04.14.21

Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC – Benchmarks – Week 2

        This is a weekly blog looking at the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC running Linux.

        This machine was made available by Bargain Hardware. Bargain Hardware retails refurbished servers, workstations, PCs, and laptops to consumers and businesses worldwide. All systems are completely customisable on their website along with a vast offering of clean-pulled, tested components and enterprise replacement parts. They supply machines with a choice of Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. They even install FreeBSD.

        For this week’s blog, we’ve run a variety of benchmark tests on the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 together with five other systems to put the results into context.

      • Linux PC maker System76 introduces the COSMIC desktop environment, coming to Pop!_OS 21.04

        System76 has been selling Linux laptops and computers since 2005. A few years ago the company introduced its own Linux distribution called Pop!_OS, and now when customers buy a System76 computer they can choose between Pop!_OS and Ubuntu Linux.

      • Pop!_OS Linux Introduces a GNOME-based ‘COSMIC’ Desktop Environment

        Pop!_OS has been my daily driver until I recently switched to Linux Mint to experience Cinnamon.

        If you have used Pop!_OS by System76, you probably know that it is based on Ubuntu releases with LTS and non-LTS editions.

        While I always believed that Pop!_OS does a few things better than Ubuntu, they also announced that they are crafting a separate Desktop Environment ‘COSMIC‘ based on GNOME.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Own Your Mailbox | LINUX Unplugged 401

        Do as we say, not as we do. This week we’re setting off to host our own email. We’ll cover the basics, what’s we’re using, and why.

        Plus an update on Jupiter Broadcasting going independent, community news, and more.

      • mintCast 358.5 – Three Finger Swipes

        1:41 Linux Innards
        29:45 Vibrations from the Ether
        48:25 Check This Out
        1:20:20 Announcements & Outro

        In our Innards section, we cover Gnome 40 and try to keep it RMS-free

        And finally, the feedback and a couple suggestions

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Ceph Pacific 16.2.0 is now available

        Try Ceph Pacific now on Ubuntu to combine the benefits of a unified storage system with a secure and reliable operating system. You can install the Ceph Pacific beta from the OpenStack Wallaby Ubuntu Cloud Archive for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or using the development version of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

      • Understanding the Btrfs file system in Fedora Linux | FOSS Linux

        B-Tree Filesystem (Btrfs) is a copy on write (CoW) filesystem for Linux operating systems. Fedora users got introduced to Btrfs when the Fedora project team made it the default filesystem for Fedora Workstation 33. I hadn’t given Btrfs too much thought despite it being available for Linux for several years. This article will get you up to speed with the Btrfs filesystem and its features like snapshots, subvolumes, and quotas.

        Btrfs

        B-Tree Filesystem (Btrfs) is both a filesystem and a volume manager. It has been under development since 2007, and since then, it has been a part of the Linux kernel. Its developers aim at creating a modern filesystem that can solve the challenges associated with scaling to large storage subsystems. From the Btrfs Manpage, its main features focus on fault tolerance, easy administration, and repair.

      • How To Install Kontact on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kontact on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Kontact is an integrated solution to your personal information management needs. It combines applications like KMail, KOrganizer, and KAddressBook into a single interface to provide easy access to mail, scheduling, address book, and other PIM functionality. This allows users to handle all their emails, deadlines, and other data in a more organized and efficient manner. Being both highly customizable and secure, Kontact provides users with powerful tools, giving them full control over what to do with their data.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Kontact personal information management on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to install Gravit Designer on Ubuntu

        If you want to work with vector graphics files, you can use a nice utility on Ubuntu called Gravit Designer which is a free and complete vector graphics design application.

        Gravit Designer has unmatched precision in any unit ( pixels, mm, cm, etc. ) from creation to export. It offers automatic anchors and layouts designed for pixel-perfect screen layouts, as well as multiple fills / edges, effects, and blending modes, along with shared styles.

      • How to Install and Use locate Command in Linux

        When you are working with the command line in Linux you need to know how to find files quickly. There are few utilities that can get the job done but you should know how to use them and when to use them.

        One among such utility is locate command and in this tutorial, we will walk through how to install locate command if not already installed and see how to use them effectively in Linux.

      • How to Install Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04 using Ansible

        Apache Tomcat is often used as an application server for strictly web-based applications. It basically executes Java servlets and renders web pages that include JSP coding.

        Manual installation on Tomcat is time-consuming. Using Ansible we can easily automate the installation process.

        In this tutorial we learn how to install Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04 using Ansible.

      • How to Install NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)

        Originally developed by Sun’s Microsystems, NFS is an acronym for Network File System. It is a distributed protocol that allows a user on a client PC to access shared files from a remote server much the same way they would access files sitting locally on their PC. The NFS protocol provides a convenient way of sharing files across a Local Area Network (LAN). In this guide, we will walk you through the installation of the NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). We will then demonstrate how you can access files on the server from a client system.

      • How To Install Atom 1.56.0 In Ubuntu / Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX [Ed: But is is controlled by Microsoft]

        Atom is a free, cross-platform, and open-source graphical software that has been designed to act as a hackable text editor and programmer’s editor application that helps the developer to write code without too much hassle.

        Atom editor is built on the Electron framework, which lets developers create modern desktop apps using state-of-the-art Web technologies like HTML5, CSS, Node.js, and JavaScript.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install atom 1.56.0 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04, LinuxMint 20.1, CentOS 8, and Fedora 33

      • How To Install No More Secrets In FreeBSD – LateWeb.Info

        No More Secrets is a command line tool called nms that recreates the famous data decryption effect seen on screen in the 1992 hacker movie Sneakers.

      • 3 essential Linux cheat sheets for productivity

        Linux is famous for its commands. This is partially because nearly everything that Linux does can also be invoked from a terminal, but it’s also that Linux as an operating system is highly modular. Its tools are designed to produce fairly specific results, and when you know a lot about a few commands, you can combine them in interesting ways for useful output. Learning Linux is equal parts learning commands and learning how to string those commands together in interesting combinations.

        With so many Linux commands to learn, though, taking the first step can seem daunting. What command should you learn first? Which commands should you learn well, and which commands require only a passing familiarity? I’ve thought about these questions a lot, and I’m not convinced there’s a universal answer. The “basic” commands are probably the same for anyone…

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • My current Plasma Wayland from git

          However much distress the current scenario and some personal stuff might cause, I’ve really been having fun with my laptop. Running everything on bleeding edge is exciting: kernel 5.12.rc6, openSUSE Tumbleweed with Plasma built daily from master (so openSUSE Krypton), using only the Wayland session, switching entirely to pipewire and so on. I figured I might share what I have set up for those interested, while providing some workarounds and sharing some experiences.

