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08.25.15

Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

Posted in News Roundup at 1:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • For open source legend Eric S. Raymond, user-centric design is long overdue

    It took a while for Eric S. Raymond, one of the founding fathers of the open source movement, to prioritize the end user. But now that he has, he wants you to know how easy it can be.

  • The Open Source Greatness of Linux

    Ubuntu grabbed a large portion of the headlines today with Canonical’s decision to abandon its paid software for desktops to concentrate on mobile devices. The Everyday Linux User reviewed Mageia 5 and Distrowatch.com has added “Release Model” to their database search options. Elsewhere, Danny Stieben said Linux is so great because it’s Open Source and Munich is consdiering switching back to Linux on some machines because folks said there were no text editors, Skype support, or office suites installed. All this and more in today’ Linux news round-up.

  • The open source movement needs folk songs

    So if you have a musical bent, try composing an open source folk song. It’s fine to be silly, too. Surprise us with what you make. Share your story and your song(s) right here on Opensource.com

  • Open source for products in four rules (and 10 slides)
  • Apache Twill: real abstraction is a decoupled algorithm

    To be clearer, this term decoupling arises time & time again in relation to the cloud computing model of service-based processing and storage power.

  • Great Open Source Collaborative Editing Tools

    In a nutshell, collaborative writing is writing done by more than one person. There are benefits and risks of collaborative working. Some of the benefits include a more integrated / co-ordinated approach, better use of existing resources, and a stronger, united voice. For me, the greatest advantage is one of the most transparent. That’s when I need to take colleagues’ views. Sending files back and forth between colleagues is inefficient, causes unnecessary delays and leaves people (i.e. me) unhappy with the whole notion of collaboration. With good collaborative software, I can share notes, data and files, and use comments to share thoughts in real-time or asynchronously. Working together on documents, images, video, presentations, and tasks is made less of a chore.

  • Parse open sources its SDKs

    Earlier this month, mobile backend-as-a-service provider Parse open sourced its iOS, OS X, and Android SDKs, and will be open sourcing additional SDKs in the future.

    Parse, which was acquired by Facebook in 2013, says that its SDKs are used by more than 800 million active app-device pairs per month. By open sourcing those SDKs, Parse believes it can help developers facing challenges similar to those it faced. Specifically, according to Parse, “We’ve had to figure out a way to make a public-facing API easy to understand and use, but continue shipping features fast without breaking any existing functionality. To solve this, we structured our public API as a facade for internal code and functionality that could be consistently changing.”

  • A word to the Wise…

    I have been recently reminded that while it may be hard enough to discuss the role and importance of communities for Free and Open Source Software, it is equally important to understand the complexities and the challenges that a Free and Open Source Software foundation has to meet.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s self-destruct course continues: major add-on compatibility changes announced

        Mozilla announced major upcoming changes to Firefox add-ons on the official Add-ons Blog today. These changes affect add-on developers and Firefox users alike, and will have a major effect on add-on compatibility and permissions.

      • Holes found in Pocket Firefox add-on

        Information security man Clint Ruoho has detailed server-side vulnerabilities in the popular Pocket add-on bundled with Firefox that may have allowed user reading lists to be populated with malicious links.

        The since-patched holes were disclosed July 25 and fixed August 17 after a series of botched patches, and gave attackers access to the process running as root on Amazon servers.

        Ruho says the bookmarking app functioned as an internal network proxy and subsequent poor design choices meant he could glean information on users including IP address data and the URLs customers saved for later reading. Adding redirects meant he gained access to the etc/passwd file.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 and Microsoft Office 2013 Full Comparison

      The latest LibreOffice 5.0 is out for some time and it looks like the feature parity with Microsoft Office 2013 is now a lot better. The official wiki from The Document Foundation that shows off the differences and similarities between the two office suites has been updated, and it paints a pretty accurate picture of the progress that’s being made.

    • LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.4 introduces OOXML, PDF, and configuration management improvements

      Today’s release of LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.4 combines Collabora’s latest compatibility, deployment management, and document integrity features with a host of improvements from the LibreOffice community. Redesigned toolbars, menus, rulers, and dialogues make these powerful additions more attractive and efficient to use.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source part of Poland’s animal tracking project

      Poland’s Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARMA) wants to modernise its animal identification and tracking system. The new solution is required to use Zabbix, an open source solution for IT security monitoring.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Now anybody can create Ransomware using open source kit on GitHub

      Ransomware are a pain for PC and laptop owners because they encrypt PCs/Laptop in return for a ransom which if not paid may permanently lock away users important folders like your images, word and excel files etc. However upto now the malware for Ransomware was only available on Dark Web, but that will change now thanks to a Turkish security researcher, Utku Sen.

    • GitHub figures show huge rise in open source languages
    • Most popular programming languages shift at Github
    • PHP 7 drops first release candidate

      Faster PHP is approaching. PHP 7.0.0, which has been promoted as a much quicker upgrade to the server-side scripting language, has just gone into a release candidate stage, bringing its general availability even closer to fruition.

    • Infinity

      I’m writing a replacement for libthread_db. It’s called Infinity.

    • We’re still catching up to Perl

      That’s from a great little article by Chromatic about modern Perl in the latest issue of PragPub. The article goes in to discuss a number of other strengths of Perl, such as its strong community dedication to testing across numerous architectures, services for understanding package dependencies (that sound like they go beyond anything presently available for Ruby), and legendary standards of documentation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Government seeks open standards feedback

      The government has launched a consultation on how best to proceed with several open standards proposals that will support inter-connected systems and more cost efficient digital transformation across Whitehall.

    • UK launches its next OGP Action Plan

      Open policy making, Open Data and international cooperation are three pillars that UK Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock wants to be included in the 2015 UK Action Plan, according to a speech given by the minister to mark the launch of a new Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan (Transcript is accessible on the gov.uk website).

    • Flash is dying a death by 1,000 cuts, and that’s a good thing

      Adobe’s Flash, hated the world over for slowing down computers, containing more holes in security than swiss cheese and stubbornly being the video carrier of choice until recently, is dying.

      Video players are migrating to other systems, even if Microsoft’s Silverlight isn’t much better. HTML5-based video and animations are becoming mainstream, and uploaders and other more advanced web-based features can now be replaced with code that doesn’t rely on Flash.

    • Kill Flash? Be careful what you wish for

      Back when Steve Jobs launched the first salvo in the war against Adobe Flash, declaring in no uncertain terms that the iPhone would never support the ubiquitous Web media framework, the anti-Apple crowd was much amused. No one is laughing now — least of all the many IT vendors that have built their management interfaces in Flash, for whom the death of Flash poses huge challenges.

      At the time, Jobs seemed to be climbing out on a limb. But eventually, everyone came to see how painful it was to support Flash on mobile devices, and how much better HTML5 was at delivering the same basic functionality. Developers began skipping over Flash and going with alternative technologies so that they could support mobile and desktop clients with the same codebase.

Leftovers

  • Why developers have more power than you think

    Jeff Lawson is a walking, talking example of the rise of the developer.

    Today, he’s the CEO of API economy darling Twilio, a cloud platform that offers API-accessible telecom services to marquee customers like Home Depot and Uber. But 20 years ago, he was another computer science student who saw the power of the Internet and wanted to try his hand at building Web applications.

  • Hardware

    • My Network Go-Bag

      I often get teased for taking so much tech hardware with me on trips—right up until the Wi-Fi at the hotel, conference center or rented house fails. I’m currently on vacation with my family and some of our friends from Florida, and our rental home has a faulty Wi-Fi router. Thankfully, I have a bag full of goodies for just this occasion.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Linus Torvalds: Security is never going to be perfect

      One of the best kept secrets at this week’s LinuxCon was the presence of Linus Torvalds. I’ve never not seen Linus at any of the LinuxCons I’ve attended since 2009, whether in Europe or North America, but no matter who you asked, the answer was, “He’s not here.” This morning, though, a little bird sang that the surprise guest for the upcoming keynote was none other than Torvalds.

    • Linux Foundation to Launch New Security-Focused Badge Program for Open-Source Software

      During the LinuxCon and CloudOpen events that took place last week in Seattle, North America, Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative announced that they were developing a new free Badge Program and that they wanted to know the open source community’s opinion on the matter.

    • ​Securing the Internet: Let’s Encrypt to release first security certificates September 7

      Some days it seems like the Internet is about as secure as an over-filled diaper. There’s always crap leaking from seamy businesses, such as Ashley Madison; the Federal government, OPM and IRS; and even security companies like LastPass. One of the weakest security links is the connection between you and unsecured web sites. Now almost a year since it was proposed, Let’s Encrypt is almost ready to enable any Internet site to protect its visitors with free Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • John McAfee: McAfee antivirus is one of the worst products on the planet
    • Highway to hack: why we’re just at the beginning of the auto-hacking era

      Imagine it’s 1995, and you’re about to put your company’s office on the Internet. Your security has been solid in the past—you’ve banned people from bringing floppies to work with games, you’ve installed virus scanners, and you run file server backups every night. So, you set up the Internet router and give everyone TCP/IP addresses. It’s not like you’re NASA or the Pentagon or something, so what could go wrong?

      That, in essence, is the security posture of many modern automobiles—a network of sensors and controllers that have been tuned to perform flawlessly under normal use, with little more than a firewall (or in some cases, not even that) protecting it from attack once connected to the big, bad Internet world. This month at three separate security conferences, five sets of researchers presented proof-of-concept attacks on vehicles from multiple manufacturers plus an add-on device that spies on drivers for insurance companies, taking advantage of always-on cellular connectivity and other wireless vehicle communications to defeat security measures, gain access to vehicles, and—in three cases—gain access to the car’s internal network in a way that could take remote control of the vehicle in frightening ways.

    • backdooring your javascript using minifier bugs

      In addition to unforgettable life experiences and personal growth, one thing I got out of DEF CON 23 was a copy of POC||GTFO 0×08 from Travis Goodspeed. The coolest article I’ve read so far in it is “Deniable Backdoors Using Compiler Bugs,” in which the authors abused a pre-existing bug in CLANG to create a backdoored version of sudo that allowed any user to gain root access. This is very sneaky, because nobody could prove that their patch to sudo was a backdoor by examining the source code; instead, the privilege escalation backdoor is inserted at compile-time by certain (buggy) versions of CLANG.

      That got me thinking about whether you could use the same backdoor technique on javascript. JS runs pretty much everywhere these days (browsers, servers, arduinos and robots, maybe even cars someday) but it’s an interpreted language, not compiled. However, it’s quite common to minify and optimize JS to reduce file size and improve performance. Perhaps that gives us enough room to insert a backdoor by abusing a JS minifier.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Two planes crash at Swiss airshow

      Two light planes have crashed at an airshow in Switzerland, killing one of the pilots.

      Swiss police said they were two of three C-42b aircraft from Germany, flying in formation. They crashed after they touched in mid-air on Sunday morning.

    • America as the Neo-British Empire

      For some writers, imperial freedom floats all boats (and not just the capitalists’). They thank hegemonic powers for liberalism itself, asserting that imperial naval (or air) power deployed overseas leaves domestic liberalism unharmed. By contrast, standing armies are said to threaten domestic liberty. Yet embracing imperial means, we might expect very thin liberalism indeed; with Machiavelli’s “republic for increase” walking the earth, we might at least speak frankly of “free trade imperialism.”

    • French train gunman ‘dumbfounded’ by terrorist tag

      French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday there had been “several shots” before the Moroccan was subdued by the passengers, who included three Americans.

    • North, South Korea reach agreement to ease tensions

      North and South Korea reached agreement early on Tuesday to end a standoff involving an exchange of artillery fire that had pushed the divided peninsula into a state of heightened military tension.

      Under the accord reached after midnight on Tuesday morning after more than two days of talks, North Korea expressed regret over the recent wounding of South Korean soldiers in a landmine incident and Seoul agreed to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts, both sides said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Paul Haggis: ‘shame on’ press for not asking Tom Cruise about Scientology

      The Oscar-winning director of Crash, who left the church in 2009, has criticised journalists for failing to address the Mission: Impossible star’s beliefs

    • Wall Street rattles Washington

      The stock market closed a wild Monday with the Dow Jones industrial average down over 500 points, setting off fresh fears about the health of the global economy.

      The Wall Street drama quickly spread to the 2016 campaign trail and Washington, as flashbacks to the 2008 financial crisis drew responses from the political world.

      Renewed concern about the strength of China’s economy kicked off a brutal opening, as the Dow opened down more than 1,000 points in the first minutes of trading. While the index largely erased those gains later in the day, it still ended Monday down 588 points, adding to large losses suffered the two days prior.

    • Jeremy Corbyn: Personal attacks by Gordon Brown and Labour grandees are ‘pathetic’

      Labour leadership candidates quizzed on BBC 5 live, Andy Burnham accused of making sexist remark and Yvette Cooper attacks Jeremy Corbyn

  • Censorship

    • Twitter shuts down 30 sites dedicated to saving politicians’ deleted tweets

      Twitter has shut down a network of sites dedicated to archiving deleted tweets from politicians around the world. The sites — collectively known as Politwoops — were overseen by the Open State Foundation (OSF), which reported that Twitter suspended their API access on Friday, August 21st. Twitter reportedly told the OSF that its decision was the result of “thoughtful internal deliberation and close consideration of a number of factors,” and that the social media site didn’t distinguish between politicians and regular users.

    • Twitter cuts off Diplotwoops and Politwoops in all remaining 30 countries

      On Friday night, August 21, Open State Foundation was informed by Twitter that it suspended API access to Diplotwoops and all remaining Politwoops sites in 30 countries. After Twitter suspended API access for the US version of Politwoops for displaying deleted tweets of US lawmakers on May 15, Open State Foundation was still running Politwoops in 30 countries, including the European parliament.

    • Malaysia considers forcing news websites to register with gov’t, as political scandal unfolds

      Malaysia’s new Communications and Multimedia Minister has proposed amending the country’s Internet laws to force news websites to register with the government. Human rights groups have been quick to denounce the proposal as a threat to free speech.

    • Come on, how did the Air Force screw up ‘loose tweets sink fleets?’

      Hey, remember when this designer made a whole bunch of amazing internet-themed World War II propaganda parodies? Well, one of those just cropped up in the actual military, albeit not for the first time. In an online bulletin earlier this month, the US Air Forces Central Command repurposed the iconic “loose lips sink ships” slogan to warn service members about the potential dangers of social media. As you might have guessed from the photo above, it’s now “loose tweets destroy fleets.”

    • Russia threatens to ban Wikipedia
  • Privacy

    • Amazon.com will stop accepting Flash ads on September 1

      Amazon has decided to stop accepting Adobe Flash ads starting next month. The move, which goes into effect on September 1, affects not just the company’s website, but its whole advertising platform.

    • Police secretly track cellphones to solve routine crimes

      The crime itself was ordinary: Someone smashed the back window of a parked car one evening and ran off with a cellphone. What was unusual was how the police hunted the thief.

      Detectives did it by secretly using one of the government’s most powerful phone surveillance tools — capable of intercepting data from hundreds of people’s cellphones at a time — to track the phone, and with it their suspect, to the doorway of a public housing complex. They used it to search for a car thief, too. And a woman who made a string of harassing phone calls.

      In one case after another, USA TODAY found police in Baltimore and other cities used the phone tracker, commonly known as a stingray, to locate the perpetrators of routine street crimes and frequently concealed that fact from the suspects, their lawyers and even judges. In the process, they quietly transformed a form of surveillance billed as a tool to hunt terrorists and kidnappers into a staple of everyday policing.

    • Canadians are suing Ashley Madison because a lack of prophylactic protection

      A BRACE OF LAW FIRMS ARE BEHIND A class action lawsuit against Ashley Madison because it did not do enough to protect personal and private information.

      The class action case, from two Canadian law firms, argues that the hookup stations failed users by not protecting their information and for not deleting it after a fee had been paid to ensure its deletion. It seeks $578m.

      According to the New York Post the lawyers want some satisfaction for a cluster of punters who are currently wearing outraged expressions and regretting joining a site that does what it does in the way that it does it.

    • ‘Security Was An Afterthought,’ Hacked Ashley Madison Emails Show

      It’s already clear that, despite handling very sensitive data, Ashley Madison did not have the best security. Hackers managed to obtain everything from source code to customer data to internal documents, and the attackers behind the breach, who call themselves the Impact Team, made a mockery of the company’s defenses in an interview.

  • Civil Rights

    • Bernie Sanders: The Vox conversation
    • [Old] Russia begins blacklisting ‘undesirable’ organizations
    • The Crackdown On NGOs In Russia

      In early March, Russian prosecutors launched spot inspections of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) across the country. Hundreds of groups have already been targeted, from human rights NGOs to environmental groups to health-care associations. Formally, prosecutors are checking compliance with a new law forcing organizations that receive foreign funding and are deemed to engage in “political activity” to register as “foreign agents” — a derogatory term that critics say aims to stigmatize NGOs. Russian authorities say the legislation, which entered into force in November 2012, aims at increasing the transparency and accountability of NGOs. But the audits have drawn international condemnation and raised fears of an unprecedented crackdown on civil society. The number of NGOs subjected to such inspections is difficult to assess due to the absence of an official registry. Most are still waiting for the inspection findings. RFE/RL is closely monitoring developments and will regularly update this chart and map.

    • How Moscow came to embrace fringe anti-Western conspiracy theories

      Black’s interest in the air traffic controller is not insignificant: testimony by “Carlos the Spanish air traffic operator” is one of the earliest versions of the MH17 catastrophe touted by RT and other Kremlin-aligned media, which were immediately exposed as fake. There’s no evidence that WikiSpooks is Kremlin-funded or in any way aligned, but its motivation is explicitly expressed in their mission statement: any fact promoted by the “official narrative” via the “commercially-controlled media” is inherently false and must be disputed. Hence, to WikiSpooks and other similar websites, the position that Russia or Russia-backed rebels shot down MH17 is false simply because it is endorsed by the American government and must be confronted, even if it leads to a jumble of contradictory versions of the same event, based on spurious evidence.

    • Once, firms cherished their workers. Now they are seen as disposable

      …big companies offered paid holidays, guaranteed pensions related to your final salary, sickness benefit and recognised trade unions. Above all, they offered the chance of a career and personal progression…

    • Sai Gets FOIA Docs On The TSA

      Lisa Simeone posts at TSA News Blog on some of what’s been revealed through the docs released in the request by Sai, “an intrepid, indefatigable young man.” As Simeone writes, “He has been forced to tangle with the TSA more than once, when the agency’s workers have bullied, harassed, and illegally detained him.” Chasing illegal movie downloaders proves an unprofitable exercise

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google joins Facebook in trying to prevent IAMAI from taking strong anti-Zero Rating stand

      Google joined hands with Facebook to try and prevent the Internet and Mobile Association of India, which represents some of the largest Internet companies in India, from taking a stand that counters Zero Rating. According to emails exchanged between IAMAI’s Government Relations committee members, of which MediaNama has copies, Vineeta Dixit, a member of Google’s Public Policy and and Government Relations team, strongly pushed for the removal of any mention of Zero Rating from the IAMAI’s submission, as a response to the Department of Telecom’s report on Net Neutrality. Please note that Google hasn’t responded to our queries, despite multiple reminders.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Two Danes face up to six years in jail for explaining how to use Popcorn Time

        Danish police have arrested two men alleged to be the operators of sites related to the open-source program Popcorn Time, which adds a user-friendly front-end to a BitTorrent client to make the whole process of finding, downloading, and viewing video torrents extremely simple. The two domains, Popcorntime.dk and Popcorn-time.dk, have now been shut down, but copies on the Wayback Machine show that both were merely information sites, and neither offered material that infringed on copyrights, nor any version of the Popcorn Time software itself. Both sites warned users about potential copyright infringement issues.

        The men are accused of “distributing knowledge and guides on how to obtain illegal content online,” as TorrentFreak reports, and have apparently pleaded guilty. Moreover, distributing information is considered such a serious violation of Danish copyright law that “they could face punishment under section 299b of the penal code—offenses which carry a maximum prison term of six years.” That seems an extraordinarily harsh and disproportionate upper limit for merely explaining how to use a program, just because copyright is involved in some way.

        A similar case has already been heard in the UK, where it was found that sites offering downloads of the Popcorn Time software contributed to the copyright infringement that results from its use. In April of this year, the English High Court ordered a number of sites to be blocked for this reason. However, in that case the sites enabled the program to be downloaded directly, whereas in Denmark, the accused simply offered basic information about how the software worked and could be used, together with links to other sites where the program could be obtained.

      • Former Megaupload User Asks Court to Return His Files

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided, and after nearly four years their files are still stashed away in a Virginia warehouse. The company that owns the servers wants to get rid of them, so former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin has once again asked the court if he can have his files back.

      • Chasing illegal movie downloaders proves an unprofitable exercise

        It has been a bad week for companies wanting to build businesses around make money from illegal movie downloaders. Last Friday saw an Australian judge refuse Voltage Pictures the rigth to send downloaders of Dallas Buyers Club a letter demanding an undisclosed payment. Justice Nye Perram decided that Voltage and its lawyers, were engaging in “speculative invoicing”, a practice that is a form of legal blackmail: “pay us a large enough sum so that we don’t take you to court where you will possibly face an even larger but unspecified fine”.

      • Will Australian Government Use Cost-Benefit Analysis To Kill Off Fair Use Proposal Once And For All?

        Discussions about copyright reform in Australia are now entering their fourth year, and the longer they go on, the worse the proposals become. That’s in part because there has been a change of government in the interim, and the present Attorney-General, George Brandis, has made it clear he’s firmly on the side of copyright companies, and indifferent to the Australian public’s concerns or needs in a digital world.

      • This Anti-Piracy Campaign Will Leave You Speechless

        Anti-piracy campaigns come in all shapes and sizes and usually aim to prod the public into action. To capture the imagination they are often provocative, but just how far is too far? A new campaign for Virgin Radio is currently testing those boundaries to an extent rarely – if ever – seen before.

08.23.15

Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

Posted in News Roundup at 3:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Met Office loses BBC weather forecasting contract

    The Met Office has lost its BBC weather forecasting contract, it has confirmed.

    The UK’s weather service has provided the data used for BBC forecasts since the corporation’s first radio weather bulletin on 14 November 1922.

    The BBC said it was legally required to secure the best value for money for licence fee payers and would tender the contract to outside competition.

  • The Obama Administration Damages American Interests In Blocking China’s Anti-Corruption Efforts

    Sometimes it is hard to find words even to describe, let alone to explain, the Obama administration’s consistently gauche, blundering, even self-damaging policy decisions and actions toward China.

  • A Guide to Chinese Intelligence Operations

    From government hacks to industrial theft, Chinese intelligence operations are making more headlines now than ever before.

  • Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.

    The Obama administration has delivered a warning to Beijing about the presence of Chinese government agents operating secretly in the United States to pressure prominent expatriates — some wanted in China on charges of corruption — to return home immediately, according to American officials.

  • U.S. warns China about its secret hunt for fugitives [Ed: syndicated from the above]
  • Josef Stalin’s daughter was a ‘spiritual orphan’

    Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef’s Stalin’s daughter, led a remarkable, if extremely ruptured, life. Her mother, Nadezhda, died in 1932 when Svetlana was 6, likely through suicide. Her father, the brutal dictator, had no compunction about sending Svetlana’s close relatives to the gulag. Her half-brother, Yakov, died in a German prisoner-of-war camp in 1943. Her other brother, Vasili, died an alcoholic. She married four times and died as Lana Peters in 2011, at age 85. In 1967, when Svetlana defected to the United States, she left her two children behind in Russia. Her story is vividly told by Rosemary Sullivan — who has also written biographies of Margaret Atwood and Gwendolyn MacEwen — in Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva. Our conversation has been edited for length.

  • Carly Fiorina out of step with Silicon Valley

    Fiorina is “wrong on the social issues as well as a lot of technology issues” and is “culturally not aligned with the ethos in the Valley,” on top of the fact that “there are also a lot of people who have negative impressions of her” from HP, said Jim Ross, a Democratic consultant in the tech hub of San Francisco.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Carson: Slavery informed my views on abortion

      Former pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson said Sunday that the fight to abolish slavery influenced his views on abortion.

