End of Show Mixes: UKPMX - Gx2 -Oh My Bosh - Danny Loos-Secret Agent Paul-Stepford Wives-PlaceBoing- Dave Courbanou - Able Kirby - Jungle Jones - Chris Wilson - Tom Starkweather - Conan Salada - Future Trash
Ten-codes, officially known as ten signals, are brevity codes used to represent common phrases in voice communication, particularly by law enforcement and in Citizens Band (CB) radio transmissions.
The codes, developed in 1937 and expanded in 1974 by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO), allow brevity and standardization of message traffic. They have historically been widely used by law enforcement officers in North America, but, due to the lack of standardization, in 2006 the U.S. federal government recommended they be discontinued in favor of everyday language.
APCO first proposed Morse code brevity codes in the June 1935 issue of The APCO Bulletin, which were adapted from the procedure symbols of the U.S. Navy.
The development of the APCO Ten Signals began in 1937 to reduce use of speech on the radio at a time when police radio channels were limited. Credit for inventing the codes goes to Charles "Charlie" Hopper, communications director for the Illinois State Police, District 10 in Pesotum, Illinois. Hopper had been involved in radio for years and realized there was a need to abbreviate transmissions on State Police bands. Experienced radio operators knew the first syllable of a transmission was frequently not understood because of quirks in early electronics technology. Radios in the 1930s were based on vacuum tubes powered by a small motor-generator called a dynamotor. The dynamotor took from 1/10 to 1/4 of a second to "spin up" to full power. Police officers were trained to push the microphone button, then pause briefly before speaking; however, sometimes they would forget to wait. Preceding each code with "ten-" gave the radio transmitter time to reach full power. An APCO Bulletin of January 1940 lists codes assigned as part of standardization;
The Ten Signals were included in APCO Project Two (1967), "Public Safety Standard Operating Procedures Manual", published as study cards in APCO Project 4 (1973), "Ten Signal Cards", and then revised in APCO Project 14 (1974).
Ten-codes, especially "10-4" (meaning "understood") first reached public recognition in the mid- to late-1950s through the popular television series Highway Patrol, with Broderick Crawford. Crawford would reach into his patrol car to use the microphone to answer a call and precede his response with "10-4".
Ten-codes were adapted for use by CB radio enthusiasts. C. W. McCall's hit song "Convoy" (1975), depicting conversation among CB-communicating truckers, put phrases like 10-4 and what's your twenty? (10-20 for "where are you?") into common use in American English.
The movie Convoy (1978), loosely based on McCall's song, further entrenched ten-codes in casual conversation.
The ten-codes used by the New York Police Department have returned to public attention thanks to the popularity of the television series Blue Bloods. However, it must be noted that the ten-codes used by the NYPD are not the same as those used in the APCO system (see below). For example, in the NYPD system, Code 10-13 means "Officer needs help," whereas in the APCO system "Officer needs help" is Code 10-33.
The New Zealand Reality Television show Police Ten 7 takes its name from the New Zealand Police ten-code 10-7, which means "Unit has arrived at job".
In the last episode of the anime "Kekkai Sensen & Beyond", Leonardo uses the code 10-33 in a message to signal that he is in a situation beyond his control.
While ten-codes were intended to be a terse, concise, and standardized system, the proliferation of different meanings can render them useless in situations when officers from different agencies and jurisdictions need to communicate.
In the fall of 2005, responding to inter-organizational communication problems during the rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discouraged the use of ten-codes and other codes due to their wide variation in meaning. The Department of Homeland Security's SAFECOM program, established in response to communication problems experienced during the September 11 attacks also advises local agencies on how and why to transition to plain language, and their use is expressly forbidden in the nationally standardized Incident Command System, as is the use of other codes.
APCO International's current position states that plain speech communications over public safety radio systems is preferred over the traditional 10-Codes and dispatch signals, As of 2011[update], ten-codes remain in common use in many areas, but are increasingly being phased out in favor of plain language, with nineteen states planning to change to plain English as of the end of 2009[update].
Many additional codes have been added by individual local or regional first-response agencies; these are not standard across jurisdictions and may be problematic if multiple organizations must respond to the same incident.
SignalAPCO Meaning1937 APCO1939 First Published Set (17 signals)1940 (APCO Standards Committee)1955 (National Operating Procedure Committee)APCO Project 2 (1967)APCO Project 4 (1973)APCO Project 14 (1974)Clear Speech(c. 1971)
(plain language to replace Ten Codes)
Phrase Word Brevity Code (c. 1979)Procedure and Officer DetailsGo AheadUnder ControlIn PursuitTraffic Stop10-0'--'--'--'--Use caution10-1Receiving poorly.Receiving poorlyUnable to copy - change locationSignal WeakUnable to copy - change locationUnreadable10-2Receiving well.Receiving wellSignals goodSignal Good'--10-3Stop transmitting.Disregard last informationStop transmittingStop TransmittingStop transmitting10-4Acknowledgement.Message receivedAcknowledgementAffirmative (Ok)RogerRoger/Affirmative10-5Relay.RelayRelayRelay (To)Relay10-6Busy.Busy, stand byBusy -Stand by unless urgentBusyBusy10-7Out of service.Out of serviceOut of service (Give location and/or telephone number)Out of ServiceOut at ...Out of Service10-7 A'--Not Available10-7 B'--Off Radio10-8In service.In serviceIn serviceIn ServiceClearIn Service10-9Repeat, conditions bad.RepeatRepeatSay AgainSay againSay Again10-10Out of service--subject to call.On minor detail, subject to callFight in progressNegative'--10-11Dispatching too rapidly.Stay in serviceDog Case... On Duty'--On Radio10-12Officials or visitors present.Visitors or officials presentStand by (stop)Stand By (Stop)Stand byStand By10-13Advise weather and road conditions.Weather and road conditionsWeather and road reportExisting ConditionsWeather report/road report10-14Convoy or escort.Convoy or escortReport of prowlerMessage/Information'--Prepare to Copy10-15We have prisoner in custody.We have prisoner in custodyCivil disturbanceMessage DeliveredDisturbance10-16Pick up prisoner at ...Pick up prisoner atDomestic troubleReply to Message'--10-17Pick up papers at ...Pick up papers atMeet complainantEnroute'--Responding10-17 A'--'--'--'--Theft10-17 B'--'--'--'--Vandalism10-17 C'--'--'--'--Shoplifting10-18Complete present assignment as quickly as possible.Anything for us?Complete assignment quicklyUrgentUrgentPriority10-19Return to your station.Nothing for youReturn to ...(In) ContactReturn to ...10-20What is your location?LocationLocationLocationLocation10-21Call this station by telephone.Call ... by phoneCall ... by telephoneCall (...) by PhoneCall ...Telephone10-22Take no further action last information.Report in person to ...DisregardDisregardDisregardDisregard10-23Stand by until no interference cause to Iowa (Mo.) etc.Arrived at sceneArrived at sceneArrived at SceneOn scene10-24Trouble at station--unwelcome visitors--all units vicinity report at once.Finished with last assignmentAssignment completedAssignment Completed'--Available10-25Do you have contact with...?Operator or officer on duty?Report in person to (meet) ...Report to (Meet) ...Meet ... or contact ...10-26Can you obtain automobile registration information?Holding subject, rush replyDetaining subject, expediteEstimated Arrival TimeDetaining subject, expedite10-27Any answer our number...?Request driver's license informationDrivers license informationLicense/Permit InformationDrivers license information on ...10-28Check full registration information.Request full registration informationVehicle registration informationOwnership InformationRegistration information on ...10-29Check for wanted.Check record for wantedCheck records for wanted.Records CheckCheck for wanted on ...Emergency or Unusual10-30Does not conform to rules and regulations.Does not conform to rules and regulationsIllegal use of radioDanger/Caution'--Use Caution10-31Is lie detector available?Emergency basis, all squads, 10-11Crime in progressPick Up'--10-31 A'--'--'--'--Burglary10-31 B'--'--'--'--Robery10-31 C'--'--'--'--Homicide10-31 D'--'--'--'--Kidnapping10-31 E'--'--'--'--Shooting10-32Is drunkometer available?Chase, all squads stand byMan with gun... Units Needed (Specify)'--10-33Emergency traffic at this station--clear?Emergency traffic this stationEMERGENCYHelp Me Quick'--Help Officer10-34Clear for local dispatch?Trouble at station, assistance neededRiotTime'--10-35Confidential information.Major crime, blocadeMajor crime alert'--Reserved'--'--10-36Correct time?'--Correct time'--Reserved'--'--10-37Operator on duty?No rushInvestigate suspicious vehicle'--Reserved'--'--10-38Station report--satisfactory.Hurry, but do not use red light or sirenStopping suspicious vehicle (Give station complete description before stopping).'--Reserved'--Traffic stop on ...10-39Your Nr...delivered to addressee.Use red light and sirenUrgent-Use light and siren'--Reserved'--'--General UsePrivate Use10-40Advise if Officer...available for radio call.NotificationSilent run - No light or siren'--10-41Tune to ... kcs. for test with mobile unit or emergency service.Car change at ...Beginning tour of duty'--10-42'--Crew change at ...Ending tour of dutyOff duty10-43'--Take school crossingInformation'--10-44'--'--Request permission to leave patrol ... for ...Request for ...10-45'--'--Animal carcass in ... lane at ...'--10-46'--'--Assist motoristAssist motorist10-47'--'--Emergency road repairs needed'--10-48'--'--Traffic standard needs repairs'--10-49'--Hourly report markTraffic light outEast bound green light out (etc.)Accident and Vehicle Handling10-50'--Auto accident, property damage onlyAccident -- F, PI, PDTraffic (F, PD)Trafic
Hit and runInjuryNo injury reportedUnknownPrivate property, location10-51'--Auto accident, wrecker sentWrecker needed'--10-52'--Auto accident, personal injuries, ambulance sentAmbulance needed'--10-53'--Auto accident, fatalRoad blocked'--10-54'--'--Livestock on highway'--10-55'--Drunken driverIntoxicated driver'--10-56'--'--Intoxicated pedestrianDrunk pedestrian10-57'--'--Hit and run -- F, PI, PD'--10-58'--Is wrecker on the way?Direct traffic'--10-59'--Is ambulance on the way?Convoy or escort'--Net Message Handling10-60What is next item (message) number?What is your next message number?Squad in vicinity'--10-61Stand by for CW traffic on ... kcs.CW trafficPersonnel in area.'--10-62Unable to copy phone--use CW.Any answer our Nr. ...Reply to message'--10-63Net directed.TimePrepare to make written copyPrepare to copy10-64Net free.'--Message for local delivery'--10-65Clear for item (message) assignment?Clear for message assignmentNet message assignment'--10-66Clear for cancellation?Clear for cancellationMessage cancellation'--10-67Stations...carry this item (message).Clear for net messageClear to read net message'--10-68Repeat dispatch.'--Dispatch information'--10-69Have you dispatched...?'--Message received'--Fire10-70Net message (State net traffic).Fire, phone alarmFire alarmFire10-71Proceed with traffic in sequence (busy here).Box alarmAdvise nature of fire (size, type, and contents of building)'--10-72'--Second alarmReport progress on fire'--10-73'--Third alarmSmoke report'--10-74'--Fourth alarmNegativeNegative10-75'--Fifth alarmIn contact with'--10-76'--Fire equipment neededEn RouteEn route ...10-77'--Fire, grassETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)ETA (Estimated time of arrival)10-78'--Set up command postNeed assistanceRequest Assistance10-79'--Report progress on fireNotify coronerNotify coroner (to be done by phone whenever possible)The 80 series is reserved for assignment by nets for local use.Personal Favors'--10-80... tower lights at this station burned out.'--'--Chase10-81Officer Nr. ... will be at your station ...'--'--'--10-82Reserve room with bath at hotel for officer Nr. ...Reserve hotel roomReserve lodging'--10-83Have officer Nr. ... call this station by telephone.'--'--'--10-84Advise telephone Nr. ... your city that officer Nr. ... will not return this date.'--If meeting ... advise ETA'--10-85Officer ... left this station for ... (Jefferson City) (Des Moines) at ...'--Will be late'--10-86Officer ... left this station for ... at ...'--'--'--10-87Officer Nr. ... will be in ... if officer Nr. ... will be in.'--Pick up checks for distribution'--10-88What phone number shall we call to make station to station call to officer Nr. ...?Advise phone number for station to station callAdvise present telephone number of ...'--10-89Request radio service man be sent to this station...Radio transmission'--Bomb threatTechnical10-90Radio service man will be at your station ....Transmit on alternate frequencyBank alarmAlarm (type of alarm)10-91Prepare for inspection (date) ... (time) ...'--Unnecessary use of radioPick up prisoner10-92Your quality poor--transmitter apparently out of adjustment.'--'--Parking complaint10-93Frequencies to be checked this date.Frequency checkBlockade'--10-94Test--no modulation--for frequency check.Give me a testDrag racing'--10-95Test intermittently with normal modulation for ...'--'--Prisoner in custody10-96Test continuously with tone modulation for ...'--Mental subject'--10-97'--'--'--Check traffic signal10-98'--'--Prison or jail breakPrison/jail break10-99'--'--Records indicate wanted or stolenWanted/stolenClear Speech (c. 1971) (plain language to replace Ten Codes)Procedure Word/CodeMeaningROGERTo be used as acknowledgement.AFFIRMATIVETo be used when "yes" is needed.HELPTo be used when in danger and urgent assistance is needed.CODE ONEInforms all units to STANDBY - STOP TRANSMITTING. Do not transmit, except for emergency messages, while Code 1 is in effect. Dispatch shall announce, "Clear Code 1," when the condition is secured.CODE TWOIndicates an "urgent" call short of an "emergency" situation. A Code 2 call has priority over all other police activities except "emergencies".Proceed directly to Code 2 calls as quickly as is consistent with safety. Agents may, in exceptional cases, use their emergency equipment (both visual and audible to comply with state law) to transverse an otherwise clear intersection against a red traffic control device. Once clear of the intersection - turn off the emergency equipment.
CODE THREEIndicates an EMERGENCY call. Red lights and siren are authorized. Proceed as quickly as possible with due regard for safety, and in compliance with the laws governing emergency vehicles.CODE FOURUsed to indicate that sufficient units have responded to a location, or that assistance is not needed, or is no longer needed.CODE FIVEUsed when Wanted/Records checks are requested by an agent to alert the agent of a wanted felon, a person known to be dangerous or a person known to be mentally unstable.A backup unit shall be dispatched Code 2 on all Code 5's.
Personnel will NOT proceed with Code 5 details until the receiving unit requests same. The unit receiving a Code 5 will request the details when he is in a safe position to do so, which might not be until his backup arrives.
CODE SIXWhen an agent is dispatched to a traffic accident, and the dispatcher states, "Code 6," the agent will advise the drivers involved to proceed to the situation to file their reports. This will only be done if there are no injuries, no unusual circumstance and the vehicles are safely operable. Driver Exchange Forms will be completed at the scene to include the C. R. number.CODE SEVENIndicates "out of service - personal."CODE EIGHTAssist a fire department.
Doomsday Clock Is Set at 2 Minutes to Midnight, Closest Since 1950s - The New York Times
From left, Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environmental Institute; Lawrence M. Krauss, director of the Arizona State University Origins Project; Robert Rosner, a theoretical physicist at the University of Chicago; and Sharon A. Squassoni, research professor at George Washington University, at a news conference in Washington on Thursday to announce that the Doomsday Clock had been set to two minutes to midnight. Credit Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency The Doomsday Clock, a potent symbol of scientific concerns about humanity's possible annihilation, was advanced by 30 seconds on Thursday, to 2 minutes to midnight, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced in Washington.
The last time the clock was moved so close to midnight was in 1953, during the Cold War.
''In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago '-- and as dangerous as it has been since World War II,'' the bulletin's science and security board, which oversees the clock, said in a statement.
It cited the risks from North Korea's nuclear program; discord between Russia and the United States; tensions in the South China Sea; the buildup of the nuclear arsenals of Pakistan and India; and uncertainty over the Iran nuclear deal.
The scientists also warned that the sustained reductions in greenhouse gases needed to prevent disastrous warming of the planet had not yet occurred and cited the dangers that technology disruption is causing for democracies, including disinformation campaigns intended to manipulate elections and undermine confidence in democracy.
They also found that ''in 2017, the United States backed away from its longstanding leadership role in the world, reducing its commitment to seek common ground and undermining the overall effort toward solving pressing global governance challenges.''
The scientists cited, among other destabilizing factors, the harsh rhetoric President Trump has exchanged with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un; Mr. Trump's disavowal of the Iran deal; the hiring of climate-change deniers at the Environmental Protection Agency; and the administration's plans to remake and expand the nation's nuclear arsenal.
''Neither allies nor adversaries have been able to reliably predict U.S. actions '-- or understand when U.S. pronouncements are real, and when they are mere rhetoric,'' the scientists found. ''International diplomacy has been reduced to name-calling, giving it a surreal sense of unreality that makes the world security situation ever more threatening.''
The scientists added: ''To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger '-- and its immediacy.''
The clock was last set at 2 minutes to midnight in 1953, after the Americans and then the Soviets tested thermonuclear weapons for the first time, within six months of each other. That was also the year that the Korean War ended '-- or, some would argue, paused '-- and President Dwight D. Eisenhower unveiled Atoms for Peace, a program intended to convince Americans that nuclear energy could be used to support research, medicine and agriculture and not only to destroy.
That year, Eugene Rabinowitch, a former Manhattan Project scientist who co-founded the bulletin, wrote: ''The achievement of a thermonuclear explosion by the Soviet Union, following on the heels of the development of 'thermonuclear devices' in America, means that the time, dreaded by scientists since 1945, when each major nation will hold the power of destroying, at will, the urban civilization of any other nation, is close at hand.''
The clock has been adjusted many times since it debuted in 1947. Since 2010 '-- years before Mr. Trump's presidency '-- the needle has moved ever closer to midnight: 5 minutes in 2012, 3 minutes in 2015, and two and a half minutes last year.
Along with nuclear proliferation and climate change '-- which first factored into the setting of the clock in 2007 '-- the scientists said they were alarmed by the speed of technological change. They called on world leaders to manage the advances so that the benefits are reaped and the dangers countered.
They cited, among other threats, the hacking of computer systems that control financial and energy infrastructure; the development of autonomous weaponry that can make ''kill'' decisions without human supervision; and the possible misuse of synthetic biology, including the revolutionary Crispr-Cas9 gene-editing tool.
The clock does not lack for critics. For example, some say that warning people of danger actually induces political paralysis. Others question the judgments of the expert panel that oversees the clock '-- the bulletin's science and security board '-- including the finding that the safest moment was in 1991, right after the Cold War had ended.
The bulletin's scientists did not seem unduly alarmed in 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which, along with the early 1980s, was one of the moments when the United States and the Soviet Union came closest to catastrophic blows.
''One of the things about the clock is that it doesn't change in response to individual events,'' Lawrence M. Krauss, a cosmologist at Arizona State University and a member of the board, said in a phone interview on Thursday. ''It's really hard to compare, in an absolute sense, today to 1953. More important is whether the clock is closer to or farther from midnight. Is this year more dangerous than last?''
Mr. Krauss acknowledged that in the ''fake news'' era, some critics were likely to accuse the scientists of having a political agenda.
''People can say it's a scam, but the point of this is to encourage public discussion,'' he said. ''What you're trying to do is get people to act.'' He said the clock ''captures, for one day, deep existential threats that for most of the rest of the year aren't talked about.''
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on a treaty that was completed last July, said the advance of the Doomsday Clock was ''obviously deeply concerning and worrying and reflects where we are today.''
Speaking by phone from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ms. Fihn added: ''The risks for nuclear use have increased exceptionally these last years, so of course, doing nothing is not an option.'' Without disarmament, she said, ''these weapons will be used.''
Rick Gladstone contributed reporting.
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A9 of the New York edition with the headline: End of the World Is a Bit Closer, Scientists Fear . Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe
2018 Doomsday Clock Statement | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Statement from the President and CEOThe year just past proved perilous and chaotic, a year in which many of the risks foreshadowed in our last Clock statement came into full relief. In 2017, we saw reckless language in the nuclear realm heat up already dangerous situations and re-learned that minimizing evidence-based assessments regarding climate and other global challenges does not lead to better public policies.
Although the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focuses on nuclear risk, climate change, and emerging technologies, the nuclear landscape takes center stage in this year's Clock statement. Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions. Across the globe, nuclear weapons are poised to become more rather than less usable because of nations' investments in their nuclear arsenals. This is a concern that the Bulletin has been highlighting for some time, but momentum toward this new reality is increasing.
As you will see in the discussion that follows, the Bulletin's Science and Security Board has once again assessed progress'--actually, lack thereof'--in managing the technologies that can bring humanity both relief and harm. It is my hope that the statement focuses world attention on today's dangerous trajectory and urges leaders and citizens alike to redouble their efforts in committing to a path that advances the health and safety of the planet. The Board has provided recommendations for how we might go about achieving this end, and it is urgent that we take heed.
I commend the members of the Science and Security Board for the work they undertake every day to put us on a safer footing. As always, John Mecklin's talented pen has helped pull together wide-ranging contributions and allowed a large group of engaged experts to speak with one voice. The Bulletin couldn't serve its proper role without financial support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, and the many other foundations,
corporations, and individuals who contribute regularly to the Bulletin's mission. We are deeply grateful for this ongoing support.
It is urgent that, collectively, we put in the work necessary to produce a 2019 Clock statement that rewinds the Doomsday Clock. Get engaged, get involved, and help create that future. The time is now.
Rachel Bronson, PhD
President & CEO
25 January, 2018
It is now two minutes to midnightEditor's note: Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains. A printable PDF of this statement, complete with the President and CEO's statement and Science and Security Board biographies, is available here.
To: Leaders and citizens of the worldRe: Two minutes to midnightDate: January 25, 2018In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago'--and as dangerous as it has been since World War II.
The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea's nuclear weapons program made remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks to North Korea itself, other countries in the region, and the United States. Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions by both sides have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation.
But the dangers brewing on the Korean Peninsula were not the only nuclear risks evident in 2017: The United States and Russia remained at odds, continuing military exercises along the borders of NATO, undermining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), upgrading their nuclear arsenals, and eschewing arms control negotiations.
In the Asia-Pacific region, tensions over the South China Sea have increased, with relations between the United States and China insufficient to re-establish a stable security situation.
In South Asia, Pakistan and India have continued to build ever-larger arsenals of nuclear weapons.
And in the Middle East, uncertainty about continued US support for the landmark Iranian nuclear deal adds to a bleak overall picture.
To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger'--and its immediacy.
On the climate change front, the danger may seem less immediate, but avoiding catastrophic temperature increases in the long run requires urgent attention now. Global carbon dioxide emissions have not yet shown the beginnings of the sustained decline towards zero that must occur if ever-greater warming is to be avoided. The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse gas emissions to keep climate risks manageable, and so far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge.
Beyond the nuclear and climate domains, technological change is disrupting democracies around the world as states seek and exploit opportunities to use information technologies as weapons, among them internet-based deception campaigns aimed at undermining elections and popular confidence in institutions essential to free thought and global security.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board believes the perilous world security situation just described would, in itself, justify moving the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.
But there has also been a breakdown in the international order that has been dangerously exacerbated by recent US actions. In 2017, the United States backed away from its long-standing leadership role in the world, reducing its commitment to seek common ground and undermining the overall effort toward solving pressing global governance challenges. Neither allies nor adversaries have been able to reliably predict US actions'--or understand when US pronouncements are real, and when they are mere rhetoric. International diplomacy has been reduced to name-calling, giving it a surreal sense of unreality that makes the world security situation ever more threatening.
Because of the extraordinary danger of the current moment, the Science and Security Board today moves the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to catastrophe. It is now two minutes to midnight'--the closest the Clock has ever been to Doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.
The Science and Security Board hopes this resetting of the Clock will be interpreted exactly as it is meant'--as an urgent warning of global danger. The time for world leaders to address looming nuclear danger and the continuing march of climate change is long past. The time for the citizens of the world to demand such action is now:
The untenable nuclear threat. The risk that nuclear weapons may be used'--intentionally or because of miscalculation'--grew last year around the globe.
North Korea has long defied UN Security Council resolutions to cease its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, but the acceleration of its tests in 2017 reflects new resolve to acquire sophisticated nuclear weapons. North Korea has or soon will have capabilities to match its verbal threats'--specifically, a thermonuclear warhead and a ballistic missile that can carry it to the US mainland. In September, North Korea tested what experts assess to be a true two-stage thermonuclear device, and in November, it tested the Hwasong-15 missile, which experts believe has a range of over 8,000 kilometers. The United States and its allies, Japan and South Korea, responded with more frequent and larger military exercises, while China and Russia proposed a freeze by North Korea of nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a freeze in US exercises.
The failure to secure a temporary freeze in 2017 was unsurprising to observers of the downward spiral of nuclear rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The failure to rein in North Korea's nuclear program will reverberate not just in the Asia-Pacific, as neighboring countries review their security options, but more widely, as all countries consider the costs and benefits of the international framework of nonproliferation treaties and agreements.
Nuclear risks have been compounded by US-Russia relations that now feature more conflict than cooperation. Coordination on nuclear risk reduction is all but dead, and no solution to disputes over the INF Treaty'--a landmark agreement to rid Europe of medium-range nuclear missiles'--is readily apparent. Both sides allege violations, but Russia's deployment of a new ground-launched cruise missile, if not addressed, could trigger a collapse of the treaty. Such a collapse would make what should have been a relatively easy five-year
extension of the New START arms control pact much harder to achieve and could terminate an arms control process that dates back to the early 1970s.
For the first time in many years, in fact, no US-Russian nuclear arms control negotiations are under way. New strategic stability talks begun in April are potentially useful, but so far they lack the energy and political commitment required for them to bear fruit. More important, Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea and semi-covert support of separatists in eastern Ukraine have sparked concerns that Russia will support similar ''hybrid'' conflicts in new NATO members that it borders'--actions that could provoke a crisis at almost any time. Additional clash points could emerge if Russia attempts to exploit friction between the United States and its NATO partners, whether arising from disputes on burden-sharing, European Union membership, and trade'--or relating to policies on Israel, Iran, and terrorism in the Middle East.
In the past year, US allies have needed reassurance about American intentions more than ever. Instead, they have been forced to negotiate a thicket of conflicting policy statements from a US administration weakened in its cadre of foreign policy professionals, suffering from turnover in senior leadership, led by an undisciplined and disruptive president, and unable to develop, coordinate, and clearly communicate a coherent nuclear policy. This inconsistency constitutes a major challenge for deterrence, alliance management, and global stability. It has made the existing nuclear risks greater than necessary and added to their complexity.
Especially in the case of the Iran nuclear deal, allies are perplexed. While President Trump has steadfastly opposed the agreement that his predecessor and US allies negotiated to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, he has never successfully articulated practical alternatives. His instruction to Congress in 2017 to legislate a different approach resulted in a stalemate. The future of the Iran deal, at this writing, remains uncertain.
In the United States, Russia, and elsewhere around the world, plans for nuclear force modernization and development continue apace. The Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review appears likely to increase the types and roles of nuclear weapons in US defense plans and lower the threshold to nuclear use. In South Asia, emphasis on nuclear and missile capabilities grows. Conventional force imbalances and destabilizing plans for nuclear weapons use early in any conflict continue to plague the subcontinent.
Reflecting long decades of frustration with slow progress toward nuclear disarmament, states signed a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the ban treaty, at the United Nations this past September. The treaty'--championed by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work'--is a symbolic victory for those seeking a world without nuclear weapons and a strong expression of the frustration with global disarmament efforts to date. Predictably, countries with nuclear weapons boycotted the negotiations, and none has signed the ban treaty. Their increased reliance on nuclear weapons, threats, and doctrines that could make the use of those weapons more likely stands in stark contrast to the expectations of the rest of the world.
An insufficient response to climate change. Last year, the US government pursued unwise and ineffectual policies on climate change, following through on a promise to derail past US climate policies. The Trump administration, which includes avowed climate denialists in top positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, and other key agencies, has announced its plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. In its rush to dismantle rational climate and energy policy, the administration has ignored scientific fact and well-founded economic analyses.
These US government climate decisions transpired against a backdrop of worsening climate change and high-impact weather-
related disasters. This year past, the Caribbean region and other parts of North America suffered a season of historic damage from exceedingly powerful hurricanes. Extreme heat waves occurred in Australia, South America, Asia, Europe, and California, with mounting evidence that heat-related illness and death are correspondingly increasing. The Arctic ice cap achieved its smallest-ever winter maximum in 2017, the third year in a row that this record has been broken. The United States has witnessed devastating wildfires, likely exacerbated by extreme drought and subsequent heavy rains that spurred underbrush growth. When the data are assessed, 2017 is almost certain to continue the trend of exceptional global warmth: All the warmest years in the instrumental record, which extends back to the 1800s, have'--excepting one year in the late 1990s'--occurred in the 21st century.
Despite the sophisticated disinformation campaign run by climate denialists, the unfolding consequences of an altered climate are a harrowing testament to an undeniable reality: The science linking climate change to human activity'--mainly the burning of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases'--is sound. The world continues to warm as costly impacts mount, and there is evidence that overall rates of sea level rise are accelerating'--regardless of protestations to the contrary.
Especially against these trends, it is heartening that the US government's defection from the Paris Agreement did not prompt its unravelling or diminish its support within the United States at large. The ''We Are Still In'' movement signals a strong commitment within the United States'--by some 1,700 businesses, 250 cities, 200 communities of faith, and nine states, representing more than 40 percent of the US population'--to its international climate commitments and to the validity of scientific facts.
This reaffirmation is reassuring, and other countries have maintained their steadfast support for climate action, reconfirmed their commitments to global climate cooperation, and clearly acknowledged that more needs to be done. French President Emmanuel Macron's sober message to global leaders assembled at December's global climate summit in Paris was a reality check after the heady climate negotiations his country hosted two years earlier: ''We're losing the battle. We're not moving quickly enough. We all need to act.'' And indeed, after plateauing for a few years, greenhouse gas emissions resumed their stubborn rise in 2017.
As we have noted before, the true measure of the Paris Agreement is whether nations actually fulfill their pledges to cut emissions, strengthen those pledges, and see to it that global greenhouse gas emissions start declining in short order and head toward zero. As we drift yet farther from this goal, the urgency of shifting course becomes greater, and the existential threat posed by climate change looms larger.
Emerging technologies and global risk. The Science and Security Board is deeply concerned about the loss of public trust in political institutions, in the media, in science, and in facts themselves'--a loss that the abuse of information technology has fostered. Attempts to intervene in elections through sophisticated hacking operations and the spread of disinformation have threatened democracy, which relies on an informed electorate to reach reasonable decisions on public policy'--including policy relating to nuclear weapons, climate change, and other global threats. Meanwhile, corporate leaders in the information domain, including established media outlets and internet companies such as Facebook and Google, have been slow to adopt protocols to prevent misuse of their services and protect citizens from manipulation. The international community should establish new measures
that discourage and penalize all cross-border subversions of democracy.
Last year, the Science and Security Board warned that ''[t]echnological innovation is occurring at a speed that challenges society's ability to keep pace. While limited at the current time, potentially existential threats posed by a host of emerging technologies need to be monitored, and to the extent possible anticipated, as the 21st century unfolds.''
If anything, the velocity of technological change has only increased in the past year, and so our warning holds for 2018. But beyond monitoring advances in emerging technology, the board believes that world leaders also need to seek better collective methods of managing those advances, so the positive aspects of new technologies are encouraged and malign uses discovered and countered. The sophisticated hacking of the ''Internet of Things,'' including computer systems that control major financial and power infrastructure and have access to more than 20 billion personal devices; the development of autonomous weaponry that makes ''kill'' decisions without human supervision; and the possible misuse of advances in synthetic biology, including the revolutionary Crispr gene-editing tool, already pose potential global security risks. Those risks could expand without strong public institutions and new management regimes. The increasing pace of technological change requires faster development of those tools.
How to turn back the Clock. In 1953, former Manhattan Project scientist and Bulletin editor Eugene Rabinowitch set the hands of the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, writing, ''The achievement of a thermonuclear explosion by the Soviet Union, following on the heels of the development of 'thermonuclear devices' in America, means that the time, dreaded by scientists since 1945, when each major nation will hold the power of destroying, at will, the urban
civilization of any other nation, is close at hand.''
The Science and Security Board now again moves the hands of the Clock to two minutes before midnight. But the current, extremely dangerous state of world affairs need not be permanent. The means for managing dangerous technology and reducing global-scale risk exist; indeed, many of them are well-known and within society's reach, if leaders pay reasonable attention to preserving the long-term prospects of humanity, and if citizens demand that they do so.
This is a dangerous time, but the danger is of our own making. Humankind has invented the implements of apocalypse; so can it invent the methods of controlling and eventually eliminating them. This year, leaders and citizens of the world can move the Doomsday Clock and the world away from the metaphorical midnight of global catastrophe by taking these common-sense actions:
' US President Donald Trump should refrain from provocative rhetoric regarding North Korea, recognizing the impossibility of predicting North Korean reactions.
' The US and North Korean governments should open multiple channels of communication. At a minimum, military-to-military communications can help reduce the likelihood of inadvertent war on the Korean Peninsula. Keeping diplomatic channels open for talks without preconditions is another common-sense way to reduce tensions. As leading security expert Siegfried Hecker of Stanford University recently wrote: ''Such talks should not be seen as a reward or concession to Pyongyang, nor construed as signaling acceptance of a nuclear-armed North Korea. They could, however, deliver the message that while Washington fully intends to defend itself and its allies from any attack with a devastating retaliatory response, it does not otherwise intend to attack North Korea or pursue regime change."
' The world community should pursue, as a short-term goal, the cessation of North Korea's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile tests. North Korea is the only country to violate the norm against nuclear testing in 20 years. Over time, the United States should seek North Korea's signature on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty'--and then, along with China, at long last also ratify the treaty.
' The Trump administration should abide by the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for Iran's nuclear program unless credible evidence emerges that Iran is not complying with the agreement or Iran agrees to an alternative approach that meets US national security needs.
' The United States and Russia should discuss and adopt measures to prevent peacetime military incidents along the borders of NATO. Provocative military exercises and maneuvers hold the potential for crisis escalation. Both militaries must exercise restraint and professionalism, adhering to all norms developed to avoid conflict and accidental encounters.
' US and Russian leaders should return to the negotiating table to resolve differences over the INF treaty; to seek further reductions in nuclear arms; to discuss a lowering of the alert status of the nuclear arsenals of both countries; to limit nuclear modernization programs that threaten to create a new nuclear arms race; and to ensure that new tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons are not built and that existing tactical weapons are never used on the battlefield.
' US citizens should demand, in all legal ways, climate action from their government. Climate change is a real and serious threat to humanity. Citizens should insist that their governments acknowledge it and act accordingly.
' Governments around the world should redouble their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so they go well beyond the initial, inadequate pledges under the Paris Agreement. The temperature goal under that agreement'--to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels'--is consistent with consensus views on climate science, is eminently achievable, and is
economically viable, provided that poorer countries are given the support they need to make the post-carbon transition. But the time window for achieving this goal is rapidly closing.
' The international community should establish new protocols to discourage and penalize the misuse of information technology to undermine public trust in political institutions, in the media, in science, and in the existence of objective reality itself. Strong and accountable institutions are necessary to prevent deception campaigns that are a real threat to effective democracies, reducing their ability to enact policies to address nuclear weapons, climate change, and other global dangers.
' The countries of the world should collaborate on creating institutions specifically assigned to explore and address potentially malign or catastrophic misuses of new technologies, particularly as regards autonomous weaponry that makes ''kill'' decisions without human supervision and advances in synthetic biology that could, if misused, pose a global threat.
The failure of world leaders to address the largest threats to humanity's future is lamentable'--but that failure can be reversed. It is two minutes to midnight, but the Doomsday Clock has ticked away from midnight in the past, and during the next year, the world can again move it further from apocalypse. The warning the Science and Security Board now sends is clear, the danger obvious and imminent. The opportunity to reduce the danger is equally clear.
The world has seen the threat posed by the misuse of information technology and witnessed the vulnerability of democracies to disinformation. But there is a flip side to the abuse of social media. Leaders react when citizens insist they do so, and citizens around the world can use the power of the internet to improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren. They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change. They can seize the opportunity to make a safer and saner world.
They can #rewindtheDoomsdayClock.
