Page 1 of 14 LAW OFFICE OF A. NATHAN ZELIFFP.O. Box 729 Shingletown, CA 96088 '--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'-- TEL: (530) 474-3267 / FAX: [please call first] Toll Free 1-866-4-TaxSOS / 1-866-482-9707 September 23, 2019 Via E-Mail Total number of pages = 14 ( including this 1st page and exhibits) URGENT AND IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUESTED Cal Fire Attention: Lorina Pisi, T&V Manager '' Technical Se rvices - Lands E-Mail: Telephone: 916-327-8492 Fax: 916-324-3400 CC: Governor Gavin Newsom via FAX: 916-558-3160 Senator Brian Dahle via FAX: (916) 651-4901 Sheriff Tom Bosenko E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org asta.ca.us Shasta County Sheriff's Office of Emer gency Services Shingletown Volunteer Fire Department Attention : Chief Dodson E-Mail: email@example.com Shingletown Amateur Radio Club (STARC) Attention: Dar Walker, President E-Mail: W6iodar@gmail.com Shasta Tehama Amateur Radio Emergency Services Atte ntion: Tom Henthorn, President E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Shasta Forest Village Fire Wise Community Attention: Doug Young E-Mail: email@example.com Shingletown Fire Safe Council '' Attention: Tom Twis t E-Mail: FireSafe@ShingletownCouncil.org Re: Emergency Communications, Community Safety, and Wil d Fire Threat. Cal Fire Removal of Critical Ham Radio Emergency Communications Infrastructure. Imminent Threat to Life and Property. / / / /
Page 2 of 14 Dear Ms. Pisi: I am writing you concerning your e-mail to Ham Radio Repeater owners advising them that they must remove all repeater equipment from various mou ntain locations unless they pay huge fees. (See Exhibit A '' which is a copy of your e-m ail). I am advised that this action is being done for the entire State of California. Many of th ese repeaters have been in public safety use for decades. They have saved lives. They have in fa ct been used for public safety and to protect life and property when the public communication sys tems have completely collapsed and failed during disasters. The cost to the State of California is nothing for these repeaters. Rather, Ham Radio Operators pay for the equipment and maintain the equipment at their own cost. The Ham Radio Operators do not make any money off of these repeat ers. Your actions will destroy the existing Ham Radio Re peater System Infrastructure and Network that is a critical and vital asset for Disaster Eme rgency Communications. This Ham Radio Emergency Communications Infrastructure has existed for decades. Additionally, once removed, these Ham Radio assets will be cost prohib itive to rebuild. Moreover, your actions will serve to eviscerate the SHINGLETOWN EMERGENCY RADIO PLAN (SER PLAN), and directly expose residents of Shingl etown (and other areas) to increased risk of being trapped by raging wildfires as well as subjec ting residents to increased risk of loss of life from disasters. The result will be the same for all areas throughout the Entire State of California if this Cal Fire ''DISASTER IN THE MAKING'' is not IM MEDIATELY TERMINATED AND RENDERED PERMANENTLY - DEAD ON ARRIVAL! One of the foundational elements of the SER PLAN is : Early observation and reporting. This facilitates rapid response by Cal Fire and other em ergency resources. In Shingletown, we have been warned that we could b e the ''next Paradise''. In order to try and avoid that prediction, Shingletown has continued im plementing the SER PLAN. This PLAN has taken over 4 years to design, build, and refine. It is an operating emergency communications plan (combining HAM and NON Ham Neighborhood alloca ted frequencies). There are no fees, no dues and no one has to join any group. Hams and Neighborhoods just get on board, plug in and follow the plan. The SER PLAN has been describe d by a Shasta County Sheriff Lieutenant (Office of Emergency Services) as ''robust''. The Lie utenant told me that he had reviewed the SER Plan and he was very impressed. Briefly, the SER PLAN involves coordination and com munications within and between neighborhoods. We conduct weekly drills involving e xactly the type of items recommended by the Sheriff and Cal Fire. It is a pure volunteer Em ergency Radio Communications System for any
Page 3 of 14 neighborhood desiring to participate, and it is coordinated and integrated into the SER Ham Radio Net. There are several mobile ''smoke / fire lookout loca tions'' which the SER Plan has mapped. They cover over 500 square miles (each). This is at a ti me when Cal Fire has cut back on using lookout locations. These locations are used by Ham operator s while traveling (and which are also used for Active Fire incidents). Your actions in causing the removal of Critical Communication Ham Repeater Equipment will result in loss of this Aler t and Warning System. Reports have been made to Cal Fire from these locations, including tr iangulation and mapping arrive at the estimated Township, Range and Section of the source of a smoke column. Our practice drills / exercises include such matter s as: Earthquake reporting drills (recording damage assessment and reporting); utility and hazar ds reporting; communications status reporting and ability / inability of neighborhoods to call 911; Rapid Brevity Fire Watch Reporting; Procedures for locating unknown sources of smoke or fire with mapping and triangulation; Smoke column triangulation and repor ting; Fire and Ember watch procedures; welfare checks; disabled persons checks; and emerge ncy / priority traffic relay to 911 via Radio when there is no other ability to reach 911, and mo re. With the SER PLAN exercises and reporting (includin g reports from mobile designated smoke look out locations) a substantial geographic area i s covered. Our emergency procedures involve Various Alert Tone Levels, neighborhoods conducting separate and simultaneous neighborhood emergency nets on designated frequencies, relaying of neighborhood reports into the Ham Radio Net, mapping and summary by geographic area o f the reports provided by neighborhoods; recommendations for action; and pass ing emergency traffic. And all of this is done within 15 to 30 minutes! The plan also provid es for the relay of damage assessment information reports from neighborhoods (e.g., earth quake damage assessment) to County emergency agencies. This can be done in very short time frames. On the other hand it would take the county DAYS to otherwise accumulate such d ata. It is of concern that while community and emergency preparedness focus should be on continuing to build this Community Emergency Commun ications Plan with the present wild fire dangers (today is a ''RED FLAG DAY''), energy and tim e is now being diverted to seeking to educate those purportedly in emergency communicatio ns (and who should know better) who are in the process of destroying vital emergency co mmunication infrastructure and placing California communities at risk (on a State Wide Bas is). / / / /
Page 4 of 14 Cal Fire Color brochures and pamphlets and destruction of HAM RADIO Emergency Communications infrastructure. The removal of the Critical Ham Radio Emergency Com munications Infrastructure is especially hypocritical in light of Cal Fire going door to doo r and distributing expensive Color brochures and pamphlets to residents advising them to have a ''Wildfire Action Plan'' '' for the purpose of Saving Lives and Property through Advance Planning'' . In these impressive color packed Cal Fire brochures and pamphlets, residents are advised that: ''You can dramatically increase your safety '... by pre paring well in advance of a wildfire''. Cal Fire advises of the risk of wind driven flying embers, a nd other advice includes: - install smoke alarms (to warn). - ''prepare your family'', and to practice your pl an ''regularly''. - have a '' communication plans and practice it regularly '' (emphasis added). - plan different evacuation routes. - have out of area contacts to you can communicate with family members who have relocated . (emphasis added) - have a portable radio or scanner so you can st ay updated on the fire. - alert family and neighbors '' (emphasis added). - Leave early enough to avoid being caught in fire, s moke or road congestion. Don't wait to be told by authorities to leave. In an int ense wildfire, they may not have time to knock on every door. (emphasis added). - Have several travel routes in case one route i s blocked by the fire, or by emergency vehicles and equipment. - if you become trapped call 911 and inform authorities of your location . (emphasis added0 - patrol your property and monitor the fire situa tion. Don't wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened. The Sheriff Department also advises residents to - Learn about your community's warning signals: what they sound like and what you should d o when you hear them.'' We are told to find out how to help the elderly or disabled person s and to conduct fire and emergency
Page 5 of 14 evacuation drills. (emphasis added). While the above written advice is great, Cal Fire is taking action THAT WILL DESTROY THE critical and vital Ham Radio Repeater System Infras tructure and network which is necessary for the ''communications plan'' and safety measures which Cal Fire and the Sheriff advises should be set up by communities and families! The FACT IS - when there is a complete communicatio n failure (no phones, no cell phones, no internet, no reverse 911, no code red, no ability t o dial 911, and no ability to warn people who are asleep at 2:00 AM in the morning of a raging wi ldfire, etc...,) ALL of the Cal Fire and Sheriff recommendations go up in smoke. WHY? Because there is no WAY to send or receive any in formation OR even issue warnings! Communities will have no communications. They will not be able to advise neighbors that the exit to a subdivision is blocked by a fallen tree. They will not be able to ask others to bring chain saws and trucks to open up the exit. There will be no actual ability to coordinate or communicate. You can't effectively warn your neighb ors about a fire at 2:00 A.M., without communications! In the real world scenario of a communications blac kout and raging fire, all of those '' technological advances '' you advised of in your e-mail will HAVE ALL FAILED AND DO NOT WORK! Your claim that Ham Radio is no longer a ''benefit'' to the State, is delusional. If one needs proof of this, merely review the recen t FEBRARY, 2019 Shasta County Declared State of Emergency (below). EXAMPLES OF RECENT USE OF THE HAM RADIO REPEATER SY STEM YOU ARE SEEKING TO HAVE REMOVED. FEBRARY, 2019 Shasta County Declared State of Emerg ency. In Shingletown, all electrical power was OUT. There was no land line service, no cell phones, no internet, no reverse 911, no code red, no ability t o dial 911. As one Shingletown Resident put it '' If I had a heart attack I had no ability to get h elp! That resident is now part of his neighborhood emergency SER PLAN radio team. Residen ts were snow bound. Snow depths ranged from several feet to 4 feet. THE ONLY COMMUN ICATIONS WE HAD WAS THE SER HAM PLAN WHICH UTILIZED ONE OF THE REPEATERS YOU ARE SE EKING TO HAVE REMOVED. Some areas were without power for 5 days or more, others less. Many were snow bound. Some
Page 6 of 14 residents (including elderly and those with medical conditions) were without any source of heat as temperatures plunged into the mid and upper 20's . Neighbors helped neighbors and the only means of communication was Ham Radio and the repeat er system you are seeking to have removed. August 14, 2019. Active Fire near a neighborhood in Shingletown. Th is was a SER PLAN Full alert Activation. Thus, the Emergency Toning Alert was done for all 5 DIVISIONS of Shingletown on the 760 repeater (one of the Repeaters your are seeking to remove from the Emergency Communication Infrastructure). The activation resul ted in HAM radio operators participating in the SER Active Fire Net from multiple Shingletown l ocations covering in excess of 70 square miles of rough mountain terrain. People were awaken ed (as it was late at night). Additionally, Non Hams also monitored using their Radios programm ed using the SER Frequency Plan. People were aware and had warning of the situation. There was no news source for people to view. There was No TV to watch. There was No intern et source because this event was real time and none of those ''sources'' were on scene (likely h ome in bed). The only source for the active fire was HAM RADIO. The Report is attached as Exhib it B. August 30, 2019. Smoke check Activation in a neighborhood in Shingle town. This was a LIMITED activation involving one neighborhood (on its assigned MURS Al ert Frequency). However, the neighborhood HAM operator utilized the HAM portion of the SER Plan to reach out over 14 miles and obtain a report from a mobile station (wh ich had a critical view from a designated lookout location) of that neighborhood. That mobile HAM station confirmed there was no suspect smoke or file visible from the lookout. I u nderstand this information was relayed to Cal Fire who had arrived in the neighborhood. Again, du ring this activation, the repeater system you are seeking to have removed was used. The Repor t is attached as Exhibit C. OTHER EMERGENCY USES: The SER PLAN has additionally responded to emergenc ies when there was no cell phone or ability to call 911, including the following: auto accidents (e.g. truck on icy road and crashing into a tree; vehicle rollover and person ejected 30 feet from vehicle); lost person search / Sheriff resources limited and request for search he lp/ lost person description relay); elderly lady followed home into remote area '' relay to sheriff r esulted in arrest on outstanding warrants before the suspect even got out of Shingletown); Im paired driver with multiple near head on collisions on Highway 44 / relay to 911; keys retai ned / arrested by CHP; and more. All of these events utilized the repeater system that you are se eking to have removed.
Page 7 of 14 Local Cal Fire personnel (boots on the ground) appreciate the SER Plan, and have advised that they view this Ham Radio service as beneficial and helpful to the community You actions are the equivalent to you mandating tha t all Cal Fire radio repeater system components and infrastructure be removed from the C al Fire emergency radio communications system. Question: what person of right mind would do that? DISREGARD OF EXECUTIVE ORDER OF GOVERNOR OF CALIFOR NIA: The Governor of California issued Executive Order N -05-19, dated January 8, 2019, recognizing California as having experienced the most destructi ve wildfire season in State history during 2018, enduring over 7,600 wildfires that burned 1, 846,445 acres in total. The Executive Order referenced the Camp Fire as being the deadliest fir e in State history claiming the lives of 86 people. The Executive Order recognized that Communi ties with high preponderance of physical fire danger deserve the State's highest attention a nd recognized that the people of California expect that their government will take all possible actions to protect life, property, and forests from deadly megafires, and will do so with an urgen cy that matches the scope of the threat. Under this Executive Order, Cal Fire was charged wi th providing a written report to the Governor with recommendations'... ''necessary to preven t and mitigate wildfires to the greatest extent possible'''...and to consult with local fire chi efs, local elected officials, Fire Safe Councils, and other impacted stakeholders, as necessary. Shin gletown is at the top of the fire risk list in California. Cal Fire responds by instituting a destructive proj ect to remove Critical Emergency Ham Radio Communications Infrastructure. Such is in flagrant disregard of the Executive Order and devoid of any notion of common sense. Moreover, making an emergency resource cost prohibitive is in fact destruction of that resource! Additionally, on ce removed, these Ham Radio assets will be cost prohibitive to rebuild. Cal Fire's actions will jeopardize Ham Radio Commun ity Emergency Communications during complete and/or partial communication failures, inc luding, but not limited to hampering and/or destroying Ham Radio Emergency Communications relat ing to: - reporting / relay of forest fires at the early s tages to minimize risk to life; - evacuation coordination by neighborhoods; - alerting neighborhoods of disasters (e.g., forest fires) when all other communications methods have failed (includin g but not limited to reverse 911, code red, etc'...);
Page 8 of 14 - neighborhood welfare checks and neighborhood coordination for assisting evacuation of disabled persons during disasters; and - rapid area damage assessment and reporting so that public officials can be alerted to areas requiring immediate assistance. Moreover, the rugged geography and difficult access to various areas in Shingletown serve only to compound the situation. So the only unresolved question, if this Cal Fire disaster in the making comes to fruition, is: '' Will Shingletown's death toll exceed Paradise? '' Compounding the situation is that PG & E may shut o ff communities electricity during Red Flag and other events. This poses additional risks. Comm unication Blackouts may result. DISREGARD OF SHASTA COUNTY SHERIFF AND OFFICE OF EM ERGECY SERVICES PROCEDURES. Additionally, Cal Fire's actions disregard Existing Shasta County Emergency Communication Plans. Specifically, the Shasta County Sheriff's website h as information for disaster preparedness and advises residents to develop home evacuations plans and to practice with our family and neighbors. We are told to find out about community emergency plans and to join or start a neighborhood group. [See: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/sheriff_index/div isions/oes/oes_safety_tips.aspx ] In this regard, the Sheriff recognizes the clear an d present danger about collapse of emergency services during the initial stages of disaster. Spe cifically the public is advised: ''In light of the reality of Hurricane Katrina and t he literal collapse of emergency management services during the initial stages, it i s certainly understandable for our communities to be concerned about their own welfare .'' We are advised that ''Disaster can strike quickly and without warning'' and to prep are in advance. We are told to ''Learn about your community's warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when your hear them.'' We are told to find out how to help the elderly or disabled persons and to conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills. Residents are further told that if disaster occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. '... Check for fires, fire hazards '... and to Check on your neighbors, especially those living alone, elderly or disabled. Residents are advised to find out about community emergency plans and to join or start a ne ighborhood group.
Page 9 of 14 We are advised to evacuate if authorities ask us to leave our home. [See https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/sheriff_index/emergency_prep.aspx ]. But, with Cal Fire's destruction of the Ham Radio E mergency Communications Infrastructure, residents will not be able to effectively undertake many of the critical Cal Fire and Sheriff recommendations. Again, in a complete communication s Blackout - residents won't be receiving that reverse 911, code Red or Internet e- mail! The Shasta County Emergency Operations Plan The Shasta County Emergency Operations Plan include s the following statements and provisions: EF 2: Communications (Per Shasta County Web site). ''3.1 '... A disaster condition may result from a sign ificant natural or human-caused incident that generates extensive damage and/or res ults in a high volume of Shasta County EOP Emergency Functions EF 2. '... At a time wh en the need to convey information quickly is greatest, the infrastructure needed to facilitate efficient communication may be damaged or overloaded. In such situations, all functioning telecommunications assets of the various levels of government, augmented by extra-regional assets, will be needed immediately to ensure a prop er response to aid those in need.'' [emphasis added]. The Shasta County Emergency Operations Plan further provides that: ''Normal forms of communication may be severely int errupted during the early phases of an emergency or disaster. The loss of some or al l telephone service will reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of the Emergency Operat ions Center (EOC) public information lines, as well as the majority of Count y departments. Significant incidents may require evacuation of sig nificant numbers of affected populations. Such evacuations may require extensive coordination of inter- and intra-County communications and may exceed normal r adio communication capabilities. (emphasis added). '' Local amateur radio operators have the ability to s et up field communications to support or augment public safety operations, as appropriate .'' (emphasis added). The Emergency Operations Plan further mandates the development and maintenance of ''a communications resource inventory''. This clearly in cludes Ham Radio Operators, their equipment, and Repeaters). [See The Shasta County Emergency Operations Plan is at this link
Page 10 of 14 https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/docs/libraries/cao-docs /emergencies/shasta-eop_ef-2_communications_sep-201 4.pdf?sfvrsn=fc29e389_2 ] Due to the Clear and Present Danger to the public s afety which this Cal Fire action presents, it is imperative that it be immediately and forever termi nated. We need to build emergency communications capability, not destroy it. I look forward to hearing from you. Time is of the essence. Thank you. Very truly yours, COMPUTER COPY A. Nathan Zeliff Attorney at Law ANZ:eaa 20190923 jitiu
Page 11 of 14 Exhibit A: communication from Cal Fire. Communications Received by Repeater Owner from ''Hello [name deleted]: I do understand and appreciate all of the service y ou have provided in the past. However, with constantly changing technological advances, there i s no longer the same benefit to State as previously provided. Therefore, the Department no l onger financially supports HAM operators radios or tenancy. If you desire to enter into a fo rmal agreement to operate and maintain said equipment, you must complete and submit attached co llocation application along with fee as outlined on page one of application. There is cost associated with getting an agreement in place. In addition to the technical analysis fee ($2500/application), there is DGS Leas e admin cost associated (typically between $3000-$5000) with preparation of lease. Also, there will be an annual rent charge based upon equipment type/space.Please let me know how you wish to proceed. If you determine the cost is too great to proceed, please make arrangements with me to remove equipmen t. If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I am much more readily availab le via email.Lorina Pisi T&V Manager CAL FIRE Technical Services - Lands P.O. Box 944246 Sacramento, CA 94244-2460 or PLEASE NOTE NEW PHYSICAL ADDRESS EFFECTIVE 8/5/19 1131 S Street Sacramento, CA 95811-6524 916-327-8492 916-324-3400 (fax) Exhibit A
Page 12 of 14 August 14, 2019: SHINGLETOWN EMERGENCY RADIO PLAN '' FIRE NET ACTIVATED Late August 14, 2019, there was a tone out from Cal Fire '' Shingletown. SER Net station K6PDS, tuned one radio to dedicated monitoring of C al Fire Dispatch to determine situation while continuing to monitor the SCAN PLAN on another radi o. Fire reported in area of Mobile Park Dr. The situation met the criteria for an Emergenc y SER Net Plan Activation and Long Tone T Alert. The SER Net was activated on all SER NET SCAN PLAN FREQUENCIES. 5 LONG TONE T ALERTS ARE THE SIGNAL FOR AN EMERGENCY SITUATION. T he Fire Net was Activated. An Active Fire Net was conducted, which included: 1. The Active Fire Net was conducted on 760 (CH 10 '' monitoring / CH 55 - transmit). 2. W6iO, KE6PCR, AND KB6BZL monitored Cal Fire D ispatch and reported relevant information into the Fire Net. Great job W6iO, KE6P CR, AND KB6BZL. 3. Cal Fire reporting included: fully engulfed structure fire with spread to the vegetation and reports of explosions in area '... spot fire near Lisa Glenn Court / locked gate; Dozers, water tenders, engines, in route '... some crowning '... live wire down north side of highway (44) '... PG&E contacted as to downed line'... . 4. KE6PCR monitored Cal Fire Tac 11, and Reported relevant information into the Fire Net. Great job KE6PCR. 5. Net Control requested all stations to perform a QWA PROCEDURE (Brevity Fire Watch) and report back. Of those Neighborhood Areas repor ting back, results were QWA (No Suspect Fire / Smoke / or Embers observed (other th an the existing fire - QWK). 6. Request was made for any station to report on conditions in the South East Section of Shasta Forest Village (in the Bambi Area '' close to the fi re area). Request was made for any station in that area to report (Ham or NON HAM). There was no response from the Bambi Area. Accordingly, KB6BZL volunteered to go mobile and drove into the area. He did a visual mobile search and found heavy smoke on Bambi (near the Water Company) and the air was ''still''. Net Control was in radio contact with KB6BZL. A ra dio relay call was made to 911 to advise of this situation. Great job KB6BZL. 7. KB6BZL also drove up to Shingletown and provide d reports as to the situation in Shingletown and at the Fire Scene (equipment on both sides of h ighway 44, etc'...). A suspicious vehicle was observed in the Village Area and radio relay was ma de to 911 (Vehicle Description and partial plate). Request was made that all station operator s be on the look out for any suspicious vehicles and to report, but do not engage. EXHIBIT B PAGE 1OF 2
Page 13 of 14 8. Smoke Check reports were requested by Net Contr ol and stations conducted such at various times to obtain wind directions, smoke smell levels and whether any fire / smoke / or embers were visible . We can use such information to determine if there are any new spot fires and potential areas where the existing fire may spread. 9. The Active Fire Net provided a Hub for informat ion collection and dissemination from multiple sources, in real time, including: Cal Fir e Dispatch reports; Cal Fir Tac 11 reports; Mobile Ham radio Unit ground / field observations; radio operators periodic reports for Smoke / Fire / Ember Checks; observations from home locati ons; and the ability for adjoining Neighborhoods to provide real time Smoke / Fire / E mber Checks as to any new fire threats. Reporting was brief, accurate and concise. 10. Neighborhood Areas responding on Frequency inc luded: Viola; Village; Wilson Hill; Rest Area; Inwood, and Starlite. Other neighborhood ar eas monitored the reporting (e.g., Hay Flat, Immigrant, etc'...). 11. We have learned that multiple Hams and non ham s were monitoring and were awakened by the Alerting process and listened to the Active Fir e Net, although they may not have transmitted into the Fire Net. Immigrant Area activated its ne ighborhood net (great job Steve). Inwood activated its neighborhood net and reported into th e Fire Net (great job KK6DOO). Starlite was on frequency and reported into the Fire Net (great job AJ6KJ). The Rest Area activated and reported into the Fire Net (great job KN6CYK). The Wilson Hill Area was on frequency and reported into the Fire Net (great job KK6SWE and Be verly). Viola was on frequency and Reported into the Fire Net (great job K6YM). Hay Flat was monitoring and I understand conducted local communications. Great job K6SCR. The Village neig hborhood was activated and conducted active mobile ground operations, Net Control functi on, and communications activity. 12. Hams and Non Hams with whom I have since discu ssed the Fire Net with had the following to say: the process was very helpful, ''it was impr essive'', ''made me aware'', ''felt very informed'', ''felt very connected'', ''went great'', th e alert tone ''woke me up'', ''heard the alert and was awakened by it'', and the Net ''let me know w hat was going on as it was happening''. 13. For the Village, this was a high alert. The fi re was extremely close, and since the Village only has one point of escape from a fire, timely in formation is critical. Please join in and help out. 14. The Active Fire Net was deactivated once Cal F ire advised that the fire was in mop up stage. Stations were requested to QSY Scan Plan and their Neighborhood Frequencies. Thank you to everyone who helped in this vital emer gency communication tool. Nathan K6PDS 73 NOTE: on 8/15/2019 there was another Fire near Dersch Rd & Hyrax Rd (Cottage fire). Stations also conducted operations concerning that fire. EXHIBIT B PAGE 2 O F 2
Page 14 of 14 August 30, 2019: SER Nets Status Report VILLAGE NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVATED SMOKE CHECK On the afternoon of August 30, 2019, a Station in t he Village (Village Tango 2) called out on the VILLAGE alert Frequency asking if any other station s in the Village smelled smoke (wind out of the North). Village Foxtrot 7 responded and requested other sta tions to report. Those responding included: Village Tango 3; Village India 1; Village Bravo 3; and Village Tango 1 (who is also a Licensed Ham - W6iO) . Additionally, Village Tango 1 went mobile to survey the area and reported via radio while mobile. Village Tango 1 al so had heard K6PDS give a recent mobile radio report from the Millville Plains and 44 looko ut (while heading East Bound on Highway 44). W6iO requested (using the Ham frequency 760) t hat K6PDS confirm that there was no visible smoke from the Village Area. K6PDS confirmed, whil e mobile, that no smoke or fire was visible. The Millville Plains / 44 lookout location has a gr eat view of the Shingletown Ridge. During this process, Village Foxtrot 7 relayed the situation to 911 and Cal Fire responded. The origin of the smoke odor was not able to be loc ated. It may have been caused by someone starting a barbeque using cedar and other wood mate rials. Unknown source / Unable to Locate. To recap, the Village Neighborhood pro-actively res ponded to Suspect Smoke by: 1. securing reports from Neighborhood Stations thr oughout different locations in the Village; 2. relayed the situation to 911; 3. used Mobile Radio communications for gathering information, reporting and making Neighbors aware of the situation (who had their rad ios on); 4. combined use of the SER Neighborhood frequency plan with the SER Ham frequency plan to obtain a report from another station which was mobi le, and over 14 miles away, to confirm that there was no smoke or fire visible in the Village N eighborhood Area from the lookout location; and 5. additionally, provided the benefit to multiple other stations in the Village Neighborhood who were listening as to a potential fire situation. Th ey found the reporting informational, timely, and beneficial. This is an illustration of neighbors working togeth er and being proactive. That is what this is about. GREAT JOB TO THE VILLAGE TEAM! EXHIBIT C PAGE 1 OF 1
California declares Ham Radio no longer a benefit...... | RadioReference.com Forums
#1I'll let K6UDA explain it all.....This shows just how ridiculous living in California gets daily......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv2sb4LJq2g
Hope the amateur community really steps forward and sensibly explain the huge errors in reasoning.
#2The PDF link from the above YouTube video page.
Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
#3Your link doesn't work, so this might be better:
ladnExplorer of the Frequency Spectrum #4This is going to require some additional research and evaluation, BUT, it appears to be related to
this message thread from June.
The thread was about an overly complex comm plan for Shingletown.
#5I am so glad to be gone from the land of fruits and nuts! I left a lot of good friends in the LA basin, but I had to go!! They've got some strange rules here in GA., but at least they try to take care of Vets. As far as Ham radio out here, there's a lot of groups basically doing nothing when a disaster like a hurricane or flooding occurs. I hear a few nets that check in, but no one is really moving around doing what needs to be done. The Cali Hams at least get out and do things. But I digress, I pray for all the Hams in that state and maybe one day someone will pull real hard and hear a loud "pop" when they pull their heads out! 73
#6I read the document and listened to the video in its entirety. I understand what Zeliff is saying in his letter, but I think he may be reading more into it than what is being explained. I also think that the email sent by CAL FIRE seems to be a bit vague in their explanation.
Is this letter that was sent a statewide thing where ALL repeater owners/trustees have to pay CAL FIRE rent? I don't know. But in reading how the letter was written, it certainly does suggest that. But, does CAL FIRE/the State own any repeater sites? Or are they privately owned by companies like American Tower, Global Tower, Crown Castle, etc.?
If CAL FIRE/the State own radio sites, then I can understand the email. They're nickel and diming the owners/trustees because they want the money. But if the sites are privately owned by the aforementioned tower companies, then why the letter? Why is CAL FIRE/the State wanting to charge rent if the site is privately owned?
I recall in the past that tower companies would give repeater space to owners/trustees for little to no charge in exchange for grounds maintenance; such as defensible space around the vaults and towers as well as the the site itself. I don't know that to be true today, but that is how I remember it.
I think repeater owners/trustees who may have received the email need to contact CAL FIRE and get more information. At the same time, those very same owners/trustees need to contact the tower companies and ask questions. Who owns what? Maybe a mutual agreement can be met.
But again... That is just my thoughts and opinions. Your mileage may vary.
#7I read the document and listened to the video in its entirety. I understand what Zeliff is saying in his letter, but I think he may be reading more into it than what is being explained. I also think that the email sent by CAL FIRE seems to be a bit vague in their explanation.
Is this letter that was sent a statewide thing where ALL repeater owners/trustees have to pay CAL FIRE rent? I don't know. But in reading how the letter was written, it certainly does suggest that. But, does CAL FIRE/the State own any repeater sites? Or are they privately owned by companies like American Tower, Global Tower, Crown Castle, etc.?
If CAL FIRE/the State own radio sites, then I can understand the email. They're nickel and diming the owners/trustees because they want the money. But if the sites are privately owned by the aforementioned tower companies, then why the letter? Why is CAL FIRE/the State wanting to charge rent if the site is privately owned?
Have to agree. Does this refer only to sites owned by the People's Republik of Kalifornia? With most tower sites being private property, legally I would think they cannot levy such a thing on sites owned by others.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'll have to check back, but I can think of at least a couple of instances in the past where a governmental entity gave amateur radio the heave-ho, only to come begging on bended knee when their muti-million dollar communications system took a dump. Never refuse a versatile, reliable asset; you never know when you might need it.
#8Removing the HAM repeaters is a threat to public safety because those who don't use HAM and listen to it should bad earthquakes or other disaster happen will not get safety information so it is a dumb move and that official in CAL FIRE that want's to do that should be fired this is just my opinion.
#9How is Cali-bashing related to the topic at hand? Moderator is apparently asleep at the switch.
Or you could report whatever post(s) you think are off-topic. I, just speaking for myself, don't have the time to read every post in every thread in every forum of Radio Reference.
#10Here in Santa Barbara County we do not have fire protection from CalFire. We are one of a handful of counties that maintains its own fire department. I would venture to say that virtually none of the mountain top repeater sites in Southern California is controlled by CalFire, but, rather, by the USFS. They do charge rent to commercial users and these users pass that on to their tenants including hams. So far costs have been moderate.
That said, my recent dealings with the USFS required a new permit for one site (no cost or rent) and a two hour call and a letter to remind them of the service that amateur radio can provide not only to them, but also to the community.
A few years back the Nature Conservancy which controls Santa Cruz Island announced that all repeaters were to be removed. This affected the sheriff, fire, ems and USFS plus ham radio. Needless to say this didn't please anyone and in due course they sat down and shut up.
Organized public pressure can be very effective in these cases.
By the way, California is the sixth largest economy in the world and we have a net outflow of federal tax dollars. That means we help support other states that have a negative tax flow. Alaska is a good example.
#11Living in a remote area with others, amongst other things I would:
1. Host my own amateur and GMRS repeaters
2. Create a pamphlet and website providing step by step instructions on how to obtain a GMRS license and the local frequency
3. Send the pamphlet via post to neighbors, unless another method of communication is already established
4. Advise that they can monitor (wink-wink) the GMRS frequency without a license for safety information
A low tech addition could be to use an electronic or hand crank siren. Perhaps several residents could have one. The legality of using a siren may different from place to place.
There are other ways to alert people of course and none of these involve the state or local government. Would it be nice to have access to a ridge top facility with an existing tower, sure. Still, I'm not going to get all butthurt if they took it away because I would have already done #1-4 anyways. Redundancy is nice and I would pay for the entire thing so I do not have to consider anyone's thoughts on the matter. Whether my neighbors use it or not is up to them.
#12I've watched this unfold since that
one single email got sent, and it's been overblown into one massive sh!#show that completely over-exaggerates what the initial intent of the email/letter was to the CalFire ECC Battalion Chief, and the trustee of the ham repeater in a particular single vault.
Seriously, we have lost our damn minds people. Reading Comprehension 101. We are all on edge, just waiting to be triggered by the right word or phrase and then we start making loud noises, banging pots and pans, and we don't ever stop to ask, "wait, why are we making the loud noises again?" It's a direct correlation to the political partisanship we all are really enjoying over the last decade or more. The self-entitlement is astronomical.
Good god if this is the worse case scenario and a bureaucracy dept somewhere deep in Sac decided to audit their vaults, then let's keep our damn heads low and hopefully survive another year or so with the natural speed of bureaucracy. But no, hams do what they do best, self-destruct at the loudest self-entitled volume, something about emcomm, and now every middle manager in the state is going to poke around and ask "hey do we have one of those hams in our thingy up on the mountain?"
#13Nothing that comes out of California surprises me anymore.
#14The state giveth, the state taketh away amateur repeater co-located sites long before this kerfuffle. Rent commercial space or just put it up on your own property. If the state told me I had to remove the amateur gear from their facility, I would tell them thank you for previously hosting us and remove the gear.
#15In my area there is a very well known and large multi site linked repeater system that is notorious for shoe horning their equipment into places it doesn't belong, or giving false information in order to install their non public service related amateur repeaters in public service sites for free. Repeater groups like that give the community a bad name and piss off our public service hosts.
#16Here in Santa Barbara County we do not have fire protection from CalFire. We are one of a handful of counties that maintains its own fire department. I would venture to say that virtually none of the mountain top repeater sites in Southern California is controlled by CalFire, but, rather, by the USFS. They do charge rent to commercial users and these users pass that on to their tenants including hams. So far costs have been moderate.
Not to nitpick but I am going to do that. While Santa Barbara county provides its own fire protection, Santa Barbara county is a contract county for CAL FIRE. This means that CAL FIRE pays Santa Barbara county to provide fire protection for state responsibility area lands instead of CAL FIRE providing direct protection of those lands. This is also the case for Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern and Marin counties. I don't know where the money goes to within San Barbara county but I would suspect their dozer, hand crew and air program is supported with at least some of the money. If a vegetation fire becomes larger than the capacity of Santa Barbara county, CAL FIRE will come in with an incident command team and go into unified command etc...
Because of all this, CAL FIRE has 4 mountain top repeaters within Santa Barbara county. I don't know who owns the land but CAL FIRE does have repeaters within the county.
#17From Marcel Stieber on facebook
Caution is advised with this video and reacting too strongly. Per a recent email thread from www.NARCC.org this is only impacting one specific radio site and is not known to be impacting others. If taking any action, be sure to have the right facts and understand the existing agreements of other sites and the specific background on this site's issue to avoid further scrutiny of other sites that could hurt more than help.The lawyer's letter made it seem California wide. I only forwarded it to my SEC, I didn't notify my ECs. Don't want panic within the ranks. I'll forward this new information.
#18Not to nitpick but I am going to do that. While Santa Barbara county provides its own fire protection, Santa Barbara county is a contract county for CAL FIRE. This means that CAL FIRE pays Santa Barbara county to provide fire protection for state responsibility area lands instead of CAL FIRE providing direct protection of those lands. This is also the case for Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern and Marin counties. I don't know where the money goes to within San Barbara county but I would suspect their dozer, hand crew and air program is supported with at least some of the money. If a vegetation fire becomes larger than the capacity of Santa Barbara county, CAL FIRE will come in with an incident command team and go into unified command etc...
Because of all this, CAL FIRE has 4 mountain top repeaters within Santa Barbara county. I don't know who owns the land but CAL FIRE does have repeaters within the county.
I am well aware of this and it didn't seem totally relevant. I never said that CalFire did not have repeaters in SB County. The ones that I'm aware of are on USFS mountain tops. Santa Ynez Peak for example. They get very little use even in major fires where most of the traffic is on tactical channels. I know how responses to the SRA work. I used to be a member of the county fire department. As for the money flow, it was always a source of contention and probably still is. By the way, Santa Barbara County has Vandenberg Air Force Base and there are plenty of fires out there. They have their own fire department, but the county provides mutual aid. The same is true with the Lompoc Federal Penitentiary.
#19In case you're interested, Ham Radio Now, episode 414: This Is No Such Thing As Free Rack Space, was posted last night on YouTube.
I'm still watching/listening to it as it's about 44-minutes long. So... I currently can't comment on it.
#20Unfortuneately, this sitiuation is playing out all over the country. Just move the repeater. When the SHTF and they come back begging for help, remind them of the move.
Children4Erin Brockovich (born Pattee; June 22, 1960) is an American legal clerk, consumer advocate, and environmental activist, who, despite her lack of formal education in the law, was instrumental in building a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Her successful lawsuit was the subject of a 2000 film, Erin Brockovich, which starred Julia Roberts. Since then, Brockovich has become a media personality as well, hosting the TV series Challenge America with Erin Brockovich on ABC and Final Justice on Zone Reality. She is the president of Brockovich Research & Consulting. She also works as a consultant for Girardi & Keese, the New York law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, which has a focus on personal injury claims for asbestos exposure, and Shine Lawyers in Australia.
Early life [ edit ] Brockovich was born Erin Pattee in Lawrence, Kansas, the daughter of Betty Jo (born O'Neal; c. 1923''2008), a journalist, and Frank Pattee (1924''2011), an industrial engineer and football player. She has two brothers, Frank Jr. and Thomas (1954''1992), and a sister, Jodie. She graduated from Lawrence High School, then attended Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kansas, and graduated with an Associate in Applied Arts Degree from Wade College in Dallas, Texas. She worked as a management trainee for Kmart in 1981 but quit after a few months and entered a beauty pageant. She won Miss Pacific Coast in 1981 and left the beauty pageant after the win. She has lived in California since 1982.
Pacific Gas and Electric litigation [ edit ] The case (Anderson, et al. v. Pacific Gas and Electric, file BCV 00300) alleged contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium (also written as "chromium VI", "Cr-VI" or "Cr-6") in the southern California town of Hinkley. At the center of the case was a facility, the Hinkley compressor station, built in 1952 as a part of a natural-gas pipeline connecting to the San Francisco Bay Area. Between 1952 and 1966, PG&E used hexavalent chromium in a cooling tower system to fight corrosion. The waste water was discharged to unlined ponds at the site, and some percolated into the groundwater, affecting an area near the plant approximately 2 by 1 mile (3.2 by 1.6 km). The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) put the PG&E site under its regulations in 1968.
The case was settled in 1996 for US$333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. Masry & Vititoe, the law firm for which Brockovich was a legal clerk, received $133.6 million of that settlement, and Brockovich herself was given a bonus of $2.5 million.
A study released in 2010 by the California Cancer Registry showed that cancer rates in Hinkley "remained unremarkable from 1988 to 2008". An epidemiologist involved in the study said that the 196 cases of cancer reported during the most recent survey of 1996 through 2008 were fewer than what he would expect based on demographics and the regional rate of cancer. However, in June 2013 Mother Jones magazine featured a critique from the Center for Public Integrity of the author's work on the later epidemiological studies.
As of 2016[update], average Cr-6 levels in Hinkley were recorded as 1.19 ppb with a peak of 3.09 ppb. For comparison, the PG&E Topock Compressor Station on the California-Arizona border averaged 7.8 ppb with peaks of 31.8 ppb based on a PG&E Background Study.
Other litigation [ edit ] Working with Edward L. Masry, a lawyer based in Thousand Oaks, California, Brockovich went on to participate in other anti-pollution lawsuits. One suit accused the Whitman Corporation of chromium contamination in Willits, California. Another, which listed 1,200 plaintiffs, alleged contamination near PG&E's Kettleman Hills compressor station in Kings County, California, along the same pipeline as the Hinkley site. The Kettleman suit was settled for $335 million in 2006.
In 2003, Brockovich received settlements of $430,000 from two parties and an undisclosed amount from a third party to settle her lawsuit alleging toxic mold in her Agoura Hills, California, home. After experiencing problems with mold contamination in her own home in the Conejo Valley, Brockovich became a prominent activist and educator in this area as well.
Brockovich speaking at the Arizona Ultimate Women's Expo in Phoenix, AZ - October 2016
Brockovich and Masry filed suit against the Beverly Hills Unified School District in 2003, in which the district was accused of harming the health and safety of its students by allowing a contractor to operate a cluster of oil wells on campus. Brockovich and Masry alleged that 300 cancer cases were linked to the oil wells. Subsequent testing and epidemiological investigation failed to corroborate a substantial link, and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Wendell Mortimer granted summary judgment against the plaintiffs. In May 2007, the School District announced that it was to be paid $450,000 as reimbursement for legal expenses.
Brockovich assisted in the filing of a lawsuit against Prime Tanning Corp. of St. Joseph, Missouri, in April 2009. The lawsuit claims that waste sludge from the production of leather, containing high levels of hexavalent chromium, was distributed to farmers in northwest Missouri to use as fertilizer on their fields. It is believed to be a potential cause of an abnormally high number of brain tumors (70 since 1996) around the town of Cameron, Missouri, which is currently[when? ] being investigated by the EPA.
In June 2009, Brockovich began investigating a case of contaminated water in Midland, Texas. "Significant amounts" of hexavalent chromium were found in the water of more than 40 homes in the area, some of which have now been fitted with state-monitored filters on their water supply. Brockovich said "The only difference between here and Hinkley is that I saw higher levels here than I saw in Hinkley."
