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24 марта, 21:00

Book clinic: recommended books about the best of humanity

From a redemptive tale set in Norfolk to classic Michael Frayn, our expert selects books that are funny and inspiringQ: I am fed up with so many books and TV programmes being about horrible people doing horrible things to other people. Can you suggest something funny or inspiring or both, which is also a page-turner and well written, that is about the best of humanity, not the worst? Never without a book, I am in my early 60s, live in London, work on a website and want to feel more cheerful about the world. AnonymousA: Observer writer and critic Kate Kellaway Continue reading...

24 марта, 17:55

Driver Of Tesla Model X Dies After Violent Crash Incinerates Car

Last October, we reported that in the latest, at the time, conflagration involving a Tesla car bursting into flames after its batteries exploded, a Model S burned to a crisp after an accident on an Austrian highway. The car's 19-year-old female driver had entered a construction zone on the highway, and when she tried to shift from the local to the fast lane, the car lost control and hit the concrete divider wall along the side of the road. A moment later the electric car burst into flames. It was unclear if the autopilot was involved in the crash, but the the good news was that the driver survived the dramatic crash unscathed. Unfortunately, in a similar crash on Friday in California, the driver was not so lucky. Driving on Highway 101 near Mountain View, California, a Tesla Model X suffered a gruesome crash when the vehicle hit a carpool lane barrier, leading two more cars to crashing into it, and causing the lithium ion batteries powering the vehicle to ignite and explode, at which point the vehicle burst into flames.  Here are the details according to the Redwood City CHP: The blue Tesla was driving southbound on Highway 101 at freeway speeds near Highway 85, when it collided with a barrier separating the carpool lanes on both roads and caught fire. This is a Google Maps image of the location where the collision occurred. We don't have a current picture available but this is the type of barrier the Tesla collided with at freeway speeds. pic.twitter.com/cuXP4ivjdC — CHP Redwood City (@CHP_RedwoodCity) March 23, 2018 Update on collision on US-101southbound at SR-85 Blue Tesla driving southbound on US-10, driving at freeway speeds on the gore point dividing the SR-85 carpool flyover and the carpool lane on US-101 southbound collided with the attenuator barrier and caught fire — CHP Redwood City (@CHP_RedwoodCity) March 23, 2018 The burning car was then hit by a Mazda and an Audi. The Tesla was then hit by a Mazda as it landed on the #2 lane of US-101 and then hit by an Audi on the #1 lane. Total 3 vehicles involved — CHP Redwood City (@CHP_RedwoodCity) March 23, 2018 "We saw a big cloud of smoke and then all of a sudden, there was a fire ball in the air," witness Aiden Sanchez said. The driver of the Tesla was then taken to Stanford hospital. Tragically, the California Highway Patrol announced later on Friday that the driver had died from his injuries. According to a timeline of occurrences, the cause of death appears that the driver was "trapped" inside the burning car. Timeline of occurrences releases, Tesla investigators are on scene - https://t.co/KvRgMMTYX6 pic.twitter.com/GR01EhswuE — InsideEVs (@InsideEVs) March 24, 2018 No other injuries were reported. Images from the scene showed the front of the Tesla completely destroyed as firefighters tried to get the fire out. Crews were still on the scene cleaning up as of noon. Police told the local NBC affiliate that the car's battery may have been involved in the explosion: "We're used to regular vehicles, now that we have the batteries in these vehicles, we don’t know what’s in them so we're learning as we go," said CHP officer Art Montiel. #DEVELOPING CHP waiting for @Tesla to arrive on scene of US 101 crash bc officers don’t know what Tesla battery contains @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/pefw1gyrQt — Anoushah Rasta (@Anoushah_Rasta) March 23, 2018 As they responded to the scene, officers were wary of the batteries. They called for backup before approaching the car, which may also have been the reason why the "trapped" passenger died inside the burning Model X. There's nothing left of the Tesla Model X and unfortunately the driver has passed. - https://t.co/KvRgMMTYX6 pic.twitter.com/fkwtdHT3TH — InsideEVs (@InsideEVs) March 23, 2018 A "Good Samaritan" who was riding his motorcycle down highway 101 (and who asked NBC to remain anonymous) shared what he saw at the scene of crash exclusively to NBC Bay Area after heading over to help. "I saw, past the smoke of the smoldering and sputtering Tesla Model X and saw a man running up with a fire extinguisher," said the Good Samaritan. "I rounded towards what used to be the front of the car and saw, remarkably, an intact man that was covered in a light layer of dust. The front of the car was simply gone." The Good Samaritan said he checked to see if the man had a pulse and shortly after determining the man was alive he noticed the Tesla wasn’t just smoking, but "actively emitting full flames from the battery bank." The Good Samaritan and two other men were able to take the man out of the burning car and according to him, the man was completely unresponsive. "We brought him what we hoped was a safe distance from the wreck, hoping the LiPo batteries weren’t prone to exploding," said the Good Samaritan. "Another man placed the victim in the recovery position." Footage from the crash shows smoke and flames emanating from the vehicle. Tesla sent an employee over to investigate the crash and the subsequent fire. An exposed battery was visible inside the car. The driver of a Tesla Model X that crashed on U.S. Hwy 101 and caught fire has been taken to Stanford Hospital with major injuries. https://t.co/6uLwZhLgG3 pic.twitter.com/1xDzwUXAz5 — NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) March 23, 2018 TRAFFIC ALERT: 2 lanes of SB Hwy 101 remain closed after accident causes Tesla Model X to catch fire near Mountain View, per CHP. https://t.co/mFSifiiVyr pic.twitter.com/jMriTnh3mG — NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) March 23, 2018 Meanwhile, officials are investigating what caused the Tesla to catch fire. It remains unclear if the car's autopilot was engaged when it slammed into the carpool lane divider, resulting in the driver's death.