      Carson was asked about a 1992 ad on abortion on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Carson had originally taken a pro-life position on a Maryland abortion referendum, but then appeared in an ad taking back his previous statement and merely asking voters to be educated on the issue before voting.

      Carson said that 20 years ago, “I personally was against abortion, but I was not for causing anybody else to do anything.”

      “I’ve changed, because I’ve learned a lot of things,” said Carson. “I began to think about if abolitionists … had said ‘I don’t believe in slavery, but anybody else can do it if they want to,’ where would we be today? So that changed my opinion.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chilling Artwork ‘Shoots’ Gallery-Goers From Above in Tandem to US Drone Strikes

      Now, Los Angeles-based artist Jonathan Fletcher Moore has taken that data and created an interactive installation titled Artificial Killing Machine that visualizes the attacks in real time.

    • Pentagon to Sharply Expand U.S. Drone Flights Over Next Four Years
    • Obama Administration to Increase Drone Flights 50 Percent

      The increase in drone flights will give the military more intelligence access as well as increase its firepower, which is needed to take on hot spots around the world, a senior defense official told The Wall Street Journal about the upcoming plan.

    • Pentagon to expand drone killing program
    • US military to step up drone flights by 2019
    • Pentagon increasing drone flights by 50% to meet demand for air strikes and global surveillance
    • The Pentagon is planning 50 percent more drone flights by 2019
    • Pentagon To Increase Unmanned Drone Flights Across The Globe By 50 Percent
    • US military to step up drone flights by 2019
    • Carson: Don’t use drones to kill at border
    • Carson calls for drone strikes on border ‘caves’
    • Ben Carson: ‘In No Way Did I Suggest Using Drones To Kill People’ Along The Border
    • Carson says wants drones to blast caves, not people at U.S.-Mexico border
    • U.S. Military To Privatize, Expand Drone Use In African War Zones
    • Turbulence in Pentagon plans to expand drone flights
    • Editorial: More eyes in the skies
    • Why we fact-check political cartoons
    • Covering Cuba, from Sarasota
    • Moral Theory and Drone Warfare: A Literature Review

      “Legal, ethical, and wise”: these are the three adjectives that the Obama administration has used again and again to describe its program of conducting targeted killings by drone strikes. John Brennan, then the White House’s counterterrorism advisor, used the phrase to justify the drone program in a speech at the Wilson Center in April 2012. Almost a year later, Press Secretary Jay Carney invoked the same phrase in defense of the leaked Department of Justice White Paper on the permissible targeted killing of a U.S. citizen and senior Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operative who posed an imminent threat.

    • Predator Drone Maker Flying Spy Missions For the Pentagon

      The U.S. military wants to boost its drone presence by 50 percent in four years, and it’s hiring help. General Atomics, maker of the ubiquitous Predator and Reaper drones, began flying intelligence missions for the Defense Department this month.

    • Drone Manufacturer Has Been Flying Spy Missions For Defense Since Early August
    • The Former US Military Top-Brass Working for Companies Profiting from Drone Warfare

      Generals and other top military staff who ran the US “Drone Wars” in the Middle East now work for the top drone firms, with lucrative positions at private contractors holding big contracts to help run the remotely controlled killing machines.

      Supposedly “targeted killings” by drones have led to international concern, as victims of “surgical strikes” carried out by the unmanned weapons include wedding parties in Yemen, friendly-fire killings of Afghan soldiers, and nearly 200 children in Pakistan.

      So, wreaking mass death from above is a negative, but on the positive side they have also led to big contracts for defense firms. A Bureau of Investigative Journalism report identified a bunch of large companies that have major contracts for analyzing data and providing other support work that drones need to operate.

    • Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins, by Andrew Cockburn

      There is, of course, some debate about the morality of drone warfare. Is it ethical to deliberately kill people without trial? Where is the warrior code, the moral hazard, for those who attack with impunity from thousands of kilometres away? What happens when mistakes are bloodily made? How does one define a terrorist? Which side are we on again? Why?

    • Shahzad Akbar fights for Pakistan’s drone victims

      The U.S. contends that it’s going after Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, but since the CIA-led drone program is officially secret, little is known about how drone attacks are conducted or targets are chosen. According to a 2014 study by Forensic Architecture, a research project in London, and the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent initiative, this secrecy has contributed to lax bombing practices. To date, the bureau has found that 423 to 965 civilians have been killed in the bombings — 170 to 207 of them children. Most of the victims remain unnamed and unidentified.

    • Simulate The Fatal Fallibility Of Drone Strikes…With A Fun Card Game!

      “The primary [inspiration] was this interactive piece about drone strikes,” Udayasankar tells Co.Design. “Less than 2% of fatalities were high-profile targets. I was fascinated by the fallibility of technology itself and the collateral damage that it facilitates, and, moreover, how we do not take the time to talk about it.”

    • The drone warfare game where you spy on players with your smartphone

      “Bycatch” is a term used by fishermen to describe the extraneous marine life that unintentionally gets caught in their nets. It’s also the name of a card game that deals with a very different sort of collateral damage: the civilians killed by drone strikes.

    • Islamic Militants Demanded Ransom for Bodies of Killed Hostages

      Islamist militants demanded the U.S. government pay ransom for the return of the bodies of two hostages accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last January, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    • This top secret World War II drone mission killed JFK’s older brother

      Operation Aphrodite was a top-secret attempt by the Army and Navy to turn old airplanes into suicide drones during World War II. B-17s and B-24s that were past their service life would be packed with several tons of Torpex, an explosive with twice the power of TNT, and then piloted into heavily-fortified targets.

    • Over 10 countries to join China’s military parade

      Troops from at least 10 countries, including Russia and Kazakhstan, will join an unprecedented military parade in Beijing next month to commemorate China’s victory over Japan during the World War-II, Chinese officials said.

      China is inviting foreign troops to participate in a military parade for the first time. It will also be a milestone for President Xi Jinping, who took over as Communist Party leader and military chief in late 2012.

      The parade on September 3 will involve about 12,000 Chinese troops and 200 aircraft, Qi Rui, deputy director of the government office organising the parade, told reporters in Beijing on Friday.

    • Creech Predator crews get help coping with combat

      Critics of drone strikes point out that innocent civilians sometimes die in the attacks. And, there was a friendly fire incident in 2011 involving a Predator missile strike triggered from Creech that left a U.S. sailor and a Marine dead in Afghanistan.

    • Forum: U.S. counterterrorism policy weak, should focus on economic issues

      America actually is relatively safe. Aside from a few cases such as the tragic Chattanooga shootings, Americans killed by terrorists most often are murdered outside of our country, in war zones. However, if we don’t start focusing on the economic instability in vulnerable countries from which most terrorism originates, it is only a matter of time before we see more attacks in our country.

    • Israel Holds Large-Scale Military Drill on Syrian Border

      The Israeli military staged a large-scale drill last week to prepare for a potential ground operation into Syria in the event of an attack by Islamist rebels or the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, according to local media reports.

      The rising number of Islamist fighters, many aligned to the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, arriving near the Israeli border area in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights has placed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on high alert, Israeli television station Channel 2 reported.

    • Israel is Helping Jordanian Special Forces Fighting ISIS on the Ground in Iraq
    • Israel to supply Jordan with drones to help fight Islamic State: report

      As part of a new deal, Israel will supply Jordan with strategic and tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in order to help combat the Islamic State, according to a local media report.

    • AP Interview: Jordan says Syria militants try to sneak in
    • Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian attacker in West Bank

      Allan is on the 63rd day of his hunger-strike in protest of his detention by Israel without charge.

      At least six Palestinians were detained late Sunday and on Monday by the Israeli authorities from the West Bank districts of Hebron and Bethlehem, according to local and security sources.

      A Palestinian man who attacked an Israeli soldier with a knife was shot dead Saturday by Israeli soldiers in the north of the occupied West Bank, said the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the Israeli police.

    • Report: Israeli Drone Strike Kills 5 in Syria

      Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian-controlled portion of the Golan Heights have killed at least five unarmed civilians, according to Syrian state media, in what Israel says was retaliation for rocket fire into its territory. Israel says those killed were Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad militant group.

    • Israeli air raids kill five civilians and soldier, says Syria
    • Israel carries out drone strike in southern Syria – killing five

      Israel’s air force has carried out a drone strike in southern Syria – killing five people – while a soldier was killed and seven wounded in an air raid, Syrian state TV has reported.

    • Israeli strike kills 5 Syrian civilians in Qunaitera province
    • Israel Attacks Syria for The second time in 24 Hours

      A new Israeli attack with a drone, killed at least five in al-Koum shanty town, in the Syrian province of Quneitra, at about 67 kilometers southwest of this capital.
      The missile launched from the drone exploded at 10.35 (local time) this Friday, just 50 meters from a popular market, also causing serious material damage.

    • Israeli Attack on Syria’s Quneitera Leaves 5 Civilians Dead

      An Israeli air strike on the Syrian Golan Heights killed at least four Palestinian militants responsible for Thursday’s rocket fire on an Israeli village, an Israeli defense official said on Friday.

    • 50 civilians reported killed in Douma after Syrian army rocket attack

      A Syrian army rocket attack on the rebel-held city of Douma reportedly killed at least 50 civilians.

    • US Drone Strategy Often Violates Sovereignty of Nations – Activist Group

      The US drone strategy frequently undermines the sovereignty of other countries which can damage its own national security, Upstate Drone Action activist Ed Kinane told Sputnik.

    • ‘Probability of US again bombing Libya is always there’

      The US might carry out air strikes again in Libya, but it won’t improve the conditions on the ground, says Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire. The US would rather allow Egypt and the UAE to carry out certain aspects of this foreign policy in Libya, he adds.

    • US Wants To Increase Global Lethal And Surveillance Drone Flights To 30,000 By 2019

      As if in complete defiance of the extensive contention at home and abroad, the Pentagon announced plans this week to dramatically ramp up global drone operations over the next four years.

      Daily drone flights will increase by 50% during this time, and will include lethal air strikes and surveillance missions to deal with the increase in global hot spots and crises, according to an unnamed (and unverified) senior defense official, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

      “We’ve seen a steady signal from all our geographic combatant commanders to have more of this capability,” said Defense Department spokesperson, Navy Captain Jeff Davis to reporters at the Pentagon.

    • ‘No Good Evidence’ Russia Behind Shootdown of Malaysia Air Flight 17 in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst Ray McGovern: ‘BradCast’ 8/20/2015

      On today’s BradCast, we are joined by retired, 27-year CIA analyst turned peace activist Ray McGovern, who personal delivered the CIA’s Presidential Daily Briefings to several Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. His organization,Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) — which includes several high-ranking former intelligence professionals and whistleblowers — have called, once again, on the U.S. to release any evidence to support their claims that Russia was behind the downing of MH17.

    • Ray McGovern: Propaganda, Intelligence, and MH-17

      During a recent interview, I was asked to express my conclusions about the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, prompting me to take another hard look at Official Washington’s dubious claims – pointing the finger of blame at eastern Ukrainian rebels and Moscow – based on shaky evidence regarding who was responsible for this terrible tragedy.

    • US MH17 Evidence ‘Sketchy as One Could Imagine’ – CIA Veteran Analyst
    • ‘Political Hacks’ Wrote US Report Linking Russia To Crash Of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Ex-CIA Analyst

      A U.S. government report implicating Russia in the July 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was created by political writers rather than intelligence analysts, a former CIA analyst-turned-political activist told Russia’s Sputnik News. Sputnik is wholly owned by the Russian government, which reportedly backs Ukrainian separatists accused of firing a missile at the plane as it flew near the Russia-Ukraine border.

      “What [U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry] offered was a ‘government assessment,’ which means it was written in the White House, which means it was a political document written by political hacks, and that the intelligence analysts would not sign on to it,” Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, told Sputnik. McGovern was previously known for implying that President George W. Bush could have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City and Arlington County, Virginia.

    • Former CIA head: Back Iran nuclear deal — with some conditions

      Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, an influential and vocal critic of the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran, said Wednesday that Congress actually should consider approving the accord — but only after tacking on a number of conditions designed to pressure Iran not to cheat on the deal, including an authorization for military action.

    • Britain to reopen embassy in Tehran this weekend
    • The old US embassy, museum in Tehran: Inside the ‘US den of espionage’
    • Britain’s embassy in Iran: a reminder of a difficult shared history

      When the foreign secretary visits Tehran on Sunday to reopen the British embassy after a closure of nearly four years, he will doubtless talk of new beginnings. Now Iran has signed a deal limiting its nuclear programme, the way is clear for new business contracts, new opportunities, a new chapter. That approach may appeal to the British businesspeople on the trip, licking their lips at the prospect of selling oilfield equipment or financial services, but Iranians do not discard history so easily.

    • Britain to reopen embassy in Tehran this weekend after four years
    • What’s Really At Stake With The Iran Nuclear Deal

      Nearly every major western country has recently sent trade missions to Iran in anticipation of sanctions being lifted. Representatives included major international oil companies, banks, and manufacturers. Their enormous influence and immense wealth will weigh heavily in resolving the issue.

    • Iran deal step in right direction

      We would do well to remember that Iran didn’t start this crisis. The crisis didn’t start with Iranians overthrowing the Shah and taking of American hostages in 1979. It started when the U.S. CIA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953 and installed a brutal dictator (the Shah) in his place.

    • Rogue States and Nuclear Dangers [Ed: reposted below]
    • The Nuclear Deal
    • ‘The Iranian Threat’

      Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the U.S. Arms Control Association that “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons for more than a generation and a verification system to promptly detect and deter possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons that will last indefinitely.”

    • Backers of Iran deal get key ally

      President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran gained momentum in Congress on Friday as a key Jewish Democrat from New York bucked home-state opposition to support the deal.

    • Obama writes letter to reassure congressional Democrats on Iran deal
    • Five books on the legacy of the 1953 coup in Iran

      This week’s 62th anniversary of the coup upending Mohammad Mossadegh comes with interest as strong as ever in Iran’s best-known prime minister. But while historians and journalists see the coup of 19 August 1953 as a pivotal event for Iran, they agree on little else (including the transliteration of his name into Latin letters).

    • Britain to reopen embassy in Tehran this weekend

      Britain will reopen its embassy in Iran this weekend nearly four years after protesters ransacked the elegant ambassadorial residence and burned the British flag.

    • Iran says it shot down reconnaissance drone near Iraq border after it ‘confronted’ air defense

      Iran’s official IRNA news agency says the military has shot down a reconnaissance drone in western Iran near the border with Iraq.

      IRNA quoted Col. Farzad Fereidouni, a local air defense system commander, in a report Saturday as saying the unmanned aircraft was shot down in recent days after it “confronted” the air defense missile system. He didn’t say which country the drone belonged to, or give specifics on the timing.

    • Iran remembers 1953 US-led coup against then Iran PM

      Iran is remembering the anniversary of the 1953 coup against the government of then democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.

    • The CIA’s Coup Against Iran’s Mohammad Mossadegh

      Mohammad Mossadegh (pictured) became Prime Minister of Iran in 1951 and was hugely popular for taking a stand against the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a British-owned oil company that had made huge profits while paying Iran only 16% of its profits and often far less. His nationalization efforts led the British government to begin planning to remove him from power. In October 1952, Mosaddegh declared Britain an enemy and cut all diplomatic relations. Britain looked towards the United States for help. However, the U.S. had opposed British policies; Secretary of State Dean Acheson said the British had “a rule-or-ruin policy in Iran.”

    • COMMENTARY: Best way to get rid of enemy Iran: Get unstuck

      •Quit sending arms to anyone in the region

      •Quit telling Iranian people what to do

      •Offer to help, but not militarily

      •Start lifting sanctions slowly, unilaterally

      •Wait for reciprocity and repeat (Rapoport’s tested game theory)

    • The CIA’s grotesque secret: How it’s partnering with human rights abusers — and sparking blowback

      In a letter to three U.S. senators that recently came to light, CIA director John Brennan outlined how his intelligence agency deals with abusive partners, referring – it would appear – primarily to foreign security forces. But even more striking than the approach he outlines is his brutally honest admission that the CIA sometimes partners with human rights abusers.

      The agency’s covert nature leaves its laws, rules and regulations opaque. However, it has long been known that the CIA is not subject to human rights vetting requirements when it comes to partnering with foreign security forces, as the State and Defense departments are, under what is commonly known as the Leahy Law, named for Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy. Congress first approved the law in 1997, when it was revealed that Colombian army units were receiving U.S. funds while massacring civilians. The Leahy Law restricts the State Department and Pentagon from using U.S. taxpayer dollars to assist, train or equip any foreign military or police unit that is credibly believed to have engaged in gross violations of human rights – such as extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and forced disappearances.

      On moral grounds alone there can be little objection to this restriction. But it also makes sense for national security. While Brennan may not acknowledge it, abusive security forces combatting domestic insurgencies typically exacerbate long-standing grievances and provide armed opposition and terrorist groups with a very powerful recruiting tool.

    • On the brink of destruction: The real NUCLEAR threat if North Korea attacks the South

      North Korea’s main ally is China, which provides fuel and food aid, while it maintains a close relationship with Russia.

      However positive ties with the US and South Korea are non-existent.

      The promotion of Kim Jong-un has leader following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in 2011 has done little to improve that.

    • Iraq ex-PM Maliki dismisses report blaming him for Mosul’s fall to ISIS

      The former prime minister of Iraq, Nuri al-Maliki, who a domestic investigation has found responsible for Mosul’s conquest by Islamic State in June, 2014, has slammed the panel’s findings on the humiliating fall of the key northern city as having “no value.”

    • Officials: ISIS Arose From US Support For al-Qaeda In Iraq

      A new memoir by a former senior State Department analyst provides stunning details on how decades of support for Islamist militants linked to Osama bin Laden brought about the emergence of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS).

      The book establishes a crucial context for recent admissions by Michael T. Flynn, the retired head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), confirming that White House officials made a “willful decision” to support al-Qaeda affiliated jihadists in Syria — despite being warned by the DIA that doing so would likely create an ‘ISIS’-like entity in the region.

      J. Michael Springmann, a retired career US diplomat whose last government post was in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, reveals in his new book that US covert operations in alliance with Middle East states funding anti-Western terrorist groups are nothing new. Such operations, he shows, have been carried out for various short-sighted reasons since the Cold War and after.

    • Bombing Syria plays into Isis’ hands

      Whoever the new Labour leader is, they’ll have a lot on their plate and one of the first big issues is likely to be Syria. The on-going civil war is only getting worse, and defence secretary Michael Fallon has already announced that a vote on military intervention will take place later in the year.

      In one sense, the question of whether the UK military should be taking part in bombing is a moot one, because it already is. A freedom of information request from Reprieve found UK military personnel have already engaged in air strikes as part of US operations. The admission showed the public and parliament had been misled. MPs voted against bombing Syria in 2013.

    • How to Understand Those 60 Trainees

      So said American Defense Secretary Ash Carter in testimony before an incredulous Senate Armed Services Committee on July 7, explaining that the $500 million American project, announced over a year ago, to train and arm a new Syrian rebel army to bring the Islamic State to its knees and force a political settlement on the Syrian regime simultaneously has, to date, trained just 60 fighters.

    • Lesson from Syrian rebel debacle

      Division 30 was the first contingent of Syrian rebels deployed under a $500 million “train and equip” plan authorized last year by Congress. It’s an overt program, run by U.S. Special Forces, separate from a parallel covert program run by the CIA. The idea is to generate over 5,000 trained fighters a year who could help clear Islamic State extremists in Syria and then hold the ground.

    • Meet The ‘Moderates’ The U.S. Is Supporting In Syria: They’re al-Qaeda

      In this regard, Obama is following the position that was expressed by his friend Brzezinski who has expressed it many times, such as, in 1998, reprinted later under the heading, “How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen.”

    • Robert Fisk: The Syrian War has occupied Turkey

      In a recent article, Robert Fisk, senior Middle East correspondent for the Independent, compared Turkey to Pakistan in the 1980s, and said that the recent air bombardment was no surprising given that all powers in the region have betrayed the Kurds. We spoke to Fisk both about the details of the matters he touches on in his article, and whether power balances have changed in the Middle East. Fisk says that Turkey has become a market place and when seen from this perspective there are more important issues at stake besides whether or not Turkey will enter the war in Syria. “I believe that Syria has started penetrating Turkey. Suruç is an example of this. From this view, the Syrian War but not the Syrians have occupied Turkey. It is not the reverse.”

    • Another Military Comedy of Errors

      On July 24th, highlighting the first Turkish air strikes against the Islamic State and news of an agreement to let the U.S. Air Force use two Turkish air bases against that movement, the New York Times reported that unnamed “American officials welcomed the [Turkish] decision… calling it a ‘game changer.’” And they weren’t wrong. Almost immediately, the game changed. Turkish President Recep Erdogan promptly sent planes hurtling off not against Islamic State militants but the PKK, that country’s Kurdish rebels with whom his government had previously had a tenuous ceasefire. In the process, he created a whole new set of problems for Washington, including making life more difficult for Kurdish rebel troops in Syria connected to the PKK that the Obama administration was backing in the fight against the Islamic State. Erdogan’s acts also ensured that chaos and conflict would spread to new areas of the Middle East. So game-changer indeed!

    • Erdogan-ISIS pincer against Kurds

      Reports from the PKK-aligned Kurdistan National Congress indicate an internal war by the Turkish state against the Kurds in the country’s east, approaching levels of violence not seen in 20 years. Several villages in Diyarbakir province are said to be under heavy shelling by the Turkish army. Many of these villages are reported to be currently burning, with many injured, and an unknown number killed. After hours of shelling, Turkish soldiers reportedly entered the village of Kocakoy, Lice-Hani district, putting homes to the torch—sometimes with families still inside, resulting in further loss of life. Troops then proceeded to force an evacuation of the villages. It is not said where the survivors fled to. A similar attack is reported from Şapatan (Turkish: Altınsu) village in Şemdinli district, Hakkari province, where the blaze has spread to surrounding forest areas. (KNC, KNC, Aug. 18)

    • Think the Donald Can Get Us a Better Deal on Porter Goss?

      None of this is news. Turkey’s not even among the top ten spenders, as far as foreign lobbies go. (That honor usually goes to Canada, although apparently in 2013 it went to the UAE.)

      But here’s the thing that chaps my hide. I’m fine with selling our politicians to foreign governments. We’re running a $43.8 billion trade deficit, after all. We can’t afford to be fussy.

      But aren’t you insulted that we’re selling them so cheaply? We’re the United States of America. Shouldn’t Porter Goss be worth more than a measly 32,000 bucks a month? We borrow more than that every minute, so why should we sell him for less than 32,000 dollars a second? What kind of superpower do these people take us for?

      And if we’ve already established that, and we’re just haggling over the price, we need to get serious about dollars and cents. Because that’s peanuts, and it’s not going to pay the bills.

    • How ‘Manageable Chaos’ Spawned ISIS In The Middle East

      ‘Manageable chaos’ is a myopic idea that has torn the Middle-East apart. To understand why, we need to go back a hundred years in the past. In 1916, Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement in secret. Then, in the middle of the First World War, they decided the Ottoman Empire needed to go. Sultan Mehmed VI in Istanbul controlled crucial shipping lanes and the oil riches of the Persian Gulf. So, while T.E Lawrence duped the Arab sheikhs with promises of a “Greater Syria,” the European powers divided the Levant as it suited them.

      The problem was not that outsiders drew the borders. The problem was these borders were indifferent to the people who lived within them. The clean lines carved through the Middle-East ignored sectarian, tribal or ethnic geographies. Many Shia majority areas ended up under Sunni control, and vice-versa. Thirty-million Kurds also ended up homeless. These progeny of the mighty Median Kings of Asia Minor became minorities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

    • US-trained Syrian rebel expects to fight Assad

      A member of the U.S.-trained Syrian rebel forces says he expects to fight forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, even though they pledged only to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in order to participate the Pentagon program.

