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09.24.17

Links 25/9/2017: XFree KWin, FreeBSD 10.4 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Microservice architecture takes a whole new approach to infrastructure

      With services like Netflix, Uber, YouTube, and Facebook, most people are used to apps that respond quickly, work efficiently, and are updated regularly. Patience is no longer a virtue, and thanks to apps like the ones mentioned above, when people use applications, they expect blistering speeds and uninterrupted service. If you do not provide that, users aren’t exactly starved for choice; it takes less than a minute to delete an app and download something else as a replacement.

    • Clear Linux Project Announces the Next Generation of Intel’s Clear Containers

      Intel’s Clear Linux and Clear Containers teams are happy to introduce the next-generation of Intel’s Clear Containers project, version 3.0, which bring many important new features and performance improvements.

      Rewritten in the Go language, Intel Clear Containers 3.0 introduces support for leveraging code used for namespace-based containers and better integrates into the container ecosystem, allowing support for Docker container engine and Kubernetes. It also improves the compatibility with the POSIX family of standards.

      “Today’s release presents a generational and architectural shift to utilize virtcontainers, a modular and hypervisor agnostic library for hardware virtualized containers. Clear Containers 3.0 is written in Go language and boasts an OCI compatible runtime implementation (cc-runtime) that works both on top of virtcontainers, and as a platform for deployment,” said Amy L Leeland, Technical Program Manager, Intel Corporation.

    • “Spaceborne” Linux Supercomputer Starts Running In Space, Achieves 1 Teraflop Speed

      About one month ago, the HPE’s Spaceborne Computer was launched into the space using SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft. This beast was launched as a result of a partnership between Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and NASA to find out how high-performance computers perform in space. Now, this supercomputer is fully installed and operational in ISS.

      The performance experiment will be carried out for one year, which is roughly the time it will take for a spacecraft to travel to Mars. At the moment, lots of calculations for space research projects are carried out on Earth, but this brings in an unavoidable factor of latency.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.14 Is Up To Around 23.2 Million Lines Of Code

      While I usually look at the Linux kernel code size following each merge window, I am a few days late this time around due to busy Xeon/EPYC benchmarking and XDC2017. Anyhow, Linux 4.14 is showing some weight gains but nothing too bad.

      Linux 4.14 has been another busy cycle with a lot of happenings from finally seeing Heterogeneous Memory Management merged to a lot of other new core functionality plus the always fun and exciting changes and new support happening in driver space. See our Linux 4.14 feature overview for a rundown on the new functionality.

    • Will Blockchain Race to the Front of the Disruption Line in IoT?

      The group, founded in 2015, is the fastest-growing project in the history of the Linux Foundation according to Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf. This project has reached out to various industries in addition to IoT, industries which also are adopting IoT including healthcare.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Prepping Support For Huge GTT Pages

        Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.

      • Keith Packard’s Work On Better Supporting VR HMDs Under Linux With X.Org/DRM

        Earlier this year Keith Packard started a contract gig for Valve working to improve Linux’s support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs). In particular, working on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and X.Org changes needed so VR HMDs will work well under Linux with the non-NVIDIA drivers.

        A big part of this work is the concept of DRM leases, a new Vulkan extension, and other changes to the stack.

      • SDL 2.0.6 released, introduces Vulkan support

        The cross-platform development library has seen the release of its latest version. Quite a few exciting changes this time around, including support for Vulkan and more types of gamepads.

        SDL [Official Site] is something that has been used in quite a diverse array of projects and plenty of game ports that have made their way to Linux have taken advantage of it. The latest release has its fair share of general improvements but most noticeable is the implementation of Vulkan support. This hopefully will make it easier for developers to take advantage of the Vulkan API and help it gain more traction.

      • X.Org Foundation Has Become A Khronos Adopter

        The X.Org Foundation board announced during this week’s XDC2017 summit that they have officially completed the paperwork to become a Khronos adopter.

        The X.Org Foundation is now considered a pro-bono adopter for The Khronos Group so that the community-based open-source drivers targeting Khronos APIs for conformance can submit conformance test results and become a certified implementation.

      • NVIDIA Making Progress On Server-Side GLVND: Different Drivers For Different X Screens

        While NVIDIA isn’t doing much to help out Nouveau, at least the company is contributing to the open-source Linux graphics ecosystem in other ways. In addition to presenting at XDC2017 this week on the Unix device memory allocator API and DeepColor / HDR support, they also presented on server-side GLVND.

        Server-side GLVND is separate from the client-side GLVND (OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch Library) that evolved over the past few years and with modern Linux systems is supported both by Mesa and the NVIDIA binary driver. Server-side GLVND can help PRIME laptops and other use-cases like XWayland where potentially dealing with multiple GPU drivers touching X.

      • Nouveau Developers Remain Blocked By NVIDIA From Advancing Open-Source Driver

        Longtime Nouveau contributors Martin Peres and Karol Herbst presented at this week’s XDC2017 X.Org conference at the Googleplex in Mountain View. It was a quick talk as they didn’t have a whole lot to report on due to their open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” driver efforts largely being restricted by NVIDIA Corp.

      • X.Org Server 1.20 Expected Around January With New Features

        X.Org Server 1.19 is already almsot one year old and while X.Org is currently well off its six month release cadence, version 1.20 is being figured out for an early 2018 release.

        Adam Jackson of Red Hat who has been serving as the xorg-server release manager held a quick session on Friday at XDC2017 to figure out what’s needed for X.Org Server 1.20. His goal is to see X.Org Server 1.20 released in time for making the Fedora 28 version. For that to happen nicely, he’s hoping to see xorg-server 1.20 released in January. The Fedora 28 beta freeze is the middle of March so there is still time for the 1.20 release to slip while making the F28 Linux distribution update.

      • The State Of Intel’s GPU Virtualization Pass-Through On Linux

        Wrapping up our XDC2017 coverage for this annual X.Org developer event that took place this past week in Mountain View, Zhenyu Wang of Intel presented on their ongoing work for mediated GPU virtualization pass-through support on Linux, Intel GVT.

  • Applications

    • Security Tools to Check for Viruses and Malware on Linux

      First and foremost, no operating system is 100 percent immune to attack. Whether a machine is online or offline, it can fall victim to malicious code. Although Linux is less prone to such attacks than, say, Windows, there is no absolute when it comes to security. I have witnessed, first hand, Linux servers hit by rootkits that were so nasty, the only solution was to reinstall and hope the data backup was current. I’ve been a victim of a (very brief) hacker getting onto my desktop, because I accidentally left desktop sharing running (that was certainly an eye opener). The lesson? Even Linux can be vulnerable.

      So why does Linux need tools to prevent viruses, malware, and rootkits? It should be obvious why every server needs protection from rootkits — because once you are hit with a rootkit, all bets are off as to whether you can recover without reinstalling the platform. It’s antivirus and anti-malware where admins start getting a bit confused.

      Let me put it simply — if your server (or desktop for that matter) makes use of Samba or sshfs (or any other sharing means), those files will be opened by users running operating systems that are vulnerable. Do you really want to take the chance that your Samba share directory could be dishing out files that contain malicious code? If that should happen, your job becomes exponentially more difficult. Similarly, if that Linux machine performs as a mail server, you would be remiss to not include AV scanning (lest your users be forwarding malicious mail).

    • cmus – A Small, Fast And Powerful Console Music Player For Linux

      You may ask a question yourself when you see this article. Is it possible to listen music in Linux terminal? Yes because nothing is impossible in Linux.

      We have covered many popular GUI-based media players in our previous articles but we didn’t cover any CLI based media players as of now, so today we are going to cover about cmus, is one of the famous console-based media players among others (For CLI, very few applications is available in Linux).

    • You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE

      GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE.

      With the release of Atom 1.21 Beta last week, GitHub introduced Language Server Protocol support to integrate its brand-new Atom-IDE project, which comes with built-in support for five popular language servers, including JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Java, C#, and Flow. But many others will come with future Atom updates.

    • 10 Best Free Photo Editors For Linux

      Linux has come a long way in terms of the applications that are available for the platform. Whatever your specific needs are, you can be sure that there are at least a few applications available for you to use. Today, we’ll look at 10 free photo editors for Linux, and I must say, there are a lot of image editing tools available. This post selects just 10 of these awesome tools and talks about them briefly looking at what makes them stand out. In no particular order, let’s get started.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Digging for riches and falling onto spikes in SteamWorld Dig 2, now available for Linux

        It hooked me in way more than I though it would, I could hardly stop myself playing. Image & Form have created such a fantastic world to explore that’s rammed full of imagination and personality throughout. A solid Linux release and a pleasantly surprising game.

      • Linux version of ‘The Coma: Recut’ removed at release after taking pre-orders

        Sadly it seems the Linux version of The Coma: Recut [Official Site] vanished at release, even after taking pre-orders.

        We all know all too well that pre-orders have inherent risks attached to them. This is especially true when it comes to Linux releases. Steam is full of cases of developers pulling out Linux support right on release without any prior indication.

      • Rusted Warfare, the sweet 2D RTS has a new major release with tons of goodies

        Do you love RTS games? Rusted Warfare [Steam] is one you seriously need to look at. This sweet 2D RTS works great on Linux and just had a huge update.

        The first major new feature is a replay system. You can now re-watch previous online games, but the icing in the cake is that you can jump in at any point and take over the game. I’m hoping they roll that out to offline battles too, as it sounds great.

      • Rise to Ruins updated with an overhauled combat system along with bows and arrows

        The village building god game Rise to Ruins [Official Site] has expanded once again. This latest development release ‘InDev 28 Unstable 3′ overhauls the combat system. Ranged attacks are now possible!

        For those unfamiliar with the title, it mixes up a few genres to create a pretty unique game. It has elements of a god sim, a city builder and tower defence and it’s really quite fun. It has multiple game modes to choose from, with the ability to customize things to your liking.

      • Improve Your Mental Mettle with These Open Source Puzzle Games

        The puzzle genre often tests problem-solving skills enhancing both analytical and critical thinking skills. Word completion, pattern recognition, logical reasoning, persistence, and sequence solving are some of the skills often required to prosper here. Some games offer unlimited time or attempts to solve a puzzle, others present time-limited exercises which increase the difficulty of the puzzle. Most puzzle games are basic in graphics but are very addictive.

      • SDL 2.0.6 Released With Vulkan Helpers, DRM/KMS Driver

        SDL 2.0.6 was released on Friday as the latest feature update for this widely-used library that allows for more cross-platform portability of applications and games centered around input, audio, and video helpers.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Adapta Theme is Now Available for the #KDE Plasma Desktop

        A new port brings the Adapta GTK theme to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop for the first time, news that will please fans of its famous flat stylings.

      • A New Project To Let You Run Qt Apps With GTK+ Windowing System Integration

        A Norwegian developer has developed a new Qt platform abstraction plug-in to let Qt applications make use of GTK+ for windowing system integration. The Qt apps rely upon GTK+ as a host toolkit to provide GTK menus, GTK for input, and other integration bits.

      • Announcing the XFree KWin project

        Over the last weeks I concentrated my work on KWin on what I call the XFree KWin project. The idea is to be able to start KWin/Wayland without XWayland support. While most of the changes required for it are already in Plasma 5.11, not everything got ready in time, but now everything is under review on phabricator, so it’s a good point in time to talk about this project.