24 марта, 07:23

Testing the eggheads in the cryptocurrency market

Some of the world’s best-known economists on Thursday announced plans to create what could be described as the thinking person’s cryptocurrency. Saga aims to address many of the criticisms frequently thrown at bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, to position itself as an alternative digital currency that is more acceptable to the financial and political establishment. […] The post Testing the eggheads in the cryptocurrency market appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

24 марта, 02:14

Judge turns down secrecy bid from Super PAC donor

A judge has rejected a mystery conservative donor’s legal bid to maintain the secrecy surrounding $1.7 million donated to a Super PAC that was active on behalf of Republican candidates in the 2012 election.In a ruling on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed a lawsuit filed last December aimed at blocking disclosure of information in Federal Election Commission records about the activities of the Now or Never PAC, which spent a total of about $8 million backing candidates such as Todd Akin, a Senate nominee in Missouri.A trust and trustee involved in funneling $1.7 million to the PAC argued in the suit that disclosure of their identities would invade their privacy. It appears that they are legally distinct from the original source of the funds, but it’s possible that naming the trust and trustee could effectively identify the donor.Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, said in her 23-page decision that the FEC was not legally barred from disclosing the identities of the trust and trustee. However, she also held that the agency was not legally obligated to release the information under a statute that the agency’s lawyers cited.Under those circumstances, the FEC’s decision to disclose the information was reasonable, the judge wrote.“The public has an interest in the agency’s decision to terminate this proceeding involving Government Integrity without enforcing its own subpoenas and following the money back to its source,” Jackson found. “The agency’s salutary interest in exposing its decision making to public scrutiny outweighs plaintiffs’ insubstantial privacy concerns.”The judge also said those who brought the suit — named in public court papers as John Doe 1 and 2 — hadn’t shown any impact on their right to make political donations.“Even if one concludes that at least one plaintiff has asserted an interest in preventing the chilling of future speech in the form of donations, the only right that is implicated by the agency’s actions in this case is the right to contribute anonymously, not the right to contribute at all,” Jackson wrote.There is no right to make anonymous political donations in most situations, she concluded, citing the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.An attorney for the anonymous trust and trustee who brought the suit, William Taylor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. However, late Friday night Taylor filed an emergency motion asking Jackson to stay her ruling pending an appeal.After the suit was filed last year, the FEC released a variety of documents related to the case, but withheld the identities of the individual and the trust who filed suit.FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub said in a statement posted to Twitter: "Delighted that a court has upheld @FEC’s right to disclose the names of persons integral to Commission investigations. Judge Amy Jackson’s opinion in Doe v. FEC strongly defends the FEC’s disclosure policy & vindicates public's right to know this key info. https://goo.gl/6HdXCk"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which brought the original complaint against the Super PAC, filed its own suit against the FEC in December, charging that the agency’s violated its legal duties when it failed to take action in the case.Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for CREW, said: "The court today reaffirmed Americans’ ability to know who is funding their elections, as well as their ability to oversee the operations of the FEC, an agency in need of vigilant oversight if ever there was one. We hope this will be the end of plaintiffs’ attempts to hide from the American people."

24 марта, 00:14

Guest Contribution: “Can Technology Hurt Productivity?”

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. This is an extended version of a column that appeared at Project Syndicate on March 19. There are a variety of explanations for the declining […]

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23 марта, 23:47

China Says US Warship Sailing Near Spratly Islands Is "Severe Provocation"

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After carrying out no fewer than four "Freedom of Navigation" operations last year and one in January, The US sent a Navy Destroyer to sail within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands - a move that China condemned as a "severe provocation" just as the two countries are on the verge of an all-out trade war. The operation was the US's latest attempt to push back against an expanding Chinese military presence in the Pacific that at least one US military leader has characterized as an ominous national security threat that could lead to all-out war. Admiral Harry Harris said last month that the US should be "prepared for war" with China due to its increasingly aggressive posture, which he said was a veiled attempt by Beijing to undermine the national world order. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US destroyer Mustin traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands and "carried out maneuvering operations." The Spratly Islands, located in the South China Sea, are the epicenter of a territorial dispute between China and several of its neighbors, per Reuters. Twelve nautical miles is the internationally recognized territorial limit. When asked about the operation, the U.S. military said its activities are carried out under international law and American forces operate in the region on a daily bases. "We conduct routine and regular freedom of navigation operations, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future," said Lieutenant Commander Nicole Schwegman, a spokeswoman for US Pacific Fleet. China’s Defense Ministry said two Chinese naval ships had been sent to identify the US ship and warn it to leave the area immediately. China opposes "illegal and provocative" operations, and denies US allegations that it's cracking down on freedom of movement in the region. A spokesperson for China's Defense Ministry said "the provocative behavior by the US side will only cause the Chinese military to further strengthen building up defense abilities in all areas." In a separate statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said the country would continue to take all necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and peace and stability in the South China Sea, where it said the situation was developing for the better with the hard work of China and Southeast Asian nations. However, it appears China is going to be facing more scrutiny, not less, over its presence in the South China Sea. The UK said last month said one of its warships would pass through the South China Sea to assert freedom-of-navigation rights. The US has repeatedly called on its allies to carry out "Freeops" of their own.

