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07.16.18

Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • TxFS Linux File-System Supports ACID Transactions, Simple API

      Presented at this past week’s 2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC18) was TxFS, the Texas Transactional File System for Linux.

      Texas Transactional File System (TxFS) has been in the works for a number of years and is a transactional file-system that offers a simple API, wide range of hardware support, high performance while supporting ACID transactions, and relatively low complexity.

      TxFS has been worked on by the University of Texas at Austin as well as VMware Research. Papers on TxFS have been published before but their ATC18 paper can be found here (PDF).

      One of the professors involved in this work has also tweeted some different remarks including the file-system is down to just five thousand lines of code by utilizing the file-system journal, how they provided isolation for TxFS transactions, and its very simple API of just three system calls.

    • Linux 4.18-rc5

      For some reason this week actually felt very busy, but the rc5 numbers
      show otherwise. It’s all small and calm, and things are progressing
      nicely.

      I think the “it felt busy” was partly due to me stressing out over a
      nasty VM bug that turned out to have a trivial two-liner fix. But
      there were also a fair amount of email threads for future stuff, so
      that probably also made me feel last week was busier than the actual
      rc5 tree shows.

      Anyway, of what little happened in rc5 (see appended shortlog for
      details), it’s just a fairly random collection of smallish fixes all
      over. About a third drivers (nothing in particular stands out – rdma,
      usb, ata, mmc, sound) with the rest being some tooling (mostly perf),
      some arch updates, some filesystem stuff (mostly reiserfs), some arch
      fixlets (mips, arm[64], x86) and some misc core kernel (tracing, VM
      fixes, timers, yadda yadda).

    • Linux 4.18-rc5 Kernel Released: Regressions Continue To Be Tackled
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 27

        Get ready for a humongous week for KDE’s Usability and Productivity initiative! KDE developers and contributors squashed a truly impressive number of bugs this week, all the while adding features and polishing the user interface.

      • New client languages for Qt WebChannel

        At the company I’m working at, we’re employing Qt WebChannel for remote access to some of our software. Qt WebChannel was originally designed for interfacing with JavaScript clients, but it’s actually very well suited to interface with any kind of dynamic language.

        We’ve created client libraries for a few important languages with as few dependencies as possible: pywebchannel (Python, no dependencies), webchannel.net (.NET/C#, depends on JSON.NET) and webchannel++ (header-only C++14, depends on Niels Lohmann’s JSON library).

      • Latte Dock 0.8 Released For This KDE-Aligned Desktop Dock

        Latte Dock 0.8 is now available as the latest feature update for this open-source, KDE-aligned desktop dock.

        Latte Dock 0.8 adds multiple task separators, new layout settings, new appearance settings, panel/dock mode changing, various new community layouts, larger badges, new command-line options, a number of Wayland improvements, new global shortcuts, and various other enhancements.

      • Latte Dock v0.8, “…a friendly smile…”

        Latte Dock v.0.8 released!!! The third stable release has just landed!

      • Eighth & Ninth week of coding phase, GSoC’18

        The API to interact with browser user-scripts. This will enable the plugin to create, register, remove, and get all the user-scripts loaded in the browser. Also the scripts registered by it will automatically gets unregistered when the plugin unloads.

      • GSoC 2018 – Coding Period (June 26th to July 15th): RAID on Linux

        I’ve passed in the second evaluation of Google Summer of Code 2018. I am ready for the third phase, but before that I’ll give some updates about how my progress with RAID on kpmcore is going. This post will explain how RAID management works on Linux.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Description view

        Now, coming to the description view itself, along with displaying metadata objects like Developer, Publisher, Co-op, Release Date, Genre as GtkLabels, Cover is being displayed in a thumbnail view with the game’s title placed just below the thumbnail as a GtkLabel, additionally a game’s Rating is rounded off and shown as a Star Rating. Description is shown in a GtkScrolledWindow placed just adjacent to the thumbnail.

      • GUADEC 2018 Almeria – reflections

        Almeria was a grand time, as usual being able to connect with friends and acquaintances is a large part of what makes GUADEC special. I found all the evening events to be spectacular and full of surprises. The beach party was awesome, and the flamenco night was just spectacular. I was really moved by the music and the dancing. There was clearly a lot of different influences there.

      • Ruxandra Simion: GUADEC 2018

        I would like to begin this special blog post by congratulating everybody for contributing to a memorable GUADEC. This was my first time officially attending the GUADEC conference, after attending as a visitor some of the events held in Manchester during the GUADEC 20th edition last year, and this time it was truly an amazing experience.

        [...]

        I would like to thank through this blogpost the organising team for the effort and dedication put into holding the GUADEC conference in the beautiful city of Almeria. Without all of your hard work I would not be writing this post now.

        To the women of GNOME, thank you for kindly receiving me at the women’s dinner and sharing your experiences with me. I truly appreciate it, and I will try my best to keep in touch with you all and continue to share ideas and experiences with you.

        Thank you to everyone who interacted with me after delivering the lightning speech on modernising Five or More. It really means the world to me you came by to say hi, are willing to offer feedback, or even help with some aspects.

      • Nautilus and GTK+ 4
      • GNOME’s Nautilus Port To GTK4 Making Progress

        While GTK4 likely isn’t coming out until next spring, the Nautilus file manager port to this updated tool-kit is well underway.

        GNOME contributor Ernestas Kulik has provided an update on the porting effort of Nautilus to GTK+ 4. Nautilus is now building under GTK4 and can run, but a lot of work remains.

      • GUADEC 2018 Almería

        I recently attended the recent GNOME Users and Developers European Conference (GUADEC) in Almería, Spain. This was my fifth GUADEC and as always I was able to attend thanks to my employer Canonical paying for me to be there. This year we had seven members of the Ubuntu desktop team present. Almería was a beautiful location for the conference and a good trade for the winter weather I left on the opposite side of the world in New Zealand.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4

        Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre is a curious project that takes a number of interesting approaches which set it apart from other distributions. The Hyperbola distribution is based on snapshots of Arch Linux. While Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution, Hyperbola maintains fixed releases taken from Arch snapshots and then, according to the project’s website, the Hyperbola developers mix in security updates from Debian. The idea is to create an Arch-like operating system with a fixed base and minor patch updates.

        The distribution is dedicated to free software ideals and ships only libre software as defined by the Free Software Foundation. Finally, Hyperbola makes a special edition called Hypertalking which is based on TalkingArch and provides accessibility software for visually impaired users.

        I downloaded the distribution’s main edition which is available as a 672MB ISO. The distribution media will boot on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems with the option to select which architecture we want from the ISO’s boot menu. When the disc boots we are presented with a text console where we are advised we can see documentation for getting on-line using the Lynx web browser by typing “lynx network.html”.

        The default, text-based interface on the disc is quite minimal, but it’s enough to partition our hard drive and set up a local copy of the operating system. I don’t think it’s intended to do much more than that.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Major updated packages for Lx 3

        Good news for OpenMandriva Lx 3 users. While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 in on the way, we keep taking care of OMLx 3.03. Developers crisb, itchka, and TPG have made available a long list of updated packages just released to our updates repositories after the normal testing.

        Updated packages include Firefox 61.0.1, Thunderbird 52.9.0, Plasma 5.12.6, Quassel 0.12.5, Qt5 5.9.6, Libre Office 6.0.5, Mesa 18.1.3 and number of other updated KDE packages.

      • While Waiting for OpenMandriva Lx 4, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Users Get Lots of Updates

        While waiting for the forthcoming OpenMandriva Lx 4 operating system series, users of the current OpenMandriva Lx 3 release have received numerous updated packages.

        The OpenMandriva development team announced over the weekend that a long list of updated packages await users of the OpenMandriva Lx 3 operating system series, which include the recently released KDE Plasma 5.12.6 LTS desktop environment and Mozilla Firefox 61.0.1 web browser.

        “Good news for OpenMandriva Lx 3 users. While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 in on the way, we keep taking care of OMLx 3.03. Developers crisb, itchka, and TPG have made available a long list of updated packages just released to our updates repositories after the normal testing,” reads the announcement.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get LibreOffice 6.1, Mozilla Firefox 61, and FFmpeg 4

        The month of July 2018 was pretty busy for the openSUSE Tumbleweed development team, and the first two weeks of the month already delivered dozens of updates and security fixes.

        openSUSE developer Dominique Leuenberger reports that a total of nine snapshots have been released in July 2018 for the openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux operating system series, which follows a rolling release model where users install once and receive updates forever. As expected, these 9 snapshots bring numerous updates and bugfixes.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Google Summer of Code with a Debian Project

        Yes! My project proposal was selected.

        First of all I want to mention that I began my open source adventure with Debian.

        I started to participate in the open source events like Hackathons, BSP and Conferences and doing small contribution to different projects and this is how everything started.

      • Debian 9.5 Released: “Rock Solid” GNU/Linux Distro Arrives With Spectre v2 Fix

        Following the fourth point release of Debian 9 “stretch” in March, the developers of the popular GNU/Linux distro have shipped the latest update to its stable distribution. For those who don’t know, Debian 9 is an LTS version that’ll remain supported for 5 years.

        As one would expect, this point release doesn’t bring any set of new features and keeps focusing on improving an already stable experience by delivering security patches and bug fixes. In case you’re looking for an option that brings new features, you can check out the recently released Linux Mint 19.

      • Your Help Is Needed to Test VeraCrypt Support in the Tails Anonymous OS, GNOME

        The team behind the famous Tails operating system, also known as the Amnesic Incognito Live System or simply Anonymous OS, needs your help to test the integration of the VeraCrypt disk encryption software.

        In an attempt to provide Tails users with better security, the team is working hard these days on the integration of the VeraCrypt open-source and free disk encryption utility used for on-the-fly encryption of encrypted disk drives into the next-generation Tails OS as well as the GNOME desktop environment it uses by default.

