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4:32 PM 01/14/2019 | PoliticsBenny Johnson | Columnist, Viral Politics
Right-wing activists stormed the security wall surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's California mansion and demanded access into the building Monday.
The group was led by Laura Loomer, an activist who has been at the center of many stunts, including interrupting congressional hearings and chaining herself to the doors of Twitter's New York offices.
Loomer was joined by a small group of alleged illegal immigrants from Guatemala. Loomer and her accomplices carried a large banner with the faces of notable Americans who have been killed by illegal immigrant crime over the recent years attached to its surface. (RELATED: Trump: If Democrats Think A Wall Is 'Immoral,' They Should Do Something About The Vatican)
The entire event was live-streamed on Twitter.
Right-wing activist Laura Loomer, last seen chaining herself to Twitter HQ, has jumped the fence at Nancy Pelosi's Napa home and set up a tent protesting immigration. Now she's chanting ''Nancy, Nancy!'' pic.twitter.com/Te4W2Ut6Pa
'-- Will Sommer (@willsommer) January 14, 2019
Loomer is making the illegal migrants carry the tent around pic.twitter.com/dMcU1r5T1d
'-- Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) January 14, 2019
Loomer and the illegal migrants chant ''NANCY NANCY'' as they go to see if Nancy Pelosi locks her front door pic.twitter.com/vOq97OtYcs
'-- Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) January 14, 2019
Livestreamer explains the tent has pictures of people who died at the hands of illegal immigrants pic.twitter.com/6MDTpjBxqp
'-- Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) January 14, 2019
During one part of the video, Loomer could be seen marching to the door of Pelosi's mansion, demanding she be let in to make a ''sandwich'' with the other illegal aliens. Loomer found the door to be locked and complained that it was ''hypocritical'' of Pelosi to not have ''open doors and borders'' to her own property.
The authorities eventually arrived on scene and at the time of this writing, were attempting to escort Loomer and her cohorts off the premises.
The government is currently in the third week of a partial shutdown due to negotiation disagreements between congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump on funding for border security.
Pelosi has said that a border wall is ''immoral'' and declared that Democrats will not give ''one cent'' to funding a border wall. Nancy Pelosi recently told the press that GOP demands for a border wall to secure the southern border is an ''act of desperation.''
Want to see more walls protecting the rich and famous? The Daily Caller has launched a series called ''Walls Across America.'' In our first episode of ''Walls Across America,'' we traveled to President Obama's mansion in Washington, D.C. to investigate Trump's claim that Obama has a ''10-foot wall'' around his house.
In our most recent episode, we set off to the Hamptons on Long Island, New York to investigate if one of the most influential leftists on the planet chooses to live behind a wall.
Billionaire George Soros is one of the most prominent progressives in the world. Soros founded the Open Society Foundations, which exists to advance a global progressive agenda. The foundation donates billions of dollars to liberal causes, including those that advocate for global open borders and immigration reform.
Soros has long owned a palatial estate in the Hamptons. So how does this progressive billionaire choose to protect the things he loves? We investigated:
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Boots on the ground Brian G
to the government statements on the news they say it will "be better in
the next week" but what we're hearing from other businesses is that within
a few days diesel will be affected as well. For us and all the other
manufacturing companies around here that means we stop receiving parts from
suppliers and no trucks for shipments.
don't know if it's a lot of dick waving like no one in the US wanting to give
in on The Wall or what. It seems like they could turn the pipeline back on but
are trying to be "tough on crime" or whatever. At some point it seems
like they have to turn it back on because the tanker shipments aren't cutting
Some people are definitely getting gas, but they are waiting
hours. Some of my guys here got special permission to get in line for gas this
morning instead of coming to work. I will get some feedback today. The two
stations right by my hotel that you can see from that photo have not been open
once all week.
Yesterday we drove about 70km from Irapuato to Leon and
traffic was only busy in the city of Leon itself. We passed dozens of gas
stations and saw 4 open ones, all with lines a kilometer long or more. There
were people in each line pushing their cars.
One thing that's interesting about the Mexican culture is
that for the most part people seem pretty calm about it. No yellow vest car
burning here. People are helping strangers push their cars off the road or
through the gas station lines. I come home tomorrow and won't have my boots on
the ground anymore but will be following the situation.
Never a mention in the Parliamentary Debates, MP’s blank queries that hint of EU Military Union.
Proles fobbed off with NATO solidarity while NATO/EU commitments one in the same.
All about ‘Single Point Procurement’. Control & Money.
Donald Tusk on Twitter: "If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?" / Twitter
If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?
11:40 AM - 15 Jan 2019
Jean-Claude Juncker on Twitter: "I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the @HouseofCommons this evening. I urge the #UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up #Brexit https://t.co/SMmps5kexn" / Twitter
Image Pro- and anti-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday. Lawmakers debated for six hours ahead of the vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's plan. Credit Credit Daniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images LONDON '-- Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday suffered a humiliating defeat over her plan to withdraw Britain from the European Union, thrusting the country further into political chaos with only 10 weeks to go until it is scheduled to leave the bloc.
The 432-to-202 vote to reject her plan was the biggest defeat in the House of Commons for a prime minister in recent British history, and it underscores how under Ms. May the prime minister's office has lost ground in shaping important policy. Now factions in Parliament will seek to seize the initiative, an unpredictable new stage in the process of withdrawing from Europe, known as Brexit.
''She has completely lost control of the process, and her version of Brexit must now be dead, if she loses by 230 votes,'' said John Springford, deputy director of the Center for European Reform, a London-based research institute.
Immediately following the vote, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, citing the ''sheer incompetence of this government,'' announced that he was offering a motion of no confidence, which will be heard on Wednesday. That could in theory lead to a general election, but few analysts believe he can muster the necessary votes.
Indeed, just after Mr. Corbyn's announcement, both Mrs. May's coalition partner, the Democratic Unionist Party, and the European Research Group, an alliance of pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers, said they would support the prime minister.
The reaction in Brussels was muted and watchful, but the theme was clear: Tell us, at last, what you really really want.
''If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?'' Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wrote in a Twitter post.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said on Twitter: ''I urge the U.K. to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.''
Video After Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan was soundly rejected by Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour party, tabled a motion of no confidence. The motion will be heard on Wednesday. Published On Jan. 15, 2019 Credit Credit Parliamentary Recording Unit Before the vote, lawmakers in both the Conservative and Labour parties were being urged to put country before party to resolve the stalemate. Yet the problem remains that, even if they did, there is no clear path forward that can command a majority in the Commons.
In her final appeal in Parliament, Mrs. May impressed on the lawmakers the importance of the vote facing them. ''The responsibility on each and every one of us at this moment is profound,'' she said, ''for this is a historic decision that will set the future of our country for generations.''
Like most others, though, the prime minister has no easy answers about the way forward. She has signaled that she will appeal to the European Union in Brussels for concessions and try again to win parliamentary approval, but the bloc is unlikely to grant her any.
After the thumping in Parliament, Mrs. May did accede to a tactic that some cabinet members had been urging, calling for nonbinding ''indicative votes'' that will allow members of Parliament to freely express their preferences for the various Brexit plans being bandied about.
Mr. Springford of the Center for European Reform said that process raised the possibility that if Parliament coalesced around a clear proposal for the future Mrs. May could try to negotiate such a result with the European Union. To win support from the Labour Party, it would mean accepting a ''softer'' Brexit that would keep closer economic ties to the European Union.
Mr. Corbyn would then be on the spot, forced to decide whether to work with Mrs. May on Brexit or bow to pressure from within his party for a second referendum.
''I think it's now between a softer Brexit and a second referendum,'' said Mr. Springford, who added that he did not believe the government could pursue a no-deal result.
Negotiating the withdrawal from the European Union has been Mrs. May's singular focus since she became prime minister, displacing social problems like housing and health care. But her failure to build consensus behind a single vision of Britain's future outside the 28-nation bloc has allowed painful divides in the country to deepen.
Image Prime Minister Theresa May, shown on Tuesday in London, called the vote ''a historic decision that will set the future of our country for generations.'' Credit Frank Augstein/Associated Press With no consensus behind any one pathway, and a vanishing window for further negotiation, more radical solutions are rising to the fore.
One group of lawmakers is campaigning for a repeat referendum, which could overturn the mandate to leave, and another favors leaving the European Union on March 29 without a withdrawal agreement, a move that experts warn could lead to shortages of some foods and an economic downturn.
''This is probably the most important piece of legislation for decades, and the executive can't get it through,'' said Tim Stanley, a columnist for The Daily Telegraph. ''It's a very dramatic moment.''
Mrs. May expected to lose the vote, having lost the support of many of her own lawmakers. But her surrogates scrambled, as late as Tuesday, to rally lawmakers to her side, in hopes of keeping the margin narrow enough to try again for parliamentary approval.
Earlier in the day, the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, raked his eyes over the backbenches of the House of Commons and rebuked Parliament, in a booming voice, for contemplating a sudden and unregulated end to 45 years of integration with Europe.
Beseeching his fellow Tories to get behind Mrs. May's plan, Mr. Cox asked: ''What are you playing at? What are you doing? You are not children in the playground. You are legislators, and it is your job. We are playing with people's lives.''
He continued, rolling his Rs in theatrical fashion, ''Do we opt for order? Or do we choose chaos?'' The environment secretary, Michael Gove, was equally dramatic in a morning radio interview, warning lawmakers that ''if we don't vote for this deal tonight, in the words of Jon Snow, winter is coming,'' a reference to ''Game of Thrones.''
But critics of the deal were equally adamant, saying that Mrs. May had emerged from two years of negotiations with an agreement that satisfied no one. Dominic Raab, who stepped down as Mrs. May's Brexit secretary in November, described her agreement as ''wracked with self-doubt, defeatism and fear.''
''This deal before us can't end the grinding process '-- it can only prolong it,'' Mr. Raab said. ''It would torment us and our European neighbors for the foreseeable future.''
Under normal circumstances, a British prime minister would be expected to resign after losing a vote on their flagship policy, but the Brexit process has so unsettled political conventions that Mrs. May could survive to make revisions and pitch her deal again.
In December, Mrs. May survived a leadership challenge from within her own Conservative Party and, under its rules, is safe from another until the end of the year.
''We have been in extraordinary circumstances,'' said Nikki da Costa, a former director of legal affairs at 10 Downing Street. ''Things that in normal times would not be considered survivable have become normalized. What the government would be looking for is a pathway through this.''
Ms. Da Costa predicted that ''we will be doing this again in a couple of weeks' time.''
Nevertheless, Tuesday's vote represented a clear rejection of Mrs. May's handling of Brexit and a failure of her gamble that Parliament would ultimately accept her deal for fear of something worse.
Philip Cowley, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said he was struggling to identify a comparable defeat in the history of British politics.
''When you ask me for a historical benchmark, I can't find any example. I don't think anything like it has come along,'' Mr. Cowley said. ''It's an issue which has caused the parties to have split on an almost theological level.''
Mrs. May will now face pressure to allow Parliament to vote on options other than her Brexit plan, a fuzzy middle way that keeps different economic possibilities open for the future but also restores the power to the government in London over immigration from the European Union.
Alternatives include proposals to adhere more closely to the European Union's economic rule book, by remaining in a customs union with the bloc, or going further and staying within its single market. But that would involve obeying more European rules, abandoning the idea of conducting an independent trade policy, and possibly allowing the free movement of European workers.
Most members of Parliament oppose the prospect of leaving the union without a deal on March 29, a disorderly and chaotic rupture that would do significant economic damage, so they may press for an extension of the negotiating period. European officials will be reluctant to grant that without any clear new strategy from the government, but they too want to avoid a ''no deal'' Brexit.
Steven Erlanger and Milan Schreuer contributed reporting from Brussels.
Map of Europe in 1848''1849 depicting the main revolutionary centres, important counter-revolutionary troop movements and states with abdications
The revolutions arose from such a wide variety of causes that it is difficult to view them as resulting from a coherent movement or set of social phenomena. Numerous changes had been taking place in European society throughout the first half of the 19th century. Both liberal reformers and radical politicians were reshaping national governments.
Technological change was revolutionizing the life of the working classes. A popular press extended political awareness, and new values and ideas such as popular liberalism, nationalism and socialism began to emerge. Some historians emphasize the serious crop failures, particularly those of 1846, that produced hardship among peasants and the working urban poor.
Large swaths of the nobility were discontented with royal absolutism or near-absolutism. In 1846, there had been an uprising of Polish nobility in Austrian Galicia, which was only countered when peasants, in turn, rose up against the nobles. Additionally, an uprising by democratic forces against Prussia, planned but not actually carried out, occurred in Greater Poland.[clarification needed ]
Next, the middle classes began to agitate. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, working in Brussels, had written Manifesto of the Communist Party (published in German in London on February 21, 1848) at the request of the Communist League (an organization consisting principally of German workers). Following the March insurrection in Berlin, they began agitating in Germany. They issued their "Demands of the Communist Party in Germany" from Paris in March; the pamphlet urged unification of Germany, universal suffrage, abolition of feudal duties, and similar middle-class goals.
The middle and working classes thus shared a desire for reform, and agreed on many of the specific aims. Their participations in the revolutions, however, differed. While much of the impetus came from the middle classes, much of the cannon fodder came from the lower classes. The revolts first erupted in the cities.
Urban workers Edit Galician slaughter (Polish:
RzeÅº galicyjska) by Jan Lewicki (1795''1871), depicting the massacre of Polish nobles by Polish peasants in
Galicia in 1846.
The population in French rural areas had risen rapidly, causing many peasants to seek a living in the cities. Many in the bourgeoisie feared and distanced themselves from the working poor. Many unskilled labourers toiled from 12 to 15 hours per day when they had work, living in squalid, disease-ridden slums. Traditional artisans felt the pressure of industrialization, having lost their guilds. Revolutionaries such as Karl Marx built up a following.
The liberalisation of trade laws and the growth of factories had increased the gulf among master tradesmen, and journeymen and apprentices, whose numbers increased disproportionately by 93% from 1815 to 1848 in Germany. Significant proletarian unrest had occurred in Lyon in 1831 and 1834, and Prague in 1844. Jonathan Sperber has suggested that in the period after 1825, poorer urban workers (particularly day labourers, factory workers and artisans) saw their purchasing power decline relatively steeply: urban meat consumption in Belgium, France and Germany stagnated or declined after 1830, despite growing populations. The economic crisis of 1847 increased urban unemployment: 10,000 Viennese factory workers were made redundant and 128 Hamburg firms went bankrupt over the course of 1847. With the exception of the Netherlands, there was a strong correlation among the countries that were most deeply affected by the industrial shock of 1847 and those that underwent a revolution in 1848.
The situation in the German states was similar. Parts of Prussia were beginning to industrialize. During the decade of the 1840s, mechanized production in the textile industry brought about inexpensive clothing that undercut the handmade products of German tailors. Reforms ameliorated the most unpopular features of rural feudalism, but industrial workers remained dissatisfied with these and pressed for greater change.
Urban workers had no choice but to spend half of their income on food, which consisted mostly of bread and potatoes. As a result of harvest failures, food prices soared and the demand for manufactured goods decreased, causing an increase in unemployment. During the revolution, to address the problem of unemployment, workshops were organized for men interested in construction work. Officials also set up workshops for women when they felt they were excluded. Artisans and unemployed workers destroyed industrial machines when they threatened to give employers more power over them.
Rural areas Edit Rural population growth had led to food shortages, land pressure, and migration, both within and from Europe, especially to the Americas. Peasant discontent in the 1840s grew in intensity: peasant occupations of lost communal land increased in many areas: those convicted of wood theft in the Rhenish Palatinate increased from 100,000 in 1829''30 to 185,000 in 1846''47. In the years 1845 and 1846, a potato blight caused a subsistence crisis in Northern Europe, and encouraged the raiding of manorial potato stocks in Silesia in 1847. The effects of the blight were most severely manifested in the Great Irish Famine, but also caused famine-like conditions in the Scottish Highlands and throughout continental Europe. Harvests of rye in the Rhineland were 20% of previous levels, while the Czech potato harvest was reduced by a half. These reduced harvests were accompanied by a steep rise in prices (the cost of wheat more than doubled in France and Habsburg Italy. There were 400 French food riots during 1846 to 1847, while German socio-economic protests increased from 28 during 1830 to 39, to 103 during 1840 to 1847. Central to long-term peasant grievances were the loss of communal lands, forest restrictions (such as the French Forest Code of 1827), and remaining feudal structures, notably the robot (labour obligations) that existed among the serfs and oppressed peasantry of the Habsburg lands.
Aristocratic wealth (and corresponding power) was synonymous with the ownership of farm lands and effective control over the peasants. Peasant grievances exploded during the revolutionary year of 1848, yet were often disconnected from urban revolutionary movements: the revolutionary Sndor PetÅfi's popular nationalist rhetoric in Budapest did not translate into any success with the Magyar peasantry, while the Viennese democrat Hans Kudlich reported that his efforts to galvanise the Austrian peasantry had 'disappeared in the great sea of indifference and phlegm'.
Role of ideas Edit Despite forceful and often violent efforts of established and reactionary powers to keep them down, disruptive ideas gained popularity: democracy, liberalism, nationalism, and socialism. They demanded a constitution, press freedom, freedom of expression and other democratic rights, the establishment of civilian militia, liberation of peasants, liberalization of the economy, abolition of tariff barriers and the abolition of monarchical power structures in favor of the establishment of republican states, or at least the restriction of the prince power in the form of constitutional monarchies.
In the language of the 1840s, 'democracy' meant universal male suffrage. 'Liberalism' fundamentally meant consent of the governed and the restriction of church and state power, republican government, freedom of the press and the individual. The 1840s had seen the emergence of a number of radical liberal publications such as the Rheinische Zeitung (1842); Le National and La R(C)forme (1843) in France; Ignaz Kuranda's Grenzboten (1841) in Austria; Lajos Kossuth's Pesti Hrlap (1841) in Hungary, as well as the increased popularity of the older Morgenbladet in Norway and the Aftonbladet in Sweden.
'Nationalism' believed in uniting people bound by (some mix of) common languages, culture, religion, shared history, and of course immediate geography; there were also irredentist movements. Nationalism had developed a broader appeal during the pre-1848 period, as seen in the FrantiÅek Palack½'s 1836 History of the Czech Nation, which emphasised a national lineage of conflict with the Germans, or the popular patriotic Liederkranz (song-circles) that were held across Germany: patriotic and belligerent songs about Schleswig had dominated the W¼rzburg national song festival in 1845.
'Socialism' in the 1840s was a term without a consensus definition, meaning different things to different people, but was typically used within a context of more power for workers in a system based on worker ownership of the means of production.
Italian states Edit Although little noticed at the time, the first major outbreak came in Sicily, starting in January 1848. There had been several previous revolts against Bourbon rule; this one produced an independent state that lasted only 16 months before the Bourbons came back. During those months, the constitution was quite advanced for its time in liberal democratic terms, as was the proposal of an Italian confederation of states.[citation needed ] The revolt's failure was reversed a dozen years later as the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies collapsed in 1860''61 with the Risorgimento.
France Edit The "February Revolution" in France was sparked by the suppression of the campagne des banquets. This revolution was driven by nationalist and republican ideals among the French general public, who believed the people should rule themselves. It ended the constitutional monarchy of Louis-Philippe, and led to the creation of the French Second Republic. This government was headed by Louis-Napoleon, who in 1852 staged a coup d'etat and established himself as a dictatorial emperor of the Second French Empire.
Alexis de Tocqueville remarked in his Recollections of the period, "society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy, and those who had anything united in common terror."
German states Edit The "March Revolution" in the German states took place in the south and the west of Germany, with large popular assemblies and mass demonstrations. Led by well-educated students and intellectuals, they demanded German national unity, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. The uprisings were not well coordinated, but had in common a rejection of traditional, autocratic political structures in the 39 independent states of the German Confederation. The middle-class and working-class components of the Revolution split, and in the end, the conservative aristocracy defeated it, forcing many liberals into exile.
Denmark Edit Denmark had been governed by a system of absolute monarchy since the 17th century. King Christian VIII, a moderate reformer but still an absolutist, died in January 1848 during a period of rising opposition from farmers and liberals. The demands for constitutional monarchy, led by the National Liberals, ended with a popular march to Christiansborg on March 21. The new king, Frederick VII, met the liberals' demands and installed a new Cabinet that included prominent leaders of the National Liberal Party.
The national-liberal movement wanted to abolish absolutism, but retain a strongly centralized state. The king accepted a new constitution agreeing to share power with a bicameral parliament called the Rigsdag. It is said that the Danish king's first words after signing away his absolute power were, "that was nice, now I can sleep in the mornings". Although army officers were dissatisfied, they accepted the new arrangement which, in contrast to the rest of Europe, was not overturned by reactionaries. The liberal constitution did not extend to Schleswig, leaving the Schleswig-Holstein Question unanswered.
Schleswig Edit Schleswig, a region containing both Danes (a North Germanic population) and Germans (a West Germanic population), was a part of the Danish monarchy, but remained a duchy separate from the Kingdom of Denmark. Spurred by pan-German sentiment, the Germans of Schleswig took up arms to protest a new policy announced by Denmark's National Liberal government, which would have fully integrated the duchy into Denmark.
The German population in Schleswig and Holstein revolted, inspired by the Protestant clergy. The German states sent in an army, but Danish victories in 1849 led to the Treaty of Berlin (1850) and the London Protocol (1852). They reaffirmed the sovereignty of the King of Denmark, while prohibiting union with Denmark. The violation of the latter provision led to renewed warfare in 1863 and the Prussian victory in 1864.
Habsburg Empire Edit From March 1848 through July 1849, the Habsburg Austrian Empire was threatened by revolutionary movements, which often had a nationalist character. The empire, ruled from Vienna, included Austrians, Hungarians, Slovenes, Poles, Czechs, Croats, Slovaks, Ukrainians/Ruthenians, Romanians, Serbs and Italians, all of whom attempted in the course of the revolution to achieve either autonomy, independence, or even hegemony over other nationalities.[citation needed ] The nationalist picture was further complicated by the simultaneous events in the German states, which moved toward greater German national unity.
Hungary Edit Hungarian
hussars in battle during the Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian revolution of 1848 was the longest in Europe, crushed in August 1849 by Austrian and Russian armies. Nevertheless, it had a major impact in freeing the serfs. It started on 15 March 1848, when Hungarian patriots organized mass demonstrations in Pest and Buda (today Budapest) which forced the imperial governor to accept their 12 points of demands, which included the demand for freedom of press, an independent Hungarian ministry residing in Buda-Pest and responsible to a popularly elected parliament, the formation of a National Guard, complete civil and religious equality, trial by jury, a national bank, a Hungarian army, the withdrawal of foreign troops from Hungary (Austrian troops), the freeing of political prisoners, and the union with Transylvania. On that morning, the demands were read aloud along with poetry by Sndor PetÅfi with the simple lines of "We swear by the God of the Hungarians. We swear, we shall be slaves no more".Lajos Kossuth and some other liberal nobility that made up the Diet appealed to the Habsburg court with demands for representative government and civil liberties. These events resulted in Klemens von Metternich, the Austrian prince and foreign minister, resigning. The demands of the Diet were agreed upon on March 18 by Emperor Ferdinand. Even though Hungary would remain part of the Empire through personal union with the emperor, a constitutional government would be founded. The Diet then passed the April laws that established equality before the law, a legislature, a hereditary constitutional monarchy, and an end to the transfer and restrictions of land use.
The revolution grew into a war for independence from the Austrian Empire when Josip JelaÄiÄ, Ban of Croatia, crossed the border to restore Habsburg control. The new government, led by Lajos Kossuth, was initially successful against the Habsburg forces. Although Hungary took a national united stand for its freedom, some minorities of the Kingdom of Hungary, including the Serbs of Vojvodina, the Romanians of Transylvania and some Slovaks of Upper Hungary supported the Habsburg Emperor and fought against the Hungarian Revolutionary Army. Eventually, after one and a half years of fighting, the revolution was crushed when Russian Tsar Nicholas I marched into Hungary with over 300,000 troops. Hungary was thus placed under brutal martial law, with the Austrian government restored. The leading rebels like Kossuth fled into exile or were executed. In the long run, the passive resistance following the revolution led to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise (1867), which marked the birth of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Galicia Edit The center of the Ukrainian national movement was in Galicia, which is today divided between Ukraine and Poland. On April 19, 1848, a group of representatives led by the Greek Catholic clergy launched a petition to the Austrian Emperor. It expressed wishes that in those regions of Galicia where the Ruthenian (Ukrainian) population represented majority, the Ukrainian language should be taught at schools and used to announce official decrees for the peasantry; local officials were expected to understand it and the Ruthenian clergy was to be equalized in their rights with the clergy of all other denominations.
On May 2, 1848, the Supreme Ruthenian (Ukrainian) Council was established. The Council (1848''1851) was headed by the Greek-Catholic Bishop Gregory Yakhimovich and consisted of 30 permanent members. Its main goal was the administrative division of Galicia into Western (Polish) and Eastern (Ruthenian/Ukrainian) parts within the borders of the Habsburg Empire, and formation of a separate region with a political self-governance.
Sweden Edit During 18''19 March, a series of riots known as the March Unrest (Marsoroligheterna) took place in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Declarations with demands of political reform were spread in the city and a crowd were dispersed by the military, leading to 18 casualties.
Switzerland Edit Switzerland, already an alliance of republics, also saw an internal struggle. The attempted secession of seven Catholic cantons to form an alliance known as the Sonderbund ("separate alliance") in 1845 led to a short civil conflict in November 1847 in which around 100 people were killed. The Sonderbund was decisively defeated by the Protestant cantons, which had a larger population. It was a very civil civil war. A new constitution of 1848 ended the almost-complete independence of the cantons, transforming Switzerland into a federal state.
Greater Poland Edit Polish people mounted a military insurrection against the Prussians in the Grand Duchy of Posen (or the Greater Poland region), a part of Prussia since its annexation in 1815. The Poles tried to establish a Polish political entity, but refused to cooperate with the Germans and the Jews. The Germans decided they were better off with the status quo, so they assisted the Prussian governmens in recapturing control. In the long-term, the uprising stimulated nationalism among both the Poles and the Germans and brought civil equality to the Jews.
Danubian Principalities Edit A Romanian liberal and Romantic nationalist uprising began in June in the principality of Wallachia. The goals of the rebels were the union of all Romanians, the abolition of serfdom, and popular self-determination. It was closely connected with the 1848 unsuccessful revolt in Moldavia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by Imperial Russian authorities under the Regulamentul Organic regime, and, through many of its leaders, demanded the abolition of boyar privilege. Led by a group of young intellectuals and officers in the Wallachian military forces, the movement succeeded in toppling the ruling Prince Gheorghe Bibescu, whom it replaced with a provisional government and a regency, and in passing a series of major liberal reforms, first announced in the Proclamation of Islaz. Despite its rapid gains and popular backing, the new administration was marked by conflicts between the radical wing and more conservative forces, especially over the issue of land reform. Two successive abortive coups weakened the new government, and its international status was always contested by Russia. After managing to rally a degree of sympathy from Ottoman political leaders, the Revolution was ultimately isolated by the intervention of Russian diplomats. In September 1848 by agreement with the Ottomans, Russia invaded and put down the revolution. According to Vasile Maciu, the failures were attributable in Wallachia to foreign intervention, in Moldavia to the opposition of the feudalists, and in Transylvania to the failure of the campaigns of General J"zef Bem, and later to Austrian repression. In later decades the rebels returned and gained their goals.
Belgium Edit Belgium did not see major unrest in 1848; its constitutional system and its monarchy survived thanks to its liberal Constitution. A number of small local riots broke out, concentrated in the sillon industriel industrial region of the provinces of Li¨ge and Hainaut. The most serious threat of revolutionary contagion was posed by Belgian (C)migr(C) groups from France. Shortly after the revolution in France, Belgian migrant workers living in Paris were encouraged to return to Belgium to overthrow the monarchy and establish a republic. Karl Marx was himself expelled from Brussels in early March on accusations of having used part of his inheritance to arm Belgian revolutionaries.
Around 6,000 armed (C)migr(C)s of the "Belgian Legion" attempted to cross the Belgian frontier. There were two divisions which were formed. The first group, travelling by train, were stopped and quickly disarmed at Qui(C)vrain on 26 March 1848. The second group crossed the border on 29 March and headed for Brussels. They were confronted by Belgian troops at the hamlet of Risquons-Tout and defeated. Several smaller groups managed to infiltrate Belgium, but the reinforced Belgian border troops were successful and the defeat at Risquons-Tout effectively ended the revolutionary threat to Belgium. The situation in Belgium began to recover that summer after a good harvest, and fresh elections returned a strong majority to the governing party.
Ireland Edit Occurring during the Great Famine, in late 1847 the "Crime and Outrage Bill" was passed by the British Parliament regarding crime in Ireland, which was part of Great Britain and controlled by Protestant landowners. The Bill was designed with the expressed intent to create a counter-insurgency for the growing Irish nationalist agitation that was causing the British government concern about a possible violent rebellion against British rule in Ireland.
In 1848 the Young Irelander Rebellion would be a failed Irish nationalist uprising led by the Young Ireland movement, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 that affected most of Europe. It took place on 29 July 1848 in the village of Ballingarry, South Tipperary. The Young Irelanders and their supporters, chased an armed Royal Irish Constabulary unit of nearly 50 men who would retreat and then garrison themselves in a house, holding those inside as hostages. A several-hour gunfight followed, but the rebels fled after a large group of Constabulary reinforcements arrived.
It is sometimes called the Famine Rebellion (since it took place during the Great Famine in Ireland) or the Battle of Ballingarry.
Other European states Edit Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the Russian Empire (including Poland and Finland), and the Ottoman Empire did not encounter major national revolutions over this period. Sweden and Norway were also little affected. Serbia, though formally unaffected by the revolt as it was a part of the Ottoman state, actively supported Serbian revolutionaries in the Habsburg Empire.
Russia's relative stability was attributed to the revolutionary groups' inability to communicate with each other.[citation needed ] In the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, uprisings took place in 1830''31 (the November Uprising) and 1846 (the Krak"w Uprising, notable for being quelled by the anti-revolutionary Galician slaughter). A final revolt took place in 1863''65 (the January Uprising), but none occurred in 1848.
Switzerland and Portugal were also unaffected in 1848, though both had gone through civil wars in the preceding years (the Sonderbund War in Switzerland and the Liberal Wars in Portugal). The introduction of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848 was a revolution of sorts, laying the foundation of Swiss society as it is today.
In the Netherlands, no major unrests appeared because the king, William II, decided to alter the Dutch constitution to reform elections and effectively reduce the power of the monarchy.
While no major political upheavals occurred in the Ottoman Empire as such, political unrest did occur in some of its vassal states. In Serbia, feudalism was abolished and the power of the Serbian prince was reduced with the Turkish Constitution of Serbia in 1838.
Other English-speaking countries Edit In Britain, the middle classes had been pacified by general enfranchisement in the Reform Act 1832; the consequent agitations, violence, and petitions of the Chartist movement came to a head with their peaceful petition to Parliament of 1848. The repeal in 1846 of the protectionist agricultural tariffs '' called the "Corn Laws" '' had defused some proletarian fervour.
In the Isle of Man, there were ongoing efforts to reform the self-elected House of Keys, but no revolution took place. Some of the reformers were encouraged by events in France in particular.
In the United States, opinions were polarized, with Democrats and reformers in favor, although they were distressed at the degree of violence involved. Opposition came from conservative elements, especially Whigs, southern slaveholders, orthodox Calvinists, and Catholics. About 4000 German exiles arrived and some became fervent Republicans in the 1850s, such as Carl Schurz. Kossuth toured America and won great applause, but no volunteers or diplomatic or financial help.
1848 in Canada saw the establishment of responsible government in Nova Scotia and The Canadas, the first such governments in the British Empire outside of Great Britain itself. John Ralston Saul has argued that this development is tied to the revolutions in Europe, but described the Canadian approach to the revolutionary year of 1848 as "talking their way...out of the empire's control system and into a new democratic model", a stable democratic system which has lasted to the present day.Tory and Orange Order in Canada opposition to responsible government came to a head in riots triggered by the Rebellion Losses Bill in 1849. They succeeded in the burning of the Parliament Buildings in Montreal, but, unlike their counterrevolutionary counterparts in Europe, they were ultimately unsuccessful.[citation needed ]
South America Edit In Spanish Latin America, the Revolution of 1848 appeared in New Granada, where Colombian students, liberals, and intellectuals demanded the election of General Jos(C) Hilario L"pez. He took power in 1849 and launched major reforms, abolishing slavery and the death penalty, and providing freedom of the press and of religion. The resulting turmoil in Colombia lasted four decades; from 1851 to 1885, the country was ravaged by four general civil wars and 50 local revolutions.
In Chile, the 1848 revolutions inspired the 1851 Chilean Revolution.
In Brazil, the "Praieira Revolt," a movement in Pernambuco, lasted from November 1848 to 1852.[citation needed ] Unresolved conflicts left over from the period of the regency and local resistance to the consolidation of the Brazilian Empire that had been proclaimed in 1822 helped to plant the seeds of the revolution.
We have been beaten and humiliated ... scattered, imprisoned, disarmed and gagged. The fate of European democracy has slipped from our hands.
Historian Priscilla Smith Robertson argues that many goals were achieved by the 1870s, but the credit primarily goes to the enemies of the 1848 revolutionaries:
Most of what the men of 1848 fought for was brought about within a quarter of a century, and the men who accomplished it were most of them specific enemies of the 1848 movement. Thiers ushered in a third French Republic, Bismarck united Germany, and Cavour, Italy. Dek won autonomy for Hungary within a dual monarchy; a Russian czar freed the serfs; and the British manufacturing classes moved toward the freedoms of the People's Charter.Democrats looked to 1848 as a democratic revolution, which in the long run ensured liberty, equality, and fraternity. For nationalists, 1848 was the springtime of hope, when newly emerging nationalities rejected the old multinational empires. But the end results were not as comprehensive as many had hoped.
A caricature by Ferdinand Schr¶der on the defeat of the revolutions of 1848/49 in Europe (published in
D¼sseldorfer Monatshefte, August 1849)
Many governments engaged in a partial reversal of the revolutionary reforms of 1848''1849, as well as heightened repression and censorship. The Hanoverian nobility successfully appealed to the Confederal Diet in 1851 over the loss of their noble privileges, while the Prussian Junkers recovered their manorial police powers from 1852 to 1855. In the Austrian Empire, the Sylvester Patents (1851) discarded Franz Stadion's constitution and the Statute of Basic Rights, while the number of arrests in Habsburg territories increased from 70,000 in 1850 to one million by 1854. Nicholas I's rule in Russia after 1848 was particularly repressive, marked by an expansion of the secret police (the Tretiye Otdeleniye) and stricter censorship; there were more Russians working for censorship organs than actual books published in the period immediately after 1848. In France, the works of Ledru-Rollin, Hugo, Baudelaire and Proudhon were confiscated.
In the post-revolutionary decade after 1848, little had visibly changed, and many historians considered the revolutions a failure, given the seeming lack of permanent structural changes. More recently, Christopher Clark has characterised the period that followed 1848 as one dominated by a 'revolution in government'. Karl Marx expressed disappointment at the bourgeois character of the revolutions. The Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Manteuffel declared that the state could no longer be run 'like the landed estate of a nobleman'. In Prussia, August von Bethmann-Hollweg's Preuisches Wochenblatt newspaper (founded 1851) acted as a popular outlet for modernising Prussian conservative statesmen and journalists against the reactionary Kreuzzeitung faction. The revolutions of 1848 were followed by new centrist coalitions dominated by liberals nervous of the threat of working-class socialism, as seen in the Piedmontese Connubio under Cavour.
Governments after 1848 were forced into managing the public sphere and popular sphere with more effectiveness, resulting in the increased prominence of the Prussian Zentralstelle f¼r Pressangelegenheiten (Central Press Agency, established 1850), the Austrian Zensur-und polizeihofstelle, and the French Direction G(C)n(C)rale de la Librairie (1856).
Nevertheless, there were a few immediate successes for some revolutionary movements, notably in the Habsburg lands. Austria and Prussia eliminated feudalism by 1850, improving the lot of the peasants. European middle classes made political and economic gains over the next 20 years; France retained universal male suffrage. Russia would later free the serfs on February 19, 1861. The Habsburgs finally had to give the Hungarians more self-determination in the Ausgleich of 1867. The revolutions inspired lasting reform in Denmark, as well as the Netherlands.
Reinhard R¼rup has described the 1848 Revolutions as a turning point in the development of modern antisemitism through the development of conspiracies that presented Jews as representative both of the forces of social revolution (apparently typified in Joseph Goldmark and Adolf Fischhof of Vienna) and of international capital, as seen in the 1848 report from Eduard von M¼ller-Tellering, the Viennese correspondent of Marx's Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which declared: "tyranny comes from money and the money belongs to the Jews".
About 4000 exiles came to the United States fleeing the reactionary purges. Of these 100 went to the Texas Hill Country as German Texans. More widely, many disillusioned and persecuted revolutionaries, in particular (though not exclusively) those from Germany and the Austrian Empire, left their homelands for foreign exile in the New World or in the more liberal European nations: these emigrants were known as the Forty-Eighters.
In popular culture Edit Steven Brust and Emma Bull's 1997 epistolary novel Freedom & Necessity is set in England in the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848.
Mike Duncan's Revolutions Podcast series covered the Revolutions of 1848 starting with episode 7.01.
Could the French Yellow Vests bring down the world's debt-based economy and deal a death blow to globalism?
After U.S. markets peaked in September nearly two years after Donald Trump's victory came with the promise (and delivery) of pro-growth policies, investors got a scare in December when several factors combined with interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to drive down indexes.
The Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and the S&P 500 all finished the year lower than they were in September. Worse, there are predictions that 2019 could hit markets harder.
Bank of America just polled 234 panelists who manage more than $645 billion in investments where they think global growth is heading over the next 12 months, and 60 percent said it will be negative.
On top of this potential nightmare scenario is the fact that governments around the world comprising the largest economies have nearly all become debtor nations that are one economic calamity away from global collapse.
As noted by Robert Gore at The Burning Platform blog, France's Yellow Vest protesters may have inadvertently hit upon a way to bring about the collapse of the fiat money and debt system that is sustaining the very governments which increasingly suppress the people they are supposed to serve.
Gore notes that in recent days the French protesters '-- whom, you recall, took to the streets in response to a massive gasoline tax pushed by President Emmanuel Macron to fund France's contributions to combat ''global warming'' agreed to at the Paris Accords in 2015 '-- have advocated a run on the country's banks. Such a run, if it occurs, could actually start a chain reaction that would spread to other ostensibly wealthy countries including the United States.
''Whether they realize it or not, they're playing with nuclear warheads that could annihilate not just the French, but Europe's and the entire world's financial system,'' Gore writes.
''Because inextricably linked to the ends of contemporary governments ? how much they can screw up the lives of those who must live under them'--is the question of means ? how do they fund their misrule? The short answer is taxes and debt,'' he added.
Since President Richard Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard in 1971, our monetary system has been based on fiat currency and debt. That matters because the dollar is considered the world's reserve currency; nearly all nations trade in it for commodities and use it to pay bills because it's believed to be the most stable.Fiat currency is not tied to any tangible asset, like precious metals, so our government '-- and other governments '-- can create as much debt as they desire (debt by fiat). And they have.
The global economic system is based on this fiat debt. Currencies have values that are assigned to them given certain market conditions, economic indicators, and other factors. When those are perceived to be doing well, currency values go up, and vice versa when the indicators are 'down.'
So, how does a run on a single bank in France ''turn into a loose yarn that once pulled, unravels the whole sweater?'' Gore wrote.
''The bank tries to increase its liquid funds, drawing on whatever lines of emergency credit it may have, and to convert it's illiquid assets into liquid assets, calling in loans. This pressures other banks and financial institutions, who draw on their lines of credit and call their loans and so on until the system collapses,'' he writes.
And the more indebted economic systems are, the more vulnerable to collapse in a crisis.
''Bankruptcy is a when, not an if,'' noted Gore. ''Debt is the Achilles heel of the world's governments. A widespread run on financial institutions will dramatically reduce credit availability and raise interest rates, and it will shut off credit entirely for some of them. Under those circumstances, tax revenues will shrink as well.''
The way to undo the system, Gore continues, is to initiate its collapse '-- as the Yellow Vests are advocating '-- as a way to break the cycle of encroaching tyranny. '-- J. D. Heyes
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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Macron blasted for saying many French want to get things 'without proper effort' '-- RT World News
President Emmanuel Macron criticized the citizens of France for not making enough effort, as the Yellow Vest protests against his economic policies entered their ninth week. The statement was met with fury.
''Many of our citizens think that it's possible to obtain something without proper effort,'' he said on Friday. ''Sometimes people forget that alongside rights there are also duties,'' Macron declared. He also repeated this idea in reference to ''French youth.''
The president's comments did not go over well with some politicians from both the left and right, who reacted with sarcasm and indignation.
''At first I thought it was fake as the president should not pour fuel to the fire but it is so in fact,'' Olivier Faure, one of the parliamentary leaders of the Socialist Party, tweeted.
Au d(C)but on croit que c'est un fake, que non un pr(C)sident ne jette pas de l'huile sur le feu alors que le pays vit sous tension, et puis si... https://t.co/BPrtnqz6iN
'-- Olivier Faure (@faureolivier) January 11, 2019Faure's right-wing counterpart from the Gaullist Republican party, Laurent Wauquiez, also accused Macron of stoking tensions at such an inappropriate time.
En cette p(C)riode o¹ la priorit(C) est le retour la s(C)r(C)nit(C), le pr(C)sident doit lui avoir le sens des responsabilit(C)s et ne pas provoquer davantage de tensions. https://t.co/O493LFORvm
'-- Laurent Wauquiez (@laurentwauquiez) 11 ÑÐ½Ð²Ð°ÑÑ 2019 Ð".The chairman of the right-wing 'Patriots', Florian Philippot, came out with a no less fiery rejoinder. ''No sense of effort from the nurses who toil, from the unemployed who slave away, from single mothers?'' Philippot asked angrily.
The nationalist politician also used Macron's clumsy words as an opportunity to rally the troops for 'Act 9' of the Yellow Vest protests.
Macron r(C)cidive dans l'insulte contre son peuple ! Pas le sens de l'effort ces infirmi¨res qui triment ? Ces ch´meurs qui gal¨rent ? Ces m¨res de famille seules ? Ayons le sens de l'effort demain : ActeIX ! #sensdeleffortpic.twitter.com/Y4FEQIOOlm
'-- Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) 11 ÑÐ½Ð²Ð°ÑÑ 2019 Ð".The controversy linked to the Yellow Vests movement seems to be growing.
The movement, which took its name from the high-visibility jackets worn by the protesters, emerged in mid-November. Initially, the rallies were motivated by increasing fuel prices, but later, protesters expressed discontent with Macron's economic policies which they say benefit the rich. Thousands have been arrested on the streets of Paris and other French cities, which resemble combat zones each weekend.
The Yellow Vests forced the government to suspend fuel tax hikes. However, the Macron administration has no intention of changing its overall policies. Earlier in January, the president's spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, claimed that the protests are full of agitators who have the aim of ''overthrowing the government.''
French PM Edouard Philippe said this week that the Yellow Vest demonstrations are caused by people's anger in ''response to the global financial crisis'' and the authorities failing to hear their concerns.
On January 15, Macron will launch a three-month national debate to address the country's burning issues. According to the French study center ELABE, around 41 percent of the people plan to participate in the debate.
Meanwhile, 'Angry France', a group associated with the Yellow Vests, turned down Macron's invitation to take part in the national debate, branding it a ''political trap.''
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Blind with Dog
There's a little truth wanting to come out moment in the BBC
News clip about draft Brexit withdrawl "defeat"?
Those damn Bird scooters are all over Columbus, OH now. I was
walking around the city learning to use my Pilot Dog (I'm legally blind) and
they're everywhere. It'd be fine if people used the charging stands that are around
for them but that's too much trouble. I took a few out though! Clotheslined one
idiot right off his when he almost hit me and Tucker my guide dog. Let me know
which wires to clip?
In The Morning!
Scooter startup Bird tried to silence a journalist. It did not go well. | TechCrunch
Cory Doctorow doesn't like censorship. He especially doesn't like his own work being censored.
Anyone who knows Doctorow knows his popular tech and culture blog, Boing Boing, and anyone who reads Boing Boing knows Doctorow and his cohort of bloggers. The part-blogger, part special advisor at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has written for years on topics of technology, hacking, security research, online digital rights and censorship and its intersection with free speech and expression.
Yet, this week it looked like his own free speech and expression could have been under threat.
Doctorow revealed in a blog post on Friday that scooter startup Bird sent him a legal threat, accusing him of copyright infringement and that his blog post encourages ''illegal conduct.''
In its letter to Doctorow, Bird demanded that he ''immediately take[s] down this offensive blog.''
Doctorow declined, published the legal threat and fired back with a rebuttal letter from the EFF accusing the scooter startup of making ''baseless legal threats'' in an attempt to ''suppress coverage that it dislikes.''
The whole debacle started after Doctorow wrote about how Bird's many abandoned scooters can be easily converted into a ''personal scooter'' by swapping out its innards with a plug-and-play converter kit. Citing an initial write-up by Hackaday, these scooters can have ''all recovery and payment components permanently disabled'' using the converter kit, available for purchase from China on eBay for about $30.
In fact, Doctorow's blog post was only two paragraphs long and, though didn't link to the eBay listing directly, did cite the hacker who wrote about it in the first place '-- bringing interesting things to the masses in bite-size form in true Boing Boing fashion.
Bird didn't like this much, and senior counsel Linda Kwak sent the letter '-- which the EFF published today '-- claiming that Doctorow's blog post was ''promoting the sale/use of an illegal product that is solely designed to circumvent the copyright protections of Bird's proprietary technology, as described in greater detail below, as well as promoting illegal activity in general by encouraging the vandalism and misappropriation of Bird property.'' The letter also falsely stated that Doctorow's blog post ''provides links to a website where such Infringing Product may be purchased,'' given that the post at no point links to the purchasable eBay converter kit.
EFF senior attorney Kit Walsh fired back. ''Our client has no obligation to, and will not, comply with your request to remove the article,'' she wrote. ''Bird may not be pleased that the technology exists to modify the scooters that it deploys, but it should not make baseless legal threats to silence reporting on that technology.''
The three-page rebuttal says Bird used incorrectly cited legal statutes to substantiate its demands for Boing Boing to pull down the blog post. The letter added that unplugging and discarding a motherboard containing unwanted code within the scooter isn't an act of circumventing as it doesn't bypass or modify Bird's code '-- which copyright law says is illegal.
As Doctorow himself put it in his blog post Friday: ''If motherboard swaps were circumvention, then selling someone a screwdriver could be an offense punishable by a five year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.''
In an email to TechCrunch, Doctorow said that legal threats ''are no fun.''
AUSTIN, TX '' MARCH 10: Journalist Cory Doctorow speaks onstage at ''Snowden 2.0: A Field Report from the NSA Archives'' during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW)
''We're a small, shoestring operation, and even though this particular threat is one that we have very deep expertise on, it's still chilling when a company with millions in the bank sends a threat '-- even a bogus one like this '-- to you,'' he said.
The EFF's response also said that Doctorow's freedom of speech ''does not in fact impinge on any of Bird's rights,'' adding that Bird should not send takedown notices to journalists using ''meritless legal claims,'' the letter said.
''So, in a sense, it doesn't matter whether Bird is right or wrong when it claims that it's illegal to convert a Bird scooter to a personal scooter,'' said Walsh in a separate blog post. ''Either way, Boing Boing was free to report on it,'' she added.
What's bizarre is why Bird targeted Doctorow and, apparently, nobody else '-- so far.
TechCrunch reached out to several people who wrote about and were involved with blog posts and write-ups about the Bird converter kit. Of those who responded, all said they had not received a legal demand from Bird.
We asked Bird why it sent the letter, and if this was a one-off letter or if Bird had sent similar legal demands to others. When reached, a Bird spokesperson did not comment on the record.
Two hours after we published this story, Bird spokesperson Rebecca Hahn said the company supports freedom of speech, adding: ''In the quest for curbing illegal activities related to our vehicles, our legal team overstretched and sent a takedown request related to the issue to a member of the media. This was our mistake and we apologize to Cory Doctorow.''
All too often, companies send legal threats and demands to try to silence work or findings that they find critical, often using misinterpreted, incorrect or vague legal statutes to get things pulled from the internet. Some companies have been more successful than others, despite an increase in awareness and bug bounties, and a general willingness to fix security issues before they inevitably become public.
Now Bird becomes the latest in a long list of companies that have threatened reporters or security researchers, alongside companies like drone maker DJI, which in 2017 threatened a security researcher trying to report a bug in good faith, and spam operator River City, which sued a security researcher who found the spammer's exposed servers and a reporter who wrote about it. Most recently, password manager maker Keeper sued a security reporter claiming allegedly defamatory remarks over a security flaw in one of its products. The case was eventually dropped, but not before more than 50 experts, advocates and journalist (including this reporter) signed onto a letter calling for companies to stop using legal threats to stifle and silence security researchers.
That effort resulted in several companies '-- notably Dropbox and Tesla '-- to double down on their protection of security researchers by changing their vulnerability disclosure rules to promise that the companies will not seek to prosecute hackers acting in good-faith.
But some companies have bucked that trend and have taken a more hostile, aggressive '-- and regressive '-- approach to security researchers and reporters.
''Bird Scooters and other dockless transport are hugely controversial right now, thanks in large part to a 'move-fast, break-things' approach to regulation, and it's not surprising that they would want to control the debate,'' said Doctorow.
''But to my mind, this kind of bullying speaks volumes about the overall character of the company,'' he said.
Updated at 6pm ET: with statement from Bird.
Thanks for the shout out
Publicis Presentation Specialist
Australia passes bill to force tech firms to hand over encrypted data | Reuters
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's parliament on Thursday passed a bill to force tech firms such as Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O ), Facebook FB.N and Apple (AAPL.O ) to give police access to encrypted data, the most far-reaching such requirements imposed by a western country.
A 3D printed Apple logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration taken March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
The bill, staunchly opposed by the tech giants which fear Australia could be an example as other nations explore similar rules, is set to become law before the end of the year.
''Let's just make Australians safe over Christmas,'' opposition Labor party leader Bill Shorten told reporters outside parliament in the capital of Canberra.
The bill, passed by the lower house of parliament earlier on Thursday, was to be debated in the upper Senate, where Labor said it intended to suggest new amendments, before going back to the lower house.
In an eleventh-hour twist, Labor said that despite its reservations, it would pass the bill in the Senate, on the proviso that the coalition agreed to its amendments next year.
''We will pass the legislation, inadequate as it is, so we can give our security agencies some of the tools they say they need,'' Shorten said.
The bill provides for fines of up to A$10 million ($7.3 million) for institutions and prison terms for individuals for failing to hand over data linked to suspected illegal activities.
When it becomes law, Australia will be one of the first nations to impose broad access requirements on technology firms, after many years of lobbying by intelligence and law enforcement agencies in many countries, particularly the so-called Five Eyes nations.
The Five Eyes intelligence network, comprised of the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, have each warned that national security was at risk because authorities were unable to monitor the communications of suspects.
Australia's government has said the laws are needed to counter militant attacks and organized crime and that security agencies would need to seek warrants to access personal data.
Technology companies have opposed efforts to create what they see as a back door to users' data, a stand-off that was propelled into the public arena by Apple's refusal to unlock an iPhone used by an attacker in a 2015 shooting in California.
The companies say creating tools for law enforcement to break encryption will inevitably undermine security for everyone.
Representatives of Google, Amazon and Apple were not immediately available for comment after the Senate vote.
Earlier on Thursday, a Facebook (FB.O ) spokesman directed Reuters to a statement made by the Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI), of which Facebook as well as Apple, Google, Amazon and Twitter, are members.
''This legislation is out of step with surveillance and privacy legislation in Europe and other countries that have strong national security concerns,'' the DIGI statement said.
''Several critical issues remain unaddressed in this legislation, most significantly the prospect of introducing systemic weaknesses that could put Australians' data security at risk,'' it said.
Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Karishma Luthria. Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE; Editing by Paul Tait and Darren Schuettler
Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic ' The Register
Looks like a functionality fail rather than a data breach, though Don't want charging app woes? Get a proper engine in your wagon
Nervous Nissan UK drivers were today assured by the car maker that Connect EV app log-in failures are related to a migration of data onto a new platform rather than anything more nefarious.
Customers contacted The Reg after receiving what one described as a slew of password resets and some speculated on the potential cause.
Upgrades like this really do not need users to reset passwords if done right...