In 2012, Brockovich got involved in the mysterious case of 14 students from LeRoy, New York, who began reporting perplexing medical symptoms including tics and speech difficulty. Brockovich believed environmental pollution from the 1970 Lehigh Valley Railroad derailment was the cause and conducted testing in the area. Brockovich was supposed to return to town to present her findings, but never did; in the meantime the students' doctors determined the cause was mass psychogenic illness and that the media exposure was making it worse. No environmental causes were found after repeat testing and the students improved once the media attention died down.
In early 2016, Brockovich became involved in potential litigation against Southern California Gas for a large methane leak from its underground storage facility near the community of Porter Ranch north of Los Angeles (see Aliso Canyon gas leak).
Awards [ edit ] Honorary Doctor of laws and commencement speaker at Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon, in May 2005.Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and commencement speaker at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, on May 5, 2007.Honorary Master of Arts, Business Communication, from Jones International University, Centennial, Colorado.Movies [ edit ] Brockovich's work in bringing litigation against Pacific Gas and Electric was the focus of the 2000 feature film, Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts in the title role. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing in a Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Roberts won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Erin Brockovich. Erin Brockovich herself had a cameo role as a waitress named Julia R.
Brockovich had a more extensive role in the 2012 documentary Last Call at the Oasis, which focused on not only water pollution but also the overall state of water scarcity as it relates to water policy in the United States.
Book [ edit ] Brockovich's book, titled Take It From Me: Life's a Struggle But You Can Win, (ISBN 978-0071383790) was published in 2001.
References [ edit ] ^ "Girardi & Keese Law Firm" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-15. ^ Maddaus, Gene (September 22, 2009). "Erin Brockovich goes after Shell Oil in Carson". Daily Breeze. Archived from the original on October 7, 2009. ^ McDonough, Molly (September 26, 2008). "Erin Brockovich Signs On With NYC Law Firm". ABA Journal. ^ "Erin Brockovich Shines". Shine Lawyers. Archived from the original on 3 April 2018. ^ "Obituaries / LJWorld.com". ljworld.com. ^ "Erin Brockovich and Hexavalent Chromium". SkillMD . Retrieved 2019-05-26 . ^ PG&E Hinkley Chromium Cleanup California Environmental Protection Agency, 9/10/08 ^ Campbell, Duncan (10 December 2001). "What Erin Brockovich did next" '' via The Guardian. ^ a b Schwartz, Naoki (2010-12-13) "Survey shows unremarkable cancer rate in CA town", The Boston Globe Dec 13, 2010 ^ "Erin Brockovich's Biggest Debunker, Debunked". Mother Jones. ^ PG&E Background Study ^ "BP Oil Disaster: Major compensation payouts from other global corporations". ^ "Activist Erin Brockovich Settles Home Mold Suit". Archived from the original on October 27, 2014 . Retrieved October 27, 2014 . ^ Beverly Hills Mystery People Magazine. May 19, 2003, Accessed May 30, 2009. ^ "More Brockovich Claims Tossed." Balance. Civil Justice Association of California. Third Quarter 2007, p.2. Archived October 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine ^ Justice Served as City of Beverly Hills and Beverly Hills Unified School District Receive Reimbursement in Oil Well Litigation, CJAC press release, Oct 9, 2007. ^ Lawsuit alleges fertilizer was contaminated around Cameron, Mo. Archived April 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ^ a b c "Brockovich: Midland, Texas Water Sullied." CBS News. June 10, 2009. Accessed June 10, 2009. ^ Steve Almasy and Jim Spellman (February 4, 2012). "N.Y. town still baffled by teens' mysterious tics". CNN . Retrieved 2012-02-04 . ^ "What Really Happened To The Girls In Le Roy?". February 21, 2013. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013 . Retrieved 2013-06-25 . ^ "School's end clears up New York students' mystery twitching". Reuters. June 23, 2012. ^ a b c Erin Brockovich Awards. Retrieved April 23, 2012. Archived January 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine ^ Turan, Kenneth (May 4, 2012). "Movie review: 'Last Call at the Oasis' smartly sounds alarm on water". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California: Tribune Company . Retrieved May 9, 2012 . External links [ edit ] Official website of Erin BrockovichThe Brockovich Report BrockovichBlog.comBrockovich I-VillageOfficial MySpace of Erin BrockovichErin Brockovich biography on the Biography ChannelErin Brockovich on IMDb Evening with Erin Brockovich in Sydney, hosted by the Climate Change Coalition 2007Detail about Hinkley case at AwesomeStories.comDid Hinkley Residents Really Win? at salon.comWeitz & Luxenberg PCShine Lawyers AustraliaEnvironmental Justice SocietyErin Brockovich video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America
California faces historic power outage due to fire danger
James Cooke is shown buying water bottles along with propane tanks and batteries at a ACE Hardware store as he prepares for a possible power shutdown in Los Gatos, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Millions of people were poised to lose electricity throughout northern and central California after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Tuesday it would shut off power in the largest preventive outage in state history to try to avert wildfires caused by faulty lines. (Anda Chu/San Jose Mercury News via AP) Joe Wilson pulls his generator out in the garage of his home, which is in an area that is expected to lose power early Wednesday, in the East Foothills area of San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Millions of people were poised to lose electricity throughout northern and central California after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Tuesday it would shut off power in the largest preventive outage in state history to try to avert wildfires caused by faulty lines. (Randy Vazquez/San Jose Mercury News via AP) Pacific Gas & Electric crews work to restore power lines in Paradise, Calif. Two years to the day after some of the deadliest wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, two of the state's largest utilities were poised Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, to shut off power to more than 700,000 customers in 37 counties, in what would be the largest preventive shut-off to date as utilities try to head off wildfires caused by faulty power lines. A Pacific Gas & Electric worker walks in front of a truck in San Francisco. Two years to the day after some of the deadliest wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, two of the state's largest utilities were poised Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, to shut off power to more than 700,000 customers in 37 counties, in what would be the largest preventive shut-off to date as utilities try to head off wildfires caused by faulty power lines. A vehicle rests in front of a home leveled by the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. Two years to the day after some of the deadliest wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, two of the state's largest utilities were poised Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, to shut off power to more than 700,000 customers in 37 counties, in what would be the largest preventive shut-off to date as utilities try to head off wildfires caused by faulty power lines. A Pacific Gas & Electric lineman works to repair a power line in fire-ravaged Paradise, Calif. Two years to the day after some of the deadliest wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, two of the state's largest utilities were poised Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, to shut off power to more than 700,000 customers in 37 counties, in what would be the largest preventive shut-off to date as utilities try to head off wildfires caused by faulty power lines. The lantern section is nearly empty at an ACE Hardware store as shoppers prepare for possible power shutoffs in Los Gatos, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Millions of people were poised to lose electricity throughout northern and central California after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Tuesday it would shut off power in the largest preventive outage in state history to try to avert wildfires caused by faulty lines. (Dai Sugano/San Jose Mercury News via AP) October 09, 2019PG&E said it would begin turning off power to 800,000 customers in 34 counties starting after midnight Wednesday amid forecasts of windy, dry weather that create extreme fire danger. To the south, Southern California Edison also said Tuesday that more than 106,000 of its customers in parts of eight counties could face power cuts.
Outages are planned in more than half of California's 58 counties, although not everyone in those counties will have their power cut. The news came as residents in the region's wine country north of San Francisco marked the two-year anniversary of deadly wildfires that killed 44 and destroyed thousands of homes. San Francisco is the only county in the nine-county Bay Area where power will not be affected.
The utility had warned of the possibility of a widespread shut-off Monday, prompting residents to flock to stores for supplies as they prepared for dying cellphone batteries, automatic garages that won't work and lukewarm refrigerators.
Flashlights, batteries and propane tanks for barbecues were in high demand as people prepared for an outage that PG&E said may last "several days." "We sold out of lanterns this morning. The shelf is completely empty," said Howard Gibbs, the manager at Ace Hardware in the town of Lafayette, 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of San Francisco. "We've got just a few flashlights left, and we're down to our last couple propane tanks, too."
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf asked residents Tuesday not to clog 911 lines with non-emergencies and urged people to be prepared. The city canceled all police officers' days off in preparation for the outages.
"We all know the devastation that fires can cause," she said. In 1991, a grass fire torched the Oakland Hills, killing 25 people and destroying more than 3,000 homes. PG&E said it was informing customers by text and email about where and when the power would be cut. But its website, where it directed people to check whether their addresses would be affected, was not working most of the day Tuesday after being overloaded with visitors.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said PG&E had no choice given that it would have faced liability for fire damage but he said customers are right to feel outraged. The utility needs to upgrade and fix its equipment so massive outages aren't the norm going forward, he said.
"No one is satisfied with this, no one is happy with this," he said. The outage will also affect portions of the agricultural Central Valley, the state's northern and central coasts and the Sierra Nevada foothills where a November wildfire blamed on PG&E transmission lines killed 85 people and devastated the town of Paradise.
Jennifer Siemens, who lost her home in Paradise, rents a house in the nearby town of Oroville and said she was bracing for a third blackout in a month. Siemens had her car gassed up, had stocked up on bottled water and flashlights and made sure all the family's electronic devices were fully charged.
"What's wrong with the power lines that they have to do this so much?" asked Siemens. "We don't want any more fires, obviously, but I feel like they are going a little overboard." Winds can knock down live wires and power poles or drive trees and other vegetation into contact with them '-- and some of California's most destructive blazes in recent years were started by PG&E power lines.
But the planned outages will not be limited to fire-prone areas because the utilities must turn off entire distribution and transmission lines to much wider areas to minimize the risk of wildfires. San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric sought bankruptcy protection in January, saying it could not afford an estimated $30 billion in potential damages from lawsuits stemming from recent wildfire. As part of ongoing bankruptcy litigation, last month the company agreed to pay $11 billion to a group of insurance companies representing claimants from deadly Northern California wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
In Southern California, the largest numbers of potentially affected customers were in Los Angeles County and to the east in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Public agencies throughout the region were urging people to prepare by buying water and non-perishable food, getting a full tank of gas, having cash at hand and parking vehicles outside garages or making sure they know how to manually open their garage doors.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention said it increased staffing in preparation for extreme fire weather and what was expected to be the strongest wind event so far this fire season.
"With some of the most destructive and deadliest fires occurring October through December, we need Californians to not be complacent," said Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter in a news release. "Residents need to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice in the event of a wildfire."
At the Dollar General store in Paradise, people were buying candles, gas cans, ice, flashlights, batteries and canned food and the store ran out of ice chests Tuesday morning, said manager Ben Humphries.
Humphries, who moved to Oroville with his family after losing his home in Paradise, said his family lost power two times already in the last month and he was making sure they had enough fuel for their generator and plenty of ice in coolers.
But he said there was a sense of irony to PG&E's aggressive action in the area now, after the company opted not to turn off the power ahead of the Nov. 8 fire that wiped out Paradise. "I understand their concerns but in my opinion it's too little too late, we already had our town burned to the ground," Humphries said.
Yom Kippur - Terroristen schieten in Duitsland met machinegeweren op synagoge, twee doden '' De Dagelijkse Standaard
In Duitsland is zojuist een aanslag door meerdere terroristen met machinegeweren gepleegd op een synagoge. Het nieuws is nog vers en er zijn twee doden te betreuren. De aanslag vond plaats in het (voormalig Oost) Duitse Halle, maar ook in het nabijgelegen Leipzig zou worden geschoten, zo meldt de Bundespolizei. De voortvluchtigen zijn met een auto ontsnapt en droegen volgens de Telegraaf groene 'legerkleding'.
#BREAKINGSchietpartij bij synagoge in Duitse #Halle. Meerdere daders, en volgens sommige bronnen minstens 2 doden. Politie heeft 1 verdachte gearresteerd. pic.twitter.com/LxGWGbtSoj
'-- Terrorisme Nieuws (@TerreurNieuwsNL) October 9, 2019
Momenteel heerst er chaos in het Duitse Saksen want behalve een aanval op een synagoge met machinegeweren, waarbij twee doden en een onbekend aantal gewonden zijn gevallen, zijn ook granaten bij winkels naar binnen gesmeten. Ook zijn handgranaten gevonden op de joodse begraafplaats. En dat op Yom Kippur, de dag van verzoening.
Dit zou een van de terroristen in Halle zijn: pic.twitter.com/edWDlviWFQ
'-- Wierd Duk (@wierdduk) October 9, 2019
In Leipzig, de grote stad nabij Halle, wordt volgens de Duitse politie ook geschoten. Het gaat dus mogelijk om een aanval door meerdere daders op meerdere locaties tegelijk, die 'legerkleding' en gezichtsbedekking droegen. De toedracht van de aanval is vooralsnog onbekend, maar gezien het feit dat er werd geschoten op een synagoge lijkt een antisemitisch motief voor de hand te liggen.
(C)n van de verdachten verschool zich na de laffe aanval op de synagoge op het toilet van een nabijgelegen kebabzaak, maar is nu aangehouden door de Bundespolizei. Het is de verwachting dat binnen niet al te lange tijd meer duidelijkheid over het motief van de daders bekend zal worden.
Waardeer jij de artikelen op DagelijkseStandaard.nl? Volg ons dan op Twitter!
The German synagogue shooting was streamed on Twitch
09 October 2019, Saxony-Anhalt, Landsberg: Police officers walk along a hedge with machine guns in their hands near Wiedersdorf/Landsberg. Besides the shots in Halle, there were also shots in Landsberg (Saalekreis) about 15 kilometres away. (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Wednesday's shooting in the eastern German city of Halle outside of a synagogue was livestreamed on Amazon's Twitch service, the company confirmed to CNBC. The video was 35 minutes long. Two people were killed in the attack, German police said earlier in the day.
"We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected," a Twitch spokesperson said. "Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We are working with urgency to remove this content and permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act."
Twitch posted a series of tweets on the matter later Wednesday, claiming that "approximately five people" watched the stream while it was live. Twitch said a recording of the stream was then viewed by about 2,200 people "in the 30 minutes before the video was flagged and removed from Twitch."
The company also said the account was created two months prior to streaming the shooting.
"This video was not surfaced in any recommendations or directories; instead, our investigation suggests that people were coordinating and sharing the video via other online messaging services," the company said. "Once the video was removed, we shared the hash with an industry consortium to help prevent the proliferation of this content. We take this extremely seriously and are committed to working with industry peers, law enforcement, and any relevant parties to protect our community."
NBC News reported that the video showed the shooter parking near the synagogue and shooting a woman before he entered the building. He wasn't able to enter the synagogue and shot another person after driving to a kebab shop. The video was also posted to 10 white-supremacist Telegram channels where they were accessibly by tens of thousands of users, NBC News said.
It shows the growing problem that streaming platforms are facing: When people want to commit evil, they can broadcast their crimes to an audience using social networks, which can amplify their reach.
Twitch is a platform that was built to allow video gamers to livestream their games while chatting with their audience. Other companies have dealt with similar problems.
The footage is no longer on Twitch. CNBC was able to find links to download the video on other sites including 4Chan, however.
The New Zealand mosque massacre, which claimed 50 lives, was livestreamed to Facebook in March. Facebook said it worked to remove 1.5 million videos of the attack that were posted in 24 hours after it was initially streamed, and that 1.2 million of them were "blocked at upload," by Facebook. YouTube, Twitter and Reddit also removed versions of the New Zealand livestream from their sites.
'-- CNBC's Lauren Feiner contributed to this report. NBC News contributed to this report.
Follow @CNBCtech on Twitter for the latest tech product news.
Bernie Heart Attack
Adam, Listing to a past episode about the First
Debates…. Bernie went after big Pharms and they cut him off…. Next thing
you know.. Heart Attack…. Hmmmm
Thank You For Your Courage!
Sales Dude Named Ben….
Hillary Clinton on Trump's 2020 Tweet: 'Don't Tempt Me'
This morning, President Donald Trump mockingly invited Hillary Clinton to run for president again in 2020, remarking, ''Only one condition. The Crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors including how & why she deleted 33,000 Emails AFTER getting 'C' Subpoena!''
I think that Crooked Hillary Clinton should enter the race to try and steal it away from Uber Left Elizabeth Warren. Only one condition. The Crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors including how & why she deleted 33,000 Emails AFTER getting ''C'' Subpoena!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019
Clinton responded in a brief tweet this afternoon remarking, ''Don't tempt me. Do your job.''
Don't tempt me. Do your job.
'-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 8, 2019
Clinton said back in March she's not running for president. Her likely trolling is still going to set off a great deal of speculation, in addition to the many curious reactions on Twitter this afternoon:
'-- Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 8, 2019
Democrats keep scoffing at the idea that Hillary Clinton will run again.
And then, this. https://t.co/8Umovcc9tF
'-- Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 8, 2019
Donald Trump tweets that Hillary Clinton should run again in 2020.
Clinton responds with'...https://t.co/tE0d7FMIaS
'-- Dan Merica (@merica) October 8, 2019
Clinton recently said she supports impeachment, tweeting that ''The president of the United States has betrayed our country'' and that he ''is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free.''
New polling in the Democratic race today shows Elizabeth Warren ahead of Joe Biden 29-26, followed by Bernie Sanders at 16. The poll shows all three beating Trump in head-to-head match-ups.
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Another theory on why stocks are under pressure lately: The 'Warren correction'
There's a correlation between recent weakness in the stock market '-- led by certain sectors '-- and Elizabeth Warren's surge in the polls, according to some analysts and strategists on Wall Street.
One banking analyst, Oppenheimer's Chris Kotowski, went so far as to title his latest research note "The Warren Correction," where he pointed out that his sector is down significantly from its highs in the last month, and suggests that Warren's growing momentum could be a factor behind the recent weakness. The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund and the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF are both down 4% this month, while the S&P 500 is off by more than 2%.
He is far from the only analyst looking at what a Warren White House would mean for Wall Street, and bank stocks are far from the only potential area of concern.
Jefferies biotech analyst Michael Yee wrote that "Elizabeth Warren continues to add uncertainty through the big November 2020 election," and when it comes to energy, Mizuho's Paul Sankey believes that "a new overhang has developed for this maligned sector, namely Elizabeth Warren."
Barclays health care services analyst Steve Valiquette noted that his sector has seen "political uncertainty associated with Elizabeth Warren's steady rise in the Democratic polls," and MoffettNathanson said that a "Warren presidency would heighten regulatory risks" for telecom names, before adding "but a Warren presidency would heighten regulatory risks for lots of industries."
Wall Street titans like Omega Advisors' Leon Cooperman are also speaking about the possible negative market effects from a surging Warren. At CNBC's annual "Delivering Alpha" conference in September, he told Scott Wapner that if Warren or Sanders become "credible" opponents to President Donald Trump, the "market will not be higher."
"I think it would be a bear market and they go on for a year and go down 25%...I would say that basically her policies are counterproductive. They're negative for capitalism," he said specifically of Warren's policies.
Stocks have been caught in somewhat of a holding pattern as of late. After rising to new highs in July, geopolitical tensions and fears of a global economic slowdown weighed on markets. In September the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 came within 1% of their prior all-time highs, but they didn't quite reach those record levels and have been moving lower since. The indices are now about 4% below their July highs. The Dow was down 270 points on Tuesday but most chalked that up to concerns about the U.S.-China trade war.
But some strategists believe that Warren's gain in the polls is also contributing to this investor angst. According to the latest data, the Massachusetts senator is now polling at 26%, narrowly behind Biden's 26.5% lead, according to RealClear Politics.
Oppenheimer's Kotowski said that Warren's surge in the polls, effectively making her "the presumptive Democratic front-runner" has led to a renewed focus on the type and amount of regulation that she would seek to enact. He specifically looks at her "Stop Wall Street Looting Act," which is now back in focus after it had mainly been "gathering dust since July."
The bill, which targets reforms to the private equity industry, was unveiled this past July and was co-authored by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Sherrod Brown, along with Representatives Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal.
"She is clearly portraying private equity managers as the axis of evil in the American economy...invectives from the Warren camp will no doubt be with us for at least the duration of the campaign," Kotowski wrote.
The XLF, which tracks the broader financial space, is currently trading 5% below its most recent July 26 high. The sector is coming off its first negative quarter in four, and is on pace for its fourth straight week of losses. "Concerns of a Warren presidency has weighed in on the sector recently," Evercore's Glenn Schorr wrote in a note to clients, while RBC bank analyst Gerard Cassidy noted that a Warren administration would be "very negative" for financial institutions since they would be "targeted for higher taxes and great regulation."
The correction in banks stocks "seemed to reach a small frenzy," Kotowski wrote, after Bernie Sanders took a leave of absence from the campaign trail following a heart attack. Following the announcement from his staffers, the financials ETF did slide 2% to end the day in the red. The thinking is that if Sanders were to step aside, that would give Warren an easier road to the nomination and presidency. But of course, correlation does not necessarily mean causation.
Senator Sanders is slated to attend the upcoming Democratic primary debate on October 15, but many, like Credit Suisse's Moshe Orenbuch, believe that should Sanders ultimately drop out of the race "more of his supporters would back Warren," making her likely to win the Democratic party's nomination. This comes as the Ukraine controversy heats up, which is taking a toll on Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign. He's still in the lead, but the gap is narrowing and his third quarter fundraising numbers came in fourth behind those of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg.
Kotowski did note that Warren's momentum is not the only possible reason for the recent softness in the financial sector. He cited "normal profit-taking" gaining speed, as well as investor concern following the WeWork IPO debacle as other possible factors.
Senator Warren has been a vocal '' and frequent '' critic of not only banks, but large corporations more broadly. Looking at the potential economic impact of a Warren presidency on the broader market, Sevens Report founder Tim Essaye wrote that "it is a very reasonable statement that if Warren were elected...it would be negative for the stock market in the extreme."
"If expected earnings go down, stock prices go down. These policies would hurt corporate earnings universally," he wrote, before adding that "they would likely improve quality of life for many demographics at the expense of corporate profits."
Others, of course, have pointed to the areas of the market that could potentially benefit from a Warren White House. For instance, RBC apparel analyst Kate Fitzsimmons noted that "eliminated student loan debts and rising wages," both of which are key elements of Warren's campaign, "could free up customer wallet share for other discretionary categories." She also argued that "a breakup of big tech including Amazon," which is another of Warren's key policies, could ultimately help smaller retailers.
- CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed reporting.
Erdogan Threatens To Flood Europe With Millions Of Syrian Refugees If It Criticizes Turkish 'Incursion' | Zero Hedge
As fighting ramps up in northeastern Syria following Turkey's armed incursion into territory held by the Kurds, President Trump made clear during a press conference Wednesday night that, while Washington has threatened to punish Turkey for attacking the Kurds, President Trump doesn't feel any deeper loyalty to the one-time "tip of the spear" in the fight against ISIS.
But President Erdogan wants Europe to understand that if it pursues sanctions or other punitive measures against Turkey - or even if European leaders complain too loudly - he won't hesitate to release millions of Syrian refugees and allow them to start making their way to Europe, which is still struggling with the ramifications of the last wave of Syrian refugees.
According to BBG, Erdogan said he would "open the doors" for 3.6 million refugees currently in Turkey to seek shelter in Europe, should his country face criticism.
Erdogan's threat comes as Turkish troops begin their advance into northeastern Syria (Erdogan has asked European leaders not to call this an 'invasion'). So far, he has faced intense criticism from European nations and nearby Arab states.
The Turkish lira, and Turkish assets like stocks and foreign-currency bonds, have slumped in the wake of the invasion, with the Turkish currency trading near its weakest level since August.
Ankara has said the operation, which was given the green light by the US over the weekend, is intended to force back Kurdish militants along the border area while targeting ISIS militants. But since ISIS has been stripped of all its territory in the region, many who oppose the Turkish incursion believe the claims of going after ISIS and preventing the creation of a "terror corridor" are merely a ruse.
The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria. Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area.
'-- Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan (@RTErdogan) October 9, 2019Turkish F-16 warplanes and artillery units have struck at least 181 targets so far. At least 19 Kurdish militants have been killed since the Turkish assault began, while 38 have been wounded. Meanwhile, a group of American senators from both parties have promised to try and punish Ankara over the incursion.
Trump's latest retweets: 'US aligned not with the Kurds, but with the PKK in Syria' - Daily Sabah
Facing a staunch backlash in the U.S. Congress over his decision to pull back its forces from northeastern Syria, Trump went on the defensive Monday, retweeting half a dozen Twitter posts defending his announcement. One his retweets was of Michael Doran's, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute.
The tweet Trump retweeted accused the U.S. of having partnered with the terror group PKK and not the Kurds. It reflected what Turkey had been telling its NATO ally for many years, the fact that the U.S.' allies in Syria, namely the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is dominated the People's Protection Units (YPG), is an extension of the PKK, a terrorist organization that has waged a bloody war against Turkey for 35 years.
Tweeting hours after the White House declared late Sunday that American troops were withdrawing from Syria, Doran said the former administration of U.S. President Barack Obama had sown the seeds of a conflict between Turkey and the PKK in northern Syria.
"We aligned under Obama not with 'the Kurds,' but with the PKK, the sworn enemy of the Turkish Republic, our ally. We were sowing the seeds of a Turkish-PKK war with that policy. We were also driving Turkey toward Russia," Doran said on Twitter.
Trump reiterated his administration's commitment to withdraw troops from Syria on Monday, following a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart President ErdoÄan a day earlier."The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight," Trump tweeted early in the morning.
The U.S. president then said the Kurds, referring to the YPG terror group in Syria, "were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to" fight with the U.S., in an apparent criticism of the policies of former U.S. administrations."They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home," Trump added.
Doran, who served in the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush as a senior director in the National Security Council, also criticized Senator Lindsey Graham who has voiced concern for Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria.
He said Graham needs Turkey and Saudi Arabia if he wants to contain the threat to the region emanating from Iran.
Another political analyst at the U.S.-based think tank Heritage Foundation, Luke Coffey, warned Americans of the YPG threat and said he is not "comfortable arming and training a Marxist group with links to terrorism."
"Regarding U.S. troops in Syria it is alarming how little debate there was in America about supporting the YPG. Call me old fashion, but I'm not comfortable arming and training a Marxist group with links to terrorism. I'm sure most Americans would feel same way too if they knew," Coffey tweeted Monday.
He added that the Americans should welcome Turkey's steps to eliminate legitimate security concerns along its long border with Syria.
"We should welcome Turkey taking steps to secure its border. The U.S. can't do it forever. They have legitimate security concerns," he said and informed Americans about the real nature of the YPG."Also, the YPG is a neo-Marxist group that serves as Syrian branch of the PKK (designated a terrorist group by the U.S. Gov't). So please spare me the tears," he said.
In the heat of Trump's withdrawal announcement during the day, U.K.-based political analyst Kyle Orton slammed Nikki Haley, former U.S. envoy to the UN, for siding with the terror group over a NATO ally.
"Nikki Haley might also explain at some point how she proposes to run an international order where terrorists the U.S. aligned with for contingent reasons become 'allies', and states that the U.S. is bound by treaty to defend with nuclear weaponry if necessary become 'not our friend,'" Orton said on Twitter.
He also retweeted a Turkish professor who said: "Referring to the SDF (PKK) as 'the Kurds' is like referring to ISIS as 'the Arabs' or Boko Haram as 'the Nigerians.'"
"#PKK/#SDF are narco-gangsters whose suicide bombers massacre people in football stadiums and who destroy all Kurds who oppose them," Orton said.
Kurds Have Been Preparing for Trump's Syria Betrayal'--With a Vengeance
Late Sunday night in Washington, the White House announced it was pulling U.S. troops out of northeast Syria to clear the way for a Turkish invasion. The Kurds there who led the fight on the ground that defeated the so-called Islamic State had seen President Donald Trump's betrayal coming. But still they hoped it could be avoided.
''Don't let the Turks disrupt my wedding,'' our translator texted in September prior to our arrival in the region. For more than a year, we have been visiting almost monthly to interview captured ISIS cadres held by the Kurdish and Arab troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as part of a project for the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism.
In September, we saw the Turkish threat to invade at any moment was held off by tense U.S. negotiations in which the SDF made considerable concessions, allowing Turkey to patrol jointly a large swath of territory while agreeing to remove checkpoints and military positions farther back from the Turkish border.
''They should put their patrols inside Turkish territory, and not enter Syria,'' SDF leaders told us at the time, but they reluctantly acquiesced to U.S. demands.
Many current and former White House advisers counseled against the kind of announcement made Sunday night. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned last year over Trump's threat to remove the few thousand U.S. troops in Syria, who not only served as advisers in the fight against ISIS, but as deterrence against Turkish operations east of the Euphrates River.
In a particularly bitter post on Twitter, Bret McGurk, who served as the special U.S. presidential envoy for the fight against ISIS from 2015 to 2018, wrote, ''Donald Trump is not a Commander-in-Chief. He makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation. He sends military personnel into harm's way with no backing. He blusters and then leaves our allies exposed when adversaries call his bluff or he confronts a hard phone call.''
The U.S. military learned about the withdrawal plan only after Trump decided on it following his Sunday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It has pulled out of two small observation posts in the security-mechanism zone near the Syria-Turkey border so far. But no further withdrawals are imminent, according to a knowledgeable source. The military, remembering Trump's December order out of Syria and subsequent reversal, is waiting to learn if Trump will follow through with withdrawal this time.
Trump responded to criticism this time with some extraordinary tweets. He made an explicit threat to Turkey if, as many anticipate, the Kurdish fighters now guarding thousands of ISIS prisoners redeploy to the Turkish front and there are massive escapes. ''As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate,'' Trump wrote, ''if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!).''
There was no expression of concern for the Kurds.
A recently departed senior Pentagon official considered the pullout a ''blatant betrayal'' of the United States' Kurdish partners that gives ''carte blanche to Erdogan'' for a widely forecast bloodletting. ''It's going to be a massacre, that's clear,'' the ex-official told The Daily Beast. ''It's fundamentally wrong. They destroyed the caliphate.''
But the Kurds are not entirely defenseless. Military leaders of the dominant group, known as the YPG or People's Protection Units (and their female YPJ partners), already were in overdrive in September, preparing for what they had long anticipated'--a possible betrayal by their closest ally, the United States.
Alongside every major highway and criss-crossing the entire Northern Syria area, in fields, cities and towns, we saw digging for an extensive system of tunnels.
''We're ready either way,'' the Kurdish leaders told us when asked if they trusted the U.S. to keep the Turks at bay.
Kurds don't have much, but their spirit of freedom and their desire to protect their hard-won territory and what they see as their incipient democracy was evident everywhere in September as the YPG troops prepared for battle with a much better equipped foe'--the Turkish armed forces, the second biggest military in NATO.
But nobody who fought ISIS in Syria in one vicious battle after another has forgotten that the huge Turkish army stood by and did nothing against the Islamic State as its killers carried out genocidal campaigns against Yazidis and Shiites, while abducting, torturing, ransoming or beheading Americans, Europeans, and Japanese, among others. Through all that, NATO ally Turkey was not interested in intervention. Far from it.
That was until the White House statement Sunday night, up to which the U.S. military denied Turkey the ability to operate in airspace over SDF controlled territory, effectively making it more difficult to enter Northern Syria to conduct the ''terrorist cleansing operation'' that Turks insist upon. They already carried out one such operation in Afrin, west of the Euphrates, in January 2018, displacing Kurds and effectively taking over the area, using what Kurds claim are former ISIS cadres to fight for them.
''The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.''
'-- U.S. President Donald J. Trump
Turks view the Northern Syria area of Rojava, and the YPG dominated SDF, as controlled by Kurdish PKK terrorists operating under another name'--wolves in sheep's clothing. Indeed, in times past'--until 1998'--PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, lived freely in Syria and the father of the current Assad allowed him to train and equip his highly disciplined terrorist group for attacks into Turkey. It's also true that over time, the various governing parties of Syria, Iraq and Iran have made use of PKK assaults on Turks as a way to exert pressure on Turkish politics. Turkey has suffered greatly from PKK terrorist attacks both inside Turkey and globally, and the PKK is clearly designated on the U.S. and EU's list of terrorist organizations.
In recent concessions to Turkey's alarm over the SDF, a group they view as being in the hands of the PKK, the U.S. recently added additional individuals involved in the PKK to the U.S. State Department's specially designated terrorist list. Turkey has also developed drones that fly over the Qandil mountains, in northern Iraq, making it easier to spot PKK movements and routinely send fighter jets to bomb them.
In the case of northern Syria however, until President Trump's announcement late Sunday night Washington time, the U.S. policy was to deny the Turks military incursions into territory where U.S. troops patrol and the U.S. military controls the airspace and claims by Turkey that the SDF is PKK have also been hotly disputed.
While Turkey sees the SDF as dominated and led by a terrorist organization, the U.S. has a completely different perspective, viewing the YPG and SDF as valued allies in the fight against ISIS. Indeed, YPG and YPJ (Women's People's Protection Units) fighters lost over 1,000 lives fighting ISIS and it is common to see Kurdish men and women in Rojava on crutches, in wheelchairs and otherwise suffering from serious and lifelong injuries sustained in the battle to retake ISIS dominated areas, including Raqqa.
While the rest of the world was silent, the YPG and YPJ can also take credit for going to the rescue of the Yazidis on Sinjar mountain in 2014, fighting to stop ISIS from carrying out a massive genocidal campaign in which ISIS cadres captured and enslaved countless Yazidi women, boys, and girls. The men were killed by ISIS, the boys killed or indoctrinated. The women and girls subsequently were raped and treated as chattel. But thousands were able to escape with YPG help.
At present the SDF houses thousands of captured ISIS prisoners, holding the men in repurposed schools and prisons overflowing with former fighters and in camps similarly run at overcapacity for ISIS women and children. According to a March 2019 UN report, a total of 8,000 Islamic State fighters are currently held in SDF custody.
In our recent visits to north and east Syria from May through August, relying on our primary intelligence sources, we were told that approximately 2,000 of these Islamic State prisoners were considered ''foreign terrorist fighters'' from North Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
The same data was also corroborated in an August 2019 press release by the Office of the Spokesperson, Special Envoy of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Ambassador James Jeffrey. Just under a 1,000 of the prisoners are believed to be Europeans.
ICSVE has interviewed approximately 5 percent of those detained. Most appear to have become totally disillusioned, are exhausted from battle and prison and say they want to lay down arms. While there is no specific deradicalization or rehabilitation program applied to them at present and we have been requested by the SDF and also agreed to build one, it's safe to say the majority are spontaneously deradicalizing and simply want to return home to their former lives after facing a judicial process.
The SDF prisons are overcrowded and the SDF leadership repeatedly has expressed a need to ICSVE researchers for technical assistance in dealing with terrorist prisoners and for financial assistance to build at least five prisons. Riots and attempted jail breaks have occurred in SDF prisons holding foreign fighters. Likewise, recent news reporting shows over-capacity has prisoners sleeping next to each other on their sides to be able to fit into small and overcrowded rooms.
''According to a UN Report as of April 2019 an estimated 75,000 women and children were being held.''
Three detention centers holding ISIS women and children also are administered by the SDF: Camps Hol, Ain Issa and Roj. According to a UN Report as of April 2019 an estimated 75,000 women and children were being held. Our data suggests that at least 60,000 are Syrians and Iraqis. At least 8,000 children and 4,000 wives of foreign fighters remain in the camp.
Women and children live in tents in these camps which are hot in the summer, freezing cold during winter, and leak cold rainwater as well. Dust blows around the camps causing breathing difficulties for some. Women and children have died of typhus, tent fires, and other dangers in the camps. Recently vaccinations have been offered, but many mothers don't trust the program and refrain from having their children vaccinated. The women cook for themselves and complain that the food provided them lacks nutritious fruits and vegetables. Schools are lacking as well.
All of the camps housing women have suffered from ISIS enforcers still dedicated to the group who require the other women to continue to cover themselves and punish those who speak out against them. These women have attacked other women, set their tents on fire, stolen their possessions, attacked, bitten, beaten and stabbed guards and have murdered other women creating a sense of chaos, constant danger and oppression in the camps. Recently a gun fight broke out in Camp Hol, with one woman killed and seven wounded.
Foreign fighters from about 60 countries remain in SDF custody. We have interviewed foreign fighters who are nationals of the United States, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Dagestan, Turkey, Denmark, Russia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia, Indonesia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Switzerland, Egypt, and Germany.
While the SDF has struggled to contain the overflow of captured ISIS fighters, they have been frustrated by Turkish politics and threats to their very existence. In recent years with the Syrian uprising and rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Turks saw it to be to their advantage to fund, train and equip Islamist rebels that they believed could keep the Kurdish independence movements in Syria in a weakened state, or altogether destroyed.
The Kurds, meanwhile, fought back in 2015 when ISIS invaded the city of Kobani on the Turkish border and rose up as a valiant on-the-ground force to repel the terrorists. The U.S. led coalition began arming and supplying the YPG and YPJ, and providing air cover, infusing the Kurds with a powerful sense of valor and military might that ultimately led to the complete territorial defeat of an Islamic State ''caliphate'' that had taken as its motto ''remain and expand.''
ISIS is hardly a defeated foe however, with weekly sleeper cell attacks occurring in both Syria and Iraq and the likes of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi still making video and audio appeals to supporters around the world to reinstate the caliphate, starting with breaking the ISIS prisoners out of captivity.
The subject of ISIS captives is one of great importance to President Trump who repeatedly has threatened to release the roughly 12,000 ISIS foreign men, women and children prisoners held by the SDF in prisons and camps. Trump's view is that each country has to take its citizens back, even countries like Sweden that lack a terrorism law under which to prosecute returnees, and countries like France, which already has a serious militant jihadi prison problem and fears any more potential ISIS cadres inside its penitentiaries.
These countries have continued to tell the SDF that an international tribunal can be established in its territory to try ISIS prisoners in place. But the UN Counter Terrorism Directorate and U.S. State Department strongly disagree with this proposal and President Trump continues to tweet that he is simply going to release the prisoners to European countries refusing to repatriate them'--even though it is the SDF, not Washington, that has them in custody.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump claimed erroneously that most of the ISIS prisoners are foreigner terrorist fighters and seemed to ignore that ISIS, even when based far away in Syria, is a very real threat to U.S. citizens and interests.
It is ''time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to'... figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their ''neighborhood.'' They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7,000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!''
While arguments of who should be responsible to prosecute and hold ISIS prisoners can be made on both sides, in many ways Europe, Jordan and many other countries effectively did ''flush the toilet'' of their militant jihadi problem by allowing them to freely exit their countries to go fight in Syria, most of them ultimately joining ISIS. The U.S. at present repatriates all of its ISIS fighters, bringing them to swift and sound justice at home.
ISIS AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY
Turkey also has a responsibility in the rise of ISIS, having allowed over 40,000 foreign fighters to cross over its border into Syria, many unabashedly on their way to join the Islamic State. Many prisoners tell us of Turkish complicity with their journey into ISIS-land and being wished well by border guards who winked as they crossed into Syria.
Abu Mansour, a 36-year-old Moroccan ISIS emir interviewed by ICSVE in February 2019 in Iraqi prison, told us that he basically functioned as the ISIS ambassador to Turkey, negotiating border issues, the transfer of ISIS wounded into Turkey for treatment, the flow of foreign fighters across the Turkish border into ISIS territory, and other logistics. ''The subject of Turkey is a very big one,'' he said, ''and the mutual interests include the obvious and the hidden.''
''Their benefit was that it was a border area and we have a border strip with them,'' Abu Mansour continued. ''Security is one of them, and they wanted to control north of Syria.'' The Turks wanted to control the entire border region in Syria and even into Iraq as far as Mosul, according to Abu Mansour, but they wanted to do it through a proxy force. ''So, they wanted to find organizations that would do this favor for them, including terminating the presence of the Kurdish Workers Party [the PKK], without a direct interference from Turkey. At the same time, especially since they were part of NATO, they don't want to anger NATO, because they need NATO.''
By the same token, Turkish President Erdogan's background as a committed Islamist created a certain sympathy, as did his ambition to revive in modern form the old Ottoman empire, Abu Mansour claimed. ''The pretext of [controlling the] Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] is a strong pretext for Turkey, but they have ambitions, as they have entered regions that don't have PKK in them.''
Abu Mansour explained the Turkish and ISIS relationship through his own experiences. In 2013, he said, he was assigned to receive the ISIS volunteers arriving in Turkey, but later, ''I supervised the country entry operations, registration as a whole.'' Then in 2015, he said, ''I worked on external relations, relations with the Turkish intelligence. It started when I was at the borders.'' First there was an agreement about passing the wounded from Syria into Turkey, about the border crossing and security arrangements.
''Turkey asked on many occasions for a safe zone.''
'-- Abu Mansour, ISIS 'Ambassador' to Turkey
''Ambulances, especially in critical and serious situations, could go straight to the [border] gate,'' said Abu Mansour. ''Then a Turkish ambulance takes the case to the Turkish hospitals, and it is followed up inside Turkey. There was a hotline with intelligence who are located at the borders. Most places were available, [including] hospitals in Turkey [and] there was a technical staff of doctors who follow up the case in Turkey. The [Turkish] state was paying for certain operations performed in private hospitals, but most cases referred by the public hospitals were for free.''
Abu Mansour said he had ''face-to-face meetings'' with Turkish delegations. Sometimes they represented the intelligence services, sometimes the Turkish army, depending on the issue. ''Most meetings were in Turkey on the border strip, but there were also meetings in Ankara and Gaziantep, depending on the issue,'' Abu Mansour said. He would travel with a delegation of two or three ISIS people.
Referencing the easy relationship, as he saw it, between ISIS and the Turkish intelligence and military, Abu Mansour claimed, an ISIS emir could ''go to Ankara without a problem. They always sent a car, or a bodyguard. At one point, we met weekly, depending on the issue and its importance to Turkey and to us, according to the demand.''
The situation described by Abu Mansour raises a question: did the ultimate defeat of ISIS in fact deprive the Turks of the proxy buffer zone they wanted'--which they are now invading Syria to establish?
Abu Mansour recalled, ''Turkey asked on many occasions for a safe zone.'' This would be a demilitarized zone where it would provide ISIS with whatever it wanted, but only inside Syrian territories. According to Abu Mansour, ISIS refused to grant it, and relations started to fall apart.
