09.29.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 29/9/2021: Oryx Pro GNU/Linux Laptop and Lots of Politics

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft OneDrive

      Our first recommendation is NextCloud, an open source service that lets you store files, photos, videos, calendar, contacts, and more. You can host it on your own server or use a recommended provider.

      What makes NextCloud really stand out is that it’s expandable with hundreds of apps, offers good security with two-factor authentication, and makes it easy to access, sync, and share your data.

      Another option that gets our firm recommendation is CryptPad. This is a realtime collaborative editor, spreadsheet and presentation creator alongside encrypted storage. CryptPad is an open technology that you can run on your own machines. It doesn’t rely on a central point of authority.

    • Web Browsers

      • Chromium

        • Google Chrome 94 is out with security fixes, a 4-week release cycle, and Extended Stable channel

          Google Chrome 94 is available. The new version of Google Chrome fixes security issues and the first version of the browser that is released in the new 4-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome Stable was released every 6-weeks, but Google announced in March 2021 that it would switch to a faster release cycle. Enterprise customers may switch to the Extended Stable channel to get new stable updates every 8 weeks, but security updates more frequently.

          The Extended Stable channel is available for Windows and Mac devices only. Enterprise users find information about the new channel and how to switch to it on this Google Chrome Enterprise Help page. Basically, what needs to be done is set the TargetChannel policy to Extended. Google recommends that customers use the roll back to target policy to go back to the previous version of Chrome when the switch to the Extended Stable channel is made.

    • Programming/Development

      • R Data Types

        In R, there are 6 basic data types:

        logical

        numeric

        integer

        complex

        character

        raw

        Let’s discuss each of these R data types one by one.

  • Leftovers

    • The Consolation of Words
    • The 24-Hour Outrage Cycle

      Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

    • One Small Step for Man…

      The men behind the flights on 11 and 20 July are Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos respectively.  From an early age both have wanted to go into space. Bezos says he’s longed for it since he was six years old.  Branson watched the moon landing with this father and sister and has dreamed of travelling into space ever since.  Being a multi-billionaire, he didn’t just dream about doing it; he made it a reality.  Branson established his aerospace company, Virgin Galactic, in 2004 and is estimated to have spent at least $1 billion since then developing VSS Unity, his space plane.  Blue Origin, which built the New Shepard space shuttle, was founded in 2000 by Bezos and sets him back around $1 billion a year.  The 11 and 20 July flights are the latest achievements of both companies.

      It has to be said that footage of the flights was about as exciting as watching two flies crawl up a wall.

    • The Lord’s Instrument
    • Intuit’s $12B Mailchimp Purchase Breathes New Life Into Email Marketing

      Intuit on Monday announced an agreement to acquire Mailchimp, a global customer engagement and marketing platform for small and mid-market businesses, for $12 billion in cash and stock advances. The purchase could be the linchpin that thrusts the mostly financial software company into solving more fertile mid-market business challenges for its customers.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Lessons From Cambodia on How to Respond to COVID

        But one country appears to be bucking the global trend. The Kingdom of Cambodia is pushing back against the COVID-19 fourth wave and is seemingly on the brink of an economic turnaround to near pre-pandemic levels. Despite a per-capita GDP of one-tenth of the EU’s, Cambodia has achieved a similar rate of vaccination and a death rate 20 times lower.

        This success has not come without a price. The country’s authoritarian government has forced vaccines on its citizens and used the pandemic to crackdown on opponents and critical voices.

      • Senate Urged to ‘Finish the Job’ After House Votes to End Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
      • Florida State Workers Are “Very Scared” Over COVID-Related Working Conditions
      • ‘Sickening Betrayal’: Panel Finds 83 Cases of Alleged Abuse During WHO’s Ebola Work in Congo

        An investigation into sexual abuse related to United Nations efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Congo found over 80 alleged perpetrators, a quarter of whom were employed by the U.N.’s public health agency, according to a report released Tuesday.

        The findings come from a panel commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to media reports about abuse claims during the 2018-2020 mission in the African country.

      • Instagram Kids put on hold after mental health backlash

        The reasons for the concern have much been the same, stating that young folks don’t need to be even more connected than they are already at a time when they need to be physically interacting with their peers. Such groups have cited research into how Instagram and other social media apps can lead to depression, bullying and self-harm.

      • Half Of American Kids Have Lead In Their Blood, Doctors Say

        Half of the children in the U.S. appear to have the toxic heavy metal lead in their blood, according to alarming new research. After analyzing blood tests conducted on 1.14 million children younger than the age of six, scientists saw observable levels of the toxic metal in about half, according to a massive study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday. And that number, compared to previous generations, is on the rise.

      • How Covid Misinformation Created a Run on Animal Medicine

        These experiences underscore the real-world effects of misinformation and how far the fallout can spread, said Kolina Koltai, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies online conspiracy theories.

        “It doesn’t just affect the communities that believe in misinformation,” she said. “This is something that’s affecting even people who don’t have a stake in the vaccine — it’s affecting horses.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • SSH host identity certification

        Using an SSH CA to certify SSH host keys means the user’s SSH client can trust it without asking the user to verify it. The client is configured to trust any host certificate that can be verified using the SSH CA public key. The CA public key still needs to be communicated to the user in a secure way, but the CA key is only one key and rarely changes, so the tiresome risky situation happens very rarely. After the user has the CA key, an attacker can’t trick the user into accepting a false host key.

        With host certificates, the SSH client never needs to ask its user if the host key of a new host is valid, and the user never needs to try to verify it. If the host’s host key changes, the client doesn’t need to bother the user about it, as long as the new host key gets a new certificate.

        Overall, this leads to a much smoother and more secure experience for people using SSH.

      • [Old] OpenSSH/Cookbook/Certificate-based Authentication

        Two of the main advantages of certificates over keys are that they can use an expiration date, or even a date range of validity, and that they eliminate need for trust-on-first-use or complicated key verification methods. Mostly they facilitate large scale deployments by easing the processes of key approval and distribution and provide a better option than copying the same host keys across multiple destinations.

        User certificates authenticate users to their accounts on the servers. Host certificates authenticate servers to the clients, proving that the clients are connecting to the right system. The use of a principals field to designate users versus hosts is the main difference between host and user certificates. In host certificates, the principals field refers to the server names represented by the certificate. In user certificates that field refers to the accounts which are allowed to use the certificate for logging in. Additional limitations just as specific source addresses and forced commands are available for user certificates. Date and time of validity are possible for both. Host certificates and user certificates should use separate certificate authorities. For a more authoritative resource, see the “CERTIFICATES” section of ssh-keygen(1).

      • Proprietary

        • Apple AirTag Bug Enables ‘Good Samaritan’ Attack

          The new $30 AirTag tracking device from Apple has a feature that allows anyone who finds one of these tiny location beacons to scan it with a mobile phone and discover its owner’s phone number if the AirTag has been set to lost mode. But according to new research, this same feature can be abused to redirect the Good Samaritan to an iCloud phishing page — or to any other malicious website.

