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 - Phantomville Billy Bon3s
NBC's New Year's Eve coverage is not getting the response execs were going for '-- that is, unless they wanted #nbc to be trending with #vaginalsteaming and #dumpsterfire. (Yeah, you read that first one right.)
After her face collided with comedian Leslie Jones' umbrella to kick the night off, former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen decided that 15 minutes before the ball drop was the perfect time to tell co-host Carson Daly and the world about the wonders of vaginal steaming. When the ball finally did drop, NBC somehow managed to fail to actually show it. Even guest star appearances by Teigen's husband John Legend, Diana Ross, Jennifer Lopez, and Kelly Clarkson weren't enough to keep viewers tuned in.
In case you missed it, Teigen has publicly addressed her personal experience with vaginal steaming before, posting the following photographic evidence on Instagram back in June:
NBC got some unasked-for feedback on its "embarrassing," "train-wreck" coverage on social media, most commenters unable to get over Teigen's antics and "dropping the ball" on the ball drop. Some examples (h/t Daily Mail).
"I'm embarrassed for America watching @chrissyteigen talk about vaginal steaming. Way to help me ring in the new year with family. Turning it to Fox now," wrote one former viewer.
"Literally 10 seconds into the New Year's Show on #NBC and immediately that loud for nothing @chrissyteigen is shouting 'WE HERE! WE HERE!' and doing some drunken naked leg poses," wrote another. "'We here' kinda sets the tone, no thanks. Sorry @CarsonDaly, I'm out."
"#NBC #New Years Eve Way to go NBC for dropping the ball! Watched the show and didn't see a ball, but heard about virginal steaming," wrote another turned-off viewer.
"NBC this is the worst New Years Show ever!!!" wrote another, adding "#Fail #NBC #HNY #NYC #CarsonDaly."
#nbc #RockinEve I'm embarrassed for America watching @chrissyteigen talk about vaginal steaming. Way to help me ring in the new year with family. Turning it to Fox now.
'-- Jennifer Hughes (@MrsJennHughes) January 1, 2019 #nbc dropped the ball on this one. No countdown on the tv. Thanks. Happy New Years @NBCNews
'-- Gerold Hyemin (@GeroldHyemin) January 1, 2019 Unbelievable. Literally 10 seconds into the New Year's Show on #NBC and immediately that loud for nothing @chrissyteigen is shouting "WE HERE! WE HERE!" and doing some drunken naked leg poses. "We here" kinda sets the tone, no thanks. Sorry @CarsonDaly, I'm out.#NBCNYE
'-- SoCalNative @VerbaExMachina) January 1, 2019 NBC Is AWFUL!!!! What a horrible New Years program. They literally ruin everything they broadcast! #NBC
'-- Ashley Anderson (@AA72792) January 1, 2019 #NBC #New Years Eve Way to go NBC for dropping the ball! Watched the show and didn't see a ball, but heard about virginal steaming.
'-- Barbara Barnett (@Barbara09175922) January 1, 2019 SMH could not even get the last 10 seconds of 2018 count down right #NBC New Year TV
'-- L. (@lhenrynbc) January 1, 2019Related:
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WATCH: CNN Talks About Sexual Subject Matter In Front Of Young Girl
Military Tweets About Dropping Bombs On New Years, Internet Explodes
Doden, geweld tegen agenten en meer autobranden in Oudejaarsnacht | De Volkskrant
Beeld ANP EnschedeIn Enschede werd kort na middernacht een dode man aangetroffen. De politie onderzoekt nog de exacte toedracht, maar heeft het vermoeden dat de man door vuurwerk is geraakt. Op foto's is te zien dat de straat op de plaats van het ongeval bezaaid ligt met vuurwerkresten.
De man is mogelijk het tweede vuurwerkslachtoffer dat tijdens Oud en Nieuw is gevallen. Maandagavond kwam in het Friese dorp Morra een 41-jarige man om het leven. Ook daar onderzoekt de politie nog de toedracht.
Hulpdiensten bij de woning in Enschede waar een dode man werd aangetroffen. Waarschijnlijk is het slachtoffer door een explosie om het leven gekomen. Beeld ANP AmsterdamIn Amsterdam waren er meer (auto-)branden en meer politie-incidenten dan een jaar geleden. Er zijn 183 incidenten geweest, vorig jaar 168. In totaal heeft de politie 34 mensen aangehouden. In de stad waren zeven keer politiemensen het mikpunt van geweld. Opvallend noemen de diensten het aantal van zeven incidenten waarbij vuurwapens zijn gebruikt. In twee gevallen heeft de politie zelf geschoten. De brandweer had het veel drukker dan vorig jaar: die rukte 295 keer uit, vorig jaar was dat 165 keer. Het ging 25 keer om een voertuigbrand, net zo vaak als vorig jaar.
UtrechtOok in de regio Utrecht rukte de brandweer een stuk vaker uit naar voertuigbranden dan het jaar ervoor: 34 tegen 20 vorig jaar. 19 keer kwamen de meldingen dit jaar uit de gemeente Utrecht, dat waren er vorig jaar 17. Twee keer was er agressie tegen de brandweermensen, in Houten en IJsselstein.
RotterdamDe Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond meldt dat het aantal meldingen ten opzichte van voorgaande jaren ongeveer gelijk is gebleven. De politie verrichtte 55 arrestaties, bijna de helft minder dan het jaar ervoor.
E(C)n van de slachtoffers van het schietincident vanochtend vroeg is in het ziekenhuis aan zijn verwondingen overleden. Het incident vond plaats aan de #NieuweBinneweg ipv #Gouvernestraat. De recherche is druk bezig met onderzoek. Tips en evt camerabeelden blijven welkom.
Politie Rotterdam eoLimburgIn Limburg werden 19 mensen opgepakt, 4 meer ten opzichte van een jaar eerder. In het dorp Heel werd een man neergestoken. De politie hield drie verdachten aan. Daarnaast werden er mensen aangehouden voor onder meer mishandeling en vernieling.
ZeelandOok in Zeeland hadden de hulpdiensten het drukker dan in voorgaande jaren. Zo moest de brandweer er 94 keer op uitrukken, vergeleken met 79 keer een jaar eerder. Daarbij kregen hulpverleners met geweld te maken. In Vlissingen en Nieuwland werd de brandweer met vuurwerk bekogeld.
NoordenDe politie in Drenthe, Friesland en Groningen pakte dertig mensen op wegens mishandelingen, vernielingen en het bezit van illegaal vuurwerk. Ook kwamen er meer meldingen over vuurwerkoverlast en brandjes op straat dan vorig jaar. In Geesbrug (Drenthe) moest de Mobiele Eenheid worden ingezet bij een groot vuur op straat met een groep van vijftig jongeren eromheen.
De wijk Paddepoel in Groningen tijdens Oud en Nieuw. Beeld ANP
Met pannetjes je dak op om het vuur te blussen - de Volkskrant - Blendle
Tijdens Oudejaarsnacht regende het gloeiende blokken houtskool in Scheveningen. Dat roept de vraag op of er nog wel ruimte is voor de steeds groter wordende vreugdevuren. Aan een verbod kleven ook nadelen.
FIRENADO-New Year 'firenado' threatens Dutch seaside resort - YouTube
2018 was a chaotic year. It was a chaotic year for the markets, for domestic and international politics, and for social mores. 2019 promises more of the same, if the end of the prior year was any indicator. And it promises something else: the continued rise of the Wokescolds.
Wokescolds are the new representatives of moral panic. We've seen plenty of moral panic before in the United States, from worries about violent video games to concern about allegations of sex abuse at day care facilities. But never have we seen a moral panic of the stunning breadth of today's woke moral panic. It's a moral panic that insists we change fundamental characteristics of our society, from biology to language, to politics, to religion, to romantic relations, to art, to comedy.
We're told that if we fail to rewrite biology to suggest there are more than two sexes, or if we don't use preferred pronouns rather than biological ones, we will inevitably create emotional and mental instability among certain vulnerable groups. We're told that if we fail to silence members of groups who haven't suffered sufficiently in the United States, we will be contributing to the perpetuation of power hierarchies that target minorities. We're told that if we don't force religious people to violate their own standards in order to cater to those engaging in what they consider to be sinful activity, we will be bolstering religious oppression. We're told that the only proper type of sexual relationship is one initiated via contractual levels of affirmative consent, rather than mere affirmative body language or acquiescence. We're told that ''Baby, It's Cold Outside'' and ''The Philadelphia Story'' are deeply troubling hallmarks of our sexist past (modern rap, replete with brutal degradation of women, is just fine, in case you were wondering). And we're told that if we consider politically incorrect jokes funny, we're strengthening regressive stereotypes.
If we fail to abide by these new strictures, we will be attacked by the Wokescolds. These ''woke'' inquisitors have apparently mastered the ever-shifting dynamics of leftist power politics and are willing to scour everyone's online history and interpersonal relationships for signs of heresy. Once such heresy is uncovered, the Wokescolds truly go to work: They demand apologies from the supposed sinners and boycotts of those who refuse to disassociate from them. They discourage decent people from speaking up '-- better to stay silent so as to avoid the wrath of the Wokescolds.
The Wokescolds deliberately pick marginal cases '-- cases on which good people may be split. This allows the Wokescolds to consistently narrow the boundaries of safety for those who disagree with them.
The latest victim of the Wokescolds: Louis C.K. Now, C.K. has a reprehensible personal history; by his own admission, he used his position of fame and power to lure up-and-coming female comedians backstage, where he would then ask them to watch him touch himself. C.K. has apologized for that behavior. But now he's back on the road, and he's beginning to make jokes again.
This must not be allowed, particularly when his jokes are about such taboo topics as gender pronouns and the alleged expertise conferred by experiencing tragedy. And so C.K. has been pronounced Unwoke. See, before his #MeToo moment, he was sufficiently politically leftist to avoid the Wokescold wrath '-- after all, he once called Sarah Palin a ''c'--.'' But now, C.K. must pay the price for not being sufficiently woke. Those who watch his comedy must be shamed. And we must suggest that he is no longer Funny.
Now, the difference between being funny and being Funny is that when you're funny, everyone knows it '-- when you're Funny, as defined by critics, you don't have to be funny. You just have to be woke, like the awfully unfunny Hannah Gadsby. Real humor requires only satisfying the Wokescolds. We've all just been misdefining comedy for a few millennia.
If all this sounds dull, obnoxious and frustrating, that's because it is. And while the Wokescolds may win temporary victories, those victories will surely be Pyrrhic: As it turns out, we tend to like our biology, language, politics, religion, romantic relationships, art and comedy. The Wokescolds will certainly lose. But not before they destroy a lot of people and fray the social fabric nearly beyond repair.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM
Author: Ben Shapiro Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of ''The Ben Shapiro Show'' and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of ''Bullies.'' He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Government ' TypeMunicipality ' CPC SecretaryChen Min'er ' MayorTang Liangzhi ' Congress chairmanZhang Xuan ' Conference chairmanXu JingyeArea ' Municipality82,403 km2 (31,816 sq mi) ' Urban472.8 km2 (182.5 sq mi)Elevation244 m (801 ft)Highest elevation1,709.4 m (5,608.3 ft)Population ' Municipality30,165,500 ' Density370/km2 (950/sq mi) ' Urban8,165,500 ' Urban density17,000/km2 (45,000/sq mi) ' Metro17 millionDemonym(s)ChongqingerTime zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)Postal code4000 00 '' 4099 00
Area code(s)23ISO 3166 codeCN-CQGDP2017  - TotalCNY 1.95 trillionUS$ 288.82 billion (18th) - Per capitaCNY63,689 US$ 9,433 (10th)HDI (2016)0.797 (17th) '' high Licence plate prefixesæ¸'A , æ¸'D (Yuzhong, Jiangbei, Jiulongpo, Dadukou) æ¸'B (Nan'an, Shapingba, Beibei, Wansheng, Shuangqiao, Yubei, Banan, Changshou)æ¸'C (Yongchuan, Hechuan, Jiangjin, Qijiang, Tongnan, Tongliang, Dazu, Rongchang, Bishan)æ¸'F (Wanzhou, Liangping, Chengkou, Wushan, Wuxi, Zhongxian, Kaizhou, Fengjie, Yunyang)æ¸'G (Fuling, Nanchuan, Dianjiang, Fengdu, Wulong)æ¸'H (Qianjiang, Shizhu, Xiushan, Youyang, Pengshui)AbbreviationCQ / æ¸' ; Yº City flowerCamelliaCity treeFicus lacorWebsiteCQ.gov.cn (in Chinese) English.CQ.gov.cnChongqing ( [ÊÊÊ°ÊÌÅ.tÉÊ°iÌÅ] ( listen )), formerly romanized as Chungking,[note 1] is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of China's four municipalities under the direct administration of central government (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in China located far away from the coast.
Chongqing was a municipality during the Republic of China (ROC) administration, serving as its wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937''1945); during this period, Chongqing was listed as one of the world's four anti-fascist command centers, along with Washington, London and Moscow. The current municipality was recreated on 14 March 1997 to help develop the central and western parts of China. The Chongqing administrative municipality has a population of over 30 million, spread over an area the size of Austria. The city of Chongqing has a much smaller population of approximately 8 million. The Chongqing metropolitan area, consisting of Chongqing, Fuling District, Wanzhou District and Qianjiang District, has a combined metropolitan population of nearly 18 million. According to the 2010 census, Chongqing is the most populous Chinese municipality, and also the largest direct-controlled municipality in China, containing 26 districts, eight counties, and four autonomous counties.
The official abbreviation of the city, "Yu" (æ¸' ), was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997. This abbreviation is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds into the Yangtze River.
Chongqing has a significant history and culture. Being one of China's five National Central Cities, it serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze basin. It is a major manufacturing centre and transportation hub; a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit described it as one of China's "13 emerging megalopolises".
History [ edit ] Ancient history [ edit ] Tradition associates Chongqing with the State of Ba.This new capital was first named Jiangzhou (æ±å· ).
Imperial era [ edit ] Jiangzhou subsequently remained under Qin Shi Huang's rule during the Qin dynasty, the successor of the Qin State, and under the control of Han dynasty emperors.Jiangzhou was subsequently renamed during the Northern and Southern dynasties to Chu Prefecture (æ¥å· ), then in 581 AD (Sui dynasty) to Yu Prefecture (æ¸'å· ), and later in 1102 during Northern Song to Gong Prefecture (æå· ). The name Yu however survives to this day as an abbreviation for Chongqing, and the city centre where the old town stood is also called Yuzhong (Central Yu). It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song dynasty described his crowning as king and then Emperor Guangzong as a "double celebration" (simplified Chinese: åéå'åº ; traditional Chinese: ééå'æ ¶ ; pinyin: shuÄngch"ng xÇq¬ng , or chongqing in short). In his honour, Yu Prefecture was therefore renamed Chongqing subprefecture marking the occasion of his enthronement.
In 1362, (Yuan dynasty), Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebel leader, established the Daxia Kingdom (å¤§å¤ ) at Chongqing for a short time. In 1621 (Ming dynasty), another short-lived kingdom of Daliang (å¤§æ ) was established by She Chongming (å¥å´æ ) with Chongqing as its capital. In 1644, after the fall of the Ming dynasty to a rebel army, Chongqing, together with the rest of Sichuan, was captured by Zhang Xianzhong, who was said to have massacred a large number of people in Sichuan and depopulated the province, in part by causing many people to flee to safety elsewhere. The Manchus later conquered the province, and during the Qing dynasty, immigration to Chongqing and Sichuan took place with the support of the Qing emperor.
In 1890, the British Consulate General was opened in Chongqing. The following year, the city became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners. The French, German, US and Japanese consulates were opened in Chongqing in 1896''1904.
Provisional capital of the Republic of China [ edit ] A street scene in Chongqing, c. 1944
During and after the Second Sino-Japanese War, from Nov 1937 to May 1946, it was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital. After Britain, the United States, and other Allies entered the war in Asia in December 1941, one of the Allies' deputy commanders of operations in South East Asia (South East Asia Command SEAC), Joseph Stilwell, was based in the city. The city was also visited by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of SEAC which was itself headquartered in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka. Chiang Kai Shek as Supreme Commander in China worked closely with Stilwell. The Japanese Air Force heavily bombed it. Due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. Due to the bravery, contributions and sacrifices made by the local people during World War II, Chongqing became known as the City of Heroes. Many factories and universities were relocated from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, transforming this city from inland port to a heavily industrialized city. In late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the city.
Municipality status [ edit ] A sunset view of Chongqing Central Business District and Hongya Cave, taken in 2017
On 14 March 1997, the Eighth National People's Congress decided to merge the Sub-provincial city with the neighbouring Fuling, Wanxian, and Qianjiang prefectures that it had governed on behalf of the province since September 1996. The resulting single division became Chongqing Municipality, containing 30,020,000 people in forty-three former counties (without intermediate political levels). The municipality became the spearhead of China's effort to develop its western regions and to coordinate the resettlement of residents from the reservoir areas of the Three Gorges Dam project. Its first official ceremony took place on 18 June 1997. On 8 February 2010, Chongqing became one of the four National Central/Core cities, the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. On 18 June 2010, Liangjiang New Area was established in Chongqing, which is the third State-level new areas at the time of its establishment.
Organised crime and the gang trials [ edit ] In the first decade of the 21st century, the city became notorious for organised crime and corruption. Gangsters oversaw businesses involving billions of yuan and the corruption reached into the law-enforcement and justice systems. In 2009, city authorities under the auspices of municipal Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai undertook a large-scale crackdown, arresting 4,893 suspected gangsters, "outlaws" and corrupt cadres, leading to optimism that the period of gangsterism was over. However, local media later highlighted the apparent reliance by the authorities on torture to extract confessions upon which convictions were based. In December 2009, one defence lawyer was controversially arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison for "coaching his client to make false claims of torture" and in July 2010, another lawyer released videotapes of his client describing the torture in detail. In 2014, four policemen involved in the interrogation were charged with the practice of "opposed illegal interrogation techniques", considered by observers to be torture. The number of security cameras increased significantly in the early 2010s to the highest of any city in the world at around 500,000. [citation needed ]
Geography [ edit ] Physical geography and topography [ edit ] Chongqing is situated at the transitional area between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the plain on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the sub-tropical climate zone often swept by moist monsoons. It often rains at night in late spring and early summer, and thus the city is famous for its "night rain in the Ba Mountains", as described by poems throughout Chinese history including the famous Written on a Rainy Night-A Letter to the North by Li Shangyin. The municipality reaches a maximum width of 470 kilometres (290 mi) from east to west, and a maximum length of 450 km (280 mi) from north to south. It borders the following provinces: Hubei in the east, Hunan in the southeast, Guizhou in the south, Sichuan in the west and northwest, and Shaanxi to the north in its northeast corner.
Chongqing covers a large area crisscrossed by rivers and mountains. The Daba Mountains stand in the north, the Wu Mountains in the east, the Wuling Mountains in the southeast, and the Dalou Mountains in the south. The whole area slopes down from north and south towards the Yangtze River valley, with sharp rises and falls. The area is featured by a large geological massif, of mountains and hills, with large sloping areas at different heights. Typical karst landscape is common in this area, and stone forests, numerous collections of peaks, limestone caves and valleys can be found in many places. The Longshuixia Gap (é¾æ°´å"å'°ç¼' ), with its natural arch-bridges, has made the region a popular tourist attraction. The Yangtze River runs through the whole area from west to east, covering a course of 665 km (413 mi), cutting through the Wu Mountains at three places and forming the well-known Three Gorges: the Qutang, the Wuxia and the Xiling gorges. Coming from northwest and running through "the Jialing Lesser Three Gorges" of Libi, Wentang and Guanyin, the Jialing River joins the Yangtze in Chongqing.
The central urban area of Chongqing, or Chongqing proper, is a city of unique features. Built on mountains and partially surrounded by the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, it is known as a "mountain city" and a "city on rivers". The night scene of the city is very illuminated, with millions of lights and their reflection on the rivers. With its special topographical features, Chongqing has the unique scenery of mountains, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. Li Bai, a famous poet of the Tang dynasty, was inspired by the natural scenery and wrote this epigram.
Specifically, the central urban area is located on a huge folding area (similar to the landscape of the Appalachian Mountains in the United States), and the Yuzhong District, Nan'an District, Shapingba District and Jiangbei District are located right on a big syncline. And the "Southern Mountain of Chongqing" (Tongluo Mountain), along with the Zhongliang Mountain are two anticlines next to the syncline of downtown.
Leaving at dawn the White Emperor crowned with cloud,
I've sailed a thousand li through canyons in a day.With the monkeys' adieus the riverbanks are loud,
My skiff has left ten thousand mountains far away.
Climate [ edit ] All climatic data listed below comes from the central parts of the city.
Annual average 18.39 °C (65.1 °F)January average 7.9 °C (46.2 °F)July and August average 28.3 °C (82.9 °F)Historical Temperature range From ''1.8 °C (29 °F) on 15 December 1975 to 43.0 °C (109 °F) on 15 August 2006Total annual hours of sunshine 955Annual precipitation 1,108 millimetres (43.6 in)Chongqing has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (K¶ppen Cwa), and for most of the year experiences very high relative humidity, with all months above 75%. Known as one of the "Three Furnaces" of the Yangtze River, along with Wuhan and Nanjing, its summers are long and among the hottest and most humid in China, with highs of 33 to 34 °C (91 to 93 °F) in July and August in the urban area. Winters are short and somewhat mild, but damp and overcast. The city's location in the Sichuan Basin causes it to have one of the lowest annual sunshine totals nationally, at only 1,055 hours, lower than much of Northern Europe; the monthly percent possible sunshine in the city proper ranges from a mere 8% in December and January to 48% in August. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from ''1.8 °C (29 °F) on 15 December 1975 (unofficial record of ''2.5 °C (27 °F) was set on 8 February 1943) to 43.0 °C (109 °F) on 15 August 2006 (unofficial record of 44.0 °C (111 °F) was set on 8 and 9 August 1933).
As exemplified by Youyang County below, conditions are often cooler in the southeast part of the municipality due to the higher elevations there.
Climate data for Chongqing (Shapingba District, 1981''2010)MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearRecord high °C (°F)18.8 (65.8)24.6 (76.3)34.0 (93.2)36.5 (97.7)38.9 (102)39.8 (103.6)42.0 (107.6)43.0 (109.4)41.9 (107.4)35.1 (95.2)29.2 (84.6)21.5 (70.7)43 (109.4)Average high °C (°F)10.3 (50.5)12.9 (55.2)17.7 (63.9)23.0 (73.4)27.2 (81)29.4 (84.9)33.0 (91.4)33.2 (91.8)28.3 (82.9)21.7 (71.1)17.1 (62.8)11.5 (52.7)22.1 (71.8)Daily mean °C (°F)7.9 (46.2)10.0 (50)13.8 (56.8)18.5 (65.3)22.6 (72.7)25.1 (77.2)28.3 (82.9)28.3 (82.9)24.1 (75.4)18.6 (65.5)14.2 (57.6)9.3 (48.7)18.4 (65.1)Average low °C (°F)6.2 (43.2)8.0 (46.4)11.2 (52.2)15.4 (59.7)19.3 (66.7)22.1 (71.8)24.8 (76.6)24.7 (76.5)21.2 (70.2)16.5 (61.7)12.2 (54)7.7 (45.9)15.8 (60.4)Record low °C (°F)''1.8 (28.8)''0.8 (30.6)1.2 (34.2)2.8 (37)10.8 (51.4)15.5 (59.9)19.2 (66.6)17.8 (64)14.3 (57.7)6.9 (44.4)0.7 (33.3)''1.7 (28.9)''1.8 (28.8)Average precipitation mm (inches)19.7 (0.78)23.3 (0.92)43.2 (1.7)95.2 (3.75)145.9 (5.74)192.6 (7.58)186.0 (7.32)137.9 (5.43)105.8 (4.17)85.8 (3.38)48.3 (1.9)24.3 (0.96)1,108 (43.63)Average precipitation days ('¥ 0.1 mm) 10.09.811.914.315.515.712.511.312.7188.8.131.5251.1Average relative humidity (%)84807777778176747985848580Mean monthly sunshine hours20.629.764.993.6109.497.7158.6167.0106.650.435.920.4954.8Percent possible sunshine811182526264248281813824Source: China Meteorological AdministrationClimate data for Youyang Tujia and Miao Autonomous County (1971''2000)MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearAverage high °C (°F)7.5 (45.5)8.8 (47.8)13.0 (55.4)19.7 (67.5)23.9 (75)26.9 (80.4)30.0 (86)30.2 (86.4)25.6 (78.1)20.3 (68.5)15.1 (59.2)10.3 (50.5)19.3 (66.7)Average low °C (°F)1.5 (34.7)2.8 (37)6.3 (43.3)11.5 (52.7)15.6 (60.1)19.2 (66.6)21.5 (70.7)21.1 (70)17.5 (63.5)12.8 (55)8.0 (46.4)3.4 (38.1)11.8 (53.2)Average precipitation mm (inches)29.1 (1.15)31.6 (1.24)56.7 (2.23)128.5 (5.06)195.1 (7.68)242.3 (9.54)178.1 (7.01)145.0 (5.71)122.5 (4.82)109.5 (4.31)67.9 (2.67)25.4 (1)1,331.7 (52.42)Average precipitation days ('¥ 0.1 mm) 12.012.215.916.9184.108.40.2064.413.015.111.69.7171.4Average relative humidity (%)77777980818382818182797680Mean monthly sunshine hours42.537.447.683.3102.7101.4155.9171.7112.388.768.764.41,076.6Percent possible sunshine13121322252437423125212024.3Source: China Meteorological AdministrationAir [ edit ] Chongqing, with over 100 days of fog per year, is known as the "Fog City" (é¾é½ ), like San Francisco, and a thick layer of fog shrouds it for 68 days per year during the spring and autumn. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, this special weather possibly played a role in protecting the city from being overrun by the Imperial Japanese Army.
Administrative divisions [ edit ] Chongqing is the largest of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the People's Republic of China. The municipality is divided into 38 subdivisions (3 were abolished in 1997, and Wansheng and Shuangqiao districts were abolished in October 2011), consisting of 26 districts, 8 counties, and 4 autonomous counties. The boundaries of Chongqing municipality reach much farther into the city's hinterland than the boundaries of the other three provincial level municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and much of its administrative area, which spans over 80,000 square kilometres (30,900 sq mi), is rural.
Administrative divisions of ChongqingDivision codeDivisionArea in km2Total population 2010Urban areapopulation 2010SeatPostal codeSubdivisions[full citation needed ]SubdistrictsTownsTownships[n 1]Ethnic townshipsResidential communitiesVillages500000Chongqing8240328,846,17015295803Yuzhong4000001815672331423245235500101Wanzhou34571,563,050859,662Chenjiaba Subdistrict4040001129102187448500102Fuling29461,066,714595,224Lizhi Subdistrict4080008126108310500103Yuzhong23630,090Qixinggang Subdistrict4000001278500104Dadukou102301,042280,512Xinshancun Subdistrict400000524832500105Jiangbei221738,003672,545Cuntan Subdistrict400000938848500106Shapingba3961,000,013900,568Qinjiagang Subdistrict40000018814086500107Jiulongpo4311,084,419939,349Yangjiaping Subdistrict400000711107105500108Nan'an263759,570683,717Tianwen Subdistrict400000778561500109Beibei754680,360501,822Beiwenquan Subdistrict40070051263117500110Qijiang27471,056,817513,935Gunan Subdistrict40080052599365500111Dazu1433721,359315,183Tangxiang Subdistrict400900324103197500112Yubei14521,345,410985,918Shuangfengqiao Subdistrict4011001412155215500113Banan1834918,692669,269Longzhouwan Subdistrict40130081487198500114Qianjiang2397445,012173,997Chengxi Subdistrict4097006121280138500115Changshou1423770,009408,261Fengcheng Subdistrict40120041431223500116Jiangjin32001,233,149686,189Jijiang Subdistrict40220042485180500117Hechuan23561,293,028721,753Nanjin Street Subdistrict40150072361327500118Yongchuan15761,024,708582,769Zhongshan Road Subdistrict40210071652208500119Nanchuan2602534,329255,045Dongcheng Subdistrict4084003151558185500120Bishan912586,034246,425Bicheng Subdistrict4027006943142500151Tongliang1342600,086248,962Bachuan Subdistrict40250032557269500152Tongnan1585639,985247,084Guilin Subdistrict40260022021281500153Rongchang1079661,253271,232Changyuan Subdistrict4024006157592500154Kaizhou39591,160,336416,415Hanfeng Subdistrict405400726778435500155Liangping1890687,525235,753Liangshan Subdistrict405200226733310500156Wulong2872351,038115,823Gangkou town4085001210424184500229Chengkou Co.3286192,96749,039Gecheng Subdistrict405900261722184500230Fengdu Co.2896649,182224,003Sanhe Subdistrict408200223553277500231Dianjiang Co.1518704,458241,424Guixi Subdistrict408300223262236500233Zhong Co.2184751,424247,406Zhongzhou town404300225149317500235Yunyang Co.3634912,912293,636Shuangjiang Subdistrict40450042215187391500236Fengjie Co.4087834,259269,302Yong'an town404600198454332500237Wushan Co.2958495,072148,597Gaotang Subdistrict4047001112230308500238Wuxi Co.4030414,073105,111Baichang Subdistrict4058002151638292500240Shizhu Co.3013415,050134,173Nanbin town409100171529213500241Xiushan Co.2450501,590150,566Zhonghe Subdistrict409900141859208500242Youyang Co.5173578,058137,635Taohuayuan town40980015238270500243Pengshui Co.3903545,094137,409Hanjia Subdistrict409600112855241 ^ Including other township related subdivisions. Urban areas [ edit ] Population by urban areas of districts#CityUrban areaDistrict areaCensus date1Chongqing[i]6,263,7907,457,5992010-11-012Wanzhou859,6621,563,0502010-11-013Hechuan721,7531,293,0282010-11-014Jiangjin686,1891,233,1492010-11-015Fuling595,2241,066,7142010-11-016Yongchuan582,7691,024,7082010-11-017Qijiang[ii]513,9351,056,8172010-11-01(8)Kaizhou[iii]416,4151,160,3362010-11-019Changshou408,261770,0092010-11-0110Dazu[iv]315,183721,3592010-11-01(11)Rongchang[v]271,232661,2532010-11-0112Nanchuan255,045534,3292010-11-01(13)Tongliang[vi]248,962600,0862010-11-01(14)Tongnan[vii]247,084639,9852010-11-01(15)Bishan[viii]246,425586,0342010-11-01(16)Liangping[ix]235,753687,5252010-11-0117Qianjiang173,997445,0122010-11-01(18)Wulong[x]115,823351,0382010-11-01 ^ Chongqing core districts are consist of nine districts: Yuzhong, Dadukou, Jiangbei, Shapingba, Jiulongpo, Nan'an, Beibei, Yubei, & Banan. ^ Wansheng & Qijiang County currently known as Qijiang after census. ^ Kaizhou County is currently known as Kaizhou after census. ^ Shuangqiao & Dazu County currently known as Dazu after census. ^ Rongchang County is currently known as Rongchang after census. ^ Tongliang County is currently known as Tongliang after census. ^ Tongnan County is currently known as Tongnan after census. ^ Bishan County is currently known as Bishan after census. ^ Liangping County is currently known as Liangping after census. ^ Wulong County is currently known as Wulong after census. Jiefangbei CBD, Yuzhong Peninsula of Chongqing at night
New York New York Tower, with a height of 228 m (748 ft), located in Jiefangbei CBD and built in 2005
a Indicates with which district the division was associated below prior to the merging of Chongqing, Fuling, Wanxian (now Wanzhou) and Qianjiang in 1997.
Central Chongqing [ edit ] Districts [ edit ] The urban area of Chongqing is known as Central Chongqing (éåºä¸>>ååº ). Spanning approximately 5,473 square kilometres (2,113 square miles), it includes the following nine districts:
Yuzhong District (æ¸'ä¸åº, or "Central Chongqing District"), the central and most densely populated district, where government and international business offices and the city's best shopping are located in the district's Jeifangbei CBD area. Yuzhong is located on the peninsula surrounded by E-ling Hill, Yangtze River and Jialing River.Jiangbei District (æ±ååº , or "River North District"), located to the north of Jialing River.Shapingba District (æ²å'ªå''åº ), roughly located between Jialing River and Zhongliang Mountain.Jiulongpo District (ä¹'é¾å'åº ), roughly located between Yangtze River and Zhongliang Mountain.Nan'an District (åå²¸åº , or "Southern Bank District"), located on the south side of Yangtze River.Dadukou District (å¤§æ¸å£åº )Banan District (å·´ååº , or "Southern Chongqing District"). Previously called Ba County, and changed to the current name in 1994. Its northern area merged into central Chongqing, and its capital town Yudong is a satellite city of Central Chongqing.Yubei District (æ¸'ååº , or "Northern Chongqing District"). Previously called Jiangbei County, and changed into the current name in 1994. Its southern area merged into Central Chongqing, and the capital town Lianglu Town is a satellite city of Central Chongqing.Beibei District (åçåº ), a satellite city northwest of Central Chongqing.Panorama of the Chongqing Skyline, taken from Jiangbeizui CBD in 2015
Landforms [ edit ] Central Chongqing is in the eastern edge of Sichuan Basin. Yangtze River meets its major tributary stream, Jialing River, in Central Chongqing. The city is located on a big syncline valley. Two tributary ranges of Huaying Mountain (Zhongling Mountain and Tongluo Mountain) roughly forms the eastern and western boundaries of Central Chongqing. The highest point in downtown is the top of E-ling Hill, which is a smaller syncline hill that keeps Yangtze River and Jialing River apart for some more kilometres. The elevation of E-ling Hill is 379 metres (1,243 feet). The lowest point in Central Chongqing is Chaotian Gate, where the two rivers merge with each other. The altitude there is 160 metres (520 feet). The average height of Central Chongqing is 259 metres (850 feet). In the near-suburban Chongqing, however, there are several high mountains. The highest one is called Wugong Ling Mountain, with the altitude of 1,709.4 metres (5,608 feet).
Bridges [ edit ] The first Chongqing Yangtze river bridge, built in 1977
Night view of Caiyuanba bridge across Yangtze river in Chongqing
With many bridges on Yangtze River and Jialing River in urban area, Central Chongqing is sometimes called the Bridge Capital of China. The first major bridge built in urban Chongqing is the Niujiaotuo Jialing River Bridge built in 1958. The first bridge on Yangtze River is the Shibanpo Yangtze River Bridge (or Chongqing Yangtze River Bridge) built in 1977.
Until 2014, within the range of Central Chongqing, there are 20 bridges on Yangtze River and 28 bridges on Jialing River. Bridges in Chongqing have various structures and shapes, making Chongqing a museum of bridges.
Aerial tramway [ edit ] Chongqing is the only Chinese city that keeps public aerial tramways. Historically there were three aerial tramways in Chongqing: the Yangtze River Tramway, the Jialing River Tramway and the South Mountain Tramway. Currently, only Yangtze River Tramway is still operating. This tramway is 1,160 metres (3,810 feet) long, connecting the southern and northern banks of Yangtze River. The daily passenger volume is about 10,000.
Demographics [ edit ] Jiefangbei (People's Liberation Monument), the landmark and center of Chongqing
Historical populationYearPop.±%19491,003,000'-- 19796,301,000+528.2%198313,890,000+120.4%199615,297,000+10.1%1997*28,753,000+88.0%200028,488,200''0.9%200527,980,000''1.8%200828,390,000+1.5%201228,846,170+1.6%201329,700,000+3.0%201429,914,000+0.7%201530,170,000+0.9%*Population size in 1997 was affected by expansion of administrative divisions.According to a July 2010 article from the official Xinhua news agency, the municipality has a population of 32.8 million, including 23.3 million farmers. Among them, 8.4 million farmers have become migrant workers, including 3.9 million working and living in urban areas of Chongqing.The metropolitan area encompassing the central urban area was estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, as of 2010[update], a population of 17 million.
This would mean that the locally registered farmers who work in other jurisdictions number 4.5 million, reducing the local, year-round population of Chongqing in 2010 to 28.3 million, plus those who are registered in other jurisdictions but live and work in Chongqing. According to China's 2005 statistical yearbook, of a total population of 30.55 million, those with residence registered in other jurisdictions but residing in the Chongqing enumeration area numbered 1.4 million, including 46,000 who resided in Chongqing "for less than half-year". An additional 83,000 had registered in Chongqing, but not yet settled there.
The 2005 statistical yearbook also lists 15.22 million (49.82%) males and 15.33 million (50.18%) females.
In terms of age distribution in 2004, of the 30.55 million total population, 6.4 million (20.88%) were age 0''14, 20.7 million (67.69%) were 15''64, and 3.5 million (11.46%) were 65 and over.
Of a total 10,470,000 households (2004), 1,360,000 consisted of one person, 2,940,000 two-person, 3,190,000 three-person, 1,790,000 four-person, 783,000 five-person, 270,000 six-person, 89,000 seven-person, 28,000 eight-person, 6,000 nine-person, and 10,000 households of 10 or more persons per household.
Politics [ edit ] Chongqing has been, since 1997, a direct-controlled municipality in the Chinese administrative structure, making it a provincial-level division with commensurate political importance. The municipality's top leader is the secretary of the municipal committee of the Communist Party of China ("party chief"), which, since 2007, has also held a seat on the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, the country's second highest governing council. Under the Soviet-inspired nomenklatura system of appointments, individuals are appointed to the position by the central leadership of the Communist Party, and bestowed to an official based on seniority and adherence to party orthodoxy, usually given to an individual with prior regional experience elsewhere in China and nearly never a native of Chongqing. Notable individuals who have held the municipal Party Secretary position include He Guoqiang, Wang Yang, Bo Xilai, Zhang Dejiang, and Sun Zhengcai, the latter three were Politburo members during their term as party chief. The party chief heads the municipal party standing committee, the de facto top governing council of the municipality. The standing committee is typically composed of 13 individuals which includes the party chiefs of important subdivisions and other leading figures in the local party and government organization, as well as one military representative.
The municipal People's Government serves as the day-to-day administrative authority, and is headed by the mayor, who is assisted by numerous vice mayors and mayoral assistants. Each vice mayor is given jurisdiction over specific municipal departments. The mayor is the second-highest-ranking official in the municipality. The mayor usually represents the city when foreign guests visit.
The municipality also has a People's Congress, theoretically elected by lower level People's Congresses. The People's Congress nominally appoints the mayor and approves the nominations of other government officials. The People's Congress, like those of other provincial jurisdictions, is generally seen as a symbolic body. It convenes in full once a year to approve party-sponsored resolutions and local regulations and duly confirm party-approved appointments. On occasion the People's Congress can be venues of discussion on municipal issues, although this is dependent on the actions of individual delegates. The municipal People's Congress is headed by a former municipal official, usually in their late fifties or sixties, with a lengthy prior political career in Chongqing. The municipal Political Consultative Conference (zhengxie) meets at around the same time as the People's Congress. Its role is to advise on political issues. The zhengxie is headed by a leader who is typically a former municipal or regional official with a lengthy career in the party and government bureaucracy.
Military [ edit ] Chongqing was the wartime capital of China during the Second Sino-Japanese war (i.e., World War II), and from 1938 to 1946, the seat of administration for the Republic of China's government before its departure to Nanjing and then Taiwan. It also contains a military museum named after the Chinese Korean War hero Qiu Shaoyun.
Chongqing used to be the headquarters of the 13th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the two group armies that formerly comprise the Chengdu Military Region, which in 2016 was re-organized into the Western Theater Command.
Economy [ edit ] Raffles City Chongqing, sitting in the confluence of Yangtze and Jialing River
Chongqing was separated from Sichuan province and made into a municipality in its own right in 14 March 1997 in order to accelerate its development and subsequently China's relatively poorer western areas (see China Western Development strategy). An important industrial area in western China, Chongqing is also rapidly urbanising. For instance, statistics suggest that new construction added approximately 137,000 square metres (1,470,000 square feet) daily of usable floor space to satisfy demands for residential, commercial and factory space. In addition, more than 1,300 people moved into the city daily, adding almost 100 million yuan (US$15 million) to the local economy.
Traditionally, due to its geographical remoteness, Chongqing and neighbouring Sichuan have been important military bases in weapons research and development. Chongqing's industries have now diversified but unlike eastern China, its export sector is small due to its inland location. Instead, factories producing local-oriented consumer goods such as processed food, cars, chemicals, textiles, machinery and electronics are common.
Chongqing is China's third largest centre for motor vehicle production and the largest for motorcycles. In 2007, it had an annual output capacity of 1 million cars and 8.6 million motorcycles. Leading makers of cars and motor bikes includes China's fourth biggest automaker; Changan Automotive Corp and Lifan Hongda Enterprise, as well as Ford Motor Company, with the US car giant having 3 plants in Chongqing. The municipality is also one of the nine largest iron and steel centres in China and one of the three major aluminium producers. Important manufacturers include Chongqing Iron and Steel Company and South West Aluminium which is Asia's largest aluminium plant. Agriculture remains significant. Rice and fruits, especially oranges, are the area's main produce. Natural resources are also abundant with large deposits of coal, natural gas, and more than 40 kinds of minerals such as strontium and manganese. Coal reserves ' 4.8 billion tonnes. Chuandong Natural Gas Field is China's largest inland gas field with deposits of around 270 billion m3 '' more than 1/5 of China's total. Has China's largest reserve of strontium (China has the world's 2nd biggest strontium deposit). Manganese is mined in the Xiushan area. although the mining sector has been criticised for being wasteful, heavily polluting and unsafe. Chongqing is also planned to be the site of a 10 million ton capacity refinery operated by CNPC (parent company of PetroChina) to process imported crude oil from the Sino-Burma pipelines. The pipeline itself, though not yet finished, will eventually run from Sittwe (in Myanmar's western coast) through Kunming in Yunnan before reaching Chongqing and it will provide China with fuels sourced from Myanmar, the Middle East and Africa. Recently, there has been a drive to move up the value chain by shifting towards high technology and knowledge intensive industries resulting in new development zones such as the Chongqing New North Zone (CNNZ). Chongqing's local government is hoping through the promotion of favorable economic policies for the electronics and information technology sectors, that it can create a 400 billion RMB high technology manufacturing hub which will surpass its car industry and account for 25% of its exports.
