988: Don's Dentures

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 40m
December 7th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Dame Kelly Stewart, Baronet Sir Evan Johnson, N Mason Conklin, Sir Chrisbac, Baron of Quinnipiac Valley

Associate Executive Producers: Michael Levin, Sir Wlodek Zieleniec

Cover Artist: Steve in StClair

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Genetically mutated rats could be released in Britain to solve rodent problem
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:34
G enetically mutated rats could be released into Britain to help tackle the growing problem with rodents, Edinburgh University has said.
Scientists have launched a project to find out if genetically editing animals could provide a more humane method of pest control.
Figures released last week show that London councils receive 100 complaints about rats and mice each day with some local authorities reporting a 10 per cent increase in the number of rodents since last year.
Most pest controllers use poison, but rats are fast becoming resistant to even the strongest toxins, and poison risks harming pets and other animals.
Now experts at Edinburgh University believe that a process called 'gene drive' could solve the problem. It works by spreading infertility genes through a population, which causes a catastrophic drop in numbers over several generations.
A similar approach is already being tested in mosquitoes, to help control diseases like malaria and zika. But now the scientists want to find out it if could also work in mammals.
The technology uses the DNA editing technique called Crispr, a natural process by which bacteria fight off viruses by snipping away at their DNA.
T he rodents would be genetically modified in the laboratory before being released into the wild where they could mate with the native population.
Professor Bruce Whitelaw, of the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, where Dolly the Sheep was created, said: ''For the first time we have the makings of technology that could reduce or eliminate a pest population in a humane and species-specific manner.
''Crispr is perhaps the most exciting tool that has ever hit biology, and it is a fantastic tool for us to pull apart the function of genes and how the animal or plant functions.
''It's time to explore what this technology can do.''
There are thought to be more than 10 million rats living in Britain and pest control is estimated to cost the UK around £1.2 billion each year.
The technique suggested for rodents is known as 'x-shredding.' Male mammals have both an 'x' and 'y' sex chromosome, while females need two 'x' chromosomes.
The scientists want to insert 'x shredder' code into the DNA of male rats which would destroy the 'x' chromosomes in their sperm, meaning they could only pass on a 'y' chromosome, so their offspring would never be female. With fewer and fewer females over time, the population would have to decline.
H owever researchers said there was the possibility that genetically modified animals could 'escape' the target population and 'affect extraneous ecosystems'
Doctoral student Gus McFarlane, of the Roslin Institute, who will be heading up the project said: ''It is an emerging technology so there are risks involved and we're working to try and better understand those risks.
''One of the biggest risks that we're worried about is it if it were to de be deployed, we target an animal and it spreads to a non-targeted individual.
''So you target a rat in New Zealand and it makes its way to Asia where it could have unforeseen ecological consequences. But there are mitigation strategies that we could implement if this were to occur.''
The team has published a prospective article outlining the new project in the journal Cell Press.
Bel-Air wildfire joins the siege across Southern California
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:33
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- A wildfire erupted in Los Angeles' exclusive Bel-Air section Wednesday as yet another part of Southern California found itself under siege from an outbreak of wind-whipped blazes that have consumed multimillion-dollar houses and tract homes alike.
Hundreds of homes across the L.A. metropolitan area and beyond were feared destroyed since Monday, but firefighters were only slowly managing to make their way into some of the hard-hit areas for an accurate count.
As many as five fires have closed highways, schools and museums, shut down production of TV series and cast a hazardous haze over the region. About 200,000 people were under evacuation orders. No deaths and only a few injuries were reported.
From the beachside city of Ventura, where rows of homes were leveled, to the rugged foothills north of Los Angeles, where more than two dozen horses died at a boarding stable, to Bel-Air, where the rich and famous have sweeping views of L.A. below, fierce Santa Ana winds sweeping in from the desert fanned the flames and fears.
"God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job," said Maurice Kaboud, who ignored an evacuation order and stood in his backyard with a garden hose at the ready.
Air tankers that were grounded most of Tuesday because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant. Firefighters rushed to attack the fires before winds picked up again.
They were expected to gust as high as 80 mph (about 130 kph) overnight into Thursday, possibly creating unprecedented fire danger. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which uses a color-coded wind index, issued a purple forecast, the most severe, for the first time ever, director Ken Pimlott said.
"They're going to be extreme tomorrow," Pimlott said. "We need to have everybody's heads up '-- heads on a swivel '-- and pay very close attention."
Before dawn Wednesday, flames exploded on the steep slopes of Sepulveda Pass, closing a section of heavily traveled Interstate 405 and destroying four homes in Bel-Air, where houses range from $2 million to tens of millions of dollars.
Firefighters hosed down a burning Tudor-style house as helicopters dropped water on hillsides to protect homes from the 150-acre (60-hectare) blaze.
A Christmas tree saved from the flames was in the front yard of a burned-out house and a large painting was propped against a Range Rover.
Flames burned a wine storage shed at media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 16-acre (6.5-hectare) Moraga Vineyards estate and appeared to have damaged about 7 acres (2.8 hectares) of vines, a spokeswoman said.
Bel-Air was the site of a catastrophic fire in 1961 that burned nearly 500 homes. Burt Lancaster and Zsa Zsa Gabor were among the celebrities who lost houses.
Across the wide I-405 freeway from the fire, the Getty Center art complex was closed to protect its collection from smoke damage. Many schools across Los Angeles were closed because of poor air quality and classes were canceled at 265 schools Thursday.
UCLA, at the edge of the Bel-Air evacuation zone, canceled afternoon classes and its evening basketball game. Students on campus wore dust and surgical masks.
By late afternoon, firefighters said they had controlled the fire's advance.
Production of HBO's "Westworld" and the CBS show "S.W.A.T." was suspended because of the danger to cast and crew from two nearby fires.
In Ventura County northwest of L.A., the biggest and most destructive of the wildfires grew beyond 100 square miles (259 square kilometers) and had nearly reached the Pacific on Tuesday night after starting 30 miles (about 45 kilometers) inland a day earlier.
The fire destroyed at least 150 structures, but incident commander Todd Derum said he suspects hundreds of homes have been lost.
Along a stretch of a hilly subdivision with stunning ocean and mountain views above Ventura, about 65 homes were razed. Fewer than 30 houses still stood in the same area, where embers glowed and trees smoldered. Homes farther up the road fared much better, with only two burned and 42 intact.
While winds were calmer Wednesday, the fire remained active around Ventura, spreading along the coast to the west and up into the mountains around the community of Ojai and into the agricultural city of Santa Paula.
"We're basically in an urban firefight in Ventura, where if you can keep that house from burning, you might be able to slow the fire down," said Tim Chavez, a fire behavior specialist at the blaze. "But that's about it."
___
Amanda Lee Myers in Ventura and John Antczak, Jae Hong, Reed Saxon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
___
For complete coverage of the California wildfires, click here: https://apnews.com/tag/Wildfires
100 years on from WWI Battle of Jerusalem, Trump to formally recognize city as Israel's capital - Liberty Unyielding
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:55
Commemoration of the ANZAC cavalry charge at Beersheba in 1917, staged on 31 Oct 2017. (Image: Screen grab of YouTube video)
A friend reminded me this evening, as we await President Trump's address on Wednesday about the status of Jerusalem, that Trump's policy announcement will nearly coincide with the 100th anniversary of the surrender of Jerusalem on 9 December during World War I.
The thought of writing one more post about the FBI's Peter Strzok '' whom I now think of as that damned, elusive Pimpernel; the guy who was apparently behind every questionable move made by the Bureau over the last 16 months '' is just too discouraging. So I'm glad to have something more interesting to think about.
All I really want to do about the 100th anniversary is make note of it. It does seem like a rather remarkable coincidence that Trump will give his address on 6 December 2017.
One hundred years ago today (5 December here), British forces were closing in on Jerusalem, a force called ''Mott's Detachment'' '' of the 53rd Welsh Division '' moving from Hebron to Bethlehem probing for Ottoman defenses. General Mott, commanding the flanking protective force for the main body, was considered a bit of a pain in the neck, moving with ''excruciating'' caution and slowness. His force mostly found the defenses abandoned, but did run into some guns that were still firing. He didn't want to destroy the priceless antiquities of the Holy Land in an ugly fight if he didn't have to, and wasn't willing to proceed too quickly, or expose his men unnecessarily.
West of the city, General Edmund Allenby's main force, the ''Egyptian Expeditionary Force'' (EEF) of the XX and XXI Corps and the Desert Mounted Corps, had been fighting its way north from Beersheba since mid-November, and had launched a pursuit of the retreating Ottoman army into the Judean Hills about two weeks before the rain-soaked first week of December.
The pace of the battle for Jerusalem depended on how Mott took it, as he moved cautiously northward from Hebron. The EEF spent the first four days of December improving battle positions west of Jerusalem, and would be the force that entered the city. At one crucial point, Mott's Detachment was out of position to cover the flank of a forward unit from the main force (the 60th London Division), which delayed follow-on operations.
But the delay wasn't for long. Battle was launched '' such as it was. Allenby's main force descended on the city, poking the first boots in on the 9th.
Although the British command had a pretty good idea that the Ottomans were methodically pulling out, they didn't yet know on this day, 100 years ago, that the surrender of Jerusalem would be offered by the city's mayor, Hussein Salim al-Husseini, on behalf of the Ottoman governor less than four days later, on 9 December. The World Heritage Encyclopedia offers this account:
The mayor of Jerusalem, Hussein Salim al-Husseini, attempted to deliver the Ottoman Governor's letter surrendering the city to Sergeants James Sedgewick and Frederick Hurcomb of 2/19th Battalion, London Regiment, just outside Jerusalem's western limits on the morning of 9 December 1917. The two sergeants, who were scouting ahead of Allenby's main force, refused to take the letter. It was eventually accepted by Brigadier General C.F. Watson, commanding the 180th (2/5th London) Brigade.
Jerusalem was almost encircled by the EEF, although Ottoman Army units briefly held the Mount of Olives on 9 December. They were overwhelmed by the 60th (2/2nd London) Division the following afternoon.
Allenby entered himself on 11 December, in a formal foot march through the Jaffa Gate.
The surrender of Jerusalem to the British, December 9, 1917. First British guard at the Jaffa Gate. (Image: Wikipedia. Library of Congress, American Colony, Jerusalem, 1917)The (UK) Spectator has an archived article from 15 December 1917 with contemporary commentary on the fall of Jerusalem. It's a scanned and reproduced archive and requires a little interpolation to read; some of the characters are off, or missing. But it's worthwhile, for a sense of the feel of the event at the time, and the enduring power of the fate of Jerusalem to induce goosebumps.
Earlier this year, on 31 October, troops from Australia and New Zealand were in Israel to commemorate the Battle of Beersheba, in which their ANZAC Mounted Division had played a major role in 1917.
Soldiers from New Zealand performed a Maori haka while they were there.
1917 was an extraordinary year. It's one hundred years later, and Trump speaks on 6 December. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.
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Net Neutrality
YouTube to Disappear From Fire TV As Google and Amazon Duke It Out '' Variety
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:19
The conflict between Amazon and Google is escalating: Google once again started to block access to YouTube on Amazon's Echo Show device Tuesday, and is notifying users of Amazon's Fire TV that they won't be able to access YouTube anymore starting January 1st. In an unusually frank statement, a Google spokesperson squarely blamed Amazon's unwillingness ['...]
BTC
Get the Chiners to put their cash in, then pull the rug!
Bitcoin firm hacked days before major US exchange opens
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:21
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Blockstack raises $52 million to build a parallel internet where you own all your data | VentureBeat
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:39
Blockchain startup Blockstack says it raised $52.8 million in its ICO, finalized Friday. The company is building a sort of parallel to the internet that users access via the Blockstack browser and that features a wide variety of apps. The Blockstack ecosystem promises to benefit both users and app makers. It gives users control over their own data via a personal API. Meanwhile, it allows developers to launch apps without having to host user data or worry about related storage costs and data privacy.
Instead of having all your data stored centrally (for example, having your email stored by Google, your photos by Instagram, your social messaging stored by Facebook), you would have your data stored locally on your laptop, with copies in one or more cloud services of your own choosing. Blockstack apps would have pointers to the part of your data relevant to their app, but they wouldn't own or store that data. ''It's like Facebook Connect '-- you bring your identity with you'' to various apps, Blockstack cofounder Ryan Shea told VentureBeat.
One potential limitation Blockstack's approach faces is that, with all apps running locally on a user's machine rather than on remote servers, app performance could be uneven, with the user experience depending on the limits of his or her device.
But Shea argues that users are unlikely to exprience hits in performance: ''The apps run on your machine and they're fairly lightweight, so in general you shouldn't be constrained by any resources on your device. Some of these apps will require additional resources from remote servers, but in these cases they won't be dependent on these remote servers. Instead, they will use them as throwaway servers that provide partial resources for a decentralized network.''
Performance questions aside, the Blockstack approach means users can control the level of security for their data and who it gets shared with. And developers can build and deploy apps without worrying about scalability and any legal obligations they have to protect user data. You can imagine an approach like this helping to solve the issue of GDPR compliance over the long term. (Europe's GDPR ruling, which goes into effect in 2018, will put a heavy burden on foreign companies handling the data on individuals in the European Union).
Developers don't need to learn a blockchain-specific language to code apps for the Blockstack ecosystem. ''The average developer can build on this,'' company cofounder Muneeb Ali told VentureBeat.
Blockstack is already live, though limited. You can see a demo below.
There are currently about eight applications available to anyone who runs the browser (at least on a Mac; Windows and Linux are not yet fully supported). Over 10 more apps listed in the browser are under development. And thanks to the company's three-month old ''Signature Fund'' '-- a $25 million fund pooled together by a group of VC firms backing Blockstack '-- a number of app makers are now getting funding to build for the platform.
Shea and Ali say the developer community behind the platform is large and growing. They cite some 13,000 developers worldwide who attend Blockstack meetups and say that members of the developer community have been putting up bounties to incentivize their peers to deliver new features. The bounties started small, the cofounders say, at about $5,000, but Blockstack's investors have now gotten into the game, too, offering bounties of up to $25,000 for apps they'd like to see on the platform. Shea and Ali say they hope to see decentralized clones of services like Slack, Twitter, and GitHub running on Blockstack in the future.
The New York City-based company launched in 2013 and currently has an 11-person team. It expects to expand that number to more than 20 with its ICO funds, Shea said. Blockstack currently runs on the Bitcoin blockchain but is designed to run on any chain.
VCs who participated in the ICO include Union Square Ventures, Foundation Capital, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Kevin Rose, Michael Arrington, and Qasar Younis (former COO of Y Combinator).
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The Environmental Case Against Bitcoin | New Republic
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:48
Dan Kitwood/Getty
''Bitcoin is the World's Hottest Currency, but No One's Using It,'' the Wall Street Journalproclaimed on Saturday. The day prior, the digital currency had surged past $10,000 per coin'--and then past $11,000, too. But despite Bitcoin's value, the paper explained, brick and mortar stores have been slow to accept it as a method of payment. Thus, some observers are becoming pessimistic about whether this tech-hipster cryptocurrency, which everyone has heard of but most people don't truly understand, will ever replace traditional currency. ''I don't think it will be a currency,'' bitcoin investor Alex Compton told the Journal. ''If people use it as a currency, it will lose value as an investment.''
No one may be using Bitcoin, but we're all paying for them. Bitcoin analyst Alex de Vries, otherwise known as the Digiconomist, reports that the coin's surge caused its estimated annual energy consumption to increase from 25 terawatt hours in early November to 30 TWh last week'--a figure, wrote Vox's Umair Irfan, ''on par with the energy use of the entire country of Morocco, more than 19 European countries, and roughly 0.7 percent of total energy demand in the United States, equal to 2.8 million U.S. households.'' (As of Monday, the figure had reached nearly 32 TWh .) Just one transaction can use as much energy as an entire household does in a week, and there are about 300,000 transactions every day. That energy demand is more often than not met through fossil fuel energy sources, which, along with polluting air and water, emit greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
In other words, Bitcoins are contributing to the warming of the atmosphere without providing a significant public benefit in return. Some Bitcoin enthusiasts claim that it will eventually become a mainstream currency, and that the cryptogovernance system upon which it's built could actually help the environment. But the Bitcoin market is volatile, its future murky. W e only have 32 years left for carbon emissions to peak and then rapidly decrease, if our planet is to remain livable . We don't have time or resources to waste on Bitcoin.
Unlike cash, a Bitcoin cannot be printed or otherwise ''made'' by a human. They exist solely in digital form. In order to create one, a computer must access the Bitcoin network and solve a complicated math problem, a process known as ''mining.'' But there are a finite number of Bitcoins that can be mined'--21 million, to be exact'--and as more Bitcoins are mined, the math problems get more challenging. Thus, computers must work harder'--that is, process more information'--in order to solve the problem and mine a Bitcoin. (This Bitcoin can then be sold and re-sold online.)
Off-the-shelf personal computers used to be powerful enough to mine Bitcoins. Now, because the math problems are so complex, they must use specialized hardware called Application Specific Integrated Circuit, or ASIC. These mining machines are big and run hot, and the people who use them'--either Bitcoin mining companies or Bitcoin enthusiasts working together'--use a lot of electricity to do so. Companies and organizations that mine bitcoin will sometimes have thousands of these machines packed into expansive warehouses. In 2015, Vice profiled a Chinese Bitcoin mining facility that spent $80,000 per month on electricity for these ASIC miners, in order to produce 4,050 bitcoins in the same period.
Because electricity is such a big expense for Bitcoin miners, companies often seek to establish themselves in places where electricity is cheap'--and dirty. From Vox's Irfan:
A study from the University of Cambridge earlier this year found that 58 percent of Bitcoin mining comes from China, describing ''an arms race amongst miners to use the cheapest energy sources and the most efficient equipment to keep operators profitable.'' Cheap power often means dirty power, and in China, miners draw on low-cost coal and hydroelectric generators. De Vries analyzed one mine in China whose carbon footprint was ''simply shocking,'' emitting carbon dioxide at the same rate as a Boeing 747.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its energy use for years. In 2013, Bloomberg deemed it ''a real-world environmental disaster,'' asserting that the mining process used $150,000 worth of electricity a day. Criticism has grown louder as more coins have been mined'--from approximately 11 million in 2013 to nearly 17 million today. ''Since 2015, Bitcoin's electricity consumption has been very high compared to conventional digital payment methods,'' Christopher Malmo explained recently in Motherboard. ''This is because the dollar price of Bitcoin is directly proportional to the amount of electricity that can profitably be used to mine it.''
But De Vries's analysis of Bitcoin's energy use has been criticized, too. Marc Bevand, an Bitcoin investor, told Irfan that he suspects the currency's global energy use ''was likely closer to 15 terawatt-hours, which is still a huge amount of electricity, but half of the estimate on Digiconomist.'' Bevand also noted that mining computers will surely become more energy efficient over time; after all, it's not like companies want to spend that much money on electricity.
Some dismiss the environmental case against Bitcoin completely. Writing in Forbes in 2013, Tim Worstall called the argument ''desperate,'' dismissing the currency's energy use at the time as ''simply trivial.'' He added, ''at some point Bitcoin mining will stop. There is an upper limit to the number that can ever be mined... Thus this energy consumption will not go on rising forever.''
Four years later, though, it's still rising. And according to de Vries , there's no sign that it's going to stop any time soon.
Bitcoin was originally pitched as a benefit to society; a way to eliminate the corporate middle-man (banks) from financial transactions, and instead use the Bitcoin community (known as ''the blockchain'') to ensure the validity of payments. This would create a sort of utopia where public trust is restored to the financial system.
Indeed, if Bitcoin could evolve to become what it was intended to be'--a way to complete day-to-day financial transactions without the involvement of banks'--some say it has the potential to do enormous good. Portia Burton, who runs the blockchain explainer site Bits and Chains, speculates it could be used to prevent atrocities like slave labor in the seafood industry. ''With the blockchain, all transactions are identified and sent to an open ledger where governments, companies, and consumers are able to track the origins of their seafood,'' she wrote in January. ''Suppliers who don't identify their fish can be actively avoided.''
Writing in the journal Nature, wildlife researcher Guillaume Chapron made the more complicated argument that the environment needs cryptogovernance. '' Bitcoin demonstrates that banks and governments are unnecessary to ensure a financial system's reliability, security and auditability,'' he wrote. '' For sustainability, blockchain technology could be a game-changer. It can generate trust where there is none, empower citizens and bypass central authorities. It could also make existing institutions obsolete, including governments, and raise fierce opposition. Laws could be replaced with 'smart contracts' written in computer code.''
But these arguments flounder if Bitcoin's promise is fulfilled . Bitcoin is becoming more and more valuable, but only to people who see it as a wise'--or entertainingly risky'-- investment. Most people use Bitcoins as a way to make money, rather than using it as money itself. In a way, buying a Bitcoin is no different than investing in an unpredictable stock on NASDAQ, but the cost to planet is immeasurably worse. As it fails to address one societal ill, it's contributing a staggering amount to another one.
Emily Atkin is a staff writer at the New Republic.
@ emorwee
Largest Crypto-Mining Exchange Confirms It Was Hacked, $62 Million In Bitcoin Stolen
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:27
Update: as @MillionsBitcoin points out....
... the total amount of bitcoins stolen from Nice Hash is 4736, or just over $62 million, and they have ended up at the following address:
* * *
Earlier
As Bitcoin explodes higher on what now appears to be constant demand out of South Korea, there were unconfirmed (at least until recently) reports that Nice Hash, the largest crypto-mining marketplace, has been hacked with over 4,000 bitcoins worth over $50 million stolen.
Visits to the website over the past 13 hours were greeted with the following maintenance notice.
According to TweakTown, there are some posts by people saying that NiceHash transferred all of the BTC sitting in miners' wallets into a single wallet before NH fully went down.
If NiceHash were hacked, then it makes sense that the hacker pushed all of the Bitcoin into a single wallet and then transferred it to their own wallet. There's no way of getting it back if that's the case, and if that is indeed the case, there's no way NiceHash can restore money to miners' wallets. If we're talking about $50 million or more, it's going to hurt, bad.
Earlier, WklTribune reported that they've been in contact with NiceHash CEO Andrej Nabergoj, who said that NiceHash is "assessing the situation and working with the authorities. We'll have a public statement shortly".
And then, moments ago NiceCash confirming there was a security breach:
From the release:
Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website. We are currently investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.
Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken.
Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency.
We are fully committed to restoring the NiceHash service with the highest security measures at the earliest opportunity.
We would not exist without our devoted buyers and miners all around the globe. We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service. We will endeavour to update you at regular intervals.
And the best part:
While the full scope of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your online passwords. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused and are committing every resource towards solving this issue as soon as possible.
One wonders: if one has just had millions in bitcoin stolen, will changing the password really help?
So far Bitcoin has taken the massive hack well, and continues to rise, approaching $13,500.
The news could be negative - at least in the short-term - for companies catering to "home miners" such as Nvidia, the biggest beneficiary of the bitcoin mining euphoria.
Irreversible Transactions - Bitcoin Wiki
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:20
When used correctly, Bitcoin's base layer transactions on the blockchain are irreversible and final. It's no exaggeration to say that the entirety of bitcoin's system of blockchain, mining, proof of work, difficulty etc, exist to produce this history of transactions that is computationally impractical to modify.
In the literature on electronic cash, this property was often refer to as "solving the double-spending problem". Double-spending is the result of successfully spending some money more than once. Bitcoin users protect themselves from double spending fraud by waiting for confirmations when receiving payments on the blockchain, the transactions become more irreversible as the number of confirmations rises.
Other electronic systems prevent double-spending by having a master authoritative source that follows business rules for authorizing each transaction. Bitcoin uses a decentralized system, where a consensus among nodes following the same protocol and proof of work is substituted for a central authority. This means bitcoin has special properties not shared by centralized systems. For example if you keep the private key of a bitcoin secret and the transaction has enough confirmations, then nobody can take the bitcoin from you no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter what. Possession of bitcoin is not enforced by business rules and policy, but cryptography and game theory.
Because bitcoin transactions can be final, merchants do not need to hassle customers for extra information like billing address, name, etc, so bitcoin can be used without registering a real name or excluding users based on age, nationality or residency. Finality in transactions means smart contracts can be created with a "code-is-law" ethos.
Attack vectors Race attack Traders and merchants who accept a payment immediately on seeing "0/unconfirmed" are exposed to the transaction being reversed. An attempt at fraud could work that the fraudster sends a transaction paying the merchant directly to the merchant, and sends a conflicting transaction spending the coin to himself to the rest of the network. It is likely that the second conflicting transaction will be mined into a block and accepted by bitcoin nodes as genuine.
Merchants can take precautions (e.g., disable incoming connections, only connect to well connected nodes) to lessen the risk of a race attack but the risk cannot be eliminated. Therefore, the cost/benefit of the risk needs to be considered when accepting payment on 0/unconfirmed when there is no recourse against the attacker.
The research paper Two Bitcoins at the Price of One finds that the protocol allows a high degree of success by an attacker in performing race attacks. The method studied in the research paper depends on access to the merchant's Bitcoin node which is why that even prior to this paper, recommendations for merchants include disabling incoming connections and to choose specific outgoing connections[1].
Finney attack Another attack the trader or merchant is exposed to when accepting payment on 0/unconfirmed. The Finney attack is a fraudulent double-spend that requires the participation of a miner once a block has been mined[2]. The risk of a Finney attack cannot be eliminated regardless of the precautions taken by the merchant, but the participation of a miner is required and a specific sequence of events must occur. Thus the attack is not trivial to perform and only makes sense for the attacker when the gains from the attack are significant. Just like with the race attack, a trader or merchant should consider the cost / benefit when accepting payment on just one confirmation when there is no recourse against the attacker.
Vector76 attack Also referred to as a one-confirmation attack, is a combination of the race attack and the Finney attack such that a transaction that even has one confirmation can still be reversed. The same protective action for the race attack (no incoming connections, explicit outgoing connection to a well-connected node) significantly reduces the risk of this occurring.
It is worth noting that a successful attack costs the attacker one block - they need to 'sacrifice' a block by not broadcasting it, and instead relaying it only to the attacked node.
See on BitcoinTalk or further example of an attack scenario.
Alternative history attack This attack has a chance to work even if the merchant waits for some confirmations, but requires relatively high hashrate and risk of significant expense in wasted electricity to the attacking miner.
The attacker submits to the merchant/network a transaction which pays the merchant, while privately mining an alternative blockchain fork in which a fraudulent double-spending transaction is included instead. After waiting for n confirmations, the merchant sends the product. If the attacker happened to find more than n blocks at this point, he releases his fork and regains his coins; otherwise, he can try to continue extending his fork with the hope of being able to catch up with the network. If he never manages to do this then the attack fails, the attacker has wasted a significant amount of electricity and the payment to the merchant will go through.
The probability of success is a function of the attacker's hashrate (as a proportion of the total network hashrate) and the number of confirmations the merchant waits for. An online calculator can be found here
For example, if the attacker controls 10% of the network hashrate but the merchant waits for 6 confirmations, the success probability is on the order of 0.1%[3]. Because of the opportunity cost of this attack, it is only game-theory possible if the bitcoin amount traded is comparable to the block reward (but note that an attacking miner can attempt a brute force attack against several counterparties at once).
Majority attack Also referred to as a 51% attack or >50% attack. If the attacker controls more than half of the network hashrate, the previous attack has a probability of 100% to succeed. Since the attacker can generate blocks faster than the rest of the network, he can simply persevere with his private fork until it becomes longer than the branch built by the honest network, from whatever disadvantage.
No amount of confirmations can prevent this attack; however, waiting for confirmations does increase the aggregate resource cost of performing the attack, which could potentially make it unprofitable or delay it long enough for the circumstances to change or slower-acting synchronization methods to kick in. Bitcoin's security model relies on no single coalition of miners controlling more than half the mining power. A miner with more than 50% hash power is incentived to reduce their mining power and reframe from attacking in order for their mining equipment and bitcoin income to retain it's value.
Successful Double-Spends in Practice In November 2013 it was discovered that the GHash.io mining pool appeared to be engaging in repeated payment fraud against BetCoin Dice, a gambling site[4]. Dice sites use one transaction per bet and don't wait for confirmations. GHash.io claimed they had investigated and found a rogue employee who had been doing the double spending, who was fired. However no evidence supporting this was provided and the incident left a permanent cloud hanging over the pool. Regardless, it didn't seem to hurt their market share much: most miners probably never heard about the incident at all.Consumer Protection Although bitcoin's base layer blockchain transactions are irreversible, consumer protection can be implemented on a layer on top.
For example using an escrow agent is a powerful technique especially when combined with multisignature smart contracts. Also bitcoin sites such as online casinos rely on their long-standing reputation and some regulated brokers and exchanges simply rely on the legal system.
See also: Myths#Bitcoin_has_no_built-in_chargeback_mechanism_and_this_is_bad
See Also References '†‘ BitcoinTalk Thread - Two Bitcoins at the Price of One '†‘ Best practice for fast transaction acceptance - how high is the risk? '†‘ Analysis of hashrate-based double-spending '†‘ BitcoinTalk Thread - GHash.IO and double-spending against BetCoin Dice
Your Bitcoin is no good here'--Steam stops accepting cryptocurrency '' Ars Technica
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:50
When Valve first started accepting Bitcoin as an option for Steam purchases last April, the cryptocurrency was trading around $450. Today, with Bitcoin surging past $12,000 per coin, Valve has announced that "Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin."Transaction fees charged to customers using Bitcoin have surged throughout 2017, Valve says, peaking at $20 last week from a starting of about $0.20 when Steam first started using the currency. With Valve unable to control these blockchain-linked costs (passed on from third-party Bitpay), the company worried that it was leading to "unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin" (though apparently these are costs Bitcoin users as a whole have been willing to shoulder of late).
Bitcoin's extremely volatile valuation has also gotten in the way of its usefulness for Steam users, Valve said. With Bitcoin values changing so rapidly, the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover a purchase can change significantly between the time a purchase is initiated and when it's completed. Fixing this situation with a quick refund or a request for additional payment incurs more of those high transaction fees, Valve says.
For these reasons, "at this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option," the company writes. "We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date."
Despite its soaring value, very few people use Bitcoin for everyday transactions, even as a handful of major companies and banks have begun to transact with the currency directly. Slow speeds and high fees for Bitcoin transaction processing have led to a split with rival Bitcoin Cash, which focuses on larger blocks that allow for faster processing. View article comments
Chiner$
China Pushes to Rewrite Rules of Global Internet Officials aim to control onlin - Pastebin.com
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:12
China Pushes to Rewrite Rules of Global Internet
Officials aim to control online discourse and reduce U.S. influence
By James T. Areddy
July 28, 2015 3:49 p.m. ET
SHANGHAI'--As social media helped topple regimes in the Middle East and northern Africa, a senior colonel in the People's Liberation Army publicly warned that an Internet dominated by the U.S. threatened to overthrow China's Communist Party.
Ye Zheng and a Chinese researcher, writing in the state-run China Youth Daily, said the Internet represented a new form of global control, and the U.S. was a ''shadow'' present during some of those popular uprisings. Beijing had better pay attention.
Four years after they sounded that alarm, China is paying a lot of attention. Its government is pushing to rewrite the rules of the global Internet, aiming to draw the world's largest group of Internet users away from an interconnected global commons and to increasingly run parts of the Internet on China's terms.
It envisions a future in which governments patrol online discourse like border-control agents, rather than let the U.S., long the world's digital leader, dictate the rules.
President Xi Jinping'--with the help of conservatives in government, academia, military and the technology industry'--is moving to exert influence over virtually every part of the digital world in China, from semiconductors to social media. In doing so, Mr. Xi is trying to fracture the international system that makes the Internet basically the same everywhere, and is pressuring foreign companies to help.
On July 1, China's legislature passed a new security law asserting the nation's sovereignty extends into cyberspace and calling for network technology to be ''controllable.'' A week later, China released a draft law to tighten controls over the domestic Internet, including codifying the power to cut access during public-security emergencies.
Other draft laws under consideration would encourage Chinese companies to find local replacements for technology equipment purchased abroad and force foreign vendors to give local authorities encryption keys that would let them control the equipment.
Chinese officials referred questions about Internet policy to the Cyberspace Administration of China, a recently formed government body. That agency declined to make an official available to comment for this article.
Such a strategy would have been impossible a few years ago when Western companies dominated the Internet. That has started to change with the rise of Chinese powers such as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., online conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. and information aggregator Sina Corp. , which enable Chinese citizens to enjoy most services Westerners use, plus some unique to China, without needing Google Inc. or Facebook Inc. Chinese companies are easier for Beijing to control and have a history of censoring users upon demand.
The government is directing financial and policy support toward domestic firms that are developing semiconductors and servers that can replace ones provided by Western players. Earlier this year, Premier Li Keqiang unveiled Internet Plus, a strategy to incubate Chinese companies that integrate mobile, cloud and other types of computing with manufacturing and business.
Many Western companies are surrendering to Beijing's rules so they can build a position in China, with an online population nearing 700 million.
LinkedIn Corp. structured its Chinese operation as a domestic company and agreed to censor content its customers see there. It said it respects freedom of expression but must comply with Chinese rules.
Hewlett-Packard Co. , recently sold a majority stake in its China server, storage and technology services operations to a Chinese company after it came under political pressure in China following revelations that U.S. officials collected information abroad using infrastructure produced by American companies. A spokesman for H-P described the deal as a partnership formed to drive greater innovation for China.
Apple Inc. said in August 2014 it has been using the country's primary Internet platform, run by state-controlled China Telecom, to store its Chinese users' data. Apple says the data are protected by encryption.
China is seeking international validation for its efforts. Earlier this year, China led Russia and some Central Asia governments in proposing the United Nations adopt an Internet ''code of conduct'' that would effectively give every government a veto over technical protocols interlinking the global Internet.
China has argued such controls are necessary on national-security grounds, especially following allegations by former U.S. defense contractor Edward Snowden about American cybersleuthing. The code wasn't adopted.
Some other countries share China's vision of an Internet with borders. Turkey at times has temporarily blocked YouTube and Twitter. Russia has pressed U.S. social-media companies to erase content. The European Union's top court ruled last year that search engines including Google must in many cases scrub links containing personal information from search results for individuals' names upon their request.
''More and more countries are enforcing their own requirements,'' says Rebecca MacKinnon, director of the Ranking Digital Rights Project for New America, a Washington think tank. ''Nations enforcing their own Internet restrictions present a tension between national interests and participation in a global marketplace.''
China's determination to promote an alternative to the borderless Internet embraced by Americans marks yet another way the country is challenging a U.S.-led world order under President Xi. It is asserting claims in the South and East China seas, building up its military, and setting up an Asian infrastructure bank to rival the U.S.-governed World Bank.
''In the next two decades, China will become the center of cyberspace,'' predicts Fang Xingdong, a tech pioneer who a decade ago introduced blogging to China and now runs a Chinese technology think tank called ChinaLabs.
President Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders have called on Mr. Xi to curb controls that American officials say appear aimed at boosting Chinese companies or restricting freedoms, not at defending national security.
The Internet Association, a Washington-based trade group whose members include Google, Facebook and Yahoo Inc., says policy makers should advocate for U.S. tech companies in China and not accept restrictions.
''Global Internet companies born in the United States must have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in China,'' says Michael Beckerman, president of the association.
China's push could backfire. By further constricting Internet freedoms, Beijing could alienate users and foster distrust of the government. It could also hold back China's development by making it harder for businesspeople, doctors and scientists to access research and other tools that make the Internet a powerful force for innovation.
China's approach marks an escalation from its original, defensive response to the Internet when it began spreading into China in the 1990s.
At the time, China built systems, collectively dubbed the Great Firewall, to filter Internet content entering China.
Services that gained popularity overseas faced outright bans in China, including Facebook and Twitter. In 2010, Google cited censorship and pulled its servers and some services out of mainland China. In recent years, many foreign publications have been blocked in China. The Wall Street Journal's websites have been fully blocked since last year.
But as more Chinese became active online, censors struggled to keep up.
In July 2011, China's public used social media to expose signs of official ineptitude after the deadly collision of two bullet trains, alarming leaders who were used to controlling information through state media.
China's leaders also were growing uneasy about developments in countries like Tunisia and Egypt, where social media helped spread democratic passions that toppled governments. Reports that U.S. and Israeli cyberspies frustrated Iran's nuclear ambitions with an Internet virus triggered further worries.
It was against this backdrop in mid-2011 that Col. Ye wrote that China needed to do more than simply block what it doesn't like.
Calls for a more expansive Internet strategy picked up as Mr. Xi prepared to assume Communist Party leadership in 2012. Voices in government, academia and business pointed to China's expanding know-how, which they said could dislodge U.S. technology from dominance.
Computer engineer Ni Guangnan gained fresh traction for a long-held position that Beijing should challenge U.S. software ''monopolies,'' as he described them. Credited with developing a method to input Chinese characters into computers in the 1980s, a breakthrough that helped him co-launch what is now Lenovo Group Ltd. , Mr. Ni argued that imported technology is often unsafe'--and replaceable.
Mr. Xi in early 2014 elevated the importance of Internet policy, taking charge of a newly formed Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs and pledging to ''build China into a cyberpower.'' Little is known about the inner workings of the group, which includes top leaders, military and police chiefs, China's central banker and telecommunication, science, broadcast and education regulators.
Mr. Ni's call on the government to muscle out foreign technology appeared answered in May 2014 when Beijing prohibited use of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system on many government computers. Microsoft said it had taken steps to protect data for users but otherwise didn't protest publicly.
China ramped up hacking and cyberwarfare capabilities, expanding the Third Department of the PLA's General Staff Department, a cyberspying outfit estimated to have 100,000-plus hackers, linguists and others, according to Western intelligence experts.
U.S. investigators believe a recently disclosed breach of millions of employee records at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management originated in China. Beijing has denied involvement.
To translate China's new Internet philosophy into day-to-day policy, the government tapped Lu Wei to head the Cyberspace Administration of China, set up to coordinate technology goals throughout the country's vast bureaucracy.
The position makes Mr. Lu the nation's primary online censor, even though the former journalist for state-run Xinhua News Agency began his career evading media controls. He recalled in an autobiography that when a China Southern Airlines flight in 1992 crashed with 141 people aboard, including his sister-in-law, he told white lies to get closer to the wreckage so he could photograph what local authorities worked to suppress.
Mr. Lu later developed business opportunities for Xinhua, sometimes by challenging foreign competitors with regulatory restrictions that he said were meant to address an ''unfair information order.''
''The Internet is rife with problems, all of which are related to subjectivity, bias, imbalances and asymmetry of information dissemination,'' Mr. Lu told a British audience in September 2013.
Under Mr. Lu, Beijing intensified pressure on Western media and on local activists and social-media users. He invited a number of the country's most prominent users of a microblogging service called Weibo to dinner at a posh Western-style restaurant and warned them against spreading rumors, one attendee recalls.
That was followed by a series of detentions of popular Weibo users. Others became more timid about using the service. In February, the government announced new rules that require users to register real names and refrain from posting information that violates national interests.
This April, after complaining that Weibo users were spreading rumors harmful to the state, Mr. Lu's office threatened to shut down services operated by Weibo parent Sina if it didn't work harder to police content online. Sina executives quoted by Xinhua pledged to intensify censorship. Its service remains operational.
A 2014 Wall Street Journal survey found that Tencent was deleting popular accounts that sent political-news updates to users on its WeChat mobile messaging application. Tencent said it follows the law by targeting violent, pornographic and other illegal content.
Mr. Lu has lobbied for an expanded China role on Internet governing bodies such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which assigns website addresses and is managed by the U.S. Commerce Department.
At a World Internet Conference organized last year by Mr. Lu's office, he canvassed support for an Internet-sovereignty proposal. It included a nine-point manifesto, slipped under hotel-room doors of attendees, saying countries should have the right to govern Internet traffic within their borders.
Western delegates protested, and the manifesto was dropped, though similar language appeared in the proposal later submitted to the U.N.
Mr. Lu didn't respond to questions for this article. He frequently has deflected criticisms of China's tight controls by using a folksy expression: ''It's my house.''
Foreign-government officials and technology-industry executives say Mr. Lu's office has led efforts to ensure that if Web giants outside China, including Facebook, want to tap China's huge user base, they must operate through Chinese partnerships and infrastructure they don't control. China is advising government agencies and banks to avoid mainframe servers from foreign suppliers such as International Business Machines Corp. and make do with more basic equipment from domestic companies like Inspur Group Co., a Jinan-based technology firm.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg met with Mr. Lu in December when the Chinese regulator visited the U.S. A much-debated question in Chinese technology circles is whether Facebook, to reach the world's largest population, will allow itself to be regulated the same way Chinese Internet companies are.
Facebook has said it is interested in the China market but has made no decisions. It declined to comment about Mr. Lu's visit, which included stops at other U.S. tech firms.
These days, after long denying it controlled the Internet beyond scrubbing social ills such as pornography, China's government celebrates its strategy.
''The rising prominence of China is one of the most important developments shaping the Internet,'' Xinhua said in a commentary last year. ''Behind China's Internet boom is Beijing's unique way of management.''
'--Jeff Elder in San Francisco and Yang Jie in Beijing contributed to this article.
China Wants to Control Internet Even More - China Real Time Report - WSJ
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:11
Bloomberg NewsThe login page for Tencent Holdings' WeChat app.China already boasts the world's most sophisticated Internet censorship system. According to the Chinese Communist Party, it isn't good enough.
In an explanation of its reform blueprint released late Friday, the party said that the Internet poses ''a new comprehensive challenge'' to the country's stability.
Though much of the language within it reflects previous boilerplate statements, the explanation specifically names Tencent Holdings's mobile messaging application WeChat among the different social media tools it says pose problems.
''Following the increasing power of online media, Internet media and industry management has lagged far behind the quick changes that have come with its development. In particular [we] face the rapid growth of social networking and instant communication tools, like Weike and WeChat, which disseminate information rapidly, have a large influence and broad coverage, and have a strong ability to mobilize society,'' the explanation in part reads.
It isn't clear what the document meant when it referred to Weike, though in the past it was sometimes used to refer to Twitter-like microblogs such as Sina's Weibo. Tencent didn't immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday.
The statement goes on to add ''how [we] strengthen the legal system and public opinion guidance, guarantee the orderly spread of information online, national security, and social stability, has already become a real and prominent problem.''
Though officials have recently discussed the government's opinions about the dangers social media poses to China, the explanation marks a rare high-level and unified statement about the party's view of the Chinese Internet in recent years.
The explanation also enumerates a number of ''obvious flaws'' in the government's current Internet ''management system,'' including inconsistent, conflicting and multiheaded oversight and function that gives it a ''low effectiveness.''
The statement is a strong indication that a recent crackdown on social media in China is set to continue. In recent months the government has warned and punished a number of well-known social media commentators and also punished accounts linked to the spread of what it says are rumors and personal attacks online. Critics say the moves are aimed at quashing dissent and the discussion of sensitive topics online.
Though the statement is short on any tangible steps the government will likely take to improve the system, one line from the reform blueprint points a specific problem the government will likely work to address. At one point the statement says China needs ''a robust system to manage sudden occurrences on the Internet.'' The use of ''sudden occurrences'' likely refers to the rapid spread of discussion of unpredictable events over social media.
Analysts in the past have said that censors often struggle to keep up with frank and at times angry comments that follow events like the 2011 high-speed train crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou. Though censorship on social media platforms like Weibo have become increasingly fast and automated in recent years, the language suggests the party still expects further improvements.
Despite the occasionally specific diagnosis of problems, the statement was light on concrete actions that will be taken. ''China will improve the mechanism set for preventing and cracking down on crimes related to the Internet and better handle emergencies in cyberspace in order to form an online public opinion that is positively guided and administrated in accordance with the law,'' it said.
Just how that is done is unlikely to get much clearer any time soon.
''Paul Mozur. Follow him on Twitter @paulmozur
Like China Real Time on Facebook and follow us Twitter for the latest updates.
F-Russia
Trump Boots jared! '' STEVE PIECZENIK TALKS
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 02:34
Trump's Whirlwind Week Bespeaks Untold Truths!
Between Flynn's indictment for obstructing justice and Jared Kushner's blithe comment about Mideast Peace is 'achievable' [NY Times, 12/2/17], the unspoken reality is far more devastating. Unbeknownst to most of his immediate entourage, Trump has purposefully allowed the former FBI Director Robert Mueller whom he supposedly dislikes and distrusts to convict his former National Security Council Advisor, Lt.Gen. Mike Flynn. Mueller accused Flynn of lying about his meeting with high level Russian/Kremlin power brokers.
Why would Trump do this?
Trump knows all too well that one of the concessions that Mueller made in implicating Mike Flynn was that Mike's son would not be indicted for any legal transgressions that he may/may not have made while working for his father's consulting firm. In effect, Mike was willing to fall on the swordin order to save his son.
Admirable!
Trump knew that Flynn would have to reveal the key senior official who ordered Flynn to meet illegally with Putin's henchmen. That particular name was someone exceedingly close to Donald Trump, both professionally and personally.
Who is that person?
Jared Kushner!
For some time, I have been urging the administration to rid itself of this entitled, untutored Orthodox Jew, Jared Kushner. Trump and some of his more personal friends knew that Jared was more pretense and posture than substance or accomplishment.