        • RSF opens a new room for Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit on in its digital library against censorship

          To mark the 20th anniversary of Dawit Isaak’s arrest in Eritrea, RSF has opened a new room dedicated to the journalist in its digital library against censorship, a project that allows the public to access censored articles via the computer game Minecraft. Articles, texts and poems from the Swedish Eritrean journalist are now available thanks to a collaboration between RSF and the Dawit Isaak Library. The texts are part of the book “Hope: The Tale of Moses and Manna’s Love”, a translation of Isaak’s texts which was published in 2010 by an alliance of Swedish publishing houses.

        • Amazon brings global computer science education initiative to India

          Amazon is working with its global knowledge partner Code.org, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to computer science education, to bring high quality and mobile interactive CS content to Indian students.

          “We look forward to working closely with AFE’s network of partners in India to provide our high-quality CS curriculum and best practices as they enable students across the country to learn this foundational 21st-century subject,” Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org, said.

        • Security

          • Portpass app may have exposed hundreds of thousands of users’ personal data

            Private proof-of-vaccination app Portpass exposed personal information, including the driver’s licences, of what could be as many as hundreds of thousands of users by leaving its website unsecured.

            On Monday evening, CBC News received a tip that the user profiles on the app’s website could be accessed by members of the public.

            CBC is not sharing how to access those profiles, in order to protect users’ personal information, but has verified that email addresses, names, blood types, phone numbers, birthdays, as well as photos of identification like driver’s licences and passports can easily be viewed by reviewing dozens of users’ profiles.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • In U.S. v Wilson, the Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Fourth Amendment Protection for Electronic Communications

              How We Got Here

              Federal law prohibits the possession and distribution of child sexual assault material (also known as child pornography or CSAM). It also requires anyone who knows another possesses or is engaged in distributing CSAM to report to a quasi-governmental organization called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

              Although federal law does not require private parties to proactively search for CSAM, most, if not all major ISPs do, including Google, the ISP at issue in Wilson’s case. Once one of Google’s employees identifies an image as CSAM, the company uses a proprietary technology to assign a unique hash value to the image. Google retains the hash value (but not the image itself), and its system automatically scans all content passing through Google’s servers and flags any images with hash values that match it. Once an image is flagged, Goggle’s system automatically classifies and labels the image based on what it has previously determined the image depicts and sends the image with its label to NCMEC, along with the user’s email address and IP addresses. NCMEC then sends the images and identifying information to local law enforcement, based on the IP address.

            • Cross Border Police Surveillance Treaty Must Have Clear, Enforceable Privacy Safeguards, Not a Patchwork of Weak Provisions

              To this end, the Protocol recognizes many mandatory and intrusive police powers, coupled with relatively weak safeguards that are largely optional in nature. The result is a net dilution of privacy and human rights on a global scale. But the right to privacy is a universal right. Incorporating strong safeguards alongside law enforcement  powers will not impede cross-border law enforcement, but will ensure human rights are respected, Rodriguez added. The hearing confirmed some of gravest concerns regarding the treaty. For example, while Article 13 states the Protocol’s investigative powers should be applied in a manner that is proportionate and subject to adequate privacy and human rights safeguards, we have argued that each Party is left to decide for themselves what meets this standard and many anticipated signatories have very weak safeguards. T-CY confirmed that Article 13 provides Parties with substantial flexibility, but saw this as a feature, not a bug, because it allows countries to sign on despite lacking meaningful and robust human rights protection.Even worse, Article 14, which sets out the Protocol’s central privacy protections, can be easily bypassed. Any two more Parties can simply agree to use weaker safeguards when relying on the Protocol’s policing powers. Also, while T-CY officials claimed that the Protocol’s safeguards are “particularly” strong, this is sadly not the case. Article 14’s provisions fail to reflect privacy safeguards in modern data protection regimes (such as the CoE’s own marquee privacy treaty—Convention 108+) and in many instances even work to undermine emerging global standards. To begin with, Article 14 fails to require that all processing of personal data be adequate, fair, and proportionate to its objectives. The absence of these terms in the Protocol is troubling, as it indicates fewer and weaker conditions to access data will be allowed and tolerated.The Protocol’s treatment of biometric data is even more troubling. Recognizing the sensitive nature of biometric data (and its substantial potential as a highly intrusive surveillance capability), legal regimes and courts around the world are increasingly requiring additional safeguards. But Article 14 prevents Parties from treating biometric data as sensitive (and, as a result, applying stronger safeguards) unless it can be shown that heightened risks are involved. At the hearing, T-CY officials acknowledged the weaker standard adopted for biometric data, but indicated the negotiated compromise was necessary to accommodate the range of protection afforded to biometric data amongst some of the Protocol’s would-be signatories. Once again, privacy is taking a back seat. PACE will issue a report with their recommendations in the coming weeks. The assembly  has an opportunity to substantially improve human rights protections in the Protocol by recommending to the Council of Ministers—CoE’s decision-making body—amendments that will fix  technical mistakes in the Protocol and strengthen its privacy and data protection safeguards. We have also suggested that accession to the Protocol should be made conditional upon signing Convention 108+. Without that, the Protocol, and the CoE’s efforts to modernize cross border data access and provide strong, enforceable human rights protections, risk being left behind.

            • Research Shows Apple’s New Do Not Track App Button Is Privacy Theater

              While Apple may be attempting to make being marginally competent at privacy a marketing advantage in recent years, that hasn’t always gone particularly smoothly. Case in point: the company’s new “ask app not to track” button included in iOS 14.5 is supposed to provide iOS users with some protection from apps that get a little too aggressive in hoovering up your usage, location, and other data. In short, the button functions as a more obvious opt out mechanism that’s supposed to let you avoid the tangled web of privacy abuses that is the adtech behavioral ad ecosystem.

            • Drones are back, so are we

              On 20 July 2021, the government proposed a new security bill which will, among other things, authorize police drones, the same drones that our collective efforts managed to reject four times last year. The government is rushing to undermine our precious victories against police surveillance.

            • Travel authorisations: Carriers must query new EU database

              A new information system is supposed to screen travellers for risks at the EU’s external borders. Of interest is, among other things, whether there is an irregular migration history or an „epidemic risk“. The agencies Europol and Frontex will receive new tasks for this.

            • Facebook’s research on kids even considered turning playdates into growth drivers

              The company’s child research is primarily motivated by the success of apps like TikTok and Snapchat in attracting younger users. “With the ubiquity of tablets and phones, kids are getting on the internet as young as six years old. We can’t ignore this and we have a responsibility to figure it out,” a confidential Facebook document viewed by The Wall Street Journal reads. Another possible cause for concern: the WSJ writes that the number of teenagers using Facebook daily has fallen 19 percent in the last two years and could drop an additional 45 percent by 2023, according to a document the publication saw. Suddenly, the directive to “imagine a Facebook experience designed for youth” makes more sense.

            • Democrats ask FTC to fix data privacy ‘crisis’ | TheHill

              A group of Senate Democrats is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to develop new rules to protect data privacy amid stalled progress on a national framework.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Droning on in This Hellfire World

        What a way to end a war! Apologies all around! We’re so damn sorry—or actually, maybe not!