Eventually, Turkey grew sick of the back and forth, and there was also a split in ISIS leadership, with one faction deciding it would take the terror war into Turkey with a 2016 bombing at Istanbul airport.
At the time, Abu Mansour was in Gaziantep, Turkey, and the Turkish authorities told him they thought this was an orchestrated act to pressure Ankara. But he says that was not the case. The external security services of ISIS had started setting their own agenda, ''carrying out operations everywhere,'' Abu Mansour told us. ''We reached a state in which they couldn't care less about politics, and they worked like gangs, [and would] strike anywhere.''
While Turkey continues to claim that the SDF, our strongest ally in fighting ISIS, is a terrorist dominated group, many questions remain about Turkey's own complicity with ISIS. Given that during a bitterly fought war with ISIS, in which many Kurdish lives were lost, that the SDF managed to take control of the area, institute a functioning political system that included granting an impressive array of minority rights and rights to women, the SDF deserves our respect and protection.
But U.S. President Donald Trump has put a price on all this. ''The Kurds fought with us,'' he tweeted, ''but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.'' That they saved countless lives in the process, including American lives, does not seem to have been a factor.
Spencer Ackerman also contributed reporting to this article.
Critics Aghast As Trump Keeps Word About No More Wars
Donald Trump came into office promising to not start any new wars and to get us out of the old ones our feckless elite had dragged us into, and now that he's doing it in Syria the usual suspects are outraged. How dare he actually deliver on his promise not to have anymore of our precious warriors shipped home in boxes after getting killed on battlefields we can't even pronounce, while refereeing conflicts that began long before America was a thing, in campaigns without any kind of coherent objective?
Conservatives like me still think of ourselves as hawks, but after hard experience we have learned to be hawkish only where America's interests are directly at stake. We're not doves. We're just not going to spill our troops' blood when we do not absolutely have to. The elite may not like our attitude, but then it's generally not the elite that ends up having to bury its sons, daughters, husbands and wives. We do.
I generally like the Kurds. I generally dislike the Turks. But they've been killing each other for a long time and no one has yet offered a sufficient reason why America should stick its troops in the crossfire between them. We hear words like ''betrayal'' tossed around, often by people whose track record re: honor is (charitably) lacking, but that assumes America had a say in this latest round ramping up. If the Turks are intent on invading, a firm ''No'' from the Oval office is not going to stop a battalion of Leopard tanks. If you want to stop them, you have to be prepared to stop them. That means war, and the president '' along with millions of us '' say ''No thanks.''
Some solid conservatives who I respect disagree with the president's take. They point out that the Kurds have fought with us and that they've had a raw deal. They also point to the Turks' sordid history of genocide, like with the Armenians. These are good points '' I spent 16 months away from my family deployed helping Muslims avoid a genocide in Kosovo '' but they are not good enough to justify us doing the only thing that can stop the Turks if they are committed to their threatened aggression, i.e., being willing to have American troops fight them.
Let's have some real talk, because the Orange Man Bad side of the debate '' the side that suddenly is all hopped up on war juice '' offers nothing but hack clich(C)s to support its amorphous position. The Kurds helped destroy ISIS, true. It's also true that the Kurds would have fought ISIS anyway, since the psycho caliphate was right next door. Let's be honest '' the Kurds didn't show up for us at Normandy or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Kandahar. The Syrian Kurds allied with us in their homeland because we shared a common interest in wiping out the head-lopping freak show that was ISIS. Moreover, all Kurds are not equal. The PKK '' the Kurdistan Workers' Party '' are a bunch of commie terrorists who have been fighting the Turks for a long time. Those reds are no friends of ours, and it's their antics that seem to be inspiring the Turkish campaign. I have little use for the Turks, but they aren't just picking this fight for Schiffs and giggles. The fact that it's all so confusing is a really, really good reason for us to stay the hell out of it.
Moreover, we keep hearing about our ''obligation'' to the Kurds, but who is the genius who promised the Kurds that if Turkey attacked the United States would go to war? Would that promise be binding on us if it were? After all, I don't recall my senators voting on a treaty '' after debate and with accountability to us voters '' agreeing to put American lives on the line to protect the sovereignty of hypothetical Kurdistan. This idea that some sort of obligation for America to defend another people can arise outside the treaty ratification process is as bizarre as it is unconstitutional. Now we're supposed to shed our blood because our elites feel we owe it to foreign strangers?
I do note that there is one treaty, duly signed and ratified by the Senate, at play here. That's the NATO treaty under which we agreed to go to war to defend Turkey if attacked. If Erdogan, that thug, were more cunning he would assert Article 5 and demand NATO forces come to Turkey's defense against the cross-border attacks by the PKK.
None of this is to justify what Turkey is doing. I hope the tough and brave non-communist Kurds bloody these bullies' noses. But I cannot think of any way to adequately explain to the mom and dad of a 20-year-old 82nd Airborne 11 Bravo paratrooper from Rancho Cucamonga why their son got his head blown off in Northern Syria fighting the Kurd's war for them.
In the Army War College, they drilled into us the necessity of a clearly defined objective as the foundation of every successful military operation. If you do not know exactly what you wish to achieve, you cannot plan and execute effectively. Okay critics, what's our proposed objective in Northern Syria? Stop with the clich(C)s about ''betrayals'' and ''abandoning allies'' and tell me '' exactly '' what we would seek to achieve. And then tell me '' again, exactly '' how many dead Americans we should sacrifice to achieve it.
We have our own national interests to protect. The threat to America is not Turks imposing a security zone a few miles inside Syria. It's China pumping out a couple warships a month and deploying new carrier-killing missiles using tech they steal from us under the noses of our politically preoccupied FBI and CIA. If the president's critics in Congress really want to be tough guys, let them pass a declaration of war and let them sign their names to the butcher's bill instead of trying to get Trump to walk out to the end of the branch so they can saw it off.
Let's be clear '' and I need to be crystal clear because the gung ho gang's MO is to mischaracterize its opponents' views to distract from the strategic bankruptcy of its own '' that fighting for the Kurds would not be immoral. It's a good cause, but we can't intervene every time there's a good cause. Iraq was a good cause, and a disaster. I'd come back on active duty, if the Army was that desperate, and serve there proudly. Our troops will do everything we ask of them and more. They will lay down their lives for this cause if we send them. And that's the point.
We owe our men and women in uniform the moral courage to make the hard decision not to fight, even when we see a grievous wrong unfolding, where there is no compelling national interest and no clear objective. We can't garrison Syria forever. We can't right every wrong around the globe.
How many dead Americans is it worth to stop the Turks and Kurds from brawling? I, and our president, say, ''Exactly none.'' Those who disagree owe us all an exact number of their own.
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Erdogan's Risky Geopolitical Pirouette | New Eastern Outlook
Turkey's economy has been in increasingly difficult straits for months, especially since the failed July 2016 coup attempt. The latest move by President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan to fire his central bank head and replace him with a more amenable loyalist has already resulted in the largest one-time interest rate cut in the bank's history. Will this be enough to revive growth in the troubled economy in time for the next national elections in 18 months? What seems to be Erdogan's overall economic strategy as he tries to balance Washington, Beijing, Moscow and even Brussels? And does it have a chance to revive economic growth?
On July 25, Turkey's new central bank governor, Murat Uysal, cut the bank's main interest rate by an eye-popping 4.25%, from 24% to 19.75%. It took place three weeks after Erdogan sacked the previous governor for refusing to cut the economy-killing high rates, even after the lira had long passed out of the 2018 crisis. It was the first rate cut in three years and followed the firing of a central bank head who followed the economic orthodoxy that high interest rates are needed to kill inflation, another fraudulent modern economic myth made popular in the 1970's by Fed chief Paul Volcker.
At 24%, Turkey had the highest interest rate of any major economy. Notably, the lira barely reacted to the big cut, leading Erdogan to demand that Uysal continue with further cuts. In doing so the Turkish president demonstrated his lack of reverence for one of the most powerful mandates of world finance, namely that politicians have no right to interfere in the sacred business of the ''gods of money'' controlling the world central banks.
Ever since the Basle Bank for International Settlements was created in 1930 by Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman, with help from the US bankers, nominally to deal with German World War I reparations payments under the Young Plan, but as it soon became clear, to serve as a politically independent world central bank monetary cartel, central bank independence has become dogma. The BIS helped create the devastating myth that central bankers independent of any elected political influence, guided by their superior wisdom, would manage economies far better than central banks that were subject to political pressure, or, god forbid that were actually state or public banks.
As has been demonstrated by many economic historians and detailed in my book, The Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century , every major financial boom and subsequent crash since creation of the US Federal Reserve in 2013 in a Wall Street bankers' coup, has been created by central bank interventions, usually using interest rates. The bogus ''business cycle'' theory is little more than an elaborate smoke screen to conceal the role of the Fed or the ECB in the EU in controlling the economy in the interests of what US Congressman Charles Lindbergh and other Wall Street critics in the 1920's called the Money Trust.
Will it work?
What Erdogan has done by firing Murat Cetinkaya as governor and putting a political crony in his place has set off alarm bells among western central bankers. Erdogan followed the rate cut news by declaring, ''This was what needed to be done. Even this cut is not enough'...''
The lira even rose after the rate cut, emboldening Erdogan. The question is whether the Turkish economy and Erdogan will succeed in reviving the troubled Turkish economy in time to improve his electoral chances in coming months before next national elections following the political defeat in the key municipal elections in both Ankara and Istanbul.
The high rates were imposed by the former central bank governor to halt a free-fall of the Lira in 2018 that Erdogan blamed on foreign interference. In effect Erdogan was right to the extent that the US Fed had begun a major series of its own rate increases ''to normal,'' whatever that means, and Quantitative Tightening that was sending shock waves around the world. However, the Fed actions were clearly not specifically aimed at Turkey.
For the previous ten years Erdogan and the Turkish economy had taken advantage of almost a decade of historically low global interest rates following the 2008 financial crash.
During the economic boom, cheap credit flowed into construction of hotels, apartments, bridges, railways and other projects creating a huge economic boom, but mostly on money borrowed from abroad in dollars or Japanese Yen or Euros. By 2018 Turkish corporations held some $200 billion in foreign loans. When the Fed began its reversal, foreign lenders to high-profit markets like Turkey began to exit, fearing the worst, leading to a Lira collapse.
From January 2018 to the present the lira lost a staggering 37% against the dollar as Turkish and foreign investors fled the falling lira, making it nearly impossible to repay the foreign loans from earnings. Companies went bankrupt, unemployment rose to 15% officially, and inflation near 25% by October, 2018 as the price of imports soared. With an economic boom financed with foreign loans for projects that earned in lira, the economy went into free-fall during 2018, a major reason for Erdogan's poor election results this year.
Clearly reacting to the economic collapse and the negative impact of 24% central bank rates, Erdogan went so far as to oppose central bank dogma and propose that interest rates outside his political control were ''the mother and father of all evil,'' telling Bloomberg in a May 14 2018 interview that, ''the central bank can't take this independence and set aside the signals given by the president.''
Now Erdogan clearly feels able to act on that by getting a political crony to head the central bank. However with such a high level of foreign currency corporate debt, it is clear that 19.75% interest rates or even zero or negative rates as in the EU will not be enough to create a new prosperity in Turkey.
The Erdogan Pivot
Interesting enough, in 2018 Erdogan began to suggest, according to close business allies, that the 2008 Lehman Bros global financial collapse had led him to lose faith in western capitalism.
All of this takes place amid a turbulent geopolitical backdrop. Turkey's ongoing attempts to create its own ''buffer zone'' against the Syrian Kurds on his borders, his growing ties to Teheran, Moscow and Beijing, and the growing tensions with NATO partners over Turkish drilling ships offshore Cyprus are leading some commentators to predict that Erdogan plans to take Turkey out of NATO and to join with China and Russia and other Eurasian states in an alliance around the Shanghai Cooperation Organization where Turkey is presently a ''dialogue partner.''
Erdogan's refusal to back down to Washington pressure on purchase of Russian advanced S-400 anti-missile defense systems, said to be the world's most advanced, has heightened such speculation of an Erdogan geopolitical ''pivot east.''
Moreover, on July 2, following the Japan G20 meeting, Erdogan was in Beijing as official guest of China President Xi Jinping. There Erdogan dropped earlier sharp criticism of what have been described as ''re-education camps'' where a reported 1 million ethnic Uyghur Muslims are interned. Turkey historically considers the Turkic Uyghurs to be related, and refer to China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Province as East Turkestan.
This time Erdogan pragmatically dropped critique of Beijing's Muslim policies and focused on what he considered more crucial'--money: credits and loans from China and Chinese companies for infrastructure projects in Turkey as part of the China Belt and Road Initiative. While in Beijing the Turkish president stated to the press that it was, ''uncontested that all ethnic groups living in Chinese Xinjiang live happily in the conditions of development and prosperity of China.'' Just four months earlier Erdogan's Foreign Ministry had declared the situation of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, ''a great embarrassment for humanity.'' Quite a shift.
In 2018 Turkish-Chinese bilateral trade was $23 billion, according to the Turkish Statistics Office, making China Turkey's third largest trading partner. Most of that, some $18 billion is China export to Turkey. Erdogan is clearly eager to change that more to Turkey's favor. There was no grand announcement after the Xi-Erdogan talks of new Chinese investments in Turkey.
Will the growing tensions of Erdogan with Washington, and now increasingly with Germany and other EU states, lead to a break with NATO? At this point it is highly unlikely. The EU, especially Germany, UK and Italy are far the largest importers of Turkish products.
China is not in a position with its rapidly slowing economy and declining trade surpluses to cushion the economic blow of a Turkey pivot out of NATO and the West to the East and the SCO. The financial panic resulting would plunge Turkey into deep depression so long as Turkey abides by the rules, still, of Anglo-American central banking and financial markets. Ironically, Erdogan has made tiny gestures towards a non-western model, but to date with little effect beyond the 4.25% interest rate cut from his hand-picked new central bank chief. He is not ready to risk all in an economic and political alliance with the SCO or with Iran. The result is that rather than an Erdogan ''geopolitical pivot'' to the east, we see an Erdogan ''pirouette'' to east, the west, even north and south, trying a delicate balancing act to gain most from all. The risk is he could end up displeasing all.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
Ouster of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Seen in New Light With Impeachment Inquiry | Fortune
An Iowa man is so bothered by the political climate that his psychologist says he asked for a higher dosage of his anxiety medication. A Chicago woman is so uneasy about politics that she has needed two dental implants to deal with her teeth-grinding habit. And a New York woman says she suffered her first flare-up of multiple sclerosis in 10 years due to political angst.
Americans are stressed and politics is a major cause, according to psychologists, psychiatrists and recent surveys.
A study published in September in the journal PLOS One found that politics is a source of stress for 38% of Americans.
''The major takeaway from this is that if our numbers are really anywhere in the ballpark, there are tens of millions of Americans who see politics as exacting a toll on their social, psychological, emotional and even physical health,'' says Kevin Smith, lead author of the study and chair of the political science department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The study included 800 people in a nationally representative poll and asked them 32 questions. Among the findings:
* 11.5% say politics has adversely affected their physical health.
* 18.3% say they've lost sleep because of politics.
* 26.4% say they have become depressed when a preferred candidate lost.
* 26.5% say politics has led them to hate some people.
* 20% say differences in views have damaged a valued friendship.
Dr. Smith notes that the survey explored people's perceptions of their health, not actual diagnoses.
The effects seem to be more pronounced for those who are younger, on the political left and interested and engaged in politics, Dr. Smith says.
Amanda Johnson, a psychologist in Newton, Iowa, says she's noticed the impact of politics on many of her patients.
One was so distressed recently he wanted to abstain from politics altogether.
''He identified as an independent, and when he voiced this to several family members and friends, he got some backlash from them saying he needed to pick a side,'' Dr. Johnson says.
That same day she spoke with his psychiatrist about increasing his anxiety medication. The longtime patient hadn't previously identified politics as a source of stress and had been stable and on an antianxiety medication for the past three years without needing any changes.
''I've seen a lot more patients like that,'' Dr. Johnson says. ''It's been pretty steady since the election. It seems like there's an uptick any time there's a big event.''
Common problems include sleep disturbances and falling out with family members and friends with divergent views. Social media battles are another source of tension. She advises patients to take breaks from social media and watching the news. ''If they want to be engaged, we work on finding ways they could have some effect on change, like becoming more involved with a campaign,'' she says.
She also encourages patients to set boundaries with family and friends to avoid inflammatory conversations.
Vaile Wright, director of research and special projects for the American Psychological Association, says politics-related stress is coming up more in the organization's annual report called Stress in America.
The annual online survey polls 3,000 to 4,000 people. This year's results will be released in November. In the 2018 survey, 69% of respondents reported feeling stressed about the nation's future, compared with 63% in 2017, a statistically significant increase, Dr. Wright says.
Daniel Bristow, president of the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association, says he's had to prescribe antianxiety drugs or antidepressants for some patients for the first time and increased dosages for others.
For patients with pre-existing conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, an increase in uncertainty can make old symptoms surface. ''I've seen that many times, the newer stress worsening older symptoms that were previously under better control,'' Dr. Bristow says.
He has seen people on both sides of the aisle impacted by political-related stress.
But those impacted most severely are those with personal concerns, like immigrants separated from their families due to immigration policies or who fear deportation.
Carol Sabransky, a Chicago resident and executive at a management consulting firm, says her habit of grinding her teeth has kicked into high gear over the past few years. The habit started years ago, after she gave birth to her children. She lost one tooth from it in 1992.
In the past year she's lost two more teeth from grinding too much and had to get implants, which cost $7,000 each. She now wears a night guard, an appliance put in her mouth at night to help prevent grinding during sleep. She says she objects to the ''ugliness that has been exposed from all the lying and corruption'' in Washington, D.C.
''The cost of this emotionally wrenching political environment has certainly been physical for me, and emotional,'' she says. ''Maybe the positive side to this is I have been educated in civics and government to a degree I never have been before. But it's very costly, both mentally and in my pocketbook.''
Laura Beatrix Newmark, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, says she had her first flare-up of MS in nearly 10 years after the 2016 election. ''Everyone agreed that it was 100% stress,'' Ms. Newmark says.
She has tried to channel those feelings by posting angry haikus on Facebook and producing a women's resistance comedy show.
She downloaded a meditation app and goes to sleep listening to it every night.
The political climate, she says, has ''made me operate on a much more hyped up level and that's not been good. I'm not a comfortable flier, and I'm that much more anxious now when I fly.''
Write to Sumathi Reddy at email@example.com
Scoop: Trump pins Ukraine call on Energy Secretary Rick Perry - Axios
President Trump told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry '-- a call Trump claimed he didn't even want to make.
Behind the scenes: Trump made these comments during a conference call with House members on Friday, according to 3 sources on the call.
Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly '-- that his call with Zelensky was "perfect"and he did nothing wrong. But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: "Not a lot of people know this but, I didn't even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquefied natural gas] plant," one source said, recalling the president's comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source's recollection. Why it matters: The president's remarks suggest he may be seeking to distance himself from responsibility or recast the pretext for the call. White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Another source on the call said Trump added that "more of this will be coming out in the next few days" '-- referring to Perry.Worth noting: Text messages released this week between Trump administration officials and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, suggest that Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was a primary advocate for arranging the call.
There is no mention in the text messages of Perry playing a role in making this call happen.Zelensky talks about buying American oil and wanting to work with the U.S. on energy independence, but Perry and LNG are not discussed in the 5-page memo of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House.Between the lines: Perry, who is reportedly resigning by the end of this year, has become increasingly embroiled in congressional Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
In May, Perry led a U.S. delegation to Ukraine for Zelensky's inauguration in place of Vice President Mike Pence, and Democrats have begun to press Perry for more information about the trip and his conversations with Ukrainian leaders.The House subpoena of Rudy Giuliani also seeks documents related to Perry's "involvement with Ukrainian leaders last spring."However, Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday that, "as God is my witness," neither Joe or Hunter Biden's name ever came up.And as The Washington Post recently reported, "no evidence has emerged that Perry participated in the effort to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter."Perry's spokeswoman, Shaylyn Hynes, told Axios: ''Secretary Perry absolutely supported and encouraged the president to speak to the new president of Ukraine to discuss matters related to their energy security and economic development."
"He continues to believe that there is significant need for improved regional energy security'--which is exactly why he is heading to Lithuania tonight to meet with nearly 2 dozen European energy leaders (including Ukraine) on these issues,'' Hynes added.The White House acknowledged the conference call in a Friday readout that said participants included Minority Leader McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and GOP leaders on key House committees '-- and that they discussed Friday's jobs report, the economy and concerns about Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
The readout makes no mention of Rick Perry.Go deeper: Politico examines Perry's ties to Ukraine.
Editor's note: This post has been corrected to show that Kevin McCarthy is the House minority leader, not the majority leader.
Democrats turn eye to Rick Perry in Ukrainian probe - POLITICO
The redacted whistleblower complaint that the White House released last week mentioned Perry's attendance at the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying he led the U.S. delegation there in May after Trump told Pence not to go. The whistleblower added that U.S. officials had "made clear" that Trump himself would not meet with Zelensky until he saw how the Ukrainian leader "chose to act."
Perry also figures into a subpoena that House Democrats sent on Monday to Trump's private attorney Rudy Giuliani, including a demand for records of the secretary's trip to Zelensky's inauguration and any communications the Energy Department may have had regarding two phone conversations between the Ukrainian leader and Trump.
In his letter Tuesday, Menendez asked Perry for information about who asked him to attend the inauguration, whether he knew Pence's trip to the event had been canceled, and whether he passed along Trump's desire for help investigating political opponents.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a Democrat on the Judiciary and Oversight committees, told POLITICO he thought it likely Perry would eventually be called to testify, though he is not aware of any committees ready to seek his testimony yet.
''His Ukraine-related activities have drawn the interest of members and he almost certainly has relevant testimony to offer,'' Raskin said. ''He seems to have appeared and reappeared multiple times in the Ukrainian context, so he's likely to have evidence that Congress would consider material.''
DOE did not respond to a request for comment.
Perry has not been a target of any Democratic subpoenas, and it's unclear whether he will be a key focus of lawmakers in the impeachment probe. But the questions call new attention to Perry's record of performing discreet diplomacy for the White House.
The former Texas governor has been a regular visitor to Saudi Arabia, where he traveled in 2017 to persuade the Kingdom to partner with the U.S. rather than Russia or China to develop two nuclear reactors. That effort came as the Trump administration continued to seek close ties with the Saudis, despite intelligence linking them to the death of dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last October.
Perry has also been an aggressive advocate for U.S. energy companies to sell their natural gas to Eastern Europe, in an effort to counter Russia's grip on the continent's fuel supplies, and he helped craft a deal that sent U.S. coal to Ukraine. He has visited Ukraine multiple times, and tweeted out a photo of his most recent meeting with Zelensky last month.
This kind of international diplomacy is somewhat out of the norm for most energy secretaries, whose main duties include overseeing maintenance of nuclear weapons and funding scientific research. But it's not entirely unprecedented '-- former Secretary Ernest Moniz's expertise in physics made him a crucial part of the Obama administration's negotiations for its nuclear deal with Iran.
Perry has mainly avoided the negative headlines that have plagued others in Trump's Cabinet, including the scandals that ousted former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt. But Democrats should at least bring him in for questioning about his activities involving Ukraine, the leader of one government watchdog group said Tuesday.
''It's possible there's nothing here but it's also possible that Rick Perry participated in, knowingly or unknowingly, a pressure campaign to have Ukraine investigate the president's domestic political opponents,'' Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, told POLITICO. ''If I were Rick Perry or anyone else in the administration, I'd be very careful about being honest right now.''
In an interview with a Ukrainian broadcaster in July, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland described himself, Perry and the recently departed special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, as the ''three amigos'' on Ukrainian issues.
''We've been tasked with sort of overseeing the Ukraine '-- U.S. relationship,'' Sondland said, in order to ''make sure that all of the reforms and all of the initiatives that we are undertaking with Ukraine stay on track and happen quickly."
Another administration energy official told POLITICO that the push to open up overseas markets for U.S. fuel supplies was a natural fit for Perry, whose home state has been at the forefront of the shale energy revolution that has turned the U.S. into the world's top oil and gas producer.
"He's been on the front lines from soups to nuts," said Frank Fannon, the assistant secretary of state for energy resources. "He is a powerful voice and indeed a kind of ambassador in some respects.''
Perry, who derided Trump in 2015 as "a cancer on conservatism" who offered nothing but "a barking carnival act," has surprised some political watchers by his ability to thrive in the administration. The job has even given Perry an opening to put his salesmanship skills to use.
''Eastern Europe is something that he's taken up as his international issue," said a lobbyist familiar with Perry's work in Ukraine. "It happened after the coal deal [with Ukraine]. He did not come into DOE with this sort of objective. But after the coal deal, he saw this as something positive he could do.''
Perry was instrumental in helping to strike a deal for U.S. companies to export liquefied natural gas to Poland, and he has regularly railed against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would increase Russian gas exports to Germany. Russia currently supplies Europe with more than a third of its natural gas.
Former Trump energy adviser George David Banks said Perry's entry into energy diplomacy role was probably aided by the ethics restrictions that prevented Trump's first secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, from engaging in some discussions.
"Perry really loves energy policy and he knows a lot about energy issues coming out of Texas,'' Banks said. ''It's a combination of that as the administration begins. Perry is just in a position to engage at a really high level on energy diplomacy in general.''
Eric Wolff contributed to this report.
US to provide Poland, Ukraine with LNG as Zelensky slams Nord Stream 2 - Emerging Europe | News, Intelligence, Community
The United States, Poland and Ukraine have signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding aimed at securing the energy supplies of Poland and Ukraine with liquified natural gas (LNG) from the US, the Ukrainian press has reported.
According to a memorandum signed by US energy secretary Rick Perry, Polish government representative Piotr Niamski and Oleksandr Danylyuk, the head of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, the US government will support the two Central and Eastern European states in diversifying their energy resources and establishing the applicable technological facilities.
''One of the steps in this direction will be to adjust the supply of liquefied gas through Poland. For this purpose, a specialised interconnector will be built to unite the gas transport systems of Ukraine and the EU,'' Mr Danylyuk said.
According to Mr Niamski, Poland would be able to transfer six billion cubic metres of gas to Ukraine from 2021. The current capacity is 1.5 billion cubic metres.
''The US is ready to help Ukraine achieve its full energy potential with American technology, resources and support,'' Mr Perry noted, adding that ''for Ukraine, energy security is national security.''
Speaking in Warsaw on August 31, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky joined Poland in opposing Nord Stream 2, the Russian pipeline that bypasses bypasses Poland and Ukraine, calling it ''unacceptable, as it poses a threat to all of Europe.''
''At the same time, we stand for diversifying energy sources, as well as energy cooperation in the Poland-US-Ukraine triangle,'' he said.
Photo: Official website of the government of Poland
How Cheniere Energy Decided to Take a Gamble on Liquified Natural Gas - The New York Times
Image A Cheniere Energy facility in Corpus Christi, Tex. Each shipment in a 900-foot tanker contains enough liquefied natural gas, or L.N.G., to heat 45,000 homes for a year. Credit Credit Cheniere Every few days, a 900-foot long tanker sails from Cheniere Energy's mammoth new Sabine Pass terminal on Louisiana's Gulf Coast, loaded with natural gas for destinations around the world.
Everything about the operation is oversized. The terminal straddles 1,000 acres on the Texas-Louisiana border and cost about $18 billion to build. Each shipment contains enough liquefied natural gas, or L.N.G., to heat 45,000 homes for a year.
''This is a generational opportunity for us,'' said Michael Wortley, Cheniere's chief financial officer. ''We're not talking about the next couple of years, we're talking about the next 50 years.''
Much as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, helped drillers extract vast quantities of oil from once-inaccessible shale formations in states like Texas and North Dakota in the last decade, natural gas production has quietly traced a similar trajectory. Soaring L.N.G. exports are changing how natural gas is priced around the globe and opening new markets overseas for American drillers.
While Cheniere is the only exporter of L.N.G. from the continental United States, by 2020, new domestic L.N.G. export terminals are expected to open, ''transforming the global energy market and making the United States a global gas superpower,'' said Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy.
But before Sabine Pass delivered its first cargo in February 2016, it wasn't clear where all of the natural gas would go. ''We have a huge amount of cheap gas as a result of the shale revolution, and we are going through a real transition since it can now be exported as L.N.G.,'' said Mr. Bordoff.
For Cheniere, and for the broader global L.N.G. market, it's a remarkable turnaround. Sabine Pass had originally been designed as an L.N.G. import terminal, but with domestic prices falling and overseas demand rising a decade ago, executives realized the natural gas needed to go out, not come in.
''We thought that if we're going to make this thing work, we're going to have to go all in and literally turn the plant around,'' said Mr. Wortley.
At the time, Cheniere's stock was trading at less than $3 a share, and the company had $2 billion in debt and only $50 million in cash on hand.
However, the company's former chief executive, Charif Souki, was able to convince foreign companies like Britain's BG Group (acquired by Shell last year) to sign long-term contracts for future deliveries, reassuring lenders and bond investors that his vision would eventually pay off.
''People thought they were crazy, but domestic gas production kept growing, and Cheniere reinvented themselves,'' said Faisel Khan, an analyst at Citigroup who follows the company.
Tens of billions of dollars in investment later, the infrastructure to make that happen is coming on line. In addition to Sabine Pass, Cheniere plans to open a second facility in Corpus Christi in 2019. Before the two plants are completed, Cheniere expects to spend about $30 billion.
Cheniere's bet has paid off for patient investors. Its stock now trades at about $47 a share.
Companies like Sempra, Dominion Energy and Kinder Morgan are working on several additional plants, which will help lift total L.N.G. export capacity to about nine billion cubic feet per day by late 2019 from a little under two billion today, Mr. Bordoff said.
''We're at a breakthrough point for America's L.N.G. exports and its influence in global energy markets,'' said Agnia Grigas, author of ''The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas.''
Unlike oil, which has been moved around the world for decades in supertankers, natural gas, as a vapor, is much more complicated '-- and expensive '-- to transport.
While pipelines carry natural gas over long distances, the only way to move it across oceans is through the L.N.G. process.
Natural gas vapor is chilled to 260 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, turning it into a liquid that can be pumped aboard specially designed ships that keep it under pressure with minimal change in temperature. Upon arrival, the liquid is slowly warmed and converted back into conventional natural gas that can be delivered to customers.
''It's much harder to take energy out of something and cool it down than to put energy in and warm it up,'' said James Carreker, an equity research analyst at U.S. Capital Advisors in Houston. ''A refrigerator is more complicated than an oven.''
The Trump administration backs opening new areas to oil exploration and reducing regulations on coal to help miners, but the president has also emerged as a strong supporter of L.N.G. exports. In July, he praised the exports during a visit to Poland, a few weeks after the country took delivery of its first L.N.G. shipment from Cheniere.
The Obama administration backed L.N.G. exports as well, but the Trump administration has linked this development more closely to trade policy, especially as a way of countering Russia's influence in Europe. ''The Trump administration has tried to create L.N.G. diplomacy,'' said Ms. Grigas.
Even if the administration lives up to its promise to reduce regulations, cheap natural gas means utilities will likely be reluctant to move back to coal.
''The rising L.N.G. supply has put consumers of natural gas in the driver's seat, minimized the oil link and maximized competition,'' Edward L. Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup, said. ''This is a really revolutionary change.''
Gov. Jindal And Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki Highlight Progress Of Company's More Than $18 Billion Investment In Louisiana | Louisiana Economic Development
09.18.14Company's recently expanded LNG project in Cameron Parish '' from four liquefaction trains to six '' represents $6 billion in additional investment, along with 120 additional new jobs
BATON ROUGE, La. '-- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Cheniere Energy Chairman and CEO Charif Souki highlighted construction progress and a recent expansion of the company's Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export facility in Cameron Parish. One of the largest industrial projects in Louisiana history, Cheniere Energy's LNG export project recently expanded in scope from four liquefaction trains, or production units, to six. The initial four liquefaction trains under construction represent an investment of approximately $12 billion. Cheniere Energy's recent announcement of two additional trains will bring the total project investment to more than $18 billion, with construction of the entire project slated for completion by 2019.
Cheniere Energy will create 400 new direct jobs with the total project, with 280 new direct jobs from the initially announced project and an additional 120 new direct jobs from the expansion. The new direct jobs will average $100,000 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the total project will result in 1,569 new indirect jobs in Southwest Louisiana. In addition, an estimated 4,500 construction jobs are projected at the peak of building activity. Gov. Jindal said, ''Cheniere Energy made history in Louisiana when it announced the development of one of the nation's first liquefaction export facilities at the Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish. With the recent expansion of the project's scope, this LNG facility represents one of the largest manufacturing investments in Louisiana history. This expansion and investment is a testament to the faith and confidence that major companies like Cheniere Energy have in our state. Our world-class energy infrastructure, highly skilled workforce and strong business climate are encouraging continued investments in our state and will position Louisiana as a leader in meeting global energy needs.''
Four years ago, Cheniere Energy announced the development of a natural gas liquefaction facility and export terminal to be built adjacent to Cheniere's existing LNG import receiving terminal in Cameron Parish. Construction began in August 2012 and the first LNG is expected to be produced by late 2015. Nearly all the LNG production capacity for the first five liquefaction trains has been sold under 20-year contracts with major global clients.
''The Sabine Pass liquefaction facility is the first LNG export facility to be developed in over 40 years in North America,'' Souki said. ''Construction is well underway on our first four liquefaction trains and we expect to have first LNG production by late 2015. Our facility is strategically located along the Gulf of Mexico in Cameron Parish. Louisiana has one of the most liquid natural gas markets, with an abundant supply of natural gas and a vast network of pipeline infrastructure. We are grateful to the State of Louisiana and its elected leaders, including Governor Jindal and his Cabinet, for welcoming us in their state and for their facilitation in the development of our Sabine Pass LNG export facility.''
LED began working with Cheniere on the recent Sabine Pass LNG expansion in December 2012. To secure the expansion, Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package. Cheniere will continue to receive the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® '' the nation's No. 1-ranked state workforce training program. Cheniere also is expected to utilize the state's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
''Cameron Parish is excited by the additional capital expenditure and jobs announced by Cheniere LNG,'' said President Kirk Quinn of the Cameron Parish Police Jury. ''We have taken a look at the increased infrastructure needs, additional law enforcement required in the area, and keeping our parish residents safe '' as well as the increased number of new students at Johnson Bayou High School. The parish welcomes additional jobs for our residents, and we look forward to continuing a great working relationship with Cheniere LNG in the future.''
''Cheniere has been one of the leading corporations in Southwest Louisiana since its founding,'' said President and CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. ''This increase in the project in Cameron Parish and Louisiana is phenomenal. In addition to creating huge employment during construction and creating quality, permanent jobs, Cheniere will provide the nation and world with much-needed energy. They have set the standard for corporate support and community involvement. This is the largest project underway in our region.''
Cheniere anticipates construction of the additional two LNG trains to be completed in 2019. Hiring for the positions created by the initial announcement began in 2013, and hiring for the newly created positions will begin in 2015.
The more than $18 billion investment by Cheniere is the latest in a string of historic projects in Louisiana's Southwest Region. When combined with the $16 billion-to-$21 billion investment by Sasol, and the major investments from Sempra LNG, BG Group and Trunkline LNG, and others, the projects are resulting in thousands of new permanent jobs and the creation of thousands of construction jobs.
About Cheniere EnergyCheniere Energy Inc. (NYSE Amex Equities: LNG) is a Houston-based energy company primarily engaged in LNG-related businesses. Cheniere owns and operates the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal in Louisiana through a 90.5 percent ownership interest in, and management agreements with, Cheniere Energy Partners LP (NYSE Amex Equities: CQP), which is a publicly traded partnership created in 2007. Cheniere also owns and operates the Creole Trail Pipeline, which interconnects the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal with downstream markets. For more information, visit www.cheniere.com.
British multinational energy and services company Centrica has loaded its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from the fifth LNG train at the Sabine Pass liquefaction plant in Louisiana under the agreement signed in 2013 with Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.The gas was loaded onto the GasLog Ltd chartered Skagen vessel over the weekend and will be transiting the Atlantic to land in Europe in early October.
Commenting on the first cargo, Jonathan Westby, Co-Managing Director of Centrica Energy Marketing & Trading and Global Head of LNG, said: ''This cargo represents a significant milestone in Centrica's involvement with LNG, which goes back sixty years to the world's first seaborne cargo of LNG that demonstrated how large quantities of gas could be transported safely across the oceans."
''Since that pioneering journey, also originating from Louisiana, we have established our capabilities to become a global LNG business trading, optimising and operating vessels that now carry over 30 times more gas and take half the time to transit the Atlantic to Europe,'' he added.
Under the terms of the agreement, Centrica purchases LNG for an initial 20-year period, with the option for a 10-year extension.
The agreement is on a 'Free on Board' (FOB) basis, giving it destination rights for the cargoes. This amounts to approximately 1.75 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa), equivalent to the annual gas demand of over 2 million UK homes.
Joe Biden 'Personally Paid $900,000 By Burisma' According To Ukrainian MP In Bombshell Admission | Zero Hedge
Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed on Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group for lobbying activities, citing materials related to an investigation.
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Group, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada member Andriy Derkach said citing investigation materials.
Derkach publicized documents which, as he said, "describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr." at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine's press center in Kyiv on Wednesday. -Interfax
"This was the transfer of Burisma Group's funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services," said Derkach.
Derkach also puiblicized sums of money transferred to Burisma Group representatives - including Joe Biden's son Hunter.
"According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014]," Derkach added.
"Using political and economic levelers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group."
"Biden's fifth visit to Kyiv on December 7-8, 2015 was devoted to making a decision on the resignation of [then Ukrainian Prosecutor General] Viktor Shokin over the case of Zlochevsky and Burisma. Loan guarantees worth $1 billion that the United States was to give to Ukraine was the point of pressure. Biden himself admitted exerting pressure in his speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018, calling Shokin 'son of a bitch who was fired'," Derkach added.
The timeline of events proves that the U.S. linked the Zlochevsky case to loan guarantees, he said.
After the decree dismissing Shokin was published on April 3, 2016, the governments of the United States and Ukraine signed a loan guarantee agreement worth $1 billion, several months later, on June 3, he said.
"In this case, there are facts should be subject to investigation. There is an agency that has powers to investigate them; the U.S. Department of Justice. If the Ukrainian Prosecutor General signs documents and send them to U.S. Department of Justice without any requests, he will accomplish his mission," he said, adding that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General has such powers.
"Considering international corruption in public is a way-out for President Zelensky. I am certain that he is not involved in international corruption," Derkach said.
It was reported earlier that Derkach publicized correspondence between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and officers of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. According to publicized correspondence, starting from July 14, 2017, the lists of criminal proceedings undertaken by NABU officers were sent from the electronic mailbox of Polina Chyzh, an assistant to NABU first deputy head Gizo Uglava, to the electronic mailbox of Hanna Yemelianova, a legal specialist of the anti-corruption program of the U.S. Justice Department at U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
Derkach says he will publish the leaked documents on his Facebook account, and will initiate the creation of an ad hoc parliamentary investigative commission, "and has already requested launching a criminal case against Ukrainian officials into interference into U.S. elections," according to the report.
Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958) is a member of the Senior United States Foreign Service who served as the 9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine. She was nominated to the post on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt; was sworn in on August 18, 2016; and was recalled as of May 20, 2019. She is currently a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.
Yovanovitch was the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from November 20, 2004, to February 4, 2008, and the United States Ambassador to Armenia from August 1, 2008, to June 3, 2011.
Early life and education [ edit ] Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of Michel Yovanovitch and Nadia (Theokritoff) Yovanovitch. She was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut when she was three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age eighteen. She grew up speaking Russian.
Yovanovitch is a graduate of Kent School, a private boarding school in Connecticut, and Princeton University, where she earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies in 1980. She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University National War College in 2001.
Career [ edit ] Yovanovitch joined the U.S. foreign service in 1986. Her first foreign assignment, in Ottawa, was followed by overseas assignments including Moscow, London, and Mogadishu. From May 1998 to May 2000 she served as the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State.
From August 2001 to June 2004, as a career member of the senior foreign service, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. From August 2004 to May 2005 she was the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Yovanovitch was nominated on June 3, 2005 to serve as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kyrgyz Republic, and confirmed by the United States Senate on June 30, 2005. She was the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from November 20, 2004, to February 4, 2008, and the United States Ambassador to Armenia from August 1, 2008, to June 3, 2011.
Yovanovitch was nominated to be the ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt, and was sworn in on August 18, 2016.
Trump''Ukraine controversy [ edit ] In May 2019, the Trump administration recalled Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine. Although she had reportedly earned respect from the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption, she had been criticized by some conservative media outlets, and by President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. However, the State Department declared some of the allegations by Yuri Lutsenko to be "an outright fabrication."
According to unnamed sources, Yovanovitch was recalled for undermining and obstructing Trump's efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice-president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden.