No fool was Trump! He could see that his son-in-law had consigned every manifest problem in WH within his own limited purview. In time, Gen. John Kelly and POTUS Trump realized that Jared was completely incapable of finishing any project. Jared became an embarrassing encumbrance to everyone who had to deal with him personally.
Jared turned out to be exactly what the senior Rabbis at his modern Orthodox Yeshiva High School, Frisch School in NJ, reported in 1999'--'Jared Kushner was less than a stellar student'. [Wikipedia]. Remember! that his father, Charles Kushner was a NJ Jewish Mobster who donated about $2.5million to Harvard University to get Jared into this prestigious Ivy League school in 1999.
Since that time, Jared has been expanding his real estate portfolio, bequeathed by both his grandfather and father, into a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. At present, Jared is culpable for defaulting on a $1.8B loan on the landmark professional building, 666 Fifth Avenue. Jared turned out to be what many realized from the very beginning: a loser who could bullshit his way straight into the brig.
Thank God for the highly disciplined, astute General John Kelly who realized that Jared had to be taken off line and placed somewhere in the West Wing where he could do no harm to anyone but himself.True to form, Jared finally imploded!
POTUS Trump, no fool, realized that Jared had gone from the 'glory boy' to 'the dunce' who could do no right. Yet, like all loving parents and father-in-laws , Trump did not have the heart to fire his beloved son-in-law. Instead, he allowed Mueller to indict Flynn who would invariably implicate Jared for his foolhardy criminal behavior.
Does Trump sound like a mean, nasty President?
Not really!
For some time now, I have realized that despite Trump's bravado and Twitter mania, he had a very hard time firing anyone close to him. He was wont to concoct a somewhat convoluted scheme to exonerate himself from any direct culpability.
How do I know?
Psychodynamics!
Remember that in both actionable intelligence and psychology, patterns of behavior are not always evident. Yet they are present if one looks carefully enough. Mueller and Trump were and are in a highly productive, collusive relationship.Within a few weeks, Jared Kushner, Gary Cohen, Steve Mnuchen, Scott Pruitt, and several other prominent administration members will be exiting stage right or left, depending as to when and how they had entered the administration.
The great Italian artist, Leonardo de Vinci, wrote the following:
''The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.''
Take heed Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump:
''The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.''
Oscar Wilde
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Supervisor BOOTED from Mueller Probe INTERVIEWED Mike Flynn | The Sean Hannity Show
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 03:56
A supervisory special agent who is now under scrutiny after being removed from Robert Mueller's Special Counsel's Office for alleged bias against President Trump also oversaw the bureau's interviews of embattled former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, this reporter has learned. Flynn recently pled guilty to one-count of lying to the FBI last week.
FBI agent Peter Strzok was one of two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn, which took place on Jan. 24, at the White House, said several sources. The other FBI special agent, who interviewed Flynn, is described by sources as a field supervisor in the ''Russian Squad, at the FBI's Washington Field Office,'' according to a former intelligence official, with knowledge of the interview.
Strzok was removed from his role in the Special Counsel's Office after it was discovered he had made disparaging comments about President Trump in text messages between him and his alleged lover FBI attorney Lisa Page, according to the New York Times and Washington Post, which first reported the stories. Strzok is also under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General for his role in Hillary Clinton's email server and the ongoing investigation into Russia's election meddling. On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee's Chairman Devin Nunes chided the Justice Department and the FBI for not disclosing why Strzok had been removed from the Special Counsel three months ago, according to a statement given by the Chairman.
The former U.S. intelligence official told this reporter, ''with the recent revelation that Strzok was removed from the Special Counsel investigation for making anti-Trump text messages it seems likely that the accuracy and veracity of the 302 of Flynn's interview as a whole should be reviewed and called into question.''
''The most logical thing to happen would be to call the other FBI Special Agent present during Flynn's interview before the Grand Jury to recount his version,'' the former intelligence official added.
The former official also said that ''Strzok's allegiance to (Deputy Director Andrew) McCabe was unwavering and very well known.''
Flynn, a retired three-star general, issued a statement on Dec. 1, saying, ''it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ''treason'' and other outrageous acts. Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for. But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.''
According to another source, with direct knowledge of the Jan. 24 interview, McCabe had contacted Flynn by phone directly at the White House. White House officials had spent the ''earlier part of the week with the FBI overseeing training and security measures associated with their new roles so it was no surprise to Flynn that McCabe had called,'' the source said.
McCabe told Flynn ''some agents were heading over (to the White House) but Flynn thought it was part of the routine work the FBI had been doing and said they would be cleared at the gate,'' the source said.
''It wasn't until after they were already in (Flynn's) office that he realized he was being formerly interviewed. He didn't have an attorney with him,'' they added.
Flynn's attorney Robert Kelner did not respond for comment.
A former senior Trump administration official, however, described Strzok as one of the ''best agents in the bureau. And has now become the latest victim in the Russia investigation.''
''He was the top counterintelligence agent and an asset to the bureau and America,'' said the official, who disputed that Strozk would let his political leanings influence his work, despite the alleged anti-Trump text messages his sent Page.
FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty could not be immediately reached for comment. Strzok could also not be reached for comment.
A former FBI agent said the investigation into Strzok and the reported text messages between him and Page, shows a ''bias that cannot be ignored particularly if he had anything to do with Flynn's interview and his role in it.''
The former U.S. intelligence official questioned, ''how logical is it that Flynn is being charged for lying to an agent whose character and neutrality was called into question by the Special Counsel.''
According to an anonymous source in The Washington Post, Strzok's and Page had exchanged a number of texts that ''expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.''
Nunes said Saturday that the mistress of Strzok, who was the top FBI official assigned to Mueller's Special Counsel, was an FBI lawyer working for FBI Deputy Director McCabe.
The FBI and Justice Department have ''failed to sufficiently cooperate with the Committee's August 24 subpoena, and have specifically refused repeated demands from the House Intelligence Committee for an explanation of Pete Strzok's dismissal from the Mueller probe,'' Nunes said.
''We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,'' the chairman added.
Justice Department spokewoman Sarah Isgur Flores said, ''we disagree with the Chairman's characterization and will continue to work with congressional committees to provide the information they request consistent with our national security responsibilities.''
Isgur Flores said in a written statement to this reporter that the Justice Department provided the House Intelligence committee and leadership with ''several hundred pages of classified documents and multiple briefings'--including for example clear answers as to whether any FBI payments were made to a source in question related to the dossier'--and has more recently cleared key witnesses they have requested to testify, including Mr. McCabe, Mr. Strzok, and the alleged handler in question.''
But Nunes said, ''by hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress' constitutional oversight responsibility.''
He added ''this is part of a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this Committee's oversight work, particularly oversight of their use of the Steele dossier. At this point, these agencies should be investigating themselves.''
Nunes instructed the House Intelligence Committee staff on Saturday ''to begin drawing up a contempt of Congress resolution for DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Unless all our outstanding demands are fully met by close of business on Monday, December 4, 2017, the committee will have the opportunity to move this resolution before the end of the month.''
A source familiar with the chairman's request said Nunes knows the answers to ''whether FBI paid for dossier, whether dossier launched investigation, whether the dossier was used as basis for FISA applications. what steps FBI took to verify dossier upon receipt and since in addition, DOJ has cleared every witness he asked for. Period.''
You can reach Sara A. Carter by email at saraacarter@saraacarter.com
Or Follow her on Twitter @SaraCarterDC
Trump tweets about Russia probe spark warnings from lawmakers
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 02:14
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A series of tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump about the investigation into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia prompted concerns on Sunday among both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham saying Trump could be wading into ''peril'' by commenting on the probe.
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, before his departure back to Washington, U.S., December 2, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas ''I would just say this with the president: There's an ongoing criminal investigation,'' Graham said on the CBS program ''Face the Nation.''
''You tweet and comment regarding ongoing criminal investigations at your own peril,'' he added.
On Sunday morning, Trump wrote on Twitter that he never asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, the president's former national security adviser - a statement at odds with an account Comey himself has given.
That tweet followed one on Saturday in which Trump said: ''I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President (Mike Pence) and the FBI.''
Legal experts and some Democratic lawmakers said if Trump knew Flynn lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then pressured Comey not to investigate him, that could bolster a charge of obstruction of justice.
Trump's attorney, John Dowd, told Reuters in an interview on Sunday that he had drafted the Saturday tweet and made ''a mistake'' when he composed it.
''The mistake was I should have put the lying to the FBI in a separate line referencing his plea,'' Dowd said. ''Instead, I put it together and it made all you guys go crazy. A tweet is a shorthand.''
Dowd said the first time the president knew for a fact that Flynn lied to the FBI was when he was charged.
Dowd also clouded the issue by saying that then-Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House counsel Don McGahn in January that Flynn told FBI agents the same thing he told Pence, and that McGahn reported his conversation with Yates to Trump. He said Yates did not characterize Flynn's conduct as a legal violation.
Dowd said it was the first and last time he would craft a tweet for the president.
''I'll take responsibility,'' he said. ''I'm sorry I misled people.''
Yates did not respond to an email seeking comment, and a lawyer for McGahn did not respond to requests for comment.
The White House also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
'CONTINUAL TWEETS'
The series of tweets came after a dramatic turn of events on Friday in which Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations last December with Russia's then-ambassador in Washington, Sergei Kislyak, just weeks before Trump entered the White House.
Flynn also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving into contacts between Trump's inner circle and Russia before the president took office.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she believed the indictments in the investigation so far and Trump's ''continual tweets'' pointed toward an obstruction of justice case.
''I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of Director Comey. And it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation. That's obstruction of justice,'' Feinstein said on NBC's ''Meet the Press.''
''The president knew he (Flynn) had lied to the FBI, which means that when he talked to the FBI director and asked him to effectively drop this case, he knew that Flynn had committed a federal crime,'' Adam Schiff, senior Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told the ABC program ''This Week.''
The Russia matter has dogged Trump's first year in office, and this weekend overshadowed his first big legislative win when the Senate approved a tax bill.
Flynn was the first member of Trump's administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election and potential collusion by Trump aides.
Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has said there was no collusion.
Comey, who had been investigating the Russia allegations, was fired by Trump in May. He told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in June he believed his dismissal was related to the Russia probe, and said Trump asked him to end the investigation of Flynn.
''I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!'' Trump said on Twitter on Sunday.
On CBS, Graham criticized Comey, saying he believed the former FBI director made some ''very, very wrong'' decisions during his tenure. But Graham also said Trump should be careful about his tweets.
''I'd be careful if I were you, Mr. President. I'd watch this,'' Graham said.
Reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington and Karen Freifeld in New York; Additional reporting by David Morgan and Susan Cornwell in Washington; Writing by Roberta Rampton and Caren Bohan; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney
Ex-Georgia president Mikheil Saakashvili broken free from police custody
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:27
Georgia's former president Mikheil Saakashvili has been broken free from police custody by his supporters after being arrested in chaotic scenes in Ukraine.
Saakashvili was arrested by masked officers from an apartment in the capital Kiev after he addressed hundreds of supporters from the roof of the building.
In dramatic scenes, he reportedly threatened to jump off but was dragged to a police van.
But his supporters prevented the van holding Saakashvili from leaving, forming a barricade with tyres, wood and stones and chanting "Kiev, rise up!" as police fired tear gas.
The crowd managed to break him free from the vehicle hours later, prompting Saakashvili to call for protests demanding the removal of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko from office.
Image: Saakashvili is detained by security officers in Ukraine "I urge you to start a peaceful protest to remove Poroshenko, you should not be afraid of anything," he told the crowd.
Saakashvili has emerged as an anti-corruption campaigner in Ukraine.
Before his arrest, he accused Mr Poroshenko, his one-time ally, of being a traitor and a thief as he addressed supporters.
"What they are doing is lawlessness in the eyes of the whole world," he said.
"I urge all Ukrainians to take to the streets and drive out the thieves."
Image: Police officers use tear gas against Saakashvili's supporters Saakashvili, 49, had been arrested on suspicion of assisting a criminal organisation, which carries a five-year jail sentence.
Prosecutors say he is suspected of colluding with Ukrainian businessmen with ties to Russian intelligence in order to topple Mr Poroshenko.
It is the latest twist in a prolonged feud between Ukrainian authorities and Saakashvili, who left Georgia in 2013 after serving as president for nearly a decade.
He became a regional governor in Ukraine in 2014 but quit in 2016, complaining that his efforts to root out corruption were being obstructed.
Image: Supporters tried to stop a police van from taking Saakshvili away His Ukrainian citizenship was revoked earlier this year while he was out of the country, but he returned in September after supporters broke through a police line at the Polish border
"We have been waiting for (the arrest) for months, of course, and especially in the recent weeks," Saakashvili's wife Sandra Roelofs told Georgian TV Rustavi 2.
"It's illegal and outrageous."
Saakashvili was president of Georgia during the country's five-day war with Russia in 2008.
Ukrainian protesters free Saakashvili after rooftop arrest
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:35
Tue, Dec 5, 2017, 15:47 Updated: Tue, Dec 5, 2017, 15:54
Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili flashes a victory sign after he was freed by his supporters in Kiev on Tuesday. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters
Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was detained on a Kiev rooftop and then freed from a police van by supporters on Tuesday, as Ukraine's authorities accused him of trying to seize power with the help of a shadowy pro-Russian oligarch.
Mr Saakashvili dismissed the allegation as a ''barefaced lie'' and urged Ukrainians to rally against what he called the rampant corruption and abuse of power shown by the country's ruling elite.
An extraordinary day in Kiev began with police launching a dawn raid on Mr Saakashvili's apartment, and the leader of Georgia's 2003 Rose Revolution fleeing to the roof before being dragged back inside by about 10 officers.
Allies of the man who ran Georgia for nearly a decade and then Ukraine's Odessa region in 2015-16, urged people on social media to come to his aid, and soon a crowd was blocking the police van's exit and trying to extricate Mr Saakashvili.
Despite bursts of police pepper spray, the crowd pulled open the door of the van and bustled Mr Saakashvili away, as he held up a two-fingered ''victory'' salute with handcuffs still dangling from his wrist.
Several people were hurt and others detained in the melee, which came almost three months after supporters shoved Mr Saakashvili past police officers and back into Ukraine from Poland, despite his Ukrainian citizenship being revoked for alleged irregularities.
He says he is being persecuted by Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko for criticising his failure to fight corruption and implement the sweeping reforms that Ukrainians demanded during a revolution four years ago.
Facing extraditionMr Saakashvili is wanted on a number of charges in his native Georgia and could face extradition from Ukraine, where he says a number of his associates have been summarily detained and deported, some violently, in recent weeks.
Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko, a close ally of Mr Poroshenko, accused Mr Saakashvili and associates of planning to seize power using financial and other support from Serhiy Kurchenko, a tycoon who fled to Russia with ex-president Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
''I call on Ukrainians from all regions: we should come together today. We should peacefully and calmly tell parliament enough of poverty, enough lying, enough repression,'' Mr Saakashvili told about 1,500 supporters.
''We need people. If we have people, everything will work out for us.''
Polls suggest Mr Saakashvili is not particularly popular, but he may have some success in channelling widespread public frustration with Ukraine's rulers.
Under Olympic flag, Russia can win medals
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:33
MOSCOW (AP) '-- The International Olympic Committee has barred the Russian team from competing in Pyeongchang in February over widespread doping at the last edition of the Winter Games in 2014.
However, they will be allowed to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" under the Olympic flag. Gold medalists won't hear the Russian anthem played on the podium.
The IOC says the OAR team will be invitation-only, picked by a panel of anti-doping and medical officials from various organizations.
To be invited, Russian athletes must meet the usual Olympic qualifying standards but also "be considered clean to the satisfaction of the panel," meaning they can't have been previously banned for doping and must face extensive pre-Games drug testing.
It's not yet clear if Russian athletes plan to challenge these requirements in court. An IOC attempt to bar Russians with previous doping bans from last year's Summer Olympics was overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Under the current IOC rules, here's a look at how "Olympic Athletes from Russia" might fare in Pyeongchang:
HOCKEY
Russians have won men's hockey gold under the Olympic flag before.
Back in 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, players from ex-Soviet countries teamed up, including future Stanley Cup winners Alexei Kovalev and Sergei Zubov. It wasn't a punishment but political expediency in a chaotic political situation.
This time around, Russia's neutrals would have a good shot at gold, in the absence of NHL players. Former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk, now playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, is keen to play. "We definitely have to go," he told Russian media after the IOC decision.
One obstacle could be KHL leadership, which previously threatened it might pull its players if Russia was punished over doping.
Russia's women's hockey team might be a contender for bronze but struggles to compete against the top two squads, the U.S. and Canada. Some women's players have also been accused of doping offenses related to tampering with their 2014 Olympic samples, so eligibility is an issue.
FIGURE SKATING
Russia sent just one athlete to appeal to the IOC board on Tuesday, 18-year-old skating prodigy Evgenia Medvedeva.
It's easy to see why. Unbeaten in two years, Medvedeva is the clear favorite for women's skating gold and in a sport where careers are short, "I don't know if I'll have another Games in my life after Pyeongchang," she told the board.
She's also not connected to any doping offenses from 2014, when she was just 14.
If Medvedeva goes to February's Olympics, she'd be joined by potential Russian medalists like pairs skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.
ALPINE SKIING
Russia has never been an Alpine skiing power, but might have an outside shot at a medal under the Olympic flag.
Slalom specialist Alexander Khoroshilov in 2015 became the only Russian skier to win a World Cup event since 1981, when Russians still competed as part of the Soviet Union.
Three podiums last season show he could threaten the top three in Pyeongchang under the right conditions. Khoroshilov is based in Switzerland.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Key Russian skiers from the 2014 Olympics have already been banned by the IOC for doping, with four of Russia's five medals stripped.
Of the three Russian skiers who swept the podium in the 50-kilometer race on the final day in Sochi, the only one left is bronze medalist Ilya Chernousov, who now faces a possible upgrade to gold subject to IOC confirmation.
Still, a new generation of athletes could challenge for gold in Pyeongchang, led by Sergei Ustyugov, who won five medals at this year's world championships. IOC bans on skiers from Sochi will weaken Russia's strength in depth for relay events, which make up one-third of the program.
BIATHLON
Under the IOC criteria, Russia should be able to field nearly a full team in biathlon, the country's most-watched winter sport.
Russia has been stripped of two medals from the Sochi Olympics, with three of the women's relay team banned, but the athletes concerned had already retired.
Seven-time world championship medalist Anton Shipulin could be the key medal contender for Russia, though he's started the new season slowly.
IOC rules could block Alexander Loginov, who returned from a two-year doping ban last season to win a world championship relay bronze.
BOBSLEIGH
Individual doping bans from the IOC have already devastated Russian medal hopes in the bobsleigh and stripped the country of two gold medals won in Sochi.
Russia's sleds were already depleted by retirements since Sochi, even before the top Russian pilot in the two-man and four-man events, Alexander Kasyanov, was handed an IOC lifetime Olympic ban earlier this month.
In a detail unlikely to impress the IOC, a former athlete banned in the Sochi doping investigation, Alexander Zubkov, is now in charge of the Russian Bobsled Federation and will oversee athletes' preparation.
SKELETON
Russia had been counting on Sochi gold medalist Alexander Tretyakov and bronze medalist Elena Nikitina to repeat their success in Pyeongchang, but both were banned by the IOC earlier this month.
The top Russian with hopes of competing as a neutral is Nikita Tregubov, who won a silver medal in a World Cup race Nov. 25 and dedicated it to his banned teammates.
On the women's side, medal hopes appear remote.
SPEEDSKATING
The IOC's rules on previous doping bans could rule out Russian skating star Denis Yuskov for a sanction he received after testing positive for marijuana in 2008, even though it's not a performance-enhancing substance.
Tuesday's ruling opens the way for six-time Olympic short-track champion Viktor Ahn to return to South Korea and contend for more medals.
Previously known as Ahn Hyun-soo, he switched allegiance to Russia after failing to make the South Korean team for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and his return in Pyeongchang will be hotly anticipated, regardless of which flag he competes under.
Women's skater Olga Fatkulina is ruled out after the IOC stripped her of her silver medal in the 500 meters from the Sochi Olympics earlier this month and banned her for life from the Games.
SNOWBOARD
Two of Russia's gold medalists from the Sochi Olympics, the slalom snowboarders and married couple Vic Wild and Alyona Zavarzina, could make a return as neutrals, though they've yet to comment on the IOC decision.
Medals are potentially possible in other disciplines such as big air or snowboard cross.
OTHER SPORTS
There could be outside medal chances for "Olympic Athletes from Russia" in freestyle skiing, luge and women's curling.
Whether or not they compete under their own flag, ski jumping and Nordic combined seem unlikely to result in any medals for Russians.
New documents reveal FBI's Clinton cover-up | Fox News
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 03:07
In Washington, the ostensible story is rarely the real story. We know, for example, that former President Clinton engineered a meeting with President Obama's attorney general, Loretta Lynch, on the tarmac of the Phoenix Airport on June 27, 2016.
That's the official story, replete with the charming and intentionally disarming detail that all they talked about was their grandchildren. It was just coincidental, don't you know, that at the time the FBI was looking into Hillary Clinton's use of a ''personal'' email server to send, receive and store classified information.
And it was also simply coincidental that just a few days later, the director of the FBI '' who served under Attorney General Lynch '' announced that he wouldn't recommend a prosecution of Hillary Clinton.
Richard Nixon must be rolling over in his grave.
What we haven't known, until now, is that a frantic scramble erupted in the halls of the FBI to cover up this meeting.
What we haven't known, until now, is that a frantic scramble erupted in the halls of the FBI to cover up this meeting. In fact, the FBI turned its sharp light not on the scandalous meeting between the attorney general and Bill Clinton '' but rather on one of the whistleblowers who got the word out.
The organization I head, Judicial Watch, asked the FBI on July 7, 2016, for any records that might pertain to the infamous tarmac meeting. We had to sue after we were ignored by the agency.
Then the FBI told us flat-out that it couldn't find any records. And we now know that was flat-out untrue. Because, in responding to another one of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, the Justice Department gave us heavily redacted documents that showed there were additional documents tucked away at the FBI headquarters.
If not for Judicial Watch's lawsuits these documents would still be hidden today.
Because of the revelation in our other lawsuit, the FBI '' without our knowledge'--"reopened" our FOIA request. The agency supposedly found about 30 pages of information, which it needed six weeks to review. The FBI finally gave them to us late Thursday.
Now we know why the FBI played shell games. The documents show that FBI officials were concerned solely about the leaking of details of the tarmac meeting. None of the documents show top agency officials cared one whit about the propriety of the meeting itself, but only about who blew the whistle on the covert tªte- -tªte.
In one email, an FBI official writes ''we need to find that guy.'' And in another we learn that the Phoenix FBI office was contacted ''in an attempt to stem any further damage.'' An FBI official working on Lynch's security detail even goes so far as to suggest non-disclosure agreements to keep the full facts from coming forth.
No wonder the FBI didn't turn these documents over until we caught it red-handed, hiding and lying about them.
Simply put, the FBI appears to be fully complicit in a cover-up that attempted to influence a presidential election for a favored candidate '' Hillary Clinton. And the truth was trampled on a Phoenix tarmac.
Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch. Founded in 1994, Judicial Watch Inc. is a constitutionally conservative, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.
The eye-opening list of donors to the Clinton Foundation (list)
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:01
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Written by DML
While the mainstream media tries to create a firestorm around the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, they continue to ignore the possible crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and her husband.
Many conservatives, including myself, want the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton, and her husband. A great place to start is with the Uranium One deal that took place during the Obama presidency and while Hillary was the Sec. of State.
Until the media fans the flame, the investigation will never come to reality.
To help understand why the media will not fan the flame, all one has to do is look at the Clinton Foundation's donor list.
Below is a list of all donors who provided more than $100k to the Clinton Foundation. To see the list of people and organizations who gave less than $100k, click here.
Keep in mind as you look down this list, we have organized the list starting with the donors who have given between $25M and $10M. At the very bottom of the list are the few people and organizations that gave more than $25M with some description of who they are.
All names which are highlighted in bold are ones that we know are associated with the media. A description is provided is available. Also in bold are names of interest. Sadly, Trump is on this list.
The following information is provided by the Clinton Foundation:
^ Indicates contributions exclusively for CGI activities such as memberships, sponsorships, and conference fees.
* Indicates a contribution was made by this donor in the third quarter of 2017.
** Indicates government grants.
DONORS:
AUSAID **
Stephen L. Bing
Commonwealth of Australia **
COPRESIDA
Tom Golisano ^
J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
Kingdom of Norway [Government of Norway] **
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) ** *
Denis J. O'Brien and Digicel *
Cheryl and Haim Saban & The Saban Family Foundation
'-- Saban is the founder of Saban Entertainment, producer and distributor of children's television programs in the US such as Power Rangers. He headed up consortiums which purchased the broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 Media and Univision Communications.
Susie Tompkins Buell Fund of the Marin Community Foundation
Swedish Postcode Lottery [The Swedish Postcode Lottery]
The Elma Foundation
The Hunter Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation
The Victor Pinchuk Foundation (Victor Pinchuk is a Ukrainian businessman and oligarch)
Tracfone Wireless, Inc.
Theodore W. Waitt
S. Daniel Abraham
Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi (Saudi Arabian billionaire businessman)
C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Inc.
Elton John Aids Foundation
Government of the Netherlands **
Irish Aid **
John D. Mackay
OCP Corporation
Michael Schumacher
State of Kuwait
The Clinton Family Foundation
The Coca-Cola Company
The Wasserman Foundation
Walton Family Foundation, Inc.
100 Women in Hedgefunds
Absolute Return for Kids (ARK)
Acxiom Corporation
Jay Alix
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) *
Nasser Al-Rashid (Nasser Ibrahim Al''Rashid (born 1939) is a Saudi Arabian businessman. He is reputedly an influential advisor to the Saudi royal family and a US dollar billionaire.)
American Federation of Teachers
Angelopoulos Foundation ^
Gianna Angelopoulos ^
Anheuser-Busch Foundation
Smith and Elizabeth Bagley *
Banc of California ^
Barclays Capital ^
Barclays plc
Laurie and Bill Benenson (Laurie Benenson is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. The founder of Movieline Magazine and a former contributor to the New York Times)
Mary Bing and Doug Ellis
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina ^
Richard Blum and Blum Family Foundation
BMU '' Federal Ministry for the Environment **
Booz Allen Hamilton ^
Carlos Bremer
Richard Caring
Gilbert R. Chagoury
Cheniere Energy, Inc.
Christy and John Mack Foundation
Cisco ^
Gustavo Cisneros & Venevision (Venevisi"n is one of Venezuela's largest television networks)
Citi Foundation ^
Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund
Stephen J. Cloobeck
Roy E. Cockrum
Victor P. Dahdaleh & The Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Charitable Foundation
Delos Living ^
Desert Classic Charities Inc
Robert Disbrow
Dubai Foundation
Duke Energy Corporation ^
EKTA Foundation
Entergy
Exxonmobil ^
Issam M. Fares
Raj Fernando
Ferraro Family Foundation
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund *
Joseph T. Ford
Wallace W. Fowler
Friends Of Saudi Arabia
Fundacion Telmex
Mala Gaonkar Haarman
GEMS Education
General Electric
Aileen Getty and the Aileen Getty Foundation *
Ariadne Getty
GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft f¼r Internationale Zusammenarbeit **
Vinod Gupta
HP Inc. [HP] ^
HSBC Holdings ^
Hult International Business School ^
Humana Inc.
ICAP Services North America
Inter-American Development Bank *
Inversora Carso, S.A. De C.V. [Inmobiliaria Carso, S.A. De C.V.]
Jay S. Jacobs and The Timber Lake Foundation *
Sanela D. Jenkins
Robert L. Johnson (Founder of Black Entertainment Television)
Walid Juffali
Dave Katragadda
Kessler Family Foundation
Michael and Jena King (Michael King, the syndication mogul who, with his older brother Roger, helped launch Oprah Winfrey's talk show, ''Dr. Phil,'' ''Wheel of Fortune'' and ''Jeopardy'')
Kresge Foundation
Laureate International Universities ^
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine, Trustees of the Crimson Lion Foundation
Leslois Shaw Foundation
Lukas Lundin
MAC AIDS Fund
Masimo Foundation *
Microsoft
Lakshmi N. Mittal
Monsanto Company ^
James R. Murdoch (Fox News)
Newsmax Media, Inc. * (Chris Ruddy, Newsmax.com)
NRG Energy, Inc. ^
OAS S.A. ^
Open Society Institute (A George Soros org)
Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr *
Jonathan M. Orszag
Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Pfizer Inc
PGA Tour, Inc. *
Presidential Inaugural Committee
Princess Diana Memorial Fund
Procter & Gamble ^
Stewart Rahr
Amy Rao *
Paul D. Reynolds
Rilin Enterprises
Robertson Foundation ^
Sacks Family Foundation
Salida Capital Foundation
Donald L. Saunders
Joachim Schoss
Bernard L. Schwartz
Sean N. Parker Foundation
Walter H. Shorenstein
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Arnold H. Simon
Bren and Melvin Simon and the Melvin and Bren Simon Foundation
Amar Singh
Michael Smurfit *
Harold Snyder
Sol Goldman Charitable Trust
Steven Spielberg (movie mogul)
Standard Chartered Bank ^
Starkey Hearing Foundation ^
Starkey Hearing Technologies, Inc.
State of Qatar
Sterling Stamos Capital Management, LP
Jon L. Stryker & Slobodan Randjelovic
Suzlon Energy Ltd. ^
Swedish Postcode Foundation
Swiss Re [Swiss Reinsurance Company] ^
T.G. Holdings
Nima Taghavi *
Tenet Healthcare Corporation
The Annenberg Foundation
The Boeing Company
The Coca-Cola Foundation *
The Dow Chemical Company
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
The Eranda Rothschild Foundation [The ERANDA Foundation]
The Ford Foundation *
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
The Government of Brunei Darussalam
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation ^
The Howard Gilman Foundation
The James R. Greenbaum, Jr. Family Foundation
The Marc Haas Foundation
The New York Community Trust
The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable & Educational Trust
The Sherwood Foundation
The Sidney E. Frank Foundation
The Streisand Foundation
The Sultanate of Oman
The Walmart Foundation
The Zayed Family
Thomson Reuters * (Reuters news)
Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch (Board member Tribeca Film Institute)
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. ^
U.S. Green Building Council
Unilever *
United Arab Emirates
University of Southern California
Varkey Foundation ^
Verein Aids Life
W.K. Kellogg Foundation *
Gerardo Werthein
Western Union Foundation ^
Frank White
Worldwide Support for Development
Wyss Charitable Endowment
Yahoo! Inc
YPY Holding Limited ^
Abraaj Holdings ^
Akwa Group ^
Alibaba Group
Malini Alles
Altman/Kazickas Foundation *
amfAR: The Foundation for AIDS Research
Andrade Gutierrez S.A. ^
Arizona State University ^
Arkansas Economic Development Commission [Arkansas Energy Office '' Arkansas Economic Development]
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
Atlas Group Limited
James A. Attwood (The Carlyle Group in November 2000 as a Managing Director and head of the Global Telecommunications and Media group)
William and Tani Austin
Autodesk, Inc.
Bank of America Foundation *
Sim"n P. Barcel"
Barlovento Foundation
Frederick Baron and Lisa Blue
Bill Brandt, Patrice Bugelas-Brandt, and Development Specialists, Inc. [Development Specialists, Inc.]
Arpad Busson
Alonzo Cantu
John and Margo Catsimatidis
Paul L. Cejas
Centene Charitable Foundation
Chevron Corporation ^
Citigroup Inc
Confedera§£o Nacional da Indºstria (CNI) ^
Conf(C)d(C)ration G(C)n(C)rale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM) ^
Confederation of Indian Industry ^
Michael J. Cooper
Crabby Beach Foundation
Lewis B. Cullman
Daimler Trucks North America LLC
Beverly Dale *
Dell Inc.
Depart of Finance & Admin. '' State Fiscal Stabilization Fund **
Dozoretz Family Foundation
Emerson Collective
Energy Developments and Investments Corporation ^
Estate of Irving Pinkis
Fisher Brothers Foundation, Inc.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) ** *
Fundaci"n Carlos Slim
Matias Garfunkel ^
Gill Foundation
Avram A. and Jill H. Glazer Family *
Global Impact *
Jane Goldman
Rolando Gonzlez Bunster
Google Inc.
Brian L. Greenspun *
Grupo ABC ^
Hernreich Family Foundation
Patricia A. Hotung
InterEnergy
Jill and Ken Iscol *
Itaº Unibanco S/A ^
J/P Haitian Relief Organization
Henry and Marsha Laufer *
Leon Black Family Foundation
Peter B. Lewis
Magna International Inc.
McDonald's Corporation
McKinsey & Company
Joseph Milton
Mobile Giving Foundation Inc. *
John L. Morgan
Steve and Amber Mostyn
Paul Newman and Newman's Own Foundation
News Corporation Foundation (FOX NEWS)
Nike, Inc.
NoVo Foundation
OSI Development Foundation
Recep –zkan
People's Postcode Trust
Richard C. Perry
Phoebe Snow Foundation *
Postcode African Trust
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Arthur W. Rabin
Sanford Robertson
Kjell I. Rokke
Ruettgers Family Charitable Foundation
Sangari ^
Sanyo North America Corporation
Gerald and Elaine Schuster
Barry and Dolly Segal and the Segal Family Foundation *
Beth and David Shaw
Jordan Sidoo
Beryl L. Snyder
Brian S. Snyder
Jay T. Snyder
Soros Foundation
Jackson T. Stephens
Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office
The Allstate Corporation
The American Ireland Fund
The Blackstone Group L.P.
The Carsey Family Foundation
The Chambers Family Foundation
The David Geffen Foundation
The Harrah's Foundation
The John C. Armitage Foundation
The Joyce Foundation ^
The Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Fund
The Ralph and Ricky Lauren Family Foundation
The Rumi Foundation
The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust
The San Diego Foundation *
The Ted Arison Family Foundation USA, Inc.
The Western Union Company ^
The Winnick Family Foundation
Torres Pic"n Foundation
UBS Wealth Management USA
UK Department For International Development (DFID)
UNITED Charity gemeinn¼tzige Stiftung GmbH
Vardis J. Vardinoyannis
Visa Inc. ^
Carole Shields Westbrook and Hugh A. Westbrook
Billye and Henry Aaron *
Accoona Corporation
Abbas I. Al Yousef
American Association of University Women ^
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) ^
American University in Dubai
Amil Assistªncia M(C)dica Internacional S/A ^
Anim LLC
Farhad Azima
Fred Bacher
Banco Santander Brasil S.A. ^
Barrick Gold Corporation
Anson and Debra Beard
Jack C. Bendheim *
BMCE Bank ^
Oliver Bock
Bright Future International
Susie and Mark Buell
CA Technologies ^
CH2M ^
Channel IT ^
Charles Dunstone Charitable Trust
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
City of Little Rock **
Compania De Electricidad De San Pedro De Macoris (Cespm)
Consolidated Contractors Inter. Co. Sal ^
Michael and Beth Coulson *
Cr(C)dit Agricole du Maroc [Groupe Credit Agricole du Maroc] ^
Dangote Group
Martin Davis
Oscar de la Renta
Deutsche Bank AG ^
Deutsche Bank Americas ^
Yongping Duan
Nancy Ellison and William Rollnick
Niko Elmaleh
Embassy of Algeria
Alfonso Fanjul
Jana and Richard Fant
Morad N. Fareed
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation ^
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. ^
Fuel Freedom Foundation ^
J. B. Fuqua
Gap Inc.
Paul I. Goldenberg
Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund ^
Green Family Foundation
Greif, Inc. ^
Stanley Grossman
Ajit Gulabchand
Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, LLC
Karl Handelsman
Happy Hearts Fund
Marie and Faheem Hasnain [Faheem Hasnain]
Henry Lambertz Inc. ^
Hess Corporation ^
Elzie L. Higginbottom *
Frank E. Holmes
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ^
Andrew Houston
Humanity United ^
Glenn H. Hutchins
Ibrahim El-Hefni Technical Training Foundation
InfoGROUP ^
Intel Corporation ^
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman
Kevin Jardine
Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego ^
George B. Kaiser
Peter S. Kalikow
Michael W. Kempner [Jacqueline Kempner]
Karlheinz K¶gel
Charles Kushner
Marc Lasry
Michael Lee-Chin
Ira H. Leesfield and Leesfield Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. [Ira H. Leesfield]
Thomas Lee and Ann Tenenbaum
Laurie Lerner
Philip L. Levine
David Lyall
MacArthur Foundation
Malaria No More
George M. Marcus *
Marin Community Foundation
Masimo Corporation
Patrick McKillen
Thomas and Donna McLarty *
Anthony S. Melikhov
Merck & Co., Inc. ^
Scott Molitor
Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust
Philip R. Munger
Andy Nahas
Marc B. Nathanson
New York's Health & Human Service Union, 1199/SEIU
Noble Energy, Inc. ^
Oleg Nodelman
Oando PLC Group
Orbitex Management Inc.
Palantir Technologies, Inc.
Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation
Punta Cana Foundation
Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee ^
Frank R. Rainieri
Ramsey Social Justice Foundation ^
Audre J. Rapoport
Rebecca Susan Buffett Foundation *
Denise Rich
Michael Rienzi
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor
Emmanuel Roman
Larry T. Roth
Howard A. Rubin *
S. Daniel Abraham Center For Middle East Peace ^
Sabey Limited ^
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Facilitated by MWW Group) ^
Richard M. Scaife
Stephen M. Silberstein
Carlos Slim Helº & Fundaci"n Carlos Slim
Southern Company ^
Ted Stanley ^
State of Arkansas **
Maximilian D. Stone
Joseph A. Stroud
Thomas D. Sullivan
Lalit Suri
The Beatrice Snyder Foundation
The Brink Foundation
The California Endowment
The Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation
The Eastern Culture Foundation
The Engleberg Foundation
The Fuserna Foundation
The Innocent Foundation
The Landrake Foundation
The Leslie Ann Libbea Trust *
The Mastercard Foundation ^
The May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation
The Roche Family Foundation, Inc.
The Salem Foundation
The Sutton Place Foundation
The Tony Elumelu Foundation
The Weill Family Fund
Tilder ^
Andrew Tobias
Pedro Torres Pic"n
U.S. Global Investors, Inc. ^
United Automobile Workers of America
United Nations Foundation ^
University of California, San Francisco
University of Miami ^
Martin Varsavsky
Viacom, Inc. *
Robert A. Walker
Walmart *
Mark L. Walsh
Katsuhiko Yoshida
Niklas Zennstr¶m
Imaad Zuberi
72andsunny
Abbott [Abbott Laboratories] ^
Joyce A. Aboussie *
Wendy Abrams
Accenture LLP ^
African Rainbow Minerals ^
Douglas C. Ahlers
Aker ASA ^
Turki Al Faisal Al Saud
Hamza B. Al Kholi
Al Sayer Group ^
Alan D. and Susan Lewis Solomont Family Foundation
Madeleine K. Albright *
Alcoa Inc. [Alcoa] ^
Al-Dabbagh Group
Miguel Alemn Velasco ^
Alibaba.com Corporation ^
Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation ^
American Cancer Society ^
American Express Travel Related Services Company
American Institutes for Research ^
American Society for Clinical Pathology ^
Americares Foundation, Inc. ^
Amp, LLC ^
Ann Inc.
Hushang Ansary
Applied Materials, Inc. ^
Arag Se ^
Loreen J. Arbus
Arkansas Community Foundation
Astrazeneca Plc
Attijariwafa Bank ^
Avin International S.A.
Avon Products, Inc. ^
Dennis W. Bakke
Bank of America Corporation ^
Banque Centrale Populaire ^
Henri Barguirdjian
Bay Harbour Management
Becton, Dickinson and Company
Ryan Beedie
Begas Energy International ^
Paul R. Beirne
Jill Belasco
Robert Belinke *
George Benes
BHC Prosperity Fund
George and Boyce Billingsley
James J. Blanchard *
Bluedrop Performance Learning ^
Erskine B. Bowles
Michael G. Bronfein
Edgar M. Bronfman
Clifford L. Brown
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP ^
Peter A. Buffett
August A. Busch
Caesar's Entertainment, Inc.
Cause Media Group
CDI Contractors
Central Arkansas Planning And Development District
Cherokee Investment Partners ^
Stanley M. Chesley
Child Relief International ^
Childfund International ^
Chopper Group [Chopper Trading, Llc]
Ronald M. Cohen
Timothy C. Collins
Colorado Philanthropy for Early Childhood ^
Communications Workers of America
Concern Worldwide ^
John M. Connors
Consorcio Energetico Punta Cana-Macao SA
Contax ^
Ron Conway
Cordaid ^
Corning Incorporated
Corporacion Aeroportuaria Del Este ^
Jon S. Corzine
Cox Enterprises, Inc. ^
Bob Cross
Ian M. Cumming
Daiwa Steel Tube, Inc.
William M. Daley
Greg Dalton
Jim Daly
Darden Restaurants, Inc. ^
Bal G. Das
DaVita Inc. ^
Mark Dayton
Carine S. De Meyere
Lynn F. de Rothschild
Dell Foundation ^
Delta Air Lines, Inc. ^
Dermalogica ^
Ross M. Deutsch
Devex ^
Abigail E. Disney
Ann and L. John Doerr
Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding A.S. [Dogan Holding] ^
Robert Dorrance
Downstream Development Authority of the Quapaw Tribe
Ladislav Drab
Edelman
Edp '' Energias De Portugal, S.A. ^
Blair W. Effron
Elandis Holdings, LLC [FCA Group Holdings LLC]
Basil O. El-Baz
Elissa Epstein
Equity Bank Limited ^
Ericsson ^
Estate of Roger Lee Lewis
Eduardo Eurnekian ^
EY [Ernst & Young] ^
A. Huda Farouki
Father's Day/Mother's Day Council, Inc.
F(C)d(C)ration Internationale de l'Automobile ^
FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Services
FHI 360
Fia Foundation ^
David I. Fisher
Doug Forster
Francis C. Nuccio Revocable Trust
David Freeman
J¼rgen A. Friedrich
Fundacion Azteca America ^
Edward M. Gabriel *
Mark T. Gallogly
Gary and Pennie Abramson [previously listed separately]
General Mills, Inc. ^
Fred George
Mark H. Getty
Gilead Sciences ^
Thomas V. Girardi
Michael A. Goldberg
Jonah Goodhart
Noah Goodhart
Goodwill Industries International, Inc. ^
Berry Gordy
Jamie S. Gorelick
Alec E. Gores
Grameen America, Inc. ^
Jonathan D. Gray
Catalyst Group
Grupo CCR ^
Grupo Puntacana ^
GSM Association ^
GTECH SPA [Lottomatica S.A.] ^
H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation
Michael Haas ^
Val Halamandaris
Craig and Kathryn Hall
Preston H. Haskell
Craig M. Hatkoff
Heineken ^
Patrick Heiniger
Robert Hernreich
Hertz Corporation ^
Jack Hidary and Jack D. Hidary Foundation
Hilton Worldwide ^
Teena Hostovich
Richard W. Hotes
Chi-Kao Hsu
Humana People To People ^
Hyundai Motor America
ICMediaDirect.com
Institute Of International Education ^
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Medical Corps ^
Italian Ministry For The Environment, Land, & Sea ^
IUCN-US
Irwin M. Jacobs
Janet W. Ketcham Foundation ^
Sujay Jaswa
Don H. Jayawardena
Jhpiego ^
Johnson & Johnson ^
Johnson Controls, Inc. ^
Blayne Johnson
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
K.I.D.S., Inc.
Donna Karan
Bruce E. Karatz
Bruce A. Karsh
Daryl A. Katz
Skip Keesal [Samuel A. Keesal]
Michael Keith
Christopher Kelly *
Declan Kelly
Keystone Human Services ^
Herbert C. Klein
Knoll, Inc. ^
Julie E. Konigsberg
Christopher G. Korge
Peter B. Kovler
Lata Krishnan
LaSer Group ^
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
Karl Leichtman
William S. Lerach
Jim Levin
Lewis Energy Group
Light SA ^
Linklaters ^
Lions Clubs International Foundation ^
Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission
Living Goods ^
Jessica S. Livingston
Lockheed Martin Corporation ^
Nicholas Logothetis
Peter S. Lowy *
Lumina Foundation For Education, Inc
Jerry Lundergan
Howard W. Lutnick
Robert L. Lynch *
Malaria No More UK
Management Sciences For Health ^
Margaret A. Cargill Foundation ^
Max Markson
Marriott International, Inc.
Stephanie Pace Marshall
Hani H. Masri
The Honorable and Mrs. Terry McAuliffe
Frank J. McKenna
Roger McNamee
Medtronic, Inc. ^
Merrill Lynch & Company Foundation, Inc.