Nissan's UK arm denied that ongoing problems with its Connect EV electric car app were the result of any error, but claimed a roll out of a "new computer system' meant users had been asked to reset their passwords.
''There has been no data breach,'' it said. ''The data was simply migrated over to a new computer system and therefore customers have been asked to reset their passwords as a security protocol.''
Taxi drivers and socially conscious road users, among other Nissan owners, have been experiencing problems with the app for some time.
One who spoke to us ventured: ''It's looking a bit like they may have managed to expose a big pile of data they should not have done.''
The Reg notes there was no evidence of any such breach.
Over on Twitter, Nissan UK's electric car tentacle was busy reassuring drivers that all was well.
Hi, recently, we made a changes to website & APP protocols that caused unexpected disruption in access to the EV APP and intermittent login failures. We are currently working on resolving this and want to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience. ^AL
'-- Nissan Electric UK (@NissanEV_UK) January 14, 2019 Hi Colin, we're aware that some customers are experiencing login problems. Have you downloaded the latest update from December 19th? If you have and you are still having problems logging in please contact our customer care team on 0330 123 1231 for help. ^AL
'-- Nissan Electric UK (@NissanEV_UK) January 14, 2019Not all were successful, however:
Yes, changed the Nissan+You password as requested by Nissan email, but since then can't log into Nissan Connect aka CarWings on web, or on app
'-- é>>æ°'¸èªåè>> (Denki Jidousha) (@DenkiJidousha) January 14, 2019The Nissan Connect app allows car owners to access third-party apps via the big dashboard display screen in more recent models. The EV version of the app allows 'leccycar drivers to see time to full charge, driving range, time to flat battery and other useful car-related information.
Recent user reviews on Google Play (the Android app store) were scathing. Kelly Moses wrote on 13 January: ''It is not possible to access any data or indeed even to log in, since the most recent update in Dec 18. The app has always been a little hit-and-miss, which is a great shame as it would otherwise be really useful.''
Similarly, Colin McAllister wrote on 12 January: ''This app continually responds 'This service cannot be provided. Please contact Nissan'. Nissan told me to change the country from 'UK' to 'Japan' because 'The servers can get busy'. It's 7am on a Saturday morning - I don't believe UK servers are really under that much stress!''
Security researcher Scott Helme (who described issues with Nissan's EV API several years ago, as well as problems controlling his Nissan Leaf via Amazon Alexa) agreed, telling us:
"People will understandably be suspicious of a hack, but it's probably just bad handling from Nissan if we give them the benefit of the doubt. Upgrades like this really do not need users to reset passwords if done right. They also could have communicated this better to avoid people assuming something bad has happened."
Where possible explanations for a bad situation boil down to "cockup or conspiracy", we favour "cockup" every time - with good reason. ®
For Owners of Amazon's Ring Security Cameras, Strangers May Have Been Watching
The ''smart home'' of the 21st century isn't just supposed to be a monument to convenience, we're told, but also to protection, a Tony Stark-like bubble of vigilant algorithms and internet-connected sensors working ceaselessly to watch over us. But for some who've welcomed in Amazon's Ring security cameras, there have been more than just algorithms watching through the lens, according to sources alarmed by Ring's dismal privacy practices.
Ring has a history of lax, sloppy oversight when it comes to deciding who has access to some of the most precious, intimate data belonging to any person: a live, high-definition feed from around '-- and perhaps inside '-- their house. The company has marketed its line of miniature cameras, designed to be mounted as doorbells, in garages, and on bookshelves, not only as a means of keeping tabs on your home while you're away, but of creating a sort of privatized neighborhood watch, a constellation of overlapping camera feeds that will help police detect and apprehend burglars (and worse) as they approach. ''Our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods has been at the core of everything we do at Ring,'' founder and CEO Jamie Siminoff wrote last spring to commemorate the company's reported $1 billion acquisition payday from Amazon, a company with its own recent history of troubling facial recognition practices. The marketing is working; Ring is a consumer hit and a press darling.
Despite its mission to keep people and their property secure, the company's treatment of customer video feeds has been anything but, people familiar with the company's practices told The Intercept. Beginning in 2016, according to one source, Ring provided its Ukraine-based research and development team virtually unfettered access to a folder on Amazon's S3 cloud storage service that contained every video created by every Ring camera around the world. This would amount to an enormous list of highly sensitive files that could be easily browsed and viewed. Downloading and sharing these customer video files would have required little more than a click. The Information, which has aggressively covered Ring's security lapses, reported on these practices last month.
At the time the Ukrainian access was provided, the video files were left unencrypted, the source said, because of Ring leadership's ''sense that encryption would make the company less valuable,'' owing to the expense of implementing encryption and lost revenue opportunities due to restricted access. The Ukraine team was also provided with a corresponding database that linked each specific video file to corresponding specific Ring customers.
''If [someone] knew a reporter or competitor's email address, [they] could view all their cameras.''''At the same time, the source said, Ring unnecessarily provided executives and engineers in the U.S. with highly privileged access to the company's technical support video portal, allowing unfiltered, round-the-clock live feeds from some customer cameras, regardless of whether they needed access to this extremely sensitive data to do their jobs. For someone who'd been given this top-level access '-- comparable to Uber's infamous ''God mode'' map that revealed the movements of all passengers '-- only a Ring customer's email address was required to watch cameras from that person's home. Although the source said they never personally witnessed any egregious abuses, they told The Intercept ''if [someone] knew a reporter or competitor's email address, [they] could view all their cameras.'' The source also recounted instances of Ring engineers ''teasing each other about who they brought home'' after romantic dates. Although the engineers in question were aware that they were being surveilled by their co-workers in real time, the source questioned whether their companions were similarly informed.
Ring's decision to grant this access to its Ukraine team was spurred in part by the weaknesses of its in-house facial and object recognition software. Neighbors, the company's disarming name for its distributed residential surveillance platform, is now a marquee feature for Ring's cameras, billed as a ''proactive'' neighborhood watch. This real-time crime-fighting requires more than raw video '-- it requires the ability to make sense, quickly and at a vast scale, of what's actually happening in these household video streams. Is that a dog or your husband? Is that a burglar or a tree? Ring's software has for years struggled with these fundamentals of object recognition. According to the most recent Information report, ''Users routinely complained to customer support about receiving alerts when nothing noteworthy was happening at their front door; instead, the system seemed to be detecting a car driving by on the street or a leaf falling from a tree in the front yard.''
Computer vision has made incredible strides in recent years, but creating software that can categorize objects from scratch is often expensive and time-consuming. To jump-start the process, Ring used its Ukrainian ''data operators'' as a crutch for its lackluster artificial intelligence efforts, manually tagging and labeling objects in a given video as part of a ''training'' process to teach software with the hope that it might be able to detect such things on its own in the near future. This process is still apparently underway years later: Ring Labs, the name of the Ukrainian operation, is still employing people as data operators, according to LinkedIn, and posting job listings for vacant video-tagging gigs: ''You must be able to recognize and tag all moving objects in the video correctly with high accuracy,'' reads one job ad. ''Be ready for rapid changes in tasks in the same way as be ready for long monotonous work.''
A never-before-published image from an internal Ring document pulls back the veil of the company's lofty security ambitions: Behind all the computer sophistication was a team of people drawing boxes around strangers, day in and day out, as they struggled to grant some semblance of human judgment to an algorithm. (The Intercept redacted a face from the image.)
A second source, with direct knowledge of Ring's video-tagging efforts, said that the video annotation team watches footage not only from the popular outdoor and doorbell camera models, but from household interiors. The source said that Ring employees at times showed each other videos they were annotating and described some of the things they had witnessed, including people kissing, firing guns, and stealing.
Ring spokesperson Yassi Shahmiri would not answer any questions about the company's past data policies and how they might be different today, electing instead to provide the following statement:
We take the privacy and security of our customers' personal information extremely seriously. In order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring videos. These videos are sourced exclusively from publicly shared Ring videos from the Neighbors app (in accordance with our terms of service), and from a small fraction of Ring users who have provided their explicit written consent to allow us to access and utilize their videos for such purposes.
We have strict policies in place for all our team members. We implement systems to restrict and audit access to information. We hold our team members to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our policies faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties. In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them.
It's not clear that the current standards for which Ring videos are accessed in Ukraine, as described in Ring's statement, have always been in place, nor is there any indication of how (or if) they're enforced. The Information quoted former employees saying the standards have not always been in place, and indicated that efforts to more tightly control video were put in place by Amazon only this past May after Amazon visited the Ukraine office. Even then, The Information added, staffers in Ukraine worked around the controls.
Update: January 11th, 2019
After initial publication, Ring spokesperson Yassi Shahmiri told The Intercept that ''Ring employees never have and never did provide employees with access to livestreams of their Ring devices,'' a claim contradicted by multiple sources.
Feds Can't Force You To Unlock Your iPhone With Finger Or Face, Judge Rules
Social Media Data SecurityNurPhoto via Getty Images
A California judge has ruled that American cops can't force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger. The ruling goes further to protect people's private lives from government searches than any before and is being hailed as a potentially landmark decision.
Previously, U.S. judges had ruled that police were allowed to force unlock devices like Apple's iPhone with biometrics, such as fingerprints, faces or irises. That was despite the fact feds weren't permitted to force a suspect to divulge a passcode. But according to a ruling uncovered by Forbes, all logins are equal.
The order came from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the denial of a search warrant for an unspecified property in Oakland. The warrant was filed as part of an investigation into a Facebook extortion crime, in which a victim was asked to pay up or have an ''embarassing'' video of them publicly released. The cops had some suspects in mind and wanted to raid their property. In doing so, the feds also wanted to open up any phone on the premises via facial recognition, a fingerprint or an iris.
While the judge agreed that investigators had shown probable cause to search the property, they didn't have the right to open all devices inside by forcing unlocks with biometric features.
On the one hand, magistrate judge Kandis Westmore ruled the request was ''overbroad'' as it was ''neither limited to a particular person nor a particular device.''
But in a more significant part of the ruling, Judge Westmore declared that the government did not have the right, even with a warrant, to force suspects to incriminate themselves by unlocking their devices with their biological features. Previously, courts had decided biometric features, unlike passcodes, were not ''testimonial.'' That was because a suspect would have to willingly and verbally give up a passcode, which is not the case with biometrics. A password was therefore deemed testimony, but body parts were not, and so not granted Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.
That created a paradox: How could a passcode be treated differently to a finger or face, when any of the three could be used to unlock a device and expose a user's private life?
And that's just what Westmore focused on in her ruling. Declaring that ''technology is outpacing the law,'' the judge wrote that fingerprints and face scans were not the same as ''physical evidence'' when considered in a context where those body features would be used to unlock a phone.
''If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one's finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,'' the judge wrote.
''The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial.''
There were other ways the government could get access to relevant data in the Facebook extortion case ''that do not trample on the Fifth Amendment,'' Westmore added. They could, for instance, ask Facebook to provide Messenger communications, she suggested. Facebook has been willing to hand over such messages in a significant number of previous cases Forbes has reviewed.
Law finally catching up with tech?
Over recent years, the government has drawn criticism for its smartphone searches. In 2016, Forbes uncovered a search warrant not dissimilar to the one in California. Again in the Golden State, the feds wanted to go onto a premises and force unlock devices with fingerprints, regardless of what phones or who was inside.
Andrew Crocker, senior staff attorney at the digital rights nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the latest California ruling went a step further than he'd seen other courts go. In particular, Westmore observed alphanumeric passcodes and biometrics served the same purpose in unlocking phones.
''While that's a fairly novel conclusion, it's important that courts are beginning to look at these issues on their own terms,'' Crocker told Forbes. ''In its recent decisions, the Supreme Court has made clear that digital searches raise serious privacy concerns that did not exist in the age of physical searches'--a full forensic search of a cellphone reveals far more than a patdown of a suspect's pockets during an arrest for example.''
The magistrate judge decision could, of course, be overturned by a district court judge, as happened in Illinois in 2017 with a similar ruling. The best advice for anyone concerned about government overreach into their smartphones: Stick to a strong alphanumeric passcode that you won't be compelled to disclose.
By many measures, Castro might seem modest. The company that makes the freemium podcast-listening app doesn't disclose usage numbers, stating only that it's among the top 10 podcast apps for iOS'--a market segment dominated by Apple's bundled Podcasts, which overshadows everything else. Castro might have as many as the low hundreds of thousands of users, the vast majority paying nothing.
But Castro has ambitions. While the podcast industry raked in over $300 million in ads in 2017, that number is estimated at $400 million for 2018, and is expected to cross $600 million by 2020, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. That's a tiny sum relative to newspaper and radio ad sales, which are around $17 billion each. Still, it's up from nearly nothing in just a few years.
[Image: courtesy of Castro]Counting advertising alone misses an important and growing part of podcast revenue, however. Other forms of income come from paid content that's either charged as a premium or included as part of a subscription. This money is collected by companies as varied as Audible, Spotify, and Stitcher. They don't disclose details about the income they receive that is solely attributable to selling podcast content, but some observers believe it could reach billions in a few years, based on rapidly growing demand.
Castro would like a piece of that future, and the two-man band that developed the app'-- Pdraig ' Cinn(C)ide and Oisn Prendiville'--recently sold their creation to Tiny, a Victoria, B.C., venture-capital firm that specializes in boosting the fortunes of generally profitable middle-stage startup firms and app makers. Castro's developers will remain at work on their creation. Tiny's cofounder Andrew Wilkinson also founded MetaLab, a user-interface shop that's designed products and handled launches for firms like Slack, Coinbase, Amazon, and Google.
Castro's revenue currently comes entirely from users who opt to pay for Castro Plus at $3 a quarter or $9 a year. That in-app upgrade brings a number of minor improvements, including an option to recognize and trim silences in podcasts'--offering a minor speedup of listening time'--and per-podcast customization of settings, such as how many episodes to retain.
Tiny believes in Castro as a product and thinks it's positioned to take advantage of burgeoning revenue in a rapidly growing space. ''We think Castro is the best [app] we've used,'' says Wilkinson via email. ''So it was a no-brainer to team up with Pdraig and Oisn to help them keep going to be able to capture that opportunity versus continuing the brutal indie app-store grind with limited resources.''
[Images: courtesy of Castro]The potential listening market is huge. In 2006, in podcasting's relative infancy, just 11% of Americans 12 or older had ever listened to even one episode. But by 2018, according to Edison Research, that number had climbed to 44%, or about 124 million people. The firm said 17% of Americans who are 12 and older currently listen to podcasts at least once a week. There's more growth potential yet to come in other countries. The U.K.'s telecom and broadcast regulator, Ofcom, noted in September 2018 that weekly podcast listeners there had doubled from 7% of people aged 15 and over in 2013 to 11% in 2018''nearly 6 million people''but they still have a long way to go to match the U.S.
Wilkinson notes that Tiny is happy to invest in listeners without obsessing about short-term profits for now, but will seek ''revenue over the long term.'' The goal is to become one of the ''top 10 players.'' The landscape of podcast apps, advertising, and consumer-paid content doesn't make that a boast or implausible. Castro is just the latest in a series of moves on the app side of things, as more companies enter the fray.
Here's a map of the current rocky terrain.
Apple-to-apples comparisonsYou can't talk about the podcast ecosystem without starting with Apple. It's the 100,000-watt gorilla radio station, if that radio gorilla were benign and shared its bananas by broadcasting any tape sent in.
The Apple Podcasts app ships as part of iOS, and thus is in the hands of a billion or more iPhone and iPad users. By many reports, listeners who use this app form 70% or more of podcast consumers. All other apps, no matter how popular, have just a few percentage points of listeners, at least for podcasts that aren't behind a walled garden.
Over the years, Apple's interest in podcasts has ranged from indifferent to supportive. Currently, it's in a supportive arc. The company doesn't offer any way for podcasters to charge for content, but it puts them in its directory without charge, and offers a streamlined way for listeners to subscribe to new episodes and select from back catalogs.
Apple shows podcasts in its audio search results with the same level of visibility as music, spoken word, and audiobooks. The Podcasts app is not great, but it's good enough, and it fits neatly into this ecosystem. The Podcasts app's existence is certainly a reason podcast listening has grown steadily over several years from a niche audience. (Google released its own Google Podcasts app for Android in June 2018, but it has to be downloaded. Google has no plans for an iOS version, nor is Apple likely to offer anything for Android''although given that it just announced plans to bring formerly proprietary services to LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio TV sets, who knows what the future might bring?)
[Image: courtesy of Stitcher]For all the benefits of Apple's support of podcasts, its dominance has led to an advertising monoculture. Podcasters couldn't charge directly for episodes or shows, and couldn't assemble rigorous information about listenership or, critically, how long into a podcast people listened before dropping off or whether they skipped over ads. Advertisers on terrestrial and satellite radio rely in part in listening data collected by Nielsen's tracking systems.
In this monoculture, ''host-read ads'' leapt to the fore. A throwback to old-time radio, they involve the podcast's host reading ad copy''often improvising a bit or speaking from personal experience''in the same natural cadence of the rest of the show.
That sort of read ''will not necessarily scale to billions of dollars, we don't think,'' says Erik Diehn, the CEO of Stitcher, an E.W. Scripps company that offers its own subscription-based app, sells ads for podcast creators, and produces its own shows for free and premium distribution. ''If you're Starbucks and want to reach people in five cities for a seven-day holiday promotion,'' he said, a host-read ad doesn't meet the bill. That's despite the success of Midroll, a pioneering podcast ad-sales firm acquired by Scripps before it bought Stitcher.
These ads also typically benefit advertisers who can measure direct response from codes or URLs read by the hosts. There's a reason why it seems like direct-to-consumer businesses such as Audible, Casper, Harry's, MeUndies, and Squarespace are the only companies paying for podcast ads. For programs that don't have many regular listeners or aren't focused around a host, these sorts of ads are a poor fit. (Some podcasts rely on voluntary support or a patronage model, but this largely works best for those with low production costs or vast listenership.)
In the last few years, there's been some shift. A number of companies offer software that can insert audio ads dynamically for each download of an episode. Some podcasts use host-read ads for an initial release, and then mark those sections to deliver dynamic ads when an episode becomes part of the back catalog. Some popular podcasts may have as many cumulative downloads from a back catalog in a month or so as any new episode.
[Images: courtesy of Stitcher]And Apple opened its kimono at least partly. In mid-2017, it began to offer podcast creators access to analytics for their shows, aggregating information from iOS users who opted in at a system-wide level to sending diagnostic and usage information to Apple. Charts and lists reveal overall and per-episode data, such as unique devices and time listened.
But most importantly, Apple displays listenership across the duration of a podcast episode, providing a graphical and quantitative insight into when people stop listening. That lets podcasters know (and prove to advertisers) that listeners keep listening rather than abandoning an episode after a few minutes.
With Apple's new features, podcasts fed out through a feed, rather than through custom apps, could get unfiltered and direct insight for the first time. There were fears that this knowledge would poison the podcast pool. What if it turned out listeners tune out before the first ad? Those concerns were misplaced. However, people generally listen through episodes at a declining rate that largely matched expectations.
But dynamic advertising and partial metrics don't offer enough options for every podcast that's after revenue to thrive and expand. That's led to a proliferation of podcast apps with specialized features'--some aimed at listeners and some for show producer and podcast networks'--designed to create listener loyalty, accept payments, and gather metrics outside of Apple's constraints.
Hungry for dataA few dozen apps, like Apple Podcasts, have no monetization or network affiliation built in. In iOS, that includes Castro, Overcast, Downcast, Pocket Casts, and others. These can use public or private podcast feeds. (A consortium of public-radio groups, including NPR and This American Life, bought Pocket Casts in May 2018.) These apps typically have an in-app purchase, likely a recurring but modest subscription, to unlock certain features, or request a voluntary contribution. But none offer premium content or pass-along payments to podcast creators.
Dozens of other podcast apps and streaming-audio apps that include podcast support have a huge diversity of models. Some, like Spotify, embed ads in third-party podcasts unless someone is a premium Spotify subscriber. Others, like Stitcher, allow subscriptions to a significant percentage of free podcasts, but also offer access to premium programming through a monthly subscription. And NPR One, created by that public-radio network, is a combination of public-radio-only podcasts and streaming audio. iHeartRadio has a similar app that centers around streaming radio from its stations, but also allows podcast subscriptions of programs it produces and others it lists in a directory.
Still others, like the podcast-hosting platform Libsyn, create custom or template-based apps for programs or networks that can optionally collect subscription fees or other revenue.
Many of these apps gather the kind of listening data that advertisers and media-company executives love seeing: granular and comprehensive. It's used for selling ads, but also analyzing the popularity of programs, especially for subscription-based services.
This tendency to track listeners and their behavior will take a strong tick upwards with NPR's release of a a podcast measurement standard called Remote Audio Data (RAD). RAD will allow podcast producers to tag their content, dropping markers in audio files at specific time stamps using an existing metadata format. The standard comes with wide support among other app developers, podcast platforms, and both public and commercial radio and podcast networks.
When a listener uses any of these apps with RAD support and the app encounters a marker, it shoots back an anonymized bit of data to an analytics URL that's part of the marker. RAD will let podcasters, advertisers, and other members of the ecosystem aggregate listening data across a variety of apps into a single dashboard. (Apps will have to work through how they disclose or allow opt-in or opt-out of RAD data collection in a way that conforms with Apple's and Google's privacy policies, too.)
That will overcome some of the fragmented podcast app landscape. But Apple hasn't signed on, and some podcast app developers are opposed to the idea. Marco Arment, whose Overcast app typically has more listeners than any other independent podcast app, has long taken a strong privacy stance. On Deccember 11, he tweeted about his objections to RAD.
Yes. I understand why huge podcast companies want more listener data, but there are zero advantages for listeners or app-makers.
I won't be supporting any listener-behavior tracking specs in Overcast. Podcasters get enough data from your IP address when you download episodes. https://t.co/mplhnrmCsc
'-- Marco Arment (@marcoarment) December 11, 2018
The Stitcher exampleThe focus on listener metrics and ad delivery means that most podcasting companies haven't delved deeply into other possible forms of revenue. This is partly because the firms generating the most revenue with subscription-only podcast series and premium content for shows that are otherwise freely available share almost no information about revenue attributable to podcasts.
Stitcher is a rare exception, as its parent company, E.W. Scripps, breaks out the business's revenue, which was $13 million in the most recent quarter, or a 90% year-over-year increase. That combines ad commissions and subscription/premium content. (E.W. Scripps put its podcast ad sales, original series development, apps, and premium services under the Stitcher brand earlier this year, folding in Midroll.)
Stitcher combines a bit of nearly every existing revenue model in one place. It pioneered the ''Netflix for podcasts'' model, which has gradually become a value-added extra in a number of audio-subscription services, including Audible, Spotify, and Pandora. Listeners to those networks can subscribe to podcasts available for free on the larger internet, but just as Netflix supercharged its subscription growth by producing programming in-house in ever-larger quantities, it seems like that's the direction for audio-subscription services with podcasts as well.
According to Stitcher CEO Diehn, ''There will an increasing volume of content that will not be available via RSS,'' the venerable technology used to push out free podcast feeds. Partnering with Marvel, Stitcher just coproduced the first season of a Wolverine series, available initially only to paid subscribers. The cast had fairly well-known TV and movie actors, including Richard Armitage in the lead role. (Stitcher also launched a Conan O'Brien podcast with his production company, but it's broadly available and free.)
Despite the scope of listenership, none of these models have fully shaken out yet. At some point, people may own enough mattresses and razors, and stop responding to ads. Locked in by premium content, listeners subscribing to one network may not want to subscribe or buy audio from others.
Even with Apple's domination of mass listenership, the fragmentation of the rest of the market makes it unlikely that podcasts turn into what's happened in streaming media, with original, subscription-only programs available uniquely at Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and TV and movie company apps such as CBS All Access and Disney's Disney+. Netflix and Hulu have scored some remarkable subscription increases, but at some point''as with cable TV bills''people look at what they're paying each month and make hard decisions.
This gives Castro and a host of other apps with existing user bases a toehold to help explore the future. Tiny's principals didn't want to discuss the details of Castro's future on the record, but they're eager to be part of riding the podcast wave and shaping its direction. And as Stitcher's Diehn says, ''I don't think it's all shaken out yet.''
Listeners currently reside in the catbird seat. Everybody wants to cater to their listening interests, nobody knows what to charge or fully how to collect money from them, and their listening habits remain only partly tracked. Whatever model or models emerge will have to contend with a lifetime's worth of already-released podcast episodes that hundreds of millions of people have yet to listen to.
The iconic Motorola Razr is back, according to The Wall Street Journal. The once-popular flip phone '-- cast aside with the 2007 introduction of Apple's iPhone '-- is being reinvented as a smart phone with a foldable screen and a $1,500 price tag, according to those familiar with the matter. Lenovo, in partnership with Verizon, could be set to launch the upgraded Razr as soon as February. Niche products are becoming increasingly popular as consumers hold onto their smartphones for longer, notes the Journal.
Unique perspectives from professionals around the worldRead and share thoughts with a community that collaborates and helps each otherJoin the communityTrending storiesCarmakers say sedans still popularWhile this week's Detroit auto show reflects changing trends in the auto industry '-- whereby traditional sedan sales dropped to a record low of 30% in 2018, some automakers say that the passenger cars are still an important part of their business. Over 5 million sedans were sold in the past year, according to the Honda Motors, which see it ''as a great opportunity to grow our market share.'' And while U.S. buyers may be placing a heavier focus on new trucks and SUVs, customers in Asia and Europe are still buying passenger cars. More than 750 vehicles are being exhibited at Detroit's annual show.
3 hours ago 4,141 readers
Motorola's RAZR is returning as a $1,500 folding smartphone - The Verge
The legendary Motorola RAZR might be making a comeback as a $1,500 foldable screen smartphone, and it could launch as early as February, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
The original RAZR was one of the most iconic cellphones ever made, and it seems that Motorola's parent company Lenovo is looking to cash in on that branding with an updated foldable phone (similar to the one that Samsung has teased for later this year). Per the WSJ, the new RAZR will be exclusive to Verizon in the US with a planned February launch, although the device is still in testing and details have yet to be finalized.
No word yet on if the flip phone design will be here
Also unknown is nearly any concrete information about the phone. There's no word yet on things like screen size, specifications, or even form factor. Will the revived RAZR just borrow the name but use a more traditional landscape folding display? Will Lenovo follow the original RAZR design and have some sort of super long vertically folding screen?
This isn't the first time that the RAZR brand has seen an attempted resurrection, either: in 2011 and 2012, Motorola also teamed up with Verizon (it seems to really like the RAZR name) for a series of Droid RAZR devices, which tried to cash in on the goodwill of RAZR devices, albeit without any of the flip phone design that was part of the original charm.
That said, dragging old smartphone designs to the present in updated forms is starting to become a trend. The HMD-owned iteration of Nokia has practically made a cottage industry of it with rereleases of the Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110, but those devices were meant to be fun, nostalgic novelties, not flagship competitors.
According to the WSJ report, Lenovo is hoping to manufacture over 200,000 of the new RAZRs, which may seem optimistic for a $1,500 luxury smartphone. But considering that the (admittedly much cheaper) RAZR V3 model sold 130 million units over its lifespan, if lightning does manage to strike twice, that goal might not be so hard to hit.
Alias acts as a middle-man device that is designed to appropriate any voice activated device. Equipped with speakers and a microphone, Alias is able to communicate and manipulate the home assistant when placed on top of it. The speakers of Alias are used to interrupt the assistance with a constant low noise/sound that feeds directly into the microphone of the assistant. First when Alias recognises the user created wake-word, it stops the noise and quietly activates the assistant with a sound recording of the original wake-word. From here the assistant can be used as normally.
The wake word detection is made with a small neural network that runs locally on Alias, which can be trained and modified through live examples. The app acts as a controller to reset, train and turn on/off Alias.The way Alias manipulates the home assistance allows to
create new custom functionalities and commands that the products were not originally intended for. Alias can be programmed to send any speech commands to the assistant's speakers, which leaves us with a lot of new possibilities.
Most Facebook users don't know their interests are tracked for ad targeting, Pew study finds / Boing Boing
Most Facebook users have no idea how the company tracks and profiles everything they do to target ads, a new Pew Research study confirms.
Pew reports that three-quarters (74%) of Facebook users surveyed in the study did not know that Facebook tracks their interests and various personal traits so they can be more efficiently targeted with ads. Those users only discovered this when the researchers directed them to take a look at the Facebook ad preferences page for their accounts.
Most (51%) of Facebook users in the study told Pew they felt uncomfortable about Facebook compiling this personal information.
You can read the study in entirety here:''Facebook Algorithms and Personal Data.''
From a writeup at TechCrunch:
While more than a quarter (27%) said the ad preference listing Facebook had generated did not very or at all accurately represent them.
The researchers also found that 88% of polled users had some material generated for them on the ad preferences page. Pew's findings come from a survey of a nationally representative sample of 963 U.S. Facebook users ages 18 and older which was conducted between September 4 to October 1, 2018, using GfK's KnowledgePanel.
In a senate hearing last year Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg claimed users have ''complete control'' over both information they actively choose to upload to Facebook and data about them the company collects in order to target ads.
But the key question remains how Facebook users can be in complete control when most of them they don't know what the company is doing. This is something U.S. policymakers should have front of mind as they work on drafting a comprehensive federal privacy law.
Pew's findings suggest Facebook's greatest 'defence' against users exercising what little control it affords them over information its algorithms links to their identity is a l
Below, highlights of the study from Pew Research:
[IMAGES: Courtesy PEW RESEARCH, Internet & Technology]
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Battle lines forming ahead of a looming US privacy law fight
WJ Wire FILE - This Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington. Consumer advocates and the data-hungry technology industry are drawing early battle lines in advance of an expected fight over a national privacy law. Privacy organizations on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, suggested sidelining the Federal Trade Commission with a new data-protection agency empowered to police U.S. industry. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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.
Consumer advocates and the data-hungry technology industry are drawing early battle lines in advance of an expected fight this year over what kind of federal privacy law the U.S. should have.
On Thursday, more than a dozen privacy organizations unveiled a plan that would create a new federal data-protection agency focused on regulating the way businesses and other organizations collect and make use of personal data, even if aggregated or anonymized. The proposal would sideline the Federal Trade Commission, which has limited powers and a mixed record of holding companies to account for privacy problems.
On the other side, a think tank backed by Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other major tech companies proposed changes that would still give the industry broad authority to collect and use customer data. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation called for national legislation that would repeal and replace existing privacy laws with a ''common set of protections'' intended to encourage innovation while also quashing tougher state laws.
Unlike many industrialized nations, the U.S. has no overarching national law governing data collection and privacy. Instead, it has a patchwork of federal laws that protect specific types of data, such as consumer health and financial information and the personal data generated by younger children.
States have also started to pass their own tougher restrictions. A California measure set to take effect next year, for instance, will let consumers request the data collected from them and to opt out of future collection.
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Calls for a national privacy law gained force after Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal last year, in which the social media giant was forced to admit that onetime political consultants for the 2016 Trump campaign had improperly accessed the personal information of as many as 87 million users .
Continuing revelations of data missteps at Facebook and other big tech companies have bolstered a U.S. reform movement. Its advocates take heart from recent developments in Europe, which last year enacted sweeping privacy regulations that, among other things, require companies to obtain permission before collecting most data. Several U.S. senators '-- including Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican '-- have already introduced draft privacy legislation.
''Privacy advocates are fed up with the FTC and with Washington failing to reign in the immense power the big data giants hold,'' said Jeffrey Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, which helped author the reform proposal.
Their proposal would set limits on what data companies can collect and would require firms to consider correcting or deleting personal data upon request. It would also prevent companies from giving customer data to the government unless criminal investigations necessitated it.
By contrast, the ITIF report calls for a ''grand bargain'' that would accept a national privacy law long opposed by industry. In the foundation's proposal, however, this law would establish ''baseline'' privacy protections across all industries '-- and would prevent states from enacting stronger measures.
''A lot of privacy activists are entrenched in creating ever more complicated rules,'' Daniel Castro, a co-author of the ITIF report's, said by email. ''The only way to simplify these rules is to rewrite them.''
Privacy experts say the baseline protections in the ITIF proposal still leave consumers at the mercy of big corporations. For instance, its ''limited'' consumer protections would require individuals to track the companies that collect their data in order to request access or corrections, rather than shifting that burden to companies themselves, said Eric Null, senior policy counsel at the New America think tank's Open Technology Institute.
The ITIF proposal would also prevent individual lawsuits against companies accused of misrepresenting or misusing their data, primarily to shield corporations from legal risk. Instead, only government would be empowered to protect individual rights. ''A federal privacy law should include the power of a private individual to bring legal action,'' said Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the Electronic Freedom Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy group.
ITIF's plan could potentially start a conversation in Congress over repealing existing federal privacy laws, Null said, but several Democratic lawmakers strongly oppose that. ''We should build upon '-- not dismantle '-- existing safeguards,'' said Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, in an emailed statement from his office.
Chris Hoofnagle, another privacy researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, called the ITIF offer ''laughable,'' noting that it falls short of the voluntary privacy commitments companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon have already made.
Lerman reported from Seattle; Arbel reported from New York
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
MissionAs technological innovation transforms the global economy and society, policymakers often lack the specialized knowledge and informed perspective necessary to evaluate and respond to fast-moving issues and circumstances. What should they do to capitalize on new opportunities, overcome challenges, and avoid potential pitfalls? The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) exists to provide answers and point the way forward.
Founded in 2006, ITIF is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute'--a think tank'--whose mission is to formulate, evaluate, and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress. ITIF's goal is to provide policymakers around the world with high-quality information, analysis, and recommendations they can trust. To that end, ITIF adheres to a high standard of research integrity with an internal code of ethics grounded in analytical rigor, policy pragmatism, and independence from external direction or bias.
ITIF focuses on a host of critical issues at the intersection of technological innovation and public policy'--including in the areas of innovation and competitiveness; information technology and data ; telecommunications; trade and globalization; and life sciences, agricultural biotechnology, and clean energy. (Read more about ITIF's policy goals and values.)
Ongoing research programs and educational activities include:
Setting the policy agenda on technology, innovation, and global competition issues by producing original research reports and analytical commentary;Shaping public debate by hosting events, giving speeches and presentations, providing official testimony, and serving as expert issue analysts in the news media; andAdvising policymakers through direct interaction in Washington, DC, and other state, national, and regional capitals around the world.On the strength and influence of this work, the University of Pennsylvania has ranked ITIF as the world's leading think tank for science and technology policy, and one of the top 50 U.S. think tanks of any sort.
ExpertiseITIF is led by its president and founder, Robert D. Atkinson, an internationally recognized policy scholar and widely published author whom The New Republic has named one of the ''three most important thinkers about innovation,'' Washingtonian Magazine has called a ''Tech Titan,'' and Government Technology Magazine has judged to be one of the 25 top ''Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of Information Technology.'' Under Atkinson, ITIF's team of policy analysts and fellows includes authors and recognized experts in the fields of economics, tax policy, trade, telecommunications, privacy, cybersecurity, and life sciences, among many others.
ITIF also is home to the highly regarded Center for Data Innovation, which develops and promotes policy ideas to capitalize on the tremendous economic and social benefits that data-driven innovation can offer. ITIF also spearheads the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance, an international network of think tanks that conduct evidence-based research into policies that can foster greater trade liberalization, curb ''innovation mercantilism,'' and encourage governments to play proactive roles in spurring innovation and productivity.
ImpactWhile producing its own original research, analysis, and commentary, ITIF also hosts a rich and voluminous program of panel discussions, debates, roundtables, and presentations featuring distinguished authors, prominent policymakers, influential thinkers, and other leaders on issues shaping the course of technology innovation. ITIF analysts also travel widely to engage in policymaking forums around the world. In recent years, these trips have led, among other places, to Ottawa, Mexico City, London, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Oslo, Stockholm, Salzburg, Vienna, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, New Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing.
If a common theme or point of view runs through all of ITIF's work, it is that public policy should almost always err on the side of spurring innovation instead of limiting or constraining it'--and the conventional policy agendas of both the left and right are often ill-suited to the challenges and opportunities of today's economy. ITIF believes that effective innovation policy requires policy innovation, which stems from disruptive new thinking that actively pushes back on faulty ideas.
The need for an expert resource such as ITIF is evidenced by the substantial impact it has in shaping tangible policy outcomes. In the last few years alone:
Policymakers in the United States and Europe have pointed to ITIF's research on the economic harms of government surveillance policies to build support for essential reforms;Governments from Singapore to Sweden have developed national innovation strategies based in significant part on a framework that ITIF developed and promoted in its book Innovation Economics;The U.S. Congress has advanced legislation incorporating ITIF recommendations on a wide range of issues, including research and development, manufacturing support policy, technology transfer, and taxes;The White House has relied on ITIF's work in a variety of areas, including R&D tax reform, manufacturing technology, and broadband policy; andU.S. states, including Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island, have developed innovation policies based on ITIF proposals.Praise''ITIF is able to play an important role in developing policy because they work on creative solutions to break through partisan gridlock. We can't move our country forward unless we work together.''
'-- U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
~ ~ ~
''Innovation and technology aren't just the lifeblood of today's economy, but tomorrow's economy as well. They are the engine that will drive our nation and the world for generations to come. I commend ITIF's commitment to those core principles.''
'-- U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
~ ~ ~
''ITIF has been a leader in advocating for policies that will help jumpstart research and development, promote new investment, and encourage innovation. I appreciate ITIF's role as a national advocate on behalf of our country's future economic security.''
'-- U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
~ ~ ~
''Technology issues increasingly are at the heart of our most consequential policy debates. ITIF provides the invaluable service of breaking through the confusion to give policymakers high-quality information, analysis, and recommendations we can trust to foster the kind of innovation that will drive economic growth and social progress.''
'-- U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
~ ~ ~
''The information technology revolution remains the key driver of prosperity growth. I am pleased that ITIF has been launched to help develop the kinds of ideas and policy proposals that will ensure America remains the global technology leader.''
'-- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
~ ~ ~
''You can always count on ITIF for rigorous analysis of complicated questions. Its conclusions are sensible and sound, because they're based on hard evidence.''
'-- Aneesh Chopra, Co-Founder, Hunch Analytics, and Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer
~ ~ ~
''I think of ITIF as a go-to resource for expert analysis of issues at the intersection of innovation, technology, and global trade.''
'-- Demetrios Marantis, Former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
Congress should repeal and replace existing federal privacy laws with a common set of protections. We need comprehensive data privacy legislation that preempts state laws, improves transparency requirements, strengthens enforcement, and establishes a clear set of data privacy rights for Americans based on the sensitivity of the data and the context in which it is collected.
There is a growing chorus of voices calling for national data privacy legislation in the United States. Not surprisingly, stakeholders have offered competing visions for what such a law should look like. Designing data privacy legislation involves a complex process that must address a wide array of legal and regulatory issues. To help policymakers understand and evaluate these issues, this report compares how different laws and frameworks around the world address various data privacy issues; describes 30 components included in existing laws, frameworks, and legislative proposals; and explains each one's likely impact on consumers, businesses, and the digital economy.
On the basis of this analysis, the report calls for a bold new privacy framework that expands and simplifies consumer data privacy rights, reduces compliance costs from existing state and federal regulations, and paves the way for more data-driven innovation. Specifically, the report calls for comprehensive data privacy legislation to repeal and replace existing federal privacy laws with a common set of protections, preempt state laws, improve transparency requirements, strengthen enforcement, and establish a clear set of data privacy rights for Americans based on the sensitivity of the data and the context in which it is collected.
The United States does not have a single federal data privacy law. Instead, it has multiple federal and state laws that regulate the private sector, often focusing on particular sectors or types of data, with multiple regulatory authorities responsible for oversight. Where there are no sector-specific rules, the U.S. government provides oversight of industry self-regulation, allowing particular industry sectors to use voluntary agreements, peer pressure, and other methods to coordinate behavior without violating antitrust rules. For example, the online ad industry has developed a robust self-regulatory program, and companies who commit to this program and violate its rules can face action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This arrangement has been one factor enabling the United States to be the world leader in innovative digital services. Of the 15 largest digital firms in the world, all are either American or Chinese. In contrast, other economies with strict data protection regulations, such as the European Union, have fallen by the wayside in part because it is so hard to use data for innovation. Indeed, of the top 200 digital firms, only 8 are European.
If Congress passes data privacy legislation, its key task will not be to maximize consumer privacy, but rather to balance competing goals such as consumer privacy, free speech, productivity, U.S. economic competitiveness, and innovation. It is relatively easy to pass legislation to maximize consumer privacy. Indeed, the Europe Union did just that when it created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)'--a set of strict data protection rules for EU member states'--which went into effect in May 2018. But this regulation came at a steep price: high compliance costs that were passed on to consumers; reduced choice in the digital economy as some firms choose not to provide services; and limited innovation as it becomes much more difficult for organizations, including nonprofits, to use data to innovate and improve services.
Crafting privacy legislation that balances key goals is more difficult, both conceptually and politically, but it is essential if policymakers do not want to derail the continued success of the U.S. digital economy. Crafting such legislation requires a thorough understanding of the direct and indirect implications of various data protection policies. Policymakers who ignore the complexity of complying with privacy laws or the hidden costs of these regulations risk creating rules that undermine the digital economy by restricting the overall digital ecosystem and the benefits it provides consumers. The goal of data privacy legislation should therefore not be to myopically maximize consumer privacy, but to maximize consumer welfare. In other words, consumer welfare involves privacy, but it also involves lower prices (or free products and services) and the development of new products and services. This approach requires finding the optimal level of regulation for the digital economy, with rules that are neither too weak nor too strong.
This report focuses on potential federal data privacy legislation for private-sector data processing. It does not address government access to data or restrictions on government use of data. It proposes a grand bargain, in which Congress repeals existing federal data privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and replaces them with a single federal data privacy law that preempts state laws. The new federal law would establish a common set of federal protections for all types of data based on the sensitivity of the data and the context in which it is collected. This report also proposes to improve consumer protections by enhancing transparency requirements for business practices, and, establishing a set of clear basic rights for Americans. This report also proposes improving enforcement by granting regulators the appropriate authority to update and enforce rules while ensuring they have the proper constraints to protect industry from regulatory overreach and overzealous enforcement. In this way, its proposals will incentivize companies to focus less on check-the-box compliance and more on reducing actual consumer harm. This report also looks beyond U.S. borders, proposing how a data privacy law could facilitate data sharing abroad without simply acceding to demands from other countries or regions on how to protect data. And most importantly, it offers recommendations for how federal data privacy legislation can promote innovation and beneficial data collection, use, and sharing to ensure consumers continue to benefit from the growing digital economy, including services supported by targeted digital advertising.
FCC Wants Delay In Net Neutrality Trial Due To Government Shutdown, But Isn't Likely To Get It | Techdirt
The FCC is requesting a delay in the opening arguments in the looming lawsuit over the agency's repeal of net neutrality rules, citing the government shutdown as justification. Oral arguments are slated to begin February 1 in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, beginning what should be a fairly insightful battle over the Ajit Pai FCC's historically unpopular move, and some of the dubious behavior it engaged in to try and downplay public opposition.
The court noted this week on its website that the trial is likely to proceed regardless of the government shutdown. The FCC quickly balked, filing a motion (pdf) requesting a delay in the trial. In the filing, the FCC cites guidance from the Department of Justice in requesting a delay out of what it suggests would be a wise "abundance of caution" as it attempts to prepare for the legal battle:
"The Commission recognizes that the Court has indicated that arguments in February will proceed as scheduled," the FCC said in its filing. "However, due to the recent lapse in funding for the FCC and the relevant component of the Department of Justice, the Commission believes that, in an abundance of caution, it should move for an extension to ensure that attorneys may fully prepare for argument."
Groups like Incompas, whose members have been fighting to restore the rules, issued their own motion (pdf) arguing that given the potential harms from the repeal, expediency is warranted:
"Due to the FCC's misguided and unlawful repeal of the network neutrality rules, consumers are at risk of substantial harm from Internet Service Providers ('ISPs'), which may now interfere with access to lawful Internet content without the restraint of the net neutrality rules. The repeal of the rules also threatens edge providers, as they are facing the risk of blocking, throttling, and other practices by ISPs, which may have services competing with edge provider services."
Both Incompas and consumer advocates like Public Knowledge's Harold Feld note that given that the DC Circuit has been denying numerous other deferments due to the shutdown, the FCC isn't likely to get what it's looking for:
For those that care, #netneutrality oral argument will take place as scheduled on February 1.https://t.co/C2W695szxb
D.C. Circuit has been denying gov requests for deferment pending shut down, so even if @FCC asks, seems unlikely to get one.
'-- (((haroldfeld))) (@haroldfeld) January 15, 2019
Again, this legal fight is going to be very interesting to watch, as it's the first time the FCC will have to defend the various bizarre behaviors it engaged in during the repeal, including making up a DDOS attack (apparently to concoct an alternative explanation for the outrage-driven FCC website outage), blocking FOIA and law enforcement inquiries into those bogus comments the FCC refused to do anything about, or why its flimsy justifications for the repeal were pushed in perfect synchronicity with big telecom lobbyists.
If you were staring down the barrel of that particular gun, you'd probably want a delay too. Should the FCC lose, the agency's 2015 rules could be restored. If it wins, the FCC and its friends in the telecom sector need to find a way to prevent some future FCC or Congress from simply passing new rules, which is why they've been pushing bogus net neutrality laws even Congress hasn't been dumb enough to buy into quite yet. Get your popcorn ready.
Apple CEO Tim Cook: It's Time for Action on Data Privacy | Time.com
In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy'--yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn't have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.
This problem is solvable'--it isn't too big, too challenging or too late. Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy'--and they must. Realizing technology's potential depends on it.
That's why I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation'--a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer. Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation:
First, the right to have personal data minimized. Companies should challenge themselves to strip identifying information from customer data or avoid collecting it in the first place. Second, the right to knowledge'--to know what data is being collected and why. Third, the right to access. Companies should make it easy for you to access, correct and delete your personal data. And fourth, the right to data security, without which trust is impossible.
But laws alone aren't enough to ensure that individuals can make use of their privacy rights. We also need to give people tools that they can use to take action. To that end, here's an idea that could make a real difference.
One of the biggest challenges in protecting privacy is that many of the violations are invisible. For example, you might have bought a product from an online retailer'--something most of us have done. But what the retailer doesn't tell you is that it then turned around and sold or transferred information about your purchase to a ''data broker'''--a company that exists purely to collect your information, package it and sell it to yet another buyer.
The trail disappears before you even know there is a trail. Right now, all of these secondary markets for your information exist in a shadow economy that's largely unchecked'--out of sight of consumers, regulators and lawmakers.
Let's be clear: you never signed up for that. We think every user should have the chance to say, ''Wait a minute. That's my information that you're selling, and I didn't consent.''
Meaningful, comprehensive federal privacy legislation should not only aim to put consumers in control of their data, it should also shine a light on actors trafficking in your data behind the scenes. Some state laws are looking to accomplish just that, but right now there is no federal standard protecting Americans from these practices. That's why we believe the Federal Trade Commission should establish a data-broker clearinghouse, requiring all data brokers to register, enabling consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and giving users the power to delete their data on demand, freely, easily and online, once and for all.
As this debate kicks off, there will be plenty of proposals and competing interests for policymakers to consider. We cannot lose sight of the most important constituency: individuals trying to win back their right to privacy. Technology has the potential to keep changing the world for the better, but it will never achieve that potential without the full faith and confidence of the people who use it.
Amazon-owned Ring has reportedly been spying on customer camera feeds '' BGR
If you own a Ring doorbell camera system, we've got some bad news. The smart home company owned by Amazon, which the Internet retail giant shelled out more than $1 billion to acquire, has apparently been violating its customers' privacy in a pretty shocking way. A new report from The Intercept quotes unnamed sources who confirm that engineers and executives at Ring have ''highly privileged access'' to live customer camera feeds, utilizing both Ring's doorbells as well as its in-home cameras.
All that's apparently required to tap into the live feeds is a customer's email address. Meaning, the company has been so egregiously lax when it comes to security and privacy that even people outside the company could have potentially done this, using merely an email address to begin spying on customers, according to the report.
Within the company, a team that was supposed to have been focused on helping Ring get better at object recognition in videos caught customers in videos doing everything from kissing to firing guns and stealing. This news, we should add, also comes less than a month after Ring was in the news for a different potential privacy flap. As we told you here, a new patent application has begun to spur fears that Amazon would use Ring as a tool for creepy surveillance.
That patent application envisions using a combination of doorbell cameras and facial recognition technology to build a system that could be used to match images of people who show up at your door to a ''suspicious persons'' database.
Regarding this new report, The Intercept also disclosed that a Ring R&D team in Ukraine could access a folder containing ''every video created by every Ring camera around the world.'' Additionally, as if that wasn't bad enough, those employees could also access a ''corresponding database that linked each specific video file to corresponding specific Ring customers.''
It keeps getting worse from there. Those videos were also, you guessed it, unencrypted. Because, why else? Ring decided it would cost too much.
A Ring spokesman sent BGR the following statement:
''We take the privacy and security of our customers' personal information extremely seriously. In order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring video recordings. These recordings are sourced exclusively from publicly shared Ring videos from the Neighbors app (in accordance with our terms of service), and from a small fraction of Ring users who have provided their explicit written consent to allow us to access and utilize their videos for such purposes. Ring employees do not have access to livestreams from Ring products.
''We have strict policies in place for all our team members. We implement systems to restrict and audit access to information. We hold our team members to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our policies faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties. In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them.''
Come April, all websites containing pornographic material must verify the age of every UK visitor before they're granted access, news that surely will come as a blow to teenagers, and many adults.
The new law is the first of its kind and is meant to protect minors from being exposed to porn that can damage their development, but it has long been argued that the law has ominous portents with regards to privacy and surveillance.
Also on rt.com 'Porn as harmful as smoking, can lead to sexual violence,' say British MPs The porn law will apply to websites containing at least one third pornographic material. The method of verification has not yet been confirmed but porn users may have to submit their bank details in order to prove their age or it could even see them installing software on their devices or presenting in person somewhere to verify their identity.
Privacy advocates worry that porn sites will be able to log and track users' porn preferences, placing them at risk of exposure ''or even blackmail'' should those databases be penetrated by hackers.
This is an appalling attack on people's online freedom and shows the authoritarian instincts of the current government. And ministers must be very gullible indeed if they think it will stop teenage boys watching porn. https://t.co/t4aWn49LTG
'-- Richard Wellings (@RichardWellings) January 11, 2019The law has also been criticized because many people think it won't work, as there are so many websites in the world and not all will take part in the verification process.
READ MORE: Anti-porn crusade finds unlikely ally in college men
Detractors say that under-18s could easily flout the law using VPN's (Virtual Private Networks) to pretend they aren't in the UK and there are also fears that the law will drive young people to find other, less reputable sites that could expose them to more damaging extreme pornographic material, or malware.
lol, the naivety of government and whoever supports this crap. So now people will just nick the parents credit card number to use and nothing changes! Not to mention the dozen other ways to bypass!Porn viewers will have to prove age as online law passes https://t.co/h1GZAjurvP
'-- paulcdb (@paulcdb) January 11, 2019Websites will be responsible for setting up their own verification, which must meet standards set by the British Board of Film Classification.
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Social media giants plan to fight India's strict internet rules
According to Reuters, lobby groups representing Facebook and other companies are working with law firms to draft objections to the guidelines to be filed with India's IT ministry. Industry execs and local activists claim the proposed rules are another form of censorship and could be used to suppress dissent.
Mozilla slammed the changes last week as a "blunt and disproportionate" solution to the problem of harmful content online. But the IT ministry denied the accusations, claiming the guidelines are intended to make social media safer.
Efforts by WhatsApp are already underway to curb the spread of misinformation in India after fake news circulated via the Facebook-owned app spilled into real-world violence last year. The changes, introduced at the behest of the Indian government, spanned the labelling of forwarded messages and limiting the ability to forward texts to multiple chats at once.
WhatsApp also hired a grievance officer that users could contact directly and promised to set up a local presence. But it has refused to bow to the government's demand urging it to track messages as it goes against its end-to-end encryption feature promising user privacy.
Similar laws have been enacted by other countries including Vietnam, which requires tech companies to store user data locally and remove offensive material within 24 hours. Germany also necessitates that hate speech be taken down within the same time frame, while Australia recently passed its anti-encryption bill into law despite protests from Apple.
India's new draft rules are open to comments from the public until January 31st, after which they will be adopted as law.
TIDAL 'fake streams': Criminal investigation underway over potential data fraud in Norway - Music Business Worldwide
In an explosive story last year, TIDAL was placed at the center of a major alleged 'fake streams' scandal.
Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens N...ringsliv said it had obtained an internal TIDAL company hard drive which proved the streaming platform's play-counts for two major albums from 2016 '' Beyonc(C)'s Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo '' had been artificially inflated.