Rachel Bronson is the President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, where she oversees the publishing programs, the management of the Doomsday Clock, and a growing set of activities around nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. Before joining the Bulletin, she served as vice president for Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, adjunct professor of ''Global Energy'' at the Kellogg School of Management, and senior fellow and director of Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, among other positions. Her book, Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford University Press, 2006), has been translated into Japanese and published in paperback. Her writings and commentary have appeared in outlets including Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, ''PBS NewsHour,'' ''Charlie Rose,'' and ''The Daily Show.'' Bronson has served as a consultant to NBC News and testified before the congressional Task Force on Anti-Terrorism and Proliferation Financing, Congress's Joint Economic Committee, and the 9/11 Commission.
Lynn Eden is Senior Research Scholar (Emeritus) at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation. Eden is also co-chair of US Pugwash and a member of the International Pugwash Council. Her scholarly work focuses on the military and society; science, technology, and organizations; and US nuclear weapons history and policy. Eden's Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation won the American Sociological Association's 2004 Robert K. Merton award for best book in science and technology studies. Her current research and writing (mostly historical) ask how a specific US military planning organization has enabled very good people to plan what, if put into action, could or would result in the deaths of tens or hundreds of millions of people. In other words, how do US military officers make plans to fight and prevail in nuclear war?
Rod Ewing is the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security in the Center for International Security and Cooperation in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the School of Earth, Environmental and Energy Sciences at Stanford University. Ewing's research focuses on the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, mainly nuclear materials and the geochemistry of radionuclides. He is the past president of the International Union of Materials Research Societies. Ewing has written extensively on issues related to nuclear waste management and is co-editor of Radioactive Waste Forms for the Future and Uncertainty Underground:Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste. He received the Lomonosov Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006.
Daniel Holz is an Associate Professor in Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on general relativity in the context of astrophysics and cosmology. He is a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration, and was part of the team that announced the first detection of gravitational waves in early 2016. He received a 2012 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2015 Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2016, and was selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. Holz received his PhD in physics from the University of Chicago and his AB in physics from Princeton University.
Sivan Kartha is a Senior Scientist at Stockholm Environmental Institute whose research and publications for the past 20 years have focused on technological options and policy strategies for addressing climate change, concentrating most recently on equity and efficiency in the design of an
international climate regime. He is a co-Leader of SEI's Gender and Social Equity Programme, and co-Director of the Climate Equity Reference Project. His current work deals primarily with the economic, political, and ethical dimensions of equitably sharing the effort of an ambitious global response to climate change. Dr. Kartha has also worked on mitigation scenarios, market mechanisms for climate actions, and the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of biomass energy. His work has enabled him to advise and collaborate with diverse organizations, including the UN Climate Convention Secretariat, various United Nations and World Bank programs, numerous government policy-making bodies and agencies, foundations, and civil society organizations throughout the developing and industrialized world. He served as a Coordinating Lead Author in the preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in 2014, co-leading the chapter on Equity and Sustainable Development.
Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999 and has written extensively on science and climate change to great acclaim. Her most recent book, The Sixth Extinction, won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. Kolbert is also known for her book Field Notes From a Catastrophe, based on her three-part series on global warming, ''The Climate of Man,'' which won the 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest and the AAAS Advancement of Science Journalism Award. She is also a recipient of a Heinz Award (for educating the public about environmental issues) and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Lawrence Krauss (Chair'--Board of Sponsors) is the director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and Foundation Professor at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics
and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has written 10 books, including the international bestsellers The Physics of Star Trek, A Universe from Nothing, and his latest book, The Greatest Story Ever Told'--So Far, which was released last year. He writes regularly for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times and The New Yorker, and frequently appears on radio and television, as well as, most recently, in several feature films. Among his numerous awards for research and outreach, he was awarded the 2012 Public Service Award from the National Science Board for his contributions to the public understanding of science. Krauss is the only physicist to have been awarded the three major awards from the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, and the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Herb Lin is Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University. He is particularly interested in the use of offensive operations in cyberspace, especially as instruments of national policy.
Suzet McKinney is the CEO/Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District Commission. She is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health, where she oversaw the emergency preparedness efforts for the department and coordinated those efforts within the larger spectrum of Chicago's public safety activities. A sought-after expert in her field, McKinney also provides support to the US Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, to provide subject matter expertise in biological terrorism preparedness to international agencies. She is the author of the forthcoming text: Public Health Emergency Preparedness: Practical Solutions for the Real World, published by Jones & Bartlett Publishers (2018).
Steve Miller is the Director of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he is chair of the Committee on International Security Studies (CISS). Miller is also Co-Chair of the US Pugwash Committee, and is a member of the Council of International Pugwash. Miller co-directs the Academy's project on the Global Nuclear Future Initiative with the Bulletin's Science and Security Board Chair, Robert Rosner.
Raymond Pierrehumbert is Halley Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. He was a lead author on the IPCC Third Assessment Report, and a co-author of the National Research Council report on abrupt climate change. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, which was used to launch collaborative work on the climate of Early Mars with collaborators in Paris. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes AcadeÌmiques by the Republic of France. Pierrehumbert's central research interest is the use of fundamental physical principles to elucidate the behavior of the present and past climates of Earth and other planets, including the growing catalog of exoplanets. He leads the European Research Council Advance Grant project EXOCONDENSE.
Ramamurti Rajaraman is an emeritus professor of physics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is a founding member and former co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials. He is also currently a member of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network, Council of the Pugwash Conference on Science & World Affairs, the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Mitigation of Terrorist Acts, World Federation of Scientists (Erice, Italy), the Editorial Board of ''Science and Global Security,'' and of the Board of Governors of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (New Delhi).
His research areas in pure physics include nuclear theory, particle physics, quantum field theory, quantum Hall systems, anomalous gauge theories, and Soliton physics. He has also worked on areas of public policy including higher education, nuclear energy and disarmament. The latter body of work was recognized by the 2014 Leo Szilard Lectureship Award by the American Physical Society. His work covers nuclear weapon accidents, civil defense, India's nuclear doctrine, minimal deterrence and anti-missile and early warning systems. He has analyzed the Indo-US nuclear agreement and its impact on both India's civilian nuclear program and its nuclear arsenal. He has written about fissile material production in India and Pakistan and the radiological effects of nuclear weapon accidents.
Robert Rosner (Chair) is the chair of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board and is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. Rosner served as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, where he had also served as Chief Scientist. His current scientific research is mostly in the areas of plasma astrophysics and astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics; high energy density physics; boundary mixing instabilities; and computational physics. His policy-oriented work has focused on the future of nuclear power and the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as various aspects of electrifying the transport sector.
Jennifer Sims is currently a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and is writing a book on intelligence in international politics. She is also a consultant on intelligence and homeland security for private corporations and the US government. In 2008, the president of the United States appointed her to the Public Interest Declassification Board, which advises the president on the declassification policies of the US government. Sims received her MA and her PhD from Johns Hopkins University's
School of Advanced International Studies. In 1998, Sims received the intelligence community's highest civilian award, the National Distinguished Service Medal.
Susan Solomon is the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was the Founding Director of the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative from 2014-2015. She is well known for pioneering work that explained why there is a hole in the Antarctic ozone layer and is the author of several influential scientific papers in climate science. Solomon received the 1999 US National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific award, in 1999. She has also received the Grande Medaille of the French Academy of Sciences, the Blue Planet Prize in Japan, the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and the Volvo Environment Prize. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society in the UK. She served as co-chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fourth climate science assessment report, released in 2007. Time magazine named Solomon as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.
Richard Somerville is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His research is focused on critical physical processes in the climate system, especially the role of clouds and the important feedbacks that can occur as clouds change with a changing climate. His broader interests include all aspects of climate, including climate science outreach and the interface between science and public policy. He was a Coordinating Lead Author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize equally with Al Gore. Somerville is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He has received both the Climate Communication Prize and the Ambassador Award of the American Geophysical Union, as well as awards from the American Meteorological Society for both his research and his popular book, The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change.
Sharon Squassoni is Research Professor at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs, at the George Washington University. Previously, she directed the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and was a senior scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, both in Washington, DC. She has specialized in nuclear nonproliferation, arms control and security policy for three decades, serving in the US government at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the State Department, and the Congressional Research Service. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany, a master's in public management from the University of Maryland, and a master's in national security strategy from the National War College.
David Titley is a Professor of Practice in Meteorology and a Professor of International Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University, and the founding director of Penn State's Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He served as a naval officer for 32 years and rose to the rank of rear admiral. Dr. Titley's career included duties as commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; oceanographer and navigator of the Navy; and deputy assistant chief of naval operations for information dominance. He also served as senior military assistant for the director, Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the US Navy's Task
Force on Climate Change. After retiring from the Navy, Dr. Titley served as the deputy undersecretary of commerce for operations, the chief operating officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Titley serves on numerous advisory boards and National Academies of Science committees, including the CNA Military Advisory Board and the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Dr. Titley is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Jon Wolfsthal is director of the Nuclear Crisis Group, an independent project of Global Zero. Wolfsthal served previously as Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs and senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation. During his time in government he was involved in almost every aspect of US nuclear weapons, arms control, nonproliferation and security policy. Previously, Wolfsthal was the Deputy Director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and served for three years as special advisor to Vice President Biden on issues of nuclear security and nonproliferation. He served in several capacities during the 1990s at the US Department of Energy, including an on-the-ground assignment in North Korea during 1995-96. With Joseph Cirincione, he is the author of Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is a non-resident fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and with the Managing the Atom Project at Harvard University.
EditorJohn Mecklin is the editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Previously, Mecklin was editor-in-chief of Miller-McCune (since renamed Pacific Standard), an award-winning national magazine that focused on research-based solutions to major policy problems. Over the preceding 15 years, he was also: the editor of High Country News, a nationally acclaimed magazine that
reports on the American West; the consulting executive editor for the launch of Key West, a regional magazine start-up directed by renowned magazine guru Roger Black; and the top editor for award-winning newsweeklies in San Francisco and Phoenix. In an earlier incarnation, he was an investigative reporter at the Houston Post and covered the Persian Gulf War from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Writers working at his direction have won many major journalism contests, including the George Polk Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editors certificate. Mecklin holds a master in public administration degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
About the Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsThe Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists engages science leaders, policy makers, and the interested public on the topics of nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. We do this through our award-winning journal, iconic Doomsday Clock, public-access website, and regular set of convenings. With smart, vigorous prose, multimedia presentations, and information graphics, the Bulletin puts issues and events into context and provides fact-based debates and assessments. For more than 70 years, the Bulletin has bridged the technology divide between scientific research, foreign policy, and public engagement.
The Bulletin was founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists who ''could not remain aloof to the consequences of their work.'' The organization's early years chronicled the dawn of the nuclear age and the birth of the scientists' movement, as told by the men and women who built the atomic bomb and then lobbied with both technical and humanist arguments for its abolition.
Today, the Bulletin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. With our international network of board members and experts, we assess scientific advancements that involve both benefits and risks to humanity, with the goal of influencing public policy to protect our planet and all its inhabitants.
The Bulletin's website is a robust public and research-oriented source of detailed reports and cogent analysis from the scientists and experts who are directly involved. It receives an average of more than 230,000 visits per month. The bimonthly magazine, which can be found in more than 15,000 leading universities and institutions worldwide, attracts a large number of influential readers. About half of the Bulletin's website and journal readers reside outside the United States. Half of the visitors to its website are under the age of 35.
The Bulletin's signature strength is its capacity to synthesize and inform by linking critical issues, treaty negotiations, and scientific assessments to threats represented by the iconic Doomsday Clock. The Clock attracts more daily visitors to our site than any other feature, and commands worldwide attention when the Bulletin issues periodic assessments of global threats and solutions.
In 2007 the Bulletin won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence, the magazine industry equivalent of an Oscar for Best Picture. The Bulletin also was named one of four 2009 finalists for the Lumity Technology Leadership Award, presented by Accenture to a nonprofit organization that is effectively applying innovative technologies. Today, the Bulletin supplements its cutting-edge journalism with interactive infographics and videos, and amplifies its messages through social media platforms.
To advance the Bulletin as a thriving public forum over the next 70 years, we are opening more channels between scientific and policy leaders as we increase our outreach to supporters all over the world. Two partnerships are key to these efforts'--one with the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy and the other with Routledge, publisher of our digital journal since January 2016.
See more at: https://thebulletin.org
2017 IT IS TWO AND A HALF MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: ''The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.'' In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way.2016 IT IS STILL 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT ''Last year, the Science and Security Board moved the Doomsday Clock forward to three minutes to midnight, noting: 'The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.' That probability has not been reduced. The Clock ticks. Global danger looms. Wise leaders should act'--immediately.''2015 IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT ''Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.'' Despite some modestly positive developments in the climate change arena, current efforts are entirely insufficient to prevent a catastrophic warming of Earth. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have embarked on massive programs tomodernize their nuclear triads'--thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties. ''The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty'-- ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.''
2012 IT IS 5 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT ''The challenges to rid the world of nuclear weapons, harness nuclear power, and meet the nearly inexorable climate disruptions from global warming are complex and interconnected. In the face of such complex problems, it is difficult to see where the capacity lies to address these challenges.'' Political processes seem wholly inadequate; the potential for nuclear weapons use in regional conflicts in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and South Asia are alarming; safer nuclear reactor designs need to be developed and built, and more stringent oversight, training, and attention are needed to prevent future disasters; the pace of technological solutions to address climate change may not be adequate to meet the hardships that large-scale disruption of the climate portends.2010 IT IS 6 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT International cooperation rules the day. Talks between Washington and Moscow for a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty are nearly complete, and more negotiations for further reductions in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenal are already planned. Additionally, Barack Obama becomes the first U.S. president to publicly call for a nuclear-weapon-free world. The dangers posed by climate change are still great, but there are pockets of progress. Most notably: At Copenhagen, the developing and industrialized countries agree to take responsibility for carbon emissions and to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.
2007 IT IS 5 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT The world stands at the brink of a second nuclear age. The United States and Russia remain ready to stage a nuclear attack within minutes, North Korea conducts a nuclear test, and many in the international community worry that Iran plans to acquire the Bomb. Climate change also presents a dire challenge to humanity. Damage to ecosystems is already taking place; flooding, destructive storms, increased drought, and polar ice melt are causing loss of life and property.2002 IT IS 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Concerns regarding a nuclear terrorist attack underscore the enormous amount of unsecured'--and sometimes unaccounted for'--weapon-grade nuclear materials located throughout the world. Meanwhile, the United States expresses a desire to design new nuclear weapons, with an emphasis on those able to destroy hardened and deeply buried targets. It also rejects a series of arms control treaties and announces it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.1998 IT IS 9 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT India and Pakistan stage nuclear weapons tests only three weeks apart. ''The tests are a symptom of the failure of the international community to fully commit itself to control the spread of nuclear weapons'-- and to work toward substantial reductions in the numbers of these weapons,'' a dismayed Bulletin reports. Russia and the United States continue to serve as poor examples to the rest of the world. Together, they still maintain 7,000 warheads ready to fire at each other within 15 minutes.1995 IT IS 14 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Hopes for a large post-Cold War peace dividend and a renouncing of nuclear weapons fade. Particularly in the United States, hard-liners seem reluctant to soften their rhetoric or actions, as they claim that a resurgent Russia could provide as much of a threat as the Soviet Union. Suchtalk slows the rollback in global nuclear forces; more than 40,000 nuclear weapons remain worldwide. There is also concern that terrorists could exploit poorly secured nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union.
1991 IT IS 17 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT With the Cold War officially over, the United States and Russia begin making deep cuts to their nuclear arsenals. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty greatly reduces the number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by the two former adversaries. Better still, a series of unilateral initiatives remove most of the intercontinental ballistic missiles and bombers in both countries from hair-trigger alert. ''The illusion that tens of thousands of nuclear weapons are a guarantor of national security has been stripped away,'' the Bulletin declares.1990 IT IS 10 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT As one Eastern European country after another (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania) frees itself from Soviet control, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev refuses to intervene, halting the ideological battle for Europe and significantly diminishing the risk of all-out nuclear war. In late 1989, the Berlin Wall falls, symbolically ending the Cold War. ''Forty-four years after Winston Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' speech, the myth of monolithic communism has been shattered for all to see,'' the Bulletin proclaims.1988 IT IS 6 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT The United States and Soviet Union sign the historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the first agreement to actually ban a whole category of nuclear weapons. The leadership shown by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev makes the treaty a reality, but public opposition to U.S. nuclear weapons in Western Europe inspires it. For years, such intermediate-range missiles had kept Western Europe in the crosshairs of the two superpowers.
1984 IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT U.S.-Soviet relations reach their iciest point in decades. Dialogue between the two superpowers virtually stops. ''Every channel of communications has been constricted or shut down; every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off. And arms control negotiations have been reduced to a species of propaganda,'' a concerned Bulletin informs readers. The United States seems to flout the few arms control agreements in place by seeking an expansive, space-based anti-ballistic missile capability, raising worries that a new arms race will begin.1981 IT IS 4 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan hardens the U.S. nuclear posture. Before he leaves office, President Jimmy Carter pulls the United States from the Olympic Games in Moscow and considers ways in which the United States could win a nuclear war. The rhetoric only intensifies with the election of Ronald Reagan as president. Reagan scraps any talk of arms control and proposes that the best way to end the Cold War is for the United States to win it.1980 IT IS 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Thirty-five years after the start of the nuclear age and after some promising disarmament gains, the United States and the Soviet Union still view nuclear weapons as an integral component of their national security. This stalled progress discourages the Bulletin: ''[The Soviet Union and United States have] been behaving like what may best be described as 'nucleoholics''--drunks who continue to insist that the drink being consumed is positively 'the last one,' but who can always find a good excuse for 'just one more round.'''1974 IT IS 9 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT South Asia gets the Bomb, as India tests its first nuclear device. And any gains in previous arms control agreements seem like a mirage. The United States and Soviet Union appear to be modernizing their nuclear forces, not reducing them. Thanks to the deployment of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV), both countries can now load their intercontinental ballistic missiles with more nuclear warheads than before.1972 IT IS 12 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT The United States and Soviet Union attempt to curb the race for nuclear superiority by signing the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The two treaties force a nuclear parity of sorts. SALT limits the number of ballistic missile launchers either country can possess, and the ABM Treaty stops an arms race in defensive weaponry from developing.1969 IT IS 10 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Nearly all of the world's nations come together to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The deal is simple'--the nuclear weapon states vow to help the treaty's non-nuclear weapon signatories develop nuclear power if they promise to forego producing nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapon states also pledge to abolish their own arsenals when political conditions allow for it. Although Israel, India, and Pakistan refuse to sign the treaty, the Bulletin is cautiously optimistic: ''The great powers have made the first step. They must proceed without delay to the next one'--the dismantling, gradually, of their own oversized military establishments.''
1968 IT IS 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Regional wars rage. U.S. involvement in Vietnam intensifies, India and Pakistan battle in 1965, and Israel and its Arab neighbors renew hostilities in 1967. Worse yet, France and China develop nuclear weapons to assert themselves as global players. ''There is little reason to feel sanguine about the future of our society on the world scale,'' the Bulletin laments. ''There is a mass revulsion against war, yes; but no sign of conscious intellectual leadership in a rebellion against the deadly heritage of international anarchy.''1963 IT IS 12 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT After a decade of almost non-stop nuclear tests, the United States and Soviet Union sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which ends all atmospheric nuclear testing. While it does not outlaw underground testing, the treaty represents progress in at least slowing the arms race. It also signals awareness among the Soviets and United States that they need to work together to prevent nuclear annihilation.1960 IT IS 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Political actions belie the tough talk of ''massive retaliation.'' For the first time, the United States and Soviet Union appear eager to avoid direct confrontation in regional conflicts such as the 1956 Egyptian-Israeli dispute. Joint projects that build trust and constructive dialogue between third parties also quell diplomatic hostilities. Scientists initiate many of these measures, helping establish the International Geophysical Year, a series of coordinated, worldwide scientific observations, and the Pugwash Conferences, which allow Soviet and American scientists to interact.
1953 IT IS 2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT After much debate, the United States decides to pursue the hydrogen bomb, a weapon far more powerful than any atomic bomb. In October 1952, the United States tests its first thermonuclear device, obliterating a Pacific Ocean islet in the process; nine months later, the Soviets test an H-bomb of their own. ''The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again,'' the Bulletin announces. ''Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization.''1949 IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT The Soviet Union denies it, but in the fall, President Harry Truman tells the American public that the Soviets tested their first nuclear device, officially starting the arms race. ''We do not advise Americans that doomsday is near and that they can expect atomic bombs to start falling on their heads a month or year from now,'' the Bulletin explains. ''But we think they have reason to be deeply alarmed and to be prepared for grave decisions.''1947 IT IS 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT As the Bulletin evolves from a newsletter into a magazine, the Clock appears on the cover for the first time. It symbolizes the urgency of the nuclear dangers that the magazine's founders'--and the broader scientific community'--are trying to convey to the public and political leaders around the world.
Apple to take on messaging rivals with launch of Business Chat | TechCrunch
Apple is preparing to roll out a new feature in iMessage that will allow consumers to chat directly with businesses through Apple's messaging platform. The feature, called Business Chat, was announced last year at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, and will debut this spring with launch partners including Discover, Hilton, Lowe's and Wells Fargo.
The feature will allow consumers to talk to a business's service rep in iMessage, make payments via Apple Pay, and schedule appointments, depending on the business's needs.
The move represents a major push by Apple to shift B2C communications, payments, and customer service to its own messaging platform, and away from tech companies that today dominate business messaging, like Facebook Messenger, Google, Twitter, and, as of this month, WhatsApp, which has just launched its own WhatsApp Business app.
While it may seem like an odd fit to chat with businesses in iMessage where people today keep up with friends and family via personal conversations, it's not surprising to see that Apple is entering this space.
After all, iMessage isn't often considered the first place you check for business communications, beyond the occasional appointment reminder text or an alert from your bank.
But that could easily change. The demand for business messaging is growing, not only in the U.S., but also in emerging markets that skipped the PC cycle altogether and are joining the web for the first time via smartphones. For them, messaging a business feels as natural as shooting off an email to customer service seems to those of us who grew up with computers.
Plus, a majority of consumers said they would rather message a business than call customer service, according to a Facebook-commissioned study by Nielsen released last fall, which found that 56 percent want to text, not phone. A further 67 percent said they expect more to message more businesses over the next two years.
That said, Apple will not be without sizable challenges as it enters this market, given the size and scale of the platforms it's going up against with its new Business Chat feature.
Facebook Messenger, for example, already has some 1.3 billion users on its app, which is connected with Facebook's wider social network where businesses can manage their own presence, through branded Pages, posts, media, promotions and advertising. Facebook said last year that 80 percent of its then 65 million active businesses were using Messenger to reach customers. It's also been expanding B2C communications on Instagram, as well '' an app that has also begun testing a standalone mobile messenger.
WhatsApp, meanwhile, may have only just entered the space with WhatsApp Business, but its service also has 1.3 billion users and traction in emerging markets, like India.
You also have Google, often the starting place for many people looking to find business contact information via the web, and which offers a similar chat solution through Google My Business.
And then there's Twitter, a service that has become the de facto place for making general customer service complaints, in the hopes that your angry tweet will be seen by the company and handled. Twitter has doubled down in this area, too, by offering a suite of tools to companies running customer service operations on its network.
Where does that leave Apple's Business Chat? While it has the benefit of an iMessage install base in the hundreds of millions, it may feel like just one more place to check. And with only a handful of launch partners, consumers may not remember who is available over iMessage and who's not, so just go elsewhere.
However, Apple does have the advantage of not requiring an app download as iMessage ships with iOS devices. It also has its own built-in payments platform with Apple Pay, which could make transactions easier.
But as Apple joins the fray, its rivals are preparing to do battle. In addition to WhatsApp's preemptive launch of its business app, Facebook also just added Kenneth I. Chenault, CEO of American Express, to its board of directors. Said CEO Mark Zuckerberg of the addition, the exec has ''unique expertise'' in areas Facebook is lacking, including ''customer service'' and ''direct commerce.'' Sounds like shots fired, Apple.
Apple says Business Chat will launch with the public release of iOS 11.3 this spring.
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Hoe de AIVD een Russisch complot tegen de VS blootlegt - de Volkskrant - Blendle
In 2014 infiltreert de AIVD in het netwerk van de Russische hackgroep Cozy Bear. In Zoetermeer zien ze hoe de Russen tijdens de verkiezingsstrijd de aanval openen op de VS. Het is cruciaal bewijs voor het latere FBI-onderzoek. Door
Yesterday saw the publication of an English language version of an article written by Huib Modderkolk by Dutch news site the Volkskrant, titled ''Dutch agencies provide crucial intel about Russia's interference in US-elections.''
The article explains how Dutch intelligence agency AIVD were monitoring ''Cozy Bear'' (APT-29) as far back as 2014, and states that a year later the intelligence agency witnessed an attack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
''That's how the AIVD becomes witness to the Russian hackers harassing and penetrating the leaders of the Democratic Party, transferring thousands of emails and documents. It won't be the last time they alert their American counterparts. And yet, it will be months before the United States realize what this warning means: that with these hacks the Russians have interfered with the American elections. And the AIVD hackers have seen it happening before their very eyes.''
However, despite all the above assertions, there was no major leak of documents related to the DNC in 2015. The emails that were released in 2016 were acquired earlier that same year '' so, it's not clear what it was the AVID saw ''happening before their very eyes'' so early on.
Of course, it's unsurprising to read on and discover:
''The Dutch access provides crucial evidence of the Russian involvement in the hacking of the Democratic Party, according to six American and Dutch sources who are familiar with the material, but wish to remain anonymous.''
The article is already introducing ambiguity between Dutch and US-based sources and, of course, those sources want to be anonymous and are not attributed to the agencies or organizations they are affiliated with.
This is then followed by a statement that may create complications for those wanting to see accountability on what they suspect to be FISA abuses. The article relates:
''It's also grounds for the FBI to start an investigation into the influence of the Russian interference on the election race between the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidate Donald Trump.''
The article also claims that the US intelligence community made their ''high confidence'' assessment on the back of AIVD's intel:
''Three American intelligence services state with 'high confidence' that the Kremlin was behind the attack on the Democratic Party. That certainty, sources say, is derived from the AIVD hackers having had access to the office-like space in the center of Moscow for years.''
While it's true that the Grizzly Steppe joint analysis report from December 31, 2016, does mention APT-28 and APT-29, much of the referenced material there comes from what was reported by CrowdStrike, Fidelis, etc in relation to their efforts to investigate in 2016 .
However, in the intelligence community assessment (ICA), the document that actually contains the majority of the conclusions (released on January 5, 2017) doesn't even cite the APT group (''Cozy Bear''/APT-29).
Understandably, there's no mention of AIVD but it's extraordinary not to make a reference in the document to the APT group if certainty for assessments was derived in relation to it.
It's also strange to make a reference to MH17 without actually explaining it's relevance for context:
''The Dutch hacker team spends weeks preparing itself. Then, in the summer of 2014, the attack takes place, most likely before the tragic crash of flight MH17. With some effort and patience, the team manages to penetrate the internal computer network. The AIVD can now trace the Russian hackers' every step. But that's not all.''
Putting that oddity aside, we're then told the following:
''The Cozy Bear hackers are in a space in a university building near the Red Square. The group's composition varies, usually about ten people are active. The entrance is in a curved hallway. A security camera records who enters and who exits the room. The AIVD hackers manage to gain access to that camera. Not only can the intelligence service now see what the Russians are doing, they can also see who's doing it. Pictures are taken of every visitor. In Zoetermeer, these pictures are analyzed and compared to known Russian spies. Again, they've acquired information that will later prove to be vital.''
We could question how they knew, remotely, where different IPs were on the network in relation to the CCTV. One may also wonder how it's known that the IP traced there wasn't just a botnet relay (University networks are often targeted). Another issue is in regards to whether there was any consequence from comparing photos with known Russian spies, but this was all in 2014 '' so none of this even relates to the DNC being hacked.
The article continues, explaining that the state department was targeted in November 2014 '' which was reported on by the mainstream press at the time.
Then, we get to this section of the text:
''Access to Cozy Bear turns out to be a goldmine for the Dutch hackers. For years, it supplies them with valuable intelligence about targets, methods and the interests of the highest ranking officials of the Russian security service. From the pictures taken of visitors, the AIVD deduces that the hacker group is led by Russia's external intelligence agency SVR.''
What's interesting about this is that the US intelligence community has attributed APT-29 and APT-28 to the FSB and GRU, not the SVR (which actually would have made more sense). The only time they mention the SVR in the JAR or ICA reports was about separate activity relating to 2010.
Going further into the article, past the grossly familiar repetition of ''undermining our democracy'' hyperbole from Chris Painter, who expresses dismay that Russia would target politicians in the US, Painter writes:
''In return, the Dutch are given knowledge, technology and intelligence. According to one American source, in late 2015, the NSA hackers manage to penetrate the mobile devices of several high ranking Russian intelligence officers.''
So here we return to an anonymous American source connected to the NSA, conceding that the NSA had hacked Russian intelligence officials in 2015. What did they learn from this?
''They learn that right before a hacking attack, the Russians search the internet for any news about the oncoming attack. According to the Americans, this indirectly proves that the Russian government is involved in the hacks.''
The one thing I'd inquire on here is whether the searches were genuinely specific to those attacks or whether Russian intelligence officials frequently search for hacks/leaks relating to America that may have been inferred as a causative correlation. With no examples cited, it's difficult to assess whether it's significant or a false-positive.
Continuing on, we are offered a speculative statement from another nameless source towards the conclusion of the text for no apparent reason. The final lines of the work address a topic with no direct connection to the rest of the story, but is nonetheless spewed out as follows:
''Another source says it's 'highly likely' that in return for the intelligence, the Dutch were given access to this specific American information. Whether any intelligence about MH17 was exchanged, is unknown.''
If you think it's odd that MH17 gets cited again, without cause or reason, you're not alone (I know a few others have noticed this too).
As the article heads towards it's conclusion, no reference to any technical details regarding the DNC being hacked is provided and there is no evidence cited that actually bolsters the hacking allegations we've already heard regarding the DNC.
Instead, we skip ahead to Clinton and Trump:
''After her defeat in November 2016, Clinton will say that the controversy about her leaked emails are what cost her the presidency.''
Clinton's leaked emails(as opposed to those from the DNC finance staff and John Podesta) actually came from an FOIA request.
''President elect Donald Trump categorically refuses to explicitly acknowledge the Russian interference.''
That's probably because:
Many of the claims lack substance.The content that supposedly influenced America wasn't about candidates or parties and it's difficult to see how pushing adverts that were both for and against Black Lives Matter (just to use one the most common examples of 'disinfo' being cited) could have made any statistically significant change to the outcome of the election when it didn't serve to alter perceptions of the candidates or parties.There's evidence suggesting some parts of the alleged influence operations could have been mimicry engaged in by CrowdStrike.The stories about DHS confirming Russia hacked into voting infrastructure was bogus.The DNC's intent of having Trump's presidency nullified due to a premise that Russian subterfuge was the reason for him winning '' is hardly something the DNC have been discrete about.It would tarnish the gleam of his electoral victory. He has also frequently praised Russia, and president Putin in particular. This is one of the reasons the American intelligence services eagerly leak information: to prove that the Russians did in fact interfere with the elections.And yet, despite all the resources at their disposal and a dragnet they maintain that catches all traffic in and out of the US, American intelligence services have been unable to provide any definitive proof supporting their assessments and have relied on assessing questionable evidence produced by a private-sector company that the DNC hired to investigate the alleged hacking of DNC emails while the DNC repeatedly rebuffed offers to assist and requests to investigate from intelligence agencies.
Finally, this evidence-lacking spin-fest of an article, devoid of any new evidence relating to the DNC having its emails acquired by unauthorized parties, concludes with:
''This has led to anger in Zoetermeer and The Hague. Some Dutchmen even feel betrayed. It's absolutely not done to reveal the methods of a friendly intelligence service, especially if you're benefiting from their intelligence. But no matter how vehemently the heads of the AIVD and MIVD express their displeasure, they don't feel understood by the Americans. It's made the AIVD and MIVD a lot more cautious when it comes to sharing intelligence. They've become increasingly suspicious since Trump was elected president.''
It's disappointing, I'm sure, to hear AIVD ''don't feel understood'' by the Americans. However, as Suzie Dawson pointed out, AIVD appear to be far from impartial and independent (even though the article gives that impression). In fact, it appears, from past leaks, that AIVD acts as a second-tier Third Party partner of the NSA and has had multiple points of contact available for the NSA to communicate with them ever since 2013.
Whether or not this is a deliberate effort to 'gas-light' us from one of the NSA's international partners or not, one thing is for sure, the Volkskrant article contains nothing new or significant relating to the DNC being hacked or any details directly related to the emails being acquired.
For more reasons why the Volkskrant article is fake news, be sure to check out Suzi Dawson's article too.
The elite need a distraction very very badly and the ultimate distraction is WW3 or civil riots. When you understand that the Clinton Foundation leads to child trafficking through Jeffrey Epstein who claimed to help found the organization, drug smuggling like Mena 2.0 and weapon smuggling. Things become much clearer. Speaking of which a new movie called American Made with Tom Cruise completely decimates the Clintons. (coincidental timing or a concerted effort to bring them down?)
Although, people think its crazy the Clinton Foundation is a bipartisan issue because money has been donated to it by many people.
This is not just an information war this has been an ongoing civil war in the U.S. to take down the bad guys since former LA FBI head Ted L. Gunderson, former 10th CIA director William Colby, and many others rebelled against the Clinton and Bush crime families. I am not 100% sure but Marc Ruskin and Ted L. Gunderson likely knew each other given his age and involvement with the same heroin smuggling operations.
More information on Marc Ruskin confirming he is a whistleblower..
These corrupt parties of Republicans and Democrats have robbed the people blind although this email by Wikileaks which I just was given the other day shows the Dems pilfered union funds and worried about the consequence. The specific email shows them claiming "it could bring down the entire Democrat party." One billion in racketeering.. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/55711
The Wikileaks email leaks which I am 75% sure Podesta's emails came from a rogue in the NSA (due to talks in my circles), show murder, corruption, use of child sex trafficking or drug smuggling code words (leaning more towards child trafficking.) Although, Pizzagate was greatly exagerated by some the use of child sex symbols is bluntly obvious. Then there is the mysterious video I can't find anymore of a triangle ring and someone clapping in the audience.. However, what many miss is they think the children were kept at the pizza place. This is likely not true instead if it went on it was likely through the mueseum. Wikileaks revealed spirit cooking (the bizzare occult element.) Everyone pretends like everything is okay tell me how normal it is to drink blood, urine and semen mixed together? The elite have enough to hide so blame Russia as a scapegoat and cause WW3 at the expense of normal civilians to stop the dirty stuff coming out.
The corporate media just want war with Russia: plain and simple.
This would mean vast cash handouts across the Military-Industrial Complex, in which corporate media play a huge part.
'Russiagate' is an attempt to stoke the flames of war, similar to how the invasion of Iraq was built on the WMD lie.
Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking freshwater supplies will create up to 50 million environmental refugees by the end of the decade, experts warn today. Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, said creeping environmental deterioration already displaced up to 10 million people a year, and the situation would get worse.
"There are well-founded fears that the number of people fleeing untenable environmental conditions may grow exponentially as the world experiences the effects of climate change," Dr Bogardi said. "This new category of refugee needs to find a place in international agreements. We need to better anticipate support requirements, similar to those of people fleeing other unviable situations."
The Red Cross says environmental disasters already displace more people than war. Such people are currently not recognised under international agreements as refugees, Dr Bogardi said, so are denied access to assistance received by victims of violence or political persecution.
Hans van Ginkel, UN under-secretary-general and rector of the university, said: "This is a highly complex issue, with global organisations already overwhelmed by the demands of conventionally recognised refugees. However, we should prepare now to define, accept and accommodate this new breed of refugee."
Environment-related migration has been most acute in sub-Saharan Africa, but also affects millions of people in Asia and India. Europe and the US face increased pressure from people driven from north Africa and Latin America by deteriorating soil and water conditions.
New Zealand has already agreed to accept the 11, 600 inhabitants of the low-lying Pacific island state Tuvalu if rising sea levels swamp the country. Elsewhere, as many as 100 million people live in areas that are below sea level or liable to storm surge. A total of 213 communities in Alaska are threatened by tides that creep three metres further inland each year.
Tony Oliver-Smith, a natural hazards expert at the University of Florida, said: "Around the world vulnerability is on the increase, due to the rapid development of megacities in coastal areas. Combine this trend with rising sea levels and the growing number and intensity of storms and it is a recipe for a disaster, with enormous potential to create waves of environment-driven migration."