      • XFree KWin: Ridding KDE’s Wayland Compositor Of X11 Dependencies

        Martin Flöser (nee Gräßlin) has announced the “XFree KWin” project. This isn’t to be confused with XFree86 but rather is about ridding KWin optionally of X11/X.Org dependencies.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ant is a Flat GTK Theme with a Bloody Bite

        Between Arc, Adapta and Numix it kind of feels like Linux has the whole flat GTK theme thing covered.

        But proving their’s always room for one more is Ant.

      • Bad News for Users of TopIcons Plus

        The development of the popular TopIcons Plus GNOME extension has been put on pause.

        Offering a convenient way to access indicator applets and system tray icons from the GNOME top bar, the extension has proven popular with GNOME Shell users, especially as GNOME 3.26 removes the legacy tray entirely.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • [Stable Update] 2017-09-23 – Kernels, Mesa, PulseAudio, GST, Python, Haskell

        what a week we had. With this update we have removed most of our EOL tagged kernels. Please adopt to newer series of each, when still be used. PulseAudio and Gstreamer got renewed. Also most of our kernels got newer point-releases. Series v4.12 is now marked as EOL.

        Guillaume worked on Pamac to solve reported issues within our v6 series. The user experience should be much better now. Latest NetworkManager, Python and Haskell updates complete this update-pack.

        Please report back and give us feedback for given changes made to our repositories.

      • A new Subgraph OS Alpha ISO is available for download.

        This is a release mainly targeting some bugs that were present in the last available ISO.

        We are working on some major new features that aren’t done yet or aren’t yet robust enough to be included in a release to users. Some of those new features are described below.

        We really should have released an ISO sooner than this as there were some annoying bugs that got in the way of new users trying Subgraph OS for the first time. We’ve setup a new, more aggressive release schedule and should be making non-release ISO builds available as we produce them monthly.

      • NuTyX 9.1 available with cards 2.3.3.0

        The NuTyX team is please to annonce the 9.1 release of NuTyX.

        NuTyX 9.0 comes with kernel lts 4.9.23, glibc 2.25, gcc 6.3.0, binutils 2.28, python 3.6.0, xorg-server 1.19.2, qt 5.8.0, plasma 5.9.4, kf5 5.31.0, gnome 3.22.2, mate 1.18.0, xfce4 4.12.3, firefox 54.0.1, etc….

        New Isos are available in 32 bits and 64 bits. sizes are respectively 246 MB and 247 MB on http://downloads.nutyx.org

        This is a maintenance release of the 9.0 branche of NuTyX. It is possible to make an upgrade of your system without problems. It’s no need to reinstall your NuTyX. If the automatic upgrade process is activate, it will be done at next shutdown.

        Available graphical interfaces are: kde5, gnome, mate, xfce4, lxde, flwm, jwm, ratpoison, blackbox, fluxbox, openbox, bspwm, icewm, twm, etc.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

        Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing.

        OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro?

        Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • System76′s Pop!_OS Linux to Get a Beta Release Next Week with HiDPI Improvements

              System76 is getting ready to unleash the first Beta release of their upcoming Pop!_OS Linux distribution, which should be available to download next week based on the Ubuntu 17.10 Final Beta.

              It appears that System76′s development team recently dropped focus on the Pop!_OS Installer, which they develop in collaboration with the elementary OS team, to concentrate on fixing critical bugs and add the final touches to the Beta release. They still need to add some patches to fix backlight brightness issues on Nvidia GPUs.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • This open-source Android app is designed to detect nearby credit card skimmers

    Protecting our data is a constant battle, especially as technology continues to advance. A recent trend that has popped up is the installation of credit card skimmers, especially at locations such as gas pumps. With a simple piece of hardware and 30 seconds to install it, a hacker can easily steal credit card numbers from a gas pump without anyone knowing. Now, an open-source app for Android is attempting to help users avoid these skimmers.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Best Self-Hosted CRM Apps

      Customer relationship management or simply CRM is a term or specifically an approach to managing and analyzing the interaction of your current customers and leads. The CRM software allows you to manage the customer data, customer interaction, automate sales, manage client contacts and employees, customer support etc. In this article we will cover some of the best self-hosted CRM applications which you can install on a CRM Linux VPS and use for managing your company.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Facebook to Relicense React Under MIT [Ed: as we hoped [1, 2]]

      Facebook has decided to change the React license from BSD+Patents to MIT to make it possible for companies to include React in Apache projects, and to avoid uncertain relationship with the open source community.

      Adam Wolff, an Engineering Director at Facebook, has announced that a number of projects – React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js – will soon start using the more standard MIT License instead of BSD+Patents. The reason provided is “because React is the foundation of a broad ecosystem of open source software for the web, and we don’t want to hold back forward progress for nontechnical reasons.” While aware that the React’s BSD+Patents license has created “uncertainty” among users of the library, prompting some to select an alternative solution, Facebook does not “expect to win these teams back” but they still hope some will reconsider the issue. The change in license will become effective when React 16 will be released next week.

      Regarding other projects, Wolff said that “many of our popular projects will keep the BSD + Patents license for now”, while they are “evaluating those projects’ licenses too, but each project is different and alternative licensing options will depend on a variety of factors.” It seems from this clause that Facebook plans to get rid of the BSD+Patents license entirely, but they need to figure out the best option for each project.

      [...]

      Facebook’s plan to switch to a standard license MIT, supported by Apache, completely solves this problem with React and several other projects. It remains to see what happens with the license of other Facebook projects, and how much this license issue has affected how React is perceived by the community.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • How the oldest IT company IBM is discovering its India story

    In the last 12 months, IBM India has worked in many ways to address the Indian market. The most visible change has been the induction of Karan Bajwa from Microsoft India as the India-focused managing director, while Narayanan will focus on exports. That apart, there has been an overhaul of the company’s strategy, embracing open source [...]

  • Microsoft are looking at opening a London flagship store at Oxford Circus

    A report in Retail Week (paywalled) says that the ink is drying on a deal that will see Redmond take root in Oxford Circus, which, if you know London even slightly, you’ll realise is about 15 seconds from Apple’s Magic Fairy Dell on Regent Street.

  • Science

    • Screens and teens: survival tips for parents on the technology battlefield

      Snapchat (like all social media channels) is addictive. Many studies have proved the link between a “like” on a post and a dopamine hit to our brains. “I think parents should consider banning Snapchat in the house,” says Anne Longfield. “It is just so pervasive into the child’s psyche. It’s really geared to making children worry about maintaining friendships, about being seen to maintain friendships and then about isolating them if they drop off. Being a teenager is difficult enough without worrying about your social standing.” Snapchat can also reveal where your child actually is in the real world, unless it is switched to “ghost” mode, and on the home page kids automatically see news updates from The Sun, E! News, MailOnline and more without subscribing, which might explain the skew in interest towards the Kardashians rather than, say, North Korea.

  • Hardware

    • iFixit’s iPhone 8 teardown finds a smaller battery and lots of glue

      The popular repair site wrapped up its breakdown of the iPhone 8 on Friday, finding that the 8’s internals, unsurprisingly, look a good deal like those of last year’s iPhone 7. There are some small changes—more adhesive strips surrounding the battery, a slightly redesigned Lightning connector, the use of standard Phillips screws in some spots instead of obtuse tri-point screws—but most of the more immediately apparent changes, like the new Qi wireless charging coil, were announced by Apple when it revealed the new phone earlier this month.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Until Elected Officials Champion Medicare for All, They Can Expect Nurses at Their Offices — and in Their Seats

      Here’s what nurses know about the body of our country: healthy leadership is required to pass healthy legislation, and that makes for a healthy society. If our leaders don’t have the political will to fight for healthy legislation — Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act, S.1804 being a prime example — then we are, as a country, fundamentally unwell. And it’s our duty, as nurses, to facilitate healing.

      To that end, over 1,000 nurses from across the country assembled this week in San Francisco for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) convention. We gathered in solidarity to set the upcoming goals for our organization, and to learn — both from each other and from speakers including Senator Sanders, Dr. Jane O’Meara Sanders, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Nina Turner, Van Jones and Eve Ensler.

    • 7Up gets a new ingredient in Mexico—meth

      7Up—the lemon-lime soda sometimes thought to be named for its original seven main ingredients—now has a troubling eighth ingredient in Mexico: methamphetamine.

      Health professionals in Arizona are warning travelers to the Mexicali area to be aware of possibly contaminated sodas there. The warning comes days after medical toxicologists and emergency doctors received reports of soda tampering in the area.

      According to the Attorney General of the State of Baja California, seven people were sickened and one died from the spiked soft drinks. Officials requested that merchants there suspend sales of 7Up and clear the product from their shelves. And an investigation is now in progress to figure out how the illicit stimulant got into the soda.

    • Just in time for open enrollment, HHS will limit healthcare.gov availability on Sundays

      The Trump administration has come under attack from critics who say that it is intentionally undermining the Affordable Care Act, through regulatory actions. It shortened the enrollment period, withdrew money for advertising and cut the budget for navigator groups, which help people shop for plans.

      And now HHS is closing the site for a substantial portion of each weekend — for maintenance, officials said. That is the same time that many working patients — the prime target group for ACA insurance — could be shopping for their insurance, critics noted.

    • Sunday Hours: Obamacare Website To Be Shut Down For Portion of Most Weekends

      The Trump administration plans to shut down the federal health insurance exchange for 12 hours during all but one Sunday in the upcoming open enrollment season.

      The shutdown will occur from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET on every Sunday except Dec. 10.

      The Department of Health and Human Services will also shut down the federal exchange — healthcare.gov — overnight on the first day of open enrollment, Nov. 1. More than three dozen states use that exchange for their marketplaces.

      HHS officials disclosed this information Friday during a webinar with community groups that help people enroll.

    • The right is storming women’s clinics

      ANTI-ABORTION demonstrators invaded three clinics around the country on September 15, physically forcing their way in and refusing to leave in a coordinated escalation of the right-wing attack on women’s right to choose.

      The national anti-choice group Created Equal called on members to participate in identical actions in Sterling Heights, Michigan; Alexandria, Virginia; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

      Demonstrators entered clinics in order to perform a “Red Rose Rescue,” imitating a harassment tool popularized by Canadian anti-choice activist Mary Wagner, in which the antis approach women in the waiting room of clinics, hand them red roses and attempt to talk them out of having abortions.

    • Calls to #StopBetsy After Education Secretary Takes ‘Horrific Step Back’ on Title IX

      Sexual assault survivors and their supporters are appalled by the Trump administration’s decision on Friday to roll back federal protections for students who are assaulted on college campuses.

      After months of meeting with “men’s rights” groups and taking steps to overhaul enforcement rules for Title IX, the federal law barring sex-based discrimination in schools, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos suspended current guidelines and issued new ones that enable schools to increase standards of proof when disciplining students accused of sexual misconduct—guidance that experts, advocates, and survivors warn “will have a devastating impact on students and schools.”

    • China Signed a $300 Million Lab-Grown Meat Deal with Israel

      China has signed a trade agreement with Israel worth $300 million that will see the country import lab-grown meats produced by three companies: SuperMeat, Future Meat Technologies, and Meat the Future. This move is part of China’s ongoing effort to address its most pressing environmental problems.