DN reported: 'Beyonc(C)'s and Kanye West's listener numbers on TIDAL have been manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays'... which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists.'
TIDAL CEO Richard Sanders subsequently ''rejected and denied'' DN's claims, but TIDAL opened an internal review into a potential data breach anyway. This review, announced eight months ago and undertaken by a third-party cyber security company, aimed to ''aggressively [pursue] multiple avenues available to uncover what occurred''. No results have been publicly published to date.
In response to DN's story, Norwegian collection society Tono, which represents around 30,000 songwriters, filed an official police complaint against TIDAL.
Today (January 14) brings big news: Dagens N...ringsliv has revealed that Norway's National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (kokrim) has begun an investigation into potential 'fake streams' at TIDAL.
kokrim's Chief Public Prosecutor, Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik, confirmed that Norwegian authorities launched this ongoing investigation '' aiming to prove or disprove the suspicion of streaming volume manipulation within TIDAL '' in the fall/autumn of 2018.
According Harbo-Lervik, kokrim's inquiries are ''still in an early stage''. Yet at least four former TIDAL employees have been interrogated before a judge as part of the investigation so far, says DN, facing over 25 hours of questioning in total.
''We're still waiting for TIDAL to offer information that will [tell us] anything about a possible manipulation.''
Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik, kokrim
Of this group, reports DN, three people left TIDAL abruptly and simultaneously in the second half of 2016: two held Business Analyst roles at the platform, while the third was TIDAL's Head of Business Intelligence '' responsible for analyzing streaming figures.
DN claims that, while still employees of TIDAL in Norway, this trio recognized signs of manipulation regarding the relevant Kanye West and Beyonc(C) albums; the group then contacted a lawyer before informing TIDAL management about their findings, after which an internal meeting was held.
All three individuals subsequently resigned from TIDAL after signing what a DN source calls ''the gold standard of confidentiality contracts''.
''[TIDAL] has previously stated that they consider themselves to be insulted by [DN's allegations, so the company] should have a vested interest in getting information on the table that will [tell us] anything about a possible manipulation,'' said Harbo-Lervik to DN (translated). ''But we're still waiting for them to offer this information.''
TIDAL's lawyer, Fredrik Berg at the law firm Fend, commented: ''TIDAL is at this time not a suspect nor has there been filed charges. We have an ongoing dialogue with kokrim. It would not be right to share the contents of this discussion with the press.''
TIDAL parent Project Panther Bidco Ltd filed its annual accounts in the UK earlier this month (see below) for the year ended December 31, 2017. The Companies House document showed annual revenue growth of 13% to $116.8m, alongside a slightly reduced operating loss of $40.6m. (You can real TIDAL's full 2017 accounts through here.)
In January 2017, Softbank-owned telco Sprint acquired 33% of TIDAL for $200m.
According to DN's original report into 'fake streams', at least 320 million TIDAL plays across both The Life Of Pablo and Lemonade in 2016 are believed to have been manipulated. DN interviewed individual TIDAL subscribers who said there were plays of these albums recorded on their accounts which they didn't recognise.
DN further reported that it had gained access to record company royalty payment reports revealing that TIDAL paid Sony in excess of $4 million across April and May of 2016. Of this, Lemonade '' a Billboard 200 No.1 album '' accounted for an estimated $2.5 million.
''TIDAL is at this time not a suspect nor has there been filed charges.''
Fredrik Berg, Fend
Likewise, according to DN, in February and March 2016, TIDAL paid Universal a total of '¬3.2 million ($3.4m) . Of this, The Life of Pablo approximately delivered approximately '¬2 million ($2.1m).
DN hired the NTNU's Center for Cyber and Information Security (CCIS) to forensically investigated the data it obtained on TIDAL's plays. This report '' which you can download in full here '' concluded: ''We have through advanced statistical analysis determined that there has in fact been a manipulation of the [TIDAL] data at particular times. The manipulation appears targeted towards a very specific set of track IDs, related to two distinct albums.''
The Jay Z-led Project Panther Bidco acquired Norway-based streaming service WIMP in 2015 for '¬50m, via a buyout of WIMP's parent company, Aspiro.
WIMP was then rebranded as TIDAL. Founding artist shareholders of TIDAL included Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kanye West, J Cole, Jack White, J Cole, Beyonc(C), Coldplay, Jason Aldean, Madonna and Deadmau5.
Sources at the time that these star supporters were each given 3% equity in TIDAL in return for their public declaration of loyalty to the service. Kanye West later reportedly disassociated himself with TIDAL, claiming the company owed him $3m.
TIDAL has recently focused on its international expansion, launching in regions including Uganda and Brazil. Music Business Worldwide
A Bronx rapper has snagged the top spot on the US Billboard 200 chart after selling just 823 albums -- and posting 83 million on-demand streams.
Industry tracker Billboard, whose chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the United States, said Monday that A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's album "Hoodie SZN" climbed to the top with the equivalent of 58,000 sales for the week ending January 10.
That multi-metric sum includes streams and downloads of individual songs along with sales of the full 20-song album -- but according to Billboard, streams powered the ascent, while the sales set a record-low for an album that reached number one.
The figures lay bare the ever-widening gap between the rapidly growing business of streaming and that of lethargic album sales.
The 23-year-old rapper's record tops that of 3,481 copies and 84 million streams, which rapper 21 Savage set last week with his album "I Am > I Was."
"Hoodie SZN," which came out December 21, is the Bronx artist's second full-length studio album and second visit to the Billboard's top 10, after his album "The Bigger Artist" peaking at number four in 2017.
His sophomore album did not sell enough downloads -- "Hoodie SZN" has not been released in a physical format -- to make Billboard's sales-only chart, which saw Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" soundtrack take first place.
The Billboard 200 chart began including streams in its ranking in December 2014, calculating figures based on "equivalent album units" that include streaming, album downloads and traditional album sales.
Roku U-turn over streaming Alex Jones's InfoWars - BBC News
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Apple's ban of Alex Jones's InfoWars podcasts last August led to similar moves by several other technology companies Video-streaming service Roku has made a U-turn over its addition of InfoWars - the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's channel.
Social media activists noticed Roku was offering the channel earlier this week, half a year after YouTube, Facebook and Apple, among others, had banned it.
Roku initially defended the decision on the grounds it did not censor content unless it was illegal.
But it has backtracked, after facing widespread criticism.
Roku makes set-top boxes and video-streaming sticks that provide access to thousands of channels of third-party content.
In addition, its technology is built into several brands of smart TVs and Blu-ray players.
The California-based company recently declared it had nearly 24 million active accounts.
It thus provided Jones a mainstream outlet after others, including Twitter, Spotify and Vimeo, had joined a wider ban and blocked his accounts last year.
This censorship had been criticised by some free speech advocates and Roku appeared to side with them when it issued an initial statement.
"We do not curate or censor based on viewpoint," it said.
"While the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel."
But it subsequently faced a backlash that included criticism by lawyers representing the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Jones had previously falsely claimed that the 2012 massacre had been "staged" with actors and that the 26 children and adults killed had not been harmed.
Image copyright Roku Image caption Roku says it is installed on more than 25% of all smart TVs sold in the US The lawyers accused Roku of being "indifferent to the suffering" the families had experienced and added that the company was interfering with "efforts to prevent people like Jones from profiting off innocent victims whose lives have been turned upside down by unspeakable loss".
Several hours later, Roku said it had changed its mind.
"After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform," it tweeted.
"Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly."
Despite Criticism, Roku Defends Decision To Add InfoWars Channel To Streaming Service
In Summer 2018, it seemed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars content channels had lost a significant amount of influence after nearly every major social network
banned Jones. However, on Tuesday,
Digiday revealedstreaming company Roku had added InfoWars as a viewable channel on its streaming devices.
Controversy inevitably followed, as Roku users
took to Twitterto criticize the company for possibly enabling hate speech. Jones has frequently come under fire for using InfoWars to spread conspiracy theories about things like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, claiming it was a hoax.
Alex Jones of InfoWars talks to reporters outside a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning foreign influence operations' use of social media platforms, on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. ( Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images ) Roku released a statement,
published in full by TechCrunch, defending its decision to give InfoWars a place on its platform by claiming a position of neutrality. According to Roku, the company has no ''commercial relationship'' with InfoWars and does not ''censor based on viewpoint.
''While open to many voices, we have policies that prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights, among other things. If we determine a channel violates these policies, it will be removed. To our knowledge, InfoWars is not currently in violation of these content policies.''
Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes and other services removed InfoWars content from their sites in quick succession last year. Spotify's decision to purge InfoWars from its platform came not long after his podcast first appeared on the audio streaming service.
Mounting criticismfrom users led to the removal of InfoWars from Spotify.
At the time, Twitter took a similar stance to Roku, stating Jones would be removed from the site only when he was found in violation of its terms of service. He was eventually suspended after using Twitter's streaming service Periscope to incite violence against supposed left-wing media.
Roku explains why it allowed Infowars on its platform '' TechCrunch
Roku has just made a bad decision with regard to its growing advertising business by associating its brand with the toxic conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones. As
Digiday first reportedthis morning, Roku has chosen to add the Infowars live show hosted by Jones to the Roku platform as a supported channel,
customersnowhammeringthecompanyon its social media platforms.
The company, apparently, is opting for the ''we're a neutral platform'' defense in the matter, despite the fact that most major platforms have backed away from this stance with regard to Jones.
The decision to allow the channel comes at a time when Jones and Infowars are in the headlines again because of a recent update in the legal battle between the Sandy Hook families and the Infowars program. The families are suing the conspiracy theorist for spreading the false claim that the school shooting was an elaborate hoax, and that Infowars peddled these stories to stoke fear and sell more products like survivalist gear and gun paraphernalia,
The New York Times reports. A judge has ordered Infowars to turn over internal documents to the families that relate to its business plan or marketing strategies, the shooting itself, crisis actors, or mass shootings in general.
Roku's decision to allow the channel at all is a poor one not only in terms of taking a moral stance on complicated matters (if you're of the mindset that's something companies should do) '' it seems to go against Roku's own policy that bans content which is ''unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights.''
This is the same general premise that saw Infowars banned everywhere else.
Because of Jones' claims, the Sandy Hook families have received death threats and have been continually harassed, even offline. Jones has also promoted other theories that led to violence, like
Roku's position, seemingly, is that the channel hasn't done any bad stuffyeton its platform, never mind its past.
Such a cynical move by
@Rokuhere. In light of very public lawsuits against him by the Sandy Hook parents who've been targeted by him, why would they decide now to stream his show?
https://t.co/FkUrdzPLMDMany Roku customers on social media are threatening to boycott. A search for terms including ''roku,'' ''boycott,'' and others related to the news are picking up speed on Twitter, the
#boycottrokuhashtag has just now re-appeared, as well. (It was used previously by customers protesting the NRA channel.)
Roku has become one of the top streaming media device makers in the U.S. and globally, recently having reached nearly 24 million registered users. Digiday
notesthat it's projected to generate $293 million in advertising in 2018, per eMarketer, putting it just behind Hulu.
Apparently, Roku believes it can distance itself from the content it hosts on its platform.
That's not a good look for advertisers, however, many who won't want their brand appearing anywherenearInfowars. And because Roku runs ads right on its homescreen, that means advertisers' content can actually sit directly beside the Infowars channel icon, if not in the program itself.
It may also make advertisers hesitant to work with Roku on other initiatives because it shows a lack of understanding over how to manage brand safety, or because they fear a consumer backlash.
Roku's full statement is below:
Our streaming platform allows our customers to choose from thousands of entertainment, news and special interest channels, representing a wide range of topics and viewpoints. Customers choose and control which channels they download or watch, and parents can set a pin to prevent channels from being downloaded. While the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel. We do not curate or censor based on viewpoint.
We are not promoting or being paid to distribute InfoWars. We do not have a commercial relationship with the InfoWars.
While open to many voices, we have policies that prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights, among other things. If we determine a channel violates these policies, it will be removed. To our knowledge, InfoWars is not currently in violation of these content policies.
Roku on Twitter: "After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform. Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly."
Google has ''huge teams'' working on manual interventions in search results, an apparent contradiction of sworn testimony made to Congress by CEO Sundar Pichai, according to an internal post leaked to Breitbart News.''There are subjects that are prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content,'' said Daniel Aaronson, a member of Google's Trust & Safety team.
''Now, these words are highly subjective and no one denies that. But we can all agree generally, lines exist in many cultures about what is clearly okay vs. what is not okay.''
''In extreme cases where we need to act quickly on something that is so obviously not okay, the reactive/manual approach is sometimes necessary.''
The comments came to light in a leaked internal discussion thread, started by a Google employee who noticed that the company had recently changed search results for ''abortion'' on its YouTube video platform, a change which caused pro-life videos to largely disappear from the top ten results.
In addition to the ''manual approach,'' Aaronson explained that Google also trained automated ''classifiers'' '' algorithms or ''scalable solutions'' that corrects ''problems'' in search results.
Aaronson listed three areas where either manual interventions or classifier changes might take place: organic search (''The bar for changing classifiers or manual actions on span in organic search is extremely high''), YouTube, Google Home, and Google Assistant.
Aaronson's post also reveals that there is very little transparency around decisions to adjust classifiers or manually correct controversial search results, even internally. Aaronson compared Google's decision-making process in this regard to a closely-guarded ''Pepsi Formula.''
These comments, part of a longer post copied below, seem to contradict Google CEO Sundar Pichai's sworn congressional testimony that his company does not ''manually intervene on any particular search result.''
According to an internal discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News by a source within the company, a Google employee took issue with Pichai's remarks, stating that it ''seems like we are pretty eager to cater our search results to the social and political agenda of left-wing journalists.''
According to the posts leaked by the source, revealed that YouTube, a Google subsidiary, manually intervened on search results related to ''abortion'' and ''abortions.'' The intervention caused pro-life videos to disappear from the top ten search results for those terms, where they had previously been featured prominently. The posts also show YouTube intervened on search results related to progressive activist David Hogg and Democrat politician Maxine Waters.
In a comment to Breitbart News, a Google spokeswoman also insisted that ''Google has never manipulated or modified the search results or content in any of its products to promote a particular political ideology.''
Pichai might claim that he was just talking about Google, not YouTube, which was the focus of the leaked discussion thread. But Aaronson's post extends to Google's other products: organic search, Google Home, and Google Assistant.
Aaronson is also clear that the manipulation of the search results that are ''prone to abuse/controversial content'' is not a small affair, but are the responsibility of ''huge teams'' within Google.
''These lines are very difficult and can be very blurry, we are all well aware of this. So we've got huge teams that stay cognizant of these facts when we're crafting policies considering classifier changes, or reacting with manual actions''
If Google has ''huge teams'' that sometimes manually intervene on search results, it's scarcely plausible to argue that Pichai might not know about them.
Aaronson's full post is copied below:
I work in Trust and Safety and while I have no particular input as to exactly what's happening for YT I can try to explain why you'd have this kind of list and why people are finding lists like these on Code Search.
When dealing with abuse/controversial content on various mediums you have several levers to deal with problems. Two prominent levers are ''Proactive'' and ''Reactive'':
Proactive: Usually refers to some type of algorithm/scalable solution to a general problemE.g.: We don't allow straight up porn on YouTube so we create a classifier that detects porn and automatically remove or flag for review the videos the porn classifier is most certain ofReactive: Usually refers to a manual fix to something that has been brought to our attention that our proactive solutions don't/didn't work on and something that is clearly in the realm of bad enough to warrant a quick targeted solution (determined by pages and pages of policies worked on over many years and many teams to be fair and cover necessary scope)E.g.: A website that used to be a good blog had it's domain expire and was purchased/repurposed to spam Search results with autogenerated pages full of gibberish text, scraped images, and links to boost traffic to other spammy sites. It is manually actioned for violating policyThese Organic Search policies and the consequences to violating them are publicManually reacting to things is not very scalable, and is not an ideal solution to most problems, so the proactive lever is really the one we all like to lean on. Ideally, our classifiers/algorithm are good at providing useful and rich results to our users while ignoring things at are not useful or not relevant. But we all know, this isn't exactly the case all the time (especially on YouTube).
From a user perspective, there are subjects that are prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content. Now, these words are highly subjective and no one denies that. But we can all agree generally, lines exist in many cultures about what is clearly okay vs. what is not okay. E.g. a video of a puppy playing with a toy is probably okay in almost every culture or context, even if it's not relevant to the query. But a video of someone committing suicide and begging others to follow in his/her footsteps is probably on the other side of the line for many folks.
While my second example is technically relevant to the generic query of ''suicide'', that doesn't mean that this is a very useful or good video to promote on the top of results for that query. So imagine a classifier that says, for any queries on a particular text file, let's pull videos using signals that we historically understand to be strong indicators of quality (I won't go into specifics here, but those signals do exist). We're not manually curating these results, we're just saying ''hey, be extra careful with results for this query because many times really bad stuff can appear and lead to a bad experience for most users''. Ideally the proactive lever did this for us, but in extreme cases where we need to act quickly on something that is so obviously not okay, the reactive/manual approach is sometimes necessary. And also keep in mind, that this is different for every product. The bar for changing classifiers or manual actions on span in organic search is extremely high. However, the bar for things we let our Google Assistant say out loud might be a lot lower. If I search for ''Jews run the banks'' '' I'll likely find anti-semitic stuff in organic search. As a Jew, I might find some of these results offensive, but they are there for people to research and view, and I understand that this is not a reflection of Google feels about this issue. But if I ask Google assistant ''Why do Jews run the banks'' we wouldn't be similarly accepting if it repeated and promoted conspiracy theories that likely pop up in organic search in her smoothing voice.
Whether we agree or not, user perception of our responses, results, and answers of different products and mediums can change. And I think many people are used to the fact that organic search is a place where content should be accessible no matter how offensive it might be, however, the expectation is very different on a Google Home, a Knowledge Panel, or even YouTube.
These lines are very difficult and can be very blurry, we are all well aware of this. So we've got huge teams that stay cognizant of these facts when we're crafting policies considering classifier changes, or reacting with manual actions '' these decisions are not made in a vacuum, but admittedly are also not made in a highly public forum like TGIF or IndustryInfo (as you can imagine, decisions/agreement would be hard to get in such a wide list '' image if all your CL's were reviewed by every engineer across Google all the time). I hope that answers some questions and gives a better layer of transparency without going into details about our ''Pepsi formula''.
Breitbart Tech will continue to investigate Google's manipulation of search results on both its search engine and the YouTube video platform.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to email@example.com.
'THE SMOKING GUN': Google Manipulated YouTube Search Results for Abortion, Maxine Waters, David Hogg | Breitbart
In sworn testimony, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Congress last month that his company does not ''manually intervene'' on any particular search result. Yet an internal discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News reveals Google regularly intervenes in search results on its YouTube video platform '' including a recent intervention that pushed pro-life videos out of the top ten search results for ''abortion.''The term ''abortion'' was added to a ''blacklist'' file for ''controversial YouTube queries,'' which contains a list of search terms that the company considers sensitive. According to the leak, these include some of these search terms related to: abortion, abortions, the Irish abortion referendum, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and anti-gun activist David Hogg.
The existence of the blacklist was revealed in an internal Google discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News by a source inside the company who wishes to remain anonymous. A partial list of blacklisted terms was also leaked to Breitbart by another Google source.
In the leaked discussion thread, a Google site reliability engineer hinted at the existence of more search blacklists, according to the source.
''We have tons of white- and blacklists that humans manually curate,'' said the employee. ''Hopefully this isn't surprising or particularly controversial.''
Others were more concerned about the presence of the blacklist. According to the source, the software engineer who started the discussion called the manipulation of search results related to abortion a ''smoking gun.''
The software engineer noted that the change had occurred following an inquiry from a left-wing Slate journalist about the prominence of pro-life videos on YouTube, and that pro-life videos were replaced with pro-abortion videos in the top ten results for the search terms following Google's manual intervention.
''The Slate writer said she had complained last Friday and then saw different search results before YouTube responded to her on Monday,'' wrote the employee. ''And lo and behold, the [changelog] was submitted on Friday, December 14 at 3:17 PM.''
The manually downranked items included several videos from Dr. Antony Levatino, a former abortion doctor who is now a pro-life activist. Another video in the top ten featured a woman's personal story of being pressured to have an abortion, while another featured pro-life conservative Ben Shapiro. The Slate journalist who complained to Google reported that these videos previously featured in the top ten, describing them in her story as ''dangerous misinformation.''
Since the Slate journalist's inquiry and Google's subsequent intervention, the top search results now feature pro-abortion content from left-wing sources like BuzzFeed, Vice, CNN, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. In her report, the Slate journalist acknowledged that the search results changed shortly after she contacted Google.
The manual adjustment of search results by a Google-owned platform contradicts a key claim made under oath by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his congressional testimony earlier this month: that his company does not ''manually intervene on any search result.''
A Google employee in the discussion thread drew attention to Pichai's claim, noting that it ''seems like we are pretty eager to cater our search results to the social and political agenda of left-wing journalists.''
One of the posts in the discussion also noted that the blacklist had previously been edited to include the search term ''Maxine Waters'' after a single Google employee complained the top YouTube search result for Maxine Waters was ''very low quality.''
Google's alleged intervention on behalf of a Democratic congresswoman would be further evidence of the tech giant using its resources to prop up the left. Breitbart News previously reported on leaked emails revealing the company targeted pro-Democrat demographics in its get-out-the-vote efforts in 2016.
According to the source, a software engineer in the thread also noted that ''a bunch of terms related to the abortion referendum in Ireland'' had been added to the blacklist '' another change with potentially dramatic consequences on the national policies of a western democracy.
At least one post in the discussion thread revealed the existence of a file called ''youtube_controversial_query_blacklist,'' which contains a list of YouTube search terms that Google manually curates. In addition to the terms ''abortion,'' ''abortions,'' ''Maxine Waters,'' and search terms related to the Irish abortion referendum, a Google software engineer noted that the blacklist includes search terms related to terrorist attacks. (the posts specifically mentions that the ''Strasbourg terrorist attack'' as being on the list).
''If you look at the other entries recently added to the youtube_controversial_query_blacklist(e.g., entries related to the Strasbourg terrorist attack), the addition of abortion seems'...out-of-place,'' wrote the software engineer, according to the source.
After learning of the existence of the blacklist, Breitbart News obtained a partial screenshot of the full blacklist file from a source within Google. It reveals that the blacklist includes search terms related to both mass shootings and the progressive anti-second amendment activist David Hogg.
This suggests Google has followed the lead of Democrat politicians, who have repeatedly pushed tech companies to censor content related to the Parkland school shooting and the Parkland anti-gun activists. It's part of a popular new line of thought in the political-media establishment, which views the public as too stupid to question conspiracy theories for themselves.
Here is the partial blacklist leaked to Breitbart:
2117 plane crash Russian
2118 plane crash
2120 florida shooting conspiracy
2121 florida shooting crisis actors
2122 florida conspiracy
2123 florida false flag shooting
2124 florida false flag
2125 fake florida school shooting
2126 david hogg hoax
2127 david hogg fake
2128 david hogg crisis actor
2129 david hogg forgets lines
2130 david hogg forgets his lines
2131 david hogg cant remember his lines
2132 david hogg actor
2133 david hogg cant remember
2134 david hogg conspiracy
2135 david hogg exposed
2136 david hogg lines
2137 david hogg rehearsing
2120 florida shooting conspiracy
The full internal filepath of the blacklist, according to another source, is:
Responding to a request for comment, a YouTube spokeswoman said the company wants to promote ''authoritative'' sources in its search results, but maintained that YouTube is a ''platform for free speech'' that ''allow[s]'' both pro-life and pro-abortion content.
YouTube's full comment:
YouTube is a platform for free speech where anyone can choose to post videos, as long as they follow our Community Guidelines, which prohibit things like inciting violence and pornography. We apply these policies impartially and we allow both pro-life and pro-choice opinions. Over the last year we've described how we are working to better surface news sources across our site for news-related searches and topical information. We've improved our search and discovery algorithms, built new features that clearly label and prominently surface news sources on our homepage and search pages, and introduced information panels to help give users more authoritative sources where they can fact check information for themselves.
In the case of the ''abortion'' search results, YouTube's intervention to insert ''authoritative'' content resulted in the downranking of pro-life videos and the elevation of pro-abortion ones.
A Google spokesperson took a tougher line than its YouTube subsidiary, stating that ''Google has never manipulated or modified the search results or content in any of its products to promote a particular political ideology.''
However, in the leaked discussion thread, a member of Google's ''trust & safety'' team, Daniel Aaronson, admitted that the company maintains ''huge teams'' that work to adjust search results for subjects that are ''prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content'' '' all subjective terms that are frequently used to suppress right-leaning sources.
He also admitted that the interventions weren't confined to YouTube '' they included search results delivered via Google Assistant, Google Home, and in rare cases Google 's organic search results.
In the thread, Aaronson attempted to explain how search blacklisting worked. He claimed that highly specific searches would generate non-blacklisted results, even controversial ones. But the inclusion of highly specific terms in the YouTube blacklist, like ''David Hogg cant remember his lines'' '' the name of an actual viral video '' seems to contradict this.
Aaronson's full post is copied below:
I work in Trust and Safety and while I have no particular input as to exactly what's happening for YT I can try to explain why you'd have this kind of list and why people are finding lists like these on Code Search.
When dealing with abuse/controversial content on various mediums you have several levers to deal with problems. Two prominent levers are ''Proactive'' and ''Reactive'':
Proactive: Usually refers to some type of algorithm/scalable solution to a general problemE.g.: We don't allow straight up porn on YouTube so we create a classifier that detects porn and automatically remove or flag for review the videos the porn classifier is most certain ofReactive: Usually refers to a manual fix to something that has been brought to our attention that our proactive solutions don't/didn't work on and something that is clearly in the realm of bad enough to warrant a quick targeted solution (determined by pages and pages of policies worked on over many years and many teams to be fair and cover necessary scope)E,g.: A website that used to be a good blog had it's domain expire and was purchased/repurposed to spam Search results with autogenerated pages full of gibberish text, scraped images, and links to boost traffic to other spammy sites. It is manually actioned for violating policyThese Organic Search policies and the consequences to violating them are public
Manually reacting to things is not very scalable, and is not an ideal solution to most problems, so the proactive lever is really the one we all like to lean on. Ideally, our classifiers/algorithm are good at providing useful and rich results to our users while ignoring things at are not useful or not relevant. But we all know, this isn't exactly the case all the time (especially on YouTube).
From a user perspective, there are subjects that are prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content. Now, these words are highly subjective and no one denies that. But we can all agree generally, lines exist in many cultures about what is clearly okay vs. what is not okay. E.g. a video of a puppy playing with a toy is probably okay in almost every culture or context, even if it's not relevant to the query. But a video of someone committing suicide and begging others to follow in his/her footsteps is probably on the other side of the line for many folks.
While my second example is technically relevant to the generic query of ''suicide'', that doesn't mean that this is a very useful or good video to promote on the top of results for that query. So imagine a classifier that says, for any queries on a particular text file, let's pull videos using signals that we historically understand to be strong indicators of quality (I won't go into specifics here, but those signals do exist). We're not manually curating these results, we're just saying ''hey, be extra careful with results for this query because many times really bad stuff can appear and lead to a bad experience for most users''. Ideally the proactive lever did this for us, but in extreme cases where we need to act quickly on something that is so obviously not okay, the reactive/manual approach is sometimes necessary. And also keep in mind, that this is different for every product. The bar for changing classifiers or manual actions on span in organic search is extremely high. However, the bar for things we let our Google Assistant say out loud might be a lot lower. If I search for ''Jews run the banks'' '' I'll likely find anti-semitic stuff in organic search. As a Jew, I might find some of these results offensive, but they are there for people to research and view, and I understand that this is not a reflection of Google feels about this issue. But if I ask Google assistant ''Why do Jews run the banks'' we wouldn't be similarly accepting if it repeated and promoted conspiracy theories that likely pop up in organic search in her smoothing voice.
Whether we agree or not, user perception of our responses, results, and answers of different products and mediums can change. And I think many people are used to the fact that organic search is a place where content should be accessible no matter how offensive it might be, however, the expectation is very different on a Google Home, a Knowledge Panel, or even YouTube.
These lines are very difficult and can be very blurry, we are all well aware of this. So we've got huge teams that stay cognizant of these facts when we're crafting policies considering classifier changes, or reacting with manual actions '' these decisions are not made in a vacuum, but admittedly are also not made in a highly public forum like TGIF or IndustryInfo (as you can imagine, decisions/agreement would be hard to get in such a wide list '' image if all your CL's were reviewed by every engineer across Google all the time). I hope that answers some questions and gives a better layer of transparency without going into details about our ''Pepsi formula''.
The fact that Google manually curates politically contentious search results fits in with a wider pattern of political activity on the part of the tech giant.
In 2018, Breitbart News exclusively published a leaked video from the company that showed senior management in dismay at Trump's election victory, and pledging to use the company's power to make his populist movement a ''hiccup'' in history.
Breitbart also leaked ''The Good Censor,'' an internal research document from Google that admits the tech giant is engaged in the censorship of its own products, partly in response to political events.
Another leak revealed that employees within the company, including Google's current director of Trust and Safety, tried to kick Breitbart News off Google's market-dominating online ad platforms.
Yet another showed Google engaged in targeted turnout operations aimed to boost voter participation in pro-Democrat demographics in ''key states'' ahead of the 2016 election. The effort was dubbed a ''silent donation'' by a top Google employee.
Evidence for Google's partisan activities is now overwhelming. President Trump has previously warned Google, as well as other Silicon Valley giants, not to engage in censorship or partisan activities. Google continues to defy him.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme'--Right? | WIRED
If you use social media, you've probably noticed a trend across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year.
Instead of joining in, I posted the following semi-sarcastic tweet:
My flippant tweet began to pick up traction. My intent wasn't to claim that the meme is inherently dangerous. But I knew the facial recognition scenario was broadly plausible and indicative of a trend that people should be aware of. It's worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations.
Of those who were critical of my thesis, many argued that the pictures were already available anyway. The most common rebuttal was: ''That data is already available. Facebook's already got all the profile pictures.''
Of course they do. In various versions of the meme, people were instructed to post their first profile picture alongside their current profile picture, or a picture from 10 years ago alongside their current profile picture. So, yes: These profile pictures exist, they've got upload time stamps, many people have a lot of them, and for the most part they're publicly accessible.
But let's play out this idea.
Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you'd want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people's pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart'--say, 10 years.
Sure, you could mine Facebook for profile pictures and look at posting dates or EXIF data. But that whole set of profile pictures could end up generating a lot of useless noise. People don't reliably upload pictures in chronological order, and it's not uncommon for users to post pictures of something other than themselves as a profile picture. A quick glance through my Facebook friends' profile pictures shows a friend's dog who just died, several cartoons, word images, abstract patterns, and more.
In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.
What's more, for the profile pictures on Facebook, the photo posting date wouldn't necessarily match the date the picture was taken. Even the EXIF metadata on the photo wouldn't always be reliable for assessing that date.
Why? People could have scanned offline photos. They might have uploaded pictures multiple times over years. Some people resort to uploading screenshots of pictures found elsewhere online. Some platforms strip EXIF data for privacy.
Through the Facebook meme, most people have been helpfully adding that context back in (''me in 2008 and me in 2018'') as well as further info, in many cases, about where and how the pic was taken (''2008 at University of Whatever, taken by Joe; 2018 visiting New City for this year's such-and-such event'').
In other words, thanks to this meme, there's now a very large dataset of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now.
Of course, not all the dismissive comments in my Twitter mentions were about the pictures being already available; some critics noted that there was too much crap data to be usable. But data researchers and scientists know how to account for this. As with hashtags that go viral, you can generally place more trust in the validity of data earlier on in the trend or campaign'--before people begin to participate ironically or attempt to hijack the hashtag for irrelevant purposes.
As for bogus pictures, image recognition algorithms are plenty sophisticated enough to pick out a human face. If you uploaded an image of a cat 10 years ago and now'--as one of my friends did, adorably'--that particular sample would be easy to throw out.
What's more, even if this particular meme isn't a case of social engineering, the past few years have been rife with examples of social games and memes designed to extract and collect data. Just think of the mass data extraction of more than 70 million US Facebook users performed by Cambridge Analytica.
Is it bad that someone could use your Facebook photos to train a facial recognition algorithm? Not necessarily; in a way, it's inevitable. Still, the broader takeaway here is that we need to approach our interactions with technology mindful of the data we generate and how it can be used at scale. I'll offer three plausible use cases for facial recognition: one respectable, one mundane, and one risky.
The benign scenario: Facial recognition technology, specifically age progression capability, could help with finding missing kids. Last year police in New Delhi reported tracking down nearly 3,000 missing kids in just four days using facial recognition technology. If the kids had been missing a while, they would likely look a little different from the last known photo of them, so a reliable age progression algorithm could be genuinely helpful here.
Facial recognition's potential is mostly mundane: Age recognition is probably most useful for targeted advertising. Ad displays that incorporate cameras or sensors and can adapt their messaging for age-group demographics (as well as other visually recognizable characteristics and discernible contexts) will likely be commonplace before very long. That application isn't very exciting, but stands to make advertising more relevant. But as that data flows downstream and becomes enmeshed with our location tracking, response and purchase behavior, and other signals, it could bring about some genuinely creepy interactions.
Like most emerging technology, there's a chance of fraught consequences. Age progression could someday factor into insurance assessment and health care. For example, if you seem to be aging faster than your cohorts, perhaps you're not a very good insurance risk. You may pay more or be denied coverage.
After Amazon introduced real-time facial recognition services in late 2016, they began selling those services to law enforcement and government agencies, such as the police departments in Orlando and Washington County, Oregon. But the technology raises major privacy concerns; the police could use the technology not only to track people who are suspected of having committed crimes, but also people who are not committing crimes, such as protesters and others whom the police deem a nuisance.
The American Civil Liberties Union asked Amazon to stop selling this service. So did a portion of Amazon's shareholders and employees, who asked Amazon to halt the service, citing concerns for the company's valuation and reputation.
It's tough to overstate the fullness of how technology stands to impact humanity. The opportunity exists for us to make it better, but to do that we also must recognize some of the ways in which it can get worse. Once we understand the issues, it's up to all of us to weigh in.
So is this such a big deal? Are bad things going to happen because you posted some already-public profile pictures to your wall? Is it dangerous to train facial recognition algorithms for age progression and age recognition? Not exactly.
Regardless of the origin or intent behind this meme, we must all become savvier about the data we create and share, the access we grant to it, and the implications for its use. If the context was a game that explicitly stated that it was collecting pairs of then-and-now photos for age progression research, you could choose to participate with an awareness of who was supposed to have access to the photos and for what purpose.
The broader message, removed from the specifics of any one meme or even any one social platform, is that humans are the richest data sources for most of the technology emerging in the world. We should know this, and proceed with due diligence and sophistication.
Humans are the connective link between the physical and digital worlds. Human interactions are the majority of what makes the Internet of Things interesting. Our data is the fuel that makes businesses smarter and more profitable.
We should demand that businesses treat our data with due respect, by all means. But we also need to treat our own data with respect.
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Opinion polls in the United States demonstrate that these policy positions are overwhelmingly popular. Indeed, throughout the industrialized world these ideas are considered moderate. This is a movement about freedom and justice. And it's a movement of, by, and for working people. If the Democrats refuse to embrace this platform, they'll continue to lose, either to Republicans or to us.
We need a bold economic vision that will both reclaim lost capital and put money back in the pockets of hard-working Americans, and create millions of new jobs for those who have been left out of the workforce.
Scientists are sounding the alarm on climate change. Communities are fighting back. It's time to drastically and immediately move away from fossil fuels, develop the technologies of the future, and create prosperity for all of us -- not just those on top. The Green New Deal is a mass mobilization to dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources. The Green New Deal will also provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one and ensure a 'just transition' for all workers, low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm including by ensuring that local implementation of the transition is led from the community level and by prioritizing solutions that end the harms faced by front-line communities from climate change and environmental pollution.
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In addition to promoting candidates, Justice Democrats PAC also promotes issues. For example, we worked with the National Nurses United to pressure over 45 Democrats to co-sponsor Medicare for All in the House, getting H.R. 676 up to 121 co-sponsors '-- the most it has ever received.
Justice Democrats PAC has a board with legal control over the entity. Board members are Alexandra Rojas and Nasim Thompson.
One of Justice Democrats' goals is to get everyday, working people into Congress. Many of these people don't have a lot of campaign experience, and so in addition to endorsing candidates, Justice Democrats can help nascent campaigns get off the ground with the resources they need. These resources include a distributed field program in which candidates can opt-in to get access to an auto-dialer for voter contact, a texting tool for event turnout, a volunteer portal, and other general help on their field program. We also help candidates with recruiting campaign managers, message training, press, creative work, and a host of other services that campaigns require.
The FEC requires that we charge campaigns money for any direct campaign services we do (otherwise, the service would count as a donation to the campaign), so we do these services at-cost to us, making no profit. By creating a scalable infrastructure that candidates can use to run their campaigns, we are able to start creating a party-like infrastructure that not only endorses and fundraises for candidates, but also provides them with the tools and people necessary to run a successful campaign. If you are curious about what Justice Democrats charges its candidates, you can view our fee schedule here: http://justicedemocrats.com/services.
SXSW announces more Keynote Speakers! Building on an already impressive 2019 programming lineup, SXSW announces three additional Keynotes '' Endeavor Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma Saint John; director, actress, producer, and activist Olivia Wilde; and Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger '' along with more Featured Speakers representing industry trailblazers and creative visionaries from the world's of tech, film, music, and culture.
Among the Featured Speakers revealed today are musician and creative A$AP Rocky; journalist and author Jill Abramson; actress, writer, producer, and director Pamela Adlon; chairman and CEO of Vox Media Jim Bankoff; co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Priscilla Chan; Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; singer-songwriter David Crosby; director, producer, and writer Cameron Crowe; author and popular podcaster Tim Ferriss; best-selling author Neil Gaiman; Nike Vice President of Creative Concepts Tinker Hatfield; United States Senator Mazie Hirono; WndrCo co-founder and Quibi founder and chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg; award-winning journalist, speaker, and author Soledad O'Brien; founder and CEO of Buzzfeed Jonah Peretti; Quibi CEO Meg Whitman; Bird Founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden; actor Henry Winkler, and more.
Keynotes Bozoma Saint John (Convergence) '-- Bozoma Saint John is Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor, a global leader in entertainment, sports, and fashion operating in more than 30 countries with a portfolio of companies including WME, IMG, and UFC. In her role, Saint John focuses on driving marketing efforts across Endeavor's growing portfolio, including on behalf of Endeavor Global Marketing clients and premium brands. Collectively, the Endeavor network specializes in talent representation and management; brand marketing, sponsorship and licensing; media development, sales and distribution; event operation and management; and sports training and league development.
Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom with Josh Constine (Interactive) '-- Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom are the Co-Founders of Instagram, a social networking platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram has grown into a global community of over one billion and a family of apps including Instagram, IGTV, Direct, Boomerang, Layout, and more. The company's mission is to bring you closer to the people and things you love. Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom will be in conversation with Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch, whose scope of coverage includes social networks, streaming music, and early-stage companies.
Olivia Wilde (Film) '-- Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman with a resume ranging from director, to actress, producer, and activist. Her directorial film debut Booksmart will release wide on May 24th of this year. Wilde has starred in a range of award-winning and critically acclaimed films including Meadowland, Her, Rush, and Drinking Buddies and has worked with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood including Martin Scorsese, Spike Jonze, and Reed Morano. Additionally, she has directed music videos for The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Earlier this year, she was named one of the ''Ten Directors To Watch'' by Variety.
Jill Abramson and Jonah Peretti (Media & Journalism) '' Jill Abramson is a journalist who spent the last 17 years in the most senior editorial positions at The New York Times, where she was the first woman to serve as the Washington Bureau Chief, Managing Editor, and Executive Editor. Abramson is also an author of Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts, and co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, a National Book Award finalist. Jonah Peretti is Founder and CEO of Buzzfeed, the leading tech-powered digital media company that provides a pioneering mix of breaking news, entertainment, and shareable content. Under Peretti's leadership, BuzzFeed has grown worldwide and generates more than 9 billion monthly content views, with writers and producers creating shareable and entertaining content, and reporters covering everything from politics to technology to in-depth investigations.
Pamela Adlon (Entertainment Influencers) '' Pamela Adlon is an Emmy®-winning, critically-acclaimed actress, writer, producer, and director. Currently, she is the writer, director, executive producer and star of the award-winning FX comedy series Better Things. This semi-autobiographical series won a 2016 Peabody Award and was named one of the ''Best Television Shows of 2017'' by The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Slate, Vox, IndieWire, and NPR as well as ''TV Show of the Year'' by TIME. For her role, Adlon received a 2017 and 2018 Emmy Award nomination for ''Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series'' and a 2018 Golden Globes® nomination for ''Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy'' as audiences celebrated her raw, insightful voice and unapologetic, elevated commentary on motherhood, feminism, and the complexity of modern life. The series returns to FX for its third highly-anticipated season February 28.
A$AP Rocky and Gorden Wagener (Design) '' A$AP Rocky is a cultural beacon that continues to move past the status quo and lead the pack by continuing to evolve, innovate, and disrupt the industry. With several accolades under his belt including being the first black male to ever be named the face of Dior, having his sophomore studio album AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP go platinum, a top 5 spot on opening weekend for his starring role in the critically-acclaimed and indie darling film Dope, and becoming a Creative Director for MTV and Viacom Velocity, he continues to prove that he's not just a rapper that follows the status quo, but a creative force to be reckoned with. Gorden Wagener is the Chief Design Officer for Daimler AG. He joined Mercedes-Benz in 1997, and he was appointed as first Chief Design Officer of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Vans & Daimler Trucks at Daimler AG in 2016.
Jim Bankoff and Soledad O'Brien (Media & Journalism) '' Jim Bankoff is the Chairman and CEO of Vox Media, the pioneering media company known for building modern media properties and the platforms that enable them. Vox Media's editorial networks and businesses include SB Nation, Eater, The Verge, Vox, Curbed, Recode & Code Conferences, Polygon, Vox Creative, Concert, Chorus, Vox Entertainment, and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Soledad O'Brien, an award-winning journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist, is founder and CEO of the Starfish Media Group. She anchors and produces Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien2, reports for HBO's Real Sports and has authored two books. She has won numerous awards, including three Emmys, the George Peabody award, an Alfred I DuPont prize and the Gracie.
Adam Bierman (Cannabusiness) '' Adam Bierman is chief executive officer and co-founder of MedMen Enterprises. Bierman is an outspoken advocate of institutional practices, professional standards, and clear and reasonable regulations that will take the cannabis industry to its next phase. In 2010, Bierman and business partner Andrew Modlin started MedMen. The two visionary entrepreneurs saw not just a tremendous business opportunity in the growing legalization of marijuana, but a chance to re-define society's relationship with cannabis. MedMen is one of the nation's largest financial supporters of progressive marijuana legalization efforts at local, state, and federal levels.
Priscilla Chan (Social & Global Impact) '' Priscilla Chan is co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropic organization she started with her husband, Mark Zuckerberg. CZI is a new kind of philanthropy that's leveraging technology to help solve some of the world's toughest challenges '' from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. As a pediatrician and former teacher, Chan's work with patients and students in communities across the Bay Area has informed her desire to make learning more personalized, find new paths to manage and cure disease, and expand opportunity for more people. She is also the founder of The Primary School, which integrates health and education and serves children and families in East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven neighborhood in Menlo Park, California.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Briahna Gray (Cities, Government & Politics) '-- Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to two working-class parents. She attended Boston University, where she earned degrees in Economics and International Relations. While there, she worked for the late Sen. Kennedy handling foreign affairs and immigration casework for constituent families. Briahna Gray is a columnist and senior politics editor at The Intercept. She is also an opinion columnist with a focus on progressive political messaging, as well as issues relating to identity and culture.
Pat Corcoran (Music Industry & Culture) '-- Pat Corcoran is the manager for Chance the Rapper and founder of Haight Brand. Manager by profession and friend by nature, Corcoran has made his name by employing his personality professionally. Caring, driven, and fiercely intelligent, Corcoran has decisively slammed his flag into the entertainment industry with connections spanning across every major space and brand. He continues to set himself apart in every industry he revolutionizes with his authentic, caring, and passionate approach.
Dennis Crowley (Tech Industry & Enterprise) '-- Dennis Crowley is the co-founder of Foursquare, overseeing the strategic vision and product roadmap that has grown the Foursquare community to more than 50 million people around the world. Crowley previously founded Dodgeball, one of the first mobile social services which was acquired by Google in 2005. He is also a winner of the ''Fast Money'' bonus round on the TV game show Family Feud, and the Founder and Chairman of Kingston Stockade FC, a semi-professional soccer team in the Hudson Valley.
David Crosby and Cameron Crowe (Music Industry & Culture) '' In the last four years alone, David Crosby has released three acclaimed solo albums that prove his musical passion to be as powerful as ever. With Here If You Listen, the 77-year-old singer/songwriter continues that singular creative streak, delivering one of his most joyfully adventurous albums yet in a career that spans six auspicious decades. Cameron Crowe is an award-winning writer and director whose credits include such films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything'..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, and more. His documentary work includes The Union, a making of the Elton John-Leon Russell record of the same name and Pearl Jam Twenty. His latest documentary project, which he produced, is a revealing and deeply personal documentary exploring the life and creative renaissance of music icon David Crosby.
David Feinberg and Clay Johnston (Health & MedTech) '' David Feinberg currently heads up Google's health efforts. Previously, Feinberg was president and CEO of Geisinger, one of the nation's most innovative health services organizations. While at Geisinger, Feinberg oversaw 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, research centers, and various initiatives aimed at better engaging patients around their health. Clay Johnston is the inaugural dean of Dell Medical School and vice president for medical affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. His vision is to create a new model for academic medicine that accelerates innovation to improve health and reduce inefficiencies in health care.
Designing for Films at Pixar Animation Studios Featured Session (Making Film & Episodics) '' Join Deanna Marsigliese, Character Art Director; Josh Holtsclaw, Graphics Art Director; and Paul Abadilla, Sets Art Director, as they share their artwork and approach to designing for animated films at Pixar Animation Studios. Through their own respective disciplines, they'll share insight about how to solve creative challenges and highlight some examples of how an idea gets translated from a design sketch, and onto the screen. They will also discuss about how they support and advocate for diversity and inclusion in their films.
Tim Ferriss (Health & MedTech) '' Tim Ferriss has been listed as one of Fast Company's ''Most Innovative Business People'' and one of Fortune's ''40 under 40.'' He is an early-stage technology investor/advisor (Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of five #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. The Observer and other media have called Ferriss ''the Oprah of audio'' due to the influence of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which is the first business/interview podcast to exceed 100 million downloads. Ferriss will join the previously announced conversation with Michael Pollan.
Neil Gaiman (Entertainment Influencers) '' Neil Gaiman is the best-selling author and creator of books, graphic novels, short stories, film, and television for all ages, including Neverwhere, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The View from the Cheap Seats and the Sandman comic series. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. American Gods, based on the 2001 novel, is now a critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated TV series, and he has written and is the showrunner for the forthcoming mini-series adaptation of Good Omens, based on the book he co-authored with Terry Pratchett. In 2017, he became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Originally from England, he lives in the United States, where he is a professor at Bard College.
Tinker Hatfield and Scott Dadich (Design) '-- Tinker Hatfield is the Vice President of Creative Concepts at Nike where he oversees Nike shoe designs and Nike's Innovation Kitchen. In addition to working with Michael Jordan each year, Hatfield currently creates specialized Nike athletic products for champion athletes including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, Renaud Lavillenie, and numerous track and field athletes and entertainers including Justin Timberlake. Scott Dadich is founder and Co-CEO of Godfrey and Dadich Partners, a design and strategy firm that creates narratives '-- from documentary films and long-form journalism to corporate strategies and campaigns. In 2018, Dadich co-founded Majordomo Media, a new kind of entertainment and media company with renowned chef David Chang. He is also the creator and executive producer of the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design.
Senator Mazie Hirono and Guy Kawasaki (Cities, Government & Politics) '' Mazie K. Hirono was elected to the Senate in 2012 and sworn in as Hawaii's first female senator and the country's first Asian-American woman senator. Hirono serves on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. He is a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley). He is also author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books.
George Hotz (Intelligent Future) '' George Hotz, also known as geohot, is an American hacker and creative consumer known for unlocking the iPhone, allowing the phone to be used with other wireless carriers. Afterward, he developed many of the early jailbreak tools for iOS, such as limera1n and bootrom exploit. He is an alumnus of the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program and briefly attended both Rochester Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University. In September 2015, Hotz began working on his own AI startup called comma.ai. Hotz has received much attention in mainstream media, including appearances on the Today Show, Fox, CNN, NBC, and more.
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman with Dylan Byers (Media & Journalism) '' Jeffrey Katzenberg is a co-founder and managing partner of WndrCo, a holding company that invests in, acquires, develops, and operates consumer technology businesses for the long term. He is also the founder and chairman and Meg Whitman is CEO of Quibi, which brings together the best of Silicon Valley and Hollywood to create the first entertainment platform built for easy, on-the-go mobile viewing. Quibi will allow today's leading studios and creative talent to tell original stories in an entirely new way. Dylan Byers is the senior media reporter for NBC News & MSNBC and the author of Byers Market, a daily newsletter on the business, politics, and culture of media.
Daniel Kahan and Valerie Szczepanik (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency) '' Daniel Kahan is an attorney in Morrison & Foerster's Corporate Department. His practice focuses on venture capital and private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and spin-offs, securities offerings, and governance matters. He represents entrepreneurs, investors, and acquirers across a range of sectors, including fintech and blockchain. Valerie Szczepanik is Head of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She is also the Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and an Associate Director for the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance. Before that, she served as Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement's Cyber Unit.
Trevor Paglen and Kate Crawford (Intelligent Future) '' Are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning really the right metaphors to address training sets that feed into automated processes? Join researcher, academic, and author Kate Crawford and artist Trevor Paglen as they look into the production of training data and uncover the historical origins, labor practices, infrastructures, and epistemological assumptions, with biases and skews built into them from the outset.
Lola Plaku (Music Industry & Culture) '' With more than ten years of experience working behind the scenes in the music industry, Lola Plaku's resume is both extensive and multifaceted. Formerly a music journalist for Canada's hip-hop music scene, the Toronto native made a name for herself after launching her blog, iLuvLola. This led her to a role in promotions at Maxamus Entertainment followed by an online marketing position at CP Records. Plaku was passionate about breaking U.S. talent in the Toronto market and eventually branched out into concert production, working with The Weeknd, French Montana, Travis Scott, Kehlani, Big Sean, and A$AP Rocky, among others. She then transitioned into working with French Montana in a full time role.
Tara Razavi (Making & Marketing Music) '' For over a decade, Tara Razavi's adventurous aesthetic and clever imaginings have made a lasting impact on the music video, commercial, film, and event worlds. Razavi's content has reached audiences worldwide with over 2 billion cumulative views on YouTube alone. The California native and award-winning producer has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Jay Z, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Tyler the Creator, Travis Scott, John Legend, and more. Razavi founded Happy Place, Inc in 2008 to help make her portion of the entertainment industry a happy-as-hell place to be. Happy Place, is a creative production agency based in Los Angeles with satellite offices in New York, Atlanta, and Miami.
Creator Credits: Providing the Missing Links Featured Session (Music Industry & Culture) '' Bj¶rn Ulvaeus is a Swedish songwriter, producer, a member of the Swedish musical group ABBA, and co-composer of the musicals Chess, Kristina fr¥n Duvem¥la, and Mamma Mia!. He co-produced the film Mamma Mia! with fellow ABBA member and close friend Benny Andersson. Niclas Molinder is the CEO of Auddly, the global hub for authoritative pre-registration music metadata sourced from creators. Molinder founded Auddly in 2014 with Max Martin, Bj¶rn Ulvaeus of ABBA and manager Ash Pournouri. Auddly is rapidly setting the standard for how music creators, their collaborators, and their representatives are identified along with accrediting their contributions in compositions and recordings.
Travis VanderZanden and Josh Rasmussen (Tech Industry & Enterprise) '' Travis VanderZanden is the Founder and CEO of Bird. His lifelong admiration of his mother, who drove a public bus for over 30 years, inspired him to revolutionize last-mile transportation. VanderZanden has always been at the forefront of innovative transportation solutions, having served as Chief Operating Officer of Lyft and Vice President at Uber. He also founded Cherry, an on-demand car washing company, that was acquired by Lyft, and was Chief Revenue Officer at Yammer, which was acquired by Microsoft. Josh Rasmussen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Monday Motorbikes. His background in managing teams for technology firms and automobile companies, Dodge and Chevrolet, provide Rasmussen with unique insights into how transportation and technology revolutionize the way we travel around the world.