See also [ edit ] Foreign interference in the 2020 United States electionsReferences [ edit ] ^ "Marie L. Yovanovitch - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov . Retrieved October 7, 2019 . "Marie L. Yovanovitch - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov . Retrieved October 7, 2019 . ^ a b "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts" (Press release). White House Press Office. May 18, 2016. ^ a b Revesz, Rachel (January 20, 2017). "Donald Trump has fired all foreign US ambassadors with nobody to replace them". The Independent . Retrieved January 20, 2017 . ^ a b "PN1493 '' Nomination of Marie L. Yovanovitch for Department of State, 114th Congress (2015''2016)". congress.gov. July 14, 2016 . Retrieved September 26, 2019 . ^ Rogin, Josh (May 7, 2019). "U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is recalled after becoming a political target". Washington Post . Retrieved September 27, 2019 . ^ a b c LaFraniere, Sharon; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Baker, Peter (September 26, 2019). "Trump Said Ukraine Envoy Would 'Go Through Some Things.' She Has Already". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved September 27, 2019 . ^ "Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch". Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University . Retrieved September 27, 2019 . ^ "Marie L. Yovanovitch '' People '' Department History '' Office of the Historian". history.state.gov . Retrieved September 26, 2019 . ^ "Executive Reports of Committees (Senate)". Congressional Record. July 14, 2016 . Retrieved October 29, 2016 . ^ a b Department Of State. The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs (January 15, 2009). "Yovanovitch, Marie L." 2001-2009.state.gov . Retrieved September 26, 2019 . ^ New U.S. ambassador expected in Kyiv next week, UNIAN (August 20, 2016) ^ King, Laura; Ayres, Sabra (September 30, 2019). "Ousted U.S. diplomat could be crucial to impeachment inquiry". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved October 1, 2019 . ^ Sonmez, Felicia (September 26, 2019). "Four ways to flatter Trump: The Ukrainian President's guide". The Age . Retrieved September 26, 2019 . ^ Farhl, Paul (September 26, 2019). "How a conservative columnist helped push a flawed Ukraine narrative". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286 . Retrieved September 27, 2019 . ^ Ballhaus, Rebecca; Bender, Michael C.; Salama, Vivian (October 2, 2019). "Trump Ordered Ukraine Ambassador Removed After Complaints From Giuliani, Others". Wall Street Journal . Retrieved October 4, 2019 . Sources [ edit ] "Marie L. Yovanovitch". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007 . Retrieved August 12, 2007 . United States Embassy in Yerevan: The Ambassador"Marie L. Yovanovitch". U.S. Embassy in Yerevan . Retrieved September 2, 2008 . [dead link ] External links [ edit ] Marie L. Yovanovitch, Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State
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High Crimes and Misdemeanors legal definition of High Crimes and Misdemeanors
High Crimes and MisdemeanorsA depiction of the 1868 impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. The Senate's vote on the 11th Article of Impeachment fell one vote short of the twothirds majority needed to impeach Johnson. Two other articles were later defeated.LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The offenses for which presidents, vice presidents, and all civil officers, including federal judges, can be removed from office through a process called Impeachment.
The phrase high crimes and misdemeanors is found in the U.S. Constitution. It also appears in state laws and constitutions as a basis for disqualification from holding office. Originating in English Common Law, these words have acquired a broad meaning in U.S. law. They refer to criminal actions as well as any serious misuse or abuse of office, ranging from Tax Evasion to Obstruction of Justice. The ultimate authority for determining whether an offense constitutes a ground for impeachment rests with Congress.
The exact meaning of the phrase cannot be found in the Constitution itself. Article II, Section 4, establishes, "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." Treason and bribery are specific, but high crimes and misdemeanors is not. In fact, considerable debate occupied the Framers of the Constitution over the issue of impeachment, and the wording of the grounds for impeachment was itself controversial. A proposed offense of maladministration was rejected as being too vague and susceptible to political abuse. Finally, they chose to use a phrase from English common law that had no precisely settled meaning at the time yet at least connoted serious offenses.
The reason for the choice lies in the Framers' approach to the larger question of impeachment. Although borrowing language from the law they knew best, they explicitly chose not to imitate the English model of impeachment. Traditionally, this approach had allowed the British Parliament to conduct a simple review of charges and then remove officials by a majority vote. Instead, the Framers intended for removal from office to be the final step in a two-part process that began in the House of Representatives and, if charges should result, ended in a trial-like hearing before the U.S. Senate. Thus, two goals would be achieved: a full public inquiry into allegations, and, if necessary, the adjudication of those charges requiring a two-thirds majority for removal.
Generally, debate over the phrase high crimes and misdemeanors has split into two camps. The minority view is held by critics who undertake a literal reading of the Constitution. They maintain that high crimes means what it says'--criminal activity'--and argue that the Framers wanted only criminal activities to be the basis for impeachment. The generally accepted viewpoint is much broader. It defines high crimes and misdemeanors as any serious abuse of power'--including both legal and illegal activities. Supporters of this reading believe that because impeachment is a public inquiry, first and fore-most, it is appropriate to read the phrase broadly in order to provide the most thorough inquiry possible. Thus, a civil officer may face impeachment for misconduct, violations of oath of office, serious incompetence, or, in the case of judges, activities that undermine public confidence or damage the integrity of the judiciary.
The vagueness of the standard has left much interpretive power to Congress. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson underwent impeachment proceedings when he ordered the firing of his secretary of war. His opponents charged that this order violated the Tenure of Office Act, which set the tenure of certain officials. Johnson escaped conviction in the Senate by only one vote, but the attempt to impeach him quickly came to be seen as a politically motivated mistake. In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended that the full House of Representatives approve Articles of Impeachment against President richard m. nixon . It did not cite any single impeachable offense, but instead found a broad pattern of wrongdoing: Nixon had conspired with his advisers to obstruct federal and congressional investigations of the Watergate break-in, the burglarizing of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., which was eventually linked to the Nixon administration. Nixon resigned from office before the process could continue.
The dispute over what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor reemerged in 1998 when the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend that the House begin impeachment proceedings against President bill clinton . The House concurred with the recommendation, which included charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Legal commentators debated for weeks about whether these charges were the type of high crimes and misdemeanors contemplated by the language of the Constitution, but the House nevertheless approved two of the four articles of impeachment. The trial then moved to the Senate, which failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority to remove Clinton from office.
Further readingsCoulter, Ann H. 1998. High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. Washington, D.C.: Regnery.
Isenbergh, Joseph. 1999. "Impeachment and Presidential Immunity from Judicial Process." Yale Law and Policy Review 53.
Smith, Alexa J. 1995. "Federal Judicial Impeachment: Defining Process Due." Hastings Law Journal (January).
Tushner, Mark V. 1995. "Clarence Thomas: The Constitutional Problems." George Washington Law Review (March).
Williams, Victor. "Third Branch Independence and Integrity Threatened by Political Branch Irresponsibility." 1995. Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal (summer).
George Conway and other prominent conservatives call for 'expeditious' impeachment probe - The Washington Post
More than a dozen prominent conservative lawyers, including George T. Conway III, offered their legal reasoning for an ''expeditious'' impeachment probe into President Trump, creating a document they hope will be read by Republicans who continue to stand by the president.
The 16 attorneys, many of whom worked in Republican administrations, wrote in a joint statement to be released Thursday morning that Trump's now infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the text messages between diplomats and Trump's public call for China to investigate a political opponent are ''undisputed'' events that amount to Trump violating his oath of office.
''We have not just a political candidate open to receiving foreign assistance to better his chances at winning an election, but a current president openly and privately calling on foreign governments to actively interfere in the most sacred of U.S. democratic processes, our elections,'' they wrote.
Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and outspoken Trump critic, helped form a coalition of like-minded conservatives a year ago who wanted to call out what they deemed illegal and unconstitutional behavior by the president. The signatories are members of that group, Checks and Balances.
Paul Rosenzweig, who served as President George W. Bush's deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department on Homeland Security, said he personally would have gone further than the group's comments, which are stern, but measured in tone.
''It strikes me that no reasonable attorney can doubt that there was a quid pro quo here,'' said Rosenzweig, referring to Trump's holding back military aid to Ukraine while requesting the country investigate a political foe.
''I would vote for impeachment, and I would vote for conviction and removal in the Senate as well,'' Rosenzweig said.
For Stuart M. Gerson, who worked on President George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign and in his administration, the joint statement adds a conservative perspective to the cacophony of people on the left backing impeachment.
''We believe it's important there be a loyal opposition from the conservative side in defense of the rule of law,'' Gerson said. ''We feel duty-bound to be able to do it. What's at risk here is more than our country should stand.''
''There comes a tipping point where you look at this and say my country first, the party comes second,'' he added.
Don Ayer, who served as deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, said he found it ''inexplicable'' that other Republicans were sticking by Trump.
''I am disgusted by the conduct of Republican senators who pose as reputable people, but shamelessly hide under rocks instead of calling out the president's horrendous behavior as the gross misconduct that they know it to be,'' he said.
''But there aren't that many people defending [Trump] in an affirmative way,'' Ayer added. ''There are a lot of people who put their heads down and don't talk about it.''
Rosenzweig said the goal of the joint statement is to give Republicans ''intellectual cover'' to stand up with other conservatives and say, ''the emperor has no clothes'' and ''do the right thing.''
The Republicans in Congress have ''been a greater disappointment to me than Trump himself,'' Rosenzweig said. So far, not one has come out in support of an impeachment inquiry.
''Trump is Trump. His nature is his nature. He's not any different than the person I knew he was going to be three years ago,'' Rosenzweig said.
''But the people who I cannot hold any honor for are the Republicans. There's lots of really smart Republicans who understand what's at stake here. They are not stepping up and throwing a flag,'' he continued. ''They all know it's wrong. They're not idiots. They just need the courage, so if others say it first, perhaps that helps.''
Parliament has a drug problem, Speaker candidate Sir Lindsay Hoyle admits | Politics News | Sky News
Parliament has a drink and drug problem, one of its most senior figures has admitted.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons deputy speaker running to replace his boss John Bercow, said the two issues needed to be addressed as he pitched for the top job.
Asked if there was an alcohol problem in parliament at a hustings with journalists, the Labour MP for Chorley since 1997 revealed: "I do think there is a drink problem.
"I think it needs to be addressed and the support needs to be given, that's why health and wellbeing has got to be extended."
Image: Sir Lindsay Hoyle is a deputy speaker in parliamentHe added: "It's not just drink we've got to catch out, there is a drug problem.
"I genuinely believe that counselling and real support should be available for all staff and members."
When quizzed on his comments, Sir Lindsay appeared to row back, saying: "I believe there will be a drug problem - there is a drug problem right across this country.
"I don't believe that somebody who walks in here may not be tempted into drugs.
"What I'm saying is that we should have health and wellbeing in place for drink and drug counselling and real support for anybody."
There are eight other candidates vying over the next month to become the next Commons speaker.
They are fellow deputy speakers Dame Eleanor Laing and Dame Rosie Winterton, the longest serving female MP Harriet Harman, Labour MPs Chris Bryant and Meg Hillier, and Conservative MPs Sir Henry Bellingham, Shailesh Vara and Sir Edward Leigh.
The winner will take replace Mr Bercow and be in charge of keeping order in parliament's lower house and holding powers, including sometimes selecting what gets voted on.
Image: John Bercow is standing down at the end of OctoberSir Henry disagreed with Sir Lindsay's assessment of MPs' relationship with alcohol.
"I don't believe there is a drink problem as such," he said.
"People just need to show judgement, they need to be mature, and honestly some of my colleagues just need to grow up."
Dame Rosie added: "Does Parliament have a greater drink problem than the world outside? I'm not sure."
A parliamentary spokesperson said it takes substance misuses "very seriously" and "should drug use be identified in parliament, appropriate action would be taken".
They added there have been a "number of actions to promote responsible alcohol consumption among all customers on the estate".
After Hearthstone player's ban, Blizzard is in hot water with lawmakers - The Verge
Over the weekend, Blizzard Entertainment banned a Hearthstone player from participating in tournaments after he voiced support for the Hong Kong protesters. Now, US senators are criticizing the game's publisher for its move.
''Blizzard shows it is willing to humiliate itself to please the Chinese Communist Party,'' Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said. ''No American company should censor calls for freedom to make a quick buck.''
''Blizzard shows it is willing to humiliate itself to please the Chinese Communist Party''
''Recognize what's happening here. People who don't live in China must either self censor or face dismissal & suspensions,'' Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in a tweet on Tuesday. ''China using access to market as leverage to crush free speech globally. Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in U.S. politics today is gone.''
On Sunday, Hearthstone player Ng ''Blitzchung'' Wai Chung was interviewed after a Grandmasters match. At the end of this spot, he covered his face with a Hong Kong protester-style mask and said, ''Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!'' Afterward, the interviewers hid under the table briefly, and the stream cut to a commercial break.
Only a few hours after the event, Blizzard, Hearthstone's publisher, issued a statement saying, ''While we stand by one's right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.''
Blizzard is withholding any prize money Blitzchung would have earned and has banned him from competing in any tournaments for one year, effective on October 5th. The company also terminated contracts with the two casters conducting Sunday's interview.
Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.
Senators aren't the only people upset with Blizzard's decision. There appears to be internal dissent at the company as well. Values like ''Think Globally'' and ''Every Voice Matters'' that are displayed at the offices have been covered with paper.
'South Park' Leans Into China Censorship Controversy: "F--- the Chinese Government!" | Hollywood Reporter
"SHOTS!!!" was a milestone episode for Trey Parker and Matt Stone as it marked the 300th installment of their Comedy Central series.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the South Park episode "SHOTS!!!"]
Trey Parker and Matt Stone made it clear how they feel about South Park being banned in China: "Fuck the Chinese government!"
That was the message in Wednesday's new episode titled "SHOTS!!!" '-- the third of the 23rd season.
"SHOTS!!!" revolved mostly around Cartman avoiding immunization shots by saying they would make him "artistic," which he did not believe. He just did not like the pain and pulled false talking points off the internet so he could remain in school.
But there was another plot line that steered straight on in the actual news headlines the show made around the world last week.
South Park was banned in China for bashing the government. The show also went after Hollywood and the NBA for doing business with the country.
The Chinese government reacted by banning the show and scrubbing all mentions off its internet.
The show responded to the move in "SHOTS!!!" with four words: "Fuck the Chinese government."
Randy, who was making a lot of money by selling weed to China and looking past its human rights atrocities, was made to say the declaration when his former business partner, Towelie, bashed China and anyone who could do business with the country.
Randy tried to just mutter the words because he didn't want to lose the Chinese business, but ended up yelling it so Towelie believed his convictions.
"SHOTS!!!" was a milestone for Parker and Stone, as it marked the 300th episode of their Comedy Central series.
As trade talks between the US and China unfold in Washington, a series of conflicting news reports have thrown markets into confusion, with US and Asian futures indexes briefly dropping upon news the talks had ended in failure.
Markets saw series of ups and downs on Thursday morning as investors awaited developments in the talks to resolve an ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing, which are now in their third day. Led by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, the meetings have been a source of anxiety for investors.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) sent US stock futures into a tailspin, reporting that the negotiations had reached an impasse with ''no progress,'' and that Liu ''may leave earlier than expected.''
Dow futures fell by 300 points almost immediately, with futures on the S&P and the Nasdaq Composite each taking a 1 percent hit. Asian exchanges also responded with alarm, with the Nikkei slipping more than half a percentage point, and similar drops on Mainland China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index.
White House officials soon responded to the report, however, dismissing any rumors that Liu had plans to leave Washington early and assuaging some of the fears.
Also on rt.com US blacklists major Chinese AI startups 2 days ahead of trade talks A mere hours after the pessimistic piece in the SCMP, the New York Times ran a story singing an entirely different tune, reporting plans in Washington to loosen restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei '' which was placed on a US trade ''blacklist'' in May '' allowing some business in ''nonsensitive goods.'' The happier news pared some of the losses on US and Asian markets alike.
Markets also rallied after Bloomberg reported the Trump administration was considering whether to revive a previously inked currency deal with Beijing, part of a larger pact which could see scheduled tariff hikes put on pause. Bringing back the agreement could be an early sign US-China relations are warming up after over a year of tariff wars.
Also on rt.com Countries resisting US pressure to ban Huawei's 5G equipment Notwithstanding the SCMP report, by all indications the talks are set to continue in Washington on Thursday and Friday, when higher level meetings will reportedly take place. It remains to be seen what deals '' or lack of them '' might result, however for the moment it appears markets have settled on a cautious optimism.
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Geena Davis Institute Has Partnered With Disney Studios to Ensure Scripts Are Assessed for Bias '-- GeekTyrant
Last week, actress and activist Geena Davis attended the New Zealand Power of Inclusion Summit, where she gave the closing keynote speech, in which she announced her partnership with Disney. Within the collaboration, Davis is using a new AI tech tool called the GD-IQ: Spellcheck for Bias. THR reports the following description of the technology:
The new tool leverages patented machine learning technology developed at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering to rapidly analyze the text of a script to determine its number of male and female characters and whether they are representative of the real population at large. The technology also can discern the numbers of characters who are people of color, LGBTQI, possess disabilities or belong to other groups typically underrepresented and failed by Hollywood storytelling.
Davis made the following statement at the summit regarding the partnership:
"I'm very proud to announce we have a brand new partnership with Walt Disney Studios using Spell Check for Bias," Davis said onstage. "They are our pilot partners and we're going to collaborate with Disney over the next year using this tool to help their decision-making, identify opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in the manuscripts that they receive. We're very excited about the possibilities with this new technology and we encourage everybody to get in touch with us and give it a try."
Davis went on to say that the service is not meant to shame or blame anyone, but to just reveal unconscious biases within the creators. This sounds like it could be a positive asset to some media projects. But I wonder if there are any downsides, like changing characters in a story where the original character is imperative to the core of the story. Hopefully it helps overall instead of hinders the storytellers.
What do you think about this technology?
Farmer Defense Force
Boeren bezetten volgende week meerdere dagen Binnenhof, nieuwe verkeerschaos dreigt | Binnenland | AD.nl
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Drive Safe and Earn Rewards | Onlia Sense mobile app
Frequently asked questions Onlia Sense is a mobile app for iOS and Android that rewards you for being a safe driver. Using your phone's GPS and motion sensors , the app assesses your driving and scores you on key factors of safe and defensive driving.By driving safely and completing unique challenges, you can earn rewards like gift cards and cashback on services you're already using.
Onlia Sense is for all drivers. You don't need Onlia insurance to use it. If you are an Onlia insurance customer, there is no connection whatsoever to your insurance rate or premium.
Any phone running Android Marshmallow (OS 6.0 or higher), or iPhone (iOS10 or higher).
Setting up the app can be done in just a few steps. Once you download the app:
Create an Onlia Sense account and verify your email address. Follow the onscreen onboarding process. Accept the request to access location services and motion/fitness sensors on your phone and download your provincial map. Start driving! You can use the app for navigation (optional) and review your drive score and progress towards unlocking badges and perks. Nope! All you need is the Onlia Sense app on your mobile device and a car.
Once you download Onlia Sense and create an account, you'll be asked to enable location services (GPS) and motion/fitness detection. These allow the app to navigate and score your trips.
For the app to accurately detect and record your trips, it needs to access location, and how quickly your location changes. This will trigger the app to begin 'recording' your trip details.If you choose to share the location only when running the app, the navigation features will still work '' but the trip detection features might not. This could impact your driving scores, and your ability to earn those sweet rewards.
You can disable trip detection in the app if you'd like. Simply go to Settings and use the toggle switch for Automatic trip recording. Don't forget to turn it back on before you begin driving!
Having an Onlia Sense account allows your trip details to be stored on our servers rather than on your device, which reduces the amount of space the app takes up on your phone.Plus, if you ever switch phones, you'll still be able to access your profile and trip details.
Having this information helps us better understand the demographics of our awesome app users.
This allows us to provide rewards that are most relevant to drivers!
Our app is currently only designed for the Canadian market. By confirming your email address and cell phone number, it helps us verify your eligibility for perks and rewards, and even more important '' that you're really you!We will always keep your details and trip data secure.
You can earn perks by completing various safe-driving challenges. Each perk has its own criteria you need to meet. To see what they are, go to the
Perks tab in your dashboard. Tap a perk to see what you need to do to earn it.
There are also some basic qualifications to meet that unlock the ability to earn perks. When you first start using Onlia Sense, you need to drive 500 km and make 30 trips as a one-time qualification to start earning perks. Going forward, you need to complete a minimum of 10 trips and 200 km driven every month to stay qualified.
Some perks are easier to earn, while others really put your safe-driving skills to the test. Good luck and drive safe!
When you first start using Onlia Sense, you need to drive 500 km and make 30 trips as a one-time qualification to start earning perks. There's no time limit to complete this. Going forward, you need to complete a minimum of 10 trips and 200 km driven every month to stay qualified.
Check to see you've completed the monthly requirements '' you may need to drive a little more until you can start earning perks this month.
You can earn Cashback by driving safe with Onlia Sense. To be able to start earning Cashback rewards with an Onlia Sense partner, you need to join that partner's perk program and complete a verification step. You can get started via the Perks tab.
After joining, Cashback perks will be available for you to earn by maintaining your driver star rating to a level specific to that perk.
Cashback comes in the form of an Interac e-Transfer sent to your email address.
If you've earned Cashback at the end of the month, we'll send you an email on the second day of the following month with instructions on how to redeem it. (Cashback is delivered via Interac e-Transfer.)
Cashback rewards are currently only available to people who are primary drivers on a car insurance policy with Onlia.
Sign in to your Onlia insurance account and select your car insurance policy. In the Drivers section, under the primary driver, choose View details. Then add your phone number to the Onlia Sense section. The phone number you add must be the same as the one you use for Onlia Sense. After that, we'll verify your phone number and you'll be all set to start earning Cashback!
No. Your Onlia Sense trip data and driving score has no connection to your Onlia insurance premium, and will never be used to influence the rate you pay.
To be eligible for Cashback with Onlia insurance, you need to have a car insurance policy that's been active for at least a month.
Open Onlia Sense, go to the Perks tab, and sign up for the Onlia Roadside Assistance perks program.
To be eligible for Cashback with Onia Roadside Assistance, you must order roadside service using the same phone number associated with your Onlia Sense account.
You can earn Cashback on a single roadside service each month.
Once you become eligible for Cashback, you can earn it in the same month that you purchase roadside assistance.
To get Cashback, you need to end the month with the specified star rating. If you fall short by the end of the month, you won't be eligible for Cashback. But don't worry '' you can always try again next month!
Go to the Rewards tab to see all available badges and perks. The ones you've earned will be highlighted.
You can opt in to receive a push notification every time you've earned any new badges or perks. Simply go to Settings and enable Push notifications.
You can leave any partner perks program whenever you'd like. Just go to your app Settings, and under the Partner perks section, select the program you want to opt out of.
A badge is something you achieve for completing a set of tasks or challenges in Onlia Sense. It's our way of saying thanks for using the app and driving more safely.
No. The app runs in the background while you use your phone. You don't need to take any extra steps to get Onlia Sense to work.
Each trip you take is scored out of 100. Your score is based on how well you perform in these 5 categories:
Acceleration Braking Cornering Speed Contextual Using these factors, Onlia Sense determines how your driving behaviour decreases, or increases, the likelihood of getting into a collision while on the road. Simply put, the safer you drive, the higher your score is.Acceleration, Braking and Cornering measure how smoothly you drive and steer during your trip.
Speed measures how well you stick to road speed limits.
Contextual accounts for the risk of driving on a particular road type (urban street, rural road, highway) and being on the road during certain times of day. For example, it's riskier to drive on a country road at night than it is to drive on a city street in the day.
Along with these 5 factors, the app also monitors distracted driving which is defined as how long, and to what degree, your mobile phone is used while driving. Not touching your phone at all is considered a totally distraction-free trip.
They're just an easy way to group ranges of drive scores. Here's the breakdown:
1 star: 0 - 70 2 stars: 71 - 85 3 stars: 86 - 94 4 stars: 95 - 98 5 stars: 99 - 100 Any time you drive at least 0.5 km, the app will count it as a trip.Trip detection is based on changes to your location, speed, and motion. The app is calibrated to recognize patterns that are in line with trips in a car, so walking or running won't trigger a trip.
With location services and motion/fitness detection enabled, Onlia Sense will automatically detect when you start and finish a trip.
You can enable push notifications and be notified when a trip starts, and when it ends / when the trip score is available. Simply go to Settings, select Push notifications and make sure that trip start and new score available are enabled.
In the Trips tab, select a trip to see the details of how and where your score was affected. You'll see a list and a map of where driving events occurred during your trip. Click on the map to zoom in and see more details about each area!
Here are some pro tips:Speed: Stay within the speed limit. Travelling 15 km/h over the speed limit in a residential neighbourhood has a larger impact on your score than traveling 15 km/h over the limit on a 400-series highway.Braking: Look ahead so you can anticipate the need to slow down, and apply your brakes smoothly.
Cornering: Slow down before turning to improve your score, and avoid making sharp ''U-turns'' where possible.
Acceleration: Smooth and constant acceleration is key!
Contextual: Avoid driving between midnight and 5 am. Where possible, choose highway routes with high visibility, avoid routes with many intersections and riskier urban environments.
Last but not least, don't use your phone!
Individual trip scores are used to determine your monthly drive score. Your monthly score is what's used towards unlocking perks.
Distracted driving is logged by detecting any movement to the phone. The app senses that the phone is being used; for communication (like talking or texting), but also for browsing (like in a drive-thru or when your car is idling). This is done by detecting movement of the phone.Anything that makes the phone move while you are driving will count as a 'distraction'. This might even mean hitting a big pothole. We understand that this can be frustrating, but unfortunately the app can't predict every type of situation.
Any one time distracted driving occurrence doesn't make a big difference in your driving score.
When driving with Onlia Sense, we suggest keeping your phone in a car phone holder or in a secure place to get the most accurate trip assessment.
No. The goal of Onlia Sense is to help people drive safer and reward them for doing so; we'll never penalize you for making mistakes.
Yes. If the app detects a trip where you were a passenger (either in a car or public transit), you'll have the option to mark the trip as a passenger. You'll be free to do this for up to 24 hours after the trip has ended. It won't affect your drive score.
To mark a trip as a passenger, go to Trip details and select the button at the bottom of the screen to set the trip as a passenger.
Note that we keep the right to check trip deletion.
There are a few reasons this could happen.
Trip start detection may sometimes take some time to detect if the GPS signal is weak or the driver starts a trip slowly. As a result, the actual travel distance and duration may not match the mapped route.
Additionally, some trips are reconstructed based on whether the start location is within 1 km of a previously taken trip end location. For example, when you pulled over for a minute to drop off a friend. In a scenario like this, the app will attempt to reconstruct the route to show where the trip actually started rather than when you started driving again.
If you notice anything that seems off, please let us know!
Here are some pro-tips that will help ensure more accurate trip recording:
Make sure that both 'location services' and 'fitness and motion' are enabled and set to 'always on.' The battery needs to be sufficiently charged. If it get's below 20%, trip recording is automatically disabled to save battery consumption. Most of our users find it helpful to charge the phone while they drive. Make sure that your phone is in a stable position (preferably in a phone holder), and in a position where it has strong/consistent reception (e.g. not in the glove box). Don't 'kill' the app after your trip. Let it run in the background as it can sometimes take a bit of time to process the trip data. Terminating the app can interrupt this process and cause data to be lost. You can enable a push notification to get notified when your trip score is available. Simply go to Settings, select Push notifications and make sure that new score available is enabled. Make sure that the app is running in the background before you start your trip. A note for Android users: After a hard reset (either manually or if your phone shut down) you have to restart the app again so it will run in the background. Otherwise it won't record your trips. A note for iOS users: if you have automatic app updates enabled in the app store, you might need to logout and login to the app again after an update. If this didn't work, try deleting the app and reinstall from the app store. Your scores and driving history are saved in your account, so they will still be available to you.Still not working? Shoot us an email and we'll work it out together.
Even if you weren't using your phone, but it moved around while you were driving (say in the cup holder, or slid around on a seat, or even because of a big pothole), it's possible the app may detect a 'distraction.'Make sure your phone is in a stable position in your car, like in phone holder/mount. This should help.
Your phone needs a little bit of time to recognize that the trip has indeed ended, and you're not '... sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, or whatever (you know how unpredictable the roads can get!).
Want to be sure that the app has stopped recording? Enable push notifications and you'll be notified when a trip starts and when it ends.
Go to Settings, select Push notifications and make sure trip start and new score available are enabled.
Your phone needs a little bit of time to recognize that the trip has indeed ended, and you're not sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic.Want to be sure that the app has stopped recording? Enable push notifications and you'll be notified when a trip starts and when it ends.
Go to Settings, select Push notifications and make sure trip start and n
ew score available are enabled.
The app is designed to detect phone usage and log it as a distraction. The idea was that it would do so by detecting movement to the phone, but we have noticed that people using Siri, Bluetooth or any other form of car connectivity can have instances of distraction logged.
This is something we are working on, and hopefully we'll have it resolved soon. With any new technology it takes a little bit of time to get the recipe just right - we appreciate your patience while we get there!
Due to the nature of the app, it will always consume slightly more battery than apps that don't use GPS.If you're taking a longer trip, it might be a good idea to plug your phone into a charger before you hit the road, or charge it while you're driving.
From the sign in page, select Forgot password and enter your account email address. You'll receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password.
Select the My Account tab in the app and select your name. You can make changes to your details here.
Use the Settings tab to change navigation routing and push notification settings.
Select the My Account tab in the app and select your name Select Delete account and enter your password Once your password is verified, your account will be deleted and your trip data will be removed from our servers Make sure that both location services and fitness and motion are enabled and set to always on. You can find this in your general phone settings.
Your personal trip data is used strictly to assess your trips and generate your drive score. We won't share, disclose or sell it to any third parties.We do collect anonymous, aggregate data for statistical purposes that we may use to improve the functions of the app. We may also share this anonymous data in support of our safety mission '' for example, how many distraction-free trips our app users have completed, or how many drivers have improved their driving habits with Onlia Sense.
Onlia follows the latest mobile security standards to keep your data encrypted between your device and our servers. All communication between your device and our services are encrypted using TLS v1.2.
We keep your data private, and do not share it with any third parties without your explicit consent. You can see the full scope of how your data is used and protected in our Privacy Notice.
If your phone is lost or stolen, you can access your account on a new device by downloading the app and signing in to your account. We recommend changing your password to keep your account secure.
No problem, we'd love to hear from you! Send us an email.
We encourage any and all feedback you have about your experience with Onlia Sense '' it's your ideas that will help us improve the experience for drivers.
For tech issues or bug reporting, please include a brief description of what you experienced, along with the type of device you have. We appreciate your support!
We can help if you've been locked out, need a tire change, jump start, fuel delivery, or a tow, or have been locked out. Learn more here .
We provide roadside assistance 24/7 every day of the year. During severe weather conditions or other situations where service demands are higher, you may experience longer wait times than usual. In extreme weather conditions, we may be forced to delay service until it's safe to dispatch our service providers.
Yes. Onlia Roadside Assistance is available in all Canadian provinces and territories.
No, Onlia Roadside Assistance operates in Canada only. If you're in the US and need roadside help, call a local roadside assistance provider or local law enforcement.
We provide roadside assistance to all standard passenger vehicles, to a maximum weight of 8,000 lbs / 3,000 kg.
Sorry, we're not currently providing roadside services to motorcycles.
Onlia Roadside Assistance provides non-emergency services. If you're in a collision with another vehicle or have an emergency, call 911.If you need a tow following a collision with another vehicle, contact your insurance provider.
We do not provide snow removal services.If your vehicle needs servicing in snowy conditions, please make sure there's a clear path for us to reach you. We won't be able to provide service if it's impossible/unsafe to drive to you.
If you have the Onlia Sense app, you can use it to access Onlia Roadside Assistance.
You can pay using your credit card: Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. Once you order your service and a service professional is dispatched to you, you'll be connected with a customer service agent who will ask you for payment information.
If you need additional services (e.g. your vehicle ends up needing a tow), you can call us back for payment.
In most cases we'll be able to use your phone's GPS to get your location, meaning our service professionals will know exactly where to find you. But GPS doesn't always work perfectly, especially if you've got a poor signal or are in a rural area. You have the option to mark your location manually in these situations.
With Privacy Mode turned off, we can use your phone's GPS to pinpoint your location. This allows our service professionals to get to you faster.
You can turn off Privacy Mode through your phone's settings menu.
Once we've dispatched a service professional to you, we'll let you know their name and estimated time of arrival. Wait time is typically 10 to 45 minutes. We can also send you this info in a text message '' just ask!
Yes. If your service professional is delayed, we'll call or text you to let you know, and provide a new ETA.
Yes please. We can't provide service if your vehicle is unattended.
For our service professional's safety (they'll be driving, after all), we'd prefer you contact us at 1-888-456-6542 with any questions or updates you have. We'll pass along any relevant information.
Please call us at 1-888-456-6542 and let us know. We'll do our best to make things right.
Collapse OS '-- Bootstrap post-collapse technology
Winter is coming and Collapse OS aims to soften the blow.It is a z80 kernel and a collection of programs, tools and documentation thatallows you to assemble an OS that can:
Run on minimal and improvised machines. Interface through improvised means (serial, keyboard, display). Edit text files. Compile assembler source files for a wide range of MCUs and CPUs. Read and write from a wide range of storage devices. Replicate itself.Additionally, the goal of this project is to be as self-contained as possible.With a copy of this project, a capable and creative person should be able tomanage to build and install Collapse OS without external resources (i.e.internet) on a machine of her design, built from scavenged parts with low-techtools.
StatusThe project lives on githuband is progressing well! Highlights:
Self replicates: Can assemble itself from within itself, given enough RAM and storage. Known to run on: A RC2014 through a serial link. It can also have a PS/2 keyboard directly plugged in. A Sega Master System or a MegaDrive (Genesis) with video output and D-Pad input and/or a PS/2 keyboard adapter. Has a shell that can poke memory, I/O, call arbitrary code from memory. Can read SD cards. Has a text editor modeled after UNIX's ed. Compact: Kernel: 2700 SLOC. binary size varies wildly. Generally around 3K. zasm: 5K binary, 2400 SLOC, 8K RAM usage to assemble kernel or itself. ed: 1K binary, 500 SLOC. Extremely flexible: Kernel parts are written as loosely knit modules that are bound through glue code. This makes the kernel adaptable to many unforseen situations. Built from a GNU environment with minimal tooling: only libz80 is needed. An exciting roadmap!Try it outSee documentationfor instructions.
Questions?If you have further questions about the project, a big discussion about it occurred on Reddit and I answered a lot of questions there. I still do.
There was also a nice conversation on Hacker News about Collapse OS, but I didn't participate because I don't have a HN account. Also, this community doesn't seem collapse-aware so the idea of participation into this discussion seemed tedious to me. But the user "yellowapple" did a good job of answering many questions in a way that is similar to what I would have.
Foursquare - The Trusted Location Data & Intelligence Company
Auto insurance is a necessity no car owner wants to pay for, but everyone needs it whether they like it or not.
Unfortunately, unlike other industries, most automobile insurance providers haven't adapted to the modern world of smartphones and apps. This is something car insurance provider Onlia wants to change with its surprisingly innovative iOS and Android app, Onlia Sense.
The app features three distinct sections that accomplish this.
The main feature included in the app is designed to reward safe and distraction-free driving. Onlia Sense utilizes telematics technology that measures your vehicle's speed and movement to examine your driving habits. In a way, it's like the Carrot Rewards' now defunct app, but for your car.
The app detects how fast your car accelerates, whether you are distracted by your phone, how quickly you take corners and other information related to driving habits. Onlia Sense then gives you a score out of 100 for the trip, along with a monthly rating that averages all of your travel under one score. There are also perks for travelling specific distances.
Your score then earns you coupons, including monthly perks like $5 Starbucks gift cards. Your rewards points can also be spent on Onlia Road Side Assistance services (more on this later) and discounts on monthly insurance rates as long as Onlia is your provider. Rewards are limited right now, so hopefully, Onlia expands its partner offerings in the future.
The app also provides GPS navigation, but most will likely prefer to still use Google Maps or Waze. It's worth noting that Onlia Sense doesn't require additional hardware, and is not linked to your auto insurance rate in any way. You don't even need to be an Onlia customer to use this portion of the app. All that is required is an iPhone or Android smartphone to power the platform.
Onlia claims that the driving information it gathers isn't shared with insurance companies or brokers, though it does state that it sometimes sells anonymized data to its partners. This means that while the Onlia Sense is a free app, there's still a transaction going on behind the scenes, similar to nearly every free app.
Next, there are the app's built-in Roadside Assistance features, delivering roadside repair and towing services directly to Onlia customers through a partnership with Sykes. The company says it offers this service 24/7, and that it features 2,400 on-call vehicles.
Roadside Assistance isn't free though, even if you're an Onlia insurance customer. Vehicle unlocking/key retrieval, jump-starting and fuel delivery costing a flat rate of $79 CAD. On the other hand, towing services start at $99. Onlia Roadside Assistance is available in all Canadian provinces and territories.
While not the most affordable option available, the Onlia app's Roadside Assistance features are convenient, especially if you don't already subscribe to similar services like CAA or Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance.
Finally, it's also possible to get an auto insurance quote directly through the app through a relatively simple process that just takes a few minutes.
Overall, Onlia's Sense app is an impressive effort to modernize auto insurance, in addition to being a well-designed app that's easy to understand and navigate thanks to an intuitive user interface.
Onlia Sense is available on iOS and Android.
MobileSyrup utilizes affiliate partnerships and at times we include these link in our posts. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content, though MobileSyrup may earn a commission on purchases made via these links.
Supreme Court Considers Whether Civil Rights Act Protects L.G.B.T. Workers - The New York Times
Image Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in cases dealing with workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Credit Credit Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- In a pair of exceptionally hard-fought arguments on Tuesday, the Supreme Court struggled to decide whether a landmark 1964 civil rights law bars employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status.
Job discrimination against gay and transgender workers is legal in much of the nation, and the wide-ranging arguments underscored the significance of what could be a momentous ruling. If the court decides that the law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, applies to many millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees across the nation, they would gain basic protections that other groups have long taken for granted.
The cases were the court's first on L.G.B.T. rights since the retirement last year of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinions in all four of the court's major gay rights decisions. And without Justice Kennedy, who joined four liberals in the 5-to-4 ruling granting same-sex couples the right to marry, the workers who sued their employers in the three cases before the court may face an uphill fight.
For the most part, the justices seemed divided along predictable ideological lines on Tuesday. But there was one possible exception: Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, a member of the court's conservative majority, who asked questions suggesting that his vote might be in play.
Justice Gorsuch is an avowed believer in textualism, meaning that he considers the words Congress enacted rather than evidence drawn from other sources. And he repeatedly suggested that the words of Title VII may well bar employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status. The question was, he said, ''really close, really close.''
But he added that he was worried about ''the massive social upheaval'' that would follow from a Supreme Court ruling saying so. Such a significant change, he mused, might be more appropriate coming from Congress rather than the courts.
Title VII outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and, notably, sex. The question for the justices was how broadly to read that last term.
The court considered the question in two hourlong arguments. The first concerned a pair of lawsuits from gay men who say they were fired because of their sexual orientation. The second was about a suit from a transgender woman, Aimee Stephens, who said her employer fired her when she announced that she would embrace her gender identity at work.
In both, the justices considered a host of flash points in the culture wars involving the L.G.B.T. community '-- including sports, dress codes, religious objections to same-sex couples and, especially, bathrooms.
In the first argument, on sexual-orientation discrimination, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. posed skeptical questions to Pamela S. Karlan, a lawyer for two men who said they had been fired for being gay.
Justice Alito suggested that it would be absurd to conclude that when Congress passed Title VII, it intended to protect gay people. ''You're trying to change the meaning of what Congress understood sex to mean and what everybody understood,'' he told Ms. Karlan.
Ms. Karlan said sexual-orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination.
''When an employer fires a male employee for dating men but does not fire female employees who date men,'' Ms. Karlan said, ''he violates Title VII.''
Justice Elena Kagan said that conduct satisfied what she said was the law's ''extremely simple test'': ''Would the same thing have happened to you if you were of a different sex?''
Justice Kagan added that hewing closely to the words of the statute was how the court ordinarily went about its work.
''And the text of the statute appears to be pretty firmly in Ms. Karlan's corner,'' she said. ''Did you discriminate against somebody, against her client, because of sex? Yes, you did. Because you fired the person because this was a man who loved other men.''
''This is,'' she said, ''the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don't look to predictions. We don't look to desires. We don't look to wishes. We look to laws.''
Justice Alito said the public would find it hard to accept a ruling from the Supreme Court interpreting Title VII to encompass other forms of discrimination.
''If the court takes this up and interprets this 1964 statute to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation,'' he said, ''we will be acting exactly like a legislature.''
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said he was concerned that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would not adequately protect employers with religious objections to same-sex relationships and transgender status.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer said that firing a member of a gay couple was no different from firing a Catholic for marrying a Jew.
''There are many people, at least in the religious context,'' he said, ''who are against intermarriage and are not against Catholics or Jews. That's not an unrealistic example.''
Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, representing the Trump administration, said it was up to Congress and not the courts to change the law.
''The issue is not whether Congress can or should prohibit employment discrimination because of sexual orientation,'' he said. ''The issue, rather, is whether it did so when it prohibited discrimination because of sex.''
A lawyer for the employers in the sexual-orientation cases, Jeffrey M. Harris, argued that if Congress had meant to cover L.G.B.T. people, there would have been no need for states to address the question in their own laws, which some two dozen have done.
''Sex and sexual orientation are independent and distinct characteristics,'' he said. ''That's just as true today as it was in 1964.''
Some legal experts said the transgender case, argued second, was the easier one for the plaintiffs, since discrimination against transgender people certainly sounds like discrimination based on sex. At the same time, they said, a ruling protecting transgender people would open a new front in the culture wars.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the court could not ignore the impact of its decisions on who can use which bathrooms. ''Let's not avoid the difficult issue,'' she said.
''You have a transgender person who rightly is identifying as a woman and wants to use the women's bathroom,'' she said. ''But there are other women who are made uncomfortable, and not merely uncomfortable, but who would feel intruded upon if someone who still had male characteristics walked into their bathroom. That's why we have different bathrooms. So the hard question is: How do we deal with that?''
David D. Cole, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, responded that the question was not before the court. If it arose in a future case, he said, the court could address it then.
Justice Alito asked whether a transgender woman could play on a women's college sports team. That issue, Mr. Cole said, was also not before the court.
Justice Gorsuch asked whether a ruling in favor of Mr. Cole's client would do away with sex-specific dress codes. Mr. Cole said no.
''Recognizing that transgender people have a right to exist in the workplace and not be turned away because of who they are,'' he said, ''does not end dress codes or restrooms.''
