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Links 14/6/2020: Radeon Software for Linux 20.20, KMyMoney 5.1.0, Godot Engine 3.2.2 RC 1, Linux Mint 20 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 9:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • How Much Does It Cost To Run This Blog?

      My wife recently asked me how much it costs me to run this blog. I wasn’t really sure to be honest, so I looked into it and the results were surprising. So I thought I would share the details to give you guys a general idea how much it costs to run a blog.

    • Charley Crockett – “Welcome To Hard Times”
    • Readers Think. Thinkers Read. A Summer Reading List

      A Short History of Presidential Election Crises (And How to Prevent the Next One) by Alan Hirsch. City Lights, 2020. Trump’s madness and lying ways makes Alan Hirsch’s fascinating history one that can alert us seriously between now and November. Link to interview.

    • How to set up a work-from-home ‘office’ for the long term

      But many people have set up makeshift home offices for the pandemic that won’t work well for the long term. In addition to having the right equipment, the physical setup — the ergonomics of the workspace — is critical, especially around avoiding repetitive strain injuries that a bad setup can cause. I suffered such RSI issues 20 years ago and narrowly avoided a relapse a year ago, so I know what it takes to get back to and stay in a workable status.

      And employers, take note: RSI puts you on the hook for workers’ compensation claims and, of course, lost productivity.

    • Science

      • The US Has Much to Gain From Increasing Scientific Cooperation With Cuba

        For most of the past 60 years, the United States and Cuba have had very limited diplomatic ties. President Barack Obama started the process of normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, but the Trump administration reversed this policy, sharply reducing interactions between the two countries.

      • Will Science and Reason Save Us? The Liberal Left’s False Wall of Defense

        Lies on social media, life-threatening health advice, “alternative facts,” info wars, etc. It is easy to be concerned about the disregard for truthfulness, reflection, and sensibility involved in the far-right offensive that has entered government buildings around the world. Yet, it is also troubling that an increasing number of leftists embrace a neoliberal line of defense, hailing ideological notions of “science,” “reason,” and “rationalism.” This ignores decades of leftist critiques of such notions, formulated by thinkers with backgrounds as different as the Frankfurt School, poststructuralism, and the theory of science.

      • Alternative APOE Gene Variants Associated with Different Diseases of Aging

        In addition to these mouse studies, the authors assessed APOE genotype association in melanoma human patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Neither of these APOE variants was enriched in the database, which the authors said indicated neither gene was involved in increased melanoma incidence. However, APEO4 carriers had improved survival, with 10.1 years for these patients versus 2.1 years for APEO2 carriers. This outcome was surprising due to the reduced longevity associated with APOE4 carriers, which the authors attributed to the high rates of melanoma-associated death. These results demonstrated that “germline genetic variants of APOE differentially associated with survival in patients with advanced melanoma who were at increased risk for melanoma-associated death and metastasis.”

        PD-1 immunotherapy is a commonly used treatment for melanoma, and “APOE4 mice survived significantly longer than APOE2 mice upon anti-PD1 treatment, suggesting that APOE genotype modulates melanoma outcome also in the context of immunotherapy,” according to the results shown in the paper. In humans, “APOE4 and APOE2 carriers exhibited the longest and shortest survival outcomes, respectively, upon anti-PD1 therapy,” consistent with the results in mice.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Primitive gait balancing – 1D

        I’m working to improve the walking gait of the mjbots quad A1. In this iteration, I wanted to tackle an incremental step towards a more fully dynamic gait, but one that will still greatly increase the capability of the machine. As mentioned last time, the current walking gait cycles between all four legs, and then alternative opposing corner legs in order to move laterally. I’d like to keep that same basic structure, but be a bit smarter about what happens during the swing phase.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As Trump Ignores COVID and Attacks Cities, Local Leaders Build for Our Future

        The last several months have brought a heightened level of anxiety, anger and exhaustion — feelings that, for many of us, have existed at a steady elevation since the end of 2016. The events of these past few weeks, in particular, are a bleak reminder that the oppressive institutions that have allowed COVID-19 to ravage communities of color continue to perpetuate state-sanctioned and white supremacist violence against Black people in this country.

      • A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns

        A prominent women’s hospital here has separated some Native American women from their newly born babies, the result of a practice designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 that clinicians and health care ethicists described as racial profiling.

        Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque implemented a secretive policy in recent months to conduct special coronavirus screenings for pregnant women, based on whether they appeared to be Native American, even if they had no symptoms or were otherwise at low risk for the disease, according to clinicians.

      • Thousands Inspired To Grow Food At Home During Cardiff Lockdown

        Almost 14,000 plants, seeds and growing kits are being distributed during lockdown as part of a city-wide campaign to encourage people to grow their own vegetables.


        Cardiff Salad Garden has been growing seedlings for volunteers who have been unable to visit the garden. In collaboration with Greening and Growing in Riverside to recruit 100 volunteers to grow veg and herbs, supported by growing lessons over Zoom. Children’s seed kits are being distributed with the 50 food parcels that go out to self-isolating families from South Riverside’s Pantry.

        Another growing community at Global Gardens allotments have overcome the restrictions on visitors by inviting people to share recipes online – and rewarding the best contributors with a share of their crops, recipes and seeds.

      • Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants

        For weeks, Rachel Willard, the county health director in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, had watched with alarm as COVID-19 cases rolled in from the Tyson Foods chicken plant in the center of town. Then Tyson hired a private company to take over testing, and the information suddenly slowed to a trickle.

        Blinded to the burgeoning health crisis, Willard and her small staff grew increasingly agitated. The outbreak had already spread across 100 miles of the North Carolina piedmont, and two workers had died. But nearly a week after Tyson’s testing ended in May, the county health agency had received less than 20% of the results. The little information it did receive was missing phone numbers and other data, hindering critical efforts to follow up with infected workers, to tell them to isolate and to trace their contacts.

      • How Rich Investors, Not Doctors, Profit From Marking Up ER Bills

        In 2017, TeamHealth, the nation’s largest staffing firm for ER doctors, sued a small insurance company in Texas over a few million dollars of disputed bills.

        Over 2 1/2 years of litigation, the case has provided a rare look inside TeamHealth’s own operations at a time when the company, owned by private-equity giant Blackstone, is under scrutiny for soaking patients with surprise medical bills and cutting doctors’ pay amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Erasing 30 Years of Progress, Covid-19 Pandemic Could Lead to More Than One Billion People Living in Poverty: Study

        “These findings expose the extent of precarity in developing countries, but also the fragility of poverty reductions to any economic shock.”

      • Congress Members Obtain COVID-19 Loans Through Small Business Program

        Members of Congress obtained disaster loans for their businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

      • A Second Wave of COVID-19 Looms Large—and It’s Not Because of Protests

        The far greater concern is the rampage on science and public health now underway by governors and the White House.

      • The Brogan-Ji brain trust says “Wake up, sheeple!” over COVID-19

        If there’s one thing about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it’s really brought the quacks, cranks, antivaxxers, and conspiracy theorists to the fore. Their bad takes and pseudoscience are everywhere. Worse, antivaxxers have allied themselves with COVID-19 deniers and cranks in a way that surprised those who thought that fear of a potentially deadly virus tearing through an immunologically naive world population and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths would mean the death knell for the antivaccine movement but surprised none of us who’ve actually followed the movement for a long time. So when I saw that “wholistic psychiatrist” (and antivaxxer) Kelly Brogan had teamed up with Sayer Ji and Ali Zeck to ask why we stay asleep when COVID-19 is trying to wake us up, I was expecting a lot of nonsense. I got even more than I had bargained for, which is why I’ve dubbed this article a product of the Brogan-Ji braintrust.

      • Two Pandemics: COVID-19 and the 1918 Influenza

        The current Covid-19 epidemic has drawn comparisons to the 1918 influenza epidemic, often referred to as the Spanish flu or H1N1 virus. The influenza flu was devastating with an estimated 500 million people — one-third of the world’s population — infected and 50 million died; in the U.S., about 675,000 deaths occurred and in New York City an estimated 30,000 people died, almost certainly an underestimate. However, the influenza epidemic was but one development that marked a very peculiar moment in the nation’s history

      • Covid-19 Hits the French Health System

        On 28 February the WHO issued a report on China’s efforts to control the Coronavirus outbreak, highlighting the necessity for a comprehensive government-led response to the threat. On 29 February, the French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe chose to divert priorities from a Ministerial Council dedicated to Covid-19 by utilising article 49-3 of the Constitution to bypass Parliament and authorise a brutal retirement ‘reform’ package, against which vast sections of the country had struck and demonstrated.

      • ‘I crossed the border on foot’ Russian citizens stranded abroad during the coronavirus pandemic tell their stories

        To this day, many Russian citizens are still stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some of them are now waiting for specially chartered “export flights” and receiving financial aid, many of Russia’s citizens stuck overseas have yet to receive any help from their government. Meanwhile, others are unable to get themselves to an airport for logistical regions — in some countries, there are simply no available flights. In their own words, Russian citizens stranded abroad tell Meduza their stories. 

      • The Pandemic And The Evolution Of Health Care Privacy

        When I teach privacy law, I try to make the issues real for the students. It often isn’t that hard — privacy issues remain in the news almost every day. The evolution of the pandemic has made more of these issues real and is leading to a series of critical questions for the future of health care privacy. These issues are not new, but the focus of the attention on pandemic issues has made the need for discussion and resolution of these issues even more critical.

      • With Covid-19, We Need to Rethink the Youth Vote

        Despite being the largest, most diverse generation in history and a projected 37 percent of the 2020 electorate, young people could have disproportionately low voter turnout in the coming election.

      • “He Doesn’t Care, So Long as He’s Not Liable”: Trump Rally-Goers Required to Agree Not to Sue If They Contract Coronavirus

        “Immunity from lawsuits encourages irresponsible and reckless behavior, and undermines public health, as the Trump campaign is now shamefully making clear.”

      • Trump Rally-Goers Required to Agree Not to Sue If They Contract COVID-19

        To register for a spot at President Donald Trump’s first campaign rally since the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered much of the United States in March, prospective attendees must first agree not to sue either the Trump campaign or the venue if they contract coronavirus during the event — a requirement critics say is an attempt by the president’s team to evade responsibility for moving ahead with a hazardous indoor gathering.

      • When 511 Epidemiologists Expect to Fly, Hug and Do 18 Other Everyday Activities Again

        Many epidemiologists are already comfortable going to the doctor, socializing with small groups outside or bringing in mail, despite the coronavirus. But unless there’s an effective vaccine or treatment first, it will be more than a year before many say they will be willing to go to concerts, sporting events or religious services. And some may never greet people with hugs or handshakes again.

      • The Post-Pandemic Enterprise: What Will It Be Like?