        This will let Tails users easily unlock encrypted volumes on-the-fly when using the anonymous live system to stay hidden online while protecting their identity and privacy. To makes things even easier, they created the VeraCrypt Mounter utility for unlocking VeraCrypt encrypted drives.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Snap Apps Website Gets Much Needed Improvements

            Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is pushing aggressively for the adoption of its universal packaging system Snap. And in the same bid, it has improved the user interface and user experience of its online Snap application store.

            Snap applications are a new kind of s self-contained, containerized applications. They contain most of the dependencies inside it and are confined from the operating system and other applications through security mechanisms. In other words, Snaps are more secure by design but they are bigger in size and take longer to load than the regular Linux applications.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE – Pimp your desktop to perfection

              Ubuntu MATE has made a quantum leap of innovation in the past several months, offering a wealth of visual and functional changes and a mindblowing level of flexibility when it comes to customization. You really have the ability to implement anything and everything, and all of it natively, from within the system’s interface. The list of options is so long that it can be overwhelming.

              Hopefully, this little pimping guide puts some order into this fine and rich chaos. Ubuntu Bionic isn’t the most refined distro, but it sure has the almost infinite possibilities to make it appear and behave how you want it. You can have a classic desktop one day and then a MAC-like thing the next and then Ubuntu Unity the day after that. It’s all there, very slick, very elegant. Well, it’s time for you to do some exploring. See you.

            • Want to Make Linux Mint Look Like a Mac? This Theme Can Help

              We’ve established how easy it is to make Ubuntu look like a Mac but theming Linux Mint, the popular Ubuntu-based offshoot, is a little trickier.

              But no more.

              It’s now possible to make Linux Mint look like a Mac too, and it’s all thanks to a customised version of the uncannily accurate macOS Mojave GTK theme we highlighted here, just a few weeks ago.

              If you’ve longed to add some Cupertino styling to the Cinnamon desktop, keep reading!

            • This Week in Lubuntu Development #7

              Here is the seventh issue of This Week in Lubuntu Development. You can read the last issue here.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The car industry needs to embrace open source

    The race to develop software for the connected car market is heating up as consumers expect their vehicles to give them the same experience and ease of use that they have come to know with their smartphones.

    The 2017 Autotrader Car Impact Study found that 53 percent of consumers expect their vehicles to offer the same level of technology as their phones, keeping them connected on the move.

    Unfortunately, far too many of the automotive manufacturers and the other companies that are developing products for the connected car market are stuck in neutral, unable to produce software at a pace to stay competitive with smartphone level technology.

    While the eventual goal for many of the companies in this space is aimed at coming out with the first road-ready autonomous vehicle, most of the current attention is geared towards writing code for infotainment systems, the combination of interfaces that provide services like navigation and streaming music or video to make those long commutes a little bit more bearable.

  • Luxoft joins Daimler in software for next-gen cars

    The centre is looking for QA Automation Engineers with expertise in Python, Manual QA Engineers with DevOps principles knowledge, Software Developers with Linux Embedded Expertise, C++, Qt and Tools and Automation Engineer, with Jenkins, Git and Unix systems knowledge

  • Events

    • Linux Audio Conference Team: All videos now available

      The title says it all: We have finally finished up on the remaining videos.

      You can find them all either linked on the respective event pages in the schedule or in the collection of videos on media.ccc.de (linked to in the menu).

      Due to holidays and other things in life, releasing the few remaining videos (mainly concerts, a few workshops and the keynote) took longer than anticipated. We hope they’re worth the wait and are sure you will be able to enjoy them!

    • Linux Audio Conference 2018 Videos Available For Your Enjoyment

      Taking place last month at Berlin’s C-Base was the sixteenth Linux Audio Conference. The 2018 Linux Audio Conference focused on everything from different open-source sound projects to different multimedia tools and more.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

    • Confessions of a recovering Perl hacker

      My name’s MikeCamel, and I’m a Perl hacker.

      There, I’ve said it. That’s the first step.

      My handle on IRC, Twitter and pretty much everywhere else in the world is “MikeCamel.” This is because, back in the day, when there were no chat apps—no apps at all, in fact—I was in a technical “chatroom” and the name “Mike” had been taken. I looked around, and the first thing I noticed on my desk was the Camel Book, the O’Reilly Perl Bible.

      I have the second edition now, but this was the first edition. Yesterday, I happened to pick up the second edition, the really thick one, to show someone on a video conference call, and it had a thin layer of dust on it. I was a little bit ashamed, but a little bit relieved as well.

    • RcppClassic 0.9.11

      A new maintenance release, now at version 0.9.11, of the RcppClassic package arrived earlier today on CRAN. This package provides a maintained version of the otherwise deprecated initial Rcpp API which no new projects should use as the normal Rcpp API is so much better.

    • Mike Hommey: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 4

      Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

    • Russ Allbery: Review: Effective Python

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UK-India trade review calls for flexibility on food standards and chemical rules

      The official joint trade review – obtained by Unearthed despite the UK government’s refusal to release it – spotlights a range of non-tariff barriers to trade identified by Indian businesses, including limits on fungicides in basmati rice, the enforcement of food hygiene standards for milk and dairy products such as paneer and the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals across a range of non-food products.

      The list – drafted by the Indian ministry of commerce – stops short of demanding the rules be removed after Brexit, instead suggesting flexibility in how and when they are applied to meet the needs of exporters.

    • Monsanto ‘bullied scientists’ and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court

      “Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully … and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. “They fought science.”

      [...]

      Wisner also read documents that he said showed how Monsanto strategized plans to “ghostwrite” favorable research.

    • Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient’s case against Monsanto goes to trial in SF

      The case of a Benicia groundskeeper who claims he developed terminal cancer as a result of using the herbicide Roundup went to trial Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, the first of what could be a flood of cases accusing the agricultural giant Monsanto of distributing deadly poison and trying to cover it up.

    • We Have No Idea How Bad the US Tick Problem Is

      Ostfeld and his wife and research partner Felicia Keesing are in the middle of a four-year study to evaluate the efficacy of two tick-control methods in their home territory of Dutchess County, an area with one of the country’s highest rates of Lyme disease. It’s a private-public partnership between their academic institutions, the CDC, and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which provided a $5 million grant.

    • A Virginia teen suffered third-degree burns after touching an invasive weed that can cause severe burns, blisters, scars, and blindness — here’s what you should know about giant hogweed

      The plant’s sap, which people can encounter when they break the stem or leaves or brush against its bristles, can make skin extremely sensitive to the sun, leading to third-degree burns in a short period. Scars from the burns can last for years, and the reaction can cause blindness if sap gets in a person’s eye.

    • ‘His Face Was Peeling Off’: US Teen Hospitalized After Touching Giant Hogweed

      A Virginia teenager was hospitalized earlier this week with second and third-degree burns after touching a giant hogweed plant, an invasive species whose sap causes one to become allergic to sunlight.

    • This Giant Invasive Flower Can Give You Third-Degree Burns

      But whatever you do, don’t touch it. The giant hogweed’s toxic sap could give you third-degree burns if you don’t get out of the sun and wash it off immediately. Like an anti-sunblock, chemicals in its juices disrupt your skin’s ability to filter out harmful UV rays. Get it in your eyes and you could go blind.

      [...]

      “We’ve been getting calls and emails with parents afraid to let their children outside,” says Elaine Lidholm, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Agriculture. And rightly so. Hogweed sap contains a class of chemicals called furocoumarins that absorb specific wavelengths of light. Those excited molecules bounce around in skin cells causing DNA damage and cell death, starting with blisters and a raised rash. The more time you spend in the sun, the more energy they absorb, damaging tissues even further down, which can result in second- and third-degree burns.

    • ‘These Kids Are Watching Their Parents Die’

      For children growing up in the shadow of the opioid crisis, public schools have become the safety net of last resort.

    • First death linked to air pollution as government asthma advisor finds ‘striking association’ with girl’s fatality

      A government health advisor said there was a “striking association” between the times young Ella Kissi-Debrah was admitted to hospital in an emergency, and spikes of nitrogen dioxide and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants, near her home.

    • Illegal levels of air pollution linked to child’s death

      According to a report by one of the UK’s leading experts on asthma and air pollution, Prof Stephen Holgate, there was a “striking association” between Ella’s emergency hospital admissions and recorded spikes in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants.

    • How Flawed Drug Testing Can Ruin Your Life

      We talked to “Ross,” who works out of a government lab in a major American city. He gave us his insider perspective on exactly what drug testing is like, and how deeply the worst parts of the system might screw you.

    • How Nestle Makes Billions Bottling Free Water

      Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, bottles Michigan’s water for next to nothing and sells it at great profit. And the state has just approved its request to pump even more, despite the failed promise of jobs and 80,000 public comments against Nestle. Meanwhile, just two hours away, Flint still doesn’t have clean water. AJ+’s Dena Takruri meets those who have a stake in this fight, including local environmentalists, a tribal citizen, ordinary residents and a Nestle spokeswoman.

    • Elon Musk says he will fund fixing Flint’s foul water

      As is usually the case with plans that are barely an hour old, the details are thin as of now. But Musk—tweeting from China—told people in Flint to reply to his tweet with test results showing contamination above the recommended limits, at which point he would arrange having a water filter fitted for them. (We should note that it’s actually the EPA, not the FDA, that sets limits on environmental pollution exposure, and that the state of Michigan has already been supplying water filters to affected residents.)

    • MDEQ official who told Flint residents to ‘relax’ will lead media training for Michigan
    • He told Flint to ‘relax.’ Now, Michigan is paying him to lead media training.

      The estimated $49,000 contract lasts through 2021 and lists Brad Wurfel as one of two “key personnel” for the project, along with firm partner Deborah Muchmore. Wurfel joined the firm in 2016, about a year after resigning as DEQ communications director amid controversy from Flint’s water crisis.

    • The Flint Water Crisis Is Bigger Than Elon Musk
    • Elon Musk Calls Thai Cave Rescuer A “Pedophile” In Bizarre Twitter Outburst

      Elon Musk is known to have his meltdown moments on Twitter from time to time. Just last week, in an interview with Bloomberg, he promised to tone down his tweets and become better at the social network.