23 марта, 18:24

FBI Informant Speaks, Says Feds Asking New Questions About Clintons

The former FBI informant at the heart of the Russian Uranium scandal, William D. Campbell, has given an exclusive, on camera interview to The Hill - in which he reveals that he was interviewed in December by FBI agents from the Little Rock, Arkansas for five hours about the Clintons. Of note - Campbell's attorney is Victoria Toensing, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General under Reagan who is now handling the Mueller investigation for President Trump along with her husband, former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova (also of note, newly minted National Security Advisor John Bolton was Reagan's Assistant AG, presumably while Toensing was a Deputy Assistant AG in the criminal division).  After Campbell spent decades working for the CIA, he was "turned over" to the FBI for counterintelligence work due to relationships he had forged deep within the Russian uranium industry. While deep undercover, Campbell uncovered two related bribery schemes involving Russian nuclear officials, an American trucking company, and efforts to route money to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) through an American lobbying firm in order to overcome regulatory hurdles, according to reports by The Hill and Circa. Campbell collected over 5,000 documents and briefs over a six-year period beginning in 2009, some of which are said to detail efforts by Moscow to route money to (CGI) through lobbying firm APCO Worldwide - including video evidence of bribe money related to the Uranium One deal being stuffed into suitcases.  Officials with APCO - the lobbying firm accused of funneling the money to the Clinton Global Initiative, told The Hill that its support for CGI and its work for Russia were not connected in any way, and involved different divisions of the firm. In January, the Little Rock FBI field office opened a new investigation into the Clintons and their various charitable foundations - focusing on pay-for-play schemes and tax code violations, according to law enforcement officials and a witness who wishes to remain anonymous.  The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes. The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said. -The Hill (1/4/2018) Campbell told The Hill that the Arkansas agents specifically asked about donations to the Clinton charitable trusts:  Campbell said he was asked specifically about whether donations to the Clintons charitable efforts were used to influence U.S. nuclear policy during the Obama year, and that agents questioned him extensively about claims the Russians made to him that they had routed millions of dollars to an American lobbying firm in 2010 and 2011 with the expectation it would be used to help President Clinton's charitable global initiative while major uranium decisions were pending before Hillary Clinton's State Department. -The Hill "They were looking into the Clintons, and the information that I provided to them about the Clintons and about what was said and confirmed by Russian leadership seemed to be very important to them,” Campbell said, his appearance obscured to hide his identity.  Campbell gave closed-door testimony to three Congressional panels in February - which Congressional Democrats Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings wrote, smearing Campbell as he suffered from cognitive issues due to chemotherapy. The former CIA and FBI asset dismissed the Democrats' attacks as partisan. “I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I’m not an independent. I am a damn American,” he said. “I'd like to remind those Democratic staff members who wrote that interview summary that none of 'em have ever worked undercover as a confidential informant … and put themselves in clear and present danger with Russian criminals who are breaking U.S. law." Moreover, after details of Campbell's undercover work for the FBI first emerged in an October 2017 report by The Hill - which did not divulge his name, Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News and Joel Schectman of Reuters published articles smearing Campbell, saying he was "so unreliable that prosecutors dropped him as a witness" in a case unrelated to his undercover work - while two "senior officials" within the Justice Department fed Congressional investigators the same thing during a December 15 briefing.  Both statements were lies, as the case was related to Campbell's undercover work, and he was dropped as a witness after the Baltimore U.S. Attorney's office botched their case - which Campbell's testimony would have weakened. In response to the smears, Victoria Toensing fired off a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanding an investigation into Campbell's character assassination - CC'ing DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, along with several Congressional Investigators and others involved in the matter.  The letter reads:  "We write on behalf of our client, William Douglas Campbell, to request an investigation of disclosures by anonymous "federal officials" to the media and of Congressional briefings by "senior officials" of the Justice Department. The former provided false information about Mr. Campbell to the media. The latter provided false information about Mr. Campbell to Senate and House committees."  

23 марта, 17:12

U.S. busts 'massive' Iranian hacking scheme

The Justice Department on Friday revealed charges against an Iranian hacking ring that prosecutors say spent years pilfering research and documents from over 100 American universities and government agencies.Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, called it a "massive and brazen cyber-assault" and "one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns ever prosecuted” by U.S. officials.The case is the second time federal prosecutors have charged Iranian government-linked hackers, coming almost exactly two years after DOJ indicted seven Iranians for a series of coordinated cyberattacks against the U.S. financial sector and for infiltrating a New York dam in 2013.But Friday's charges represent the takedown of a broader — and more purposeful — digital theft campaign. DOJ specifically targeted the Iran-based Mabna Institute, which it says was founded in 2013 "to assist Iranian universities and scientific and research organizations in stealing access to non-Iranian scientific resources."Over the course of four years, prosecutors say, hackers working for the Mabna Institute stole at least 31 terabytes of data from 144 American universities, totaling $3.4 billion in intellectual property. The group also cracked into 176 foreign universities, DOJ said.Beyond universities, the Iranians hit five U.S. government agencies, including the state governments in Hawaii and Indiana, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the energy industry, and the Department of Labor.The group also infiltrated the United Nations and the United Nations Children's Fund, DOJ said. In total, prosecutors indicted nine Iranians for participating in the scheme, which continued until at least December 2017, according to a release.Over those years, the indicted Mabna hackers breached the email accounts of roughly 8,000 professors.The hackers conducted “many” of the intrusions “on behalf of” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, “as well as other Iranian government and university clients,” according to DOJ."The hackers targeted innovations and intellectual property from our country’s greatest minds," Berman said.The Treasury Department also slapped sanctions on the Mabna Institute and the nine charged individuals.While none of the charged hackers have been detained, Berman said the indictments would restrict their lives."The only way they will see the outside world is through their computer screens, but stripped of their greatest asset — anonymity," he said.