The city has also invested heavily in infrastructure to attract investment. The network of roads and railways connecting Chongqing to the rest of China has been expanded and upgraded reducing logistical costs. Furthermore, the nearby Three Gorges Dam which is the world's largest, will not only supply Chongqing with power once completed but also allows oceangoing ships to reach Chongqing's Yangtze River port. These infrastructure improvements have led to the arrivals of numerous foreign direct investors (FDI) in industries ranging from car to finance and retailing; such as Ford,Mazda,HSBC,Standard Chartered Bank,Citibank,Deutsche Bank,ANZ Bank,Scotiabank,Wal-Mart,Metro AG and Carrefour, among other multinational corporations.
Chongqing's nominal GDP in 2011 reached 1001.1 billion yuan (US$158.9 billion) while registering an annual growth of 16.4%. However, its overall economic performance is still lagging behind eastern coastal cities such as Shanghai. For instance, its per capita GDP was 22,909 yuan (US$3,301) which is below the national average. Nevertheless, there is a massive government support to transform Chongqing into the region's economic, trade, and financial centre and use the municipality as a platform to open up the country's western interior to further development.
Chongqing has been identified by the Economist Intelligence Unit in the November 2010 Access China White Paper as a member of the CHAMPS (Chongqing, Hefei, Anshan, Maanshan, Pingdingshan and Shenyang), an economic profile of the top 20 emerging cities in China.
The total GDP of Chongqing reached 17,740.59 billion yuan (2670.85 billion USD) in 2017 which is 58,502 yuan per capital (8807.49 USD). Additionally there were too much undeveloped regions joined into Chongqing when it became municipality. The central Chongqing (Chongqing Main Urban Districts\Chongqing Urban\éåºä¸>>ååº ) total GDP of 2017 is 9264.14 billion yuan which is 10,7092.46 yuan (15,706.72 USD) per capital. This data is much higher than the national average. [citation needed ]
Economic and technological development zones [ edit ] The city includes a number of economic and technological development zones:
Chongqing Chemical Industrial ParkChongqing Economic & Technological Development ZoneChongqing Hi-Tech Industry Development ZoneChongqing New North Zone (CNNZ)Chongqing Export Processing ZoneJianqiao Industrial Park (located in Dadukou District)Liangjiang New AreaLiangjiang Cloud Computing Center (the largest of its kind in China)Chongqing itself is part of the West Triangle Economic Zone, along with Chengdu and Xi'an.
Transport [ edit ] Since its elevation to national-level municipality in 1997, the city has dramatically expanded its transportation infrastructure. With the construction of railways and expressways to the east and southeast, Chongqing is a major transportation hub in southwestern China.
As of October 2014[update], the municipality had 31 bridges across the Yangtze River including over a dozen in the city's urban core. Aside from the city's first two Yangtze River bridges, which were built, respectively, in 1960 and 1977, all of the other bridges were completed since 1995.
River port [ edit ] Hydrofoil on the Yangtze in the outer reaches of the municipality
The confluence of the Jialing River and Yangtze River, as seen from Chongqing
Chongqing is one of the most important inland ports in China. There are numerous luxury cruise ships that terminate at Chongqing, cruising downstream along the Yangtze River to Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing or even Shanghai. In the recent past, this provided virtually the only transportation option along the river. However, improved rail, expressways and air travel have seen this ferry traffic reduce or been cancelled altogether, thus most of the river ferry traffic consists of mostly leisure cruises for tourists rather than local needs. Improved access by larger cargo vessels has been made due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. This allows bulk transport of goods along the Yangtze River. Coal, raw minerals and containerized goods provide the majority of traffic plying this section of the river. Several port handling facilities exists throughout the city, including many impromptu river bank sites.
Railways [ edit ] Major train stations in Chongqing:
Chongqing Railway Station in Yuzhong, accessible via Metro Lines 1 & 3 (Lianglukou Metro Station), is the city's oldest railway station and located near the city centre. The station handles mostly long-distance trains. There are plans for a major renovation and overhaul of this station, thus many services have been transferred to Chongqing North Railway Station.Chongqing North Railway Station is a station handling many long-distance services and high-speed rail services to Chengdu, Beijing and other cities. It was completed in 2006 and is connected to Metro LineChongqing West Railway Station is in Shapingba, a station handling many long-distance services and high-speed rail services to many cities. It is completed in 2018Shapingba Railway Station is in Shapingba, near Shapingba CBD, accessible via Metro Line 1. It handles many local and regional train services. It is completed in 2018.Chongqing is a major freight destination for rail with continued development with improved handling facilities. Due to subsidies and incentives, the relocation and construction of many factories in Chongqing has seen a huge increase in rail traffic.
Chongqing is a major rail hub regionally.
Chengdu''Chongqing Railway to ChengduSichuan-Guizhou Railway to GuiyangXiangyang''Chongqing Railway to HubeiChongqing''Huaihua Railway to HunanChongqing-Suining Railway (Sichuan province) express railwayChongqing-Lichuan Railway to HubeiChongqing''Lanzhou Railway (Gansu) railway (under construction)Highways [ edit ] Bicycling can be a challenge in Chongqing
Traditionally, the road network in Chongqing has been narrow, winding and limited to smaller vehicles because of the natural terrain, large rivers and the huge population demands on the area, especially in the Yuzhong District. In other places, such as Jiangbei, large areas of homes and buildings have recently been cleared to improve the road network and create better urban planning. This has seen many tunnels and large bridges needing to be built across the city. Construction of many expressways have connected Chongqing to neighbouring provinces. Several ring roads have also been constructed. The natural mountainous terrain that Chongqing is built on makes many road projects difficult to construct, including for example some of the world's highest road bridges.
Unlike many other Chinese cities, it is rare for motorbikes, electric scooters or bicycles to be seen on Chongqing Roads. This is due to the extremely hilly and mountainous nature of Chongqing's roads and streets. However, despite this, Chongqing is a large manufacturing centre for these types of vehicles.
Chongqing-Chengdu ExpresswayChongqing-Chengdu 2nd Expressway (under construction)Chongqing-Wanzhou-Yichang Highway (Wanzhou-Yichang section under construction)Chongqing-Guiyang HighwayChongqing-Changsha Expressway (Xiushan-Changsha section under construction)Chongqing-Dazhou-Xi'a Highway (Dazhou-Xi'an section under construction)Chongqing-Suining ExpresswayChongqing-Nanchong ExpresswayChina National Highway 210China National Highway 212Airports [ edit ] The major airport of Chongqing is Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (IATA: CKG, ICAO: ZUCK). It is located in Yubei District. The airport offers a growing network of direct flights to China, South East Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe. It is located 21 km (13 mi) north of the city-centre of Chongqing and serves as an important aviation hub for south-western China. Jiangbei airport is a hub for China Southern Airlines, Chongqing Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, China Express Airlines, Shandong Airlines and Hainan Airlines's new China West Air. Chongqing also is a focus city of Air China, therefore it is very well connected with Star Alliance and Skyteam's international network. The airport currently has three parallel runways in operation. It serves domestic routes to most other Chinese cities, as well as international routes to Auckland, New York City, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Doha, Dubai, Seoul, Bangkok, Phuket, Osaka, Singapore, Chiang Mai, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Mal(C), Bali, Zadar, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Batam, Rome and Helsinki.
Chongqing airport is also a 72-hour transit visa-free airport for foreigners in many countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar).
Currently, Jiangbei airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 is the oldest original terminal and is no longer in use. Terminal 2 is a larger building split into Halls A and B serving domestic flights. The first, second and third phase of the airport came into operation in January 1990, December 2004, and December 2010 respectively. This domestic terminal is capable of handling 30 million passengers while its international terminal is able to handle more than 1 million passengers annually. Terminal 3A together with the third runway began operations on August 29, 2017. A fourth terminal and runway are planned to start construction in 2019.
Chongqing airport was the 10th busiest airport nationwide in 2010 measured by passenger traffic, handling 15,802,334 people. By 2015 this number doubled to more than 30,000,000 passengers annually. The airport was also the 11th busiest airport by cargo traffic and by traffic movements in China. During the first half of year 2011, Chongqing airport handled 8.87 million passengers, and surpassed Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (8.48 million) to become the 9th busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic in mainland China.
Freight development has increased, especially in the export of high value electronics, such as laptop computers. It is envisaged that Chongqing can become the global leading exporter of these products by air, signs of this potential rise being the addition of cargo routes to Frankfurt, Sydney, Chicago, and New York City.
Currently, Chongqing Airport is the only facility in central and western China that has metro access (CRT Line 3 and Line 10) to its central city, and two runways in normal use.
There are two other airports in Chongqing Municipality: Qianjiang Wulingshan Airport (IATA: JIQ, ICAO: ZUQJ) and Wanzhou Wuqiao Airport (IATA: WXN, ICAO: ZUWX). They are both class 4C airports and serve passenger flights to some domestic destinations including Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming. Two more airports are being constructed soon: Wulong Xiann¼shan Airport and Wushan Shenn¼feng Airport.
Public transport [ edit ] CRT Line 2 in Chongqing city
Public transport in Chongqing consists of metro, intercity railway, a ubiquitous bus system and the world's largest monorail network.
According to the Chongqing Municipal Government's ambitious plan in May 2007, Chongqing is investing 150 billion RMB over 13 years to finish a system that combines underground metro lines with heavy monorail (called 'light rail' in China).
As of 2017[update], four metro lines, the 14 km (8.7 mi) long CRT Line 1, a conventional subway, and the 19 km (12 mi) long heavy monorail CRT Line 2 (through Phase II), Line 3, a heavy monorail connects the airport and the southern part of downtown.,Line 6, runs between Beibei, a commuter city in the far north to the centre.Line 5 is due to open late 2017.
By 2020 CRT will consist of 6 straight lines and 1 circular line resulting in 363.5 km (225.9 mi) of road and railway to the existing transportation infrastructure and 93 new train stations will be added to the 111 stations that are already in place.
By 2050, Chongqing will have as many as 18 lines planned to be in operation.
Culture [ edit ] Language [ edit ] Zhongshan Ancient Town,
The language native to Chongqing is Southwestern Mandarin. More precisely, the great majority of the municipality, save for Xiushan, speak Sichuanese, including the primary Chengdu-Chongqing dialect and Minjiang dialect spoken in Jiangjin and Qijiang. There are also a few speakers of Xiang and Hakka in the municipality, due to the great immigration wave to the Sichuan region (æ¹å¹ååå·' ) during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In addition, in parts of southeastern Chongqing, the Miao and Tujia languages are also used by some Miao and Tujia people.
Tourism [ edit ] As the provisional Capital of China for almost ten years (1937 to 1945), the city was also known as one of the three headquarters of the Allies during World War II, as well as being a strategic center of many other wars throughout China's history. Chongqing has many historic war-time buildings or sites, some of which have since been destroyed. These sites include the People's Liberation Monument, located in the center of Chongqing city. It used to be the highest building in the area, but is now surrounded and dwarfed by numerous shopping centres. Originally named the Monument for the Victory over Axis Armies, it is the only building in China for that purpose. Today, the monument serves as a symbol for the city. The General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum, dedicated to General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, a World War II general. the air force cemetery in the Nanshan area, in memory of those air force personnel killed during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937''1945), and the Red Rock Village Museum, a diplomatic site for the Communist Party in Chongqing led by Zhou Enlai during World War II, and Guiyuan, Cassia Garden, where Mao Zedong signed the "Double 10 (10 October) Peace Agreement" with the Kuomintang in 1945.
The Baiheliang Underwater Museum, China's first underwater museum,The Memorial of Great Tunnel Massacre, a former air-raid shelter where a major massacre occurred during World War II.The Great Hall of the People in Chongqing is based on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. This is one of the largest public assembly buildings in China which, though built in modern times, emulates traditional architectural styles. It is adjacent to the densely populated and hilly central district, with narrow streets and pedestrian only walkways,The large domed Three Gorges Museum presents the history, culture, and environment of the Three Gorges area and Chongqing.Chongqing Science and Technology Museum has an IMAX theatre.Luohan Si, a Ming dynasty temple,Huangguan Escalator, the second longest escalator in Asia.Former sites for embassies of major countries during the 1940s. As the capital at that time, Chongqing had many residential and other buildings for these officials.The Hongyadong stilted house in Chongqing city
Baotaoping Wharf in Fengjie County
Wuxi County, noted as a major tourism area of Chongqing,The Dazu Rock Carvings, in Dazu county, are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century A.D., depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs.,The Three Natural Bridges and Furong Cave in Wulong Karst National Geology Park, Wulong County are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the South China Karst),Ciqikou is a 1000-year-old town in the Shapingba District of Chongqing. It is also known as "Little Chongqing". The town, located next to the lower reaches of the Jialing River, was at one time an important source of china-ware and used to be a busy commercial dock during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Ciqikou ancient road in Shapingba District
Fishing Town or Fishing City, also called the "Oriental Mecca" and "the Place That Broke God's Whip", is one of the three great ancient battlefields of China. It is noted for its resistance to the Mongol armies during the Southern Song dynasty (1127''1279) and the location where the Mongol leader M¶ngke Khan died in 1259,Xueyu Cave in Fengdu County is the only example of a pure-white, jade-like karst cave in China,Fengdu Ghost City in Fengdu County is the Gate of the Hell in traditional Chinese literature and culture.Snowy Jade Cave, see Xueyu Cave (above).Baidi Cheng, a peninsula in Yangtze River, known due to a famous poem by Li Bai.The Chongqing Zoo, a zoo that exhibits many rare species including the giant panda, the extremely rare South China tiger, and the African elephant.Chongqing Amusement Park.Chongqing Grand Theatre, a performing arts centre.Foreigners' Street is an amusement park, including the Porcelain Palace, the world's largest toilet. Also the location of the abortive Love Land development in 2009.The Black Mountain Valley (Heishangu).The Jindao Valley (Golden Blade Valley).[citation needed ]Mount Jinfo (Golden Buddha Mountain).Major hot-springs around the city.[citation needed ]Gele Mountain and the Red Rocks, a memorial park for the 1949 Chinese revolution.[citation needed ]Nanshan (Southern Mountain of Chongqing), or Tongluo Mountain academically. There are tons of places of interests in this mountain, including the Laojun Temple, the Wenfeng Pagoda, the Great Golden Eagle, the Tu Shan Temple, the Huangge Path, the former residential halls of Chiang Kai-shek, etc.[citation needed ]Tu Shan (Mount. Tu), a part of Southern Mountain of Chongqing (Tongluo Mountain).[citation needed ] It is believed to be the place where Da Yu, the founder of Xia dynasty, met his wife Tushan Shi.Daxuecheng, or university town, where many famous universities are situated, is the one and only place where shared bicycles like ofo are widely available.Media [ edit ] The Chongqing People's Broadcast Station is Chongqing's largest radio station. The only municipal-level TV network is Chongqing TV, claimed to be the 4th largest television station in China. Chongqing TV broadcasts many local-oriented channels, and can be viewed on many TV sets throughout China. The Chongqing Daily is the largest newspaper group, controlling more than 10 newspapers and one news website.
Cuisine [ edit ] Chongqing food is part of Sichuan cuisine. Chongqing is known for its spicy food. Its food is normally considered numbing because of the use of Sichuan pepper, also known as Sichuan peppercorn, containing hydroxy alpha sanshool. Chongqing's city centre has many restaurants and food stalls where meals often cost less than RMB10. Local specialties here include dumplings and pickled vegetables and, different from many other Chinese cuisines, Chongqing dishes are suitable for the solo diner as they are often served in small individual sized portions. Among the delicacies and local specialties are these dishes:
Chongqing hot pot '' Chongqing's local culinary specialty which was originally from the Northern China. Tables in hot pot restaurants usually have a central vat, or pot, where food ordered by the customers is boiled in a spicy broth. As well as beef, pork, lotus and other vegetables, items such as pig's kidney, brain, duck's bowels and cow's stomach are often consumed.Chongqing noodles '' common noodles dishes in ChongqingJiangtuan fish '' since Chongqing is located along Jialing River, visitors have a good opportunity to sample varieties of aquatic products. Among them, is a fish local to the region, Jiangtuan fish: Hypophthalmichthys nobilis although more commonly known as bighead carp. The fish is often served steamed or baked.Pork leg cooked with rock candy '' A common household dish of the Chongqing people, the finished dish, known as red in colour and tender in taste, has been described as having strong and sweet aftertaste.Qianzhang (skimmed soy bean cream) '' Qianzhang is the cream skimmed from soybean milk. In order to create, this several steps must be followed very carefully. First, soybeans are soaked in water, ground, strained, boiled, restrained several times and spread over gauze until delicate, snow-white cream is formed. The paste can also be hardened, cut into slivers and seasoned with sesame oil, garlic and chili oil. Another variation is to bake the cream and fry it with bacon, which is described as soft and sweet.Quanshui Chicken (Spring Water Chicken) '' Quanshui Chicken is cooked with the natural spring water in the Southern Mountain of Chongqing.Xiao mian (little noodle) '' lamian noodles with chili oil and rich mixtures of spices and ingredients.Sports and recreation [ edit ] [ edit ] Professional association football teams in Chongqing include:
Chongqing Lifan (Chinese Super League)Chongqing F.C., foldedChongqing Lifan is a professional Chinese football club who currently plays in the Chinese Super League. They are owned by the Chongqing-based Lifan Group, which manufactures motorcycles, cars and spare parts. Originally called Qianwei (Vanguard) Wuhan, the club formed in 1995 to take part in the recently developed, fully professional Chinese football league system. They would quickly rise to top tier of the system and experience their greatest achievement in winning the 2000 Chinese FA Cup, and coming in fourth within the league. However, since then they have struggled to replicate the same success, and have twice been relegated from the top tier.
Chongqing FC was an association football club located in the city, and competed in China League One, the country's second-tier football division, before being relegated to the China League Two, and dissolving due to a resultant lack of funds.
Chongqing is also the birthplace of soccer games in southwestern China. Soccer was introduced to this region in as early as 1905 by some British soldiers and missionaries. They founded a varsity soccer team at the predecessor of modern-day Guangyi High School (also known as Chongqing No.5 High School), and trained them to be a highly skilled team. A professional soccer stadium was constructed on the Guangyi campus in the Southern Mountain. It was the first professional soccer stadium in southwestern China. The Guangyi varsity team beat English and French naval teams and even the Sheffield Wednesday team in friendlies.
Basketball [ edit ] Chongqing Soaring Dragons became the 20th team playing in Chinese Basketball Association in 2013. They play at Datianwan Arena, in the same sporting complex as Datianwan Stadium.
Sport venues [ edit ] Sport venues in Chongqing include:
The Chongqing Olympic Sports Center is a multi-purpose stadium. It is currently used mostly for football matches, as it has a grass surface, and can hold 58,680. It was built in 2002 and was one of main venues for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup.Yanghe Stadium is a multi-use stadium that is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 32,000 people, and is the home of Chongqing Lifan in the Chinese Super League. The stadium was purchased by the Lifan Group in 2001 for RMB80 million and immediately replaced Datianwan Stadium as the home of Chongqing Lifan.Datianwan Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium has a capacity 32,000 people, and up until 2001 was the home of Chongqing Lifan.Religion [ edit ] The predominant religions in Chongqing are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 26.63% of the population believes and is involved in cults of ancestors, while 1.05% of the population identifies as Christian.
The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 72.32% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, folk religious sects.
Notable people [ edit ] Ba Manzi: a legendary hero of Ba kingdom in Zhou dynastyBa Qing, the Widow: the earliest known female businessman in Chinese history who provided huge financial aid to Qin Shi Huang to construct the Great WallGan Ning: a general serving under warlord Sun Quan in the last years of Han dynastyYan Yan: a loyal general during Three Kingdoms periodLanxi Daolong: a famous Buddhism monk and philosopher in Song dynasty who went to Japan and established the KenchÅ-jiQin Liangyu: a popular heroine in Ming dynasty who fought against ManchusNie Rongzhen: marshal of the People's Liberation Army of ChinaLiu Bocheng: an early leader of Chinese communist party during Anti-Japanese WarLu Zuofu: a notable patriotic industrialist and businessman who was a member of Chinese United League and a leader of Railway Protection Movement, established the Beibei District, Chongqing Natural History Museum, Jianshan High School, the Northern Hot Spring Park of Chongqing and Beibei Library, and served as the chief official of Food Bureau during Republic of China period.Liu Yongqing: wife of the former Chinese president Hu JintaoZhonghua Pang: a well-known calligrapher and geologist born in Sichuan but raised and lived in ChongqingLiu Xiaoqing: an actressChen Kun: Chinese actor and singerTian Liang: Olympic diving gold medalistLi Yundi: a pianistKarry Wang: a member of the pop band TFBoys and an actorRoy Wang: a singer-songwriter and member of TFBoys, also an actor and TV hostEducation [ edit ] Colleges and universities [ edit ] Entrance to the Nankai School
Chongqing University (éåºå¤§å...)Southwest University (è¥åå¤§å...)Southwest University of Political Science and Law (è¥åæ--æ"å¤§å...)Third Military Medical University (ç¬¬ä¸åå>>å¤§å...)Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications (éåºé®ç--µå¤§å...)Chongqing University of Technology (éåºçå·¥å¤§å...)Chongqing Jiaotong University (éåºäº¤éå¤§å...)Chongqing Medical University (éåºå>>ç§å¤§å...)Chongqing Normal University (éåºå¸èå¤§å...)Chongqing Technology and Business University (éåºå·¥åå¤§å...)Chongqing Three Gorges University (éåºä¸å"å...é)Chongqing Telecommunication Institute (éåºéè®¯å...é)Chongqing University of Science and Technology (éåºç§æå...é)Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (åå·'ç¾æ'¯å...é)Sichuan International Studies University (åå·'å¤å½è¯å¤§å...)University of Logistics (åå¤å·¥ç¨å...é)Chongqing University of Arts and Science (éåºæçå...é)Yangtze Normal University (éæ±å¸èå...é)Chongqing University of Education (éåºç¬¬äºå¸èå...é)Notable high schools [ edit ] Fuling Experimental High School(æ¶ªéµå®éªä¸å...)Chongqing No.1 Secondary School¼éåºä¸ä¸¼Chongqing Nankai Secondary School (éåºåå¼ä¸å...)Chongqing No.8 Secondary School¼éåºå ä¸¼Bashu Secondary School (å·´è'ä¸å...)Chongqing Railway High School¼éåºé'è·¯ä¸å...¼Chongqing Yucai Secondary School (è²æä¸å...)Chongqing Foreign Language School (The High School Affiliated to Sichuan International Studies University¼éåºä¸å¤)Verakin High School of Chongqing (The 2nd Chongqing Foreign Language School¼éåºäºå¤)Chongqing Qiujing High School (æ±ç²¾ä¸å...)High School Affiliated to Southwest University (è¥åå¤§å...éä¸)International schools [ edit ] Yew Chung International School of Chongqing (éåºèä¸å½é å...æ )KL International School of Chongqing Bashu (éåºå¸è¯ºæå·´è'å¤ç±äººååå¥"å...æ )International relations [ edit ] Consulates [ edit ] ConsulateDateConsular DistrictCanada Consulate-General, Chongqing05.1998Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, YunnanUnited Kingdom Consulate-General, Chongqing03.2000Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, YunnanCambodia Consulate-General, Chongqing12.2004Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, ShaanxiJapan Consulate-General, Chongqing01.2005Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, ShaanxiDenmark Consulate, Chongqing07.2005Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, YunnanPhilippines Consulate-General, Chongqing12.2008Chongqing, Guizhou, YunnanHungary Consulate-General, Chongqing02.2010Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, GansuEthiopia Consulate-General, Chongqing11.2011Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, YunnanItaly Consulate-General, Chongqing12.2013Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, YunnanNetherlands Consulate-General, Chongqing01.2014Chongqing, Sichuan, Shaanxi Twin towns '' sister cities [ edit ] Chongqing has sister city relationships with many cities of the world including:
Toulouse, France (1982) Seattle, United States (1983) Toronto, Canada (1986) Hiroshima, Japan (1986) Leicester, United Kingdom (1993) Voronezh, Russia (1993) Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine (2002) Mpumalanga, South Africa (2002) D¼sseldorf, Germany (2004) Brisbane, Australia (2005) Shiraz, Iran (2005) Aswan, Egypt (2005) Busan, South Korea (2007) S¸r-Tr¸ndelag, Norway (2007) Chiang Mai Province, Thailand (2008) C"rdoba, Argentina (2010) Pest, Hungary (2010) Bangkok, Thailand (2005) Antwerp, Belgium (2011) Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (2011) Detroit, United States (2011) New York, United States (2011) Chennai, India (2015)See also [ edit ] Major national historical and cultural sites in ChongqingList of cities in China by population and built-up areaList of twin towns and sister cities in ChinaNotes [ edit ] ^ Ch'ungk'ing, Ch'ung K'ing, Chongking, and other renderings are also found in older literature. The Beijing-based Standard Chinese pronunciation is rendered in Wade-Giles as Ch'ung-ch'ing, and in the latter 20th century this form was used officially in Taiwan and in Western academic literature. ^ The data was collected by the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of 2009 and by the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) of 2007, reported and assembled by Xiuhua Wang (2015) in order to confront the proportion of people identifying with two similar social structures: ' Christian churches, and ' the traditional Chinese religion of the lineage (i. e. people believing and worshipping ancestral deities often organised into lineage "churches" and ancestral shrines). Data for other religions with a significant presence in China (deity cults, Buddhism, Taoism, folk religious sects, Islam, et. al.) was not reported by Wang. ^ This may include:Buddhists;Confucians;Deity worshippers;Taoists;Members of folk religious sects;Small minorities of Muslims;And people not bounded to, nor practicing any, institutional or diffuse religion. References [ edit ] Citations [ edit ] ^ "Doing Business in China '' Survey". Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013 . Retrieved 2013-08-05 . ^ 2015å¹´éåºå¸¸ä½äººå£3016.55ä¸äºº ç>>§ç>>ä'æåéæå [2016å¹´éåºå¸¸ä½äººå£3670ä¸äºº ç>>§ç>>ä'æåéæå] (in Chinese). Chongqing News. 28 January 2016 . Retrieved 2016-02-13 . ^ a b OECD Urban Policy Reviews: China 2015, OECD READ edition. OECD iLibrary. OECD. 18 April 2015. p. 37. doi:10.1787/9789264230040-en. ISBN 9789264230033. ISSN 2306-9341. 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Largest cities or municipalities in China RankNameProvincePop.RankNameProvincePop.Shanghai
Beijing1ShanghaiMunicipality of China20,217,74811ChongqingMunicipality of China6,263,790Shenzhen
Guangzhou2BeijingMunicipality of China16,446,85712NanjingJiangsu5,827,8883ShenzhenGuangdong10,358,38113ShenyangLiaoning5,718,2324GuangzhouGuangdong9,702,14414Xi'anShaanxi5,206,2535TianjinMunicipality of China9,562,25515HangzhouZhejiang5,162,0936WuhanHubei7,541,52716HarbinHeilongjiang4,933,0547DongguanGuangdong7,271,32217DalianLiaoning3,902,4678Hong KongSAR of China7,071,57618ZhengzhouHenan3,677,0329FoshanGuangdong6,771,89519ShantouGuangdong3,644,01710ChengduSichuan6,316,92220JinanShandong3,527,566 ^ ä¸å½2010å¹´äººå£æ®æ¥ååèµæ. Compiled by å½åéäººå£æ®æ¥åå ¬å®¤ [Department of Population Census of the State Council], å½å®¶ç>>è®å±äººå£å'ç¤¾ä¼ç§æç>>è®å¸ç¼ [Department of Population and Social Science and Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics]. Beijing: ä¸å½ç>>è®åºçç¤¾ [China Statistics Print]. 2012. ISBN 978-7-5037-6659-6. ^ Chongqing core districts urban area are consist of nine districts: Yuzhong, Dadukou, Jiangbei, Shapingba, Jiulongpo, Nan'an, Beibei, Yubei, & Banan.
Retweet's with Comment is the problem
STUNNING TEST RESULTS Reveal How MULTIPLE Email Providers Helped To Fix Midterm Elections For Democrats * 100PercentFedUp.com
While lawmakers grapple with how to deal with the censorship of conservatives by tech giants, Facebook, Twitter and Google, a new report by a group called imge., reveals that email providers may also be working behind the scenes to tilt the scales in favor of Democrats and against Republicans, ultimately affecting the outcome of critical elections.
imge., a full-service digital firm founded in 2013 that specializes in designing and executing integrated digital campaigns wondered if email providers were attempting to influence the outcome of elections, so they decided to run a test and find out. The results are nothing short of stunning.
Is the world of email biased against conservatives?
Trending: MEMORY OF A LIFETIME: Bald Eagle Shocks Cotton Bowl Fan After National Anthem: ''I was scared crapless''
Many partisans often mutter such an accusation against Silicon Valley. Yet, few digital professionals take the time to investigate whether such a bold claim is true.
Poor email deliverability doesn't just suppress a candidate's message, it decreases the engagement of campaign supporters. That means fewer donations, fewer volunteers, and fewer advocates. If Republicans underperform in email deliverability, they face a disadvantage on Election Day.
So we decided to test the rumors. Our team created email addresses with different email providers and signed up for the email lists of around fifty different candidates, committees, and political nonprofits. In the month leading up to the election, we tracked how many emails were sent from each entity, and what percentage of those emails made it into our inbox. To keep it consistent, we opened every email, every day '' regardless of where it was placed.*
To put these numbers in perspective, let's examine two closely contested Senate races.
In Nevada, Democrat Jacky Rosen averaged over 90% placement in inboxes, compared to Dean Heller's over 90% placement in spam.
In Florida, 100% of Republican Rick Scott's emails went to spam in Yahoo, while 100% of Bill Nelson's emails went to our Yahoo inbox.
While these were the most dramatic examples, this pattern emerged in every toss-up Senate race we tracked
What Factors Might Play into Email Deliverability?One might ask: well, were these conservatives spamming their supporters? Across the five toss-up Senate races we tracked, Democrats sent over four times the quantity of emails than their Republican opponents. Only one Senate candidate used a double opt-in, and it was a Republican: Kevin Cramer, who performed the best among the Republicans.
Making it into inboxes, however, takes more than sending the right amount of email. Email deliverability is a complex animal. List quality, content quality, knowledge of best practices, proper verifications '' all of these factors feed into whether an email goes into the spam folder.
To be sure, some accusations of ''bias'' against conservatives on digital platforms can be attributed to a lack of digital sophistication. But these findings are consistent across multiple entities serviced by multiple professional firms. The answer to this disparity might be structural bias, bad strategy, or some blend of both. Regardless of the reason, it is clear that Republicans need to find this answer to remain competitive in email marketing.
According to imge., email is a significant part of their overall strategy to promote a political candidate. Imagine their shock to find out email providers may be acting as gatekeepers to determine which political candidate's message can or cannot be viewed in their email box.
*Our method for conducting this study was simple. First, we selected candidates from top party targets due to seat vulnerability. We leaned on Roll Call's 10 Vulnerable House Members and Senators for candidate selection, and then added in party leadership and party committees. We added in three organizations from each side of the political aisle, as well as three non-partisan organizations, to round out our study. The full list can be found here.
Then we created four email addresses (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and Outlook) and signed up for their email lists. Most lists required an email and zip code, so we signed up with our Virginia office zip code so that we would be put on the national lists for all candidates.
To ensure consistency, we opened every single email in the inbox and spam folders, but we did not click on anything within the emails. We checked each inbox on a daily basis like most users would so that it would be as organic as possible. This study ran from October 4-November 6.
We tracked the following in spreadsheets:
1. Date we received the email2. Sending URL/domain3. Sender name4. Sender email5. Inbox placement (Inbox or Spam/Junk)
We were unable to use the data from Outlook for this blog post, because Outlook has a feature that deleted emails in the Junk folder if they were there for more than 30 days. So by the time we were finishing entering in our data to the spreadsheet, too many emails in the Junk folder were unrecoverable.
The only campaign or organization that asked us to double opt-in was Kevin Cramer for Senate (R-ND).
Privacy International | Investigating Apps interactions with Facebook on Android
Privacy International has been investigating the proliferation of data tracking, brokerage and exchange between many tech companies, both as their primary business as well as value added services.
Facebook routinely tracks users, non-users and logged-out users outside its platform through FacebookBusiness Tools. App developers share data with Facebook through the Facebook Software DevelopmentKit (SDK), a set of software development tools that help developers build apps for a specific operatingsystem. Using the free and open source software tool called "mitmproxy", an interactive HTTPS proxy,Privacy International has analyzed the data that a number of Android apps transmit to Facebook throughthe Facebook SDK.
Key findingsWe found that at least 61 percent of apps we tested automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the app. This happens whether people have a Facebook account or not, or whether they are logged into Facebook or not.We also found that some apps routinely send Facebook data that is incredibly detailed and sometimes sensitive. Again, this concerns data of people who are either logged out of Facebook or who do not have a Facebook account.Report:The full report, including our legal analysis, our full methodology and company responses can be found here
Documentation:Below is the accompanying documentation for the report, including the analysis of each app and the data transmitted to and from Facebook
Netflix stops paying the 'Apple tax' on its $853M in annual iOS revenue | TechCrunch
Earlier this year, Netflix was seen testing a bypass of iTunes billing across dozens of markets worldwide. As 2018 draws to a close, Netflix '-- the App Store's top grossing app '-- has ditched the ability for new users to sign up and subscribe to the streaming service within its iOS app across all global markets. The change means Apple will miss out on hundreds of millions in App Store revenue per year '-- money it would have otherwise received by way of its standard cut of in-app transactions.
According to new data compiled by Sensor Tower, Netflix grossed $853 million in 2018 on the iOS App Store. Based on that figure, Apple's take would have been around $256 million, the firm said.
To date, the Netflix iOS app has generated more than $1.5 billion through its in-app subscriptions, with Apple's cut coming in around $450 million-plus, Sensor Tower estimated.
Before the change, Netflix on iOS was grossing an average of $2.4 million per day in 2018 '-- meaning Apple was making around $700,000 by doing nothing other than allowing Netflix to offer subscriptions in its app.
(Note, however, that Sensor Tower's figures are based on the App Store's 30 percent cut of transactions. After the first year, Apple's cut on subscription renewals is lowered to 15 percent. That's not being factored in. But it gives you a rough idea of Apple's losses here.)
Netflix's iOS revenue has been climbing steadily over the years.
In 2017, its gross subscriber revenue was $510 million '-- up from $215 million users spent in the app in 2016 '-- which earned it the No. 1 spot on the Top Grossing Chart for non-game apps. It snagged that position again this year, trailed by Tinder and Tencent Video.
In fact, Netflix has earned the bragging rights for being the top-grossing iOS App of all time, App Annie reported this summer.
The streaming service's decision to bypass the App Store isn't a first. Many companies today direct their users to the web or other platforms in order to avoid marketplace fees.
For example, Amazon has historically restricted movie and TV rentals and purchases to its own website or other ''compatible'' apps, instead of allowing them to take place through its Prime Video app. The same goes for Kindle e-books, which also aren't offered in the Kindle mobile app. Spotify also discontinued the option to pay for its Premium service using Apple's in-app payment system.
And Epic Games this year bypassed Google's Play Store altogether '-- as well as its 30 percent cut '-- when it launched Fortnite for Android as a sideloaded app. That decision resulted in Google's loss of $50 million+ in marketplaces fees.
Netflix earlier this year had dropped in-app subscription sign-ups in its Android app on Google Play. That signaled its intentions to later take back the so-called ''Apple tax'' for itself, too.
However, Netflix still earns money on Google Play through existing subscribers. That totaled around $105 million in 2018, with Google earning close to $32 million of that. But the number has been declining consistently, Sensor Tower said. Apple could soon be in the same boat.
VentureBeat was the first to notice the change to the Netflix iOS app. It would be surprising if Apple took action against Netflix, given it has not done so with other major tech companies that made similar moves.
Arizona residents lash out against Waymo self-driving cars '-- Quartz
Chandler, Arizona, is one of the Phoenix suburbs where Alphabet-owned Waymo is testing self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, and where it debuted a commercial taxi-like driverless car service operated through an app earlier this month. Its driverless vehicles have weathered nearly two dozen attacks from irate locals over the past two years, including tire slashings and being pelted by rocks, according to the New York Times (paywall).
''There are other places they can test,'' Erik O'Polka, 37, told the Times. O'Polka received a warning from police in November after reportedly making multiple attempts to run Waymo vehicles off the road using his Jeep Wrangler, including driving toward one of the Waymo cars head-on. O'Polka and his wife told the Times that they turned against Waymo after one of the company's vehicles nearly hit their 10-year-old son while he was playing in a cul-de-sac.
''They said they need real-world examples, but I don't want to be their real-world mistake,'' O'Polka told the Times.
''They didn't ask us if we wanted to be part of their beta test,'' his wife, Elizabeth, added.
A lot has been written about what will happen to cities and their residents once driverless cars become ubiquitous. Generally speaking, it's been taken as a given that people will want the technology. The vision is that self-driving cars will dramatically reduce auto fatalities while also reducing congestion and freeing spaces like parking lots for other uses as people give up their personal vehicles.
The incidents in Arizona, while relatively rare, suggest the transition won't be so smooth. Many people are worried about what advances in automation like driverless cars could mean for their jobs. Others fear the technology will be deployed before it's fully ready, increasing the dangers.
Arizona has particular reason to fear this. In March, one of Uber's self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian at night in Tempe, another suburb of Phoenix. After the incident, Arizona's governor banned Uber from testing autonomous cars and the company suspended tests throughout the US. Uber only recently resumed driverless car testing on US public roads.
The Arizona Republic, which first reported the assaults on Waymo, noted that people who monitor Waymo's self-driving cars rarely press charges against harassers. One exception was 69-year-old Roy Leonard Haselton, who police arrested and charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct for aiming a handgun at a passing Waymo vehicle and its human driver.
The incidents have made Waymo employees wary of people or cars that seem to pay them too much attention. The Republic recently spent three days tailing dozens of Waymo minivans in the Phoenix metro area for more than 170 miles. After reporters watched Waymo's operations for a while from a public sidewalk, a security guard approached to ask what they were doing, which prompted a call from Waymo's press agency.
In another incident, a Waymo vehicle the reporters had tailed for half an hour pulled into a police substation, where two officers yelled for the reporters to stop. Police said Waymo had called out of fear their driver was being harassed. Based on the company's history in the Phoenix area, it's not surprising why Waymo thought that.
Google Knows What You've Purchased by Scanning Your Emails
' Twitter users have discovered that Gmail is scanning email receipts to link non-Google purchases to a user's Google account
' Google uses this data to list individual purchases inside a user's Google account and also shows additional information for some purchases
' It's not clear how long Google has been collecting this purchase data or how to opt-out of this data collection
Users on Twitter have come across a creepy Google feature called ''Purchases'' which lists a user's non-Google purchases inside their Google account.
Source: Twitter.com '' @simonw
The data shows individual purchases and supporting information for some purchases which can include subscription details and estimated fulfillment times for physical goods.
Google says that the sources for this purchase data include ''order receipts or confirmations received in Gmail'' and Twitter users have confirmed that some of their purchase data was sourced from Gmail.
Source: Twitter.com '' @dlitchfield
You can currently view this ''Purchases'' data inside your own Google account by selecting the ''Manage purchases'' option under the ''Payments and subscriptions'' section of myaccount.google.com. You can also see the source for each purchase by selecting ''Info'' and then ''Where's this from?''
It's unclear how long Google has been collecting this data but one Twitter user claims their account shows five years of purchase data.
Source: Twitter.com '' @texmandie
Some Twitter users are also suggesting that this ''Purchases'' data is not collected on GSuite accounts.
Source: Twitter.com '' @russss and @felix_cohen
Google does explain how to delete certain pieces of purchase data on its support page but it's not clear how deleting this data impacts future purchase data collection or if it's possible to opt-out of this data collection completely.
Here's a summary of the purchase data you can delete:
Subscription Data: Google says you can unlink subscriptions and when you do this, you'll no longer see personalization based on your subscriptions in Google products.Order Data: Google says that certain order data can be deleted directly and other order data can be managed in the original service.My Activity: Google says information about your orders may also be saved with your activity in other Google services. This data can be viewed and deleted in the ''My Activity'' section of your Google account.Unsurprisingly, many Gmail users are creeped out by this data collection and some are moving to alternative email providers. Other users had no idea this data was even being collected.
Source: Twitter.com '' @davesio
Source: Twitter.com '' @tobym
Source: Twitter.com @gabi__voicu
Overall, this ''Purchases'' data revelation is yet another stark reminder of just how much intimate information Google collects about us on auto-pilot.