        Companies should take the lead to redefine what the workplace now means, including how to best organize a more distributed, remote workforce, – where it works well and where it does not. Properly organized, remote work “could contribute to building a more diverse, more capable, and happier workforce.” Remote work can, for example, help companies draw on a much wider talent pool, make work more accessible for people with disabilities, and offer much needed flexibility to parents and caregivers. But, if not properly managed, working from home will exacerbate work-life balance and burnout issues. Office life has relatively well defined boundaries. But when your home becomes your workplace, “It’s not so much working from home; rather, it’s really sleeping at the office.”


        The pandemic has surfaced vulnerabilities in supply-chains around the world. How should enterprises manage their supply chains in such uncertain times? As business executives tried to determine how to best do so, they were largely flying blind because Covid-19 caused disruptions unlike anything seen in over seventy years. The article offers three key recommendations:

        Optimize supply chains based on end-to-end values, – e.g., resiliency, efficiency, responsiveness – rather than on individual transaction costs. This often argues for more flexible, shorter supply chains whose competitive advantage comes from speed and reliability.

        Redesign supply chains to reduce risk by avoiding being too dependent on any single supplier. This enables companies to react quickly to changes in supply or demand as well as to serious disruptions.

        Accelerate next-shoring and the use of advanced technologies. Next-shoring, – building production capacity closer to the ultimate markets, – may well become the new normal. Companies have already been moving away from just-in-time production to more flexible supply chains that can also operate on a just-in-case mode. Digital and AI capabilities, flexible robotics, additive manufacturing, and other technologies can help quickly adjust output levels and product mixes at reasonable costs.


        While the need for digital transformation has long been a buzz phrase, a 2018 McKinsey survey found that 85% of respondents wanted their operations to be mostly or fully digital, but less than 20% actually were. Another recent study found that the average digitization level across all industry sectors was only around 25% of the ultimate potential.

        Digital infrastructures have kept nations and economies going during Covid-19, – the biggest shock the world has experienced since WWII. The pandemic has now made the case for accelerating the rate and pace of a company’s digital transformation. Enterprises should embrace and scale the changes they were forced to make to help them cope with the crisis. “Companies that accelerate these efforts fast and intelligently, will see benefits in productivity, quality, and end-customer connectivity. And the rewards could be huge – as much as $3.7 trillion in value worldwide by 2025.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Malicious Excel Delivering Fileless Payload

          Macros in Office documents are so common today that my honeypots and hunting scripts catch a lot of them daily. I try to keep an eye on them because sometimes you can spot an interesting one (read: “using a less common technique”). Yesterday, I found such a sample that deserve a quick diary!

        • Ransomware Disrupts Production at Australian Beverage Company Lion [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Lion is a major supplier of beer and milk in Australia and New Zealand. The company revealed on June 9 that it had shut down its IT systems as a result of a “cyber incident,” causing disruption to customers and suppliers. It then confirmed on June 12 that it was hit by ransomware.

          The brewer said it was able to continue producing beer during the lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 crisis and it had been planning on increasing production, but those plans have been delayed due to the cyberattack.

          The company was forced to shut down some manufacturing sites as a result of the incident — some of them are still offline — and customers have been warned that the incident could result in “temporary shortages.”

        • Hackers Start Leaking Files Stolen From Shipping Giant Toll [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Toll admitted earlier this month that it was hit by ransomware for the second time this year. The company initially said that the attack, which involved Nefilim ransomware, did not result in any data getting stolen, but it later confirmed that the cybercriminals did manage to steal some files after gaining access to a corporate server.

          Toll said the compromised server stored information on current and former employees and details on commercial agreements with enterprise customers, but claimed that customer operational data was not exposed.

          Nefilim is designed to encrypt files on infected systems, but its operators are also known to steal data from victims and threaten to make it public if a ransom is not paid.

        • [Old] Ransom.Win32.NEFILIM.G
        • ‘Siri, I’m Being Pulled Over’: Phone Shortcut Helps People Record Police

          You give the command, “I’m being pulled over” and the program pauses any music you were playing, goes into ‘do not disturb’ mode, dims the phone’s brightness, and starts recording on the phone’s front-facing camera.

          Further, once you stop the recording it will send the video to a designated contact. Considering recent events, including the death of George Floyd at the hands of officers, some say they’d use it.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Introducing the Open Management Practices

              For the second article in this series on Managing with Open Values, I spoke with DeLisa Alexander, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Red Hat, specifically about how managing with open values works in that organization. DeLisa’s team recently created and open sourced a new resource—the Open Management Practices—to help Red Hat managers understand their roles in an open organization and to empower Red Hat associates to help those managers practice openness.


              DeLisa: Red Hat started as a movement, in part because of the internet and the connected, democratic nature the technology brought with it. Red Hat hired top contributors of open source communities, which meant that these associates, now hired into decision making roles, were “infused with open”—they lead like community members, not conventional executives. The expectation was that the culture supported collaboration, participation, and community—the values of the open source community. They brought the culture with them, in other words. Upholding and catalyzing this culture via the body of community members into a profitable company is very important, and very different from proprietary software companies.

        • Security

          • Daniel Stenberg: curl meets gold level best practices

            About four years ago I announced that curl was 100% compliant with the CII Best Practices criteria. curl was one of the first projects on that train to reach a 100% – primarily of course because we were early joiners and participants of the Best Practices project.

            The point of that was just to highlight and underscore that we do everything we can in the curl project to act as a responsible open source project and citizen of the larger ecosystem. You should be able to trust curl, in every aspect.

          • LLVM Moves Forward With A Security Group For Dealing With Security-Related Issues

            Given the increasing number of security issues requiring compiler-based security mitigations with the likes of the Intel LVI attack to Arm Straight Line Speculation just being the two latest examples, Apple’s LLVM team has been spearheading a new security group for the upstream LLVM developer community to better manage security-related matters.

          • LLVM Security Group and Process

            Hi security-minded folks!

            I published this RFC quite a while ago, and have received good feedback from y’all, as well as enthusiasm from a few folks whose distribution would benefit from having a security process for LLVM. Arnaud and the Board approved the patch <https://reviews.llvm.org/D70326#2005279> a few weeks ago, I’ll therefore commit it in the next few days and start moving the missing parts forward.

            Some folks have self-identified as being interested in being part of the original Security Group. Let’s take this opportunity to hear from anyone else who’s interested: please speak up!



          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tech Companies Pull Back on Face Surveillance

              Amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racist policing, three major technology firms said this week that they would abandon or prohibit law enforcement agencies from using their facial surveillance technologies.

            • Pakistan Use of Spy Technology for Coronavirus Patients Raises Concerns

              Pakistan has turned to its spy agency’s terror surveillance technology to track coronavirus patients, which rights activists and medical professionals worry could lead to the “militarization of a health emergency” and stigma toward infected people.

              Following a spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on April 23 that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the country’s military-run spy agency, was helping the government track patients through technology that is used to hunt down militants.

            • When the home is no data protection haven: addressing privacy threats from intimate relationships

              Privacy is one of the key concerns of people using digital technology. Of course, this blog has been warning about threats in this area for years, but it’s common now to read about data protection issues in many mainstream, non-technical titles. That increased awareness is welcome, but it is often quite superficial, and limited to obvious areas where privacy may be at risk – things like leaks of private data, or government spying. However, it is important to be alert to more subtle forms of attack as well, particularly emerging ones.

            • S.3905 – Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021: 116th Congress (2019-2020)

              To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2021 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.


              Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report on the threats posed by the use by foreign governments and entities of commercially available cyber intrusion and other surveillance technology.


              (A) Working with the technology and telecommunications industry to identify and improve the security of consumer software and hardware used by United States persons and persons inside the United States that is targeted by commercial cyber intrusion and surveillance software.

              (B) Export controls.

              (C) Diplomatic pressure.

              (D) Trade agreements.

            • Facebook Helped Develop a Tails Exploit

              I agree with that last paragraph. I’m fine with the FBI using vulnerabilities: lawful hacking, it’s called. I’m less okay with Facebook paying for a Tails exploit, giving it to the FBI, and then keeping its existence secret.

            • Facebook Helped the FBI [Cr]ack a Child Predator

              According to several current and former Facebook employees that Motherboard spoke to, however, the decision was much more controversial within the company. Motherboard granted several sources in this story anonymity to allow them to discuss sensitive events protected by non-disclosure agreements.

            • Internal documents: Terrorist content online on the decline, but governments want upload filters

              The released documents reveal broad support among Member States for the introduction of anti-terror upload filters even though they are prone to overblocking legitimate content. In industry statements also released this week,[1] Google cautions against mandatory upload filters, citing an erroneous removal of a parliamentary debate on torture on Youtube as well as of activist videos on war atrocities in Syria. The Internet Archive’s statement concurs: „There is no shortage of examples of false positives identified and taken down by automated filters developed and run by the largest, wealthiest online platforms.“ There is a mention of the fact that the “hash database” used by industry for filtering can easily be circumvented by modifying images and videos. Snap sums it up as follows: “It is important that the identification of illegal content is not privatised by stealth. The detection, remediation and prevention of criminal activity is one of the key functions of the state.”

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Armed man at BLM protest charged with impersonating federal officer

        Court records showed that Sanns remained in federal custody. A hearing date had not been set.

      • Fox News Removes Altered Photo of Seattle Protests From Website

        Fox News has removed a digitally altered photo that claimed to be from protests in Seattle when it was actually a combination of pictures from different cities.

        On Friday, Fox News posted a photo of a man holding a rifle in front of a store with broken windows. Another picture showed a burning car and store with a person running down the street with the caption “Crazy Town.” It was featured alongside an article about protests in Seattle, but the photo was actually from St. Paul, Minn., taken on May 30, according to The New York Times, CNN and The Seattle Times.

    • Environment

      • How big beef and soya firms can stop deforestation

        The companies do not chop down trees themselves. Rather, they are middlemen in complex supply chains that deal in soya and beef produced on deforested land. The process begins when speculators, who tend to operate outside the law, buy or seize land, sell the timber, graze cattle on it for several years and then sell it to a soya farmer. Land in the Amazon is five to ten times more valuable once it is deforested, says Daniel Nepstad, an ecologist. Not chopping down trees would have a large opportunity cost. In 2009 Mr Nepstad estimated that cost (in terms of forgone beef and soy output) would be $275bn over 30 years, about 16% of that year’s GDP.

      • Fewer blizzards for North America as snow lessens

        A warming world means milder winters and softer springs. It will also mean fewer blizzards, with milder impacts.

