989: Stick Controls

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 53m
December 10th, 2017
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Associate Executive Producers: Sir Sean of Slovakia, Richardson the Farrier

Cover Artist: Mike Riley

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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
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Ethereum is jamming up because of a game for buying virtual cats
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:27
Cryptokitties
"CryptoKitties," a blockchain-based game that let's users buy and sell virtual cats, is exploding in popularity.It's putting pressure on Ethereum, the blockchain fueled by ether.Just when you thought the world of cryptocurrencies couldn't get zanier, along comes "CryptoKitties."
The online cat breeding game, which has been likened to both Beanie Babies and Pokemon, has taken the crypto-world by storm. Based on Ethereum's blockchain, the game allows users to breed, buy, and sell kittens with ether, a rival cryptocurrency to bitcoin. It was created by AxiomZen, a San Francisco- and Vancouver-based company.
Just like bitcoin, the game has blown up with $3.3 million worth of transactions. Some kittens are listed on its site for more than 50 ether, or approximately $22,500 at ether's price at the time of this writing. More than 20,000 cats have been sold thus far.
"CryptoKitties" appears to be pushing Ethereum to its limits with pending transactions on Ethereum's blockchain reaching new highs since the game exploded in popularity, according to data from Etherscan.
"[It's] causing a backlog of transactions," Josh Olszwicz, a bitcoin trader and writer for Brave New Coin, told Business Insider in a Twitter direct message.
The game accounts for more than 10% of the activity on Ethereum's blockchain, according to EtherGasInfo.com.
Ethereum Scan
"Ethereum is very actively managed by well-known founders," according to Joe DiPasquale, founder of BitBull Capital, a cryptocurrency fund of funds. "I am confident management will be able to improve the transaction speed."
"I am surprised by the success of the game," he added.
Ethereum's blockchain was designed to provide the basis for a number of use-cases outside of digital currencies. Companies ranging from 4G Capital, which seeks to help grow businesses in Africa via smart contracts, to WeiFund, a crowdfunding platform, are running applications on Ethereum.
Bitcoin is ruining the planet
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:42
Ints Kalnins/Reuters
The bitcoin network requires a tremendous amount of electricity.As bitcoin becomes more popular, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin become more difficult, which requires more energy.Cryptocurrencies are slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels at a crucial time for humanity.
If you're like me, you've probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years '-- because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian. But if you have any interest in a future where the world moves beyond fossil fuels, you and I should both start paying attention now.
Last week, the value of a single bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier for the first time. Over the weekend, the price nearly hit $12,000. At the beginning of this year, it was less than $1,000.
If you had bought $100 in bitcoin back in 2011, your investment would be worth nearly $4 million today. All over the internet there are stories of people who treated their friends to lunch a few years ago and, as a novelty, paid with bitcoin. Those same people are now realizing that if they'd just paid in cash and held onto their digital currency, they'd now have enough money to buy a house.
That sort of precipitous rise is stunning, of course, but bitcoin wasn't intended to be an investment instrument. Its creators envisioned it as a replacement for money itself '-- a decentralized, secure, anonymous method for transferring value between people.
But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become.
Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuelsWhat's more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it's getting worse.
A bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of electricty that it takes to power 9 homes in the United States for 24 hours. Marko Ahtisaari/Flickr
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide a unique service: Financial transactions that don't require governments to issue currency or banks to process payments. Writing in the Atlantic, Derek Thompson calls bitcoin an "ingenious and potentially transformative technology" that the entire economy could be built on '-- the currency equivalent of the internet. Some are even speculating that bitcoin could someday make the U.S. dollar obsolete.
But the rise of bitcoin is also happening at a specific moment in history: Humanity is decades behind schedule on counteracting climate change, and every action in this era should be evaluated on its net impact on the climate. Increasingly, bitcoin is failing the test.
Digital financial transactions come with a real-world priceThe tremendous growth of cryptocurrencies has created an exponential demand for computing power. As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin (a process called "mining") get more and more difficult '-- a wrinkle designed to control the currency's supply.
Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. And miners are constantly installing more and faster computers. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world's 500 fastest supercomputers combined.
The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge '-- an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year.
That sort of electricity use is pulling energy from grids all over the world, where it could be charging electric vehicles and powering homes, to bitcoin-mining farms. In Venezuela, where rampant hyperinflation and subsidized electricity has led to a boom in bitcoin mining, rogue operations are now occasionally causing blackouts across the country.
The world's largest bitcoin mines are in China, where they siphon energy from huge hydroelectric dams, some of the cheapest sources of carbon-free energy in the world. One enterprising Tesla owner even attempted to rig up a mining operation in his car, to make use of free electricity at a public charging station.
In just a few months from now, at bitcoin's current growth rate, the electricity demanded by the cryptocurrency network will start to outstrip what's available, requiring new energy-generating plants. And with the climate conscious racing to replace fossil fuel-base plants with renewable energy sources, new stress on the grid means more facilities using dirty technologies.
By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today.
This is an unsustainable trajectoryIt simply can't continue.
There are already several efforts underway to reform how the bitcoin network processes transactions, with the hope that it'll one day require less electricity to make new coins. But as with other technological advances like irrigation in agriculture and outdoor LED lighting, more efficient systems for mining bitcoin could have the effect of attracting thousands of new miners.
It's certain that the increasing energy burden of bitcoin transactions will divert progress from electrifying the world and reducing global carbon emissions. In fact, I'd guess it probably already has. The only question at this point is: by how much?
Tesla owner builds a bitcoin mining rig in a Model S to use free Supercharger power | Electrek
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:42
The buzz around bitcoin is bigger than ever as the value of the cryptocurrency surged to $10,000 '' making the entire value of the market worth over $170 billion.
Now the bitcoin world is even encroaching in the Tesla world as a Model S owner built a cryptocurrency mining rig in his electric car.
For those not familiar with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, they require crowdsourced computing power to process transactions and maintain the blockchain, which acts as a ledger of the entire currency.
People who contribute to that computing power are called ''miners'' and they are compensated with the same cryptocurrency.
At the core of it, it comes down to computing hardware and electricity. You want to maintain those costs as low as possible in order to keep your mining profitable.
For those reasons, people are often suggesting that the powerful Autopilot computer in Tesla's vehicles could be used to mine bitcoins when it's not being used by the Autopilot system.
But that would require Tesla to enable access to that computer and I think most people would agree that it is better left to be used by the Autopilot, which powers some important active safety features.
Now a member of the Tesla Owner Worldwide group on Facebook jokingly suggested using the electricity aspect of Tesla's vehicles instead of the computing power.
Another member of the forum took it more seriously and built a mining rig to fit the back of his Model S (picture credit: Michael Pearson'Ž):
Now that's a setup for GPUs (though the GPUs are not installed) and therefore, it's not likely to be used for bitcoins, but it could be used for other cryptocurrencies.
What advantages this setup would have to offer over a regular in-home mining rig? It's not clear really.
The idea was suggested in order to use the free access to electricity with the Supercharger network. Technically, if someone is able to draw power from the Tesla to power those mining systems, which is what this owner is claiming though it's not clear how he is drawing the 2.8 kW of power required from battery, they could only use free energy if their Tesla falls under the unlimited free Supercharging program, which represents most Model S and Model X vehicles.
Of course, that presents its own issues. Ethically, it's not what the Supercharger network is meant to power and therefore, some might find issue with people using it to power mining rigs instead of long distance driving.
Also, it would require an increased use of the battery pack, which is not good for durability.
Finally, that rig would create a lot of heat inside the Model S. Aside for preheating your car while making a few bucks, it's not clear what use someone would have for that heat. Aside from the free power, which again has its own drawbacks, the setup doesn't really offer many advantages.
What do you think? A cool but useless experiment or a project with potential? Let us know in the comment section below.
U.K. Money Laundering Proposal Seeks Bitcoin Transparency - Risk & Compliance Journal. - WSJ
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:00
Proposed changes in the U.K. to bring virtual currencies under existing anti-money-laundering regulations could force more transparency on bitcoin users, though big operators already require it, experts say. A U.K. official said to parliament in November, though only noticed by news organizations this week, that authorities intend to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and wallet ['...]
Bitcoin futures: Here's what you need to know - MarketWatch
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:06
Bitcoin futures make their debut on Sunday, and like everything else surrounding cryptocurrencies, they are the subject of fierce debate.
Digital currency mavens are convinced the advent of an exchange-traded product will transform bitcoin, providing a venue for professional traders and institutional investors to enter and legitimize the market. Critics, including some within the futures industry, argue that the contracts are premature and, in a worst-case scenario, present a systemic danger given the underlying volatility of the digital currency market.
Here are a few things investors need to know:
Futures basicsLet's start with the basics.
Cboe Global Markets Inc. CBOE, +0.87% will launch its bitcoin futures contract, trading with the symbol XBT, at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, while rival CME Group Inc. CME, +0.49% plans to launch its contract on Dec. 18.
A futures contract allows a trader to place a leveraged bet on whether the price of the underlying asset will move higher or lower before the contract expires. A trader who thinks the price will rise can go ''long,'' while a trader who expects the price to fall can go ''short.'' In futures, there is a short bet for every long and vice versa.
Bitcoin futures will be cash settled, meaning no bitcoins will actually change hands when a contract expires. Winning traders effectively collect their gains from the losers. As with most contracts, traders will likely have closed out positions, collecting gains or ceding losses, before expiration.
ShortingThe ability to place a short bet without having to first borrow the underlying security is one of the appeals of the futures market. Investors hope it will make for more efficient price discovery, helping to tame the extreme volatility that regularly whipsaws the bitcoin market.
It's also likely to be welcomed by bitcoin bears, who have been frustrated by the technical difficulty inherent in shorting bitcoin.
Read:Forget missing out on bitcoin mania, and be glad you didn't short it
That easier shorting ability could put near-term pressure on bitcoin prices, but even cryptocurrency bulls should welcome the development, said Thomas Lee, managing partner of Fundstrat Global Advisors, in a Friday note.
Shorting ''creates 'true price discovery,' and the ability to short means hedge funds can take bitcoin more seriously. This should actually improve the long-term prospects of bitcoin as it broadens sponsorship,'' he said.
HedgingThe success of the contracts may also turn on its appeal as a hedging tool for those focused on the digital mining process that creates new bitcoins. Indeed, the big players in the market, dubbed ''bitcoin whales'' in this Bloomberg article, may be particularly interested in the ability to hedge against the possibility of a sharp price fall via the futures markets.
And some professional futures traders ''are licking their chops for the opportunity to unleash their quantitative trading systems on the bitcoin market,'' said Matt Osborne, chief investment officer at Altegris, a La Jolla, Calif.-based provider of alternative investment products with around $3 billion in assets under management.
But that's going to take time, he said, as they will need price history data on which to build systems.
Premature?On the downside, it's hard to ignore the reservations expressed by big banks and brokers, who have criticized the futures launch as premature. In an open letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Futures Industry Association said the exchanges didn't get enough feedback on margin levels and other considerations.
Read:Brokers say bitcoin futures contracts ignore risks
A number of big Wall Street banks were telling customers they won't offer them access to bitcoin futures when the Cboe contract launches Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with matter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the largest U.S. futures broker, will offer access, but only to certain customers, the report said.
Meanwhile, some futures brokers are adding to the already hefty margin requirements imposed by the exchanges in response to bitcoin's underlying volatility.
MarginMargin is the amount of money a trader must initially pony up as collateral when taking a futures position. For many heavily traded contracts, the margin amount is under 10% of the total value of the underlying contract. But the CME will require bitcoin traders to put up a 35% margin, while the Cboe is set to require 44% of the daily settlement price.
In the case of Cboe, that means if the contract was trading at $15,000, a trader wishing to go long or short would have to put up $6,600. He would be subject to additional margin calls if the margin account falls below a certain level.
The high margins reflect concerns about the underlying volatility of bitcoin BTCUSD, -10.24% which this week alone saw large price swings, at one point rallying around 40% in less than two days as it soared to new highs.
Price limitsLike most futures contracts, bitcoin futures will be subject to limits on how far prices can move before triggering temporary and permanent halts. In the case of the Cboe contract, trading will be halted for 2 minutes if best bid in the contract closest to expiration moves 10% above or below the previous day's close.
If, after trade resumes, the contract moves 20% or more above or below the previous day's settlement, trade will be halted for five minutes.
'Tiptoe'Institutional investors and professional traders are likely to ''tiptoe'' into the futures market, Osborne said. But what about retail investors who might be tempted to dip their toes in?
''Bitcoin is volatile enough as a stand-alone investment. I don't think the retail investor needs to be adding to leverage through a futures contract on top of bitcoin,'' Osborne said. ''So buyer be very much beware when it comes to retail investors and futures contracts.''
Coinbase Sends Customers Notice of Exchange Delays, Cautions on Risks of Cryptocurrency Investment
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:14
The past week has been a huge one for Coinbase, as the exchange became the most downloaded app on the iTunes store, surpassing even YouTube. With all the demand, the site experienced unprecedented delays as well, leaving some customers frustrated. The company has since sent out a warning letter, encouraging customers to invest in responsible ways.
The letter, sent to customers via email, explains that the company is obviously excited about the prospect of massive gains in their platform and are working hard to get customer support up to speed. Further, the post makes clear that investors should expect trading delays over time, as the platform continues to experience growing pains.
The email concludes with a rather stiff warning to investors about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies and an encouragement to invest responsibly. The company states:
''We also wanted to remind customers of some of the risks associated with trading digital currency. Digital currencies are volatile and the prices can go up and down. Due to the rapidly changing price of digital currencies, some customers may not have sell limits that are sufficient relative to the value of total digital currency they are storing on Coinbase. Sell limits are one of the many measures Coinbase takes to protect client accounts and assets.''
While the statement does not speak to Coinbase's assessment of the cryptocurrency market, the company is clearly seeking to inform investors about the potential for loss in such a volatile market. Long term Bitcoin holders, however, are aware of this issue, having weathered a number of large scale price corrections already.
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European Press Organization Publishes ''Guidelines'' For Reporting on Refugees | The Colonial Post
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:37
Photo Credit: Wikimedia CommonsAs part of a wider effort to endorse globalization, ''more than 150 European radio outlets and nearly 1,300 journalists ['...] have joined together to help strengthen media coverage of migrants and minorities, an indispensable tool in the fight against hate speech.''
These RESPECT WORDS guidelines begin with a lengthy introduction, explaining that the media has ''tremendous power to shape public opinion,'' apparently especially important during ''a time of increasing intolerance toward migrant and minority groups.''
This is not the first attempt to control the narrative relating to migration, but perhaps it is the most brazen. The guidelines specifically endorse censorship, reminding journalists to ''keep in mind that sensitive information (e.g., racial/ethnic origin; religious philosophical or other beliefs; political party or union affiliation; health and sexual information) should be mentioned only when necessary for the audience to understand the news.'' Journalists should also refrain from ''focusing on sensationalist incidents involving migrants.''
Some might argue that it isn't a journalist's responsibility to determine what information is too ''sensitive'' for the public eye.
Guidelines such as these are surely the product of ''Coulter's Law,'' which, according to UrbanDictionary, ''dictates that the longer that it takes the media to identify the shooter the less likely he is white and Christian.''
Perhaps the most startling aspect of a piece like this is the underlying assumption that it is the responsibility of the press to shape public opinion. Journalists are reminded not to ''fall into the trap of focusing solely on possible negative aspects of large-scale migration,'' instead, they should ''highlight positive contributions of migration and individual migrants.''
Journalists are reminded they don't need to ''include extremist perspectives just to 'show the other side.''' Although, it is necessary to ''provide an appropriate range of points of view, including those of migrants and members of minority communities themselves.''
The guidelines encourage reporters to ''put migration movements in context'' by reminding Europeans that the thousand-year-old crises in the Middle East are connected ''to policies and practices of European states.'' Of course, journalists must also ''keep in mind that there is no structural connection between migration and terrorism.''
Although these issues are often complex, it seems inappropriate to pretend that the only way to practice ''ethical journalism'' is to adhere to the talking points of European politicians.
Although this document is specifically addressed to the European press, it isn't difficult to find parallels to the media within the United States.
A study by Pew Research shows that when covering events, the majority of Americans prefer the news media to ''present facts without interpretation.''
Explicitly or not, these ''guidelines'' seem to affect almost every mainstream press organization on the planet. Accordingly, it is unsurprising that Americans who support Donald Trump prefer to see ''the facts'' without media interpretation by a 21% percent margin.
William Raskopf contributed to this article
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?''
A gender gap that's a matter of life and death - Macleans.ca
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:03
(Simone Becchetti/Stocksy)
Having waited a polite length of time for the hubbub surrounding International Women's Day and its relentless fixation on gender gaps'--wage gaps, STEM gaps, labour force participation gaps, corporate board gaps'--to subside, can we please move on to a discussion about the only gender gap that's actually a matter of life and death?
Men die earlier than women. And always have.
Today a Canadian baby boy can expect to live 79.4 years; a Canadian baby girl 83.6 years: a gap of over four years. This gap narrows slightly in old age'--males who reach 65 are likely to keep living until they're 83.7, females until 86.7'--but it never goes away. ''At every stage of their life cycle, males are more likely than females to die,'' deadpans Statistics Canada.
A century ago the gender death gap was just two years. Men were more likely to die in accidents or war; women faced grim odds in childbirth. Dramatic improvements in women's health care since then have led to rapid increases in female life expectancy. Without similar attention paid to male health issues, however, the gender death gap grew steadily into the 1970s, when it was a stunning seven years wide. Since then it's shrunk to four years, mainly due to lower smoking rates for both sexes. But no one expects it will ever disappear. By 2031, StatsCan predicts the gender death gap will be about the same as it is today.
So why do men die so much earlier than women? And given the obsessive attention paid to gender gaps with far-less-fatal consequences, why is there no public day of rage given to this clearly significant and inequitable circumstance?
International Women's Day is now an occasion for loud denunciations of gender gaps of all sorts. This year's release from the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition is typical. ''The gender wage gap impoverishes women every day,'' screams its March 8 missive. ''The gender pay gap is a human rights crisis which must be addressed immediately.'' If so, then surely the prospect of dying several years earlier than your opposite sex peer ought to be considered an equivalent human rights crisis also in need of immediate attention.
If we adopt standard feminist analysis that considers the mere existence of any gap between the sexes to be prima facie proof of overt patriarchal discrimination, the significance and permanence of Canada's gender death gap suggests some monstrous, unseen matriarchal conspiracy to kill men before their time. That's absurd, of course. But when was the last time you heard anyone complain about the early demise of men?
One lonely voice prepared to raise this issue is Dan Bilsker, a psychotherapist, adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and co-author of the ground-breaking 2010 report ''A Roadmap to Men's Health,'' which sought to bring attention to the dismissiveness given to men's shorter life span.
''It has long been taken for granted that men have some sort of kill switch in them that takes their life away sooner than women,'' says Bilsker. ''This is clearly problematic.''
He points out there's no obvious biological reason why men should be fated to die sooner than women. Rather the big three causes of male-specific mortality are: accidents, suicide, heart disease. All point to social and behavioural causations. As such, they should all be preventable. But no one seems to care very much, given assumptions about the male propensity to take too many risks, drive too fast, drink too much and ignore healthy habits.
''Ninety-seven percent of workplace deaths are men,'' says Bilsker. ''We just take this for granted'--'Oh, men are naturally risk-takers.' '' But why should the notion that men will take on dangerous jobs and suffer the consequences be socially acceptable? If chambermaids suffered the same on-the-job death rate as truck drivers or loggers, there'd be a terrific outcry and immediate action, he observes: ''We simply wouldn't let it happen.''
Men also account for 80 per cent of all suicide deaths, mainly because they're more aggressive than women in attempts on their own lives. Given such an outsized and gender-specific result, Bilsker says, ''You might expect to see a substantial portion of mental health budgets dedicated to solving this. But it's not.'' Recent emphasis on prostate cancer, for example, represents ''a pretty token amount'' of overall health research and funding.
And men begin to suffer cardiac problems seven to nine years earlier than women, largely the result of poorer diet, greater alcohol use and the fact that older men are less physically active than their female peers.
It can be argued that across all three major causes of men dying earlier than women'--accidents, suicide and heart disease'--men are wholly responsible for their own early graves: male life is cheap because that's how they act. While such an attitude probably explains the overwhelming social indifference to the gender death gap, it doesn't make it right.
Borrowing from the feminist playbook, Bilsker argues this to be an example of 'victim-blaming.' ''One of the important insights of feminism is that blaming the victim for their own circumstance is morally and ethically wrong,'' he says. Rather than shrugging off short male life spans as 'boys behaving badly,' we need to change social attitudes towards maleness and find solutions that work. Above all it needs more attention.
A crucial component of any turnaround, says Bilsker, is reversing the assumption that traditional masculine characteristics such as competitiveness, aggression and high-risk tolerance are dangerous flaws that need to be corrected. Rather they should be understood as reflections of positive traits such as honour, duty and sacrifice'--all components of manliness. And socially necessary. Our collective safety depends on people'--from both sexes, but most often men'--demonstrating these values as soldiers, police or firefighters. If we want men to take a greater interest in their own health, we first need to recognize the Y chromosome isn't simply a self-destruct button. And men's health shouldn't be made to suffer for gender politics.
My Transition
Like being put into a new F1 car with no traction control
MIC
Pentagon Announces First-Ever Audit Of The Department Of Defense : The Two-Way : NPR
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:50
"Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15," Defense Department Comptroller David L. Norquist said in announcing the Pentagon's first-ever audit. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Imageshide caption
toggle captionDaniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images "Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15," Defense Department Comptroller David L. Norquist said in announcing the Pentagon's first-ever audit.
Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images "The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.
Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."
"Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15," the Defense Department's comptroller, David L. Norquist, said.
The Defense Department has famously never been audited, despite receiving hundreds of billions of dollars annually and having more than $2.2 trillion in assets.
For the Pentagon to get to this point, it has been, as they say, a process. The U.S. government established requirements for each agency to present financial statements back in the 1990s. But for more than 20 years, the Department of Defense has lagged other agencies that were following modern accounting standards, reporting what they received and spent.
In 2010, Congress included a requirement in the National Defense Authorization Act that gave the military "an extra seven years to clean up the books and get ready," as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa said last year. That set a new deadline to be ready for an audit by September 2017.
In late 2016, reports emerged that Pentagon officials had "buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, as The Washington Post reported.
In January, the Government Accountability Office said, "serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that have prevented its financial statements from being auditable." The agency listed the Defense Department as its prime example of major impediments to attempts to render an opinion on the U.S. government's financial statements.
To carry out the audit, the Pentagon says it will deploy 2,400 auditors to go over records and examine bases, property and weapons of a federal department that had a budget of $590 billion last year.
As for how the audit would work, Jim Garamone of the official DoD News agency reports that the department's Office of the Inspector General has "hired independent public accounting firms to conduct audits of individual components '-- the Army, Navy, Air Force, agencies, activities and more '-- as well as a departmentwide consolidated audit to summarize all results and conclusions."
The Defense Department's lack of a financial reckoning hasn't hurt its funding. Last month, Congress approved nearly $700 billion for the department '-- some $100 billion more than last year's budget and billions more than the $639.1 billion that had been initially requested by President Trump.
The Pentagon audit would deliver on a campaign pledge by Trump. He was one of several candidates, including Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, to make that promise '-- perhaps in the knowledge that the audit had already been federally mandated.
After taking office, Trump later nominated Norquist, a former Department of the Army employee whose experience includes stints on the staff of the House Appropriations Committee and as the chief financial officer of the Department of Homeland Security, as the Pentagon's comptroller.
This summer, Norquist was asked by Defense News if the looming audit was "the biggest bugaboo of the job."
Norquist replied, "I don't think of it as a bugaboo. I think of it as a great opportunity."
An audit would allow his office to find errors more easily, Norquist said, and to analyze the Pentagon's data to look for patterns and trends that could help make it more efficient.
"It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD's management of every taxpayer dollar," Norquist said this week.
DHS-Kirstjen Nielsen - Wikipedia
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 01:36
Nielsen served during the George W. Bush administration as special assistant to the president and as senior director for prevention, preparedness and response at the White House Homeland Security Council. She also set-up and led as Administrator of Transportation Security Administration's Office of Legislative Policy and Government Affairs.
Before serving in the Trump administration, she was a senior member of the Resilience Task Force of the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security committee at George Washington University and served on the Global Risks Report Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum.[4]
Nielsen is the founder and former President of Sunesis Consulting.[5] Sunesis was awarded numerous government contracts under President Obama's administration.[6]
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Edit Secretary of Homeland Security Edit ^ "Person Details for Kirstjen Neilsen, United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch.org. Intellectual Reserve, Inc.Retrieved October 8, 2017 . ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces White House Appointments". The White House. September 6, 2017. Archived from the original on September 8, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 . Kirstjen M. Nielsen of Florida will serve as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Chief of Staff. Ms. Nielsen formerly served as Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security. ^ Nixon, Ron (2017-12-05). "Kirstjen Nielsen, White House Aide, Is Confirmed as Homeland Security Secretary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-05 . ^ ab Williamson, Eric (October 11, 2017). "Kirstjen Nielsen '99 Tapped for Top Post at Homeland Security". University of Virginia School of Law. ^ Kutner, Max. "Who is Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump's reported pick for Secretary of Homeland Security?". Newsweek.com. Newsweek. Retrieved October 11, 2017 . ^ "DHS Federal Emergency Management Agency". Retrieved October 12, 2017 . ^ "Kirstjen Nielson". Center for Homeland Security, George Washington University. Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 . Kirstjen Nielsen is an expert in homeland and national security policy, strategy, and assessment, with a focus in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, including cyber security, preparedness, response and incident management, information sharing, risk assessment, trend analysis and risk management, organizational development, stakeholder requirement analysis, outreach and communication, and training and exercise programs. ^ Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush (September 8, 2017). "New White House Chief of Staff Has an Enforcer". New York Times. p. A16. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 . ^ "Kelly bringing DHS deputy to the White House". Fox News. July 29, 2017. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 . Kirstjen Nielsen, who has served as chief of staff under Kelly at DHS, will follow her boss to the White House, a Trump administration official told Fox News. ^ Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (October 11, 2017). "White House Aide Is Selected to Run Homeland Security Department". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 11, 2017 . ^ Parker, Ashley; Zapotosky, Matt (October 11, 2017). "Trump taps Kirstjen Nielsen to lead Department of Homeland Security". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 11, 2017 . ^ Miroff, Nick (December 5, 2017). "Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead Homeland Security". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 6, 2017 . ^ "Kirstjen M. Nielsen Sworn-in as the Sixth Homeland Security Secretary". Department of Homeland Security. 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-06 .