So, if you're not happy with this data collection and want to switch to an email provider that respects your privacy, try FastMail. It has lots of advanced email management features, it has super-fast web and mobile apps, and most importantly '' it doesn't scan or mine your emails or personal data.
Hey Google! When did I ask you to access my Purchase details? '' Kanoki
Source: Google Image We live in a world full of data . Some of these data we choose to reveal and publish on Facebook,Google and Other social media sites. This includes our personal pics,tweets etc. I am happy to use a social media platform to share some of my personal moments with my friends and near ones and glad to see their comments and likes on my post.
You are being Watched
There is another side to this where someone is collecting our transactional data that we are not even aware off. The purchases we do or the credit card bank details that is being shared to make these purchases. Recently when I was working on a business plan and during the survey I came to know that how all the security cameras installed all over the malls, airports, train stations, parking areas are scanning images to generate analytics for No. of footfall counts and match our faces with their criminal database.
Next time be careful when you are doing a window shopping you might being watched by the mannequins. There is a new product EyeSee Mannequins developed by a company in Italy which captures your behaviours as a customer.
Did you ever ask yourself why we need to switch on our location to share my pic? or Share your location with the Cab Services? When I can easily enter textual address or location? Is someone peeping into my life and monitoring my habits?
For a Credit Card purchase or to open a new Bank account I am bound to share my personal details and other credentials to prove that I am a citizen of the nation who wants to open an account to park his/her own hard earned money.
Google Captures your Purchase Details
Here is the master Stroke by google who captures all my purchases even on a non-google sites like Amazon, flipkart, Ali baba etc.
Check this url: https://myaccount.google.com/purchases
This is a high time now and everyone who is using my data without an affirmative consent should be penalized. Our Politicians needs to review our Data protection laws and should have stringent rules to fine and penalize the one who are violating.
What's the Future?
We are living in a scary world and I DO NOT want someone to use my personal data to grow their business or run analytics without my consent.
During a Census (the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population) I willingly share my personal details such as Name, Age, Gender, Employment Status, Salary details to the agency so that they can take a better decision in providing the government schemes and services like how many new roads to be built, Town Planning, Employment Generation etc.
With the volume of data growing every now and then and without a robust data privacy laws it makes an insecure future for our Next Generation.
Controversial WhatsApp update will bring ADVERTS to the popular messaging platform in the New Year | Daily Mail Online
Controversial WhatsApp update will bring ADVERTS to the popular messaging platform in the New YearAdverts will soon feature in WhatsApp's status feature This controversial move will allow WhatsApp to monetise its platform It breaks a promise its original founders made in 2012 to never use ads Many users have bemoaned the move and threatened to use a rival app By Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline
Published: 11:22 EST, 31 December 2018 | Updated: 11:22 EST, 31 December 2018
WhatsApp users will soon be bombarded with adverts on the popular messaging site, despite vows from the platform to never use them.
The decision to go back on the earlier promise comes as Facebook, who bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $18 billion, prepares to monetise the 'Status' feature.
Status on WhatsApp is similar to a story on Instagram or Facebook as an update wich lasts for 24 hours.
'Status ads', according to WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels, will soon be featured on the app.
Scroll down for video
WhatsApp users will soon be bombarded with adverts on the popular messaging site, despite vows from the platform to never use them (stock)
Mr Daniels said earlier this year: 'We are going to be putting ads in 'Status'. 'That is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp.'
The prospect of adverts on the app has stirred up controversy with its users and its original owners.
In a previous interview, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton said: 'Targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy.
'[Facebook] represents a set of business practices, principles and ethics, and policies that I don't necessarily agree with.
'At the end of the day, I sold my company. I sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit.'
WhatsApp's faithful users took to twitter to vent their frustration at the move.
Some even suggested leaving the app behind as a result of Facebook's intervention and moving to rival app Telegram.
WhatApp made a promise in 2012 that it would never introduce adverts.
It said: 'Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.
'Advertising isn't just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.
WhatsApp's faithful users took to twitter to vent their frustration at the move. Some even suggested leaving the app behind as a result of Facebook's intervention and moving to rival app Telegram
WhatsApp made a promise in 2012 that it would never introduce adverts. by going against this and breaking its vow it risks angering its users
'At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it's all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out.
'And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen.'
'These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads.
'When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn't just another ad clearing house.'
WHATSAPP: WHICH PHONES WILL LOSE CHAT APP SUPPORT NEXT?WhatsApp has confirmed plans to drop support for Nokia S40 in December 2018, and iOS 7 and Android Gingerbread in February 2020.
After this deadline, WhatsApp users will no longer be able to send or receive text messages, voice or video calls within the popular chat app.
As a result, WhatsApp users with an iPhone 4 or older will be forced to either upgrade to a new phone, or find an alternative to the world's most popular chat app.
WhatsApp has set the same deadline for Android smartphone owners running version 2.3.7 and older, known as 'Gingerbread'.
Following the announcement of the end of support, WhatsApp stopped new users setting up an account with the messaging service on either iOS 7 or Android Gingerbread handsets.
Existing accounts can send and receive messages until the end of support date.
However, WhatsApp has warned that some features could stop working at any time between now and the final deadline in early 2020.
Handsets that will no longer support WhatsApp after February 2020 iPhoneiPhone 3GiPhone 3GSiPhone 4Google Nexus One Samsung Galaxy S HTC Desire HDHTC WildfireHTC Wildfire SSony Xperia X10Sony Xperia ArcThis list is not exhaustive. Any Android-powered smartphones running version 2.3.7 and older will stop working on 1 February 2020.
WhatsApp users with an iPhone 4S or older will be forced to either upgrade to a new phone, or find an alternative to the world's most popular chat app
WhatsApp periodically drops support for older operating systems so that it can guarantee its entire user base enjoys the same experience and features.
As the messaging service adds new functionality to its app, it is sometimes unable to replicate these features on smartphone running outdated operating systems.
On January 1 2018, WhatsApp removed support for phones running BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.0, leaving these users unable to download the app, send or receive texts.
The Menlo Park-based developer has previously dropped support for '--
Android versions older than 2.3.3Windows Phone 8.0 and older iPhone 3GS/iOS 6 Nokia Symbian S60 Advertisement
Firefox is now placing ads and here is how to disable it - nixCraft
F irefox user discovered that Mozilla Firefox is displaying ads on the home or new tab page. When you open Firefox on your desktop, an advertisement banner at the bottom page displayed. The advertisement read as follows:
For the holidays, we got you a little something just for using Firefox! Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get a free $20 Amazon gift card. Happy Holidays from Firefox!
Mozilla explained that it was just an experiment. A Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat:
It was not a paid placement or advertisement. We are continually looking for more ways to say thanks for using Firefox.'' The Booking.com snippet ran for five days and ended on schedule on December 30th.
However, many users of Firefox did not agree with Mozilla.
Firefox is now placing ads and how do I disable it?These ads come from about:home snippet service. It is a management service that assembles and deliver content snippets to the about:home page in Firefox. Firefox user expects the best user experience and open standards from Mozilla. They do not want to see ads, and shenanigans carried out by an open source project. No wonder Firefox market share is declining every year.
Please note that we all get to see free content on the web due to sponsorship from various corporate interests. Firefox is free too. Managing a web browser is not easy. Recently Microsoft decided to throw away old code base of Edge browser and making next version of Edge browser on top of Chromium. Mozilla gets the majority of funding from search engines and other sources. Mozilla needs to pay for hosting/infrastructure and engineers salaries too. I don't have any business solution that would solve all Mozilla funding problems, but below I discuss a few possibilities to disable tracking and other options for personal usage.
How to disable ads on FirefoxType the following URL in Firefox: about:preferences#home Click on the Home > scroll down and uncheck Snippets option box:Disabling advertisement banners on Firefox's home or new tab page Further, I suggest that you set Home and New Tab pages to a Blank Page. Make sure all other checkboxes are unchecked too:Configuration Firefox Home and other options
But, wait there is moreOne can harden Firefox using user.js:
A user.js configuration file for Mozilla Firefox designed to harden browser settings and make it more secure. The main goals are:
Limit the probabilities to track the user through web analytics.Harden the browser against known data disclosure or code execution vulnerabilities.Limit the browser from storing anything even remotely sensitive persistently.Make sure the browser doesn't reveal too much information to shoulder surfers.Harden the browser's encryption (cipher suites, protocols, trusted CAs).Limit possibilities to uniquely identify the browser/device using browser fingerprinting.Hopefully limit the attack surface by disabling various features.Still be usable in daily use.Open-source alternatives to Firefox Pale Moon is a free and open source web browser. It runs on Microsoft Windows and Linux with a strong focus on efficiency and customization.
Brave is yet another free and open-source browser. It is built by a team of privacy-focused, performance-oriented pioneers of the web.
For more info and see original Reddit thread here.
Posted by: Vivek Gite The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.
Mozilla: Ad on Firefox's new tab page was just another experiment | VentureBeat
Some Firefox users yesterday started seeing an ad in the desktop version of the browser. It offers users a $20 Amazon gift card in return for booking your next hotel stay via Booking.com. We reached out to Mozilla, which confirmed the ad was a Firefox experiment and that no user data was being shared with its partners.
The ad appears at the bottom of Firefox's new tab page on the desktop version with a ''Find a Hotel'' button that takes the user to a Booking.com page. The text reads: ''Ready to schedule that next family reunion? Here's a thank you from Firefox. Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get a free $20 Amazon gift card. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply).'' A second version reads: ''For the holidays, we got you a little something just for using Firefox! Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get a free $20 Amazon gift card. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply.)''
Mozilla is always looking for new revenue streams and has placed ads on Firefox's new tab page before. Most recently, Firefox 60, which arrived in May, introduced sponsored stories powered by Pocket on the new tab page.
Mozilla says it's not an adThe Pocket offer was announced and explained in advance. The Booking.com ad, however, was something we had not heard of in advance, although Mozilla says it was actually the second such offer this month.
''This snippet was an experiment to provide more value to Firefox users through offers provided by a partner,'' a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. ''It was not a paid placement or advertisement. We are continually looking for more ways to say thanks for using Firefox. In a similar vein, earlier this month we offered Firefox users a free opportunity to enjoy a live concert from Phosphorescent. In addition to adding value to Firefox users, these efforts are intended to support an open ecosystem. When users see such offers, no data is being shared with a partner until users have made the choice to enter a relationship. We hope that this strategy sets a positive example.''
Mozilla's argument that this is not an ad is understandable, even if it is false. The company wants to distance itself from the terms ''paid placement'' and ''advertisement'' because of the negative connotations associated with unwanted ads.
Ads can be useful '-- in fact, ads that benefit the user are what everyone should be striving for. But no matter how you spin them, they're still ads.
Disabling SnippetsSnippets are on by default in Firefox, but you can easily disable them. Navigate to about:preferences#home in Firefox (or click on the Firefox hamburger menu => Options => Home) and uncheck Snippets.
The description for Snippets provided in Firefox is quite vague: ''Updates from Mozilla and Firefox.'' The Mozilla wiki offers a more detailed explanation:
The about:home snippet service is a simple, highly-cached content management service. It is intended to assemble and deliver content snippets to the about:home page in Firefox.
The content delivered is determined by details about the installation of Firefox requesting content '-- including mainly details about the browser's build, locale, platform, and distribution channel, but not the person using the browser.
Mozilla uses Snippets to display tips about Firefox features or send a message to its users (for example, there's one today that wishes you a Happy New Year). In this case, Mozilla decided to use the feature to test an ad.
Firefox 64, which arrived earlier this month, introduced a Contextual Feature Recommender (CFR), limited to U.S. users. Snippets have been around longer than just this month, however, and do show up for users outside the U.S.
Mozilla did not say how many users saw the Booking.com ad or how long the experiment ran for (we questioned the above statement's past tense verbiage). We will update this article if the company follows up with more information.
Update at 3:30 p.m. Pacific: ''The Booking.com snippet ran for five days and ended on schedule on December 30th,'' Mozilla PR's Justin O'Kelly said in a statement. ''About 25 percent of the U.S. audience who were using the latest edition of Firefox within the past five days were eligible to see it.''
The DHS has illegally stuffed America's airports full of $1B worth shitty, malfing facial-recognition tech / Boing Boing
More than a dozen major US airports are now covered in facial-recognition cameras, installed by the DHS to scan people departing on international flights without the legally mandated federal review process.
The cameras suck, too: "the systems erroneously reject as many as 1 in 25 travelers using valid credentials." At that rate, 1,632 people flying out of JFK alone every day would be falsely flagged as potential criminals and subjected to additional screening.
The DHS cannot enumerate a single benefit from the cameras, either. Naturally, it's costing a fortune -- about a billion dollars.
The error rate in this system is an excellent example of the paradox of the false positive, which I discussed in my novel Little Brother:
Say you have a new disease, called Super-AIDS. Only one in a million people gets Super-AIDS. You develop a test for Super-AIDS that's 99 percent accurate. I mean, 99 percent of the time, it gives the correct result -- true if the subject is infected, and false if the subject is healthy. You give the test to a million people.
One in a million people have Super-AIDS. One in a hundred people that you test will generate a "false positive" -- the test will say he has Super-AIDS even though he doesn't. That's what "99 percent accurate" means: one percent wrong.
What's one percent of one million?
1,000,000/100 = 10,000
One in a million people has Super-AIDS. If you test a million random people, you'll probably only find one case of real Super-AIDS. But your test won't identify one person as having Super-AIDS. It will identify 10,000 people as having it.
Your 99 percent accurate test will perform with 99.99 percent inaccuracy.
That's the paradox of the false positive. When you try to find something really rare, your test's accuracy has to match the rarity of the thing you're looking for. If you're trying to point at a single pixel on your screen, a sharp pencil is a good pointer: the pencil-tip is a lot smaller (more accurate) than the pixels. But a pencil-tip is no good at pointing at a single atom in your screen. For that, you need a pointer -- a test -- that's one atom wide or less at the tip.
This is the paradox of the false positive, and here's how it applies to terrorism:
Terrorists are really rare. In a city of twenty million like New York, there might be one or two terrorists. Maybe ten of them at the outside. 10/20,000,000 = 0.00005 percent. One twenty-thousandth of a percent.
That's pretty rare all right. Now, say you've got some software that can sift through all the bank-records, or toll-pass records, or public transit records, or phone-call records in the city and catch terrorists 99 percent of the time.
In a pool of twenty million people, a 99 percent accurate test will identify two hundred thousand people as being terrorists. But only ten of them are terrorists. To catch ten bad guys, you have to haul in and investigate two hundred thousand innocent people.
Guess what? Terrorism tests aren't anywhere close to 99 percent accurate. More like 60 percent accurate. Even 40 percent accurate, sometimes.
What this all meant was that the Department of Homeland Security had set itself up to fail badly. They were trying to spot incredibly rare events -- a person is a terrorist -- with inaccurate systems.
Is it any wonder we were able to make such a mess?
Not Ready for Takeoff [Harrison Rudolph, Laura M. Moy and Alvaro M. Bedoya/Georgetown Law]
Airport Face Scanning Skates on Thin Legal Ice'--and Doesn't Work Too Well [Technology Review]
(via Naked Capitalism)
(Image: Randallbritten, CC-BY-SA)
760 flights diverted from Gatwick airport after drone scare, affecting 110,000 passengersOn Wednesday night, in a "deliberate act of disruption" (but not "a terror attack") someone flew a drone of "industrial specification" into the airspace of London Gatwick airport, the city's second-busiest, causing all flights in and out of the airport to be suspended; the disruption has affected 760 flights carrying 110,000 passengers (so far) and ['...]
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READ THE RESTCathay Pacific leaks 9.4 million travelers' passport numbers and other dataCathay Pacific started investigating a potential breach in March; by May they'd learned of breaches to a system with 9.4 million travelers' data on it, then for some reason they didn't tell anyone about it, until now: "The following personal data was accessed: passenger name; nationality; date of birth; phone number; email; address; passport number; ['...]
READ THE RESTMove your data freely across all your devices with this key appEver lost music, contacts or priceless pictures during an iPhone upgrade? We'd pay for iMazing 2 just to avoid the hassle of going through that ever again. But the trusty app does more than just store your data. It lets you access them on any device and store them however you need. This all-purpose data ['...]
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READ THE RESTThis writing assistant is more than just a spell-checkerWhether it's a simple work memo or a dating profile, make no mistake: You are being judged as much on your grammar as on your content. Maybe even more so. If you want to avoid the simple errors that cloud your message, the WhiteSmoke Writing Assistant guards against so much more than simple spelling errors. ['...]
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Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives '' ThinkProgress
The family history website Ancestry.com is selling a new DNA testing service called AncestryDNA. But the DNA and genetic data that Ancestry.com collects may be used against ''you or a genetic relative.'' According to its privacy policies, Ancestry.com takes ownership of your DNA forever. Your ownership of your DNA, on the other hand, is limited in years.
It seems obvious that customers agree to this arrangement, since all of them must ''click here to agree'' to these terms. But, how many people really read those contacts before clicking to agree? And how many relatives of Ancestry.com customers are also reading?
1. Perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide license to use your DNAAncestryDNA, a service of Ancestry.com, owns the ''World's Largest Consumer DNA Database'' that contains the DNA of more than 3 million people. The AncestryDNA service promises to, ''uncover your ethnic mix, discover distant relatives, and find new details about your unique family history with a simple DNA test.''
For the price of $99 dollars and a small saliva sample, AncestryDNA customers get an analysis of their genetic ethnicity and a list of potential relatives identified by genetic matching. Ancestry.com, on the other hand, gets free ownership of your genetic information forever. Technically, Ancestry.com will own your DNA even after you're dead.
Specifically, by submitting DNA to AncestryDNA, you agree to ''grant AncestryDNA and the Ancestry Group Companies a perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide, transferable license to use your DNA, and any DNA you submit for any person from whom you obtained legal authorization as described in this Agreement, and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered.''
Basically, Ancestry.com gets to use or distribute your DNA for any research or commercial purpose it decides and doesn't have to pay you, or your heirs, a dime. Furthermore, Ancestry.com takes this royalty-free license in perpetuity (for all time) and can distribute the results of your DNA tests anywhere in the world and with any technology that exists, or will ever be invented. With this single contractual provision, customers are granting Ancestry.com the broadest possible rights to own and exploit their genetic information.
The AncestryDNA terms also requires customers to confirm that, ''You understand that by providing any DNA to us, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA that may relate to or otherwise embody your DNA.'' Essentially, you still own your DNA, but so does Ancestry.com. And, you can commercialize your own DNA for money, but Ancestry.com is also allowed to monetize your DNA for millions of dollars and doesn't have to compensate you.
Although AncestryDNA customers provide voluntary consent to have their DNA used in commercial research projects, customers are free to withdraw consent, with a few exceptions. First, ''data cannot be withdrawn from research already in progress or completed, or from published results and findings.'' In those cases, Ancestry.com has access to data about you indefinitely.
Secondly, if a customer withdraws their consent, Ancestry.com will take 30 days to cease using their data for research. Finally, withdrawing consent, ''will not result in destruction of your DNA Sample or deletion of your Data from AncestryDNA products and services, unless you direct us otherwise.'' Customers must jump through additional hoops if they want their DNA sample destroyed or their data deleted from AncestryDNA products and services. The Ancestry.com policy does not specify what ''additional steps'' are required. U.S. customers must contact Ancestry.com customer service at 1''800''958''9124 to find out. (Customers outside the United States must call separate customer service numbers.)
2. Warning that DNA information may be used against ''you or a genetic relative''The Ancestry.com DNA testing service promises to analyze approximately 700,000 genetic markers. According to Ancestry.com, the service, ''combines advanced DNA science with the world's largest online family history resource to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections.'' The results of an AncestryDNA analysis include information about ''ethnicity across 26 regions/ethnicities and identifies potential relatives through DNA matching to others who have taken the AncestryDNA test.''
AncestryDNA claims to use the ''latest autosomal testing technology'' to produce genetic identity reports and can combine the test results with ''the world's largest online family history resource to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections.'' In addition, AncestryDNA offers a genetic code profiling and matching service, advertising that ''AncestryDNA can also help identify relationships with unknown relatives through a dynamic list of DNA matches.''
This raises a thorny issue that Ancestry.com has not resolved: your exact DNA profile is unique to you, but a substantial portion of your DNA is identical to your relatives. Thus, Ancestry.com is able to take DNA from its customers and also their relatives. Even if you've never used Ancestry.com, but one of your genetic relatives has, the company may already own identifiable portions of your DNA.
The personal ''Genetic Data'' collected by Ancestry.com includes ''information derived from processing your DNA Sample through genomic, molecular, and computational analyses using various technologies, such as genotyping and whole or partial genome sequencing. Genetic Data is broader than just the results delivered to you when you use the AncestryDNA test and includes a range of DNA markers such as those associated with your health or other conditions.'' In short, Ancestry.com holds genetic data that reveals your health and other conditions.
Genetic diseases are disorders caused by abnormalities in a person's DNA and are divided into three categories: single-gene disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and Huntington's disease, result from the mutation of the protein of a single gene; chromosome abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome, are caused by disorders of the whole chromosome; and multifactorial disorders, including breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease, develop from mutations in multiple genes, often coupled with environmental causes. Genomics play a role in nine out of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S., including cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer's, influenza and pneumonia, septicemia, and kidney disease.
Buried in the ''Informed Consent'' section, which is incorporated into the Terms of Service, Ancestry.com warns customers, ''it is possible that information about you or a genetic relative could be revealed, such as that you or a relative are carriers of a particular disease. That information could be used by insurers to deny you insurance coverage, by law enforcement agencies to identify you or your relatives, and in some places, the data could be used by employers to deny employment.''
This is a massive red flag. The data ''you or a genetic relative'' give to AncestryDNA could be used against ''you or a genetic relative'' by employers, insurers, and law enforcement.
For example, a young woman named Theresa Morelli applied for individual disability insurance, consented to release of her medical records through the Medical Information Bureau (a credit reporting agency for medical history), and was approved for coverage. One month later, Morelli's coverage was cancelled and premiums refunded when the insurer learned her father had Huntington's disease, a genetic illness.
Startlingly, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) used Morelli's broad consent to query her father's physician, a doctor with whom she had no prior patient relationship. More importantly, the applicant herself wasn't diagnosed with Huntington's carrier status, but she suffered exclusion on the basis of a genetic predisposition in her family.
Under a 1995 consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, the MIB and its members are required to comply with consumer protections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Much like financial credit reports, all consumers are entitled to a free annual copy of their ''medical report'' file from the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). If the consumer discovers an error in her MIB medical credit report file, she must mail a letter to the MIB to begin the dispute process.
Federal laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), contain protections that prohibit health insurers from requiring, using, and analyzing genetic information in health care coverage decisions. However, both laws contain glaring exceptions that allow for genetic discrimination in certain industries. Notably, no federal laws regulate the use of genetic information, genetic testing, and genetic discrimination for life insurance companies, long-term care insurers, and employers.
An Ancestry.com DNA test is the impetus of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Sergeant Cleon Brown, a white police officer in Hastings, Michigan against his employer, the Hastings Police Department, and several city employees. Curious about his own family history, Brown purchased an AncestryDNA genetic test and analysis report.
The results surprised him''--'Ancestry.com said his DNA was 18 percent sub-Saharan African. Brown ''proudly told his colleagues at the police department'' about his African ancestry.
But not long after that, ''his elation turned into misery.'' According to Sergeant Brown's complaint, his colleagues at the police department, ''started whispering 'Black Lives Matter' while pumping their fists as they walked'' past Brown.
The complaint also alleges that the former mayor of Hastings participated in the racist teasing, by telling Brown a joke containing racist slurs. ''I just never thought it would be in Hastings, saying, like, racist comments to me,'' Brown said to the New York Times. In his lawsuit, Brown, a military veteran who has worked in law enforcement for 20 years, is seeking $500,000 in damages.
The Ancestry.com Terms of Service also warns that genetic information in its possession can be used by state or federal law enforcement agencies ''to identify you or your relatives.'' With the rise of forensic evidence in criminal investigations, DNA is often considered incontrovertible evidence. To propel the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.
The CODIS DNA database, created and maintained by the FBI, consists of the following three levels of information: local DNA Index Systems (LDIS) where DNA profiles originate; state DNA Index Systems (SDIS) which allows for laboratories within states to share information; and the National DNA Index System (NDIS) which allows states to compare DNA information with one another. According to reports, the FBI's CODIS software connects disparate databases including, arrestees, missing persons, convicted offenders, and forensic samples collected from crime scenes.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, federal law enforcement, the Army Laboratory, and Puerto Rico participate in national sharing of DNA profiles through the CODIS system. However, the FBI DNA database is not infallible. In 2015, the FBI said it discovered flawed data after it commissioned a study to retest DNA samples. In a bulletin sent to crime labs across the United States, the FBI surmised that DNA data errors were probably due to ''clerical mistakes in transcriptions of the genotypes and to limitations of the old technology and software.'' The FBI suspects that errors in DNA may go back as far as 1999.
3. Waiver of legal rightsAre ''you or a genetic relative'' a customer of AncestryDNA? If so, Ancestry.com now has control over the DNA of ''you or a genetic relative.'' Should the warnings from Ancestry.com come to pass, and DNA information about ''you or a genetic relative'' is used against ''you or a genetic relative'' by any employer, insurer, or law enforcement, then ''you or a genetic relative'' have very limited legal rights.
In its sales contract, Ancestry.com takes no responsibility. By consenting to the AncestryDNA Terms and Conditions, ''you or a genetic relative'' agree to hold the company harmless for any damages that AncestryDNA may cause unintentionally or purposefully. If ''you or a genetic relative'' are ''dissatisfied with any portion of the Websites or the Services, or with any clause of these terms, as your sole and exclusive remedy you may discontinue using the Websites and the Services.'' The only option for unhappy customers is to stop using AncestryDNA.
In the event you or your genetic information cause harm, you agree to ''defend, indemnify and hold harmless AncestryDNA, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees).'' And customers beware, ''you may be liable to others as well as to us if your account is used in violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.'' That means you could end up owing money to Ancestry.com, its attorneys, and others.
The final indignity for Ancestry.com customers is that they must waive fundamental legal rights by agreeing to mandatory binding arbitration. With the exception of intellectual property rights disputes and certain small claims, Ancestry.com customers must pursue their disputes through arbitration, rather than court. In arbitration, the established legal rules of discovery, evidence, and trial by jury do not exist.
Finally, if many AncestryDNA customers want to join together to file a lawsuit against Ancestry.com, they are prohibited. But in fairness, Ancestry.com similarly prohibits itself from joining with a bunch of others to file a class action lawsuit against you. By agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, ''you and AncestryDNA agree that each may bring claims against the other only in your or its individual capacity, and not as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class, consolidated, or representative action.''
These arbitration provisions survive even if you cancel your AncestryDNA account. However, for good measure, Ancestry.com notes that, ''this arbitration agreement does not preclude you from bringing issues to the attention of federal, state, or local agencies. Such agencies can, if the law allows, seek relief against us on your behalf.''
Customers must understand that turning over their DNA means a loss of complete ownership and control. Ancestry.com customers should also know they're giving up the genetic privacy of themselves and their relatives.
Editor's Note: After the publication of this piece, Ancestry.com released a statement and made some changes to its Terms and Conditions. The organization has not responded to multiple requests for clarification from the author of this piece, and there are still remaining concerns about customers' privacy.
Stay Updated:Unknown iFrame situation
Related Stories:Joel Winston, Esq. is a New York-based attorney specializing in consumer protection law and commercial litigation. He also provides data privacy and regulatory compliance counsel to technology entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures. Joel is a former deputy attorney general for the State of New Jersey and previously served the Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee, in Manhattan.
This piece was originally published on the author's own Medium page and has been republished on ThinkProgress with his permission.
Ocasio-Cortez To Oppose Pelosi On Key Spending Rule | Zero Hedge
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has joined Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) in opposing bylaws backed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who is likely to become the next Speaker.
The two Democratic lawmakers have objected to the inclusion of a "pay-as-you-go" rule, which would mandate that any new legislation be deficit-neutral, meaning any costs would need to be offset by new revenues or cuts elsewhere.
Proponents of pay-as-you-go say itis an important safeguard to keep the federal deficit in check, however Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez, an Economics major, disagree.
"It is terrible economics. The austerians were wrong about the Great Recession and Great Depression. At some point, politicians need to learn from mistakes and read economic history," tweeted Khanna on Wednesday.
I will be voting NO on the Rules package with #PayGo. It is terrible economics. The austerians were wrong about the Great Recession and Great Depression. At some point, politicians need to learn from mistakes and read economic history. @paulkrugman @StephanieKelton @RBReich https://t.co/avimV0SU4t
'-- Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 2, 2019Ocasio-Cortez called it a "dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg."
Tomorrow I will also vote No on the rules package, which is trying to slip in #PAYGO.PAYGO isn't only bad economics, as @RoKhanna explains; it's also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg.
We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start. https://t.co/WW3UaBs7vh
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 2, 2019A spokesman for Pelosi, Drew Hammill, fired back - arguing that pay-go would be a vast improvement over current GOP rules, which he referred to as "CUTGO," which prohibit tax increases from being used to pay for legislation.
Without a pay-go rule in the House, he said, the White House budget office would be required by law to offset deficits from new legislation by cutting certain mandatory spending, such as Medicare.
"We must replace CUTGO to allow Democrats to designate appropriate offsets (including revenue increases). A vote AGAINST the Democratic Rules package is a vote to let Mick Mulvaney make across the board cuts, unilaterally reversing Democratic initiatives and funding increases," he wrote, referencing the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The PAYGO rule would not block deficit-producing legislation from going forward, but it would create a legislative roadblock. -The Hill
In order to sink the new rules package, 18 Democrats would need to vote against it on January 3 - which would constitute a significant setback for Pelosi during her first day back at the Speaker's gavel.
That said, some budget experts say that concerns over the pay-go rule are overblown.
"In a prior life, I spent plenty of time trying to make a House PAYGO rule have teeth and consequences," said former senior policy analyst Zach Moller in response to Khanna. "This PAYGO rule, as proposed, is not that. Progressives should not lose a minute of sleep over it."
Dems unveil rules package to promote diversity, hit deficit | TheHill
House Democrats have unveiled a package of new rules for the upcoming Congress that aim to promote diversity and attack the deficit.
The rules package would explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and would allow people to wear religious headgear in the House chamber. It would also create a House Financial Services subcommittee on diversity in the financial services industry.
The House is expected to vote on the package on Thursday, after the new Democratic majority is sworn in and the House elects a new Speaker.
Some of the budgetary rules provoked quick criticism from the left, which argued a "pay-as-you-go" provision requiring a point of order against any bill that raised the deficit or reduced a surplus could make it harder to pass legislation on health care and other issues.
The rule can be waived, and bills designated as emergencies are exempt.
Rep. Ro Khanna Rohit (Ro) KhannaOn The Money: Second White House meeting scheduled as shutdown drags toward week three | McConnell suggests shutdown could last weeks | Trump blames stock market slide on 'glitch' Sanders worries pay-go rules could complicate climate change action GOP lawmaker says he'll back Dem rules even though he may face 'consequences' for vote MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money: Second White House meeting scheduled as shutdown drags toward week three | McConnell suggests shutdown could last weeks | Trump blames stock market slide on 'glitch' Overnight Energy: Zinke marks last day at Interior | House Dems formalize climate panel plans | Halliburton chairman retires Sanders worries pay-go rules could complicate climate change action MORE (D-N.Y.) both said they would vote against the rules package because of the pay-go provision.
I will be voting NO on the Rules package with #PayGo. It is terrible economics. The austerians were wrong about the Great Recession and Great Depression. At some point, politicians need to learn from mistakes and read economic history. @paulkrugman @StephanieKelton @RBReich https://t.co/avimV0SU4t
'-- Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 2, 2019Tomorrow I will also vote No on the rules package, which is trying to slip in #PAYGO.PAYGO isn't only bad economics, as @RoKhanna explains; it's also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg.
We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start. https://t.co/WW3UaBs7vh
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 2, 2019Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill responded by stating that a vote against the House Democrats' rules ''is a vote to let Mick Mulvaney John (Mick) Michael MulvaneySanders worries pay-go rules could complicate climate change action Dems unveil rules package to promote diversity, hit deficit Ocasio-Cortez, Khanna to oppose Pelosi-backed rules package MORE make across the board cuts, unilaterally reversing Democratic initiatives and funding increases.''
We must replace CUTGO to allow Democrats to designate appropriate offsets (including revenue increases). A vote AGAINST the Democratic Rules package is a vote to let Mick Mulvaney make across the board cuts, unilaterally reversing Democratic initiatives and funding increases. https://t.co/eP5eNxrQ7b
'-- Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) January 2, 2019Mulvaney is President Trump Donald John TrumpDOJ declines to take Arpaio fight to Supreme Court Canadian man arrested for trespassing at White House says he wanted to deliver Crown Royal to Trump Graham: Trump giving up on border wall fight would be the 'end of his presidency' MORE 's acting chief of staff and the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Hammill said a pay-go mechanism under federal law already requires the Office of Management and Budget to offset deficit-increasing bills with across-the-board mandatory spending cuts. The House Democrats' rule would allow Democrats to designate ''appropriate offsets,'' including tax increases.
Another budget-related portion of the House Democrats' rules package, often known as the ''Gephardt rule,'' would cause the House to automatically pass legislation suspending the debt limit when it adopts a budget resolution.
The federal debt limit is slated to be reinstated on March 2, but the Treasury Department is likely to be able to use ''extraordinary measures'' to allow the U.S. to meet its obligations until at least mid-summer. The debt limit has been a point of contention in the past, because conservatives have wanted to tie debt-limit increases to spending cuts.
The rules package would also eliminate a provision in House Republicans' rules packages that the Joint Committee on Taxation issue ''dynamic scores'' of major legislation that take the macroeconomic impacts of the legislation into account. Republicans have pointed to dynamic scoring to argue that tax cuts pay for themselves at least in part, while Democrats have been more concerned about tax cuts' impact on the debt.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiWhite House: Democrats 'not serious' about reopening government Trump suggests Vatican proves border wall is moral On The Money: Second White House meeting scheduled as shutdown drags toward week three | McConnell suggests shutdown could last weeks | Trump blames stock market slide on 'glitch' MORE (D-Calif.), who is expected to win the Speakership, hailed the rules package in a statement.
''By an historic ten million vote margin, the American people went to the polls and asked for a professionally run Congress that would be more transparent, ethical and committed to debating and advancing good ideas no matter where they come from,'' she said.
''Our rules package will deliver that Congress, ushering in a new era of clean government that will honor the consensus of the American people '-- restoring the People's House to the people.''
Besides budget-related rules, the package also aims to advance Democrats priorities by creating a select committee relating to climate change, authorizing the House to intervene in court cases challenging the legality of ObamaCare and directing the House's general counsel to look into options for responding to Trump administration rulemaking on work requirements for food stamp recipients.
The package includes changes to the legislative process, such as a provision that requires the text of the bill to be public for a full 72 hours before the House votes on it. It would also change the name of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to the Oversight and Reform Committee and change the name of the Education and the Workforce Committee to the Education and Labor Committee.
Other provisions include changes aimed at strengthening ethics requirements. These include requiring annual ethics training for House members, preventing lawmakers and staff from serving on corporate boards and adding to the official code of conduct a standard that lawmakers should resign from committees and leadership positions if they are charged with felonies.
Catastrophic fires are a reckoning for Californians and their 'new normal.' Has the state reached a tipping point? - Los Angeles Times
A fire burns to the ocean in Malibu in a rare aerial photo from the 1930s. (Los Angeles Times)
In 1860, a young botanist raised in New York and schooled in Connecticut found himself on the payroll of the newly formed California Division of Mines and Geology. His job: Roam the vast, new state, taking samples and observations of plants and animals.
Over four years journeying across California, William Brewer witnessed torrential rains that turned the Central Valley into a vast, white-capped lake; intolerable heat waves that made the ''fats of our meats run away in spontaneous gravy;'' violent earthquakes; and fires he described as ''great sheets of flame, extending over acres.''
He, like explorers, journalists and settlers before him, wondered whether people could permanently settle in California, said David Igler, a professor of history at UC Irvine.
''People were flabbergasted by what was happening,'' said Igler, referring to the droughts, floods and quakes of the mid-1800s. ''They wondered whether this was a place where we could even really settle and where agriculture could be maintained.''
Since people first migrated across the Bering Sea and down the coast several thousand years ago, the destructive and formidable natural forces that have formed and shaped this state have been chronicled, recorded and woven into the stories, myths and practices of California's inhabitants.
And with each new wave of arrivals '-- Native Americans, Spaniards, Russians, American explorers, as well as modern-day transplants and migrants '-- Californians have striven to adapt to, live with, harness, prevent or subdue the environment, in an ever-evolving, and increasingly tenuous, relationship.
But after this year's devastating Camp and Woolsey fires, which came on the heels of the landslides in Montecito and Santa Barbara, just months after the Thomas, Tubbs and Atlas fires, it seems a ripe time to ask whether the precarious balance we've held onto for so long has finally been lost.
''We're finally realizing that human-centered activities have played a role in these most recent events, and that human activities are not going to be able to rectify the situation,'' said William Deverell, a professor of history at USC. ''The genie's out of the bottle here, and that's terrible and terrifying.''
A NASA satellite image captures the 2007 firestorm in Southern California. (Los Angeles Times)
Humans, the thinking goes, have so drastically altered the environment at both a global and local scale '-- with worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, unchecked development, ecosystem damage, forest overgrowth and groundwater and surface water overusage '-- that we've unwittingly bowled ourselves into not just a ''new normal,'' but a new era increasingly defined by destructive forces.
The question is whether what we're witnessing now is the latest swing in the evolving human-natural hybrid system we've been building since people first arrived '-- a shift we'll adjust to, like we always have done before. Or have we truly and finally tipped the scales too far?
Any way you look at the 2018 fire season, it was the most destructive on record. From the number of deaths (104) to the sheer burnt acreage (1,893,913), the devastation was unparalleled '-- even when compared with 2017, when fires led to 47 deaths and burned 1,381,405 acres. And that was on the heels of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, which were, until 2017, the worst known.
At first glance, it is hard to think someone hasn't stepped on the gas, propelling our fate off a cliff. Such sentiment, however, is not new.
As far back as California has been recorded in history, its settlers have been living on the edge, ready at any moment to be throttled, beaten, burned, drowned, choked and starved out of existence. Yet, we're still here, the fifth-largest economy on the planet, the food basket of the nation and the world's driver of technological innovation.
What these latest events call for, said Jon Christensen, an author and lecturer at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, is not for us to wring our hands and wonder when the end is coming, but for us to be conscious of our history, our role in shaping our environment, then ''figure out how to manage it.''
''This old story line of our decline and fall from paradise, it is one of the oldest stories in the book,'' Christensen said. ''When you have a story line that old, one that keeps repeating itself every few years, you have to be skeptical.''
Wildfire destruction in Santa Rosa in 2017, when California blazes caused 47 deaths and burned 1,381,405 acres. (Los Angeles Times)
Over the years, the perceived cause of the state's impending doom has shifted '-- from God, to our shared sin, to climate change and overdevelopment '-- but the notion we're living at the edge of existence has remained a constant theme.
Consider 1992 to 1995, when damaging floods, firestorms and the Northridge earthquake pummeled Southern California with 97 deaths and nearly $44 billion in damages. As Los Angeles Times columnist, Peter H. King, wrote in 1995, ''There's no question California is caught in the middle of something strange'... maybe God, as the biblical sorts preach, is mad at us for making all those dirty movies.''
In ''Ecology of Fear,'' Mike Davis' 1998 book about the culture of disaster in Los Angeles, he pondered whether the cluster of disaster was ''coincidental or eschatological.'' In other words, a statistical anomaly, or the arrival of the Apocalypse.
Malibu residents flee a 1935 brush fire. (Los Angeles Public Library)
As he and others noted, the idea of disaster was largely built upon a northern European and East Coast American environmental framework that suggests normality means predictability '-- with the same amount of rain or snow falling every year and roughly the same temperature variation every season.
''Normal implies a constant or some stability,'' said Christensen, the UCLA historian. ''What is definable in California is variability. The average here is meaningless.''
And for thousands of years, the first settlers understood that, successfully adapting to the mercurial environment by living in small groups of 500 to 1,000 people and moving seasonally within tribal boundaries to forage and hunt where food was plentiful, said Steven Hackel, a professor of history at UC Riverside and author of ''Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis.''
They also managed the land with small, prescribed burns '-- estimates suggest 15% of California was burned every year '-- to harvest, seed and stimulate the growth of grasses, acorns, berries and environments conducive for hunting quail and deer, Hackel said.
''They used fire in the same way we use dams and aqueducts,'' he said. ''They were intentionally and skillfully managing the land.''
And as Christensen noted, they were creating a hybrid landscape as much formed by nature as human hands.
When the Spanish arrived, they outlawed fire, Hackel said, and soon the California environment morphed again. They diverted rivers and snowmelt to saturate and irrigate farms. And they wiped out the native flora via widespread cattle and sheep grazing, replacing it with hardier, nonnative weed species.
As American settlers followed from eastern and Midwestern states, they left their own footprint: Cities, aqueducts, dams, reservoirs, roads, railroads and bridges built for earthquakes, droughts, and floods.
But as our population has exploded, roughly doubling every 10 years, we're now pushing into landscapes and areas we haven't lived before, and as a result, experts are beginning to wonder if we're losing our grip on the human-nature chimera we created. Especially if you throw climate change into the mix, Christensen said.
''It sometimes feels like we take two steps forward and one step back,'' he said. ''Actually, maybe more like one step forward two steps back.''