      • Trump EPA’s Refusal to Strengthen Air Quality Standards Most Likely to Harm Communities of Color, Experts Say

        Mustafa Santiago Ali, former head of the EPA’s environmental justice office, also highlighted in congressional testimony how the effects of air pollution are just another form of the same systemic racism that ends up hitting people of color particularly hard, and even more so during the current pandemic:

      • Federal Court Urged to Hold ‘Rogue’ Trump EPA in Contempt for Blatant Defiance of Ban on Toxic Weed Killer

        “EPA needs a lesson in separation of powers and we’re asking the court to give it to them.”

      • Is This the Big One?

        San Francisco sits on the Hayward Fault. Eighty percent of the city was destroyed in 1906 by an earthquake. Los Angeles is near the San Andres Fault. A 2006 study found that a massive earthquake on the southern section of the Fault would cause significant damage throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles.

      • Research Shows ‘Linking Climate Policy to Social and Economic Justice Makes It More Popular’

        “The public wants a Green New Deal. The public wants green stimulus. The public wants to address inequality.”

      • Energy

        • Investment in oil supply has collapsed. It may not roar back

          Global investment in future supply has collapsed. The International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental forecaster, estimates that upstream investment this year will fall to its lowest since 2005 (see chart). Goldman Sachs, a bank, expects production outside OPEC to stagnate in the 2020s, due not to geology or even demand, but lack of investment. Bernstein, a research firm, thinks that non-OPEC supply, which accounts for about 60% of global output, may peak in 2025, and then only at around last year’s level.

          That would mark a dramatic shift. Because oil reserves are depleted continuously, producers have usually operated under the tenet of drill or die. An analyst once asked Lee Raymond, then the chief executive of Exxon, what kept him up at night. “Reserve replacement,” he responded.

        • All We’re Asking Is to Let Us Live: Stop the Money Pipeline Now

          If you continue to fund projects that are literally putting our planet, our existence on the line, and defining the existence of our children, then you have left us no choice: that we must put our bodies against the gears of the machine and bring it to a grinding halt.

        • That “Big Green Meltdown” & The Untouchables

          In his June 9 piece for Counterpunch, entitled “Big Green Meltdown Over Planet of the Humans,” Josh Schlossberg revealed the extent to which he was “shunned, censored, slandered and blacklisted” by many environmentalists because of his criticism of biomass energy a decade ago. He relates that experience to what has been happening currently with Big Green attacks on the documentary Planet of the Humans, and he states: “Anyway, my story is just another example of what happens when you bring up topics that aren’t rubber stamped by the mainstream Greens. Which makes you wonder what other issues they’re on the wrong side of and what voices they’re suppressing today.” [1]

        • Bikes can be a tool for protest — and police brutality

          BikeCo, the official distributor of Fuji Bikes in North America, announced it was suspending the sale of its bikes to police departments after viewing videos of NYPD officers using Fuji-branded mountain bikes to threaten and corral protesters. “We have seen instances in the last week where police have used bicycles in violent tactics, which we did not intend or design our bicycles for,” the company said in a statement.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Corporations Claiming to Love Black Lives Fight Against Living Wages and Unions

        Never underestimate the American business community’s capacity for hypocrisy.

      • Warn Trump’s Seniors Voters: His Payroll-Tax Cut Demands Cut Social Security/Medicare

        If Joe Biden’s presidential campaigners and the DNC (Democratic National Committee) want to pick off President Trump’s “over-50” age base—33.1 million voters in 2016, of whom 12.9 million were women—an immediate issue is at hand. It’s his May 3 vow to slash the sole source of both Social Security/Medicare funding: the “payroll tax.”

      • Global Digital Divide a ‘Barrier to Wider Equality’ That Must Be Closed, Says World Wide Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee

        “This inequality is a barrier to wider equality, and we know it most affects those who are already marginalized.”

      • Corporate Media Are Focusing on Race–and Dodging Class

        Grassroots outrage and nationwide protests after Minneapolis cops murdered George Floyd have pushed much of U.S. corporate media into focusing on deadly police mistreatment of black people. The coverage is far from comprehensive on the subject of racism in the “criminal justice” system — we’re still hearing very little about the routine violations of basic rights in courtrooms and behind bars — yet there’s no doubt that a breakthrough has occurred. The last two weeks have opened up a lot more media space for illuminating racial cruelty.

      • The Fed Just Pulled Off Another Backdoor Bailout of Wall Street

        The Federal Reserve has authorized 11 financial bailout programs thus far. Despite Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s reassurances at his press conferences that these programs are to help American families, a full 10 of these programs are actually bailouts of Wall Street banks or their trading units.

      • The Corporate Origins of the Anti-Science “Reopen” Demonstrations

        Many of the same extreme right operatives who created the “Tea Party” are behind the anti-science and anti-intellectual spectacles opposing measures designed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. And with much the same agenda.

      • Fighting For Our Future, Fighting Back Against Austerity

        Like many other cities across the US both big and small, Burlington, Vermont’s economy has been hit hard by the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic. Because much of its economy depends on restaurants, bars, pubs and entertainment, the unemployment is higher than it has been in decades. As a result, tax revenues are down and city coffers are suffering. When one adds some poor decisions by the current mayor and the previous city council that were driven by developer greed regarding downtown development, the result is less income, looming layoffs of city workers, increasing poverty and, if the University of Vermont (UVM) acts on all of its intended cutbacks, even greater economic distress.

      • Defunding the Paradigm

        The paradigm in the title is described with Swiftian clarity by Marilynne Robinson…

      • What Do All Working People Have in Common?

        What do all working people have in common, regardless of so-called race or skin tone? A precarious existence under the domination of a political and economic system that has concentrated power into the hands of a tiny minority of the nation’s (and world’s) people — the big bankers and corporate owning class. This is the one percent of big capitalists who have accumulated the lion’s share of the wealth created from the labor of the world’s working classes. Even our rulers in their own newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times (among others) have been unable to deny this globally apparent fact. The One Percent rules!!

      • Protesters Call for a Black Workers’ Strike on Juneteenth
      • Atlanta police chief resigns over shooting of Rayshard Brooks

        Atlanta’s Police Chief has resigned after the fatal shooting of an African-American who had fallen asleep in his car at a drive-through restaurant.

        Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot by a police officer during a struggle on Friday evening, authorities say.

        Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Erika Shields handed in her resignation on Saturday.

        Protesters in Atlanta took to the streets this weekend calling for action following Mr Brooks’ death.

      • Atlanta Police Shoot and Kill Rayshard Brooks as Protests Demanding Racial Justice Continue Worldwide

        “This is not the first time a black man has been killed for sleeping,” said Rev. James Woodall, state president of the Georgia NAACP.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Donald J(esus) Trump

        Trump assumed different postures in front of the church, contemplating before each photo how he could best appear to the onlookers.

      • States That Expanded Mail Voting Are Seeing a Turnout Spike in Primary Elections

        At least half of the states that held primaries last week saw increased turnout after expanding their mail-in voting systems — despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to discourage other states from doing the same.

      • New York Times Endorses Jamaal Bowman as a ‘Promising New Face’ Voters Can Send to Congress

        The progressive former middle school principal is challenging longtime Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th Congressional District.

      • Targeting the ICC: Misguided Sanctions Imposed Yet Again

        These new sanctions are theatrical overkill to further accentuate American exceptionalism.

      • Nationalism and the Alt-Right: Another look at ‘Russian Lives Matter’

        This week’s show looks at Russian nationalism, activism in Russia against police brutality, and the American alt-right. We also return specifically to remarks by Mikhail Svetov from last week’s show about an initiative he’s calling “Russian Lives Matter.”

      • Twitter removes 30,000 accounts promoting state-backed propaganda from China, Russia and Turkey

        According to Twitter’s report, accounts linked to China were spreading “geopolitical narratives favourable to the Communist Party of China (CCP), while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong”.

        The network of misinformation also included around 150,000 “amplifier accounts”, which Twitter said were used to inflate interactions on the content posted by the main accounts, falsely creating an impression of organic interest in its posts.

      • New Campaign Prepares Mass Mobilization Should Trump Refuse to ‘Leave Willingly’ If Defeated in November

        “Preparing for the possibility of Trump refusing to concede isn’t just reasonable, it’s the responsible thing to do.”

      • Electionland 2020: Georgia’s Chaotic Primary, NJ Mail Voting Problems, Election Legislation and More

        Georgia, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia held elections this week.

        Here’s how the primary in Georgia went: “It’s a hot, flaming, f—-ing mess,” Nse Ufot, executive director of voting rights organization New Georgia Project, told Politico.

      • The Gospel According Donald J-is-for-Jesus Trump

        It was an highly symbolic act, the symbolism of which was missed by almost all the observers because it was unexpected and, certainly, atypical.  It was the performance of the trump on June 5, 2020. It took place the day after there had been a small fire at  St. John’s Episcopal Church, a church very close to the house where the trump lives.  On that day, the trump and his disciples participated in a highly symbolic and deeply moving trip to St. John’s in order to reassure and calm a country riven by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis a few days earlier.

      • Joe Biden’s Secret Weapon Is Grief

        We all carry grief in us, but Joe Biden walks around with a much heavier burden of suffering than most. In 1972, after Biden had won his first Senate race, a station wagon driven by his wife, Neila, was hit by a tractor trailer. Neila died, as did the Bidens’ 1-year-old daughter, Naomi. Two Biden sons, Beau and Hunter, were severely injured. The depth of Biden’s despair after losing his wife and daughter is almost beyond fathoming. As he wrote in his 2007 memoir Promises to Keep, “I began to understand how despair led people to just cash it in; how suicide wasn’t just an option but a rational option.” But Biden persevered, first as a single father and eventually remarrying. Beau Biden, who his father hoped would one day be president, was struck down by cancer in 2015 at age 46.

      • Beating Trump Again in the Northern Rockies

        For the second time in two days, the Trump administration conceded defeat to the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  The first time was when the Administration was trying to pretend roads magically disappear when the Forest Service dumps a pile of dirt in front of Forest Service roads in an either incompetent or simply disingenuous attempt to keep people from displacing endangered grizzly bears in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem in NW Montana.

      • Where the Fault Line Lies

        With Inauguration Day 2021 now “only” seven months away, it is becoming more likely than not that the world “as we know it” (more or less), will survive the Trump presidency.

      • Removing a U.S. President Without an Election

        Five times in the last ninety years, elements of the U.S. power structure have tried to oust a sitting president without an election. The efforts were aimed at Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. Two attempts succeeded and three failed.

