05.28.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

Posted in News Roundup at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Java Fair Game, Millennium Bug, Open Source DNA

    The top story today was the court decision in Oracle vs Google for copyright infringement. Everyone is celebrating but Oracle. In other news Phoronix.com reported today that Linus is questioning the benefits of new Y2038 patches and Bryan Lunduke said that Open Source has been in our DNA since cave painting days. The Open Source Initiative released an Open Source License API and The Document Foundation posted a video explaining The Document Liberation Project.

  • Open-source vs. Proprietary – Keeping Ideology Out of the Equation

    Most users of software sensibly employ a mixture of software tools that span open-source, closed-source, proprietary, ‘free’ and in-house. Many modern software developers also decide to use a hybrid of open-source and proprietary models within an integrated code-base. Advocating either open-source only, or commercial only, software dogmas are both narrow-minded and unhelpful in allowing the researcher or the business the freedom to deliver the best outcomes.

  • Genode OS 16.05 Adds Rust Support, Updated Device Drivers

    Genode OS 16.05 has been released, the research Opearing System Framework project that’s been making very good progress over the years and has a loyal open-source following.

    Genode OS 16.05 has a new API for implementing Genode components, improved documentation, all ported Linux kernel drivers were re-based to their state from Linux 4.4.3, added support for the Rust programming language, new ACPI features, and support for using GDB with the 64-bit version of their NOVA hypervisor.

  • Twitter open-sources Heron for real-time stream analytics

    Heron, the real-time stream-processing system Twitter devised as a replacement for Apache Storm, is finally being open-sourced after powering Twitter for more than two years.

    Twitter explained in a blog post that it created Heron because it needed more than speed and scale from its real-time stream processing framework. The company also needed easier debugging, easier deployment and management capabilities, and the ability to work well in a shared, multitenant cluster environment.

  • ONF to Release Guidelines for Deploying Secure SDN Controllers

    The Open Networking Foundation’s security working group is preparing to release guidelines for designing and deploying secure software-defined networking (SDN) controllers. The guidelines are currently in review and will be published in June, according to Sandra Scott-Hayward, vice chair of ONF’s security project.

  • What sets PatternFly apart from Bootstrap?

    Last June, Opensource.com gave readers a behind the scenes look of PatternFly, how it came to be, and why developers should know about the project. This time around, I thought it was important to hear from the people who are actually using PatternFly. This series aims to learn more about PatternFly through the eyes of the developer.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Sun, sea, and open source: How Spain’s Balearic islands are trying to turn into a tech paradise

      However, work remains to be done, especially on civil servants’ desktops. “We started by replacing MSN Office”, explains Villoslada. “Thanks to free office suite LibreOffice 5, we may overcome compatibility problems with documents coming in from different versions of MSN Office. We already have 1,000 Office licenses which are not necessary anymore, and we plan not to renew over 5,500 licenses purchased in 2007″, he adds.

    • The Document Liberation Project: What we do

      While The Document Foundation is best known for LibreOffice, it also backs the Document Liberation Project. But what exactly is that? We’ve made a short video to explain all…

  • Education

    • Using Open Source Software, Powering Potential and the Raspberry Pi Foundation Bring Technology to Schools in Tanzania

      Thanks to open source, Powering Potential and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are able to bring computers and a library of digital education content to rural schools in the East African nation of Tanzania. Recently, the Foundation funded a project now distributing Raspberry Pi computers with uploaded educational content alongside portable projectors and screens to 56 schools across the Zanzibar archipelago and two mainland regions of Tanzania. The Segal Family Foundation also provided matching funds, which enables the project to give computer training as well.

      With a five-fold increase in the number of students in the decade following 2003, the nation is struggling to provide more schools, classrooms, teachers, desks, and textbooks. Yet whenever you visit rural secondary schools in Tanzania, you will find eager girls and boys in roughly equal numbers outfitted in uniforms with ready smiles.

    • EBSCO Information Services Continues to Support Open Source Technology for Libraries

      EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) continues to provide support in advocating open source and open access. EBSCO has agreed to provide additional financial support to Koha, the world’s first full-featured, free open source Integrated Library System (ILS) that is used worldwide by more than 15,000 libraries of all types.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Study: Sweden should boost open source competence

      Sweden should bolster its competence on the use of open source and open standards in public administrations, a study for the country’s Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation recommends. Public administrations must also be required to consider switching to free and open source alternatives, when procuring ICT solutions, and justify why they continue to use proprietary software.

    • Amen! Sweden Will Prefer FLOSS
    • Italy to develop 3-year government ICT strategy

      Italy will define a three-year ICT strategy for public administrations, Antonio Samaritans, General Director of the country’s Agency for the Digitalisation of the Public Sector (Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale, AGID), announced this week. This includes the development of information systems that can be used by all public administrations, the agency announced in a statement.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • SuperTux Returns, Proprietary Open Source & More…

      Also included: Google in a TKO over Oracle, four distro releases and Microsoft’s latest trick to force Windows 10 upgrades.

    • An intro to Linux commands, the EU’s open source mathematics toolbox, and more news
    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open source wifi enabled 3D printer controller Franklin speeds up with new release

        3D printing hit the mainstream a few years ago thanks in part to the open-source 3D printer market. The origins of this transition had to do with expiring patents held by the traditionally held commercial 3D printing companies. Since then, several small businesses have sprung up around the emerging low-cost 3D printer market. Some of these companies embraced the open-source mentality, while others are seeking shelter with patents.

      • Hackaday Prize Entry: Open-Source Myoelectric Hand Prosthesis

        Hands can grab things, build things, communicate, and we control them intuitively with nothing more than a thought. To those who miss a hand, a prosthesis can be a life-changing tool for carrying out daily tasks. We are delighted to see that [Alvaro Villoslada] joined the Hackaday Prize with his contribution to advanced prosthesis technology: Dextra, the open-source myoelectric hand prosthesis.

      • BCN3D Technologies releases open source files for BCN3D Sigma 3D printer

        As our readers will know, an important part of the 3D printing community is the idea of accessibility. Of course, it is more than just an idea, as everyday makers around the world share their 3D designs and models for free, and even 3D printing companies exercise an open-source philosophy with DIY 3D printers and accessible models. Recently, Barcelona based 3D printer developer BCN3D Technologies decided to further embrace the additive manufacturing open-source philosophy with their latest initiative, Open Source 360º. As part of the initiative, the company has announced that it will share all of its engineering, design, and fabrication information used in the manufacturing of their flagship product, the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer.

      • Shellmo: Aquatic 3D printed robot for fun and education

        Recently I came across a very interesting open hardware project called Shellmo. What caught my eye was that it’s a 3D printed crustacean that seems to have no apparent real world use, though with a little creativity I can see educational implications.

        Shellmo is a unique, almost cartoon-like creatures that could captivate the imagination of children while at the same time affording them an opportunity to 3D print their own robot. With the current emphasis on STEM in education, Shellmo appears to be the kind of project that would stimulate student interest.

  • Programming/Networking

    • 10 Best Cheat Sheets That A Programmer Must Have
    • Thoughts on JSRs, TCKs, and Open Source

      In the Java EE umbrella every piece of technology is standardized under a JSR (Java Specification Request). The Expert Groups of the JSRs have to deliver the specification, a Reference Implementation, and a TCK (Technology Compatibility Kit). For most of the JSRs, the TCK is licensed as closed-source software and is not available for the public.