''There are transgender male lawyers in this courtroom following the male dress code and going to the men's room,'' Mr. Cole said, ''and the court's dress code and sex-segregated restrooms have not fallen.''
But John J. Bursch, a lawyer for the funeral home that fired Ms. Stephens, said a ruling in her favor would have vast consequences.
It would mean, he said, ''that a women's overnight shelter must hire a man who identifies as a woman to serve as a counselor to women who have been raped, trafficked and abused, and also share restroom, shower and locker room facilities with them.''
Near the end of the arguments, Justice Sotomayor appeared to urge the court to act to protect historically disfavored groups.
''We can't deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are and not because of religious reasons, not because they are performing their jobs poorly, not because they can't do whatever is required of a position,'' she said, ''but merely because they're a suspect class to some people. They may have power in some regions, but they are still being beaten, they are still being ostracized from certain things.''
The cases concerning gay rights are Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618, and Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623. The case on transgender rights is R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 18-107.
Over the course of two hours, five lawyers used a host of comparisons to try to persuade the justices that various forms of discrimination were or were not similar. Justice Alito, himself a master of the telling hypothetical question, at one point declared himself lost. ''They will make your head spin,'' he said of the comparisons, ''if you try to figure them all out.''
Follow Adam Liptak on Twitter: @adamliptak.
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Guterres warns UN may not have money to pay staff next month | News | Al Jazeera
The United Nations may not have enough money for staff salaries next month if member states do not pay what they owe, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned.
He told the 193-member UN General Assembly's budget committee on Tuesday that if he had not worked since January to cut spending then "we would not have had the liquidity to support" the annual gathering of world leaders last month.
"This month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade. We risk ... entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls," said Guterres. "Our work and our reforms are at risk."
The US is the largest contributor - responsible for 22 percent of the more than $3.3bn regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications.
Washington owes some $381m for prior regular budgets and $674m for the 2019 regular budget.
The US mission to the UN confirmed the figures. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on when it might pay.
US President Donald Trump has said Washington is shouldering an unfair burden of the cost of the UN and has pushed for reforms of the world body. Guterres has been working to improve UN operations and cut costs.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said so far 129 countries had paid their dues for 2019, which amounted to almost two billion dollars.
Guterres said he introduced extraordinary measures last month to cope with the shortfall - vacant posts cannot be filled, only essential travel is allowed, some meetings may have to be cancelled or deferred.
UN operations in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi and at regional commissions will be affected.
UN peacekeeping missions are funded by a separate budget, which was a $6.7bn peacekeeping budget for the year to June 30, 2019, and $6.51bn for the year to June 30, 2020.
The US is responsible for nearly 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget but has pledged to pay only 25 percent - as required by US law.
Washington currently owes some $2.4bn for peacekeeping missions.
The top contributing countries are Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda. They pay their troops according to their national salary scales and are reimbursed by the UN.
As of July 2019, the UN paid $1,428 a month to each soldier.
The UN says its peacekeeping operations cost less than one-half of one percent of world military expenditures.
IJMS | Free Full-Text | Deregulation of Biologically Significant Genes and Associated Molecular Pathways in the Oral Epithelium of Electronic Cigarette Users
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Department of Preventive Medicine, USC Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, M/C 9603, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
USC Libraries Bioinformatics Service, University of Southern California, NML 203, M/C 9130, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
We have investigated the regulation of genes and associated molecular pathways, genome-wide, in oral cells of electronic cigarette (e-cigs) users and cigarette smokers as compared to non-smokers. Interrogation of the oral transcriptome by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis showed significant number of aberrantly expressed transcripts in both e-cig users (vapers) and smokers relative to non-smokers; however, smokers had ~50% more differentially expressed transcripts than vapers (1726 versus 1152). Whereas the deregulated transcripts in smokers were predominately from protein-coding genes (79% versus 53% in vapers), nearly 28% of the aberrantly expressed transcripts in vapers (versus 8% in smokers) belonged to regulatory non-coding RNAs, including long intergenic non-coding, antisense, small nucleolar and misc RNA (
< 0.0001). Molecular pathway and functional network analyses revealed that ''cancer'' was the top disease associated with the deregulated genes in both e-cig users and smokers (~62% versus 79%). Examination of the canonical pathways and networks modulated in either e-cig users or smokers identified the ''Wnt/Ca
+ pathway'' in vapers and the ''integrin signaling pathway'' in smokers as the most affected pathways. Amongst the overlapping functional pathways impacted in both e-cig users and smokers, the ''Rho family GTPases signaling pathway'' was the top disrupted pathway, although the number of affected targets was three times higher in smokers than vapers. In conclusion, we observed deregulation of critically important genes and associated molecular pathways in the oral epithelium of vapers that bears both resemblances and differences with that of smokers. Our findings have significant implications for public health and tobacco regulatory science.
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Tommasi, S.; Caliri, A.W.; Caceres, A.; Moreno, D.E.; Li, M.; Chen, Y.; Siegmund, K.D.; Besaratinia, A. Deregulation of Biologically Significant Genes and Associated Molecular Pathways in the Oral Epithelium of Electronic Cigarette Users. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 738.
AMA StyleTommasi S, Caliri AW, Caceres A, Moreno DE, Li M, Chen Y, Siegmund KD, Besaratinia A. Deregulation of Biologically Significant Genes and Associated Molecular Pathways in the Oral Epithelium of Electronic Cigarette Users. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(3):738.
Chicago/Turabian StyleTommasi, Stella; Caliri, Andrew W.; Caceres, Amanda; Moreno, Debra E.; Li, Meng; Chen, Yibu; Siegmund, Kimberly D.; Besaratinia, Ahmad. 2019. "Deregulation of Biologically Significant Genes and Associated Molecular Pathways in the Oral Epithelium of Electronic Cigarette Users." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, no. 3: 738.
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Altria launches Iqos tobacco device in US, and timing couldn't be better
Altria's Iqos store in Atlanta's Lenox Square mall
ATLANTA '-- Marlboro maker Altria started developing its new tobacco device more than a decade ago '-- as smoking rates declined but long before vaping took hold in the U.S.
It took two more years for regulatory clearance. But Altria is finally launching Iqos in the U.S. this week, and the company's timing '-- though coincidental '-- couldn't be better.
Iqos isn't a vaping device or a cigarette. It heats tobacco, but doesn't burn it, and is designed to give users the same rush of nicotine as smoking with fewer toxins. It also comes amid public panic over an outbreak of a deadly lung disease that's killed at least 18 people. U.S. health officials have traced the illnesses to vaping.
"It's perfect timing," said Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery. "I don't think they would have expected some consumer uncertainty around vapor coinciding with the launch of Iqos in the U.S."
A man smokes with the electronic tobacco heater IQOS (I quit ordinary smoking) of the tobacco company Philip Morris.
Sebastian Kahnert | picture alliance | Getty Images
Iqos is formally being launched Friday in Atlanta, where Altria has opened an airy new Iqos store with tall glass windows and light wood in a corner of Lenox Square mall.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized its sale in the U.S. in April, setting strict marketing guidelines aimed at ensuring only adult smokers use Iqos, not kids.
Regulators are already battling a surge in teen vaping, coupled with the vaping disease that's sickened more than 1,000 people in recent months. Although most of the cases involve THC found in marijuana, some users have said they exclusively used nicotine. The epidemic has prompted health officials around the world to start pulling e-cigarettes off shelves.
Altria and Philip Morris International started developing Iqos when the companies were still combined. PMI led the work once it was spun off from Altria in 2008. It launched Iqos in Nagoya, Japan, and Milan, in 2014 and has since introduced it in 49 markets, with Atlanta being the latest.
Altria's Iqos store in Atlanta's Lenox Square mall
Altria will market Iqos in the U.S. through a licensing agreement with PMI.
In some places, like Japan and Russia, Iqos has taken off. Adoption has been slower in other places, like Canada and the United Kingdom. It's unclear how U.S. consumers will respond to Iqos.
Unlike e-cigarettes, Iqos uses actual tobacco. The device heats the tobacco instead of burning it, avoiding the chemical process that occurs when smoking a cigarette that produces many harmful toxins.
Altria says the experience mimics smoking a cigarette and is therefore attractive to adult smokers. Of the roughly 34 million adult smokers in the U.S., Altria estimates about 20 million are looking for alternatives, many of whom have tried but did not like vapor products, Altria spokesman David Sutton told CNBC.
Altria's Iqos store in Atlanta's Lenox Square mall
The pen-like experience is sleek. Using it, however, can be confusing. To use Iqos, users insert a Marlboro-branded heatstick, which looks like a stubby cigarette, into the device. They then click a button and the device heats the tobacco, producing an aerosol.
Similar to a cigarette, users can puff multiple times until the heatstick runs out. They need to use a scraper tool to clean out the leftover tobacco after about every pack of heatsticks. They have to charge it in a carrying case after each session of using it.
That's why Altria will only sell the Iqos device at its stores and kiosks. It will sell the heatsticks in about 500 stores in the Atlanta area, but even people who order Iqos online must pick it up in stores.
At the Atlanta store, an employee stands at the entrance, scanning identification and asking whether people smoke cigarettes. If they are under 21 or do not smoke, they will be turned away, the company says.
People can test the Iqos device in the "guided trial room." The separate area is behind automatic glass and doors decorated with a blue couch and built with its own ventilation system. Altria will sell a bundle containing the holder and 200 heatsticks for $80. The holder costs $100 by itself, Sutton said.
Altria's Iqos store in Atlanta's Lenox Square mall
Altria will open another store in the Mall of Georgia later this month. It will also open mobile stores around the city and pop-up kiosks in its existing retailers, such as convenience stores.
The company chose Atlanta as its launch market because it's a tech-focused city with "several hundred thousands" of adult smokers, Sutton said. Altria will monitor the results before bringing Iqos to other cities, though the company has said it plans to expand rapidly.
In clearing Iqos for sale, the FDA stipulated a number of marketing restrictions. Since Iqos meets the legal definition of a cigarette, it is subject to the same marketing restrictions barring it from being advertised on radio or TV.
Altria's Iqos store in Atlanta's Lenox Square mall
Altria must submit advertisements to the FDA 30 days before publication, establish independent age and identification verification for online sales and disclose its affiliation when using influencers to promote Iqos, among other requirements.
Altria must also keep detailed records and send the FDA quarterly reports on its sales, including details like demographic data on its customers and how many have switched to Iqos from cigarettes or use both products. The company must also send an annual report with more granular information, including any reports of adverse experiences.
"We'll be keeping a close watch on the marketplace, including how the company is marketing these products, and will take action as necessary to ensure the continued sale of these products in the U.S. remains appropriate and make certain that the company complies with the agency's marketing restrictions to prevent youth access and exposure," the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products director, Mitch Zeller, said in a statement at the time.
The FDA's review found the aerosol that Iqos produces contains fewer toxic chemicals than cigarette smoke. It also found many of the toxins identified are present at lower levels than cigarette smoke. However, Iqos cannot be advertised as less harmful than cigarettes unless the FDA permits PMI's application to do so.
Regulators are trying to prevent minors from using the products. They are already trying to stem what they're calling an "epidemic" of teen vaping. They largely blame the phenomenon on Juul, the market leader that Altria invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in late last year.
Altria's chance of writing down Juul stake 'increased materially,' analysts say
Menthol pods for Juul Labs Inc. e-cigarettes are displayed for sale at a store in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The chance that Altria writes down the value of its $12.8 billion investment in Juul has "increased materially" amid uncertainty around the e-cigarette industry, Fitch credit analysts say.
Altria took a 35% stake in e-cigarette market leader Juul late last year to help offset declining sales in its main business, cigarettes. The number of cigarettes Altria sells has been falling for years with smoking rates declining and existing customers quitting or dying.
Juul's sales were booming when the deal was announced last December. Altria's stake valued the start-up at $38 billion. Since then, scrutiny around Juul and the e-cigarette industry as a whole has heightened.
State and local lawmakers are banning flavored e-cigarettes, while the Trump administration is readying a plan to remove these products from shelves across the country. An outbreak of a deadly vaping-related lung disease has stoked panic, causing at least some people to reconsider using e-cigarettes.
"The probability Altria impairs the value of its 35% investment in Juul has increased materially due to considerably diminished and uncertain e-vaping growth prospects," Fitch analysts Bill Densmore and Carla Norfleet Taylor wrote in a note Tuesday.
Hedge fund Darsana reportedly slashed the value of its stake in Juul by more than a third to a price that values the vaping company at $24 billion.
Altria previously said it expects the U.S. e-cigarette industry's volume sales to grow between 15% and 20% annually with international revenue that equals domestic revenue by 2023, the analysts wrote. That would partially offset the declines in cigarette sales.
"However, long-term growth prospects are now likely reduced due to the uncertain implications from increased regulatory scrutiny and potentially lower consumer confidence in e-vaping products," they said.
Fitch downgraded Altria's credit ratings two notches to BBB after Altria made the Juul investment because the deal increased Altria's leverage. The firm's forecast has "minimal dividend contributions" from Juul, so a write down would not harm the firm's negative rating sensitives, the analysts wrote.
Altria and Juul declined to comment.
Green New Deal
SFO plans to surround airport with 10-mile wall to protect against rising bay waters '' East Bay Times
Concerned that rising waves will flood runways and buildings in the coming years, officials at San Francisco International Airport are moving ahead with a $587 million plan to build a major new sea wall around the entire airport.
The plan, the latest example of the growing cost of climate change in California, involves driving steel pilings '-- sheets with interlocking edges '-- into the mud and also constructing concrete walls in some places around all of the airport's 10-mile perimeter.
''This is something we've been looking at for many years,'' said Doug Yakel, a spokesman for the airport. ''What's changed is the level of protection that is needed.''
The airport, built in 1927 in a cow pasture at the edge of San Francisco Bay, serves 55 million passengers a year, making it the nation's seventh busiest. But its runways sit only about 10 feet above sea level.
The runways, terminals and other buildings are protected now by a series of earthen berms and smaller sea walls which the airport built mostly in the 1980s. But they provide only about 3 feet of protection from flooding.
Under the new project, whose fiscal plan was approved by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 17, the airport will build five more feet of protection.
That should guard against 3 feet of sea level rise, plus another two feet for big waves during storms, airport planners said. And it should protect the airport through 2085, based on the most recent scientific estimates of sea level rise. Researchers project San Francisco Bay's waters could rise 1 foot in the next 30 years and another 3 feet or more by 2100. Environmental studies are set to begin next fall, Yakel said, with construction starting in 2025.
MILLBRAE, CA '' Oct. 8: A jet lands at San Francisco International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in a view from Burlingame, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) The project will be funded with bonds and paid off through higher fees on airlines that fly in and out of SFO, according to airport officials. With interest on the bonds, the final price tag is estimated at $1.7 billion over 30 years.
Environmental groups, who successfully blocked SFO's plans 20 years ago to build new runways into the bay, say they don't have a problem with this project.
''We have no objection to this. The airport can't be easily moved,'' said David Lewis executive director of Save the Bay, in Oakland. ''But adapting to climate change is going to be expensive. We can save ourselves a lot of money if we reduce the amount that we warm the planet, melt the ice caps, and raise the sea level.''
What's happening at SFO is also an issue in other places.
Dozens of major airports around the world are located at the water's edge. In some cases, parts of bays or harbors were filled in generations ago to construct new land for runways. In other places, the shoreline was chosen because it reduced noise problems from airplanes flying over neighborhoods.
''Nobody thought about sea level rise back then,'' said Gary Griggs, a professor of earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz who has studied oceanography for more than 50 years. ''They put in fill, got it a few feet above sea level and thought they were good. Now they don't have a lot of options.''
At Oakland International Airport, construction is set to begin next year on a $46 million project to raise a 4-mile earthen dike by two feet to guard runways against rising bay waters.
''Sea level rise is a very big focus of airports both in the U.S. and globally,'' said Kristi McKenney, assistant director of aviation for the Port of Oakland, which owns the airport. ''The recent hurricanes in the Caribbean shined a bright light on it. The airport industry takes this very seriously.''
San Jose's airport is not facing the same threat. It sits nearly four miles inland from the bay.
The Earth's temperature continues to rise as fossil fuels are burned and heat is trapped in the atmosphere. The 10 hottest years since 1880, when modern temperature records began, all have occurred since 1998, according to NASA and NOAA. The planet has warmed 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century, and is expected to warm another 2 to 4 degrees this century at the current rate.
''As you heat water, it expands, just like in your water heater,'' Griggs said. ''And the warmer it gets, the more ice melts. Ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or Republican.''
According to tide gauges, San Francisco Bay has risen 8 inches since 1900. Scientists project it will rise another 1 foot by 2050 and another 3 feet or more by 2100. Heavy winter storms, especially during high tides, already cause flooding in some parts of the Bay Area. Waves have over-topped the berms and existing sea walls on occasion at SFO, causing minor flooding issues.
The trouble, scientists say, is that the rate of sea level rise has doubled in recent decades, and is expected to further accelerate. There is some uncertainty about just how high the oceans will go. It depends on how much more fossil fuel is burned in the coming decades and at what rate the ice sheets of Antarctica, Greenland and other ice-bound regions continue to melt, Griggs said.
Bay Area cities and counties have three choices, experts say. First, they can build and restore wetlands in some areas, like the former Cargill salt evaporation ponds in the South Bay. Wetlands buffer waves and storms, reducing flood impacts on the shorelines.
Bay Area voters in 2016 approved $500 million in new funding over the next 20 years for bay wetlands restoration and flood control projects when they passed Measure AA, a $12-per-year parcel tax in all nine Bay Area counties. The first grants went out last year.
Second, cities can build concrete seawalls and levees. That will be the option for important features that cannot be moved, such as airports, or the Embarcadero along the San Francisco waterfront. But it's expensive.
San Francisco voters last year approved Proposition A, a $425 million bond measure to begin work on an enormous, 30-year, $5 billion project to rebuild the 3-mile long seawall along the city's Embarcadero '-- which was built in the 1800s and is cracking and crumbling '-- all the way from Fisherman's Wharf to the San Francisco Giants ballpark.
Finally, some areas are likely to be allowed to flood if the costs are too high to preserve them, like hay fields in the North Bay.
''From a global standpoint, there are parts of our world where we are going to adapt and parts where we are going to retreat,'' said San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin. ''And there are certain places our society is going to need to armor. SFO falls in that category. The airport is one of the most vital transportation links in the state, the country and the planet. There's nowhere else for it to go.''
MILLBRAE, CA '' Oct. 8: A flock of birds flies near a jet on a taxi way at San Francisco International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in a view from Bayfront Park in Millbrae, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Fire from Red River gas well blowout continues to burn
October 8, 2019 9:56PM PTRonan Farrow's new book ''Catch and Kill'' recounts his investigation of Harvey Weinstein; the hurdles his then-employer NBC News put in his way that caused him to publish the story in the New Yorker instead; and how Weinstein hired Black Cube, an investigative firm that employs ex-Mossad officers, to stop him.
But Farrow's most explosive interview in the book is with Brooke Nevils, the former NBC News employee whose complaint about Matt Lauer led to the co-anchor's firing from the ''Today'' show in 2017.
At the time, NBC News kept Nevils' identity anonymous from press reports at her request. The full details of her allegations have not been made public until now.
In the book, obtained by Variety, Nevils alleges that at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room.
A representative for Lauer did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment.
''Matt Lauer's conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time,'' NBC News said in a statement. ''That's why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.''
In Sochi, Nevils was tasked with working with former ''Today'' co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who'd been brought back to the show to do Olympics coverage. In her account, one night over drinks with Vieira at the hotel bar where the NBC News team was staying, they ran into Lauer, who joined them. At the end of the night, Nevils, who'd had six shots of vodka, ended up going to Lauer's hotel room twice '-- once to retrieve her press credential, which Lauer had taken as a joke, and the second time because he invited her back. Nevils, Farrow writes, ''had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.''
Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer '-- who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers '-- pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then pushed her onto the bed, ''flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,'' Farrow writes. ''She said that she declined several times.''
According to Nevils, she ''was in the midst of telling him she wasn't interested again when he 'just did it,''' Farrow writes. ''Lauer, she said, didn't use lubricant. The encounter was excruciatingly painful. 'It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, Is this normal?' She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow.'' Lauer then asked her if she liked it. She tells him yes. She claims that ''she bled for days,'' Farrow writes.
Nevils tells Farrow: ''It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,'' she says. ''It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex.''
Back in New York City, Nevils had more sexual encounters with Lauer. ''Sources close to Lauer emphasized that she sometimes initiated contact,'' Farrow writes. ''What is not in dispute is that Nevils, like several of the women I'd spoken to, had further sexual encounters with the man she said assaulted her. 'This is what I blame myself most for,''' she says to Farrow. ''It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.''
She was terrified about the control Lauer had over her career. After her encounters with Lauer ended, Nevils said she told ''like a million people'' about her situation with Lauer.
''She told colleagues and superiors at NBC,'' Farrow writes. She moved to NBC's Peacock Productions to be a producer, ''and reported it to one of her new bosses there.''
''This was no secret,'' Farrow writes.
Nothing happened until fall 2017, when the post-Harvey Weinstein reckoning led former ''Today'' colleagues to ask her about Lauer. Nevils told Farrow she then went to Vieira and told her what had happened. A distraught Vieira, according to the book, urged Nevils to go to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer, which she did. After Lauer's firing, she learned that Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, and Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, ''were emphasizing that the incident hadn't been 'criminal' or an 'assault''' '-- which she claims caused her to throw up, Farrow writes.
''Nevils's work life became torture,'' according to Farrow. ''She was made to sit in the same meetings as everyone else, discussing the news, and in all of them colleagues loyal to Lauer cast doubt on the claims, and judgment on her.''
And though Nevils had been promised anonymity by human resources, Lack saying internally that the encounter had happened at Sochi limited the possibilities of complainants '-- and soon, everyone knew it was Nevils. Though Nevils had not wanted money, she went on medical leave in 2018, and was eventually paid, Farrow writes, ''seven figures.''
''The network proposed a script she would have to read, suggesting that she had left to pursue other endeavors, that she was treated well, and that NBC News was a positive example of sexual harassment,'' Farrow writes.
In its statement, NBC News emphasized it took quick action after the formal complaint was lodged, and it pointed to instances such as a Dec. 1, 2017 memo in which Lack called Lauer's conduct ''appalling,'' among other terms.
The book paints NBC News executives as obstructive in his Weinstein investigation. As Farrow amassed his reporting about Weinstein, Oppenheim asked him, ''Like, is this really worth it?'' and suggested no one knows who Weinstein is. Farrow was eventually told to stop reporting the story, because it was under review at NBC Universal. ''This is a Steve Burke decision. It's an Andy decision,'' Farrow recalls Richard Greenberg, the head of NBC News' investigative unit, telling him. Since he didn't believe NBC would ever run his story, he took it to the New Yorker, where it was published in October 2017.
Sources at NBC News say they haven't read the book yet, but they plan to defend the company's decisions against Farrow's claims.
In anticipation of the publication of ''Catch and Kill,'' Oppenheim told Variety earlier this month: ''W e are more confident now than ever in the decisions we made around Ronan's reporting.''
NBC News has been bracing for what was expected to be a damning portrayal of the news organization and its leadership. Based on the fact-checking process for the book, NBC News is bracing for a blistering portrait of the news division and its leadership. The company is prepared to present its rebuttal to claims that may be in the book. Farrow ''is entitled to disagree with the decisions we made but he's not entitled to his own set of facts,'' Oppenheim told Variety.
''Catch and Kill'' comes out on October 15.
Cynthia Littleton and Mackenzie Nichols contributed reporting.
One of the Domino's pizzas that everyone should have the equal right to, uhh, let's say ''enjoy.''Photo: Gene J. Puskar (Getty Images) The Supreme Court declined to give Domino's Pizza Inc. an out from a lawsuit arguing that its website is inaccessible to people with blindness, denying a petition on Monday that could have allowed the company to evade facing the plaintiff in court.
Per Bloomberg Law , a prior ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that Guillermo Robles could proceed with a lawsuit against the pizza chain claiming that its inaccessible website violates the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The appeals court also found that the ADA ''mandates that places of public accommodation, like Domino's, provide auxiliary aids and services to make visual materials available to individuals who are blind,'' according to the L.A. Times .
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Domino's petition to review that ruling, removing the last procedural obstacle before the suit could go to court. Some 600 similar lawsuits have been filed this year, and there is a lack of clarity surrounding ADA compliance and website, Bloomberg Law wrote, thus meaning this one has the potential to set a major precedent:
Courts have split over whether the ADA applies to websites. The Justice Department hasn't issued regulations clarifying companies' online accessibility obligations under the law.
There was some concern that if the Supreme Court took on the case, the result could be an unprecedented finding that the ADA doesn't apply to websites. That would be a disaster for an internet that is already by and large difficult for many people living with disabilities to navigate.
The Supreme Court did not make a formal ruling and could still hear the case if lower courts disagree with the Ninth Circuit decision, but those are long odds for Domino's.
Robles' attorney, Joe Manning, told CNBC in a statement that the Supreme Court denial was ''the right call on every level.'' Manning added, ''The blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society'--something nobody disputes. This outcome furthers that critical objective for them and is a credit to our society.''
According to CNBC, attorneys for Domino's have argued that the ADA's mandatory accessibility standards apply to the chain's physical locations, but not websites. However, they've also stated that they support making their websites accessible to people with visual disabilities or limitations but want clear federal standards in place on how to do so.
The Times, however, reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups ''who said they represented 500,000 restaurants and 300,000 businesses'' had joined Domino's in urging the Supreme Court to review the lower court's decision. They griped about a possible ''tsunami of litigation'' and judicial imposition of a ''nationwide website-accessibility mandate.''
A 2016 Pew Research Center poll showed that Americans with disabilities are roughly three times as likely as others to report never going offline, while they also are 20 percent ''less likely to say they subscribe to home broadband and own a traditional computer, a smartphone or a tablet.'' That seems to be partially because people with disabilities are on average older, though a smaller gap remains with younger people with disabilities. Former California Representative Tony Coelho told CNET that one major contributing factor is that companies simply haven't keeping up with their obligations under the ADA due to a lack of enforcement, including that the DOJ discontinued a plan to issue standards in 2017.
''The internet, without reservation, is the world's largest infrastructure,'' Coelho told CNET. ''That, in effect, means that [Domino's is] covered by the ADA. The courts have ruled that... It's a huge mistake for somebody like Domino's to ignore the disability community. It's a poor business decision not to comply.''
University of California, Berkeley web accessibility evangelist Lucy Greco, who is blind, told CNET that the lack of clarity surrounding regulations is an excuse for businesses to avoid their obligations.
''People are trying to find a scapegoat, and the scapegoat to them is that the law isn't clear,'' Greco said. ''The law has been pretty clear.''
Lainey Feingold, a disability rights lawyer who focuses on web accessibility, concurred, telling Gizmodo earlier this year that ''When you make an argument that the broadest disability civil rights law, certainly in this country, and one of the top in the world, doesn't cover the place where everybody is interacting, that is exclusionary. This is just painful.''
''We look forward to presenting our case at the trial court,'' Domino's told reporters in a statement. ''We also remain steadfast in our belief in the need for federal standards for everyone to follow in making their websites and mobile apps accessible.''
Audit Finds Cost of Building Supportive Housing in L.A. Exceeds Median Price of a Market-Rate Condo '' Reason.com
High fees, excessive regulation, and NIMBY ("not in my backyard") opposition to new housing have contributed to Los Angeles' worsening homelessness crisis. Those same things are now frustrating the city's efforts to construct thousands of units of affordable and supportive housing, where social services can be offered on-site.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin released a damning audit of the performance of Prop. HHH, a $1.2 billion bond issue passed overwhelmingly in 2016 to help finance the construction of 10,000 units of housing for homeless and low-income residents.
"More than two years after the first bond issuance and nearly three years since voters approved HHH, not one bond-funded unit has opened," Galperin announced. "It is clear that the City's HHH program is not keeping pace with the growing demand for supportive housing and shelter."
117 Prop HHH-funded units are scheduled to open in 2019. Los Angeles' homeless population jumped 16 percent this year to 36,000.
Spiking development costs also mean that Prop HHH will end up subsidizing only about 7,700 units, not the 10,000 units promised to voters.
A 2016 estimate of construction costs put the price of adding new units at between $350,000 to $414,000. But the median per-unit cost at Prop. HHH-funded projects now stands at $531,373. Over 1,000 units are expected to cost over $600,000, and one project has units going for over $700,000.
"The cost of building many of these units exceeds the median sale price of a market-rate condominium in the City of Los Angeles and a single-family home in Los Angeles County," noted the controller's audit.
Reason has covered the high cost of building affordable housing in the Los Angeles area before, finding that sky-high land costs, union wage requirements, high development fees, and expensive design requirements have helped to push up the costs of these projects.
The controller's audit pinpoints many of these factors as helping to raise the costs of Prop HHH, especially the union wage mandates, city fees, and accessibility requirements for units serving disabled tenants.
Also driving up costs are city regulations that require developers receiving Prop HHH funding to have experience building supportive housing, and the need of these developers to piece together financing from multiple local, state, and federal sources.
Compounding all of these factors is Los Angeles' byzantine permitting process, which can delay projects for years at a time, while also giving neighborhood opponents ample opportunity to slow things up even more.
The city did try to address this problem by passing a 2018 ordinance streamlining approvals for Prop. HHH projects and lifting some zoning regulations, including parking requirements and density limits. Community groups, however, ended up suing the city over that ordinance, claiming it violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
CEQA lawsuits are a favorite tool of NIMBYs to either stop unwanted projects or extract concessions from developers.
In response, the California legislature passed a law this year exempting Prop HHH projects from CEQA. That should speed up project delivery. However, Tuesday's audit chided the city for streamlining permitting only after committing funding to projects.
The controller's audit also included a number of recommendations for bringing costs down, including finding more ways of streamlining approvals, embracing cost-saving construction methods, and shifting funding from the most expensive projects to temporary shelters.
Some of these recommendations could also be applied to housing development in general. Los Angeles' affordability problems are themselves a product of zoning laws that limit where housing can be built, lengthy permitting processes that drag out the approval of what housing is allowed, and state environmental laws that allow project opponents to cynically delay development.
Ensuring that Prop HHH projects don't run into these roadblocks, as the controller's audit has recommended, is a good idea. Removing these obstacles for market-rate housing as well might mean fewer people would need to rely on the government to house them in the first place.
Trudeau is rumored to be in talks with an accusor to suppress an explosive sex scandal '' The Buffalo Chronicle
Less than two weeks ahead of federal elections that have already been looking conclusively grim for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, rumors of an explosive sex scandal are percolating at the highest echelons of Canada's media establishment.
Ottawa's longest-tenured political observers had been expecting a career-ending expose in Saturday's edition of The Globe and Mail '-- but that story never came. Sources are now telling The Chronicle that Trudeau is in private talks with the principal source of that piece to suppress explosive sex allegations that, if made public, would likely force Trudeau to resign his office.
Trudeau's accuser is said to be a former student at West Point Grey Academy and the daughter of a wealthy Canadian businessman. Sources tell The Chronicle that she is being represented by counsel and is being offered monetary compensation in exchange for a pending, but not yet signed, non-disclosure agreement.
Justin Trudeau appearing in a West Point Grey Academy yearbook.Trudeau worked as a substitute teacher at the private school from 1999 until an abrupt and poorly explained departure in June of 2001. At the time of his departure he hired his father's lawfirm, Heenan Blaikie, to represent him in the matter. The firm issued a bizarre statement that denied that Trudeau was leaving his part-time position in order to pursue public speaking opportunities. He was 29 years old.
The Chronicle is unable to evaluate the veracity of widespread rumors that Trudeau regularly received fellatio from students while on the private school's campus. He worked at the academy as a substitute teacher in drama, social studies, and mathematics.
Just over a year after his departure, he began studying engineering at Polytechnique Montreal but left that program shortly thereafter.
Justin Trudeau at age 29.
'I'm a bit terrified': Austinites take to social media as crickets invade homes, businesses | kvue.com
David Limp, senior vice president of Devices and Services at Amazon, displays a new Echo, left, and an Echo Plus during an event announcing several new Amazon products by the company, in Seattle. ( AP Photo )
VIDEO - NBA apologizes to China over a tweet showing support for Hong Kong protests - YouTube
Guy Verhofstadt today labelled Boris Johnson a 'traitor' in an incendiary speech in the European Parliament as the EU and UK remained locked in a state of Brexit stalemate.
The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator said the proposals put forward by Mr Johnson last week were 'not serious' as he accused the PM of 'pushing Britain' out of the bloc.
Mr Verhofstadt claimed Mr Johnson treated anyone who opposed him on Brexit as a 'traitor' or as a 'collaborator' before telling MEPs that the 'real traitor' was actually the British PM.
He said: 'All those who are not playing his game are traitors, or collaborators, or surrenderers.
'Well, in my opinion, dear colleagues, the real traitor is he or she who would risk bringing disaster upon his country, its economy, its citizens by pushing Britain out of the European Union. That is, in my opinion, a traitor.'
Mr Verhofstadt's comments are likely to further sour an already difficult and tense relationship between the EU and UK which is increasingly feeling the strain as the October 31 Brexit deadline approaches.
Guy Verhofstadt, pictured in the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, today claimed that Boris Johnson was a 'traitor' to the UK
Mr Johnson, pictured in Downing Street on October 3, is due to meet Leo Varadkar for crunch Brexit talks tomorrow
Leading figures in the Brexit process today insisted that all was not lost in the battle to agree a deal before Halloween.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said he was working together with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on a last-gasp solution as he warned Number 10 against playing a 'blame game'.
He told MEPs this afternoon: 'Personally, I don't exclude a deal. Michel and myself are working on a deal.'
Meanwhile, Mr Barnier insisted the EU is willing to talk to the UK '24/7' in order to strike a new divorce accord.
He said that currently 'we are not really in a position where we are able to find an agreement' but that could change and he believed a deal was 'still possible'.
He told the European Parliament : 'We will be available 24/7 in the upcoming days to try and reach an agreement... I think if there is goodwill on all sides, an agreement is still possible.'
In a sign that European leaders are desperately trying to keep the hope of a deal alive, Mr Johnson and Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taioseach, will meet for secret talks at an undisclosed location in the north west of England tomorrow.
But Mr Verhofstadt risked throwing a grenade into those talks as he launched an astonishing attack on Mr Johnson.
He said: 'I think that the proposal that Boris Johnson exactly one week ago has put forward was not serious at all.
'Not serious at all because it was in fact, I call it a virtual proposal, it was not a real proposal. It gives, in fact, a veto to the DUP in a number of issues.'
He continued: 'The real reason why this is all happening is very simple. It's a blame game. A blame game against everybody.
'A blame game against the union, against Ireland, against Mrs Merkel, against the British judiciary system, against Labour, against the Lib Dems, even against Mrs May.
'The only one who is not being blamed is Mr Johnson himself apparently, but all the rest are the source of our problems.'
Michel Barnier, pictured in Brussels today, said that he would be available '24/7' to talk Brexit with the UK in order to try to agree a deal
Mr Verhofstadt then claimed that Mr Johnson was a 'traitor' to the UK because by going ahead with Brexit he was 'bringing disaster upon his country'.
Tomorrow's talks between Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar are likely to be viewed as a last chance for a breakthrough which could put Britain and Brussels on course for an orderly split on Halloween.
As things stand the mood is grim on both sides of the English Channel about the prospects of an accord being done with just 22 days left until the UK's departure date.
Mr Johnson submitted proposals to the EU last Wednesday setting out how he believed the Irish backstop could be scrapped.
But his blueprint was given short shrift by the bloc and things came to a head yesterday in a furious phone call with Angela Merkel who reportedly told Mr Johnson a deal could only be done if Northern Ireland stayed in the customs union.
The PM refused on the grounds that it would effectively mean isolating Ulster from the rest of the UK.
Speaker John Bercow (pictured in the Commons last night) faced allegations of 'plotting' today after it emerged he met the boss of the European Parliament to discuss their 'shared' desire to avoid No Deal
David Sassoli revealed he held talks with Mr Bercow in London last night, telling MEPs they were on the 'same wavelength'
Mr Verhofstadt's bombshell intervention and ongoing question marks over whether a deal is possible came as Commons Speaker John Bercow faced allegations of 'plotting' after it emerged he met the boss of the European Parliament to discuss their 'shared' desire to avoid No Deal.
David Sassoli revealed he had held talks with Mr Bercow in London, telling MEPs they were on the 'same wavelength'.
Mr Sassoli said the pair agreed that the UK and EU Parliaments must have a key role in 'managing' the Brexit process.
'We share an awareness that a chaotic exit of the UK from the EU would work to the detriment of citizens on both sides,' he said.
But the news sparked anger from Eurosceptics including Nigel Farage, who said it was a 'disgrace' that the president and the Speaker had 'agreed to work to prevent a clean break Brexit'.
'What right does the Speaker have to do this?' he demanded.
VIDEO - What Trump means when he says the Kurds ''didn't help us with Normandy.''
President Trump has managed to do the unthinkable: inspire bipartisan opposition to his leadership. On Wednesday, condemnation rained down from both sides of the aisle over Trump’s decision to pull remaining American troops out of northern Syria, opening the door for Turkey to launch a military strike on ethnic Kurds that have been American allies in fighting ISIS. With American forces gone, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped through that door Wednesday, launching a military offensive across its border. By way of explanation, Trump defended his reasoning for pulling the plug on American support for the Kurds, saying: “They didn’t help us with Normandy.”
Here’s a fuller version of Trump’s comments at the White House Wednesday:
The Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand. They’re fighting for their land and as someone wrote in a very, very powerful article today: They didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example… but they’re there to help us with their land. And that’s a different thing. And in addition that, we’ve spent tremendous amounts of money on helping the Kurds, in terms of ammunition, in terms of weapons, in terms of money, in terms of pay. With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.
Trump’s comments are muddled to the point of incoherence, but the article he appears to be referencing on the conservative site Townhall unsurprisingly makes more clear the point the president is trying to articulate. The Kurds were an ally worth defending when we had a common strategic interest in defeating ISIS, the argument goes, but now that the U.S. feels it has accomplished that, there’s not much use for the Kurds anymore. The point being, in the article at least, that the Kurds didn’t join the Americans to fight in Normandy—or elsewhere—because those conflicts were outside of their territory and strategic interest and the U.S. should use the same calculus.
The Kurds helped destroy ISIS, true. It’s also true that the Kurds would have fought ISIS anyway, since the psycho caliphate was right next door. Let’s be honest–the Kurds didn’t show up for us at Normandy or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Kandahar. The Syrian Kurds allied with us in their homeland because we shared a common interest in wiping out the head-lopping freak show that was ISIS… This idea that some sort of obligation for America to defend another people can arise outside the treaty ratification process is as bizarre as it is unconstitutional. Now we’re supposed to shed our blood because our elites feel we owe it to foreign strangers?
This argument, though flippant, fits in well with Trump’s transactional existence where he looks to gain the upper hand by shortchanging people at the expense of long-term gains. The acceptable costs and limits of U.S. support for allies is surely a legitimate topic of discussion, it’s just not one that Trump appears to have ever had with anyone.
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VIDEO - Mike Pesca breaks down the complexities of the fight between China and the NBA.
VIDEO - (1) ðMÎG!D on Twitter: "There are few better ways to sum up @BorisJohnson than #FilthyPieceOfToeRag When he arrives October 17th, I ask that our European friends give Boris NOTHING and give the British people EVERYTHING! Let's stop No-Deal, se
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VIDEO - Husband left with severe brain damage, wife speaks out against scooters
Their lives forever changed by an electric scooter accident this summer in San Diego. Now the Omaha family is speaking out as the city soon wraps up its 6 month trial period with the scooters and eyes a decision on whether they should stay or go.
It was about nine weeks ago Carli Jacobsen first wondered if she'd ever had a normal life with her husband Aaron, again.
"One of them took their shirt off to help cover the blood on my head and one of them helped make sure I wasn't chocking on my vomit,'' said Aaron.
Aaron doesn't remember that; he's reciting what his colleagues told him about the night in San Diego when their electric scooter ride landed him in critical condition with severe brain trauma.
Carli was on a trip with one of their daughters in Georgia when a late-night call came in from Aaron's phone.
"So I answered it and it was a police officer who was in the ICU with him,'' recalls Carli.
She flew to be with Aaron and learned more details.
"One guy told me it looked like I hit a pothole or something uneven on the ground and when I crashed there was a fracture on the side of my head blood out the back of my head and blood coming out my ear,'' said Aaron.
They spent three weeks in the hospital in San Diego. Medical teams monitoring Aaron, eventually starting to work with him on some initial rehab. Getting his brain to make important connections. It's work they've continued back home. Aaron still struggles to find words and recall conversations at times. But they're grateful, knowing it could have ended worse.
''He could have been killed. He could have had lasting injuries. We could be in a conversation right now about what life looks like moving forward, but instead, we're talking about why there shouldn't be scooters in Omaha.''
Carli is the more vocal one the topic, and her message extends to beyond local leaders.
"If I see anyone I know or care about who I think might get on a scooter I would say don't do it, it's not worth it. There are other ways you can go fast and have fun."
Omaha's pilot period comes to completion November 15.The mayor's office says a decision about their permanent fate is expected early next year. A report will be compiled examining the pilot period before any decisions are made.
VIDEO - (7) George Monbiot - Celebrity is the mask the machine wears / consumerism, celebrity, climate emergency - YouTube
Around the world, an estimated 2 billion people welcome insects into their regular diets. Insects can be an excellent food: many species are chock-full of fat, protein, vitamins, and fiber. Yet in places like the United States and Europe, consumers are historically resistant to the idea of entomophagy (insects as cuisine).
