-profile cases of major foodborne-illness outbreaks over the past couple of decades, the source was determined relatively quickly, according to Credit Suisse.
A Chipotle spokesman, Chris Arnold, told Bloomberg the company didn't believe in the conspiracy theories and "did not see any evidence to support them."
In the aftermath of the E. coli outbreak, the company implemented strict guidelines for food preparation and cooking, aiming to improve safety.
NOW WATCH: How to double the size of a Chipotle burrito for free
More From Business Insider
Trump Care
The 'Trump Option': Basic Health Care for All, Private Insurance for Everything Else - Breitbart
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:28
The ''Trump Option'' could be a system where the government covers basic health care for all '-- a yearly checkup, immunizations, emergencies, and minor medical expenses '-- and optional private insurance covers everything else.
That would be the inverse of the ''catastrophic'' plan described by Breitbart News earlier this year, under which the government would cover major, unforeseen medical expenses but leave basic health care to the private insurance market. Insurance companies would be more enthusiastic about participating in the ''Trump Option,'' because the real profits in health insurance are in covering bigger medical risks, not in covering everyday medical needs.
A version of the ''Trump Option'' already exists in the real world. In Australia, the government provides free care in public hospitals, and subsidizes a portion of private health care, with private insurance making up the difference.
Providing basic health care coverage for all would be simpler and less expensive than Obamacare, and would allow the free market to flourish, outside the ordinary expenditures that provide low margins for insurance companies anyway. It would also fulfill the promise that President-elect Trump made in January to replace Obamacare with ''insurance for everybody.''
Trump has already been considering the Australian model. We know this because he referred to it in May, shortly after the House passed its version of the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, in a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. ''You have better healthcare than we do,'' Trump said.
Though the president has spoken in general terms about cooperating with Democrats, he would not need to bargain with them on the ''Trump Option.'' Enough of them would support that option to make negotiating a moot point. As President George W. Bush showed in passing Medicare Part D, it is possible to split the opposition with a plan that will demonstrably benefit their core voters.
With Congress exhausted '-- as predicted '-- now is an ideal time for Trump to act.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the ''most influential'' people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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Trump Shuffle
McMaster ousts senior official on National Security Council
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 14:55
The White House has announced today that National Security Council member and top Trump adviser on Iran Derek Harvey has been fired "effective immediately".
Derek Harvey, who served as special assistant to the president and senior director for the Middle East on the National Security Council, was relieved of his duties Thursday.
The NSC had no explanation for Retired Army Col. Derek Harvey's removal in a statement sent to Anadolu Agency, but said the Trump administration, "is working with Colonel Harvey to identify positions in which his background and expertise can be best utilized".
Harvey was hired by Trump's former national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn.
"I am excited about the opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East under President Trump's leadership, and I look forward to shouldering greater responsibilities in support of the President", Harvey said.
NSC spokesman Michael Anton would not provide any more information on the record beyond the statement he issued earlier on Harvey's departure, but he did confirm that Harvey's deputies, Joel Rayburn and Michael Bell, still work for the NSC. But an effort to remove Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a Bannon and Harvey protege, as the NSC intelligence director failed when Bannon and others intervened with Trump.
Harvey's departure comes amid speculation about major shake-ups at the White House, the Weekly Standard reports. Several officials involved in Middle East and counterterrorism policy drafted a memo that outlined some alternatives to the policies that Harvey was championing in the fight against the Islamic State.
But while Harvey's future in the administration remains unclear, a spokesperson for the NSC confirmed that his ouster was not the result of a mutual decision, telling reporters it was fair to say he was "removed".
A protege of Gen. David Petraeus when Petraeus was commander of US forces in Iraq, Harvey was credited for predicting the post-invasion insurgency there. And yet, Harvey has positions that don't quite square up with Bannon's normal non-interventionist approach to foreign policy. Petraeus has called Harvey his "favorite intelligence officer".
F-Russia
2nd special council request
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 05:38
NWO
SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
The Red Pill-ers
Conference teaches K-12 educators how to combat 'whiteness in schools' - The College Fix
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 13:31
A recent conference hosted by an Ivy League university focused on integration and inclusion in K-12 education and included workshops on how educators should face white privilege in their classrooms, challenge microaggressions and address ''Eurocentric pedagogical approaches.''
The ''Reimagining Education Summer Institute'' conference, organized by Columbia University's Teachers College, was held in mid-July and concentrated on ''opportunities and challenges of creating and sustaining racially, ethnically and socio-economically integrated schools,'' according to its website.
The event, in its second year, drew 300 participants that mostly consisted of K-12 teachers and principals, the institute's director Amy Wells said in a phone interview with The College Fix. The four-day conference included plenary sessions, dozens of workshops and dialogue sessions.
One presentation, called ''Whiteness in schools,'' provided ''a history of Whiteness, and will invite participants into a discussion of how Whiteness and White culture shapes what happens in schools,'' according to a description.
One workshop discussed ''3 ways to face white privilege in the classroom.'' Presented by Teachers College postdoctoral fellow Jamila Lyiscott, a summary of the workshop states it included ''activities and critical dialogue around White privilege to connect personal responsibility to pedagogical possibilities for the classroom.''
And a workshop on ''Teaching for Social Justice'' sought to challenge colonialist and racist pedagogies.
''We will challenge Eurocentric pedagogical approaches that not only under-prepare students for the realities of our increasingly multiethnic, multilingual, globalized society, but are also rooted in colonial and racist ideologies that stifle the voices, identities, and realities of students of color,'' a description states.
There was also a ''Deconstructing Racial Microaggressions'' workshop in which attendees pledged to address racial insults at their schools.
Institute director Wells, a professor of sociology and education at the Teachers College, said the conference came about out of her belief that the ''missing piece'' regarding issues of integration in education is what goes on inside the classroom.
''It's always about getting kids into the building and I just think '... we're always missing the educators who actually do the work and who actually interact with the kids on daily basis and help them understand race in terms of how they're relating to other students,'' she said.
Wells said she believes higher education has the knowledge to transform the educational system but it requires connecting ''a lot of dots'' that have been fragmented over the years to bring that knowledge together so people can use it.
A number of the workshops at the event were geared toward racial issues and curriculum in K-12 education and participants were able to gain graduate course credits and continuing education credits by attending the event.
Mariel Buque, a Ph.D. Candidate at Teachers College, led a workshop titled ''Deconstructing Racial Microaggressions.'' The seminar sought to ''help participants identify ways in which educational systems perpetuate racial microaggressions, both within classroom practices and within the institutional climates.''
The training focused on increasing educators' ability to recognize racial microaggressions, understand their effects on students of color and helping the educators ''gain accountability in taking remedial action to overcome racial biases that lead to microaggressions.''
Participants in the workshop also took a pledge to address microaggressions at their respective schools, according to a tweet from Buque.
Other workshops touched on topics such as using hip hop as a form of therapy in schools, instituting restorative justice for student discipline and examining segregation and desegregation.
MORE: Professor teaches students about 'the problem that is whiteness'
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About the Author
Nathan Rubbelke is a staff reporter for The College Fix with a specialty on investigative and enterprise reporting. He has also held editorial positions at The Commercial Review daily newspaper in Portland, Indiana, as well as at The Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics and St. Louis Public Radio. Rubbelke graduated from Saint Louis University, where he majored in political science and sociology.
Princeton's new 'men's engagement manager' to combat aggressive masculinity on campus - The College Fix
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:08
Princeton's new 'men's engagement manager' to combat aggressive masculinity on campus
Are young men at Princeton University violent, aggressive, hyper-masculine, stalkers, or rapists?
A new position at the Ivy League institution indicates campus officials apparently think enough of its male students grapple with such problems that it warrants hiring a certified clinician dedicated to combating them.
The university is in the process of hiring an ''Interpersonal Violence Clinician and Men's Engagement Manager'' who will work with a campus office called SHARE that's dedicated to ''survivors'' of sexual harassment, assault, dating violence and stalking.
According to SHARE, one in four female undergrads experienced such misconduct during the 2015-16 school year.
The men's manager will also launch initiatives to challenge ''gender stereotypes,'' and expand the school's Men's Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community, a self-described ''violence prevention program'' at Princeton that often bemoans ''toxic masculinity'' on its Facebook page.
According to the job description, the men's manager will develop educational programs targeting the apparent ''high-risk campus-based populations for primary prevention of interpersonal violence, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking.''
The job posting implicitly refers to men as perpetrators and women as victims.
The position may also implement a mandatory ''accountability program for students accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX,'' it adds.
Princeton University's communications office defended the position in an emailed statement last week to The College Fix. The school confirmed it is still working to select a person to fill the position, first advertised in late May.
''Princeton's program is similar to programs at other colleges and universities and is consistent with established best practices that encourage both men and women to create and foster a culture in which there is no place for interpersonal violence and where safe and healthy interpersonal relationships are the norm,'' the statement read.
Founded in 2013, Men's Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community program seeks to ''promote healthy masculinity'' through workshops and other educational programming on campus. The program also fights ''toxic masculinity,'' according to numerous Facebook posts, and subscribes to the feminist theory of ''fragile masculinity,'' which denigrates men for subscribing to traditional gender norms.
The successful candidate will also recruit and train students to ''serve as role models for men-identified students related to the development of healthy relationships and healthy masculinity,'' the job description states.
The successful candidate must have a masters or doctorate in a field related to social work or women's studies, it adds.