    • Omniscient DevOps? JFrog introduces Xray
    • Ciena Intros Blue Planet DevOps Toolkit for SDN/NFV

      The kit consists of a set of software development tools and community resources that allow operators to integrate network resources such as devices, functions, or domains (physical or virtual), as well as customize service templates, with the Blue Planet Network and Service Orchestration software.

    • Devops: A Culture or Concrete Activity?

      In traditional software development, the professionals who were responsible for building a company’s applications were referred to as development. The team that tested the applications was QA management. At this point, the program would be handed off to operations, which would then be responsible for maintenance and update management.

    • Rise of Open Cloud Architectures and Over-the-Top Network Services
    • Vodafone Demands More From NFV Vendors

      Big Communications Event — Vodafone is making significant progress towards the implementation of its Ocean virtualization strategy but is still encountering some significant challenges as it works with the vendor community on its plans.

      That was one of the key messages from the Vodafone’s head of SDN and NFV, David Amzallag, during his keynote presentation at the Big Communications Event (BCE) here this week.

    • SD-WAN Demands Different Network Monitoring

      ThousandEyes, a company that does network monitoring, says software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is making visibility more difficult, so it has created agent-to-agent tests to make it easier to pinpoint issues in both the forward and reverse paths.

Leftovers

  • Your Vote at the EU Referendum Will Determine Our Future

    The EU referendum on June 23 will be one of the most significant decisions British citizens will ever have to make. The outcome will affect how the UK is governed, national security, the economy, human rights, the environment, culture… every aspect of our lives. It will define what it means to be British and could alter this country’s relationship with the world for generations to come.

  • The BBC and British branding

    The corporation’s claims to the public and to neutrality are crucial for the British state and its power across the globe.

  • Science

    • USA Today Fail: Trump Science Column by Corporate Front Group

      USA Today fell to a new low in science and election coverage this week with a column speculating about presidential candidate Donald Trump’s science agenda, written by two members of a corporate front group that was not identified as a corporate front group.

      The column, “Would President Trump Be a Science Guy?”, was authored by Hank Campbell and Alex Berezow of the American Council on Science and Health, a group that promotes various corporate agendas via its science commentaries while secretly receiving significant funding from corporations, according to leaked documents reported by Mother Jones.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Climate Change Could Be Poisoning Your Food

      By now, it’s fairly well-established that climate change is going to be a major challenge for food production.

      Rising temperatures are set to severely damage crop yields, lessen the nutritional value of important crops, and make large portions of the planet inhospitable to crop production. And some studies argue that it won’t be easy to innovate our way out of these problems, with data suggesting that developed countries have a more difficult time maintaining yields during droughts and heat waves — two things set to increase with climate change — than developing countries.

    • Ross Eisenbrey on Overtime Pay, Patty Lovera on Monsanto Protests

      This week on CounterSpin: “Federal Regulations Work Overtime to Kill American Prosperity”—you see what they did there; that’s Reason magazine on new Labor Department rules that mean more people will get overtime pay when they, well, work overtime. We’ll get a different take from Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute.

    • For Many of Connecticut’s Disabled, Home Is Where the Harm Is

      The woman was sent to a Connecticut emergency room 19 times in 15 months. Her injuries were ghastly. She swallowed pieces of razor blades. She burned herself. She inserted pins, nails, metal can lids and other objects inside her vagina and rectum.

      She was developmentally disabled; living in a group home overseen by Connecticut state authorities. Each of her injuries should have been investigated by the state. None of them were.

      The woman’s experience is part of a federal report formally released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. Hers were among more than 300 emergency room visits examined by federal investigators between January 2012 and June 2014.

    • Stung by Yelp Reviews, Health Providers Spill Patient Secrets

      The vast majority of reviews on Yelp are positive. But in trying to respond to critical ones, some doctors, dentists and chiropractors appear to be violating the federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA.

    • Woman found to harbor infection resistant to antibiotic of last resort

      For the first time, doctors have diagnosed an American with an infection that can’t be treated with an antibiotic of last resort, an ominous development in the battle against antibiotic resistance, according to a new study.

      The antibiotic, colistin, is used when infections become impervious to all other drugs, including a class of antibiotics called carbapenems. Colistin, which was approved in the 1950s, fell out of favor in the 1970s because of its toxicity. Doctors have resumed using it when nothing else works.

      In the past six months or so, scientists have found bacteria that are resistant to colistin in more than two dozen countries, said study co-author Patrick McGann, a senior microbiologist at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Given the danger of colistin-resistant bacteria, doctors at Walter Reed decided to begin testing samples from the U.S.

    • The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.

      Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort for particularly dangerous types of superbugs, including a family of bacteria known as CRE, which health officials have dubbed “nightmare bacteria.” In some instances, these superbugs kill up to 50 percent of patients who become infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called CRE among the country’s most urgent public health threats.

    • Dreaded ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Resistant to All Antibiotics Is Finally Here

      A so-called superbug immune to all antibiotics was discovered for the first time in a person in the U.S., reports a study published Thursday in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

      The discovery “heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria,” the study’s authors warned.

    • German Cops Bust Dude Who Bought Weed on Silk Road Years Ago

      We’ve seen plenty of high profile and often technical busts on dark web sites targeting dealers, users, and administrators. In a recent case, German cops tracked down a marketplace user who placed orders for just a few grams of cannabis at a time, three years ago.

      A German user of the original Silk Road and another dark web market was recently fined over €3,000 for ordering cannabis 17 times, according to independent researcher Gwern Branwen. Branwen said in a Reddit post that the buyer contacted him recently. He also uploaded an apparent March 2016 letter from German law authorities detailing the transactions. (Names and other information have been redacted from the letter, so Motherboard was unable to contact its supposed recipient).

    • Big Pharma Sells Risky Meds We Don’t Need for Disorders It Made Up That We Don’t Have

      “Intermittent explosive disorder.” “Overactive bladder disorder.” Professional medical societies and paid drug industry researchers have loaded society up with new definitions of alleged ill health from which drug companies can profit when millions of otherwise well people are labeled as ailing.

      “In 2003 and again in 2010,” for example, write MedPage Today editor Kristina Fiore and Milwaukee Journal reporter John Fauber, “the American Diabetes Association tinkered with the definition of a condition known as prediabetes, which independent doctors say is an unneeded label that has led to overtreatment with drugs, exposing patients to risks without proof of real benefit.”

      “The changes, which twice lowered the threshold for hemoglobin A1C, increased the number of people fitting the diagnosis from 17 million to 87 million. Indeed, a March report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research estimated that 46% of Californians—13 million people—had prediabetes.”

      “A Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation found the ADA has long received more than $7 million in current annual funding. In addition, nine of the 14 experts who authored the 2010 change worked as speakers, consultants or advisers to companies that marketed diabetes medicines.”

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Judge Says The FBI Can Keep Its Hacking Tool Secret, But Not The Evidence Obtained With It

      Michaud hasn’t had the case against him dismissed, but the government will now have to rely on evidence it didn’t gain access to by using its illegal search. And there can’t be much of that, considering the FBI had no idea who Michaud was or where he resided until after the malware-that-isn’t-malware had stripped away Tor’s protections and revealed his IP address.