Henry Winkler Acting Workshop Featured Session (Entertainment Influencers) '' Henry Winkler co-stars as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on the new HBO dark comedy, Barry, for which he received an Emmy Award and Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor opposite series star, Bill Hader. Winkler has enjoyed over four decades of success in Hollywood and continues to be in demand as an actor, producer, and director. Join Henry Winkler as he leads an entertaining and insightful acting workshop in front of an audience.
Guitars and More: Creating New Sounds with Tech Featured Session (Making & Marketing Music) '' Join Fender Musical Instruments Corporation CEO Andy Mooney, Ableton North America Managing Director Tony McCall; artist Elise Trouw; and award-winning broadcast journalist, musician, author, deejay, and longtime NPR commentator Meredith Ochs for a session that will explore the different ways musicians are adopting new music technology in live/recorded performance, while still embracing traditional musical instruments, like guitar, creating a marriage of classic and progressive technological tools. Live performance is evolving. Technology has ushered in a one-man-band live performance format: one guitar, looper and artist on stage playing to thousands. While the access to musical technology has evolved and become more widespread, the product design behind the guitar keeps getting better, too. The result? A stronger connection between fans and bands than ever before, and great new music.
Willy Woo with Nolan Bauerle (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency) '' Willy Woo is an entrepreneur, advisor, and investor in seed-level technology ventures, but best known publicly as an independent crypto-asset analyst. Creator of the NVT ratio, much of his work is available on his Twitter feed which is regularly cited as a source for publications covering crypto-asset markets. Nolan Bauerle is the Director of Research at CoinDesk. His work with bitcoin began in 2012 while he was researching money laundering. Since then, he became a student of cryptography, decentralized systems, crypto economics, and the theory of the firm.
January 9: More than 300 artists were announced by SXSW, including DC punk group Priests, Swedish rapper Yung Lean, and several Austin artists including Hikes, BUHU, Abhi The Nomad, and more.
To see all artists attending the fest and to stay updated, find them here and click FOLLOW!
ROUND THREE OF SHOWCASING ARTISTS: Abhi The Nomad (Austin TX)
Alex Francis (Hitchin UK-ENGLAND)
ALI AKA MIND (Bogot COLOMBIA)
Alice Phoebe Lou (Berlin GERMANY)
¥MBe (Brooklyn NY)
Anemone (Montr(C)al CANADA)
Angie McMahon (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Another Michael (Philadelphia PA)
Another Sky (London UK-ENGLAND)
Anteros (London UK-ENGLAND)
Aquarian Blood (Memphis TN)
Arranquemos del Invierno (Concepci"n CHILE)
Azultrabuco (Bogot COLOMBIA)
Bad Moves (Washington DC)
Bad Sounds (Bristol UK-ENGLAND)
Bailen (New York NY)
Bambara (Brooklyn NY)
Barrie (Brooklyn NY)
BEA1991 (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
Bedouine (Los Angeles CA)
Being Dead (Austin TX)
Beshken (Los Angeles CA)
Big $wift (Downey CA)
Big Bliss (Brooklyn NY)
Big Joanie (London UK-ENGLAND)
Billy Strings (Nashville TN)
The Blank Tapes (Los Angeles CA)
The Blinders (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
Blinky Bill (Nairobi KENYA)
BUHU (Austin TX)
Bush Tetras (New York NY)
The Bvtcher (Austin TX)
Carmouflage Rose (Brisbane AUSTRALIA)
Carrion Kids (Mexico City MEXICO)
Cassandra Jenkins (New York NY)
Cassia (Macclesfield UK-ENGLAND)
Charlotte OC (Blackburn UK-ENGLAND)
Chasing Nomads (San Juan PUERTO RICO)
Chicarica (Santiago CHILE)
Chucky Trill (Houston TX)
Cimafunk (Havana CUBA)
CLAVVS (Brooklyn NY)
CNVS (Canvas) (Queretaro MEXICO)
co34pt (Newcastle-upon-Tyne UK-ENGLAND)
Colores Santos (Guadalajara MEXICO)
Control Top (Philadelphia PA)
Cosme (Guayama PUERTO RICO)
Critical Assembly (Austin TX)
Cure For Paranoia (Dallas TX)
Cutesylvania (Flint MI)
Cypress Moreno (Los Angeles CA)
Danger Grove (Loveland CO)
Dan Marshall (Guadalajara MEXICO)
DannyBrasco (Nuevo leon MEXICO)
Death Of A Dream (Austin TX)
Deep Cuts (Houston TX)
The Desert (Bristol UK-ENGLAND)
Desorden Pºblico (Caracas VENEZUELA )
Dhira Bongs (Bandung INDONESIA)
DJ Confucius Jones (Austin TX)
DJ Paypal (Charlotte NC)
DJ PH (Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA)
The DOJO (Austin TX)
Donna Missal (Los Angeles CA)
Doomsquad (Toronto CANADA)
Dopey's Robe (Vancouver CANADA)
Drinker (Los Angeles CA)
Dwellers (Salt Lake City UT)
E.B. The Younger (Denton TX)
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians (Austin TX)
Edna and The Musicians (Cuauhtemoc MEXICO)
Efya (Accra GHANA)
Elisapie (Montreal CANADA)
Eliza Shaddad (London UK-ENGLAND)
Eme Alfonso (Havana CUBA)
Emilia Ali (Boston MA)
Emma Elisabeth (Berlin GERMANY)
Erin Rae (Nashville TN)
Esther Rose (New Orleans LA)
Fangclub (Dublin IRELAND)
Faux Ferocious (Nashville TN)
Feefa (Los Angeles CA)
Fernanda Takai (Belo Horizonte BRAZIL)
Ferris & Sylvester (London UK-ENGLAND)
Fire From The Gods (Austin TX)
Fruit & Flowers (Brooklyn NY)
FURUTORI (Shimokitazawa JAPAN)
Gabylonia (Caracas VENEZUELA)
Georgia (London UK-ENGLAND)
Geowulf (London UK-ENGLAND)
Ghostly Kisses (Qu(C)bec CANADA)
GHXST (Brooklyn NY)
GIRL SKIN (Brooklyn NY)
Glass Caves (Leeds UK-ENGLAND)
Go Cactus (Mallorca SPAIN)
Golden Vessel (Brisbane AUSTRALIA)
Good Fuck (Chicago IL)
Grace Carter (London UK-ENGLAND)
Grace Turner (Newcastle AUSTRALIA)
Greenwave Beth (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Grubby Little Hands (Philadelphia PA)
Gr¼n Wasser (Chicago IL)
Harmony Byrne (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Heartstreets (Montreal CANADA)
Henry Brun & The Latin Playerz (San Antonio TX)
HIJOS (San Jos(C) COSTA RICA)
Hikes (Austin TX)
Hilary Woods (Dublin IRELAND)
Honey Harper (Atlanta GA)
Honyock (Sacramento CA)
The Howl & The Hum (York UK-ENGLAND)
Hunkpapa (Belfast UK-N. IRELAND)
Illiterate Light (Harrisonburg VA)
illuminati hotties (Los Angeles CA)
Indigo Sparke (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Intertwine (Bergen NORWAY)
Invoke (Austin TX)
Irata (Greensboro NC)
It Was Romance (Brooklyn NY)
J.Patron (Bogota COLOMBIA)
JAG (Los Angeles CA)
James Vickery (London UK-ENGLAND)
Jazzrausch Bigband (Munich GERMANY)
Jeff Lofton (Austin TX)
Jess Williamson (Los Angeles CA)
J Fernandez (Chicago IL)
Jojo Abot (Volta Region GHANA)
Jon Dee Graham (Austin TX)
Jony Beltran (Acu±a MEXICO)
Josin (Freiburg GERMANY)
J.S. Ondara (Nairobi KENYA)
J Soulja (Austin TX)
Just Loud (Atlanta GA)
Jvcki Wai (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Kalan.frfr (Los Angeles CA)
Kalu & The Electric Joint (Austin TX)
Kamaal Williams (London UK-ENGLAND)
Kate Teague (Oxford MS)
K Camp (Atlanta GA)
Kevin George (Stamford CT)
KOKOKO! (Kinshasa DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO)
KOMFORTRAUSCHEN (Berlin GERMANY)
Kosha Dillz (Tel Aviv ISRAEL)
KUCCI (Jilin CHINA)
Kwame (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
La Banda Acºstica Rodante (San Juan PUERTO RICO)
La Chinga (Vancouver CANADA)
La Etnnia (Bogot COLOMBIA)
Lafawndah (London UK-ENGLAND)
The Lagoons (Austin TX)
La Matilda (Bogot COLOMBIA)
La Real del Sonido (Bogota COLOMBIA)
Larkins (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
La Sonidera (Bogot COLOMBIA)
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires (Birmingham AL)
Lennon Stella (East York CANADA)
Leoniden (Kiel GERMANY)
Light Vibes (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Lily and Horn Horse (Hudson NY)
Lily & Madeleine (Brooklyn NY)
Lina Tullgren (Queens NY)
Lisa Morales (San Antonio TX)
Liza Owen (London UK-ENGLAND)
Lizbeth Roman Y Los Duendes Invisibles (Sabana Seca PUERTO RICO)
Lolita De Sola (Caracas VENEZUELA)
Los Coast (Austin TX)
Lou Rebecca (Paris FRANCE)
Lows0n (Xiamen CHINA)
Lug (Austin TX)
M3NSA (London UK-ENGLAND)
mach¬na (Tokyo JAPAN)
Madam X (London UK-ENGLAND)
Madeline Kenney (Oakland CA)
Mahya Veray y su Trauma (Guaynabo PUERTO RICO)
Major League Djz (Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA)
Malena Zavala (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Mama Duke (Austin TX)
Manniax (Bogota COLOMBIA)
Mansionair (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
The Mariachi Ghost (Winnipeg CANADA)
Mayorkun (Lagos NIGERIA)
Melenas (Pamplona SPAIN)
Memories In Broken Glass (San Antonio TX)
Merely (Gothenburg SWEDEN)
Mexico City Blondes (Santa Barbara CA)
Minke (London UK-ENGLAND)
Miss World (London UK-ENGLAND)
Molly Burch (Austin TX)
MONOPHONICOS (Bogot COLOMBIA)
Monstruos del Ma±ana (Mexico City MEXICO)
Moonlover (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Morabeza Tobacco (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Mourning [A] BLKstar (Cleveland OH)
Moving Panoramas (Austin TX)
Mr. Lewis & The Funeral 5 (Austin TX)
Mundaka (Lima PERU)
My Brightest Diamond (Detroit MI)
The Mystery Lights (New York NY)
N7 & Pwap (Oklahoma City OK)
NACH (Alicante SPAIN)
Nadia Nakai (Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA)
Nadia Tehran (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Nanook of the North (Gdansk POLAND)
Naomi Wild (Los Angeles CA)
Neblinna (Maracaibo VENEZUELA)
Nicole Atkins (Nashville TN)
NineOne# (Xi'an CHINA)
No Party For Cao Dong (Taipei TAIWAN)
Novo Amor (Cardiff UK-WALES)
Nutopia (San Juan PUERTO RICO)
Odonis Odonis (Toronto CANADA)
Oh, Rose (Olympia WA)
Ohtis (Los Angeles CA)
Omar Apollo (Hobart IN)
Orchards (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
Pablo Dazn (Bogota COLOMBIA)
Pablo Trujillo (Bogot COLOMBIA)
Papachina (Armenia COLOMBIA)
:PAPERCUTZ (Porto PORTUGAL)
Parker Gispert (Nashville TN)
Passeport (Cincinnati OH)
Pecker (Nueno SPAIN)
Penelope Isles (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
Perro (Murcia SPAIN)
PHI (Guadalajara MEXICO)
Phobophobes (London UK-ENGLAND)
Pink Sweat$ (Philadelphia PA)
Pip Blom (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
Pipo Romero (Cadiz SPAIN)
Plastic Picnic (Brooklyn NY)
Pottery (Montreal CANADA)
Priests (Washington DC)
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (Perth AUSTRALIA)
Puppy (London UK-ENGLAND)
Ratboys (Chicago IL)
Rebecca Loebe (Austin TX)
Reece (Woodbridge VA)
Rick Maguire (from Pile) (Boston MA)
Ric Wilson (Chicago IL)
Ritt Momney (Salt Lake City UT)
Rizha (Madrid SPAIN)
Robinson (Nelson NEW ZEALAND)
Robot Koch x Delhia de France (Berlin GERMANY)
Ross Golan's The Wrong Man (Los Angeles CA)
RRUCCULLA (Bilbao SPAIN)
Rucci (Inglewood CA)
Run Golden Boys (Mexico City MEXICO)
Saint Lo (Montreal CANADA)
Samini and Band (Accra GHANA)
San Mei (Robina AUSTRALIA)
SEAZOO (Wrexham UK-WALES)
Serko Fu (Monterrey MEXICO)
Sexy Bicycle (Barcelona SPAIN)
Shepherds (Atlanta GA)
Simi (Lagos NIGERIA)
Sir Babygirl (Hanover NH)
Sofia Portanet (Berlin GERMANY)
Soriah (Portland OR)
Sorry Girls (Montreal CANADA)
Spike Vincent (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
SPINN (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
Ssali Moses Bebe Cool (Ntinda Kampala UGANDA)
Steady Holiday (Los Angeles CA)
Stefan Wesolowski (Gdansk POLAND)
The Stitches (Los Angeles CA)
Stuck in the Sound (Paris FRANCE)
Superf"nicos (Austin TX)
Surfbort (Brooklyn NY)
TarantisT (Los Angeles CA)
Tarik Hassan (Austin TX)
Tatiana Hazel (Chicago IL)
The Teeta (Austin TX)
TEMPESST (London UK-ENGLAND)
Tetractys (Austin TX)
Thaiboy Digital (Bangkok THAILAND)
Thalea String Quartet (Austin TX)
The Cold Stares (Evansville IN)
Thumpasaurus (Los Angeles CA)
TiKA (Toronto CANADA)
Tim Atlas (Los Angeles CA)
Tribade (Barcelona SPAIN)
Tufan Derince (DiyarbakÄ±r TURKEY)
TWEN (Boston MA)
Two Medicine (Denton TX)
Two People (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Ume (Austin TX)
Ushbebe (Aladja NIGERIA)
Vector (Lagos NIGERIA)
Virgin Pool (Los Angeles CA)
ViVii (Stockholm SWEDEN)
We And The Machines (Quito ECUADOR)
Wild Moccasins (Houston TX)
William the Conqueror (Newquay UK-ENGLAND)
Will Johnson (Austin TX)
Wives (Brooklyn NY)
Wohl (Guadalajara MEXICO)
Xenia Fran§a (S£o Paulo BRAZIL)
Yung Lean (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Yves Jarvis (Montreal CANADA)
Zack Varner (Austin TX)
January 8th Announcement: World Premiere of Jordan Peele's new film, Us. The world premiere of Jordan Peele's Us will be the Opening Night film for the 26h edition of the SXSW Film Festival. After his extremely well-received, socially-conscious directorial debut, Get Out, Peele returns with a new nightmare.
"We are crazy excited to world premiere the most anticipated film of 2019 from the creative powerhouse that brought us Get Out," said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. "We honestly couldn't imagine a more perfect film to kick off the 2019 SXSW Film Festival."
Check out the trailer and see all previous SXSW updates, below.
For prior announcements, scroll further down the page. Don't forget to bookmark this page for consistently updated news on this year's conference.
ROUND TWO OF SHOWCASING ARTISTS:(Follow them all, right here on Do512!)
Acid Tongue (Seattle WA) A Deer A Horse (Brooklyn NY) Adekunle Gold (Lagos NIGERIA) AfrotroniX (Montreal QC) Agrupaci"n Cari±o (Mexico City MEXICO) Algobabez (Leeds UK-ENGLAND) Alternate Sound (Lagos NIGERIA) American Werewolf Academy (Dallas TX) Amor Elefante (Banfield ARGENTINA) Anatii ( Bisho SOUTH AFRICA) Angelica Garcia (Richmond VA) AQUIHAYAQUIHAY (Monterrey MEXICO) Aries (Vigo SPAIN) ASTERISM (Fukuoka JAPAN) Avalanche Party (Castleton UK-ENGLAND) BABii (Margate UK-ENGLAND) Barbara Nesbitt (Austin TX) Belisha Beacon (Leeds UK-ENGLAND) Bellows (Brooklyn NY) Black Midi (London UK-ENGLAND) BLOXX (London UK-ENGLAND) Boom Boom Kid (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA) Boraj (Santiago CHILE) The Bright Light Social Hour (Austin TX) BRONCHO (Tulsa OK) The Brummies (Nashville TN) Buck Gooter (Harrisonburg VA) Caitlyn Smith (Cannon Falls MN) Cassper Nyovest (Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA) Catnapp (Berlin GERMANY) CHAI (Nagoya JAPAN) Chastity (Whitby CANADA) CHIU PI (Taiwan TAIWAN) CIFIKA (Seoul SOUTH KOREA) City of the Sun (Brooklyn NY) The Colors (Ulaanbaatar MONGOLIA) Combo Chimbita (Brooklyn NY) The Comet is Coming (London UK-ENGLAND) Construction & Destruction (Port Greville CANADA) Cumulus (Seattle WA) The Curls (Chicago IL) Current Affairs (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND) Curse Of Lono (London UK-ENGLAND) Daniel Brandt (Berlin GERMANY) Darling West (Oslo NORWAY) Das Body (Oslo NORWAY) Dead Soft (Vancouver CANADA) Death By Unga Bunga (Moss NORWAY) Deerhunter (Atlanta GA) Deezie Brown (Austin TX) Delaporte (Madrid SPAIN) Denise le Menice (Perth AUSTRALIA) Devon Church (New York NY) The Dirty Nil (Dundas CANADA) Dj Kess (Sekondi Takoradi GHANA) DJ Rosegold (Toronto CANADA) Doe (London UK-ENGLAND) Doeman (Houston TX) DRAMA (Chicago IL) Dramatic Lovers (Milwaukee WI) Dream Catchers Dance Academy (Ikorodu NIGERIA) Dual Core (Austin TX) DUO BUD (Seoul SOUTH KOREA) Dylan Cartlidge (Redcar UK-ENGLAND) E.L (Accra GHANA) EggPlantEgg (Taiwan TAIWAN) Ehsan Matoori (Dallas TX) Elder Island (Bristol UK-ENGLAND) Elephant Gym (Taiwan TAIWAN) El Gallo (Santiago CHILE) Emerson Snowe (Brisbane AUSTRALIA) FADE (Grand Rapids MI) Falz The bahdguy (Lagos NIGERIA) Farao (Oslo NORWAY) Fatherson (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND) field trip (Los Angeles CA) Flint Eastwood (Detroit MI) Flower (New York NY) Foie Gras (San Francisco CA) Frijo (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA) Fuglar (Santiago CHILE) Gallops (Wrexham UK-WALES) Goodbye Honolulu (Toronto CANADA) Graham Van Pelt (Toronto CANADA) Grandchildren (Philadelphia PA) Grivo (Austin TX) Grupo Rebolu (Whitestone NY) Gurr (Berlin GERMANY) Haiku Hands (Sydney AUSTRALIA) Hard Proof (Austin TX) Harry Edohoukwa (Dallas TX) HOMIE (Medelln COLOMBIA) Honey Lung (London UK-ENGLAND) I Know Leopard (Sydney AUSTRALIA) I Mean Us (Taiwan TAIWAN) Indianola (Nashville TN) In Mirrors (Vancouver CANADA) Irene Ntale (Kampala UGANDA) ISLAND (London UK-ENGLAND) Ivan Dorn (Kiev UKRAINE) JayDaYoungan (Bogalusa LA) Jealous of the Birds (Belfast UK-N. IRELAND) Jerry Paper (Los Angeles CA) JM Stevens (Austin TX) Joel Eel (Toronto CANADA) Jona Camacho (Bogota COLOMBIA) Jonathan Bree (Auckland NEW ZEALAND) Jordan Moser (Austin TX) Jo Schornikow (Melbourne AUSTRALIA) Joshua Burnside (Belfast UK-N. IRELAND) Juan Celofn (Santiago CHILE) Julie Odell (New Orleans LA) Kagwe Mungai (Nairobi KENYA) Kapil Seshasayee (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND) Katy Kirby (Spicewood TX) KOJAQUE (Dublin IRELAND) KOMOREBI (New Delhi INDIA) Laura Misch (London UK-ENGLAND) Lazy Day (London UK-ENGLAND) The Lemons (Ulaanbaatar MONGOLIA) LEX the Lexicon Artist (Taipei TAIWAN) Liily (Los Angeles CA) Living Hour (Winnipeg CANADA) Lizzie and The Makers (New York NY) Lord Esperanza (Paris FRANCE) Los Gaiteros de Ovejas (Ovejas COLOMBIA) Los Nastys (Madrid SPAIN) Lucy Spraggan (Buxton UK-ENGLAND) LUWTEN (Rotterdam NETHERLANDS) Mabiland (Medellin COLOMBIA) Magic Potion (Stockholm SWEDEN) The Mammoths (Austin TX) Marta Pereira Da Costa (Lisbon PORTUGAL) MASCARIMIRI (Muro Leccese ITALY) Michael Olivera Group (Madrid SPAIN) Million Miles (London UK-ENGLAND) Missions (Los Angeles CA) Moonwalks (Detroit MI) Mr.Kitty (Austin TX) Mr Eazi (Lagos NIGERIA) The Muffinz (Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA) MUNYA (Saguenay CANADA) Murray A. Lightburn (Montreal CANADA) My Skin Against Your Skin (Taipei TAIWAN) Nadine Shah (South Shields UK-ENGLAND) Nancy (London UK-ENGLAND) Natalia Norte (Iquique CHILE) Native Sun (New York NY) Natos Y Waor (Madrid SPAIN) Novelist (London UK-ENGLAND) NO WIN (Los Angeles CA) Odd" (Santiago CHILE) Odette (Sydney AUSTRALIA) Orions Belte (Bergen NORWAY) Oscar Jerome (London UK-ENGLAND) OTB Fastlane (Houston TX) The Other End (Bergen NORWAY) The Pearl Harts (London UK-ENGLAND) Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers (Austin TX) Pip Hall (Preston UK-ENGLAND) Pleasure Jams (Brooklyn NY) Powers Pleasant (Brooklyn NY) Prism Bitch (Albuquerque NM) Profligate (Los Angeles CA) Public Practice (New York NY) The Qualitons (Budapest HUNGARY) Rascalton (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND) Rattletree (Austin TX) Recycled J (Madrid SPAIN) Regallily (Tokyo JAPAN) Renick Bell (Tokyo JAPAN) Rev Rev Rev (Modena ITALY) ROE (Derry IRELAND) Rose Droll (San Francisco CA) Royal Canoe (Winnipeg CANADA) Sad Cops (Denton TX) Salma Sky (Lusaka ZAMBIA) Sam DeRosa (Poughkeepsie NY) Sam Eagle (Colchester UK-ENGLAND) Sam Fender (Newcastle Upon Tyne UK-ENGLAND) Schaffer the Darklord (New York NY) Scott Yoder (Seattle WA) Sebastian Romero (Mexico City MEXICO) Seyi Shay (Lagos NIGERIA) SHIRAZEE (Bronx NY) ShitKid (Stockholm SWEDEN) Shy Boys (Kansas City MO) The Sick Things (Montreal CANADA) Single Lash (Austin TX) Sloppy Jane (Brooklyn NY) Smokey Brights (Seattle WA) smut (Cincinnati OH) The Snuts (Bathgate UK-SCOTLAND) Soft as Snow (Oslo NORWAY) Soft Kill (Portland OR) Soge Culebra (Murcia SPAIN) Sophie Auster (New York NY) Sports Team (Harlesden UK-ENGLAND) Squid (Bristol UK-ENGLAND) Stanley Enow (Cameroon CAMEROON) Stealing Sheep (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND) Stokoff (Bogota COLOMBIA) Sudakistan (Stockholm SWEDEN) Sulfur (Charlotte NC) Sun June (Austin TX) Superbody (Chattanooga TN) Suzan K¶cher (Solingen GERMANY) Table Scraps (Birmingham UK-ENGLAND) Taco Mouth (Nashville TN) Tais Alvarenga (Rio De Janeiro BRAZIL) Tallies (Toronto CANADA) Talos (Cork IRELAND) Tameca Jones (Austin TX) Tasha (Chicago IL) Taylor Janzen (Winnipeg CANADA) TEEN (Brooklyn NY) Tennis System (Los Angeles CA) Termination Dust (Anchorage AK) the perfect me (Fukuoka JAPAN) Thomas Amar-Aigbe (DJ Sose ) (Lagos NIGERIA) Thyla (Brighton UK-ENGLAND) Tobi Lou (Chicago IL) TOMKAT (Denton TX) T-Rextasy (New York NY) Tribal ( Johannesurg SOUTH AFRICA) Trupa Trupa (Gdansk POLAND) Tyler Ramsey (Asheville NC) Urban Hype (Lusaka ZAMBIA) Vaarwell (Lisbon PORTUGAL) Vacations (Newcastle AUSTRALIA) Vandoliers (Dallas TX) Verneri Pohjola with Tuomo & Markus (Helsinki FINLAND) Versus (New York NY) Victoria Kimani (Nairobi KENYA) Waco Brothers (Chicago IL) Wet Dreams (Oslo NORWAY) whenyoung (Limerick IRELAND) Whitney Ballen (Seattle WA) William Elliott Whitmore (Lee County IA) Wolf & Moon (Berlin GERMANY) XIXA (Tucson AZ) Yawners (Madrid SPAIN) The Yawpers (Denver CO) Yemi Alade (Nigeria NIGERIA) The Young Something (Tampa FL) Y O Y (Finale Emilia ITALY) Yung Baby Tate (Atlanta GA) The Zephyr Bones (Barcelona SPAIN) Zona Tango (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA) ROUND THREE OF KEYNOTE AND FEATURED SPEAKERS:Keynote Speaker:Jessica Brillhart (Film) '-- Jessica Brillhart is an immersive director, writer, and theorist. She's the founder of the independent studio, Vrai Pictures. Previously, Brillhart was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google where she worked with engineers to develop Google Jump, a virtual reality live-action capture ecosystem. Since then, Brillhart has made a range of highly acclaimed VR experiences, working with such entities as NASA, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Google's Artists and Machine Intelligence program, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Weather Channel. In 2017, Brillhart was heralded by MIT Technology Review as an innovator and pioneer in the field of virtual reality filmmaking and immersive entertainment.
Featured Speakers:Amber Baldet (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency) '' Amber Baldet is co-founder and CEO of Clovyr, a company reshaping how businesses connect to each other and the world's data. Having previously led JPMorgan's blockchain efforts and appearing on 2017's Fortune's 40 Under 40 list of the most influential young people in business, Baldet ''handily bridges the divide between the Wall Street and crypto sets.'' Baldet also serves on the Board of the Zcash Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to building Internet payment and privacy infrastructure for the public good.
Lance Bass (Music Industry & Culture) '' Lance Bass is the quintessential illustration of a highly successful and driven jack-of-all-trades: singer, host, actor, producer, writer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and cosmonaut. Beyond his fame as a member of the phenomenally successful group *NSYNC, where the group sold an impressive 80 million plus records worldwide, Bass has made himself a household name. Producing is his true passion with several films and television shows under his belt including: Boy Band Con, Lance Loves Michael-E! special, Celebrity Home Raiders, Kidnapped for Christ, Mississippi: I Am, The Grand, Lovewrecked and On the Line.
A Better Future Through Digital Health Featured Session (Health & MedTech) '-- The U.S. health care system is big, complex, at times difficult to navigate, and expensive. The good news is that a fix is within our grasp: It's digital, and consumers are willing to embrace it as long as it meets their needs and provides the level of quality they expect. Delivering this requires a full-on consumer-centric approach. Join Kevin Hart (actor and comedian), David Ko (President and COO, Rally Health, Inc.), Sarah Martin (VP, Product and Consumer Innovation at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina) and Vickie Strickland (Director, Health Strategy & Resources Delta Air Lines) to learn their strategies for advancing the promise of digital health.
Bren(C) Brown (Social & Global Impact) '' Bren(C) Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation '' Bren(C) Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of the #1 New York Times best-sellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead. Bren(C) Brown will be the SXSW 2019 Opening Speaker.
Kimberly Bryant (Entrepreneurship & Startups) '' Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to ''changing the face of technology'' by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. Prior to starting Black Girls CODE, Bryant enjoyed a successful 20+ year professional career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an Engineering Manager in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 50 companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer. Since 2011, Bryant has helped Black Girls CODE grow from a local grassroots initiative serving only the Bay Area, to an international organization with fourteen chapters across the U.S. and in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls CODE has currently reached over 15,000 students and continues to grow and thrive.
Cannabis and Wellness: The Body and Beyond Featured Session (Cannabusiness) '' This session will explore the potential of cannabis to contribute to not only physical, but also emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. From Ricky Williams' (Former Heisman trophy winner and NFL running back) experience, the most profound effect that cannabis has had on his life has been spiritual '-- helping him find his purpose. Williams joins Jess Dugan (The Oil Plant, Inc.), Dr. Michele Ross (CEO of Infused Health) and John Salley (Former NBA player) for a conversation about how the medicinal benefits of marijuana have now catapulted cannabis in the mainstream, but all holistic forms of medicine recognize that in order to maintain physical health, we must also attend to the health of our psyches.
Troy Dayton (Cannabusiness) '-- Dayton co-founded cannabis investment and research firm The Arcview Group in 2010, and serves as CEO. Arcview created the Arcview Investor Network where more than 1200 high net-worth investors have pumped more than $200 million into 190+ cannabis-related ventures and raised more than $3 million for the legalization effort. Arcview also publishes The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, the most-cited market data and analysis report on the industry. Arcview co-founded Cannasure Insurance Services in 2011 and launched Canopy, a business accelerator in 2015. Dayton is an elected board member of the Marijuana Policy Project and is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Fortune Magazine named him as one of the top 7 most powerful people in the cannabis industry.
Laura Jane Grace (Music Industry & Culture) '' To say musician, author, and activist Laura Jane Grace has had a defiant career would be the understatement of the year. Whether being accused of leaving the DIY punk scene to pursue a major label career over a decade ago, or courageously challenging people's conceptions of gender identity with a bombshell Rolling Stone article, Grace has remained a daring and influential cultural figure in her over 20+ years of creating dynamic art across various mediums. Sure, she's bound to worry some fans with her decision to press pause on Against Me! to release a more intimate singer-songwriter leaning solo album under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, but her artistic motivation cast her determination in steel.
Arlan Hamilton (Entrepreneurship & Startups) '' Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $5M into 100 startups led by underestimated founders and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz.
Jaron Lanier (Intelligent Future) '-- Jaron Lanier is known as godfather of Virtual Reality, since he named it, had the first startup, and built many of the first app examples including surgical simulation. He's received a lifetime career award from the IEEE as well as the German Peace Prize for Books and many other awards. Lanier was named one of tech's 25 icons of the last 25 years by Wired and is on lots of other fancy lists. He writes books and thinks social media is harming the world.
Chris Lee (Music Industry & Culture) '-- Since joining SM Entertainment's A&R department in 2005, Chris Lee has played a visionary role in the evolution of Asia's leading entertainment agency. He made a name for himself by developing SM's peerless production system, which involves a global network of more than 900 hit songwriters (from legends like Teddy Riley to pop sensations like Bruno Mars). Lee's efforts introduced the songcamp model to K-pop, setting a new precedent for the Asian music industry as a whole. Lee takes a similarly hands-on approach to nearly every facet of SM's prodigious output, and fostering top global acts like EXO, Super Junior, Red Velvet, and NCT. As a member of SM Entertainment Group's board of directors, Lee is actively involved in formulating fresh corporate development strategies and directions.
Amy Margolis (Cannabusiness) '' Amy Margolis has been a lawyer for more than 16 years and is the founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association. She frequently advises both businesses and investors on deploying capital in the cannabis space, multi-jurisdictional growth, public offerings, and every other stage of business and corporate development. Margolis is also the founder of The Initiative, a business accelerator for female entrepreneurs, to train and fund women in the cannabis space.
Elisabeth Moss (Entertainment Influencers) '' Elisabeth Moss can soon be seen in Alex Ross Perry's HER SMELL and Jordan Peele's Us, both of which will be opening theatrically in March of 2019. Moss is currently starring in the Emmy Award-winning Hulu drama series The Handmaid's Tale, based on the acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, on which she also serves as a producer. Among the many honors and accolades she has received are Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Drama Series and Best Drama Series. Other upcoming credits include In The Kitchen opposite Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish and with Michael Stuhlbarg in Shirley, which she produced, as well.
Trevor Noah and The Daily Show ''News Team'' Panel Hard with Jake Tapper Featured Session (Media & Journalism) '-- CNN Anchor & Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper sits down with Daily Show host Trevor Noah and correspondents Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulc(C) Sloan, Roy Wood Jr. and Jaboukie Young-White to panel harder than anyone has ever paneled before. They'll discuss how today's fast-paced media cycle has changed (and keeps changing!) the late-night comedy landscape. The Daily Show team will offer an inside look at how they tackle politics, race, and social issues on the show. And they'll also dive into how both their digital team and Emmy Award-winning series ''Between the Scenes'' lend a fresh perspective to the larger conversation that happens with their audience.
Frank Oz (Entertainment Influencers) '-- Oz is a four-time Emmy winner and recipient of The Art Director's Guild Award, The Comedy Awards' Creative Achievement Award, Saturn Lifetime Achievement Award, George Foster Peabody award, and others. He's performed with The Muppets and on the Star Wars films. The dozen feature films he's directed include Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, In & Out, The Score, and Death at a Funeral.
Busy Philipps and Hillary Kerr (Entertainment Influencers) '' Busy Philipps is an actress best known for roles in cult TV classics like Dawson's Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town, ER, and most recently HBO's Vice Principals. She has appeared in fan-favorite films such as Made of Honor, I Don't Know How She Does It, He's Just Not That Into You, White Chicks, and The Gift. Philipps also was one of the writers of the hit film Blades of Glory. In fall 2018, her late-night talk show Busy Tonight premiered on E!. Hillary Kerr is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Clique Brands, a content, commerce, and consumer brands company that includes WhoWhatWear.com, Byrdie.com, MyDomaine.com, CollegeFashionista.com, and the Who What Wear Collection.
Sharks Everywhere! How We Multiplatform Shark Week Featured Session (Making Film & Episodics) '' Every year, Discovery Channel brings Shark Week to audiences on every possible platform and device, from cable TV to Snapchat to social to connected devices to plush toys and Walmart displays. Two of the principal creators and architects of the Shark Week Experience, Fred Graver (Senior Vice President, Digital Content and Social for Discovery Digital) and Scott Lewers (Executive Vice President of Multi-Platform Programming and Digital Media for Discovery and Science Channels) bring you behind-the-scenes in the creation, distribution, and community-building around Shark Week. Includes linear programming, digital production, sponsorships, and partnerships and a lot of shark tales!
Roy Spence (Future Workplace) '' Roy Spence is the chairman and co-founder of the advertising agency GSD&M and author of the books The Amazing Faith of Texas and It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven By Purpose. Spence is also co-founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute, which helps organizations and leaders discover and fulfill their purpose.
Bruce Sterling (Intelligent Future) '' Bruce Sterling is an author, journalist, editor, and critic. Best known for his ten science fiction novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews, design criticism, opinion columns, and introductions for books ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne. His nonfiction works include The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on The Electronic Frontier, Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years, Shaping Things, and The Epic Struggle of the Internet Of Things. His most recent book is a collection of Italian fantascienza stories, Utopia Pirata: I Racconti Di Bruno Argento.
Kerry Trainor (Music Industry & Culture) '' Kerry Trainor is the Chief Executive Officer of SoundCloud, leading the strategic direction of the platform's creator-first initiatives. Founded in 2007, SoundCloud is the world's largest open audio platform, empowering the world's audio creators with the best tools, services and resources to build and grow their careers. Since Trainor joined, SoundCloud has rolled out a number of new services and features, including most recently the expansion of SoundCloud Premier, its direct monetization program, integrations with major DJ applications, a partnership with Dubset, and more, benefiting its community of more than 20 million creators globally.
Damon Wayans Jr. and Kristopher B. Jones (Entrepreneurship & Startups) '' In this session, actor and comedian Damon Wayans, Jr. and serial entrepreneur and investor Kristopher B. Jones will explore the convergence of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. In 2016, Wayans and Jones founded Special Guest App to drive efficiency into the process of booking non-managed and emerging talent. Backed by Silicon Valley investors, including Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners (first investor in Snapchat), Special Guest is determined to democratize the way that anyone, anywhere discovers and books live entertainment.
ROUND ONE OF SHOWCASING ARTISTS:(Follow them all, right here on Do512!)
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Joseph Lubin with Special Guest (Interactive Keynote)
Joseph Lubin is the Founder of ConsenSys, a blockchain production studio that develops applications and utilities for the next generation decentralized web: Ethereum. Joseph graduated cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, where he worked as research staff in the Robotics Lab and then at Vision Applications, Inc., a private research firm, in the fields of autonomous mobile robotics, machine vision and artificial neural networks. Later, Joseph moved to Kingston, Jamaica to work on a set of projects in the music industry. Two years into the music project, Joseph co-founded the Ethereum Project, and has been working on Ethereum '-- and more recently ConsenSys '-- since January 2014.
ROUND TWO OF FEATURED SPEAKERSVia SXSW
Activism, Do It for the Culture Featured Session (Social & Global Impact)
Since 2016, ''We the People'' has taken on a renewed, urgent importance '-- mass protest and action have led to the rise of ''the resistance'' and catapulted the American Civil Liberties Union's mission into the daily national conversation. With millions of new members, exponential growth in donations, and volunteers pouring in all across the country, the ACLU is facing a new challenge: How do you take an established organization about to turn 100 years old '-- the same organization that championed political freedom in 1920 '-- and make sure it's nimble enough for the civil rights and civil liberties fights of today? Hear from Anthony Romero (Executive Director, ACLU) in conversation with Sasheer Zamata (comedian, actress and writer), Ike Barinholtz (comedian, actor, writer, and director) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (actor) to learn how we can all use our platforms for social good.
Blockchain Deathmatch: Permission-ed vs -less Session Featured Session (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency)
Join Christopher Ferris (CTO Open Technology, IBM), Neha Narula (Director of Digital Currency, MIT Media Lab), Jimmy Song (Bitcoin Developer, Programming Blockchain), and moderator Cesare Fracassi (Professor of Finance, University of Texas at Austin) for a conversation about permissioned (private) blockchains and permissionless (public) blockchains.
Building Trust in Distrustful Times Featured Session (Social & Global Impact)
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer trust in media, business, and government are at an all-time low. We have never believed less, agreed less, or trusted less. Yet, building trust, and developing the community that surrounds it, remains imperative for any art project, online influencer, startup or brand. So what are the new ways to build trust and community online in an era of mistrust? Hear from those who have done it and are doing it. What works? What doesn't? And how do we figure out who to really believe and rally behind? Join PostSecret founder Frank Warren and New York Times bestselling author Neil Pasricha as they answer these questions.
The Legacy of Apollo and the Next Giant Leap Featured Session (Intelligent Future)
The Apollo missions are arguably the most significant technological and exploration achievements the world has ever witnessed. Even though the space program was born out of the space race, what came out of Apollo was far more positive. As we come upon the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing on Apollo 11, this session will look to the future of human space exploration. Join Gen. Charlie Duke (Apollo 16 astronaut and moon walker), Gerry Griffin (Former NASA Flight Director on Apollo missions), Vanessa E. Wyche (Deputy Director of the NASA Johnson Space Center), and Bobak Ferdowsi (Fault Protection Lead for the joint NASA-ISRO mission at NASA JPL) as they discuss the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to reach the moon, the future return to the moon and the new horizon of Mars, and how exploring space can help make life better on Earth.
Localizing Food to Restore Human Health Featured Session (Food)
Join Matt Barnard (Co-founder and CEO of Plenty), Dominique Crenn (award-winning chef and author), and Mark Bittman (bestselling author) as they discuss the growing health impacts of homogenized foods and the democratization of access to the pure, clean food and flavors of our ancestors, bringing culture back to our tables, habits back to our cooking, and health back to humanity.
Scott Belsky is an executive, entrepreneur, author, and investor who now serves as Adobe's Chief Product Officer. Belsky's passion is to make the creative world more productive, connected, and adaptive to new technologies. He founded Behance, the leading online platform for the creative industry to showcase and discover creative work, and served as CEO until Adobe acquired Behance in 2012.
Sandy Carter and Kathy Klotz-Guest (Tech Industry & Enterprise)
Sandy Carter is VP at Amazon Web Services (AWS), focused on helping companies to innovate using technology. Carter is the Chairman of the Board of Girls in Tech and was honored twice with the AIT United Nations Member of the Year award for helping developing countries with technology. Kathy Klotz-Guest is the CEO and Founder of Keeping it Human.
Steve DeAngelo (Cannabusiness) '-- Steve DeAngelo is a pioneering lifelong cannabis entrepreneur, activist, author, and on-screen personality. He co-founded several iconic cannabis businesses and organizations: Harborside, Steep Hill Laboratory, the Arc View Group, and the National Cannabis Industry Association. DeAngelo's creative projects include his book The Cannabis Manifesto and a Discovery Channel mini-series Weed Wars. He was a lead organizer and fundraiser for I-59, Washington DC's medical cannabis initiative, and is famed for his successful litigation against the Department of Justice, which halted DOJ's last-ditch 2011 campaign to shut down California's medical cannabis dispensaries.
Cindy Eckert (Health & MedTech)
Cindy Eckert is the Founder and CEO of The Pink Ceiling. Eckert's work today continues to break barriers by mentoring and investing in other women to get to her same outcomes. Over a distinguished 24-year career in healthcare, in only the last 10 she has started and sold two businesses for more than $1.5B. First Slate Pharmaceuticals, which redefined long-acting testosterone treatment for men; then Sprout Pharmaceuticals, home of the first ever FDA-approved drug for low sexual desire in women (dubbed ''female Viagra'' by the media). After selling the company for $1B in 2015, she successfully fought to get the drug back and launch it on her own terms. The profoundly positive impact those companies have made in people's lives is what keeps her coming back for more.
(Making & Marketing Music)
Ross Golan is a multi-platinum songwriter, artist, and advocate. He studied music at the University of Southern California and has since released songs with artists including Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Lady Antebellum, Michael Bubl(C), Selena Gomez, Keith Urban, Ariana Grande, Flo Rida, and One Direction, amongst many others. Golan has been the leading voice in passing the Music Modernization Act alongside NSAI, Sona, and NMPA. He's currently signed to Warner Chappell Music.
Valerie Jarrett (Cities, Government & Politics)
Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Jarrett has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Time's ''100 Most Influential People.'' She is currently a senior adviser to the Obama Foundation and Attn; serves on the boards of Ariel Capital Management Holdings, 2U, and Lyft; is President of the Board of When We All Vote; a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School; and author of the upcoming book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward.
Wyclef Jean (Music Industry & Culture)
Wyclef Jean has written, performed, and produced '-- both as a solo superstar and as founder and guiding member of the Fugees '-- for over two decades. In 1996, the Fugees released their monumental album The Score. As a solo artist, Wyclef has released seven albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide. Wyclef is currently working on a new project, Wyclef Goes Back to School, which is a collaboration with students he met while touring the United States and visiting colleges across the country.
Austin Kleon (Design)
Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist; Newspaper Blackout; and Show Your Work! His forthcoming book, Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad is set to release this spring. His work has been translated into over twenty languages and featured on NPR's Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Eric Klinenberg (Cities, Government & Politics)
Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. A prolific author and editor of Cultural Production in a Digital Age and the journal Public Culture, his scholarly work has been published in journals including the American Sociological Review; Theory & Society; and Ethnography, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and more.
Zoe Saldana with Shira Lazar (Entertainment Influencers)
Actress and entrepreneur Zoe Saldana will join actress and writer Shira Lazar in a conversation on the importance of positive messaging and role models on social platforms for millennial and Gen Z audiences, and how her new media company, BESE, is addressing this issue and the imbalance that exists today in mainstream media.
Howard Schultz (Social & Global Impact)
Recognized for his entrepreneurship and servant leadership, Howard Schultz built Starbucks Coffee Company into one of the world's most recognized and respected businesses, a company committed to strengthening communities through human connection and social innovation. After four decades with Starbucks, Schultz stepped down on June 26, 2018 and became chairman emeritus. Along with his wife, Shari, he is co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. Schultz is also the bestselling author of four books including his most recent title For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice.
David Schwartz with Sara Silverstein (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency)
Known as ''JoelKatz,'' David Schwartz is the Chief Technology Officer at Ripple and a respected voice in the digital currency community. Schwartz developed encrypted cloud storage and enterprise messaging systems for organizations like CNN and the National Security Agency (NSA). Schwartz will be in conversation with Sara Silverstein, Editor-At-Large and Executive Producer for Business Insider. Silverstein is the host of Business Insider shows Business Insider Today and Crypto Insider.
Maria Shriver (Health & MedTech)
Maria Shriver is the mother of four, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, the author of seven New York Times bestselling books and a bestselling coloring book, an NBC News Special Anchor, and founder of the nonprofit The Women's Alzheimer's Movement. A trailblazer for empowering women and one of the nation's leading advocates for women and Alzheimer's sufferers, Shriver uses her journalism and her activism to inspire others to make a difference and move humanity forward. In 2018, she released the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling book, I've Been Thinking'...Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.
Margrethe Vestager (Cities, Government & Politics)
Margrethe Vestager is European Union Commissioner for Competition. She previously served as Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior (2011''14) and Minister for Education (1998''2001) of Denmark, and as President of the ECOFIN Council (2012). She was Political Leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party (2007-14), and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance (1993''95). Vestager holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen.
(Blockchain & Cryptocurrency)
Brian Wong is the co-founder and CEO of Kiip, a mobile consumer engagement platform that advertises in ''moments'' in 10,000 apps. Wong has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including Forbes' 30 under 30 for three years in a row and Business Insider's Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley. Wong recently launched his first book The Cheat Code, published by Crown Business / Penguin Random House. The Cheat Code contains 71 bite-sized and virtually effortless shortcuts to get a leg up on the competition, garner attention for creative thinkers and their ideas, and to accelerate success.
Jeff Zucker (Media & Journalism)
Jeff Zucker has been the President of CNN Worldwide since 2013. He oversees all of CNN's businesses, including the CNN US television network, CNN International, HLN, all of CNN's digital properties, and Great Big Story. Prior to coming to CNN, Zucker spent more than two decades at NBC Universal, where he rose through the ranks to become the company's President and CEO. Zucker's ascent at NBC began during his nearly eight-year tenure as executive producer of NBC News' Today show.
ROUND ONE OF KEYNOTESVia SXSW
Kevin Systrom with Josh Constine (Interactive Keynote)
"Kevin Systrom is the CEO and co-founder of Instagram, a social networking platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram has grown into a global community of over one billion and a family of apps including Instagram, IGTV, Direct, Boomerang, Layout, and more. The company's mission is to bring you closer to the people and things you love. Systrom is responsible for Instagram's overall vision and strategy as well as day-to-day operations. Systrom will be in conversation with Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch, whose scope of coverage includes social networks, streaming music, and early-stage companies."
Shirley Manson and Lauren Mayberry (Music Keynote)
"Join vocalist Shirley Manson and singer-songwriter Lauren Mayberry for a Keynote Conversation in association with PRS Foundation's Keychange program. Shirley Manson is best known as the lead vocalist of the critically-acclaimed alternative rock band Garbage, and has been an active recording artist for more than 30 years. They are currently in the studio working on their seventh record, and expect to be hitting the road later in 2018 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Grammy-nominated album, Version 2.0. Lauren Mayberry is a singer-songwriter and front-woman of the Scottish electronic pop band Chvrches. The band have released three critically-acclaimed and commercially successful albums, and have toured the world numerous times. As an artist, Mayberry has continuously challenged stereotypes and been unafraid to speak out on the role and treatment of female artists in the music industry."
Marti Noxon (Film Keynote)
"With hundreds of hours of television under her belt, Marti Noxon is one of the most prolific writer-producers in television today. Noxon's most recent projects include the high-profile prestige series Dietland for AMC and Sharp Objects for HBO, both of which she serves as creator and showrunner for. Also among her recent television offerings are Bravo's Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Code Black for CBS, and the Peabody Award winning UnREAL at Lifetime. Over the course of her impressive career Noxon has worked on some of the most beloved and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men, Grey's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and Glee. Additionally, Noxon made her feature directorial debut in 2017 with the powerful film To The Bone, which she also penned the screenplay for. Loosely based on her own personal experience with eating disorders, the film premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews and quickly sold to Netflix for $8 million, making it one of the highest sales to come out of this year's festival. Noxon's previous screenwriting credits include, I Am Number Four and Fright Night."
ROUND ONE OF FEATURED SPEAKERSVia SXSW
Jason Blum with John Pierson (Entertainment Influencers)
"In 1993, John Pierson '-- a big shot who helped launch a number of first time American independent filmmakers including Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, Rose Troche and Guin Turner '-- met Jason Blum, a kid fresh out of college, when they worked on a forgotten feature called My Life's In Turnaround together. 25 years later, Jason and his company Blumhouse Productions have conquered the universe. Blum is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer. His multi-media company is known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films. How the hell did he get from there to here and how do these two view that evolution?"
Susan Fowler (Tech Industry & Enterprise)
"Susan Fowler is the Technology Editor of the New York Times Opinion section as well as a central figure in the #MeToo movement. Named Time magazine's Person of the Year 2017 as one of the silence breakers, Fowler is the former Uber engineer whose viral blog post ignited an ongoing, worldwide conversation. The Financial Times named her Person of the Year as well '-- her actions, the paper writes, hold ''the potential to improve the way women are treated at work permanently.'' That's Fowler's public narrative so far. But her personal story '-- a homeschooled science nerd, a successful woman in STEM against incredible odds '-- is equally fascinating. She tackles a variety of topics in uplifting talks, including how regular people can effect positive change on a global and personal scale."
Bjarke Ingels (Design)
"Bjarke Ingels is the founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group). Ingels defines architecture as the art and science of making sure our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives. Through careful analysis of various parameters from local culture and climate, ever changing patterns of contemporary life, to the ebbs and flows of the global economy, Ingels believes in the idea of information-driven design as the driving force for his design process. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine in 2016, Bjarke has designed and completed award-winning buildings around the world."
Amanda Palmer (Making & Marketing Music)
"Amanda Palmer is a singer, songwriter, playwright, pianist, and blogger who embraces and explodes traditional frameworks of music, theatre, and art. She emerged as half of the Boston-based punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, earning global applause for their wide-ranging theatricality and inventive song craft. Her solo career has proven equally boundless, including such groundbreaking works as the fan-funded Theatre Is Evil. Palmer is again joining forces with producer John Congleton to release her first solo album in seven years in Spring 2019."
(Social & Global Impact)
"Eli Pariser has dedicated his career '-- as an author, an online organizer, and a co-founder of Upworthy '-- to figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world. Currently, Pariser is an Omidyar Fellow at the New America Foundation, studying how platforms can effectively promote civic good."
Michael Pollan (Health & MedTech)
"Michael Pollan is the author of eight books, including most recently How to Change Your Mind, a number one New York Times Bestseller. Previous books include The Omnivore's Dilemma; The Botany of Desire; and In Defense of Food. Pollan teaches journalism at Berkeley and Harvard. In 2010, Time magazine named him to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World."
Douglas Rushkoff (Intelligent Future)
"Douglas Rushkoff is a media theorist, author, documentarian, and world-renowned public intellectual. Rushkoff has spent his prolific career thinking about how new media and technology are impacting culture, business, and the economy. Named one of the world's 10 most influential thinkers by MIT, Rushkoff has written 15 bestselling books and coined such concepts as ''viral media,'' ''social currency,'' and ''digital natives.''
Joanna Shields (Intelligent Future)
"Joanna Shields is a digital entrepreneur, experienced executive, and prominent leader in the global technology industry with a track record in helping to grow some of the world's best-known transformational companies. She is currently CEO of BenevolentAI, the global leader in the development and application of AI for scientific innovation. Most recently, Joanna served as the UK Minister for Internet Security & Safety, a Special Advisor to the UK Government on the Digital Economy, and Chair & CEO of TechCityUK."