Michael A. Peterson Foundation ^
Mohegan Sun
Moody's Corporation ^
Morgan Stanley
Joe H. Morita
Alfred H. Moses
Motta Internacional
Mpower Labs ^
MTV Networks
Mylan ^
Myron M. Cherry & Associates LLC ^
National Constitution Center
Naza Motor Trading Sdn. Bhd. ^
Paul Neaville
Michael P. Norris
Novozymes A/S ^
Oak Foundation
Oceana
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide ^
Oi M"vel ^
Lyndon L. Olson
OMD USA, Inc. ^
Omidyar Network ^
Once Upon A Time Foundation
Ooredoo ^
Opportunity International ^
Dean Ornish
OVG Real Estate ^
Chamath Palihapitiya
Pankobirlik ^
Richard S. Park
Pat Tillman Foundation ^
Mike Patel
Alan and Susan Patricof
Pearson Education Inc
James E. Pederson
Pentland Group plc ^
Pepsico
Ronald O. Perelman
Giovanni Perissinotto
Peterson Center on Healthcare
Philip D. and Tammy S. Murphy Foundation
Pilosio Spa ^
Heather Podesta *
Poly Terra Innovation ^
Pratt Holdings (USA) INC, Chairman Account ^
Princeton Area Community Foundation, Inc.
James H. Pugh
Qatar Foundation International ^
Quadrant Capital Advisors, Inc. ^
Qualcomm Incorporated
Rabin Martin ^
Kirk A. Radke ^
Rafanelli Events Management, Inc.
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Ranni Corporation
RCN International Distribution LLC
Reliance Europe Limited
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ^
Jair Ribeiro da Silva Neto ^
Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, Inc. ^
Danny Rimer
Burton Ritchie
Wayne L. Rogers
Israel Roizman
Ronald I. Dozoretz Foundation
William C. Rudin
Sarina Russo ^
Omar and Kathleen Saeed
Safo LLC ^
Joseph Safra
Lily Safra ^
Adam Said
Sakal Media Group ^
Salesforce.org [Salesforce.com Foundation] ^
Allen Salmasi
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Samuel, Son & Co., Limited ^
Sandler Family Supporting Foundation
Sanofi-Aventis
Andr(C)s Santo Domingo
Sarina Russo Job Access ^
Steven Sawalich
SBC Foundation
William D. Schoenfeld
Sekunjalo Investment Holdings ^
Adam D. Sender
Ajay B. Shah *
Donna E. Shalala *
Sicpa Sa ^
Hugo A. Sigman
Diane M. Simon
Skoll Foundation ^
Rodney E. Slater
Kathleen M. Sloane
SNV USA [SNV Netherlands Development Organization] ^
Solazyme, Inc. ^
Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC
South East Asia Climate Change Network
James Stanard ^
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. ^
David S. Steiner
Thomas F. Steyer
Howard Stringer
Studio Moderna ^
Sunbelt Communications Company
Swedbank ^
Swiss Re America Holding Company ^
Taybridge Limited ^
Teleperformance Group, Inc. ^
Ian W. Telfer
The Abundance Foundation ^
The American Institute Of Architects ^
The American Jewish Committee
The Barrack Foundation
The Berry Gordy Family Foundation
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
The Clarence and Anne Dillon Dunwalke Trust
The Doris and Donald Fisher Fund ^
The Entertainment Industry Foundation
The Estate of Mary Perry
The Est(C)e Lauder Companies Inc.
The Firmenich Charitable Foundation ^
The Foresight Group ^
The Forward Electric Company, Ltd.
The Garfinkle Minard Foundation
The Global Fund To Fight Aids, Tuberculosis And Malaria
The Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation ^
The Greif Packaging Charitable Trust
The Guardian Life Insurance Company Of America ^
The Herman and Gerda Lissner Foundation
The Hermelin Family Support Foundation
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
The John D. Evans Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation ^
The Karan-Weiss Foundation
The Katz Foundation
The Kind World Foundation ^
The Lemelson Foundation ^
The Monte dei Paschi di Siena
The Nature Conservancy ^
The Nduna Foundation ^
The News America Corp. Foundation (Murdoch)
The Nurture Nature Foundation ^
The Prospect Fund ^
The Ramsey Community Services Foundation ^ *
The Robin Hernreich Foundation
The Sager Family Foundation ^
The Schooner Foundation ^
The Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation, Inc.
The Spirit Foundation
The Stassen Group
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
The Trinity Foundation
The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) ^
The Ups Foundation ^
The Wagner Family Foundation
TIAA [TIAA-CREF] ^
TOMS Shoes
Trio Foundation ^
Donald J. Trump
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices
Friso Van Oranje
Verizon Communications Inc.
Vestergaard Frandsen Inc. ^
Mikkel Vestergaard
Virgin Group Limited ^
Vision Foundation
Voya Foundation
Todd Wagner
Ellen and Don Walker *
Mallory M. Walker
Wallace Global Fund
Robyn Walsh *
William Wardlaw
Washington University in St. Louis ^
Daphne C. Weaver
Webcor Group ^
Mark and Susan Weiner
Harvey Weinstein
Wells Fargo Foundation
White & Case Llp ^
Michael S. Williams
Sheridan and John Eddie Williams
Steven Wozencraft
WPP [Hill+Knowlton] ^
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation ^
Xantos S.A.S. ^
Poju Zabludowicz
Zenith Bank ^
THE FOLLOWING LIST OF DONORS GAVE MORE THAN $25 MILLION
1) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
'-- Gates is the Founder of Microsoft
2) Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada)
'-- Frank Giustra is a Canadian businessman, mining financier and philanthropist, who also founded Lionsgate Entertainment.
3) Fred Eychaner and Alphawood Foundation
Fred Eychaner is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Eychaner is the Chairman of Newsweb Corporation. Newsweb Corporation is a printer of ethnic and alternative newspapers in the United States,
3) Frank Giustra, The Radcliffe Foundation
Frank Giustra is a Canadian businessman, mining financier and philanthropist, who also founded Lionsgate Entertainment.
4) Nationale Postcode Loterij
The Nationale Postcode Loterij is the biggest charity lottery in the Netherlands.
5) The Children's Investment Fund Foundation
The Children's Investment Fund Foundation is a large charitable organization headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi
6) UNITAID
In early 2006, France's President Jacques Chirac announced his decision to create a drug-purchase facility to advance international development projects, with France contributing 90 percent of its new airline ticket tax toward the endeavor. [18]Chile joined the effort, establishing its own airline ticket tax to support international development. That September, Unitaid was founded by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom.
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The 'mirror' trades that caught Deutsche in Russian web
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:14
* Germany's biggest bank fined over trades totalling $10 bln
* Trades moved cash out of Russia, possibly to launder-regulators
* Web of trades spanned globe, Deutsche did not heed warnings
By John O'Donnell
FRANKFURT, Jan 31 (Reuters) - When regulators looked into the ''mirror'' trades at Deutsche Bank, they didn't like what they saw.
A client would ask Deutsche Bank in Moscow to buy Russian blue-chip stocks using roubles, for example, then shortly after another would tell Deutsche Bank in London to sell the same amount of shares at the same price for dollars.
There was a steady flow of small trades, typically $2-3 million each, totalling about $10 billion of deals over about four years, according to regulators. The parties often lost money on the deals due to fees and commissions.
In fact, the two clients involved ''were actually closely related'', said the New York State Department of Financial Services, such as through common ownership.
The regulators established that the deals covertly moved money from Russia to elsewhere in the world in a manner that could have been used for money laundering.
''I have a billion rouble today ... will you be able to find a security for this size,'' the U.S. watchdog cited one party to a deal as telling a Deutsche Bank trader in Moscow.
The web of trades stretched from Moscow, London and New York to Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.
Deutsche Bank, which has a large presence on Wall Street, said it regretted its role in the scheme and that it has since addressed shortcomings. It has agreed to pay a total of about $630 million in fines to the New York and British financial regulators.
The mirror scheme started in 2011, as Deutsche traders struggled with a slowdown in business, in the wake of a slump in oil and gas prices as well as the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
''Greed and corruption motivated the DB (Deutsche Bank) Moscow traders,'' said the New York authority.
''Traders conceded that they did not forcefully question these suspicious trades, because they were earning commissions at a time when trading had dramatically slowed.''
''One trader admitted that the trader was largely 'focused on commission' during this time of 'slow markets' and continued these trades despite misgivings,'' it said.
LAX CONTROLSThe American and British regulators said the bank's controls had failed, but did not say top management was aware.
Checks on customers were lax and systems for storing such information fragmented, leaving the bank in the dark about who they were trading for, and where the money for the deals was coming from.
The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said cost-cutting at Deutsche had reduced compliance staff between 2010 and 2012, leaving them ''stretched''.
The London office was responsible for the company's trading book, but it was ''not aware of the identities of the customers that were entering trades into the book'', the FCA added.
Deutsche Chief Executive John Cryan is seeking to draw a line under the bank's misdeeds in the wake of the financial crisis as it sought to carve and keep a foothold on Wall Street.
The settlement is the latest in a string of penalties that have hammered the lender's finances, including a $7.2 billion U.S. fine this month for the sale of toxic mortgage debt.
The fact the wrongdoing in Russia took place as recently as 2015 underlines the scale of the task still facing the CEO.
There were occasions when Deutsche was made aware that there could be something awry with the trades in question, according to the New York regulator.
In November 2011, a trade in Russia failed after the Russian markets regulator suspended the operating licence of one of the parties involved.
Then in January 2014, a European bank, processing transactions from Deutsche, approached it to ask if it ''had any reason to believe that the transactions ... are in any way of a suspicious nature''.
The U.S. regulator said the European bank, which it did not name, received the following response from the German lender after sending repeated reminders: ''Deutsche Bank sees no reason for concern here.'' (Additional reporting by Alexander Winning in Moscow; Editing by Pravin Char)
Former Judge: If General Flynn Was Not Aware Strzok Was Removed for Bias - Case Can Be Dismissed Due to Giglio Violation
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:45
December 5, 2017 by Jim Hoft
Glenn Reynolds is a law professor, author and USA Today columnist.
Glenn runs the wildly popular Instapundit website at PJ Media and has an enormous following.
This afternoon Glenn Reynolds posted this comment from a former judge and reader on the General Michael Flynn arrest and plea deal.
Glenn believes this was a flawed investigation because General Michael Flynn was not notified that the main witness against him was removed from the investigation for bias. If General Flynn was not aware of this it is Giglio violation.
Via Instapundit:
A READER WHO IS A FORMER PROSECUTOR AND JUDGE EMAILS:
Did the prosecution tell Flynn's lawyer that their main witness against him was removed for bias? Since Strzok led the interview and his testimony would be needed to establish untruthfulness, he is a critical witness not just a prosecutor. If not disclosed, would this not be a Giglio violation? This is the kind of misconduct that can get a case dismissed and a lawyer disbarred. It is a Constitutional violation. This has bothered me since I heard about it.
Me too.
The Giglio versus United States case: is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the prosecution's failure to inform the jury that a witness had been promised not to be prosecuted in exchange for his testimony was a failure to fulfill the duty to present all material evidence to the jury, and constituted a violation of due process, requiring a new trial.
Hat Tip Andrew
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Clinton Aides Also Lied To Embattled Mueller | The Daily Caller
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 22:54
The FBI agent who was fired from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation team for sending anti-Donald Trump text messages conducted the interviews with two Hillary Clinton aides accused of giving false statements about what they knew of the former secretary of state's private email server.
Neither of the Clinton associates, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, faced legal consequences for their misleading statements, which they made in interviews last year with former FBI section chief Peter Strzok. (RELATED: Anti-Trump Text Messages Show Pattern Of Bias On Mueller Team)
But another Strzok interview subject was not so lucky.
Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, pleaded guilty last week to lying during an interview he gave on Jan. 24 to Strzok and another FBI agent. Circa journalist Sara Carter reported on Monday that Strzok took part in that interview with the retired lieutenant general. (RELATED: Anti-Trump FBI Agent Conducted Interview With Michael Flynn)
At the time, Strzok was the FBI's top investigator on the fledgling investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign. He was appointed to supervise that effort at the end of July 2016, just weeks after the conclusion of the Clinton email probe. CNN reported on Monday that as the FBI's No. 2 counterintelligence official, Strzok signed the documents that officially opened the collusion inquiry.
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
The starkly different outcomes from Strzok's interviews '-- a felony charge against Flynn and a free pass to Mills and Abedin '-- are sure to raise questions from Republicans about double-standards in the FBI's two most prominent political investigations. FBI Director Christopher Wray will likely be pressed on the Strzok scandal on Thursday when he attends an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Strzok was also a prominent part of the Clinton investigation, so much so that he conducted all of the most significant interviews in the case.
Along with Justice Department attorney David Laufman, Strzok interviewed Clinton herself on July 2, 2016. The pair also interviewed Mills, Abedin and two other Clinton aides, Jake Sullivan and Heather Samuelson.
Summaries of the interviews, known as 302s, were released by the FBI last year.
A review of those documents conducted by The Daily Caller shows that Mills and Abedin told Strzok and Laufman that they were not aware of Clinton's server until after she left the State Department.
''Mills did not learn Clinton was using a private server until after Clinton's [Department of State] tenure,'' reads notes from Mills' April 9, 2016 interview. ''Mills stated she was not even sure she knew what a server was at the time.''
Cheryl Mills's April 9, 2016, interview with the FBI. (FBI.gov)
Abedin also denied knowing about Clinton's server until leaving the State Department in 2013.
''Abedin did not know that Clinton had a private server until about a year and a half ago when it became public knowledge,'' the summary of Strzok's interview with Abedin states.
Huma Abedin's April 5, 2016, interview with the FBI. (FBI.gov)
But undercutting those denials are email exchanges in which both Mills and Abedin either directly discussed or were involved in discussing Clinton's server. (RELATED: Chaffetz: Cheryl Mills 'Lied To Everybody' About Clinton's Server)
''hrc email coming back '-- is server okay?'' Mills asked in a Feb. 27, 2010 email to Abedin and Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton who helped set up the Clinton server.
''Ur funny. We are on the same server,'' Cooper replied.
Feb. 27, 2010 email sent to Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills discussing email server. (State Department)
Mills and Abedin were also involved in an Aug. 30, 2011 exchange in which State Department official Stephen Mull mentioned that Clinton's ''email server is down.''
And in a Jan. 9, 2011 email exchange, Cooper told Abedin that Clinton's server had been malfunctioning because ''someone was trying to hack us.''
''Had to shut down the server,'' wrote Cooper, who told the FBI in his interviews that he discussed Clinton's server with Abedin in 2009, when it was being set up.
Jan. 9, 2011 email to Huma Abedin regarding Hillary Clinton's server. (State Department)
Former FBI Director James Comey defended the Clinton aides' inconsistent statements in a House Judiciary Committee hearing held on Sept. 28, 2016.
''Having done many investigations myself, there's always conflicting recollections of facts, some of which are central [to the investigation], some of which are peripheral,'' Comey told Jason Chaffetz, a former Utah congressman who served on the committee last year.
Cheryl Mills listens as Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Chaffetz was not buying Comey's dismissive response.
''I think she lied to everybody,'' he said of Mills in an interview on Fox News the night of the Comey hearing.
''There's direct evidence that she actually did know [about the server],'' said Chaffetz, who added that Comey's defense of Mills ''makes no sense.''
WATCH:
Chaffetz suggested that Mills would have had an incentive to deny knowing about the server during Clinton's State Department tenure because it would allow her to cite attorney-client privilege to avoid discussing certain aspects of Clinton's email setup. Mills began working as one of Clinton's lawyers just after they left the State Department.
Strzok's role in the Clinton and Russia investigations took on a new significance on Saturday after the bombshell revelation that the FBI veteran exchanged politically-charged text messages last year.
Strzok was kicked off Mueller's team over the summer after the Justice Department's inspector general discovered that he sent the messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and his mistress. The watchdog has been investigating the FBI and DOJ's handling of the Clinton email matter.
Page also worked on the Mueller team for a short time over the summer.
TheDC also discovered that Strzok's wife, a Securities and Exchange Commission attorney named Melissa Hodgman, has a strong pro-Clinton bias. Her Facebook account shows she's a member of groups called ''We Voted for Hillary'' and ''Thank You Obama.''
It was reported back in August that Strzok had been removed from the Mueller team to the FBI's human resources department. Mueller's office had declined for months to comment on the mysterious personnel move.
It was also revealed on Monday that Strzok was the FBI agent responsible for softening language that Comey used in his July 5, 2016 statement closing the Clinton investigation. Strzok edited a rough draft of Comey's speech, changing out the phrase ''grossly negligent'' '-- a term which has legal weight '-- with the softer phrase, ''extremely careless.'' (RELATED: Anti-Trump FBI Agent Softened Comey's Description Of Clinton's Email Conduct)
The FBI and Special Counsel's Office did not respond to requests for comment.
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#MeToo
Met Opera Suspends Ties With Conductor James Levine Amid Sex-Abuse Allegations - WSJ
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:01
The Metropolitan Opera on Sunday suspended its relationship with renowned conductor James Levine, whom it is now investigating amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct for alleged incidents spanning decades.
The move comes as questions emerged over why one of New York City's most powerful arts institutions didn't act more quickly to investigate the allegations against Mr. Levine, who was the Met's music director for more than 40 years.
...
Danny Masterson Fired From Netflix's 'The Ranch' Amid Rape Allegations | Hollywood Reporter
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:41
The actor will still appear in the second half of season two, due Dec. 15, and may return for parts of season three as the streaming giant writes him out of the Ashton Kutcher comedy.
Danny Masterson is done at Netflix.
The actor, who is facing multiple allegations of rape, has been fired from the streaming giant's scripted comedy The Ranch.
"As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch. [Monday] was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him," Netflix said in a statement.
Masterson will still appear in the second half of season two, due Dec. 15, and could return for parts of the previously announced third season as the streaming giant writes him out of the Ashton Kutcher comedy. It's unclear if another actor will be brought in to make up for the void. (Kutcher famously came in as the new male lead after Charlie Sheen was fired from CBS' Two and a Half Men.)
The LAPD has been investigating sexual assault claims against Masterson and a potential Church of Scientology cover-up since March. Three women came forward at the time with claims that the actor sexual assaulted them. The claims stem from an alleged victim's 16-year-old claims that were brought to light after contact with Leah Remini as part of her A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
In November, after Netflix suspended House of Cards star Kevin Spacey following sexual assault allegations, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, one of the women who accused Masterson of rape, blasted Netflix for its continued relationship with Masterson.
"What Netflix has done, feels like...I don't matter. The other women don't matter. Our pain means nothing, and we should be good little girls and shut our mouths. No!" she said. "I'm going to be an amazing woman who will NOT shut my mouth when I find out my rapist raped countless other women. I will NOT shut my mouth when Netflix tries to make us feel like we don't matter. We DO matter. We ARE important. We will see justice for what was done to us, and is continuing to be done to us...and for all those who knew/know and are either actively helping this serial rapist or are choosing to stay silent...YOU don't matter."
On Monday, Netflix came under fire again when one of Masterson's alleged victims recounted a story to the Huffington Post that a Netflix executive told her he did not believe four women who have made claims against the actor. The executive, director of global kids content Andy Yeatman, did not know he was speaking to one of Masterson's alleged victims until she identified herself as such.
As of Monday, a petition calling for Netflix to cancel The Ranch had earned support from more than 38,000 people.
Masterson denied the allegations on Tuesday morning and said he was "disappointed" in Netflix's decision.
''I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of The Ranch. From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me," he said in a statement. "Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one."
The statement continued, "In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all. In the meantime, I want to express my gratitude to the cast and crew that I've worked so closely with over the past three seasons. I wish them nothing but success. I am also so thankful to the fans that have supported me and continue to do so.''
The Ranch centers on a failed semi-pro football player (Kutcher) who returns home to Colorado to help run the family ranching business with his dad (Sam Elliott) and his brother (Masterson). Two and a Half Men alums Don Reo and Jim Patterson serve as showrunners alongside Kutcher. Masterson also produced the multicamera comedy, which is produced in-house at Netflix. The series marked a reunion for Kutcher and Masterson, who both started out on That '70s Show.
While Netflix does not release viewership information, the streamer noted in October that The Ranch was its fifth-most-watched original series within its first 24 hours of release.
Netflix's move to fire Masterson comes after the streaming giant cut all ties with Spacey, dropping a planned movie with the actor and '-- following a weeks-long production shutdown '-- moving forward with the shortened final season of House of Cardswithout the star and exec producer.
For their part, Reo and Patterson have faced the challenge of writing out a star before. The duo were exec producers and writers on CBS' Two and a Half Men when Kutcher was brought in to replace Sheen.
Fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal has spread across the entertainment industry as actors, showrunners, producers, executives, casting directors and other figures face allegations of sexual harassment that continue to have a ripple effect on the business.
Masterson is repped by UTA.
Dec. 5, 7:30 a.m. Updated with Masterson's statement.
NetflixThe Ranch
John Travolta's Gotti biopic pulled from Lionsgate release schedule | EW.com
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:16
Lionsgate has iced John Travolta's Gotti biopic.
Just 10 days before the film was set for domestic release under the studio's Lionsgate Premiere banner, EW can confirm that the project '-- about the life of ill-fated mobster John Gotti, head of the infamous Gambino family '-- has been sold back to production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis.
The Tracking Board's Jeff Sneider first reported the news, further indicating that producers will seek new distribution soon. A 2018 release now seems likely, instead of the originally planned Dec. 15 bow.
Also starring Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, as Victoria Gotti, and veteran actor Stacy Keach as Gotti's mentor, Aniello Dellacroce, Gotti was directed by Entourage star Kevin Connolly, from a script co-written by Haywire and The Limey scribe Lem Dobbs and The Accused star Leo Rossi.
''There are nice cars and fancy suits in the movie, but we're also showing where all that eventually leads,'' Connolly previously told EW of the film. ''HBO made a Gotti movie in 1996, but his death, which was horrible, hasn't been covered too much. That's a different angle that we're going to explore.'' (Gotti died of cancer in prison in 2002.)
Further details, including a reason for the sale, remain unclear.
Shervin Pishevar Takes Leave from Sherpa, Portfolio Companies - WSJ
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:24
Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, an early investor in Uber Technologies Inc. and co-founder of Sherpa Capital, said he has gone on leave from his firm as he mounts a legal battle to defend himself against what he called ''a smear campaign.''
A spokesperson for Sherpa Capital said, ''We respect and support Shervin's decision to take a leave of absence while he pursues his rights under the law.''
In...
This prof put out a call for stories of harassment on campus '-- and received hundreds of responses - Home | As It Happens | CBC Radio
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 23:00
Tuesday December 05, 2017
more stories from this episodeStory transcript
Hundreds of people responding to an anonymous survey say they've been been been groped, harassed, stalked or assaulted by their professors and colleagues at academic institutions in Canada and around the world.
Karen Kelsky posted the survey on Friday, inviting people to anonymously share their stories of abuse and harassment in academia.
As of Tuesday, she received about 850 submissions '-- some of them about staff at Canadian universities.
"I think it's because these stories are so common in the academy, combined with the fact our consciousness has been very abruptly raised about how egregious this kind of abuse is and how harmful on women's lives and women's careers," the Oregon writer and anthropologist told As It Happens guest host Jim Brown.
"The numbers have been there all along. It's just that women are beginning to feel more empowered to talk about it openly."
Protesters in Palo Alto, Calif., hold signs during a 2016 university commencement ceremony to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus in the wake a high-profile rape case Stanford University/ (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)
Kelsky said she was inspired to create the survey in light of the recent surge of sexual misconduct allegations against men in Hollywood and the news media.
She spent 15 years teaching at the University of Oregon and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before founding The Professor Is In, which provides advice and consulting services to those seeking academic careers.
Throughout her career, she said she has heard dozens of stories reminiscent of the allegations against high-profile men like film executive Harvey Weinstein.
"I thought back to all the people that I had heard from, all the women basically, and I thought ... one of the most important things that people can do is tell their story, even if its just anonymously," Kelsky said.
"So I decided to use the platform that I have in order to make a space for people to be able to tell their story anonymously and get it out there and know that they're not alone."
Groping, stalking, texting People wrote about being groped at conferences, sexually assaulted in professors' offices, cornered in empty classrooms, plied with booze by senior academics, sent sexually suggestive text messages, stalked, harassed and raped.
Canadian universities named in the document include the University of Toronto, York University, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Alberta, Western University and McGill University.
Former student says university revictimized her during sexual assault investigation4:20
None of the allegations have been verified and neither the accused nor the accusers are named.
"I have no intention for this survey to be to be considered a scientific survey, a quantitative survey," Kelsky said. "This is really a holding space for women, in particular, to be able to share their stories with others, read other stories and know that they're not alone."
Fear of reporting While harassment is a widespread issue, Kelsky said the academic setting is particularly ripe for abuse.
"There are huge power imbalances between the people who occupy different statuses. The people who occupy the higher categories have enormous power over those beneath them. They can basically make or break their careers," she said.
'It's just devastating to think of the loss of talent and contributions to the sum of human knowledge that we've lost because of this harassment.' - Karen Kelsky , The Professor Is In
"That's not an exaggeration to say. Junior people require the recommendation and the validation of senior people to get anything '-- to get funding, to get jobs, to get journal articles accepted '-- so you can't rock the boat."
One woman said in the survey that a department head refused to accept her dissertation after she rebuffed his advances. Another said her male colleague was denied a recommendation letter after he reported a colleague who was sleeping with his students.
Many of the incidents reportedly happened at parties, conferences, hotel rooms or even private homes.
"The other aspect of academia that's interesting is that because it's kind of a way of life rather than just a job, the professional and the personal are really mixed," she said. "Lines are blurry and vulnerable women can find themselves in ambiguous circumstances with senior males and alone with them and drinking."
These are some of the questions asked in an anonymous survey about abuse in academia. (Karen Kelsky )
The vast majority of respondents said they never reported what happened to them for fear of repercussions to their careers.
"In the cases where they did report, overwhelmingly there were no consequences. None at all. The department hushed it up. They blamed the victim. They hounded the victim out of the department, out of the program," she said.
"It's just devastating to think of the loss of talent and contributions to the sum of human knowledge that we've lost because of this harassment."
What's next?Kelsky said the next step is to take the stories she's collected and publicize them on her blog and in her weekly column in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
"Ultimately, I hope the departments and department heads, tenured faculty, deans, provosts will look at these stories and realize the kind of institutional change that needs to happen," she said.
"Even if people don't know the names, and I don't think they have to, they can see how deep this rot goes in the academy."
Matt Lauer's office sexcapades known to media elites, who roared with laughter over lewd jokes at 2008 'roast' | Fox News
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:09
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 24: Ann Curry ,Matt Lauer and Meredith Rivera at the NY Friars Club "Roast" of Matt Lauer held in the Hilton Hotel (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images) (2008/Daily News, L.P. (New York))
Warning: This article contains graphic language and content.
Embattled NBC executives have been falling over themselves, insisting they had no idea about Matt Lauer's pervy past. But if anyone doubts that New York's media elite was aware of Lauer's reputation, they should look no further than a top-secret ''roast'' of Lauer that took place in October 2008.
The notorious event -- now legendary in New York media circles -- pushed the outer limits of sexist, racist, homophobic and obscene jokes -- and left little doubt that Lauer's colleagues knew NBC's biggest star had a troubled marriage and a wandering eye.
Last week, NBC's own Joe Scarborough, who attended the roast but said he left early, feeling uncomfortable, brought it up on ''Morning Joe.'' Lauer's peccadillos, he said, were not just known about. At the roast, they were celebrated.
''The whole theme was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees,'' Scarborough said. ''So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.''
The 2008 Friars Club roast took place at the New York Hilton and was attended by everyone from future President Donald Trump to TV legend Norman Lear to a constellation of New York's media elite including Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Nancy O'Dell and Howard Stern. Also on hand were numerous top executives from across the business and almost everyone who was anyone at NBC News. Fox News has confirmed many details of the roast with a media executive who attended, and has also drawn on the one contemporaneous account of the roast, which appeared in The Village Voice.
Speaker Martha Stewart joked, ''I hear NBC executives call Matt the 'Cock of the Rock,''' according to The Voice.
Another of the roast's speakers was current CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker --- then the chairman of NBC Universal -- who last week adamantly denied that he had any idea about Lauer's in-office sexcapades.
''It's just good to see Matt up here and not under my desk,'' Zucker said from the podium. ''I don't want to say Matt is a germophobe, but he's the only guy I know who uses Purell both before and after he masturbates.''
Zucker also made a pointed allusion to Lauer's marital problems.
''Matt was having some trouble at home with the wife,'' he said. ''He was sleeping on Bryant Gumbel's couch.'' Lauer and Gumbel, a former ''Today'' host who is black, are known to be close friends. ''What's more boring than that?'' Zucker joked. ''Two white men watching golf.''
(2012 NBCUniversal, Inc.)
''Today'' co-host Al Roker was the ''roastmaster'' and Tom Cruise (who had famously feuded with Lauer on air over Scientology) made peace with a surprise appearance as a guest roaster. But while Cruise kept it relatively PG-13, once he finished, jokes focused on Lauer's in-office sexcapades.
Then ''Today'' co-host Meredith Vieira was especially crude, making jokes about Lauer and Roker partaking in anal sex during the Turin Olympics, with Roker as the receiving partner. Former ''Today'' star Katie Couric went next, reading a David Letterman-style Top 10 list of facts about Lauer. Among the digs, ''No. 10 -- According to his wife, he's not really an early riser, if you know what I mean.''
But a shot at Lauer's in-office relationship with Curry, who was in the room, got the biggest laugh of Couric's routine.
''No. 2 -- He loves to eat Curry,'' she said as Curry (sitting in the audience) went pale and the crowd roared with laughter. ''What? Indian food! What's wrong with you people?''
Comic Bob Saget eventually took the stage to offer Lauer some marriage advice: ''Do what I'm doing, Matt. Come into the Dark Side. My next wife hasn't even been born yet.''
Another comedian -- one attendee believes it was comedian Jeff Ross -- made racist jokes about Lauer using a naked Roker on all fours as his coffee table.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried was so obscene that Fox News can't even publish a highly expurgated version of his material, but part of his racist routine '' filled with Asian sex jokes about Ann Curry -- included detailed remarks about Curry's genitals.
(2012 NBCUniversal, Inc.)
But the most cringeworthy comments, in hindsight, were made by Lauer himself, who spoke at the end of the roast. The ''Today'' star alluded to sex with two former colleagues, Couric and Curry.
''Let me just say that I saw that colon a lot before the rest of you saw it,'' Lauer said in an anal sex joke about Couric (who famously underwent a colonoscopy on air).
But the twice-married Lauer wasn't finished joking about sleeping with female contemporaries.
''What's with all the small-d--- jokes? It was fun to look over and see Ann Curry laughing'... like she doesn't know how big my d--- really is,'' Lauer said, wrapping up an event that The Village Voice called ''three hours of d--- jokes.''
The Voice, which had managed to have a spy secretly write ''down the dirtiest jokes on a notepad under the table,'' was the only publication to write anything about the top-secret roast, despite the fact that the room was filled with media luminaries. Cameras and recorders were strictly banned -- and this was before iPhones and their audio recorders had become ubiquitous.
Memories of the roast must be especially awkward for the various NBC executives now claiming they had no idea about Lauer's reputation for sex harassment of women.
''This was a comedic roast, but there was clearly a vein of truth running through all those jokes,'' said a media executive who was in attendance. ''You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness. They all knew.''
NBC News fired Lauer last week for inappropriate sexual behavior, and in the ensuing days, NBC News' top bosses Andy Lack and his deputy, Noah Oppenheim, have claimed they had no prior knowledge of Lauer's conduct. Their denials have raised eyebrows within NBC and out, considering that both executive have deep ties to Lauer going back years.
Lack and Oppenheim are so far resisting appointing an outside, independent investigator to look into who knew what about Lauer's behavior, preferring to control the inquiry themselves. The New York Post speculated over the weekend that Lack is seeking to blame Oppenheim for the debacle.
Oppenheim himself told NBC staff that following his ''review,'' anyone still working at NBC found to have known about Lauer's behavior and not done anything would be punished ''in the most severe way possible.''
Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.
TIME Person of the Year 2017: See the Shortlist | Time
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:53
The shortlist of candidates for TIME's 2017 Person of the Year was unveiled Monday morning on NBC's Today. Since 1927, TIME has identified the Person of the Year, recognizing the person or group of people who most influenced the news during the past year, for better or for worse.
In recent years, the shortlist for Person of the Year has included Hillary Clinton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Black Lives Matter activists, CRISPR scientists and Beyonc(C).
In alphabetical order, the 10 finalists selected by TIME editors this year are:
Jeff BezosHonoree Jeff Bezos speaks at the 21st Annual HRC National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center on Oct. 28, 2017 in Washington D.C.
Paul Morigi'--Getty Images
The Amazon CEO became the richest man in the world this year and continues to expand the global reach of his retail empire.
The DreamersActivists rally in Columbus Circle and marched to Trump Tower in protest of President Donald Trump's possible elimination of the Obama-era "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals."
Albin Lohr-Jones'--Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images
Dreamers '-- thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children '-- face uncertain futures if the Trump Administration follows through on plans to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Some Democrats have threatened to force a government shutdown if the legal status of Dreamers is not resolved.
Patty JenkinsDirector Patty Jenkins attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, Calif.
Jason LaVeris'--FilmMagic/Getty Images
The Wonder Woman director broke numerous box-office records this year. After becoming the first woman to direct a film that made more than $100 million in its opening weekend, she signed on to direct a highly anticipated second installment in the boundary-breaking franchise.
Kim Jong UnNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army in North Korea in this undated photo released on Aug. 15, 2017.
KCNA/Reuters
The North Korean leader has renewed the threat of nuclear war in American minds, launching repeated intercontinental ballistic missile tests and exchanging threats and insults with President Trump, who dubbed him ''Rocket Man.''
Colin KaepernickColin Kaepernick stands on the sideline during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 18, 2016 in Atlanta.
Michael Zagaris'--San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was unable to find an NFL suitor this year after launching a national protest against racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Yet the protest grew this year, as hundreds of NFL players kneeled during the anthem in the wake of criticism from President Trump.
The #MeToo movementThe messages "#Me too" and #Balancetonporc ("expose your pig") is written on the hand of a protester during a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence called by the Effronte-e-s Collective, on the Place de la Republique square in Paris on Oct. 29, 2017.
Bertrand Guay'--AFP/Getty Images
The movement '-- which aims to shed light on the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault '-- took off after bombshell allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein and dozens of other male leaders in Hollywood, media, business and politics, fueling a moment of reckoning about the treatment of women in the workplace.
Robert MuellerSpecial counsel Robert Mueller leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 in Washington D.C.
Alex Wong'--Getty Images
Appointed as special counsel following FBI Director James Comey's firing, Mueller has brought charges against four people so far as he investigates potential involvement of the Trump campaign in Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin SalmanCrown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 24, 2017.
Tasneem Alsultan'--The New York Times/Redux
The 32-year-old crown prince, the son of King Salman, recently led a sweeping crackdown on businessmen and members of the royal family accused of corruption '-- a purge seen by many as a move to consolidate power.
Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump arrives at Indianapolis International Airport Sept. 27, 2017 in Indianapolis.
Brendan Smialowski '--AFP/Getty Images
President Trump, who was named 2016 Person of the Year, has spent his first year in the Oval Office attempting to dismantle the work of the Obama Administration, from health care to immigration policy, environmental regulations to tax reform, all while continuing to spark feuds and controversy with an unfiltered Twitter feed.
Xi JinpingChinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People on Oct. 25, 2017 in Beijing.
Lintao Zhang'--Getty Images
The President of China was given a second five-year term this year and was written into the Communist Party's constitution, achieving new authority and reinforcing his status as the country's most powerful leader in decades.
The 2017 Person of the Year will be unveiled on Today in the 7 a.m. hour on Wednesday morning, when the news will also be shared on Time.com.
In wake of Weinstein, men wonder if hugging women still OK
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:24
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- Steve Wyard thought he knew what sexual harassment looked like: a put-out-or-lose-your-job overture. Now he's not so sure.
"Have we gotten to the point now where men can't say, 'That's a nice dress' or 'Did you do something with your hair?'" says the veteran sales associate for a Los Angeles company. "The potential problem is you can't even feel safe saying, 'Good morning' anymore."
The sexual misconduct allegations that have brought down powerful men in Hollywood, media, politics and business are sending a shiver through the workplace. Men are wondering if it's still OK to hug a female colleague or ask about her weekend. And some are asking themselves if they ever, perhaps even inadvertently, crossed the line.
If Garrison Keillor, the gentle-natured former host of public radio's "A Prairie Home Companion," can be fired for accidentally (he said) placing his hand on a woman's bare back, could they get in trouble for something similar?
CEO Tom Turner of Bitsight Technologies, a cybersecurity company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that held a training session for its 270 employees on sexual harassment last month, worries about the effect the national furor will have on the workplace.
Turner says his business takes pride in being a place where people enjoy being around each other. The company's website features photos of employees taking part in ski trips and parties.
"With what all is going on in the media, there could be a tendency to go so far that you actually lose what is special about your company," he says.
Wyard, who is retiring at the end of the month after 35 years with a company that supplies industrial washers and dryers, says he can't recall anyone bringing a sexual harassment complaint during his time there.
He chalks that up in part to the family atmosphere he says exists at a business that has employed many of the same people for decades, including fathers and daughters who work together. It's fostered a culture among its 70 employees, he says, "where you just treat everybody the way you'd want them to treat your sister."
But he says his wife, the CEO at a health maintenance organization, got a complaint from a woman just last month who believed a fellow employee was getting too personal. "It turned out the guy thought he was just saying, 'What did you do over the weekend?'" Wyard recalls his wife telling him.
John Frith, who worked for years as a spokesman for California government agencies and a California congressman before becoming a consultant, says he was always careful to keep even an innocuous inquiry about someone's weekend plans to himself '-- particularly if he was talking to a woman he supervised.
Looking back, he says, he believes his most egregious transgression was ordering a female intern to fetch him a cup of coffee. He says he wouldn't do it now.
"She glared at me like I was just the worst person in the world," he recalls. "I would like to apologize to her now, but after these many, many years I can't remember her name."
While some public figures such as Hollywood power broker Harvey Weinstein have been accused of rape, others like Keillor and former President George H.W. Bush are said to have put their hands where they didn't belong.
It's those cases that have everyday guys sweating as they wonder whether they might have leaned in a little too close for that hug. Or if they should have kept that oral sex joke to themselves, or just between them and their male friends.
"What I see in terms of my male friends now is an, 'Oh, my gosh, I hope I didn't.' There's a sense of shame," says independent filmmaker Laura Lee Bahr.
She says she has been reassuring male friends that giving her a friendly hug when they greet her isn't harassment. It's the flat-out propositions and the unwanted grabbing of body parts that need to stop, she says.
"So for me, I wish it was the people who really need to take a look at themselves who would take a look at themselves," she adds.
University of Southern California sociologist Carolann Peterson says men do need to recognize that a sudden arm around the shoulder or a pat on the butt isn't the innocuous gesture some might have thought it was, and it can make women uncomfortable, even if they don't say so at the time.
"Sometimes we as women have a tendency of playing what I call nice," she says. "We don't want to offend anybody so we don't say anything."
But those days are ending, Peterson adds, noting the recent allegations against so many high-profile men have emboldened students in her USC classes to discuss their own experiences.
"We need to speak up when we're uncomfortable," she says. "And we need men to be a little more sensitive in what they do."
Calling Men 'Scum' or 'Trash' Is Now Hate Speech - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:52
modified screenshot from facebookjailed.com Dozens of female comedians have had their Facebook accounts suspended for posting derogatory messages about men. Facebook justified these suspensions by describing the women's words as "hate speech."
Their messages weren't about specific men, mind you; we're not talking about targeted harassment here. They said things like "men are scum" and "men are trash," statements made in response to harassment they were receiving from men or in solidarity with other women going through such pile-ons.
Just to be clear, I do not think all men are scum. And from the sound of it, neither did most of these women. These were mostly hyperbolic or emotional responses to current events and to direct comments from other Facebook users. But rhetorical flourish or sincerely held belief, these PG-rated insults should be allowed on any social platform that lays claim to fostering open communication.
Facebook, obviously, is a private company that can set its own rules. And to be sure, there is no generally agreed-upon definition, no legal category (not in the U.S., anyway), of "hate speech." Determining hate speech here is purely subjective and observational.
Some people using the term take it to mean some combination of speech that actually isn't protected by the First Amendment (like true threats and incitements to imminent violence); targeted bullying that's mean but not actually illegal; and whatever words or sentiments they find cruel and uncomfortable: taboo slurs, graphic language, the expression of negative ideas about a particular group or ideas that violate social norms.
Most people, I think, would not take "men are scum" to be hate speech. I don't think many would even take issue if the sexes were reversed. At least not when expressed in a general way, as was the case with the Facebook suspensions.
Things wouldn't be so clear-cut if the group was more particularized, however. Posting that "transgender people are scum" or "Muslims are trash" would probably be labeled as hate-speech. Calling libertarians or communists scum, probably not. "The British are trash?" Probably not. "Mexicans are trash?" Probably so.
I'm not trying to complain here that statements take on different nuances depending on context and power differentials. Quite the opposite. This is a feature of functioning dialogues that has been vastly diminished in the social-media era. But the openness of most speech to interpretation, the way meanings can shift based on who is saying what to whom, and the context collapse of social media are exactly what makes "hate speech" laws and policies so pernicious.
On Facebook and Twitter, these determinations seem to be made haphazardly and randomly. The decisions sometimes bow to social pressure and online mobs, are sometimes faulty by means of negligence, and sometimes guided by the biases and preferences of low-level employees or internal algorithms. The results can seem unfair, to feminist comedians, to alt-right activists, to Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai.... the list goes on and on.
Alas, a desire across the political spectrum to be shielded from criticism, combined with a culture of weaponized social-media reporting on most sides, has led us to the point where all public discourse is treated like that of the most precious liberal-arts-college classroom. And rather than face any potential backlash, platforms like Facebook have learned to treat even the most anodyne of insults as actionable "hate."
But the consequences of being labeled a hate-speaker in this context are relatively minor. Sure, social platforms can be important career tools these days, and even temporary suspensions can hurt, but no one is getting thrown in a cage or having their home seized by Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey.
When we give the state the power to regulate hate speech, the determinations tend to be every bit as random and biased. More so, perhaps. Facebook has nothing to gain from taking sides in ideological arguments. Government hate-speech enforcers laws do. Time and again, whomever is in power will use the laws to suppress political opponents or populist uprisings or people who Tweet mean things at them.
Occasionally this benefits progressive or radical causes. But it's much more likely to be used against radicalism, against any marginalized groups, and in furtherance of the status quo. Only this time, it's not just a Facebook account at stake but one's property, reputation, liberty, and possibly life.
Hate speech laws can never truly serve the fight to speak truth to power.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown is an associate editor at Reason magazine.
Facebook Is Banning Women for Calling Men 'Scum'
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:58
When comic Marcia Belsky sarcastically replied ''men are scum'' to a friend's Facebook post back in October, she never anticipated being banned from the platform for 30 days.
That was exactly what happened.
Belsky was shocked at the severity of the punishment considering her relatively innocuous comment, and immediately spoke to her fellow female friends about the ordeal. They could relate.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, countless women have taken to Facebook to express their frustration and disappointment with men and have been promptly shut down or silenced, banned from the platform for periods ranging from one to seven days.
Women have posted things as bland as ''men ain't shit,'' ''all men are ugly,'' and even ''all men are allegedly ugly'' and had their posts removed. They've been locked out of their accounts for suggesting that, since ''all men are ugly,'' country music star Blake Shelton ''winning the sexiest man isn't a triumph.''
''I personally posted men are scum in November and I received a seven day ban. It's still ongoing. Two days and 23 hours left,'' said comedian Alison Klemp.
Kayla Avery, a comedian in Boston said she's been banned close to 10 times by Facebook and is currently serving out the end of her third 30-day ban.
One of the first times she got banned was when her page was flooded with male trolls calling her derogatory and sexist terms. Avery posted ''men continue to be the worst'' she said, because she said she ''felt helpless to stop their hate.''
''There was one guy who was threatening to find my house and beat me up,'' she said. ''I got banned before I could even successfully report it.''
In late November, after the issue was raised in a private Facebook group of nearly 500 female comedians, women pledged to post some variation of ''men are scum'' to Facebook on Nov. 24 in order to stage a protest. Nearly every women who carried out the pledge was banned.
''It wasn't the best protest because it clearly didn't work,'' said Klemp. Avery said she is still suffering the consequences after posting ''men are trash'' on that day.
On Nov. 28 a Twitter thread by comedian Rae Sanni documenting her experience of being banned by Facebook went viral and countless other women began to share their stories.
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The problem has become so widespread that Avery even created a website to document these women's tales. The site, FacebookJailed.com, shares women's experiences of being punished by Facebook for making benign comments about men or standing up to trolls, sometimes juxtaposed with Facebook's inaction against men who have hurled insults or racial slurs back.
''Comedian and writer Rae Sanni has been targeted by nazi trolls who hurled dozens of threatening and violent messages and comments at her for days,'' a recent post reads. ''Rae Sanni was banned by Facebook while her abusers are free to say sh*t like this without being in violation of community standards.''
The post features screenshots provided by Sanni where Facebook does not deem comments calling her the N-word hate speech.