      The FBI really can’t blame anyone but itself for this outcome. Judge Bryan may have agreed that the FBI had good reason to keep its technique secret, but there was nothing preventing the FBI from voluntarily turning over details on its hacking tool to Michaud. But it chose not to, despite his lawyer’s assurance it would maintain as much of the FBI’s secrecy as possible while still defending his client.

      Judge Bryan found the FBI’s ex parte arguments persuasive and declared the agency could keep the info out of Michaud’s hands. But doing so meant the judicial playing field was no longer level, as he acknowledged in his written ruling. Fortunately, the court has decided it’s not going to allow the government to have its secrecy cake and eat it, too. If it wants to deploy exploits with minimal judicial oversight, then it has to realize it can’t successfully counter suppression requests with vows of silence.

    • Researcher Pockets $30,000 in Chrome Bounties

      Having cashed in earlier in May to the tune of $15,500, Mlynski pocketed another $30,000 courtesy of Google’s bug bounty program after four high-severity vulnerabilities were patched in the Chrome browser, each worth $7,500 to the white-hat hacker.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Cornel West Accuses Israeli PM Netanyahu of “War Crimes”

      Meanwhile, racial justice scholar and activist Cornel West, who is one of Bernie Sanders’ five appointees to the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee, has accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “war crimes” in the continued occupation of Palestinian territories. This comes as Netanyahu moves his government even further to the right with the addition of the right-wing nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party. Professor West and another Sanders appointee, James Zogby, are looking to incorporate opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories into the Democratic Party platform when the drafting committee meets at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

    • Risks of Citizens Suing Foreign Governments

      Well-meaning legislation would permit 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the terror attacks but the principle of individuals suing foreign governments is fraught with problems, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Peace Activist and Holocaust Survivor Hedy Epstein Dies at 91

      Holocaust survivor and peace activist Hedy Epstein has died at the age of 91. Epstein was born in Germany and left in 1939 on a Kindertransport to England. Her parents died in Auschwitz. She later returned to Germany to work as a research analyst for the prosecution during the Nuremberg trials. She was involved in civil rights and antiwar movements throughout her life. In 2011, she was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and was a passenger on the U.S.-flagged ship, The Audacity of Hope. She was a frequent guest on Democracy Now! She first appeared on the program in 2009, as she and other activists were planning for the Gaza Freedom March.

    • “I Want the World to Wake Up”: Hiroshima Survivor Criticizes Obama for Pushing New Nuclear Weapons

      Extended interview with Setsuko Thurlow, who survived the Hiroshima atomic bombing, about the bombing of 1945 and her push to eliminate nuclear weapons. On August 6, 1945, Thurlow was at school in Hiroshima when the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on a civilian population. She has been an anti-nuclear activist for decades.

    • Imperialism’s Junior Partners

      On May 12, Brazil’s democratic government, led by the Workers’ Party (PT), was the victim of a coup. What will the other BRICS countries (Russia, India, China, and South Africa) do?

      Will they stand by as the reactionaries who took power in Brasilia pivot closer to Western powers, glad to warm Dilma Rousseff’s seat at the BRICS summit in Goa, India in five months’ time? Or take a stronger line, following the lead of Latin American progressive countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador)?

      Here in South Africa, few expect Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) government to react constructively on the international stage. Making waves isn’t likely at a time when Standard & Poors and Fitch are on a South Africa visit, deciding whether to downgrade the country’s credit rating to “junk” status, as happened in Brazil late last year.

      This is a shame because the last two weeks have offered excellent opportunities for diplomatic rebellion: revelations have emerged implicating the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in assisting the apartheid state’s 1962 arrest and twenty-seven-year imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. This isn’t exactly surprising; the State Department did keep Mandela on its terrorist watch list until 2008.

    • Senator Scolds Obama for “Preaching Nuclear Temperance From a Bar Stool”

      While President Obama called for a “moral awakening” in Hiroshima and restated his ambition for a nuclear-weapon free future, back in Washington, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., criticized him for moving forward with a costly plan to renovate the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

      “The U.S. cannot preach nuclear temperance from a bar stool,” Markey wrote in a Boston Globe opinion piece.

      Obama’s Hiroshima speech was reminiscent of the one he gave in Prague, only three months into his presidency, when he announced that he would “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

      In 2010, he negotiated a treaty that limited the U.S. and Russia to 1,550 deployed, strategic nuclear weapons each.

      But that was as far as he would go. Obama is set to maintain the U.S. arsenal of 1,528 deployed warheads — almost half of which are on 30-minute alert — despite a 2013 White House assessment that he could safely reduce the U.S. arsenal by a third.

    • On President Obama’s Hiroshima Visit

      President Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima since the bombing 71 years ago in 1945.

      Japan seeks not an apology or reparation but an awareness and intimate connection to the common humanity we all share and that is at once threatened by the continued existence of nuclear weapons.

      Any nation that continues to keep these weapons is not more secure or powerful but rather a bully ready to threaten others and indeed themselves.

    • Defending Israel’s Attacks on Civilians—A Harbinger for Clinton’s Presidency?

      Going well beyond the normal “pro-Israel” rhetoric expected of American politicians, she has defended Israeli attacks on heavily-populated civilian areas as legitimate self-defense against terrorism, even in cases where the Obama administration and members of Congress—including Sanders—have raised objections.

      Her statements raise serious questions as to what kind of rules of engagement she would support for U.S. forces in the “War on Terror.”

    • The Brazilian Coup and Washington’s “Rollback” in Latin America

      It is clear that the executive branch of the U.S. government favors the coup underway in Brazil, even though they have been careful to avoid any explicit endorsement of it. Exhibit A was the meeting between Tom Shannon, the 3rd ranking U.S. State Department official and the one who is almost certainly in charge of handling this situation, with Senator Aloysio Nunes, one of the leaders of the impeachment in the Brazilian Senate, on April 20. By holding this meeting just three days after the Brazilian lower house voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, Shannon was sending a signal to governments and diplomats throughout the region and the world that Washington is more than ok with the impeachment. Nunes returned the favor this week by leading an effort (he is chair of the Brazilian Senate Foreign Relations Committee) to suspend Venezuela from Mercosur, the South American trade bloc.

    • Silencing America as it prepares for war

      Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

      The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America’s victims in faraway places.

      “We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don’t you forget it.” So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.

      The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, “Which side did you fight on?”

    • Washington Uses US Troops As Lab Rats

      Civilians, not soldiers, are always the vast majority of war’s casualties. People die not for freedom and democracy but in order for armaments manufacturers to make large fortunes. General Smedley Butler said that his US Marines died for the sake of the profits of the United Fruit Company and some lousy bank investment—truth that you never hear on Memorial Day or July 4th.

    • Ticking Closer to Nuclear Midnight

      President Obama embraced Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, but his policies, such as heightening tensions with Russia, have raised the potential for a far worse nuclear catastrophe, explains Jonathan Marshall.