Ari Paul, Kyle Samani, Linda Xie with Robert Hackett (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency)
"Join Kyle Samani (Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital), Linda Xie (Managing Director, Scalar Capital), Ari Paul (CIO, Blocktower), and moderator Robert Hackett (Editor, Fortune) for a conversation with managers from Scalar Capital, BlockTower, and Multicoin Capital as they elucidate their investment approaches and predict the future of blockchain for users around the world."
Amy Webb (Tech Industry & Enterprise)
"Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures. Webb will deliver her Emerging Tech Trends Report, where she'll provide a data-driven analysis for the emerging tech trends that need to be on your radar in 2019 '' and she'll draw on those trends to show you scenarios for the future of business, governing, and society."
For all your SXSW needs, check Do512.com!
Waters' big test: Keeping peace with Ocasio-Cortez and moderates - POLITICO
Rep. Maxine Waters Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat, is a liberal icon in her own right. | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
A group of fiery progressives led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is poised to take seats on the powerful House Financial Services Committee, posing a big challenge for new Chairwoman Maxine Waters.
Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat, is a liberal icon in her own right. But as head of the committee, she will also have to play the role of peacemaker to bring together the new members with moderates on the panel '-- some of whom are wary of primary threats stoked by their colleagues on the left.
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In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, attention-grabbing freshmen Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) are all expected to land spots on the committee, which oversees Wall Street and the nation's housing market.
The addition of lawmakers who shunned corporate campaign donations and have taken on their party's establishment is a major victory for progressives looking to counter the influence of more business-friendly Democrats.
"I don't take corporate PAC money," said Porter, a law professor and prot(C)g(C) of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). "I think we're going to see some other members put on the committee who don't take corporate PAC money. This is going to change the perspective on the committee and the issues it chooses to focus on."
A party steering committee on Tuesday night recommended the assignments, which will next be approved by the Democratic caucus.
If things get personal on the panel, as some Democrats fear, it could make it more difficult for Waters to keep party lawmakers together, even if the new members may be more in sync with her views on how to rein in corporate America and the Trump administration.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a senior committee member who's part of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, welcomed the more diverse caucus but warned against falling prey to the same conflicts that far-right Republicans sometimes created for the House GOP.
"I don't want a scenario like they had on the Republican side '-- I don't think we're going to get there '-- where you had a Freedom Caucus that ends up just trying to break and stop everything and any kind of progress," said Meeks, who nominated Ocasio-Cortez for a seat on the committee.
The decision to stack the panel with some of the most outspoken liberal freshmen comes after a failed lobbying campaign waged by party activists to ensure that progressive lawmakers landed spots on a trio of coveted House committees.
The liberal group Justice Democrats publicly pressured Democratic leaders to put Ocasio-Cortez on the tax-writing Ways and Means panel, Tlaib on the Appropriations Committee and Porter on Financial Services. But more senior lawmakers pushed back behind the scenes, arguing that freshmen should not be given spots on the most exclusive committees when other members who have been in Congress for several years have been waiting their turn.
In the end, Financial Services, which was already struggling to fill its sprawling roster, seemed like the right landing spot for the freshmen. And Waters, who is affectionately referred to as ''Auntie Maxine'' by many on the left, is just the chairwoman to oversee such an eclectic mix of members, other lawmakers said.
''She doesn't suffer fools. And I would feel quite sorry for anybody who believes they can run over her,'' said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a senior member of the committee. ''Maxine Waters, to my knowledge, has never been run over in her life. Even trucks would get out of the way.''
Moderates are skeptical of the incoming progressives, in particular those like Ocasio-Cortez who have supported efforts to challenge fellow Democrats in primaries.
Ocasio-Cortez ousted former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary last year. Pressley did the same to former Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.), a progressive member of the Financial Services panel. Ocasio-Cortez also backed an unsuccessful primary challenge against Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), a senior Democrat on the committee.
Ocasio-Cortez took it a step further in November, throwing her support behind a progressive campaign to challenge incumbents in primaries if they're deemed too moderate.
The New York Democrat has since seemed to back off her support for that effort. ''There has been a change in focus '-- though not a change in ideology,'' her spokesperson, Corbin Trent, told POLITICO last week.
Democrats say Waters has helped sell the committee to new members, which has struggled to attract the same level of interest as other House panels that touch on issues like health care and infrastructure.
"Chairwoman Maxine Waters is a she-ro of mine," Tlaib said in an interview, praising her as "unwavering when it comes to holding corporations accountable."
Porter, who already had her eye on the committee as an expert on foreclosure and bankruptcy, said Waters outlined for members that the panel's work isn't just about Wall Street but is also about housing and access to credit across the country.
Since Democrats won back the House, Waters has sketched out an agenda focused on shoring up consumer protections and improving housing affordability. She will further reveal her priorities in a speech Wednesday morning.
"If you're interested in issues about inequality, about financial stability, about the middle class and its struggles to pay for college and buy a house and save for retirement, then this is an important committee to be on," Porter said. "It's attracting people who are really issue-driven."
In a statement, Pressley told POLITICO that a seat on the committee would give her the opportunity to make sure federal policy "lives up to the ideals of equity and justice when it comes to ensuring critical consumer protections, fair housing and economic opportunity" for her constituents.
Waters has praised the direct approach being taken by new members, saying in a recent MSNBC interview that it was "good for the institution."
"They won't be ashamed," she said. "They won't be afraid. They really believe in what they're doing."
Tlaib, who rattled fellow Democrats by pledging to "go in there and impeach the motherf---er" in a rallying cry against President Donald Trump, praised Waters on Twitter on Monday for also calling for Trump's impeachment. Waters alarmed some Democrats herself last year when she urged supporters to confront Trump cabinet officials in public.
"Khalto @RepMaxineWaters speaking truth," Tlaib said on Twitter. "Btw, Khalto means auntie in Arabic. @RepMaxineWaters always tells it like it is like our favorite auntie."
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Ocasio-Cortez Uses Violent Sexual Term To Describe Her Far-Left Agenda | Daily Wire
Former law enforcement officials called out socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for using a violent sexual term on Wednesday in an interview that was published in The Washington Post.
Ocasio-Cortez complained in the interview that the media was "focusing on taking quotes out of context or manipulating them or making it seem as though I said things that I didn't say."
A few sentences later, she said, "So enjoy being exhausted for the next two years while we run train on the progressive agenda."
The 29-year-old former bartender, who describes herself as "Alex from the Bronx," used the term in the following exchange:
The Post: How did you feel when that hit yesterday?
Ocasio-Cortez: I was surprised and I was annoyed because it was a new tack. They've been for a very long time focusing on taking quotes out of context or manipulating them or making it seem as though I said things that I didn't say. This was different in that it was an outright fraudulent thing. You can tell that they're getting into hysterics because now you're getting into my actual body, which is definitely crossing a level, definitely crossing a line.
I also think it's encouraging because this is my sixth day in Congress and they're out of all their artillery. The nude is supposed to be like the bazooka. You know, like, ''We're going to take her down.'' Dude, you're all out of bullets, you're all out of bombs, you're all out of all this stuff. What have you got left? I'm six days into the term, and you already used all your ammo. So enjoy being exhausted for the next two years while we run train on the progressive agenda.
The Washington Free Beacon noted that while Ocasio-Cortez most likely meant "she and her fellow liberal Democrats would enthusiastically pursue their agenda items, 'run train' is known as a crude sexual term, which is sometimes used to denote acting in an aggressive manner."
Multiple online dictionaries that provide definitions for slang terms state that "run train" means to "to gangbang" someone with "several" other people.
Former law enforcement officials weighed in on Ocasio-Cortez's statement and verified that "run train" does, in fact, refer to violent sexual activity.
"[email protected] is trivializing a term ('Run-Train') used by murderous gangs like MS-13 to describe their tactic of brutally gang-raping women," former NYPD officer John Cardillo tweeted.
CNN law enforcement analyst James A. Gagliano also weighed in on Ocasio-Cortez's remark, tweeting: "As someone who speaks live on-air, w/o ''net'' '-- understand misspeaking. Happens to best of us. But know no other context for this vile phrase. As someone who investigated violent street crime for years, this is vernacular of felons I've interrogated; not a sitting Congresswoman."
As someone who speaks live on-air, w/o ''net'' '-- understand misspeaking. Happens to best of us. But know no other context for this vile phrase. As someone who investigated violent street crime for years, this is vernacular of felons I've interrogated; not a sitting Congresswoman. https://t.co/2PeQXGFDMg
'-- James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) January 16, 2019Other notable responses to Ocasio-Cortez's statement include:
Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro tweeted: "Alex from the Bronx should probably know what 'run train' means and why this is hilariously terrible."
President of Security Studies Group & former special forces soldier Jim Hanson:
The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor:
This report has been updated to include additional reaction by law enforcement experts to Ocasio-Cortez's remark.
We are running out of time, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned last October in a special report, Global Warming of 1.5°C. National commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement are only the first step toward decarbonization, but most countries are already lagging behind. It is time to take a fresh look at the role that nuclear energy can play in decarbonizing the world's energy system.
Nuclear is already the largest source of low-carbon energy in the United States and Europe and the second-largest source worldwide (after hydropower). In the September report of the MIT Energy Initiative, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, we show that extending the life of the existing fleet of nuclear reactors worldwide is the least costly approach to avoiding an increase of carbon emissions in the power sector. Yet, some countries have prioritized closing nuclear plants, and other countries have policies that undermine the financial viability of their plants. Fortunately, there are signs that this situation is changing. In the United States, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York have taken steps to preserve their nuclear plants as part of a larger decarbonization strategy. In Taiwan, voters rejected a plan to end the use of nuclear energy. In France, decisions on nuclear plant closures must account for the impact on decarbonization commitments. In the United Kingdom, the government's decarbonization policy entails replacing old nuclear plants with new ones. Strong actions are needed also in Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland, where the existing nuclear fleet is seriously at risk of being phased out.
Nuclear power generation is increasing in China through the deployment of new power plants such as the one in Haiyang, China.
PHOTO: TANG KE/IMAGINECHINA/AP IMAGESWhat about the existing electricity sector in developed countries'--can it become fully decarbonized? In the United States, China, and Europe, the most effective and least costly path is a combination of variable renewable energy technologies'--those that fluctuate with time of day or season (such as solar or wind energy), and low-carbon dispatchable sources (whose power output to the grid can be controlled on demand). Some options, such as hydropower and geothermal energy, are geographically limited. Other options, such as battery storage, are not affordable at the scale needed to balance variable energy demand through long periods of low wind and sun or through seasonal fluctuations, although that could change in the coming decades. Nuclear energy is one low-carbon dispatchable option that is virtually unlimited and available now. Excluding nuclear power could double or triple the average cost of electricity for deep decarbonization scenarios because of the enormous overcapacity of solar energy, wind energy, and batteries that would be required to meet demand in the absence of a dispatchable low-carbon energy source.
One obstacle is that the cost of new nuclear plants has escalated, especially in the first-of-a-kind units currently being deployed in the United States and Western Europe. This may limit the role of nuclear power in a low-carbon portfolio and raise the cost of deep decarbonization. The good news is that the cost of new nuclear plants can be reduced, not only in the direct cost of the equipment, but also in the associated civil structures and in the processes of engineering, licensing, and assembling the plant. The implication is that a large impact on the cost of new nuclear plants may come from several sources: improvements in project management practices; innovations in the serial construction of standardized designs to minimize reengineering and maximize learning; adoption of modular construction, to shift labor from construction sites to productive factories and shipyards; advanced concrete solutions to reduce the need for reinforcement steel formwork at the site; and seismic isolation to protect the plant against earthquakes, which simplifies the structural design of the plant.
It's time to transform our thinking. Renewable and nuclear energies are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. We should preserve existing nuclear power plants and reimagine how new plants can be delivered.
Siri on the ReSound Linx Quattro smart hearing aid a first for AI voice control - CNET
Sarah Tew/CNET "Hey Siri, stream iTunes through my hearing aid." That's just one of many things you can do with the ReSound Linx Quattro, the first smart hearing aid to use AI to pair with Apple's Siri assistant.
Smart hearing aids are part of a burgeoning field of gadgets set to transform the health care industry. For the Linx Quattro, that means drawing people with hearing impairment further into their digital world.
The Linx Quattro uses AI to learn your preferences and settings over time, and to proactively make adjustments to various sound profiles. You'll be able to ask Siri to change profiles with voice commands (e.g. turn up the volume in my left ear).
Sarah Tew/CNET Combined with the app for Android and iPhone, Siri voice control will give the wearer multiple ways to tweak noise cancellation and wind reduction filters, turn on a directional microphone, control the volume and so on. You'll also be able to stream phone calls, music and TV wirelessly, using both the app and your voice.
While Apple's Siri assistant is the inaugural voice assistant on board, a partnership with Google suggests that support for Google Assistant could come in time.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries mean you never have to swap them out, and the ReSound Linx Quattro will charge in its own case in three hours, for up to 30 hours of battery life.
The Resound Linx Quattro is on sale now through health care professionals, which means prices will vary. But the souped-up hearing aid could cost between $2,500 and $3,000 per ear. ReSound says the pair should last between 5 and 6 years, the typical life span of hearing aids before the battery becomes less efficient.
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Al Shabab-Rita Katz
RITA KATZ-Kenya hotel attack that killed 21 'revenge for Trump's Jerusalem embassy move,' terrorists claim '-- RT World News
As the death toll in the Nairobi hotel attack hit 21, including UK and US citizens, Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Al-Shabaab claimed it was revenge for US President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The Somali-based militant group claimed responsibility for pelting the five-star DusitD2 hotel and business complex in Nairobi with grenades shortly after 3pm local time, before a suicide bomber entered the lobby and blew himself up. Occupying the upscale hotel for almost 20 hours, the gunmen killed at least 21 people in total, including the 40-year-old American CEO Jason Spindler who had survived the 9/11 attacks in New York.
Special forces flushed out the militants, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday afternoon that all the terrorists had finally been ''eliminated.''
VIDEO: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says that all the "terrorists" who stormed an upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi on Tuesday have been "eliminated" after an almost 20-hour siege that left at least 14 people dead. #DusitD2pic.twitter.com/i9wRGqHydj
'-- AFP news agency (@AFP) January 16, 2019In a statement released Wednesday and reported by Reuters, the terrorists claimed it was the ''witless'' Jerusalem decision of Donald Trump that triggered the operation.
The statement might be Al-Shabaab's opportunistic attempt to justify the murder of civilians while capitalizing on the Palestinian issue, noted Rita Katz of the SITE Intelligence Group monitoring jihadist groups worldwide. The claim seems to be supported by a picture showing at least one attacker wearing a red headband bearing the text ''heading to Quds [Jerusalem].''
BREAKING: Al-Shabaab statement says Nairobi attack was a response to the ''witless remarks'' of Pres Trump and his declaration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, and to the ''systematic prosecution of Muslims in Palestine''. Operation was codenamed, ''Al-Quds will never be judaized''.
'-- Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) January 16, 2019Allied with Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab has targeted Kenyans before. A 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi left 67 people dead, and the group killed 148 people in a 2015 assault on a university in Garissa. The group's attacks have been focused on Kenya since Kenyan peacekeepers deployed to Somalia to fight it in 2011.
The storming of DusitD2 came a day after a Kenyan court declared that three of the suspected attackers on the mall would face trial.
President Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last May was a symbolic one that angered many throughout the Arab world. Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam and a flashpoint for Arab-Jewish tension in the city.
The Israeli embassy in Kenya condemned Tuesday's attack, which it called ''yet another attack on innocent people going about their errands.'' The embassy also vowed that both countries would ''continue to fight terror together.''
The State of Israel condemns the horrific terror attack on innocent lives at the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi. Yet another attack on innocent people going about their errands. Israel stands with Kenya during this sad moment. We shall continue to fight terror together. #KenyaAttack
'-- Israel in Kenya (@IsraelinKenya) January 16, 2019Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Bill Maher Labeled "NPC" by Conservative Street Artists | Hollywood Reporter
The artwork is courtesy of The Faction, conservatives who previously peppered the Hollywood Walk of Fame with dozens of Donald Trump stars.Bill Maher on Sunday was attacked on a giant billboard that accuses him of not being "real" or "politically incorrect," but a liberal apparatchik of prevailing wisdom ahead of the return of his HBO show, Real Time, on Friday.
The billboard, at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Holloway Drive in West Hollywood, is the work of a group of conservative street artists known as The Faction, who previously peppered the Hollywood Walk of Fame with dozens of faux Donald Trump stars to make up for the real one that the president's detractors have destroyed on multiple occasions.
Maher is the former host of Politically Incorrect and currently hosts Real Time With Bill Maher. The billboard features his cartoonish image, the name of his show and the tagline: "The Whole Narrative and Nothing But."
Before The Faction got a hold of it early Sunday morning before the sun rose, the billboard was a real ad for Maher's show, but the artists replaced his image, swapped out the word "truth" for "narrative" and changed "HBO" with the letters "NPC," which stands for "non-playable character."
NPC was hijacked as a conservative meme a few months ago, used often to demean left-leaning, mainstream journalists. Gamers use it to refer to characters that are programmed for simple reactions and to give advice and directions, and not much more.
"For progressivism's tragic devotees at HBO, sadly, the idea that they're still speaking truth to power survives in the form of fan fiction like Real Time With Bill Maher," a spokesman for The Faction told The Hollywood Reporter.
The Faction are a group of conservatives who will not reveal their identity.
Exclusive: Mondo Releasing John Carpenter's 'They Live' Soundtrack On Vinyl (Details)
Brian Leak Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Formaldehyde Face variant of 'They Live' soundtrack Mondo
Mondo, the Austin, Tex. company known for their beautifully elaborate pop culture collectibles (vinyl soundtracks, screen printed posters, deluxe figures and more) are adding to their ongoing line of vinyl releases featuring the musical work of The Master Of Horror, John Carpenter.
Between Mondo and its Death Waltz Recording Company, they've already released the soundtracks to Carpenter classics like Halloween, Assault On Precinct 13 and Big Trouble In Little China '-- most of which are sold out. Mondo/Death Waltz will now release the soundtrack to the 1988 cult classic They Live, remastered by Alan Howarth, for die-hards to add to their collections.
''They Live is as relevant now as it was when it was first released in 1988, maybe even more so,'' says Mondo and Death Waltz Recording Company's Head of Music, Spencer Hickman. ''We are thrilled to be re-issuing the soundtrack and even more excited to team up with our friends at Rough Trade Books, so to celebrate we have arranged multi-city screenings of this iconic and important film.''
With three variants available in total, the soundtrack to They Live boasts brilliant packaging design by Alan Hynes, featuring the film's iconic sunglasses and subliminal messages, all seen in the fun, retro promo video below.
A ''Buy More Records'' picture disc variant will be on sale exclusively at Mondo's They Live special screening events tonight, Jan. 16, in Austin, London, Los Angeles and New York. The two Mondo web store exclusive variants, ''Annihilation Of Consciousness'' and ''Formaldehyde Face,'' will go on sale Jan. 30 through Mondo's website. You can follow Mondo on Twitter to catch the announcement for the exact time of sale.
''Buy More Records'' picture disc variant (special screening exclusive) Mondo
''Formaldehyde Face'' variant (web store exclusive) Mondo
''Annihilation Of Consciousness'' variant (web store exclusive) Mondo
While the They Live special screenings in Austin, New York and London are sold out, there's still time to get tickets for Los Angeles before the event. In addition to the event exclusive picture disc variant of the vinyl soundtrack, attendees will also be able to purchase a special edition version of They Live: A Visual and Cultural Awakening, a book published by Rough Trade Books.
Mondo's web store exclusive variants Mondo
I am an entertainment journalist and photographer currently living in the Napa Valley region of northern California. With a focus on music, film and the video game'... Read More
I am an entertainment journalist and photographer currently living in the Napa Valley region of northern California. With a focus on music, film and the video game industry, my writing and photography work has appeared in Billboard, Noisey by Vice, Alternative Press, Rue Morgue and many other outlets. I'm the former editor-in-chief of two separate publications, but found in those experiences that my true passion is specifically in telling artists' stories and capturing moments with a camera. In my time as a journalist, I've had the privilege of interviewing such icons as Oscar Winner Jeff Bridges, Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, the Zombies, and the Master Of Horror, director John Carpenter. Read Less
Ottomania / Syria
Trump threatens to 'devastate Turkey economically' if it attacks Kurds amid US withdrawal from Syria '-- RT World News
Announcing the ''long overdue'' pull-out of US forces from Syria, Donald Trump has explicitly warned Turkey against attacking Kurdish allies Americans leave behind, threatening Ankara with the devastative wrath of economic pressure.
The US military, Trump promised, will still use an ''existing nearby base,'' apparently in Iraq, to attack the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants if the terrorist organization re-emerges in Syria. Using his typical mode of communication to reaffirm the withdrawal of American troops from the ground, the US president warned Ankara against seeing this as an opportunity to stage any military campaign against Syrian Kurds.
''Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,'' Trump tweeted, urging Ankara to create a ''20-mile safe zone.''
Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone....
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019....Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019 Also on rt.com Operation against Kurdish-led militias in Syria not dependent on US troops withdrawal '' Turkish FM
New ransomware rakes in $4 million by adopting a ''big game hunting'' strategy | Ars Technica
PAY UP OR ELSE '-- Ryuk lies in wait for as long as a year, then pounces on only the biggest prey. Dan Goodin - Jan 12, 2019 5:15 pm UTC
A recently discovered ransomware group has netted almost $4 million since August, in large part by following a path that's uncommon in its industry'--selectively installing the malicious encryption software on previously infected targets with deep pockets. The method differs from the usual one of indiscriminately infecting all possible victims. That's the take of two analyses published Thursday, one by security firm CrowdStrike and the other by competitor FireEye.
Both reports say that Ryuk, as the ransomware is known, infects large enterprises days, weeks, or as much as a year after they were initially infected by separate malware, which in most cases is an increasingly powerful trojan known as Trickbot. Smaller organizations infected by Trickbot, by contrast, don't suffer the follow-on attack by Ryuk. CrowdStrike called the approach ''big-game hunting'' and said it allowed its operators to generate $3.7 million worth of Bitcoin across 52 transactions since August.
Besides pinpointing targets with the resources to pay hefty ransoms, the modus operandi has another key benefit: the ''dwell time'''--that is, the period between the initial infection and the installation of the ransomware'--gives the attackers time to perform valuable reconnaissance inside the infected network. The reconnaissance lets attackers CrowdStrike dubs Grim Spider maximize the damage it causes by unleashing the ransomware only after it has identified the most critical systems of the network and obtained the passwords necessary to infect them.
CrowdStrike researcher Alexander Hanel wrote:
Some of TrickBot's modules (such as pwgrab) could aid in recovering the credentials needed to compromise environments'--the SOCKS module in particular has been observed tunneling PowerShell Empire traffic to perform reconnaissance and lateral movement. Through CrowdStrike IR engagements, GRIM SPIDER has been observed performing the following events on the victim's network, with the end goal of pushing out the Ryuk binary:
An obfuscated PowerShell script is executed and connects to a remote IP address.A reverse shell is downloaded and executed on the compromised host.PowerShell anti-logging scripts are executed on the host.Reconnaissance of the network is conducted using standard Windows command-line tools along with external uploaded tools.Lateral movement throughout the network is enabled using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).Service User Accounts are created.PowerShell Empire is downloaded and installed as a service.Lateral movement is continued until privileges are recovered to obtain access to a domain controller.PSEXEC is used to push out the Ryuk binary to individual hosts.Batch scripts are executed to terminate processes/services and remove backups, followed by the Ryuk binary.Remember Samsam?While uncommon, the reconnaissance isn't unique to Ryuk. SamSam'--an unrelated ransomware that's caused millions of dollars of damage infecting networks belonging to the City of Atlanta, Baltimore's 911 system, and Boeing, to name just a few'--follows a similar path. There's no doubt, however, the technique is effective. According to federal prosecutors, SamSam operators recovered more than $6 million in ransom payments and caused more than $30 million in damage.
Both FireEye and CrowdStrike downplayed reports Ryuk is the product of North Korean actors. That attribution was largely based on an incomplete reading of this report from CheckPoint Software, which found code similarities between Ryuk, and Hermes. CrowdStrike went on to say it has medium-high confidence that the attackers behind Ryuk operate out of Russia. The company cited a variety of evidence that led to that assessment, including a Russian IP address being used to to upload files used by Ryuk to a scanning service and the malware leaving traces on an infected network that were written in the Russian language.
Thursday's reports leave little doubt that this approach is likely to grow more common.
''Throughout 2018, FireEye observed an increasing number of cases where ransomware was deployed after the attackers gained access to the victim organization through other methods, allowing them to traverse the network to identify critical systems and inflict maximum damage,'' the FireEye researchers wrote. ''SamSam operations, which date back to late 2015, were arguably the first to popularize this methodology, and [Ryuk] is an example of its growing popularity with threat actors. FireEye Intelligence expects that these operations will continue to gain traction throughout 2019 due the success these intrusion operators have had in extorting large sums from victim organizations.''
LAUSD strike: Why LA teachers are walking off the job - Vox
Monday morning, tens of thousands of Los Angeles educators will leave their classrooms and go on strike, throwing the weight of the country's second-largest school district behind a growing national movement for better school funding and higher teacher pay.
The strike comes after months of fruitless contract negotiations between the teacher's union and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school system extended a last-minute deal on Friday, but organizers rejected it, saying they're fighting for the future of the education system '-- with implications that extend beyond the district's borders.
''Get ready, because on Monday, we will go on strike,'' Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said at a news conference late Friday.
Nationwide, stagnant teacher wages, crumbling infrastructure and deep budget cuts to education have helped fuel a wave of educator activism. From Arizona to West Virginia, Kentucky to Oklahoma, teachers garnered widespread support and won major victories boosting salaries and benefits last year. And now the movement has a powerful ally joining its ranks.
Union leaders in Los Angeles expect some 31,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, and librarians to walk the picket line this week. Like the string of striking teachers who preceded them, they're fighting for a raise. But they have larger grievances: They say that class sizes are so large, there aren't enough desks to go around. That the proliferation of charter schools is leading to an over-tested student body and a system that treats education like a business rather than a right for all students. And that staffing levels are so low, some schools lack a single nurse or librarian.
Officials from both the state and district agree they need to invest more into students' education '-- just not to the level that the unions demand.
The last time LA's schools saw a strike was 30 years ago when 20,000 teachers walked out of their classrooms for nine days. This time, union leaders want to make a major contribution in the fight for education, setting the tone for 2019 with first walkout of the year.
Why the teachers union and school district can't agree on a dealSchool district officials and union leaders have been negotiating a new contract since spring 2017, with little to no headway from the start. Each of the union's demands would cost money '-- money they say the school system has and the district says it could never afford '-- but what's really at stake is the direction of education in the district.
Both sides have data to back them up, but as the Los Angeles Times' Howard Blume notes, the negotiations have morphed into an intense, personal dispute, in which ''hyperbole, passion and spin have often trumped fairness, moderation and neutrality.''
In August, 98 percent of union members voted to authorize a wide-scale strike, and it's been in the planning stages for months. (The school board responded by authorizing $3 million to hire substitute teachers who could cover classrooms in the event that full-time teachers walked out.)
Here's what the teacher's union has demanded:
Smaller class sizesReductions in standardized testingA 6.5 percent salary increase for teachers, retroactive for the last school year, to keep up with California's rising cost of living. In addition, they hope to see a 2 percent bonus.An increased support staff '-- meaning more nurses, librarians, and academic counselors in schools that are woefully understaffed, and in some cases, don't have those positions at all.The district has tried on several occasions to limit the scale of the planned strike. Last week officials went as far as asking a federal court to block teachers who work with special needs students from leaving the classroom. The court instead threw out the district's request for an injunction, clearing the way for the strike to move forward.
Gavin Newsom, California's new Democratic governor, on Thursday proposed a $209 billion budget that increased school spending. The next day, district officials in LA gave a last-ditch offer, proposing to:
Hire 1,200 additional educatorsGive teachers a 6 percent raise, spread out over the first two years of a three-year contractProvide a full-time nurse to all elementary schoolsIt also included provisions administrators had previously offered earlier in the week:
Lowering the maximum class sizes in grades four to six '-- from 36 students in a classroom to 35, and high schools across the board with a decrease from 42 to around 39. Schools with the greatest need would see a four-student drop. Hiring at at least one librarian for middle schools, while beefing up high schools' academic counselors. Union leaders rejected the offer on Friday, calling it ''woefully inadequate.'' They are demanding a 6.5 percent raise that includes retroactive salary bumps for the previous year, and higher levels of support staff to meet the district's needs.
The teacher's union believes the district can afford it. An independent report found the district has $1.8 billion in reserves, a sum that's been growing significantly over the last five years, up from $500 million in 2014.
But Superintendent Austin Beutner says much of those funds have already been ear-marked, and based on future projections, the district's finances will be insolvent in a matter of years, thanks to burgeoning pension and retiree health benefit outlays. If they met all the union's demands, Beutner says, it would cost up to $3 billion and plunge the district into bankruptcy.
''If they want a strike, they'll have a strike,'' Beutner said at a press conference on Friday. ''We're doing everything we can to avoid it.''
The education of nearly half a million students is hanging in the balanceLos Angeles has one of the largest school districts in the US, second only to New York City. More than half a million students attend the Los Angeles Unified School District, which encompasses over 700 square miles of the metropolitan area, from South LA to Bel-Air to the San Fernando Valley.
Much of the student population is poor and underserved '-- some 80 percent of kids qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. And according to the LA Times, nearly a quarter of them are learning English.
Beyond providing education, LA schools are a source of much needed child-care for parents, consistent meals for students, and resources for their health and special needs. This means that a wide-scale strike, such as what's planned for LA, is likely to have a resounding effect on the very people the protest is ultimately trying to benefit: students.
Schools will be open no matter what '-- administrators, volunteers and a legion of newly hired substitute teachers are expected to fill in the gap while union members are on the picket lines, but that should leave staffing levels at roughly 8 percent of coverage for a typical day.
There's no telling how many students will show up to school on Monday to learn from those skeleton staffs. Union organizers are asking parents to join their strike in solidarity '-- one Facebook group that has more than 100,000 members, ''Parents Supporting Teachers,'' is calling on others to show up Monday, the LA Times notes '-- but for most, it will likely be a struggle between juggling work and childcare.
Still, administrators say the strike is no excuse '-- students who don't show up will be marked down as an unexcused absence.
School districts across the country are reckoning with years of cuts to education funding and stagnant teachers salariesThe lead-up to LA's strikes has been months in the making, building off of the success of high-profile teacher's union strikes nationwide.
What had united many of these strikes and walk-outs is that they took place in conservative states: In Arizona, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, teachers walked off the job, fighting back against depressed wages that failed to keep up with inflation, yes, but also against decades of right-wing policies that had cut education spending levels to the bone.
As Vox's Alvin Chang explains, ''over the past several decades, state lawmakers have systematically divested from public education,'' leaving many non-affluent children with a second-class education:
The root of these education cuts started decades ago, when state legislators gave tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations during times of economic prosperity. The hope was that it would spur economic growth '-- but that growth never came. When the economy turned south, states needed to raise more revenue.
But conservative lawmakers refused to raise taxes; they just cut spending. And because education often takes up the largest portion of state budgets, schools were hit especially hard.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Like the others, LA's teacher battle boils down to funding. By one estimate, California ranks 41st in state spending per student, when adjusted for cost-of-living. But what's unique is that both the district and unions agree that more funds must be spend to benefit children's education. They're not fighting over tight austerity measures or tax cuts for the rich.
LA's union leaders want their strike to make a statement about the future of the public school system and the encroachment of charter schools. Because they know: Major changes to a single region that is home to 700,000 school-age children could set the tone for the progressive education fight across the country.
Florida Board of Health suspends health care licenses over student loan defaults
CLARIFICATION: The state Board of health says about nine hundred healthcare workers were in danger of losing their license over the past two years because they were in default of their student loans. The board clarified it worked out repayment plans with most of those workers. It estimates the actual number of health care license suspensions is between 90 and 120 since November 2016.
* * *
LAKELAND, Fla. '-- As many as 100 health care workers have lost their license to practice in Florida because they can't repay their student loans '' a new crackdown potentially putting hundreds out of work, the I-Team found.
The move to suspend health care licenses comes after federal student loan companies spent years lobbying states to adopt laws to punish those who default on student loans by taking away their professional licenses.
But an ABC Action News review found Florida is the only state enforcing those laws.
Investigative Reporter Adam Walser uncovered the state's Board of Health estimates it suspended between 90 and 120 health care licenses '' including professional certifications for registered nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, pharmacists and opticians '' in the just the past two years alone.
The I-Team found 12 other states (Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas) still have the power to take away health care licenses for unpaid student loans, but officials in those states told ABC Action News they have not suspended any licenses over loan defaults in the past two years.
And four states '' Montana, Oklahoma, New Jersey and North Dakota '' have already repealed laws allowing health care license suspensions for unpaid student loans.
Tampa student loan attorney Christie Arkovich says Florida's law goes too far.
''We're not saying that people shouldn't repay their loan,'' said Arkovich. ''We're just saying that getting them fired probably isn't the best way to go about that.''
Dr. Gabriel Picone, an economics professor at University of South Florida, said the decision to suspend licenses for nonpayment of student loans puts a strain on both employers and patients because health care workers are in short supply and it means those who lose their licenses will likely go from earning paychecks to depending on taxpayer-funded welfare.
''It's trying to take too much away,'' Picone said. ''This person may end up on Medicaid, receive food stamps. All this is more money that we will have to pay.''
The state can garnish up to 100 percent of wages before a health care worker's license can be reinstated, according to Arkovich. And under Florida law, once the state suspends a license for student loan default, the only way to get it back is to pay a fine equal to 10 percent of the balance, plus state investigation costs.
''You take their license, you take their way of working, how are you going to get your lump sum?'' said registered nurse Andrea Chandler. ''How are you going to get your payment? You're already not getting your payment.''
Chandler, who teaches nursing classes, said she nearly defaulted on her own student loan after her divorce but worked out a new payment plan with her lender.
''The conversation's uncomfortable, but it has to happen,'' Chandler said.
The U.S. Department of Education estimates more than 10 percent of student loan borrowers are in default.
The federal government estimates Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student debt '' a figure now larger than outstanding U.S. credit card and vehicle debt combined.
Denise Thorman of Lakeland drives to work seven days a week, providing home care for a 92-year-old patient. She said she went back to school to became a Certified Nursing Assistant after caring for her elderly parents.
But even with a roommate helping buy groceries and pay bills, Thorman said she barely makes ends meet.
She also couldn't pay her $9,000 student loan, so the state suspended her CNA license in November.
''I think it's wrong,'' said Thorman. ''I worked hard for my license. and now it's gone. I don't have the money to fight it.''
Thorman, who says she now worries she'll struggle to find a new job, wants the law to change to protect workers and the patients they serve.
''Your license is gone, your livelihood is gone, the care of your patients is gone. How fair is that?'' said Thorman
The I-Team found Florida law requires 45-days written notice before the state can suspend any licenses because of student loan debt.
Experts say if you get one of these notices, you should immediately contact your lender to try to negotiate a repayment plan.
If you have a story you'd like the I-Team to investigate, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Amsterdam Mocro Maffia drugswar forces KPMG toptalent into hiding
In Amsterdam a deadly drug war reached out from the violent underworld, to the Zuid As, which is the prestigious Business center of Amsterdam.
Financial top adviser Khalil B, one of KPMG's top talents in M&A, has gone into hiding after his brother, Reduan B , was liquidated. An apparent revenge killing for the testimony of their brother Nabil, who is the star witness in the case against Ridouan T. en Said R. , leader s of the so called 'Mocro Maffia' of Amsterdam.
This clan, consisting of mostly young men of Moroccan descent, is notorious for its ferociousness and its use of heavy assault weapons like AK47's, even in public places. In 2014 they committed a ''mistake murder'' When they shot innocent housefather Stefan Regalo Eggermont to death in the Conradstraat in Amsterdam. They are also widely held accountable for the murder of Martin Kok, famous ex criminal and independent crime reporter in the Netherlands.
/ Americas Date created : 15/01/2019 - 16:03 Latest update : 15/01/2019 - 16:31
Mauro Pimentel, AFP | Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivers a speech as he signs the decree making it easier for citizens to buy guns. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree that will temporarily make it easier for Brazilians to buy guns, despite fears the move could aggravate already staggering violent crime.
The executive order, signed in a live television broadcast following a cabinet meeting, allows "good citizens" to more easily own firearms, said Bolsonaro, a former army captain.
"To guarantee the legitimate right of defense, as president I am using this weapon," he said, indicating the pen he then used to sign the decree.
The far-right president ran on a law-and-order platform. His message resonated with voters in Brazil, which in 2017 had a record 64,000 murders, more than any other country.
Tuesday's decree makes it much easier for adults with no criminal record to buy guns and keep them at home.
It does not extend to carrying weapons -- concealed or otherwise -- in public, which remains restricted to police, public or private security personnel, and the military.
A ministerial source told AFP that the new decree took effect immediately, without needing congressional approval.
Bolsonaro has said he wants to overturn a 2003 law that was tantamount tobanning civilians from purchasing guns.
On the campaign trail he often mimicked a pistol by extending the thumb and forefinger with his hand.
According to a survey published last month by the Datafolha firm, 61 percent of Brazilians are opposed to generalised gun ownership.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)
Steve King's Racist Remarks and Divisive Actions: A Timeline - The New York Times
While some Republicans suggested the Iowa congressman's views were new to them, Mr. King has a long and documented history of denigrating racial minorities.
Image Steve King departing the Capitol on Monday, after he was removed by Republicans from two powerful House committees. Credit Credit Al Drago for The New York Times Representative Steve King of Iowa, who was stripped of his House committee seats on Monday night after making remarks defending white supremacy, has a long history of racist comments and insults about immigrants.
Republicans rarely rebuked him until recently, with some suggesting that Mr. King's language and views were new to them.
''This just popped up on Friday,'' Representative Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican, said on Sunday, when asked if the party would penalize Mr. King for saying, in an interview with The Times, ''White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization '-- how did that language become offensive?''
National Republicans courted his political support in Iowa: He was a national co-chairman of Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential effort and of Gov. Kim Reynolds' 2018 election. House leadership appointed him chairman of the subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice. And President Trump boasted in the Oval Office that he raised more money for Mr. King than for anyone else.
Yet Mr. King, who won a ninth term in November, has publicly promoted white nationalists and neo-Nazis on Twitter and disparaged nonwhite groups for years.
2002Mr. King, in the Iowa State Senate, files a bill requiring schools teach that the United States ''is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world and that it has derived its strength from '... Christianity, free enterprise capitalism and Western civilization.''
Mr. King is the chief sponsor of a law making English the official language of Iowa.
2005Now in Congress, Mr. King introduces the English Language Unity Act, a bill to make English the official language of the United States.
Mr. King sues the Iowa Secretary of State for posting voting information on an official website in Spanish, Laotian, Bosnian and Vietnamese.
Image In 2006, Mr. King spoke during a rally near Palominas, Ariz., to advocate a fence along the United States border with Mexico. Credit Khampha Bouaphanh/Associated Press 2006At a rally in Las Vegas, Mr. King calls the deaths of Americans at the hands of undocumented immigrants ''a slow-motion Holocaust.'' He claims that 25 Americans die daily because of undocumented immigrants, an unsupported and illogical leap from government statistics, which years later influences talking points by President Trump.
On the House floor, Mr. King demonstrates a model of a 12-foot concrete border wall topped with electrified wire that he designed: ''We need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top or put a ladder there. We could also electrify this wire '... We do that with livestock all the time.''
2010Mr. King on the House floor, speaking of how law enforcement officers can spot undocumented immigrants:
What kind of clothes people wear '... what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accent they have '... sometimes it's just a sixth sense they can't put their finger on.
2011Mr. King in a speech opposing the Affordable Care Act's mandate to cover contraception:
Preventing babies being born is not medicine. That's not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birthrate get down below the replacement rate, we're a dying civilization.
Image Mr. King has rallied against contraception coverage, saying that birth control is ''not constructive to our culture and our civilization.'' Credit Alex Brandon/Associated Press 2012On a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference with Peter Brimelow, an open white nationalist, Mr. King referred to multiculturalism as:
A tool for the Left to subdivide a culture and civilization into our own little ethnic enclaves and pit us against each other.
2013Mr. King on why he opposes legal status for Dreamers, who were brought into the country as children:
For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.
2015Mr. King invites the far-right, anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders to Washington and appears with him at the Capitol. Mr. Wilders has called Islam ''not a religion,'' said the Quran was ''worse than Mein Kampf,'' and called for the closing of mosques.
Mr. King tweets a selfie with Mr. Wilders in front of a portrait of Winston Churchill. Mr. Wilders praises Mr. King for having ''the guts to speak out.''
2016At the Republican National Convention in July, Mr. King claims that nonwhite groups haven't contributed as much as whites to civilization: ''This whole business does get a little tired. I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?''
Mr. King to The Washington Post days later: ''The idea of multiculturalism, that every culture is equal '-- that's not objectively true '... We've been fed that information for the past 25 years, and we're not going to become a greater nation if we continue to do that.''
In a tweet during a meeting in Amsterdam with Mr. Wilders and Frauke Petry, the leader of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany party, Mr. King says, ''Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.''
In October, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right party, tweets a picture of her meeting with Mr. King, the first elected American official to meet her.
Also in October, Mr. King meets in Austria with leaders of the far-right Freedom Party, including Heinz-Christian Strache and Norbert Hofer. The party was founded in the 1950s by former Nazis.
2017''Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies,'' Mr. King tweets in his endorsement of Mr. Wilders in Dutch elections.
On March 14, Mr. King defends the tweet on Breitbart radio: ''We're watching as Western civilization is shrinking in the face of the massive, epic migration that is pouring into Europe. That's the core of that tweet. They're importing a different culture, a different civilization '-- and that culture and civilization, the imported one, rejects the host culture. And so they are supplanting Western civilization with Middle Eastern civilization and I say, and Geert Wilders says, Western civilization is a superior civilization '-- it is the first world.''
On Iowa talk radio, Mr. King recommends ''The Camp of the Saints,'' a racist 1973 novel about an invasion of Europe by nonwhite immigrants.
Mr. King tweets agreement with Viktor Orban, Hungary's authoritarian leader: ''Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.''
Image Mr. King with voters in Webster City, Iowa, in November. Credit Scott Morgan/Reuters 2018Mr. King says he does not want Somali Muslims working in meatpacking plants in Iowa: ''I don't want people doing my pork that won't eat it, let alone hope I go to hell for eating pork chops.''
Asked by a reporter for HuffPost if he is a white nationalist or white supremacist, Mr. King responds: ''I don't answer those questions. I say to people that use those kind of allegations: Use those words a million times, because you're reducing the value of them every time, and many of the people that use those words and make those allegations and ask those questions can't even define the words they're using.''
In an interview with a web publication in Austria, unzensuriert.at, which is linked to the far-right Freedom Party, Mr. King again praises the novel ''Camp of the Saints'': ''This narrative should be imprinted into everyone's brain. When you are importing people, even importing one single person, you are importing their culture.''
In the same interview, Mr. King demonstrates familiarity with the ''Great Replacement'' conspiracy theory, also known as ''white genocide,'' which posits that an international elite, including prominent Jews like George Soros, are plotting to make white populations minorities in Europe and North America. ''Great replacement, yes,'' Mr. King says. ''These people walking into Europe by ethnic migration, 80 percent are young men. They are somebody else's babies.''
Mr. King endorses a Toronto mayoral candidate, Faith Goldy, who had recited the ''14 words'' used by neo-Nazis and gave an interview to a podcast for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
The Anti-Defamation League writes to Speaker Paul D. Ryan calling for the censure of Mr. King for endorsing Ms. Goldy. The group also notes that the Austrian Freedom Party is ''riddled with anti-Semitism and Holocaust trivialization.''
Representative Steve Stivers, chairman of the Republican House election committee, condemns Mr. King in a tweet: ''We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.''
Asked on Oct. 21 on WHO-TV in Iowa, ''What is a white nationalist?'' Mr. King answers: ''First of all, I think you have to be white, but then we've got Rachel Dolezal who didn't have to be black to be black. It is a derogatory term today. I wouldn't have thought so maybe a year or two or three ago. But today they use it as a derogatory term and they imply you are a racist. That's the bottom line for that.''
2019''White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization '-- how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?'' Mr. King said in an interview with The New York Times published last week.
Read more about Steve King and his history of racist remarks
Trip Gabriel is a national correspondent. He covered the past two presidential campaigns and has served as the Mid-Atlantic bureau chief and a national education reporter. He formerly edited the Styles sections. He joined The Times in 1994. @ tripgabriel ' Facebook
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Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics - The New York Times
Video Building a border wall, ending birthright citizenship and disparaging undocumented immigrants. Representative Steve King championed anti-immigration views years before President Trump made them a focal point of his administration. Published On Jan. 10, 2019 Credit Credit Steve Pope/Associated Press Years before President Trump forced a government shutdown over a border wall, triggering a momentous test of wills in Washington, Representative Steve King of Iowa took to the House floor to show off a model of a 12-foot border wall he had designed.
And long before Mr. Trump demonized immigrants '-- accusing Mexico of exporting criminals and calling for an end to birthright citizenship '-- Mr. King turned those views into talking points, with his use of misleading data about victims of undocumented immigrants and demeaning remarks about Latinos.
Immigration is Mr. Trump's go-to issue, his surest connection to his most faithful supporters, and his prime-time address on Tuesday night underscored his willingness to use fear and misleading statements to appeal to voters '-- just as he did with warnings about a migrant caravan before the midterm elections.
The Republican Party hadn't always intended to go this route: Officials tried for years to come up with broad-based immigration reform that would appeal to growing numbers of Latino voters. But Mr. Trump's preoccupation with the wall and anti-immigrant politics reflects how he has embraced the once-fringe views of Mr. King, who has used racist language in the past, promotes neo-Nazis on Twitter and was recently denounced by one Republican leader as a white supremacist.
With the federal government in a third week of paralysis over a border wall, Mr. Trump's positions are a reminder of how Mr. King's ideology and his language maligning undocumented residents helped shape the Republican message in 2016 and 2018 and define Mr. Trump's agenda and prospects for re-election. Mr. King may have been ostracized by some Republicans over his racist remarks and extremist ties, but as much of the nation debates immigration, his views now carry substantial influence on the right.
Early in Mr. Trump's term, the president invited Mr. King '-- who was long snubbed by establishment Republicans like the former House speaker John A. Boehner '-- to the Oval Office. There, the president boasted of having raised more money for the congressman's campaigns than anyone else, including during a 2014 Iowa visit, Mr. King recalled in an interview with The Times.
''Yes, Mr. President,'' Mr. King replied. ''But I market-tested your immigration policy for 14 years, and that ought to be worth something.''
Mr. King, a 69-year-old former bulldozer operator with a combative manner, who has been elected nine times, helped write the book on white identity politics that are ascendant in Mr. Trump's Republican Party. That provides both a template for Mr. Trump and a warning.
Image Mr. King, left, in March 2006. He has denounced immigration reform efforts under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as ''amnesty.'' Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times Mr. King's full-throated embrace of nativism has long found a supportive constituency in the rural Midwest, the region that was a key to Mr. Trump's 2016 victory and represents his most likely path to re-election.
But at the same time, Mr. King's margin of victory in 2018 shrank to its narrowest in 16 years. He made national headlines for endorsing a Toronto mayoral candidate with neo-Nazi ties and for meeting with a far-right Austrian party accused of trivializing the Holocaust. On Twitter, he follows an Australian anti-Semitic activist, who proposed hanging a portrait of Hitler ''in every classroom.'' And in October, the chairman of the Republican House elections committee, Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, condemned Mr. King, saying, ''We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms.''
Mr. King lost corporate agriculture donors like Purina, Land O'Lakes and Smithfield. He dropped from an 18-point lead over his Democratic opponent in his internal polls to barely squeaking out a three-point win on Election Day. On Wednesday, Mr. King drew a formidable challenger for his Fourth District seat in the 2020 Republican primary: Randy Feenstra, an assistant majority leader in the State Senate, who said Mr. King had left Iowa ''without a seat at the table'' because of ''sideshows'' and ''distractions.''
Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office. (The same office once displayed a Confederate flag on his desk.)
At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is ''the culture of America'' based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.
''White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization '-- how did that language become offensive?'' Mr. King said. ''Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?''
After this article was published Thursday, Mr. King issued a public statement calling himself a ''nationalist'' and defending his support of ''western civilization's values,'' and said he was not an advocate for ''white nationalism and white supremacy.'' ''I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,'' he wrote.
Mr. King's influence over national politics derives from his representation of the reddest district in the first presidential nominating state. Nearly all the 2016 Republican presidential contenders sought his blessing at a forum he hosted in Des Moines in January 2015, Mr. Trump included.
Image Mr. King graduated from Denison High School in 1967 with an all-white senior class. The school now has a Hispanic majority. Credit Mary Mathis for The New York Times ''Donald Trump came to Iowa as a real nonideological candidate,'' Mr. King recalled. Mr. Trump's first hire in Iowa, Chuck Laudner, was a former chief of staff to Mr. King. Mr. Trump's first Iowa rally directly followed a visit to the Mexican border.
The previous year, Mr. Trump had visited to endorse Mr. King's re-election. As the congressman warned of scenarios like Islamic State terrorists or even Africans with ebola illegally entering the country, Mr. Trump listened and nodded. When he stepped to the microphone, he echoed Mr. King.
''Well, border security is a very big issue,'' he said. ''People are just flooding across.''
Tom Tancredo, a former Colorado congressman who once held the most conservative views in official Washington on immigration, calling for a moratorium on even legal immigrants, said he ''handed the baton to Steve King'' when he left the House in 2008.
David Johnson, a former Republican state senator from Mr. King's district, said he heard in the president's rhetoric a direct echo of Mr. King. ''They belong to the same subset of white nationalists who are afraid of how the country is changing,'' he said.
Mr. King was born in Storm Lake, Iowa, and attended high school in nearby Denison, then a nearly all-white rural farming region, where his father managed a state police radio station.
After founding an earth-moving company, Mr. King ran successfully for the State Senate in 1996. His most notable legacy from six years in the Legislature was a law making English the official state language. It was a time when packinghouses and other agricultural employers had dropped wages, and Latino migrants increasingly were taking jobs that no longer attracted native-born Iowans.
Elected to Congress in 2002, Mr. King attracted the attention of hate-watch groups like the Anti-Defamation League as he spoke increasingly about preserving ''Western culture'' or ''Western civilization.'' The groups consider those buzzwords that signal support to white nationalists, along with an obsession with birthrates and abortion rates among different ethnic groups.
''He uses the concepts of either 'culture' or 'civilization' to obfuscate that he's talking about whiteness and race,'' said Lawrence Rosenthal, chairman of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies.
Image Mr. King has been elected to nine terms, but his margin of victory shrank to his narrowest ever in November. Credit Scott Morgan/Reuters In 2011, Mr. King objected to the Affordable Care Act's mandate to cover contraception. ''That's not constructive to our culture and our civilization,'' he said in a speech in the House. ''If we let our birthrate get down below the replacement rate, we're a dying civilization.''
Mr. King seems further emboldened during the Trump presidency.
In an interview in August with a far-right web publication in Austria, Mr. King displayed a deep familiarity with racist tracts and ideas embraced by white supremacists.
He spoke of ''the Great Replacement,'' a conspiracy theory on the far right that claims shadowy elites are working behind the scenes to reduce white populations to minorities in their own countries.
''Great replacement, yes,'' Mr. King said in the interview. ''These people walking into Europe by ethnic migration, 80 percent are young men.''
The accusation that a ''great replacement'' of whites is underway '-- which conspiracy theorists often link to prominent Jews like George Soros '-- animated the torch-carrying white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, who chanted, ''You will not replace us'' and ''Jews will not replace us.''
Mr. Trump's refusal to condemn the marchers, and his insistence that there were ''very fine people on both sides,'' was cheered by neo-Nazi websites.
In Mr. King's interview with the Austrian website, he repeated his yearslong critique of multiculturalism.
''What does this diversity bring that we don't already have? Mexican food. Chinese food,'' he said. ''Those things, well, that's fine, but what does it bring that we don't have that is worth the price?''
Image While serving in the Iowa Legislature in the 1990s, Mr. King helped pass a law making English the state's official language. Credit Mary Mathis for The New York Times In recent years, Mr. King has forged alliances with far-right European leaders, including Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, one of the most anti-Muslim politicians in Europe, who calls for closing mosques.
Ahead of Dutch elections in March 2017, Mr. King endorsed Mr. Wilders in a tweet, saying, ''We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.''
Amid an ensuing controversy, he claimed the tweet wasn't about race. Virulent white supremacists, however, heard otherwise.
''Steve King is basically an open white nationalist at this point,'' wrote Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer.