    • At Security Council, UN officials spotlight need for effective and accountable security institutions
    • Security Council strongly condemns seizure of United Arab Emirates embassy in Yemen

      The United Nations Security Council today condemned “in the strongest term” the storming and seizure of the United Arab Emirates embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, by the Houthis on the 17 August 2015.

    • U.S. boosts support role in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen

      A Saudi-led military offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen has scored major gains this month, including recapturing the strategic port of Aden and the country’s largest air base, after the Pentagon more than doubled the number of American advisors to provide enhanced intelligence for airstrikes.

    • First cargo docks in Aden since war came to south Yemen’s ex-capital

      A commercial ship docked in Aden on Friday, the first to reach the former southern capital since Yemen’s devastating war came to the port city in March.

      The Venus, operated by United Arab Shipping Co, carried a cargo of 350 containers of products ordered by businesses in Aden, said port deputy director Aref al-Shaabi.

    • Al Qaeda deploy in Yemen’s Aden, British hostage freed

      Al Qaeda militants took control of a western district of Yemen’s main port city of Aden on Saturday night, residents said, in another sign that the group is drawing strength from five months of civil war.

    • UAE army frees British hostage as Al Qaeda expands in Yemen
    • Yemen officials say Al Qaeda seizes key areas of Aden
    • 43 killed in airstrikes on Yemen city

      Iranian-allied fighters controlling much of Yemen said on Friday air strikes led by Saudi Arabia killed 43 people in the central city of Taiz.
      Taiz has become the latest focus of fighting for supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was driven into exile in Saudi Arabia by the Houthi fighters. Medical sources said Houthi attacks on the city killed 13 people, including seven children.

    • U.S. needs to take care of its own business

      Nonetheless, we have just about bankrupted ourselves trying.

      We have employed our military abroad more than 70 times since 1945, and also engaged in innumerable instances of not-so-covert CIA interference in the affairs of other sovereign nations.

      The latter include instances of overthrowing democratically elected governments we considered too leftist.

      And the truth is that in none of these instances have we had any long-lasting success in achieving our goals. We have, instead, uselessly wasted an enormous amount of treasure and human lives while creating more and more enemies all over the globe. We have created these enemies because almost all of our high-handed meddling has had unforeseen and unfortunate, often tragic, consequences.

      We now have about 1,000 military bases abroad (the exact figure depends on the number of smaller bases included), well over 300,000 U.S. military personnel deployed abroad, 1.6 million Americans working in defense industries, and the good Lord knows how many working for the CIA and other surveillance/intelligence government agencies and private contractors.

    • Obama’s Secret Elite Interrogation Squad May Not Be So Elite — And Might Be Doomed

      When President Barack Obama took office, he promised to overhaul the nation’s process for interrogating terror suspects. His solution: the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, a small interagency outfit that would use non-coercive methods and the latest psychological research to interrogate America’s most-wanted terrorists — all behind a veil of secrecy.

    • US interrogation strategy gets scrutiny in Benghazi case

      After a suspected militant was captured last year to face charges for the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, he was brought to the U.S. aboard a Navy transport ship on a 13-day trip that his lawyers say could have taken 13 hours by plane.

      Ahmed Abu Khattala faced days of questioning aboard the USS New York from separate teams of American interrogators, part of a two-step process designed to obtain both national security intelligence and evidence usable in a criminal prosecution.

    • Russia Laughs At U.S. Sanctions Threat

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, when asked about the implications of the sale, was said to have scoffed at the threat of U.S. sanctions and said they cause no worry for Moscow.

    • Cyanide in waters near China blast site 277 times acceptable level: government report

      Chinese authorities warned that cyanide levels in the waters around the Tianjin Port explosion site had risen to as much as 277 times acceptable levels although they declared that the city’s drinking water was safe.

    • China: Sodium cyanide levels well past limit at Tianjin explosion site

      High levels of dangerous chemicals remain at the site of last week’s deadly chemical warehouse blasts in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin — hundreds of times higher than is safe at one spot — officials said Thursday, signaling that a cleanup has a significant way to go.

      Water tests show high levels of sodium cyanide, an extremely toxic chemical that can kill humans rapidly, at eight locations at the blast site, Ministry of Environmental Protection official Tian Weiyong said.

    • At least 7 dead after old military jet crashes at air show in England

      At least seven people are dead after a vintage military aircraft crashed Saturday on a busy road in southeastern England, police said.

      The Hawker Hunter jet was taking part in an air show at an airport near Shoreham in Sussex.

    • Why The US Turns A Blind Eye To Saudi Arabia’s Troublemaking

      NOTHING gets US Republican Party politicians fired up like Iran.

      In the first televised debate for candidates competing to lead the Republicans in the 2016 presidential election, Scott Walker promised that he’d tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one of his presidency. Carly Fiorina blamed the country for “most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East.” Mike Huckabee vowed to topple the “terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.”

      Oddly, when the candidates complain about the “evil forces of radical Islam” or trouble in the Middle East, they never seem to mention Saudi Arabia.

      Iran’s no democratic paradise. But on many counts, Washington’s Saudi allies are even worse. The Saudi royals crush dissent with an iron fist, spread extremist ideology, and invade their neighbors with impunity.

      Domestically, the Saudi regime oppresses women, religious minorities, and millions of foreign workers. And it brutally represses criticism from human rights activists, prompting condemnation from both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

      Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, for example, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes just for writing a blog the government considered critical of its rule. Hundreds of political prisoners languish in prison — including Badawi’s lawyer, who was sentenced to 15 years for his role as a human rights attorney. New legislation effectively equates criticism of the government and other peaceful activities with terrorism.

    • Rebels threaten to kill observers, OSCE complains

      OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine deputy head Alexander Hug said at the Aug. 19 briefing in Donetsk that the rebels had threatened to kill OSCE observers if they would come again to Bezimenne, Novoazovsk rayon, UNIAN reports.

    • LETTER: Stop the manufacturing and flying of drones

      When are Americans going to demand our leaders protect us against drones? Our politicians did nothing on gun control. Now they will look the other way on drones.

      Drones should not be produced or manufactured. Take away permits and the right to manufacture them. The U.S. Armed Forces should be the only ones to purchase drones. If I can’t put a 10-by-10 addition on my home without bureaucratic regulations, why is it permitted to manufacture drones?

    • Florida shooting range to serve alcohol in restaurant

      Officials in a Florida city have approved the request of a businessman to serve alcohol in a restaurant he plans to open in a building with an indoor shooting range.

      CNN affiliate WFTV reported that Daytona Beach city commissioners have signed off on Ron Perkinson’s proposed facility, which Perkinson hopes to open by late November. The facility will be located near Daytona International Speedway just off Interstate 95.

    • 9-year-old girl in Ferguson shot dead doing homework on mom’s bed: cops

      Ferguson police are searching for clues about the killing of a 9-year-old girl who was shot when someone fired into a home where she was doing homework on her mother’s bad.

      No arrests have been made in Tuesday night’s fatal shooting of Jamyla Bolden and police don’t yet know if the home was targeted or the shots were random, Ferguson Sgt. Dominica Fuller said Thursday. Jamyla’s 34-year-old mother was struck in the leg and treated at a hospital.

    • What Use Does the Los Angeles Unified School District Have for Military Grade Weapons?

      On Thursday, July 30, 50 Black and Latino students wearing mock bullet proof vests with stickers that stated #StudentsAintBulletProof #End1033, from the Strategy Center’s Fight for the Soul of the Cities, once again asked the Los Angeles Unified School District to give us a list of the weapons they received from the Department of Defense 1033 Program, to return 61 M-16 assault rifles we believe are still in their possession, and to apologize for being in the program in the first place. Students said, after three public comment testimonies, four long letters (September 2014, November 2014, May 2015, July 2015), over 3,500 petitions, appeals, and every other method of persuasion “Why is the LAUSD trying to kill us?” This campaign is part of the Strategy Center’s No Cars in LA and the U.S., No Tanks in LA and the U.S.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Allegations over Maltese group’s links to the CIA

      In the early 1980s suspicions that the Maltese group Front Freedom Fighters was being funded by anti-Communist entities close to the CIA were covertly communicated to the British Foreign Office, recently declassified documents reveal.

    • ISIS Threatens Turkey. Turks Respond With Half-Hearted ‘Meh’
    • Kurdish rebels attack police, military in Turkey, one policeman killed
    • Report: Turkey erects concrete wall along border with Syria

      Turkish media reports say Turkey has started to construct a 45 kilometer- (28 mile-) long concrete wall along a key stretch of its border with Syria.

    • Turkey Pays Former CIA Director and Lobbyists to Misrepresent Attacks on Kurds and ISIS

      Thousands of articles have been published worldwide in recent weeks exposing Turkey’s strategic trickery — using the pretext of fighting ISIS to carry out a genocidal bombing campaign against the Kurds who have courageously countered ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

      The Wall Street Journal reported on August 12 that a senior US military official accused Turkey of deceiving the American government by allowing its use of Incirlik airbase to attack ISIS, as a cover for President Erdogan’s war on Kurdish fighters (PKK) in northern Iraq. So far, Turkey has carried out 300 air strikes against the PKK, and only three against ISIS! Erdogan’s intent in punishing the Kurds is to gain the sympathy of Turkish voters in the next parliamentary elections, enabling his party to win an outright majority and establish an autocratic presidential theocracy.

    • The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

      The history of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—its coups, assassinations, “extraordinary rendition” kidnappings, use of torture, “black sites,” drone executions, dirty wars and sponsorship of dictatorial regimes [1]—not only underscores the bloody and reactionary role of American imperialism, but most especially the ruling elite’s mortal fear of the working class internationally.

    • We deserve a better media

      Here is another clue: ‘We’ll know our disinformation programme is complete when everything the American public believes is false,” CIA Director, 1981. It seems he got his wish.

      Two weeks before the outbreak of WWII, a solemn British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain remarked, “History will judge the Press to have been the principle cause of war.”

      Nevile Henderson, the British Ambassador to Berlin echoed the premier’s words. France’s President Lebrun and Foreign Minister warned the Press ‘not to abuse their so-called Press freedom.’ In September 1941, U.S Senator Clark: ‘Half a dozen men controlling the film industry clamour for war.’

    • Psychological warfare and Jeremy Corbyn

      Earlier this month I briefly wrote about how the incessant stream of attacks on Jeremy Corbyn from all parts of the media, represented more than meets the eye. That it is a continuation of an undemocratic and sinister policy of subversion and undermining of any popular left wing movement or leader, that poses a threat to the capitalist system and military-industrial-complex.

    • Fox & Friends Rewrites Background Of Alleged Terrorists To Make Them The Face Of Birthright Citizenship

      Fox & Friends joined The Daily Caller in an effort to make alleged terrorists Anwar al-Awlaki and Yaser Hamdi the face of birthright citizenship, falsely claiming the men were born in the U.S. to “illegal parents” and able to pursue terrorist activities without retaliation because their citizenship protected them.

    • Are Democrats Really Socialists?

      Socialism has had a rough few decades, but it’s enjoying a rare success. Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a socialist, is running for president, drawing big crowds and leading Hillary Clinton in one poll in New Hampshire. All this leads some people to a damning conclusion: Democrats love Sanders because Democrats are socialists.

    • Who shapes our image of the world?

      …Charlotte Wiedemann considers how press freedom and the media are tethered to Western geopolitics

    • France’s far-right National Front party ousts founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen

      Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the party in 1972, was serving as honorary president when he was suspended in May for saying he saw the Holocaust as a “detail of history.” He challenged the suspension in court, and in July a judge overturned it, saying proper procedure had not been followed.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Who Was the CIA Official Who Found Torture Revolting? And Other Questions the ACLU Still Has About CIA Torture

      In early December 2014, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., released a summary of her staff’s five-year investigation of the CIA’s interrogation programs following 9/11.

      Best known as the “Torture Report,” the document revealed searing details of ghastly abuses ranging from “rectal feedings” to “near drowning” on the waterboard.

    • CIA ‘torture’: Inside the ‘blackout box’
    • Key conclusions of the Hoffman report

      Below are some of the key findings of the Hoffman report, an independent review of the American Psychological Association’s ethics guidelines and allegations made against APA. The report concludes that APA failed to challenge and legitimized the “enhanced interrogation” techniques authorized used against terror suspects during the Bush administration. Gerald Koocher, DePaul’s current Dean of the College of Science and Health, served as president-elect of APA in 2005 and president in 2006, the time of these allegations.

    • Roy Eidelson and Jean Maria Arrigo: An unhealthy nexus of interests

      The APA got into this mess by holding tightly to a deeply flawed assumption: that psychology should embrace every opportunity to expand its sphere of influence.

    • Consorting With the Devil

      Throughout the Cold War, and doubtless right down to the present, professional people with skills relevant to “national security” have been secretly recruited to work for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. Universities are among those particularly targeted. Scholars and campus research centers have received CIA and DoD funding for conferences and publications, for collecting intelligence while abroad, and even for spying, all under cloak of secrecy.

      [...]

      The latest revelation concerning those who “consort with the devil” concerns psychologists in the American Psychological Association. In utter disregard for professional ethics, a number of prominent psychologists worked closely with the CIA’s and the Pentagon’s torture programs in Afghanistan. They not only condoned but personally profited from torture, all in the name of supporting the US war effort. It was a case of first-class collusion, abuse of authority, and conflict of interest—and it went largely unnoticed until recently.

    • US Torturers Lose Psychologists’ Corrupt Cooperation

      The resolution proper begins by adopting the international law definition of torture in the UN Convention Against Torture, which is at variance with US law. The resolution also acknowledges that some 3,400 psychologists work for the Department of Defense (mostly at VA hospitals) and commits the APA to supporting the ethical behavior of these psychologists in these and similar “organizational settings.” And the resolution commits the APA to notifying the President, Congress, and other officials of the core of its mandate:

    • Editorial: When psychologists cross the line

      Koocher, in a statement on his website, said he and former APA President Ronald Levant insisted that they “never have supported the use of cruel, degrading or inhumane treatment of prisoners or detainees.”

      But the report, which was drafted at the APA’s request by former City of Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman and his colleagues at the firm Sidley Austin, saw the APA’s actions differently. The report concluded that the APA tried to curry favor with the U.S. Department of Defense, with which it had strong ties and is one of the largest employers of psychologists, by issuing loose ethical guidelines for psychologists involved in interrogations. These guidelines did not constrain the interrogations beyond the rules the government had already set for itself and allowed psychologists to remain involved.

    • Why ethical psychologists play an important role in interrogations [Ed: apologist]
    • When the American Psychological Association was in bed with the CIA

      David Hoffman, former assistant US attorney, conducted a review of the APA’s extensive involvement and wrote in his subsequent report, ‘The evidence supports the conclusion that APA officials colluded the DoD officials to, at the least, adopt and maintain APA ethics policies that were not more restrictive than the guidelines that key DoD officials wanted’.

      Hoffman also stated that the ‘APA chose its ethics policy based on its goals of helping the DoD, managing PR, and maximising the growth of the profession’.

      Prior to Hoffman’s investigation, the APA dismissed and denied allegations of their complicity. The report, however, brought the credibility of the association into question, and earlier this month a ban was approved. In an effort to salvage their reputation, they prohibited any involvement by psychologists in national security interrogations – including noncoercive interrogations under the Obama administration.

    • Good People Doing Bad Things

      Some years ago, the psychologist Albert Bandura listed eight mental tricks people play to disengage their consciences so they can perform the acts of violence they would normally abhor.

      [...]

      Moral Justification, Euphemistic Labeling, Advantageous Comparison, Displacement of Responsibility, Diffusion of Responsibility, Disregard or Distortion of Consequences, Dehumanization, Attribution of Blame

    • COLUMN: American Psychological Association removes psychologists from CIA interrogations

      A number of other psychologists have been, and continue to be, used in CIA black sites and Guantanamo Bay, despite petitions to remove said psychologists.

    • CIA blocked full release of report criticising torture techniques

      Not only did those who combed through six million pages of internal CIA documents expose the brutal tactics used by operatives, which included locking detainees in coffin-shaped box for hours or hanging them on a pole for days, they found the practices – which were eventually deemed by the US Supreme Court as outside the Geneva Convention for human rights – didn’t actually lead to the vital information they claimed.

      [...]

      “I walked out of Zero Dark Thirty, candidly,” Dianne Feinstein, the former chairperson of the State Intelligence Committee told the Frontline program. “We were having a showing and I got into it 15 to 20 minutes and I left, I couldn’t handle it because it’s so false.”

    • Next Cazenovia Forum: A Look Inside the CIA and its Controversies

      Over a 34 year career with the CIA, Rizzo made sweeping legal calls on virtually every major issue facing the spy agency, from rules governing waterboarding, “enhanced interrogation” and drones to answering for the Iran Contra scandal.

    • FORMER CIA LEADERS WRITE BOOK TO WHITEWASH TORTURE HISTORY

      The CIA’s torture-era leadership won’t repent. Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the CIA had tortured its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that torture never elicited any actionable intelligence that saved American lives, Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings announced plans to release a book justifying torture.

      They intend to repeat a lie over and over again in this book: that torture worked. They hope that the American people are either so gullible or so stupid that they’ll believe it. It’s up to the rest of us to ensure that our government swears off committing this crime against humanity.

      I know that these former intelligence leaders are lying because I worked with them at the CIA. When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program in 2007, they came down on me like a ton of bricks.

      It’s not necessarily news that these former CIA heavyweights believe in torture, even if they refuse to call it what it is. Many television news outlets still run clips of George Tenet’s 2007 appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in which he repeats “We do not torture! We do not torture!” as though he were unhinged and living in a dream world.

    • Leadership: Change Not Welcome Here

      Since the 1990s there have been increasingly open (public) complaints from users about poor quality work from the U.S. Department of Defense intelligence agencies. This all began in the late 1940s when the CIA was established to coordinate all of the U.S.’s intelligence gathering activities. At that point there began a low level war between the CIA and the Department of Defense.

    • What do Don Rumsfeld and others identified with the Pollard Affair fear from his release?
    • ProPublica and John Kiriakou to receive freedom of speech awards

      PEN Center USA, one of two American branches of the international human rights organization, will honor the investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica and the former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who became an inadvertent whistleblower, on November 16 in a ceremony hosted by Aisha Tyler. Though more award winners are yet to be named, these two choices illustrate the wide range of pressures that news organizations currently face.

    • Dodging Torture (Again)

      Last Thursday, Jeb Bush declared to an Iowa audience that he wouldn’t rule out resuming torture practices by the United States government. “I don’t know,” he hedged. “I’m just saying if I’m going to be president of the United States, you take this threat [Islamic State group] seriously.”

      Two Thursdays ago, during Fox’s highly watched GOP debate, Megyn Kelly asked presidential candidate Ben Carson whether he would bring back waterboarding. A retired neurosurgeon, Carson replied in the subjunctive, coyly saying that if he were to reinstate torture methods, he wouldn’t broadcast this and “tell everybody what we’re going to do.” As a doctor (think: first do no harm), Carson must have seen countless patients in pain over his career. Even for him to say he might torture is alarming. More appalling is that his polls have since surged, and as of this week, Carson has been statistically named the winner of the Fox debate.

      A few days before this debate, Donald Trump told ABC that he thinks “waterboarding doesn’t sound very severe.” This statement would shock us had Trump not already demonstrated his poor understanding of what torture entails, as evidenced by his disparaging remarks about John McCain’s status as a war hero.

    • ‘Each one of us can make a difference,’ Ban declares as UN marks World Humanitarian Day
    • Louis Stokes, first black U.S. congressman from Ohio, dies at 90

      In 1967, in a campaign that helped change racial politics in the United States, Carl Stokes was elected to the first of two terms as Cleveland mayor. The next year, Louis Stokes, a lawyer who had brought several cases to the U.S. Supreme Court, won the congressional seat that he would hold until his retirement in 1998.

    • Bruce Elfant says U.S. about 100th in voter turnout, Texas near bottom too

      A Travis County official declared the United States and Texas lag far behind other countries and states in voting.

      On Aug. 5, 2015, Democrat Bruce Elfant, the Travis County tax assessor-collector, was interviewed by Dick Ellis of the KOKE-FM Austin Radio Network about the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act.

      Johnson, Elfant said, “would be very disappointed by the number of Americans who choose to use that right. The United States is about 100th in voter turnout among the industrialized nations and Texas is near the bottom in terms of voter registration and voter turnout,” he said.

    • ‘Guantanamo Diary’ details appalling injustice

      I am reading “Guantanamo Diary,” the appalling story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who has been unjustly imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for 12 years.

      How was Slahi ever arrested in the first place? Likely because he was an early member of Al-Qaida during the days we conveniently forget, when the CIA channeled funds to the Afghan mujahideen to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In other words, Mr. Slahi effectively fought as an ally of the U.S. in 1991-92, after which he left Afghanistan and broke off all relations with Al Qaida.

    • Justice Department: Appeals Court Wrong To Revive Lawsuit Brought By Immigrants Abused After 9/11

      The Justice Department has requested a federal appeals court revisit and reverse its decision to revive a lawsuit against former Justice Department officials, who allegedly violated the rights of Arab or Muslim immigrants when they were detained in the immediate months after the terrorist attacks.

      Attorneys for the Justice Department argue, regardless of whether immigrants had their rights violated, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, and former Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) James W. Ziglar adopted reasonable policies “in an effort to protect the nation during a turbulent time.” The former officials should not be liable for rights violations.

    • Jimmy Carter’s Legacy. Human Rights in the Abstract versus “Shameful and Indefensible Foreign Policy Positions”

      “Carter was the least violent of American presidents but he did things which I think would certainly fall under Nuremberg provisions,” said Noam Chomsky. Much like Nobel Peace-prize winner Barack Obama 30 years later, Carter was an advocate of human rights in the abstract, but of repression and imposition of power through violence in practice.

      Like the current occupant of the White House, Jimmy Carter entered office with a promise to respect human rights, but failed miserably when given the opportunity to do so.

    • DOJ Highlights Media Subpoenas From 2014

      …Department of Justice highlighted its attempts at forcing testimony from New York Times reporter James Risen.

    • Thumbs-down to another Bush in the White House

      Recently Jeb Bush said he had a solution to defeat ISIS. He blamed troubles in the Middle East on presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

      He didn’t say anything about his father or brother. These men were presidents and took us to war in the Middle East.

    • Letter to Jeb Bush: Torture is Never Justifiable

      Mr. Bush — or Jeb if you don’t mind — I was greatly disturbed to hear that if you became president you won’t rule out the resumption of the use of torture arguing that brutal questioning methods might be justifiable and necessary in some circumstances. Torture is never justifiable.

      President Obama banned CIA torture by executive order in January 2009. I urge you to reconsider your statement concerning torture and agree to leave President Obama’s executive order in place. I don’t want a president who would use tortur

    • Free Chelsea Manning!

      Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the heroic WikiLeaks whistleblower and transgender activist currently jailed in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, is now being threatened with “indefinite solitary confinement.”

      While on active duty in Iraq as an intelligence analyst, Manning released 700,000 classified and sensitive military and diplomatic documents. They revealed details about modern imperialist wars never before made public. This included the infamous “Collateral Murder” tape of a U.S. “Apache” attack helicopter firing on civilians in Baghdad in 2007, killing 11 adults, including two Reuters journalists. Two children were seriously hurt. Manning also exposed previously hidden facts about the torture of U.S. detainees at the U.S. Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp.

      A U.S. military judge sentenced Manning to 35 years on charges of “aiding the enemy” — a treasonable offense under the 1917 U.S. Espionage Act. Awaiting trial, she suffered torturous conditions, first held in a cage inside a tent in the Kuwaiti desert, threatened by guards with being “disappeared” to Guantánamo. Then Manning was held in solitary confinement in the Marine Corps Brig at Quantico, Va., where she was under 24-hour guard and subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment.