    • Unlike Most of Senate GOP, McCain Is a ‘No’ on Bill That Analysis Shows Would Kill Tens of Thousands by 2027

      The Republican Party’s last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act was dealt a major blow Friday when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced that he “cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” which analysts have called the most “brutal and deadly” version of Trumpcare yet.

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote before the end of next week.

      Physicians and public health researchers Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein estimated in an analysis released Friday that, if passed, the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill could kill tens of thousands of people per year.

  • Security

    • DHS tells 21 states they were Russia hacking targets before 2016 election
    • Joomla patches eight-year-old critical CMS bug

      Joomla has patched a critical bug which could be used to steal account information and fully compromise website domains.

      This week, the content management system (CMS) provider issued a security advisory detailing the flaw, which is found in the LDAP authentication plugin.

      Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is used by Joomla to access directories over TCP/IP. The plugin is integrated with the CMS.

      Joomla considers the bug a “medium” severity issue, but according to researchers from RIPS Technologies, the problem is closer to a critical status.

    • Joomla! 3.7.5 – Takeover in 20 Seconds with LDAP Injection

      With over 84 million downloads, Joomla! is one of the most popular content management systems in the World Wide Web. It powers about 3.3% of all websites’ content and articles. Our code analysis solution RIPS detected a previously unknown LDAP injection vulnerability in the login controller. This one vulnerability could allow remote attackers to leak the super user password with blind injection techniques and to fully take over any Joomla! <= 3.7.5 installation within seconds that uses LDAP for authentication. Joomla! has fixed the vulnerability in the latest version 3.8.

    • In spectacular fail, Adobe security team posts private PGP key on blog

      Having some transparency about security problems with software is great, but Adobe’s Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) took that transparency a little too far today when a member of the team posted the PGP keys for PSIRT’s e-mail account—both the public and the private keys. The keys have since been taken down, and a new public key has been posted in its stead.

    • Hackers Using iCloud’s Find My iPhone Feature to Remotely Lock Macs and Demand Ransom Payments

      Over the last day or two, several Mac users appear to have been locked out of their machines after hackers signed into their iCloud accounts and initiated a remote lock using Find My iPhone.

      With access to an iCloud user’s username and password, Find My iPhone on iCloud.com can be used to “lock” a Mac with a passcode even with two-factor authentication turned on, and that’s what’s going on here.

    • After the breach, Equifax now faces the lawsuits

      Since it announced a massive data breach earlier this month, Equifax has been hit with dozens of lawsuits from shareholders, consumers and now one filed by a small Wisconsin credit union that represents what could be the first by a financial institution attempting to preemptively recoup losses caused by alleged fraud the hack could cause.

      Equifax has said its breach exposed sensitive information about 143 million consumers, including Social Security and driver’s license numbers. This kind of data could be used for identity theft and to create fake accounts, cybersecurity experts have said.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Vast Majority Of Brits Want The UK To Stop Selling Arms To Saudi Arabia – Poll
    • TRUMP COULD BE GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES AFTER AN AMERICAN BOMB KILLED YEMENI CHILDREN

      A bomb made and supplied by the United States was used in a Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrike that killed 16 civilians, including seven children, in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on August 25, Amnesty International revealed on Thursday.

      The bombing of residential buildings, which horrified much of the Arab world even before the link to the U.S., was due to a “technical mistake,” said the Saudi government, which is fighting Iran-backed rebels in a larger Saudi-Iran battle for control of the Gulf region.

      The human rights group is calling on the U.S. government to immediately cease selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

    • Britain Buries Its Bloody Role In Indonesia

      THE attempts to prevent a summit from going ahead in Jakarta on the massacres of 1965 show just how great a step was taken when the International People’s Tribunal into the killings reported last year.
      They also underline how much work is left to be done. It is significant that the tribunal was held in The Hague, and that the Indonesian, British and US governments all rejected invitations to participate.
      Britain is vital to our understanding of the events of 1965 — this is far from a matter of curiosity about another country’s history but an episode in which our own government and its major ally were deeply involved.
      Prior to 1965 Britain and the US had been waging a covert war against nationalist president Sukarno, whom the Foreign Office noted with “anxiety” was being influenced by the massive and massively popular communist party (PKI). In the tumult after Sukarno-supporting military officers killed generals they believed were plotting a coup, anti-Sukarno generals (including later dictator Suharto) seized the opportunity to move against the PKI — with strong support from the US and Britain.
      Huge numbers of women, men and children were killed — the exact toll is unknown, estimates range from half to three million. Secret documents from the time are chilling. One British official reported that some victims “are given a knife and invited to kill themselves. Most refuse and are told to turn around and are shot in the back.” Another told of “half a dozen heads … neatly arranged on the parapet of a small bridge.” “A woman of 78 … was taken away one night by a village execution squad.”

    • In Iraqi Kurdistan, Voting on Independence and Bracing for Violence

      Across Iraqi Kurdistan, a scene is starting to become familiar: young and old alike fill the public squares and parks clad in Kurdish dress, furiously waving Kurdish flags in a rallying cry for independence.

      “Long live Kurdistan!” they chant.

      The iconic red, white and green Kurdish flag, with a giant sun in the middle, was first unveiled at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, but it has never had as strong of a possibility of belonging to an actual nation until this moment. While Iraqi Kurds currently enjoy a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq — technically governed by Iraq’s central government in Baghdad but controlled by Kurdish security forces and political parties — many have longed for an independent state after decades of oppression, suffering and political marginalization. In the wake of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces defeating Islamic State fighters in key battles in northern Iraq, including Mosul earlier this year, many Kurds hope their chance has finally arrived to gain independence — which they are voting on in a controversial referendum on Monday.

    • Trump Threatens a Genocide

      The level of insult and hostile name-calling between world leaders was taken to a new extreme by Donald Trump in his speech before the U.N. General Assembly. In his preferred rhetoric replete with saber rattling, Trump’s comments included, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

      [...]

      Behind Trump’s words is a drumbeat that is all too familiar to anyone who has read, studied or lived through war; and seen how threats and hostility can turn into madness and violence. When it comes to war there is an irrepressible and repetitive pattern where self-righteousness and nationalism mix to make a poisonous, explosive cocktail, blinding opponents to the humanity of their adversaries.

      Although Trump points his finger at leadership, the implication is that we should fear and hate an enemy with no room for compromise; and eventually embrace war against an entire population. By dehumanizing and demonizing a leader, politicians give emotional foundation to aggression against a nation.

    • American Al Qaeda suspect ‘plotted attacks against the West’

      An American citizen rose through the ranks of Al Qaeda to become head of its external operations wing, charged with planning attacks on the West, according to the testimony of a captured terrorist.

      Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, 31, who was born in Houston and raised in Dubai, was detained by security forces in Pakistan in 2014.

      He is now on trial in New York where he has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder American nationals, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and a string of other crimes.

      In a video shown to the jury, a former Al Qaeda operative held at a secret location in the Middle East said a man named Abdullah Al Shami, which prosecutors allege is a pseudonym for Farekh – took over the role of head of external operations when Abdul Hafeez Al Somali died in an airstrike.

    • Korea? It’s Always Really Been About China!

      How many citizens have ever asked themselves what the United States is doing in Korea in the first place?

    • Poll: Far more trust generals than Trump on N. Korea, while two-thirds oppose preemptive strike
    • Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s “Vietnam War”: Some Predictions

      How Ken Burns and Lynn Novick became the semi-official film documentarians of United States history is an interesting question. Part of the answer lay in the way they manage to whitewash the criminal record of U.S. imperialism. One example of this came in their 2007 “Public” Broadcasting System (“P”BS) documentary on World War II, where they re-transmitted the myth that Harry Truman atom-bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki – killing 146,000 Japanese civilians with two weapons – to “save [U.S.] lives.” Burns and Novick ignored compelling primary source evidence and historical literature showing that top U.S. military and intelligence leaders understood that Japan was defeated and seeking surrender at the end of World War II and that the atom bomb crimes were perpetrated to demonstrate unassailable U.S. power to the world and especially to the Soviet Union in the post-WWII era.

    • MY THREATS ARE BIGGER THAN YOUR THREATS

      Not since Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev banged his fists and waved his shoe at the UN in 1960 has a world leader made such a spectacle of himself as President Donald Trump did this past week at the world organization.

      Trump vowed to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, a nation of 25 million, if it dared threaten the US or its allies. To do so, the US would have to use numerous nuclear weapons.

      The president’s Genghis Khan behavior seemed to take no account that a US nuclear strike against North Korea would cause huge destruction to neighboring China, Japan and Russia – and pollute the globe. They could hardly be expected to applaud Trump’s final solution for pesky North Korea.

      As leader of the world’s greatest power, President Trump was foolish to get into a schoolyard fracas with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Superpowers shouldn’t engage in such childish behavior. Trump’s claim that North Korea threatens the world is a reheated Bush-era lie used to whip up support for invading Iraq.

    • Senior Journalist KJ Singh, Mother Murdered In Mohali, Special Probe Team Formed

      “The miscreants wanted to give it a robbery angle but it does not seem so. The motive of the criminals was something else,” said senior police officer HS Atwal said, adding that locks of one or two boxes inside the house had been opened.

    • Senior journalist, his mother found dead in Mohali

      Singh had worked with many news organisations including Indian Express, The Tribune and The Times of India in Chandigarh.

    • Amid Tensions with North Korea, 51 Countries Sign Ban on Nuclear Weapons Despite U.S. Opposition

      Amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, 51 countries have signed the world’s first legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons. It prohibits the development, testing and possession of nuclear weapons, as well as using or threatening to use these weapons. It was first adopted in July by 122 U.N. member states, despite heavy U.S. opposition. None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons signed the measure, including Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. We speak with Susi Snyder, nuclear disarmament program manager for the Netherlands-based group PAX and author of the report “Don’t Bank on the Bomb.”

    • Canada Shows Global Leadership on Protecting Civilians in Yemen

      At the most recent session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Canada joined a core group of countries calling for an international commission of inquiry into abuses in the armed conflict in Yemen. It was a courageous decision by any measure. Canada has lucrative arms deals with Saudi Arabia – which for the past two and a half years has been leading a coalition responsible for scores of unlawful airstrikes in Yemen – making it an unlikely partner in this effort. But, the Trudeau government has shown this week that being a global leader on civilian protection means not letting immediate interests get in the way of your core values.

      The need for an independent mechanism to address the gravity of violations in Yemen cannot be overstated. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, some amounting to war crimes, have killed thousands of civilians and hit schools, hospitals, markets, and homes. The Houthi-Saleh forces whom the coalition is fighting have committed numerous abuses, too, including recruiting and deploying child soldiers and indiscriminately shelling civilian areas. Parties to the conflict are using banned weapons like cluster munitions and landmines that may endanger Yemeni civilians for years to come.

    • Unmasked: Trump Doctrine Vows Carnage for New Axis of Evil

      This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller.

      One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of the United States, facing the bloated bureaucracy that passes for the “international community,” threatened to “wipe off the map” the whole of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (25 million people). And may however many millions of South Koreans who perish as collateral damage be damned.

      Multiple attempts have been made to connect Trump’s threats to the madman theory cooked up by “Tricky Dicky” Nixon in cahoots with Henry Kissinger, according to which the USSR must always be under the impression the then-US president was crazy enough to, literally, go nuclear. But the DPRK will not be much impressed with this madman remix.

