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Links 10/6/2016: Maru OS, Fedora 24 Delayed

Posted in News Roundup at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source



Links 9/6/2016: Qt 5.6.1, NetOS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 Open Source DevOps Products and Their Channel Impact

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the DevOps mode of software development is fast becoming one of the new big forces in the channel. Here’s a look at some of the key projects and products in the open source DevOps space, and an explanation of how each one will change the way organizations create and VARs integrate software.

  • 3 open source alternatives to MATLAB

    Fortunately, there are many great open source alternatives. Depending on exactly what your objective is, you may find one or another to more aptly fit your specific needs. Here are three to consider:

  • Open source tools enable professional photography

    I find it sad that most people don’t realize how many options there are for photography software on Linux. While most Linux users are aware of GIMP, their knowledge beyond that is sorely limited. Surprising to many is the fact that professional photography on Linux is such a serious business that there are even closed source proprietary programs that are developed and sold to run on Linux.

    The ability to work with RAW files from a camera is a must for professional and amateur photographers alike. While this initially may seem like a very specific niche where the options would be limited, the open source philosophy has helped create many options. Darktable, Lightzone, Shotwell, RawTherapee, digiKam, Photivo, UFRaw, and Fotoxx are all open source options that a Linux user can choose from.

  • Fiorano ESB Goes Open Source

    The Fiorano Open Source ESB is available at:



  • Events

    • Tokyo – Automotive Linux Summit

      AGL.automotiveITThe Linux Foundation, which promotes the general adoption of the open-source operating system, will host the Automotive Linux Summit in Tokyo July 13-14.

      The conference will bring together a range of automotive engineers, Linux experts, business executives and open-source licensing and compliance specialists.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • ODPi: Test Less, Build More Applications With Hadoop

      According to Alan Gates, co-founder of Hortonworks and ODPi member, that’s the issue the Open Data Platform initiative (ODPi) is here to solve: create a single test specification that works across all Hadoop distributions so developers can get back to creating innovative applications and end users can get back to making money, or curing cancer, or sending people into space.

    • Databricks Community Edition Out for Everyone Now, Includes Spark Training

      Earlier this year, Databricks came out with the beta release of Databricks Community Edition, a free version of its cloud-based Spark platform. Since then, Spark has been commanding everyone’s attention, and now Databricks, which is the company founded by the team that created Apache Spark, has announced the General Availability of Databricks Community Edition (DCE), a free version of the just-in-time data platform built on top of Apache Spark, at Spark Summit 2016.

    • IBM and Other Tech Titans Raise Commitments to Apache Spark
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Midokura raises $20M Series B round for its network virtualization platform

      Network virtualization specialist Midokura today announced it has raised a $20 million Series B round with participation from Japanese fintech company Simplex and existing investors like Allen Miner and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. With this round, Midokura’s total funding has now hit $44 million.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Professor, publisher clash over stance on open-source education

        In a growing climate of “publish or perish” for university faculty members, forfeiting a publishing opportunity is a unique and strong stance in any discipline. Add that to the recent news of shrinking opportunities for faculty positions in liberal arts disciplines, and Jhangiani’s position seems even bolder.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • FarmBot Open Source CNC Farming Robot (video)

        If like me you are lacking green fingers but would like to be able to grow your own vegetables you may be interested in a new open source CNC farming robot that has been created using Arduino hardware and awesome programming, called FarmBot.


  • Hardware

    • AMD Zen Reportedly Delayed Until Early Next Year

      According to reports, AMD’s Zen processors have been delayed until the start of the next year and it’s also affecting Intel’s Kabylake launch.

      While we were looking for AMD’s much anticipated Zen processors were expected to launch by the end of Q3 according to information from AMD just recently, now it’s believed that Zen might not be shipping until January 2017.

  • Security

    • University gives in to $20,000 ransomware demand

      Calgary officials agreed to pay the ransom but it will take some time for the encryption keys to be used on all of the university’s infected machines, of which there are over 100. The process is time-consuming and it is not yet known if the keys will even work.

    • University of Calgary pays hackers $20,000 after ransomware attack

      A chain of hospitals in Washington, D.C., was hit in March, while a Los Angeles medical centre shelled out $17,000 earlier this year to hackers following a ransomware attack.

    • Unintended Consequences Of Slavery In IT

      Obviously many use That Other OS for valid purposes but few would do so if this incident was on their radar. There are hundreds of such malwares. How many times will the university pay up for permission to use the hardware they own? They’ve already likely paid Intel double the value for their chips, M$, even more for permission to use Intel’s chips and now a steady stream of cyber-criminals.

    • Mikko Hypponen: Real Hackers Don’t Wear Hoodies (Cybercrime is Big Business)

      I’ll be discussing these topics, and how they apply to open source systems and to service providers further in my keynote (“Complexity: The enemy of Security”) at the OPNFV Summit in Berlin on June 22-23. See you in Berlin!

    • Your mobile phone account could be hijacked by an identity thief

      A few weeks ago an unknown person walked into a mobile phone store, claimed to be me, asked to upgrade my mobile phones, and walked out with two brand new iPhones assigned to my telephone numbers. My phones immediately stopped receiving calls, and I was left with a large bill and the anxiety and fear of financial injury that spring from identity theft. This post describes my experiences as a victim of ID theft, explains the growing problem of phone account hijacking, and suggests ways consumers and mobile phone carriers can help combat these scams.

    • Password Re-user? Get Ready to Get Busy

      In the wake of megabreaches at some of the Internet’s most-recognized destinations, don’t be surprised if you receive password reset requests from numerous companies that didn’t experience a breach: Some big name companies — including Facebook and Netflix — are in the habit of combing through huge data leak troves for credentials that match those of their customers and then forcing a password reset for those users.

    • Belgium tops list of nations most vulnerable to hacking

      A new “heat map of the internet” has revealed the countries most vulnerable to hacking attacks, by scanning the entire internet for servers with their front doors wide open.

    • Australia fourth most vulnerable nation to hacking: study

      Australia ranks fourth among the countries most vulnerable to hacking attacks, according to a study by penetration testing and information security form Rapid7.

      Belgium tops the list, followed by Tajikistan and Samoa.

      The company compiled what it calls a “heat map” of the Internet, looking for servers that had exposed ports that could be compromised.

    • University pays almost $16,000 to recover crucial data held hostage

      Canada’s University of Calgary paid almost $16,000 ($20,000 Canadian, ~£10,800) to recover crucial data that has been held hostage for more than a week by crypto ransomware attackers.

      The ransom was disclosed on Wednesday morning in a statement issued by University of Calgary officials. It said university IT personnel had made progress in isolating the unnamed ransomware infection and restoring affected parts of the university network. It went on to warn that there’s no guarantee paying the controversial ransom will lead to the lost data being recovered.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Assange: Rasmussen Became NATO Chief After Secret Deal With Turkey, US

      Ex-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen became NATO secretary general in 2009 in exchange for a secret deal with Turkey and the United States to close the Kurdish Roj TV satellite broadcaster operating in Denmark, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.

    • It’s Still Remarkably Easy For Criminals To Buy Guns On Facebook

      The ban, implemented in January, prohibits the private, person-to-person sales of guns, but allows gun clubs and licensed dealers to continue to operate Facebook and Instagram accounts. As Vocativ reported in February, the ban didn’t stop the online sale of guns, it just moved several online firearm marketplaces to other social media websites. Now, it appears private marketplaces on Facebook are still flourishing and in many cases do not appear to be adhering to the social network’s gun policy.

    • Netanyahu vows ‘decisive’ response to Tel Aviv attack

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed a “decisive” response to Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv, and said Israel’s security services would track down any who may have aided the shooters.

      Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan visited the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, site of Wednesday night’s shooting attack, following an emergency briefing at IDF headquarters, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

    • UK Illegally Harasses Russian Submarine Engaged in Lawful Passage of English Channel

      Contrary to Article 44 of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, to which the UK and Russia are both party, the UK has engaged in extensive illegal harassment of a Russian naval submarine engaged in fully lawful transit of the Dover Strait.

      A Russian naval vessel en route between the Baltic and Black Seas is fully and specifically entitled under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Articles 37 and 38 to the right of passage through the strait. This is in addition to the general right of passage through the territorial sea at Article 17. The Russian navy was in full compliance with the provision at Article 20 that, while in territorial waters, the submarine must be on the surface and displaying its flag, and in compliance with Articles 29 to 32 on warships.

      Not only does the Russian Navy have every right to sail through the Dover strait on passage, it has been exercising that right – along with many other navies – for over a hundred years. The decision of the British government now to employ military harassment and threat is not only illegal, it is a gross and entirely deliberate act of provocation designed to sour international relations and disturb the atmosphere of world peace.

    • Newly released records cast doubt on FBI claims about its actions in Cambridge days after marathon bombings

      Newly released Cambridge Police Department records cast doubt on FBI claims about its agents’ activities in Cambridge in the critical hours before the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly shot and killed MIT police officer Sean Collier, carjacked another man, and engaged in a spectacular firefight with police officers in a quiet suburban residential neighborhood in Watertown. The new records provide additional backdrop to rumors among local law enforcement that the FBI has greatly misrepresented the truth about its knowledge of and relationship to the elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

    • After a Deadly Attack in Tel Aviv, Police Are Urged to Execute a Captive Suspect

      The civilian’s demand for the immediate, extrajudicial killing of the suspected gunman by officers echoes a similar call heard on another Tel Aviv street in March, when a police volunteer shot a Palestinian suspected of killing an American tourist, after he had already been wounded and immobilized.

    • Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime

      Night and day, U.S. “pilots” sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Col. Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime, writes Dennis J Bernstein.

    • Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party

      For nearly a half century – since late in the Vietnam War – the Democrats have been the less warlike of the two parties, but that has flipped with the choice of war hawk Hillary Clinton, writes Robert Parry.

    • FBI is “Cooking Up” Cases Against Muslims

      “A 2014 study, “Inventing Terrorists: the Lawfare of Preventive Prosecution” by Project Salam and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, found that almost every domestic terrorist plot from 2001 to 2010 was in some way cooked up or assisted (and eventually ‘busted’) by the FBI. The report analyzed about 400 domestic terror cases and found only that only four cases were initiated or driven without the encouragement of the bureau.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Anti-Fracking Momentum Grows with Another People’s Victory in California

      Notching another victory for the growing national anti-fracking movement, voters in Butte County, California on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a measure that bans the controversial oil and gas drilling process in their communities.

      Measure E won with 71 percent of the vote, making Butte the fourth California county to pass such a measure, following Mendocino, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties, and adding to the growing list of states and municipalities across the nation that have come out against fracking.

      Agriculture is the top industry in Butte County, which sits just north of Sacramento. Proponents of the measure argued that threatening the aquifers with toxic fracking chemicals would destroy the “lifeblood” of the local economy.

  • Finance

    • Coalition may add clause to Japan trade deal that lets foreign companies sue Australia

      The Turnbull government is considering adding a controversial provision to the Japan-Australia free-trade agreement that would allow foreign corporations to sue the Australian government.

      It has been negotiating with Japan’s government about the plan but no conclusion has been reached.

      The provision is called an “investor state dispute settlement” (ISDS).

      ISDS provisions allow foreign corporations to sue the Australian government in an international tribunal if they think the government has introduced or changed laws that significantly hurt their interests.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How California is being stolen from Sanders right now

      There are a mind-blowing 4.2 million voters in California registered NPP – and they share a love for sunshine and Bernie Sanders. According to the reliable Golden State poll, among NPP voters, Sen. Sanders whoops Sec. Hillary Clinton by a stunning 40 percentage points.


      On the other team, registered Democrats prefer Clinton by a YUGE 30 points. NPP’s can vote in the Democratic primary, so, the California primary comes down to a fight between D’s and NPP’s.

      And there’s the rub. In some counties like Los Angeles, it’s not easy for an NPP to claim their right vote in the Democratic primary – and in other counties, nearly impossible.

      Example: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, if you don’t say the magic words, “I want a Democratic crossover ballot,” you are automatically given a ballot without the presidential race. And ready for this, if an NPP voter asks the poll worker, “How do I get to vote in the Democratic party primary, they are instructed to say that, “NPP voters can’t get Democratic ballots.” They are ordered not to breathe a word that the voter can get a “crossover” ballot that includes the presidential race.

      I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49:

      “A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask).”

    • Sanders Campaign Prepares For Run As An Independent

      A quiet burst of activity from the Sanders campaign seems to all but guarantee that Sanders will run as an independent this election cycle. All across the country Sanders’ core infrastructure of volunteers and paid staff are mobilizing to collect signatures and perform necessary paperwork to get him on the general election ballots in the states.

      Officials highly placed within the Sanders campaign remain evasive and deny that the senator plans, at this time, to run as an independent. Bernie’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, has stated time and time again that they intend to go all the way to the convention and make the case that Sanders should be the Democratic nominee for the 2016 general election. But the Sanders campaign is actively engaging in activities, within the states, that have no other purpose besides putting Sanders in the position of being able to run as an independent candidate against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

    • J’Accuse! WikiLeaks Founder Assange Claims Google Has Deal With Clinton

      Moreover, the Internet giant Google is heavily integrated with the US establishment and is allying with the US exceptionalism campaign, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.

      “Google is heavily integrated with Washington power, at personal level and at business level… Google which has increasing control over the distribution channels… is intensely allying itself US exceptionalism,” Assange added.

      Speaking about about Hillary Clinton as presumptive presidential nominee from the US Democrat party Assange said that she “seemingly” wants to start wars, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.

    • Clinton tech aide asks court to keep immunity deal secret

      A former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton is seeking to keep under wraps an immunity deal the aide reached with the Justice Department in its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

      A lawyer for Bryan Pagliano submitted a sealed motion and exhibits to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan Tuesday afternoon, less than two hours before the 5 p.m. deadline Sullivan set for the filing of Pagliano’s immunity agreement.

      A legal memorandum filed publicly Tuesday confirms for the first time that Pagliano reached such an immunity agreement, and lays out arguments for why he should still be able to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a Freedom of Information Act suit a conservative group, Judicial Watch, is pursuing over Clinton’s email set-up.

    • Depoliticizing Anti-Trump Protests Plays Into Right-Wing Narrative

      Like all movements in the fascism family, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is based on an ethnonationalist fear that impure elements within our borders (Muslims, Mexicans, “welfare thugs” and other powerless people) will fatally corrode this great nation if they’re not purged. A roundup by the Southern Poverty Law Center indicates that white nationalists are celebrating Trump as the savior for whom they’ve waited so long. Their hopes are captured in a popular neo-Nazi edit of the movie 300, which shows Trump rambling about globalism before kicking President Obama down a well shaft. The message: Emperor Trump will save white America (the one true America) from the hordes.

    • Thank You Bernie

      Sharing the bittersweet aftermath of Clinton’s likely victory, Bernie supporters have flooded the hashtag #ThankYouBernie with heartfelt thanks for a remarkable campaign by a man who’s already spent 50 years fighting to give a voice to the voiceless. They’ve thanked him for ignoring the experts, taking on the Democratic establishment, and fighting like hell; for recognizing black and poor and Palestinian lives; for newly inspiring the young and not-so-young who’d years back gave up on being inspired, but who now vow to keep on fighting; for being humble, gracious, tireless despite the denial and condescension of most mainstream media; for “accepting misfits, radicals, rabble-rousers and rappers into the inner circle of your campaign”; for speaking the truth, doing what’s right, staying on track, giving a damn. One meme circulating: “Do no harm, but take no shit.” May he, and we, prevail.f

    • Hillary Clinton’s State Department Gave South Sudan’s Military a Pass for Its Child Soldiers

      I met a few of them in the town of Pibor last year. These battle-tested veterans had just completed two or three years of military service. They told me about the rigors of a soldier’s life, about toting AK-47s, about the circumstances that led them to take up arms. In the United States, not one of these soldiers would have met the age requirements to enlist in the Army. None were older than 16.

    • Mainstream Media Didn’t Hold Back in Headlines About Clinton and Sanders

      If you were one of millions of Americans who went to the polls Tuesday night in the hope of putting Bernie Sanders in the White House, you were probably disappointed with the outcome of the most recent round of primaries. But supporters of Hillary Clinton were likely thrilled, and it seems that much of the mainstream media joined in on the revelry.

      Amid the onslaught of news coverage surrounding Clinton’s victories, perhaps the media was simply trying to engage readers with gripping headlines. But in an election season that has already seen complaints of media bias against Sanders, several of Tuesday night’s top headlines seemed to bask in Sanders’ defeat.

    • Jill Stein to Bernie Sanders: Join the Green Party Ticket (Video)

      Stein also pushed back on the notion that introducing a viable third-party element into the presidential contest at this stage would represent another “spoiler” situation that would boost presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s chances of taking over the White House. In other words, although a ballot featuring Trump’s and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s names may induce déjà vu for many voters, this isn’t a repeat of the 2000 election, when Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was branded a fatal distraction by Democratic contender Al Gore’s supporters.

      “Let me just say that ‘spoiler’ presumes that democracy is bad and that choices are bad,” Stein said. “And actually what’s really different from 2000 is that voters are saying, ‘Screw the system. Throw it under the bus!’ And not only the system but the candidates … and people are clamoring for independent parties and independent candidates and more voices and more choices.”

    • Why Clinton Has Already Lost Wisconsin

      The desultory, divided, and demoralized state Democratic party held its annual convention over the past weekend in Green Bay, home of the Packers. Bernie Sanders had won the state handily, and the Superdelegates went right along with the Clinton team anyway. Why would they concern themselves with the popular vote, the mass rallies, and the contrast to Hillary’s appearance in small venues or (in Madison) by-invitation-only events?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA’s Curious Goal-Post Moving on Snowden’s Complaints

      In our piece on NSA’s response to requests for records of Edward Snowden’s complaints, Jason Leopold and I reported that a senior NSA official apologized to Admiral Mike Rogers for providing insufficient context about Snowden’s contacts with oversight entities before Snowden’s email to OGC got released on May 29, 2014. (See PDF 6 for the email and response as they got publicly released.) More importantly, we reported that the apology — written after several days of fact-checking — included at least one clear error. After we pointed that out to the intelligence community and asked questions for clarification, the NSA significantly moved the goalposts on its claims about whether Snowden had raised concerns, denying that Snowden had talked to the top three NSA officials rather than lower level ones. Here’s why I think that’s significant.

    • Former CIA, NSA Director Michael Hayden to Speak at AAPEX 2016 [Ed: Automotives event to be brought you by the guy who brags about killing people based on metadata]
    • U.K. Commons Passes Controversial ‘Snooper’s Charter’ Bill

      The U.K. House of Commons on Tuesday passed a controversial bill giving spy agencies the power to engage in bulk surveillance and computer hacking.

    • UK Parliament Ignores Concerns; Moves Snooper’s Charter Forward

      This isn’t necessarily a huge surprise, but the UK’s House of Commons overwhelmingly voted in support of the Snooper’s Charter, officially known as the Investigatory Powers Bill. As we’ve discussed, this is a dangerous bill that will give the UK government significantly more surveillance powers (or, in many cases, will “authorize” things that the UK government has already been doing on dubious legal authority), with little to no real oversight. And despite people being upset about it, it still was approved by a vote of 444 to 69. And, yes, the current version of the bill still asks for backdoors to encryption, but leaves a vague exemption if a company claims that it would not be feasible or would be too expensive. That’s better than the alternative, but it’s still a step in the wrong direction. The bill still needs to be considered by the House of Lords, but it’s disappointing that the House of Commons seemed so willing to cave to demands for more surveillance powers.

    • This is how the National Crime Agency thinks your internet connection records will look if the Snooper’s Charter passes into law

      The National Crime Agency gave a briefing to press yesterday about how it believed investigatory powers are necessary for the organisation to perform its role, and how it would like internet communication information to be displayed.

      Speaking to the press at a briefing yesterday, the same day the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill – or Snooper’s Charter – continued its journey into UK law, the National Crime Agency (NCA) laid out how it wants the internet connection records (ICR) of suspects it’s investigating to look, should the bill pass.

      The NCA is responsible for investigating organised crime like human, weapon and drug trafficking; cyber crime; economic crime and plays an increasingly important role in investigating terrorism.

    • The New York Times Is Preparing to Step Up Its War on Ad Blockers [iophk: "somehow the article(s) omit addressing properly the malware and trackers they were serving up via the "ads""]

      Like most online publishers, the New York Times is fighting an ongoing guerrilla war against ad blocking, a phenomenon that a recent study said could lead to more than $35 billion in losses for media companies by 2020. NYT chief executive Mark Thompson now says he is even considering what amounts to a nuclear option: Banning users with ad blockers completely.

    • Google To Deprecate SSLv3, RC4 in Gmail IMAP/POP Clients

      Google said that it will initiate on June 16 a gradual deprecation of SSLv3 and RC4 for Gmail IMAP/POP mail clients.

      Both the crypto protocols cipher are notoriously unsafe and are being phased out in big chunks of the Internet. Google, for its part, had already announced in May that it would no longer support SSLv3 and RC4 connections for Gmail SMTP.

    • The Troubling Metadata Sharing Program That Was Just Revealed in the UK

      For years, and in secret, UK law enforcement agencies have had access to metadata collected by the country’s powerful signals intelligence agency GCHQ.

      The fact this power has only been revealed now raises serious questions around government transparency, especially while Home Secretary Theresa May and others are pushing a controversial surveillance law on the premise that law enforcement need greater visibility into criminals using the internet.

      Through a program called MILKWHITE, revealed on Tuesday in Snowden documents published by The Intercept, the Metropolitan Police, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and more have been able to dig through GCHQ’s intercepts for things such as IP addresses.

      According to The Intercept, MILKWHITE stretches all the way back to September 2009, and may include information on British calls, emails and browsing data. (It’s not totally clear what amount or exact type of data has been provided to law enforcement—The Intercept suggests it was collected by GCHQ’s tapping of undersea cables).

    • Snowden and the NSA Gets Curiouser and Curiouser

      However, the NSA maintained then and still maintains that it could find only one email message from Snowden that touched on the subject.

      Snowden did much more than send a single email warning, Vice found.

      He had an in-person interaction with one of the people who responded to his email, for example. The NSA, the administration and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., all made efforts to discredit him, the FOIA documents revealed.

      After releasing the documents to Vice, the NSA posted them to its website, along with a reaffirmation of its original position.

    • VICE’s Vice: Snowden Scoop Promises Fire, Doesn’t Even Muster Smoke

      Over the weekend, VICE published a story entitled “Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal.” If you haven’t read it, don’t bother. By its incendiary headline, the story—the product of documents released as part of a FOIA lawsuit—would purport to be an outright validation of Edward Snowden’s claims that he repeatedly tried to raise surveillance concerns with NSA officials but was ignored. But as journalist Mike Sacks put it, the story is “thousands of words promising fire and there’s not even any smoke.”

    • Watch the Full Episode: ‘State of Surveillance’ with Edward Snowden and Shane Smith

      The full episode of VICE on HBO’s ‘State of Surveillance’ is available to stream for free on VICE News.

      When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of massive government surveillance programs in 2013, he ignited a raging debate over digital privacy and security. That debate came to a head this year, when Apple refused an FBI court order to access the iPhone of alleged San Bernardino Terrorist Syed Farook. Meanwhile, journalists and activists are under increasing attack from foreign agents. To find out the government’s real capabilities, and whether any of us can truly protect our sensitive information, VICE founder Shane Smith heads to Moscow to meet the man who started the conversation, Edward Snowden.

    • Muhammad Ali Was a Victim of Illegal NSA Surveillance

      With the recent passing of the boxer considered by many to be “the greatest of all time,” the world has stopped to reflect upon his legacy outside of the ring. It was no secret that Ali was just as outspoken about his political and religious beliefs as he was about his opinions of his boxing opponents. At the height of his career, the man formerly known as Cassius Clay spoke out against U.S. War in Vietnam and became a conscientious objector to the draft.

      Because of his actions that he took because of his commitment to his Islamic faith, the U.S. government jailed him for draft evasion. In response to requests for explanation of his actions, the world heavyweight champ said, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

    • Forty-One Secret Service Employees Punished For Illegally Accessing Congressman’s Private Data In Hopes Of Discrediting Him

      When Rep. Jason Chaffetz began asking the Secret Service about its string of high-profile failures, agents were quick to respond… with attempts to undermine the Congressman’s credibility. Eighteen minutes after the hearings started, Secret Service agents — dozens of them — began poring through his 2003 Secret Service application in hopes of finding a few skeletons in his previously-vetted closet.

      Even Secret Service Assistant Director Ed Lowery got in on the illegal fun, suggesting via email that “some information [Chaffetz] finds embarrassing needs to get out.” Information did get out, but it had no effect on Chaffetz’s reputation. The only people embarassed were the Secret Service and DHS head Jeh Johnson, who was forced to apologize on its behalf.

      Johnson’s press release, detailing the results of the DHS’s investigation of the incident, shows dozens were questioned about this violation of the Privacy Act. Better yet, it shows dozens were punished for their misconduct.

    • Almost three quarters don’t know powers of Bill which will ‘end online privacy and put our personal security at risk’
    • Snoopers’ Charter: ‘Independent’ reviewer worked at GCHQ

      A SUPPOSED independent reviewer for the Snoopers’ Charter worked at UK spy agency GCHQ for five years.

      MPs have already voted in favour of a third reading of the Investigatory Powers Bill, by a margin of 444 to 69, despite a huge backlash from people and pressure groups who want to see the bill shredded and never spoken of again.

      David Anderson QC, an independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has condemned the bill and has now started a new review.

      “I will be asking whether the government has established a robust operational case for the bulk powers it says it needs, and examining whether similar results could have been reached by other, less intrusive, means,” he said.

    • FBI claimed Petraeus shared ‘top secret’ info with reporters

      The investigation that led CIA Director David Petraeus to resign and ultimately plead guilty to a criminal charge of mishandling classified information also uncovered evidence that he discussed highly classified information with journalists, according to a court document obtained Tuesday by POLITICO.

      Requesting a search warrant for Petraeus’ Arlington, Virginia home in 2013, an FBI agent told a federal magistrate the agency had two audio recordings in which the retired four-star Army general spoke with reporters about matters that authorities believed were “top secret.”

    • Snowden Docs Show GCHQ, MI5 To Be All Haystack, No Needle

      “Collect it all,” they said. “You can’t find needles without haystacks,” they proclaimed. “The more you know,” they rainbowed. All well and good, except the NSA, GCHQ, et al. appear to have far more in common with the protagonists of “Hoarding: Buried Alive” than with effective, finely-tuned terrorism-fighting machines.


      This isn’t just an MI5 problem. And it’s not just a bulk surveillance problem. GCHQ uses the same “data broker” — a program called PRESTON, run by the National Technical Assistance Center, which is supposed to act as a go-between for intelligence agencies in order to prevent the siloing of data. But it doesn’t work. It has prevented agencies from walling each other off, but the info firehose is still too much for agencies to handle — even with more-targeted surveillance.

      Targeted collections fare little better than the bulk collections, in terms of needle location. The following chart shows how much data goes unutilized in cases where suspects are known and targeted with individualized warrants.

    • ZeroNet: An Open Source, Decentralized, And Anonymous Internet-like Network

      We have already discussed BitTorrent’s new Project Maelstrom which has the potential to change the way we interact with the Internet. When BitTorrent first announced Project Maelstrom, somewhere back in December 2014, a bunch of open source developers started a project called ZeroNet — an open alternative of Project Maelstrom.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Senator Jeff Sessions Looks To Blast A Giant Hole In The 4th Amendment For ‘Emergency’ Response

      Yesterday we wrote about an already troubling attempt by Senator John Cornyn to attach a dangerous amendment to the Senate’s ECPA reform bill that would massively expand what kinds of electronic communications the FBI has access to (as we noted, the FBI already pretends it has access to this very info, so really this law would be papering over the FBI’s illegal collection of this info). But there’s another amendment, put forth by Senator Jeff Sessions, that is just as, if not more, troubling. It’s basically creating a massive loophole in the 4th Amendment, saying that any and all basic oversight can be tossed out the second the FBI declares the situation to be an “emergency.”

    • Russia Imprisoning Dozens Of Social Media Critics For ‘Hate Speech’

      We just wrote about the big social media companies agreeing to quickly take down content for “hate speech” in the EU, and warned about how problematic this was. The definition of “hate speech” matters quite a bit, and we’ve pointed out in the past how “hate speech” laws frequently morph into a tool for government censorship. So perhaps it should be no surprise at all that just around the same time that Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft agreed to start censoring “hate speech” in the EU, we get another story from the Associated Press about how Russia is using its own hate speech laws to imprison dozens of critics who mocked the government on social media.

    • The death of due process

      Suppose someone is accused of rape, or some other horrifying crime. If the accusation is true then the perpetrator should go to jail. If the accusation is false then the source of this false accusation should pay for this slander. Clearly someone has broken the law.

      A lynch mob forms to punish the alleged rapist by whatever means possible. A second lynch mob forms to punish the accuser, the alleged slanderer, again by whatever means possible. These mobs are full of angry people who want to be judges and juries and executioners. The members of the first lynch mob dismiss the possibility that the accusation is false. The members of the second lynch mob dismiss the possibility that the accusation is true.

      Evidently many of these people are wrong: accidentally or maliciously deceived. At the same time all of these people are convinced that they know who deserves punishment.

    • Jacob Appelbaum statement

      In the past few days, a calculated and targeted attack has been launched to spread vicious and spurious allegations against me. Given the way these accusations have been handled, I had little choice but to resign from my position as an advocate at the Tor Project and devote my full attention to completing my doctoral work on cryptography at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

      Vague rumors and smear campaigns against me are nothing new. As a longtime public advocate for free speech and a secure internet, there have been plenty of attempts to undermine my work over the years.

      Now, however, these unsubstantiated and unfounded attacks have become so aggressive that I feel it’s necessary to set the record straight. Not only have I been the target of a fake website in my name that has falsely accused me of serious crimes, but I have also received death threats (including a Twitter handle entitled ‘TimeToDieJake’).

      I think it’s extremely damaging to the community that these character-assassination tactics are being deployed, especially given their ugly history of being used against fellow members of the LGBT community. It pains me to watch the community to which I’ve dedicated so much of my life engage in such self-destructive behavior. Nonetheless, I am prepared to use legal channels, if necessary, to defend my reputation from these libelous accusations.

    • Statement on Jacob Appelbaum

      In light of the allegations that have been made, Jacob Appelbaum is no longer a member of our outside volunteer technical advisory board. We hope that the serious accusations made against him, and his denial of them, are resolved as fairly and as expeditiously as possible.

    • Community 2.0

      The accused, Jacob Appelbaum, is a friend of mine, and I was quite surprised of the accusations.


      As for the people being accused, we also need to understand that they could end up being innocent. We need to understand that they could also end up being guilty – but that they still have rights even if so. To a fair trial for instance. It’s important that we keep our heads cool and don’t fuel fires just because we want revenge. We should use that energy to support victims and to do what the tech community does best in other circumstances: rip up the old code and reimplement new code with the new experience you have. Let’s make a community version 2.0 – now for everyone and with exception handlers for the things we miss.

    • British police accused of helping to train Saudi ‘torturers’

      British police are teaching Saudi Arabian officers skills that could lead to the torture and execution of pro-democracy activists, a charity has warned.

      Personnel from the Arab kingdom’s interior ministry have been trained in detective work and high-tech forensics as a money-maker for the College of Policing, according to Reprieve, which has branded the programme “scandalous”.

      The anti-death penalty campaigning charity said an internal document showed the long-running partnership had continued despite a brutal crackdown by the regime following the 2011 Arab Spring that led to the torture of dozens of young protesters who were sentenced to death.

    • OHP Uses New Device To Seize Money Used During The Commission Of A Crime

      You may have heard of civil asset forfeiture.

      That’s where police can seize your property and cash without first proving you committed a crime; without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime.

      Now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.

    • Pakistani mother burns daughter to death in latest shocking ‘honour killing’ case

      A Pakistani mother has been arrested on suspicion of burning her 16-year-old daughter alive for marrying without family consent in the latest so-called “honour killing” to shock the country.

      Perveen Bibi, tied her daughter, Zeenat, to a bed, doused her with fuel and then set fire to her in Lahore, police said.

    • How Corrupt America Is

      The best reporting on the depth of America’s dictatorship is probably that being done by Atlanta Georgia’s NBC-affiliated, Gannett-owned, TV Channel “11 Alive”, WXIA television, “The Investigators” series of local investigative news reports, which show, up close and at a cellularly detailed level, the way things actually work in today’s America. Although it’s only local, it displays what meets the legal standards of the US federal government in actually any state in the union; so, it exposes the character of the US government, such that what’s shown to be true here, meets America’s standard for ‘democracy’, or else the federal government isn’t enforcing federal laws against it (which is the same thing as its meeting the federal government’s standards).

      The links to three of these local TV news reports will be provided, along with a summary of each of the videos; and then the broader context will be provided, which ties the local picture in with the national, and then the resulting international, picture. So, this will be like a zoom-lens view, starting with three selected close-ups, and then broadening the view to wide-angle, showing the context in terms of which what’s happening in that fine detail (those close-up views) makes sense.

      The central video will be the second of the three, which deals with the impact that the national organization called ALEC plays in creating the entire situation in the US, and which ties the Georgia-state reality in with the reality of the US federal government.

    • FBI Comes After the 4th Amendment

      While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are battling in their final round in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump is arguing that Clinton should be in prison for failing to safeguard state secrets while she was secretary of state, the same FBI that is diligently investigating her is quietly and perniciously seeking to cut more holes in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

    • Pushing for Humane Immigration Reform

      The treatment of America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants has been a political football…

    • Newseum Honors Slain Journalists, Then Hosts Israeli Official Who Justified Killing Some

      The Newseum — a private Washington, D.C.-based museum dedicated to exhibits and events about the free press — began the week on Monday by rededicating its Journalists Memorial, which honors reporters who died in the line of fire.

      The next day, it hosted a discussion on the use of social media in war featuring a retired Israeli military official, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, who in 2012 justified the targeted killing of Palestinian journalists whose names appear on that memorial.

      Leibovich, who now works as the director of the American Jewish Committee’s Israel office, used her time on stage to essentially reprise her role as a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), using slides and videos to show how the IDF is trying to rebut what she called a biased image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the Western media and Palestinians.

    • BuzzFeed Terminates Ad Deal With Republican Party Over Trump

      BuzzFeed has terminated a deal with the Republican National Committee to run political advertisements in the fall, the company’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, informed employees Monday morning.

      In an email, Peretti cited Donald Trump’s rhetoric and campaign promises as the reason for the decision to terminate the buy, worth $1.3 million according to a source who spoke with Politico.

      “Earlier today, BuzzFeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them,” Peretti said. “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.”

    • BuzzFeed Dumps Ad Deal With Republican National Committee Over Donald Trump
    • Native American Tribe Fights To Stop Texas From Auctioning Off Its Sacred Objects

      An upcoming auction in Texas intends to sell over 100 Native American items — including ceremonial pipes that are deeply sacred to the Oglala Sioux and guns that were used in the Massacre at Wounded Knee — over the objections of tribes who say it’s disrespectful.

      Attorneys for the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions say they can legally proceed with the sale. But the Oglala Sioux tribe intends to file an affidavit to prevent the sale of the ceremonial pipes.

      “These are our items, these are our laws,” Trina Lone Hill, the historic preservation officer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, told ThinkProgress.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Jesse Jackson Likens FCC Cable Box Reform Plan To ‘Snarling Dogs, Water Hoses And Church Bombings’

      Back in February the FCC voted to open up the captive cable set top box market to competition, potentially opening the door to better, cheaper hardware, but also putting an end to the $21 billion the cable industry makes annually in set top box rental fees. Shortly thereafter the cable industry responded by pushing an absolute torrent of misleading editorials in newspapers and in websites nationwide. Some of these editorials claim set top box competition will result in privacy, security, or piracy Armageddon. Most try to claim set top box competition is some kind of nefarious plan by Google to freeload on cable’s “amazing history of innovation.”

    • World Wide Web Creator Tim Berners-Lee Wants To Reinvent The Web

      Disappointed by the current state of the web, the World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee wishes to reinvent the web and make some amends. He feels that due to increased surveillance and barricades, the internet has deviated from its true purpose. “We don’t have a technology problem, we have a social problem,” Berners-Lee say pointing out the problem.

  • Brexit

    • Brexit: Gov’t UK voter registration site dies at worst possible moment [Updated]

      A government website used by British citizens to register to vote spectacularly failed at a key moment on Tuesday night—50,000 potential voters scrambled to log in at the same time during a major debate on the upcoming EU referendum.

      Brits had until midnight on June 7 to register to vote in the referendum. The government said that more than half a million people had added themselves to the electoral register on Tuesday. However, the number of people who attempted to access the site during the debate led to it falling over roughly an hour before the deadline for votes kicked in.

    • Nigel Farage spokesperson admits claim ’5,000 jihadi fighters have come to the EU’ isn’t true

      During last night’s EU referendum debate on ITV, Farage said: “[The boss of Europol] said that the migrant policy – and by the way these are not refugees, they are mostly economic – over the last year, sparked by Angela Merkel last year, led to up to 5,000 jihadis coming to the European Union in the space of the last 15 months.”

    • Nigel Farage destroyed by audience member in EU debate after telling woman to ‘calm down a little bit’

      Nigel Farage was blasted by a TV audience member after he told a woman to ‘calm down a little bit’ during an intense debate on the EU referendum .

      A woman grilled the UKIP leader about his views on the German sex attacks earlier this year.

      She questioned him about his comments that remaining in the EU could lead to similar attacks in the UK.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Can a foreign trade mark really trump a local one in Uganda?

        A High Court trade mark judgment suggests that a foreign trade mark registration entitles the owner to registration of that trade mark in Uganda, despite conflicting Ugandan registrations. The decision shines a spotlight on the Paris Convention, some unusual provisions of the Ugandan Trademarks Act, and the East African Community, as Chris Walters explains

    • Copyrights

      • Growing Coalition Opposes California Exerting Copyright Over Public Records

        California’s A.B. 2880 will give government agencies the power to put copyright restrictions on their work. That means state bureaucrats will be able to wrap their reports, research, e-mails, and even videos of public meetings in onerous legal restrictions, backed by federal lawsuits and six-figure penalties. The bill would change California from one of the most open state governments to one of the least open. EFF opposed the bill and explained its dangers to the State Assembly.


Links 8/6/2016: Linux Mint 18 Beta, Spark Summit

Posted in News Roundup at 9:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Russian Helicopters holding plans to switch to Linux OS

    Aircraft holding Russian Helicopters intends to switch to Linux operating system, Kamil Gazizov, CEO of RT-Inform, told reporters.

  • Why I built my own homebrew Linux router

    To be fair, setting up your own router from a generic server distro isn’t a project for everyone. It certainly isn’t user-friendly, both during the build process and once it’s finished. While it’s not terribly complex, it’s definitely arcane, with absolutely no hand holding along the way. If you aren’t already very experienced with Linux, you’ll likely do a lot of puzzled head scratching (and maybe a little cursing). You won’t get a super feature-rich build once you’re done, either—unless you go on to do a lot more for your build than I have with mine, you won’t have fancy quality of service features, usage graphs, or much of anything else besides a bare-bones (although extremely high performance) router that hands out IP addresses, resolves DNS records, connects to the Internet, and makes packets go where they’re supposed to.

  • What’s Our Next Fight?

    We won the battle for Linux, but we’re losing the battle for freedom.

    Linux turns 25 in August 2016. Linux Journal turned 21 in April 2016. (Issue #1 was April 1994, the month Linux hit version 1.0.) We’re a generation into the history of our cause, but the fight isn’t there anymore, because we won. Our cause has achieved its effects.

    It helps to remember that Linux was a fight, and so were free software and open source. If they weren’t fights, they wouldn’t have won what they did. They also wouldn’t have been interesting, meaning there wouldn’t have been any Linux stories, or a Linux Journal.

  • Fights

    Doc Searle is a thinker and strategist. He makes a lot of good observations in a recent writing but he’s bypassing the desktop PC strongholds when he declares victory for Open Source and Linux. The world is still in the wrong place when a legacy PC cannot be bought with FLOSS on it everywhere any time.

  • Desktop

    • Modularity and the desktop

      There has been much talk about modularity recently. Fedora even has a working group on this topic. Modularity is such a generic term that it is a bit hard to figure out what this is all about, but the wiki page gives some hints: …base module… …docker image… …reduced dependencies… …tooling…

    • Chrome OS vs. Endless OS

      Over the years, I’ve seen a number of attempts to create the first truly use anywhere, idiot-proof Linux PC. And until recently, Chromebooks (anything with ChromeOS) was easily the winner.

      Then a PC company known as Endless did something that really surprised me – they released their highly customized version of Ubuntu GNOME into something everyone could try. Will it beat out ChromeOS in terms of access, simplicity and overall value? Let’s take a gander and find out.

    • Linux features that you can’t live without?
    • Have the EFF investigate Microsoft for malicious practices regarding Windows 10
    • Petition condemns Windows 10 upgrade practices, asks EFF to investigate

      A petition launched Friday asks the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to investigate Microsoft’s aggressive moves to convince and cajole users into upgrading to Windows 10.

      The request was launched on Change.org, a popular online petition website, and by early Monday had garnered more than 470 signatures.

    • Is Windows 10 ignoring sysadmins’ network QoS settings?

      An Australian sysadmin frustrated with his business’ sudden loss of performance has sparked a conversation about whether Windows 10 is behaving badly on network connections.

      To jump well into the discussion thread that points the finger at Microsoft: “We have had reports now from several people, not all our clients, reporting that their Internet connection is brought to a standstill and the common thread is that they all have Windows 10 machines recently installed.”

    • M$ Enslaves Not Only Users But Also Their Networks

      Be Free. Use Debian GNU/Linux or other FLOSS operating system.

  • Server

    • 7 DBaaS Vendors You Should Conside

      Database-as-a-service (DBaaS) puts storage and management of structured data in the cloud, offering companies functionality similar to well-known relational database management systems like MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle, with the added flexibility and lower upfront costs of the cloud.

    • Webmin 1.801 Released – A Web Based System Administration Control Panel for Linux

      Webmin is an open source web based system configuration application for Linux system administration. With the help of this tool we can manage internal system configuration such as setting up user accounts, disk quotas, services configuration like Apache, DNS, PHP or MySQL, file sharing and much more. Webmin applications is based on Perl module and it uses TCP port 10000 with OpenSSL library for communicating via browser.

    • WTF is operations? #serverless
    • What is DevOps? Kris Buytaert Explains

      Kris Buytaert is known as one of the instigators of the current DevOps movement and organizer of several related conferences, including DevOpsDays and Config Management Camp. He is a long-time Linux and open source consultant who often claims that everything is a freaking DNS problem. You can find him speaking at events and consulting as the CTO (Chief Trolling Officer) at Inuits on everything from Infrastructure as Code to Continuous Delivery.

    • ​Puppet DevOps comes to the mainframe

      Without DevOps programs such as Puppet, Chef, and Ansible, the cloud wouldn’t be possible. Now Puppet Labs is trying to work in systems management magic on IBM’s z Systems and LinuxONE.

  • Kernel Space

    • Continental, Toshiba, Hyundai Mobis join open-source connected car project

      Automotive suppliers Continental and Hyundai Mobis, electronics group Toshiba and several other companies have joined Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a project that aims to develop an open-source, Linux-based platform for connected cars.

      Earlier this year, AGL announced a new set of codes designed specifically for the automotive industry. The new Linux distribution addresses automotive-specific applications such as navigation, communications, safety, security and infotainment functionality. The Linux Foundation, which promotes the general adoption of the Linux open-source operating system, hopes it will become the de facto standard for the auto industry.

    • Automotive Grade Linux Membership Growth Expands to Europe and Globally

      Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project developing a Linux-based, open platform for the connected car, today announced that bright box, Continental, ForgeRock, Hyundai MOBIS, Toshiba and Ubiquitous have joined The Linux Foundation and Automotive Grade Linux.