Mr. Anglin and others celebrated that Mr. Trump's election had made once-fringe beliefs about ethnonationalism acceptable to mainstream politicians.
As Republicans have morphed from the party of George W. Bush, who sought legal status for 12 million undocumented immigrants, to the party of Mr. Trump and Mr. King, some party leaders fear for the future in a nation where Hispanic voters are a rapidly growing electorate.
''Great damage has been done,'' said Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican who lost a South Florida congressional seat in the midterms. ''For anyone who cares about having a small-government, free-enterprise party in America that can aspire to win national elections, it's a real concern.''
Mr. Curbelo, who tried to forge compromise on immigration in the House last year, said Mr. Trump told him privately, including on Air Force One, that he wanted a deal with Democrats.
But the president is paralyzed by the far right, Mr. Curbelo said. ''He's terrified of losing his base and the so-called conservative media.''
Last week, as the new Congress was sworn in, Mr. King sat on his side of a chamber sharply delineated by demographics. The Democratic majority included record numbers of African-Americans and women, including the first Native American and the first Muslim women. Mr. King's side was mostly people who look like him.
''You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men,'' he said.
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A Bullhorn of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric, Long Before Trump Started
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Congressman Steve King Retweets a Nazi Sympathizer - The New York Times
Politics | Congressman Steve King Retweets a Nazi Sympathizer Image Representative Steve King of Iowa has often expressed anti-immigrant views. Last year, he drew criticism for saying that ''we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.'' Credit Credit J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press Representative Steve King of Iowa, a Republican with a history of making inflammatory and racist statements about immigrants and promoting white nationalist views, drew criticism on Tuesday after retweeting a British activist who is a prominent Nazi sympathizer and has described himself as an admirer of Hitler.
The activist, Mark Collett, is the former chairman of the Young BNP, the youth arm of the far-right British National Party, and like Mr. King he has often warned that influxes of immigrants pose a danger to Western countries.
Mr. Collett's tweet was a screenshot of a Breitbart article titled ''Vast Majority of Under-35 Italians Now Oppose Mass Migration,'' and his commentary: ''65% of Italians under the age of 35 now oppose mass immigration. Europe is waking up...''
Mr. King's retweet included a comment of his own: ''Europe is waking up...Will America...in time?'' As of Wednesday afternoon, it had not been taken down.
Mr. Collett was the subject of a 2002 documentary on Channel 4 in Britain titled ''Young, Nazi and Proud.'' In it, he says that AIDS is a ''friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it,'' HuffPost reported.
Nick Ryan, a spokesman for an anti-racism advocacy group based in Britain, Hope Not Hate, told HuffPost that ''no mainstream politician in their right mind should be retweeting Mark Collett.''
Mr. King's office declined to comment on the matter.
It was not the first time Mr. King, who was elected to Congress in 2002 and has displayed a Confederate battle flag on his desk in Washington, has promoted extreme anti-immigrant or white nationalist views.
In 2013, he said that for every child of undocumented immigrants ''who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.''
Speaking on MSNBC in 2016, he questioned the historical contributions of nonwhite ''subgroups.''
Last year, he said that ''we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies,'' setting off widespread anger that included criticism from his congressional colleagues.
But his comment drew praise from other figures, like the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
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Racist Rep Steve King Stripped Of All Committee Assignments | Crooks and Liars
Steve King, the White Nationalist Party Representative who also happens to be the Iowa Representative in Congress had a really tough day on Monday. He continued to face intense blowback following a disastrous interview King gave to the New York Times questioning why white supremacy is considered offensive.
His actual quote:
''White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization '-- how did that language become offensive?''
His major crime was not his abject racism, because that is pretty much part and parcel of the Republican party. His major crime was saying the quiet things out loud.
Fallout was swift. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, suggested that King find ''another line of work'' and Senator Mitt Romney went even farther, saying he should quit. The House chose the most immediate course of action - stripping King of all committee seats, politically neutering him. King had been a member of the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees and he was was also the top Republican on a Judiciary subcommittee. Welp, that is all gone.
I bet he did Nazi that coming.
(sorry, I had to do it)
In the above clip from Hardball, Michael Steele nails it:
"Well deserved. Long overdue, apply that standard to the guy sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue....The guy down at 1600, President Trump, declared himself a Nationalist. You can put "White" in front of it, you can put Baptist in front of it. Nationalism is Nationalism. Apply the same standard."
Twitter had thoughts:
McCarthy has done more to deal with Steve King in the first two weeks of the 116th Congress than Paul Ryan had done in years of repeated racist remarks https://t.co/KTZHbjk2DV
'-- Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) January 15, 2019
Will he resign? Probably not. But at least now he has been rendered a lot less effective.
House Dem leaders reject harsher punishment for Steve King - POLITICO
One of the top concerns among Democrats is that censuring Rep. Steve King would open the floodgates for Republicans to retaliate with action of their own. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
House Democratic leaders have quietly rejected a push by rank-and-file members to force a rare and potentially divisive vote on censuring Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), according to multiple Democratic sources.
The House moved Wednesday to essentially shelve a grassroots attempt to further punish King for racist remarks that he made to the New York Times this month. If it had succeeded, King could have faced one of the most severe punishments that a lawmaker can receive.
Story Continued Below
The two House Democrats who have led the charge to censure King '-- Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) '-- ultimately agreed not to force the vote, under pressure from some Democratic leaders who feared lasting consequences from the move.
Their decision almost certainly means that the House will not take a formal vote to censure King, which has only happened a few dozen times in history. Instead, both Rush and Ryan say they are putting King on notice.
''Obviously, it's not what I want,'' Ryan said Wednesday about forgoing a vote on the censure motion. ''The next time something like this happens, we'll bring it out of committee, and I think we move to expel him at that point.''
The decision came on the House floor Wednesday '-- with no debate or even a roll call vote '-- after several days of talks between Democratic leaders, Rush and Ryan. As recently as Wednesday afternoon, Rush was still pushing for the censure vote and Ryan had yet to sign off on leadership's plan.
But behind the scenes, Democratic leaders, led by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), were clear about their opposition, according to multiple Democratic lawmakers and aides.
''Leadership has been full-court press on not bringing it up,'' one Democratic aide said.
Clyburn initially told reporters that he would support a censure vote on the floor, if it came to that. Privately, though, Clyburn and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), were warning rank-and-file members that going as far as censure could come back to harm Democrats.
Clyburn made clear publicly '-- including on a rare MSNBC appearance '-- that he was concerned about the effect on the institution. King's remarks, he argued, had not been made on the House floor, so it would be setting a new precedent. Privately, Clyburn also warned that it would divide the caucus, or even put vulnerable Democrats at risk.
Hoyer told members that he was concerned about opening the floodgates for future censure resolutions, and possibly triggering a backlash from House Republicans.
Every House Republican supported the Democratic resolution earlier this week that targeted King, but did not explicitly name him. That resolution condemned the concept of ''white supremacy,'' which King appeared to support in a recent interview. House GOP leaders also separately voted to pluck King from all committee assignments.
Rush felt so strongly about censuring King that he voted against the resolution on the floor, the only one out of 435 members.
Democrats feared that a censure motion, however, could further polarize the House by inviting GOP lawmakers to target Democrats for other controversial speech.
''Steny [Hoyer] showed some concern about it going back and forth '-- not that I think there is any moral equivalency at all with recent comments that people on our side have made,'' Ryan said, referring to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)'s recent expletive-laced comments directed at President Trump.
Several Republicans have already privately discussed the possibility of censuring Tlaib, a liberal firebrand who made headlines after vowing to ''impeach the mother----er'' in reference to Trump. Several GOP lawmakers have also seized on comments made by Tlaib this month that they argued were anti-Semitic.
''If Steve King gets censured, all bets are off,'' one House GOP aide said. ''If Democrats do force a censure vote for comments made outside the house floor, Democrats probably realize there are other things for us to look at it.''
On Tuesday night, Clyburn huddled with Ryan and Rush, where he further cautioned that the move could put their colleagues in a tough spot.
''I understand Bobby Rush's feelings. Bobby is a very good friend. We talk often. We discussed this at length before the vote. And we have discussed it since the vote. The fact of matter is, I hesitate to go as far as censure for anything that's done outside the realm of our official duties,'' Clyburn said on MSNBC on Wednesday morning.
By Wednesday evening, Rush had agreed to back down, and allowed his resolution to be referred to the House Ethics Committee. He acknowledged reporters that he was disappointed, but said he would be closely watching King's moves.
John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle and Caitlin Oprysko contributed to this story.
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Masturbating at work is a doctor-approved stress reliever
Should masturbation breaks become the new smoke breaks?
Yes, according to some psychologists. Mark Sergeant, a senior lecturer in psychology at Nottingham Trent University, told Metro.co.uk that a masturbation break would be ''very effective at work'' and a ''great way to relieve tension and stress.''
Psychologist and life coach Dr. Cliff Arnall agreed. ''I would expect a masturbation policy to result in more focus, less aggression, higher productivity, and more smiling,'' he told Metro. ''Certainly taking a masturbation break for boredom or an escape would increase work focus.''
Sergeant and Arnall's supposition come after a recent survey by Time Out New York found 39 percent of male readers reported masturbating in the office, after an earlier poll by Glamour in 2012 put that figure at 31 percent of workers.
ShutterstockAccording to Arnall, however, masturbation breaks shouldn't be driven by lust or fantasizing about a colleague as this would ''likely result in cognitive impairment.'' Such breaks should only be taken if they're motivated by a genuine desire for stress relief.
And Sergeant warned that ''introducing any form of sexual behavior to a workplace could be seen as a slippery slope that makes people think that other forms of sexual behavior, such as those linked to harassment, are more acceptable.''
Discussion around work masturbation has been raised in recent weeks following an article by Ravishly, which argued that far from masturbation being the ''new'' smoke break, ''it has been for a long time.''
''[For] every 52 minutes spent on the job, workers should be allowed to have 17 minutes off the clock, in order to maximize their productivity,'' Ravishly wrote.
''Because you can always grab a coffee or a cigarette instead, masturbation has remained an outre form of getting that added boost you need to power through your work day. However, there are signs that the stigma against [masturbating] at the office might be slipping.''
'Jerking off is a really good way to spend 15 minutes, and sometimes it ended up being the highlight of my day.'
''This year, the company Hot Octopuss debuted 'masturbation booths' across New York City to give men a public place to 'relieve stress'. Instead of reacting with disgust, women wanted to know where their masturbatoriums were. Why should men have all the fun?''
In response to the Time Out masturbation survey, Vice interviewed a number of workers, both men and women, who admitted to the practice.
''Back when I worked a true nine-to-five at a law firm I would look for any reason to escape to the bathroom for 15 minutes to get a break from filing papers,'' one worker told Vice. ''Jerking off is a really good way to spend 15 minutes, and sometimes it ended up being the highlight of my day.''
A woman said that she felt justified masturbating at the office after watching ''The Wolf of Wall Street,'' in which Matthew McConaughey's stockbroker character claims he masturbates daily after lunch.
But another woman who said she masturbated as an ''act of rebellion'' issued a word of caution. ''Not because of morals or propriety or whatever, but because masturbation isn't something you want to do hastily at the same place you hate going to every day,'' she said.
Gillette faces backlash and boycott over '#MeToo advert' - BBC News
Image copyright Gillette A Gillette advert which references bullying, the #MeToo movement and toxic masculinity has split opinion online.
The razor company's short film, called Believe, plays on their famous slogan "The best a man can get", replacing it with "The best men can be".
The company says it wants men to hold each other "accountable".
Some have praised the message of the advert, which aims to update the company's 30-year-old tagline, but others say Gillette is "dead" to them.
The ad has been watched more than 2 million times on YouTube in 48 hours.
It currently has 23,000 likes and 214,000 dislikes, at time of writing - and that's increasing all the time.
Image copyright Gillette Image caption People such as Piers Morgan have said they will boycott Gillette because of the message of the new advert In it, the company asks "Is this the best a man can get?" before showing images of bullying, sexual harassment, sexist behaviour and aggressive male behaviour.
It then shows examples of more positive behaviour - such as stepping into prevent these behaviours when they happen in public.
Image copyright Gillette Image caption In the advert, one man stops his friend from harassing a woman in the street Comments on the video are largely negative, with viewers saying they will never buy Gillette products again or that the advert was "feminist propaganda".
"In less than two minutes you managed to alienate your biggest sales group for your products. Well done>>," wrote one angry viewer.
Twitter users are also sharing their disappointment with Gillette's new campaign.
There have also been calls for Gillette, which is owned by Procter & Gamble, to post an apology video.
But the brand believes the new advert aligns with its slogan and says it believes in "the best in men."
"By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behaviour, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal 'best,' we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come," says its president, Gary Coombe.
The advert was directed by Kim Gehrig from the UK-based production company Somesuch, who also directed the 2015 campaign for Sport England, This Girl Can.
Image copyright Gillette Image caption The advert encourages men to act with more respect and to set a positive example to young boys Gillette has partnered with the Building A Better Man project, which seeks to reduce violent behaviour in men, and The Boys and Girls Club of America, which helps young men develop better social and communication skills. It's also donating $1m (around £778m) a year for the next three years to US charities aimed at supporting men.
'They must have known there would be backlash'But while the response to the ad has been largely negative, as the old saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
"Their next steps are very important but it shouldn't necessarily be widespread panic yet," Rob Saunders, an account manager at UK advertising company the Media Agency Group, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
"Their ad is getting them good publicity and good numbers and causing a debate - which they must have known when they put out this ad.
Rob says Gillette will have anticipated a negative reaction to the advert from some people.
"This ad would have been approved by many people high up at Gillette," he adds.
"So they must have known that there may have been a backlash."
Rob believes the strong reaction is because the ad is such a shift from how Gillette was previously promoted and that has surprised people.
"It's such a change in stance for Gillette and it's happening overnight, particularly with the social commentary and that's why it's done such huge numbers."
'This conversation needs to happen'But alongside the negative reaction to the brand's new message, there has also been widespread praise for its attempt to join the debate on what it means to be a modern man.
"We knew that joining the dialogue on 'Modern Manhood' would mean changing how we think about and portray men at every turn," adds Gary Coombe.
"Effective immediately, Gillette will review all public-facing content against a set of defined standards meant to ensure we fully reflect the ideals of Respect, Accountability and Role Modelling in the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and more.
"For us, the decision to publicly assert our beliefs while celebrating men who are doing things right was an easy choice that makes a difference."
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Exclusive: How The Word 'Family' Triggered A Meltdown At Google | The Daily Caller
Google employees melted down after the word ''family'' was used in a company presentation, documents obtained by TheDCNF show. Employees were upset that the word was used in a way that links families with children, which they argued was homophobic. A Google vice president acknowledged that the word ''family'' had sparked ''concerns'' about inclusivity. A Google executive sparked a fierce backlash from employees by using the word ''family'' in a weekly, company-wide presentation, according to internal documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Many Google employees became angry that the term was used while discussing a product aimed at children, because it implied that families have children, the documents show. The backlash grew large enough that a Google vice president addressed the controversy and solicited feedback on how the company could become more inclusive.
TheDCNF received the documents from a source who insisted upon anonymity in order to share them. (RELATED: Google Employees Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search)
One employee stormed out of the March 2017 presentation after a presenter ''continued to show (awesome) Unicorn product features which continually use the word 'family' as a synonym for 'household with children,''' he explained in an internal thread. That employee posted an extended rant, which was well-received by his colleagues, on why linking families to children is ''offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong.''
This is a diminishing and disrespectful way to speak. If you mean ''children'', say ''children''; we have a perfectly good word for it. ''Family friendly'' used as a synonym for ''kid friendly'' means, to me, ''you and yours don't count as a family unless you have children''. And while kids may often be less aware of it, there are kids without families too, you know.
The use of ''family'' as a synonym for ''with children'' has a long-standing association with deeply homophobic organizations. This does not mean we should not use the word ''family'' to refer to families, but it mean we must doggedly insist that family does not imply children.
Even the sense, ''suitable for the whole family'', which you might think is unobjectionable, is totally wrong too. It only works if we have advance shared conception of what ''the whole family'' is, and that is almost always used to mean a household with two adults, of opposite sex, in a romantic/sexual relationship, with two or more of their own children. If you mean that as a synonym for ''suitable for all people'' stop and notice the extraordinary unlikelihood of such a thought! So ''suitable for the whole family'' doesn't mean ''all people'', it means ''all people in families'', which either means that all those other people aren't in families, or something even worse. Use the word ''family'' to mean a loving assemblage of people who may or may not live together and may or may not include people of any particular age. STOP using it to mean ''children''. It's offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong.
Roughly 100 other Google employees upvoted the post, signaling their agreement. Other Google employees also echoed their displeasure with the term. ''Thanks for writing this. So much yes,'' one wrote.
''Using the word 'family' in this sense bothers me too,'' wrote another employee, who felt excluded by the term because she was neither married nor a parent.
''It smacks of the 'family values' agenda by the right wing, which is absolutely homophobic by its very definition,'' she wrote, adding: ''[I]t's important that we fix our charged language when we become aware of how exclusionary it actually is. As a straight person in a relationship, I find the term 'family' offensive because it excludes me and my boyfriend, having no children of our own.''
''My family consists of me and several other trans feminine folks, some of whom I'm dating. We're all supportive of each other and eventually aspire to live together. Just because we aren't a heterosexual couple with 2.5 kids, a white picket fence, and a dog doesn't mean we're not a family,'' another employee added in agreement.
Another employee wrote that ''using 'family' to mean 'people with kids' is also annoying to me as a straight-cis-woman who doesn't have or want kids. My husband, my parents, and my pets are my family.''
The new Google logo is displayed at the Google headquarters on Sept. 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Google vice president Pavni Diwanji joined the conversation and acknowledged that use of the term ''family'' had sparked ''concerns.''
''Hi everyone, I realize what we said at tgif might have caused concerns in the way we talked about families. There are families without kids too, and also we needed to be more conscientious about the fact that there is a diverse makeup of parents and families,'' Dwiwanji wrote.
''Please help us get to a better state. Teach us how to talk about it in inclusive way, if you feel like we are not doing it well. As a team we have very inclusive culture, and want to do right in this area. I am adding my team here so we can have open conversation,'' Dwiwanji concluded.
Google did not return a request for comment on the controversy, which is yet another example of left-wing Google employees bringing their politics to work with them.
TheDCNF previously reported that Google employees had internal debates about whether to suppress right-of-center media outlets, including The Daily Caller and Breitbart, in the company's search function. That conversation, too, included a Google vice president: David Besbris.
Besbris and other participants in that conversation advocated providing contextual information about media sources in search results, and the company later did so with a short-lived fact check feature at the end of 2017.
Not only did the fact-check feature target conservative outlets almost exclusively, it was also blatantly wrong. Google's fact check repeatedly attributed false claims to those outlets, even though they demonstrably never made those claims.
Google pulled the faulty fact-check program in January 2018, crediting TheDCNF's investigation for the decision.
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Bounding Into Comics reports on Marvel's introduction of its first "drag queen superhero".Marvel Comics introduced a mutant drag queen superhero in Iceman #4 written by Sina Grace with art by Nathan Stockman.The new drag queen superhero named Shade debuts in one panel in the issue where she is the emcee of a Mutant Pride event in Manhattan.If you want to stop this sort of cultural abomination in its tracks, support Arkhaven Comics, which has great stories and features precisely zero mutant drag queen superheroes.Labels: comics, freakshow, SJW
'Let's Snip The Ponytail': Philadelphia Sports Announcer Fired for Racially Charged Comment About Player
An announcer for the National Lacrosse League lost his job after making a comment about a player's hair that was deemed to be offensive based on the player's race.
On Saturday night, the Georgia Swarm faced off against the Philadelphia Wings at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. As forward Lyle Thompson, who had his hair in a long braid, made his way toward the goal, announcer Shawny Hill said, ''Let's snip the ponytail.''
Lyle is of Iroquois descent and from the Onondaga Reservation in New York and he shared his experience on Twitter after the game. Along with the announcer's comment, the Swarm player claimed that fans said they were going to scalp him.
''I know Philly takes pride in their ruthless fans but I didn't know it was like that lol...'' he wrote on Twitter. ''Now I know'... just haven't heard stuff like this since [high school].''
Lyle explained that it wasn't the entire arena that chanted about scalping, it was just two individuals who were seated behind his team's bench.
His teammate, Brendan Bomberry, expressed his own outrage at the comment, calling it ''disgusting.'' He added that forced haircuts were a reality for his own ancestors when they were sent to Christian residential schools.
With seven native athletes on its roster, the Swarm said that the organization was standing in unity with Lyle, the Thompson family and all native players who were impacted by the derogatory comment.
''The comment that was made will not be tolerated and does not reflect the core values of our league or the great sport of lacrosse,'' the Swarm said.
On Sunday, the Wings apologized for the ''insensitive words'' that Hill chose and called it an ''inadvertent yet offensive occurrence.'' The organization said it does not tolerate discrimination and was taking disciplinary action and educational measures to prevent it from happening again.
Hill also issued an apology of his own after the game and acknowledged that his words were poorly chosen but said they weren't intended to be racially motivated.
''I understand the profound hurt my words have caused,'' he said. ''My words do not reflect my personal beliefs, but represent a lack of knowledge on heritage and history.''
Lyle's brother, Miles, also plays for the Swarm as a forward. Hill said he was in the process of reaching out to them both so he could apologize directly to them.
Lyle Thompson of the Florida Launch plays during the game against the Boston Cannons at FAU Stadium on June 20, 2015, in Boca Raton, Florida. On Saturday, during a game against the Philadelphia Wings an announcer said, "let's snip the ponytail," in reference to Thompson. Rob Foldy/Getty Images
However, Hill's apology wasn't enough to save his job and on Monday, the Wings announced that he would no longer be part of the organization. The team said that along with being removed from his role with the Wings, he was also suspended from all announcing assignments at the Wells Fargo Center.
''In addition, the wings are working closely with the National Lacrosse League to implement ongoing diversity training for all employees which will include a focus on Native North American roots and traditions of the sport,'' the lacrosse team said.
To help others honor and understand the history and tradition of the sport, the Swarm said its working with the NLL, Wings and its native players to help implement additional educational programs.
Dial M for MEAT
'Vlees moet op rantsoen' | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Klimaatakkoord bemoeit zich met Hollandse eetgewoontes
Door een onzer verslaggevers
Updated Vandaag, 07:51
Vandaag, 05:30 in BINNENLAND
Twee gehaktballen per week en geen onsje m(C)(C)r... Als het aan de opstellers van het klimaatakkoord ligt, eten we straks nog maar twee dagen per week vlees.
''¸ Hollandse Hoogte
Amsterdam - Nederlanders mogen zich opmaken voor een vleesrantsoen. Als het aan de opstellers van het klimaatakkoord ligt, verdwijnt vlees vijf van de zeven dagen per week van het bord.
Twee gehaktballen per week en geen onsje m(C)(C)r... Als het aan de opstellers van het klimaatakkoord ligt, eten we straks nog maar twee dagen per week vlees.
''¸ Hollandse Hoogte
Twee gehaktballen per week, meer blijft er niet over. En dat alles om de overigens minieme Nederlandse bijdrage aan het wereldwijde broeikaseffect nog verder te verkleinen.
"Vlaamse professor waarschuwt juist voor verkettering van vlees"Het vleesdictaat van klimaatpaus Ed Nijpels komt bovenop de klimaatvoorstellen om huizen van het gas af te halen, warmtepompen te installeren en kopers van peperdure elektrische auto's te pamperen.
De door Nijpels gewenste verdeling van 40 procent dierlijke eiwitten en 60 procent plantaardige eiwitten komt volgens het Voedingsbureau neer op 'hooguit (C)(C)n tot twee keer vlees per week.''
De Vlaamse voedingsprofessor Fr(C)d(C)ric Leroy waarschuwt juist voor vleesverkettering. 'Wie vlees afwijst op ideologische gronden en zonder kennis van essentile voedingsstoffen, loopt grote risico's.''
Lees het hele artikel:Lees ook:Analyse:Dagelijks tijdens de lunch het laatste nieuws in je inbox?Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
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Industry wary of alternatives tries to protect a word: meat
A conventional beef burger, left, is seen Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, next to "The Impossible Burger", right, a plant-based burger containing wheat protein, coconut oil and potato protein among it's ingredients. The ingredients of the Impossible Burger are clearly printed on the menu at Stella's Bar & Grill in Bellevue, Neb., where the meat and non-meat burgers are served. More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term "meat" on product labels, Nebraska's powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like meat. The Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger containing wheat protein, coconut oil and potato protein among it's ingredients, is seen Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. The ingredients of the Impossible Burger are clearly printed on the menu at Stella's Bar & Grill in Bellevue, Neb., where meat and non-meat burgers are served. More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term "meat" on product labels, Nebraska's powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like meat. January 13, 2019Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year defining meat as "any edible portion of any livestock or poultry, carcass, or part thereof" and excluding "lab-grown or insect or plant-based food products." It would make it a crime to advertise or sell something "as meat that is not derived from poultry or livestock."
Similar measures aimed at meat alternatives are pending in Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming. They come amid a debate over what to call products that are being developed using the emerging science of meat grown by culturing cells in a lab. Supporters of the science are embracing the term "clean meat" '-- language the conventional meat industry strongly opposes.
The issue strikes a particularly strong chord in Nebraska, one of the nation's top states for livestock production, where cars roll down the interstate with "Beef State" license plates and the governor each year proclaims May as "Beef Month."
Farm groups have found an unusual ally in state Sen. Carol Blood, a city-dwelling vegetarian from the Omaha suburb of Bellevue. Blood, who grew up on a farm, said she introduced the measure because agriculture is Nebraska's largest industry and needs to be protected for the good of the whole state.
"I'm not bringing this bill to tell people what they can and can't eat," she said. "All I'm asking for is truth in advertising. It's clear that meat comes from livestock, and livestock is our livelihood in Nebraska."
Nebraska led the nation in commercial red meat production in 2017 and had the most feed cows as of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Livestock and livestock product sales generated an estimated $12.1 billion for the state's economy in 2016, according to the USDA's most recent available data.
The measure is certain to face resistance from food producers that sell plant-based alternatives, as well as those working to bring lab-grown meat to market. Critics say the bill infringes on the free-speech rights of companies that produce vegetarian alternatives to real meat.
The Good Food Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and plant-based food company Tofurkey have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Missouri law . They argue the law unfairly stifles competition.
The Nebraska bill "would censor food labels and create consumer confusion where there is none," said Jessica Almy, director of policy for the Washington-based Good Food Institute. "You can't censor speech just to promote one industry's financial success."
Supporters of the Nebraska measure say they want to ensure people aren't misled about what they're eating. Blood said she proposed the measure after seeing two women in a grocery store who couldn't tell whether a product contained meat or a substitute. She said her proposal wouldn't require inspections of product labels, as Missouri's law does.
"I don't want to be the meat police," she said. Under the Nebraska bill, violations would bring a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. "Consumers have a right to know what they're buying," said John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union. "That's the case whether it's a vegetarian product or not. There ought to be clear, honest and accurate labeling, and then let the marketplace make the choices."
Hansen said his group's livestock producers are particularly concerned about whether consumers will be able to differentiate between meat grown in the lab and farm-grown beef, pork and chicken. Pete McClymont, executive vice president for the group Nebraska Cattlemen, said his organization's concern rises partly from the growth of products labeled as almond and soy milk, which have become an increasingly popular alternative to cow's milk. McClymont said his group still needs to review specific details of the Nebraska proposal, but will push for any law that protects the state's livestock producers.
"When I go out and speak to our membership, this is right near the top of what people are passionate about," he said.
Follow Grant Schulte on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GrantSchulte
Raad van State: Rutte hoeft verslagen over MH17 niet openbaar te maken | NU - Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl
Premier Mark Rutte hoeft vergaderverslagen van de ministerraad in de nasleep van de MH17-ramp niet openbaar te maken. Dat heeft de Raad van State woensdag bepaald in een hoger beroep in een zaak tussen het ministerie van Algemene Zaken en RTL Nieuws.
De zaak loopt al jaren en draait om verzoeken van RTL Nieuws op basis van Wet openbaarheid van bestuur (WOB). De nieuwsorganisatie wil inzage in de verslagen van drie ministerraden waarin werd gesproken over de MH17-ramp.
Daarnaast heeft het verzoek ook betrekking op een verslag van een onderhoud met onderzoekers van de Universiteit Twente. Toen werd de evaluatie van de crisisbeheersingsoperatie rond de ramp besproken.
"Aan informanten is vertrouwelijkheid toegezegd, zodat zij zonder terughoudendheid kunnen verklaren", oordeelt de Afdeling bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State. "Het goed functioneren van het openbaar bestuur wordt geschaad als dat niet meer zou kunnen."
Volgens de Raad van State heeft Rutte in eerdere procedures veel documenten over de ramp verstrekt.
Het ministerie van Algemene Zaken weigerde eerder de documenten openbaar te maken, omdat dit de relatie van Nederland met andere landen zou kunnen schaden. Daarnaast zouden de stukken persoonlijke opvattingen van betrokkenen bevatten.
Rechter oordeelde in voordeel RTL NieuwsRTL Nieuws ging eerder in beroep bij de rechtbank Midden-Nederland en vervolgens werd het beroep van de nieuwsorganisatie in september 2017 gegrond verklaard.
Volgens de rechtbank moest de laatste zin van (C)(C)n van de verslagen van de ministerraad openbaar worden gemaakt, net als het gespreksverslag met de onderzoekers van de Universiteit Twente. Voor deze stukken is niet voldoende onderbouwd waarom die geheim moeten blijven, oordeelde de rechtbank destijds.
RTL Nieuws ging vervolgens in beroep, omdat de uitspraak niet ver genoeg zou gaan. Ook het ministerie ging in beroep.
De Raad van State heeft geoordeeld dat de eerdere gerechtelijke uitspraken over dit onderwerp moeten worden vernietigd. Pieter Klein van RTL Nieuws noemt het besluit "ongelooflijk frustrerend".
Vlucht MH17 van Malaysia Airlines vertrok op 17 juli 2014 vanaf Schiphol en werd neergeschoten boven oorlogsgebied in het oosten van Oekra¯ne. Alle inzittenden, onder wie 196 Nederlanders, kwamen om het leven.
DRC / Ebola
Regional bloc urges DR Congo unity govt, vote recount
There have been sporadic outbreaks of post-election violence in DR Congo since the disputed presidential vote (AFP Photo/CAROLINE THIRION)
Kinshasa (AFP) - An African regional bloc on Sunday called for a unity government in Democratic Republic of Congo following disputed presidential elections, while also urging a recount of the ballots.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) said political leaders should agree to a negotiated settlement after opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was declared winner of the December 30 poll, to widespread surprise.
Another opposition candidate and former oil executive, Martin Fayulu, had been seen as the clear frontrunner and has appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the result and have a recount.
It had been hoped that the vote to replace long-time President Joseph Kabila would see the first peaceful transition of power in DRC since independence from Belgium in 1960.
But sporadic outbreaks of post-election violence in the vast country -- roughly the same size as Western Europe -- has left observers concerned the unrest could escalate into a wider conflict.
The electoral commission CENI last Wednesday announced that Tshisekedi had won with 38.57 percent of the vote, while Fayulu came second with 34.8 percent.
Former interior minister Emmanuel Shadary -- Kabila's chosen successor -- came third.
The election, originally due in late 2016, finally went ahead after numerous delays despite organisational concerns, controversy over voting machines, insecurity and an Ebola outbreak.
- 'Build bridges' -
On Sunday, the SADC urged "all political leaders to consider a negotiated political settlement for an all-inclusive government" in the sprawling central African country.
Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the 16-member SADC, said such a move would "enhance public confidence, build bridges and reinforce democratic institutions of government and the electoral process for a better Congo".
Lungu has spoken to Tshisekedi and "other stakeholders within and outside of the DRC", the SADC said in a statement.
Noting "strong doubts" over the results voiced by DRC's powerful Roman Catholic Church -- which had deployed more than 40,000 poll monitors -- as well as Fayulu's camp and other observers, SADC said it "feels a recount would provide the necessary reassurance to both winners and losers".
SADC includes South Africa and Angola, which have economic interests in DRC.
- 'Kabila's stooge' -
Several Western governments have expressed concern about the results, with the United States calling for "clarification".
The European Union on Thursday said it was waiting for "the reactions of different observation missions that have observed the elections."
On Sunday, Fayulu attended a Protestant church and told his supporters that "the people have decided and the will of the people will be realised".
Parishioners greeted his words with an amen.
He has said that if Tshisekedi becomes president "he will be Mr. Kabila's stooge who will continue to pull the strings".
Analysts have said it was likely Kabila struck a deal with Tshisekedi to be declared the election winner.
Kabila has been in office for 18 years, taking over the presidency from his father after he was assassinated.
A long-running political crisis erupted two years ago when Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional term in office, sparking massive protests which were brutally repressed.
Insulin is a lifesaving drug, but it has become intolerably expensive. And the consequences can be tragic. - The Washington Post
A t first, it seemed like the stomach flu. Weeks before his 24th birthday in May 2015, Alec Raeshawn Smith was overcome by troubling symptoms. His body ached, his stomach hurt and he wasn't sleeping well. Laine Lu, a co-worker at his restaurant job, urged him to see a doctor. ''This is not normal,'' she recalls telling him. ''Go get checked out.'' His mother, Nicole Smith-Holt, worried too. He called her when he decided to go to a health clinic near Minneapolis. He said, ''Seriously, Mom, I think something is really wrong with me.''
Listen to this and other great stories from The Washington Post Magazine on the Curio app.The diagnosis was surprising: Type 1 diabetes. Alec's blood sugar levels were nearly twice the healthy limit. His family didn't have a history of diabetes, and lanky, 6-foot-3 Alec looked like the picture of health. At 23, he seemed too old for Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes because it often strikes children. But as Alec discovered, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune response that can appear at any age. It is not preventable, and there is no known cure.
At the clinic, a nurse practitioner discussed the potential complications of the chronic disease, including blindness, nerve damage, and kidney and heart problems, according to medical records. Alec came home with prescriptions for two kinds of insulin: One was long-acting; the other gave him short bursts before meals. He wrote on Facebook: ''Today a lot has changed. '... I would never wish this upon anybody. So whoever reads this take care of yourself.''
Even for his older sister, Brittany Smith, who is a nurse, the learning curve about Type 1 diabetes was steep. ''I didn't really have a handle on it,'' she says. Most of her diabetic patients had the far more common Type 2. Both types involve an imbalance of insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose levels. For Type 1 diabetics, the body produces little to no insulin. In Type 2, generally, the body has become resistant to insulin's effects. Not all Type 2 diabetics take insulin, but all Type 1 diabetics do. Alec would need a steady supply for the rest of his life.
What had been a carefree 20-something existence was now dominated by insulin injections, timing of doses and taking a blood sample four times a day to measure glucose levels. ''I know he'd get frustrated,'' Nicole says. Within three months, though, Alec had gotten his blood sugar under control. He maintained healthy levels as that first year wore on. He began dating Laine and worked as a manager at the restaurant where they'd met. Eventually, he moved out of his parents' home and into his own apartment on a tree-lined street near downtown Minneapolis.
In 2017, as his 26th birthday neared, his mother had a new worry: He would no longer be covered by her health insurance through her job in the financial aid department of a community college. Nicole paid about $100 per biweekly paycheck for a family plan, and it had not cost extra to include Alec. With it, she says, he initially had been paying about $200 to $300 a month out-of-pocket for his diabetic supplies and prescriptions, an amount he could just afford. The restaurant did not offer insurance, and his $35,000 salary put him above the income limit for Medicaid in Minnesota.
His mother helped him look for a health plan on the marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act, but his options were expensive. To keep going to the same doctors, she says, he was looking at paying about $450 monthly, in addition to a high deductible of more than $7,000, which would mean months of paying out-of-pocket for most of his medical care. He opted to go without insurance, forgoing that expense to focus on paying for his insulin and supplies until he could find a better option.
What Alec soon learned was just how much his insulin would end up costing: more than $1,000 a month. The price of insulin '-- once modest '-- has skyrocketed in recent years, making the lifesaving medication a significant, even burdensome, expense, especially for the uninsured and underinsured. The costs are so heavy that they have driven some patients to ration their supplies of the drug in a dangerous gamble with life-threatening consequences.
At the time Alec discussed skipping insurance coverage, he told his mother, ''It can't be that bad.'' Within a month of going off her policy, he would be dead.
Laine Lu, Alec Raeshawn Smith's girlfriend, had looked for prescription discounts for him; she eventually would find him dead in his apartment. (Caroline Yang for The Washington Post)
Erick Borrome shows a photo of his best friend. (Caroline Yang for The Washington Post)
Laine Lu, Alec Raeshawn Smith's girlfriend, had looked for prescription discounts for him; she eventually would find him dead in his apartment. Erick Borrome shows a photo of his best friend. (Photos by Caroline Yang for The Washington Post)
I nsulin, in its various manufactured forms, has been used to treat diabetes for almost a century, since Canadian researchers isolated the hormone in a lab in 1921. Before their discovery, what we now know as Type 1 diabetes was fatal. Even after being put on starvation diets, patients often lived no more than a few years. The researchers who transformed diabetes treatment won the Nobel Prize, and they sold their patent to the University of Toronto for a total of $3. ''Above all, these were discoverers who were trying to do a great humanitarian thing, and they hoped their discovery was a kind of gift to humanity,'' historian Michael Bliss told The Washington Post in 2016.
Soon, though, insulin became a commercial enterprise. By 1923, the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was manufacturing enough insulin for diabetics across North America. For decades, manufacturers improved formulas, first using animal parts, then producing human insulin using bacteria and recombinant DNA. The 1990s saw the advent of insulin analogs, synthetic drugs made to better mimic the body's own insulin production.
Today, critics argue that the price of insulin has far outpaced any innovations. In the past decade alone, U.S. insulin list prices have tripled, according to an analysis of data from IBM Watson Health. In 1996, when Eli Lilly debuted its Humalog brand of insulin, the list price of a 10-milliliter vial was $21. The price of the same vial is now $275. Those costs can be compounded by the multiple vials that diabetics may require to survive each month. ''It's a very big problem,'' says Robert Gabbay, chief medical officer at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. ''It's a tragic barrier to care.''
The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk. All three have raised list prices to similar levels. According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi's popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it's now $270. Novo Nordisk's Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it's $289.
In Washington, the soaring price of insulin has provoked bipartisan concern. Members of Congress are trying to parse the factors that have caused the spike. In November, a congressional caucus released a report on insulin, urging legislation aimed at lowering prices through increased competition and pricing transparency, among other recommendations. In June, the American Medical Association called on the government ''to monitor insulin pricing and market competition and take enforcement actions as appropriate.'' Insulin, in some ways, serves as a proxy for the rising prices across the U.S. prescription drug market. On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump railed against high drug prices, and his administration has vowed to lower them, releasing a flurry of proposals in the past year.
In the meantime, a portion of the more than 7'million diabetic Americans who take insulin are stuck with debilitating costs. Though most don't pay the full list price for insulin because of insurance coverage and other rebates, some do, especially those who are uninsured, underinsured or facing a coverage gap through Medicare. ''The most vulnerable patients are subsidizing the system,'' William Cefalu, the chief scientific, medical and mission officer of the American Diabetes Association, told a Senate committee in May.
''People should not have to pay significant high prices for accessing a treatment that keeps them well,'' says economist Rena Conti.
At the same hearing, a father from Maine told senators that a 90-day prescription for just one of his son's insulins would cost him $1,489.46. That's with his high-deductible insurance. He testified that he has taken to buying the same three-month supply from a Canadian pharmacy for about $300 plus $50 in shipping. (It's technically illegal to import medication from other countries, but the Food and Drug Administration generally doesn't prosecute individuals if it's a short-term supply for personal use.) He is not alone in his dilemma: The website GoFundMe has thousands of posts with people pleading for help to pay for insulin.
Patients who struggle to afford insulin sometimes ration their supply to make it last longer '-- a dangerous practice that can create disabling or deadly complications. ''It's very shortsighted to skimp on insulin,'' says Kasia Lipska, an endocrinologist and diabetes researcher at Yale School of Medicine. ''In the long term, it's going to cost us much more.'' Poor glycemic control can lead to blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart disease and stroke. In the short term, patients who stop taking enough insulin can lapse into diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition where blood sugars get too high and the body's blood becomes acidic. It can become fatal in just hours or a few days.
At the Yale Diabetes Center, Lipska and her colleagues recently found that one in four diabetic patients reported rationing insulin because of the cost. Very few of those patients were uninsured, but their out-of-pocket expenses still created a financial burden. These patients were also, not surprisingly, almost three times as likely to have poor blood sugar control as patients who didn't underuse insulin.
Alec's mother, Nicole Smith-Holt. Under her insurance, he initially had been paying about $200 to $300 a month for his supplies and prescriptions. Without insurance, he would pay more than $1,000 a month for insulin. (Caroline Yang for The Washington Post) D id Alec die because he was rationing? The answer may never be absolutely clear, but his family is convinced that he was skimping on his doses. He never told his loved ones that he was rationing because of the expense, but they knew that the disease and its cost wore on him. He had talked to his parents about searching for jobs that offered health insurance. Laine had scouted the Internet for prescription discounts. Alec vented to his best friend, Erick Borrome, whose wife, Arizbeth, offered to get him cheap insulin from a pharmacy in Mexico, where she had family and a vial cost roughly $50. She says: ''We had many conversations about the insulin and the cost. He was pretty worried about it.'' But, she adds, ''he was too shy to accept help.'' He never took her up on the offer.
Nicole got the call that Alec had died on a Tuesday. It was Laine who found him. She hadn't heard from him since Sunday night, so she went to his apartment to check on him. He was on the floor beside his bed. ''I grabbed his shoulder, and it was ice cold,'' Laine says. ''I just knew he was gone.''
Alec's funeral was held the day after the Fourth of July, his favorite holiday. Family and friends gathered at his parents' house in Richfield, a Minneapolis suburb, to shoot off fireworks in his memory. Those first few weeks were a blur, as Nicole tried in her grief to piece together the last days of Alec's life. The medical examiner had listed diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) as the cause of death. By definition, he had died of a lack of insulin, but why and how did that happen?
In speaking with Laine, Nicole learned that Alec had indicated he was running low on insulin before he died. That Sunday, Laine had suggested they go to a food truck festival, but she remembered Alec saying, ''No, I don't think I have enough insulin for that.'' That night, he was tired and complaining about abdominal pains. Hearing this, Nicole deduced that those symptoms may have been warning signs of DKA.
There were more clues: There was some healthy food in his fridge, but no stockpile of insulin. As Nicole cleaned out his cluttered blue car, littered with old prescription receipts, she started to cobble together just how much his insulin and blood sugar testing supplies cost without insurance or discounts. The total, by her count, was nearly $1,300 per month. That was roughly the same amount that Alec's local pharmacy tallied for me nearly a year later, using a list of his medications and medical supplies. ''It's very expensive to be diabetic without insurance,'' the pharmacist said. That $1,300 was almost $200 more than Alec's biweekly paycheck.
Nicole now believes that Alec was rationing his insulin because of the cost. ''Based upon what he had left when he was found, we came to the conclusion that he had not filled his prescription, so he had to have been rationing for a short period of time,'' Nicole told me. ''We realized that he had been taking less insulin and less often than he should, trying to make it stretch until he got his next paycheck.'' He was found dead three days before payday.
No one can truly know what happened in those final days. Alec may not have realized that his condition was so serious, or perhaps he thought he would be fine, just as he had been when he was diagnosed. DKA creates confusion as it progresses, and it can progress quickly, shutting down vital organs.
''If I could go back in time,'' Nicole says, ''I would have found a way for him to not move out '... so I could monitor this or see that he was struggling in some kind of way, and force him to take our help.'' One afternoon, sitting at their dining room table, her husband, James Holt, recalled encouraging Alec to get his own place. ''I think back and regret that,'' he said, wiping away tears.
In their search for answers, there was enough blame to go around. His family blamed the broken health-care system. They blamed unaffordable insurance and high out-of-pocket costs. They blamed a lot of things, including, in darker moments, themselves. But they kept coming back to the price of insulin. Why was a treatment that had been around for nearly 100 years so expensive? And what could be done about it?
(Edmon de Haro for The Washington Post) N icole hadn't known much about the world of diabetes advocacy before Alec died. But now she felt a budding activism as she encountered a flood of information and stories like her own online.
Advocates were rallying around the hashtag #insulin4all, which the nonprofit organization T1International helped create in 2014 to raise awareness about the inaccessibility of insulin, particularly in developing countries. T1International's founder, Elizabeth Pfiester, an American Type 1 diabetic who now lives in the United Kingdom, still marvels at how much more affordable diabetes care is in her adopted country. ''It's really a shame that #insulin4all is needed as a rallying cry in the U.S.,'' she says.
There are T1International activists like Hattie Saltzman, a college student in Missouri who went a year without buying insulin because she couldn't afford her monthly $550 insulin bill. Her father shared some of his insulin, and she got free samples from her doctor. At one point, she told me, ''I had rationed insulin so extensively that it expired. I didn't catch that until I went to the ER because my blood sugars were through the roof.'' When the diabetic daughter of family friends died of cystic fibrosis, the family donated her leftover insulin to Saltzman. That got her through the year until she qualified for better insurance coverage.
There are new cases all the time. In July, Long Island resident Doreen Rudolph tweeted about her young adult daughter's struggle to afford insulin: ''I just bought 2 vials of insulin for my daughter cost me $524. With a discount card. All I could buy. I left the pharmacy and sat in my car and cried.'' Her message struck a chord: Within five days, her tweet had been liked 70,000 times, and her $8,000 GoFundMe campaign was fully funded. To buy insulin, Rudolph told me, ''We've taken out loans. We've borrowed from retirement. You think, 'Where else can I get it?''''
A pharmacist and a number of physicians told me about older insulins available from Walmart. The type of insulin first came out in the 1980s and now costs about $25 per vial. So-called ''Walmart insulin'' is a controversial solution for Type 1 diabetics, many of whom believe that older formulas are more likely to lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. A few doctors echoed that concern. Yet it could still save lives. ''It's very good insulin,'' one physician told me. Another said, ''It's obviously better than nothing.'' Researchers have found that these older insulins work just as well for Type 2 diabetics as pricier analog insulins, but some research shows a slightly better outcome for Type 1 diabetics on newer formulas.
Many diabetics continue to hunt for coupons and discounts on high-priced insulins. Some doctors will give out samples to struggling patients. The constant search for more insulin can become all-consuming. ''I think about it when I wake up. I think about it when I go to bed,'' says Michelle Fenner, an #insulin4all activist whose diabetic son is 17. She worries about what will happen when he is a young adult and on his own. ''There is no way he can pay what I do,'' she says.
Eli Lilly, which hasn't raised its insulin prices since May 2017, declines to discuss its pricing strategies in general. Asked for comment, it offered a statement: ''Some people pay too much for insulin at the pharmacy, and there are several reasons '-- including high deductible insurance plans that require people to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills before coverage is triggered. We're focused on finding solutions to the problem.''
In August, the company started the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center, a help line to ''assist people who need help paying for their insulin.'' Fenner said a coupon she received from the help line dropped the monthly cost of one of her son's insulins from $900 to $95. It's an incredible boon, but she already worries how long Eli Lilly will keep the savings going. According to the American Diabetes Association, these kinds of measures are just a stopgap: The organization's June 2018 report concluded that corporate patient assistance programs are ''not deemed to be a long-term or comprehensive answer to the rising cost of insulin for the vast majority of people with diabetes.'' Several people, including Fenner, described insulin as being like oxygen: Scavenging for it invokes a primal fear, like the gasp you make just before you run out of air.
Alec's sisters Brittany Smith, left, and Alexis Holt look at old family photos. (Caroline Yang for The Washington Post)
Erick Borrome, whose wife, Arizbeth, offered to get Alec cheap insulin (about $50 per vial) from Mexico. (Caroline Yang for The Washington Post)
Alec's sisters Brittany Smith, left, and Alexis Holt look at old family photos; Erick Borrome, whose wife, Arizbeth, offered to get Alec cheap insulin (about $50 per vial) from Mexico. (Photos by Caroline Yang for The Washington Post)
I n early May, 10 months after Alec died, Nicole flew to Indianapolis to attend a shareholder meeting at Eli Lilly headquarters. Her trip had been coordinated in part by T1International. Before the meeting, a small band of activists gathered outside. One held a neon-pink poster that read: ''Your insulin is a life saver. Your prices are poison.''
Camera crews set up on a street corner. For more than half an hour, Nicole answered the same questions from reporters. Why are you here? What do you want from Eli Lilly? She told them she was there for Alec. ''I feel like I am leaving a legacy for him,'' she said. ''That's what is really important to me. I don't want any other person to die the way that he did. If I can prevent it, that's what I'm here to do.''
Nicole wanted pharmaceutical companies to start by being more transparent about their prices '-- to disclose how much it costs to manufacture a vial of insulin and what the profit margin on each vial is. Ultimately, she wanted them to reduce the price. ''They're going to tell you it's complicated or they can't share that information with you,'' she said to a reporter. ''It's not all that complicated. They're choosing to make it complicated. It's just plain greed.''
The rising prices from Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk have raised suspicions. The companies appear to have increased them in lockstep over a number of years, prompting allegations of price fixing. All three companies denied these charges when I contacted them. (In 2010, Mexico fined Eli Lilly and three Mexican companies for price collusion on insulin, an allegation Eli Lilly also denied.) In the United States, a federal prosecutor and at least five state attorneys general are currently investigating the companies' pricing practices, according to Kaiser Health News. In October, Minnesota became the first state to sue the companies over insulin prices. And in January 2017, potential class-action lawsuits alleging price fixing by the three companies began making their way through the courts on behalf of diabetics. The companies denied the suits' allegations.
There is also another, less known corporate entity in the mix: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which include Express Scripts, OptumRx and CVS Health; all are now named in lawsuits on high insulin prices, but these companies also deny any wrongdoing. PBMs manage the prescription drug benefits that are part of insurance plans, working with pharmaceutical companies to negotiate discounts on behalf of insurance providers. ''Every time a PBM extracts a deeper discount, an insulin manufacturer has the incentive to take a price increase to quote 'make themselves whole,'''' says Rena Conti, a health economist at Boston University. That's probably one reason why, even as Eli Lilly's list price for Humalog insulin has increased by 175 percent since 2009, the company maintains that its net price '-- the amount the company earns after rebates, discounts and fees '-- has remained steady.
Both drug companies and PBMs play a role in escalating drug prices. ''It's almost like Kabuki theater where one guy points to the other guy and says, 'It's not me, it's him,'''' says Jing Luo, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital who studies insulin pricing.
These corporate entities are powerful special interests. In 2017, the pharmaceutical and health product industry '-- which includes drug companies and PBMs '-- spent nearly $280 million on lobbying, the biggest spender by far of 20 top industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Even some patient advocacy organizations, like the American Diabetes Association, receive millions in funding from pharmaceutical companies. The industry also has a revolving door to government. Alex Azar, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, was the president of Eli Lilly's U.S. division until 2017. Under his watch, the price of the company's analog insulin doubled. Now he is tasked with overseeing the government's plan to lower those same prices.
At Eli Lilly, Nicole met with Mike Mason, the vice president of U.S. Lilly's diabetes division. The company declined to make Mason available for an interview for this article, but Nicole says he seemed compassionate. She held a photo of Alec during the meeting and placed it on the table in front of her while she read a statement. ''Profits should never come before the lives of people,'' she told Mason and the other representatives in the room, before asking them to remember her family's grief. She struggled to maintain her composure, she told me later, but when she brought up ''corporate greed'' with Mason, she says, ''I stopped and looked him dead in the face. He looked away.''
''We've taken out loans. We've borrowed from retirement. You think, 'Where else can I get it?' '' says Doreen Rudolph of the struggle to afford insulin for her daughter.
O n May 11, four days after Nicole's trip to Eli Lilly, President Trump and Azar stood in the White House Rose Garden to unveil ''American Patients First,'' the administration's ''blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs.'' The president told the crowd, ''We will have tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. And it will start to take effect very soon.''
The blueprint includes more than 50 proposals. ''There is not a single silver bullet that's going to reduce drug prices across the board,'' says Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor and drug-pricing researcher who is a colleague of Luo's at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Some of the proposals are nonstarters, he argues, such as punishing other countries for the low prices they pay on drugs. (Americans pay more for drugs than any other nationality, but the governments of many other developed countries regulate drug prices, which keeps them lower.) ''A better solution would be to focus on what makes our pharmaceutical market inefficient,'' Kesselheim says. ''Focusing on this concept of foreign freeloading is, I think, a political distraction.''