    • John M. Crisp: The conversation of torture should be prominent in the 2016 campaign

      Two interesting stories appeared in the same edition of my local newspaper last week.

      The first involves an awkward problem that Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush faces: His brother, former president George W. Bush.

      Many Republicans have managed to hold their noses when they consider George W. Bush’s administration, especially his unprovoked and ill-advised invasion of Iraq. Jeb Bush has stumbled over this issue several times, looking for ways to put the best face on a huge foreign policy error.

      He has admitted that “mistakes were made” and relied on the dubious proposition that “taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal.” But this simplistic notion – Saddam Hussein is easy to demonize – depends on the electorate’s failure to notice the chaos that the Iraq War unleashed.

    • Clerics gather in Egypt to counter extremist fatwas

      Top Muslim clerics gathered in Egypt on Monday to address extremist religious edicts in the face of an unprecedented threat from Islamic State group jihadists who have declared a “caliphate”.

    • The Quiet Demise of the Army’s Plan to Understand Afghanistan and Iraq

      The Army created the Human Terrain System — at the height of the counterinsurgency craze that dominated American strategic thinking in Iraq and Afghanistan late in the last decade, with much fanfare — to solve this problem. Cultural training and deep, nuanced understanding of Afghan politics and history were in short supply in the Army; without them, good intelligence was hard to come by, and effective policy making was nearly impossible. Human Terrain Teams, as Human Terrain System units were known, were supposed to include people with social-science backgrounds, language skills and an understanding of Afghan or Iraqi culture, as well as veterans and reservists who would help bind the civilians to their assigned military units.

    • Ship Transfers Over 1,300 Migrants From Greek Island to Mainland City Port

      A ship with 1,308 refugees has left the Greek island of Kos bound for the port city of Thessaloniki, to process the asylum-seekers, the press office of the Greek Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean told Sputnik.

    • Drones, police violence protest comes through Baraboo

      A 90-mile walk to protest drones and racial profiling is scheduled to begin from the Dane County Jail on Tuesday and go through Baraboo on its way to Volk Field, organizers say.

      The “Let It Shine!” walk will take place over the course of a week, ending Aug. 25 in the village of Camp Douglas. Volk Field is home to a shadow drone training program and has been the site of numerous protests, including one in 2014 in which a Diocese of Madison priest was arrested for distributing fliers critical of the military’s use of drones.

    • Black Lives Matter videos, Clinton campaign reveal details of meeting

      Throughout the 15-minute conversation, Clinton disagreed with the three activists from Black Lives Matter who had planned to publicly press the 2016 candidate on issues on mass incarceration at an event earlier this month in Keene, New Hampshire.

08.22.15

Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

Posted in News Roundup at 1:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • John Oliver Exposes the Racket of the Christian Megachurch Industry

    On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took on the fraudulent behind-the-scenes (and occasionally, not so behind-the-scenes) practices of America’s mega-televangelist ministries — specifically, those that have exploited people’s faith for monetary gain with the promise that “donations will result in wealth coming back to you.” It’s called “The Prosperity Gospel,” and is built on the idea that every donation a congregant gives its pastor is a “seed” that will one day be harvested. “Wealth is a sign of God’s favor,” after all.

  • Hardware

    • Your Toner Is No Good Here: Region-Coding Ink Cartridges… For The Customers

      Everyone likes buying stuff with a bunch of built-in restrictions, right? The things we “own” often remain the property of the manufacturers, at least in part. That’s the trade-off we never asked for — one pushed on us by everyone from movie studios to makers of high-end cat litter boxes and coffee brewers. DRM prevents backup copies. Proprietary packets brick functions until manufacturer-approved refills are in place.

  • Security

    • LinuxCon: CII Program Will Give Badges to Open Source Projects With Strong Security

      Amid this week’s LinuxCon in Seattle, SecurityWeek reported that the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), which funds open source projects, will give the badge to those that meet a set of standard criteria. This includes an established bug reporting process, an automated test suite, vulnerability response processes and patching processes. A self-assessment will determine whether the project owners merit the badge.

    • Why every website should switch to HTTPS

      HTTPS protects both website owners and users from interference by network operators. It provides three protections: data authentication, integrity, and confidentiality. HTTPS makes sure that the website you loaded was sent by the real owner of that website, that nothing was injected or censored on the website, and that no one else is able to read the contents of the data being transmitted. We are seeing more and more evidence of manipulation of websites to inject things that the website owners and users didn’t intend. Additionally, browsers are starting to deprecate HTTP as non-secure, so in the coming years non-HTTPS websites will start throwing warnings by both Chrome and Firefox.

    • Embargoed firmware updates in LVFS

      The new embargo target allows vendors to test the automatic update functionality using a secret vendor-specific URL set in /etc/fwupd.conf without releasing it to the general public until the hardware has been announced.

    • Security updates for Friday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Two Candidates Surge in 2016 Polling–but Only Trump, Not Sanders, Fascinates Media

      The two big surprises of the 2016 presidential race so far are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Two dark horse candidates opposed by party insiders, each began a substantial surge in campaign polls around the beginning of July. In Real Clear Politics‘ average of polls, Sanders has gone from 12.7 percent to 25.0 percent since July 1, while Trump has gone from 6 percent to 22 percent.

      Yet corporate media show a fascination with just one of these characters. Is it the self-described socialist senator from Vermont, who has focused his campaign on combating the US’s rising inequality? Or is it the billionaire real-estate developer who blames America’s economic troubles on foreigners and calls for massive deportations?

    • Louise Mensch takes swipe at Corbyn campaign – and hits herself

      Mensch was unbowed by the criticism and continued to post examples of abuse she said had come from Corbyn supporters. She did not respond to a request for comment.

    • Louise Mensch Roundly Mocked For Twitter Search Faux Pas In Corbyn Row

      Users of the micro-blogging site were quick to point out the mistake, mocking the former MP for her monstrous faux-pas.

      While anti-Semitism is rife on social media, and Mensch and others has raised concerns regarding Corbyn’s alleged links to high-profile anti-Semites, the gaffe itself was widely appreciated.

  • Censorship

    • Indonesia Blocks The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt, Others

      After promising a strong response to piracy for several years, Indonesia has finally taken action against The Pirate Bay. Along with fellow torrent index IsoHunt.to, the site is among almost two dozen others now ordered by the Ministry of Communications to be blocked at the ISP level.

    • Google ordered to remove links to ‘right to be forgotten’ removal stories

      Google has been ordered by the Information Commissioner’s office to remove nine links to current news stories about older reports which themselves were removed from search results under the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling.

      The search engine had previously removed links relating to a 10 year-old criminal offence by an individual after requests made under the right to be forgotten ruling. Removal of those links from Google’s search results for the claimant’s name spurred new news posts detailing the removals, which were then indexed by Google’s search engine.

      Google refused to remove links to these later news posts, which included details of the original criminal offence, despite them forming part of search results for the claimant’s name, arguing that they are an essential part of a recent news story and in the public interest.

    • Google ordered to remove links to stories about Google removing links to stories

      The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ordered Google to remove links from its search results that point to news stories reporting on earlier removals of links from its search results. The nine further results that must be removed point to Web pages with details about the links relating to a criminal offence that were removed by Google following a request from the individual concerned. The Web pages involved in the latest ICO order repeated details of the original criminal offence, which were then included in the results displayed when searching for the complainant’s name on Google.

    • London ‘Draw Mohamed’ exhibition cancelled due to ‘real possibility people could be killed’

      A planned ‘Draw Mohamed’ exhibition has been cancelled in London after counter-terrorism police warned that people could be killed if it went ahead.

      Organiser Anne Marie Waters, Sharia Watch director and former UKIP candidate, revealed that security services had reason to believe the event might be attacked, with a “very real possibility that people could be hurt or killed – before, during and after”.

      Organisers asked more than 200 galleries to host the exhibition but their requests were almost universally refused, with even the gallery that eventually agreed later pulling out.

    • UK Piracy Police Asked Domain Registrars to Shut Down 317 Sites

      Since its launch two years ago, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has requested domain name registrars to suspend 317 pirate sites. A lot of requests were denied, but police say they don’t know how many. The numbers were made available in response to a Freedom of Information request by TF, which also reveals more interesting details.

    • Boston Public Broadcaster WGBH Files Bogus DMCA Notice On Public Domain Video Uploaded By Carl Malamud

      It’s amazing the kind of trouble that Carl Malamud ends up in thanks to people not understanding copyright law. The latest is that he was alerted to the fact that YouTube had taken down a video that he had uploaded, due to a copyright claim from WGBH, a public television station in Boston. The video had nothing to do with WGBH at all. It’s called “Energy — The American Experience” and was created by the US Dept. of Energy in 1974 and is quite clearly in the public domain as a government creation (and in case you’re doubting it, the federal government itself lists the video as “cleared for TV.”

    • The biggest threat to comedy? Self-censorship

      ‘A powerful declaration of the primacy of freedom of expression, not always the most fashionable view at a liberal arts festival.’ It’s lines like this that prove we live in strange times. This caught my eye in a review of character comic Sarah Franken’s new Fringe show Who Keeps Making All These People?, a searing satire of the Islamic State, political correctness and the gutlessness of modern Western culture. I wonder if the reviewer recognised the irony.

    • A showgirl’s story of sequins and censorship in Shanghai

      If the strangeness of opening a burlesque club in China had not occurred to Amelia Kallman and Norman Gosney as a Buddhist cleansing ceremony took place in their future venue, it certainly did when they found themselves submitting Frank Sinatra lyrics to be vetted by the local cultural department.

    • China’s official response to emergencies is ‘censorship’

      As Tianjin residents struggle to find answers, China has imposed heavy restrictions on independent media trying to cover the deadly explosions that rocked the port city. DW spoke to China expert Isabel Hilton.

    • How did the Chinese media react to the Tianjin explosions?

      It has now been more than a week since the explosions in Tianjin occurred. Discussions on online social networks such as Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) show Chinese netizens are angry. The incident has been Weibo’s top trending topic for a week, with combined posts gaining more than 3 billion views.

    • FPB unmoved by R2K on ‘censorship’ policy

      The Film and Publication Board (FPB) will not publish public comment on its Draft Online Regulation Policy, which has been heavily criticised as Internet censorship legislation.

      This after the Right2Know Campaign called for records of the FPB’s public hearings and written submissions to do with the controversial draft policy to be made public.

      “We believe the record of public comment will confirm that the majority of South Africans want a free Internet,” says R2K in a statement.

    • Erdogan Enhances Censorship Ahead of Snap Polls

      As predicted, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had absolutely no intention of abiding by the results of the June 7, 2015 when, for the first time in more than 12 years, his Justice and Development lost its majority in parliament. Joining a coalition means compromising with opposition parties rather than continuing his own tyranny of the plurality.

      Hence, Erdoğan has called snap-elections for November 1. Erdoğan is no gambler, however, and he will not trust his fate to the voters determining their party pick on an even playing field.

    • Ongoing censorship blocks Kurdish, critical, data-based media during time of crisis

      A black curtain has been preventing the public from receiving news since certain media outlets’ websites have had all access to their sites from within Turkey blocked since July 25, just as the cease-fire between Turkey and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ended and the country enters a war against radical terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    • Writers slam ‘censorship by bullet’ in Mexico

      Demanding an end to “censorship by the bullet” in Mexico, more than 500 international writers and intellectuals called on President Enrique Peña Nieto to do more to prevent the murder of journalists in a country they say has “no safe haven for the profession”.

    • Censorship by bullet

      It’s hard to know which is worse: the deadly conditions that threaten critical journalists in Mexico or the government’s feeble response to recent deadly attacks. The intolerable situation has produced a letter from 500 global writers and thinkers to Mexico’s president urging him to address his country’s terrible record on protecting news professionals. Among the signers: novelists Salman Rushdie, Junot Diaz, Margaret Atwood and news figures Christiane Amanpour and Tom Brokaw.

    • Europe’s Latest Export to America: Internet Censorship

      American Web users’ access to Internet content may soon be limited, thanks to a recent decision by French regulators. France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (known by its French acronym CNIL) ordered Google to apply the European Union’s bizarre “right-to-be-forgotten” rules on a global basis in a June ruling. The search engine announced at the end of July that it would refuse to comply. If it is nevertheless forced to do so, the result could be unprecedented censorship of Internet content, as well as a dangerous expansion of foreign Web restrictions on Americans.

    • India’s Government Censorship

      Since his election in May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has trumpeted India’s open society and vibrant democracy when he speaks to foreign heads of state and business leaders. But, at home, his government is seeking to restrict freedom of expression, including recent attempts to limit access to the Internet and the freedom of Indian television networks to report the news.

    • Age ratings enforced for UK-produced music videos on YouTube and Vevo

      Videos made in the UK by artists signed to major labels will be classified before release, in measures meant to protect children from unsuitable online content

    • Profile: Are age ratings on music videos and video games appropriate?
    • Mark Latham, censorship and free speech

      Does Mark Latham’s parting of ways with the Australian Financial Review amount to censorship? Has political correctness gone mad? Are commentators not allowed to be provocative? Should we not tolerate a wide array of views – popular or not? Do ‘frightbat’ feminists on Twitter have too much power?

    • How UC can respond to bigoted speech without censorship

      Second, parents should insist on workable procedures for students to report instances of bigotry (and also for allegations that faculty members are failing in their duty to evaluate student work based on its quality, rather than a divergent political view).

      Third, they should ask the regents to ensure that each campus has a plan so that when a significant instance of bigotry occurs, there are clear and immediate communications from the chancellor, campus police and campus administrators.

      Fourth, parents should ask the regents to stress a core principle without which the university cannot function: that attempts to outlaw or chill speech are more dangerous than hateful speech itself. Unless the speech is illegal, such as threats against a person or a group coupled with a clear call for immediate unlawful action, it must be answered with other speech that argues why what was advocated or articulated was not only wrong, but also bigoted. This, not censorship or “trigger warnings,” will tell the students that people of goodwill are speaking out with and for them.

    • Bloggers need to exercise self-censorship

      Bloggers need to exercise ethical self-censorship, one of the organizers of NeForum for Bloggers 2015, LiveJournal head marketing officer Ivan Kalyuzhny told reporters.

    • UK Orders Google to Censor Links to Articles About “Right to Be Forgotten” Removals

      The “right to be forgotten” has always been a double whammy of a disaster: an awful policy based on terrible ideas. Under the right, implemented in 2014 by the European Court of Justice, private citizens can petition search engines to hide results that pertain to their pasts. As a policy, the right to be forgotten is bad because companies like Google have legitimate free speech interests in presenting their results as they see fit. As an idea, it’s bad because it bars search engines from publishing truthful information about matters of public concern—a troubling precedent which, taken to its logical end, could lead to serious censorship.

    • Google to Remove Links on EU Censorship

      On Thursday, a UK court ordered Google to remove links to some stories about the right to be forgotten.

    • Africa: Stand Up Against Unaccountable Net Censorship

      When ISPs and social media platforms are held legally responsible for all content passing through them, we all lose out.

    • Ecuadoran government imposes censorship of media due to volcano crisis outside Quito
    • Why is Ecuador censoring coverage of volcano’s activity?

      The Ecuadorean authorities have imposed “preventive censorship” on all media coverage of Cotopaxi, a volcano 50 km south of the capital that became active again on 14 August after 73 years of inactivity. The government’s communiqués are now the only permitted source of information on the subject.

    • Campus censorship feeds false fears, stifles learning

      The new language of campus censorship cuts out the middleman and claims that merely hearing wrong, unpleasant or offensive ideas is so dangerous to the mental health of the listener that people need to be protected from the experience.

    • Fighting Back Against Internet Censorship in Australia

      Look at a move back in 2014 with proposed legislation that would give more powers to a government regulatory body to say what they want taken offline – all in the name of ‘protecting children.’

    • Dozens of journalists stop reporting following intimidations and censorship

      The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) backs the protest of journalists working in central Somalia due to increasing pressure, intimidations and censorship by armed religious group.

    • Comedian’s take on University campus censorship
    • The little-known history of secrecy and censorship in wake of atomic bombings

      The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago, is one of the most studied events in modern history. And yet significant aspects of that bombing are still not well known.

      I recently published a social history of US censorship in the aftermath of the bombings, which this piece is based on. The material was drawn from a dozen different manuscript collections in archives around the US.

      I found that military and civilian officials in the US sought to contain information about the effects of radiation from the blasts, which helps explain the persistent gaps in the public’s understanding of radiation from the bombings.

    • Censorship By Remote Control

      The recent show-cause notice by the government to three television channels on Yakub Memon’s hanging, and its temporary ban on 857 porn sites, have rekindled apprehensions about overt and covert censorship, and of the kind of coercive constraints on free and fearless expression that is a fundamental right guaranteed to every Indian.

    • New routing method promotes censorship-free internet

      Computer scientists have developed a novel method for providing concrete proof to internet users that their information did not cross through certain undesired geographic areas.

      The new system, called “Alibi Routing”, offers advantages over existing systems as it is immediately deployable and does not require knowledge of the internet’s routing hardware or policies.

      Recent events such as censorship of internet traffic, suspicious “boomerang routing” where data leaves a region only to come back again, and monitoring of users’ data have alerted the researchers.

    • Western Mainstream Media Censor Green Left Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si’” Message For Urgent Action On Climate Change

      Censorship, lying by omission and lying by commission will doom the planet.

    • Don’t censor anti-Semites, argue with them

      Chiming in with the outraged individual who wrote to the Fringe, Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said in a statement that Chabloz’s presence should be ‘of grave concern’ to Fringe organisers and urged Scottish premier Nicola Sturgeon to step up and enforce her pledged ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on anti-Semitism.
      Related categories
      Free speech

      But as dodgy, detestable and potentially anti-Semitic as Chabloz may be, the ease with which people are trying to run her out of the festival, and, potentially, out of the country, is a complete disgrace. In a free society, we must all be free to speak, discuss and salute however we like.

    • Who is policing the word police? Github’s retarded move causes user backlash.

      Currently a controversy is brewing over at Github, which can be described as “the facebook of programmers”. That’s one heck of an elevator pitch, and made Github the darling of VC-funders and happy users alike. It’s a web-based Git repository hosting service, where you can upload your projects and if anyone takes a liking to your repo they can fork it and work on it too.

      Git in this context is a free software distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, and every Git working directory is a full-fledged repository with complete history and full version-tracking capabilities. A fork is a copy of a repository. Forking a repository allows you to freely experiment with changes without affecting the original project, and the original project doesn’t affect yours. Just making that clear so that Adria Richards doesn’t come around in case I make any forking-jokes.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google joins Facebook in trying to prevent IAMAI from taking strong anti-Zero Rating stand

      Google joined hands with Facebook to try and prevent the Internet and Mobile Association of India, which represents some of the largest Internet companies in India, from taking a stand that counters Zero Rating. According to emails exchanged between IAMAI’s Government Relations committee members, of which MediaNama has copies, Vineeta Dixit, a member of Google’s Public Policy and and Government Relations team, strongly pushed for the removal of any mention of Zero Rating from the IAMAI’s submission, as a response to the Department of Telecom’s report on Net Neutrality. Please note that Google hasn’t responded to our queries, despite multiple reminders.

    • Two Important Speeches: The Threats To The Future Of The Internet… And How To Protect An Open Internet

      Last week, I came across two separate speeches that were given recently about the future of the internet — both with very different takes and points, but both that really struck a chord with me. And the two seem to fit together nicely, so I’m combining both of them into one post. The first speech is Jennifer Granick’s recent keynote at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas. You can see the video here or read a modified version of the speech entitled, “The End of the Internet Dream.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Once Again, Megaupload User Asks Court for His Files Back

        Three years ago now, EFF’s client Kyle Goodwin, a sports videographer, asked the court to allow him to retrieve the files he stored in an account on the cloud storage site Megaupload. When the government seized Megaupload’s assets and servers in January 2012, Mr. Goodwin lost access to video files containing months of his professional work. Today, EFF filed a brief on behalf of Mr. Goodwin asking, once again, for the return of the files.

        We originally asked the court for help back in 2012. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia took briefing, and even held a hearing. Unfortunately, since that time not much has happened. The U.S. government has continued pursuing a criminal case and a civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and its owners, but the data stored by millions of Megaupload customers, including material like Mr. Goodwin’s sports videos that had nothing to do with the alleged copyright infringement that Megaupload is accused of, languished in a warehouse on hundreds of servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, Megaupload’s former contractor.

      • Appeals court: Prenda lawyer who drained cash from his law firm must pay up

        A Minnesota court has ordered Paul Hansmeier, one of two lawyers considered the creators of the Prenda Law copyright-trolling scheme, to pay sanctions in a case where he and his colleague John Steele were accused of trying to collude with a defendant.

        An order published Monday by a Minnesota appeals court describes how Hansmeier tried to dodge a $64,000 judicial sanction in the Guava LLC v. Spencer Merkel case by moving money out of his Alpha Law Firm then dissolving it. A district court previously found that Hansmeier’s actions and inconsistent explanations warranted a piercing of the “corporate veil,” and that court ruled that Hansmeier should be held personally responsible for the debt. Now, an appeals court has agreed (PDF) with that conclusion.

08.20.15

Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Dear Amazon: Your work culture really is terrible

    In response to the New York Times much-read takedown of Amazon’s harsh workplace culture, CEO Jeff Bezos asked employees for stories that might reflect the alleged abusive practices — and one person has taken up his offer.

    Beth Anderson, a spouse of a former Amazon AMZN staff member who worked at the company from 2007 to 2013, wrote a public letter on Quartz, and unfortunately for Bezos, Anderson agrees with much of the details in the NYT story: “Many scenarios and anecdotes detailed in the article hit very close to home,” she wrote.

    Specifically, Anderson takes issue with the constant need for her husband to be at the beck and call of the company. Working in a team that manages shipping warehouse software, Anderson’s husband was expected to respond to his pager within 15 minutes, or face repercussions from his manager: “If something came directly from you, Jeff, it was all hands on deck until that problem got figured out. No matter the emotional or physical toll,” Anderson wrote.

  • Science

    • The Town That Decided to Send All Its Kids to College

      College was never much of an option for most students in this tiny town of 1,200 located in the woods of the Manistee National Forest. Only 12 of the 32 kids who graduated high school in 2005 enrolled in college. Only two of those have gotten their bachelor’s degree.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Cleveland Clinic boots McDonald’s from US hospital

      The Cleveland Clinic health center will be getting rid of a McDonald’s franchise after nearly a decade of trying to push the fast-food giant out of its hospital, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

      The renowned US hospital said the move is part of a series of reforms aimed at helping its 44,000 workers and millions of patients make healthier choices.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Who Killed the Venus Flytrap?

      At the height of summer, in this part of North Carolina, the heat can be suffocating. It swells with the humidity, sticks your shirt to your back in seconds. When you lie belly-down on the dry land, every scratch and flicker of grass is a reminder of the life crawling beneath your body: the grasshoppers and mayflies, the ticks and bark lice. She can’t move.

      [...]

      The flytrap only grows wild in one location: a 100-mile range surrounding Wilmington, a city of about 111,000 people, 10 miles from the North Carolina coast.

  • Finance

    • Is Bitcoin facing an existential split?
    • Bitcoin Is Having an Identity Crisis
    • Fork Release Intensifies Bitcoin Community Bitterness
    • Google Went Public 11 Years Ago Today

      historically, one of the best performers in the stock market over the last decade. But 11 years ago to this day, Google’s IPO was considered a disappointment.

      On August 19, 2004, Google went public with a price of $85 for its roughly 19.6 million shares, which as CNBC’s Bob Pisani noted, was at the low end of expectations. The reason was manifold, starting with Google’s choice to sell their shares through a Dutch auction, where buyers went online to indicate the price and amount of shares they wanted until Google determined a fair price for their shares. As USA Today recounts, this didn’t please those who wanted the option of offering first dips at these shares to their interested clients.