    • During Historic Hiroshima Visit, Obama Didn’t Apologize, but Here’s What He Could’ve Said

      With President Obama’s historic visit Friday to Hiroshima, he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Japanese city that was the target (some might say victim) of the first atomic bombing, in August 1945. Many Japanese, and most people in the world, consider Hiroshima to be a milestone in human history, a chilling symbol of how science and technology, capable of such creativity and creation, can also deliver terrible forms of destruction and cruelty. Of course, the bar for his speech, at the city’s Peace Memorial Park, was set very high.

    • NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes

      Liberals and left-leaning individuals in the U.S. trust NPR more than any other news outlet. And, I certainly consume NPR news more than any other mainstream source, usually listening to it at least twice daily, though I abhor its coverage of international events. For these reasons, and with the reader’s forbearance, I have chosen to single NPR out to look at how we in the U.S. are collectively misled into ignoring or accepting our own government’s atrocities.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The New State Department Report on Hillary’s Email, and Why it Matters

      The State Department Inspector General’s (IG) investigation report leaked out a day early on May 25 makes a number of significant points. These matter, and need to be considered by anyone voting in November.

      [...]

      The other shoe has yet to drop. Though the Inspectors General from the intelligence community have stated unequivocally that Clinton did handle highly classified material on her unsecured server, the FBI report on the same matter has not yet been released.

      For those who wish to defend Clinton with the “but everybody did it” argument, Condoleezza Rice did not send any emails on any unsecured system at all. Powell and Albright sent a handful in the early days of the web. All of them cooperated in the State IG investigation. None of them ran a fully private system for four years and most importantly, none of them are asking us to trust them now running for president.

      If your support is whittle down to a sad Hillary is down to “well, she’s not Trump,” do be careful what you wish for. She’s not Trump, but she is all of the above.

      [...]

      BONUS: If Bernie Sanders will not discuss any of this publically, he does not want to be president.

    • Did the Clinton Email Server Have an Internet-Based Printer?

      The Associated Press today points to a remarkable footnote in a recent State Department inspector general report on the Hillary Clinton email scandal: The mail was managed from the vanity domain “clintonemail.com.” But here’s a potentially more explosive finding: A review of the historic domain registration records for that domain indicates that whoever built the private email server for the Clintons also had the not-so-bright idea of connecting it to an Internet-based printer.

    • MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi: It Feels Like Hillary Clinton ‘Is Lying Straight Out’

      MSNBC hosts and analysts severely and unanimously criticized Hillary Clinton on Thursday after the Obama-appointed inspector general of the State Department that she once led published a damning report contradicting her repeated claims that she was allowed to conduct official correspondence on a private email server.

      The rebuke is remarkable because with a few exceptions MSNBC has treated Clinton favorably in the 2016 primaries.

      “I really don’t want to be the one delivering this, but I’ve got to tell you, this is really hard to believe. It feels like she’s lying straight out,” host Mika Brzezinski said in a discussion on “Morning Joe.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • G7 Wants to Kill Fossil Fuel Subsidies by 2025, But We Could Do It ‘Twice as Fast’

      For the first time, the G7 has set an actual deadline for ending massive fossil fuel subsidies: the year 2025.

      But while it’s great to “finally have an endgame for these perverse incentives,” as Overseas Development Institute research fellow Shelagh Whitley wrote on Friday, “we could easily get there twice as fast.

    • In Oil-Soaked Niger Delta, ‘Avengers’ Bombing Pipelines in Struggle for Compensation

      In the oil-rich Niger delta, where communities suffer “enormous” effects from decades of spills, a militant group claiming responsibility for a spate of attacks on oil infrastructure now appears to have the backing of some community members.

      The group, Niger Delta Avengers, whose links and sponsors are unclear, said it was responsible for blowing up Chevron’s main electricity power line, which grounded the oil giant’s activities in Nigeria, the company said Thursday, while another attack on a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline took place late Thursday.

      The Avengers, the Guardian reports, “say they are fighting to protect the environment and to win locals a bigger share of the profits.”

    • Hillary Clinton Tried to Push Fracking on Other Nations When She Was Secretary of State, New Emails Reveal

      Emails obtained by The Intercept from the State Department reveal new details of Hillary Clinton’s behind-the-scenes efforts to export fracking—a method of extracting oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits—to foreign countries during her tenure as Secretary of State. The emails, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, could be particularly damning in light of Clinton’s recent attempts to ally herself with the anti-fracking movement.

    • Fox’s Special Report Claims Scientific Consensus On Climate Change Is “Subject Of Vigorous Debate”
    • Greenwashing or Progress? Exxon Shareholders Issue Calls for Climate Accountability

      At ExxonMobil’s annual shareholder meeting in Dallas this week, activist shareholders and investors demanded the company own up to its deceptive practices regarding climate disruption and begin to implement adaptations and regulations to mitigate climate disruption’s impacts.

    • Exxon investors aim to force reckoning with impact of climate change policies

      Group of largest shareholders will vote for resolution calling on firm to publish annual assessment of business impact of policies such as Paris Agreement

    • New Team Trying to Stop Another Year of Massive Indonesian Wildfires

      Indonesian organizations are teaming up for the massive task of preventing forest and ground fires that blanket the region in haze every year during the dry season.

      Last year, fires in the peatland forest of Sumatra and Kalimantan created an environmental crisis due to an extended drought and El Nino weather conditions.

      In Palangkaraya, the Central Kalimantan capital, the haze was so bad schools and businesses closed and thousands suffered respiratory and eye problems.

    • Australia’s Removal From UN Climate Change Report Labelled ‘Scientific Censorship’
    • Censorship of UN climate report to edit out Great Barrier Reef leaves questions for Hunt
    • Australia cut from UN report on climate threat to avoid damaging reef tourism
    • Coalition’s great big climate hoax turns to outright denial

      The far right of the Coalition has maintained enormous ideological discipline to insist – in the face of ever mounting evidence to the contrary – that climate science is a giant hoax.

      That climate denial – still evident in most of the conservative rump of the party, even if Barnaby Joyce now wonders if “climate change might be real” after staring at a dry creek bed on his family property – has now seeped through to everyday government.

      Two events this week highlight how this ideological intransigence retains its hold over the Turnbull administration.

    • Aust pressure gets reef cut from UN report

      Australia has pressured a United Nations agency into removing the Great Barrier Reef from a report detailing climate change risks on world heritage sites.

      That’s despite mass bleaching at the world’s largest coral reef, which scientists strongly link to global warming.

      Australia is not mentioned in the 87-page UNESCO report that lists other sites in the Asia-Pacific region and which says coral reefs are “particularly vulnerable” to climate change.

    • Stonehenge and Statue of Liberty ‘in direct and immediate danger’ from climate change

      Some of the world’s most famous heritage sites – from the Statue of Liberty and Venice to the Galapagos Islands – are threatened by climate change , a report has warned.

    • Solar Surges: Renewable Energy Jobs Topped 8 Million in 2015

      On the heels of clean fuel milestones in Germany and Portugal , a new report finds that the renewable energy industry employed over 8.1 million people worldwide in 2015.

      According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) annual review, that figure marks a 5% increase from the previous year. China led the pack, accounting for 3.5 million jobs. Brazil and U.S. ranked second and third, respectively, for the highest number of renewable energy jobs.