The College Fix was unable to identify a corresponding clinician targeted toward women.
''The position you reference seeks to strengthen Princeton's efforts to prevent violence among all campus populations, with a focus on how we can best engage men as agents of positive change,'' Princeton's communications office stated.
''The person hired for this position will support an existing initiative '' Men's Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community '' and will provide mentoring and guidance to help men serve as effective advocates for the prevention of violence and connect those affected by violence with the services and supports they need. We have seen increased demand by men on our campus to play a more active role in preventing interpersonal violence, and we are pleased to support this growing interest.''
MORE '-- TRENDING: Universities work to purge male students of their 'toxic' masculinity
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About the Author
Toni Airaksinen is a junior at Barnard College in New York City. She also contributes to USA Today College, Red Alert Politics and Quillette Magazine. She formerly held a post with The Columbia Spectator. Her writing is regularly featured on Fox News and Drudge Report, among other websites. Her interests include free speech, due process and men's issues.
Ambtenaren A'dam krijgen 'Regenboogtaaltips': liever niet 'dames en heren' | NOS
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:51
Amsterdam wil in de communicatie meer rekening houden met mensen die zichzelf als man noch als vrouw beschouwen. In een gids met zogenoemde regenboogtaaltips roept de afdeling diversiteit van de gemeente ambtenaren op om rekening te houden met mensen die zich niet herkennen in de aanspreekvorm 'man' of 'vrouw'.
Als alternatief voor "dames en heren" wordt geadviseerd om bijvoorbeeld "geachte aanwezigen" of "beste aanwezigen" te gebruiken. De gemeente wil zo op een respectvolle manier praten en schrijven over seksuele- en genderidentiteit.
"Als stad en als werkgever willen we inclusief zijn. Daarom is het streven dat onze aanspreekvormen daarbij aansluiten", zegt de gemeente. Amsterdam volgt daarmee het voorbeeld van Londen, waar "ladies and gentlemen" bij aankondigingen in de metro onlangs werd verruild voor een genderneutraal "hello everyone".
Volgens een woordvoerder van de gemeente gaat het om tips en en zijn de ambtenaren niet verplicht om het advies te volgen. "We gaan niets verbieden, maar willen wel dat ambtenaren zich bewust zijn van hun taalgebruik."
De gids met regenboogtaaltips komt enkele dagen voor de Pride Amsterdam, die vanaf zaterdag wordt gehouden in de stad.
PP Says Genitals Don't Determine Sex | The Daily Caller
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 15:00
PP Says Genitals Don't Determine Sex | The Daily Caller The Daily Caller
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Demonstrators hold up placards during a Planned Parenthood rally outside the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ilana Panich-Linsman Pinterest
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Certain body parts don't define male or female gender, according to Planned Parenthood's updated guidelines on how parents should talk to their kids about sexuality.
Planned Parenthood has long been a believer in hard science, arguing that a fetus is just a clump of cells, but the organization now purports that genitals don't make a child a boy or girl. While the old Planned Parenthood recommendations rely on science to talk to preschoolers about sexuality, the new guidelines reject former advice and expound upon gender details far beyond any normal preschooler's comprehension.
The old guidelines advised parents to tell their kids that:
Women have breasts. Men don't.Boys have penises and girls have vulvas. I'm a woman '-- a girl who is all grown up '-- so I have a vulva instead of a penis. And you're a boy, so you have a penis instead of a vulva.The new guidelines advise parents to say:
Those are nipples. Everybody has nipples.Boy, girl, man, and woman are words that describe gender identity, and some people with the gender identities ''boy'' or ''man'' have vulvas, and some with the gender identity ''girl'' or ''woman'' have penises/testicles.Your genitals don't make you a boy or a girl.It doesn't matter too much what parts someone has.Planned Parenthood's new recommendations reject the ''birds and the bees'' metaphor and opt to explicitly explain how mothers get pregnant to children. The new guidelines also encourage parents to use the real names of body parts '-- like vulva, clitoris, penis and vagina '-- instead of creating nicknames when talking to their preschoolers.
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Sperm counts have declined by more than half for Western men, study finds - Health - CBC News
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:52
Sperm counts for men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have declined by more than 50 per cent in the last four decades, a large research review has found.
"That's very worrisome," said the study's lead author, Dr. Hagai Levine, who works at the Hebrew University's Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem.
Levine and his global team of researchers found no significant sperm count decline among men in South America, Asia and Africa, although they acknowledge far less information was available for those continents.
Dr. Hagai Levine, of the Hebrew University's Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, is the lead author of the study. Levine says he wanted to get a definite answer to the question of whether or not sperm counts have declined. (Hebrew University )
The findings were published Tuesday in the journal Human Reproduction Update. They not only suggest a problem with male fertility in Western countries, Levine said, but also signal that men's health could be at risk, since previous research has shown that sperm count can be a predictor of wellness.
Although past research has also shown that sperm counts are decreasing, not everyone in the scientific community has taken the reports seriously because of concerns about their limitations and methodology, the authors say.
"I felt that this question of male fertility is a neglected question," Levine told CBC News on Tuesday, noting he wanted to use improved methods and "statistical power" to get a definite answer to the question of whether sperm counts have declined.
Environmental factors blamedLevine and seven other researchers from Israel, the U.S., Denmark, Spain and Brazil performed a comprehensive review of more than 7,500 studies on human sperm count, eliminating those that didn't meet stringent criteria to ensure data consistency. With the 185 studies left, they did a meta-regression analysis '-- a method of making sense of multiple studies by accounting for variables to maximize the accuracy of the results.
In the end, their conclusions were based on sperm samples collected from 42,935 men around the world between 1973 and 2011. They found that over those 38 years, sperm concentration declined by 52 per cent, while total sperm count decreased by almost 60 per cent among men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The study did not delve into what's causing declining sperm counts in Western countries, and more specific research is needed, Levine said. But he said past studies have shown environmental factors play a role.
"Even though we did not study the causes, it's clearly not genetic causes," Levine said. "It must be the change in the modern lifestyle and the environment that we live."
That theory rings true for Dr. Keith Jarvi, chief of urology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and a male fertility expert. Jarvi was not associated with Levine's study. After reviewing it, Jarvi told CBC News he believes the findings are sound and raise important questions.
The black lines in this graphic from the study show the decline in sperm concentration and total sperm count among men in Western countries between 1973 and 2011. Researchers say there is no indication that the decrease has levelled off. (Hagai Levine et al/Human Reproduction Update)
"You have to ask why is this happening on a society level? Is this a reflection of something else that's happening, and this is just basically a marker for some other health concern that's going on with men?" Jarvi said.
There are a few likely lifestyle and environmental factors, he said.
"On average, men's weight is going up, so there's higher rates of obesity, and we also know that obese men have lower sperm counts," Jarvi said. "So you can start to correlate weight and reduction in sperm counts."
Environmental exposure to "estrogenics" '-- including female hormone compounds '-- can also reduce sperm counts, he said, noting that plastics are among the sources of estrogenics in the environment.
'Canary in the coal mine'Both Jarvi and Levine say there are steps men can take individually to improve their fertility, including stopping smoking, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
But the study shows the need to deal with declining sperm count on a societal level, they say.
"It's costing money, because more and more people are needing IVF [in-vitro fertilization], so there's a fertility cost," Jarvi said. "You really got to wonder why this is happening."
Investment by governments and funding agencies into understanding the causes of low sperm count '-- and then preventing it '-- is critical, Levine said.
"We call it the canary in the coal mine," he said. "If the canary dies, the solution is not to replace the canary, you know, to get a sperm donor. That's not the solution. We need to see why this is happening and to solve it."
Scientists dim sunlight, suck up carbon dioxide to cool planet
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:21
OSLO (Reuters) - Scientists are sucking carbon dioxide from the air with giant fans and preparing to release chemicals from a balloon to dim the sun's rays as part of a climate engineering push to cool the planet.
Backers say the risky, often expensive projects are urgently needed to find ways of meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal to curb global warming that researchers blame for causing more heatwaves, downpours and rising sea levels.
The United Nations says the targets are way off track and will not be met simply by reducing emissions for example from factories or cars - particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 pact.
They are pushing for other ways to keep temperatures down.
In the countryside near Zurich, Swiss company Climeworks began to suck greenhouse gases from thin air in May with giant fans and filters in a $23 million project that it calls the world's first "commercial carbon dioxide capture plant".
Worldwide, "direct air capture" research by a handful of companies such as Climeworks has gained tens of millions of dollars in recent years from sources including governments, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the European Space Agency.
If buried underground, vast amounts of greenhouse gases extracted from the air would help reduce global temperatures, a radical step beyond cuts in emissions that are the main focus of the Paris Agreement.
Climeworks reckons it now costs about $600 to extract a tonne of carbon dioxide from the air and the plant's full capacity due by the end of 2017 is only 900 tonnes a year. That's equivalent to the annual emissions of only 45 Americans.
And Climeworks sells the gas, at a loss, to nearby greenhouses as a fertilizer to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and has a partnership with carmaker Audi, which hopes to use carbon in greener fuels.
Jan Wurzbacher, director and founder of Climeworks, says the company has planet-altering ambitions by cutting costs to about $100 a tonne and capturing one percent of global man-made carbon emissions a year by 2025.
"Since the Paris Agreement, the business substantially changed," he said, with a shift in investor and shareholder interest away from industrial uses of carbon to curbing climate change.