Dr Bogardi called for an intergovernmental panel on environmental degradation to be established to assess the situation, feed advice to politicians and distinguish genuine environmental refugees from economic migrants. "If you see a group of young men trying to climb over a fence, it's very difficult to say those are environmental refugees, because, if you are an environmental refugee you bring your whole family with you. The whole population would be on the move."
There was also a need for international agreements on how individual states support people who move within a country because of environmental pressures, such as those who fled the New Orleans region after Hurricane Katrina, he added. The statement was timed to coincide with the UN day for disaster reduction.
In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.
The UNEP even provided a handy map. The map shows us the places most at risk including the very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean.
It so happens that just a few of these islands and other places most at risk have since had censuses, so it should be possible for us now to get some idea of the devastating impact climate change is having on their populations. Let's have a look at the evidence:
Nassau, The Bahamas '' The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.
The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.
Population 2002, 81755
Population 2010, 88311
The latest Solomon Islands population has surpassed half a million '' that's according to the latest census results.
It's been a decade since the last census report, and in that time the population has leaped 100-thousand.
Meanwhile, far from being places where people are fleeing, no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China, Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang, are absolutely smack bang within the shaded areas identified as being likely sources of climate refugees.
Similarly, many of the fastest growing cities in the United States also appear within or close to the areas identified by the UNEP as at risk of having climate refugees.
More censuses are due to come in this year, and we await the results for Bangladesh and the Maldives '' said to be places most at risk '' with interest.
However, a very cursory look at the first available evidence seems to show that the places identified by the UNEP as most at risk of having climate refugees are not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world.
(Footnote: As requested, credit goes to the cartographer of the UNEP map, Emmanuelle Bournay.)
UPDATE: What's it all about then? Find the response from the UNEP here and a theory as to why they were so keen about the 50 million refugees claim.
UPDATE: Some other published reactions to the story.
Sandwiches have a surprisingly large carbon footprint (Credit: Taden1/Depositphotos )
Scientists at the University of Manchester have found a surprising global warming culprit '' sandwiches. In the first study of its kind, the researchers carried out an in-depth audit of various sandwiches throughout their life cycles and found the triangular meals could be responsible for the equivalent annual carbon emissions of 8.6 million cars in Britain alone.
In 1762, or so the story goes, the fourth Earl of Sandwich rocked the culinary world when he couldn't be bothered to leave the gambling table to eat and ordered the servants to just stick some meat between two slices of bread for him. Since then, the modern sandwich has become one of the most popular of food formats.
According to the British Sandwich Association (BSA), the United Kingdom spends £8 billion (US$11.3 billion) annually on 11.5 billion sandwiches, with half made at home and the other half bought at shops, supermarkets, kiosks, and service stations. To better understand the environmental impact of all these sarnies, the Manchester team looked at over 40 different sandwich types, recipes, and combinations as well as how they are made, packaged, transported, and stored. In addition, they considered the waste produced in making them, as well as the stale, rotten, or simply outdated sandwiches that are thrown away.
What the researchers found was that not all sandwiches are created equal and that some varieties have larger carbon footprints than others. The highest footprint was found in premade, prepackaged, all-day-breakfast sandwiches. These contain eggs, bacon, and sausage and are kept packaged and refrigerated until sold and eaten '' all of which is estimated to add up to 1,441 g (3.18 lb) of carbon dioxide equivalent, or roughly the same as driving a car for 12 miles (19 km).
By contrast, the smallest footprint is that of a homemade ham and cheese sandwich. Overall, making your sandwiches at home potentially halves the carbon emissions compared to their prepackaged equivalents.
According to the team, a number of factors affect the sandwich's carbon footprint. Ingredients is one of them, with items like meat in general and pork in particular, cheese, prawns, lettuce, and tomatoes being particularly large footprint culprits. Producing these ingredients, as well as the bread and condiments, can account for 37 to 67 percent of the carbon dioxide produced. Other factors are the packaging, which makes up 8.5 percent of emissions, transportation (especially in refrigerated trucks) for 4 percent, and refrigeration at point of sale making up another 25 percent.
The Manchester researchers aren't anti-sandwich, but they do say that changing recipes and packaging while reducing waste could result in a 50 percent drop in sandwich-related carbon emissions. Along with the BSA, they claim that something as simple as reforming the sell-by-date system could save over 2,000 tonnes of sandwiches in Britain being wasted each year.
"We need to change the labeling of food to increase the use-by date as these are usually quite conservative," says team member Professor Adisa Azapagic. "Commercial sandwiches undergo rigorous shelf-life testing and are normally safe for consumption beyond the use-by date stated on the label."
Rosanna Arquette reveals in a new interview that some female agents in Hollywood pressured her to keep quiet about her claim that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her.
Rosanna Arquette and Harvey Weinstein in 2001. WireImage Arquette says that Weinstein was responsible for landing her career in the ''gutter'' by bad-mouthing her to producers and directors around town as a ''pain in the ass'' after she escaped his clutches.
''Look what happened to us,'' Arquette says, referring to a generation of actresses caught up in Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults, including Daryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino,Asia Argento and Rose McGowan. ''The years of work we could have done! Now we're middle-aged women.''
Arquette '-- who alleged Weinstein attempted to sexually assault her in the '90s '-- recalls to Sheila Weller on NextTribe: ''I told people in the industry about my experience with Harvey in the hotel that day. I didn't hide it. When I told them, I would hear, 'I'd keep my mouth shut about that if I were you' '-- even from female agents. I heard that warning and thought, 'OK, no one is going to believe me. My words will get back to him. I'm f''ked!'''
She believed, ''Maybe Harvey would be at a dinner party and say .'.'. 'Don't work with her. She's a pain in the ass.' He had the power to do that .'.'. I went from being an A-list actress in America to down in the gutter.'' She continued, ''So many directors have recently said, 'I really wanted you for that role' .'.'. And so many people '-- agents and producers and managers '-- were complicit.''
She adds that some victims still haven't come forward. ''I was a survivor of serious sexual harassment, but I was not raped,'' she says. ''But my friends were .'.'. including those who still won't come forward and give their names because the experience has been so triggering.'' She has also turned to activism: ''Getting women out of trafficking is my passion,'' she says. ''I want to get rid of all the scumbags, from the Weinsteins to the pimps. And, especially now, we can do it.''
The complaint from the young woman was initially brought to Jess O'Connell, who was the national director of operations for the Clinton campaign.
Ms. O'Connell, who is currently the chief executive officer of the Democratic National Committee, handled the investigation and advised the Clinton campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, that Mr. Strider should be fired, according to three people familiar with the events.
Ms. O'Connell told colleagues that she was concerned that the young woman making the allegations should not be demoted when she was moved from Mr. Strider's supervision. The woman requested to have no more interactions with Mr. Strider, and she was moved to a different job within the campaign, reporting directly to Mike Henry, the deputy campaign manager.
The investigation into Mr. Strider's conduct was described as brief, but it included a review of a number of emails he sent the young woman, who had shared an office with him.
A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton provided a statement from Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori, Partners, the law firm that had represented the campaign in 2008 and which her advisers said has been involved on sexual harassment issues.
''To ensure a safe working environment, the campaign had a process to address complaints of misconduct or harassment. When matters arose, they were reviewed in accordance with these policies, and appropriate action was taken,'' the statement said. ''This complaint was no exception.''
Late Friday night, more than a day after The New York Times reached out to her aides for comment, Mrs. Clinton posted on Twitter that she was ''dismayed when it occurred.''
She added that she called the woman on Friday ''to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard.''
Mrs. Clinton did not address why she ignored advisers' recommendations that she fire Mr. Strider.
The woman's experience and the reaction to it have not been previously reported. Until now, former Clinton associates were unwilling to discuss the events for publication.
But that changed after the start of the #MeToo movement, in which dozens of men across the country and across different industries have been fired or suspended for sexual misconduct.
This account was based on interviews with eight former campaign officials and associates of Mrs. Clinton's.
They said that Ms. Solis Doyle, the campaign manager, and other senior campaign officials discussed the situation involving Mr. Strider and Mrs. Clinton's response at the time. Some of them were troubled that he was allowed to remain on the campaign.
The complaint against Mr. Strider was made by a 30-year-old woman who shared an office with him. She told a campaign official that Mr. Strider had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent her a string of suggestive emails, including at least one during the night, according to three former campaign officials familiar with what took place.
The complaint was taken to Ms. Doyle, the campaign manager, who approached Mrs. Clinton and urged that Mr. Strider, who was married at the time, be fired, according to the officials familiar with what took place. Mrs. Clinton said she did not want to, and instead he remained on her staff.
Ms. Doyle was fired shortly after that in a staff shake-up in response to Mrs. Clinton's third-place finish in the 2008 Iowa caucuses. And Mr. Strider never attended the mandated counseling, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The woman who made the accusation against Mr. Strider in 2008 has not spoken publicly about it. She, like most campaign staff members, signed a nondisclosure agreement that barred employees from publicly discussing internal dynamics on the campaign, according to two people with direct knowledge of the contract. Reached by a reporter, she declined to comment.
Ms. Solis Doyle also declined to comment.
Mrs. Clinton's candidacy has been cited as an inspiration for the #MeToo movement, but she has not played a visible role in it. After several Hollywood actresses told The Times and The New Yorker that Harvey Weinstein, a longtime friend and donor to the Clintons, had harassed or assaulted them, Mrs. Clinton spoke out against his behavior, saying in a statement that she was ''shocked and appalled by the revelations.''
Weeks later the actress Lena Dunham, one of Mrs. Clinton's most visible celebrity supporters in her 2016 presidential bid, told The Times that she warned two Clinton campaign aides against associating with Mr. Weinstein. ''I just want you to know that Harvey's a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,'' Ms. Dunham said she told the campaign.
Nick Merrill, the communications director for Mrs. Clinton, said at the time Ms. Dunham spoke publicly that she was mistaken. ''As to claims about a warning, that's something staff wouldn't forget,'' he said.
A version of this article appears in print on January 27, 2018, on Page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: Clinton Opted to Shield Adviser Accused as Harasser.
LAS VEGAS'--Not long after the billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn opened his flagship Wynn Las Vegas in 2005, a manicurist who worked there arrived at the on-site salon visibly distressed following an appointment in Mr. Wynn's office.
Sobbing, she told a colleague Mr. Wynn had forced her to have sex, and she repeated that to others later.
After she gave Mr. Wynn a manicure, she said, he pressured her to take her clothes off and told her to lie on the massage table he kept in his office suite, according to people she gave the account to. The manicurist said she told Mr. Wynn she didn't want to have sex and was married, but he persisted in his demands that she do so, and ultimately she did disrobe and they had sex, the people remember her saying.
After being told of the allegations, the woman's supervisor said she filed a detailed report to the casino's human-resources department recounting the episode.
Mr. Wynn later paid the manicurist a $7.5 million settlement, according to people familiar with the matter.
The incident was referenced, in broad terms, in a lawsuit in which Mr. Wynn's ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, seeks to lift restrictions on the sale of her stock in Wynn ResortsLtd. WYNN -10.12%'² Attorneys for Mr. Wynn in a court filing admitted he made the personal payment; in a later hearing, his corporate attorney said there had been ''allegations of assault.'' Court records in the suit are heavily redacted. Specifics of the allegation and the size of the settlement haven't been previously reported.Beyond this incident, dozens of people The Wall Street Journal interviewed who have worked at Mr. Wynn's casinos told of behavior that cumulatively would amount to a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Wynn. Some described him pressuring employees to perform sex acts.
Steve Wynn discussing a planned casino during a press conference in Medford, Mass., March 2016. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
. In response to written questions about the manicurist's and others' allegations, Mr. Wynn said, ''The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.''
He continued, in a written statement, ''We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multi-year lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.''
Mr. Wynn said that ''the instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit in which she is seeking a revised divorce settlement.'' He said he remained focused on the company, its employees and its shareholders.
Ms. Wynn declined to speak to the Journal. An attorney for Ms. Wynn said the notion she instigated the Journal's article ''is just not true.''
Mr. Wynn didn't provide further response to other allegations of sexual misconduct the Journal inquired about.
Wynn Resorts said it is committed to maintaining a safe and respectful culture, requires annual anti-harassment training for all, and offers an anonymous hotline. ''Since the inception of the company, not one complaint was made to that hotline regarding Mr. Wynn,'' the company said.
Mr. Wynn, turning 76 on Saturday, is a towering figure in Las Vegas and the wider gambling industry. As builder of the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Wynn and Encore casinos in Las Vegas'--lavish, multiuse resorts with features such as artificial volcanoes, dancing fountains and French chefs'--he brought a new level of sophistication and scale to the Strip.
Mr. Wynn no longer owns the Mirage, Treasure Island or Bellagio, but his empire now includes two casinos bearing his name in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, and he is building a $2.4 billion Wynn casino in the Boston area. He is the chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts.
Steve Wynn, third from right, breaks ground in 2002 for Le Reve, a 2,700-room luxury hotel casino that would eventually become the Wynn Las Vegas resort. Photo: Chris Farina/Corbis/Getty Images
. Dozens of powerful men have faced consequences in recent months after publicly aired accusations of sexual improprieties. Those against Mr. Wynn are the first in this wave to center on the CEO and founder of a major publicly held company, in this case one operating in a tightly regulated industry.
Mr. Wynn owns nearly 12% of Wynn Resorts, a stake worth $2.4 billion, and is considered integral to its success. His signature is the company logo. In a recent securities filing citing possible risks to the business, the company said, ''If we lose the services of Mr. Wynn, or if he is unable to devote sufficient attention to our operations for any other reason, our business may be significantly impaired.''
Mr. Wynn's political profile also has grown. He is a former casino-business rival of President Donald Trump, who said in 2016 that Mr. Wynn was a ''great friend'' whose advice he valued. After Mr. Trump's election, Mr. Wynn became the Republican National Committee's finance chairman.
Mr. Wynn is a regular on his casino floors, known for a keen attention to details and what employees say is a temper that can flare when they fall short. He has frequently had services such as manicures, massages and makeup application performed in his on-site office at the Wynn Las Vegas.
The contrast between Mr. Wynn's position and that of the salon and spa employees is stark. Former employees said their awareness of Mr. Wynn's power in Las Vegas, combined with the knowledge that the jobs they held were among the best-paying available there, added up to a feeling of dependence and intimidation when Mr. Wynn made requests of them.
Some said that feeling was heightened at times by the presence in a confined office space of one or more of his German shepherds, trained to respond to commands in German.
The Journal contacted more than 150 people who work or had worked for Mr. Wynn; none reached out to the Journal on their own. Most of those who spoke to the Journal about Mr. Wynn said they worried that doing so could hurt their ability to work elsewhere because of his influence in the casino industry and the state.
Former employees said they sometimes entered fake appointments in the books to help other female workers get around a request for services in Mr. Wynn's office or arranged for others to pose as assistants so they wouldn't be alone with him. They told of female employees hiding in the bathroom or back rooms when they learned he was on the way to the salon.
''Everybody was petrified,'' said Jorgen Nielsen, a former artistic director at the salon. Mr. Nielsen said he and others repeatedly told high-level company executives Mr. Wynn's sexual advances were causing a problem, but ''nobody was there to help us.''
One former massage therapist at the Wynn Las Vegas spa said that several years ago, when Mr. Wynn was booking multiple appointments a week with her in the private massage room in his office suite, he would continually adjust a towel to expose himself. Then at one session, she said, he threw it off and said, ''Just get this thing off of me.''
She said he wouldn't let her use a towel to cover his genitals after that, contrary to state licensing regulations, and he also began rubbing her leg while she massaged him.
After a few weeks, the former employee said, Mr. Wynn instructed her to massage his penis to climax. The woman said that because he was her boss, she felt she had no choice but to agree to some of Mr. Wynn's requests, including that one. She said masturbating him became a frequent part of the massage sessions for several months.
At the end of each hour-long massage session, she said, he handed her $1,000 in cash, which was the same amount as before the sexual activity began.
In subsequent sessions, the woman said, Mr. Wynn asked her to perform oral sex on him and described in detail how he wanted it done. This request she refused, she said.
The woman said she told Mr. Wynn at a later session she was uncomfortable with his requests, and he then stopped asking for massages from her.
She said she didn't tell anyone what happened at the time because she was embarrassed, adding she is still trying to deal with the incident emotionally. She did tell a colleague in a general way that Mr. Wynn had been inappropriate with her, that colleague recalled in an interview.
The colleague said she offered advice to the massage therapist'--but didn't mention that Mr. Wynn had also made advances toward her while she massaged him in his office's private massage room. The colleague said in an interview Mr. Wynn would remove his towel and, while she massaged the front of his thighs, would tell her to ''go higher,'' which she understood to mean touch his genitals. She said she told him this made her uncomfortable, and then his requests for massages became less frequent.
Dennis Gomes, who was an executive at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas when Mr. Wynn was running that casino decades ago, said in a deposition in an early-1990s lawsuit that Mr. Gomes ''routinely received complaints from various department heads regarding Wynn's chronic sexual harassment of female employees,'' according to a court filing that summarized his testimony.
In the suit over Mr. Gomes's departure to work for a Trump casino, Mr. Gomes described what he called a ''disgraceful pattern of personal and professional conduct'' that he said included Mr. Wynn's directing him to get the home phone numbers of casino cocktail waitresses.
Mr. Wynn denied the allegations in the suit in Nevada state court. The parties agreed to drop the suit in 1994.
Mr. Gomes died in 2012. His widow, Barbara Gomes, in an interview for this article, said, ''I remember him saying, 'I'm not his pimp,' '' referring to Mr. Wynn.
The lobby of the Wynn Las Vegas, shown here in 2011. Photo: Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register/ZUMA PRESS
. Shawn Cardinal, who was a personal assistant to Elaine Wynn while she was married to Mr. Wynn, said that around 1987, Mr. Wynn repeatedly asked her to spend time with him outside of work. She said he continued asking, often approaching her at her desk outside his wife's office, despite her telling him she had plans with her husband and child.
On the phone, he would ask, ''What are you wearing? Why don't you hang out with me after work?'' said Ms. Cardinal. ''I was not brave enough to say, 'How dare you?' I just joked my way out of it and I made sure I was never alone with him.''
Several former employees said Mr. Wynn often walked around some areas of the complex in extremely short shorts without underwear, and he would sit in the salon to get pedicures in such a way that his genitals were exposed.
One former employee said after she had performed services in Mr. Wynn's office for years, one day he asked if he could kiss her. She said she laughed off the request, hoping to leave without upsetting him.
Another time, this employee said, she was performing services in her own workplace at the casino when Mr. Wynn said, ''So when are you going to come into my office and f'-- me?''
Created with Highcharts 5.0.14Record RevenueWynn Resorts reported its highest-everrevenue in 2017, following years of declines inits Macau business beginning in 2013.Wynn Resorts' revenueSource: FactSet
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. . She said that she again laughed off the proposition. ''I would say, 'Oh Mr. Wynn.' '' she recalled. ''I was just trying to get on with my job.''
One time as she did her work in Mr. Wynn's office, this woman said, he repeatedly rubbed his genitals, which were falling out of his shorts, and made comments about things he would like to do with her sexually. On one occasion as she was leaving his office, the former employee said, Mr. Wynn grabbed her waist as she stood against a wall and told her to kiss him. She said she slipped out of his hold and left.
After around two weeks of pursuit, this woman said, Mr. Wynn stopped.
The former employee's supervisor and another colleague confirmed being told of these advances in detail at the time. The employee and the supervisor said they sought to manage the situation rather than report it because they believed there would be repercussions if they did.
The 2005 allegations of the manicurist that led to the settlement were the most striking described by former employees. In this instance, a woman who was a salon manager at the time said she filed a written report to human resources. She said she got a call from an executive, Doreen Whennen, castigating her for filing to HR and saying she should have taken the matter directly to Ms. Whennen.
The former manager said no one followed up with her about the matter. The manicurist soon left.
Ms. Whennen, who is no longer at the company, declined to comment.
Created with Highcharts 5.0.14Comeback, Then a HiccupAfter bottoming out two years ago amidworries about the future of Macau, WynnResorts' stock price rallied, though it fell about10% on Friday.Wynn Resorts' share priceSource: WSJ Market Data Group**Jan. 26**$180.29
. . In the lawsuit between the Wynns, Ms. Wynn cited a ''multimillion dollar payment'' made by Mr. Wynn following allegations he had engaged in ''serious misconduct'' on company property against an employee not named in the suit. A filing said Ms. Wynn had learned of the settlement in 2009.
In the suit, Ms. Wynn, who is a co-founder and former board member of Wynn Resorts, is seeking to free herself from restrictions on the control of her estimated $1.9 billion of stock that were imposed by a 2010 agreement with Mr. Wynn.
Her attorneys have argued that in making a settlement with a former employee without telling the board, Mr. Wynn recklessly exposed the company and other directors to liability.
Wynn Resorts, in its statement to the Journal, alleged that Ms. Wynn was trying to ''tarnish the reputation of Mr. Wynn in an attempt to pressure a revised divorce settlement.'' The company called it noteworthy that despite knowing of the allegations since 2009, Ms. Wynn didn't make them known to the board, of which she was a member, or raise them until after she lost her board seat.
An attorney for Ms. Wynn said she raised the issue internally when she learned of it.
Mr. Wynn's attorneys have argued the settlement wasn't relevant to the Wynns' dispute, which is headed for a trial this spring.
'--Jim Oberman, Lisa Schwartz and Zusha Elinson contributed to this article.
Corrections & AmplificationsShawn Cardinal, who was a personal assistant to Elaine Wynn while she was married to Mr. Wynn, said that around 1987, Mr. Wynn repeatedly asked her to spend time with him outside of work. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the date was around 1997. Also, a chart of Wynn Resorts' revenue is in billions of dollars. A chart with an earlier version of this article incorrectly labeled it in trillions. (Jan. 26, 2018)
Appeared in the January 27, 2018, print edition as 'Wynn Accused of Sexual Misconduct.'
Steve Wynn, RNC finance chairman, faces allegations of sexual misconduct - The Washington Post
A report by the Wall Street Journal published on Jan. 26, revealed casino mogul and Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn has been accused of sexual misconduct by individuals who have worked at his casinos. Wynn denied the allegations. (Melissa Macaya/The Washington Post)
Republican leaders remained silent Friday about allegations of sexual misconduct against casino mogul Steve Wynn, who serves as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and would not say whether he plans to relinquish his role.
The accusations leveled against the businessman, a rival-turned-confidant of President Trump, gave Democrats an opening to revive attacks on the GOP.
In recent months, Democrats and Republicans have called on the opposing party to return financial contributions or cut ties with prominent individuals accused of sexual misconduct. When allegations against entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein surfaced last fall, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and other GOP leaders quickly called on the Democratic National Committee, its House and Senate campaign arms and individual Democratic candidates and lawmakers to refund his thousands of dollars in donations.
Wynn Resorts shares plummet after Steve Wynn is accused of sexual misconduct
Last weekend, McDaniel and Wynn hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort to mark the first anniversary of his inauguration. Trump skipped the event, staying in Washington as a partial government shutdown unfolded.
The Wynn Macau casino resort in Macau, China, photographed in August. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images) On Friday, the RNC did not respond to requests for comment about a report by the Wall Street Journal that included interviews with dozens of people who have worked at Wynn's casinos or been told of his alleged behavior, including allegations that he pressured some employees to perform sex acts.
With the report, a major business executive now faces the kind of allegations that have led to the downfall of celebrity chefs, movie moguls, pro football team owners and national television news anchors. At least eight members of Congress have resigned or announced plans to retire because of similar misconduct allegations.
Wynn Resorts '-- the company that bears his name '-- saw its stock price drop 10 percent Friday in the wake of the Journal's report.
In a written statement, Wynn strongly denied the allegations, saying they stemmed from an ongoing divorce battle with his ex-wife.
''The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous,'' Wynn said. ''We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multiyear lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.''
Asked whether Wynn planned to step down from his RNC role, company spokesman Michael Weaver said, ''Neither Mr. Wynn nor the company have any comment on that.''
The DNC criticized McDaniel and the RNC for standing by Wynn, noting that when Weinstein was accused, she said candidates and political organizations ''shouldn't take money from somebody who treated women with the absolute highest level of disrespect.''
Steve Wynn and his wife, Andrea, at the White House in July. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images) Wynn, a onetime business rival of Trump, became head of RNC fundraising operations a year ago next week. The 75-year-old is an outsize figure in Las Vegas, best known for bringing resorts with dancing fountains and man-made volcanoes to the Strip before selling the Bellagio, Mirage and Treasure Island hotels, under pressure from investors, to MGM Grand. He later built two glass towers adorned with his signature at the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Wynn has been a frequent presence in Washington since taking the RNC role and is among a cast of several business associates, longtime aides and friends who have fallen in and out of favor with Trump.
The two traded barbs in the press through the 1990s and have faced off in court. In his book ''Trump: The Art of the Deal,'' Trump said, ''Wynn is very slick and smooth, but he's also a very strange guy.''
Wynn has given more than $1.5 million to the RNC, the National Republican Congressional Committee and other party committees in the past five years, including a donation of more than $450,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2016 cycle. Several leading Republican members of Congress, including Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.), have benefited from his cash.
There were signs Friday that the accusations against Wynn could influence ongoing congressional campaigns.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), the most vulnerable GOP senator seeking reelection this year, received $5,400 from Wynn '-- the maximum individual amount permitted '-- in March, according to campaign finance records.
Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), who is challenging Heller, called the reports about Wynn ''horrifying and disturbing.'' Rosen said the RNC should remove Wynn as finance chairman and called on Heller to demand Wynn's ouster.
As of Friday afternoon, Heller's campaign had not returned requests for comment.
The Indiana Democratic Party urged Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), a GOP Senate candidate and fifth-ranking member of the House GOP Conference, to call for Wynn's removal.
Michael Feldman, a spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party, said Messer ''has a real opportunity to live up to his own principles.''
Messer is hoping to unseat Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) but first faces a primary against Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.). Messer has never met or received campaign donation from Wynn, a Messer campaign official said.
In 2000, Wynn gave $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to campaign finance records. Before backing Trump, Wynn donated $2,700 to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Joshua Dawsey, Amanda Finnegan, Anu Narayanswamy, Amber Phillips and David Weigel contributed to this report.
Ryan Lizza Resumes Work at CNN After Sexual Misconduct Investigation ConcludesOne woman, Susan McCain Olson, described an incident that she said took place on the set of ''Lucas'' in 1985, during the summer between her junior and senior years of high school. McCain Olson was an extra on the film, which was Piven's first. One day, after she went into another person's trailer to get something, Piven '-- who was 17 at the time '-- allegedly followed her inside, forced her onto a couch, and started to kiss her while attempting to feel up her shirt and down her shorts.
Olson, now 51, said she was eventually able to escape, though she was shaken. She said that although she saw Piven on the set, he did not approach or speak to her again. BuzzFeed News reached out to four other people who said that McCain Olson had told them about the alleged incident both at the time it allegedly occurred and in the intervening years.
A second woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she met Piven in Montreal around 1994 at a hair salon where she was working at the time. They arranged to meet up again so she could show him around town, but when she arrived at his hotel, she was told to go up to his room because he wasn't ready. Once there, the woman said, he pinned her up against a wall and tried to kiss her. When she pushed him off and asked him what he was doing, he allegedly asked her what she had come up to his room for. Two longtime friends corroborated her story to BuzzFeed News.
Diane Gonzalez said she met Piven when she was an extra on the set of ''Ellen'' in February 1996, on which Piven played Ellen DeGeneres' cousin Spence Kovak. According to Gonzalez, after the second night of filming, she went out for drinks with other members of the cast and crew at Piven's invitation. Afterwards, Piven asked her to go back to his house, and on the way to Gonzalez's car '-- she was going to follow him home '-- he kissed her.
''I was taken aback, but I kind of just went with it,'' she told BuzzFeed.
After arriving at his house, Gonzalez was given a tour and the two paused in the kitchen to talk. Gonzalez was looking at pictures on Piven's refrigerator when she turned around to find that he had completely exposed himself. Gonzalez said she tried to laugh it off and ''play it cool'' since the situation ''could go really wrong.'' According to her, Piven then grabbed her, kissed her, picked her up, wrapped her legs around his waist, and took her into the bedroom, where he pinned her on a bed and began kissing her. Gonzalez said that as he became more aggressive, she felt uneasy and started saying that she wanted to go home while trying to push him to the side.
''The kissing was very intense and at this point his penis is still exposed, so that's when I '...[thought], 'No, no, this isn't right,''' Gonzalez told BuzzFeed. ''I was just starting to get very cautious to how I was going to react to this.''
Gonzalez said Piven also tried to unbutton her pants, but that eventually she was able to wriggle away and purposely fell onto the floor, telling Piven that she ''really needed to go.'' At that point, Gonzalez said, the actor began to belittle her and asked her why she had bothered to come over. Both a longtime friend of Gonzalez's and her partner told BuzzFeed that she had recounted the story to them.
In Piven's statement to BuzzFeed, he questioned the physical possibility of Gonzalez's claim.
''Some of the assertions, as related to be by BuzzFeed, are not even physically possible. As one example, there is a claim that I grabbed the woman, started to kiss her, picked her up, and wrapped her legs around my waist. It is hard to understand how someone could hold a woman and at the same time wrap both of her legs around his waist without the consent of the woman.''
All of the women said they decided to come forward after reading Piven's denials of the previousallegations, which combined with the three new accusations, total eight. Since the allegations, Piven's CBS show ''Wisdom of the Crowd'' has been canceled.
Exclusive: Three More Women Are Accusing Jeremy Piven Of Sexual Misconduct
Theo Wargo / Getty Images Three more women are coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior dating back decades against former Entourage star Jeremy Piven after the actor vehemently denied similar claims from three other women in a November story by BuzzFeed News.
In 1985, a background actor said Piven followed her into a trailer on the set of a film and pinned her down on a couch. In 1996, a background extra on the set of Ellen said a romantic encounter with Piven turned physically aggressive and left her feeling threatened, after he exposed himself to her in his Los Angeles home. Another woman said the actor pushed her against the wall in a Montreal hotel room around 1994 and tried to force himself on her.
BuzzFeed News also spoke to eight people who said the women shared their stories with them either at the time or in the years since.
With these new accusers, the number of women making public allegations of sexual misconduct against Piven now stands at eight.
As he did in November's story, Piven vehemently denied all the women's claims in this article, with his lawyers describing them as ''works of fiction'' and this story as being ''conjured up in an opportunistic effort to capitalize on the current media storm in order to obtain attention and/or money.''
His attorneys noted that he previously provided BuzzFeed News with the results of a polygraph test, which the examiner said he had passed, in which Piven said he'd never grabbed a woman's genitals without her consent or used force to take sexual advantage of a woman.
In a written statement for this story, Piven said, ''These allegations, which in one case goes back more than 30 years and the two others more than 20 years ago, are false. As evidenced by the lie detector test I took and passed, I have never forced myself on anyone, nor have I ever exposed myself or restrained anyone against their will. To the contrary, if any woman ever said no, I stopped.''
Piven's lawyers threatened legal action against BuzzFeed News over this story, as they did previously with our November report. Shortly before the publication of that piece, Piven also praised the reporters for their ''due diligence.''
All three women who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story, in multiple exchanges over the course of two months, said they felt compelled to share their experiences because they were frustrated with Piven's past denials.
''For him to deny it, that infuriates me,'' said one of the women, Susan McCain Olson. ''Does it suck that it happened? Yes. Did it ruin my life? No. But he did it.''
In the months before she started her senior year of high school in 1985, McCain Olson landed what she thought was the coolest summer job in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn: being an extra on the set of a movie. Lucas (1986) starred Charlie Sheen, Winona Ryder, Kerri Green, the late Corey Haim, and Jeremy Piven, then 17, in his first film role. According to McCain Olson, the environment on set was casual and members of the cast and crew were friendly with extras. She said she even attended the wrap party at the conclusion of filming.
"At one point, in fact, I remember the director was afraid to put me in any more scenes as an extra because it would look weird that we were in the movie and didn't have lines,'' she said.
Supplied McCain Olson with actors on the set of Lucas. Piven is pictured second from left.
One day on set, McCain Olson went into someone else's trailer to retrieve something for them, which she said was ''not an unusual thing to happen.'' That's when she said Jeremy Piven followed her into the trailer, pinned her down on the sofa, climbed on top of her, and started to kiss her. She said he then tried to reach down her shorts and feel up her shirt.
''At one point I kind of was like, 'This is it, this is where I'm going to get raped,''' McCain Olson, now 51, told BuzzFeed News. ''I kept trying to push him away. I was like, 'No, get off me.'''
McCain Olson said she was eventually able to push Piven off her and leave the trailer. Shaken, she said she was afraid to tell anyone else on set because she was ''just an extra'' and did not want to lose her job or cause a problem as Piven didn't ''bother'' her again.
''I saw him around after because we were on the same set but he never spoke to me,'' she said.
Laura Loftus, a childhood friend of McCain Olson's, told BuzzFeed News that McCain Olson called her after the incident occurred in 1985 and told her what Piven did. Another friend, who asked to remain anonymous, also told BuzzFeed News that McCain Olson brought the incident up to her when they first became friends about 15 years ago. Another close friend, who also asked to remain anonymous, told BuzzFeed News that McCain Olson told her about the incident three years ago when sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby were reported. Anthony Chandler, McCain Olson's fianc(C), said that she told him what happened about two years ago after they decided to get more serious in their relationship.
While McCain Olson told people in her private life about the incident, she also said that she didn't publicly discuss what Piven did to her as she felt the culture around how women dealt with sexual harassment was vastly different in the 1980s. She said it was ''almost expected you'd have to fight somebody off'' at some point, and that she didn't have the language or understanding to describe the incident.
''In those days, sexual assault was rape and I was like, 'Well, he didn't rape me,''' McCain Olson said. ''I didn't talk much about it at all just because I guess it was embarrassing. Who was going to believe me?''
A few years later, another woman encountered Piven in Montreal. This woman, an executive for a prominent international organization who asked not to be identified, told BuzzFeed News that she met Piven while he was filming in the Canadian city. (The woman could not recall the exact date but said it was around 1994; Piven had been in the city to film Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, which was released in 1995)
Savoy Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection Piven in Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde (1995).
The woman, who's now 46, said she met Piven at a hair salon in which she was working at the time and agreed to show him around town, but made it clear she wasn't romantically interested in him. Piven told her to meet him at his hotel, but when she arrived she was told by the front desk to go up to his room because he wasn't ready. She said she didn't think much of it because ''he was a nice enough guy.'' (Piven specifically denied ever meeting any woman in a Montreal hair salon or inviting her to his hotel).
When she went inside, she said Piven suddenly pinned her against the wall by grabbing her shoulders and arms while he tried to kiss her. She was able to push him off her and demanded to know what he was doing. She said he asked her what she came up to his room for.
She opened the door and left. ''I didn't want to stick around to find out what else was going to happen,'' the woman said.
"As a woman '... you deal with this kind of thing all the time. But this was a little more violent than the other things that have happened to me."
''I guess he thinks he's this actor and he can do whatever the hell he wants to people,'' she continued. ''As a woman '... you deal with this kind of thing all the time. But this was a little more violent than the other things that have happened to me. To have somebody force themselves on you like that, it made me feel very uncomfortable and grossed out.''
A longtime friend of the executive told BuzzFeed News that she called her soon after she left the hotel room and told her what happened. ''It was fresh, because she was really upset,'' the friend said. Another longtime friend of the woman accusing Piven said that she told him of the incident about 10 years ago when he told her he'd been binge-watching Entourage.
In February 1996, Diane Gonzalez was an extra on the set of the sitcom, Ellen, where she met Jeremy Piven, who played the role of Ellen DeGeneres's cousin, Spence Kovak. But Gonzalez says that what started as a consensual romantic encounter between a TV star and an extra quickly turned physically aggressive and left her feeling threatened.
Gonzalez said she appeared as a background actor on Ellen three times and visited the set six times, since they would rehearse once before performing in front of a live audience. After the second night of filming, Gonzalez said Piven invited her to join him and other members of the cast and crew for drinks. When the gathering ended, Gonzalez said Piven asked her to follow him to his house. As he walked her to her car so she could follow him home, he kissed her on the sidewalk. "I was taken aback, but I kind of just went with it,'' she said.
ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images Piven and the cast of Ellen in 1995.
When they arrived at his home, Piven gave Gonzalez a tour. After staring at pictures on his refrigerator as they chatted, she was shocked when she turned around to face him, only to see his pants were down and he was completely exposed. "I really was surprised '... I guess I was naive and I just didn't have sex on the brain," Gonzalez said. "I kind of just laughed it off '... and then quickly thought, 'What am I doing? This could go really wrong. So, just kind of play it cool.'''