But fire historians and experts, such as Scott Stephens, co-director of the Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley, are certain we can face this challenge, like we have others.
''We can change the trajectory,'' he said. ''We just have to change our M.O.''
Prescribed burns, brush removal, fire-resistant building materials and codes, as well as local and rural fire education can all help to reduce the catastrophic effects of fires, said Stephens and Stephen Pyne, a native Californian and professor of history at Arizona State University.
For too long, ''we've been tinkering at the edges'' of fire policy and management, said Pyne, but ''not changing the fundamentals'' that could prevent the disasters we have seen in the last few years.
The Camp fire levels residences in a neighborhood in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 15. The 2018 fire season was the most destructive on record. (Noah Berger / Associated Press)
But it will take political will, he said, and hard decisions and choices that many will not like.
''California is built to burn,'' Pyne said. ''If we left tonight, it'd still burn tomorrow and would burn all the way to the Pacific. It's always burned. It's just that the whole process of colonization really upended the balance that had happened before.''
And while Pyne, Stephens and Christensen see solutions and adaptations that can be made to avert destructive conflagrations, they, and others, voiced concern about our political will and the possibility that choices made beyond state boundaries will send us on a trajectory we've never witnessed before.
''I think we have to reach a tipping point,'' Pyne said. If we don't, ''I worry we'll treat these mass burnings like we treat mass shootings. We'll think about it for a day, and then move on. Not really addressing it.''
At least 1.1 million structures, or roughly 1 in 10 buildings in California, lie within the highest-risk fire zones in maps drawn by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Los Angeles Times)
Others worry that despite California's leadership in environmental policy, disaster response and technological savvy, the problem may now be beyond our control. All the policies we establish to limit our own climate footprint will have little effect on this new, runaway environment if the rest of the world chooses to continue burning fossil fuels.
''Hopefully, we'll lead the rest of the world on this issue as we have done on so many others,'' Hackel said. ''It's a vexing question.''
Yet, if we can take any comfort from the voices of our past, as William Brewer noted as he watched Californians rebuild their cities and towns after the Great Flood of 1862, there are ''no people (who) can so stand calamity as this people,'' he said. ''They are used to it.''
California utility, PG&E, could face murder charges if found liable in deadly wildfires
California's giant utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, could face charges up to murder if it is found criminally liable in any of the state's recent deadly wildfires, the state's attorney general said in a court filing.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office said PG&E could face the most serious in a range of criminal charges if it is found to have caused any of the recent deadly fires '-- and acted with malice in the operation and maintenance of its equipment, according to a brief filed Friday in Northern California's federal district court.
The court filing came after U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered the utility '-- the state's largest '-- to determine if it played any role in the Camp Fire, which in November killed at least 88 people, destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and laid waste to most of the city of Paradise in Northern California.
Alsup is overseeing a sentence against PG&E in a separate case, a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion south of San Francisco that killed eight people and injured dozens more.
PG&E acknowledged in a document obtained by CNBC last month that its equipment may have sparked the Camp Fire, the state's deadliest wildfire ever, which ignited on the morning of Nov. 8 and tore across 240 square miles in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
The utility said in a statement that its "most important responsibility is public and workforce safety. Our focus continues to be on assessing our infrastructure to further enhance safety and helping our customers continue to recover and rebuild."
"Throughout our service area, we are committed to doing everything we can to help further reduce the risk of wildfire," PG&E said in the statement.
Prosecutors said an investigation would need to probe PG&E's operations, maintenance and safety practices to see if it committed a crime ''with the requisite mental intent.''
The company could face a series of lesser charges, including involuntary manslaughter, if it didn't properly clear vegetation around its power lines and poles, the brief said.
PG&E could be charged with other felony crimes if it is found to have acted recklessly, prosecutors said.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.
Paris Climate Discord: France sued for nixing carbon tax in response to Yellow Vest protests
Meanwhile, Yellow Vest protests spread as green-justice advocates insist the demonstrators really want more taxes and regulations.
Before the Christmas break, Legal Insurrection readers may recall that fuel tax rises that led to weeks of citizen protests in France were postponed for six months.
Now, several green justice organizations are suing France in the name of ''climate change''.
The upcoming lawsuit says the country has failed to adequately address climate change. Four French organizations'--Greenpeace France, Oxfam France, Fondation pour la Nature et l'Homme and Notre Affaire aÌ Tous'--took the first step toward a lawsuit by sending a letter of formal notice to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and 12 members of the government. The letter describes climate impacts that France is already experiencing and explains how the government's failure to take action endangers the welfare of French citizens. The request further urges the government to adopt specific climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.
French officials have two months to respond. The groups may then officially file a case in the Administrative Court of Paris. The case will likely take two years to proceed.
Paul Mirengoff, a contributor for Powerline, had this analysis of the suit's chances of success:
To my knowledge, France has no legal obligation to impose the carbon tax. Nor, in our system of jurisprudence, is there a general cause of action against the government for ''not doing enough'' to combat a particular problem. Otherwise, I might sue our government for not doing enough to keep criminals off the streets.
Despite the fact that the carbon tax, an important component of the Paris Climate Accord, was a key motivator for the Yellow Vest protests, a green justice warrior insists that the French citizen activists welcome eco-taxation.
''What they [yellow vests] want first and foremost is social justice and financial justice. And there will be no social justice without action for the climate,'' In Our Common Interest President Marie Toussaint told reporters. Her group is one of the four non-government organizations seeking to sue France.
''Global warming feeds on inequalities and strengthens them. It strikes the most fragile first. It is destroying our economy and our territories. So, it can be a process that can be done in parallel,'' Toussaint said.
What is more likely to succeed is the spread of Yellow Vest protests.Yellow Vest demonstrations took place in the Netherlands.
Protesters threw fireworks, stones and patio furniture at police officers, said a statement by police in the city that hosts the seat of the Netherlands government.
Around 150 to 200 people had gathered for an ''unannounced'' demonstration for which organisers did not give authorities any notification, the police statement said.
Taiwanese launch 'Yellow Vest' movement to protest taxes
Wearing yellow vests, they shouted slogans and blared air horns outside the Ministry of Finance in Taipei, the capital city, and waved banners calling Taiwan's tax collection policies illegal. Some wore clear plastic raincoats over their vests in a light rain.
The Yellow Vests are also active in Belgium.
A Facebook group for Yellow Vests in Belgium lays out some of their demands to the government: lowering the retirement age, decreasing fuel excise duties, decreasing the cost of electricity and water, the choice of referendums at all levels of legislative decision-making, increasing pensions, improving public services and increasing purchasing power. The average price of electricity has risen '¬10 in the past year. Protesters describe a general ''ras-le-bol fiscal'', or financial despair.
Nowhere in these above articles do I read that citizens are clamoring for more climate change regulations, fees, taxes or restrictions.
Meanwhile, in Paris, streets were ablaze in more 'yellow vests' protests in Paris, leaving the Eiffel Tower shrouded in thick black smoke.
Protesters have set cars alight and left them to burn in the streets of the capital city, as a demonstration against the French government's tax policies resumed for the seventh consecutive week.
Shocking images show the iconic tower masked by a covering of smoke and cars engulfed by burning flames sit abandoned on the roadside as demonstrators continued their stand off with authorities.
Big! #BreakingNews Black smoke over Eiffel Tower.. #France pic.twitter.com/cywxj8jgyr
'-- Conflict News (@ConflictNews1) July 15, 2016
In fact, I get the sense the French not only want to get out of the Paris Climate Accord, but the European Union as well. #Frexit anyone?
French yellow vest protesters tear down EU flag in move against globalism. pic.twitter.com/IxY1z0Ttd1
'-- Voice of Europe ???????? (@V_of_Europe) December 30, 2018
In light of these developments, President Donald Trump appears to be a stable genius for pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. On the other hand, soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi is organizing a ''Select Committee on Climate Change''.
Given how effective congressional committees have been, I am none too worried that anyone outside of California will be needing a Yellow Vest soon.
Gas wordt peperduur in 2019 | Financieel | Telegraaf.nl
Amsterdam (DFT) - We moeten minder energie gebruiken en uiteindelijk allemaal van het gas af, vindt het kabinet. De ambitieuze klimaatplannen van het kabinet zijn volgend jaar vooral zichtbaar op de energierekening.
''¸ ANP XTRA
De belasting op aardgas gaat met 4 cent per kubieke meter omhoog (inclusief btw). Tegelijkertijd gaat de belasting op stroom omlaag met 0,7 cent per kWh. Dat pakt voor de meeste huishoudens uit als een lastenverzwaring, omdat de duurzaamheidsbelasting (ODE) per 1 januari ook stijgt met 2,9 cent per kubieke meter gas en 0,7 cent per kWh stroom. Daarnaast gaat het kabinet de belastingvermindering op de energiebelasting met '¬61,71 verlagen. In plaats van '¬373,33 krijgen we straks nog maar '¬311,62 korting op de energiebelasting.
DuurderDe overheid schat dat de maatregelen een gemiddeld huishouden '¬130 meer zullen kosten. De Vereniging Eigen Huis schat dit eerder op ruim '¬160. Naast de belastingverhoging kunnen de tarieven voor (de levering van) gas en stroom stijgen. Volgens vergelijkingssite Gaslicht.com zal de totale energierekening in 2019 voor een gemiddeld huishouden '¬360 duurder uitvallen.
Veel Nederlanders die onlangs een brief over hun nieuwe voorschot ontvingen, schrokken zich een hoedje. Sommigen moeten ruim '¬100 per maand meer betalen. De Woonbond en woningcorporaties slaan alarm: honderdduizenden gezinnen hebben nu al moeite om de energienota te betalen, en dat wordt straks alleen maar lastiger.
Elke ochtend het laatste financile nieuws in je inbox?Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez slams Dems for deeming climate goals 'too controversial' Incoming Dem lawmaker to donate pay during shutdown 2018: A year of stalled progress and unprecedented ambition on climate MORE is ripping her fellow Democrats for failing to take up her proposed special climate change committee called the Green New Deal because it was deemed "too controversial."
Ocasio-Cortez in a Twitter thread Monday blamed House leadership for rejecting the idea behind the Green New Deal, which aimed to create a plan to get the country on a 100 percent renewable energy electric grid.
"A few weeks ago, I joined youth activists in a specific demand for a Green New Deal Committee. It had 3 simple elements: 1. No fossil fuel money on climate cmte 2. Offer solutions for impacted communities 3. Draft sample #GreenNewDeal All 3 were rejected as ''too controversial," she tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to tweets asking her to name the person who labeled the committee controversial.
Future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP lawmaker: Pelosi, Schumer have 'American blood' on their hands by not funding wall Trump, lawmakers brace for prolonged shutdown Ocasio-Cortez slams Dems for deeming climate goals 'too controversial' MORE (D-Calif.) announced Monday that Rep. Kathy Castor Katherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOcasio-Cortez slams Dems for deeming climate goals 'too controversial' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives express disappointment with climate panel Pelosi names Castor chair of Select Committee on Climate Crisis MORE (D-Fla.) will chair a different special committee on climate change they are calling the Select Committee on Climate Crisis.
The announcement was met with heavy skepticism from progressives, including Ocasio-Cortez, who sought a committee that would be made up of members who promised to reject donations from the fossil fuel industry and would work on legislation to help the economy by transitioning the U.S. electric grid to be run on clean energy.
Castor has previously told reporters that she would not make members on the committee commit to rejecting fossil fuel donations--citing their first amendment rights.
It's also anticipated that the new committee will lack legislative authority and subpoena power.
In DC + even in our own party, it's apparently too controversial to ask that we keep oil+gas co's away from enviro policy.It's too controversial to talk about the socioeconomics of Flint, WV, PR & the Bronx.
It's too controversial to plan for disasters that are already here.
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 31, 2018The rising progressive star campaigned heavily on tackling climate change once she took office and has championed the Green New Deal--an idea created by The Sunrise Movement, a millennial-run activist group. A week after the midterms Ocasio-Cortez engaged in a sit-in at Pelosi's office with activists to
protest in favor of the Green New Deal's establishment.
More than 43 Democratic House members have since announced their support for the Green New Deal committee.
While she did "applaud" the creation of the new select committee that will focus on climate change, Ocasio-Cortez argued that the committee will be weak without subpoena power.
''There is still time to strengthen it,'' she said. ''For all our sake, I hope that we do.''
Pelosi names Castor chair of Select Committee on Climate Crisis | TheHill
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP lawmaker: Pelosi, Schumer have 'American blood' on their hands by not funding wall Trump, lawmakers brace for prolonged shutdown Ocasio-Cortez slams Dems for deeming climate goals 'too controversial' MORE (Calif.) officially named Rep. Kathy Castor Katherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOcasio-Cortez slams Dems for deeming climate goals 'too controversial' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives express disappointment with climate panel Pelosi names Castor chair of Select Committee on Climate Crisis MORE (D-Fla.) as chairwoman of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on Friday.
''It is with great enthusiasm that I appoint Congresswoman Kathy Castor as the Chair of our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis," Pelosi said in a statement. "She will bring great experience, energy and urgency to the existential threat of the climate crisis. This committee will be critical to the entire Congress's mission to respond to the urgency of this threat, while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future."
''Congresswoman Castor is a proven champion for public health and green infrastructure, who deeply understands the scope and seriousness of this threat. Her decades of experience in this fight, both in Florida and in the Congress, where she has been an outstanding leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee and on the House Democratic Environmental Message Team, will be vital."
It is with great enthusiasm that I appoint @USRepKCastor as the Chair of our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. We know she will bring great experience, energy & urgency to confronting this existential threat. https://t.co/PtKVsvvxXk pic.twitter.com/Ow3ukDfTuS
'-- Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 28, 2018Progressives have pushed back on House leadership's plans for the panel.
The panel will not be tasked specifically with formulating a Green New Deal, which includes a transition to 100 percent renewable electricity, and will not have subpoena power.
And, despite demands from Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and others, lawmakers who received donations from fossil fuel companies won't be banned from serving on it.
Castor told The Hill earlier this month that progressives should not worry about her.
''There's some fabulous proposals in the Green New Deal, and I'm excited about all that. You may see some similar language. Clearly, the focuses are going to be the same,'' she said. ''This will be a committee clearly in the spirit of the Green New Deal."
She said that while she will not take donations from fossil fuel companies, making that a rule was unnecessary.
''I'm hoping that folks will come to this committee ready to take on the corporate polluters and special interests. There shouldn't be a purity test, that if a member of Congress has ever accepted contributions,'' she said.
''My position is that the committee should have legislative authority and should have subpoena power,'' she added. ''But I think that has been negotiated with the standing committee chairs, and we're going to work together.''
Greenpeace's Ocean Plastic Pollution Scare - Biggest Lie of 2018
The biggest environmental scare story of 2018 was plastic pollution in the oceans. (It was also, as we shall see '' spoiler alert '' the year's biggest lie'...)From BBC's Blue Planet II to a special issue of National Geographic to a crusading campaign by the Daily Mail to CNN, the story was rarely out of the media. Celebrities from Chris Hemsworth to Cara Delevinge leapt on to the virtue signalling bandwagon. So did politicians such as UK Secretary of the State for the Environment Michael Gove and the European Parliament and US Congress, all announcing new legislation to deal with this alleged scourge.
Suddenly, plastic drinking straws became public enemy number one. No enlightened member of the chatterati could sip a cocktail ever again without pangs of guilt. Nor could they even clean their ears without a shiver of horror at the thought that today's waxy cotton bud might be tomorrow's obstruction in the nostril of a baby sea turtle.
The scare even generated its own word of the year '' 'single-use', which refers to plastic items (picnic cutlery, straws, ear buds, etc) designed by the heartless capitalist system to be used just once.
But the plastic pollution scare was and is a massive con trick. It's a fabricated crisis, heavily promoted by environmental charities '' most especially by Greenpeace '' which depend on scare narratives to fill their coffers.
Plastic pollution in the oceans is certainly a matter of concern. But the way the problem has been presented in the mainstream media is mostly #fakenews. Most of the legislation drawn up to combat it is economically damaging, intrusive and unnecessary. Rather than help the environment, it has distracted public attention from more pressing environmental causes, while hurting business, scaring children (and gullible grown ups), distorting science and enriching and empowering green hucksters.
How do we know this? Because it's what the science and the evidence tell us.
Greenpeace '' the primary source of this scare '' have sold us one very expensive, big fat lie. And now, in possibly the most important environmental report published in 2018, they have been exposed for the snake-oil salesmen they are.
You can read the full report here at the Heartland Institute.
The authors '' Michael Connolly, Ronan Connolly, Willie Soon, Imelda Connolly and Patrick Moore '' weren't paid a cent for producing it, which speaks volumes about the economic imbalance in the global environmental debate. On one side you've got a $1.5 trillion plus climate industrial complex '' including $400 million per annum Greenpeace '' churning out endless eco propaganda invariably swallowed whole by a mainstream media desperate for enviro scare stories. On the other you've got a handful of ill-funded scientists, journalists and bloggers doing their best to get the truth out on next to no money.
But why would caring, fluffy environmentalists lie to us about plastic pollution?
Because '' as the authors explain in their Analysis of Greenpeace's business model & philosophy '' the charity is primarily a money making machine which depends for its income on attention-grabbing 'crises'.
Perhaps you feel a gullible fool for having been taken in by these hucksters. Don't worry: I was too. I believed there really is a Great North Pacific Garbage Patch the size of Alaska. [Fact check: there really isn't]. And I too got very upset by the footage on the BBC and elsewhere of coral reefs obscured by bits of plastic, and fish, turtles, even whales '' allegedly '' being choked on plastic debris.
So is there really no marine plastic pollution problem? Not quite. But it has definitely been very heavily exaggerated. For example, it's true that ocean currents push floating debris into parts of the ocean (''gyres'') where the concentration of plastic debris is at least 10 times the concentration elsewhere in the ocean. But the actual quantity is much smaller than the near-solid masses of plastic bags, bottles and other debris you've been led to imagine by the Greenpeace propaganda. One research vessel, trawling one of those gyres for 10 to 15 minutes over a distance of 0.4 to 0.9 miles recovered plastic fragments which, in total, would not have been enough to fill a thimble. The largest piece was less than 1.5cm in diameter.
Here is how the Heartland authors sum up the state of play:
Over the last decade or so, several research groups have begun to realize that tiny fragments of plastic (''microplastics'') are present in non-zero concentrations in most of the ocean basins. Since plastics are a human invention, we can directly attribute the existence of these microplastics in the oceans to human activity. For this reason, several scientists have been actively trying to answer the following questions:
1. Exactly how high are the concentrations of these ''microplastics'' (as well as larger ''macroplastic'' fragments)? Are the concentrations evenly distributed, and are they increasing over time?
2. Are they having any biological effects (positive or negative) on ocean life, and what are those effects?
3. Where exactly are these microplastics coming from?
4. If they are a problem or even a potential problem, how could we prevent their concentrations from increasing, and ultimately reduce their concentrations?
In this section, we will provide a brief review of the current scientific opinion on several of these issues, but broadly we can summarise the current answers to those questions as follows,
1. For most of the oceans, the concentrations of ''microplastics'' are basically negligible. But, in some regions (particularly the ''North Pacific Gyre''), you can find a few hundred tiny fragments per square mile. Despite Greenpeace's claims, large ''macroplastics'' from land, e.g., plastic bottles, plastic bags, etc., are exceedingly rare.
2. So far, nobody has found any evidence that these microplastics are having negative impacts on ocean wildlife. But, ''absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence''. So, research into answering this is still ongoing.
3. Much of the plastic seems to come from marine debris such as lost or abandoned fishing nets, tackle, etc. However, the rest seems to come from mismanaged land waste. Current estimates suggest that about 85% is coming from developing nations in Asia (China, Indonesia, etc.), but about 7-8% seems to be coming from developing nations in Africa, and most of the rest seems to be coming from regions in South America and Central America.
4. The concentrations of ocean plastics are far too small '' even in the so-called ''oceanic garbage patches'' '' to make it feasible to collect it with current methods, although the Ocean Cleanup Project are investigating possible technological solutions which they believe could make it possible in the future. However, the most straightforward solution to stop or slow down the increase in ocean plastic pollution would be to improve the waste management systems of the coastal developing nations. Despite Greenpeace's insistence that the developed nations are somehow to blame, the combined contribution of all the countries in Europe and North America is estimated to be less than 1-2%. So, if the developing nations along the coasts of Asia (and to a lesser extent, Africa and South America) were to reduce their mismanaged waste to the levels of European and North American countries, then this would probably resolve most of the issue.
What Greenpeace has successfully done is hijack this so far fairly minor problem by turning it into a global panic, designed primarily to push the guilt-buttons of affluent Westerners.
Key to its strategy has been to fool those Westerners into thinking it's mainly their problem.
This simply isn't true. According to a 2015 study by Jambeck et al., here is the rough breakdown of the countries whose poor waste management contributes most of the plastic entering the oceans.
Rank Country Region % of world's mismanaged waste
1 China Asia 27.7%
2 Indonesia Asia 10.1%
3 Philippines Asia 5.9%
4 Vietnam Asia 5.8%
5 Sri Lanka Asia 5.0%
6 Thailand Asia 3.2%
7 Egypt Africa 3.0%
8 Malaysia Asia 2.9%
9 Nigeria Africa 2.7%
10 Bangladesh Asia 2.5%
In comparison, they estimate that the United States only contribute to 0.9% of the mismanaged waste, and the EU about 1%
So even if the U.S. and Europe reduced their plastic usage to zero, that would only reduce the oceanic plastic waste problem by a maximum of 2 per cent. And that's a very optimistic estimate. Another study by Lebreton et al. (2017) puts the European contribution to mismanaged plastic waste at 0.28 percent, Australasia's at 0.02 percent and Central and North America's at 0.95 percent (most of that, it goes almost without saying, from Central America rather than the U.S.
To be absolutely clear then, this is not a Western generated problem. Its solution, very clearly and obviously, lies in somehow encouraging developing nations such as China and Indonesia to clean up their acts and stop allowing so much of their plastic trash leaking into the sea.
Greenpeace is perfectly aware of this. It has cited Jambeck et al. on several occasions, so it knows the truth. But it also knows that in order to guilt-trip potential donors '' most of whom are in the West, not the polluting countries '' it needs to gull them into thinking that it's their responsibility; and also to tap into the hair-shirt obsession so many Western liberals have these days with banning stuff and sanctimoniously, masochistically depriving themselves of products they've previously considered quite useful (eg things made of plastic).
Does this #fakenews scare remind you of anything? It should because it uses the same template as every other environmental scare there is from vanishing polar bears and melting icecaps to acid rain, ocean acidification and the mother of all eco-scares ''global warming.''
In each case a negligible problem, often existing only in the realm of theory, is ramped up through cherry-picked data, emotive spin, and appeals to junk-science authority into a major scare story. The scare story receives widespread coverage in the mainstream media. Politicians, being keen to seen responding to an environmental issue of apparent public concern, leap in with new legislation'...
'...Then, years later, it will be discovered that the problem wasn't nearly as serious as the environmentalists claimed '' and that the policies introduced to deal with the non-problem have done far more damage than the non-problem itself ever could.
The main difference between the plastics pollution scare and all the other environmental scares is that the plastics scare has legs. It has taken off in a way that Greenpeace can scarcely have dreamed when it announced in its 2015 annual report that plastics pollution was one of the issues it was going to start pushing:
''A striking example of how threatening we humans have become for our own life-supporting systems is plastic pollution in the ocean. We produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year. That is equivalent to the combined weight of all the adult humans on Earth. Between 25 and 35 million tons of this plastic ends up in the ocean '' annually. And once it is there it stays there. In 2015, the ocean contained 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish. If this rate of pollution continues, by 2050 the amount of plastic in the ocean is expected to match the amount of fish by weight. The ocean and the creatures living in it are literally choking on plastics.'' '' Greenpeace International 2015 Annual Report.
You can loathe these soap-dodging tree-huggers for their lies, their greed, their dishonesty, their socialism-masquerading-as-love-of-nature, their hypocrisy, their cant. But you've got to admit their marketing genius. Truly this has got to rank among the most successful propaganda campaigns since the era of Josef Goebbels.
Consider where we are at the end of 2018: if there's one thing every bleeding heart Westerner knows about the environment, it's that ''single-use'' plastics are the biggest threat of our age '' slaughtering whales, choking ickle baby turtles, upsetting David Attenborough, generating thousands of acres of columns by everyone from George Monbiot to Caitlin Moran, and enabling all manner of celebrities to parade their virtue on wanktastically pointless schemes like this one.
The ocean plastics pollution scare is a strong candidate for the biggest lie of 2018.
Many congrats, Greenpeace. You must be so proud!
Nancy Pelosi's Husband Snared In SunEdison Stock Scandal - Home - The Daily Bail
Martha Stewart served 5 months in prison for similar insider trading. And Nancy Pelosi has a well-earned reputation for shady stock purchases herself, getting shares in lucrative IPOs and trading on inside information gleaned through Congressional meetings.
Paul Pelosi Invested in SunEdison Weeks Before First Wind Purchase
WASHINGTON-- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's husband bought up to a quarter million dollars of stock in SunEdison, a now financially troubled green energy company just weeks before it announced a major 2014 acquisition that sent its stock price soaring. SunE's 2014 purchase of wind energy company First Wind ''further bolstered the reputation of the company,'' wrote one market-watcher at the time. ''Perhaps unsurprisingly, SunEdison's stock soared 29% on news of this acquisition alone.''
Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, had invested just in time. He bought between $100,000 and $250,000 in SunEdison stock on Oct. 24, 2014, according to congressional financial disclosures. The company announced its First Wind acquisition on Nov. 17.
Pelosi has previously been accused of trading stock based on information gleaned through her official duties. A law passed in the wake of that controversy prohibits members of Congress from using nonpublic information for personal gain. Language in that measure was informally dubbed the 'Pelosi Provision.'
Pelosi's office did not respond to questions about the timing of the purchase and whether she or her husband had any advance knowledge of the deal.
Continue reading at Free Beacon...
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BUSTED NANCY SUFFERS MELTDOWN
The clip starts automatically at the perfect moment. Pelosi is asked by Steve Croft about getting IPO shares in VISA while fighting a bill in Congress that would hurt VISA.
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New York Times Praises Radical Environmentalist Who Killed Himself To Save Earth | Daily Wire
The New York Times has treated one man's deranged act of self-immolation as some sort of noble sacrifice worthy of reverence.
Earlier this year, radical environmentalist David Buckel demonstrated his love for planet Earth by lighting himself on fire in Brooklyn's Prospect Park in order to set an example in the fight against climate change. In a suicide note, the 60-year-old gay rights activist said his use of fossil fuels to immolate himself was to make a point about what humans are already doing to themselves.
"Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result," Buckel wrote in his note. "My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves. Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death."
In an obvious ploy to somehow articulate his derangement as something poetic, Buckel likened his death by inferno to that of Buddhist monks who would self-immolate to protest China's occupation of Tibet. "This is not new, as many have chosen to give a life based on the view that no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see,'' he wrote. "Here is a hope that giving a life might bring some attention to the need for expanded actions, and help others give a voice to our home, and Earth is heard."
For it's annual "The Lives They Lived" obituary, the New York Times treated Buckel's destructive act of intense misanthropy with such reverence that it's practically impossible to tell if they wished others followed in his footsteps: '
In Buddhism, which Buckel studied with his characteristic deliberateness, self-immolation can be a kind of communication. 'to burn oneself by fire,' the activist Thich Nhat Hanh wrote in a 1965 letter to Martin Luther King, '''s to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance.''' In his own letter, Buckel wrote about Tibetan monks who set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule because 'no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see.'
The obituary then describes the life Buckel lived as being "saintlike" whose final moments could be interpreted as "an incandescent act of speech."
For years, Buckel sought to negate the harm he caused with a continual turning of windrows [a composting technique] and recycling of water, until these measures came to seem inadequate.
One challenge with climate change is that the problem is so large it cannot be grasped. What can be grasped: A healthy man with a satisfying career and a loving family '-- a man who lived an almost saintlike life of helping others '-- died in a painful way in a public park in Brooklyn, abruptly reducing a unique living system to ash. Buckel appears to have seen his final moments as an incandescent act of speech.
As noted by LifeNews, the New York Time's reverential treatment of Buckel's suicide stands in sharp contrast to the media guidelines from the World Health Organization about reporting on suicide victims. "Glorifying suicide victims as martyrs and objects of public adulation may suggest to susceptible persons that their society honors suicidal behavior," says WHO. "Instead, the emphasis should be on mourning the person's death."
ICE-ingPickup truck drivers target TESLA charging stations '' Oklahoma Energy Today
Pickup truck drivers in Texas and two other states have started targeting TESLA charging stations, blocking drivers from recharging their vehicles. The growing practice is seen as a form of protest against environmental regulations.
E and E News had this report on the development.
Forget ''rolling coal.'' A new trend called ''ICE-ing,'' in which pickup truck owners purposefully block electric vehicle charging stations, appears to be gaining ground around the country.
The practice, whose name is derived from ''internal combustion engine,'' was observed over the holidays at a Sheetz gas station in Hickory, N.C.
Reddit user Leicina shared a photo on Dec. 23, 2018, of three large pickups blocking access to Tesla Inc. charging stations. The drivers apparently chanted ''fuck Tesla.''
''I've never had a supercharging experience like this one,'' wrote Leicina, who owns a Tesla Model 3. ''These trucks blocked all the chargers, chanted 'F' Tesla, and were kicked out by a Sheetz employee.''
She added, ''Who do you report activity like this to? It was really uncomfortable.''
It joins the similar practice of ''rolling coal,'' in which people modify diesel engines to spew black clouds of soot. It's used as a way of protesting environmental regulations.
The political affiliations of the pickup truck drivers are unknown. But Hickory is located in Caldwell County, where 74.1 percent of residents backed President Trump in the 2016 election.
The trend has garnered the ire of environmentalists. Dan Becker, executive director of the Safe Climate Campaign, called it ''mean and stupid.''
''I'm sure that pickup truck drivers wouldn't want someone to slash their tires just because they're driving a pickup truck that guzzles a lot of gas and pollutes their children,'' Becker said in an interview. ''And I think it's almost a form of vandalism because it's preventing someone from being able to drive their vehicle.''
He added, ''Does it insult their manhood that they pollute more and therefore they want to attack vehicles that pollute less? I don't understand their motivation.''
ICE-ing has recently been observed in other parts of the country, as well.
In Bristol, Tenn., Reddit user freckletan shared a photo on Dec. 23, 2018, of a white pickup blocking Tesla chargers, saying, ''Driving through Tennessee and see these 'cool guys' icing a supercharger.''
The user added, ''These guys parked in a Tesla charging spot with their gas (or diesel) truck, unhooked the charge cable, and laid it into their truck bed for 'comedic' effect. '... It would be the equivalent of a Tesla parking at a fuel pump at a gas station and walking away.''
The trend has also been documented in Texas, South Carolina and Delaware.
The practice appears to primarily target Tesla rather than other automakers. Tesla's Model 3 has become a top-selling EV despite a year of self-inflicted drama by CEO Elon Musk (Energywire, Dec. 21, 2018).
Nine states and several cities have enacted laws prohibiting gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles from parking in front of EV charging stations, including Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.
Rolling coal remains illegal throughout the country. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) last year introduced the ''Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act,'' S. 203, in an effort to decriminalize the practice. A co-sponsor was Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of Congress' most vocal climate skeptics.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) introduced a companion bill in the House. But the measure ultimately failed to gain traction.
Blackwater Founder Erik Prince To Launch Fund For Electric Car Metals | Zero Hedge
Erik Prince, the founder of private security firm Blackwater, plans to raise as much as $500m to capitalize on the rush into metals required for batteries used in electric cars, according to the Financial Times.
"For all the talk of our virtual world, the innovation, you can't build those vehicles without minerals that come from generally weird, hard-to-access places," said Prince, and adviser to president Trump and brother of US education secretary Betsy DeVos.
Miners - particularly from China, have been pouring billions into the metals as the electric vehicle industry expands, which include cobalt, copper and lithium.
One of the largest investors has been China, with Chinese companies buying stakes in deposits in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Chile this year. Mr Prince also runs a Hong Kong-listed security and logistics company that is backed by China's state-owned Citic Group. -Financial Times
Prince says his new fund will focus on unexplored deposits which could be brought into production and then acquired by larger mining companies, and will look to offload its investments within four to five years.
"Chinese companies are not necessarily interested in the very upstream exploration," said Prince. "They want to buy something in production which leaves that gap for us."
More than 60 percent for the world's cobalt supply originates from the DRC, which has attracted major investments from Chinese companies including Citic, Jinchuan Group and China Molybdenum.
Prince gained notoriety as the founder of Blackwater - the world's most famous private military contractor which has been targeted with lawsuits alleging civilian deaths in Iraq, including a 2007 incident in Nisour Square, Baghdad, where 17 civilians were killed and 20 injured after Blackwater guards claim their convoy was ambushed. And FBI investigation concluded that at least 14 of the 17 Iraqis were shot without cause.
Prince sold the company in 2010, which has changed names and is now known as Academi.
Since parting ways, Prince has run Frontier Services Group, providing logistics and security services to companies operating in risky or unstable countries. For example, they provide anti-piracy support to Somalia and security to oil firms doing business in South Sudan. The company has also ventured into natural resources, however, after discovering a copper and cobalt deposit in the Congo, and investing in a bauxite mine in Guinea.
A former Navy Seal who now lives in Abu Dhabi, Mr Prince's strong Chinese connections have helped with his mining investments. This year his mine in Guinea secured an agreement to supply China's state-owned aluminium producer Chalco with bauxite.
Mr Prince, whose father sold automotive parts in West Michigan, said carmakers will need huge amounts of minerals to fulfil their visions. -Financial Times
"When I see the R&D budgets of all the major automakers ploughing huge money into hybrid or electric vehicles, I believe the demand curve for the unique minerals that make up an electric car and battery technology will be enormously high over the coming years," said Prince.
Prince has been investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller over a meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, the head of one of Russia's sovereign wealth funds, which the Blackwater founder said was a chance encounter for the two to discuss trade and mineral wealth.
China says it is 'ready to work with US' - BBC News
Image copyright EPA Image caption Xi Jinping and Donald Trump are trying to solve a trade tariff war China has said it is "ready to work" with the US, suggesting progress in trade talks between the two countries.
It said it would be willing to work with the US to "implement the important consensus" reached at December's G20.
At the Buenos Aires summit the two countries agreed to suspend new trade tariffs for 90 days to allow for talks.
China's statement comes after President Donald Trump tweeted "big progress" was being made in relations after a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In Saturday's tweet, the US president said "talks were moving along very well".
Sunday's statement from Lu Kang, the spokesperson for the country's foreign ministry, appeared to confirm President Trump's optimism.
"China stands ready to work with the US to implement the important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and President Trump in Argentina, expand co-operation on the basis of mutual benefit, manage differences on the basis of mutual respect," Mr Lu said.
Prior to the G20 meeting in Argentina, the US had warned it was considering 25% tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods - more than double the 10% initially planned.
The White House says the tariffs are a response to China's unfair trade policies, which Mr Trump blames for helping to create a huge trade deficit.
What's the background to the trade war?Mr Trump campaigned for president on a pledge to make trade fairer for the US, and repeatedly blamed China's trading practices for making American manufacturers less competitive.
The US imposed tariffs on a number of Chinese products, including consumer and industrial items such as handbags and rice.
China responded in kind, and both sides - the world's two largest economies - ended up imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of goods.
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Media caption Has Trump kept his promises?The US has hit $250bn of Chinese goods with tariffs since July, and China retaliated by imposing duties on $110bn of US products.
Tariffs ended up raising costs for American companies. Analysts say this is one of a number of factors that have put pressure on markets in recent weeks.
What's changed in recent weeks?In early December, Mr Xi and Mr Trump met after the G20 summit in Buenos Aires for the first time since their trade war started.
Mr Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on 1 January, and the US said China would buy a "very substantial" amount of agricultural, industrial and energy products.
The details of that deal are yet to be ironed out, however.
Negotiators from both countries have been in touch over recent weeks and face-to-face talks could take place in January.
Build The Wall
Mexico wall: Trump aide says concrete wall idea was dropped early on - BBC News
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Honduras migrant Kevin Gallardo Antunez stands next to the border fence The idea of a concrete wall on the US-Mexico border was dropped early on Donald Trump's presidency, his outgoing chief of staff John Kelly says.
Mr Trump made the idea of a solid wall on the border a key pledge from the start of his presidential campaign in 2015.
But by saying the idea of a concrete wall was dismissed long ago, Mr Kelly appeared to contradict the president.
Mr Trump has tweeted the term "wall" 59 times this month alone.
What did Mr Kelly say?Mr Kelly will leave the White House on Wednesday after 17 months.
Before leaving, he gave a rare interview to the LA Times, published on Sunday, in which he called the role a "bone-crushing hard job".
"To be honest, it's not a wall," Mr Kelly said, when asked about plans for the border.
The former Marine Corps general was initially appointed as Mr Trump's homeland security secretary before becoming chief of staff in July 2017.
As soon as he did so, he told the LA Times, he sought advice from those who "actually secure the border".
"They said, 'Well, we need a physical barrier in certain places, we need technology across the board, and we need more people,'" he said.
"The president still says 'wall' - oftentimes frankly he'll say 'barrier' or 'fencing,' now he's tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it."
What has Mr Trump said?"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall."
These were the words Mr Trump spoke on 16 June 2015 as he launched his presidential campaign. At the same time, he called Mexican "rapists" and drug dealers were entering the US.
In the early months of his campaign, he attacked rival Jeb Bush for calling his proposal a "fence".
In January, Mr Trump said the idea had not changed since its conception and that it was still very much a wall, with one caveat.
His tone has changed since then, although only in the past year.
When visiting prototypes for the wall in March (that included large concrete options) he said "you have to have see-through...you have to know what's on the other side of the wall".
Then in September, he said it was a mix of fencing and walls.
Mr Trump has since acknowledged it will not be a concrete wall, but rather "artistically designed steel slats", though he continues to refer to it as a wall and not a fence.
It should be pointed out too that Mr Kelly himself had said early in the Trump presidency that it would be a wall, and not a fence.
"There will be the physical wall and then parts of the wall that you can actually see through because it will rely on sensors and other technology," he told Fox News in February 2017.
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Media caption How will President Trump deliver on border wall promise?What's the latest with the wall?Mr Trump is struggling to get the funding needed to start building the wall.
Because Congress was not able to agree a funding deal that included the financing of the wall, the US government went into a partial shutdown before Christmas that has still not been resolved.
Mr Trump has since threatened to shut down the border with Mexico if funding for the wall is not approved.
But with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives on Thursday, the chances of a deal being struck are likely to become even more distant.
The difficulty in getting approval for the wall has created disapproval among some Trump loyalists.
Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter - author of In Trump We Trust - recently predicted he will not be re-elected.
"Without a wall, he will only be remembered as a small cartoon figure who briefly inflamed and amused the rabble," she wrote.
US fires tear gas across Mexico border to stop migrants
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) '-- U.S. authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year to repel about 150 migrants who tried to breach the border fence in Tijuana.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement later Tuesday that the gas was used to target rock throwers apart from the migrants who were trying to cross.
''No agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers further away,'' the statement said.
An Associated Press photographer saw at least three volleys of gas launched onto the Mexican side of the border near Tijuana's beach that affected the migrants, including women and children, as well as journalists. The AP saw rocks thrown only after U.S. agents fired the tear gas.
The agency said agents saw ''toddler sized children'' being passed over concertina wire with difficulty. It said its agents could not assist the children because of the rocks being thrown. Agents responded with smoke, pepper spray and tear gas, it said. The AP journalist also saw plastic pellets fired by U.S. agents.
The agency said 25 migrants were detained while others crawled back into Mexico through a hole under the fence.
Customs and Border Protection said that under its use of force policy the incident would be reviewed by its Office of Professional Responsibility.
Migrants who spoke with AP said they arrived in Tijuana last month with the caravan from Honduras.
The caravan, which left Honduras in mid-October, grew to more than 6,000 members during its month-and-a-half trek north. It has been a constant target of President Donald Trump, who referred to it frequently in the run-up to U.S. mid-term elections in November.
Many of the migrants are waiting in Tijuana for a chance to apply for asylum in the U.S., but there was a backlog before the caravan's arrival and the wait is expected to be many months. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there.
In a previous incident, U.S. agents launched tear gas across the border after some migrants tried to breach the border following a peaceful march in Tijuana on Nov. 26. Hundreds of migrants who were downwind of the gas were affected.
Trump is currently locked in a fight with congressional Democrats over funding for the border wall that he wants to build. The stalemate has led to a partial government shutdown.
Origin of virus that hobbled newspapers still unclear
WJ Wire A truck is parked outside the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. A computer virus hit the newspaper printing plant in Los Angeles, and at Tribune Publishing newspapers across the country. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- The origins of a suspected computer attack that disrupted the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing newspapers remained unclear Sunday after causing delivery delays and being brought to the attention of federal investigators.
San Diego Union-Tribune Publisher Jeff Light described the incident as ''what now seems to have been a malicious attack on the company by computer hackers'' in a message posted to the newspaper's website. He told readers the disruption had mostly seemed to have been brought under control.
The suspected attack prevented the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and other papers from publishing paid death notices and classified ads Saturday. But Tribune Publishing has said no news websites were affected and no customer information was compromised.
Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said in an email Sunday that the agency was ''aware of reports of a potential cyber incident'' affecting several news outlets. She said the department is ''working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation.''