23 марта, 16:28

Conway on W.H. communication job speculation: 'I will do whatever is best'

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Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway left open the possibility on Friday that she could become the next White House communications director, telling Fox News that she will fulfill “whatever my best and highest use is here.”“I'm here to support the president however he sees is most important. I don't have any personnel announcements at this time,” she told “Fox & Friends” in response to a question about talk that she might fill the soon-to-be-vacant communications director post. “I will do whatever is best, whatever my best and highest use is here.”Citing anonymous sources, The Atlantic reported earlier this week that Conway was considering the job.The position of White House communications director has been a particularly quickly revolving door since President Donald Trump took office last year. Trump has had four communications directors through his first 14 months in office, including former press secretary Sean Spicer, who held the job twice in his six months in the West Wing, and Anthony Scaramucci, who famously held the job for 11 days before resigning after an expletive-filled interview with The New Yorker.The job of communications director was most recently filled by Hope Hicks, who held the position longer than any of her Trump administration predecessors. Hicks announced her resignation late last month, although the White House said at the time that her official departure date was yet to be determined but would be in the upcoming weeks.While Conway has officially served in a policy-facing role as counselor to the president, she has remained one of the most public-facing members of the Trump administration, doing regular interviews on “Fox & Friends,” where the president receives almost unflinchingly positive coverage, while also appearing on other TV networks, albeit less frequently.She heaped praised Friday morning on the White House communications staff for its work and said that work on that team also requires the type of policy knowledge required by her current position.“As counselor to the president, that takes on any number of different tasks and one has been in terms of policy. That's been my major portfolio here,” she said. “But I think to be effective communication directors, as we’ve seen, you also have to know policy, you have to be read-in. But we have very talented people here.”

23 марта, 14:00

Trump Threatens Veto Of $1.3TN Spending Bill; Raising Shutdown Fears

Update (9:00 am ET): In a tweet that's bound to infuriate Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, President Trump is now threatening to veto the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, saying he's dissatisfied with its immigration and border-security provisions. Trump said he's disappointed by the fact that DACA recipients were abandoned by the bill, and he's also dissatisfied with the paltry funding for border security. DACA was abandoned by the Democrats. Very unfair to them! Would have been tied to desperately needed Wall. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018   I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018 As we pointed out earlier, no piece of legislation can be considered passed during the Trump era until the president affixes his signature to the bill. If the president doesn't sign a spending bill by midnight, the federal government will shut down at 12:01 am Saturday. Markets initial reaction, unsurprisingly, was a modest downside shift... * * * Despite Rand Paul and a handful of other conservative Senators's best efforts to kill it, the upper chamber easily passed the long-awaited $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill early Friday morning - sending a bill that would lock in federal funding for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, to President Trump's desk. The final 65-32 vote resulted from a week of all-night bargaining sessions and repeated delays before the text of the 2,000+ page bill was released Wednesday morning. Paul and other conservatives complained that the budget would've been adamantly rejected by Republicans if Obama was still in the White House. Republicans touted an $80 billion increase in military spending - which Trump touted as the largest increase in military spending ever - while Democrats highlighted an additional $63 billion in domestic spending, per Bloomberg. Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican who opposed the bill, also hinted that he too might try to force a shutdown by delaying the vote after criticizing the vote's "price tag". "It sucks," Kennedy said of the spending measure. "No thought whatsoever to adding over a trillion dollars in debt." In a move that infuriated his fellow Senators, Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho almost sunk the bill after learning that it included language to name an Idaho forest for Cecil Andrus, the former Democratic governor and Carter administration Interior Secretary who died last year. Andrus and Risch were longtime political rivals, per the Wall Street Journal. The unceasing squabbling over the bill frustrated many lawmakers, including Bob Corker, who loudly complained about the repeated delays to the vote, per Politico. "This is ridiculous. This is juvenile," fumed Sen. Bob Corker, who asked McConnell for an explanation of why the chamber was in at midnight. "What has occurred over the last 11 hours that keeps us here voting on a bill that we all know is going to pass?" The $1.6 billion funding for border security is far less than the Trump administration had demanded. Less than half of that money will be used to build about 33 miles of fencing and levees along Texas' border with Mexico. The White House had initially demanded $25 billion. meanwhile, Democrats won several major concession - particularly regarding immigration enforcement inside the US. The bill provides for minimal increases in funding for enforcement officers. Democrats and Republicans also struck a compromise on control, rolling in the bipartisan "Fix NICS" legislation that will bolster reporting by federal agencies to the database for gun-buyer background checks. It also explicitly allows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes of gun violence. The bill also includes $21 billion for infrastructure projects and an additional $4 billion to combat opioid addiction. One of the biggest obstacles to reaching the agreement was the status of funding for a Hudson River tunnel between New York and New Jersey. Advocates, mainly Democrats and Republicans representing the two states, argued it is one of the most important infrastructure projects in the U.S. But Trump has insisted on removing money for the project, known as Gateway, from the spending plan. In a decision that is sure to anger commuters in a region that comprises one-fifth of the country's GDP, Trump successfully killed funding for the "Gateway" project - that is, the construction of a new tunnel underneath the Hudson River that connects New York City and New Jersey. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer - who represents New York - assured angry voters that the two states would be able to access funding equal to about half of the $900 million initially requested through Amtrak and grants that don't require approval from the Department of Transportation. Another $75 million was allocated to train teachers and school officials to respond to attacks. It will also pay for metal detectors and other equipment, while creating anonymous systems for reporting possible threats to schools. Funding to combat Russian interference in the upcoming midterm elections was included in the spending package, as was $600 million to build a rural broadband network, per WSJ. As conservatives railed against the budget bill, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the bill as "legislation that neither side sees as perfect, but which contains a host of significant victories and important achievements on behalf of the American people." Among them, he said, are a 15% increase in military spending and funding to combat an opioid epidemic as well as a down payment toward Mr. Trump’s border wall. The National Institutes of Health and Head Start - a popular child-care program - also received more spending. The deal is the first installment of an informal two-year spending agreement worked out between McConnell, Schumer and Trump that will lift federal spending above curbs set in 2011. President Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney assured reporters that the president will sign the bill - and he has all day to do so. But while the odds that the bill will be signed into law are extremely high, conservative lawmakers are still trying to convince Trump to reject it, forcing a shutdown that would grant them more leverage in trying to force concessions from both moderate Republicans and Democrats.