      • Viking/British Colonialism, Che and Colleague Bonding

        Of twenty Irish folk we asked for directions or other assistance, only one ignored us. In that same period, ten people approached to ask if we needed help. Seldom can one find such consideration anywhere!

        On the streets can be found everyman’s poet, song-writer, musician. Many common people still embrace working class consciousness. Several Irishmen we met knew of and respected Che (my ideal “new man”) for his solidarity values. They are proud that Che had Irish family roots, and of his one brief visit to their country for which they fought so long and hard to retake from marauding Scandinavian Vikings and British colonizer-slavers. (1)

      • Following Nationwide Police Brutality Protests, DOJ Steps Up To Issue Incremental Updates To Its Chokehold/No-Knock Warrant Policies

        The Department of Justice is the nominal leader of US law enforcement, even if it really only has direct control of federal officers. That being said, it would have been nice to see the DOJ take the lead on law enforcement issues, rather than gently coast into the police reform driveway late in the proverbial night to add itself to the bottom of the list of reform efforts springing up all over the nation in response to, you guessed it, violence committed by police officers.

      • Australia’s Man in Washington: Morrison’s Tour of Deception

        Besides, a security compact with the United States and the United Kingdom had just been cemented, one promising Canberra eight submarines with nuclear propulsion.  That these promised to be eye-wateringly expensive and available sometime in the 2040s, were they to ever make it to water, was a point not even worth considering.

        In the US press, Morrison was careful to toe the line of the partner made supplicant.  On CBS’s Face the Nation, he was asked whether the US and its allies were moving towards conflict with Beijing.  “I don’t think it’s inevitable at all,” he chirped, claiming that it was “in everybody’s interest” that we all co-exist. But this “happy co-existence” was premised on keeping China in the box or, as he preferred to put it, a committed role of “free nations like Australia” and others in the Indo-Pacific region to stay vigilant.

      • Stranded Afghans Who Fled the Taliban Say the US Left Them Behind
      • In Shabwa, Yemen, Saudis Give Ground but Kill from the Air as War Rages On

        “A warplane killed them,” a shocked man in his seventies, draped in Shabwian traditional folk costume, said as he stood over the remains of the burning bodies of a family in Markhah district in Shabwa province, the third-largest governorate by area in Yemen. On Sunday, Saudi warplanes dropped Western-made bombs on the family of Muhammad Hussain Ahmad Lsudi in Nagil Maqwaa, killing him along with his wife and two children. Muhammad, when his vehicle was targeted, was driving home loaded with flour and canned goods, an occasion that the family — who live in a country where most struggle against starvation — planned to celebrate. “Nothing will appease us except that Saudi Arabia and the UAE leave our home,” a grandfather toting an old Kalashnikov on his shoulder told local Yemeni media.

      • War Is a Racket: Ex-State Department Official Matthew Hoh Speaks Out
      • How the Pentagon Leaned on Hollywood to Sell the War in Afghanistan

        The (official) 20-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan has come to a close, with the military beating a hasty and ignominious retreat. The puppet Afghan government NATO installed lasted fewer than two weeks on its own, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing for the UAE, allegedly with around $169 million in cash.

      • UN Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Denying Monitoring Access At ‘Indispensable’ Site

        The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was denied access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran, the agency said in a statement on September 26.

        IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi “reiterates that all of the agency’s activities referred to in the joint statement for all identified agency equipment and Iranian facilities and locations are indispensable in order to maintain continuity of knowledge,” it said.

      • The demographic oblivion of Europe

        An Italian think tank, the “Fondazione Fare Futuro”, has predicted that due to mass migrations and the different birth rates between Italians and immigrants, by the end of the century half of the Italian population will be Islamic.

      • The International Water Forum in North and East Syria begins today

        According to the organizing committee, the aim of the workshop is to draw attention to international law and states’ use of water as a tool of war. At the same time, the role of water in national security and its contribution to the development of the region will be discussed.

        The forum of course will also discuss the crimes committed by the invading Turkish state which uses water as a tool of war thus damaging both the economy and environment of the region.

        As it is known, the Turkish state aims at forcing people of the region to leave their lands by preventing them access to water. Experts will discuss and seek a solution to the water problem in Northern and Eastern Syria, said the organisers of the forum.

      • Mali Seeking ‘Better Ways’ to Contain Terrorism

        “We want the return of the Malian state, not the arrival of Russian mercenaries,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted last week. “We are for the sovereignty of Mali, not for its weakening.”

        Another official with knowledge of the matter called the potential deployment of Wagner mercenaries “a real concern.”

        “Such a perspective is not a viable and reasonable solution for Mali and the Sahel,” the official told VOA on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation, adding that Malian officials need only to look at developments in the Central African Republic to see the dangers.

      • Nigeria jihadist infighting kills scores in Lake Chad

        Infighting between Nigeria’s two major jihadist factions has left scores dead, raising the possibility of a prolonged internecine conflict between the two forces, civilian and security sources told AFP Tuesday.

        Islamic State West Africa Province or ISWAP has emerged as the dominant faction in Nigeria’s conflict, especially after the death of rival Boko Haram commander Abubakar Shekau in May during infighting between the groups.

      • Iran fails to fully honour agreement on monitoring equipment, IAEA says

        The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Sunday Iran had failed to fully honour the terms of a deal struck two weeks ago to allow the watchdog’s inspectors to service monitoring equipment in the country.

        “The (IAEA) Director General (Rafael Grossi) stresses that Iran’s decision not to allow agency access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop is contrary to the agreed terms of the joint statement issued on 12 September,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Infrastructure and Budget Bills Contain Very Bad Logging Provisions Which Will Make Climate Change Worse

        The budget reconciliation bill adds an astonishing $16 billion dollars to the Forest Service’s current budget, most of which would go for logging – removing nature’s best, cheapest and most effective mechanism for filtering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This ignores that the Forest Service already has a billion dollars in its existing budget to subsidize commercial logging. The infrastructure bill not only gives the Forest Service an additional $3 billion, it mandates logging 30 million acres of national forests over the next 15 years – an area larger than the entire state of Pennsylvania! Even worse, it also exempts many new logging projects and oil and gas pipeline expansion over public lands from environmental analysis, public review and comment, and the ability for citizens – who own these lands – to legally object to the projects. Logging Makes Forest Fires Worse

        Contrary to the myth held by many politicians, logging doesn’t stop large wildfires – it actually increases the threat. In 2016 the largest wildfire analysis ever done found that forests with the most logging and the fewest environmental protections actually had the highest levels of fire intensity. Why? Because logging opens up the forest allowing more sunlight and wind which dries out forests and makes them more flammable. Dense, mature forests burn less intensely than those that have been logged because they have higher canopy cover and more shade, which creates a cooler, more moist forest. The biggest fires in the West this year were in heavily logged “managed” forests.

      • Individuals are not to blame for climate change

        To be more exact, around 71% of global emissions are put out by just 100 different companies. This number makes one thing very clear: it is up to these corporations and the governments that regulate them, not individuals, to curb climate change.

      • Thunberg slams 30 years of climate ‘empty words’

        Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg opened a youth climate summit on Tuesday by lambasting three decades of government inaction, accusing world leaders of having “drowned” future generations with “empty words and promises”.