    • Sanders, Warren Blast Republican Efforts to Derail #ExxonKnew Probe

      Republican efforts to stifle any federal inquiry involving climate change should be considered “Exhibit A among the reasons why the Department of Justice should take a full and honest look at possible fraud in the fossil fuel industry’s climate denial operation,” leading progressive senators said Thursday in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

      The letter from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) provides a counterpoint to a separate missive (pdf) issued Wednesday by five Republican senators including Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

      That letter called on Lynch to drop any federal investigations into whether oil companies like ExxonMobil committed fraud when they worked to downplay the science and impact of climate change. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has suggested it is considering such a probe.

    • Climate damage threatens heritage sites

      Scientists warn that some of the jewels in the crown of the world’s natural and man-made treasures face decay and destruction because of climate change.

    • UN World Heritage Sites Imperiled by Climate Change, New Report Warns

      From the city of Venice to the Statue of Liberty, dozens of natural and cultural World Heritage sites in 29 countries are under direct threat from climate change, warns a shocking new report from UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

    • Arizona’s Getting Hotter, But State Leaders Oppose Solutions

      On average, 2,000 Arizonans visit the emergency room because of heat-related illnesses every year. Unfortunately, things are likely to get worse because it’s only getting hotter. This April was just named the hottest on record, making it the 12th consecutive month to break a temperature record. Last year was named the hottest year on record, and at this pace 2016 is set to top it. This week, the Obama administration recognized Extreme Heat Week — something Arizonans have become well-acquainted with in recent years.

  • Finance

    • Yanis Varoufakis talks about Privatization, Human Rights & Capitalism with acTVism Munich

      In this interview with the former finance minister of Greece and founder of DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), Yanis Varoufakis, a host of issues are discussed which include privatization, human rights, media, his experience with the EU and capitalism’s ability to reform.

    • The leaning tower of TISA

      The news out of Geneva on Thursday is that multiple countries participating in the Trade in Services Agreement aren’t happy with the European Union. At a meeting where the EU presented its latest market offer, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Colombia, Peru, Australia and New Zealand all complained about the level of market access the EU is offering, according to senior officials involved with the talks.

    • Twitter loses two more top execs, reportedly dissolves commerce division
    • Two Top Execs Leaving Twitter
    • America’s Worst Laid Plans

      The U.S. government seeks to impose neo-liberal economics on the world even though those “free-market” policies funnel global wealth to a tiny fraction at the top, cause widespread despair and spark political turmoil, Michael Brenner explains.

    • Protests Intensify, Spread Across France as Workers Refuse Submission

      Amid ongoing blockades and intensifying clashes with police, protests against President François Hollande’s controversial set of labor reforms deepened on Thursday as workers in France’s nuclear plants joined the hundreds of thousands of people taking part in a nationwide strike.

      Fueled by “a groundswell of public anger,” as the Associated Press put it, the strikes have already shut down France’s gas stations forced the country to dip into reserve petrol supplies.

      “After oil refinery shutdowns, ” Euronews reports, “Thursday’s strikes at nuclear sites have taken the stand-off one stage further. Power cuts are not expected but tension is growing as France prepares to host the Euro 2016 football tournament in two weeks time.”

    • In Nine Democratic Debates, Not a Single Question About Poverty

      Over 45 million Americans live in poverty—but you wouldn’t think potential leaders of the country are expected to know or care anything about this, listening to the questions asked by the elite journalists who moderated the Democratic debates this primary season.

      A FAIR analysis of all nine democratic debates over the past seven months shows that not one question was asked about poverty. By contrast, 30 questions were asked about ISIS or terrorism (almost half of them concentrated in the December 19 debate, which took place days after the San Bernardino shootings) and 11 questions were asked Russia. Ten questions were asked about socialism or communism, all of which were directed at Bernie Sanders.

      The candidates themselves have brought up poverty, either in their prepared remarks or in response to more abstract questions about the economy. Sanders brought up poverty in all but two debates, broaching the topic 12 times, or approximately 1.3 times per debate. Clinton brought up the issue five times in total, or a little more than once every other debate.

    • Wells Fargo Sponsorship of Black Lives Matter Panel Draws Scorn

      Wells Fargo’s sordid practice of steering minorities into exploitative mortgages burst into public view after the housing crash in 2008. But to a black business group the bank has partnered with — by donating nearly half a million dollars — it’s ancient history.

    • ‘On Like Donkey Kong’: How a Dubious Super PAC Boosted a Questionable Penny Stock

      A little more than a year ago, Hillary Clinton’s imminent entry into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination was setting off political and financial ripples around the country. One of the most unlikely was a spike in the stock price of an obscure Las Vegas company that once built tables for beer pong.

      The company, CrossClick Media, had been issuing press releases for months, saying it had won a contract to run call centers and other services for a super PAC called Voters for Hillary. Getting hired by the PAC was “a milestone” for CrossClick and would lead to growing revenue “predicated largely on Ms. Clinton becoming a Presidential candidate and the Company pursuing other clients for our services,” the firm’s chief executive had declared in December 2014.

      Excited posts about CrossClick’s bright future started filling Internet message boards popular with investors in so-called penny stocks, which, like CrossClick, trade for less than five dollars per share.

      “Soon the 1st lady announces her candidacy and it’s on like Donkey Kong,” read a comment posted March 28, 2015, on a site called InvestorsHub. “Hope you have some shares :)”

      Days after Clinton announced, a person with the same user name wrote, “We are in the midst of our biggest gain day yet. You’re close to changing your life, so hang tight! XCLK is the new hot riser!”

    • Even the IMF—the IMF!—Turns on Neoliberalism

      New paper by three IMF economists finds that policies of capital account liberalization and austerity fuel inequality, which in turn hurts growth—”the very thing that the neoliberal agenda is intent on boosting.”

    • Hillary Clinton Won’t Say How Much Goldman Sachs CEO Invested With Her Son-in-Law

      When Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law sought funding for his new hedge fund in 2011, he found financial backing from one of the biggest names on Wall Street: Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

      The fund, called Eaglevale Partners, was founded by Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, and two of his partners. Blankfein not only personally invested in the fund, but allowed his association with it to be used in the fund’s marketing.

    • Emails Show TPP ‘Collusion’ Between Big Banks & Obama Administration

      A series of emails released Friday show what activists describe as “collusion” between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Wall Street executives to push for the passage the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

      The emails (pdf), obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the group Rootstrikers, which organizes against money in politics, include a message to Froman from a managing director at Goldman Sachs urging him to push for “robust commitments” on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions—which allow private corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profits—to be included in the divisive trade deal.

      “I wanted to underscore how important it is for the financial services industry to get robust commitments on ISDS in the agreement… denying our industry the same rights as enjoyed by every other sector would be terribly unfortunate,” the email states.

      Another mentions it would be “good for the U.S.” if lawmakers in U.S. Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “fast track,” which would allow the president to send trade deals to the House and Senate for a yes-or-no vote, rather than allowing them to make amendments to the agreements.

    • Economic Update: Listen, Professor Krugman

      This episode discusses ride-share companies, the latest from the pope and evidence against Professor Paul Krugman’s rosy view of inequality. We also examine why markets shouldn’t undermine a co-op-based economy, and European leaders’ failed policies on Greece.