But penalties for factories, power plants and cars to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere are low or non-existent. It costs 5 euros ($5.82) a tonne in the European Union.
And isolating carbon dioxide is complex because the gas makes up just 0.04 percent of the air. Pure carbon dioxide delivered by trucks, for use in greenhouses or to make drinks fizzy, costs up to about $300 a tonne in Switzerland.
Other companies involved in direct air capture include Carbon Engineering in Canada, Global Thermostat in the United States and Skytree in the Netherlands, a spinoff of the European Space Agency originally set up to find ways to filter out carbon dioxide breathed out by astronauts in spacecrafts.
Not Science FictionThe Paris Agreement seeks to limit a rise in world temperatures this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), ideally 1.5C (2.7F) above pre-industrial times.
But U.N. data show that current plans for cuts in emissions will be insufficient, especially without the United States, and that the world will have to switch to net "negative emissions" this century by extracting carbon from nature.
Riskier "geo-engineering" solutions could be a backstop, such as dimming the world's sunshine, dumping iron into the oceans to soak up carbon, or trying to create clouds.
Among new university research, a Harvard geo-engineering project into dimming sunlight to cool the planet set up in 2016 has raised $7.5 million from private donors. It plans a first outdoor experiment in 2018 above Arizona.
"If you want to be confident to get to 1.5 degrees you need to have solar geo-engineering," said David Keith, of Harvard.
A facility for capturing CO2 from air of Swiss Climeworks AG is placed on the roof of a waste incinerating plant in Hinwil, Switzerland July 18, 2017. Arnd Wiegmann Keith's team aims to release about 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) of sun dimming material, perhaps calcium carbonate, from a high-altitude balloon above Arizona next year in a tiny experiment to see how it affects the microphysics of the stratosphere.
"I don't think it's science fiction ... to me it's normal atmospheric science," he said.
Some research has suggested that geo-engineering with sun-dimming chemicals, for instance, could affect global weather patterns and disrupt vital Monsoons.
And many experts fear that pinning hopes on any technology to fix climate change is a distraction from cuts in emissions blamed for heating the planet.
"Relying on big future deployments of carbon removal technologies is like eating lots of dessert today, with great hopes for liposuction tomorrow," Christopher Field, a Stanford University professor of climate change, wrote in May.
Jim Thomas of ETC Group in Canada, which opposes climate engineering, said direct air capture could create "the illusion of a fix that can be used cynically or naively to entertain policy ideas such as 'overshoot'" of the Paris goals.
But governments face a dilemma. Average surface temperatures are already about 1C (1.8F) above pre-industrial levels and hit record highs last year.
"We're in trouble," said Janos Pasztor, head of the new Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Project. "The question is not whether or not there will be an overshoot but by how many degrees and for how many decades."
Faced with hard choices, many experts say that extracting carbon from the atmosphere is among the less risky options. Leaders of major economies, except Trump, said at a summit in Germany this month that the Paris accord was "irreversible."
"Barking MadRaymond Pierrehumbert, a professor of physics at Oxford University, said solar geo-engineering projects seemed "barking mad".
By contrast, he said "carbon dioxide removal is challenging technologically, but deserves investment and trial."
The most natural way to extract carbon from the air is to plant forests that absorb the gas as they grow, but that would divert vast tracts of land from farming. Another option is to build power plants that burn wood and bury the carbon dioxide released.
Carbon Engineering, set up in 2009 with support from Gates and Murray Edwards, chairman of oil and gas group Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, has raised about $40 million and extracts about a tonne of carbon dioxide a day with turbines and filters.
"We're mainly looking to synthesize fuels" for markets such as California with high carbon prices, said Geoffrey Holmes, business development manager at Carbon Engineering.
But he added that "the Paris Agreement helps" with longer-term options of sucking large amounts from the air.
Among other possible geo-engineering techniques are to create clouds that reflect sunlight back into space, perhaps by using a mist of sea spray.
That might be used locally, for instance, to protect the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, said Kelly Wanser, principal director of the U.S.-based Marine Cloud Brightening Project.
Among new ideas, Wurzbacher at Climeworks is sounding out investors on what he says is the first offer to capture and bury 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air, for $500 a tonne.
That might appeal to a company wanting to be on forefront of a new green technology, he said, even though it makes no apparent economic sense.
Bill Nye Says Old People Must Die For Climate Science To Progress
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:52
LISTEN TO TLR'S LATEST PODCAST:By Chris White
Comedian Bill Nye ''The Science Guy'' said Wednesday that the climate change movement can only move forward once the older generation begins to die off.
''Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It's generational,'' Nye told the Los Angeles Times in an interview. Nye added that he shouldn't be too hard on older citizens, however, because he is ''now one of them.''
''We're just going to have to wait for those people to 'age out,' as they say,'' Nye said, adding that ''age out'' is a euphemism for dying. ''But it'll happen, I guarantee you '-- that'll happen.''
Nye used the interview to pitch his newest book, ''Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem,'' which lengthily discusses climate change, among other issues.
The former children's show host has also received plaudits from Hollywood for his newest television show, ''Bill Nye Saves The World.''
The Television Academy Awards nominated the show's writers earlier this month for an episode suggesting that sexuality exists on a spectrum. The episode raised concern from conservatives and YouTube denizens alike, many of which mocked the show for awkwardly associating social sciences with physical sciences.
The nominated episode contains the music video, ''My Sex Junk,'' which aired in April on Netflix, featuring actress Rachel Bloom singing a song about transgenders, gay sex and how sexuality is a fluid concept. Bloom's song appears to lament the fact that humans are relegated to living lives as strictly male or female.
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Why Conservative White Males Are More Likely to Be Climate Skeptics - Scientific American
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:01
When it comes to climate change denial, not all human beings are created equal. As a recent study shows, conservative white males are less likely to believe in climate change.
"It's not surprising," said Aaron McCright, sociology professor at Michigan State University, who is a white male himself. But anecdotal evidence is not scientific, he said. "You really don't know what's going on until you crunch the numbers and find out."
Besides the trend amongst skeptics, the study also found that conservative white men who self-report a high understanding of global warming -- dubbed "confident" conservative males -- are even more likely to express climate change denial.
McCright's study, "Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States," was published online in July and printed in the October 2011 issue of Global Environmental Change, which ranks first out of 77 journals on environmental studies.
The study has created somewhat of a buzz, said Riley Dunlap, co-author and professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University. The paper was well received in academic circles, but he admitted he was concerned about a backlash from the conservative movement. While there have not been any major outcries, the study appears to have raised a few temperatures in Chicago.
"This paper is a transparent effort to take the focus off the actual scientific debate and instead engage in race baiting, class baiting and other sociological devices to win a science argument," said James Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute.
But from McCright's perspective it was important to find out to what extent the sharp debate over climate change at the elite level had trickled down into the general public in recent decades. "Within the ranks of elites, climate change denialists are overwhelmingly conservative white males," reads the report, pointing to figures like talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Marshall Institute CEO, William O'Keefe. "Does a similar pattern exist in the American public?"
'Cool Dudes,' a bloc that stands out in the crowd
McCright and Dunlap's analysis used polling data on climate change denial from 10 Gallup surveys from 2001 to 2010. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 72.4 percent of the American population reported as white in 2010, and 77.1 percent in the year 2000. This majority made it difficult to draw conclusions about the relationship between other races and climate change, said McCright, because the Gallup survey sample size was so small.
To test for the trend amongst conservative white males, the researchers compared the demographic to "all other adults." Results showed, for instance, that 29.6 percent of conservative white males believe the effects of global warming will never happen, versus 7.4 percent of other adults. In holding for "confident" conservative white males, the study showed 48.4 percent believe global warming won't happen, versus 8.6 percent of other adults.
As a point of comparison, McCright also tested the beliefs of conservative white females. He found 14.9 percent believe the effects of global warming will never happen to 29.6 percent of their male counterparts. McCright said the finding is due more to the women's political stance than their gender or race. The data on conservative white females was not published in the "Cool dudes" study.
To understand why there is a trend amongst conservative white males, the Gallup data was cross-examined with research about the "white male effect" -- the idea that white males were either more accepting of risk or less risk averse than the rest of the public.
The white male effect could stem from the notion that, historically, white males have faced fewer obstacles in life, said McCright. But another school of thought sees the adoption of risk tied to personal values. "It has to do with their identity as an in-group," he said. "Something that would challenge the status quo is something [conservative white males] want to shun."
Climate change, a challenge to identity?
According to the literature on "identity protective cognition," people believe messages coming from the people they identify with most and ignore messages that are contrarian, Dunlap said. While all groups have a tendency to do this, he said, in the case the climate change, conservative white males are especially likely to exhibit this self-protecting characteristic.
McCright says, up to 40 percent of all white males in the study sample believe in hierarchy, are more trusting of authority and are more conservative. Conservative white males' motivation to ignore a certain risk -- the risk of climate change in this case -- therefore, has to do with defending the status of their identity tied to the white male establishment.
This result is bolstered by the Yale University "Global Warming's Six Americas" report for May. The study found that none of the "dismissive" group -- those who don't think the climate is changing or want legislation -- believe global warming will harm the United States in 50 years. The dismissive group also skews male and conservative, said "Six Americas" co-author, Edward Maibach, director of the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
But for Donald Braman, associate professor of law at George Washington University, who works on risk perception studies, the focus on white males and climate change could be somewhat misleading. "My worry is that [McCright's paper] might suggest to people that there is something distinctive about the way conservatives and officially, conservative white men, deal with new information," he said. "The truth is that those same cognitive mechanisms push all of our buttons."