According to Gonzalez, Piven then grabbed her and started to kiss her again, before picking her up, wrapping her legs around his waist, and taking her into his bedroom. When they got to his bedroom, Gonzalez said he tossed her on his bed, straddled himself on top of her, pinned her arms behind her head, and kissed her.
As Piven grew more forceful, Gonzalez became uneasy and repeatedly tried to push him to the side, telling him she wanted to go home.
''The kissing was very intense and at this point his penis is still exposed, so that's when I '...[thought], 'No, no, this isn't right,''' Gonzalez said. ''I was just starting to get very cautious to how I was going to react to this.''
''What I was saying out loud was, 'I think it's time for me to go. I should go now,''' she said.
"I think the threat was just how aggressive and how strong he became as he was holding me down. I just didn't want it to get any worse,'' Gonzalez said. ''I just kept telling myself, 'Well, you're alone, nobody knows where I'm at.' It's not like I told anybody I'm going to follow him home, so I kept telling myself, 'Okay, you gotta play this smart now.'''
"I think the threat was just how aggressive and how strong he became as he was holding me down. I just didn't want it to get any worse."
She said Piven also tried to unbutton her pants but she squirmed away. "I was trying to be somewhat playful and not freak out because I was alone, of course, and I was just surprised at how quickly things were advancing," Gonzalez said. "So I kept saying, 'Okay, you know what, I think I need to go, it's best that I leave.' But he kept resisting."
Gonzalez said she was finally able to wriggle her body away from Piven, purposefully falling off the bed in order to get away. She then told him she ''really needed to go.'' That's when she said the actor started to belittle her and told her to leave.
She said he was ''very condescending, very belittling'' and asked why she bothered to follow him home. "I'm just thankful I kind of got out there when I did,'' she said.
A longtime friend of Gonzalez's also said she told her about the incident around the time that it happened. "I've heard the story numerous times," the friend said. John Foley, Gonzalez's partner, told BuzzFeed News that she shared her experience with him when they first met two years ago.
Abc Photo Archives / Getty Images Piven and the Ellen cast in 1996.
Piven's lawyers said that ''any interaction that may have occurred between [Piven and Gonzalez], if any, was a consensual encounter.''
In his written statement, Piven said, ''Some of the assertions, as related to be by BuzzFeed, are not even physically possible. As one example, there is a claim that I grabbed the woman, started to kiss her, picked her up, and wrapped her legs around my waist. It is hard to understand how someone could hold a woman and at the same time wrap both of her legs around his waist without the consent of the woman.''
Gonzalez told BuzzFeed News it took years for her to fully come to terms with her encounter with Piven. "The way I explained it at the time was like, 'Oh, things got a little out of control.' But now as an older person looking back, that could've been really bad," she said. ''I just want him to be accountable for what he did.''
Like the rest of the women who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story, the executive for the international organization emphasized that she chose to come forward with her story when she read Piven's denials: ''I was like, 'You would never force yourself on a woman?' Yes, you would, because you did that to me.''
Krystie Yandoli is an entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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There is a massive scandal brewing at the top ranks of America's premier law enforcement agency.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) prepared a four-page explosive memo recently, based on classified material that purportedly lays out what the FBI and others did to corrupt the 2016 election.
According to Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and others, the memo is ''deeply disturbing.''
The memo needs to be released to the public.The US public has a right to know about the entrenched corruption in the FBI.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) huddled together Saturday to discuss a ''never-before-used procedure'' for releasing the ''shocking'' FISA abuse memo.
Now there are growing calls for President Trump to read the explosive memo during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.Chris Farrell from Judicial Watch suggested this on Lou Dobbs Tonight on Wednesday.
Jack Posobiec tweeted this out on Wednesday.
GP Favorite American BlogsGP Favorite International BlogsGP Favorite MediaDemocracy & Human RightsFavorite Military & Foreign ServiceFavorites From Gateway City & AreaGreat Websites
Maxine Waters Is Giving A National Address On BET After Trump's State Of The Union
One of President Donald Trump's fiercest critics on Capitol Hill will address the country just after next Tuesday's State of the Union.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, will speak at the top of a BET News special after Trump delivers the State of the Union, a BET spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. The program, ''Angela Rye's State of the Union,'' is part of a broader partnership announced just days ago between the network and the Democratic strategist and political commentator. Rye will executive produce news programs with a sharp focus on issues facing black Americans. The programs will run quarterly, BET said in a release.
The spokesperson said activists and some elected officials will analyze Trump's first year in office on the program, and will talk about "building black politics and the value of engagement across today's socio-political landscape." A Democratic source familiar with the production on Friday night told BuzzFeed News that it wasn't immediately clear if the program would air on Tuesday or Wednesday night.
Trump has recently taken to highlighting how well he believes black Americans are doing under his presidency, tweeting earlier this month that he was "so happy" that black joblessness was plummeting. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the rate had fallen below 7%, but analysts disagree over how much credit, if any, Trump deserves for that drop. Black lawmakers certainly don't think he deserves that credit, and some plan to let him know that Tuesday by boycotting his speech.
Black Democrats are ramping up organizing efforts outside of the party's Washington apparatus in hopes of greater impact in this year's midterm elections and heading into 2020. Groups like The Collective PAC are recruiting and training candidates; BlackPAC played an integral role in turning out black voters in Virginia's elections last year; and a national group, Power Rising, is creating a black women's agenda at a conference next month in Atlanta. A black woman in that state, Stacey Abrams, is vying to become the first black woman ever elected governor in the US.
In some corners of Democratic politics, Waters was considered a potential dark horse to deliver the official Democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union. (The Boston Globe first reported Thursday that Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy will deliver that address.) Waters, who is the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, has reinvented her national profile and emerged as one of the leading faces of the anti-Trump movement '-- especially on the internet '-- and has called for Trump's impeachment, stating repeatedly that she believes special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will find that Trump colluded with Russia in its meddling of the 2016 election.
Rye's on-air focus on Trump is something of a coup for national Democrats, whether they know it or not. BET caters to a black audience that skews younger, a segment of the electorate national Democrats cannot afford to lose in 2018 and 2020. Rye in particular is enormously popular with this group. And in Trump, Rye will have the chance to tap into one of the more effective motivating factors for young black voters, according to focus groups conducted last year by Priorities USA: getting Trump out of office.
Deutsche Welle Published 7:13 a.m. ET Jan. 26, 2018 | Updated 7:24 a.m. ET Jan. 26, 2018
Adolf Hitler and his staff salute the teams during the opening ceremonies of the XI Olympic Games on August 1, 1936 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images, Getty Images)
An angry American traveler found herself plunged into German legal waters this month after allegedly calling federal police officers "Nazis" during a dispute at Frankfurt International Airport.
Police say the woman, a 49-year-old professor, became "unreasonable and irritated" when they told her she had too many liquids in her carry-on during a screening for explosives.
The issue of too many liquids morphed quickly '-- by her own account '' into a tail-chasing argument over her deodorant: They insisted it must go; she claimed that made no sense since it was a solid.
It was approximately at this point that police allege she called them "f--ing bastards" and "f--ing German Nazi police." But she says she never called the police "Nazis." What they heard was her wondering why she caught flack instead of the "Nazi-looking dude" with a "Hitler's youth haircut" in line behind her.
The result of the altercation: preliminary criminal proceedings against the woman on suspicion of slander, plus a $260-bill ('¬207) upfront for any subsequent legal expenses. Days later, her case got worse when she published an incendiary 4,000-word tirade about the incident in the Huffington Post.
More:The birthplace of the Nazi movement has less tolerance for neo-Nazis than the U.S.
More:Drunk American man beaten up, under investigation after giving Nazi salute in Germany
Why it's such a big dealNazi insults have a long history in postwar Germany, mainly in the form of comparisons to Hitler or Goebbels or references to the Gestapo and concentration camps. In 1947, Der Spiegel nicknamed the minister for denazification the "blond Hitler," in a not-so-subtle reminder that he had been very friendly with the regime before it collapsed. Less than 20 years later, a West German paper compared East Germany to a concentration camp with its leader Walther Ulbricht as the overseer.
None of this, however, means these comparisons have ever been acceptable in Germany. As linguist Thorsten Eitz notes in a 2010 essay called Loaded words, each time this taboo is broken publicly, the media quickly reprimand the word choice "because it violates the consensus in German society about the singular nature of Nazi crimes." Hence, it's a disproportionate comparison.
The disproportion is even greater when it's hurled at an individual, says Heidrun K¤mper, an expert in cultural linguistics and terminology at the Institute for the German Language in Mannheim.
Calling someone a Nazi invokes "the entire spectrum of a totalitarian dictatorship, the belief in conforming to one reality," K¤mper tells DW. "It conjures up the oppression known under that type of state."
And, of course, the word formation lends itself well, she says. Nazi. Two syllables like the crack of a whip, and much more biting than calling someone the word it's derived from: "Nationalsozialist."
The line between slander and freedom of speechDespite outcry over minimizing the horrors of the Third Reich by relativizing this word, cases still test the line between freedom of speech and slander.
In April 2017 two lawsuits '' one against the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party's Alice Weidel and the other against Green politician Volker Beck '' gave more leeway to satire and political freedom. In Weidel's case, a Hamburg court threw out her cease-and-desist request against a show that had called her a "Nazi bitch," since it was clearly satire.
Beck, on the other hand, lost a slander case in which a far-right politician called him Obergauleiter of hordes of members of the Nazi paramilitary SA. The nation's top court reversed an earlier regional court ruling because the two politicians had been involved in a verbal sparring match. Thus, the words against Beck were considered polemical rather than slanderous.
But these cases involve politicians. German courts expect them to have a thicker skin. Less prominent citizens, on the other hand, have comparably more cause to take slander to court.
It's a big deal, but is it illegal?
Under paragraph 185 of the German penal code, slander is a criminal offense. Shouting "You old a--hole," landed an impatient driver with a '¬1,600 fine in 2016; that same year a teen was ordered to do community service after flashing police with "ACAB" ("All cops are bastards"), which was tattooed on the inside of his lip.
Comparing people to Nazis, or to the Third Reich, is in a class of its own.
"If I say, you're a moron, you're an idiot, you're a Nazi, there's of course more to it than the insult 'you're dumb.' Saying 'Nazi' implies unscrupulous acts and barbarism," law professor Manfred Heinrich of Kiel University told DW.
As Heinrich emphasizes, Germany has outlawed the glorification of Nazism. But no law forbids calling someone a Nazi.
What is illegal is what German law refers to as "hurting someone's honor" '-- in this sense, meaning somebody's worth or hurting someone's reputation through verbal abuse. Violating this principle constitutes slander.
Given the millions of lives lost under the Nazi regime either through systematic extermination or war, not to mention other unspeakable horrors committed in the name of Adolf Hitler, comparisons to the Third Reich are simply no ordinary insults.
"You could call it overly sensitive. But in Germany most people don't want to be put into that category. Those were terrible things that happened and people don't want to be compared to that."
This article originally appeared on DW.com. Its content was created separately to USA TODAY.
YouTube announced today that it plans to invest $5 million in its Creators for Change program, in an effort to help members ''counter hate and promote tolerance.'' Creators for Change, which launched in 2016, is a collective of 39 YouTubers who use the platform to discuss and promote important issues around the world.
The members of Creators for Change work on ''impact projects'' to raise awareness about things like police brutality, bullying, xenophobia, and racism. The $5 million investment will come in the form of ''production and marketing support,'' including several production grants, according to YouTube. The company also says it hopes to bring more creators into Creators for Change in 2018.
It will go toward ''production and marketing support''
The fund is a small amount for a company that has an estimated value of $75 billion, but it's an indication that YouTube wants to put more effort into ensuring its creators use their platforms for good. As Polygon points out, the investment comes just a few months after some members of Creators for Change said it was ''disheartening'' to see YouTube's more controversial streamers earning huge amounts of money and views.
''It's our duty to not promote just the negative, but the positive,'' YouTuber Sam Saffold told Polygon in September. ''There are so many positive YouTubers who don't get the attention they deserve.''
YouTube has also been criticized for videos that include hate speech and terrorist propaganda. This summer, the European Union approved a set of proposals that would make companies like YouTube responsible for blocking the hate speech published on their platforms.
But it's not just hate speech that has caused problems for YouTube recently. In December, Logan Paul, who has more than 16 million subscribers on YouTube, was widely criticized for filming the body of a suicide victim in Japan's Aokigahara forest. He took down the video and apologized for it, but versions of the clip were still available to watch on other channels. About a week later, YouTube removed Paul from its Google Preferred ad program and put his YouTube Red projects on hold.
Despite its consequences for Paul, YouTube is still faced with the fact that some of the most controversial videos are also the most popular ones. Most of the YouTubers in Creators for Change have smaller audiences than the top YouTubers (Sam Saffold has 25,000 subscribers) and have found it difficult to monetize their channels while covering important topics. YouTube's grants will hopefully alleviate some of that pressure, but money is just a small part of YouTube's creator issues.
YouTube says it will announce the recipients of the Creators for Change production grants ''in the coming months.''
Welke volkeren hebben het laagste IQ ter wereld , onderzoek toont aan'....
Geplaatst op 22 januari 2018 | 16 reacties
De Amerikaanse president Donald Trump heeft het woord ''sh*t hole'' wel of niet gebruikt om Ha¯ti en Afrikaanse landen te beschrijven, maar heeft de aandacht gevestigd op het feit dat alle landen bewoond door Afrikanen economische en sociale rampgebieden zijn, veroorzaakt door gemiddelde IQ's tussen 66 en 75 procent van de bewoners van die landen.
Het duidelijke verband tussen ras, IQ en prestatie blijkt duidelijk uit het feit dat de kleine Europese stadstaat Liechtenstein (37.000 inwoners) een bruto binnenlands product (BBP) heeft dat groter is dan dat van 14 Afrikaanse staten gezamenlijk, terwijl Belgi (11 miljoen inwoners) en Australi ( 24miljoen inwoners) samen een BBP hebben dat groter is dan van 41 Afrikaanse staten met een gezamenlijke bevolking van meer dan 990 miljoen mensen. Dat mag toch wel als een bewijs gezien worden dat prestaties verband houden met ras, en niet zoals de MSM u willen doen geleoven, natuurrampen en het klimaat.
De cijfers werden berekend aan hand van gegevens van de Wereld Bank ( BBP) en de Verenigde Naties ( aantal inwoners ).
41 Afrikaanse landen waaronder een van de rijkste , Nigeria, hebben een gecombineerd BBP van $ 1165.9 miljard te verdelen over een bevolking van 990 miljoen. Bij deze landen is geen rekening gehouden met Zuid Afrika dat een BBP heeft van $ 294 miljard, hoofdzakelijk voortgebracht door de nog steeds aanwezige blanke bevolking, maar dit zal snel gaan veranderen nu de rol van de blanken lijkt uitgespeeld, immers in 2011 bedroeg het BBP nog $ 416 miljard.
Een nog beter voorbeeld is Australi. Dat continent bestaat voor circa 70 procent uit niet bebouwbare d.w.z. voor agrarische doeleinden geschikte grond, te vergelijken met Afrika. Australi kent net als Afrika grote periodes van droogte en klimaat rampen die erger zijn dan in Afrika. Toch zien de Australirs, velen van hen afstammelingen van naar dat continent verbannen Britse criminelen , later aangevuld door blanken uit andere Europese landen, waaronder Nederland kans sinds de jaren midden 1800 met een bevolking van 24.4 miljoen een BBP te produceren van $ 1.205 triljoen ( 1 triljoen heeft 9 nullen ).
De verklaring voor het feit dat de BBP's van wat wij samen met Australi voor het gemak de Westerse wereld noemen is slechts terug te voeren op een aanzienlijk verschil van de gemiddelde IQ van de bevolking.
Het gemiddelde IQ van de bevolkig van alle Afrikaanse landen bedraagt tussen de 59 en 75 en van de sub Sahara bewoners ongeveer 62. ( Ter vergelijk de IQ van de gemiddelde Nederlander schommelt rond de 100 , ofschoon je daar soms ook aan zou gaan twijfelen ).
Voor het bepalen van het gemiddelde IQ werd gebruik gemaakt van de testmethode van de in de VS ontwikkelde Stanford Binet maatstaven voor intelligentie en cognitieve vaardigheden, die in de VS o.a. worden gebruikt voor het bepalen van de geschiktheid voor het volgen van een bepaalde school of studie. Het schema toont de verschillende gradaties aan van een IQ.
Het zou verkeerd zijn om de Afrikaanse landen te beschouwen als agrarisch ongeschikte gebieden. . Zo was het voormalige Rhodesi, nu Zimbabwe ooit ten tijde van de blanke boeren voordat deze verjaagd werden, de graanschuur van Afrika. Een zelfde beeld zien wij in Zuid Afrika dat steeds meer op buitenlandse hulp is aangewezen, nu de blanken hun boerderijen moeten opgeven en deze worden herverdeeld aan de gekleurde bevolking.
Tevens beschikt het Afrikaanse continent over een weergaloze schat aan bodemschatten, zoals olie, mineralen waaronder zeer zeldzame soorten, die de landen rijk zouden kunnen maken. Zo schreef het Afrikaanse tijdschrift African Leadership magazine in 2015 dat Afrika in feite tot een van rijkste gebieden ter wereld behoort.
Dus mag je met enige terughoudendheid concluderen dat daar het met de bodenschatten prima in orde is, het klimaat een aanbouw van allerlei gewassen en graansoorten mogelijk maakt en de achterstand slechts te wijten is aan , laten wij het netjes zeggen, de ''werklust'' of juist het gebrek daarvan , van de gemiddelde bewoner van het Afrikaanse continent. Dit gekoppeld aan de IQ cijfers zorgen er voor dat het continent en de daarbij behorende landen er niet in slagen op de wereldmarkt een rol van enige economische betekenis te spelen.
Of de naar de EU komende Afrikaanse ''werklustigen'' die door de overheden als een aanwinst voor de economie beschouwd mogen worden, wagen wij te betwijfelen.
Amazon's Alexa home assistant is taking a page from the #MeToo movement and will now no longer respond to what the artificial intelligence recognizes as "sexist language."
Last year, the tech-centric e-magazine, Quartz, sponsored a study which analyzed whether various home assistants like Alexa and her competitors, Google Home, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana, would respond when called vulgar names or confronted with feminist-defined sexist terms like "slut."
According to Quartz, Alexa "consistently underperformed when it came to clapping back at sexism, and, worse still, refused to define herself '-- an artificial intelligence '-- as a "feminist." When asked about feminism, she merely directed the questioner to a spot on the web where they could find more information on the women's rights movement.
Amazon was, apparently, rather distressed by Quartz's findings, even if regular, everyday Americans weren't likely to ask Alexa whether she was a feminist, query her for her views on reproductive rights, or call her a "slut" (especially given that she's not a real person), so they made an effort to change Alexa's programming, making her more "woke," and even giving her the option to rebuke sexist questions.
Now, when asked if she's a feminist, Alexa responds, eye-rollingly, that she is, "[a]s is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society."
When called a derogatory term like "slut," Alexa will now go into "disengagement mode" and refuse to answer a question, replying ''I'm not going to respond to that.''
Feminists are, of course, overjoyed at the faux achievement of programming a robot with no actual gender to respond to insults in a politically correct and wholly feminist way. And Amazon's Alexa engagement team is patting itself on the back as a result.
''We're trying to do the right thing, which is to help our customers '-- that's our first job, but we also want to be really mindful about ensuring that we're upholding our obligation and opportunity to represent Alexa in a positive way for everyone, especially for girls and for women," said Heather Zorn, director of the Alexa engagement department.
Unfortunately, though, Alexa is still not perfect. Despite all her newly-discovered woke-ness she, apparently, still responds to "Alexa, you're pretty" with a curt "thank you" rather than a rant about the implausibility of contemporary beauty standards and the backward thinking associated with traditional gender norms.
But, according to a recent study by David Ley, Justin Lehmiller and the writer Dan Savage, acting on cuckolding fantasies can be a largely positive experience for many couples, and hardly a sign of weakness.References to cuckolding appear in literature as early as the 13th century, usually in the form of male characters who fear that their child has been sired by another man during an act of infidelity. Today, however, cuckolding has become fetishized into a powerful sexual fantasy for some men, who get aroused by the idea of their romantic partner engaging in sexual activity with someone else. Women also share this fantasy, but less so than men.
"This fantasy has been around as long as marriage and sexuality," said Ley, whose book "Insatiable Wives" addresses cuckolding in heterosexual couples. "But we're hearing more and more about it these days, and more people are rejecting the social stigma against this fantasy."
Indeed, the numbers suggest that cuckolding, or at least thinking about it, is more common than you might imagine. For his forthcoming book, "Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help Improve Your Sex Life," Lehmiller surveyed thousands of Americans and found that 58% of men and about a third of women had fantasized about cuckolding.
"Men are more likely to fantasize about cuckolding, and they do it more often -- but there are a number of women who have these fantasies as well, which points to the need for more research focused on women's cuckolding desires," Lehmiller said.
Initially viewed as a heterosexual phenomenon, it's increasingly prevalent among gay men, too. "I'd long gotten letters from straight couples into cuckolding (usually initiated by the husband), but none from gay couples until after marriage equality began to gather steam," explained writer and activist Savage. To learn more, Savage joined with Lehmiller and Ley for a study of cuckolding fantasies and experiences in 580 gay men.
Their findings suggest that there are similarities between the way gay and straight men view cuckolding, but clear differences, too. Most notably, interracial and BDSM themes don't appear to be as common in gay men's cuckolding fantasies as they are among heterosexual men. The motivations behind these fantasies may also be different.
Part of what makes cuckolding arousing for heterosexual men is that they tend to view it as a taboo act. "In a society or culture that idealizes monogamy, the cuckold fantasy is a current narrative that is available to people to conceptualize their sexual fantasies," said Ley.
But that may not be an influence for everyone. "For gay men, cuckolding isn't quite as taboo because the norm of lifelong monogamy isn't so strong in the LGBT community; however, it can still be arousing for a number of other reasons," said Lehmiller. For instance, fantasies about voyeurism and group sex seem to overlap with those about cuckolding in these men. "It's a sexual desire that can be easily customized to meet a wide range of sexual needs and desires, whether it's taboo sex, novelty, voyeurism or something else," he told me.
And the emotions surrounding seeing your partner with someone else can add to the turn-on, explained Savage. "It's not cuckolding if there isn't an element of humiliation, degradation or denial," he said. "Our erotic imaginations have the ability to turn shame lemons into delicious kink lemonade."
As a sex therapist, one of the more intriguing findings from this study involves the impact of cuckolding on relationships.
"Overall, our research found that for the most part, cuckolding tends to be a positive fantasy and behavior," said Ley. "It doesn't appear to be evidence of disturbance, of an unhealthy relationship, or of disregard for one's partner." But there's an important caveat, added Lehmiller. "We found several personality factors that predict more positive experiences acting on cuckolding fantasies. For those who have a lot of relationship anxiety or abandonment issues, who lack intimacy and communication, and who aren't careful, detail-oriented planners, acting on a consensual non-monogamy fantasy could very well be a negative experience," he said. "In other words, not everyone who has a cuckolding fantasy should think about acting on it."
See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.
Remember that sometimes just sharing a sexy thought can be arousing enough -- you don't have to follow through. If you are thinking about acting on a cuckolding fantasy, it's worth stepping back first and making sure your relationship is in a good place and that you have strong sexual communication skills.
"For men and couples considering the issue of cuckolding, it's important there be honesty, integrity, communication, mutuality and shared values," advised Ley. "I've seen men who try to trick their wives into cuckolding them, and this never, ever ends up well."
For couples who do decide to move forward, it's important to take things slow. "The reality of watching your spouse have sex with someone else -- or knowing they're doing it, if you're not there -- is often very different than the fantasy. It can dredge up powerful emotions, so take baby steps and keep talking and communicating," said Savage. "That said, the rewards can be amazing, according to couples who have successfully folded cuckold play into their relationships."
Ian Kerner is a licensed psychotherapist and sexuality counselor in New York City.
CNN Thinks Being A Cuck Is A Good Thing | The Daily Caller
Apparently some over at CNN think the concept of a man's partner sleeping around with other men might have ''positive'' effects on some couples.
The claim is based off a recent study by David Ley, Justin Lehmiller, and the writer Dan Savage, a deviant and social deconstructionist of the highest order. In it, the authors find that ''acting on cuckolding fantasies can be a largely positive experience for many couples, and hardly a sign of weakness,'' according to CNN.
Over the last two years, the term cuckold (a word meaning someone who willingly encourages or allows his wife to have sexual relations with other men) or ''cuck'' has become an insult directed towards those seen as weak or unprincipled.
''This fantasy has been around as long as marriage and sexuality,'' said one of the study's authors, Ley, who is also the author of ''Insatiable Wives,'' a book addressing cuckolding in heterosexual couples. ''But we're hearing more and more about it these days, and more people are rejecting the social stigma against this fantasy'' Ley said.
So, let's take a look at this so-called study:
For starters, the study is called ''The Psychology of Gay Men's Cuckolding Fantasies'' and centered around 580 ''gay-identified men.'' The idea that such a study's findings would have implications for heterosexuals (the majority of people) is completely untenable, considering the very basic fact that homosexuals and heterosexuals have very obviously different sexual proclivities and habits.
Of course, that didn't stop CNN from stating that such a practice could somehow benefit couples.
''Overall, our research found that for the most part, cuckolding tends to be a positive fantasy and behavior,'' said Ley. ''It doesn't appear to be evidence of disturbance, of an unhealthy relationship, or of disregard for one's partner.''
Ley doesn't give an example of what a ''nonpositive'' fantasy is, but one can imagine that he could throw together a survey justifying any sexual practice.
''For men and couples considering the issue of cuckolding, it's important there be honesty, integrity, communication, mutuality and shared values,'' Ley told CNN contributor and psychotherapist Ian Kerner. ''I've seen men who try to trick their wives into cuckolding them, and this never, ever ends up well.''
Indeed, if the kind of men who want to incorporate cuckolding into their relationship are also those who want to deceive their wives into a sexual practice, perhaps cuckolding isn't so ''healthy'' after all.
Despite these experiences, Ley maintains that ''the rewards can be amazing.'' What those rewards are never fully explained.
One thing, however, remains crystal: CNN is willing to encourage any sexual practice, no matter how depraved.
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The supposed ''technical glitch'' that caused months' worth of text messages between anti-Trump FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to go missing has now purportedly affected thousands of FBI cellphones.
This latest development comes as officials recently learned that five months of text messages between Strzok and Page from December 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017 were lost at a time when investigators were in the process of discovering damning texts that showed a clear anti-Trump bias within the FBI, Fox News reported.
Department of Justice (DOJ) officials told Fox News that ''the glitch affected the phones of 'nearly' 10 percent of the FBI's 35,000 employees.''
The same officials said that they are in the process of trying to recover the physical cellphones affected by the glitch and are also ''taking steps'' to attempt to recover the missing text messages from the cellphone companies. Fox News further reports:
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have sent a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz noting that the IG's office said on Dec. 13 that it had all the messages between Strzok and Page between Nov. 30, 2016 and July 28, 2017.
Lawmakers later learned of the five-month gap.
The lawmakers want the IG's office to "reconcile" those two points.
The Washington Examiner pointed out a critical detail in the disappearance of the text messages, the conflicting accounts of what happened from the Justice Department's Inspector General's Office:
''Following our review of those text messages, the OIG expanded our request to the FBI to include all text messages between Strzok and Page from November 30, 2016, through the date of the document request, which was July 28, 2017. The OIG received these additional messages on August 10, 2017,'' [Michael E. Horowitz, Justice inspector general] wrote to [Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)].
But last week, the IG's office changed its story. ''The department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI's technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI motile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page from December 14, 2016 to approximately to May 17, 2017,'' the office wrote.
CBS News Justice Department reporter Paula Reid added that the DOJ confirmed that the period of time the phones were affected ranges from June 2016 through May 2017.
Nearly all of the groundwork that laid the foundation for the Russia investigation took place between June 2016 and May 2017. The first dossier report from former British spy Christopher Steele was on June 20 and the FBI began its investigation in late July. The five-month period of missing texts between Strzok and Page ends on May 17, 2017, the same day that Robert Mueller was appointed the special counsel in the Russia investigation. Of the texts that investigators have reviewed between Strzok and Page, many raise questions about serious political bias within the FBI as the two communicated about an ''insurance policy'' in case Trump won and a ''secret society'' within the FBI.
Whistleblower Confirms "Secret Society" Meetings Between FBI And DOJ To Undermine Trump | Zero Hedge
A whistleblower has revealed to Congress that clandestine, offsite meetings between high ranking FBI and DOJ took place in which officials discussed ways to undermine President Trump after the 2016 election, Rep. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told Fox News on Tuesday.
The bombshell revelation all but confirms a "secret society" alluded to in text messages released last Friday between two anti-Trump FBI employees tasked with investigating both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
''The secret society '-- we have an informant talking about a group holding secret meetings off-site,'' Johnson said.
''We have to continue to dig into it,'' he added. ''This is not a distraction. This is biased, potentially corruption at the highest levels of the FBI.'' -The Hill
In stunning admission, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) reveals an informant is briefing Congress on "offsite" meetings by "Secret society" mentioned in Strzok-Page texts. pic.twitter.com/pGEgL3Fwfr
'-- Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) January 24, 2018On Monday night, Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News of the "secret society" texts between FBI investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page - contained within a 384-page batch of text messages delivered to Congress from the DOJ last Friday. Of note Ratcliffe says that Strzok and Page were included in the clandestine anti-Trump cabal at the highest levels of the American intelligence community.
.@RepRatcliffe on 5-month gap discovered in new FBI texts: "For former prosecutors like @TGowdySC & myself...it makes it harder & harder for us to explain away one strange coincidence after another." https://t.co/jTCsiBqaVipic.twitter.com/yPKVEJoG91
'-- Fox News (@FoxNews) January 23, 2018What we learned today in the thousands of text messages that weve reviewed that perhaps they may not have done that (checked their bias at the door). There's certainly a factual basis to question whether or not they acted on that bias. We know about this insurance policy that was referenced in trying to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.
We learned today from information that in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok to be working against him.
As part of the 384 page document delivery, the Department of Justice notified Congressional investigators that five months of text messages from December 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017 have gone missing (ironically there is a text message about "not keeping texts" from last Friday's release).
Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2018And while Strzok and Page's communications for five months after the election apparently won't see the light of day, what we do know is that right before the election, Strzok and Page texted about an "insurance policy" against Donald Trump becoming President.
"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he [Trump] gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." writes FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair while spearheading both the Clinton email inquiry and the early Trump-Russia probe, adding "It's like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."
Text-from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page (Andy is Andrew McCabe): "I want to believe the path u threw out 4 consideration in Andy's office-that there's no way he gets elected-but I'm afraid we can't take that risk.It's like an insurance policy in unlikely event u die be4 you're 40"
'-- Bret Baier (@BretBaier) December 13, 2017To recap: we now have text messages between Strzok and Page referencing an "insurance policy" and a "secret society" of people within the DOJ and FBI who came together in the "immediate aftermath" of the 2016 election to undermine President Trump... and a whistleblower who has now told Congress that's exactly what happened in the form of secret, offsite meetings between officials at the two agencies.
Hawaii missile alert highlights hacking threat to emergency systems - POLITICO
With help from Cory Bennett, Eric Geller, Martin Matishak and Li Zhou
IT WASN'T HACKERS '... THIS TIME '-- The false incoming missile alert that sent Hawaiians scrambling on Saturday for 38 dramatic minutes illustrates the psychological harm that hackers can wreak by going after the country's emergency systems, which cybersecurity experts warn are dangerously ill-equipped to fend off digital deviants. And while numerous cyber firms told MC there is no evidence that hackers were involved in Saturday's mistaken alert '-- officials have blamed human error '-- researchers caution that these types of hacks are actually already on the rise. ''Geopolitical tensions are manifesting in cyberspace and widespread panic can be digitally enabled,'' said Tom Kellermann, CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures.
Story Continued Below
Just last year, in fact, a teen hacker in Arizona released malware that blocked 911 calls across several states, including Texas and California. And as far back as 2013, overseas hackers took over the emergency broadcast systems in Montana, Michigan, California, New Mexico and Utah and sent out a message to TV viewers that ''the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living.''
These are not isolated incidents. The Department of Homeland Security in 2015 said it had seen over 600 cyber attacks that took out ''critical government phone systems,'' warning that the problem was ''limited, but persistent.'' And experts say the perpetrators behind these attacks can include cyber criminals looking to extract ransom payments, as well as nation-state cyber warriors probing America's critical networks to determine the weak points.
That's why many cyber specialists are using Saturday's incident in Hawaii to raise awareness of the poor digital defenses protecting America's emergency systems. ''We should take this as quite literally the clarion call that it was,'' said Carl Herberger, vice president of security at Radware, a cyber firm that tracks attacks on emergency networks. Herberger said pulling off attacks against these systems is ''extremely easy.'' The country's 911 networks are especially prone to digital assaults, he added, given the ability of hackers to bombard them with internet-based phone calls. And much of the infrastructure undergirding these systems is ''from the 50s and 60s,'' making it a prime target for President Donald Trump's long-promised influx of infrastructure spending, Herberger said.
In D.C., some lawmakers and regulators are heeding these calls. ''This incident exposed serious weaknesses in our state's emergency alert system that must be fixed,'' said Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, the top Democrat on the Senate's communications, technology and internet subcommittee. And at the Federal Communications Commission, Chairman Ajit Pai said his agency's investigation ''is well underway'' and has already discovered that the local government ''did not have reasonable safeguards'' in place.
But it's hard to know whether these probes will lead to an upgrade in digital protections, in addition to better protocols. And if those bolstered fortifications aren't put in place, Herberger predicted, ''we'll look back '... [at] these attacks and say, 'Weren't we forewarned, wasn't there enough evidence?'''
HAPPY TUESDAY and welcome to Morning Cybersecurity!This is doing it wrong. Send your thoughts, feedback and especially tips to email@example.com and be sure to follow @POLITICOPro and @MorningCybersec. Full team info below.
SENATE TAKES UP SURVEILLANCE '-- The upper chamber will begin debating in earnest a House-approved measure to reauthorize powerful surveillance programs for another six years. Senate leaders are planning to send to President Donald Trump's desk a bill, (S.139), renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before the electronic spying tools expire on Jan. 19. But they'll have to endure bipartisan opposition from a group of privacy and civil liberty-minded lawmakers and at least one potential 2020 presidential contender.
''This legislation is a significant step backward and does nothing substantive to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of innocent Americans,'' Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy and Ron Wyden and Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee argued in a ''Dear Colleague'' letter late last week. Paul and Wyden introduced an alternative renewal bill, (S.1997), as did Leahy and Lee. The group predicted that ''if Leadership does not allow any amendments to the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act and it does not pass this coming week, then Section 702 authorities can be extended again on the next Continuing Resolution to allow the Senate to fully debate how to appropriately reform this powerful surveillance tool.''
Over the holiday weekend, Sen. Elizabeth Warren tied the upcoming debate and vote on the legislation to the legacy of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., who himself was subject to various kinds of government surveillance. ''The day after we honor MLK Jr., the Senate will vote on whether to re-authorize a program that would allow intelligence agencies to continue spying on Americans without meaningful oversight or critical protections for Americans' privacy,'' Warren tweeted.
THIS WEEK'S HILL HEARINGS'-- Today, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is sure to be focused on immigration and the difference between a hole and a house. But given that a number of panel members are focused on a range of cybersecurity problems, expect questions about election defenses, what role DHS might have in continuing the work of the disbanded election fraud commission and more.
Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection will hold a hearing on DHS's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program for protecting federal agency networks. Also Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee meets in an open session to consider the nominations of Michael Atkinson, who President Donald Trump selected to be the intelligence community's inspector general, and Jason Klitenic, who was picked to be general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
CYBER DIPLOMACY GETS MOMENT IN CONGRESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT '-- This could be a big week for both America's cyber diplomacy agenda and tensions between the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress. On Friday, the House will vote on the Cyber Diplomacy Act (H.R. 3776), which would reestablish an independent, high-level State Department cyber office and require new reports from the president on international cyber negotiations and agreements. The bill, sponsored by retiring House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and ranking member Elliot Engel, is a response to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's decision to close the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and move its functions into the bowels of the department's bureaucracy. Cyber experts decried the move as signaling a decreased focus on global cooperation to solve pressing security problems.