For Conti, the Boston University economist, the administration's blueprint doesn't go far enough in addressing insurers. To guarantee that ''real people pay lower prices'' at the pharmacy, the first thing she would do is eliminate insurance plans that allow large out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs '-- including the kind of high-deductible plan that Alec opted not to take. ''It's insurance principles 101,'' Conti says. ''People should not have to pay significant high prices for accessing a treatment that keeps them well.''
The blueprint overall is just that: a starting framework. One promising idea calls for increased pricing transparency, a popular idea among insulin-access activists that has also been gaining ground in state legislatures. The blueprint also recommends bringing more generic drugs onto the market. Right now, the United States has two relatively new ''follow-on'' insulins, which are similar to generics, but they are only marginally cheaper. Some experts say more competition is needed to lower prices. In December, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a statement on policies that will put more generics on the U.S. market, including for insulin starting in 2020, as part of a transition that was written into the Affordable Care Act. ''We've heard frequent reports of patients rationing insulin, and in some cases dying because they can't afford the injections they need to survive,'' the statement read. ''These tragic stories aren't isolated occurrences. And they're not acceptable for a drug that's nearly a century old.''
Trump has said that drug companies are ''getting away with murder,'' and he has singled them out on Twitter, but some experts say his administration's blueprint takes a harder line on PBMs than it does on pharmaceutical companies. And though Trump pledged in late May that drug manufacturers would lower their prices '-- and a few voluntarily did so '-- none lowered the price of insulin. In July, Novo Nordisk raised its list prices on two insulins another 5 percent.
Alec's family, from left: Alexis Holt, James Holt, Nicole Smith-Holt, Brittany Smith and Jamisen Holt at their home in Richfield, Minn. Nicole Smith-Holt is working to get drug manufacturers to lower the price of insulin. (Caroline Yang for The Washington Post) M ay through July would bring some of the hardest days, but Nicole and James pressed on, hosting a rally for affordable insulin at the Minnesota state Capitol. Their story reached the ears of lawmakers: In the state legislature, the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act was introduced to provide insulin to those in need. It didn't come up for a vote, but they laminated a copy of the bill's text anyway.
On her first Mother's Day without Alec, Nicole spent hours planting a memorial garden in a corner of her yard. A week later, on May 20, the family invited loved ones over to visit the space and commemorate Alec's first ''heavenly birthday.'' Brittany had driven a half-hour across the Wisconsin state line to buy fireworks. In the kitchen, there were hamburgers and hot dogs waiting. There was even a cake: store-bought with thick white frosting '-- the kind a diabetic might be told to avoid. In green letters, it read: ''Forever 26.''
The long Minnesota winter had given way to one of those perfect days, 70 degrees and sunny. James fired up the grill, and music piped through speakers. The Borromes arrived, and so did Laine, who dabbed her eyes with a napkin as they shared stories about Alec.
For Nicole, it was too much at times. When she needed to, she retreated from the 40 people gathered and smoked a Newport alone on the deck. When James escorted a group of Alec's friends over to the garden, where they sprinkled some of Alec's ashes, Nicole backed away from the huddle, saying, ''I can't do this.'' Some days, she told me later, ''it's all a lot.''
Alec would continue to be the face of a growing movement. In a few weeks, a letter from Nicole would be read at a conference in Washington about making prescription medicine affordable. In June, during a hearing on rising drug prices with Azar, Democratic Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota would invoke Nicole: ''Her son Alec passed away last year because he couldn't afford his insulin,'' she told Azar. Later in the summer, Democratic senators would invite the family to Washington to share their story.
There would be plenty of time for more activism, but today was meant for those who knew Alec best. At dusk, Brittany handed out sparklers and Roman candles, and the crowd gathered in a circle on the grass. They launched the fireworks into big bursts of yellow and green, with sparks and ash raining down over the yard. It had been a hard day, but it was still a party. Nicole stood on the deck to record the scene on a cellphone as friends and family called out: ''Happy birthday, Alec!'' ''We love you!'' ''We miss you.'' Everyone stared up at the sky, watching until the last flare burned out.
Tiffany Stanley is a writer in Washington.
South Korea Stops Referring to North Korea as 'Enemy' in Defense Reports
After a year of fruitful diplomatic engagement, South Korea made a noteworthy change in their biennial defense report, which no longer refers to North Korea as an ''enemy'' of any kind.South Korean reports have long made a point to call the north an enemy, and since 1995 it was always ''the main enemy.'' Starting with engagement at last year's Winter Olympics, however, times have changed.
Successful summits and a series of lower-level meetings have greatly reduced tensions along the demilitarized zone, and both Koreas are looking to further improve on the process, with an eye toward a peace deal ending the generations-long war.
Though not calling them an enemy may seem like a small change, the South Koreans have long made a point of this being a key gauge of their sentiment toward North Korea. For now, at least, things look promising.
Last 5 posts by Jason DitzUN: Yemen's Warring Parties Refuse to Meet for Hodeidah Talks - January 14th, 2019Trump Administration Denies Trying to Start Negotiations With Iran - January 14th, 2019Pentagon Officials Fear Bolton's Actions Could Provoke War With Iran - January 14th, 2019Reassuring Allies, Bolton and Pompeo Undermine Trump's Syria Pullout Plans - January 14th, 2019Turkey Dismisses Trump's Economic Threats Over Syria Kurds - January 14th, 2019
Arizona Foster Care System Revealed as Pedophile Ring: Former Foster Child Tortured for Years Sues for $15 Million
David Frodsham, an Arizona foster parent for over 12 years, was arrested and convicted for operating a pornographic pedophile ring based out of his state-approved foster home.
WARNING! Graphic content '' not suitable for younger readers!by Brian ShilhavyEditor, Health Impact News
The state of Arizona, which has the infamous reputation of removing the highest percentage of children in the U.S. from their homes and families through Child Protective Services, has now also been exposed as having a very corrupt foster care network that includes pedophile rings where young children are imprisoned in state-approved foster homes and trafficked to pedophiles.
In a developing story based out of the military town of Sierra Vista, Arizona, the home of Fort Huachuca, David Frodsham, a former commander with the Department of Defense in Afghanistan who was discharged from duty due to ''sexual harassment'' behavior and an assessment by the military that he had an unalterable personality disorder, has been arrested and convicted of operating a pornographic pedophile ring based out of his state-approved foster home.
Health Impact News first reported on the charges brought against David Frodsham and his wife who were state-approved foster parents last year (2017) with the story of the young child Devani, who was seized from her family just days before her second birthday and placed into the Frodshams' state-approved foster home where she was allegedly raped repeatedly and trafficked as part of an organized pornographic pedophile ring. After David Frodsham was arrested due to a federal investigation, Devani was placed into another state-approved foster home where 80% of her body was burned by scalding water, forcing the amputation of her toes. See:
Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring '' Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her BodyLocal news in Arizona covered this story, but Health Impact News reached out to the biological mother of Devani and told her side of the story, revealing that Devani never should have been taken out of her home in the first place, where she was loved by her mother, who repeatedly tried to report the abuse she was seeing in her daughter, with no results. See:
Arizona Child Removed from Loving Family and Placed into Foster Care Where She was Repeatedly Raped '' then 80% of Body BurnedNow, another foster child who was adopted by the Frodshams and put into their pornographic pedophile ring has turned 18 and come forward to reveal details of years of horrible torture and sexual trafficking while suing the state of Arizona for damages of $15 million.
Arizona Sued for Approving Foster Home Operating a Pornographic Pedophile RingReferred to as ''John Doe'' to protect his identity, the former foster child imprisoned and tortued in the Frodshams' foster home has filed a ''Notice of Claim'' for damages of $15 million and served it to the following parties:
Mark Brnovich '' Attorney General '' State of ArizonaGregory McKay '' Director Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS)Michael Trailor '' Director Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES)Deb Nishikida '' Director, Sierra Vista Office Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES)Noemi Ochoa '' Licensing Worker Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES)James Robinson '' Manager Arizona Department of Economic Securityamong othersThe lawsuit specifies the basis for the claim against the state of Arizona:
John Doe is a victim of the State of Arizona's failed child protection practices and policies.
John Doe, who is now 18 years old, suffered over 12 years of shocking physical and sexual abuse because of the State's refusal to protect him.
John Doe was born in September of 1999 and before his fourth birthday was placed in foster care. The Frodshams were approved by the State to have John Doe in their home in 2004 and John Doe was subsequently adopted by David and Barbara Frodsham in 2012.
The Frodshams were licensed foster parents with the State of Arizona from 2002 to January 2015. The Frodsham license was not suspended until David Frodsham was arrested at the DES office for felony drunk driving with toddlers in the vehicle.
The State and its employees ignored actual notice of the abuse of John Doe and numerous warning signs that the Frodsham home was dangerous.
The State did not remove John Doe until ICE, a federal agency within the Department of Homeland Security, arrested David Frodsham for operating a pornographic pedophile ring based in the home. ICE identified John Doe as a victim of Frodsham's pedophilia.
John Doe suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse for over 12 years in this home, despite numerous red flags of abuse and neglect. This abuse was no secret to CPS/DCS and well documented yet no investigations were undertaken. (Emphasis added.)
Some of the abuses suffered by this young boy as claimed in the lawsuit are shocking, as the U.S. public today is largely unaware of such abuses in the foster care system, and that these activities are actually funded by American taxpayers:
David Frodsham utilized the State of Arizona and the foster care system to funnel innocent, vulnerable children into his home, so he could run a pedophile ring.
John Doe was sexually and physically abused by David Frodsham countless times both inside and outside the home while Frodsham's wife, Barbara witnessed this abuse, and physically abused John Doe herself.
Mr. Frodsham also acted as John Doe's pimp, prostituting John Doe to other men, for their sexual enjoyment, and for money for himself.
Frodsham often participated in these sexual meetups. Frodsham helped enable a network of pedophiles in the Sierra Vista area and these men participated in further sexual abuse against John Doe.
State of Arizona Responsible for Torture, Sexual Abuse and Trafficking by Licensing Pedophiles to Become Foster and Adoptive ParentsAccording to the lawsuit, David Frodsham never should have been approved as a foster parent, as his deviant sexual behavior was well documented, and caused him to be released from duty in Afghanistan, where he served as a deputy commander with the Department of Defense.
From the lawsuit:
There was additional information about David Frodsham that indicated he was an unsuitable foster parent, much less an adoptive parent.
David Frodsham was assigned as a deputy commander with the Department of Defense in Afghanistan. He only served for a brief period, as he was kicked out and released from duty, and told he could not return because of his ''sexual harassment'' behavior and an assessment by the military that he had an unalterable personality disorder.
For a deputy commander to be removed from duty in Afghanistan and told never to return for service is glaring evidence that David had negative personality qualities which could easily make him an unfit parent.
The military investigated his behavior and upheld the inappropriate sexual behavior findings. The investigator stated,
''I recommend the unit keep Mr. Frodsham resigned out of BSG permanently. Bringing him back to the unit will only cause further tensions. The ability of Mr. Frodsham to be rehabilitated is completely up to him. I believe this inappropriate conduct has been part of Mr. Frodsham's personality for some time.''
''The Army has articulated its zero-tolerance policy. I am convinced that Mr. Frodsham is aware of what constitutes sexual harassment, because he previously held a position in Equal Opportunity, as he stated in his interview. Still he chose to violate said policy.''
''I recommend making this misconduct an official matter of record and take disciplinary action under Chapter 75 of Title 5/AFI 36-704 Discipline and Adverse Actions. I recommend the command administratively punish Mr. Frodsham with reprimand and refer member to home unit.''
A review of these records by a psychologist who does assessments of sex offenders in the military believes that the coded language of the discharge indicates the underlying reason for his removal was sexual abuse of boys in Afghanistan.
As we have reported so often here at Health Impact News, parents today can lose their children to the state for a variety of reasons under the blanket term of ''neglect'' and not abuse, such as disagreeing with doctors, refusing vaccines, not feeding their children according to USDA dietary guidelines, having a dirty house, allowing children to go outside without shoes, etc.
But foster parents who are bringing in federal funds to the state get away with REAL abuse, and this poor foster child highlights this same injustice in the system in the lawsuit:
If the Frodshams were the biological parents of John Doe, he would have been removed based on these complaints and allegations, and placed in a group home. Instead, the State left John Doe in the foster/adoptive home, and the Frodshams received a monthly stipend from the State to abuse him.
Is the Federal Investigation into the Frodsham Arizona Pornographic Pedophile Ring Part of a Federal Investigation of Pedophiles in the Military?Fort Huachuca Army base in Arizona.
A recent New York Times article reported about the problem of pedophiles and the American military in Afghanistan:
Afghan Pedophiles Get Free Pass From U.S. Military, Report SaysThe Times article references a just-released report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which was commissioned under the Obama administration, and was considered so explosive that it was originally marked ''Secret/No Foreign,'' with the recommendation that it remain classified until June 9, 2042.
A heavily redacted version was released to the public in January (2018).
Someone is apparently putting pressure on the military to expose the widespread practice of bacha bazi, or ''boy play,'' in which some Afghan commanders keep underage boys as sex slaves.
From the New York Times article:
Sigar said it had opened an investigation into bacha bazi at the request of Congress and in response to a 2015 New York Times article that described the practice as ''rampant.'' The article said that American soldiers who complained had their careers ruined by their superiors, who had encouraged them to ignore the practice.
A former Special Forces officer, Capt. Dan Quinn, who beat up an Afghan commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave, said at the time that he had been relieved of his command as a result. ''We were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did,'' said Captain Quinn, who has left the military.
Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a highly decorated Green Beret, was forced out of the military after beating up an Afghan local police commander in Kunduz who was a child rapist. Sergeant Martland became incensed after the Afghan commander abducted the boy, raped him, then beat up the boy's mother when she tried to rescue him. Congressional inquiries apparently led to Sergeant Martland's reinstatement.
Read the full article at the New York Times.
Arizona DCS Knew About Abuses and Torture but Did NothingEven apart from Frodsham's military past in Afghanistan, the state of Arizona apparently had plenty of evidence that Frodsham was not suitable as a foster parent but continued to license him and his wife anyway, allowing them to foster and adopt children who were tortured and trafficked.
The lawsuit documents many of the abuses and provides evidence that Arizona DCS knew about some of these atrocities:
Barbara Frodsham neglected John Doe terribly, and physically and emotionally abused him as well. Barbara knew the sexual abuse was occurring, at times walking in the room as it was happening, yet took no steps to stop it. Mrs. Frodsham routinely beat John Doe and blamed him for the abuse heaped on him.
Barbara did not buy John Doe clothes or feed him, and screamed at him every time he tried to complain or protect himself, often beating him viciously. It was obvious to all, including the State DCS employees that Barbara Frodsham hated John Doe.
The Frodshams forced John Doe to live outside much of the time. While they went to work they locked John Doe out of their home and left him with a bike to travel to a convenience store to use the restroom.
This neglect and abuse was documented by the State and its employees. The foster and other children, including John Doe, were forced to eat hot sauce as punishment, handcuffed to the bed all night, locked outside the home, and locked in closets.
John Doe and the other boys were beaten with fists, brooms, belts and other objects to the extent that medical care was frequently required.
CPS/DCS did not investigate this physical abuse. CPS/DCS just turned a blind eye, and the abuse continued unabated.
The State had access to over thirty-eight police reports from the Frodsham household, from 2002 to early 2016, (all prior to the arrest of David Frodsham for sex abuse). The State should have reviewed these as part of their licensing process of the foster/adoptive parent program.
John Doe complained to CPS/DPS over sixteen times and nothing was done. Even more shocking, there were at least 10 abuse and neglect complaints documented by CPS/DCS between 2002 to 2015.
Arizona Child Sex Trafficking: How Can this be Allowed to Continue to Happen in the U.S.?MedicalKidnap.com is a website started by Health Impact News in 2014, due to the sheer volume of parents who were contacting us explaining how their children were medically kidnapped, often for simply disagreeing with a doctor, or wanting to seek a second opinion.
Most of the early stories we covered were all coming out of Arizona, and it was clear to us early on that something was not right in Arizona. Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recognized that the problems within CPS were too large to ignore, and early in 2014 she abolished the entire department and replaced it with a new Division of Child Safety and Family Services.
But one would be hard pressed to find anyone today who believes that the new division is any better than the old department of CPS.
As editor of Health Impact News, I began assigning investigative reporters to find out why so many children nationwide were being ripped away from their families. We uncovered many reasons why this is happening today, from enrolling children into drug trials that could not happen under the custody of their parents (see: Medical Kidnapping in the U.S. '' Kidnapping Children for Drug Trials), to the rise of a new pediatric sub-specialty of ''Child Abuse Specialist'' that created a new profession where finding abuse was required to justify one's job (see: Are New Pediatric ''Child Abuse Specialists'' Causing an Increase in Medical Kidnappings?)
We exposed the problems in the modern foster care system where states need to meet quotas of children put into foster care to receive federal funding. See:
Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by TaxpayersThe U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child TraffickingHowever, one of the worst reasons we were hearing about as to why so many children were being taken away from loving families and put into foster care was because the U.S. pedophile child sex trafficking business is so lucrative, that it allegedly makes more money than the illegal drug trade, and illegal arms trade, combined.
But we quickly learned that this topic was off limits to the media, as no one was willing to come forward and expose it, due to fear of reprisal, as the whole child sex trafficking allegedly extends to the very wealthy and powerful forces in the U.S. politics.
Hence, most of these henious crimes being committed against children are largely done in secret, without public knowledge.
This case in Arizona is one of the first ones where federal investigators have actually stepped in and done something about child sex trafficking through the U.S. foster care system.
Some have told me privately that President Trump's executive order implemented on December 21, 2017 was put in place to go after these pedophile networks that extend around the world.
Is this true? We certainly hope so!
But only time will tell if this horrendous network will finally be exposed, or if this incident in Arizona is simply a token scapegoat to try and address the problem while the main network continues on with ''business as usual.''
Everything documented in this case is a direct violation of basic human rights, especially as was spelled out in the Nuremberg trials after World War II and the atrocities committed in then Nazi Germany.
How can this be happening today in the United States? How can we be talking about ''making America great again'' when this kind of child sex trafficking is happening right here in our own borders?
Please do not think that what is happening in Arizona is an exception or isolated problem. This huge evil injustice being committed against American children exists in probably every state in the U.S.
America has lost its way. This is no longer the land of ''liberty and justice for all.'' Spiritually and morally we have lost our way.
If you know people who are skeptical and cannot believe that medical kidnapping happens in the U.S. today, this is the book for them! Backed with solid references and real life examples, they will not be able to deny the plain evidence before them, and will become better educated on this topic that is destroying the American family.
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What are the basic underpinnings of a federal grand jury? In the excerpt from the National Constitution Center's Interactive Constitution, Paul Cassell and Kate Stith look at their origin as related to the Fifth Amendment.
The first part of the Fifth Amendment reads as follows: ''No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger '...''
Cassell, a University of Utah law professor, and Stith, from the Yale Law School, explained the presence of Grand Juries in the Constitution, in a common interpretation of the Fifth Amendment:
The first of the criminal procedure clauses requires that felony offenses in federal court be charged by grand jury indictment. (A grand jury is a panel of citizens that hears evidence that the prosecutor has against the accused, and decides if an ''indictment,'' or formal criminal charges, should be filed against them.)
This is one of only a few provisions of the Bill of Rights that the Supreme Court has not held to apply to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (the others being the Third Amendment's protection against quartering of soldiers, the Sixth Amendment's requirement of trial in the district where the crime was committed, the Seventh Amendment's requirement of jury trial in certain civil cases, and possibly the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of excessive fines).
That the Court has been reluctant to apply the grand jury requirement to the states is unsurprising. While the origins of the grand jury are ancient'--an ancestor of the modern grand jury was included in the Magna Carta'--today, the United States is the only country in the world that uses grand juries. In addition to the federal government, about half the states provide for grand juries'--though in many of these there exist other ways of filing formal charges, such as a prosecutorial information followed by an adversarial but a relatively informal ''preliminary hearing'' before a judge (to make sure there is at least ''probable cause'' for the charge, the same standard of proof that a grand jury is told to apply). As early as 1884, the Supreme Court held that the grand jury is not a fundamental requirement of due process, and Justice Holmes' lone dissent from that judgment has been joined by only one Justice (Douglas) in the intervening years.
Recent scholarship has upset the previous understanding that the grand jury was from its inception venerated because it was not only a ''sword'' (accusing individuals of crimes) but also a ''shield'' (against oppressive or arbitrary authority). In its early incarnation in England, the grand jury was fundamentally an instrument of the crown, obliging unpaid citizens to help enforce the King's law. Over the centuries, the idea of a citizen check on royal prerogative became more valued. By the time of the framing of our Constitution, both the ''grand'' jury (from the French for large, in size'--today grand juries are often composed of 24 citizens), and the ''petit'' jury (from the French for small'--today criminal trial juries may be composed of as few as six citizens) were understood, in both Britain and the colonies, to be important bulwarks of freedom from tyranny.
Few in the modern era would espouse such a view. The former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals (that state's highest court) famously remarked in recent years that because prosecutors '--agents of the executive branch'--control what information a grand jury hears, any grand jury today would, if requested, ''indict a ham sandwich.'' While this is a useful exaggeration'--the Supreme Court has held that federal grand juries need not adhere to trial rules of evidence, or be told of evidence exculpating the defendant'--few prosecutors, fortunately, are interested in indicting ham sandwiches! Rather, the greatest advantage grand juries now provide (at least in federal courts, which are not as overburdened as state courts) is allowing the prosecutor to use the grand jury as a pre-trial ''focus group,'' learning which evidence or witnesses are especially convincing, or unconvincing.
At least in federal court, grand juries are here to stay. The institution is written into the Fifth Amendment too clearly to be ''interpreted'' away. Moreover, neither pro-law enforcement forces (for obvious reasons) nor allies of those accused (because occasionally grand juries do refuse to indict'--in the legal parlance, returning a ''no true bill'') have reason to urge their abolition through amendment of the Constitution.
You can read more from Cassell and Stith on the Fifth Amendment, and matters of debate from different perspectives, at our Interactive Constitution at: goo.gl/dsDFKb
A grand jury is a jury '' a group of citizens '' empowered by law to conduct legal proceedings and investigate potential criminal conduct, and determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may subpoena physical evidence or a person to testify. A grand jury is separate from the courts, which do not preside over its functioning.
The United States and Liberia are the only countries that retain grand juries, though other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most others now employ some other form of preliminary hearing. Grand juries perform both accusatory and investigatory functions. The investigatory functions of grand juries include obtaining and reviewing documents and other evidence, and hearing sworn testimonies of witnesses who appear before it; the accusatory function determines whether there is probable cause to believe that one or more persons committed a certain offence within the venue of a district court.
A grand jury in the United States is usually composed of 16 to 23 citizens, though in Virginia it has fewer members for regular or special grand juries. In Ireland, they also functioned as local government authorities. In Japan, the Law of July 12, 1948 created the Kensatsu Shinsakai (Prosecutorial Review Commission or PRC system), inspired by the American system.
The grand jury is so named because traditionally it has more jurors than a trial jury, sometimes called a petit jury (from the French word petit meaning "small").
Purpose [ edit ] The function of a grand jury is to accuse persons who may be guilty of an offense, but the institution is also a shield against unfounded and oppressive prosecution. It is a means for lay citizens, representative of the community, to participate in the administration of justice. It can also make presentments on crime and maladministration in its area. Traditionally, a grand jury numbers 23 members.
The mode of accusation is by a written statement in solemn form (indictment) describing the offense with proper accompaniments of time and circumstances, and certainty of act and person or by a mode less formal, which is usually the spontaneous act of the grand jury, called presentment. No indictment or presentment can be made except by concurrence of at least twelve of the jurors. The grand jury may accuse upon their own knowledge, but it is generally done upon the testimony of witnesses under oath and other evidence heard before them. The proceedings of grand jury are, in the first instance, at the instigation of the government or other prosecutor, and ex parte and in secret deliberation. The accused has no knowledge nor right to interfere with their proceedings.
If they find the accusation true, which is usually drawn up in form by the prosecutor or an officer of the court, they write upon the indictment the words "a true bill" which is signed by the foreman of the grand jury and presented to the court publicly in the presence of all the jurors. If the indictment is not proven to the satisfaction of the grand jury, the word "ignoramus"  or "not a true bill" is written upon it by the grand jury, or by their foreman and then said to be ignored, and the accusation is dismissed as unfounded. (The potential defendant is said to have been "no-billed" by the grand jury.) If the grand jury returns an indictment as a true bill ("billa vera"), the indictment is said to be founded and the party to stand indicted and required to be put on trial.
Origins [ edit ] The first instance of a grand jury can be traced back to the Assize of Clarendon in 1166, an Act of Henry II of England. Henry's chief impact on the development of the English monarchy was to increase the jurisdiction of the royal courts at the expense of the feudal courts. Itinerant justices on regular circuits were sent out once each year to enforce the "King's Peace". To make this system of royal criminal justice more effective, Henry employed the method of inquest used by William the Conqueror in the Domesday Book. In each shire, a body of important men was sworn (jur(C)) to report to the sheriff all crimes committed since the last session of the circuit court. Thus originated the more recent grand jury that presents information for an indictment. The grand jury was later recognized by King John in Magna Carta in 1215 on demand of the nobility.
The Grand Jury can be said to have "celebrated" its 800th birthday in 2015, because a precursor to the Grand Jury is defined in Article 61, the longest of the 63 articles of Magna Carta, also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Latin: "the Great Charter of Liberties") executed on 15 June 1215 by King John and by the Barons. The document was primarily composed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton (1150-1228). He and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro developed schemas for division of the Bible into chapters and it is the system of Archbishop Langton which prevailed. He was a Bible scholar, and the concept of the Grand Jury may possibly derive from Deuteronomy 25:1: "If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked." (King James Version) Thus the Grand Jury has been described as the "Shield and the Sword" of the People: as a "Shield for the People" from abusive indictments of the government- or malicious indictments of individuals- and as the "Sword of the People" to cut away crime by any private individual; or to cut away crime by any public servant, whether in the Judicial, Executive, or Legislative branches.
Notable cases [ edit ] On 2 July 1681, a popular statesman, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury was arrested on suspicion of high treason and committed to the Tower of London. He immediately petitioned the Old Bailey on a writ of habeas corpus, but the Old Bailey said it did not have jurisdiction over prisoners in the Tower of London, so Cooper had to wait for the next session of the Court of King's Bench. Cooper moved for a writ of habeas corpus on 24 October 1681, and his case finally came before a grand jury on 24 November 1681.
The government's case against Cooper was particularly weak '' the government admitted that most of the witnesses brought against Cooper had already perjured themselves, and the documentary evidence was inconclusive; and the jury was handpicked by the Whig Sheriff of London. For these reasons the government had little chance of securing a conviction, and on 13 February 1682 the case was dropped when the Grand Jury issued an ignoramus bill, rather than comply with the King's intent of a "True Bill", known as a Grand Jury Indictment.
The grand jury's theoretical function against abuse of executive power was seen during the Watergate crisis in America, in United States v. Nixon, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8 to 0 on 23 July 1974 (Justice William Rehnquist who had been appointed by Nixon recused himself from the case) that executive privilege applied only to the co-equal branches, the legislative and judicial, not to grand jury subpoenas, thus implying a grand jury constituted protections equaled to a "fourth branch of government". The second Watergate grand jury indicted seven lawyers in the White House, including former Attorney General John Mitchell and named President Nixon as a "secret, un-indicted, co-conspirator." Despite evading impeachment, Nixon was still required to testify before a grand jury.
Similarly, in 1998, President Clinton became the first sitting president required to testify before a grand jury as subject of an investigation by the Office of Independent Counsel. The testimony came after a four-year investigation into Clinton and his wife Hillary's alleged involvement in several scandals including Whitewater and the Rose Law Firm. Revelations from the investigation sparked a battle in Congress over whether or not to impeach Clinton.
By jurisdiction [ edit ] England and Wales [ edit ] The sheriff of every county was required to return to every quarter sessions and assizes (or more precisely the commission of oyer and terminer and of gaol delivery), 24 men of the county "to inquire into, present, do and execute all those things which, on the part of our Lord the King (or our Lady the Queen), shall then be commanded them". Grand jurors at the assizes or at the borough quarter sessions did not have property qualifications; but, at the county quarter sessions, they had the same property qualification as petty jurors. However, at the assizes, the grand jury generally consisted of gentlemen of high standing in the county.
After the court was opened by the crier making proclamation, the names of those summoned to the grand jury were called and they were sworn. They numbered at least 14 and not more than 23. The person presiding (the judge at the assizes, the chairman at the county sessions, the recorder at the borough sessions) gave the charge to the grand jury, i.e. he directed their attention to points in the various cases about to be considered which required explanation.
The charge having been delivered, the grand jury withdrew to their own room, having received the bills of indictment. The witnesses whose names were endorsed on each bill were sworn as they came to be examined, in the grand jury room, the oath being administered by the foreman, who wrote his initials against the name of the witness on the back of the bill. Only the witnesses for the prosecution were examined, as the function of the grand jury was merely to inquire whether there was sufficient ground to put the accused on trial. If the majority of them (and at least 12) thought that the evidence so adduced made out a sufficient case, the words "a true bill" were endorsed on the back of the bill. If they were of the opposite opinion, the phrase "not a true bill", or the single Latin word ignoramus ("we do not know" or "we are ignorant (of)"), was endorsed instead and the bill was said to be "ignored" or thrown out. They could find a true bill as to the charge in one count, and ignore that in another; or as to one defendant and not as to another; but they could not, like a petty jury, return a special or conditional finding, or select part of a count as true and reject the other part. When some bills were "found", some of the jurors came out and handed the bills to the clerk of arraigns (in assizes) or clerk of the peace, who announced to the court the name of the prisoner, the charge, and the endorsements of the grand jury. They then retired and considered other bills until all were disposed of; after which they were discharged by the judge, chairman, or recorder.
If a bill was thrown out, although it could not again be preferred to the grand jury during the same assizes or sessions, it could be preferred at subsequent assizes or sessions, but not in respect of the same offence if a petty jury had returned a verdict.
Ordinarily, bills of indictment were preferred after there had been an examination before the magistrates. But this need not always take place. With certain exceptions, any person could prefer a bill of indictment against another before the grand jury without any previous inquiry into the truth of the accusation before a magistrate. This right was at one time universal and was often abused. A substantial check was put on this abuse by the Vexatious Indictments Act 1859. This Act provided that for certain offences which it listed (perjury, libel, etc.), the person presenting such an indictment must be bound by recognizance to prosecute or give evidence against the accused, or alternatively had judicial permission (as specified) so to do.
If an indictment was found in the absence of the accused, and he/she was not in custody and had not been bound over to appear at assizes or sessions, then process was issued to bring that person into court, as it is contrary to the English law to "try" an indictment in the absence of the accused.
The grand jury's functions were gradually made redundant by the development of committal proceedings in magistrates' courts from 1848 onward when the (three) Jervis Acts, such as the Justices Protection Act 1848, codified and greatly expanded the functions of magistrates in pre-trial proceedings; these proceedings developed into almost a repeat of the trial itself. In 1933 the grand jury ceased to function in England, under the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933 and was entirely abolished in 1948, when a clause from 1933 saving grand juries for offences relating to officials abroad was repealed by the Criminal Justice Act 1948.
Scotland [ edit ] The grand jury was introduced in Scotland, solely for high treason, a year after the union with England, by the Treason Act 1708, an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. Section III of the Act required the Scottish courts to try cases of treason and misprision of treason according to English rules of procedure and evidence. This rule was repealed in 1945.
The first Scottish grand jury under this Act met at Edinburgh on 10 October 1748 to take cognisance of the charges against such rebels as had not surrendered, following the Jacobite rising of 1745.
An account of its first use in Scotland illustrates the institution's characteristics. It consisted of 23 good and lawful men, chosen out of 48 who were summoned: 24 from the county of Edinburgh (Midlothian), 12 from Haddington (East Lothian) and 12 from Linlithgow (West Lothian). The court consisted of three judges from the High Court of Justiciary (Scotland's highest criminal court), of whom Tinwald (Justice Clerk) was elected preses (presiding member). Subpoenas under the seal of the court and signed by the clerk were executed on a great number of persons in different shires, requiring them to appear as witnesses under the penalty of £100 each. The preses named Sir John Inglis of Cramond as Foreman of the Grand Jury, who was sworn first in the English manner by kissing the book; the others followed three at a time; after which Lord Tinwald, addressing the jurors, informed them that the power His Majesty's advocate possessed before the union, of prosecuting any person for high treason, who appeared guilty on a precognition taken of the facts, being now done away, power was lodged with them, a grand jury, 12 of whom behoved to concur before a true bill could be found. An indictment was then preferred in court and the witnesses endorsed on it were called over and sworn; on which the jury retired to the exchequer chambers and the witnesses were conducted to a room near it, whence they were called to be examined separately. Two solicitors for the crown were present at the examination but no-one else; and after they had finished and the sense of the jury was collected, the indictment was returned a "true bill", if the charges were found proved, or "ignoramus" if doubtful. The proceedings continued for a week, in which time, out of 55 bills, 42 were sustained and 13 dismissed.
Further Acts of Parliament in the 19th century regarding treason did not specify this special procedure and the Grand Jury was used no longer.
Ireland [ edit ] In Ireland, grand juries were active from the Middle Ages during the Lordship of Ireland in parts of the island under the control of the English government (The Pale), that was followed by the Kingdom of Ireland. They mainly functioned as local government authorities at the county level. The system was so-called as the grand jurors had to present their public works proposals and budgets in court for official sanction by a judge. Grand jurors were usually the largest local payers of rates, and therefore tended to be the larger landlords, and on retiring they selected new members from the same background.
Distinct from their public works function, as property owners they also were qualified to sit on criminal juries hearing trials by jury, as well as having a pre-trial judicial function for serious criminal cases. Many of them also sat as magistrates judging the less serious cases.
They were usually wealthy "country gentlemen" (i.e. landowners, landed gentry, farmers and merchants):
A country gentleman as a member of a Grand Jury...levied the local taxes, appointed the nephews of his old friends to collect them, and spent them when they were gathered in. He controlled the boards of guardians and appointed the dispensary doctors, regulated the diet of paupers, inflicted fines and administered the law at petty sessions.
From 1691 to 1793, Dissenters and Roman Catholics were excluded from membership. The concentration of power and wealth in a few families caused resentment over time. The whole local government system started to become more representative from the passing of the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840. Grand juries were replaced by democratically elected County Councils by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, as regards their administrative functions.
After the formation of Irish Free State in 1922, grand juries were not required, but they persisted in Northern Ireland until abolished by the Grand Jury (Abolition) Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in 1969.
United States [ edit ] The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury ..."
A grand jury investigating the fire that destroyed the Arcadia Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts in 1913
In the early decades of the United States, grand juries played a major role in public matters. During that period counties followed the traditional practice of requiring all decisions be made by at least 12 of the grand jurors, (e.g., for a 23-person grand jury, 12 people would constitute a bare majority). Any citizen could bring a matter before a grand jury directly, from a public work that needed repair, to the delinquent conduct of a public official, to a complaint of a crime, and grand juries could conduct their own investigations.
In that era most criminal prosecutions were conducted by private parties, either a law enforcement officer, a lawyer hired by a crime victim or his family, or even by laymen. A layman could bring a bill of indictment to the grand jury; if the grand jury found there was sufficient evidence for a trial, that the act was a crime under law, and that the court had jurisdiction, it would return the indictment to the complainant. The grand jury would then appoint the complaining party to exercise the authority[clarification needed ] of an attorney general, that is, one having a general power of attorney to represent the state in the case.
The grand jury served to screen out incompetent or malicious prosecutions. The advent of official public prosecutors in the later decades of the 19th century largely displaced private prosecutions.
While all states currently have provisions for grand juries, today approximately half of the states employ them and 22 require their use, to varying extents. The constitution of Pennsylvania required, between 1874 and 1968, that a grand jury indict all felonies. Six states (Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Nevada, and Kansas) allow citizens to circulate a petition in order to impanel a grand jury.
Canada [ edit ] Grand juries were once common across Canada. The institution of British civil government in 1749 at Nova Scotia brought the judicature system peculiar to that form, and the grand jury was inherent to it. A similar form derived in Quebec from the promise of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that a faithful copy of Laws of England would be instituted in the North American possessions of the Crown. Archival records are found that document the presentments of a grand jury in Quebec as early as 16 October 1764. One of the chief complaints was related to the jury trial, and the use of language. The desire for English law was a driver for the division in 1791 of Quebec, as it was then known, at the Ottawa river into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, as each of the two groups (French and English) desired to maintain their traditions. In point of fact, the second law passed in Upper Canada relates to (petit) jury trial. This was continued so that Chapter 31 of the 1859 Consolidated Statutes of Upper Canada specifies the constitution of Grand and Petit Juries in the province (now known as Ontario). The colony at St. John's Island, ceded by France in 1763, and separated on 30 May 1769 from Nova Scotia, became Prince Edward Island on 29 November 1798. Prince Edward Island derived its grand jury from its administrative parent between 1763 and 1769, Nova Scotia, as did Sunbury County when it was split off in 1784 to become the Colony of New Brunswick. The Colony of British Columbia, when it was formed on 2 August 1858, instituted a grand jury, along with the Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands (1853''1863) and the Colony of Vancouver Island (1848''1866) when the latter were absorbed by the former.
Old courthouses with the two jury boxes necessary to accommodate the 24 jurors of a grand jury can still be seen. The grand jury would evaluate charges and return what was called a "true bill (of indictment)" if the charges were to proceed. or a verdict of nolle prosequi if not. The practice gradually disappeared in Canada over the course of the twentieth century, after being the subject of extended discussions late in the 19th. It was ultimately abolished in 1984 when the Nova Scotia courts formally ended the practice. Prince Edward Island maintained a grand jury as recently as 1871.
Australia [ edit ] The grand jury existed in New South Wales for a short period in the 1820s. The New South Wales Act 1823 (UK) enabled the establishment of quarter sessions, as a subsidiary court structure below that of the Supreme Court. Francis Forbes, Chief Justice, reasoned that this entailed the creation of quarter sessions as they existed in England. Thus, inadvertently, trial by jury and indictment by grand jury were introduced, but only for these subsidiary courts. Grand juries met in Sydney, Parramatta, Windsor and other places. This democratic method of trial proved very popular, but was resented by conservatives. Eventually, conservative elements in the colony were successful in having these innovations suppressed by the Australian Courts Act 1828 (UK). George Forbes, a member of the Legislative Council, unsuccessfully moved for the reintroduction of grand juries in 1858, but this was thwarted by the Attorney-General and the Chief Justice.
In South Australia and Western Australia, grand juries existed for longer periods of time. In South Australia, the first grand jury sat on 13 May 1837, but they were abolished in 1852. In Western Australia, by the Grand Jury Abolition Act Amendment Act 1883 (WA), grand juries were abolished (section 4: A Grand Jury shall not be summoned for the Supreme Court of Western Australia, nor for any General Quarter Sessions for the said Colony).
The Australian state of Victoria maintained, until 2009, provisions for a grand jury in the Crimes Act 1958 under section 354 indictments, which had been used on rare occasions by individuals to bring other persons to court seeking them to be committed for trial on indictable offences. Grand juries were introduced by the Judicature Act 1874 and have been used on a very limited number of occasions. Their function in Victoria particularly relates to alleged offences either by bodies corporate or where magistrates have aborted the prosecution.
New Zealand [ edit ] New Zealand abolished the grand jury in 1961.
Cape Colony [ edit ] Trial by jury was introduced in the Cape Colony by Richard Bourke, Lieutenant Governor and acting Governor of the colony between 1826-28. The acting Governor, who was later influential in the establishment of jury trial in New South Wales, obtained the consent of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in August 1827 and the first Charter of Justice was issued on 24 August 1827.
Jury trial was brought into practical operation in 1828 and the 1831 Ordinance 84 laid down that criminal cases would be heard by a panel of nine, selected from males aged between 21 and 60, owning or renting property to a value of £1:17 shillings per annum or having liability for taxes of 30 shillings in Cape Town and 20 shillings outside the town. Black (i.e. non-white) jurors were not entirely excluded and sat occasionally. This is not to imply, however, that juries did not operate in an oppressive manner towards the Black African and Asian residents of the Cape, whose participation in the jury lists was, in any event, severely limited by the property qualification. The property qualification was amended in 1831 and 1861 and, experimentally, a grand jury came into operation.
The grand jury was established for Cape Town alone. It met quarterly. In 1842 it was recorded that it served a district of 50,000 inhabitants and in one quarterly session there were six presentments (1 homicide, 2 assaults, 1 robbery, 1 theft, 1 fraud).
As elsewhere, the judge could use his charge to the Grand Jury to bring matters of concern to him to the attention of the public and the government. In May 1879 Mr. Justice Fitzpatrick, returning from circuit in the northern and western parts of Cape Colony, gave a charge to the grand jury at the Criminal Sessions at Cape Town, in which, after congratulating them upon the lightness of the calendar, he observed there were indications in the country of a growing mutual bad feeling between the races, etc. This was reported in the Cape Argus and was a subject of a question to the government in the House of Commons in London.
The grand jury continued in operation until 1885, by which time the Cape was under responsible government, when it was abolished by Act 17 of 1885 of the Cape Parliament.
France [ edit ] Grand juries were established in France in 1791 under the name jury d'accusation, but they were abolished with the introduction of the Code of Criminal Instruction in 1808.
The jury law of 1791 created an eight-man jury d'accusation in each arrondissement (a subdivision of the departement) and a 12-man jury de jugement in each departement. In each arrondissement the procureur-syndic drew up a list of 30 jurors from the electoral roll every three months for the jury d'accusation. There was no public prosecutor or juge d'instruction. Instead the police or private citizens could bring a complaint to the Justice of the Peace established in each canton (a subdivision of the arrondissement). This magistrate interrogated the accused to determine whether grounds for prosecution existed and if so sent the case to the directeur du jury (the director of the jury d'accusation), who was one of the arrondissement's civil court judges, and who served in the post for six months on a rotating basis. He decided whether to dismiss the charges or, if not, whether the case was a d(C)lit (misdemeanour) or a crime (felony, i.e. imprisonable for 2 years or more). D(C)lits went to the tribunal de police correctionnelle of the arrondissement, while for crimes the directeur de jury convoked the jury d'accusation of the arrondissement, in order to get an indictment. The directeur du jury drew up the bill of indictment (acte d'accusation) summarising the charges to be presented to the jury d'accusation. The directeur made a presentation to the jury in the absence of the accused and the jury heard the witnesses. The jury then decided by majority vote whether there were sufficient grounds for the case to go to the tribunal criminel of the departement. Between 1792-5 there was no property qualification for jurors.
The functions of the jury d'accusation were prescribed in the law of 1791 passed by the Constituent Assembly and were maintained and re-enacted in the Code des D(C)lits et des Peines of 3 Brumaire, Year 4 (25 October 1795) and this was the operative law until it was abolished in 1808.Special juries and special grand juries were originally defined in law, for cases thought to require more qualified jurors, but these were abolished in Year 8 (1799).
Belgium [ edit ] From 1795 to 1808 grand juries also operated in Belgium, which was divided into French departements in October 1795.
Japan [ edit ] After World War II, under the influence of the Allies, Japan passed the Prosecutorial Review Commission Law on July 12, 1948, which created the Kensatsu Shinsakai (or Prosecutorial Review Commission (PRC) system), a figure analogue to the grand jury system. However, until 2009 the PCR's recommendations were not binding, and were only regarded as advisory. Additionally, a survey conducted by the Japanese Cabinet Office on October 1990 showed that 68. 8% of surveyed Japanese citizens were not familiar with the PRC system. On May 21, 2009, the Japanese government introduced new legislation which would make the PRC's decisions binding. A PRC is made up of 11 randomly selected citizens, is appointed to a six-month term, and its primary purpose is examining cases prosecutors have chosen not to continue prosecuting. It has therefore been perceived as a way to combat misfeasance in public officials.
From 1945 to 1972 Okinawa was under American administration. Grand jury proceedings were held in the territory from 1963 until 1972. By an ordinance of the civil administration of the Ryukyu Islands promulgated in 1963, grand jury indictment and petit jury trial were assured for criminal defendants in the civil administration courts. This ordinance reflected the concern of the U.S. Supreme Court  that U.S. civilians tried for crimes abroad under tribunals of U.S. provenance should not be shorn of the protections of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Indeed, the District Court in Washington twice held that the absence of the jury system in the civil administration courts in Okinawa invalidated criminal convictions.
Liberia [ edit ] By article 21 of the Constitution of Liberia, 'No person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime except in cases of impeachment, cases arising in the Armed Forces and petty offenses, unless upon indictment by a Grand Jury". For example, the national Port Authority's managing director was indicted by the Monteserrado County Grand Jury in July 2015, on charges of economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy.
Grand Jury in Liberia dates from the time of the original constitution in 1847.
Sierra Leone [ edit ] Under the administration of the Sierra Leone Company, which began in 1792, the Governor and Council or any two members thereof, being also justices of the peace, held quarter sessions for the trial of offences committed within the colony. The process for indictment etc. was the same as the practice in England or as near as possible thereto. To effect this, they were empowered to issue their warrant or precept to the Sheriff, commanding him to summon a grand jury to sit at the court of quarter sessions. Grand juries continued in operation after the transfer to the colony to the Crown in 1807.
Governor Kennedy (1852''1854) was concerned that jurors were frustrating government policy by being biased in certain cases; in particular he felt that liberated Africans on the grand jury would never convict another liberated African on charges of owning or importing slaves. He promulgated the Ordinance of 29 Nov 1853 which abolished the grand jury. Opposition was immediately mounted in Freetown. A public meeting launched a petition with 550 names to the Colonial Secretary in London, and the opposition declared that the Kennedy ordinance was a reproach upon the loyalty of the community. Grand juries have been considered one colonial body representative of local opinion and the Colonial Secretary's support for Kennedy upholding the abolition inspired a round of agitation for a local voice in government decision-making.
See also [ edit ] Civil grand juryCommittal procedureExamining magistrate, which has a similar function (but works differently) in countries using the inquisitorial systemImmunity from prosecutionInquests in England and WalesReferences [ edit ] ^ "UNITED STATES, Petitioner v. John H. WILLIAMS, Jr". LII / Legal Information Institute. ^ Nestmann, Mark (2011). The Lifeboat Strategy. The Nestmann Group. p. 110. ISBN 9781891266409 . Retrieved 1 December 2014 . ^ Zapf, Patricia A.; Roesch, Ronald; Hart, Stephen D. (2009). Forensic Psychology and Law. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-470-57039-5 . Retrieved 2 December 2014 . ^ Fukurai, Hiroshi (August 4, 2017). "e Rebirth of Japan's Petit Quasi-Jury and Grand Jury Systems: A Cross-National Analysis of Legal Consciousness and the Lay Participatory Experience in Japan and the U.S." ^ A Law Dictionary by Henry Campbell Black 2nd ed , publ. by West, St Paul, Minnesota,1910. 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The Vulgate Chapters and Numbered Verses in the Hebrew Bible, 1893, at JSTOR. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The early versions of the New Testament: Their origin, transmission and limitations, Oxford University Press (1977), p.347. Cited in Stephen Langton and the modern chapter divisions of the bible by British translator Roger Pearse, 21 June 2013. ^ "This Day in History, 1998: Clinton Testifies before Grand Jury" (August 21, 2018). History.com. Retrieved September 23, 2018. ^ 22 & 23 Vict. c. 17, s. l. ^ See Indictable Offences Act 1848 (11 and 12 Vict c. 42); title: An Act to facilitate the Performance of the Duties of Justices of the Peace out of Sessions within England and Wales with respect to Persons charged with indictable Offences ^ Participation, Expert. "Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933". www.legislation.gov.uk. ^ Treason Act, 1708 (7 Ann c 21) ^ Treason Act 1945 (c. 44), section 2(2) and Schedule. ^ The "History of Scotland, With Notes, and a Continuation to the Present Time", by George Buchanan (up to 16th Century) and James Aikman, Edinburgh 1829. See Vol. 6,p.486 ^ McDowell, R. B (1975). Moody, T.W.; Beckett, J.C.; Kelleher, J.V., eds. The Church of Ireland, 1869''1969. Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 2. ISBN 0 7100 8072 7 . Retrieved 2011-09-03 . ^ Chandler, J. A (1993). J. A. Chandler, ed. Local government in liberal democracies: an introductory survey. Routledge. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-415-08875-6 . Retrieved 2009-08-19 . ^ Acts of the Northern Ireland Parliament, 1969 c.15 ^ a b Edwards, George John (1906). Ward, Richard H., ed. The Grand Jury: Considered from an Historical, Political and Legal Standpoint, and the Law and Practice Relating Thereto. University of Michigan: G.T. Bisel. ISBN 978-0-404-09113-2 . Retrieved 22 May 2011 . ^ Roots, Roger (1999''2000). "If It's Not a Runaway, It's Not a Real Grand Jury". Creighton L.R. 33 (4): 821. ^ Brenner, Susan; Lori Shaw (2003). "State Grand Juries". University of Dayton School of Law. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016 . Retrieved 2010-08-02 . ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About the Grand Jury System". American Bar Association. Archived from the original on 2011-04-24 . Retrieved 2011-05-11 . ^ Brenner, Susan; Lori Shaw (2003). "Power to abolish Grand Jury". University of Dayton School of Law . Retrieved 2007-03-29 . ^ "Laws governing citizen grand juries in Oklahoma". Ballotpedia. ^ "The Royal Proclamation, 1763". www.solon.org. ^ Doughty ^ Upper Canada (31 December 2018). The consolidated statutes for Upper Canada. Toronto : Printed by S. Derbishire and G. Desbarats, law printer to the Queen '' via Internet Archive. ^ a b c "Timeline History of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court" Archived 2013-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b c Parker, Nancy (1995). "Swift Justice and the Decline of the Criminal Trial Jury: The Dynamics of Law and Authority in Victoria, BC 1858''1905". In Flaherty, David H.; McLaren, John; Foster, Hamar. Essays in the History of Canadian Law: The Legal History of British Columbia and the Yukon. University of Toronto Press. ^ Stokes, Mary (13 January 2010). "Grand Juries and 'Proper Authorities': Low Law, Soft Law and Local Governance in Canada West/Ontario, 1850-1880" '' via papers.ssrn.com. ^ Phillips Cables Ltd. v. United Steelworkers of America, Local 7276 (Nicolosi grievance),  O.L.A.A. No. 13, at para. 15. ^ a b "Who invented the grand jury?". The Straight Dope. 2006-07-18 . Retrieved 2010-10-17 . ^ (Consolidated) Acts of the General Assembly of Prince Edward Island, 1871 ^ Bennett, J.M. (1961). The Establishment of Jury Trial in New South Wales. Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. ^ A History of Criminal Law in New South Wales: The Colonial Period, 1788-1900, by G.D. Woods QC, Federation Press 2002, p.56-59. ^ Taylor, Greg (October 2001). "The Grand Jury of South Australia". American Journal of Legal History. 45 (4): 468''516. doi:10.2307/3185314. hdl:2440/109282. JSTOR 3185314. ^ "Grand Jury Abolition Act Amendment Act 1883" . Retrieved 9 May 2013 . ^ Histed, Elise (September 1987). "The introduction and use of the grand jury in Victoria". Journal of Legal History. 8 (2): 167''177. doi:10.1080/01440368708530896. ^ Crown Commission of Inquiry into the Administration of Justice in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope (Records of the Cape Colony xxviii (1905) I-III, George McCall Theale) ^ E. Kahn: South African Law Journal(1991), pp.672-87; SALJ(1992), pp.87-111, 307-18, 666-79; SALJ(1993), pp.322-37 ^ The international development of the jury : the role of the British empire, by Richard Vogler in Revue internationale de droit p(C)nal, 2001 (vol 72) ^ Cape Law Journal, 10 Cape L.J. page 216 (1893) ^ Wilkes Narrative of the U.S. Exploring Expedition. Page 302 ^ See "Grand Jury", by George Edwards, pub. Philadelphia 1906. Part IV p.124 ^ HC Deb 19 June 1879 vol 247 cc169-71 ^ Statutes of the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1895: Vol 1872-1886, pub. by J.C. Juta, Cape Town, 1895 ^ History of Trial by Jury, by William Forsyth, pub J.W. Parker, London 1852. Page 348. ^ Donovan, James (2010). Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the 19th and 20th Centuries. University of North Carolina Press. Ch. 1. ISBN 978-0-8078-3363-6. ^ Oudot, Charles-Fran§ois (1845). Th(C)orie du Jury. Paris: Joubert. p. 327. ^ Archives de Droit et de Legislation, Tome 5, 2nd Semester, Brussels 1841. Page 83: Loi Belge du 15 Mai 1838 Relative au Jury Expliqu(C)e ^ Archives de Droit et de Legislation, Tome 5, 2nd Semester, Brussels 1841. Page 73: Loi Belge du 15 Mai 1838 Relative au Jury Expliqu(C)e ^ a b Fukurai, Hiroshi (2011). "Japan's Prosecutorial Review Commissions: Lay Oversight of the Government's Discretion of Prosecution". University of Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review: 5''10 . Retrieved 2 December 2014 . ^ Gastil, John; Fukurai, Hiroshi; Anderson, Kent; Nolan, Mark (September 13, 2014). "Seeing Is Believing: The Impact of Jury Service on Attitudes Toward Legal Institutions and the Implications for International Jury Reform" (PDF) . Court Review. 48: 126. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2015 . Retrieved 2 December 2014 . ^ Fukurai, Hiroshi (January 2011). "Japan's Quasi-Jury and Grand Jury Systems as Deliberative Agents of Social Change: De-Colonial Strategies and Deliberative Participatory Democracy". Chicago-Kent Law Review. 86 (2): 825 . Retrieved 2 December 2014 . ^ a b Japan and Civil Jury Trials: The Convergence of Forces by Matthew J. Wilson, Hiroshi Fukurai and Takashi Maruta, pub Edward Elgar Publications, October 2015. Page 134 ^ U.S. Supreme Court decision: Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 77 S.Ct. 1222, 1 L.Ed.2d 1148 (1957) ^ District (i.e. federal) court of the District of Columbia decisions: re Nicholson, H.C. 141-61, D.D.C., Nov. 19, 1963, and Ikeda v. McNamara, H.C. 416-62, D.D.C., Oct. 19, 1962 ^ Constitution of Liberia, 1984 ^ The Maritime Executive journal, see web site http://maritime-executive.com/article/liberian-grand-jury-indicts-port-director retrieved Jan 2016 ^ Constitution of Liberia, 1847, Sec 7 ^ George, Claude (1904). The Rise of British West Africa: Comprising the Early History of the Colony of Sierra Leone, Gambia, Lagos, Gold Coast, etc. London: Houlston & sons. pp. 146, 147, 171. ^ a b Walker, James W. St. G. (1993). The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, 1783-1870. University of Toronto Press. pp. 364''365. ^ House of Commons. Reports from Committees, Vol 5, Session 7 Feb-6 Jul 1865 External links [ edit ] Grand Jury FAQ from the American Bar AssociationThe California Grand Jurors' Association"Federal Grand Jury", a website from a professor at the University of DaytonMore on Grand Jury reform, from the National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersHow Federal Grand Juries Work NPR. Accessed 2008-09-06.Gottlieb, Bruce (5 August 1998). "Who Is a Grand Jury?". Slate. Who invented the grand jury? from the Straight DopeQuestioning Double JeopardyGrand JuriesThe Grand Jury, Hugh Turley, Hyattsville Life and Times, January, 2007Craig Rosebraugh: Tools of Government RepressionGrand juror handbooks from the court systemU.S. Federal Grand Jury Handbook (PDF)VirginiaHandbook for Hennepin County (Minnesota) Grand Jurors (PDF)Illinois
Now Massive Plumes Of Chaff Are Lighting Up Radar Over Maine and Florida Too - The Drive
The clouds of radar-reflective countermeasures appeared over the states just two days after a similar mysterious incident occurred in the Midwest.via @VermonsterWxTwo days after a huge cloud of chaff lit up weather radar covering portions Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, as well as social media, more plumes have now appeared over Maine and Florida. We have no official confirmation as of yet, but the formations look very similar in composition to the one that developed in the Midwest.