      • For the First Time, Most Americans Say Global Warming Is Currently Harming US
      • UK Climate Denial Group ‘Slides Further Into Obscurity’ With Latest Appointment, Say Academics

        The UK’s main climate science denial group is “sliding further into obscurity”, academics have claimed, following its latest appointment of a “contrarian” professor.

        Professor Ray Bates, an Emeritus Professor at University College Dublin, has been appointed to the academic advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

      • Heathrow Found to be World’s Second Most Polluting Airport in New Report

        London Heathrow is the second highest-emitting airport in the world, with its passengers contributing as much to climate change as four coal-fired power plants, new research shows.

        The UK capital’s six airports make it the most polluting city by aviation emissions, responsible for 23.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019, the report found.

      • If We Don’t Get Climate Justice, Shut it Down

        “Shut it down!”

        Call and response when we took a downtown Seattle street in front of the Canadian Consulate and Chase and Bank of America branches and shut it down for 1-1/2 hours last Friday.  Our 350 Seattle activists took petitions signed by tens of thousands into all three locations, demanding an end to funding fossil fuel infrastructure, especially tar sands pipelines Line 3 in Minnesota and the Trans Mountain Pipeline in British Columbia, both of which cut through native lands. Outside, the crowd held signs, strung “CLIMATE CRIME SCENE” tape, worked props such as a Biden-Trudeau puppet, did street theater, and made noise.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Congress Needs to End This $20 Billion Year Giveaway to Big Oil

          Each year, Big Oil receives more than $20.5 billion a year in federal and state subsidies. Many of these subsidies are holdovers from another century, enacted when the industry was first getting on its feet. One of the largest, a tax deduction for drilling oil wells, dates to 1913. Then there’s the tar sands loophole, which gives a tax break to companies that import or produce tar sands oil, which is one of the dirtiest fuels on Earth.

        • Progressive Groups Warn Congress Against Including Carbon Tax in Reconciliation Package

          Five progressive organizations on Tuesday urged top congressional Democrats to exclude a carbon tax from the sweeping budget reconciliation package they aim to pass this week following reports that the policy is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

          “Carbon taxes… do not reduce emissions, they put a squeeze on working families, and they are embraced by polluters.”—Mitch Jones, Food & Water Watch

        • Labour to Produce Net Zero Transition Plan for Each Sector, Hints Ed Miliband

          Labour’s shadow business and energy minister Ed Miliband has hinted the party will produce a net zero transition plan to cover every sector based on the newly announced £224 billion spending pledge. 

          Miliband, who led the party from 2010 to 2015, was speaking on a panel at Labour’s conference in Brighton today co-organised by SERA: Labour’s Environment Campaign and Labour Business.

        • Texas Oil Regulators Profit from the Companies They Oversee

          The top oil and gas regulators in Texas are not only too cozy with the industry, but they personally profit from the companies they are supposed to oversee, according to a new report.

          Vague ethics laws, lack of enforcement, and a campaign finance system soaked in fossil fuel cash all combine to make the Texas Railroad Commission a “captive agency,” argue Commission Shift and Texans for Public Justice, two watchdog groups, in their new report.

        • Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate Excoriate World Leaders for ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’ Climate Failures

          Noted young climate activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate on Tuesday excoriated global leaders’ response to the planetary crisis, with Thunberg calling it “a betrayal of all present and future generations.”

          “Our leaders are lost,” said Nakate of Uganda, “and our planet is damaged.”

        • Why Xi’s Coal Pledge Is a Big Deal

          Beijing’s new stance will make countries that are still planning for new coal and rely on international financing—such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Turkey—seriously rethink their power development plans. And now that both China and the United States are pledging support for green energy in developing countries, the move also sets the stage for an even more competitive race to build clean energy.

        • We are now Solar Powered

          What’s more, this is a system that runs off completely renewable energy. All the while providing a fairly speedy (yes, around 50Mbps down is speedy to a rural Australian!) wireless broadband service for a household, streaming video and hosting a couple of servers, all in one little efficient solar powered bundle.

          It also has to be said hosting any sort of website on a wireless internet service is rather unconventional, especially one that averages between 5-8Mbps upload. This is why keeping transfers as small as possible and resource usage low makes sense just beyond keeping power usage down. The other downside is relying on an external server (the VPS) to even get this whole thing public facing. That’s not ideal, but then again there isn’t any other choice that I’m aware of when your ISP blocks port forwarding. At least the VPS was already getting used for other things, so it’s not a major additional component.

        • Africa’s cryptocurrency economy grew by over 1200% in a year

          The study also found that Africans are using cryptocurrencies as a form of savings because of local currencies losing their value. Chainalysis noted that in Nigeria, P2P trading increased when the value of the local currency took a tumble.

        • China’s central bank bans cryptocurrency transactions to avoid ‘risks’

          Friday’s announcement is the culmination of an ongoing crackdown on crypto in the country; the Chinese government began issuing warnings about trading in mining cryptocurrencies in May, and in June, the bank told financial institutions to stop processing digital currency transactions. Bloomberg reports that one major reason for the Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrencies is the amount of energy needed to mine cryptocurrency transactions. China is in the midst of an energy crisis that has already affected many other industries.

        • Why Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Other Cryptocurrencies Plunged Today

          Earlier this year, China banned cryptocurrency mining, an energy-intensive process that has drawn criticism from environmentalists for its potential to contribute to climate change. Chinese regulators also forbid the country’s financial institutions from providing services to crypto[currency]-focused companies.

        • Bitcoin takes a hit as China declares all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

          The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it was launching a thorough, nationwide cleanup of cryptocurrency mining. Such activities contribute little to China’s economic growth, spawn risks, consume a huge amount of energy and hamper carbon neutrality goals, it said.

          It’s an “imperative” to wipe out cryptocurrency mining, a task key to promoting high-quality growth of China’s economy, the NDRC said in a notice to local governments.

        • China Vows to Stop Building Coal Plants Overseas, But What Does That Mean?

          Not all climate experts are so confident. That’s because Xi’s promise, made during a speech Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly, was brief and has not yet been translated into concrete policy.

          Here are some of the biggest questions about Xi’s announcement: [...]

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bridge the North-South Divide for a UN Biodiversity Framework That is More Just

          Since the turn of this century, I have been involved in biodiversity conservation in several places in North America and India, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S.–Canada borderlands; the desert in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands; and the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans in the India–Bangladesh borderlands. Such biodiversity conservation efforts also take into account environmental justice and rights of Indigenous peoples, a form of collective engagement I call, ‘multispecies justice’. Drawing from these experiences, I offer my humble assessments in this moment of entangled crises and great cultural and political divides for all to consider.

          I was born and lived the first twenty-two years of my life in the global South, in India. And the past thirty-one years, I have lived in the global North, in the United States. I consider myself a bridge between North and the South. And even though I do not have a degree in civil engineering, I like to say that professionally, I’m always “Building Bridges” across and among varieties of differences—places and peoples, human and nonhuman kin, academic disciplinary silos and archipelagoes, and academia and the communities in which we live and work.