    • ‘Dotard’ vs. ‘Madman’: Kim Jong-un and Trump Trade Insults as Nuclear Anxieties Grow

      President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un traded insults early on Friday, continuing a war of words that’s gone on for months, causing widespread anxiety over the possibility of a nuclear attack as North Korea conducts missile tests and Trump administration officials attempt to do damage control regarding the president’s threats of retaliation.

      The two leaders’ statements have grown increasingly antagonistic, with Trump giving Kim the nickname “Rocket Man” last week and Kim introducing the arcane term “dotard” into the discourse Friday morning.

      Three days after Trump’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly in which he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if the Kim regime continues to test its nuclear capability, as it’s done five times since July, Kim issued a lengthy statement comparing the president’s threats to the barks of “a frightened dog.”

    • Trump Administration Should Not Gut Drone Protections

      Following reports that the Trump administration is seeking to change U.S. government policy on the use of lethal force outside of armed conflicts, Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs for Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

      “The policies that guide the United States’ use of lethal force and armed drones, whether under President Obama or President Trump, have always been legally and morally murky. Any move to gut their already weak human rights protections would be unacceptable. The Trump administration needs to ensure that its guidance for operations outside armed conflict comply with human rights law. The administration cannot write itself a blank check to kill with impunity.”

    • The View From the End of the American Empire

      Through a network of nearly 800 military bases located in 70 countries around the globe, in addition to an array of trade deals and alliances, the U.S. has cemented its influence for decades across both Europe and Asia. American leaders helped impose a set of rules and norms that promoted free trade, democratic governance — in theory, if not always in practice — and a prohibition on changing borders militarily, using a mixture of force and suasion to sustain the systems that keep its hegemony intact. Meanwhile, although the U.S. generally eschewed direct colonialism, its promotion of global free trade helped “open a door through which America’s preponderant economic strength would enter and dominate all the underdeveloped areas of the world,” wrote the revisionist historian William Appleman Williams in his more-than-half-century-old classic, “The Tragedy of American Diplomacy”.

      That strategy of “non-colonial imperial expansion,” as Williams called it, became the basis for U.S. foreign policy over the past century. For American elites, such a policy has provided remarkable benefits, even if the resulting largesse has not always trickled down to the rest of the country. Thanks to its status as the world’s only superpower, the U.S. today enjoys the “exorbitant privilege” of having its dollar serve as the world’s reserve currency, while U.S. leaders dominate the agenda of international institutions promoting governance and trade. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the successful creation of a global military alliance to repel Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait that same year, America’s imperial confidence reached a zenith; President George H.W. Bush publicly declared the start of a “new world order” under American leadership.

    • Ken Burns Says the Vietnam War Was “Begun in Good Faith.” So Was Every Other Lousy War.

      These were internal U.S. communications; it was simply the government talking to itself, with no reason to lie.

      Moreover, it was no aberration. U.S. government archives are filled with impressive declarations about America’s idealistic goals in Vietnam.

    • Syrian Widows in Jordan Take Charge of Their New Lives

      Amal al-Mugdad was always devout, but as the Syrian conflict engulfed her hometown of Dera’a, her prayers grew increasingly desperate. Rising daily before dawn, the slight young woman unrolled her prayer mat, her ears strained for the sound of bullets. On her knees in the dark, she begged for peace in her country and mercy for her people. By daylight, though, there were few signs that Allah had heard her plea. Regime aircraft rattled against the sky. Neighborhood streets grew inscrutable, blocked by shifting checkpoints and sprawling rubble.

      Fear whittled Amal’s world. By 2012, her universe encompassed only three points: her sons, Khalid and Ma’an, then ages two years and six months, respectively; and her 24-year-old husband, Mahmood. It was her husband — the man she married at 19, whom she privately called Hamoodi — that worried her the most. This was a conflict with a particular appetite for young, able-bodied men, targeting them with checkpoints and home raids. By 2015, an estimated 65,000 people were “disappeared” by the regime, forced to enlist in President Bashar al-Assad’s army or vanished into the underworld of government prisons. Others were felled by snipers, for reasons never given.

    • Civilian drone crashes into Army helicopter
    • Drone Hits Army Helicopter Flying Over Staten Island
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Hersh Receives Adams Award for Integrity

      Journalist Seymour Hersh, whose career includes exposing U.S. intelligence abuses, received an award for integrity from an organization of former U.S. and Western intelligence officials who share Hersh’s ethical concerns about such abuses.

      The trademark “Oscar” for Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) was presented to longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh at a dinner in Washington on Sept. 22. The symbolic award is a candle sitting atop the traditional corner-brightener candlestick holder.

    • 1. WikiLeaks, Russian edition: how it’s being viewed

      Russia has been investing heavily in a vision of cyberdemocracy that will link the public directly with government officials to increase official responsiveness. But it is also enforcing some of the toughest cybersecurity laws to empower law enforcement access to communications and ban technologies that could be used to evade surveillance. Could WikiLeaks put a check on Russia’s cyber regime? This week, the online activist group released the first of a promised series of document dumps on the nature and workings of Russia’s surveillance state. So far, the data has offered no bombshells. “It’s mostly technical stuff. It doesn’t contain any state contracts, or even a single mention of the FSB [security service], but there is some data here that’s worth publishing,” says Andrei Soldatov, coauthor of “The Red Web,” a history of the Soviet and Russian internet. But, he adds, “Anything that gets people talking about Russia’s capabilities and actions in this area should be seen as a positive development.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump’s Pick for Top EPA Post Under Scrutiny for Deep Ties to Chemical Industry

      The latest is Michael L. Dourson, Trump’s pick to head the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the government’s chemical safety program. Media reports reveal that the toxicologist is under intense scrutiny for his extensive ties to the chemical industry and a resumé dotted with some of the biggest names in the field: Koch Industries Inc., Chevron Corp., Dow AgroSciences, DuPont and Monsanto.

      After working as a staff toxicologist for the EPA from 1980 to 1994, Dourson founded and ran the Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment(TERA), a nonprofit research group that has been paid by chemical corporations to research and write reports that downplay the health risks posed by their products, the New York Times reports. TERA has since been renamed as the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati, where Dourson is a professor.

      According to the Associated Press, Dourson’s research has been “underwritten by industry trade and lobbying groups representing the makers of plastics, pesticides, processed foods and cigarettes.”

    • In the Caribbean, colonialism and inequality mean hurricanes hit harder

      Hurricane Maria, the 15th tropical depression this season, is now battering the Caribbean, just two weeks after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in the region.

      The devastation in Dominica is “mind-boggling,” wrote the country’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, on Facebook just after midnight on September 19. The next day, in Puerto Rico, NPR reported via member station WRTU in San Juan that “Most of the island is without power…or water.”

      Among the Caribbean islands impacted by both deadly storms are Puerto Rico, St Kitts, Tortola and Barbuda.

    • An Unexpected Alternative to Fossil Fuels: Waste

      Countries with large quantities of waste from forestry, manure or straw from farms are now looking for economic ways to turn them into forms of renewable energy.

      Most of these so-called wastes can be burned directly as an alternative to fossil fuels in power stations or for district heating, but increasingly they are being turned into biogas.

      This can be used as fuel in vehicles, fed into gas pipelines as a addition to natural gas, or to be used to generate electricity when there is a shortfall from other renewables like wind and solar.

      Two countries keen on exploiting these natural resources to enable them to phase out fossil fuels and nuclear power are Sweden and Switzerland.

      Sweden has a large surplus of straw from agriculture in the autumn, but finding an economic use for it has been difficult.

    • FEMA accidentally tweets sex hotline number to hurricane victims

      When several Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida called a 1-800 number recommended by FEMA Region 4’s Twitter account, they were offered phone sex instead of advice about their damaged roof.

      FEMA mistakenly tweeted that the number to a helpline was 1-800-ROOF-BLU on Wednesday, when the correct phone number was actually 1-888-ROOF-BLU.

      When calling the 1-800 number, survivors heard the message: “Welcome to America’s hottest talk line. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you. Press ‘1’ to connect, free, now,” according to the Miami Herald.

      The original tweet has since been deleted and replaced with a tweet that includes the correct phone number.

    • The Brutal Racial Politics of Climate Change and Pollution

      Take Trump’s proposal to deregulate power plant emissions.

      Air pollution is bad for everyone with lungs, but it disproportionately harms people of color and poor people, who are much likelier to live near coal-burning power plants. People living within three miles of coal-fired power plants have a per capita income 15 percent lower than the national average, and African Americans die of asthma at a 172 percent higher rate than white people. Deregulating toxic polluters is only going to worsen such egregious disparities.

      Meanwhile in Alaska, Native villages are literally sinking into the sea and facing the loss of their traditional lifestyle as polar ice melts. Yet the federal government proposes eliminating the already meager assistance they receive, and won’t even name the problem they’re confronting. Absurdly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now refers to Arctic climate change impacts as “Arctic Change.”

      Similar inequalities show up in the places hardest hit during this catastrophic hurricane season.

      Refineries and other petrochemical facilities in Houston have been shut down in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey. However, storm damage at the Exxon refinery in Baytown has led to leaks of toxic chemicals, while the Chevron Phillips refinery in Pasadena reported to regulators that it may release known carcinogens like benzene.

      Who lives near these facilities? Of the two Census blocks immediately adjoining Exxon’s Baytown refinery, one is 87 percent non-white and 76 percent low-income, the other 59 percent non-white and 59 percent low-income.

    • Hurricane Harvey, 25,000-Year Storm: Enhanced or Caused by Climate Change?

      It was a 25,000-year storm. Its area of 24-inch rainfall was 50 to 100 times greater than anything previously recorded in the lower 48. Up to a million cars may have been flooded. In Harris County alone, 136,000 homes were flooded. Yet the official word from academia on Hurricane Harvey was that it “may have been enhanced” by climate change. When are we going start using professional judgement like doctors and engineers use to keep us safe, instead of the absolutes of certainty with science? Because of certainty in science, we cannot admit that Hurricane Harvey and other extraordinary weather extremes like Harvey were caused by climate change. Not only are we are exposing our culture to grave risk, but by not using professional judgement to make this call, we perpetuate climate pollution reform inaction that has solely created this great risk.

    • Trump’s ITC Shoots USA In Solar Foot

      Fortunately, I live in Canada and expect the price of solar panels to continue falling as USA sharply drops its demand for the product. There is a silver lining. It will be even less expensive for me to power my future Solo EV by sunshine.

    • If anyone can hear us … help.’ Puerto Rico’s mayors describe widespread devastation from Hurricane Maria
    • Live Updates: Puerto Rico Still Facing Loss Of Electricity, Phone And Water Services After Hurricane Maria
    • Failing Dam in Puerto Rico Shows Danger of Climate Denialism

      President Trump, notoriously, tweeted that climate change is a Chinese hoax.

      Some 70,000 U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico living along the Guajataca River are in danger as a dam in the vicinity is failing. Built in the 1920s, the earthen dam faces a drainage problem in the midst of the downpours visited on the island, which have abruptly filled it up and put unbearable pressure on the walls.

      The failure of this dam underlines that climate change science is absolutely central to good public policy and planning.

      As humans put heat trapping gases into the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, through driving their cars, providing their homes with electricity, and heating or cooling their houses, more of the sun’s heat is trapped on earth rather than radiating off into space. That trapped heat has caused the average temperature of the earth’s surface to rise.