Braman says a similar effect reveals itself amongst progressives when it comes to concerns about nuclear power, for instance. In the Yale Law School "Second National Risk & Culture Study" researchers found that despite expert opinions espousing the relative safety of certain forms of nuclear energy, progressives are still concerned about it, Braman said.
Values shape factual beliefs across an array of phenomenon, he said. "If it's conservative white males on global warming, pick a different issue and you'll find another group that has trouble thinking in a way that agrees with experts."
'A very receptive audience'
The political divide on climate change was concentrated in the run-up to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, McCright said. At that time most global warming skepticism came from public figures, he said. But in 2000, climate change beliefs held predominantly by conservative white elites started to spread.
"Conservative think tanks, conservative media, corporations, and industry associations (especially for the fossil fuels industry) -- domains dominated by conservative white males -- have spearheaded the attacks on climate science and policy from the late 1980s to the present," McCright and Dunlap concluded in their study. "The results presented here show that conservative white males in the general public have become a very receptive audience for these efforts."
But Taylor of the Heartland Institute said it should not come as a surprise that the subject of human induced global warming would become more contested as it moved out of the realm of pure science into the realm of policy. The proposed solutions to climate change will "in very substantial ways rearrange our economy and the structure of our society. Of course this is going to capture the attention of interested citizens beyond the mere elites," said Taylor.
Taylor also argues that the paper's claim that "the most prominent denialists are conservative white males," overlooks the other side of the political equation. "Here's a news flash: The most prominent alarmists are liberal white males. So clearly race and gender has nothing to do with prominent alarmism or skepticism," he said.
Know thy enemy
McCright actually agrees that the study reveals more about politics than any other personal attributes. "It's not a biological or gender thing," he said. "It's a political thing." Liberal white males are more accepting of government regulations and challenges to the status quo because it fits in their political ideology, he said.
"When you start talking about climate change and the need for major changes, carbon taxes and lifestyle changes, [conservatives] see this as a threat to capitalism and future prosperity," said McCright. "So conservatives tend to be very negative towards climate change."
So what does McCright and Dunlap's research mean for climate regulation? Climate change denial has increased across all sectors of the American general public over the last decade, write the authors. And as they conclude in another recent study on the politicization of climate change published earlier this year in the journal Sociology Quarterly, "we expect that the political divide within the general public may further inhibit the creation of effective climate policy."
Perhaps, like the trend of denial among conservative white males, there is nothing too surprising about that conclusion. But for Maibach of George Mason University, McCright and Dunlap's findings do bring something new to the bargaining table.
"If you are advocating for climate legislation is helps to understand your opponents. Or if you have opponents, it's good to understand them to effectively engage with them," he said. "One [approach] is more combative, the other is more about conflict resolution. In either case it helps to know who you're dealing with."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500
Extinction Symbol
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:11
Extinction SymbolThe symbol above represents extinction. The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species. The world is currently undergoing a mass extinction event, and this symbol is intended to help raise awareness of the urgent need for change in order to address this crisis. Estimates are that somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000 species are becoming extinct every year in what scientists have named the Holocene, or Sixth Mass Extinction. This ongoing process of destruction is being caused by the impact of human activity. Within the next few decades approximately 50% of all species that now exist will have become extinct. Such a catastrophic loss of biodiversity is highly likely to cause widespread ecosystem collapse and consequently render the planet uninhabitable for humans.
In order to spread the message as widely as possible, please create this symbol in any location you feel able to. Thank you. Large symbol to download and use freely for non-commercial purposes - Symbol
Stencil template of the symbol to download and use freely for non-commercial purposes - Stencil
Join the flickr group and post examples of the symbol that you've created - flickr group
Follow on twitter - https://twitter.com/extinctsymbol
Direct link to this page, please disseminate - www.extinctionsymbol.info
More information on the mass extinction currently taking place - http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/
Please note: In response to several companies attempting to use the symbol on their mass-produced clothing/giftware products, the following clarification is now made: The extinction symbol is a not-for-profit participatory project. The creation and free use of the extinction symbol by individuals in their personal artwork or other forms of expression is strongly welcomed and encouraged, but any form of commercial use of the symbol is completely against its ethos and should therefore be refrained from.Thank you.
Government Climate Math : The Average Of Negative Numbers Is A Positive Number
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 16:18
The average daily July temperature at all NOAA US HCN stations has dropped since 1895.
NOAA doesn't adjust daily temperatures, but after they get done hacking the monthly temperatures, they turn a July cooling trend into a warming trend.
Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
They accomplish this feat through an impressive hockey stick of data tampering, which cools the past about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit and warms the present about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit . Particularly striking is the spike in tampering after the 1998 El Nino.
Twenty eight out of thirty-one days in July have cooled since 1895, but through the magic of data tampering and junk science, NOAA turns this cooling trend into a warming trend.
The hottest day in US history was July 14, 1936 when afternoon temperatures averaged 96F, and there was a huge swath of 110+ degree weather across the US.
Below you can see all of the daily temperature trend graphs for July.
Zion
45 US Senators Support Bill that Makes It A Crime to Boycott Israel
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:56
US: A bill that would criminalize boycotts against Israel has been signed by 45 US senators and 237 congressmen. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) says that violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. Additionally, they say that the bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies in direct violation of the First Amendment.
The criminalization of
political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as ''the Palestine Exception'' to free speech.
But now, a group of 43 senators '-- 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats '-- wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country's decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.
The proposed measure, called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), was introduced by Cardin on March 23. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill ''was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.'' Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 lobbying agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year:
The bill's co-sponsors include the senior Democrat in Washington, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, his New York colleague Kirsten Gillibrand, and several of the Senate's more liberal members, such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Maria Cantwell of Washington. Illustrating the bipartisanship that AIPAC typically summons, it also includes several of the most right-wing senators such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Marco Rubio of Florida.
[Update '' July 20, 2017: Glen Caplin, senior advisor to Gillibrand, sends along the following statement: ''We have a different read of the specific bill language, however, due to the ACLU's concerns, the Senator has extended an invitation to them to meet with her and discuss their concerns.'']A similar measure was introduced in the House on the same date by two Republicans and one Democrat. It has already amassed 234 co-sponsors: 63 Democrats and 174 Republicans. As in the Senate, AIPAC has assembled an impressive ideological diversity among supporters, predictably including many of the most right-wing House members '-- Jason Chaffetz, Liz Cheney, Peter King '-- along with the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer.
Among the co-sponsors of the bill are several of the politicians who have become political celebrities by positioning themselves as media leaders of the anti-Trump #Resistance, including three California House members who have become heroes to Democrats and staples of the cable news circuit: Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell. These politicians, who have built a wide public following by posturing as opponents of authoritarianism, are sponsoring one of the most oppressive and authoritarian bills that has pended before Congress in quite some time.
Last night, the ACLU posted a letter it sent to all members of the Senate urging them to oppose this bill. Warning that ''proponents of the bill are seeking additional co-sponsors,'' the civil liberties group explained that ''it would punish individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs.'' The letter detailed what makes this bill so particularly threatening to basic civic freedoms:
It is no small thing for the ACLU to insert itself into this controversy. One of the most traumatic events in the organization's history was when it lost large numbers of donors and supporters in the late 1970s after it defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois, a town with a large community of Holocaust survivors.
Even the bravest of organizations often steadfastly avoid any controversies relating to Israel. Yet here, while appropriately pointing out that the ACLU ''takes no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country,'' the group categorically denounces this AIPAC-sponsored proposal for what it is: a bill that ''seeks only to punish the exercise of constitutional rights.''
The ACLU has similarly opposed bipartisan efforts at the state level to punish businesses that participate in the boycott, pointing out that ''boycotts to achieve political goals are a form of expression that the Supreme Court has ruled are protected by the First Amendment's protections of freedom of speech, assembly, and petition,'' and that such bills ''place unconstitutional conditions on the exercise of constitutional rights.'' The bill now co-sponsored in Congress by more than half of the House and close to half of the Senate is far more extreme than those.
Thus far, not a single member of Congress has joined the ACLU in denouncing this bill. The Intercept this morning sent inquiries to numerous non-committed members of the Senate and House who have yet to speak on this bill. We also sent inquiries to several co-sponsors of the bill '-- such as Rep. Lieu '-- who have positioned themselves as civil liberties champions and opponents of authoritarianism, asking:
Congressman Lieu: Last night, the ACLU vehemently denounced a bill that you are co-sponsoring '-- to criminalize support for a boycott of Israel '-- as a grave attack on free speech. Do you have any comment on the ACLU's denunciation? You've been an outspoken champion for civil liberties; how can you reconcile that record with an effort to make it a felony for Americans to engage in activism that protests a foreign government's actions? We're writing about this today; any statement would be appreciated.
This morning, Lieu responded: ''Thank you for sharing the letter. The bill has been around since March and this is the first time I have seen this issue raised. We will look into it.'' (The Intercept will post any response from Rep. Lieu, or any late responses from others, as soon as they are received.)
Sen. Cantwell told The Intercept she is ''a strong supporter of free speech rights'' and will be reviewing the bill for First Amendment concerns in light of the ACLU statement.
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, when asked by The Intercept about the ACLU's warning that the bill he is co-sponsoring criminalizes free speech, affirmed his support for the bill by responding: ''I continue to support a strong U.S./Israel relationship.''