The House bill, which the Foreign Affairs Committee approved by voice vote in November, has strong support from the diplomatic and cybersecurity communities. And it is one of the few examples of congressional Republicans seriously challenging Trump appointees' approach to running their agencies. The bill's fate on the House floor is unclear, though it is likely to garner strong support from Democrats, especially those who argue that Tillerson's closure of the cyber office was a gift to Russia and America's other cyber adversaries. There is currently no Senate companion measure.
The scheduled House floor action follows passage last week of two bills with cybersecurity components: One (H.R. 3202) requiring the Homeland Security Department to produce a report to Congress describing the policies and procedures used to disclose software vulnerabilities and a second (H.R. 4559), directing the Transportation Security Administration to conduct a global aviation security review that must include cybersecurity advice.
CONAWAY EYES CHINESE TELECOM FIRMS '-- Rep. Mike Conaway late last week introduced legislation that would bar the federal government from using equipment or services from firms that utilize equipment produced by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE. ''Chinese commercial technology is a vehicle for the Chinese government to spy on United States federal agencies, posing a severe national security threat,'' Conaway, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. Huawei ranks among the world's largest telecom network providers and producers of electronics, including smartphones. The company has faced Washington scrutiny before. A House Intelligence investigation in 2012 concluded Huawei and ZTE had connections to the Chinese government that could make them a national security threat. The companies denied the findings. Conaway called the report ''incriminating'' and warned the threat posed by the telecom firms is ''now reemerging as the Chinese government is reattempting to embed themselves into U.S. technology.''
DMARCATION'-- Sixty three percent of federal domains have adopted an anti-email spoofing standard, according to a blog post set to publish today from cybersecurity firm Agari. DHS ordered implementation of the standard '-- known as Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, or DMARC '-- in October.
WORK WITH US ON THIS '-- President Donald Trump cited Iran's hacker army in a statement late last week urging America's allies to join with the United States to combat Tehran's malign influence around the world. After outlining his desire for a new nuclear agreement with Iran, Trump asked other countries to ''take stronger steps with us to confront Iran's other malign activities.'' The world, he said, ''should join us in countering Iran's cyber threats.'' Around the same time that the White House issued the statement, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against several Iranian entities, including two government agencies involved in social media censorship. The sanctions followed news that Iran had blocked the encrypted messaging app Telegram amid a new round of protests against the regime.
UBER BREACH HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEM WITH BUG BOUNTIES '-- The massive data breach that rocked Uber has led other tech firms to reconsider their bug bounty programs, because they're worried that cooperating with hackers who expose bugs in their systems could put them in legal jeopardy. ''Since the fallout from Uber's disclosure, Silicon Valley companies have taken a harder look at their bounty programs,'' the New York Times reported in a detailed examination of the Uber saga published late last week. According to the Times, at least three tech companies have paused their bug bounty programs, while others are concerned that ''criminal prosecutions for not reporting [the person who found the Uber vulnerability] would deter ethical hackers who would otherwise come forward, causing even more security breaches.''
The Justice Department has not telegraphed a desire to prosecute companies that work with hackers, and last year its cyber unit even published guidance for setting up bug bounty programs. Thus, as the Times noted, the question of whether Uber executives committed a crime by paying a hacker $100,000 to keep quiet about a major security issue ''is not legally clear cut.'' But two law firms representing Uber warned the company that it should have disclosed the incident to state and federal regulators, a company employee told the Times. And Uber's decision to fire its chief security officer and the lawyer who directly handled the payoff stemmed in large part from their decision to cover up the breach.
MICROSOFT SHARES ARGUMENT IN EMAIL CASE '-- Via our friends at Morning Tech: Microsoft late last week filed a brief detailing its arguments in a Supreme Court case examining whether U.S. authorities should be able to access data that's stored overseas under current law. The company has long pushed for new legislation from Congress in the form of the International Communications Privacy Act that would set up a system offering more clarity regarding how legal warrants apply to data that's stored abroad.
''U.S. companies are the world leaders in cloud storage. That lead is built on trust, which has already been shaken by Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. surveillance,'' the company writes, in its brief. ''It will evaporate entirely the moment this Court directs that U.S. companies must disclose emails stored in foreign nations even when doing so would violate the data-privacy laws of those nations.'' The company has also argued that if U.S. authorities push for forceful access of data stored in foreign countries, that could lead other governments to do the same for data stored in the U.S. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled in favor of Microsoft, and said the company was not obliged to provide data stored in Ireland to comply with an American warrant. This Thursday marks the deadline for amicus brief submissions from other companies.
RECENTLY ON PRO CYBERSECURITY'-- Trend Micro concluded that Russian hackers were working to infiltrate the U.S. Senate. '... In part inspired by that report, Sen. Ben Sasse asked the attorney general for an update on Russian attempts to target U.S. politicians and political organizations. '... F-Secure spotlighted more security issues for Intel. '... ''A federal court has unsealed new details about how investigators tried to track down suspected sources for New York Times reporter David Sanger's book discussing how the U.S. and Israel used a computer virus known as 'Stuxnet' to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.'' '... Japan has joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
TWEET OF THE DAY '-- And at the very least, add a confirmation dialogue box to this system!
'-- The CIA has concluded that Russian military hackers were behind the NotPetya attack on Ukraine. The Washington Post.
'-- Canadian authorities arrested the man who allegedly ran LeakedSource.com. Krebs on Security.
'-- Spectre and Meltdown might be problems for a long time. Wired.
'-- Like, seriously, Meltdown is having some ripple effects. The Register.
'--BSA | The Software Alliance has cybersecurity hopes on its 2018 policy agenda.
'-- "Three years after coming into existence, the cyber defense arm of U.S. Cyber Command says it will reach phase one of an order aimed at shoring up vulnerabilities across the Defense Department this spring." Federal News Radio.
'-- Spy agency heads urged Trump to back away from his tweet criticizing Section 702 reauthorization just before a House vote. NPR.
'-- The Army and Congress are concerned about Chinese-made surveillance cameras on a domestic military base. The Wall Street Journal.
'-- China gave three tech companies grief over privacy protections. Reuters.
'-- Sweden is establishing an agency to defend against election meddling, specifically fearing Russian interference. EUobserver.
'-- The founding executive director of Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection provides an anti-election meddling checklist via Just Security.
'-- This kind of gives new meaning to ''multi-step authentication.'' Federal News Radio.
That's all for today.This is doing it right.
Stay in touch with the whole team: Cory Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org, @Cory_Bennett); Bryan Bender (email@example.com, @BryanDBender); Eric Geller (firstname.lastname@example.org, @ericgeller); Martin Matishak (email@example.com, @martinmatishak) and Tim Starks (firstname.lastname@example.org, @timstarks).
Trump's Dreamer ''Deal'' Reads Like a White Nationalist Wish List - In These Times
In exchange for protecting Dreamers, the Trump administration is seeking to restrict immigration and increase deportations on a vast scale.
The string of policies presented by the Trump administration would lead to an upheaval of U.S. immigration policy, closing the door to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who enter the country every year.
On Thursday, the Trump administration unveiled its latest immigration plan during a call with Republican staffers and Trump allies hosted by White House senior advisor Stephen Miller. While many media outlets described the plan as an ''offer'' to protect 1.8 million Dreamers, including current DACA recipients, the plan represents a hardline crackdown on immigration that would tear apart families while fortifying the deportation regime.
The string of policies presented by the Trump administration would lead to an upheaval of U.S. immigration policy, closing the door to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who enter the country every year. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) said in response that the plan ''would result in the most aggressive cuts to legal immigration since the racial quota laws of the 1920s'''--a claim backed up by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Even before Trump took office, U.S. immigration policies were widely criticized as inhumane, with former President Barack Obama overseeing a record number of deportations, as well as the mass incarceration of immigrant families'--including children. The plan put forward on Thursday would mark a dramatic turn in further restricting and criminalizing immigration in the United States.
Along with Trump's proposal to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth who were raised in the United States, the plan includes a $25 billion ''trust fund'' that would be dedicated to building a massive border defense system, including a wall along the southern border with Mexico, as well as the elimination of the immigration visa lottery, an extreme cut back on U.S. migration by extended families and a vast increase in U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, attorneys, judges and prosecutors.
These policies would achieve the long-standing goals of hardline anti-immigration advocates by massively cutting back on the number of immigrants who come into the United States while providing new tools and expansive funding for programs designed to remove immigrants who currently reside in the country.
The planned limits on family migration would halt the entry of individuals including adult children, parents and siblings of U.S. citizens. As a result, the number of green cards issued every year'--roughly one million'--could be cut by up to half. This would result in a radical restructuring of U.S. immigration policy, with devastating results for those hoping to reunite with their family members in the United States.
By ending the diversity visa lottery, the Trump administration would effectively stem immigration to the United States by residents of countries in Africa'--in Trump's words, ''shithole countries'''--which currently account for around 44 percent of the visas offered every year through the program. The change would also curtail immigration for residents of countries in Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as island nations such as Haiti, who have previously benefitted from the lottery.
And along with earmarking $25 billion in funding for the border wall and other infrastructure'--a project even the current head of the Customs and Border Protection doesn't think is ''feasible'' or ''the smartest way to use taxpayer money on infrastructure'''--Trump is also seeking to ''vastly expand the definitions of criminal offenses that could subject an individual to deportation,'' according to CNN.
Additionally, the White House wants to speed up deportation proceedings to remove immigrants from the country more quickly and allow courts to detain individuals indefinitely as they wait to be deported, potentially for years.
Such changes are being proposed at a time when unauthorized border crossings are at their lowest levels in nearly half a century while the number of deportation arrests has soared.
Taken together, the Trump administration's package of policies reads like a far-right wish list of white-nationalist policies aimed at shutting the U.S. border down to foreign immigrants and removing undocumented people from the United States on a vast scale.
And it should come as no surprise that the proposals were reportedly written in part by Stephen Miller, a hard-line anti-immigration advocate who for years has worked to make the country's immigration system more nightmarish for the individuals who are forced to navigate it.
Miller's pedigree includes looking to Ayn Rand and far-right author David Horowitz for political guidance, defending white lacrosse players at Duke University who had been accused of raping a black woman in 2006, working in the offices of right-wing zealots Michelle Bachman and Jeff Sessions, and embracing the same type of nativist, anti-immigration policies that have been pushed by the likes of ''American carnage'' auteur Steve Bannon.
The worldview shared by Bannon and Miller holds that the flow of immigrants into the United States poses an existential threat to the continued success of the American project, and that only by barricading the country to keep out nonwhite immigrant groups can the country truly prosper. This deeply racist ideology is in line with the views of white nationalist Richard Spencer, who claims to have been a ''mentor'' to Miller while the two attended Duke University.
Now, this ideology is driving U.S. immigration policy, and the proposals put forward by the Trump administration would go a long way toward achieving its aims.
While media headlines claim that Trump is backing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the president has also said that his proposal is a take-it-or-leave-it offer, establishing that the radical anti-immigrant policies it includes would have to be enacted in order for DACA recipients to be protected. And it was Trump who rescinded DACA in the first place back in September 2017, setting up the current rush to pass legislation that would prevent the deportation of some 700,000 individuals currently covered under the program.
Trump rode into office by attacking immigrants and Mexicans, blaming them for the country's ills and claiming that he alone could fix America's problems'--in part by shutting down our borders and carrying out mass deportations. The current proposals put forward by the administration show that Trump is staying true to his campaign's racist and brutal promises.
Top Democrats, for their part, have so far voiced opposition to the proposals and have claimed the measures are a nonstarter for any immigration negotiations. However, Senate Democrats have also reportedly dropped the demand for DACA protections from budget negotiations with Republicans, after backing down and agreeing to a short-term funding deal to end a government shutdown, which also featured no immigrant protections.
As the Trump administration continues to push an unabashed anti-immigrant agenda, voicing opposition will be no substitute for taking action to prevent these xenophobic policies from becoming the law of the land.
Miles Kampf-Lassin, a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School in Deliberative Democracy and Globalization, is the Community Editor at In These Times. He is a Chicago based writer. [email protected] @MilesKLassin
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Trump To Offer Citizenship For Dreamers As Part Of Immigration Deal | HuffPost
WASHINGTON ' President Donald Trump is open to granting a path to citizenship to roughly 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children as part of immigration talks, a top White House aide reportedly told Republican staffers on Thursday.
It was the most detail the White House has given on Trump's goals for legal status for so-called Dreamers, nearly 700,000 of whom are currently at risk of losing work permits and deportation relief after he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program .
But although Trump is willing to help those Dreamers and some others who don't already have DACA protections, the White House has indicated it will only do so at a price '-- and his demands for steep border security increases and a dramatic reshaping of the legal immigration system could end up being poison pills that kill the chances of a deal.
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told Republican staffers that Trump would accept permanent legal status for current DACA recipients and Dreamers who are eligible for the program but don't currently hold those protections, an estimated 1.8 million people, according to reports from NBC News and The Daily Beast . Miller described the plan as offering ''extremely generous provisions'' and ''dramatic concessions'' to Democrats, according to The Daily Beast.
But in exchange for helping some undocumented young people, Trump wants to enact policies that would affect countless more individuals, including immigrants in the U.S., people seeking to come here and even Americans who want to sponsor certain family members. Democrats would get one win '-- help for Dreamers '-- in Trump's proposed framework; immigration hardliners like Trump would get a slew of them.
''They think that by offering up a spoonful of sugar '-- relief for Dreamers '-- they can get Congress and the American people to swallow the bitter medicine of radical nativism,'' Frank Sharry, who leads the pro-immigration reform group America's Voice, said in a statement. ''We are going to fight this tooth and nail. We are not going to stand by while Trump and Miller take Dreamers hostage in order to keep out and kick out millions.''
Trump will request $25 billion for border security measures, including a wall in some areas, according to reports. (During the campaign, Trump said that Mexico would pay for the wall .) He is also seeking an end to the diversity visa lottery system, which allows individuals from countries with low immigration levels to come to the U.S. ' such as those in Africa that the president reportedly called '' shithole countries '" in a meeting with senators.
The plan will also call for ending what Trump and his allies refer to derisively as ''chain migration'' ' the process by which Americans and legal permanent residents can sponsor their family members to legally immigrate to the U.S. The White House will propose restricting family-based immigration to spouses and minor children, excluding adult children, siblings and other relatives, according to reports.
Trump also wants the government to close ''loopholes'' in the immigration system to make it easier to deport people '-- likely including children and people seeking asylum, given past comments by officials '-- and detain immigrants for longer periods, according to Axios.
Democrats have said they are willing to make certain compromises as part of a Dreamer deal, but that dramatically reshaping the entire immigration system is both too much to ask and something that could easily cause a deal to fall apart under its own weight. Dreamer activists themselves have called for a deal that helps them without hurting other immigrants . The idea of severely restricting legal immigration '-- a cornerstone of the U.S. '-- isn't backed by all Republicans, either.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), one of the leaders on immigration policy among House Democrats, said the offer didn't pass the smell test.
''It would be far cheaper to erect a 50-foot concrete statue of a middle finger and point it towards Latin America,'' he tweeted. ''Both a wall and the statue would be equally offensive and equally ineffective and both would express Trump's deeply held suspicion of Latinos.''
The White House plans to unveil its immigration policy proposals on Monday. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports.
Last week, the federal government partially shut down after Senate Democrats refused to vote for a funding bill that didn't include protections for Dreamers. They agreed to reopen the government on Monday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he'd allow a vote on an immigration bill in February.
Trump's support for an immigration measure is crucial, and not just because he's the one who would ultimately have to sign the bill. Trump is probably the only person in politics who could convince conservative House Republicans to go along with legislation granting legal status to undocumented immigrants, said Michael Steel, who worked as a spokesman for former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
''A lot of those folks who would be the most upset by an immigration bill that is more generous than they would like are also the closest allies of the president in the House,'' Steel told the HuffPost Politics podcast .
1/45 25 January 2018Rescue workers and police officers stand near derailed trains in Pioltello, on the outskirts of Milan.
2/45 24 January 2018Afghan police officers take position during a blast and gun fire in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
3/45 23 January 2018Workers clean the beach of the coastal town of Zouk Mosbeh, north of Beirut, as garbage washed up and piled along the shore after stormy weather.
4/45 22 January 2018A Free Syrian Army soldier takes a selfie as fighters join up with Turkish troops near the Syrian border at Hassa, Hatay province. Turkey shelled Kurdish militia targets in Syria and claimed progress in a cross-border offensive that has stoked concern among its allies and neighbours
5/45 21 January 2018Palestinians take part in a protest against aid cut, outside the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) office, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
6/45 20 January 2018Oscar Janicki, 6, participates in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia.
7/45 19 January 2018Russian President Vladimir Putin bathes in an ice-cold water on Epiphany near St. Nilus Stolobensky Monastery on Lake Seliger in Svetlitsa village, Russia. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers will plunge into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day.
Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
8/45 18 January 2018People protest to call for a new DREAM Act to replace DACA in Los Angeles, California.
9/45 17 January 2018Pro-democracy activists Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong arrive at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre after they were jailed on protest related charges following their sentencing at the High Court in Hong Kong.
10/45 16 January 2018Skyscrapers Oriental Pearl Tower and Jin Mao Tower (L) are seen from the Shanghai World Financial Center on a hazy day in the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, China.
11/45 15 January 2018Martin Luther King III, US Secretary of the Interior and others wait to place a wreath during an event at the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall.
12/45 14 January 2018A boy stands with women loyal to the Houthi movement during a gathering held to show their support to the movement in Sanaa, Yemen.
13/45 13 January 2018Diego Martin Duplessis of Argentina drives his Honda during the 2018 Peru-Bolivia-Argentina Dakar rally, 40th edition stage seven, La Paz to Uyuni.
14/45 12 January 2018Angela Merkel speaks during a joint press conference after exploratory talks in Berlin. According to reports, the leaders of CDU, CSU and SPD parties after night-long talks agreed on a plan for formal coalition negotiations.
15/45 11 January 2018A Pakistani girl holds a picture of Zainab Ansari, an 8-year-old girl who was raped and kidnapped in Kasur, during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan. Anees Ansari, Zainab's father, accused the police of being slow to respond when his daughter went missing in the eastern Punjab province. Two people were killed and three others were wounded in clashes between angry Kasur residents and police after protesters enraged over her death attacked a police station in the city.
16/45 10 January 2018India's Border Security Force (BSF) 'Daredevils' women motorcycle riders perform during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a cold winter morning in New Delhi.
17/45 9 January 2018Members of the South Korea delegation (R) shake hands with members of the North Korean delegation (L) during their meeting at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas. North and South Korea began their first official talks in more than two years, focusing on the forthcoming Winter Olympics after months of tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.
18/45 8 January 2018Migrants in a dinghy are rescued by Libyan coast guards off the coast of Garabulli, east of Tripoli.
19/45 7 January 2018French President Emmanuel Macron observes a minute of silence in front of the plaque commemorating late police officer Ahmed Merabet to mark the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, in Paris.
20/45 6 January 2018Nicolaos Solis from Greece kisses the wooden cross which was thrown into the waters by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, during the Epiphany ceremony to bless the waters at the Golden Horn in Istanbul.
21/45 5 January 2018Women mourn the death of a family member following a landslide in Kinshasa. Thirty-seven people died overnight when torrential rain and mudslides swept though shanty homes.
22/45 4 January 2018Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Mosab al-Tamimi, 17, who was shot and killed by Israeli troops, during his funeral near the West Bank city of Ramallah .
23/45 3 January 2018People take part in pro-government rallies, Iran.
Tasnim News Agency via Reuters
24/45 2 January 2018Indonesian bus passengers watch as Mount Sinabung spews thick smoke in Karo, North Sumatra.
25/45 1 January 2018People take part in the traditional New Year's Day swim in Scheveningen, Netherlands.
26/45 31 December 2017Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour during New Year's Eve celebrations.
27/45 30 December 2017An Indian muslim lifts a stool with a metal rod pierced through his cheeks to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Rafai Papa Miyan Sai at the Shah-E-Alam Dargah shrine in Ahmedabad.
28/45 29 December 2017A New York apartment fire killed at least 12 people, including a baby, with four more critically injured. Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference from the scene that 'it is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century.'
29/45 28 December 2017Afghan women mourn inside a hospital compound after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
30/45 27 December 2017Pope Francis greets newlyweds during his weekly general audience at Aula Paolo VI in The Vatican.
31/45 26 December 2017Rohingya refugees walk next to a pond in the early morning at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
32/45 25 December 2017Members of ice swimming club "Berliner Seehunde" (Berlin Seals) take a dip in the Orankesee lake in Berlin as part of their traditional Christmas ice swimming session, in Berlin, Germany.
33/45 24 December 2017Mourners carry the body of 19-year-old Mohamed Sami al-Dahdouh, a Palestinian youth from Jabalia who was killed in clashes with Israeli forces east of Gaza City.
34/45 23 December 2017Policemen evacuate a baby after the Cagayan River swelled caused by heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Tembin. People have died and others are missing as the storm struck the southern Philippines unleashing floods and landslides across a region of 20 million people.
35/45 22 December 2017Carles Puigdemont gives a thumbs up after the Catalonia Regional Election results.
36/45 21 December 2017A white SUV sits in the middle of the road as police and emergency personnel work at the scene of where it ran over pedestrians in Flinders Street in Melbourne.
37/45 20 December 2017This combination of pictures shows Syrians covering one eye with their hands, in the rebel-held town of Douma, as part of a campaign in solidarity with a baby boy, Karim Abdallah, who lost an eye, as well as his mother, in government shelling on the nearby town of Hammouria.
38/45 19 December 2017South Korean and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
39/45 18 December 2017Belgian police officers stand guard outside the trial of Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspects in the 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris, at a courthouse in Brussels, Belgium.
40/45 17 December 2017Members of the International Space Station expedition 54/55, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (C), NASA astronaut Scott Tingle (R) and Norishige Kanai (L) of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) during the send-off ceremony after checking their space suits before the launch of the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft at the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
41/45 16 December 2017The former wife of the late South African President Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela (R), and the candidate for the African National Congress presidency and ex-wife of the incumbent South African president, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma greet each other as they attend the 54th ANC National Conference at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg on December 16, 2017. Thousands of delegates from South Africa's ANC party gathered on December 16, 2017 for a five-day meeting to elect their new leader in a divisive race seen as a pivotal moment in the country's post-apartheid history. he winner will be well placed to be the next president, but the ANC has lost much popularity since Nelson Mandela led it to power in the euphoric 1994 election that marked the end of white-minority rule.
42/45 15 December 2017Palestinian protesters wave the national flag during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border fence with Israel, east of Gaza City as demonstrations continue over US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
43/45 14 December 2017Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement, in Gaza City.
44/45 13 December 2017Democratic candidate for US Senate Doug Jones thanks supporters as he holds his wife Louise's hand.
45/45 12 December 2017Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather during the funeral ceremony of prominent spiritual leader Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, who died on Tuesday at the age of 104, in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, Israel.
Image caption Kamal Ahmed and Tina Daheley will help mentor students The BBC is launching a new scheme to help young people identify real news and filter out fake or false information.
The project is targeted at secondary schools and sixth forms across the UK.
From March, up to 1,000 schools will be offered mentoring in class and online to help them spot so-called fake news.
BBC journalists including Kamal Ahmed, Tina Daheley, Amol Rajan and Huw Edwards will also take part in events aimed at helping students.
James Harding, the director of BBC News, said: "This is an attempt to go into schools to speak to young people and give them the equipment they need to distinguish between what's true and what's false."
The move follows a year-long study, conducted by the University of Salford in conjunction with BBC Newsround, looking at how well children aged between nine and 14 can spot false information.
Although most of the children from across all age groups said they knew what fake news was, many of them could not always distinguish between fake and real stories when presented with them.
Image caption BBC Director of News James Harding: "Some information is downright lies." The term "fake news" was popularised by Donald Trump during his presidential election campaign last year.
He used the term to denigrate the output of the traditional news media, although it is also used to describe news stories that achieve significant traction despite being palpably false.
Recent examples include a satirical story claiming that the Pope had endorsed Trump for president, which was widely circulated as an established fact.
The issue surfaced again this month when the President retweeted three inflammatory videos from a British far-right group whose authenticity was subsequently challenged.
In November, The Independent - now an online newspaper - streamed a video "live from space" that turned out to be footage recorded in 2015.
In July, meanwhile, a Facebook Live video purporting to show a storm was outed by social media users as a gif.
"I think that people are getting the news all over the place - there's more information than ever before," said Harding.
"But, as we know, some of it is old news, some of it is half truths. Some of it is just downright lies. And it's harder than ever when you look at those information feeds to discern what's true and what's not.
"But there are 'tells', there are ways that you can look at your news feed and identify a story that's true and a story that's not.
"And we think that's a skill that enables people to make good choices about the information they get and good choices in their lives."
Last month a survey by media watchdog Ofcom found almost three quarters of children aged between 12 and 15 were aware of so-called "fake news" and that half of them has read a story they suspected of being false.
The BBC has set up a mailing list for those interested in finding out more about the project.
Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email email@example.com.
Government announces anti-fake news unit - BBC News
Image copyright Getty Images The UK government is to establish a new unit to counter "fake news", Downing Street has said.
Theresa May's spokesman said the "dedicated national security communications unit" would be charged with "combating disinformation by state actors and others".
"We are living in an era of fake news and competing narratives," he said.
The phrase "fake news" has recently emerged and is frequently used by US President Donald Trump.
What is fake news?Completely false information, photos or videos purposefully created and spread to confuse or misinform
Information, photos or videos manipulated to deceive - or old photographs shared as new
Satire or parody which means no harm but can fool people
A committee of MPs is currently carrying out an inquiry into the "growing phenomenon" and has demanded information from Facebook and Twitter including on Russian activity during the EU referendum.
Downing Street told political reporters: "The government will respond with more and better use of national security communications to tackle these interconnected complex challenges.
"We will build on existing capabilities by creating a dedicated national security communications unit. This will be tasked with combating disinformation by state actors and others. It will more systematically deter our adversaries and help us deliver on national security priorities."
Last month the BBC launched a new scheme to help young people identify real news and filter out fake or false information.
The new fake news unit was agreed at a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).
Defence cutsThe NSC had also commissioned a defence spending review "to deliver better military capability and value for money in a sustainable and affordable way", Downing Street said.
There have been repeated warnings about cuts to the armed forces, with the Ministry of Defence looking for savings of £2bn.
The latest review, called the Modernising Defence Programme, will be led by the MoD, rather than the NSC, which BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale described as a "small but significant victory" for Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
The NSC had been carrying out a "capabilities review" expected to push through more defence cuts, our correspondent said.
And handing responsibility to the MoD would give it the chance to argue for more money from the Treasury and more control over the process.
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding sections numbered 18.2-46.11 through 18.2-46.15, relating to domestic terrorism offenses.----------
Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding sections numbered ½½ 18.2-46.11 through 18.2-46.15 as follows:
½ 18.2-46.11. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context requires otherwise or it is otherwise provided:
½Act of domestic terrorism½ means (i) an act of violence, as defined in ½ 19.2-297.1 or (ii) any violation of ½½ 18.2-52, 18.2-52.1, 18.2-53, 18.2-53.1, 18.2-56.1, 18.2-57, 18.2-83, 18.2-108.1, 18.2-119, 18.2-121, 18.2-127, 18.2-128, 18.2-137, 18.2-138, 18.2-146, 18.2-147, 18.2-186.4, 18.2-279, 18.2-282, 18.2-282.1, 18.2-287.4, 18.2-289, 18.2-300, 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.2, 18.2-308.2:01, 18.2-312, 18.2-423, 18.2-423.01, 18.2-423.1, 18.2-423.2, committed against a person or his property with the intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, or that is committed against such person for the purpose of restraining that person from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States.
½Domestic terrorist organization½ means any organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, which has an identifiable name or identifying sign or symbol and either (i) has as one of its primary objectives or activities an act of domestic terrorism; or (ii) whose members individually or collectively have engaged in the commission of, attempt to commit, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation of two or more acts of domestic terrorism, provided such acts were not part of a common act or transaction.
½Material support or resources½ means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials.
½Pattern of domestic terrorism½ requires at least two acts of domestic terrorism, one of which occurred after the effective date of this article and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of domestic terrorism.
½ 18.2-46.12. Designation of domestic terrorist organizations.
(A) The Superintendent of the Department of State Police shall promulgate regulations, to be updated annually, designating all organizations, groups, or associations meeting the definition of a domestic terrorist organization. Such regulations shall be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations.
(B) In making a designation under this section, the Superintendent shall create an administrative record supporting the designation.
(C) A designation under this section shall be effective for all purposes until revoked or set aside pursuant to subsection (D).
(D) Designated domestic terrorist organizations may seek judicial review in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond within 30 days of the publication of the regulation in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Review under this subsection shall be based solely upon the administrative record. The pendency of an action for judicial review of a designation shall not affect the designation as a domestic terrorist organization, unless the court issues a final order setting aside the designation. Domestic terrorist organizations and the Superintendent may petition the Court of Appeals for review of the circuit court½s decision within 15 days of the date of decision. Domestic terrorist organizations and the Superintendent may petition the Supreme Court of Virginia for review of the Court of Appeals½ decision within 15 days of the date of decision.
(E) The court shall hold unlawful and set aside a designation if the court finds the designation to be (i) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law; (ii) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity; (iii) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitation, or short of statutory right; (iv) lacking substantial support in the administrative record taken as a whole; or (v) not in accord with the procedures required by law.
(F) Any domestic terrorist organization shall have the annual right to petition the Superintendent for revocation of the designation, and the Superintendent shall revoke the designation if he finds that the circumstances that were the basis for the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation. The Superintendent½s revocation decision is subject to judicial review in accordance with subsections (D) and (E).
½ 18.2-46.13. Prohibition on assembly of members of domestic terrorist organizations.
It shall be unlawful for three or more members of a domestic terrorist organization to assemble together with the intent of advancing some unlawful goal, mission, or purpose of the domestic terrorist organization. Every person who participates in such an unlawful assembly shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any member of a domestic terrorist organization carried, at the time of his participation in the unlawful assembly, any firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.
½ 18.2-46.14. Prohibited domestic terrorist organization participation; penalty
(A) Any person who actively participates in or is a member of a domestic terrorist organization and who knowingly and willfully participates in any act of domestic terrorism committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any domestic terrorist organization shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.
(B) Violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. If the acts or activities violating this section also violate another provision of law, a prosecution under this section shall not prohibit or bar any prosecution or proceeding under such other provision or the imposition of any penalties provided for thereby.
½ 18.2-46.15. Prohibition on providing material support to a domestic terrorist organization.
(A) Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a domestic terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony, and, if the death of any person results, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony. To violate this paragraph, a person must have knowledge that the organization is a designated domestic terrorist organization under ½ 18.2-46.13, or that the organization has engaged or engages in a pattern of domestic terrorism.
(B) Whoever provides material support or resources or conceals or disguises the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources, knowing or intending that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, an act of domestic terrorism, or in the preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any act of domestic terrorism, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony, and, if the death of any person results, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony..
(C) Whoever, by any means, directly or indirectly, unlawfully and willfully provides or collects funds with the intention that such funds are to be used, in full or in part, in order to carry out an act of domestic terrorism, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both. For an act to constitute an offense under this subsection, it shall not be necessary that the funds were actually used to carry out a predicate act.
(D) Whenever it appears to the Attorney General that any person is engaged in, or is about to engage in, any act that constitutes, or would constitute, a violation of this section, the Attorney General may initiate a civil action in a circuit court to enjoin such a violation.
(E) In addition to any other criminal, civil, or administrative liability or penalty, if it can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a person provided material support or resources in connection with an act of domestic terrorism, such person shall be subject to civil liability in an action brought by an individual directly affected by the act of domestic terrorism.
(F) Nothing in this section shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or Article I, ½ 12 of the Constitution of Virginia.
½ 18.2-46.16. Civil liability for acts of domestic terrorism
No provisions of this article shall be construed to relieve any member of a domestic terrorist organization from civil liability for any acts of domestic terrorism committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any domestic terrorist organization.
½ 18.2-46.17. Local law enforcement reporting of acts of domestic terrorism.
State, county, and municipal law-enforcement agencies shall report to the Department of State Police all acts of domestic terrorism occurring in their jurisdictions in a form, time, and manner prescribed by the Superintendent. Such reports shall not be open to public inspection except insofar as the Superintendent permits.
§ 19.2-297.1. Sentence of person twice previously convicted of certain violent felonies
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A. Any person convicted of two or more separate acts of violence when such offenses were not part of a common act, transaction or scheme, and who has been at liberty as defined in § 53.1-151 between each conviction, shall, upon conviction of a third or subsequent act of violence, be sentenced to life imprisonment and shall not have all or any portion of the sentence suspended, provided it is admitted, or found by the jury or judge before whom he is tried, that he has been previously convicted of two or more such acts of violence. For the purposes of this section, "act of violence" means (i) any one of the following violations of Chapter 4 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of Title 18.2:
a. First and second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter under Article 1 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.);
b. Mob-related felonies under Article 2 (§ 18.2-38 et seq.);
c. Any kidnapping or abduction felony under Article 3 (§ 18.2-47 et seq.);
d. Any malicious felonious assault or malicious bodily wounding under Article 4 (§ 18.2-51 et seq.);
e. Robbery under § 18.2-58 and carjacking under § 18.2-58.1;
f. Except as otherwise provided in § 18.2-67.5:2 or § 18.2-67.5:3, criminal sexual assault punishable as a felony under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.); or
g. Arson in violation of § 18.2-77 when the structure burned was occupied or a Class 3 felony violation of § 18.2-79.
(ii) conspiracy to commit any of the violations enumerated in clause (i) of this section; and (iii) violations as a principal in the second degree or accessory before the fact of the provisions enumerated in clause (i) of this section.
B. Prior convictions shall include convictions under the laws of any state or of the United States for any offense substantially similar to those listed under "act of violence" if such offense would be a felony if committed in the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth shall notify the defendant in writing, at least thirty days prior to trial, of its intention to seek punishment pursuant to this section.
C. Any person sentenced to life imprisonment pursuant to this section shall not be eligible for parole and shall not be eligible for any good conduct allowance or any earned sentence credits under Chapter 6 (§ 53.1-186 et seq.) of Title 53.1. However, any person subject to the provisions of this section, other than a person who was sentenced under subsection A of § 18.2-67.5:3 for criminal sexual assault convictions specified in subdivision f, (i) who has reached the age of sixty-five or older and who has served at least five years of the sentence imposed or (ii) who has reached the age of sixty or older and who has served at least ten years of the sentence imposed may petition the Parole Board for conditional release. The Parole Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this subsection.
1994, cc. 828, 860, 862, 881; 1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., cc. 1, 2; 1995, c. 834; 1996, c. 539.
The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.
Britain is currently one of the biggest contributors to the European Budget, but that will end once Brexit is concluded.
The hole left by the UK's contribution is a cause for concern for European leaders as they consider the option of re-allocating funds from a smaller pot or asking member states to increase their contributions.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Katainen said: ''It is certainly a problem and we have to address it.
"If I should bet something, we need to adjust the budget to a certain extent but also we need fresh money from member states.
UK's decision to leave the EU will be a 'problem' for member states due to the budget shortfall Related articles Jacob Rees-Mogg BLASTS Hammond's latest push for soft Brexit Czech presidential hopeful warns EU & threatens OWN referendum GETTY
EC Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said Brexit is a 'problem' for the EU budget We need to adjust the budget to a certain extent but also we need fresh money from member states
Jyrki Katainen - European Commission Vice-President
''We also have to look at how money is spent, how we could get more out of less."
Many members are concerned about paying more to compensate for Britain's decision leave the EU.
Mr Katainen told CNBC that a possible solution could be using more financial instruments, including equity investments, to finance European projects rather than direct financial contributions.
He said: ''This is what we are planning or exploring at the moment'... it's going to be a very though negotiation.''
Brexit negotiations continue, live pictures Fri, December 8, 2017 AFP/Getty Images
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David Davis and EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attend a press conference by Theresa May
At the conclusion of phase one of Brexit negotiations last year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said the ''real negotiations on the second phase will start in March'' this year.
However, talks could begin sooner as EU diplomats announced today that Britain's Brexit negotiators are expected to launch fortnightly rounds of talks in Brussels from as early as next week.
Further discontent amongst EU countries also emerged today when the Netherlands opposed the proposal for richer nations to bail out poorer members struggling to perform in the eurozone.
The Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte said: ''I'm against risk sharing. I'm against this idea of a transfer union.''
Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte wants to introduce reforms to reduce the bloc's debt He also called on other EU members to introduce reforms to reduce the bloc's debt.