      “Our goal is to bring companies from diverse backgrounds and regions together to build an open platform that will drive rapid innovation across the entire automotive industry,” said Dan Cauchy, General Manager of Automotive at The Linux Foundation. “These new members join us from across Europe, Asia and the United States, and will help us continue to develop a global ecosystem for the connected car. We are excited to welcome these members into the AGL community and look forward to our joint collaboration.”

    • Linux Makes Progress On Prepping NVMe-Over-Fabrics Support

      Initial patches were published this week for adding initial NVMe-over-Fabrics support for the Linux kernel as set out by the NVMe 1.2b specification. This target implementation is the basics of making this new specification a reality and one of the first public implementations.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE neon User Edition 5.6 Available now

        KDE neon User Edition 5.6 is based on the latest version of Plasma 5.6 and intends to showcase the latest KDE technology on a stable foundation. It is a continuously updated installable image that can be used not just for exploration and testing but as the main operating system for people enthusiastic about the latest desktop software.

      • KDE Neon User Edition 5.6 Released

        The KDE project has this morning announced the release of KDE Neon User Edition 5.6, the first major version of this OS spin showcasing the latest KDE components.

        KDE Neon has been making good progress since it (re)launched earlier this year as a OS stack based upon Ubuntu but with incorporating all of the bleeding-edge KDE Plasma / Frameworks 5 components. This first major KDE Neon User Edition release incorporates Plasma 5.6.

      • KDE Plasma 5.7 To Have New Task Manager Library Supporting Wayland

        KDE Plasma 5.7 continues to look more and more like it will be running reasonably well on Wayland with close parity to the KDE stack running on X11.

      • A task manager for the Plasma Wayland session

        Plasma 5.7 will ship with a new taskmanager library. One of the reasons to implement a new taskmanager library is the port to Wayland. Our old code base was heavily relying on X11 and didn’t support the concept of multiple windowing systems. You can read more on that in Eike’s blog post about the new task manager. In this blog post I want to focus a little bit on the Wayland side of a task manager.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Clasen: Continuing To Push Modularity On The Linux Desktop

        Matthias Clasen, well known Fedora / GNOME contributor at Red Hat, has written a blog post about the ongoing modularity work in the Linux desktop realm.

        Clasen’s blog post covers the continuing modularity of the desktop and the goal to “make it easier to get desktop applications from application developers to users.”

  • Distributions

    • The Linux Rolling Release Model

      Regardless of the operating system being used, we’re used to the idea that our current OS will become obsolete every few years, and a newer version will be released to replace the current one.

      However, some Linux distributions have adopted a different release model. Instead of releasing a new version every year, they use a model called the “Rolling Release Model” to continuously update your operating system. This means that you only have to install your OS once and will always be running the latest version.

    • Reviews

      • Sabayon 16.05

        Sabayon Sabayon is a Linux distribution that is based on Gentoo. Sabayon takes on some of the characteristics of its parent, providing users with a rolling release distribution that can make use of both binary and source software packages. Recent snapshots of Sabayon offer support for computers running on 64-bit x86 processors along with Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers. Perhaps the biggest new feature of Sabayon though is the launch of Sabayon Community Repositories (SCR). These new repositories provide a way for community members to build and distribute software for Sabayon without the necessity of getting their software into Sabayon’s official repositories.

        There are seven editions of Sabayon, including the builds for Raspberry Pi computers. There are several desktop editions, a Server edition and a small Minimal edition. I decided to begin my trial with Sabayon’s KDE edition which is a 2.7GB download. Booting from the distribution’s media brings up a menu asking if we would like to run Sabayon’s live desktop, perform an installation, boot to a text console, check the installation media for defects or perform a memory check. Taking the live desktop option loads the KDE desktop. The wallpaper shows a gravel road passing through farmland while a moon rises with the Sabayon logo on it. Icons on the desktop invite us to donate to the distribution, get on-line help and launch the system installer. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu, a task switcher and the system tray.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 64 2016.06 Xfce Community Edition Arrives with Linux Kernel 4.4.11 LTS

        Thanks to one of our readers, we were able to report last week on the release of the PCLinuxOS 64 2016.06. MATE Edition operating system. However, today we would like to introduce our readers to the PCLinuxOS 64 2016.06 Xfce Edition OS.

        PCLinuxOS 64 2016.06 Xfce is a community edition, built around the lightweight Xfce 4.12 deskop environment and powered by a kernel package from the long-term supported (LTS) Linux 4.4 series. Linux kernel 4.4.11 LTS is used in the PCLinuxOS 64 2016.06 Xfce Live ISO images at the moment of the launch.

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R7 KDE: nothing to complain… almost

        ROSA Desktop Fresh R7 KDE left a good impression on me.

        Even though the initial boot took about 500 Mb of memory, my laptop with 4Gb of RAM was capable of dealing with all the tasks I ran on it in the Live mode of this distribution in a quick and responsive manner. I felt no lags or glitches.

        The only minor things that were worth mentioning in this review were strange design of the panel and the ROSA Menu which isn’t to my taste.

        Well done, ROSA team, I hope to see your system even more improved in the future.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux 16.06 Daniella Released

        Manjaro Linux is based onArch Linux and one of the easiest Linux distributions available. Manjaro Linux provides the distro in most major flavors including, XFCE, KDE, Gnome, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon and more. The team has recently released its stable release Manjaro 16.06 with all the packages updated to their latest versions.

      • Manjaro Linux 16.06 ‘Daniella’ Released With New Features, Download Here

        The long-anticipated Manjaro Linux 16.06 ‘Daniella’ is now available for download. This release has arrived with the latest Linux kernel 4.4 (and 10 other kernel options) and other new features. The flagship Xfce edition of community driven Manjaro Linux comes with Xfce 4.12, bringing more polished desktop experience.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • ownCloud Summit at openSUSE Conference Cancelled

        The openSUSE project announces the immediate cancellation of the ownCloud Summit that was scheduled to take place during the openSUSE Conference in two weeks.

        The summit was scheduled for June 22 – 23.

        Given the ownCloud community has forked, openSUSE sought an amicable solution so that both communities could take part in the openSUSE conference. As this was found to not be possible, the openSUSE Board made the decision to cancel the summit.

      • Nextcloud hackweek and open BBQ!

        Yesterday we kicked off a meeting in Stuttgart to discuss Nextcloud and get work done. A first result is the establishment of the new Server repository on Github (and more repositories!) and we’ll share other things on the forums and in Github issues the coming days. The real important news however is that we decided to organize a BBQ!

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 20

        The latest Scrum sprint of the YaST team was shorter than the average three weeks and also a little bit “under-powered” with more people on vacation or sick leave than usual. The bright side of shorter sprints is that you don’t have to wait three full weeks to get an update on the status. Here you have it!

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Nicola Sturgeon ranked second most powerful woman in UK

    Nicola Sturgeon has been ranked as the second most powerful woman in the UK, behind only the Queen.

    The first minister is one of six UK representatives in Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s most powerful and influential women.

    A Scottish government spokesman said the list underlined the importance both of the first minister’s office and the profile of Scotland as a nation.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped the list for the sixth year running.

    Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was placed second, with Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve, third.

  • The Leave campaign can’t keep dodging the biggest question

    For four years, as Leader of the Opposition, my job was to interrogate Tony Blair every week at Prime Minister’s Questions; a close approximation to trying to nail jelly to a wall.

    I used all the techniques ever devised of presenting him with a question demanding a “yes” or “no” answer, where both “yes” and “no” were politically impossible to say. And he employed every means known to a seasoned politician of addressing a question without ever coming down on either side of it.

    Even one day when the First Minister of Wales resigned minutes before PMQs – news of which reached me but not him – and I immediately tried to trick him into expressing confidence in that Minister, Blair sniffed the air, smelt the rat, and talked about Wales in general. When it came to obfuscation, he was a class act.

  • How Not to Interview Mitch McConnell

    On this subject, Charlie Rose fed McConnell another softball in the form of a middle-school civics query: “Is it a conservative government that the founders established, because they wanted… to make sure that this country didn’t rush into anything?”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Antibiotic Resistance “Already Here” And Pipeline Is Dry, UK Health Minister Tells UN

      An estimated one million people may already die each year because they are resistant to all known antibiotics, and the number could reach 10 million per year and devastate the world economy by 2050 unless key steps are taken, experts from the United Kingdom and South Africa told a press briefing on antimicrobial resistance at United Nations headquarters today.

      “It’s already here. This is not a problem for the future,” said Prof. Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England. “This is a real worry.”

    • American Wasteland: the Most Urgent Challenge for America is Its Poorly Hidden Mental Health Crisis

      The relentless tragedy of narcotic addiction, especially of opiates, across America has overwhelmed already depleted public resources, leaving a trail of devastated communities, families and lives – threatening a new lost generation.

    • At Least 33 US Cities May Be Hiding Lead in Drinking Water

      A troubling new investigation by the Guardian has found that at least 33 large cities in the United States may be improperly testing tap water in order to pass FDA regulations on allowable levels of lead. Reporters from the paper looked at 41 cities across 17 different states, and compared local officials’ water testing methods to those suggested by the EPA.

      Of the 41 cities studied, 33 were using testing methods that could potentially underestimate the amount of lead present in water, and 21 of those were using the same water testing methods employed by the officials who have now been formally charged in Flint. Due to the age of the infrastructure involved, the paper only looked at large cities east of the Mississippi River, so it’s still completely unknown what standards are being used in the rest of the country.

  • Security

    • WordPress plugin with 10,000+ installations being exploited in the wild

      The attacks have been under way since last Friday and are mainly being used to install porn-related spamming scripts, according to a blog post published Thursday. The underlying vulnerability in WP Mobile Detector came to light on Tuesday in this post. The plugin has since been removed from the official WordPress plugin directory. As of Wednesday, the plugin reportedly had more than 10,000 active installations, and it appears many remained active at the time this post was being prepared.

    • Bad Intel And Zero Verification Leads To LifeLock Naming Wrong Company In Suspected Security Breach

      LifeLock has never been the brightest star in the identity fraud protection constellation. Its own CEO — with his mouth writing checks others would soon be cashing with his credentials — expressed his trust in LifeLock’s service by publishing his Social Security number, leading directly to 13 separate cases of (successful) identity theft.

      Beyond that, LifeLock was barely a lock. It didn’t encrypt stored credentials and had a bad habit of ambulance-chasing reported security breaches in hopes of pressuring corporate victims into picking up a year’s worth of coverage for affected customers. This culminated in the FTC ordering it to pay a $12 million fine for its deceptive advertising, scare tactics, and inability to keep its customers’ ID info safe.

    • Samba 4.4.4 Fixes a Memory Leak in Share Mode Locking, Adds systemd 230 Support

      Samba 4.4 major branch was launched on March 22, 2016, and it brought support for asynchronous flush requests, several Active Directory (AD) enhancements, a GnuTLS-based backupkey implementation, multiple CTDB (Cluster Trivial Database) improvements, a WINS nsswitch module, as well as experimental SMB3 Multi-Channel support.

    • Printer security: Is your company’s data really safe?

      On March 24th of this year, 59 printers at Northeastern University in Boston suddenly output white supremacist hate literature, part of a wave of spammed printer incidents reported at Northeastern and on at least a half dozen other campuses.

      This should be no surprise to anyone who understands today’s printer technology. Enterprise-class printers have evolved into powerful, networked devices with the same vulnerabilities as anything else on the network. But since, unlike with personal computers, no one sits in front of them all day, the risks they introduce are too often overlooked.

      “Many printers still have default passwords, or no passwords at all, or ten are using the same password,” says Michael Howard, HP’s chief security advisor, speaking of what he’s seen in the field. “A printer without password protection is a goldmine for a hacker. One of the breaches we often see is a man-in-the-middle attack, where they take over a printer and divert [incoming documents] to a laptop before they are printed. They can see everything the CEO is printing. So you must encrypt.”

    • We Asked An Etiquette Expert About Home Security Cameras

      Roughly the size of a soda can, sitting on a bookshelf, and whirring away some 24-hours a day, a relatively innocuous gadget may be turning friends and family away from your home. The elephant in your living room is your Internet-connected security camera, a device people are increasingly using for peace of mind in their homes. But few stop to think about the effect these devices may have on house guests. Should you tell your friends, for instance, that they’re being recorded while you all watch the big game together?

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Syrian Gov’t Troops enter ISIL-held al-Raqqa Province, racing against US Allies

      Syrian troops, aided by a Homs-based pro-government militia the ‘Falcons of the Desert’ and under the cover of Russian air support, entered al-Raqqa Province from Hama for the first time in two years on Saturday. The southern half of al-Raqqa province is one of two major strongholds left to Daesh (ISIS, ISIL), the other one being Mosul in northern Iraq. Mosul is much bigger and more important, but al-Raqqa has symbolic importance to Daesh, since it is where the terrorist organization first established itself as a ‘state’ ruling territory. The territory also figures in Daesh’s weird theories about the Judgment Day.

    • France: White Terrorist not investigated for Terrorism even when he Vows attacks

      So Gregoire Moutaux, 25, was arrested last month by Ukraine. The French national had a large cache of deadly weapons.

      Ukraine Intelligence chief Vasyl Hrytsak said, “The Frenchman spoke negatively of the activities of his government on mass migration of foreigners to France, the spread of Islam and globalisation. He also said he wished to stage a number of terrorist attacks in protest.”

    • Netanyahu Must Decide if He’s the Prime Minister of the Jewish Nation or Israel

      Netanyahu is betraying his job. This man has to go, and soon. We are all tasked with that sacred mission, and especially the Arab citizens.

    • On Presidential Powers to Destabilize Entire Regions

      It’s definitely true we know who to hold responsible for Obamacare. Getting into the Iraq War, too — though there’s far less certainty among the public about who is responsible for the failure to negotiate a SOFA, which led to the withdrawal timeline, and (arguably) to the resurgence of what would become ISIS. Both Obama and Bush get blamed.

      But it’s an interesting argument particularly in light of Wittes’ prior dismissal of Conor Friedersdorf and Jennifer Granick’s concerns about drones and surveillance, because on those issues and many more, the Executive is shielded from much political and all legal accountability. Presidents have authorized a vast range of covert action over the years that have led to a great deal of blowback that they by definition cannot be held accountable for. Hell, as recently as 2013, the Executive was stone-walling SSCI member Ron Wyden about what countries we were conducting lethal counterterrorism operations in, and it took years of requests, starting before the Anwar al-Awlaki killing and continuing for some time after it, before Wyden was permitted to see the authorization for that.

      No one may doubt who is responsible for Obamacare, but even select oversight committees, and especially voters, simply don’t know all the things they might want to hold a president accountable for.

      And on the issues that (I think) Wittes would lump under “national security,” such secrecy, such unilateral power, actually may lead to rash and often stupid decisions. Setting aside what you think about the need for the President to have authority to order preemptive nuclear strikes (the “Bomb Power” that Garry Wills argues created the necessity for such secrecy), with such authority also comes the ability to create significant harms to the US by a thousand cuts of stupid covert action. We helped to create modern Sunni terrorism via such secret authority, after all.

    • UN Removes Saudi Arabia From Human Rights Blacklist After Just One Week, Faces Intense Backlash

      United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon removed Saudi Arabia from a U.N.-blacklist of violators of children’s human rights, after initially placing their Yemen coalition on the list last Thursday. The decision resulted in a massive outcry from rights groups who lambasted Ki-moon’s “flip-flopping.”

    • U.N. Quickly Removes Saudi-Led Coalition From Its List of Child Killers

      Under intense pressure from the Saudi Arabian government, the U.N. Secretary General removed the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from a blacklist of child-killers only 72 hours after the list was made public.

      The coalition had been listed in the appendix of the U.N’s annual report on children and armed conflict, under “parties that kill or maim children,” and “parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals.”

      According to the report, at least 785 children were killed and 1,168 injured in Yemen last year alone, 60 percent by coalition airstrikes. The report documents dozens of coalition attacks against Yemeni schools and hospitals.

    • Israel Covets Golan’s Water and Now Oil

      Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu is defiantly asserting permanent control over the occupied Golan Heights, a determination strengthened by Israel’s extraction of water and now possibly oil from the land, writes Jonathan Marshall.

    • Crimes of the War on Terror

      Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?

    • Report Details How US-Backed Coup Unleashed Wave of Abuses in Honduras

      The U.S.-backed Honduran coup ushered in a wave of neoliberal policies that have systematically violated the economic, cultural, and social rights of the nation’s Indigenous people, women, and farmers, while leaving activists and rights defenders—such as the late Berta Cáceres—vulnerable to criminalization and violence.

      Such were the findings of a new report, prepared by a coalition of 54 Honduran social movements and rights organizations and presented as an alternative to the official government report submitted to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which began its 58th session in Geneva on Monday.

      “The coup d’etat in 2009 meant an imminent reversal of human rights and a serious blow to the country’s institutions,” states the report (pdf), which is available in Spanish.

      While the study does not single out international governments that supported the ouster of the country’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, it comes as former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to assume the role of Democratic nominee for president. Clinton’s role in the coup has come under increased scrutiny since the assassination of Cáceres, a Honduran Indigenous rights and environmental activist, in March.

    • Syria: The U.S. Is Unwilling To Settle – Russia Returns For Another Round

      The Obama administration does not want peace in Syria. The Russians finally have to admit to themselves that the U.S. is no partner for a continuation of a cease fire, a coordinated attack against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda and for peace in Syria. Indeed, as Lavrov explains, the U.S. has again asked to spare al-Qaeda from Russian air strikes even as two UN Security Council resolutions demand its eradication. Huge supply convoys (vid) from Turkey are again going to the “rebels” who will, as always, share them with al-Qaeda and other terrorists.

      The current renewed Syrian Arab Army attack towards Raqqa is being obstructed not only by sandstorms but also by a timely attack of al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and Turkestan Islamist Party forces against government positions in the south Aleppo countryside.

    • Rehearsing for World War III

      This is Operation “Anakonda 16.” Thirty-one thousand troops, 14,000 of them American, are conducting war games designed to secure an Allied victory in World War III. The exercises involve “100 aircraft, 12 vessels and 3,000 vehicles,” and precede the upcoming NATO summit, which is expected to approve the stationing of yet more troops – mostly Americans – in eastern Europe.

    • Israel Wants a Peace Process, But Only If It’s Doomed to Fail

      In a familiar muddying of the waters, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spent the past week talking up peace while fiercely criticising Friday’s summit in France – the only diplomatic initiative on the horizon.

      As foreign ministers from 29 nations arrived for a one-day meeting in Paris, Netanyahu dusted off the tired argument that any sign of diplomatic support for Palestinians would encourage from them “extreme demands”.

      France hopes the meeting will serve as a prelude to launching a peace process later in the year. French president Francois Hollande said he hoped to achieve a “peace [that] will be solid, sustainable and under international supervision”.

    • HRC’s War-Driven Foreign Policy

      In the last days before the California primary, where Democratic primary polls showed her neck-and-neck with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton delivered a campaign speech in San Diego. Though her campaign billed it as a “major foreign policy address,” it looked more like a last-ditch attempt to position herself as the Democratic nominee ahead of a potentially embarrassing loss or close finish with Sanders in the nation’s most populous state.

      Indeed, most of the address was directed squarely at Donald Trump. It wasn’t a speech on Clinton’s own foreign policy so much as a takedown of the presumptive GOP nominee’s.

      Throughout, Clinton contrasted Trump’s often wild and crazy (and not to mention wildly inconsistent) positions with her own claims of having an experienced hand on the tiller (and not to mention on the button). Clinton’s overall point was that Trump is “temperamentally unfit to be president,” and that he’d be incompetent and dangerous as commander in chief.

      Much of the critique was a rehash of the GOP candidate’s bizarre and often contradictory statements on the subject. After all, Clinton found, it’s easy to critique Trump’s calls for providing nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and other countries. It’s a sure laugh-line to mention Trump’s claim that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese, and a guaranteed applause line (especially in a military town like the carefully chosen San Diego) to remind the audience that Trump said that POWs were not necessarily heroes.

    • Caving to Saudis, UN Takes Coalition Off Blacklist in ‘Shocking Flip-Flop’

      Just a few days after blacklisting the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition for killing children in Yemen, the United Nations on Monday removed the group from its tally of armed states that violate children’s rights during conflict.

      Amnesty International blasted the UN for “shamefully” caving to pressure to scrub the coalition from the so-called “list of shame” after an annual report found that the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed group was responsible for 60 percent of child deaths and injuries in Yemen in 2015.

      “It is unprecedented for the UN to bow to pressure to alter its own published report on children in armed conflict. It is unconscionable that this pressure was brought to bear by one of the very states listed in the report,” said Richard Bennett, representative and head of Amnesty International’s UN Office.

    • The Most Important Election Ever!

      However, even this belief in a “presidential difference” ignores that a President Gore would not have been the bearded, environmental “warrior” he has presented himself as since forfeiting the election. Gore (an opportunistic, protean, and militaristic politician flanked by a frothing hawk for his VP) would have been “commander in chief” and steward of the state and would have therefore wreaked havoc on the world as surely as Clinton did in Yugoslavia, Bush did in Iraq, and Obama did in Libya. As Obama’s drone program indicates, presidential differences here are matters of technique, but because liberals are frequently more concerned with presidential management’s form than content, they do not seem to notice that being a good manager is wholly compatible with being a mass murderer.

    • GOP Congress Plays Pentagon Budget Games

      Despite a nearly $600 billion military budget, congressional Republicans are demanding even more money for the Pentagon, while rejecting cuts in spending for military bands and resisting emergency funds to fight the Zika virus, notes Mike Lofgren.

    • 50,000 flee Boko Haram attacks in Niger: UN

      Tens of thousands of people have fled southeastern Niger following deadly attacks by Boko Haram insurgents on the town of Bosso in recent days, the United Nations said Tuesday.

    • Hindu priest murdered in Bangladesh in suspected militant attack

      The priest Anando Gopal Ganguly was attacked on Tuesday morning by three men, who came on a motorcycle, said Assistant Superintendent of Police Gopinath Kanjilal.

      Armed with sharp weapons, the assailants slit 69-year-old Ganguly’s throat around 9:30am while he was on his way to the temple he served.

      Kanjilal said that the Ganguly was on his bicycle, when the assailants first hit him on his head with a stick before slaughtering him.

      “It seems that militants might be responsible for the killing,” said Kanjilal.

      Monitoring group SITE Intelligence reported that Middle East-based Islamic State claimed the murder.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Voters: 50 Percent Say Clinton Should Keep Running Even If Indicted

      In a statement I never expected to see in print, half of voters said in a survey a presidential candidate should continue to run for America’s highest office even if she is indicted for national security crimes.

      For those who want historical markers to look back on, charting decline in civilization and deviations from reality, well, there’s a good one.

      The latest Rasmussen Reports survey, taken in late May, finds most voters (65%) believe Hillary Clinton is a lawbreaker, but half of all voters also say a felony indictment shouldn’t stop her campaign for the presidency.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Indonesia’s forest fires threaten Sumatra’s few remaining Orang Rimba

      Indonesian land policies have turned rainforest into monoculture plantations. All photographs by Angel L Martínez Cantera

      “Our main goal is to preserve the forest according to the customary traditions of our people. If there’s no forest, there’s no Orang Rimba and the other way round,” says Bepak Pengusai, head of customs in arombong, or group area, belonging to the Orang Rimba, an aboriginal people in Sumatra.

      Indonesia’s devastating forest fires pose a serious threat to the Orang Rimba habitat. From July to late last year, the fires killed a dozen people and caused respiratory tract infections in half a million more.

    • Energy independence won’t cure climate ills

      For many governments aiming to reduce their import bills and avoid being reliant for fuel on potentially hostile or unstable foreign powers, energy independence is the ultimate goal.

      But international economists have published a report warning that it is false to believe the policy will also help to stave off climate change.

    • In Powerful Action, Anti-Pipeline Activists Sow Sacred ‘Seeds of Resistance’

      In a powerful display of opposition to the fossil fuel economy, activists in Virginia this week are planting traditional “seeds of resistance” along Dominion’s proposed natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline route.

      The action began Monday in Stuarts Draft, when residents met with anti-pipeline activists and members of national environmental groups to sow the sacred blue corn seeds, which were brought by a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.

      “We stand on this common ground that we care about and love,” said Mekasi Horinek Camp, Ponca Nation member and coordinator with Bold Oklahoma, which is part of the anti-pipeline Bold Alliance campaign.

    • For-Profit Pipelines Are Growing And So Are Eminent Domain Battles

      When an oil pipeline now poised to cut through four Midwestern states was first proposed in 2014, the project quickly got pushback from environmentalists and some landowners on the pipeline’s route.

      For one group, this piece of fossil fuel infrastructure was a poor investment in a time of human-caused climate change and increasing pollution. For the other, it was a threat to their land and their property rights. Residents thought it was clear from the beginning that Dakota Access, the developer, intended to claim land by condemning it via eminent domain if allowed to, and build a line intended to transport oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Formation to a market hub near Patoka, Illinois.

    • I Wrote a Book the Fracking Industry Doesn’t Want You to Read

      In the meantime, frontline communities are becoming sacrifice zones where people are sick from toxic water and poisoned air from fracking. Life on Earth is threatened if we don’t take dramatic action to save our global climate from chaos. Yet, even though we must take action to keep fossil fuels in the ground, billions of dollars are being sunk into another 40 years of fossil fuel infrastructure.

    • A Renewable Revolution Challenges Destructive Energy Paradigm

      Wind and solar power are on an exciting ride. Last year, new renewables for the first time made up more than half of the power capacity that was added around the world. New wind and solar plants, in other words, outstripped all new fossil fuel, hydropower and nuclear power plants. “Renewables are now established around the world as mainstream sources of energy,” states the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report. This is great news for the climate and for the world’s rivers.

    • Fukushima: Worse Than a Disaster

      Naohiro Masuda, TEPCO Chief of Decommissioning at Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant, finally publicly “officially” announced that 600 tons of hot molten core, or corium, is missing (Fukushima Nuclear Plant Operator Says 600 Tons of Melted Fuels is Missing, Epoch Times, May 24, 2016).

    • EU laws protecting climate, health, considered “barriers to trade” according to US Department report

      A report published by the US Trade Representative at the end of March has indicated that a series of EU regulations that protect people and the environment act as “barriers” to US trade, and questions the need for such provisions.

      US based NGO Sierra Club has distilled the “lowlights” from the 2016 report (below) showcasing how the US is targeting climate-friendly laws, as well as regulations banning pesticides, chemicals and GM crops.

  • Finance

    • With the Trans-Pacific Partnership, It’s Obama and the GOP vs. the Democrats

      As it stands right now, the TPP’s best chance of passing is in the slim window of time between Election Day and Inauguration Day — the so-called lame duck session of Congress. This is really the easiest time for President Obama to push through a massively unpopular trade deal like the TPP without anybody noticing.

    • CETA: Luxembourg parliament resolution demands legal clarification, not ready to vote on deal

      The Luxembourg parliament voted in support of a resolution on the EU-Canada deal CETA on Tuesday (June 8), that calls upon the government to seek legal clarification on the investor rights provisions in the agreement. It also demands that CETA is a “mixed deal” requiring ratification in Member State parliaments once these legal irregularities have been addressed.

      The vote was overwhelmingly supported by all political parties, with 58 votes in favour and only 2 abstentions from the far left. The resolution refers to the legal opinions of the European Judges Association and the German Association of Judges (Deutscher Richterbund DRB) who have both heavily criticised the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and the EU Commission’s reform proposal or Investment Court System (ICS). The DRB said in a February statement that an Investment Court System, as proposed by the Commission, had “no legal basis” and was not needed as EU and US states guarantee access to justice and grant effective protection to foreign investors.

    • Austria’s crackdown on immigration is denting its economy

      Faced with a record-breaking refugee crisis over the past year, some European countries have resorted to strict measures to stem the flow of migrants and asylum seekers arriving at their borders.

      Austria, in particular, has made it difficult for refugees to enter the country. In February 2016, for example, the country imposed a daily cap on the number of asylum seekers that could enter from its southern border—limiting it to just 80 a day. (In 2015 the country received 90,000 asylum claims, equivalent to 1% of its population.)

    • The Guardian view on the EU referendum debate: register to vote now

      Opinion polls show the leave campaign is gaining, but remain can still win. First things first, however – make sure you are registered before midnight on Tuesday

    • India Seeks To Renegotiate 47 Investment Treaties Because Of Their Corporate Sovereignty Clauses

      Corporate sovereignty has become a big issue as a result of its inclusion in TPP and TAFTA/TTIP, but it’s present in hundreds of other trade and investment treaties.The heated discussion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) chapters in those negotiations has led some countries to realize that corporate sovereignty could prove very costly to them one day.

    • Uber and Deregulated Hypercapitalism Increasingly Leave Americans Unprotected

      Last week in San Diego, Calif., an Uber driver was charged with 20 counts of sexual assault-related charges stretching back several years, only months after he allegedly raped an intoxicated young woman who sought a ride home. (Uber immediately fired the driver after that incident last winter.) The attack, which was rare but not unprecedented, prompted Uber’s competition, the traditional taxi industry, to demand the Golden State require ride-share drivers undergo police-conducted fingerprinting and criminal background checks—which Uber has fervently opposed.

    • Three guys and a paper

      A new paper on “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” by Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri (pdf), is attracting a great deal of publicity these days.

      It’s not really because of the arguments in the paper, which are basically some pretty mild criticisms of some aspects of neoliberalism. It’s only because of where the paper appeared— in Finance and Development, a quarterly magazine published by the International Monetary Fund.

      But it’s a mistake to assume the IMF has rejected neoliberalism.

    • Accreditor of For-profit Colleges Agrees It Needs a Makeover

      A much-criticized group that accredits for-profit colleges announced Monday that it would temporarily stop taking new applications from campuses.

      The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools described the move as an effort to restore “trust and confidence.”

      ProPublica and others have detailed serious problems at the organization. As ProPublica reported, students at ACICS-accredited schools graduate at particularly low rates and often can’t pay off their debt.

      “Every aspect of the agency must be re-evaluated, fortified and enhanced,” said ACICS’ top executive Anthony Bieda in a press release.

    • Paul Ryan’s Radical Anti-Poverty Plan Would Make Poverty Worse

      Three months after apologizing for calling poor people “takers,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled his plan to make life harder for them.

      Ryan delivered remarks about the plan, entitled A Better Way, at a drug rehab center in Anacostia, an impoverished and heavily black neighborhood of Washington, D.C., as part of a broader rollout of House Republican priorities this week.

      Ryan has become the leading voice in Republican lawmakers’ crusade against welfare programs. In the past, he’s blamed poverty on a “culture problem” in “inner cities,” where he says black men are “not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” He has also argued that marriage is the cure for poverty, not government programs, and refused to allow any actual poor people testify at his hearings on poverty. He seemed to back away from some of the more racially loaded rhetoric in March, saying he was wrong to refer to people stuck in poverty as “takers.”

    • Ryan’s GOP Regurgitates “Anti-Poverty” Policies that Amount to War on Poor

      Continuing the GOP’s war on the poor, Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans unveiled an ostensibly new “anti-poverty” plan on Tuesday, marked by cuts to critical safety-net programs and further austerity.

      According to Politico, “much of this latest initiative is repackaged GOP proposals”—and the last time around, those ideas weren’t very popular.

    • Social Security’s Enemies Are Down – But They’re Not Out

      Not so long ago, Social Security was endangered by a “bipartisan” consensus that sought to cut its benefits – already lower than those of comparable countries – as part of a “grand bargain.” President Obama even put a slow-motion benefit cut into one of his proposed budgets, in the form of a reduction in cost-of-living increases.

      And nobody talked much about raising taxes on the rich. That, they said, was “politically impossible.”

    • Singapore weighs international court system in EU trade agreement
    • ‘Wet Kiss for Wall Street’: Warren Shreds GOP Attempt to Gut Dodd-Frank

      A Republican plan to dismantle key banking reforms passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis has been dubbed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) the “Wet Kiss for Wall Street Act.”

      Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, outlined his proposal—the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act—in a speech at the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday. The legislation contains “sweeping provisions that effectively constitute a wish list for Republicans,” according to American Banker.

    • Despite ‘Moral Angst’ About Inequality, World’s Richest Just Keep Getting Richer

      At a moment when the wealthiest one percent own more money than the rest of the world combined, a new report finds that in 2015 the world’s richest people were able to sit back and watch their assets grow by 5.2 percent to a stunning $168 trillion.

    • Abolish All Work Immediately

      Naturally, they fail to mention that not all ‘work’ pays, whereas jobs generally guarantee an income. The problem with jobs is that they sound a lot less glamorous than the more aspirational model of ‘work’, which supposedly makes you frei, and not just in the nazi sense of the word. Thus you’ll be hard pressed to meet anyone who isn’t a filmmaker, IT consultant, or “poet”. Tell people what you actually do for money and they’ll react as if you said “I kill surplus baby animals at a petting zoo with my own bare hands” or “I shoot ping pong balls out of my hoohoo in exchange for tequila shots” – as if that’s somehow worse than “leading a global team of market analysts for a European bank”. People who have jobs can fight for improved working conditions. People who ‘work’ at non-jobs as freelancers, interns or just aspirants in the field are unlikely to challenge the status quo. Thus ‘work’ is heralded as value producing, worthwhile and fulfilling, whereas jobs are for shmucks who can’t compete in the “real world”.

    • All about the money

      A commonly overlooked but very simple mechanism for promoting decent work in global supply chains is to improve the recovery of unpaid wages.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How Hillary Clinton “Clinched “The Nomination On A Day Nobody Voted

      Yet the AP and other media continued to do so. Why? It’s just blatant bias from the ostensibly neutral mainstream media for the status quo candidate Hillary Clinton.

      That should be enough to turn the U.S. population away from these organizations forever. Yet there’s more. In calling the nomination for Hillary, the Associated Press had to get commitments from a few more super delegates. They achieved that feat yesterday evening (mind you, they still haven’t actually voted), and they kept the names anonymous. Yes, you read that right.

    • Quick: How Many Delegates Does Hillary Clinton Have?

      As of May 31, Hillary Clinton has 13,221,091 votes to Bernie Sanders’ 10,340,549. Those numbers include the raw vote counts from the caucus states with the exception of Wyoming and several territories which have not released raw vote counts. They do include Washington caucus numbers but not its primary vote counts. Washington’s delegate allocation process is druidic, with candidate preferences calculated to the third decimal point.

    • Glenn Greenwald Is Spot-On About AP’s Premature Declaration of Hillary Clinton as the Dem Nominee
    • Is This Evidence of Collusion Between Hillary Clinton and the AP Over Clinton’s ‘Secret Win’?
    • Big Money’s Conquest of Democratic Party

      As Hillary Clinton finally clinches the Democratic nomination, the big question facing Democrats is: are they now the party of big money and elite special interests or will the Sanders’ revolt live on and grow, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

    • Los Angeles Election Chief Dismissive of Ballot Shortage Concerns for Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders California Election Contest

      Poll workers in Los Angeles County are reporting that they are short, in some cases well-short, of the number of Democratic and No Party Preference cross-over Democratic ballots required for their precincts tomorrow under California Elections Code Section 14102 (a)1, (a)2, and (b). Dean C. Logan, L.A. County’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, is dismissive of these claims, however, suggesting that precinct inspectors should be speaking to his office instead of the media and offering a definition of “registered voters” that flies in the face of Federal law and California’s Secretary of State guidance in accordance with Federal law.

    • Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders: Tom Hayden vs. Norman Solomon

      So we’re looking at a quandary here where Bernie’s the winner on a moral and even a political basis. He’s made history, and she’s the winner on the mathematical basis. And then you have Trump. So it could be the tightest, most hazardous race in political history and we can’t afford to allow Trump to slither through. So that’s where I’m at.

    • ‘The Struggle Continues’: Sanders Refuses to Bend the Knee to Establishment

      Bernie Sanders refused to concede the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination on Tuesday night even as he congratulated his rival Hillary Clinton on her primary wins and thanked his supporters for their determined commitment to the ‘political revolution’ he has championed throughout the hotly contested primary season.

      “If this campaign has taught us anything,” he told an enthusiastic and cheering crowd in Santa Monica, California just after 10:30 pm local time, “it has proven that millions of Americans who love this country are prepared to stand up and fight to make this country a much better place.”

      When Sanders took the stage, and as of this writing, major news outlets had awarded three of the day’s six contests–New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota–to Clinton, while Sanders was able to claim victories in both Montana and North Dakota.

    • Failure of America’s Two Parties

      The U.S. political process, which fancies itself the world’s “gold standard,” is ready to foist on the American people two disdained candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, raising profound doubts about the two-party system, writes Nat Parry.

    • Trump Doubles Down On Racist Attack Against Federal Judge

      In a lengthy statement released on his website, Donald Trump defended his racist attacks on the federal district court judge overseeing the fraud case against Trump University. Trump has said the judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel, was not capable of fairly adjudicating the case because of his “Mexican heritage.” Paul Ryan today described Trump’s comments as “textbook racism.”

    • California Senate President: Trump’s Attack on Federal Judge is Racist, Anti-Immigrant

      Leading Republicans have continued to criticize presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for attacking a Mexican-American judge. Trump has said the judge should recuse himself from a lawsuit against the defunct for-profit Trump University, because his Mexican heritage represents a conflict of interest, since Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border. We get a response from Kevin de León, president pro-tem of the California Senate, and Los Angeles city councilmember and former California state legislator Gil Cedillo.

    • Here’s Paul Ryan Calling Out Donald Trump for Racism But Urging People to Vote for Him Anyway

      House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to withdraw his endorsement of Donald Trump on Tuesday even as he acknowledged that Trump made “racist” and “indefensible” comments about the Mexican heritage of Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge overseeing a suit against the defunct Trump University.

      In a remarkable 45 seconds captured on video by CNN, Ryan, who is currently the highest-ranking elected official in the Republican party first called Trump’s comments obviously racist and then immediately urged Americans to vote for him anyway.

    • Republicans Show Just How Much of Trump’s “Textbook Racism” They Will Tolerate

      Testing the endurance of the proverbial ‘camel’s back’ on Tuesday, many mainstream Republicans claimed to have reached their threshold of blatantly discriminatory remarks made by the anointed party nominee, Donald Trump.

      Throughout his campaign, the New York billionaire has insulted entire sectors of people, from Mexicans and Muslims to women and people with disabilities. Despite this, the party has widely gotten behind his candidacy.

      But the conservative world appears to be in free-fall after Trump defiantly stood by his assertion that the U.S. district court judge presiding over the Trump University case would not give a fair hearing because of his Mexican heritage.

      As evidenced by the mid-Tuesday press conference by House Speaker Paul Ryan, many in the party appeared conflicted. While Ryan acknowledged that the remarks were indeed “the textbook definition of racist comments,” he said that he will continue to support Trump for president.

    • California’s primary has oily fingers all over it

      In the months leading up the California primary, all eyes have been focused on the Hillary vs. Bernie cage match. That’s too bad, because there’s another Democrat-on-Democrat struggle going on in the race for the California Assembly that’s full of suspense. It’s another episode in Big Oil’s ongoing fight to roll back the state’s ambitious climate laws.

    • Bernie Sanders’s big crowds in California, by the numbers

      During the month leading up to Tuesday’s primary, Bernie Sanders essentially turned California into a second home. The senator from Vermont campaigned the same way in the Golden State that he has since the outset of his White House bid: by staging rallies that draw eye-popping crowds.

      In California, the feat has been particularly impressive because of the Democratic hopeful’s ability to attract supporters in such big numbers day after day, up and down the state.

    • 4 Reasons Bernie Sanders Could Fight On

      Why Clinton’s call for Sanders to fall in line misreads the 2016 race

    • Sanders Supporters Cry Foul over Clinton’s Suspicious “Secret Win” Email

      Twitter blew up on Tuesday after it was revealed that an email sent to Hillary Clinton supporters—one celebrating Monday’s premature and controversial nomination call—contained an image labeled “secret win” which gave many the impression that the campaign was ready to pounce even before the Associated Press and other outlets made their surprise announcements on the eve of Tuesday’s primaries.

    • Truthdig Sits Down With Green Party’s Jill Stein

      Watch the entire discussion below, although the first video is cut off early because of Facebook’s time limit. The second segment, while much shorter, is a sign-off from Stein and the Truthdig staff.

    • First GOP Rats Are Starting To Jump Sinking Toxic Trump Ship

      With the Drumpf reality show getting ever more deranged, moronic and in-your-face racist – moving from trashing a judge whose parents happen to be Mexican to a possibly Muslim or female one – the GOP is tap-dancing as fast as it can to simultaneously deplore and support their candidate, haplessly arguing that while their candidate may be a racist dick, he’s their racist dick. As Republicans realize their guy is going to stay the same thin-skinned, babbling, narcissistic, vindictive jerk with the impulse control of a four-year-old, it’s surreal to hear them trying to toe the impossible line between ditching their party and selling their soul. Hence, their blizzard of double-speak: His attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel are “textbook racism,” “offensive and wrong,” “un-American”; then again, “I don’t know all the facts,” “I think we’re all sort of used to remarks being made that we don’t expect,” it’s “a more dimensional issue,” “I’m not going to comment about everything he says and doesn’t say (or) we’d never get anything done,” and from Maine’s own Susan Collins, “I continue to hope that Mr. Trump will rethink his position…I continue to believe in redemption.” Yeah, good luck with that.

    • Kirk: ‘I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee’

      I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers — not building walls. That’s why I find Donald Trump’s belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American.

      As the Presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled. While I oppose the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for President regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.

    • Supreme Court To Consider What Happens When Race Discrimination Hides In Plain Sight

      Racial gerrymandering cases are rarely easy for courts to decide. On the one hand, the Constitution requires courts to treat racial classifications in the law with extraordinary skepticism. On the other, laws such as the Voting Rights Act require states to pay attention to race when they draw legislative maps, and the Constitution gives them some leeway to do so. The Supreme Court’s opinions explaining how to walk the line between these two conflicting concerns are not a model of clarity.

    • Nina Turner: ‘We’re Going All the Way to the Convention’ (Video)

      “We are being tested in this moment because there will never another candidate like Bernie Sanders.”

    • Sanders and Clinton Vying for More than California on Final Big Tuesday

      It might be hard to believe, but California is not the only state voting in the presidential primaries on Tuesday.

      Contests will also take place in New Jersey, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, and Montana—and could have some impact as Bernie Sanders supporters hold their ground against corporate media claims that Hillary Clinton has already clinched the nomination.

      In New Jersey, which has 126 delegates available, polls open at 6am and close at 8pm. It is a closed primary, which means that voters must be registered for the political party holding the contest in order to cast a ballot. However, the state does allow same-day registration. Live results will be available here.

      Moving further west, North Dakota will hold an open caucus at 7pm local time, and voters are encouraged to arrive at least an hour early. Those in line by the deadline will still be allowed to caucus. As the NWI Times noted, 2016 marks the first year that both Democratic presidential candidates took the trouble of opening up offices in a state that has not voted blue since 1964, although there are only 23 delegates up for grabs. According to FiveThirtyEight, Sanders is expected to sweep the state by 38 percentage points. Track live results here.

    • Clinton may take the nomination, but Sanders has won the debate

      Clinton may take the nomination, but Sanders surely has won the political debate. He started at single digits in the polls and was widely dismissed as a “fringe” candidate. He has astounded even his supporters, winning more than 20 contests, 10 million votes and 1,500 pledged delegates, the most of any true insurgent in modern history. He has captured the support of young voters by record margins. And he did so less with personal charisma than with the power of his ideas and the force of the integrity demonstrated by spurning traditional deep-pocketed donors in favor of grass-roots fundraising. Harvard researchers found that Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have actually become more progressive over the course of the campaign. Sanders hasn’t merely won a seat at the table, he’s started a sea change in Democratic politics that the party will have to adjust to.

    • Action Alert: AP’s Premature Call for Clinton Does Disservice to Democracy

      AP Count: Clinton Has Delegates to Win Democratic NominationThe Associated Press (6/6/16) has unilaterally declared Hillary Clinton to be “the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president,” based on the news agency’s own polling of unelected superdelegates.

      Superdelegates—who have a role in the Democratic nominating process based on their institutional positions rather than being chosen by voters—do not vote until the Democratic National Convention, to be held on July 25. They can declare their intention to vote for one candidate or another, just as voters can tell pollsters who they intend to vote for before Election Day, but like voters they can (and do) change their mind at any time before the actual voting. Media do not generally call elections weeks before the actual voting based on voters’ intentions.