Meanwhile, some co-sponsors seemed not to have any idea what they co-sponsored '-- almost as though they reflexively sign whatever comes from AIPAC without having any idea what's in it. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, for instance, seemed genuinely bewildered when told of the ACLU's letter, saying, ''What's the Act? You'll have to get back to me on that.''
A similar exchange took place with another co-sponsor, one of AIPAC's most reliable allies, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who said: ''I'd want to read it. '... I'd really have to look at it.''
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a co-sponsor, said she hadn't seen the ACLU letter but would give it a look. ''I certainly will take their position into consideration, just like I take everybody's position into consideration,'' she said.
Gillibrand, the only senator in the 2020 presidential mix to co-sponsor the bill, told The Intercept she would have a statement to provide, which we'll add as soon as it's provided.
Perhaps most stunning is our interview with the primary sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Benjamin Cardin, who seemed to have no idea what was in his bill, particularly insisting that it contains no criminal penalties.
But as the ACLU put it, ''Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.''
That's because, as Josh Ruebner expertly detailed when the bill was first unveiled, ''the bill seeks to amend two laws '-- the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945,'' and ''the potential penalties for violating this bill are steep: a minimum $250,000 civil penalty and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years imprisonment, as stipulated in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.''
Indeed, to see how serious the penalties are, and how clear it is that those penalties are imposed by this bill, one can just compare the bill's text in Section 8(a), which provides that violators will be ''fined in accordance with Section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705),'' to the penalty provisions of that law, which state:
That the bill refers to the fine, but not the prison sentence, is not enough to prevent a judge from applying the statute's prison term, because the bill brings the statute into play, said Faiz Shakir, the ACLU's political director, who authored the letter to the Senate. ''The referral to the statute keeps criminal penalties in play, regardless of what their preference for punishment might be,'' said Shakir.
The bill also extends the current prohibition on participating in boycotts sponsored by foreign governments to cover boycotts from international organizations such as the U.N. and the European Union. It also explicitly extends the boycott ban from Israel generally to any parts of Israel, including the settlements. For that reason, Ruebner explains, the bill '-- by design '-- would outlaw ''campaigns by the Palestine solidarity movement to pressure corporations to cut ties to Israel or even with Israeli settlements.''
Read full article here'...
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Elite$
The Sport Of Psychopaths - Does Cheney Hunt Human Beings? -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:46
Today Sott editors came across a short entry on Boingboing.net featuring a photograph of Dick Cheney posted on the "Outdoors" section of the official US government Whitehouse.gov website.The photograph is captioned "Vice President Dick Cheney spends an afternoon fly-fishing on the Snake River in Idaho."
See for yourself:
(C)WhiteHouse.govAnd a close up:
(C)Whitehouse.govThe poster on Boingboing.net suggested that the reflection in Cheney's glasses bears a resemblance to a naked human being, which brings to mind that story of Cheney shooting his "friend" in the face. The explanation that Cheney shot Whittington "by accident" being something of a joke. It is clear to the careful observer that the reflection really is just Cheney's hand, however, since the topic has been raised, we simply could not, in all conscience, turn down the opportunity to point out Dave McGowan's article from The Center for an Informed America, where he muses on the idea that perhaps Cheney really does enjoy playing "The Most Dangerous Game" from time to time.
Now some people will claim that this is evidence of Sott.net having a rabidly anti-US Government agenda and that we jump at any chance to condemn the US political elite. Of course, we stand guilty as charged on this one, but make no apologies whatsoever. The reason for this, as many already know, is that Cheney is very likely a psychopath and certainly a war criminal, having presided over the murder of over 1 million Iraqi civilians in the last 5 years, to mention but one of his crimes. To date however, Cheney and Co. have not been indicted on any charges and are free to continue their murderous campaigns around the world. Assuming that we will not see any of the psychopaths in power appear before any US or international court in the near future, readers will excuse if we seek alternative ways to redress this glaring imbalance. If that means using every opportunity to highlight the evil that these people represent, then so be it.
Here's Dave McGowan on Cheney as the great white (human) hunter:
[...] A story that has been circulating in the conspiracy community for quite some time now holds that our back-up quarterback, Dick Cheney, has a fondness for playing "The Most Dangerous Game." In other words, he allegedly likes to, quite literally, hunt humans. Preferably young, naked, female humans. For sport.
I know what you're thinking, so let me just say that I don't make this stuff up. Nor do I vouch for its veracity. All that I am saying is that these claims have been made - albeit not, to my knowledge, by the most credible of sources. Nevertheless, what is being claimed is not beyond the realm of possibility. After all, what we are talking about here, on the one hand, is abhorrent and psychopathic behavior. And on the other hand, we are talking about Dick Cheney. These two things are not, quite obviously, mutually exclusive.
... Consider the following report from the venerable Los Angeles Times:
"Two Black Hawk helicopters were brought in and hovered nearby as Cheney and Scalia were whisked away in a heavily guarded motorcade to a secluded, private hunting camp owned by an oil industry businessman [identified as Wallace Carline, the head of Diamond Services Corp.] ... the Cheney-Scalia trip drew the attention of local officials because of the unusual security precautions ... on the morning of Jan. 5, a large security contingent was in place -- two Black Hawk air combat rescue helicopters, a line of armored sport utility vehicles and a ring of federal agents and sheriff's deputies who set up a security perimeter. The area was declared a no-fly zone for other aircraft ... Perry [Ken Perry, of the Perry Flying Center at the Harry P. Williams Airport] said Cheney was among the first to deplane, followed by Scalia and a young woman who was identified to Perry as one of the justice's daughters.
Both Perry and Naquin [David Naquin, the local sheriff] said there were orders prohibiting photographs of those who exited the planes and climbed into the motorcade. But two days later, Cheney returned to the airport without Scalia, and photographs were allowed ... Scalia stayed on to hunt a few more days, the sheriff said, but local officials said it was unclear how he returned to Washington." [David G. Savage and Richard A. Serrano "Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest," Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2004]
Uhmm, would it be considered rude to ask what happened to Scalia's 'daughter'? Why is there no mention of how she returned to Washington? And would Scalia really have brought his daughter along on such an outing? Since it wasn't a big secret that Scalia and Cheney were there, doesn't it seem reasonable to conclude that the ban on photographs was intended to protect the young woman's identity? And did Scalia really hang around to hunt for a few more days, despite the fact that, according to Sheriff Naquin, the hunting "was terrible. There were very few ducks killed."?Is it possible that Scalia and Cheney opted to leave separately so as not to highlight the fact that someone in their party had gone missing? Since no one saw Scalia leave, then it follows that no one can confirm whether his 'daughter' left with him. And even if she did, doesn't this story, at the very least, have the makings of a good sex scandal? I mean, when two older guys and a young woman go duck hunting for a couple of days and no one brings back any ducks, people are going to talk. And if the two guys come back without ducks or the girl, then I think we could have a serious problem.
That secretive, high-security hunting outing was the first indication that maybe those hushed rumors about Cheney weren't so crazy after all. The second clue surfaced in September of 2004, when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inadvertently published a rather, uhhh, revealing photograph of our illustrious vice president. But before discussing that further, I have to note here, for the uninformed, that the same women who have accused Cheney of having a fondness for hunting humans have also claimed that he is an unusually well-endowed man. Yes, that's right: Cheney not only is a big dick, he also allegedly has a big dick - which seems to be on display in the Sentinel photo (below).
Of course, there are other explanations. Some have suggested that Big Dick was wearing a colostomy bag. Or maybe he had just taken a large dump in his shorts. Maybe he smuggles ferrets in his pants. Maybe he has a partially developed conjoined twin growing out of his left thigh. Or maybe, as his accusers have claimed, he really is packing a schlong that would make even Milton Berle and Tommy Lee feel inadequate.
According to an article that appeared in Milwaukee Magazine, what you see in the photo is exactly what it appears to be: "Guldan [the photographer who captured the image of Cheney on a campaign stop in Wisconsin] got a call from a reader the next day. 'Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?' the reader asked. Upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president's smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset. Is that what we think it is? 'You're not imagining it,' Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo. Let's just say the snugness of Cheney's pants left little to the imagination, and we're not talking about his waistline."
The Journal Sentinel, by the way, has opted to deny all requests to reprint the copyrighted photo. Unauthorized scans of the newsprint version, however, have been known to circulate around the cyber world.
But what are we to make of them? Do they validate the women's stories? If the alleged witnesses are right about Cheney's, uhmm, endowments, then are they right about other things as well? Is there some other way they could have learned of Cheney's unusual assets? I don't claim to have the answers to those questions. All I'm saying is that maybe Cheney's curious duck hunting trip, and his even more curious quail hunting trip, provide disturbing clues to the nature of the world we live in. [...]
Read more hereThe bottom line is this: while SOTT cannot determine in any way if these rumors about Dick Cheney are true, we would be remiss in our mandate to report on what may be indicative of the true nature of the "Man Behind the Curtain" by not bringing this most interesting suggestion and odd events to our reader's attention.
As always, where Big Dick is concerned, Caveat Lector.
War on Men
Sperm counts have declined by more than half for Western men, study finds - Health - CBC News
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:52
Sperm counts for men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have declined by more than 50 per cent in the last four decades, a large research review has found.
"That's very worrisome," said the study's lead author, Dr. Hagai Levine, who works at the Hebrew University's Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem.