    • Loss of Manufacturing Jobs Isn’t ‘Tectonic’–It’s a Policy Choice

      Wall Street executive Steve Rattner had a column (8/14/15) in the New York Times in which he derided Donald Trump’s economics by minimizing the impact of trade on the labor market. While much of Trump’s economics undoubtedly deserve derision, Rattner is wrong in minimizing the impact that trade has had on the plight of workers.

    • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigns, calls for snap elections

      GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced his resignation and called for snap elections, as he went on the offensive to defend the country’s massive bailout after it triggered a rebellion within his own party.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Iowa Radio Host Stands By Plan To Enslave Undocumented Immigrants If They Don’t Leave

      Influential Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson — whose show is a frequent destination for Republican presidential candidates — is standing by his plan to make undocumented immigrants “property of the state” if they refuse to leave the country after an allotted period of time. In comments to Media Matters, Mickelson described his plan as “constitutionally defensible, legally defensible, morally defensible, biblically defensible and historically defensible.”

    • Standards of Political Civility and Darwin’s Finches

      One hallmark of this year’s political “discourse” (to abuse a term) has been the number of astonishingly angry and ill-informed accusations made by some candidates against their opponents (and others). Nothing unusual about that, sad to say. But what is different is the degree of acceptance, and even approval, exhibited by many voters that in earlier years might have rejected these candidates as well as their statements.

    • Critical blogger banned from voting in Labour leadership election

      Labour have been accused of ‘purging’ critical voices from the party after a Labour-supporting blogger was banned from voting in the leadership race, after criticising his local council.

      Lambeth Councillor Alex Bigham sent a dossier to his party recommending that website editor Jason Cobb, be excluded from voting, due to “possible entryism”

      The document, seen by Politics.co.uk, included a series of screen-grabbed tweets in which Cobb accused some Labour councils of “social cleansing” in London as well as a link to a 2010 article he wrote for the Guardian in which he criticised Lambeth council.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook has taken over from Google as a traffic source for news

      Anyone who works for a major news website or publisher knows that social referrals—that is, links that are shared on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter—have become a crucial source of incoming traffic, and have been vying with search as a source of new readers for some time. Now, according to new numbers from the traffic-analytics service Parse.ly, Facebook is no longer just vying with Google but has overtaken it by a significant amount.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The End of the Internet Dream

      It doesn’t have to be this way. But to change course, we need to ask some hard questions and make some difficult decisions.

    • Sprint getting rid of phone contracts, calls them a “thing of the past”

      Sprint is getting rid of two-year smartphone contracts, following a move made previously by T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless.

      “By the end of the year, customers of the No. 4 wireless company will have to pay the full price for their phones or spread the payments out by leasing the device, an option that started last year,” CNBC reported.

      Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure explained the move in an interview with CNBC. Buying a new phone at the subsidized rate of $199 is “a thing of the past, the industry has changed,” he said.

    • BREAKING: Netneutrality more complex than you thought!

      Interestingly, when zero-rating is squashed, the opposite happens. When the government forbade zero rating in the Netherlands, its largest provider KPN responded by doubling their users’ data caps without a price hike.

      Thus, my suggestion to the Brazil government would be: work with providers to get indiscriminate data bundles to more users, rather than empowering providers to control their users’ Internet usage.

  • DRM

    • Apple Music boasted of 11 million users – but half have already tuned out

      Just over half the people who sampled Apple Music have stuck around to use the service regularly, a study by music industry analytics firm MusicWatch has found. Apple recently took a victory lap for hitting the 11 million user mark among people who had sampled its new service, which is meant to compete with similar offerings from Spotify and Pandora. But 48% of those users aren’t there any more.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Rightscorp’s DMCA Subpoena Effort Crashes and Burns

        Rightscorp’s efforts to unmask file-sharers using the DMCA has crashed and burned. After a federal judge ruled in favor of ISP Birch Communications and quashed the anti-piracy firm’s subpoena, Rightscorp appealed the decision. Now the company has backed down, handing the ISP and privacy a big win.

08.19.15

Links 19/8/2015: LinuxCon Everywhere

Posted in News Roundup at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • News Corp.’s Amplify education experiment: What went wrong?

    That write-down comes nearly five years after it purchased Wireless Generation for $360 million in 2010 and renamed it Amplify. At the time, News Corp. was going to bet about $500 million on Amplify to dominate the market. Amplify was led by Joel Klein, the former head of the New York City Department of Education.

  • Avoiding Amazon? The 5 best alternatives to the online bookseller giants
  • You probably don’t want to work for Amazon

    ‘Amazon is where overachievers go to feel bad about themselves.’

  • The Missing ‘Leadership Principle’ at Amazon
  • Amazon’s 24/7 Hell Is the Future of Work

    Working at Amazon may be hell, but so is working everywhere else. Or at least it will be soon. The blockbuster New York Times report documenting Amazon’s “bruising” white collar culture is a fine piece of labor reporting, yet its revelations shouldn’t be too surprising. Amazon is revealed to be a more efficient and more unpleasant formulation of the standard modern workplace; one shaped by globalization, digitalization, and increasingly limitless expectations placed on the plugged-in worker.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Security advisories for Tuesday
    • DDoS attacks on the rise as Akamai warns that ‘mega attacks’ are coming

      THIS IS THE DAWN of the mega denial-of-service (DoS) attack, according to security firm Akamai and its second quarter threat report.

      We wait every three months for the Akamai State of the Internet report, and we are never disappointed. Its content is pretty good too, and allows for a summary of the past quarter and a reminder about things like Shellshock and web perennials like Flash, WordPress themes and application attacks.

    • Ransomware goes open source

      Turkish security bod Utku Sen has published what seems to be the first open source ransomware that anyone can download and spread. The ‘Hidden Tear’ ransomware, available at GitHub, is a working version of the malware the world has come to hate. It uses AES encryption to lock down files and could display a scare warning or ransom message to get users to pay.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange and the Value of WikiLeaks: Subverting Illusions

      Above and beyond Assange’s personal freedom, what’s at stake includes the impunity of the United States and its allies to relegate transparency to a mythical concept, with democracy more rhetoric than reality. From the Vietnam War era to today — from aerial bombing and torture to ecological disasters and financial scams moving billions of dollars into private pockets — the high-up secrecy hiding key realities from the public has done vast damage. No wonder economic and political elites despise WikiLeaks for its disclosures.

  • Finance

    • Richard D. Wolff | Déjà Vu: Germany Tightens Its Economic Power Over Europe

      Germany’s leaders herded their European counterparts into imposing harsh austerity on Greece. It was the price, they insisted, that Greece had to pay to receive bailout credits from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Europeans required those bailout credits to be used mostly to pay back loans the Greek government had gotten earlier from private banks (chiefly German, French and Greek). Those credits could not be used to get Greece out of the 2008 crash that afflicted all of Europe.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Scott Walker’s False Promise of Racial Unity

      When asked about race relations on the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s killing at the hands of a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, Walker replied:

      “I think in general if anyone focuses on racial discord we’re going to get more,” he said. “If we focus on unity we’re going to get more of that.”

      In other words, acknowledging systemic problems like the documented wave of police killings of unarmed black men, or the racial wealth gap, or disparities in sentencing and incarceration, creates “discord.” During the GOP debate, he similarly dodged a question about the Black Lives Matter movement, which even Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly called “the biggest civil rights issue of our time.”

    • 70 Awful Displays Of Sexism On Fox News

      On the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Media Matters looks back at Fox News’ many displays of sexism, ranging from hosts suggesting young women should not exercise civic duties like participating in jury duty because they “don’t get it,” to Erick Erickson’s claim that “the male typically is the dominant role.”

    • Who Is Intimidating Who?

      The cheerful cheddarheads who showed up at the Iowa State Fair “Soapbox” to razz Scott Walker got a rude reception. The Soapbox is a Des Moines Register tradition and peaceful protesters have long been a part of this exercise in free speech. But after Walker was punked by two young people with a fake $900 million Koch check weeks ago, Team Walker seems a bit tense. At the Soapbox, Walker supporters ripped a sign out of one protester’s hand which read “WARNING Don’t let him do to America what he did to Wisconsin.” Another protester told CNN ”I got pushed into a disabled woman. I fell on her wheelchair. She started screaming at me.”

    • Donald Trump Praises Bill O’Reilly For His Focus On Immigrant “Crime Wave”
  • Censorship

    • MPAA Ducks Censorship Battle With Google, Twitter and Facebook

      The MPAA has dropped its request for a preliminary injunction that would require search engines, ISPs and hosting companies to stop linking or offering services to MovieTube. The decision comes a few days after prominent tech firms including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo branded the request as a broad censorship attempt.

    • U.S. Government Grabbed Dotcom’s Millions “As a Last Resort”

      The U.S. Government has informed the Court of Appeals that the civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom was launched as a last resort. The authorities feared that Dotcom and his colleagues would regain possession of the millions in seized assets and argue that they are properly labeled as “fugitives.”

  • Privacy

    • Warrantless airport laptop search dooms Iran arms sales prosecution

      Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday to dismiss the government’s prosecution of a South Korean businessman accused of illegally selling technology used in aircraft and missiles to Iran.

      The move comes three months after a judge ruled that the government unlawfully seized and searched the suspect’s computer at Los Angeles International Airport as Jae Shik Kim was to catch a flight home in 2012. The government decided not to appeal and said it was “unable to continue prosecuting this matter.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Desperate Rightscorp Burns Through More Piracy Millions

        Piracy monetization company Rightscorp has published its results for Q2 2015 and it’s yet another three months of misery for the company. At the same time as paying out just $117K to its copyright holder clients, Rightscorp managed to run up $1.95m in expenses, leaving the company with operating losses in excess of $1.72m.

      • Universal Music and Kim Dotcom Prepared a Deal to Tax Google

        A recording of Kim Dotcom and several Universal Music executives captured two days before the Megaupload raids has revealed the label planning to do a deal with the entrepreneur. Amid discussion of ‘taxing’ Google by diverting its ad revenue to the label, the execs offered to downgrade Dotcom from “evil” to “neutral” in return for dropping legal action over the “Mega Song”.

      • Hollywood Keeps Breaking Box Office Records… While Still Insisting That The Internet Is Killing Movies

        Hollywood is still 100% focused on trying to blame the internet for any of its woes, mostly with bogus attacks on internet companies it doesn’t like. And yet… it seems to keep on setting box office records. The latest is that Universal Pictures has broken a new record in bringing in $2 billion in box office revenue faster than any other studio in history, pushed over the top by the successful opening weekend of “Straight Outta Compton” (a movie that seems to have some big fans in Silicon Valley).

08.18.15

Links 18/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC7, IBM’s LinuxOne

Posted in News Roundup at 6:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ransomware goes OPEN SOURCE in the name of education

    Turkish security bod Utku Sen has published what appears to be the first open source ransomware that anyone can download and spread.

    The “Hidden Tear” ransomware, available to GitHub, is a functional version of the malware the world has come to hate; it uses AES encryption to lock down files and can display a scare warning or ransom message to get users to pay up.

  • Chinese, Russian, tech giants join global open source efforts

    Alibaba and Yandex joining these open source efforts confounds their home nations’ occasionally-expressed intentions to build technology ecosystems less dependent on US companies. Both China and Russia have cited post-Snowden security concerns as the reason they’re keen to rely on indigenous technologies. With their tech giants now participating in global efforts alongside US entities, technological isolation looks rather harder to achieve.

  • Keen IO open-sources its Data Explorer tool for making quick queries

    Keen IO, a startup with a cloud-based data analytics tool, is announcing today that it’s releasing one of its tools for customers, the Data Explorer, under an open-source license.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla tests a true stealth mode for Firefox

        Mozilla wants to make private browsing truly private.

        The company is testing enhancements to private browsing in Firefox designed to block website elements that could be used by third parties to track browsing behavior across sites. Most major browsers, Firefox included, have a “Do Not Track” option, though many companies do not honor it.

      • Mozilla defaults Tracking Protection for Firefox developer builds, but only for private browsing

        Pre-beta versions of Firefox will block domains known to track users by default when a private browser window is opened.

      • Rust in 2016

        This week marks three months since Rust 1.0 was released. As we’re starting to hit our post-1.0 stride, we’d like to talk about what 1.0 meant in hindsight, and where we see Rust going in the next year.

      • Rust Language Focusing On Infrastructure Improvements, Features & More
      • Firefox Security Exploit Targets Linux Users and Web Developers

        Through the years, Firefox has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most secure Web browsers on any platform, and it’s the default browser for many Linux distros. However, a security exploit appeared this week that has shown users they can’t afford to be complacent about security. Mozilla has rushed to patch the flaw, and a new release has closed the hole (39.0.3). But, plenty of users still haven’t updated their browsers.

      • Mozilla Experiments with True Private Browsing

        Mozilla has a long history of experimenting with new features in pre-beta and developer versions of the Firefox browser, and one of the current experiments could shake up notions about private browsing. The company is experimenting with an approach to private browsing where Firefox could block any and all website elements used by third parties to track browsing behavior. Effectively, the new approach would defy the many organizations that don’t honor “Do Not Track” features in browsers.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • LinkedIn Open Sources Highly Useful Hadoop Tools

      LinkedIn has already adopted Gradle as itsprimary build system. “With Gradle, developers can easily extend the build system by defining their own plugins,” the company claims. “We developed the Hadoop Plugin to help our Hadoop application developers more effectively build, test and deploy Hadoop applications. The Plugin includes the Hadoop DSL, a domain-specific language for specifying jobs and workflows for Hadoop workflow managers like Azkaban and Apache Oozie.”

  • Databases

    • Open Source First Starting to Converge with Cloud First

      Of course, PostgeSQL is only one instance where open source and the cloud are starting to converge. The same argument could also be applied to everything from Node.js to Docker containers. The point is that as the critical mass of open source software in the cloud continues to build, it’s only a matter of time before that same software starts showing up on premise in much greater numbers than it already has.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • First LibreOffice 5.0 Maintenance Release on Its Way to Fix Middle-Click Paste on X11

      After releasing the huge LibreOffice 5.0 update, The Document Foundation announced that the hard team of developers behind the most powerful open-source office suite in the world is hard at work on the first maintenance release of LibreOffice 5.0.0.

    • An Open Letter to Apache Foundation and Apache OpenOffice team

      So I realize that the Apache Foundation took a lot of pride in and has invested a lot of effort trying to create an Apache Licensed Office suite based on the old OpenOffice codebase, but I hope that now that it is clear that this effort has failed that you would be willing to re-direct people who go to the openoffice.org website to the LibreOffice website instead. Letting users believe that OpenOffice is still alive and evolving is only damaging the general reputation of open source Office software among non-technical users and thus I truly believe that it would be in everyones interest to help the remaining OpenOffice users over to LibreOffice.

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Focal Camera: An Open Source Modular Camera

      Over the past year, Dutch artist Mathijs van Oosterhoudt has been developing a new camera system. No, it’s not a high-tech digital system that’s intended to go up against the major camera companies. Instead, it’s an open-modular camera system that’s intended to teach people how to build complex cameras. Its name is The Focal Camera.

  • Programming

    • Perl Weekly

      Yesterday was CPAN day: the 20th(!) anniversary of the day CPAN appeared online. A few articles of this week’s edition celebrate the event, and promote the kind of interaction that keeps it alive.

Leftovers

  • Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Bribe Panamanian Officials

    A former regional director of SAP International Inc. pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a scheme to bribe Panamanian officials to secure the award of government technology contracts for SAP.

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Division and Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

  • Author shows off the real Jamaica through Bob Marley shooting

    Marlon James is the first Jamaican-born novelist nominated for the Man Booker prize. A Brief History of Seven Killings uses the true story of an attempt on the life of Bob Marley to explore the turbulent politics of Jamaica in the 1970s.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Jeb’s New Iraq Stance: My Brother’s ‘Mission Was Accomplished’

      In the early months of his candidacy, Jeb Bush fumbled whenever he faced extremely predictable questions about his brother’s foreign policy. When asked about Iraq again at last week’s debate, he said that, knowing what we know now, “it was a mistake,” then inelegantly pivoted from praising veterans to blaming Obama for the current situation in the Middle East. This week Bush debuted a new stance: Whatever mistakes President George W. Bush made along the way, the Iraq War ultimately turned out for the best (at least until President Obama and Hillary Clinton messed it all up).

    • AP EXCLUSIVE: Top secret Clinton emails include drone talk
    • New Generation of Cuban-Americans Want Embargo Lifted – Former CIA Officer

      Former CIA counterterrorism officer John Kiriacou claims that a new generation of Cuban Americans is willing to lift the trade embargo on Cuba and end the half-century-long boycott of the island nation.

    • ‘We Wanted to Cut Off Che Guevara’s Head’ – Ex-CIA Agent

      He said that he told the General he could not do it because, being the country’s military chief of staff, Candia just wouldn’t be able to present a severed human head as material proof.

    • Point Person: Our Q&A with Michael Hayden

      Twenty-nine scientists with nuclear specialties signed a letter this month supporting the accord. Are they to be completely dismissed?

    • The Iran Gambit II

      Gambit I was the start of false accusations by the then Bush Administration in 2007 that Iran was preparing a nuclear weapon, when in fact Iran had no such ambitions at all, but a plan to open an Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) in Teheran, an international hydrocarbon exchange, where all countries, hydrocarbon producers or not, could trade this (still) principal energy source in euros, as an alternative to the US dollar. This would have devastated the dollar as a hegemonic fiat currency – still used on false trust as the main world reserve currency.

    • Neocons to Americans: Trust Us Again

      Marching in lockstep with Israeli hardliners, American neocons are aiming their heavy media artillery at the Iran nuclear deal as a necessary first step toward another “regime change” war in the Mideast – and they are furious when anyone mentions the Iraq War disaster and the deceptions that surrounded it, writes Robert Parry.

      America’s neocons insist that their only mistake was falling for some false intelligence about Iraq’s WMD and that they shouldn’t be stripped of their powerful positions of influence for just one little boo-boo. That’s the point of view taken by Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as he whines about the unfairness of applying “a single-interest litmus test,” i.e., the Iraq War debacle, to judge him and his fellow war boosters.

      After noting that many other important people were on the same pro-war bandwagon with him, Hiatt criticizes President Barack Obama for citing the Iraq War as an argument not to listen to many of the same neocons who now are trying to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement. Hiatt thinks it’s the height of unfairness for Obama or anyone else to suggest that people who want to kill the Iran deal — and thus keep alive the option to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran — “are lusting for another war.”

    • Iran carpet industry set for revival after deal
    • Iran Gives UN Information About Past Nuclear Activities

      But Iran and the United Nations agency agreed last month to wrap up the investigation by December, when the IAEA plans to issue a final assessment on the allegations.

      On the sidelines of the deal between Iran and the world powers in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14, Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog signed an agreement to resolve outstanding issue about PMD of its past nuclear activities.

    • Guest commentary: Should get own house in order before bullying others

      Our unelected military ruler, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, tried to stem the backlash, asking Thais to stop blaming the U.S. government for awarding Thailand a low ranking in its annual report.

      But as an American columnist living in Thailand, I have the same question many Thais have, namely: Shouldn’t the U.S. get its own moral house in order before policing the rest of the world?

    • Havana Sells US Diplomatic Ties as Victory
    • US Raises Flag in Cuba After 54 Years (Video)

      The United States and Cuba are taking the next step in restoring diplomatic relations with each other as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Havana Friday to attend a ceremony marking the reopening of the U.S. Embassy there. This comes after former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote in a newspaper column that the U.S. owes the island country “millions of dollars” as reparations for its decades-long embargo.

    • The US-Cuba thaw

      Secretary of State John Kerry had the honor of reopening the US embassy in Cuba 54 years after it was closed. But it was the pair of presidents, Barack Obama and Raul Castro, who made it happen, and each in his own way.

    • Cold War thaw: Re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba was the right move

      In the 54 years since the United States ended diplomatic ties with Cuba, we’ve learned a lot about our Caribbean adversaries.

    • The Crisis In Ukraine: War Or Rumors Of War?

      The early reports of the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the communist threat now appear at best, to have been greatly exaggerated, or at worst, an intentional deception. Although the intelligence service of the Soviet Era, the KGB, was renamed the Federal Security Service (FSB), it facilitated the rise of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, proving the security service is still very much in power within the “new” Russia.

    • Neocons Falsify Iraq War ‘Lessons’

      Having escaped accountability for the Iraq War disaster, U.S. neocons are urging the use of more military force in the Mideast, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand to block the Iran nuclear deal. From their important perches of power, these war hawks also twist the history of their catastrophic misjudgments, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Analysts concerned over possible civilian casualties from US airstrikes from Turkey

      Speaking to Sunday’s Zaman, Professor Celalettin Yavuz, an expert on foreign policy and security, mentioned the likelihood that US armed drones known as Predators, which have been deployed to İncirlik Air Base, will mistakenly kill civilians in Syria and Iraq as the US-led collation steps up operations against ISIL.

    • Washington Threatens Ecuadorian Democracy

      Rule by powerful monied interests is longstanding US policy.

    • Montagnards: Green Beret’s secret weapon during Vietnam War

      Smokey Stover Theater, onboard the retired USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor, filled up quickly last night with aging veterans, their spouses, and civilians curious to know more about secret weapons, specifically those employed by U.S. Special Forces Soldiers. That “secret weapon” for the Vietnam-era Green Berets was the indigenous mountain people of Southeast Asia; the Montagnards.

    • AP Interview: Jordan says Syria militants try to sneak in

      Militants have tried to sneak into Jordan from Syria by blending in with Syrian refugees, and attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs into Jordan have increased, the commander of Jordan’s Border Guard said in an interview Sunday.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Why A Democrat Is Now Blocking An Obama Nominee

      Sen. Sherrod Brown has a new tactic in the fight to access secretive trade deal documents.

    • Count finds 40 percent increase in Marin homeless population

      A one-day count of Marin County’s homeless population in January found 1,309 homeless people ­— a 40 percent increase from the 933 homeless reported in 2013.

    • Show Me a Hero: Fear and Loathing in Yonkers

      Show Me a Hero concentrates on the most volatile five years of the clash between Yonkers and U.S. District Court Judge Leonard B. Sand. In 1987, the judge, weary of the city’s stalling in the face of his order to build 200 units of public housing on its predominantly white and middle-class west side, ordered the Yonkers City Council to get the project under way or face escalating fines that would quickly reach $1 million a day and bankrupt the city within three weeks. Making it clear that the case had gone beyond politics or policy wonkery, the judge also fined any council member who voted against the housing.

    • Why is Bitcoin forking?

      So this is it. Here we are. The community is divided and Bitcoin is forking: both the software and, perhaps, the block chain too. The two sides of the split are Bitcoin Core and a slight variant of the same program, called Bitcoin XT. As of August 15th, there is now a full release available.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP

      I was impressed by Jeremy’s talk and by the energy in the room. Jeremy was at his strongest when referring to the need for basic human decency and respect in our treatment of those in need for aid from the state, including the homeless and refugees. His basic human empathy and compassion really shone through. He was contemptuous of austerity, marketisation and the neoliberal consensus. His denunciation of Iraq and of Trident galvanised the room. He can talk with a genuine moral authority. He is certainly not a great orator, but sincere and fluent.

    • Kezia Dugdale Got Just 5,217 Votes

      The Labour Party is being remarkably coy about releasing the actual result of its Scottish accounting unit leadership election, giving only a percentage. The entirely complacent unionist media is complicit in what amounts to a deception.

    • Fox Nation Promotes Absurd Conspiracy Theory That EPA “Foul[ed] Up” Animas River “On Purpose”

      On August 12, FoxNation.com republished portions of a post by The Gateway Pundit headlined, “Letter to Editor PREDICTED COLORADO EPA SPILL One Week Before Catastrophe So EPA Could Secure Control of Area.” Fox Nation highlighted the portion of the Gateway Pundit post in which author Jim Hoft wrote: “The letter detailed verbatim, how EPA officials would foul up the Animas River on purpose in order to secure superfund money. If the Gold King mine was declared a superfund site it would essentially kill future development for the mining industry in the area. The Obama EPA is vehemently opposed to mining and development.”