23 марта, 12:06

‘Oh my God…It’s fake’: Far right falls for hoax about Broward County sheriff

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, the far-right fever swamps buzzed with false information and conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” who were paid to lie about the mass shooting.But ironically, conspiracy-minded conservatives fell for a political hoax involving a different kind of actor. The subject? Broward County’s Democratic sheriff, Scott Israel.Israel for the past month has been assailed as everything from a “rapist” to a philanderer to a crooked cop thanks to three old YouTube videos in which a mystery woman accused him of impregnating her when she was 17 and forcing her to get an abortion. The videos together have been viewed almost 130,000 times since the Feb. 14 shooting.But all of it was a lie, the woman and her attorney, Yechezkel Rodal, now tell POLITICO, which found her by combing internet videos and social media.“I was paid to say these things. I didn’t even know what I was saying,” said the woman, who spoke with POLITICO on condition of anonymity because she fears political retribution from Internet trolls or from the sheriff’s office, which does not know her identity. “I’m sorry … It’s fake.”The revelation comes amid growing concerns about the spate of conspiracy theories and “false flag” attacks surrounding recent mass shootings — especially in Florida — that are surfacing on right-wing and fringe media sites.The videos were initially posted at the tail end of the bare-knuckle 2012 campaign when Israel defeated Republican incumbent Al Lamberti. Now living in New York, the woman said she was 17 at the time and didn’t know Israel when an unknown person paid her $25 per video through the website www.fiverr.com, where she was hired by different companies to cut “thousands” of video testimonials for various products ranging from cell phone plans to diet programs. She expressed shock when informed Israel was sheriff and that the videos have become part of a smear campaign after the shooting.“Oh my God,” she said. “How do I get this off YouTube?”She apparently can’t. YouTube’s parent company, Google, has refused her efforts and those of Israel to take them down — an intransigence that illuminates how new media firms have become platforms for fake news and take little corporate responsibility to combat it. Florida, in particular, has been fertile ground for school-shooting “hoaxers.” A Tampa-area woman was sentenced to six months in federal prison last year for threatening the Palm Beach County father of a 6-year-old murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. In 2016, a professor was fired from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton after alleging Sandy Hook was a hoax and that the parents were “playing a role.”After the Feb. 14 high school shooting that left 17 dead and 17 wounded in Parkland, Florida, students Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg were falsely called “crisis actors” as they criticized Republicans, President Trump and the National Rifle Association. Six days later, a Florida Republican state representative’s aide was fired after telling the Tampa Bay Times that the two “are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis [sic] when they happen.”The “crisis actor” myth was abetted the day before, according to the Washington Post, by the far-right website Gateway Pundit which ran a story headlined “School Shooting Survivor Turned Activist David Hogg’s Father in FBI, Appears To Have Been Coached On Anti-Trump Lines.” The website also initially disseminated a false story, later removed, that incorrectly said shooter Nikolas Cruz was a “registered Democrat” in a failed effort to discount media reports about his now-deleted social media profile that showed him with a “Make America Great Again” cap. Cruz had also been captured on video wearing that hat.Sheriff Israel, who had also become a focus of conservative ire by then, was targeted in a Feb. 19 Gateway Pundit piece that promoted one of the phony videos in a story headlined “Broward County Sheriff Accused of Having Affair With 17-Year-Old Girl, Forcing Her to Get Abortion.” The article, which referenced but didn’t link to a rebuttal video from Israel’s wife, explained that the “video was unearthed as Sheriff Israel has began [sic] using his position to lobby for Democratic policies in the wake of last week’s deadly school shooting.”The story linked to the phony videos was largely ignored by the mainstream news media. But it took off on Twitter. Nearly all of the videos’ roughly 129,000 page views happened after the shooting. Of the 560 comments cumulatively attached to the three YouTube videos, only 12 were made before the shooting.Amy Rose, Israel’s campaign manager in 2012 and 2016, said Israel and his staff were surprised at the return of the videos and the volume of vitriol in the comments on YouTube. She said they tried to have the videos removed in 2012, when they were pseudonymously posted by a “Barry Israel” in late October 2012.“Now that these bogus, fake videos have been debunked we would ask that YouTube comply with our previous request (going back to 2012) and take them down!” she said in a written statement to POLITICO. “It's too bad that the young woman who was paid to repeat these lies can't identify the person who paid her to do so.”Asked why it hasn’t removed the videos, Google said in an email that “YouTube has a built-in privacy complaint process, and we encourage people to let us know if videos or comments on the site violate their privacy. We may remove videos after receiving privacy complaints, which we review on a case-by-case basis.”The statement added that company officials “consider first person privacy requests” and recommended the woman fill out a form “so our teams have a record of this complaint.” The woman’s attorney, Rodal, said she has also “attempted to have the videos removed” since POLITICO first contacted her this week, but to no avail. He said she wishes to “remain anonymous to protect her reputation as well as to protect her safety in this volatile political climate.”The sheriff’s office had been unable to find the woman or the person who hired her. A POLITICO reporter found her after posting Twitter messages linking to other videos the woman had made on other websites. A reader, recognizing the woman from a Florida college he attended with her, then contacted POLITICO with her identity. She spoke briefly with a POLITICO reporter and then referred questions to her attorney.Rodal pointed out that she made the videos when she was 17 and didn’t know any better. “She has since moved on with her life and has begun a promising career in the health industry,” he said in an email.“She has never met Scott Israel. She had been hired by hundreds of other fiverr.com users and recorded hundreds of endorsement videos for many different products in the past,” he said. “She has not recorded any such videos in four years. She deeply regrets the videos and deeply regrets any harm that may have come to Scott Israel as a result.”