When reached for comment a Facebook spokesperson said that the company is working hard to remedy any issues related to harassment on the platform and stipulated that all posts that violate community standards are removed.
When asked why a statement such as ''men are scum'' would violate community standards, a Facebook spokesperson said that the statement was a threat and hate speech toward a protected group and so it would rightfully be taken down.
As ProPublica revealed in an investigation in June, white men are listed as a protected group by the platform.
A Facebook spokesperson clarified that this is because all genders, races, and religions are all protected characteristics under Facebook's current policy. However, it's clear that even with 7,000 Facebook content moderators, things slip through the cracks.
Female comedians have speculated that it's internalized misogyny on the behalf of Facebook's content moderation team that leads to punishment such as banning to be doled out unequally. Several have tried posting ''women are scum,'' had their friends report the posts, and subsequently suffered zero consequences.
While this explanation is tidy, it's almost certainly false. Facebook employees receive extensive training around specific issues and their work is regularly reviewed to account for any personal biases.
But the system is far from perfect.
One issue with the way Facebook moderators currently review posts is that many ''problematic'' posts are viewed individually, without context because of privacy concerns. Facebook moderators also aren't able to view personal or demographic information about the original poster. This means that they sometimes don't know whether a piece of content was posted by a black queer woman or a white straight male.
It also means the moderators don't know whether the poster has a history of spreading messages related to white supremacy, or has participated in targeted harassment campaigns against specific groups before.
With hate speech in particular, the person writing the post is just as relevant as what is being said. The fact that Facebook's moderators aren't always given this information means that sometimes benign statements can be misinterpreted, and vice versa.
Context also matters. One reason female comics often seem to run afoul of Facebook's guidelines is that the company's content moderators fail to recognize the humor in their posts. Popular tropes such as ''ban men'' are interpreted literally under Facebook's current set of community standards, and women suffer the consequences for attempting to express themselves.
In the past, ironic misandry has been a popular way for women to deal with living in a world where they're exposed to frequent abuse at the hands of powerful men. Yet, if a woman takes to Facebook to vent about how she ''wants to imprison men and milk them for their male tears,'' she could quickly lose access to her account.
Trolls know this. ''The ironic thing about Literal Nazis is that they have weaponized taking things literally,'' BuzzFeed writer Katie Notopoulos wrote recently.
Feigning outrage at statements that were clearly not written to be interpreted that way has become a favored tactic of the alt-right, Gamergate, and movements known for their coordinated harassment efforts. When moderators can't make this distinction they punish innocent parties and embolden trolls.
''We'll look at ways to apply our policies in a more granular way... But we are a global platform.''
'-- Facebook spokesperson
Meanwhile, outright false and defamatory information'--like Pizzagate communities accusing private citizens of pedophilia because of their political beliefs'--still thrive on the service.
Facebook's spokesperson stressed that it was working on a fix to this and the company plans to look at ways to eventually apply its policies in a more granular way. In the future it hopes to take into account the history of oppression with different genders and ethnicities, etc. when reviewing posts, but stressed that Facebook is a global platform.
In the meantime, two women who are both not in the comedy world but have had their content flagged or removed said the bans have made them feel much less comfortable posting on Facebook about sensitive topics like the #MeToo movement.
Avery said that posting on Facebook, no matter what issue, can feel like walking across a minefield.
''I get cold feet to post stuff, especially if I try to share something that's going on that I want to bring attention to. because I feel like I'm going to get in trouble somehow,'' she said. ''Sharing anything is nerve racking. It's like, 'What's ok? What's not ok? What's going to cross the line this time?' It makes me feel crazy, like Facebook is gaslighting us.''
Heather Fink, also a female comedian, said the problem has also begun to spread to Instagram. She has had several posts there removed where she said she was simply talking about her Facebook ban and now no longer trusts the platform to ensure her voice is heard.
The #MeToo movement has been perpetuated via social media thanks to the open nature of most platforms and the ability for women to speak out publicly in their own words. If Facebook's community guidelines are being enforced irregularly, whether intentional or not, women say it stifles their ability to speak truth to power and share their stories.
''Facebook is absolutely silencing women.''
'-- Heather Fink
''Social media is how we communicate. Preventing women from expressing themselves like this is an intimidation tactic,'' said Meredith, a social-media strategist who has had several of her friends banned.
''This feels like a deliberate and systematic act'--and whether it was or it wasn't, it needs to be addressed publicly by Facebook and Instagram, especially as we've seen plenty of examples of true, dangerous hate speech remaining on these platforms even after being reported.''
Avery said Facebook's banning policy itself ties into the #MeToo movement.
''How else can we have a genuine reaction to what's going on?'' Avery said. ''Facebook is absolutely silencing women.''
Response to Brigitte Nielsen's Defense of Sylvester Stallone in Midst of Sexual Abuse Allegations '' Buttered Popcorn
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:56
Response to Brigitte Nielsen's Defense of Sylvester Stallone in Midst of Sexual Abuse Allegations
Nielsen, one of Stallone's ex-wives, is now rushing to Stallone's defense in the midst of allegations that Stallone, in 1986, pressured a teen girl to perform sexual acts on himself and his bodyguard, de Luca.
Here are a few links to Nielsen's defense, followed by my critiques of her response:
Sylvester Stallone's ex-wife slams sexual assault accusation '' Nov 20, 12017
SYLVESTER STALLONE Ex-Wife Brigitte Nielsen SEXUAL ASSAULT STORY IS A LIE
Via the Daily Mail:
Sylvester Stallone's ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen says he could not have sexually assaulted a 16-year-old because he was with her at the time
'...But in an interview with TMZ, the star's ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen, said the incident could not have occurred because the couple were inseparable at the time
'During the summer of 1986 we were newlyweds. I was inseparable with Sylvester when Over The Top was being shot in Las Vegas.
'The story claims that at approximately 8:30 in the evening during the shoot of the movie the person claims she was in our suite at the Hilton Hotel.'
She continued: 'This incident did not occur. Most of the day, I would watch him film, then we'd have dinner and go to our room. No other person was in the room with him, but me.'
''(end quote)''
I would be interested in knowing why Nielsen is speaking up in defense of Stallone at this point?
Did Stallone or one of his P.R. people privately contact her and ask her to speak up in his defense?
Did Stallone offer Nielsen a role in one of his upcoming movies maybe?
Is she really just doing this out of the goodness of her heart?
Did Stallone's people pay Nielsen to do this, I wonder?
The last I read, Nielsen was not doing well financially or otherwise since her 1980s divorce from Stallone. Perhaps Stallone's people offered to pay her to speak up publicly in his defense, and she could really use a pay-off.
From 2012, The Daily Mail:
How did Stallone's movie star wife Brigitte Nielsen end up as a drunk in the park?
All that aside, Nielsen's defense of Stallone on this subject is not without flaws.
Nielsen is claiming she was married to Stallone at the time of the alleged incidents.
The fact that Nielsen and Stallone were married at the time of the accusations is something everyone already knew, and it's a fact that was mentioned in the sex abuse allegations in the police and subsequent media reports ''
All because the teen girl victim herself told the police in 1986 said that Stallone told her after allegedly assaulting her for her not to tell anyone about the incident or else he'd have to ''beat her head in'' because he and deLuca were married at the time (with Stallone being married to Nielsen in 1986).
Secondly, even if Nielsen was at the hotel during the time of that trip, where and when Stallone was filming the movie Over The Top, when the teen-girl was telling police these abuses took place, it does not stand to reason Stallone and Nielsen, were ''joined at the hip'' twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, that they were never apart.
During the alleged sexual exploitation of the teen girl by Stallone and De Luca, perhaps Nielsen was out shopping, dining, getting manicures, sipping a martini or two at the hotel bar, or lounging out by the pool.
Further, based on a report I saw by Doug Poppa, and if I am understanding his report correctly, it was intimated that Nielsen participated in (most likely non-consensual) sexual trysts with Stallone and Stallone's half-sister, Toni-Ann Filiti (also known as Toni D'Alto).
And I say ''most likely non-consensual'' in the previous paragraph, given Stallone's troubled past with his half-sister, who claimed for years that Stallone sexually assaulted her.
Source for the following:
Sylvester Stallone Hush Money Leaves Unanswered Questions
Also, allegedly compromising photographs were taken at the Carlyle Hotel in New York in the 1980s. Photographs of Stallone, Filiti and Brigitte Nielsen, whom Stallone was married to from 1985 to 1988. These photos were allegedly taken prior to the 1988 settlement agreement.
''(end quote)''
Via Getty:
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen '' 1986, New York, Carlyle Hotel
Above link: photos of Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen at Carlyle Hotel '' showing Nielsen and Stallone were at that hotel in the 1980s, though these are obviously not the same set of photos referenced above. But these photos do place Nielsen and Stallone in that hotel in the 1980s.
Stallone's half-sister Toni-Ann who died of cancer in 2012, alleged that her half-brother, Stallone, who was 18 years her senior, sexually, psychologically, and physically abused her from around 1979 to around 1988. I believe her allegations, for reasons I explain in a previous post on these matters.
If it's true that Nielsen took ''compromising photographs'' comprised of herself in sexual acts with Stallone and Stallone's half-sister Toni-Ann Filiti, I would not expect Nielsen to have the character or integrity to object to or care if she were to walk into a hotel room in Las Vegas and see her husband performing sex acts on a teen girl, though Stallone apparently thought she would care and become angry.
According to a woman on Twitter, Stefanie Iris Weiss, who was 13 at the time this incident took place in 1985, while Stallone and Nielsen were participating in a beach-front Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot in 1985, Stallone sent a life guard over to sexually proposition Weiss (who again, was only thirteen years old at the time).
Nielsen was with Stallone during that Vanity Fair photo shoot (as can be seen here, here, and here), so it's not unlikely that if Stallone was allegedly willing to proposition a teen during a photo shoot on which Nielsen was present he would not also attempt to sexually exploit a teen girl at a hotel during the filming of a movie, even if Nielsen was on the grounds.
Here is one screen shot of Weiss' Tweets (see previous post for more screen shots, or use the Tweet links below to view):
Tweet Link 1 | Tweet Link 2 | Tweet Link 3
As we can see in Weiss's Tweets, having people near-by, according to Weiss, even his wife Nielsen, did not prevent Stallone from allegedly ''hitting on'' and making sexual overtones to teen girls during a photo shoot on a beach.
As I noted on the last post about all this, the girl who was alleging that Stallone sexually attacked her was not the one who publicized any of this information, nor did she report this to the police.
A friend of hers at the time was the one who informed hotel staff of the matter, the staff called the Las Vegas police, and it was the police who contacted the girl, asking for an interview. Later, Doug Poppa of the Baltimore Post Express and then the Daily Mail published the contents of the police report.
The victim, the then-teen girl, has nothing to gain from any of this. She's not the one who sought out police or media.
And I don't care what the age of consent laws were in Vegas at the time of the alleged event: it's morally wrong for a 40 year old man to have sexual relations with a teen girl.
According to a gossip site I linked to previously, Stallone was known to intentionally travel to states with low age of consent laws precisely so he could troll for very young girls.
A woman named Margie Carr claims that Stallone sexually assaulted her around 2000, in a gym they both visited.
We have about 4 or 5 different women saying over the years that Stallone sexually assaulted them. It's not even just the one teen girl (now adult) from the Las Vegas hotel story from 1986; there are others.
I believe, based on all such reports I've linked to in this post and in previous posts, that the guy is a deviant, a serial sexual predator.
One of Stallone's exes, Janice Dickinson, said when she became pregnant while dating Stallone, and he assumed he was the father of the baby, that he offered her a million dollars to abort the baby (also mentioned on this page).
That a man was supposedly willing to pay his girlfriend off to run out and abort a baby he believed they conceived together, because he could not be bothered to help raise the baby and take personal responsibility for his actions, speaks to his selfishness and lack of character.
I wouldn't put it past this sort of guy, to yes, also make passes at, or sexually proposition under-age girls.
I would like to be wrong about all this, because I did enjoy Stallone's ''Rocky'' character in the boxing movies '' but I do think all these horrid accusations are true.
Relevant Links, other sites:
Sylvester Stallone has a history of denying women's claims of sexual abuse
UPDATE: Man who first wrote about Sylvester Stallone assault speaks out
Did Sylvester Stallone Molest His Half Sister?
Sylvester Stallone 'paid millions of dollars to half-sister who claimed he assaulted her for years at the height of his fame'
More on this blog:
Thoughts on Sylvester Stallone's Career and other Stallone Related Commentary (Part 4 '' Sexual Abuse Allegations)
The 1976 Rocky Movie in Light of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Sylvester Stallone
The utter failure of male apologies in 2017 - Vox
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:03
Vox's home for compelling, provocative narrative essays.
It is the year of our lord 2017 and everyone is sorry. I'm sorry we're here, you're sorry you have to read this, and the parade of high-profile sexual offenders are the sorriest of all.
Louis C.K. is sorry he's so famous and so admired that whipping out his dick caused women to be upset (even though he totally asked first, you guys). Harvey Weinstein is sorry that he grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Al Franken? He's just sorry he let everybody down. (Minus the 36 SNL alums who swear he treated them with nothing but ''respect and regard.'' Which I guess will not be the title of his inevitable tell-all.) But not as sorry as Kevin Spacey, who's sorry that Anthony Rapp has terrible memories of him.
''I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,'' Spacey wrote. Because yes: It would have been pretty bad had he come onto an underage young man in this hypothetical situation that Spacey would like us to believe never happened.
So congrats! Everyone is sorry! (You get a sorry, and you get a sorry, and you get a sorry!) Now Matt Lauer is the latest carrier of the sorry torch.
''To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry,'' he said in a statement following his firing from NBC for sexual misconduct. ''As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.''
And had he just left it, we at least would've been an apology on par with Jack Berger's in Sex and the City when Berger dumps Carrie Bradshaw via Post-It: ''I'm sorry, I can't, don't hate me.'' But alas, Lauer continued '-- they all have to continue '-- one-upping his predecessors with a cornucopia of feelings, sentiment, and '... nothing concrete. Plus, a denial.
''Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth to these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed,'' he continued. ''I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish deeply.''
So he is sorry that he's ashamed. And sorrier still that he has to share that shame. (This was his shame, goddamn it, and how dare he be made to divvy it up.) But even worse, amid his sorries and regrets and appreciation to those rallying around him, he is sorry that we've been given information that isn't necessarily true. ''I'm sorry,'' I can imagine him saying, ''that some of you don't know the whole story.''
And I get it, man, I do. I get it as much as I get the apology of George H.W. Bush, who blamed his tendency to grab women by their derrieres on his wheelchair and on our inability to recognize comedic timing. ''At age 93,'' a statement from Bush's people read, ''President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly for five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,'' a statement read. ''To try and put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke ('Do you know who my favorite magician is? David Cop-a-Feel!') '-- and on occasion, he patted women's rears in which he intended to be a good-natured manner.''
''To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.''
The former president is sorry that you humorless women weren't into his bit '-- ''David Cop-a-Feel'' being indisputable comedy gold '-- and he is sorrier still that they couldn't distinguish between a good-natured tap on the ''rear'' and the kind that causes women's stomachs to drop in shock and revulsion. And while I personally am sorry the word ''rear'' was used in a professional context '-- and sorrier still to be reminded through that ''joke'' that David Copperfield has had his own allegations against him '-- I am still less sorry than President Bush, who regrets that we don't know that wheelchairs exist on a plane where you have no choice but to be handsy.
But with so many allegations floating around, it's important that we press pause to acknowledge that while someone may have done something bad, the accused might not have known it was ''bad.'' Maybe, when the door locked at the press of a button in a certain Today show host's office, it would've helped if a woman hadn't internally screamed or sat frozen in fear and learned to laugh it off because it's just flirting, it's just a joke, and I thought we were all just having a great time. Because, Jesus, lighten up! These men are sorry.
And they have so much to be sorry for. They're sorry they got caught, sorry they weren't smarter and sneakier, sorry they have to take time out of their day to say they're sorry. They're sorry they're being painted as someone they tell us they aren't (despite being exactly that thing).
''I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me,'' Gretchen Weiners infamously says in Mean Girls. ''But I can't help it that I'm popular.''
At least Gretchen was being genuine.
Because the thing about the year's apology marathon is that they all lack the one thing that makes sorry stick: remorse. By hiding behind excuses, behind success, behind technicalities, or behind the names of SNL alums who swear Al Franken is good enough, smart enough, and goddamn it, people like him, they make it very clear what they are sorry for: being unlucky enough to be dragged publicly in the wake of their bad behavior.
Real remorse looks like quiet, simple defeat. It is the sound of the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack with your head down shamefully walking off into the night. It is the complete and total acceptance of one's own shittiness, and the acknowledgement of being The Worst. It is taking accountability and retiring your post to somebody better, somebody more worthy.
So let's save time on the next one. Let's prematurely accept the apologies for being so famous, so rich, so slim-seeming in a suit. Let's prepare ourselves for how sorry somebody is for their affinity for explicitly describing their sexual fantasies to a co-worker, or how their khaki zippers keep opening without being prompted, or how well-endowed they are. (So, honestly, it's actually your fault for being offended at what you saw in the first place.) Over the next few days and weeks and months and years, we are going to be hearing the word ''sorry'' a lot. I'm just sorry no one actually is.
Anne T. Donahue is a writer and person from Ontario, Canada. She's written for Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy, and her first book, Nobody Cares, comes out in September 2018. You can find her on Twitter at@annetdonahue.
First Person is Vox's home for compelling, provocative narrative essays. Do you have a story to share? Read our submission guidelines, and pitch us at firstperson@vox.com.
Sweden to crack down on child marriages - The Local
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:55
Government investigator Mari Heidenborg detailing the proposal. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
A report commissioned by the Swedish government proposes ways to make it more difficult for child marriages from abroad to be recognized in Sweden, but critics say stopping short of a full ban is not enough.The legal marriageable age in the Nordic nation is 18, but at present the country recognizes child marriages if they occurred abroad and neither party has links to Sweden. The new proposal would mean Sweden does not recognize the marriages if one of the parties is under 18 at the point of arrival in the Scandinavian country.
If the person has turned 18 by the time they come to Sweden however, the recognition of the marriage would not be affected. Government investigator Mari Heidenborg argued that as several EU countries allow marriage at the age of 16, a general ban is not possible:
"That would risk a conflict with the European conventions on the right to life and private life''.
The investigator also said that a current exemption rule should remain in place. That rule means that marriages of EU citizens in countries where it is legal to do so at the age of 16 are recognized in Sweden. Removing the exemption could create a conflict with EU freedom of movement rules.
READ ALSO: 'EU must help end medieval child marriages'
Charity GAPF is disappointed with the proposal and thinks it should go further.
"Sweden has to draw a line and say that child marriage is banned entirely. The proposal feels like one step forward and seven steps back," founder Sara Mohammad said.
"Sweden should focus on its own country and its own laws, and then if there are failings at an EU level, Sweden should drive the issue forward there and not back-off. It should stand up for children's rights."
Unicef was more positive however.
"If there's a conflict between the UN Child Convention and EU regulation, our view is that the Child Convention should always take precedence. But in general the proposal is a step in the right direction and in line with the Child Convention," Unicef's head legal expert in Sweden Christina Heilborn said.
According to the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket), there were 132 married children living in Sweden as of 2016.
The Swedish government said it welcomed the proposal, which could enter into force by January 2019.
Fortune 500: Companies with Female CEOs | Fortune
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 02:35
Female CEOs in the Fortune 500 aren't quite the norm yet, but they have been making strides.
As of 2017, there are 32 female CEOs on the list, meaning that 6.4% of the U.S.'s biggest companies (by revenue) are run by women. This is the highest proportion of female CEOs in the 63-year history of the Fortune 500.
The women run a diverse range of companies'--from consumer goods behemoths like PepsiCo to defense contractors like Lockheed Martin'--but they are, predominantly, white. At the moment, just two names on the list are women of color: Geisha Williams of PG&E Corporation (pcg) and Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo (pep). None are African American.
1. Mary BarraMary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors
Photograph by Jeff Kowalsky'--Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: General Motors
Fortune 500 Rank: 8
2. Ginni RomettyGinni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM speaks during a Fortune summit.
Photograph by Mark Wilson'--Getty Images
Company: IBM
Fortune 500 Rank: 32
3. Indra NooyiIndra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, speaks during the New York Times DealBook conference in 2016.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: PepsiCo
Fortune 500 Rank: 44
4. Marillyn HewsonMarillyn Hewson, Chairman, President, and CEO of Lockheed Martin
Photograph by Danuta Otfinowski '-- Fortune Most Powerful Women
Company: Lockheed Martin
Fortune 500 Rank: 56
5. Meg WhitmanMeg Whitman, CEO of HPE
Andrew Burton Getty Images
Company: Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Fortune 500 Rank: 59
*Not on 2016 list*
6. Safra CatzSafra Catz of Oracle
Photograph by Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: Oracle
Fortune 500 Rank: 81
7. Phebe NovakovicPhebe Novakovic, Chairman and CEO of General Dynamics, speaks during a meeting of the Economic Club of Washington in 2016.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images
Company: General Dynamics
Fortune 500 Rank: 90
8. Irene RosenfeldIrene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of MondelÄ'z International, at a Fortune MPW summit
Photograph by Danuta Otfinowski '-- Fortune Most Powerful Women
Company: Mondelez International
Fortune 500 Rank: 109
9. Tricia GriffithCourtesy of Progressive
Company: Progressive
Fortune 500 Rank: 120
*Not on 2016 list*
10. Lynn GoodLynn Good, President, CEO, Vice Chair of the Board, Duke Energy, at a Fortune MPW summit.
Photograph by Stuart Isett '-- Fortune Most Powerful Women
Company: Duke Energy
Fortune 500 Rank: 121
11. Shira GoodmanCourtesy of Staples
Company: Staples
Fortune 500 Rank: 140
*Not on 2016 list*
12. Geisha WilliamsGeisha Williams, President of Electric Operations at [f500link]PG&E[/f500link], speaks during a panel discussion at the National Clean Energy Summit in 2015.
Isaac Brekken'-- Getty Images for National Clean
Company: PG&E Corp.
Fortune 500 Rank: 157
*Not on 2016 list*
13. Margaret KeaneCourtesy of Synchrony Financial
Company: Synchrony Financial
Fortune 500 Rank: 185
*Not on 2016 list*
14. Deanna MulliganGuardian Insurance CEO Deanna Mulligan, center, and NYC first lady Chirlane McCray during a press conference.
Pacific Press LightRocket via Getty Images
Company: Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Fortune 500 Rank: 218
15. Barbara RentlerCompany: Ross Stores
Fortune 500 Rank: 219
16. Debra CrewKris Lou Photography
Company: Reynolds American
Fortune 500 Rank: 223
*Not on 2016 list*
17. Anna ManningCompany: Reinsurance Group of America
Fortune 500 Rank: 246
*Not on 2016 list*
18. Vicki HollubVicki Hollub, president and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum, in 2017.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: Occidental Petroleum
Fortune 500 Rank: 278
19. Debra ReedEric Myer
Company: Sempra Energy
Fortune 500 Rank: 280
20. Kathryn MarinelloCompany: Hertz Global Holdings
Fortune 500 Rank: 296
*Not on 2016 list*
21. Kim LubelKimberly Lubel
Photo courtesy of Baylor University Marketing and Communications
Company: CST Brands
Fortune 500 Rank: 306
22. Mary LaschingerMary Laschinger, chief executive officer of Veritiv, during a Bloomberg Television interview in 2016
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: Veritiv
Fortune 500 Rank: 331
23. Denise MorrisonDenise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company
Lucy Nicholson REUTERS
Company: Campbell Soup
Fortune 500: 339
24. Michele BuckCourtesy of The Hershey Company & Roel Smart'--Getty Images
Company: Hershey
Fortune 500 Rank: 369
*Not on 2016 list*
25. Patricia PoppeCourtesy of CMS Energy
Company: CMS Energy
Fortune 500 Rank: 419
*Not on 2016 list*
26. Kathy MazzarellaCompany: Graybar Electric
Fortune 500 Rank: 420
27. Sheri McCoySherilyn McCoy, chief executive officer of Avon Products, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in 2015.
Michael Nagle'--Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: Avon Products
Fortune 500 Rank: 444
28. Ilene GordonIlene Gordon, Chairman, President, and CEO of Ingredion, participates in a panel discussion at the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco.
Elijah Nouvelage'--REUTERS
Company: Ingredion
Fortune 500 Rank: 456
29. Margo GeorgiadisCourtesy of Mattel
Company: Mattel
Fortune 500 Rank: 474
*Not on 2016 list*
30. Beth MooneyBeth Mooney, chief executive officer of KeyCorp
Scott Eells'--Bloomberg via Getty Images
Company: KeyCorp
Fortune 500 Rank: 479
*Not on 2016 list*
31. Jacqueline HinmanJacqueline Hinman, CEO of CH2M speaks at the Fortune Global Forum in 2015
Stuart Isett for Fortune Global Forum
Company: CH2M Hill
Fortune 500 Rank: 494
32. Marissa MayerMarissa Mayer during an Advertising Week event in 2016.
J. Countess 2016
Company: Yahoo
Fortune 500 Rank: 498
*Not on 2016 list*
SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
Alt-America: the time for talking about white terrorism is now | World news | The Guardian
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:02
I n the days before he walked into Charleston's Mother Emanuel church with a gun and murdered nine people, Dylann Roof put together a manifesto. It was a bizarre, rambling tract loaded with racial and political animus, much of it cribbed from white-supremacist groups with ties to South Carolina's Republican establishment. In the final section, Roof wrote:
I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
Roof 's manifesto was reminiscent of a similar document penned in 2008 by a conservative Tennessee man named Jim David Adkisson. Adkisson was enraged by the looming nomination of a black man as the Democratic candidate for the presidency.
''I'm protesting the DNC running such a radical leftist candidate,'' Adkisson wrote. ''Osama Hussein Obama, yo mama. No experience, no brains, a joke. Dangerous to America, he looks like Curious George!'' He was appalled by the race-mixing mores of modern times as exemplified by Obama's mother: ''How is a white woman having a niger [sic] baby progress?'' he asked.
In July 2008, Adkisson walked into a Unitarian Universalist church in downtown Knoxville during a performance of a children's musical, armed with a 12-gauge shotgun. He opened fire, killing two people and wounding seven more.
T he image most Americans have when they think of terrorism is an act committed by someone wearing a turban. That is mostly a result of the al-Qaida attacks of September 11, 2001, and their lingering aftermath, especially a declared 'war on terror' that focused on battling radical Islamists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
In much of the public imagination, Adkisson's and Roof's rampages were isolated incidents. In reality, however, they were key manifestations of a larger, more disturbing phenomenon, one which has been ignored or even actively discounted by elected officials and the mainstream media '' rightwing domestic terrorism.
In the seven and a half years between those two attacks, domestic terrorism in America '' acts that are plotted and executed on American soil, directed at US citizens, by actors based here '' spiked dramatically. But hardly anyone noticed.
During that time span, there were 201 total cases of domestic terrorism in the United States '' almost three times the rate of the preceding eight years. The large majority of these crimes were committed by rightwing extremists '' some 115 in all, compared to 63 cases of Islamist-inspired domestic terror, and 19 cases of leftwing-extremist terrorism.
Rightwing extremist terrorism was more often deadly than Islamist extremism: nearly a third of incidents involved fatalities, for a total of seventy-nine deaths, whereas just 8% of Islamist incidents caused fatalities. However, the total number of deaths resulting from Islamist incidents was higher '' 90 '' due largely to three mass shootings in which nearly all the casualties occurred: in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, and in 2015 in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida, in 2016. Incidents related to leftwing ideologies, including ecoterrorism and animal rights actions, were comparatively rare: 19 incidents resulted in five deaths.
For at least a generation, rightwing homegrown extremists have been far and away the largest source of terrorism in the United States. The most damaging domestic terrorist attack ever committed on American soil was the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people and injured another 680. Initially, media speculation focused on Islamic radical terrorists as the possible source of the terrorist attack, but the perpetrators, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, turned out to be white rightwing extremists.
Rescue workers stand in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh was convicted of setting off the bomb that killed 168 people. Photograph: David Longstreath/APBefore Obama's election in 2008 '' and partly in anticipation of that event '' the rate of rightwing domestic terrorist incidents began to rise dramatically, seemingly triggered by Jim David Adkisson's crime. And it remained at that same high level for most of the Obama presidency.
In 2011, the Senate did hold hearings on the subject of right-wing extremist violence in the wake of neo-Nazi Wade Michael Page's murderous rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in which six worshippers died. At that hearing senators heard from Daryl Johnson, a veteran domestic-terrorism analyst. Johnson was unequivocal:
The threat of domestic terrorism motivated by extremist ideologies is often dismissed and overlooked in the national media and within the US government. Yet we are currently seeing an upsurge in domestic non-Islamic extremist activity, specifically from violent rightwing extremists. While violent leftwing attacks were more prevalent in the 1970s, today the bulk of violent domestic activity emanates from the right wing.
Despite this grave reality, officialdom and the media have continued to focus only on terrorism threats plotted by Islamist radicals. Rightwing pundits in particular have viciously attacked and silenced anyone who tries to bring up rightwing violence in the framework of terrorism. They have grown touchy about their own ideological and rhetorical proximity to the extremism that is fueling the violence.
I n American public life today there is an alternative dimension, a mental space beyond fact or logic, where the rules of evidence are replaced by paranoia. It is a space that has been opened up and fortified in no small part by rightwing media, and that has proven fertile ground for domestic terrorism.
Welcome to Alt-America.
Alt-America is an alternative universe that has a powerful resemblance to our own, except that it's a completely different America, the nation its residents have concocted and reconfigured in their imaginations. In this other America, suppositions take the place of facts, and conspiracy theories, often pedalled by media outlets from Infowars to Fox News, become concrete realities. Its citizens live alongside us in our universe, but their perception of that universe places them in a different world altogether, one scarcely recognizable to those outside it.
Among other pathologies, many Alt-Americans freely fantasize, in print and on YouTube, about their desire to execute liberals, terrorists, ''race mixers,'' and other traitors. I call this desire eliminationism '' a politics, and its accompanying rhetoric, whose goal is to excise whole segments of the population in the name of making it ''healthy.''
The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee stands behind a crowd of hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' in Charlottesville. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThis mindset is a common feature of authoritarianism. The Holocaust was a particularly horrifying case of eliminationist genocide perpetrated by an authoritarian regime. Eliminationist rhetoric lays the groundwork by dehumanizing, using the kind of talk that reduces human beings to vermin and diseases, such as when you hear immigrants described as ''rats in a granary,'' or Muslims as ''a cancer'' '' beings fit primarily for elimination. The rhetoric gives tacit or explicit permission for the final essence, violent acts, beginning with hate crimes and escalating into mass roundups and genocide.
One of Alt-America's most powerful and abiding effects is to displace people from a sense of concrete reality by putting them in an epistemological bubble that insulates them from facts, logic, and reason. From within this kind of bubble, objectifying other people, rendering those outside the bubble as the Other, and then demonizing them, is almost inevitable. Once other people are conceptualized this way, inflicting violence not only becomes simple but in fact may even appear to be necessary. Certainly, that is how they rationalize it.
This is the point at which Alt-America represents a real danger to American democratic institutions, threatening to displace them with a crude and frightening authoritarianism, enforced by state-sanctioned vigilantism.
This is how the repression of public discussion about the threat posed by rightwing domestic extremists works.
On April 4, 2009, Margaret Poplawski awoke sometime around 7am, and discovered that one of the two pit-bull puppies belonging to her son, Richard, had left a puddle on the floor. She woke him up and yelled at him to clean up the mess. A violent verbal shouting match erupted, and eventually Margaret called the cops to have Poplawski thrown out of the house.
When officers arrived, Margaret invited them in. She didn't realize that her son was standing directly behind her holding an AK-47 and wearing a bulletproof vest. He opened fire on the cops at point-blank range, killing them both. When a third cop arrived on the scene, Poplawski killed him, too.
Poplawski, it soon emerged, was a classic far-right conspiracist. He left an easily followed trail of postings on the internet that gave the public a good deal of insight into his motives for gunning down three police officers. Many of these were on white- nationalist websites such as Don Black's Stormfront, where Poplawski had an account to which he regularly posted. Poplawski was also a fan of conspiracy-mongers Alex Jones and Glenn Beck.
Poplawski believed that the federal government, the media, and the banking system were all largely or completely controlled by Jews. He thought African Americans were ''vile'' and non-white races inferior to whites. He also believed that a conspiracy led by ''evil Zionists'' and ''greedy traitorous goyim'' was ''ramping up'' a police state in the United States for malign purposes.
He had posted a link to Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring Glenn Beck talking with Congressman Ron Paul about concentration camps set up by Fema. (These nonexistent camps are a staple of rightwing conspiracies.) Many of his posts in the weeks leading up to the April 4 shootout indicated an increasing level of paranoia about a coming economic and political collapse under President Obama.
Poplawski appeared to have bought into SHTF/Teotwawki (Shit Hits The Fan/The End Of The World As We Know It) conspiracy theories hook, line, and sinker. The neo-Nazi Stormfront forums and the antigovernment Infowars site fueled his racist, antisemitic, and conspiratorial mindset.
But an astonishing thing happened to the Poplawski case when it was picked up and reported on by the mainstream media: most of the information relating to his white-supremacist background and motives vanished.
Instead, the leads of the news stories around the country focused on Poplawski's dog peeing on his mother's carpet as the incident that sparked the killings.
The New York Times at first completely ignored the white-supremacy aspect of the story, running an Associated Press story that only briefly alluded to Poplawski's paranoid fears and instead focused on the role of the peeing dog. The MSNBC headline was ''Fight over Urinating Dog Got Police to Ambush''; CNN's was ''Urinating Dog Triggered Argument Resulting in 3 Officers' Deaths.'' Only later, when a Times reporter filed a story, did any discussion of the killer's background appear.
Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus. Photograph: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesUnlike the mainstream media, law-enforcement analysts who studied domestic terrorism were not blind to the reality of what was happening, for Poplawski's was not an isolated case.
On April 7, 2009, moved to action in part by the Pittsburgh incident, the federal Department of Homeland Security released an intelligence assessment titled ''Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.'' But this report too would be effectively suppressed by the rightwing media.
The DHS assessment had first been commissioned in 2008 by Bush administration officials and had just been completed when the Poplawski shootings occurred. Alarmed, DHS officials opted to hurriedly release it as a bulletin to ''federal, state, local, and tribal counterterrorism and law enforcement officials,'' citing the Poplawski incident as ''a recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism.''
The DHS memo, like an earlier analysis by a Missouri law enforcement team, warned that conditions were ripe for a resurgence in rightwing extremism:
Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States. Prominent antigovernment conspiracy theorists have incorporated aspects of an impending economic collapse to intensify fear and paranoia among like-minded individuals and to attract recruits during times of economic uncertainty. Conspiracy theories involving declarations of martial law, impending civil strife or racial conflict, suspension of the US Constitution, and the creation of citizen detention camps often incorporate aspects of a failed economy. Antigovernment conspiracy theories and ''end times'' prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons.
These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.
The report's unambiguous language may have reminded mainstream conservatives just how close to the radical fringe they had drifted '' and that evidently freaked them out. Their immediate response was not merely to deny any such proximity, but to express outrage that anyone would point it out.
A week later, a story in the right-wing Washington Times described certain aspects of the bulletin, namely, that it defined ''rightwing extremism in the United States'' as including not just racist or hate groups, but also ''groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority '... It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.''
The howls of wounded indignation from the mainstream right were immediate. Michelle Malkin, one of the most widely read rightwing bloggers, promptly ran a post headlined ''The Obama DHS Hit Job on Conservatives Is Real'' in which she called it a ''piece-of- crap report'' that ''is a sweeping indictment of conservatives.''
Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse
However, the report's authors couldn't have been more clear as to what it was about: it carefully delineated that the subject of its report was ''rightwing extremists,'' ''domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups,'' ''terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks,'' ''white supremacists,'' and similar, very real threats described in similar language. The people it described were so extreme in their views that they had the potential for violence.
The report said nothing about conservatives; the word never appeared in its text. Nonetheless, over the next few weeks, cable-news pundits and their guests repeated the narrative that the report had ''smeared conservatives'' as well as ''our military veterans.''
The claim that veterans were implicated in the extremism arose from a portion of the bulletin warning that returning veterans who have been radicalized, or were already right-wing extremists, pose a particular threat.
The DHS report echoed an assessment made by the FBI a year before. In a July 2008 report titled ''White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11,'' the FBI concluded that not only had neo-Nazis and other white supremacists successfully joined the ranks of American armed forces serving in Iraq'--though it counted only about 200 of them'--but that the hate groups from which they operated were also actively seeking to recruit military personnel already serving.
The DHS bulletin was not without analytical and methodological issues, but mainstream conservatives ignored these relatively minor flaws and instead created a loud, fake controversy over issues drawn from an intentional misreading and distortion of the bulletin. Over the next few weeks a national chorus of conservative pundits erupted, not just at Fox News but also on CNN, MSNBC, and elsewhere, asking why Homeland Security wanted to demonize veterans and conservatives.
On Fox News, Bill O'Reilly speculated:
This is the bottom line on this: The federal government has changed from a conservative-oriented federal government under the Bush administration to a liberal-oriented federal government under Obama '...
So, of course, these people, instead of saying, you know, we might have some Muslim problems, maybe there's a little cell somewhere talking to Pakistan and getting orders. No, it's the Glenn Beck guys, but we don't really have any evidence. But this is what's on their mind because that's the way they think.
Soon there was a clamor for the head of Janet Napolitano, the DHS director, from Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh, and a number of other prominent conservatives. Veterans' groups '' particularly the American Legion '' jumped aboard the outrage bandwagon and began demanding that Napolitano apologize.
She eventually met with the commander of the American Legion and offered her apologies, at least for the wording of the section on veterans, but this apology never fully satisfied the rightwing pundits, who continued for years afterward to grouse that the DHS was ''profiling conservatives as rightwing extremists.''
Fox hosts speculated that the DHS bulletin had really been intended to intimidate the Tea Party protesters, some of whom might fit the description of right-wing extremists in the bulletin. Many others were thinking along similar lines. The day before the protests, Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience, ''This speech of Obama's and the DHS report yesterday are timed for one reason, and that's the Tea Parties tomorrow ... The DHS report ... there is no proof here, no proof offered, no evidence offered, that anything they project is true.''
Amid all this wild speculation, the DHS in short order proved prescient about the imminent likelihood of rightwing violence. On May 31, 2009, a radical ''sovereign citizen'' murdered an abortion provider, Dr George Tiller, in Topeka, Kansas, as he attended church services. Then, on June 11, an elderly white-supremacist, James Von Brunn, walked into the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and began shooting, killing a security guard before being shot himself.
There were many more such incidents to come.
In January 2016, an armed anti-government militia group occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Headquarters in protest the jailing of two ranchers for arson. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesA s Alt-America has grown, especially online, so has the violence that inevitably accompanies it: acts of domestic terrorism, hate crimes, and threats of ''revolution'' and ''civil war,'' backed by a wave of citizen militias. All of them gained impetus during the Obama years and there was a significant wave of such incidents in 2015 and 2016, very likely fueled by the Trump campaign.
Eliminationist rhetoric is common to Alt-America, as the public frequently saw in the Trump campaign. It was, after all, a campaign initially predicated on a racially charged conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States (a requirement for any president). The campaign's opening salvo, against Mexican immigrants, was openly eliminationist in calling for their mass deportation, and soon included similar demands for Muslims and the LGBT community. Trump's constant campaign message was unmistakable as to just how he intended to ''make America great again'': get rid of these people, deport them, prevent them from ever entering the country in the first place, and lock up or silence the rest of them.
Indeed, the Trump campaign itself had an effect on the ground similar to that of eliminationist rhetoric generally: it seemingly gave permission, in its stubborn refusal to bow to ''political correctness,'' for people to act and speak in an openly bigoted and spiteful fashion. It was as though the campaign lifted the lid off the national id, and the violent, vicious tendencies that had been held in check for years came crawling right out. The murder, in Charlottesville, of the anti-racism protester Heather Heyer by a white supremacist was only the most visible example.
Domestic terrorism attacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and San Bernardino, California, in the fall of 2015 and the massacre of forty-nine people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the following summer, were all committed by nonwhites ostensibly motivated by Islamist extremism. In their wake various experts on terrorism and media pundits and government officials began raising concerns about the role of the internet in radicalizing Muslims and fueling such violence.
But the massive media and public attention to these incidents also underscored how disproportionate this response was compared to the response to acts of terrorism committed by those influenced by white supremacism or other kinds of far-right extremism.
Both media accounts and law enforcement officials were reluctant to identify Dylann Roof 's rampage as domestic terrorism, despite the fact that it easily fit the FBI definition of terrorism: politically motivated acts of violence intended to influence policy and/or terrorize the public.
When an anti-abortion extremist shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in November 2015, and killed three people, and when a militia gang was arrested for plotting to bomb a Kansas Muslim community in October 2016, not only were the crimes not identified as domestic terrorism, but the cases received relatively little media and public attention. All of these incidents, like so many of the ones that came before them, had one thing in common: their perpetrators had been radicalized online. Dylann Roof spent most of his days reading alt-right websites.
It was little noted, despite plenty of evidence, that the same phenomenon believed to be fueling terrorist acts by Muslim radicals was occurring simultaneously on a large scale in a complete separate region of the internet: among radical white male nationalists of the alt-right. The people being radicalized were not brown-skinned foreigners who subscribed to a different religion, but young white men and women in white America's neighborhoods and churches and colleges, white America's sons and daughters.
Beyonce presents Kaepernick with SI's Muhammad Ali Award
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:36
NEW YORK (AP) '-- Beyonce presented Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday night, and Kaepernick promised that "with or without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people."
Beyonce was brought out as a surprise presenter by comedian Trevor Noah. She said she was "proud and humbled" to present the award.
"Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion," Beyonce said. "Only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. Especially people of color."
Last year's Ali Award winner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, called Kaepernick a "worthy recipient" during a video tribute.
"He fully embraced the risk to his career in order to remind Americans of the systemic racism that was denying African Americans their opportunities to equal education, jobs, health and even their lives," Abdul-Jabbar said.
Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked a wave of protests by NFL players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump.
Kaepernick parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in March and hasn't been signed by another team. He filed a grievance against the NFL in October alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests.
He spoke Tuesday about continuing Ali's legacy for fighting social injustice, saying the boxing great "mentored me without ever meeting me."
"The footprints he leaves are large," Kaepernick said, "and his life is and has been a multi-textured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. I can only hope that I'm taking steps toward walking on the footsteps that he has left behind for the world to follow."
Kaepernick skipped the red carpet prior to the show and was not available for questions. The awards show will be broadcast Friday night on NBC Sports Network.
Kaepernick also recently was honored by the ACLU of Southern California with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award and was named GQ magazine's "Citizen of the Year" for his activism, which included pledging $1 million to "organizations working in oppressed communities."
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Roosh V's Journey From Pickup Artist to Right-Wing Provocateur
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:38
Roosh V used to go out most nights looking to seduce a woman, but today he has a much easier task: He's just looking to piss one off.
It's opening day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland in July, and the most hated ''pickup artist'' in the world has infiltrated a group of protesters outside the arena. He's wearing a Hillary Clinton hat (he supports Donald Trump), and in a video of the incident he streamed on Periscope, he and the demonstrators clash. ''This girl just came up to me and tried to touch me without my consent,'' he says into his smartphone camera, feigning the politically correct outrage he mocks. ''She said, 'Go back to the Middle East.' She is Islamophobic!''
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Roosh, whose father is from Iran, then turns his camera to the woman, who responds, ''You're a piece of shit. I didn't touch you!'' Then she calls him a rapist. A crowd forms. Another woman edges close, holding a microphone, and says she's with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ''Who are you?'' she asks Roosh. Before he can answer, the crowd starts chanting, ''Rapist! Rapist!'' and the first woman says, ''You should kill yourself.''
Roosh is pleased. He not only got to spar with some of the ''social justice warriors'' he despises but also got material to share with his many followers. And don't forget all the free publicity, which he needs as he attempts to make his transition from pickup artist (someone who relentlessly practices the ''art'' of seduction) to a hero of the ''alternative right'' movement.
Raw MeetLike the bombastic presidential candidate inside the convention hall that day, Roosh thinks America is too PC. That's largely the subject of his new book, Free Speech Isn't Free, and since embarking on a lecture tour in summer 2015 (''The State of Man''), he has evolved from ''game'' guru to conservative provocateur, joining figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, the flamboyant Breitbart editor whom Twitter recently banned for inciting harassment. Yiannopoulos is a leader of the alt-right'--a meme-obsessed nationalist subculture that grew out of online forums, gained a following among Trump supporters and mirrors the right-wing movements spreading overseas. Its members include white supremacists, anti-Semites and internet trolls.
Though Roosh says he is not part of the movement'--they just have common enemies'--his alliance with its leaders was evident at the RNC, where he went to a party Yiannopoulos threw. Also there: Geert Wilders, the controversial Dutch politician on trial for anti-immigrant hate speech. A journalist who attended described the event as a ''hell full of manic trolls and smug neo-fascists from every slimy corner of the internet.''