    • Trade Panel Ruling Gives Trump Authority to Cripple Nation’s Solar Industry

      Lawmakers and the solar energy industry spoke out Friday against a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which voted in favor of two domestic solar power manufacturers that complained low-cost solar panel imports from China had harmed their businesses.

      The ITC’s ruling leaves it up to President Donald Trump to decide whether to penalize foreign companies by imposing tariffs on their imports, something that he has already threatened to do, which would increase the cost of installing solar panels.

      While Trump and the coal industry have fretted that the advent of solar power is forcing coal companies out of business, foreign countries have moved forward in developing solar energy, with China already surpassing its goal of installing 105 gigawatts of solar power by 2020. China has also exported solar panels “in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat of serious injury, to the U.S. industry,” according to the ITC.

    • Possible good news about climate change leads to confused coverage

      In The Guardian, the headline was “Ambitious 1.5C Paris climate target is still possible, new analysis shows.” But over at Breitbart, readers were told that “Climate Alarmists Finally Admit ‘We Were Wrong About Global Warming.’” Other headlines spanned pretty much the entire range between these two. The grist for the mill was a new study published in Nature Geoscience by a group of well-known climate scientists, but different news outlets baked very different breads with it.

      That happens pretty frequently these days, but, in this case, the new study was especially complex and more easily misunderstood—even by those without a Breitbartian aggressive ideological bias against climate science.

    • Solar panel maker wins trade commission finding, tariff decision to go to Trump

      The commission now has until November to send recommendations on remedies to President Trump, who will be responsible for either setting a tariff on imported solar materials or finding some other remedy. Given Trump’s promises to bolster American manufacturing, it’s likely that he’ll favor restrictions on solar panel imports.

      The case is unique in that it has caused a considerable rift in the solar industry, with manufacturers on one side and installers on the other. Installers fought against Suniva’s bid for tariffs, saying that cheap imported panels have been a primary driver of the solar industry’s recent boom. Other solar installers have claimed that Suniva’s money woes were the result of mismanagement and poor products, not foreign imports.

    • Tens of Thousands Flee for Safety as Dam Fails in Puerto Rico

      “If you deny climate change, you will not anticipate heavier rainfall. Your dams will then fail, creating tens of thousands of climate refugees,” wrote Cole.

      As Reuters notes, “The potential calamity was unfolding as Puerto Ricans struggled without electricity to clean up and dig out from the devastation left days earlier by Maria, which has killed at least 25 people across the Caribbean, according to officials and media reports.”

      Cole concluded, “When you vote for denialist politicians, you are selecting people who make policy. The policy they make will be clueless and will actively endanger the public. Climate change is real. We are causing it by our emissions. If you don’t believe that, you are not a responsible steward of our infrastructure and of our lives.”

    • Nuclear Plants Plus Hurricanes: Disasters Waiting to Happen

      Although the mainstream media said next to nothing about it, independent experts have made it clear that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma threatened six U.S. nuclear plants with major destruction, and therefore all of us with apocalyptic disaster. It is a danger that remains for the inevitable hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters yet to come.

      During Harvey and Irma, six holdovers from a dying reactor industry—two on the Gulf Coast at South Texas, two at Key Largo and two more north of Miami at Port St. Lucie—were under severe threat of catastrophic failure. All of them rely on off-site power systems that were extremely vulnerable throughout the storms. At St. Lucie Unit One, an NRC official reported a salt buildup on electrical equipment requiring a power downgrade in the midst of the storm.

  • Finance

    • Universal credit is a shambles because the poor are ignored
    • ‘Fix’ Claims As Labour Conference Urged By Momentum Not To Vote On Anti-Brexit Motions

      Jeremy Corbyn supporters have launched an eleventh-hour bid to prevent the Labour conference from toughening the party’s line against Brexit.

      In what appeared to be an attempt to avoid embarrassment to the Labour leader, the leftwing grassroots movement Momentum has asked its members not to include the issue in a list of motions at the gathering in Brighton.

      Pro-EU Labour members swiftly accused the group of a ‘fix’ that ran counter to Corbyn’s own demands to allow the rank and file to determine the party’s direction.

      In an email to supporters, seen by HuffPost UK, Momentum’s leadership has set out the four topics it wants to vote on – and none of them includes the EU. Housing, Social Care, the NHS and Rail are its new priorities for a ballot on Sunday.

    • How One Program Gives Federal Property to Groups Helping the Homeless

      Hundreds of thousands of people sleep every night on the streets of the United States, where just about every major city is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. While no federal program offers completely free housing for the homeless, a little-noticed statute is allowing those who help this population to obtain federal property at no cost, turning abandoned buildings and lots into hubs for social services.
      “This building is always busy,” said Veronica Lara, chief operating officer for Volunteers of America Los Angeles.
      Her organization’s offices are located in the overwhelmingly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights, where the Los Angeles City Council blocked a plan in August to build new housing for the mentally ill and homeless. There’s an obvious need — Los Angeles County’s homeless population soared 23 percent from January 2016 to January 2017 — but efforts to provide housing and services for this community are always controversial, spurring concern not for human life, at least not in one’s backyard, but for property values that might decline.

    • May’s Florence speech confirmed it: we need to ditch Brexit

      Theresa May’s Florence speech rams home why we shouldn’t be quitting the European Union at all.

      As reality bites, the prime minister is being forced to give up on Brexiters’ fantasies. She put Brexit on ice for two years, dangled tens of billions of pounds in front of the EU and abandoned her threat to turn the UK into a Singapore-style tax haven. These weren’t the flip-flop queen’s first U-turns, and they won’t be her last.

      The government is making a dog’s dinner of Brexit. May triggered article 50, setting a two-year time bomb ticking, without a plan. Six months later, she still doesn’t have a plan. The prime minister asked for creative solutions. But she didn’t provide any herself. She doesn’t have a creative bone in her body.

    • Report: HPE will shed 5,000 jobs starting before Christmas
    • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Is Said to Plan About 5,000 Job Cuts

      Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. is planning to cut about 10 percent of its staff, or at least 5,000 workers, according to people familiar with the matter, part of a broader effort to pare expenses as competition mounts.

    • Trump’s Tax Plan: A Billion or Three for Guys Like Him

      What’s the largest personal stake a US president has ever had in legislation he signed into law? Whatever it was, it’ll be dwarfed by what Donald Trump’s signature will be worth — to himself — if Congress passes his proposed tax plan and puts it on his desk.

      If that happens, Trump will be effectively cutting himself a check from the US Treasury for several billion dollars.

      Call me cynical, but it seems that’s exactly what Trump has in mind. His plan just fits his tax situation — or what we know of it, without access to his tax returns — too perfectly.

    • Tenants Push Back Against Corporate Landlords During “Renter Week of Action”

      The vigil was just one of several actions popping off this week in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area — and across the nation. Renters in 45 cities are organizing protests from September 16 through September 24, during a nationwide “National Renter Week of Action and Assemblies” spearheaded by the Right to the City Alliance to fight back against the Trump administration’s threat to cut billions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and to demand rent control and just-cause eviction policies.

    • Without Price Breaks, Rural Hospitals Struggle To Stock Costly, Lifesaving Drugs

      Hospital pharmacist Mandy Langston remembers when Lulabelle Berry arrived at Stone County Medical Center’s emergency department last year.

      Berry couldn’t talk. Her face was drooping on one side. Her eyes couldn’t focus.

      “She was basically unresponsive,” Langston recalls.

      Berry, 78, was having a severe ischemic stroke. Each passing second made brain damage more likely. So, Langston reached for the clot-busting drug Activase, which must be given within a few hours to work.

    • May’s breakup speech made Brexit sound magical … if you’re drinking Bacardi

      I see Boris Johnson is still redrafting his Brexit prospectus, most recently in a Daily Telegraph article that spent much of the week threatening to derail Theresa May’s major speech, if not to presage his own resignation. Why? Because that’s just the shit the Tories pull these days. There is nothing so perilously unstable they couldn’t somehow contrive to destabilise it further. Nothing gets them hotter than the clock ticking or the possibility of running each other out. Instead of taking back control they find new ways to be incontinent. You can tell the people who got us into this mess were former journalists, because despite having just the 50 years to work out what type of deal they wanted, the cabinet is doing it right on deadline.

    • Sadiq Khan: London mayor who took on Trump won’t flinch in fight with Uber

      Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a western capital city, is no stranger to making powerful enemies, and few come as mighty and ill-tempered as Donald Trump. The mayor of London and the US president have clashed several times – spats that appeared engineered by Trump to show who’s boss. Khan has not flinched, chastising and ridiculing Trump with apparent relish.

    • Uber’s London licence revoked by TfL: Reaction seriously divided in the Capital

      TfL stated that “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility”. It has been accused of failing to properly report criminal offences, obtain valid medical certificates, and of blocking official regulators from transparency about its operations.

    • Uber Losing Battle in London After Regulator Revokes License

      Transportation authorities in London concluded Uber isn’t “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.” The agency cited a failure to do proper background checks on drivers, report crimes and a program called “Greyball” used to avoid regulators.

    • Mark Zuckerberg will no longer try to reclassify Facebook stock to fund his philanthropy [sic]

      He still plans to sell up to 75 million shares over the next year and a half — worth $13 billion at today’s price.

    • The Tories found £1bn for the DUP. But they won’t help our hurricane-hit islands

      Hurricane Maria is fast approaching the British territory of Turks and Caicos, while thousands of people in British overseas territories continue to struggle with Hurricane Irma’s fallout. They have yet to hear the government’s long-term plan to provide the support and funds they will need to rebuild their communities.

      These are national disasters in British territories, but the government is not living up to its responsibility for dealing with the outcomes, as it would for a disaster on British soil.

    • Has Theresa May made an important promise on the post-Brexit rights of European Union nationals in the UK?

      No, not the £350 million – we may be getting back full control over our own laws, but not the laws of arithmetic. I mean this one, signed by three current members of the Cabinet, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, and Michael Gove:

      “There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.”

    • G20 – they colonized our future

      When Beethoven composed his ‘Ode to Joy’ in 1824 he probably wouldn’t have thought that merely 200 years later the Donald Trumps of this world would listen to it, while the masses are rioting in the streets outside. Actually, not all people became brothers during the G20 summit on July 7 – 8 in Hamburg this year. Three months later fiery public debates about the tremendous violence during the summit days still continue and every day more coverage of police violence against protesters crops up in social media.

      Apart from that, major media outlets still seem to refuse any coverage on the realistic alternative policy approaches that were framed and discussed e.g. during the Alternative Summit on July 5–6. So the world has gone back to business as usual and the question “what actually changed with the protests?“ sounds ever-increasingly ironic. But why is that so? As activists are our protests maybe failing to address a crucial aspect of the G20’s power?

    • Britain must accept ambiguity to survive Brexit

      Brexit is written in binary code. It is all zeros and ones – out of the European Union or in. In his long Telegraph essay last weekend, the British foreign secretary and totem of the Leave campaign Boris Johnson reiterated the iron imperatives of last year’s referendum: “The choice was binary. The result was decisive. There is simply no way – or no good way – of being 52 per cent out and 48 per cent in.”