    • Sanders Has Always Wanted to Debate Trump—or Any Other Representative of the ‘Billionaire Class’

      Bernie Sanders relishes ripping on Donald Trump, describing the billionaire as “someone who must never become president of this country.”

      No surprise there.

      Sanders has run his entire 2016 presidential campaign in opposition to plutocracy, oligarchy, and billionaire-dominated politics—proudly declaring that his run is paid for by small donors and “not the billionaires.” In fact, Sanders has run his entire political career in opposition to plutocracy, oligarchy, and billionaire-dominated politics. He has, as well, spent decades critiquing a media system that pays more attention to “lifestyles of the rich and famous” celebrity than the real-world issues facing working-class Americans. That’s made Trump, a billionaire byproduct of the media’s cult of celebrity, a preferred target for the senator, who rips the Republican’s rhetoric as “shameful” and complains that “every day he comes up with another stupid remark, absurd remarks.”

    • After Six-Week Strike, Verizon Workers Claim Major Victory as Deal Reached

      After a nearly six-week strike, Verizon workers are celebrating a huge victory on Friday after a deal was reached in principle with the telecom giant that will bring gains for union members and end one of the nation’s largest work stoppages in recent history.

      The deal, announced Friday afternoon by U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, reportedly includes a four-year contract between Verizon and its two biggest unions, CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary’s Gun Gambit

      In their view, and in the view of “liberal” corporate media, Bernie Sanders and the masses of people his campaign has mobilized are merely nuisances, not worth taking seriously. They livened up the primary season for a while, but now they are pointlessly standing in the way of the Queen’s coronation.

    • All Donald Trump’s Men

      Donald Trump claims to fight for the little guy against a rigged system, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has turned to political operatives who have scammed money for the rich and powerful, says Michael Winship.

    • Clinton Clinches Democratic Nomination

      MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has revealed that the major television networks plan to call the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton during the day on June 7th — hours prior to the close of polls in California — on the grounds that Clinton has “clinched” the nomination as soon as she crosses the 2,383-delegate threshold via both pledged delegates (who are already committed to her) and super-delegates (who cannot, by Democratic Party rules, commit themselves to her or be tallied until July 25th).

      In other words, as recently indicated by Mark Murray, NBC’s Senior Editor for Politics, the networks will make the news on June 7th rather than report it — as, per the Democratic National Committee, the final and indeed only authority on the tabulation of super-delegates, Clinton cannot clinch the nomination on June 7th unless she wins 78.3 percent of the pledged delegates on that date.

      Which she won’t.

      No more than Sanders will get 70 percent of the pledged delegates on June 7th.

    • Bernie Sanders supporters sue to have California’s voter registration extended until election day

      A federal lawsuit alleging widespread confusion over California’s presidential primary rules asks that voter registration be extended past Monday’s deadline until the day of the state’s primary election on June 7.

      “Mistakes are being made,” said William Simpich, an Oakland civil rights attorney who filed the lawsuit Friday.

    • Bernie Sanders Supporters Sue Over California’s Voter Registration Rules

      William Simpich, an Oakland civil rights attorney, told the L.A. Times, “Mistakes are being made.” As RT notes, there are more than 4.1 million California voters who are registered without a party preference—and it has been shown that independent voters lean toward Sanders.

    • The Arrogant Ignorance of Campbell Brown: Education Journalism in Decline

      TV Networks such as NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo have broadcast various education segments on “Nightly News” and “Today” underwritten by Bill Gates and Eli Broad.

      The Education Writers Association – which boasts more than 3,00 members – receives money from Gates and Walton. The L.A. Times receives funds from Broad for its Education Matters Digital initiative.

      On-line publications also have been infiltrated. The Education Post took $12 million in start-up funds provided by Broad, Bloomberg and the Waltons. The site focuses on “K-12 academic standards, high-quality charter schools and how best to hold teachers and schools accountable for educating students,” according to the Washington Post.

      Even well-respected education blogs including Chalkbeat and Education Week are funded in part by the Waltons (in the latter case, specifically for “coverage of school choice and [so-called] parent-empowerment issues.”) Education Week even tweets out paid advertisements for Teach for America as if they were news stories!

      We’ve all seen “Waiting for Superman,” the infamous union bashing, charter loving propaganda film packaged as a documentary. Its popularity was helped with outreach and engagement funds by the Waltons and a host of other privatizers. It’s far from the only effort by market-driven billionaires to infiltrate popular culture with corporate education reform. They tried to sell the parent trigger law with “Won’t Back Down,” but no one was buying. Efforts continue in Marvel Studios television shows.

      A plethora of teachers, academics and other grassroots bloggers have taken to the Internet to correct the record. But they are often ignored or drowned out by the white noise of the same corporate education reform narratives being told again-and-again without any firm footing in reality. In fact, after blogger and former teacher Anthony Cody won first prize from the Education Writers Association in 2014 for his criticism of Gates, the organization banned bloggers from subsequent consideration.

    • Donald Trump: Caligula of the Lowest Common Denominator Empire?

      If this awful parody of democracy was not tragic for Americans, it would be rather comical. In early December 2010 I wrote a commentary entitled “The US Empire is Collapsing, and Americans Will Be the Last to Know.” In 2016, in the extremely unlikely case Trump gets (s)elected, could he be the Caligula of the new Rome? Even though the process has gained momentum, Americans still do not know that their empire is doomed. They do not know that the United States of America is not a democracy with the Democrats on one side and the Republicans on the other side, but instead a global empire run by oligarchs and plutocrats; most do not know that Bill and Hillary Clinton are good friends with Donald Trump; they do not know that almost all of politicians elected for office are not public servants, but instead are working of the behalf of worldwide corporate interests; Americans do not know that they have been conned for almost four decades into the notion that their vote matters; they do not know that the so called “leader of the free world” is not much more than an anchor man with a law degree reading a teleprompter; they do not know that he doesn’t lead anything, but he is instead the global corporate spokesperson of their enslavement; they refuse to know that they not only live but actively export a police state which still prints on its currency, In God We Trust; they do not know that the corporate empire of chaos, whomever its figurehead is, is joyfully leading us all to oblivion.

    • Advice for Divided Democrats

      It’s true that Bernie’s chances are slim, but it’s inaccurate to say he has no chance. If you consider only pledged delegates, who have been selected in caucuses and primaries, he’s not all that far behind Hillary Clinton. And the upcoming primary in California – the nation’s most populous state – could possibly alter Sanders’s and Clinton’s relative tallies.

    • Bernie and Utopia

      Bernie’s got flaws, no doubt. For instance, he shouldn’t talk about breaking up the banks; he should talk about nationalizing them. And he should talk about nationalizing (or, better yet, internationalizing) more than just that – not to mention debt amnesty. In spite of these shortcomings, however, he’s the only presidential candidate who could, however slightly, help the U.S.A. to clean up its act. Sure, Sanders most likely won’t be able to get much accomplished. At least, though, he’d prevent Clinton or Trump from accomplishing their maniacal plans. And just doing that would help the U.S.A. to clean up its act – even though what we really need is for the U.S.A. to change its act altogether.

    • Sanders Closes in on Clinton Ahead of California Primary

      The timing couldn’t be worse for Clinton, who is losing ground in hypothetical match-ups against the presumed Republican nominee. A Real Clear Politics general election poll from May 24 shows Clinton eking out a win against Trump 43.2 to 42.8. The same poll has Sanders beating Trump by over 10 points.