          My general distro of choice (openSUSE) offers quite a few conveniences. YaST, the main “hub” software for managing the system, is a power beast. I learned quite a bit with its sysconfig manager, being able to edit kernel and boot settings, snapshots, journal, network, and update my system is handy.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Shortwave 2.0 Arrives with GTK 4 Port, Slick Mini-Player Mode

          Such as? Well, check out its fancy new GTK4 interface. Yes, Shortwave 2.0 has seen its core UI ported from GTK3 to GTK4. As part of the process “many elements were improved or recreated from scratch” according to lead developer Felix Häcker.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Dunfell version 2.7 released

          Throughout 2020 and early 2021, the flagship releases of EasyOS were the “Buster series”, built with DEB packages from Debian Buster 10.x. There were also releases of the “Dunfell series”, compiled from source in a port of OpenEmbedded, that took a back-seat.
          Now, EasyOS Dunfell version 2.7 has the driver’s seat and is the flagship release. Almost all of the packages are compiled in a port of OpenEmbedded, with the exception of a few large and difficult-to-cross-compile packages, such as LibreOffice and SeaMonkey — these were compiled in the running EasyOS 2.7 pre-release.
          LibreOffice and SeaMonkey are the latest versions, 7.1.2.2 and 2.53.7. Network management has been enhanced with ModemManager, which NetworkManager Applet and ModemManage GUI are frontends for. NetworkManager Applet is an icon in the systray and ModemManager GUI is in the “Network” menu. The Linux kernel is 5.10.26.
          There have been some significant bug fixes since the previous release of EasyOS, including faster startup of a Linux distribution desktop in a container (without wallpaper corruption), Osmo stability, and the XorgWizard previously causing X not to start.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 13.0 released

          The FreeBSD 13 release is out. It includes a lot of updated software, the removal of a number of GNU tools (including the toolchain), and more, but not WireGuard. See the release notes for the details.

      • Slackware Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Publishes New Ubuntu Linux Kernel Updates to Fix 20 Vulnerabilities

          For Ubuntu 20.10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS systems running Linux kernel 5.8, the new kernel update fixes CVE-2021-20239, a flaw discovered by Ryota Shiga in Linux kernel’s sockopt BPF hooks that could allow a local attacker to exploit another kernel vulnerability, CVE-2021-20268, a flaw discovered in the BPF verifier, which could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code, and CVE-2021-3178, a flaw discovered in the NFS implementation, which could allow an attacker to bypass NFS access restrictions.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Ubuntu in the wild – 13th of April 2021

          The Ubuntu in the wild blog post ropes in the latest highlights about Ubuntu and Canonical around the world on a bi-weekly basis. It is a summary of all the things that made us feel proud to be part of this journey. What do you think of it?

        • Telecom AI: a guide for data teams | Ubuntu

          Data is the new oil, and Artificial Intelligence is the way to monetize it. According to an IDC report, Artificial Intelligence (AI), alongside 5G, IoT, and cloud computing, is one of the technologies reshaping the telecom industry. From data-driven decisions to fully automated and self-healing networks, AI developments are accelerating innovation and driving costs of operation down.

        • Security podcast: March

          Welcome to the second post in our series based on the weekly Ubuntu Security Podcast! I am Alex Murray and am a Staff Engineer and the Tech Lead for the Ubuntu Security team at Canonical. Each month, I cover the most interesting security fixes around Ubuntu, as well as an in-depth discussion of the different vulnerabilities that we’ve been addressing. This time we will look into Python updates, have a discussion about 16.04 LTS transitioning into extended security maintenance (ESM) in April and finally, I will cover some open positions within the team!

        • Security at the Edge: hardware accelerated AI-based cybersecurity with Canonical Ubuntu and the BlueField-2 DPU

          During GTC last fall, NVIDIA announced an increased focus on the enterprise datacenter, including their vision of the datacenter-on-a-chip. The three pillars of this new software-defined datacenter include the data processing unit (DPU) along with the CPU and GPU. The NVIDIA BlueField DPU advances SmartNIC technology, which NVIDIA acquired through their Mellanox acquisition in 2020.

          Here at Canonical, we are proud of our long partnership with NVIDIA to provide the best experience to developers and customers on Ubuntu. This work has advanced the state of the art with secure NVIDIA GPU drivers and provisions for GPU pass-through. Our engineering teams collaborate deeply to provide the fastest path to the newest features and the latest patches for critical vulnerabilities. For networking, this has meant partnering with Mellanox (now NVIDIA) engineering to provide not just Ubuntu support but also support for hardware offload going back to the oldest ConnectX devices. In fact, Ubuntu was the first Linux distro enabled on the Bluefield cards back in 2019. Increasingly, Ubuntu, which has long been the operating system of choice for cutting-edge machine learning developers, data scientists, containers and Kubernetes is seeing more enterprise adoption across verticals.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Make your data boss-friendly with this open source tool

        Enterprise Data Analytics (EDA) is a web application that enables access to information through a simple, clear interface.

        After several years of working for Barcelona open source analytics company Jortilles, we realized that the modern world collects data compulsively but there was no easy way for average people to see or interpret that data. There are some powerful open source tools for this purpose, but they are very complex. We couldn’t identify a tool designed to be easy to use by common people with little technical skill.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a14

            Tor Browser 10.5a14 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Some Humans Ain’t Human
    • Games People Play

      Or I would amuse myself watching a pal in the smoking room light his farts on fire with a Bic lighter, eschewing his dares to do said same, one of the other boys (it was an all-boys school then) comically warned people were known to blow themselves up with this activity. I thought of Charles Fort, who a friend had told me about days previously, and the notion of spontaneous combustion. After I dropped out of the school, my pal would turn me on to a “signed copy” of the I Ching. Wouldn’t you know it, I drew hexagram 56, The Wanderer. I’ve been getting it up the ole yinyang ever since in my travels. Sometimes I feel I should have risked everything with that Bic.

      Anyway, I was thinking about Magister Ludi recently. Got to thinking tThese wise guys get together once a year and play a game with beads that reveals, as they play, esoteric patterns of the world that they themselves are stoicially disinclined to engage in. Know it all think-tankers back at a time when the Canon was still extant, and so they were imbued with the mystical powers that sympathetic magic brings. (You remember Christmas morn as a starry-eyed kid, the radio playing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” Dad snarking that Rudolph the Red Nosed Lush should be driving, getting DIBS: In Search of Self from “Santa”). Postmodernism has dealt such wise guys a vicious backhand blow, and, frankly, nobody really reads Herman Hesse anymore, except me, as far as I know.

    • Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
    • How ‘Things’ In Fiction Shape the Way We Read

      In the prefurnished apartment where I have spent most of the last year, I am surrounded by things that seem to vibrate strangely with something like life. On my desk, there are three interchangeable coffee mugs and another, for unknown reasons, that is special to me. There is a lamp that came with the apartment, whose bulb needs to be fussed over every time I turn it on. There are my beloved books, some of them dragged with me from apartment to apartment since college, gathering grime and dust on the shelves. There are certain objects of sentimental value—a reproduction of a painting that I bought at a museum last January, which I have propped against the wall. There is an empty plastic bottle of sparkling water, of which I am ashamed, and which will get crushed in next week’s recycling but which will also likely endure in another form like most plastics on the planet. Indeed, much of this stuff may, bizarrely, outlast me. Alternately, like a wine glass I knocked over last week while vacuuming, some of it may get smashed to smithereens.

      Much of our material world is caught somewhere between disposability and permanence. It is not always clear what will last or what won’t; we stumble upon old stuffed animals from childhood that have strangely endured beyond the versions of ourselves that played with them. Or some things have an afterlife in new forms, one guaranteed by recycling or alteration. “Consumer habits shaped by a national ideology of progress and innovation have given rise to a frequently binary relationship to objects: either they persist, archived or curated to help stabilize individual and collective memory and identity, or they are disposable, cast out of sight and out of mind,” writes scholar Sarah Wasserman in her recent book, The Death of Things. “But between these two poles exists a greater number of objects that are neither quite lost nor quite present; neither dead nor alive, they are instead dying, coming to us in an ongoing state of ceasing to be.”

    • Opinion | We Are So Glad You’re Here: A Glimpse of the Good Society at a Hollowed-Out Kmart

      What I saw and felt as I was getting my first jab.

      I got my first shot today, in a sprawling space that used to be a Kmart, in West Orange, NJ. It was moving in some ways that surprised me.

    • Opinion | Investing In Nature Is Essential to Our Shared Future

      Canadian women leaders send an open letter to the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance.

      For over a year the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our health and well-being, our economy and our communities. Low-income and working women, particularly from Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, have borne the brunt not only of job loss in this ‘she’-cession, but of the physical and mental stress fueled by lockdowns and school closures, rising family violence and heavy demands on frontline workers.  

    • Education

      • Graduate Workers Unions At New York’s Two Largest Universities Vote For Strike

        Graduate workers at New York University and Columbia University, the two largest universities in New York City, are in the midst of a contentious labor battle with their administrations to eliminate the economic uncertainty, which has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

        The NYU Graduate Student Organizing Committee, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers, announced on April 9 that their union members voted overwhelmingly—with 96.4 percent of the vote—to authorize a strike because contract negotiations have dragged on for the past nine months.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Public Health Coalition Urges Biden to Create Vaccine ‘Manufacturing Operation for the World’

        “Vaccine donations alone won’t end the pandemic.”

        A coalition of 66 global health, development, and humanitarian groups on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden to establish a global vaccine manufacturing program to end the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and prepare for future ones.

      • Covid-19 and Commonsense
      • Citing $9 Trillion Cost of Vaccine Inequity, UN Chief Calls for Global Wealth Tax on Pandemic Profiteers

        “Advancing an equitable global response and recovery from the pandemic is putting multilateralism to the test. So far, it is a test we have failed.”

        United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed support Monday for a wealth tax on those whose fortunes soared amid the coronavirus pandemic to tackle global economic inequality.

      • The FDA Did the Right Thing in Pausing the J&J Vaccine

        After more than a year of Covid, everyone on Twitter is an epidemiologist now. Ever since the news broke early Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that states “pause” their Johnson and Johnson vaccine efforts because of evidence that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 had experienced rare blood clots after being vaccinated (one died and another is in critical condition), social media has been swarmed by folks with no medical background who are nonetheless convinced the federal agencies are making a horrible public health mistake. Admittedly, six clotting episodes out of more than 6 million doses delivered looks like a literal one in a million risk. And that made it easy for some would-be experts to proclaim that the regulators are wrong.

        As he tends to do, data journalist Nate Silver cannonballed into the deep end of the pool, with no doubt there to muffle his big splash:

      • Veterans face uphill battle to receive treatment for ‘burn pit’ exposure

        The pits were a common feature at military bases during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a crude answer to the basic logistics problem of how to deal with piles and piles of trash. Everything from electronics and vehicles to human waste was regularly doused in jet fuel and set ablaze, spewing toxic fumes and carcinogens into the air.

        The Department of Defense estimates that roughly 3.5 million service members could have been exposed to burn pits. The Department of Veterans Affairs has denied about 75 percent of veterans’ burn pit claims, including Evans’, because it does not acknowledge a connection between conditions like asthma and cancer to exposure to the flaming garbage piles.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Linux Client for Cisco Webex is Coming Next Month

          Webex is the video conferencing and online meeting tool from Cisco. At present, you can use Webex through a web browser in Linux but soon you would be able to install the Webex application on Linux.

          In a blog post, Cisco revealed the plan to release Webex Linux client in May. There is no set date, just the information that Webex application will have Linux support in May.

        • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, April 2021 Edition
        • Over half of ransomware victims pay the ransom, but only a quarter see their full data returned

          More than half (56%) of ransomware victims paid the ransom to restore access to their data last year, according to a global study of 15,000 consumers conducted by global security company Kaspersky. Yet for 17% of those, paying the ransom did not guarantee the return of stolen data. However, as public awareness of potential cyberthreats grows there is reason for optimism in the fight against ransomware.

        • Where are phishing emails more likely to originate from?

          The country where emails originate and the number of countries they are routed through on the way to their final destination offer important warning signs of phishing attacks.

          For the study, researchers at cloud-enabled security solutions provider Barracuda Networks teamed up with Columbia University researchers.

          They examined the geolocation and network infrastructure across more than two billion emails, including 218,000 phishing emails sent in the month of January 2020.

        • Security

          • Print Friendly & PDF: Full compromise

            I looked into the Print Friendly & PDF browser extension while helping someone figure out an issue they were having. The issue turned out unrelated to the extension, but I already noticed something that looked very odd. A quick investigation later I could confirm a massive vulnerability affecting all of its users (close to 1 million of them). Any website could easily gain complete control of the extension.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Pressure on Biden to End Yemen Blockade Builds With New Letter From Lawmakers

        Rep. Ro Khanna says members of Congress are “assessing” whether a War Powers Resolution is needed to fully end U.S. involvement.