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23 марта, 10:30

They called my university a PhD factory – now I understand why | Academics Anonymous

Senior academics warned that my university cared more about cheap labour than launching academic careers. It turns out they were rightAs I reluctantly consider quitting academia after a year-long research fellowship, I find myself recalling a drug dealer’s line in the film Withnail and I: “If you’re hanging on to a rising balloon, you’re presented with a difficult decision – let go before it’s too late or hang on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?” His words describe my dilemma: do I hold on to my dream of a permanent university lectureship or abandon it as illusory and hazardous to my mental health?I’m not, of course, the first postdoc to feel this way. As I neared the end of my doctorate in 2013, I read an essay by Rebecca Schuman, which argued that “getting a literature PhD will turn you into an emotional trainwreck, not a professor”. Her article added to an expanding genre known as quit lit, which reflects the growing disillusionment of many academics with university culture. Continue reading...

23 марта, 10:30

Swiss Foundation Gets $30 Million To Start "Non-Volatile" Cryptocurrency

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com, A group of financiers will create a “complimentary global currency” subject to random identity checks and pegged to fiat, Financial Times reports March 22. image courtesy of CoinTelegraph Discussing plans for Saga, which will feature a Swiss foundation and advice from various banking figures, chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and ex-governor of the Bank of Israel Jacob Frenkel said there was appetite for a notionally non-volatile cryptocurrency. The foundation has already accrued $30mln in investments, and plans to issue tokens at an initial price of $0, these “entitling its investors to a rising number of Saga as usage of the cryptocurrency grows.” “While Blockchain technologies have gained growing acceptance, encryptic currencies have raised public policy concerns, since they are anonymous, unbacked, and are highly volatile,” Frenkel told the publication. “I share these concerns and see great value in Saga’s vision to address them properly.” The move appears to be a fresh admission of the virtues of cryptographic technology for issuing and supporting new global currencies from the banking sector amid an ongoing trend. However, organizers are up-front about the highly-controlled nature of all aspects of Saga’s timeline. Purchasing tokens “will require owners to pass anti-money laundering checks and allow national authorities to check the identity of a Saga holder when required,” providing zero anonymity. “We are not aiming for Saga to replace any national fiat currencies, but to be a complementary global currency,” Saga founder and president Ido Sadeh Man continued. “We are targeting people who are holding digital currencies and looking for safe harbours from the raging volatility.”

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23 марта, 04:00

"Anonymous: Did You Get It? Get It Now!"

This speech should be required to be heard by all schools and colleges. And a lot of jobs and careers. If this doesn't help anyone I don't know what would The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free investigative... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit http://FinanceArmageddon.blogspot.com or http://lindseywilliams101.blogspot.com for full links, other content, and more! ]]