        • Opinion | Despite Our Despair, There’s a Reality Worth Fighting For

          In late July, I set out to find baby gray tree frogs. They’re emerald green and (I’ll just say it) incredibly adorable. They are also very difficult to find because they’re well-camouflaged, sitting as they do on green leaves. But because I’m looking for them, I often find them. I see what I’m attending to.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Insuring Heaven or Hell on Earth?

        For almost 75 years, GuideOne has been an insurance firm whose primary business has been insuring places of worship, faith organizations, and religious schools. The firm has consistently projected a wholesome image suitable for an insurer focused on safety. “Every product and service GuideOne offers protects organizations dedicated to making our communities better places to live”, Jessica Clark, GuideOne’s CEO at the time, said in 2018.

      • Sanders Demands House Dems Vote Down Bipartisan Bill if Reconciliation Package Not Secured

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday implored his colleagues in the House to vote against a Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress approves a far-reaching reconciliation package that includes anti-poverty measures and climate action.

        “I strongly urge my House colleagues to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.

      • Child Labor: Which Side are Democracies On?

        According to the International Labor Organization’s latest report last fall, despite years of declining rates worldwide, child labor is indeed on the rise again. And the increase began before COVID exacerbated the situation.

        Shortly before Bolsonaro issued his statement, more than a dozen anti-child labor organizations from Central and South America came together in Costa Rica to take stock of the struggle and make plans for 2021, the UN-designated Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. One challenge had become clear: the surge in right-wing authoritarian governments across Latin America has threatened years of progress.

      • Danny Glover Under Cover for Big Pharma and Insurance Companies

        They will say – superstar actor featured in the Lethal Weapon film series.

        Civil rights activist.

      • Rep. Jerry Nadler Pushing New Bill That Will Destroy Online Commerce; Make Sure Only Amazon Can Afford The Liability

        ‘Tis the season for terrible, horrible, no good bills to destroy the open internet. First up, we’ve got Rep. Jerry Nadler, a close friend of the always anti-internet lobbying force that is the legacy copyright industries. Earlier this year he introduced the SHOP SAFE Act, which is due for a markup tomorrow, and has an unfortunately high likelihood of passing out of committee. The principle behind the Act (which Nadler has now updated with a manager’s amendment) is that “something must be done” about people buying counterfeit goods online.

      • Close the Carried Interest Loophole and End Private Equity Abuse
      • Our Crowdfund For Our Paper Exploring NFTs Will Be Ending Soon

        Last week we announced that we wanted to write a paper exploring the NFT phenomenon, and specifically what it meant with regards to the economics around scarce and infinitely available goods. To run this crowdfund, we’re testing out a cool platform called Mirror that lets us mix crowdfunding and NFTs as part of the process (similarly, we’re now experimenting with NFTs with our Plagiarism by Techdirt collection).

      • Opinion | Democrat’s Inept Messaging: It’s Not a $3.5 Trillion Bill But $350 Billion a Year

        Why are the Democrats so inept at framing their messages in a way that appeals to people instead of scaring them off? They’re busy declaring that they want to pass $3.5 trillion in new federal spending for important and goals like child care, paid family leave, fighting climate change, increased Medicare benefits, lower prescription drug prices, and child tax credits, mostly paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Most of these individual programs are popular with voters, as is taxing the rich. 

      • GOP Threatens Economic Disaster by Refusing to Raise Debt Limit Before Shutdown
      • Sinema Will Hold Fundraiser With Groups Lobbying Against Reconciliation Bill
      • Progressives Warn Democrats Against Means-Testing Reconciliation Bill to Death

        Progressives are once again sounding the alarm about the pitfalls of means-testing amid new reports suggesting that—in order to reduce the size of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill—congressional Democrats may impose stricter income caps on several proposed programs.

        Discussions about potentially placing additional income limits on items in the Build Back Better Act, first reported Monday by Reuters, come as Democrats—who can afford no defections in the evenly split Senate and just three in the House—are attempting to appease Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and other right-wing Democrats, some of whom have pushed for a smaller safety net and climate package after receiving a flood of campaign cash from Big Pharma and Big Oil.

      • After Pelosi Breaks Dual-Bill Promise, Progressives Are Now in the Driver’s Seat
      • Sunrise Movement Warns of ‘Betrayal’ as Pelosi Bends Toward Corporate Democrats

        The youth-led Sunrise Movement on Tuesday accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “betrayal” after she walked back her promise to ensure that Democrats’ reconciliation package passes Congress before the House votes on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

        “Any Democrat who votes for the bipartisan bill ahead of reconciliation is doing it at the expense of our generation and we will not forget.”

      • ‘We Aren’t Bluffing’: Progressives Hold the Line as Pelosi Moves Ahead With Bipartisan Bill

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled during a private caucus meeting late Monday that she is willing to proceed to a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week even if work on Democrats’ broader reconciliation package is not finished, breaking with progressive lawmakers who say the latter measure must be done first.

        “Our demands have not changed: The Build Back Better Act must pass both chambers before the House passes the BIF.”—Indivisible

      • Activists Confront Pelosi at Fundraiser, Demanding She ‘Hold the Line’ on $3.5 Trillion Package

        As the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Tuesday accused Rep. Nancy Pelosi of “betrayal” for retreating from a promise to prioritize passage of the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill ahead of a planned vote on bipartisan infrastructure legislation, progressive activists confronted the House speaker in Washington, D.C. to demand that she “hold the line” on the Democrats’ flagship reconciliation package.

        “Democrats must seize this moment to pass the first pieces of federal climate policy to give us a real chance to combat this massive crisis.”—Nikayla Jefferson,Sunrise Movement

      • El Milagro Tortilla Workers Walk Out to Demand Fair Wages Amid Staff Shortage
      • El Milagro Tortilla Workers Walk Out to Demand Fair Wages & Workload Amid Staff Shortage, COVID Deaths

        We go to Chicago for an update on workers at El Milagro tortilla plants who staged a temporary walkout last week to protest low pay, staff shortages and abusive working conditions, including intimidation and sexual harassment. El Milagro claims an ongoing tortilla shortage is due to supply chain issues, but organizers say the company has lost staff due to their poor treatment of workers, including their mishandling of the pandemic, resulting in dozens of infections and five deaths. Workers gave El Milagro management until this Wednesday to respond to their demands. “The company, instead of offering better wages and hiring more people, is just cranking up the machines,” says Jorge Mújica, strategic campaigns organizer at Arise Chicago, a community group that helps people fight workplace exploitation.

      • More Than Half of US’s 100 Richest People Dodge Estate Taxes Via Special Trusts
      • More Than Half of America’s 100 Richest People Exploit Special Trusts to Avoid Estate Taxes

        It’s well known, at least among tax lawyers and accountants for the ultrawealthy: The estate tax can be easily avoided by exploiting a loophole unwittingly created by Congress three decades ago. By using special trusts, a rarefied group of Americans has taken advantage of this loophole, reducing government revenues and fueling inequality.