      The timing of AP’s announcement–on the eve of primaries in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana and South Dakota, and caucuses in North Dakota—raises concerns of voter suppression, intentional or not. The six states choose a total of 806 delegates on June 7, making it the second-biggest day in the Democratic primary calendar (after “Super Tuesday,” March 1, when 865 delegates were at stake).

      News outlets generally withhold the results of exit polling until voters have finished voting, regardless of how far ahead the leading candidate is, because they don’t want to confuse poll-based speculation with the actual electoral results. AP, it seems, has no such qualms.

    • Sanders camp blasts media for ‘suppressing voter turnout’

      Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager laid into the media on Tuesday for allegedly suppressing voter turnout, ripping into news outlets’ calls projecting Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee while reiterating that his candidate would pursue the nomination all the way until next month’s convention.

      “Let those people vote and decide before the media tells them that the race is over,” Jeff Weaver told CNN. “What’s the point of suppressing voter turnout in six states across the country to have a quick news hit that could easily have been done tonight?”

      Sanders has said that he would do well in California and five other states voting Tuesday if there is a large turnout. Discussing Sanders’ next moves, Weaver noted that the District of Columbia still has its primary next Tuesday.

    • North Carolina superdelegate endorses Sanders

      The Associated Press may have declared Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee, but Bernie Sanders is still picking up superdelegates.

      Democratic National Committeewoman Pat Cotham, a North Carolina superdelegate, said Monday evening she would support Sanders. The endorsement came on the eve of contests in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.

    • Trump University Documents Reveal Trump’s Scary Approach To Schooling

      Newly released documents from Trump University have inspired another round of questions about the company’s dubious business practices. But the documents also shed light on how presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump views education — and what education policies he might roll out if he wins the election.

    • Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media

      Last night, Associated Press – on a day when nobody voted – surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

      Although the Sanders campaign rejected the validity of AP’s declaration – on the ground that the superdelegates do not vote until the convention and he intends to try to persuade them to vote for him – most major media outlets followed the projection and declared Clinton the winner.

    • Does Sanders Have a Plan B?

      The Democrats introduced the super delegate system back in 1982, in order to prevent another populist upsurge in the early 1970s with the grassroots George McGovern campaign; and as a response to another outsider, Jimmy Carter, who turned out to be a disaster for the party in the 1980 election.

    • Declaring Clinton’s Premature Victory

      The mainstream media has run out screaming headlines and saturation TV coverage on AP’s tally that Hillary Clinton has nailed down the Democratic nomination, but the claims are misleading, reports Joe Lauria.

    • Rome, Brexit, Trump and Greens – so many forms of establishment meltdown: revolution in the making?

      Rome, London, Washington, Wien: these are different and distant places. Yet it is rather obvious nowadays to connect the dots and read them as just nation-specific symptoms of a worldwide phenomenon. We are witnessing what is increasingly looking like the meltdown of an entire political and economic system which has governed the developed world for at least three decades.

      In Italy, the results of yesterday’s election of local city councils surpassed even the expectations of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. In Rome, the city which has lived for decades almost exclusively off salaries paid by a heavily indebted and inefficient central administration, only one out of ten electors voted for the Democratic Party of the PM, Matteo Renzi.

    • In California and Beyond, Sanders Democrats and Independents Needed to Stop Trump

      Despite the acrimony and​ deep​ ideological debate raging within the Democratic Party, the vast majority of both Clinton and Sanders​ supporters​ know America must defeat Donald Trump. ​They​ ​just vehemently disagree about how to​ best​ ​ ensure his loss.

      Californi​a primary voters can ​force Democrats to engage​ productively​ across the divide​​ ​ if they mak​e​ the unconventional​ political​ move​ to register the big picture, not simply the dynamics within the Democratic National Committee confines.

    • The Racial Divide Between Sanders and Trump

      As I sat in the San Diego sunshine yesterday listening to Bernie Sanders outside of Qualcomm Stadium, I was struck by the stunning contrast between the senator and Donald Trump, particularly on the issue of race.

      Sanders emphasized racial justice, citing the courage of African Americans and their allies who fought against racism and bigotry during Jim Crow. He talked of the thousands of undocumented workers who are ruthlessly exploited, overworked and underpaid, vowing to end the current deportation policies. Sanders seeks to “unite, not divide families.” And he wants to “fundamentally change” the federal government’s oppressive relationship with the Native American community.

      There are more people in U.S. prisons than in any other country in the world, Sanders noted. Those imprisoned, he said, are disproportionately African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans. The senator wants to invest in “jobs and education, not jails and incarceration.”

    • Most Dems Want Open Primaries: Poll

      Amid new charges of an “undemocratic” presidential primary, over 60 percent of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning voters assert that they want the party to hold open nominating contests, an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday found.

      A majority of Republicans and voters leaning toward the Republican Party also prefer open primaries and caucuses.

      As the number of independent voters has risen in recent years, many voters have argued that closed primaries are disenfranchising a large portion of the population.

    • If Sanders Has Lost, What Have the Democrats Won?

      In the midst of an intensifying primary, the mainstream media joined as one to announce Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee for President. While she lacks a clear majority of pledged delegates, the expected support of as yet to vote superdelegates has apparently handed her a hard won victory against an impassioned Bernie Sanders and the growing progressive movement propelling him forward.

      Indeed, this announced “triumph” comes on the eve of a California primary where Sanders is surging in popularity and attracting hundred of thousands of new registered voters with his calls for no less than a “political revolution.” Rather than racing confidently toward the finish, Clinton is limping with desperate vigor to hold on tightly to her once inevitable coronation as the nominee. Far from celebration, her success is tinged with establishment concerns over how much she has been damaged as a candidate and broader worries over whether this will be ultimately a pyrrhic victory.

    • Establishment Media Commit Massive Act of Malpractice And Claim Clinton ‘Clinched’

      The Associated Press and NBC News inappropriately reported Hillary Clinton made history and “clinched” the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. It spurred other media organizations, such as CNN and the New York Times, to follow suit and splash their home pages with big headlines indicating Clinton was the nominee.

      In engaging in this act, establishment media improperly influenced five primaries scheduled for June 7, including the California primary, one of the biggest contests in the presidential race thus far. They collectively stooped to a new sycophantic low.

      The reports of “clinching” are entirely based on an unofficial survey of superdelegates, which the AP and NBC News has conducted throughout the 2016 election. They both determined Clinton reached the “magic number” needed to clinch, which is 2383 delegates.

      But if it is true that history happened, why didn’t Clinton’s own party congratulating her? How come there was no statement from the Democratic National Committee?

      As of 12 am ET on June 7, the DNC had released no statement. There was no status update on the DNC’s Facebook page. There was no message sent or retweeted about Clinton making history.

      Is that not a bit odd to journalists in the media or do journalists and pundits covering this election have their heads so deep in the Clinton campaign that they do not care to even fake objectivity and fairness anymore?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Go Home, State Council Information Office Of The People’s Republic Of China, You’re Drunk

      Techdirt has written plenty of stories about the Chinese government’s attempts to stifle dissent online using a variety of heavy-handed approaches.

    • Ukraine struggles to balance censorship and security as war in east wears on

      But the message came at a time when Western journalists and human rights groups have been speaking out over mounting censorship in the country. Just two weeks ago, Poroshenko banned 17 Russian media executives and journalists from entering Ukraine as part of the fight against Kremlin propaganda or Russia’s “information war.”

      The ban issued on May 27 has been widely condemned by Western organizations, even though Ukraine lifted sanctions on 29 foreign journalists in a second decree issued on the same day.

    • State Department Tries to Send Embarrassing Press Video Down the Memory Hole

      Last week the State Department revealed that an unknown official within its public affairs office ordered the scrubbing of roughly eight minutes from a video of a State press briefing, which included a discussion about negotiations related to the Iran nuclear deal.

      In the deleted portion, then-spokesperson Jen Psaki (above) was asked whether her predecessor lied when she said secret bilateral talks with Iran had not yet begun, when later U.S. officials said they were already ongoing at that point.

      A few days later, after the news broke of the deletion, Secretary of State John Kerry said that whoever called for deleting the several minutes of video was being “stupid, clumsy and inappropriate.” Kerry emphasized that he intends to find out who was responsible, adding that he didn’t want someone like that working for him.

    • The War on Syria and the Refugee Crisis: Censorship and “Humanitarian Propaganda”, NGOs Support America’s “Moderate Terrorists”

      The genuine and positive forces seeking change in Syria disappeared long ago. James Foley documented the reality in Syria after his illusions were dispelled in Fall 2012. So did the native Aleppan known as Edward Dark. Initially he and his friends supported the uprising but then realized what it meant. While there is an array of jihadi factions, the conflict has crystallized into its essence: a brutal war of aggression with foreign funded mercenaries and international jihadis on one side, and a struggling multi-ethnic, multi-religious Syrian army and allies on the other.

    • Web Sheriff Accuses Us Of Breaking Basically Every Possible Law For Pointing Out That It’s Abusing DMCA Takedowns

      Remember Web Sheriff? That’s the wacky firm that claims it will send DMCA takedowns on your behalf or protect your online reputation by taking down stuff you don’t like. The company is somewhat infamous for being a joke and not doing its job particularly well. A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the company abusing the DMCA to try to get Google to delist stories relating to that “celebrity threesome” media injunction in the UK that has been making news for a few months. We highlighted just how ridiculous this was on many accounts, including using a copyright takedown notice on an issue that wasn’t about copyright at all. And they even tried to take down the company’s own Zendesk request to remove content from Reddit.

    • Japanese Media Subject to Self-, Not Gov’t Censorship – NHK Journalist

      Japanese journalists do not face political censorship problems, but are subjected to self-censorship, executive commentator of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Ichiyo Ishikawa told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    • Tanjug director: Internet censorship very present

      Internet censorship is possible, and it is very present, Tanjug Director Branka Djukic said in Moscow Tuesday at an international forum titled “The New Era of Journalism: A Farewell to the Mainstream.”

      The forum, organised by the Rossiya Segodnya agency, brought together media experts from over 30 countries of the world – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, India, China, Armenia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and others.

    • Kelly McParland: China’s microphone diplomacy flops in Ottawa

      In strict diplomatic terms, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to Canada could not be termed a success.

      It was the first visit by a Chinese foreign minister in seven years. It was also the first opportunity for the new Liberal government to demonstrate its eagerness to patch up relationships it claims were strained under the Conservatives. Luo Zhaohui, China’s ambassador to Canada, says a lot of important work got done: the launch of a mechanism to improve dialogue; talks on trade and business relations; plans to increase student mobility, fight corruption and “hunt-down and surrender … fugitive offenders.” And, of course, the usual “candid and in-depth exchange of views on sensitive issues…of mutual concern.”

    • China should be pressed on human rights at every opportunity

      Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s scolding of a Canadian reporter for daring to ask a question about human rights in China has made headlines around the world. The unexpected rant reflects China’s attempt to export its own values, especially censorship, to the West.

    • China attempts to export censorship

      Minister Wang Yi’s scolding of a Canadian reporter for daring to ask a question about human rights in China has made headlines around the world. The unexpected rant reflects China’s attempt to export its own values, especially censorship, to the West.

      Instead of a spontaneous display of anger, the performance was clearly staged. Chinese officials are asked about human rights everywhere they go, and so the question itself should not have been surprising. What was odd was that while the question was directed at Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Stephane Dion, the Chinese minister stepped in to respond.

    • Gov. Cuomo’s Anti-BDS Bill is a First Amendment Nightmare

      On June 5 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an executive order aimed at the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. BDS is a non-violent economic and political protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

    • The current aggressive campaign against anybody who speaks out for Palestine is gathering force

      The current aggressive campaign against anybody who speaks out for Palestine is gathering force. It’s most obvious manifestation lies in the ridiculous claims of “anti-semitism” against many left wing or radical campaigners who have worked against all racism their entire lives. As the establishment becomes more desperate to portray any thought or expression outside their neo-con orthodoxy as illegitimate, the related attack on supporters of Palestine becomes increasingly shrill.

    • Postal censorship is a cure worse than the disease

      Canadians who value free speech – and let’s hope that is all of us – should be deeply troubled by Ottawa’s decision to tell Canada Post to stop carrying a fringe Toronto newspaper. Public Services Minister Judy Foote ordered the postal service to cease delivering Your Ward News, which has been accused of being anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi. Her “interim prohibitory order” gives its editor 10 days to appeal.

      Those who have campaigned against the free paper are “ecstatic.” But consider the awful precedent this act of postal censorship sets.

    • Media Censorship Becomes Global Phenomenon – Press Agency Head

      Censorship of media has become a global phenomenon, Michalis Psilos, president and general director of the Athens-Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA), said Tuesday.

    • DA: Parliament must call SABC to account over ‘rampant censorship’ after SAfm show axed
    • SABC calls silencing editors a ‘revamp’
    • Parliamentary briefing on SABC’s censorship needed – Phumzile Van Damme
    • Canning SAFM current affairs show ‘another form of censorship’
    • Cancelling of The Editors on SAfm is more SABC censorship, the DA says
    • B-Town stands united against censorship of ‘Udta Punjab’
    • ‘Udta Nowhere’: Why Udta Punjab kind of censorship will spell doom for Indian cinema
    • Anurag Kashyap on Udta Punjab censorship row: Anyone opposing the film is guilty of promoting drugs
    • With Udta Punjab, it’s Now Time for Censorship to be Re-Redefined
    • Politics of censorship
    • Why We Must Thank Censor Chief Pahlaj Nihalani

      Pahlaj Nihalani, the current chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) deserves our collective thanks for exposing just how absurd, arbitrary and abused our film screening regulations are. After a string of decisions that imposed his own dogmatic view of decency, propriety and culture on an unsuspecting public, the CBFC’s decision on Balaji Motion Pictures’ Udta Punjab has shown everyone just how much the board constituted for film certification has operated as a vehicle for film censorship.

    • Bollywood filmmaker challenges censoring of drug-abuse film
    • Film censorship continues and spreads in India

      Reports that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has asked for many cuts in Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab as well as sought the removal of “Punjab” from its title give a complete lie to the government’s pronouncements that it would like to usher in an era of reduced control on films.

    • Chorus in Bollywood: ‘Fraternity has to stand by what’s right’
    • B-Town slams censorship on ‘Udta Punjab’

      Filmmakers including Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma among others today criticised Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for censoring the content of upcoming film “Udta Punjab”.

    • Axl Rose DMCAs Unflattering Photo For Which He Doesn’t Hold The Copyright

      Show of hands: who remembers Axl Rose? Last we here at Techdirt checked in on him, Rose was busy suing video games and hassling music bloggers over album leaks. The younger among you may chiefly be familiar with his Axl-ness via a somewhat popular string of internet memes centered on some rather unflattering pictures of the musician taken from a concert in 2010.


      Now, TorrentFreak reached out to Minkevich, who had no idea this takedown blitz was underway. He confirmed that some concerts do indeed make photographers sign these types of agreements, but couldn’t recall if this concert included one or not. Web Sherrif, who certainly should be able to produce the agreement, having taken the lead on the copyright claims, isn’t doing so. When asked, Web Sherrif’s response was instead to insist that even if the photographer had not signed an agreement — leading me to believe he probably didn’t –, that Rose would still be able to claim ownership over the photo.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • FBI Sends Computer Information Collected By Its Hacking Tools In Unencrypted Form Over The Open Internet

      The FBI doesn’t want to talk about its secret malware, but with over 100 child porn prosecutions tied to it, it’s had to discuss at least a few aspects of its Network Investigative Technique (NIT).

      In yet another prosecution — this one actually taking place in Virginia for a change — the FBI is once again struggling to withhold details of its NIT from the defense. Suppression of the evidence likely isn’t an option, as the warrant it obtained in Virginia was actually deployed in Virginia. I’m sure the FBI is as surprised as anybody by this fortuitous coincidence. But the defendant still wants access to more information, as he is looking to challenge the evidence the FBI collected with its Tor-defeating exploit.

      The defendant, Edward Matish, has questions about the chain of custody. FBI Special agent Daniel Alfin, who has testified in other Playpen/NIT cases inadvertently admits there could be problems here, considering the FBI does nothing to protect the information it collects from suspect’s computers from being intercepted or altered.

    • EFF Urges Senate Not to Expand FBI’s Controversial National Security Letter Authority

      The controversial National Security Letter (NSL) statute could be significantly expanded under two separate bills currently being debated by the Senate. Every year, the FBI issues thousands of NSLs to telephone and Internet companies, demanding records about their customers and gagging the companies from informing the public about these requests. NSLs are inherently dangerous to civil liberties because their use is rarely subject to judicial review. But NSLs are not magic, and they don’t require recipients to do whatever the FBI says. Above all, the type of information available to the FBI with an NSL is quite limited, reflecting the need to tightly control the extrajudicial nature of this controversial power.

    • New Intelligence Bill Gives FBI More Secret Surveillance Power

      A Senate bill published late Monday night includes a new provision that would give the FBI more power to issue secret demands, known as national security letters, to technology, internet, communications, and banking companies for their customers’ information.

      The provision, tucked into the Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, would explicitly authorize the FBI to obtain “electronic communication transactional records” for individuals or entities — though it doesn’t define what that means. The bill was passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

    • Why Is the Government Poison-Pilling ECPA Reform?

      At each stage of this gutting process, Feingold’s effort to end bulk collection got watered down until, with Sessons’ amendments, the Internet dragnet was permitted to operate as it had been. Almost the very same time this happened, NSA’s General Counsel finally admitted that every single record the agency had collected under the dragnet program had violated the category restrictions set back in 2004. Probably 20 days later, Reggie Walton would shut down the dragnet until at least July 2010.

      But before that happened, the Administration made what appears to be — now knowing all that we know now — an effort to legalize the illegal Internet dragnet that had replaced the prior illegal Internet dragnet.

    • The Danger of Corporate Facial Recognition Tech

      Supporters of unregulated corporate facial recognition systems are waging a sneak attack against our nation’s strongest protection of biometric privacy. On one side are business interests seeking to profit by using invasive facial recognition technologies to identify and track vast numbers of people without their consent. On the other side are EFF and many other digital privacy and consumer rights organizations. Our side won the latest round. But the future of biometric privacy will require all of our constant vigilance.

      The latest example of successfully working together: privacy advocates sprung into action last month and defeated a bill that would have repealed most of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, a groundbreaking law protecting your biometric data. The bill would have deregulated scans of faces, irises, retinas, and hands, and left in place regulation only of fingerprints and voiceprints. In addition to gutting people’s privacy, it would also have undercut lawsuits pending against Facebook and other companies for violating the original strong law. The bill, filed just before the Memorial Day weekend, appeared set for quick passage before the end of the regular legislative session.

    • Vulnerabilities in Facebook Chat and Messenger exploitable with basic HTML knowledge

      Check Point’s security research team has discovered vulnerabilities in Facebook’s standard online Chat function, and its separately downloaded Messenger app.

      The vulnerabilities, if exploited, would allow anyone to essentially take control of any message sent by Chat or Messenger, modify its contents, distribute malware and even insert automation techniques to outsmart security defences.

    • Secret GCHQ spy programme ‘Milkwhite’ collected UK civilian social media data to share with MI5

      Since at least 2009, a number of law enforcement agencies in the UK have had access to troves of metadata collected by British signals intelligence outfit GCHQ with the use of a highly secretive spy programme called ‘Milkwhite’.

      The previously undisclosed programme was described in documents leaked by former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept. It reportedly involves the collection of records belonging to domestic UK citizens – including metadata from social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and chat services such as WhatsApp.

    • Assange: 80 percent of NSA budget privatized

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a televised address to an international media forum that 80 percent of the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) budget has been privatized as part of the merger between power and big business.

      “There is a merger between the corporate organizations and state… 80 percent of the National Security Agency budget is privatized,” Assange said, stressing that the NSA “is the core of the US deep state… There has been a smoothing out between the government and the corporations,” the whistleblower said.

    • Nest May Be The First Major Casualty Of Hollow ‘Internet Of Things’ Hype

      When the Nest smart thermostat was launched back in 2011, you may recall that it was met with an absolute torrent of gushing media adoration, most of it heralding the real arrival of the smart home. That was in part thanks to the fact the company was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both ex-Apple engineers with some expertise in getting the media to fawn robotically over shiny kit. But a parade of high-profile PR failures have plagued the effort since, including several instances where botched firmware updates briefly bricked the device, leaving even the media’s resident internet of things evangelists annoyed.


      There’s also the recent kerfuffle involving Nest acquiring smart home hub manufacturer Revolv in 2014, then effectively bricking a $300 device as of last month (again, without really providing anything to replace it with). Over the last year Nest also started leaking many top employees and there was a notably ugly and public feud with Dropcam co-founder and departing Nest employee Greg Duffy, who blamed Nest’s dysfunction on Fadell’s “tyrant bureaucrat” management style.

    • NSA, Trump and Clinton vs Snowden Facts
    • Snowden Claims ‘Deceptive’ NSA Still Has Proof He Tried to Raise Surveillance Concerns

      On June 4, VICE News published more than 800 pages of declassified NSA documents that shed new light on the contentious issue of whether Edward Snowden raised concerns about the agency’s surveillance programs while he still worked there. Since then, Snowden has alleged there’s additional evidence that has not yet been made public.

      The former NSA contractor has long maintained that his 2013 leak of a trove of highly classified documents was a last resort after his efforts to sound the alarm about the agency’s secret spy programs went largely ignored.

      The NSA, meanwhile, has rejected Snowden’s narrative, insisting that the closest he got to raising concerns was sending a single email asking a question about the interpretation of legal authorities.

    • After Snowden, there is clear evidence of a paradigmatic shift in journalist-source relations

      On the first day of this month (June 2016), The Guardian revealed a rift caused in the mid-2000s between MI5 and MI6, Britain’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies, by MI6′s involvement in the rendition and torture of people suspected of Islamist terrorism. It was good journalism, but it still took ten years for the public to be told of this rift.

      I have been an investigative journalist for over three decades. In that time, just about every case of illegality, immorality or incompetence demonstrated by an intelligence agency I can think of has been revealed by investigative journalists working with their inside sources.

    • Work of GCHQ leads to the arrest of one of world’s most wanted people smugglers who faces multiple charges [Ed: GCHQ recently found to have done copyright policing (Harry Potter) and now this]
    • A peek behind the curtain at GCHQ [Ed: the latest puff pieces about our spies]

      Mind you, this was friendly territory – the Cheltenham Science Festival in GCHQ’s home town.

    • Record breaking number of schoolchildren attending Cheltenham Science Festival
    • 17 things we learned from GCHQ director at Cheltenham Science Festival
    • MI5 collecting “significantly more” data than it can use, new Snowden docs reveal
    • MI5 warning: we’re gathering more than we can analyse, and will miss terrorist attacks
    • New Snowden document reveals UK spy agency warned of ‘too much data’ risk in 2010
    • ‘Leaked report’ reveals mass data fears
    • Newspapers’ Complaint to Consumer Agency Shouldn’t Lead to Bans on Privacy Software

      In an attack on ad-blocking software, the Newspaper Association of America filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission last week, asking the agency to ban a variety of functions, including “evading metered subscription systems and paywalls,” and ad substitution. NAA also called into question new business models that aim to replace online advertising. Newspapers are concerned about the effects that ad-blockers may have on their revenues and their ability to understand and market to their readership. But some of what NAA is asking for would threaten important and widely used privacy software, like Tor and EFF’s own Privacy Badger, and chip away at Internet users’ ability to control their own browsing experience.

    • A Few Easy Steps Everyone Should Take to Protect Their Digital Privacy

      Much of the privacy protection we need in today’s world can’t happen without technological and legislative solutions, and the ACLU will continue leading the fight for digital security and privacy through our litigation and advocacy efforts. But there are simple steps that everyone can take to improve their digital privacy. While there are many advanced techniques that expert technologists can deploy for much greater security, below are some relatively basic and straightforward steps that will significantly increase your protection against privacy invasions and hacks.

    • Facing Data Deluge, Secret U.K. Spying Report Warned of Intelligence Failure

      A secret report warned that British spies may have put lives at risk because their surveillance systems were sweeping up more data than could be analyzed, leading them to miss clues to possible security threats.

      The concern was sent to top British government officials in an explosive classified document, which outlined methods being developed by the United Kingdom’s domestic intelligence agency to covertly monitor internet communications.

    • FBI Wants To Have An Unrestricted Look At Your Web Browser’s History And Email

      The FBI is expecting a new change in the law that would grant it powers to get a complete picture of a person’s online life. The new change will allow the FBI to access a person’s browsing history and other “electronic communications” data without a warrant in any spy cases or terrorism.

    • How the government tried to use Snowden’s own emails to discredit his claims that he raised his concerns with his NSA superiors before mass leak of documents

      Newly declassified documents show that Edward Snowden was a CIA asset and shine a light on the steps made by the government to discredit his claims that he had raised concerns with the NSA, prior to his leak.

      Documents obtained by VICE via an Freedom of Information Act request, although inconclusive, reveal that the extent of internal process that led to the eventual release of an April 2013 email that asked whether an Obama executive order allowing the snooping program could supersede federal statute.

      Before he leaked the documents, Snowden said he had repeatedly attempted to raise his concerns inside the NSA about its surveillance of US citizens but claimed the agency had done nothing.

    • Clinton and Obama are wrong about Snowden — he was ignored after sounding alarm directly to the NSA

      An explosive exposé shows that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden repeatedly tried to raise concerns about illegal mass surveillance, but was ignored.

      Hundreds of internal NSA documents declassified and released by journalists prove that claims made by senior officials in the Obama administration and prominent politicians like Hillary Clinton, who accused Snowden of failing to use available whisteblower protections, are false.

      VICE News obtained more than 800 pages of documents, including emails, talking points and other records, in response to its long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. These “call into question aspects of the U.S. government’s long-running narrative about Snowden’s time at the NSA.”

    • Three Years On, It Appears Snowden’s Leaks Have Damaged The NSA So Badly It’s Healthier Than Ever

      Every time the anniversary of the first Snowden leak rolls around, everyone reassesses the damage… or lack thereof. Did Snowden actually make a dent in the surveillance apparatus or did he do little more than hand out cheat sheets to terrorists?

      As more time passes, even Snowden’s harshest critics are warming up to the idea that his leaks did more good than harm. Former attorney general Eric Holder, to name one such critic, believes Snowden “performed a public service” by leaking surveillance documents. Of course, this is the sort of thing one can safely say when no longer in the position of having to choose between prosecuting Snowden or dropping the bogus espionage charges.

      Over at Lawfare — a site whose writers are almost universally critical of Snowden — one contributor (a former DoD lawyer) sees Snowden’s leaks as beneficial. Jack Goldsmith’s take on the NSA leak fallout finds that Snowden’s actions actually made the NSA a better agency — not just in terms of transparency but in terms of capabilities.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Tased in the Chest for 23 Seconds, Dead for 8 Minutes, Now Facing a Lifetime of Recovery

      As the video opens we see a gray Pontiac enter the frame, and Bryce’s dad, Matt, put his hand on his son’s knee. His mom, Stacy, folded her arms, clutching a tissue. Tears began to form in both his parents’ eyes, anticipating what everyone else in the room was about to see. Unfazed, Bryce leaned his 6-foot-1-inch frame forward, his eyes focused on the makeshift projector. He knew this piece of evidence absolved him of any wrongdoing.

      In the video, Runnels pulls Bryce over and approaches the car. He tells Bryce to get out but doesn’t give a reason. Bryce repeatedly asks if he is under arrest. Runnels says, “You’re under arrest. Get your ass out of the car,” and attempts to pull him out by force. He then tases Bryce for 23 seconds, handcuffs him, drags the boy’s body behind the car, and deliberately drops him face first onto the asphalt road. Runnels may not have known it at the time, but Bryce was going into cardiac arrest. When the loud thud of the drop boomed throughout the courtroom, gasps echoed out. One woman looked down and covered her eyes with her hand. A man said, “Oh, my god.” A police officer with the Kansas City Police Department quickly brought his fist to his mouth, turned to the man next to him, and whispered, “Jesus.” Even those sitting behind the defendant — a few friends, his wife, his family — gasped, as if the recording revealed a truth about Runnels they had never considered.

    • FBI Pushing For Legislation That Will Legalize Its National Security Letter Abuses

      One of the more interesting things to sneak out around the edges of the FBI’s redaction bars in Yahoo’s document dump of National Security Letters was the sheer amount of information the agency was demanding. The FBI — using letters it writes and approves with no outside oversight — wants all of the following in exchange for a piece of paper backed by nothing but the FBI’s “national security” claims.

    • Anti-Politics and the Plague of Disorientation: Welcome to the Age of Trump
    • Baseball Without the Umpire: The Republicans’ War on Regulations
    • Fighting to Live Free of Police Violence While Black

      Black people are fighting for our right to live while Black.

      2010 marked the beginning of a historic period of Black resistance to police terrorism and state-sanctioned violence. Beginning with the murder of Oscar Grant in January 2010 by then-BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, and continuing with the high-profile cases of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice and too many others, police violence, particularly in poor and Black communities, has taken center stage nationwide.

    • Do South Africans really have the right to protest?

      At the end of 2015, university students across South Africa embarked upon protests, brought campuses to a standstill, interrupted exams, and marched to the seats of government in Cape Town and Pretoria. During these encounters, authorities repeatedly assaulted, tear-gassed and detained students. Throughout, these students appealed to the idea that the post-apartheid order is a rights-based order, and repeatedly insisted that they possessed a “right to protest”. In the face of repressive policing, they condemned the state and university administrators for not recognising this right.


      Students are thus not wrong to state that the “right to protest” is refused recognition in practice—whether by the state, by university leaders, or other authorities. This right has been frustrated by the refusal to countenance disruptive dissent, and by the violent policing of public gatherings. These experiences are also not new or unique to students. Over many years, communities of the poor and dispossessed have taken to the streets in protest, facing increasingly violent practices of policing and political exclusion. They too have been assaulted and arrested, imprisoned and harassed. Some have been murdered, their voices permanently silenced—whether in groups by the state, as at Marikana, or assassinated by shadowy forces, as has happened in Durban and most recently in Bizana. The effect has been to suppress dissent by rendering it dangerous.

    • Welcome to the Party, America! 11 Muslim women who have been PM or President

      Hillary Clinton gave a victory speech Tuesday night positioning herself as the logical conclusion of first women’s rights meeting at Seneca Falls in 1848. Along the way, other milestones have included women gaining the right to vote, in 1919 and the first woman elected to the Senate, in 1932.

      But the US was late. Australia, Denmark and Iceland preceded us in granting the vote to women in national, parliamentary elections. The republic of Azerbaijan, a Muslim-majority country, granted the franchise to women in 1918.

    • Too Human (Not) to Fail

      Many consumer coffee grinders are another example of a design that physically prevents you from messing up. Even if you wanted to, you could NOT chop your fingers on the blade, because the “on” switch for the grinder is triggered by closing the lid (as opposed to a blender, which leaves its blades easily accessible to stray fingers).

    • Black Lives Matter Organizer Sentenced To 90 Days In Prison

      Jasmine Richards, the first black person to ever be convicted for “felony lynching,” will spend the next three months in a California prison, with 18 days already served. During a hearing on Wednesday, Judge Elaine Lu also sentenced Richards to three years of probation.

    • F.B.I. Steps Up Use of Stings in ISIS Cases

      The F.B.I. has significantly increased its use of stings in terrorism cases, employing agents and informants to pose as jihadists, bomb makers, gun dealers or online “friends” in hundreds of investigations into Americans suspected of supporting the Islamic State, records and interviews show.

      Undercover operations, once seen as a last resort, are now used in about two of every three prosecutions involving people suspected of supporting the Islamic State, a sharp rise in the span of just two years, according to a New York Times analysis. Charges have been brought against nearly 90 Americans believed to be linked to the group.

      The increase in the number of these secret operations, which put operatives in the middle of purported plots, has come with little public or congressional scrutiny, and the stings rely on F.B.I. guidelines that predate the rise of the Islamic State.

    • Dashcam footage of cop tasing, dragging, and dropping teen is unsealed

      A federal judge on Monday unsealed disturbing dashcam footage of a suburban Kansas City, Missouri, police officer tasering a 17-year-old motorist who became brain damaged after what was billed as a routine traffic stop. That stop subsequently turned into an event of excessive force—resulting in a four-year prison sentence for Officer Timothy Runnels of the Independence Police Department.

      The video shows Runnels tase and yank Bryce Masters out of the car and down on the street as Masters howls. The boy was filming the officer with his mobile phone, which the officer flings to the street. “Am I under arrest? Am I under arrest?” the teen is overheard saying before he is stunned and grabbed from the vehicle.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Patent scandal: US outmaneuvered on UN agency investigation

      In a bid to recover ground, U.S. diplomats, along with those from other nations that ostensibly oversee the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an obscure but important U.N. agency in Geneva, were negotiating furiously to see if they will ever get to read a report on alleged wrongdoing by the agency’s autocratic director general, Francis Gurry, accused among other things of ordering illegal break-ins of his own staffers’ offices.

      Gurry himself already has a copy of the full and unredacted report on his own misdeeds– including the names of witnesses who testified against him—in violation not only of whistleblower protection rules but of standard U.N. investigative practices used to ensure witness cooperation.

      According to a State Department spokesman, U.S. diplomats in Geneva were still demanding “immediate release” of the report—which WIPO’s 188 member states had ordered up themselves from the U.N.’s Office of Internal Oversight Services, and which was delivered to the chair of WIPO’s General Assembly in February.

    • Trademarks

      • Digital Trademark and Design Patent Infringement

        Digital technology continues its collision with intellectual property law, this time in BMW’s lawsuit against the online virtual modeling company TurboSquid. TurboSquid sells digital 3D models of various items for use by game developers, architects, visual effects studios, etc.

        This case is paradigmatic of a project Mark McKenna and I are working on, which analyzes trademarks in the context of digital goods. BMW complains that TurboSquid’s “marketing of 3-D virtual models” of BMW vehicles infringes BMW’s trademarks, trade dress, and design patents. Specifically, it complains that TurboSquid “markets and tags BMW-trademarked 3-D virtual models of BMW vehicles as suitable for games.”

    • Copyrights

      • RIAA Fails to Take Down Pirate Bay Domain, For Now

        The RIAA has sent a formal letter to the Public Interest Registry, asking it to suspend Pirate Bay’s .ORG domain. The registry hasn’t complied with the request but has forwarded it to Pirate Bay’s registrar EasyDNS who insist the domain will stay up. So the question now is will the RIAA take the matter to court?

      • Google’s fair use defence succeeds against Oracle’s copyright infringement claim

        After a 6 year legal battle, Google has emerged victorious against a claim of copyright infringement. Oracle argued that Google had infringed copyright in 37 of their Java application programming interfaces (APIs), by using them in their Android platform. Java is a type of computing language, used to create code. Everyone is free to use the language itself, but the combination of code can be subject to copyright.

        Google successfully relied on the fair use defence to refute the claim.

      • KickassTorrents Enters The Dark Web, Adds Official Tor Address

        KickassTorrents, the world’s most popular torrent index, is pushing back against the increasing number of ISP blockades. To make it easier for its users to bypass local censorship efforts, KAT’s operators have added a dark web address, hiding the site in the Tor network.

      • KickassTorrents Enters The Dark Web, Gets TOR’s Official .Onion URL

        The operators of popular torrent index KickassTorrents have announced the launch of website’s .onion URL. Now, apart from the main service, KAT can also be accessed on the dark web via this address: lsuzvpko6w6hzpnn.onion


Links 7/6/2016: Manjaro Linux 16.06, Firefox 47.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Muhammad Ali & IBM sought to “shake up the world” with Linux

    The late Muhammad Ali was not only a champion fighter and cultural figure, but also no slouch in the advertising ring.

    Ali sold pizzas, car batteries and even roach spray (“I can whup anything on two legs but even me, the greatest, needs help beating things with six legs…”)

    While many have used Ali’s image or voice in their ads, including Apple (Think Different commercial) and Gatorade, I’m not aware of Ali hawking much in the way of technology. One exception was this 2004 IBM Super Bowl ad during which the company pushes Linux and open source computing, something it had been behind since the late 1990s. The ad features a young boy (depicted as “Linux” in related IBM ads) soaking up vintage video of Ali boasting “I shook up the world!” and then sitting face-to-face with the boxer, who urges the kid to “shake things up” and “shake up the world.”

  • A program should be able to open its own files on Linux

    Many years ago, when koffice was fresh and with few users, I decided to test its presentation tool when making the slides for a talk I was giving for NUUG on Japhar, a free Java virtual machine. I wrote the first draft of the slides, saved the result and went to bed the day before I would give the talk. The next day I took a plane to the location where the meeting should take place, and on the plane I started up koffice again to polish the talk a bit, only to discover that kpresenter refused to load its own data file. I cursed a bit and started making the slides again from memory, to have something to present when I arrived. I tested that the saved files could be loaded, and the day seemed to be rescued. I continued to polish the slides until I suddenly discovered that the saved file could no longer be loaded into kpresenter. In the end I had to rewrite the slides three times, condensing the content until the talk became shorter and shorter. After the talk I was able to pinpoint the problem – kpresenter wrote inline images in a way itself could not understand. Eventually that bug was fixed and kpresenter ended up being a great program to make slides. The point I’m trying to make is that we expect a program to be able to load its own data files, and it is embarrassing to its developers if it can’t.

  • Microsoft

    • A Tail of Different VM Performance

      I watched the virt-top output for about 2 minutes and grabbed those numbers above during a representative 2 sec period. The Windows VM never dropped below 25% use. The other VMs each would bounce up as something required it, then would drop back down to nearly nothing when done.

    • Microsoft thinks it’s fixed Windows Server mess its last fix ‘fixed’

      Microsoft has issued fixes to its last round of Windows Server Management Pack fixes, but is asking you to help it understand if the new fixes fix the messes the last fixes created.

      File this one under “doesn’t exactly inspire confidence”.

      This problem started way back in February 2016 when Microsoft released version 6.0.7303.0 of Windows Server Operating System management pack.

    • Windows 10 Automatic Upgrade Drives A Man Crazy And He Can’t Handle It Anymore

      Remember that irritating Windows 10 upgrade popup that keeps testing your patience while you are busy in some important work? Well, a person has found it too much to handle and expressed his anger in the form of a rant full of swearing.

    • Updategate: Users petition EFF to challenge Microsoft’s Windows 10 practices

      ANGRY USERS have launched a petition requesting that the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) investigate the practices employed in persuading people to upgrade to Windows 10, known to us here as Updategate.

      The petition cites a number of problems that we have dealt with on these hallowed pages, as well as an incident that came to light on Friday in which a rural African involved in stopping the poaching trade had 6GB of data downloaded on a per MB metered connection. connection.

      We’re not judging whether it happened, but we remain resolute that Microsoft does not have the right to force download updates onto computers, and make it confusing to uninstall.

      Microsoft has said that it is “transparent” on the matter and that metered connections can be set to avoid the download, but most people feel that the practice has been rolled out without the clarity that such an important issue warrants.

  • Server

    • Docker 1.11.2 Linux Container Engine Improves CentOS and Ubuntu 16.04 Support

      The Docker developers have announced the availability of Docker 1.11.2, the second maintenance update for the Docker 1.11 stable series of rhe widely used Linux container engine.

      Docker 1.11.2 has been in development for the past one and a half months, during which it received a single Release Candidate (RC) build that included the same changes available now in the final build.

      Among these, we can mention improved networking support by patching an issue that made the “docker inspect”, “docker ps”, and “docker port” commands to report the wrong port, as well as fixing a stale endpoint problem for overlay networks, which occurred due to clumsy reboots.

    • Top Skills for Today’s DevOps Professional

      In the past five years, demand for DevOps professionals has grown exponentially, with companies looking to build out their tech capabilities and bring new software products to market while simultaneously cutting development time and driving efficiencies in the process. Since the beginning of 2016, there have been more than 2,000 daily job postings looking for DevOps professionals on Dice, representing roughly 3 percent of all job postings on the site and up 53 percent year-over-year.

    • RightScale DevOps Trends Survey Shows Docker on the Rise

      RightScale, which delivers some of the most detailed survey results on open source trends, has published the results of its survey report highlighting DevOps trends, as we covered here. A deeper dive into the survey results shows that Docker, Puppet and Chef are shown to be kings of the hill in the tools market, with Docker adoption rising in the enterprise. Docker, Puppet and Chef are shown to be kings of the hill in the tools market, with Docker adoption rising in the enterprise. The company also published its annual State of the Cloud report in February.

    • CoreOS Delivers Torus for Distributed Storage on Container Clusters
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.7-rc2

      Things are looking fairly normal, and there are fixes all over, with drivers and architecture code leading the charge as usual, but there’s stuff spread out all over the place, including filesystems, networking, mm, library helpers, etc etc.

    • Linux 4.7-rc2 Kernel Released

      Linus Torvalds has tagged the Linux 4.7-rc2 kernel.

      This is the second weekly test release to the Linux 4.7 kernel, which offers many improvements and new functionality.

    • Linus Torvalds Announces Second Linux Kernel 4.7 Release Candidate, Download Now

      Just a few minutes ago, June 5, 2016, Linus Torvalds announced the general availability of the second Release Candidate build of the upcoming Linux 4.7 kernel.

    • LPC 2016 registration is now Open

      Early bird rate is available until our quota of 140 runs out (or we reach 26 August). Please click here to register.

    • Latin-quoting Linus Torvalds plays God by not abusing mortals

      Linus Torvalds has loosed release candidate 2 of version 4.7 of the Linux kernel on the waiting world.

      “Things are looking fairly normal, and there are fixes all over, with drivers and architecture code leading the charge as usual, but there’s stuff spread out all over the place, including filesystems, networking, mm, library helpers, etc etc,” Torvalds wrote .

    • Linus Torvalds Announces Second Linux Kernel 4.7 Release Candidate

      Linus Torvalds makes Linux 4.7-rc2 available for download and public testing

      Linus Torvalds has just announced the general availability of the second Release Candidate build of the forthcoming Linux 4.7 kernel.

    • The Linux 4.7 Kernel Builds Are Finally Playing Nicely Again On All My Systems

      Nearly two weeks ago I warned that You May Want To Think Twice About Trying Linux 4.7 Git Right Now. Fortunately, all is well now and those problems have cleared up.

    • Awesome Atomic Advances

      Also, silly titles. Atomic has taken of for real, right now there’s 17 drivers supporting atomic modesetting merged into the DRM subsystem. And still a pile of them each release pending for review&merging. But it’s not just new drivers, there’s also been a steady stream of small improvements over the past year, I think it’s time for an update.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • OpenGL/OpenCL Performance & Perf-Per-Watt From NVIDIA’s GeForce 9800GTX To GTX 1080

        Now that my initial GeForce GTX 1080 Linux review is out the door, I spent this weekend working on a “fun” comparison out of curiosity to see how the raw OpenGL and OpenCL performance has improved over the generations going back to the once-powerful GeForce 9800GTX plus including the top-end cards of the GeForce 600/700/900 Kepler and Maxwell series too.

        Eight years ago, the GeForce 9800GTX (G92) was a beast with its 65nm GPU and 754 million transistors. The 9800GTX boasted a core clock of 675MHz and 2200MHz for its GDDR3 memory. The 9800GTX was rated for 648 single-precision GFLOPS and had a 140 Watt TDP. Fast forward to today, the GeForce GTX 1080 is fabbed on a 16nm process and has more than 7.2 billion transistors. The base core clock is 1607MHz (and 1733MHz boost) while having GDDR5X for its video memory. The GTX 1080 has a 180 Watt TDP and its single-precision rating is 8228~8873 GFLOPS. Quite impressive seeing how much more advanced Pascal is over hardware from eight years ago and is still being used by some.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.7 GUI Toolkit to Port the NFC API to Android, Add Raspberry Pi 3 Support

        The Qt Company, through Jani Heikkinen, announced the general availability of the Release Candidate (RC) build of the upcoming Qt 5.7 open-source and cross-platform GUI (Graphical User Interface) toolkit.