      • ‘Look after yourself — vote electronically!’ Moscow’s civil servants report being forced to register for online voting ahead of Russia’s constitutional plebiscite

        Moscow’s government employees have made mass complaints about management coercing them into registering to vote online ahead of Russia’s July 1 plebiscite on constitutional amendments. In particular, this apparent attempt to boost voter turnout has elicited reports of abuse from the Moscow Education Department, as well as the Moscow Housing and Utilities Department’s offshoots known as “Zhilishchnik” and “Avtomobilnye Dorogi” (which handle utilities and roadworks, respectively). The head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, claims that none of these statements have been confirmed. However, Moscow’s Community Headquarters for Election Monitoring concedes that several municipal organizations have been “caught” in the act. 

      • Twitter suspends more than 1,000 Russian accounts for state-backed propaganda

        Twitter has suspended 1,152 accounts linked to the Russian authorities for carrying out “information operations.”

      • Charles Booker Is Changing the Thinking About Who Beats Mitch

        The largest newspaper in Kentucky endorsed the insurgent Senate candidacy of Charles Booker this week, with a stark call for a politics that might actually matter. “This is a historic time in our state and nation. A time when young and old, black, white and brown are calling for change—not just incremental change, but sweeping reform that will usher in true equality and justice for all,” the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal announced on Wednesday. “To get there, we need political leaders with insight and vision, who understand the challenges of our times and are willing to put forth bold ideas and fight for everyday people. Voters in Kentucky and around the country deserve the chance to consider candidates who have strident beliefs and the courage to go beyond scripted, milquetoast politics.”

      • Georgia Primary Sends Us a Warning — November Could Be a Voting Rights Disaster

        For many years now, voting rights groups have warned that U.S. election infrastructure is crumbling: that low-income residents are facing a growing litany of obstacles to voting, deliberately put in their path by conservative legislators and jurists; that elections are open to being hacked and otherwise manipulated by overseas governments and other entities; and that, as the Voting Rights Act has been gutted by the Supreme Court, voters of color are once again being systematically discriminated against by city and state authorities in many parts of the country.

      • Facebook Account Copying Trump’s Posts Word-for-Word Gets Flagged for Inciting Violence

        The notice forced the deletion of a post that remained untouched on the president’s own page, containing the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” It warned that the account would face a 24-hour suspension if it broke the policies again.

        “Facebook took almost exactly a week but they just issued their first warning. Forced deletion of content,” the account holder wrote Thursday, as Vice first reported.

      • Facebook now says it won’t even try to block 2020 election disinformation

        Can you trust what you read on Facebook? No. And why not? Because Facebook has now explicitly said that it will obey an executive order from President Trump and will refuse to fact-check misinformation and disinformation as American heads into the 2020 election.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Recep Tayyip Erdogan targets social media in Turkey

        In May, Turkey’s Presidential Complex published its Guidebook for Social Media Use: 161 pages that lay out the “correct, healthy and secure use” of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Fahrettin Altun, the head of media and communications for the presidency and the author of the guidebook’s foreword, said people in Turkey were increasingly imperiled by ever-advancing digitalization. Altun said such problems had led him to advise President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to begin centralizing control of the digital domain. He believes that new tools are needed to ensure that the positives of technological advancement outweigh the negatives.

      • Twitter reinstates Zero Hedge account saying its earlier suspension was ‘an error’

        Zero Hedge says in a post on its site Saturday that Twitter told them the suspension was for violating its rules against abuse and harassment, and reiterated its position that the suspension was “motivated by reasons other than the stated ones.” Its post argues Zero Hedge did not dox the scientist in question, but used publicly available information in its report.

        In its January blog post, Zero Hedge included what it said were the scientist’s name, photo, email, and phone number, adding that people should “pay [him] a visit.” Twitter did not say what specifically led to Zero Hedge’s account being reinstated, but its rules prohibit revealing someone else’s personal information.

      • Trump Campaign Is So Pathetic It Claims CNN Poll Is Defamatory; Demands Retraction

        We’ve seen all sorts of crazy defamation claims over the past few years, but this may be the dumbest. You may have heard that our thin-skinned President is very unhappy about various polls showing that the American public isn’t much interested in buying what he’s selling. He even hired a pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, with a notoriously terrible record to come up with new polls after seeing more polls that don’t reflect the reality he’d like. Which, of course, is his prerogative. It’s easier to hide from the truth if you can make up lies to surround yourself with.

      • Ron Wyden Explains Why President Trump (And Many Others) Are Totally Wrong About Section 230

        A few years back, at a Santa Clara University event about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, I remember (then) 9th Circuit chief judge Alex Kozinski noting with some amount of pleasure that he was relieved to hear from one of the two authors of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (former Rep. Chris Cox, who was in attendance at the event) that his opinions on 230 were exactly what Cox intended. Paraphrasing (just slightly) Kozinski’s comments, he noted that having the author of the bill that he needed to interpret comment on that interpretation was the equivalent of having God come down from Heaven to tell biblical scholars whether or not they had gotten things right.

      • Zoom & China: Never Forget That Content Moderation Requests From Government Involve Moral Questions

        If you’ve been around the content moderation/trust and safety debates for many years, you may remember that in the early 2000s, Yahoo got understandably slammed for providing data to the Chinese government that allowed the government to track down and jail a journalist who was critical of the Chinese government. This was a wake up call for many about the international nature of the internet — and the fact that not every “government request” is equal. This, in fact, is a key point that is often raised in discussions about new laws requiring certain content moderation rules to be followed — because not all governments look at content moderation the same way. And efforts by, say, the US government to force internet companies to “block copyright infringement” can and will be used by other countries to justify censorship.

      • China Calls on Twitter to Remove Anti-Beijing Accounts Amid Censorship Spat

        China tightly controls internet access, and Twitter—along with Facebook, Instagram and others—is banned inside the country. Nonetheless, Twitter said Thursday that Beijing had been running an online influence operation with more than 170,000 accounts.

        A core of 23,750 accounts were responsible for most of the content, their posts amplified by the remaining 150,000, Twitter said in a statement.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • RSF: Jailed Iranian Journalist Faces New ‘Absurd’ Charge

        Iran is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

      • Two Dagestani newspapers release identical front pages in support of jailed journalist

        On June 12, the Dagestani newspapers “Chernovnik” and “Novoe Delo” published identical front pages in support of jailed journalist Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev. The front pages have the headline “I/We Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev” (in Russian, «Я/Мы Абдулмумин Гаджиев»).

      • Police Brutalize the Press

        Police brutalized reporters during the George Floyd protests. Not just a little. A lot. It was policy and it was egregious; something one would expect in a banana republic run by a tinpot dictator, not the home of the first amendment. But then the police, military and federal officers who flooded Washington D.C. in late May, early June, made the white house look like the fortified U.S. embassy in the Baghdad Green Zone, as several newspapers noted. Trump packed the city with soldiers – just like, well, a tinpot dictator in a banana republic. Washington D.C. did not in any way resemble the capital of the land of the free. But then in a country where almost a third of the population lacks freedom from want, this was fitting in a horrible way – like when a monster removes its mask.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Cities Reimagine Public Safety Amid Calls to #DefundPolice

        Local officials are urged to redirect funds to things such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and community programs.

      • The Struggle Against Police Is International. Our Solidarity Must Be Global.

        The current uprising against racist police violence first erupted in the U.S., but it has now become an international movement.

      • Police Have Long History of Responding to Black Movements by Playing the Victim

        The protests across the country in response to the police killing of George Floyd have led to significant pressure on mayors and city councils. One of the most important demands has been for the defunding of police departments.

      • Black Lives Don’t Matter to the Supreme Court

        While we are a nation of laws, the recent history of the Supreme Court offers little comfort that it will side with the powerless and the oppressed.

      • Why Soldiers Might Disobey the President’s Orders to Occupy US Cities

        They could refuse to follow the orders of their commander-in-chief if they believed those orders were contrary to their oath to the Constitution.

      • Statues, Statues, They All Fall Down

        European monuments to historic slavers and colonizers are the latest victims of rising protests for justice.

      • ‘Trump Judges Are Showing Just How Extreme They Are’
      • “They Were the Authority and I Didn’t Argue With Authority”

        The stranger finally left. Sue Royston, terrified, peeked around her door to make sure the man wasn’t waiting for her just outside with his butcher knife — the knife he’d held moments earlier against her neck. She’d put up a fight, but she had lost. If she screamed, if she chased him, would he return to take her life? Seeing no one, she ran half-dressed from her apartment to see where he had gone.

        There he was. He was still wearing the waist-length black wig he had used as a disguise. He was walking slowly, nonchalant, down Antoinette Avenue on the north edge of Fairbanks. As if nothing had happened. As if he hadn’t quietly broken into her home in the early hours of the morning, wordlessly cut off her underwear and raped her at knifepoint.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Whistleblower Cops Who Challenged The Blue Wall Of Silence

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights a few police whistleblower stories.

        Cariol Horne is a black Buffalo cop, who was fired in 2006 after she attempted to intervene when her white colleague, Gregory Kwiatkowski, put a black man in a chokehold. Kwiatkowski sued her for defamation. She also lost her pension.As the world reacted to Buffalo cops pushing over 75 year-old peace activist Martin Gugino, who fell on his head and bled on the ground, Horne renewed her push for “Cariol’s Law,” a law she says would help protect officers like her who witness abuse by fellow officers.

      • Racist Police Violence Reconsidered

        Not many people have seen this video, however, and that may have something to do with the fact that Timpa was white. During the protests and agonizing discussions about police brutality that have followed the death of George Floyd under remarkably similar circumstances, it is too seldom acknowledged that white men are regularly killed by the cops as well, and that occasionally the cops responsible are black (as it happens, one of the Dallas police officers at the scene of Timpa’s death was an African American). There seems to be a widespread assumption that, under similar circumstances, white cops kill black people but not white people, and that this disparity is either the product of naked racism or underlying racist bias that emerges under pressure. Plenty of evidence indicates, however, that racism is less important to understanding police behavior than is commonly supposed.

      • Defunding the Police Isn’t Punishment—It Will Actually Make Us Safer

        The idea of defunding, or divestment, is new to some folks, but the basic premise is simple: We must cut the astronomical amount of money that our governments spend on law enforcement and give that money to more helpful services like job training, counseling, and violence-prevention programs. Each year, state and local governments spend upward of $100 billion dollars on law enforcement—and that’s excluding billions more in federal grants and resources.

        Budgets are not created in a vacuum. They can be changed through targeted advocacy and organizing. We can demand that our local officials (including city council members and mayors) stop allocating funds for the police to acquire more militarized equipment and instead ask for that money to go toward community-run violence-prevention programs. We have little evidence, if any, to show that more police surveillance results in fewer crimes. We can demand that our federal government redirect the money that funds police presence in schools to putting counselors in schools instead. Funneling so many resources into law enforcement instead of education, affordable housing, and accessible health care has caused significant harm to communities. [...]