#MeToo
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."
Transcript: Donald Trump's Taped Comments About Women
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 03:44
Billy Bush: Sheesh, your girl's hot as shit. In the purple.
Trump: Whoa! Whoa!
Bush: Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!
[Crosstalk]
Trump: Look at you, you are a pussy.
[Crosstalk]
Trump: All right, you and I will walk out.
[Silence]
Trump: Maybe it's a different one.
Bush: It better not be the publicist. No, it's, it's her, it's '--
Trump: Yeah, that's her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful '-- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.
Bush: Uh, yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs.
Trump: Oh, it looks good.
Bush: Come on shorty.
Trump: Ooh, nice legs, huh?
Bush: Oof, get out of the way, honey. Oh, that's good legs. Go ahead.
Trump: It's always good if you don't fall out of the bus. Like Ford, Gerald Ford, remember?
Bush: Down below, pull the handle.
Trump: Hello, how are you? Hi!
Arianne Zucker: Hi, Mr. Trump. How are you? Pleasure to meet you.
Trump: Nice seeing you. Terrific, terrific. You know Billy Bush?
Bush: Hello, nice to see you. How you doing, Arianne?
Zucker: Doing very well, thank you. Are you ready to be a soap star?
Trump: We're ready, let's go. Make me a soap star.
Bush: How about a little hug for the Donald? He just got off the bus.
Zucker: Would you like a little hug, darling?
Trump: O.K., absolutely. Melania said this was O.K.
Bush: How about a little hug for the Bushy? I just got off the bus.
Zucker: Bushy, Bushy.
Bush: Here we go. Excellent. Well, you've got a nice co-star here.
Zucker: Yes, absolutely.
Trump: Good. After you.
[Break in video]
Trump: Come on, Billy, don't be shy.
Bush: Soon as a beautiful woman shows up, he just, he takes off. This always happens.
Trump: Get over here, Billy.
Zucker: I'm sorry, come here.
Bush: Let the little guy in here, come on.
Zucker: Yeah, let the little guy in. How you feel now? Better? I should actually be in the middle.
Bush: It's hard to walk next to a guy like this.
Zucker: Here, wait, hold on.
Bush: Yeah, you get in the middle, there we go.
Trump: Good, that's better.
Zucker: This is much better. This is '--
Trump: That's better.
Zucker: [Sighs]
Bush: Now, if you had to choose honestly between one of us. Me or the Donald?
Trump: I don't know, that's tough competition.
Zucker: That's some pressure right there.
Bush: Seriously, if you had '-- if you had to take one of us as a date.
Zucker: I have to take the Fifth on that one.
Bush: Really?
Zucker: Yup '-- I'll take both.
Trump: Which way?
Zucker: Make a right. Here we go. [inaudible]
Bush: Here he goes. I'm gonna leave you here.
Trump: O.K.
Bush: Give me my microphone.
Trump: O.K. Oh, you're finished?
Bush: You're my man, yeah.
Trump: Oh, good.
Bush: I'm gonna go do our show.
Zucker: Oh, you wanna reset? O.K.
Continue reading the main story
Wolf whistling and sexist remarks could become hate crimes in London | London Evening Standard
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:13
Wolf whistling or making sexist remarks on London's streets could become a hate crime.
The Metropolitan Police today revealed it is speaking with other UK forces to assess whether it is worth cracking down on gender-based hate crimes after a pilot scheme was launched in the East Midlands last year.
The trial, led by Nottinghamshire Police, saw sexist incidents like street harassment, verbal abuse and taking photos without consent recorded as hate crimes, carrying tougher penalties for offenders.
Police chiefs are now considering rolling out the idea elsewhere in the UK, suggesting a harsher stance on everyday sexism could stop it escalating into sexual harassment or assault.
Harrassment Uncovered - Tonight - ITV - Woman is harrassed on streetPolice believe halting misogynistic remarks could go towards lowering serious sexual violence crimes overall.
A Scotland Yard spokesman told the Standard: ''We have been speaking to other forces about their experiences of the practicalities of recording gender based hate crime and will use this, along with feedback from our partners, to inform any future changes to MPS policy.''
Women at a march against sexual harassment in Los Angeles last month. (Damian Dovarganes /AP)Earlier this week the National Police Chiefs Council' head of hate crime told the Commons' women and equalities committee that the current policing debate surrounds whether to take action on sexism earlier on.
Time Person of the Year 2017 named as 'silence breakers'
Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton told MPs: ''Issues such as on street behaviour that people feel should be accepted as part of the interaction of daily life actually has a detrimental and damaging impact.
''Sexual harassment of a woman or a girl at a bus stop by a male might be some things that some women feel they are just going to have to accept, that no one's going to do anything about it.
''The debate in policing now is moving much more to identify those issues in the same way as we would other types of incident or crime, establishing if a crime has been committed or not.
''But even if a crime hasn't been committed the debate now is similar to hate crime incidents.
Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, chief of the NPCC , speaking to MPs on Wednesday. (Parliament TV)''Should we be taking action of some variety to address the behaviour before it escalates into a crime and also most importantly to try and restore some confidence to the victim and make them feel that what happened to them is being addressed somewhere.''
Dozens of women reported misogynistic crimes to Nottingham Police in the first few months of the pilot scheme, the force said. Sexist offences were reported at a similar rate to other hate crimes.
A hate crime is considered to be any incident where someone is targeted because of their identity '' whether it be race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or an alternative sub-culture like being a goth.
It can take any shape and is not always illegal behaviour, officers say.
WBUR places Tom Ashbrook on leave over unspecified allegations - The Boston Globe
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:08
Tom Ashbrook.
WBUR host Tom Ashbrook, the voice of the popular nationally syndicated public radio show ''On Point,'' has been placed on leave because of allegations made against him, according to WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz.
''Yesterday, Boston University and WBUR received some allegations against Tom Ashbrook,'' Kravetz said, reading from a statement. ''Tom will be on leave from his duties at WBUR while an outside organization hired by Boston University examines these allegations. We will decide a course of action after getting the results of this investigation.''
Kravetz did not specify the nature of the allegations, or who made them.
Ashbrook said in an e-mail that he had no information about the complaints and could not comment. ''However there is a process and I respect that process,'' he said.
Mark Arsenault can be reached at mark.arsenault@globe.com.
The Trent Franks Resignation Scandal Just Got About 5 Million Times Grosser
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:10
Getty ImagesCongressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) abruptly resigned from office Friday, just before the Associated Press reported that Franks offered to pay a female staffer $5 million to carry his child.
An anonymous former staffer in Franks' office told the AP that he asked her at least four times if she'd be willing to carry his child in exchange for money. Franks and his wife have struggled with infertility, and in 2008 a surrogate mother gave birth to twins on the couple's behalf.
Just after the AP story broke, Politico reported that multiple female staffers had been approached by Franks, and that it was ''not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization.''
The eight-term congressman originally said he would retire in late January, but announced his retirement effective immediately on Friday after news outlets started inquiring about the new allegations, and shortly after his wife was admitted to the hospital.
Franks is the third member of Congress to announce his resignation just this week following harassment allegations against them. Michigan Rep. John Conyers and Minnesota Sen. Al Franken resigned earlier in the week after multiple women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and groping.
That Franks'--a hardline anti-abortion conservative'--treated his female staffers as walking wombs shouldn't come as a surprise. But his advances may not have stopped at proposals of surrogacy. From Politico (emphasis mine):
A former staffer also alleged that Franks tried to persuade a female aide that they were in love by having her read an article that described how a person knows they're in love with someone, the sources said. One woman believed she was the subject of retribution after rebuffing Franks. While she enjoyed access to the congressman before the incident, that access was revoked afterward, she told Republican leaders.
Franks denied all of the allegations through a spokesperson on Friday. In a statement Thursday, Franks acknowledged discussing surrogacy with his staffers and apologized for making them feel uncomfortable. But he said he ''absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.''
Congress pays its members a hefty salary'--$174,000'--but not enough enough to single-handedly make someone a multi-millionaire. Since joining the House of Representatives, Franks has seen his personal net worth more than triple, increasing by more than $25 million between 2003 and 2014. So how would Franks (allegedly) have $5 million to offer a prospective surrogate mother?
The simple answer is oil money. According to the Phoenix New Times, Franks owns between $11 million and $55 million in shares of Trinity Petroleum, making him more heavily invested in the oil and gas industry than any other member of Congress.
All I can say is: TGIF!!!!
The Empress Has No Clothes: The Dark Underbelly of Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 18:42
In a letter from 1796, George Washington, First President of the United States, stated that ''to speak evil of any one, unless there is unequivocal proofs of their deserving it, is an injury for which there is no adequate reparation.''
I often reflect on these words, because for months, I've been the target of a malicious smear campaign, and while I doubt that there would ever be adequate reparation for the amount of damage that the defamation of my character has caused, I've finally decided to share my story publicly.
It's a story about being punished for wrong-think by a group of women in technology, who, ironically, consider themselves the victims of an unfair patriarchal system designed to suppress female voices.
To be clear, right from the start: I never actually did anything wrong. I didn't egregiously violate any codes of conduct. (Quite frankly, even if I had, I have no idea how, why, or when it might have happened, since my ''accusers'' refuse to tell me.) My only ''crime'' is being an outspoken, albeit moderate, conservative who doesn't prescribe to the radical feminist narrative of many women in STEM groups. I've questioned some of their talking points and, at times, I've vehemently disagreed with some of their views, but I nonetheless support their mission of supporting and advocating for women in technology.
By telling the story of how I got mercilessly smeared and ostracized by the leadership and members of two prominent women in tech groups, Women Who Code and Google's Women Techmakers, my hope is to encourage other people to speak up and to fight back if they're the victims of bullying. It's important to recognize that women can, and do, bully each other, and in the tech industry, it is unfortunately a problem that is all too often ignored and even denied, because other factors like racial bias, sexism, and even sexual harassment are typically blamed for an unfavorable attrition rate of women in tech.
Let me start with a bit of background.
I am a senior software engineer and the co-founder of Polyglot Programming, an Atlanta-based software engineering consultancy. For years, my business partner and I have been active in the technology industry, both in our local community and beyond. We've organized meetups and conferences, volunteered our time to mentor developers, including children, women, and people from underrepresented minority groups, and we've sponsored other groups that do the same.
In January 2016, we both joined the Atlanta Google Developer Group, the local chapter of Google's international Google Developer Group (''GDG'') program. The GDG organizes meetings, speakers, and events for developers who are interested in Google's products and frameworks. At Polyglot Programming, one of our specialties is software development for Google platforms, so a relationship with the GDG and Google are important to our promotional and marketing efforts. In April 2016, my partner Lance Gleason became an official co-organizer of the Atlanta GDG, along with Maggie Kane and Nathan Burnham.
In July 2016, I met Alicia Carr, a director of the Atlanta chapter of Women Who Code at their local hackathon. Women Who Code is a global nonprofit organization with over 100,000 members. Their stated mission is ''to inspire women to excel in technology careers,'' and they seek to advance their vision of ''a world where women are proportionally represented'' in technical and leadership positions. Alicia asked me to volunteer my time and expertise to mentor junior developers at their hackathon. She also invited me to participate in a panel discussion on mobile development at ConnectTech in October 2016.
Unfortunately, during the Women Who Code hackathon, it became clear to me that this event focused on marketing strategies, creativity, and the discussion of gender politics, and not on the development of technical skills. At the group presentations and award ceremony, I observed that my group of mentees were being discouraged from discussing any of the technical details of the fully-functional application they had developed in less than two days, and I expressed my frustration about it on Twitter, stating that ''when you're a mentor and your mentees don't get the recognition they deserve, you go to bat.''
In August 2016, Alicia reached out me via email and private Slack messages. She proposed forming a class for female coders who were interested in learning iOS development and asked me to tutor these students. I told her that I'd be glad to teach if the class also included males. She refused, stating that ''I need everybody and anybody to help my Women and I'm sorry there is a gender issues [sic] but right now it [sic] about my ladies.'' We were unable to reach an agreement, so I declined.
In September 2016, I again crossed paths with Alicia at a monthly meeting of the Atlanta iOS Developers group. She was extremely irate over my Twitter comment and my refusal to teach women-only classes. She became loud and disruptive during the meeting and the event's organizer had to intervene repeatedly.
Despite her hostility, I still wanted to participate in Alicia's ConnectTech panel discussion. I spent weeks preparing to represent iOS developers and the ''Apple way'' of doing things. Alicia was, however, completely unprepared to moderate and many of the attendees were visibly disappointed. Shortly after the session, Alicia posted disparaging remarks about me on Twitter, implying that she had to ''carry the iOS side'' and that I failed to contribute anything to the panel discussion.
Following this incident, I had limited interaction with other women in technology groups in Atlanta until January 2017, when I decided to volunteer as a mentor for a RailsGirls and RailsBridge workshop. Within hours of signing up, both organizations banned me from their groups and events. They even enlisted the help of two young white male developers to replace me as a mentor. Although the organizers of both groups declined to provide me with a formal explanation and refused to explain why or how I had allegedly violated their codes of conduct, I later learned that they strongly objected to my conservative political views. In addition, they were also friends of Alicia.
In July 2017, Maggie Kane began to organize an Atlanta chapter of Google Women Techmakers, a subgroup of the GDG that seeks to provide visibility, community, and resources for women in technology. I agreed to assist her and the Atlanta GDG with organizing a DevFest in November 2017. I searched for a venue, identified possible dates for the event, and contacted potential speakers.
In early August 2017, a seismic event shook the technology industry when Google came under intense public scrutiny for firing my friend, James Damore, after his controversial memo discussing Google's diversity policies was leaked to, and then published by, the media outlet Gizmodo. I publicly supported James, and my tweets about him were widely shared on social media. As a result, Maggie, Alicia, and other directors of GDG and various satellite groups became aware of my friendship with, and support of, James.
In mid-September 2017, Maggie contacted me and told me that Alicia, acting on behalf of Women Who Code, had sent her an email to lodge a written complaint against me and Polyglot Programming. She stated that Women Who Code refused to work with the Atlanta GDG, or attend or sponsor any of the group's events because of my involvement. Then she added that Alicia had accused me of harassing and doxxing Women Who Code members by contacting their employers to get them fired.
I was absolutely dumbfounded by these ludicrous allegations. It made no sense'Š'--'ŠI've had almost no interaction with Women Who Code's members beyond my exchanges with Alicia Carr. It's simply not in my nature to harass anyone and I've always been strongly opposed to retaliatory actions like doxxing and no-platforming.
Maggie informed me that she had forwarded Alicia's statements to Google and that she had also filed a written complaint with Google because I had ''violated the codes of conduct''. She even felt that it might be best if I stopped attending any GDG and Google Women Techmakers events, because members might be ''triggered'' by my presence. I was very upset and repeatedly asked Maggie why she would elevate such a serious complaint to Google without any evidence whatsoever to corroborate the allegations. I also asked her outright if it meant that I had been banned from attending any GDG or Google Women Techmakers events. ''No,'' she said.
On September 27, 2017, I decided to attend the Atlanta Google Women Techmakers' event ''Idea Jam Session,'' which was hosted at TechSquare Labs in Atlanta. At that time, I was still an active member of Women Who Code, the Atlanta GDG, and Google Women Techmakers and, perhaps naively, I just assumed that I had every right to attend the event like any other member of the group because I had not been banned.
Upon arriving at the event, Maggie immediately asked me to leave the room. At the door, she informed me that she would be extremely uncomfortable if I remained a member of the community because some of the views that I had expressed on Twitter are ''very harmful to gender equality''. She then asked Daniel Sabeo, the event coordinator at TechSquare Labs, to escort me from the facility. I was deeply upset at being publicly humiliated, but left willingly without causing any disruption.
Two days later, I got an email from TechSquare Labs. Daniel had discussed the incident with Allen Nance, Paul Judge, and Rodney Sampson, the owners of the facility, and he informed me that they had collectively decided to ban me and my company from using their venue or attending any of their events because they were concerned about the ''safety'' of their members. I later learned from a fellow developer that Maggie had, in fact, told various people that I'd been stalking her. She also recruited a young white male developer, David Hope, to replace my partner Lance as GDG organizer and invited David to act as her co-organizer for Google Women Techmakers.
The following week, Martin Omander, GDG program manager for North America, formally banned me from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers and, again, declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I'd allegedly violated.
Google's ban was, in the way, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
I realized that Alicia Carr and Maggie Kane, both individually and in their capacity as group leaders of Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers, were determined to ostracize me from the tech industry and ruin the business that I've painstakingly built'Š'--'Šsimply because they object to my political ideologies. And, while I am a staunch supporter of freedom of speech, there's a world of difference between exercising the right to free speech and making defamatory statements with the intent to cause irreparable harm to someone's personal and professional reputation.
So, I decided that it was time to fight back. I retained renowned civil rights lawyer and GOP official Harmeet Dhillon, who sent a cease and desist letter to Women Who Code, Alicia Carr, Maggie Kane, and Google. In the letter, we demanded a full retraction of the defamatory statements about me. I also requested to have my GDG and Google Women Techmakers memberships reinstated, because I'd been unfairly banned based on false allegations and not on any actual code of conduct violations.
The named parties simply ignored our letter. Maggie continued the smear campaign and even convinced another local organization, a maker space called Freeside, to ban me from their facility and participating in their events.
This is ultimately why I decided to file a lawsuit for defamation of character and tortious interference with business.
I want Alicia, Maggie, Women Who Code, and Google Women Techmakers to know that it's okay to respectfully disagree with others. It's also perfectly okay for privately-held groups to remove certain members from their organizations. It is, however, not okay to spread defamatory and malicious lies about people, and it's never okay to falsely accuse someone of committing a crime. In short, I want the truth revealed, because, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, ''truth is generally the best vindication of slander.''
When rational and mature people feel upset about something, they often get angry, but only toxic and vindictive people use lies, false accusations, and exaggerations to destroy someone else's credibility. From their actions, it's clear that Alicia, Maggie, Women Who Code, and Google don't believe that people should have the right to freely express ideological dissent, and therefore they set out to punish me for my views, without regard for my rights or for consequences. To them, I was guilty of a terrible moral offense, so they wanted everyone else to be ''careful'' of me and stand up against my ''harmful'' thoughts.
It's a shame that Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers put on such a good face by feigning kindness and respect for all women in tech. They've carefully crafted a wholesome image of being welcoming to all women and supportive of the needs of anyone in the tech industry who identifies as female.
Unfortunately, this is not true. To me, it seems obvious that Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers don't really care about all women and, frankly, they don't seem to care that much about tech either. Instead, they focus on divisive identity politics, and they expect their members to remain submissive inside the echo chamber if they wish to be accepted.
I suspect that Alicia, Maggie, Women Who Code, and Google truly believe their own lies about me and they most likely think that ostracizing me was the ''right'' thing to do, but they're wrong.
What they did was abusive, unreasonable, and unacceptable, and it's time to hold them accountable for their actions.
Female Entrepreneur Says Google's 'Women in Tech' Program Ostracized Her for Being Conservative - Breitbart
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 18:42
Senior software engineer and co-founder of Polyglot Programming Marlene Jaeckal says that Martin Omander, Google Developer Group program manager for North America, formally banned her from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers after complaints from a feminist activist who objected to her moderate conservative positions.
According to Jaeckal, Omander ''declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I'd allegedly violated.''
In a Medium post published earlier this week, Jaeckal explained that the two Atlanta-based feminists who reported her to Google, local Women Who Code director Alicia Carr and Atlanta Google Women Techmakers organizer Maggie Kane, had become hostile to her after a series of disagreements over politics, and repeatedly sought to damage her career.
The publicly-stated objectives of both Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers are, ostensibly, non-partisan. Women Who Code says their goal is to ''inspire women to excel in technology careers,'' while Google Women Techmakers says they merely wish for ''visibility, community, and resources for women in technology.''
None of these organizations openly say that Republican or conservative women are excluded from their goals. Yet Jaeckal, a senior software engineer and co-founder of a tech company, says that is the reason why Carr and Kane sought to both exclude her from the groups and sabotage her career in tech.
According to Jaeckal's account, which can be read in full at Medium, she had a falling-out with Carr over a number of issues, including her opposition to gender-segregated classes. Jaeckal says she was also banned from two other coding workshops in Atlanta because the founders ''strongly objected'' to her conservative political views.
Unfortunately, during the Women Who Code hackathon, it became clear to me that this event focused on marketing strategies, creativity, and the discussion of gender politics, and not on the development of technical skills. At the group presentations and award ceremony, I observed that my group of mentees were being discouraged from discussing any of the technical details of the fully-functional application they had developed in less than two days, and I expressed my frustration about it on Twitter, stating that ''when you're a mentor and your mentees don't get the recognition they deserve, you go to bat.''
In August 2016, Alicia reached out me via email and private Slack messages. She proposed forming a class for female coders who were interested in learning iOS development and asked me to tutor these students. I told her that I'd be glad to teach if the class also included males. She refused, stating that ''I need everybody and anybody to help my Women and I'm sorry there is a gender issues [sic] but right now it [sic] about my ladies.'' We were unable to reach an agreement, so I declined.
In September 2016, I again crossed paths with Alicia at a monthly meeting of the Atlanta iOS Developers group. She was extremely irate over my Twitter comment and my refusal to teach women-only classes. She became loud and disruptive during the meeting and the event's organizer had to intervene repeatedly.
Despite her hostility, I still wanted to participate in Alicia's ConnectTech panel discussion. I spent weeks preparing to represent iOS developers and the ''Apple way'' of doing things. Alicia was, however, completely unprepared to moderate and many of the attendees were visibly disappointed. Shortly after the session, Alicia posted disparaging remarks about me on Twitter, implying that she had to ''carry the iOS side'' and that I failed to contribute anything to the panel discussion.
Following this incident, I had limited interaction with other women in technology groups in Atlanta until January 2017, when I decided to volunteer as a mentor for a RailsGirls and RailsBridge workshop. Within hours of signing up, both organizations banned me from their groups and events. They even enlisted the help of two young white male developers to replace me as a mentor. Although the organizers of both groups declined to provide me with a formal explanation and refused to explain why or how I had allegedly violated their codes of conduct, I later learned that they strongly objected to my conservative political views. In addition, they were also friends of Alicia.
Jaeckal later volunteered to assist the Atlanta chapter of Google Women Techmakers, which was then being organized by Maggie Kane, and says she worked to secure a venue and speakers for their event. However, after viewpoint diversity advocate James Damore was fired from Google, Jaeckal says her public support for him drew a backlash.
In mid-September 2017, Maggie contacted me and told me that Alicia, acting on behalf of Women Who Code, had sent her an email to lodge a written complaint against me and Polyglot Programming. She stated that Women Who Code refused to work with the Atlanta GDG, or attend or sponsor any of the group's events because of my involvement. Then she added that Alicia had accused me of harassing and doxxing Women Who Code members by contacting their employers to get them fired.
I was absolutely dumbfounded by these ludicrous allegations. It made no sense'Š'--'ŠI've had almost no interaction with Women Who Code's members beyond my exchanges with Alicia Carr. It's simply not in my nature to harass anyone and I've always been strongly opposed to retaliatory actions like doxxing and no-platforming.
Maggie informed me that she had forwarded Alicia's statements to Google and that she had also filed a written complaint with Google because I had ''violated the codes of conduct''. She even felt that it might be best if I stopped attending any GDG and Google Women Techmakers events, because members might be ''triggered'' by my presence.
When Jaeckal later sought to attend an event organized by Women Who Code, a group of which she was still a member, she was asked to leave by Kane, who said she held views that were ''very harmful to gender equality.'' Jaeckal also claims that Kane falsely accused her of ''stalking'' her, after which Jaeckal and her company were banned from a number of influential tech groups in Atlanta.
Two days later, I got an email from TechSquare Labs. Daniel had discussed the incident with Allen Nance, Paul Judge, and Rodney Sampson, the owners of the facility, and he informed me that they had collectively decided to ban me and my company from using their venue or attending any of their events because they were concerned about the ''safety'' of their members. I later learned from a fellow developer that Maggie had, in fact, told various people that I'd been stalking her. She also recruited a young white male developer, David Hope, to replace my partner Lance as GDG organizer and invited David to act as her co-organizer for Google Women Techmakers.
The following week, Martin Omander, GDG program manager for North America, formally banned me from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers and, again, declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I'd allegedly violated.
At this point, says Jaeckal, she realized that the ''women in tech'' activists had become ''determined to ostracize me from the tech industry and ruin the business that I've painstakingly built .''
Her story, in particular the intervention from Google's Martin Omander, bears many similarities to that of James Damore, who was fired from Google after expressing a moderate critique of the company's diversity agenda and for calling for more political tolerance. Like Damore, Jaeckal says she is now facing censure from Google and Google-backed activists over her moderate conservative politics.
Jaeckal has now taken to the legal system to fight back:
I decided that it was time to fight back. I retained renowned civil rights lawyer and GOP official Harmeet Dhillon, who sent a cease and desist letter to Women Who Code, Alicia Carr, Maggie Kane, and Google. In the letter, we demanded a full retraction of the defamatory statements about me. I also requested to have my GDG and Google Women Techmakers memberships reinstated, because I'd been unfairly banned based on false allegations and not on any actual code of conduct violations.
In a comment to Breitbart News, Maggie Kane denied the allegations made against her in Jaeckal's story, calling them ''untrue on many counts and defamatory towards me.''
Kane also claims she received an email from someone who ''read Marlene's article and accused me of being a criminal, which is also defamatory and untrue.''
''I hope Marlene's legal counsel directs her to retract these defamatory statements and personal attacks towards me as they are causing unnecessary harm to our free and volunteer-run tech community groups here in Atlanta.''
Alicia Carr, Martin Omander, and Google did not return requests for comment.
You can follow Allum Bokhari on Twitter, Gab.ai, and add him on Facebook. Email him securely at allumbokhari@protonmail.com.