        Qt 5.7.0 Release Candidate arrives one and a half months after the Beta version, introducing a huge number of new features and improvements to most of the existing modules, among which we can mention support for a port of the Qt NFC API (Application Programming Interface) to Google’s Android mobile operating system.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.22 Control Center App Updated with Symbolic Icons, See It In Action Now

        As part of the upcoming GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, GNOME developer Georges Basile Stavracas Neto published today, June 6, 2016, yet another update to the work coming for the GNOME Control Center app of the GNOME Stack.

        After revealing last month the new look of the GNOME Control Center app for the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, Georges Basile Stavracas Neto today informs the community about the latest work done so far.

      • Arc Icon Theme Released Based on Moka, Here’s How to Install on Your Linux OS

        The creator of the Arc GTK Theme that most of the GNU/Linux distributions are adopting these days as the default desktop theme, the famous Horst3180, released an icon set to accompany its very popular GTK theme.

        The icon theme is called Arc Icon Theme, or simply Arc, just like the GTK theme, and it was pushed a few hours ago to the developer’s GitHub account for user to get an early taste. Why early taste? Well, because the icon set is far from being complete and many icons are still missing, and it doesn’t provide application icons at this time.

      • Bug Fix #2

        Last blog of pre-GSoC coding. This is the story which dates back to the application period.

        The month view of the calendar is a pretty important aspect of the calendar. The keyboard arrow keys allowed a user to switch between days in a specific month. But on reaching the end of the month, a user couldn’t go any further.

      • An update on the Control Center
      • GNOME Logs search popover

        It’s been almost two weeks since my last post. In this post, I will be mentioning all the progress done in these two weeks. First of all, the searching part is now moved from the front end part to the actual back end of GNOME Logs which is the sd-journal API. So, now when the user types text into the search bar, the results are actually fetched from the journal itself. Progress on the project can be checked out on my Github repository. I would like to thank my mentor David King a.k.a amigadave for reviewing my commits and guiding me in the right direction.

      • Week 2 in usability testing continues

        Personas are an important part of any design process. Whether you are trying to figure out the user interface or deciding what new functionality to add, personas can help you connect to the users.

        Personas allow you to talk about changes to the interface based on how those changes benefit users. Rather than saying “I want to add X feature because that would be cool” you can say “I want to add X feature because that helps users like the ‘Mark’ and ‘Sophia’ personas.”

        As part of the Outreachy project, we are working with the GNOME Design team (Allan and Jakub). It’s really great to have this connection with GNOME. They also share comments with us about GNOME design, which was very helpful in week 2 when we learned about who uses GNOME.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Tiny Core Linux 7.1: Big Where It Counts

        Tiny Core is quite an achievement in developing a small Linux distribution that offers a lot of functionality with very low resource requirements. Just the fact that Tiny Core runs and provides a desktop environment with 20MB of memory is impressive. If a person has need for a small yet powerful operating system, Tiny Core is an obvious choice.

        At the same time, this distribution, being so minimal, leaves us to fend for ourselves a bit. If we want additional software, password protected accounts, extra services or even to have our data survive a reboot, then we need to roll up our sleeves and configure the operating system. There is a strong do-it-yourself element to Tiny Core. In a way, its small size and hands-on approach reminds me of building with Lego blocks. It’s fun and educational if you are into crafting your own operating system, but it does mean a lot more work up front to get what you want.

        For people who like efficient systems and who are interested in exploring Tiny Core, I recommend exploring the project’s wiki, and for the more adventurous, reading Into The Core which talks about the inner workings of Tiny Core and how to build one’s own extensions to the operating system.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCD 4.7.3 Released with GParted 0.26.0 for Read-only LUKS Support

        SystemRescueCd developer François Dupoux announced the release and immediate availability for download of SystemRescueCd 4.7.3, the third maintenance version in the 4.7 series of the distribution.

      • Easy-to-use Linux Distro “Endless OS” Now Available For Free To Everyone

        Endless Computers has released its Endless OS Linux for free to everyone. This Linux-based distribution features a modified GNOME desktop and comes in two variants. While Lite version looks like a Linux PC running GNOME desktop, Full version is for the people with limited internet access and comes with 100s of pre-installed apps.

      • Linux Top 3: Alpine Linux 3.4, deepin 15.2 and Linux Lite 3.0

        Alpine Linux has gained in notoriety and popularity in recent months as the new defacto standard Linux distribution on which Docker containers are now building images. The 3.4.0 update is mostly a milestone of new packages, with a few additional capabilities

      • BakAndImgCD 18.0 Disk Imaging and Backup Live CD Now Available for Download

        Softpedia was informed by 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki about the release and immediate availability for download of the BakAndImgCD 18.0 Live CD distrolette.

        Based on the 4MLinux Backup Scripts 18.0, as well as the 4MLinux Core 18.0 distribution, which is currently in the Beta stages of development under the 4MLinux 18.0 umbrella, BakAndImgCD 18.0 is here as an alternative to popular disk cloning and system backup Live CDs.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux 16.06 released

        The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. We ship Xfce 4.12 with this release of Manjaro. We mainly focused on polishing the user experience on the desktop and window manager, and on updating some components to take advantage of newly available technologies such as switching to a new Vertex-Maia theme, we already using known as Maia for our KDE edition.

      • Download Manjaro Linux 16.06 ‘Daniella’ now — a solid Windows 10 alternative

        Windows 10 is a great operating system from a usability standpoint. Unfortunately, between the privacy issues and Microsoft’s unethical upgrade tactics, more and more folks are turned off to it. Luckily, thanks to Linux, users don’t have to tolerate the company’s shady behavior.

      • Manjaro Linux 16.06 Released, Powered By Linux 4.4 & Latest Arch

        Manjaro Linux 16.06 “Daniella” was released today as the latest stable version of this popular Linux distribution derived from Arch Linux.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Weeks 2016/22
      • openSUSE.Asia 2016 announced from Indonesia

        We are happy to announce the third openSUSE.Asia Summit. The openSUSE.Asia Summit 2016 will take place at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on October 1st and 2nd, 2016.

        The summit is a great way for both openSUSE contributors, and, users to meet each other and have fun. The openSUSE community will get together, share their experiences, and, learn free and open source technologies.

      • Open Build Service version 2.7 released

        We are happy to announce the availability of the Open Build Service Version 2.7! Three large features around the topic of integrating external resources made it into this release. We worked on automatic tracking of moving repositories of development versions like Fedora Rawhide, distribution updates or rolling Linux releases like Arch. A change to the OBS git integration to enable developers to work on continuous builds. And last but not least an experimental KIWI import that can be used to easily migrate your images from SUSE studio.

      • ​SUSE Enterprise Storage 3 released for serious storage work

        When Red Hat bought Ceph’s parent company Inktank, people were worried Red Hat would keep Ceph’s object store and file system to itself. Then, Red Hat announced it would let others help decide on Ceph’s future. Now, SUSE, a rival Linux power, is taking Red Hat up on this with its Ceph-supporting release of SUSE Enterprise Storage 3.

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Getting Linux Kernel 4.6.1, LibreOffice 5.2, and GCC 6 Soon

        On June 6, 2016, openSUSE Project’s Dominique Leuenberger wrote on the openSUSE Tumbleweed’s mailing list a quick review of the major software updates that landed in the week that just passed for the rolling release distribution.

        Those of you who are currently using the openSUSE Tumbleweed OS on your personal computers, are aware of the fact that there were a total of four snapshots released last week, which brought many exciting new GNU/Linux technologies, such as the Linux 4.6 kernel, the KDE Applications 16.04.1 software suite for the KDE Plasma 5.6 desktop environment, and the Perl 5.24.0 packages.

      • openSUSE’s Open Build Service 2.7 Adds Better Integration of External Resources

        openSUSE Project, through Henne Vogelsang, announced on June 6, 2016, the general availability of the version 2.7 of the project’s Open Build Service (OBS) software distribution solution.

      • Open Build Service 2.7 released
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • DebEX Live OS Is Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.4, Ships with Linux Kernel 4.6.1

        GNU/Linux and Android-x86 developer Arne Exton informed us about the availability of a new build of his Debian-based DebEX Live Linux distribution, version 160604.

        According to Mr. Exton, DebEX KDE Live DVD 160604 has been rebased on the software repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.4 “Jessie” operating system, which means that it includes most of the security patches and software updates, through the newest Debian Jessie release if now 8.5.

      • Multiple Chromium 51 Web Browser Security Updates Land in Debian GNU/Linux Repos

        The Debian Project announced earlier that an update is available for the Chromium web browser, promising to patch various security vulnerabilities discovered upstream.

        According to Debian Security Advisory DSA-3594-1, the Chromium web browser was updated to version 51.0.2704.79 for Debian Stable, Debian Testing, and Debian Unstable, patching cross-origin bypass issues discovered in both the Blink and WebKit engines, as well as in the bindings to extensions.

        Moreover, it would appear that there was an information leak discovered by Rob Wu in the Chromium web browser since version 51.0.2704.63 that has been fixed as well, along with two use-after-free issues in the autofill feature and extensions, also discovered by Rob Wu.

      • Debian ‘Wheezy’ receives final point upgrade

        Debian 7 ‘Wheezy’ and Debian 8 ‘Jessie’ just received point updates, 7.11 and 8.5 respectively. These releases bring updates for security problems and come with a “few adjustments for serious problems.” The 7.11 release of Wheezy marks the last point release the version will receive as it gets adopted by the volunteer Long Term Support (LTS) team.

      • Request for Adoption: Buildd.Net project

        I’ve been running Buildd.Net for quite a long time. Buildd.Net is a project that focusses on the autobuilders, not the packages. It started back then when the m68k port had a small website running on kullervo, a m68k buildd. Kullervo was too loaded to deal with the increased load of that website, so together with Stephen Marenka we moved the page from kullervo to my server under the domain m68k.bluespice.org. Over time I got many requests if that page could do the same for other archs as well, so I started to hack the code to be able to deal with different archs: Buildd.Net was born.

      • Debian 8.5 and Manjaro 16.06 arrive

        The current Debian ‘stable’ version, Debian GNU/Linux 8.5.0, was announced on Saturday along with the final update for the ‘old-stable’ version, Debian GNU/Linux 7.11. Both of these are roll-up releases which contain the latest patches and security updates.

        If you have an installed Debian GNU/Linux system you do not need to re-install from these new images, all you need to do is make sure that you have the latest updates (via synaptic or apt-get).

      • Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” to Get a Fresh New Look, Here’s How You Can Help

        Debian developer Niels Thykier published the other day a call for artwork proposals for the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system, which is coming in the following months.

        Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” is the next major update of the acclaimed, award-winning, and widely used Linux kernel-based operating system on which numerous GNU/Linux distributions are based, including, but not limited to the popular Ubuntu.

        The upcoming Debian release is currently being developed under the Debian Testing umbrella, which users can install and use as their daily driver. And from the looks of it, the Debian devs are looking for people to contribute new artwork to the OS.

      • Call for Stretch artwork proposals
      • My Free Activities in May 2015

        Trying to catch up with my blog posts about My Free Activities. This blog post will tell you about my free activities from January to May 2016.

      • The new “best” multimedia player in Debian?

        When I set out a few weeks ago to figure out which multimedia player in Debian claimed to support most file formats / MIME types, I was a bit surprised how varied the sets of MIME types the various players claimed support for. The range was from 55 to 130 MIME types. I suspect most media formats are supported by all players, but this is not really reflected in the MimeTypes values in their desktop files. There are probably also some bogus MIME types listed, but it is hard to identify which one this is.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.4.11 Distro Gets Better Nvidia Support, Raspberry Pi Updates

          The developers behind the Q4OS Linux kernel-based operating system, an open-source distro built on top of the Debian GNU/Linux OS, have informed Softpedia today, June 6, 2016, about the availability of Q4OS 1.4.11.

          Q4OS 1.4.11 is the eleventh update to the current stable series (Orion) of the Debian-based distribution, bringing more enhancements and fixing the nasty issues reported by users since the previous maintenance build, version 1.4.10, announced two weeks ago, on May 22, 2016.

        • Tails 2.4, Edward Snowden’s Favorite Anonymous Live CD, Brings Tor Browser 6.0

          The Tails Project released Tails 2.4, a major version of the anonymous Live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux, which was used by ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden to stay hidden online and protect his privacy.

          When compared with the previous release, we can notice that Tails 2.4 includes some big changes, among which we can mention the upgrade to Debian GNU/Linux 8.4 “Jessie” and the inclusion of the recently released Tor Browser 6.0 anonymous browser, which is based on the open-source Mozilla Firefox 45.2 web browser.

        • TeX Live 2016 released

          After long months of testing and waiting for the DVD production, we have released TeX Live 2016 today!

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Wireless Display Support Is Coming to Nexus 5 and OnePlus One Ubuntu Phones

            UBports developer Marius Gripsgård has announced earlier this morning, June 6, 2016, that he is currently working on bringing Canonical’s new Aethercast (Wireless Display) for the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One Ubuntu Phone devices.

          • BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Tablet Review: In-Depth

            Back in February, BQ and Ubuntu announced that they’d joined forces to create the Aquaris M10 Tablet, the first 10.1-inch device to run Ubuntu OS. With the ability to quickly transform from a handheld touch tablet to a full-on desktop computer, the M10 has something different to offer users; and let’s be clear on this, the M10 is a tablet for developers and fellow geeks, not the average consumer. If you want something to watch movies, play games and browse the web on, you’ll be much better serviced elsewhere.

            So, how is the first Ubuntu tablet experience? Here’s our Aquaris M10 review.

          • Ubuntu-Based ChaletOS 16.04.1 Out Now for Those Who Want to Migrate from Windows

            Dejan Petrovic, the creator of the Ubuntu-based ChaletOS computer operating system, is currently uploading the new ISO images for the soon-to-be-officially-announced ChaletOS 16.04.1.

            We took the liberty of informing our readers that ChaletOS 16.04.1 is now available for download, despite the fact that Dejan Petrovic didn’t have the time to write any release notes for the minor update, nor publish the new Live ISO images on the distribution’s website for users to download it.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

    • carafem Abortion Clinic Fights Censorship with Crowdfunding Campaign to Advertise Abortion and Birth Control in Atlanta
    • Abortion “Spa” Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Fund New Abortion Center in Atlanta
    • The U.S. Is Failing in Infant Mortality, Starting at One Month Old

      Many more babies die in the United States than you might think. In 2014, more than 23,000 infants died in their first year of life, or about six for every 1,000 born. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 other industrialized nations do better than the United States at keeping babies alive.

      This fact is hard for some to comprehend. Some try to argue that the disparity isn’t real. They assert that the United States counts very premature births as infants because we have better technology and work harder to save young lives. Therefore, our increased rate of infant death isn’t due to deficiencies, but differences in classification. These differences are not as common, nor as great, as many people think. Even when you exclude very premature births from analyses, the United States ranks pretty poorly.

    • Cable News Conversation Is Far Removed From Reality of Abortion

      A majority of Americans support women’s right to abortion, a fact that’s been true for about two decades now. Support for that right actually increased after attacks on Planned Parenthood last year. And development experts have for decades, maybe centuries, identified women’s right to control family size and birth timing as critical to communities’ economic and social development. That’s just by way of indicating how far removed from the reality of abortion is the US media conversation about it—at least as represented by cable news.

    • Fire destroys ambulances outside East Surrey Hospital

      Three ambulances have been destroyed in a fire outside a hospital in Surrey.

      The blaze started in a parked ambulance outside the east entrance of East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, before spreading to the two other vehicles.

      Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen rising into the air at the height of the fire.

      Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said there were no patients involved and everyone was safe.

      The hospital is closed to emergencies, and patients are being diverted through the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

    • One big NHS Trust proposed for Manchester – but what will be the impact on patient care?

      All hospital services in the city of Manchester should be run by a new single city-wide Trust, an influential report has proposed. The review, penned by former trust chief executive Sir Jonathan Michael and commissioned by the chair of Manchester city council, recommends that the creation of a new NHS Trust to take over the running of services currently provided at Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of South Manchester FT and North Manchester General Hospital.

    • Paving Way for Glyphosate Recall, EU Punts on Relicensing Weed Killer
    • European Commission Intervenes in Glyphosate Decision – Global Justice Now Response
    • E.U. Countries Delay Approval of Toxic Chemical in RoundUp

      Today in Brussels representatives from the European Union (E.U.) failed to pass a temporary reauthorization of glyphosate – a toxic chemical in the common pesticide RoundUp determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a “probable carcinogen”. The committee was asked to grant re-authorization for between one and two years, to allow for completion of a safety assessment currently in progress at the European Chemicals Agency, but rejected the proposal. If the European Commission does not re-authorize the chemical’s use by June 30th, it will be considered illegal to use throughout the E.U. and all products containing glyphosate would be pulled from the market after a six-month grace period. Several countries including the Netherlands and France have already acted to restrict public access to glyphosate within their own borders on the basis that it poses a severe risk to human and environmental health.

  • Security

    • NTP Patches Flaws That Enable DDoS
    • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter And Pinterest Accounts Hacked

      In a surprising incident, Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts were compromised this Sunday. A Saudi Arabia-based hacking group managed to hack his account using credentials found in the recent LinkedIn breach. Interestingly, the hackers tweeted that his LinkedIn password was “dadada”.

    • What Is A “Wi-Fi Whisperer”? How Does It Steal Your Data In The Creepiest Way?
    • Quieting Scary Web Browser SSL Alerts

      The entire Internet depends on OpenSSL to secure sensitive transactions, but until the Linux Foundation launched the Core Infrastructure Initiative to support crucial infrastructure projects, it was supported by a small underfunded team with only one paid developer. This is not good for an essential bit of infrastructure, and OpenSSL was hit by some high-profile bugs, such as Heartbleed. Now that OpenSSL has stable support, there should be fewer such incidents — and not a moment too soon, because we have no alternatives.

    • GnuTLS 3.4.13

      Added GnuTLS-SA-2016-1 security advisory.

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Password app developer overlooks security hole to preserve ads

      Think it’s bad when companies take their time fixing security vulnerabilities? Imagine what happens when they avoid fixing those holes in the name of a little cash. KeePass 2 developer Dominik Reichl has declined to patch a flaw in the password manager’s update check as the “indirect costs” of the upgrade (which would encrypt web traffic) are too high — namely, it’d lose ad revenue. Yes, the implication is that profit is more important than protecting users.

      The impact is potentially quite severe, too. An attacker could hijack the update process and deliver malware that would compromise your PC.

    • Protecting your PC from ransomware gets harder with EMET-evading exploit

      Drive-by attacks that install the once-feared TeslaCrypt crypto ransomware are now able to bypass EMET, a Microsoft-provided tool designed to block entire classes of Windows-based exploits.

      The EMET-evading attacks are included in Angler, a toolkit for sale online that provides ready-to-use exploits that can be stitched into compromised websites. Short for Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, EMET has come to be regarded as one of the most effective ways of hardening Windows-based computers from attacks that exploit security vulnerabilities in both the operating system or installed applications. According to a blog post published Monday by researchers from security firm FireEye, the new Angler attacks are significant because they’re the first exploits found in the wild that successfully pierce the mitigations.

      “The level of sophistication in exploit kits has increased significantly throughout the years,” FireEye researchers wrote. “Where obfuscation and new zero days were once the only additions in the development cycle, evasive code has now been observed being embedded into the framework and shellcode.”

    • Is there a future view that isn’t a security dystopia?

      I recently finished reading the book Ghost Fleet, it’s not a bad read if you’re into what cyberwar could look like. It’s not great though, I won’t suggest it as the book of the summer. The biggest thing I keep thinking about is I’ve yet to really see any sort of book that takes place in the future, with a focus on technology, that isn’t a dystopian warning. Ghost Fleet is no different.

    • Some work on a VyOS image with Let’s Encrypt certs
  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘A Fig Leaf For The Occupation’: Israeli Human Rights Group Ends Cooperation With Israeli Military

      “[T]he way in which the military law enforcement system functions precludes it … from achieving justice for the victims,” noted a report from B’Tselem, the human rights group which has ceased cooperating with Israeli military investigations into crimes committed by Israeli soldiers.

    • Washington Is Using Russia’s Reliance on Diplomacy To Revive ISIS And To Involve Russia In Long-Term War In Syria

      Make no mistake. Putin’s strategic intervention in Syria last September was a bold, vital step. He deserves credit and praise for taking it.

      Things changed dramatically on the ground. Reinvigorated government forces retook large swaths of earlier lost territory, freeing them from the scourge of US-sponsored terrorism.

    • US Survey Reveals Public Support for Nuclear Strikes and a Disconnect From Their Bloody Reality

      In the wake of President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima last week, renewed debates over the use of atomic weapons against Japan in August 1945 have highlighted a disturbing trend: a rise in public support for US attacks on civilians across the globe. Never having withstood a prolonged bombing campaign on their soil, many people in the United States are quick to support and justify the use of bombs — including nuclear ones — on others.

    • Baghdad advances on Fallujah but “slows down” for fear of Civilian Casualties

      Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi said Thursday that his troops were in position to move into the city of Fallujah from the south, after advances made during the past two days, but that he would “slow down” the assault for fear of civilians trapped in the city. The Iraqi military and its Shiite militia auxiliaries have met with fierce resistance by Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) fighters holding the city, which fell to them in January 2014.

    • Peter Kuznick

      In light of President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima on May 27, Peter and Mickey spend the hour with historian Peter Kuznick, who has written extensively about President Truman’s decision to drop the bomb.

    • When Does a Random Taxi Driver Become a Lawful Combatant?

      A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post questioning the Obama Administration’s logic in killing the leader of the Afghan Taliban in a drone strike in Pakistan. It turns out that the Defense Department also employed some very suspect reasoning surrounding the drone strike.


      It seems that a suitable reference on which to rely for DoD’s thinking on combatants is to go back to William Haynes’ memo dated December 12, 2002 and titled “Lawful Combatants”. This memo comes from Haynes as General Counsel to DoD and is addressed to a Roundtable assembled by the Council on Foreign Relations. It appears that this exercise was geared toward providing legal cover for the Bush Administration’s “new” reading of international law and especially its attempts to shield prisoners from the Geneva Conventions.

    • MH-17 Probe Relies on Ukraine for Evidence

      The oft-delayed probe into the 2014 shoot-down of MH-17 over eastern Ukraine has been tainted by its dependence on Ukraine’s intelligence service for much of its evidence, as a new interim report makes clear, reports Robert Parry.

    • Muhammad Ali’s Real Legacy: True Patriotism

      Although it is customary to say nice things about a person who has died, Muhammad Ali has been rightly commended for not only his superb boxing career but also his principled opposition to the then-popular Vietnam War. Unlike later chairborne hawks, such as Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney, Ali did not try to evade the draft or get numerous college deferments to avoid service. He declared that because of his religion, he would not fight against people who had done nothing to him and bluntly said, “just take me to jail.”

      Therefore, it is difficult to argue that Ali avoided the war for selfish reasons, because the costs of noncompliance with the draft were substantial. If the Supreme Court had not nullified his conviction 8-0, he would have served five years in prison. Although he ultimately avoided losing his liberty, he had to give up his heavy weight boxing title and experienced financial hardship as a result.

      At the time, Ali’s was not a popular stand, but he turned out to be right about many things, just as the then unpopular civil rights heroes Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were. The war – in a faraway, insignificant country – turned out to be a non-strategic quagmire in the competition with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Of course, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) privately predicted that at the time, but escalated the conflict anyway, so as not to be seen as a wimp politically with an eye toward winning the 1968 election. The war killed 58,000 Americans, a few million Vietnamese, and drained equipment and resources from the U.S. military, which it hollowed out for more important missions.

    • My Name, Not Yours

      In 1967, Ali famously connected the civil rights struggle to the injustices of the war in Vietnam: “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end… I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality…I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.” May he rest in peace and power.

    • Israeli Soldiers Executed Two Palestinians in Hebron, Not One, Witnesses Say

      The on-camera execution of a wounded Palestinian suspect by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in March — which led to an indictment of the soldier for manslaughter and exposed a rift between Israel’s military leaders and many civilians — was preceded by another extrajudicial killing not captured on video by witnesses, an Israeli rights group reported on Monday.

    • Evidence Counters UK Claims That No British-Made Cluster Munitions in Yemen

      Amnesty International has published detailed information rebutting claims by the British government that no UK-manufactured cluster munitions were used by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition during the Yemen conflict which began in March 2015.

      The organization recently found evidence indicating that a British-manufactured “BL-755” cluster bomb was used by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in an attack in al-Khadhra village in Yemen’s Hajjah governorate, approximately six miles from the Saudi Arabia border.

    • Obama’s “Successful” Counterterrorism Approach in Yemen Has Quadrupled Membership in AQAP

      On September 10, 2014, President Obama gave a speech advocating for the same kind of approach to counterterrorism against ISIL his Administration had been using with Yemen (and Somalia).

    • Europe Sleepwalks toward World War III

      The West’s scary new catch phrase for anything the diabolical Russians do is “hybrid war,” accusing Moscow of spreading propaganda and funding NGOs, pretty much what the West has been doing for decades, as Gilbert Doctorow explains.

    • The Difference Between How the U.S. Treats Brazil and Venezuela in One Video

      A State Department spokesperson repeatedly refused to comment on the momentous political crisis in Brazil during his daily press briefing on Friday — in almost ludicrous contrast to his long and loquacious criticisms of neighboring Venezuela.

      When questioned on the stark contrast, increasingly exasperated department spokesperson Mark Toner replied, “I just – again, I don’t have anything to comment on the ongoing political dimensions of the crisis there. I don’t.”

    • In News You Didn’t Hear About Today: Russia Is Still Bombing Syria’s Largest City

      In news you probably haven’t heard about today, Syria’s largest city — Aleppo — was hit by around 50 airstrikes from Russian and Syrian aircraft.

      “A civil defense worker said at least 32 people were killed in the rebel-held parts of the city during the air strikes, with 18 bodies pulled from flattened buildings in the Qatrji neighborhood, the worst hit,” Reuters reported Sunday.

      The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a human rights monitoring group, told Reuters that “dozens of barrel bombs – oil drums or cylinders packed with explosives and shrapnel- were dropped by helicopter on densely populated districts.”

    • “Just Take Me to Jail”: Remembering Muhammad Ali’s Refusal to Fight in Vietnam

      Thousands are expected to gather in Louisville Friday for the funeral of Muhammad Ali, one of the world’s most iconic figures of the 20th century. He was considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all time, but he will also be remembered for his activism against racism and war. In 1966, Ali announced his refusal to fight in Vietnam. After his conscientious objector status request was denied in April 1967, he refused induction. Ali’s title was taken away from him, and he was sentenced to a five-year prison term. He appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 1971 his conviction was finally reversed.

    • Enormous, ‘Seriously Destabilizing’ NATO War Games Begin in Poland

      Drawing Russian rebuke, NATO members and partners on Monday launched what is being called the largest war game in decades—a 10-day exercise involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries, none more committed than the United States.

      The exercise, dubbed “Anakonda-16,” is taking place in Poland ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Warsaw that will likely approve more troops to be stationed in eastern Europe. The United States is providing around 14,000 troops for the exercise, more than any other participating nation.

    • 4 killed, church, shop burnt in Niger State’s “blasphemy” riot

      Four persons have so far lost their lives while at least one house, a church and a shop have been burnt in a riot sparked by alleged posting of a blasphemous statement about Prophet Muhammad on the social media in Pandogari town, Niger State last Sunday, according to Nigerian military authorities.

      In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the military announced imposition of curfew on the town to curb the raging violence in which it said has also led to looting of 25 shops.

    • Hadi touts Islam as answer to all mankind’s problems

      Foreign ideologies have failed to solve mankind’s problems, but Islam can lead the way forward, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said at the opening of his party’s 62nd annual general meeting here today.

      He said Malaysians continue to put their faith in the democratic ideology inherited from the colonial British rulers, claiming there to be evidence pointing to its failure.

    • Police officer’s wife slain in possible ‘militant revenge’ in Bangladesh

      The wife of a prominent anti-terror police officer was stabbed and shot to death Sunday in an apparently targeted killing in the coastal Bangladeshi city of Chittagong, a local police commissioner said.

      Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, wife of decorated police superintendent Babul Akter, was attacked by three assailants at a busy intersection about 90 meters from her home at about 7 a.m. local time, Chittagong Police Commissioner Iqbal Bahar said.

    • Christian murdered in latest Bangladesh attack

      A Christian was knifed to death after Sunday prayers near a church in northwest Bangladesh in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

      Police said unidentified attackers murdered the 65-year-old in the village of Bonpara, home to one of the oldest Christian communities in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. “Sunil Gomes was hacked to death at his grocery store just near a church at Bonpara village,” said Shafiqul Islam, deputy police chief of Natore district.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Did Clinton’s Emails Expose CIA Agents?

      Even as Hillary Clinton closes in on the Democratic nomination, facts continue to emerge indicating that her sloppy email practices may have endangered secrets, including the identities of covert operatives, writes Peter Van Buren.

    • Hillary Clinton Emailed Names of U.S. Intelligence Officials, Unclassified

      You can look at the source documents yourself. This is not opinion, conjecture, or rumor. Hillary Clinton transmitted the names of American intelligence officials via her unclassified email.

      From a series of Clinton emails, numerous names were redacted in the State Department releases with the classification code “B3 CIA PERS/ORG,” a highly specialized classification that means the information, if released, would violate the Central Intelligence Act of 1949 by exposing the names of CIA officials.

    • FBI Won’t Tell Me How Much It Paid To Break Into Syed Farook’s iPhone, Saying It Might Jeopardize Its Investigation

      As you probably recall, several months ago, after going to court to try to force Apple to write some software to allow the FBI to hack into Syed Farook’s work iPhone, the DOJ and FBI abruptly called off the case, claiming that it had been able to get an exploit that let it into the phone. A few weeks later, FBI Director James Comey suggested that the government paid over $1.2 million to get that exploit from some “hackers.” Some later news reports indicated that the FBI quietly tried to talk down those numbers, and suggested that perhaps Comey was just bad at math (rather than name a number, he said that the FBI had paid “more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months….”).

      Either way, I sent a FOIA request into the FBI that day asking for either the invoice or any other documentation showing how much the FBI had paid to get into Farook’s work iPhone. The FBI has now rejected my FOIA request, arguing that since this is an “ongoing investigation,” responding to such a request might somehow “interfere” with the case.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Steve Horn: Clinton’s Fracking Flip Flop
    • The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare

      Australia’s natural wonder is in mortal danger. Bleaching caused by climate change has killed almost a quarter of its coral this year and many scientists believe it could be too late for the rest. Using exclusive photographs and new data, a Guardian special report investigates how the reef has been devastated – and what can be done to save it

    • Heat wave sparks brush fires in California

      Firefighters are battling a series of brush fires throughout Southern California this weekend.

      The brush fire that broke out in Temecula has doubled in size to 70 acres, according to Cal Fire Riverside county. The fire is 20% contained. Earlier in the day, the brush fire had was burning 30 acres south of the Temecula Parkway and forced the southbound I-15 freeway to close. Two southbound lanes reopened an hour later. No homes were immediately threatened in the area.

      Another brush fire recently broke out in Jurupa Valley, a city roughly 50 miles north of Temecula.

    • Decades Ago, Robert Kennedy Explained Something That Trump Still Doesn’t Know About The Economy

      Of that, EPA regulations delivered the majority of benefits ($132.5 to $652 billion) but only about half the costs ($31 to $37.5 billion).

      Of course, lots of those benefits were things like reduced health care costs because the air got cleaner — and those benefits don’t show up in our primary measure of economic growth, GDP. Indeed, reducing sickness and death actually lowers GDP.

    • Why There Could Be More Blasts Like 2015 ExxonMobil Torrance Oil Refinery Explosion, Putting Millions At Risk

      On the morning of February 18, 2015, the ExxonMobil oil refinery in Torrance, California exploded, causing chemical ash to rain on the surrounding community for hours. Eight workers had to be decontaminated and four were sent to hospitals with minor injuries.

      California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) ordered ExxonMobil to shut down the unit until it could demonstrate safe operation.

      In August, Cal/OSHA issued 19 citations for workplace safety and health violations at the Torrance refinery. The company was fined $566,600 in penalties in connection with the blast.

    • Could Arctic Ice Disappear For First Time in More Than 100,000 Years?

      The Arctic could become virtually ice-free by 2017 for the first time in 100,000 years, a leading scientist has told the Independent.

      Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, cited new statistics from the National Snow and Ice Data Center which showed that as of June, Arctic sea ice had slimmed down to about 11 million square kilometers—lower than the last 30 years’ average of 12.7 million square kilometers—and it continues to melt.

      At that rate, Wadhams said, “Arctic ice may well disappear, that is, have an area of less than one million square kilometers for September of this year.”

      “Even if the ice doesn’t completely disappear, it is very likely that this will be a record low year. I’m convinced it will be less than 3.4 million square kilometers [the current record low],” he continued. “I think there’s a reasonable chance it could get down to a million this year and if it doesn’t do it this year, it will do it next year.”

    • Should lawyers be ethically obligated to protect the environment?

      As states and corporations increasingly head to court over climate change, a lawyer lays out an ethical roadmap to give the environment a louder legal voice

    • Oil Train Disaster Plans: A Burning Need for the Truth about Oil Train Fires

      In the year since five fiery oil train disasters in the US and Canada brought national attention to the threat from trains hauling explosive crude oil, the rail industry has embarked on a high profile public relations exercise to reassure the public that deadly disasters can be averted by emergency responders. In fact, the reality of oil train accidents — and the unanimous opinion of fire officials and federal rail safety experts — proves that there is no fighting an oil train derailment and fire. The scene of a crude oil derailment and fire is an uncontrollable fire. All firefighters can do is evacuate the area and wait for the fire to burn itself out.

    • Company Apologizes for Oil Train Disaster It Acknowledges Was Inevitable

      “We’re playing Russian roulette. I think the industry is perfectly willing to put a gun to our heads and risk our lives for the sake of making money. It is abundantly clear this enterprise is unsafe, unsustainable and they don’t know how to manage it.”

    • Socially constructed silence? Protecting policymakers from the unthinkable.

      The scientific community is profoundly uncomfortable with the storm of political controversy that climate research is attracting. What’s going on?

    • ‘Free Trade’ Will Kill Climate Movement, Hundreds of Groups Warn Congress

      Warning against dangers to “workers, communities, and our environment,” more than 450 environmental advocacy groups called on Congress to reject the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    • PwC says major miners wasted the resources boom

      The world’s largest miners have squandered the benefits of the long resources boom, writing off the equivalent of 32 per cent of the capital expenditure spent since 2010, according to accounting firm PwC.

      An analysis of the world’s 40 largest mining companies by market capitalisation revealed a collective $US199 billion of impairments were booked between 2010 and 2015, representing a staggering 31.9 per cent of the $US623 billion in capital expenditure deployed over the period.

      PwC said the findings highlighted a “lack of capital discipline”.

      While PwC’s weighted commodity price index declined 25 per cent year-on-year in 2015, the combined market capitalisation of the top 40 miners plummeted 37 per cent to $US494 billion, just a third of the collective value five years ago.

    • Washington, D.C., Announces Divestment of $6.4 Billion Pension Fund From Oil, Gas, and Coal Companies
    • Another Giant Pension Fund Divested From Oil, Coal, And Gas Companies

      D.C.’s $6.4 billion city government pension fund has divested from fossil fuels.

      In September, the District of Columbia pledged to curb its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Consistent with that aim, D.C’s Retirement Board has scrubbed its $6.4 billion pension fund of investments in the 200 largest publicly traded coal, oil and gas companies.

    • In ‘Bold’ Act of Leadership, Nation’s Capital Divests $6.4 Billion Fund from All Fossil Fuels

      The largest pension fund in Washington, D.C. has divested its $6.4 billion from 200 of “the world’s most polluting fossil fuel companies.”

      “In doing so, Washington, D.C. has taken a critical step toward addressing climate change, joining the more than 500 cities, philanthropic organizations, faith groups, universities, and other organizations that have divested funds worth a collective $3.4 trillion,” wrote grassroots advocacy group DC Divest, which celebrated the hard-won victory that came after three years of campaigning.

    • Can An International Standard Help End Food Waste?

      Food waste is a huge international problem that costs the global economy billions of dollars each year and creates tons of methane gas, which helps fuel climate change. Nearly one-third of all food produced is wasted each year. If the emissions associated with all that wasted, rotting food were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the United States and China.

    • Europe’s floods come as no surprise

      At least 18 people have lost their lives in central Europe as severe floods engulf the continent from France to Ukraine. In Paris the River Seine reached 6.1 metres (20 feet) above normal, and tens of thousands of people have fled their homes.

      If the downpours and swollen rivers came as a surprise, they shouldn’t have done. Not only are there historical precedents for disastrous floods. There have been graphic recent warnings too, spelling out the growing likelihood that the warming climate will make bouts of flooding and other extreme weather more frequent.

      Last March a study reported in the journal Nature said climate change was already driving an increase in extremes of rainfall and snowfall across most of the globe, even in arid regions. The study said the trend would continue as the world warmed.

  • Finance

    • Hillary Clinton gives a speech about inequality in an Armani jacket worth ‘$12,000′

      Hilary Clinton has come under fire for giving a speech about inequality in a Giorgio Armani jacket reportedly worth $12,495.

      It has emerged the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee wore the tweed jacket during her victory speech in April in which she explored topics of income inequality, job creation and retirement schemes.

      Clinton, who is known for her pantsuit collection, has hired a team of image experts which includes Michelle Obama’s former assistant Kristina Schake and opted for higher end European fashion labels in recent months.

      “She’s had to have spent in the six figures on this wardrobe overhaul,” Los Angeles-based political image consultant Patsy Cisneros told The New York Post yesterday.

    • GE Considers Scrapping the Annual Raise

      General Electric Co. is the laboratory of American management. So when the manufacturing giant says it’s rethinking a bedrock tradition of corporate life — the annual raise — you can bet that C-suites everywhere will be watching closely.

      GE executives are reviewing whether annual updates to compensation are the best response to the achievements and needs of employees. The company may also scrap the longstanding and much-imitated system of rating staff on a five-point scale. Decisions on both issues may come within the next several months, spokeswoman Valerie Van den Keybus said by phone.

    • Oracle Whistleblower Suit Raises Questions Over Cloud Accounting

      A whistleblower lawsuit filed against Oracle over its accounting practices underscores the pressures established computer companies face to show that they are growing in the fast-moving business known as the cloud.

      The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by former Oracle senior finance manager Svetlana Blackburn, also revives longstanding questions about proper accounting when software and computer services are bought on a subscription basis rather than as a single package, analysts said.

    • C.F.P.B. Releases Payday Lending Rule, Calls for Credit Union-Style Services to Fill Void
    • South Africa’s EFF: Julius Malema and the Struggle to Continue the Revolution

      Indeed, neo-colonial South Africa has been good to South Africa whites. Whites, who comprise 10% of South Africa’s population, control 80% of one of the wealthiest real estate on the planet. Undeniably, land is the basis of all present and intergenerational wealth, not jobs. South Africa contains a cornucopia of mineral riches. It is the world’s largest producer of gold, diamonds, vanadium, chrome, manganese, platinum and vermiculite. No one voluntarily relinquishes this kind of wealth and the struggle for control of these magnificent resources is yet to be waged. The murders of valiant freedom fighters and the election of Mandela provided a temporary reprieve for white settlers and monopoly capitalism but a new generation of Black activists have determined that the fight for power, land and the future of Black folks in South Africa can no longer be held in abeyance.

    • John Oliver Bought Nearly $15 Million in Medical Debt to Prove a Point in an Incredible Way (Video)

      The “Last Week Tonight” host discovered just how easy it is to get into the debt collection business and then go after payment, something that often results in the persecution of innocent people. Oliver then made television history Sunday night. Watch to the very end of the hilariously informative clip to see Oliver outdoing Oprah Winfrey with an unforgettable act.

    • Closing in on EU Financial Tax Victory

      The international campaign for taxes on financial speculation is on the brink of a major European milestone that could further boost momentum in the United States.

    • ‘The current Brexit debate is essentially an argument between the Tory party and itself’
    • Is the US Behind the Brazilian Coup?

      There can no longer be a defense of the removal of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff from office. The political maneuvering by the opposition PSDB has been uncloaked and revealed for what it clearly was all along: a quiet coup dressed in the disguise of democracy.

      The recent release of a recording of a phone call has done for Brazil what Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland’s phone call to American ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt did for Ukraine: it has provided incontrovertible proof that the removal of the elected President was a coup.

      The published transcript of the call between Romero Jucá, who was a senator at the time of the call and is currently the planning minister in the new Michael Temer government, and former oil executive, Sergio Machado, lays bare “a national pact” to remove Dilma and install Temer as President. Jucá reveals that, not only opposition politicians, but also the military and the Supreme Court are conspirators in the coup. Regarding the military’s role, Jucá says, “I am talking to the generals, the military commanders. They are fine with this, they said they will guarantee it.” And, as for the Supreme Court, Glenn Greenwald reports that Jucá admits that he “spoke with and secured the involvement of numerous justices on Brazil’s Supreme Court.” Jucá further boasted that “there are only a small number” of Supreme Court justices that he had not spoken to.

    • Wall Street Behind Brazil Coup d’Etat

      The US does not want to deal or negotiate with a sovereign reformist nationalist government. What it wants is a compliant US proxy state.

    • A Monthly Income Just for Being Human, and Other Sensible Ideas

      Unconditional basic income, a policy option that seems radical by American standards, is gaining new traction across Europe, Canada, and even a few places in the United States. Also known as “universal basic income,” the policy mandates a guaranteed stipend to every resident of a community, with no strings attached. It is promoted as a way to address rising inequality, protect against economic uncertainty, and replace increasingly austere and inadequate means-tested benefit programs. A basic income is gaining credence among economists and policymakers as a necessity in a global economy that’s failing millions of people.

    • The Theory of Business Enterprises Part 6: Government as an Arm of Business

      The international policies of the US government are organized around the needs of businessmen, according to Thorstein Veblen, in the same way the legal system was organized to protect their interests and not those of the common people.

    • A European network of rebel cities?

      In this perspective, the interaction with transnational movements and various initiatives “for democracy in Europe” (DiEM25, among others) is necessarily required. An example come from the recent meeting of Local Authorities against TTIP, held on April 21 and 22 in Barcelona, and that concluded with a strong claim to the European Commission signed by hundreds of mayors.

    • Public Health Must Not Resuscitate the Trans-Pacific Partnership

      Two recent high-profile statements attempt to drum up support for the unpopular Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) based on faulty analyses of provisions that greatly concern public health: tobacco control, and access to medicines.

    • The Trans-Pacific Partnership: a missed opportunity for civil society?

      The TPP requires the 12 member states to uphold basic International Labour Organization (ILO) standards. But there is a simple problem: no one knows what to do about non-compliance. Recent reports from The Atlantic Monthly and the House Ways and Means Committee cast doubt on the ability of the United States to hold some of the TPP partner countries to their labor rights commitments.

    • TPP mired as Congress returns

      TPP MIRED AS CONGRESS RETURNS: It could be a long, sleepy summer for the Trans-Pacific Partnership one year after Congress nearly ripped itself apart to give President Barack Obama “fast track” authority to finish the landmark Asia-Pacific deal. The administration is trying to sell Congress and the American public on the economic and geostrategic benefits of TPP. But both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are keeping their distance, while Donald Trump is promising to walk away from the 12-nation pact.

    • Obama Administration Bars Release of Clinton’s TPP Emails Until Post-Election

      While Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has publicly reversed her position on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it remains unknown how much she helped advance, or even craft, the international trade deal while serving as U.S. Secretary of State—and the Obama administration appears interested in keeping it that way.

      On Monday, International Business Times (IBT) senior editor David Sirota reported that the State Department is refusing to release correspondence between Clinton’s State Department office and the United States Trade Representative related to the TPP until after the 2016 presidential election.

    • Panama Papers Show How Rich United States Clients Hid Millions Abroad

      Over the years, William R. Ponsoldt had earned tens of millions of dollars building a string of successful companies. He had renovated apartment buildings in the New York City area. Bred Arabian horses. Run a yacht club in the Bahamas, a rock quarry in Michigan, an auto-parts company in Canada, even a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

      Now, as he neared retirement, Mr. Ponsoldt, of Jensen Beach, Fla., had a special request for Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm well placed in the world of offshore finance: How could he confidentially shift his money into overseas bank accounts and use them to buy real estate and move funds to his children?