        There is no way for the public to know who uses these special trusts aside from when they’ve been disclosed in lawsuits or securities filings. There’s also been no way to quantify just how much in estate tax has been lost to them, though, in 2013, the lawyer who pioneered the use of the most common one — known as the grantor retained annuity trust, or GRAT — estimated they may have cost the U.S. Treasury about $100 billion over the prior 13 years.

      • Protest at Manchin’s Yacht Demands End to His Obstruction of Reconciliation Bill
      • Flotilla Protest at Manchin’s Yacht Tells Right-Wing Democrat: ‘Don’t Sink Our Bill’

        West Virginia activists in kayaks and electric boats converged on Sen. Joe Manchin’s yacht in Washington, D.C. on Monday to protest the right-wing Democrat’s continued obstruction of his own party’s reconciliation package, a central component of President Joe Biden’s climate and safety net agenda.

        “Manchin needs to realize that the fossil fuel industry is about to keel over and we refuse to let it drag the rest of us down with it.”

      • ‘Manchin Has Taken the Lead in Diluting Ethics Provisions’

        Janine Jackson interviewed David Moore about Joe Manchin’s conflicts of interest on climate change for the September 24, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Berliners vote to expropriate large landlords in non-binding referendum

        - A majority of voters in Berlin wants city hall to expropriate major landlords such as Vonovia (VNAn.DE) and Deutsche Wohnen (DWNG.DE) to help reduce rents in the German capital, provisional referendum results showed on Monday.

        Around 56% cast a ballot in favour of the non-binding initiative, compared to 39% against, Berlin government said following Sunday’s vote, which was held alongside elections for the city government and the national parliament.

        The results come as Vonovia, the largest German residential rental company, said it had reached the 50% threshold needed to buy smaller rival Deutsche Wohnen, creating a housing behemoth with some 550,000 apartments worth more than 80 billion euros ($93.7 billion).

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Week of Two High-Stakes Games of Chicken

        The first is between Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans over raising the debt ceiling and extending funding the government beyond Thursday.

      • Opposing His Renomination, Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell ‘A Dangerous Man’

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Tuesday that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s record of weakening post-2008 Wall Street regulations makes him “a dangerous man” to lead the U.S. central bank—and should disqualify him from serving a second term.

        “Renominating you means gambling that for the next five years, a Republican majority at the Federal Reserve with a Republican chair who has regularly voted to deregulate Wall Street won’t drive this economy over a financial cliff again,” Warren said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “With so many qualified candidates for this job, I just don’t think that’s a risk worth taking.”

      • Will Corporate Democrats Derail Biden’s Agenda?

        This week, Americans will get a very clear view of the two political parties in high-stakes showdowns—and possibly a sobering insight into how corrupted our politics has become.

      • Why Are Party Leaders Still Propping Up Henry Cuellar as a Democrat?

        When the US House of Representatives voted Friday for the Women’s Health Protection Act—in response to assaults on reproductive rights like the Texas law that bans abortion before many people know they are pregnant—the partisan divide was unmistakable. The bill passed 218-211, with every “yes” vote coming from Democrats and 210 “no” votes coming from Republicans.

      • Why the Media No Longer Cares About Nicaragua

        If someone interested in the priorities of the US media, government, and foreign policy establishment had gone to sleep, say, 35 years ago and woke up today, they would be surprised to learn that former Sandinista comandante Daniel Ortega was, once again, running things in Nicaragua. According to Human Rights Watch, the country’s November 7 election campaign has already been tarnished by “high-profile arrests and other serious human rights violations against critics appear to be part of a broader strategy to eliminate political competition, stifle dissent, and pave the way for President Daniel Ortega’s re-election to a fourth consecutive term.” This time, in contrast to the heavily covered elections that sent Ortega and the Sandinistas packing in 1990, hardly anyone in the US mainstream media appears to care.

      • All Voters in California Will Be Mailed Ballots Automatically, Thanks to New Law
      • Britain Will Never be Taken Seriously with a Genuine Charlatan as Prime Minister

        For a proportion of the public, the fact that their prime minister is a charlatan (or a mountebank – a useful word that has largely gone out of fashion) is an accepted if regrettable feature of the political landscape. But dismissive contempt and furious hostility both serve to prevent proper analysis of the real-life consequences of having somebody as frivolous as Johnson, along with his lightweight appointees, in charge of the country.

        The result is not automatically negative, since their very incapacity may undermine their ability to do real harm. But of course one should not bet on a happy outcome. As Cummings showed, giving chapter and verse, Johnson’s chaotically poor judgement over the Covid-19 pandemic last year led to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of people.

      • Facebook asks Oversight Board for guidance on ‘cross-check’ system

        “To address this, we asked Facebook to explain how its cross-check system works and urged the company to share the criteria for adding pages and accounts to cross-check as well as to report on relative error rates of determinations made through cross-check, compared with its ordinary enforcement procedures. In its response, Facebook provided an explanation of cross-check but did not elaborate criteria for adding pages and accounts to the system, and declined to provide reporting on error rates,” the board wrote.

        The scrutiny on Facebook’s cross-check program is only part of the backlash the social media giant has faced after the Journal published a series of reports about Facebook, raising questions about content moderation practices and Facebook products’ impact on teen mental health.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 299: The Misinformation About Disinformation

        Disinformation continues to be a major topic of discussion across many fields, but a lot of what people believe about the subject is… questionable at best. One of the more thoughtful writers on the subject is Joe Bernstein from Buzzfeed News, whose recent cover story in Harper’s brings a very different and valuable perspective to the debate. This week, he joins us on the podcast to discuss the glut of misconceptions and misinformation about disinformation.

      • Facebook groups promoting ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment continue to flourish.

        Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, found 60 public and private Facebook groups dedicated to ivermectin discussion, with tens of thousands of members in total. After the organization flagged the groups to Facebook, 25 of them closed down. The remaining groups, which were reviewed by The New York Times, had nearly 70,000 members. Data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned social network analytics tool, showed that the groups generate thousands of interactions daily.

      • How internet pioneer Vint Cerf illuminated Google’s misinformation mess

        While Google employees are very well compensated financially, these 10,000 evaluators are hourly contract workers who work from home and earn around $13.50 per hour. One such worker profiled in the Wall Street Journal article said he was required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, that he had zero contact with anyone at Google, and that he was never told what his work would be used for (and remember these are the people Cerf referred to as “part of our Google family”). The contractor said he was “given hundreds of real search results and told to use his judgment to rate them according to quality, reputation, and usefulness, among other factors.” The main task these workers perform, it seems, is rating individual sites as well as evaluating the rankings for various searches returned by Google. These tasks are closely guided by the 168-page document these workers are provided. Sometimes, the workers also received notes, through their contract work agencies, from Google telling them the “correct” results for certain searches. For instance, at one point, the search phrase “best way to kill myself” was turning up how-to manuals, and the contract workers were sent a note saying that all searches related to suicide should return the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as the top result.

      • Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians, Forces report says

        The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau.

        But military commanders believed they didn’t need to get approval from higher authorities to develop and proceed with their plan, retired Maj.-Gen. Daniel Gosselin, who was brought in to investigate the scheme, concluded in his report.