What we found when we asked newsrooms about sexual harassment - Columbia Journalism Review
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:02
Image via Pixabay. On October 5, a New York Timesinvestigationcracked open the decades-long abuse of women by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein , a so-called open secret that reporters had previously failed to successfully report out. He was aggressively denounced, and days later, The New Yorker followed with a similar expos(C) , kickstarting a near-daily barrage of allegations and, even more shockingly, firings among the entertainment elite. At that time, no one anticipated that the growing list of predatory men would soon include some of the most prominent journalists in the country.
The revelations continue to pour in, and the media industry has grappled'--and often fumbled'--with the public outing of the ''whisper networks'' women have relied on to keep safe. Today, as journalists do the difficult and necessary work of reporting out allegations of harassment and assault everywhere from the ranks of Congress to comedy halls, the damned are increasingly joined by publicly shamed male journalists who have been ousted for their inability to behave appropriately. Men are facing consequences the likes of which we've never before seen.
RELATED: The story behind ''one of the best reported pieces of the year''
At the center of this stream of breaking-news alerts is the reality that our newsrooms, committed to truth and transparency in the public interest, have long fallen short on their responsibility to keep their own reporters safe. And so the Columbia Journalism Review has set out to better understand the sexual harassment policies in place at newsrooms around the country . In late October, we designed two surveys to conduct a (unscientific) study: one for journalists, and one for newsroom human resources professionals and other senior management. A third survey was created to assess the realities of freelancers. Over the course of three weeks, hundreds of staff and freelance journalists filled out the surveys and dozens, primarily women, wrote to us with stories about being sexually harassed in their current and previous newsrooms. Many made specific allegations that, with permission from the journalists, CJR will report out in the coming weeks.
But in three weeks, we heard back from not a single one of the 149 newsrooms we contacted to participate.
Our goal is to learn more about how newsrooms handle claims of sexual misconduct in an attempt to demonstrate that, as an industry, we are both able and willing to answer the same hard questions we demand of other industries. We wanted reporters to tell us how well they understood their employers' formal policies. Were they given a paper or electronic copy of a sexual harassment policy upon hire? Were they required to attend sexual harassment training? If they wanted to file a complaint of abuse, would they know how to do so? We wanted newsrooms, similarly, to tell us about their formal policies. CJR staff members disseminated the staff and freelancer surveys on social media, on our website, in journalism-related online forums and groups, through email listservs, and among our own friends and formers colleagues. We sent the management survey to 149 news organizations by email.
Sign up for CJR 's daily email Since we first distributed the surveys on November 13, we've heard back from 310 staff and freelance journalists working in the United States and abroad. The vast majority of them, 81 percent, self-identified as female. Sixteen percent of survey respondents identified as male, and just under 2 percent identified as third-gender or non-binary, while others self-described in a number of ways, including as transgender.
The journalists worked at a variety of outlets in diverse geographic regions and across mediums, including small outlets in the US and Canada, as well as prominent international news organizations such as NPR, The Washington Post , Vice, CNN, CBS, The Atlantic , BBC News, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. We heard from magazine and newspaper writers, podcasters, public radio reporters, and television journalists. We heard from small, regional print outlets and from young, digital-only publications, from hard news reporters and film critics, sports reporters and photojournalists, all working in places as disparate as New Hampshire and Islamabad.
Their responses were illuminating. Sixty-six percent of participating staff journalists said their companies had clear sexual harassment policies'--a good sign. But just 21 percent strongly agreed that they understood those policies. Twenty-two percent said they disagreed when asked if they understood their newsroom's policy, and 12 percent strongly disagreed.
As allegations continue to surface, newsroom managers have been reissuing electronic copies of company policies and highlighting avenues by which employees can report previous incidents. But those efforts will be in vain if employees don't have a clear understanding of what those resources mean, and how to use them if necessary. One reason for the lack of misunderstanding could be an absence of regular training.
Most staff journalists said they attended sexual harassment training as part of a new employee orientation, but 73 percent said that they'd never been required to attend sessions outside of orientation where policies were formally discussed. And a whopping 96 percent of freelancers said the newsrooms with which they work had never shared copies of their sexual harassment policies with them. None of the 20 freelancers who said they physically worked onsite in newsrooms at least three times per month have ever been given copies of harassment policies.
Given that, it comes as no surprise that 80 percent of freelancers said if they wanted to report an instance of sexual misconduct involving newsrooms they work for, they would not know how to do so. For nearly 90 percent of freelancers, a typical work contract included no language regarding company sexual harassment policies, or details about what protections, if any, the company extended to its freelance and contract workers. Thirty-nine percent of participating freelancers said they do not feel safe in their work with news organizations.
ICYMI: Ouch! These are headlines editors probably wish they could take back
Staff journalists reported better numbers. Thirty-four percent of staffers strongly agreed when asked if they feel safe at work (another 35 percent answered ''agree'' and 11 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed). But a sobering 53 percent of participants still said they either didn't know how to file a report, or were unsure if they would know how to do so, suggesting that media organizations are failing to adequately communicate with their employees.
Human resources experts'--and the US Supreme Court'--have long stressed the importance of sexual harassment policies and training. (Harassment of an employee on the basis of sex, including harassment of a sexual nature, is illegal under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if it is '' so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision,'' according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ; this section of the law applies to companies with 15 or more employees.) T hough companies are not legally mandated to have a formal, written sexual harassment policy, most do, says Sharon Sellers, president of SLS Consulting, which works with companies in the US and abroad to develop sexual harassment policy and training, among other HR functions. But policies are ultimately just paper; they alone do not change culture.
''We can do all the training in the world,'' says Sellers, ''but unless that culture is in effect from the top down'--that we are going to show respect to all employees'--that policy isn't worth the paper it's written on.''
That reality was demonstrated in our survey results. Forty-one percent of staff journalists said they'd personally experienced sexual harassment in a newsroom (67 percent of which did not report the incident to HR), and 28 percent said they'd witnessed another journalist being harassed (82 percent of which didn't report the incident to HR). Among freelance reporters, the numbers were 47 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Like the preponderance of shocking allegations, the latest of which involves the most prominent man in morning television , these numbers'--a small slice of the national and international media community'--illustrate the pervasiveness of sexual harassment. Women, of course, have long known this fact. And they are ready to talk about it.
So we were disappointed when not a single one of the 149 newsrooms we sent surveys to submitted a response'--not even publications at the center of recent allegations, or those that have criticized the handling of allegations, or those who have done crucial reporting on sexual harassment and assault in journalism and other industries.
(Scroll down for more.)
We sent the survey to a combination of human resources directors, senior editors, communications directors, and press officers at 135 outlets on November 8, and to 14 additional outlets on November 15. We sent follow-up emails, and CJR staffers sent personal emails to friends and former colleagues at select organizations in an effort to encourage senior staff to rally for their publications' participation. (The survey was submitted to and completed by the human resources office of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which publishes CJR.)
Thirty-three percent of corporate recipients opened the first email and just 9 percent clicked through to the actual survey. Some recipients opened the email multiple times; officials at The Wall Street Journal /Dow Jones opened the email a total of 11 times. The Intercept opened it six times, and The Atlantic opened it five times. Ultimately, none submitted answers.
The form asked for basic editorial staff demographics and for a detailed explanation of any existing sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures. Our goal was to apply the same standards of transparency to our peers that we demand of other industries. With every new allegation of harassment and abuse that surfaces in the news, readers repeatedly ask how it was that inappropriate behavior went unaddressed for so long, and increasingly, as reported in Politico's Morning Media newsletter , reporters begin their coverage of these accounts ''by pointing out that no one had previously complained to management.'' Beyond the familiar reasons, the answer to why women often do not report harassment or assault lies in part with our ability to understand what policies are in place at different companies.
Sellers, who expressed disappointment, if not surprise, that none of the news organizations contacted chose to participate, says companies might have been hesitant to answer the survey because there was no guarantee our analysis would keep names of companies anonymous. And while she does advise her clients to post their policies on intra-company websites, she says she wouldn't encourage them to post those policies publicly.
''There are so many groups that would take apart policies to find faults, all the way from unions to any group with a vendetta against a news organization,'' she says. It's a predictable piece of advice, and Sellers doesn't dispute the notion that human resources departments work first and foremost for the company, not the employee. But part of serving the company, she says, includes serving its staff.
''The bottom line is that they want people to get along well and want to come to work, do their jobs well and not have conflict. If an employee has all this conflict, they're not going to do their job well, and that's not in the best interest of the company or the employee,'' says Sellers. ''I don't see anything a company would gain from posting [the policy] for the world to see, but if there is a policy, it does no good to hide it.'' Sellers has facilitated similar surveys as a third party, to gauge best practices about human resources policies and make comparisons within other industries, but she reports the data anonymously, a tactic she says encourages participation.
''Right now, no company wants to be under the microscope, where their actual procedures are analyzed. There is so much going on with people coming forward and there's a lot of uncertainty in the HR field,'' says Sellers. ''[Maybe] they didn't want to emerge as the example of what not to do.'' If officials were sure they were doing things the right way, she says, they might more readily open themselves up to potential criticism.
The fear of being made an example, the hot shame of being publicly wrong, is an understandable paralysis. But it's not an excuse journalists would easily accept from others, particularly when it has become clear exactly how much of the responsibility for this hostility falls not just on the shoulders of guilty men, but on the organizations that have enabled and protected them . If our ideals of accountability, and the pursuit of truth in the public interest, are to be taken seriously, we must accept that they extend to us as well, even when it is uncomfortable. Especially when it is uncomfortable.
ICYMI: A striking detail about NBC's decision to fire Matt Lauer
Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.Alexandria Neason is CJR's Senior Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter @alexandrianeas.
Fruit Machines
From DC Scientologist on E-Meters
(Hi,
Adam. I’m a little behind so I don’t know if you’ll find this still relevant to
the show, of interest or if you’ll even read this, but I thought I’d pass it
along. You’re free to share on the show, just leave my name out, please.)
Hi
John and Adam —
I
wanted to write and clarify something from the two recent shows about the fruit
machine.
I’m
a Scientologist from Washington, DC.
I’ve
been listening to the show for some time, donating when I can, and sent a song
your way a while back you played a few times on the show.
I’ve
hit some of my fellow Scientologists in the mouth at various points, and I find
that some of the No Agenda thinking is very much along the lines of what we
think in Scientology — that the M5M mostly wants to scare people and that
Psychiatric drugs are bad for you, among others.
Needless
to say, I was surprised to see a Scientology E-Meter on the album art of a
recent episode.
After
I listened to episode 987 “Kebab Panic!”, I went and looked up the fruit
machine, and it turns out that this is completely disrelated from Mathison and
the Scientology E-Meter.
The
first thing I saw was probably the same image you were talking about on the
show — the one with all the nobs and dials that says “electro psycho meter.”
That
is in fact an early Scientology meter, designed by Volney Mathison for Mr.
Hubbard in England in, I believe, the middle 50s. (electro psycho meter =
e-meter)
And
yes, it does look badass!
What’s
odd tho is — when you look a little further, apparently a Canadian military
museum put the Scientology meter on display with a caption that basically says
“The Fruit Machine has long since been destroyed, and while this ISN’T the
fruit machine, which was much more complicated…”
Several
other sources online, including a major Canadian newspaper, use the same image
of the meter — and yet mention the same fact, that this meter isn’t the
fruit machine! Can’t they come up with an artists rendering??
Someone
somewhere decided to conflate these two things.
If
you look at the wikipedia entry for fruit machine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_machine_(homosexuality_test)) and
some other sources online, it looks like the machine built in Canada was
designed by a man named Frank Robert Wake.
The
Canadian fruit machine “measured
the diameter of the pupils of the eyes (pupillary
response test), perspiration, and pulse for a supposed erotic response.” The
device employed a chair which ”…resembled that used
by dentists. It
had a pulley with a camera going towards the pupils, with a black box located
in front of it that displayed pictures.”
Definitely not anything
related to Scientology or the E-Meter.
Feel free to ask my any
questions if you’d like.
Over to you on if you’d like
to use this note but I’ll keep listening :)
Cheers.
Jerusalem
Man met Palestijnse vlag slaat ruiten koosjer restaurant in Amsterdam in | NOS
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:34
Een man met een stok met daaraan een Palestijnse vlag heeft vanochtend even voor 11.00 uur de ruiten van een koosjer restaurant in Amsterdam ingeslagen.
Omstander filmt hoe een man met Palestijnse vlag ruiten van een koosjer restaurant inslaat
De politie heeft de 29-jarige man met behulp van pepperspray gearresteerd. Op de beelden is te zien dat de agenten aanvankelijk zonder in te grijpen toekijken hoe de man de ruiten inslaat. Tijdens het incident was het restaurant gesloten.
Daad van terreurHet Nederlands Isralitisch Kerkgenootschap noemt het inslaan van ruiten van een koosjer restaurant "niets minder dan een daad van terreur. Met deze wandaad wordt de hele Joodse gemeenschap getroffen".
Het Centraal Joods Overleg keurt het ten sterkste af "dat bepaalde mensen in onze samenleving hun onvrede omtrent politieke zaken in het Midden-Oosten afreageren op Joden alhier." Het samenwerkingsverband roept de overheid op "om waakzaam te zijn tegen deze bedreigingen van de vrede."
Een getuige meldt aan de Amsterdamse stadszender AT5 dat de man tijdens zijn actie "Palestina" en "Allahoe akbar" riep. De man sloeg vijf ruiten in en beschadigde ook de vloer. Op het filmpje is te zien hoe twee gewaarschuwde agenten niet meteen ingrijpen als de man op de ramen slaat en tegen de deur schopt. Na ongeveer twintig seconden werken ze hem tegen de grond.
Een van de eigenaren zegt tegen AT5 dat het restaurant vanavond gewoon weer opengaat. "We laten de ramen dichtplakken en gaan verder waar we gisteren waren gebleven." Hij heeft samen met de mede-eigenaar besloten dat het restaurant extra beveiligd gaat worden.
De eigenaar noemt de daad van de man "een vorm van angst zaaien. Meneer is ook echt binnen geweest, dus dat is heel heftig".
Een zoon van de eigenaar zei eerder dat hij de actie als een aanslag ziet. "Er wordt vaker gespuugd. Maar nooit zoiets als dit. Bij iedereen zit de schrik er heel erg in."
Gisteren erkende president Trump Jeruzalem als hoofdstad van Isral. Dat heeft wereldwijd en vooral in het Midden-Oosten tot veel ophef geleid. Over eventuele extra beveiliging van Joodse eigendommen in Amsterdam wil de politie geen mededelingen doen.
Extra alertAmsterdam is extra alert op incidenten vanwege het besluit van Trump zei waarnemend burgemeester Van Aartsen bij zijn eerste vergadering met de gemeenteraad. Van Aartsen zegt dat hij het inslaan van de ruiten bij het restaurant heeft besproken met opperrabbijn Jacobs en zijn medeleven heeft uitgesproken tegenover de joodse gemeenschap.
Explanation from Dude named Mohammed
ITM!
Here to provide historical view
from an unconventional Arab named Mohammed!
Historically, Jurusalem remained,
a no mans' land since the conflict began.
Israel, expanded the border
drastically as you can see in the maps below.
http://printablegraphics.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Palestine-map-3.jpg
The UN plan of 1947 leaves
Jurusalem under UN control. However, after the 1967 Israel expanded to areas
beyond the limits above, acquiring land from Jordan, Egypt and Syria.
Both Jordan and Egypt were
accepted UN Security Council Resolution 242, which classifies these as occupied
territories and forces everyone to go back to 1967 map. Syria accepted the
resolution in 1972.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) saw a
huge hole in the plan, since they were forced to accept the Israeli borders,
while Israel were not forced to acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian
state represented by the PLO.
The PLO went engaged in a 20+
year struggle to emerge as the official representation of Palestinian people,
during that time they engaged themselves in some shady activities that labeled
them as a terrorist organization.
In the 90's the PLO planned to
straiten things up, and because of that Hamas was born as a faction that
refuses to acknowledge the existence of Israel. Gaining Arab support and
labeling PLO as traitors.
All peace talk discussions are
based on resolution 242 and 338, which were both unanimously voted by council
members (except china in the case of 338).
Over the years, Israel worked out
a massive plan to split the west bank into smaller disconnected areas
surrounded by Israeli land. The more settlements built means the more difficult
it gets to go back to the 1967 map.
Technically, I think all US
presidents were just flirting with Jewish lobbying group about Jurusalem. They
were however talked out of it by their foreign affairs guys, since it will make
the US take sides in any peace negotiation, especially about territories that
were never negotiated before.
Trump lost a lot of support in
the region for something that is just symbolic, costly and does not represent
him as a good sponsor for any upcoming talk.
I personally think Trump was
winning in the region, but this step was completely unnecessary. This can also
destabilize areas that were rock stable before like Jordan and make it more
difficult for Arab states working with the US as it will be used by Iran and
its allies. Just look at the Houthi rebels slogan and you will understand
what I mean.
Everyone in this region will try
to use Israel and Jurusalem to obtain support, those bastards' slogan is Allahu
Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Victory to Islam! Now
that's a cool ISO!!
Sorry if the above is not
organized enough, but I also have to state that I'm quite young and was not
around when all these cool wars were fought.
TYFYC,
Dude Named Mohammed
Producer Erez history lesson of the region
In 1947, the
UN assembly have accepted the resolution to split then UK-ruled Palestine into
two parts, a Jewish state and an Arab state (they were not called
"Palestinians" then) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine.
This was the basis for the eventual Israeli declaration of independence in May
1948.
If you peruse
the map in the Wiki article, you can notice several interesting elements.
First, that it mostly resembles the pre-1967 lines, and, more important for the
Jerusalem issue, that Jerusalem is not a part of either the Jewish or the Arab
states. While it is deep in the Arab territory, the UNSCOP committee which came up with the partition plan
decided that Jerusalem is too sensitive an area to be under either side's
control and it was decided that it will be a UN controlled area.
Anything
that came after this point is open for interpretation, so I wont go into
details. The Jewish side argues that the Arab side have rejected the plan and
attempted to take over the whole area by military force, and therefore
relinquished their claims for the areas granted by the UN as well as nullifying
the borders set in the resolution and the special status that was supposed to
be given for Jerusalem.
Post
the 1948 war, Israel have declared all the land it managed to get hold of as
part of its state, meaning Israel have not withdrew from areas that were not
meant to be under the Jewish state control in the 1947 resolution and made
Jerusalem its capital.
This
decision was criticised globally. The argument is that Israel cannot declare
independence based on the 1947 resolution then occupy areas that were not
supposed to be under its jurisdictions in said resolution, and especially
cannot declare Jerusalem its capital. This is the reason no country has their
embassy in Jerusalem.
In
1967, the rest of Palestine came under the rule of Israel, which brings two
more titbits into the already messy situation. One, Israel have not annexed the
occupied territories, making its residents Israeli citizens, but have kept them
under military control, while also founded settlements and cities in them, in
clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention treaties. According to the
Israeli government, this is not a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention
treaties because those are not occupied territories but rather "Disputed
Territories" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_territories_occupied_by_Israel_in_1967).
One of the reasons was that those were areas that were part of Palestine as
defined in the 1947 resolution, and were occupied by Jordan, rather than part
of Jordan occupied by Israel.
On
the other hand, Israel did annex "west-Jerusalem".
If
you look in the following map: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/images/map-jerusalem-1973.jpg
You'll notice that the area that was annexed is quite large, mostly non-settled
area. This was done because at the time (1967-1971), the Israeli government was
sure that they will return the occupied areas in a settlement and wanted to
keep as much as Jerusalem as they can. The result is that, while this area is a
part of Israel and its residents are Israeli citizens, it encompassed large
areas that are not a part of Jerusalem (which is very surprising to Israelis
who are convinced that "east-Jerusalem" is only the part marked
"walled city" in that map.
So
there you have it. I would also point out that by recognising Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel, we have another interesting turn of the whole "disputed
territories" argument. If Jerusalem is legally the capital of Israel, then
it is not supposed to be a UN held area which Israel holds illegally, meaning
the US take back their support of the 1947 resolution which is the basis for
the entire existence of Israel as a Jewish state in the area.
But
I guess after 70 years no one cares any more.
CRISPR
From Illuminadia
Hi Adam,
I'm sorry that I haven't told you about CRISPR. I thought I
had, but maybe it was just lost in the tons of emails you get. I am a molecular
biologist and have used CRISPR to change the DNA in yeast so that it can
produce a protein of our choosing (for instance, we can get yeast to make
insulin and other kinds of beneficial proteins). I'm still pretty new at this.
Even though it was technically discovered in 1987, it only became commonly used
in 2013, and got innovation of the year award in 2015.
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short
Palindromic Repeats. Without getting too technical, it essentially mimics how
bacteria protects itself from viruses (called phage) by ripping apart the
invading DNA, making it inert. It then stores the genetic information into a "library"
to better identify any future attacks from future invasions of the same
species.
Using short RNA strands and a protein called Cas9 (the
enzyme that cuts DNA known as a nuclease), we are able to remove or insert the
DNA of our choice once it is ripped apart.
They can edit HUMAN ZYGOTES. Isn't that terrifying? There is
a HUGE ethical debate about the technology, and people are discussing what we
can do vs. what we SHOULD do. Didn't Jurassic Park teach them anything???
Anyway, if you want to know more, please feel free to
ask.
-IllumiNadia
DIY 'garage' scientists could unleash genetically-edited organisms into wild, warn experts
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:06
G arage scientists' could unleash dangerous genetically-modified organisms into the environment using unregulated technology which is already available online, a new report has warned.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said that chemistry kits which allow genetic editing can already be bought online for under £100.
Scientists are concerned that a new technique, called Crispr, is now so cheap and widely available that amateurs will start experimenting at home, or in school labs.
The technique works like genetic scissors to cut away DNA code and replace it with new genes. It has been hailed as one the most significant scientific breakthroughs in recent years, with enthusiasts claiming that it could wipe out inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis and produce crops which are resistant to drought or pests.
It is possible for individuals to pursue this interest in private homes using kits that are available to order onlineThe Nuffield Council on Bioethics
Y et there are fears that, in the wrong hands, the procedure could unleash dangerous strains of bacteria or other organisms. Others worry it may usher in a future of eugenics, with wealthy parents selecting for beneficial traits.
Announcing preliminary findings, the council said: ''The comparatively low cost and ease of use of the Crispr system has made it feasible for a greater range of users, beyond those who would ordinarily make use of the techniques of molecular biology.
''DIY or garage biologists, biohackers and enthusiastic amateurs carrying out informal research or making biological products. It is possible for individuals to pursue this interest in private homes using kits that are available to order online.
''Genetically altered organisms present a theoretical risk of harm to those handling them, and if they escape or are released from laboratories or controlled environments, to other people and natural ecosystems.''
The scientists said that a kit to make E.coli resistant to antibiotics was already for sale on the internet.
T he panel is launching two reviews looking into the ethical implications of genome editing both for human health and animals.
Transferring a genetically-edited embryo to a woman is currently banned, but the first tests to allow the genetic modification of an embryo were given the go-ahead earlier this year.
The report warned that widespread use of genome editing could allow the spread of 'consumer' eugenics and 'engineering humans with desirable genetic traits' to suit environmental conditions or enhance athletic ability.
Karen Yeung, Professor of Law at Kings College London said: ''Many people have concerns about the possible use of genome editing in human reproduction, for example concerns about making genetic changes that would be passed on to future generations and the possibility of the techniques being used to confer other desirable characteristics.
It is conceivable that it could be put to use for malign purposes. We have identified a number of ethical concernsDr Andy Greenfield
''We've identified human reproductive applications as an area that demands urgent ethical scrutiny and we would think carefully how to respond to this possibility now well before it becomes a practical tool.''
C rispr, which stands for Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat, is a naturally-occurring defence mechanism used by bacteria.
Bacteria carry in their DNA strands of genetic code belonging to viruses so that they can recognise them when they come near. When they spot a virus they release an enzyme which attacks, snipping away this area of code.
Scientists have harnessed this mechanism to use as a kind of 'molecular scissors' which removes mutated areas of DNA.
Panel member Dr Andy Greenfield, of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), added: ''It is conceivable that it could be put to use for malign purposes. We have identified a number of ethical concerns.
''This is a potentially transformative technology and could transform our range of ambitions about how humans control our world.''
First genetically modified humans could exist within two years
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:07
H umans who have had their DNA genetically modified could exist within two years after a private biotech company announced plans to start the first trials into a ground-breaking new technique.
Editas Medicine, which is based in the US, said it plans to become the first lab in the world to 'genetically edit' the DNA of patients suffering from a genetic condition '' in this case the blinding disorder 'leber congenital amaurosis'.
The disorder prevents normal function of the retina; the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye. It appears at birth or in the first months of life and eventually sufferers can go completely blind.
''Hereditary eye disease in an obvious place to start given that there is already precedent in classical gene therapy"
Professor Darren Griffin, University of Kent
T he rare inherited disease is caused by defects in a gene which instructs the creation of a protein that is essential to vision.
But scientists at Editas Medicine in the US believe they can fix the mutated DNA using the ground-breaking gene-editing technology Crispr.
Katrine Bosley, the chief executive of Editas Medicine, told a conference in the US that the company hopes to start trialling the technology on blind patients in 2017.
It would be the first time the technology has been used on humans. Gene editing is currently banned in the US, so the company would need special permission from health regulators.
''It feels fast, but we are going at the pace science allows,'' Bosley told the EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
C rispr, which stands for Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat, is a naturally-occurring defence mechanism used by bacteria.
Bacteria carry in their DNA strands of genetic code belonging to viruses so that they can recognise them when they come near. When they spot a virus they release an enzyme which attacks, snipping away this area of code.
Scientists have harnessed this mechanism to use as a kind of 'molecular scissors' which removes mutated areas of DNA.
''This seems massively premature... However CRISPR is a hugely exciting technology and it undoubtedly has great potential that is attracting the attention of researchers around the world"
Alastair Kent, Genetic Alliance
B ut the technology is controversial because it fundamentally changes a person's genetic code which can then be passed down to offspring. Critics also worry it could have unintended consequences for other parts of the genome and could lead to designer babies.
In April, China was ordered to 'rein in' scientists who had engineered non-viable embryos to modify the gene responsible for the fatal blood disorder thalassaemia.
But Prof Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent, said the new treatment offered real hope for people with genetic conditions: ''CRISPR technology is offering a range of exciting applications including treatment options for genetic diseases.
''Hereditary eye disease in an obvious place to start given that there is already precedent in classical gene therapy.
''The ''engineering the perfect baby'' argument is, in my opinion, a red herring when the alternative is children losing their sight.''