Followers of Roosh, whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, know him as a blogger who has been running websites devoted to ''game'''--the tricks and techniques to use to seduce women'--since around 2001. His website Return of Kings ''aims to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed.'' There are more than a million posts on his forum, and he has self-published 18 books.
He's perhaps best known'--and most hated'--for his proposed International Tribal Meetup Day in February. Attendees (no women or gay men allowed) were to congregate at set locations, identify one another through a code phrase and then go to bars or caf(C)s. The 165 gatherings in 43 countries would offer ''the opportunity to meet other like-minded men,'' he wrote.
Citing articles about rape that Roosh had written, activists and news outlets (including New York magazine, the Daily Mail, the Toronto Sun, Cosmopolitan and Mashable) claimed the events had a more nefarious purpose. A typical headline, from local news website DNAinfo: ''Pro-Rape 'Men's Rights' Group Plans Saturday Rally in Chicago.'' Police reportedly warned women to avoid the areas near the meetups.
Global outrage followed. Politicians in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia spoke out against Roosh, activists scrambled to sign petitions against him, and a British lawmaker called him ''an embarrassment to all men.''
Those labeling Roosh a ''rape advocate'' pointed to his 2015 blog post ''How to Stop Rape.'' The solution, he wrote, was to legalize it on private property so that women would do more to protect themselves. He later called the piece ''a satirical thought experiment,'' but in a separate article he wrote, '''No' when you try to take off her panties means...'Don't give up now!''' In another he complained that society unfairly gives women all the power to determine if sex is consensual.
Roosh organized meetups for his followers in 43 countries. The media incorrectly said the events were going to be ''pro-rape rallies,'' sparking protests. Louise Wateridge/Pacific Press/LightRocket/AP
The Anti-Defamation League has accused him of anti-Semitism, and the feminist group Fem­nistaf(C)lag Iceland has called one of his books a ''rape guide.'' The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and extremists, included his writing in a report on websites that are ''thick with misogynistic attacks.''
''He is an important part of a world which is incredibly misogynistic, which is all about the hatred of women,'' says Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. ''If he were just some sort of jerk who was into seducing women with various lies, that would be of no interest to us.''
Roosh insists his meetups were not going to be pro-rape rallies. ''It was just for men to meet up, as in a regular happy hour,'' he tells Newsweek in his first interview since the controversy. At first, he laughed off the ''pro-rape'' accusations, but when the cyberhacking collective Anonymous published his and his family's personal information online, he became worried for the safety of his meetup attendees and decided to cancel the events. ''It's all a great misunderstanding,'' he says.
As for that ''How to Stop Rape'' so-called thought experiment? ''Maybe I crossed a line. I dunno.''
'The Global Conspiracy'When I meet Roosh at a Starbucks in Washington, D.C., he's early. That's surprising, since he tells his readers to show up five to 10 minutes late to dates. (''She'll have anxious feelings focusing on your arrival instead of the doubts she had about coming to see you.'') Less surprising is that he records the interview. ''Your editor, is he part of the global conspiracy?'' Roosh asks. [Editor's note: Yes.] ''No? But let me ask you this: Who hired him? [And] who hired him?'' Roosh is tall and has a thick, bushy beard with gray patches. He's wearing a red ''Make America great again'' hat and a T-shirt, jeans and black sneakers. He grew up around Washington and says he is back visiting his parents; he's been bouncing between countries for the past decade and lately sticks to Russia, Poland and Ukraine.
Roosh's focus has changed, and Free Speech Isn't Free shows it. His previous books explained how to ''bang'' women, but his newest one turns to a topic likely familiar to Trump's followers: how people from minority groups can say whatever they want while straight men cannot. ''There are active attempts to silence men, to marginalize them, and at the same time to elevate all these far-left agendas and viewpoints,'' he tells me.
That shift in thinking is occurring across the ''manosphere,'' the informal network of websites, blogs and online forums that deal with masculinity, dating and men's rights. ''Once you learn how to do well with women, then you start understanding the deeper political and philosophical issues,'' Mike Cernovich, another unofficial leader in the movement and a friend of Roosh's, says in an email. ''Why are gender relationships so toxic, you start to ask, and from there you are down an entirely new rabbit hole.'' Few are exploring those ideas as well as Roosh is, Cernovich adds. ''Roosh is a welcome relief from the banality of pseudo-intellectualism that passes for 'free thought' these days.''
With the election of America's first female president an approaching possibility, it makes sense that Roosh and his followers are becoming more political. ''Misogyny and the world of the manosphere have become very much a part of what we're now calling the alternative right,'' Potok says. ''Over the 15 years or so I've been doing this work, a real misogyny and hatred of women and even advocacy of rape and the beating of women have become more and more a part of the radical right in the United States.''
Roosh insists he's not a men's rights activist, nor is he anti-women. He just believes in ''traditional'' gender roles: ''I think I'm pro-woman in the fact that I want them to live a life that is according to their biological genetics.'' Men should live life according to traditional roles too, he says. ''[He] should be leading a household. I think a woman should be submissive to her husband'--I get attacked because I say that.''
One of those critics is Sara Singh Parker-Toulson, a Canadian activist who started a petition against Roosh in summer 2015 that garnered nearly 50,000 names. She says there is a real danger to the ideas Roosh spreads. ''There are many vulnerable young men on the internet looking for an explanation about why the world is what it is,'' she says, ''and he gives that to them.'' She mentions Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014. He had said that he wanted to punish women for rejecting him, and investigators said he had frequented a manosphere website. In 1989, a 25-year-old Canadian killed 14 women after announcing he was ''fighting feminism.'' In 2011, a Massachusetts man lit himself on fire outside a courthouse after losing a child custody case. ''The federal government declared war on men,'' he wrote before the incident. ''It is time, boys, to give them a taste of war.''
Roosh is suing one of his critics'--an anonymous woman who claims he raped her. S. Jane Gari, an author, published a blog post with the woman's accusation in February. The woman alleged that he followed her home from a nightclub in Iceland and asked if he could use her bathroom (a ''game'' gambit he's written about). The woman said when she let him inside, he ''overpowered her'' and raped her. The woman never made a formal accusation, according to Gari.
''That is the biggest pile of horseshit that I ever read. That did not happen,'' Roosh says. Gari declined to comment ''due to the potential legal situation.''
Roosh has hired bodyguards and sometimes worn disguises in public. ''The only thing I fear in life is a mob,'' he says. ''It just takes one crazy person in that mob who wants to be a hero...to get a knife and stab you.'' Threats are easy to send, thanks to the internet, andhe'sreceivedplenty. ''I hate to say it,'' he says with a smirk, ''but the real way to stop me is to kill me.''
Roosh says he wants to start a business unrelated to his current efforts and leave the ''game'' behind. Roosh V
'Hater Pay'After stopping in a Russian restaurant near the Starbucks (''cute, small, thin,'' he says about our waitress), Roosh leads the way to an area with bars that he knows from his early days of trying to meet women. He also wants to show off his Trump hat in a city where just 6 percent of voters are Republican. The first bar, a dive, doesn't have enough people who might pay attention to him, so he decides to move on. At the next bar, a friend joins him. The friend is also wearing a ''Make America great again'' hat.
After a few beers, we take the friend's Toyota, emblazoned with Trump bumper stickers, to northwest Washington, to yet another bar. A second friend from the ''blog scene'' joins us. After ordering a gin and tonic, Roosh removes a wad of cash from his pocket. There's a $100 bill wrapped in fives and ones. ''Hater pay,'' he jokes, saying all the outrage has boosted the sales of his books. His Twitter following spiked during February's meetups controversy and continues to climb, growing by thousands since the spring, according to the analytics tracker Twitter Counter. He says his latest book sold more copies in its first week than any of his previous books did.
''I'm going to be known, because of [the media], as a pro-rape advocate for the rest of my life, until I die,'' he said during the fracas in February. ''But at the same time,'' he continued, ''they're going to know me.''
But that's not why he's making this push into politics, Roosh insists. He says he wants to move to a small village abroad and open a business, something offline, though he won't say much more. After more than a decade of making a career out of sleeping with as many women as possible, he's settled down with a companion (he won't say ''girlfriend'') and vows he is no longer in the game. ''I'm 37 now,'' he says. ''How much sex do you need?''
War on Weed
Heavy marijuana users showing up at the ER 'scromiting' | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 14:21
Chronic cannabis users are at risk of experiencing a horrifying new condition that is being reported at hospitals across the country.
'Scromiting,' doctors say, is becoming an all-too-familiar site at emergency rooms, with patients 'screaming and vomiting' as they turn up for help.
The condition, called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), is not properly understood but medical experts believe the symptoms appear from individuals using or consuming heavy amounts of marijuana over a long period of time.
Dr Aimee Moulin, an emergency room physician at UC-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, said she has seen a rise in cases since California legalized recreational marijuana last November.
She expects to see a further rise after commercial sales are permitted starting in January.
'Scromiting' is becoming an all-too-familiar site at emergency rooms hospitals across the country
'I've screamed out for death,' Chalfonte LeNee Queen, 48, told NPR after experiencing the terrifying illness.
'I've cried out for my mom, who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not realizing she can't come to me.'
Little research has been conducted on the topic, but one study found that for scromiting to occur, cannabis users would have to consume marijuana three to five times per day to develop CHS.
Doctors note that the condition could stem from the body being over saturated by cannabinoids, affecting the hypothalamus
'In one study the average duration of cannabis use prior to onset of recurrent vomiting was... 3.4 years,' the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) report added.
'The syndrome was first described in 2004 by Allen and colleagues and is characterized by chronic cannabis use, cyclic episodes of nausea and vomiting, and the learned behavior of hot bathing,' doctors wrote.
Medical experts note that the condition could stem from the body being over saturated by cannabinoids - chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors located in the brain.
The build up the cannabinoids, doctors believe, affect the function of the hypothalamus, which regulates digestion and body temperature.
In Colorado, Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency physician at the University of Colorado in Aurora said they are diagnosing more cases however he doesn't believe cases increased after recreational use was legalized in 2012, because chronic users probably already had medical marijuana cards.
According to the NCBI: 'Often mistakenly called Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a rare form of cannabinoid toxicity that develops in chronic smokers.'
'It's characterized by cyclic episodes of debilitating nausea and vomiting. People who suffer from the syndrome often find that hot showers relieve their symptoms, and will compulsively bathe during episodes of nausea and vomiting. Symptoms stop after cessation of cannabis use.'
Medical experts believe the symptoms appear from individuals using or consuming heavy amounts of marijuana over a long period of time
My Transition
From Producer Coagen:
https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/06/apple-releases-macos-high-sierra-10-13-2/
IMO, ya done fucked up. Go back to Mac!
I’m betting you won’t last two months on winblows. :)
Migrants
Germany offers money for migrants who go back home | Fox News
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:08
BERLIN '' Germany wants to support rejected asylum-seekers who voluntarily move back to their home countries with a one-time payment of 3,000 euros ($3,570).
The Interior Ministry says those who qualify can apply by a Feb. 28 deadline and they would get the money once they return home.
Migrants who agree to go back even before their asylum request is rejected have already been offered 1,200 euros per adult and 600 euros per child under a different program for almost a year. They are now eligible to apply for both programs.
But the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday that 8,639 migrants participated in the returnee program between February and October, even though there are about 115,000 rejected asylum-seekers in Germany '--many of whom can't be deported for humanitarian reasons.
Data Breach In Sweden: ''82% Of Gang Rape Convicts Are Foreign'' '' 71 Republic
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:10
Nordfront has received information that foreign born Swedes seem to be behind its current rape problem.
By Emily Lynn | SWEDEN
Swedish news source Friatider has come out to say that a massive amount of data has been released to a far-right nationalist group named ''Nordfront'' along with a sex crime website Gang Rape Sweden. They decided to release the leaked database on Friday.
The data includes information including name, social security number, court, region, date of judgment, the period of imprisonment, and other personal information. Files of almost 170,000 sentences between 2004 and 2015 were published. The following was found:
45% of people sent to prison for crimes were foreign.
82% sent for gangrape were foreign.
70% sentenced to a 9+ year sentence were foreign.
(Source: Peter Imanuelsen)
And while 82% of gang rape convicts are immigrants, accounting for the prison population, in general, the cost of crime by immigrants costs 2 billion euros a year. Swedish journalist Peter Imanuelsen has stated that it is most likely that all of this information is correct.
''I'm very certain it is legit. See the article on Friatider. Since they are being sued for publishing this info, it must mean it is correct.''
Swedish law enforcement is certainly unhappy with this data breach, as it goes against the Personal Data Act. Swedish media is also considering it one of the biggest data breaches to ever happen in Sweden.
Sweden lets in thousand s of immigrants and this is only information from 2004-2015, so this is obviously getting worse in time. The Swedish government is keeping this away from the people to protect refugees, and the data breach is being challenged more than the crimes themselves. This is just another example of how the government tries to cover up their problems from their people even though many can clearly see what is happening.
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Hah-Hah! Linda Sarsour Super Triggered Over SCOTUS Decision on Trump Travel Ban - Gets TORCHED on Twitter
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:28
December 4, 2017 by Cristina Laila Linda 'Cockroach' Sarsour was super triggered after SCOTUS allowed Trump's travel ban to be fully enforced Monday.
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce the travel ban by residents from six radical regimes and failed states.The travel ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. And officials from North Korea and Venezuela.
Sarsour previously railed against the Trump administration for the proposed travel ban. She said white supremacists are reigning in the White House and called for Jihad against Trump.
Sarsour also told her fellow Muslim 'brothers and sisters' not to assimilate. Wonderful.
And she wonders why Trump is working to protect Americans from countries that harbor terrorists.
They hate Americans and want us dead.
Sarsour tweeted, ''Here we go. White supremacist agenda continues.'' with the hashtag #NoMuslimBanEver
Sarsour also tweeted contact info for people traveling to JFK to retain legal counsel:
Very rich coming from a woman who has ties to the terrorist group, Hamas and repeatedly calls for Sharia law to be practiced in the United States.
Trump supporters lit Sarsour up! Hah-Hah!
GP Favorite American BlogsGP Favorite International BlogsGP Favorite MediaDemocracy & Human RightsFavorite Military & Foreign ServiceFavorites From Gateway City & AreaGreat Websites
Karl Lagerfeld againt Angela
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:39
From:
To:
NWO
One Global Democracy
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:14
(Versions of this piece have also been published at The Huffington Post and Medium.)
Escalating tensions between the US and China, while ominous, offer a useful reminder that the artificial division of our world into separate nation-states may no longer serve us, and present a compelling reason to consider a better model.
To briefly review some of the alarming recent news: China has been artificially buildingislands that previously were little more than reefs, placing artillery there, talking about expanding its air-defense zone to cover them, and warning US military planes to leave the area. It's also been building up its navy and reconfiguring its missiles so each one can hold multiple nuclear warheads.
In response, the US has called on China to stop building islands, and our military has proposed a show of strength. Our ally Japan regularly confronts China with fighter planes.
On the economic front, China is investing heavily in the creation of a modernized trade route through Pakistan, buying up Africannatural resources, and building its presence in Antarctica.
Economically, President Obama has responded by framing his push on Capitol Hill for ''fast track'' authority to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade agreement whose contents we are not allowed to see, as a strategic counter to China's growing power, saying ''if we don't write the rules for trade around the world '-- guess what '-- China will.''
We must remember that the US-China relationship is complex. China continues to invest billions here. The two countries reached a breakthrough agreement on climate change last winter, and since then China has already dramatically reduced its carbon emissions.
Still, there's every reason to take a perceived threat from China seriously. It's the world's most populous country, and as its economy has surged to global prominence over the past decade, its industrial capacity, implicitly including war-making capability, has grown as well.
In some respects, this is the first time the US has faced such a situation since the end of World War II. To be sure, we faced off against the Soviet Union throughout the cold war, and our relations with post-Soviet Russia under Putin have been frosty. Yet, while the nuclear threat has darkened this picture for decades, neither the Soviet Union nor Russia has been a top economic or industrial power, despite the recent oil-and-gas wealth of its oligarchs.
So now is an opportune time to ask whether we want to continue the usual geopolitical power game, in which separate countries vie against each other for resources and dominance, threatening everyone's survival, safety, and rights, or whether a new, globally inclusive, democratic governance structure would serve us better.
We in the US may rightly condemn China's recent actions. Yet we should also bear in mind that China's recent muscle-flexing follows inevitably from its economic rise, given the perverse incentives of our fragmented global political structure. With the world divided into separate nation-states, national governments can often keep order within their borders, but they face a constant power struggle beyond, with no legitimate entity truly in charge at the global level. (The UN is simply too weak.) Leaders whose only accountability comes from within their borders can build their power at home by elbowing their neighbors, so they do. This is especially true in countries with ascendant economies, such as China today, or the US at many points over the past 100-plus years.
The structural inevitability of confrontations like the one now developing with China should compel us to consider an alternative that has never been possible until now: a single, global democracy, including everyone (holding dictators, terrorists, and other criminals accountable to the rule of law).
With blockchain technology (the secure, distributed ledger underlying bitcoin) it's now becoming feasible to securely record the votes of potentially limitless numbers of people, online. Although related challenges remain (the secret ballot, unique voting accounts, the digital divide) all of these appear solvable over the next decade or two, and possibly sooner.
Of course, it's important to consider what kinds of policies a single, global democracy might lead to. Although the actions of major foreign governments, such as China's, are troublinginmanyrespects, the point of a global democracy is to take national governments, with their warped incentives, out of the picture, and instead put global governance in the hands of everyone.
In part, this is a matter of faith in people's essential reasonableness, the wisdom of crowds, the better angels of our nature, and the historical record, which has shown again and again that democracies, while fallible, generally produce fairer, more stable, and more peaceful outcomes than any other system of governance.
Yet it's also supported by international polling data. The Pew Research Center has compiled a rich trove of such data, including these highlights:
A slim plurality of Chinese people say ''our country should have UN approval before it uses military force to deal with an international threat.''A plurality of Chinese people, along with a clear majority in India and majorities in many Muslim countries (which together comprise another major population group), prefer ''a democratic form of government'' rather than ''a leader with a strong hand''.Overwhelming majorities in China, India, and Muslim countries see climate change as a ''serious problem'', and say ''people should be willing to pay higher prices in order to address'' it.There are limits to the depth of this data, but what we can see is encouraging.
Obviously, beyond the top-line appeal of a call for a global democracy lie many key structural questions. For example: what constitutional rights should be guaranteed to everyone? And how should inclusive deliberation and voting should be structured? These are beyond the scope of this article, but they're an exciting area for discussion; a forum for that conversation is here.
The archaic division of our world into separate nation-states leads inevitably to dangerous geopolitical rivalries. It also prevents adequate global action on climate change (notwithstanding the recent US-China agreement), cripples our response to disease outbreaks, makes it impossible to rein in economic inequality, and traps people worldwide in poverty. In all of these ways, the present system is failing us.
Until recently, one could argue that we couldn't do much better: national borders have crudely reflected humanity's technological and administrative limits for centuries. But today, for the first time in history, a better solution is within our grasp: one global democracy.
Obviously, nation-states won't go away on their own. Those who benefit from today's structures (e.g., heads of state, CEOs of unaccountable multinational corporations) will defend them.
It will take time to build a movement in support of a global democracy, potentially decades. Or, with the accelerating rate of change, things could move more quickly.
But with so much at stake, and new technology making it feasible, the time to begin the conversation has come.
'--''
Sign up for updates via email, at the top right of this page.
DEW
Doctors find brain abnormalities in victims of Cuba mystery
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:34
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- Doctors treating the U.S. embassy victims of suspected attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain hearing, vision, balance and memory damage, The Associated Press has learned.
It's the most specific finding to date about physical damage, showing that whatever it was that harmed the Americans, it led to perceptible changes in their brains. The finding is also one of several factors fueling growing skepticism that some kind of sonic weapon was involved.
Medical testing has revealed the embassy workers developed changes to the white matter tracts that let different parts of the brain communicate, several U.S. officials said, describing a growing consensus held by university and government physicians researching the attacks. White matter acts like information highways between brain cells.
Loud, mysterious sounds followed by hearing loss and ear-ringing had led investigators to suspect "sonic attacks." But officials are now carefully avoiding that term. The sounds may have been the byproduct of something else that caused damage, said three U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. They weren't authorized to discuss it publicly and demanded anonymity.
Doctors treating the victims of unexplained health attacks in Cuba have discovered abnormalities in the brain as they've searched for clues to how U.S. embassy workers developed such a vast array of symptoms, the Associated Press has learned. (Dec. 6)
Physicians, FBI investigators and U.S. intelligence agencies have spent months trying to piece together the puzzle in Havana , where the U.S. says 24 U.S. government officials and spouses fell ill starting last year in homes and later in some hotels. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday he's "convinced these were targeted attacks ," but the U.S. doesn't know who's behind them. A few Canadian Embassy staffers also got sick.
Doctors still don't know how victims ended up with the white matter changes, nor how exactly those changes might relate to their symptoms. U.S. officials wouldn't say whether the changes were found in all 24 patients.
But acoustic waves have never been shown to alter the brain's white matter tracts, said Elisa Konofagou, a biomedical engineering professor at Columbia University who is not involved in the government's investigation.
"I would be very surprised," Konofagou said, adding that ultrasound in the brain is used frequently in modern medicine. "We never see white matter tract problems."
Cuba has adamantly denied involvement, and calls the Trump administration's claims that U.S. workers were attacked "deliberate lies ." The new medical details may help the U.S. counter Havana's complaint that Washington hasn't presented any evidence.
Tillerson said the U.S. had shared some information with Havana, but wouldn't disclose details that would violate privacy or help a perpetrator learn how effective the attacks were.
"What we've said to the Cubans is: Small island. You've got a sophisticated intelligence apparatus. You probably know who's doing it. You can stop it," Tillerson said. "It's as simple as that."
The case has plunged the U.S. medical community into uncharted territory. Physicians are treating the symptoms like a new, never-seen-before illness. After extensive testing and trial therapies, they're developing the first protocols to screen cases and identify the best treatments '-- even as the FBI investigation struggles to identify a culprit, method and motive.
Doctors treating the victims wouldn't speak to the AP, yet their findings are expected to be discussed in an article being submitted to the Journal of the American Medical Association, U.S. officials said. Physicians at the University of Miami and the University of Pennsylvania who have treated the Cuba victims are writing it, with input from the State Department's medical unit and other government doctors.
But the article won't speculate about what technology might have harmed the workers or who would have wanted to target Americans in Cuba. If investigators are any closer to solving those questions, their findings won't be made public.
The AP first reported in August that U.S. workers reported sounds audible in parts of rooms but inaudible just a few feet away '-- unlike normal sound, which disperses in all directions. Doctors have now come up with a term for such incidents: "directional acoustic phenomena."
Most patients have fully recovered, some after rehabilitation and other treatment, officials said. Many are back at work. About one-quarter had symptoms that persisted for long periods or remain to this day.
Earlier this year, the U.S. said doctors found patients had suffered concussions, known as mild traumatic brain injury, but were uncertain beyond that what had happened in their brains. Concussions are often diagnosed based solely on symptoms.
Studies have found both concussions and white matter damage in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who survived explosions yet had no other physical damage. But those injuries were attributed mostly to shock waves from explosions. No Havana patients reported explosions or blows to the head.
Outside medical experts said that when the sample of patients is so small, it's difficult to establish cause and effect.
"The thing you have to wonder anytime you see something on a scan: Is it due to the episode in question, or was it something pre-existing and unrelated to what happened?" said Dr. Gerard Gianoli, an ear and brain specialist in Louisiana.
As Cuba works to limit damage to its reputation and economy, its government has produced TV specials and an online summit about its own investigation. Cuba's experts have concluded that the Americans' allegations are scientifically impossible.
The Cubans have urged the U.S. to release information about what it's found. FBI investigators have spent months comparing cases to pinpoint what factors overlap.
U.S. officials told the AP that investigators have now determined:
'-- The most frequently reported sound patients heard was a high-pitched chirp or grating metal. Fewer recalled a low-pitched noise, like a hum.
'-- Some were asleep and awakened by the sound, even as others sleeping in the same bed or room heard nothing.
'-- Vibrations sometimes accompanied the sound. Victims told investigators these felt similar to the rapid flutter of air when windows of a car are partially rolled down.
'-- Those worst off knew right away something was affecting their bodies. Some developed visual symptoms within 24 hours, including trouble focusing on a computer screen.
The U.S. has not identified any specific precautions it believes can mitigate the risk for diplomats in Havana, three officials said, although an attack hasn't been reported since late August. Since the Americans started falling ill last year, the State Department has adopted a new protocol for workers before they go to Cuba that includes bloodwork and other "baseline" tests. If they later show symptoms, doctors can retest and compare.
Doctors still don't know the long-term medical consequences and expect that epidemiologists, who track disease patterns in populations, will monitor the 24 Americans for life. Consultations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are underway.
___
AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.
___
Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP. Follow the AP's coverage of the Cuba attacks at http://apnews.com/tag/CubaHealthMystery
Vaccine$
Dengue is bad in Brazil
ITM Adam,
I was watching a news cast and report from Globo,
Brazil’s main channel which has been financed by the government for years by
BNDES the Brazilian development bank... that’s a story for another day.
Globo reported the dengue vaccine is only 60% efficient.
The vaccine may cause bleeding around the eyes and from the nose. They stated
it is going forward only recommended for individuals who had Dengue fever in
the past. Once you have dengue fever and you get it again internal
bleeding/death is a very high probability.
They followed up the warning by saying the state of
Paraná vaccinated almost all citizens and deaths reduced by nearly 90% and the
state will continue utilizing the vaccine as part of their prevention
strategies.
Sincerely,
Gabriel the Brazilian
DOD Employs Machine Learning to Fight the Next Pandemic '' MeriTalk
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:40
In December 2013, a two-year-old boy named Emile in the West African country of Guinea contracted the deadly Ebola virus from a bat, a case that was not officially confirmed and reported until March 2014, by which time it had started to spread. An international response followed and by January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the last of the affected countries to be Ebola-free. But by that time it had spread to six countries, mostly concentrated in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and resulted in more than 11,300 deaths''the deadliest outbreak of Ebola since its discovery in 1976. An independent panel of health experts subsequently deemed the response too slow and too often ineffective, resulting in ''needless suffering and death.''
Part of the problem with the response is that it was, unavoidably, reactive. The disease struck in a remote area of a poor country rife with animal species capable of carrying a zoonotic (transmitted between animals and humans) disease, and had spread quickly before aid organizations could get a handle on it. One recommendation from the independent health panel was that WHO create a plan for quicker response, but health researchers also are looking to become more proactive, by using machine learning to identify potential hot spots and even predict future outbreaks.
The Department of Defense is among the organizations leading the research. Pandemic threats such as Ebola, Zika, and avian flu are not only a danger to public health, but are also viewed as potential national security threats, as the National Intelligence Council, an arm of the Director of National Intelligence, points out in its 2017 report, Global Trends: Paradox of Progress.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), along with the Department of Homeland Security, has developed a cloud-based Biosurveillance Ecosystem (BSVE) that uses machine learning and natural-language processing to scour a wide range of sources to identify signs of spreading disease, DTRA's Dr. Christopher M. Kiley said in a release.
The system, built with commercial and government technologies, ''ingests and uses large data streams such as open-source social media feeds, RSS feeds from news organizations and blogs, disease ontologies, de-identified diagnostic results, historic outbreak data, zoonotic data, and non-health data,'' Kiley said. DTRA, which awarded Digital Infuzion a $12.8 million contract in 2015 for work on BSVE, earlier this year issued a request for information on ways to enhance the program.
DTRA also is funding an international effort to use machine learning to parse social media for early signs of an outbreak. On another front, a National Institutes of Health program is working on prevention, employing machine learning to identify compounds that could prevent the growth of the Ebola virus.
Defense efforts are working in parallel with other research, such as that being done by the non-profit Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, which has focused on the recent Ebola outbreak and is using machine learning to predict which species''in this case, bats''are most likely to carry the disease. The research team's machine learning model created profiles of bat species, analyzed 57 different variables in behavior and predicted which bats were potential carriers with 87 percent accuracy.
''Using machine learning methods developed for artificial intelligence, we were able to bring together data from ecology, biogeography, and public health to identify bat species with a high probability of harboring Ebola and other filoviruses,'' said Barbara Han, a disease ecologist at Cary and the lead author of a paper on the team's research.
Caliphate!
Police arrest two men 'planning to blow up Downing Street gates and kill Theresa May' | The Independent
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:20
Security services believe they have foiled a plot to assassinate Theresa May in Downing Street.
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to kill the Prime Minister by using a bomb disguised as a bag to blow off the gates of Downing Street and then attack her with knives.
The suspects were detained during raids in London and Birmingham last week and charged with terrorism offences. They are due to appear in Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
The plot was revealed to the Cabinet yesterday by Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, who also told ministers that security services have foiled nine terrorist attacks on the UK in the last year.
The Metropolitan Police said Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from north London, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, from Birmingham, had been charged with preparing a terrorist act.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson declined to confirm that the arrests were linked to a plot to attack Ms May.
It comes as a new report found that security services could possibly have prevented a suicide attack at the Manchester Arena in May. Bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people when he blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert.
David Anderson QC, who was asked to conduct an independent investigation, said Abedi had been on MI5's radar but that his ''true significance was not appreciated at the time''.
After reviewing the security services' actions in relation to four terrorist attacks in the UK this year, Mr Anderson said: ''It is conceivable that the Manchester attack in particular might have been averted had the cards fallen differently.''
Addressing the Cabinet, Mr Parker reportedly said Isis had been defeated in Syria and Iraq but was continuing to orchestrate attacks on the UK. Militants are increasingly using social media to try communicate with would-be attackers, he said.
After the meeting, Ms May's spokesman said: ''The Prime Minister led thanks to the tireless work of staff at MI5 to combat the unprecedented terrorist threat.
''Cabinet ministers heard that while Daesh suffered major defeats in Iraq and Syria, this did not mean the threat is over. Rather it is spreading to new areas, including trying to encourage attacks in the UK and elsewhere via propaganda on social media.''
Reuse content
UK authorities say they've foiled plot to assassinate Theresa May: reports | TheHill
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:20
British authorities said Tuesday they believe they have foiled an assassination plot against Prime Minister Theresa May, according to multiple reports.
Two men were allegedly plotting to use a bomb disguised as a bag to blow off the gates of Downing Street and then attack May with knives, The Independent reported.
Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from north London, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, from Birmingham, have been charged with preparing a terrorist act. They are due in court on Wednesday.
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MI5 head Andrew Parker revealed information about the plot to the British cabinet, The Independent and Sky News reported.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson declined to confirm to The Independent whether the arrests were linked to a plot to attack the prime minister.
May and other British leaders were sharply critical of President Trump last week after he retweeted a series of videos on social media purporting to show violence committed by Muslims. Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First, first posted the videos.
"The fact that we work together does not mean that we're afraid to say when we think the United States has got it wrong, and to be very clear with them. And I'm very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do," May said.
Pipeline$
Nord Stream 2
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:41
SignificanceNord Stream 2 is a new export gas pipeline running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea.
The decision to build Nord Steam 2 is based on the successful experience in building and operating the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The new pipeline, similar to the one in operation, will establish a direct link between Gazprom and the European consumers. It will also ensure a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe.
This is particularly important now when Europe sees a decline in domestic gas production and an increasing demand for imported gas.
Project companyThe Nord Stream 2 project is implemented by the Nord Stream 2 AG project company, where Gazprom is the sole shareholder..
RouteThe entry point of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into the Baltic Sea will be the Ust-Luga area of the Leningrad Region. Then the pipeline will stretch across the Baltic Sea. Its exit point in Germany will be in the Greifswald area close to the exit point of Nord Stream.
The route covers over 1,200 kilometers.
CapacityThe total capacity of two strings of Nord Stream 2 is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The aggregated design capacity of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 is therefore 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Project timeframeNord Stream 2 will be put into operation before late 2019.
Project historyIn October 2012, the Nord Stream shareholders examined preliminary results of the feasibility study for the third and fourth strings of the gas pipeline and came to the conclusion that their construction was economically and technically feasible. Later on, the construction project for the third and fourth strings came to be known as Nord Stream 2.
In April 2017, Nord Stream 2 AG signed the financing agreements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. These five European energy companies will provide long-term financing for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project.
Environmental complianceNord Stream 2 will be constructed using the technologies successfully employed in the Nord Stream project. The experience of Nord Stream AG, which has constructed and now operates Nord Stream, will make it possible to implement the Nord Stream 2 project in compliance with the highest environmental standards.
Nord Stream2 - Wikipedia
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:40
Nord StreamLocation of Nord Stream
LocationCountryRussiaGermany
Coordinates60°31'²44'"N 28°4'²21'"E >> / >> 60.52889°N 28.07250°E >> / 60.52889; 28.07250 >> (Portovaya Compressor Station ) 54°8'²24'"N 13°38'²23.28'"E >> / >> 54.14000°N 13.6398000°E >> / 54.14000; 13.6398000 >> (Landing in Lubmin )
General directioneast''west''southFromVyborg, RussiaPasses throughBaltic SeaToGreifswald, GermanyGeneral informationTypeNatural gasPartnersGazpromE.ON
Wintershall
Gasunie
Engie
OperatorNord Stream AGContractorsSaipem, Allseas, Ramb¸ll, Environmental Resource Management, Marin M¤tteknik, IfA–, PeterGaz, DOF Subsea, Intec Engineering, Tideway BV, Royal Boskalis Westminster, EUROPIPE, OMK, Sumitomo, EUPEC PipeCoatings, Rolls-Royce plc, Dresser-Rand Group, Siirtec Nigi SPACommissioned8 November 2011 (1st line)8 October 2012 (2nd line)
Technical informationLength1,222 km (759 mi)Maximum discharge55 billion cubic metres per year (2012'')Diameter1,220 mm (48 in)No. of compressor stations1Compressor stationsVyborgNord Stream (former names: North Transgas and North European Gas Pipeline; Russian: ÐевеÑный Ðоток , Severny potok) is an offshore natural gaspipeline from Vyborg in the Russian Federation to Greifswald in Germany that is owned and operated by Nord Stream AG. The project includes two parallel lines. The first line was laid by May 2011 and was inaugurated on 8 November 2011.[1][2] The second line was laid in 2011''2012 and was inaugurated on 8 October 2012. At 1,222 kilometres (759 mi) in length, it is the longest sub-sea pipeline in the world, surpassing the Langeled pipeline.[3][4] It has an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet), but its capacity is planned to be doubled to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet) by 2019, by laying two additional lines.[5] Due to EU restrictions on Gazprom, only 22.5 billion cubic metres (790 billion cubic feet) of its capacity is actually used.[6] The name occasionally has a wider meaning, including the feeding onshore pipeline in the Russian Federation, and further connections in Western Europe.
History [ edit] The original pipeline project started in 1997 when Gazprom and the Finnish company Neste (in 1998 merged with Imatran Voima to form Fortum, and 2004 separated again to Fortum and Neste Oil) formed the joint company North Transgas Oy for construction and operation of a gas pipeline from Russia to Northern Germany across the Baltic Sea.[7] North Transgas cooperated with the German gas company Ruhrgas (became later part of E.ON). A route survey in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and a feasibility study of the pipeline was conducted in 1998. Several routes were considered including routes with onshore segments through Finland and Sweden.[8]
On 24 April 2001, Gazprom, Fortum, Ruhrgas and Wintershall adopted a statement regarding a joint feasibility study for construction of the pipeline.[9] On 18 November 2002, the Management Committee of Gazprom approved a schedule of project implementation. In May 2005, Fortum withdrew from the project and sold its stake in North Transgas to Gazprom. As a result, Gazprom became the only shareholder of North Transgas Oy.[7][10]
On 8 September 2005, Gazprom, BASF and E.ON signed a basic agreement on the construction of a North European Gas Pipeline. On 30 November 2005, the North European Gas Pipeline Company (later renamed Nord Stream AG) was incorporated in Zug, Switzerland. On 9 December 2005, Gazprom started construction of the Russian onshore feeding pipeline. On 4 October 2006, the pipeline and the operating company were officially renamed Nord Stream AG.[11] After establishment of Nord Stream AG, all information related to the pipeline project, including results of the seabed survey of 1998, were transferred from North Transgas to the new company, and on 2 November 2006, North Transgas was officially dissolved.[12]
The environmental impact assessment started on 16 November 2006 with notification sent to Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as parties of origin (the countries whose exclusive economic zones and/or territorial waters the pipeline is planned to pass through), as well as to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as affected parties.[13] The final report on transboundary environmental impact assessment was delivered on 9 March 2009.[14]
On 19 March 2007, Nord Stream AG mandated Italian company Snamprogetti, a subsidiary of Saipem, for detailed design engineering of the pipeline.[15] A letter of intent for construction works was signed with Saipem on 17 September 2007 and the contract was concluded on 24 June 2008.[16][17] On 25 September 2007, the pipe supply contracts were awarded to the pipe producers EUROPIPE and OMK, and on 18 February 2008, the concrete weight coating and logistics services agreement was awarded to EUPEC PipeCoatings S.A.[18][19] The supply contracts for the second line were awarded to OMK, Europipe and Sumitomo Heavy Industries on 22 January 2010.[20] On 30 December 2008 Rolls-Royce plc was awarded a contract to supply gas turbines driving centrifugal compressors and on 8 January 2009, Royal Boskalis Westminster and Tideway were awarded a joint venture seabed dredging contract.[21][22]
The agreement to take N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie to the consortium as the fourth partner, was signed on 6 November 2007.[23] On 10 June 2008, Gasunie was included in the register of shareholders.[24] On 1 March 2010, French energy company GDF Suez signed with Gazprom a memorandum of understanding to acquire 9% stake in the project.[25] The transaction was closed in July 2010.[26]
In August 2008, Nord Stream AG hired former Finnish prime minister Paavo Lipponen as a consultant to help speed up the application process in Finland and to serve as a link between Nord Stream and Finnish authorities.[27]
On 21 December 2007, Nord Stream AG submitted application documents to the Swedish government for the pipeline construction in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone.[28] On 12 February 2008, the Swedish government rejected the consortium's application which it had found incomplete.[29][30] New application was filed later. On 20 October 2009, Nord Stream received a construction permit to build the pipeline in the Danish waters.[31] On 5 November 2009, the Swedish and Finnish authorities gave a permit to lay the pipeline in their exclusive economic zones.[32] On 22 February 2010, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland issued the final environmental permit allowing construction of the Finnish section of the pipeline.[33][34]
On 15 January 2010 construction of the Portovaya compressor station in Vyborg near the Gulf of Finland began. [35][36] The first pipe of the pipeline was laid on 6 April 2010 in the Swedish exclusive economic zone by the Castoro Sei vessel. In addition to Castoro Sei, also Castoro 10 and Solitaire were contracted for pipe-laying works.[37] Construction of the pipeline was officially launched on 9 April 2010 at Portovaya Bay.[38]
The laying of the first line was completed on 4 May 2011 (the last pipe put in place), while all underwater works on the first line were completed on 21 June 2011.[4][39] In August 2011, Nord Stream was connected with the OPAL pipeline.[40] First gas was pumped into the first line on 6 September 2011.[41]
The pipeline was officially inaugurated by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French Prime Minister Fran§ois Fillon on 8 November 2011 at the ceremony held in Lubmin.[1][2][42] Initially, the pipeline was able to deliver 27.5 billion cubic metres (970 billion cubic feet) of gas annually, but this capacity was doubled once the second pipeline was finished.[43] Construction of the second line was completed in August 2012 and it was inaugurated on 8 October 2012.[44][45][46]
Technical features [ edit] Russian onshore pipeline [ edit] Construction of the feeding pipeline in Russia (Gryazovets''Vyborg gas pipeline) began on 9 December 2005 in the town of Babayevo in Vologda Oblast. It was completed in 2010. This pipeline is operated solely by Gazprom.[47] It is a part of the integrated gas transport network of Russia connecting existing grid in Gryazovets with the coastal compressor station at Vyborg.[48] The length of this pipeline is 917 kilometres (570 mi), the diameter of the pipe is 1,420 millimetres (56 in), and working pressure is 100 standard atmospheres (10 MPa), which is secured by six compressor stations. The Gryazovets-Vyborg pipeline, parallel to the branch of the Northern Lights pipeline, also supplies gas to the Northwestern region of Russia (Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast).[47] A branch pipeline in Karelia will connect this feeding pipeline with Finland.[49]
Baltic Sea offshore pipeline [ edit] The semi-submersible pipe-laying vessel Castoro Sei operating for Nord Stream in the Baltic Sea south-east of Gotland, Sweden in late March 2011.Two pipes are welded together on the Castoro Sei pipelaying vessel.The Nord Stream offshore pipeline is ordered and operated by Nord Stream AG.[13][23] It runs from Vyborg compressor station at Portovaya Bay along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to Greifswald in Germany. The length of the subsea pipeline is 1,222 kilometres (759 mi), of which 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) in Russian inland, 121.8 kilometres (65.8 nmi) in Russian territorial waters, 1.4 kilometres (0.8 nmi) in the Russian economic zone, 375.3 kilometres (202.6 nmi) in the Finnish economic zone, 506.4 kilometres (273.4 nmi) in the Swedish economic zone, 87.7 kilometres (47.4 nmi) in the Danish territorial waters, 49.4 kilometres (26.7 nmi) in the Danish economic zone, 31.2 kilometres (16.8 nmi) in the German economic zone, 49.9 kilometres (26.9 nmi) in German territorial waters and 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) in German inland.[50] The pipeline has two parallel lines, each with capacity of 27.5 billion cubic metres (970 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year. Pipes have a diameter of 1,220 millimetres (48 in), the wall thickness of 38 millimetres (1.50 in) and a working pressure of 220 bars (22 MPa).[13]
Nord Stream AG is studying viability of building the third and fourth lines.[51]
Western European pipelines [ edit] The Western European part of the project includes two transmission pipelines in Germany. The southern pipeline (OPAL pipeline) runs from Greifswald to Olbernhau near German-Czech border. It connects Nord Stream with JAGAL (connected to the Yamal-Europe pipeline), and STEGAL (connected to the Russian gas transport route via Czech and Slovak republics) transmission pipelines. The Gazelle pipeline, put into operation in January 2013,[52] links the OPAL pipeline with South-German gas network.
The western pipeline (NEL pipeline) runs from Greifswald to Achim, where it is connected with the Rehden-Hamburg gas pipeline.[53] Together with the MIDAL pipeline it creates the Greifswald''Bunde connection. Further gas delivery to the United Kingdom are made through the connection between Bunde and Den Helder, and from there through the offshore interconnector Balgzand''Bacton (BBL Pipeline).
Gazprom has also bought an abandoned mine (Hinrichshagen Structure) in Waren, which is planned to convert into the largest underground gas storage in Europe with capacity of 5 billion cubic metres (180 billion cubic feet).[54][55]
Supply sources [ edit] The main source of natural gas for the Nord Stream pipeline is Yuzhno-Russkoye field, which is located in the Krasnoselkupsky District, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Tyumen Oblast.[56][57][58] Nord Stream is also fed from fields in Yamal Peninsula, Ob-Taz bay. Gazprom has also indicated that the majority of gas produced at the Shtokman field would be sold to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline. For this purpose, the pipeline from the Shtokman field via Kola peninsula to Volkhov or Vyborg in the Leningrad Oblast has to be built.[59]
Costs and financing [ edit] According to Gazprom, the costs of the onshore pipelines in Russia and Germany are around '‚¬6 billion.[60] The offshore section of the project is expected to cost '‚¬8.8 billion.[61] 30% of the financing was raised through equity provided by shareholders in proportion to their stakes in the project, while 70% came from external financing by banks.[62]
There are two tranches.[63][64] The first tranche for a '‚¬3.9 billion includes a 3.1 billion, 16-year facility covered by export credit agencies and a '‚¬800 million, 10-year uncovered commercial loan to be serviced by earnings from the transportation contracts. A '‚¬1.6 billion is covered by French credit insures company Euler Hermes, a '‚¬1 billion by the German United Loan Guarantee Programme UFK, and a '‚¬500 million Italian Export Credit Agency SACE SpA. Loans to be provided by 26 commercial banks. Cr(C)dit Agricole is documentation bank and bank facility agent. Soci(C)t(C) G(C)n(C)rale is intercreditor agent, Sace facility agent, security trustee and model bank. Commerzbank is Hermes facility agent, UniCredit is UFK facility agent, Deutsche Bank is account bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is technical and environmental bank.[62][63] The financial advisers were Soci(C)t(C) G(C)n(C)rale, Royal Bank of Scotland (ABN Amro), Dresdner Kleinwort (Commerzbank), and Unicredit.[65][66] The legal adviser to Nord Stream was White & Case and legal adviser for the lenders was Clifford Chance.[63]
Contractors [ edit] The environmental impact assessment was carried out by Ramb¸ll and Environmental Resource Management. The route and seabed surveys were conducted by Marin M¤tteknik, IfA–, PeterGaz and DOF Subsea.[67][68]
Work preliminary front-end engineering was done by Intec Engineering.[69] The design engineering of the subsea pipeline was done by Snamprogetti (now part of Saipem) and the pipeline was constructed by Saipem.[15][17] Saipem gave sub-contract to Allseas for laying more than 1/4 of both the pipelines. The seabed was prepared for the laying of the pipeline by a joint venture of Royal Boskalis Westminster and Tideway.[22] The pipes were provided by EUROPIPE, OMK, and Sumitomo.[18][20] Concrete weight coating and logistics services were provided by EUPEC PipeCoatings S.A. For the concrete weight coating new coating plants were constructed in Mukran (Germany) and Kotka (Finland).[19] Rolls-Royce plc supplied eight industrial aeroderivativegas turbines driving centrifugal compressors for front-end gas boosting at the Vyborg (Portovaya) gas compressor station.[21]Dresser-Rand Group supplied DATUM compressors and Siirtec Nigi SPA provided a gas treatment unit for the Portovaya station.[70][71]
For the construction period, Nord Stream AG created a logistic center in Gotland. Other interim stock yards are located in Mukran, in Kotka, in Hanko (Finland) and in Karlskrona (Sweden).[19]
Project company [ edit] Nord Stream head-office building in Zug.The Nord Stream offshore pipeline is operated by the special purpose company'--Nord Stream AG. Nord Stream AG was incorporated in Zug, Switzerland on 30 November 2005. Shareholders of the company are the Russian gas company Gazprom (51% of shares), German gas companies Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas (both 15.5%), the Dutch gas company Gasunie (9%), and the French gas company GDF Suez (9%).[13][23] The Managing Director of Nord Stream AG is Matthias Warnig and the chairman of the shareholders' committee is German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schr¶der.