        A bipartisan letter that members of Congress sent Tuesday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken increased growing pressure on the Biden administration to fully end U.S. support for Yemeni suffering and push the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to “lift its obstruction of commercial and humanitarian imports” to the war-torn country.

      • Progressives Welcome ‘Incredibly Encouraging News’ of Planned US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

        “With today’s decision, President Biden recognizes what the people of the United States and Afghanistan have long known: we simply cannot bomb our way to peace.”

        Progressive lawmakers and peace activists on Tuesday welcomed news that President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, a move that if accompanied by an end to U.S.-led airstrikes would end the longest war in American history. 

      • Nevskaya Manufaktura Russian authorities suspect arson after fire destroys historic St. Petersburg factory

        On April 12, a massive fire broke out at the Nevskaya Manufaktura, a historic factory in St. Petersburg. The blaze spread over a 10,000-square-meter area (more than 107,600 square feet), and the emergency services declared it a “level five” — the hardest type of fire to put out. After 10 hours, firefighters managed to get the blaze under control, though it wasn’t completely extinguished. One firefighter was killed and three others were injured; two of them were hospitalized in serious condition. According to sources in law enforcement, the preliminary assessment is that the fire was caused by arson. The property was handed over for a residential development about a month ago. The authorities have detained both the factory’s director and his deputy in connection with a criminal case for negligence leading to the death of a person.

      • Court Says Two Cops Who Deployed Deadly Force Can Use Florida’s Victims’ Rights Law To Hide Their Names From The Public

        Laws written with good intentions are being used in bad faith by public servants hoping to shield themselves from public scrutiny. Multiple states have passed versions of “Marsy’s Law” — legislation that grants more rights to victims of crime, including blocking the release of personal info under the theory this will protect victims’ privacy and head off abuse and harassment.

      • Progressives Call for Action on the Yemen Blockade

        In early February, President Joe Biden announced that he would end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, where six years of continuous conflict have created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. But progressive members of Congress are growing frustrated with his refusal to push Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade on Yemen, which has recently reached a critical stage and is starving millions. While his pledge represented a significant policy shift, Biden has not yet taken decisive action to alleviate suffering on the ground—or even give members of Congress answers.

        Biden’s promise to end “all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” was celebrated by progressive organizers and lawmakers who had been fighting to stop US military involvement. But questions about what forms of support the United States has cut off and which Trump-era military activities it plans to discontinue in the future remain. Forty-one Democratic lawmakers wrote to the administration asking for clarification on the forms of military, intelligence, and logistical support the United States has previously provided or currently provides, requesting a response by March 25, The Intercept reported. They still haven’t heard back.

      • Senate Dems Tell Biden Returning to Iran Nuclear Deal Should Be a Top Priority

        “Should Iran be willing to return to compliance with the limitations set by the JCPOA, the United States should be willing to rejoin the deal and provide the sanctions relief required under the agreement.”

        Amid critical talks in Vienna, more than two dozen Senate Democrats on Tuesday sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to treat the United States’ return to the Iran nuclear agreement as a top priority.

      • Another treason case Physics professor arrested in Moscow for allegedly passing secrets to a NATO country

        On Tuesday, April 13, a Moscow court remanded theoretical physicist Valery Golubkin in custody on suspicion of treason. Allegedly, he passed information to a NATO country. Golubkin’s arrest comes in connection with a treason case against another scientist — physicist Anatoly Gubanov, who was arrested in December 2020. Though the details of the case remain classified, both professors have denied any guilt.

      • The Biden Administration and the Chaotic Middle East

        Ten years ago, President Barack Obama announced a “pivot” from the Middle East to the Pacific, but there has been no significant change in our force disposition in the Middle East. Russia has stable state-to-state relations throughout the region, but cannot even influence Syrian President Bashar al-Assad whom they saved five years ago.  China makes no attempt to play an influential role in the region, and wisely pursues commercial arrangements such as the major oil deal with Iran in return for long-term investment in Iran’s outdated infrastructure.

        Meanwhile, chaos reigns. Israel’s democracy is deadlocked, facing the possibility of its fifth national election in the past two years.  The most divisive politician in modern Israeli politics—Benjamin Netanyahu—is seeking reelection so that he gains immunity from prosecution of charges that include corruption and breach of trust.  The Hashemite royal family is waging a food fight in full public view, threatening one of the few states that can claim stability over the past twenty years.  When Lawrence of Arabia was referring to the Middle East as a “trap,” he was primarily concerned with Iraq, which President George W. Bush destabilized in 2003 with an invasion based on deceit.  U.S. forces remain in Iraq, where they confront Iranian-backed militia forces.  The U.S. invasion opened a strategic door for Iran’s influence in Iraq.

      • Opinion | The United States as a Mass-Killing Machine

        On this planet of ours, America is the emperor of weaponry.

        By the time you read this piece, it will already be out of date. The reason’s simple enough. No matter what mayhem I describe, with so much all-American weaponry in this world of ours, there’s no way to keep up. Often, despite the headlines that go with mass killings here, there’s almost no way even to know.

      • Biden Wants to Spend Even More on Defense than Trump

        Robert Reich knows a thing or two about federal budgets, and the economist who has served in three presidential administrations says there is something wrong with Joe Biden’s plan to increase Pentagon spending above the levels proposed by former President Trump.

        “The Pentagon already spends: $740,000,000,000 every year, $2,000,000,000 every day, $1,000,000 every minute,” says the former secretary of labor. “The last thing we need is a bigger military budget.”

      • ‘They Stole My Son’s Dad’: Families of Daunte Wright and George Floyd Hold Emotional Press Conference

        The event took place outside the Minneapolis courthouse where former cop Derek Chauvin is on trial for allegedly murdering Floyd last May. 

        Amid the second day of protests over the police killing of Daunte Wright and the continuation of the trial of former Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin—who is accused of murdering George Floyd last May—relatives of the two slain unarmed Black men and their attorney on Tuesday held an emotionally charged press conference outside a downtown Minneapolis courthouse. 

      • Opinion | The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Is the Reform We Need

        Police reforms will never work unless accompanied by and embedded in rebuilding and empowering communities.

        Even as Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd, police 10 miles away fatally shot an African American man, Duante Wright, after pulling him over for an alleged traffic violation.