      Well, he doesn’t seem to catch a break. This time, he ended up attacking Vernon Unsworth, one of the Thai cave rescue divers who played an important role in the mission. In a now-deleted tweet, Musk called him a “pedo guy.”

    • British cave diver considering legal action after ‘pedo’ attack by Elon Musk

      British caver Vernon Unsworth, centre, gets out of pick up truck
      British caver Vernon Unsworth, centre, became the target of Elon Musk’s ire after he criticised the billionaire’s plan to use a submarine to rescue 12 trapped boys Photograph: STAFF/Reuters

      A British cave diver who was instrumental in the rescue of 12 children trapped in a northern Thailand cave says he is considering legal action after the inventor Elon Musk called him a “pedo” on Twitter.

      Vernon Unsworth, 63, told the Guardian on Monday he was “astonished and very angry” at the attack, for which Musk offered no evidence or basis. The billionaire initially doubled down on the comments made on social media, but has since deleted them.

    • Water Is a Human Right – in Flint, in Michigan, and the US

      While US standards allow for small levels of lead, from a public health perspective there is no safe level of lead.

    • ‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people

      This is the story of how the city of Flint was poisoned by its own water. It was not because of a natural disaster, or simple negligence, or even because some corner-cutting company was blinded by profit. Instead, a disastrous choice to break a crucial environmental law, followed by 18 months of delay and cover-up by the city, state and federal governments, put a staggering number of citizens in peril.

      [...]

      What happened in Flint reveals a new hydra of dangers in civic life: environmental injustice, the limits of austerity, and urban disinvestment. Neglect, it turns out, is not a passive force in American cities, but an aggressive one.

    • Michigan DHHS director makes final push to avoid Flint water jury trial

      Attorneys for Lyon and special Flint water prosecutor Todd Flood are scheduled to argue whether the director should be bound over on charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office on Wednesday, July 10, more than a year after he was arraigned on the charges.

    • The Next Flint Water Nightmare Could Be Closer Than You Think

      Clark’s new book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, out this week, retells the story of Flint in a compelling, nuanced fashion that’s sure to make readers angry all over again. It’s a story of failure and misconduct that seems all the more urgent at a time when the people in charge of the government are trying to dismantle federal agencies.

      I recently talked to Clark why citizen complaints about Flint’s water were ignored, how media pressure turned the crisis into a national conversation, and whether other cities could be at risk for a Flint-like crisis.

    • Task force set up to combat marine pollution, judicial commission told

      Officials of the PN, KPT, Port Qasim Authority, Karachi and Korangi fish harbour authorities, Karachi Sewerage and Water Board, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, TDAP, secretary for environment and alternative energy, secretary for livestock and fisheries and others were in attendance during a meeting held by the commission at the Sindh High Court on Saturday.

      The participants discussed the issue of marine pollution and related concerns such as discharge of municipal and industrial waste across West Wharf and Karachi and Korangi fish harbours.

    • No Fish In ­Water Vapour: In Gujarat, Fishermen Are Suffering Due To Narmada Waters
    • Over 80pc water supplied through private tankers unfit for consumption: Wasa

      More than 80pc of water supplied by private tanker services in the garrison city is unfit for human consumption, a laboratory report from the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has found.

      The report was presented to Commissioner retired Capt Saif Anjum during a meeting at his offices on Saturday.

    • Nevada to become first state to execute inmate with fentanyl

      The state intends to use a synthetic opioid – involved in more than 20,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone – to kill Scott Dozier, a double murderer, after finding it difficult to obtain other drugs for Nevada’s first execution in 12 years because of opposition from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

      But questions have been raised about whether Nevada’s department of corrections broke the law to obtain the fentanyl, and whether the multibillion dollar distribution company that provided the drug ignored evidence it was to be used in an execution.

  • Security

    • Data breaches show we’re only three clicks away from anarchy

      An IT glitch afflicting BP petrol stations for three hours last Sunday evening might not sound like headline news. A ten-hour meltdown of Visa card payment systems in June was a bigger story — as was the notorious TSB computer upgrade cock-up that started on 20 April, which was still afflicting customers a month later and was reported this week to be causing ruptures between TSB and its Spanish parent Sabadell.

      Meanwhile, what do Fortnum & Mason, Dixons Carphone, Costa Coffee and its sister company Premier Inn have in common with various parts of the NHS? The answer is that they have all suffered recent large-scale ‘data breaches’ that may have put private individuals’ information at risk. IT Governance, a blog that monitors international news stories in this sphere, came up with a global figure of 145 million ‘records leaked’ last month alone. Such leaks are daily events everywhere — and a lesson of the TSB story was that cyber fraudsters are waiting to attack wherever private data becomes accessible, whether because of computer breakdown or lax data protection.

    • UK security researcher Hutchins makes renewed bid for freedom

      British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who was arrested by the FBI last August over alleged charges of creating and distributing a banking trojan, has made a fresh bid to go free, claiming that the US has no territorial jurisdiction to file charges against him for alleged crimes committed elsewhere.

    • Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security

      An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others.

    • Containers or virtual machines: ​Which is more secure? The answer will surprise you

      Are virtual machines (VM) more secure than containers? You may think you know the answer, but IBM Research has found containers can be as secure, or more secure, than VMs.

      James Bottomley, an IBM Research Distinguished Engineer and top Linux kernel developer, writes: “One of the biggest problems with the current debate about Container vs Hypervisor security is that no-one has actually developed a way of measuring security, so the debate is all in qualitative terms (hypervisors ‘feel’ more secure than containers because of the interface breadth) but no-one actually has done a quantitative comparison.” To meet this need, Bottomley created Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP), designed to describe system security in a way that it can be objectively measured. Bottomley has discovered that “a Docker container with a well crafted seccomp profile (which blocks unexpected system calls) provides roughly equivalent security to a hypervisor.”

    • A New Method of Containment: IBM Nabla Containers

      In the previous post about Containers and Cloud Security, I noted that most of the tenants of a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) could safely not worry about the Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP) and leave the CSP to manage the risk. However, there is a small category of jobs (mostly in the financial and allied industries) where the damage done by a Horizontal Breach of the container cannot be adequately compensated by contractual remedies. For these cases, a team at IBM research has been looking at ways of reducing the HAP with a view to making containers more secure than hypervisors. For the impatient, the full open source release of the Nabla Containers technology is here and here, but for the more patient, let me explain what we did and why. We’ll have a follow on post about the measurement methodology for the HAP and how we proved better containment than even hypervisor solutions.

      [...]

      Like most sandbox models, the Nabla containers approach is an alternative to namespacing for containment, but it still requires cgroups for resource management. The figures show that the containment HAP is actually better than that achieved with a hypervisor and the performance, while being marginally less than a namespaced container, is greater than that obtained by running a container inside a hypervisor. Thus we conclude that for tenants who have a real need for HAP reduction, this is a viable technology.

    • Measuring the Horizontal Attack Profile of Nabla Containers
    • Tron (TRX) Gives $25,000 to 5 Developers Who Spotted Bugs in Open-Source Code

      Just a couple of days ago, Binance – a very popular digital currency trading platform – credited the Binance account of thirty-one selected Tron (TRX) traders with five million TRX tokens. Recently, the Tron Foundation has also announced it gave away $25k to five developers that are actively working to redefine the community of Tron.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 105 – More backdoors in open source
    • GandCrab v4.1 Ransomware and the Speculated SMB Exploit Spreader [Ed: Microsoft’s collaboration with the NSA on back doors is a gift to keeps giving…. to crackers.]
    • Rewritten GandCrab Ransomware Targets SMB Vulnerabilities To Attack Faster

      GandCrab ransomware, which has created a hullabaloo in the cybersecurity industry by constantly evolving, has yet again caused a commotion. The latest version of the ransomware attacks system using SMB exploit spreader via compromised websites. The ransomware is adding new features every day to target different countries.

      The attackers behind the ransomware are scanning the whole internet to find the vulnerable websites to unleash the attack. The latest version features a long hard-coded list of websites that were compromised and were used to connect with it.

    • France’s cyber command marched in Paris’s Bastille Day Parade for the first time

      For the first time, France’s military cyber command marched in this year’s Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, alongside other units in the nation’s armed forces. The military noted that it’s a recognition of the advances that the unit has made since its formation last year, and reinforces that “cyber defense remains a national priority.”

      French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the formation of COMCYBER in December 2016, noting that the emergence of state actors operating in cyberspace was a new way to approach warfare. The command brought all of the nation’s soldiers focused on cyber defense under one command, with three main tasks: cyber intelligence, protection, and offense.

    • Should I let my staff choose their own kit and, if so, how?
  • Defence/Aggression

    • The lethal Obama’s big SA welcome

      Next week, South Africans will welcome former US president Barack Obama to the country. He will be celebrated because he is one of us – he is black, an African, a son of the soil…

      Obama will deliver the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. However, the significance of the connection between Obama, as the first black president of the US, and our own first black president is overstated. Mandela did not side with the rich and powerful. He was also opposed to the deathly military adventurism that is so intrinsic to US foreign policy.

      Obama refined this policy and included targeted assassinations of “brown” people. Remember how apartheid’s defence force targeted and assassinated exiled South Africans? As a journalist in the 1980s, I witnessed this destruction of families. And those people Obama’s fighters assassinated? Well, they were “terrorists”. The same as the people the apartheid regime assassinated.

      That we will accept Obama uncritically says more about our own duplicities, expediencies, blindness, gullibility and, of course, our racial biases and prejudices. We like him because he is one of us – he is black.

    • 2 Killed in Gaza, 4 Wounded in Israel, in Most Intense Fighting Since 2014 War

      Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike and four Israelis were wounded by mortar fire from Gaza on Saturday as fighting in and around the Gaza Strip escalated to what the Israeli prime minister called the most intense level since the 2014 war.

      Hamas and allied Islamic militant groups fired nearly 100 projectiles at Israeli territory throughout the day, most of them mortar rounds, though rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon.

      Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense batteries intercepted more than 20 of those that had the potential to do damage, the military said, but some got through. A mortar struck the courtyard of a Sderot synagogue, according to the Israeli military, and local news media reported that a house in Sderot was also hit, wounding four members of a family.