A ccording to the MIT Technology Review, patients in the Editas trial would have a 'soup of viruses' injected into their eye, loaded with instructions to delete around 1,000 DNA letters from a gene called CEP290 in a patient's photoreceptor cells.
If successful similar treatments could work for several thousand inherited disorders caused by gene mistakes such as Huntington's disease and cystic fibrosis.
However some British experts were cautious about the latest announcement, suggesting that two years away seemed too soon for such a huge advancement.
''This seems massively premature,'' said Alastair Kent, of the Genetic Alliance, which supports people with genetic conditions.
''However CRISPR is a hugely exciting technology and it undoubtedly has great potential that is attracting the attention of researchers around the world.
''If the potential of CRISPR is to be realised then the technology needs to be thoroughly explored through high quality biomedical research that is subjected to ethical approval and peer review. Otherwise there is a risk that families desperate for cures will be vulnerable to plausible offers from over-enthusiastic advocates for the technology.''
Last week Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL announced they had used genetic editing to created 'designer immune cells' for baby Layla Richards however the genetic cells were cleared from her body within 12 weeks. Under the new trial the change would be permanent and passed down through the germ line.
Armageddon
Jobs are everywhere, just not for people over 55 - MarketWatch
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:49
Job openings have been at record highs and the unemployment rate has edged down to all-time lows. But it's a very different story for older unemployed Americans, especially ones out of work for over six months '-- the long-term unemployed.
A stunning 33% of job seekers ages 55 and older are long-term unemployed, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. The average length of unemployment for the roughly 1.2 million people 55+ who are out of work: seven to nine months. ''It's emotionally devastating for them,'' said Carl Van Horn, director of Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, at a Town Hall his center and the nonprofit WorkingNation held earlier this year in New Brunswick, N.J.
The fight faced by the long-term unemployedAnd, recent studies have shown, the longer you're out of work '-- especially if you're older and out of work '-- the harder it becomes to get a job offer.
The job-finding rate declines by roughly 50% within eight months of unemployment, according to a 2016 paper by economists Gregor Jarosch of Stanford University and Laura Pilossoph of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. ''Unemployment duration has a strongly negative effect on the likelihood of subsequent employment,'' wrote researchers from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Census Bureau in another 2016 paper.
''Once upon a time, you could take that first job and it would lead to the next job and the job after that,'' said Town Hall panelist John Colborn, chief operating officer at the nonprofit JEVS Human Services, of Philadelphia. ''The notion of a career ladder offered some hope of getting back into the labor market. The rungs of the ladder are getting harder and harder to find and some of them are broken.''
In inner cities, said Kimberly McClain, CEO of The Newark Alliance, ''there's an extra layer beyond being older and out of work. There are issues of race and poverty and being defined by your ZIP Code. There's an incredible sense of urgency.''
Innovative programs that helpFortunately, some innovative local, hands-on programs are making strides getting some older unemployed people back on their feet and back at work. I heard about three at the Town Hall '-- Heldrich's New Start Career Network for unemployed New Jerseyans over 45, Colborn's JEVS Human Services and the Newark 2020 initiative.
Joe Konopka, 51, is living proof. Laid off from his job as a dean in 2016, Konopka struggled to find work. At the time, Konopka '-- who has an M.B.A., a master's and a Ph.D. '-- had a son in college and a daughter in high school; his wife, Ann, has Parkinson's. In a WorkingNation mini-documentary shown at the Town Hall, Konopka poignantly said that after losing a job in midlife, ''within 10 minutes, your identity is stripped.'' It took him about two months to get over the shock.
New Start Career Network coach Mallory Jones (a volunteer, like the program's other coaches) helped Konopka find his footing after he began getting job interviews. It was about ''being a sounding board and listening to the things Joe was saying and his frustrations,'' Jones said. ''I asked him to map out all the organizations he had interviewed with, what he liked about each and the great things about each interview. Then, we could move forward to find an employer that could offer those things.''
Today, Konopka is senior aide to the president at Ocean County College. ''Mallory helped me get up every day and make sure I was immersed in my job search,'' he said. His advice to other older long-term unemployed people: ''Make it your job to find a job.''
'Knitting things together'McClain said at the Town Hall that helping the older, long-term unemployed find jobs ''is the responsibility of everyone who touches the workforce system.'' The goal, she added, is ''to take everyone connected '-- training providers, employers, faith-based nonprofits and others '-- and create career pathways.''
Colborn agreed. ''It takes that kind of work to knit all these things together.'' Added Jane Oates, a member of WorkingNation's executive committee and the former Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor: ''The solutions are local.''
JEVS Human Services (JEVS is short for Jewish Vocational Services) does its part by adhering to the Jewish principle of Tzedakah, which means ''do what is right and just.'' Its Career Solutions for 55+ program, like New Start Career Network, provides one-on-one employment assistance for older job seekers. ''We help people take stock of what they've gained in their years of experience, retune themselves and repackage themselves for employers to prepare for a new job search,'' said Colborn.
Staying positiveThe retuning is as much psychological as anything.
Maria Heidkamp, director of the New Start Career Network, said her program helps older people (average age: 56) who are out of work ''stay positive.'' It also provides instruction on using social media, understanding the hidden labor market (job openings that aren't posted) and interviewing with younger hiring managers, as well as providing in-person and virtual coaching by trained volunteers.
Colborn noted: ''A big part of our identity is our work, and when you take that work away from people, they suffer from a lack of identity. They wonder: 'Where am I?' We see a lot of shame from people coming to us for our services.''
The 30 JEVS job development team members help prospects get hired by ''knocking on [employers'] doors every day,'' said Colborn. ''They say: 'Have I got a candidate for you! She's who you're looking for and let me tell you why.''
Newark 2020, an initiative launched in April by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, is a coalition of organizations, employers and colleges, including The Newark Alliance, Rutgers, Prudential and RWJ Barnabas Health. Its goal: finding full-time employment at a living wage for Newark's 2,020 residents by 2020. ''We tell employers why it makes business sense'' to hire unemployed workers, said McClain. ''It's not about feeling sorry for job seekers.''
The Newark 2020 folks meet regularly with human resources professionals in the city. ''We talk less about the job candidates having gaps in their work experience and more about: Are they capable of doing the job?'' said McLain.
Filling a work gapIf you are over 50, unemployed and have a work gap right now, the Town Hall speakers said, fill it by volunteering, getting an internship, doing project work, job-shadowing someone in a field you want to be in or taking a class to re-skill. These kind of things ''make a candidate a lot more attractive,'' said Colborn. Be sure to note them in your cover letter and r(C)sum(C).
Town Hall panelist Amanda Mullan, senior vice president and chief human resources officer of the New Jersey Resources Corp. (a utility company based in Wall, N.J.), said that when her company is interviewing someone who has been out of work lately, ''we will ask: 'What have you done during that time frame?' If we get 'Nuthin,' that shows something about the individual, from a motivational perspective.''
Career lattice, not ladderSeveral of the speakers talked about the need for older, unemployed people to think less about a career ladder and more about a career lattice, where you may move sideways or up (or sometimes down) over the course of your work life.
''Think about the skills and competencies you need to develop'' to find that next job, said Mullan.
And if you have spent your career in the corporate world, think about your skills that could translate to the nonprofit world, perhaps as an encore career. ''A lot of skills might be relevant there and you might have a better shot of getting your foot in the door,'' said Heidkamp. ''If you had a marketing or a legal background, tweak your r(C)sum(C), network and look for relevant opportunities that can let you transition to some other kind of job where you're still using those skills.''
While you're networking, Van Horn advised, get written recommendations from trusted sources. They can help convince prospective employers that you've got the goods.
What employers could doOne thing the panelists said employers should do: Hire based on competency, not on whether an applicant happens to have a job right now.
''A number of employers are doing competency-based postings. Instead of saying a B.S. is necessary, they talk about the skills needed for the job. I think that is so much better, certainly for career changers,'' said Oates.
The relief of working againFinally finding work when you're over 50 and unemployed for a stretch can be a relief for far more than financial reasons.
''Once I landed my job, the thing I most looked forward to was the weekend,'' said Konopka. ''Not to relax, but because I didn't have to think about finding a job anymore. That's 24/7 in your head. You're always thinking on a Saturday: 'If I'm not doing something to find a job, will there be a posting out there?'''
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
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.
Peter Strzok - Wikipedia
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 03:31
After high school in Minnesota,[5] Strzok graduated from Georgetown University in 1991, and in 2013 received a master's degree there.[6] Strzok was an officer in the U.S. Army and then an intelligence research specialist in the FBI.[7]
He has worked at the FBI since the 1990s, is "considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators", according to The New York Times,[8] and is "considered to be one of the Bureau's top experts on Russia", according to CNN.[4] He served as the deputy head of FBI counter-intelligence[3] and worked on secret matters of espionage involving China and Russia.[7]
Lead investigator on high-profile cases Starting on July 10, 2015, Strzok led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.[9] During the investigation, Strzok changed then-FBI Director James Comey's draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" (which may be a criminal offense) to "extremely careless".[4] Strzok and his team helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.[9]
In July 2016 Strzok signed a document opening the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][10] He oversaw the bureau's interviews at this time with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.[11] Strzok also became the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation of foreign electoral intervention by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[12]
Removal from Mueller investigation In late July 2017, Strzok was removed from Mueller's team and moved to a human resources position at the agency after reports of text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, who worked at the FBI for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe; the text messages appeared to be anti-Donald Trump in nature.[13][14] According to Strzok's colleagues and a former Trump administration official, Strzok had not previously shown any overt political bias.[2][13] An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump's criticism of the FBI's investigation of the Clinton emails.[2] Page was assigned to Mueller's investigation as a trial attorney until she left in late September 2017.[15][16]
Strzok's and Page's colleagues in the FBI said that there was no professional misconduct between Strzok and Page.[13] According to The Wall Street Journal, several agents said that Mueller removed Strzok in order to protect the integrity of the special counsel's Russia investigation.[17]
Subject of ongoing investigation Michael E. Horowitz, the Inspector General (IG) of the Justice Department, has an ongoing investigation into how the FBI handled the high profile investigations.[8][18] Fox News reported that a source close to the probe says it will examine Strzok's participation in various other politically sensitive matters, and that the proble should be done by "very early next year."[19] The IG investigation began in January 2017, and Horowitz expects to issue a report in March or April of 2018.[8] Meanwhile, the Justice Department has agreed to allow the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to interview Strzok.[20]
Fairfax Home Sales - The Washington Post
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 03:28
January 8, 2004
The following home sales were recently recorded for southern Fairfax County and supplied to The Washington Post by the Real Estate Division of the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration. To find sale and assessment records for homes in Fairfax County and elsewhere in the Washington area, visit www.washingtonpost.com/realestate.
ALEXANDRIA AREA
BLOOMFIELD DR., 5612, No. 202-Kon Kyu Pak to Peter T. Pham, $171,000.
CRESTWOOD DR., 6224-Hwa J. Kim to My L. Tran and Dinh T. Hang, $445,000.
DAWES AVE., 5700-Nhung H.T. and Terry J. Barker to John J. Clark, $344,000.
INDEPENDENCE CIR., 5653-Janko P. and Sandra A. Bertsch to Richard A. Newman, $222,500.
SEMINARY RD., 5501-Joseph W. Blasko to Michelle M. Hudson, $156,500.
SUMMER LEAF LANE, 5432-John C. Ulrich to Thomas and Eriko Crowell, $373,500.
ALEXANDRIA-BELLE VIEW AREA
DUFFIELD LANE, 1905-Richard A. Alderson to Allen D. and Tamyra T. Todd, $419,000.
STANFORD DR., 7020-Alexander V. and Katherine Kissal to William R. and Heather H. Kendrick, $210,000.
10TH ST., 6502-Sarah A. Balas to Heather A. and Jeffrey Orenstein, $250,000.
ALEXANDRIA-FRANCONIA AREA
ADMIRALTY CT., 5320-Walter T. and Mi O.R. Ham to Brian L. Degrano, $215,000.
ASHBY LANE, 7505-Hossein Habib to Kari A. Stadler, $175,000.
BELLEAU WOODS LANE, 5601-Edward J. Cubanski III and Shirley M. Cagle to Alex P. and Veronica C. Grahammer, $330,500.
BROADMOOR ST., 5701-Barbara and Gerald E. Elphick and Elphick Trust to David E. and Jessica E. Retherford, $375,000.
COLLINS MEADE WAY, 7434-Andrea A. and Howard C. Thompson to Erik M. and Amanda C. Ringelberg, $355,000.
CRESTLEIGH CIR., 7303-Harry D. and Joyce B. Barnett to Dwuan D. and Audrey W. June, $266,000.
ELLESMERE CT., 6000, No. 15A-Orlando and P.P. Melendez to Jessica Ring, $170,000.
ERICKA AVE., 6805-Eleazar Martinez to Dhruv and Garima Jain, $290,000.
ESSEX HOUSE SQ., 6072, No. B-Richard W. Poe to Miranda D. Smith, $230,000.
HAYNES POINT WAY, 7702, No. 2001-Barbara L. Davis to Sue E. Braden, $247,000.
HIGH VALLEY LANE, 6637-Daniel G. and Stacie T. Kotter to Jessica C. and Jefferson K.A. Pierce, $238,000.
HOUNDSBURY CT., 7410-Kathleen Rogers to Paul E. and Srisucha B. McCabe, $245,000.
KELSEY POINT CIR., 6574-Karen L. Kessenich to Suzanne M. Newton and Seth Jones, $338,000.
LANGLEIGH WAY, 6506-Matthew T. and Cari M. Tedesco to Che V. Russell, $273,551.
LUTON PL., 7622-Judith M. Ivey to Melanie R. Watson, $367,500.
MARKHAM GRANT LANE, 7723-Bernardo C. and Monteza Celeste to Edwin H. and In K. Oshiba, $305,000.
MCKENNA WAY, 6575-David R. and Audra J. Parker to Barbara G. and William J. Kilberg, $440,000.
MERSEY OAKS WAY, 6000, No. 1E-Christopher Royal to Keith J. Filipp, $230,000.
MORNING GLEN LANE, 7805-Alfred E. Wassel to Richard E. Habina Jr. and Katherine Magruder, $360,000.
NETTIES LANE, 6603, No. 1702-Peter F. Martin to Dennis J. Perez, $255,000.
OLD CARRIAGE DR., 6525-Edward W. Lyle to Peter R. Kelly and Lauren M. Young, $208,000.
OLD CARRIAGE DR., 6575-Jacque M. Graham to Mohammed A. Eltom, $208,500.
RIDGE VIEW DR., 5765-Paul G. McKenna to George L. and Tanya M. Tanner, $295,500.
RIDGE VIEW DR., 6005-Dorilda M. and Raymond A. Roberge to Clarence A. March, $282,000.
SAPPHIRE CT., 3403-Stella L. and Edward F. Michals to Homero A. and Leticia M. Escobar, $350,000.
SILO RD., 4903-Leigh B. and Jimmie C. Jackson to Michael S. and Lisa Y. Stevenson, $562,000.
SKY BLUE DR., 8052-Mary Zaragoza to Joseph P. Bowser, $290,000.
SKY BLUE DR., 8078-Teresa C. and James P. Zemotel to F. Scott Mallan and Ernest B. Easter, $282,500.
TALAVERA CT., 6087-Barbara A. McCarron to Carol L. Gage, $310,000.
THORPE TER., 6609-Paragon Decision Resources Inc. to Manyhalishal Hailegiorgis and Solomon Edossa, $435,000.
VIRGINIA HILL AVE., 6535-Brian G. and Amy L. McCurdy to Robert D. Kesterson, $255,000.
WESCOTT HILLS WAY, 5980-Kathleen K. and Theodore J. Fink to Shawn P. and Kathleen A. Conlon, $356,000.
WESTCHESTER ST., 5825-Matthew A. and Theresa L. Poe to Sarah Kelly, $425,000.
YADKIN CT., 6510-Michael and Patricia Hiestand to Benjamin and Branka Bowman, $247,250.
ANNANDALE AREA
AIRLIE WAY, 4462-Richard Weiss to Brenda L. Brooks, $300,000.
CHAMPIONSHIP DR., 4074-Robert and Teresa D. Gay to Paul M. and Cecelia M. Downs, $310,000.
DONNYBROOK CT., 7741, No. 104-Lam D. to Doris Yi, $91,000.
ELAN CT., 4433-Kenneth R. and Maria L. Farris to Cindy Zelenko, $265,900.
IVYMOUNT CT., 4345, No. 16-Francis and Philomena Boateng to Ok H. Lee, $180,000.
KILLEBREW DR., 7706-Billy R. and Leathia M. Lanier to Michelle Lanier, $279,500.
LITTLE RIVER TNPK., 8112-Gustavo M. and Jeanne M. Reinaldo to Jose R. Rodriguez, $250,000.
MANGALORE DR., 4116, No. 203-Nadeem A. and Tahira N. Khan to Sultan B. Malik, $140,000.
NEWPORT GLEN PASS, 7860-Jennifer L. and Michael T. Jones to Allan and Angela Rowley, $300,000.
OLIVER AVE., 3820-David W. and Pamela R. Murk to Gregory J. and Marie C. Brill, $420,000.
QUEEN ELIZABETH BLVD., 8611-Hae S. and Kyu H. Lee to Miriam Avena and Luiz H. Almeida, $400,000.
REEDY DR., 3434-Wayne E. and Vera Thomson and Thomson Family Revocable Trust to Paul I. Miller, $535,000.
TOBIN RD., 8300, No. 11-Norman E. Rajput to Bichha T. Ngo, $169,000.
WEBSTER CT., 4205-Louis M. and Rebecca L. Goffredi to Brian W. and Laurie G. Lindberg, $425,000.
WHISPERING LANE, 4107-Elden P. and Margaret J. Nootenboom to James W. and Sharon K. Given, $456,000.
WILLET DR., 4520-Douglas A. and Margo Lipka to Jin Ye and Yiling Yang, $419,500.
WOODBURN RD., 3368-Jonathan M. and Jennifer S.H. Morstein to Samuel Kanazeh, $145,000.
WOODBURN VILLAGE DR., 3310-Lawrence L. Rosen to In S. and Sung W. Yi, $179,000.
BAILEYS CROSSROADS AREA
LEESBURG PIKE, 6133, No. 306-Eberto A. Gudiel to Shane Blanchard, $95,000.
LEESBURG PIKE, 6135, No. 201-Geovana M. Cavarrubias to Judith M. Carlson, $141,900.
POWELL LANE, 3800, No. 1116-Guerino J. Calemine III to Zi Zhen N. Driver, $148,000.
POWELL LANE, 3800, No. 621-Citicapital Relocation Inc. and Prudential Relocation Inc. to Sean P. and Kristie A. Mahoney, $224,000.
POWELL LANE, 3800, No. 909-Holly S. Perkins to Dilia Roman, $169,900.
S. GEORGE MASON DR., 3701, No. 1010N-Sana U. Choudhry to P. Elise Bell, $141,500.
S. GEORGE MASON DR., 3709, No. 403E-Kathleen W. Bailey to M. Christopher Brown II, $200,000.
STEPPES CT., 3897, No. B-Catherine C. and David K. Zusi to Brian M. Vladyka, $239,000.
BURKE AREA
ASHBOURN DR., 9605-Willa M. and Winifred D. Wise to Vincent T. and Sharron L. Ries, $390,000.
BROKEN OAK PL., 9174, No. 67A-Bernard G. Schuster to Leonilla I. Baez, $145,000.
BUFFIE CT., 6311-Janice C. and Larry W. Gould to Shi Zhang and Jijian Li, $275,000.
BURKE POND CT., 9869-David J. and Christine L. Scarchilli to Leigh A. and Otis K. Adusei, $275,000.
BURNSIDE LAND DR., 6021-Cecil A. and Joan D. Turner to Jonathan A. and Brooke O. Fredrick, $450,000.
BURNSIDE LAND DR., 6059-Gus N. and Julie C. Orologas to Kevin M. and Pamela K. Rozelsky, $424,000.
BURNSIDE LAND DR., 6073-Gina J. and David R. Rue to Stephen M. and Mayra G. Wilkins, $425,400.
CALICO POOL LANE, 6121-Colette and Tommy S. Walsh to Patricia Gilbert and Marco Sosa, $259,900.
CAPON HILL PL., 5213-Ralph Frank and Susan Gundersen to Clark L. and Joan E. Barker, $460,000.
DORY LANDING CT., 6101-Carol A. and Michael F. Kuhn to Susan B. and Greg C. Wilson, $368,000.
DRACO ST., 6215-Behzad Assadzadeh to Stylianos Moschou and Efthymia Rapti, $299,999.
GOSHEN LANE, 9410-Stephen P. Kuchar to Araminta M. Garcia, $269,000.
HERITAGE SQUARE DR., 5934-Bruce O. and Melissa Ferratt to Christine Coleman and Blanche A. Jones, $260,000.
HIGH WATER CT., 9875-Elizabeth F. and Roman W. Kaluta to Yan Zhao, $282,700.
IRONMASTER DR., 9715-Terrence L. Shaw to Michael G. and Sandra C. Kinsey, $386,000.
KARA PL., 5856-Bo H. and Bum B. Kim to Jorge Kuscevic, $257,500.
KENDRICK LANE, 5528-Richard E. and Teresa J. Kramer to Rachel C. and James S. Butyter, $193,000.
LINCOLNWOOD DR., 9605-Steven S. and Victoria F. Bowen to Robert S. and Joan E. Dinges, $415,000.
MANTLE RD., 6116-Hansu and Michong Kim to Melanie F. Richardson, $327,450.
MANTLEPIECE CT., 6107-Maryann S. and Richard C. Hanratty to Cathy L. and Robert H. Turner, $440,000.
PEREGRINE DR., 5924-Geraldine B. and Mark G. Harper to Trang X. Lam and Ha Dat, $315,000.
QUINTANA CT., 5900-Mervin G. and Susan F. Davis to Jennifer and Timothy Tisler, $399,900.
RETRIEVER RD., 9504-George L. and Patricia E. McCumber to Geraldine B. and Mark G. Harper, $459,000.
SUTHERLAND CT., 5600-Richard M. Bollich to Parviz and Shirin Inanloo, $263,000.
TEAKWOOD CT., 6323-Akhtar Baig to Maria I. Mejia, $241,500.
WHIPPANY WAY, 6416-Waheed Siddiqi to Shershah Surmaty, $169,000.
WYE OAK COMMONS CIR., 12289-Patricia A. Cardosi to Andrew S. Stanley and Skye K. Breeden, $274,900.
FIRST LANDING WAY, 5897, No. 170-George H. Saab to Cesar S. Buenaventura, $205,000.
CENTREVILLE AREA
BARNSLEY PL., 13915-Sarath Katta and Madan Kondayyagari to Kim Nguyen and Long N. Pham, $274,900.
BECKFORD WAY, 15506-Michael A. and Susan A. Goldenzweig to Robert B. Hall Jr. and Mary O'Quinn, $710,000.
BEDDINGFIELD WAY, 14206-Jon S. Rucker Jr. to Mala Manwani, $282,500.
BIG YANKEE LANE, 13989-Damon M. and Jennifer L. Hudson to Jeffrey Frame, $219,000.
BLACK HORSE CT., 14491-Thomas Santry to Theresa M. and Larry J. Horinko, $175,000.
BRIDLINGTON CT., 13820-Wen F. and Huang A.R. Wang to Christina Y. Wei, $220,000.
CASTLE HARBOR WAY, 5131-Candia P. and Roger Campbell to Srikanthimathi Balakrishna and Shyam R. Harohalli, $240,000.
CRANOKE ST., 14820-Timothy A. and Kathleen C. Adams to James R. and Christine J. Caton, $330,000.
CREEK RUN DR., 6585-Charles C. and P. Thomas to Melissa G. and Michael A. Nester, $324,900.
CREEKSTONE LANE, 6018-Susanna Shoeibi to Christine J. and Peter R. Danforth, $207,500.
CRYSTALFORD LANE, 5401-Judy S. Quackenbush to Loan and Liem Thai, $280,000.
DARRINGTON WAY, 5304-Cynthia E. and Steven R. Dolan to Laura M. and Regan S. Mahoney, $408,000.
FIELD FLOWER TRAIL, 6344-Stephen B. Wood to Johanna B. Stafford, $276,000.
FOREST POND CT., 13615-Alison M. Cooley to Mandana Hannani and Mehdi Sarbaz, $195,000.
FROSTY WINTER CT., 6201-Ju Y. and Hyung T. Kim to Mohammad A. Mesbahi, $320,000.
GATWICK SQ., 14756-Sanchez Diaz Romelio to Juan C. Ruiz, $213,650.
GLADE SPRING DR., 14282-Robert J. Prince to Ramin Qassim and Sonia Jassor, $285,000.
GREYMONT DR., 15036-Dean A. and Tanya M. Burrell to Brian S. Hunt, $389,900.
HAVENER HOUSE WAY, 6004-Diane Walsh to Angelo Soares III, $181,000.
HAVERSACK RD., 6510-Herbert C. Wilson Jr. to Vickie L. Hampel and Charles P. Hough, $285,000.
HIDDEN CANYON RD., 6220-Lillian and Gilbert Carey to Hayati Fallah Simin, $345,000.
JAMES HARRIS WAY, 6342-Doris J. and Robert L. Boucher to Baljeet Singh, $265,000.
LITTLE ROCKY CT., 14313-Debra M. Altizer to Nghia H. and Qui M. Truong, $180,000.
MARSHALL CROW RD., 5010-Wei Xia and Xiachong Tian to Rizwan and Huma Akhtar, $561,000.
PITTMAN CT., 14530-Alla G. and G.A. Grinberg to Yu S. Do and Areum Kang, $290,000.
PONDERLAY DR., 15009-Amy L.C. and Christian A. Dux to Teri L. Harris, $265,000.
RABBIT HILL CT., 6009-Bhavana Reddy to Anderson S. Williams, $192,900.
RIDGE WATER CT., 6892-Joseph F. Nelson to Jean H. Shim, $305,000.
ROCKTON CT., 6017-Scott J. and Andrea L. Schiffman to Christopher E. and Jennifer L. Guarraia, $250,000.
ROWENA DR., 5630-Ronald J. Bowers to Christian A. and Amy L. Dux, $308,600.