      • Killed over a Car Air Freshener: Outrage Grows over Police Shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota

        Protests continue in the Minneapolis area after a white police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, during a traffic stop Sunday in the suburb of Brooklyn Center. The deadly shooting took place about 10 miles from where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for killing George Floyd. Just before he was killed, Wright called his mother to say he was being pulled over — allegedly because an air freshener was obscuring his rearview mirror. The Brooklyn Center police chief claims Kimberly Potter, a 26-year police veteran who has served as the police union president for the department, accidentally pulled a gun instead of a Taser. The Star Tribune reports Daunte Wright is the sixth person killed by Brooklyn Center police since 2012. Five of the six have been men of color. “Unfortunately, there has not been a serious attempt to change the phenomenon of driving while Black, which is something that happens to Black people on a routine basis in the Twin Cities and across the state of Minnesota,” says Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong. We also speak with Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who says policing in the United States is as dangerous to Black and Brown people as ever. “They are deadly. They kill Black and Brown people,” says Hussein.

      • Derek Chauvin Trial Breaks Down “Blue Wall of Silence” as Police Officials Testify Against Ex-Cop

        We get the latest on the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, with Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong. She says prosecutors in the case have successfully chipped away at the “blue wall of silence” by getting current police officials to testify against Chauvin. However, she says it’s likely that “the only reason that these officers have testified is because the world is watching.”

      • Headlines April 13, 2021

        In Minnesota, police fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades as protesters defied a curfew and took to the streets of the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center for a second straight night. They were demanding justice for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop Sunday.

      • “I Felt Hate More Than Anything”: How an Active Duty Airman Tried to Start a Civil War

        It was 2:20 p.m. on June 6, 2020, and Steven Carrillo, a 32-year-old Air Force sergeant who belonged to the anti-government Boogaloo Bois movement, was on the run in the tiny mountain town of Ben Lomond, California.

        With deputy sheriffs closing in, Carrillo texted his brother, Evan, asking him to tell his children he loved them and instructing him to give $50,000 to his fiancée. “I love you bro,” Carrillo signed off. Thinking the text message was a suicide note from a brother with a history of mental health troubles, Evan Carrillo quickly texted back: “Think about the ones you love.”

    • Environment

      • Greenhouse gas levels surge despite slow economy

        The global economy has been hard hit by the Covid pandemic. But greenhouse gas levels have worryingly shot upwards.

      • Scientific American to Use ‘Climate Emergency’ in Magazine’s Future Coverage

        “This idea is not a journalistic fancy,” writes a senior editor. “We are on solid scientific ground.”

        After over 175 years of publishing, Scientific American made a major editorial announcement on Monday: the historic U.S. magazine will officially adopt the term “climate emergency” for its coverage of the human-caused crisis.

      • ‘The Climate Emergency Is Not Coming. It Is Here’: Local Officials Across US Demand Fracking Ban

        “It’s time for our leaders in Washington to tackle the climate crisis now, not later. This means halting fracking and fossil fuel projects, period.”

        More than 375 local and state elected officials from across the United States sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Congress Tuesday urging national leaders to halt all new fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure projects. 

      • European Court Opens Itself up to Climate-Related Human Rights Challenges – DeSmog
      • Opinion | When It Comes to the Climate Crisis, Those Responsible Should Be Held Accountable

        Majority Action, has released a list of 30 corporate directors who are obstacles to climate progress—directors who should be voted out of positions of power to make way for people who are more climate literate. 

        Along with many others, I’ve spent the last four years urging JPMorgan Chase to stop providing financial services to the fossil fuel industry. It’s been no easy task. Since the Paris Agreement was signed, Chase has loaned more than $317 billion to the fossil fuel industry—33% more than any other bank on the planet. Want to build a massive new tar sands pipeline? JPMorgan is your bank. What to build a vast new coal mine? Just give Chase CEO Jamie Dimon a call, he’s your man.

      • How Warming Oceans Are Accelerating the Climate Crisis

        Adapted from an article for the Florida Climate Reporting Network’s project “The Invading Sea,” this article is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        The climate emergency is bigger than many experts, elected officials, and activists realize. Humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions have overheated Earth’s atmosphere, unleashing punishing heat waves, hurricanes, and other extreme weather—that much is widely understood. The larger problem is that the overheated atmosphere has in turn overheated the oceans, assuring a catastrophic amount of future sea level rise.

      • Opinion | Why the World Needs a Green Social Contract

        The green transformation will have far-reaching socio-economic implications. Action is needed to ensure domestic and international social equity and fairness.

        As a climate policy researcher, I am often asked: what is the biggest obstacle to decarbonisation? My answer has changed profoundly over the last couple of years. Before, I used to point to a complex combination of a lack of cost-competitive green technologies and an absence of political will. Today, I point to something else. Something less tangible, but possibly more challenging: the absence of a green social contract.

      • Over 25 Years, World’s Wealthiest 5% Behind Over One-Third of Global Emissions Growth: Study

        “We have got to cut over-consumption and the best place to start is over-consumption among the polluting elites who contribute by far more than their share of carbon emissions.”

        As world leaders prepare for this November’s United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that the world’s wealthiest 5% were responsible for well over a third of all global emissions growth between 1990 and 2015. 

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bozeman Watershed Logging Project Based on Flawed Assumptions

          Flawed assumptions and science characterize all these state-funded projects. Even though numerous studies have documented that logging/thinning fails to protect homes or reduce fire severity in nearly all instances, the mindless mantra that logging will preclude large fires continues unabated.

          + Most of the acreage burned annually results from a few blazes burning under “extreme” fire weather conditions. Under these conditions, the climatic/weather conditions trump fuels as the primary factor in fire spread.

        • Human Solidarity and Nature Conservation

          We know that the most elementary organisms of proto-life, like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that infects people with the deadly COVID-19 disease, have no purpose beyond the mindless mechanical continuation of their genetic formats, by feeding their metabolisms through parasitism. But, what of more conscious organisms, like: plants, animals, us?

          We humans pride ourselves as presumably having the most highly developed conscious minds of all life-forms on Planet Earth (though very deep ecologists and naturalists disagree with this presumptuousness). From this human-centric point of view, the various levels of consciousness of living organisms are all evolutionary adaptations enhancing the survivability of individuals, to thus enhance the likelihood of the propagation and continuation of their species as environmental conditions change.  

    • Finance

      • Opinion | It’s Time for Corporations to Pay America What They Owe

        Biden and Yellen are taking on the herculean job of cleaning the Augean stables after decades of rampant and growing tax abuse.

        America’s corporate sector owes the rest of the economy big time. And the Biden administration is taking first steps to redress this through long-overdue tax reforms that will help pay for the modernization of infrastructure that businesses—and all of us—need to thrive. 