      • This woman ‘died three times’ after Seattle Police hit her with a blast ball

        “I thought originally that police are supposed to be the peacemakers; they are the neighborhood watch,” Inda said. “They are the people that we are supposed to go to when in dangerous situations. And now we can’t do that.”

        She asked them who they were fighting for.

        “They would just say ‘Seattle government, and not for you,’” Inda said. “That’s kind of hurtful, because aren’t they supposed to be working to protect us?”

        Her words had no impact. Using a loudspeaker, police told protesters to retreat.

        Inda and the three other protesters at the front began to kneel, and put their hands in the air.

        “As I was about to get on my knees, I was shot in the chest with a flash grenade and I had another flash grenade go off at my feet,” she said.

      • L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle

        Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.

        The Los Angeles School Police Department, which serves the nation’s second-largest school system, will return three grenade launchers but intends to keep 61 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle it received through the program.

        L.A. Unified is one of at least 22 school systems in eight states that participate in the program, which provides law enforcement agencies with the extra military-grade gear at no charge.

      • Amnesty launches tear gas campaign site as Hong Kong police ordered to reveal ingredients

        “We documented police forces using tear gas in ways that it was never intended to be used, often in large quantities against largely peaceful protesters or by firing projectiles directly at people, causing injuries and deaths.”

        Amnesty’s investigation team detailed such instances on an interactive map, accompanied with context, testimonies and photo or video evidence.

      • The Democrats Who Created the System of Overpolicing Won’t Be the Ones to Dismantle It

        Mass protests across the country have beat back police repression and won public support for scaling back police power. The Democrats who built the overpolicing and mass incarceration regime now feel left out and want to channel that energy back into familiar territory: getting them reelected.

      • Why American Police Officers Look Like Soldiers

        A decades-old Pentagon program that donates surplus military-grade weapons and vehicles to local police departments is drawing fresh scrutiny amid the weeks-long protests over the death of African American George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

      • Can We Sacrifice Our White Supremacy? A Practical Suggestion

        In Utica, NY, where I live, we are far from pandemic epicenters and from the epicenters of racial unrest. Most of us are not frontline responders, working in ambulances and emergency rooms dealing with the illness and the deaths. And, since the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests are events mediated through our screens, they too – due to distance, for most of us, from any poor, dominantly black and ethnic urban neighborhoods – do not enlist our full frontline involvement. As citizens during pandemic, we try to remember we do our part by sacrificing our social needs and our freedom to prevent spread of the virus. What role can we play – do we have one? – in relation to the justified outrage at the plague of racism in our country? In a late May briefing, Governor Cuomo suggested that racism be considered a contagion that, like covid-19, calls us to act on behalf of the good for all. But how?

      • ‘To Tell Stories of Communities That Are Authentic and Genuine, You Have to Have a Conversation’
      • A Mon Valley Memoir: Lessons From The Last Stand Of Steelworkers in Homestead

        Many younger radicals today are trying to figure out how to relate, personally and collectively, to the labor movement.

      • Rearranging the Deck Chairs on COVID, Race, Polls and the Great American Experiment
      • America Needs Deep Cultural and Political Renewal—Is it Even Possible?

        Perhaps we have seen the beginnings of this with huge numbers of Americans waking up and taking to the streets to protest the economic and racial injustice of our train-wrecked society.

      • A Message Written in Fire: In Defense of Social Upheaval

        It always ends this way, you can almost set your watch to it. A glamorous soirée rambling into the wee hours of the morning in an opulent townhouse on a tony tree lined street of any given international city. The kind of event held for some obscure charity to save a species of bird that likely never existed as anything but excuse for a deceptively benevolent orgy like this. Glamorous beautiful people with household names, dressed to the nine in three-piece-suits and silk gowns that cost more than most people will see in a lifetime. Ornate ballrooms echo with the bellowing sounds of the kind of excess that only this kind of downright flammable income can afford. Senators and Wall Street bankers dry hump underage courtesans, slurping Champaign twice their age and snorting Scarface-grade amounts of the same kind of narcotics they have twelve year old children of color locked up for decades for peddling in dime bags. Obnoxious plastic debutantes force theatrical laughter at racist jokes delivered by the direct descendants of Mayflower monsters and slave drivers. The only people of color are token police chiefs dressed like ornate African dictators. The only poor people are servants and the victims of white slavery, but suddenly they become very scarce.

      • The Congressional Police Reform Bill Fails to Meet the Moment

        It continues to fund police departments rather than redirect resources to communities, particularly Black and Brown communities that have been most harmed by over-policing and the war on drugs.

      • As Nationwide Protests Over Police Brutality Continue, Cities Across the US Cut and Reallocate Police Funding

        “You don’t have to go full abolition to see that maybe sinking 1/3 of a city’s general budget into police is a problematic investment.”

      • The Capitalist Limits of Police Reform

        Nearly 6 years ago the Black Lives Movement started as mass protests after the police murder of Michael Brown. Its victories were largely in the realm of consciousness-raising, while cities nationwide implemented a variety of reforms—body cameras, implicit bias training, increased oversight, community policing, etc.—that resulted in no perceivable change in police behavior.

      • Can White People ‘Organize Their Own’ Against White Racism?

        The Time Is Ripe To Protest. The Time Is Ripe To Organize.

      • Writers Guild East Leading Charge to Take Cops Out of Labor

        The demand to expel police unions from mainstream labor organizations was once a fringe demand. Now, in the wake of the ongoing Black Lives Matter uprising, the demand is taking center stage in labor news, and the Writers Guild of America East—which has been proactive in organizing new media newsrooms—is leading the charge to remove cop unions from the AFL-CIO. (As this article went to press, the body voted to keep unions in the fold, but the debate rages within the labor movement.)

      • Maritza Perez on Overpolicing & Drugs, Remington Gregg on Corporate Immunity

        This week on CounterSpin: the big story continues to be the historic public demonstrations against police racism and violence. There is a lot of learning going on. Hopefully some of what’s being learned is how much overpolicing and violent policing have to do with the so-called war on drugs, which serves as a pretext for much of the harassment of individuals and entire communities of black and brown people. We talked about that piece of it with Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at Drug Policy Alliance.

      • Media Acknowledge Drive to Defund Police—But Seek to Blunt Its Radical Edge

        Media wave away this possibility as absurd, but how to move beyond the US’s racist, shockingly violent criminal justice system is a discussion our country not only can but desperately needs to have.

      • Canada Isn’t the Right Choice for the UN Security Council

        For progressive Canadians the message is simple: Better than the USA is not good enough.

      • Watch This Year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival Through Video on Demand

        While Hollywood remains moribund because of the pandemic, the noncommercial film world plows ahead. This year the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be available to everybody through VOD. Starting on June 11 and ending on June 20, it offers documentaries on topics that go to the heart of the current crisis, ranging from immigration to the rights of indigenous peoples. I have seen five of the films and could easily nominate any one of them as best documentary of 2020 for the New York Film Critics Online awards meeting in December. We still don’t have word on whether this will happen or not in light of Hollywood’s shutdown. Unlike most of my colleagues, I review films that are as doggedly uncommercial as my politics. In this batch, you will meet real supermen and women far more compelling than any fictional character.

      • Riots are as American as Apple Pie

        Following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, national unrest has brought millions of protestors out from coast to coast. Most have been peaceful — but not all.

      • A Matter of Life and Breath

        Following the police killing of George Floyd, we are witnessing the largest nationwide uprising in five decades. Unfortunately, these largely nonviolent protests against racism and police brutality have been met by militarized police forces who deploy tear gas, among other weaponry, at demonstrators.

      • Dams for the Breaching

        The Lockdown has sparked a renaissance in correspondence. I’ve been exchanging postcards with my mother and letters with my youngest nephew. Emails have gotten longer, more interesting, more personal, more fun. I’m not on FaceBook or any other social media, but I have received greetings and reports from high school teachers and childhood friends.

      • Burning Down the 3rd Police Precinct Changed Everything

        Calls to abolish the police are spreading. Dozens of cities are considering cutting police budgets, and police are resigning across the country. In Minneapolis, where the police murdered George Floyd and the insurrection first broke out, the city council is moving to disband the police department. While this would only be a first step toward full abolition—which would require ending all forms of policing, evictions, imprisonment, courts, and racial capitalism—three weeks ago, that a major city would even consider this was unthinkable.

      • Russian activist Konstantin Kotov awarded ‘Boris Nemtsov Prize’

        Russian activist Konstantin Kotov has been awarded the Boris Nemtsov Foundation’s 2020 “Prize for Courage,” the organization’s website announced.

      • A Sundown Town Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest

        The image on Facebook showed three raised fists — one white, one brown, one black — with the hashtag BLM overlaid in large letters. A date and place to meet was at the bottom: Thursday, June 4. The location: Anna, Illinois.

        A Black Lives Matter protest. In Anna?

      • New York Legislators Dump Law That Allowed PDs To Withhold Officers’ Disciplinary Records

        More than 40 years after a law went on the books in New York allowing cops, firefighters, and corrections officers to have their disciplinary records hidden from the public, the NYPD suddenly decided to start following the law.

      • Where Were the Hypocrites When Police Murdered 1000 People, Disproportionately Black, a Year?

        Kudos to everyone taking a stand and acting against racism. Your ongoing protests have inspired a vision of a better world based on cooperation and equity. Your militancy, persistence, and inclusivity reveal a passion for multiracial and global solidarity. As you continue resisting, we now see the hypocrites coming out of the woodwork hyping their phony pledges of anti-racism.

      • Police Violence: “Reform” is Not Enough

        Every few years, some particular instance of a pervasive phenomenon — police violence in the form of unjustified or at least highly questionable killings — “goes viral” with the result that America’s cities explode in protest.

      • Livable Ecology, Not Police

        I have never heard it louder than I did this morning.

      • Understanding Accountability So We Can Hold the Police to Account

        This is a moment where we can all work to make the power that is given to police forces more accountable, while we also work to take that power away. 

      • Durham Isn’t Burning, but Don’t Light a Match

        Sitting on my deck a few miles from downtown Durham, N.C., I waited for the city to burn. I scanned the sky for telltale darkening. Listened for keening sirens. Watched my social media for uprisings in progress. And periodically sniffed the air for evidence of municipal char.

      • Should I Confront My TERFy Ex-Colleagues on Social Media?
      • COVID-19, Capitalist Crises, Class Resistance

        The Covid-19 pandemic arrived at a moment of multiple crises of the capitalist system: capital accumulation, ecology, governance, and science. The uprising following the murder of George Lloyd now accelerates the ongoing crisis of structural racism, which Covid-19 starkly illustrated. Each has a history, but as they come together now, it becomes essential to grasp how each is evolving in itself, in relationship to the others, and in their shared root in the capitalist mode of production. The social struggles that are accompanying each crisis now seem to reveal a possible political recomposition of the US working class and the start of a virtuous cycle of struggles in which each aspect bolsters the other, ending decades of struggles in separate silos. Solving these intertwined crises will require replacing the capitalist mode of production and society with a non-exploitative, sustainable, egalitarian organization of life.