      This has an impeccable logic, in the way mad things often do. In her speech in Florence on Friday, Johnson’s supposed boss Theresa May was trying, in her own weak way, to tweak that logic, to find some wriggle room in the relentless bind of the binary.

      The concrete content of the speech may be less important than its signal of distress – though whether May is waving or drowning remains an open question. She is edging towards some way to be – however temporarily – at least a little bit in while moving out.

    • Lexit: defeatism dressed as ambition

      Lexiters are deluded: Brexit is a right-wing project. The future of the UK left is with the European left, in the international struggle. This piece, introducing our “Looking at Lexit” series, is paired with a “Lexit” argument by Xavier Buxton.

    • Lexit: looking forwards, not backwards
    • Looking at Lexit: mission statement
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Michigan Governor Unleashes “Citizens United on Steroids”

      Less than six hours after its passage by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law this week a measure that, effective immediately, allows candidates to raise unlimited sums of money for super PACs, which can then promptly spend that money supporting those candidates—or attacking their rivals.

      It also allows consultants to simultaneously work for a campaign and a super PAC at the same time, making a joke of the supposed independence of the two groups.

    • Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on Facebook
    • Manafort Planning to Leave US — as Mueller’s Team Prepares to Indict Him in Russia Probe
    • Meet Trump’s controversial Federal Election Commission pick
    • ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Then — and Now
    • Kushner used private email to conduct White House business

      Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business.

      Kushner uses his private account alongside his official White House email account, sometimes trading emails with senior White House officials, outside advisers and others about media coverage, event planning and other subjects, according to four people familiar with the correspondence. POLITICO has seen and verified about two dozen emails.

    • Jared Kushner used private email account to conduct White House business: report
    • Just What Is a ‘Dotard’ Anyway?

      Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are not only threatening to destroy one another’s countries — now they’re both playing a game of lethal name-calling. Jong-un lashed out at Trump on Thursday in response to his terrifying declaration to “totally destroy” North Korea if provoked by Jong-un. In addition to implying that Trump is a “frightened dog” (and it’s hard to disagree with him on that front), Jong-un said, “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”

      For the sake of comic relief among this beyond-chilling discourse, let’s take a second to examine Kim Jong-un’s choice of words. What exactly is a “dotard,” and should it become our favorite new nickname for Trump?

    • After NBA’s Stephen Curry Rejects Trump’s Whitehouse Invitation, the Disgruntled President ‘Withdraws’ It
    • Science fails to make an impact in forthcoming German elections

      With German chancellor Angela Merkel’s party coming out on top in all recent polls, an upset in the forthcoming elections on Sunday seems unlikely. But scientists looking for commitments on spending on R&D, however, have been met with often nebulous promises.

      Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has been the biggest party in the governing coalition since 2005, and this isn’t expected to change. To gain a parliamentary majority, however, the CDU is expected to need to form a coalition. It is possible that to govern the CDU will once again have to make common cause with Germany’s second largest party, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).

    • Documents show first government payments to Trump’s businesses
    • Paul Manafort may hold the key: Who was he really working for?
    • Home Tweet Home
    • The Donald vs The King
    • NBA Star Lebron James: Don’t Let Trump Use Sports to Divide Us

      Lebron James, NBA all-star and one of the nation’s most high-profile athletes, released a video Saturday night to further explain why President Donald Trump must be challenged for his divisive language and behavior regarding racism, white supremacy, and his latest calls for professional athletes who do speak out on such issues to be fired or otherwised punished.

      For Trump to use the platform of sports to “divide us even more,” says James in the 2-minute video, “it’s not something I can stand for and it’s not something I can be quiet about.”

    • I Helped Create Facebook’s Ad Machine. Here’s How I’d Fix It

      If democracy is to survive Facebook, that company must realize the outsized role it now plays as both the public forum where our strident democratic drama unfolds, and as the vehicle for those who aspire to control that drama’s course. Facebook, welcome to the big leagues.

    • Facebook’s racist ad problems were baked in from the start

      Reckoning with its ad sales model is just one of the hard facts that Facebook is waking up to. (Google, its search engine less of a lightning rod for controversy, is remaining more tight-lipped.) The broader issue, one this ad controversy illustrates, is Facebook’s inability to grapple with the power and influence it’s amassed, and how vulnerable that influence is to bad actors eager to exploit it.

    • Facebook Scraps New Share Class in Rare Win for Investors

      CEO also gives up proposal that let him serve in government

    • Zuckerberg abandons plan to reclassify Facebook stocks

      “In fact, we now plan to accelerate our work and sell more of those shares sooner. I anticipate selling 35-75 million Facebook shares in the next 18 months to fund our work in education, science, and advocacy.”

    • ALEC’s Corporate Board Leads…in Federal Violations

      The federal government has slapped eight of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) known corporate board leaders with more than $6.2 billion in federal fines and penalties for misconduct or corporate crimes since 2000.

      The leading ALEC scofflaws include pharmaceutical giant Pfizer ($4.350 billion), Exxon Mobil ($715 million), Koch Industries ($657 million), AT&T ($421 million), United Parcel Service ($35 million), alcohol multinational Diageo ($17 million), Peabody Energy ($16 million), and Altria (owner of Phillip Morris, the largest U.S. cigarette manufacturer) ($7 million).

      The companies pay thousands of dollars each year to sit on the “Private Enterprise Advisory Council” of ALEC, a pay-to-play organization that lets its corporate members rub elbows with lawmakers and draft bills promoting their interests for legislators to take back home to their states. ALEC re-branded its corporate board as an “advisory council” in 2013 after Common Cause and CMD filed a complaint against the group with the IRS for being a corporate lobby masquerading as a charity.

    • The Silent Terrorism on Our Doorsteps

      Can you name the location of the two most deadly US mass shootings of 2017? And, can you identify what the two events had in common?

      The answers?

      The Sept. 10 killing of eight in Plano, Texas, and the May 27 killing of eight in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi. The link? Both were acts of domestic violence.

      Were the mass murders covered by portions of the US media? Yes. Were they given the same level and intensity of coverage as instances of national and international ”terrorism” with far fewer, or even no, fatalities? No. Not even close. In fact, many people in the US could be forgiven for not having heard of what happened in Plano or Bogue Chitto, let alone that these were instances of domestic violence.

    • Labour must end May’s ‘hostile environment’ for migrants in the NHS

      Jeremy Corbyn has attracted support in his leadership and general election battles due in part to his firm position against privatisation in general – including NHS privatisation – and also due his history of support for migrants and anti-racist organising.

      Yet Labour’s health policy platform is currently limited – as pointed out in this excellent recent article by Allyson Pollock. And the party appears to have no formal policy and little to say in public about the “hostile environment” the government has been creating for migrants.

      The government is trying to blame the severe and growing NHS funding crisis on migrants, but this is a distraction. The numbers don’t add up: ‘deliberate health tourism’ costs, at most, £300 million a year – just 0.3% of the overall NHS budget. The costs that can be recouped by charging people for their care are a drop in the ocean for the NHS, but potentially ruinous for patients now being landed with multi-thousand pound bills – or being put off accessing healthcare altogether.

    • Trump Flux

      It took Donald Trump, a buffoon incapable of holding a serious thought, to change that sense of things.

      As a thinker, Trump is a non-entity who has not, and obviously cannot, change political theory. But he has profoundly affected the lived experience of those who do think, casually or in more sustained ways, about the politics of the country he leads.

      Thanks to the peculiarly undemocratic way we elect presidents, and thanks to Hillary Clinton’s ineptitude, a troubled male adolescent in an old man’s body now holds power enough to turn the world into a wasteland. And because his mind does indeed resemble an ever-changing river, nothing now does stay still for we inhabitants of Trumpland.

    • Trump is assembling the most male-dominated government in decades

      They were military and business leaders, political insiders, novices and lords of finance. But the parade of job seekers to Trump Tower last winter almost all had one thing in common: they were men.

      The work of staffing the federal government has since lost its casting-call quality, but little appears to have changed.

      A new analysis shared exclusively with the Guardian has found that 80% of nominations for top jobs in the Trump administration have gone to men – putting Donald Trump on track to assemble the most male-dominated federal government in nearly a quarter-century.

      Without a significant shift, men will outnumber women four-to-one in top positions of the Trump administration.

    • Ivanka Trump Faces Courtroom Showdown Over $785 Sandals
    • “I want to be Prime Minister for ten years” – Jeremy Corbyn’s vow as he reveals how he relishes taking on Tories

      His Labour Party will be in peak fighting form by Christmas with candidates in nearly every target seat.

      But if Theresa May clings on until 2022, when the next election is due, he would be 83 before he left No10.

    • France’s far-left leader urges French ‘resistance’ against Macron

      French far-left opposition party leader Jean-Luc Melenchon drew tens of thousands to a rally on Saturday against President Emmanuel Macron’s labor reforms, aiming to reinforce his credentials as Macron’s strongest political opponent.

      Trade union protests against Macron’s plan to make hiring and firing easier and give companies more power over working conditions seem to be losing steam, but Melenchon said his “France Unbowed” party was calling on unions to join them and together “keep up the fight”.

      “The battle is not over, it is only starting,” Melenchon told the crowd gathered on the Place de la Republique where the rally against what Melenchon has called “a social coup d‘etat” ended.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • A petition to demand accountability from the NSA

      Fritz Moser, director of the documentary A Good American, about NSA whistleblower Bill Binney who blames the 9/11 attacks on the NSA’s capture by corporate contractors who sold it an expensive, useless, self-perpetuating mass-surveillance system, writes, “Since 6 Sept A GOOD AMERICAN is on Netflix and since then I am getting between 10 and 20 emails per day of people telling me how shocked they were by the film and how angry they are, asking what they could do to help. So we came up with this petition.

    • Instagram still hasn’t finished rolling out its archive [sic] feature
    • Counterintelligence for Cyber Defence
    • WhatsApp is unlikely to support Theresa May’s backdoor demands [Ed: WhatsApp will send private keys (copies) to Facebook. So the Tories can still spy, by pressuring Facebook. Media doesn't say this.]

      Sky News, a Murdoch outfit, reports that the UK Government demanded that WhatsApp comes up with a way to offer access to encrypted messages this summer and that the chat thing would have none of it.

    • Microsoft, Facebook, Complete Enormous Undersea Cable

      Microsoft, Facebook and global telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius have completed the Marea subsea cable, the world’s most technologically advanced undersea cable. The Marea crosses the Atlantic Ocean over 17,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, connecting Virginia Beach with Bilbao, Spain.

    • Microsoft and Facebook’s 160Tbps transatlantic undersea cable carries more data than any other

      Facebook wants people to hop on its social network and share their data with the company; Microsoft wants to make its wide range of cloud services, including Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and the Azure platform more easily available in new markets.

    • Taylor Swift’s fans make the best online sleuths. What can they teach me about social media?

      The juiciest details are rarely to be found on page one, or even page 36 of Google search results – they are in the gaps, and you might be surprised at just how easy it is to fill them. That is precisely the case against the retention of metadata, in fact: that it only describes content is of little comfort when you can find so much out by connecting the dots.

    • Airport Police Demanded An Activist’s Passwords. He Refused. Now He Faces Prison in the UK.

      IT WAS NOT the first time Muhammad Rabbani had problems when returning to the United Kingdom from travels overseas. But on this occasion something was different — he was arrested, handcuffed, and hauled through London’s largest airport, then put into the back of a waiting police van.