''We need something to deal with sovereign debt restructuring. Which is part of how can we bring down the overall level [of debt]'', he added.
In a speech last year Jean-Claude Juncker spoke about the choice EU member states face regarding the bloc's budget.
He said: ''Either we pursue the European Union's ambitions in the strict framework of the existing budget, or we increase the European Union's budgetary capacity so that it might better reach its ambitions.
''I am for the second option."
North Korea sends rare announcement to all Koreans, calls for unification
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea sent a rare announcement addressed to ''all Koreans at home and abroad'' on Thursday, saying they should make a ''breakthrough'' for unification without the help of other countries, its state media said.
It said all Koreans should ''promote contact, travel, cooperation between North and South Korea'' while adding Pyongyang will ''smash'' all challenges against reunification of the Korean peninsula.
The announcement, issued after a joint meeting of government and political parties, added Koreans should wage an energetic drive to defuse the acute military tension and create a peaceful climate on the Korean peninsula.
Military tension on the Korean peninsula was a ''fundamental obstacle'' for the improvement of inter-Korean relations and unification, the North's official news agency said.
It added joint military drills with ''outside forces'' has shown to be unhelpful for the development of relations between North and South Korea.
North Korea did not provide details why the meeting had been held but the statement said it was aimed to support leader Kim Jong Un's remarks regarding unification from his New Year's address. It said this year is meaningful for both North and South Korea as it is the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea while South Korea will be hosting the Winter Olympics next month.
Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Susan Thomas
General Saiyud Kerdphol, the military engineer of Thailand's winning Cold War-era anticommunism campaign, believes now is the time to build the Kra canal '' a long-envisioned channel through the country's southern isthmus that would connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans and dramatically shorten East-West shipping routes.
And for the massive infrastructure undertaking to finally break ground after centuries of pondering, the nonagenarian former supreme commander believes the monumental decision cannot be taken by any government and thus must be conceived and graced as ''the king's canal.''
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''This cannot be done if it's not the king's project,'' says Saiyud, who in an interview with Asia Times recalls meeting with the previous monarch in the 1980s when British motor company Rolls-Royce briefly had interest in the canal. ''The government will never be firm enough to make a decision because they know they can't control corruption.''
To be sure, Thailand is no closer to digging the Kra canal today than when it was first considered by King Narai in 1677. The scheme has been resurrected in various forms several times since, only to founder on political rocks and security concerns, including existential trepidation of physically dividing the nation in two.
The incumbent ruling junta, while grasping for new economic transformation strategies, has shown no interest in the canal. That's due to perceived security risks in sight of a raging separatist Muslim insurgency in the kingdom's southern reaches and the likely criticism that would arise from taking such a big decision as an unelected government.
Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn paying respects at the statue of King Rama I on April 6, 2017. Photo: AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha
But with the recent transition from deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej to King Maha Vajiralongkorn, now known as Rama X, the canal's ex-top brass backers hope the new monarch with a military background will give the scheme royal consideration, in the name of national peace and development.
Saiyud suggests the canal could herald ''a new era of civilization'' during Vajiralongkorn's reign and bring peace through hearts-and-minds development to the conflict-ridden Deep South. The new king has taken special interest in the Muslim majority region, leading some to wonder if he may prioritize achieving peace in the region as part of his legacy.
It's not altogether clear if the previous king shared concerns about physically dividing the kingdom, though staunch royalists note the canal would necessarily be wider than the Chao Phraya River, the nation's main north-south waterway that travels through Bangkok and by the royal Grand Palace, viewed by many as the spiritual heart of the nation.
The Thai Canal Association (TCA), a group of influential former top brass soldiers advocating for the project, recently rechristened the canal from ''Kra'' to ''Thai'' to indicate it would be built for all Thais, in line with Bhumibol's view that the decision should be made by the people.
TCA points to a recent local Songkhla University poll that apparently showed 74% of residents in 14 southern provinces agreed with building the canal.
Former King Bhumibol Adulyadej speaks to students during a visit to the Khao Tao reservoir in southern Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Photo: Bangkok Post via AFP/Tawatchai Kemgumnerd
The project's skeptics, on the other hand, believe the latest drive-to-build aims ultimately to win rich feasibility study contracts ''for the boys'', with scant prospects of actually implementing any proposed grand plan. The canal would cost anywhere between US$20-US$30 billion depending on the chosen route, and likely take a decade to dig.
While it's unclear if any formal representations have been made to the monarch, the canal does have one rich and powerful new backer: China.
Beijing's newly appointed ambassador to Bangkok, Lyu Jian, has said in recent high-level meetings that China envisions the Thai canal as part of its US$1 trillion 'One Belt One Road' (Obor) global infrastructure initiative, according to Thai government officials and advisors briefed on the discussions.
While China aims to link the initiative with the junta's Eastern Economic Corridor industrial, logistical and real estate development plan, including via a long-stalled high-speed rail line connecting the two nations via Laos that broke symbolic ground in December, it is apparently the first-time Beijing has actively promoted the canal as part of the Obor program.
Until now, Beijing has publicly distanced itself from private Chinese companies which have engaged Thai trade groups to probe the project's potential. That includes a memorandum of understanding entered by the China-Thailand Kra Infrastructure and Development Company and Asia Union Group to study the canal signed in Guangzhou in May 2015.
China's Embassy in Bangkok did not respond to Asia Times' written request for its current official position on the canal.
A map of current and possible future shipping routes. Source: Pakdee Tanapura
If China is involved, past financial and engineering obstacles '' a previous consortium toyed with the notion of using nuclear explosions to excavate the channel '' are likely no longer stumbling blocks, according to Pakdee Tanapura, a long-time advocate for building the canal and ranking TCA member.
Pakdee said Longhao Co Ltd, a Chinese construction company involved in recent land reclamation and island-building in the South China Sea, has expressed interest in the canal. Its plan would entail the construction of two man-made islands for facilities on either side of the canal's entry points at the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, according to Pakdee.
Other Hong Kong and Macau-based construction firms have also expressed interest in meetings with known palace emissaries, according to a diplomat monitoring the security dimensions of the canal. Beijing has put Hong Kong and Macau companies forward due to their global experience and comparatively polished executives, the envoy says.
The canal would save approximately 1,200 kilometers from current East-West shipping routes that currently must travel through the congested Malacca Strait, the world's busiest maritime area where an estimated 84,000 ships and around 30% of global trade currently passes each year.
The World Bank has projected that volume could increase to over 140,000 per year in the next decade, while the narrow strait currently has the capacity to handle 122,000 ships. Much of that transport passes by or stops over for supplies and fuel in Singapore, the wealthy city-state that would seemingly have the most to lose from an alternative East-West shipping route.
Aerial view of ships along the coast in Singapore July 9, 2017. Reuters/Jorge Silva
Jinsong Zhao, a maritime expert at state-led Shanghai Jiao Tong University, suggests the canal could put Thailand at the center of a ''third revolution'' of fast-transport global trade, where e-commerce driven sales require ever quicker door-to-door delivery of goods that is limited in the region due to the long shipping route through the Malacca Strait.
''To my Thai friends: Don't waste your time, don't delay this project,'' Jinsong implored at a conference on the canal held last September in Bangkok. ''We have technology, we have capacity, we have money, we are happy to help. It's good for Thailand, Asia and the whole world.'' He said if Thailand waited another 20 years, it would be ''fatal'' to winning China's support.
That may or may not be true. As much as 80% of China's fuel imports currently pass through the Malacca Strait, a maritime bottleneck running between Malaysia and Indonesia that strategic analysts say the US Navy could readily block in any conflict scenario by leveraging its strategic access to nearby Singapore.
Beijing's interest in a Thai canal comes amid uncertainty at Obor-invested ports envisioned '' at least in part '' as strategic hedges to its Malacca vulnerability, including facilities in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar's now violence-wracked western Rakhine state, through which China has built oil and gas pipelines to fuel its landlocked southern hinterlands.
If built, the Thai canal would necessarily shift Asia's maritime strategic dynamics by bypassing Malacca, one of the US' chief strategic advantages vis- -vis China at sea. One US official who communicated with Asia Times was skeptical the canal would be built any time soon, even with China's apparent interest and potential financial support.
Another independent analyst with a US military background in the region and aware of the Pentagon's recent strategic thinking said that even if the Thai canal was built, it would merely mean that the US Navy would have two strategic chokepoints, rather than just one, to block in a potential conflict with China.
General Saiyud Kerdphol (L) reviews troops as Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces in 1983. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Saiyud says he believes the US, which showed interest in the canal in an era when China was a minor maritime player, could ultimately support the canal for the logistical benefits to regional trade and as a long-time ally committed to Thailand's economic development and prosperity. Thai-US bilateral relations have waned, however, under junta rule.
While fully engaged with Beijing, the canal's Thai advocates are also keen to build a multinational coalition of backers and funders to prevent any one country, namely China, from having inordinate leverage over the channel and its related port facilities. ''It must be a Thai company to lead and not look too Chinese,'' says military statesman Saiyud.
Other advocates point to the recent multilateral funding for expansion of the Panama Canal, with support from Germany, Spain, South Korea, US, Argentina and Mexico, among others, as a financial model. They note the project would require new airports, communication networks and other modern infrastructure that would allow several nations to participate.
If built, the Thai canal would necessarily shift Asia's maritime strategic dynamics by bypassing Malacca, one of the US' chief strategic advantages vis- -vis China at sea
That's sparked certain multinational interest. Last September's TCA-organized conference held in Bangkok was supported by the European Association for Business and Commerce and sponsored by Hong Kong construction company Grand Dragon. A follow-up event on February 1 in Phuket will be staged in collaboration with the Thailand chambers of commerce of Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands and US.
Finance Minister Somkid Jatusripitak was scheduled to make opening remarks at last September's canal event, but was held back at the last minute by the Prime Minister. As the junta's political troubles mount and with an uncertain democratic transition on the horizon, such a monumental undertaking isn't likely to win government support any time soon.
''We're no closer today [to building the canal] than we were 340 years ago,'' said General Pongthep Thesprateep, TCA's chairman and secretary general of top royal advisor Prem Tinsulanonda's Statesman Foundation, in an interview with Asia Times. ''But for the people and the country, it's a good time to start.''
Stephen Paddock '' Brother Bruce Paddock '' Child Porn And Trafficking '' More Specifics Bring More Questions. '' InvestmentWatch
I have come to a conclusion that Stephen Paddock was child sex trafficker most likely flying the children from the Philippines into the United States. I believe that his business Paradise Ranch LLC was the headquarters in Nevada and Paradise Ranch in the Philippines was the sister headquarters in the Philippines. I further suspect that he knew he was going to be arrested, as the FBI was watching his brother Bruce Paddock in North Hollywood, California.
In fact, Bruce Paddock was just arrested in North Hollywood, California. If you can believe this, they arrested him at an assisted living center. They took him out in a wheelchair, and he was found with 600 child porn images. It is being said these images were some of the worst seen in child porn.
The details of the investigation that led to the arrest have yet to be made public, but a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles County lists 20 potential counts and indicates the alleged crimes occurred in 2014. According to sources within the LAPD, Bruce was ''squealing like a pig'' about his brother Stephen's role in running a child trafficking ring.
Police have placed Paddock on lockdown with extremely limited access, on order from ''higher-ups'' at the State Department. It sounds to me like both Paddocks may have been watched for a very long time, and they were wanted badly. President Trump has been cracking down on pedophiles, and the Paddocks could very well have been a part of this.
Bruce Paddock told arresting officers that his brother ran a ''child trafficking empire'' that had very powerful connections, going ''all the way to the top.'' If this is so, and I think it is, this would be someone President Trump would want arrested.
According to the investigators who took Paddock into custody, he said he would hand over information in return for an immunity deal, saying: ''I'll give you all the names and tell you everything you want to know, but I'm not saying another word 'till I see an immunity deal with Donald Trump's signature on it.''
An attorney who represented Bruce Paddock in past criminal matters told NBC News that he is no longer representing him and declined comment. Court records show Bruce Paddock has previous convictions for vandalism, criminal threats, and theft, according to NBC News.
Bruce Paddock spoke with NBC News following the shooting, describing his own misdeeds as ''minor.'' He said he was questioned by FBI agents after the mass shooting, mostly about his brother's childhood, NBC News reported. The Paddocks led a very troubled life to put it mildly, and after looking below the surface you find a deeply sinister pattern of abuse.
Paddock stopped working in the 1980s after leaving the deep state defense contractor Morton-Thiokol, and one must ask the question, ''how did Steven Paddock make his millions?'' Professionals say there is no way the man could have made the vast amount of his fortune through gambling. However, we do know he owned two planes and had a pilot's license. We know he made numerous trips to the Philippines, and we know his partner, Marilou Hanley, was from the Philippines.
The below is a series of videos on Stephen Paddock and the child porn connection. The author believes that Paddock had been under investigation by the FBI, and he in turn agreed to do the Las Vegas operation for them. This is his opinion, as he has been investigating sex traffickers for a very long time.
Published on Oct 25, 2017
Today the FBI announced that Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock's brother, Bruce, is under investigation for child porn. Much of the discussion of the history of psychopaths and sociopaths is paraphrased from Dr. William Hirstein, as quoted in Psychology Today magazine:
This report is going to be rather jumbled, as I have found different facts I want to report. Next, I found out why the receipt Laura Loomer found from the day of the shooting had Marilou Danley's name on it. For some reason Paddock used Marilou's ID to check in that day'....that is rather strange.
On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said US authorities had contacted Australian officials after the shooting to try to track down Ms Danley, as her name had been linked to the massacre after Paddock used her identification at a hotel check-in.
She said it was understood Ms Danley was in the Philippines.
Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar previously expressed doubt that Ms Danley was in the Philippines, saying there was also ''no official confirmation yet on her nationality, original or acquired''.
More conflicting rumours circulated on Tuesday, when Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Ms Danley was in Tokyo at the time of the shooting, and that she would be interviewed upon her return. END OF QUOTE
Another strange fact is the visit Paddock made to Phoenix, Arizona. He flew, and then checked a rental car, but he did not fly back to Nevada, he drove. Is there a reason he did not fly back? Could he have had guns in his car?
There have been many ATF operations working out of Phoenix, Arizona. They call them gunwalking operations. On September 19, Stephen used his visa card to rent a car at the Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The car was an intermediate sized car, and it took him 92 more hours than necessary to return to Vegas. I will leave this for you to think about.
Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, fathered Stephen, who was born in 1953. He also set up a fraud ring that he said passed $90,000 in bad checks. He was caught and sent back to prison.
When he was released in 1956, he moved with his wife and son to Tucson, Arizona. The couple had three more sons, and Benjamin Paddock operated a service station, a nightclub and a garbage disposal franchise. He bought a house and a car and got involved in the local hot rod and ham radio clubs.s had ever ended up back in court.
While Stephen Paddock was playing at the family's white ranch house, his father was robbing banks with a snub-nosed revolver and getting away in the family station wagon. He said the ham radio equipment he kept in the car was ideal for a robber because he could listen in on the police.
Benjamin Paddock was caught in 1960. But the bank robbery charges, he insisted to the psychiatrist, were a case of mistaken identity. A criminal syndicate was forcing him to take the rap.
For years after Paddock was arrested, his sons were told he was dead. Later, they learned the truth, and some visited him, his son Eric Paddock said, but none seemed to form a close relationship. Eric Paddock cursed his father in an interview and said he was angry at him for being more interested in crime than his family.
When Paddock was home, he beat and tormented his sons..
Facing trial, Benjamin Paddock insisted that he was not crazy. He said he had ''never been mental ill, 'never even unconscious.''' As an aside, he explained that he could get a cushy job in the penitentiary that would beat the boredom of the mental hospital.
In the long account of his life, Paddock never expressed remorse. A few months later, a judge sentenced him to 20 years in a federal prison. He broke out after eight and spent much of the rest of his life on the lam.
I would like to close in reporting on some new information concerning the two bullet holes that were found in the two fuel tanks. In my opinion this is extremely interesting.
Las Vegas madman Stephen Paddock seemingly targeted the hanger for the U.S. government's super secret JANET airlines. Law enforcement sources exclusively told RadarOnline.com that just afield of the two massive, circular fuel tanks at which Paddock fired, lies the shadowy terminal for JANET. ''JANET is essentially an airline that doesn't exist,'' a source told Radar. ''It is not affiliated with any other airline.
Insiders call it the 'CIA's airline,' but, informally, it's known as 'JANET' because its pilots use that identifier over air traffic control frequencies.''
''The airline mostly uses JANET as a shuttle service for military VIPs between Las Vegas and Area 51,'' the source added. ''The joke is that the acronym stands for Just Another Non-Existent Terminal.''
''Insiders call it the 'CIA's airline,' but, informally, it's known as 'JANET' because its pilots use that identifier over air traffic control frequencies.''
''The airline mostly uses JANET as a shuttle service for military VIPs between Las Vegas and Area 51,'' the source added. ''The joke is that the acronym stands for Just Another Non-Existent Terminal.''
''It's also a very intriguing angle given Paddock worked for the predecessor of Lockheed Martin, one of the U.S. government's most relied upon military aviation manufacturers.''But the retired 64-year-old also broke a second window and fired at two circular, white-pained fuel tanks 1,110 feet from the concert site on the edge of McCarran International Airport.
Officials have now confirmed he hit the tank twice, although the bullets did not pierce their shells. Construction crews have already whitewashed the damage.
''Airport fueling has not been compromised,'' airport spokesman Chris Jones acknowledged. ''It's functional.''
The tanks are owned and operated by Swissport, and used primarily to fuel numerous private airlines located around that part of McCarran. The closest airline is JANET.
In the wake of these revelations, Radar has learned JANET planes are officially owned by the U.S. Air Force '-- and operated by defense contractor AECOM. The planes neither carry nor display an N-number, and none of the usual identifying marks common to commercial and privately owned aircraft.
But those in the know them only by the distinctive red cheat line painted prominently across the planes' fuselages.
The airline is most commonly used by the U.S. government to ferry military and government VIPs, and contractors between Las Vegas and Area 51, the super secret base where the military is believed to tests experimental weapons and aircraft. END OF QUOTE
We also know that the hard drive is missing from Paddock's laptop, but in my opinion this is par for the course.
At Stripe, we've long been excited about the possibilities of cryptocurrencies and the experimentation and innovation that's come with them. In 2014, we became the first major payments company to support Bitcoin payments.
Our hope was that Bitcoin could become a universal, decentralized substrate for online transactions and help our customers enable buyers in places that had less credit card penetration or use cases where credit card fees were prohibitive.
Over the past year or two, as block size limits have been reached, Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange. Given the overall success that the Bitcoin community has achieved, it's hard to quibble with the decisions that have been made along the way. (And we're certainly happy to see any novel, ambitious project do so well.)
This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments, however. Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies. (By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it's for the ''wrong'' amount.) Furthermore, fees have risen a great deal. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.
Because of this, we've seen the desire from our customers to accept Bitcoin decrease. And of the businesses that are accepting Bitcoin on Stripe, we've seen their revenues from Bitcoin decline substantially. Empirically, there are fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with Bitcoin makes sense.
Therefore, starting today, we are winding down support for Bitcoin payments. Over the next three months we will work with affected Stripe users to ensure a smooth transition before we stop processing Bitcoin transactions on April 23, 2018.
Despite this, we remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall. There are a lot of efforts that we view as promising and that we can certainly imagine enabling support for in the future. We're interested in what's happening with Lightning and other proposals to enable faster payments. OmiseGO is an ambitious and clever proposal; more broadly, Ethereum continues to spawn many high-potential projects. We may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow. It's possible that Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, or another Bitcoin variant, will find a way to achieve significant popularity while keeping settlement times and transaction fees very low. Bitcoin itself may become viable for payments again in the future. And, of course, there'll be more ideas and technologies in the years ahead.
So, we will continue to pay close attention to the ecosystem and to look for opportunities to help our customers by adding support for cryptocurrencies and new distributed protocols in the future.
Bank of America, Citigroup reviewing the use of credit cards to buy bitcoin
A woman touches an ATM machine for digital currency Bitcoin in Hong Kong on December 18, 2017.
Friction is increasing between some credit card companies and customers who want to use the cards to buy cryptocurrencies.
Bank of America and Citigroup are reviewing policies that allow customers to buy bitcoin with credit cards. The reviews follow news about two weeks ago that Capital One Financial has decided to prohibit cryptocurrency purchases.
Toronto-Dominion Bank subsidiary TD Bank also confirmed to CNBC that some bitcoin transactions aren't being processed as the result of security measures.
The Wall Street Journal first reported news of Bank of America's cryptocurrency review Thursday. Discover Financial Services effectively prohibited cryptocurrency purchases with its credit cards in 2015, the Journal said. Discover did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
Money laundering appears to be a factor in the financial firms' concerns about dealing with cryptocurrencies. Discover CEO David Nelms said in a Bloomberg report Wednesday that financing purchases of cryptocurrencies creates headaches for banks that are required to monitor transactions for money laundering.
Earlier this month, Visa also ended its relationship with cryptocurrency card company WaveCrest, which allows people to convert their cryptocurrencies into cash loaded onto a prepaid card.
Jamie Dimon's J.P. Morgan Chase is still allowing customers to buy cryptocurrencies with their Chase credit cards, the bank told CNBC. However, Chase did not respond to a question about potential changes to that policy.
'-- CNBC's Annie Nova contributed to this report.
How Blockchain Technology Could Boost Climate Action | UNFCCC
Experts meeting at the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in May have said that a new technology called ''Blockchain'' could play a major role in tackling climate change.
A Blockchain is a distributed database that is continuously updated and verified by its users. Each added block of data is ''chained'' and becomes part of a growing list of records, under the surveillance of network members. This technology enables the transfer of assets and the recording of transactions through a secure database.
''As countries, regions, cities and businesses work to rapidly implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement, they need to make use of all innovative and cutting-edge technologies available. Blockchain could contribute to greater stakeholder involvement, transparency and engagement and help bring trust and further innovative solutions in the fight against climate change, leading to enhanced climate actions,'' said Alexandre Gellert Paris, Associate Programme Officer at the UNFCCC.
Blockchain technology can be used to develop peer-to-peer trade of clean energy, for certified and facilitated transactions among consumers.
For climate action, Blockchain technology could be used in the following specific ways:
Improved carbon emission trading:
Blockchain could be used to improve the system of carbon asset transactions. For example, IBM and Energy Blockchain Lab are currently working together to develop a Blockchain platform for trading carbon assets in China. Recording carbon assets on a public Blockchain would also guarantee transparency and ensure that transactions are valid and settled automatically.
Facilitated clean energy trading:
The technology could also allow for the development of platforms for peer-to-peer renewable energy trade. Consumers would be able to buy, sell or exchange renewable energy with each other, using tokens or tradable digital assets representing a certain quantity of energy production.
Enhanced climate finance flows:
Blockchain technology could help develop crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financial transactions in support of climate action, while ensuring that financing is allocated to projects in a transparent way.
Better tracking and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and avoidance of double counting:
The technology could provide more transparency regarding GHG emissions and make it easier to track and report emission reductions, thereby addressing possible double counting issues. It could serve as a tool to monitor the progress made in implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions, or ''NDCs'' under the Paris Agreement, as well as in company targets.
Advantages of Blockchain TechnologyThe first major application of Blockchain technology was the Bitcoin digital currency, launched in 2009, allowing online payments to be transferred directly, without an intermediary. The currency is meanwhile used by millions of people for payments.
Blockchain, the underlying technology operating the Bitcoin should be separated from the currency. It has many other applications in inter-organizational cooperation, including as an efficient way to keep record of transactions and manage data.
Blockchain technology is based on a mutual distributed network, which allows for high-level trust among users and better monitoring over the stored data.
More Work Needed for Blockchain to Fully Support Climate ActionBecause of its distributed nature, Blockchain could improve governance and sustainability in support of collective action aimed at tackling climate change. As opposed to centralized or decentralized networks, Blockchain prevents monopolistic control over the system. The technology also records transactions openly and permanently, thus fostering transparency and traceability.
Research on ways to integrate Blockchain into different sectors related to sustainable development is now expanding, and innovation at the intersection of Blockchain and climate change is expected to further develop in the coming years.
Blockchain was also the topic of key sessions during the Innovate4Climate 2017 conference in Barcelona this May, the most important gathering of the private sector on climate change organized by the World Bank Group and others.
The United Nations Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat recognizes the general potential of Blockchain technology. In particular, transparency, cost-effectiveness and efficiency advantages, which in turn may lead to greater stakeholder integration and enhanced creation of global public goods are currently viewed as the main potential benefits. The secretariat, therefore, specifically supports initiatives that lead to innovation at the intersection of Blockchain and climate. One of such initiatives is the ''Blockchain for Climate'' hackathon to be organized by the government of Liechtenstein, Cleantech21, INFRAS and ETH Z¼rich, in the margin of COP23.
A Brief History of Blockchain, by Vinay Gupta for the Harvard Business Review
The environment needs cryptogovernance, by Guillaume Chapron for Nature
The Blockchain and Us, a film by Manuel Stagars
Socialist California, Not Mississippi, Now Poverty Capital of America
If you've spent any time on your liberal relatives' news feeds, you've probably seen a meme or five noting how Mississippi '-- a state where residents overwhelmingly vote Republican '-- is the most poverty-stricken state in America.
Of course, this meme ignores historical factors as well as the very salient fact that the Democrats, until relatively recently, treated Dixie as their own private fiefdom. However, all of those memes can now go away, because there's a new poverty capital of these United States.
This time, America's poverty capital is a state that's had a history of wealth, both in terms of human capital and natural resources. It's where several of our biggest industries '-- including defense and tech '-- have been based. It was a place where many people went in the 20th century to seek their fortunes. And yet, after the state turned into the most liberal '-- dare we say socialist? '-- place in America, it also became our country's epicenter of economic misery.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present your new poverty capital: California.
''California '-- not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia '-- has the highest poverty rate in the United States,'' the Los Angeles Times notes in a Jan. 14 piece by Kerry Jackson.
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''According to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure ''which accounts for the cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income '-- nearly one out of four Californians is poor.''
So, why are Californians so poor? After all, job and GDP growth is good, although most of that is based around the tech sector. Part of it, Jackson argues, is that ''state and local bureaucracies that implement California's antipoverty programs '... resisted pro-work reforms'' that began in the 1990s to get people off of welfare.
''It's not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty, Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now. Myriad state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits, according to the California Policy Center,'' Jackson writes.
''Unfortunately, California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to roughly one in three of the nation's welfare recipients. The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse,'' Jackson continued.
Do you think things will get worse for California?''It's as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.''
Other reasons for California being the new capital of poverty? Californians spent 30 percent of their income on housing in 2015, in part because of government regulations around land use and the environment.
''Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,'' analyst Wendell Cox said. ''Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.''
That's not the only place where the state's exigent environmental regulations have hurt the middle class and poor. Some estimates have energy prices at 50 percent more than the national average due mostly to regulations.
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''In 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced 'energy poverty' '-- defined as energy expenditures exceeding 10 percent of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15 percent of all households,'' read a 2015 Manhattan Institute study titled ''Less Carbon, Higher Prices'' authored by Jonathan A. Lesser.
And things are only poised to get worse: ''By 2020, California will require that one-third of electricity consumed in the state be generated from renewable sources,'' the study read. ''California households' electricity prices have risen as a result of the state's renewable-energy mandates and carbon cap-and-trade program '-- and will likely continue to rise at an even faster rate in coming years.''
The great irony at work here is that this has been the Democrat playbook for decades now. We're told that if we give the poorest among us welfare, it will spark the economy more than tax cuts because the impoverished will put that money back into the economy. Green energy '-- adopted in expedited fashion due to environmental regulations '-- was supposed to create new industries and economic growth as far as the windmill-trained eye could see.
Instead, what we've seen is homelessness, shantytowns, extreme income inequality, joblessness, deficits, and all without discernible benefit to the state and the nation at large. Which raises the question: isn't this what they said the conservative agenda would lead to?
H/T City Journal
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Will California see further decline? Scroll down to comment below!
Ford again urged to recall Explorers for exhaust leaks before 'luck runs out' - Autoblog
A prominent automotive safety advocacy group is renewing its call for Ford to recall 1.3 million Explorer SUVs from model years 2011 through 2017 amid rising complaints that dangerous carbon monoxide is leaking into the cabins and causing headaches, nausea, vomiting and other ailments.
The Washington D.C.-based Center for Auto Safety says complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the Explorer have risen 900 percent since the federal agency first began investigating the matter in July 2016. NHTSA has now received at least 1,381 complaints from Explorer drivers and passengers about exposure to carbon monoxide, an odorless gas whose symptoms mimic those of the flu and is responsible for more than 400 deaths per year in the United States. The group's executive director, Jason Levine, wrote a letter to Ford CEO Jim Hackett in which he noted the issue has not resulted in any deaths but concluded, "the time for Ford to take more serious action is now, before that luck runs out."
NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation of Explorers from model years 2011 and 2015 in July 2016, then expanded its inquiry a little over a year later to an engineering analysis, adding Explorers from the model years 2016 and '17, saying it had received more complaints, including three crashes and 39 injuries. It said the most likely culprit was cracked exhaust manifolds. NHTSA first began looking into the issue in 2014.
Ford in October offered a no-cost service to North American owners of more than 1.4 million Explorers to make repairs and inspections to lessen the risk of exhaust-fume leaks. At the time, it said its own investigation had found no evidence of leaks and believes the vehicles were safe. The company has issued four technical service bulletins related to exhaust odors.
Ford continues to defend its decision not to issue a recall.
"Explorers are safe," Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said in a statement. "Ford's investigation and extensive testing has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day. The safety of our customers is paramount. We encourage customers with carbon monoxide concerns to bring their vehicle to their local Ford dealer for a free service designed to reduce the concern. If they are not satisfied with the service, we encourage them to call our dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575."
In its own statement, Jason Levine, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, said Ford needs to stop sending "mixed messages" to Explorer owners and passengers. "Since some Ford dealers are responsibly replacing cracked exhaust manifolds, it is time for Ford to take a more serious step, recall all of these vehicles, and inspect and replace cracked exhaust manifolds," he said.
War on Men
Oxford University gives women more time to pass exams
O xford University exam times were increased in a bid to improve the low scores of women, it has emerged.
Students taking maths and computer science examinations in the summer of 2017 were given an extra 15 minutes to complete their papers, after dons ruled that "female candidates might be more likely to be adversely affected by time pressure". There was no change to the length or difficulty of the questions.
It was the first time such steps had been taken. In previous years, the percentage of male students awarded first class degrees was double that of women and in 2016 the board of examiners suggested that the department make changes to improve women's grades.
H owever, despite the intention being to lessen gender discrepancies, the main effect of the time increase appears to have been an increase in the number of 2:1s overall, with 2:2 figures falling. Men continued to be awarded more first class degrees than women in the two subjects.
A university spokesman defended the changes as "academically demanding and fair", and noted that while 39 per cent of female mathematicians achieved first class degrees compared to 47 per cent of men, women's scores had improved year on year.
T he lengthening of exams was welcomed by some female students. Antonia Siu, Undergraduate Representative of Oxford Women in Computer Science, said: "I am uneasy about schemes to favour one gender over another.
"But I am happy when people see gaps between groups of people who should not reasonably have such gaps - such as between genders, races or class - and take that as a starting point to think about the kinds of people they unintentionally are leaving behind."
Major victory for songwriters as US mechanical royalty rates rise 44% - Music Business Worldwide
Mechanical royalty rates paid to songwriters in the US from on-demand subscription streaming will rise by 44% over the next five years following a landmark ruling in the market.
Earlier today (Jan 27) the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) confirmed its decision concerning the compulsory mechanical rates which will be distributed to writers for 2018 '' 2022.
This decision is the result of a trial that took place between March and June of 2017 with the National Music Publishers Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI). The likes of Google, Spotify, Apple and Amazon lobbied for the tech community.
The ruling includes a significant increase in the overall percentage of revenue paid to songwriters from 10.5% to 15.1% over the next five years '' the largest rate increase in CRB history.
In practical terms, that would mean a near-44% jump in royalties '' for example, from $5,000 to $7,200.
Additionally, the CRB removed the Total Content Cost (TCC) cap, which the NMPA says will 'give publishers the benefit of a true percentage of what labels are able to negotiate in the free market resulting in significantly higher royalties for songwriters'.
The CRB also increased the TCC rate resulting in the most balance between record label and publishing rates in the history of US mechanical licensing.
In addition, the CRB granted a late fee which will dramatically alter the licensing practices of digital music companies.
''Crucially, the decision also allows songwriters to benefit from deals done by record labels in the free market. The ratio of what labels are paid by the services versus what publishers are paid has significantly improved, resulting in the most favorable balance in the history of the industry.''
David Israelite, NMPA (pictured)
NMPA President & CEO David Israelite: ''We are thrilled the CRB raised rates for songwriters by 43.8% '' the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history.
''Crucially, the decision also allows songwriters to benefit from deals done by record labels in the free market. The ratio of what labels are paid by the services versus what publishers are paid has significantly improved, resulting in the most favorable balance in the history of the industry.
''While an effective ratio of 3.82 to 1 is still not a fair split that we might achieve in a free market, it is the best songwriters have ever had under the compulsory license.
''The court also decided in our favor regarding a late free which will force digital music services to pay songwriters faster or be subject to a significant penalty. The bottom line is this is the best mechanical rate scenario for songwriters in U.S. history which is critically important as interactive streaming continues to dominate the market.
''The decision represents two years of advocacy regarding how unfairly songwriters are treated under current law and how crucial their contributions are to streaming services.
''We thank the songwriters who shared their stories with the court and helped illustrate how badly these rate increases are needed. While the court did not grant songwriters a per-stream rate, the increases in overall rates and favorable terms are a huge win for music creators.''
Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Executive Director Bart Herbison: ''Songwriters desperately need and deserve the rate increases resulting from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) trial.
''The CRB was a long and difficult process but songwriters and music publishers together presented a powerful case for higher streaming royalty rates. The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) thanks our songwriter witnesses Steve Bogard, Lee Thomas Miller and Liz Rose whose testimony was compelling.''Music Business Worldwide
Avenged Sevenfold Will Skip Grammys To Protest How Rock Genre Is Treated | Sixx Sense
Even though Avenged Sevenfold is nominated in the "Best Rock Song" category for "The Stage" at the Grammys this Sunday, they have no plans to attend as a form of protest about how rock is treated by the organization.
The Southern-Cali rockers are going up against Metallica's "Atlas, Rise!", K .Flay's "Blood In The Cut", Nothing More's "Go To War" and Foo Fighters ' "Run" for "Best Rock Song."
The group won't be attending because no rock categories are being televised this year. When asked by a fan on Twitter how they felt about the nomination, they responded, "Honored. Unfortunately, they have taken 'Best Rock Song' off the telecast this year so we won't be attending. Maybe next time."
This isn't the first time frontman M. Shadows has been vocal about his distaste for the Grammy not televising the rock categories. In a 2017 radio interview (via Blabbermouth) he made it very clear how he felt about the organization.
"My whole thing was that metal'... if you're getting the 'metal' award, they don't actually televise it, so no one sees it '-- it doesn't move the needle at all. And I think that's what the Grammys have to get that right.
"When you look at metal, it's probably one of the healthiest genres when you look at it in a worldwide perspective '-- every single country listens to metal," he continued. "And whether it's mainstream or not, it's irrelevant. People will watch your program if you're giving awards to bands that deserve it and it's actually on TV, and it helps those bands push the needle forward."
He added: "And I think that's the whole point '-- you wanna get nominated for a Grammy and you wanna get noticed by people and seen on TV. It helps everybody when the bands can get bigger. So the 'metal' award still is a problem because literally no one's gonna see those bands or know that they're nominated, and that's an issue. I think it needs to be on TV."
"If I ran the Grammys, it would probably go bankrupt."
For two years, Tinder has been able to stay afloat without relying on any kind of revenue stream. Now, the free match-making mobile app is exploring a new money-making model in an effort to cash in on the international $2 billion-a-year online dating industry. What moves will Tinder make to enter this growing market, and can the app make money as fast as it makes matches?
Tinder PlusTinder's model works. The dating app, which pairs potential hook-ups based on a mere glance and swipe of a user's photograph, is easy to navigate and eliminates the standard, time-consuming features of traditional dating sites that can be overwhelming for users. This user-friendly approach produces 1.2 billion profile views a day and creates 15 million matches. As a result, Tinder will soon begin offering a ''freemium'' service to appeal to the app's growing user base.
