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07.27.14

Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Millions Stranded as US Passport and Visa System Hit by Mystery Glitch

    Millions of people awaiting US travel documents have been left in limbo, as a major computer glitch crashed the United States global system for passport and visa services.

  • Daniel Radcliffe refused entry to US due to visa problems

    But he was allegedly turned away by border control when he tried to get back to the US for the Comic-Con conference in San Diego.

  • Science

    • 1969 Kokomo grads share space stories

      Shortly before the mission, though, the CIA got word that Russia was about to send a two-man craft to orbit the moon. The U.S. couldn’t let Russia get ahead in the space race, so they changed the mission.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UN finds second black box of Air Algerie jet among scattered debris in northern Mali
    • Second black box found at Air Algerie crash site (+video)
    • US has not been able to show Russian government was involved in downing of airliner

      A series of unanswered questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shows the limits of U.S. intelligence gathering even when it is intensely focused, as it has been in Ukraine since Russia seized Crimea in March.

    • The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’

      U.S. intelligence officials suggest that the person who fired the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been “a defector” from the Ukrainian army, an apparent attempt to explain why some CIA analysts thought satellite images revealed men in Ukrainian army uniforms manning the missile battery, writes Robert Parry.

    • Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?

      The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and presstitute media.

    • Palestinians don’t blame Hamas for civilian deaths

      As the Gaza conflict intensified, the Palestinian death toll surpassed 700, more than two-thirds of them civilians. Add to that 4,000 injured, widespread infrastructure destruction, and 1.8 million Palestinians trapped in an area the size of Manhattan. On the Israeli side, the civilian death toll is three.

    • Over 50 Israeli Reservists Declare ‘We Refuse to Serve’
    • Decrying “Brutal Operation Taking Place in Our Name,” Israeli Military Reservists Refuse to Serve
    • Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

      Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip alone; its onslaught continues. The UN estimates that more than 74 percent of those killed are civilians. That is to be expected in a population of 1.8 million where the number of Hamas members is approximately 15,000. Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world’s only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

    • How the Media Is Helping Hamas

      Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

      [...]

      Palestinian sources have confirmed that Hamas has executed at least 13 Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel. None of the suspects was brought to trial, and the executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner, with torture that included severe beating and breaking arms and legs.

    • Israeli soldiers kill three Palestinian demonstrators in West Bank protest

      Army says it has used ‘riot dispersal means’ against protesters but refuses to comment on live round use

    • Israel’s fears are real, but this Gaza war is utterly self-defeating

      An old foreign correspondent friend of mine, once based in Jerusalem, has turned to blogging. As the story he used to cover flared up once more, he wrote: “This conflict is the political equivalent of LSD – distorting the senses of all those who come into contact with it, and sending them crazy.” He was speaking chiefly of those who debate the issue from afar: the passions that are stirred, the bitterness and loathing that spew forth, especially online, of a kind rarely glimpsed when faraway wars are discussed. While an acid trip usually comes in lurid colours, here it induces a tendency to monochrome: one side is pure good, the other pure evil – with not a shade of grey in sight.

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
    • It is a war crime to target densely packed Gaza homes

      Once again the Gaza Strip is subject to intense attack from Israeli forces. As of yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has documented 593 killed, among them 483 civilians – 151 children, 82 women – and 3,197 injured. Among the injured are 926 children and 641 women, although this does not include the figures for the border areas or the Shejeia area.

    • OPINION: Truth also a casualty of Gaza war

      I don’t know about you, but if the attack had happened to me, I would be pretty damn angry. Yet on Monday, Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading human rights organizations, issued a report on the fighting in Gaza that accused Israel of “war crimes” because one of its “accurate missiles” had struck a hospital (unlike in my parable, no one was killed but four patients and staff were wounded). Therefore, according to Human Rights Watch, given the accuracy of the Israeli weapons, this must have been an “intentional or reckless attack” deserving of a war crimes prosecution even though, according to Israel, the hospital grounds were being used by Hamas to fire rockets and Israel had given an advance warning.

    • 45,000 Descend on London to Protest at Israel’s Actions in Gaza

      An estimated 45,000 people marched through London from the Israeli Embassy to Parliament Square, via Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.

    • Kerry: Libya evacuation not permanent
    • US evacuates embassy in Libya
    • U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

      The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighbouring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.

    • US embassy in Libya evacuated amid unrest
    • Ceasefire ends as Gaza militants resume firing rockets into Israel

      Militants resumed firings rockets into Israel from Gaza on Saturday, rejecting an extension to a ceasefire in a conflict in which more than 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died.

    • Being strategic partner of liars & cowards

      Sunday, July 27, 2014 – Pakistan from the 1950s onwards, is insisting to go together with the US despite all the negative and even shameful experiences we have made in this relationship. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan, preferred to visit the US instead of Moscow first, and was afterwards assassinated when he refused to give air bases to US for spying on USSR.