22 марта, 19:31

Trump Slaps China With $50 Billion In Tariffs

Update: President Trump will sign an executive memo that will enforce $50 billion in tariffs against China over IP theft, an administration officials tell reporters. The full list of tariffs will be published within 15 days, opening a 30 day public comment period before they take effect, so there is a 1 month grace period before the trade wars officially start. According to the official, many of the proposals reflect areas where China has sought to acquire advantage through unfair acquisition or forced tech transfers from U.S. companies. He added that Trump is also directing the U.S. trade representative to pursue dispute settlement at WTO in order to address China’s licensing practices, which U.S. says are discriminatory, and will also direct Treasury Dept to consider expanding limits on Chinese investment and acquisitions in U.S. beyond current CFIUS reach Stocks briefly popped on the headlines as, supposedly, this pushed the start of the trade war off by 60 days. *  *  * President Trump will fire the first shots (retaliatory or not) in the new global trade war today as he announces plans to crack down on China with what is expected to be $50 billion in tariffs, controls on investment, and possible visa restrictions. As we detailed previously, American officials have been raising their concerns about China’s IP practices since Bill Clinton was president, and Beijing has repeatedly failed to deliver on promises to reform, but now, as Bloomberg reports that the order will target more than 100 different types of Chinese goods, according to a person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The value of the tariffs was based on U.S. estimates of economic damage caused by intellectual-property theft by China. This will be Trump’s first trade action directly aimed at China, which he has blamed for the hollowing out of the American manufacturing sector and the loss of U.S. jobs. For decades, western companies have griped that Beijing is forcing them to hand over tech secrets and source code as a price of access to the Chinese market. Now they have a White House prepared to act forcefully to stop it - starting tomorrow, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports - but the fear is a costly tit-for-tat trade war. Live Feed (due to start at 1230ET...) But China is drawing up a reprisal list that includes soybeans, sorghum and live hogs, report the WSJ's Lingling Wei, Yoko Kubota and Liza Lin. Finally, as a reminder, China will begin trading its petroyuan futures contract next week (3/26) - so perhaps this action by Trump is a pre-emptive strike? *  *  * Hollywood version of today's events...

22 марта, 12:04

The Former College Dropout Who Would Be Dianne Feinstein

Kevin de León’s Senate campaign is testing the muscle—and the limits—of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

22 марта, 03:46

Congress Reportedly Reaches Budget Deal, Averting Weekend Shutdown

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After a third day of Republican and Democratic leaders emphatically insisting to any reporter who would listen that their long-promised $1.3 trillion "omnibus" budget deal would be ready by Monday night (then Tuesday night, then some time Wednesday) it appears that a compromise has finally been attained. The Washington Post  is reporting that the (tentative) deal does quite give President Trump everything he wanted on immigration (actually Republicans agreed to some major concessions on that front) but it does withhold funding for a tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey - something that Trump had lobbied for out of what appeared to be pure spite for the inhabitants of his home town (and its suburbs), which have largely turned against him. The deal appeared in jeopardy for a brief moment Wednesday afternoon when it leaked that Trump was reportedly considering withdrawing his support for the bill. But after a midday meeting with Paul Ryan, the White House confirmed that POTUS had changed his mind. The text of the bill should be available early Thursday, lawmakers said. WaPo's story captures the excitement surrounding a deal - with lawmakers counting on Ryan to flip Trump back to a yes. Top congressional lawmakers huddled in Ryan’s office in the morning. Leaving the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both said a deal was close. “We’re feeling very good about this,” Schumer said. “We’ve accomplished many, many, many of our goals. When it’s unveiled, you will see.” Later in the day, with no bill introduced, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) played down any drama over Trump’s support: “Last I heard is the president supports this package,” he said. A Ryan spokeswoman issued a statement saying Trump “is supportive of the bill” following their meeting. It is unclear how soon Congress might vote on the bill. The chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee said Wednesday that the House would vote Thursday, though the vote could move to Friday. It's also worth reminding readers that, during the Trump era, it's not done until the president signs. When it came to border wall funding, Republicans caved and - just as Trump was prepared to do during his first post-election 60 Minutes interview - accepted a fence. According to the three officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive negotiations, the spending deal also includes $1.6 billion in funding for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — routing taxpayer funding to a key Trump priority. But the number is far short of the $25 billion the administration sought. Democrats also won tight restrictions on how that money can be spent, two officials said. During a press conference Wednesday night, Paul Ryan assured his audience that there would be "many, many structures" along the border, raising the bar for Washington euphemisms. Trump's victory on the tunnel could potentially lead to commuters in a region that accounts for one-fifth of US GDP being permanently stranded from their work. The Trump administration appears to have succeeded in blocking efforts to direct $900 million in planned seed funding to the $30 billion Gateway project to improve passenger rail service to and from Manhattan, including a new tunnel under the Hudson River. The project has been a key priority for lawmakers of both parties, including Schumer and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.). But according to several officials familiar with his thinking, Trump was determined not to hand Schumer a win while Democrats stood in the way of his administration’s priorities, and he issued a veto threat. A Democratic aide said the project could still benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in Transportation Department funding, though in some cases it would have to compete with other projects. The deal will also include a compromise on guns. One late-breaking deal surrounds gun laws: Democrats agreed to add bipartisan legislation to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for gun buyers and Republicans agreed to add language making clear that federal funds can be spent on research into gun violence — clarifying a long-standing restriction that has been interpreted as preventing such research. Whether the deal is officially finalized is still far from certain. There are many factors that could derail it. A Freedom Caucus rebellion or another bout of cold feet from Trump are two possibilities that come to mind.

22 марта, 03:12

Zuckerberg and Sandberg lean out

The Facebook executives’ response to the Cambridge Analytica crisis risks unraveling their public images and potential political futures.