    • CAL THOMAS: Is Europe awakening to the threat?

      Much of Europe was asleep, or in denial, when the Nazis took power and began rebuilding their military in violation of the Versailles Treaty that brought World War I to

    • Turkey Attempted to Stop Broadcast of Assyrian Genocide Documentary

      The Turkish Embassy in Sweden officially asked the Swedish television channel TV4 last week not to air a documentary on the Assyrian Genocide. The documentary Seyfo 1915 — The Assyrian Genocide by the director Aziz Said and produced by the Assyrian Federation of Sweden was scheduled to be aired on Sunday 24 April, the day Assyrians and Armenians commemorate the victims of the genocide perpetrated by the ruling Young Turks during the late phase of the Ottoman Empire.

    • Anti-terrorism: Hate Speech

      To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in pursuit of their anti-terrorism strategy, they will require preaching in mosques and teaching in madrassas in England and Wales to be monitored for hate speech against non-Muslims.

    • Six killed, Baptist church burnt in fresh Plateau attack

      According to an eyewitness, the fresh attack lasted for almost an hour before the intervention of the military.

    • Indonesian forces to blame for Papua killings: Amnesty

      Indonesian security forces are behind the unlawful killing of at least 95 people in Papua since 2010, with most perpetrators never held to account, Amnesty International said in a new report on Monday.

      Papua, on the western half of New Guinea island, has been the scene of a simmering independence insurgency since it was annexed by Indonesia in the late 1960s.

    • Indonesia: Falling to Radicals

      If the repatriated foreign fighters are able to radicalize Indonesia’s Muslims, all of the country may eventually resemble Aceh Province, where, after a lengthy reign of terror by Islamic militias, most Christians have been driven out.

    • Regional Election; Playing the Religion Card in North Sumatra
    • Rape of hill girls triggers protest at Shahbagh

      Three women’s rights platforms formed a human chain in front of Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka’s Shahbagh this morning demanding immediate arrests and exemplary punishment of all the perpetrators who raped two indigenous girls in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) this month.

    • Victims of rape in South Asia face further violation from the courts

      The so-called “two-finger test”, in which a doctor examines the vagina to decide if a woman is sexually active, was banned in India in 2014, after the Supreme Court ruled that it was an invasion of privacy (as well as irrelevant). In 2016 Pakistan prohibited the test from being used in rape trials. This year Bangladesh followed suit. Yet in all three countries the test is still widely used.

      Last year Human Rights Watch, an internationtional pressure group, found that the test is still routine in Rajasthani hospitals. And this year an Indian human-rights organisation, Jan Sahas, looked at the records of 200 group-rape trials and concluded that the test was a deciding factor in 80% of them.

    • Finland has second thoughts about its women soldiers

      “We have to have a universal military service, so that we are able to train for war a military of 280,000 people,” he told Finnish public TV.

    • Taliban’s best fighters being trained by Iran

      Hundreds of Taliban fighters are receiving advanced training from special forces at military academies in Iran as part of a significant escalation of support for the insurgents, Taliban and Afghan officials have told The Times.

      [...]

      A political adviser to the Taliban at its Quetta Shura headquarters in Pakistan said: “The Iranian offer of training came with two demands: that we should put more focus on attacking American and Nato interests in Afghanistan, and devote more forces to attacking the Daesh [Isis].”

    • Telangana student shot dead in US eatery; police release suspect video
    • Wimbledon ‘ring of steel’ goes up as police chief warns vehicle terror attacks are continuing threat

      The waist-high posts are a new feature of the ‘ring of steel’ thrown around the All England Lawn Tennis Club to guard against the nightmare scenario of a vehicle being used to mount pavements and ram innocent tennis fans.

    • Salafist Scare in Sweden as Report Points to Avalanche Growth of Radical Islam

      According to the report, named “Between Salafism and Salafic Jihadism,” the number of Islamist extremists has grown tenfold over the past decade.

    • South Koreans resist arrival of Yemeni asylum seekers

      “And local people here are worried,” Kim added. “We have all read about the problems that immigrants have caused in Europe — in Germany and France in particular — and we do not want that to happen here.

      “And we are also worried because of their religion,” he admitted. “We have had no contact with Muslim people before, but we know that they all have big families and they bring their own culture instead of trying to adapt to the place where they live, so people here think that they should have gone as refugees to other Muslim countries.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Britain is reportedly in high level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the London embassy

      JULIAN Assange is reportedly set to be evicted from Ecuador’s London embassy after six years of asylum, with Britain in high-level talks with the South American country.

      Ministers and senior Foreign Office officials are said to be in discussions over the future of the Australian WikiLeaks founder, who has been confined to the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge for more than six years.

      His refuge in the building has cost taxpayers millions of dollars since he fled there 2012.

    • New bid to kick Assange out of embassy

      BRITAIN is in high-level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the country’s London embassy, it was reported yesterday.

    • Ecuador’s new president might be ready to kick Julian Assange out of London embassy

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for six years, but the country’s new president is ready to evict.

      According to The Sunday Express, Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan is “said to be involved in a diplomatic effort” just weeks ahead of President Lenin Moreno’s visit.

    • Britain, Ecuador in ‘High-Level’ Talks to Evict Julian Assange from Embassy

      Speaking to reporters from the balcony’s Ecuador London embassy in 2012, Assange called on U.S. authorities to halt its investigation into WikiLeaks. “I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks,” said Assange. “The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters.”

      Embassy staffers in March cut off Assange’s internet access and revoked permission to receive visitors.

    • Britain ‘is in secret talks with Ecuador in bid to evict Julian Assange from South American country’s London embassy’

      Britain is in secret talks with Ecuador to evict Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from its embassy in London.

      Senior foreign officials, believed to include the Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, are in talks to try and decide Mr Assange’s future.

      He has been living at the embassy in Knightsbridge, in London, since June 2012 and is fearful he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves.

      The top-level discussions come just weeks before a UK visit by new Ecuador President Lenin Moreno who has previously called Assange a ‘hacker’ and a ‘stone in the shoe’, according to The Sunday Times.

    • Julian Assange WikiLeaks founder could be EVICTED from Ecuador embassy

      As Julian Assange awaits possible eviction, we take a look back.

    • Report: Julian Assange Soon May Be Kicked Out of Embassy
    • New bid to kick Assange out of embassy

      But since then, Mr Assange has fallen out with the Moreno administration, which has cut off his internet access, installed jammers and banned visitors apart from his lawyers.

      Ecuador has even considered appointing Mr Assange to the United Nations in a desperate bid to get him out, according to documents from Ecuador’s intelligence agency Senain obtained by The Guardian.

      Officials believed the move would give him diplomatic immunity and enable him to escape without arrest. Last month two officials from the Australian High Commission paid a first visit in six years to the embassy in a signal that there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate.

    • Britain is reportedly in high level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the London embassy
    • Ecuador in talks to evict Julian Assange, its ‘stone in the shoe’

      The South American state and UK ministers are trying to find a way to evict the WikiLeaks founder from its London embassy

    • Assange could soon be evicted from London embassy

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be evicted from the London embassy that has sheltered him for the last six years.

      Ecuador, which has played host to the political provocateur since 2012, and Britain are in high-level discussions over Assange’s fate, the Sunday Times of London reported.

      New Ecuadorean president Lenin Moreno – who has called Assange a “stone in the shoe” – dismisses him as a problem he inherited from his predecessor.

      The South American nation’s former president granted Assange political asylum shortly after the Australian was accused of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.

      Assange claimed the charges were part of a U.S. plot to discredit him for WikiLeaks disclosures that embarrassed the Obama administration.

      Bur Ecuador’s new government, which has cut off his Internet access and banned most visitors, isn’t buying the story.

    • Assange on line over DNC email origins

      At the beginning of 2017, one of Julian Assange’s biggest media boosters travelled to the WikiLeaks founder’s refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London and asked him where he got the leaks that shook up the US presidential election only months earlier.

      Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed straight to the purloined emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

      “Can you say to the American people, unequivocally, that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta’s emails, can you tell the American people 1000 per cent you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?”

      “Yes,” Assange said. “We can say – we have said repeatedly – over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.”

    • US Kept Tabs on Mexico’s President-Elect for Years, WikiLeaks Shows

      The two-cable series has revealed confidential exchanges between Washington and US outposts in Mexico since 2006, bearing testimony to attempts by the previous administration to profile the nation’s leftist leaders and parties.

      A 2009 memo written in the name of then State Secretary Hillary Clinton inquired about ties between Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, and his political allies, and the extent to which they were likely to work together in the run-up to 2010 and 2012 elections.

    • Julian Assange Scores Major Legal Victory as Court Orders Safe Passage of Wikileaks Founder Out of Embassy

      The Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in Costa Rica is a multinational independent judicial body which handles court cases relating to the human rights of individuals in or effected by the laws of the members states of the Organization of American States (OAS). At present the OAS is comprised of every North American, Central American and South American nation, although Venezuela has expressed a desire to withdraw from the body.

      Today, the Court ruled that it is the duty of nations to allow for the passage of successful asylum seekers from embassies to the mainland territory of the state that has granted an individual asylum. For Julian Assange, this would mean that according to the Court’s decision, Britain has a legal obligation to allow Julian Assange to exit the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in peace and allow for his safe transit to an airport from which he would be able to fly to Ecuador, the country that has granted Assange asylum and where he now also holds formal citizenship.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As Electricity Returns to Puerto Rico, Its People Want More Power

      A nine-month, $3.8-billion effort to end the longest blackout in U.S. history has restored power to much of Puerto Rico.

    • Puerto Rico’s New Electric Utility Chief to Get $750,000 Salary

      Former General Electric executive Rafael Diaz-Granados will replace Walter Higgins as chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, according to a statement from the utility. His salary, up from the controversial $450,000 base pay that Higgins garnered during his short tenure.

    • Pope Francis warns against turning Earth into vast pile of ‘rubble, deserts and refuse’

      “There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse,” he warned.