SECRET HOLLOW LANE, 6213-John J. Paterno II and Beverly A. Samuelson to Thomas and Lisa Keller, $538,500.
SHELBURNE ST., 13702-Chinh V. and Thuy T. Dao to Quynh N. Ngo and Ky M. Tran, $482,500.
STREAM POND DR., 14608-Deborah L. Dezern to Juliann Kim, $280,000.
WATERFLOW PL., 13923-Elizabeth A. and Richard A. Damico to Julie E. Galloway and Andrew Walter, $225,000.
WATERY MOUNTAIN CT., 14310-Jeremy S. Cotton to Susan L. Pohl, $218,000.
WEALDSTONE CT., 6015-Man K. Choe to Angel Garcia and Noemy Sanchez, $189,000.
WINDING RIDGE LANE, 14031-Robyn G. and William E. Teal to Dong K. and Sung H. Kim, $278,350.
WOODGATE MANOR PL., 14552-Joseph J. and Cynthia A. Recca to Hyai Y. Kim, $325,000.
CLIFTON AREA
AMKIN DR., 11728-Louise A. Peterson to Mary P. and Robert J. Wilson, $665,000.
CUB DEN CT., 8201-Dorothy, Norman H. and Virginia H. Hieronymi to David W. and Karen A. Gentry, $400,000.
ORCHARD DR., 13631-Sandra K. and Brian D. Hazelwood to Terri L. Newman, $170,000.
ORCHARD HILL CT., 5831-Jamie L. Simpson and Philip N. Stoneman to Jennifer L. Walling, $178,500.
REDLAC DR., 7014-J.H. Binford and Pamela J. Peay to Cynthia A. and Dennis L. Patrick, $805,000.
ROCKLAND DR., 6638-Robert R. and Karen T. Gales and Gales Family Trust to Doug and Ruth E. Boate, $610,000.
SHALESTONE CT., 6635-Cathleen C. and Gary C. Gough to Dean A. and Tanya M. Burrell, $550,000.
FAIRFAX CITY AREA
ANNHURST ST., 9204-Edward G. Ferris and Kathryn G. Keiser to Kit W. Cheung and Yung A. Lin, $310,000.
AUTUMN WOODS WAY, 13085, No. 101-Joo H. Chung to Anthony L. Scott, $198,500.
BARRICK ST., 9111-Esmail Javid to Parviz Jahandideh, $290,000.
BLUE FOX LANE, 13199-Han X. and Trang Nguyen to Paul T. Nguyen and Helen H. Tran, $400,000.
BRAXTON WOOD CT., 3045-Barry S. and Sharon M. Lewis to Jennifer and Miles G. Weiss, $305,000.
BRIAR PATCH LANE, 4714-Eleanor J. and Richard C. Knott to Robin J. and Clyde C. Porter, $399,000.
BRITWELL PL., 4072-Carlos A. Perez to Hamid Sarani and Zahra J. Okhravi, $325,000.
CHESTERMILL DR., 5530-Jacob R. Stern and Karin A. Hensley to Dixon L. and Teresa A. Duffett, $625,000.
COMMONWEALTH BLVD., 9623-Ernesto Cadima to Gregory M. and Carole B. Sox, $350,388.
DEER HOLLOW WAY, 2911, No. 317-Ralph H. and Ruth H. Lusher to Carolyn J. Kelliher, $319,000.
DEER HOLLOW WAY, 2911, No. 418-Mary M. Schmidt to Jinhee Kim, $275,000.
DEQUINCEY DR., 5080-David A. and Kate J. McKay to Christopher P. and Carrie K. Watkins, $355,000.
DOGWOOD HILLS LANE, 12823-Christopher R. and Merrie H. Corbett to Omar and Adria Franco, $439,900.
EDENDERRY DR., 11328-Linda M. and William J. Parks to Jacquelyn T. and Paul C. O'Brien, $505,000.
ELLINGTON CT., 5209-Andrew S. and Haekyung Kim to Kristen Heyniger and Henry T. Howell, $370,000.
GREEN LEDGE CT., 12110, No. 301-Erika Puskas to Mark D. and Courtney F. Sommer, $236,000.
GREENWAY CT., 12107, No. 323-Christine and Carl Christensen to Tomas A.V. Nostrand, $231,000.
GREENWAY CT., 12113, No. 302-Richard F. Robinson to Paul H. Cho and Soo H. Kim, $200,000.
GREENWOOD CT., 12105, No. 102-Wilber P. and You S. Lund to Susan Lund, $200,000.
GREGG CT., 4028-Steven E. and Lori P. Allison to Michael R. and Karen P. Stevens, $320,000.
GUNPOWDER RD., 5230-Colby C. and Nicole B. Leonard to Gerald B. Lee and Edna R. Vincent, $750,000.
HAYES CT., 12471, No. 202-Nancy P. Hanner to James A. Cain, $228,000.
HEAD CT., 5050-Khema S. and Virakat Nget to Saadat Jamil and Naheed Saadat, $243,000.
HEAD CT., 5051-Chang Hong Qu to Dung and Chi La Bui, $235,000.
HELM CT., 5430-Bruce F. and Julia L. Rogers to Ann F. Miller, $260,000.
HERMITAGE DR., 9423-Harvey F. and Rene G. Knowles to Ruben O. Lujan and Kimberly L. English, $365,000.
HERZELL WOODS CT., 5223-Halbert F. and Kathi A. Stevens to Douglas P. and Lisa P. Thomas, $457,000.
HILL CUMORAH DR., 10800-Mary M. and Michael G. Ferri to Michael Nasworthy and Amani Hussein, $435,000.
HUNTWOOD MANOR DR., 5037-John H. Muller Inc. to James M. and Elizabeth Cooper, $1.476 million.
INVERNESS RD., 3779-Victor Pabon and Deirdre V. Mercado to Kimberly A. Barber, $348,000.
JAMES BERGEN WAY, 12604-David F. and Penny M. Lurie to William J. Radosevich, $294,900.
KATHRYN JEAN CT., 3930-David A. and Amiastri W. Vallo to Nashaat Mikhail and Safinaz S. Thomas, $335,000.
KINGS CROWN CT., 9711-Anthony T. King to Tony Keung, $170,000.
KINGS CROWN CT., 9741-Cha C. Bradberry to Ae K. Kim, $170,000.
LEEHIGH DR., 11531-Keystone Corp. to Farhad and Shokat A. Inanloo, $648,359.
LUXBERRY DR., 4644-David D. Hanig to Anthony J. Regalbuto, $350,000.
MALLORY HILL LANE, 4312-Amanda L. Gossett to Adey Abate, $290,000.
MAZEWOOD LANE, 3723-Mark R. and
Laura B. Fostek to Edward W. McKulsky, $265,000.
MONUMENT CT., 4112, No. K-Jill C. Perkins to Helen Oh, $245,000.
MONUMENT CT., 4124, No. L-Nancy M. Duwe to Conrad W. McGovern, $207,000.
NUTTALL RD., 4412-Janice I. and Paul S. Albright to Patricia L. Nilo, $695,000.
PEARL ST., 10408-Victor F. and Shauna W. Reston to Catherine L. and Matthew E. Brudvig, $339,900.
PENNER LANE, 4211-Beverly J. and Douglas L. Miller to Don R. and Karen J. Staggs, $320,000.
POINT PLEASANT DR., 12825-Peter Istvan to Rachel M. and Prescott R. Noone, $315,000.
POINT PLEASANT DR., 13223-Richard T. Probst to Dolores E. and Kenneth G. Lennon, $303,000.
PRINCE WILLIAM DR., 3214-Mark K. Wenk, trustee, and Hugh A. Richeson Jr., trustee, to Peter P. Strzok II and Melissa R. Hodgman, $520,000.
ROSEMOOR LANE, 2939-Eagan Family Trust to Cale Horak Robin, $500,000.
RUBY DR., 5438-Joseph and Nonna U. Osvath to Pamela J. Davidson, $249,999.
SIDEBURN RD., 4868-John A. Elliot to Frederick T. and Elizabeth I. Elliot, $300,000.
STONINGTON DR., 5224-Judith A. and Kevin L. White to Gay B. Thompson, $358,000.
STRONG CT., 12331-Harriet G. Hamilton to Stephanie T. Girardot, $190,900.
TALKING ROCK DR., 3023-Andrea J. and Raymond T. Legros to Drew L. Marvin and Katherine E. Carothers, $278,030.
TUCKAWAY DR., 13307-Pamela J. and William K. Lakoff to Steven W. and Kerry K. Thomas, $435,000.
WHITFIELD CT., 5510-Yong S. Kim to Avinash and Swati Patwardhan, $255,000.
FAIRFAX STATION AREA
CROSS OAKS LANE, 8619-Ellarine P. and James Alston to Donald L. and Gayle S. Peterson, $659,900.
FAIRFAX HUNT RD., 12219-Freda D. and Joe D. Hyatt to David P. and Audra Parker, $535,000.
FAIRVIEW WOOD DR., 5932-Elise D. Steinfeld to Chris A. and Franklin R. Liss, $799,000.
HENDERSON RD., 10850-Cherie M. and Robert A. Leporatti to David and Erin Grant and Nathan McKenzie, $565,000.
OLD STONE FENCE RD., 6803-Myung H. and Youn K. Kim to Azeb Telahun and Tewodros Eyob, $692,500.
FALLS CHURCH AREA
ANCHORWAY CT., 3151, No. C-Beth A. Otto to Mary E. Kopczynski, $236,000.
CHESTNUT AVE., 6911-Catherine M. and James W. Muskett to Jennifer E. Ferry, $360,000.
CHRISLAND COVE, 7535-Joel B. McNair and Joy L. Spiro to Sylvia and James Hooper, $419,500.
FISHER AVE., 6634-Frank G. and Victoria Shakreli to John M. and Palge B. Gartner, $443,000.
HICKORY HILL RD., 7018-Ahmad Hamed to Fuad A. Hadi, $332,000.
LEE HWY., 7344, No. 204-Richard G. Sheridan to David W. Yeakel Sr., $87,000.
ROUNDTREE RD., 7000-Joan C. and Richard H. Rener to Maureen Findorff, $379,000.
WILLOW POINT DR., 7801-Ruth R. Casey to John A. Roberts Jr., $180,000.
FALLS CHURCH-PIMMIT AREA
HAYCOCK RD., 7021, No. 810-Nancy J. Leon to Brandy H. and Kayvon Meehan, $371,000.
HOGAN CT., 2850-Idrees O. and Mohamad O. Malkawi to Kalsang Wangmo and Lobsang Yeshi, $294,500.
LEE LANDING CT., 2805-Cesar A. and Yesica N. Majano to S. Gupta and Ravindra K. Mittal, $225,000.
MARSHALL HEIGHTS CT., 7740-Kishore Putta to Naveen Senapathi, $349,000.
MONTIVIDEO SQ., 6819-Patricia A. and James F. Sexton to Gregory T. Albers and Katharine L. McDowell, $332,000.
PIMMIT DR., 2311, No. 316-Rakan Saraiji and Lina Zein to Hooma Reza, $185,500.
PINECASTLE RD., 7337-A. Martin and Barbara S. Hanke to Carolyn S. and John W. Weimer, $500,000.
STORM DR., 2017-Evelyn W. and Calvin R. Ramsburg to Cecilia C. and Julio C. Gonzalez, $269,000.
FORT HUNT AREA
ASHWOOD DR., 8314-Linda E. Alcorn to Jeffrey and Amanda Wallingford, $451,000.
FAIRFAX RD., 7910-Robert P. Glass to Carlos M. Lopez, $255,000.
FIRCREST PL., 8805-Barbara J. Wilson to Philip and Kelley E. Perconti, $585,000.
LAKESHIRE DR., 2327-Barbara C. and Ronald L. Whitehead to Jeffrey A. and Mary B. Lowe, $819,000.
MERCEDES CT., 8711-Eleanor E. and Richard J. Bergholz to Susan Cummins, $390,000.
TRENTON DR., 1608-Frank A. and Alicia A. Kyle to Mary M. McGrath and David J. Scott, $420,000.
HUNTINGTON AREA
CAMPBELL DR., 3222-Carmen Suquinahua and Cynthia Medrano to Jose A. Santos and Yecenia Coreas, $250,000.
HUNTINGTON AVE., 2225-Gustavo E. and Irma L. Cosme to Salvador E. Montoya, Amparo D. Virgil and Edgar A.J. Guzman, $202,750.
HYBLA VALLEY AREA
AUDUBON AVE., 7981, No. 202-Minh Vu Hoang to Mohammed F. Miah, $90,000.
CARTER FARM CT., 2775-Carol I. Turner to Emma J. Harrington, $276,000.
COVENTRY RD., 7024-Jefre and Cora Tschudi to Andrea L. Dobranski, $345,000.
DEER RUN CT., 4746-Masato Asanuma to Alan M. and Karen L. Rotach, $395,000.
EVENING LANE, 7808-Debbie H. and Robert A. Boderman to James McGuinness and Triscia Doxey, $522,500.
HERITAGE SPRING CT., 3007-Martha Daniel to Alejandra Vaca, $252,000.
MIDDAY LANE, 7851-Susan L. Winston to Lisa M. and Robert A. McFadden, $510,000.
SHERWOOD HALL LANE, 2712-John D. and Marilynn M. Kelley to Scott M. Hambrick and John A. Leflore, $255,000.
STOVER DR., 7216-Nikole L. Wilson to Muriel E. Anderson, $229,000.
LORTON AREA
ASPENPARK CT., 9124-Pamela R., Robert B. and Christopher R. Wallace to Kyung D. and Yong B. Min, $235,000.
ASPENPARK RD., 7552-Pushma R. Samtani to Jaya R. Roka, $225,000.
ASPENPARK RD., 7569-Laura T. and Robert A. Ragans to Raquel Lopez, $225,000.
BATES RD., 8205-Debra K. Cooke to Freddie L. and Margie Oliver, $299,900.
BATES RD., 8210-Charlene F. and Jeffrey L. Blaha to Kenneth W. Scott, $285,000.
BLUE BIRD WOODS CT., 8506-Jack G. and Deborah Damon to Michelle L. Robertson and Michael G. Cummins, $280,500.
BLUEBIRD WAY, 8322, No. 18-Myron R. Bohmer to Bryan D. Green, $209,400.
FALLSWOOD WAY, 7623-David A. Lewis to Thomas M. and Synthia Leninger, $360,000.
FALLSWOOD WAY, 7643-Alfred and Janet Boyd to Alta L. and Peter H. Schmidt, $358,000.
GUNSTON WOODS PL., 7918-Angeles V., Eugenio B. and Maria Candelaria to Kebede B. Gemeda and Woinshet Zerfu, $261,000.
JAMESON ST., 8927-Chong S. and Tommy D. Weldon to Linda J. and Stephen P. Williams, $597,000.
KOLUDER CT., 8511-Gary S. Heard to Ronaldo R. Pita, $197,500.
LARNE LANE, 7428-Carmen A. and Frankie G. Gonzalez to Jaime and Blanca I. Robles, $224,900.
LORFAX DR., 8627-Jason P.K. and Robin Renager to Raif S. and Lori A. Hastings, $529,890.
SALUDA CT., 9535-Robert C. Sholar to Florence A. Miles, $180,000.
SANDERLING WAY, 8315-Tanya D. Boyd and Marvin Beasley to Kil J. Kong, $211,000.
WOLFORD WAY, 7704-Linda O'Shay to Daniel and Maria F. Guerrero, $220,000.
MCLEAN AREA
BUENA VISTA AVE., 1458-Shahab and Kathie A. Dadjou to Peter R. Kongstvedt, $1 million.
BYRNWOOD CT., 8011-Prudential Residential Services Partnership to Frederick J. and Joan T. Tansill, $1.4 million.
CARPER ST., 1108-Catherine E. and Steven E. Cameron to Chang H. and Hyery Park, $510,000.
CARRIAGE HILL DR., 7444-Leonard Smith Jr. to Raymond D. and Patricia F. Grundeman, $674,950.
CENTRILLION DR., 903-Basheer Edgemoore Reserve Corp. to Michael F. Pusateri, $1.69 million.
CHADSWORTH CT., 1208-Cristina R. and Florentino M. Gregorio to Nasser and Negar Danesh, $925,000.
COLLEEN LANE, 1449-Genrose Copley to Jack F. and Connie P. Neigel, $550,000.
CREST LANE, 1209-Marjorie H. and Philip A. Odeen to Catto Crest Corp., $1.625 million.
DEMPSEY ST., 1635-Kevin J. Fischer and Frances A. Mooney to Mark N. and Michelle L. Sandler, $705,000.
DEWBERRY CT., 1440-Thomas S. and Wendy C. McGraw to Zhong and Jingjing Li, $448,000.
DUNTERRY PL., 1559-Michael and Andrea Delvecchio to Guy Brugere, $498,000.
ELDORADO ST., 7408-James N. Glerum to Ann L. Miller and Raymond Smith, $399,900.
ELIZABETH DR., 7027-Rita J. and Francis W. Keene to Hansborough Corp., $500,000.
ELNIDO DR., 6534-Drema L. and Jess A. Johnson to Dale T. and Kristin F. Peters, $775,000.
ENOLA ST., 7811, No. 210-Erik M. Kleiner to Donald G. Joy, $135,900.
GREENSBORO DR., 8340, No. 314-Arthur I. Porwick to Edward M. and Lola M. Peach, $350,500.
GREENSBORO DR., 8340, No. 526-James J. and Michiko Casey to William W. and Jean W. Miao, $357,000.
GREENSBORO DR., 8340, No. 826-Ryosaku and Tamami Kawakami and Nasi Farhoumand to Eugenia Ryabinky, $350,000.
INGLESIDE AVE., 1414-Richard P. and Lucy H. Holmes to Timothy I. McDonough and Cary S. Melnyk, $782,750.
KENSINGTON RD., 1215-Laxmi N. Berwa to Mikyeong and Chaibong E. Hahm, $575,000.
KIRBY RD., 1465-Joseph G. and Toshiko Tompkins to Kirby Road Corp., $3.3 million.
KYLEAKIN CT., 6954-Stephen P. and Teresa Rosenfeld to Daniel T. Dunn Corp., $939,000.
LINWAY PARK DR., 1626-Amanda H. and Reid Jackson to Anne McKinney and Michael Dillon, $730,000.
MAYHURST BLVD., 1419-Michele G. and Stephen W. Sobota and Ellen F. Ericsson to Charles P. and Shelly D. Dimeglio, $1.455 million.
PURDUE PL., 7105-Michael R. McAboy to Kent B. Hallberg and Evangeline M. Bouzis, $525,000.
RANLEIGH RD., 1317-Gianni and Patricia Brizzi to Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland, $950,000.
RHODE ISLAND AVE., 2036-Kevin M. and Linda M. Dempsey to John and Tara Dunfee, $771,250.
SOLITAIRE WAY, 6103-David N. and Hope R. Powers to Ivica and Marijana C. Ducic, $1.158 million.
THRASHER RD., 7211-Bruce T. Johnson and Nancy E. Johnson to William R. and Heidi E. McCarty, $545,500.
TREMAYNE PL., 7600-Edward and Ernestina Vazquez to Michael R. McAboy, $236,000.
WESTMORELAND ST., 1560-Elizabeth M. and W. Stuart Darling to Andrew Biggers and Richard Gaylord III, $448,000.
WESTWIND WAY, 1707-Robert G. Edwards to Christopher T. Laduke, $190,500.
WILSON LANE, 1904, No. T2-Amanda J. White to Joyce E. Currie and Natalie C. Hill, $221,000.
WINDROCK DR., 1185-Dilip P. and Alison K. Kamat to Loc D. Tran and Bichland T. Nguyen, $1.775 million.
MOUNT VERNON AREA
ADRIENNE DR., 4312-Johannette C. and Stephen J. Mergens to Stephen J. Weyer, $527,000.
BUCKMAN RD., 4300, No. J-Jean D. Nadort to Billy K. Sekyi, $127,000.
CENTRAL PARK CIR., 7910-Ahmad W. and Daud M. Barakat and Asadullah Noori and Nazifa Noori to Edward and Jennifer Arquiza, $233,723.
CLAREMONT WOOD DR., 8206-Brian B. and Linda Quigley to Alexander W. Steele, $185,000.
DOGUE DR., 8909-Robert A. Germadnik to Taylor L. Reeves, $330,000.
HAVENWOOD PL., 3852-Israel Gonzalez, Sender A. Zepeda and Carlota L. Zepeda to Rosa and Joaquin Umana, $132,500.
JOUST LANE, 6138-Joe D. Henley to Effie and Evan Ypsilantis, $279,900.
MARIPOSA PL., 3896-Jose C. and Maria M. Pena to Ana M. and Yanira D.C. Dominguez, $142,000.
MOUNT ZEPHYR DR., 8414-Margaret E. and Otha E. Breeden to Anton J. and Rose D. Dupont, $382,900.
PEMBROOK VILLAGE DR., 4301, No. 8-Kenneth P. and Kerri L. Martinsen to Ijaz and Fauzia Qamar, $154,000.
POMEGRANATE CT., 4743-Eldon B. and Shirley A. Wilson to Stephen B. Hinton and Melanie E. Hinkle, $299,500.
SONORA PL., 3940-Rachel L. McBride to Linda Gaskin, $142,000.
VILLAGE SQ., 8676-Binh and Jannet Truong to Quyen and Khiem Nguyen, $137,000.
VILLAGE WAY, 8605, No. D-Carol J. Oakley to Sharon Pettis, $96,000.
NORTH SPRINGFIELD AREA
BULLOCK LANE, 8117-Beverly A. Clement, Sharon C. Greenleaf and Jerry M. Clement to M. Bach, $280,000.
CLYDESDALE RD., 8715-Franklin C. and Nora E. Bustle to Cherie M. Leporatti, $320,000.
ELGAR ST., 7306-Evelyne P. and Monroe E. Williams to Christopher A. Adukaitis, $339,000.
FOOTE LANE, 7921-Jason B. and Anne M.D. Grim to Sun H. Kim and Soon O. Oh, $282,500.
GOSPORT LANE, 7912-Lenore J. and Robert A. Karch to Guery Cespedes, $332,100.
MOULTRIE RD., 5513-Thu H. Nguyen and Hung M. Tran to Hai T.Q. Tran, $279,000.
TRAFALGAR CT., 8816-John A. and Darlene R. Romano to Douglas S. and Donna K. Black, $339,500.
OAKTON AREA
LATIGO LANE, 11923-Lovey L. and Thomas E. Hammel to Gary C. and Kimberly H. Stewart, $599,000.
LINDA MARIE DR., 2738-Carol A. and George A. Fulton to Kevin G. and Kristeen K. Rupy, $660,000.
OAKTON TERRACE RD., 10000-David J. and Karen M. Timer to Joshua Landsberger, $176,000.
OAKTON TERRACE RD., 10076-Richard J. Grimes to Mi K. Song, $225,000.
VALE RD., 12110-Michael and Mildred Herres to Bradford and Annette K. Hildabrand, $435,000.
WILLOW CREEK LANE, 10905-Charles P. and Linda W. Smith to Lovey L. and Thomas E. Hammel, $1.345 million.
SEVEN CORNERS AREA
CRESWELL DR., 3133-Charles Bliss to Gene K. Gomez, $379,000.
CRESWELL DR., 3141-David O. and Mary A. Bowden to Craig R. Schmall, $390,000.
PATRICK HENRY DR., 3115, No. 521-MacKenzie M. Frady to Scarlett Magee, $144,000.
WATERWAY DR., 6326-Doris A. and George S. Southern to Charles A. and M.A. Rowcliffe, $475,000.
WATERWAY DR., 6370-Celia A. and Kirk A. Griffin to Marcia M. Grabowski and Richard J. Kercz, $550,000.
WILLSTON PL., 2916, No. 36-Amir Motlagh to John and Seung Baek, $85,000.
SPRINGFIELD AREA
CRESTMONT CIR., 8236-Anne Kinyua to James Altobello, $176,000.
DAYSPRING CT., 8028-Virginia and Jose Carpano to Hyo Y. and Myung Cho, $219,000.
DEER RIDGE TRAIL, 6138-Judy Nour to George A. and Jane A. Banjo, $560,000.
DEMME PL., 6343-Sharon E. and Christopher J. Kubick to Linda Osuna, $324,500.
DINWIDDIE ST., 6109-Margit E. and George S. Royal to Kwang S. and Woo Y. Kim, $322,500.
FRANCONIA RD., 6466-Brenda S. Burns to Shobana G. Muthu, $204,160.
GRANDVIEW CT., 8008-Mark M. Ritter to Juana I. Lemus, $183,150.
GROVELAND DR., 8609-Mary L. and Robert D. Mansfield to Sharon L. Breighner, $361,000.
JOVIN CIR., 8347-Ying J. and Tsai F. Lee to Beverly A. Adams, $320,000.
MISTY BLUE CT., 8489-Shelley A. Richardson to Jose A. and Chris E. Ortiz, $327,000.
NEWINGTON WOOD DR., 7799-Loretta A. Desio and Raymond D. McDonald to Jung S. Im and Son Q. Che, $339,900.
NORTHERN OAKS CT., 7652-Mark and Sarah Pavlick to David and Fauzia Jones, $232,000.
PIONEER DR., 6110-Patricia S. Maloof to Zarin Khawaja, $250,000.
PIONEER DR., 6218-Walter I. Ettelman Jr., G. Amino and Barbara Lee, trustees, to Jose S. and Virginia Carpano, $265,000.
RESERVOIR RD., 7104-James B. and Billie C. Boyd to Wilson and Teodoro Espinal and Heydy Nunez, $289,900.
RESERVOIR RD., 7206-James V. and Kristen L. Day to Gary and Maribel Bangs, $339,000.
ROCKEFELLER LANE, 9225-Frederick J. and Sigrid C. Ozyp to Jeannette C. and Jack G. Williams, $420,000.
SLEEPY VIEW LANE, 8106-Bobby L. and Nishuta Royal to Galen and Cindy F. Pearce, $268,000.
TURLOCK RD., 7794-Frank B. and Landess M. Kelso to Anne E. and Mark E. Williams, $410,000.
WADEBROOK TER., 8705-John R. and Lisa Y.P. Wilkins to Marvin T. and Jennifer A. Ee, $328,000.
WHITSON CT., 8710-Kristen H. and Michael L. Collat to Joseph and Linda Lenertz, $345,000.