    • Investigative Journalist Slams The Big Media Tycoons’ Public Mind Control

      This has been obvious since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to manage the media came into operation. Most people feel that almost everything we see in the media is just “brainwashing”. A lot of blatant lies are splashing over the TV screen, especially on issues related to “health, food, war (“terrorism”), poverty and more”.

    • ‘Hitler was an Anglo-American stooge’: the tall tales in a Moscow bookshop

      Adolf Hitler was installed in power in Germany as part of an Anglo-American plot, the CIA is planning a full-scale land invasion of Russia from Ukrainian territory within the next five years, and the world has become so dominated by women that they have evolved to be capable of reproducing without the need for male sperm.

    • ABC’s Martha Raddatz Debunks Ben Carson’s Claim That Planned Parenthood Targets Black Communities For Abortion

      ABC’s Martha Raddatz debunked GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s claim that Planned Parenthood engages in racist population control by targeting black communities.

  • Censorship

    • Scott DeSmit: Willingly surrendering our freedom

      Put away the tinfoil hats.

      The government spies on us and we can do nothing about it.

      They know. Everything.

      This may be a revelation to most people because it was not reported by most major media outlets, but the government now has access to almost everything we do.

      They know what we ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      Going to a movie? They know which one and at what time.

      The government has photographs of almost every person in America and photographs of your children, too.

      Your cat? Yes, they have photographs of your pets.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Why Did the FBI Spy on James Baldwin?

      James Baldwin’s FBI file contains 1,884 pages of documents, collected from 1960 until the early 1970s. During that era of illegal surveillance of American writers, the FBI accumulated 276 pages on Richard Wright, 110 pages on Truman Capote, and just nine pages on Henry Miller. Baldwin’s file was closer in size to activists and radicals of the day — for example, it’s nearly half as thick as Malcolm X’s.

    • The FBI Agent Who Hunted N.W.A

      In the late ’80s, the bureau targeted the hip-hop group for their incendiary anthem ‘Fuck tha Police,’ and transformed the rappers into First Amendment crusaders.

    • [Old] Texas Bill to take on NDAA Indefinite Detention Passes House Committee, 4-2

      A Texas bill that would make indefinite detention, as purportedly authorized by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a criminal act – passed through a state House committee last week.

    • [Old] Anonymous Launches #Gitmo2Chicago to Shut Down NDAA Style Secret Detention Center By Chicago Police

      Various activist groups and concerned citizens are coming together to oppose the Chicago Police’s secret torture detention center also known as Homan Square.

    • Bush torture comments worry human rights groups over possible resurgence

      Activists lament political culture ‘where tolerating torture is the norm’ and fear potential of Republican successor to Barack Obama overturning his torture ban

    • Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush leaves door open for use of torture by government

      The former Florida governor on Thursday said that in general, he believes torture is inappropriate, and that he was glad his brother, former President George W Bush, largely ended the CIA’s use of the techniques before he left office. The CIA used water boarding, slapping, nudity, sleep deprivation, humiliation and other methods to coerce Al-Qaeda detainees, methods the military would be prohibited from using on prisoners of war. “I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement,” Bush told an audience of Iowa Republicans, when asked whether he would keep in place or repeal President Barack Obama’s executive order banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA.

    • CIA Mistakenly Releases Apology Letter It Wrote to Senate For Illegally Spying On It

      The documents of the US government that were expected to remain out of reach in the coming years have been got hold of by Jason Leopold of FOIA staffers. The CIA would have definitely thought that one of the documents would remain its little secret for the coming years.

    • Where psychologists went wrong

      Too late for Omar Khadr and thousands of other political prisoners tortured at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other CIA “black hole” sites where some APA psychologists may still be “interrogating” with CIA psychologists and psychiatrists.

    • Righting Governance Gone Rogue in the American Psychological Association: The Torture Scandal

      By a nearly unanimous vote and standing ovation, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Council of Representatives voted August 7th, 2015, at their annual convention to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations and torture, including non-coercive interrogations now conducted by the Obama administration. The resolution states “psychologists shall not conduct, supervise or be in the presence of, or otherwise assist any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities.” The resolution places the APA on the side of international law by “barring psychologists from working at Guantánamo, CIA black sites, and other settings deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions or the U.N. Convention Against Torture, unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights.”1

    • Psychologists contrite on ‘torture’ collusion

      Aside from the personal vindication, Reisner said, the resolution would help repair the APA’s badly damaged image.

      “The public is legitimately wary of the American Psychological Association as the representative of professional psychology,” he said. “And if it is the representative of professional psychology, the public will be wary of professional psychology.”

    • Pre-crime: DHS admits that it puts people on the no-fly list based on “predictive assessment”

      A DoJ filing in an ACLU lawsuit in Oregon admits that you can be put on a no-fly list based on “predictive assessments about potential threats,” as opposed to threatening or dangerous things you’ve actually said or done.

      It’s the first case in which a court is being asked to “review the basis for the government’s predictive model for blacklisting people who have never even been charged, let alone convicted, of a violent crime.”

      The Obama administration is trying to prevent further disclosures about the program’s basis for denying Americans the right to travel based on secret evidence and an opaque process. FBI counter-terrorism assistant director Michael Steinbach defended the no-fly list’s dependence on security through obscurity: “If the Government were required to provide full notice of its reasons for placing an individual on the No Fly List and to turn over all evidence (both incriminating and exculpatory) supporting the No Fly determination, the No Fly redress process would place highly sensitive national security information directly in the hands of terrorist organizations and other adversaries.”

    • New York Times uses rape allegations to promote a wider war in the Middle East

      The New York Times led its Friday edition with a lengthy front-page article headlined “Enslaving Young Girls, the Islamic State Builds a Vast System of Rape.” The article, spread out over more than two pages, provides a lurid account of women and girls belonging to the Yazidi religious minority being systematically captured and sold as sex slaves by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters.

      The author, Rukmini Callimachi, cites various US academics and think tanks to argue that ISIS has devised a religious justification for rape and “developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery.” The prominence of the article, its sensationalist tone and presentation, and its timing—appearing in the midst of a US escalation of its military interventions and proxy wars in Iraq and Syria—make clear that the publication of the piece is calculated to inflame public opinion and build support for a wider war.

    • Kayla Mueller, American hostage, was raped repeatedly by ISIS leader, U.S. says

      American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly forced to have sex with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group, U.S. intelligence officials told her family in June.

    • America’s despicable, hypocritical persecution of Chelsea Manning

      Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army private who was imprisoned for giving thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was recently threatened with torture for supposedly violating the conditions of her detention.

    • Benghazi Case Focuses Attention on US Interrogation Strategy

      The case, still in its early stages, is focusing attention on an interrogation strategy that the Obama administration has used in just a few recent terrorism investigations and prosecutions. Abu Khattala’s lawyers already have signaled a challenge to the process, setting the stage for a rare court clash over a tactic that has riled civil liberties groups but is seen by the government as a vital and appropriate tool in prosecuting suspected terrorists captured overseas.

    • Decriminalising human suffering

      Rachel Moran is a victim of the sex slave industry, who went on to become a co-founder of the Space International Anti-Sex Trade Group. She made the following comments in her tweet about the 11th Aug 2015 decision by the AI:

      “Amnesty’s decision is ‘breathtakingly disgraceful’. When I first heard this proposal, I got very emotional, I have been through a lot and I am not a woman who usually gets emotional. But this is an insult, from the most publicly recognised human rights body in the world, who is saying everything that happened to me was completely normal, above board and ought to be legal.”

      Hundreds of anti-sex slave organisations around the globe have condemned this move by the Amnesty International UK.

    • Russian Muslims Face Challenges of Demography and Migration

      …Russian Muslims have constantly been at the centre of public attention and the mass media.

    • Torture, show trials common in neocolonial Libya

      A video released last week showing the beating and torture of Saadi Gadhafi is not an anomaly in contemporary Libya where the Pentagon and NATO waged a war of regime change in 2011.

    • The myth of presidential wisdom in foreign affairs

      President George W. Bush stupidly invaded Iraq to the benefit of our arch-enemy Iran and to avenge his family embarrassment at the hands of a gloating Saddam Hussein. He continued fighting a post-9/11 purposeless war in Afghanistan hoping to summon a democracy into being from an antedeluvian political culture.

    • Judith Miller and those Weapons of Mass Destruction

      Her critics said she was grandstanding, playing the journalism martyr to recapture the luster lost during her reporting of the Iraqi war. But she retorted she was standing on journalistic principles, that her sources at first refused to waive a confidentiality agreement, forcing her to go to jail, then relented, allowing her to go free and testify.

    • US government investigated journalists 14 times during 2014

      A Justice Department report says the US government questioned, arrested or subpoenaed journalists 14 times during 2014, including the high-profile subpoena issued to New York Times reporter James Risen.

      Former US attorney general Eric Holder said in February 2014 that the department would release information on how law enforcement officials use its tool to investigate the news media.

      The four-page annual report released on Friday includes 14 incidents, including the subpoena issued to Risen, who refused to divulge his CIA source for a chapter of his book about the Iran nuclear program. The informant, Jeffrey Sterling, was convicted on nine counts in January.

    • California legislators to eye police push for use of drones

      California law enforcement agencies are looking to fly drones as an affordable and efficient way to monitor crime scenes, pursue suspects and search for lost hikers.

    • Yemen In Meltdown: Domestic And Regional Competitions And Destruction Of Nationhood – Analysis

      The national ideal in North Yemen got corroded through the 1980s because of two main reasons. First, there was the natural attrition pertaining to the first generation of leaders and the accompanying reluctance of younger educated Yemenis to return to their country to replace them. The American authority on Yemen, Asher Orkaby, has noted that in 2014 at least 30,000 educated Yemenis were working abroad. This was mainly due to the second contributory factor: the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, first, from 1978 over North Yemen, and then from 1990 over united Yemen, after a short military campaign in which the communist forces were defeated.

    • Florida inmate serving life sentence killed in cell

      A Florida prison inmate serving a life sentence for his role in a 2011 Jacksonville murder was killed in his cell.

      The Florida Department of Corrections said 35-year-old Craig Eugene Roback died on Thursday after an altercation with his cellmate at the Columbia County Correctional Institution.

    • Emigration and war: Capitalist media suppress the obvious

      The reports about tens of thousands of desperate refugees scrambling out of the Middle East and North Africa, trying to reach some place in Europe, are excruciatingly painful. The number who have drowned along the way or died of thirst or hunger is unknown. Others survive these perilous journeys on overloaded boats only to be captured and either interned or turned back at the borders. Photographs show them to be thin, often to the point of emaciation, with few possessions other than the threadbare clothes on their backs.

      Most migrants are men searching for work. But there are women, too, and even children and infants. For every person whose story may be told, thousands remain unrecognized and anonymous. They are only statistics in one of the world’s most perilous mass migrations.

    • 2016 Candidates Must Talk Extrajudicial Drone Strikes

      As President Obama looks to legacy building during his remaining time in office, he’s leaving behind a troubling institution for the next commander in chief to inherit: A program permitting the extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens abroad. Though President Bush and his administration were responsible for establishing these practices, the Obama White House has, in some respects, expanded some of them. As the 2016 election season heats up, it is worth looking at where the possible presidents-to-be stand on the issue.

      Despite the fact that targeted killings, whether by unmanned aerial drone or cruise missile, are not a new element of the U.S. military, a new, concerning threshold was crossed in 2011. In an unprecedented move, President Obama authorized a lethal drone strike which successfully targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born citizen. It is unclear if Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen also killed in the strike, was meant to be hit as well. However, the decision to target Anwar al-Awlaki for death has drawn heat from human rights critics, as has the death of his U.S.-born, 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, with good reason.

    • Letter from America: Our Messy, messy world!

      Religious extremism is on the rise all over the globe. And it is as much an Islamic problem, as it is a Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh problem. Not a single religious tradition is impervious from its deadly embrace.

      All these religious extremist groups are abusing their religion to create a world of fitnah and fasad. I have chosen these two Arabic words because of the loaded meanings that each carry. The first word in Arabic means trials/tribulations/persecutions/misguidance and the second word: anarchy/confusion/corruption/mischief.

    • Amazon: Devastating expose accuses internet retailer of oppressive and callous attitude to staff

      Working four days in a row without sleep; a woman with breast cancer being put on “performance-improvement plans” together with another who had just had a stillborn child; staff routinely bursting into tears; continual monitoring; workers encouraged to turn on each other to keep their jobs.

      Life at Amazon sounds bleak, according to a devastating, 5,900-word expose by The New York Times.

      The global internet retailer founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, which paid just £11.9m in tax in Britain last year despite UK sales of £5.3bn, has previously been accused of treating warehouse staff in the UK “like cattle” as they are driven to work harder.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

08.16.15

Links 16/8/2015: 18th Birthday for GNOME, Android M Name

Posted in News Roundup at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Using open-source to turn tech challenges into solutions

    IBM has joined forces with the open-source movement to turn many of these challenges into solutions. “We have got to be a key part of what’s happening in open source.”

    With Linux, Thomas said, “It was about, how can we build a core technology and knowledge around Linux but then use that to help our clients solve problems. We think we’re at a similar juncture, but now on the data side.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • LinkedIn Makes Hadoop Tools Available as Open Source Project

      This week, LinkedIn announced that it is turning Gradle into an open source project. Alex Bain, senior software engineer for LinkedIn, says that LinkedIn has a vested interest in making Gradle, a plug-in to Hadoop, a bigger part of a rapidly growing Hadoop ecosystem. For example, as the Apache Spark in-memory computing project continues to evolve, Bain says that LinkedIn would like to see open source contributions that extended the reach of Gradle to both Hadoop and Spark.

    • How the cloud will devour open source

      Yes, we have Red Hat. But that’s all we have. Investor (and former open source executive) Peter Levine insists that “we will never have another Red Hat,” and he’s right. But this may be because the Amazons of the world are increasingly eating the Red Hats of the world — one SaaS business at a time.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE Announcement

      The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE. This is the third release of the stable/10 branch, which improves on the stability of FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE and introduces some new features.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • CNS 2015 Day 2 and 3
    • 7 things every new programmer should know

      As a developer, chances are you’ll spend a good deal of time working with a fancy IDE or code editor. However, also knowing how to get things done at the command line could occasionally make your life easier.

      “Sometimes you find yourself on a machine where stuff has to be done right now and tools are very limited,” one 20-year veteran programmer, who wished to remain anonymous, told me. “Know the shell like you know how to breath. Tools like find, comm, diff, vi/vim, sed, awk. How to write little scripts right on the command line to find the file that needs to change right f’ing now because production is broken and Joe who fat fingered a URL in said unknown file is on vacation in Fiji.”

      Bull, who started using Microsoft tools, then slowly moved to Linux, agreed, saying, “I would have learned the ins and outs of the command line and all of the useful utilities that are available on a *nix system. I can actually recall code that I wrote years ago, and probably spent days or weeks working on, that probably could have been done better in a grep + awk one-liner.”

Leftovers

  • Former SAP exec pleads guilty to bribery charge

    A former SAP executive has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Panamanian officials in an effort to secure government contracts for the software vendor.

    Vicente Eduardo Garcia was SAP’s vice president of global and strategic accounts for Latin America from February 2008 until April 2014, when he was fired. With the plea, he admitted to participating in a scheme to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign officials to obtain business.

    Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16 before Senior District Court Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California.

  • For Pilots, Birds Are A Greater Threat Than Drones

    There has been a fair amount of hand-wringing over the growing number of drones in the skies—and indeed, pilots have reported a sharp rise in plane-drone encounters this year.

    But of the 650 plane-drone encounters reported to the FAA in 2015, none led to a collision. Birds, on the other hand, have been and continue to be a pilot’s worst nightmare. A Vocativ analysis shows that thousands of birds collide with airplanes every year.

  • Billionaire Wants Drone Racing To Be The Next NASCAR

    The owner of an NFL football team is throwing his support—as well as his money—behind a new sport: Drone racing.

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • River in Colorado reopens as toxic plume reaches Lake Powell

      Water officials, however, said the plume that includes lead, arsenic and other heavy metals now presents little danger to users beyond Lake Powell – such as the city of Las Vegas – because the contaminants will further settle out and be diluted in the reservoir along the Utah-Arizona border.

  • Security

    • Friday’s security advisories
    • Research Paper: Securing Linux Containers
    • Kaspersky Antivirus accused of creating fake malware for over 10 years

      It basically worked like this: Kaspersky would inject dangerous-looking code into common pieces of software. It would then anonymously submit the files to malware aggregators such as Google-owned VirusTotal. When competitors added the malware to their detection engines, they’d mistakenly flag the original files because of the similar code.

    • Investigating the Computer Security Practices and Needs of Journalists

      Though journalists are often cited as potential users of computer security technologies, their practices and mental models have not been deeply studied by the academic computer security community. Such an understanding, however, is critical to developing technical solutions that can address the real needs of journalists and integrate into their existing practices. We seek to provide that insight in this paper, by investigating the general and computer security practices of 15 journalists in the U.S. and France via in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Among our findings is evidence that existing security tools fail not only due to usability issues but when they actively interfere with other aspects of the journalistic process; that communication methods are typically driven by sources rather than journalists; and that journalists’ organizations play an important role in influencing journalists’ behaviors. Based on these and other findings, we make recommendations to the computer security community for improvements to existing tools and future lines of research.

    • Ten scary hacks I saw at Black Hat and DEF CON

      The highlight of this year’s Black Hat conference was a remote hack of the Jeep Cherokee and other Fiat Chrysler vehicles, demonstrated by security researches Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek.

      The attack was the culmination of a year of painstaking work that involved reverse-engineering car firmware and communications protocols. It eventually allowed the two researchers to hack into the car infotainment systems over mobile data connections and take over brake, steering and other critical systems. The research forced Chrysler to recall 1.4 million automobiles so they could be patched and prompted a car cybersafety legislative proposal from the U.S. Congress.

    • How to hack a Corvette with a text message

      Researchers have demonstrated how a simple text message can be used to control a vehicle.

    • Facebook issues Internet Defense Prize for vulnerability discovery tool

      Facebook has awarded $100,000 to a pair of Ph.D students for their work in the security of C++ programs which resulted in the detection and patching of zero-day vulnerabilities.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US Fighter Jet Crashes During Training Session in Germany

      According to a police spokesman in Upper Franconia, the American pilot managed to eject from the plane and landed with a parachute. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

    • Former CIA Officer:Cuba Could Play Bridge-Builder to Restore US-Russia Ties

      Former CIA officer and SFRC senior investigator John Kiriacou claims that badly strained US relations with Russia could unexpectedly benefit from revived American diplomatic ties with Cuba.

    • Tyler S. Drumheller, 63, CIA officer who disputed cause for Iraq war

      Tyler S. Drumheller, a high-level CIA officer who publicly battled agency leaders over one of the most outlandish claims in the US case for war with Iraq, died Aug. 2 at a hospital in Fairfax County, Va. He was 63.

    • Tyler Drumheller, Ex-C.I.A. Official Who Disputed Bush, Dies at 63

      Tyler S. Drumheller, a former senior American intelligence official who publicly asserted that President George W. Bush’s administration had knowingly hyped fabricated evidence of Iraq’s arsenal of biological weapons to justify the 2003 invasion, died on Aug. 2 in Falls Church, Va. He was 63.

    • Remembering Tyler Drumheller

      Tyler Drumheller was a 26-year veteran of the CIA and he exposed the faulty intelligence that was used to make the case for the Iraq War. He claimed he told his superiors at the CIA that the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction wasn’t true, that it came from a source who was not credible. Tyler Drumheller died on August 2. He was 63.

    • Panetta disputes Bush’s take on Islamic State, backs Clinton

      Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has disputed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s charge that Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama are largely responsible for the rise of the group Islamic State, even as he expressed concern that the administration needs “a larger strategy on how to deal with the Middle East.”

    • Ex-CIA official arrested at airport with loaded gun
    • Meet ‘Moderates’ U.S. is Supporting in Syria: They’re al-Qaeda

      Increasing evidence is coming in that the groups the U.S. is trying to install into power in Syria are actually contending groups of Sunni Islamic jihadists who seem to agree on only one thing: they want to replace the secular government of the Shiite Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Russia and by Shiite Iran. They want to replace it with a Sunni Islamic government. Some of these groups have perpetrated terrorist attacks (some including beheadings) against Americans, and one such group is even al-Qaeda, the Sunni Islamic organization that, of course, perpetrated the 9/11, 2001, attacks and others.

    • Private Intelligence Contractors as Public Relations Arm of Military Industrial Complex

      Evidence shows that “full spectrum dominance” [i] is the goal. Full spectrum dominance, as described by a U.S Department of Defense (DoD) news article, “means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.”

    • US warship pullout from Persian Gulf ‘goodwill gesture’ to Iran: Former CIA contractor

      A former CIA contractor says US President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw the USS Theodore Roosevelt from the Persian Gulf shows a goodwill gesture towards Iran in the wake of the nuclear agreement.

    • Agreement with Iran is step in the right direction

      It started when the U.S. CIA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953, and installed a brutal dictator (the Shah) in his place.

    • Petition condemning Sen. Schumer for Iran stance tops 160,000 signatures

      The petition is from Credo Action, which bills itself as a “social change organization that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits,” and has a goal of 200,000 signatures. However, its not exactly clear what will happen if the petition reaches that goal.

      “There’s no excuse for any Democrat to oppose the deal – least of all Senator Schumer, who is in line to take over leadership of the Senate Democrats once Senator Harry Reid retires,” the petition says.

    • Manuel Contreras, Chilean spy chief, dies at 86

      According to a CIA report released in 2000, by April 1975 it had become clear that “Contreras was the principal obstacle to a reasonable human rights policy within the Junta.” Nevertheless, weeks later, “elements within the CIA recommended establishing a paid relationship with Contreras to obtain intelligence based on his unique position and access to Pinochet.” The suggestion was overruled, the report said, but “given miscommunications in the timing of this exchange, a one-time payment was given to Contreras.”

    • Crimes Of US-Backed Dictatorship Era Still Being Prosecuted In Chile

      Two recent developments in Chile have reignited the struggle for memory against Augusto Pinochet’s lasting culture of oblivion. On Aug. 7, Chileans on both sides of the political spectrum either lamented or celebrated the death of Manuel Contreras, former head of Pinochet’s National Intelligence Services (DINA).

      Contreras’ death ignited a fresh surge of rage and indignation, as the families of the over 3,000 disappeared still face an uphill struggle against the state and the military to uncover details regarding the murder and disappearance of their relatives.

    • Ex-Pinochet general opts for suicide over 20 years in jail

      A retired Chilean general committed suicide yesterday, choosing to end his life rather than begin a 20-year prison sentence for the 1995 killing of a former secret agent who spied on Augusto Pinochet’s regime.

      Hernán Ramírez Rurange, 76, shot himself in the head and died at a military hospital, police announced. He was one of 14 former Chilean and Uruguayan Army officers who lost an appeal on Tuesday against their convictions for the 1995 kidnapping and killing of Eugenio Berrios, whom they wanted to silence before he exposed the crimes of the Pinochet regime. The case is just one of several high-profile ones dating back to dictatorship that has come to trial recently in Chile.

    • Chile: Manuel Contreras, Head of Pinochet-era Secret Police, Dead at 86

      On September 11, 1973, the democratically-elected leftist Salvador Allende was faced with a violent coup staged by the Chilean Armed Forces, led by Augusto Pinochet (who would then rule until 1990).
      Less than three weeks prior to the overthrow, Allende appointed the lifelong military man Pinochet to the top position in the armed forces and the Commander-in-Chief of the Army repaid him by ousting him from power.

      On the day of the coup, Pinochet ordered the attack on Allende who remained inside La Moneda, the national palace, in central Santiago. Rather than surrendering or being killed by military forces, Allende committed suicide by shooting himself just minutes before the Chilean Air Force bombed the complex.