    • Mumbai beach turns garbage dump after Arabian Sea vomits trash: Horrifying photos

      Despite multiple clean-up drives undertaken by concerned citizens, Mumbai’s waste problem continues to afflict its beaches. It has been exacerbated by the flow of untreated sewage into the Arabian Sea. Dumping of plastic trash in the sea has become a killer for aquatic life and is also affecting the marine food chain.

    • Delhi Air Pollution: Introducing A Fleet Of 1,000 Electric Buses Likely To Improve Air Quality
    • How the people of Delhi saved 16,000 trees from the axe

      Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities, with air quality frequently reaching hazardous levels. The one mitigating factor is that large parts of the city still have substantial green cover, although this has also been depleting due to development [sic] projects.

    • Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing

      Normally four or five calves would be born each year among this fairly unique urban population of whales — pods named J, K and L. But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline.

      [...]

      iNot only are there fewer calves in recent years, but signs of inbreeding also point to a weakening population. In the 1970s and 80s, theme parks like Sea World captured nearly 4 dozen orcas from the region, possibly shrinking the pods’ gene pool. In the last three decades, just two males fathered half the calves in the last three decades, and only a third of the females are breeding, just once every decade instead of every five years. Researchers worry that reproducing females are aging out of the population, and won’t be replaced.

    • Scott Pruitt’s grubby tenure at the EPA is over

      Indeed, under Andrew Wheeler, its new acting administrator, the agency could be more effective at ravaging it. A former coal lobbyist, Mr Wheeler is also a climate change sceptic and considered an effective bureaucratic operator. He promises a less scandal-plagued and more quietly efficient Trumpian EPA. Mr Pruitt’s departure would in that case be good for accountability but more bad news for the environment.

    • Pruitt grants loophole to ‘super polluting’ diesel truck manufacturers on last day at EPA

      Glider trucks combine older engines–that do not meet modern emissions requirements–with newer truck bodies. The Times reported that small fleet owners have sought out glider trucks in order to evade emissions regulations, as they are cheaper to run.

    • ‘Super Polluting’ Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt’s Last Day

      In the final hours of Scott Pruitt’s tenure as administrator, the Environmental Protection Agency moved on Friday to effectively grant a loophole that will allow a major increase in the manufacturing of a diesel freight truck that produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as trucks that have modern emissions controls.

    • 5 Things to Know About Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler

      According to Trump’s announcement via Twitter, Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt’s recently-Senate confirmed deputy, will “assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA” on Monday, July 9. Wheeler will hold the position until until the president formally announces a new agency head, as noted by the New York Times, which could keep Wheeler in the job for several months. Given that information, here is everything you should know about the new leader of the EPA…

    • Air pollution is triggering diabetes in 3.2 million people each year

      The new estimate, reported in July in The Lancet Planetary Health, holds air pollution responsible for about 14 percent of new cases of diabetes worldwide. Factors such as genetics, weight, activity level and diet also influence the risk of the disease, which is on the rise globally. (The World Health Organization estimates that 422 million people now live with type 2 diabetes — up from 108 million in 1980.)

    • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – April 2017 to March 2018, Annual Report, Experimental Statistics Report

      There were 6,195 individual women and girls who had an attendance where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken in the period April 2017 to March 2018. These accounted for 9,490 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken.

      There were 4,495 newly recorded women and girls in the period April 2017 to March 2018. Newly recorded means this is the first time they have appeared in this dataset. It does not indicate how recently the FGM was undertaken, nor does it mean that this is the woman or girl’s first attendance for FGM.

    • Viral Test: Does Congress support female genital mutilation?

      Just recently, the Congress encountered backlash on social media because its spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, a top-notch lawyer himself, represented a Muslim group that defends the practice of female circumcision.

    • Network of survivors demands ban on female genital mutilation

      On the day the Supreme Court came out strongly against female genital mutilation (FGM) and circumcision, a network of survivors, ‘WeSpeakOut’, reiterated the demand for a ban on the practice prevalent among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

    • Supreme Court questions practice of female genital mutilation

      The plea has sought a direction to make FGM an offence on which the law enforcement agencies can take cognisance on their own. It has also sought to make the offence “non-compoundable and non-bailable” with provision for harsh punishment.

    • 6,000 Girls & Women Reported FGM in Britain Over the Past Year

      More than 6,000 women and girls who visited a doctor, midwife, obstetrician, or another public health service in England between April 2017 and March 2018 had undergone FGM at some point in their lives, official figures showed.

  • Finance

    • How Tipping Shortchanges Workers

      Tipping also perpetuates discrimination. Studies show that customers of all races tip black waiters less than white ones, no matter the level of service; conversely, white servers make more in tips than any other racial group. Customers also tip beautiful women more than those thought unattractive.

      The size of a gratuity has little to do with rewarding good service, accounting for less than a 3 percent difference in how much people tip. Instead, people’s biases are in the driver’s seat.

    • Why the world should adopt a basic income

      Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of relieving poverty than present welfare systems (although it would). The main arguments are ethical and relate to social justice, individual freedom and the need for basic security.

    • Trump driver sues over unpaid overtime

      Donald Trump’s former driver claims he was not paid for thousands of hours of overtime and is now suing the Trump Organisation.

      One of Noel Cintron’s lawyers, Larry Hutcher, told NBC News he is allegedly owed US$350,000 (AU$470,000).

      The suit reportedly lists the Trump Organisation as a defendant but not the president himself.

    • Trump’s visit marks the start of shock doctrine Brexit

      The term “Shock Doctrine” was first used by Naomi Klein in her 2007 book of the same name. With the subheader “The rise of disaster capitalism”, she outlined her thesis: while advocates of neoliberal capitalism said it would dance hand in hand with democracy as these ideologies encircled the world, in fact neoliberalism marches in step with violence and disaster.

      In Chile, the dictator Augusto Pinochet delivered the radical right plans concocted by economist Milton Friedman on the back of his 1973 military coup and aided by the torture and murder of thousands, often using electronic batons to literally shock people into acquiescence. Throughout the late 20th century, the International Monetary Fund came into former colonies when they faced crises and used the leverage of much-needed loans to force mass privatisations, tax cuts for the rich and public spending cuts for the rest.

      After the tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean in 2004, beaches were privatised by hotels. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Klein has since written, “I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive.”

      From the privatisation of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to the divvying up of oil contracts afterwards, the rich and powerful and their pet governments have become expert in using crises to ensure that they continue to profit as ordinary people lose everything.

    • The right to join a union is a right that is needed now

      For millions of America’s more than 153 million workers, there is still far too little “equality in the pursuit of happiness.” In fact, 90 percent of the country’s workers have wages that are stagnated since 1967, and income inequality remains at an unprecedented level. And in real terms more than 12 million American workers are still today either unemployed or underemployed.

    • Amazon will sell more online than everyone else In the U.S. combined next year

      Amazon’s market share will increase 15 percentage points from 2016 to 2019.

    • Exploited Amazon workers need a union. When will they get one?

      Amazon has suppressed all efforts since its founding, but with widespread employee abuse, only unions can hold the company accountable

    • Union: Activation model hitting Finland’s senior unemployed hardest

      Union data showed that just 13 percent of long-term unemployed or jobless persons close to retirement age were able to avoid having their benefits cut.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • 32 arrested after India mob lynches man over WhatsApp child abduction rumour

      Indian police said on Sunday they have arrested 32 people after a man was killed by a mob in the country’s latest lynching over suspicion of child kidnapping sparked by rumours on WhatsApp.

      [...]

      The spate of lynchings started last May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of seven men.

      The rumours have since resurfaced, with 21 deaths reported in dozens of attacks across the country mostly targeting non-locals.

    • WhatsApp group admin held in Bidar

      The Bidar police have arrested 28 persons, including the administrator of a WhatsApp group and one of its members, on charges of killing a Hyderabad-based engineer and injuring three others on suspicion of child-lifting.

    • Techie Beaten To Death By Mob In Karnataka After WhatsApp Rumours

      More than 20 people have been killed across India over fake WhatsApp rumours. The last such incident took place in Maharashtra’s Dhule, where five people were killed. The WhatsApp videos that had triggered the attack were fake – one of them was a five-year-old video from Syria that had photographs of children who died in a nerve gas attack.

    • First Earth Battalion: Bombshell book reveals classified ‘psychic warfare’ military unit

      A BOMBSHELL new book is set to reveal the secrets of a CIA unit designed to train psychic soldiers.

      The book – “Project Stargate” – unearths thousands of declassified US government on the top secret “First Earth Battalion”.

      Author Axel Balthazar claims his findings could “require us to rethink everything we think we know about physics, the human mind, and the nature of reality”.

      He told Daily Star Online: “The official story is that these things didn’t work, that they were a joke, and a waste of taxpayer money.

    • US indictments may queer pitch for ex-NSA hackers [sic]

      The US Justice Department’s indictment of 12 Russians for alleged hacking offences connected to the 2016 US presidential election on Friday has got at least one ex-NSA hacker [sic] fearing a reprisal.

    • Finns rally against Trump, Putin ahead of Helsinki summit

      About 2,500 protesters demonstrated in support of human rights, democracy and the environment in Helsinki on Sunday, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a summit in the Finnish capital.

    • 12 Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign

      The indictments were filed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the presidential campaign of President Donald Trump and the Russian spies US intelligence agencies say interfered with the 2016 election. So far, Mueller’s team has indicted 32 people, including members of a Russian company that blanketed social media with fake news stories and senior members of the Trump campaign. Friday’s indictments were disclosed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a press conference in Washington, DC.

    • UK’s Theresa May: Trump told me to ‘sue the EU’ over Brexit

      Donald Trump advised British Prime Minister Theresa May to “sue” the European Union in the tense negotiations over Britain’s exit from the bloc, May said Sunday.

      The American president told reporters Friday at a joint press conference with May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.” Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May said with an amused expression: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.”

      She added: “What the president also said at that press conference was ‘Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.’”