VIENNA AREA
ABBEY OAK DR., 1721-Ana R. and Anibal Cabellos to Aleksey and Tatyana Miroff, $610,000.
APONI RD., 8534-Daniel S. and Molly A. Harris to Rahul A. and Tara S. Saha, $557,000.
BRANDYWINE DR., 8204-Hyung M. and Sang S. Yoo to Joe Nguyen and Lan Vu, $641,000.
CLAVES CT., 1405-Mary C. Terrill to Joseph P. O'Neill and Audrey R. Stillman, $620,000.
DREAMWEAVER CT., 1377-Taurus Enterprises Inc. to Mohammed H. and Ghada Naji, $1.15 million.
EAST ST. SE, 214-William C. Keene Jr. to Keric B.O. Chin and Amanda N. Ellis, $390,000.
ELMAR DR. SE, 118-Sufiam and Amal Muhtaseb to Yun H. Jung, $525,000.
FAIRFAX METRO LANE, 2904-David J. and Elitania Venturella to Carol A. McClure and Dennis R. McCoy, $370,000.
FLINT HILL RD., 2512-Barbara S. and Lester R. Harris to Thomas D. Donohue and Lijuan Bian, $250,000.
GEORGE ST. SW, 302-Irfan and Sonja P. Ozarslan to Jamie L. Simpson and Philip N. Stoneman IV, $325,000.
GINA PL., 8011-Michael J. and Cynthia L. McGivern to Aaron Yeow, $370,000.
GLENGYLE DR., 2636-Martin J. and Elizabeth A. Claytor to Neil Walker and Marissa Mercadante, $197,000.
GRETNA PL., 2900-Ben S. and Julie C. Markham to Chih Hsiungh Tu and Gayle A. Roberts, $650,000.
HOLMES DR. NW, 349-Amy R. Robinson to Alert T. Newland Jr. and Nancy A. Heaney, $399,900.
PALACE GREEN WAY, 9870-Mary J. Letendre to Charles S. and Linda T. Ream, $875,000.
PARK ST. SE, 609-Elizabeth A. and Kevin D. Pledger to Darby M. O'Connor, $389,900.
PARK TERRACE CT., 210, No. 62-Marc Abbink to Kathlyn Nudi, $140,000.
SHOUSE DR., 9446-Nancy E. Stafford/Hardesty to Benno and Marian Ndulu, $600,000.
SNOWBERRY CT., 2711-Arnold J. and Nancy R. Linn to Gregory C. and Katharine F. Gurski, $570,000.
STRYKER AVE., 2406-Dennis L. and Dianne V. Bergin to Mary J. Letendre, $825,000.
TRUMPET CT., 1904-Nancy M. and Steven L. Smagin to James and Karen Wiseman, $595,000.
UPHAM PL. NW, 709-Woltz Revocable Trust and Ronald L. Woltz, trustee, and Elvera D. Woltz, trustee, to Sen Zhang and Fang Cai, $668,888.
VALERA CT., 2956-Deissy Tascon and Rafael Mican to Derrick Shelton and William Castillejo, $295,000.
WEST OAK PL., 8532-James A. and Nicola Delmonte to Dina M. and Jeffrey I. Rosenberg, $578,250.
VIENNA-DUNN LORING AREA
ELM PL., 8013-Brian Petruska to James Rudolph, $625,000.
WEST SPRINGFIELD AREA
BARNACK DR., 6809-Gina M. Brown, Robert Averi, Mark A. Averi and John G. Averi to Mohammad E. Elahi, $300,000.
BAYSHIRE RD., 5905, No. B-Karen M. Whalen to Oriana Casadei, $154,900.
CARRLEIGH PKWY., 7750-Laura J. and Kenneth White to Walter and Jane Gleich, $489,500.
GREELEY BLVD., 8531-David R. and Ila R. Marshall, William F. Marshall Jr. and William F. Marshall III to Michael D. and Maureen A. Maguera, $318,000.
HARROWGATE CIR., 7828, No. 123-Bryan C. Arntson to Gaylord Leonard and Sterling Trust Co., $137,000.
HARWOOD PL., 7715-Patricia D. Norman to Katherine V. and John P. Hamel, $344,900.
LAVELL CT., 6216-Kirk D. and Richelle L. Johnson to Steven H. and Elizabeth S. Bills, $373,100.
LEXTON PL., 7707, No. 44-Cheryl L. Hauser to Anthony N. and Robert J. Corea, $184,000.
MOVERLY CT., 8818-Karnail, Angrez and Jasvinder Singh to Jaspreet Kaur,
$300,000.
O'HARA COURT DR., 6460-Michele A. Sullivan to Muoi and Minh Ho, $255,000.
SHAUNDALE DR., 6360-Tung and Mai L.N. Hong to Won J. and Sun E. Lee, $255,000.
TIVERTON DR., 7736-Doris M. Rankine to Caryn Lee, $209,900.
Hate Trumps Love
Trump Wants You to Tip Restaurant Owners, Not Servers
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:16
If the Trump administration has its way, the tip you leave your waiter or waitress could end up in the pocket of the restaurant owner instead of the person who served you.
This week, Trump's Labor Department proposed rescinding an Obama-era rule that made the logical point that tips are the property of the servers and cannot be taken by the restaurant owner.
The administration's proposal would allow restaurant owners who pay their wait staff as little as $7.25 per hour to collect all the tips left by patrons and do whatever they want with them'--regardless of what diners intended.
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Restaurant owners could even keep all the tips for themselves, without telling diners.
Coming on the heels of the massive tax bills recently passed by the House and Senate, this ''reverse Robin Hood'' scheme'--which will take money out of the pockets of low-wage workers and give it to business owners''is just one more example of ''trickle-down'' economic policy masquerading as pro-worker reform.
Like the tax bills, the DOL proposal sets the table to transfer income and wealth from those least able to afford it to corporations and the very wealthy.
Servers in restaurants are among the lowest-paid workers in our economy. The median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses was less than $10 per hour in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are hardly the kind of workers who should be subsidizing the profits of their bosses.
Server Annette Chan at Ina's Restaurant September 23, 2002 in Chicago. Tim Boyle/Getty
But the National Restaurant Association'--the ''other NRA'''--lobbied for this result. The only question now is whether Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will go along with this swindle, or whether he will give the public enough information to have a fair chance to weigh in.
This is a bad policy that the administration is trying to hide behind a very bad process. Despite the fact that the law requires it, the Labor Department's proposal includes no estimate of how much money in tips will be transferred from servers to restaurant owners'--many of which are big corporations, not mom and pop'--as a result of the rule. Instead of providing an estimate, the proposal provides numerous excuses for hiding the rule's real impact from the public.
First, DOL claims that it can't be exactly sure how restaurant owners will implement the rule'--which is true, but no excuse for not trying. Every rule has uncertainty baked in'--that's why the accompanying economic analyses are called ''estimates.''
The public is entitled to understand the relative magnitude of the changes being proposed so it can comment on the proposal in a meaningful way. But so far, the public has been left in the dark.
Second, while DOL acknowledges that employers may keep some of the tips ''to make capital improvements,'' cut costs or increase work hours (speculation it spins as a win for workers even while admitting some tipped workers will lose pay), it also suggests restaurant owners may redistribute the tips to ''back of the house'' employees'--dishwashers, cooks, and others who don't interact with diners.
DOL may be partly right'--we don't know if some of that transfer will happen'--but that possibility doesn't excuse DOL from making a best effort to estimate how much.
Sadly, some restaurant owners already routinely steal tips from servers, even without the blessing of the government. If the proposed rule takes effect, even more restaurant owners would feel they have a blank check to siphon tips away.
So, why is the Trump administration skirting the law and dodging the numbers?
It's especially puzzling given that Secretary Acosta has written eloquently on the need to follow the law and established procedures when repealing regulations. Likewise, the head of the White House agency that reviewed this rule, OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao, expressly testified at her Senate confirmation hearing that this kind of cost-benefit analysis is important even in deregulatory actions.
If we take them at their word, Secretary Acosta and Administrator Rao have no choice but to withdraw this proposal and reissue it'--if at all'--with a good-faith economic analysis. Otherwise, they're sending a signal that they don't want you to understand the stakes here.
Considering that food service workers earn tens of billions of dollars in tips each year, it's not impossible that restaurant owners could end up skimming hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars each year from servers. The results could ripple across the economy, hurting families and local businesses and placing new demands on social service programs.
The implications of this potential rule change are too great to ignore, either within the administration or among workers and consumers.
Restaurant customers shouldn't allow the Trump administration to make them complicit in stealing from their servers to pad the pockets of the owners. This proposal can't go into effect until the public has a chance to comment on it.
Before the next time you go out to dinner, please take a minute to tell Secretary Acosta, Administrator Rao and President Trump: I want my tips to go to the person who worked hard to serve me, not to the restaurant owner.
Sharon Block is Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. She was Counselor to Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and led the policy office, among other positions at the Labor Department and the White House during the Obama Administration.
Christine Owens is the Executive Director at the National Employment Law Project.
Trumpocalypse: The End Game - The New York Times
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:15
Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, has been busy clearing out more brush, making the preposterous claim that the president cannot obstruct justice because he's the nation's chief law enforcement officer. If Trump shot somebody on Fifth Avenue '-- his own suggested redline '-- he could, as the nation's chief law enforcement officer, tell the cops to quash the investigation.
See, when the president does it, it's not a crime. This defense was floated during the two impeachment episodes of the 20th century. The third time will not be a charm. But Trump's team already has gone from there is no collusion or obstruction to, so what? If it happened, it's no biggie.
They don't appear to be the least bit troubled by a stunning report from a whistle-blower. As Trump was pledging to put America first during his Inaugural Address, his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was texting a former business associate serving foreign clients. With Trump in, the sanctions against Russia would be ''ripped up,'' clearing the way for big money to be made on the inside, according to the report made public Wednesday.
Ignoring that story, Trump's media wing is doing its job. Sean Hannity, at state-run television, went on a vein-popping rant Tuesday against law enforcement, complete with conspiracy charts. He called the federal authorities ''a team of so-called investigators.'' As for their boss, he said that ''Mueller is frankly a disgrace to the American justice system and has put the country on the brink of becoming a banana republic.'' He's certainly learned the art of projection from his master.
The Wall Street Journal, channeling its owner and Trump whisperer Rupert Murdoch, has been making much of the same case, albeit without the spittle.
Don't forget, this is the same Robert Mueller who won wide bipartisan praise when he was appointed special counsel: a career prosecutor, the longest-serving director of the F.B.I. since J. Edgar Hoover, awarded the Bronze Star for his service as a Marine in Vietnam. Republicans love him. Or they did until he started closing in on Trump's closest associates.
Mueller should be fired, the Russian enablers now claim, because one of his agents said some bad things about Trump. This agent, Peter Strzok, was reassigned over the summer, as soon as his comments came to light. Wow, a G-man has opinions. The cops I know, a couple of longstanding friends, have more opinions than I.
The facts are what matter. And the facts are pointing in a very bad direction for the gang that can't collude straight. Trump has got to be sweating it; he was said to be ''seething'' when two of his campaign aides were indicted and a third pleaded guilty in October. He looked punch-drunk at recent public events.
Now that he's a felon from a guilty plea last week, Flynn is cooperating with Mueller. He knows plenty. Trump could pardon him and try to bring him back into the fold. The outrage would be minimal among the Banana Republicans. Sure, they got their tax-relief-for-the-rich bill passed, so they may no longer need Trump after he signs it. But now they're dreaming of more '-- cutting Medicare and health care for children, so they have a reason to keep him around.
If Trump fires Mueller, he can start the new year clean. His base will stick with him. Though voters believe, by a nearly 2-1 margin, that Russians interfered with the United States election, Republicans do not. Party before country '-- in the face of a dangerous turn toward authoritarianism, that's all that matters.
Continue reading the main story
Trump to make medical exam public after slurring words, White House says - NBC News
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:24
President Donald Trump will have a physical exam early next year and will make the results public, the White House said Thursday, a day after the president appeared to slur his words in a public address.
Near the end of his policy remarks Wednesday on Israel, Trump, 71, began having difficulty with words that included the letter "s," voicing some of them as "sh." He ended by saying what sounded like "and God bless the United Shtesh."
Scores of people asked on social media whether the president had had a stroke or was struggling with dentures, which he isn't known to use.
Asked about the episode at the daily White House news briefing Thursday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the speculation "frankly, pretty ridiculous."
"The president's throat was dry. Nothing more than that," she said.
Sanders said Trump was scheduled to have a routine medical exam "early next year" at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as most presidents have done historically. She said, "Those records will be released by the doctor following that taking place."
At age 70 last year, Trump was the oldest person ever to have been elected president. As doubts about his capacity to handle the grueling office circulated, his personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, wrote a letter declaring: "Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
Bornstein was more measured in later remarks, telling NBC News in August: "I don't think he's in any better or worse than the average person that goes and exercises every single day. Doesn't smoke, doesn't drink '-- and that's simply the best advantage you can have to live '-- and he's got a good family history."
Trump's unpopularity is amazing, given the strength of the economy - The Washington Post
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:17
President Trump speaks to American business owners and their families in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, on Dec. 5, 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Jobs numbers released on Friday were unsurprisingly good. The country added 228,000 jobs last month, with hourly earnings up slightly. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent, the lowest figure since December 2000 '-- at the tail end of the 1990s economic boom. It's a figure that's better than five out of six months since 1948.
Normally, one would think that the sitting American president would be enjoying record popularity as a result of those numbers. President Trump, as you are no doubt aware, is not.
Since 1948, the earliest point for which numbers are available, the relationship between presidential approval ratings and unemployment rates is a bit trickier than you might expect. Comparing Gallup's weekly averages to the unemployment rates each month rounded to the nearest half-point, we see that there's a broad range of approval ratings that correlate to each unemployment number. For unemployment numbers around 4 percent, for example, presidential approval has been as high as 79 percent and as low as 35 percent.
How to read this: As you move from left-to-right, unemployment is declining. From bottom-to-top, presidents are getting more popular.
And look at that 3 percent number! Harry Truman presided over very low unemployment after World War II '-- but also was awfully unpopular.
So let's look only at recent presidents. From Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama, the chart above looks like this.
The trend line here is clearer. As unemployment drops, average approval ratings increase.
That's Carter to Obama. Now, let's overlay Trump.
Not only is Trump well-below average '-- even dropping below the average at 4 percent! '-- he's seen his approval rating go down along with the unemployment rate! In other words, as unemployment has dropped over the course of the year, so, too, has Trump's approval rating.
An interesting detail here is that Trump's approval rating from members of his own party is about in line with ratings of past presidents '-- except that as unemployment drops, approval from his own party has dropped, too.
There are reasons for this. Unemployment has slipped over the course of the year, but the economy was already doing pretty well when Trump came into office. At the same time, Trump grew less popular, as is common for first-year presidents. So many Americans probably didn't feel much improvement to the economy even as they grew more skeptical of Trump.
Trump also has stronger opposition from the opposing party than other modern presidents. Obama's approval ratings sank as Republicans grew to dislike him vehemently; Democrats always looked at Trump that way.
Regardless, past presidents have enjoyed higher approval from the opposition as the unemployment rate has fallen. Trump started low with Democrats '-- and slipped lower.
The question that arises, then: What happens if the economy tanks?
Inside Trump's Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation - NYTimes.com
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 22:36
WASHINGTON '-- Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House's master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to ''Fox & Friends'' for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC's ''Morning Joe'' because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.
Energized, infuriated '-- often a gumbo of both '-- Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television. Less frequently, he makes his way up the hall to the ornate Treaty Room, sometimes dressed for the day, sometimes still in night clothes, where he begins his official and unofficial calls.
As he ends his first year in office, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton '-- as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.
For other presidents, every day is a test of how to lead a country, not just a faction, balancing competing interests. For Mr. Trump, every day is an hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation. He still relitigates last year's election, convinced that the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia's interference is a plot to delegitimize him. Color-coded maps highlighting the counties he won were hung on the White House walls.
Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals. People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.
''He feels like there's an effort to undermine his election and that collusion allegations are unfounded,'' said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who has spent more time with the president than most lawmakers. ''He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him. The way he got here is fighting back and counterpunching.
''The problem he's going to face,'' Mr. Graham added, ''is there's a difference between running for the office and being president. You've got to find that sweet spot between being a fighter and being president.''
Bracing and refreshing to his alienated-from-the-system political base, Mr. Trump's uninhibited approach seems erratic to many veterans of both parties in the capital and beyond. Some politicians and pundits lament the instability and, even without medical degrees, feel no compunction about publicly diagnosing various mental maladies.
In recent weeks, the president made a derogatory reference to Native Americans in front of Navajo guests, insinuated that a television host was involved in the death of an aide and prompted an international incident with Britain by retweeting inflammatory anti-Muslim videos '-- demonstrating the limits of a staff that has tried hard to steer him away from volatile territory.
His approach got him to the White House, Mr. Trump reasons, so it must be the right one. He is more unpopular than any of his modern predecessors at this point in his tenure '-- just 32 percent approved of his performance in the latest Pew Research Center poll '-- yet he dominates the landscape like no other.
After months of legislative failures, Mr. Trump is on the verge of finally prevailing in his efforts to cut taxes and reverse part of his predecessor's health care program. While much of what he has promised remains undone, he has made significant progress in his goal of rolling back business and environmental regulations. The growing economy he inherited continues to improve, and stock markets have soared to record heights. His partial travel ban on mainly Muslim countries has finally taken effect after multiple court fights.
Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, has told associates that Mr. Trump, deeply set in his ways at age 71, will never change. Rather, he predicted, Mr. Trump would bend, and possibly break, the office to his will.
That has proved half true. Mr. Trump, so far, has arguably wrestled the presidency to a draw.
Day breaks on the South Portico of the White House. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times 'Time to Think'In the jargon of the military, John F. Kelly, a retired four-star general, served as a ''wagon boss'' for Marines crashing into Iraq in 2003, keeping his column moving forward despite incoming fire. As White House chief of staff, Mr. Kelly has adopted much the same approach, laboring 14-hour days to impose discipline on a chaotic operation '-- with mixed success.
In the months before Mr. Kelly took over last summer from his embattled predecessor, Reince Priebus, the Oval Office had a rush-hour feel, with a constant stream of aides and visitors stopping by to offer advice or kibitz. During one April meeting with New York Times reporters, no fewer than 20 people wandered in and out '-- including Mr. Priebus, who walked in with Vice President Mike Pence. The door to the Oval Office is now mostly closed.
Mr. Kelly is trying, quietly and respectfully, to reduce the amount of free time the president has for fiery tweets by accelerating the start of his workday. Mr. Priebus also tried, with only modest success, to encourage Mr. Trump to arrive by 9 or 9:30 a.m.
The pace of meetings has increased. Beyond Mr. Kelly and Mr. Kushner, they often include Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser; Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser; Hope Hicks, the communications director; Robert Porter, the staff secretary; and Kellyanne Conway, the president's counselor.
Mr. Trump, who enjoyed complete control over his business empire, has made significant concessions after trying to micromanage his first months in office. Despite chafing at the limits, the president actually craves the approval of Mr. Kelly, whom he sees as a peer, people close to Mr. Trump said.
He calls Mr. Kelly up to a dozen times a day, even four or five times during dinner or a golf outing, to ask about his schedule or seek policy advice, according to people who have spoken with the president. The new system gives him ''time to think,'' he said when it began. White House aides denied that Mr. Trump seeks Mr. Kelly's blessing, but confirmed that he views him as a crucial confidant and sounding board. Mr. Kelly has also adopted some of Mr. Trump's favorite grievances, telling the president recently that he agrees that some reporters are interested only in taking down the administration.
At times, Mr. Trump has been able to circumvent Mr. Kelly. Over Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, the president mingled with guests the way he had before the election. Some passed him news clips that would never get around Mr. Kelly's filters. And he dialed old friends, receiving updates about how they see the Russia investigation. He returned to Washington fired up.
Mr. Kelly has told people he will try to control only what he can. As he has learned, there is much that he cannot.
John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has labored 14-hour days to impose discipline on a chaotic operation, with mixed success. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times 'I Don't Watch Much'For most of the year, people inside and outside Washington have been convinced that there is a strategy behind Mr. Trump's actions. But there is seldom a plan apart from pre-emption, self-defense, obsession and impulse.
Occasionally, the president solicits affirmation before hitting the ''tweet'' button. In June, according to a longtime adviser, he excitedly called friends to say he had the perfect tweet to neutralize the Russia investigation. He would call it a ''witch hunt.'' They were unimpressed.
He has bowed to advice from his lawyers by not attacking Mr. Mueller, but at times his instincts prevail.
When three former campaign advisers were indicted or pleaded guilty this fall, Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the investigation, urged the president not to respond. If he did, it would only elevate the story.
Mr. Trump, however, could not help himself. He tweeted that the financial charges lodged against his former campaign manager, Paul J. Manafort, had nothing to do with the campaign and that investigators should be examining ''Crooked Hillary & the Dems'' instead. By the next morning, he was belittling George Papadopoulos, the campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying about his outreach to Russians, dismissing him as a ''low level volunteer'' who has ''proven to be a liar.''
He was calm at first when his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty. The next morning, as he visited Manhattan for Republican fund-raisers, he was upbeat. He talked about his election and the ''major loser'' in the Senate who had said his tax bill would add to the deficit (presumably meaning Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee).
By Sunday morning, with news shows consumed by Mr. Flynn's case, the president grew angry and fired off a series of tweets excoriating Mrs. Clinton and the F.B.I., tweets that several advisers told him were problematic and needed to stop, according to a person briefed on the discussion.
Once he posts controversial messages, Mr. Trump's advisers sometimes decide not to raise them with him. One adviser said that aides to the president needed to stay positive and look for silver linings wherever they could find them, and that the West Wing team at times resolved not to let the tweets dominate their day.
The ammunition for his Twitter war is television. No one touches the remote control except Mr. Trump and the technical support staff '-- at least that's the rule. During meetings, the 60-inch screen mounted in the dining room may be muted, but Mr. Trump keeps an eye on scrolling headlines. What he misses he checks out later on what he calls his ''Super TiVo,'' a state-of-the-art system that records cable news.
Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.
But he is leery of being seen as tube-glued '-- a perception that reinforces the criticism that he is not taking the job seriously. On his recent trip to Asia, the president was told of a list of 51 fact-checking questions for this article, including one about his prodigious television watching habits. Instead of responding through an aide, he delivered a broadside on his viewing habits to befuddled reporters from other outlets on Air Force One heading to Vietnam.
''I do not watch much television,'' he insisted. ''I know they like to say '-- people that don't know me '-- they like to say I watch television. People with fake sources '-- you know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don't get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents a lot.''
Later, he groused about being forced to watch CNN in the Philippines because nothing else was available.
Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes his rivals. Here, he called journalists back into the Roosevelt Room in January to hear a union leader praise him. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times 'Aren't You Glad I Don't Drink?'To an extent that would stun outsiders, Mr. Trump, the most talked-about human on the planet, is still delighted when he sees his name in the headlines. And he is on a perpetual quest to see it there. One former top adviser said Mr. Trump grew uncomfortable after two or three days of peace and could not handle watching the news without seeing himself on it.
During the morning, aides monitor ''Fox & Friends'' live or through a transcription service in much the way commodities traders might keep tabs on market futures to predict the direction of their day.
If someone on the show says something memorable and Mr. Trump does not immediately tweet about it, the president's staff knows he may be saving Fox News for later viewing on his recorder and instead watching MSNBC or CNN live '-- meaning he is likely to be in a foul mood to start the day.
Yet the image of him in a constant rage belies a deeper complexity for a man who runs in bellow-and-banter cycles. Several advisers said the president may curse them for a minor transgression '-- like bringing an unknown aide into his presence without warning '-- then make amiable small talk with the same person minutes later.
''He is very aware that he is only the 45th person to hold that job,'' Ms. Conway said. ''The job has changed him a bit, and he has changed the job. His time as president has revealed other, more affable and accessible, parts and pieces of him that may have been hidden from view during a rough and tumble primary.''
Few get to see those other parts and pieces. In private moments with the families of appointees in the Oval Office, the president engages with children in a softer tone than he takes in public, and he specifically asked that the children of the White House press corps be invited in as they visited on Halloween. Yet he does little to promote that side, some longtime friends say, because it cracks the veneer of strength that he relishes.
Only occasionally does Mr. Trump let slip his mask of unreflective invincibility. During a meeting with Republican senators, he discussed in emotional terms the opioid crisis and the dangers of addiction, recounting his brother's struggle with alcohol.
According to a senator and an aide, the president then looked around the room and asked puckishly, ''Aren't you glad I don't drink?''
Mr. Trump's uninhibited approach seems erratic to veterans of both parties in the capital. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times 'Don't Interrupt Me'Mr. Trump's difficult adjustment to the presidency, people close to him say, is rooted in an unrealistic expectation of its powers, which he had assumed to be more akin to the popular image of imperial command than the sloppy reality of having to coexist with two other branches of government.
His vision of executive leadership was shaped close to home, by experiences with Democratic clubhouse politicians as a young developer in New York. One figure stands out to Mr. Trump: an unnamed party boss '-- his friends assume he is referring to the legendary Brooklyn fixer Meade Esposito '-- whom he remembered keeping a baseball bat under his desk to enforce his power. To the adviser who recounted it, the story revealed what Mr. Trump expected being president would be like '-- ruling by fiat, exacting tribute and cutting back room deals.
But while he is unlikely to change who he is on a fundamental level, advisers said they saw a novice who was gradually learning that the presidency does not work that way. And he is coming to realize, they said, the need to woo, not whack, leaders of his own party to get things done.
During his early months in office, he barked commands at senators, which did not go over well. ''I don't work for you, Mr. President,'' Mr. Corker once snapped back, according to a Republican with knowledge of the exchange.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, likewise bristled when Mr. Trump cut in during methodical presentations in the Oval Office. ''Don't interrupt me,'' Mr. McConnell told the president during a discussion of health care.
Mr. Trump may have gotten the message. After a bout of public feuding last summer, he and Mr. McConnell reconciled and began speaking most days. And as the president increasingly recognizes how much Congress controls his fate, Marc Short, the legislative affairs director, has sought to educate him by appealing to Mr. Trump's tendency to view issues in terms of personality, compiling one-page profiles of legislators for him, the congressional equivalent of baseball cards.