      • The Killing of George Floyd and the Final Fracturing of the Democratic Party, Labor, and Civil Rights Coalition

        George Floyd being killed by a police officer in Minneapolis is not simply about the death of one Black man. His death also killed  an historic but uneasy alliance among the Democratic Party, labor unions, and the civil rights movement.  The reaction to his death is ending the last vestiges of the historic New Deal coalition that defined progressive politics in American for at least 50 years, ushering in an era where it now appears that the Democratic Party and the civil rights community are at odds with labor and unions.

      • American While Black

        The State’s knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on a Black man’s neck. That’s what it took BLACK LIVES MATTER America to take to the young but deadly pandemic streets like there was no tomorrow. And it’s been the same since.

      • Police Reform Won’t Fix a System That Was Built to Abuse Power

        Less than a week after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released a statement addressing both his killing and the protests that have ensued. As “defund the police” became a rallying cry, offering a practical step on the pathway toward the demand for abolition, the IACP instead advocated incremental reform. Its statement gives an insider perspective on the past, present, and future of policing:

      • Fascism on the March

        It’s been less than two weeks since the murder by cop of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and in that short time, an astonishing rebellion has sprung up from the angry grass roots. It began among a black population for whom this vicious videotaped slow and casual killing of a non-violent black suspect of a minor alleged crime by a calm and clearly unthreatened white police officer was the last straw.

      • The Attack by Black Female Power…From the Right

        This video by Candace Owens has been getting a lot of attention. It is being forwarded by thousands of otherwise sensible people to their liberal friends with almost missionary fervor —  as if they had just heard Galileo prove that the Sun doesn’t go around the Earth and couldn’t wait to rush next door to share this amazing news with their neighbors.


        Candace is a star, no doubt about it. She is focused, articulate and polished. No hesitations. No “ers” and “uhms”. No circling back or repeating a thought in different phraseology to nail it better, as even experienced orators sometimes have to do when speaking extemporaneously. So one might almost fail to note the precise moment when she subtly begins to switch from discrediting George Floyd for being a Bad Person (her opening truth) to discrediting the claims of protest marchers that U.S. police departments are racist and brutal in their treatment of African Americans. Candace dismisses Black Lives Matter and the entire Left as misguided and malicious perpetrators of dishonorable mythologies and double standards.

        To do this she points out that, although Black men have been killed by cops, White men have also been killed by cops (another useful truth). But she deliberately neglects to point out that the White men killed by cops were usually armed and in the process of committing a crime. Whereas the Black men killed by police were not committing a crime and were not armed when they were shot, choked, or kneed to death seconds after police arrived on the scene (watch one of many such videos here). Compare this with how cops confronted an armed and aggressive White man waving a loaded shotgun and threatening to use it (watch the video): He was gently talked down by sympathetic White cops for twenty minutes or more, until persuaded to give up his gun. Can you imagine a Black man with a gun being gently talked down – not for 20 minutes – but for even 20 milliseconds before being torn apart with hundreds of bullets from half a dozen police revolvers?

      • Morrison Scott No Beef With Slavery: If Your History Hurts, Just Rebrand It!

        Scott Morrison’s belief that Australia doesn’t have a ‘slave past’ is as offensive as it is ridiculous. But how our Prime Minister came to believe that speaks volumes about the desperately fragile character of the nation he leads. Chris Graham explains.

      • The Wilder the Conspiracy, the More Trump Likes It
      • Mounting Pressure Forces Starbucks to Roll Back Ban on Supporting BLM at Work

        Many corporations are trying to take advantage of heightened public outrage against police brutality and anti-Black racism following the police killing of George Floyd, penning statements saying “Black Lives Matter,” yet failing in practice to back their employees who express solidarity with related movements on the job. But some of those companies are coming under heightening public pressure to end such policies that silence workers.

      • Roaming Charges: The Ring of the Truncheon Thing

        + The Democrats are absolutely desperate to smother the Defund the Police movement (not just the slogan, but the abolitionist ideology driving it) before it totally escapes their control, much as they defanged the Occupy Wall Street movement before the 2012 elections & transformed it from a critique of neoliberalism and casino capitalism into a support group for some of the same Democratic politicians who had enacted and abetted the very policies OWS sprang up to decry.

      • Angela Davis: Dems & GOP Tied to Corporate Capitalism, But We Must Vote So Trump Is “Forever Ousted”

        “Neither party represents the future that we need in this country — both parties remain connected to corporate capitalism,” Angela Davis says of the 2020 election. “We’re going to have to translate some of the passion that has characterized these demonstrations into work within the electoral arena, recognizing that the electoral arena is not the best place for the expression of radical politics.”

      • Angela Davis Slams Trump Rally in Tulsa, Massacre Site, on Juneteenth Celebration of End of Slavery

        President Trump will resume holding indoor campaign events starting with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19, a day known as Juneteenth, that celebrates African Americans’ liberation from slavery. The rally also falls on the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa race riots, one of the worst acts of racial violence in U.S. history, in which white residents killed hundreds of their African American neighbors. Legendary scholar Angela Davis says it’s important to recognize that Trump “represents a sector of a population in this country that wants to return to the past … with all of its white supremacy, with all of its misogyny.” Given the historic uprising against racism and state violence, “We cannot be held back by such forces as those represented by the current occupant of the White House,” she says.

      • Camden Is Not a Blueprint for Disbanding the Police

        Nationwide protest surrounding the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has led to streets being renamed, greater solidarity among people and increased discussions about defunding and abolishing the police. Although Mayor Jacob Frey disagrees, the Minneapolis City Council has pledged to disband the Minneapolis Police Department.

      • Angela Davis: Toppling of Confederate Statues Reflects Reckoning with Slavery & Historical Racism

        The destruction and removal of racist monuments in cities across the United States during recent weeks is part of an overdue reckoning with “historical racisms that have brought us to the point where we are today,” Angela Davis says. “Racism should have been immediately confronted in the aftermath of the end of slavery.”

      • Angela Davis on Movement Building, “Defund the Police” and Where We Go From Here

        The uprising against police brutality and anti-Black racism continues to sweep across the United States and countries around the world, forcing a reckoning in the halls of power and on the streets. The mass protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 have dramatically shifted public opinion on policing and systemic racism, as “defund the police” becomes a rallying cry of the movement. We discuss the historic moment with legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis. “One never knows when conditions may give rise to a conjuncture such as the current one that rapidly shifts popular consciousness and suddenly allows us to move in the direction of radical change,” she says. “The intensity of these current demonstrations cannot be sustained over time, but we will have to be ready to shift gears and address these issues in different arenas.”

      • Uprising & Abolition: Angela Davis on Movement Building, “Defund the Police” & Where We Go from Here

        The uprising against police brutality and anti-Black racism continues to sweep across the United States and countries around the world, forcing a reckoning in the halls of power and on the streets. The mass protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 have dramatically shifted public opinion on policing and systemic racism, as “defund the police” becomes a rallying cry of the movement. We discuss the historic moment with legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis. “One never knows when conditions may give rise to a conjuncture such as the current one that rapidly shifts popular consciousness and suddenly allows us to move in the direction of radical change,” she says. “The intensity of these current demonstrations cannot be sustained over time, but we will have to be ready to shift gears and address these issues in different arenas.”

      • Unmasking Racial Terror and Seeing Whiteness

        Tuesday was the funeral for George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day, as the U.S. COVID death toll approached 100,000. Floyd’s murder was caught on tape: for eight minutes and 46 seconds, Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck.

      • Buffalo Cops—And All the Other Cops
      • Klobuchar Worked With Law Enforcement Group to Increase Police Budgets

        As activists around the country work to defund police departments, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee is considering a senator who worked to boost police department budgets as his running mate.

      • Police are the Enemy Within

        Fetonte was eventually forced to resign. Today, with police murders and assaults on people of color leading to worldwide protests, cops are assaulting old men, news reporters, legal observers, putting out people’s eyes with plastic bullets, spreading teargas near and far, and jailing thousands in crowded cells, denying them habeas corpus, it is difficult to believe that there was debate in DSA about Fetonte. Police are doing these deeds in full view of television cameras and smartphone videos. If it never before occurred to many of us, doesn’t it now seem obvious to every thinking person that police are not workers, not members of the working class? They are, instead, the enemy of those who labor.

      • Infiltrating Antifa: the Feds and Their Long History of Subversion

        On May 31st, President Trump (or his people) tweeted: “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” Attorney General, William Barr, said: “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

      • Minneapolis Organizers Are Already Building the Tools for Safety Without Police

        In 2018, members of the Minnesota grassroots groups Reclaim the Block and Black Visions Collective dropped a banner at Minneapolis City Hall. On it were two lists: on the left, three budget items on the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) budget, totaling $9 million. The right side was significantly longer, listing programs and organizations where the city could invest those $9 million to promote community safety — like domestic violence programs, housing and harm reduction. We were calling on the city to move our community’s dollars out of the violent, untrustworthy MPD, and into programs that actually keep us safe. That year, the city council moved $1 million from MPD’s budget into violence prevention — a drop in the bucket of the MPD’s $180 million budget, but a significant investment for underfunded anti-violence work. It was a start.

      • Caught In De Blasio’s Curfew, Essential Worker Spends Week In Jail After NYPD Mass Arrests Bronx Protesters

        DOCCS did not respond to inquiries from Gothamist about why an essential worker like Williams was jailed at all. The spokesperson also did not say how many other parolees were re-incarcerated for alleged violations of de Blasio’s curfew.

      • The Government Is Arming Police for War. Reform Can Start Right There | Opinion

        For years, county, city and small-town police departments have been stockpiling free military-grade weapons—as part of a Defense Department giveaway—to use against the very citizens and taxpayers who not only fund their departments but who the police are supposed to protect.

        The Pentagon’s 1033 program, as it is known, which provides or transfers surplus Department of Defense military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies without charge, is a major part of this troubling trend.

        Much of the military equipment and weaponry returned to the U.S., after deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan, is either unused or undamaged and has been declared “surplus,” thus making it eligible for distribution to domestic law enforcement agencies under the Pentagon’s program.