      From that day on, Pinochet led Chile with an iron fist for the duration of the dictatorship in 1990 and was facing over three hundred different possible charges of crimes against humanity when he passed away in 2006.

    • Korea plays cat-and-mouse with nukes

      It was the United States that broke our will when we tried to develop nuclear weapons. They thought we would use the weapons to invade North Korea.

    • Yemeni women stage rare protest in rebel-held capital
    • The struggle for power in Yemen continues, and Qatar is playing a key role

      But he blames the Yemen conflict on the Shia. “There’s a majority of Shia in Yemen,” he said. “That’s why they’re torturing Sunni people. They think the Islam they are following is better than the Islam we are following.”

    • Spy Sats and Subs: The U.S. Military’s Secret Deep-Sea Operations

      During and after the 1963 USS Thresher disaster, the Navy developed powerful deep-ocean search and recovery techniques. The sea service used these techniques effectively in the search for lost H-bombs in 1966 and the USS Scorpion in 1968. It also had the only subs in the world capable of diving deep enough to reach the bucket. They were pretty weird subs.

    • Mideast Glimmers of Hope

      Despite Israel’s reliance on a dominated U.S. Congress as a last line of defense for its bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran strategy, other regional and global forces are moving quickly to reshape the Middle East’s geopolitical reality in a more positive way, as ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller discerns.

    • How To Understand Those 60 Trainees In Syria – OpEd

      So said American Defense Secretary Ash Carter in testimony before an incredulous Senate Armed Services Committee on July 7, explaining that the $500 million American project, announced over a year ago, to train and arm a new Syrian rebel army to bring the Islamic State to its knees and force a political settlement on the Syrian regime simultaneously has, to date, trained just 60 fighters.

    • Pentagon’s Law of War Manual Justifies War Crimes and Press Censorship

      The major US newspapers and television networks, which have full-time Pentagon correspondents and regularly review Pentagon press releases, chose to say nothing about the Law of War Manual, for reasons that become obvious when the content of the document is explored. Nor did they comment initially on the manual’s provisions for journalists until the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement July 31 under the headline, “In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies.”

    • Feds Must Tell More About CIA’s Role in Drone Strike

      Nearly four years after the controversial drone strike, the U.S. government must release more information about the legal rationale for killing New Mexico-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
      .

    • “It’s not risk-free war, it’s displaced war”

      For more than a decade now, the US has been using drones in warfare. During this time, thousands of people, especially civilians, have been killed by the unmanned machines. In this interview, Chris Woods, one of the leading investigative journalists on drone warfare, explains to Emran Feroz why use of drones is on the rise and what the consequences are

    • Stop Whining and Get Cracking

      How many Americans could identify the National Endowment for Democracy? It was set up in the early 1980s under President Ronald Reagan in the wake of all the negative revelations about the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing the CIA had been mixed up in for years.

      The agency was getting an exceedingly bad name. Something had to be done. What was done was not to stop doing these awful things. Instead, they were shifted to a new organization with a nice-sounding name – The National Endowment for Democracy.

      The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades – and thus eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities. This is why in 1983, the NED was set up to “support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, non-governmental efforts.”

    • Ukraine’s Cold War Gets Hot as Combat Explodes in the Last 24 Hours

      According to Ukrainian reports, hundreds of Russian-backed fighters took part in an assault, supported by tanks and artillery fire, on positions near the village of Starognatovka, in the south of the Donetsk region. The attack was repelled and Ukrainian forces made their first territorial gains since February 10. Since then, heavy artillery and Grad rockets have rained down across this section of the front line.

    • Post WW2 World Order: US Planned to Wipe USSR Out by Massive Nuclear Strike

      Was the US deterrence military doctrine aimed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War era really “defensive” and who actually started the nuclear arms race paranoia?

    • Pakistan’s answer to ‘The Onion’ tackles tough topics with satire

      From a mullah who wants a military operation against women wearing jeans to “uncircumcised” Islamic State fighters, a satirical Pakistani website is using humour to shine a light on current affairs in the turbulent nation.

    • First Anniversary of the Borderfree Community Center

      Each year, when we celebrate the anniversaries of the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre, I hope we can celebrate such love, because, love heals, love is courage and love is action that will outlast all of us.

    • Numerous US-Trained Syrian Rebels Now Unaccounted For

      The recent capture of a handful of U.S.-trained Syrian fighters shortly after entering Syria may make it even harder to recruit reluctant volunteers for a new ground force to combat the Islamic State.

      And the Syrian Kurds in the northeast portion of the country have performed exceptionally well, according to Ryder. The Christians of Sadad have already started to flee to Damascus and other safe havens in Syria.

      India can play a lead role in mobilising APIC countries for regional cooperation on this specific issue and deny Islamic State in establishing their operational base or else it will be like repeating the same mistake that world superpowers initially committed in allowing Islamic State in consolidating their present day caliphate in Iraq-Turkey-Syria border. After a year in which signs of progress have been unreliable, they’re reluctant to sound too optimistic in public. “But they pay the jizya [a tax levied on non-Muslims] in exchange for permission to stay”, he said. After months of persuasion, Turkey finally joined the coalition of forces on their fight against Islamic State. They believed that eventually the allies would train and equip about 5,000 fighters.

      Davis also said that the military was anticipating attacks on Syrian forces before it put them into battle.

    • Submission of the ABC to Intelligence and Security Review

      The ABC wishes to express its very great disappointment with this review. We are very aware that the Review will not truly reflect opinion in this country because a great number of people who oppose the activities of both the Government Communications Security Bureau and the Security Intelligence Service have refused to take part in a process which they see as a managed charade and an attempt to legitimise the operations and existence of the two spy agencies.

      [...]

      2. Oversight

      2.1. Five Eyes. Throughout the Five Eyes collaboration there is a consistent pattern of systemic oversight failure. The CIA actually spied on the Senate Committee responsible for its oversight. In the UK, the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) itself, responsible for oversight, has recently reported that legislation is “unnecessarily complicated” and the regime “lacks transparency”. In spite of the oversight in Britain the GCHQ was illegally spying on Amnesty International and others. The documented part MI6 played in the rendition and torture of alleged terrorists was never subject to proper Parliamentary control.

      Even the UK former Home Office Minister David Davis, who played a large part in promoting the Bill that set up the British ISC, recently asserted that the ISC had been “captured by the agencies they are supposed to be overseeing” and that Malcolm Rifkind (until recently Chairperson of the ISC) acted as “spokesperson” for the spy agencies rather than a watchdog. To quote two members of the British House of Lords: “Recent events have shown that the Intelligence and Security Committee, as currently constituted, is not really effective” (Foulkes). The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which gives legislative justification for GCHQ surveillance, “… is plainly inadequate to deal with the situation caused by the advances in interception technology” (Sharkey).

    • Lightning Strikes 44 US Army Personnel During Training

      The Army Rangers were immediately taken to hospital, but 31 of the students have already begun training again.

      Forty Army Ranger students and four instructors were struck by lightning as they were undergoing a training exercise about how to protect themselves from lightning bolts during thunderstorms, said U.S. army officials Thursday.

    • White officer ends testimony in black man’s shooting death

      As prosecutors attempted to discredit him, a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer completed nearly six hours of testimony Friday, recounting the events of the night he shot and killed an unarmed black man nearly two years ago.

      Prosecutor Teresa Postell asked why Kerrick turned off his dashcam before reaching the home where there had been a breaking and entering call and challenged entries on his police academy application regarding whether he drank alcohol to the point that he risked being arrested if he attempted to drive a car.

    • Police murder and class rule in America

      The reign of police violence in the US claimed 16 more victims over the past week.

    • SEE IT: St. Louis teen guards police during protests

      An image of a St. Louis teen whose cop cousin died in the 9/11 terror attacks has become a pro-police symbol after she put herself in front of a row of riot gear-clad Missouri officers to protect them.

      Lexi Kozhevsky, a 19-year-old St. Louis University nursing student, was photographed joining cops Monday night in Ferguson as they stood guard during protests over Michael Brown’s death.

    • How St. Louis police added Twitter to its arsenal
    • Hundreds Gather in Ferguson to Honor Michael Brown Killed by Police
    • Protests return to Ferguson streets, state of emergency declared

      Police in riot gear contained roughly 200 protesters who had gathered in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri on Monday to mark the anniversary of the police shooting of an unarmed black teen whose death ignited a national firestorm on race relations.

    • Ferguson: State of emergency declared as black man shot

      The demonstrators, some waving flags, beating drums, and shouting anti-police slogans, marched along a street that was a flashpoint of last year’s riots which erupted after white police officer Darren Wilson shot dead the 18-year-old unarmed black teen whose death ignited a national firestorm on race relations.

    • Los Angeles Unified School District Debates Whether to Shoot Its Own Students–With Department of Defense Weapons

      On Thursday, July 30, 50 Black and Latino students wearing mock bullet proof vests with stickers that stated #StudentsAintBulletProof #End1033, from the Strategy Center’s Fight for the Soul of the Cities, once again asked the Los Angeles Unified School District to give us a list of the weapons they received from the Department of Defense 1033 Program, to return 61 M 16 assault rifles we believe are still in their possession, and to apologize for being in the program in the first place. Students said, after 3 public comment testimonies, four long letters (September 2014, November 2014, May 2015, July 2015), over 3,500 petitions, appeals, and every other method of persuasion “Why is the LAUSD trying to kill us?” This campaign is part of the Strategy Center’s No Cars in LA and the U.S., No Tanks in LA and the U.S.

    • Ukraine: In the Midst of War, Debate Swirls Around Soviet-Era Famine

      Even as the conflict with Russian-backed separatists smolders, Kiev has ratcheted up a no less ferocious public relations war. Hoping to bolster its case against Moscow, Ukraine as well as the country’s foreign Diaspora have zeroed in on the so-called Holodomor or Stalinist-induced famine of 1932-33. In an effort to force Ukrainian peasants to join collective farms, Stalin commandeered their grain and other foodstuffs. The result was disastrous as millions of Ukrainians starved and perished. In some regions, the death rate reached one-third of the population with entire villages laid waste.

    • Scorecard on U.S. Interventionism

      Completely overreacting to 9/11–doing exactly what Osama bin Laden and terrorists historically have wanted–George W. Bush, employing the classic Washington trick of taking advantage of a crisis to promote an unrelated policy agenda, needlessly invaded yet another Muslim country.

    • Russian forces kill 4 militants, including rebel chief

      The Anti-Terrorist Committee said the suspects were killed in a raid in the province of Dagestan. It identified one of them as Magomed Suleimanov, the leader of the Caucasus Emirate, a loose group embracing Islamic militants in the Caucasus. Suleimanov’s deputy was also among those killed.

    • How to Confront ISIS

      The reactions to these policies have been compounded further by the bombs and drones used to kill “terrorists” along with significant number of civilians. In January, the U.S. used a “signature strike” — a drone strike based on a pattern of movement and intelligence — against an al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan. The strike killed two Western hostages. In Yemen, another drone strike killed a dozen civilians in a wedding party in 2013. One can only imagine how many civilians have been killed in recent years — the most conservative estimates range from a few hundred to over a thousand — and how much anti-U.S. rhetoric has resulted.

    • Anti-drone protesters on criminal damage charges

      ANTI-DRONE protesters have appeared before magistrates to deny causing criminal damage at Llanbedr Airfield.

      Sian ap Gwynfor, 59, of Yr Hafod, Llandysul, and Anna Jane Evans, 52, of Cae Corn Hir, Caernarfon, both pleaded not guilty to causing crimi-nal damage by painting slogans on Llanbedr airfield earlier this year.

      Awel Irene, 61, of Garreg Frech, Llanfrothen, Penrhyndeudraeth, did not indicate a plea and Angharad Wyn Tomos, 56, of Betws, Ffordd Haearn Bach, Penygroes, Caernarfon, ref used to plead.

      Because of the pleas, court clerk Ffion Medi told the four defendants that the case had to be adjourned for a trial date to be fixed.

      Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, said that slogans such as “death drones” were painted on the airfield land and that the criminal damage was estimated at £1,750, which the company that runs the airfield was claiming in compensation.

    • Indian troops kill another woman

      India opened fire Friday at about 8am without any provocation, targeting the civilian population. The Indian firing was in progress until last reports. The people of the firing-hit villages close to this side of the LoC in Haveli were confined to their houses the whole day due to the Indian firing. However, the morale of the local population was high and there was no report of shifting of the people to some safer place.

    • Authorities investigate after hotel attack in central Mali

      Authorities launched investigations at the hotel that was attacked in central Mali, a United Nations official said Monday.

    • Private airspace rights still evolving in age of drones

      Now, those almost seem like the good ol’ days. Not only do we have to worry about out-of-control vehicles, but we also have to watch the skies so we don’t find ourselves on the latest viral YouTube video taken by one of the rapidly growing number of drones. But are they trespassing in your airspace? Depending on their altitude, maybe — and maybe not. Currently, this seems to be a legal question that rivals “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin” when it comes to agreeing on a consistent standard. So fasten your seat belt and get ready for a long and somewhat bumpy flight as I take you on a brief evolution of the law.

    • French seaside town brings in drone to tackle ‘carnivorous’ seagull invasion
    • Summer’s seagull scourge could be ended by DRONES that shoot eggs with steriliser
    • UK councillor wants armed drones to kill seagulls
    • Fed-up council considers drone strikes against ice-cream snatching sea gulls
    • Anti-seagull drones could be taking to the skies of Cumbria
    • Call for drones to tackle seagulls
    • Drone vs seagull! ‘Egg oiling’ UAV to target aggressive birds
    • California legislators to eye police push for use of drones
    • Legislature eyes police use of drones
    • California Legislature Considers Allowing Police To Use Drones Amid Privacy Concerns
    • A Theory of the Drone

      The doctrine being developed to legally justify targeted killing is contingent on vague and dubious presumptions about who is an enemy qualified to be killed, and the kind of threats he or they purportedly pose. Decisions about who and when to kill involve two intersecting registers: surveillance and threat assessment. Technologically, drones can function as “unblinking eyes” capable of “total surveillance” because they are equipped with dozens of high-resolution cameras aimed in all directions, and software that sends a constant stream of footage to remote centers and aggregates it into a single view. Even though human operators blink, the footage doesn’t; it is archived and can be viewed by multiple people. Threat assessment, in contrast, is (to date) entirely human and involves interpreting and acting on surveillance data. Sometimes targets are specifically identified individuals; bombing them is termed “personality strikes.” But because the model of security is predictive, more often assessment of who and where to bomb derives from observed behavior—specifically, “patterns of life” and those behaviors that are interpreted to be anomalous and thus deemed actually or potentially threatening. The bombings of people whose individual identities are not known to the killers but who are deemed kill-able because of their behavior are termed “signature strikes.”

    • Why are humans so determined to create armed artificial intelligence?

      The iconic scene at the start of Terminator 2 documents that humanity created an artificial intelligence computer network called Skynet as part of an American defence plan. But after turning it on, the software becomes self-aware, decides humanity is the big threat, hijacks the nukes and wipes most of humanity out. In the future, those still alive have to face Skynet’s autonomous robotic killing machines, in the form of the Terminators. This includes the iconic image of a dusty skull being crushed by a grinning laser-toting Terminator as it begins to kill the human resistance.

      [...]

      The risk of such contraptions thinking for themselves and duly killing with no recourse or human way to stop them is a troubling one, and is also a concept that has massive moral and ethical dilemmas. Yet the momentum is seemingly in favour of its arrival, and its an uncomfortable thought that somewhere, scientists are spending their time creating something with extinction level possibilities for no discernible reason.

    • Humans, Not Robots, Are the Real Reason Artificial Intelligence Is Scary

      This is the immediate danger with AI weapons: They are easily converted into indiscriminate death machines, far more dangerous than the same weapons with a human at the helm.

    • As Carter fights cancer, his post-White House years may set his legacy

      So Carter has had a bit of a tabula rasa to work with, which he has filled with annual home-building projects for Habitat for Humanity, monitoring elections around the world (he cut short a monitoring trip to Guyana in May, his 39th, because he wasn’t feeling well, though it’s unclear whether that ailment was tied to recent diagnosis), serving as a mediator or fact-finder in disputes around the world, publishing 27 books (he published two others before becoming president), as well as criticizing George W. Bush over his decision to invade Iraq, and Obama over human rights issues and the use of drones to kill civilians.

      All of which has earned him the support of a lot of political progressives, though it has done little to soften the views of Republicans who believe the Reagan presidency saved the nation.

    • Peace and the Ideology of Greed and Division

      We all want peace, don’t we? Peaceful relationships and communities; an absence of violence and conflict: a World at Peace. This is surely everyone’s heartfelt desire. Without peace nothing can be achieved, none of the subtler essential needs of our time, such as feeding everyone and providing good quality health care and education to all – let alone the urgent need to save our planet (S.O.P.), beautify the cities and develop sustainable alternative energy sources.

      Despite the fact that we all hanker after peace, there are currently around thirty armed conflicts taking place across the globe – wars in which many hundreds or many thousands of innocent people are being killed. They are not on the whole conflicts between one country and another, not directly anyway, although some may be. Ideology fuels much of the fighting, as well as popular armed resistance to corporate state power, state terrorism and repression. It’s worth saying at this point, that in addition to armed conflict the ‘war’ on independent ‘free’ thinking, true democracy and the freedom of the individual is a constant one. Brutal and unrelenting, it is fought by the ‘Masters of Mankind’ (Adam Smith’s famous term for the ruling elite) against the rest of us, the 99%.

    • No new WWII apology from Japanese leader Abe; China critical

      Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that Japan inflicted “immeasurable damage and suffering” on innocent people in World War II, but stopped short of offering his own apology, drawing criticism from China and South Korea.

      In a widely anticipated statement 70 years after his country’s surrender, he said Friday that Japan’s repeated past “heartfelt apologies” would remain unshakeable, but that future Japanese generations should not have to keep apologizing.

    • U.S. meddling forgotten

      I suggest Harari, and many others, read Daniel Yergin’s “The Prize,” in which you will find that U.S.-Iran history didn’t begin in 1979-80. Our government assisted in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government in the 1950s, and installed the Shah, who ruled brutally until overthrown through the Iranian revolution.

      I’m not sure anyone can know today if a deal with Iran, bringing them back into the world of nations, is better or worse than continued sanctions. However, the countries of the Middle East are rightfully angry with our never-ending meddling in their countries, including drone strikes in which we kill innocent civilians.

    • Negotiate, don’t bomb

      Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. Why did we fight these wars?

    • A Plea to Pope Francis: Name United States Foreign Policy Genocide

      Pope Francis’ recent comments regarding war, the environment and economic justice inspire our letter, which cites segments of his new encyclical, Laudato Si. “War always does grave harm to the environment and to the cultural riches of peoples,” Pope Francis writes, “risks which are magnified when one considers nuclear arms and biological weapons.” In the light of this reality, our letter suggests that Pope Francis avail himself of the challenging opportunity to acknowledge that the United States is “the most prolific polluter and, not coincidentally, the greatest war maker on the globe.”

    • America’s Transition to the “State Terrorist Model of Government”
    • George Kerevan: Build politics of peace, not weapons of nuclear war
    • Another Voice: Peaceful conflict resolution benefits everyone

      We don’t need more military spending – we need less. Our military aggression makes us a target.

    • Australian pilots begin missions over Syria, flying American Reaper drones

      RAAF pilots are poised to begin flying deadly American Reaper drones over Syria, taking for the first time Australia’s involvement in the fight against the so-called Islamic State from Iraq into the more complex neighbouring country.

    • Yemen: U.S. Drone Strike Kills 5 Men Suspected of Being Militants

      Meanwhile, in Yemen, officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike killed five men on Wednesday. The officials say the men were suspected of being militants with the group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    • Drone strike, operation kills 14 rebels in Afghanistan
    • US drone crashes in northeast Afghanistan

      A US drone has crashed in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, the NATO has announced without explaining the cause of the crash.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Democrats panic over Clinton email scandal: Hillary campaign issues 4,000-word explanation of why she’s innocent after it emerges her private server held secret CIA intelligence and satellite info

      At least two classified messages on Hillary Clinton’s home-brew email server contained top-secret intelligence including signal intercepts and information from keyhole satellite conducted by the CIA and the Pentagon’s satellite-spying National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

      U.S. Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough reported to Congress on Wednesday that the sensitive information dated from 2006 and 2008, and was ‘classified up to “TO.PSECRET//SI/TK//NOFORN”.’

    • Top secret Clinton emails came from CIA

      A pair of classified emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server that should have been marked “top secret” originated in the Central Intelligence Agency, raising questions as to why they had been stripped of their classification markings by the time they reached the secretary of state.

    • Report: ‘Top Secret’ Hillary Email Discussed CIA Drone Program
    • Clinton, CIA chief visit for conference

      Multiple off-the-record sources told the News&Guide the VIP on the jet was CIA Director John Brennan, in town for the same conference that drew former President Bill Clinton and CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. That would correspond with the U.S. Air Force’s acknowledgement that it had a C-40B in the valley, but the military’s public affairs desk has refused to say who the jet’s passengers were or why it was here.

    • The UK’s Official Secrets Act, Forgeries and Facts Part 1

      ‘Within western democracies the UK has a powerful and persistent culture of secrecy. Richard Crossman, Labour Cabinet Minister and commentator on the British constitution, once called it the real “BRITISH DISEASE”.’

      These very words are quoted from David Vincent’s book, ‘The Culture of Secrecy: Britain, 1832–1998’, published by the Oxford University Press in 1998.

      On December 15th, 1858 William Hudson Guernsey, was tried on the charges of stealing 10 printed papers and 10 pieces of paper from the “Sovereign Lady, the Queen”. The documents related to the malicious role of the Colonial Office in conspiring to colonize and suppress the rights of the people of the colonized Islands. The documents were initially dismissed as ‘forged’.

      When the scandal refused to go away (even in those days) Guernsey was arrested. The basis of arrest was the very same ‘forged’ documents, published in The Daily News on November 12th 1858. The alleged documents, initially called ‘forged’ and then used as the evidence to arrest Mr. Guernsey, were written by the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, John Young, concerning the future of the Ionian Islands.

      One almost feels the history of the empire repeating itself, if we are viewing the events of history that shaped the Cayman Islands once we got separated from Jamaica in 1967. The British ‘abandoned’ Jamaica and ‘colonized’ the Cayman Islands to further their financial interests. Standard script should we say?

    • Sweden Drops Part of Sexual Assault Inquiry Against Julian Assange

      Swedish prosecutors have dropped part of their sexual assault inquiry against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but the most serious part of the probe remains in place. The announcement was made as the statute of limitations ran out on three parts of the investigation. Assange has been holed up for three years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he’s received political asylum. He fears he will be extradited to the United States to face prosecution for his role at WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy. Both Ecuador and Sweden accuse the other of delaying a possible Swedish police interview with Assange inside the embassy. Sweden has never charged him with any crime.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • German economy gets euro boost to grows 0.4 percent in Q2

      The German economy picked up pace in the second quarter of the year, growing by 0.4 percent from the previous three-month period, official figures showed Friday.

    • Kraft Heinz cuts 2,500 jobs

      And Heinz issued layoffs not long after the 3G/Berkshire takeover as well.

    • EU doubles down on TTIP secrecy as public resistance grows

      The fact that most people have still never heard of the world’s biggest trade deal—the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and Europe—even after two years of negotiations, might suggest that whatever its problems, maintaining secrecy is not one of them. But the European Commission begs to differ: since the end of July, instead of sending up-to-the-minute summaries of its talks with the US to EU politicians, the Commission now requires that national politicians travel all the way to Brussels to a special reading room where the texts can be viewed under tight security. MEPs must also use this same system.

    • People in rough neighborhoods trade HIV meds instead of taking them

      The social environment of an area, including factors such as poverty, stress, and living conditions, contributes to the disease burden. A recent study published in AJPH shows that patients from a disordered environment don’t stick to their medication schedule, even for a potentially lethal condition like HIV. As the researchers found, residents of highly disordered neighborhoods will sell or trade their antiviral medication rather than taking it and adhering to their drug plans.