    • Hamas rejects 4-hour Gaza war truce extension

      A Hamas official says the group has rejected a four-hour extension of a humanitarian truce proposed by Israel.

    • Sign Company Deluged By Orders For “Guns Are Welcome” Signs

      We’ve written twice about the Maryville, Tennessee restaurant that has seen it’s business go through the roof after posting signs that lawfully carried handguns were welcome.

    • Protestors to prison, drones to Afghanistan

      On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan. Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.

    • Moral authority doesn’t mean diddly

      Can’t Golding see the distinction between collateral killing of another nation’s civilians during ‘war’ and extrajudicial slaughter of Jamaican citizens by Jamaican police sworn to protect all citizens? For someone Booklist Boyne insists is brilliant, surely he could’ve found more suitable analogies such as the treatment of black Americans under Jim Crow laws particularly by crazed mobs, including law-enforcement officers hiding under white hoods. Still, the distinction is Jim Crow is defunct, while we still butcher innocents and guilty alike without troubling the courts.

    • Call for more information on Kiwi drone death

      Former Green MP Keith Locke is urging New Zealanders to demand information about the Kiwi killed in a drone strike overseas last year.

    • Why People Are Organizing to End U.S. Empire

      World history is filled with empires, e.g. the Roman and Byzantine empires, the European colonial empires, various ancient Iranian empires, the Arab Caliphate and Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Union to name a few. These historic empires have one thing in common: they no longer exist. As the lifecycle of empire wanes, rather than being a benefit to the home country, sustaining empire becomes more expensive than it is worth.

    • Israeli military resumes Gaza operations

      Around 5,000 people took part in a protest against the war in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, with a heavy police presence to deter rightwing extremists who abused and attacked the demonstrators.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • What in the name of Zeus is Bitcoin?

      Bitcoin is a digital currency that became popular in 2013. It’s not controlled by banks, or anyone. It’s a decentralised currency designed to free out money from those who would oppress us. But how does a digital currency work? How can it be valid if there’s no one to say who has what? Ben Everard investigates.

    • NHS manager redundancy payouts total £1.6bn since 2010

      The cost of redundancy payments for NHS managers has hit almost £1.6bn since the coalition came to power and embarked on its sweeping reorganisation, according to the latest Department of Health accounts.

      The total includes payouts to some 4,000 “revolving door” managers, who left after May 2010 with large payouts but have since returned either on full-time or part-time contracts.

    • China gaining on US as top economy

      China is supplanting America’s international role, new data from the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project shows the growing international consensus in this regard.

      The median percentage of people naming US as the world’s leading economic power has dropped from 49% six years ago to 40% today. During the same period, the percentage of people naming China has risen from 19% to 31%, according to Pew’s analysts.

    • 1 per cent Chinese own one-third of national wealth: report

      About one per cent of Chinese households own one-third of the nation’s wealth, a report has said, raising concerns about income inequality in the world’s most populous country led by Communist Party of China.

    • Green party calls for wealth tax on assets of multimillionaires

      Presenting the radical new proposal, Natalie Bennett, the Green leader, said other political parties only offered minor tweaks to the UK’s failed economic system, instead of major changes to deal with inequality.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Met worse than Murdoch

      The revelation that undercover Met officers spied on the family of Jean Charles De Menezes after they murdered him, leaves me utterly appalled.

      You have to consider this in the context of the lies that the Met assiduously spread about De Menezes – that he entered the tube without buying a ticket, that he vaulted the ticket gates, that he ran away from officers, that he was wearing a bulky jacket.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • What I Learned from Edward Snowden at the Hacker Conference

      His audience was the crowd at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference, a group of people no one would ever mistake for attendees at a political convention. Amid the sea of black clothing were many unconventional fashion statements: purple bandanas and balloon pants, and tartan kilts, and white robes, and green hair. The only man in sight in a suit and tie was also toting around a pair of payphones of murky provenance. Even the federal agents present had found a way to blend into the crowd of EFF merchandise and white dude dreadlocks.

    • Two MPs to sue government over data law ‘stitch-up’

      Two MPs, Tom Watson and David Davis, are to sue the government for introducing “ridiculous” emergency legislation allowing police and security services access to people’s phone and internet records.

    • Snowden: “If I end up in chains at Guantanamo, I can live with that”
    • Should NZ reporters fear spying?

      Pen, notebook – and encryption key. It’s time to add digital security to the reporter’s toolkit, security experts say, and that includes journalists in New Zealand.

    • Rogers, Telus Launch Charter Challenge To Police Mass Spying Request

      An Ontario judge has agreed to hear a Charter of Rights challenge brought by Telus and Rogers after they were asked by police in April to release cellphone information of about 40,000 to 50,000 customers as part of an investigation.

      Justice John Sproat says that the case has highlighted important issues about privacy and law enforcement that should be challenged in open court, even though Peel regional police tried to withdraw the requests.