      • Will a Scorched-Earth Campaign Successfully Invisibilize Toronto’s Homeless Encampments?

        Toronto’s police, fire department, and most other City officials have provided a carefully drawn study in steadfastly looking the other way when it comes to the cause of such fires.

        Jeff, a gaunt, goateed man who had just turned forty-six years old, dealt drugs in the Sanctuary-Hislop encampment.

      • The Trillion Dollar SUV

        Let me spell that out for you: $1,002,300,000,000. At Wall Street’s market closed Friday, according to the billionaire trackers at Forbes, America’s eight richest individuals held over $1 trillion for the first time ever.

        Six of the eight — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison — each now sit on a personal fortune worth $100 billion or more. But don’t feel bad for the other two, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both of Google. With wealth of $98.6 billion and $95.6 billion respectively, they’re both sitting just a rounding error away from “centi-billionaire” status.

      • A Plea to President Biden to Stop Perpetuating Racist Tax Policy

        Dear President Biden,

        You have pledged to fight to rid our nation of systemic racism. I believe you mean that. But it seems that many in your administration do not. Or perhaps they simply underestimate your resolve.

      • Opinion | Why the Poorest Millionaires Should Stop Worrying About a Wealth Tax

        If you don’t have $20 million or sitting around you can just relax.

        Benjamin Franklin observed that nothing is certain except death and taxes.

      • Lessons From Bessemer: What Amazon’s Union Defeat Means for the American Labor Movement

        When Amazon opened its second fulfillment center in the Baltimore region, in 2018, most anyone driving to it from the city arrived via Dundalk Avenue, which took them past a yellow brick building that was constructed in 1952 to house Local 2609 and 2610 of the United Steelworkers and an adjacent building that opened after Local 2610 moved into its own space.

        By then, the buildings were mostly vacant, because the steel mill whose workers the union had represented had closed, in 2012, after a long, steady decline. The Bethlehem Steel works were once the largest in the world, an industrial sprawl on the Sparrows Point peninsula that employed some 30,000 people, several thousand of whom lived in an adjoining company town. The work had been grueling and frequently treacherous since the mill’s founding, in the 1890s: “Always More Production” was the slogan of Eugene Grace, Bethlehem Steel’s president from 1916 to 1945. And, in the early decades of the 20th century, a disproportionate share of the fruits of the workers’ labor flowed to the top: Grace’s predecessor split his time between a mansion on Riverside Drive, in New York, which with 75 rooms and a dining salon that could seat 250 was the largest residence in the city, and a 1,000-acre, 18-building estate in Pennsylvania, which required a staff of 70 and included a replica of a farming village in Normandy.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Will Biden’s Foreign Policy Sap His Domestic Policy?

        In his first 100 days, President Biden has rolled out elements of his “build back better” domestic reform agenda, including the American Rescue Plan, his $2 trillion infrastructure bill and a family plan soon to come. Simultaneously, he has turbocharged his “ America is back” foreign policy, exchanging insults with Russia and China, striking at Iranian militia camps in Syria, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and more. Both at home and abroad, his initiatives must overcome strong opposition. The larger question is whether the foreign policy will sap the energy, attention and resources needed to rebuild the United States at home.

        The scope of Biden’s domestic ambitions has been a pleasant surprise. The president has called for new industrial policy to address the climate calamity, long overdue investments in infrastructure and housing, fair trade and “ buy American” policies, tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations, bolstering economic rights, and beginning to redress racial inequities.

      • U.S. President Biden proposes summit meeting during call with Putin

        U.S. President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, April 13.

      • Right-Wing Banker Pulls Off Upset Win in Ecuador Over Leftist Champion

        “Now is a time for reflection,” said Progressive International’s David Adler. “The triumph of lawfare should send a chill through the global community.”

        Following left-wing economist Andrés Arauz’s loss to right-wing former banker Guillermo Lasso in Ecuador’s recent presidential election, Progressive International on Monday argued that the disappointing results reflect the unsettling “triumph of lawfare” and underscore the need for progressive forces of all stripes to unify behind an emancipatory vision in order to “defeat the reactionary right” worldwide.

      • Opinion | The Republican Party Must Be Purged Like the Nazis and Fascists

        It must not be allowed, like the Confederacy was, to live on with its own “lost cause” BS mythology.

        President Joe Biden has largely given up on trying to negotiate anything with Republicans. There’s a good reason for this: the GOP is no longer a legitimate political party.

      • Russian businessmen close to Putin have lost billions of rubles on the winery near his alleged palace

        The winery located near President Vladimir Putin’s alleged “palace” on the Black Sea has cost its owners billions of rubles in losses over the past three years, reports MBX Media.

      • This isn’t a Border Crisis, It’s a Poverty, Violence and Climate Crisis

        Despite their legal rights to apply for asylum, U.S. officials are turning away huge numbers, claiming pandemic restrictions. But thousands of children remain, held in crowded border detention facilities while awaiting transfer to Department of Health and Human Services facilities that are full to bursting.

        The situation is terrible for those children and their families. But dealing with it isn’t rocket science: The government should authorize emergency spending to expand and build new facilities and hire social workers, health care providers, and teachers to care for these kids — along with an expanded team of family reunion workers.

      • The Return of Northern Ireland as the Most Dangerous Open Wound in British Political Life
      • When Prince Philip Became a Monument

        The awardees were justifiably brilliant.  There were the establishment birds of paradise: the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a man who soporifically charmed; and the Bank of England governor, Mervyn King.  The mad cat mathematician’s contribution was also honoured in the form of string theorist Edward Witten of Princeton. Honorary doctorates in law were also conferred upon educator Charles Vest and writer Njabulo Ndebele. Ahmed Zewail scooped the honorary doctorate in science and novelist Margaret Drabble the honorary doctorate in letters.

        The ceremony was softly coated in formal Latin, the awards themselves granted to the bright and the brightest, the hall acting as a brace of history.  But it was the Duke of Edinburgh who, as ever, managed to cut through what would have otherwise been a stuffy gathering with his immemorial manner.  Cambridge University’s chancellor turned up to preside, and, his cloak train held by the unfortunate subaltern, appeared like a decorated reptile, gown merged with body.

      • GOP Smears DOJ Civil Rights Pick Kristen Clarke in Latest Attack on Voting Rights & Racial Justice

        We look at President Biden’s nomination of Kristen Clarke to become the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the conservative smear campaign against the veteran civil rights lawyer. The far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson has devoted at least five segments to attacking Clarke’s nomination, including baseless accusations of anti-Semitism. Ben Jealous, president of People for the American Way and former president of the NAACP, says “the right-wing attack machine” springs into action whenever Black nominees are up for confirmation. “They make sport, quite frankly, of trying to defame their character, destroy their reputation, and they see women of color as being very vulnerable,” says Jealous. He also addresses the state of police-community relations in the U.S. and efforts to stop police impunity for killing Black people.