But that may be changing. In 2013, the United Nations published a landmark report entitled ''Edible Insects: future prospects for food and feed security.'' Against the backdrop of overpopulation, food and land scarcity, and climate change, the report makes a compelling case for insects as the sustainable livestock option. Insects emit far fewer greenhouse gases than cattle or pigs, and raising them at scale ties up a lot less land. They're also efficient protein producers. Insects are cold-blooded, so they spend their calories on growth instead of maintaining consistent body temperatures. This means growing one kilogram of crickets, for example, only takes about 1.7 kilograms of food. By comparison, one kilogram of cattle costs maybe 10 kilograms of food.
The UN report got a lot of attention, and it kicked off something of an insect farming boom in the United States. Propelled by ambitious investors and fascinated news outlets, a number of edible insect startups popped up to ride the wave of consumer interest.
That was years ago. Today, insect farming remains fairly niche in the US '-- and we wanted to know what happened between then and now. So, we visited two modern cricket farms: one in Austin, Texas, and one in Oakland, California. We saw what it takes to run a viable insect business today, and we learned why the insect revolution still hasn't quite hit yet. Check out the video above for the full story.
VIDEO - Hillary Clinton on Trump: "Maybe There Does Need To Be A Rematch" So "I Can Beat Him Again" | Video | RealClearPolitics
PBS NEWSHOUR: As an impeachment inquiry into President Trump's actions on Ukraine begins, Hillary Clinton says that it appears "that there is evidence of abuse of power and obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress." The former secretary of state and daughter Chelsea sit down with Judy Woodruff to discuss the decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Trump's tweet attacks, and their new book, ''Gutsy Women.''
I think you called him recently a corrupt human tornado.HILLARY CLINTON: Yes.
WOODRUFF: Well, he's come back at you several times.
In fact, he tweeted just this morning. And I'm going to quote.
He said: "I think that crooked Hillary Clinton should try to enter the race to try and steal it away from uber-left Elizabeth Warren. Only one condition: The crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors, including how and why she deleted 33,000 e-mails."
You know, it truly is remarkable how obsessed he remains with me. But this latest tweet is so typical of him. Nothing has been more examined and looked at than my e-mails. We all know that. So he's either lying or delusional, or both.
There was no subpoena, as he says in a tweet this morning. So maybe there does need to be a rematch. Obviously, I can beat him again.
But, just seriously, I don't understand, I don't think anybody understands what motivates him, other than personal grievance, other than seeking adulation.
I said during the campaign, there was no other Donald Trump. What you saw was what you were going to get. And I think a lot of Americans understandably thought, oh, no, come on. That can't possibly be the case. Once he's in the office, he will certainly moderate his behavior.
Well, we have seen, no, he hasn't.
WOODRUFF: Secretary Clinton, yesterday, President Trump made big news by announcing that his policy was going to be to clear the way for the Turkish government to send its troops into Syria, that the U.S. troops were going to get out of the way, so, essentially, they can go in after the Syrian Kurds, who they view as terrorists.
Of course, the Syrian Kurds have been very helpful to the United States in the conflict in that region.
What's at stake here for the United States?
CLINTON: Well, I thought that the announcement that President Trump made that he was ordering the withdrawal of American troops from Northern Syria and, in effect, giving a green light to the Turks under President Erdogan to go in with their military, was a betrayal, a betrayal of the strongest allies that we have in the region.
We wouldn't have defeated ISIS by this time if it had not been for the Kurds, who were our partners and allies.
VIDEO - 'Not One Drop Of Blood': Cattle Mysteriously Mutilated In Oregon : NPR
The crumpled carcass of a bull lies on U.S. Forest Service ground. It was among several killed and mutilated this summer in eastern Oregon. Anna King/Northwest News Network hide caption
toggle caption Anna King/Northwest News Network The crumpled carcass of a bull lies on U.S. Forest Service ground. It was among several killed and mutilated this summer in eastern Oregon.
Anna King/Northwest News Network In the early morning light, dust from hooves creates a fog at Silvies Valley Ranch in remote eastern Oregon. Cowboys whistle and talk low to their eager herding dogs. They're moving the cattle from one vast, sage-studded range to another.
Five young purebred bulls mysteriously showed up dead on the ranch this past summer, drained of blood and with body parts precisely removed.
The ranch's vice president, Colby Marshall, drives his truck down a U.S. Forest Service road.
"Then we'll get out and take a little walk to where one of the bulls was found. And the carcass is still there," Marshall says.
Coming upon one of the dead bulls is an eerie scene. The forest is hot and still, apart from a raven's repeating caw. The bull looks like a giant, deflated plush toy. It smells. Weirdly, there are no signs of buzzards, coyotes or other scavengers. His red coat is as shiny as if he were going to the fair, but he's bloodless and his tongue and genitals have been surgically cut out.
Marshall says these young livestock were just reaching their top value as breeding bulls. The animals are worth around $6,000 each. And since these were breeding bulls, hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of future calves were lost too.
Finding these young Herefords in this remote country can sometimes take the ranch's experienced cowboys days. Ranch staff members are now required to ride in pairs and are encouraged to carry arms.
"It's rugged," Marshall says. "I mean this is the frontier. If some person, or persons, has the ability to take down a 2,000-pound range bull, you know, it's not inconceivable that they wouldn't have a lot of problems dealing with a 180-pound cowboy."
Harney County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Jenkins has been working the cattle cases and has gotten dozens of calls from all over offering tips and suggestions.
"A lot of people lean toward the aliens," Jenkins says. "One caller had told us to look for basically a depression under the carcass. 'Cause he said that the alien ships will kinda beam the cow up and do whatever they are going to do with it. Then they just drop them from a great height."
Dan Jenkins, with the Harney County Sheriff's Office, has been investigating the killings of several cattle on Silvies Valley Ranch. Anna King/Northwest News Network hide caption
toggle caption Anna King/Northwest News Network Jenkins says the cases have been tough, with little evidence and no credible leads.
On his whiteboard, he has a running list scrawled in green marker with the top theories. What's clear: It isn't bears, wolves, cougars or poisonous plants. Nor were the animals shot.
The FBI won't confirm or deny that it's looking into the multiple slaughters.
Two years ago and 200 miles south, near New Princeton, Ore., one of Andie Davies' cows was also found cut up and bloodless.
She and her husband drove concentric circles around the corpse, but they never found any tracks.
And in this dusty country, "everything you do leaves tracks," Davies says.
Back in the 1980s, one of Terry Anderson's mother cows was mysteriously killed overnight. Standing at his ranch near Pendleton, Ore., Anderson points to the exact spot where he found her on top of a mountain.
He remembers his cow lying dead, her udder removed with something razor sharp.
"And not one drop of blood anywhere," Anderson says.
He has never gotten over it.
"It's just left a really strange feeling with me since that day. You can't explain it," Anderson says. "And, you know, no one else has been able to explain it."
The Harney County Sheriff's Office continues to field calls on the killings. And Silvies Valley Ranch has put up a $25,000 reward for information that could solve the case.
VIDEO - (25) Chuck Todd blows up on Ron Johnson - YouTube
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV's John Solomon in an interview that aired Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting.
''Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,'' Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.
''My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,'' he continued.
The State Department called Lutsenko's claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, "an outright fabrication."
''We have seen reports of the allegations," a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. "The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects."
Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.
Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that "the situation was actually rather strange" and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but "never received."
''At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,'' he said. " At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy."
''Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts," he said. "The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general's office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem."
''The portion of the funds namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General's office. But we have never received it,'' he said.
Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.
Former Rep. Pete Sessions Peter Anderson SessionsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising The Hill's Morning Report '-- Trump broadens call for Biden probes Pete Sessions announces bid for Bill Flores's Texas House seat MORE (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her ''disdain'' for the Trump administration.
'-- Hill.TV StaffUpdated at 11:01 a.m.
VIDEO -17min15- Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at the Conference of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People - YouTube
When questioned whether or not her gun-control platforms would run afoul of the Constitution, Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren simply shrugged.
Warren joined other 2020 candidates at a forum to discuss gun control policies earlier this week. The event was hosted by MSNBC.
Moderator Craig Melvin asks Warren about her proposal of ''limiting guns,'' to which the Massachusetts Senator endorsed restrictions on what an American could buy to prevent ''people from bulking up in the middle of a crisis.''
You know, a crisis like an out of control government? The exact reason the Second Amendment was put in place?
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Warren also suggested people be flagged by the government for law enforcement if they legally purchased too many firearms in a certain timeframe. Which seems like an arbitrary set of criteria, eventually leading to restrictions on everybody.
RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Says Walmart's Decision to Discontinue Handgun Ammo Sales 'Not Nearly Enough'
''Look at some of these folks who've gone out and bought a whole lot of guns at once. I'd kind of like to know about that and say there's actually going to be a federal limit on this,'' Senator Warren explains.
''Does it survive Constitutional scrutiny?'' Melvin asks.
''Yea,'' she responded with a shrug as if that was an afterthought.
The exchange elicited laughter from the audience.
Elizabeth Warren literally shrugs at the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment
This is what they think of our God-given rights: they shrug and laugh about taking them awaypic.twitter.com/1FnbU4vrfm
'-- Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) October 3, 2019
Warren has recently proposed a means to disarm poor Americans through a national gun tax of 30 percent and an ammunition tax of 50 percent.
The plan is a means to stick it to poor and middle-class families while having no effect on the wealthy with whom she so ferociously despises. Many Americans on tight budgets would be taxed out of the market to purchase a firearm to protect their families.
Warren's response to disarming law-abiding citizens through shredding of the Constitution?
RELATED: Woman Absolutely Obliterates Beto On Gun Control
Warren isn't the only Democrat shrugging their shoulders at the rights of every American.
Senator Kamala Harris, speaking at the same forum, said as President she'd be willing to confiscate ''as many as 10 million'' guns.
Julian Castro equated police officers with mass shooters and common criminals, stating ''Police violence is gun violence also.''
Frontrunner Joe Biden's gun control plan has been labeled a ''constitutional disaster'' that would bankrupt gun manufacturers and require law-abiding gun owners to give up their firearms or be treated as criminals if they do not register them with the government.
Then, of course, there is Beto O'Rourke, who yanked his party so far left on the issue of gun control that no Democrat candidate's views on the Second Amendment lines up with the average American voter.
''Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,'' Beto famously declared at a Democratic debate earlier this year.
Hell no, you're not. Unlike the radical left, most Americans won't simply shrug their shoulders when they see the Constitution being shredded and their rights stolen out from under them.
Read more at the Political Insider
Elizabeth Warren Shrugs When Asked If Gun Control Platform Would Violate Constitution
When questioned whether or not her gun-control platforms would run afoul of the Constitution, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren simply shrugged.
The Advanced Protection Program safeguards the personal Google Accounts of anyone at risk of targeted attacks '' like journalists, activists, business leaders, and political campaign teams.
Learn how Advanced Protection helps to keep your data safeThe strongest defense against phishing with a Security KeyEven the most security-conscious users can be tricked by a sophisticated phishing attack. To protect you from this threat, Advanced Protection goes further than traditional 2-Step Verification, requiring you to use a physical Security Key in addition to your password to sign in to your Google Account.
What is phishing?Phishing is a common technique that can be used to trick you into giving away your username, password, 2-Step Verification code, or other personal information. Phishing attacks can happen through a variety of channels, including email, telephone, text message, or in apps.How does Advanced Protection defend against phishing?Advanced Protection requires you to use a physical Security Key, in addition to your password, to sign in to your Google Account. These Security Keys are the most secure form of 2-Step Verification. Even if you do fall for a phishing attack that discloses your username and password, an unauthorized user won't be able to access your account without one of your physical Security Keys.
To enroll, you'll need to purchase two Security Keys '-- one wireless-enabled key to act as your main key, and one backup key. After you enroll, other authentication factors you might be used to, like codes sent via SMS or the Google Authenticator app, will no longer work.
Safeguard your data by limiting access to itWhen you sign up for new apps or services, you are sometimes asked to give access to data in your Google Account. Usually this doesn't pose a risk, but sophisticated attackers could compromise or impersonate an app or service to gain access to your personal data. To help protect you, Advanced Protection allows only Google apps and select third-party apps to access your emails and Drive files.
As a trade-off for this tightened security, the functionality of some of your apps may be affected. Most third-party apps that require access to your Gmail or Drive data, such as travel tracking apps, will no longer have permission. And you will only be able to use Chrome and Firefox to access your signed-in Google services like Gmail or Photos.Apple's Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps and Mozilla's Thunderbird will continue to be able to access your Google data as normal.
Block fraudulent account access with extra verificationA common way that hackers try to access your account is by impersonating you and pretending they have been locked out of your account. To give you the strongest protection against this type of fraudulent account access, Advanced Protection adds extra steps to verify your identity during the account recovery process.
If you ever lose access to your account and both of your Security Keys, these added verification requirements will take a few days to restore access to your account.
Get started with Advanced Protection nowTo enroll, you'll need to purchase two Security Keys and register them to your Google Account.
Get StartedThe Advanced Protection Program will keep adding new features to help you stay a step ahead of evolving security threats.
Why do I need two Security Keys?
Two Security Keys are required to enroll so that you'll have a backup key in case you lose your main key. A wireless-enabled key that can connect to both your computer and mobile devices should act as your main key.
Do I need to keep a Security Key with me at all times?
We recommend you always keep a Security Key close in case you log out of your account or need to sign in on a new device. In all likelihood, this will happen infrequently. Remember to take one with you when traveling.
What happens if I lose both of my Security Keys?
If you still have access to a logged-in session, you can visit account.google.com and register replacement keys in place of the lost keys. If you have lost both keys and do not have access to a logged-in session, you will need to submit a request to recover your account. It will take a few days for Google to verify it's you and grant you access to your account.
I'm interested in Advanced Protection for my work account - Can I enroll a G Suite Account in Advanced Protection?
Yes. You can enroll your G Suite Account into Advanced Protection with admin approval. Click on the 'Get Started' button to start the enrollment process, and if your admin has not allowed enrollment, you can send them these instructions.
How much does it cost to enroll in Advanced Protection?
Advanced Protection is a free service. You will however need to purchase two Security Keys in order to enroll. The price of Security Keys will vary depending on which model you select. Click the "Get started" button to view our recommended keys.
Not ready for Advanced Protection? You can still take steps to make your account safer by turning on 2-Step Verification.
VIDEO - (7) CrowdsourcetheTruth on Twitter: "Was Jamal Khashoggi Murdered for His Role in the Las Vegas Shooting? with Special Guest John Cullen https://t.co/NybnorPvLx" / Twitter
Credit: The Ohio State UniversityMillions of people embrace new diet and nutrition trends every day, but experts from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine urge people not to assume what works for them will also work for their pets.
"People just want to do what's best for their pets, but when they apply human diets to their animals, it doesn't always work out well," said Dr. Valerie Parker, board certified veterinary nutritionist at Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. "There's tons of information out there about alternative diets, but it's not all based on scientific information. Animals have vastly different nutritional needs than humans and adopting an alternative diet can result in severe implications for your pet."
According to The World Small Animal Veterinary Association, what you read online should enhance what your veterinarian recommends, not replace it. A veterinary nutritionist can work with patients to determine the best diet for their pet, taking into account the animal's breed, body weight, body composition (including body condition and muscle condition scores), and medical conditions.
Dr. Parker lists some of the common diet trends pet owners try, and why it's best to reject the hype:
With the rising popularity of grain-free and low-carbohydrate diets for humans, one of the most popular dietary concerns Parker hears from pet owners is grain intolerance. "This is a common misconception. Food allergies, especially to grains, are rarely a problem with pets," Parker said.
Credit: The Ohio State UniversityA recent investigation by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) examined the link between grain-free diets and a common type of canine heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). A rise in cases of DCM occurring in breeds not typically prone to it led investigators to discover that these dogs were consuming pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as the main ingredients.
Vegetarian or Vegan Diets
Another common trend among pet owners, especially for those who are meat-free themselves, is to feed their pets a vegetarian or vegan diet. According to Parker, most animals should have some meat in their diets because meat is an essential source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Raw Diets and Homemade Food
Diet trends modeled after prehistoric human eating habits may have pet owners believing their pets should switch to a raw diet. Parker warns that many raw diets are not only nutritionally inadequate, but they can also put animals and their owners at risk for infectious diseases.
"Most homemade pet food recipes just don't contain the nutrients your pet needs and can cause severe health issues," Parker said. "An example of a worst-case scenario would be significant bone deformities in young animals that could lead to fractures and ultimately paralysis."
It's easy for pet owners to jump to conclusions about what to feed their pets. Parker urges pet owners to make these decisions alongside a veterinarian based on the pet's specific health needs.
"There are a lot of things pet owners can do to keep their pets happy and healthy, and it's not all related to food, " Parker said. "Consulting your veterinarian is the best way to ensure your pet is eating a healthy, balanced diet."
Citation: Should my cat be vegan? Why alternative diet trends can be dangerous for your pet (2019, October 7) retrieved 7 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-10-cat-vegan-alternative-diet-trends.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
VIDEO - (37) Extinction Rebellion Amsterdam on Twitter: "Rebellen op de stadhouderskade zingen:'There is no planet B. The oceans are rising and so are we.' #ExtinctionRebellion #RebelForLife #ClimateCrisis #EcoCrisis Amsterdam https://t.co/I9LurnMdI1" / T
pic.twitter.com/I9LurnMdI1 12:27 AM - 7 Oct 2019 Twitter by: Extinction Rebellion Amsterdam @XR_Amsterdam Erik_Dek_ @ dek_erik
2h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam het is echt een sekte
View conversation · Oh boy what a shot @ ohboywhatashot
8m Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam De regenjasjes, de mobiele telefoons, het plastic spandoek, de tentjes, de rugzakjes, de trendy hipster kleding... zo vervuilend en zo niet klimaatneutraal.*zucht*
View conversation · Ren(C) van Gellekom pro Europa contra EU @ renevangellekom
3h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam #DitisNederland. Spreek Nederlands!
View conversation · B.eter ð @ Bijzonderheid
4h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam @NLRebellion Wat een geweldige sfeer! Wie wil daar nu niet bij zijn!
@NLRebellion View conversation · Sjaak uit Dordt @ SjaakUit
1h Replying to
@Bijzonderheid @XR_Amsterdam @NLRebellion Ik.
View conversation · Sam @ Spainkiller
4h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam @Pretpark020 What a diverse crowd!
View conversation · Cis ð"ð± ðº @ cisdewolf
53m Replying to
pic.twitter.com/5zAgUup7JV View conversation · Shanti B. Spiritu @ BSpiritu
48m Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Waar zijn de donkere mensen?Mochten die niet vooraan staan van jullie?
View conversation · Sjaak uit Dordt @ SjaakUit
1h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Ga eens werken.
View conversation · Hanzzzz @ HurkHans
1h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Mijn God wat een zielepieten
View conversation · Rob Moen ð"ð±ðð... @ Rob_Moen
3h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Stelletje terroristen. Oppakken dat tuig en DNA afstaan
View conversation · Wijnand Schoo @ WijnandSchoo
2h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Zo sneu.
View conversation · somekindofname @ kort1804
1h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Plastic fantastic!
View conversation · SkyCra @ _SkyCra_
1h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Wow! You love the environment so much that you are using clothing that's from plastics! Very good of you people!
View conversation · Gaatje Nietaan @ viezuhfuiluh
57m Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Ik zie alleen droeftoeters en kwetscalimero's....
View conversation · Peter St. @ PeterSt10097909
4h Replying to
@XR_Amsterdam Geen Nederlands ?
View conversation · Milan @ Milann
3h Replying to
@PeterSt10097909 @XR_Amsterdam wil je nog wat toevoegen aan dit debat? Het is een wereldwijd probleem en ja Engelse liederen klinken vaak gewoon beter
View conversation · Peter St. @ PeterSt10097909
2h Replying to
@Milann @XR_Amsterdam Wat een kutsmoes, gewoon Nederlands is beter als je in Nederland demonstreert. Deze club is in 2018 door 2 Engelsen opgericht en dit zijn opgedragen voorgedrukte teksten uit Engeland. Iemand hoorde 2 lieden zeggen: laten wij ons arresteren voor de interviews. Rest is Engels.
View conversation · Milan @ Milann
1h Replying to
@PeterSt10097909 @XR_Amsterdam Wil je nog iets toevoegen?
View conversation · Peter St. @ PeterSt10097909
52m Replying to
@Milann @XR_Amsterdam Nee, want er wordt toch niet inhoudelijk op gereageerd, op een bepaald niveau kom je dat tegen, discussie zinloos. Slaap lekker verder.
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ComediansKnowing we wanted to bring comedy into the mix, we tapped into Toronto's comedy community to develop hour-long podcasts for our drivers to enjoy. The content created focused on commuting and the everyday road issues we all experience.
TechnologyIn order to test if comedy had an impact on road rage from a data perspective, each of our drivers wore a biometric wristband to monitor physiological signals, including: heart rate, skin conductivity and activity. A dual-channel dash camera was also installed in each vehicle to record our driver's reactions and driving conditions. This video was then analyzed through facial recognition software which monitored for six basic emotions and one neutral state: happiness, sadness, anger, surpise, fear and disgust. The Onlia Sense Safe Driving App was also used during each commute, which scored our drivers on a 100-point scale for acceleration, braking, cornering and speed.
The resultsBy bringing all of these elements together, we were able to test if comedy positively impacts our driver's behaviours. After a week-long commute testing the impact of comedy on our drivers' emotional states, the use of comedy during stressful road situations had a calming effect. Based on facial recognition analysis, biometric data the Onlia Sense App and anecdotal stories from the drivers, comedy helped them calm down during road rage moments. One influencer even stated, ''Laughter is the key'... you're so into the [comedy] that you forget that you're in traffic.''
See below for key takeaways from this experiment:Maximum speed went down by more than 5km/hr* Drivers were 10% less likely to accelerate aggressively* Distracted driving was down an incredible 66%**Data collected from the Onlia Sense Safe Driving App.Road rage can be a difficult to overcome, but there are fun and innovative ways to address this negative reaction. If you know you are driving through a heavy construction zone or will be in rush hour traffic, plan ahead and listen to some comedy. We can all do our part to make our commute safer, so why not have some laughs along the way.
Check out the full Calmedy Commute video here. Join our safety movement by following along on social media: @OnliaCA, #OnliaCA and #CalmedyCommute.
VIDEO - (1) piping hot internet garbage on Twitter: "@BBC_Worklife @adamcurry" / Twitter
Protestierende Landwirte haben vergangenen Dienstag in den Niederlanden ein Verkehrschaos ausgel¶st. Tausende Bauern blockierten mit ihren Treckern Den Haag (top agrar berichtete). Auch Berufskollegen in Deutschland verfolgten die Demonstration aufmerksam. Viele Landwirte fordern eine ¤hnliche Aktion in Deutschland. Im Rahmen einer Umfrage auf unserer Facebookseite beurteilen 92 % der ¼ber 7.000 Teilnehmer die Protestaktion der niederl¤ndischen Landwirte als gut und nachahmenswert.
F¼r die Protestaktionen der niederl¤ndischen Landwirte zeigte auch der Pr¤sident des Deutschen Bauernverbandes (DBV), Joachim Rukwied, Verst¤ndnis. Er h¤lt derartige Proteste auch in Deutschland f¼r m¶glich und begr¼ndet dies mit dem umstrittenen Aktionsplan Insektenschutz.
Land schafft Verbindunghnlich wie die Berufskollegen im Nachbarland f¼hlen sich auch die Landwirte in Deutschland zu Unrecht an den Pranger gestellt. Das Agrarpaket und die versch¤rfte D¼ngeverordnung habe das Fass zum 'berlaufen gebracht. Nach der groen und positiven Resonanz auf die Aktion in Den Haag, wollen auch deutsche Landwirte deutlich lautst¤rkere Proteste organisieren. Es gr¼ndete sich noch am Dienstag vergangener Woche die Facebook-Gruppe 'Land schafft Verbindung''. Mittlerweile geh¶ren dieser fasst 10.000 Landwirte aus ganz Deutschland an. Hier wird ausgiebig diskutiert und um Ideen gerungen. Aus der Gruppe hat sich ein Organisationsteam von neun Landwirten gebildet, die die Aktion im Hintergrund planen.
Treckerkonvoi in BonnDie Hauptveranstaltung soll am 22. Oktober um 11 Uhr in Bonn vor dem Sitz des Bundesministeriums f¼r Ern¤hrung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL) stattfinden (M¼nsterplatz). In Belgien und Frankreich seien an dem Tag ¤hnliche Proteste geplant. Neben der Grodemo mit Treckerkonvoi in Bonn soll es auch regionale Kundgebungen geben. Heute sollen detaillierte Gespr¤ch mit der Stadt Bonn gef¼hrt werden. 'Danach wissen wir mehr und werden euch zeitnah informieren!'' heit es von der nieders¤chsischen Mitorganisatorin Anita Lucassen.
Mitorganisator Thomas Andresen aus Schleswig-Holstein ruft in einem Video zu einer lauten, aber zugleich friedlich ablaufenden Demonstration auf:
'Wir wollen laut sein, wir wollen Aufmerksamkeit erreichen, wir wollen in den Nachrichten kommen, wir wollen Trecker auf den Straen sehen und wir wollen Druck aufbauen'... Was wir nicht wollen sind brennende Strohballen und Reifen oder G¼lle vor irgendwelchen Verwaltungsgeb¤uden'...''- Mitorganisator Thomas Andresen Kritik von 'Gr¼ne Kreuze''-InitiatorenDie Gruppe von Landwirten, die die Aktion der Gr¼nen Kreuze ins Leben gerufen haben, wiesen in diesem Zusammenhang nochmal drauf hin, wie erfolgreich bisher der stille Protest gelaufen sei und zu einer groen medialen Aufmerksamkeit und Akzeptanz in der ffentlichkeit gef¼hrt habe. Mitglied der selbsternannten 'Grawurzler'', Dr. Willi Kremer-Schillings ('Bauer Willi''), warnt in der Facebook-Gruppe jedoch davor, 'dass jetzt, in der momentanen Euphorie, viele zu schnell zu viel wollen und deshalb gerne zu Aktionen wie in NL aufrufen, die bei den Berufskollegen gut ankommen, aber f¼r den Normalb¼rger unverst¤ndlich sind und gewonnene Sympathien verspielen.'' F¼r die Grodemo in Bonn sollen die Gr¼nen Kreuze nicht zweckentfremdet werden: "Wir, die Graswurzler, zu denen Nadine Henke, Gabi M¶rixmann, Bernhard Barkmann, Marcus Holtk¶tter, Dirk Nienhaus, Ralf Paulsen, Rene Rempt und Willi Kremer-Schillings geh¶ren, heien eine solche Zweckentfremdung nicht gut und m¶chten uns hier klar und ausdr¼cklich davon distanzieren.", schreibt die Gruppe auf ihrer Facebookseite.
RLV-Kundgebung am 14. Oktober in BonnUnabh¤ngig von der geplanten Demo am 22. Oktober hat der Rheinischer Landwirtschafts-Verband (RLV) bereits im Vorfeld eine Kundgebung am 14. Oktober in Bonn geplant. Die Information, dass eine bundesweite Interessensgruppierung nach dem Vorbild der Demonstration in Den Haag eine ¤hnliche gelagerte Veranstaltung plant, sei beim RLV erst seit dem 3. Oktober bekannt. Der Vorwurf, der Verband wolle der Demonstration der Netzblogger zuvorkommen, um diese zu untergraben sei falsch, heit es in einer Mitteilung des Verbandes. Er beabsichtige in keiner Weise, andere Aktivit¤ten zu behindern oder zu unterbinden. Der RLV bietet an, seine Infrastruktur f¼r die Demo am 22. Oktober zu Verf¼gung zu stellen.
President Trump Donald John TrumpTrump campaign slams Minneapolis mayor, Target Center for 'attempting to extort' them with rally security fees Susan Rice calls Trump decision to pull troops from Syria 'batshit crazy' Ex-Trump officials met with Zelensky campaign aides at Trump hotel earlier this year: report MORE called for Sen. Mitt Romney Willard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump defends Syria move: 'It's time to come back home' GOP senator: 'Not appropriate' to ask foreign governments to investigate Biden Senators call for Trump administration to testify on Syria MORE (R-Utah) to be impeached Saturday and argued that Republican voters in the state made a "mistake" nominating Romney for the Senate.
In a pair of tweets, the president argued that the Utah Republican should be removed from office and that former Sen. Jeff Flake Jeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later Trump calls for Romney's impeachment Flake tells GOP: Trump 'does not deserve reelection' MORE (R-Ariz.), another frequent Trump critic, was "better" than Romney.
"I'm hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY," Trump tweeted.
"No Kevin, Jeff Flake is better!" he added, responding to Fox News reporter Kevin Corke's tweet questioning whether Romney was "the new #JeffFlake."
I'm hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2019No Kevin, Jeff Flake is better! https://t.co/IyENBffEjp
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2019Senators cannot be impeached but can face recall votes in some states. Utah does not have any provisions in state law for recalling a sitting senator.
Romney, who was elected to the Senate last year, faced the highest disapproval rating of Utah's congressional delegation, according to a poll taken in July.
His office did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.
Juncker proposes climate change spending after Greta Thunberg speech
Greta Thunberg has inspired thousands of young people to protest for action against climate change.
Steffen Trumpf | picture alliance | Getty Images
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Thursday that a quarter of the European Union's (EU) budget would be spent on tackling climate change."In the next financial period, 2021 to 2027, every fourth euro spent within the EU budget will go towards climate mitigation actions," Juncker said.
"That is our goal, to ensure that a fourth of the budget goes towards climate change mitigation, and this is going to be a paradigm shift," he added.
The EU budget is usually one percent of its economic output, or 1 trillion euros ($1.13 trillion) across seven years, according to Reuters.
Juncker's comments came after Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, spoke at the same plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.
"We know that most politicians don't want to talk to us," she said. "Good. We don't want to talk to them either," she added. "We want them to talk to the scientists instead. Listen to them, because we are just repeating what they are saying, and have been saying, for decades."
Since starting a protest outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 Thunberg has risen to global prominence, becoming the figurehead for a series of school strikes by children around the world.
"I'm glad to see that young people are taking to the streets in Europe to create visibility for the issue of climate change," Juncker said. "Because mitigating climate change is not just the job of young people but in fact for older people, if only they were to take up the task."
Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the ''grass roots'' decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond. Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?
Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.
Several years before Al Gore and others decided to use a young Swedish school girl to be the poster child for climate action urgency, or in the USA the call of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a complete reorganization of the economy around a Green New Deal, the giants of finance began devising schemes for steering hundreds of billions of future funds to investments in often worthless ''climate'' companies.
In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate ''Green Bond.'' They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. In November 2013 Elon Musk's problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding. The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in ''climate friendly'' projects.
Bonnie Prince Charles, future UK Monarch, along with the Bank of England and City of London finance have promoted ''green financial instruments,'' led by Green Bonds, to redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects. A key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney. In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements' Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise ''investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.'' That was certainly a bizarre focus for world central bankers.
In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to ''green'' investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock''one of the world's biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, the London-Hong Kong bank repeatedly fined for laundering drug and other black funds; Swiss Re, the world's second largest reinsurance; China's ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore's Generation Investment LLC. In effect it seems the foxes are writing the rules for the new Green Hen House.
Bank of England's Carney was also a key actor in efforts to make the City of London into the financial center of global Green Finance. The outgoing UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in July 2019 released a White Paper, ''Green Finance Strategy: Transforming Finance for a Greener Future.'' The paper states, ''One of the most influential initiatives to emerge is the Financial Stability Board's private sector Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), supported by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. This has been endorsed by institutions representing $118 trillion of assets globally.'' There seems to be a plan here. The plan is the financialization of the entire world economy using fear of an end of world scenario to reach arbitrary aims such as ''net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.''
Goldman Sachs Key Actor
The omnipresent Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, which spawned among others ECB outgoing President Mario Draghi and Bank of England head Carney, has just unveiled the first global index of top-ranking environmental stocks, done along with the London-based CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. The CDP, notably, is financed by investors such as HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.
The new index, called CDP Environment EW and CDP Eurozone EW, aims to lure investment funds, state pension systems such as the CalPERS (the California Public Employees' Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers' Retirement System) with a combined $600+ billion in assets, to invest in their carefully chosen targets. Top rated companies in the index include Alphabet which owns Google, Microsoft, ING Group, Diageo, Philips, Danone and, conveniently, Goldman Sachs.
Enter Greta, AOC and Co.
At this point events take on a cynical turn as we are confronted with wildly popular, heavily promoted climate activists such as Sweden's Greta Thunberg or New York's 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. However sincere these activists may be, there is a well-oiled financial machine behind promoting them for gain.
Greta Thunberg is part of a well-connected network tied to the organization of Al Gore who is being cynically and professionally marketed and used by such agencies as the UN, the EU Commission and the financial interests behind the present climate agenda. As Canadian researcher and climate activist, Cory Morningstar, documents in an excellent series of posts, young Greta is working with a well-knit network that is tied to US climate investor and enormously wealthy climate profiteer, Al Gore, chairman of Generation Investment group. Gore's partner, ex-Goldman Sachs official David Blood as noted earlier, is a member of the BIS-created TCFD. Greta Thunberg along with her 17-year-old US climate friend, Jamie Margolin, were both listed as ''special youth advisor and trustee'' of the Swedish We Don't Have Time NGO, founded by its CEO Ingmar Rentzhog. Rentzhog is a member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Organization Leaders, and part of the European Climate Policy Task Force. He was trained in March 2017 by Al Gore in Denver, and again in June 2018, in Berlin. Al Gore's Climate Reality Project is a partner of We Don't Have Time.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who made a huge splash in her first days in the US Congress for unveiling a ''Green New Deal'' to completely reorganize the US economy at a cost of perhaps $100 trillion, is also not without skilled guidance. AOC has openly admitted that she ran for Congress at the urging of a group called Justice Democrats. She told one interviewer, ''I wouldn't be running if it wasn't for the support of Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress. Umm, in fact it was it was these organizations, it was JD and it was Brand New Congress as well, that both, that asked me to run in the first place. They're the ones that called me a year and a half ago'...'' Now, as Congresswoman, AOC's advisers include Justice Democrats co-founder, Zack Exley. Exley was an Open Society Fellow and got funds from among others the Open Society Foundations and Ford Foundation to create a predecessor to Justice Democrats to recruit select candidates for office.
The Real Agenda is Economic
The links between the world's largest financial groups, central banks and global corporations to the current push for a radical climate strategy to abandon the fossil fuel economy in favor of a vague, unexplained Green economy, it seems, is less about genuine concern to make our planet a clean and healthy environment to live. Rather it is an agenda, intimately tied to the UN Agenda 2030 for ''sustainable'' economy, and to developing literally trillions of dollars in new wealth for the global banks and financial giants who constitute the real powers that be.
In February 2019 following a speech to the EU Commission in Brussels by Greta Thunberg, then-EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, after gallantly kissing Greta's hand, appeared to be moved to real action. He told Greta and the press that the EU should spend hundreds of billions of euros combating climate change during the next 10 years. Juncker proposed that between 2021 to 2027, ''every fourth euro spent within the EU budget go toward action to mitigate climate change.'' What the sly Juncker did not say was that the decision had nothing to do with the young Swedish activist's plea. It had been made in conjunction with the World Bank a full year before in September 26, 2018 at the One Planet Summit, along with the World Bank, Bloomberg Foundations, the World Economic Forum and others. Juncker had cleverly used the media attention given the young Swede to promote his climate agenda.
On October 17, 2018, days following the EU agreement at the One Planet Summit, Juncker's EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Breakthrough Energy-Europe in which member corporations of Breakthrough Energy-Europe will have preferential access to any funding.
The members of Breakthrough Energy include Virgin Air's Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Alibaba's Jack Ma, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, HRH Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio; Julian Robertson of hedge fund giant, Tiger Management; David Rubenstein, founder Carlyle Group; George Soros, Chairman Soros Fund Management LLC; Masayoshi Son, founder Softbank, Japan.
Make no mistake. When the most influential multinational corporations, the world's largest institutional investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, the UN, the World Bank, the Bank of England and other central banks of the BIS line up behind the financing of a so-called green Agenda, call it Green New Deal or what, it is time to look behind the surface of public climate activist campaigns to the actual agenda. The picture that emerges is the attempted financial reorganization of the world economy using climate, something the sun and its energy have orders of magnitude more to do with than mankind ever could'--to try to convince us ordinary folk to make untold sacrifice to ''save our planet.''
Back in 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, '''...one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.'' Since then the economic policy strategy has become far more developed.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
Gene Edited Catastrophe in Brazil | New Eastern Outlook
A British-American gene-editing company has released millions of genetically modified mosquitoes containing a dominant lethal gene, each week for 27 months in the Bahia, Brazil region in a test to see if the gene-edited mosquitoes would mate with local mosquitoes carrying Zika, malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases. A new study documents the alarming fact that following an initial reduction of the target population of mosquitoes, after some months the ''population which had been greatly suppressed rebounded to nearly pre-release levels.'' Scientists to date have no idea what dangers are presented by the new mutations. This once more highlights the dangers of uncontrolled gene-editing of species .
According to a new published study in Nature Reports journal, genetically engineered mosquitoes produced by the biotech company, Oxitec, now part of the US company Intrexon, have escaped human control after trials in Brazil and are now spreading in the environment.
On paper the theory was brilliant. Strains of ''yellow fever'' male mosquitoes taken from Cuba and Mexico were altered using gene-editing to make it impossible for their offspring to survive. Oxitec then began a systematic release of tens of millions of the manipulated mosquitoes over more than two years in the the city of Jacobina in the region of Bahia in Brazil. The Oxitec theory was the altered mosquitoes would mate with normal females of the same type which carry infectious diseases like dengue fever, and kill them off in the process.
A team of scientists from Yale University and several scientific institutes in Brazil monitored the progress of the experiment. What they found is alarming in the extreme. After an initial period in which the target mosquito population markedly declined, after about 18 months the mosquito population recovered to pre-release levels. Not only that, the paper notes that some of the mosquitos likely have ''hybrid vigor,'' in which a hybrid of the natural with the gene-edited has created ''a more robust population than the pre-release population'' which may be more resistant to insecticides, in short, resistant ''super mosquitoes.''
The scientists note that, ''Genetic sampling from the target population six, 12, and 27''30 months after releases commenced provides clear evidence that portions of the transgenic strain genome have been incorporated into the target population. Evidently, rare viable hybrid offspring between the release strain and the Jacobina population are sufficiently robust to be able to reproduce in nature'...'' They continue, ''Thus, Jacobina Ae. aegypti are now a mix of three populations. It is unclear how this may affect disease transmission or affect other efforts to control these dangerous vectors.'' They estimate that between 10% and 60% of the Bahia natural Ae. Aegypti mosquitoes now had some gene-edited OX513A genome. They conclude that ''The three populations forming the tri-hybrid population now in Jacobina (Cuba/Mexico/Brazil) are genetically quite distinct, very likely resulting in a more robust population than the pre-release population due to hybrid vigor.''
This was not supposed to happen. Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Jeffrey Powell, senior author of the study, remarked on the findings: ''The claim was that genes from the release strain would not get into the general population because offspring would die. That obviously was not what happened.'' Powell went on to note, ''But it is the unanticipated outcome that is concerning.''
A Gates Foundation Project
The Brazil study deals a major alarm signal on the uncontrolled release of gene-edited species into nature. It calls to mind the horror plot of Michael Crichton's 1969 science fiction novel, Andromeda Strain. Only it is no novel.
The Oxitec mosquitoes were developed using a highly controversial form of gene-editing known as gene drive. Gene Drive, which is also being heavily funded by the Pentagon's DARPA, combined with CRISPR gene-editing, aims to force a genetic modification to spread through an entire population, whether of mosquitoes or potentially humans, in just a few generations.
The scientist who first suggested developing gene drives in gene-editing, Harvard biologist Kevin Esvelt, has publicly warned that development of gene editing in conjunction with gene drive technologies has alarming potential to go awry. He notes how often CRISPR messes up and the likelihood of protective mutations arising, making even benign gene drives aggressive. He stresses, ''Just a few engineered organisms could irrevocably alter an ecosystem.'' Esvelt's computer gene drive simulations calculated that a resulting edited gene ''can spread to 99 percent of a population in as few as 10 generations, and persist for more than 200 generations.'' This is very much what has now been demonstrated in the mosquito experiment in Brazil.
Notable is the fact that the Oxitec Brazil mosquito experiment was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In June, 2018 Oxitec announced a joint venture with the Gates Foundation, ''to develop a new strain of Oxitec's self-limiting Friendly' Mosquitoes to combat a mosquito species that spreads malaria in the Western Hemisphere.'' The Brazil results show the experiment is a catastrophic failure as the new strain is anything but self-limiting.
The Gates Foundation and Bill Gates have been backing development of the radical gene-editing technology and gene drive technology for more than a decade. Gates, a long-time advocate of eugenics, population control and of GMO, is a strong gene-editing promoter. In an article in the May/June 2018 magazine of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs , Gates hails gene editing technologies, explicitly CRISPR. In the article Gates argues that CRISPR and other gene-editing techniques should be used globally to meet growing demand for food and to improve disease prevention, particularly for malaria. In his article he adds, '' there is reason to be optimistic that creating gene drives in malaria-spreading mosquitoes will not do much, if any, harm to the environment.''
Every bit as alarming as the failure of the Brazil gene-editing mosquito experiment is the fact that this technology is being spread with virtually no prior health or safety testing by truly independent government institutions. To date the US Government relies only on industry safety assurances. The EU, while formally responsible to treat gene-edited species similarly to GMO plants, is reportedly trying to loosen the regulations. China, a major research center for gene-editing, has extremely lax controls. Recently a Chinese scientist announced an experiment in human gene-editing allegedly to make newborn twins resistant to HIV. Other experiments are proliferating around the world with gene-edited animals and even salmon. The precautionary principle has been thrown to the winds when it comes to the new gene-editing revolution, not a reassuring situation.