    • As Sanders Campaigns in California to Change the Democratic Party, How Far Can He Push It?

      Can Bernie Sanders change the Democratic Party from the inside out? Several campaign developments this week have posed that question. The Sanders campaign’s latest TV ad before California’s June 7 primary features Sanders asking, “What choice do Californians have in this election?” His reply, “The biggest one of all. You have the power to choose a new direction for the Democratic Party.”

    • Like Clinton, Trump Chickens Out of Debate with Sanders

      Looks like Donald Trump took a page from Hillary Clinton’s book and chickened out.

      The presumptive GOP presidential nominee said Friday afternoon that he would not debate Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, despite having said one day prior that he’d “love to debate Bernie.”

      Sanders’ rival for the Democratic nomination said earlier this week that she would not participate in a debate with Sanders in California ahead of that state’s primary next month, despite having agreed to do so previously.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • New York City has been shining surveillance lights on its black population for the last 300 years

      There are more than 250,000 streetlights in New York City, and while the recent change to LED bulbs have made them a nuisance for some residents, they don’t make the people whose windows they illuminate feel watched. But some residents of the city’s public housing have recently had to deal with a harsher light shining on them.

    • A Big Win for Women Who Seek Care at Catholic Hospitals in Illinois

      Illinois passes a bill to protect women at religious hospitals that routinely deny care.

    • Heads Up Internet: Time to Kill Another Dangerous CFAA Bill

      The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the federal “anti-hacking” statute, is long overdue for reform. The 1986 law—which was prompted in part by fear generated by the 1983 techno­thriller WarGames—is vague, draconian, and notoriously out of touch with how we use computers today. Unfortunately, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Lindsey Graham are on a mission to make things worse. They’ve proposed (for the second time) legislation that fails to address any of the CFAA’s problems while simply creating more confusion. And they may try to sneak their proposal through as an amendment to the Email Privacy Act—the very same sneaky tactic they tried last year.

      Their latest proposal is ostensibly directed at stopping botnets. It’s even named it the “Botnet Prevention Act of 2016.” But the bill includes various provisions that go far beyond protecting against attacks by zombie computers:

      First, the bill would expand the CFAA’s existing prohibition against selling passwords to trafficking in any “means of access.” The broadening is unnecessary and misguided, as other statutes—like the U.S. code section concerned fraud in connection with access devices—already cover what the authors seem to be targeting. The bill also doesn’t define “means of access,” another sign of its poor drafting. With no guidance, it’s unclear how broadly prosecutors or courts will apply this provision. The provision could make criminals of paid researchers who test access in order to identify, disclose, and fix vulnerabilities.

    • Official RNC Protest Rules Designed to Stifle Demonstrators, Groups Say

      The city of Cleveland’s rules for the Republican National Convention (RNC), released Wednesday, are “unacceptable and far too restrictive,” according to advocacy groups and protest organizers.

      The convention, which runs July 18-21, is expected to attract scores of protesters. For example, a coalition of social justice groups is organizing a large End Poverty Now march for July 18, and a political action group founded by American Muslim doctors and young professionals in the Midwest, Stand Together Against Trump (STAT), is planning for a 10,000-person march and rally in downtown Cleveland on July 21—the day Donald Trump is expected to formally accept the party’s nomination after surpassing the necessary delegates on Thursday.

      According to the Washington Post, “there are at least 10 applications on file for major parades, protests, and news conferences beginning the week before the convention.”

      Politico reports: “The planners of those events insist they’re taking precautions to encourage nonviolence, but some fear that the strong feelings Trump engenders among supporters and detractors alike will create a combustible atmosphere.”

    • California Supreme Court Overturns Murder Conviction Based on Flawed Bite-Mark Evidence

      In a unanimous ruling released Thursday, the California Supreme Court overturned the 1997 conviction of Bill Richards for the murder of his wife, Pamela, finding that false forensic testimony had impacted the outcome of his trial. “Needless to say, we are thrilled,” said Richards’s attorney Jan Stiglitz, a founder of the California Innocence Project, which has represented Richards for the last 15 years. “It’s been a long time coming.”

      Richards’s controversial conviction for Pamela’s grisly 1993 murder has long been considered a clear case of wrongful conviction that was based on the discredited science of bite-mark analysis. Indeed, it took the state four attempts to convict Richards — two full trials ended in a hung jury and a third ended in a mistrial during jury selection — and prosecutors were successful only after putting on the stand a legendary forensic dentist who testified that Richards’s highly unique lower dentition was a match for a bite mark found on Pamela’s hand. The dentist, Norman “Skip” Sperber, told the jury that based on his 40-plus years in the field, he could say that out of 100 people, only “one or two or less” would have the same “unique feature” in their lower teeth.

    • Robert Scheer and Sandy Tolan Confront the Grimness of Life in the West Bank

      In this week’s edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig editor in chief Robert Scheer speaks to Sandy Tolan, a University of Southern California professor of journalism and author of the book “Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land,” about music’s role in the life of children in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the lack of media coverage of the grim daily reality there.

    • Detroit police accused of needlessly killing dogs while searching house

      They came to serve a warrant on a suspected drug house, but what a lawsuit filed in federal court claims is Detroit police officers systematically shot and killed three family pets.

      When police came to serve the warrant at a home on Sussex Street on Detroit’s west side, the owner claims she told them there were dogs in the house and she would put them away.

    • Consumers believe they have more rights than they really do in digital media

      ownershipTo buy or to license? That is the question that’s stumped a lot of e-book and other digital media consumers over the years, recently culminating in an author’s lawsuit against Simon & Schuster over sales versus licensing revenue. But just how badly has it stumped consumers? A pair of law school researchers undertook to find out, and the 60-page report on their study is fascinating reading.

    • Rare Media Interest in Native American Views–on Behalf of Indian Mascots

      It’s naturally worth listening to a range of Native American people, but that happens so rarely in media that an instance like this merits some scrutiny. For some, the word to describe these results would not be the one the Post chose—”unambiguous.”

      Jaqueline Keeler noted in The Nation (5/25/16) that more than half of respondents were over 50, when Native Americans have a median age of 26—or some 10 years younger than the general US population. The Post says they weighted the results numerically, but those were still the comments reflected in the report. No respondents were under 18, and that might be justified methodologically—you need to follow certain protocols to interview minors—but it does leave a hole in the data’s meaning, given that it leaves out the Native American students attending the 2,000 high schools in the US that use Native Americans as mascots, and that the White House has reported face discrimination connected to it.

    • ‘Has Our Country Gone Just Mad?’

      Michael Ratner, who passed away last week at the age of 72, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, investigated, defended and spoke up for victims of human rights abuses around the world. He didn’t inspire hundreds of lawyers because he won cases, but because he saw law as an instrument of justice.

      Ratner brought the first challenge under the War Powers Resolution Act to the use of US troops in El Salvador, he prosecuted US officials on behalf of Nicaraguans murdered by the Contras, and he made CCR the first human rights organization to stand up for the rights of detainees at Guantánamo Bay. His work will live on.

      Here’s Michael Ratner interviewed by CounterSpin’s Steve Rendall in November 2004 on the occasion of Alberto Gonzales’ nomination to be US Attorney General.