      Rabbani is the 36-year old international director of Cage, a British group that was founded in 2003 to raise awareness about the plight of prisoners held at the U.S. government’s Guantanamo Bay detention site. Today, the organization has a broader focus and says it is working to highlight “the erosion of the rule of law in the context of the War on Terror.” Due to its work campaigning for the legal rights of terrorism suspects, Cage has attracted controversy, and Rabbani has faced the government’s wrath.

      His trouble at Heathrow Airport in late November began with a familiar routine. Often, on his return to the U.K. from foreign trips, he was stopped by police and questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act – a sweeping power British authorities can use at the border to interrogate and search people without requiring any suspicion of wrongdoing. People questioned under Schedule 7 have no right to remain silent or receive legal advice, and they can be interrogated for up to nine hours. Rabbani estimates that he has been stopped under Schedule 7 about 20 times. Usually, he was let free after a few questions without any charges or arrest. But not this time.

    • Secret documents reveal: BND attacked Tor and advises not to use it

      The story begins a few weeks prior to the annual SIGINT Development Conference in 2008 when BND hackers “developed the idea of how the Tor network could be monitored relatively easily”, according to internal BND documents. In March 2008, the spy agency filled in its partners from the US and UK. During a visit of a foreign delegation to Munich, a BND unit presented “the anonymity network Tor and a possible disbandment of the anonymity feature”. In order to implement the plan, the BND hoped for “an international cooperation with several foreign intelligence agencies”.

      Both NSA and the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) expressed “a high interest” and offered support. The three secret services decided on further meetings and the creation of a project group. The BND hackers told the NSA about “a possibility to penetrate the Tor network”, a term commonly used for the infiltration of IT systems. In this case, the data suggests that the spy agencies wanted to exploit a design decision Tor publicly specified.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Saudi Women Were Allowed into a Sports Stadium for the First Time in the Kingdom’s History

      Saudi Arabia is celebrating the 87th anniversary of its founding this weekend, and on Saturday it allowed women into the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh for the first time for a special pageant operetta.

    • Miss Turkey stripped of her crown over coup tweet

      The winner of Miss Turkey 2017 has been stripped of her crown after one of her past tweets came to light.

      Itir Esen, 18, had shared a post referencing last year’s coup attempt, comparing her menstrual cycle to the spilt blood of “martyrs”.

      The competition’s organisers said the tweet was “unacceptable” and confirmed their decision to dismiss her, just hours after she won.
      Ms Esen has since said, via Instagram, that she was not being political.

      The tweet was posted around the first anniversary of the 15 July coup attempt, when nearly 250 people died fighting an army uprising.

    • Colin Kaepernick Stood Up for Justice by Kneeling During the National Anthem

      Colin Kaepernick has not been involved in “off-field” scandals, has committed no crime, and has donated almost $1 million to community organizations over the last year, yet the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is considered an outcast for kneeling during the national anthem.

      Why?

      Some say it’s because football is no place for politics. Not true. Gameday at every American stadium includes people waving signs endorsing candidates and offering literature for this or against that. Singing the anthem while jets fly overhead is a political moment. On the field or in the stands, standing at attention with your hand over your heart is a political statement.

    • From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity

      The free-range lunacy of Donald Trump’s speech on Friday night in Alabama, where he referred to Colin Kaepernick—and other N.F.L. players who silently protest police brutality—as a “son of a bitch,” and of the subsequent Twitter tantrums in which the President, like a truculent six-year-old, disinvited the Golden State Warriors from a White House visit, illustrates that the passage of six decades has not dimmed this dynamic confronted by Armstrong, or by any prominent black person tasked with the entertainment of millions of white ones. There again is the presence of outrage for events that should shock the conscience, and the reality of people who sincerely believe, or who have at least convincingly lied to themselves, that dissenters are creating an issue where there is none. Colin Kaepernick began his silent, kneeling protest at the beginning of last season, not as an assault against the United States military or the flag but as a dissent against a system that has, with a great degree of consistency, failed to hold accountable police who kill unarmed citizens. Since he did this, forty-one unarmed individuals have been fatally shot by police in the United States, twelve of them African-American, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post. The city of St. Louis recently witnessed three days of protests after the acquittal of the former police officer Jason Stockley, who, while still working for the S.L.P.D., fatally shot Anthony Smith, an eighteen-year-old African-American motorist who had led officers on a chase. Stockley emerged from his vehicle, having declared that he would “kill the motherfucker,” then proceeded to fire five rounds into the car. Later, a firearm was found on the seat of Smith’s car, but the weapon bore only Stockley’s DNA. The issue is not imaginary.

    • Kim Jong-un, the NFL and ‘Screaming at Senators’: Trump’s Strange Night in Alabama

      The president also dwelled on NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem in peaceful protest. He asked the crowd, “Wouldn’t you love one of the NFL owners when someone disrespects our flag, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now.’” He told attendees, “If you see it, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop.”

      Since 2016, a number of African American NFL players have taken a knee during the National Anthem. It was spurred by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who was the first to do so in protest what he saw as oppression of people of color. Several other players have since followed suit and it has sparked national controversy.

    • NBA Union Head Chris Paul Challenges Trump’s Manhood in Twitter Blast Over Black Athlete Attacks

      NBA star and head of the Players’ Union, Chris Paul, fired back at Donald Trump on Twitter Saturday. Over the last 24 hours, the President took shots at both NBA superstar Stephen Curry and ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

      Friday night, Trump called Kaepernick a “son of a b*tch” during a speech in Alabama, before uninviting Curry to the White House via Twitter Saturday morning (after Curry said he didn’t want to go).

    • Lebron Calls Trump a “Bum” After President Attacks Protest of Yet Another Black Athlete

      U.S. territory Puerto Rico is in utter ruins, with nearly the entire island without power and a failing dam threatening tens of thousands of people, on Saturday.

      High-stake tensions as international worries continue about North Korea’s testing of nuclear weapons and the U.S. military’s provocative show of force with South Korea.

      A Republican effort, though faltering, to strip Medicaid and other healthcare coverage from millions of people in the U.S. Senate.

      Wars without end in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elswhere amid news this week that Trump wants to loosen restrictions on the U.S. military borderless overseas drone program.

    • Calling Kaepernick ‘Son of a Bitch,’ Trump Urges NFL to Fire All Protesting Players

      Civil libertarians, racial justice advocates, and NFL players from across the league expressed outrage overnight after President Donald Trump called on owners of professional football teams to fire players who express their political views.

      In a veiled reference to quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last season started a wave of protest by kneeling during pre-game National Anthems in protest of police killings of unarmed black men, Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Alabama on Friday night, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of the NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now?’”

    • Trump delivers unhinged rant on NFL, calls Colin Kaepernick a ‘son of a bitch’

      During a 90-minute speech in Alabama, purportedly to support Senator Luther Strange who faces a special primary election next Tuesday, Trump diverted into an extended rant on the NFL.

      His ire was focused primarily on Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who have participated in silent protests during the national anthem.

    • Who Are the “Alt-Right”? On the Rise of Reactionary Hatred and How to Fight it

      With the rise in public visibility of far-right-wing militants in the U.S. following the events in Charlottesville, much of the public is scrambling to understand just what this movement is and what forces are driving it. With much of the public discussing strategies for how best to fight right-wing extremism, the need for constructive solutions is greater than ever.

      First and foremost, it’s important to point out that public support for far-right extremists is miniscule. The vast majority of Americans reject this movement’s violence and hatred. According to a Marist survey from the summer of 2017, just 4 percent of Americans said they support “white supremacy movement” or “white nationalism.” Similarly, just 6 percent embraced the term “alt-right.” Still, there is a legitimate concern that support for right-wing bigotry may grow in the future if left unchecked.

    • The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime

      Donohue said the CIA doesn’t do anything unless it meets two criteria. The first criterion is “intelligence potential.” The program must benefit the CIA; maybe it tells them how to overthrow a government, or how to blackmail an official, or where a report is hidden, or how to get an agent across a border. The term “intelligence potential” means it has some use for the CIA. The second criterion is that it can be denied. If they can’t find a way to structure the program or operation so they can deny it, they won’t do it. Plausible denial can be as simple as providing an officer or asset with military cover. Then the CIA can say, “The army did it.”

      Plausible denial is all about language. During Senate hearings into CIA assassination plots against Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders, the CIA’s erstwhile deputy director of operations Richard Bissell defined „plausible denial“ as “the use of circumlocution and euphemism in discussions where precise definitions would expose covert actions and bring them to an end.”

      Everything the CIA does is deniable. It’s part of its Congressional mandate. Congress doesn’t want to be held accountable for the criminal things the CIA does. The only time something the CIA does become public knowledge – other than the rare accident or whistleblower – is when Congress or the President think it’s helpful for psychological warfare reasons to let the American people know the CIA is doing it. Torture is a good example. After 9/11, and up until and through the invasion of Iraq, the American people wanted revenge. They wanted to see Muslim blood flowing, so the Bush administration let it leak that they were torturing evil doers. They played it cute and called it “enhanced interrogation,” but everyone understood symbolically. Circumlocution and euphemism. Plausible denial.

    • UK trains Oman’s police and special forces in ‘public order’ tactics

      New of the training project, which came to an end in March, has been met with dismay by Omani rights campaigners. They say that the training included officers from Oman’s elite Northern Frontier Regiment, which they claim opened fire on protesters in 2011 during the Arab Spring.

    • British actor Colin Firth gets dual Italian citizenship after Brexit vote

      British actor Colin Firth, who has often played the role of a quintessential Englishman in his many films, has become an Italian citizen, Italy’s Interior Ministry said.

      “The very famous actor, who won an Oscar for the film ‘The King’s Speech’, is married to a citizen from our country and has often declared his love for our land,” the ministry said in a statement.

      Firth said he would remain a dual national, adding that his Italian-born wife would also be seeking British nationality.

      “We never really thought much about our different passports,” the actor said in a statement.

    • Banks To Check Accounts For Illegal Immigrants

      “After having unleashed cruel and unnecessary checks against migrants in schools, universities and hospitals, now Theresa May is forcing banks to become part of her xenophobic ‘hostile environment’. This destructive mania aimed at making the daily lives of people from often quite marginalised communities even more untenable serves no purpose other than to pander to certain currents of racist populism in society. But it’s not only migrants that will suffer as a result of these measures, as everyone in the UK will have to deal with the consequences of the surveillance state being increasingly entrenched in our lives.”

    • In America, Justice for Victims of Police Brutality Remains Elusive

      Three years after the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement rose to prominence in Ferguson, Mo., protests over a police killing of a black man have once again garnered national attention—this time in the neighboring city of St. Louis. The acquittal of a white former police officer, Jason Stockley, over the killing of a 24-year-old black man named Anthony Lamar Smith shows that justice is still elusive for black victims of police officers. However, the subsequent days of protests by St. Louis residents show that the power and influence of BLM has only grown.

      The fact that it took nearly six years for a trial and verdict in this case is quite telling. Smith’s fatal encounter with police took place in December 2011, three months before Trayvon Martin was shot in Florida and the term “Black Lives Matter” was coined. During the high-speed chase that ended Smith’s life, Stockley was recorded saying he was “going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it.” After directing another police officer to hit Smith’s car, Stockley walked up to the young man’s vehicle. He fired five times into the car, killing Smith. Stockley claimed Smith had a gun in his hand and that he killed him in self-defense. But prosecutors suspected that the gun found in Smith’s car was planted by the officer since it had only Stockley’s DNA on it, and none of Smith’s. It took the state more than four years just to bring charges against the man who took Smith’s life.