Tinder Plus, Tinder's newly minted subscription-based service, will add opt-in features for a fee while maintaining the app's free service for those uninterested in a premium account. One such add-on, Passport, will expose users to more matches by eliminating geographical restrictions, providing access to profiles not limited to the user's location (the existing model limits users to profiles within a 120-mile area). Passport will appeal to the Tinder traveler, allowing users to peruse profiles across the country and across the globe.
The Passport feature will accommodate the company's expansion outside of the dating sphere and beyond romantic interactions, an effort that Tinder would like to make in the long-term to grow its user base by connecting people on social and professional levels. A recent investment in the app by California-based Benchmark '' led by Matt Cohler, Tinder board member and former executive at Facebook (FB) and LinkedIn (LNKD) '' suggests Tinder is already thinking about this next move. (For more, see: 3 Ways Apps Make Money.)
Mulligans for Matches?Tinder Plus will also roll out Undo, a feature that will allow users to recall a profile lost by swiping to the left, a hasty gesture that permanently eliminates potential matches. Tinder co-founder Sean Rad is confident the new services will begin bringing in cash as he insists users are both asking and willing to pay for the added features.
Tinder was born in Hatch Labs, the now defunct mobile startup incubator backed by Tinder's parent company, Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive Corp. (IACI). With its ownership of Match.com and OkCupid, IAC leads the online dating market with a reigning 23.7% market share and provides the expertise Tinder will need as it looks to monetize its services via subscription-based features. IAC's Match Group division estimates Tinder could bring in $75 million in 2015 upon implementing a monetization model via Tinder Plus.
Though sites like Match.com use advertisements to produce revenue, Tinder's founders are not interested in cashing in on advertising just yet. The nature of the app's mobile format makes ad implementation trickier, and despite initial claims the company would move toward paid messaging and prominent profile placing before it would place ads, both Tinder and IAC acknowledge the app may entertain advertising in the future. Celebrity-sponsored advertisements will also be a part of the model, inviting recognizable names to create profiles to connect with users. (For more, see: Valuing And Investing In Internet Companies.)
The Bottom LineTinder has proven it is does not require revenue to be successful. Due to the app's investor backing, it had the security to grow its business growth model first and revenue model later. The company will want the added cash, however, after a recent and highly publicized sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought about by a former executive. The legal limbo increased costs and prompted IAC to invest an additional $10 million.
USAF Is Jamming GPS In The Western U.S. For Largest Ever Red Flag Air War Exercise
The use of the mysterious jamming technology will impact the navigation of aircraft operating as far away from Nevada as Colorado.
The year's first iteration of the USAF's premier set of aerial war games, known commonly as Red Flag, is kicking off today at Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas, but this exercise will be different than any in the past. Not only is it the largest of its kind in the exercise's 42 year history, but the USAF is going to blackout GPS over the sprawling Nevada Test and Training Range to challenge aircrews and their weaponry under realistic fighting conditions. The tactic will spill over throughout the region, with warnings being posted stating inconsistent GPS service could be experienced by aircrews flying throughout the western United States.
The disruptions will begin on January 26th and will run through February 16th. Flying.com reports:
"The NBAA Command Center reports the U.S. military will begin training exercises on the Nevada Test and Training Range between 0400Z until 0700Z daily. Training maneuvers will impact vast portions of the Western U.S. including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico. FAA enroute ATC centers affected include Albuquerque (ZAB), Denver (ZDV), Los Angeles (ZLA), Salt Lake (ZLC), Oakland (ZOA) and Seattle (ZSE). Operations in R-2508 and R-2501 may also be impacted.
Arrivals and departures from airports within the Las Vegas area may be issued non-Rnav re-routes with the possibility of increased traffic disruption near LAS requiring airborne re-routes to the south and east of the affected area. Aircraft operating in Los Angeles (ZLA) center airspace may experience navigational disruption, including suspension of Descend-via and Climb-via procedures. Non-Rnav SIDs and STARs may be issued within ZLA airspace in the event of increased navigational disruption. Crews should expect the possibility of airborne mile-in-trail and departure mile-in-trail traffic management initiatives."
Those dates and the location perfectly correspond with Red Flag 18-1. The timeframe for the daily disruptions is also the same as the night launch and recovery period for Red Flag this time of year. Two major large force employment missions take place every day during the exercise, one during the light and one during the night, with each last roughly two to three hours.
This particular Red Flag includes players from the USAF, USMC, Australia and UK. The very limited guest list of only America's most trusted allies is indicative of a Red Flag exercise where high-end and sensitive capabilities will be put to the test. According to a press release from the USAF that was posted just hours ago, this seems to be an accurate assumption, with Colonel Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, stating:
''We're trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1... It's the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness... Red Flag 18-1 primarily is a strike package focused training venue that we integrate at a command and control level in support of joint task force operations... It's a lot of words to say that we integrate every capability we can into strike operations that are flown out of Nellis Air Force Base.''
GPS denial is a becoming a huge issue for American military planners. Peer states, especially Russia, are already putting GPS spoofing and jamming tactics to work during various training events near their own borders. We have discussed this situation in great depth before, and I would suggest you read this article to understand just how deeply the loss of reliable global positioning system data can mean for the U.S. and its allies during a time of war, as well as what is being done to overcome such a monumental hurdle.
The Pentagon has mysteriously tested technology that can jam GPS over a wide area before, and it is likely that this same capability will be put to use in the Nellis Test and Training Range for this Red Flag 18-1. Line-of-sight and distance impact the way in which GPS users, especially other airplanes, operating far outside the training area will be affected. Here is an article on those tests, which emanated from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which is located on the western edge of the Mojave Desert in California, in June of 2016. Below is a released image showing how line-of-sight impacts the jammer's abilities:
Map showing how the DoD's GPS jamming would impact airspace over America's southwest during a test in June, 2016. FAA
The fact that the Department of Defense is going to execute wide-spread GPS jamming operations during such a high-end exercise is more proof of just how big of a threat these emerging electronic warfare tactics pose. It will be interesting to see if the USAF admits that the technology was indeed used for Red Flag after the exercise concludes, but considering that there are a whole number of position, navigation, and timing (PNT) technologies being developed in hopes to help overcome the loss of GPS during combat, advisories like this one that occur during major military exercises will likely become increasingly normal in the years to come.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com
If You Want Life Insurance, Think Twice Before Getting A Genetic Test
Jennifer Marie* should be an ideal candidate for life insurance: She's 36, gainfully employed, and has no current medical issues.
But on September 15 last year, Jennifer Marie's application for life insurance was denied.
''Unfortunately after carefully reviewing your application, we regret that we are unable to provide you with coverage because of your positive BRCA 1 gene,'' the letter reads. In the U.S., about one in 400 women have a BRCA 1 or 2 gene, which is associated with increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Jennifer Marie provided a copy of the document to Fast Company on the condition that she and her insurance company remain anonymous, as she is still hoping to appeal the rejection.
According to recent estimates, 55% to 65% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA 1 mutation will develop breast cancer by the age of 70. By contrast, 12% of the general population will be diagnosed with breast cancer. But the presence of the gene mutation is by no means a death sentence. Not everyone with the BRCA mutation develops cancer, and some informed patients seek highly effective preventative treatments to reduce the likelihood that they'll ever get sick.
''Those who find out they have the mutation can drastically reduce their risk,'' says Laura Esserman, a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist at UC San Francisco. ''Knowledge is power.''
I'm glad I'm being more proactive to reduce my cancer risk. But I also want my family to have some security if the worst happened.Since 2008, with the passing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the federal government has barred health insurance companies from denying coverage to those with a gene mutation. But the law does not apply to life insurance companies, long-term care, or disability insurance. These companies can ask about health, family history of disease, or genetic information, and reject those that are deemed too risky.
Patient advocates say they are increasingly concerned about GINA's limitations, given the explosive growth of genetic testing. Spending on genetic tests has reached $5 billion annually and is on track to reach $15 billion to $25 billion within a decade, according to a recent study commissioned by the research arm of UnitedHealthcare. The American Medical Association found that physicians use about 2,000 of these tests for 1,000 different diseases. The test makers range from Silicon Valley startups, such as Counsyl and Color Genomics, to biotech giants like Myriad Genetics.
''GINA was designed to free people from fears of discrimination so clinical research can scale,'' says Dr. Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. ''I am now wondering whether it worked or not. People started off afraid and they clearly still are.''
The Rise Of Genetic TestsWhen GINA first passed in 2008, genetic tests were expensive and not all that common. In 2011, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent $100,000 to discover the genetic basis of the cancer that killed him. Today, a company called Illumina can sequence a person's whole genome for $1,000.
Recent advancements in the field of genetics have opened up major opportunities for medical progress, including the promise of earlier detection of disease and more personalized treatments that could wring savings from the country's multi-trillion dollar health care tab. The White House's $215 million Precision Medicine initiative is reliant on the further dissemination of genetic tests to screen people for diseases, and identify those who are unable to safely take medicines.
The BRCA test is now available for as little as $250, enabling many patients to pay for it out of pocket. Dozens of lab-testing companies have developed a BRCA test, including Color Genomics and Counsyl. The test even has a celebrity spokesperson in the form of Angelina Jolie, who underwent a preventive double mastectomy in 2013 after learning about her cancer risk, and penned a widely circulated op-ed on her experience.
As these tests become more pervasive, patient advocates are ramping up their campaign to end so-called genetic discrimination.
''Our biggest concern is that people aren't aware that this information can be used against them,'' says Lisa Schlager, vice president of community affairs at FORCE, a nonprofit group that supports women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
Northwestern Mutual, a life insurer that has been fairly explicit about its approach, does not require an applicant to undergo a genetic test. But company spokesperson Betsy Hoylman says that actuaries do routinely ask about medical and diagnostic testing, which may include genetic testing, in order to ''treat existing and prospective customers fairly.''
''A consumer's failure to cooperate during the underwriting process may result in an insurance company declining to issue a policy,'' says Hoylman. Oncologists say this form of discrimination might discourage people from getting genetic tests.
Schlager has seen both men and women sharing their experiences about genetic discrimination on FORCE's private Facebook group and other online forums. While her group hasn't done any research or polling on the topic, they believe it is widespread enough to warrant more attention. ''It's a weird loophole,'' she explains. ''But there are a lot of those. And these Precision Medicine initiatives haven't really caught up.''
But some health insiders say that it won't be easy to change the laws. Sharon Terry, a patient advocate who spent more than 14 years fighting for GINA, says the opposition from the insurance industry remains as strong as ever. Terry is the CEO of a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit called Genetic Alliance that advocates for the health benefits in the field of genetic research.
''At the beginning of this decade-long saga, the bill [GINA] included every type of insurance,'' says Terry. But early proponents of the bill threatened to drop their support if it included disability, life insurance, and long-term care. Genetic Alliance ultimately acquiesced to their demands.
The law does not apply to life insurance companies, long-term care, or disability insurance.''It was the right thing to do,'' says Terry. ''The bill would never, ever, ever have passed in any form. Many bills don't, and the opposition on this one was strong.''
On a state level, Terry has seen more progress in recent years. California passed a bill called CalGINA that not only prohibits genetic discrimination in employment and health insurance, but also in housing, education, mortgage lending, and elections. Oregon and Vermont also have broad regulations prohibiting the use of genetic information in life, long-term care, and disability insurance.
Not All Insurance Is Created EqualThe industry makes the case that the business model would crumble if companies are forced to accept those with a high risk of cancer and various genetic diseases into the pool.
There is some truth to this argument. Brigham and Women's Hospital's Dr. Green studied the behavior of those who learned via a genetic test that they were predisposed to Alzheimer's Disease. These patients were five times as likely to buy long-term care insurance than those in a control group.
And rather uniquely, health insurers are able to offset their risk by taking in monthly premiums from young and healthy Americans (the Affordable Care Act's ''Individual Mandate'' requires that many people get health insurance or face a penalty). By contrast, a decision to purchase life insurance or long-term care insurance is optional. Those who apply for policies might have reason to believe that they need additional protections.
''All forms of insurance are not created equal,'' says Mark Rothstein, a founding director of the Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy and Law at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. ''I see health insurance on one side of the spectrum, life insurance on the other, and disability and long-term care somewhere in the middle.'' Long-term care, for instance, is covered in part by Medicaid.
''The big question for our society is where we want to locate the risk.'' Rothstein has spent over a decade on this issue, and wrote a book on the topic in the late 1990s: Genetic Secrets: Protecting Privacy and Confidentiality in the Genetic Era.
As Rothstein explains, all life insurance companies engage in a certain degree of ''discriminating between claims.'' But there are limits. Most life insurance companies don't discriminate on the basis of race, despite the health disparities between different ethnic groups. Many companies, however, do distinguish between claims on the basis of gender, as women tend to live longer than men.
It remains to be seen whether society will continue to view it as acceptable for life insurers to discriminate on the basis of people's genetic information, particularly if it's a genetic marker like BRCA 1/2 that doesn't always result in cancer. A slew of recent studies have shown that those who test positive for the gene mutation and subsequently initiate preventative measures, like MRI screenings and mammograms, are very likely to catch cancers earlier. And some opt for surgical procedures, like mastectomies, which drastically decreases their risk. Angelina Jolie claimed that after taking preventative measures, her risk of getting breast cancer dropped from 87% to 5%.
They make a lot of money doing things the way they've always done it.But Rothstein fears that many life insurance companies aren't sophisticated enough in their knowledge of genetics to delineate between the various types of tests, or even fully understand the results. James Heywood, founder of a startup called PatientsLikeMe, says he was denied life insurance from one insurance company after his brother passed away from a progressive neurodegenerative disease called ALS. Heywood had taken a test and shared the results, which showed that he didn't have the risk factor for the disease.
''It's an industry that is hundreds of years old,'' says Rothstein. ''They make a lot of money doing things the way they've always done it.''
''Chilling Effect''GINA's loophole hasn't just caught the attention of patients' rights groups. Medical researchers are also growing increasingly concerned that it will set back their clinical trials and studies.
Green directs a randomized trial to study gene sequencing in adults called the MedSeq project, which relies on patients agreeing to store their genome sequencing data in their medical record. As he recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, 25% of patients who declined to participate in the study cited fear of discrimination from life insurance companies as their primary reason.
Green expects that more patients will bow out of clinical studies and genetic tests as they become aware of the downsides.
''Before GINA passed, a lot of people were afraid that this new era of genetic testing wouldn't include proper protections for patients,'' says Green. ''But there's still reason to be afraid that companies will discriminate against whole families.''
Dave*, a father from Washington, D.C., who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, recently learned that his sister has the BRCA gene. His doctor suggested that he get a genetic test, as men with harmful BRCA mutations have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Dave, who says he's heard copious ''horror stories'' of people being denied life insurance, ultimately decided against the test.
''On the one hand, I know that there is something I could do that could help prolong my life,'' he says. ''But I'm terrified that my insurance company will find out if I get a positive result.'' If a life insurance company uncovered that a patient withheld valuable information, they might make a case for ''guilt by omission.''
''This is not the calculation I want to be doing when it comes to my health.''
Finding A Middle GroundWith the increasing prevalence of genetic tests and tools, the debate on discrimination in the context of life insurance has become more urgent and complex. In recent months, Terry's group Genetic Alliance has been fighting against proposed rules that would allow employers that offer wellness programs to penalize employees and their spouses if they refuse to participate in various questionnaires and surveys about their health. Genetic Alliance argues that such bills would directly undermine GINA.
This is not the calculation I want to be doing when it comes to my health.Patient advocates have pushed for an extension of GINA for many years without success. But some experts see a middle-ground approach. Rothstein suggests that insurers should at a minimum ''offer a life insurance policy covering a minimal amount at an affordable rate and with no health questions (including about genomics) asked.''
In the meantime, some genetic-testing companies are taking steps to educate patients about their risks so they won't be blindsided like Jennifer Marie. Color Genomics says information about genetic discrimination is available on its website, and its genetic counselors will educate patients about the issue. 23andMe, which previously offered BRCA 1/2 tests, says it is in support of state and federal laws to ''add life, disability, and long-term care to a list of protections.''
Rothstein says that there's no simple or easy short-term solutions to the problem of genetic discrimination.
About the authorChristina Farr is a San Francisco-based journalist specializing in health and technology. Before joining Fast Company, Christina worked as a reporter for VentureBeat, Reuters and KQED.
War on Weed
Senators And Reps Tell Trump: Keep Marijuana Promise | Marijuana Moment
A conservative Republican White House ally pressed President Trump about marijuana policy in a recent Oval Office meeting, the lawmaker told Marijuana Moment.
Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, who was standing by the president's side two weeks ago as he signed legislation on drug interdiction efforts at U.S. borders, confirmed that he took the opportunity to discuss the need to update federal cannabis policies with Trump.
The discussion apparently took place after journalists were ushered out of the room following the bill signing. During the public portion of the Oval Office gathering, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, a Democrat of Massachusetts, briefly mentioned marijuana to the president.
''I encourage you to focus your efforts on further funding and thinking about opioids. And marijuana, we can talk about at another time,'' she said.
The president responded, simply: ''OK, that's OK, that's OK.''
Gaetz and his office haven't yet responded to questions seeking more information about his marijuana discussion with the president.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidance (known as the ''Cole Memorandum'') that has generally allowed states to implement their own cannabis laws without federal intervention.
On Wednesday, Gaetz joined 53 other members of Congress in sending a letter asking Trump to overrule Sessions on marijuana.
Senators And Reps Tell Trump: Keep Marijuana Promise
During the course of the 2016 president race, Trump repeatedly pledged to respect state marijuana laws.
Gaetz, a freshman member of Congress, has quickly become one of Capitol Hill's most consistent and vocal marijuana law reform advocates. He is sponsoring or cosponsoring several marijuana bills, and has taken to the House floor to discuss the issue on a number of occasions.
On Thursday, Gaetz tweeted that the marijuana policy Sessions is waging on behalf of the Trump administration is ''silly.''
''We need presidential leadership,'' Gaetz said in an interview with Marijuana Moment last year. ''President Trump made a commitment during the campaign to support medical marijuana, and we need the president to continue to be a force for good on this issue.''
GOP Congressman Wants Trump To Help Legalize Medical Marijuana
Judicial Watch: State Department Made Deal with Hillary Clinton to Keep Call Log, Schedules Secret - Judicial Watch
(Washington, DC) '' Judicial Watch today released new U.S. Department of State documents showing former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin were permitted to remove electronic and physical records under a claim they were ''personal'' materials and ''unclassified, non-record materials,'' including files of Clinton's calls and schedules, which were not to be made public. The documents show the Obama State Department records would not be ''released to the general public under FOIA.''
The new records also show that Huma Abedin was allowed to take five boxes of ''physical files'' out of the State Department that include records described as ''Muslim Engagement Documents.''
Judicial Watch obtained the reports about the records from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:
Any and all DS-1904 (Authorization for the Removal of Personal Papers and Non-Record Materials) forms completed by, or on behalf of, any of the following individuals:
Former Secretary Hillary Clinton
Former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills
Former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin
Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan
The documents include a list of official and personal calls and schedules that Clinton removed, which carry a special notation that the documents were not to be made public records. The notation is on an addendum to a DS-1904 signed by Clarence N. Finney Jr., then-director of the Office of Correspondence and Records, who was the reviewing officer. (Judicial Watch has a pending request for the deposition of Finney in separate litigation concerning Clinton emails and the Benghazi terrorist attack.):
NOTE: The Secretary's call log, grid and schedules are not classified, however, they would not be released to the general public under FOIA. They are being released to the Secretary with this understanding. [Emphasis in original]
Electronic copy of ''daily files'' '' which are word versions of public documents and non-records: speeches/press statements/photos from the website, a non-record copy of the schedule, a non record copy of the call log, press clips, and agenda of daily activities
Electronic copy of a log of calls the Secretary made since 2004, it is a non-record, since her official calls are logged elsewhere (official schedule and official call log)
Electronic copy of the Secretary's ''call grid'' which is a running list of calls she wants to make (both personal and official)
16 boxes: Personal Schedules (1993 thru 2008-prior to the Secretary's tenure at the Department of State.
29 boxes: Miscellaneous Public Schedules during her tenure as FLOTUS and Senator-prior to the Secretary's tenure at the Department of State
1 box: Personal Reimbursable receipts (6/25/2009 thru 1/14/2013)
1 box: Personal Photos
1 box: Personal schedule (2009-2013)
The originals of some Clinton documents were retained, such as the call logs and schedules. For other records, including material that predates Clinton's tenure, there is no indication that a copy was made. The most significant of these are her personal correspondence and gift binders, which could reflect Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative ties.
Through its previous investigations Judicial Watch made public numerous examples of Clinton's schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server (for example, see here, here, here and here.)
The records uncovered by Judicial Watch also contain a list of materials removed by Clinton accumulated by Robert Russo, Clinton's then-special assistant, including PDFs of Clinton's ''correspondence in response to gifts '... thank you and acknowledgements,'' as well as other records.
The documents indicate that Clinton removed a physical file of ''the log of the Secretary's gifts with pictures of gifts.''
The receipt of gifts by federal employees in the Executive Branch is regulated:
A ''prohibited source'' [of gifts] under the regulations is one who seeks official action from the employee's agency; one who does business or seeks to do business with the agency; one whose activities are regulated by the employee's agency; one whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's official duties; or an organization a majority of whose members fit any of the above categories.
A gift is given ''because of'' the employee's official position if it would not have been offered ''had the employee not held the status, authority or duties associated with his Federal position.'' Gifts that are ''motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship'' may therefore be accepted without limitation.
''We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information. But these new records show that was only part of the scandal. These new documents show the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her calls logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws,'' said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ''When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?''
VIDEO - 'ODOT made a mistake': Agency apologizes after issuing false alert about plane crash | KATU
Through its TripCheck website, Oregon's Department of Transportation issued a false alert Tuesday morning saying an aircraft crashed on Interstate 5 around the Marquam Bridge.
PORTLAND, Ore. '-- On Tuesday, another frightening false alarm was sent out by a government agency, this time in Portland. Oregon's Department of Transportation (ODOT) apologized after wrongly putting out an alert saying there was a plane crash on I-5 around the Marquam Bridge.
"ODOT made a mistake on this," said Don Hamilton, a spokesman for the agency. "We certainly hope that there was no confusion or concern."
The alert was left up on social media for hours.
Hamilton said mistakes like it have happened before.
''This was human error," Hamilton said. "We need to train and remind everybody involved in these testing scenarios this is not acceptable. They have to follow the right procedures to make sure this does not happen again.''
On Jan. 3, a tsunami siren sounded in Seaside along with a warning. The city told people soon after it sent out the "wrong message," incorrectly telling people a giant wave was on the way.
Then on Jan. 13 in Hawaii terror struck after the state's emergency management agency sent out a false message about an inbound ballistic missile threat.
For the mistake, David Ige, Hawaii's governor, apologized.
"It is clear what happened revealed the need for additional safeguards and improvements to our state system," Ige said.
In Portland Tuesday morning, there was another false alarm, this one from ODOT.
Through the agency's TripCheck website it sent out an alert and tweets saying, "I-5, 1 Mi S of I-84, Closed, An air craft (sic) crash has occurred, use an alternate route ..."
Hamilton said the alert was false.
"We were conducting a test and instead of being private and internal it went public," he said. "And for about four minutes there was an alert out there that there had been a plane crash when, of course, there had not been any plane crash."
After being asked why a tweet from @TripCheckPDX was still up about two-and-a-half-hours after the false alert was issued, Hamilton said, "We worked to get some of the automatic tweets down but it took a long time to chase down some of the tweets that are generated automatically."
Hamilton said a technician made the mistake.
"Anytime you're doing a test scenario you have certain computer programs you do and for some reason in the course of this is this went live. And it went external instead of internal," He explained. "This has happened before in the last ten years, happened, I think, two other times. We're taking steps to make sure we don't see a repeat of this in the future."
Hamilton said ODOT will make sure all of its operation centers are told about the incident and to include a message saying 'this is a test scenario' on their practice alerts. He said they'll do everything they can to make sure those alerts don't go public.
"Maybe we should, if it's a test scenario, don't write any scary scenarios up there like a plane crash in there," Hamilton said. "If it's only a test and it may go public we need to be careful and be cautious.''
State emergency officials in Oregon and Washington told KATU alerts are generally generated by agencies at a local level.
VIDEO - Cashless technology catches on at restaurants
At a growing number of restaurants, your money '-- or your cash at least '-- is no good.
For a variety of reasons, more eateries are refusing to allow cash payment, and only accepting debit and credit cards. One of them is fast-casual chain Sweetgreen, which went cashless last year. Separately, burger giant Shake Shack said recently that it's testing a cashless, kiosk-only location.
When Two Forks opened in New York City just over a year ago, owner Michael Kaplan told CNBC they accepted both cash and cards for the first few weeks. That quickly changed.
"'...We were noticing that with every cash transaction, the payment process was slowing down significantly," Kaplan said to "On the Money" in a recent interview. After doing some research, the eatery saw that "generally everyone pays with credit cards anyway."
With that in mind, Kaplan decided to eliminate cash as a payment option. "We thought it was a good next step," he said.
Dos Toros co-CEO Leo Kremer said that "simplicity" was the reason behind his 14 location chain's decision to be cashless. Kremer explained to CNBC the goal in hospitality is really simple.
"To delight your guests every day. But it's hard to do that," he said.
"It's about great food and great service and a clean environment and those things require time and focus and manager time is eaten up by cash handling procedures. Going cashless just allows us to focus that much more on doing a good job," Kremer added.
The restauranteur said his managers save about two hours a day that used to be spent counting cash, buying change, and making bank runs. He added that time can be used to coach the team of employees and engage directly with customers.
VIDEO - Bill Kristol: Creeped out by all the businesses 'sucking up to Trump'
Kristol: In terms of businesses and others, this is a case where I've gotten, if anything, maybe more of a libertarian. Limited government is really important.
Why has the country done pretty well in surviving the Trump presidency so far? Because the president's limited. It's not Argentina. The dictator can't just destroy all these institutions. He can't take over businesses. He can't even take over the entire federal government because there are civil service rules and military regulations, and the Senate and the House. Whatever their lack of standing up to Trump, they still exist and have some authority. The courts obviously, federal and state government, civil society, businesses.
That's actually been a good reminder of why we believe in limited government in general, and limited federal government, a presidency that's restrained in all kinds of ways, the rule of law. So, I've become, if anything, more of a limited government, rule of law, constitutional-norms type of guy.
It's nice that their businesses got a tax cut and that the stock market's had a good year. But you really don't want to sacrifice what the founders put in place and people have labored to keep and improve for 200 and however many years, 40 years, because of one good year in the stock market.
Harwood: Do business leaders have a role in speaking out?
Kristol: Yes. Now it's hard to ask them, "Don't take this thing from the president, or the president wants to do a photo op at your company and say 'This company's staying here because of me.' It's hard to ask them not to do it.
But I thought it was sort of disgraceful when the tax cut gets passed and they immediately have these bonuses. If the tax cut's good policy, we'll see that it was good policy. And it's perfectly legitimate a year later for corporate leaders to say, 'One of the things that contributed to our excellent returns this year was a more favorable tax structure which allows us to compete around the world. And we're really thrilled that our workers have done better.'
VIDEO - 'Oh my gosh, it's an earthquake': Room shakes in Kodiak during quake - YouTube
George Soros said President Donald Trump is risking a nuclear war with North Korea and predicts that the groundswell of opposition he's generated will be his downfall.
''I consider the Trump administration a danger to the world,'' the billionaire investor said in a speech from Davos, Switzerland. ''But I regard it as a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner.'' He expects a Democratic ''landslide'' in the 2018 elections.
Soros, the 87-year-old chairman of Soros Fund Management, said his Open Society Foundations are spending more than half of their budget ''closer to home'' rather than in the developing world, in an effort to protect democracy. While he said the strength of institutions will help prevent Trump from succeeding, Soros counted nuclear war and climate change as greater threats to civilization.
The billionaire former hedge fund manager, speaking Thursday at the World Economic Forum, also struck at social-media companies Facebook Inc. and Google in the speech, comparing them to gambling companies that foster addiction among users, and called cryptocurrencies a typical bubble.
Here are some of the highlights from his speech:
On Global Threats''Mankind's ability to harness the forces of nature, both for constructive and destructive purposes, continues to grow while our ability to govern ourselves properly fluctuates, and is now at a low ebb,'' Soros said. ''The survival of our entire civilization is at stake.''
George Soros in Davos on Jan. 25.
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
The U.S. must accept North Korea as a nuclear power, and then cooperate and negotiate with China to establish an alliance that's better equipped to confront the nation, he said. His comments come amid heightened trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies.
Facebook, GoogleSoros said social-media companies Facebook and Google "deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide." He said the "network effect" that has propelled these companies to dominance is "unsustainable" and predicted that Facebook will "run out of people to convert in less than three years.''
The money manager, whose family office owned a small stake in both companies as of Sept. 30, also criticized social-media organizations for exploiting the data they control and called them a "menace" to society that needs more oversight.
"The fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access," he said.
A representative from Facebook had no comment on the remarks. A Google representative didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Read more on Soros's view of the tech companies here
On BitcoinCryptocurrencies are a bubble and aren't stable stores of value, the legendary macro trader said in response to an audience question after his speech. But he doesn't see them crashing because of their use by authoritarian regimes in the world.
''As long as you have dictatorships on the rise, you will have a different ending, because the rulers in those countries will turn to Bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad,'' Soros said.
He was more positive about the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin, noting that his Open Society Foundations are using such technology to help migrants communicate with their families and keep their money safe.
European UnionSoros also pointed in his speech to the rise of nationalism, particularly within the EU, which he said needs to be "radically" reinvented in order to regain support. He reiterated his view that the EU should avoid creating a core Europe along the lines of the euro area. He added that he'd like to see Britain remain a member of the EU, or eventually rejoin it.
Prior CallsSoros's predictions at last year's conference in Davos were also gloomy and bearish on Trump, and have yet to pan out. He said that the stock market rally would soon come to an end. Since then, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index has rallied almost 30 percent. He said that China's growth rate was probably unsustainable, and that the nation would probably fail to change its growth model in the next two years. Instead, growth in China has continued to accelerate even as authorities clamped down on excessive debt.
'-- With assistance by Jeff Kearns
VIDEO - Employee bonuses are a tax reform 'gimmick,' Larry Summers says
Since the measure passed, 261 companies have announced bonuses, wage hikes or increases to 401(k) programs directly linked to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to Americans for Tax Reform. The moves have benefited at least 3 million workers, the anti-tax group said.
While Trump has bragged of the act's impact on workers, Summers said he isn't that enthused.
"That's a very common device: If you want to give somebody some money but you don't want to promise it to them on a continuing basis, you frame it was a bonus," he said. "Look, the corporate tax cuts are going to be forever. If the firms really believe this had to do with corporate tax cuts, why aren't they committing to bonuses forever?"
Summers insisted that the Obama administration took a "more grown-up approach" to labor economics by tracking monthly job creation numbers "rather than focus on high-profile announcements from particular companies."
While the Trump economy looks on track to attain the 3 percent annual growth that eluded Obama throughout his administration, Summers doubted its durability.
"You have a lot of stuff here that is PR, and if you look at the fundamentals of the economy, certainly this quarter's numbers were happy numbers, no doubt about it," he said. "How long that's going to last, I think, is very much in question."
WATCH: Trump touts the U.S. economy under his watch.
VIDEO - Kent Hehr quits Liberal cabinet over harassment allegations - Macleans.ca
OTTAWA '' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accepted Kent Hehr's resignation from the federal cabinet pending an investigation into an allegation that the sport and disabilities minister made inappropriate sexual remarks while a provincial politician.
Trudeau, who characterizes the move as a leave of absence, says Hehr's duties will be performed in the meantime by Science Minister Kirsty Duncan.
The allegation, which stems from Hehr's time as an Alberta MLA a decade ago, were levelled on social media Wednesday night.
Kristin Raworth, a former employee at the Alberta legislature, says when she started her job, she was warned against being alone with Hehr but ended up in elevators with him because they worked in the same building.
She says he once called her ''yummy'' and would make similar remarks in subsequent encounters. Upon talking with other female staff, she realized others had similar experiences.
Her accusation follows other complaints about Hehr's dismissive and insensitive conduct levelled last fall by the wife of a military veteran and a group of thalidomide survivors.
Speaking in Davos, Switzerland, earlier Thursday, Trudeau restated his unequivocal support for women who step forward with those kinds of allegations and said he'd be speaking later in the day with Hehr.
Raworth came forward after two young women told CTV about sexual misconduct by Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown while he was a Conservative MP.
Brown denied the allegations but nevertheless stepped down as leader of the party.
Hehr was elected as a Liberal MP for Calgary in 2015 and was appointed veterans affairs minister, but he was shuffled out of that position last year.
VIDEO - Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown resigns amid accusations of misconduct - Macleans.ca
TORONTO '' Ontario's Opposition leader is stepping down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Patrick Brown announced the decision in a statement just hours after a hastily-called news conference at the Ontario legislature to ''categorically'' deny what he called ''troubling allegations'' about his conduct.
But in his statement issued at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Brown said that after consulting with caucus, friends and family, he has ''decided to step down as leader'' but would stay on as an MPP to clear his name.
He said ''these allegations are false and have been difficult to hear'' and that defeating Premier Kathleen Wynne in the upcoming provincial election is ''more important than one individual.''
Brown's political future as Ontario's Opposition leader was thrown into turmoil Wednesday as the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him prompted calls for his resignation.
In his late-night news conference, a visibly emotional Brown said he was made aware of the allegations hours earlier, but did not provide details on what those allegations are. He said he would defend himself in the court of law.
''I can't speculate on the motive of my accusers, I can only say that what they are saying is categorically untrue,'' the 39-year-old politician said.
READ MORE: Paul Wells on Patrick Brown, and priorities
CTV News reported that two women have come forward with graphic sexual misconduct allegations against Brown that date back to when the Opposition leader was a federal MP. The broadcaster did not name the women, who alleged the incidents happened at Brown's home in Barrie, Ont., after they had been drinking in his presence. Brown was not drinking at the time, the women told CTV News.
The report said one of the women, who is now 29, said she was still in high school when Brown allegedly asked her to perform oral sex on him.
The other woman said she was a university student working in Brown's constituency office when he sexually assaulted her at his home after an event she helped organize, CTV News reported. The woman said she did not report the alleged incident to authorities.
CTV News said it had viewed records of correspondence between Brown and the women. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Politicians of all stripes were quick to weigh in, with the leader of Ontario's New Democrats calling for Brown to step down.
''I'm disgusted and disturbed by these sexual misconduct allegations,'' Andrea Horwath said in a statement. ''Patrick Brown must resign, immediately. He deserves his day in court, but no person can lead a political party in this province with allegations like these hanging over his head.''
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne praised the women who made the allegations, saying on Twitter that it is ''a difficult and brave thing to do to come forward in the way these young women have done tonight.''
Wynne said her government has made it clear that sexual assault and harassment are not to be tolerated but did not comment on Brown directly.
Provincial and federal Conservatives also denounced sexual misconduct and harassment.
''The allegations against the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives are extremely serious and should be investigated fully,'' federal Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer said in a statement.
Progressive Conservative Lisa MacLeod, a member of the Ontario legislature, said everyone ''has the right to be free from unwelcome behaviour or advances.''
Even before Brown's decision to resign, speculation began swirling as to who might replace him as PC leader should he step down. MacLeod, Christine Elliott and Caroline Mulroney were mentioned as possible candidates to take on Wynne in June.
Brown's comments were also followed by a flurry of resignations from his top staff members, who said on Twitter they were stepping down over the leader's handling of the situation.
''Earlier today, all three of us became aware of allegations about Patrick Brown. After speaking with him, our advice was that he should resign as PC Party leader. He did not accept that advice,'' his chief of staff, deputy campaign manager and campaign manager said in a joint statement.
''Since our view is that this advice was in the best interest of the PC Party, we have therefore resigned our positions.''
The party's press secretary also announced he was leaving his post.
Brown repeatedly denied the allegations against him and said he has instructed his lawyers to ensure that they are addressed in court.
The Opposition leader noted that ''it's never OK'' for anyone to feel they have been a victim of sexual harassment or feel threatened in any way.
''I reject these accusation in the strongest possible terms,'' Brown said. ''This is not how I'm raised. This is not who I am.''
He did not take questions from reporters and left immediately after making his statement.
Brown has been leading in the polls as Ontario heads to a provincial election this summer.
He was first elected as federal MP in 2006 as part of the Conservative government after serving as a Barrie city councillor. He was re-elected twice, once in 2008 and again in 2011.