      “He is the manager of one of the richest hedge funds in the world,” a lawyer at Mossack Fonseca wrote when the firm was introduced to Mr. Ponsoldt in 2004. “Primary objective is to maintain the utmost confidentiality and ideally to open bank accounts without disclosing his name as a private person.”

    • How the Panama Papers Firm Helped US Clients Escape Tax Rules

      The law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, Mossack Fonseca, helped many of its American clients evade U.S. tax and transparency laws, according to an investigation by the New York Times published Monday.

      Documents including “confidential emails, copies of passports, ledgers of bank transactions and even the various code names used to refer to clients” show that Mossack Fonseca went beyond simply creating shell companies for some of the 2,400 Americans implicated in the leak, the Times reports—instead, the firm “offered a how-to guide of sorts on skirting or evading United States tax and financial disclosure laws.”

    • I Told Paul Ryan What It’s Like to Live in Poverty. Here’s What Happened Next.

      In your first speech as Speaker you called for combining many safety net programs into a single block grant. But I know you realize that poverty would be twice as high without the safety net, with nearly 30 percent of Americans living below the poverty line. What would our nation look like with 30 percent poverty? We can thank the safety net for the fact that we don’t know the answer to that question.

    • Hedge fund sues Peru for $ 1.6 billion over agrarian bonds

      Gramercy Funds Management has filed a $1.6 billion claim against Peru for its refusal to redeem land bonds from the 1970s agrarian reform.

      The Connecticut-based hedge fund has requested arbitration before a special tribunal created in the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement which took effect in 2009.

      “For several years, Gramercy has attempted to engage in negotiations with the Peruvian government to find a solution for the land bond debt,” the hedge fund said in a statement according to the Wall Street Journal. “The government has consistently declined to enter into serious discussions on this matter, leading Gramercy to file the arbitration.”

    • Media Cite Architect of Last Recession as Expert on Preventing Another One

      FAIR has written before about “Trumpwashing”: the use of Trump’s extremism as a way of propping up establishment Democrats’ own history of extreme neoliberal economic policy and military adventurism. Just as Trump’s hypothetical wars are used to distract from the actual wars Hillary Clinton has pushed for, Trump’s theoretical recession is used to gloss over how much damage the Bill Clinton administration’s economic policies of deregulating Wall Street did.

      The rub in Summers’ warnings—and the subsequent coverage of them—is how ideological they are. Summers insists that two of the biggest dangers posed by Trump are his pulling out of “free trade” agreements and “scaling back NATO.” There’s much dispute over what caused the 2008 recession, but one thing is clear: Anti–“free trade” policies and scaling back NATO didn’t play a role. While it’s certainly possible Trump’s wackier economic policies (like defaulting on debts, for example) could bring the cataclysm Summers warns about, the smuggling in of pro-TPP and pro-NATO expansion language belies a disinterested motive.

      The use of the Trump spectacle, as FAIR has noted before, as a proxy war against either unrelated or tangentially related ideas, causes or countries is one of its more pernicious features. This tactic is made even more cynical when it’s done by one of the architects of the 2008 recession, nominally in an effort to warn us about a future one.

    • Universal Basic Income: Why it is Not Crazy and Not Going Away

      The Dutch city of Utrecht is developing a pilot project for a universal basic income that will launch in January 2017. The Finnish government is designing a trial to see whether giving low-income people a guaranteed basic income destroys their motivation to do any work at all, as critics allege. The idea is not going away because most “real” jobs are on the way out.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Harry Reid Is Quietly Laying The Groundwork For Elizabeth Warren To Be Vice President

      There are several good reasons why presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton might want to choose Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as her running mate. Warren is a forceful critic of Republican candidate Donald Trump. As the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren helps insulate Clinton from charges that she is too close to Wall Street. And Warren is popular with many liberal Democrats that Clinton may want to build bridges towards in the wake of a bruising primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    • Media Executives See Huge Payday Fueled By Donald Trump’s Campaign

      Early on, media executives in charge of much of America’s broadcasting industry were worried that Donald Trump, who eschewed traditional political advertising, might dampen prospects for a high-spending campaign season.

      That fear is gone.

      The Intercept reviewed the past six months of investor earnings calls and presentations of major media companies. In the first few months of this year, some executives expressed concern that Trump might continue to rely on his extraordinary free media exposure and spend less money than traditional Republican candidates. But over the last two months, the concern has dissipated and transformed into excitement that this year is on track to be the most expensive election in history.

      In reviewing the transcripts, we observed no discussions during any of the calls about the media’s role in creating the Trump phenomenon, or the media’s duty to present voters with the information necessary to make informed decisions.

    • Four Americans Who Should Be Crying Out For Socialism

      Beaten-down Americans are ignored by our neoliberal system of economics and government. A social democracy would help to restrain runaway capitalism by focusing on the needs of all citizens rather than just the money-makers. But unless our next president is Bernie Sanders, struggling Americans will continue to be ignored, as they have been since the Reagan years.

    • Democratic Elites Once Again Demonstrate Their Contempt for Organized Labor

      Last week, the Washington Post reported a striking piece of news: One of the five individuals Bernie Sanders nominated to play a role in writing the Democratic Party’s platform was vetoed by the Democratic National Committee.

      Striking, but far from surprising — particularly when, as the Post observes, we learn that the individual the DNC rejected was RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, “the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.”

      The NNU was the first major union to endorse Bernie Sanders and, according to DeMoro, Sanders picked her “to advocate for Medicare for All.”

    • Hillary’s Foreign Policy Speech: Queen Galadriel Before Her Magic Mirror

      Hillary Clinton’s fiery performance last Thursday night, intended to assert her credentials as a former secretary of state (with all the positive “experience” that’s supposed to entail), framed by no fewer than seventeen U.S. flags, was a strident reassertion of U.S. “exceptionalism” without apologies or even reflections on the recent past and her bloody role in it.

    • Libertarian Johnson predicts a boost after Sanders drops out

      Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson believes his campaign will get a boost whenever Bernie Sanders ends his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

      Johnson, who many believe could be the strongest third-party candidate in decades, told The Hill in an exclusive interview on Monday that Libertarians are poised for a breakout year driven by dissatisfaction with the major-party nominees.

      Johnson believes that once Sanders drops out, he’ll benefit from having one less insurgent candidate in the field as voters look for an alternative to the Republican and Democratic candidates.

    • Ron Paul: U.S. does not have democracy

      The United States is not a democratic country, former presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Monday while discussing the “very poor choices” and “no real contrast” for voters to choose from between the likes of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

      “This country, we do not really have democracy. I mean, even if we were really, really super happy with the Libertarian candidate, you think they’d get into the debates? No, the debates are run by the Republicans and Democrats,” Paul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked about the viability of the Gary Johnson-Bill Weld Libertarian ticket.

    • Will Hillary Clinton Get Favored Treatment?

      Hillary Clinton’s private emails jeopardized the safety of undercover CIA officers, suggesting criminal charges, but the Obama administration might make an exception for the Democratic frontrunner, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • If Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass on Espionage From President Obama, So Should Whistleblowers

      Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee for president, appears to have committed a very serious violation of some of the country’s most important laws governing the use and misuse of classified information: She revealed the names of undercover CIA officers by using her unclassified and unprotected personal email server. That may be a violation both of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Intelligence Identities Act of 1982 (IIPA). That Clinton used an unclassified system for classified information is not conjecture. That’s the same email server that Romanian hacker Guccifer said was so easy to hack that it was “like an open orchid on the internet.”

      That Clinton had such highly classified information on an unclassified system is a fact. The question now is: What is the Obama administration going to do about it? And the answer is, probably, nothing.

    • Party Crashing and Political Revolution: With the DNC Just Weeks Away, What’s Next for Our Movement?

      As the California Democratic Primary rapidly approaches, I’m reminded of a small but important event that took place earlier this spring in San Francisco. Gutsy activists protested in April outside a campaign fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, co-hosted by movie megastar and area resident, George Clooney. The party was full of glitz, privilege, glamour, and of course money. Lots of it. The minimum price for entry to the hotel location was $33,400, with a seat inside the house party going for $353,400.

      A group of 200 protesters, uninvited and unwelcome at an event unaffordable to them, used the media spotlight outside to call out Hillary Clinton’s corporate record and corporate backing. George Clooney even felt compelled to respond to reporters, acknowledging the “obscene” amounts of money influencing the U.S. political system.

      Of course, lots of Clinton fundraisers like this one have happened all over the country, both before and since, while even larger sums of money are amassed quietly with corporate Super PACs. But what was different about this “Golden City” event was the success of activists in breaking through the media blackout with a vivid snapshot into the world inhabited by the Democratic Party establishment, and the fundamental class character of the party itself.

    • Bernie Sanders’ Revolution Won’t End at the Polls

      While no one can predict the future, victories in California, New Mexico and the Big Sky states on June 7, combined with a strong showing in New Jersey, would leave Sanders (or at least his movement) in a position analogous to Ronald Reagan’s in 1976: a close runner-up, poised to lead the country in a new direction. It certainly won’t be easy; unlike Reagan, Sanders would face unified opposition from the establishment. Still, victories in these final contests would cement the impression not only that Sanders’ program represents the future of progressive politics, but also that he won the battle of ideas in this election cycle.

    • Donald Trump Is the Mosquito, Not the Zika Virus

      Graduates of 2016, don’t be fooled by this glorious day. As you leave campus for the last time, many of you already deeply in debt and with a lifetime of payments to look forward to, you head into a world that’s anything but sunny. In fact, through those gates that have done little enough to protect you is the sort of fog bank that results in traffic pile-ups on any highway.

      And if you imagine that I’m here to sweep that fog away and tell you what truly lies behind it, think again. My only consolation is that, if I can’t adequately explain our American world to you or your path through it, I doubt any other speaker could either.

      Of course, it’s not exactly a fog-lifter to say that, like it or not, you’re about to graduate onto Planet Donald — and I don’t mean, for all but a few of you, a future round of golf at Mar-a-Lago. Our increasingly unnerved and disturbed world is his circus right now (whether he wins the coming election or not), just as in the Philippines, it’s the circus of new president Rodrigo Duterte; in Hungary, of right-wing populist Viktor Orbán; in Austria, of Norbert Hofer, the extremist anti-immigrant presidential candidate who just lost a squeaker by .6% of the vote; in Israel, of new defense minister Avigdor Lieberman; in Russia, of the autocratic Vladimir Putin; in France, of Marine le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Front party, who has sometimes led in polls for the next presidential election; and so on. And if you don’t think that’s a less than pretty political picture of our changing planet, then don’t wait for the rest of this speech, just hustle out those gates. You’ve got a treat ahead of you.

    • Sanders Speaks against Racism, Injustice

      As Hillary Clinton seeks to finally extinguish Bernie Sanders’s campaign, the Vermont senator continues to speak out against the Establishment’s neglect of social justice and against the racism coming from Donald Trump, reports Marjorie Cohn.

    • What Happens Next? People’s Summit to Fortify Sanders’ Political Revolution

      No matter what happens in the remaining seven Democratic presidential primaries, progressives—many of them Bernie Sanders supporters—will gather in Chicago later this month to discuss how to build and fortify the political revolution that’s been sparked during the 2016 campaign season.

    • Diamond Dogs: Clinton Family Jewels

      Lurking in the background of this secret deal was a Canadian financial tycoon named Frank Guistra, who owned 60,000 shares of stock in Diamond Fields. Over the years, Clinton and Guistra would become close friends, with Clinton travelling the world in Giustra’s private jet, negotiating mining deals from Kazakhstan to Moscow. As detailed in Peter Schweitzer’s very informative Clinton Cash, Giustra returned the love, donating more than $30 million to the Clinton Foundation.

      Hillary made out as well. On the night of the first Clinton inaugural ball, the new first lady proudly flashed a 3.5 carat diamond ring, a present from the old Diamond Fields team, mined from the Crater of Diamonds. As for old John Huddleston, the man once hailed as the Diamond King of Arkansas? He died indigent and was buried in a pauper’s grave two miles from his glittering crater.

      The moral of this tale: though others may well go under, you can count on the Clintons to always profit from their plunder.

    • Birtherism and Bigotry: These Are the Vile Impulses Driving Voters to Trump; Stop Thinking It’s Anything Else

      I suspect those people would be grateful for any help they can get to go into the future. But according to Nate Silver at 538 they aren’t Trump voters. His voters are white but they are not members of the working class, at least not if you define class as relating to how much money someone has. Silver wrote a piece called “The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support” about a month ago in which he examined all the exit poll data and discovered that Trump voters are actually better off than most Americans.

    • Who’s the Fascist?

      Donald Trump is the ill spoken, boorish, graceless version of every American president in modern history. He differs from them only in his unconcealed appeals to white nationalism. But Democrats aren’t much better. They pretend to work on behalf of human, civil and economic rights but those claims are lies. They are meant to hide their partnerships with corporate America, very wealthy individuals and the worldwide imperialist project.

    • Ahead of California, Sanders Warns Media Against Preemptive Coronation of Clinton

      Addressing concerns that the media may preemptively announce his rival Hillary Clinton as the “presumptive Democratic Party nominee” even before she has won the requisite numbers of pledge delegates, Bernie Sanders over the weekend indicated that such reporting would be both wrong and irresponsible and held to his commitment to take his campaign all the way to the national convention when so-called superdelegates will finally—and for the first time, in fact—be able to cast their vote for who they believe will make the best nominee.

      Six states are holding Democratic primaries this Tuesday, including California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

      Amid some speculation, bolstered by overt comments by people like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, that cable outlets or other news agencies would call the election in favor of Clinton before all the results of next Tuesday’s results are in, Sander reiterated his argument that even though he has a steep hill to climb, the race is much closer than often reported.

    • It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

      This morning I heard from an old friend here in California who said “I’m for Bernie, but he doesn’t really have a chance anymore. So isn’t my vote for him in the California primary just prolonging the agony, and indirectly helping Trump?”

      I told him:

      1. True, the electoral numbers are daunting, and Bernie faces an uphill task, but a win Tuesday will help enormously. One out of 8 Americans lives in California.

      2. Regardless of the electoral math, Bernie’s candidacy has never been mainly about Bernie. It’s been about a movement to reclaim our democracy and economy from the moneyed interests. And a win for Bernie in the California primary (and in other Tuesday primaries in Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota South Dakota, and New Mexico) will send an even clearer signal to Washington, the Democratic Party, and the establishment as a whole, that a large and growing share of Americans is determined to wrest back control.

      3. The goals Bernie has enunciated in his campaign are essential to our future: getting big money out of politics and reversing widening inequality; moving toward a single-payer healthcare system and free tuition at public universities (both financed by higher taxes on the richest Americans and on Wall Street); a $15 minimum wage; decriminalization of marijuana and an end to mass incarceration; a new voting rights act; immigration reform; and a carbon tax. All will require continued mobilization at all levels of government. A win Tuesday will help continue and build on that mobilization.

    • McConnell: Ignore Trump’s Racism Because ‘The Party Of Lincoln Wants To Win The White House’

      Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thrice refused to label Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statement that a federal judge cannot decide a case impartially because the judge is Mexican American a “racist statement.”

    • Alabama Redux

      In early April this space was devoted to a discussion of the assorted political adversities that were being inflicted on those seeking to govern the state of Alabama, going from the Governor of the state, to the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and finally to the Alabama Speaker of the House. It has, however, been more than two months since those events were described and it is time for an update, if for no other reason than to reassure my readers that Donald Trump is not the only clown in town. The following events occurred within days of each other during the merry month of May.

    • Matt Damon Talks Banks, Brexit, Climate Change and Inequality at MIT Commencement (Video)

      “There’s more at stake today than in any story ever told,” said the actor who starred in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting,” set at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as he took the stage at the school’s graduation ceremony Friday. He even mentioned a certain Massachusetts senator, saying, “I don’t know if justice is coming for you in this life or the next. But if justice does come for you in this life … her name is Elizabeth Warren.”

    • Hillary Clinton’s ‘Major Foreign Policy Address’ Was Anything But

      In the last days before the California primary, where Democratic primary polls showed her neck-and-neck with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton delivered a campaign speech in San Diego. Though her campaign billed it as a “major foreign policy address,” it looked more like a last-ditch attempt to position herself as the Democratic nominee ahead of a potentially embarrassing loss or close finish with Sanders in the nation’s most populous state.

    • Shut Down the Democratic National Convention

      On July 25, opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala, leader of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, who was denied a permit to march by city authorities, will rally with thousands of protesters outside City Hall. Defying the police, they will march up Broad Street to the convention.

      We will recapture our democracy in the streets of cities such as Philadelphia, not in convention halls such as the aptly named Wells Fargo Center, where the Democratic Party elites intend to celebrate the results of the rigged primary elections and the continuity of corporate power.

      Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, other activists and I will march with Honkala. It is not as if we have a choice. No one invited us into the center or to the lavish corporate-sponsored receptions. No one anointed us to be Clinton superdelegates—a privilege that went to corporate lobbyists, rich people and party hacks. No one in the Democratic establishment gives a damn what we think.

      The convention is not our party. It is their party. It costs a lot of money to attend. Donate $ 100,000 and you become an “empire” donor, with perks such as “VIP credentials for all convention proceedings,” along with tickets to lavish corporate and Party receptions, photo ops with politicians at the convention podium, four rooms at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and a suite at a Yankees game, where a “special guest” will be present. Short of $100,000? You can become a “gold” donor for $50,000, a “silver” donor for $25,000 or a “bronze” donor for $10,000.

    • Former Texas Regulator Said He Was Muzzled For Investigating Trump University

      A former Texas official said a fraud investigation into Trump University was silenced in 2010, under “highly unusual” circumstances. Former Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens told CBS he had a strong case against Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s company for scamming students at his unaccredited real estate school. Shortly after the company folded in 2010, Owens’ says he was ordered to drop the case.

    • Alex Jones: Trump University Judge Is “The Equivalent Of A Hispanic Grand Dragon”
    • Profiles in Cowardice — GOP Leaders and Donald Trump

      Donald Trump has entered a new phase of autocratic weirdness. His attack on Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding in the lawsuit against Trump University, was a trifecta. It combined outright racism with an assault on the independent judiciary and a clear warning that Trump would use the presidency to settle personal business scores.

      His rants at reporters display contempt for the role of a free press. He would govern like a spiteful tyrant, with all the awesome powers of a president of the United States — settling scores, punishing enemies, making impetuous, ignorant decisions.

    • Trump Has No Use For Dog Whistles

      Donald Trump doesn’t subscribe to the Atwater School of Subtle Racism.

      Trump last week declared the Latino judge presiding over the Trump University case unfit strictly because of his ethnic heritage.

    • Why the AP called it for Clinton

      And though Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign dismissed the news on Monday evening — and Hillary Clinton herself said at a campaign rally in California that she wanted to let voters have their say on Tuesday — the AP now says it will be calling Clinton the “presumptive nominee” until the convention in July.

    • #StillSanders: Fans Reject AP Project of Clinton as Nominee

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporters took to social media on Monday to protest the Associated Press declaring, one day before the highly-anticipated California primary, that Hillary Clinton had become the Democratic Party’s nominee.

    • Voters Outraged as Media Accused of Falsely, Preemptively Crowning Clinton

      The Bernie Sanders campaign and progressives across the nation expressed mixtures of frustration and contempt Monday night after major news outlets—following declarations by the Associated Press and NBC News—ignored the explicit instructions about how primary delegates should be tallied and declared that Hillary Clinton has won the nomination of the Democratic Party.

    • Major media to millions of voters on eve of California vote: Democracy be damned!

      The bias of the major media never ceases to amaze me.

      Apparently someone in the media (AP, and now the Huffington Post among others) was in a hurry to declare Hillary Clinton the winner of the primary before she actually wins. Before millions of people in California and five other states vote. Before the convention, weeks before it, in fact. The hell with specific rules stating not to include superdelegates in the count. It doesn’t matter! The convention? It doesn’t matter! The votes of millions of people on June 7? They don’t matter either!

      Democracy? Screw it,

      in America, Democracy doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter!

      The media has declared, today in America, that the Democratic process does not matter!


    • AP Declares Hillary Clinton Democratic Presidential Nominee

      However, superdelegates (or unpledged delegates) can change their minds and switch their loyalties until the Democratic National Convention, so it’s not completely accurate to call Clinton the presumptive nominee. That point wasn’t lost on the Sanders campaign, which quickly put out a press release saying the Associated Press had jumped the gun…

    • Clinton Reportedly Clinches Democratic Nomination, but Nobody’s Pleased

      We’ve just crossed a historic Rubicon in the most anticlimactic way possible. On Monday night, the Associated Press announced that, due to some new superdelegate commitments, Hillary Clinton has clinched the Democratic nomination. This news pleased no one. Bernie Sanders supporters saw the announcement, on the eve of an important primary day, as evidence that the system is rigged on Clinton’s behalf. The Clinton team worried that the announcement would suppress turnout Tuesday and step on a victory that should have been made manifest at the polls.

    • US ‘Democracy’ in Action? Before California, Clinton ‘Wins’ Democratic Nomination: AP

      Not including superdelegates, Sanders is just 291 delegates behind Clinton and campaigners for his “political revolution” have been going all out in California, which will allocate 475 delegates.

    • Is the GOP Losing Its Religion?

      Of course this is an inadequate way of posing the question. God is always present for believers, even if the political workings of the divine can be hard to discern. And religious people continue to occupy points all along the spectrum. Just ask Hillary Clinton about her Methodism.

      But especially among Republicans, religious issues have taken a back seat in the party’s discourse and religious leaders are playing a diminished role in the 2016 campaign.

    • Sanders’ Campaign Alleges Fraud in Puerto Rico Presidential Primary

      With just hours before the start of the presidential primaries in Puerto Rico, members of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ team accused the leadership of the local Democratic Party of fraud, saying they hindered the certification process of their voting center officials.

      The Hispanic vote director for the campaign of the Vermont senator, Betsy Franceschini, denounced a series of irregularities her work team faced Friday while thousands of inmates at the island’s correctional facilities were voting.

    • Puerto Rico Primary: Is Election Fraud Happening?

      The presidential primary in Puerto Rico is today, but concerns about election fraud have been growing for days already. Bernie Sanders campaign officials and supporters are worried that a series of problems, ranging from drastically reduced polling stations to poll workers who can’t get certified, might be signs of voter suppression or election fraud. Some of these problems wouldn’t just hurt Sanders supporters, but could reduce everyone’s access to voting during the primary. What exactly is happening? And is it some form of fraud or voter suppression, or just a series of poor management decisions?

    • Did the Democratic Party Commit Election Fraud in Puerto Rico?

      Polling locations for the Democratic primary in Puerto Rico were reduced from 1,510 to 432 days before the contest that Clinton won.

    • Clinton Foundation Opaque “Fundraising Arm of Campaign”

      In an interview on CNN this weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders said: “You asked me about the Clinton Foundation. Do I have a problem when a sitting secretary of state and a foundation run by her husband collects many millions of dollars from foreign governments, governments which are dictatorships? You don’t have a lot of civil liberties, democratic rights in Saudi Arabia. You don’t have a lot of respect there for divergent, opposition points of view, for gay rights, for women’s rights. Yeah — do I have a problem with that? Yeah, I do.”

    • Endgame: Setting the Table for Tuesday’s Primary Showdown

      The weirdest presidential election year in the history of modern US politics came down to one of the weirdest five-day news runs I’ve ever seen. Secretary Hillary Clinton gave a rousing speech on Thursday in stalwart defense of empire while cutting Donald Trump off at the knees. Trump, in response, spent the next several days spraying copious amounts of folly into the air as if he were the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas.

    • A More Relevant and Radical Democratic Platform? Sanders Brings Veteran Activists to the Table

      Usually the chair of the Democratic National Committee appoints the group after consulting with the party’s presidential nominee, and Barack Obama had sweeping say in 2008. However, this year, the party allowed candidates to make appointments in proportion to their share of the popular vote in the primaries. Hillary Clinton made six picks, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz selected the remaining four. The Washington Post interpreted the change in the selection process as an attempt to unite an increasingly divided party.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Happyweb – a new Internet.

      The word “troll” no longer means just “troll” any more, as it seems that when some people come across another whose opinion they can’t counter, they will simply label them “troll” so as not to highlight the short-comings of their own position.

    • Israel-First McCarthyism: Cuomo’s vow to spy on, punish BDS Activists in long Tradition

      After New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order directing the state to monitor and sanction activists in the Boycott, Sanctions and Divest Movement (BDS) against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, critics complained that the order is McCarthyism. They objected that social and economic boycotts have been used in instances such as South Africa’s racial segregation or Apartheid. Interference in such a social and political movement in protest of injustice, they aver, is contrary to the first amendment. (Cuomo’s executive order will certainly be struck down by the courts). The order is creepy, since it suggests that Cuomo will have New York state bureaucrats combing through citizens’ Facebook and Twitter accounts to see if they support BDS, and then find ways of punishing them (no contracts from the state, no state jobs, no internships).

    • Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Order on BDS

      Shame on Governor Cuomo for using an anti-democratic executive order to push through a McCarthyite attack on a movement for justice. Boycotts have long been a tactic of social justice movements to bring about urgently needed change for a more just and equal society, and the movement for Palestinian rights should not be singled out.

    • The Fight Against BDS Just Took A Frightening Turn In New York

      Through an executive order, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is going after a peaceful boycott movement fighting Israeli occupation — and many critics are worried his effort will seriously threaten free speech.

    • Andrew Cuomo and Other Democrats Launch Severe Attack on Free Speech to Protect Israel

      One of the greatest free speech threats in the west is the growing, multi-nation campaign literally to outlaw advocacy of boycotting Israel. People get arrested in Paris – the site of the 2015 “free speech” (for Muslim critics) rally – for wearing pro-boycott t-shirts. Pro-boycott students on U.S. campuses – where the 1980s boycott of apartheid South Africa flourished – are routinely sanctioned for violating anti-discrimination policies. Canadian officials have threatened to criminally prosecute boycott advocates. British government bodies have legally barred certain types of boycott advocacy. Israel itself has outright criminalized advocacy of such boycotts. Notably, all of this has been undertaken with barely a peep from those who styled themselves free speech crusaders when it came time to defend anti-Muslim cartoons.

    • Gov. Cuomo Decrees Boycott & Blacklist to Silence Global BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights

      New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stirred the immediate ire of human rights campaigners around the world on Sunday by signing an executive order calling for the creation of a “blacklist” that would track groups and individuals who support Palestinian rights through the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement known as BDS.

    • Court Dumps Hastily-Granted Restraining Order, Says MuckRock Can Publish Smart Meter Documents

      It took a little less than a week, but the EFF, with the invaluable assistance of Venkat Balasubramani of FOCAL PLLC, have persuaded a Washington state judge to strike down the temporary restraining order against MuckRock he hastily granted back on May 27th.

      Landis+Gyr, a multinational corporation owned by Toshiba, recently secured a contract to upgrade Seattle’s “dumb” meters to smart meters. Privacy activist Phil Mocek requested information on the city’s smart meter plan through MuckRock and was handed two Landis+Gyr documents in unredacted form by the city.

      These documents worth suing over spent a month uploaded to MuckRock before Landis+Gyr took notice. Once it had secured the city contract, L+G then demanded — via a request for a temporary restraining order — that MuckRock take the documents down, turn over info on site users who may have seen/downloaded them, and somehow help L+G shove its smart meter genie back into the bottle.

    • Amos Yee, the Singaporean YouTuber facing offensive remarks charges, gains global attention due to social media campaign

      Yee claimed they were using his videos on religion because they “don’t want to take me down for mocking politicians because foreigners wouldn’t like it”.

      During the video Rubin questioned the laws around freedom of speech in relation to America or in Europe.

      “There is a constitution in Singapore which allows freedom of speech, it’s article 14 but in that constitution itself in clause two it says ‘we have freedom of speech but there are restrictions to freedom of speech, even if it breaks the public harmony or is provocative or whatever’ and that completely fucking defeats the purpose of freedom of speech,” he explained.

    • Pro-Trump Reddit Community Claims Admins Are Censoring Discussion Of Censorship

      Moderators of the popular Donald Trump supporting Reddit community known as /r/The_Donald are reporting that Reddit admins have requested that they delete any threads relating to censorship in the site’s main politics community, /r/Politics.

    • Portland Accused of Censorship, More Lead Woes, and the Pig-Humans are Here!
    • Free-speech group slams Portland schools’ ban on books that question climate change [Ed: lack of merit, not censorship]

      The decision to drop textbooks that question the severity of climate change from schools in Portland, Oregon, has drawn heavy criticism from the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), which is warning that it will “undermine public education”.

    • RIAA Demands Takedown Of ThePirateBay.org, But EasyDNS Refuses Over Lack Of Due Process

      You may have heard recently that after switching many domains, a few weeks back ThePirateBay returned to its original thepiratebay.org domain. It’s basically an ongoing game of wac-a-mole, where the entertainment industry freaks out and scares registrars into taking back whatever domain and TPB just moves on. It’s unclear what good this does for anyone, but it keeps happening. And with the return to .org, it appears the entertainment industry has basically lots its mind. First, it had one of its lobbying front groups, the Copyright Alliance write a hellishly misleading post attacking Public Interest Registry (PIR), the organization that currently runs the .org top level domain.

    • 6 Aug: What’s the taboo? at Wilderness

      Watch our panelists struggle to evade the censor, cast your own vote on where to draw the line, and expect plenty of no-go subjects to come out from the shadows.

      Featuring Guardian and Index on Censorship cartoonist Martin Rowson, Citizen Khan comedian Adil Ray, theatre-maker Nadia Latif, director of Homegrown, and journalist Ian Dunt of politics.co.uk and Erotic Review.

    • DEBATE: SABC won’t revisit ‘self-censorship’ decision: Motsoeneng

      The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has come under fire for its decision to ban television images of violent protests.

      Maggs on Media hosted a debate with the SABC’s Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Glenda Daniels, senior lecturer at Wits University’s media studies and media lawyer and partner at Webber Wentzel, Dario Milo.

      Motsoeneng, maintained that the public broadcaster’s decision was not self-censorship.

    • How Should Conservatives Respond to the Disturbing Trend of Campus Censorship?

      On February 29th through March 1st at UC Davis, we faced our most aggressive, persistent, and unreasonable protest yet.

      As many of you know, our preferred way of doing outreach is to set up a simple poll table that asks questions like, “Should Abortion Remain Legal?” and provide options for people to sign Yes, No, or It Depends. While we do keep track of the results of these polls to pay attention to trends, they aren’t scientific and we don’t ask the question in order to track people’s answers. We just want to dialogue with people and give our volunteers an opportunity to use what they learned at our training seminar.

    • Feminist’s spanking website wins censorship fight in the U.K.
    • Feminist Porn Director Gets Big Spanking Win for Fetish Sites
    • Spanking Website Wins Battle Against British Web Censors
    • Feminist Pornographer Pandora Blake Wins Right To Reinstate Sadomasochism Website
    • Feminist pornographer wins right to reinstate sadomasochism website
    • Feminist porn director Pandora Blake wins right to reinstate fetish website in landmark ruling
    • Just In: ‘Udta Punjab’ Makers May Take The Censor Board To Court Over Reported Cuts
    • JUST IN! Censor to decide Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Udta Punjab fate today
    • Here’s how Twitterati reacted to ‘Udta Punjab’ censorship issue
    • Just Like North Korea, Says Anurag Kashyap On Udta Punjab Censorship
    • Here’s how Twitterati reacted to ‘Udta Punjab’ censorship issue
    • In poll-bound Punjab, censors stoke row over film name
    • Another Bad Ruling In California Threatens To Massively Undermine Section 230 By Exempting Publicity Rights

      What a week. Just a few days after we wrote about a dangerous ruling in a federal appeals court in California concerning a way to get around Section 230 of the CDA, now we have another problematic CDA 230 ruling from California in the form of a ruling from San Mateo Superior Court judge, Donald Ayoob, that has the potential to do a lot of damage to Section 230 as well as anti-SLAPP efforts in California. Paul Levy has a very detailed post about the case, but we’ll try and do a summary here.

      The case involves Jason Cross, a “country rap” musician who performs under the name Mikel Knight, who has apparently made a name for himself through a highly aggressive “street team” operation that basically travels around in vans pushing people to buy Knight’s CDs — and there are plenty of accusations of sketchy behavior around how those street teams operate, and how Cross treats the people who work for him. Apparently, Cross was not happy with a Facebook group entitled “Families Against Mike Knight and the MDRST” (MDRST standing for Maverick Dirt Road Street Team, which is what Cross calls the street team). He then used a court in Tennessee to try to get Facebook to identify who was behind the group, and then demanded that the page be taken down. That effort is still ongoing, but has been temporarily postponed, while he then filed a separate lawsuit in California against Facebook and whoever is behind that group, a variety of things, including breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, negligent interference with prospective economic relations, unfair business practices and various publicity rights violations. Oddly, as Levy points out in his post, despite listing John Does as defendants, the complaint doesn’t describe anything anyone did other than Facebook. However, as part of the discovery process, Cross did (of course!) ask Facebook to identify the people behind the group criticizing him.

    • Axl Rose Sends DMCA Notices to Google Targeting ‘Fat’ Photo

      Many of us have unflattering photographs that we would rather forget but most exist in family archives that are easily hidden away. However, if you’re a multi-millionaire rock star potentially trying to erase an unfortunate moment, there are always DMCA takedown notices to fall back upon.

    • The Other Tech Figure Who’s Trying to Kill Gawker

      Gawker Media LLC isn’t just contending with a legal challenge from a wealthy wrestler backed by an extremely wealthy venture capitalist. There’s also the matter of the man who says he invented e-mail—a claim a Gawker website attacked under the following headline: “Corruption, Lies, and Death Threats: The Crazy Story of the Man Who Pretended to Invent E-mail.”

      Shiva Ayyadurai, the longtime tech entrepreneur who says he invented e-mail, filed a defamation suit against Gawker on May 11. His lawyer, Charles Harder, also represents Hulk Hogan in a lawsuit that resulted in a $140 million verdict against Gawker. Peter Thiel, a co-founder of Paypal and current Facebook Inc. board member, is bankrolling the Hogan suit, which was prompted by the publication of a sex tape. Thiel’s involvement was kept secret until recently.

    • Buzzfeed Discovers Internet Censorship From Other Countries

      Buzzfeed is at it again today. First it decided to pick sides in a presidential election, and now it has noticed that other countries, often Muslim, don’t have the same sensibilities as Americans. And this is a big problem for social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

      Buzzfeed’s Katie Notopoulos noted, “The proliferation of internet-connected mobile phones, in theory, is bringing the world together — with people continents apart talking and sharing, fueled by the sweet nectar of social apps. But in some cases, those connections turn into collisions. Within just the last three weeks, three big American social media platforms — Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter — have all butted up against the laws and cultural norms of local populations outside the United States.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • A Coalition Says to Congress: End 702 or Enact Reforms

      Congress has no business approving government programs that neither it nor the public understands. Yet policymakers have repeatedly authorized surveillance activities without doing their homework. Over the eight years since enacting reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Congress has failed to gain a functional understanding of NSA Internet surveillance, and has never even considered its impacts on democracy.

      Until Congress legislates meaningful limits to curtail widespread, longstanding, and continuing violations of constitutional rights, the digital rights movement stands united in calling for FISA Section 702 to expire next year as scheduled. Authorizing an extension of the law before securing answers to several critical questions, and enacting real limits to prevent documented and predictable abuses, would be a gross abdication of Congressional responsibility.

    • On anniversary of Snowden leaks, group lobbies against mass surveillance

      Several groups have banded together to call for an end to warrantless mass surveillance.

      Fight for the Future and a coalition of groups are using the third anniversary of Edward Snowden’s revelations of the extent of the NSA’s surveillance practices to drum up support for the end of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The program, the group said on its website, “has allowed for mass surveillance programs…that have been used by the U.S. government to warrantlessly collect and search the internet communications of people all over the world.”

    • Why is Facebook trying to force you to use its Messenger app?

      Facebook is forcing users of its mobile site to install its separate Messenger app if they want use chat, just as it has already done for users of its Android and iOS app.

      The Facebook app for Android and iOS began encouraging people to install Facebook Messenger in August 2014. Some users switched to using the Facebook mobile site on their phone browser instead, which still had Facebook’s built-in chat – but now that mobile site work-around has been marked for death, too. Facebook is prompting users to install its Messenger app, while warning it will be their only option soon. The change should also affect web wrappers such as Metal, which is currently blocking the warning message.

    • Three Years After Snowden, Bipartisan Coalition Demands Congress End Warrantless Spying

      “The Snowden leaks caused a sea change in the policy landscape related to surveillance,” writes watchdog, from the recent passage of the USA Freedom Act to the coming showdown in Congress over Section 702.

    • Secret documents reveal MI5 and GCHQ’s close relationship

      Privacy International questions whether the government is bending surveillance rules too far

      Previously secret documents revealed by Privacy International have exposed what it claims to be a worrying relationship between MI5 and GCHQ, suggesting the two organisations could be putting UK residents’ privacy at risk.

      The document, penned by Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Swinton Thomas in 2004, reveals plans to develop ‘the database’, a collection of data about citizens of the country that could be used to investigate into people thought to be involved in illegal activities.

      It was sent to lawyers of MI5 and GCHQ, asking their opinion on whether it could be used in security operations.

      “The documents revealed today demonstrate the Government’s troubling history of bending the rules to expand its surveillance powers while minimising safeguards,” Caroline Wilson Palow, general counsel at Privacy International, said.

      “The particular correspondence that we reveal today, between lawyers for MI5 and GCHQ and the former Interception of Communications Commissioner, is also an illuminating example of how oversight can go wrong when it lacks sufficient transparency and resources.”

    • Letters prove GCHQ bends laws to spy at will. So what’s the point of privacy safeguards?
    • How MI5 and GCHQ spies bent surveillance rules to snoop on UK civilian targets
    • UK spies circumvented surveillance laws with no ‘meaningful’ oversight
    • Official correspondence reveals lack of scrutiny of MI5′s data collection
    • MI5 was bulk collecting public’s data, with little or no oversight
    • SCOTUS rejects Google’s appeal; Snowden tried to tell NSA about concerns; Zuckerberg’s Twitter hijacked
    • Trump, Clinton, and the end of the Snowden era

      Two years before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president, he took to Fox & Friends to discuss Edward Snowden’s then-recent revelation of the unconstitutional mass surveillance of innocent Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Three Years Later: How Snowden Helped the U.S. Intelligence Community

      Three years ago today, The Guardian published the first story based on the huge archive of documents that that Edward Snowden stole from the National Security Agency while working as an NSA contractor. Then-Attorney General Holder’s Justice Department quickly charged Snowden with felonies for theft of government property and mishandling classified information. Last week, however, Holder praised Snowden. “I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” Holder said.

    • Snowden Attempted To Address Privacy Concerns Multiple Times Before Going Public

      Three years after news first broke of the government’s mass telephone data collection program based on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, there’s proof that going public might have been his only option.

      According to a Vice News investigation published Saturday, NSA officials ignored Snowden’s multiple attempts to report his concerns about the NSA’s surveillance programs.

    • NSA Emails Provide Little Insight Into Snowden’s Pre-Leak Concerns, But Speak Volumes About Agency’s Internal Controls

      Jason Leopold has secured another comprehensive set of Snowden-related documents from the NSA, dealing with the agency’s search for evidence backing up his claim that he tried to take his complaints to intelligence community officials before heading to Hong Kong with a drive full of secret documents.

      The long, detailed post — written with the help of Marcy Wheeler and Ky Henderson — covers the 800+ pages of internal emails released to Vice in response to a FOIA request. The headline suggests there’s a smoking gun, but a few thousand words later, the conclusion seems to be, “There’s possibly a smoking gun… and the NSA, due to malice or just incompetence, is going to be of no help in locating it.”

      What is undoubtedly true is that there was more to Snowden’s concerns than the single email released to shore up the NSA’s side of the story. There is evidence Snowden contacted other officials about his concerns, but the agency decided to present the single email as though that were the extent of Snowden’s complaints.

    • Edward Snowden Claims United States Is Performing Mass Surveillance in Japan

      The infamous former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is speaking out again, now claiming that the United States is carrying out mass surveillance and data storage operations in Japan.

      The claims came this weekend during a video conference in Tokyo, where Snowden spoke to a collected group of journalists and lawyers from his home in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia in 2013 after his whistleblowing efforts on American data collection programs yielding an international controversy.

    • NSA dumps docs about its Snowden response, reveals that Snowden repeatedly raised alarms about spying

      Since the earliest days of the Snowden revelations, apologists for the NSA’s criminal spying program have said that Snowden should have gone “through channels” to report his concerns, rather than giving evidence to journalists and going public.

      Snowden has vigorously disputed this narrative, insisting that he repeatedly contacted his superiors about the spying he was being asked to abet. The NSA denied that they had any record of this, and Snowden supplied specifics.

    • Documents reveal feds’ effort to discredit Snowden, reveal CIA ties

      Newly declassified NSA documents provide official confirmation that Edward Snowden was a CIA asset, and show the extent to which the government went to discredit him after he told lawmakers in Europe that he tried to blow the whistle on a secret federal program that snooped on private citizens.

      The documents, obtained by Vice News, do not conclusively confirm claims by Snowden, then a private contractor working for the NSA, that he tried to alert supervisors of what he believed to be illegal spying before going public. They do show that following a flurry of claims by Snowden in early 2014 that his supposed concerns the agency was violating the constitutional rights of citizens were ignored, Obama administration officials sought to discredit him with his own words.

    • Appeals Court: As Long As The Government Has ‘Good Faith,’ It Can Root Around In Your Digital Files As Much As It Wants

      A case dealing with a warrant issued in 2003, a subsequent warrant issued in 2006, and a whole lot of judicial work in between finally concludes — with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals coming down on the side of the government’s apparent “right” to seize everything, hold it for an indefinite period of time, and pore through unrelated documents in hopes of finding evidence of additional criminal activity.

      The government, in the form of the US Army, first went after Stavros Ganias for billing improprieties and theft of copper wire. Over the next three years, this morphed into an IRS investigation for tax fraud, using the same hard drives the Army seized three years before the IRS showed any interest. The IRS obtained its own warrant and began looking for evidence related to its suspicions.

    • Libertarian Gary Johnson: I’d eliminate NSA, IRS if elected

      Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson says he would abolish the National Security Agency (NSA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal agencies if elected.

      In an interview with The Hill on Monday, Johnson said he would sign an executive order as president eliminating the NSA, which sparked controversy with its domestic surveillance programs.

      Johnson promised to turn “the NSA satellites away from you and I as citizens of the United States.”

    • Libertarian Gary Johnson Wants To Abolish The NSA

      Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says he wants to abolish the National Security Agency.

      Johnson, a former Republican who was governor of New Mexico, says he wants to turn “the NSA satellites away from you and I as citizens of the United States.”

    • Carrie Cordero’s Counterintelligence Complaints

      Without noting the parts of the article that show that, nine months into the Snowden leaks and multiple hearings on the subject, Keith Alexander still didn’t know how contractors might raise complaints, and that the NSA editing of its Q&A on Snowden show real questions about the publicity and viability of reporting even to the IG, especially for legal violations, Cordero complains that he did not do so. Then she asserts that had Snowden gone to NSA’s IG (ignoring the record of what happened to Thomas Drake when he did the same), the programs would not have changed.

      And yet, having taken a different approach, some of them have changed. Some of the programs — notably Section 215, but also tech companies’ relationship with the government, when exposed to democratic and non-FISA court review, and FISA court process itself — did get changed. I think all but the tech company changes have largely been cosmetic, Cordero has tended to think reforms would go too far. But the record shows that Snowden’s leaks, along with whatever else damage critics want to claim they caused, also led to a democratic decision to shift the US approach on surveillance somewhat. Cordero accuses Snowden of doing what he did because of ego — again, that’s her prerogative; I’m not going to persuade people who’ve already decided to think differently of Snowden — but she also argues that had Snowden followed the already problematic methods to officially report concerns, he would have had less effect raising concerns than he had in fact. Some of what he exposed may have been legally (when argued in secret) sustainable before Snowden, but they turned out not to be democratically sustainable.