The Los Angeles Times, citing ''several individuals with knowledge of the Tribune situation,'' reported that the attack appeared to be in the form of ''Ryuk'' ransomware. Tribune Publishing sold the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this year for $500 million to biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, but the companies continue to share software, according to the newspaper.
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An advisory by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' cybersecurity program earlier this year described ''Ryuk'' attacks as ''highly-targeted, well-resourced and planned.''
Mark Weatherford, a former DHS deputy under secretary for cybersecurity who is now chief cybersecurity strategist at California-based vArmour, said Sunday that phishing links are the most common way such attacks gain entry.
''It's fairly non-discriminatory. This could happen to anybody, although it seems to be more of a targeted attack,'' Weatherford said. He added, however, that it was too early to draw conclusions.
Tribune Publishing also reported the attack to the FBI on Friday, the Chicago Tribune said. The FBI did not immediately return a message seeking comment Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
Attribution is not Transitive '' Tribune Publishing Cyber Attack as a Case Study '' Robert M. Lee
I made a number of tweets on this subject but then the voice of Richard Bejtlich entered my head and told me that all twitter threads should be a blog post, and here I am. This blog looks at the cyber attack on Tribune Publishing and the claims that North Korea is responsible as an opportunity to highlight that attribution is not a transitive property.
A thread on attribution as it pertains to Ryuk, Tribune Publishing, Lazarus Group, alliances, and operators vs developers.
'-- Robert M. Lee (@RobertMLee) December 31, 2018
Shortly after Tribune Publishing lost operations and ability to print papers the press highlighted that there was a cyber attack. The attack was highlighted as a targeted attack by a nation-state. This was all related to one anonymous insider at the company telling the media. Thus, early on I, and many others on social media, called for calm and patience while the details became public. The details are still not public and the company hasn't officially responded but an insider told media sources that the malware used in the attack was Ryuk which is a family of ransomware (Checkpoint did a great write-up on it here). Checkpoint did some great analysis on the malware and noted that there is commonality in some aspects of the malware and another family of malware called Hermes. They appropriately highlight that while Hermes has been attributed in use to Lazarus Group before, there are alternative explanations including the group who developed Ryuk having access to the source code of the Hermes malware. There are likely alternative hypotheses not explored here as well. However, that link is seemingly being used by others to draw the conclusion that Tribune Publishing was attacked by North Korea.
Here is Forbes making that claim. They are not the only ones though. Fortunately, some journalists took a different approach. Here the New York Times accurately notes that just because (and if) Ryuk was used doesn't mean it has government ties (thanks David and Nicole!). They also introduce alternative hypotheses including Adam Meyers from CrowdStrike stating that CrowdStrike tracks an eastern european cyber crime group that leverages the malware.
So what is the logic that led to the North Korean claims and what lessons can we extract?
Seemingly, the logic leveraged was that Ryuk has a link to Hermes. Hermes has links to Lazarus Group. Lazarus Group has been attributed to North Korea. Therefore, all uses of Ryuk must be North Korea. That is transitive attribution and is an association fallacy.
The logic seems kind of sound though, so what's the problem?
There are a few large issues at play for us to explore.
First, we all have a collection bias. I.e. what we analyze is based off what we collect. We cannot know the true extent of collection available, so it is common for analysts to assume their collection is pretty good in comparison to what's available. In fact though, it's almost always the opposite where our collection is much worse than we realize. If Ryuk or Hermes malware was leveraged by teams other than Lazarus that would pose a big issue for the attribution claims. The ''uniqueness'' of malware is directly tied to collection. In perfect collection you could factually state if malware is unique to one team or not. But without perfect collection, and no one has perfect collection, we must understand that malware may appear unique to a specific team but may not be unique to them at all. It just may be unique to them in our collection.
Second, the links Checkpoint drew were not definitive and had other hypotheses identified. Therefore, if an assessment is going to be drawn out for attribution purposes and not the malware analysis purposes done in their blog, we'd need to do a more structured assessment including more data sources such as additional intrusions and cluster those intrusions using some model like the Diamond Model for Activity Groups. Moving the malware usage to a cluster of intrusions would reveal more data points to then start working on a more structured assessment.
Third, I have not looked deeply into Hermes but we'd want to explore the connections Hermes had to Lazarus Group and do the same type of analysis on the links mentioned in the second point for Ryuk.
Fourth, Lazarus Group is a collection of clusters of intrusions from across multiple researchers, teams, and organizations. Whereas Lazarus Group was at one point decently well defined it has come to represent to many a larger clustering of anything North Korean in nature with links to any aspect of known Lazarus Group activity. This is not a put down on any team that tracks the Lazarus Group, it's simply a realization that the analyst bias that goes into selecting intrusions and putting them into the Lazarus Group is done differently across different teams and thus a super group is not likely to be granular in its accuracy. (I talk about the problem with this type of threat tracking here). This may not matter at all if you want to attribute the principal group responsible for Lazarus Group as North Korea. But attribution, especially when you want to attribute all parties and not just the one chiefly responsible, is not binary. Not every single intrusion that goes into the clustering of ''Lazarus Group'' is going to be accurate. Not every single intrusion is going to be North Korea developed malware used by North Korea operators. There are alliances (North Korea allies in other states or organizations), there are supply chains (where they source exploits, code, etc.), there are operators vs. developers, there are different operations teams, there are different customers of the operation's intelligence requirements, etc. to consider. All this means that if you want to do attribution to North Korea off of Lazarus Group you can get to a pretty good confidence level (likely Moderate Confidence if you're just basing it off of intrusion analysis). If you're wanting to reverse engineer individual aspects of that grouping though the attribution wouldn't necessarily hold. I.e. individual families of malware, intrusions, aspects of malware such as encoding routines, etc. could all be an important puzzle piece in multiple puzzles, not just Lazarus Group.
The fourth point is the biggest hindrance in attribution being transitive. All the puzzle pieces that go into doing an assessment can be important. But by themselves they are likely not. I've seen so many people ask for the ''smoking gun'' when talking about intelligence analysis. The FBI's attribution of North Korea to the Sony Attack comes to mind (which I wrote about here in Wired) where the FBI's assessment was sound but the infosec community wanted them to ''prove it'' so they released some technical pieces of evidence, which to the FBI probably seemed pretty good in hindsight but to the public were not conclusive. This is a common analyst mistake. When you do analysis there are pieces of evidence that become really important to you, but only in context of all the analysis you did. I.e. it's really important to you now with all the knowledge you have about the case. But you needed a lot of other data and context to have it be important. So releasing just ''the important stuff'' externally will not likely resonate with others who cannot come to the same conclusions you did on just partial data. Even with identical data sets two analysts will likely come to different conclusions anyway. To address this you never get in the habit of arguing about evidence, you position and argue your assessment. The totality of the data and your analysis, not just pieces of data.
All this is a round about way of saying that if you take a piece of data from an assessment (such as links to Hermes malware) and take it away from all the other data, then you cannot take the assessment with that piece of data. You cannot just simply look for Hermes malware to pop up and go ''yup that's Lazarus Group''. Further, links of Hermes to other malware families like Ryuk and thus attacks where Ryuk show up further complicate the issue. The more analytical leaps you make the less likely your assessment is going to be sound.
This doesn't mean that the attack wasn't done by North Korea. If it was knowing their intention would be an entirely different and especially difficult assessment to make. But at this point, no actual assessments have been done. The only thing being highlighted in certain media outlets is transitive attribution because of links observed in different malware families. This is sloppy and will lead to numerous inaccuracies. Additionally, there can be political issues if high profile targets like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (luckily they haven't) come out and attribute the attack to North Korea. That puts pressure on the US government as well as the North Korea government. There are real impacts to attribution claims between states.
In summary, as an analyst you should be aware that assessments do not often have a transitive property. Understand your collection biases and what goes into the assessments you make. From there, if you need to make a new assessment, then you need to go through the process of collecting data and analyzing and producing an assessment, short cuts such as transitive analysis will not be better than a low confidence assessment. Do not strive for perfection where you have analysis paralysis (sometimes it's ok to make gut calls as an analyst) but understand when something is a guess, a hypothesis that's missing plenty of data sources and other hypotheses are also equally possible (low confidence), or when you've done structured analysis across multiple data sources to achieve a higher level of confidence (moderate or high).
Ryuk Ransomware: A Targeted Campaign Break-Down - Check Point Research
Over the past two weeks, Ryuk, a targeted and well-planned Ransomware, has attacked various organizations worldwide. So far the campaign has targeted several enterprises, while encrypting hundreds of PC, storage and data centers in each infected company.
While the ransomware's technical capabilities are relatively low, at least three organizations in the US and worldwide were severely hit by the malware. Furthermore, some organizations paid an exceptionally large ransom in order to retrieve their files. Although the ransom amount itself varies among the victims (ranging between 15 BTC to 50 BTC) it has already netted the attackers over $640,000.
Curiously, our research lead us to connect the nature of Ryuk's campaign and some of its inner-workings to the HERMES ransomware, a malware commonly attributed to the notorious North Korean APT Lazarus Group, which was also used in massive targeted attacks. This leads us to believe that the current wave of targeted attacks using Ryuk may either be the work of the HERMES operators, the allegedly North Korean group, or the work of an actor who has obtained the HERMES source code.
In the below analysis we review the highly targeted attacks that Ryuk has been involved in and make a detailed comparison between it and the notorious HERMES ransomware used in other operations. We also address the financial aspects of the campaign and illustrate how, through tracking the money trail, Ryuk's authors seem to want to disguise their received payments by dividing and transferring them among multiple wallets.
An Overview of Ryuk
Unlike the common ransomware, systematically distributed via massive spam campaigns and exploit kits, Ryuk is used exclusively for tailored attacks. In fact, its encryption scheme is intentionally built for small-scale operations, such that only crucial assets and resources are infected in each targeted network with its infection and distribution carried out manually by the attackers.
This, of course, means extensive network mapping, hacking and credential collection is required and takes place prior to each operation. Its alleged attribution to Lazarus Group, discussed later in this post, may imply that the attackers are already well experienced in the targeted attacks domain, as seen by attacks such as the breach of Sony Pictures in 2014.
Ryuk's Ransom Note
While no differences were found in the collected samples, two versions of ransom notes were sent to victims; a longer, well-worded and nicely phrased note, which led to the highest recorded payment of 50 BTC (around $320,000), and a shorter, more blunt note, which was sent to various other organizations and also led to some fine ransom payments ranging between 15-35 BTC (up to $224,000). This could imply there may be two levels of offensive.
Figure 1: Ransom Note #1; a pleasant, well-phrase note.
Figure 2: Ransom Note #2; a shorter, less detailed note.
Ryuk vs HERMES
The HERMES ransomware first gained publicity in October 2017 when it was used as part of the targeted attack against the Far Eastern International Bank (FEIB) in Taiwan. In that attack, commonly attributed to the Lazarus Group, a hefty $60 million was stolen in a sophisticated SWIFT attack, though was later retrieved. In this case, it seems the HERMES ransomware was delivered to the bank network as a diversion.
In the case of Ryuk, however, there is no doubt that the latest ransomware attacks seen over the past two weeks are by no means just a side-show but rather the main act. Indeed, with ransom payment as high as those already paid, Ryuk is definitely getting hitting the right note amongst its audience, or rather its victims.
The following technical comparison of Ryuk and HERMES leads us to believe that whoever wrote the malware was either in possession of the HERMES ransomware source code or is possibly even the same threat actor reusing code for yet another round of targeted attacks.
An interesting finding that arises when inspecting Ryuk's code is that its encryption logic resembles that found in the HERMES ransomware, as outlined previously by Malwarebytes.
Indeed, if we compare the function that encrypts a single file, we see much similarity in its structure, as depicted in the following call flow graphs:
Figure 3: Call flow graphs of the encryption functions in Ryuk and Hermes.
In fact, it seems that the author of Ryuk did not even bother to change the marker in the encrypted files as the code used to generate, place and verify this marker in order to determine if a file was already encrypted are identical in both malwares:
Figure 4: Marker generation in Ryuk and Hermes.
Figure 5: Marker check in Ryuk and Hermes.
Additionally, the function that invokes the aforementioned routine conducts very similar actions in both cases. For instance, both whitelist similar folders (e.g. ''Ahnlab'', ''Microsoft'', ''$Recycle.Bin'' etc.) to avoid file encryption of files stored in them. Also, both write a batch script named ''window.bat'' in the same path, with a similar script used to delete shadow volumes and backup files. Likewise, in both cases there are files dropped to disk (''PUBLIC'' and ''UNIQUE_ID_DO_NOT_REMOVE'') which resemble in name and purpose.
It should also be noted that all the above logic is preserved in both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Ryuk that we had samples of. Such similarity of code across different architectures might well be a sign of an underlying identical source code.
The dropper of Ryuk is simple and fairly straightforward. It contains 32 and 64 bit modules of the ransomware, embedded one after the other in the dropper's binary. At the beginning of its execution, the dropper generates a 5-lettered random file name using the srand function and GetTickCount for seed generation.
The aforementioned payload files are then written to a directory, depending on the version of Windows on victim's computer. If the version is Windows XP or Windows 2000, the file is created in the directory ''\Documents and Settings\Default User\'', otherwise it is created in ''\users\Public\''.
If the file creation fails, the dropper attempts to write it in its own directory, using its own name and appending the letter 'V' as the last character.
After creating the file, the dropper then checks whether the process is run under Wow64, and writes the suitable payload (32 or 64 bit) depending on the result of the check.
Finally, before terminating, the dropper calls ShellExecuteW to execute the Ryuk ransomware payload it has just written.
Upon execution, the Ryuk ransomware conducts a Sleep of several seconds and then checks whether it was executed with an argument. If such was passed, it will use it as a path to a file that is deleted using DeleteFileW. Based on the malware's dropper code, this argument would be the path to the dropper itself. Following this, the ransomware will kill more than 40 processes and stop more than 180 services by executing taskkill and net stop on a list of predefined service and process names. These services and processes are mostly belonging to antivirus, database, backup and document editing software.
Figure 6: Partial list of killed processes and services.
Persistence & Process Enumeration
To make sure the malware is executed after reboot, Ryuk uses a straight forward persistence technique, whereby it writes itself to the Run registry key using the following command:
It will then try to elevate to SeDebugPrivilege so as to have extended capabilities in subsequent actions and prepare for injection by forming an array of structures. Each entry in the array represents a running process in the system and contains the process' name, PID, and a number which represents the account type of its owner (as outlined in the figure below). After putting the aforementioned process list together, Ryuk will iterate over it and try to inject a code to each process's address space, as long as its name is not ''explorer.exe'', ''csrss.exe'' or ''lsaas.exe'', or is not run by NT AUTHORITY.
Figure 7: An array entry representing a running process in the system.
The Injection Method
Ryuk uses a rather basic injection technique, whereby it first gets a handle on the target process using OpenProcess and allocates a buffer in its address space using VirtualAllocEx. The allocated buffer would have the size of the malware's image and would be required to be positioned at the same base address.
The malware will then write its current virtual image content into it and create a thread that will carry out some actions, as described in the next section. Note that by writing the virtual image into a requested buffer with a predefined allocation base, and with the lack of a proper code relocation procedure, Ryuk is taking the risk that the requested address is not available for allocation, thus causing a potential failure in the execution of the injected code.
Figure 8: The injection method and bug that causes it to fail.
The Injected Code
The injected code holds the core functionality used by the ransomware for file encryption. It is started by decrypting a list of API function name strings using a predefined key and an array of the string lengths which is then used to dynamically load the corresponding functions.
In order to ease the decryption process during analysis, we created an IDA Python script that will automatically decrypt these strings and rename the relevant variables. The script can be found in the Appendix below.
Following this, the malware will attempt to write a dummy file to the Windows directory, which would only be allowed with Admin privileges. If the creation of the file failed, it will sleep for a while and attempt the same another five times. If failure persists beyond these attempts, Ryuk will simply terminate.
If the file was successfully created, it will write two more files to a subfolder in the Windows directory. The first is a file named ''PUBLIC'' which contains an RSA Public key, and the second is ''UNIQUE_ID_DO_NOT_REMOVE'' that contains a hardcoded key. Both are leveraged for the purpose of encryption as outlined in the following section.
The Encryption Scheme
The ransomware uses a relatively straightforward three-tier trust model. At the root of the trust model, as is typical in robust ransomware implementations, is the global RSA key pair held by the attackers. The private key from this key pair is not visible to the victim at any point during infection.
The second tier is a per-victim RSA keypair. Typically a ransomware would generate this keypair on-the-fly, and then immediately encrypt the resulting private key using the higher-tier global key. Instead, the ransomware comes with this keypair pre-embedded and the private key pre-encrypted. This is a somewhat unorthodox approach, which may be vulnerable to a 'pay-once, decrypt-many' attack if the same sample is used to infect multiple victims, or if the same keypair is embedded in multiple samples. But given that a fresh key pair is generated for each new sample, it is a secure model.
Figure 9: the embedded per-victim RSA public key (note the initial bytes 06 02).
Figure 10: The embedded per-victim RSA private key that has been encryptedwith the campaign global key (note the initial bytes 07 02).
The third tier is a standard AES symmetric encryption key generated per victim file using the Win32API function CryptGenKey. The key is then exported using CryptExportKey, encrypted using the second-tier key, and the encrypted result appended to the encrypted file. In a truly extraordinary turn of events, the authors actually read the documentation of CryptExportKey and provided the second-tier key as the hExpKey parameter, which is there exactly to provide this functionality. Most ransomware exports the AES key in plain and then encrypts the result using CryptEncrypt, or some such.
Figure 11: Assembly that generates the per-file AES key;this is a part of the ransomware's ''encrypt file'' routine.
Once all cryptographic primitives are in place, the ransomware performs a standard recursive sweep of every drive and network share on the victim system, and encrypts every file and directory except for any file or directory containing text from a hardcoded whitelist, which includes ''Windows'', ''Mozilla'', ''Chrome'', ''RecycleBin'' and ''Ahnlab''. It's clear why the attackers would want the victim's web browser intact given that it may be required for reading the ransom note, purchasing cryptocurrency and so on. But it is less clear why the attackers are concerned with encrypting the victim's copy of a South Korean endpoint protection product, especially given that this attack wasn't even targeted at South Korean users.
This bit in particular is one piece of a larger puzzle of how the HERMES ransomware came to be re-used and rebranded as ''Ryuk'' ransomware. Apart from the obvious re-labeling in the readme file and so on, there are subtle differences in the trust model.
According to a report by Malwarebytes, the original HERMES actually generated the tier-two per-victim RSA keypairs, as opposed to embedding hard-coded copies in the malware samples. But the encryption function itself, including the encrypted file format and its associated unique ''HERMES'' file magic, are reproduced wholesale in the rebranded version; as is the check for ''AhnLab''-related files, which isn't even relevant to Ryuk's intended victims.
Figure 12: Hex dump of a file encrypted by Ryuk ransomware.The file structure is visibly identical to the one used in HERMES,down to the distinctive 'HERMES' marker, which the malware uses to identify files which it has already encrypted.
In addition to local drives, Ryuk will also try to encrypt network resources. First, it will start their enumeration by calling WNetOpenEnum, and then allocate a zero-initialized buffer. This buffer will be filled throughout a call to the WNetEnumResource function. If the enumerated resource is a container for other resources, the ransomware will call its network resources enumeration function recursively.
For each network resource found by Ryuk, the resource's name will be appended and separated with a semicolon to a list that will later be used to encrypt these network resources.
Finally, Ryuk will destroy its encryption key and execute a .BAT file that will delete shadow copies and various backup files from the disk.
Figure 13: List of Batch commands to be executed by Ryuk after encrypting the system.
Following the Money
Ryuk ransomware has not been widely distributed. Similarly to its forefather, HERMES, it has only been used in targeted attacks, which makes it a lot harder to track the malware author's activities and revenues. Almost each malware sample was provided a unique wallet and shortly after the ransom payment was made, the funds were divided and transmitted through multiple other accounts.
However, examining the currency transactions directly from the wallet provided in the ransom note onwards exposed a pattern, which enabled us to pinpoint wallets that would most likely be used for monetization. We were also able to spot a connection between these wallets, as funds paid to them were transferred to several key wallets at a certain point. This may indicate that a coordinated operation, in which several companies have been carefully targeted, is currently taking place using the Ryuk ransomware.
After a ransom payment was made to a preassigned wallet, some 25% of the funds (a round amount such as 10 or 12.5 BTC) are transferred to a new wallet. These funds can still be found at that same new wallet that was created for them. We can assume that these wallets will later be cashed out. The remaining amount, indeed the majority of the original amount, is also transferred to a new wallet; however, the remaining funds are split and relocated again '' some 25% of it is transferred to a new wallet in which it would remain, with the other funds split again, and so on.
Interestingly, several wallets were used more than others, as several transactions originating in different ransom payments were made to them. These key wallets were in fact the link between the original ransom payments, and enabled us to measure the extent of these coordinated targeted attacks delivering the Ryuk ransomware. The pattern we uncovered is presented in the chart below.
Figure 14: Bitcoin Transaction Flow, from the ransom payment to the cashing out stage.
From the exploitation phase through to the encryption process and up to the ransom demand itself, the carefully operated Ryuk campaign is targeting enterprises that are capable of paying a lot of money in order to get back on track.
Both the nature of the attack and the malware's own inner workings tie Ryuk to the HERMES ransomware and arouse curiosity regarding the identity of the group behind it and its connection to the Lazarus Group. After succeeding with infecting and getting paid some $640,000, we believe that this is not the end of this campaign and that additional organizations are likely to fall victim to Ryuk.
Check Point's SandBlast Agent Anti-Ransomware product protects against Ryuk ransomware. Here is a forensics report of Ryuk, triggered by SandBlast Agent Anti-Ransomware.
String decryption Python code:
""" Ryuk strings decrypterThis is an IDA Python based script which can be used to decrypt the encryptedAPI strings in recent Ryuk ransomware samples. After the decryption, the script will rename the encrypted string in order to ease analysis.Ryuk sha-256: 8d3f68b16f0710f858d8c1d2c699260e6f43161a5510abb0e7ba567bd72c965b"""__author__ = "Itay Cohen, aka @megabeets_"__company__ = "Check Point Software Technologies Ltd"import idcfrom idaapi import *def decryptStrings (verbose = True): encrypted_strings_array = 0x1400280D0 lengths_array = 0x1400208B0 num_of_encrypted_strings = 68 key = 'bZIiQ'if verbose: print ("[!] Starting to decrypt the strings\n\n") # Iterate over the encrypted strings array for i in range(num_of_encrypted_strings): # Get the length of the encrypted string string_length = idc.Dword(lengths_array + i*4) # Get the offset of the encrypted string string_offset = encrypted_strings_array + i*50 # Read bytes from # For IDA version < 7, use get_many_bytes() encrypted_buffer = get_bytes(string_offset, string_length) decrypted_string = '' # Decrypt the bytes and save it to for idx, val in enumerate(encrypted_buffer): decrypted_string += chr( ord(val) ^ ord(key [idx % len(key)])) # Set name for the string variable in IDA idc.MakeName (string_offset, "dec_" + decrypted_string) # Print to the ouput window if verbose: print("0x%x : %s" % (string_offset, decrypted_string,)) if verbose: print ("\n[!] Done.")# Execute the decryption functiondecryptStrings()IOCs
Ryuk Ransomware hashes (MD5):
Malware Dropper hashes (MD5):
Hackers Threaten to Dump Insurance Files Related to 9/11 Attacks - Motherboard
On Monday, New Year's Eve, a hacker group announced it had breached a law firm handling cases related to the September 11 attacks, and threatened to publicly release a large cache of related internal files unless their ransom demands were met.
The news is the latest public extortion attempt from the group known as The Dark Overlord, which has previously targeted a production studio working for Netflix, as well as a host of medical centres and private businesses across the United States. The announcement also signals a slight evolution in The Dark Overlord's strategy, which has expanded on leveraging the media to exert pressure on victims, to now distributing its threats and stolen data in a wider fashion.
In its announcement published on Pastebin, The Dark Overlord points to several different insurers and legal firms, claiming specifically that it hacked Hiscox Syndicates Ltd, Lloyds of London, and Silverstein Properties.
''Hiscox Syndicates Ltd and Lloyds of London are some of the biggest insurers on the planet insuring everything from the smallest policies to some of the largest policies on the planet, and who even insured structures such as the World Trade Centers,'' the announcement reads.
It is unclear what exact files the group has stolen, but it is trying to capitalize on conspiracy theories around the 9/11 attacks.
''We'll be providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18.000 secret documents leak,'' the group tweeted on Monday.
Got a tip? You can contact this reporter securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, OTR chat on email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A spokesperson for the Hiscox Group confirmed to Motherboard that the hackers had breached a law firm that advised the company, and likely stolen files related to litigation around the 9/11 attacks.
''The law firm's systems are not connected to Hiscox's IT infrastructure and Hiscox's own systems were unaffected by this incident. One of the cases the law firm handled for Hiscox and other insurers related to litigation arising from the events of 9/11, and we believe that information relating to this was stolen during that breach,'' the spokesperson wrote in an email.
''Once Hiscox was informed of the law firm's data breach, it took action and informed policyholders as required. We will continue to work with law enforcement in both the UK and US on this matter,'' they added. Lloyds of London did not respond to a request for comment.
The hacking group published a small set of letters, emails and other documents that mention various law firms, as well as the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (The TSA could not provide a statement in time for publication, and the FAA told Motherboard in an email it was investigating.) Those documents themselves appear to be fairly innocuous, but the group says it may release more.
In its extortion note, The Dark Overlord included a link for a 10GB archive of files it allegedly stole. The group also provided a link to this archive to Motherboard before publishing its announcement. The cache is encrypted, but the hackers are threatening to release the relevant decryption keys, unlocking different sets of files at a time, unless the victims pay the hackers an undisclosed ransom fee in Bitcoin.
''Pay the fuck up, or we're going to bury you with this. If you continue to fail us, we'll escalate these releases by releasing the keys, each time a Layer is opened, a new wave of liability will fall upon you,'' the extortion note reads.
The Dark Overlord is also claiming to be offering to sell the data on a dark web hacking forum, and is attempting to blackmail individuals who may be included in the documents themselves.
''If you're one of the dozens of solicitor firms who was involved in the litigation, a politician who was involved in the case, a law enforcement agency who was involved in the investigations, a property management firm, an investment bank, a client of a client, a reference of a reference, a global insurer, or whoever else, you're welcome to contact our e-mail below and make a request to formally have your documents and materials withdrawn from any eventual public release of the materials. However, you'll be paying us,'' the group's post reads.
As The Dark Overlord's announcement notes, the breach itself was previously reported in vague terms by a specialist legal publication, and Hiscox Group pointed Motherboard to the firm's own April 2018 announcement of a data breach.
''Hiscox recently learned of an information security incident affecting a specialist law firm in the US that provided advice to Hiscox or its policyholders on some of its US commercial liability insurance claims. The incident involved illegal access to information stored on the law firm's server, which may have included information relating to up to 1,500 of Hiscox's US-based commercial insurance policyholders,'' that earlier announcement reads.
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OMG North Korea attacked the LA Times'... and other nonsensical security stuff @ AskWoody
You may have read the articles going around, starting Saturday afternoon, that claimed the LA Times and other current and former Tribune Publishing newspapers were under active attack by a nation state. That explains why your newspaper may have been late on Saturday.
Except, of course, it’s all hogwash. Now it looks like the LA Times was hit by a garden variety Ryuk ransomware attack. Not to cast shade on the problems with a ransomware attack on a large company, which can be considerable, but the rush to blame the Bad Guys du jour for a diabolical attack is disconcerting. The fact that several other news outlets picked up on the Sky is Falling cry should give y’all pause.
Cooler heads will prevail. Although it may take a while.
There’s a great writeup from Robert M. Lee about the incident:
Shortly after Tribune Publishing lost operations and ability to print papers the press highlighted that there was a cyber attack. The attack was highlighted as a targeted attack by a nation-state. This was all related to one anonymous insider at the company telling the media. Thus, early on I, and many others on social media, called for calm and patience while the details became public. The details are still not public and the company hasn’t officially responded but an insider told media sources that the malware used in the attack was Ryuk
So if your Sainted Aunt Martha warns you about them furriners breaking down printing presses in Los Angeleeees, you can smile and go back to sipping egg nog.
Along those same lines… I still haven’t heard of any Internet Explorer-based infections, ones worthy of the way-out-of-band emergency patch on Dec. 19. Remember how the “Windows security experts” were running around in circles, telling people they had to patch IE immediately, or face dire consequences? Yeah. Crickets.
Opioid overdose deaths triple among US teens and young children - World Socialist Web Site
By Kate Randall 31 December 2018Opioid overdose death rates among US teens and children have tripled over the past 17 years, a new study shows. The study, published online in JAMA Network Open, examined a group of almost 9,000 children and adolescents (under age 20) who died in all settings from opioid poisonings between 1999 and 2016.
Researchers found that young children have either died from accidentally ingesting narcotics or from intentional poisoning. Teens, meanwhile, have more often died from unintentional overdoses, using prescriptions painkillers found in their homes or drugs bought on the streets. These include prescription opioids, heroin, fentanyl and other legal and illicit drugs.
Julie Gaither, lead researcher of the study and an instructor at the Yale School of Medicine, told MedicalXpress, ''These deaths don't reach the magnitude of adult deaths from opioids, but they follow a similar pattern.'' She added, ''As we consider how to contain this epidemic, parents, clinicians and prescribers need to consider how children and adolescents are affected and how our families and communities are affected.''
The study shows the depth of the opioid crisis facing the youngest segments of the population and points to the woefully inadequate response of the government in dealing with this social catastrophe as it spirals out of control.
The study notes: ''What began more than two decades ago as a public health problem primarily among young and middle-aged white males is now an epidemic of prescription and illicit opioid abuse that is taking a toll on all segments of US society, including the pediatric population.''
Drug overdose deaths in the US topped 72,000 in 2017, according to estimates released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This staggering figure was 6,000 more deaths than 2016 estimates, a rise of 9.5 percent. Some 43,000 of drug overdose deaths in 2016, the latest year examined by the JAMA study, are attributed to opioid overdoses. Other causes include alcohol poisoning and other drug overdoses.
The study categorized children and adolescents by the following ages: 0 to 4, 5 to 9, 10 to 14, and 15 to 19 years. Deaths in these age groups were then classified according to intent: unintentional, suicide, homicide, and undetermined intent. The study based its findings on death certificates since 1999.
A total of 8,986 children and adolescents died from prescription and opioid poisonings between 1999 and 2016: 605 (or 6.7 percent) among ages 0''4; 96 (1.1 percent) ages 5''9, 364 (4.1 percent) ages 10''14 and 7,921 (88.1 percent) ages 15''19. Among those under age 20, the annual estimated mortality rate from opioids more than tripled during this period'--rising from 0.22 per 100,000 in 1999 to 0.81 per 100,000 in 2016.
The largest changes were seen among the oldest and youngest children. Teenagers ages 15''19 had by far the highest death rates from opioids, at 88.1 percent of the total. Of these teen deaths, more than 85 percent were unintentional. In other words, while some teens deliberately overdose, others, seeking escape from the stresses of unemployment, peer pressure, school demands, and college admissions and debt, are falling victim to the wide availability and lethal potency of both legal and illegal opioids.
While some deaths can be blamed on unscrupulous drug dealers, these deaths must above all be laid at the feet of the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical companies who have flooded neighborhoods with these potent opioids. Workers and professionals who have been prescribed these drugs become the unwitting suppliers to their children, who find them in home medicine cabinets and ingest them, lacking adequate knowledge of the dangers they pose.
The 605 deaths among children ages 0 to 4 is the second highest, accounting for 6.7 percent of all pediatric deaths. Two hundred thirty of these deaths were unintentional, while the manner of death could not be determined in 227 of these cases.
However, 148 deaths in this age group, about one-quarter of the total, were due to homicide. And the percentage of deaths due to homicide was highest for those younger than 1 year, standing at 34.5 percent of this age group. Behind this appalling statistic stands the social desperation that would drive a parent or caregiver to kill an innocent infant with the aid of opioids. There are no figures that indicate how many of these young victims have been born addicted to opioids themselves.
While the study found that the majority of pediatric deaths were among non-Hispanic white males, with each passing year non-Hispanic black children accounted for a larger proportion of fatalities. While white children saw a threefold increase in deaths, black children had a nearly fourfold increase.
A similar trend has been seen for female children, among whom death rates increased more than threefold compared with a twofold increase among males. These trends mirror those seen in the adult population, where deaths due to opioids have been rising at a faster rate than among blacks and women than among white men.
In line with the opioid crisis affecting the US adult population, the devastating toll of opioid deaths among children casts a grim light on 21st century America. While the opioid crisis spares no segment of society, the most profoundly affected are workers and the poor and the communities where they live. At the root of this crisis lies a society characterized by growing social inequality, corporate greed and profound government indifference.
In 2017, the Trump administration declared the opioid epidemic a ''public health emergency,'' but then allocated no new funding to the states to address it. In September, congressional Democrats and Republicans approved compromise legislation that purports to address the opioid crisis, but the bill is primarily focused on law enforcement. It allocates as little as $8 billion over five years, or roughly $1.6 billion per year'--a pittance given the dimensions of the epidemic.
A health emergency on the scale of the drug epidemic requires an emergency, socialist response. The giant pharmaceutical companies, who are responsible for the scourge of opioid addiction and deaths, must be transformed into publicly owned utilities. The health insurance industry, which dedicates its resources to denying coverage and treatments instead of curing the ill, must be abolished and replaced with universal, socialized medicine.
To counter the opioid crisis, which claims increasing numbers of the young and old, the Socialist Equality Party insists that billions of dollars be allocated to fund rehabilitation centers, using the most advanced scientific methods and procedures. In order to facilitate this, profit must be taken out of healthcare, which is a social right that must be guaranteed to all.
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Once seen as impossible, could canceling Brexit now be inevitable?
She could preside over a "No Deal" rupture with Europe tantamount to a declaration of economic war against the EU and risk a 2008-level economic crisis accompanied by a border upheaval in Ireland that could reignite the "troubles". Or she could break her extravagant promises to honor the "people's instruction" from the 2016 referendum and allow a new popular vote that might cancel Brexit.The obvious answer would be to present voters with all three options No Deal, May's Deal or No Brexit.
That would be completely unacceptable to Brexit supporters, who would be guaranteed to lose if their voters were split between May's Deal and No Deal.
For example, the ballot could first ask voters to state whether they accepted the government's Brexit proposal, and then to answer a second conditional question: If the government's deal does not win majority support, would you prefer No Deal or remaining in the EU? Alternatively, voters could be asked, first, whether they want to remain in the EU or go ahead with Brexit, and then, in the event that Brexit wins, whether they would prefer May's Deal or No Deal.
Britain sends ships to tackle migrant crossing surge
British interior minister Sajid Javid said two Border Force ships deployed in the Channel would balance protecting human life with protecting Britain's borders
Britain announced Monday it will deploy two border patrol ships in the Channel in response to a surge in migrants crossing from France in dinghies.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the interior minister, said the Border Force ships would balance protecting human life with protecting Britain's borders.
In December, around 230 people tried to make the 21-mile (33-kilometre) journey from France to Britain, Javid said.
The attempts, chiefly by Iranian nationals, to cross one of the world's busiest shipping lanes have been made in dinghies and other small craft.
Javid -- the bookmakers' favourite to become the next leader of the governing Conservative Party -- cut short his Christmas family holiday in South Africa to take personal control of the situation.
He said he was redeploying two Border Force cutters from the Mediterranean to the Channel, to join one cutter already on the scene and two other coastal patrol vessels.
"It's both about protecting human life but also about protecting our borders," Javid said after meeting senior officials from the Border Force and the National Crime Agency.
"I want to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect people.
"This is one of the most treacherous stretches of water that there is, 21 miles with people taking grave risk, really putting their lives into their own hands."
- Trafficking gangs targeted -
Javid said about 230 migrants had sought to cross the Channel in December but "just under half have actually been disrupted by the French" and did not reach British waters.
He said efforts were being stepped up to tackle people smugglers and to return migrants to France.
Britain and France agreed Sunday to boost bilateral cooperation over the spike.
In the coming weeks, the two countries will increase surveillance patrols, efforts to dismantle trafficking gangs and awareness about the dangers of crossing the Channel.
In a message to would-be migrants, Javid said: "We will do everything we can to make sure it is not a success, in the sense that I don't want people to think that if they leave a safe country like France they can get to Britain and then just get to stay.
"That's why I am working out ways with the French to increase the number of returns."
Arrivals on southeast England's Kent coast spiked over the Christmas period, with British authorities finding 43 people on December 25 and 26.
On Thursday, British border officials found 23 Iranians in three locations in Kent, hours after French maritime authorities intercepted 11 migrants in a small boat.
And on Sunday, authorities intercepted six Iranians near the Kent coast.
A group of 12 migrants -- nine men, two women and a 10-year-old child -- were detained after landing on a Kent beach in a dinghy on Monday, the Home Office said. They presented themselves as Iranian.
"They all received a medical assessment and have now been transferred to immigration officials for interview," a Home Office spokesman said.
British interior minister Sajid Javid said two Border Force ships deployed in the Channel would balance protecting human life with protecting Britain's borders
Dr Shawn Baker (C)¸ on Twitter: "This is insane! Being in shape is now considered offensive? We are normalizing being sick and it's truly disturbing https://t.co/Am9BieI0l5" / Twitter
A new German law introduces a third gender option on birth certificates, passports, driver's licenses and other legal documents. Now, instead of just ''male'' or ''female,'' people can also choose ''diverse''.
Last year, Germany's highest court ruled that without a third category, regulations were discriminatory to those who did not identify in a binary way. The ruling followed an appeal by an intersex adult, identified only as Vanja, whom chromosome analysis found to be neither male nor female. Vanja was supported by an advocacy group, Third Option, and the court battle took four years, with the government eventually being told that legislation for a new gender category must be passed by the end of 2018. Activists have called the move ''a small revolution,'' the BBC reports.
However, adults must produce medical certification that proves their gender fluidity in order to legally change to the ''diverse'' classification. German activists criticized this requirement, arguing that physical or biological traits do not entirely determine gender. ''If people feel seriously and sustainably not male or female, the law must allow them to legally register their status as they define it,'' Germany's Association of Lesbians and Gays, told the New York Times (paywall).
Vanja also said in a statement, ''It is a great feeling that it is now officially recognized, that there is more than just 'men' and 'women,' even if it is a pity that of all things, medicine, which was so involved in making intersex people invisible, should now decide who should be allowed to choose a third option,'' the Times reports.
Still, this choice is likely to affect many people who are, or newborns that will be, characterized as intersex. According to a Human Rights Watch report in 2017, as many as 1.7% of babies are born with physical characteristics that cannot be categorized as simply male or female. Activist groups estimate that about 80,000 people in Germany identify as intersex, USA Today reports.
Previously in Germany, parents could abstain from selecting any designation at all if their child did not fit a binary category. In 2013, Germany became the first European nation to recognize indeterminate sex by allowing the gender boxes on birth certificates to remain blank. Nepal is widely considered the first country to offer a third gender category on census forms, starting 2011. Other nations, like Australia, India, and New Zealand, also have a third gender option. Under the new law, Germans are still allowed to leave the gender box blank.
If You're Woke You Dig It; No mickey mouse can be expected to follow today's Negro idiom without a hip assist. If You're Woke You Dig It - The New York Times
This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.
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May 20, 1962, Page 45 The New York Times ArchivesON the subway the other day, aimlessly reading advertisements (a New Yorker's pastime), I found, along with those posters insisting that I use a new twelve-inch cigarette and frequent a certain ...View Full Article in Timesmachine >>
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Louis CK's Politically Incorrect Comedy Didn't Change. You Did. - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Louis CK's Politically Incorrect Comedy Didn't Change. You Did. The #MeToo-ed comedian jokes about Parkland kids and transgender pronouns in leaked footage of his new routines.Robby Soave | Dec. 31, 2018 1:50 pm
Van Tine Dennis/Sipa USA/Newscom Comedian Louis C.K., who fell from grace after admitting in November 2017 that he had serially masturbated in front of various women, is back in the news after audio footage of his new material leaked online. The set, performed at a Long Island comedy club called Governor's on December 16, at various points mocks the Parkland kids, takes young people to task for being preoccupied with gender pronouns, and discusses the dick sizes of various ethnic groups.
In other words, the new stuff is pretty much exactly in line with Louis C.K.'s previous material, which was equally dedicated to the slaughter of sacred cows. His 2008 special, Chewed Up, for instance, opened with him using the word "faggot"'--he moved onto the c-word and the n-word shortly thereafter'--and ended with him joking about masturbating on 9/11.
You might not think this kind of humor is funny, and that's fine. Moreover, you might think Louis C.K., who initiated sexual situations with unwilling women, is a creepy person who has lost the right to joke about uncomfortable subjects. That's also fine. But it would be silly to pretend that Louis C.K. has undergone some sort of change or deliberate pivot. He's just doing his same old shtick.
But many in the media have seized upon the idea that Louis C.K. has suddenly became a right-winger'--that his new material is some dramatic departure from his pre-scandal days as a woke comedy icon. "Audio of a New Louis C.K. Set Has Leaked, and It's Sickening," warns Slate, striking the tone of a nun listening to Eminem for the first time. The Daily Beast accuses Louis C.K. of "pandering to the alt-right," which is quite the broad categorization; the tons of people'--New Yorkers, presumably'--who can be heard laughing in the background of the leaked footage would probably be surprised to learn that they take their cues from Richard Spencer.