    • Greece’s euro partners approve billions in new loans

      Finance ministers of the 19-nation euro single currency group on Friday approved the first 26 billion euros ($29 billion) of a vast new bailout package to help rebuild Greece’s shattered economy.

      The approval came after Greece’s parliament passed a slew of painful reforms and spending cuts after a marathon overnight session that divided the governing party, raising the specter of early elections.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The covert “selling” of anticommunism

      A dirty business, the CIA devised schemes to create or utilize social organizations, phony pass-through entities, universities, various media, artist groups, foundations and charities to service their propaganda wars—attempting to place a “progressive” or even “humanitarian” veneer upon America’s expanding grip.

    • What is Propaganda? CIA and Hollywood Are Offering Perfect Examples

      When we think of propaganda, the distribution of information of a biased or misleading nature for the purpose of promoting a point of view or political agenda, what do we think of? World War II and the Nazis perhaps? Alarmingly, some of the most pertinent examples of propaganda can be found much closer to home, in two of the United States’ biggest institutions – Hollywood and the CIA.

    • Democrats eye Gore for presidential run

      Some insiders in the Democratic Party are discussing having former Vice President Al Gore make another run for U.S. presidency, BuzzFeed reported on Thursday, adding that the man who won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election has not taken any steps toward entering the current race.

      “They’re figuring out if there’s a path financially and politically,” an unnamed Democrat told BuzzFeed about the insiders. “It feels more real than it has in the past months.”

  • Privacy

    • Spy agencies monitor Facebook, seminar told

      Mirza Abdul Rahim informed the students that all kind of data uploaded at Facebook was monitored by the CIA which help to collect all required information about persons and organisation from all over the world. He advised student to remain careful while using computer, internet, mobile phone, IPod, Skype and other such applications and platforms.

    • Can big databases be kept both anonymous and useful?

      FREQUENT visitors to the Hustler Club, a gentlemen’s entertainment venue in New York, could not have known that they would become part of a debate about anonymity in the era of “big data”. But when, for sport, a data scientist called Anthony Tockar mined a database of taxi-ride details to see what fell out of it, it became clear that, even though the data concerned included no direct identification of the customer, there were some intriguingly clustered drop-off points at private addresses for journeys that began at the club. Stir voter-registration records into the mix to identify who lives at those addresses (which Mr Tockar did not do) and you might end up creating some rather unhappy marriages.

    • The internet of things – who wins, who loses?

      Recently I went on a BBC news programme to give “the privacy side” of a technology story. Employees of a software company in Sweden had implanted chips in their wrists that activated the company photocopier. Yes, you read that right. Having minor surgery instead of just remembering a four-digit PIN is a pretty daft idea. You’d have to be a tech utopian to want to do it.

    • iPhone cyber-flashing: What is it and how to stop it happening to you

      Security experts have begun issuing advice on how to prevent iPhone users from becoming the victims of a new phenomenon known as cyber-flashing. The advice has started to appear online in the wake of a woman contacting the police after she was sent explicit and unsolicited photos from a stranger in her close vicinity on a train in London.

      Using AirDrop – a feature on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers where users can send files, such as images, to each other at close range – the cyber flasher can request to send photographs to any fellow iPhone users within the range of a Bluetooth connection – usually around 10m. Even if the receiver rejects the photo, they are still shown an uncensored preview of the image.

    • Privacy visor which blocks facial recognition software set for public release

      Japanese researchers have announced the commercial launch of a “privacy visor” which confuses facial recognition technology in cameras, social networks and software.

      Surveillance is a standard element of daily life in the West. In the UK alone, there is at least one surveillance camera for every 11 citizens, and we encounter them on our streets, in our stores and online through tracking cookies, government programs and GPS-linked applications.

  • Civil Rights

    • 6 Insane Realities Of Life In A Modern Dictatorship

      Belarus is frequently called “Europe’s last dictatorship.” Unlike starfighters, samurai, or of the Mohicans, this is not a good thing to be the last of. We sat down with a man who’s lived most of his life in Belarus, and asked him what life was like in a modern country ruled by a despotic leader who can’t seem to pull his ass out of the 19th century.

    • What Other Countries Can Teach America About Transgender Military Service

      Huckabee, who is a fan of reinstating the repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and has previously made ugly comments about trans people, probably isn’t interested in some of the more prosaic reasons a military should strive for open LGBTQ service: to live up to the core values of dignity, integrity, and respect; to reflect the diversity of the country it serves; to bring its long-outdated medical standards up to date; or to recognize that there is “no compelling medical reason for the ban,” according to a report from a commission co-chaired by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. So let’s just assume that his main concern is that the armed services are prepared to kill people and break things.

      [...]

      A few months ago, I asked Okros what the United States could learn from Canada’s experience. Okros pointed out that when Canada lifted its military ban, it hadn’t taken into account many of the administrative policies it would need to codify for a smooth transition. What’s more, at the time, Canadian society wasn’t particularly hospitable to gay and transgender individuals. Nevertheless, despite open hostility and a lack of administrative planning, the Canadian Forces was able to open its ranks without compromising military readiness.

    • Latinos Have Gone Missing at CIA

      CIA Director John Brennan made a rare public appearance Monday to try to address the agency’s “woeful” record of hiring and promoting Hispanics.

      Accompanied by the agency’s highest ranking Latina, Brennan traveled to New York for the annual convention of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), to meet with potential applicants at a job fair and deliver remarks to the organization’s leadership at lunch.

    • CIA director tells Latino professionals agency has ‘woeful’ record of hiring Hispanics
    • CIA chief: Yes, we work with human rights abusers

      In response to questions from three Senate Democrats, the head of the CIA is walking back a previous claim that U.S. intelligence agents never work with countries that abuse human rights.

      “While we neither condone nor participate in activities that violate human rights standards, we do maintain cooperative liaison relationships with a variety of intelligence and security services around the world, some of whose constituent entities have engaged in human rights abuses,” Director John Brennan wrote in a letter to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) sent last week.

    • CIA director responds to Alabama man’s claims of sexual harassment in the warzone

      The director of the CIA vowed a thorough investigation into an Alabama man’s claim that he was subject to sexual harassment while serving as a contractor in Afghanistan.

    • CIA Head Indicates Swift Action After Warzone Gay Harassment Claims

      The Director of the CIA today addressed recent allegations by a gay CIA contractor who said he was harassed while on a dangerous deployment by other CIA contractors and staff officers, saying his spy agency has “zero tolerance” for such behavior and indicating the agency is moving swiftly in response.

    • CIA Whistleblower to Civil Rights Groups: Where are You?

      A former CIA officer described as the latest victim of the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers has issued a scathing open letter to civil rights groups asking, “Where were you?”

      In the letter published at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jeffrey Sterling, who is black, specifically calls out the NAACP, National Action Network, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and Congressional Black Caucus, writing “I saw you when other black faces were either killed or mistreated.” But, to these civil rights groups, he writes, he is “invisible.”

      In a case that relied on circumstantial evidence, Sterling was convicted in January on nine separate felony charges, including seven counts of espionage.

    • An open letter to civil rights groups in the U.S.

      Where were you?

      Where were you when I was faced with blatant discrimination at my job, when my employer told me I was “too big and too black” to do the job?

      Where were you when I, one of the first black officers to do so, filed a discrimination suit against the Central Intelligence Agency?

      Where were you when the justice system of the United States dismissed my discrimination suit because the U.S. government maintained that trying my suit would endanger national security?

      Where were you during the many years I reached out to you, begging, pleading for help from you while the United States government pursued and tormented me for years, bent on retaliation and persecution?

      Where were you when I begged for help from Congressman Lacy Clay’s office and they told me to run away, to leave the country? I was there … and I didn’t run.

      Where were you when the United States government arrested me, put me in jail and branded me with espionage?

    • CIA pays McKinsey 10 million in fees for reorganisation

      The CIA is about to enter into one of its most ambitious restructuring exercises in its history. In March Director John O. Brennan unveiled the blueprint, and the plan is set to have a massive impact on the organisation structure of the major directorates of espionage and analysis, which have been part of the agencies structure for decades. In its new model the agency will create a hybrid unit that combines analysts and operators in centres which are focused on specific regions, such as the Middle East, as well as on security issues including weapons proliferation. The new approach is modelled on the success of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Centre, which has enjoyed considerable influence since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    • US refuses to free ‘near death’ Gitmo hunger striker weighing 33 kg

      A prisoner of US military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay may soon starve to death, as after more than eight years of force-feeding his body is said to be unable to take the nutrients he is pumped with. The DoD opposed the ailing man’s release.

      Tariq Ba Odah, a Saudi resident of Yemeni descent, was captured in Pakistan and held in Guantanamo facility since 2002. In 2009 he was cleared for release by the Obama administration, but remains in US custody. In 2007 he went on a hunger strike to protest his indefinite detention without charges. After more than eight years without taking food voluntarily, he weighs less than 34 kilograms and may soon die, his lawyer says.

    • Obama Seeks Legal Loophole in Strategy to Close Gitmo – Former CIA Officer

      Guantanamo’s continued importance for the US government was to continue to hold suspects captured in the War on Terror. Therefore, Obama needed a legal strategy allowing him to continue to hold detainees on US territory before he could feel free to close the facility, Kiriacou said.

    • CIA boss John Brennan drafted this never-sent apology letter to senators over the CIA hacking

      “The CIA accidentally released a document to me under FOIA and then asked that I refrain from posting it,” says VICE’s Jason Leopold.

    • The Google Search That Made the CIA Spy on the US Senate

      On July 28, 2014, the CIA director wrote a letter to senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss — the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI) and the panel’s ranking Republican, respectively. In it, he admitted that the CIA’s penetration of the computer network used by committee staffers reviewing the agency’s torture program — a breach for which Feinstein and Chambliss had long demanded accountability — was improper and violated agreements the Intelligence Committee had made with the CIA.

    • CIA Accidentally Releases Apology Letter It Wrote, But Never Sent To The Senate For Illegally Spying On It

      Jason Leopold — terrorizer of FOIA staffers throughout the US government — has again obtained documents many would have expected to remain out of reach for years to come. Certainly, the CIA thought one of the documents would remain its little secret for the rest of whatever.

    • CIA director almost apologized for spying on Senate

      After CIA agents hacked into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer network and accessed a report the Senate was preparing on the agency’s torture program, CIA Director John Brennan drafted an apology letter to Vice Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a report by VICE News reveals.

    • Report: John Brennan drafted apology to senators for CIA hacking
    • How potent can a citizen journalist be? Ask the CIA about a certain MIT researcher.

      The Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candidate, who says his interests include “animals, civil liberties, national security and freedom of information,” took note when members of the U.S. Senate alleged last year that CIA employees had hacked into a computer network used by staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee. At the time, the committee was looking into, among other things, allegations about the CIA’s involvement in torture.

    • The Faulty Google Search That Set Off A Constitutional Crisis

      We already wrote about Jason Leopold “accidentally” receiving a letter the CIA never actually sent that was an apology for spying on Senate staffers, but there was a lot more that Leopold received in that FOIA dump as well. Beyond the document Leopold wasn’t supposed to receive, the 300 pages handed over by the CIA (not by its voluntary desire to respect FOIA stipulations, but rather because a judge told it to) provide additional details about the alleged Senate breach and its “investigative” spying — and the ensuing fight that set off something of a Constitutional crisis in the separation of powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch.

      Leopold’s article goes into great depth on the subject and is well-worth reading in its entirety. One of the many, many details worth noting is that the CIA’s “firewall” between it and Senate staffers wasn’t really anything of the sort. A Google-powered custom search function allowed staffers to search CIA documents, but only the documents the CIA wanted them to see. The problem was that the search didn’t work correctly. Keyword searches were returning documents the CIA hadn’t approved for Senate perusal. This was how the hidden Panetta Report was discovered.

    • The Justice Department says it approved subpoenas or search warrants for three journalists last year

      The Justice Department said Friday that former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. authorized three subpoenas or search warrants last year for journalists or people viewed as members of the media, though two of the three were not ultimately used.

    • Lawyer: Chelsea Manning faces possible solitary confinement for alleged prison infractions
    • Chelsea Manning having troubles with military brig authorities

      Convict faces solitary confinement over unauthorized toothpaste, books.

    • Slaying casts pall on plan to reduce solitary confinement

      California’s efforts to ease its famously harsh use of solitary confinement are clashing with a bloody reality after an inmate who spent decades alone in a tiny cell was sent back to the general population and killed by fellow inmates within days.

      Hugo “Yogi” Pinell’s repeated assaults on guards landed him in solitary confinement beginning in the early 1970s, making him one of the longest-serving solitary confinement inmates in the nation, said Keramet Reiter, a University of C

    • Obama’s Africa Hypocrisy

      During his trip to east Africa the president chastened Kenyans about gay rights, domestic violence, genital cutting, forced marriage and equal rights for women. He went on and on with no mention of how well his country lives to any accepted standards of human rights.

      American presidents have no business chastising others. The country with the world’s largest prison state, military and history of aggressions is on shaky ground when giving anyone else advice. In the neighboring country of Somalia the United States regularly sends drones intended to kill al-Shabaab fighters but they deliver collateral damage to other people too. The blowback has killed many Kenyans, who are targeted by al-Shabaab because of their country’s role as an American puppet.

      Because hypocritical Americans have made gay rights the new measurement of societal well being all over the world, the president took the opportunity to castigate Kenyans about that too. Of course homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, America’s partner in crime. Yet there is no record of public shaming for any Saudi prince or king on that or any other issue. Their sensibilities are deemed too delicate for tongue-lashing. It must be pointed out that Saudis take lashing quite literally.

    • Jonathan Pollard’s Release Doesn’t Erase 30 Years of Injustice

      The official announcement that Jonathan Pollard will be paroled on November 21, having served 30 years for transmitting classified American documents to the Israeli government, is a welcome – if much-belated – development. The fact of his prospective release, however, must not be allowed to overshadow the injustices of his life sentence – and 30-year prison term – as set forth below.

      [...]

      Sixth, false accusations have likewise been made by U.S. government agencies that Pollard compromised intelligence operations in Eastern Europe and was consequently implicated in the deaths of American informants. Yet, these accusations were never part of his indictment, and no evidence for them has ever been adduced. In fact, the architect of these treasonable acts, and the source of the disinformation against Pollard, was none other than senior CIA official Aldrich Ames, who pleaded guilty to them in 1994.

    • Let’s Talk About Torture

      The CIA’s torture-era leadership won’t repent. Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the CIA had tortured its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that torture never elicited any actionable intelligence that saved American lives, Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings announced plans to release a book justifying torture.

      They intend to repeat a lie over and over again in this book: that torture worked. They hope that the American people are either so gullible or so stupid that they’ll believe it. It’s up to the rest of us to ensure that our government swears off committing this crime against humanity.

      I know that these former intelligence leaders are lying because I worked with them at the CIA. When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program in 2007, they came down on me like a ton of bricks.

      It’s not necessarily news that these former CIA heavyweights believe in torture, even if they refuse to call it what it is. Many television news outlets still run clips of George Tenet’s 2007 appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in which he repeats “We do not torture! We do not torture!” as though he were unhinged and living in a dream world. Perhaps what Tenet needs to do is to read the United Nations Convention on Torture, to which the United States is a signatory.

    • Report Concludes C.I.A. Torture Program was Bolstered by American Psychological Association

      Dr. Scott A. Allen, professor of medicine, was a co-author of a report that concluded the American Psychological Association (APA) coordinated with federal officials to create an ethics policy on national security interrogations that aligned with the government’s legal justification for the post-9/11 CIA torture program. Featured in a New York Times story published in April, the study characterized the collaboration between the APA and officials in the CIA, White House and Department of Defense as secretive.

    • Righting Governance Gone Rogue in the American Psychological Association: The Torture Scandal

      The vote occurred at the APA’s first convention since the release of an extensive independent investigative report confirming the APA leadership actively colluded with the Pentagon and the CIA during the Bush administration to facilitate torture programs. It concluded that the APA Board and some senior staff, including its ethics director, engaged in a pattern of secret collusion with the Department of Defense officers to defeat efforts by the APA Council to introduce and pass resolutions that would have prohibited psychologies from participating in interrogations at Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. detention centers abroad. Specially, the then-APA board president and then-APA president-elect were cited as key players who participated in this collusion.

    • American Psychological Association Finally Bans Torture

      …many psychologists helped the CIA develop torture techniques after 9/11, making huge amounts of money in the process.

    • The APA’s Watershed Move to Ban Psychologists’ Complicity in Torture

      It was a stunning about-face for the APA. Having spent the better part of the last eight years supporting the “dissident psychologists” in their battle against the organized profession, I had trouble believing my ears as the steady wave of yesses rolled through that Toronto conference room last week. It was as if we had stepped into an alternate reality.

    • Torture, Psychology and the Real APA

      The real APA is all too real, I responded, but it is no longer my APA. I resigned in December 2007 after the August 2007 annual meeting effectively endorsed a professional role for psychologists in torture.

    • A Meeting of Psychologists Becomes a Moment of Soul Searching

      During the American Psychological Association’s conference in Toronto, members reflected on how the group and the discipline can recover from revelations about torture. Some also attended a separate gathering of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, which held a teach-in focused on the matter of psychologists involved in torture.

    • Dissident Psychologists Speak Out on APA Role in CIA-Pentagon Torture
    • No More Torture: World’s Largest Group of Psychologists Bans Role in National Security Interrogations
    • US psychologists’ convention bans participation in torture
    • American Psychological Association Bars Psychologists From Colluding In Torture
    • Psychology group bans members from harsh national security interrogations
    • Psychology Association Bans Members From Participating In Interrogations
    • Psychology Group Votes To Ban Members From Taking Part In Interrogations
    • Newspaper Review: Palestinian Hunger-Striking Detainee ‘Allan’ Slipping into Coma as Focus of Dailies

      The health condition of Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan, who has been on a hunger strike for two months and has passed into a coma amidst a dispute over force-feeding him hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

    • Palestinian vigilante groups are last line of defence

      It is close to midnight. The silhouettes of ink-black hills across the valley are outlined against a sky splashed with hundreds of stars. A cool breeze causes the branches of the surrounding olive trees to wave in unison while bringing relief from the heat wave currently scorching the Middle East.

    • The Last Seamen of Gaza
    • Jeb Bush Leaves Door Open for Use of Torture by Government
    • Jeb Bush leaves door open for use of torture by government

      Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the U.S. government if he becomes president.

    • Jeb Bush refuses to rule out use of torture if he becomes US president

      Republican candidate Jeb Bush says torture is inappropriate, but use of brutal questioning methods may be justifiable and necessary for the US government

    • Jeb Bush leaves door open for CIA torture

      Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the US government.

    • CIA Torture Tactics Reemerge in New York Prison

      Over 60 inmates at New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility have complained of abuse by prison guards in the wake of the June escape of convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt.

    • Chicago Stop And Frisk Settlement Puts ACLU At Odds With Activists

      Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois announced a “landmark” agreement with the Chicago Police Department and the City of Chicago on stop and frisks by police officers. However, in the days following, it became evident that activists from the local movement for police accountability were upset because they believed the ACLU’s settlement undermined their efforts.

    • Thousands of Americans Have Been Illegally Detained in Chicago’s CIA-Style Detention Center

      The Chicago Police’s CIA-style black site, Homan Square, has seen more people detained than died on 9/11 or imprisoned at Guantanamo, according to a new report by the Guardian. The newspaper, which sued the Chicago police to obtain further details on Homan Square, reports overwhelming targeting of minorities as well as other sordid and violative policies.

    • Judge: DOJ May Join Racial Profiling Case Against Sheriff Arpaio

      The U.S. Department of Justice, after settling most of its own civil rights lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, will be able to intervene in a separate lawsuit that found the sheriff’s office had engaged in racial profiling against Latino drivers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Broadband Speeds, New Data

      Thanks to edmundedgar on reddit I have some more accurate data to update my previous bandwidth growth estimation post: OFCOM UK, who released their November 2014 report on average broadband speeds. Whereas Akamai numbers could be lowered by the increase in mobile connections, this directly measures actual broadband speeds.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hosting Company Wants to Wipe 1,103 Megaupload Servers

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided and soon this data loss may be permanent. Carpathia Hosting’s new parent company has asked the court’s permission to wipe the servers clean, arguing that it should not bear the high financial costs. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom disagrees and says his legal team will do its best to prevent any data from being destroyed.

      • Dallas Buyers Club Ruling Devastates Copyright Trolling Down Under

        The U.S. studio behind the movie Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) has been handed a devastating blow in Australia. The company wanted to ‘fine’ downloaders many thousands of dollars each but the Federal Court has seen through the scheme and has refused to hand over alleged pirates’ identities unless DBC pays a AUS$600,000 bond.

08.14.15

Links 14/8/2015: Dell Chromebooks, Chromebooks Outsell Windows laptops

Posted in News Roundup at 2:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to embrace open source tools in the enterprise

    The nature of enterprise IT is rapidly evolving and with these changes, open source is becoming a much higher percentage of every IT organization’s environment. As more organizations get aboard the open source train, the necessary skills will become critically important – not only for using open source wisely, but for ensuring your enterprise remains competitive in the Third Platform world.

  • Facebook’s Parse open sourcing all SDKs for app development
  • Facebook is open-sourcing its Parse SDKs, starting with iOS, Android, and Mac OS X
  • Facebook’s Parse Open-Sources All Of Its SDKs
  • Facebook’s Parse releases SDKs for iOS, Android and Mac as open source projects
  • RIFT.io Emerges From Stealth With Open Source NFV Plans

    RIFT.io — founded last year by veterans of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Starent Networks, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) and more — announced a series A funding round, led by North Bridge Venture Partners with participation from other strategic investors.

    The company plans to release a RIFT.ware, an open source NFV platform, and is working with partners to create an ecosystem of developers for the platform itself and for virtual network functions (VNFs) built on the platform, Tony Schoener, RIFT.io chief strategy officer, told Light Reading.

  • Events

    • What you’ll learn at FOSSCON, the Free and Open Source Software Conference

      The free and open-source software movement has spent decades sharing information and knowledge through various communities, providing outlets for all levels of users to have more control over their own environments, learn from each other, and make things better for the general public. The idea behind being a free and open source enthusiast is sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and encouraging common growth.

    • 2015 SFD registration is on!

      I am very glad to share with you that registration of the twelfth edition of Software Freedom Day has been opened since early August and you can see from our SFD event map, we already have 62 events from more than 33countries shown in our map. As usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have a detail guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing would be the best place to get prompt support.

    • Waving the open source flag in Australia

      I am a strong believer that community is the power behind open source code. There are companies who contribute and partake in large contributions to open source software (OSS) projects but the smart ones will always acknowledge the community behind it. I also feel the open source movement is littered with projects that have sprung from corporations rather than individuals, however their power only shines when they enable a community to partake in its roadmap.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • India’s open source policy ‘promotes innovation’

      India’s open source policy will help the country to “promote a culture of innovation that they need in order to serve their citizens today and in the years to come”, says Mark Bohannon, Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs at Red Hat, one of the world’s main open source companies. “The use of technology, including open source software, is moving out of the sphere of simply ‘acquiring a product’ to ‘investing in innovation’.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Greece to promote open source and open data

        The Greek government wants the country’s public administrations to transition to free and open source software, open standards and open data. The Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Marine and Tourism has asked the Greek free and open source software society (Gfoss) to help organise workshops and conferences, train public administrations and propose research and development projects.

    • Open Hardware

      • Founder of Open Source Hardware Association shares her story

        Alicia Gibb has a passion for hardware hacking—she founded and is currently running the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Also a member of the ADA Initiative Board, Defensive Patent License Board, and the Open Source Ecology Board, she got her start as a technologist from a combination of backgrounds: informatics and library science.

        Alicia formerly worked as a researcher and prototyper at Bug Labs where she ran the academic research program and the R&D lab. Her work is fascinating and she graciously agreed to this interview.

Leftovers

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