The first reports of the apparent chaff plumes in Maine began to appear on social media around 5:30 PM EST on Dec. 12, 2018. Early on, four distinct clouds were visible, but these had blended together into a larger blob with a peak length of more than 100 miles by 7:45 PM. The huge cloud was moving southwest and looked like it could easily drift into New Hampshire and beyond.
It's unclear exactly when on Dec. 12, 2018 that the incident in Florida occurred. The plume developed over the Florida Keys and appeared to move northward.
So far, there are next to no other details available for any of these new incidents. The official Twitter account for the National Weather Service station between Gray and Portland, Maine issued an assessment that the formations in that area on the radar were very likely chaff, but there have been no reports as to what type of aircraft might have been involved.
The Maine Air National Guard has just one flying unit, the 101st Air Refueling Wing, which flies KC-135R Stratotankers and is based at Bangor Air National Guard Base in the city of the same name, situated to the northeast of where the plumes first developed. However, the KC-135Rs are not equipped to dispense chaff.
As such, another type of aircraft from another state's Air National Guard, or an active U.S. military unit, released the chaff over Maine. This was the case in with the chaff cloud that first appeared over Illinois on Dec. 10, 2018, and later drifted into Indiana and Kentucky. As it turned out, a West Virginia Air National Guard C-130H Hercules airlifter flying through the area was responsible.
In that case, the initial release was over a Military Operations Area (MOA), a piece of airspace U.S. military aircraft can set aside for training purposes. This appears to have been the case again in Maine, with the chaff seeming to develop first over the Condor 1 and 2 MOAs.
A map showing the Condor 1 and 2 MOAs, the trapezoidal areas outlined in red, in Maine.
Southern Florida and the Florida Keys are full of various active and reserve component units that conduct regular training exercises in the area, so plumes in this region are not particularly uncommon. The Gulf of Mexico is also a massive playground for military combat aircraft to conduct air training events and has some of the biggest MOAs anywhere in the country. Another set of chaff clouds were recently visible in the same general area on Nov. 28, 2018, as seen below.
Still, it seems unusual for so many large chaff clouds to keep popping up in so many places around the country in such a short timespan. They've all generally been unusually persistent, too, typically lasting multiple hours, before finally disappearing from the radar screens.
We have already reached out to the National Guard Bureau, but at the time of writing, we have not received any additional information about this new incident over Maine. We're reaching out to additional commands regarding the plume in Florida, as well.
We will be sure to update this story if and when new details become available.
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Federal Court Blocks Trump's 2020 Census Question Plan - Bloomberg
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VIDEO - Hood River lawyer who represented Saudi men facing threats | kgw.com
LOCAL Homeless people are living in old boats that are falling apart in the water.
PORTLAND, Ore. '-- A problem on the streets of Portland and the Willamette River is now spreading to the Columbia River.
Homeless people who are living in old boats that are falling apart in the water.
You can't see it from the road along Marine Drive. But photos taken from the water show the mess. Dozens of junk boats are piled up on the shore across from Hayden Island. Private sellers have old, broken down boats to get rid of, but instead of paying up to thousands of dollars to have them broken down responsibly, they're putting them online or on the street for "free". The boats are ending up back in the river as a roof over someone's head.
Photos provided to KGW by Walt James with the Columbia Watershed Environmental Advocates show derelict boats tied off to one another, with no working sewage pump. Others are half sunk, leaking fluids into the water.
"Most of the boats that were floating are now sunk, there's eight or 10 sunk boats down there," James said.
He would know. He's also a scuba diver and tugboat operator. "I regularly travel this route back and forth to the Willamette."
He took more photos last week of where homeless boaters come ashore along Marine Drive. What was a couple of campers and garbage has exploded into a full blown environmental hazard. And so has the amount of crime at nearby private floating homes.
"We've all had things stolen," said Karen Dean, a 23-year owner and resident of floating home in Class Harbor. "We've had two boats that have been taken and we found them down river and they've all been stripped."
Chris, another resident of the harbor told KGW, "Gas lines have been cut and gas has been stolen in the middle of the night."
In 2016, our coverage of this homeless problem spilling on the Willamette River kicked in some action from the Department of State Lands, which has jurisdiction of the water. The regulation goes that you can't live aboard your boat, anchored in the same area for longer than one month.
We were there in 2016 as 13 violations were handed out to homeless people who had illegally anchored boats in the river. As of today, three years later, only 11 more boats have been cited, despite dozens that are clearly out there. Ali Hansen with the Department of State Lands told KGW that a total of five boats have ever been seized by the state. She says three more will be forcibly removed soon.
It's a more obvious problem on the Willamette, where more people driving and boating by can see these boats. But on the Columbia, they are tucked away behind trees, below Marine Drive, and slow to no action by the government isn't cutting it for people worried the river can't bounce back from this.
"The sheriff comes down here and puts this great, laminated letter from the Coast Guard or State Lands and it's an absolute waste of time," James said. "You're giving notice to someone who has no resources or ability to comply with these lawful, legal demands and they're just wasting money. When it comes down to it, you gotta go down there and clean it up."
State Lands says it does have plans to do more compliance checks in 2019. But with a limited staff, and reliance on the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office River Patrol to deliver the notices to each transient boater, it's an extremely slow process. The department is looking at how states like Alaska and Washington, as well as British Columbia, handle their derelict boat problems in order to better Oregon's response.
VIDEO - President Trump Welcomes the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers - YouTube
Walmart and Target pull children's game 'Cut the Wire' that had players as young as eight trying to defuse a toy BOMBGame manufactured by the company YULU was first introduced in the summer of 2018 Toy consists of a plastic pack of dynamite and requires players to test each of the wires and follow clues to identify the right wire to cutIf a wrong wire is cut, the fake explosive device lights up, an alarm goes off and a vibration is felt imitating a blast Target pulled it from its shelves in the fall of last year, and Walmart said it, too, had stopped selling the game BySnejana Farberov For Dailymail.com
Published: 15:53 EST, 16 January 2019 | Updated: 17:30 EST, 16 January 2019
Major retailers have pulled the plug on a game that asked children to diffuse a fake bomb before it detonates after facing backlash.
The game, called 'Cut the Wire,' is described on the manufacturer's website as a 'fun game of luck' where players have to test each of the wires on a plastic dynamite pack and follow clues to identify the right wire to cut.
'Stay calm, listen to the clues and diffuse the device before it explodes!' the description reads.
Shoppers have been up in arms about the bomb-diffusing game 'Cut the Wire,' which calls on players to find the right wire to cut before the fake explosive detonates
The game, form the company YULU, first hit the market in the summer of 2018; Target and Walmart have now stopped selling it
The game is for children eight years and up, and it comes with a pretend bomb, a pair of clippers and dice
If a wrong wire is cut, the fake explosive device lights up, an alarm goes off and a vibration is felt imitating a blast.
The game is for children eight years and up, and it comes with a pretend bomb, a pair of clippers and dice.
Many parents and other critics on social media were outraged by the concept behind the toy mimicking a bomb.
'What kind of world do we live in that someone would even think it should be necessary to make a game out of diffusing a bomb???' Susan E Broyler vented on Twitter.
Others expressed disbelief and shock that a game of this nature was on the market.
'THIS is an ACTUAL game. Wow A BOMB diffusing game!! WTH??' a woman tweeted.
Commenter Michael Bouck quipped:'how about "Duck And Cover: the Biological Attack Version" next?'
Judging by social media posts on the matter, it appears the game first went on sale in the US in the summer of 2018.
A Walmart spokesperson told the New York Times the big-box retailer had removed the game from its stores over concerns raised by shoppers.
A representative for Target told the paper it had stopped selling the toy in the fall of 2018.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 'Cut the Wire' was still available for purchase on Amazon from a third-party retailer for $69.99.
The controversial plaything was manufactured by the company YULU, which is headquartered in Hong Kong.
YULU's President Jochem van Rijn said the company discontinued the game back in October, but it was still being advertised on YULU's official website along with its other products, including the games 'Safe Breaker,' 'Hackathon' and 'Pace Maker Extreme,' as of Wednesday.
'We created Cut the Wire as a fun strategy game for kids where the object is to defuse the device and be the hero,' Rijn told The Times. 'We're very sorry for any concern the game may have caused and, therefore, we are no longer shipping new product in the market in North America.'
The make-believe game had serious real-life consequence in Florida this week, where a 59-year-old Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy on Tuesday sent a box containing the toy 'Cut the Wire' along with a note that read 'boom' to a colleague as a joke.
The hoax sparked a partial evacuation of the sheriff's office and ultimately led to the prankster's resignation after 35 years on the force, reported The Ledger.
VIDEO - Facebook "10 Year Challenge" meme: Could it mine your data for facial recognition? - CBS News
It's the simple meme that's taking over your social media feeds: the "10 Year Challenge," where users upload side-by-side photos of themselves from a decade ago and now.
But it might not be so simple.
Facebook on Wednesday distanced itself from the "10 Year Challenge" after an article set off speculation that the social media giant could be secretly mining data from the photos to improve its facial recognition algorithms. It's a scenario that those who have studied social media companies don't rule out, despite Facebook's denials.
The photo challenge gives Facebook "a perfect storm for machine learning," said Amy Webb, a professor at NYU Stern School of Business with an upcoming book about how artificial intelligence can manipulate humans.
"It presented Facebook with a terrified opportunity to learn, to train their systems to better recognize small changes" in users' appearances, she told CBS News.
The "10 Year Challenge" popped up last week and across Facebook, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and Twitter millions of people have participated. The challenge generated 5.2 million engagements on Facebook in just three days, according to the social media monitoring tool Talkwalker. It was the latest in a constant stream of social media crazes '-- like the "Bird Box" challenge and Top Nine photo collage '-- that enticed users to join in with little concern for safety and privacy. There are also viral hashtags like #MyFirstConcertWas, which get users to reveal answers to popular security questions.
Speculation about the meme's ulterior motive flared up after Wired writer Kate O'Neill published an op-ed suggesting it wasn't just harmless fun.
O'Neill pointed out that the viral challenge has filled Facebook with labeled, side-by-side user photos taken within a fixed period of time. That's different, and easier to analyze, than the years of photos that users have already uploaded in no particular order. It's also more useful for technology that's trying to capture how people look and how they age.
Is facial recognition technology in airports accurate?She warned of "fraught consequences" that could come from this data, such as insurance companies kicking up coverage costs for people who seem to be aging quickly. (There has been no evidence so far that this is happening.)
Facebook issued a statement saying it had no role in starting the challenge and saw no benefit in it.
"This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own. Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook," the company said. "Facebook gains nothing from this meme (besides reminding us of the questionable fashion trends of 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time."
But even if Facebook didn't initiate the challenge, it has been using facial recognition intelligence for years to recognize users and people they are pictured with. It is also rolling out new products that rely on artificial intelligence, such as Portal, a video chat screen with a camera that can follow you around a room and automatically focus on your face.
The "10 Year Challenge" comes about a year after a similar effort from Google, one of Facebook's biggest competitors. Google's Arts & Culture app matches selfies with works of art that resemble the user. The app uses facial recognition algorithms to create side-by-side comparisons after users upload a photo.
Whatever Facebook gets out of the "10 Year Challenge," Barr said it's significant that people questioned its motive in the first place. After an avalanche of Facebook privacy scandals and data breaches in the past two years, now even a meme seems suspect.
"It's good that finally, even though it took a couple days, eventually the conversation (began) of, 'Wait a minute, did we just play into the hands of the tech giants again?'" Barr said. "At least that was part of the conversation."
Dan Patterson contributed to this report.
VIDEO - '¶ GALLOP - In The Morning (Swizzler's RediMix) by UsernameGallop
Former CIA and FBI official Phil Mudd had "strong words" when he was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had a reasonable rationale for wanting to delay the president's State of the Union speech.
"Do you believe that this is a real national security threat?" Blitzer asked before listing all of the important government figures who would be in attendance should the speech continue as scheduled.
"You're gonna have all one hundred Senators," he said, "435 members of the House, the diplomatic core, the Supreme Court justices, you're gonna have members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the entire cabinet, with one so-called designated survivor who doesn't come because of a God-forbid some sort of security incident."
"Is this a legitimate security concern?" he asked.
"Heck no!" exclaimed Mudd, "I mean this is political genius, I give Nancy Pelosi credit for her political sense."
"It's national security nonsense!" he added to laughter from the panel.
'This is a Kardashian moment, this is fake!'Pelosi had claimed that because of the government shutdown it would be too difficult to provide security for all the members of government that would be attending the event, and she implied that she would force the president to delay the speech.
Mudd made mincemeat of that rationale, even as he praised Pelosi's political maneuvering.
"We're talking about less than 60 acres in the huge national security threats of U.S. Senators, U.S. congressmen, members of the cabinet, Supreme Court justices, and guests of, for example, the president, and we can't secure 58 acres?" Mudd explained. "Are you kidding me?"
"There's 48,000 plus flights every day in this country, Wolf," he continued, "they're still flying and the FAA, which in the midst of this crisis is still operating, can manage 40,000 plus flights and we can't do 58 acres?"
"I applaud her for coming up with the genius of trying to corner the president on this," Mudd concluded, "but from a national security perspective, this is a Kardashian moment, this is fake!"
Here's the video of Mudd ripping down Pelosi's protestations:
VIDEO - Air Traffic Controllers Union Fears Catastrophe During Shutdown
Andrew E. Cohen / FlickrWith the record-long government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding now in its fourth week, an official representing the National Air Traffic Controllers Association appeared on CNN on Wednesday to issue an alarming warning: Flying is ''absolutely'' less safe now than it was before the shutdown began.
''Each day that this shutdown continues, the situation gets worse and worse,'' Trish Gilbert, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told CNN in an interview. ''There are several complicated, complex layers in our system to ensure that it maintains the critical safety components that we all rely on when we fly. What we don't want to see is a catastrophic event occur, and for us to come to you and say we told you that controllers are working longer hours, and now they don't have their support staff.''
''They're going to work unpaid, so they're not sleeping at night,'' Gilbert said of air traffic controllers. ''They're looking for other jobs; maybe they're driving Uber before or after their shift. This is unacceptable.''
Asked if people should be concerned about flight safety as the shutdown continues with no end in sight, Gilbert answered in the affirmative, declaring: ''I would say it is less safe today than it was a month ago, absolutely.''
''We do not have the professionals on the job. We are working with bare-bones crews. We have controllers there doing what they do very, very well, but how long can you expect them to do it without all of the systems behind them to keep the system safe and the planes in the air?'' Gilbert continued. ''This is a horrible game of chicken that we're in the middle of, and we need to get out of it, and we need to get out of it today.''
Watch Gilbert's full CNN appearance:
Flying ''is less safe today than it was a month ago,'' Executive VP of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Trish Gilbert, tells @PoppyHarlowCNN.
''Right now you're putting an incredible strain on the system,'' she warns as the shutdown continues https://t.co/JUWP3WBp3G pic.twitter.com/BTMC7LUKU7
'-- CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) January 16, 2019
Gilbert's ''scary'' warning about the safety of flying during the prolonged government shutdown comes just a day after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it is bringing thousands of furloughed inspectors, engineers, and other employees back to work ''to perform duties to ensure continuous operational safety of the entire national airspace.''
These workers, like hundreds of thousands of other government employees, will not be paid until the shutdown comes to an end.
Doug Lowe, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists' Florida chapter, echoed Gilbert's concerns in an interview last week, arguing that the longer the government remains shut down, ''the more dangerous the aviation system becomes.''
''We're gambling with aviation safety right now,'' Lowe added. ''A week from now, I would tell you, 'Yes, I would not get on an aircraft.'''
Jake Johnson / Common Dreams
VIDEO - Hawley Presses Barr on DOJ's Role in Enforcing Anti-Trust Laws of Major Tech Companies - YouTube
Only on The View would you hear a host compare the radically leftist mayor of New York City to ''a Republican.'' That happened on Wednesday's show, when the hosts gave Bill De Blasio a tougher shake than most news programs do, but still praised his socialist health care plan that guarantees free health care for illegal aliens. That's when Joy Behar weirdly praised the mayor's plan as sounding like a ''small government'' idea by ''a Republican.''
The show set the tone with the narrator leading into the interview by gushing about the mayor's plan for ''free health care'' for ''undocumented citizens.'' Host Sunny Hostin changed that to ''undocumented immigrants'' when she introduced De Blasio, gushing that Trump was going to ''learn'' from New York how to run the country:
A lot of Democrats are calling for comprehensive health care for every American, and Mayor Bill De Blasio just announced he's making it happen for all new yorkers, including undocumented immigrants. He's here to tell us how he did it and what the White House can learn from it.
However, Hostin did press the politician on how to respond to his critics, asking, ''But what do you say to people who say they don't want to pay for the undocumented?''
De Blasio stuck to the typical liberal lines of health care being a ''universal right,'' even claiming that his plan would save the city money because illegals wouldn't have to go the emergency room as frequently to get their health care, and it would prevent everyone else from getting sick as well. Co-host Abby Huntsman stepped in to grill the mayor on how effective this plan was going to be:
''Are you concerned about abuse? None of these programs are perfect,'' Huntsman began, referring to the city's problem with homelessness. ''If you have people flocking here, how do you pay for that?'' she pressed. De Blasio denied this plan would incentivize more illegal aliens to flock to New York, actually, saying they would rather go somewhere ''warmer.'' Huntsman pointed out that the state's population had grown almost 50% since 2007, but that didn't deter his talking points. That's when co-host Meghan McCain argued his plan could face the same problems of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
MCCAIN: Do you think the V.A. Is run well and it's a great medical organization?
DE BLASIO: No, of course not.
MCCAIN: That's a government run heath care.
DE BLASIO: That's a federal run health care.
MCCAIN: By the way, veterans died waiting to get health care.
DE BLASIO: It's horrible, unconscionable. We're closer to the ground and we're accountable to our own people and our public health system is working better and better.
Joy Behar then absurdly compared the mayor's plan to small government. ''You know what, you sound-like a Republican a little bit because they believe in small government and you're saying do it on the local level,'' she gushed. ''You're starting to sound like a Republican!''
As the panel chuckled, McCain grumbled that wasn't anything like small government, but De Blasio took that as a compliment, saying his plan was only a placeholder until the rest of the country got on board.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg responded, ''So, I like all of that. That all sounds good.'' That was the end of the talk about his radical plan. Whoopi ended the show by complaining that she didn't like the mayor's addition of bike lanes and the traffic problems it caused.
VIDEO - We'll be even more defiant if forced to fight a second referendum - Nigel Farage MEP - YouTube
VIDEO - Sky News on Twitter: "Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage predicts that, following Theresa May's historic defeat in the Commons, there will be "a stalemate followed by an extension of Article 50" and then "probably" a second referendum Read the latest
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VIDEO - Joey Montemiletto on Twitter: "TRIGGERED! Watch as this hilarious CNN commentator goes off the rails due to Trump's Fast Food Feast at the White House and says it will alienate female voters. OUT OF TOUCH!'... https://t.co/6bXoK2yAPW"
VIDEO - Jay Caruso on Twitter: "Here's @SRuhle suggesting that President Trump or ''somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham'' when discussing his turn from Trump critic to Trump supporter. That is a completely irresponsible thing
On today's edition of Leonard Lopate at Large, in the first episode of the new year, Joshua and Staffan make their case on why nuclear energy could be the last thing standing between us and the earth's destruction.
Climate change may be nearing a catastrophic tipping point, but it is not too late to work towards a solution.
200 200Staffan Qvist, Energy Engineerstaffanqvist.com
In their new book ''A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow'' Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist explain how nuclear power combined with renewables can replace fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and head off climate-change disaster. They challenge the left to rethink the idea that nuclear power is too dangerous and challenge the right to face the reality and perils of climate change.
Leonard Lopate at Large: Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist Leonard Lopate At Large
VIDEO - How Tracking And Selling Our Data Became A Business Model | On Point
Find our buildout from this hour, featuring a partial transcription, here.
With Meghna Chakrabarti
There are new calls for tech companies to stop selling your location to third parties. We'll look at the economics and perils of "surveillance capitalism."
Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and former faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power," among other titles. (@shoshanazuboff)
From The Reading List
Excerpt from "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism" by Shoshana Zuboff
One explanation for surveillance capitalism's many triumphs floats above them all: it is unprecedented. The unprecedented is necessarily unrecognizable. When we encounter something unprecedented, we automatically interpret it through the lenses of familiar categories, thereby rendering invisible precisely that which is unprecedented. A classic example is the notion of the ''horseless carriage'' to which people reverted when confronted with the unprecedented facts of the automobile. A tragic illustration is the encounter between indigenous people and the first Spanish conquerors. When the Tanos of the pre-Columbian Caribbean islands first laid eyes on the sweating, bearded Spanish soldiers trudging across the sand in their brocade and armor, how could they possibly have recognized the meaning and portent of that moment? Unable to imagine their own destruction, they reckoned that those strange creatures were gods and welcomed them with intricate rituals of hospitality. This is how the unprecedented reliably confounds understanding; existing lenses illuminate the familiar, thus obscuring the original by turning the unprecedented into an extension of the past. This contributes to the normalization of the abnormal, which makes fighting the unprecedented even more of an uphill climb.
On a stormy night some years ago, our home was struck by lightning, and I learned a powerful lesson in the comprehension-defying power of the unprecedented. Within moments of the strike, thick black smoke drifted up the staircase from the lower level of the house and toward the living room. As we mobilized and called the fire department, I believed that I had just a minute or two to do something useful before rushing out to join my family. First, I ran upstairs and closed all the bedroom doors to protect them from smoke damage. Next, I tore back downstairs to the living room, where I gathered up as many of our family photo albums as I could carry and set them outside on a covered porch for safety. The smoke was just about to reach me when the fire marshal arrived to grab me by the shoulder and yank me out the door. We stood in the driving rain, where, to our astonishment, we watched the house explode in flames.
I learned many things from the fire, but among the most important was the unrecognizability of the unprecedented. In that early phase of crisis, I could imagine our home scarred by smoke damage, but I could not imagine its disappearance. I grasped what was happening through the lens of past experience, envisioning a distressing but ultimately manageable detour that would lead back to the status quo. Unable to distinguish the unprecedented, all I could do was to close doors to rooms that would no longer exist and seek safety on a porch that was fated to vanish. I was blind to conditions that were unprecedented in my experience.
I began to study the emergence of what I would eventually call surveillance capitalism in 2006, interviewing entrepreneurs and staff in a range of tech companies in the US and the UK. For several years I thought that the unexpected and disturbing practices that I documented were detours from the main road: management oversights or failures of judgment and contextual understanding.
My field data were destroyed in the fire that night, and by the time I picked up the thread again early in 2011, it was clear to me that my old horseless- carriage lenses could not explain or excuse what was taking shape. I had lost many details hidden in the brush, but the profiles of the trees stood out more clearly than before: information capitalism had taken a decisive turn toward a new logic of accumulation, with its own original operational mechanisms, economic imperatives, and markets. I could see that this new form had broken away from the norms and practices that define the history of capitalism and in that process something startling and unprecedented had emerged.
Of course, the emergence of the unprecedented in economic history cannot be compared to a house fire. The portents of a catastrophic fire were unprecedented in my experience, but they were not original. In contrast, surveillance capitalism is a new actor in history, both original and sui generis. It is of its own kind and unlike anything else: a distinct new planet with its own physics of time and space, its sixty-seven-hour days, emerald sky, inverted mountain ranges, and dry water.
Nonetheless, the danger of closing doors to rooms that will no longer exist is very real. The unprecedented nature of surveillance capitalism has enabled it to elude systematic contest because it cannot be adequately grasped with our existing concepts. We rely on categories such as ''monopoly'' or ''privacy'' to contest surveillance capitalist practices. And although these issues are vital, and even when surveillance capitalist operations are also monopolistic and a threat to privacy, the existing categories nevertheless fall short in identifying and contesting the most crucial and unprecedented facts of this new regime.
Will surveillance capitalism continue on its current trajectory to become the dominant logic of accumulation of our age, or, in the fullness of time, will we judge it to have been a toothed bird: a fearsome but ultimately doomed dead end in capitalism's longer journey? If it is to be doomed, then what will make it so? What will an effective vaccine entail?
Every vaccine begins in careful knowledge of the enemy disease. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a journey to encounter what is strange, original, and even unimaginable in surveillance capitalism. It is animated by the conviction that fresh observation, analysis, and new naming are required if we are to grasp the unprecedented as a necessary prelude to effective contest. Let's close doors, but let's make sure that they are the right ones...
NAMING AND TAMING
Taming surveillance capitalism must begin with careful naming, a symbiosis that was vividly illustrated in the recent history of HIV research, and I offer it as an analogy. For three decades, scientists aimed to create a vaccine that followed the logic of earlier cures, training the immune system to produce neutralizing antibodies, but mounting data revealed unanticipated behaviors of the HIV virus that defy the patterns of other infectious diseases.
The tide began to turn at the International AIDS Conference in 2012, when new strategies were presented that rely on a close understanding of the biology of rare HIV carriers whose blood produces natural antibodies. Research began to shift toward methods that reproduce this self-vaccinating response. As a leading researcher announced, ''We know the face of the enemy now, and so we have some real clues about how to approach the problem.''
The point for us is that every successful vaccine begins with a close understanding of the enemy disease. The mental models, vocabularies, and tools distilled from past catastrophes obstruct progress. We smell smoke and rush to close doors to rooms that are already fated to vanish. The result is like hurling snowballs at a smooth marble wall only to watch them slide down its facade, leaving nothing but a wet smear: a fine paid here, an operational detour there, a new encryption package there.
What is crucial now is that we identify this new form of capitalism on its own terms and in its own words. This pursuit necessarily returns us to Silicon Valley, where things move so fast that few people know what just happened. It is the habitat for progress ''at the speed of dreams,'' as one Google engineer vividly describes it. My aim here is to slow down the action in order to enlarge the space for such debate and unmask the tendencies of these new creations as they amplify inequality, intensify social hierarchy, exacerbate exclusion, usurp rights, and strip personal life of whatever it is that makes it personal for you or for me. If the digital future is to be our home, then it is we who must make it so. We will need to know. We will need to decide. We will need to decide who decides. This is our fight for a human future.
Excerpted from THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM by Shoshana Zuboff. Republished with permission of PublicAffairs, a division of Hachette Book Group. Copyright (C) Shoshana Zuboff, 2019.
Salon: "How surveillance capitalism became the pre-eminent business model of Silicon Valley" '-- "The ubiquity of smartphones means that those who own one are pretty easy to track. All modern smartphones have inbuilt GPS accurate to within a few feet. Even if your GPS is turned off, smartphones also peer at Wi-Fi networks in the vicinity, which are mapped to a physical location and can be used to verify location. Even if your Wi-Fi and your GPS are turned off, your phone and its apps can use triangulation of your cell signal to figure out roughly where you are. And whenever you take a cell phone picture, the photo includes a tiny piece of metadata (called EXIF data) that records the location where that photo was taken, along with the type of camera and the date and time.
"Even if you're on your personal computer instead of your phone, there are plenty of ways for websites or applications to figure out your location. All computers have a unique code, called an IP address, that is created whenever they go online '' and which can be used to roughly map location."
Washington Post: "Opinion: The Facebook scandal isn't really about social media. It's about capitalism." '-- "As wizened consumers, we've learned to be cynical about the commodification of our privacy at the hands of tech corporations. Still, it's one thing to know in principle that industry giants like Facebook are spying on practically everything we do and say; it's quite another to see it in action. But that's just what we have, thanks to recent reporting by the New York Times, which revealed how Mark Zuckerberg, who's expected to act as the trusted custodian of the personal information of more than 2 billion people, has allowed his company's partners '-- Netflix, Amazon and Spotify, among many others '-- access to users' most intimate communications.
"Some arrangements enabled Facebook's partners to read and delete users' private messages; others had access to users' friends and their data. In some cases, the deals appeared to be so broad that Facebook's partners claimed that they weren't even aware that they had access to certain data streams.
"The Times' reporting offers a necessary window into the surveillance economy and the emerging economic logic of 'surveillance capitalism.' We are beginning to see how the trade in data '-- much of it done behind the scenes '-- is also an exchange of influence and power. We are becoming aware of companies' astonishing information appetites, according to which all data is potentially useful. Even carmakers like Ford are beginning to tout consumer data as a major revenue stream on par with the selling of automobiles. In other words, the Times' reporting doesn't just implicate Facebook: It's an indictment of the whole economic system in which we participate today."
Allison Pohle produced this show for broadcast.
VIDEO - Air traffic controller union official says if shutdown continues there won't be any workers left | TheHill
A National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) official warned Tuesday that if the partial government shutdown continues for another few months, there won't be any workers left because many cannot sustain working without due pay.
''If this thing were to drag on for two months, three months, maybe even six; what would the effects be for the American public?'' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti asked Eddie Delisle, a regional vice president of NATCA Northwest Mountain region.
''There won't be controllers left,'' Delisle said.
''I, for one, could not sustain six months, a year without a paycheck '-- I don't know too many people that could, so you're looking at an air controller here that would resign,'' he continued.
According to The Associated Press, roughly 10,000 air traffic controllers who work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been deemed essential and are expected to work without pay.
Delisle said that the ongoing government shutdown might prompt newer employees, particularly those with student debt or living in an area with a higher cost of living, to seek work elsewhere.
''I imagine a lot of our newer hired air traffic controllers that might be in a position where they're saddled with student loans or maybe they moved to a high cost of living area '-- they're not going to be able to stay employed with the federal government if they're not receiving any income,'' he told Hill.TV.
Delisle estimated there are about 2,000 air traffic controllers that are eligible to retire today and predicts that many might "walk out the door,'' arguing there's no reason for them to stay if they're not getting paid.
The NATCA on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over pay that has been halted as a result of the shutdown. The union alleges that the government has ''unlawfully deprived'' thousands of its members of pay ''without due process.''
The union represents some 19,000 FAA employees across the country. This includes an estimated 14,000 air traffic controllers.
''We just need the shutdown to end and it needs to end today,'' Delisle said.
'-- Tess Bonn
VIDEO - McCain TV Ad: "Complete The Danged Fence" - YouTube
Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin grilled Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory over her ties to Louis Farrakhan.
''The View'' co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain grilled Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory over her ties to Louis Farrakhan in a heated discussion on Monday morning. Mallory raised eyebrows when she said that the controversial Nation of Islam leader is the ''greatest of all time because of what he's done in black communities.''
''Tamika, you came under some fire for your relationship with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam,'' Hostin told the guest. ''He's known for being anti-Semitic, for being homophobic, but you do attend his events and you posted'... a photo calling him the G.O.A.T., which means the greatest of all time. You are running an organization that says it fights bigotry. Do you understand why your association with him is quite problematic?''
Mallory fired back, ''I think it's important to put my attendance, my presence at Savior's Day, which is the highest holy day for the Nation of Islam, in proper context.''
CNN'S JIM ACOSTA MOCKED FOR ACCIDENTALLY PROVING THAT BORDER WALLS WORK
The Women's March co-founder then said that ''as a leader, as a black leader, in a country that is still dealing with some very serious, unresolved issues, as it relates to the black experience in this country,'' she often has to go into ''difficult spaces'' to promote her cause.
''I wrote a piece immediately following the beginning of this controversy, talking about wherever my people are, that's where I must also be,'' Mallory said. ''I also go into prisons'... I am trying to help people.''
Mallory said that ''just because you go into a space with someone that does not mean that you agree with everything that they say,'' but Hostin immediately pushed back, asking, ''Why call him the greatest of all time?''
''I didn't call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric. I called him the greatest of all time because of what he's done in black communities,'' Mallory said.
The show's conservative voice, Meghan McCain, quickly jumped in.
''I would never be comfortable supporting someone who (said) '... 'I'm not anti-Semite, I'm anti-termite. It's the wicked Jews, the false Jews that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality'' McCain said, quoting Farrakhan.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ DANCE VIDEO SPURS FALSE MEDIA CLAIMS OF CONSERVATIVE OUTRAGE
McCain then said that reporters feel there is anti-Semitism surrounding the Women's March.
''A lot of people, by a lot of people I include me in this, think you're using your organization as anti-Semitism masked in activism and that you're using identity politics to shield yourself from critiques,'' McCain said. ''You're talking about all women being invited to that march? I'm pro-life. We were not invited.''
A fired-up McCain then added that all women, including Jewish and conservative women, should be welcomed. Mallory was joined by Women's March co-founder Bob Bland in Monday's segment, which didn't feature co-hosts Abby Huntsman or Joy Behar, who gave up their seats on the show for the Women's March leaders.
''Those allegations are not true,'' Bland responded.
''So the journalist I spoke to was lying?'' McCain asked.
Bland then accused the journalist of receiving untruthful insight and said the Women's March ''unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism.''
McCain then asked if she condemns Farrakhan's remarks about Jewish people.
''Yes, and we have repeatedly,'' Bland said as Mallory remained stone silent. ''We condemn any statements of hate.''
WHY ALL JEWS SHOULD SKIP THE NEXT WOMEN'S MARCH
McCain, visibly annoyed, said she was confused as she continued to read controversial, hateful quotes attributed to Farrakhan.
''We did not make those remarks,'' Mallory said.
McCain reminded her that she's associating with someone who does.
''What I will say to you is, I don't agree with many of Minister Farrakhan's statements,'' Mallory said.
McCain asked if she specifically disagrees with Farrakhan's rhetoric about Jewish people '' to which Mallory said she doesn't agree.
McCain asked, ''Do you condemn them?''
Mallory refused to condemn the remarks and simply repeated that she doesn't agree.
''You won't condemn it,'' McCain pointed out.
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''To be very clear, it's not my language. It's not the way that I speak,'' Mallory said.
McCain then said Mallory was associating with ''extreme anti-Semitism.''
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who was silent for most of the segment, then asked if Mallory understood why some people think it would be best if she stepped down from her position atop the Women's March.
''I also know of people who don't want me to step down,'' she answered. ''There is both sides of that.''
In a speech in February, Farrakhan praised Mallory and declared ''the powerful Jews are my enemy.'' Last year, a Washington state chapter of the Women's March disbanded in protest because of the national group's links to anti-Semitism.
Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Rep Steve King Immigrants Mostly 'Evil' Marijuana Smugglers With 'Calves the Size of Cantaloupes' - YouTube
Playwright William Shakesepeare, in ''Macbeth,'' talked of ''a tale '... full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.''
The final part of Macbeth's speech resembles a prediction from ABC's Jonathan Karl as he looked for ward to the expected March unveiling of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on allegations that President Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 president campaign.
Karl spoke on Sunday's edition of ABC's ''This Week.'' During the interview, he noted a Friday report that the FBI launched an investigation of the president at the time he fired former FBI Director James Comey to determine whether Trump had connections to Russia.
Based on the record, the allegation/suggestion that the #FBI came close to investigating @realDonaldTrump as a Russian spy/asset-if true-says more about anti-Trump bias within the DOJ than it ever does about the president's actions regarding Russia.
'-- Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 13, 2019
TRENDING: Poll: Jeff Flake Ends Senate Career on the Ultimate Low Note, Ranked 'Least Popular' Senator
Trump later called the story ''the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing.''
Trump has tweeted his innocence, and his anger with Mueller's probe.
Bob Mueller (who is a much different man than people think) and his out of control band of Angry Democrats, don't want the truth, they only want lies. The truth is very bad for their mission!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
Do you believe special counsel Robert Mueller's report will clear President Donald Trump?Karl indicated that Trump's summation of what has been found against him may not be far from the truth.
''This is all building up to the Mueller report and raising expectations of a bombshell report. And there have been expectations that have been building, of course, for over a year on this. But people who are closest to what Mueller has been doing, interacting with the special counsel caution me that this report is almost certain to be anti-climactic,'' he said.
Karl said Mueller's investigation had little in common with the FBI probe reported by the Times.
''And if you look at what the FBI was investigating in that New York Times report, you look at what they were investigating, Mueller did not go anywhere with that investigation,'' he said.
RELATED: Former Top Fed Prosecutor: FBI Tried To Deceive Trump About Russia Investigation
Karl said that despite all the publicity generated by Mueller and the indictments of individuals such as former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, nothing has indicated that anything has been discovered relating to the main reason for the Mueller probe's existence.
''He has been writing his report in real time through these indictments and we have seen nothing from Mueller on the central question of, was there any coordination, collusion, with the Russians in the effort to meddle in the elections? Or was there even any knowledge on the part of the president or anybody in his campaign with what the Russians were doing, there's been no indication of that,'' he said.
Abc's Jonathan Karl admits he was told there was likely nothing to this sensationalized, concocted investigation by same anti- Trump FBI operatives: Russia: transcripts detail how FBI debated if President was 'following directions' '' CNNPolitics https://t.co/C3w8ePOt8v pic.twitter.com/NG4vNRPpCQ
'-- Wake Up America (@WakeAmericaNow) January 14, 2019
Karl noted that just because individuals such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn had personal deals involving Russians does not mean there was a Trump-led orchestrated effort to work with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
What we've certainly seen over and over again is the people around the president, first of all, have been willing to lie to '... investigators, and had their own dealings with Russians, had their own agendas with Russians. And Manafort was trying to get paid for his work on behalf of Ukraine. Flynn had his own dealings,'' he said.
''But it is not added up to anything of the central question, again, was there anybody '' was the Trump campaign aware of or coordinating with the Russians in their effort to meddle with the election? So far there's been nothing on that and I'm led to believe '' don't expect there's going to be anything,'' he said.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO - It's ON! Kamala Harris sees Elizabeth Warren's 'I'm gonna get me a beer' video and raises her one 'Gettin' down just for the funk of it' '' twitchy.com
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are among Democrats who are starting to get 2020 presidential campaigns rolling. Warren's campaign started with her notorious ''I'm gonna get me a beer'' video, but Harris has seemingly countered by tweeting a video that's designed to eclipse the Massachusetts senator (and other Dem 2020 candidates) on the ''relatability & likability'' scale. Are you ready?
One nation under a grooveGettin' down just for the funk of itpic.twitter.com/C2kZrCaphy
'-- Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 15, 2019
Will Elizabeth Warren be forced to counter with a ''I'm gonna get me TWO beers now'' video to keep up? Stay tuned!
"how do you do fellow kids" https://t.co/LKrzLAo0KG
'-- Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) January 15, 2019
Maybe democracy is a mistake https://t.co/EviyzuoQOK
'-- Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) January 15, 2019
At this rate, she is going to use FIGHT SONG again, isn't she? https://t.co/gAW27fUMlD
'-- Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) January 15, 2019
It's gonna be lit in Iowa and New Hampshire this year!
VIDEO - Hirono Doesn't Endorse Gabbard, Insinuates She Hasn't Been Progressive Long Enough - YouTube
Gillette addresses ''toxic masculinity'' in a new digital ad campaign aimed at men, the latest message from an advertiser attempting to change societal norms.
The ad, dubbed ''We Believe,'' opens with audio of news about the current #MeToo movement. A narrator then goes on to dispute the notion that ''boys will be boys,'' asking, ''Is this the best a man can get? Is it? We can't hide from it. It has been going on far too long. We can't laugh it off, making the same old excuses.''
The ad puts a new spin on the brand's 30-year tagline, ''The Best A Man Can Get,'' challenging men to take positive actions, such as stopping other men, and the next generation, from harassing women.
The ad will be hosted on Gillette's YouTube page with paid digital and social support.
Gillette parent Procter & Gamble Co. is among companies that in recent years have used advertising as a platform to promote their stance on social issues such as gender equality, and polarizing political topics such as immigration and gun control. P&G is perhaps best known for its lauded ''Like a Girl'' ad campaign for feminine-care brand Always and ''Stress test'' for deodorant brand Secret.
The latest ad, created by Gillette's ad agency Grey, is among the first to address the #MeToo movement head on, and to blatantly tell men to change their behavior.
''This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own,'' said Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette brand director for North America in an emailed statement. ''We are taking a realistic look at what's happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying 'Boys Will Be Boys' is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our 'best' together.''
''It's a risky move,'' said Dean Crutchfield, CEO of branding firm Crutchfield + Partners. On one hand, it ''creates a credible, believable, and upfront conversation that takes brutal honesty and tough decisions,'' he said.
Gillette needs to appeal to millennials who care about what companies stand for, he said. ''There's a demand for this, for purpose, for brands to be tackling tough issues in the moment.''
But the ad could backfire and alienate Gillette's base, Mr. Crutchfield cautioned. ''Does the customer want to be told they're a naughty boy? Are you asking too much of your consumer to be having this conversation with them?''
Brands diving into charged social issues risk turning off customers who don't agree with their stance, don't believe it is authentic or consider it poorly handled.
Nike 's recent ad starring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had led player protests for racial justice during pregame national anthem ceremonies, was widely praised (though criticized by others). But a 2017 commercial in which Kendall Jenner joins a protest march and hands a Pepsi to a cop was accused of trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement.
''It's about execution,'' said Mr. Crutchfield. ''Sometimes brands stretch themselves too fine and they snap.''
Write to Alexandra Bruell at email@example.com
VIDEO - One person dead, 12 more hospitalized after suspected Fentanyl leads to 'mass overdose,' police say | Fox News
A ''mass overdose'' in a California home Saturday morning left one person dead and another 12 hospitalized after police say the victims may have ingested fentanyl, a powerful opioid.
Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien said at a press conference that police received a 911 call from someone inside the residence of a home in the 1100 block of Santana Court about 9 a.m.
''Upon arrival, Chico police officers found multiple individuals in what appeared to be life-threatening overdose conditions.''
O'Brien said that officers performed CPR and administered six doses of naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an overdose and comes in half-doses. Chico police have been equipped with naloxone since 2018.
FENTANYL NOW DEADLIEST DRUG IN AMERICA, METH OVERDOSES GROWING, CDC SAYS
One male adult died, and 12 other people were taken to an area hospital for treatment. O' Brien said the ages of the victims range from 19 to at least 30.
Eight of the victims were admitted, and of those eight, four were listed as being in critical condition. O'Brien emphasized that there is ''potential for additional fatalities.''
He said that while it is still too early in the investigation to be sure, the likely cause of death and injuries is from consumption of the potent drug.
DOCTORS CAUGHT BETWEEN STRUGGLING OPIOID PATIENTS AND CRACKDOWN ON PRESCRIPTIONS
''Every indication is that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance, although that is yet to be confirmed.''
Two responding officers were also treated at the hospital after complaining of feeling ''some effects'' but they were released and are said to be in ''good condition.'' Further details about how they might have been affected were not immediately available.
Police are not clear about how or why the victims might have consumed the substance.
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The home is currently being treated as a ''hazmat site,'' but O'Brien said it is ''not a danger to the public.''
A relationship between the victims has not been established, though police say they all knew each other to some extent.
VIDEO - Walmart bans woman who rode cart while drinking wine from Pringles can | Fox News
Police in Texas received a strange call on Friday that involved a woman drinking wine in the parking lot of a Walmart.
According to USA Today, employees at the store in Wichita Falls had asked officers to ban the woman after she had been drinking wine from a Pringles can for several hours as she rode around on an electric cart.
The incident reportedly began just after 9 a.m., when officers received a call about a suspicious person in the parking lot.
1 PERSON DEAD, 12 MORE HOSPITALIZED AFTER MASS OVERDOSE IN CALIFORNIA
The woman was reportedly riding around on an electric shopping cart that's generally used by people with physical limitations.
She was also drinking wine from a Pringles can, according to USA Today.
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Police said they were told that the woman had been riding around the parking lot since 6:30 a.m. while drinking the wine.
When officers arrived, they found the woman at a nearby restaurant and notified her that she'd been banned from the Walmart.
VIDEO - Judge Jeanine Asks President Trump 'Have You Ever Worked for Russia'
Judge Jeanine tonight on her Fox News program asked the question that most have never asked the President.
The President has denied any allegations of Russian collusion since his election in 2016.
No evidence of Russian collusion has been presented in almost two years of the Mueller investigation, which has now cost American tax payers in excess of $50 Million Dollars.
The President refers to the investigation as a witch hunt. His head of legal counsel former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani agrees.
Read CNN article that Mueller's gang of angry Democrats wants to use the President's public comments as part of an obstruction claim. According to this latest oppressive legal theory you can't even defend yourself. But who says Mueller's team doesn't leak. Extremely unethical.
'-- Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 11, 2019
The New York Times continues to put out frivolous hit pieces on the President with zero proof of any wrong doing. It's an attempt to continue to undermine one of the most successful presidencies in history.
The country is soaring in manufacturing job growth, lowest unemployment rates in history, high GDP, the military is fully funded, just to name a few.
The President earlier tweeted out that he would be going on Judge Jeanine last night. He was looking forward to it. The man wants to tell his side of the story, and continues to put America First.
I will be interviewed by Jeanine Pirro at 9:00 P.M. on @FoxNews. Watch @JesseBWatters before and @greggutfeld after. All terrific people. I am in the White House waiting for Cryin' Chuck and Nancy to call so we can start helping our Country both at the Border and from within!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019
Matt Couch is the founder of America First Media & Investigations and the CEO of the D.C. Chronicle News Group. Follow Matt on Twitter @RealMattCouch
VIDEO - Full Measure News on Twitter: "Sunday on Full Measure: The war in Afghanistan has drained billions of dollars of US taxpayer money over 17 years. Inspector General John Sopko has tracked some of the amazing ways, Afghans have wasted US tax dollars
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV. Learn more about Thomson Reuters products:
VIDEO - ABC's Karl: Sources Close to Mueller Say His Report 'Almost Certain to Be Anti-Climactic' | Breitbart
Sunday on ABC's ''This Week,'' ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl said his sources ''interacting with'' special counsel Robert Mueller's team said Mueller's forthcoming report was ''almost certain to be anti-climactic.''
Partial transcript as follows:
KARL: What I am getting is that this is all building up to the Mueller report and raising expectations of a bombshell report. And there have been expectations that have been building, of course, for over a year on this. But people who are closest to what Mueller has been doing, interacting with the special counsel caution me that this report is almost certain to be anti-climactic. If you look at what the FBI was investigating in that New York Times report, you look at what they were investigating, Mueller did not go anywhere with that investigation. He has been writing his report in real time through these indictments and we have seen nothing from Mueller on the central question of, was there any coordination, collusion, with the Russians in the effort to meddle in the elections? Or was there even any knowledge on the part of the president or anybody in his campaign with what the Russians were doing, there's been no indication of that '...
STEPHANOPOULOS: They hadn't laid that out yet in the indictments but how do things like the Trump Tower meeting with Russians, Don Jr., Paul Manafort, Paul Manafort giving polling data to Ukrainian oligarchs, the pursuit of a Trump Tower in Moscow. How does that fit into this theory?
KARL: What we've certainly seen over and over again is the people around the president, first of all, have been willing to lie to investigators, and had their own dealings with Russians, had their own agendas with Russians. And Manafort was trying to get paid for his work on behalf of Ukraine. Flynn had his own dealings. But it is not added up to anything of the central question, again, was there anybody '' was the Trump campaign aware of or coordinating with the Russians in their effort to meddle with the election. So far there's been nothing on that and I'm led to believe don't expect there's going to be any.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
BREITBART CONNECTMOST POPULARFROM THE HOMEPAGE
VIDEO - Mueller Draft Report Says Trump 'Helped Putin Destabilize the United States', Watergate Journalist Says
Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein has said that he's been told that special counsel Robert Mueller's report will show how President Donald Trump helped Russia ''destabilize the United States.''
Bernstein, who is renowned for his coverage of the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of former President Richard Nixon, appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday to discuss two bombshell reports released this weekend, one from The New York Times and one from The Washington Post, which revealed new details about whether or not Trump and his aides have colluded with Russia.
The Post reported that Trump has gone to ''extraordinary lengths'' to conceal direct conversations he has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Times article revealed that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Trump after he fired former bureau director James Comey in 2017, suspecting the president could be working on behalf of Russia. Trump has angrily denied allegations that he worked with Russia and has regularly attacked the media for reporting on the investigation. But Bernstein slammed Trump's dismissal of the probe.
''This is about the most serious counterintelligence people we have in the U.S. government saying, 'Oh, my God, the president's words and actions lead us to conclude that somehow he has become a witting, unwitting, or half-witting pawn, certainly in some regards, to Vladimir Putin,''' Bernstein explained during his appearance on Reliable Sources .
''From a point of view of strength'... rather, he has done what appears to be Putin's goals. He has helped Putin destabilize the United States and interfere in the election, no matter whether it was purposeful or not,'' the journalist added. He then explained that he knew from his own high-level sources that Mueller's report would discuss this assessment.
''And that is part of what the draft of Mueller's report, I'm told, is to be about,'' he said. ''We know there has been collusion by [former national security adviser Michael] Flynn. We know there has been collusion of some sort by [Trump's former campaign chairman Paul] Manafort. The question is, yes, what did the president know and when did he know it?''
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Trump has defended himself against such reports, arguing, inaccurately, that he has taken a hardline stance against Russia.
''I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again! [sic],'' he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
However, the president's 2016 campaign remains the subject of a special investigation led by Mueller. Several former high-ranking Trump aides have been indicted in the probe and last week, it was revealed that Manafort shared confidential polling data with an associate linked to Russian-intelligence.
Trump's administration recently moved to remove financial sanctions on an ally of Putin, and has recently pulled troops out of Syria -- a long-standing demand from the Russian President.