      • The Violence Didn’t Start With the Protests

        Again and again, protesters demanding an end to police brutality have been met with brutality by police. The videos of law enforcement being unlawfully violent—including footage of cops in Buffalo pushing a 75-year-old white man to the ground and then falsely reporting that he “tripped and fell”—has proved what black folks and other marginalized communities have been saying for as long as policing has existed in this country: Cops not only lie about the harm they inflict on people; they lie frequently and brazenly, even when there is solid proof to the contrary. (These scenes also raise the question, If police are willing to commit this kind of over-the-top violence when they know they’re being filmed, what horrors must they carry out when they know their acts will go unseen?) Weeks of witnessing rampant law enforcement violence has finally succeeded in mainstreaming the idea of police abolition, something that seemed unthinkable—and which many suggested was laughable—even a couple of months ago.

      • All 36 Nigerian Governors Declare State of Emergency Over Rapes and Violence

        The decision was made after a meeting among the governors earlier this week.

        As a part of their initiative, the governors aim to impose tougher federal laws punishing rape and violence against women and children, and to set up sex offender registers in all of the states.

        The emergency declaration comes after a buildup of the country’s concerns about gender-based violence.

      • Trump changes date of Tulsa rally scheduled for Juneteenth

        President Donald Trump late Friday announced he will no longer hold a comeback campaign rally on Juneteenth, saying he’ll push the event back one day out of respect for the date that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

      • Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

        Fox News published digitally altered and misleading photos on stories about Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in what photojournalism experts called a clear violation of ethical standards for news organizations.

        As part of a package of stories Friday about the zone, where demonstrators have taken over several city blocks on Capitol Hill after Seattle police abandoned the East Precinct, Fox’s website for much of the day featured a photo of a man standing with a military-style rifle in front of what appeared to be a smashed retail storefront.

        The image was actually a mashup of photos from different days, taken by different photographers — it was done by splicing a Getty Images photo of an armed man, who had been at the protest zone June 10, with other images from May 30 of smashed windows in downtown Seattle. Another altered image combined the gunman photo with yet another image, making it appear as though he was standing in front of a sign declaring “You are now entering Free Cap Hill.”

      • Woman captured on video harassing Filipino American woman exercising in a park

        A woman was caught on video harassing a Filipino American woman as she exercised this week at a Southern California park, the latest in a string of racist incidents captured on video and widely shared on social media.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The DOJ’s Plan To ‘Fix’ The T-Mobile Merger Is Already A Hot Mess

        Earlier this year the Bill Barr DOJ absolutely tripped over itself to approve T-Mobile’s controversial $26 billion merger with Sprint, despite a mountain of evidence that the deal would erode competition, raise prices, lower wages, and result in thousands of layoffs. It was so grotesquely corrupt, the approval process even involved “antitrust” DOJ boss Makan Delrahim literally helping guide T-Mobile through the proposal process using his personal phone and text message accounts.

      • Senator Cotton Dumbly Claims Huawei Building 5G Networks Is Like Letting The USSR Build US Cold War Submarines

        We’ve noted for a while that the “race to 5G” is largely just the byproduct of telecom lobbyists hoping to spike lagging smartphone and network hardware sales. Yes, 5G is important in that it will provide faster, more resilient networks when it’s finally deployed at scale years from now. But the society-altering impacts of the technology are extremely over-hyped, international efforts to deploy the faster wireless standard aren’t really a race, and even if it were, our broadband maps are so terrible (often by monopolist design), it would be impossible to actually determine who won.

      • ANALYSIS: US Falls Out of Top 10 Average Internet Speeds Globally in 2020, but Global Speeds Faster Than Ever DecisionData Team’s avatar

        Below are the current averages pulled from an aggregation of available global internet service provider (ISP) speeds and compared against speedtest.net global index averages for a country-by-country internet speed breakdown: [...]

      • Google Core Web Vitals & Paradox of page speed

        Second, the page loading tells us nothing of the nature of the page. A page where you need to fill in a form is completely different from one that summarizes the history of Norman conquests. With the former, responsiveness as opposed to pure speed could be important. With the latter, it’s a meaningless value. Now, this isn’t a trivial topic. There’s deep, complex science behind this, and even I have done some serious research on this subject, and presented my work at various conferences in the past, but let’s put that aside for now.


        Going back to speed. Let’s play along. If you want pages to load as quickly as possible, you want your content to be as short as possible, which probably means cutting down on quality. Then, you could potentially split content into multiple pages, but then you force readers to click on numbers or arrows time and time again. I’m not sure what the general sentiment is, but I find this pretty tedious, and try to refrain from doing it as much as I can (with only a few small exceptions).

        Indeed, the concept of web pages (multiple pages serving “pages” of the same content) is a result of a pointless chase after speed, where speed isn’t needed. Because if it’s images we’re talking, image galleries are by definition a set of individual (and often independent) frames. If it’s text, then we’re talking long content, probably justifiably so, which means those who intend to read it actually have the patience for the whole thing to begin with. Thus, the speed consideration is actually a Catch-22 thing here.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • GE Filtergate

        I knew that I had to dig, I was willing to bet that there was just some analog enable signal I could trip to bypass this stupid thing. I dug through the schematics… Nope the entire appliance has its own communications bus. The dispense board/main board interrogates the drm/rfid board and asks questions about filter status before it will command parts to do their fucking job and send signals to the relays that run the water/ice maker relays.

        So my fridge has a water-nazi-mini-hitler circuit board in it, I just had to see it.

    • Monopolies

      • EU set to bring antitrust charges against Amazon: reports

        Antitrust regulators at the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, have determined that the e-commerce giant is stifling competition by using third-party seller data to boost its own line of products, sources with knowledge of the case told the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

      • Amazon Set to Face Antitrust Charges in European Union

        The case against Amazon is part of a broader attempt in the United States and Europe to probe the business practices of the world’s largest technology companies, as authorities on both sides of the Atlantic see what they believe is a worrying concentration of power in the digital economy.

      • Macron Told Dorsey Twitter Is Welcome to Move Company to France

        Macron’s aide said the president wanted platforms to abide by EU and French rules on content curation — which are typically more restrictive than in the U.S.

        Any company that feels threatened at home is welcome to France, the aide added.

      • Patents

        • Government-Granted Patent Monopolies and Structural Racism

          No, I have not gone off the deep end, there is an important connection that I will get to in a moment. First, I want to be clear that I am not trying to take anything away from the immediate issue that has brought hundreds of thousands into the streets, the police killing of George Floyd. (We even had a protest in my little town in Utah.)

        • Introduction To The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) System

          Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a system of cooperation between patent offices. By agreement between the offices and on request of a patent applicant, the work product of one patent office that has already allowed the application or given a positive International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) (the Office of Earlier Examination “OEE”) is used in the examination of the patent application of the same family in another patent office (the Office of Later Examination “OLE”), provided that the applicant presents only the allowable claims in the OLE application.

          PPH must be requested in the OLE before the OLE has begun its examination, and copies of relevant non-patent prior art and papers from the OEE examination (with translations if necessary) must be provided. The OLE will then usually examine the application soon after PPH is requested. Some patent offices have other requirements or exemptions, such as charging a fee for requesting PPH.

        • Agritechs impacted by breeding methods patent ruling

          Agritech businesses will be considering how best to protect their rights following a recent ruling that plants and animals produced by traditional breeding methods cannot be patented.

          The decision issued by the Enlarged Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office (EBA) is contrary to previous decisions the EBA has issued on the patentability of conventional breeding processes. That the EBA – the EPO’s highest board of appeal – has reversed its previous approach is perhaps surprising, but is thought to be as a result of political pressure from farmers and breeders, who consider that patents on plants obtained from such methods will have a huge impact on their business operations. However, the decision is likely to be viewed with some concern by businesses in the agritech sector who will be wondering how innovation in this field can be protected.


          The resulting political pressure led to a review of the EU Biotech Directive, which governs biotechnological innovations. This review concluded that the intention of the Biotech Directive was to exclude plant and animal products produced by essentially biological processes, not just the processes themselves, and led to the introduction of a new rule. Rule 28(2) of the Implementing Regulations to the EPC is controversial in itself, as it is considered by critics as a politically motivated amendment with the aim of limiting the scope of patentability in the agricultural field, as well as appearing to run contrary to the decisions in Broccoli II and Tomato II. It is this conflict that led to the referral to the EBA in the Pepper case.

        • How AI tools will change patent practice

          More than half of respondents said they were not sure whether there is currently enough useful information about artificial intelligence and its impact. Part of that uncertainty may be that, while AI-based tools can help professionals deliver results to their clients, they also raise questions about whether reforms to laws, regulations and processes will be needed. Moreover, AI tools may lead to changes in the way people work and the type of work they do. Unlike almost any other technology, therefore, AI raises fundamental questions about both IP policy and IP practice.

        • Pepper trumps Broccoli: EPO finds products produced by essentially biological processes are not patentable

          In 2015, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO held that although non-microbiological processes for the production of plants which are “essentially biological” cannot be patented (Art 53 EPC), the products derived from using essentially biological processes could be patentable (G2/12; G2/13, also referred to as Broccoli/ Tomatoes II).

          Following these decisions, the European Parliament asked the European Commission to review the patentability of plants and animals derived from essentially biological processes. This resulted in a European Commission Notice dated 8 November 2016 clarifying that the EU legislator had intended to exclude such plants and animals (either in whole or in part) from patentability when adopting the EU Directive on biotechnological inventions (Directive 98/44/EC). The Administrative Council of the EPO therefore amended Rule 28(2) EPC to state that, from 1 July 2017, the EPO will no longer grant patents for plants and animals exclusively obtained by means of an “essentially biological process”. Further background and the legal framework regarding patents for plants and animals exclusively obtained by means of an “essentially biological process” is set out in our previous update, here.

        • Why it is now easier to patent high-purity chemicals at the EPO, and how to do it

          Making the initial discovery of a new and potentially useful compound is just the first stage in a long road to market for a new commercial product. In addition to the challenges of obtaining regulatory approval for a new compound, it can take years to develop ways to manufacture the new compound on a scale and at the purity required for it to become commercially viable. This development process can lead to new innovations, offering a chance to file new patent applications that extend the life of IP protection for the new product.

          The European Patent Office (EPO) recently changed the way it decides whether applications to high-purity chemicals are patentable. This could impact industries such as pharma, food & beverage and cosmetics where it can be crucial that chemical products have high purity.


          When filing a new patent application to claim a high-purity chemical, use numerical values to describe the amount of impurities in your product, rather than qualitative terms (e.g. try to avoid expressions like “substantially pure” where possible). When doing this is, it is important to describe how the amount of the impurity is measured.

          Also consider including multiple cut-offs for the amount of impurities present. This makes it easier to amend the application to avoid prior art that you might only become aware of during examination.

        • The rock misses its target in this story of “David and Goliath” – the UK High Court’s consideration of interim injunctions in Neurim Pharmaceuticals v Mylan

          Neurim is the registered proprietor of EP 1 441 702 (the Patent), which covers a prolonged release formulation comprising melatonin for improving the restorative quality of sleep in a patient suffering from primary insomnia characterised by non-restorative sleep. Flynn was purported to be the exclusive licensee of the Patent (but more on this later). The Patent expires on 12 August 2022.