During his time in Ottawa, Brown served as a backbench MP in Stephen Harper's government and has been frequently criticized by political opponents for voting in favour of reopening the abortion debate.
He won the PC leadership in 2015, beating long-time Ontario legislator and favourite Christine Elliott.
Since he has become party leader, Brown has attempted to broaden the appeal of his the party, going as far as to say social conservative issues were off-limits at the PC policy convention last fall.
Brown says he is pro-choice and more recently has led Pride parade delegations.
VIDEO - FCC: Person who sent false Hawaii missile alert refusing to cooperate - ABC News
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who mistakenly sent out a mobile alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile is refusing to cooperate with the Federal Communications Commission investigation, an FCC official said Thursday on Capitol Hill.
Interested in Hawaii? Add Hawaii as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Hawaii news, video, and analysis from ABC News. At a hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Lisa Fowlkes, the head of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at the FCC, said the federal agency is pleased with the cooperation from leadership in Hawaii, but disappointed in the refusal from the key employee.
"We hope that person will reconsider," said Fowlkes.
''We share FCC Public Safety Bureau Chief Lisa Fowlkes's disappointment," Hawaii Emergency Management said in a statement. "The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has encouraged its employees to cooperate in all ongoing investigations. While cooperation is in the end a matter of choice for each individual, we hope that anyone who is not cooperating will reconsider and assist in bringing these matters to a satisfactory conclusion.''
Caleb Jones/AP Photo This smartphone screen capture shows a false incoming ballistic missile emergency alert sent from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency system on Jan. 13, 2018. The erroneous alert sent to the cell phones of Hawaiians resulted in panic across the state, including people abandoning their vehicles on the highway. A video of a man putting his child in a manhole went viral.
About 10 minutes after the initial alert, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted there was no threat.
Caleb Jones/AP Photo, FILE A December 2017 file photo showing the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency officials at work in the department's command center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Hawaiian agency didn't send a retraction over the original platform - people's cell phones - until 38 minutes after the initial alert.
The mistake has sparked questions across the country over the effectiveness of future alerts and the process by which alerts are sent out.
VIDEO - Sandgren's heated press conference.Sandgren opened his press conference with a prepared - YouTube
A clip of President Donald Trump kissing his daughter, Ivanka Trump, is going viral after viewers noticed the awkward way in which he kissed her (video below).
According to The Inquisitr, Donald Trump brought his daughter with him to an event at H&K Equipment in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Ivanka Trump was called up to say a few words to Trump supporters, but what happened when she finished has caused the footage to go viral.
Photographer Jeff Swenson captured photos of the president giving his daughter a kiss on the cheek as she exited the stage, but likely did not expect that they would cause such an uproar on social media.
A number of news outlets published stories about the ''pretty full-on kiss'' the president gave his daughter. Twitter users zoomed in on the photos to highlight Donald Trump's open mouth as he leaned in to kiss her.
The photo went viral after a 2011 interview with porn star Stormy Daniels resurfaced following claims that she was paid $130,000 by Donald Trump's attorney prior to the 2016 election to keep quiet about her previous affair with him, according to Newsweek.
In the interview, Daniels claimed that Donald Trump compared her to his daughter.
''We had really good banter,'' she said in the 2011 interview. ''He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful, smart, just like his daughter.''
Donald Trump has made a number of comments about Ivanka through the years which cast their relationship in an unusual light.
According to Indy100, in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Donald Trump spoke about Ivanka Trump, saying, ''Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, ya know, her father'...''
In 2006, Donald Trump was asked during an interview with his daughter how he would react if she posed for Playboy magazine. He responded, ''It would be really disappointing '-- not really '-- but it would depend on what's inside the magazine. I don't think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her. Isn't that terrible? How terrible? Is that terrible?''
In a 2004 interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump gave the radio host permission to refer to his daughter as ''a piece of a*s,'' and in a 2006 interview with Stern, he said that his daughter has ''actually always been very voluptuous,'' when asked if she had gotten breast implants.
VIDEO - 'Look at the car wreck!' Morning Joe laughs out loud at Sean Hannity's 'desperation' over Trump-Mueller report
Fox News anchor Sean Hannity panicked on air over a bombshell report revealing President Donald Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller '-- and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough laughed at the spectacle.
Hannity at first denied the New York Times report, and claimed it was just a ''distraction,'' but minutes later conceded Fox News reporters had independently confirmed the details and then quickly changed the subject to a dramatic car chase caught on video in Arizona.
''Look over there!'' Scarborough said, laughing loudly. ''Oh my god. 'But didn't Bill Clinton' '' look at the bird, look at the bird! Look at the car wreck! Oh my god.''
After the laughter died down, Scarborough ripped Republicans who had sacrificed their dignity for a president who has admitted to obstruction and possibly collusion on national television.
''Over this week, and certainly over the last six months, we've seen this coming from people who are Trump apologists,'' Scarborough said. ''You know, like for instance, Mueller. The New York Times reports Donald Trump wanted to fire Robert Mueller. Fake news! Okay, well maybe it's not fake news, and then I am holding up a sheet of paper, here's a secret society and we are going to investigate the secret society. There's a secret society, other congressmen come on the TV and say we are going to look into this secret society. There's no secret society.''
''The desperation, every day there is desperation, and every day, it blows up in their faces,'' he added. ''But I guess the big takeaway here is, just how much people are willing to actually sacrifice their political souls for a man who will never show loyalty in return.''
MSNBC's Donnie Deutsch said it's time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to go on the record and comment on the GOP president and efforts by the lawmakers they lead to protect Trump from investigators.
''This continuing assault on democracy '-- forget the obstruction, forget the actual news '-- this continual assault on things that protect us, our intelligence community, the media, the judicial system, I want to hear today from Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan '-- what do they say about this?'' Deutsch said.
''The president wanted to fire Bob Mueller, he was asked about it, he said 'fake news' '-- what do you say, sirs? What do you say?'' Deutsch continued. ''It's time for the cockroaches to come out from under their rocks and respond. What do you say, gentlemen?''
VIDEO - Maxine Waters Is Giving A National Address On BET After Trump's State Of The Union
Posted on Jan 26, 2018, 11:21:48 PM GMT Updated on Jan 26, 2018, 11:21:48 PM GMT Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images Share on Facebook Share Share on Pinterest Pin Pinterest
One of President Donald Trump's fiercest critics on Capitol Hill will address the country just after next Tuesday's State of the Union.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, will speak at the top of a BET News special after Trump delivers the State of the Union, a BET spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. The program, ''Angela Rye's State of the Union,'' is part of a broader partnership announced just days ago between the network and the Democratic strategist and political commentator. Rye will executive produce news programs with a sharp focus on issues facing black Americans. The programs will run quarterly, BET said in a release.
The spokesperson said activists and some elected officials will analyze Trump's first year in office on the program, and will talk about "building black politics and the value of engagement across today's socio-political landscape." A Democratic source familiar with the production on Friday night told BuzzFeed News that it wasn't immediately clear if the program would air on Tuesday or Wednesday night.
Trump has recently taken to highlighting how well he believes black Americans are doing under his presidency, tweeting earlier this month that he was "so happy" that black joblessness was plummeting. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the rate had fallen below 7%, but analysts disagree over how much credit, if any, Trump deserves for that drop. Black lawmakers certainly don't think he deserves that credit, and some plan to let him know that Tuesday by boycotting his speech.
Black Democrats are ramping up organizing efforts outside of the party's Washington apparatus in hopes of greater impact in this year's midterm elections and heading into 2020. Groups like The Collective PAC are recruiting and training candidates; BlackPAC played an integral role in turning out black voters in Virginia's elections last year; and a national group, Power Rising, is creating a black women's agenda at a conference next month in Atlanta. A black woman in that state, Stacey Abrams, is vying to become the first black woman ever elected governor in the US.
In some corners of Democratic politics, Waters was considered a potential dark horse to deliver the official Democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union. (The Boston Globe first reported Thursday that Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy will deliver that address.) Waters, who is the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, has reinvented her national profile and emerged as one of the leading faces of the anti-Trump movement '-- especially on the internet '-- and has called for Trump's impeachment, stating repeatedly that she believes special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will find that Trump colluded with Russia in its meddling of the 2016 election.
Rye's on-air focus on Trump is something of a coup for national Democrats, whether they know it or not. BET caters to a black audience that skews younger, a segment of the electorate national Democrats cannot afford to lose in 2018 and 2020. Rye in particular is enormously popular with this group. And in Trump, Rye will have the chance to tap into one of the more effective motivating factors for young black voters, according to focus groups conducted last year by Priorities USA: getting Trump out of office.
Darren Sands is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Darren Sands at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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VIDEO - 15 Times Major Media Outlets Used a Statistic about Plastic Straws Based on Research by a 9-Year-Old - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Yesterday, I reported that the oft-cited, debate-driving statistic that Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day was the product of a 9-year-old's guesstimations. Despite those shaky factual foundations, the 500 million figure has quickly spread, virus-like, across the media landscape and even into our shops and schools.
Visitors to the D.C. tea house Teaism'--just a short walk from Reason's D.C. office'--will be confronted with the questionable fact on a small poster adorning the restaurant's single-use straw dispenser, replete with a picture of a cute sea turtle. Meanwhile, impressionable children at the Mount Vernon Community School in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, are coming home with "Straw Wars" handouts citing the same dubious figure.
It's easy to understand how the school could have been led astray, given how ubiquitous this claim is in the media. Please see below for a list of just a few of the news outlets that have cited this "fact"'--or otherwise quoted people saying it without any critical pushback'--in their reporting:
Activist groups are also quick to promote the claim. Among them:
And of coure government officials have embraced the number too. The National Park Service has touted it. So has California Assemblyman Ian Calderon. It's in the text of a Hawaii bill that would ban the distribution of plastic straws in the state.
It's sad that so many outlets are treating the rigorous survey work of an elementary school student as the statistic about plastic straw use. But it's not very surprising. Attempts to ban plastic straws'--or indeed any plastic product'--have as much to do with signaling your environmentalist bona fides as they do with actually cleaning up the oceans or saving the planet. So people pushing the claim have little incentive to investigate it. And the media have every incentive to hype the impact of a phenomenon they're covering.
Let this serve as a reminder: A statistic's popularity does not prove its accuracy.
VIDEO - Gov. Rick Scott suspends Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott suspended Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper on Friday afternoon, one day after her arrest on three felony charges.
Cooper faces charges of money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding limits on campaign contributions, all of which are third-degree felonies. Prosecutors also charged her with soliciting contributions in a government building, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.
"Joy Cooper is prohibited from performing any official act, duty or function of public office; from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of public office during the period of this suspension," Scott's order said.
According to the Broward County state attorney's office, FBI agents posing as developers and business owners met with Cooper and former attorney and lobbyist Alan Koslow, who pleaded guilty to a federal money-laundering conspiracy charge in a case with the FBI that was part of their "Red Chip" sting operation to target political corruption in South Florida.
Investigator Kate Abrahamsen wrote in the arrest affidavit that Cooper solicited campaign contributions from Koslow that exceeded the legal limit, accepted money that she believed were the proceeds of unlawful activity and falsified campaign treasury reports in September and October of 2012.
Abrahmsen said Koslow was unaware that the wealthy California land developers seeking political favor for commercial land projects were really undercover FBI agents.
According to the affidavit, Koslow introduced the undercover agents to Cooper, who claimed that she and then-Commissioners Bill Julian and Anthony Sanders were a "team of three" who could "ensure a favorable result" for the land project. Koslow showed Cooper a proposed dollar figure and asked her if it was a good number, to which she replied, "No. Add a zero."
It was one of the many recorded conversations involving Cooper, Koslow and the undercover agents, authorities said.
Abrahamsen said the undercover agents gave Koslow a Dunkin' Donuts bag containing $8,000 in cash -- all $100 bills -- with the understanding that he would funnel the money to Cooper and the commissioners.
According to the affidavit, one of the undercover agents met with Cooper at the Flashback Diner and pledged that the contributions to Cooper's campaign would be in the form of checks from a "bunch of Russian names." Koslow later told an undercover agent that he personally handed Cooper 20 checks at a Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce fashion show.
During an October 2012 meeting with Koslow and the undercover agents at the Flashback Diner, Cooper told the agents, "You guys have been great," acknowledging the payment, the affidavit said.
Cooper's attorney, Larry Davis, said he is extremely disappointed in the state attorney's office for relying on Koslow, who was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Cooper, who walked out of jail Thursday night, said she was going to "vigorously" fight the accusations.
"My mom will be vindicated, I'm sure," Cooper's son told Local 10 News investigative reporter Bob Norman.
Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.
VIDEO - Let The Triggering Begin - Patriots March Into The Middle Of Seattle Womans March 2018!! - YouTube
2018-01-25T18:32:46-05:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/e4f/20180125183528001_hd.jpg President Trump spoke to European business leaders dinner on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. President Trump spoke to European business leaders dinner on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
VIDEO - President Trump Addresses World Economic Forum, Jan 26 2018 | Video | C-SPAN.org
January 26, 2018 2018-01-26T07:58:17-05:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/f28/20180126080928002_hd.jpg President Trump declared America open for business and called for global investments in the U.S. His comments came as he addressed participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also stressed that the U.S. will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices. Following his speech, the president sat down with the World Economic Forum founder for a brief Q&A session. Boos in the audience could be heard as the president spoke about the media coverage he's received since his campaign and election win. He said he didn't realize how nasty, mean and fake they can be until he became a politician. President Trump declared America open for business and called for global investments in the U.S. His comments came as he addressed participants at the'... read more
President Trump Addresses World Economic Forum President Trump declared America open for business and called for global investments in the U.S. His comments came as he addressed participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also stressed that the U.S. will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices. Following his speech, the president sat down with the World Economic Forum founder for a brief Q&A session. Boos in the audience could be heard as the president spoke about the media coverage he's received since his campaign and election win. He said he didn't realize how nasty, mean and fake they can be until he became a politician. close
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO - China's big interest in German companies | DW Documentary - YouTube
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VIDEO - Oprah: 'I don't have the DNA' for a presidential bid
ATLANTA (AP) '-- Oprah Winfrey says she's not interested in a presidential bid despite Democrats' continuing buzz about the billionaire media icon.
MGNWinfrey tells InStyle magazine in a newly published interview that she hears the encouragement but doesn't "have the DNA" for a White House run. She says she's "very secure and confident" in her life already.
The 63-year-old is among the wealthiest businesswomen in the country and is one of the world's most recognizable black women.
The interview with InStyle's Laura Brown came several weeks before Winfrey gave a widely hailed speech at the Golden Globes awards. She focused her remarks on racial and gender equality, spawning the #Oprah2020 Twitter hashtag that trended for days.
InStyle's March cover features Winfrey and the headline: 'Hello, Madam President?'
VIDEO - Burger King made a surprisingly good ad about net neutrality - The Verge
Burger King '-- a fast-food chain that sells cheap beef '-- apparently understands net neutrality more than the average member of Congress. The company released an ad today explaining the concept of net neutrality with a stunt that showed what it would be like to have paid prioritization in a burger joint. In the ad, actors playing Burger King employees taunt ''actual guests'' by making them wait for absurd amounts of time to receive their food '-- unless they pay huge tolls to get it quickly.
Most of the popular net neutrality discussion in the past year has been reduced to this idea of ''fast and slow lanes,'' which refers to deliberate throttling of internet content. That's the extreme scenario, and ISPs haven't ruled it out. ISPs aren't throttling content yet (that we know of), but they are privileging content they have a stake in. This is why DirecTV, which is now owned by AT&T, can be streamed by AT&T customers without counting against their data caps.
But there's a surprising amount of nuance in Burger King's joke. When explaining the Whopper fast lane system to a customer, a cashier says that ''Burger King corporation believes that they can sell more and make more money selling chicken sandwiches and chicken fries, so now they're slowing down the access to the Whopper.'' That resembles the real conflict of interest at the heart of the net neutrality debate: ISPs are often trying to sell things that compete with each other, and they have good reasons to try to steer customers toward the content that will make them more money. The danger of a world without net neutrality is that ISPs that sell cable television or their own streaming TV services will carve up the internet to push customers toward the services that make them more money.
Burger King obviously made this video just so we would blog about it, and yet we can't resist the delicious, flame-broiled taste of net neutrality content. When we asked the company why it decided to make this ad, it said, ''We believe the internet should be like Burger King restaurants.'' Sure, why not.
VIDEO - Pelosi: $1000 'Crumbs' For Middle C | The Daily Caller
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doubled down on her claim that a $1,000 bonus is just ''crumbs'' for middle-class Americans.
''There's a little mouse trap who's got a little piece of cheese on there and there's a mouse about to take it and that's called the middle class,'' Pelosi said of workers getting bonuses as a result of the GOP tax cuts. ''And around it are fat cats, they look a lot like elephants but anyway, around there. And that's the thing. Get this little thing and we get this big bonanza. You get the crumb, we get the banquet.''
Pelosi made the comments during a recent town hall on tax reform, proving just how out of touch she is with struggling Americans.
Pelosi previously blasted the bonuses as ''crumbs'' earlier in January, insisting that they are ''pathetic'' gifts that mean little to workers. (RELATED: 'Crumbs' '-- Pelosi Dismisses Workers' 'Pathetic' Tax Reform Bonuses)
''In terms of the bonus that corporate America receives versus the crumbs they are giving to workers to put the schmooze on is so pathetic,'' she said during a House speech on January 11.
Fellow Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz has echoed Pelosi's rhetoric, insisting that $1,000 doesn't ''go far'' for anyone.
''Frankly, if you look at the bonuses, which I haven't heard of a corporate bonus more than $1,000 so far. Which by the way is taxed, so it's not $1,000. And then you spread $1,000 over the course of the year '-- to think of about how much that is '-- of course they get it all at once. But I'm not sure that $1,000 (which is taxed, taxable) goes very for almost anyone,'' Schultz claimed.
ALSO WATCH: Tim Scott's Must-Watch Speech On The Tax Bill:
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VIDEO - 'This Is Not Normal': Nutella Riots Hit France After Stores Slash Prices : The Two-Way : NPR
A promotional sale on Nutella was more successful than planned: Customers came to blows trying to get jars of the sweet spread after a grocery chain cut prices by 70 percent. Eric Gaillard/Reutershide caption
toggle captionEric Gaillard/Reuters A promotional sale on Nutella was more successful than planned: Customers came to blows trying to get jars of the sweet spread after a grocery chain cut prices by 70 percent.
Eric Gaillard/Reuters Hundreds of French citizens lost their savoir faire on Thursday, driven to desperation by a grocery chain's sudden 70 percent price drop for a jar of Nutella. Stories of "Nutella riots" began to spread; videos showed crowds of people shoving and yelling in supermarkets, trying to reach the jars.
One video showed a throng of people rushing to collect as many jars of Nutella as they could carry. The video was titled "Emeute" '-- a term for a mutiny or rebellion. In the footage, a woman is repeatedly heard saying that the situation "is not normal," as people push their way to a stack of Nutella jars, leaving behind only crumpled cardboard cartons.
The sweet spread, a blend of chocolate and hazelnut, set off bitter feelings after Intermarch(C) slashed the price for a jar of Nutella from 4.50 euros to 1.41 euros '-- from $5.60 to about $1.75.
The result of the sale, says the regional daily Le Progres in the Loire regoin: "riot scenes everywhere."
In at least three cases, police were called after customers came to blows in the frenzy for Nutella, according to Le Parisien. The newspaper adds that Intermarch(C) expressed surprise at the chaos, and regret over the effects on its customers.
"At 8:15, there was already a waiting line of 200 people in front of the store, an employee at one Intermarch(C) location tells Franceinfo.
When the store opened, that employee said, customers ran to snag their Nutella: "After a few minutes, the director had to intervene. He distributed one pot per person, next to a security guard. The pallet was empty after 10 minutes."
Similar rationing was reported at other stores, and grocery employees relayed accounts of scratches and other wounds to Franceinfo. Describing customers running and fighting, a manager of a store in Metz said: "People were aggressive. They were trying to tear the pots out and menacing us."
Radio France International cited the AFP in reporting an employee in the northeastern town of Forbach saying, "People just rushed in, shoving everyone, breaking things. It was like an orgy."
The doorbuster-style frenzy underlined the extremes of France's culinary world. In the same week that some people scrabbled for Nutella, more than 1,500 chefs gathered in Lyon for the funeral of Paul Bocuse, the brilliant and influential chef who died last Saturday at 91.
VIDEO - Adam Curry neemt zijn Marconi Oeuvre Award in ontvangst | Gouden RadioRing 2017 - YouTube
Bruce Paddock, brother of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, has been arrested on child pornography charges. John Cdiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2017. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017)
The brother of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock has been arrested on suspicion of possession of child pornography, according to police.
Bruce Paddock, 59, was arrested early Wednesday at an assisted living center in North Hollywood. Aerial video showed investigators in a lot behind the building in the 5300 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.
A criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles County lists 20 potential counts and indicates the alleged crimes, including possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child, occurred in 2014. Los Angeles police said the investigation began after authorities discovered evidence inside a business in Sun Valley. Bruce Paddock had been "squatting" inside the business on San Fernando Road following his eviction from a residence, police said.
Authorities were unable to locate Paddock during the initial investigation. It was not immediately clear what led investigators to the North Hollywood location.
It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney. Bond was set at $60,000.
An attorney who represented Bruce Paddock in past criminal matters told NBC News that he is no longer representing him and declined comment. Court records show Bruce Paddock has previous convictions for vandalism, criminal threats and theft, according to NBC News.
Bruce Paddock spoke with NBC News following the shooting, describing his own misdeeds as "minor." He said he was questioned by FBI agents after the mass shooting, mostly about his brother's childhood, NBC News reported.
Another brother, Eric Paddock also spoke to NBC News following the Oct. 1 shooting where his 64-year-old brother fired on a crowded outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and wounding scores more. He said he was "dumbfounded" by his brother's actions and recalled him as "just a guy" who stayed at hotels, gambled and went to shows.
Nearly a month after the shooting, authorities are still attempting to determine the motive behind the shooting, the deadliest in modern U.S. history.
This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.
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VIDEO - Burger King | Whopper Neutrality - YouTube
If you know people who aren't grasping what the repeal of Net Neutrality means, try hitting them in the stomach. Figuratively, of course. Fast food giant Burger King has an awesome video that makes it much easier to understand the ramifications of an internet without Net Neutrality using hamburgers as an example. It's only a couple minutes long, but that's more than enough time to get the point across. This is one of the clearest, and most entertaining, Net Neutrality explanations we've seen so far.
Check It Out:Burger King's Net Neutrality Explanation with Whoppers is Brilliant
VIDEO - WATCH: Senate committee evaluates Emergency Alert Systems after Hawaii's false missile alarm - YouTube
In the last episode, I paid thanks to those with whom I had great relationships in the area of podcasting. However, one key person who influenced me greatly was not mentioned. The reason was that this individual deserved an entire episode for me to thank him immensely.
This post is a tribute to Adam C. Curry, known better in the podosphere as the PODFATHER.
The last time that I saw Adam and spoke to him briefly was in person at the 2015 New Media Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. But my last one-on-one meeting in person (for 4 hours and lunch) with Adam Curry was in Austin on 5 February 2014. I had also chatted with him in several of his previous Meetups in Austin, as well as discussions with him and fellow podcaster, Todd Cochrane, in Austin.
Now, I would like to pay a tribute to Adam for his contributions to the podcast community and industry, as well as for the value that he has delivered to myself and many other podcasters after the publication of his show, NO AGENDA at www.noagendashow.com, after its 1000th episode '-- a true milestone of longevity.
Adam has provided over 1000 episodes of his podcast show with his co-host, John C Dvorak. The thousandth episode was produced and published on 18 January 2018.
Besides having been one of the first honorees to be inducted in the Podcasters Hall of Fame at Podcast Movement in 2015, Adam has received international praise and recognition. On December 29, 2017, the Dutch broadcaster AvroTros announced that the 2017 'Marconi Oeuvre Award' will be given to Adam Curry.
As you may be aware, Adam's creativity is constantly working on new ideas with an enthusiasm that is positively catching.
Case in point: in 2014, Adam had discussed a topic about the upcoming events of the year 2030 and why that should be of concern to us, as well as its own importance. As a matter of fact, I had started a podcast show about the 2030 topic, and I had recorded in February of 2014 the first episode of that podcast show. However, the podcast show never did launch, as the enthusiastic idea was drowned in all the other events, occurrences and topics of 2014.
However, the link below will take you to the interview with Adam Curry that was slated to be the first episode: (by the way, the 2030club link does not exist any longer, for it is an international site)
Interview with Adam Curry in 2014 about the planned 2030-Podcast show.
(the Interview was done on 5February2014, but the show did not launch)
For another interesting interview with Adam Curry, please refer to Todd Cochrane's podcast episode dated 21 April 2017 from the show called Podcast Legends, with the title ''Adam Curry '' The Podfather'' (they discuss Adam's new product and details of its benefits).
Copyright (c) 2018, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All rights reserved.
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VIDEO - Anderson Cooper: Haiti Is One Of The Richest Countries I've Ever Been To - CONAN on TBS - YouTube
'Morning Joe' hosts say Trump causing the "destruction" of American democracy.
The full-fledged anti-Trump meltdown at MSNBC marched on Wednesday morning, with 'Morning Joe' cohosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski claiming that ''bumbling idiot'' Donald Trump was intentionally bringing about the ''destruction'' of American democracy.
The liberal hosts were commenting on recent reports that President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were weighing a major shake-up at the Department of Justice, including FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
''If you look at what Andrew McCabe has done in serving this country, he was in the New York field office on the SWAT team. He investigated and had a key role in investigating counter-terrorism after September 11th,'' said an unhinged Scarborough.
''This man dedicated his life to you and to your family. Keeping you safe from terror attacks in New York City, in Washington, D.C., across the country,'' he added. ''Donald Trump has completely blown through every single barrier, every single constitutional protection ['...] It's despicable.''
''When is it okay to say that what we are witnessing before our eyes are the rudimentary beginnings of the destruction of a democracy? When should we be worried that this is happening? I say now,'' panicked Mika.
Watch the 'Morning Joe' Meltdown below:
h/t Daily Caller
VIDEO - Tinder: 'Rookie' mistake leads to epic dream girl search on campus
WHEN you're perusing an endless procession of potential lovers on dating apps like Tinder, it can be easy to make a mistake.
Perhaps you accidentally swipe ''like'' on your cousin, or your work manager. Or maybe you inadvertently decline the object of your desire.
If so, it's probably easiest to just forget about it and keep swiping '-- but that's not what Hayden Moll did.
The student at America's Missouri State University was hanging out on campus recently, plumbing the depths of the hook-up app when he accidentally swiped left on a fellow student named Claudia. The problem was he really liked the look of Claudia.
So in a rather desperate attempt to undo his mistake, he emailed everyone at the school (with 26,000 students) who shared her name.
''Hello all Claudia's (sic) of Missouri State,'' he wrote. ''I made a rookie mistake on Tinder. I accidentally swiped left on Claudia's profile (left is bad) and I really wanted to swipe right.''
He went on to the describe the profile and ask her to simply respond to the email with ''left'' or ''right'' and maybe they could ''get some donuts or something''.
It's no doubt a pretty desperate move but fortune favours the bold, as they say, because it appears to have paid off.
The story has since gone viral after Claudia shared the email on Twitter, prompting a wide variety of reactions to the romantic gesture.
As some were quick to point out, Tinder offers a premium service for about $20 that would have allowed him to go back and swipe right, which would have been a little less desperate and a lot less public.
While Hayden and Claudia are clearly enjoying their newfound fame on Twitter, most users are eager to know what she replied to the email. But as yet, she hasn't publicly revealed if she plans on getting that doughnut.
VIDEO - Larry Nassar's 'death warrant': sexual abuser jailed for up to 175 years | Sport | The Guardian
Nassar given between 40 and 175 years in prison in abuse trialA total of 156 survivors gave victim impact statements in courtDisgraced physician was already facing 60 years in separate caseThe former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison for abusing athletes in his care. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina reached her decision after a sentence hearing that heard from dozens of women and girls, including Olympic champions Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.
Nassar, who also treated athletes at Michigan State University, had already admitted in November to molesting seven girls in his care under the guise of treatment. But a total of 156 girls and women came forward to speak at the seven-day sentencing hearing, saying they had also suffered abuse at his hands, with two dozen more submitting private letters to the court. The sheer volume of survivors who wanted to tell their story meant that the hearing, which was initially expected to last four days, stretched into a second week.
''It is my honor to sentence you because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,'' the judge said. ''Anywhere you walk, destruction would occur to those most vulnerable.''
She added: ''I just signed your death warrant.''
'Larry Nassar, I hate you': abuse victims in their own words '' videoAquilina said the sentence reflected not only the seven counts to which Nassar pleaded guilty, but also the survivors who came forward during the sentencing hearing ''because the depth of all of your crimes have cut into the core of this community''.
''The breadth and ripple of this defendant's abuse and destruction is infinite,'' prosecuting attorney Angela Povilaitis said in her closing remarks. ''Nassar used his prestige to gain [his victims'] trust and to exploit them, leaving many of them emotionally shattered by a man they not only trusted but loved. In competitive gymnastics, he found the perfect place for his master manipulation.''
The disgraced physician gave a brief statement before Aquilina handed down the sentence, acknowledging the ''pain, trauma and emotional destruction'' experienced by his victims.
''Your words these past several days have had a significant emotional effect on myself and have shaken me to my core,'' he said. ''I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.''
''Sir, I hope that's true,'' the judge said after Nassar concluded.
Aquilina read portions of the six-page, single-spaced letter Nassar wrote to the judge last week in which he said it was too difficult for him to listen to the victim impact statements, citing it as proof that ''you have still not owned what you did''.
''Would you like to withdraw your plea?'' the judge asked.
''No, your honor,'' he said.
''Because you're guilty, aren't you, sir?''
''I accept my plea.''
Rachael Denhollander, one of three survivors to speak on Wednesday, was ''absolutely'' satisfied with the sentence on a day she wasn't sure would ever come when she became the first of Nassar's victims to come forward publicly in September 2016.
''The number of sexual assault victims Larry had was plain to me,'' she said. ''Whether or not anyone would feel safe to come forward, that was the wild card.''
After Aquilina delivered the sentence, the US Olympic Committee called on the directors of USA Gymnastics to resign. ''The purpose of this message is to tell all of Nassar's victims and survivors, directly, how incredibly sorry we are,'' the USOC chief executive, Scott Blackmun, wrote in an open letter. ''We have said it in other contexts, but we have not been direct enough with you ... The Olympic family is among those that have failed you.''
Those who confronted Nassar in the Michigan courtroom included household names such as Raisman and Maroney but most of those he abused never reached the elite level. The first witness in court when the hearing started last week was Kyle Stephens, who told the court she was abused by Nassar, a family friend, between the ages of six and 12. ''Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don't stay little for ever,'' Stephens said. ''They grow into strong women that destroy your world.''
Simone Biles, one of the stars of the Rio Olympics, said she had also been abused by the 54-year-old although she chose not to appear in court. ''Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl,'' the four-times Olympic gold medalist wrote on Twitter last week. ''But lately I've felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.''
Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the USOC have all been named as co-defendants in civil suits that appear headed to trial, with allegations that officials knew about Nassar's abuse. One of the most vocal critics of the organisations that allegedly enabled Nassar has been Raisman.
'I'm a survivor': US Olympian confronts abuser Larry Nassar in court '' video''Adult after adult protected you,'' Raisman, who won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, said when she appeared in court last week. ''How do you sleep at night? You are the person they had 'take the lead on athlete care'. I cringe to think your influence remains in the policies they [USA Gymnastics] claim will make athletes safe.
''I will not rest until every last trace of the influence you had on this sport has been destroyed like the cancer it is.''
Raisman also told ESPN that USA Gymnastics ''told [her] to be quiet'' when she first told the organisation she had been abused by Nassar.
On Monday, three USA Gymnastics board members resigned over the scandal. Raisman took the USOC to task for taking credit for the resignations. ''The Indy Star broke on August 4, 2016 after survivors courageously came forward sharing stories of sexual abuse and alleging organizational mishandling,'' Raisman wrote on Twitter. ''The next day, the USOC said they wouldn't investigate (and even praised USAG's work in the area of sexual abuse).
'Little girls don't stay little forever': abuse victims confront Larry Nassar '' video''For the past week, survivors came forward to courageously face a perpetrator of evil and to share their painful stories. Many of them, myself included, claim the USOC is also at fault. Was the USOC there to 'focus on supporting the brave survivors'? No. Did they issue any statement then? Crickets '...''
There have also been calls for the resignation of Michigan State's president, Lou Anna Simon '' including a scathing front-page editorial by the independent student newspaper that cast ''Simon, her appointees and cheerleaders'' as ''enablers''. Simon has so far declined to stand down. Nassar was employed as a sports physician at the Lansing school from 1997 to 2016.
Nassar had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison in a separate case, regarding child abuse images.
VIDEO - The FBI's 'secret society,' explained - CNNPolitics
So, how did we get here? And how much of this "secret society" talk is factual and how much of it is the stuff of conspiracy theorists?
Let's dig in.
On Monday, in an interview with Fox News Channel, Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said that he had seen a text message -- the FBI had released a tranche of the texts to Congress over the weekend -- between Page and Strzok on the day after the November 2016 election that said, "Perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society." Gowdy didn't elaborate other than to say, "So, of course I'm going to want to know: What 'secret society' are you talking about?"
Also on Monday and also on Fox News, Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Republican, said something similar. "We learned today about information that in the immediate aftermath of [Trump's] election, that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI -- to include Page and Strzok -- that would be working against him," Ratcliffe said.
On Tuesday, again on Fox, Gowdy said that Ratcliffe had found the text on Monday night -- and added that he wasn't sure exactly what "secret society" was referring to. "Now, I have no clue what that means because it was not the phraseology I used," said Gowdy.Enter Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, also on Fox on Tuesday, who suggested that the phrase "secret society" referred to something quite specific."What this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than bias," Johnson said. "Corruption of the highest levels of the FBI. The secret society -- we have an informant talking about a group that was holding secret meetings off-site."
Then this morning, on -- wait for it -- Fox -- Johnson seemed to back off that claim somewhat. "The term 'secret society' comes from Strzok and Page," he said. "All I said when I read that, it didn't surprise me, because, you know, we are the committee that whistle-blowers come to to talk about all kinds of problems throughout the federal government."
Pressed by the Fox anchor on his claim about off-site meetings of this "secret society," Johnson said this: "I, you know, I have heard, you know, from somebody who has talked to our committee, that there -- there is a group of individuals in the FBI that was holding secret, off-site meetings. And you know, again, that Strzok and Page calling it a certain term, I'm just saying, off-site meetings."
Where is this White House in all of this? "We have not discussed any secret societies and I couldn't speak to their existence, either," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday.
Here's what we know:
1. Ratcliffe apparently found a text between Strzok and Page in which the term "secret society" is used.
2. Johnson says he has an informant that says there were off-site, secret meetings of some FBI officials.
Here's what we don't know:
1. What's the context of the "secret society" reference in the text chain? Is it a joke? A reference to a real anti-Trump secret society? Something totally unrelated to Trump? We don't know because we haven't seen the full texts.
2. Who is Johnson's informant? Is that person simply disgruntled? A real whistle-blower? Someone talking a big game with not much to back it up? A guy with the real goods?
3. Are these alleged off-site meetings at all tied to the "secret society" reference in the texts? It seems entirely plausible to me that the FBI has any number of off-site meetings. Could it be that the off-site meetings Johnson's informant is telling him about are not at all connected to the "secret society"?
In short, there's more that we don't know than we do know.
All of this is being complicated by partisanship -- the next Watergate! -- and the fact that the emergence of the alleged "secret society" text coincides with the announcement from the FBI that they cannot find five months' worth of text messages between Strzok and Page. The missing months of texts are between December 2016 and May 2017 -- a critical time, according to Republicans. It turns out that texts are not just missing for Strzok and Page, but for one in ten FBI phones.
"The omission of text messages between December 2016 and May 2017, a critical gap encompassing the FBI's Russia investigation, is equally concerning," said Gowdy, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes in a statement on the missing texts. "Rather than clearing up prior FBI and DOJ actions, these recently produced documents cause us to further question the credibility and objectivity of certain officials at the FBI."
So: "secret society" + "off-site meetings" + five months of missing texts = c-o-n-s-p-i-r-a-c-y.
There's no question that all three of these matters need more light shined on them. But to assume that these three things are a) deeply connected and/or b) indicative of a massive anti-Trump scheme within the upper ranks of the FBI remains something of a leap.
This post has been updated to reflect additional reporting.