Levine and his global team of researchers found no significant sperm count decline among men in South America, Asia and Africa, although they acknowledge far less information was available for those continents.
Dr. Hagai Levine, of the Hebrew University's Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, is the lead author of the study. Levine says he wanted to get a definite answer to the question of whether or not sperm counts have declined. (Hebrew University )
The findings were published Tuesday in the journal Human Reproduction Update. They not only suggest a problem with male fertility in Western countries, Levine said, but also signal that men's health could be at risk, since previous research has shown that sperm count can be a predictor of wellness.
Although past research has also shown that sperm counts are decreasing, not everyone in the scientific community has taken the reports seriously because of concerns about their limitations and methodology, the authors say.
"I felt that this question of male fertility is a neglected question," Levine told CBC News on Tuesday, noting he wanted to use improved methods and "statistical power" to get a definite answer to the question of whether sperm counts have declined.
Environmental factors blamedLevine and seven other researchers from Israel, the U.S., Denmark, Spain and Brazil performed a comprehensive review of more than 7,500 studies on human sperm count, eliminating those that didn't meet stringent criteria to ensure data consistency. With the 185 studies left, they did a meta-regression analysis '-- a method of making sense of multiple studies by accounting for variables to maximize the accuracy of the results.
In the end, their conclusions were based on sperm samples collected from 42,935 men around the world between 1973 and 2011. They found that over those 38 years, sperm concentration declined by 52 per cent, while total sperm count decreased by almost 60 per cent among men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The study did not delve into what's causing declining sperm counts in Western countries, and more specific research is needed, Levine said. But he said past studies have shown environmental factors play a role.
"Even though we did not study the causes, it's clearly not genetic causes," Levine said. "It must be the change in the modern lifestyle and the environment that we live."
That theory rings true for Dr. Keith Jarvi, chief of urology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and a male fertility expert. Jarvi was not associated with Levine's study. After reviewing it, Jarvi told CBC News he believes the findings are sound and raise important questions.
The black lines in this graphic from the study show the decline in sperm concentration and total sperm count among men in Western countries between 1973 and 2011. Researchers say there is no indication that the decrease has levelled off. (Hagai Levine et al/Human Reproduction Update)
"You have to ask why is this happening on a society level? Is this a reflection of something else that's happening, and this is just basically a marker for some other health concern that's going on with men?" Jarvi said.
There are a few likely lifestyle and environmental factors, he said.
"On average, men's weight is going up, so there's higher rates of obesity, and we also know that obese men have lower sperm counts," Jarvi said. "So you can start to correlate weight and reduction in sperm counts."
Environmental exposure to "estrogenics" '-- including female hormone compounds '-- can also reduce sperm counts, he said, noting that plastics are among the sources of estrogenics in the environment.
'Canary in the coal mine'Both Jarvi and Levine say there are steps men can take individually to improve their fertility, including stopping smoking, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
But the study shows the need to deal with declining sperm count on a societal level, they say.
"It's costing money, because more and more people are needing IVF [in-vitro fertilization], so there's a fertility cost," Jarvi said. "You really got to wonder why this is happening."
Investment by governments and funding agencies into understanding the causes of low sperm count '-- and then preventing it '-- is critical, Levine said.
"We call it the canary in the coal mine," he said. "If the canary dies, the solution is not to replace the canary, you know, to get a sperm donor. That's not the solution. We need to see why this is happening and to solve it."
NA-Tech News
New Dating App For Verified Twitter Users | The Daily Caller
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:34
A dating app service announced Tuesday that it is introducing a new version in which only verified Twitter users are allowed.
After several years of availability, Loveflutter decided to adapt its platform so it can be exclusive to what it calls the ''blue tick community.'' Twitter users apply for official verification in order to appear as a special member of society.
''An account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest,'' Twitter writes on one of its support pages. ''Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.'' (RELATED: Man Creates Dating App That Tricks Tons Of Women Into Thinking He's The Only Match)
The social media company will only grant users the subjectively esteemed blue verified badge, denoted by a checkmark, after a seemingly thorough review.
Loveflutter is harnessing the selectiveness of Twitter's blue checkmark community, which reportedly has nearly 200,000 accounts. Its new premium version called BLUE will feature ''the most happening singles on Twitter nearby'' so elite users can ''date discreetly and know who you're matching with is interesting and real.'' People's profiles will feature some of their most interesting tweets as a source of personal information. (RELATED: Dating App To Use Trump Immigration Order To Set Up Matches)
If someone doesn't have a blue check mark, then they can use the basic version for free.
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Roombas have been busy mapping our homes, and now that data could be up for sale | The Verge
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:27
Over the past couple of years, Roombas haven't just been picking up dust and chauffeuring cats around, they've also been mapping the layout of your home. Now, Colin Angle, the chief executive of Roomba maker iRobot, has said he wants to sell the data from these maps in order to improve the future of smart home technology.
In 2015, iRobot introduced the Roomba 980, its first Wi-Fi-connected model. This meant that while a Roomba was quietly whirring around your floors, it was also collecting spatial data using visual localization, sensors, and more. This data helps the Roomba figure out how your home is laid out and adjust cleaning patterns on-the-fly to deal with things like moved furniture. But Angle thinks it could be put to use by more devices.
"There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared," Angle told Reuters. Angle says that this data won't be sold without permission, but Reuters says he thinks ''most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions.''
iRobot's CEO thinks ''most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions''According to Reuters, iRobot hopes to reach a deal to sell these maps to Google, Apple, or Amazon within the next couple of years. Roomba is already compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home '-- Apple's HomePod speaker is also on the way '-- and all could greatly benefit from the data within these home maps as they vie to offer the smart home assistant of choice.
Roomba owners can opt out of cloud-sharing functions within the iRobot Home app, but technically, the iRobot terms of service and privacy policy say they have the right to share your personal information. The information is buried, laden in legal language, and, as Gizmodo points out, includes this clause which could allow iRobot to sell the information without consent:
[We may share your personal information with] other parties in connection with any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares, reorganization, financing, change of control or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by another company or third party or in the event of bankruptcy or related or similar proceeding.
Most don't thoroughly comb over entire terms of service agreements and privacy policies before agreeing to use apps and products. While blame could easily be placed on the user, the power dynamic between service and consumer gives tech companies leverage to exploit their customers. This was recently demonstrated when the CEO of email service Unroll.me said he was ''heartbroken'' that users were upset it sold their data to Uber for an undisclosed fee. ''Sure we have a Terms of Service Agreement and a plain-English Privacy Policy,'' said the CEO in the apology post, ''but the reality is most of us '-- myself included '-- don't take the time to thoroughly review them.''
Will people buy into iRobot's vision of a smart home utopia and give up data maps of their home? Will that data actually be used to make home assistants work smarter for you, or just give them more advanced and targeted ways to sell you things? Perhaps the most important question is: do we ultimately value utility over privacy? It seems iRobot and its CEO are betting the answer to that is yes.
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Roombas have been busy mapping our homes, and now that data could be up for sale | The Verge
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:27
Over the past couple of years, Roombas haven't just been picking up dust and chauffeuring cats around, they've also been mapping the layout of your home. Now, Colin Angle, the chief executive of Roomba maker iRobot, has said he wants to sell the data from these maps in order to improve the future of smart home technology.
In 2015, iRobot introduced the Roomba 980, its first Wi-Fi-connected model. This meant that while a Roomba was quietly whirring around your floors, it was also collecting spatial data using visual localization, sensors, and more. This data helps the Roomba figure out how your home is laid out and adjust cleaning patterns on-the-fly to deal with things like moved furniture. But Angle thinks it could be put to use by more devices.
"There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared," Angle told Reuters. Angle says that this data won't be sold without permission, but Reuters says he thinks ''most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions.''
iRobot's CEO thinks ''most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions''According to Reuters, iRobot hopes to reach a deal to sell these maps to Google, Apple, or Amazon within the next couple of years. Roomba is already compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home '-- Apple's HomePod speaker is also on the way '-- and all could greatly benefit from the data within these home maps as they vie to offer the smart home assistant of choice.
Roomba owners can opt out of cloud-sharing functions within the iRobot Home app, but technically, the iRobot terms of service and privacy policy say they have the right to share your personal information. The information is buried, laden in legal language, and, as Gizmodo points out, includes this clause which could allow iRobot to sell the information without consent:
[We may share your personal information with] other parties in connection with any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares, reorganization, financing, change of control or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by another company or third party or in the event of bankruptcy or related or similar proceeding.
Most don't thoroughly comb over entire terms of service agreements and privacy policies before agreeing to use apps and products. While blame could easily be placed on the user, the power dynamic between service and consumer gives tech companies leverage to exploit their customers. This was recently demonstrated when the CEO of email service Unroll.me said he was ''heartbroken'' that users were upset it sold their data to Uber for an undisclosed fee. ''Sure we have a Terms of Service Agreement and a plain-English Privacy Policy,'' said the CEO in the apology post, ''but the reality is most of us '-- myself included '-- don't take the time to thoroughly review them.''
Will people buy into iRobot's vision of a smart home utopia and give up data maps of their home? Will that data actually be used to make home assistants work smarter for you, or just give them more advanced and targeted ways to sell you things? Perhaps the most important question is: do we ultimately value utility over privacy? It seems iRobot and its CEO are betting the answer to that is yes.