While he is no policy wonk '-- ''nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,'' he famously said at one point '-- he has shown more comfort with the details of his tax-cutting legislation. And aides said he had become more attentive during daily intelligence briefings thanks to pithy presentations by Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, and a deeper concern about the North Korea situation than his blithe, confrontational tweets suggest.
''At first, there was a thread of being an impostor that may have been in his mind,'' said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, who has tried to forge a working relationship with the president.
''He's overcome that by now,'' she said. ''The bigger problem, the thing people need to understand, is that he was utterly unprepared for this. It would be like you or me going into a room and being asked to perform brain surgery. When you have a lack of knowledge as great as his, it can be bewildering.''
Mr. Graham, once a fierce critic and now increasingly an ally, said Mr. Trump was adjusting. ''You can expect every president to change because the job requires you to change,'' he said. ''He's learning the rhythm of the town.'' But Mr. Graham added that Mr. Trump's presidency was still ''a work in progress.'' At this point, he said, ''everything's possible, from complete disaster to a home run.''
Mr. Trump has said that the Oval Office feels empty now that Keith Schiller, his longtime aide, is gone. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times 'He Wears You Down'In almost all the interviews, Mr. Trump's associates raised questions about his capacity and willingness to differentiate bad information from something that is true.
Monitoring his information consumption '-- and countering what Mr. Kelly calls ''garbage'' peddled to him by outsiders '-- remains a priority for the chief of staff and the team he has made his own. Even after a year of official briefings and access to the best minds of the federal government, Mr. Trump is skeptical of anything that does not come from inside his bubble.
Some advisers, like the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, consider this a fundamentally good thing. ''I see a lot of similarities between the way he was running the campaign and the way he is as president,'' Mr. Mnuchin said. ''He really loves verbal briefings. He is not one to consume volumes of books or briefings.''
Other aides bemoan his tenuous grasp of facts, jack-rabbit attention span and propensity for conspiracy theories.
Mr. Kelly has told people he pushed out advisers like Stephen K. Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who he believed advanced information to rile up Mr. Trump or create internal conflict. But Mr. Trump still controls his own guest list.
Jeanine Pirro, whose Fox News show is a presidential favorite, recently asked to meet about a deal approved while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state that gave Russia control over some American uranium, which lately has become a favorite focus of conservatives.
Mr. Trump, Mr. Kelly and Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, met for more than an hour on Nov. 1 as Ms. Pirro whipped up the president against Mr. Mueller and accused James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, of employing tactics typically reserved for Mafia cases, according to a person briefed on the meeting.
The president became visibly agitated as she spoke. ''Roy Cohn was my lawyer!'' he exclaimed, referring to the legendary McCarthy-era fixer who mentored Mr. Trump in the 1980s, suggesting that was the type of defender he needed now.
At another point, Mr. Kelly interrupted. She was not ''helping things,'' he said, according to the person briefed. Even Mr. Trump eventually tired of Ms. Pirro's screed and walked out of the room, according to the person.
Mr. Trump is an avid newspaper reader who still marks up a half-dozen papers with comments in black Sharpie pen, but Mr. Bannon has told allies that Mr. Trump only ''reads to reinforce.'' Mr. Trump's insistence on defining his own reality '-- his repeated claims, for example, that he actually won the popular vote '-- is immutable and has had a ''numbing effect'' on people who work with him, said Tony Schwartz, his ghostwriter on ''The Art of the Deal.''
''He wears you down,'' Mr. Schwartz said.
Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times 'Where the Hell Have You Been?'Some of the changes resulting from Mr. Kelly's arrival have been subtle. For the last decade, for example, Mr. Trump's most trusted aide was his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, a bald, brawny former New York police officer who played an ambiguous role as protector, gatekeeper and younger brother to the president. An early warning system, Mr. Schiller tipped callers when the boss was in a bad mood and sometimes reached out to the president's friends to urge them to buck him up.
In August, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Schiller for a newspaper article he had heard about. After Mr. Trump mentioned the article to Mr. Kelly, the chief of staff dispatched two aides to investigate how it had gotten to the president without being cleared. Mr. Schiller acknowledged providing the contraband newsprint. Mr. Kelly thanked him tersely for coming forward, according to two people Mr. Schiller later told.
To the surprise of aides, the president did not try to make clear Mr. Schiller's unique place in the Trump orbit. After some additional encounters with Mr. Kelly, Mr. Schiller announced his departure, a decision fueled primarily by a dislike for Washington and a desire to once again earn private-sector pay before retiring.
Since then, Mr. Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration at Mr. Schiller's absence, telling a visiting lawmaker that his Oval Office suite now seems ''empty.'' The departure of other familiar faces has been equally unsettling.
Once this fall, Mr. Trump lashed out at an aide he had not seen for weeks, asking, ''Where the hell have you been?'' When the aide told him that Mr. Kelly had limited the meetings he could attend, the president cooled off and said, ''Oh, O.K.,'' according to an aide told of the exchange.
If Mr. Kelly knows he cannot always control access, he is intent on at least knowing who is peddling what to his boss. He reserves the right to listen to calls coming to the president through the White House switchboard. To some callers, Mr. Kelly politely promises to forward messages. On calls he cannot monitor personally, Mr. Kelly or a deputy will usually double-back to debrief the caller on any promises the president may have made in unguarded moments.
On weekdays, Mr. Trump's principal mode of blowing off steam is his nightly dinner in the residence. He has always relished gossiping over plates of well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and huge slices of dessert with extra ice cream. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times 'I Can Invite Anyone'Mr. Trump seeks release on the golf course on weekends. But on weekdays, his principal mode of blowing off steam is his nightly dinner in the White House residence, which begins at 6:30 or 7 p.m. with a guest list organized by the ever-vigilant Mr. Kelly.
''I can invite anyone for dinner, and they will come!'' Mr. Trump marveled to an old friend when he took office.
Mr. Trump has always relished gossiping over plates of well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and massive slices of dessert with extra ice cream.
He needs support, a sounding board and, as a lifelong hotelier, guests. Mr. Trump is naturally garrulous, and loves to give White House tours. He has an odd affinity for showing off bathrooms, including one he renovated near the Oval Office, and enjoys pulling dinner companions into the Lincoln Bedroom or onto the Truman Balcony for the postcard view of the city he has disrupted.
Over the summer, he invited four Democratic lawmakers and immediately peppered them with questions as they strolled through the Diplomatic Reception Room.
''Who is going to run against me in 2020?'' he asked, according to a person in attendance. ''Crooked Hillary? Pocahontas?'' '-- his caustic nickname for Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, who once claimed Native American heritage on an employment form.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the president opined, would definitely run '-- ''even if he's in a wheelchair,'' Mr. Trump added, making a scrunched-up body of a man in a wheelchair.
Mr. Trump still takes shots at Mark Cuban, a fellow rich-guy reality star, and expresses disappointment that Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, has distanced himself. But he spends much of his time now puzzling over political options and wrestling with the terrifying responsibilities of the presidency.
Even when Mr. Trump is in a lighthearted mood, hints of anxiety waft over the table like steam over a teacup. In September, he met with evangelical leaders to reassure them that he would still pursue their agenda despite a flirtation with Democrats.
''The Christians know all the things I'm doing for them, right?'' he asked, according to three attendees, who reported praising his positions on issues like abortion and Planned Parenthood.
When the guests depart, the remote control comes back out. He is less likely to tweet at this hour, when the news he would react to is mostly recycled from hours earlier. But he watches Ms. Pirro and her fellow Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, and sometimes ''hate-watches'' CNN to get worked up, especially Don Lemon.
In between, it is time for phone calls, to people he has fired like Corey Lewandowski and Mr. Bannon, old friends like Thomas J. Barrack Jr. and Richard LeFrak, and more recently Republican lawmakers, especially Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the head of the conservative Freedom Caucus. This is when his fixations are unfettered: Russia, Mrs. Clinton, Barack Obama, the ''fake news'' media, his bitter disappointment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In recent weeks, Mr. Trump's friends have noticed a different pitch, acknowledging that many aides and even his own relatives could be hurt by Mr. Mueller's investigation. As for himself, he has adopted a surprisingly fatalistic attitude, according to several people he speaks with regularly.
''It's life,'' he said of the investigation.
From there it is off to bed for what usually amounts to five or six hours of sleep. Then the television will be blaring again, he will reach for his iPhone and the battle will begin anew.
In recent weeks, Mr. Trump's friends said, he has expressed fear about how many aides, even his own relatives, could be hurt by the investigation into Russian election meddling. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times Glenn Thrush contributed to this article before he was suspended pending the result of an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior. Matt Apuzzo also contributed reporting.
Follow Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker on Twitter: @maggienyt @peterbakernyt.
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.
Karl Lagerfeld againt Angela
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:39
From:
To:
Flash - Turkey agrees to accept migrant returns from Greece: report - France 24
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 23:28
(C) AFP/File | A man holds a child on his shoulders as refugees and migrants protest outside the Moria detention center in Mytilene, Greece in November 2017
ATHENS (AFP) - Greece has persuaded Turkey to accept migrant returns from the mainland in order to reduce critical overcrowding in its refugee camps, a report said Saturday.
The Kathimerini daily said the agreement came during a strained two-day state visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week, during which he angered his hosts with talk of revising borders and complaints about Greece's treatment of its Muslim minority.
The deal is in addition to Turkey's existing agreement to take back migrants from Aegean island camps, under the terms of an EU-Turkey pact.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office did not respond to AFP requests for comment on the report.
But a Greek government source on Friday said Athens and Ankara had agreed "new measures of cooperation towards decongesting the islands, under the terms of the EU-Turkey pact."
No further details were given.
It is unclear how Brussels will react to the move, Kathimerini said.
Criticised by rights groups, the EU-Turkey pact was designed to encourage Ankara to stem refugee flows.
Under that controversial deal, Ankara pledged to take back illegal migrants landing in the Greek islands in exchange for financial aid, eased EU visa rules for Turkish citizens, and limited direct resettlement of Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
The pact sharply reduced the number of migrants trying to cross the Aegean Sea to reach Greek islands, although Ankara has repeatedly threatened to walk away from the deal, including over the failure to fulfil the pledge on visa-free travel.
- Overcrowded camps on Greek islands -
Greece has found that the pace of migrant returns to Turkey fell dramatically after a state crackdown on civil servants that followed an attempted coup against Erdogan last year.
Athens has until now been wary of moving large numbers of asylum seekers to the mainland, warning that doing so goes against the EU-Turkey pact.
Other EU states complain that once on the mainland, too many migrants find ways to get out of Greece and travel to wealthier states such as Germany, where there is mounting fatigue towards accepting further asylum-seekers.
But the slow pace of transfers -- delayed by arduous background checks on asylum-seekers -- has pushed Greek island camps to breaking point.
On the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros where there are over 15,000 refugees and migrants, camps are filled to triple their capacity, forcing many to sleep in tents.
Efforts to further expand the camps have run into strong local protests, the ministry adds.
Over 3,500 persons were transferred to the mainland between October and November, the migration ministry said.
Aid groups have warned that transferring refugees to heated accommodation before temperatures drop is a matter of life and death.
Three refugees died last year in their tents on Lesbos from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by makeshift stoves.
(C) 2017 AFP
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.
Service Goat
Service dog in audience chases actress dressed as a cat off stage | Metro News
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:46
'Cats' Broadway Opening at Neil Simon Theatre on July 31, 2016 in New York City (Picture: WireImage)A service dog forgot he was at work and charged towards one of the characters during a recent performance of Cats.
The Broadway performance of the Andrew LLoyd Webber musical '' which sees actors and actresses dress up as cats '' was halted when the service dog leapt up from beside its owner and sprinted towards the stage.
Porn star August Ames sent heartbreaking text to friend weeks before her suicide Spies at the Neil Simon Theatre told Page Six the dog 'got away from its owner and ran after [the character] Bombalurina, performed by actress Mackenzie Warren, during the opening number' Jellicle Cat.
Luckily a fast-moving usher intervened and 'returned the wayward canine to its mortified owner'.
Mackenzie Warren in her Cats costume (Picture: Mackenzie Warren/Instagram)Mackenzie Warren was targeted '' but no humans or animals were harmed (Picture: IBDB)A spokesperson confirmed that the incident took place but added: 'In the storied history of Cats, this is the first time one of the actual cats was involved in an incident with a dog.
'We're pleased to report that no animals or humans were harmed in the dust-up, and the performance continued without a hitch.'
Webber '' the man behind a string of hit musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar '' is publishing his autobiography 'Unmasked' before his 70th birthday in March next year.
His record-breaking musical Cats will play its final Broadway show on December 30.
Cats will play its final Broadway show at the Neil Simon Theatre on December 30 (Picture: WireImage)Cats '' which won a Tony Award for Best Musical '' is based on TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
A teenager with a heart condition opened up about her service dog back in October, saying the pet had 'saved her life'.
While a campaign to stop hero dogs belonging to the Army being put down after their service was launched recently.
MORE: Owner discovers 'horrifying dog dungeon' while rescuing her two stolen pets
MORE: Dog owner beat greyhound to death in horrifying clip 'after it lost race'
Ministry of Truthiness
CNN corrects report about Trump campaign and WikiLeaks tip
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:11
NEW YORK (AP) '-- CNN had to correct a story on Friday that suggested the Trump campaign had been tipped off early about WikiLeaks documents damaging to Hillary Clinton when it later learned the alert was about material already publicly available.
The new information, CNN noted, "indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported."
It's the second mistake in a week by a major news organization on a story that initially had been damaging to the president but didn't live up to scrutiny, giving Trump ammunition for his campaign against "fake news." This time it was by one of Trump's favorite targets.
The story, by CNN reporters Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, was posted at 8:05 a.m. Friday and said that an email was sent to Trump and campaign officials on Sept. 4, 2016, with a link to documents from the Democratic National Committee hacked by WikiLeaks.
Five hours later, the Washington Post reported that the message had actually been sent on Sept. 14 and it wasn't a tip to secret documents, since WikiLeaks had released them a day earlier.
CNN corrected its story at 3:45 p.m. with the new information.
CNN, quoting several sources familiar with the exchange, said Donald Trump Jr. was asked about the WikiLeaks email Wednesday during closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
At a rally in Pensacola, Florida, on Friday evening, Trump pointed to the CNN correction as well as other corrections and clarifications issued by news organizations over the last week.
"Did you see all the corrections the media's been making?" Trump asked the crowd. "They've been apologizing left and right."
Trump singled out suspended ABC reporter Brian Ross, calling him a "fraudster" and saying he should have been fired because his error caused a dip in the stock market. "I said to everybody: Get yourself a lawyer and sue ABC News," Trump said.
Trump also told the rowdy crowd that CNN had apologized "just a little while ago" for its reporting error.
"They apologized! Oh thank you, CNN. Thank you so much. You should have been apologizing for the last two years," he said.
Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway tweeted to CNN reporters: "Be honest and keep explaining the much-repeated lie you let live for hours. Tell America WHY the date of the email is important. (Hint: it destroys your attempt to destroy @DonaldJTrumpJr)." She also linked to an article in the Daily Caller headlined: "CNN Botches Major 'Bombshell' Alleging Contacts Between Don Jr. And WikiLeaks."
CNN said its original account that the email was released 10 days earlier was based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. Trump representatives have described the email as one of many unsolicited messages the campaign received. The Post said it had obtained a copy of the email and said its sender identified himself as Michael J. Erickson, the president of an aviation management company.
There's no indication that CNN plans to discipline Raju and Herb, meaning it blames the error on its sources more than its reporters.
Both the CNN story and last Friday's mistake by ABC News stem from investigations into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with Russian officials.
ABC suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay after he had erroneously reported that Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, had been directed to make contact with the Russians. That would have been significant news if it happened during the campaign, but ABC later corrected the report to note that the order to Flynn came when Trump was already president-elect.
Besides the suspension, ABC has already told Ross he could no longer report on Trump.
Taken together, the stories are particularly damaging for journalists because polls indicate that a majority of Trump supporters believe the president's contention that the media fabricates stories about him more than once in a while.
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]
See also [ edit] References [ edit] ^ ab "Controversial Project Launched: Merkel and Medvedev Open Baltic Gas Pipeline". Spiegel Online. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011 . ^ ab Wiesmann, Gerrit (8 November 2011). "Russia-EU gas pipeline delivers first supplies". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 November 2011 . ^ "Nord Stream Passes Ships and Bombs". The Moscow Times. Bloomberg. 5 May 2011. (subscription required) . Retrieved 10 September 2011 . ^ ab Gloystein, Henning (4 May 2011). "Nord Stream to finish 1st gas pipeline Thursday". Reuters. Retrieved 26 May 2010 . ^ Zhdannikov, Dmitry; Pinchuk, Denis (12 December 2008). "Russia's Gazprom to expand Nord Stream gas pipeline with E.ON, Shell, OMV". Reuters. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015 . ^ ab Pinchuk, Denis (28 January 2015). "Gazprom mothballs extension of Nord Stream pipeline". Reuters. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015 . ^ ab "Fortum sells its stake in North Transgas to Gazprom" (Press release). Fortum. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 15 February 2008 . ^ ab "Project Information Document '-- Offshore pipeline through the Baltic Sea"(PDF) . Nord Stream AG. November 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2012 . ^ "Pipeline Report"(PDF) . Scientific Surveys. June 2001. Retrieved 31 January 2009 . ^ "Gazprom takes control of North Transgas". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 18 May 2005. (subscription required) . Retrieved 31 January 2009 . ^ "Nord Stream: Historical Background". Gazprom. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2007 . ^ ЛиквидиÑовано 100-ÐÑоцентное дочеÑнее ÐÑедÐÑиятие "Ð'азÐÑома" в ФинÐ>>яндии [Gazprom's 100% owned daughter company in Finland is dissolved] (in Russian). RusEnergy. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2008 . ^ abcd "Nord Stream. Facts & Figures". Nord Stream AG. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2007 . ^ "Start of Public Participation throughout Baltic Sea Region on Nord Stream Pipeline Project" (Press release). Nord Stream AG. 9 March 2009. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016 . ^ ab "Leading engineering company to prepare detailed design"(PDF) . Nord Stream Facts. Nord Stream AG (1). April 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2008 . ^ "Saipem bags Nord Stream work". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 17 September 2007. (subscription required) . Retrieved 30 September 2007 . ^ ab Simpson, Ian (24 June 2008). "Saipem wins 1 bln euro Nord Stream contract". Reuters. Retrieved 11 July 2008 . ^ ab "Nord Stream decided on Pipe Tender" (Press release). Wintershall. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2007 . ^ abc "Sustainable Investment in Logistics around the Baltic Region". Rigzone. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2008 . ^ ab Soldatkin, Vladimir (23 January 2010). "Nord Stream awards 1 bln euros tender for gas link". Reuters. 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MARIS B.V. 7 (2 (special issue on 'EU '' Russia relations')). ISSN 1875-418X. Retrieved 9 June 2009 . ^ Schmid, Fidelius; Proissl, Wolfgang (29 October 2006). "US criticises Russia-Germany gas deal". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 August 2007 . ^ ab Kinnunen, Terhi (15 January 2008). "Finnish court actions could delay Baltic gas link". Reuters. Retrieved 31 January 2008 . ^ ab "Risk Assessment and an Environmental Impact Assessment for the North European Gas Pipeline Project (NEGP)"(PDF) . HELCOM. 3 October 2005. Archived(PDF) from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016 . ^ ab Riigikogu avaldus. L¤¤nemerre kavandatava gaasijuhtmega seotud keskkonnariskidest Declaration of the Riigikogu. On environmental hazards connected with the gas line planned into the Baltic Sea. In Estonian. The Riigikogu 27 October 2009 ^ Crawford, David; Catan, Thomas (13 November 2008). "Putin Threatens to Scrap Gas Pipeline as Talks With EU Leaders Approach". The Wall Street Journal. 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Interfax. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2007 . ^ Tillack, Hans-Martin (13 February 2008). "Schr¶ders Pipeline. Spionagekanal in der Ostsee? (Schr¶der's pipeline. Espionage channel in the Baltic Sea?)". Stern (in German). Retrieved 18 May 2008 . ^ "Gazprom seeking Shtokman partners". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 28 July 2007. (subscription required) . Retrieved 2 August 2007 . ^ "German military asks for change to Nord Stream route '-- paper". RIA Novosti. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009 . ^ "Nord Stream. Questions and Answers. Economic and Financial aspects". Nord Stream AG. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2007 . ^ "Nord Stream costs Ukraine $720 million". UPI. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011 . ^ Bachman, Jessica (25 May 2011). "Russia to divert 20 bcm of gas from Ukraine to Nord Stream". Reuters. Retrieved 26 May 2011 . ^ Grib, Natalya (12 July 2007). "Plus Gasification of Entire Europe". Kommersant. 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"Nord Stream gas pipeline a danger for the Baltic ecology". Bellona. Retrieved 10 November 2007 . ^ Pete Harrison (8 July 2008). "EU lawmakers demand probe of Baltic gas pipeline". Reuters. Retrieved 11 July 2008 . ^ "Russia backs green Nord Stream". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2007 . ^ "Baltic Sea Pipeline Keeps Losing Friends". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2008 . ^ "ROV survey tool searches for mines along Baltic pipeline". Offshore. PennWell Corporation. 68 (3). 1 March 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2010 . ^ ab "Wartime Mines To Be Cleared from Nord Stream Route". Helsingin Sanomat. Downstream Today. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2009 . ^ "My President Went to Bratislava and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt". Spiegel Online. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2009 . ^ Vinocur, John (3 January 2006). "For Schr¶der and Putin, Linkup No Coincidence". New York Times. 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The Local. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2009 . ^ Ullman, Tommie (16 February 2009). "Former Political Employees Now on Other Side in the Hot 'Pipe Line Question' ". Stockholm News. Retrieved 19 April 2009 . ^ "Ex-PM Paavo Lipponen to Serve as Adviser to Gas Pipeline Builder". Helsingin Sanomat. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2009 . ^ Ministry of Trade and Industry of Finland (11 January 2007). "Statement on the environmental impact assessment progamme of the Russia-Germany natural gas pipeline"(PDF) . Nord Stream AG. Retrieved 23 February 2008 . Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Poland has its own project of gas pipeline to deliver Russian gas to Western Europe". Gazeta.kz. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008 . ^ "Baltic, Polish Leaders Rejuvenate Amber Gas Pipeline Proposal as Alternative to Controversial Nord Stream". Global Insight. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2009 . ^ Flak, Agnieszka (14 April 2008). "Nord Stream says overland route not an option". Reuters. Retrieved 18 May 2008 . ^ "Pipelines from Russia '-- Dead souls". The Economist. 15 May 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2008 . ^ Nord Stream AG (31 October 2008). "Underwater Investigation of Wreck on Greifswalder Bodden Enters Second Phase" (Press release). Retrieved 11 January 2009 . Archived 12 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Peter the Great's lost ship found?". Russia Today. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2015 . ^ ab Nord Stream AG (2013). "Nord Stream Extension Project Information Document (PID)"(PDF) . Ministry of the Environment of Estonia: 18. Archived(PDF) from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015 . ^ Loukashov, Dmitry (12 December 2008). "Nord Stream: is the UK extension good for Gazprom?". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015 . ^ Zhdannikov, Dmitry; Pinchuk, Denis (12 December 2008). "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 . (Subscription required (help )) . ^ Sytas, Andrius (16 March 2016). "EU leaders sign letter objecting to Nord Stream-2 gas link". Reuters. Retrieved 30 April 2017 . ^ Rettman, Andrew (17 March 2016). "Eastern EU leaders to warn Juncker on Nord Stream II". EUobserver. Retrieved 30 April 2017 . ^ "United States is attacking Russia's gas projects in Europe". Eurasia Daily. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2017 . ^ Mazneva, Elena; Donahue, Patrick; Shiryaevskaya, Anna (15 June 2017). "Germany, Austria Tell U.S. Not to Interfere in EU Energy". Bloomberg Markets. Bloomberg L.P.Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017 . ^ 02.09.2017. "Media: the Danish authorities intend to "push" the law against the "Nord stream-2" | The Newspapers". Retrieved 2017-09-03 . External links [ edit]
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.
'Bezwaar EU tegen fusie Bayer en Monsanto' | Financieel | Telegraaf.nl
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:53
BRUSSEL (AFN) - De Europese Commissie gaat niet akkoord met de overname van de Amerikaanse zadenproducent Monsanto door het Duitse farmacie- en chemieconcern Bayer. Dat meldt persbureau Bloomberg op gezag van bronnen rond het Brusselse mededingingsonderzoek.
Bayer wil 66 miljard dollar (56 miljoen euro) betalen voor Monsanto. Daardoor ontstaat 's werelds grootste leverancier van zaden en gewasbeschermingsmiddelen. Maar Brussel vreest dat de deal in zijn huidige vorm zorgt voor een gebrek aan keuzevrijheid en hogere prijzen voor boeren.
Om de fusie toch door te mogen zetten, moeten Bayer en Monsanto naar verluidt onderdelen afstoten. De onderhandelingen daarover zullen tijd in beslag nemen en kunnen de definitieve beslissing met maanden vertragen. Tot dusver ging de commissie uit van een deadline begin maart volgend jaar.
ZorgenBrussel uitte in augustus al zorgen over de deal en liet weten de gevolgen voor de concurrentie diepgravend te zullen onderzoeken. Bayer en Monsanto hebben al eerder voorstellen gedaan om die zorgen weg te nemen, maar die werden beoordeeld als onvoldoende.
De sector wordt al gedomineerd door grote multinationals. Eerder bundelden de Amerikaanse chemiereuzen Dow en Dupont hun krachten, net als het Zwitserse Syngenta en het Chinese ChemChina. Ook bij die fusies stelde de commissie voorwaarden om boeren en consumenten te beschermen.
Six Week Cycle
New Mexico school shooter disguised himself as student to get into building, police say | Fox News
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:14
The 21-year-old gunman who killed two students before allegedly committing suicide inside a New Mexico high school Thursday disguised himself as a student to get inside, law enforcement officials said.
San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen said Friday that the gunman, identified as William Atchison, entered Aztec High School around 8:00 a.m. local time with a backpack and a .9mm Glock with multiple magazines on him. He was a former student at the high school.
William Atchison, 21, was identified as the gunman who opened fire at a New Mexico high school, killing two students. (San Juan County Sheriff's Office)
Christesen called the shooting a cowardly act and said Atchison was determined to create as much carnage as he could.