      • ‘White Lives Matter’ protests are failing across America. Here’s one big reason why.

        Other critics say deplatforming would drive bad actors underground toward more nefarious watering holes. But evidence shows the opposite: Most simply give up. They are demoralized by the sudden loss of influence and income.

      • Anti-war podcaster harassed by police after criticizing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter

        The tweet that apparently prompted the police visit was a video clip of Ocasio-Cortez in which she provided a tortuously convoluted response to a question on the Israel-Palestine conflict, which bordered on incomprehensible. Wentz described her answer to the question as “incredibly underwhelming” and, as is commonplace on Twitter, tagged the congresswoman.

        [...]

        The fact that either a tweet criticizing Ocasio-Cortez or a tweet in which Wentz was tagged but did not author could lead to police harassment at Wentz’s home has serious implications for the entire working class.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Tennessee Lawmakers Decide Chris Sevier Has Good Ideas, Push His Bill To Compel Speech From Media Outlets

        There’s no freer speech than compelled speech. That’s the conclusion some Tennessee legislators have come to. Sure, they managed to whip up an actual anti-SLAPP law that’s starting to curtail the state’s reputation as a place where anyone can be sued for anything they say… including things they didn’t actually say.

      • Why Would China Censor Oscars Over a Short Doc Nominee? ‘They Are Obviously Afraid,’ Director Says

        Anders Hammer, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary short “Do Not Split,” talks to TheWrap about the Chinese government’s harsh reaction to his film on the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

      • China Orders No Live Oscars After Hong Kong Protest Film Nomination

        China told local media not to broadcast next month’s Oscars ceremony in real time and to play down coverage of the awards, according to people familiar with the matter, after a documentary on the Hong Kong protests was nominated and amid concern over the political views of Best Director contender Chloe Zhao.

        The Communist Party’s propaganda department issued the order to all media outlets, said the people, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the issue. Outlets were told that Oscars coverage should focus on awards that aren’t seen as controversial, according to the people.

      • Hollywood’s China Problem Unfolds In Ongoing Chloé Zhao Controversy

        The answer is pretty obvious. Beijing’s notoriously sensitive powerbrokers, of course, have already taken note. Disney badly needs access to the Chinese market when it comes to releasing “Eternals,” Zhao’s forthcoming Marvel film. Angered by Zhao’s prior sentiments, Chinese Communist Party sensors could imperil the “Eternals” release, blocking their citizens from interacting with the work of a perceivably hostile artist who left China and found success in the West. The government actually took steps to censor online chatter about Zhao and “Nomadland” in March.

        That means Disney is in damage-control mode, which would explain the missing quote from Filmmaker’s article on Zhao. The publication deleted the quote in February, eight years later, and added a note to say the story had been “edited and condensed after publication.”

      • Is Hong Kong’s Oscars blackout a sign of Beijing’s crackdown on Hollywood?

        Critics fear the move, announced this week, could be part of a broader crackdown on real or perceived critics of the Chinese government. English-language Hong Kong newspaper The Standard suggested that the Oscars ban was also in response to Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao’s critical comments about China and her multiple nominations for the awards this year. Zhao’s US drama “Nomadland” is the frontrunner to win the top prize for Best Picture at the Academy Award ceremony next month.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Prison officials declare Navalny’s health satisfactory, but his wife says otherwise

        Two weeks after the start of his prison hunger strike, Alexey Navalny’s health is “satisfactory,” according to Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) officials in Russia’s Vladimir region.

      • Russian oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin wins defamation case against ‘Navalny Live’ host

        A Moscow court has partially satisfied a lawsuit filed by Russian catering mogul Evgeny Prigozhin against opposition politician Vladimir Milov, the host of the YouTube show “Navalny Live.”

      • Right-Wing Attacks on Germany’s Press

        In the former East-German city of Leipzig, on a cold and damp evening of 7 November 2020 everything looked rather ordinary. It was dark but local people came to the rally. They screamed and waved their arms. Bottles became missiles and fireworks exploded. Suddenly, a group of aggressive demonstrators broke through the police line. Right in the middle were newspaper reporters and public broadcast journalists from TV stations.

        Some of these media people pressed their backs against a police car which seemed to offer the only protection. But the journalists were surrounded by the unruly crowd. The right-wing mob gathered. The police were watching as the howling pack across the street. Journalists were insulted and called whores and traitors. They were called liars and fake news mongers, just as Donald Trump did for years. The playbook is the same, the country different. Reporters were shoved, spat at, threatened with lethal injuries and the Hitler salute is shown.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Amazon Vote Shows Why We Need the PRO act
      • The Sweeps Stop Here?

        Whether or not that is the case, something important is happening.  There are new developments every day, so just describing what’s been going on feels like taking a picture of a moving train, but it seems like a good moment to give a little report-back.

        As I describe what’s been going on, I’ll just note first that I don’t mean to be implying that similar kinds of efforts haven’t been ongoing all over the country for a long time — they have.  And even thriving, intersectional rebellions like Tompkins Square Park in New York City in the 1980’s could be crushed, with enough money spent on riot cop overtime.  But what’s happening at Laurelhurst has an energy about it that has many echoes of Tompkins Square.

      • Stand with Haiti! A Call for Solidarity

        Ten years ago on March 18, 2011, former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, his wife and colleague, Mildred Trouillot Aristide, and their two children, returned from forced exile in South Africa. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Port-au-Prince and poured into the courtyard of their home to greet them, seeing in their return a renewal of hope for a democratic and just Haiti.

        In honor of that day and to demonstrate our resolve to support the people’s movement in Haiti, we the undersigned organizations join with Haiti Action Committee to call for a Day of Solidarity With Haiti on March 18, 2021.

      • Farmworkers Need Families, Not Deportation and Exploitation

        Deporting people while bringing in contract farm labor is not new.  In 1954, during the bracero program the U.S. deported 1,074,277 people in the infamous “Operation Wetback, and brought in 309,033 contract workers. ” Two years later 445,197 braceros were brought to work on U.S. farms.

        Farmworkers already living in the U.S. were replaced by contract labor when they demanded higher wages.  Farmworker advocates accused the government of using deportations to create a labor shortage, and force workers and growers into the bracero program. Braceros were abused and cheated, they argued, and deported if they went on strike.