          In November 2019, the Opposition Division (OD) of the European Patent Office (EPO) revoked the Patent. However, a revocation decision by the EPO does not become effective until any appeal to the Technical Boards of Appeal (TBA) is decided and, accordingly, the Patent remains in force in the UK. Although the decision of the OD to revoke the Patent was appealed by Neurim, it is unlikely that a final decision would be issued by the TBA before 2022.

        • Change in the Law not Enough for R.60(b) Relief from Judgment

          Back in 2014, the district court dismissed Medinol’s patent infringement claims as bared by laches. Three years later, the U.S. Supreme Court held in SCA Hygiene that laches is not a proper defense in this situation. SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Prods., LLC, 137 S. Ct. 954 (2017).

          Case History: Medinol actually filed its R. 60(b)(6) motion in 2014. A few months after its case had been dismissed, the Supreme Court decided Petrella, a copyright case also holding laches was not a proper defense. Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 1962 (2014). The district court & Federal Circuit refused to grant relief at that time — distinguishing copyright from patent law. Subsequently the Supreme Court decided SCA Hygeine and ordered the Federal Circuit to reconsider Medinol’s case in light of the new law. Medinol Ltd. v. Cordis Corp., 137 S.Ct. 1372 (2017). On remand, the Federal Circuit then sent the case back to the district court to consider any extraordinary circumstances. The district court again denied the motion for relief — holding that Medinol should have appealed the issue rather than asking for relief of judgment. Further, although equitable defense (laches) is not effective, its underlying holding–that Medinol unreasonably delayed in bringing the lawsuit–suggests that the court should not bend-over-backwards to provide relief. R. 60(b) relief expresses a “grand reservoir of equitable power to do justice,” but that power must be limited to only extraordinary cases.

        • Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Patent Offices – June 10 Update

          On March 11, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom declared that the COVID-19 outbreak “can be characterized as a pandemic.” At the time of the announcement, the WHO noted that there were 118,000 cases reported globally; in its situation report for June 10, the WHO indicates that to date there have been 7,145,539 cases globally. The WHO’s declaration in March — and global developments since then — raise the question of how the pandemic has been affecting the patent community.

          We have been reporting (see links below) on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, World Intellectual Property Organization, European Patent Office, IP Australia, Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ), Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), National Office of Intellectual Property (ONAPI) in the Dominican Republic, Intellectual Property India, National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in Sri Lanka, Israel Patent Office, Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (NOIP), and Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) in Indonesia, as well as U.S. Federal courts, including, in particular, the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit.

      • Trademarks

        • Federal Court Affirms Activision’s First Amendment Rights In Using Humvees in ‘Call Of Duty’ Game

          Almost exactly a year ago, we first wrote about a trademark lawsuit brought by AM General LLC, the company that makes Humvee vehicles, and Activision. At issue is the inclusion of historically accurate Humvee vehicles in the publisher’s Call of Duty games. AM General decried those depictions as trademark infringement, leading Activision to say its use was protected by the First Amendment, given that the entire goal here was to accurately depict warfare in an artistic fashion. Shortly after, the ESA chimed in with an amicus brief siding with Activision. Given the implications for the gaming industry should AM General win the suit, this was no surprise.

      • Copyrights

        • This week in IP: Folding bike copyright, packaging appeal up in smoke, and more

          Functional shapes are eligible for copyright protection in the EU so long as they constitute an original creative work, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decided yesterday.

          In a 39-paragraph ruling on Brompton v Chedech (C‑833/18) concerning intellectual property protection for folding bicycles, the court confirmed that copyright protection is available to products whose shape is necessary to obtain a technical result.

          That protection is obtainable as long as that product is an original work resulting from intellectual creation, in that its author expresses creative ability through the shape in an original manner by making free and creative choices in such a way that the shape reflects the author’s personality.

          The decision deviated from an earlier opinion from advocate general Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona, who in February set out that designs with shapes dictated by technical considerations that do not leave room for the exercise of creative freedom are not eligible for copyright protection.

          Brompton, a UK-based company, claimed Korean maker Chedech had infringed the copyright of its folding bicycles, and filed suit in Belgium’s Liege Commercial Court (Tribunal de commerce de Liège) in 2018. The court referred the case to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling.

          The Belgian court has yet to confirm when it will issue its ruling now that the CJEU has released its decision.

        • [Guest post] Digital Culture Consumer Tracking Study – Week 6 of 6

          The level of daily consumption of respondents returned to normal for music and tv, having declined over previous weeks. For film, video games, books, magazines and audiobooks there were no changes compared to previous weeks. TV remained the most popular method of consuming media and purchasing of content remained higher than at the start of the survey in April. Use of illegal sources to access content has only changed marginally.

        • Internet Law at the Supreme Court

          Although I love teaching patent law, my favorite class to teach is often Internet Law. This next year I’ll be teaching it both to law students and as a sophomore-level undergraduate class. One thing that is great about the class is that all of the students already have a set of preconceived notions about how internet society should work, but without much information about the legal background.

        • Internet Backbone Provider Hurricane Electric Sues Movie Companies Over ‘Ridiculous’ Piracy Allegations

          Silicon Valley company Hurricane Electric offers Internet backbone access to many large organizations as well as the US Government. The company sees itself as a neutral network provider but a group of movie studios is accusing the Internet provider of facilitating piracy. To get rid of these “ridiculous” claims, Hurricane Electric is suing the movie outfits, requesting a declaratory judgment of non-infringement from federal courts.

        • Internet Archive Calls For End to Publishers’ Lawsuit, Announces Early Closure of Emergency Library

          The Internet Archive says it will close its National Emergency Library two weeks early, in part because it is able to serve users in other ways. At the same time, founder Brewster Kahle is calling for several major publishers to withdraw the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the Internet Archive earlier this month.

        • YTS ‘Copycat’ Agrees to Settle Trademark Dispute for $200,000

          The operator of YTS.ws has agreed to pay $200,000 in damages for using the YTS trademark without permission. While YTS is widely associated with torrent sites, the trademark was recently scooped up by a Hawaiian company that uses it to protect its rights. In addition to paying damages, YTS.ws will soon become unavailable as well.

        • Rebellion as Reddit Teenagers Stir Up Their Own Pirate Movie Bonanza

          Reddit’s massively popular /r/teenagers sub went bootleg crazy this week when thousands of subscribers used the platform to watch pirated movies. For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, young adults suddenly began uploading titles including Sonic the Hedgehog, Cars, Shrek, Toy Story and…erm…Silence of the Lambs.

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  8. Links 29/05/2023: Election in Fedora, Unifont 15.0.04

    Links for the day

  9. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: Rosy Crow 1.1.1 and Smolver 1.2.1 Released

    Links for the day

  10. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 28, 2023

  11. Daniel Stenberg Knows Almost Nothing About Gemini and He's Likely Just Protecting His Turf (HTTP/S)

    The man behind Curl, Daniel Stenberg, criticises Gemini; but it's not clear if he even bothered trying it (except very briefly) or just read some inaccurate, one-sided blurbs about it

  12. Links 29/05/2023: Videos Catchup and Gemini FUD

    Links for the day

  13. Links 28/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC4 and MX Linux 23 Beta

    Links for the day

  14. Gemini Links 28/05/2023: Itanium Day, GNUnet DHT, and More

    Links for the day

  15. Links 28/05/2023: eGates System Collapses, More High TCO Stories (Microsoft Windows)

    Links for the day

  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 27, 2023

  17. No More Twitter, Mastodon, and Diaspora for Tux Machines (Goodbye to Social Control Media)

    People would benefit from mass abandonment of such pseudo-social pseudo-media.

  18. Links 28/05/2023: New Wine and More

    Links for the day

  19. Links 27/05/2023: Plans Made for GNU's 40th Anniversary

    Links for the day

  20. Social Control Media Needs to be Purged and We Need to Convince Others to Quit It Too (to Protect Ourselves as Individuals and as a Society)

    With the Tux Machines anniversary (19 years) just days away we seriously consider abandoning all social control media accounts of that site, including Mastodon and Diaspora; social control networks do far more harm than good and they’ve gotten a lot worse over time

  21. Anonymously Travelling: Still Feasible?

    The short story is that in the UK it's still possible to travel anonymously by bus, tram, and train (even with shades, hat and mask/s on), but how long for? Or how much longer have we got before this too gets banned under the false guise of "protecting us" (or "smart"/"modern")?

  22. With EUIPO in Focus, and Even an EU Kangaroo Tribunal, EPO Corruption (and Cross-Pollination With This EU Agency) Becomes a Major Liability/Risk to the EU

    With the UPC days away (an illegal and unconstitutional kangaroo court system, tied to the European Union in spite of critical deficiencies) it’s curious to see EPO scandals of corruption spilling over to the European Union already

  23. European Patent Office (EPO) Management Not Supported by the EPO's Applicants, So Why Is It Still There?

    This third translation in the batch is an article similar to the prior one, but the text is a bit different (“Patente ohne Wert”)

  24. EPO Applicants Complain That Patent Quality Sank and EPO Management Isn't Listening (Nor Caring)

    SUEPO has just released 3 translations of new articles in German (here is the first of the batch); the following is the second of the three (“Kritik am Europäischen Patentamt – Patente ohne Wert?”)

  25. German Media About Industry Patent Quality Charter (IPQC) and the European Patent Office (EPO)

    SUEPO has just released 3 translations of new articles in German; this is the first of the three (“Industrie kritisiert Europäisches Patentamt”)

  26. Geminispace Continues to Grow Even If (or When) Stéphane Bortzmeyer Stops Measuring Its Growth

    A Gemini crawler called Lupa (Free/libre software) has been used for years by Stéphane Bortzmeyer to study Gemini and report on how the community was evolving, especially from a technical perspective; but his own instance of Lupa has produced no up-to-date results for several weeks

  27. Links 27/05/2023: Goodbyes to Tina Turner

    Links for the day

  28. HMRC: You Can Click and Type to Report Crime, But No Feedback or Reference Number Given

    The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ were reported 7 days ago to HMRC (equivalent to the IRS in the US, more or less); but there has been no visible progress and no tracking reference is given to identify the report

  29. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, May 26, 2023

  30. One Week After Sirius Open Source Was Reported to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for Tax Fraud: No Response, No Action, Nothing...

    One week ago we reported tax abuses of Sirius ‘Open Source’ to HMRC; we still wait for any actual signs that HMRC is doing anything at all about the matter (Sirius has British government clients, so maybe they’d rather not look into that, in which case HMRC might be reported to the Ombudsman for malpractice)

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