        The propaganda plan was developed and put in place in April 2020 even though the Canadian Forces had already acknowledged that “information operations and targeting policies and doctrines are aimed at adversaries and have a limited application in a domestic concept.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Area Free Market Proponent Sues Facebook For Defaming Him By Moderating His Personal Marketplace Of Climate Change Ideas

        Being consistent is hard. Just ask John Stossel, libertarian news commentator and self-proclaimed supporter of free markets and deregulation.

      • Failure to Balance Freedom of Expression and Protection from Online Harms: My Submission to the Government’s Consultation on Addressing Harmful Content Online

        8.    During the last election campaign, the government promised to move forward within 100 days of its mandate. Given that commitment – as well as the structure of the consultation that reads more like a legislative outline rather than a genuine attempt to solicit feedback – there are considerable doubts about this consultative process. Consultations should not be a box-ticking exercise in which the actual responses are not fully factored into policy decisions. The challenge of reading, processing, analyzing and ultimately incorporating consultation responses within a three month period appears entirely unrealistic. The government should provide assurances that there will be no legislation without taking the consultation responses fully into account.

      • YouTube Is Refusing to Promote NBA Youngboy – Manager Alleges

        At least, that’s what his manager Alex Junnier says. “YouTube told us they can’t promote YB because of his image,” Junnier writes on Instagram in a post that has since been deleted. “Weak ass platform. Your #1 artist three years in a row.”

      • Media Groups Voice Concern about Turkey’s Planned Social Media Law

        Journalists and media groups have voiced concern about the proposal, calling for authorities to make the plans public and warning that broadly worded regulations could be used to persecute critical reporting. Others cited the large number of lawsuits already filed against social media users.

        “The government has a strange habit,” said Turgay Olcayto, adding that everyone who criticizes it is viewed as “an enemy.”

        The president of the Turkish Journalists’ Association was speaking at a press conference Monday alongside four other media unions and rights groups to voice opposition to the proposed law.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Press Freedom Groups to Convene People’s Tribunal on Murders of Journalists

        “The frequency of grave violations committed against journalists coupled with prevailing high levels of impunity is alarming.”—Almudena Bernabeu, prosecutor

        “Since 1992, more than 1400 journalists have been killed, and in eight out of 10 cases where a journalist is murdered, the killers go free,” the three organizations said in a statement. “The persistently high level of impunity perpetuates a cycle of violence against journalists, posing a threat to freedom of expression.”

      • Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo Was Reportedly Obsessed With Killing Assange

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

      • Press Freedom Groups React to reports of CIA plots to kidnap, assassinate Assange
      • The Plot to Kill Julian Assange: Report Reveals CIA’s Plan to Kidnap, Assassinate WikiLeaks Founder

        Did the CIA under the Trump administration plan to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a shootout in London? That is one of the explosive findings in a new exposé by Yahoo News that details how the CIA considered abducting and possibly murdering Assange while he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden for rape allegations, charges that were dropped in 2017. More than 30 former officials say former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was apparently motivated to get even with WikiLeaks following its publication of sensitive CIA hacking tools, which the agency considered “the largest data loss in CIA history.” Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, lays out the plans and describes how the abduction plan “was one of the most contentious intelligence debates of the entire Trump era,” noting it ultimately spurred the Justice Department to fast-track its legal case against Assange. We also speak with Assange’s legal adviser Jennifer Robinson, who says the latest revelations should alarm American citizens, as well as journalists around the world. “This is the CIA talking about conspiracy to kidnap and murder an Australian citizen and an award-winning journalist and editor who has done nothing but publish truthful information.”

      • The Plot to Kill Julian Assange
      • Eritrea : RSF demands that Swedish Prosecutors assume their responsibility for Dawit Isaak

        As Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak is now detained for 20 years in Eritrea, Reporters without Borders (RSF) has submitted a request to the Prosecutor-General in Sweden to reverse a decision not to investigate crimes against humanity in Isaak’s case. RSF is asking the Prosecutor-General to fulfill her international obligation.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • What I Learned From the Women in Detroit

        Politics govern how much of our public resources we are willing to invest in challenging gender-based violence. And the politics of gender‐based violence is fraught with victim blaming. When public officials categorize intimate partner violence as a private matter, the victim blaming becomes built into our structures. It also shows in our calculation of the cost of the behavior to individuals and the greater society. Classifying gendered violence as a private rather than a public issue has many effects. It reduces the significance of the problem and serves as an excuse for lack of public funding for solutions. We tell ourselves that it’s not so bad. And then we ignore the costs in lives and human resources it causes. Personalizing the impact of gender‐based violence is a kind of denial that allows us to tell ourselves “it’s not our problem.” Why should government funding be spent on individual personal problems? Labeling intimate partner violence a private matter has a social effect—stigmatizing victims and marginalizing them in our communities. All of the above reductive approaches to gender‐based violence devalue women who experience abuse, silencing the witnesses preemptively.

      • Opinion | Three Lessons to Chart a Path Forward in Solidarity With Afghan Women

        While the Taliban would have us believe their promises to uphold women’s rights, reality paints a much different picture. Public protests by women against the Taliban have been violently quashed. A shelter for women fleeing domestic violence was burned to the ground by the Taliban. Other women’s safe houses across Afghanistan have closed, and the directors and occupants are in hiding. In rural villages, girls have been dragged off into sex slavery as Taliban “brides.” Thousands of women and their children displaced from rural areas by these threats and by ongoing armed violence have sought refuge in Kabul, congregating outdoors without shelter, food, or water.

      • Justice for Black Women & Girls: R. Kelly Found Guilty in Sex Crimes Case After Decades of Abuse

        R&B singer R. Kelly is guilty of a series of charges, including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and transporting people across state lines for sex. Jurors in the federal trial returned their verdict Monday after 11 accusers — nine women and two men — and 34 other witnesses detailed Kelly’s pattern of sexual and other abuse against dozens of women and underage girls for nearly two decades. “He just became more egregious, more bold, with the kind of crimes that he was committing against Black girls and women,” says dream hampton, executive producer of the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which helped publicize Kelly’s predations and fueled demands for accountability. “It was time for it to end.”

      • Pakistani Women Are Leading the Struggle for Human Rights

        Islamabad—When the journalist Asma Shirazi landed in Lahore on the night of July 13, 2018, she found her Twitter feed awash with insults. She had just been aboard the flight that had brought former prime minister Nawaz Sharif back from London after the courts convicted him, in absentia, of corruption. Her crime—for which she was called a prostitute, threatened with rape, and accused of taking bribes—was that she had interviewed Sharif about the verdict delivered against him.

      • Open Letter to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Chris Revis

        I write on behalf of my former client, Christopher “Chris” Revis, whose case is scheduled for consideration before the Board on October 1, 2021. Chris is serving a sentence of life with the possibility of parole at Ventress Correctional Facility for the murder of Gerald “Jerry” Stidham, a well-known dealer of prescription pain pills in Marion County, on February 22, 2004. I represented Chris as an Assistant Federal Defender in the capital habeas unit of the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Alabama between 2012 and 2015.