Currently Oxitec, which denies that the Brazil results show failure, is now trying to get regulatory approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a similar experiment with the same gene-edited species in Texas and Florida. One of the people involved in the attempt, Texan Roy Bailey, is a Washington lobbyist and close friend of Randal Kirk, the billionaire CEO of Intrexon, owner of Oxitec. Bailey is also a major Trump fundraiser. Let's hope that regulatory prudence and not politics decide the outcome.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
Warrren 2020: Astroturfing the Grassroots - National Justice
"Hillary's private position is now Warren's public campaign."
The 2016 electoral shenanigans inside the Democratic National Convention left Monica Lewinsky style bitterness in the mouths of Bernie Bros.
Bernie or Busters boycotted the neo-liberal Clinton for Jill Stein's Green Party (or the Netflix and Pizza party), snatching defeat from the clutches of victory.
Coming up in 2020, they have emerged from the lab with a new scheme: Elizabeth Warren!
Astroturfing the Grassroots
Warren has made a big show out of her rejection of PAC money and Wall Street donors. Being seen eating from this pig trough hurt Hillary more than Bill ever did.
But don't be fooled by Warren's theatrics on banks, when push comes to shove she ends up tossing them Lesbian Softball pitches down the middle. Warren personally oversaw the TARP bailouts, where she applied a few slaps on the wrist while 10 million Americans lost their homes. She has never turned away money from corporate lawyers and finance-capitalists when running for Senate. In fact, she used $10.4 million of this dirty money to give her presidential bid a head start.
It's baffling how Warren has credibility with socialists and communists at all, seeing as she campaigned ferociously for Hillary in 2016 while honest leftists like Tulsi Gabbard resigned from their chairmanship at the DNC to fight for Bernie.
How is she raising so much money so quickly while aping Bernie in skipping the big fundraisers ?
A sleight of hand.
The Warren campaign's treasurer, Paul ''PAC man'' Egerman, is an infamous and sought after Jewish money-bundler who is well-connected and active in a number of Zionist causes.
Liz's connection to Egerman may explain her curious concern with the impact minority birth rates are having on racial demographics...in Israel!
Watch dogs believe that Warren (as well as other candidates) is able to mask the total influence of ruling class money by using the bundling method so that her campaign looks organic and non-JMO (Jewish Money Operation).
Looking at data that is available, Warren
trails Bernie significantly when it comes to the number of contributions under $200.
Furthermore, her ''No PAC money'' pledge is only good for the primary season. Warren will take be attending all kinds of Wall Street fundraisers once Bernie is soundly defeated and she's runnning in the general election.
While Warren may look like she's playing hard-to-get with the boys at Goldman, they're ready to start writing checks. Investment bankers, hedgefund men and other crooks have insider knowledge we goys don't have. They're comfortable with backing Warren if she's the nominee, which means her promises to "take on" the banks is Impossible Meat for the Democratic base.
''Oh Granny, What Big Teeth You've Got!''J-left group think on social media, many who claim to be Bernie fans, has cleared a potential minefield for Warren by canceling the anti-war left. These entities, like Ben Norton, Jimmy Dore, Abby Martin, and Rania Khalek endure corporate censorship on social media and are more or less blacklisted from influential "radical" left-wing media platforms.
If you support national sovereignty and the legitimate government of Syria against Islamists, Israel and CIA agents, you will be called a NazBol or Strasserist. Journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Michael Tracey, or the staff at The Grayzone, as well as anti-war candidates like Tulsi Gabbard have been smeared, bullied and cheated by thinly veiled Zionists and their liberal pawns. Albeit a minor protest candidate, most of the big "socialist" magazines like The Jacobin have joined oligarch media in running attacks on Tulsi in advance to inoculate leftists against supporting her common sense campaign.
The deepening relationship between the anarchist/socialist left and agents of the kleptocrat owned media has led to the Jacobin cheerleading neo-con directed and endorsed intelligence operations in Hong Kong and deferring to pro regime change think-tank mercenaries like Joseph Daher on Syria.
Even Noam Chomsky, a supposed critic of American military intervention, has outed himself as a fraud by coming out in
support of the US military occupation to protect the Kurdish imperialist proxy army.
In a different time the anti-war left could've been a barrier for Warren. Today, the best they can hope for is a 30 second segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Their detractors aren't wrong: the anti-war energy today is deep in the nationalist camp. Under the reactionary doctrine of ''anti-fascism,'' adherents' only guiding principle is to always do the opposite of what the ''Nazis'' are doing, regardless if its correct.
The newfound alliance of Judeo-leftists with neo-cons, exemplified by the hiring of Jewish Marxist Molly Jong-Fast at Israeli super-racist Bill Kristol's Bulwark, has had wider ramifications on the political spectrum. Republican voters today are more likely to oppose foreign interventions than Democrats!
Here, Warren can breath a sigh of relief. Her Senate record on foreign interventions is abysmal. How curious that few ''socialists'' today are willing to dismiss Warren for helping engineer a man-made famine in Venezuela in pursuit of (failed) regime change. Trump's olive branch towards North Korea - one of the few positive achievements of his presidency - was met with a nagging Warren. The majority of Koreans North and South want an official end to the conflict yet this does not factor into Warren's position.
So far no contender garnered the will to target Warren's poor record on wasting our money and time creating civil conflicts and refugee crises around the world. Presidents in America have very little power outside of foreign policy, and here Warren is even worse than Trump. With the populist-left compromised and its sapped corpse, Bernie Lomax 2020, acquiescing to Silicon Valley and Wall Street by repeating ''No borders! Take away white people's First Amendment! More trannies!'' Hillary's
The deadly-but-forgotten government gun-running scandal known as ''Fast and Furious'' has lain dormant for years, thanks to White House stonewalling and media compliance. But newly uncovered emails have reopened the case, exposing the anatomy of a coverup by an administration that promised to be the most transparent in history.
At least 20 other deaths or violent crimes have been linked to Fast and Furious-trafficked guns.
A federal judge has forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously locked up under President Obama's phony executive-privilege claim. A preliminary review shows top Obama officials deliberately obstructing congressional probes into the border gun-running operation.
Fast and Furious was a Justice Department program that allowed assault weapons '-- including .50-caliber rifles powerful enough to take down a helicopter '-- to be sold to Mexican drug cartels allegedly as a way to track them. But internal documents later revealed the real goal was to gin up a crisis requiring a crackdown on guns in America. Fast and Furious was merely a pretext for imposing stricter gun laws.
Only the scheme backfired when Justice agents lost track of the nearly 2,000 guns sold through the program and they started turning up at murder scenes on both sides of the border '-- including one that claimed the life of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
While then-Attorney General Eric Holder was focused on politics, people were dying. At least 20 other deaths or violent crimes have been linked to Fast and Furious-trafficked guns.
Brian Terry was killed in a 2010 firefight near the Arizona-Mexico border. APThe program came to light only after Terry's 2010 death at the hands of Mexican bandits, who shot him in the back with government-issued semiautomatic weapons. Caught red-handed, ''the most transparent administration in history'' flat-out lied about the program to Congress, denying it ever even existed.
Then Team Obama conspired to derail investigations into who was responsible by first withholding documents under subpoena '-- for which Holder earned a contempt-of-Congress citation '-- and later claiming executive privilege to keep evidence sealed.
But thanks to the court order, Justice has to cough up the ''sensitive'' documents. So far it's produced 20,500 lightly redacted pages, though congressional investigators say they hardly cover all the internal department communications under subpoena. They maintain the administration continues to ''withhold thousands of documents.''
Even so, the batch in hand reveals the lengths to which senior Obama operatives went to keep information from Congress.
The degree of obstruction was ''more than previously understood,'' House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz said in a recent memo to other members of his panel.
''The documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials '-- including Attorney General Holder '-- intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress,'' he asserted.
They also indict Holder deputy Lanny Breuer, an old Clinton hand, who had to step down in 2013 after falsely denying authorizing Fast and Furious.
Their efforts to impede investigations included:
Devising strategies to redact or otherwise withhold relevant information;Manipulating media coverage to control fallout;Scapegoating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the scandal.For instance, a June 2011 email discusses withholding ATF lab reports from Congress, and a July 2011 email details senior Justice officials agreeing to ''stay away from a representation that we'll fully cooperate.''
Though Obama prides himself on openness, transparency and accountability, the behavior of his administration belies such lofty principles.
The next month, they went into full damage-control mode, with associate Deputy Attorney General Matt Axelrod warning an ATF official that providing details about Fast and Furious ''strikes us as unwise.''
Then, in late August 2011, another email reveals that Holder had instructed his staff to have an official at ATF ''close the door to his office'' to prevent information about the mushrooming scandal from leaking.
Talking points drafted for Holder and other brass for congressional hearings made clear that Justice intended to make ousted ATF officials the fall guys for the scandal.
''These (personnel) changes will help us move past the controversy that has surrounded Fast and Furious,'' Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich wrote in August 2011.
In an October 2011 email to his chief of staff, moreover, Holder stated that he agreed with a strategy to first release documents to friendly media ''with an explanation that takes the air out'' of them, instead ''of just handing them over'' to Congress.
''Calculated efforts were made by senior officials to obstruct Congress,'' Chaffetz fumed.
''Over the course of the investigation,'' he recounted, ''the Justice Department has provided false information, stonewalled document requests, produced scores of blacked-out pages and duplicate documents and refused to comply with two congressional subpoenas.''
Barack Obama ReutersThough Obama prides himself on openness, transparency and accountability, the behavior of his administration belies such lofty principles. ''Transparency should not require years of litigation and a court order,'' Chaffetz pointed out.
Obama insists Fast and Furious is just another ''phony'' scandal whipped up by Republicans to dog his presidency. What does his heir apparent Hillary Clinton think?
The anti-gun zealot has been silent on the gun-proliferation scandal. But then, she's been busy sweeping subpoenaed emails under the rug of her own scandal.
Paul Sperry is former Washington bureau chief for Investor's Business Daily and author of ''Infiltration'' and ''Muslim Mafia.''
BOMBSHELL: Audio, Email Evidence Shows DNC Colluded With Ukraine To Boost Hillary By Harming Trump, Report Says | The Daily Wire
The Blaze has released an audio recording that they recently obtained that appears to show Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, admitting that he tried to boost the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton by sabotaging then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign.
The connection between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Ukrainian government was veteran Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa, ''who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration'' and then ''went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee,'' Politico reported.
Chalupa was working directly with the Ukrainian embassy in the United States to raise concerns about Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and, according to Politico, she indicated that the Embassy was working ''directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions.''
The Ukrainian embassy political officer who worked at the embassy at the time, Andrii Telizhenko, stated that the Ukrainians ''were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa'' and that ''the embassy worked very closely with'' Chalupa.
The Blaze highlighted an email from WikiLeaks from Chalupa to Louise Miranda at the DNC:
Hey, a lot coming down the pipe. I spoke to a delegation of 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine last night at the Library of Congress, the Open World Society forum. They put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort. I invited Michael Isikoff, who I've been working with for the past few weeks, and connected him to the Ukrainians. More offline tomorrow, since there was a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in the next few weeks. Something I'm working on that you should be aware of.
The Blaze then reported that Sytnyk, who eventually ''was tried and convicted in Ukraine for interfering in the U.S. presidential election in 2016,'' released a ''black ledger'' on Manafort during the 2016 presidential election that eventually led to Manafort's downfall.
''So here he is. He is admitting to tampering with our elections. Admitted working with the Hillary Clinton campaign,'' Glenn Beck said during a 2-hour special presentation by The Blaze on Ukraine's interference in the U.S. election. ''He is actually convicted in the highest court in the land in Ukraine. This is all front page news in Ukraine, while we are saying, 'Was there anyone tampering with the election?'''
In audio exclusively obtained by The Blaze, Sytnyk appeared to admit that he worked to boost Clinton by harming Trump's campaign by releasing the ''black ledger.'' Sytnyk also essentially admitted that Trump was better for America than Clinton was because Clinton belonged to the establishment while Trump's focus was solely on promoting America.
''I don't know how, but the Americans got an audio recording of Mr. Sytnik's conversation: He is resting with his family & friends & discussing how he would like to help Hillary.''@glennbeck reveals the Ukraine transcript the media isn't talking about.https://t.co/fZHzqMCZbV pic.twitter.com/9jyMLVwdEB
'-- BlazeTV (@BlazeTV) October 5, 2019
Transcript of the translated Ukrainian tape:
Kolya: Did they, those Russians, help Trump? Your people?
Sytnyk: I think they did. Yeah. I helped him, too. Not him, but Hillary. I helped her.
Kolya: Yeah. Right. Then her position tottered, right?
Sytnyk: Well, this is how they write about it, right.
Ivan: Hillary's humanitarian aid '... [indiscernible.]
Kolya: Well, I'm about '... the commentaries. At the time, we were not [indiscernible.]
Sytnyk: Trump '... his purely inner problem '... issue '... they dominate over the external matters. While Hillary, she is '' how shall I put it? She belongs to the cohort of politicians who comprise the hegemony in the U.S. Both in the U.S. and the entire world, right? For us, it's '... sort of '... better. For Americans '... what Trump is doing is better for them.
Kolya: Well, we have lots of those American experts here now '... [indiscernible.]
Sytnyk: Well, there, you see why Hillary lost the elections? I was in charge of the investigation of their ''black accounting'' records. We made the Manafort's data available to general public.
Kolya: So what?
Sytnyk: He was imprisoned. Manafort then was the head of the Supreme Headquarter of Trump, right? Then he was dismissed, too, including due to the ''black accounting.'' After that, he was sentenced to 80 years of imprisonment term. How about Trump? Did he not give a s***. They have their system working there and it works smoothly.
Kolya: Everybody worked smoothly there.
Sytnyk: And when they carried out the elections, a week before the elections, the FBI reopened the investigation in respect of Hillary. So her rating dropped for 7 percent and that's why Trump managed to win the elections at a pinch. I'm still unable to understand why he's fighting with the FBI. They try to catch him on the hand. If it were not the FBI, he would not have won the elections. They torpedoed Hillary's ratings for 7 percent.
Varney: Don't let media fool you, 2020 Democrats 'are in real trouble' and not President Trump | Fox News
2020 Democratic candidates are finding themselves in a "Monday mess," according to Fox Business host Stuart Varney.
VARNEY: BERNIE SANDERS' HOSPITALIZATION MAY TIP DEM NOMINATION TO WARREN
Discussing the latest developments on his Fox Nation show, "My Take," Varney said Democrats are scrambling in fear as they begin to realize "that none of them can beat Donald Trump" -- and he believes Americans will stick with the president despite an open impeachment investigation.
"For the 2020 Democratic hopefuls, it is in my opinion, a Monday mess," Varney said. "There's mounting anxiety that none of the Democratic candidates can launch a campaign that will beat Donald Trump."
"Of course," Varney continued, "if you scan the news of the day, you'd think the world turns on impeachment, you'd think the Trump presidency is on its last legs...that's the media's never-ending obsession. Look beneath the screaming headlines, and it's the Democrats' presidential campaigns that are in real trouble."
VARNEY: HONG KONG ENGAGED IN URBAN WARFARE
Delving into the Democratic frontrunners, Varney responded to 2020 candidate Joe Biden's recent statement, in which he wrote that he intends to "beat Trump like a drum" in 2020.
Biden has had trouble collecting donations recently, Varney said, after he found himself in the middle of the investigation against President Trump over the content of a phone call during which Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Biden and his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine.
"He is a casualty of the impeachment, he is collateral damage," said Varney in an earlier interview.
Varney then turned to Bernie Sanders, who recently took a break from the campaign trail after he ended up in the hospital with heart complications and underwent an emergency procedure to repair a blocked artery, according to his campaign. It was later disclosed that he had suffered a heart attack.
Varney argued that Sanders' hospital visit lends credence to those questioning whether his age will get in the way of securing a spot in the Oval Office.
BERNIE SANDERS HAS STENTS INSERTED AFTER DOCTORS FIND BLOCKAGE
"We wish the Senator well," he said, "but voters have to be a little skeptical that a 78-year-old can return for a year of exhausting campaigning."
As Senator Elizabeth Warren surges in the polls, Democrats "who don't buy her far left-leaning policies" are becoming increasingly alarmed, Varney said.
WARREN FACES NEW QUESTIONS ON CREDIBILITY
"Warren proposes a wealth tax, a lobbying tax, a corporate profits tax, a higher social security tax on the rich, a higher income tax, and a higher tax on gunmakers... Simply put, the calmer voices in the Democratic party understand that Elizabeth Warren is unelectable," Varney said.
"The top three all have their troubles and the rest of the pack has failed to break through," concluded Varney.
"Wouldn't you think that, with the President under impeachment threat, the candidates trying to succeed him would be powering ahead? They're not," he added.
"It's Trump who has raised the most money, it's the Trump base that is united. I'll repeat," he continued, "eight days before the next debate it's a Monday mess for the Democrat hopefuls."
To see Stuart Varney's full remarks on "My Take", and for more episodes of his daily commentary, visit Fox Nation and join today.
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Russian man downloads cryptocurrency app and accuses Apple of making him gay
A court of Moscow accepted the lawsuit from a local resident who accused US-based Apple Corporation of "causing him to engage in homosexual activities." The man seeks one million rubles in compensation for "moral suffering and mental harm."
Several years ago, the claimant downloaded an application from the App Store for operations with cryptocurrencies. In the summer of 2019, the man received 69 GayCoins. The transfer was accompanied with a message written in English: "Don't blame until you do that."
"I thought, really, how you can judge something without trying it first, and I decided to try same-sex relationships," the man wrote. According to him, Apple "pushed him towards homosexuality."
In two months, he became deeply involved in intimate relationships and started dating a man. The man complains that his life has changed for the worse and he cannot go back, nor does he know how to tell everything to his parents.
(5) South Park on Twitter: "Watch the full episode - https://t.co/oktKSJdI9i @THR article - https://t.co/nXrtmnwCJB https://t.co/Xj5a1yE2eL" / Twitter
Boerenprotest op het Malieveld in Den Haag Beeld (C) ANP Op 16 oktober gaan boeren weer de weg op voor protestacties. De actiegroep Farmer Defence Force meldt dat burgers, vissers en bouwvakkers zich bij de actie zullen aansluiten.
Vermoedelijk doen veel meer mensen aan de actie mee dan bij het protest op het Malieveld in Den Haag, vorige week dinsdag. Hoe de acties eruit gaan zien is nog niet duidelijk, daarover wordt vermoedelijk morgen meer duidelijk.
Met trekkers"Ik kan wel zeggen dat we ook bij de nieuwe actie meedoen met onze trekkers", zegt een woordvoerder van Farmer Defence Force.
Protesterende boeren: 'Niet boos, maar teleurgesteld in politiek' Nederlandse boeren voelen zich niet gehoord. Ze vragen zich af of de boerderij nog toekomst heeft en kwamen daarom massaal naar Den Haag om te protesteren.Boeren kwamen dinsdag massaal naar het Malieveld, onder meer omdat ze zich oneerlijk behandeld voelen in de discussie over klimaatverandering en de noodzaak tot het terugdringen van stikstofuitstoot.
Halvering veestapelD66-Kamerlid Tjeerd de Groot had de toorn van de sector over zich afgeroepen door te pleiten voor een halvering van de veestapel.
Lees meer Alle boeren miljonair? Nee, er is veel armoede onder boeren
Mark van den Oever van Farmers Defence Force dreigde eerder al met nieuwe acties als de politiek niet binnen vier weken naar de actievoerende boeren zou luisteren. "Dan gaat het anders en harder. Dan zullen we de voedselvoorziening platleggen. Dat is echt nodig, het is genoeg geweest."
Lees meer Mogelijk nieuw protest op komst: boeren willen Schiphol gaan bezetten
Altijd weten wat er speelt?Download de gratis RTL Nieuws-app en blijf op de hoogte.
Progress on gender equality, the male-female wage gap and women's role in the workplace has rightly been a key focus in culture and media throughout 2019, particularly the positive linkage between gender diversity and economics.
For women, these public discussions have set the stage for greater equality in areas like education, professional advancement, income growth and consumer power. For corporates and investors that embrace these trends, there are numerous benefits, from more nuanced corporate governance and performance to bottom-line growth.
A recent duo of reports from Morgan Stanley Research approaches this theme from two angles. First, how a growing population of prime working-age women in the U.S.'--many single and focused on career'--will have greater representation in the labor force, help boost wages and create potentially large tailwinds in a number of consumer products categories.
In a second report, the Quantitative Equity Research team shares a proprietary framework to help investors identify the most gender-diverse companies, which tend to be larger, have better stock returns and skew toward lower volatility.
Combined, the two reports lay out the case that in the coming years, women are positioned to drive the economic conversation from both the inside'--as a workforce propelling better company performance'--and outside, as consumers powering discretionary spending and GDP.
Sizing the U.S. Gender Wage GapWhile more women have risen to increased levels of power in recent years, the needle has further to move on compensation equality with their male peers. In 1980, women earned 64 cents for every dollar that men made, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; today, the gap has shrunk to between 77 and 85 cents of every dollar. While difference of 23 cents on the dollar is still considerable, the underlying issues have shifted somewhat, with some factors, like educational inequality improving, and others like family caregiving responsibilities beginning to move in the right direction.
''In the past, education or lower-paying occupational choices largely drove the pay gap,'' says Ellen Zentner, Chief U.S. Economist. ''Today, motherhood is by far the largest contributor to the wage gap, since women who become mothers often choose to stop working or work fewer hours."
In the coming years, another demographic trend could help further close the pay gap in the U.S.: the rising ranks of single working women. Based on Census Bureau historical data and Morgan Stanley forecasts, 45% of prime working age women (ages 25-44) will be single by 2030'--the largest share in history'--up from 41% in 2018.
Single women are expected to grow +1.2% annually from 2018-2030 compared with +0.8% for the overall U.S. population(Female Population Projection, Index 2010=100)
Source: Census Bureau, Morgan Stanley Research
What's driving this trend? For starters, more women are delaying marriage, choosing to stay single or divorcing in their 50s and 60s. Women are also delaying childbirth or having fewer children than in the past.
''These shifting lifestyle norms are enabling more women, with or without children, to work full time, which should continue to raise the labor force participation rate among single females,'' says Zentner. Rising labor-force participation rates should put upward pressure on women's wages and help increase overall consumer spending.
The female-to-male ratio of labor force participation has increased dramatically since 1990, though it has stabilized
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Morgan Stanley Research
Women Control More Purse StringsAs it stands, women already control a large share of the U.S. consumer wallet. They contribute an estimated $7 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product per year, according to the Center for American Progress, and are the principal shoppers in 72% of households, according to consumer surveys conducted by MRI-Simmons.
Meanwhile, women are earning bachelor's degrees at a higher rate than men, and they are the primary breadwinner for nearly 30% of married households and nearly 40% of total U.S. households.
''Because women now contribute significantly more to household income than previous generations and remain the primary shopper for most households, their influence has grown in nature and degree," says U.S. Retail Equity Analyst Lauren Cassel. This is true whether women are single or married, she adds, though spending decisions do vary by relationship status. ''We find that single women outspend the average household, shifting spending profiles toward categories most poised to benefit from the demographic growth in single women with rising incomes," says Cassel.
Singles outspent average U.S. households on a per person adjusted basis in several key categories
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, Morgan Stanley Research, 2017
The trend is set to boost segments of the economy where single women historically spend more, including apparel and footwear, personal care, food away from home, and luxury and electric automobiles. (For specific sector and company outlooks ask your Morgan Stanley representative for the full report, ''The Rise of the SHEconomy.'')
Women in Global LeadershipThe improvement in economic status may also come in part thanks to increasing influence globally in both politics and business. Today, women make up nearly 25% of the U.S. Congress, compared to just 2% in 1970. In the business world, more women than ever are serving as CEOs, board members and in other high-profile positions at top companies.
''While the relationship between the timing and pace of these gains is unclear, the trend does indicate shifting attitudes and norms surrounding women in leadership positions," says Jessica Alsford, who heads Morgan Stanley's Global Sustainability Research team.
Since 2010, the percentage of women executives increased across all developed regions, with the largest gains in Asia, excluding Japan, with a doubling of participation since 2010. North America and Europe are at similar levels (15% each) both up from 2010. Women have also notched increases in board representation in developed regions, increasing by more than 50% over the same period.
This good news for women is also good business. A growing body of research demonstrates that gender-diverse firms benefit from the experiences and insights that women bring'--which can translate into better investment outcomes and returns.
''Our analysis shows that, globally, companies that have taken a holistic approach toward equal representation have outperformed their less diverse peers by 3.1% per year over the past eight years,'' says Jaiwish Nolan, a Quantitative Strategist with Morgan Stanley.
Firms that employ higher gender diversity, based on HER Score, have outperformed less diverse peers(MSCI World: HER Score, Long Short Performance, 1/2011-5/2019)
Source: Refinitiv, FactSet, Morgan Stanley Research; World ex-Japan regions: Average 12M return, top third as ranked by HER Score minus bottom third as ranked by HER Score by region, equally weighted average returns, 2011-5/2019; Japan: Average 12M return, top half as ranked by HER Score minus bottom half as ranked by HER Score by region, equally weighted average returns, 2011-5/2019; Note: Past performance is not indicative of future results.
Gauging gender diversity is more nuanced than simply looking at the percentage of female workers. To get a more accurate read, the Quantitative Research team worked with the Sustainability Research team to develop a global framework that helps investors identify the most gender-diverse companies.
This Holistic Equal Representation Score (HERS) looks at gender diversity from many angles, including the percentage of women who are board members, executives, managers and employees. It also takes into account industry-specific biases and regional differences.
Broadly speaking, companies with a higher HERS tend to be larger organizations and have higher dividend yields, finds Nolan. They also exhibit slightly lower volatility and exposure to risk. Yet, there are some important variations. North American companies that rank high in HERS tend to offer higher return-on-equity, while European and Asian companies tend to have lower ROEs.
Stocks of companies that rank highly on HERS have outperformed over the last 8 years across regions(MSCI World: Average 12M Excess* Return for HER Score)
Source: Refinitiv, FactSet, Morgan Stanley Research; *Equal weighted average 12M forward return for each fractile of HER score by region versus the excess equal weighted average 12M forward return for the region, 2011-5/2019; Note: Past performance is not indicative of future results.
Even in the face of these industry-related and regional differences, the trend line is clear: Over the past eight years, stocks in more diverse companies have outperformed their benchmarks across the MSCI developed regions'--even after controlling for size, yield, profitability and risk.
Whether gender diversity drives better performance or is a reflection of forward-thinking companies, the relationship is likely to become more pervasive, as women play increasingly more prominent roles in the workplace and, in turn, the global economy.
For Morgan Stanley Research on the SHEconomy, ask your Morgan Stanley representative or Financial Advisor for the full reports, "Rise of the SHEconomy" (Aug 22, 2019) and "Introducing HERS: Employing Diversity Pays Off (Aug 12, 2019). Plus, more Ideas from Morgan Stanley's thought leaders.
Ebola fears hit Hong Kong as woman isolated with major symptoms '' Investment Watch
ANP In een brief aan minister Grapperhaus van Justitie wijzen de Koninklijke Nederlandse Schietsport Associatie (KNSA) en de Koninklijke Jagersvereniging op de gevaren van de zogenoemde e-screener. Dat is een computergestuurde gedragstest die moet meetellen bij de beoordeling van aanvragen voor een wapenvergunning.
De Tweede Kamer heeft de e-screener al goedgekeurd, maar volgens de schietverenigingen creert deze vooral schijnzekerheid.
De aanstaande invoering is een gevolg van de schietpartij in Alphen aan de Rijn in 2011, waarbij een jonge man met een wapenvergunning zes mensen doodschoot en 17 personen verwondde in een winkelcentrum.
'Onzinvragen'Het systeem beoordeelt aan de hand van een aantal vragen of de gemoedstoestand van de aanvrager van een wapenvergunning wel goed is.
"Beoordelen hoe het met iemand gaat en of die geschikt is voor een wapenverlof is maatwerk", zegt Sander Duisterhof van de KNSA. "Dat kun je niet door een computer laten doen."
Het ministerie heeft onder andere aan de KNSA en de Jagersvereniging gevraagd om het programma te testen. "Ik was een van de proefpersonen", zegt Duisterhof.
"Een vraag was of ik weleens depressief was. In de context van die vraag antwoord je natuurlijk nee. Of: je vrouw wordt aangevallen in het bos en je hebt een mes. Ga je haar verdedigen? Dat soort onzin. In Finland hebben ze deze test allang als totaal ongeschikt bestempeld." Daar komt volgens Duisterhof bij dat de test een momentopname is.
Uitvoerig getestHet ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid benadrukt dat de e-screener uitvoerig is getest en dat de vragen zijn gebaseerd op "wetenschappelijk onderzoek en de expertise van psychologen". Volgens het ministerie is de screener ontwikkeld door het Trimbos Instituut, TNO en Ipsos.
De test zal volgens het ministerie bij de geringste twijfel al een negatief oordeel afgeven, omdat de lat voor een wapenvergunning "zeer hoog" ligt. "Dat is ook de uitleg van de Hoge Raad van de bedoeling van de Wet wapens en munitie", aldus het ministerie.
Een negatieve uitkomst van de test betekent juridisch gezien geen automatische afwijzing. Maar iemand krijgt geen vergunning, als er geen heldere "contra-indicaties" zijn die de negatieve uitkomst van de e-screener in een ander perspectief plaatsen, zegt Justitie en Veiligheid.
De beoordeling van een aanvraag van een wapenvergunning wordt door de politie gedaan. Bij die beoordeling zijn fouten gemaakt bij het verlenen van de vergunning aan de schutter in Alphen aan de Rijn, Tristan van der Vlis, zo oordeelde de Hoge Raad onlangs nog.
"In principe heeft de overheid mogelijkheden genoeg om wapenbezitters te screenen. Je moet ze alleen w(C)l goed toepassen. De politie kan nagaan of aanvragers bijvoorbeeld in GGZ-systemen voorkomen", zegt Laurens Hoedemaker van de Jagersvereniging, die net als Sander Duisterhof van de KNSA niets in de e-screener ziet.
SchijnzekerheidDe Tweede Kamer heeft de wet over de e-screener aangenomen en Hoedemaker zegt dat "uiteraard" te respecteren. "Maar ik vind dat de Kamerleden een rad voor de ogen is gedraaid door de e-screener voor te schotelen als instrument waarmee veel meer mogelijk is dan in werkelijkheid blijkt. Daarmee is een schijnzekerheid gecreerd", zegt Hoedemaker.
Volgens hem hadden er een hoop problemen voorkomen kunnen worden als er nadrukkelijk met de schietverenigingen was overlegd over het systeem.
Hoedemaker: "Deze machine zegt alleen op een aanvraag: ja of nee. En dat is niet de manier. Het moet een hulpmiddel zijn voor de politie, niet een doorslaggevend instrument. De politie moet de beoordeling doen en daarna zoveel mogelijk huisbezoeken plegen. Dat mag van mij best wat intensiever. Dan doe je echt wat aan borging van het legaal wapenbezit in Nederland."
Het ministerie laat weten dat de e-screener na een jaar gevalueerd zal worden door onderzoeksinstituut TNO. "Daarna volgt er mogelijk een aanpassing of bijstelling."
China's Breeding Giant Pigs That Are as Heavy as Polar Bears
(Bloomberg) -- In a farm deep in the southern region of China lives a very big pig that's as heavy as a polar bear.
The 500 kilogram, or 1,102 pound, animal is part of a herd that's being bred to become giant swine. At slaughter, some of the pigs can sell for more than 10,000 yuan ($1,399), over three times higher than the average monthly disposable income in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province where Pang Cong, the farm's owner, lives.
While Pang's pigs may be an extreme example of the lengths farmers are going to fill China's swelling pork shortage problem, the idea that bigger is better has been spreading across the country, home to the world's most voracious consumers of the meat.
High pork prices in the northeastern province of Jilin is prompting farmers to raise pigs to reach an average weight of 175 kilograms to 200 kilograms, higher than the normal weight of 125 kilograms. They want to raise them ''as big as possible,''said Zhao Hailin, a hog farmer in the region.
The trend isn't limited to small farms either. Major protein producers in China, including Wens Foodstuffs Group Co, the country's top pig breeder, Cofco Meat Holdings Ltd. and Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co. say they are trying to increase the average weight of their pigs. Big farms are focusing on boosting the heft by at least 14%, said Lin Guofa, a senior analyst with consulting firm Bric Agriculture Group.
The average weight of pigs at slaughter at some large-scale farms has climbed to as much as 140 kilograms, compared with about 110 kilograms normally, Lin said. That could boost profits by more than 30%, he said.
The large swine are being bred during a desperate time for China. With African swine fever decimating the nation's hog herd -- in half, by some estimates -- prices of pork have soared to record levels, leading the government to urge farmers to boost production to temper inflation. Wholesale pork prices in China have surged more than 70% this year, while pig inventories plunged 39% in August from a year earlier.
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua warned that the supply situation will be ''extremely severe'' through to the first half of 2020. China will face a pork shortage of 10 million tons this year, more than what's available in global trade, meaning it needs to increase production domestically, he said.
During a recent visit to major livestock provinces of Shandong, Hebei and Henan, Hu urged local governments to resume pig production as soon possible, with a target of returning to normal levels next year.
Still, many farmers are wary about restocking swine after being hurt by an earlier outbreak. Also, piglet and breeding sow prices have surged, making it more expensive for backyard farms to afford rebuilding their herds. Increasing the size of pigs they already own may be the next best step.
(Adds inventory decline in 7th paragraph.)
--With assistance from Jeffrey Black and Alfred Cang.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Niu Shuping in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anna Kitanaka at email@example.com, Atul Prakash
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
(C)2019 Bloomberg L.P.