    • Virginia Cabbie Faces 48 Years in Prison After Driving Aspiring Terrorist To Airport

      A federal grand jury charged a 26-year old Virginia taxi driver with helping provide support for terrorists after he transported one of his associates, a would-be member of Islamic State, 90 minutes to the airport.

      The cabbie, Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan, was also charged with making false statements to federal agents. He faces up to 48 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines — more than twice the maximum of 20 years faced by the budding terrorist he transported.

    • David Cameron Says He Would Welcome Trump To UK

      But Senate Republicans aren’t the only people in the world walking back their criticisms of the man now confirmed as the Republican Presidential candidate. Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who previously called Trump “stupid”, said he would welcome Trump should he visit the UK during the run up to the presidential elections. While that is a far cry from an endorsement, it is a shift in position after Cameron responded to Trump’s proposed Muslim-ban by saying that Trump would “unite us all against him.”

    • ‘What Happens to These Hundreds of Thousands of People That Are Being Deported?’

      Disturbing words from a young woman explaining to Al Jazeera why she made the perilous trip from El Salvador to the US. After being kidnapped and assaulted at age 16 by armed men, she became one of tens of thousands of children coming into the US without a guardian from the three Central American countries—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—known as the Northern Triangle. Most are fleeing a level of violence that’s hard to fathom, but the Obama administration is stepping up raids and deportations, which officials tell the New York Times are aimed mainly at Central American mothers and children.

    • EU Turns to Sudan’s Wanted War Criminal to Stop Flow of Migrants from Africa

      Explosive classified documents obtained by German reporters show that the EU is working out a plan to fund the construction of detention centers and provide refugee processing equipment to various African countries, including Sudan, in an effort to stem the flow of migrants from Africa to Europe.

    • “Civil Disobedience is Survival”: Ireri Carrasco Sues Obama Admin for Denying Her DACA over Protests

      In Chicago, a migrant justice activist is suing the Department of Homeland Security for refusing to renew her DACA protection because of her activism. Twenty-nine-year-old Ireri Unzueta Carrasco received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status in 2013. DACA is the Obama administration’s program shielding some undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children from deportation if they meet certain conditions. Even though Unzueta Carrasco says she met those conditions, the Department of Homeland Security denied her DACA renewal because of her participation in acts of civil disobedience aimed at pressuring the Obama administration to halt its record deportations. We’re joined by Ireri Unzueta Carrasco.

    • Prevent ISPs From Following Your Ev

      Blasting a military that continues to act with impunity and a willfully blind judiciary that continues to serve as “the Occupation’s fig leaf,” Israel’s foremost human rights organization B’Tselem has declared that “there is no longer any point” in seeking justice for Palestinians through complaints to military courts they long hoped would serve as “a path to accountability.” The decision to stop cooperating with an intransigent military judicial system is the latest sign – along with the appointment of uber-hawk defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and the growing power of zealous settlers – that Israel is still moving inexorably toward its most right-wing incarnation ever.

    • New York City Homeless Take Action Against Police Efforts To Break Up Their Communities

      Last summer, the New York Police Department (NYPD) began a concerted effort to target a growing community of homeless people living on the streets of East Harlem, issuing “move along” orders and threatening arrest, tickets, or the destruction of their property if they didn’t comply. Now the homeless and advocates are fighting back against the practice.

    • In Memory of Michael Mariotte—Activist, Journalist, Musician

      Long-time anti-nuclear activist, journalist and punk rock drummer Michael Mariotte died May 16 at the age of 63 in his home in Kensington, Md., after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Mariotte was executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) in Takoma Park, Md., for 27 years. Under Mariotte’s leadership NIRS became a key information resource for anti-nuclear activists around the world.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Millions Annoyed As Frontier Bungles Acquisition of Verizon Customers Across Three States

      In February of last year, Frontier Communications announced it would be buying Verizon’s unwanted fiber (FiOS), DSL, and phone customers in Florida, Texas, and California for $10.5 billion. The deal was yet another chapter in Verizon’s effort to give up on fixed-line networks it no longer wanted to upgrade, as it focused on more profitable (read: usage capped) wireless service. The deal was, as Frontier’s CEO stated at the time, a “natural evolution for our company and leverages our proven skills and established track record from previous integrations.”

    • Secret New Internet Rules in the Trade in Services Agreement

      This week new materials from the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) were released by Wikileaks, revealing that negotiators from around the world have been continuing to craft new rules that will affect all Internet users, without public scrutiny or consultation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Doesn’t Mean Unlimited Control

        True competition could finally come to the market for TV set-top boxes thanks to a new set of proposed rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Under the FCC’s “Unlock the Box” rule, you’ll be able to use a device from any manufacturer to connect to your cable or satellite TV service.

        Disappointingly—but not surprisingly—the cable industry has not responded well. Cable and satellite providers’ comments on the proposed rule have followed a predictable pattern: cable operators and their TV studio subsidiaries think that copyright law affords them complete control over the devices that we use to consume their content.

      • Star Trek Fan Film Axanar Lawyers Tell Court About JJ Abrams Claims Of Paramount Dropping Suit, Express Confusion

        Over the weekend, the internet blew up over the story that Paramount and CBS were going to drop their silly lawsuit over a professional looking Star Trek fan film. The news was “broken” by the producer of the next official Star Trek film, JJ Abrams, sitting alongside the director of that film, Justin Lin, at a Star Trek fan event. Lin had previously expressed support for the fan film on Twitter, and Abrams claimed that Lin urged Paramount to settle, and that “within a few weeks” there would be an announcement that the case had been settled.

        Of course, between now and “within a few weeks,” the case is still going on… and the folks behind the fan film, called Axanar, had to file their reply to the amended complaint. And they have. And, as per usual with these things, it goes through and rebuts various claims and then tosses in a bunch of counterclaims. Normally we’d go through and analyze the more interesting/important claims, but given that there’s still a pretty good chance the whole case is going away shortly, we’ll skip all that and jump to the part where Axanar’s lawyers point to the JJ Abrams/Justin Lin statements and basically throw their hands in the air and say “we don’t know what to do about this.”

      • The life and death of the PRINCE Bill

        The recent passing of Prince left many fans in mourning and potential heirs clambering for a piece of his estate. The singer, who died intestate, left behind a wealth of copyright protected works. His right to publicity, however, did not survive him, as the common law right in Minnesota, where Prince was domiciled, only applies to the living.

        The Minnesota State Legislature hastily attempted to pass a bill to change this, by creating a post-mortem right of publicity. On May 9, the Bill, entitled Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act, was put forward, two weeks before the end of the Legislature’s session on May 23. The bill was subsequently pulled amid concerns that it was not properly thought out and could have unintended consequences, but this Kat commends the carefully created name.

      • Critics Pounce on Proposed PRINCE Act in Minnesota

        In the wake of the death of Prince, lawmakers in Minnesota have introduced legislation named after the pop star that establishes a right of publicity for celebrities in the state and their heirs.

        Keith Harris, a writer and attorney in Minneapolis, has an article in MinnPost looking at the reaction to the bill. Minnesota wouldn’t be the first state to codify rights of publicity, but some IP experts are critical of the broadly worded proposal.

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