    • Memo to the President Ahead of Monday’s Summit

      If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny. It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

      Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity — including two “alumni” who were former National Security Agency technical directors — have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the “emails related to Hillary Clinton” via a “hack” by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

      On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the “conclusions” of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were “inconclusive.” Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA “Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the “handpicked” authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee … to WikiLeaks.” Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Swedish Farmers Slammed as ‘Racist’ for Flag Image in Support of Football Squad

      To support their national football team during the ongoing World Cup in Russia, Torpshammar natives Per Johan Andersson and his wife Katrine created a vibrant image of a national flag made of hay sacks and posted it on Facebook. While welcomed by thousands of buoyant Swedish fans, the image also inspired “anti-racists” to fill the comments section with hatred against the farmer and his wife.

    • Alex Jones Claims The White House Asked Him For A Report On Internet Censorship

      Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who called the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax, claimed that the White House asked him to prepare a report about the supposed censorship of conservative voices online when he recently spoke with President Trump.

      Yesterday, on his daily Infowars show, Jones claimed that tech industries are working to censor websites like his own but they aren’t willing to “implement the censorship fully because they’re afraid [that] Congress and Trump might call them out.” A recent Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans believe that social media companies censor specific political viewpoints, despite a lack of concrete evidence illustrating any such systemic discrimination; rather, it seems the opposite is true.

    • Real danger not fake news – it’s censorship

      Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook that used to brag about promoting free speech now say they’re taking on a new role — the speech police.

      Twitter is suspending as many as a million accounts a day, with 70 million silenced in May and June, according to data disclosed recently. The massive purge is to prevent the spread of fake news, Twitter says. The problem is this: Who decides what’s fake?

    • House Lawmakers To Question Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter Over Political Bias And Censorship

      The House Judiciary Committee is set to question the biggest social media companies Tuesday on their social media filtering practices, which will likely lead to accusations of political bias from Republican lawmakers

      Top executives for Google, Facebook, and YouTube will be present to testify.

      “The advent of social media has made it possible for people to connect across continents, explore vast amounts of information, and share meaningful dialogue with friends and strangers,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. “However, this same technology can be used to suppress a particular viewpoint and manipulate public opinion.”

    • Social Media Giants To Testify On Alleged Censorship Of Conservative Views

      Facebook, Twitter and YouTube officials are set to testify about censorship practices on social media and whether conservative viewpoints are being suppressed.

    • House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Social Media Censorship
    • Representatives from the three social media giants will answer questions on whether they promote liberal viewpoints over conservative ones Tuesday.

    • Big tech’s censorship of conservative users is alive and well

      A study released by the Pew Research Center in late June has once again brought to the surface a key issue of the Obama-era Title II net neutrality regulations: America’s concern about big tech’s approach to privacy, censorship and political bias and how Obama ignored it.

      The study found that “seven-in-ten Americans think it likely that social media companies intentionally censor political views they find objectionable.”

    • The powers that be love censorship

      Recently, General Ghafoor fielded questions from journalists, where one asked him why Imran Khan should be spared if Sharif and Zardari were under fire. The question may be wrong, but we cannot discourage the culture of asking for answers from people in power.

      The one time that I felt this was most important was during the time that Kulbhushan Jadhav’s issue was the talk of the town. From the very start, when General Asim Bajwa, along with former information minister Pervez Rashid, introduced the Indian agent, there were many questions that should have been asked.

      The same reporter was present during this event as well, but he remained silent along with the many other journalists who chose to censor themselves. However, during this time another journalist raised another question — unrelated to Jadhav — but was asked to leave the room.

    • Bilawal terms ‘press censorship’ as pre-poll rigging

      The PPP has warned of pre-poll rigging ahead of a general election on July 25, a day after tensions were ratcheted higher by the dramatic arrest of former premier Nawaz Sharif.

      Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan PPP, said the caretaker government installed ahead of the vote was not giving his party a “level playing field” in the campaign.

      “The press is facing censorship, political activists are being detained, and this is not only a violation of human rights but also pre-poll rigging,” he told a press conference in Peshawar on Saturday.

    • ECP comes under fire in Senate

      The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) came under severe criticism in Senate on Thursday as majority of the parties accused the top electoral watchdog of dancing to the tune of ‘establishment’ in order to bring a particular political party into power.

      They said that crackdown on politicians particularly those belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) under some pretext is a clear indication that forthcoming general elections have already been managed to pave the way for a specific party.

    • On the right to publish and self-censorship

      One can observe that in the 21st century and more so in the preceding months, journalism in Pakistan has not only become more professional but has also innovated new ways to resist control. An antagonistic relationship between the state and media is the hallmark of any progressive liberal democracy. Pakistan, which has seen rare and brief spells of democracy, has witnessed a continuous attack on journalists, media outlets and the press.

      However, what warrants attention is the dilemma of self-censorship within the industry. Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that “there shall be freedom of the press”. On the other hand, ever since the colonial era, vindictive attacks have plagued the field of journalism.

    • On Censorship Resistance: a Chat with Mainframe CEO Mick Hagen

      The Mainframe team recently donated 1,000 ETH to the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Privacy technology skeptics in the mainstream often say of the tech, “Well I have nothing to hide, why should I personally care?” In the context of the donation to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, what’s your rebuttal to that skeptical position?

    • UncensorPat.ch Fights Censorship In Steam’s Adult Games

      Video games are, by far, the largest entertainment industry on the planet. As with most entertainment industries, a subset of these games are focused on adult themes, many of which have a subtle or downright overt sexual tone to them. Whether you play them in secret or don’t mind letting your freak flag fly, a particular problem exists with this medium of entertainment: the largest digital games distributors universally have policies in place against explicit sexual content on their platforms. Enter UncensorPat.ch [NSFW], a website dedicated to hosting uncensor patches for these games. We spoke with the site’s operator “Pat” about their site and the industry in general.

    • Censorship killed the video star

      Mihir Joshi woke up on the morning of 1 February 2015 to the news that the music video for his song Sorry was finally being telecast on Pepsi MTV Indies, a now defunct television channel dedicated to Indian independent music. It was a personal milestone for the musician, TV anchor and former radio jockey, fulfilling his childhood dream of watching one of his own music videos on MTV. But his excitement was undercut by a minor annoyance. When his label Times Music sent the video to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which must certify any music videos before it can go on air, the review committee insisted that he mute the word “Bombay”—used only once early on—from the song and video. Joshi says he accepted the change because he just wanted to get the song’s message, a response to the infamous 2012 gang rape case in Delhi, out to as many people as possible.

    • 100 years of film censorship in India

      Film censorship was born of fire. Early film stock had a compound called nitrocellulose, which was used in explosives as guncotton. Mixed with camphor, it became nitrate film—not explosive, but still violently flammable. In 1897, a year and a half after the first ever film screening, a nitrate fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris killed 126 people. A spate of similar incidents over the next decade resulted in the world’s first cinematograph legislation being passed in Britain in 1909, to improve safety standards by controlling the issue of cinema licences.

      One kind of control led to another. Since the 1909 Act made licences necessary for public screenings, local authorities used this to regulate not just the conditions in which the film would be screened but also the contents of the film itself. After a few confusing years with everyone making up their own rules, the British Board of Film Censors was formed in 1912.

    • Dibakar Banerjee: ‘All of us turn into hustlers when we go and present our films to the censor board’

      My own experiences with censorship have led me to believe that the censor board is more the symptom than the problem, because I think everyone has had incidents where you’re trying to express something and there is a gatekeeper who doesn’t let you. When you and I speak, I say something to you, you hear me out and that’s it. But imagine if there was a third person whom I have to tell beforehand what I’m planning to tell you, and he says that you aren’t ready to hear this and I think you should tell this to him instead. At the core, it’s a lot of us making films and somebody’s sitting across the table saying, “I don’t think this is appropriate.”

      The reasons (for censorship), according to the Cinematograph Act, are national security, national integrity, moral decency—terms open to wide interpretation. And I must speak to the third person before I speak to you. So I’m always trying to figure out in my head how to speak to the person between us and get it past him to you. So I start trying to be smart, slipping things under the carpet, using code that you’ll understand. Already I’m subverted. I’m already being a bit of a hustler.

    • Sacred Games row: Rahul Gandhi disapproves of censorship

      Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appeared to disapprove demands to censor uncharitable references to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the web series Sacred Games. Sacred Games, the critically-acclaimed web series by Netflix, has run into trouble with a Congress supporter filing a police complaint against its makers for insulting late Rajiv Gandhi. Mr Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, “BJP/RSS believe the freedom of expression must be policed & controlled. I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right. My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character in a fictional web series can never change that.” With his tweet the Congress president made it clear that Congress believes in freedom of speech and they don’t condone the complaints against it, without explicitly referring to the cases.

    • Let’s Ponder: Will Netflix’s Sacred Games throw open the floodgate of net censorship?
    • Netflix India Petitioned To Delete Content From ‘Sacred Games’ Series
    • Researchers find that filters don’t prevent porn

      This research follows the controversial news that the UK government was exploring a country-wide porn filter, a product that will most likely fail. The UK would join countries around the world who filter the public Internet for religious or political reasons.

      The bottom line? Filters are expensive and they don’t work.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook loophole exposed personal info of people in ‘closed’ groups

      The loophole was investigated by security researcher Fred Trotter, who had been contacted by Andrea Downing, a moderator of a members-only Facebook group for women with a high genetic risk of developing breast cancer. The Facebook group’s members frequently shared highly personal information about their conditions, including surgical details.

    • Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy

      However, even though users theoretically can change their privacy settings to optimize protection for their personal data, they may not do so. In part, that’s because it requires effort, and people often simply accept the defaults. Moreover, it turns out there are other issues because of the use of “dark patterns” in screens supposedly helping the user control their privacy settings. The term was coined back in 2011 by Harry Brignull, an expert in user interface design. Here’s his definition:

    • To monitor social media like creating a ‘Surveillance State’: SC

      Frowning upon its move to monitor social media platforms, the Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on TMC legislator MohuaMoitra’s petition challenging it.

      A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DipakMisra asked the Centre to file its response in two weeks after senior advocate AM Singhvi, representing Moitra, alleged that monitoring of social media was akin to personal surveillance of citizens by the State.