22 марта, 03:01

China Trade War Begins at 1230ET Tomorrow

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It's official - barring a weather delay - the China trade war will commence tomorrow at 1230pm ET when President Trump will sign an executive order unleashing $50 billion worth of tariffs over Intellectual Property (IP) violations. American officials have been raising their concerns about China’s IP practices since Bill Clinton was president, and Beijing has repeatedly failed to deliver on promises to reform, but now, as Bloomberg reports that the order will target more than 100 different types of Chinese goods, according to a person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The value of the tariffs was based on U.S. estimates of economic damage caused by intellectual-property theft by China, the person said. “Tomorrow the president will announce the actions he has decided to take based on USTR’s 301 investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal U.S. technologies and intellectual property,” White House official Raj Shah said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. This will be Trump’s first trade action directly aimed at China, which he has blamed for the hollowing out of the American manufacturing sector and the loss of U.S. jobs. For decades, western companies have griped that Beijing is forcing them to hand over tech secrets and source code as a price of access to the Chinese market. Now they have a White House prepared to act forcefully to stop it - starting tomorrow, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports - but the fear is a costly tit-for-tat trade war. But China is drawing up a reprisal list that includes soybeans, sorghum and live hogs, report the WSJ's Lingling Wei, Yoko Kubota and Liza Lin. Finally, as a reminder, China will begin trading its petroyuan futures contract next week (3/26) - so perhaps this action by Trump is a pre-emptive strike?

22 марта, 00:28

Kellyanne Conway Edges Toward Accepting the Job of Communications Director

The counselor to the president had resisted Trump’s previous entreaties, but is now considering replacing Hope Hicks on an interim basis.

16 марта 2014, 19:18

Украинские хакеры выложили в сеть переписку представителей партий "Удар" и "Батькивщина"

БРЮССЕЛЬ, 16 марта. /Корр. ИТАР-ТАСС Денис Дубровин/. Украинская ячейка международной сети Anonymous и группа хакеров, назвавшаяся "КиберБеркут", выложили в интернет электронную переписку представителей руководства украинских партий "Удар" и "Батькивщина". Архивы с перепиской содержат сообщения, которыми обменивались региональные лидеры партий в Киеве, Львове, Донецке, Харькове и Луганске. В сообщениях, в частности, обсуждается организация силовых провокаций на Восточной Украине с участием активистов "Правого сектора". Никаких независимых подтверждений этой информации, добытой незаконным путем, не существует. Группа украинских хакеров, назвавшаяся "КиберБеркут", в ночь с субботы на воскресенье обрушила основные информационные ресурсы НАТО, которые более 12 часов работали с серьезными перебоями. Их функционирование восстановилось в полной мере только после того, как хакеры распространили заявление "о прекращении DDoS-атаки на ресурсы НАТО". Пока неизвестно, смогли ли эксперты по киберобороне НАТО установить источник атаки и будет ли альянс выдвигать судебные претензии хакерам. Распределенный отказ в обслуживании, известный под английской аббревиатурой DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), - это один из наиболее распространенных методов хакерского нападения, цель которого - перегрузить системы огромным количеством запросов, автоматически направляемых одновременно с большого числа компьютеров.

07 апреля 2013, 15:11

Хакеры Anonymous напали на Израиль

Сайты правительственных организаций Израиля подвергаются кибератакам хакеров, передает Associated Press со ссылкой на израильские СМИ.Представители организации Anonymous сообщили в социальной сети Twitter о начале "операции Израиль". Как стало известно, атакам подверглись сайты министерства обороны и министерства образования Израиля, а также целый ряд сайтов израильских банков.Утверждается, что ни один сайт не прекратил своей работы, и все атаки были до сих пор успешно отражены.По словам представителей Anonymous, атаки на сайты правительства Израиля являются ответом на авиаудар, нанесенный израильскими военно-воздушными силами по сектору Газа 3 апреля 2013г.Напомним, в ноябре 2012г. Израиль провел в секторе Газа, находящемся под контролем палестинского движения "Хамас", восьмидневную военную операцию "Облачный столп". Конфликт завершился перемирием, достигнутым при посредничестве Египта.Источник: РБК.руИ в дополнение:«Anonymous» раскрыли сеть из 30 000 тайных агентов Моссада: вычислить израильского террориста теперь может каждыйХакерская организация Anonymous взломала информационную систему «израильского» «Моссада»Несколько дней назад хакерская организация «Anonymous», использующая в качестве своего символа знаменитую «маску Гая Фокса», взломала информационную систему «израильского» «Моссада», раскрыв сеть из 30 000 тайных агентов, часть из которых отнесены к категории «киллеров». Кроме того, хакеры опубликовали тысячи имен, ID-номеров, почтовых адресов и паспортных данных израильских политиков и офицеров ЦАХАЛа. Вскоре после взлома «израильский» режим наводнил интернет угрозами в адрес «Anonymous», обещая расправу в случае утечки информации о террористических ячейках сионистов. Еврейская террористическая организация из 30 000 разбросанных по всему миру преимущественно этнических агентов, не только обладает навыками по взлому, работе со взрывчаткой, минированию автомобилей, похищению и убийству людей, но до сих пор и непременно уходила от ответственности за преступления.Вычислить израильского шпиона и сообщить о нем в ФСБ теперь каждый может по следующим спискам: http://cryptome.org/2013/03/mossad-opisrael.pdf или http://cryptome.org/2013/03/mossad-opisrael.zipНесмотря на иврит здесь легко вычисляются пользователи яндекса и других электронных почт, таких, как: Леонид Семеш ([email protected]), Юрий Крайцман ([email protected]), Марк Шейман ([email protected]), Анна Макаренко ([email protected]), Анжелика Гитман ([email protected]), Анна Довженко ([email protected]), [email protected], [email protected], и другие милые люди, грабящие Россию и готовые, при случае, взорвать метро, аэровокзал Домодедово или просто воткнуть вам нож в спину…Источник: http://communitarian.ru/novosti/interne/anonymous__raskryli_set_iz_30_000_taynyh_agentov_mossada_06042013/Источник http://martinis09.livejournal.com/620533.html