    • When Racism Lurks in the Heart of a Death Penalty Juror

      Exactly 80 years later another story about a scheduled execution, this time one that is all too real, is playing out; but, unlike that first episode of The Shadow, there is little chance of a tidy and fair resolution (much less “a death house rescue”). Indeed, absent an unlikely intervention, the state of Georgia will execute death row inmate Keith Tharpe by lethal injection on September 26, 2017.

      Also, unlike the condemned man in The Shadow’s fictional “Death House Rescue,” no one is arguing that Tharpe is innocent. Nevertheless, Tharpe’s attorneys argue he shouldn’t be put to death because, as has been widely reported, after Tharpe’s conviction and death sentence, Tharpe’s lawyers secured a prejudice-laden sworn affidavit from a now-deceased juror by the name of Barney Gattie.

    • Spanish Centralism or the Self-Defeating Hubris of the Authoritarian Mind

      Catalonia is, like all societies I know of, a diverse and ideologically divided one. There are many people there that identify overwhelmingly with a Catalan past, the Catalan language and, perhaps most importantly, uniquely Catalan patterns of social organization and civic comportment, ones that place an inordinate—at least in relation to traditional Spanish ones—emphasis on negotiation (as opposed to fiats), commerce as (opposed to strategic intimidation and war-making) rational inquiry and the primacy of personal conscience (opposed to obedience to broadly propagated social and religious orthodoxies).

    • Is Trump a White Supremacist? Yes, But So is America

      In recent days a foolish controversy has swirled regarding president Donald Trump. At issue is whether or not he can be labeled a white supremacist. There is no need for conjecture on this point. He most certainly is a white supremacist. But asking the question is utterly useless in a country whose very founding was a white supremacist project. Racist structures impact every facet of life in this country. Race determines where we go to school, live, work, or even if one is employed at all.

      Recently released data showed that black Americans are the only group in the country whose median income has decreased since 2000. Asians, whites, and Latinos have all experienced some degree of income growth during this period. Income inequality is worse for black people now than it was in 1979 . Even black families who manage to scrape their way into middle class status are more likely to see their children slip back into poverty

    • Police Militarization is a Threat to Tribal Sovereignty

      What would a police officer do with a grenade launcher? While the notion may seem wild, we’re about to find out.

      Congress initially authorized the Pentagon to give surplus military gear to police in 1990 to help fight the drug war, but complaints about the militarization of police and the belief that it tends to escalate police violence rather than curb it were continuous and bipartisan. Then, after police responded to Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson armed to the teeth and deploying vicious dogs and tear gas onto civilians while brandishing loaded assault rifles, President Obama limited the military surplus program via executive order.

    • Victory for Immigrant Hunger Strikers: Lawsuit Challenges Slave Wages at Private Jail

      For three years now, incarcerated immigrants have staged hunger strikes and work stoppages to protest conditions at the Northwest Detention Center, an immigration jail in Tacoma, Washington, run by a private prison company that pays detainees as little as $1 a day to work in the jail.

      “This week folks were offered chips or a soup for several nights of waxing the floors, so not even $1 [per] day,” one person incarcerated in the jail recently reported to NWDC Resistance, an immigrant-led group fighting to end the deportation and detention of immigrants.

    • “Hands Off Pants On”: time to end gender-based abuse in the hotel industry

      Hotel housekeepers, bartenders, waitresses and cocktail servers – the majority of whom are women of color and immigrants – form the backbone of Chicago’s booming hospitality and tourism industry. Now these women are speaking out about their experiences of widespread and disturbing sexual harassment from guests. And they are calling for an end to the abuse. They are a part of the “Hands Off Pants On” campaign, a public awareness and legislative initiative to fight sexual harassment and sexual assault in the hospitality industry.

      Led by the Chicago Federation of Labor and UNITE HERE Local 1, the “Hands Off Pants On” campaign was born out of survey conducted in 2016 by UNITE HERE Local 1 of 487 women working in the Chicagoland hospitality industry.

    • The U.N. human rights chief reminds certain wealthy nations that torture is bad.
    • Trump Plays to White Nationalism From North Korea to NFL

      That is, the president of the United States casually threatened to commit genocide against an entire people, on the same medium where people celebrate the exploits of their cats.

      At home, Trump told a white crowd that it hurts the game of football “when people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem.”

      He actually said “those people.”

      Trump figures it bolsters his popularity with white Christians, his key demographic, if he is seen to be feuding with black athletes of the NBA and NFL, and if he is seen threatening genocide against North Korea.

      The natural order of things, he is saying, is a hierarchy with rich white American Christians on top, and then middle class white Christians elevated above all but their own rich. All other “races” and social classes come at the bottom. And if they themselves decline to recognize this pecking order, they must be put down with taunts.

    • Why A Cop With A Tattoo That Looks Like A Nazi Symbol Is Still On The Job

      Philadelphia Police Officer Ian Lichterman has a tattoo on his left forearm of an eagle that looks a lot like the emblem adopted by the Nazi party during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power — the only difference being that there’s no swastika inside the wreath hanging from the bird’s talons. Just above the wings sits the word “Fatherland.”

      The tattoo was little known to the public until September 2016, a few weeks after Lichterman wore a shortsleeve uniform shirt while working crowd-control duty during protests outside the Democratic National Convention. Philadelphia resident Evan Matthews snapped a photo and posted it on Facebook, and it went viral, leading the police department to open an investigation into whether Lichterman, who’d joined the force in 2000, should face any discipline.

      “I am deeply offended by the tattoo and I think it is completely inappropriate for any law enforcement officer to have such a tattoo given its impact on those they are sworn to protect and serve,” Mayor Jim Kenney declared in a January press release, noting in a separate statement that police departments “need to be building trust, not offering messages or displaying images that destroy trust.”

    • Obama’s Guantánamo Legacy Lingers in Trump Era

      While President Trump has quickly developed a more violent record than Obama on drone warfare, immigration and other policy areas, Trump has thus far not embraced Guantánamo and made it his own the way that Obama did in 2009.

      The 41 prisoners who remained at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp when Obama left office continue to be the only prisoners in the camp, and the arbitrary regime continues almost entirely as it did under Obama. Trump’s odd tweets about Guantánamo, such as his tweet about the alleged recidivism rate of former prisoners, are about as meaningful and effective as his tweets about covfefe and the country needing to “heel.”

    • London mayor says Britain should not host President Trump on state visit

      London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Sunday that it would be wrong for Britain to host U.S. President Donald Trump on a state visit, describing some of the U.S. leader’s views on Islam as “ignorant”.

      Khan and Trump have a history. During the U.S. presidential election campaign, Khan was among many people who spoke out against Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, an idea he said would play into the hands of extremists.

    • Trump’s Criticisms Incite More Protests at NFL Games

      President Donald Trump’s criticism of players who protest during the national anthem incited a mass increase in such activism Sunday, with more than 100 NFL players sitting or kneeling, others raising their fists and whole teams standing with locked arms to display unity.

      One team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, stayed in the locker room during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

    • NFL players, owners defy Trump on anthem protests

      National Football League players sat out, knelt and linked arms during pre-game national anthems played across the country and in London on Sunday, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump called on fans to boycott teams that do not discipline players who protest.

      In the first few games since Trump stepped up his criticism of NFL players, dozens of players and coaches of teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins did not stand for the anthem and took a knee, a gesture that began last year as a protest over police treatment of African-Americans and other minorities.

      The Pittsburgh Steelers waited off the field during the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago to avoid “playing politics” in divisive times, coach Mike Tomlin said.

    • Donald Trump’s Allies Join His Crusade Against The NFL

      A political group with close ties to President Donald Trump is amplifying his attack on professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest.

      “Turn off the NFL,” reads a digital ad produced by the nonprofit America First Policies, which planned to begin spreading the message on social media Sunday afternoon.

      The ad includes a photo with Trump, hand over his heart, and a #TakeAStandNotAKnee hashtag. It follows Trump’s recent remarks, first delivered during a Friday night speech in Alabama, aimed at football players who have protested police brutality and other causes.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon backtracks—but only slightly—in plan to kick customers off network

      Verizon Wireless is giving a reprieve to some rural customers who are scheduled to be booted off their service plans, but only in cases when customers have no other options for cellular service.

      Verizon recently notified 8,500 customers in 13 states that they will be disconnected on October 17 because they used roaming data on another network. But these customers weren’t doing anything wrong—they are being served by rural networks that were set up for the purpose of extending Verizon’s reach into rural areas.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The EC accused of burying a report that found that piracy isn’t that costly

        “The 300-page study was delivered to the Commission in May 2015, but was never published. Until today – I have managed to get access to a copy. The study’s conclusion: With the exception of recently released blockbusters, there is no evidence to support the idea that online copyright infringement displaces sales.”

      • EU Piracy Report Suppression Raises Questions Over Transparency

        One of the most important aspects of online piracy is whether it affects sales. So, when the EU Commission spends 360,000 euros on a study to find out, one might think it would be useful to publish the results. Instead, Member of the European Parliament Julia Reda had to jump through hoops to obtain them. Why all the secrecy?

      • EU paid for a report that concluded piracy isn’t harmful — and tried to hide the findings

        Back in 2014, the European Commission paid the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys 360,000 euros (about $428,000) to research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content. The final report was finished in May 2015, but for some reason it was never published– according to Julia Reda’s blog, the only Pirate in the EU Parliament.

      • Bell Calls for CRTC-Backed Website Blocking System and Complete Criminalization of Copyright in NAFTA

        Bell, Canada’s largest telecom company, has called on the government to support radical copyright and broadcast distribution reforms as part of the NAFTA renegotiation. Their proposals include the creation of a mandated website blocking system without judicial review overseen by the CRTC and the complete criminalization of copyright with criminal provisions attached to all commercial infringement. Bell also supports an overhaul of the current retransmission system for broadcasters, supporting a “consent model” that would either keep U.S. channels out of the Canadian market or dramatically increase their cost of access while maintaining simultaneous substitution.

      • Apple Extends iTunes Movie Rental Window to 48 Hours in United States
      • Apple now gives you 48 hours to watch a rented movie after starting it

        Apple has extended the period of time that customers have to finish (or rewatch) a rented movie to 48 hours. That’s up from the previous limit of 24 hours, as MacRumors noted earlier today. The clock starts when you begin watching rented content; you still have 30 days to hit the play button. Movies can be rewatched as many times as you’d like — or can fit in — during the 48-hour window.

      • Block The Pirate Bay Within 10 Days, Dutch Court Tells ISPs

        Dutch Internet service providers Ziggo and XS4ALL have been ordered to block The Pirate Bay. A ruling handed down today by The Court of The Hague compels the ISPs to block the infamous site within 10 days or face significant fines. The blocks will remain in place pending a final decision from the Supreme Court.

      • Roku Is Building Its Own Anti-Piracy Team

        Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the use of set-top boxes with pirate channels and add-ons. This has also affected Roku, but the popular media player is doing its best to keep its system pirate free. Two new job postings reveal that the company is putting together its own anti-piracy team.

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