    • Holder’s Dangerous Ignorance About Snowden [Ed: article prepared with help/review by CIA and uses completely bizarre and ludicrous claims about Snowden]
    • 3 Years Later, the Snowden Leaks Have Changed How the World Sees NSA Surveillance

      Three years ago today, the world got powerful confirmation that the NSA was spying on the digital lives of hundreds of millions of innocent people. It started with a secret order written by the FISA court authorizing the mass surveillance of Verizon Business telephone records—an order that members of Congress quickly confirmed was similar to orders that had been issued every 3 months for years. Over the next year, we saw a steady drumbeat of damning evidence, creating a detailed, horrifying picture of an intelligence agency unrestrained by Congress and shielded from public oversight by a broken classification system.

    • Documents Show Snowden Tried To Raise Concerns About Spying With NSA

      Several documents have been obtained by Vice News through the Freedom of Information Act which reveal that whistleblower Edward Snowden tried to take up his concerns against the government’s spying programs with the National Security Agency before ultimately deciding to hand over top-secret documents to journalists. These documents contradict earlier claims by federal agencies that Snowden never went through the proper channels to have his concerns addressed.

      The NSA maintains that Edward Snowden never came to them with concerns about the constitutionality of some of their electronic spying programs. It only released an email from Snowden to the public which had a question about legal authority but as the NSA put it, the email “did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse.”

    • Snowden did more to raise NSA concerns than officials claimed

      For the longest time, US officials denied that Edward Snowden made serious attempts to raise concerns about NSA surveillance activities before he took off with classified data. There was only evidence of one not-so-worrisome email, they said. However, it’s now clear that this isn’t the whole story. Documents obtained by Vice News (and published by the NSA) show that Snowden likely did more to raise concerns with the NSA than officials claimed. While there’s no smoking gun, two out of three previously unmentioned Snowden interactions with the Oversight and Compliance Office involved disputes over an open-book test on foreign intelligence gathering. The findings suggest that Snowden might have disagreed with the test’s interpretation of the law, which would be in sync with the previously released email.

    • How To Listen (And Delete) Every Word You’ve Ever Said To Google

      This could be one of the creepiest things you would have come across in recent times. You’ll be surprised to know that Google gives you the option to listen (and delete) everything you have ever said to Google while using its voice search feature.

    • Let’s Stop Google from Gobbling Up Our Schools

      Google’s educational packages include things like the google calendar, Google docs, Google classroom, gmail, and most recently it has added the Chromebook. Chromebooks are low-cost and easy-to-use notebooks that come with support and built-in access to Google Apps. They are offered to schools participating in Google for Education for $149. Google reports that it sold more than 1 million Chromebooks in just the second quarter of 2014. In November of 2014, the New York City School Department of Education adopted Chromebook as part of its approved and supported tools in its 1800 schools.


      Finally, as was alluded to above, it is critical to note that Google’s aim is to expand its market share. By getting Google products in the hands of users before they can read, Google is building a giant base of people who will likely be life-long users of its products. By spoon feeding young people on easy-to-use applications, they will become addicted to Google. They may not even become aware that there are alternatives, since all of their classmates, friends, and teachers use Google. And since they grew up on Google, they will likely find other applications daunting. Educators themselves lack awareness of the non-corporate software and internet service options that are available, since their institutions are usually captured by the likes of Google and Microsoft. Few colleges and universities in the United States, for instance, support Linux operating systems. The process of corporate capture is not unlike the efforts of junk food companies to use promotional school contracts to gain captive audiences for their products.

    • Signal and Mobile XMPP Update

      The main downside (which Signal faces as well) is that you have to contend with the complexities of sending SMS messages on top of the work needed to write a well-functioning XMPP client. As I mentioned in my Signal blog, there are no shortage of MMS bugs against Signal. Nobody wants that head-ache.

      Additinally, we would still lose one Signal feature: with Signal, when a user joins, everyone automatically sends them encrypted messages. With this proposed app, each user would have to manually add the XMPP address and have no way of knowing when one of their friends gets an XMPP address.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Karl Rove Made A Joke About Slavery To A Bunch Of Hedge Fund Managers. It Didn’t Go Well.

      Politics has gotten very ugly. Arguments that used to be limited to fringe groups and the dark corners of the internet are now embraced by presidential candidates.

      So what are things like behind closed doors? Even worse.

      A column in the Financial Times published Tuesday gave us a peek. Mary Childs, a financial correspondent for FT, reported on what she observed at a private hedge fund conference in May.

    • BDS and the Eternal Holocaust

      While innocently attempting to access an article on the Haaretz website the other day, I was accosted by a sequence of intrusive advertisements inviting me to “Fight BDS”—the popular boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that aims to force an end to Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.

    • The women who are taking on Wal-Mart

      Pico Rivera is a dusty working-class Latino suburb of Los Angeles. After the school district, Wal-Mart is the city’s largest employer and the source of 10 percent of its tax revenue. More than 500 families in the town depend on income from the store.

      The town is also the epicenter of activism by Wal-Mart workers in the United States.

    • NYT’s Edsall Stands Up for ‘Grievances of White America’

      Times op-ed writer Thomas Edsall (6/1/16) sets out to examine the role resentment plays in fueling the movement behind Donald Trump—but does so in such an uncritical way that he seems to adopt Trump voters’ resentments as his own.

      These voters, he says, “are evidently enraged by the imposition of norms of political correctness that they see as enforced by ‘Stalinist orthodoxy,’” and “perceive the network of state, local and federal anti-discrimination laws and directives as censorious and coercive.” Trump, according to Edsall, “has capitalized on the visceral belief of many white voters that government-enforced diversity and other related regulations are designed ‘to bring Americans to submission.‘”

    • Muhammad Ali Speaks to the Activist Soul

      Today we are experiencing a global activist wave, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. Here in this country, the Black Lives Matter movement has become a powerful force for change. Sen. Bernie Sanders has energized millions of Americans across demographic lines, especially millennials of all races and backgrounds. Labor efforts like the drive for a $15 minimum wage, and movements for the rights of LGBT people and other oppressed communities, are gaining force and winning victories.

    • Sufi Boxer Muhammad Ali’s last fight was against Extremism & Politicians’ Islamophobia

      Boxer Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, on 17 January 1942, is dead at 74.

      Ali was on the US team for the Rome Olympics in 1960, and became the Olympic light-heavyweight champion. He and the team were lionized when he came back. But then in Kentucky he was refused a table at a restaurant.

      In 1964 he defeated Sonny Liston. He became famous for his footwork in the ring, for his boasts and his taunting of his opponents, naming the round in which he would defeat them.

    • 6 conspiracy theories that actually turned out to be true

      The Snowden revelations were not the first time it was revealed that powerful organisations carried out large scale, disturbing operations in secret, however.

      Here are just a few examples of things that, even when we hear them now, sound incredibly far-fetched – but they were sadly all too real.

    • Trump Suggests Muslim Judges Can’t Be Trusted Either

      Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spent most of the last week under fire for claiming that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge overseeing a case alleging that a Trump company was an elaborate scam, cannot fairly decide this case because Curiel is “of Mexican heritage.” The judge is an American citizen born in Indiana to immigrants from Mexico.

      Appearing on Face the Nation Sunday morning, Trump added another category of individuals who may not be trustworthy on the bench — Muslims. In response to a question from host John Dickerson about whether an Islamic judge wouldn’t be able to treat Trump fairly, the Republican presidential candidate replied “it’s possible, yes.”

    • FBI, Prosecutors Given Copies Of Defense Documents By Duplication Service Defense Was Instructed To Use

      The government has responded with a filing [PDF] claiming it has done nothing wrong. It acknowledges the FBI and the US Attorney’s office received copies of the files from the duplication service, but claims it never asked the company to perform this “service.” That’s at odds with other information gleaned by the defense, as well as an admission by a federal prosecutor.

    • Lawyer Who Filed Crime Report against SSCI Staffer, Robert Eatinger, Complains about Lack of Trust

      Robert Eatinger, whose name was redacted 1,600 times in the Senate Torture report, and who went on to file a crime report against Senate staffers for using materials provided to them by CIA, is complaining about lack of trust in this summary of Edward Snowden’s role in surveillance debates.

    • In 1977, the CIA’s top lawyer said Espionage Act shouldn’t be applied to press leaks

      Yesterday, the State Department declassified and released Organization and Management of Foreign Policy: 1977-80, volume 28, a Carter-era document that includes startling statements by CIA General Counsel Anthony Lapham on the role of the WWI-era Espionage Act in prosecuting leaks of classified material to the press.

    • Intelligence Reform in the Jimmy Carter Era

      A 1977 memorandum from CIA General Counsel Anthony Lapham stated that when it comes to prosecuting leaks of classified information to the press, “It is extremely doubtful that the provisions [of the Espionage Act] were intended to have application in such situations, and as a matter of historical fact, leaving aside the unsuccessful Ellsberg prosecution and possibly one or two other cases, they never have been so applied.”

    • 40 Years Ago, The CIA’s Top Lawyer Said Bringing Espionage Charges Against Leakers Was Useless

      Our current Justice Department is more than happy to prosecute, pushed along by a president who shows little sympathy for those who expose this country’s abuses, errors, and shortcomings. The government has bagged one significant trophy — Chelsea Manning — along with a handful of other whistleblowers, and shows zero interest in holding back should Ed Snowden ever return to the US.

      But with all the prosecutions, the stripping of protections for whistleblowers, the campaigns to eradicate “insider threats,” the US government still can’t stop the leaks. It has punished whistleblower after whistleblower, but Snowden continues to frustrate it, and he’s been joined by other leakers yet to be identified.

      Part of the problem, as Lapham saw it four decades ago, is the government’s desire to treat every leak as threatening to national security — a desire that has only grown in size and intensity over the past 15 years.

    • Horror House on the Prairie: Hard Labor and Harsh Treatment for Group of Disabled Men in Iowa

      Over the years, their hands began to curl. Their fingers formed into hooks from decades spent using them to rip the innards from turkeys in a remote processing plant in rural Iowa. They feared their overseers: disobedience could spell the denial of basic privileges, like access to the radio or television; worse, they might be forced to endure hours spent standing in a corner, staring at a wall, alone and scared. One of the men fled, only to be discovered months later, his remains decaying in the newly thawed Iowa snow.

      These are some of the stories of the 32 intellectually disabled men in “The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland,” a new book by New York Times reporter Dan Barry. Barry began writing about the experience of the men for the Times in 2014. Referred to as the “boys” by their abusive employers, the men were ostensibly brought to Iowa to be cared for by professionals and schooled in a basic trade. Their reality became something far different. They were held against their will in a decrepit schoolhouse and forced to work in bleak, arduous conditions at a turkey processing plant for a paltry $65 dollars a month. It took 35 years before state authorities rescued the men in 2009. Barry joined our podcast to describe how he was alerted to the story and how he achieved a few of his breakthroughs.

    • The EU referendum matters for Global Justice Now. Here’s why.

      We spend our time fighting against EU policies. But now, we’re campaigning to stay in.

    • Ghosted away: UK’s secret removal flights examined

      Lately one Australian family’s immigration case and prospect of forced removal from the UK made front-page news across Scottish national newspapers, was discussed in the House of Commons, picked up by The Guardian, The Independent, the Daily Mail, and BBC News — resulting in a job offer that might help keep the family here, and a crowdfunder page that has raised more than £4000.

      In the same week, around 100 people were torn from their long-standing communities in the UK and forcibly removed to a country from which they fled, or hadn’t lived in for up to 20 years. Of these people, their family, their friends, their distress, the fate that awaits them, there is no public awareness, nor any media reporting. With the exception of Shine A Light at openDemocracy, no journalists or media outlets picked up the multiple press releases widely issued by The Unity Centre in the lead up to the flight.

      In the early hours of Wednesday 25 May — at 1am — a delayed private charter plane left Stansted airport, bound for Nigeria and Ghana. The UK government does not publicly reveal the location of departure (even to detainees who are set to be on the plane). The flight itself does not appear on airport flight schedules or online as a planned flight. However, we can reveal that the contracted airline is Titan Airways.

    • FBI Whistleblowers Have No Legal Protection For Making Reports Of Wrongdoing

      A Senate Judiciary Committee report concludes Federal Bureau of Investigation employees, including those in the intelligence community, “enjoy no legal protection for making reports of wrongdoing to supervisors or others in their chain of command.” It supports the passage of legislation to institute and expand whistleblower protections for FBI employees.

      In 2014, the Justice Department refused to adopt key reforms that would benefit FBI whistleblowers. The department rejected “judicial review, the incorporation of administrative law judges, time limits for decisions on cases, hearings upon request, and a requirement that federal government employees be produced to provide testimony if it would be relevant to the resolution of a case.”

      The proposed Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2016 seeks to correct a system the Justice Department will not change, by offering FBI employees opportunities for judicial review outside the Justice Department. It expands the list of individuals an FBI employee may make “protected disclosures” to when blowing the whistle.

    • Muhammad Ali: a Torchbearer of Resistance

      Ali paid a terrible price for his apostasy, subjected to withering columns by sportswriters, commentators, politicians, and even black leaders of the day. People lined up to attack both him and his beliefs, and ticket sales for his fights plummeted. And this was before his stance on the war in Vietnam, when after being reclassified he told a reporter that “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”

    • Kenneth Roth’s Strange Review of Noam Chomsky’s New Book

      However, in his review of Chomsky’s book Roth failed to apply the principle of universality to U.S. national security policy, HRW’s third priority program, including U.S. policy toward the Israel-Palestine conflict. This was one problematic aspect of Roth’s review, in addition to his apparent lack of familiarity with the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Principles. These problem areas were exacerbated by Roth’s petty criticisms of Chomsky’s book (see below), and his apparent ignorance of Chomsky’s lifelong work that is grounded to a very significant extent in the principle of universality and the rules of the UN Charter that Roth, in turn, did some damage to in his review for the New York Review.

    • How an Arabic Translator Got Caught in a Net Designed for Terror and Gang Leaders

      In 1993, Yousry received a job offer to work as an Arabic translator for the defense team of Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as the “Blind Sheikh.” Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the Egyptian militant group Gamaa Islamiya, had been arrested earlier that year on accusations of plotting terrorist attacks against public landmarks in New York City.

    • The Moral Courage of Muhammad Ali

      “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong — no Viet Cong ever called me nigger.”

      With those pointed words, Muhammad Ali explained his opposition to the US war in Vietnam and justified his refusal to submit himself to the draft. He declared himself a conscientious objector. After declining three times to step forward for induction into the US Armed Forces in April of 1967 in Houston, Texas, the reigning world heavyweight boxing champion was arrested, stripped of his title and state boxing licenses, and thrown into a three-year legal battle ending with his exoneration (on technical grounds) by the US Supreme Court.

    • Police Officer Who Shot Naked Black Man Pleads Not Guilty

      A white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed, naked, mentally ill black veteran just outside Atlanta pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and other charges against him.

      Robert Olsen shot Anthony Hill on March 9, 2015, while responding to a call about a naked man behaving erratically outside a suburban Atlanta apartment complex. He was indicted in January on numerous charges, including felony murder and has since resigned from the force.

      Olsen appeared in DeKalb County Superior Court on Monday and waived formal arraignment. His attorney Don Samuel told the judge his client pleads not guilty.

      Samuel and Olsen left the courtroom immediately after entering the not guilty plea and declined to make any further comment.

    • #BlackLivesMatter makes some people angry. Isn’t that good?

      Black Lives Matter (BLM) began in 2014 as a hashtag after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case and evolved into a social movement. Since its inception, it has grown to 28 chapters in over 17 states in the USA, and one international chapter in Toronto. There’s no denying that the movement wants to disrupt the status quo, and that makes some people angry. They have shut airports and stopped Black Friday sales with their protests against police brutality.

    • Assault Of Muslim Man In NYC Comes Amid Rising Islamophobia Nationwide

      A Muslim man was assaulted and beaten after leaving his mosque in Queens, New York last Wednesday in an incident advocates are urging police to investigate as a possible hate crime.

      Mohammed Rasheed Khan, 59, left prayers at the Center for Islamic Studies in Jamaica, Queens, around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. According to CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, he got on his bike to make the short trip home, and before he’d even traveled half a block, he was assaulted by three men who repeatedly punched him in the head and face. He’s now suffering from at least five broken bones in his face, including his nose and eye socket, along with a concussion and fractured ribs. He’s due to have surgery today.

    • In 1971, Muhammad Ali Helped Undermine the FBI’s Illegal Spying on Americans

      It was March 8, 1971, the night of Ali’s first fight with Joe Frazier, and the noise from that epic battle provided cover for the break-in of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. The burglary, by eight activists who stole every file in the office, revealed the illegal spying operations that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had organized against a broad swathe of Americans, including Martin Luther King, Jr. The revelations led to congressional investigations and major reforms of all intelligence agencies.

    • Man indicted for disabling red light cameras faces 7 years in prison

      Stephen Ruth, who remains free on bail, was arrested in April shortly after he told a CBS affiliate that he was the culprit and that he dismantled the cameras “in order to save lives.” He said the county shortened the yellow light duration from 5 seconds to 3 seconds in a bid to make more money.

      He’s accused of 17 felonies and faces a maximum seven-year prison sentence if convicted on all the charges. He pleaded not guilty Friday in a local court and wants to go to trial for snipping the wires on as many as 16 red light cameras on intersections on Route 25 between Coram and Centereach.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Study Shows Comcast Sucks Just A Tiny Bit Less This Year

      The good news for Comcast? The latest edition of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) indicates that the nation’s largest cable company actually has a slightly better customer satisfaction rating than last year. The bad news? Comcast remains among the worst-rated companies of any industry in America thanks to limited competition. According to the firm’s full ratings for cable providers, Comcast saw an eight point rise in customer satisfaction, thanks in part to crazy ideas like actually showing up on time for appointments and a website that actually works.

    • Press release- BEREC seeks views on guidelines to implement new net neutrality rules

      The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has today published for public consultation draft guidelines on the implementation by regulators of new net neutrality rules and is seeking the views of stakeholders over the next six weeks, with the consultation closing on 18 July.

    • EU net neutrality draft guidelines split the crowd—public told to wade in

      Europe’s telecoms watchdog has set out its first ideas on how to implement regulation for so-called net neutrality, even though that term isn’t once used by the body overseeing implementation of the law.

      The guidelines from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) do not create any new rules, but will clarify how the legislation—adopted by the European Parliament last October—will be enforced. However before setting those guidelines in stone on August 31, BEREC is holding a public consultation that will run until mid-July.

      Ofcom’s international policy manager Ben Wallis, who also co-chairs BEREC’s network neutrality expert working group, said that the end of August was a “very hard deadline which we have no intention of missing.”

    • TiVo’s new owner isn’t that interested in making set-top boxes

      Rovi, the company that’s buying TiVo, isn’t very interested in staying in the hardware business.

      The combined company will be looking to partner with set-top box makers instead of continuing to sell set-top boxes directly to consumers, Rovi Chief Financial Officer Peter Halt said at an investors conference last week. (See transcript and this Light Reading article.)

      Halt noted that TiVo’s direct relationship with consumers has “been a source of great innovation for them and stuff like that.” But he then said that “being in the hardware business isn’t something that necessarily excites us.” It sounds like TV watchers could still get boxes powered by TiVo software and services, but the hardware would be made by another company.

  • DRM

    • W3C, EME and EFF: Frequently Asked Questions

      What is EFF worried about?

      The W3C effort to standardize Encrypted Media Extensions (EME, part of the Media Extensions Working Group) marks a new era in W3C standardization. For the first time, implementations of a W3C standard will be covered by “anti-circumvention” laws such as the Section 1201 of the US DMCA; European laws that implement Article 6 of the EUCD; and Canada’s Bill C-11.

      These laws have been used by companies and rightsholders to threaten security and privacy researchers who came forward to report defects in their products. These laws may also create legal risks for entities who independently implement EME-compatible systems.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • YouTuber Sued Over Stanley Kubrick Movies Analysis

        A YouTube user who creates video essays has been hit with a punishing lawsuit after selecting Stanley Kubrick as a subject matter and uploading his work to YouTube. UK-based Lewis Bond from Channel Criswell is being targeted by the music publishers behind the 1971 classic ‘A Clockwork Orange’ who want huge damages for willful infringement.

      • Circuit split over Madonna copyright case tipped to go to Supreme Court

        A Ninth Circuit ruling that a 0.23 second sample in Madonna’s Vogue did not infringe copyright creates a split with the Sixth Circuit’s Bridgeport ruling that could be sent to the Supreme Court

      • “Obscurity is a greater threat than piracy”

        The IPKat was delighted to receive the following guest post from Katfriend Ben Williams. Complete with Star Wars quotes, Ben looks at recent discussions in DRM and the impact of piracy. Have we really moved on in the last 15 years?

      • Ninth Circuit Finds De Minimis Sampling of Sound Recordings Non-Infringing

        Is the Ninth Circuit ripe for intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has decided that the de minimis doctrine applies to the infringement of sound recordings. The Ninth Circuit has rejected the 2005 Bridgeport Music Inc. v. Dimension Films decision that essentially any sampling of a sound recording results in infringement.


Links 5/6/2016: SouthEast LinuxFest, Debian 8.5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Meet The Fast And Beautiful Cub Linux 1.0 — “Cub = Chromium + Ubuntu”

    Cub Linux is created by combining the best features of Chromium OS and Ubuntu Linux i.e. speed and Google integrations of Chromium + power and compatibility of Ubuntu Linux. This cloud centric operating system is currently based on Ubuntu Linux LTS 14.04 ‘Trusty Tahr’ and is available for download as a Release Candidate.

  • Interview with the Creators of SilentKeys; Preevio

    I got the opportunity to talk to Iann De Maria and Romain Pironneau earlier today about the launch of their Kickstarter campaign for an Edward Snowden inspired privacy-oriented keyboard that runs a live Linux OS. Read on to find out what got said!

  • FOSS and Grits With Southern Fried Linux

    There’s a component to the SouthEast LinuxFest that’s not seen at most other free and open source conferences, as the conference seeks to celebrate not only FOSS, but Southern culture as well.

    The SouthEast LinuxFest is the conference that dares to be different. That’s because along with “Linux” and “FOSS,” “hospitality” is always a keyword at SELF, which will get cranked up next Friday, June 10. Hospitality — as in the “bless your heart” version known as “southern hospitality” — is sure to be on full display. That’s a given.

    I point this out not for the benefit of good ol’ boy or girl FOSSers who call the Southeast home — ’cause y’all already know — but for those who live outside the area who might not be aware that SELF allows attendees the chance to not only be immersed in the culture of free and open source software, but in the culture of the New South as well.

  • Desktop

    • “10”‘s Nagware Ruins Your Day

      If you want software that works for you rather than you being a slave to its supplier, use Free/Libre Open Source Software like Debian GNU/Linux. It saved me many times from re-re-reboots, malware and slowing down.

    • Even in remotest Africa, Windows 10 nagware ruins your day: Update burns satellite link cash

      When you’re stuck in the middle of the Central African Republic (CAR) trying to protect the wildlife from armed poachers and the Lord’s Resistance Army, then life’s pretty tough. And now Microsoft has made it tougher with Windows 10 upgrades.

      The Chinko Project manages roughly 17,600 square kilometres (6,795 square miles) of rainforest and savannah in the east of the CAR, near the border with South Sudan. Money is tight, and so is internet bandwidth. So the staff was more than a little displeased when one of the donated laptops the team uses began upgrading to Windows 10 automatically, pulling in gigabytes of data over a radio link.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • The History of Open Source & Free Software, Pt. 1, w/ Special Guest: Richard Stallman

      In the early 1980’s Richard Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF): a socio-technological movement that revolutionized the software world. In this episode we’ll hear Stallman himself talking about the roots of the movement, and learn of its early struggles.

    • Our First Podcast, with ProfessorKaos64

      We are introducing today a new way to enjoy BoilingSteam with our first podcast. It was recorded on the 22nd of May, along with our special guest, ProfessorKaos64, who is pretty well known in the linux gaming community for his work on expanding SteamOS beyond its initial scope of only launching Steam games. You can check his SteamOS-tools page on Git-hub to find out the extent of his work so far.

  • Kernel Space

    • OpenSwitch Finds a New Home
    • HP’s OpenSwitch becomes a Linux Foundation Project

      HP’s open source networking operating system, OpenSwitch, is now a Linux Foundation project.

      Many industry players are joining the project, including Broadcom, Cavium, Extreme Networks, LinkedIn, Mellanox, Nephos Inc., P4.org, Quattro Networks, SnapRoute and, of course, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

    • HPE-backed OpenSwitch OS becomes Linux Foundation project
    • EU Parliament Votes for Smart Regulation of Blockchain Technology

      European Parliament members (MEPs) voted to take a hands-off approach to regulating blockchain technology, Ars Technica reports. Following the vote, unnamed sources told Ars Technica that European Commission staffers are working hard to understand the distributed ledger technology behind virtual currencies ‒ seven years after the launch of Bitcoin, with venture capital investments now totalling more than €1 billion.

    • On Getting Patches Merged

      In some project there’s an awesome process to handle newcomer’s contributions – autobuilder picks up your pull and runs full CI on it, coding style checkers automatically do basic review, and the functional review load is also at least all assigned with tooling too.

      Then there’s project where utter chaos and ad-hoc process reign, like the Linux kernel or the X.org community, and it’s much harder for new folks to get their foot into the door. Of course there’s documentation trying to bridge that gap, tools like get_maintainers.pl to figure out whom to ping, but that’s kinda the details. In the end you need someone from the inside to care about what you’re doing and guide you through the maze the first few times.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Published AMD GPU-PRO Beta Driver (for Linux)

        On Windows, we really only have one graphics driver per GPU. On Linux, however, there is a choice between open drivers and closed, binary-only blobs. Open drivers allow users to perpetuate support, for either really old hardware or pre-release software, without needing the GPU vendor to step in. It can also be better for security, because open-source software can be audited, which is better (albeit how much better is up for debate) than just having a few eyes on it… if any at all.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 On Linux: OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan Performance

        $699 USD is a lot to spend on a graphics card, but damn she is a beauty. Last month NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 1080 as the current top-end Pascal card and looked great under Windows while now finally having my hands on the card the past few days I’ve been putting it through its paces under Ubuntu Linux with the major open APIs of OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan, and VDPAU. Not only is the raw performance of the GeForce GTX 1080 on Linux fantastic, but the performance-per-Watt improvements made my jaw drop more than a few times. Here are my initial Linux results of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition.

      • The Importance Of Benchmark Automation & Why I Hate Running Linux Games Manually

        Yet again with today’s GeForce GTX 1080 Linux review there were multiple people asking “why XYZ Linux game wasn’t tested”, a recurring topic now over the past several years.

        XYZ game wasn’t tested in that review or any other article since it can’t be properly automated, that’s usually the explanation whenever prompted in the forums. The game/engine wasn’t either designed to be automated-benchmark friendly, the developers disabled it in the debug build, or in many cases when it’s ported to Linux by companies like Feral Interactive they simply didn’t bother with porting that functionality to Linux.

      • Some Extra, One-Off Benchmarks Of The GeForce GTX 1080 On Linux
      • See How Your Linux System Compares To The Performance Of A GeForce GTX 1080

        While finishing up the large GPU comparisons with the GTX 1080, I did run a few preliminary results in different benchmarks and uploaded them to OpenBenchmarking.org. Thanks to our benchmarking software, you can easily compare your own system to this $699 NVIDIA graphics card running under Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Revival Icon Set: An Icon Theme Reborn From Old Icon Theme

      There are plenty of icon themes available for Linux desktops but we always welcome new eyecandy study stuff which wants to make Linux desktop elegant and different. Revival icon set is a remastered version of an old icon theme which I don’t know because it is not mentioned on source page. The icons in this set are kind of gradient variation and mimetypes taken from Emerald icon theme, it come with in three different folder colors: Blue, Orange, and Mint green folders. It is compatible with most of the desktops such as Unity, Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, KDE and others. It is in active development, so if you want to contribute in any way you can do it via this page.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Upgrade/Install Latest KDE Plasma 5 in Kubuntu 16.04/Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial
      • Antu Icons Inspired from OS X, Android, and Flyme for Linux Desktop

        You may have tried many icon themes to make your desktop elegant and unique, Antü is another great looking icon theme which has some elements inspired from OS X, Android and Flyme OS. The idea behind this icon theme is to make a clean and soft icon set which can be used an alternative to Breeze in KDE and this icon theme was only available for KDE desktop but ZMA from Gnome-look manage to port it for other desktops such as Unity, Gnome, Xfce, Lxde, Mate, Cinnamon and others. The original Antü version for KDE desktop offers two variants one is for light panel and other for dark panel contains approximately 1500+ icons, the ported Antu-Universal version has four versions and ZMA added more icons approximately 3000+ icons. Both icon sets are in constant development and you report issues to theme and hopefully they are gonna fix it in next release. You can use Unity Tweak Tool, Gnome-tweak-tool to change icons.

      • Crane – alpha version

        In the old version of GCompris, the dimensions of the window were locked, so there was only one mode: desktop mode. In the current Qt version, the window can be resized in any way the user wants. To address this issue, i had to adapt the activity to the new demands.

      • Plasma’s Publictransport to get some reworking !

        This summer I’ll be working on trying to bring back to life the Publictransport Plasma applet, as part of a Google summer of code project, mentored by Eike Hein and Mario Fux, which will need both reworking and rewriting of the present code for it to be able to work with Plasma5. To know more about the project, take a look at it’s wiki page on userbase.kde.org and a detailed explanation about the project by it’s author , Friedrich Pülz.

      • [Krita] Design the Kickstarter T-shirt!

        The Kickstarter has been funded so we’ll be needing T-shirts! Here’s your chance to earn fame by designing the one we’ll send to our backers: Special June drawing challenge!

      • Plasma 5.6.4 available in 16.04 Backports

        The Kubuntu Team announces the availability of Plasma 5.6.4 on Kubuntu 16.04 though our Backports PPA.

      • Building KDE Frameworks on MsWindows
      • Full emojis support for your KDE/Qt applications

        So in the past month I’ve devoted my weekends to get proper emojis support ready for KDE software. Thanks to our fantastic KEmoticons framework, all the heavy lifting is already done, we just needed a theme and utilize the theme.

      • Anatomy of a bug fix

        But let’s take a look at a particularly nasty bug, one that we couldn’t fix for ages. Ever since Krita 2.9.6, we have received crash reports about Krita crashing when people were using drawing tablets. Not just any drawing tablets, but obscure tablets with names like Trust, Peritab, Adesso, Waltop, Aiptek, Genius — and others. Not the tablets that we do support because the companies have donated test hardware to Krita, like Wacom, Yiynova and Huion.

      • KDAB at SIGGRAPH in July
      • Webinar – Introducing Qt 3D
      • Qt World Summit USA

        This year the Qt World Summit will be held in California and KDAB will be there as a major sponsor! you’ll also find some of our trainings on offer during the pre-conference training day on October 18th.

      • Taming the Beast

        One of the lesser-known features in KDE Applications and Plasma is the Kiosk Framework, a means of restricting the customizability of the workspace in order to keep users in an enterprise or public environment from performing unwanted actions or modifications.

      • Voy: Message passing library for distributed KRunner (Part 1)
      • KEXI 3

        Spolier: 0% of mockups here, top picture: kexi.git master, bottom picture: to-be-published GUI.

      • Coding at Lakademy Pt II
      • Lakademy 2016 – Starting to automate some servers on KDE

        Lakademy is a great event that happens every year since 2014. It is a Latin American event, but normally it happens in Brasil (Let’s try to do that in another place in Latin American? Do you have a good one? Let us know).

      • LaKademy 2016: one more reinvigorating event

        It was a great honor to participate this meeting again. I’ve been participated since Akademy-Br, in 2010, when I became a contributor to community. Like the other years, I worked in translation and promo activities. Me, Frederico and Camila decided to start a review work on all Plasma 5 translation files, messages and docmessages. There are many things that needs to be revised, especially in the documentation files. Moreover, as Brazil implemented a new orthographic agreement recently, we would like to update the translations to follow these changes. Of course, the amount of work is huge, the review process of all these files is tiring and can take a while, so just we started it during the event.

      • New Plasma Task Manager backend: Faster, better, Wayland

        During the last several months, I’ve been rewriting the backend for Plasma’s Task Manager, the strip of launchers and windows embedded into the panel at the bottom of the screen.

      • Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 3-TeXLa is alive)

        Today is a great day because the question “Wiki, what’s going on?” has a precise answer: “TeXLa is alive!”

      • TeXLa editing hack with Kile
      • WTL editing hack with TeXLa
      • Strong kickoff

        Ever since I’ve connected with my mentor (Stefan) I’ve worked on LabPlot. Even before the community bonding period I have implemented LaTeX exporting support for spreadsheets and matrices. You can export now your datas in LaTeX tables, this is the export’s dialog:

      • Gsoc 2016 Neverland #2

        I have been spending about one week thinking about how I should structure the templates and the themes, so you can build themes for WP, Drupal … with only one Html theme.

      • Work peroid.

        With the beginning of the coding period, I have set up all my accounts ,have read more about Qt5 and GSL libraries,had the discussion about the project with my mentor and finally done with the most boredom job, that is , taking university examinations.

      • GSoC Update 1: The Beginning

        The project idea’s implementation has undergone some changes from what I proposed. While the essence of the project is the same, it will now no longer be dependent on Baloo and xattr. Instead, it will use a QList to hold a list of staged files with a plugin to kiod. My next milestone before the mid-term evaluation is to implement this in a KIO slave which will be compatible with the whole suite of KDE applications.

      • #24: GSoC with KDE – 3

        As the first part of my project, I had to implement an IMAP client for fetching emails from an IMAP server. I used KIMAP library in the process. With the help of my mentor and Daniel Vratil and Luca Beltrame, I implemented a working IMAP client. Daniel and Luca helped me with the API details, since the one available was lacking some of the details. Still, most of the methods were fine. The only minor issue related to the API was a specific function overloading in KIMAP::FetchJob. The new Qt signal/slot mechanism is good and all, but since it does static checking, we need to specify the exact methods. In this particular case, to resolve ambiguity, we need to cast it. Which looks not very beautiful. Hence, Qt recommends not to use function overloading.

      • Unlocking wallet during startup

        While setting up plasma5 I found a solution for something that had been bothering me forever. Basically, while session management is restoring all windows, the wallet isn’t open yet, so if the wallet is needed to get online (wifi password), all the apps being restored (in my case, about 20 konqueror windows) have no networking yet and just show error pages.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Budgie-remix: Unity Light and then some

      When half a dozen major desktops are used by Linux distributions, what chance does a new one have? In the case of budgie-remix, a better chance than you might expect. With the combination of an unexpected endorsement and a lightweight and elegant desktop environment, Budgie-remix could manage to become the first distribution since Linux Mint to capture the interest of a large percentage of users.

      Budgie-remix builds on the work of Ikey Doherty for the budgie desktop, which is featured in the Solus distribution (formerly Evolve OS). David Mohammed, best known for the development of the Rhythmbox music player, packaged Budgie for Ubuntu, then noticed that Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu had left a message on Google+ saying, “Happy to support an application to make this an official *buntu flavour, if there is a community around the packaging.”

    • Budgie-Remix 16.04
    • Reviews

      • Alpine Linux Desktop

        I recently resurrected an older, but relatively small laptop to use in cattle class on an airplane, where a full-size laptop is eternally in danger of being crushed by the seat in front. Unfortunately, the laptop was running Windows Vista, a curse inflicted on many laptops of its era, when Microsoft went through one of its phases of pretending that people seek deeper meaning from an operating system as opposed to just hoping it will keep running and not break their applications. (What’s that, you say? They’re doing it right now by pretending that the next generation of children will be transformed by the tiny, incremental improvements they made to Windows? So surprising.)

      • An Everyday Linux User Review Of 4MLinux 17.0 – The Stable One?

        The GUI looks stylish and 4MLinux performs well. There are a few too many whys to be answered before I could use this over something like Q4OS and AntiX.

        For instance:

        Why can I not get a wireless network connection?
        Why after installing 4M Linux does it boot to a command prompt and not a GUI?
        Why have applications installed that are dependent on other applications which aren’t installed?

        There is in general a good selection of lightweight applications installed and the extensions menu gives you access to a few key applications such as a decent browser and office suite.

        The games section is very nice and the inclusion of DOOM and Quake is a good touch.

        The trouble is that I can see some nice things but I can’t think of a reason why I would use 4M Linux over something else.

        The key fix for the next release is to nail wireless network connections. Borrow the code from another distribution or include a network manager that just works. Puppy Linux has a tool called Frisbee which is lightweight and not so pretty but it definitely works. If in doubt use that.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Got SELinux?

        We are working to get SELinux and Overlayfs to work well together. Currently you can not run docker containers

      • PHPUnit 5.4

        RPM of PHPUnit version 5.4 are available in remi repository for Fedorra ≥ 21 and in remi-test repository for Enterprise Linux (CentOS, RHEL…).

      • PLUMgrid SDN Suite Works with Red Hat OpenStack

        Players in the emerging software-defined networking (SDN) arena are continuing on the path to interoperability as the industry shakes itself out, with PLUMgrid Inc. announcing its SDN suite is certified for the Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8.

      • PLUMgrid’s ONS 5.0 for OpenStack now certified for use with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8

        PLUMgrid is bringing its Open Networking Suite to Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8. ONS 5.0 is now certified for use with the Red Hat OpenStack distribution, providing another option for deploying software-defined networking capabilities for OpenStack-based clouds.

      • Firms Explain How To Overcome Open Source Development Challenges

        Who better to explain how to overcome the challenges of managing open source projects and cultures than open source champions Red Hat Inc. and Docker Inc., both of which have come out with brand-new resources detailing their in-house processes and best practices for community software development?

        Within days of each other, Red Hat open sourced a best practices tool for managing open source projects, while Docker continued its blog series on how it does the same, this week focusing on its internal processes, such as how it promotes contributing developers to maintainer status.

      • How To Hire Software Testers, Pt. 3

        I am a QA contractor at Red Hat responsible for finding over 1600 bugs, a general purpose open source developer, Red Hat Certified professional, cloud hacker and an entrepreneur! My latest start-up is Mr. Senko!

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Cloud FAD 2016

          Then you should *totally* participate remotely in the Cloud Working Group’s Fedora Activity Day (FAD) in Raleigh, NC on June 7th and 8th! The Cloud Working Group will be making decisions, tackling tickets, and writing code to help with topics like automated testing, documentation, and increasing our public cloud provider footprint.

          Be sure to check out the Cloud FAD wiki page, sign up as a remote attendee, and join us in #fedora-meeting-3 on Freenode during the event.

        • Korora 23 Gnome – Fedora on steroids

          Here we go. A Fedora spin that is a bit confused from so much spinning. Overall, this distro works well. In a way. Korora is a decent, admirable attempt to transform a rather nerdy system into something anyone can use, with good looks, media codecs availability out of the box, lots of programs, and some additional friendly and gentle tweaks. Not bad.

          On the other hand, the execution is not flawless. The installer killed my GRUB, the package manager is plain stupid, the updates are done the wrong way, there are half a dozen semi-annoying bugs in day-to-day activities, and the networking needs significant and immediate improvements. All in all, not enough to sway me over. Korora 23 Coral gets about 7.5/10 on a sunny day, and I’m probably being generous. Then again, it’s the best effort this spring yet, all distros included, and it does shine a ray of hope into my grizzled heart. Plus, it’s better than the previous version I tested, so it might actually be majestic one day. Or like Xubuntu, steadily improve for four years until it becomes da bomb and then bomb. Korora, worth testing. And I’ll check the KDE spin, too.

        • DNF / YUM History

          I wasn’t too worried as I can get around in the command line just fine, but I still wanted my GUI for other reasons as this is a home workstation, not a server. I recalled a command from my Red Hat training that proved to be very useful in this situation. DNF History (yum history for CentOS and Red Hat). You will need to be logged on as root to perform this action of course. If it won’t fit on the screen just type the command dnf history | less then take note of the ID number on the left of the screen. The offending removal I had was ID 96. Then you just type DNF history undo 96 and the system will install all the packages that were removed earlier. I tried other things while I was there and messed it up a bit more, which is why you see in the screen shot individual gnome installs. I used the history to see what packages were removed and then did a batch install of them all. I then finished up with a systemctl set-default graphical.target and a reboot.

        • Fedora TTY on my hotel TV?
    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 7.11 “Wheezy” Is the Last in the Series, Debian 8.5 Out Now

        Just a few moments ago, June 4, 2016, the Debian Project announced on their Twitter account that the eleventh and last maintenance release in the stable Debian GNU/Linux 7 “Wheezy” operating system is now available for download.

        The Debian GNU/Linux 7.11 update is now available for all users that are still running the “Wheezy” distribution on their personal computers or servers, and it looks like this is the last install medium that will be ever made available for the Debian GNU/Linux 7 series.

      • Updated Debian 8: 8.5 released
      • Debian 8.5 Released, Debian 7.11 Is Out Too For Ending Wheezy

        Debian updated their stable and old-stable releases this weekend.

        Debian 7.11 is the project’s 11th and final point release to Debian 7 “Wheezy” with this version incorporating security updates and various bug fixes.

      • Weekly Report for GSoC16-Community bonding period

        The period where we introduce ourselves to the Debian community. I have updated my debian wiki page to introduce more about myself to the Debian community.

      • Reprotest repository exists and installs

        I had family obligations for most of the past week, so I haven’t had a chance to do more than get started on reprotest. The repository now contains a version of reprotest that can be installed with pip/setuptools (run python setup.py install in the repository directory or pip reprotest/ from its parent directory) or with debhelper (run debuild -b -uc -us in the repository, then install the resulting .deb). I’ve tested this works by installing into a virtualenv and onto my own system, but if anyone else wants to verify this, that would be great. At the moment, reprotest doesn’t do anything, mind.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • You Can Now Have All the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Live DVDs Into a Single ISO Image

            Softpedia was just informed today, June 4, 2016, by Željko Popivoda from the Linux AIO team that the Linux AIO Ubuntu project has finally been updated to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system.

          • Ubuntu Phone used by 60+ year olds

            Overall, BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone fared decently in the hands of people who probably constitute the least prioritized demographic for the development and product teams over at BQ and Canonical. Essentially, this is still a beta nerd toy, and yet, it didn’t draw hatred or anger with the unlikely pair of victims. In fact, that is probably the highest accolade one can pile on a brand new device trying to edge its way into a shark-infested, saturated market of mobile providers.

            It’s not perfect, and my tech-savvy eyes sees far more faults than a casual user, which is often how it is. That also explains why you cannot really fully trust techies to review products, not unless they can disassociate their geeky knowledge from the end-user mission. For most people, this means good sound quality, good signal reception, the ability to call and message and chat and whatnot, the ability to take some photos and videos and share them with their friends, and a few other simple things like that. It’s not about glamor and quad-core computation and touch screen crystal density. I always try to take this stance, but to be triple-sure, I let my generic progenitors roadtest the Ubuntu Phone and give their own verdict. A true, practical, down-to-earth judgment sans any touch Utopia nonsense.

            Anyhow, the Ubuntu Phone isn’t a bad product really. This is a good start. A very good start. However, the devil is in the fine details. And money is in the applications and the seamless integration among all aspects of online and media. So I’d focus there, to make sure that Ubuntu users can enjoy music and video and buy stuff without having to go through any hoops and loops that iOS or Android users need not to. That’s how this little thing will guarantee its survival and eventual success. Because largely, the actual platform is irrelevant. But then, throw in Convergence, and Ubuntu has an awesome opportunity to be a truly all-spectrum operating system, ahead of all the rest. Even Microsoft. Fingers crossed. We’re done here. Stay tuned for more fun.

          • Still and rigid or adaptable? Tell us about your app
          • Your Complete Guide to Ubuntu Touch OTA-11

            Ubuntu OTA-11 is the latest update to Ubuntu for phones and tablets — and it brings some big new features to the fore.