        I request the Board parole “Chris” Revis for the following reasons:

      • Opinion | The US Needs a Deep Reassessment of Its Immigration Policies

        Today, the makeshift migrant border camp in Del Rio, Texas, is virtually empty, cleared of thousands of Haitian refugees who came there seeking asylum in America. State troopers now line the border area to discourage others from gathering.

      • Frustrated Tribal Leaders Urge Biden to Immediately Restore Bears Ears Monument

        Amid increasing frustration, leaders of two Native American tribes are calling on President Joe Biden to “take immediate action” to restore and enlarge Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, according to a letter published Tuesday by The Washington Post.

        In the letter, Hopi Tribal Vice Chair Clark W. Tenakhongva and Navajo Nation representative Henry Stevens Jr. note that eight months have passed since Biden, on his first day in office, signed an executive order directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to conduct a comprehensive review of former President Donald Trump’s 85% reduction of the 1.35 million-acre reserve, the result of a December 2017 presidential proclamation.

      • ACLU Calls On Federal Prosecutors to Investigate the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

        The ACLU of Louisiana is calling on federal prosecutors to launch an investigation into the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office following a report by WWNO/WRKF and ProPublica that revealed stark racial disparities in shootings by deputies and systemic transparency problems.

        The news organizations’ ongoing investigation into the Sheriff’s Office found that more than 70% of people who deputies shot at during the past eight years were Black; that figure is more than double the 27% of the Black population in this suburb west of New Orleans. In addition, 12 of the 16 people who died after being shot or restrained by deputies during that time were Black men.

      • The name of the lawyer who advocates for the parents of 13-year-old Leonie, who was murdered and raped by Afghans, appears on a death list

        The German security authorities are already aware of the list and several of those affected are taking legal action against it. In the eXXpressTV interview, TE editor-in-chief Roland Tichy (he is also on the list) reported that many are also afraid because of this.

      • Two teenage Christian sisters in Punjab, Pakistan forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslims

        Both girls are now in a safe place, and the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement have filed to have the marriages annulled.

      • Muslim Mob Allegedly Kills Pastor For Converting Man To Christian In Kano, Razes House, Church, Mission School

        “The late Reverend Shuaibu noticed that the tension was dowsed and he thought he could stay with his family and people, but the Moslems gathered their mob and descended on him, macheted him badly, burnt down his house, the church, and the school in the night.

      • Nazis Exposed After Their Web Host Gets Hacked

        Epik announced the breach earlier this month and said that about 110,000 people had their financial information, credit card numbers, passwords, and other supposedly private information exposed. Given Epik’s popularity among hate groups for taking their business regardless of ideology, that means a whole lot of white supremacists and Nazis suddenly found their hidden online personas were out in the open.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Should Information Flows Be Controlled By The Internet Plumbers?

        Content moderation is a can of worms. For Internet infrastructure intermediaries, it’s a can of worms that they are particularly poorly positioned to tackle. And yet Internet infrastructure elements are increasingly being called on to moderate content—content they may have very little insight into as it passes through their systems. 

    • Monopolies

      • Big Pharma Corporate Lobby vs. Everyday Americans

        The 12-foot cardboard PhRMA executive pulled strings to control activists portraying three Congressional “puppets” — Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Scott Peters (D-CA). These three House members all recently threatened to tank a provision in the $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription prices.

        Attendees delivered a letter to PhRMA, signed by a growing coalition of national and local progressive organizations, demanding they halt all lobbying efforts.

      • Patents

        • UK: Too Cool For School [Ed: Patent litigation firms striving to bring their patent indoctrination (akin to a religion, hostile towards science) into classrooms]

          After a summer of lie-ins, simply getting up for school can be a challenge and waking to shrill, annoying alarm clocks doesn’t make it any easier! US patent application US2010177597A1 describes an alarm clock that uses smell to wake the user as a nifty alternative. At a pre-set time, the clock releases an aroma as the alarm signal instead of the conventional buzzing sounds. The patent claims that people wakened by an aroma have a better and more peaceful mood. That, however, seems very dependent on the aroma – perhaps the aroma of pancakes would wake most children, but for those more stubborn maybe an aroma of rotten eggs would be more motivating!

      • Trademarks

        • All Eyes on Lil Nas X

          The forces of authority loom over the promotional material for rapper and singer Lil Nas X’s debut album, Montero. In one clip, the viral star appears before a fictional Supreme Court, a defendant in a lawsuit by Nike, which earlier this year, in a real court, sued a company for which Lil Nas had codesigned a shoe. The trial is brief and draconian; the court sentences him to prison for homosexuality. In a subsequent advertisement, a reproving newscaster reporting Lil Nas’s escape from said prison identifies him as a “power bottom ‘rapper,’” encasing that final word in questioning air quotes. And then, of course, there’s the music video for the lead single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” in which Lil Nas faces off against divine authority and is damned to hell—where he rescues himself by taming Satan with a glorious lap dance.

        • European Union: Extending EU TM And Design Protection To The UK (Grace Period Ending: 30 September 2021)

          At the end of the Brexit transition period, owners of registered EU trade marks and designs were automatically awarded a comparable UK trade mark or design right to fill the gap in protection following Brexit. However, for EU trade mark and design applications that were pending on the 31 December 2020 such rights were not created automatically. As such, owners of such pending applications now have a non-extendible deadline of 30 September 2021, to file a corresponding UK TM or Design application extending protection to the UK.

      • Copyrights

        • MPA Launches Law and Policy Fellowship for HBCU Grads

          The MPA-EICOP Entertainment & Law Policy Fellowship is a yearlong paid program that will give two recent college or law school graduates from HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) the opportunity to work in the legal and government affairs departments of the MPA and one of its six member studios: Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros.

        • Italian Soccer League Obtains Dynamic Pirate IPTV Blocking Order

          Italian soccer league Serie B has obtained an injunction aimed at preventing the illegal transmission of its soccer matches by illegal IPTV providers during the 21/22 season. The court order is ‘dynamic’, meaning that ISP blocking can be updated to address shifting IPTV infrastructure and emerging threats.

        • U.S. Copyright Holders Want Russia to Criminally Prosecute Pirate sites

          Russia has implemented a wide variety of anti-piracy laws and procedures in recent years. Thousands of copyright-infringing sites have been blocked and even app stores and search engines have to take action. However, according to the IIPA, which includes the MPA, RIAA, and other entertainment industry groups, Russia should do more.

        • Yet Another Move To Funnel Money To Big Copyright Companies, Not Struggling Creators

          When modern copyright came into existence in 1710, it gave a monopoly to authors for just 14 years, with the option to extend it for another 14. Today, in most parts of the world, copyright term is the life of the creator, plus 70 years. That’s typically over a hundred years. The main rationale for this copyright ratchet – always increasing the duration of the monopoly, never reducing it – is that creators deserve to receive more benefit from their work. Of course, when copyright extends beyond their death, that argument is pretty ridiculous, since they don’t receive any benefit personally.

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  1. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  2. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  3. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  4. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  5. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  6. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  8. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  10. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  11. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  13. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  15. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  16. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  17. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  19. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  20. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  23. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  24. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  27. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  29. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal


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