I can't recall very many people on the left complaining that Louis C.K. was pandering to pedophiles when he joked about normalizing child rape so that rapists would be more likely to let their child victims live. On the contrary, GQ placed that joke on its list of the 10 best Louis C.K. skits, hailing him as the most transgressive and celebrated comedian "of his generation."
Those who suddenly find themselves balking at Louis C.K.'s edgy material should admit that the comedian didn't really change. They did.
Photo Credit: Van Tine Dennis/Sipa USA/Newscom
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Stop Lumping Aziz Ansari in With the Bad Men of #MeTooRobby Soave | 12.20.18
Louis C.K.: Parkland father tells Louis C.K. to come to his house to tell his "new pathetic jokes" about Florida shooting at Marjorie Douglass High School - CBS News
A father whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting massacre is slamming Louis C.K. after he seemingly made fun of the survivors and their push for stricter gun laws across the country.
Fred Guttenberg 's 14-year-old daughter Jaime was among the 17 people killed in the Valentine's Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He criticized Louis C.K. on Twitter after leaked audio of the comedian's new standup routine surfaced online.
"To anyone who knows Louis CK, please deliver this message for me. My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss everyday," Guttenberg tweeted. "Why don't you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes?"
To anyone who knows Louis CK, please deliver this message for me. My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss everyday. Why don't you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes? https://t.co/tZI9ThSciR
'-- Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 31, 2018The audio supposedly was recorded on December 16 during a stand-up routine at the Governor's Comedy Club on New York's Long Island. It is unclear who recorded and leaked the audio.
"You're not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? How does that make you interesting? You didn't get shot, you pushed some fat kid in the way," he said in the clip.
Kyra Parrow, a survivor of the shooting, also criticized the comedian on Monday: "Louis C.K, although taking jello shots & eating mushrooms might have been ideal for you when you were 18, that is not the luxury that we have after having to see our friends and classmates in caskets because of preventable gun violence," she tweeted.
His new set also drew backlash for comments he made about gender identity and non-binary people. "They tell you what to call them. 'You should address me as they, them, because I identify as gender neutral.' Oh okay, okay. 'You should address me as there, because I identify as a location, and the location is your mother's c***,'" he said in the clip.
Last year, C.K. was added to the list of celebrity men accused of sexual misconduct. Five women came forward with allegations against him, which included that he masturbated in front of them and repeatedly asked one woman to watch. C.K. admitted the allegations were true, and apologized.
Director Judd Apatow tweeted the leaked standup is more a projection of the comedian's "pain and bitterness than anything else."
It's not about the subject matter. You can make jokes about any topic. You can explore things deeply. But people want to know your point. They want to know if your heart is in the right place. His new point is more a projection of his pain and bitterness than anything else. https://t.co/n2f712OKIw
'-- Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018 Plenty of people have routines that are not defendable. That's not an argument against pointing out how these routines are awful and out of tune. But remember, we are interested because we wonder if down deep he has learned anything this past year. We wanted him to evolve. https://t.co/hHYr6Lde8l
'-- Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018Jamie Yuccas contributed to this report.
Allegations Against Beverly Hills Police Chief Have Cost $2.3 Million and Counting | California City News
When Sandra Spagnoli was first hired as Beverly Hills' police chief in 2016, the choice was met with effusive praise. The city's first female top cop earned an adoring piece in Vogue. Her experience as the former chief of the San Leandro and Benicia police departments made her trusted figure in law enforcement.
Fast-forward to the present day and it's not uncommon to hear town hall critics shouting comparisons to Adolf Hitler.
In the past two years, at least 20 current or former police officials have filed complaints or lawsuits against Spagnoli. That number could top 30 by the end of the year. The allegations range from racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBT remarks to sex with subordinates who purportedly received promotions after a tryst.
On Friday, Beverly Hills settled the first of these lawsuits for $2.3 million. The plaintiff, Capt. Mark Rosen, was once under consideration for the chief's job himself. He now claims Spagnoli denied him a promotion because he's Jewish.
The city says it only settled upon the advice of its insurance company but attorney Brad Gage, who represents some of the people who have complained about Spagnoli, says its proof that the case against her is strong.
Just one day before the settlement, Spagnoli spoke to the Los Angeles Times. She vehemently denied sleeping with underlings. She was less vehement when it came to her alleged bigoted remarks. (Spagnoli allegedly referred to yarmulkes as ''funny little hats,'' expressed disgust at an employee's sexual orientation, and asked if she had to ''dress Mexican'' for a dinner at a Latino employee's home.) Instead, she insisted she is not a racist.
To hear Spagnoli tell it, this is nothing but a smear campaign motivated by sour grapes over some of the hard-hitting reforms she has enacted, including new discipline protocol.
''When you implement change, you create some waves within an organization, which is what has happened here,'' she told the Times.
Spagnoli has key supporters and some data to back her up. City Council members and the city's mayor have spoken out in her defense and a recent internal assessment found the majority of city employees were satisfied with her leadership.
But the 20+ people who aren't satisfied represent almost 10% of the department's brass. And with rancorous town halls replete with Hitler comparisons, the situation has gotten ugly.
In the coming weeks, it could get even worse.
Kevin Spacey Must Attend Arraignment for Sexual Assault Case | Hollywood Reporter
The actor intends to enter a plea of not guilty.Kevin Spacey must appear for his arraignment in the case of alleged sexual assault, a Massachusetts judge ordered Monday, according to court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
The disgraced two-time Oscar-winning actor requested to waive his right to appear Jan. 7 in Nantucket District Court, according to a motion filed by his legal team. Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett denied that request but gave no additional explanation.
Both Spacey and his attorneys asked the judge to allow the actor to skip the proceeding because he lives outside the state and "my presence will amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case," according to the motion. Spacey also states in the document that he intended to enter a not guilty plea.
Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael K. Giardino argued in prosecutors' response that Spacey's appearance is required at the arraignment under rules for criminal case procedure, court documents stated.
It was announced Christmas Eve that the former House of Cards star had been charged with one count of indecent assault and battery stemming from an alleged assault that took place in July 2016.
The alleged victim was 18 at the time when he claims Spacey assaulted him after getting him drunk at the Club Car Restaurant on Nantucket. The alleged victim is being represented by renowned Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian. Prosecutors say there is video evidence of the alleged assault. Spacey's lawyers say it shows nothing.
The same day it was announced the actor would be charged, Spacey broke his public silence of more than a year and released a video, in which he appears to defend himself while in character as his Netflix House of Cards alter ego, Frank Underwood.
"My confidence grows each day that soon enough, you will know the full truth," the actor says in the video that runs a little longer than three minutes and has more than 8.3 million views.
Spacey '-- who was fired from House of Cards and also replaced in Ridley Scott's All The Money in the World over the allegations '-- is still under investigation in Los Angeles and in England for other alleged sexual assaults.
Saudi Arabian national fled the U.S. before his manslaughter trial. A Portland prosecutor thinks he had help. - The Washington Post
Screengrab of Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah from KOIN video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgh7ObwgIVI Eli RosenbergGeneral assignment reporter covering national and breaking news
December 29Shawn Overstreet, a prosecutor in Portland, Ore., received the alert by surprise at the end of a weekend.
The GPS device worn by a 21-year-old student awaiting a trial on a manslaughter charge had been cut near a sand and gravel facility in town.
The student, Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, a Saudi Arabian national living in the United States on a government scholarship, had asked the sheriff's deputy who was monitoring him on supervised house arrest if he could go to the community college he was attending to study for upcoming exams. She had said yes.
Now she was reaching out to Overstreet to let him know what had happened. Overstreet's first thought was that Noorah had killed himself.
But a search of the site with a cadaver dog had found only the monitoring device. And surveillance footage that investigators pulled from nearby showed a black SUV driving up a street near the quarry and then leaving soon afterward, at the time the bracelet was cut, Overstreet said.
About a year later, the Saudi government confirmed what Overstreet had feared, that Noorah had made it out of the United States and back to Saudi Arabia, despite having no passport, Overstreet said. Overstreet has developed a working theory: Noorah escaped with the help of the Saudi government.
The unusual case has drawn wide attention since it was reported by the Oregonian this week. Amid simmering international anger over the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October, Noorah's case, if the Saudi connection is proved, would be another illustration of the impunity with which Saudi Arabia seems to act around the world.
''I've had people cut their GPS bracelets; that happens all the time, a pair of scissors,'' Overstreet said. ''But those are people that stick around, they don't really go anywhere. .'.'. I've never had a foreign individual commit such a heinous crime and then take off.''
Surveillance image of the SUV that law enforcement officials think took Noorah away from the place where he cut off his GPS monitoring device. (U.S. Marshals Service) A hit-and-runThe case began on a hot summer day in August 2016 when a 15-year-old girl, Fallon Smart, was struck by a speeding car as she crossed the street in a densely populated part of Portland. Overstreet said that investigators determined the car was moving at 71 mph about a block away from the crash, and a crash reconstruction put the speed at the time of impact at 55 to 60 mph.
The car had been moving through traffic on the street, which has a 25 mph speed limit, in the middle turn lane, Overstreet said. Noorah was charged as the driver.
Smart was struck by the right passenger side of the car; her head hit the windshield.
''It was a severe impact,'' Overstreet said. ''It broke the windshield in. Noorah had a passenger and that guy had blood and glass [on him]. She was thrown quite a distance.''
Fallon's mother had been in the area to pick her up, and Fallon was crossing the street from a bubble tea shop to meet her.
Abdulrahman Noorah. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)The car sped off after the impact, but its license plate had fallen off in the area, Overstreet said. The car returned to the scene, where Noorah was questioned by police.
His demeanor disturbed officers and witnesses at the scene, according to Overstreet, who was summoned to the scene.
''He stopped and got out and didn't walk up to where Fallon was in the road. And then somebody yelled at him, and all he said was, 'Is she dead?' And the woman who was yelling at him basically said, 'Yes, you idiot, you killed her,' and he stood there,'' Overstreet said. ''When I got there, I saw him, and I was very bothered by his demeanor, just 'cause he was like, 'Okay, can I go home now?'''
Out on bail Noorah was charged with manslaughter, hit-and-run and reckless driving. His bail was initially set at around $250,000, meaning he could get out after posting 10 percent, or about $25,000, under Oregon laws on pretrial release. But a judge later raised the bail to about $1 million. Overstreet said he was still concerned about Noorah as a flight risk; the Saudi government had put up the bail money, Overstreet said.
''Shortly after that was done, the attorneys showed up with a $100,000 check from the Saudi government,'' Overstreet said. ''I saw that check and I thought, 'Uh oh, here we go; he's going to be gone.' The defense attorney assured me that he's a good kid and he's going to stick around, but nonetheless, I asked the judge to put him on GPS monitoring. He was confined to his home and only allowed to go to mosque and to school.''
Noorah's passport was also confiscated, Overstreet said.
Overstreet said the financial transaction for Noorah's bail has added to his suspicions.
The Saudi government had given the money to Noorah, whose attorney had deposited the check in a client trust account and then written a check on his behalf, Overstreet said. That made him, and not Saudi Arabia, ultimately responsible for the remainder of the bail that is now owed, about $900,000.
''I thought that was a sneaky move to ensure they wouldn't have to pay for the rest,'' Overstreet said.
The charge of first-degree manslaughter that Noorah faced meant that prosecutors believed Noorah had acted with ''extreme indifference to the value of human life.'' If he was convicted on the charge, he would have faced a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors offered Noorah a deal: plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter for a mandatory minimum sentence of six years and three months.
Overstreet said he thinks this was a turning point, when it might have become clear that Noorah was likely to face significant prison time.
He thinks his office's case was robust; prosecutors had 20 eyewitnesses from some 50 people who were in the area at the time of the accident, as well as video evidence, he said.
''I think they were waiting to see what would happen,'' Overstreet said of the Saudi government.
Noorah had been violation-free for the many months he was on release as the case moved toward trial in June 2017, Overstreet said. And that is why the sheriff's deputy granted him permission to study outside of his home two weeks before the trial. He was supposed to be monitored 24 hours a day, but the supervisor was apparently out of town and didn't get the alert until the next day, Overstreet said.
A suspicionOverstreet said he doesn't have any definitive evidence that Saudi officials helped Noorah escape.
Investigators lost track of the SUV on video at some point after it left the quarry. The road on which it was traveling, Division Street, connects directly with Interstate 205, which heads to Portland's airport to the north.
U.S. marshals have traced the SUV's origin to the airport, Aaron Pfenning, a deputy in Oregon, told The Washington Post. He said the Marshals Service thinks it is connected to a car service or rental company.
Noorah was back in Saudi Arabia seven days after the day the bracelet was cut, Pfenning said.
But officials didn't know that at the time. It was only about a year after Noorah's June 2017 disappearance that Saudi officials told investigators with the Department of Homeland Security, which had made contact with them, that he was back in his home country, Pfenning said.
''All other requests for more info to Saudi officials have gone unanswered,'' he said.
Overstreet said he developed his theory after the disclosure from Saudi Arabia. He says he believes that Noorah was issued a new passport with a different name.
Pfenning said the marshals think Noorah boarded a flight back to Saudi Arabia but do not know how. Overstreet said investigators have checked airport records for commercial and private flights but found no indication that Noorah passed through afterward.
''There's no way in my mind that Noorah could have got this orchestrated, and got himself back to Saudi Arabia with his resources,'' he said. ''He doesn't have any.''
The mystery continues After Noorah disappeared, investigators found a packed bag at the house of the family with which he had been staying, Overstreet said.
Noorah had been receiving an $1,800-per-month government stipend as he lived with the family. Overstreet said he was told by Noorah's defense attorney that his mother was a teacher and his father worked with a tractor trailer.
''I'm assuming this guy has money and access to money in Saudi,'' Overstreet said. ''Whether they were connected beyond the parents I don't know. We know that Noorah did not have a lot of money. I think there was $80 in his account.''
Amos Guiora, a professor at the University of Utah and an expert on national security and international law, said the case was unusual but not especially surprising.
''In the context of international law or sovereignty, yes, this is pretty offensive,'' he said. ''Is it offensive enough for [Jared] Kushner to call the crown prince? Probably not.''
He noted the old news that dozens of well-connected Saudis had fled the United States on chartered flights in the days after 9/11.
Norms typically dictate that countries respect each other's judicial systems, Guiora said, ''but for these kinds of regimes which don't really understand the rule of law and have a deep mistrust of our judicial system, if it's important for their own domestic reasons, I don't find anything shocking about this at all.''
A statement from the Saudi government distributed by an embassy spokesman said it was Saudi policy to post bail for citizens who were incarcerated in the United States when they sought that help.
The embassy declined to answer questions about whether government officials were involved with Noorah's escape, saying only that ''no travel document was issued by the Embassy or Consulate for Mr. Noorah."
Noorah had been studying in Portland since 2014, the Oregonian reported.
Terri Stanford, who hosted Noorah in her home, told reporter Shane Dixon Kavanaugh that Noorah was one of the kindest people she had ever met. She said he appeared to suffer tremendously after being charged, and had stopped eating and sleeping and rarely left his room.
''He really did get to a point where he couldn't function,'' Stanford said. ''I thought there was no way he was going to survive jail.''
Ginger Mooney, the defense lawyer who represented Noorah, declined to comment or provide any on-the-record information on the case, citing privileged communications with a client.
The FBI declined to comment on the case. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.
R. Brendan Dummigan, a lawyer who represents Smart's mother, Fawn Lengvenis, in a lawsuit filed against Noorah, said the family may file a lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia.
For Overstreet, the case remains a sore spot in his career as a prosecutor.
He described the agony of Smart's family members as they waited through the ups and downs of the case '-- discussions over a potential plea deal, then later a potential trial '-- only to hear that Noorah had fled.
''It is the case I think about every day,'' Overstreet said. ''This case stands out so much because of the injustice, because of the thing that this guy could get bailed out.''
Noorah remains an escaped fugitive who is sought by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Overstreet is not hopeful about his chances of seeing Noorah in a U.S. courtroom any time soon. The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia.
''Nothing is going to happen to him. He can just go live his life, and what that does to the family,'' he said. ''I think they're re-victimized on a daily basis.''
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Cynthia Ann McKinney (born March 17, 1955) is an American politician and activist currently teaching at North South University, Bangladesh. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms in the United States House of Representatives. She was the first black woman elected to represent Georgia in the House. She left the Democratic Party and in 2008, ran as the presidential candidate of the Green Party of the United States.
In the 1992 election, McKinney was elected in Georgia's newly re-created 11th District, and was re-elected in 1994. When her district was redrawn and renumbered due to the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in Miller v. Johnson, McKinney was elected from the new 4th District in the 1996 election. She was re-elected twice more without substantive opposition. McKinney was defeated by Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary. Her defeat was attributed to some Republican crossover voting in Georgia's open primary election, which permits anyone from any party to vote in any party primary and "usually rewards moderate candidates and penalizes those outside the mainstream."
After her 2002 loss, McKinney traveled and gave speeches, and served as a Commissioner in 9/11 Citizens Watch. On October 26, 2004, she was among 100 Americans and 40 family members of those who were killed on 9/11 who signed the 9/11 Truth Movement statement, calling for new investigations into unexplained aspects of the 9/11 events. McKinney was re-elected to the House in November 2004, following her successor's run for Senate. In Congress, she advocated unsealing records pertaining to the FBI's role in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the murder of Tupac Shakur. She continued to criticize the Bush Administration over the 9/11 attacks. She supported anti-war legislation and introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
She was defeated by Hank Johnson in the 2006 Democratic primary. In the March 29, 2006, Capitol Hill police incident, she struck a Capitol Hill Police officer for stopping her to ask for identification. She left the Democratic Party in September 2007. Members of the United States Green Party had attempted to recruit McKinney for their ticket in both 2000 and 2004. She eventually ran as the Green Party nominee in the 2008 presidential election receiving 0.12% of the votes cast.
Early life and political career [ edit ] Cynthia McKinney was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of Leola McKinney, a retired nurse, and Billy McKinney, a law enforcement officer and former Georgia State Representative.
McKinney was exposed to the Civil Rights Movement through her father, an activist who regularly participated in demonstrations across the south. As a police officer, he challenged the discriminatory policies of the Atlanta Police Department, publicly protesting in front of the station, often carrying young McKinney on his shoulders. He was elected as a state representative. McKinney attributes her father's election victory, after several failed attempts, to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, of which provided for federal oversight and enforcement of voting. Most blacks in the South had been disenfranchised by state legislative barriers since the turn of the 20th century.
McKinney earned a B.A. in international relations from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She worked as a high school teacher and later as a university professor.
Her political career began in 1986 when her father, a representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, submitted her name as a write-in candidate for the Georgia state house. She received around 40% of the popular vote, although she then lived in Jamaica with her husband, Coy Grandison (and their son, Coy McKinney, born in 1985).
In 1988, McKinney ran for the same seat and won, making the McKinneys the first father and daughter to simultaneously serve in the Georgia state house. In 1991, she spoke aggressively against the Gulf War; many legislators left the chamber in protest of her remarks.
In 2007, McKinney moved from her longtime residence in the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain to California. In 2015, she received a Ph.D. from Antioch University with a dissertation on Hugo Chvez.
First terms in Congress [ edit ] In the 1992 election, McKinney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as the member of Congress from the newly created 11th District, an area with an African American 64%-majority population and a district reaching from Atlanta to Savannah. She was the first African American woman to represent Georgia in the House. She was re-elected in 1994.
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Johnson that the 11th District was an unconstitutional gerrymander because the boundaries were drawn based on the racial composition of the constituents. McKinney's district was subsequently renumbered as the 4th and redrawn to take in almost all of DeKalb County, prompting outrage from McKinney. She asserted that it was a racially discriminatory ruling, given the fact that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that Texas's 6th District, which is 91% white, was constitutional.
The new 4th, however, was no less Democratic than the 11th. McKinney was easily elected from this district in 1996. She was re-elected two more times with no substantive opposition.
On October 17, 2001, McKinney introduced a bill calling for "the suspension of the use, sale, development, production, testing, and export of depleted uranium munitions pending the outcome of certain studies of the health effects of such munitions." The bill was cosponsored by Reps. Anbal Acevedo Vil, Puerto Rico; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; Barbara Lee, D-Ca.; and Jim McDermott, D-Wash.
Criticism of Al Gore [ edit ] During the 2000 presidential campaign, McKinney wrote that "Al Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time." Gore's campaign pointed out that its manager, Donna Brazile, was black.
McKinney chastised Gore for failing to support the U'wa people of Colombia trying to oppose petroleum drilling near them. In a press release issued on February 22, 2000, entitled "No More Blood For Oil," McKinney wrote that "Oil drilling on Uwa land will result in considerable environmental damage and social conflict which will lead to greater militarization of the region as well as an increase in violence." Addressing herself to Gore, she wrote, "I am contacting you because you have remained silent on this issue despite your strong financial interests and family ties with Occidental."
September 11 attacks [ edit ] McKinney gained national attention for remarks she made following the September 11 attacks in 2001, charging that the United States had advance knowledge of the attacks and that US President George W. Bush may have been aware and allowed them to happen, allegedly due to his father's business interests: "It is known that President Bush's father, through The Carlyle Group, had''at the time of the attacks''joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which have soared since September 11."
In the month that followed the attacks, McKinney published an open letter to the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani had refused to cash a $10 million check written by Saudi Prince because of the Prince's suggestion that the attacks were an indication that the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause." In the open letter, she expressed her disappointment at Giuliani's action and stated, "Let me say that there are a growing number of people in the United States who recognize, like you, that U.S. policy in the Middle East needs serious examination...Your Royal Highness, many of us here in the United States have long been concerned about reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that reveal a pattern of excessive, and often indiscriminate, use of lethal force by Israeli security forces in situations where Palestinian demonstrators were unarmed and posed no threat of death or serious injury to the security forces or to others."
2002 primary defeat [ edit ] In 2002, McKinney was defeated in the Democratic primary by DeKalb County judge Denise Majette. Majette defeated McKinney with 58% of the vote to McKinney's 42%.
McKinney protested the result in court, claiming that thousands of Republicans had voted in the Democratic primary against McKinney in revenge for her anti-Bush administration views and her allegations of voter fraud in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Like 20 other states, Georgia operates an open primary: voters do not align with a political party when they register to vote and may participate in whichever party's primary election they choose. Thus, relying on the Supreme Court's decision in California Democratic Party v. Jones, which had held that California's blanket primary violated the First Amendment (despite the fact that the Court explicitly differentiated '-- albeit in dicta '-- the blanket primary from the open primary in Jones), on McKinney's behalf, five voters claimed that the open primary system was unconstitutional, operating in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the associational right protected by the First Amendment, and various statutory rights protected by § 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
The district court dismissed the case, noting that the plaintiffs had presented no evidence in support of the 14th Amendment and Voting Rights Act claims, and lacked standing to bring the First Amendment claim. It interpreted the Supreme Court's Jones ruling to hold that the right to association involved in a dispute over a primary '-- and thus, standing to sue '-- belongs to a political party, not an individual voter. On appeal in May 2004, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this result in Osburn v. Cox, noting that not only were the plaintiffs' claims meritless, but the remedy they requested would likely be unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's decision in Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut. On October 18, 2004, the Supreme Court brought an end to the litigation, denying certiorari without comment.
Other factors in her defeat were her allegations of Bush's involvement in 9/11, her opposition to aid to Israel, a perceived support of Palestinian and Arab causes, and alleged antisemitism by her supporters. and on the night before the primary election, McKinney's father stated on Atlanta television that "Jews have bought everybody ... J-E-W-S." Cynthia McKinney had been through a long contentious relationship with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the commentator Alexander Cockburn alleged that money from out-of-state Jewish organizations, angered by her stand on Middle East issues, was key in her election defeat. Cockburn also wrote that "Buckets of sewage were poured over McKinney's head in The Washington Post and The Atlanta Constitution." Georgia political analyst Bill Shipp addressed McKinney's defeat saying: "voters sent a message: 'We're tired of these over-the-top congressmen dealing in great international and national interests. How about somebody looking out for our interests?'"
Between terms [ edit ] Cynthia McKinney speaking to the press in 2006
McKinney traveled widely as a public speaker between her terms in office. Throughout 2003 and 2004, McKinney toured the US and much of Europe speaking of her defeat, her opposition to the Iraq War, and the Bush administration.
In 2004, McKinney served on the advisory committee for the group 2004 Racism Watch. On September 9, 2004, she was a commissioner in The Citizens' Commission on 9-11. On October 26, 2004, she was among 100 Americans and 40 family members of those who were killed on 9/11 who signed the 9/11 Truth Movement statement, calling for new investigations of unexplained aspects of the 9/11 events.
There was speculation that she was considering a run as the Green Party's nominee for the 2004 presidential election. However, wanting her congressional seat back, she turned down the Green Party nomination.
2004 return to Congress [ edit ] Majette declined to run for re-election to the House, opting instead to become a candidate to replace retiring Senator Zell Miller, a conservative Democrat. McKinney instantly became the favorite in the House Democratic primary. Since it was taken for granted that victory in the Democratic primary was tantamount to election in November, McKinney's opponents focused on clearing the field for a single candidate who could force her into a runoff election.
However, her opponents' efforts were unsuccessful, and five candidates entered the Democratic primary. As a result of the fragmented primary opposition, McKinney won just enough votes to avoid a runoff. This all but assured her return to Congress after a two-year absence. However, contrary to traditional practice, the Democrats did not restore McKinney's seniority. Had she been able to regain her seniority, she would have been a senior Democrat on the International Relations and Armed Services committees, as well as ranking Democrat on an International Relations subcommittee.
McKinney hosted the first delegation of Afro-Latinos from Central and South America and worked with the World Bank and the U.S. State Department to recognize Afro-Latinos. She stood with Aboriginals against Australian mining companies. She was one of the 31 in the House who objected to the official allotment of the electoral votes from Ohio in the United States presidential election, 2004 to incumbent George W. Bush.
9/11 Commission [ edit ] Initially, McKinney kept a low profile upon her return to Congress. However, on July 22, 2005, the first anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, McKinney held a briefing on Capitol Hill to address alleged outstanding issues regarding the 2001 attacks on the US. [dead link ] The day-long briefing featured family members of victims, scholars, former intelligence officers and others who critiqued the 9/11 Commission account of 9/11 and its recommendations. The four morning panels addressed flaws, omissions, and a lack of historical and political analysis in the commission's report. Three afternoon panels critiqued the commission's recommendations in the areas of foreign and domestic policy and intelligence reform. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial maintained that the purpose of the event was to discuss whether or not the Bush administration was involved in the 9/11 attacks, expressing surprise that McKinney was once again taking on the issue that was widely believed to have cost her House seat. The Journal-Constitution declined to publish McKinney's reply. The 9/11 Commission has sealed all the notes and transcripts of some 2,000 interviews, all the forensic evidence, and both classified and non-classified documents used in compiling its final report until January 2, 2009. McKinney's interest in 9/11 relates specifically to what she expresses as her opposition to excessive government secrecy, which she has challenged with numerous pieces of legislation.
McKinney has said that she "remain[s] hopeful that we will learn the truth" about 9/11 "because more and more people around the world are demanding it."
Threats of lynching by Hal Turner [ edit ] In 2006, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney revealed that she had received a death threat from Hal Turner. She stated in the San Francisco Bay Review that Hal Turner 'announced to his listeners in 2006 that I should be lynched on my way to vote.' Mr. Turner was on the FBI's payroll as an informant at the time.
Hurricane Katrina activism [ edit ] McKinney has been an advocate for victims of Hurricane Katrina and a critic of the government's response. Over 100,000 evacuees from New Orleans and Mississippi relocated to the Atlanta area, and many have now settled there.
During the Katrina crisis, evacuees were turned away by Arthur Lawson's Gretna police when they attempted to cross the Crescent City Connection Bridge between New Orleans and Gretna, Louisiana. McKinney was the only member of Congress to participate in a march across the Crescent City Connection Bridge on November 7, 2005, to protest what had happened on that bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In response, McKinney introduced a bill on November 2, 2005, that would temporarily deny federal assistance to the City of Gretna Police Department, Harry Lee's Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and the Crescent City Connection Police Department, in the state of Louisiana. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, but was not acted on. However, in August 2006, a grand jury began an investigation of the incident. On October 31, 2007 the Grand Jury ruled not to charge anyone. The Grand Jury accepted Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson's explanation, "Some of the people in the crowd acted aggressively and threatened to throw one of the officers off the bridge, the chief said. The shot was fired over the officer's shoulder and over the side of the bridge.
McKinney chose to be an active participant in the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, despite the Democratic Party leadership's call for Democratic members to boycott the committee. She submitted her own 72-page report. She sat as a guest along with only a few other Democrats. In questioning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, McKinney referred to a news story in which the owners of a nursing home had been charged with negligent homicide for abandoning 34 clients who died in the flood waters. McKinney asked Chertoff: "Mr. Secretary, if the nursing home owners are arrested for negligent homicide, why shouldn't you also be arrested for negligent homicide?"
The Congressional Black Caucus' Omnibus Bill (HR 4197) was introduced on November 2, 2005, to provide a comprehensive response to the Gulf Coast residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. The second title of the bill was submitted by McKinney, seeking a Comprehensive Environmental Sampling and Toxicity Assessment Plan, or CESTAP, to minimize harm to Gulf Coast residents from the toxic releases into the environment caused by the hurricane.
At the request of McKinney, the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, chaired by Thomas M. Davis, held a previously unscheduled hearing titled "Voices Inside the Storm" on December 6, 2005.
McKinney, along with Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), produced a "Katrina Legislative Summary," a chart summarizing House and Senate bills on Hurricane Katrina. On June 13, 2006, McKinney pointed out on the House floor that only a dozen of the 176 Katrina bills identified on the chart had passed into law, leaving 163 bills stalled in committee.
On August 2, 2007, McKinney participated in a press conference in New Orleans to launch an International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which she described as an effort to seek justice for the victims of those hurricanes and their aftermath.
Department of Defense homicide accusation [ edit ] On September 28, 2008, at a press conference, McKinney announced that she had spoken with a constituent whose son was a National Guardsman. The constituent claimed her son had disposed of 5,000 bodies for the Department of Defense during the week of Hurricane Katrina.
Anti-war and human rights legislation [ edit ] Until 2000, McKinney served on the House International Relations Committee, where she was the highest-ranking Democrat on the Human Rights Subcommittee. McKinney worked on legislation to stop conventional weapons transfers to governments that are undemocratic or fail to respect human rights.
On November 18, 2005, McKinney was one of only three House members to vote for H.R. 571, introduced by House Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, on which McKinney sat. Hunter, a Republican, offered this resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq in place of John Murtha's H.J.Res. 73, which called for redeployment "at the earliest possible date." In her prepared statement, McKinney accused the Republicans of "trying to set a trap for the Democrats. A 'no' vote for this Resolution will obscure the fact that there is strong support for withdrawal of US forces from Iraq ... In voting for this bill, let me be perfectly clear that I am not saying the United States should exit Iraq without a plan. I agree with Mr. Murtha that security and stability in Iraq should be pursued through diplomacy. I simply want to vote 'yes' to an orderly withdrawal from Iraq."
Articles of impeachment introduced [ edit ] At the end of the 2006 legislative session, McKinney introduced articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush as (H Res 1106), which made three charges against Bush:
Failure to uphold the constitution, specifically that "George Walker Bush ... in preparing the invasion of Iraq, did withhold intelligence from the Congress, by refusing to provide Congress with the full intelligence picture that he was being given, by redacting information ... and actively manipulating the intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons programs by pressuring the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies.Abuse of office and executive privilege, "obstructing and hindering the work of Congressional investigative bodies and by seeking to expand the scope of the powers of his office."Failure to ensure that laws are faithfully executed, specifically by a program of illegal domestic spying and circumvention of the FISA Act.The second article also made charges against Vice President Dick Cheney alleging he manipulated intelligence in order to justify the Iraq War, and against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice alleging that she knowingly made false statements concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.
McKinney's bill was abandoned when it failed to clear the House Committee on the Judiciary
Capitol Police incident [ edit ] On the morning of March 29, 2006, McKinney entered the Longworth House Office Building's southeast entrance and proceeded past the security checkpoint, walking around the metal detector. Members of Congress have identifying lapel pins and are not required to pass through metal detectors. The officers present failed to recognize McKinney as a member of Congress because she was not wearing the appropriate lapel pin and had recently changed her hairstyle. She proceeded westward down the ground floor hallway and about halfway down the hallway was stopped by United States Capitol Police officer Paul McKenna, who states that he had been calling after her: "Ma'am, Ma'am!"; at that time it is reported that McKinney struck the officer. Two days later, Officer McKenna filed a police report claiming that McKinney had struck "his chest with a closed fist."
In the midst of a media frenzy, McKinney made an apology on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 6, 2006, neither admitting to nor denying the charge, stating only that: "There should not have been any physical contact in this incident."
Though not indicted for criminal charges or subjected to disciplinary action by the House, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police said of Officer McKenna, "We're going to make sure the officer won't be harassed. We want the officer to be able talk to experts, who can look at his legal recourses, if he needed to."
Unintentional on-air criticism [ edit ] In the wake of the March 2006 incident with the Capitol Police officer, Rep. McKinney was in the news, and her office invited the media to attend one of her monthly "District Days," where she spends one full day meeting with constituents to discuss issues of concern. At her April 23, 2006, "District Days" event, Rep. McKinney was being interviewed by WGCL's Renee Starzyk, who repeatedly questioned her about the March 29 scuffle with a Capitol police officer. Frustrated, McKinney stood up and apparently forgot she was still wearing the microphone. Her offscreen comments were captured on tape. She was heard saying, "Oh, crap, now you know what ... they lied to [aide Coz Carson], and Coz is a fool." McKinney returned on screen with the microphone, this time with instructions on what parts of the interview the station was allowed to use: "anything that is captured by your audio ... that is captured while I'm not seated in this chair is off the record and is not permissible [sic] to be used ... is that understood?" The comments from the interview were subsequently aired on CBS and eventually across the nation.
Other issues [ edit ] MLK Records Act [ edit ] McKinney has submitted to Congress two different versions of the same bill, the "MLK Records Act" (one in 2003, the other in 2005), which, if signed into law, would release all currently sealed files concerning the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. These records were sealed in 1978 and are not due to be declassified until the year 2028. The 2005 version of the MLK Records Act, HR 2554 had 67 cosponsors by the time McKinney left office at the end of 2006. A Senate version of the bill (S2499) was introduced by Senator John Kerry and was co-signed by Sen. Hillary Clinton. The bill has also received numerous endorsements from former members of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.[citation needed ]
Tupac Shakur Records Act [ edit ] Documents relating to the death of rapper Tupac Shakur, in which McKinney has taken an active interest, would be released under another bill introduced by Rep. McKinney. In a statement, McKinney explained her reason for the bill: "The public has the right to know because he was a well-known figure. There is intense public interest in the life and death of Tupac Shakur." Legislation demanding release of records is a more direct route than the tedious process and limited scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
2006 primary and primary runoff [ edit ] McKinney finished first in the July 18, 2006 Democratic primary, edging DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson 47.1% to 44.4%, with a third candidate receiving 8.5%. However, since McKinney failed to get at least 50% of the vote, she and Johnson were forced into a runoff.
In the runoff of August 8, 2006, although there were about 8,000 more voters than in the primary, McKinney received about the same number of votes as in July. Johnson won with 41,178 votes (59%) to McKinney's 28,832 (41%). McKinney's loss is attributed to a mid-decade redistricting, in which the 4th had absorbed portions of Gwinnett and Rockdale Counties, as well as her highly publicized controversial run-in with a police officer in the March 29, 2006, Capitol Hill police incident.
CNN reported that during her concession speech, McKinney hardly mentioned her opponent but praised the leftist political leaders elected in South America. She also questioned the efficacy of voting machines and criticized the media.
2008 Green Party presidential candidacy [ edit ] Cynthia McKinney before speaking at the Green Party Presidential Debate in
San Francisco, January 2008
McKinney was a Green Party candidate in the 2008 presidential election. Green Party members had attempted to recruit McKinney both in 2000 and 2004. In 2000, she was widely mentioned as a possible vice-presidential running mate for Ralph Nader; in 2004, attempts were made to convince McKinney to run on the Green Party ballot line for president.[citation needed ]
McKinney appeared at the July 15, 2007, Green Party National Meeting in Reading, Pennsylvania, where she suggested that the Green Party could become a progressive political force. "[T]he disgust of the American people with what they see before them'--all they need is the blueprint and a road map. Why not have the Green Party provide the blueprint and the road map?"
At an August 27, 2007, peace rally in Kennebunkport, Maine, McKinney confirmed the depth of her disenchantment with the Democratic Party, urging San Francisco voters to replace Nancy Pelosi with antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan. On September 10, in a letter to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States, McKinney stated she would not seek the Green Party nomination for president. However, in early October it appeared that McKinney was making moves toward declaring herself an official Green Party candidate.
On July 9, 2008, she named as her running mate journalist and community activist Rosa Clemente and clinched the party's nomination three days later at the 2008 Green Party National Convention.
On September 10, 2008, McKinney joined a press conference held by third-party and independent candidates, along with Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin, and initiator Ron Paul. The participants agreed on four basic principles:
An early end to the Iraq War, and an end to threats of war against other countries including Iran and Russia.The safeguarding of privacy and civil liberties, including a call for the repeal of the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and FISA legislationNo increase in the National DebtA "thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System."On November 4, 2008 McKinney received 161,797 votes, 0.12% of the total votes cast, placing her behind Obama, McCain, Nader, Barr, and Baldwin.
Free Gaza Movement [ edit ] Ship Dignity [ edit ] On December 30, 2008, McKinney was aboard the ship Dignity as it attempted to enter the Gaza Strip, which had its coastal area declared a "closed military zone" by Israel, while on a humanitarian mission by the Free Gaza Movement from Cyprus. Aboard were physicians, medical supplies, and activists, including Caoimhe Butterly. The Israeli Navy confronted the ship at night in international waters. Members of the crew claimed that the ship was rammed, gunfire was directed at the water, and the ship was forced to dock in Lebanon after taking on water. Israeli officials claimed that the collision was accidental and occurred after the ship was informed they wouldn't be allowed to enter Gaza and tried to outmaneuver the patrol boat; they decried McKinney's actions as being irresponsible and provocative for the sake of propaganda.
Ship Spirit of Humanity [ edit ] On June 30, 2009, McKinney was aboard the Greek-flagged Free Gaza Movement's ship Spirit of Humanity carrying 21 activists including Irish peace activist Mairead McGuire, medical supplies, a symbolic bag of cement, olive trees and toys, when it was seized by the Israeli Navy 18 mi (29 km) off the Gaza coast. It is unclear whether they were in international waters or in Gazan waters, which is subject to the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Although both the Cypriot and Israeli authorities were officially informed the destination was Gaza before the vessel's departure, according to the Cypriot government the ship "was given permission by the competent Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus to sail off the port of Larnaca in Cyprus on the basis of its declaration that its intended destination was the port of Port Said in Egypt."
McKinney was held at the Givon immigration detention center in Ramle, until she was released on July 5. McKinney initially refused to sign the deportation papers because they were written in Hebrew and that the papers would require them to admit that they were in violation of Israel's blockade, which they deny. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Israeli officials stated that the "Palestinian Authority and the rest of the international community had agreed to the off-shore blockade to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza."The Palestinian Chronicle reports that such an agreement to the off-shore blockade never happened. "No Palestinians have agreed nor did the international community agree to a blockade of Gaza by land or Sea." On June 17, 2009, a group of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called for an end to Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.
On July 7, 2009, McKinney was deported to the United States. The Israeli government indicated it will deliver the supplies via land.
Opposition to the 2011 military intervention in Libya [ edit ] On May 24, 2011 McKinney, who has been a vocal critic of U.S. military intervention, appeared on state-run television in Libya and stated that United States participation in military intervention in the 2011 Libyan civil war was "...not what the people of the United States stand for and it's not what African-Americans stand for". Also on Memri-TV, McKinney stated "On a previous visit to Libya, I was able to learn about the Green Book, and the form of direct democracy that is advocated in The Green Book. When I went back to the United States, I spoke with Senator Mike Gravel, who was a presidential candidate, just like me, in 2008, because he too is pushing a form of direct democracy for the United States. That is because the government of the United States fails to represent the interests of the American people now. The government is here, and the people of the US are here."
In June 2011, McKinney visited Libya and accused NATO and the United States of trying to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. McKinney also criticised the trade embargo on the Gaddafi's regime and accused mainstream media in the Western world of subjecting the population of the European Union and the United States "to the largest propaganda blitz by their governments."
Her nationwide speaking tour regarding the intervention in Libya "Eyewitness Libya", which was sponsored by the ANSWER coalition and the International Action Center drew hundreds across the country.
2012 congressional election [ edit ] McKinney announced in April 2012 that she would run for the 4th congressional district against Hank Johnson on the Green Party ticket. However, in August she failed to qualify for the ballot. Nevertheless, she received 58 write-in votes in the general election.
Awards and honors [ edit ] In February 2010, McKinney was awarded the 'Peace through Conscience' award from the Munich American Peace Committee (MAPC).
McKinney has been featured in a full-length documentary titled American Blackout. On May 1, 2004, during her hiatus from office, McKinney was awarded the so-called fifth annual Backbone Award by an advocacy group, "because she was willing to challenge the Bush administration and called for an investigation into 9-11 when few others dared to air their criticism and questions."