            Among the changes OTA-11 brings to supported devices is initial wireless display support for the Meizu PRO 5.

            A staged rollout, be aware that it can take up to 24-48 hours for all supported devices to be notified of the update (tip: remember to keep your Wi-Fi turned on as the update is around 100MB+ in size).

          • Ubuntu OTA 11: Meizu Pro 5 Wireless Display

            The latest Over-The-Air update (OTA) 11 is out! We’ve introduced wireless capabilities to the Meizu Pro 5, which gives users the full Ubuntu PC experience running from a smartphone.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • How Apple lost its way: Steve Jobs’ love of simplicity is gone

    Four years ago, I wrote a book about Apple and the power of simplicity. It was the result of my observation, having worked with Steve Jobs as his ad agency creative director in the “think different” years, when Apple’s stellar growth was rooted in Steve’s love of simplicity.

    This love – you might call it obsession – could be seen in Apple’s hardware, software, packaging, marketing, retail store design, even the company’s internal organization.

    But that was four years ago.

  • Deathbed conversion? Never. Christopher Hitchens was defiant to the last

    Only a particular species of creep could persuade me to write to the son of a friend and ask him to describe the death agonies of his beloved father. I typed that he must say “I would rather not talk about it” if he wished, then sent an email to Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens.

    I sat back, feeling dirty and not expecting a reply. I would not have troubled Alexander had not journalists at the nominally serious Times and BBC promoted the claim of a strange, spiteful book that Christopher Hitchens was “teetering on the edge of belief” as he lay dying from cancer of the oesophagus.

    The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist is the work of a true fanatic, who has never learned when to seize a golden opportunity to hold his tongue. Recounting a memorial for Hitchens in New York, for instance, Larry Alex Taunton has to say how much he hates the event and the mourners. “The funeral, like the man himself, was largely a celebration of misanthropy, vanity and excess of every kind,” he intones.

  • Microsoft fixes borked Outlook and Hotmail spam filter problem

    MICROSOFT HAS FIXED a problem with its Outlook and Hotmail spam filters that has saw users inundated with dinkle enhancement and Nigerian lottery scam emails.

    Microsoft first confirmed the problem on Tuesday evening, albeit vaguely, on its Service Status page with the message: “Some users may be receiving excessive spam mail.”

  • Science

    • How this odd-looking camera changed how we take photos

      When you take a photo, it helps to have a pretty accurate idea of what will be inside the frame. It’s something we take for granted now. But early photographers had to guess, because they couldn’t look directly through the lens to see what they were snapping.

      There were some cameras at the end of the 19th Century that sort of solved this, using a swinging mirror that reflected the view from the lens to the photographer peering into the top of the camera. But it was rudimentary. Often the mirror had to be raised separately using a piece of string before the camera could be used. And the cameras themselves were huge.

  • Hardware

    • Next-Generation ThunderX2 ARM Targets Skylake Xeons
    • Nobody wants Intel’s Core M processor, and Computex proves it

      Asus led Computex 2016 with its biggest PC announcement of the year, the Zenbook 3. Super-thin, yet affordable, the system was compared repeatedly to the MacBook, particularly in the area of performance. Asus pointed out that unlike Apple’s system, which uses a Core M processor, the Zenbook 3 has a full-fledged Core i5 or i7. That makes it up to 30 percent quicker.

    • ARM Unveils The Mali-G71 Graphics Processor And Cortex-A73 Processor With A Focus On Virtual Reality Performance

      Have you recently stopped to think about what modern smartphones can do? It’s amazing how much power is packed into these small little devices that we carry around all day, and it’s even more amazing that most of that power resides in teeny tiny chips that are lodged somewhere between the huge screen and the big battery.

    • Fanless Pico-ITX SBC uses Braswell SoCs, packs up to 8GB RAM

      Commell’s “LP-176” is a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel’s “Braswell” processors, featuring mini-PCIe, USB 3.0, SATA III, GbE, HDMI, and optional DisplayPort.

      Commell’s modestly configured LP-176, which follows Commell Pico-ITX form-factor boards such as the Bay Trail Atom E3800 and Celeron based LP-173, gives you a choice of two quad-core SoC’s from Intel’s Braswell line of 14nm system-on-chips. For the highest performance, there’s a 1.6GHz Intel Pentium N3710 with 6W TDP, and for the highest power efficiency at a lesser price, there’s a 1.04GHz Atom X5-E8000 with a 5W TDP.

    • Sensor oriented Marvell Cortex-A7 SoC targets IoT

      Marvell’s dual-core Cortex-A7 “IAP220” SoC for low-power IoT and wearables runs Linux, Android, or Brillo, and offers an integrated sensor hub.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • EU referendum: Brexit ‘would boost NHS by £100m a week’

      Leaving the European Union would allow the UK government to spend an extra £100m a week on the NHS by 2020, leading Brexit campaigners have said.

      Justice Secretary Michael Gove called on the government to pledge the money in the event of an EU exit – saying it would come from the UK’s EU budget.

      It comes after Mr Gove took part in a televised Q&A, urging voters to “take back control” from “Europe’s elites”.

      The Remain campaign described the NHS spending claim as “totally dishonest”.

      Greg Hands, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “Doctors and nurses want to stay in Europe because they understand that quitting the single market would damage the NHS by shrinking the economy.

    • U.S. Death Rate Rises, But Health Officials Aren’t Sure Why

      For the first time in many years, the overall death rate ticked up in 2015, according to new federal data.

      It’s not clear why and experts have to go through and analyze the data a little more thoroughly before they can say where and in which groups the deaths rates rose. But the initial data for 2015 from the National Center for Health Statistics shows the adjusted death rate went up from 723 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014 to nearly 730 deaths per 100,000 in 2015.

    • First Rise in U.S. Death Rate in Years Surprises Experts

      The death rate in the United States rose last year for the first time in a decade, preliminary federal data show, a rare increase that was driven in part by more people dying from drug overdoses, suicide and Alzheimer’s disease. The death rate from heart disease, long in decline, edged up slightly.

      Death rates — measured as the number of deaths per 100,000 people — have been declining for years, an effect of improvements in health, disease management and medical technology.

      While recent research has documented sharp rises in death rates among certain groups — in particular less educated whites, who have been hardest hit by the prescription drug epidemic — increases for the entire population are relatively rare.

      Federal researchers cautioned that it was too early to tell whether the rising mortality among whites had pushed up the overall national death rate. (Preliminary data is not broken down by race, and final data will not be out until later this year.) But they said the rise was real, and while it is premature to ring an alarm now, if it continues, it could be a signal of distress in the health of the nation.

    • AP Exclusive: How candy makers shape nutrition science
  • Security

    • Top 10 Common Hacking Techniques You Should Know About

      Unethical hacking can be called an illegal activity to get unauthorized information by modifying a system’s features and exploiting its loopholes. In this world where most of the things happen online, hacking provides wider opportunities for the hackers to gain unauthorized access to the unclassified information like credit card details, email account details, and other personal information.

      So, it is also important to know some of the hacking techniques that are commonly used to get your personal information in an unauthorized way.

    • Hackers, your favourite pentesting OS Kali Linux can now be run in a browser
    • Core Infrastructure Initiative announces investment in security tool OWASP ZAP

      The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) is continuing its commitment to help fund, support and improve open-source projects with a new investment. The organization has announced it is investing in the Open Web Application Security Project Zed Attack Proxy project (OWASP ZAP), a security tool designed to help developers identify vulnerabilities in their web apps.

    • The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Invests in Security Tool for Identifying Web Application Vulnerabilities
    • Study Shows Lenovo, Other OEM Bloatware Still Poses Huge Security Risk [Ed: Microsoft Windows poses greater risks. Does Microsoft put back doors in Windows (all versions)? Yes. Does it spy on users? Yes. So why focus only on Asian OEMs all the time?]

      Lenovo hasn’t had what you’d call a great track record over the last few years in terms of installing insecure crapware on the company’s products. You’ll recall that early last year, the company was busted for installing Superfish adware that opened all of its customers up to dangerous man-in-the-middle attacks, then tried to claim they didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Not too long after that, the company was busted for using a BiOS trick to reinstall its bloatware on consumer laptops upon reboot — even if the user had installed a fresh copy of the OS.

      Now Lenovo and its bloatware are making headlines once again, with the news that the company’s “Accelerator Application” software makes customers vulnerable to hackers. The application is supposed to make the company’s other bloatware, software, and pre-loaded tools run more quickly, but Lenovo was forced to issue a security advisory urging customers to uninstall it because it — you guessed it — opened them up to man-in-the-middle attacks.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • electrum ssl vulnerabilities

      One full month after I filed these, there’s been no activity, so I thought I’d make this a little more widely known. It’s too hard to get CVEs assigned, and resgistering a snarky domain name is passe.

      I’m not actually using electrum myself currently, as I own no bitcoins. I only noticed these vulnerabilities when idly perusing the code. I have not tried to actually exploit them, and some of the higher levels of the SPV blockchain verification make them difficult to exploit. Or perhaps there are open wifi networks where all electrum connections get intercepted by a rogue server that successfully uses these security holes to pretend to be the entire electrum server network.

    • Stop it with those short PGP key IDs!

      PGP is secure, as it was 25 years ago. However, some uses of it might not be so.

    • Wolf: Stop it with those short PGP key IDs!
    • There’s a Stuxnet Copycat, and We Have No Idea Where It Came From [iophk: “Windows strikes again“]

      After details emerged of Stuxnet, arguably the world’s first digital weapon, there were concerns that other hackers would copy its techniques.

      Now, researchers have disclosed a piece of industrial control systems (ICS) malware inspired heavily by Stuxnet. Although the copycat malware—dubbed IRONGATE by cybersecurity company FireEye—only works in a simulated environment, it, like Stuxnet, replaces certain types of files, and was seemingly written to target a specific control system configuration.

      “In my mind, there is little room to say that these are the same actors,” behind Stuxnet and IRONGATE, Sean McBride, manager at FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence told Motherboard in a phone interview.

      But clearly, and perhaps to be expected, other hackers have paid very close attention to, and copied one of the most powerful pieces of malware ever, raising questions of who else might have decided to see how Stuxnet-style approaches to targeting critical infrastructure can be adapted.

    • Are firewalls still important? Making sense of networking’s greatest security layer

      Firewalls have become the forgotten part of security and yet they are still the place an admin reaches goes in a crisis

    • Software Now To Blame For 15 Percent Of Car Recalls

      Apps freezing or crashing, unexpected sluggishness, and sudden reboots are all, unfortunately, within the normal range of behavior of the software in our smartphones and laptops.

      While losing that text message you were composing might be a crisis for the moment, it’s nothing compared to the catastrophe that could result from software in our cars not playing nice.

      Yes, we’re talking about nightmares like doors flying open without warning, or a sudden complete shutdown on the highway.

      The number of software-related issues, according to several sources tracking vehicle recalls, has been on the rise. According to financial advisors Stout Risius Ross (SSR), in their Automotive Warranty & Recall Report 2016, software-related recalls have gone from less than 5 percent of recalls in 2011 to 15 percent by the end of 2015.

    • Effective IT security habits of highly secure companies

      Critics may claim that applying patches “too fast” will lead to operational issues. Yet, the most successfully secure companies tell me they don’t see a lot of issues due to patching. Many say they’ve never had a downtime event due to a patch in their institutional memory.

    • Introducing Security Snake Oil

      It has become quite evident that crowd-funding websites like KickStarter do not take any consideration to review the claims made by individuals in their cyber security products. Efforts made to contact them have gone unanswered and the misleading initiatives continue to be fruitless so as a community, we have to go after them ourselves.

    • CloudFlare is ruining the internet (for me) [iophk: "FB-like bottleneck and control for now available for self-hosted sites"]

      CloudFlare is a very helpful service if you are a website owner and don’t want to deal with separate services for CDN, DNS, basic DDOS protection and other (superficial) security needs. You can have all these services in a one stop shop and you can have it all for free. It’s hard to pass up the offer and go for a commercial solution. Generally speaking, CloudFlare service is as stable as they come, their downtime and service interruption are within the same margin as other similar services, at least to my experience. I know this because I have used them for two of my other websites, until recently.

      But what about the users? If you live in a First World Country then for the most part you probably wouldn’t notice much difference, other than better speed and response time for the websites using CloudFlare services, you will be happy to know that because of their multiple datacenter locations mostly in USA, Canada, Europe and China, short downtimes won’t result in service interruptions for you because you will be automatically rerouted to their nearest CloudFlare data center and they have plenty to go around within the first world countries.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘Left, Right & Center’: A Movement for Peace

      Scheer disagreed, saying Clinton should be listening more to the progressive side of the party. If she doesn’t, he said, he fears that Clinton will move forward with a neoconservative, pro-war agenda unchecked.

    • Next Time Someone Says Nothing Is Made in the USA Anymore, Show Them This
    • America Excels in Business of Death [Ed: always same as above]

      America may lag behind the developed world in many categories, but it is No. 1 in the “merchant of death” business, experiencing a boom in the commerce of boom, especially in areas destabilized by U.S. invasions, notes JP Sottile.

    • Judge Upholds Life Sentences in Fort Dix Plot, But Advocates Say Fight Will Go On

      A U.S. district court judge has denied an attempt to overturn the convictions of Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, three brothers who were sentenced to life in prison on dubious charges that they conspired to attack a military base in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    • Media Trumpwash Clinton’s Reckless Foreign Record

      Almost all of the praise was premised on two assumptions: A) Trump presents a horrific risk to the planet and B) Clinton is the antidote to this, a “steady hand” in a dangerous world.

      Point A, it’s worth emphasizing, is true. Trump’s Muslim immigration ban and his claim that climate change is an “expensive hoax” that was “created by and for the Chinese” are certifiable and racist. His plan to seize the natural resources of other countries reverts us back to outright 19th century colonialism. His violent and inciting rhetoric presents a clear danger to immigrants, women and people of color.

      But B, the idea that Clinton is, by contrast, a prudent foreign policy moderate, is an establishment media assertion with little or no supporting evidence.

      Clinton has a long, objectively verifiable track record of acting recklessly on matters of foreign policy that seems to have slipped into a memory hole as the prospect of a Trump presidency looms overhead. While one would expect this rewriting of history to come from Clinton surrogates, it’s increasingly bizarre coming from nominally independent media pundits.

    • Poland’s ‘Cold War II’ Repression

      As the U.S. government ratchets up a new Cold War, Poland is taking hostility toward Russia to the next level, inviting in U.S. military bases and arresting an anti-NATO politician on vague “espionage” charges, writes Gilbert Doctorow.

    • ‘God paid him back with Parkinson’s disease’: The death of Muhammad Ali brings out the trolls

      To the surprise of no one, the tragic death of boxing icon Muhammad Ali brought out the ugly side in some people who faulted him for everything, including his religion, his stance against the Vietnam War and his outspokenness about social issues.

      Once the world’s greatest and best known athlete, Ali was never one to hold back when he had an opinion, speaking his mind during the Civil Rights movement and in opposition to the war in Vietnam when he refused induction into the service.

      Ali famously stated his case when he told the press, “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. … Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”

    • Muhammad Ali: An American Muslim

      He was more than a boxer, he was an anti-establishment icon.

    • Muhammad Ali, R.I.P.

      Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, died today. He was a champion boxer and a brave man.
      He refused conscription into the Vietnam War, was framed up on false draft evasion charges and stripped of his world heavyweight boxing championship. In 1971 the US Supreme Court overturned his false conviction.

    • Muhammad Ali (1942-2016): Anti-War Legend and Boxing Great Dies at 74

      Boxing great Muhammad Ali, known around the world as a humanitarian who spoke out forcefully against racial inequality, social injustice, and the Vietnam War during the 1960′s, has died at the age of 74.

    • The Greatest — Muhammad Ali — Dies at 74

      This was a long way from the 1960s and 1970s, when, to many white Americans, Ali — the former Cassius Clay and one-time heavyweight champion of the world — was vilified as a menacing black man, a symbol of a “foreign” religion (Islam), and a fierce opponent of America’s war in Vietnam who defied his government by refusing to be drafted, risking prison and the withdrawal of his boxing title.

    • Families of Death Squad Victims Allowed to Sue Chiquita Executives

      In what supporters described as “a victory for accountability for corporate crimes,” a U.S. judge ruled in favor of allowing Colombians to sue former Chiquita Brand International executives for the company’s funding of a paramilitary group that murdered plaintiffs’ family members.

    • Muhammad Ali: The Original Activist-Athlete

      Whether it was refusing to be drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam 1967, literally talking a suicidal stranger off a ledge in 1981, or speaking out against the Islamophobia of presidential candidates in 2015, Ali’s greatness extended far beyond the ropes of the boxing ring, and his voice was more impactful than his fists.

    • UN Adds US-Supported Saudi Coalition to ‘List of Shame’ for Killing Children in Yemen

      The United Nations has blacklisted the Saudi Arabia-led coalition for maiming and killing scores of children with its campaign in Yemen.

      According to an annual report on children and armed conflict released by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the coalition was responsible for 60 percent of a total of 510 deaths and 667 woundings in 2015 after its campaign began in March—a six-fold increase, as Human Rights Watch (HRW) separately pointed out.

    • Kurds urge Canada to provide heavy weapons for war against ISIL, as well as for their independence

      The Kurds are pushing Canada to supply them with the heavy weapons they need to fight ISIL — as well as to defend themselves after they separate from Iraq.

      The Canadian military has a stockpile of armoured vehicles that could be of use to the Kurds but has yet to figure out whether to turn those over.

      The military has in its surplus stocks three Husky armoured vehicles used in Afghanistan to help clear improvised explosive devices and one Buffalo vehicle used for similar operations, according to data compiled by the Canadian Forces. Also surplus are 181 Coyote wheeled armoured vehicles and 46 tracked light armoured vehicles. Some of those upgraded carriers were used in Afghanistan and received good reviews for how they protected troops.

    • Libya’s ‘Chaos Theory’ Undercuts Hillary

      Hillary Clinton’s Libyan “regime change” project remains in chaos with one U.S. official likening rival factions to rogue water “droplets” resisting a U.S.-carved rewards-and-punishment “channel” to reconciliation, reports Robert Parry.

    • Operation Condor: A transnational criminal conspiracy, uncovered

      On May 27, for the first time ever, a court in Latin America ruled that Operation Condor was a supranational criminal conspiracy organized to disappear political opponents across borders. The verdict was handed down by an Argentine court that convicted 14 high- and mid-ranking Argentine military officers who acted during the 1976-1983 dictatorship, and one Uruguayan military officer, for their involvement in this criminal plan.

    • Of Gorillas and Palestinians

      On May 28, a 3-year-old child somehow entered a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. After being picked up by a 17-year-old gorilla, zoo officials felt the child was in immediate, mortal danger and the gorilla was quickly shot and killed. The child was unharmed.

      This is certainly a sad story; the gorilla was of a rare breed, and in picking up the child, was only doing what such animals do: it saw a curiosity, and went to explore it. Zoo officials say they had no choice but to kill the animal, because the child was at great risk.

      There has been much discussion about this situation. There were initial news stories, with continual follow-ups; commentary from experts and the general public, etc. There is much anger directed at the zoo, with many people weighing in to say the gorilla was helping, and not harming, the child, and that zoo officials over-reacted. Anonymous hackers have attacked the zoo. As evidence of the publicity and interest this situation garners, a Google search of the combined words ‘”Harambe”, the name of the gorilla, and “Cincinnati Zoo” brings up nearly 1,000,000 results.

    • Admit that Islam drives Isis, says BBC religion boss

      The BBC’s Muslim head of religion and ethics has said it is untrue that Isis has “nothing to do with Islam”. Aaqil Ahmed acknowledged it was an “uncomfortable” truth that the terrorist group is inspired by Islamic doctrine.

      Mr Ahmed was speaking at Huddersfield University when he was asked to defend the corporation’s policy of referring to Isis as the “so-called” Islamic State. At an event organised by Lapido, the centre for religious literacy in journalism, the barrister Neil Addison said: “You wouldn’t say ‘so-called Huddersfield University’.”

    • News Guide: German Vote Recognizing Armenian Genocide

      Germany’s Parliament voted Thursday to label the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide.

      The move threatens to increase tensions with Turkey at a sensitive time when Ankara is playing a key role in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe.

    • Turkey recalls ambassador after German MPs’ Armenian genocide vote

      Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Berlin after German MPs approved a motion describing the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a century ago as genocide – a decision that the Turkish president said would “seriously affect” relations between the two countries.

      The five-page paper, co-written by parliamentarians from the Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Green party, calls for a “commemoration of the genocide of Armenian and other Christian minorities in the years 1915 and 1916”. It passed with support from all the parties in parliament. In a show of hands, there was one abstention and one vote against.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI accused of spying on defense in Medicare fraud case

      In a stunning twist in a long-running Medicare fraud case, both the Miami U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI stand accused of spying on a defendant’s lawyer by illegally and secretly obtaining copies of confidential defense documents.

      Court papers filed last week by attorneys for Dr. Salo Schapiro contend the secret practice was not the action of “just one rogue agent or prosecutor.” Rather, it was apparently an “office-wide policy” of both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI that’s gone on for “at least 10 years.”

    • NSA Kills People Based on Metadata, But Can’t Preserve Its Own Personnel Metadata for a Simple FOIA

      Over at Vice News, I’ve got a story with Jason Leopold on 800 pages of FOIAed documents from the NSA pertaining to their response to Edward Snowden. Definitely read it (but go back Monday to read it after VICE has had time to recover from having NSA preemptively release the documents just before midnight last night).

      But for now I wanted to point out something crazy.

    • EU financial sector lacks transparency, situation deteriorating

      The EU financial sector currently lacks financial transparency, and this has become not better but worse over the last three years, so say three researchers in economics and governance in a joint blog post. “This is worrying, because the further successful integration of the EU financial sector requires financial market participants and the public to be able to access information on banks’ activities and health across borders.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • PM and Boris clash over EU fishing laws

      David Cameron and Boris Johnson have clashed over the impact of the European Union on the UK’s fishing industry.

      Mr Johnson, from the Leave campaign, told BBC’s Countryfile British fishermen needed to be freed from “crazy” EU rules.

      But the prime minister said the value of the UK’s fishing industry had gone up over the last five years.

      The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy sets rules for the amount of fish each country’s boats can catch.

      Mr Cameron and Mr Johnson are leading campaigners on opposing sides of the EU referendum, to be held on 23 June.

    • Norway reportedly agrees on banning new sales of gas-powered cars by 2025

      Norway’s four main political parties have been discussing a possible ban on new gasoline-powered car sales (diesel or petrol) for quite some time, but they were not able to come to an understanding until now, according to a new report from Dagens Næringsliv (Paywall), an important newspaper in Norway.

      The four main political parties, both from the right and the left, have agreed on a new energy policy that will include a ban on new gasoline-powered car sales as soon as 2025 – making it one of the most aggressive timeline of its kind for such a policy. What’s probably most remarkable here is that Norway is currently one of the world’s largest Oil exporters.

      India confirmed that it is evaluating a scheme for all its fleet to be electric by 2030 and the Dutch government is discussing the possibility to ban gas-powered car sales and only allow electric vehicle sales starting also by 2025, but the idea divides the parliament.

    • Nature Keeps Cities from Making Us Dead Inside

      I bailed on my most recent city, Baltimore, in 2012. First it was to somewhere deep as hell in the mountains of southwestern Colorado, and then it was to this place here in Washington state, which is still in the mountains but at least has respectable internet service. Leaving the city at that time seemed like a pretty good call—all of a sudden, I realized that as a remote worker I didn’t need it.

    • Microplastics killing fish before they reach reproductive age, study finds

      Tiny particles of plastic litter in oceans causing deaths, stunted growth and altering behaviour of some fish that feed on them, research shows

    • Canada’s Rapidly ‘Greening’ North is Bad News For Everyone

      Going green sounds like a good thing, but not in Canada’s north. There, a changing climate and warmer temperatures are transforming semi-frozen tundra into grass for much of the year.

      Almost 30 percent of the land area of Canada and Alaska together is greener than it was in 1984, a new study in Remote Sensing of Environment reports. While that’s not a surprising statistic to these researchers—it echoes what other studies have been showing—the new study documents in painful detail just how these changes are happening.

      Previous satellite studies showed a resolution of roughly 4 kilometers squared. The latest data using Landsat 5 and 7 (the same satellite series that showed us the shocking Fort Mac fires) brings that resolution down to just 30 meters, meaning they could do a hyper-local analysis. As Landsat’s infrared sensors are sensitive to the greens of leaves and bushes, this allows researchers to map how tree cover or land cover change over time.

    • A Bunch of Nuclear Power Plants Are Closing, and It’s Because of Fracking

      The onetime energy source of the future lost more ground this week, as the largest US nuclear power company said it will pull the plug on two money-losing plants in Illinois.

      Exelon announced Thursday that it would be closing the Clinton nuclear plant, about 160 miles south of Chicago, and the twin-reactor Quad Cities plant, on the Mississippi River near Moline. Exelon said the two plants have lost a total of $800 million in recent years, and it had lobbied hard for a surcharge on power bills to support the plants—a plan critics called a bailout.

    • Indonesian forest fires caused largest increase in atmospheric CO2 since measurements began

      Last year’s extensive forest fires in Southeast Asia, most notably Indonesia, were responsible for the highest levels of atmospheric CO2 emissions ever measured, according to research published today from King’s College London.

      Writing in Nature Scientific Reports, Professor Martin Wooster from King’s and the NERC National Centre for Earth Observation, together with colleagues from institutions across Europe and Indonesia, said that last year’s record growth in CO2 was caused by the impacts of El Nino and the long- term growth in CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

      Much of Indonesia was naturally covered by forests, and some grew on a thick layer of moist, carbon-rich peatland storing more than 55 billion tonnes of carbon, far more carbon than is stored in their above ground vegetation. However, decades of forest clearance and the drying out of the normally moist peatlands for agriculture using extensive networks of drainage canals has made extensive parts of the Indonesian landscape much more flammable than before.

      Professor Wooster, explained ‘We saw the strongest growth in the global atmospheric concentration of CO2 with an increase of more than 40% higher than the last decade’s average annual atmospheric CO2 global growth rate.

    • Sudden appearance of crater dubbed ‘the Gateway to the Underworld’ in Siberia is a warning to our warming planet

      It is known as “the Gateway to the Underworld” by local people who fear to go near the massive crater that suddenly appeared in the frozen heart of Siberia.

    • 5 ‘Innocent’ Things We Do (Are Environmentally Catastrophic)

      If you’re anything like us, you do your fair share to preserve this fragile planet of ours for future generations: You recycle your plastics, you take a carpool to work rather than driving your monster truck, and you enjoy black rhino steaks only on special occasions (such as a successful black rhino hunt from the window of your monster truck). But it turns out that even staunch conservationists like ourselves can be unknowingly dealing Mother Nature swift and repeated kicks to the shin, because the little things we do every day without so much as a second thought can have unbelievably massive effects on the environment. For instance …

    • EPA Finds Widely-Used Weed Killer Could Threaten Animals

      Atrazine is the second-most widely used herbicide in the United States. Manufactured by the chemical giant Syngenta, farmers have sprayed, on average, 70 million pounds of the weed killer on cropland across the country for the last twenty years. Half of the corn grown in the United States — some tens of millions of acres — is treated with atrazine.

    • The Climate and a Very Hot Election Year

      Miami Beach flooding has “spiked drastically,” measuring +400% in only one decade!

    • Storm surge imperils 455,000 Tampa Bay homes, report says

      Nearly 455,000 Tampa Bay homes could be damaged by hurricane storm surges, the most in any major metro area except Miami and New York City. And rebuilding all those homes could cost $80.6 billion.

      That’s according to a report released Wednesday by CoreLogic, a global property information firm, as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off with two named storms already on the record books.

      CoreLogic said 454,746 Tampa Bay homes are vulnerable to hurricane flooding, a number that represents about a third of all the area’s homes. Of those, 92,103 are in what CoreLogic calls the “extreme’’ risk zone. That means they could be affected by even a relatively modest Category 1 with winds from 74 to 95 mph and a surge in the 4- to 5-foot range.

    • This Is What Insurgency Looks Like

      A week before the action the Albany Break Free steering committee defined their basic message. Potentially explosive crude oil “bomb trains” roll through Albany and surrounding communities, polluting the air and contributing to the climate crisis. Primarily low-income communities of color are put at risk. The urgent need to address climate change means that fossil fuels have to be left in the ground and a transition made to a “twenty-first century renewable energy economy.” They called for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including pipelines, power plants, compressor stations, and storage tanks. And they called for a just transition away from fossil fuel energy with training and jobs for affected workers, so “no worker is left behind.”

    • Climate Change Censorship: Australia and UNESCO

      Despite lauding various efforts to pursue “clean energy” (PM Malcolm Turnbull decided to reverse the previous leader’s decision to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation), environmental politics in Australia remains a dirty business.

      Turnbull demonstrated as much in March by announcements that he would remove funds from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and replace it with a new, slogan rich “Clean Energy Innovation Fund”. Turnbull is particularly keen on copyrighting innovation, a substitute, he finds, for actual de-funding strategies for the essentially redundant environment portfolio.

    • Top-placed endurance horses test positive for EPO

      The horses that finished first and second at the CEI1* endurance race at Doha, Qatar, on April 22 have tested positive for a banned substance, the FEI has announced.

    • FEI: Two Endurance Horses Teste Positive for Human EPO

      The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has announced two adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances.

    • House GOP Again Trying to Gut Climate Science Funding

      Funds for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—agencies that conduct critical climate change research, among other things—are on the chopping block as the Republican-led U.S. House and Senate hash out their 2017 spending bills.

      According to Climate Wire, “The spending bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee last week allocates $128 million for NOAA’s climate research, a 20 percent cut from the previous year. The bill allocates $1.7 billion for NASA’s Earth Science division, a 12 percent cut from 2016.”

      Specifically, House appropriators cut funding for climate labs run by NOAA by 17 percent below 2016 levels, which will impact efforts to update carbon dioxide observatories and track U.S. emissions, and also cut funding for ocean acidification research by 15 percent below 2016 levels.

    • Call to ‘Save Oceans, Protect Workers’ Goes Airborne as Greenpeace Targets Walmart

      Greenpeace activists converged in Fayetteville, Arkansas this week to call attention to global human rights abuses and environmental damage caused by retail giant Walmart ahead of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

      The environmental group flew its thermal airship over the company’s world headquarters in Fayetteville on Wednesday, displaying banners that read, “Walmart: Cleanup needed in the tuna aisle,” and “Save oceans. Protect workers,” a reference to the company’s sale of canned tuna brands that Greenpeace says are destructive and unethically produced.

    • #ExxonKnew About Climate Change And ExxonKnows How To Use Trade Deals To Get Its Way

      Public outrage has been brewing about the fact that ExxonMobil—one of the the world’s biggest oil companies—knew about climate change as early as 1977 and yet promoted climate denialism and actively deceived the public by turning “ordinary scientific uncertainties into weapons of mass confusion.”

      A little-known fact, however, is that while ExxonMobil was misleading the public about climate disruption, it was also using trade rules to increase its power, to bolster its profits, and to actively hamper climate action.

    • Crude L.A.: California’s Urban Oil Fields
    • ‘Bomb Train’ Derailment Sparks Fire in Columbia River Gorge (Video)
    • Train carrying oil derails near Oregon’s Columbia river gorge

      A train towing cars full of oil derailed on Friday in Oregon’s scenic Columbia river gorge, sparking a fire that sent a plume of black smoke high into the sky.

      The accident happened around noon near the town of Mosier, about 70 miles east of Portland. It involved eight cars filled with oil, and one was burning, said Ken Armstrong, state forestry department spokesman. There were no fatalities or injuries.

    • Major Oil Train Derailment In Oregon

      A Union Pacific train carrying volatile Bakken crude oil derailed in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge Friday afternoon, sparking a large blaze and prompting evacuations and road closures around the nearby town of Mosier. No deaths or injuries were reported.

    • ‘Bomb Train’ Hits Oregon Community as Feared Derailment Comes to Pass

      A fire is burning and large plume of smoke is rising after a train carrying oil derailed not far from the Columbia River in the town of Mosier, Oregon on Friday.

      Termed colloquially by their opponents as ‘bomb trains,’ the increased threat of oil-by-rail disasters has been of growing concern across North America in recent years. Friday’s disaster is just the latest in a long string of such accidents that have rocked communities and devastated fragile ecosystems in both the U.S. and Canada.

    • Oil train derails near Mosier in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge

      An oil train derailment Friday in the Columbia River Gorge near Mosier sent up a massive plume of black smoke and stoked long-standing fears about the risks of hauling crude oil through one of the Pacific Northwest’s most renowned landscapes.

    • Seine up to highest level in 35 years, Paris landmarks shut
    • Louvre Shuts Doors as Paris Gripped by Historic Flooding

      Paris’s Louvre Museum is among the city’s historic landmarks being shut on Friday as heavy rains caused the Seine River to swell to levels not seen in over three decades.

      “I am really sorry, but we’re closed today,” one Louvre staffer told visitors, the Associated Press reports. “We have to evacuate masterpieces from the basement.”

      The Washington Post reports: “By early Friday evening, the Seine is expected to crest at approximately 21 feet, nearly 17 feet above its normal level. Authorities anticipate the water to remain high throughout the weekend but to gradually recede next week.”

  • Finance

    • Major attacks Vote Leave ‘deceit’ as Johnson defends campaign

      Former PM Sir John Major has hit out at the “squalid” and “deceitful” campaign to get Britain out of the EU.

      He told Andrew Marr he was “angry about the way the British people are being misled” by fellow Conservative Boris Johnson and Vote Leave.

      He urged Mr Johnson to stop putting out information on immigration and the NHS which he knew to be false.

      Mr Johnson stood by Vote Leave’s figures and called for an end to “blue-on-blue” conflict.

    • Philly Says No to Poor People’s March at DNC: an Interview with Cheri Honkala

      The Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, from July 25th through July 28th. City authorities have issued permits for four marches during the convention, but they have thus far refused to grant a permit to the March for Our Lives organized by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. I spoke to campaign organizer, Philadelphia native, and former Green Party vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala.

    • Meaningful work not created – only destroyed – by bosses, study finds

      Bosses play no role in fostering a sense of meaningfulness at work – but they do have the capacity to destroy it and should stay out of the way, new research shows.

      The study by researchers at the University of Sussex and the University of Greenwich shows that quality of leadership receives virtually no mention when people describe meaningful moments at work, but poor management is the top destroyer of meaningfulness.

    • Affordable Housing is Out of Reach for Many American Workers

      In no state, metropolitan area or county in the United States can a full-time worker earning the prevailing minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. A new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reveals the disparity between rental housing costs and renter income in every jurisdiction across the country.

      Out of Reach 2016: No Refuge for Low Income Renters, calculates the housing wage – the hourly wage someone working full-time, 40 hours a week, would need to earn in order to afford a modest apartment without spending more than 30% of household income on rent and utilities – for every state, metropolitan area and county in the country.

    • Predatory Payday Lenders’ Top Democratic Ally Flip Flops On New Rules

      After months of public pressure and a stiff primary challenge from her left, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) reversed her position on payday lending Thursday.

    • Employment Lies

      The average work week is no longer 40 hours. The shrinkage of the average work week to 34.4 hours (May) is another reason for declining real median family income. Assuming 3 weeks of vacation, a 34.4 hour work week is 274.4 hours less per year. At $20 per hour, for example, a 34.4 hour work week produces $5,488 less annual income than a 40 hour week.

    • Trump University Shows Why For-Profit Motives Don’t Belong In Education

      Revelations from documents connected to Trump University are generating outrage across the political spectrum, from my colleague Terrance Heath, who called it “a scheme to transfer wealth from people who had little,” to the conservative journal National Review which carried an editorial proclaiming it “a massive scam.”

      Much of the commentary has focused on the “playbook” that guided sales reps for Trump U in how to coerce prospective students to sign up for the bogus degree program. A review of the document by CBS News highlights the hard sell tactics Trump U staffers used to push prospects into committing many thousands of dollars – upwards of $35,000 – to a course of study that many of those students now concede turned out to be “useless information.”

    • It’s England’s Brexit

      Whatever the result of the referendum, whether it is a healthy majority for Remain, a narrow one, or a vote to Leave, the heart of the matter is that England has to have its own parliament. What the referendum reveals is that England both monopolises and is imprisoned by British Westminster and its culture of ‘to the victor the spoils’. To escape from this England is embracing Brexit because no other solution is on offer. It may be intimidated into remaining in the EU through fear of the economic consequences. But England’s frustrated desire for democracy has turned it against the EU rather than the real culprit, the British state.

    • Brexit and the law of unexpected consequences

      The exit of Britain could contribute not to disintegration but a consolidation of authoritarian governance in the European Union.

    • Cable Company Admits It Gives Poor Credit Score Customers — Even Worse Customer Service

      As I’ve noted a few times, telecom sector investor conferences are amusing for the simple fact that many cable executives — notably those of the old guard — haven’t yet figured out that what they say at them can be heard by the general public. As a result we’ll often see companies make candid statements they’d never say otherwise, forcing PR departments to then try and backpedal away from the comments.

    • MassMutual Financial Group to lay off nearly 100 more employees in Springfield

      MassMutual Financial Group will lay off nearly 100 employees from its information technology department.

      MassMutual spokesman James Lacey confirmed the layoffs Tuesday morning, saying the employees would leave over the next 18 months. MassMutual is outsourcing the work to a company with which it has had a longtime business relationship, he said.

      “MassMutual continually reviews its operations to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver the greatest value to our policy owners and customers.” Lacey said. “At times, these decisions impact our staffing levels. And when they do, we are committed to a thoughtful and respectful process. While decisions like this are never easy, such activities are necessary to meet the evolving needs of our customers and compete as effectively as possible both today and in the future.”

    • Moody’s downgrades Finland’s credit rating, upgrades outlook to stable [Ed: reckless and corrupt speculators]

      The last of the three major credit ratings agencies has now also stripped Finland of its coveted triple-A credit rating, citing the country’s ongoing economic problems. But in a nod to the government’s austerity programme, Moody’s investor services unit upped Finland’s credit rating outlook from negative to stable.

    • Noam Chomksy: There’s nothing free about free trade agreements

      Two weeks after Greenpeace released 280 pages on the TTIP trade agreement, Noam Chomsky spoke with Channel 4 about why he believes the new agreement has nothing to do with reducing tariffs, calling it “pretty extreme.”

      According to Greenpeace: “Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labor rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents. They underline the strong objections civil society and millions of people around the world have voiced: TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Truthdig to Host Green Party’s Jill Stein on California Primary Night

      Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, has quite the résumé. A two-time Harvard graduate, Stein began her career as a family physician before her environmental activism propelled her into the sphere of politics.

      “I used to practice clinical medicine, taking care of patients,” she said in an interview with Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer. “Now I practice political medicine, because it’s the mother of all illnesses.”

      Stein will be in the Truthdig offices Tuesday evening for a “Facebook Live” discussion on the final state presidential primaries, including California’s, which will be a deciding factor in the presidential race.

    • The Chaos of a Hillary Clinton Presidency: Corporate Dominion and Open Rebellion

      If Hillary Clinton occupies the White House her presidency will be unpleasant for her and chaotic for the country. Ms. Clinton will encounter a nationwide rebellion she cannot comprehend and hence will not address.

      The rebellion is already underway, and it will continue. It is not a violent, man-the-barricades revolution, but a visible one in which millions of voters in both parties are openly rejecting conventional candidates. They are seeking a radical transformation of American governance.

    • Hillary Clinton Super-Lobbyist Says “We’re Not Paid Enough,” Pans Obama Lobbying Reforms

      Leading Democratic super-lobbyist and Hillary Clinton bundler Heather Podesta derided President Obama’s lobbying reforms Wednesday, while laughing off concerns about her own sky-high compensation.

      “I think Obama hurt himself by taking such an arms-length posture with the Washington community,” Podesta, a multimillionaire who has represented chemical companies, health insurers, and for profit-colleges, told Vox’s Ezra Klein. “By attacking Washington in that way, there was a bit of a brain drain. And a lost opportunity.”

    • The People Are the Story–and Corporate Media Are Missing It

      At FAIR, we always say the primary measure of media in an election is not how fair they are to this or that candidate, but how fair they are to the people—all of the people who are affected by the outcome of this particular process, such as it is, and need to see how it functions in relation to them and their needs and concerns. The people are the story—and how well they are represented by a process that’s ostensibly intended to do that.

      That corporate media don’t see things that way is indicated by the resounding uninterest with which they greeted a poll from the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The mid-May survey of more than a thousand registered voters found fully 90 percent lack confidence in the country’s political system. Forty percent describe it as “seriously broken.” Seventy percent—equal proportions of Democrats and Republicans—say they are “frustrated” by the 2016 election; 55 percent describe themselves as “helpless.” Only 17 percent think the Democratic Party is open to new ideas, while 10 percent say that of Republicans. Seven in 10 think primaries and caucuses ought to be open. And 1 in 4 say they have hardly any confidence their vote will be counted! I want to underscore that these are registered voters—in other words, the ones who haven’t become totally disaffected.

    • Democrats in Dis-Array

      With rumors flying that establishment Democrats might hand Hillary Clinton her hat before the Democratic Convention to replace her with Joe Biden, John Kerry or some other grey-suited hand-job for empire and the Chamber of Commerce, the greatness that is the U.S. in 2016 keeps mounting. (Bernie Sanders’ name must have been accidently left off of the list— an oversight no doubt soon to be corrected). That Mr. Sanders’ program is the ghost of Democrats past (circa 1964) suggests that the Democratic establishment must be looking toward the future (1980). Michael Dukakis appears to still be alive and available. This written, being alive might not be a requirement for making the list.

    • Trump or Clinton, Screwed Either Way

      After disaster strikes, it often turns out that there were several contributing factors behind it. Looking back, though, there was usually one key moment when One Really Bad Decision was made — when catastrophe might have been avoided had the people in charge done something different.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Flat and Misleading Foreign Policy Speech

      Yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave a foreign policy speech in San Diego that was notably flat and misleading. It’s been getting decent reviews in the mainstream media for the zingers she tossed at Donald Trump. But when you listen to the speech (you can watch it here) and think about it, you realize how insipid and unoriginal it really was.

      Here are my thoughts on Clinton’s speech:

      1. The speech featured the usual American exceptionalism, the usual fear that if America withdraws from the world stage, chaos will result. There was no sense that America’s wars of choice in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. have greatly contributed to that chaos. Oh, there was also the usual boast that America has the greatest military. That’s what Imperial and Nazi Germany used to boast — until the Germans lost two world wars and smartened up.

    • The Escalating Fight Between Barney Frank and Bernie Sanders

      But Sanders was not thrilled with co-chairmen of two standing committees, Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. International Business Times recently explained that Frank’s position is an obstacle for the Sanders campaign, noting that Frank not only “sits on the board of directors of a major bank that was recently named in a lawsuit about an alleged Ponzi scheme,” but that he “has also publicly boasted about the money he has raked in from Wall Street, both as a lawmaker and now as a top Democratic Party power broker.” Essentially, Frank’s position in the party encapsulates what Sanders believes is wrong with the current political system.

    • Sanders Explains Why He Keeps Going And May Just Win California on Tuesday

      But other states also will be voting Tuesday and DeMoro warned about the coming media spin. “There will be a narrative, a lie that comes out on June 7,” DeMoro said. “She will not have the pledged delegates. You have to sound the alarm. This is not over. We are going to win California.”

      Statements like that are baffling to Clinton supporters. They don’t understand the fervor behind Sanders. They say there’s no way superdelegates—elected officials, party leaders and allies who comprise 15 percent of the national convention delegates who will pick the 2016 nominee—are about to drop their overwhelming and longstanding support of Clinton.

    • Blaming Sanders: Why Democratic Party Unity is Officially Impossible

      I’m not going to suggest that people shouldn’t like Hillary Clinton if they adore her, and many do, but for her champions to continue the arrogant argument that she is anything more than a smug politician with a big stick, i.e., a cozy relationship with corporate America and the military industrial complex, is silly obfuscation.

      Such denial flies in the face of reality given Clinton’s attachment to and her unmovable faith in the neoliberalism of our age, which more-progressive thinkers—never mind the remnants of the Left—see as problematic.