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CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - Browder: Dana Rohrabacher is working for the Russians. 27 Jul 2017 - YouTube
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:44
VIDEO - Browder: Dana Rohrabacher is working for the Russians. 27 Jul 2017 - YouTube
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:44
VIDEO - William Browder Overturning Magnitsky Act Putin's Top Priority | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:28
2017-07-27T09:02:35-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/03d/20170727104135003_hd.jpg Financier and former Russia investor William Browder testified at a hearing on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This law requires those representing the political interests of foreign powers to disclose their relationship. Mr. Browder told committee members that the Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. was heading Russian efforts to get sanctions under the Magnitsky Act repealed. The act blocked Russian government officials and businessmen associated with the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from entering the U.S., froze assets in U.S. banks, and banned the use of American banking systems.Mr. Browder was originally scheduled to appear the previous-day as the second of a two-panel hearing, but Democrats invoked the ''two-hour rule,'' so the second panel was re-scheduled for the following day. The first panel can be viewed by typing program identification number 431604-1 into the ''Search the Video Library'' search bar.
Financier and former Russia investor William Browder testified at a hearing on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This law requires those representing the'... read more
Foreign Agents Registration Act Financier and former Russia investor William Browder testified at a hearing on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This law requires those representing the political interests of foreign powers to disclose their relationship. Mr. Browder told committee members that the Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. was heading Russian efforts to get sanctions under the Magnitsky Act repealed. The act blocked Russian government officials and businessmen associated with the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from entering the U.S., froze assets in U.S. banks, and banned the use of American banking systems.
Mr. Browder was originally scheduled to appear the previous-day as the second of a two-panel hearing, but Democrats invoked the ''two-hour rule,'' so the second panel was re-scheduled for the following day. The first panel can be viewed by typing program identification number 431604-1 into the ''Search the Video Library'' search bar. close
VIDEO - Hilariously awkward moment on CNN as Wolf Blitzer chides Gloria Borger to use 'good sources' - YouTube
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:03
VIDEO - Admiral Richard E. Byrd - South Pole Video Interview - YouTube
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 12:55
VIDEO - DHS Secretary John Kelly: 'Marijuana Is Not a Factor in the Drug War' | Fortune.com
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 12:38
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday that marijuana is not a factor in the war on drugs, arguing that the biggest problems are found in other substances.
"Marijuana is not a factor in the drug war," Kelly told NBC News' Chuck Todd onMeet the Press when asked how marijuana legalization would impede or help this fight. "It's three things. Methamphetamine. Almost all produced in Mexico. Heroin. Virtually all produced in Mexico. And cocaine that comes up from further south."
The solution, said Kelly, won't come from arrests over drug use.
How Digital Health Could Help End the Opioid Addiction Crisis
"The solution is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and woman of goodwill," he told Todd.
Another member of the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is an outspoken critic of marijuana use, claiming in a speech last month that it was only "slightly less awful" than heroin. "I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store," he said in March. "And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana '' so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that's only slightly less awful."
VIDEO - It Was "All Set-Up!" Dana Perino Predicts Trump's Brilliant Chess Game, & It Involves AG Sessions
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 05:11
Do you like this article?Reince Priebus is the latest member of the Trump administration to leave town, but he more than likely won't be the last.
President Trump remains unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, so smart money says he'll be the next to go.
Fox News' Dana Perino has a big prediction about where Sessions will wind up'...
From BizPac Review:
General John Kelly '-- the widely-respected Secretary of Homeland Security '-- was just named to replace Priebus as White House chief of staff in an unbelievable shakeup.
While the liberal media is gleefully foaming at the mouth slamming the Trump White House as being in ''chaos,'' Perino thinks there's a method to the madness.
''I think that this was all set up for a few weeks because the president has been so upset about Jeff Sessions and his recusal in the Russia investigation,'' Perino said on The Five. ''The Republicans and conservatives that came to Jeff Sessions' defense this week all said, 'But he's doing the best on the issue we care about most, and that is immigration.'''
Perino continued: ''Well, where can Jeff Sessions do even more on immigration? As the Secretary of Homeland Security. So I think what they're going to try to do is move Sessions over to DHS, and then how can conservatives complain? And then you have a new AG '... who can fire [Robert] Mueller.''
Interesting.
Trump replaces Priebus with Dept. of Homeland Secretary John Kelly, then moves AG Sessions to head up the DHS?
Talk about high-stakes musical chairs.
However, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley '' chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee '' basically warned Trump that if he fires Jeff Sessions he won't get another attorney general.
What do you make of this?
Do you think it would be a smart move?
VIDEO - Who's Really Attacking Youtube Ads And Why - YouTube
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 03:00
VIDEO - Scaramucci: Some of these leakers would have been hanged 150 years ago
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 16:17
VIDEO - Donald Trump Endorses Police Brutality In Speech To Cops | HuffPost
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 15:19
WASHINGTON '• President Donald Trump received applause on Friday when he endorsed police brutality while delivering a speech to law enforcement officers on Long Island, New York.
The president suggested that officers should hit suspects' heads on the doors of their police cars.
''When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, 'Please don't be too nice,''' Trump said.
''Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody, don't hit their head, I said, 'You can take the hand away, OK?''' he added.
His remarks received significant applause.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Police officers laugh at a line by President Donald Trump as he delivers remarks at the Long Island University campus in Brentwood, New York, on Friday.Trump also made the dubious claim that laws were ''horrendously stacked'' against police officers and said he wants to change those laws.
''For years and years, [laws have] been made to protect the criminal,'' Trump said. ''Totally protect the criminal, not the officers. You do something wrong, you're in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We're changing those laws.''
In his speech, Trump also said that police officers in many parts of the country couldn't do their jobs because they had a ''pathetic mayor'' or a mayor ''who doesn't know what's going on.'' Those comments also received a lengthy applause.
''It's sad, it's sad. You look at what's happening, and it's sad,'' Trump said. ''We're going to support you like you've never been supported before.''
Trump also spoke about violence in Chicago, which was a consistent theme of his speeches throughout the campaign and is a topic he has continued to reference during his presidency. Trump recalled speaking to an ''impressive'' and ''rough cookie'' police officer from Chicago, and said the officer had told him he could straighten out the city's violence problem in a ''couple of days'' if he was given the authority.
Police cannot treat every community like an invading army, and encouraging violence by police is irresponsible and reprehensible. Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs at Amnesty International USA
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump may not be getting along these days, but the two are on the same page when it comes to policing. Sessions has had the Justice Department pull back from ''pattern or practice'' investigations that look into widespread constitutional abuses in police departments.
Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs at Amnesty International USA, said Trump's ''inflammatory and hateful speech will only escalate tensions between police and communities,'' putting both officers and civilians at risk.
''Police cannot treat every community like an invading army, and encouraging violence by police is irresponsible and reprehensible,'' he said.
Vanita Gupta, who headed the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under former President Barack Obama, said Trump's remarks were ''unconscionable'' and undermined the positive efforts of local law enforcement to build up community trust.
''The president of the United States, standing before an audience of law enforcement officials, actively encouraged police violence,'' Gupta said. ''We call on the president to immediately and unequivocally condemn police brutality. We can all respect our law enforcement officers without sanctioning unjust and illegal behavior.''
Robert Driscoll, a former Justice Department Civil Rights Division official under the President George W. Bush administration, was also critical.
VIDEO - Man Sends Audition Tape To Globalists To Be Crisis Actor in Next False Flag- Hilarious Satire Skit - YouTube
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VIDEO - Rep. Justin Amash: The Two-Party System Needs to Die - Reason.com
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 22:31
"Hopefully, over time, [the] two parties start to fall apart," says Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) in an interview with Reason recorded last week at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. "I can go straight to Twitter or Facebook or elsewhere and tell people exactly what I stand for."
First elected in 2010, the libertarian congressman helped co-found the influential House Freedom Caucus, sponsored bills to cut spending and defang the National Security Agency, and took an active role in the successful effort to depose John Boehner as house majority leader.
A critic of executive power and champion of constitutionalism, the Grand Rapids native is a thorn in the side of Donald Trump, serving as one of only two GOP co-sponsors of a bill calling for an independent, investigative commission into the president's Russia-related behavior. He frequently calls out the administration on social media, and is on the receiving end of a White House call to get primaried.
This interview was recorded on July 21, 2017. A transcript is below.
Cameras by Justin Monticello and Meredith Bragg; edited by Mark McDaniel. Graphics by Bragg.
Music: "Calling (Instrumental)" by Dexter Britain (http://www.dexterbritain.co.uk). Creative Commons.
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This is a rush transcript'--check all quotes against the audio for accuracy.
Matt Welch: We're recording this on Friday afternoon. A lot of stuff has happened in the last 36 hours in Washington having to do with President Donald Trump. He gave an interview with The New York Times in which he said, if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't hire Jeff Sessions, because Jeff Sessions recused himself of Russian investigations, he called into question the integrity of a lot of people in the Justice Department, kicked the tires on potential pardons for his kids or other people in the administration, and generally is starting to put pressure on the special council, Robert Mueller, "Don't get too far out of your lanes" and this type of stuff.
As someone who co-sponsored one of the two Republican ... Co-sponsors, if I know this right, of a bill in Congress to investigate the or set up a special commission, what's your general reaction to this behavior over the last 36 hours?
Justin Amash: It's typical, it's not anything new. So it didn't surprise me, and I think that the President doesn't really understand how the Justice Department works, and that he really needs to keep some distance from these investigations. But, it's Donald Trump, and he's gonna do what he's gonna do.