    • Aadhaar in Ayushman Bharat desirable but not mandatory clarifies Govt

      The Government today clarified that Aadhaar is “desirable” but not mandatory to avail benefits under the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘As Long As Solitary Exists, They Will Find a Way to Use It’

      Villa is not the only person with difficulty readjusting to human contact. In the spring of 2017, members of Stanford University’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Laboratory interviewed 29 men who had spent more than 10 years in the SHU and were now in general population. The study, which is the first of its kind to study the aftereffects of prolonged isolation, found that people in long-term solitary confinement experienced a number of psychological problems, such as irritability, intense anger, anhedonia (an inability to feel joy), hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and emotional numbing. Many of these emotions did not dissipate upon release from the SHU; instead, they persisted or even worsened after the men were in general population.

    • 20-year sentence for Iranian woman who protested headscarf
    • Found: Rosa Parks’s Arrest Warrant, and More Traces of Civil Rights History

      The fragile papers, filled in with sharp signatures and characters stamped out on manual typewriters, are part of what officials believe is the largest surviving trove of legal records from the boycott. Quietly discovered by a courthouse intern during a housecleaning project and now on loan to Alabama State University, the records will be made public online this summer.

      Although historians do not believe these documents contain anything to alter the well-established story of the bus boycott, the new collection appears to hold some leads and fine-grained details for researchers studying what happened in Alabama’s capital.

    • Hyderabad man stabbed 16 times for adopting muslim girl

      “People were running all around. In the middle of the chaos I found the seven-year-old girl crying and took her to the Sultan Bazaar police station. With little response, I took her to the Shahinyathgunj police station where the police asked me to take care of her until someone comes,” he said. When no one came to claim her, he adopted her.

    • Genocide of Sikhs is taking place in Islamic Pakistan: Baba Gurpal Singh Peshawari.

      Afraid of targeted killings, Sikh families from Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan are fleeing to safety days after killing of members of Sikh community including a local Sikh religious leader in recent time . As matter of fact, Pakistan’s minority Sikh community is dispersing to other parts of the country from Peshawar after repeated attacks by Islamic fundamentalists.

      Peshawar has a population of about 30,000 Sikhs, out of which, 60 per cent has left for other parts of Pakistan to avoid living under a constant threat.

    • Neighbors who call police on 12-year-old mowing lawn increase his business, customer says
    • Why female suicide in Afghanistan is so prevalent

      About 3,000 Afghans attempt to take their own lives every year, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Herat province accounts for more than half of all cases nationwide.

      According to health officials in Herat, 1,800 people tried to kill themselves in 2017 alone, of whom 1,400 were women – and 35 succeeded in taking their own lives.

      The figure is almost twice as high as the year before, when some 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded.

    • A women-only private island is not empowering – it is elitist
    • Outrage after Malaysian man marries 11-year-old Thai girl

      Muslim men are allowed to have up to four wives in Malaysia.

    • Fifth standard girl expelled from a Kerala Madrasa for sporting sandalwood paste on her forehead.

      A fifth standard school girl from Kerala has been expelled from a Madrasa after she wore sandalwood paste bindi on her forehead as a part of a short film acting assignment.

      Ummer Malayil, the girl’s father, has lashed out at the Madrasa on his Facebook post, making it clear that her daughter is lucky enough to have escaped from the stone pelting punishment.

    • George Hotz is on a hacker crusade against the ‘scam’ of self-driving cars
    • Former CIA Subcontractor Deports Immigrants for ICE

      Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)

      Less than a year after the 9/11 attacks, a Long Island plane broker began helping the CIA transport terrorism suspects to black sites around the world. Now, the owner of that company is helping to ferry a new population for the federal government: immigrants.

      Classic Air Charter Inc. was awarded a contract worth up to $635 million to help facilitate deportations. The federal government has allotted about $5.5 million for the contract so far. These contracts were originally reported in a database created by Sludge.

      In the early 2000s, the owner of Classic Air Charter had a company called Sportsflight. That company was involved in the same business – facilitating private air travel – but with a different client at the time: the Central Intelligence Agency.

    • On Toxic Femininity

      Calling good men toxic does everyone a deep disservice. Everyone except those who seek empowerment through victim narratives.

      For the record: I am not suggesting that actual victims do not exist, nor that they do not deserve full emotional, physical, legal, medical, and other support. I also do not want to minimize the fact that most women, perhaps even all, have experienced unpleasantness from a subset of men. But not all women are victims. And even among those women who have truly suffered at the hands of men, many—most, I would hazard to guess—do not want their status in the world to be ‘victim.’

      All of which leads us directly to a topic not much discussed: toxic femininity.

      [...]

      Toxic masculinity, and toxic femininity, are inherently selfish modes, and those not employing them should be interested in seeing them eradicated.

    • Two amputations a week: the cost of working in a US meat plant

      Records compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that, on average, there are at least 17 “severe” incidents a month in US meat plants. These injuries are classified as those involving “hospitalisations, amputations or loss of an eye”.

      Amputations happen on average twice a week, according to the data. There were 270 incidents in a 31-month period spanning 2015 to 2017, according to the OSHA figures. Most of the incidents involved the amputation of fingers or fingertips, but there were recordings of lost hands, arms or toes. During the period there were a total of 550 serious injuries which cover 22 of the 50 states so the true total for the USA would be substantially higher.

    • Can the Saudis Break Up With Wahhabism?

      Prince Mohammed is unlikely to pull off a break with the Wahhabi religious establishment because the clerics have proved to be resilient and have displayed a great capacity to adapt to transitions and vagaries of power. Attempts to marginalize the clerics date back to the early 20th century.

    • UP: Woman accuses husband of ‘love jihad’

      “10 years back I married my husband knowing that he was a Hindu, but after I moved to my in-laws’ house in Meerut, I found out that my husband was a Muslim. He also tried to convert me to Islam,” she told ANI.

      Furthermore, she alleged that her in-laws were forcing her to convert to Islam.

    • Sex after #MeToo

      Sex is now so complicated that many young adults seem to have given up on it entirely. Recent research suggests that one in eight British 26-year-olds has never had sex, up from one in 20 a generation ago. Last year’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles confirmed this trend, showing that 23 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds had not had sex in the past year. Clearly, sex was in decline prior to #MeToo, #TimesUp and all the recent publicity surrounding allegations of rape, sexual assault, unwanted kisses, hugs that linger and, of course, knee-touching. But the interminable coverage of #MeToo has certainly ramped up the anxiety, the fear of getting it wrong, of being abused or falsely accused.

    • Illegal migrants in Paris suburb soar to 400,000 as hundreds of migrant children sleep on streets

      Illegal immigrants, now estimated to make up a fifth of the population of Seine-Saint-Denis, north-east of Paris, are severely straining public services and creating social tensions, according to a parliamentary report.

      Seine-Saint-Denis has long been the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants, but the report warns that the number of illegal migrants may have risen as high as 400,000.

    • Sharia Courts: To be or not to be

      Zakia Soman of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, who was a petitioner in the Triple Talaq case said, “Of course Sharia courts or Darul Qazas have been around for quite some time. But this special push to set up such courts all over the country is a move by the AIMPLB to remain relevant.”

      The Sharia courts are only used by men, she said. “They are supposed to function like family courts. Women do not approach these courts as decisions are usually given against women,” she explained.

    • Cleric wants separate country for Indian Muslims if Sharia courts are not allowed

      AIMPLB is planning to move the proposal for establishing Shariat courts for discussion at a meeting in Delhi on July 15. BJP lawmakers have criticised this demand and have called it unconstitutional.

    • J&K Dy Grand Mufti’s shocking demand: ‘Give us a separate nation if you can’t let us set up Shariat courts’

      Hours after All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) proposal for opening Shariat courts in all districts of India was rejected by the BJP, Nasir ul Islam, the deputy grand mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, triggered a major row with his remarks by demanding a separate nation for Muslims. “Any resistance to this effort by the BJP means it doesn’t want Muslims to stay in India. In that case, we urge them to give us a separate nation,” he said.

    • Muslim Law Board Plans To Open Sharia Courts In All Districts Of India

      The All India Muslim Personal Law Board or AIMPLB, the highest decision making body on Muslim affairs, plans to open Darul-Qaza (Sharia courts) in all districts of the country to resolve issues in line with Islamic laws.

      The proposal will come up for discussion at a meeting of the Muslim Law Board in Delhi on July 15.

    • ‘80% were grown-ups’: Swedish dentist fired for exposing migrant ‘kids’ as adults talks to RT

      The dental hygienist then sued his employers and won damages. But the Region of Gotland appealed to the highest labor court in Stockholm and hired one of Sweden’s top-ranking lawyers “to crush” him, as he says on his website. On July 4 he learned that he lost his case and also admitted “economically bankrupted him and his family.” The dentist, who had worked in the sector for 10 years, was fined some 475,000 kroner ($54,000).

    • Sikh Cop Alleges Turban Removed, Dragged By Hair From Home In Lahore

      In a video widely circulated on social media on Tuesday, Pakistan’s first-ever Sikh police officer Gulab Singh alleged that his turban was removed and he was dragged by hair out of his home along with his family by the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board. By releasing the video, he underscored that “everyone should be aware of the atrocities committed on the Sikh community in Pakistan.”

      He claimed that the government wants to forcefully evict the Sikh community from the country.

    • Uproar over Chinese women seen doing handstands in Malaysian tourist street, mosque

      Both the photo and video have drawn criticism on social media for inappropriate dressing in a short sleeveless top and hot pants, while the woman in the photo was criticised for “performing stunts” in front of a religious building.

    • Iran: Women Arrested for Dancing

      Iranian state television on July 9, 2018, broadcasted apologies by several women who were briefly detained in May for posting videos of themselves dancing on their popular Instagram accounts, Human Rights Watch said today. On the same day, Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who took her headscarf off in public in January to protest compulsory hijab laws, announced on her Instagram page that a court sentenced her to 20 years in prison for this act, although it suspended 18 years of the sentence, meaning she has to serve 2 years in prison.