    • Has Sanders Betrayed His Revolution by Endorsing Jane Kim?

      Bernie Sanders is calling for a “revolution.” Were his proposals implemented, some positive changes could occur. Life threatening global environmental problems could be more seriously addressed, economic inequality could be reduced, everyone could be guaranteed health care as a right, and public higher education could be tuition free.

      To carry out his “revolution,” there will need to be a well-organized mass movement that is not dependent on a single individual such as himself. It will obviously need help and support from other political leaders.

    • Puerto Rico Slashes Polling Places For The Democratic Primary, Laying The Groundwork For Chaos

      In early May, Puerto Rico’s Democratic Party announced that more than 1,500 polling places would be available for the island’s June 5 Democratic primary. A few weeks later, they slashed that number to just over 430 — a reduction of more than two thirds.

      In 2008, the island’s last competitive Democratic primary, there were more than 2,300 polling places.

      Some are warning of long lines and voters left unable to access the ballot box, as an estimated 700,000 Puerto Ricans will vote this Sunday, and polling places will only be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m..

      Worse, many voters will have to visit two separate locations to cast ballots in the presidential primary and the local primaries held the same day. Voter turnout and engagement has for years been much higher on the island than in the 50 U.S. states, but these changes may present too heavy a burden for low-income residents who lack transportation options or who need to work.

    • How Nate Silver Provides Political Cover for Hillary Clinton

      If you want to know whether to take a spike in Donald Trump’s poll numbers seriously or whether Ohio’s likely to go red or blue in the general election, ask Nate Silver. Look elsewhere if you want to know whether Hillary Clinton is a Sanders-like progressive or something entirely different.

    • The Missing Clinton-Sanders Debate: California Dreaming?

      In opting out of the last of her previously agreed upon debates with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton returned to campaign-long theme – her inevitability. And entitlement. Her supporters told us from the start that Clinton was entitled to the nomination because party leaders had decided. And her nomination was inevitable because party leaders had decided – as her immediate and continuing domination of the superdelegate count showed.

      That Clinton really shouldn’t have to worry about Sanders at all, because she should be concentrating on Trump, has also been a continual part of the Clinton argument: She’s gonna win; Sanders can only make her look bad.

      Debates happened, nonetheless, allowing Sanders to upend the standard discussion. America found out that you could forego the billionaires’ bucks and still out-fund raise the “inevitable” candidate with millions of contributions averaging $27. Sanders introduced the ideas of democratic socialism into the American mainstream – and then demonstrated a massive following for them. Doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour was put on the table as Sanders hammered on the theme that no one who works full time should be poor. Medicare-for-all was back on center stage.

    • Fueling Sanders’ Turnout Hope, California Reports Record Surge of New Voters

      With national anticipation growing ahead of five upcoming Democratic primaries on Tuesday and with so much hinging on the outcome in California, the Bernie Sanders campaign received encouraging news late Friday as the California secretary of state’s office reported soaring registrations of new voters, especially for Democrats.

    • What Americans abroad know about Bernie Sanders and you should know too

      As the prospect of Donald Trump in the White House moves from ludicrous to terrifying, it’s time to reconsider the electability question. Despite polls suggesting that Hillary Clinton is more likely to lose the general election than Bernie Sanders, her supporters routinely argue that Sanders’ program is too radically utopian to have a chance. Often a note of condescension is injected: Young people support Sanders because they want free stuff. Once his proposals are seriously considered, it’s argued, any adult will reject them out of hand.

      Although countless analyses have been devoted to the demographics each candidate needs to win, one demographic has not been part of the national conversation. Sanders won the first global Democratic Party primary by a landslide — 69% of the vote — that the media hardly noted and never analyzed. Democrats Abroad, the overseas arm of the Democratic Party, organized the election, which took place in March, to represent citizens who live outside the U.S., a group the Democratic National Committee considers the 51st state.

    • My Role With the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee

      I am, of course, a strong supporter of Palestinian rights, so is Bernie Sanders, and so, according to a recent Gallup poll, are a majority of Democrats. But the crude effort to reduce Sanders’ entire campaign and my entire life’s work to an effort to “get Israel” betrays an unsettling anti-Arab bias and a bizarre obsession to which I must respond. It does damage to Sanders, to me, and to our nation’s ability to have an honest conversation about a critical issue of importance.

      By focusing exclusively on Israel and ignoring all of the other concerns that Sanders has brought to this year’s presidential campaign, the press does a grave disservice to his efforts to elevate the issues of universal health care, free college tuition, raising the minimum wage, investing in clean energy, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and making Wall Street pay its fair share in taxes. This is a not so subtle attempt to demean the man and dismiss his candidacy as marginal.

      The same is true for me. In response to the question from the editorial writer as to why Bernie may have appointed me, I recited a bit of my resume. To be sure, I am the proud founder of a number Arab American organizations, but I have also served on the DNC for 23 years. I have been on the DNC Executive Committee for the past 15 years; co-Chaired the DNC Resolutions Committee for the past 10; and have chaired the party’s Ethnic Council since 2009. I served as Ethnic Outreach Advisor to both the Gore 2000 and the Obama 2008 Campaigns. And President Obama has twice appointed me to two-year terms on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

      When the mainstream media and the far-right groups converge in turning my entire life’s work into a one-dimensional caricature—“pro-Palestinian activist”—they are not complimenting me. They are setting me up. Make no mistake, I am proud of my advocacy for Palestinian rights, but given the political climate in which we live, such crude reductionism lays the predicate for political exclusion, violence, and threats of violence. Over the years, Arab Americans have suffered from all of these challenges to our rights. I know. I’ve been there.

    • We can’t have more of the same: The very real dangers of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy

      Just what we needed: another foreign policy speech from Candidate Clinton. This one arrived last Thursday in San Diego—well-chosen ground, given the Navy’s immense base on the city’s shore and the Marine Expeditionary Force garrisoned at Camp Pendleton. It has a long military tradition, San Diego, and the projection of American power is what drives the local economy. Perfect for Clinton. Her speech to this crew-cutted, right-wing town was, of course, “major”—as all of her speeches on the foreign side cannot help but be.

      Clinton’s people advised the press beforehand that, major or not, this presentation was not intended to break any new ground—no new positions, no new policy initiatives or ideas. This hardly had to be explained, of course: Hillary Clinton has no new ideas on American foreign policy. That is not her product. Clinton sells continuity, more of the same only more of it because it is so good. In continuity we are supposed to find safety, certainty and security.

      I do not find any such things in the idea that our foreign policy cliques under a Clinton administration will simply keep doing what they have been doing for many decades. The thought frightens me, and I do not say this for mere effect. In my estimation, and it is no more than that, the world is approaching maximum tolerance of America’s post–Cold War insistence on hegemony. As regular readers will know, this is why I stand among those who consider Clinton’s foreign policy thinking, borne out by the record, the most dangerous thing about her. And there are many of us, by the evidence.

    • Latinos, Millennials Lead California Voter Tsunami

      This election season has been rife with complaints regarding voter registration, and many Americans are starting to question the notion of closed primaries. In some states, there have been allegations of election fraud.

    • Calif. sees record high voter registrations going into primary

      A record number of voters have registered in California ahead of its presidential primary this week, the state’s secretary of state announced Friday.

      A report released on Friday shows that there are 17,915,053 voters registered as of the state’s May 23 deadline, the most the state has ever seen going into a primary.

      “Nearly 18 million California citizens are registered to vote in the June 7 Presidential Primary,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement.

      “In the 45 days leading up to the voter registration deadline, there was a huge surge in voter registration — total statewide voter registration increased by nearly 650,000. Part of this surge was fueled through social media, as Facebook sent a reminder to all California users to register to vote.”

    • As Dems’ Primary Saga Plays Out, California Latino Voter Registration Surges

      Bill Velazquez, Sanders’ National Director for Latino Outreach and a native of East Los Angeles, said the campaign has seen increased involvement and response to canvassing from the Latino community. Latino Sanders supporters had been organizing in the state on their own for a while, some for a year, before the campaign set up in the state.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Richards Is Convicted of ‘Felony Lynching’

      A jury in Pasadena, Calif., this week convicted Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Richards of “felony lynching.” Richards, 28, is the first African-American to be tried on the controversial charge, which authorities only recently renamed “attempting to unlawfully remove a suspect from police officers.”

      Sonali Kolhatkar discusses the case with Anthony Ratcliff, a Black Lives Matter organizer and professor of Pan-African studies at California State University, Los Angeles, on her program “Rising Up With Sonali.”

    • Visualizing the Landscape of Migrant Deaths in Arizona

      Just a few hours south of Tucson, on the other side of the border, there’s a quiet, dusty Mexican town called Sásabe. The streets are empty, the pavement rutted in places, overcome by the sandy earth in others. Like countless towns along the border, Sásabe feels less like a place where people are born, grow up, live, work, marry and raise children; and more like a way station, a place designed for an itinerant population of migrants and would-be border crossers. Somewhere to rest. A place to buy water and food. A place to consider the journey thus far, and prepare for the trials to come. At midday the heat is blinding. After dark, the desert is cold and unforgiving. There are few shops or restaurants, and no identifiable center of town. Sásabe long ago gave in to the reality of its unfortunate location. Everything feels temporary, and one imagines that the houses themselves could pack up and go, if they were called upon. There’s an image: This cluster of anonymous, dun-colored buildings trudging north across the scrub brush. Of course they would stop at the wall because Sásabe’s defining feature is the border fence, rising to the north, marking the town’s beginning and its unfortunate end.

    • Sanders v. Clinton on Palestine: No Contest

      The California Democratic Primary is this Tuesday, June 7. Whatever “The Movement” means to you, if you care about human decency and international human rights we need a Sanders victory and a Clinton repudiation in California on June 7—and beyond.

    • Gazans on Brink of Further Humanitarian Disaster as Blockade’s Battering Goes On

      As the blockade of Gaza—widely denounced as “collective punishment”—marks its ninth anniversary this month, Oxfam is urging the global community to apply pressure on Israel to allow the territory’s residents to exercise their most fundamental human rights.

      Israel imposed the blockade in 2007 when Hamas gained control of the territory, and is, according to a panel of experts reporting to the UN Human Rights Council, in “flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

    • Gaza Emergency

      During the violence, 118 UNRWA installations were damaged, including 83 schools and 10 health centres. Over 12,600 housing units were totally destroyed and almost 6,500 sustained severe damage. Almost 150,000 additional housing units sustained various degrees of damage and remained inhabitable. The conflict led to a homelessness crisis in Gaza, with almost 500,000 persons displaced at its peak; thousands remain displaced to this day.

    • Dismantling Civil Society in Bahrain

      Like a vise which first grips its object and then slowly, deliberately and inexorably crushes it, the al-Khalifa regime has done similarly to civil society in Bahrain. It did not stop when peaceful, pro-democracy, reform protests erupted in 2011 and were violently put down by government forces aided by an invasion of Saudi troops in March of that year. Indeed, the vise continues to close and relentlessly so.

      Nationalities have been revoked, mosques razed, citizens deported, human rights activists imprisoned on flimsy charges of insulting the monarchy at the least or plotting its overthrow at worst, and the most perfunctory of dialogues with the opposition abandoned. By smothering the figures and institutions who dare challenge the authority of the ruling dynasty in the most benign of fashions – a tweet, waving the country’s flag, tearing up a photo or merely questioning the tenure of the world’s longest serving prime minister – the Bahraini regime and its Gulf allies would like to believe monarchical rule has been preserved. Such desperate measures however, only speak to its precarity.

    • Netanyahu Consolidates Power Over Israeli Society

      I recently mentioned the German word Gleichschaltung – one of the most typical words in the Nazi vocabulary.

      “Gleich” means “the same”, and “Schaltung” means “wiring”. The long German word means that everything in the state is wired up the same way – the Nazi way.

      This was an essential part of the Nazi transformation of Germany. But it did not happen in any dramatic way. The replacement of people was slow, almost imperceptible. In the end, all important positions in the country were manned by Nazi functionaries.

      We are now witnessing something like this in Israel. We are already well into the middle of the process.

      Position after position is taken over by the far-far right, which is ruling Israel now. Slowly. Very, very slowly.

    • Hard Times Ahead for the Israel Lobby (Thank Sanders and Trump)

      A number of Israel-first billionaires and millionaires – people like Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and others of their ilk — glommed onto the Republican Party years ago. Despite Trump, many of them will probably continue stuffing the pockets of biddable Republican politicians.

    • Trump-Fueled Violence Continues As Protests In San Jose Turn Bloody

      The scene outside Donald Trump’s rally in San Jose, California Thursday night turned violent as anti-Trump protesters attacked the presumptive Republican nominee’s supporters, punching and attacking them and repeatedly calling them names.

      Though violence at Trump rallies has become a common occurrence, most incidents have involved violence instigated by both Trump supporters and protesters. In San Jose, however, Trump supporters were seemingly randomly attacked by protesters.

      Videos from the event show anti-Trump protesters attacking Trump supporters as they left the rally, leaving them bloody. According to the Washington Post, “protesters jumped on cars, pelted Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, snatched signs, and stole ‘Make America Great’ hats off supporters’ heads before burning them and snapping selfies with the charred remains.”

    • The Unendurable Horrors of Leadership Camp

      One of the strange things about the business world is the extent to which its jargon is euphemistic. When we talk about leaders, we’re talking about bosses. Yet for some reason bosses don’t like to admit what it is they do. That’s why employees become “team members,” why firing becomes “letting go.” In a way, it suggests that people’s human instincts are that capitalism is something rotten; the more you describe it with precision, the more horrendous it sounds. At the level of uplifting abstractions, derived from self-help culture, everything can be pleasant and neutral. It’s only when you hack through the forest of buzzwords that you can understand what is actually being discussed.

    • White Youths Shouting Racial Slurs Chase Black Teenager to His Death (Video)

      Sixteen-year-old Dayshen McKenzie collapsed and died after being chased through the hot streets of Staten Island recently by a group of mostly white young men yelling racial slurs.

      “I got a gun!” one pursuer shouted, according to witnesses. “I’m gonna shoot you, n- – - -a!,” yelled another.

      A friend of McKenzie’s said they and the group of white teenagers were outside a hamburger shop when they got into an argument, which ended when the white teens left. But the group returned and began to chase them.

      “They were calling us n- – - -rs,” said Harry Smith, according to the New York Daily News. “I just heard a lot of racial slurs. They were mixed—some white, some of them were Hispanic. But nobody was black.”

    • Hillary Promises Not to Order the Military (!?!) to Torture

      Though I agree with the general sentiment that Donald Trump should not be trusted with America’s nuclear codes, there’s a lot I loathed in Hillary’s foreign policy speech yesterday.

      Her neat espousal of American exceptionalism, with the specter that another country could make decisions about our lives and jobs and safety, is especially rich coming from a woman who has negotiated several trade deals that give corporations the power to make decisions about our lives and jobs and safety.

    • Alberto Gonzales Offers The Worst Defense Of Trump’s Racism

      During an interview with CNN on Friday, Donald Trump repeatedly insisted that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Latino heritage is a legitimate reason why he’s unfit to preside over a Trump University fraud case.

      Curiel is an American — he was born in Indiana. His parents are from Mexico.


      Gonzales’ argument rests on largely ignoring Trump’s own words and inventing new reasons for Trump’s objection that, even if true, seem irrelevant. He discusses Curiel’s affiliation with a San Diego-based Latino lawyers group and suggests that association might render him unable to render a fair judgment.


      But Curiel’s association with a Latino lawyers association is no more improper than is a black judge’s association with the NAACP. Yet the hypothetical NAACP-associated black judge would still be able to preside over a race discrimination case, because barring him or her from doing so would be blatantly racist. Federal courts have consistently rejected the notion that a judge’s ethnicity renders them unable to fairly decide cases.

    • Rome–Victims “very skeptical” of new Vatican abuse policy
    • Pope scraps abuse tribunal for negligent bishops

      Pope Francis on Saturday scrapped his proposed tribunal to prosecute bishops who covered up for pedophile priests and instead laid out legal procedures to remove them if the Vatican finds they were negligent.

      The new procedures sought to answer long-standing demands by survivors of abuse that the Vatican hold bishops accountable for botching abuse cases. Victims have long accused bishops of covering up for pedophiles, moving rapists from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police — and suffering no consequences.

    • Pope Francis Abandons Proposal to Prosecute Bishops for Covering Up Abuse

      The Catholic Church has been struggling to remedy internal proceedings ever since it was revealed in 2002 that bishops across the nation shielded pedophile priests from consequences.

      Last year, Pope Francis looked to hold bishops accountable when he announced the creation of a tribunal with authority to dismiss bishops who played a role in covering up abuse. But now the pope has apparently changed his mind.

    • Donald Trump Suddenly Remembers Muhammad Ali

      It was unfathomable that Trump could forget Muhammad Ali, the consensus greatest boxer in history, a world-renown activist-athlete who always put his identity as a Muslim front and center.

    • Trump Responds To Accusations Of Racism With Fake Photo Of Black Supporters

      It was not taken at a Trump event. Rather, it was taken at the “The 27th annual Midwest Black Family Reunion” held in Ohio in August 2015. The event featured “music, art, chess, children’s games and other activities.”

      Last year, Trump attracted controversy when he retweeted fake statistics claiming 81% of white murder victims were murdered by blacks. The actual figure is 14%.


      Speaking to BuzzFeed News, the parents in the photo — Eddie and Vanessa Perry — said they are not Trump supporters. They aren’t endorsing or publicly supporting anyone. Eddie Perry called Trump’s use of the photo “misleading” and “political propaganda.”

    • Saudi Arabia bought a huge stake in Uber. What does that mean for female drivers?

      This week the Silicon Valley-based ride-sharing app Uber announced it was getting a huge new injection of funding. But the money wasn’t coming from any of the standard investors from the U.S. tech world.

      Instead, it was coming from Saudi Arabia.

      The Saudi state’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was putting $3.5 billion into the company, the largest investment in Uber to date. The move has raised eyebrows, however, due to one of the kingdom’s most notorious domestic policies: Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women cannot legally drive.

    • Migrant crisis fuels sex trafficking of Nigerian girls to Europe

      A promising student who dreamed of going to university, Mary was 16 when a woman approached her mother at their home and offered to take the Nigerian teenager to Italy to find work.

      Pushed to go by her family who hoped she would lift them out of poverty, Mary ended up being trafficked into prostitution.

    • Dangerous migrant smuggling routes flourish in lawless Libya

      After a flurry of boat departures that sent hundreds of migrants to their deaths in the Mediterranean, survivors told police they had been kept for weeks on one meal a day in holding houses near the Libyan shore.

      Then they boarded the rubber or wooden vessels, but only those co-opted to run or drive the boats were given life-jackets, according to accounts given to Italian police.

    • Listen To Paul Ryan Say That He Cares More About Gutting Medicare Then He Does About Racism

      A court in Seattle has lifted an order that required our client MuckRock to remove documents one of its users obtained from a public records request.

      Agreeing with EFF, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled that the previous order amounted to a prior restraint on speech that violated the First Amendment, and rescinded it along with denying plaintiffs’ request to extend it.

      The upshot is that MuckRock and its co-founder, Michael Morisy, are no longer prohibited from publishing two documents the court had previously ordered the website to take down.

      More than a week ago, several companies sued MuckRock, one of its users, and the city of Seattle after the user filed a public records request seeking information about the city’s smart utility meter program.

    • Palestine’s forgotten children

      Next year will mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration and the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Britain has a historic responsibility to challenge the Israeli government’s conduct in the West Bank and Gaza.

    • Jacob Appelbaum, Digital Rights Activist, Leaves Tor Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

      On Thursday, the Tor Project quietly announced the departure of leading digital rights activist Jacob Appelbaum from its board. At first, they didn’t say why — now, we know.

      On Friday afternoon, members of the cryptography community accused Appelbaum publicly of multiple instances of sexual assault against people in the Tor community, and attributed these accusations to Appelbaum’s departure from the Tor Project.

    • Bank of America puts single mom through hell after she tries to access money from death lawsuit

      A Detroit woman is accusing Bank of America of discrimination after they placed a hold on money she received as part of an insurance settlement over the death of her brother — and then accused her of fraud.

      Christina Anderson, a single mother of four, told Fox News 2 Detroit that her younger brother recently died and she received $50,000 as part of insurance settlement that was wired directly to her account with Bank of America on May 20.

      According to Anderson, the bank told her there was an initial two-hour hold on the money and afterwards she was free to draw against it, which she did over the course of several days by making two substantial withdrawals.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s forthcoming Net Neutrality rules Leaked: Here’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

      A draft version of the EU regulators‘ guidelines on net neutrality has been leaked . The good news: they’re not terrible. The bad news: they contain huge loopholes on all essential points. This post explains what this means for Europe’s upcoming net neutrality reform.

    • Internet Boom Times Are Over, Says Mary Meeker’s Influential Report

      Growth of internet users worldwide is essentially flat, and smartphone growth is slowing, too. Those sobering insights were among the hundreds packed into the much-awaited Internet Trends report, an annual tech industry ritual led by Mary Meeker, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

      Wearing an Apple Watch while standing at a podium onstage at Recode’s technology conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Wednesday, Meeker blazed through highlights from her 213-slide presentation in roughly 20 minutes. She said the number of global internet users hovers around 3 billion, with new ones slow to come online. She attributed the slowdown to stagnating gross domestic product. Global GDP growth in six of the last eight years was below the 20-year average.

    • CSS at BBC Sport (Part 1)

      I promised I’d write a blog with more details so here goes. When I started writing this I realised there was lot to say so I’m going to split this two blog posts which covers how we’re approaching CSS at BBC Sport.

      The BBC Sport website is the UK’s most popular sports website, providing coverage of around 50 different sports. From major sports such Football, Formula 1, Cricket and Rugby, to minor sports like as Archery, Bowls and Handball. On average we receive 26 million unique browsers a week. As is now common across the web, the number of users accessing BBC Sport from a mobile device has been steadily increasing of the last few years. We now on average receive more than 50% of traffic from mobile devices, with this percentage increasing at weekends as people are keeping up to date whilst out and about.

    • Another Broadband CEO Admits: Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Capacity

      Supporters of internet data caps want to have things both ways: admitting that the monthly usage limits have nothing to do with congestion, while simultaneously arguing that those who use the most should pay more (but not that those who use the least should get any discount). Thus it’s refreshing that one broadband exec both acknowledged the congestion myth and said his company has no intention of instituting caps… at least for now.

    • Data caps are a business decision—not a network necessity, Frontier says

      Frontier Communications, newly expanded after purchasing Verizon wireline networks in three states, says it has no plans to impose Comcast-style data overage charges.

      “We have not really started or have any intent about initiatives around usage-based pricing,” CEO Daniel McCarthy told investors Wednesday at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference. “We want to make sure our product meets the needs of customers for what they want to do, and it doesn’t inhibit them or force them to make different decisions about how they’re going to use the product.”

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Interview – Indigenous Concern Over Rising Focus On IP In WIPO TK Talks

      Indigenous peoples have been the victims of repeated acts of biopiracy while the international community has failed to act to prevent it, indigenous representatives said in an interview this week. The World Intellectual Property Organization has been discussing ways to address that issue for some 16 years, without success. As negotiators continue to seek consensus on what a potential treaty could achieve, indigenous peoples feel the spotlight has drifted from their issues to technical issues of the intellectual property system and highlighted attention on users of the system.

      Over the years, the voluntary funds that allowed indigenous participation at WIPO have been depleted and repeated calls for funds by WIPO, indigenous peoples, and some delegations have remained unanswered. In the eyes of indigenous peoples, this reflects a lack of interest of WIPO members in having their participation, rendering the process illegitimate.

    • Innovation And Access: Fission Or Fusion? Interview with Dr. Kristina M. Lybecker, Associate Professor of Economics at Colorado College

      In the light of the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, this series of sponsored articles challenges experts to give their views on the policies that best support the development of solutions to societies’ greatest challenges and how enabling policy environments, including IP systems, influence the development and flow of new technologies and services in different sectors, fields of technology, and jurisdictions. The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors. Below is an interview with Dr. Kristina M. Lybecker, Associate Professor of Economics at Colorado College in Colorado Springs (US).

    • Trademarks

      • Sony’s New Emoji Animated Movie At Trademark Odds With Guy Who Trademarked Emojis

        It probably goes without saying that the word “emoji” is now a full member of the popular lexicon. So popular, in fact, that Sony is apparently going to release an animated film called The Emoji Movie, which will follow the “lives” of a bunch of emojis, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom. But, as the release of the film is currently in the works, Sony is also apparently preparing to fend off a trademark claim from Marco Husges, a game developer and emoji creator.

    • Copyrights

      • YouTube Threatens Legal Action Against Video Downloader (Update)

        YouTube continues to crack down on sites and services that allow people to download videos from the site. Most recently, YouTube urged the operator of TubeNinja to cease his activities, or face potential legal action instead. For now, however, the video download service has no plans to change its course.

      • Anti-Piracy Group Wants to Take Down ‘The Internet’

        It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but one anti-piracy outfit is targeting everything that comes into its path. Over the past week Copyright UNIVERSAL has tried to censor legitimate content from Netflix, Amazon, Apple, various ISPs, movie theaters, news outlets and even sporting leagues.

      • BitTorrent Goes All In on Media, Moves Sync App to New Venture

        BitTorrent Inc., the company behind the popular uTorrent file-sharing client, will increase its focus on online media. The company plans to open a studio in Los Angeles and is working on several new applications. Meanwhile, its popular Dropbox competitor “Sync” will rebrand and move to a new company.

      • What Happened When a Student Streamed a Movie on Facebook Live

        It was just a matter of time until this happened. A student watching a rom-com at an Illinois cinema decided to use his phone to live-stream the film to his Facebook feed, leading the theater to claim (falsely) he had been “arrested” by police.

      • Student Arrested in U.S. For Live Streaming a Movie on Facebook – Updated

        A student has been arrested in Chicago for filming at a movie premiere and live streaming it on the Internet. The individual reportedly used a camera phone to live stream on Facebook but the infringement was monitored by an anti-piracy outfit 8,200 miles away in India who alerted police in the United States.

      • DVD Release Delays Boost Piracy and Hurt Sales, Study Shows

        A new academic paper from Carnegie Mellon University examines the link between international DVD release delays and piracy. The study shows that release delays give rise to increased piracy, hurting sales in the process. In addition, the researchers conclude that the movie industry should consider minimizing or eliminating the unneeded delays.

      • A De Minimis Amount of Creative Freedom: Courts Push Back to Protect Music Sampling

        Too often copyright maximalists take the view that if anyone is making money and using a copyrighted work, no matter how or how minimally, then the copyright owner should get a cut. That’s the attitude that has pushed, among other things, a “clearance culture” in music sampling, a belief that permission is needed to create something new that includes samples.

      • A guy trained a machine to “watch” Blade Runner. Then things got seriously sci-fi.

        Last week, Warner Bros. issued a DMCA takedown notice to the video streaming website Vimeo. The notice concerned a pretty standard list of illegally uploaded files from media properties Warner owns the copyright to — including episodes of Friends and Pretty Little Liars, as well as two uploads featuring footage from the Ridley Scott movie Blade Runner.

        Just a routine example of copyright infringement, right? Not exactly. Warner Bros. had just made a fascinating mistake. Some of the Blade Runner footage — which Warner has since reinstated — wasn’t actually Blade Runner footage. Or, rather, it was, but not in any form the world had ever seen.

      • Warner Bros. DMCAs Insanely Awesome Recreation Of Blade Runner By Artificial Intelligence

        I’m going to dispense with any introduction here, because the meat of this story is amazing and interesting in many different ways, so we’ll jump right in. Blade Runner, the film based off of Philip K. Dick’s classic novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, is a film classic in every last sense of the word. If you haven’t seen it, you absolutely should. Also, if you indeed haven’t seen the movie, you’ve watched at least one less film than an amazing artificial intelligence software developed by Terrance Broad, a London-based researcher working on his advanced degree in creative computing.

      • Rome Court of First Instance says that ISP’s unjustified delay in removing infringing content … removes safe harbour protection

        When does an internet service provider (ISP) lose its safe harbour protection because, upon obtaining actual knowledge or awareness of third-party illegal contents, it has not acted expeditiously to remove or disable access to such contents?

        According to the Tribunale di Roma (Rome Court of First Instance), this is for example the case of an ISP that acts months after the request of the concerned rightholder.

      • This Is Bad: Court Says Remastered Old Songs Get A Brand New Copyright

        Whoo boy. Did not expect this one. For a while now, we’ve noted a variety of lawsuits over pre-1972 sound recordings, due to a quirk in copyright law. You see, for a long time, sound recordings were not covered by federal copyright at all (the compositions were, but the recordings were not). State laws did jump in to fill the gap (often in terrible ways), but in the 1970s, when the Copyright Act was updated, it finally started covering sound recordings as well… but only for songs recorded in 1972 or later. This has left all songs recorded before that in a weird state, where they’re the only things still covered by a mess of confusing state copyright laws. The easy way to fix this would be to update the law to just put all such sound recordings under federal copyright law. But the RIAA has resisted this heavily, recognizing that keeping them away from federal copyright law is allowing them the ability to keep them under copyright even longer and to squeeze a lot of extra money out of music streaming companies.

        Last fall, we wrote about the record labels moving on from streaming companies to instead suing CBS over its terrestrial radio operations playing pre-1972 songs as well. CBS hit back with what we considered to be a fairly bizarre defense: claiming that it wasn’t actually playing any pre-1972 music, because all of the recordings it used had been remastered after 1972, and those recordings should have a new and distinct copyright from the original sound recording. As we noted at the time, an internet company called Bluebeat had tried a version of this argument years earlier only to have it shot down by the courts (though its argument ignored the whole derivative works issue).

      • EU-Funded Study On The Cost Of Copyright Infringement Dismisses Key Real-World Factor As ‘Outside Its Scope’

        You may notice a certain one-sidedness there: this is all about infringement and enforcement, with nothing about whether the current copyright laws are part of the problem, or whether they are even fit for the digital age. Given that bias, the subject of the Observatory’s latest report will come as no great surprise: “The economic cost of IPR infringement in the recorded music industry.”


        I predict we’ll be seeing these numbers a lot in the future, because the music industry will be quick to seize on them as “objective” figures that are above suspicion, unlike industry-sponsored analyses. But of course, things are not always what they seem, and it’s worth reading the full report in order to find out what is really going on here. Nearly half of the 48-page is taken up with appendices outlining the forecasting model used to calculate those “lost sales.”


        Thus it is taken as axiomatic that every lost sale would have converted to a real sale if a magic wand had been waved, and piracy had become impossible. No justification is offered for this huge assumption, and that’s not surprising, since it doesn’t exist: in the real world only a fraction of those “lost sales” would ever be converted to actual sales. So even if we accept the modelling in the appendices is correct, the figures that result must be reduced by some factor to take account of this. It’s hard to say what that factor is, but it affects all the headline figures — the 5.2%, the 2,155 jobs, and the €63 million in government revenue. Actually, things are even worse than they seem, because the study doesn’t explore the possibility that online sharing boosts sales, rather than reduces them.


        Which apparently showed the HADOPI anti-piracy law “caused iTunes music sales to increase by 22-25% [in France] relative to changes in the control group [countries].” Except that it didn’t, as Techdirt noted at the time.

      • Two Separate Copyright Rulings Around The Globe May Finally Clear The Copyright Way For Sampling

        A big part of the problem was a horrible ruling in the 6th Circuit in one of the (many) Bridgeport cases (a company that is alleged to have forged records to get control over heavily sampled works, and then sued lots of artists over their samples). In Bridgeport v. Dimension Films, a confused 6th Circuit appeals court made a bunch of nutty comments in a ruling, including “Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way.” That case, which didn’t even look at the fair use issue, effectively wiped out another legal defense against accusations of copyright infringement, known as “de minimis use.” The court’s bizarre ruling contradicted plenty of others in basically saying there’s no such thing as de minimis use because each sampled note has value or it wouldn’t have been sampled.

      • De Minimis Music Sampling Isn’t Infringement–Salsoul v. Madonna

        There are several alternative tests for gauging “substantial similarity” in copyright cases. The flagship test is the “ordinary observer” test, but variations include the (baffling) extrinsic/intrinsic test and the abstraction-filtration-comparison test. With respect to sampling sound recordings, the Sixth Circuit’s ruling in Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films created another variant: any sound recording sampling, no matter how minor, was per se infringement, period. Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit rejected Bridgeport’s per se rule, holding that the “de minimis” defense (most prominently associated with Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television) applied to music sampling.


Links 3/6/2016: OpenSwitch Under Linux Foundation, GCC 5.4

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Inner Source—Adopting Open Source Development Practices in Organizations

    OPEN SOURCE has had an enormous impact on the software industry. Software development organizations have widely adopted open source software (OSS) in a variety of ways.1 Besides adopting OSS products, as either productivity tools or off-the-shelf components, numerous organizations have adopted open source practices to develop their software. This is called inner source because the software is sourced internally, although different terms have been used, such as “progressive open source” and “corporate open source.”2 Unlike with traditional approaches, developers of an inner-source project don’t belong to a single team or department. Anybody in the organization can be a contributing member of this community, as either a user or contributor. Eric Raymond compared traditional software development approaches to building cathedrals, while calling open-source-style development a “bazaar.” 3 So, you can view inner source as a bazaar within a corporate cathedral.

  • Hackathons bring open source innovation to humanitarian aid

    In open source software, end users, decision makers, subject matter experts, and developers from around the world can work together to create great solutions. There are a lot of mature open source projects out there already in the field of humanitarian and development aid, for example: Ushahidi and Sahana in crisis management and information gathering, OpenMRS for medical records, Martus for secure information sharing in places with limited freedom of speech, and Mifos X, an open platform for financial inclusion for people in poor areas where financial services such as savings, payments, and loans are not offered.

  • ​OwnCloud closes US office, blames Nextcloud

    Yesterday, ownCloud co-founder Frank Karlitschek announced he was starting a new open-source, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud project and company, Nextcloud. The same day, ownCloud, announced it was closing its US office.

  • OwnCloud Issues Statement Over Today’s Nextcloud Fork, OwnCloud Inc Closes Up Shop
  • ownCloud Statement concerning the formation of Nextcloud by Frank Karlitschek
  • OwnCloud forked to create Nextcloud

    As I expected, Frank Karlitschek is forking ownCloud to create a new open source project called Nextcloud. In an interview, Karlitschek told me that he is joining with Spreedbox founder Niels Mache to create a new company with the same name.

    The new company, Nextcloud, is being founded in Germany. Both Mache and Karlitschek will serve as managing directors.

  • ownCloud Founder Forks Open-Source Project to NextCloud

    NextCloud is supposed to be a drop-in replacement for ownCloud 9 with added security and stability updates as well as integration of Spreed.ME video conferencing and chat. Perhaps most importantly, Nextcloud GmbH (which is the new commercial entity behind NextCloud) has pledged that it will fulfill all contracts customers signed with ownCloud, Inc. until June 2nd – “That way customers won’t be without the support from the experts they need to keep their servers running.,” the company stated.

  • Use the Web to make interactive displays out of almost anything
  • Google Open Sources Tool for Making Interactive Displays Smart

    The digital display trend has been going through a renaissance for some time now, with many organizations reaching out to their employees and customers by curating and delivering information via displays that are, increasingly, interactive. Touchscreen displays that respond to you can create immersive experiences, and Google has announced that it is open sourcing its hardened and tested AnyPixel software for programming interactive displays similar to the one in the lobby of its New York City office.

    Hardware and software tools and references and example apps are available now on GitHub.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • Rapid7 CEO Aims to Secure the Future

      The company also some strong open-source roots, with the Metasploit penetration testing framework, which has both free and commercially supported editions available.

    • If Your Kickstarter Campaign Isn’t Ready for Prime Time

      If you’re an open source enthusiast who thinks you might have a good idea for a Kickstarter campaign, but are not yet ready to launch the campaign, why not launch a draft campaign and request feedback from the public? In doing so, you might be able to rally supporters before your campaign launches — and you might also receive vital cautions that could help you revise (or abandon) the planned campaign. This neat video for an Audio DSP Shield for Arduino reminds us that you can use Kickstarter to test the waters before launching a campaign.


    • GDB Debugger Now Supports The Rust Language, Other GNU Toolchain Improvements

      The GNU Toolchain has continued making improvements this year beyond just the recent GCC 6 stable compiler release.

      Nick Clifton of Red Hat has sent out a mailing to share the GNU Toolchain updates made over the past two months. He covers the GCC 6 improvements with the new warning options, GDB 7.11.1 improvements, and more.

    • GCC 5.4 Released
    • GCC 5.4 Compiler Released, Fixed 147+ Bugs

      Version 5.4 of the GNU Compiler Collection is now available.

      Before getting too excited, this is just a maintenance update to GCC 5 under their funky new versioning scheme. Beyond that, GCC 6 has already been available in stable form via GCC 6.1.

      GCC 5.4 represents just another maintenance/bug-fix release to GCC 5 since its first stable release last year, GCC 5.1. GCC 5.4 is known to fix at least 147 bugs compared to the GCC 5.3 stable update from a few months back.

    • Twenty-seven new GNU releases in May


  • Public Services/Government

    • San Francisco funds open source voting

      San Francisco’s open source voting project is quickly becoming a reality. Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed budget includes $300,000 towards planning and development of an open source voting system that would allow the city to own and share the software.

      Dominion Voting Systems, formerly known as Sequoia Voting, has provided San Francisco’s voting technology for years, but its contract with the city and county expires at the end of the year, according to KQED News.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • 8 steps to more open communications

      Open communications is a major change, and, as with all good changes, it will take constant care and feeding to keep it going. My leaders need to remain involved. We need to ensure newcomers are encouraged to stay. The last thing I want is for team members to feel their input isn’t heard or taken seriously.

  • Programming/Development


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Obama Wanted to Cut Social Security. Then Bernie Sanders Happened.

      “We can’t afford to weaken Social Security,” he said during a speech on economic policy in Elkhart, Indiana. “We should be strengthening Social Security. And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous, and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned.”

    • President Obama Finally Gets It Right On Expanding Social Security

      Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, was as late as last year making critical comments about President Obama’s stance on Social Security, telling Talking Points Memo that Obama “hasn’t been great on this issue.” Then, Altman was still smarting from Obama’s willingness to cut a deal with Republicans in 2011 that would have resulted in a reduced cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits, and thus would have eroded seniors’ buying power over time.

    • Great Recession Caused 500K Additional Cancer Deaths
    • Thanks to Activism And Sanders, Obama Changes Course on Social Security

      Progressive groups welcomed President Barack Obama’s call to expand Social Security by increasing taxes on the wealthy, praising the effort and crediting it in part to “relentless grassroots activism” and Bernie Sanders’ political efforts.

      During a speech on economic policy in Elkhart, Indiana on Wednesday, Obama announced, “We can’t afford to weaken Social Security. We should be strengthening Social Security. And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement they’ve earned.”

      “We could start paying for it by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more,” he said.

    • Obama’s Social Security push pleases liberals

      President Barack Obama called for expanding Social Security on Wednesday, prompting progressive groups to declare victory after they tangled with him over a plan to save costs in the entitlement program three years ago.

      “And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned,” Obama said in an economic call to arms in Elkhart, Indiana. “We could start paying for it by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more.”

    • Revealed: At Least 21 Cities Use Same Water Testing ‘Cheats’ as Flint Endangering Millions

      While authorities in Flint, Michigan charged three officials with a myriad of crimes for failing to properly test the city’s water supply, a major Guardian investigation released Thursday revealed at least 21 U.S cities used similar water testing methods as those that prompted a criminal probe into one of the worst public health crises in recent history.

      According to the Guardian, cities including Chicago, Boston, Philidelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee all use water testing practices that could underestimate the levels of lead present in drinking water. In Philadelphia and Chicago, officials asked employees to test the water safety in their own homes. And in cities throughout Michigan and New Hampshire, water departments were advised to leave more time for testing in order to remove results showing levels that exceed federal limits.

    • Water Departments to Change Lead-Testing Methods After Investigators Find ‘Cheats’ in 33 U.S. Cities
    • At least 33 US cities used water testing ‘cheats’ over lead concerns

      Guardian investigation reveals testing regimes similar to that of Flint were in place in major cities including Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia

    • Six Questions for Monsanto

      Monsanto may not be the largest company in the world. Or the worst. But the St. Louis, Mo. biotech giant has become the poster child for all that’s wrong with our industrial food and farming system.

      With 21,000 employees in 66 countries and $15 billion in revenue, Monsanto is a biotech industry heavyweight. The St. Louis, Mo.-based monopolizer of seeds is the poster child for an industry that is the source of at least one-third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and is largely responsible for the depletion of soil, water and biodiversity. Not to mention the company’s marginalization—and sometimes terrorization—of millions of small farmers.

    • ‘Hoop After Hoop’: How Gulf Coast States Are Playing Politics with Women’s Health

      Women on the Gulf Coast continue to face concerted attacks on their right to healthcare, as Louisiana passed new abortion restrictions this week and the ACLU sued Alabama over several recently enacted, draconian laws.

      On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed into law a bill banning the abortion procedure known as “dilation and evacuation” or D&E—which women’s health experts say is the safest and most common method of abortion for women in their second trimester of pregnancy.

    • Louisiana Bans Common, Safe Abortion Method

      The Louisiana law, called the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” will likely force doctors to use an abortion method associated with a higher rate of medical complications on women after their first trimester. Women in the state already have to wait 72 hours to have an abortion after meeting with the doctor. Abortions performed later in a pregnancy are riskier, and the new policy only increases the potential dangers.

  • Security

    • Hackers Find Bugs, Extort Ransom and Call it a Public Service

      Crooks breaking into enterprise networks are holding data they steal for ransom under the guise they are doing the company a favor by exposing a flaw. The criminal act is described as bug poaching by IBM researchers and is becoming a growing new threat to businesses vulnerable to attacks.

      According to IBM’s X-Force researchers, the new tactic it is a variation on ransomware. In the case of bug poaching, hackers are extorting companies for as much as $30,000 in exchange for details on how hackers broke into their network and stole data. More conventional ransomware attacks, also growing in number, simply encrypt data and demand payment for a decryption key.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • John Kerry Gives Saudis a Big Pass on Indiscriminate Bombing of Civilians in Yemen

      Secretary of State John Kerry this week waved off concerns about U.S.-supported Saudi-coalition airstrikes in Yemen that have indiscriminately bombed civilians and rescuers, and instead blamed the Shiite Houthi rebels for the bulk of the civilian casualties.

      “There have been a lot of civilian casualties, and clearly, civilian casualties are a concern,” Kerry told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “I think the Saudis have expressed in the last weeks their desire to make certain that they’re acting responsibly, and not endangering civilians.”

    • America’s Greatest Threat Is Its Crazed “Leadership” And Its Brainwashed Population

      But times have changed since then. If Hitler were to attack Russia today, he would be dead 20 to 30 minutes later, his bunker reduced to glowing rubble by a strike from a Kalibr supersonic cruise missile launched from a small Russian navy ship somewhere in the Baltic Sea. The operational abilities of the new Russian military have been most persuasively demonstrated during the recent action against ISIS, Al Nusra and other foreign-funded terrorist groups operating in Syria. A long time ago Russia had to respond to provocations by fighting land battles on her own territory, then launching a counter-invasion; but this is no longer necessary. Russia’s new weapons make retaliation instant, undetectable, unstoppable and perfectly lethal.

    • As US/ Kurdish force Moves on ISIL at Manbij, Turkey goes Ballistic

      The left-leaning Beirut daily al-Safir (Ambassador) points out that less than two weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced their campaign against al-Raqqa, the capital of the phony caliphate of Daesh (ISIS, ISIL), the SDF instead has veered off to the west in a bid to capture Manbaj. The SDF mainly consists of leftist Kurdish YPG fighters along with some American-trained token Arabs.

      The SDF, with help from intensive US bombing, moved to the west of the Euphrates on Wednesday, taking over a dozen villages in the vicinity of Manbaj and ending up only 10 km from the city center.

    • Trump, Trade and War

      Those questions include why the United States must play the role of world policeman, whether