On June 14, 2000, a part of Memorial Drive, a major thoroughfare running through her district, was renamed "Cynthia McKinney Parkway," but the naming has come under scrutiny since her primary defeat in 2006. Her father had previously been honored when a portion of Interstate 285 around Atlanta was dedicated as James E. "Billy" McKinney Highway.
Electoral history [ edit ] See also [ edit ] List of African-American United States RepresentativesList of federal political scandals in the United StatesWomen in the United States House of RepresentativesReferences [ edit ] ^ a b c d e Jim Lehrer (October 31, 1996). "Georgia on Her Mind". PBS. ^ Constructed after the Congressional reapportionment associated with the 1990 United States Census. ^ The Court found that the 11th District was an unconstitutional gerrymander because the boundaries had been drawn based on the racial composition of the constituents. See also: Miller v. Johnson ^ See map of old district "GeorgiaInfo '' Carl Vinson Institute of Government". Archived from the original on May 13, 2008 . Retrieved 2011-06-03 . ^ Welch, William (August 21, 2002). "Crossover vote helped tilt Ga. races". USA Today . Retrieved 2008-03-05 . Crossover voting gave a significant lift to Democrat Denise Majette in unseating controversial Rep. Cynthia McKinney ^ a b "911 Truth Statement". 911truth.org. October 26, 2004 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ a b "Democrat U.S. House District 4". WSBTV Action News 2 Atlanta. August 8, 2006. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006 . Retrieved August 8, 2006 . ^ All Things Cynthia McKinney (Cynthia McKinney's personal website) submitted by admin September 25, 2007. "Cynthia Severs Ties with Democrats". ^ "Cynthia McKinney Announces Run for President". YouTube. December 16, 2007 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ a b "McKinney speaks truth to power in Wisconsin" (Press release). Green Party. December 11, 2007. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011 . Retrieved July 19, 2010 . ^ Public Disclosure Division, Office of Communications, Federal Election Commission (January 22, 2009). "2008 Official Presidential General Election Results, General Election Date:11/04/08" (PDF) . Federal Election Commission . Retrieved January 4, 2010 . ^ a b "News Center: Former Congresswomen Cynthia McKinney to Address Race Sensitivity and Other Under Covered Issues in the US Presidential Campaign". www.sonoma.edu . Retrieved 2016-04-28 . ^ "Insightful Personal Conversation with Cynthia McKinney". Video.google.com . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "Cynthia McKinney". natsummit.org . Retrieved 2016-04-28 . ^ Ford, Lynne E. (2010-05-12). Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics. Infobase Publishing. p. 306. ISBN 9781438110325. ^ Foerstel, Karen (1999). Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-313-30290-9. ^ "Cynthia McKinney Moves-McKinney Parkway Fate in Question". Foxnews.com. November 13, 2007 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ ''El No Murio, El Se Multiplico!'' Hugo Chvez: The Leadership and the Legacy on Race, dissertation by Cynthia Ann McKinney, Antioch University, 2015. ^ "Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium". Seattlepi.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ Chris Suellentrop (April 19, 2002). "Cynthia McKinney '-- The rep who cries racism". Slate.com. ^ "Gore's Oil Money". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378 . Retrieved 2016-03-16 . ^ a b c d "Lessons from Rep. Cynthia McKinney's defeat, by Michael Barone". U.S. News and World Report. August 29, 2002. Archived from the original on September 3, 2002. dead link"Archived on archive.org". Archived from the original on September 3, 2002. ^ "Giuliani rejects $10 million from Saudi prince". CNN. October 12, 2001. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007 . Retrieved 2007-10-05 . ^ McKinney, Cynthia. "Letter to His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed bin Talal" . Retrieved 2008-09-03 . ^ "Barr, McKinney lose in Georgia primaries". CNN. August 21, 2002. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008 . Retrieved April 30, 2010 . ^ "Brian.Carnell.Com". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007 . Retrieved 2011-06-03 . ^ "369 F.3d 1283" (PDF) . May 17, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2010 . Retrieved July 19, 2010 . ^ Osburn v. Georgia, 04-217) (cert denied, 541 U.S. __). ^ "Order List '' October 18, 1004" (PDF) . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "Faith, race and Barack Obama". The Economist. July 6, 2006. ^ "She also, as The New York Times said in reporting her victory, had made 'a series of other incendiary, often racial comments.' This is The New York Times ' delicate way of alluding to the stridently anti-Semitic character of McKinney's 2002 campaign, in which 'Jews' were repeatedly blamed for her faltering in the polls and for her eventual defeat." Alexander, Edward. "The Democratic Party's anti-Semitism problem", The Seattle Times, August 9, 2004. ^ "McKinney ended up losing the Democratic primary in 2002 to Denise Majette. Majette rode to victory largely on the negative publicity that flowed McKinney's way both when the 'Bush KNEW' accusation made national news and when her anti-Semitic and pro-Islamist beliefs were exposed." Preston, Bryan. "The Female Michael Moore", National Review Online, July 27, 2004. ^ "...in the past McKinney has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments during interviews and speeches." Leibowitz, Rebecca. [http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-leibowitz-s05.htm "Defeating Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic Activity on Campus '' A Case Study: Rutgers University, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs," Jewish Political Studies Review 17:1''2 (Spring 2005). ^ "A year later, Representative Cynthia McKinney, a black Georgian Democrat, ran and anti-Semitic campaign against her Jewish opponent." Heineman, Kenneth J. God Is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America, New York University Press, p. 234. ISBN 978-0-8147-3554-1 ^ "Deconstructing Cynthia McKinney". Archived from the original on March 11, 2009 . Retrieved 2011-06-03 . ^ Cockburn, Alexander (August 21, 2002). "The Attack on Cynthia McKinney". Counterpunch. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008 . Retrieved August 23, 2010 . ^ Welch, William (August 21, 2002). "Crossover vote helped tilt Ga. races". USA Today . Retrieved 2009-01-04 . ^ "2004 Racism Watch Calls on Bush-Cheney Campaign to Change or Pull Offensive Ad". Common Dreams. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012 . Retrieved October 4, 2008 . ^ "Report: Cynthia McKinney To Run For Congress Again". Democracy Now! . Retrieved 2016-08-22 . ^ "World People's Blog >> Blog Archive >> Cynthia McKinney '' USA". word.world-citizenship.org . Retrieved 2016-04-28 . ^ "Mark Donham: Why Are the Democrats Trying to Deny Cynthia McKinney Her Seniority?". Counterpunch.org. Archived from the original on July 19, 2010 . Retrieved July 19, 2010 . ^ Tracy (2013-09-04). "Who Runs the World? 11 Black Women Who Could Do It - Page 3 of 6". Atlanta Black Star . Retrieved 2016-09-30 . ^ "HUMAN RIGHTS TRAMPLED IN AUSTRALIA -- PROFITS OVER PEOPLE". University of Virginia Environmental Justice Website. July 12, 1999 . Retrieved 2017-03-18 . [permanent dead link ] ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 7". U.S. House of Representatives. January 6, 2005 . Retrieved August 25, 2010 . ^ Kemper, Bob. "McKinney reopens 9/11". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 27, 2005 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "[NOWAR/PAIX] A Message from Rep. Cynthia McKinney regarding 'The 9/11 Commission Report One Year Later: A Citizens' Response '' Did They, Get it Right? ' ". Archived from the original on February 8, 2007 . Retrieved 2011-06-04 . ^ "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney: Terrorist Warnings". Counterpunch.org. May 17''19, 2002. Archived from the original on June 16, 2010 . Retrieved July 19, 2010 . ^ Mckinney, Cynthia (April 8, 2010) Leaders' Lack of Respect for Rule of Law Makes Us All Victims of 9/11, LewRockwell.com ^ McKinney, Cynthia. "Death threat against Cynthia McKinney: Why is the FBI calling me?". San Francisco Bay Review. San Francisco Bay Review . Retrieved 2017-04-21 . ^ Dowling, Matt (10 August 2009). "North Bergen blogger accused of threatening federal judges is held without bail". NJ.com . Retrieved 30 June 2017 . ^ Johnson, Chip (September 9, 2005). "Police made their storm misery worse". San Francisco Chronicle. ^ "The Bridge to Gretna". CBS News. December 18, 2005. ^ "Marchers Cross New Orleans Bridge to Protest Racism". National Organization for Women. November 7, 2005. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. ^ "H.R. 4209, 109th Congress, 1st Session" (PDF) . United States House of Representatives. November 2, 2005. ^ "Bridge blockade goes to grand jury". New Orleans Times-Picayune. August 5, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. ^ "La. Police Who Turned Away Katrina Victims Face Inquiry". Washington Post. August 5, 2006. ^ Michael Kunzelman.'No charges in Katrina Bridge Blockade'"USA TODAY" October 31, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2011: https://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-31-3360763218_x.htm ^ "A Failure of Initiative: The Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina". U.S. House of Representatives. February 15, 2006. ^ "MicKinney roils hurricane panel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on March 8, 2006 . Retrieved June 4, 2011 . ^ "Hurricane Katrina Recovery, Reclamation, Restoration, Reconstruction and Reunion Act of 2005". Government Printing Office. November 2, 2005. ^ "Select Bipartisan Committee". Katrina.house.gov . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ Offices of Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (June 6, 2006). "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Summary of Congressional Legislation" (PDF) . United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 28, 2007. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (October 27, 2008). "Stealth Candidacy". The Washington Post . Retrieved April 30, 2010 . ^ "McKinney: Republicans seek to silence dissent on Iraq war". Finalcall.com. Nov 18, 2005 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ a b "GNN.tv". GNN.tv. 8 Dec 2006. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "H. Res. 1106 [109th]: Articles of Impeachment against George Walker Bush, President of the United States of America,..." GovTrack.us . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "McKinney apologizes for scuffle with officer". WXIA-TV ATLANTA. March 30, 2006. ^ "Officer Considers Lawsuit Against McKinney". WSBTV Atlanta. Archived from the original on April 13, 2006. ^ "Station catches McKinney bad-mouthing staffer". Associated Press. ^ CNN Sunday Morning Transcript. CNN. 2006-04-23. ^ "McKinney Orders Reporter Not to Air Public Comments". CNS News . Retrieved 2016-03-16 . ^ "Martin Luther King, Jr., Records Collection Act of 2005". Government Printing Office. May 23, 2005. ^ "Congresswoman floats 2Pac bill". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2005. ^ "McKinney - News Briefs". archives.allthingscynthiamckinney.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008 . Retrieved March 16, 2016 . ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the July 18, 2006 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. July 16, 2006 . Retrieved 2006-08-08 . ^ "CNN.com '' McKinney beaten but unbowed '' August 9, 2006". CNN.com. August 9, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2006 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "2007 ' Green Party National Meeting | Green Party of the United States". gpus.org . Retrieved 2017-01-26 . ^ McKinney, Cynthia (September 10, 2007). "Cynthia Withdraws Name From Consideration for Green Party Presidential Nomination". All Things Cynthia McKinney. Archived from the original on September 4, 2008. ^ Thomas, Luke (October 5, 2007). "Cynthia McKinney to announce bid for the White House". Fog City Journal. ^ "Richard Winger, "Cynthia McKinney Names V-P Running Mate" Ballot Access News". Ballot-access.org. July 9, 2008 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "McKinney wins Green Party nomination", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2008-07-12 ^ "Nader's Debate". The Nation. October 24, 2008 . Retrieved 2013-08-28 . ^ "2008 presidential vote" (PDF) . Federal Election Commission. December 7, 2008 . Retrieved 2009-02-03 . ^ "Gaza relief boat damaged in encounter with Israeli vessel". CNN. December 30, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-12-31 . ^ a b "Gaza Strip: Aid boat docks in Lebanon after being damaged". The Los Angeles Times. December 31, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-12-31 . ^ Malone, Julia (December 29, 2008). "McKinney relief boat reportedly attacked by Israel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "Israel navy intercepts boat with ex-U.S. Rep. McKinney". CNN. June 30, 2009 . Retrieved April 30, 2010 . ^ a b Jerusalem Post [permanent dead link ] ^ Cook, Rhonda (July 5, 2009). "McKinney released, returning to United States". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ Cynthia McKinney Remains Imprisoned in Israel After Gaza-Bound Boat Is Seized Fox News July 2, 2009 ^ "McKinney held in Israel, to be returned to U.S." CNN. July 2, 2009 . Retrieved April 30, 2010 . ^ a b c Cook, Rhonda (July 4, 2009). "McKinney, still in jail, expected to see judge Sunday". Atlanta Journal Constitution . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "Fox News". Fox News. April 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ Cook, Rhonda (July 5, 2009). "McKinney released, returning to United States". Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ Lamb, Franklin (July 6, 2009). "How Cynthia McKinney Honored America". Palestinian Chronicle . Retrieved July 12, 2009 . ^ "UN, aid agencies call for end to Israel's two-year blockade of Gaza". United Nations. June 17, 2009 . Retrieved July 15, 2009 . ^ "Israel deports Nobel laureate". Irish Times. July 7, 2009 . Retrieved 2010-07-19 . ^ "Cynthia Ann McKinney". Unsweetened Magazine. 2015-03-17 . Retrieved 2018-08-06 . ^ "Former U.S. congresswoman McKinney speaks on state TV in Libya". CNN. May 21, 2011. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011 . Retrieved May 23, 2011 . ^ "Memri". Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on Libyan TV: I Offered Qadhafi-Style Direct Democracy to Solve Problems of America. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012 . Retrieved June 24, 2011 . ^ "Cynthia McKinney visits a hospital in Libya". Tripoli, Libya: WBAIX.org (YouTube video). June 4, 2011. ^ Cynthia McKinney (June 9, 2011). "Truth dispatch: Updates from Libya". Wayne Madsen Report . Retrieved June 12, 2011 . ^ "Eyewitness Libya nationwide tour featuring Cynthia McKinney a huge success". Archived from the original on August 18, 2011 . Retrieved August 27, 2011 . ^ "Cynthia McKinney draws hundreds on Libya" . Retrieved May 1, 2012 . ^ "Cynthia McKinney back and running for her old congressional seat" . Retrieved 2012-11-22 . ^ 2012 "2012 Congressional District 4 Certified Write-In Report", General Election Certified Write-In Report. ^ http://www.mapc-web.de ^ "The Honorable Cynthia McKinney". Backbone Campaign. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. ^ Dell'Orto, Giovanna (March 15, 2007). "Naming places after living politicians can be embarrassing". The Florida Times-Union . Retrieved 2008-08-08 . ^ "Highways would lose McKinney connection". Augusta Chronicle. December 30, 2006 . Retrieved 2008-08-08 . External links [ edit ] Cynthia McKinney at Curlie2012 Congressional Campaign WebsiteAll Things Cynthia McKinney Cynthia McKinney's personal websiteBiography at the Biographical Directory of the United States CongressPresidential campaign FEC disclosure reportCynthia McKinney: Live in Brooklyn. QuickTime Video. 11:30 minutes. Directed by Stephen Marshall. Guerrilla News Network. 2003. Retrieved May 12, 2005.Cynthia McKinney's campaign donor list newsmeat.comCynthia McKinney on the issuesRob Waters, Former Democratic Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, Flirts with Holocaust Deniers, Southern Poverty Law Center, 2009-11-30Rudy Reichstadt, Cynthia McKinney, ic´ne du conspirationnisme post-11-Septembre, Conspiracy Watch [fr] , 2010-04-25Appearances on C-SPAN
Former Democratic lawmaker Cynthia McKinney teams with 'alt-right' to help Trump fight 'deep state'
The six-term former congresswoman and former CIA employee Robert David Steele will be touring the country to promote a reform package that includes ending winner-takes-all voting. (AP Photo/Rob Carr) Rob Carr
A former Democratic congresswoman is joining forces with a self-described "alt-right white guy" to help President Trump combat the so-called deep state.
Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, a colorful figure known for hitting a Capitol police officer who stopped her in 2006, announced Tuesday the kickoff of a campaign called "#Unrig" with former CIA employee Robert David Steele.
Steele told reporters on a call with McKinney that the campaign was "designed as a gift for our democratically elected president to create a broad power base that will survive the demise of the Republican Party," which he said would happen due to a pedophilia scandal.
"The alt-right and the alt-left need each other," he said, describing himself as alt-right and McKinney as alt-left, with some shared views opposed to entrenched elites.
The six-term former congresswoman and Steele will be touring the country to promote a reform package that includes ending winner-takes-all voting.
The nation's political system, McKinney said, "has been so carefully constructed ... that us as individuals have been rigged. We have to unrig ourselves."
McKinney, the Green Party's 2008 presidential nominee, did not correct Steele's use of the term "alt-left" to describe her on the call. She also did not address his suggestion that clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month between white supremacists and anti-racism activists were "staged" and a "so-called event."
In a followup conversation McKinney, who is African-American, told the Washington Examiner she does not believe the Charlottesville clashes were staged and offered criticism of Trump.
"I haven't done the investigation myself," she said about Steele's Charlottesville remarks. "That is not a point of agreement."
McKinney, detained for attempting to break Israel's blockade of Gaza in 2009, said she considers Israel a "pervasive" player in the deep state, and said the United States' "pernicious foreign policy" is at the root of both Mideast conflicts and an influx of wage-lowering immigration to the U.S.
McKinney said the label "alt-left" '-- controversial since its post-Charlottesville use by Trump '-- could be used to describe her politics, but that she would prefer the term left populism. "If you want to put me in a box as alt-left, then I need to know what your definition of alt-left is," she said.
"I saw the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton as one that was totally outrageous for me," she said. "If you choose to call that an alt-left position, well then I'd have to look at that."
McKinney declined five times to say if she voted for Trump.
"Let me just put it this way: under no circumstance was I going to support Secretary Clinton, and I did not support Secretary Clinton," she said. In response to followup questions she said "it's none of your business. You tell me who you voted for!"
Regardless of her November ballot choice, McKinney said she's concerned about Trump's apparent drift from non-interventionist policies. She said she doesn't like the number of generals in leadership posts and fears Trump may have "drowned in the swamp" he sought to drain.
War on Weed
Study: Harmful, Potent, Cannabis Spreading Across Europe
Skip to contentHigher THC levels linked to increased dependence, psychotic illnessCannabis resin and herbal cannabis have significantly increased in potency and in price, according to the first study to investigate changes in cannabis across Europe.
The study, published today in the journal Addiction by researchers from the University of Bath and King's College London, draws on data collected from across 28 EU Member states, as well as Norway and Turkey by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
The findings show that for herbal cannabis, concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ('THC' '' the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis) increased by a similar amount each year, from 5% in 2006 to 10% in 2016.
For cannabis resin (or hash), THC concentrations were relatively stable from 2006 to 2011 (from 8% to 10%) but then increased rapidly from 2011 to 2016 (from 10% to 17%). The price of cannabis resin also increased, but to a lesser extent than for herbal cannabis.
Lead author Dr. Tom Freeman from the Addiction and Mental Health Group within the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, said: ''These findings show that cannabis resin has changed rapidly across Europe, resulting in a more potent and better value product.''
Unlike herbal cannabis, cannabis resin typically contains cannabidiol (CBD) in addition to THC. CBD has recently attracted considerable interest due to its potential to treat several medical conditions including childhood epilepsy syndromes, psychosis and anxiety. When present in cannabis, CBD may offset some of the harmful effects of THC such as paranoia and memory impairment.
Cannabis containing higher levels of THC and/or lower levels of CBD has been linked to greater long-term harms such as the development of cannabis dependence, and an increased risk of psychotic illness. New resin production techniques in Morocco and Europe have increased levels of THC, but not CBD.
Cannabis Shop in Krakow, Poland (Photo by NurPhoto / Contributor via Getty Images)
Dr. Freeman added: ''CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek. What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful. These changes in the illicit market are largely hidden from scientific investigation and are difficult to target by policy-makers. An alternative option could be to attempt to control THC and CBD content through regulation.''
It is estimated that 24 million people (or 7.2%) of European adults used cannabis in the last year. Across the globe, 192 million people use the drug in a variety of markets, ranging from heavily sanctioned prohibition to commercialized legal sale. Cannabis policies are rapidly changing across the globe.
Recreational use is now legalized in Canada and several US states, and medical use is permitted in many more countries, including very recently in the UK.
China To Explore Moon's Far Side With Its Lunar Lander : NPR
The Chinese lunar lander Chang'e 4 is headed to Aitken Basin, a large impact crater near the moon's south pole, pictured here in blue. The distance from the depths of Aitken Basin to the tops of the highest surrounding peaks is nearly twice the height of Mount Everest, according to NASA. NASA/Goddard hide caption
toggle caption NASA/Goddard The Chinese lunar lander Chang'e 4 is headed to Aitken Basin, a large impact crater near the moon's south pole, pictured here in blue. The distance from the depths of Aitken Basin to the tops of the highest surrounding peaks is nearly twice the height of Mount Everest, according to NASA.
NASA/Goddard Sometime early in 2019, the Chinese civilian space program plans to land a six-wheeled rover on the moon's far side '-- the side we never see from Earth.
The Chinese haven't released the exact date the landing is to occur, but they have announced the location. The probe, known as Chang'e 4, is targeted for Aitkin Basin, a giant impact crater near the Moon's south pole.
In addition to a variety of cameras, the rover carries ground-penetrating radar that can peer beneath the lunar surface.
Although Chang'e 4's mission is largely scientific, it is also a key bit of preparation for sending Chinese astronauts to the lunar surface.
"Before Neil Armstrong set foot upon the moon, the United States sent 21 robotic missions to the moon to prepare the way," notes Jim Head, a planetary scientist with Brown University.
"The robotic program is providing all the kinds of background that you would need for building space suits and things like that '-- like lunar rovers," Head says. "So they're building toward human exploration, for sure."
But beyond that, simply getting a chance, for the first time, to get a better sense of the moon's far side is exciting, says Briony Horgan, a planetary scientist at Purdue University.
Already, researchers know that the far and near sides are very different, she says.
"The far side is actually much more primitive '-- it contains really ancient crust that dates back to the very, very early solar system," Horgan says.
"There are rocks all over the far side that are over 4 billion years old," she adds. "We're really excited to see what those look like, up close."
So, why have all landing probes to date traveled only to the near side?
"Mostly because it's a lot easier to communicate with," Horgan explains. "We can actually see the near side, and so we get direct radio communication with the entire near side of the moon."
Horgan says the Chinese have solved the communication problem by adding a third component to their mission. The first component is a lander. The lander carries the second component, a mobile rover.
"The third component is a satellite that's going to stay in orbit above the far side of the moon, and act as a relay between the Earth and the far side of the moon," she says.
Though it might be handy if U.S. lunar missions could also use the relay satellite, that's not likely to happen. Official collaboration between NASA and the Chinese space program is essentially prohibited by U.S. law. There also are restrictions on exporting space technology from the U.S. to China.
But Brown University's Jim Head says even with the restrictions, there is communication among scientists from both countries. He argues that's a good thing.
"Why would we send a spacecraft to the same location to do exactly the same thing, when we can optimize the amount of scientific return for the United States and for other countries by collaborating as best we can?" Head asks.
And while China may not be as forthcoming as NASA about what their civilian space program is up to, Head says they're not completely opaque, either.
"If you talk to the right people, they're not holding things back," he says. "There are security issues there from their point of view as well as ours. But, nonetheless, they've been very forthcoming with their civilian space program."
The United States has its own lunar ambitions. The Trump administration has asked NASA to focus on returning humans to the moon. It's just possible there will already be Chinese astronauts there when they arrive.
Hate Trumps Love
Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump's character falls short. - The Washington Post
Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah and the party's 2012 nominee for president, will be sworn into the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F.'Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president's thoughtless claim that America has long been a ''sucker'' in world affairs all defined his presidency down.
It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
It is not that all of the president's policies have been misguided. He was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China's unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow ''our better angels.'' A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring.
[The Post's View: The last lines of defense against Trump]
The world is also watching. America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump's words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would ''do the right thing in world affairs.'' One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.
This comes at a very unfortunate time. Several allies in Europe are experiencing political upheaval. Several former Soviet satellite states are rethinking their commitment to democracy. Some Asian nations, such as the Philippines, lean increasingly toward China, which advances to rival our economy and our military. The alternative to U.S. world leadership offered by China and Russia is autocratic, corrupt and brutal.
The world needs American leadership, and it is in America's interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world '-- and an America '-- with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace.
To reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home. That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us. It includes political parties promoting policies that strengthen us rather than promote tribalism by exploiting fear and resentment. Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions.
We must repair our fiscal foundation, setting a course to a balanced budget. We must attract the best talent to America's service and the best innovators to America's economy.
America is strongest when our arms are linked with other nations. We want a unified and strong Europe, not a disintegrating union. We want stable relationships with the nations of Asia that strengthen our mutual security and prosperity.
[Jimmy Carter: How to repair the U.S.-China relationship '-- and prevent a modern Cold War]
I look forward to working on these priorities with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other senators.
Furthermore, I will act as I would with any president, in or out of my party: I will support policies that I believe are in the best interest of the country and my state, and oppose those that are not. I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.
I remain optimistic about our future. In an innovation age, Americans excel. More importantly, noble instincts live in the hearts of Americans. The people of this great land will eschew the politics of anger and fear if they are summoned to the responsibility by leaders in homes, in churches, in schools, in businesses, in government '-- who raise our sights and respect the dignity of every child of God '-- the ideal that is the essence of America.
NK leader talks of denuclearization, economic development in New Year address
The North Korean leader on Tuesday reiterated his determination to achieve complete denuclearization and also called for economic development in his annual New Year's address, stressing the need to strengthen the North's defense.In the address, Kim Jong-un highlighted last year's developments in inter-Korean and US-North Korea relations, while calling on his country to seek economic development and modernize its defense industry.
Kim delivered the address while sitting on a sofa in an office with portraits of his father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather Kim Il-sung in the background. His previous New Year's addresses had taken place in more formal settings, with Kim standing at a podium.
While Kim's address included conditions for further talks with the US, Seoul welcomed the speech as a sign of the North Korean leader's willingness to improve inter-Korean relations and achieve denuclearization.
Regarding relations with the US, Kim said he was ready to meet with US President Donald Trump again at any time, but warned he would ''find a new path'' if the US were to test North Koreans' patience with sanctions and pressure.
''I am ready to sit face to face with the US president again at any time going forward, and will make efforts to produce an outcome the international community would welcome,'' he said in an apparent response to a series of conciliatory gestures from the US. Trump has said he would like to hold a summit with Kim in January or February.
Kim Jong-un. Korean Central Television
Kim also reiterated his ''strong will'' and the North Korean government's ''unchanged'' position to pursue better relations with the US and to seek complete denuclearization.
But Kim called on Washington to take ''corresponding'' and ''trustworthy'' measures to reciprocate steps North Korea has already taken. Over the past year, the North destroyed a nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri in the presence of international reporters, returned the remains of US soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War and released detained US citizens.
''If the US fails to keep its promise to the world and misjudge our patience by unilaterally forcing its ways on us and sticks to sanctions and pressure against the republic (North Korea), we cannot help but find a new path to protect the country's sovereignty and best interests, and achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,'' he said.
Although he warned he could explore a ''new path,'' Kim's restrained tone indicates his willingness to maintain the momentum for dialogue with the US, experts say.
''I think it is a message to Trump that he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons program as he promised at the Singapore summit and hold another summit with Trump to break the impasse in the denuclearization talks,'' said Park Won-gon, a professor at Handong Global University.
Since the Singapore summit where Kim committed to working toward denuclearization, talks between the US and North Korea have stalled due to their differences over the sequencing of denuclearization.
North Korea has not responded to Washington's calls for senior working-level talks to follow up on the June 12 summit, apparently preferring to engage Trump rather than other US officials in its negotiations.
Kim said that the North declared it would not ''produce'' nuclear weapons, a statement that stands in sharp contrast to his New Year's speech last year, when he ordered the mass production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, Park noted, adding that this might signal the North's willingness to put a temporary cap on warhead production.
For US officials expecting major concessions from Pyongyang, however, the speech may have been disappointing, according to Ko Myong-hyun, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
''As the speech did not include any new, dramatic suggestion from North Korea, I think there is now a higher possibility of the second North Korea-US summit being delayed,'' he said. ''A deadlock in US-North Korea talks is likely to continue for now.''
Peace and money
Regarding inter-Korean relations, Kim stressed that North Korea was strongly invested in bringing peace and stability to the Korean Peninsula.
He called last year ''a year of stirring events that witnessed a dramatic change unprecedented in the history of national division spanning more than seven decades.''
He called for the two Koreas to take more practical steps to establish peace after formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War by closely discussing the matter with the relevant parties. North Korea seemingly seeks to include China, one of its closest allies, in the talks for more leverage, experts have noted.
''It means North Korea wants to pursue a 'two plus two' negotiations on establishing a peace regime, with China on its side,'' a report released by the Institute for National Security Strategy on Tuesday said.
There is an underlying intention to strengthen ties with China in line with Beijing's celebration of the 70th anniversary of communist China's founding, coupled with 70 years of the two nations' diplomatic ties, the think tank affiliated with the South's National Intelligence Service said.
On the matter of inter-Korean economic cooperation, Kim mentioned two sensitive projects, both of which are now suspended and whose resumption would most likely violate the international sanctions that remain in place.
''We are willing to resume the Kaesong industrial complex and tour program to Kumgangsan without any preconditions or price, in consideration of South Korean businessmen who once worked at the complex and their difficult situation, along with the hopes of our South Korean comrades who seek to visit our people's famous mountain,'' Kim said in his speech.
He added that if the two Koreas join forces, no sanctions or pressure from external forces would be able to stop their efforts to ''open a new road of prosperity for the people.''
According to Kim Dong-yub, this is not only a message to South Korea, asking it to determine its North Korea policy independently without the involvement of the US, but also an indirect appeal to Washington for an alleviation of the sanctions.
But with Kim highlighting the need to turn further attention to economic prosperity in his speech, North Korea is also likely to continue to bring up such economic projects as a main agenda -- even more than it did last year.
''It means the two projects will be key agenda items concerning inter-Korean relations this year,'' the INSS report said.
''North Korea is prepared to strike a move, so it is requesting South Korea to actively convince the United Nations and the US to alleviate or lift sanctions layered upon the state.''
The Seoul government shut down the joint industrial complex at the North's border town of Kaesong in 2016 in retaliation for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations at the time. There were suspicions that the revenue generated from the complex were funding the North's nuclear program.
The Mount Kumgang tours were suspended after South Korean tourist Park Wang-ja was shot dead by a North Korean soldier in July 2008. The program was considered an important source of foreign currency for the North.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jung Min-kyung (email@example.com) and Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The claim that terrorist leader Mohamed Atta met in Prague with an Iraqi spy a few months before 9/11 was never substantiated, but that didn't stop the White House from trying to insert the allegation in presidential speeches, according to classified documents.
Cryptic references to the White House efforts are contained in a new Senate Intelligence Committee report released last Friday that debunked purported links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. However, attempts by committee Democrats to make public a more explicit account of White House interest in the anecdote were thwarted when the ''intelligence community'' refused to declassify a CIA cable that lays out the controversy, according to congressional sources. Democrats charged in a written statement that intelligence officials had failed to demonstrate ''that disclosing the [cable] ... would reveal sources and methods or otherwise harm national security.'' The Democrats also complained that officials' refusal to declassify the cable ''represents an improper use of classification authority by the intelligence community to shield the White House.''
According to two sources familiar with the blacked-out portions of the Senate report that discuss the CIA cable's contents, the document indicates that White House officials had proposed mentioning the supposed Atta-Prague meeting in a Bush speech scheduled for March 14, 2003. Originated by Czech intelligence shortly after 9/11, the tendentious claim was that in April 2001, Atta, the 9/11 hijack leader, had met in Prague with the local station chief for Iraqi intelligence. The sources said that upon learning of the proposed White House speech, the CIA station in Prague sent back a cable explaining in detail why the agency believed the anecdote was ill-founded.
According to one of the sources familiar with the Senate report's censored portions, who asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, the tone of the CIA cable was ''strident'' and expressed dismay that the White House was trying to shoehorn the Atta anecdote into the Bush speech to be delivered only days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The source said the cable also suggested that policymakers had tried to insert the same anecdote into other speeches by top administration officials.
A second source familiar with the Senate report, however, maintained that it could be read as routine give-and-take between policymakers asking legitimate questions about intelligence reporting and field operatives giving respectful responses. Both sources familiar with the report acknowledge that there is no proof the White House saw the cable, and thus it is unclear whether the CIA document had any bearing on the fact that Bush never mentioned the Atta anecdote in a speech. One of the sources said that some GOP senators on the Intelligence Committee felt the CIA cable issue should be omitted entirely from the Senate report because there was no proof the cable had influenced the White House.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano says the agency ''cooperated closely with the committee as it prepared its report. Mindful of the vital oversight role that Congress plays'--and the important issues it was reviewing in this case'--the agency provided the committee with classified material that typically does not leave our headquarters. And we agreed to the vast majority of the committee's declassification requests. When CIA did not agree to a specific public release, its case was based on current intelligence equities and a desire to preserve the candor essential to good internal discussion of complex issues. It's simply wrong to suggest the goal was to protect the White House.'' A White House spokesman had no comment.
Uncensored portions of the Senate report say that by January 2003, the CIA had issued two assessments questioning whether the Prague meeting occurred. In these assessments, the agency said that neither it nor the FBI were able to confirm the meeting happened.
A former senior intelligence official who was in active service at the time confirmed to NEWSWEEK that the White House on multiple occasions had proposed inserting the Atta-in-Prague anecdote in speeches by both the president and Vice President Dick Cheney. The official said that the CIA usually objected to the White House proposals. Although Bush never mentioned the Atta anecdote, Cheney referred to it on several occasions'--most recently in a TV appearance last weekend on NBC's ''Meet the Press'' during which he conceded that the claim that Atta had a pre-9/11 meeting with an Iraqi spook had never been confirmed.
After the Czech intelligence report first surfaced, it became a holy grail for Bush administration hard-liners seeking evidence to justify a possible U.S. war in Iraq. Cheney and his aides in particular badgered intelligence officials for evidence confirming the Prague meeting and for other proof connecting Saddam to 9/11 and Al Qaeda, according to several former intelligence officials. As my NEWSWEEK colleague Michael Isikoff and his coauthor David Corn report in their new book ''Hubris,'' some top Pentagon and White House conservatives, including former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, were admirers of Laurie Mylroie, an eccentric author and academic who theorized that Saddam's intelligence apparatus, rather than Osama bin Laden, was directing Al Qaeda attacks. While the administration, and particularly Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, put a lot of effort into trying to confirm Mylroie's claims, they were never substantiated.
In uncensored comments attached to Friday's Senate Intelligence Committee report, Democrats explicitly charge that the administration bullied and harangued intelligence agencies to come up with evidence linking Saddam to Al Qaeda. ''This pressure took the form of policymakers repetitively tasking analysts to review, reconsider and revise their analytical judgments,'' the Democrats allege. In support of this claim, the Democrats cite a July 2003 paper on Iraq in which the CIA itself said that ''Requests for reporting and analysis of [Iraq's link to Al Qaeda] were steady and heavy in the period leading up to the war, creating significant pressure on the Intelligence Community to find evidence that supported a connection.''
Democrats also publicly report that an internal CIA watchdog known as the ''politicization ombudsman'' had looked into complaints that the administration was pressuring intelligence analysts to come up with intelligence connecting Saddam to Al Qaeda. According to the Democrats, the ombudsman told committee investigators that he felt the ''hammering'' that intelligence analysts got from administration policymakers on Iraq intelligence was, in the Democrats' language, ''harder than he had previously witnessed in his 32-year career'' at the CIA. The Democrats also report that former CIA chief George Tenet told the committee that analysts had felt pressured by policymakers and that ''The issue where there was intense focus and questioning where the analysts felt pressure was Iraq and Al Qaeda.'' A White House official noted that investigations by the 9/11 Commission and the commission headed by Judge Lawrence Silberman, which investigated WMD threats, did not substantiate suggestions that the CIA or other intelligence analysts had been pressured over Iraq.
According to a chronology included by Democrats in their appendix to the Senate report, Cheney alluded to the purported Atta-in-Prague meeting at least three times between 9/11 and a year later, and Condoleezza Rice, then the national-security adviser, alluded to it cryptically right before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In December 2001, Cheney had claimed: ''It's been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.''
On TV last Sunday, however, Cheney said: ''We've never been able to confirm any connection between Iraq and 9/11.''
Host Tim Russert then asked him: ''And the meeting with Atta did not occur?''
Cheney replied: ''We don't know. I mean, we've never been able to, to, to link it, and the FBI and CIA have worked it aggressively. I would say, at this point, nobody has been able to confirm '...''
According to former senior intelligence officials, when the White House sent to the CIA its first proposed version of the now-famous United Nations speech by Secretary of State Colin Powell outlining the U.S. case against Saddam, the 48-page draft'--which the officials say they believe was largely written by Scooter Libby'--included prominent references to the Atta-in-Prague anecdote. Powell's chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, told a hearing organized by congressional Democrats earlier this year that one of the most dramatic moments in the preparation for the speech occurred in Tenet's conference room at CIA headquarters. Powell was reading through the speech as part of a final rehearsal before leaving for New York. According to Wilkerson's account, as Powell proceeded, Stephen Hadley, then the deputy national-security adviser (who is now the national-security adviser) asked what happened to the Atta-in-Prague story, which Powell had omitted. According to Wilkerson, Powell replied, ''We took it out, and it's staying out.''
According to portions of the new Senate report that were not censored, the anecdote about Atta meeting Ahmed al-Ani, the Iraqi intelligence station chief, in Prague originated with a ''single source'' for Czech intelligence. Investigations by the CIA and FBI determined that in the years before 9/11, Atta had indeed visited Prague on at least two occasions. But according to a July 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency paper quoted in the Senate report, investigators trying to substantiate the single-source claim about Atta's 2001 Prague meeting found ''no photographic, immigration or other documentary evidence'' to back it up. Investigations by the FBI and CIA also turned up evidence that Atta was in the United States on days shortly before and shortly after the alleged Prague meeting. The CIA also turned up information indicating that for most of the day the alleged meeting occurred, Atta's alleged Iraqi interlocutor, al-Ani, was not even in Prague but rather was visiting a city about 60-90 minutes away. Al-Ani also denied to U.S. interrogators after the U.S. invasion of Iraq that he had ever met with Atta in Prague, or anywhere else.
Even after most career intelligence operatives and analysts had begun to doubt the credibility of the Atta-in-Prague story, some administration hard-liners still were touting it as a possible Saddam-9/11 smoking gun and scrounging around for scraps of corroboration. In a secret briefing prepared for delivery to White House officials including Hadley and Libby in September 2002, officials working for Douglas Feith, then the hard-line head of the Pentagon's policy development branch, included a special slide about the purported meeting that included an allegation that ''several workers at Prague Airport identified Atta following 9/11 and remember him traveling with his brother Farhan Atta.'' When earlier versions of the same briefing were presented to CIA officials and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, however, the Prague slide was not included. Several former intelligence officials who worked directly on investigations of Saddam's alleged Al Qaeda ties said that they had never heard of the allegation about Atta's brother, even though defense officials claimed this had been reported through normal intelligence channels. In a footnote to their new book, Isikoff and Corn report that Atta had two sisters, but no brother.
While some senators did dispute whether references to the censored CIA cable about Atta in Prague should be included in their new report, all but one Republican member of the Intelligence Committee voted to endorse the more sweeping conclusions comparing pre-war and postwar intelligence findings about Saddam and Al Qaeda. Among the findings: Saddam's dealings with Al Qaeda were tentative and wary rather than collaborative, and Saddam's intelligence service once warned him that the United States might try to make up or exploit any Iraqi links to Al Qaeda for propaganda purposes.
In a section of the Senate report that is not questioned by administration supporters on the committee, investigators also produce strong new evidence undermining a key section of Powell's U.N. speech, in which the secretary of State claimed that the presence in Baghdad, during the spring and summer of 2002, of alleged Al Qaeda associate Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi demonstrated evidence of a possible relationship between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda. The new Senate report says that after the U.S. invasion, American personnel in Baghdad discovered evidence that Saddam's government considered Zarqawi an outlaw and made unsuccessful efforts to track him down and capture him. Postwar investigations turned up no evidence Saddam's government ever had friendly dealings with Zarqawi, who later gained worldwide notoriety as the beheader of U.S. hostages and self-proclaimed leader of jihadi forces in post-Saddam Iraq.
Germany braces for its own Yellow Vest movement as Get Up leader vows to take to the streets in 2019 | Daily Mail Online
Germany braces for its own Yellow Vest movement as left-wing Get Up leader vows to take to the streets in 2019Sahra Wagenknecht set up Aufstehen movement - Get Up - in Germany last yearAimed to revive fortunes of the left by attracting people from across party linesShe said she has taken inspiration from Yellow Vest movement in France in 201849-year-old claimed to have 'big plans' for Get Up, which has 170,000 membersByJulian Robinson for MailOnline
Published: 11:06 EST, 2 January 2019 | Updated: 04:55 EST, 3 January 2019
Germany is braced for its own Yellow Vest movement after the leader of the left-wing 'Aufstehen' group vowed to take to the streets this year.
Sahra Wagenknecht set up the movement - which translates as Get Up - last year in a bid to revive the fortunes of Germany's ailing left by attracting like-minded people across party lines.
Taking inspiration from widespread protests across France at the end of 2018, Wagenknecht revealed she has 'big plans' for the movement, which has 170,000 members.