Transportation contracts [ edit] On 13 October 2005 Gazprom's export arm Gazprom Export signed a contract with German gas company Wingas, a joint venture of Gazprom and Wintershall (subsidiary of BASF), to supply 9 billion cubic metres (320 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year for 25 years.[72] On 16 June 2006 Gazprom and Danish DONG Energy signed a 20-year contract for delivery of 1 billion cubic metres (35 billion cubic feet) Russian gas per year to Denmark, while DONG Energy will supply 600 million cubic metres (21 billion cubic feet) natural gas per year to the Gazprom's subsidiary, Gazprom Marketing and Trading, in the United Kingdom.[73] 1 October 2009 the companies signed a contract to double the delivery to Denmark.[74]
On 29 August 2006 Gazprom and E.ON Ruhrgas signed an agreement to extend current contracts on natural gas supplies and have signed a contract for an additional 4 billion cubic metres (140 billion cubic feet) per year through the Nord Stream pipeline.[75] On 19 December 2006, Gazprom and Gaz de France (now GDF Suez) agreed to an additional 2.5 billion cubic metres (88 billion cubic feet) gas supply through the Nord Stream.[76]
Controversy [ edit] The pipeline project was criticized by some countries and environmental organizations (such as the World Wide Fund for Nature).[77][78][79][80][81] At the same time, the European Commission energy commissioner office confirmed that the EU supports the project "as an additional source of gas supplies from Russia".[82]
Political aspects [ edit] Major existing and planned natural gas pipelines supplying Russian gas to Europe.Opponents have seen the pipeline as a move by Russia to bypass traditional transit countries (currently Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belarus and Poland).[83] Some transit countries are concerned that a long-term plan of the Kremlin is to attempt to exert political influence on them by threatening their gas supply without affecting supplies to Western Europe.[84][85] The fears are strengthened by the fact that Russia has refused to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty. Critics of Nord Stream say that Europe could become dangerously dependent on Russian natural gas, particularly since Russia could face problems meeting a surge in domestic as well as foreign demand.[86][87][88] Following several Russia''Ukraine gas disputes, as well as foreign policy towards Eastern Europe, it has been noted that the gas supplies by Russia can be used as a political tool.[89] A Swedish Defence Research Agency study, finished March 2007, counted over 55 incidents since 1991, most with "both political and economic underpinnings".[87][88] In April 2006 Radosław Sikorski, then Poland's defence minister, compared the project to the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet Molotov''Ribbentrop Pact. [90] In his book The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West, published 2008, Edward Lucas stated that "though Nord Stream's backers insist that the project is business pure and simple, this would be easier to believe if it were more transparent."[87] In the report published by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in 2008, Norwegian researcher Bendik Solum Whist noted that Nord Stream AG was incorporated in Switzerland, "whose strict banking secrecy laws makes the project less transparent than it would have been if based within the EU".[87] Secondly, the Russian energy sector "in general lacks transparency" and Gazprom "is no exception".[87]
The Russian response has been that the pipeline increases Europe's energy security, and that the criticism is caused by bitterness about the loss of significant transit revenues, as well as the loss of political influence that stems from the transit countries' ability to hold Russian gas supplies to Western Europe hostage to their local political agendas.[91] It would reduce Russia's dependence on the transit countries as for the first time it would link Russia directly to Western Europe.[86] According to Gazprom, the direct connection to Germany would decrease risks in the gas transit zones, including the political risk of cutting off Russian gas exports to Western Europe.[92]
Security and military aspects [ edit] Swedish military experts and several politicians, including former Minister for DefenceMikael Odenberg, have stated that the pipeline can cause a security policy problem for Sweden.[93] According to Odenberg, the pipeline motivates Russian navy presence in Swedish economic zone and the Russians can use this for military intelligence should they want to.[94] Finnish military scholar Alpo Juntunen has said that even though the political discussion over Nord Stream in Finland concentrates on the various ecological aspects, there are clearly military implications to the pipeline that are not discussed openly in Finland.[95] More political concerns were raised when Vladimir Putin stated that the ecological safety of the pipeline project will be ensured by using the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy.[96] German weekly Stern has reported that the fibre optic cable and repeater stations along the pipeline could theoretically also be used for espionage. Nord Stream AG asserted that a fibre-optic control cable was neither necessary nor technically planned.[97]
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Gazprom Alexander Medvedev has dismissed these concerns, stating that "some objections are put forward that are laughable'--political, military or linked to spying. That is really surprising because in the modern world ... it is laughable to say a gas pipeline is a weapon in a spy war."[98]
German Bundeswehr asked Nord Stream to change the planned route because the pipeline is laid close to a sea testing ground near R¼gen, which is actively used for naval exercises.[99]
Economic aspects [ edit] Russian and German officials have claimed that the pipeline leads to economic savings due to the elimination of transit fees (as transit countries would be bypassed), and a higher operating pressure of the offshore pipeline which leads to lower operating costs (by eliminating the necessity for expensive midway compressor stations).[100] According to Ukrtransgaz, the Ukrainian gas transportation system operator, Ukraine alone will lose natural gas transit revenues up to $720 million per year.[101] Gazprom has stated that it will divert 20 billion m3 of natural gas transported through Ukraine to Nord Stream.[102]
Opponents say that the maintenance costs of a submarine pipeline are higher than for an overland route. In 1998, former Gazprom chairman Rem Vyakhirev claimed that the project was economically unfeasible.[103]
As the Nord Stream pipeline crosses the waterway to Polish ports in Szczecin and Świnoujście, there were concerns that it will reduce the depth of the waterway leading to the ports.[104][105][106] However, Polish prime minister Donald Tusk as also several experts have confirmed that the Nord Stream pipeline does not block the development plans of Swinoujscie and Szczecin ports.[106][107]
Environmental aspects [ edit] Before construction there were concerns that during construction the sea bed would be disturbed, dislodging World War II-era naval mines and toxic materials including mines, chemical waste, chemical munitions and other items dumped in the Baltic Sea in the past decades, and thereby toxic substances could surface from the seabed damaging the Baltic's particularly sensitive ecosystem.[108][109][110][111] Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren demanded that the environmental analysis should include alternative ways of taking the pipeline across the Baltic, as the pipeline is projected to be passing through areas considered environmentally problematic and risky.[112] Sweden's three opposition parties called for an examination of the possibility of rerouting the pipeline onto dry land.[111] Finnish environmental groups campaigned to consider the more southern route, claiming that the sea bed is flatter and so construction would be more straightforward, and therefore potentially less disruptive to waste, including dioxins and dioxin-like compounds, littered on the sea bed.[113] Latvian president Valdis Zatlers said that Nord Stream was environmentally hazardous as, unlike the North Sea, there is no such water circulation in the Baltic Sea.[114]Ene Ergma, Speaker of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia), warned that the pipeline work rips a canal in the seabed which will demand leveling the sand that lies along the way, atomizing volcanic formations and disposing of fill along the bottom of the sea, altering sea currents.[115]
The impact on bird and marine life in the Baltic Sea is also a concern, as the Baltic sea is recognized by the International Maritime Organization as a particularly sensitive sea area. The World Wide Fund for Nature requested that countries party to the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) safeguard the Baltic marine habitats, which could be altered by the implementation of the Nord Stream project.[80] Its Finnish branch said it might file a court case against Nord Stream AG if the company did not properly assess a potential alternative route on the southern side of Hogland. According to Nord Stream AG, this was not a suitable route for the pipeline because of the planned conservation area near Hogland, subsea cables, and a main shipping route.[79] Russian environmental organizations warned that the ecosystem in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Finland is the most vulnerable part of the Baltic Sea and assumed damage to the island territory of the planned Ingermanland nature preserve as a result of laying the pipeline.[115] Swedish environmental groups are concerned that the pipeline is planned to pass too closely to the border of the marine reserve near Gotland.[116] Also Greenpeace is concerned that the pipeline would pass through several sites designated marine conservation areas.[117]
In April 2007, the Young Conservative League (YCL) of Lithuania started an online petition entitled "Protect the Baltic Sea While It's Still Not Too Late!", translated into all state languages of the countries of the Baltic region.[118] On 29 January 2008 the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament organized public hearing on petition introduced by the leader of YCL '' Radvile Morkunaite. On 8 July 2008, the European Parliament endorsed by 542 votes to 60 a non-binding report calling on the European Commission to evaluate the additional impact on the Baltic Sea caused by the Nord Stream project.[119] The Riigikogu made a declaration on 27 October 2009, expressing "concern over the possible environmental impacts of the gas line" and emphasizing that international conventions have deemed "the Baltic Sea in an especially vulnerable environmental status".[81]
Russian officials described these concerns as far-fetched and politically motivated by opponents of the project. They argued that during the construction the seabed will be cleaned, rather than endangered. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has claimed that Russia fully respects the desire to provide for the 100% environmental sustainability of the project and that Russia is fully supportive of such an approach, and that all environmental concerns would be addressed in the process of environmental impact assessment.[120]
Concerns raised, that originally Nord Stream AG planned on rinsing out the pipeline with 2.3 billion liters of a solution containing glutaraldehyde, pumped afterward into the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream AG responded that glutaraldehyde would not used, and even had the chemical been used, the effects would have been brief and localized due to the speed with which the chemical breaks down once it comes in contact with water.[121]
One of the raised problems was that the Baltic Sea and particularly Gulf of Finland was heavily mined during World War I and II, with many mines still on the sea.[117] According to Marin M¤tteknik around 85,000 mines were laid during the First and Second World Wars, of which only half have been recovered. A lot of munitions have also been dumped in this sea.[122] Critics of the pipeline voiced fears that the pipeline would disturb ammunition dumps. In November 2008 it was reported that the pipeline will run through old sea mine defense lines and that the Gulf of Finland is considered one of the most heavily mined sea areas in the world.[123] Sunken mines, which have been found on the pipeline route, lay primarily in international waters at a depth of more than 70 metres (230 ft). Nord Stream AG detonated the mines underwater.[123]
Ethical issues [ edit] The former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schr¶der, and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, were strong advocates of the pipeline project during the negotiation phase. International media alluded to a past relationship between the Managing Director of Nord Stream AG, Matthias Warnig, himself a former East German secret police officer, and Vladimir Putin when he was a KGB agent in East Germany.[124][125][126][127] These allegations were denied by Matthias Warning, who said that he had met Vladimir Putin for the first time in his life in 1991, when Putin was the head of the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office.[127][128]
The agreement to build the pipeline was signed ten days before the German parliamentary election. On 24 October 2005, a few weeks before Schr¶der had stepped down as Chancellor, the German government guaranteed to cover '‚¬1 billion of the Nord Stream project cost, should Gazprom default on a loan. However, this guarantee expired at the end of 2006 without ever having been needed.[129] Soon after leaving the post of Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schr¶der agreed to head the shareholders' committee of Nord Stream AG. This has been widely described by German and international media as a conflict of interest,[130][131][132] the implication being that the pipeline project may have been pushed through for personal gain rather than for improving gas supplies to Germany. Information about the German government's guarantee was requested by the European Commission. No formal charges have been filed against any party despite years of exhaustive investigations.[129]
In February 2009, the Swedish prosecutor's office started an investigation based on suspicions of bribery and corruption after a college on the island of Gotland received a donation from Nord Stream. The 5 million Swedish kronor (US$574,000) donation was directed to a professor at Gotland University College who had previously warned that the Nord Stream pipeline would come too close to a sensitive bird zone.[133] The consortium has hired several former high-ranking officials, such as Ulrica Schenstr¶m, former undersecretary at the Swedish Prime Minister's office, and Dan Svanell, former press secretary for several politicians in the Swedish Social Democratic Party.[134] In addition, the former Prime Minister of Finland, Paavo Lipponen, had worked for Nord Stream as an adviser since 2008.[135]
Land-based alternatives [ edit] On 11 January 2007, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Finland made a statement on the environmental impact assessment programme of the Russia-Germany natural gas pipeline, in which it mentioned that alternative routes via the Baltic states, Kaliningrad and/or Poland might theoretically be shorter than the route across the Baltic Sea, would be easier to flexibly increase the capacity of the pipeline, and might have better financial results.[136] There were also calls from Sweden to consider rerouting the pipeline onto dry land.[111] Poland had proposed the construction of a second line of the Yamal''Europe pipeline, as well as the Amber pipeline through the Baltic states and Poland as land-based alternatives to the offshore pipeline. The Amber project foresees laying a natural gas pipeline across the Tver, Novgorod and Pskov oblasts in Russia and then through Latvia and Lithuania to Poland, where it would be re-connected to the Yamal''Europe pipeline.[8] Latvia has proposed using its underground gas storage facilities if the onshore route were to be used.[114] Proponents have claimed that the Amber pipeline would cost half as much as an underwater pipeline, would be shorter, and would have less environmental impact.[137] Critics of this proposal say that in this case it would be more expensive for the suppliers over the long-term perspective, because the main aim of the project is to reduce transit costs.[138] Nord Stream AG has responded that the Baltic Sea would be the only route for the pipeline and it will not consider an overland alternative.[139]
World War II graves [ edit] A former member of the European Parliament from Estonia, Andres Tarand has raised the issue that the Nord Stream pipeline could disturb World War II graves dating from naval battles in 1941. A Nord Stream spokesman has stated that only one sunken ship is in the vicinity of the planned pipeline and added that it wouldn't be disturbed.[140] However, on 16 July 2008 it was announced that one of DOF Subsea's seismic vessels had discovered during a survey for the planned Nord Stream pipeline, in Finland's exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of Finland, the wreck of a submarine with Soviet markings, believed to have sunk during World War II.[67]
In addition to the wreck of the Soviet submarine, there are sunken ships on the route of Nord Stream in the Bay of Greifswald and in the Gulf of Finland. The ship in the Bay of Greifswald is one of 20 sunk in 1715 by the Swedish navy to create a physical barrier across the shallow entrance to the Bay of Greifswald coastal lagoon.[141] Russian archaeologists claimed that the ship in the Gulf of Finland "was probably built in 1710 and sank during a raid aimed at conquering Finland" in 1713 during Peter the Great's reign.[142]
Expansion: Nord Stream 2 [ edit] In 2011, Nord Stream AG started evaluation of an expansion project which would include two additional lines (later named Nord Stream 2) to increase the overall annual capacity up to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet). In August 2012, Nord Stream AG applied to the Finnish and Estonian governments for route studies in their underwater exclusive economic zones for the third and fourth lines.[51] It was considered to route the additional pipelines to the United Kingdom but this plan was abandoned.[143][144] In January 2015, it was announced that the expansion project was put on hold since the existing lines were running at only half capacity due to EU restrictions on Gazprom.[6]
In June 2015, an agreement to build two additional lines was signed between Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, E.ON, OMV, and Engie.[145] As the creation of a joint venture was blocked by Poland, on 24 April 2017, Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, OMV and Royal Dutch Shell signed a financing agreement with Nord Stream 2 AG, a subsidiary of Gazprom responsible for the development of the Nord Stream 2 project. According to the agreement, each of five companies will provide '‚¬950 million, of which '‚¬285 million should be paid in 2017. The loan from the five companies will cover 50% of the project costs of '‚¬9.5 billion. The rest would be financed by Gazprom who remains the sole shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG.[146] Although the pipeline has received no formal approvals from Denmark, Sweden and Finland, it is scheduled to become operational in 2019''2020.[146][147]
The route of additional lines would mainly follow the route of existing lines, except in the Russian onshore and offshore sections.[143][148] In Russia, 866 kilometres (538 mi) of new pipeline and three compressor stations would be built, and five existing compressor stations would be expanded for feeding Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 will start at the Slavyanskaya compressor station near Ust-Luga port, located 2.8 kilometres (1.7 mi) south-east of the village of Bolshoye Kuzyomkino (Narvusi) in the Kingiseppsky District of the Leningrad Oblast, in the historical Ingria close to the Estonian border. Its landfall would be at the Kurgalsky Peninsula on the shore of Narva Bay.[148]
The president of the European Council Donald Tusk has said that Nord Stream 2 is not in the EU's interests.[149] Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbn have questioned the different treatment of Nord Stream II and South Stream projects.[149][150] The project is considered to violate the long-term declared strategy of the EU to diversify its gas supplies.[151] A letter, signed by the leaders of nine EU countries, has been sent to the EC in March 2016, warning that the Nord Stream 2 project contradicts the European energy policy requirements that suppliers to the EU should not control the energy transmission assets, and that access to the energy infrastructure must be secured for non-consortium companies.[152][153] A letter by American lawmakers John McCain and Marco Rubio to the EU also criticized the project in July 2016.[154]Isabelle Kocher, chief executive officer of Engie, criticised American sanctions targeting the projects, and said they were an attempt to promote American gas in Europe.[155] Although construction has started on Nord Stream 2, the government of Denmark wants to have its foreign ministry prevent it being routed through Danish waters, and a bill is proposed to go through Parliament in October 2017, giving the foreign ministry the ability to do this on foreign policy grounds. Supporters of the pipeline, including Germany, believe that unlawful deference has been made to US wishes of the project not proceeding.[156]
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"Exclusive: Gazprom building global alliance with expanded Shell". Reuters. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015 . ^ ab Foy, Henry; Toplensky, Rochelle; Ward, Andrew (24 April 2017). "Gazprom to receive funding for Nord Stream 2 pipeline". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 April 2017 . ^ "Nord Stream 2 financing takes shape". Deutsche Welle. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017 . ^ ab Ramboll, Nord Stream AG (April 2017). "Espoo Report. Nord Stream 2"(PDF) . Ministry of the Environment of Estonia: 79''80; 523. Retrieved 3 May 2017 . ^ ab Teffer, Peter (18 December 2015). "Tusk: Nord Stream II doesn't help". EUobserver. Retrieved 5 June 2016 . ^ Steinhauser, Gabriele (18 December 2015). "Germany's Merkel Defends Russian Gas Pipeline Plan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2016 . (Subscription required (help )) . ^ "Nord Stream 2: Trojan Horse or Guarantee of Security". Natural Gas Europe. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2017 . 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DPRK
Pentagon To Deploy THAAD Anti-Missile Systems On West Coast To Protect Against North Korean ICBM Attack | Zero Hedge
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:07
Days after North Korea launched its most advanced ICBM which reportedly can hit a target anywhere in the United States with its 8,000+ mile range, Pyongyang said the U.S. is "begging" for a nuclear war by planning the "largest-ever" joint aerial drill with South Korea, according to Bloomberg. ''Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U.S., the U.S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,'' North Korea's state-run KCNA said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As we previously reported, the statement came after Yonhap News reported that six U.S. Raptor stealth fighters planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named "Vigilant Ace 18" scheduled for Dec. 4 to 8. The F-22s flew into South Korea together in a show of force. The stealth fighters, however, were just a small part of the upcoming show of force: according to local media, some 230 aircraft and up to 16,000 soldiers and airmen are taking part in the drill, which is one of the biggest ever of its kind.
Meanwhile, in addition to Lindsey Graham's warning that US civilians in South Korea should evacuate ahead of "military conflict", in response to North Korea's recently enhanced capabilities, the United States is beefing up security on the West Coast.
Last week the New York Times reported that Hawaii was bringing back its Cold War-era early missile warning system designed to warn residents of an impending nuclear attack.
The Attack Warning Tone, described as a ''wailing tone,'' will be heard for about 50 seconds on the first business day of every month, beginning on Dec. 1. It will sound after the regular monthly test of the sirens that warn residents of hurricanes or tsunamis, the Emergency Management Agency said.
Now, according to Congressmen Mike Rogers who sits on the House Armed Services Committee along with Democrat Adam Smith, we learn that the Pentagon is also exploring locations on the West Coast for anti-missile hardware. Rogers and Smith said the Pentagon is looking to distribute the THAAD anti-missile system made by Lockheed Martin Corp at west coast sites.
''It's just a matter of the location, and the MDA making a recommendation as to which site meets their criteria for location, but also the environmental impact,'' the Alabama Congressman and Republican told Reuters during an interview on the sidelines of the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in southern California, although the Congressmen said the number of sites that may ultimately be deployed had yet to be determined.
As Zero Hedge reported in September, the THAAD ground-based regional missile defense system has a 100% success rate in test interceptions according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency as of May 2017, hitting 13 out of 13 targets (unlike the new SM-3 Block IIA missile developed jointly by the US and Japan failed its first test in June).
Reuters elaborates:
THAAD is a ground-based regional missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and takes only a matter of weeks to install. In addition to the two THAAD systems deployed in South Korea and Guam in the Pacific, the U.S. has seven other THAAD systems. While some of the existing missiles are based in Fort Bliss, Texas, the system is highly mobile and current locations are not disclosed.
A Lockheed Martin representative declined to comment on specific THAAD deployments, but added that the company ''is ready to support the Missile Defense Agency and the United States government in their ballistic missile defense efforts.'' He added that testing and deployment of assets is a government decision.
The United States also tested the THAAD system in July, shooting down a simulated, incoming intermediate-range ICBM.
The addition to boost West Coast defense, THAAD locations will significantly beef up the existing ground-based Midcourse Defense System (GMD) located in Alaska and California, along with the ship-mounted Aegis system deplyed on U.S. Navy vessels. The THAAD system has a much higher success rate than the GMD. The Missile Defense Agency also told Congress in June that it planned to deliver 52 more THAAD interceptors to the U.S. Army between October, 2017 and September 2018, bringing total deliveries to 210 since May 2011, Reuters reports.
There is a bit of conflicting information on the plan, however, as Missile Defense Agency deputy director, Rear Admiral Jon Hill, stated "The Missile Defense Agency has received no tasking to site the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense System on the West Coast," directly contradicting reps Mike Rogers and (R-AL) and Adam Smith (D-WA).
As reported in September, South Korea has already installed the THAAD system in the province of Gyeongsangbuk, which hundreds of residents took to the streets to protest in a major clash with police.
Perhaps the South Koreans (and certainly China) are not especially excited by the U.S. military buildup, but now that the neighbor to the north has the ability to sling an ICBM over 8,000 miles, they may reconsider.
Cathay Pacific crew saw North Korean missile fall from sky | Time
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:56
Crew members aboard a 15-hour flight were startled last week when they saw what is believed to be the re-entry of a North Korean missile into earth's atmosphere.
The crew witnessed the missile fall out of the sky as the Cathay Pacific flight'-- from San Francisco to Hong Kong'-- flew over Japan. The company said they witnessed ''a sighting of what is suspected to be the re-entry of the recent DPRK [North Korea] test missile,'' the Guardian reports.
Flight trackers place the plane close to Japan around the time of North Korea's Hwasong-15 missile test on Nov. 29. The missile, which Pyongyang claims to be its ''most powerful,'' crashed into the Sea of Japan.
South Korea's military says the missile flew ten times higher than the International Space Station. ''Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan [air traffic control] according to procedures.'' Cathay Pacific told the Guardian.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the company's general manger of operations Mark Hoey told Cathay Pacific staff in a message that ''the crew of CX893 reported, 'Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location.'''
He added, according to SCMP, that one of their cargo planes may have been even closer to the missile. North Korean tests post a potential risk to planes as it rarely issues warnings of the launches or its missiles' intended flight path.
EuroLand
Nieuwe betalingsregels botsen hard met privacy: EU-regels dwingen banken tot delen rekeninggegevens - Economie - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:42
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Interior ministers want to keep closer eye on Germany's 'prepper scene': report
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:22
A prepper's basement storage shelf in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.
Interior ministers of the federal and state governments are debating a motion to examine the allegedly right-wing extremist ''prepper scene'', according to a media report on Thursday.
The topic is on the agenda at the Conference of Interior Ministers (IMK) on Thursday in Leipzig, Saxony, according to a report by the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
RND reported that the Christian Democrats (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) support the proposal to observe the "prepper scene", which they suspect is a right-wing extremist movemnet.
The German interior ministers want to find out the extent to which the prepper scene is radicalized, how many weapons it has and its connections to extremism - similar to their investigations into the ''Reichsb¼rger'' movement.
READ ALSO: What is Germany's extremist Reichsb¼rger movement?
The term prepper is derived from the English term "to be prepared" and the movement has its roots in the US, where it is also know as the survivalist scene.
Preppers ready themselves in the event of the collapse of state order. Many of them prepare for worst-case scenarios such as chemical accidents, terrorist attacks and other conceivable catastrophes by stocking up on goods such as water, canned food and even gas masks.
A ''Prepper-Gemeinschaft'' (Prepper Association) also exists in Germany, though according to its website, it dissociates itself from right-wing and left-wing extremists.
During an anti-terrorist raid at the end of August, officials in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania searched the apartments and offices of six "preppers" in which two people were accused of preparing a serious criminal offence that could have endangered the state.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's interior minister, Lorenz Caffier, has since appointed a commission to examine the prepper scene in the northeast.
Hep-A
San Diego opens giant tent to contain hepatitis outbreak
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 21:13
SAN DIEGO (AP) '-- San Diego on Friday opened the first of three industrial-sized tents to house the homeless as part of the city's efforts to contain a hepatitis A outbreak stemming from the deplorable conditions people were living in on the streets.
About 20 people made their way to a bunk bed Friday in the tent that will house 350 single men and women. Two other giant tents will open later this month '-- one for families and one for veterans. The tents will house a total of 700 people.
The city turned to tents to get people off the streets and contain a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed 20 people in the past year, marking the worst epidemic of its kind in the US in 20 years. The virus lives in feces.
"There's going to be a marked different in what we see on the streets today and what we see at this time next year," said Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project, the nonprofit group that will operate the tent that opened Friday.
More than 3,000 people have been living on the streets in the city. The city opened a temporary campground in October where 200 people lived in tents. They will now be moved into the new giant tents.
Verna Vasbinder, 47, was among the first to move from the campground. She rolled in with her little black dog, Lucy Lui, on the seat of her walker with a cardboard sign hanging off the back that read: "Don't Touch the Dog! The Human Bites!"
She plopped down on her bunk bed and already felt lucky to be finally under a roof.
"My bones were hurting very badly sleeping on the ground," said Vasbinder, who has been homeless for six years. "And the dew, moisture in the morning. Whew! I'm out of the cold, off the ground and I'll be feeling better in a few days. All I need is to rest in a bed."
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who welcomed her to the tent, said the goal is to move 65 percent of the occupants into permanent housing. The city had to divert $6.5 million budgeted for permanent housing to fund the operation of the tents for seven months.
The tents will provide an array of services from mental health care to housing navigators.
But the city still faces an acute housing shortage for the poor. Faulconer has earmarked more than $80 million in funds to address the problem.
Gemma Librado lives a block away from the tent that opened Friday. She said she is glad to see the streets being cleaned up but she worries it may attract more homeless. Last Sunday, a homeless man high on drugs and with a bleeding hand ran into her apartment when she opened the door and locked himself in the bathroom. She and her 6-year-old son ran out and called police. The man broke things in her bathroom, left bloodstains on the floor and scared her.
"If this makes things more orderly than I support this," she said. "But I'm worried. I don't want this to bring in more homeless to the area and people using drugs. There are families with children around here."
Spot The Spook
Meghan Markle's 'childhood best friend' has a harsh warning for Prince Harry
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 02:10
While the rest of the world is going crazy over the upcoming royal wedding, it seems one of Meghan Markle's childhood best friends is not that impressed.
Ninaki Priddy - who reportedly met Markle at a prestigious kindergarten in Hollywood - has issued a warning to Prince Harry about his future bride.
When discussing their engagement during an interview with the BBC's Mishal Husian, Markle revealed she ''didn't know much about" Harry when they first met.
But Priddy, a 36-year-old jewelry designer, is calling Markle's bluff.
Priddy said to the Daily Mail she was "not shocked at all" as the US actress has been ''planning this all her life.''
''She gets exactly what she wants and Harry has fallen for her play,'' she added.
The warning from Priddy comes after a photo emerged of her and Markle perched on a fence just outside Buckingham Palace in 1996, at age 15.
''She was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0,'' continued Priddy.
''She will play her role ably. But my advice to him is to tread cautiously.''
According to the Daily Mail, Priddy claimed that Markle was always on the hunt for fame. She allegedly earned the name ''Princess Pushy'' as a result.
Since the couple announced their engagement it has also been revealed Markle, who comes from Los Angeles, will apply to become a British citizen after she marries Harry.
Markle will also have to be baptised and confirmed in the Church of England for her church wedding.
Agenda 2030
Al Gore: Climate change is a huge business opportunity | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:32
Al Gore speaking at investor conference Slush in Helsinki on Thursday. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle The former US vice president Al Gore said in his keynote speech at Slush on Thursday that climate change is a huge business opportunity. The annual startup jamboree opened on Thursday, welcoming 20,000 attendees, 2,600 companies and 1,500 investors to the Finnish capital for two days of frenetic pitching, presentations and deal-making.
Opening the event, keynote speaker Gore said he had not come to the annual event in Helsinki to entertain the attendees, but to recruit them to help solve the world's biggest problems - and to make money on the side.
Gore's big message was that climate change is a business opportunity. In 2004, Gore co-founded Generation Investment Management, which invests in sustainable companies including Proterra, a manufacturer of electric buses.
Food prices to riseAs climate change hits and agricultural production suffers, the price of food will rise. As a result, up to a billion people may leave their homes in the next decades, warned Gore, who narrowly lost the 2000 US presidential election.
Gore added that he is optimistic about the Paris Agreement on climate. Even though US president Donald Trump has stated that the US will withdraw from the 2016 agreement designed to cut greenhouse gases, the next president could easily rejoin it, noted Gore.
Besides, many states such as California and thousands of companies remain committed to the Paris accord regardless of Trump's plans, Gore said.
Princely visitsSlush also welcomed other celebrities including Prince Daniel of Sweden and the Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line to the English throne.
The Duke, better known as Prince William, received two handmade hobbyhorses for his children, referencing a recent Finnish craze for older children to use the equine toys, before heading to Helsinki city centre to gladhand well-wishers and meet Santa Claus.
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Net Neutrality
From Jose in Portugal
Dear John and Adam,
Just a brief note about the ad you mentioned on the last
show that was proof that there is no Net neutrality in Portugal.
I was under the impression it had already been debunked.
Firstly it appplies only to internet on the phone. Secondly, the image floating
around shows a series of add-on packages for that include data at a special
rate for specific services, but you must already subscribe a mobile phone plan
with with internet.
Just for reference I include a print screen of the base rate
plans.
Please keep keeping us sane!
Sir ZP of Lusitania
From UK Producer Phantomville
Hello Mr Curry,
You were both talking about being blocked in the last show. I was at Heathrow
recently and tried to access the NA website (noagendashow.com) via the Heathrow
Airport free Wifi. I got the following message:
Sorry! Access denied.
This location uses content filtering software to help keep children and
vulnerable people safe online. The URL has been categorised under: Criminal
Skills/Hacking, Download Sites, Music for Virgin WiFi LHR.
The website you are trying to access has been identified as one which is
restricted. If you believe this site should be publically available, please let
us know: +44 (0) 330 660 1028
'Criminal skills'? 'Hacking'? Surely the message should say 'hitting people in
the mouth'?!
23andme
What You Should Know Before You Gift Someone a DNA Test
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:01
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for dick clark productionsCompanies can't even keep simple data like our passwords and credit card numbers safe, so should we trust them with our most personal data: our DNA? When you mail a tube of your spit to a personal genomics company, that's exactly what you're doing, and it turns out that data isn't as private as you might have thought.
23andme admitted years ago that its real goal is not to make money selling DNA tests but to collect massive amounts of personal data. Their privacy policy states that they will use your information, without any further consent, ''as we reasonably believe is permitted by laws and regulations, including for marketing and advertising purposes,'' and that they will turn it over to law enforcement if required.
By using the service you also agree that you will let them use your most sensitive information to serve you questionnaires and to develop and improve their own products. They also say that they will share your sensitive information, without any additional consent, if ''the information has been anonymized or aggregated so that you cannot reasonably be identified as an individual.'' But it's your DNA. It's your personal information, unique to you, even if your name isn't attached.
Ancestry.com's policy is similar, granting itself permission to use your information to sell you things, find your relatives, and perform studies internally. They also note they will be happy to disclose your information to third parties for purposes including ''as necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, safety, confidentiality, or reputation of Ancestry, its Group Companies, or other Users (including outside your country of residence),'' which sounds absolutely chilling.
Helix's privacy policy mentions that it will give your data to its partners. The partners are the ones who actually provide the DNA-based wine subscriptions or weight loss coaching or whatever it is you actually signed up for. Helix keeps your information on file, and hands out the relevant results to each partner that you authorize. That's handy because you only have to pay for sequencing once, but it also means you have to worry about what each company is doing with your data.
For example, Vinome will take your data and your $30 to recommend wines they think you should buy. Their privacy policy says: ''By submitting DNA to Vinome, you grant Vinome a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, transferable license to use your de-identified DNA and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the anonymous resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered.''
DNAFit, which sells weight loss and strength training plans, states that they ''may disclose to third parties Aggregated Genetic and Self-Reported Information. If we use your information we will take steps to protect your privacy by making this information non-identifiable. To do so, we will take out any details that could identify you with ease, such as name and email address.''
These companies also track other information about you, typically including web browsing habits, your answers to questions about your health, and your mailing address. That plus the most secret contents of the nucleus of your cells doesn't sound very ''non-identifiable'' to me.
But it's your DNA. It's your personal information, unique to you, even if your name isn't attached. Your DNA Belongs to Other People TooYou share half your DNA with each of your parents, and likely a quarter with each of your grandparents. Siblings also have half your DNA on average, and everyone on your family tree has some relation to you. That means that if you buy your mom a DNA test to find wines she might like, data giant Helix now has half of your genome on file.
This is a concern for privacy, but it also opens up a huge can of family history worms. Many personal genomics services bill themselves as a way to find distant relatives. But you might also find, as George Doe did, that your dad had another son nobody knew about, and oh look now your parents are divorcing. Doe writes that relative finders are ''essentially really advanced paternity tests'' and that few people really think about that when they check the box that says they want to find relatives.
What Now?Yesterday Senator Chuck Schumer called on the Federal Trade Commission to ''take a serious look'' at these companies' privacy policies and come up with some way for consumers to get the privacy they probably assume they already have.
In the meantime, if you don't want these companies to have unfettered access to your most personal data, your best bet is to not click those great Cyber Monday deals, which are admittedly looking pretty good right now. (23andme's $199 test is half price if you buy two; Helix is waiving its one-time $80 sequencing fee; Ancestry is running a deal for $49.)
If you do buy one'--or if you already have, in the past'--you can ask to delete your data. Ancestry and 23andme both let you download your own raw data, so you can keep that while you delete the copy that's officially on file. There are third-party companies that will analyze that file for you, but then you have to worry about their privacy policies.
Update 12/1/2017: A previous version of this post stated that 23andme will ''happily'' turn over your information to law enforcement ''if asked.'' We updated the piece to say that they will turn it over if required. A spokesperson from 23andme writes: ''We use all legal measures to resist any and all law enforcement requests to protect the customer's privacy. To date, we have successfully challenged these requests and have not released any information to law enforcement.''
DNA Testing Companies Like 23andme Admit Adding Fake African Ancestry To White Profiles In Order To ''Screw With Racists'' | Squawker
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:42
Who were your ancestors? What is your ethnic background composed of? Sites like Ancestry.com and 23andme have always been some go to sources in answering all of your toughest questions. But how accurate are they? In a recent interview with Cracked, one of the major ancestry testing companies, (which specific company is unknown) spilled the beans on what really happens when you purchase an ancestry kit. While I can't say I'm surprised, you may be shocked to learn that these ancestry sites aren't always as accurate as they claim to be. Beyond this, they've also admitted to tampering with the result to ''screw with racists''.
When Inside Edition had a set of triplets send their spit in to Ancestry.com and 23andMe, they got wildly different results from both services. Neither gave each triplet the same ancestry results. ''Tests can be a crapshoot. For DNA tests, they use genetic markers, which are little variations in the DNA one or several groups may have, but others do not. The more markers there are, the more accurate the test will be.''
Shocked yet? Yeah, I didn't think so. A lot of my friends have taken these types of DNA Tests, and most of them come back saying, ''I don't think this is entirely accurate'...''
Remember when white supremacist Craig Cobb found out that he was 14% black? Well as it turns out, there's a possibility that those numbers could have been fudged with.
Morgan and his colleagues were caught between a rock and a really-want-to-mess-with-racists place. It would've been fun to throw a ''10 percent West African'' in there, but then they might have a pissed-off, dangerous person at their office, waving a gun. ''Since we couldn't do anything to the results (and we wanted to), what we did was add '< >
It's a compromise that's elegant in its passive-aggressive simplicity. And it got a result. ''The near-N-bomber wrote to us asking what that meant, and we wrote back that it meant it was under 1 percent. And we were not saying zero. Unless they got another test, that was going to bother them. Maybe they weren't 100 percent Caucasian. I mean, they were, according to the results, but this way it leaves it open, and they'll always be wondering.''
This is beyond shady and deceptive, people pay more than they can really afford sometimes, just to find out the truth about their heritage. What about this is acceptable? How does this turn a racist into a ''non racist''? It doesn't. There's nothing but high levels of dishonesty in these companies. Unfortunately, this doesn't even fully cover the other things they do behind closed doors.
With a massive database of genetic information, the company can turn around and sell that data to other companies. Plenty of those companies are doing scientific research that can only be done with access to large amounts of genetic information. Even government agencies like the National Institutes of Health use the data to better understand the hereditary causes of diseases.
Popular Science reports. Also, AncestryDNA has a partnership with the Google-owned biotech Calico, and shares the DNA of unsuspecting victims in the name of science and helpful research.
If you were hesitant to purchase these kind of kits before, I'd highly advise you to just save your money and discourage SJW's from telling every white person that they're black.
If you enjoyed this article, buy me a cup of coffee! Yes, seriously! Writers need coffee, and at Squawker Media, we appreciate all of our supporters. Thanks for supporting the cause!
NA-Tech News
How to Fix Annoying Folder View Type Automatic Change Problem in Windows - AskVG
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 21:13
UPDATE: This tutorial will work in Windows Vista and all later Windows versions such as Windows 7, Windows 8 , Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 .
One of the most annoying problems in Windows Vista and later Windows versions is the automatic change of a folder view type. Imagine a situation when you set a desired view type of a folder (such as large icons, list, details, etc) and after some time Windows automatically changes its view type to "Pictures and Videos" or any other view type when you copy a picture or video file to this folder.
Its a very common problem in Windows Vista and later OS which almost all Windows users are facing. Actually it happens because of "Automatic Folder Type Discovery" feature which was introduced in Windows Vista but instead of making something good, this feature has made the life of Windows users worst as Windows doesn't remember your customized view types for folders and automatically resets the view type based on folder content.
But now no need to worry, there is a registry trick to fix this annoying problem. This trick will reset the view settings of all folders and then it'll completely disable the automatic folder type discovery feature, so you'll not face this problem any more and Windows will always remember your customized view type settings for all folders.
So follow these simple steps to fix this problem:
1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now navigate to following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
3. Under "Shell" key, select "Bags" key and press "Delete" key. It'll ask for confirmation, click on Yes button.
4. Now right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key" option. Set the name of new key as Bags
5. Now right-click on "Bags" key and select "New -> Key" option. Set the name of new key as AllFolders
6. Again right-click on "AllFolders" key and select "New -> Key" option. Now set the name of new key as Shell
So the final key path will be:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell
7. Now click on this new "Shell" key and in right-side pane, create a new String value and give it name as FolderType and set its value to NotSpecified
8. That's it. Either restart your system or log off and now Windows will no longer forget or automatically change your customized folder view type settings.
NOTE 1:
If you are not familiar with Registry editing tasks and want a ready-made Registry script to do the task automatically, download following Zip file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Download Registry Script to Fix Folder View Type Problem in Windows
NOTE 2:
If you want, you can apply same folder view settings to all folders using following steps:
1. In Windows Explorer, open any folder and customize its view type to your desired view such as large icons or details, etc.
2. Now open Folder Options (from Tools menu in Windows XP, from Organize menu in Windows Vista and 7, from Ribbon -> View in Windows 8 and later).
3. Go to View tab in Folder Options and click on "Apply to Folders" button.
That's it. It'll immediately apply current folder view type settings to all folders in your computer.
Also Check:
How to Disable Full Row Select Functionality in Windows Vista Explorer
[Windows Tip] Disable Full Row Select and Auto-Arrange Features in Windows Explorer
[Fix] Desktop Icons Position and Folder View Settings Problem in Windows 10
Posted in:Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista
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Apple's MacOS High Sierra Update Reintroduces "Root" Bug For Some Users | WIRED
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:58
When a company like Apple rushes out a software patch for a critical security bug, it deserves praise for protecting its customers quickly. Except, perhaps, when that patch is so rushed that it's nearly as buggy as the code it was designed to fix.
Earlier this week, Apple scrambled to push out a software update for macOS High Sierra, to sew up a glaring hole in the operating system's security measures: When any person or malicious program tried to log into a Mac computer, install software, or change settings, and thus hit a prompt for a username and password, they could simply enter "root" as a username, no password, and bypass the prompt to gain full access to the computer. Apple's initial patch came out about a 18 hours after the bug was first reported.
But now multiple Mac users have confirmed to WIRED that Apple's fix for that problem has a serious glitch of its own. Those who had not yet upgraded their operating system from the original version of High Sierra, 10.13.0, to the most recent version, 10.13.1, but had downloaded the patch, say the "root" bug reappears when they install the most recent macOS system update. And worse, two of those Mac users say they've also tried re-installing Apple's security patch after that upgrade, only to find that the "root" problem still persists until they reboot their computer, with no warning that a reboot is necessary.
"It's really serious, because everyone said 'hey, Apple made a very fast update to this problem, hooray,'" says Volker Chartier, a software engineer at German energy firm Innogy who was the first to alert WIRED to the issue with Apple's patch. "But as soon as you update [to 10.13.1], it comes back again and no one knows it."
'That is bad, bad, bad.'
Thomas Reed, Malwarebytes
Even if a Mac user knew to reinstall the security patch after they upgraded High Sierra'--and in fact, Apple would eventually install that update automatically, as it has for other users affected by the "root" bug'--they could still be left vulnerable, says Thomas Reed, an Apple-focused researcher at security firm MalwareBytes. After Reed confirmed that 10.13.1 reopened the "root" bug, he again installed Apple's security fix for the problem. But he found that, until he rebooted, he could even then type "root" without a password to entirely bypass High Sierra's security protections.
"I installed the update again from the App Store, and verified that I could still trigger the bug. That is bad, bad, bad," says Reed. "Anyone who hasn't yet updated to 10.13.1, they're now in the pipeline headed straight for this issue."
Mac administrator Chris Franson, a technical director at Northeastern University, tells WIRED that he repeated that sequence of events and found that the "root" bug persisted, too. But he noted that rebooting the computer'--after updating to 10.13.1 and then re-installing the security fix'--did cause the security update to finally kick in and resolve the issue, which MalwareBytes' Reed confirmed. They both note, however, that Apple's security update doesn't tell users to reboot after installing it. "You could easily have someone who doesn't reboot their computer for months," says Reed. "That's not a good thing."
WIRED reached out to Apple about the flaws in its patch, but hasn't yet heard back. On Monday, the company added an extra warning to its security update page for the "root" bug: "If you recently updated from macOS High Sierra 10.13 to 10.13.1, reboot your Mac to make sure the Security Update is applied properly."1
The bug in Apple's bug-fix isn't, of course, as bad as its original "root" problem. For one, it's not clear how many High Sierra users might have installed the security patch before upgrading to the most recent version of the operating system, or even if everyone who did so is affected. Even among those who were affected, many likely have rebooted their computers, which should leave them protected.