Welch: What if he fires Robert Mueller? Is that a constitutional crisis? You study the Constitution more than most of us sleep or breathe. When does it become a constitutional crisis? Is that the point ... If he pre-pardons somebody close to him, is that a constitutional crisis?
Amash: I don't know the history on pardons, and whether that would be a major problem constitutionally, but the president has a lot of authority to fire people within the executive branch. So, setting aside the constitutional concerns, because I think you can at least make some arguments, I don't know whether they hold water ... Setting aside the constitutional concerns, there are ethical concerns, there are rule of law concerns, so we want to make sure that when a president is in the White House that he's living up to all of the ethical standards, that he is allowing the system of justice to work itself out the way it's supposed to work without any interference, and there are those concerns. So I don't want to go the constitutional route yet on this kind of thing, but certainly there are rule of law and ethics concerns.
Welch: If he does do something like that, does that kick in a remedy as far as you're concerned? Should there be some action that hasn't been taken so far taken as a result of that?
Amash: Well, there are always political consequences. So polling numbers will change if people think that the president can't be trusted. There are those political realities, and you'll have more and more Republicans who are uncomfortable with the way the White House is operating. So, I think over time, that's probably what will have the biggest impact here. Whether it will impact the president's behavior over the next few years, I don't know. But it might have an impact over the next election cycle.
Mark McDaniel is a Producer for Reason TV.
VIDEO - ALL Of Adam Carolla's Answers When Testifying In Congress About Free Speech '>>Highlights - YouTube
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 21:39
VIDEO- Adam Carolla's opening statement at Oversight hearing on "safe spaces"
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 18:40
VIDEO - say | User Clip | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:52
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.
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VIDEOA - 072717 - Hearing: ''The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury..." (EventID=106344) - YouTube
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:10
VIDEO - Maxine Waters interrupts Treasury Secretary's single answer - 12 times! - The American MirrorThe American Mirror
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:06
Maxine Waters was more interested in grandstanding on Thursday than actually getting answers to her questions.
While the California congresswoman was able to ask Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin questions during a Financial Services Committee hearing today, she repeatedly reclaimed her time, preventing him from providing answers.
Waters began sparring with Mnuchin after he had a question about the hearing rules.
''Mr. Chairman, I thought when you read the rules, you acknowledged I shouldn't be interrupted and that I would have'--,'' Mnuchin said to committee chairman Jeb Hensarling.
''Reclaiming my time,'' Waters interjected. ''What he failed to tell you was, when you are on my time, I can reclaim it.''
She went on to demand an answer to her question about why the Secretary allegedly did not answer a letter she had sent him.
''I was going to tell you my response,'' he said, before Waters interrupted, ''Just tell me.''
As Mnuchin attempted to explain how the Treasury Department has cooperated with several Congressional committees, Waters interrupted again.
''Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time,'' Waters said over Mnuchin.
When the Secretary sought clarification about the committee rules, Waters interrupted again, ''Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time.''
After Hensarling clarified the rules, Mnuchin attempted to answer again.
As he asserted that his department has been ''very responsive,'' Waters interrupted again.
''Reclaiming my time,'' she said, and disputing his statement.
Waters shut down his answer by stating, ''Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time.''
She then went on to another question.
For those keeping score, Waters interrupted than single answer 12 times with her ''reclaiming my time'' line.
VIDEO - The U.S. has a staggering pilot shortage - Jul. 27, 2017
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 03:39
That's one every 15 minutes.
Passenger and cargo airlines around the world are expected to buy 41,000 new airliners between 2017 and 2036. And they will need 637,000 new pilots to fly them, according to a forecast from Boeing released this week. That staggering figure is matched only by how many will leave the profession in the next decade -- particularly in the U.S.
Retirements at U.S. airlines will start to rise precipitously starting in 2021 as the current crop of pilots turns 65, the mandated age of retirement. More than 42% of active U.S. airline pilots at the biggest carriers will retire over the next 10 years, about 22,000, according to a recent report by Cowen & Company.
Related: Pilot shortage sends airline into bankruptcy
In the next 20 years, airlines in North America are going to need 117,000 new pilots, Boeing estimates. And the farm team for training and recruitment in the U.S. -- the military and regional carriers -- are already struggling to find and keep aviators.
The coming retirements exceed the active U.S. regional airline pilots corps, which stands around 19,000.
Without enough pilots, the amount airlines can fly will be capped. And an acute shortage may wreak havoc on air travel, grounding planes and reducing air service to some cities if routes are cut or curtailed.
It's already happening.
Last month, Horizon Air, the regional arm of Alaska Airlines, said it was canceling 6% of it schedule -- more than 300 flights -- from August to September because it doesn't have the pilots. And Republic Airways filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2016 in part because it was "grounding aircraft due to a lack of pilot resources.
Pilots and their unions contend that there is no shortage, only a perceived one, and a dearth of good-paying flying jobs that would attract new candidates. Rather than change any standards to bolster recruitment, pilots unions have pushed for higher wages for existing pilots to increase the economic attractiveness of the profession.
And American Airlines (AAL ) , Delta Air Lines (DAL ) and United Airlines (UAL ) have all signed new contracts with their pilots to raise their hourly wages.
Horizon, too, says its aggressively recruiting, offering a $20,000 bonus and upped starting pay from $30 to $40 per hour. That compares to a $22 per hour wage for a first officer at regional Mesa Air Group, the lowest in the U.S., according to Cowen.
Related: Want to earn $300,000 tax free? Try flying a plane in China
The U.S. military, too, is trying to hold on to its own highly trained pilots in uniform. The Air Force is willing to pony up to $455,000 to keep its pilots. The Department of Defense said the Air Force was short 1,555 pilots.
The regional carriers are not only fighting with other U.S. airlines to hold on to their pilots. Rapidly-expanding Middle Eastern and Asian carriers are offering huge premiums to lure well-trained aviators. Chinese airlines are offering salaries topping $300,000 for skilled aviators.
But it's not only a question of pay, say industry experts.
After the 2009 Colgan Air crash that killed 50 outside of Buffalo, new rules on pilot training were put in place. New pilots are required to have 1,500 hours of flight time before they can earn their air transport pilots license.
That's another 1,250 hours pilots must accumulate after getting their commercial certification.
Supporters of the rule say it has been a success and there hasn't been a U.S. commercial airline fatality since the Colgan crash.
Related: Sharp-nosed Japanese jetliner could be game-changer for U.S. fliers
However, critics contend the rule is a huge barrier to new pilots who would seek to start at regional airlines and also point out that both pilots on the Colgan flight had more than 1,500 hours of flight time.
"A diminishing number [of pilots] have been willing to commit the time and money to their education and training when the return on investment is somewhere between unpredictable and financially ruinous," writes airline pilot and travel blogger Patrick Smith.Pilots-in-training can take loans, regularly more than $100,000, to finance training and flight time or work as low-wage flight instructor that doesn't necessarily mirror airline operations.
Dream of becoming a pilot? JetBlue wants you
And every year that goes by without joining airline ranks means one less year of seniority in an industry that won't allow working past the age of 65. That could mean forgoing up to $500,000 in earning potential, according to an industry estimate.
Republican Senator John Thune recently submitted an amendment to the 1,500 hour rule. Pilots now only need 750 hours if they trained in the military, 1,000 if from a four year school and 1,250 from a two-year college, but the amendment would give give the FAA more flexibility to award training credit to pilots -- but the move faces an uphill political battle.
CNNMoney (Seattle) First published July 27, 2017: 2:06 PM ET
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Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:18
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Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:03
VIDEO - James A. Baker, FBI general counsel, is allegedly under an investigation for leaking classified information to the media
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:40
EXCLUSIVE: FBI General Counsel James A. Baker is purportedly under a Department of Justice criminal investigation for allegedly leaking classified national security information to the media, according to multiple government officials close to the probe who spoke with Circa on the condition of anonymity.
FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty said the bureau would not comment on Baker and would not confirm or deny any investigation. Baker did not return comment when Circa attempted to reach him through the FBI.
This comes as Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would soon be making an announcement regarding the progress of leak investigations. A DOJ official declined to comment on Circa's inquiry into Baker but did say, the planned announcement by Sessions is part of the overall "stepped up efforts on leak investigations."
Three sources, with knowledge of the apparent investigation, told Circa that Baker is the top suspect in an ongoing leak investigation, but Circa has not been able to confirm the details of what national security information or material was allegedly leaked.
A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of ongoing internal investigations in the bureau told Circa, "the bureau is scouring for leakers and there's been a lot of investigations."
The revelation comes as the Trump administration has ramped up efforts to contain leaks both within the White House and within its own national security apparatus.
Baker is a close confidant of former FBI Director James Comey, and recent media reports suggested he was reportedly advising the then-FBI director on legal matters following private meetings the former director had in February with President Trump in the Oval Office.
Baker was appointed to the FBI's general counsel by Comey in 2014 and has had a long and distinguished history within the intelligence community.
After working as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice during the 1990s, he joined the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review In 1996, according to his FBI bio.
In 2006 Baker received the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in counter-terrorism'--the CIA's highest counter-terrorism award, according to his biography. During Baker's long and distinguished career he received the "NSA's Intelligence Under Law Award; the NSA Director's Distinguished Service Medal; and DOJ's highest award'-- the Edmund J. Randolph Award."
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He is a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a lecturer at Harvard Law School.
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