MANPOWER GUIDANCE FOR ACTIVATION AND DEACTIVATION OF RESERVE COMPONENT (RC) MARINES ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY ISO DEFENSE SUPPORT OF CIVIL AUTHORITIES > United States Marine Corps Flagship > Messages Display
R 031419Z OCT 19MARADMIN 550/19MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//SUBJ/MANPOWER GUIDANCE FOR ACTIVATION AND DEACTIVATION OF RESERVE COMPONENT (RC) MARINES ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY ISO DEFENSE SUPPORT OF CIVIL AUTHORITIES//REF/A/DOC/PPO/15MAY2019//REF/B/DOC/TITLE 10 USC/31DEC2011//REF/C/DOC/TITLE 42 USC/01APR2013//REF/D/DOC/SECDEF/07MAR2013//REF/E/DOC/SECNAV/17JUL2012//REF/F/DOC/PPO/20DEC2013//REF/G/MSG/PPO/07AUG2018//REF/H/DOC/DODI/07JUN2016//REF/I/DOC/MRA/02MAY2011//REF/J/JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS//REF/K/DOC/MRA/27OCT2009//REF/L/DOC/DODI/31MAY2013//REF/M/DOC/SECNAV/11DEC2018//REF/N/DOC/MRA/19MAY2009//REF/O/DOC/MRA/01MAY2018//REF/P/DOC/MRA/14JUL2000//REF/Q/DOC/MRA/15MAR2018//NARR/REF A IS MCO 3440.7C MARINE CORPS ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN DEFENSE SUPPORT OF CIVIL AUTHORITIES (DSCA). REF B IS TITLE 10 U.S.C., §12304a, ARMY RESERVE, NAVY RESERVE, MARINE CORPS RESERVE, AND AIR FORCE RESERVE: ORDER TO ACTIVE DUTY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE IN RESPONSE TO A MAJOR DISASTER OR EMERGENCY. REF C IS THE ROBERT T. STAFFORD DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ACT, PUBLIC LAW 93-288, AS AMENDED, TITLE 42 U.S.C., CHAPTER 68. REF D IS A SECDEF MEMO THAT DELEGATES AUTHORITY TO ACTIVATE RC MEMBERS TO SERVICE SECRETARIES. REF E IS AN UNDER SECNAV MEMO ESTABLISHING DEPARTMENT OF NAVY POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR UTILIZING TITLE 10 U.S.C., §12304a. REF F IS MCO 3000.19B TOTAL FORCE MOBILIZATION, ACTIVATION, INTEGRATION, AND DEACTIVATION PLAN (MAID-P). REF G IS MARINE CORPS DSCA STANDING EXORD. REF H IS DODI 1235.12, ACCESSING THE RESERVE COMPONENT. REF I IS MCO 1040.R35 RESERVE CAREER RETENTION AND DEVELOPMENT MANUAL. REF J IS THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. REF K IS MCO 1800.11, POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR RC MEMBER SERVICE BEYOND 16 YEARS OF ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE. REF L IS DODI 1341.13, POST-9/11 GI BILL, INCORPORATING CHANGE 1 DATED 12 JULY 2018. REF M IS SECNAV MEMO ESTABLISHING DEPARTMENT OF NAVY POLICY FOR REEMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR NAVY AND MARINE CORPS MILITARY PERSONNEL. REF N IS MCO 1050.3J REGULATIONS FOR LEAVE, LIBERTY, AND ADMINISTRATIVE ABSENCE. REF O IS MCO 1610.7A PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM. REF P IS MCO P1070.12K INDIVIDUAL RECORDS ADMINISTRATION MANUAL. REF Q IS MCO 1001R.1L WITH CHANGE 1 MARINE CORPS RESERVE ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT MANUAL.//POC/MPO-60/COMM 703-784-9358/9585//GENTEXT/RMKS/1. Purpose. This MARADMIN cancels MARADMIN 300/14. In accordance with (IAW) REF A, this MARADMIN provides guidance for the activation of Reserve Component (RC) Marines under §12304a, Title 10, U.S. Code, following a request for Federal assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency within the United States. Requests for Federal assistance will come with little warning. As required, the Marine Corps must rapidly mobilize RC units and personnel IAW this MARADMIN in order to respond to threats in the Homeland.2. Background2.A. Per REF B, if a Governor requests Federal assistance in responding to a major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in §102 of REF C) the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) may, without the consent of the member affected, order any unit, and any member not assigned to a unit organized to serve as a unit, of the Marine Corps Reserve to active duty for a continuous period of not more than 120 days to respond to the Governor's request.2.B. IAW REF D, and as implemented in REF E, SECDEF delegated §12304a activation authority to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) for mobilizations of 30 days or less. SECNAV's delegated authority may be exercised only after:2.B.1. A Governor requests Federal assistance in responding to a declaration of a major disaster or emergency;2.B.2. When directed by the President in support of (ISO) a request for assistance (RFA) from a primary Federal department or agency; or,2.B.3. A request for forces (RFF) from the responsible Combatant Commander.2.C. A Commander's Immediate Response Authority to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage within the United States is set forth in REF A. Commanders shall comply with REF A, this MARADMIN, and any supplemental direction provided by higher headquarters.3. Process. Upon SECDEF or SECNAV decision to invoke §12304a authority pursuant to REF A or REF D, activation process is as follows:3.A. Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) unit3.A.1. In response to Joint Staff validated RFA or RFF, SMCR units may be identified by Deputy Commandant Plans, Policies, and Operations (DC PPO) (POC) for sourcing through the Global Force Management (GFM) process.3.A.2. Upon sourcing determination, §12304a activation packages prepared by DC PPO are submitted to SECNAV.3.A.3. DC PPO (POC) nominated SMCR units, along with the Secretarial approved §12304a activation orders, are submitted to the Joint Staff for ordering by SECDEF via the Global Force Management Allocation Plan.3.A.4. Deputy Commandant Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC MRA), after consulting with Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASN(MRA)) and other Headquarters Marine Corps agencies, releases any additional manpower policy guidance specific to the contingency to include Crisis Code and Unique Identifier.3.A.5. DC PPO, in coordination with Commander, Marine Forces Command (COMMARFORCOM), directs Commander, Marine Forces Reserve (COMMARFORRES) to activate designated units via naval message, after the appropriate DoD decision.3.A.6. IAW this message and amplifying guidance provided by DC MRA, the activation process at appropriate home training centers (HTC) is completed in preparation for follow-on movement.3.A.7. A USMCR commanding officer activation report similar to the example within REF F will be released via naval message to announce activation is complete.3.B. Marine Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (EPLO). REF A establishes Marine EPLO missions and functions, command relationships, and request and activation procedures.3.B.1. IAW REF F and REF G, USNORTHCOM and USINDOPACOM requests EPLO activation through its USMC service component, Marine Forces North (MARFORNORTH) and Marine Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC). EPLOs are IMAs for the routing of Marine Resource Order Writing Service (MROWS) approvals.3.B.2. MARFORNORTH/MARFORPAC submits §12304a activation request to DC MRA (Manpower Management Integration Branch (MMIB-2)) for SECNAV decision to involuntarily activate the individual EPLO Marines.3.B.3. After SECNAV authorizes activation, DC MRA (MMIB-2) initiates and fund approves MROWS orders.3.B.4. The Marine's parent command will authenticate the MROWS orders. COMMARFORRES authenticates MROWS orders for SMCR and IRR Marines and OpSponsors authenticate MROWS orders for IMA Marines.3.B.5. MARFORNORTH/MARFORPAC provides reporting instructions relating to their duties. The Marine Corps Operations Center is notified upon completion of EPLO activation by DC MRA (MMIB-2) to DC PPO (POC).3.B.6. Unless prohibited by SECDEF, an EPLO may volunteer under Title 10 U.S.C., §12301(d) authority in lieu of activation under §12304a to allow for a rapid response during the initial phases of the event. Funding source remains the same but benefits may differ.3.C. Individual Augments (IA).3.C.1. Global sourcing requests cannot be considered by DC MRA due to rapid deployment required to prevent loss of life and nonapplicability of dwell.3.C.2. COMMARFORNORTH/COMMARFORPAC should consider using on hand Active Component (AC) and Active Reserve (AR) personnel to meet immediate IA requirements.3.C.3. RC personnel can be sourced from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) or Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program with the involuntary activation authority residing with SECNAV and SECDEF. Send requests to activate RC individual personnel to DC MRA (MMIB-2) via Marine Corps Force Augmentation Process System (MCFAPS). DC MRA (MMIB-2) initiates and fund approves MROWS orders for IMA and IRR Marines, and the RC Marines' parent command authenticates orders.3.C.4. DC MRA may order a Marine reservist to active duty with the Marine's consent pursuant to §12301(d). COMMARFORRES coordinates voluntary requests to activate and forwards requests utilizing the process within para 3.C.3. If individual SMCR volunteers are approved by COMMARFORRES and authorized by SECNAV to activate, DC MRA (MMIB-2) will coordinate with COMMARFORRES(G-1) to have the SMCR Marine's parent command initiate MROWS orders and DC MRA (MMIB-2) will fund approve. Parent command will authenticate.4. Actions.4.A. DC PPO.4.A.1. IAW REF F, release CMC notice of intent to activate ISO DSCA that includes applicable command relationships.4.A.2. ICW MARFORCOM, determine appropriate sourcing for identified requirements and coordinate with SECNAV for activation approval if RC unit sourcing identified.4.A.3. Coordinate with DC MRA and Deputy Commandant, Programs and Resources (DC PR) for feasibility of support for funding requirements.4.A.4. If required, coordinate SECDEF waiver of 30 day notification for mobilizations in excess of 30 days.4.B. DC PR.4.B.1. Coordinate with DC PPO for submission of budget requests.4.B.2. Provide activation funding controls to DC MRA prior to approval of MROWS.4.B.3. Issue Special Interest Code (SIC) guidance for proper accounting of requirements.4.C. DC MRA.4.C.1. Coordinate funding letter requirements for associated appropriation data with DC PR.4.C.2. Confirm type activation status, crisis event code, associated Unique Identifier, and PERSTEMPO start date.4.C.3. Ensure coordination is conducted with MARFORPAC and MARFORNORTH regarding the expected or planned RC IA mobilizations either in a voluntary or involuntary status.4.C.4. Generate mobilization Monitored Command Codes (MCC) and Reporting Unit Codes (RUC) if needed.4.C.5. Release naval message that consolidates any additional contingency specific activation information.4.C.6. As required, act on delegated SECNAV authorities for volunteer mobilization orders under §12301(d) for the initial 72 hour Immediate Response Authority period IOT facilitate a rapid time-sensitive response. If SECDEF authorizes DSCA for a major disaster or emergency, the Service retains the authority to determine, based on operational and fiscal requirements, the type Title 10 voluntary or involuntary authority for MROWS orders to be utilized to support the DSCA event. §12301(d) authorities can be used for pre-positioning activities as part of the Immediate Response period, as well as carried forward through the actual DSCA.4.C.7. Should a §12304a request for Marine EPLO activations be submitted, DC MRA (MMIB-2) will coordinate with SECNAV as requested by MARFORNORTH or MARFORPAC.4.D. COMMARFORCOM.4.D.1. IAW REF A, coordinate the identification and sourcing of applicable RC capabilities for execution of DSCA missions as assigned.4.D.2. IAW REF F, process and forward to PPO (POC) all requisite MARFORRES provided unit mobilization data.4.E. COMMARFORNORTH and COMMARFORPAC. Review operational requirements and if required, submit RFF for additional units IAW GFM process or MCFAPS for individuals.4.F. COMMARFORRES.4.F.1. IAW par 3.a.(5) activate appropriate units, based on the appropriate DoD designated decision authority.4.F.2. Submit requests to activate SMCR IA volunteers to DC MRA (MMIB-2) via MCFAPS.4.F.3. IAW REF F, initiate requests to activate Navy personnel assigned to units.4.F.4. Initiate, fund approve, and authenticate SMCR unit Member's 12304a MROWS orders.4.F.5. Initiate and authenticate MROWS orders for SMCR individuals who volunteer for IA requirements.4.F.6. Deploy activated SMCR personnel from HTC to the designated gaining command.4.G. Operational Sponsors.4.G.1. Submit requests to activate additional IMA to DC MRA (MMIB-2) in MCFAPS, with comprehensive justification if not an EPLO Marine.4.G.2. Authenticate MROWS orders and provide reporting instructions.5. Coordinating instructions.5.A. Per REF H, mobilization-to-dwell ratios will not be considered for §12304a activations in either pre or post activation decisions.5.B. Marines pending mandatory retirement will not be extended, but will retire as scheduled.5.C. Marines pending involuntary separations (administrative separation/disciplinary action) will not be activated.5.D. Retention.5.D.1. Enlisted members without an end of current contract date that encompasses projected contingency period will not be activated. Requests for extensions can be submitted IAW REF I.5.D.2. If a Marine has a mandatory removal date established, activation orders must end NLT 30 days prior.5.E. Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Temporary Duty (TDY), Separation (SEP) Orders.5.E.1. AC and AR Marines with subject orders will execute orders.5.E.2. Concurrent TDY outside scope of the contingency is not authorized.5.F. IAW REF J, if orders are executed from a Place Entered Active Duty (PLEAD), other than the primary residence, transportation allowances are authorized from the PLEAD to the duty location, and return to the PLEAD or primary residence. Beginning travel at a PLEAD other than primary residence may result in loss or reduction of transportation allowances.5.G. For RC personnel with 16 or more years of total active duty service, refer to REF K for policies and procedures. However, due to the rapid nature of a DSCA event, those RC Marines requiring High Active Duty Time waivers and Waivers of Sanctuary Eligibility will not be considered, unless the DC MRA has already acted upon a prior request and the future period of duty is already contained within the approved timeframe of the prior High Active Duty Time request.5.H. Per REF B, in no case shall mobilization exceed 120 days, to include individual skills training required for employment, and leave. Extensions in excess of 120 days for the purpose of using earned leave cannot be authorized.5.I. In order to streamline activation where possible and IAW REF E, dental screenings ICW activation of Selected Reserve Marines are not required. However, current Physical Health Assessments (PHA) are required. MROWS hardholds for expired PHA will not be lifted. Current PHA must be reflected in Marine Corps Total Force System (MCTFS) IOT activate Marines. For Marines known to be not deployable, disqualifying issues must be resolved before involuntary orders can be issued.5.J. MCTFS Actions.5.J.1. Mobilized for a period of 1-30 days5.J.1.A. Report TTC 801 000 COMPL ACDUTRA (_)TO(_)TYPE(_)FLAG(_). The process by which a reserve member receives basic pay and crediting of retirement points during a period of active duty for 30-days or less is through the use of the In Progress Payment (IPP).5.J.1.B. Use type code of D3 when reporting TTC 801 000 under this authority.5.J.1.C. Report TTC 887 003 RETRO CRISIS CODE ___ TO ___ RUC ___as applicable with the final IPP. MCTFS table 43 ('crisis event code') requires update before the aforementioned can be reported.5.J.1.D. Orders issued for 1-30 days do not allow the member to be joined to any RUC/MCC. All payments are provided via IPP unit diary entries.5.J.2. Mobilized for a period of 31-120 days5.J.2.A. IMA and SMCR Unit/Det Members: Report TTC 826 001 [_] MOB MCC [_] TO MCC [_] EAS [_] MDAY [_] ACT STAT [_] EXEC ORDER [_] CRISIS CD UNIQ ID [_]5.J.2.B. IRR: Report 826 000 MOB SEL MCC(_) CMDMCC(_)EAS(_)MDAY(_)ACT STATUS(_)EXEC ORDER(_)CRISIS CD UNIQ ID (_) IAW the MCTFSPRIUM.5.J.2.C. Use activation status code of ZP when reporting TTC 826 000 under this authority.5.J.3. REF F provides a list of unit diary entries pertinent to activation. Due to quick response requirements and short-duration of activation, premobilization audits are encouraged when feasible, but not required in order to eliminate pay related issues (e.g. the addition of family members and BAH).5.J.4. Units are reminded to ensure Marines maintain current Records of Emergency Data, Next of Kin information and Family Care Plans via Marine Online.5.J.5. Units are reminded to ensure Marines maintain their Servicemembers Group Life Insurance via MilConnect.5.J.6. COMMARFORRES will complete all IPP unit diary requirements for activations of 30-days or less and will execute transfer actions for activations of 31-days or more.5.K. Entitlements (read in three columns).Entitlement: Orders 1-30 days: Orders 31-120 days:BAH BAH-I (Note 1) BAH-IBAS (Note 2) Yes YesPer Diem (Note 3) Yes YesTricare MBR MBR&DependentsTricare TAMP-180 No YesLeave No YesPost 9/11 GIB See Note 4 See Note 4USERRA See Note 5 See Note 5Reduced Age Retirement See Note 6 See Note 6Note 1: IAW REF J, service members on duty ISO a contingency are entitled to BAH-I. MCTFS does not support the reporting of BAH-I for periods of active duty for 30-days or less. Upon completion of the period of duty, a NAVMC 11116 must be submitted to check the BAH-II automatically credited with the IPP submissions and payment of BAH-I at the zip code locality rate of the Marine's primary residence. Note 2: Partial BAS checkage as required for periods of duty identified as ''duty in the field'' conditions. Note 3: If duty location is outside of reasonable commuting distance from the Marine's primary residence and the Marine is not commuting daily. Note 4: An individual who serves an aggregate of at least 90 days on active duty, which may include service under §12304a or §12301(d), is entitled to Post-9/11 GI Bill educational assistance. Per REF L, policies and procedures are presented and updated at https:benefits.va.gov/gibill/. Note 5: Periods of uniformed service performed under §12304a authority is exempt from the five-year service limitation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) found in Title 38 U.S.C., §4312(c). Per REF M, voluntary service performed under §12301(d) ISO DSCA is not exempt service under the USERRA unless the ASN (MRA) determines the service is ISO a critical mission. Note 6: IAW REF B, active duty service under §12304a qualifies for reduced age retirement.5.L. Accrued leave shall be administered IAW REF N and the Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation.5.M. Base funds, Military Personnel Marine Corps (MPMC) and Operations and Maintenance, Marine Corps (O&MMC) will be used for activation under §12304a authority. See REF G for additional funding related capturing and reporting requirements5.N. Pay.5.N.1. 1-30 days: Members on orders 30 days or less will be paid via IPP.5.N.2. 31-120 days: Members on orders exceeding 30 days will be transferred to active duty and receive pay the first and fifteenth of each month. Final payment will be via NAVMC 11060.5.N.3. Advance of pay and allowances not authorized.5.O. Fitness reports submitted IAW REF O.5.P. Per REF P, commands will submit proficiency/conduct marks to post within MCTFS prior to release from active duty. The occasion will be RT.5.Q. Conduct line of duty investigations for injuries.5.R. Members serving on active duty orders for periods of 30 days or less will not normally be eligible for medical hold, but instead will request line of duty (LOD) benefits. Requests for LOD benefits are submitted via Marine Corps Medical Entitlements Data System (MCMEDS). Members serving on active duty orders for periods of 31 days or more found not fit for release from active duty by competent medical authority may request medical hold via MCMEDS. If approved by Wounded Warrior Regiment, the member can be transferred to a medical hold status, under a different Title 10 authority. REF Q provides additional information pertaining to the LOD benefits and medical hold processes.5.S. RC Marines under investigation with a view towards courts martial may be placed on legal hold orders if approved by the appropriate general court-martial convening authority and will be transferred to orders under a different Title 10 authority. Pending administrative action does not constitute justification for legal hold for RC Marines.5.T. Additional contingency-specific manpower guidance released when activation is directed will include:5.T.1. Reporting of personnel tempo instructions.5.T.2. Crisis event code, Unique Identifier.5.T.3. Contingency MCC and RUC if applicable.6. This message is applicable to the Marine Corps Total Force.7. Release authorized by Brigadier General Daniel L. Shipley, Director, Manpower Plans and Policy.//
There Is A Lot Of Speculation That John Bolton Is The ''Second Whistleblower''
I knew that John Bolton was going to be trouble the moment President Trump hired him.
Nothing good was ever going to come from having John Bolton as National Security Advisor, and fortunately Trump rejected almost every major recommendation that Bolton made during his entire tenure. If Trump had gone along with Bolton's agenda, we would probably be at war right now. Being so close to the levers of power and being unable to move his agenda forward time after time was very frustrating for Bolton, and since he was fired by Trump he has been on a ''revenge tour''. But would Bolton go so far as to completely betray Trump by becoming the ''second whistleblower'' regarding the controversial phone call with the president of Ukraine? There is now a lot of speculation among conservatives that this could be the case, and so far Bolton has not publicly denied being the ''''second whistleblower''. That doesn't mean that Bolton is guilty, but if I was President Trump he would be the number one suspect on my list.
Let's start with the facts as we have them at this hour. It is being reported that a ''second whistleblower'' has come forward, and that he is being represented by the same legal team that is representing the ''first whistleblower''. The following comes from Breitbart'...
On Sunday's broadcast of ''This Week,'' host George Stephanopoulos opened his show with a report proclaiming a second ''whistleblower.''
Stephanopoulos said, ''Good morning. Welcome to 'This Week,' a week of head-snapping developments. The first key witness testimony to Congress. the first release of text messages from administration officials confirming the pressure campaign or Ukraine outlined in the original whistleblower complaint. That public request from President Trump calling on China to investigate Joe Biden. A new request for documents from Vice President Pence. This morning more breaking news. ABC News has learned that the legal team representing the first whistle-blower is now representing a second whistleblower. Attorney Mark Zaid said he is a member of the intelligence community with firsthand information on some of the allegations at issue.''
The original whistleblower hired ''a former Schumer and Hillary Clinton staffer''named Andrew Bakaj to represent him, and we also know that Bakaj has given money to Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
''By the way, we're currently running our biggest sale since Christmas! Get 50% off products with double Patriot Points and free shipping during our Black Friday Comes Early Sale!''
Following the revelation of this ''second whistleblower'', Bakaj confirmed on Twitterthat his firm is now representing ''multiple whistleblowers''.
IC WHISTLEBLOWER UPDATE: I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General. No further comment at this time. https://t.co/05b5aAVm2G
'-- Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) October 6, 2019
So let's summarize what we know so far.
-We know that the second whistleblower is a ''he'' according to attorney Mark Zaid.
-We know that the second whistleblower has at least some ''firsthand knowledge'' about the call with the president of Ukraine.
-We know that the second whistleblower has been a member of the intelligence community.
-We know that the second whistleblower is clearly not loyal to Trump.
John Bolton certainly fits that profile.
Can any of you think of another potential suspect?
Of course in Washington there are always more suspects, but it is interesting to note that Trump has apparently been very suspicious of Bolton for quite some time now'...
One veteran political consultant in Washington tells Cockburn that Trump is afraid Bolton is the mastermind behind all the damaging leaks on his secret dealings with the Ukrainians; the whistleblower's Deep Throat, if you will. This, he believes, is why Trump's cheerleader in the Senate, Lindsay Graham, keeps asking who was feeding the CIA whistleblower who came forward with details of a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president (in which Trump asked for dirt on the Democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden). Graham tweeted: 'It is imperative we find out which White House official talked to the whistleblower and why. Why didn't they lodge the complaint?'
And thanks to The Hill, we also know that John Bolton ''opposed the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky'' while he was still a member of the administration'...
Former White House national security adviser John Bolton opposed the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of an impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats, NBC News reported Monday.
Three current and former administration officials told the network that Bolton was opposed to the call because he was concerned Trump wasn't coordinating with advisers on what to say and might air personal grievances.
John Bolton could put all of this speculation to rest by simply denying that he is the second whistleblower, but he has not done that at this point.
Perhaps Bolton thought that he could make a name for himself by being the man that got Donald Trump out of the White House, and it does seem quite likely that Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives, but Mitch McConnell is being quite clear about the fact that Trump will be protected by the Senate as long as he is the majority leader'...
The Senate majority leader released last week a brief video ad on Facebook, which prompts viewers to financially support his reelection campaign, and insisted that the pathway forward for impeachment proceedings to cease is with him maintaining leadership in a Republican-controlled chamber.
'Nancy Pelosi is in the clutches of a left-wing mob,' McConnell said in the ad. 'They've finally convinced her to impeach the President. All of you know your Constitution. The way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority, with me as majority leader.'
As long as McConnell refuses to move from that stance, it will be almost impossible for pro-impeachment forces to get enough votes to convict Trump in the Senate, and that means that Trump will almost certainly remain in the Oval Office.
But the endless coverage of this impeachment process by the mainstream media will stir up hatred on the left like never before, and it is setting the stage for utter chaos when the Republicans in the U.S. Senate vote to protect Trump.
It doesn't take a genius to see how all of this is going to play out. But the mainstream media will continue to breathlessly cover this process 24 hours a day, and they will put relentless pressure on Republican senators in an all-out effort to get some of them to crack.
No matter how this drama plays out, this is going to be a very ugly chapter in our history, and our political system will never be the same again once it is over.
Facebook urged by governments to halt end-to-end encryption plans '' Naked Security
Tensions between Facebook and three governments escalated last week after the US, the UK, and Australia officially urged Facebook to halt its plans for end-to-end encryption.
The row concerned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's publication of a privacy manifesto in March this year, in which he promised to extend the company's end-to-end encryption work and introduce the technology into its core Facebook Messenger product.
A thorn in their sidesAn online messaging service can encrypt your data in two ways. It can store the encryption key on the provider's own servers, enabling law enforcement to subpoena it and unlock your messages. Alternatively, end-to-end encryption stores the key to a messaging session exclusively on the participating computers, meaning that the tech company has nothing to give the authorities. This means that even if law enforcement accesses a person's messages, they wouldn't be able to read the contents.
End-to-end encryption is a thorn in the side of governments who want to track criminals. On Friday, US Attorney General William Barr published an open letter to Zuckerberg, cosigned by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, and Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. It laid out its demands clearly in the first paragraph:
We are writing to request that Facebook does not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without ensuring that there is no reduction to user safety and without including a means for lawful access to the content of communications to protect our citizens.
Lawful accessThe letter called upon Facebook to embed the ability to see message content in the design of its systems, and to give law enforcement lawful access (meaning access to message content on production of a warrant). The company should consult with governments when taking these measures, and avoid going forward with its proposed changes until it can be sure that it is following these principles, the letter warned.
The signatories also warned that Facebook's proposed encrypted messaging system would be especially vulnerable to abuse:
Risks to public safety from Facebook's proposals are exacerbated in the context of a single platform that would combine inaccessible messaging services with open profiles, providing unique routes for prospective offenders to identify and groom our children.
The Department of Justice published the letter just as it signed a landmark agreement with the UK government under the US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act. The legislation, enabled in March 2018, lets the US demand data from technology companies harbouring that data on foreign soil. It's a response to the 2013 United States vs Microsoft case in which Microsoft refused to give the Feds access to data stored on an Irish server.
The agreement signed between the US and the UK this week is the first under a provision in the CLOUD Act enabling other countries to demand US-based data from tech companies, leapfrogging time-consuming US legal processes. However, this agreement still doesn't let countries get at end-to-end encrypted messages, hence the open letter.
Tradeoff between privacy and preventing harmTech companies such as Telegram and Facebook-owned WhatsApp support end-to-end encryption and include it as a feature in their products. In his March privacy post, Zuckerberg defended the technology, arguing that it protected dissidents in oppressive regimes. Instead of reading message content, he said Facebook looked for patterns of activity that might point to bad actors.
However, he admitted a tradeoff between privacy and preventing online harm, adding:
'... we will never find all of the potential harm we do today when our security systems can see the messages themselves.
This tradeoff '' and how much each side is willing to give '' is the basis for a long-standing crypto-war between government and tech advocates stemming back to the formation of the cypherpunk movement in the mid-eighties. On one side, many tech privacy advocates don't want to give up their basic privacy rights. On the other, law enforcement officials point to terrorists and child abusers using encryption to ''go dark'' as examples of the need for lawful access.
Barr has followed governments in the UK and Australia in backing technical measures to try and find a compromise. At the FBI's International Conference on Cybersecurity in July, he said:
It is well past time for some in the tech community to abandon the indefensible posture that a technical solution is not worth exploring and instead turn their considerable talent and ingenuity to developing products that will reconcile good cybersecurity to the imperative of public safety and national security.
The standoff is likely to continue. Facebook reportedly responded to Barr's open letter on Friday with its own statement.
We believe people have the right to have a private conversation online, wherever they are in the world. As the US and UK governments acknowledge, the CLOUD Act allows for companies to provide available information when they receive valid legal requests and does not require companies to build back doors.
We respect and support the role law enforcement has in keeping people safe. Ahead of our plans to bring more security and privacy to our messaging apps, we are consulting closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies and devoting new teams and sophisticated technology so we can use all the information available to us to help keep people safe.
End-to-end encryption already protects the messages of over a billion people every day. It is increasingly used across the communications industry and in many other important sectors of the economy. We strongly oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere.
Opinion | California Will Have an Open Internet - The New York Times
Opinion | California Will Have an Open Internet And so will lots of other states, despite the F.C.C.'s decision.
By Tom Wheeler
Mr. Wheeler is a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Oct. 2, 2019 Image Workers installing a 5G Antenna system for AT&T in San Diego in April. Credit Credit Mike Blake/Reuters On Tuesday, a federal appeals court upheld the government's repeal of net neutrality rules. The court affirmed the Federal Communications Commission's decision to classify internet service providers such as Comcast and AT&T as ''information services,'' as opposed to ''telecommunications services.'' That definition allows them to avoid the responsibility of providing open and nondiscriminatory access to their networks. In the terms of this debate, it allows the companies to prioritize ''fast lanes and slow lanes.''
But the ruling did keep net neutrality alive '-- by overruling the agency's claim that it could pre-empt state governments from setting out their own net neutrality requirements. The decision opens the doors for states to fill the regulatory void. Internet service providers should be quaking in their boots: As of today, they run the serious risk that they'll have to follow a patchwork of different state requirements. The companies may not have liked the previous administration's decision to classify them as common carriers, but that at least provided them with a uniform national policy. That is now gone.
At present, 34 states (and the District of Columbia) have introduced some kind of open internet legislation. The leading net neutrality law was passed in the nation's most populous state, California, and follows the rules that the F.C.C. overturned. California agreed to hold off on enforcing their new net neutrality law until the pre-emption question was answered by the court. That hold is now off: If you live in California, you will have an open internet. It remains to be seen whether California's law becomes the de facto open internet law across the nation or whether it becomes one of many different net neutrality laws.
The court decision comes on the heels of a new study from George Washington University demonstrating that the argument used by the F.C.C. to repeal net neutrality '-- that the regulation hurt investment in broadband infrastructure '-- was false. The agency acted in true Trumpian style: Truth be damned, just keep telling a colorful story often enough.
The House of Representatives passed legislation that repeals the agency's actions, but it has languished in the Senate, where the companies and their allies opposed it. Now the network companies face an interesting dilemma. Having received the deregulation they sought, the threat of conflicting state laws will send them to Congress to ask for a federal law that does what the F.C.C. could not. But in the interim, the strong California law will become a de facto standard. If there is a debate in Congress, that will be the starting point.
There are only around 30 days remaining on the legislative calendar '-- the impeachment activities will dominate Congress' considerations. When Congress comes back in January, the companies that have waged a multiyear crusade against the open internet are likely to be fighting for federal legislation to overturn California's law and pre-empt those of other states.
The future of an open and fair internet is now in the hands of state governments and Congress. The more states act, the greater imperative companies will feel to accept meaningful action from Congress.
Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2013 to 2017, is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His most recent book is ''From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future.''
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China and Taiwan clash over Wikipedia edits - BBC News
But earlier in September, it would have been a "province in the People's Republic of China".
For questions of fact, many search engines, digital assistants and phones all point to one place: Wikipedia. And Wikipedia had suddenly changed.
The edit was reversed, but soon made again. And again. It became an editorial tug of war that - as far as the encyclopedia was concerned - caused the state of Taiwan to constantly blink in and out of existence over the course of a single day.
"This year is a very crazy year," sighed Jamie Lin, a board member of Wikimedia Taiwan.
"A lot of Taiwanese Wikipedians have been attacked."
Edit warsWikipedia is a movement as much as a website.
Anyone can write or edit entries on Wikipedia, and in almost every country on Earth, communities of "Wikipedians" exist to protect and contribute to it. The largest collection of human knowledge ever amassed, available to everyone online for free, it is arguably the greatest achievement of the digital age. But in the eyes of Lin and her colleagues, it is now under attack.
Image caption Jamie Lin - seen on the left - is one of many Taiwanese Wikipedians concerned about changes being made to the online encylopedia The edit war over Taiwan was only one of a number that had broken out across Wikipedia's vast, multi-lingual expanse of entries. The Hong Kong protests page had seen 65 changes in the space of a day - largely over questions of language. Were they protesters? Or rioters?
The English entry for the Senkaku islands said they were "islands in East Asia", but earlier this year the Mandarin equivalent had been changed to add "China's inherent territory".
The 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were changed in Mandarin to describe them as "the June 4th incident" to "quell the counter-revolutionary riots". On the English version, the Dalai Lama is a Tibetan refugee. In Mandarin, he is a Chinese exile.
Angry differences of opinion happen all the time on Wikipedia. But to Ms Lin, this was different.
"It's control by the [Chinese] Government" she continued. "That's very terrible."
'Socialist values'BBC Click's investigation has found almost 1,600 tendentious edits across 22 politically sensitive articles. We cannot verify who made each of these edits, why, or whether they reflect a more widespread practice. However, there are indications that they are not all necessarily organic, nor random.
Both an official and academics from within China have begun to call for both their government and citizens to systematically correct what they argue are serious anti-Chinese biases endemic across Wikipedia. One paper is called Opportunities And Challenges Of China's Foreign Communication in the Wikipedia, and was published in the Journal of Social Sciences this year.
In it, the academics Li-hao Gan and Bin-Ting Weng argue that "due to the influence by foreign media, Wikipedia entries have a large number of prejudiced words against the Chinese government".
They continue: "We must develop a targeted external communication strategy, which includes not only rebuilding a set of external communication discourse systems, but also cultivating influential editors on the wiki platform."
They end with a call to action.
"China urgently needs to encourage and train Chinese netizens to become Wikipedia platform opinion leaders and administrators'... [who] can adhere to socialist values and form some core editorial teams."
Shifting perceptionsAnother is written by Jie Ding, an official from the China International Publishing Group, an organisation controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. It argues that "there is a lack of systematic ordering and maintenance of contents about China's major political discourse on Wikipedia".
It too urges the importance to "reflect our voices and opinions in the entry, so as to objectively and truly reflect the influence of Chinese path and Chinese thoughts on other countries and history".
"'Telling China's story' is a concept that has gained huge traction over the past couple of years," Lokman Tsui, an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told BBC Click. "They think that a lot of the perceptions people have of China abroad are really misunderstandings."
To Tsui, an important shift is now happening as China mobilises its system of domestic online control to now extend beyond its borders to confront the perceived misconceptions that exist there. Wikipedia has confronted the problem of vandalism since its beginning. You can see all the edits that are made, vandalism can be rolled back in a second, pages can be locked, and the site is patrolled by a combination of bots and editors.
People have tried to manipulate Wikipedia from the very beginning, and others have worked to stop them for just as long.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hong Kong's protests are one topic where there has been a back-and-forth over edits to descriptive words However, much of the activity that Lin described isn't quite vandalism. Some - such as Taiwan's sovereignty - is about asserting one disputed claim above others. Others, subtler still, are about the pruning of language, especially in Mandarin, to make a political point.
Should the Hong Kong protests be considered "against" China? Should you call a community "Taiwanese people of Han descent", or "a subgroup of Han Chinese, native to Taiwan"?
It is over this kind of linguistic territory that many of the fiercest battles rage.
Coordinated strategy?The attacks are often not to Wikipedia's content, but rather its community of Wikipedians.
"Some have told us that their personal information has been sprayed [released], because they have different thoughts," Lin said.
There have also been death threats directed at Taiwanese Wikipedians. One, on the related public Wikimedia Telegram Channel, read "the policemen will enjoy your mother's forensic report". And elections to administrator positions on Wikipedia, who hold greater powers, have similarly become starkly divided down geopolitical lines.
Attributing online activity to states is often impossible, and there is also no direct, proven link between any of these edits and the Chinese government.
"It's absolutely conceivable," Tsui continued, "that people from the diaspora, patriotic Chinese, are editing these Wikipedia entries. "But to say that is to ignore the larger structural coordinated strategy the government has to manipulate these platforms."
Image caption It has been argued that minor changes to Wikipedia entries can change readers' perceptions Whilst unattributed, the edits do happen against the backdrop where a number of states, including China, have intensified attempts to systematically manipulate online platforms. They have done so on Twitter and Facebook, and researchers around the world have warned of state-backed online propaganda targeting a range of others.
Compared with almost any other online platform, Wikipedia makes for a tempting, even obvious, target.
"I'm absolutely not surprised," said Heather Ford, a senior lecturer in digital cultures at the University of New South Wales, whose research has focused on the political editing of Wikipedia. I'm surprised it's taken this long actually'... It is a prioritised source of facts and knowledge about the world."
Of course, every state cares about its reputation.
"China is the second largest economy in the world and is doing what any other country in this status would seek," said Shirley Ze Yu, a visiting senior fellow at the LSE. "Today China does owe the world a China story told by itself and from a Chinese perspective. I think it's not only Chinese privilege, it's really a responsibility".
Taiwan is itself locked in a messaging war with China, with its own geopolitical points to make and many of the misconceptions may be genuine ones, at least in the eyes of the people who edit them.
So does this amount to telling China's story, or online propaganda?
At least on Wikipedia, the answer depends on where you fall on two very different ideas about what the internet is for. There is the philosophy of open knowledge, open source, volunteer-led communities.
But it may now be confronted by another force: the growing online power of states whose geopolitical struggles to define the truth now extend onto places like Wikipedia that have grown too large, too important, for them to ignore.
* The Chinese Embassy was approached for a comment but we did not receive a reply.
The Ukrainegate 'Whisteblower' Isn't a Real Whistleblower '' Rolling Stone
Start with the initial headline, in the story the Washington Post ''broke'' on September 18th:
TRUMP'S COMMUNICATIONS WITH FOREIGN LEADER ARE PART OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT SPURRED STANDOFF BETWEEN SPY CHIEF AND CONGRESS, FORMER OFFICIALS SAY
The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn't sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn't wipe its ass with a real whistleblower.
Americans who've blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It's an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they've weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway's latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.
Drake, who was the first to expose the NSA's secret surveillance program, seems to have fared better than most. He ended up working in an Apple Store, where he ran into Eric Holder, who was shopping for an iPhone.
I've met a lot of whistleblowers, in both the public and private sector. Many end up broke, living in hotels, defamed, (often) divorced, and lucky if they have any kind of job. One I knew got turned down for a waitressing job because her previous employer wouldn't vouch for her. She had little kids.
The common thread in whistleblower stories is loneliness. Typically the employer has direct control over their ability to pursue another job in their profession. Many end up reviled as traitors, thieves, and liars. They often discover after going public that their loved ones have a limited appetite for sharing the ignominy. In virtually all cases, they end up having to start over, both personally and professionally.
With that in mind, let's look at what we know about the first ''whistleblower'' in Ukrainegate:
He or she is a ''CIA officer detailed to the White House'';The account is at best partially based upon the CIA officer's own experience, made up substantially by information from ''more than a half dozen U.S. officials'' and the ''private accounts'' of ''my colleagues'';''He or she'' was instantly celebrated as a whistleblower by news networks and major newspapers.That last detail caught the eye of Kiriakou, a former CIA Counterterrorism official who blew the whistle on the agency's torture program.
''It took me and my lawyers a full year to get [the media] to stop calling me 'CIA Leaker John Kirakou,'' he says. ''That's how long it took for me to be called a whistleblower.''
Kirakou's crime was talking to ABC News and the New York Times about the CIA's torture program. For talking to American journalists about the CIA, our federal government charged Kiriakou with espionage. That absurd count was ultimately dropped, but he still did 23 months at FCI Loretto in Western Pennsylvania.
When Kiriakou first saw the ''whistleblower complaint,'' his immediate reaction was to wonder what kind of ''CIA officer'' the person in question was. ''If you spend a career in the CIA, you see all kinds of subterfuge and lies and crime,'' he says. ''This person went through a whole career and this is the thing he objects to?''
It's fair to wonder if this is a one-person effort. Even former CIA official Robert Baer, no friend of Trump, said as much in an early confab on CNN with Brooke Baldwin:
BAER: That's what I find remarkable, is that this whistleblower knew about that, this attempt to cover up. This is a couple of people. It isn't just one.
BALDWIN: And on the people point, if the allegation is true, Bob, what does it say that White House officials, lawyers, wanted to cover it up?
BAER: You know, my guess, it's a palace coup against Trump. And who knows what else they know at this point.
That sounds about right. Actual whistleblowers are alone. The Ukraine complaint seems to be the work of a group of people, supported by significant institutional power, not only in the intelligence community, but in the Democratic Party and the commercial press.
In this century we've lived through a president lying to get us into a war (that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and the loss of trillions in public treasure), the deployment of a vast illegal surveillance program, a drone assassination campaign, rendition, torture, extralegal detention, and other offenses, many of them mass human rights violations.
We had whistleblowers telling us about nearly all of these things. When they came forward, they desperately needed society's help. They didn't get it. Our government didn't just tweet threats at them, but proceeded straight to punishment.
Bill Binney, who lost both his legs to diabetes, was dragged out of his shower by FBI agents. Jeffrey Sterling, like Kiriakou, was charged with espionage for talking to a reporter. After conviction, he asked to be imprisoned near his wife in St. Louis. They sent him to Colorado for two years. Others tried to talk to congress or their Inspectors General, only to find out their communications had been captured and cc'ed to the very agency chiefs they wanted to complain about (including former CIA chief and current MSNBC contributor John Brennan).
The current ''scandal'' is a caricature version of such episodes. Imagine the mania on the airwaves if Donald Trump were to have his Justice Department arrest the ''whistleblower'' and charge him with 35 years of offenses, as Thomas Drake faced. Trump incidentally still might try something like this. It's what any autocrat of the Mobute Sese Seko/Enver Hoxha school would do, for starters, to mutinying intelligence officials within his own government.
Trump almost certainly is not going to do that, however, as the man is too dumb to realize he's the titular commander of an executive branch that has been jailing people for talking too much for over a decade. On the off chance that he does try it, don't hold your breath waiting for news networks to tell you he's just following an established pattern.
I have a lot of qualms about impeachment/''Ukrainegate,'' beginning with this headline premise of the lone, conscience-stricken defender of democracy arrayed against the mighty Trump. I don't see it. Donald Trump is a jackass who got elected basically by accident, campaigning against a political establishment too blind to its own unpopularity to see what was coming.
In 2016 we saw a pair of electoral revolts, one on the right and one on the left, against the cratering popularity of our political elite. The rightist populist revolt succeeded, the Sanders movement did not. Ukrainegate to me looks like a continuation of Russiagate, which was a reaction of that defeated political elite to the rightists. I don't feel solidarity with either group.
The argument that's supposed to be galvanizing everyone right now is the idea that we need to ''stand up and be counted,'' because failing to rally to the cause is effectively advocacy for Trump. This line of thinking is based on the presumption that Trump is clearly worse than the people opposing him.
That might prove to be true, but if we're talking about the treatment of whistleblowers, Trump has a long way to go before he approaches the brutal record of the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, as well as the cheerleading Washington political establishment. Forgetting this is likely just the first in what will prove to be many deceptions about a hardcore insider political battle whose subtext is a lot more shadowy and ambiguous than news audiences are being led to believe.
Find Out How This Canadian City Has Eliminated Homelessness
For the homeless population of Medicine Hat, Alberta, the right dose of the perfect solution has led to an amazing revolution.
Tonight, every one of the city's 60,000 people are sleeping with a roof over their heads, thanks to the Canadian city's new policy that mandates housing for anyone who has spent 10 days in a shelter or on the streets.
When city officials learn of a person living in these circumstances, they move the individual (or family) into a house or apartment. In fact, Mayor Ted Clugston says 10 days is the absolute limit'--the city usually finds housing for homeless people even quicker than that.
Los Angeles Officials Vow to Spend $200Mil on Helping Homeless
The first city in Canada to officially end homelessness, Medicine Hat adopted the ''Housing First'' plan, where the homeless are given a place to live first before tackling the underlying causes of their homelessness. Utah used this model to reduce its homelessness by 91% in ten years.
''Housing First puts everything on its head. It used to be, 'You want a home, get off the drugs or deal with your mental health issues,''' Clugston told CBC News. ''If you're addicted to drugs, it's going to be pretty hard to get off them, if you're sleeping under a park bench.''
Once Homeless She's Now the Boss of Her Own Construction Business
The city started building new homes for the homeless in 2009 and has moved nearly 900 people off the streets since then. It costs the city about $20,000 a year to house a homeless person '-- but $100,000 a year if they are living on the streets.
Since Medicine Hat adopted Housing First, police calls about homeless people and emergency room visits have plummeted.
(Photo of homeless native couple by Doug Brown, CC '-- Story tip: Murray Lindsay)
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The New York Times (9/30/19) parties with Bill Maher like it's 1991.
Bill Maher rose from being an ''edgy,'' opinionated comedian to becoming one of the most influential and recognizable faces in our media. His political talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, has been on HBO since 2003, spanning 17 seasons with over 500 episodes to date. Real Time continues to be one of the most popular shows on cable TV, drawing in more than 4 million viewers per episode, according to a new New York Times interview (9/30/19), which frames him as a straight-shooting satirist on an ''antihypocrisy crusade,'' with Maher presenting himself as the voice of liberals across the country fed up with PC culture. Certainly, he has a legion of dedicated, primarily Democrat-voting Baby Boomer and Generation X fans, who take seriously his every pronouncement.
That is why his latest outbursts are noteworthy. On the September 20 edition of Real Time, he condemned the Democrats for reviving their opposition to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, claiming that continuing to ''go after a guy for what he did in high school'' ''looks bad.'' He implied that Democrats lost seats in the Senate for their ''preposterous'' opposition to what Kavanaugh did when he was just 17 (which, for the record, was multiple alleged attempted rapes or sexual assaults).
A week previously, Maher appeared on MSNBC's flagship breakfast show, Morning Joe (9/12/19), where he claimed that the Democrats' left-wing (i.e., Bernie Sanders) was a ''cancer'' destroying the party, warning that the left is ''scarier and crazier than Trump,'' and nominating a leftist as its presidential candidate would spell disaster in the next election. (Decrying the supposed unelectability of the left is a favorite pastime of elite pundits'--FAIR.org, 2/26/19, 7/2/19, 8/21/19.)
Media almost unanimously present Maher as a ''liberal'' (e.g. Salon, 10/11/14, 9/21/19; USA Today, 7/8/18; New York Post, 6/29/19) or even a ''progressive'' (The Hill, 2/2/17) comedian. Yet any inspection of his political positions dispels this illusion. To be sure, he generally supported President Barack Obama and opposes Donald Trump (although he has been known to do the opposite of both). But he also has a long history of repeatedly taking reactionary positions on many subjects, especially war.
On his previous Comedy Central show Politically Incorrect, Maher praised the Vietnam War as ''necessary,'' arguing it helped end the Cold War. (The US officially began its involvement in Vietnam 36 years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.) In 2013, he joked about killing antiwar activist Medea Benjamin after she interrupted Obama, and recanted his anti-Iraq War position, claiming, ''Iraq is doing better than I thought it would be.'' He praised George W. Bush for ''creating a country'' there.
And he championed Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza, tweeting:
Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u '-- u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her.
Bill Maher (Twitter, 7/17/14) puts the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in terms a domestic abuser can understand.
As that last comment suggests, sexism and rampant Islamophobia are also constant features of Maher's ideology. In 2009, he called a woman who was reportedly choked by her boyfriend a ''bitch,'' claiming that it was surprising he did not attack her sooner.
He has also described Islam as a ''cancer,'' and told Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim, that the Quran is a ''hate-filled holy book.'' He defended the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed for bringing a clock into school, comparing him to an ISIS fighter, and expressed alarm over the rising popularity of the name ''Mohammed,'' worrying that the Western world was being ''taken over by Islam.'' He also offered advice to Western women: ''Talk to women who have ever dated an Arab man,'' he insisted: ''The reviews are not good.''
Maher fully supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine. ''I love Israel,'' declared the celebrity atheist, professing his affection for the ethno-religious state.
The point is that Maher's beliefs, actions and outbursts, if they are coherent at all, are not consistent with liberalism and are, if anything, more in keeping with a right-wing shock jock like Rush Limbaugh.
Indeed, when asked, he has been explicit about his ideology: ''I'm a libertarian,'' he said to Rolling Stone (4/13/11). ''I would be a Republican if they would. Which means that I like the Barry Goldwater Republican Party, even the Reagan Republican Party.'' His choice in naming the two figures whose mission was to upend the liberal order, often through appeals to racism and white nationalism, is telling.
''I want a mean old man to watch my money,'' he added. ''Because government is a sieve that takes as much money as it can and gives it away, usually needlessly.''
Newsweek (3/16/19) quotes Fox News' praise of ''liberal comedian Bill Maher'' for telling Democratic candidates to ''grow a pair'' and appear on Fox News.
Yet corporate media continue to describe him as a liberal. Newsweek (3/16/19) did so in a story about him criticizing the Democratic Party, the Washington Times (9/13/19) did the same when it reported on his recent claim that the new ''far-left'' Democrats' ideas are a ''cancer'' and they look ''crazier'' than Trump to him, while Fox News (5/11/19) reminded its readers twice that Maher was a liberal in a story about him praising Trump's handling of the economy.
And therein lies the utility for the media in persisting to describe the self-described libertarian as a liberal: It allows media to formulate ''he's a liberal but'' stories. ''Conservative Criticizes Democrats'' is not going to drive any clicks, whereas ''Liberal Praises Trump'' does. It is a classic example of the ''Man Bites Dog'' phenomenon.
Ultimately, Maher has built up an impressive following and continues to espouse snarky elitist hot takes weekly for HBO, earning an estimated $10 million per year doing so. Call him a racist, a bigot or an astute businessman; just don't call him a liberal.