    • US spied on Berisha, Thaci and Tadic

      NSA in 2009 spied also on other leaders of the Balkan countries, like the PM of Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, Nexhat Brankoviq and the former Croatian president, Stipe Mesiq. The news was made public by the digital library “Kriptom”, that deals with secret documents.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers

      The extortion case against Thomas DiFiore, a reputed boss in the Bonanno crime family, encompassed thousands of pages of evidence, including surveillance photographs, cellphone and property records, and hundreds of hours of audio recordings.

      But even as Mr. DiFiore sat in a jail cell, sending nearly daily emails to his lawyers on his case and his deteriorating health, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn sought to add another layer of evidence: those very emails. The prosecutors informed Mr. DiFiore last month that they would be reading the emails sent to his lawyers from jail, potentially using his own words against him.

    • How are execution drugs supposed to work?

      A combination of midazolam-hydromorphone led to Joseph Wood ‘gasping and snorting’ for almost two hours during his execution on Wednesday night

    • Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud

      What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if our so-called democracy erodes the people’s understanding of natural rights and the reasons for government and instead turns political campaigns into beauty contests? What if American democracy allows the government to do anything it wants, as long as more people bother to show up at the voting booth to support the government than show up to say no?

    • CIA Intercepted Whistleblower Communications Related to Senate Investigation into Torture

      The inspector general for the CIA obtained a “legally protected email and other unspecified communications” between whistleblower officials and lawmakers related to alleged whistleblower retaliation. The CIA inspector general allegedly failed to investigate claims of retaliation against an agency official for helping the Senate intelligence committee with the production of their report on torture, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

    • Ex-CIA officials decry no access to detainee study

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • Ex-CIA officials denied access to torture report

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

      Then, on Friday, many were told they would not be able to see it, after all.

    • CIA Does the Torture, U.S. Ally Pays the Price

      The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an ‘extraordinary rendition’ program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a “black site” in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture — in the attempt to extract bogus confessions.

    • ‘Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report’

      A tentatively titled and reported New York Times article glimpses former agency director George Tenet’s efforts to suppress and discredit a report accusing “former C.I.A. officials of misleading Congress and the White House” about the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

    • Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

      Over the past several months, Mr. Tenet has quietly engineered a counterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report, which could become public next month. The effort to discredit the report has set up a three-way showdown among former C.I.A. officials who believe history has been distorted, a White House carefully managing the process and politics of declassifying the document, and Senate Democrats convinced that the Obama administration is trying to protect the C.I.A. at all costs.

    • Ex-officials demand to see CIA report
    • Some Named In Senate’s CIA Torture Report Denied Chance To Read It

      It’s the latest chapter in the drama and recriminations that have been playing out behind the scenes in connection with what some call the Senate torture report, a summary of which is being declassified and is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

      “I am outraged,” said John Rizzo, one of the former officials who was offered, and then refused, a chance to see the summary report before publication. He retired in 2009 as the CIA’s top lawyer after playing a key role in the interrogation program.

    • Former CIA Officials Furious They Can’t Review Senate Torture Report

      Several former CIA officials are outraged that the Senate withdrew its offer to allow them to read an extensive report on interrogation techniques that many of them are implicated in.

    • Senate Report on CIA Interrogations Could Be Released Next Week

      The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to publicly release — as early as next week — selected and carefully redacted portions of its 6,300 page report on controversial CIA detention, rendition, and interrogation techniques used after 9/11, several administration and intelligence officials said.

    • The Gospel vs. hysteria

      From El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, these people are coming from nations where the U.S. in the past frequently meddled in their internal affairs, often with quite negative effects.

    • Interview with US immigrants’ rights activist: “This administration has been terrible for us on many fronts”
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Chattanooga and Wilson Petition FCC to Remove Anti-Competitive Restrictions

      Chattanooga and Wilson, North Carolina, are two of the most successful municipal fiber networks by a variety of metrics, including jobs created, aggregate community savings, and more. This has led to significant demand from surrounding communities for Wilson and Chattanooga to expand. We have profiled both of them in case studies: Wilson and Chattanooga.

      [...]

      And both Sam Gustin and Karl Bode were quick to post on the matter as well. Sam wrote on Motherboard at Vice:

      In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage.

      Last week, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican who has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the cable and telecommunications industry, introduced an amendment to a key appropriations bill that would prevent the FCC from preempting such state laws. The amendment passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-200, but is unlikely to make it through the Senate.

    • Net Neutrality Astroturfing Stirs Up Conflict Between Latino/Minority Groups

      We’ve written a few times about the highly cynical astroturfing practice in Washington DC, in which certain lobbyist groups basically have “deals” with certain public interest groups. The basic deal is that the lobbyists guarantee big cash donations from their big company clients, and then the lobbyists get to write letters “on behalf of” those organizations for whatever policy they want enacted (or blocked).

  • DRM/Locking

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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