''This was a planned event,'' he said, adding the gun used in the shooting was purchased legally. "This person is not only a coward, he's evil."
He added: ''It's important to understand how focused he was, how deranged he was, in his intent.''
State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said Atchison's first victim was Francisco I. Fernandez, who had excused himself from class to go to the bathroom and was immediately shot.
Kassetas said Atchison then walked into the hallway, encountered Casey J. Marquez and killed her. Atchison then walked up and down the hallway, firing randomly and into classrooms.
Officials said they believe Atchison eventually shot himself. They said the students killed were not targeted, but were at the "wrong place at the wrong time."
Christesen said there were heroes at the school that helped save lives on Thursday. He said a substitute teacher heard the gunshots but didn't have a key to lock the door to the computer lab. So instead she took students into an office or storage area and barricaded the door.
Atchison, who was from Aztex and worked at a local gas station, went into the room and yelled that he knew they were in there and then fired multiple shots into the room. A custodian also heard the gunshots and yelled for classrooms to lock their doors.
"Their swift action saved a whole lot of lives and a lot of devastation," Christesen said.
Authorities said they also found a message in which Atchison wrote that work, school and life were bad and he wanted out. It also included a timeline of what he had planned for that day.
Part of the message said: ''Work, packup, prep, walk, die.''
Christesen said they also found a thumb drive on Atchison that had electronic notes that could provide more insight into the attack. He said it has been given to the FBI for investigation.
The FBI says it investigated the New Mexico school shooter last year about online comments, though he said he had no plans for an attack at the time.
Terry Wade, FBI special agent in charge in Albuquerque, said Atchison made generic comments in a gaming forum and that he and his family were interviewed in March 2016.
"It was determined no crime was committed," he said, adding the investigation was closed
The shooting has rocked Aztec, a community of about 6,500 near the Colorado border. Hundreds gathered for prayer services and candlelight vigils and more gatherings are planned over the weekend as residents look for answers.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she spent the evening with the families of the victims and said it was ''amazing to see the unity from grownups, teachers, pastors, and to see unification of the community.''
''Healing is beginning,'' she said, adding the state would cover the costs of the students' funeral services.
Two GoFundMe pages have been created to help Fernandez and Marquez's families.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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'?!
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."
War on Weed
FACT CHECK: Can Marijuana Use Lead to Simultaneous Screaming and Vomiting?
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:48
CLAIM An increase in documented cases of people "scromiting" (screaming while vomiting) is linked to chronic heavy marijuana use.
MOSTLY TRUE RATING MOSTLY TRUE WHAT'S TRUE A rare and poorly understood condition called "cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome" is tied to long-term cannabis use which drives sufferers to experience excessive vomiting and abdominal pain; this condition could plausibly lead to a combination of screaming and vomiting.
WHAT'S UNDETERMINED The degree to which increased access to marijuana is causing increased cases of the syndrome is not fully established, and it is also unclear how widespread emergency room use of the word "scromit" is.
ORIGIN On 5 December 2017, the UK tabloid Metro attempted to revive discussion of an enigmatic and poorly understood disease linked to heavy long-term cannabis consumption by pushing the word ''scromit'' '-- a portmanteau of ''scream'' and ''vomit'' '-- onto an unsuspecting public:
Doctors said users have been taken to hospital after suffering extreme bouts of 'scromiting' '' which means they are screaming and vomiting at the same time.
This new word was invented by staff at emergency rooms across the US, who are seeing more and more people turn up yelling in pain and throwing up all over the place.
Its [sic] believed the scromiting is caused by a condition called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) which affects people who have consumed weed for a long period of time.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (called CHS for short) is, indeed, a real condition. It was first described in a 2004 case report of 19 patients in Australia. A 2016 report described the progression of the illness this way:
Classically, CHS progresses into three distinct phases: prodromal [early symptoms], hyperemetic [severe vomiting] , and recovery. During the prodromal phase, the patient develops early morning nausea, a fear of vomiting, and abdominal discomfort. Afterward, the hyperemetic phase consists of incapacitating nausea and profuse vomiting. Most patients complain of mild abdominal pain and weight loss. Patients are relieved by taking hot showers. The recovery stage begins with cessation of cannabis use. The majority of patients will develop this symptom within 1-5 years after the beginning of consumption.
Among the most pressing mysteries about the condition are what causes some heavy marijuana users to develop it when many other heavy users do not. A 2011 review of the literature has concluded:
'...the mechanism by which cannabis induced hyperemesis is presently unknown.
Similarly unknown is the reason why the excessive vomiting phase of the syndrome is alleviated by a hot bath or shower, even though this, enigmatically, appears to be the most effective short-term treatment of the condition:
The most effective treatment during the hyperemetic phase of CHS is the use of hot showers by patients. The effects of this learned behavior are temperature-dependent, fast acting, but short-lived. Hot showers improve symptoms of nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite during the hyperemetic phase. The precise mechanism by which hot bathing produces a rapid reduction in the symptoms of CHS is unknown.
Another question is the degree to which increasingly legal marijuana has played a role in increased diagnosis of the disease. While diagnoses have been rising , it is hard to develop a conclusive understanding of a disease only recently defined in the medical literature. One 2015 study attempted to address this by comparing pre-legalization cases of cyclical vomiting in Colorado emergency rooms to post-legalization cases, seeing a marked increase post legalization, but their numbers were limited by a lack of specific information on each patient's drug use:
The prevalence of cyclic vomiting presentations nearly doubled after the liberalization of medical marijuana. Patients presenting with cyclic vomiting in the postliberalization period were more likely to endorse marijuana use, although it is unclear whether this was secondary to increased marijuana use, more accurate marijuana reporting, or both.
The final claim made by Metro concerns the use and origin of the word ''scromiting,'' which they claim was invented by staff at emergency rooms across the United States, ''who are seeing more and more people turn up yelling in pain and throwing up all over the place.''
Outside of this unsourced statement and its reappearance in articles referencing the original Metro report, we can find no evidence of this term's widespread and specific use as it concerns any cannabis-related ailment. Based on the term's inclusion in the internet-slang database Urban Dictionary since at least 2008, its use likely pre-dates emergency room CHS cases.
However, the condition, its symptoms, and its occurrence, as described by Metro and other outlets, is accurate. As such, we rank the claim that ''people are 'scromiting' after smoking too much cannabis'' as mostly true, though the condition itself is rare. Finally, this syndrome is reasonably self-limiting, as CHS is generally resolved fairly simply: through cessation of cannabis consumption.
Got a tip or a rumor? Contact us here.
Snopes Delivered to Your Inbox:Sources: Hamill, Jasper. ''People Are 'Scromiting' After Smoking Too Much Cannabis.''
Metro. 5 December 2017.
Allen, J.H., et al. ''Cannabinoid Hyperemesis: Cyclical Hyperemesis in Association With Chronic Cannabis Abuse.''
Gut (BMJ). November 2004.
Desjardins, N., and Stheneur, C. ''Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: A Review of the Literature.''
Arch Pediatr.. 12 April 2016.
Galli, Jonathan, A., et al. ''Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.''
Curr Drug Abuse Rev.. December 2011.
CLIPS & DOCS
VIDEO - "I WILL NOT DEFEND MY BLACKNESS! THAT'S WHAT YOU JUST ASKED ME TO DO!" - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:22
VIDEO - Russia Says North Korea Wants Direct Talks With United States! - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:18
VIDEO - Haley Leaves It An 'Open Question' If US Athletes Will Attend 2018 Olympics In South Korea - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:14
VIDEO - Al-MSNBC Declares 3 Days of Rage | SUPERcuts! #545 - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:11
VIDEO - Apple's Jony Ive is reclaiming head of design team
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:32
Jony Ive is reclaiming his place as head of Apple's design team, the company said in a statement.
"With the completion of Apple Park, Apple's design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design," an Apple spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
He moved into the role of chief design officer two years ago from his former position as senior vice president of design.
His bio on Apple's website reads:
Jonathan Ive is Apple's Chief Design Officer, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Jony is responsible for all design at Apple, including the look and feel of Apple hardware, user interface, packaging, major architectural projects such as Apple Park and Apple's retail stores, as well as new ideas and future initiatives.
Originally from the London area, Ive has been with Apple since the early 1990s and is perhaps best known to consumers as the voice that narrates many of Apple's product videos.
Ive, alongside Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is known for defining Apple's extremely particular design philosophy, as commemorated in a book he co-authored on the topic.
--CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Cramer: Bets against bitcoin will 'annihilate' the digital currency once futures begin trading
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:24
Bets against bitcoin
(Exchange: BTC=)
will "annihilate" the digital currency once futures begin trading over the weekend, CNBC's
Jim Cramer
predicted Friday.
Cboe bitcoin futures
are set to begin trading on Sunday.
The CME contracts
launch on Dec. 18.
Nasdaq
, meanwhile, plans to start its own bitcoin futures
as early as
the second quarter of 2018.
"I think the short selling is just going to annihilate people when you can start trading it," Cramer said after talking with sources in the bitcoin community. A short seller is essentially taking a position on the belief that an asset price will fall instead of rise. Bitcoin futures will allow bitcoin shorts on a widespread basis.
"Once this thing starts trading the futures, they are just going to kibosh it," Cramer said on "
Squawk on the Street
." "You're going to see a lot of shenanigans."
Bitcoin
rocketed above $19,000
Thursday on the Coinbase exchange before tanking. Pressure continued Friday, with the cryptocurrency falling nearly 18 percent at one stage.
Cramer has been a vocal critic of bitcoin, warning investors that
it's like "'Monopoly' money"
and people would be better off going to Vegas.
Critics, including JPMorgan Chairman and CEO
Jamie Dimon
, doubt the legitimacy of bitcoin. Dimon has repeatedly called it a "fraud." But
proponents argue
the digital currency is a good medium of exchange and a way to store value like gold.
"If you're in there buying it, buying bitcoin, you got to be aware there's going to be people who are going to sell it. They've been waiting to short it to you," Cramer said."The propensity of people when futures start would not be to bid it up after this turmoil that we've had," Cramer added.WATCH: 'Father of high speed trading' to offer bitcoin futures
Bets against bitcoin
(Exchange: BTC=)
will "annihilate" the digital currency once futures begin trading over the weekend, CNBC's
Jim Cramer
predicted Friday.
Cboe bitcoin futures
are set to begin trading on Sunday.
The CME contracts
launch on Dec. 18.
Nasdaq
, meanwhile, plans to start its own bitcoin futures
as early as
the second quarter of 2018.
"I think the short selling is just going to annihilate people when you can start trading it," Cramer said after talking with sources in the bitcoin community. A short seller is essentially taking a position on the belief that an asset price will fall instead of rise. Bitcoin futures will allow bitcoin shorts on a widespread basis.
"Once this thing starts trading the futures, they are just going to kibosh it," Cramer said on "
Squawk on the Street
." "You're going to see a lot of shenanigans."
Bitcoin
rocketed above $19,000
Thursday on the Coinbase exchange before tanking. Pressure continued Friday, with the cryptocurrency falling nearly 18 percent at one stage.
Cramer has been a vocal critic of bitcoin, warning investors that
it's like "'Monopoly' money"
and people would be better off going to Vegas.
Critics, including JPMorgan Chairman and CEO
Jamie Dimon
, doubt the legitimacy of bitcoin. Dimon has repeatedly called it a "fraud." But
proponents argue
the digital currency is a good medium of exchange and a way to store value like gold.
"If you're in there buying it, buying bitcoin, you got to be aware there's going to be people who are going to sell it. They've been waiting to short it to you," Cramer said.
"The propensity of people when futures start would not be to bid it up after this turmoil that we've had," Cramer added.
WATCH: 'Father of high speed trading' to offer bitcoin futures
More From CNBC
VIDEO - Katie Hopkins - Get Furious and Fight Back - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:12
VIDEO - 'Bitcoin crash' among significant market risks in 2018, says Deutsche Bank
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:09
Could the market's new darling become its next black swan event?
The bitcoin craze could pose a real risk to the broader market next year, Deutsche Bank warned last week, ahead of the cryptocurrency's launch on futures exchanges, scheduled to take place Sunday.
Torsten Slok, the firm's chief international economist, sent to clients a list of significant risks to the market in 2018. Included on that list: A crash in the price of bitcoin, higher inflation and the threat of North Korea.
Bitcoin has emerged as a financial phenomenon this year as the digital currency sees $1,000-plus swings within hours. At this juncture, as the cryptocurrency has advanced quadruple digits this year, Slok said the markets have not correctly priced in the broader impact bitcoin could potentially have.
Deutsche Bank's risks to the market in 2018
"It is something that I think financial markets so far have been discounting as a small issue," the economist said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." He said he worries about whether bitcoin and its wild price swings could become "more systemic" next year if the current trends continue.
"The worry, of course, that one can have is that it's catching on quite substantially. And of course with the speed with which prices are going up, then you do wonder where prices will be even by the end of 2017. But we do think that in 2018, this, of course, will continue to be a topic, and there are a number of questions that remain unanswered," Slok said.
While bitcoin has more than its share of true believers '-- many of whom have sent its price on a dizzying rally to around $19,000 just last week '-- the digital currency's volatility and lack of transparency has earned it a fair number of critics.
Last week, "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer likened bitcoin trading to "an abstruse casino game that seems to have only winners and no losers. You've got to like that, right? I think, though, that could change," Cramer said.
Specifically, questions persist around regulation of the cryptocurrency and transparency in what exactly investors hold, according to Deutsche's Slok.
The cryptocurrency's price rose above $19,000 for the first time on Thursday before tumbling more than 20 percent, according to Coinbase data.
Its volatility could intensify in days ahead as exchanges prepare to launch bitcoin futures trading.
--CNBC's Liz Gurdus contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Patreon Changes : How it impacts me, you and content creation. Alternative Options Too - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:07
VIDEO - How CRISPR lets us edit our DNA | Jennifer Doudna - YouTube
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 14:03
VIDEO - audioBoom / Franken watch & What is to be done? @MonicaCrowley
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:48
audioBoom / Franken watch & What is to be done? @MonicaCrowleyDec 07, 04:46 AM
12-06-2017
(Photo: )
http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact
http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules
Twitter: @
Franken watch & What is to be done? @monicacrowley
Mr. Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, has scheduled an announcement on his future in the Senate for Thursday, and he pushed back on a Minnesota Public Radio report that he would be resigning. ''No final decision has been made and the Senator is still talking with his family,'' his office said on Twitter.
By Wednesday evening, there was widespread expectation among senators in the Democratic caucus and aides that Mr. Franken would step down. If he does, he would be the most prominent lawmaker so far to be felled by the swirling allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct sweeping through the Capitol.
On Tuesday, Representative John Conyers Jr., the longest-serving member of the House and the longest-serving African-American congressman in history, stepped down under severe pressure after multiple women said he had harassed them, including one who said she was fired for refusing to have sex with him.
VIDEO - Ellen Jorgensen: What you need to know about CRISPR | TED Talk | TED.com
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:20
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VIDEO - Cokie Roberts Women Excuse Moore Because Rape | The Daily Caller
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:55
A guest on ABC's ''This Week'' Sunday suggested that some women don't believe sexual harassment claims because they are used to much worse treatment.
WATCH:
Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts said, ''One of the things to keep in mind is, in the base, even women are suspicious about these sexual harassment claims.''
She continued, ''And part of the reason for that is that women who are not in fancy white collar jobs often have really awful things happen to them on the job. They are assaulted. They are raped. They have horrible things happen to them. And so when they hear women say, 'he talked dirty to me,' or 'he came on to me,' they think, 'big deal. That's not what happened to me. What happened to me is so much worse.' And so there's not that same sense of affinity.'' (RELATED: Pelosi Defends Conyers, Says He's 'An Icon')
Follow Justin on Twitter
VIDEO - LED Traffic Lights Getting Bogged Down By Snow WCCO | CBS Minnesota
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:33
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) '-- The Minnesota State Patrol responded to nearly 1,200 crashes and spinouts since Monday.
One woman died in west central Minnesota, and nearly 50 others were hurt.
Beyond the slick roads, there is another risk when it snows. Technology is causing trouble at some intersections this winter.
As transportation crews replace incandescent light bulbs to the more energy-efficient LED lights, they have found they do not handle snow as well as before.
It is the same bright idea some of us celebrate inside our homes '-- but that upside might be buried at busy intersections in the winter months.
''The LED lights to not emit enough heat to melt off snow and ice that may accumulate on them,'' said Kent Barnard, a communications specialist at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
An LED traffic light covered in snow (credit: CBS)
Barnard said by now, most of the state's 1,400 traffic lights have switched from incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, producing less than half the heat as before.
It is estimated the new bulbs carry a 90-percent cost savings.
Still, cold-weather states across the country have seen unintended consequences. CBS's affiliate in Denver found snow-covered traffic lights after a woman in that area broke her neck when a driver blew through a buried red light.
''It's not a huge problem, but yes, it has happened in Minnesota,'' Barnard said.
MnDOT said northern Minnesota has it the worst. St. Louis County's traffic engineer told WCCO they saw some lights covered for 24 to 48 hours when it snowed this fall.
The old bulbs would have melted the snow in just a few hours tops.
Transportation crews say there is just not enough manpower to clear traffic lights in and after storms. That is why MnDOT wants this brought to light, reminding drivers to stop and treat the intersection as a four-way stop if they see snow-covered lights.
''When in doubt, always err on the side of safety,'' Barnard said. ''Make sure the coast is clear, because you don't know what the other driver is experiencing. He may have the same issue on his direction, too.''
It is the heavy, wet snow that seems to cause the most trouble at traffic lights. MnDOT says it is still looking at possible fixes, like heated covers, but they have not found anything that has worked well just yet.
VIDEO - You could now buy a house using bitcoin. Here's how - SectorWatch - MarketWatch
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:05
Here's how we got to a trillion-dollar pension crisisPosted December 6, 2017
Tax bill hints at new GOP tack: Actually it's OK to add to deficitsPosted December 1, 2017
How the personalization of beauty could change how you buy shampooPosted November 29, 2017
Can this robot make football safer?Posted November 27, 2017
Interested in impact investing? Here's everything you need to knowPosted November 21, 2017
Why venture capitalists are investing in the vitamin industryPosted November 17, 2017
Paying student loans for the first time? Here's what you need to knowPosted November 14, 2017
How we got here: A history of the use of tech in toysPosted November 7, 2017
Here's what Trump's tax plan means for the stock marketPosted November 3, 2017
John Grisham: 'Day of reckoning' coming for student debtPosted November 2, 2017
Why the U.S. has invested more than $860 billion in AustraliaPosted October 31, 2017
How blockchain can revolutionize governmentPosted October 24, 2017
You could now buy a house using bitcoin. Here's howPosted October 19, 2017
Here's why bitcoin might be much easier to regulate than cashPosted October 18, 2017
Meet the 10-year old investors learning how to beat the marketPosted October 13, 2017
Pet beauty: the new frontier for the $36 billion pet industryPosted October 11, 2017
What investors - and everyone else - get wrong about innovationPosted October 3, 2017
Here's how tech entrepreneurs are disrupting food stampsPosted September 29, 2017
As retail goes online, these companies have moved to brick-and-mortarPosted September 26, 2017
Here's how indoor farming can help feed 9.1 billion people by 2050Posted September 21, 2017
VIDEO - 'Goat Yoga' a hit on New Hampshire farm - YouTube
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:49
VIDEO - Triumeq TV Commercial, 'Moving Forward' - iSpot.tv
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:03
Triumeq TV Spot, 'Moving Forward'
Please include:
At least one social/website link containing a recent photo of the actor. Submissions without photos may not be accepted.Voice over actors: provide a link to your professional website containing your reel.Submit ONCE per commercial, and allow 48 to 72 hours for your request to be processed.Add Actor/Actress Details
VIDEO - Bombshell: Roy Moore Accuser Beverly Nelson Admits She Forged Yearbook - Breitbart
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:19
And in yet another blow to the credibility of ABC News, the disgraced, left-wing network downplayed the bombshell by presenting this admission of forgery as adding ''notes'' to the inscription. Worse still, the reporter actually coaches Nelson, puts words in her mouth, downplay the enormous significance of her deceit.
''Nelson admits she did make notes to the inscription,'' ABC News tells us. ''But the message was all Roy Moore.''
''Beverly, he signed your yearbook,'' ABC News reporter Tom Llamas says.
''He did sign it,'' she replies.
''And you made some notes underneath.''
''Yes,'' Nelson says.
And then, after a woman admits to forging a document used in a campaign to destroy the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, ABC News quickly moves on as though it is not news of extraordinary consequence.
Llamas also fails to ask any follow-ups, such as ''If the explanation is this simple, why wait all these weeks to offer it?'' Or, ''Why did you lie?''
Nelson is accusing Moore of attempting to assault her when she was just 16-years-old. With the election just four days away, this admission of forgery could not come at a better time for Moore. Nelson and Allred are planning a news conference Friday, but nothing will overcome the forgery admission.
How can anyone believe anything she says after admitting to such a thing? Early reports are that Nelson and Allred will produce an expert to prove the rest of the yearbook is not a forgery. So a proven forger is bringing in her own expert. What an insult to the people of Alabama.
Another problem with Nelson is that she has a motive to lie and forge: as a circuit judge, Moore ruled against her in a 1999 divorce case.
The Moore campaign has been pressuring Nelson and Allred for weeks to submit the yearbook for independent handwriting analysis. Now everyone knows why that request was rejected and ignored.
With Nelson now thoroughly discredited, this leaves two accusers against Moore.
One is Leigh Corfman, who claims Moore molested her as a 14-year-old child. She is the most credible of the three, but the narrative behind her story, that Moore's abuse resulted in Corfman's living a troubled life of ''drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt,'' is directly contradicted by contemporaneous court records.
Moore's final accuser is Tina Johnson, a woman who claims Moore groped her butt in his office in 1991. But, again, as was the case with Corfman and Nelson, the left-wing media outlets reporting these allegations (the Washington Post, AL.com) either failed to fully vet the accusers or withheld crucial context.
Thanks to New Media's going behind these discredited outlets to fact check the reporting, we now know that Johnson did not tell the entire truth. She was not in Moore's office ''on business.'' If she was in Moore's office at all, it was due to a bitter custody battle where Moore represented Johnson's mother, who was trying to gain custody of Johnson's 12-year-old son based on the claim that Johnson was an ''unfit, absent, and unstable mother.''
If the media and the accusers and Gloria Allred told the full truth to begin with, they would all be more credible.
As far as the accusations against Moore involving his wanting to date teenage girls, those are trumped-up charges, utter nonsense. The age of consent in Alabama was and is 16. Moreover, 40 years ago, it was not at all uncommon in the South for a 32-year-old man to seek a much younger bride. So not only did Moore not break the law, he was not violating any social mores.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter@NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Pagehere.
VIDEO - Dershowitz: I have Lost 7 Pounds Because Liberal Friends Stopped Inviting me to Dinner Parties
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 01:24
VIDEO - Gayle King Compliments GOP Senator's Looks Immediately Following Discussion of Sexual Harassment - YouTube
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 01:21
VIDEO - Computer Chronicles - IBM PS2 - 1987.mp4 - YouTube
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 01:19
VIDEO - Can Bitcoin Become A World Reserve Currency? - Trace Mayer Explains - YouTube
Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:13
VIDEO - Roy Moore Accuser Beverly Young Nelson Admits Hoaxing Infamous Yearbook Inscription - The Political Insider
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:33
Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson threw her credibility in the toilet when she hired notorious sham attorney Gloria Allred, and now she's flushed what remained of her reputation down to the sewer. According to Washington Post national political reporter Michael Scherer, Young admitted to adding the date and place to Moore's alleged signature in her high school yearbook.
Here's a photo of the inscription, which clearly includes Nelson's addition of the date ''12-22-77'' and the location ''Olde Hickory House.''
This is just astounding. Moore has denied up and down that the signature is his, and his attorney specifically stated that the ''77'' signed in the yearbook should be looked at by a handwriting expert. And now we know that Nelson was lying the entire time.
This does nothing to help her story, and, in turn, it undermines the stories of Moore's other accusers.
If Nelson thought she was going to take down Moore with her accusation and her fraudulent signature, she wasn't thinking straight.
If Moore's opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, thought he was going to have a chance at winning in a deep-red state, his hopes were just dashed.
This revelation puts everything in question now. Voters who were on the fence, and were inclined to believe the accusations against Moore, will now question if the former Alabama Supreme Court judge is a predator.
The uncertainty may be enough to put Moore over the edge, and make him the next senator from Alabama.
This is astounding news. Please share it over Facebook now and let us know what you think in the comment section below!
VIDEO - Sen. Al Franken announces his resignation over sexual assault allegations.
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:18
On Thursday morning on the floor of the Senate, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation over allegations of sexual misconduct:
A couple months ago, I felt that we had entered an important moment in the history of this country. We were finally beginning to listen to women about the ways in which men's actions affect them. The moment was long overdue. I was excited for that conversation and hopeful that it would result in real change that made life better for women all across the country and in every part of our society.
Then the conversation turned to me. Over the last few weeks, a number of women have come forward to talk about how they felt my actions had affected them. I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation. Because all women deserve to be heard, and their experiences taken seriously, I think that was the right thing to do. I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven't done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently.
Franken went on to suggest that he believed the Ethics Committee's investigation would have ultimately vindicated him and said that nothing he had done as a senator had dishonored the institution. Franken also talked about his work on women's issues. ''You know, an important part of the conversation we've been having the last few months has been about how men abuse their power and privilege to hurt women,'' he said. ''I am proud that during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion of women and that I've earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there's been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.''
Nevertheless, Franken said he would resign in the coming weeks, noting that the Ethics Committee's investigation would conflict with his duties as a senator. ''I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,'' he said. ''But this decision is not about me. It's about the people of Minnesota.''
Franken closed by thanking his family and staff, praising those who have gotten involved with politics since President Trump's election, and saying that he would continue his political work as a citizen and an activist. ''For a decade now, every time I would get tired or discouraged or frustrated, I would think about the people I was doing this for, and it would get me back up on my feet,'' he said. ''I know the same will be true for everyone who decides to pursue a politics that is about improving people's lives. And I hope you know that I will be fighting alongside you every step of the way.''
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VIDEO - Washington Journal Joel Winston Discusses Consumer Privacy DNA Testing
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:12
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VIDEO - Rep Jim Jordan Questions FBI Director Chris Wray. - YouTube
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:35
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