Germany is braced for its own Yellow Vest movement after Sahra Wagenknecht (pictured), the leader of the left-wing 'Aufstehen' group, vowed to take to the streets this year
Tens of thousands took to the streets in France during November and December and there were violent scenes as protesters clashed with police over issues ranging from fuel tax hikes to education reforms
She said the French demonstrations boosted her belief that it was possible to bring about change without being a political party.
Tens of thousands took to the streets in France during November and December and there were violent scenes as protesters clashed with police over issues ranging from fuel tax hikes to education reforms.
According to the Guardian, Wagenknecht said: 'We have big plans for next year, not least because we recognise when people go on to the streets to protest '' especially those who have not had a political voice for many years who rediscover their voice by protesting '' then political change can happen.
'This is what we're seeing in France right now.'
The 49-year-old pointed to inequality in Germany and the lack of action being taken to tackle the issue properly as being among motivating factors for possible protests.
But she author and economist insisted she did not back violence, but added that 'at the same time you have to recognise that it is a clear expression of pent-up anger. It doesn't just come out of nowhere.'
Taking inspiration from widespread protests across France at the end of 2018, Wagenknecht revealed she has 'big plans' for the movement, which has 170,000 members
Wagenknecht said the French demonstrations boosted her belief that it was possible to bring about change without being a political party
Wagenknecht warned that the movement would be 'visible on the street and in the public eye in 2019' without giving specific details.
In September, the parliamentary chairperson of the Left Party said that Germans were 'witnessing a crisis of democracy' and that her new group would reach citizens who 'no longer feel represented' by mainstream politics.
Despite attracting support from the likes of historians, prominent actors and writers, her initiative has drawn criticism - including from some who fear it could end up harming her own party.
Others have suggested she intends to set up her own party - something she denies.
She said a key challenge would be to persuade Germans to take to the streets - in contrast to France which has a 'd ifferent protest culture'.
But she added that Germans ' will realise that they are far more able to put pressure on the government if they go out and protest.'
Oregon law allowing roadkill as food takes effect | TheHill
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drugmakers kicked off 2019 with price increases in the United States on more than 250 prescription drugs, including the world's top-selling medicine, Humira, although the pace of price hikes was slower than last year.
FILE PHOTO: A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic
The industry has been under pressure by the U.S. President Donald Trump to hold their prices level as his administration works on plans aimed at lowering the costs of medications for consumers in the world's most expensive pharmaceutical market.
During a White House meeting with members of his Cabinet, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he expected to see a tremendous decrease in drug prices. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar was at the meeting.
The overall number of price increases was down by around a third from last year, when drugmakers raised prices on more than 400 medicines, according to data provided by Rx Savings Solutions, which helps health plans and employers seek lower cost prescription medicines.
Allergan Plc was particularly aggressive. It raised list prices on more than 50 drugs, and more than half of those by 9.5 percent, according to the Rx Savings data
AbbVie Inc increased by 6.2 percent the list price of its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira, which is on pace to record about $20 billion in sales in 2018.
Allergan said in a statement that its average list price increase across its portfolio is around 3.8 percent this year. It said it does not expect to realize any net benefit from the increases this year because of higher rebates and discounts it expects to make to payers.
AbbVie did not immediately respond to request for comment.
More price increases are expected this month. Reuters reported late last year that nearly 30 drugmakers had notified California agencies they plan to raise list prices of their drugs. Not all of those increases have been announced yet.
The United States, which leaves drug pricing to market competition, has higher prices than in other countries where governments directly or indirectly control the costs, making it the world's most lucrative market for manufacturers.
HHS has proposed policy changes aimed at lowering drug prices and passing more of the discounts negotiated by health insurers on to patients. Those measures are not expected to provide relief to consumers in the short-term, however, and fall short of giving government health agencies direct authority to negotiate or regulate drug prices.
''It's business as usual'' for drugmakers, said Rx Savings Solutions Chief Executive Michael Rea, who said he believes there has to be meaningful changes to the marketplace, rather than new regulations in order for drug prices to drop.
Reporting by Michael Erman; additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot
CDC: Could be a tough flu season based on early viruses, hospitalizations | masslive.com
The country could be in for another challenging flu season. There are already 11 pediatric deaths associated with the flu and hospitals rates among very young children are high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has said it is "too soon to make any assessment about this season's severity."
Yet, it noted this month that A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses have predominated nationally to date, and this so called "swine" virus "has been associated with significant illness and severe illness among young children" since it emerged in 2009 to cause a global outbreak.
"At this point, most flu activity has been driven by illness in school-aged children, and hospitalization rates among children younger than 5 years old (7.7 per 100,000) are now the highest among all age groups," the CDC reported Dec. 21.
"Usually adults 65 years and older have the highest hospitalization rates. For comparison purposes, the last two H1N1 predominant seasons were 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 and the hospitalization rates among children younger than 5 years old for the same week were 7.2 per 100,000 and 1.8 per 100,000 respectively. The hospitalization rate is cumulative and rises as a season progresses, and the proportions may change."
Nine of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' surveillance regions reported elevated levels for outpatient visits for influenza-related illnesses for the week ending Dec. 22 as well as four pediatric deaths reported for the week to bring this season's total to 11 to date.
Visits to outpatient providers for flu-like symptoms are on the increase in Massachusetts, where the flu is considered widespread but intensity level low.
All but the West Region in the state are above baseline levels for influenza-like illnesses to outpatient providers, according to the Dec. 28 update from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
These activity levels were highest in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the state for the week ending Dec. 21.
There are currently 1,322 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu to date in the state, with 1,215 of these type A. Last year at this time, there were 731 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu, with 540 of them type A.
Last year, there were more than 20,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu in the state, with the actual number much higher as most cases of influenza are not tested for confirmation.
The 2017-18 flu season in the U.S. was one of the most severe in recent years. There were a record-breaking estimated 900,000 hospitalizations for flu-related illnesses like pneumonia and more than 80,000 deaths, according to government statistics.
Some 185 influenza-related deaths in children have been reported to the CDC to date last year, which said approximately 80 percent of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination.
Influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominated overall during the 2017-2018 season.
During the 2017-2018 season, influenza-like-illness activity began to increase in November, reaching an extended period of high activity during January and February nationally, and remained elevated through the end of March, according to the CDC.
This activity peaked at 7.5 percent, the highest percentage since the 2009 flu pandemic, which peaked at 7.7 percent, according to the CDC. Influenza-like illness was at or above the national baseline for 19 weeks, making the 2017-2018 season one of the longest in recent years.
Last week the CDC announced the official start of the 2018-2019 flu season as a result of such markers as elevated levels of flu activity in states across the country.
The Dec. 21 report on elevated activity added, "CDC will continue to track this as the season progresses."
"The average duration of a flu season for the last five seasons has been 16 weeks, with a range of 11 weeks to 20 weeks," the report said.
"With significant flu still to come this season, CDC continues to recommend that anyone who has not yet gotten a flu vaccine this season should get vaccinated now. It takes approximately two weeks for the protection provided by vaccination to begin."
Nationally, for the week ending Dec. 22, the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness increased to 3.3 percent, according to the CDC, which is above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.
The region baseline for New England is 1.8 percent. Massachusetts percentage of visits to outpatient sites for influenza-like illness for the week ending Dec. 22 was 2.34 percent.
VIDEO - Chuck Todd Dedicates Sunday's 'Meet the Press' to 'Climate Crisis,' Bans 'Climate Deniers' From Show | Breitbart
Sunday, NBC's ''Meet the Press'' host Chuck Todd dedicated his final show of the year to the ''climate crisis,'' which he said has ''been ignored for far too long.''
Todd also announced he would not ''give time to climate deniers,'' declaring ''the science is settled.''
''The evidence is everywhere,'' the host said as a voice-over on the show's lead-in that included clips of nasty weather and Sen. Liz Warren (D-MA) declaring climate change's authenticity and danger.
''Just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we're not going to do,'' Todd opened. ''We're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We're not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not.''
Instead of ''climate deniers,'' Todd brought former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, climate scientist Kate Marvel and Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown on the show to discuss climate change.
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent
VIDEO - What else does Seth MacFarlane know? Family Guy Predictions - YouTube
Kim Jong Un says he is ready to sit down again with President Donald Trump -- but also warned the United States against imposing more sanctions.
Interested in North Korea? Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.During his annual televised New Year's speech, the North Korean leader said he hopes a follow-up summit meeting will ''produce an outcome welcomed by the international community.''
Kim and Trump met in June in Singapore for the first time in the history of the rival countries.
The Associated Press Donald Trump, Kim Jong UnBut in the 30-minute speech on New Year's Day, Kim also warned that North Korea may choose a ''new path'' if the United States continues to ''break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure."
In the months since the historic summit, leaders from both countries, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have been trying to negotiate a second meeting between Trump and Kim. Both countries, however, have been at an impasse about the progress of denuclearization.
Kim, meanwhile, also called for stronger ties with South Korea and announced a willingness to resume two inter-Korean cooperative projects in the North -- Kaesong Industrial park and Mount Kumgang tourist resort -- which had been halted due to strained relations.
AP In this undated image from video distributed on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, by North Korean broadcaster KRT, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech.Neither of those are currently possible for South Korea unless sanctions on the North are removed.
''Kim is hinting that if things come to worse, North Korea could go back to the economic-nuclear dual path,'' Cheong Seong-chang, director of unification strategic studies program at the independent Seoul-based think tank Sejong Institute, told ABC News.
The North Korean leader is also indirectly demanding his neighbors to the South push the U.S. and U.N Security Council harder to lift sanctions in exchange for the two countries to resume inter-Korean cooperative projects, Cheong said.
Kim's speech came against the backdrop of a new look with a modern setting -- a carpeted library full of books, plush leather sofa and an armchair set with a mega-sized portrait painting of his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung hanging on the wall -- a sharp contrast to his usual stiff public speeches at a podium in front of tens of thousands people who dutifully respond with thunderous applause.
''It looks like he wanted to show off'' that he is ready and recharged to deal with the international community after the June summit, Cheong explained.
The new look also comes in the wake of three summits -- two at the border town Panmunjom and the latest in Pyongyang -- with South Korean President Moon Jae In, Cheong added.
''Up until even last year, he stood and read the New Year's speech in a rather stiff and strong tone," Cheong said. "But this time his voice was very calm and stable. It was unprecedented.''
ABC News' Hakyung Kate Lee contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Google wins U.S. approval for new radar-based motion sensor | Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O ) Google unit won approval from U.S. regulators to deploy a radar-based motion sensing device known as Project Soli.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in an order late on Monday that it would grant Google a waiver to operate the Soli sensors at higher power levels than currently allowed. The FCC said the sensors can also be operated aboard aircraft.
The FCC said the decision ''will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology.''
A Google spokeswoman did not immediately comment on Wednesday.
Google said in documents filed with the FCC that the effort emerged from the work of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group that focuses on development of mobile technologies.
The FCC said the Soli sensor captures motion in a three-dimensional space using a radar beam to enable touchless control of functions or features that can benefit users with mobility or speech impairments.
Google says the sensor can allow users to press an invisible button between the thumb and index fingers or a virtual dial that turns by rubbing a thumb against the index finger. In a video on its website, Google said a user could operate a smart watch, scroll through music or adjust the volume by simply motioning using the system.
Google added that the radar signal could penetrate fabrics, enabling controls that could work in a pocket or a backpack.
The company says that ''even though these controls are virtual, the interactions feel physical and responsive'' as feedback is generated by the haptic sensation of fingers touching.
Google says the virtual tools can approximate the precision of natural human hand motion and the sensor can be embedded in wearables, phones, computers and vehicles.
In March, Google asked the FCC to allow its short-range interactive motion sensing Soli radar to operate in the 57- to 64-GHz frequency band at power levels consistent with European Telecommunications Standards Institute standards.
Facebook Inc (FB.O ) raised concerns with the FCC that the Soli sensors operating in the spectrum band at higher power levels might have issues coexisting with other technologies.
After discussions, Google and Facebook jointly told the FCC in September that they agreed the sensors could operate at higher than currently allowed power levels without interference but at lower levels than previously proposed by Google.
FILE PHOTO: Google signage is seen at Google headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah MoonThe company told the FCC that without the higher power levels that field testing showed blind spots could occur close to the sensor location.
Facebook told the FCC in September that it expected a ''variety of use cases to develop with respect to new radar devices, including Soli.''
The Soli devices can be operated aboard aircraft but must still comply with Federal Aviation Administration rules governing portable electronic devices.
Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown
A former executive editor of the New York Times says the paper's news pages, the home of its straight-news coverage, have become ''unmistakably anti-Trump.''
Jill Abramson, the veteran journalist who led the newspaper from 2011 to 2014, says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility.
In a soon-to-be published book, ''Merchants of Truth,'' that casts a skeptical eye on the news business, Abramson defends the Times in some ways but offers some harsh words for her successor, Dean Baquet. And Abramson, who was the paper's only female executive editor until her firing, invoked Steve Bannon's slam that in the Trump era the mainstream media have become the ''opposition party.''
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''Though Baquet said publicly he didn't want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,'' Abramson writes, adding that she believes the same is true of the Washington Post. ''Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.''
What's more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, ''the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs's vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.''
Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. ''The more 'woke' staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump's presidency obviated the old standards,'' she writes.
Trump claims he is keeping the ''failing'' Times in business'--an obvious exaggeration'--but the former editor acknowledges a ''Trump bump'' that saw digital subscriptions during his first six months in office jump by 600,000, to more than 2 million.
Former executive editor of the New York Times Jill Abramson.
''Given its mostly liberal audience, there was an implicit financial reward for the Times in running lots of Trump stories, almost all of them negative: they drove big traffic numbers and, despite the blip of cancellations after the election, inflated subscription orders to levels no one anticipated.''
The Times has long faced accusations of liberal bias, even before Trump got into politics and became its harshest critic. But Abramson's words carry special weight because she is also a former Times Washington bureau chief and Wall Street Journal correspondent specializing in investigative reporting.
Baquet has said that Trump's attacks on the press are ''out of control'' and that it is important to use the word ''lie'' when the president tells a clear untruth.
In ''Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts,'' Abramson praised as ''brave and right'' Baquet's decision to run this headline when Trump abandoned his birtherism attacks on Barack Obama: ''Trump Gives Up a Lie But Refuses to Repent.''
Abramson, who had her share of clashes with Baquet when he was her managing editor, sheds light on a 2016 episode when Baquet held off on publishing a story that would have linked the Trump campaign with Russian attempts to influence the election.
Liz Spayd, then the Times public editor, wrote that the paper, which concluded that more evidence was needed, appeared ''too timid'' in not running the piece, produced by a team that included reporter Eric Lichtblau.
Baquet ''seethed'' at this scolding, Abramson says, and emailed Lichtblau: ''I hope your colleagues rip you a new a*****e.''
Baquet wrote that ''the most disturbing thing'' about Spayd's column ''was that there was information in it that came from very confidential, really difficult conversations we had about whether or not to publish the back channel information. I guess I'm disappointed that this ended up in print.
''It is hard for a journalist to complain when confidential information goes public. That's what we do for a living, after all. But I'll admit that you may find me less than open, less willing to invite debate, the next time we have a hard decision to make.''
Lichtblau soon left the Times for CNN, where he was one of three journalists fired when the network retracted and apologized for a story making uncorroborated accusations against Trump confidante Anthony Scaramucci. And the Times soon abolished the public editor's column.
Abramson is critical of Trump as well. She calls his ''fake news'' attacks a ''cheap way of trying to undermine the credibility of the Times's reporting as something to be accepted as truth only by liberals in urban, cosmopolitan areas.''
The Times, which broke the story of Hillary Clinton's private email server, also ''made some bad judgment calls and blew its Clinton coverage out of proportion,'' Abramson writes. She says Clinton ''was wary of me,'' mishandled the scandal and ''was secretive to the point of being paranoid.''
Abramson is candid in acknowledging her faults. When then-publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was considering promoting her to the top job, he told her over lunch at Le Bernadin: ''Everyone knows there's a good Jill and a bad Jill. The big question for me is which one we'll see if you become executive editor.''
She admitted to him that ''I could be self-righteous when I felt unheard, I interrupted, I didn't listen enough.''
It was a heated battle with Baquet that led to her ouster in 2014. He was furious upon learning that she was trying to trying to recruit another top journalist'--Abramson says an executive ordered her to keep it secret'--who would share the managing editor's title.
Sulzberger called her in, fired her, and handed her a press release announcing her resignation.
Abramson says she replied: ''Arthur, I've devoted my entire career to telling the truth, and I won't agree to this press release. I'm going to say I've been fired.''
Her final judgment: ''I was a less than stellar manager, but I also had been judged by an unfair double standard applied to many women leaders.''
VIDEO - Louis CK NEW SET 12/16/2018 Governor's Comedy Club - YouTube
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Jan. 1, 2019 / 3:26 PM GMT / Updated 12:25 AM GMT
By Elisha Fieldstadt
The brother of a U.S. citizen arrested in Russia on espionage charges said Tuesday that he's innocent and was in Moscow to attend a wedding.
Paul Whelan, a retired Marine, was arrested in Moscow on Friday. The Russian Federal Security Service, in announcing the arrest three days later, said Whelan was caught "during an espionage operation," but gave no details.
"We are deeply concerned for his safety and well-being," his brother, David Whelan, said in a statement posted on Twitter. "His innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected."
The Russian spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Paul Whelan in Moscow in 2006. United States Marine Corps.David Whelan said on MSNBC that his brother was part of a wedding party, and the friend who was getting married had asked him to lead tours around the Kremlin because he had been to Russia before.
"He loves to travel so I wasn't at all surprised that he would be confident going to Russia. He has a law enforcement background, he's got his Marine background, he does corporate security and he's aware of the risks of traveling in certain parts of the world," Whelan said.
The company Whelan works for, BorgWarner, an automotive parts supplier, said in a statement that Whelan serves as the company's director of global security and oversees a facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, as well as other locations "around the world."
A company spokeswoman said Whelan has worked for the company since 2017 and is responsible for securing facilities and assets. She added that BorgWarner does not have a facility in Russia.
Before that, Whelan worked for Kelly Services, a staffing company, according to a spokeswoman. Kelly Services is based in Michigan, but works with companies all over the world and does have a presence in Russia.
A Marine Corps article from 2007 said Whelan used the Rest and Recuperation Leave Program "experiencing the post-soviet era of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia."
The program gave service members a 15-day break, and paid for them to travel anywhere in the world. At the time, Whelan was a staff sergeant serving with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in Iraq.
The article noted that most deployed service members took the opportunity to go home for free, but Whelan is quoted in the article noting that "it gives those of us who are single an opportunity to travel throughout the world wherever we want to go and experience the diversity of culture."
Whelan, 48, had been in Russia for a day or two before Friday when he stopped contacting his family back in the U.S., and then they learned that he had missed the wedding. The family learned of Whelan's detention from online news reports on Monday, his brother said.
"It just never would have occurred to me that A) he would have any sort of trouble in a large metropolitan area or B) that his background would suggest that he would be willing to commit any crime, let alone an espionage crime," said David Whelan.
He added that the embassy in Moscow was helping his family figure out what happened, but because of a 72-hour window that has to pass before they gain access to Paul Whelan, "no one, as far as I know, has seen or spoken to him yet."
The State Department said Monday it had received formal notification from the Russian Foreign Ministry of the arrest and was pushing for consular access. The department did not identify Whelan at the time or provide any information about the case, citing "privacy considerations."
Whelan said Tuesday his family was "doing the best we can in light of very little information and a rather implausible situation."
He said they have faith that his brother will come home safe. "I think Paul has a superior set of skills to most of us," Whelan said. "And so hopefully he won't have to [deploy] too many those skills in order to survive and to come home."
The arrest comes as U.S.-Russian ties are severely strained, in part over Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election as well as the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
The U.S. and other Western countries have imposed sanctions against Russian officials, companies and banks.
A Russian gun-rights activist, Maria Butina, is in U.S. custody after admitting she acted as a secret agent for the Kremlin in trying to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups as Donald Trump was seeking the presidency. She pleaded guilty in December to a conspiracy charge as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the case is fabricated and that Butina entered the guilty plea because of the threat of a long prison sentence.
Associated Press contributed.
VIDEO - Elizabeth Warren Launches Exploratory Committee for President - YouTube
I went to go watch VICE '' the story about how Dick Cheney took over the government with the aid of his wife '' Lynne Cheney. Vice is a film that seeks to bring complicated information about the inner corruption in Washington and transform it into a digestible and entertaining format. There is no question that Christian Bale delivered a very impressive performance of how Dick Cheney really is '' a secretive and distant man whose eyes were always filled with naked contempt. Amy Adams gave a fantastic performance as well and captured the real character of the former Second Lady Lynne Cheney who was very much like her husband '' ambitious, and equally just as ruthless.
While the film captures the reality of what took place, it completely misses the real story behind the scenes as to even how Cheney came to be Vice President. The film shows that he was out of politics and had effectively retired for some time. It pretends that George Bush called him to be his Vice President and they negotiate that Cheney will have most of the power and Bush was too stupid to understand what he was agreeing to.
As always, for whatever reason, I seem to be always in the middle of just about every major event for the past 30+ years. I have stated before that I was asked to fly around the country and meet with Republicans who wanted to run for President. Prior to 1999, they were told I was there to advise them on the world economy and how it functioned. I have been to White House dinners and testified before Congress. I have taken calls from Washington in times of crisis. So meeting with people who wanted to run for President was nothing unusual for me. Ship of Fools: How a S... Tucker Carlson Best Price: $11.00 Buy New $11.00 (as of 07:45 EST - Details )
The real issue was not that I was giving them advice, but I was to assess whether they were capable of comprehending how the world functioned economically as well as politically. I was regarded as the unbiased adviser around the world. Europeans loved me because I was not one of them. They knew I would advise according to the cycles and markets. I cannot even bring staff with me to meetings in Brussels today for the problem because they are European and will have skin in the game. The same was true when I was asked to fly to Beijing during the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis.
The real story how Cheney got that power is significantly different from how the movie portrayed that aspect. It did a fantastic job in covering what he did once in power, with the exception of the meeting when 911 took place. The film portrays everyone in that room and its sources were correct in saying they were all confused but Cheney was more concerned about talking to his lawyer in that meeting. What I do know is that the first World Trade Center bombers were in MCC prison in Manhattan and they were given markers by the recreation officer Mr. Kumb. They drew on the walls of their cell the twin towers with planes flying into them one year BEFORE the incident. In creating Home Land Security, Congress merely stated that various agencies had information but did not share it with one another. Cheney had personal offices in all the agencies and I believe he knew well what took place on 911.
The movie correctly portrays Donald Rumsfeld as his co-conspirator. Just the day before 911 on September 10th, the Inspector General reported that $2.3 trillion was missing from the Defense Department accounting. Rumsfeld stated before Congress an investigation was necessary. The next day, the plane that struck the Pentagon hit the precise room where all those records were stored.
The World Trade Center 7 collapsed like a pancake when no plane ever touched it. That building has all the evidence of many things we will never know about. I had 20 years worth of recordings that would have been enough to put all the major New York trading banks in prison. Tapes that admitted paying bribes to Russian officials to pull back all platinum for a pretend inventory and all sorts of market manipulations that even included rhodium. All of those tapes from my case vanished that same day. I personally believe that Cheney knew what was in the works. The mere fact that the terrorists drew the WTC on the wall of their cell 1 year before and the MCC took pictures and made a big deal out of it tells me that information had been passed on. 9/11 Unmasked: An Inte... David Ray Griffin, Eli... Best Price: $13.23 Buy New $13.22 (as of 05:55 EST - Details )
Now to the issue of Cheney becoming Vice President. I was asked to go to Texas to meet with George Bush, Jr during the early summer of 1999. I was told that ''this is different. He's really stupid.'' Up to that point, the entire process I was involved in was to assess the qualification of those who wanted to run for President. Suddenly I was told this was different. When I asked why would you make someone stupid President, the response was ''he has the name.''
I was then asked if I would accept the position of Chief Economic Adviser in the White House. I was told BECAUSE Bush was stupid, which they play well in the movie, that they needed to surround him with smart people. I declined because to take such a position meant I would have to shut down my operation. I said thanks, but no thanks.
The kingmakers who I would go visit potential candidates for selected the people to put around Bush '' not Bush. Cheney had been Chief of Staff so he knew the game. He was inserted into the White House DELIBERATELY to be the default, President. The movie makes it sound that Bush Junior had to convince him to be his VP. That is absolutely NOT the way this selection process worked. They would NEVER have allowed the very person they said was ''stupid'' to select the people to run the country. They were selected to be the babysitters. I know this because I was one of the people asked and declined.
Reprinted with permission from Armstrong Economics.
The Best of Martin Armstrong
VIDEO - (1) Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "Pete Hegseth: Elizabeth Warren "says she's in the fight all the way Mr. President, do you really think she believes she can win?" President Donald Trump: "Well, that I don't know. You'd have to ask her psychiat
Pete Hegseth: Elizabeth Warren "says she's in the fight all the way Mr. President, do you really think she believes she can win?"President Donald Trump: "Well, that I don't know. You'd have to ask her psychiatrist."
VIDEO - Evaluating The Integrity Of Official Climate Records - YouTube
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has her eyes set on the 2020 presidential race, but the controversy surrounding her claims of Native American ancestry may have cost her political future, RealClearPolitics associate editor A.B. Stoddard argued Monday night on the "Special Report" All-Star panel.
On Monday morning, Warren announced she was forming an exploratory committee in preparation of what will likely be a presidential run in 2020. The Massachusetts Democrat is the third member of her party to declare such ambitions -- following former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julin Castro and U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland.
In October, Warren released the findings of a DNA test that show that she may be 1/1,024th Native American, in a bid to quiet her critics. She had been accused of claiming she had Native American heritage to advance her career, something President Trump has repeatedly suggested.
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Stoddard, who appeared with the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway and Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon, expressed that Warren's deflection from the ancestry controversy isn't good enough since it was ''truly a debacle.''
''It showed what her political judgment is really like. And it's one thing to just be on the Senate floor or the campaign trail in 2016, have a national network of support, have a good message. It's another to make a huge blunder, sort of taking Trump's bait ... but yeah, she has a bad story on this issue,'' Stoddard told the panel. ''She brings the video out in late October, two weeks before the midterms, steps on the Democrats' message. It's completely selfish and sort of self-absorbed and tone-deaf, and then she gets dissed by the Cherokee Nation. It was a disaster and Democrats were furious. And they believe that it was a fatal blow.''
''She brings the video out in late October, two weeks before the midterms, steps on the Democrats' message. ... It was a disaster and Democrats were furious. And they believe that it was a fatal blow.''
''Instead of sort of just stepping aside and using what she has, which is some national support and kind of being a kingmaker, she's gonna step into this race and it's gonna be the end of her,'' Stoddard continued. ''It's a wide-open race and I expect that this primary run to really go into late spring of 2020, so a year-and-a-half of a Democratic Party freak-out. They are very divided, but Elizabeth Warren, even after 2016 I'm going to deposit is not going to be the nominee. Look at the polling, no one is excited about her.''
Hemingway agreed with Stoddard, calling Warren's rollout of her DNA results was ''horrifically done.'' She also drew attention to Warren's ''vibe,'' which she described as a ''hectoring middle school principal'' and suggested that her policies would be ''more challenging'' for the senator since a general election candidate tends to be more moderate.
Meanwhile, Gurdon asserted that President Trump wasn't going to ''get his wish'' in running against Warren in 2020 since many already see her as ''yesterday's woman.''
''The fact is that the party has already moved to adopt most of her positions. She doesn't stand out and there are younger guns in the field,'' Gurdon said. ''Her announcement today was pretty drab, it was very formulaic. She, you know, emphasized her roots in Oklahoma and her links to the military and the middle class. And it was just ho-hum kind of -- I just think that she's already yesterday's woman. There will be somebody else who gets the nomination.''
VIDEO - Migrant illnesses run rampant, forcing U.S. Border Patrol to seek help
Concerns for children's health in Customs and Border Protection custody are not new and neither is documented evidence that conditions may have been unsanitary or dangerous. USA TODAY
U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE ) dropped off over 100 migrants mostly from Guatemala at Phoenix Greyhound bus station on Dec. 27, 2018. (Photo: Nick Oza, Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Network)
Hundreds of migrants and their children seeking to enter the U.S. from Mexico are arriving with illnesses, forcing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seek additional medical assistance and boost medical screenings, the agency disclosed Monday.
Between Dec. 22 and Sunday, the agency reported 451 cases referred to doctors or other providers, including 259 children. Among the children, half of the cases involved kids under the age of 5.
The ill migrants have been arriving with all kinds of ailments, many with flu or pneumonia that can be particularly pervasive and dangerous this time of year. Seventeen migrants have been hospitalized, including six children, according to the agency..
"The U.S. Border Patrol is doing everything in its power to handle this crisis," said Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan in a statement. But he added, "The status quo is not acceptable" given the wave of immigrants arriving.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement last week that the Border Patrol has detailed 139,817 migrants on the Southwest border in the past two months. That compares to 74,946 for the same period last year. These include 68,510 family members and 13,981 unaccompanied children.
Making matters worse, McAleenan said central American refugees are now arriving directly by bus, not just by foot, and that a "robust smuggling cycle continues."
Disclosure of the numbers of sick migrants come amid heightened concern about the medical condition of children in U.S. custody. Previously, the agency disclosed an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in custody on Christmas Eve, the second immigrant child to pass away in detention this month.
The boy, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, had been treated and released for cold and fever symptoms during nearly a week in U.S. custody, the agency said.
The Border Patrol has been receiving assistance from the Coast Guard, which has sent medical teams to the border in the Yuma and Tucson, Arizona, and Rio Grande Valley sectors of the border. The Public Health Service also said it will deploy teams to help.
The Border Patrol is also changing procedures to enhance medical evaluations of children. Parents are being interviewed about their children's medical condition and history and kids' blood pressure, pulse and temperature are among the vitals being checked by assessment teams, McAleenan told reporters in a conference call.
"We have always had an agent review the condition of the children," McAleenan said. "What we are providing now is a medical professional" for the evaluations.
He said he said the cases being referred involve illnesses believe to have been contracted in transit to the U.S., not while in U.S. custody. "Many were ill before they departed their homes," he said.
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VIDEO - Is it possible for the Kurds to find common ground with Assad after the president withdraws US troops from Syria? | Fox News Video
related eventsIn this talk, we're looking at third party tracking on Android. We've captured and decrypted data in transit between our own devices and Facebook servers. It turns out that some apps routinely send Facebook information about your device and usage patterns - the second the app is opened. We'll walk you through the technical part of our analysis and end with a call to action: We believe that both Facebook and developers can do more to avoid oversharing, profiling and damaging the privacy of their users.
In this talk, we're looking at third party tracking on Android. We've captured and decrypted data in transit between our own devices and Facebook servers. It turns out that some apps routinely send Facebook information about your device and usage patterns - the second the app is opened. We'll walk you through the technical part of our analysis and end with a call to action: We believe that both Facebook and developers can do more to avoid oversharing, profiling and damaging the privacy of their users.
DownloadThese files contain multiple languages.This Talk was translated into multiple languages. The files availablefor download contain all languages as separate audio-tracks. Mostdesktop video players allow you to choose between them.
Please look for "audio tracks" in your desktop video player.
VIDEO - media.ccc.de - How Facebook tracks you on Android
related eventsIn this talk, we're looking at third party tracking on Android. We've captured and decrypted data in transit between our own devices and Facebook servers. It turns out that some apps routinely send Facebook information about your device and usage patterns - the second the app is opened. We'll walk you through the technical part of our analysis and end with a call to action: We believe that both Facebook and developers can do more to avoid oversharing, profiling and damaging the privacy of their users.
In this talk, we're looking at third party tracking on Android. We've captured and decrypted data in transit between our own devices and Facebook servers. It turns out that some apps routinely send Facebook information about your device and usage patterns - the second the app is opened. We'll walk you through the technical part of our analysis and end with a call to action: We believe that both Facebook and developers can do more to avoid oversharing, profiling and damaging the privacy of their users.
DownloadThese files contain multiple languages.This Talk was translated into multiple languages. The files availablefor download contain all languages as separate audio-tracks. Mostdesktop video players allow you to choose between them.
Please look for "audio tracks" in your desktop video player.
VIDEO - Opinion: It's Time To Put 'Woke' To Sleep : NPR
As each year comes to a close, many of us look forward to what we'll take on in the coming 12 months: new exercise routines, new plans to save, a better diet. But some of the most effective resolutions can be made by pledging to leave certain things behind, banishing bad habits to the year one is about to exit: swearing off alcohol, cigarettes or that awful ex.In that spirit, I'd like to ask all of us to promise ourselves to leave one word behind in 2018, promise to never utter it again in the new year, promise to perhaps forget we ever said it at all.
I'm talking about the word "woke." Now several years into its 2010s revival, the word is done. It is dead. It is over.
Don't just take my word for it. MTV told people to stop using it as far back as 2016. SNL gave it a parody of death in 2017.
The argument I am making is not new, or revolutionary, or profound. Instead, it's a cleanup. The last street sweeping at the end of a long parade, that final reminder that the party is really over.
In order to make this argument, it's important to define the word as accurately as possible, because the muddling of the definition of woke is really what killed it.
According to Merriam-Webster, woke means, "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)."
It's resurgence in this decade can be most closely linked to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. BLM activists have been striving, for years now, to convince people of all races to value and respect blackness, to take issues like the deaths of black people at the hands of police seriously. Woke became shorthand for a mindset and a worldview that values black lives.But the word goes further back than that. It's most famously traced to an essay published in the New York Times in 1962 called "If You're Woke You Dig It," by William Melvin Kelley, though some have traced its use as far back as the 1940s.
One of the arguments Kelley presented in the piece was that once black words, like "cats" or "dig it," used to define certain aspects of blackness, became adopted by a white mainstream, they were officially done.His words ring true in 2018 as well. No matter how well-intentioned, when Jill Stein and the cast of Will & Grace are name-checking the term, ironically or not, it's no longer anything new.
Nicole Holliday, a linguist at Pomona College who researches sociolinguistics and racial and ethnic boundaries in language, argues that the Internet may have sped up the life cycle of a word like woke, sending it from new to played-out in record time.
"So many more people are being exposed to so much more language by people that they wouldn't normally interact with," Holliday says. "The people you follow on Twitter aren't necessarily people that you talk to in real life."
"Some group of young people '-- usually young people of color '-- start popularizing a word," Holliday says. "They interact with other young people and people a little older than them."
And then, Holliday says, people in their 20s grab hold of it, as do white liberals, and so on and so forth. Their parents hear it, and before you know it, a buzzword ends up in a corporate board meeting. By then, Holliday argues, that word is done.
Of course, this way in which words cycle through the culture is nothing new. Emily Brewster, an associate editor at Merriam-Webster sees parallels with the phrase "politically correct," which is defined as "conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated," but at this point usually means something pretty different.
"At its most sincere," Brewster says, "[the phrase politically correct] is a kind of caretaking of the people around you. You are going to think about how the words impact an audience that is maybe, maybe not the audience that you first imagined when you are saying something or creating something."
But now, argues Brewster, it's become a cudgel, a mockery. Words that begin with a very specific meaning, used by a very specific group of people, over time become shorthand for our politics, and eventually move from shorthand to linguistic weapon. Or in the case of woke, a linguistic eye-roll.
But yet, here we are, still using the word.
Perhaps the most convincing reason to stop doing so may lie in a misconception that's traveled with woke even before its Black Lives Matter resurgence. In 2008, Erykah Badu released the song "Master Teacher," which began to reintroduce the word woke to the culture before BLM did more of the heavy lifting.
In that song, Badu and others repeat the refrain, "I stay woke," over and over again. But, in a recent interview with OKPlayer, songwriter Georgia Anne Muldrow told Elijah Watson, news and culture editor for the site, that we all heard it wrong.
"She was saying 'I'd,' like I would stay woke," Watson says, "but it sounds like it's a declarative 'I stay woke.' "
A word meant to imply a constant state of striving, course-correcting and growth has been heard now, for almost a decade, as a static and performative state of being.
"[The word woke] was something that we were taking seriously and then it kind of transformed into something ironic and then it became a meme and then it became a trademark," Watson says.
After writing a definitive history of the word for OKPlayer, Watson says he no longer uses the word woke. He compares the co-opting of woke to the way music steeped in black tradition moves through mainstream culture.
"We made jazz, we made rap, we made all these different things," Watson said. "It's sad to say but we're used to being taken advantage of and to have things stolen from us. But at the same time we're quick to evolve and adapt because we need to in order to survive."
Here's to evolution and adaptation. Let's promise to leave a word that's past its prime in 2018. It's time to put woke to sleep.
VIDEO - New York heeft donderdagavond bezoek gekregen van UFO's, van buitenaardsen, stelt deze populaire radiopersoonlijkheid
Inwoners van New York keken donderdagavond geschrokken op, toen ze de lucht plotseling blauw zagen kleuren.
Het lichtspektakel leek mysterieus te zijn, waarna de geruchtenmolen over aliens al snel viral ging op social media.
Volgens de mainstream media was de oorzaak van de gloed te vinden bij een energiecentrale in de wijk Queens, waar een transformator zou zijn ontploft.
Iets heel andersDe populaire radiopersoonlijkheid Lionel stelt dat de blauwe gloed te maken had met buitenaards leven.
''De ontploffing van een transformator in Queens? UFO's. Buitenaardsen. Hoe ik dat weet? Omdat de overheid zei dat het niet zo was,'' zei hij in een video op YouTube, die inmiddels ruim 60.000 keer bekeken is.
''Denk jij echt dat de autoriteiten van de Verenigde Staten of van New York je de waarheid gaan vertellen over UFO's of buitenaards contact?'' vroeg hij.
''Heb je al die beelden gezien die mensen hebben gemaakt met hun telefoons? Het was volgens mij iets heel anders dan een ontplofte transformator,'' aldus Lionel, die geregeld op RT te zien is.
Propaganda-afdelingDe overheid en de media, die de propaganda-afdeling van de overheid vormen, liegen constant en vertellen je niets, klonk het.
Hij merkte op dat de media nooit kritische vragen stellen. ''Ze praten niet over 9/11, zelfs niet in New York.''
Journalisten stellen geen vragen over 9/11 of die blauwe lichten in de lucht afgelopen donderdag, omdat ze doodsbang zijn hun baan te verliezen, zei Lionel.
Hij merkte op dat op YouTube allerlei beelden staan van UFO's en lichtbollen in New York, onder meer in de buurt Chelsea.
Multidimensionaal''Maar de media willen het daar niet over hebben.''
De media hoeven volgens Lionel niet te achterhalen of de UFO's afkomstig waren van bijvoorbeeld Zeta Reticuli, hoeveel lichtjaren ze afgelegd hadden en of ze al dan niet multidimensionaal waren.
Ze hoeven er alleen maar over te berichten.
Vijf redenen''Zodra ze zeggen dat er niks te zien is, is er iets te zien,'' zei hij.
In een tweede video noemt Lionel vijf redenen waarom de mainstream media de opdracht hebben gekregen om te liegen over UFO's en buitenaardsen.
In de beschrijving van zijn video citeerde hij wijlen Apollo-astronaut Edgar Mitchell, die gezegd heeft dat de aarde is bezocht door aliens, dat er schepen zijn gecrasht en dat er lichamen zijn geborgen.
Bekijk het filmpje hieronder:
Foto: Twitter/Ken Ferrante
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Lees meer over: aliens buitenaards Lionel media New York Queens transformator UFO
[ISSUE TALK] South Korea-U.S. alliance at risk after Trump declares America no longer policeman of the world
For more we have with us Dr. James Kim, a research fellow from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
1 - This trip Trump took to Iraq came very much as a surprise, especially considering he has never visited U.S. troops in war zones. There has been much analysis of why he decided to take this trip now, and what he was trying to achieve, but why do you think he made this visit?
2 - During his trip he said that the U.S. cannot continue to be the "policeman of the world", especially as it is not fair for U.S. to take all the burden. Can you explain how different this policy is from previous administrations?
3 - Why do you think Trump believes this is necessary, and what effects could it have for America's position in the world?
4 - Trump seems to be showing determination to really follow through on this policy shift, and especially with pulling out troops from Syria. Do you think it will go ahead?
5 - This announcement, that the U.S. will no longer be the policemen of the world, has broader implications as well, even here in South Korea, because currently Seoul and Washington are in negotiations over a new deal for the cost-sharing of U.S. troops on the Korean peninsula. Trump has many times called for South Korea and other countries to pay more. How much pressure do Trump's latest comments and actions put on the negotiations for the cost-sharing burden in Korea?
6 - Reports have emerged that Washington has asked for a new 1-year deal, rather than the previous 5. Seoul is yet to reject it, but would that not be a bad deal for Seoul?
7 - Concerns are further exacerbated because two key figures who were said to have been the few remaining voices of reason in the White House, Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have both left their posts in the last month. Without these kinds of voices explaining the importance of the U.S. presence in South Korea and the surrounding regions, does that raise the risk that Trump really will go ahead and pull troops out here as well?
8 - Any gap in the South Korea-U.S. alliance is alarming because despite relations with North Korea improving this year, the North is still a threat. A report came out on Thursday which said that although no missile launches or nuclear tests were performed this year, evidence suggests the North has moved on to mass production rather than research and development and that Kim Jong-un could have 100 nuclear warheads by 2020. How important is it to have a U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula?
9 - What can Seoul do? What cards does it hold, or is there overwhelming pressure to give Trump what he wants?