    • Uncle, cousins ‘kill girl for honour’

      An 18-year-old girl, who claimed to be a rape victim, was allegedly killed on Wednesday by her uncle and cousins in Sharifabad village in Mirpurkhas district. The victim’s father, Muhammad Younus Bhatti, told police that his brother Allah Dito Bhatti and his sons Attaullah Bhatti and Sanaullah Bhatti strangled his daughter to death.

    • Atheists in Indonesia, Afraid For Their Lives, Fake Being Muslims

      Living a double life isn’t all that uncommon in Indonesia, where atheists live in fear of being sent to jail (or worse) thanks to fundamentalist religious groups. AFP profiled one of these atheists, identified only as “Luna Atmowijoyo,” about her de-conversion from Islam years ago.

    • Violence on the rise in Sweden’s nearly-full prisons

      With the nation’s prisons at around 95 percent capacity, attacks on prison staff are increasing. There were 91 reported incidents in which staff members were targeted by violence in 2017, a 65 percent increase from 2015 figures.

      Violence amongst inmates is also on the rise, with the 327 cases in 2017 representing a 39 percent increase.

    • The vicious circle of Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism

      Far-right groups and Muslim extremists don’t just use the same language of exclusion to divide the population essentially between Muslims and everyone else – they also depend on one another for legitimacy. That’s the conclusion of a new report that looked at both sides of extremism in Germany and how groups rely on one another to reinforce their own views.

      [...]

      “There need to be more opportunities for people to air their grievances, to feel [sic] listened to,” he says. “If there are concerns about migration or foreign policy, instead of making them into taboo topics, create opportunities to allow people to feel listened to so they don’t get channeled into extremist ideology.”

    • Valley Of No Return: Kashmiri Pandits Have Little To Hope For

      There is bitterness, despair, even resignation. From the looks of how things are going, Kashmiri Pandits have little to hope for. It has been twenty-eight years since 4,00,000 Hindus—most of them Pandits—were forced to flee the Kashmir Valley. Most of them ­believe they have lost their birthland forever.

    • Ventura County denies pulling off woman’s head-covering in response to civil rights suit

      U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson has ordered all attorneys involved in the litigation to prepare a joint status report over the next few months addressing several items related to the case. The report will be discussed when attorneys meet before Anderson at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 13.

    • Denmark confronts Islamism and integration

      The chatter about mass “Christianization” or mass loss of citizenship or similar radical measures only obscures the real debate here: whether these measures can be effective in introducing peaceability and a degree of prosperity to mainly Muslim immigrant communities. Many Europeans, not least in the continent’s Jewish communities, will be hoping that Denmark’s government succeeds.

    • “No ghettos in 2030”: Denmark’s controversial plan to get rid of immigrant neighborhoods

      The law, which was passed on May 28, is part of a broader government initiative titled “One Denmark without Parallel Societies: No Ghettos in 2030.” The plan aims to eradicate what the Danish government says are “parallel communities” in Denmark that are rife with crime and populated by poor, uneducated immigrants from “non-Western countries” who are not being properly integrated into Danish society.

    • Kano: Muslim Boy Must Not Die For Blasphemy

      Urgent steps must be taken to save the life of a muslim boy who has been accused of blasphemy in Kano state in Northern Nigeria. Local sources said that the sharia enforcement agency in the state known as the Hisbah arrested the boy after he allegedly sang a song saying that a saint that belonged to one of the Islamic traditions was greater than Allah.

    • Skewed focus in study of German anti-Semitism

      However, right wing anti-Semitic prejudice does not explain the fact that some Jewish schoolchildren are severely harassed by Muslim children. The threats of a Muslim classmate against a Jewish girl in a second grade Berlin elementary school class is a case in point. He said that she should be killed because she does not believe in Allah.

    • Teens in Germany fire anti-Semitic insults at local rabbi

      The incident took place on Friday afternoon, when Gurevitch, 39, was on his way to pray. He said he does not hide his Jewish identity, despite increasingly frequent anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

    • Qadianis shouldn’t be allowed to vote as Muslims: Ulema

      The central leaders of the “Aalmi Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat” have termed demand of the Human Rights Commission that Qadianis should be given chance to cast vote in the general elections like Muslims, as against the Constitution of the country and facts.

    • Man cleared of murder refuses community service because of Ramadan

      Just before and after midnight at Warrender Park Road and Bruntsfield Links, the pair assaulted a number of people. Zakariyah pled guilty to two assaults and a breach of the peace.

      Then both accused and friends travelled to the Leith area where Ibnomer killed Shaun with a punch.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Rare books and when the copyright public domain might fail in its essential purpose

        or, to enact suitable legislation to ensure that ownership of the tangible right in the book does not prevent access to the contents, indeed even exercising something like the power of expropriation/eminent domain to take the tangible property from its owner in the name of the public. Either option challenges basic notions of property ownership, and with respect to expropriation, there is arguably something distasteful about relying on such a measure in order to make the contents publicly accessible.

      • Suffocating Financial Power Means Mismatches in Copyright Cases

        Being an entrepreneur in the digital age comes with risks, particularly when a business model is connected in any way with the music and movie industries. Kim Dotcom says he’s spent $40 million in legal bills fighting his corner while TVAddons founder Adam Lackman is already facing potential bankruptcy. Neither defendant is anywhere close to a full trial on the merits of their respective cases.

      • ‘Copyright’s True Purpose Is Dead, It Never Existed’

        According to the US Constitution, copyrights exist to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” It’s meant to facilitate and encourage artists to create content, which the public can enjoy. But is this how copyright still functions today? Texan A&M law professor Glynn Lunney Jr doesn’t think so.

      • Rightscorp Prompted The RIAA to Sue Internet Provider

        With help from the RIAA, several companies are waging a legal battle against Grande Communications, accusing the company of not taking proper action against pirating subscribers. It turns out that this idea didn’t originate at the music group. Instead, it was anti-piracy group Rightscorp that prompted the lawsuit.

      • Anti-Piracy Portal Blocked Due to Alleged Phishing & Malware

        A government-backed portal set up to convince pirates that going straight is the best philosophy is being flagged as dangerous by security software. People who receive piracy notices are directed to GetitRightFromaGenuineSite.org but according to anti-virus vendors and even third-parties like Twitter, the domain should be avoided due to a potential malware and phishing threat.

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    Failing to hide their real purpose and malicious agenda, sites whose real purpose is to promote a lot of patent litigation produce puff pieces, even for patently unethical trolls such as iPEL



  16. Software Patents, Secured by 'Smart' and 'Intelligent' Tricks, Help Microsoft and Others Bypass Alice/Section 101

    A look at the use of fashionable trends and buzzwords to acquire and pass around dubious software patents, then attempting to guard these from much-needed post-Alice scrutiny



  17. Keep Boston (and Massachusetts in General) From Becoming an Infestation Zone for Patent Litigation

    Boston, renowned for research and innovation, has become somewhat of a litigation hotbed; this jeopardises the state's attractiveness (except perhaps to lawyers)



  18. Links 12/8/2018: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mesa 18.1.6 Release Notice, New Linux Imminent

    Links for the day



  19. Thomas Massie's “Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018” (RALIA) Would Put the US Patent System in the Lions' (or Trolls') Mouth Again

    An anti-§ 101 and anti-PTAB bill from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) strives to remove quality control; but by handing the system back to patent trolls he and his proponents simply strive to create more business of litigation, at the expense of innovation



  20. EPO-Style Problem-Solution: Tackling Backlog by Granting Lots of Low-Quality (Bogus) European Patents, Causing a Surge in Troll/Frivolous Litigation

    The EPO's lack of interest in genuine patent quality (measuring "quality" in terms of speed, not actual quality) may mean nothing but a litigation epidemic; many of these lawsuits would be abusive, baseless; those harmed the most would be small businesses that cannot afford a legal defense and would rather settle with those who exploit questionable patents, notably patent trolls



  21. Links 11/8/2018: PGP Clean Room 1.0, Ring-KDE 3.0.0, Julia 1.0

    Links for the day



  22. Propaganda Sites of Patent Trolls and Litigators Have Quit Trying to Appear Impartial or Having Integrity

    The lobbying groups of patent trolls (which receive money from such trolls) carry on meddling in policy and altering perception that drives policy; we present some new examples



  23. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Still Try to Undermine Inter Partes Reviews (“IPRs”), Refusing to Accept Patent Quality

    The patent maximalists in the United States, seeing that the USPTO is moving away from patent maximalism, is desperate for a turnaround; prominent patent maximalists take it all out on PTAB



  24. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement is Paralysed, So Team UPC is Twisting Old News

    Paralysis of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) means that people are completely forgetting about its very existence; those standing to benefit from it (patent litigation firms) are therefore recycling and distorting old news



  25. Patents as Profiteering Opportunities for Law Firms Rather Than Drivers of Innovation for Productive Companies

    A sample of news from yesterday; the patent microcosm is still arguing about who pays attorneys’ fees (not whether these fees are justified) and is constantly complaining about the decline in patent litigation, which means fewer and lower attorneys’ fees (less work for them)



  26. Links 9/8/2018: Mesa 18.2 RC2, Cockpit 175, WPA-2 Hash Cracking

    Links for the day



  27. Patent Maximalists -- Not Reformers -- Are the Biggest Threat to the Viability of the Patent System and Innovation

    Those who strive to infinitely expand patent scope are rendering the patent system obsolete and completely losing sight of the very purpose of the patent system, whose sanity US courts and lawmakers gradually restore (one ruling and one bill at a time)



  28. WeMove.EU Tackles Low Patent Quality at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The breadth of European Patents, which now cover even nature itself, worries public interest groups; Team UPC, however, wants patent scope to expand further and António Campinos has expressed his intention to further increase the number of grants



  29. Links 8/8/2018: KDE Neon for Testing, New LibreOffice Release, Dart 2.0

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/8/2018: TCP Vulnerability in Linux, Speck Crypto Code Candidate for Removal

    Links for the day


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