But the shoddiness of Apple's patch joins a disturbing pattern of security missteps in High Sierra's code. Apple had already issued a rare apology for the "root" security flaw, writing that its "customers deserve better" and promising to audit its development practices to prevent similar bugs in the future. And even before that most recent bug blowup, researchers had already shown'--on the day of the operating system's launch no less'--that malicious code running on the operating system could steal the contents of its keychain without a password. Another facepalm-worthy bug displayed the user's password as a password hint when someone tries to unlock an encrypted partition on their machine known as an APFS container.
Even the fix for this week's "root" bug has already hit snafus before this more serious one presented itself. The first version of Apple's patch broke some file-sharing functions on High Sierra, requiring Apple to put out a second version. Now Apple may have to reissue the "root" patch yet again, says MalwareBytes' Reed.
"Anyone rushing a patch like this could very easily make a mistake," Reed says. "But the big question going around now is, what is Apple's quality assurance [team] for Mac doing? I don't know what's going on that these bugs could have slipped past."
This post has been updated to include Apple's addition to its security page detailing the patch.
Zeta Global acquires commenting service Disqus '' TechCrunch
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:47
Marketing tech company Zeta Global is making good use of its recent $140 million Series F funding round. After acquiring Boomtrain earlier this year, the company today announced it has acquired Disqus, a service you're probably familiar with thanks to its ubiquitous online commenting service that powers the commenting sections of sites that range from TMZ to The Atlantic and Entertainment Weekly.
A source close to the two companies tells us that the acquisition price was close to $90 million. This marks Zeta's eleventh acquisition since it was founded in 2007.
Zeta Global's acquisitions have typically focused on more fundamental technologies like AI and machine learning, customer lifecycle management and other adtech related services. At first glance, Disqus doesn't quite seem to fit into this list, but Disqus sits on a huge data set that goes beyond your favorite troll's political comments.
''Marketers typically have to make trade-offs between reaching engaged audiences on social platforms with massive reach and using tools that give them control and access to granular targeting capabilities,'' said Zeta Global CEO, chairman and co-founder David A. Steinberg. ''Disqus strengthens Zeta's ability to offer the best of both worlds with the scale, visibility and performance marketers have been asking for.''
Disqus gives these marketers the ability to target users based on their interests. You can infer quite a bit about people simply based on which sites they comment on, after all. At the same time, though, most of the online commenting has now moved to social media and the number of comments on most sites is in a steady decline. So while Zeta is acquired a large hoard of data, it remains to be seen how long that data will stay current.
Zeta promises that it will continue to grow Disqus' core business and platform and use its existing AI capabilities and data assets to enhance Disqus' analytics. Zeta also expects to integrate Disqus' platform with its personalization and messaging capabilities to build new offerings for publishers and brands.
Disqus launched in 2007, when there was still a lot of excitement around commenting and a number of similar third-party commenting systems like Intense Debate (acquired by Automattic in 2008) and Livefyre (acquired by Adobe in 2016) sprung up that all took a slightly different approach to offering this kind of service but essentially offered the same features.
About a year ago, we reported that Disqus laid off about 20 percent of its staff, for a total of 11 employees, in an effort to rebalance its priorities to focus more on data services for publishers and advertisers. That's clearly what Zeta was interested in, too.
Ahead of the acquisition, Disqus had raised a total of $10.5 million, which isn't exactly a lot for a 10-year-old company. Investors include the likes of North Bridge Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Felicis Ventures and Knight's Bridge Capital Partners. Disqus was also an early Y Combinator graduate (and we used it here on TechCrunch for a while, too).
Vegas Massacre
ISIS Teases Vegas in Upcoming Sequel to Original Film Threatening U.S.
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:17
The Islamic State is promoting a forthcoming sequel to its most infamous movie that threatened America at the beginning of the caliphate, with the new trailer showing fire raining down on several U.S. cities before America is engulfed in a fireball.
ISIS' official al-Hayat Media Foundation didn't give a release date for "Flames of War II: Until the Final Hour," but distributed the trailer extensively across many open media platforms including YouTube and Google Drive.
The teaser begins with a rapid-fire montage of fiery battle scenes that appear to be from Iraq or Syria.
The focus then shifts to the United States, with columns of fire raining down on Los Angeles, Florida, New York, Texas and Nevada, labeled on a U.S. map.
ISIS appeared to be referring to the San Bernardino Christmas party attack in 2015, the 2015 attempted attack at a "Draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas, the 2016 Orlando nightclub attack, this Halloween's Manhattan bike path attack, and the Las Vegas mass shooting at the beginning of October. The terror group continues to claim gunman Stephen Paddock as their own Abu Abdul Bar al-Amriki, yet have not released evidence to back up the claim; authorities have maintained they have discovered no terrorist links as a motive remains elusive.
The video then switches to grainy security camera footage of a 2011 attack on the Minsk Metro, which was erroneously circulated after the 2016 Brussels attack as film from that subway bombing.
A local Fox affiliate clip from the Las Vegas attack is then briefly shown before the U.S. map explodes in a ball of flames.
"Flames of War II" trailer (ISIS video)The September 2014 ISIS movie "Flames of War," which was nearly an hour long, concluded with a mass execution: alleged soldiers of the Syrian regime forced to dig their own graves before being killed on camera.
A masked man with a North American accent spoke perfect English, yet also seamlessly transitioned to standard Arabic. At the end, he warned, "The fighting has just begun."
A month after the video's release, the FBI issued a bulletin seeking information from the public about the man's identity. An FBI spokesman noted at the time "that people outside the FBI who have watched the video have observed that he possibly sounds Canadian."
ISIS has frequently referenced the movie title, including while vowing in the June issue of their English-language Rumiyah magazine (which hasn't published a new issue since September) that the Manchester concert attack was a teaser of what's to come as Islamic State territory falls in Iraq and Syria and the terror group continues to "shift its focus towards carrying out attacks on Crusader soil."
"What many of these analysts failed to admit, however, is that losing territory was nothing new for the Islamic State. The loss of most of its territory in the wake of the Sahwah initiative in Iraq did not lead to its defeat," stated an article. "Rather, it only led to the Islamic State regrouping, redoubling its efforts, rekindling the flames of war, recapturing every inch of territory it had lost, and expanding into Sham, Sinai, Khurasan, and multiple other regions around the world, regions where no one would have expected that the mujahidin would take control and establish the rule of Allah."
WALSH: 58 People Were Killed In Las Vegas, We Still Don't Know Why Or How, And Nobody Cares | Daily Wire
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:43
I am going to break the rules of the Internet Hot Take Industry and write about an old story that nobody cares about anymore. We have gone on to other topics, and then other topics, and then other topics, and other topics, etc. The news cycle moves at the speed of sound. Events from last week are a distant memory and news from October may as well have occurred during the Cretaceous Period.
Still, I can't help but recall, ever so faintly, that little thing known at the time as the worst mass shooting in American history. If memory serves, a wealthy 64-year-old gambler named Stephen Paddock murdered 58 people and injured hundreds from the window of his luxury hotel room. In the days after the slaughter, nobody could figure out why he did it, or how he managed to pull it off. So, we all kind of shrugged our shoulders and moved on. The questions were never answered.
It is now two months later and we know as much today as we knew six hours after the shooting. But nobody is talking about it anymore. It's as if it never happened.
There was a time when a mass shooting of this magnitude would dominate the news for weeks and weeks. Columbine '-- which paled in comparison to this '-- was the only thing anyone talked about for at least a month. Even more recent shootings '-- Charleston, Aurora, Orlando '-- were in the headlines for much longer than Las Vegas. Yet there were more people shot in Vegas than in Columbine, Charleston, Aurora, and Orlando combined. Twice as many, easily.
Well, I think.
I actually don't know how many people were shot. They tell us 527 people were injured, along with the 58 killed, but were all of those injuries from gunshots? Did the guy actually physically shoot 585 human beings? Or were some of the injuries from people getting knocked over and trampled in the melee? I would imagine the latter must be the case, but I don't know. It's been two months and we still don't even know how many people Paddock shot. Maybe that number is available somewhere but I couldn't find it. How is that possible? How could it be two months after the worst mass shooting in American history and we still don't have a precise and well-publicized casualty count?
And that's just one unanswered question.
There are many more, because, basically, none of the questions about Las Vegas have ever been answered. And they don't need to be answered because nobody is asking them. So the questions remain. Questions like:
Why did he do it? We were told it wasn't terrorism, even though ISIS claimed credit. Okay, then what was it? Was he crazy? But then how did a crazy person manage to orchestrate something like this? And why hasn't a single person from Paddock's personal life come forward and called him crazy? All we heard was that Paddock was a normal, rational guy. Dylann Roof was obviously disturbed. Adam Lanza had clear mental issues. James Holmes is a nutcase. The Orlando killer was a terrorist. Every single one of these guys fits into one of two categories: terrorist or lunatic. We're told Stephen Paddock was neither of those things. What was he? Why did he do it? And why isn't the media asking why he did it?
In fairness, some media outlets have sued the FBI to gain access to information about the shooting, but they could put more pressure on the Powers That Be if they actually reported on the story and asked this question publicly. Or this question:
How did he do it? We know he used a gun. Or guns. He had dozens of guns in the hotel room with him. How did he get them all in there? How did he set up a kill room in a major American hotel without anyone noticing? How did he manage to shoot hundreds of people from 500 yards away at night? Was he trained? Where did he train? Who trained him?
More questions:
Why did the timeline of the shooting change three times? What's the current version of the timeline? First they told us a "hero" security guard named Jesus Campos stopped the shooting while it was happening. Then they told us Campos himself was actually shot six minutes before Paddock opened fire on the crowd. Then the hotel told us Campos was shot 40 seconds before Paddock began his massacre. Which is it? None of these? And how could there ever have been any confusion about the timeline? There are video cameras everywhere. There were gun shots being fired in a crowded hotel. Shouldn't it have been immediately obvious exactly when all of this started?
And what exactly were the police doing? If Campos was shot six minutes before the massacre, and the massacre lasted 10 minutes, why didn't anyone intervene sometime during that 16-minute time span? Police didn't finally enter the hotel room until an hour after the shooting stopped. What took them so long? Where were they? In one of the last press conferences about the shooting, the Las Vegas sheriff confirmed that the police were in the hotel when the shooting started. It took them over an hour to get upstairs? Or were they just waiting by the door as Paddock executed 58 people?
And why did it take them a month to disclose that an officer did discharge his weapon inside Paddock's room? They insisted for weeks that no officer fired a shot. Did they really not know? Or were they withholding the information? Why? And why was a shot fired if Paddock was allegedly already dead when they entered?
And why did Paddock wire $100,000 to the Philippines before the shooting?
And what happened to his missing hard drive? Did they ever find it? And why did he get rid of it? What's on it?
We're told Paddock had an escape plan. How could he have ever imagined that he might be able to escape? Did he have some help? Or was he supposed to have help but it fell through?
Why did he stop shooting after ten minutes if he had so many guns and so much ammunition?
Why did he stop shooting yet make no attempt to escape?
And what's the deal with Jesus Campos? Why did he leave the country immediately after the attack? Why did he refuse to do interviews with any news outlets until suddenly appearing on Ellen, of all places?
And do we know for sure that Paddock was the only shooter? Multiple witnesses swore that there were shots coming from more than one location. Were they mistaken?
And here's a big one: Why haven't we seen any video footage of Stephen Paddock whatsoever? Paddock carried out his attack in one of the most monitored cities in the world. You can scarcely find a nook or cranny of Las Vegas that isn't under video surveillance. Yet not even one second of Paddock video has leaked? No video of him carrying the gun-laden bags into the hotel? No video of him checking in? No video of whatever went down between Paddock and Campos? Not even any video of Paddock at one of the many casinos he frequented? We're told Paddock spent a lot of time in Vegas. There must be literally hundreds of hours of footage of him spread out between dozens of hotels and casinos. None of it has leaked? All of it was confiscated immediately?
That doesn't make any sense.
None of this makes any sense.
And maybe it never will make sense, because nobody is paying attention anymore.
Stanton sisters who survived Las Vegas shooting say they won't get help from $11M fund due to proposed rules | abc30.com
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:57
STANTON, Calif. --
New questions unfold over how donations for the many victims in the Las Vegas mass shooting will be distributed, and some victims said they could be left without any support.The mass shooting happened on Oct. 1 during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, killing 58 people and wounding nearly 500 others.
Two Stanton sisters said they relive the terror of that event every day. They also said under the proposed plan for the victims' fund, neither of them would receive any financial help.
"It's been horrible. I sleep three hours a night if I wake up in a complete panic like something's happening to me. I've had more shooting nightmares than I can count," Jasara Requejo said.
She's still recovering from the latest surgery to remove a bullet that was lodged in her arm. She and her sister, Kendra Hobbs, said their lives will never be the same after surviving the massacre.
"I ran for my life. I said goodbye to my family. I watched my sister bleed out. I watched our friend's face get blown off," Hobbs said.
They said they feel as if they're being victimized all over again as the Las Vegas victims' fund committee held emotional town hall meetings Tuesday night. They were hashing out the protocols on who would receive donations from the GoFundMe account, which has raised more than $11 million.
"I feel like I'm not even allowed to call myself a victim because they're saying only these victims get it, when we all are victims," Requejo said.
She was shot twice - once in the arm and side. She was treated quickly, spending only 10 hours in the hospital despite the overwhelming number of victims. Under the proposed protocol, her stay in the hospital is considered too short for her to receive any financial help.
Her sister will not receive any help either. Hobbs was not physically injured, but her mental and emotional scars run deep.
"PTSD is so real. I didn't want to be in that war zone. I didn't want to see what I saw," she said.
Neither sister has been able to return to work since the shooting. They said the committee has to find a way to help all of the shooting victims.
"We didn't ask for this. We went to a country concert. We were having a great time. We didn't ask for this. Our whole lives will never be the same," Requejo said.
There was no word on when the committee will finalize the rules for how to hand out the money. Victims of that shooting have until Jan. 31 to file a claim.
A separate GoFundMe account has been set up to help the sisters with all of their medical needs. If you would like to donate, you may do so by clicking here.
(Copyright (C)2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
Update on Marilou Danley Las Vegas Shooting Stephen Paddock
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:53
It's been over a month since the tragic Las Vegas shooting and many details regarding Stephen Paddock, his motive, witnesses and the timeline of events remain unclear.
Las Vegas Sherriff Joseph Lombardo went into detail about the shooting last week, touching on Paddock, the persistent conspiracy theories, and Marilou Danley '' the girlfriend of Paddock.
''There is a lot of people that have hundreds and hundreds of guns but for [Paddock] to do it at a certain point in time and to do it all with such robust action, you would think that Ms. Danley would have some information associated with that,'' Lombardo said in an hour-long interview with KLAS. ''But currently we haven't been able to pull that out of her, if it is in her.
''It could have been prevented on many levels,'' Lombardo continued. ''Marilou Danley, [Paddock's] brother, anybody that may have had some modicum of information that would have presented this individual's state of mind, but apparently right now we don't know that.''
Lombardo added that Danley will be interviewed again this week. He also talked about the pressing questions of a conspiracy.
''There is no conspiracy out there for us to conceal anything, to hide anything,'' Lombardo said. ''Ya know, people are frustrated '... what is the reason why? I'm frustrated too. What is the reason why? Why would this individual take it upon himself to cause the worst mass shooting in our lifetime without reason or cause or understanding? We haven't gotten that answer yet.''
In the interview (see below), Lombardo did suggest that Paddock had lost a great deal of his wealth and that he was embarrassed by his financial decline.
''[Paddock] was status-driven, based on how he liked to be recognized in the casino environment and how he liked to be recognized by his friends and family,'' Lombardo said. ''So, obviously, that was starting to decline in the short period of time and that may have had a determining effect on why he did what he did.''
In recent weeks, conspiracy theories on witnesses who have died since the Las Vegas shooting have grown popular on YouTube (although '' truth be told, you can find a conspiracy theory on just about anything on YouTube).
Dennis and Lorraine Carver died in a fiery car crash in Murietta, California in October when they hit a guard rail.
Conspiracy theorists also point to the death of 35-year-old Danny Contreras as mysterious, though in the Las Vegas Review-Journal (which has done a tremendous job covering the Las Vegas shooting) story regarding Contreras' death there is no mention that he was in attendance at the country music festival on Oct. 1. The way in which Contreras died is what alarmed most conspiracy theorists as he was shot multiple times and the death was ruled a homicide. The initial investigation shows that the killing was ''likely related to narcotics'' as ''residents on the street described the northeast Las Vegas home as a problem place with possible drug activity in and out of the home.''
The Contreras homicide is the 149th shooting homicide in Clark County this year (not including the 58 persons who died in the Oct. 1 massacre).
It should also be pointed out that over 22,000 people attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival the night of the shootings.
L.A. firefighters gather for a fundraiser to help family of Las Vegas shooting victim from Corona '' Daily News
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:50
Paul Scrivano, an owner of a sports bar in Sherman Oaks, said he couldn't stay still when he learned that a daughter of a Los Angeles Fire Department captain was seriously injured during the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
''These guys are walking into fire for us every day,'' he said. ''I wanted to do something for them.''
A Saturday fundraiser drew more than 100 firefighters, family members and friends.
''We are like a family here,'' said Brandon Terrazas, who attended the event at Blue Dog Beer Tavern at 4524 Saugus Ave in Sherman Oaks, with his fellow firefighters of Fire Station 88. ''The whole family was affected by the tragedy.''
RELATED STORY: Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was a CSUN graduate, university confirms.
Kristina Terrill Staples of Corona, the 34-year-old daughter of LAFD Capt. Greg Terrill, was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas with her husband Daniel in October when Stephen Paddock opened fire, striking Staples in the head. Staples was in a coma for several weeks following the shooting and remains in critical condition.
Family members of Kristina Terrill Staples, Fire Station 88 firefighters, San Fernando Valley firefighters and others gather during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Harper Lynn Staples, 1, holds a flower as she joins others during a fundraiser event for her mother Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 2, 2017. Her mother was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Michael Martinez, cadet Fire Station 81, serves guest during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Capt. Mike Kammerer, Fire Station 88, mans the barbecue during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Family members of Kristina Terrill Staples, Fire Station 88 firefighters, San Fernando Valley firefighters and others gather during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Family members of Kristina Terrill Staples, Fire Station 88 firefighters, San Fernando Valley firefighters and others gather during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Paul Scrivano, left, owner of Blue Dog Beer Tavern, helps Capt. Mike Kammerer, Fire Station 88, man the barbecue during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Family members of Kristina Terrill Staples, Fire Station 88 firefighters, San Fernando Valley firefighters and others gather during a fundraiser event for Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Harper Lynn Staples, 1, holds a flower as she joins others during a fundraiser event for her mother Kristina Terrill Staples at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks on Saturday Dec. 02, 2017. Her mother Kristina Terrill Staples was struck by gunfire during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Staples' family members said they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support their family has received.
''I am very blessed and humbled,'' said Daniel Staples, Kristina's husband, as he held his 18-month-old daughter Harper Lynn. ''It's a hard time, but everyone here is very supportive. It feels like a family.''
Terrill, who retired from Station 88 last year after 35 years of service, said he learned about the fundraising, organized by his colleagues and friends, just a few days ago.
''I know everyone here,'' he said. ''I am happy to see everyone.''
For the fundraiser, Scrivano installed tables, chairs and a grill on a parking lot adjacent to his restaurant. Several firefighters grilled ribs and corn for guests. Another team sold t-shirts and hoodies with the fire station's logo.
RELATED STORY: Suspected Las Vegas shooter graduated from Sun Valley high school
Scrivano said his goal was to raise $5,000 for the Staples family.
''You could do millions of things in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon,'' he said. ''But people still showed up. That tells you something about this community,''
To help pay medical expenses, a GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Staples family.
Editors note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Kristina Terrill Staples is still in critical condition in a coma.
Los Angeles Times, other news outlets file lawsuits to obtain Las Vegas shooting records - LA Times
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:48
News organizations have filed two lawsuits with a third suit planned as they seek public records from law enforcement agencies investigating the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.Attorneys representing a consortium of news outlets including the Los Angeles Times filed two lawsuits in Nevada on Wednesday night asking officials to turn over law enforcement records related to the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead.
A month after the shooting, many questions remain unanswered about why the gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., opened fire on a country music concert from his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, as well as questions about how police and hotel officials responded as Paddock unleashed his attack.
One of the lawsuits filed in Clark County, Nev., district court asks a judge to unseal court records related to at least 14 search warrants filed in connection with the investigation of Paddock, including probable-cause affidavits and transcripts of oral arguments that might provide insight into the police investigation.
"The law enforcement authorities in charge of the criminal investigation have publicly declared that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, acted alone," the lawsuit says. "Although aspects of that investigation are still ongoing, law enforcement officials cannot credibly claim that a search for further suspects '-- the primary reason why investigations are kept confidential '-- will be harmed if these records are unsealed."
The lawsuit adds: ''The public has a compelling interest in learning as much as possible about the government's response to the deadliest mass shooting in this nation's history.''
The second lawsuit filed in the district court Wednesday demanded that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department turn over law enforcement records that had been unsuccessfully requested by several news outlets in public records requests.
The requests sought police body camera footage, recordings of 911 calls, dispatch calls, evidence logs and surveillance footage collected from the Mandalay Bay as evidence.
The lawsuit argues that "under Nevada law, all video and audio recordings made by police-worn body cameras are public records subject to inspection," as are recordings of 911 calls. In some cases, police denied requests to release the records, stating that the investigation was ongoing, while ignoring other requests altogether.
"A full month later, significant questions remain unanswered about the shooter's actions and the response of public agencies," the lawsuit argues. Authorities' "blanket refusal to produce any of the records pursuant to the requests is improper, and all requested information and records should be produced without redactions."
The lawsuit asks a judge to order police to turn over the records immediately, and also seeks attorneys' fees.
The news organizations plan to file an additional lawsuit Thursday in federal court with a separate request to unseal records connected to the shooting.
The other news organizations involved in the lawsuits include the Associated Press, ABC News, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and KSNV-TV, the Las Vegas affiliate of NBC. The media outlets are represented by the Ballard Spahr law firm in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas police did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent late Wednesday night.
Matt Pearce is a national reporter for The Times. Follow him on Twitter at @mattdpearce.
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VIDEO - Listen Up '-- It's Grammy Nomination Season | On Point
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:22
Jay-Z. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP) The 2018 Grammy nominations are out. Rap and hip hop dominate. We talk about everything from classical to Albita's Cuban big band sound to Jay-Z, who '-- with his album 4:44 '-- led all musicians with eight nominations.
This show airs Friday at 11 a.m. EST.
Guests: Dee Lockett, associate editor at Vulture. (@Dee_Lockett)
Felix Contreras, host of NPR's Alt Latino. (@felixatjazz)
Mark Swed, classical music critic for the Los Angeles Times. (@markswed)
From Tom's Reading List: NPR: Grammy Nominations Announced: The 'Despacito' Story Continues '-- "The 'Despacito' phenomenon continues with this morning's announcement of the 2018 Grammy nominations. However, while it was the original Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee version that won big at the Latin Grammys, it was the Justin Bieber remix that got nods this morning for record of the year, song of the year and best pop duo/group performance."
Vulture: Jay-Z Reveals He And Beyonce Were Working On A Joint Album, But She Made Lemonade Instead '-- "Finally, the origin story of both Beyonc(C)'s Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44 has been confirmed beyond the rumors."
USA Today: The 2018 Grammy Nominations Deservedly Celebrate Artists Of Color '-- "Look at the 2018 Grammy nominations, and the statistics are clear. All five tracks nominated for record of the year came from artists of color, as did four out of the five nominees for album and song of the year.
Look further down the list and you see names like Lil Uzi Vert, SZA, Khalid, Logic, Migos and Cardi B '-- part of the new generation of artists of color, boosted to the top of the charts by streaming."
Grammy nominations out this week. For record of the year: Redbone by Childish Gambino. The Story of OJ by Jay-Z, HUMBLE. by Kendrick Lamar, 24K Magic by Bruno Mars, and '' of course '' Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with Justin Bieber. That may be your daily playlist. It may not. But there are a lot more categories. Latin '' like Albita. Jazz. Classical. Up next On Point: the whole world of Grammy nominations. --Tom Ashbrook
This program aired on December 1, 2017.
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VIDEO - House rejects Trump impeachment resolution after Dem Rep. Al Green forces vote | Fox News
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:31
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected an attempt to impeach President Trump after a liberal Texas congressman forced a vote on his effort.
Democratic Rep. Al Green, who has repeatedly called for the president's removal, introduced two articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday.
But lawmakers immediately voted to effectively kill his resolution, with 364 voting to table it and 58 Democrats voting to move ahead.
In a dramatic speech on the floor ahead of the vote, Green called Trump ''unfit'' for office and accused him of "high misdemeanors."
The symbolic vote had been expected to fail in the Republican-controlled House. It put some lawmakers in competitive districts in a tough spot by forcing them on the record about impeachment.
Lawmakers did not actually vote on the actual articles of impeachment, but on a procedural measure that would have led to a vote on them.
''As I have said before, this is not about Democrats, it is about democracy,'' Green wrote in a memo to his colleagues. ''It is not about Republicans, it is about the fate of our Republic. May everyone vote their conscience knowing that history will judge us all.''
Green has discussed his intention to impeach Trump since last spring. In October, Green filed impeachment articles that nearly forced a vote -- until House Democratic leaders persuaded him to abandon the effort.
At the time, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the effort "pathetic.''
AL GREEN INTRODUCES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST TRUMP
In his memo to lawmakers, Green didn't allege ''obstruction of justice'' or reference the ongoing investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign's connection with Russia.
Instead, Green highlighted Trump's supposed association with ''White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism and Hate,'' as well as ''Inciting Hatred and Hostility,'' as offenses worthy of impeachment.
''Friends, whether we like it or not, we now have a bigot in the White House who incites hatred and hostility,'' Green wrote in a letter.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has insisted that any impeachment effort should be put on hold until there is evidence of an impeachable offense.
Fox News' Mike Emanuel and Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.
VIDEO - Franken to make announcement Thursday as chorus grows for his resignation - ABC News
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:23
Sen. Al Franken is set to make an announcement Thursday, according to his office, as more than a dozen Democratic senators called on him today to resign amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Interested in Al Franken? Add Al Franken as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Al Franken news, video, and analysis from ABC News. At least 38 senators have called for Franken's resignation, including Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Kamala Harris of California, Patty Murray of Washington, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Minnesota Democrat should step down immediately.
''Senator Franken should resign," Schumer said. "I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately.''
A Democratic source on Capitol Hill familiar with the developments told ABC News that some of the female Democratic senators have been in contact for quite some time regarding the path forward for Sen. Franken. Today's action was a result of mounting frustrations over the increasing number of accusations.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn. was the first male senator to join his female colleagues in calling for Franken to step down, and since then, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind, Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Ed Markey, D-Mass., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Dick Durbin, D-Ill, among others, joined those calls.
Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also said Franken should step down.
Franken has denied some of the allegations and apologized for others made against him. During a press conference last week outside his Senate office, Franken said he would be "more careful in these encounters or in these situations" but that he would not resign.
''So, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Senator Franken's behavior. Enough is enough. The women who have come forward are brave and I believe them,'' Sen. Gillibrand said in a Facebook post.
Alex Wong/Getty Images Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks during a news conference on Dec. 6, 2017, on Capitol Hill. Gillibrand said she also expects there will be more allegations of sexual assault against Congressional members.
''In politics, of course, the problem of sexual harassment and sexual assault is not limited to any one party. There have been Democrats and Republicans accused of misconduct, and I have no doubt that there will be more because Congress is not immune to this scourge,'' she wrote.
''It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women, and he should resign. We are experiencing a sea change in our culture that is long overdue, and we must continue working to empower all women and do everything we can to prevent sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault,'' Sen. Hassan said in a statement Wednesday.
The push for Franken to resign comes after another anonymous woman told Politico Wednesday that Franken attempted to forcibly kiss her in 2006 after a taping of his radio show and said, '''It's my right as an entertainer.'''
ABC News has not independently verified the anonymous woman's account.
Franken denied the allegation as ''categorically not true'' and ''preposterous.''
''This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous,'' Franken said in a statement Wednesday.
The Minnesota Democrat, who's served in the Senate since 2009, said he looks forward to ''fully cooperating'' with the ongoing Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the allegations.
The former Democratic aide's story mirrors that of Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden, who was the first to go public with her allegation in November.
Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her in 2006, while they were practicing a skit as part of a U.S.O tour to entertain U.S. troops in Afghanistan. During the time of the alleged incident, Franken was a well-known comedian, famous for being a cast member on the comedy sketch show ''Saturday Night Live.'' Tweeden also said Franken groped her without consent while she was sleeping. She released a photograph of Franken appearing to place his hands on her chest while she was sleeping on a military plane on their return trip from the USO tour.
Franken apologized to Tweeden but said that he didn't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way.
Since Tweeden, at least six other women have accused Franken of inappropriate behavior. Of the seven women making accusations against Franken, four have asked to remain anonymous.
AP/Getty Images A combination photo showing, top row from left: Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Bottom row from left: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Before the female senators, a few House Democrats, including House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., had already called on Franken to resign.
Another woman, Lindsay Menz, alleged Franken grabbed her backside while taking a photo at the Minnesota state fair in 2010.
''My husband steps away from us to take the photo. I stand next to Sen. Franken and he pulls me into him and then he moves his hand to my butt,'' Menz, 33 told ABC News last month. ''I was shocked.''
She added, ''I was surprised and kind of wondering, did that really just happen?''
After reports of multiple women recalling similar incidents, Franken released a statement saying, ''I've met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I'm a warm person; I hug people. I've learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women -- and I know that any number is too many.
The list of senators calling for Franken to resign includes:
Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.Michael Bennet, D-Colo.Sherrod Brown, D-OhioMaria Cantwell,D-Wash.Tom Carper, D-Del.Bob Casey, D-Penn.Corey Booker, D-N.J.Susan Collins, R-MaineJoe Donnelly, D-Ind.Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.Dick Durbin, D-Ill.Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.Deb Fischer, R-Neb.Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.Kamala Harris, D-Calif.Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.Heidi Heitkamp, D- N.D.Mazie Hirono, D-HawaiiAngus King, I-Maine (caucuses with Democrats)Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.Ed Markey, D-Mass.Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.Lisa Murkowski, R-AlaskaChris Murphy, D-Conn.Patty Murray, D-Wash.Gary Peters, D-Mich.Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (caucuses with Democrats)Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.Jon Tester, D-Mo.Tom Udall, D-N.M.Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.Ron Wyden, D-Ore.ABC News' Mary Bruce contributed to this report.
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VIDEO - TIME Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers | Time.com
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:22
Movie stars are supposedly nothing like you and me. They're svelte, glamorous, self-­possessed. They wear dresses we can't afford and live in houses we can only dream of. Yet it turns out that'--in the most painful and personal ways'--movie stars are more like you and me than we ever knew.
In 1997, just before Ashley Judd's career took off, she was invited to a meeting with Harvey Weinstein, head of the starmaking studio Miramax, at a Beverly Hills hotel. Astounded and offended by Weinstein's attempt to coerce her into bed, Judd managed to escape. But instead of keeping quiet about the kind of encounter that could easily shame a woman into silence, she began spreading the word.
"I started talking about Harvey the minute that it happened," Judd says in an interview with TIME. "Literally, I exited that hotel room at the Peninsula Hotel in 1997 and came straight downstairs to the lobby, where my dad was waiting for me, because he happened to be in Los Angeles from Kentucky, visiting me on the set. And he could tell by my face'--to use his words'--that something devastating had happened to me. I told him. I told everyone."
TIME
She recalls one screenwriter friend telling her that Weinstein's behavior was an open secret passed around on the whisper network that had been furrowing through Hollywood for years. It allowed for people to warn others to some degree, but there was no route to stop the abuse. "Were we supposed to call some fantasy attorney general of moviedom?" Judd asks. "There wasn't a place for us to report these experiences."
Finally, in October'--when Judd went on the record about Weinstein's behavior in the New York Times, the first star to do so'--the world listened. (Weinstein said he "never laid a glove" on Judd and denies having had nonconsensual sex with other accusers.)
When movie stars don't know where to go, what hope is there for the rest of us? What hope is there for the janitor who's being harassed by a co-worker but remains silent out of fear she'll lose the job she needs to support her children? For the administrative assistant who repeatedly fends off a superior who won't take no for an answer? For the hotel housekeeper who never knows, as she goes about replacing towels and cleaning toilets, if a guest is going to corner her in a room she can't escape?
Like the "problem that has no name," the disquieting malaise of frustration and repression among postwar wives and homemakers identified by Betty Friedan more than 50 years ago, this moment is borne of a very real and potent sense of unrest. Yet it doesn't have a leader, or a single, unifying tenet. The hashtag #MeToo (swiftly adapted into #BalanceTonPorc, #YoTambien, #Ana_kaman and many others), which to date has provided an umbrella of solidarity for millions of people to come forward with their stories, is part of the picture, but not all of it.
This reckoning appears to have sprung up overnight. But it has actually been simmering for years, decades, centuries. Women have had it with bosses and co-workers who not only cross boundaries but don't even seem to know that boundaries exist. They've had it with the fear of retaliation, of being blackballed, of being fired from a job they can't afford to lose. They've had it with the code of going along to get along. They've had it with men who use their power to take what they want from women. These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day, and in the past two months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought.
Emboldened by Judd, Rose McGowan and a host of other prominent accusers, women everywhere have begun to speak out about the inappropriate, abusive and in some cases illegal behavior they've faced. When multiple harassment claims bring down a charmer like former Today show host Matt Lauer, women who thought they had no recourse see a new, wide-open door. When a movie star says #MeToo, it becomes easier to believe the cook who's been quietly enduring for years.
'WERE WE SUPPOSED TO CALL SOME FANTASY ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MOVIEDOM?'
Ashley Judd 49 Actor More
Judd says she was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein when she was 29 years old.
'We need to formalize the whisper network. It's an ingenious way that we've tried to keep ourselves safe. All those voices can be amplified. That's my advice to women. That and if something feels wrong, it is wrong'--and it's wrong by my definition and not necessarily someone else's.'
Weinstein said in a statement he 'never laid a glove' on Judd.
The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City's regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They're part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.
IIIn a windowless room at a two-story soundstage in San Francisco's Mission District, a group of women from different worlds met for the first time. Judd, every bit the movie star in towering heels, leaned in to shake hands with Isabel Pascual, a woman from Mexico who works picking strawberries and asked to use a pseudonym to protect her family. Beside her, Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, eight months pregnant, spoke softly with Adama Iwu, a corporate lobbyist in Sacramento. A young hospital worker who had flown in from Texas completed the circle. She too is a victim of sexual harassment but was there anonymously, she said, as an act of solidarity to represent all those who could not speak out.
From a distance, these women could not have looked more different. Their ages, their families, their religions and their ethnicities were all a world apart. Their incomes differed not by degree but by universe: Iwu pays more in rent each month than Pascual makes in two months.
But on that November morning, what separated them was less important than what brought them together: a shared experience. Over the course of six weeks, TIME interviewed dozens of people representing at least as many industries, all of whom had summoned extraordinary personal courage to speak out about sexual harassment at their jobs. They often had eerily similar stories to share.
In almost every case, they described not only the vulgarity of the harassment itself'--years of lewd comments, forced kisses, opportunistic gropes'--but also the emotional and psychological fallout from those advances. Almost everybody described wrestling with a palpable sense of shame. Had she somehow asked for it? Could she have deflected it? Was she making a big deal out of nothing?
"I thought, What just happened? Why didn't I react?" says the anonymous hospital worker who fears for her family's livelihood should her story come out in her small community. "I kept thinking, Did I do something, did I say something, did I look a certain way to make him think that was O.K.?" It's a poisonous, useless thought, she adds, but how do you avoid it? She remembers the shirt she was wearing that day. She can still feel the heat of her harasser's hands on her body.
Alyssa Milano 44 Actor More
Millions of people responded with the hashtag #MeToo when Milano urged them to post their experiences on Twitter.
'It's affected me on a cellular level to hear all these stories. I don't know if I'll ever be the same. I have not stopped crying. I look at my daughter and think, Please, let this be worth it. Please, let it be that my daughter never has to go through anything like this.'
Tarana Burke 44 Activist More
Burke, founder of a nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual violence, created the Me Too movement in 2006 to encourage young women to show solidarity with one another. It went viral this year after actor Alyssa Milano used the hashtag #MeToo.
'Sexual harassment does bring shame. And I think it's really powerful that this transfer is happening, that these women are able not just to share their shame but to put the shame where it belongs: on the perpetrator.'
Nearly all of the people TIME interviewed about their experiences expressed a crushing fear of what would happen to them personally, to their families or to their jobs if they spoke up.
For some, the fear was borne of a threat of physical violence. Pascual felt trapped and terrified when her harasser began to stalk her at home, but felt she was powerless to stop him. If she told anyone, the abuser warned her, he would come after her or her children.
Those who are often most vulnerable in society'--immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income workers and LGBTQ people'--described many types of dread. If they raised their voices, would they be fired? Would their communities turn against them? Would they be killed? According to a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 47% of transgender people report being sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, both in and out of the workplace.
'HE SAID IF I EVER WRONGED HIM, HE WOULD HAVE ME KIDNAPPED, HAVE MY EYES GOUGED OUT WITH A BIC PEN AND THROW ME INTO THE HUDSON RIVER.'
Selma Blair 45 Actor More
After director James Toback denied accusations by dozens of women that he had sexually assaulted them, Blair spoke out about her encounter with him.
'I decided to go on the record when I saw his denial. He called the women liars. But their stories were so similar to mine, and they were such credible women. There was no agenda other than they wanted to share this story, be free of this story. And in a magazine interview, he called the people who said this about him 'c-nts' and 'c-cksuckers.' That was just wrong. And I wanted to give a face to these now more than 300 women who have come out.'
Toback has denied all allegations of harassment.
Juana Melara, who has worked as a hotel housekeeper for decades, says she and her fellow housekeepers didn't complain about guests who exposed themselves or masturbated in front of them for fear of losing the paycheck they needed to support their families. Melara recalls "feeling the pressure of someone's eyes" on her as she cleaned a guest's room. When she turned around, she remembers, a man was standing in the doorway, blocked by the cleaning cart, with his erect penis exposed. She yelled at the top of her lungs and scared him into leaving, then locked the door behind him. "Nothing happened to me that time, thank God," she recalls.
While guests come and go, some employees must continue to work side by side with their harassers. Crystal Washington was thrilled when she was hired as a hospitality coordinator at the Plaza, a storied hotel whose allure is as strong for people who want to work there as it is for those who can afford a suite. "Walking in, it's breathtaking," she says.
But then, she says, a co-worker began making crude remarks to her like "I can tell you had sex last night" and groping her. One of those encounters was even caught on camera, but the management did not properly respond, her lawyers say.
Plaza Hotel Plaintiffs More
From left: Veronica Owusu, Gabrielle Eubank, Crystal Washington, Dana Lewis, Paige Rodriguez, Sergeline Bernadeau and Kristina Antonova filed a suit against New York City's Plaza Hotel for 'normalizing and trivializing sexual assault' among employees there.
''I am a single mother. I have an 11-year-old daughter, and she's depending on me,' says Lewis, who still works at the hotel to make ends meet. 'My entire life revolves around her. I wasn't really left with the option of leaving. I'm not left with the option of giving up. I want to show her that it's O.K. to stand up for yourself. If you keep fighting, eventually you'll see the sun on the other side.''
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which owns the Plaza, said it takes remedial action against harassment when warranted.
Washington has joined with six other female employees to file a sexual-harassment suit against the hotel. But she cannot afford to leave the job and says she must force herself out of bed every day to face the man she's accused. "It's a dream to be an employee there," Washington says. "And then you find out what it really is, and it's a nightmare." (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which owns the Plaza, said in a statement to TIME that it takes remedial action against harassment when warranted.)
Other women, like the actor Selma Blair, weathered excruciating threats. Blair says she arrived at a hotel restaurant for a meeting with the independent film director James Toback in 1999 only to be told that he would like to see her in his room. There, she says, Toback told her that she had to learn to be more vulnerable in her craft and asked her to strip down. She took her top off. She says he then propositioned her for sex, and when she refused, he blocked the door and forced her to watch him masturbate against her leg. Afterward, she recalls him telling her that if she said anything, he would stab her eyes out with a Bic pen and throw her in the Hudson River.
Blair says Toback lorded the encounter over her for decades. "I had heard from others that he was slandering me, saying these sexual things about me, and it just made me even more afraid of him," Blair says in an interview with TIME. "I genuinely thought for almost 20 years, He's going to kill me." ( Toback has denied the allegations, saying he never met his accusers or doesn't remember them.)
Many of the people who have come forward also mentioned a different fear, one less visceral but no less real, as a reason for not speaking out: if you do, your complaint becomes your identity. "'Susan Fowler, the famous victim of sexual harassment,'" says the woman whose blog post ultimately led Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to resign and the multibillion-dollar startup to oust at least 20 other employees. "Nobody wants to be the buzzkill," adds Lindsey Reynolds, one of the women who blew the whistle on a culture of harassment at the restaurant group run by the celebrity chef John Besh. (The Besh Group says it is implementing new policies to create a culture of respect. Besh apologized for "unacceptable behavior" and "moral failings," and resigned from the company. )
Iwu, the lobbyist, says she considered the same risks after she was groped in front of several colleagues at an event. She was shocked when none of her male co-workers stepped in to stop the assault. The next week, she organized 147 women to sign an open letter exposing harassment in California government. When she told people about the campaign, she says they were wary. "Are you sure you want to do this?" they warned her. "Remember Anita Hill."
Sara Gelser 43 State Senator More
After the Oregon state senator accused her fellow legislator Jeff Kruse of sexual harassment, the statehouse launched an investigation and stripped him of his committee assignments.
'We can't pick and choose based on whose political beliefs we believe in. And that means we have to be willing to speak out when it's a member of our own party.'
Kruse said in a statement that he never touched Gelser inappropriately.
Anonymous 28 Hospital worker More
The mother of two told the HR department at the hospital where she worked that an executive there repeatedly came on to her.
'I thought, What just happened? Why didn't I react? Why couldn't I force words out of my mouth? When I got home, I crumbled. I kept thinking, Did I do something, did I say something, did I look a certain way to make him think that was O.K.?'
Taylor Swift says she was made to feel bad about the consequences that her harasser faced. After she complained about a Denver radio DJ named David Mueller, who reached under her skirt and grabbed her rear end, Mueller was fired. He sued Swift for millions in damages. She countersued for a symbolic $1 and then testified about the incident in August. Mueller's lawyer asked her, on the witness stand, whether she felt bad that she'd gotten him fired.
"I'm not going to let you or your client make me feel in any way that this is my fault," she told the lawyer. "I'm being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions. Not mine." (Mueller said he would appeal.)
In an interview with TIME, Swift says that moment on the stand fueled her indignation. "I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances," she says, "imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance." Like the five women gathered at that echoing soundstage in San Francisco, and like all of the dozens, then hundreds, then millions of women who came forward with their own stories of harassment, she was done feeling intimidated. Actors and writers and journalists and dishwashers and fruit pickers alike: they'd had enough. What had manifested as shame exploded into outrage. Fear became fury.
'WHEN I TESTIFIED, I HAD ALREADY HAD TO WATCH THIS MAN'S ATTORNEY BULLY, BADGER AND HARASS MY TEAM, INCLUDING MY MOTHER ... I WAS ANGRY.'
Taylor Swift 27 Singer-Songwriter More
Radio DJ David Mueller groped Swift during a photo op in 2013. She reported him to his radio station, KYGO, and he was terminated. He said her accusations were false and sued Swift. She countersued for $1 and won.
'In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn't considered any formalities when he assaulted me ... Why should I be polite?'
Mueller's lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
This was the great unleashing that turned the #MeToo hashtag into a rallying cry. The phrase was first used more than a decade ago by social activist Tarana Burke as part of her work building solidarity among young survivors of harassment and assault. A friend of the actor Alyssa Milano sent her a screenshot of the phrase, and Milano, almost on a whim, tweeted it out on Oct. 15. "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet," she wrote, and then went to sleep. She woke up the next day to find that more than 30,000 people had used #MeToo. Milano burst into tears.
At first, those speaking out were mostly from the worlds of media and entertainment, but the hashtag quickly spread. "We have to keep our focus on people of different class and race and gender," says Burke, who has developed a friendship with Milano via text messages. By November, California farmworkers, Pascual among them, were marching on the streets of Hollywood to express their solidarity with the stars.
Women were no longer alone. "There's something really empowering about standing up for what's right," says Fowler, who has grown comfortable with her new reputation as a whistle-blower. "It's a badge of honor."
Sandra Pezqueda 37 Former Dishwasher More
Pezqueda filed a suit alleging that her supervisor at the Terranea Resort, a luxury retreat in South California, pursued her for months. When she rebuffed him, he changed her schedule and cut her hours.
'Someone who is in the limelight is able to speak out more easily than people who are poor. The reality of being a woman is the same'--the difference is the risk each woman must take.'
Attorneys for the staffing company that employed Pezqueda deny her allegations. Terranea Resort declined to comment.
Blaise Godbe Lipman 28 Director More
Lipman accused his former agent Tyler Grasham of sexually assaulting him when he was 18. Grasham has since been dismissed by his agency and is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.
'I experienced a little bit of victim blaming, victim shaming'--people digging into my Instagram and pulling up sexy photos, as if that discredited me from speaking out against sexual violence. And gay men are often highly sexualized in the media, so coming out with a story of sexual assault, especially one that also involved alcohol and maybe drugs, there is an idea that 'Well, did you want it?.''
Grasham could not be reached for comment.
IIIDiscussions of sexual harassment in polite company tend to rely on euphemisms: harassment becomes "inappropriate behavior," assault becomes ­"misconduct," rape becomes "abuse." We're accustomed to hearing those softened words, which downplay the pain of the experience. That's one of the reasons why the Access Hollywood tape that surfaced in October 2016 was such a jolt. The language used by the man who would become America's 45th President, captured on a 2005 recording, was, by any standard, vulgar. He didn't just say that he'd made a pass; he "moved on her like a bitch." He didn't just talk about fondling women; he bragged that he could "grab 'em by the pussy."
That Donald Trump could express himself that way and still be elected President is part of what stoked the rage that fueled the Women's March the day after his Inauguration. It's why women seized on that crude word as the emblem of the protest that dwarfed Trump's Inauguration crowd size. "All social movements have highly visible precipitating factors," says Aldon Morris, a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. "In this case, you had Harvey Weinstein, and before that you had Trump."
Megyn Kelly, the NBC anchor who revealed in October that she had complained to Fox News executives about Bill O'Reilly's treatment of women, and who was a target of Trump's ire during the campaign, says the tape as well as the tenor of the election turned the political into the personal. "I have real doubts about whether we'd be going through this if Hillary Clinton had won, because I think that President Trump's election in many ways was a setback for women," says Kelly, who noted that not all women at the march were Clinton supporters. "But the overall message to us was that we don't really matter."
'WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO PLAY NICE.'
Rose McGowan 44 Artist and Activist More
McGowan reached a settlement with producer Harvey Weinstein in 1997 after accusing him of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room. McGowan's decision to speak to the press this year helped expose Weinstein as a serial harasser.
'The number of people sharing their stories with me is so intense, especially since all of this is incredibly triggering for me as well. People forget a lot that there's a human behind this, someone who is very hurt. But that's O.K. It fuels my fire. They really f-cked with the wrong person.'
Weinstein has denied all allegations of non­consensual sex.
So it was not entirely surprising that 2017 began with women donning "pussy hats" and marching on the nation's capital in a show of unity and fury. What was startling was the size of the protest. It was one of the largest in U.S. history and spawned satellite marches in all 50 states and more than 50 other countries.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, was one of roughly 20 women to accuse the President of sexual harassment. She filed a defamation suit against Trump days before his Inauguration after he disputed her claims by calling her a liar. A New York judge is expected to decide soon if the President is immune to civil suits while in office. No matter the outcome, the allegations added fuel to a growing fire.
By February, the movement had made its way to the billionaire dream factories of Silicon Valley, when Fowler spoke out about her "weird year" as an engineer at Uber. "I remember feeling powerless and like there was no one looking out for us because we had an admitted harasser in the White House," Fowler says. "I felt like I had to take action."
Barely two months later, Fox News cut ties with O'Reilly. Over the next several months, media outlets reported that O'Reilly and Fox News had spent more than $45 million to settle claims with women who alleged harassment. Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and former guest on the network, was one of the first women to share her story about the star anchor'--but she was initially reluctant to go on the record. "I was afraid for my kids, I was afraid of the retaliation," she says. "I know what men can do when they're angry."
Eventually she allowed her name to be used. "I felt it was my duty," Walsh says, "as a mother of daughters, as an act of love for women everywhere and the women who are silenced, to be brave."
The downfall of O'Reilly, who has denied all allegations of harassment, would prove to be just the beginning of the reckoning in media and entertainment. In June, Bill Cosby was brought to trial on charges that he had drugged and sexually assaulted a woman named Andrea Constand, one of nearly 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault over several decades. Although the case ended in a mistrial'--it is scheduled to be retried in April'--the fact that it happened at all signaled a shift in the culture, a willingness to hold even beloved and powerful men accountable for past misdeeds.
Wendy Walsh 55 Former Fox News Contributor More
After Walsh and other women accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment, Fox News fired him.
'In the early '90s, as a news anchor, I wore buttoned-up suits, skirts to my knees, sensible shoes. I dipped out of the industry. When I came back, I was put in a sausage dress. The hair got blonder and the cleavage got deeper and the heels higher. Fox had created a sort of Snapchat filter: any woman, even a woman with advanced degrees, would be turned into what looked like an office sex toy. Part of what happened to the women at Fox News started in the makeup room.'
O'Reilly has denied harassing colleagues.
Lindsey Reynolds 32 Food-Blog Editor More
When she quit her job as social-media manager at the restaurant group of celebrity chef John Besh, Reynolds sent an email to her bosses complaining about the company's culture of sexism. She later filed a complaint with the EEOC. Besh has since stepped down.
'After I sent that email, I burst into tears and felt sick to my stomach and was shaking. I was nobody. I'm just a person from a small town in Texas. I have no money, no power, no social standing. And they have more power and money than I will ever have. I felt extremely vulnerable and scared. Then I heard from women I had never met'--they worked as line cooks while I worked in corporate'--who had experienced the same toxic culture.'
The company said it is working to enact policies to create a culture of safety and respect. Besh has apologized for 'unacceptable' behavior and 'moral failings,' and resigned.
Complaints at the University of Rochester helped expose harassment in academia. The chief executive of SoFi, the $4 billion lending firm, resigned following a lawsuit over claims of sexual harassment. Then, in early October, the dam finally broke.
On Oct. 5, the New York Times published the first story to expose Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and a leading Democratic political fundraiser, as a serial sexual predator. The revelation was quickly followed by New Yorker investigations that widened Weinstein's list of accusers and showed the incredible lengths he went to cover his tracks. Weinstein denied the allegations, but the levers that he had long pulled to exert his influence suddenly were jammed. Fellow chieftains refused to defend him. Politicians who once courted him gave away his donations. His company's board fired him.
Within days, the head of Amazon Studios, an influential art publisher and employees at the financial-services firm Fidelity had all left their jobs over harassment claims. By the end of the month, the list of the accused had grown to include political analyst Mark Halperin, a former TIME employee; opinion-shaping literary critic Leon Wieseltier; and numerous politicians and journalists. The Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey was scrubbed from a completed movie.
'IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THEY CRITICIZE ME. I CAN SUPPORT OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING.'
Isabel Pascual 42 Strawberry picker More
In the wake of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Pascual spoke out at a march in L.A. about being stalked and harassed in order to give voice to her fellow agricultural workers.
'I was afraid. When the man was harassing me, he threatened to harm my children and me'--that's why I kept quiet. I felt desperate. I cried and cried. But, thank God, my friends in the fields support me. So I said, Enough. I lost the fear. It doesn't matter if they criticize me. I can support other people who are going through the same thing.'
*Pascual's name was changed to protect her family.
The response to the Weinstein allegations has shaped the way people view women who come forward. In a TIME/SurveyMonkey online poll of American adults conducted Nov. 28''30, 82% of respondents said women are more likely to speak out about harassment since the Weinstein allegations. Meanwhile, 85% say they believe the women making allegations of sexual harassment.
The movement'--and fallout'--quickly spread around the world. Michael Fallon, Britain's Defense Secretary, quit the Cabinet after journalist Jane Merrick revealed that he had "lunged" at her in 2003, when she was a 29-year-old reporter. In France, women took to the streets chanting not only "Me too" but also "Balance ton porc," which translates roughly to "Expose your pig," a hashtag conceived by French journalist Sandra Muller. In the week after #MeToo first surfaced, versions of it swept through 85 countries, from India, where the struggle against harassment and assault had already become a national debate in recent years, to the Middle East, Asia and parts in between.
Lindsey Meyer 31 Entrepreneur More
Meyer says that Justin Caldbeck, a venture capitalist who invested in her first company, harassed her. After six other women reported harassment by Caldbeck, he resigned from his firm.
'I wanted it to stop. I wanted to be able to get back to running my company and not have the daily distraction of being constantly emailed, called, text-messaged. That took a lot of energy to deal with and to process and to try to bury'--because I didn't want it to be a big deal. For so long, I went around harboring this ridiculous belief that because I was a nonwhite woman in my 20s that somehow it was expected that I would have to be treated this way. And now I see that that is so silly. I am a person with dignity.'
Caldbeck apologized in a statement to the women he 'made uncomfortable.'
Juana Melara 52 Housekeeper More
Hotel guests have propositioned and exposed themselves to Melara while she was working.
'One time when I was cleaning, a guest asked me if I knew how to massage. I said, 'No, I don't even do it to my husband.' The way he was looking at me wasn't friendly. I rushed to finish the room as fast as I could and get out of there. It's crazy that people think that if they pay for the room, they are paying for sexual service.'
The hotel declined to comment.
"Suddenly," says Terry Reintke, a German member of the European Parliament, who discussed her own harassment in a speech on Oct. 25, "friends from primary school or women that I know from completely different surroundings that would never call themselves feminists were starting to share their stories."
By November, the spotlight was back on American politicians. A woman named Leigh Corfman told the Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for the Senate, abused her when she was 14 and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Nine women have come forward to describe inappropriate encounters with Roy Moore, including several who say he pursued them when they were teenagers. Moore has called the allegations "false" and "malicious." "Specifically, I do not know any of these women nor have I ever engaged in sexual misconduct with any woman," he said in late November.
'I'M SURE THE ROAD WILL BE LONG AND DIFFICULT, BUT IT WILL BE POSITIVE IN THE END.'
Sandra Muller 46 Journalist More
In France, Muller started the Twitter hashtag #BalanceTonPorc (Expose Your Pig), which helped inspire women to march in the streets to protest sexual harassment.
'France is a country of love, but there is love and love, you know? There are ways to approach a woman, and if it's done with respect, it's O.K. Without respect, it's not good. Now if men want your love, they have to ask themselves how to be, how to approach a woman. They are scared. We must restart all relationships from the beginning. We have to cleanse society to find a better way. I'm sure the road will be long and difficult, but it will be positive in the end.'
The following week, radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote that Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken groped her on a USO tour in 2006, before he was in office. Several other women have since come forward with similar harassment allegations against Franken, who has called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate his own behavior. On Dec. 5, Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers resigned amid allegations that he had made sexual advances toward the women on his staff. He has said that the allegations "are not accurate; they are not true."
Texas Republican Representative Blake Farenthold has also found himself in the crosshairs after media reports that he used $84,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual-harassment lawsuit with a former aide in 2014. Farenthold denies that he engaged in any wrongdoing and has vowed to repay the settlement.
'WHEN TRUMP WON THE ELECTION, I FELT A CRUSHING SENSE OF POWERLESSNESS. AND THEN I REALIZED THAT I HAD TO DO SOMETHING.'
Susan Fowler 26 Former Uber Engineer More
Fowler's February blog post about the harassment she experienced as an engineer at Uber went viral. Uber then launched an investigation that led to the ousting of its CEO Travis Kalanick and more than 20 other employees.
'When other women spoke out, they were retaliated against. So there were certain things that I thought I could avoid: 'I'm not going to sue, because they'll make me sign a non­disclosure agreement. I'm not going to do press right afterward, because they'll say I'm doing it for attention. I can't have any emotion in my blog. I have to be very, very detached.' And I had to make sure that every single thing that I included in there had extensive physical documentation, so it couldn't be 'he said, she said.' And that's what I did.'
The accused were both Democrats and Republicans, but the consequences thus far have been limited'--and often filtered through a partisan lens. In politics, at least, what constitutes disqualifying behavior seemed to depend not on your actions but on the allegiance of your tribe. In the 1990s, feminists stood up for accused abuser Bill Clinton instead of his ­accusers'--a move many are belatedly regretting as the national conversation prompts a re-evaluation of the claims against the former President. And despite the allegations against Moore, both ­President Trump and the Republican National Committee support him.
That political divide was revealed in the TIME/SurveyMonkey poll, which found that Republicans were significantly more likely to excuse sexual misdeeds in their own party. The survey found that while a majority of Republicans and Democrats agree that a Democratic Congressman accused of sexual harassment should resign (71% and 74% respectively), when the accused offender was in the GOP, only 54% of Republicans would demand a resignation (compared to 82% of Democrats).
'WHY ARE YOU QUESTIONING THE VICTIM HERE? LET'S FLIP IT. LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT THE PREDATOR IS DOING.'
Terry Crews 49 Actor More
Crews is suing agent Adam Venit and William Morris Endeavor for sexual assault. Crews says Venit groped him in front of his wife at an industry event. Venit was briefly suspended from the agency.
'People were saying, 'You should have beaten him up.' I'm like, Why is nobody questioning him? Nobody questions the predator. You know why? Because they just expect it. And I expect it. And I just said, 'No more.' Why are you questioning the victim here? Let's flip it. Let's talk about what the predator is doing.'
The agency said it had suspended and demoted Venit, who declined to comment.
As another election cycle approaches, Americans find themselves trying to weigh one ugly act against another in a painful calculus of transgression. Is a grope caught on camera more disqualifying than a years-ago assault that was credibly reported? What are we willing to forgive or ignore or deny if the violator shares our politics?
IVIt wasn't so long ago that the boss chasing his secretary around the desk was a comic trope, a staple from vaudeville to prime-time sitcoms. There wasn't even a name for sexual harassment until just over 40 years ago; the term was coined in 1975 by a group of women at Cornell University after an employee there, Carmita Wood, filed for unemployment benefits after she had resigned because a supervisor touched her. The university denied her claim, arguing that she left the job for "personal reasons."
University Professors More
University of Rochester professors Celeste Kidd (right) and Jessica Cantlon (left), along with six current and former members of the brain and cognitive sciences department, filed complaints with the university and the EEOC, alleging harassment and retaliation.
''If they couldn't stop us from talking, they were going to stop every­body from listening,' says Cantlon. 'The administration went into our emails to try to find pieces of material that they could use to embarrass us or try to make other faculty members angry with us. But eight of us linked arms and continued to pursue the complaint. I think working together was powerful. It was hard to silence all of us.''
The university has launched an investigation led by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White.
Wood, joined by activists from the university's human-affairs program, formed a group called Working Women United that hosted an event for workers from various fields, from mail-room clerks and servers to factory workers and administrative assistants, to talk about their own harassment experiences.
It was a proto-version of the social-media explosion we're seeing today, encouraging unity and reminding women that they were not alone. But even as public awareness about the problem of sexual harassment began to grow, legal and policy protections were almost nonexistent. In the 1970s, most businesses and institutions had no policies on sexual harassment whatsoever, and even egregious complaints were regularly dismissed.
'I ALWAYS THOUGHT MAYBE THINGS COULD CHANGE FOR MY DAUGHTER. I NEVER THOUGHT THINGS COULD CHANGE FOR ME.'
Megyn Kelly 47 Journalist More
The host of NBC's Megyn Kelly Today and former Fox News anchor called out Bill O'Reilly for claiming that nobody at Fox News had complained about his behavior. She had. In 2016, Kelly revealed that she'd been sexually harassed by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
'I always thought maybe things could change for my daughter. I never thought things could change for me. Never. I believed the system was stacked against women, and the smart ones would understand how to navigate it ... I'm starting to see it so differently. What if we did complain? What if we didn't whine, but insisted that those around us did better?'
Ailes denied Kelly's claims of harassment before he died in May. O'Reilly said he didn't know of any complaint by Kelly.
In 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency tasked with enforcing civil rights laws in the workplace, issued guidelines declaring sexual harassment a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It was a victory, but with caveats: even after sexual harassment became explicitly illegal, it remained difficult to lodge a complaint that stuck'--in part because acts of harassment are often difficult to define. What separates an illegal act of sexual harassment from a merely annoying interaction between a boss and his subordinate? When does a boss stop just being a jerk and become a criminal? Because the Civil Rights Act offered no solid legal definition, interpretation has evolved slowly, shaped by judges and the EEOC over the past 37 years.
In 1991, Anita Hill testified before the Senate committee confirming Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, accusing him of sexual harassment and bringing national attention to the issue. But, she says, "The conversation was not about the problems in the workplace. It was about the fallout in politics."
More
From left: Jane Merrick, journalist; Zelda Perkins, producer; Terry Reintke, Parliament member; Bex Bailey, charity worker.
'Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon quit his Cabinet position after Merrick said he 'lunged' at her when she was a young reporter: 'I think we're all part of this movement. On Twitter, there aren't any country borders, because it's such a powerful thing. There are millions of women who have experienced harassment and assault in every country.'''
Fallon said in a statement that he's 'behaved inappropriately in the past.'
Even now, the contours of what constitutes sexual harassment remain murky. Some of the recent stories clearly cross the line, like a boss exposing himself to a subordinate or requiring that his researcher sit on his lap. But others feel more ambiguous. Under what circumstances can you ask a colleague about their marriage? When is an invite to drinks alone a bridge too far?
Jonathan Segal, a partner at the Philadelphia law firm Duane Morris, who specializes in workplace training, says he hears that confusion in the conversations men are now having among themselves. "It's more like, 'I wonder if I should tell someone they look nice, I wonder when it's O.K. to give a hug, I wonder when I should be alone with someone in a room,'" he says.
Amanda Schmitt 30 Art curator More
A publisher of Artforum, Knight Landesman, stepped down after Schmitt sued him for sexual harassment.
'The harassment started when I was at the beginning of my career and had just moved to New York City. I was trying to figure out my place in the art world, my place in the city, my place as an adult in the workplace. The harassment began so early, and it was so accepted in the industry. When I finally spoke out publicly, I wondered why I hadn't sooner. I was afraid that I didn't have the strength to make it stop. I don't feel that fear anymore.'
Artforum's other publishers say they took swift action to support Schmitt. Landesman could not be reached for comment.
Adama Iwu 40 Lobbyist More
Iwu organized an open letter signed by 147 women calling out harassment in California's capital, which launched a state-senate investigation.
'Young women told me about the same men who harassed me years ago. And all I did was participate in the whisper network: 'Here's what you can wear,' 'Here's where you can go,' 'Here's who to avoid.' But you have to address it head on and as a group. It's hard to call 147 women liars. We can't all be crazy. We can't all be sluts.'
This uncertainty can be corrosive. While everyone wants to smoke out the serial predators and rapists, there is a risk that the net may be cast too far. What happens when someone who makes a sexist joke winds up lumped into the same bucket as a boss who gropes an employee? Neither should be encouraged, but nor should they be equated.
Companies, meanwhile, are scrambling to keep up. Most large U.S.-based corporations now have fairly complete policies on sexual harassment, and many have anti''sexual harassment training programs and claim to be "zero-­tolerance workplaces." A 2016 EEOC report found that a company's willingness to protect so-called rainmakers'--high-performing men like Kalanick, Weinstein and O'Reilly'--to be one of the most pernicious reasons C-­suites and corporate boards overlooked harassment. It doesn't matter how good a company's policy is if its systems are ignored or don't work. "So much harassment training is like an episode of The Office," says Victoria Lipnic, the acting chair of the EEOC.
In some instances, sexual-harassment training has even been shown to backfire. In a 2001 study, Lisa Scherer, an associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, found that while training increased knowledge about what constituted sexual harassment, it also sometimes had a corrosive effect on workplace culture. "What was disturbing was that the males who had gone through training showed a backlash effect," she says. "They said they were less willing to report sexual harassment than the males who had not gone through the training."
Employers are also girding for future allegations and lawsuits. The insurance company Nationwide reported a 15% increase in sales of employment practices liability insurances between 2016 and 2017. And Advisen, which tracks insurance trends, says that EPLI insurance price has increased 30% since 2011, which indicates that more companies are reporting losses.
Corporate boards, wary of alienating female employees and customers and of drawing bad press, have been among the quickest to make changes. Uber, for example, which built its reputation on a willingness to flout norms, used to be a guiding light for small startups. Now nobody is pitching their company as the next Uber, says Fowler. "There's a shift to, 'We're not disrupting anymore. We're trying to build something that's good for consumers and treats employees fairly.'" It's a start.
State and local governments have also taken some concrete steps. In October, the Chicago city council passed an ordinance­ requiring hotels to provide panic buttons to employees who work alone in hotel rooms. In Springfield, Ill., lawmakers passed a measure that will allow an investigation into a backlog of sexual-­harassment complaints in the statehouse. In Arizona, pending legislation would void nondisclosure agreements signed by victims of harassment to keep them silent.
'I STAYED ANONYMOUS BECAUSE I LIVE IN A VERY SMALL COMMUNITY. AND THEY JUST THINK USUALLY THAT WE'RE LYING AND COMPLAINERS.'
Anonymous 22 Former office assistant More
After a co-worker allegedly began kissing and pressing himself on her, this young Native American woman says she felt trapped. Her office had no HR department. She didn't feel her colleagues or family on her small, conservative reservation would believe her. So she quit her job.
'On the reservation, we keep to ourselves and don't really put too much out there. I thought of all the other people that had no voice. They're scared to do something like this because their parents say, 'You're not supposed to do that. You're not supposed to speak up.''
At the federal level, the House and Senate have passed new rules requiring members of Congress and their staff to complete mandatory sexual-harassment training. A handful of Senators have also introduced legislation to rein in what are known as mandatory arbitration agreements'--legal clauses that can appear in employee contracts that prevent workers from suing their employers in court for any reason, including sexual harassment. Some 60 million American workers are currently bound by them.
VWe're still at the bomb-throwing point of this revolution, a reactive stage at which nuance can go into hiding. But while anger can start a revolution, in its most raw and feral form it can't negotiate the more delicate dance steps needed for true social change. Private conversations, which can't be legislated or enforced, are essential.
Norms evolve, and it's long past time for any culture to view harassment as acceptable. But there's a great deal at stake in how we assess these new boundaries'--for women and men together. We can and should police criminal acts and discourage inappropriate, destructive behavior.
At least we've started asking the right questions. Ones that seem alarmingly basic in hindsight: "What if we did complain?" proposes Megyn Kelly. "What if we didn't whine, but we spoke our truth in our strongest voices and insisted that those around us did better? What if that worked to change reality right now?" Kelly acknowledges that this still feels more like a promise than a certainty. But for the moment, the world is listening.
'--With reporting by Charlotte Alter and Susanna Schrobsdorff/New York, Sam Lansky/Los Angeles, Kate Samuelson/London, Maya Rhodan/Washington and Katy Steinmetz/San Francisco
VIDEO - Chelsea Handler: Sarah Sanders a 'Harlot' Wearing 'Summer Whore Lipstick'
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:57
''That Harlot that they're dressing up and trolloping out every day?'' Handler said on last Friday's episode in reference to Sanders. ''I mean, one day she has no makeup on at all, the next she has six foot long eyelashes, she's got cleavage and summer whore lipstick all over her face. Can you believe what they turned her into? A proper trollop.''
The comments quickly attracted criticism on social media, with Twitter users pointing out a contradiction of Handler's feminist credentials.
''Sarah Sanders is everything Chelsea Handler could never be,'' wrote one user. ''Smart, classy, and professional.''
''[Handler] considers herself a champion of [sic] woman yet she has no problem shaming Sarah Sanders,'' wrote another user.
''This is what the Left has been reduced to,'' added another. ''The left is now attacking the physical attributes of conservative women.''
Handler, whose show was recently canceled amid largely unfavorable reviews, regularly makes controversial political statements, which include calling Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson and actress Stacey Dash ''black white supremacists'' and suggesting that President Trump is a bigger criminal than so-called Dreamer illegal immigrants.
Hander also regularly attacks Trump on social, once suggesting that he should be subject to a military coup. She has even mocked First Lady Melania Trump's grasp of the English language.
Following her show's cancellation, Handler said she would seek to further involve herself in political activism.
''Like so many across the country, the past presidential election and the countless events that have unfolded since have galvanized me,'' she said, adding that she would ''devote as much time as I can to becoming a more knowledgeable and engaged citizen and to focus on projects that have significance to me.''
Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com
VIDEO - THE LAST P{ANEL POMPEO - APLC Panels: Reagan National Defense Forum '-- 12/2/17 - YouTube
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:31
VIDEO - Dustin Hoffman Spars With John Oliver Over Harassment Claims | Deadline
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:00
In a striking and raw demonstration of the angst that has accumulated over Hollywood's sexual harassment scandals, HBO host John Oliver sparred with Dustin Hoffman during an awkward 45-minute Q&A intended as a prologue to a 20th-anniversary screening of the film Wag the Dog. (Check out the video of the exchange below, courtesy of the Washington Post.)
Tonight's event at the 92nd Street Y, a benefit for the Tribeca Film Institute, featured Hoffman, Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson in an onstage discussion. About half of the talk surfaced somewhat familiar but nonetheless interesting material about the way the film's sardonic, David Mamet-scripted take on public-image management and politics has gained new relevance during the Trump Era. In other words, typical Q&A material.
Then, about 20 minutes in, Oliver brought up the current climate around sexual harassment in show business, saying he was going to go ''around the room'' to gauge all panelists' sentiments. (Later, when Hoffman would complain about having been ambushed, Oliver said it was ''on the organizers'' for not conveying his stated intention to bring up the ultra-hot-button topic.)
Levinson managed a thoughtful response about the current atmosphere, but it was quickly eclipsed by what followed. Seated next to him was Hoffman, who earlier this fall issued an apology following accusations that he inappropriately touched production assistant Anna Graham Hunter, then 17, during the making of a TV movie version of Death of a Salesman in 1985.
Warning it was ''likely to be the tensest part of the evening,'' Oliver started in with Hoffman. The tension would linger for 30 agonizing minutes as the two engaged in an anguished back and forth centering on the actor's deeds and the response to his response to the allegations. ''You've made one statement in print,'' Oliver said. ''Does that feel like enough to you?'' Hoffman replied, ''First of all, it didn't happen, the way she reported.'' He said his apology over the incident, offered, he said, at the insistence of his reps, was widely misconstrued ''at the click of a button.'' But the Last Week Tonight host seized on the portion of the actor's public apology, in which Hoffman said the events that happened on set didn't reflect who he is as a person.
''It's that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off,'' Oliver said. ''It is reflective of who you were. You've given no evidence to show that it didn't happen. There was a period of time when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, 'Well, this isn't me.' Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?'''
Hoffman shot back, ''You weren't there.'' Oliver responded, ''I'm glad,'' drawing gasps from the well-heeled audience, many of whom had paid hefty ticket prices. Heightening the spectacle was the fact it was occurring in the Y's wood-paneled Kaufmann Concert Hall, an august Upper East Side venue that had last seen an uproar like this when John Ashbery dared to read a poem in free verse.
After a two-month exegesis of the industry (and other parts of society) confronting decades of sexual misconduct and abuse, what made this exchange unique was the fact that Hoffman came back energetically at Oliver to both defend his reputation and decry the current climate. Accused perpetrators by the dozens have been issuing statements '-- or, in extreme cases like Harvey Weinstein's, engaging in legal maneuvers''but an A-list star revealed in this environment has not responded as vigorously as this.
''You've put me on display here,'' Hoffman told Oliver, seething but never raising his voice or leaving his seat. ''You have indicted me. '... That's not innocent until proven guilty.''
Hoffman tried to put it in historical context, saying sometimes the atmosphere on set decades ago involved sexually charged banter, which he said was not meant in an offensive way. 'I don't love that answer either,'' Oliver said, cringing. ''What response do you want?'' Hoffman demanded. ''It doesn't feel self-reflective in the way it seems the incident demands,'' Oliver explained, adding, ''I get no pleasure from this conversation. But you and I are not the victims here.''
When Oliver quoted from an account Hoffman's accuser wrote, the actor asked Oliver, incredulous, ''Do you believe this stuff you're reading?'' Oliver said he did ''because she would have no reason to lie.''
As this went on, the other panelists largely stayed mum. The audience seemed divided '-- some in the crowd, looking forward to a breezier night re-living a Clintonian satire, took offense at Oliver staying on the issue. ''Move on!'' one person shouted. ''He thinks it's funny,'' sputtered one man as he escorted his wife out of the theatre. Others applauded when Oliver expressed his view. ''Thank you for believing women!'' one woman called out. The spasms of conflict and accusation were followed by long stretches of silence, during which no one in the theatre knew quite what to do.
Rosenthal at one point decided to enter the conversation, ''as the only women here on this panel.'' She turned the focus to the larger struggle and issues like pay inequality and the need for more female representation on boards and executive suites. ''We've got to start moving that conversation forward,'' she said, drawing applause. Oliver would not let it go. ''We're about to watch a movie where sexual harassment is an under-plot and there's an elephant in the room because this conversation is not being had,'' he said, explaining his interest in pursuing the topic.
Rosenthal fired back, ''It wasn't produced by Weinstein Co. or Miramax, so you don't have a really big conversation. Kevin Spacey wasn't starring in it. Let's look at real sexual criminal predators.''
After about 15 minutes, Hoffman appeared to have persuaded some in the crowd, but he voluntarily returned to the topic and re-engaged with Oliver. When Levinson and Oliver agreed that social media has distorted politics and culture, Hoffman interjected, ''Well, it's affected you in terms of your feelings about me.'' While the audience applauded, the line began a gut-wrenching 15-minute sequence that closed the night.
''The so-called, alleged comments that are made are truth now,'' Hoffman fumed. ''And if you try to defend it, you're guilty.'' Oliver granted, ''I see where you're coming from,'' but insisted, ''it's a little more complicated than that.'' Several times, he expressed anxiety over ruining the audience's night and the experience of watching the film again. And yet, ''I can't leave certain things unaddressed,'' Oliver conceded. ''That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, 'Why the f''k didn't I say something? No one stands up to powerful men.''' Hoffman asked Levinson, ''Am I the powerful man?'' Levinson said, ''I wasn't sure what the reference was, which powerful men.''
Hoffman then offered examples of the empathy he had always tried to show for characters and colleagues during his 50-year career. ''Have you seen Tootsie?'' he asked Oliver at one point. When Oliver insisted that he had and that he enjoyed Hoffman's performance in it, Hoffman told a detailed story about staying in makeup and costume as Dorothy, the film's title character, after shooting had ended one night and experiencing misogyny first-hand. ''How could I have made that movie if I didn't have incredible respect for women?'' he asked. ''It's shocking to me that you don't see me more clearly.''
Here's the exchange:
VIDEO - How the Kremlin Tried to Pose as American News Sites on Twitter - Bloomberg
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:49
The Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated dozens of Twitter accounts masquerading as local American news sources that collectively garnered more than half-a-million followers. More than 100 news outlets also published stories containing those handles in the run-up to the election, and some of them were even tweeted by a top presidential aide. These news imposter accounts, which are part of the 2,752 now-suspended accounts that Twitter Inc. has publicly disclosed to be tied to the IRA, show how the Russian group sought to build local communities of followers to disseminate messages.
Many of the news imposter accounts amassed their following by tweeting headlines from real news sites, while others sought to represent certain communities. They targeted a diverse set of regions across the political spectrum, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston. Several of the accounts were impersonating local news outlets in swing states, like @TodayPittsburgh, @TodayMiami and @TodayCincinnati.
There were about 40 news imposter accounts out of the 2,752 Twitter accounts that the company identified as being tied to the IRA. Twitter has deactivated all of those accounts and removed any data on the accounts from third-party sources. Information on the details of the accounts was gathered from Meltwater, a data intelligence firm that monitors social media. Details on the contents of the tweets are from Facebook posts that were synced with the users' Twitter accounts. Some of the followers of the accounts could be bots, and the same bots or users could have followed multiple imposter accounts.
Twitter did not verify any of the 2,752 accounts, according to a company spokeswoman. Twitter says it's taking steps to stop malicious actors on its platform.
"We take seriously reports that the power of our service was misused by a foreign actor for the purpose of influencing the U.S. presidential election and undermining public faith in the democratic process," the company said in an emailed statement. "Twitter believes that any activity of that kind'--regardless of magnitude'--is intolerable, and we agree that we must do better to prevent it."
Weslie Viddaurri is one of the people who followed one of these fake news accounts, @TodayNYCity. He had no idea it was linked to the Russian-based troll farm. The account had more than 60,000 followers and claimed to be "New York City's local news on Twitter. Breaking news, sports, events and international news." Many of the account's tweets linked to breaking news stories from legitimate local news sites, like the New York Daily News and the New York Times.
Viddaurri signed up for Twitter three years go. He lives in the small town of Spavinaw, Oklahoma, where he's a machinist at a company that makes airplanes. He used to check Twitter almost every day to read the news, until he decided to quit last month (though he didn't delete his account). Twitter recently revealed that more than 36,000 Russian-linked accounts generated about 1.4 million automated, election-related Tweets. Viddaurri says the recent revelations have turned him away from Twitter.
"I assumed that there was more real people and real stuff on social media than there really is. It's just so fake. It has been disheartening. I wish Twitter had been more vigilant on vetting people that become members," said Viddaurri, who is 50. "I don't trust Twitter news anymore."
Viddaurri followed almost 4,500 Twitter accounts. He followed news sites, public figures and politicians on all sides of the political spectrum. Bloomberg LP is developing a global breaking news network for the Twitter service.
Lawmakers berated social media companies for taking too long to recognize the seriousness of manipulation. People tied to the Russian government used Facebook, Google and Twitter to spread content crafted to sow social discord in America. By operating fake news accounts targeted toward certain regions, the IRA was able to amass followers in specific populations and push messages to them.
@BlackNewsOutlet, one of the fake accounts, had more than 40,000 followers and had a description of "Freedom is never given; it is won. #BlackLivesMatter." Tweets from this account frequently posted news about social unrest or headlines to incite anger. A retweeted post from @BlackNewsOutlet on Oct. 19, 2016 read: "How many more black lives needed to change the rotten police systems?"
The accounts amassed influential followers. Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, had retweeted several posts from @tpartynews, one of the Kremlin-linked accounts that had more than 20,000 followers. At the end of 2016 Gorka retweeted a post from @tpartynews that read: ''The era of the pajama boy is over January 20th and the alpha males are back.'' The post refers to one of Gorka's catchphrases. ''Pajama Boy'' refers to a meme that advocated for the legislative agenda of Barack Obama. Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20.
There were both left-leaning and right-leaning accounts. One of them, @redlanews, which had almost 10,000 followers, said its author was ''Red Louisiana News'', with a biography that read: ''Conservative; Right and proud; Christian. Love my country and will stand against liberals and socialists.'' The account tweeted news from outlets like Breitbart and wrote incendiary posts before the election. One of them read: ''Hillary Clinton believes in white supremacy. The only racist here it's her Corrupt lying politician #HillarysEmails.'' Another tweet from the account in early 2016 tagged Trump in the post: "@realDonaldTrump Ted Cruz will destroy our economy and military might with his plans. The only way to fight islamists is Trump way!'' The @MissouriNewsUS account, which had almost 6,000 followers, had a description of one hashtag: #NeverHilary. Another handle, @NewYorkDem, said it was for ''New York, uniting Liberals since 1624!"
From the beginning of 2016 until Election Day, Tweets from those accounts were cited by more than 100 news organizations. One month after the election, the Washington Post included an embedded tweet from @ChicagoDailyNew.
The opinionated news accounts like @redlanews and @tpartynews followed a similar strategy to the @Ten_GOP account linked to the IRA, which posed as a group for Tennessee Republicans. It had over 100,000 followers, was retweeted by some of Trump's aides, and posed as a patriotic American. It overtly lauded Trump while attacking Hillary Clinton. This account was a focus of the House Intelligence Committee during the November hearings on social media companies. Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, asked Twitter to give a complete catalog of tweets that came from the pro-Trump @Ten_GOP account.
It's hard for researchers to know why the news imposter accounts were created, since the full history of tweets is gone. Researchers have concluded that many of the IRA-linked accounts were created to sow social discord, by trying to "put left-wing people further to the left and right-wing people further to the right," said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Lab. "It's that attempt to amplify the differences in society."
Researchers say another purpose of the accounts was to establish them as trusted news sources, and then activate them later to spread propaganda and disinformation. Troll factories have taken that approach before. During the escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine in 2014, Nimmo observed various online forums and platforms linked to Russian troll factories that would ingratiate themselves in the pro-Ukrainian community by posting favorable information. Then after gaining credibility, those sites would shift their tone to write stories that expressed discontent with Ukraine.
In fact, Nimmo says these news imposter accounts may have been created for an operation that never happened. A U.S. intelligence report concluded that the Russian government was expecting Hillary Clinton to win the election and were prepared to call into question the validity of the results. Pro-Kremlin bloggers had prepared a Twitter campaign, #DemocracyRIP on election night in anticipation of her victory, according to the report. These news imposter accounts could have aided those efforts to undermine the election results by promoting certain hashtags and topics like ''voter fraud'' or ''rigged election." By having a network of local news accounts across the country, the Kremlin would be able to distribute propaganda at scale that could galvanize local populations to protest, according to Nimmo. A Russian-linked Facebook group attempted to organize anti-immigrant and anti-Hillary Clinton protests in Texas shortly before the November elections.
The majority of the imposter news accounts were created more than a year before the 2016 U.S. elections. The history of tweets and engagement with real users improves the placement of the account and its posts in Twitter's search results, according to Kris Shaffer, a data scientist doing research for University of Mary Washington and the Data for Democracy. That means that if the account does push major disinformation campaigns, it is less likely to be blocked.
Shaffer's analysis of the accounts found that several of the imposter news accounts also tweeted during the French presidential election. He surfaced about 41 Tweets from accounts including @WorldNewsPoli, @TodayMiami, @DetroitDailyNew, and @ChicagoDailyNew. Most of the posts were retweets of local news articles, but more than a quarter of them included stories from truthfeed.com, a known disinformation site, according to Shaffer. Those stories were mostly attacking Emmanuel Macron, who won the election, and biased toward Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician in France.
After the revelations of Russian influence, Viddaurri said he no longer knows what to believe online. With Twitter out of his regular routine, he only checks Facebook occasionally to stay in touch with friends and family. ''Thanks to the whole election of 2016, social media got ruined,'' Viddaurri said.
VIDEO - OPUS 33 - YouTube
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 03:59
VIDEO - 'Morning Joe': Trump Team 'Going to Jail ... for the Rest of Their Lives' :: Grabien News
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:21
'Morning Joe': Trump Team 'Going to Jail ... for the Rest of Their Lives'
'But the most remarkable thing about it is that even now that he's president, it's still all about money'
As the "noose" of Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump team's contacts with Russia is "tightening," members of the administration are starting to understand they're going "to jail ... for the rest of their lives," MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski said Tuesday.
"Knowing them, I think they're shocked that the noose is tightening," Brzezinski said. "I don't know if they were arrogant or incredibly un-self aware and really dumb about what the job was about, how important it was, and how under the microscope every move you made would be. I think they just thought they'd go in there and riff through it. And I think they're shocked that the noose is tightening and that people might go to jail."
"You're exactly right," her co-host and fianc(C), Joe Scarborough, agreed.
"For the rest of their lives," Brzezinski added, perhaps hopefully.
Trump, Scarborough said, only ran for president as part of a money-making scheme, and did not actually expect to win.
"You know, the campaign '-- Trump didn't think he was going to win even on Election Day," he said. "But it was all about money. It was all about making contacts. We've said this before. But the most remarkable thing about it is that even now that he's president, it's still all about money. Like, he's not sitting there thinking what Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan thought. Like, what is my legacy going to be? He's thinking every day, how can I leverage this so when I get out of the White House I can make even more money?"
Here's a transcript from the exchange:
GEIST: ''The list has gotten so long of people who have claimed they didn't have a meeting with Ambassador Kislyak or who left something off their disclosure form, or said, 'The meeting I had with Russians was about adoption.' You have to just, as a layman even, to see a pattern, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, K.T. McFarland... I don't know if it's ignorance or arrogance or some combination of the two to under sworn testimony say, 'I'm going to say this thing and they'll never find out about it.'''
SCARBOROUGH: ''Again, they didn't lie about their contacts with the UAE or the contacts with the Saudis or contacts with Japan or the contacts of China. They didn't lie about the contacts with everybody during the transition or the campaign, but they always lied about their contacts with Russia. And I want to follow up on what Susan said. You know, the campaign '-- Trump didn't think he was going to win even on Election Day.''
EARNEST: ''Right.''
SCARBOROUGH: ''But it was all about money. It was all about making contacts. We've said this before. But the most remarkable thing about it is that even now that he's president, it's still all about money. Like, he's not sitting there thinking what Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan thought. Like, what is my legacy going to be? He's thinking every day, 'How can I leverage this so when I get out of the White House I can make even more money?'''
BRZEZINSKI: ''Knowing them, I think they're shocked that the noose is tightening. I don't know if they were arrogant or just incredibly un-self-aware and really dumb about what the job was about, how important it was, and how under the microscope every move you made would be. I think they just thought they'd go in there and flimflam and riff through it. And I think they're shocked that the noose is tightening and that people might go to jail.''
SCARBOROUGH: ''You're exactly right.''
BRZEZINSKI: ''For the rest of their lives.''
SCARBOROUGH: ''What's gotten them where they are right now, Josh, is a gross misunderstanding of the rules of Washington, the laws surrounding public service and constitutional norms. Coupled with the arrogance of New York developers thinking '-- and I know, I talk to them '-- thinking people in Washington were just dumb local yokels, and they '-- 'Just get out of our way. Listen, listen, you guys have had your opportunity, and you guys '-- come on. You're just a bunch of hicks in Washington D.C. Let the big city developers come in and we're going to show you.' They wouldn't listen to anybody, and they stumbled into one possible crime after another possible crime. And then Donald Trump goes into his mode. He thinks taking on Bob Mueller is the same as taking on Rosie O'Donnell. No, I'm dead serious.''
EARNEST: ''I think that's right.''
SCARBOROUGH: ''He does. He thinks, 'This worked with Rosie. I'll do with this Comey. I'll do this with Mueller.' He has no idea that he's going down.''
ALSO ON 'MORNING JOE' TODAY:
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'-- 'Morning Joe' Giddy with News Mueller Subpoenas Trump Deutsche Bank Records
'-- Tim Ryan on GOP Tax Cut: People Will Die from Cancer, Diabetes
VIDEO - Sky News on Twitter: ""What an embarrassment," says Shadow Brexit Secretary @Keir_Starmer, adding "the last 24 hours have given a new meaning to the phrase 'coali'... https://t.co/CYHxpK5NKC"
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:35
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VIDEO - Tony Blair confirms he is working to reverse Brexit | Politics | The Guardian
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:30
'When the facts change, people are entitled to change their mind,' Blair told Radio 4. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Tony Blair has confirmed that he is trying to reverse Brexit, arguing that voters deserve a second referendum because the ''£350m per week for the NHS'' promise has now been exposed as untrue.
In an interview with the BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend on Sunday, the former prime minister said that what was happening to the ''crumbling'' NHS was a ''national tragedy'' and that it was now ''very clear'' that the Vote Leave promise about Brexit leading to higher NHS spending would not be honoured.
''When the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind,'' said Blair, who has always been a strong opponent of Brexit but who has rarely been so explicit about being on a personal mission to stop it happening.
Asked if his purpose in relation to Brexit was to reverse it, Blair replied: ''Yes, exactly so.''
He added: ''My belief is that, in the end, when the country sees the choice of this new relationship, it will realise that it's either going to be something that does profound damage to the country, or alternatively, having left the European Union, left the single market, we will try and by some means recreate the benefit of that in some new relationship, in which case I think many people will think, 'What's the point?'''
Blair rejected the argument that he was defying the will of the people. ''The will of the people is not something immutable. People can change their mind if the circumstances change,'' he said.
Tony Blair: 'absolutely necessary' Brexit doesn't happenHe cited NHS funding as an issue which could lead to people changing their stance on Brexit if given the chance to vote on it again.
''A lot of people will have voted for Brexit on the basis that if you get out of Europe, all this money is going to come back and we can spend it on the health service. And that was a very specific promise made by the Brexiteers,'' he said.
''It is now very clear I think: one, that there is no extra money for the health service through Brexit and, secondly, we're actually going to be paying less money to the health service, not more money, because growth is down and because we've also got this huge bill for the European Union.
''So when the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind.''
Blair was referring to the slogan on the Vote Leave battlebus, which said the UK sent £350m per week to the EU which could be spent on the NHS instead. The claim was widely dismissed as untrue because the figure took no account of the budget rebate, money never sent to the EU in the first place, or the cash returned in the form of EU spending in the UK.
The former Labour leader said he accepted some people would never change their mind about Brexit.
''There are some people who believe that membership of the European Union is inconsistent with national sovereignty. I don't agree, but they hold that view very, very strongly. Nothing is going to persuade them,'' he said.
''Then there are other people who, if you like, believe that the reason for being anti-Europe is that it's too sclerotic and bureaucratic. And these are in many ways the people driving this Brexit thing intellectually. They are not going to be persuaded.''
But he said there was ''a significant group of people'', particularly Labour voters, who backed Brexit because of economic and cultural worries. They could be persuaded to change their minds if their concerns were addressed, he said.
Blair's new policy institute, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, is developing policy ideas to address these concerns and Blair was giving the interview to promote a new report it has published supporting a new ''land value tax'' as a means of helping address the housing crisis.
Asked about rumours that he was backing the creation of a new party, Blair said that he was not and that he did not think that would be a good idea. He said he wanted Labour to be the party again for ''proper, modern, progressive politics''.
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