      • How Antidiscrimination Law Fails Black Mothers

        One July night in 2019, Tiffinni Archie felt a stranger’s fingers closing around her throat and woke up screaming. Too scared to fall sleep again, she took a shower and tried to get ready for another day at work. At night, in her dreams, it was always strangers who attacked, chased, and strangled her; by day, it was her supervisor who slapped her on the back and called her the “token African American” at their small police department in Washington state.

        Every day she braced herself for a new attack: Her coworkers wrote a letter to the chief of police accusing her of sleeping with another minority police officer for favors on the job. They accused her of putting her hand on her vagina and then rubbing her coworker’s face. One coworker told her that he had to work twice as hard because “minorities have it easy.” They cruised past her home at night to intimidate her. She lived in fear of what they might do or say to her next.

      • ‘Team Navalny’ members detained in multiple Russian cities over the past two days

        The authorities in multiple Russian cities have detained several members of “Team Navalny” over the past two days. Moreover, on April 12, two employees of the newly opened campaign headquarters in Makhachkala were reported missing. These arrests and disappearances have been accompanied by searches of the Team Navalny headquarters in St. Petersburg and Voronezh, while the campaign office in Murmansk was left with property damage after a break-in.

      • Navalny files lawsuit against prison for withholding his copy of the Quran

        Imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny has filed a lawsuit against Pokrov’s Penal Colony No. 2, where he is serving a 2.5 year sentence, for withholding his copy of the Quran. 

      • Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Is Designed to Fail

        I can distill the Democrats’ decades-long failure to control the Supreme Court into a single concept: Republicans use the nation’s highest court to reward their hard-core voting base; Democrats use it to pacify their moderates. The staunch refusal of establishment Democrats to offer anything more than a token defense of their voters through the court is the reason Democrats are always fighting an asymmetrical war over the third branch of government—and always losing.

        The latest Democratic Party failure is Joe Biden’s Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Last week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise, Biden announced the composition of an 180-day commission to study expanding the court. Biden’s choices confirm the worst fears court reformers had about the president: He doesn’t want a solution; he wants an excuse to do nothing.

      • Solidarity With the Asian Community

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

      • An NDA Was Designed to Keep Me Quiet

        Companies have long used NDAs to prevent competitors from poaching confidential information and good ideas. But they appear to increasingly be used to prevent workers from speaking out about instances of harassment, discrimination or assault they may face on the job.

        During the #MeToo movement, those who came forward to report workplace abuses did so at great personal and legal risk. But it shouldn’t be this way. That is why I’m helping lead the passage of a bill in California that, if signed into law, will allow victims of any kind of workplace discrimination to speak openly about the abuse they experience, regardless of the language in an NDA.

      • Grocery workers died feeding the nation. Now, their families are left to pick up the pieces.

        More than one year after the pandemic first swept across the country, the plight of grocery workers who risked death to keep the country fed has raised questions about retail labor conditions and the responsibility of corporations in worker deaths from the coronavirus. At least 158 grocery workers have died from the virus, with at least 35,100 workers infected or exposed, according to data from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

        Walmart has seen at least 22 store workers die from Covid-19, according to worker-sourced data provided to United For Respect, a nonprofit labor advocacy group. Walmart declined to comment on the number of coronavirus cases among its 1.5 million U.S.-based workers.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • California: Demand Broadband for All

        Take Action

        Tell your Senators to Support S.B. 4

        This is why EFF is part of a coalition of nonprofits, private-sector companies, and local governments in support of  S.B. 4. Authored by California State Senator Lena Gonzalez, the bill would promote construction of the 21 st century infrastructure necessary to finally put a dent in, and eventually close, the digital divide in California.

    • Monopolies

      • Why it’s easier to move country than switch social media

        When we talk about social media monopolies, we focus too much on network effects, and not enough on switching costs. Yes, it’s true that all your friends are already stuck in a Big Tech silo that doesn’t talk to any of the other Big Tech silos. It needn’t be that way: interoperable platforms have existed since the first two Arpanet nodes came online. You can phone anyone with a phone number and email anyone with an email address.

        The reason you can’t talk to Facebook users without having a Facebook account isn’t that it’s technically impossible – it’s that Facebook forbids it. What’s more, Facebook (and its Big Tech rivals) have the law on their side: the once-common practice of making new products that just work with existing ones (like third-party printer ink, or a Mac program that can read Microsoft Office files, or an emulator that can play old games) has been driven to the brink of extinction by Big Tech. They were fine with this kind of “competitive compatibility” when it benefited them, but now that they dominate the digital world, it’s time for it to die.

        To restore competitive compatibility, we would need reform to many laws: software copyright and patents, the anti-circumvention laws that protect digital rights management, and the cybersecurity laws that let companies criminalize violations of their terms of service.

      • Patents

        • Patent Loving Judge Keeps Pissing Off Patent Appeals Court, But Doesn’t Seem To Care Very Much

          You may recall last fall we had an absolutely astounding story about Judge Alan Albright, a former patent litigator, who was appointed as the only judge in the federal district court in Waco. He very, very quickly made it clear that he wanted all patent cases to come to him, turning the Western District of Texas into the new favored home of patent trolls, taking the mantle from East Texas, which has famously been the trolls’ preferred home for over a decade. Albright did things most people inherently recognize no judge should ever do. This includes things like literally going on a publicity tour to convince patent holders and trolls to file patent cases in his court. To this day, he seems to relish the fact that, despite being on the bench for just a little over two years, more than 20% of all patent cases end up on his personal docket.

      • Trademarks

        • Flip-Flop: Nike Now On The Receiving End Of Trademark Threat Over USPS Inspired Sneakers

          Nike finds itself on our pages again. We’re fresh off of the settlement Nike reached with MSCHF over the Lil Nas X “Satan shoes”. That settlement sees MSCHF agreeing to buy back at retail prices 666 modified Nike Air Max 97s after Nike sued over trademark. It could have been an interesting case, bringing in all kinds of questions about resale rights, the First Amendment, ownership of property, and more. Instead, it all ends with a posturing settlement that achieves nearly nothing, since these fought-over shoes have suddenly been moonshot into an even more rare and valuable item than they already were. But, Nike gets its ounce of litigation blood and gets to pretend this is all somehow a victory.

      • Copyrights

        • Google triumphs over Oracle

          Recently the US Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that Google’s use did indeed represent fair use under US law and the long-running case is now finished. Oracle was understandably not pleased, while Google declared the decision to be “a victory for consumers, interoperability and computer science”. The ruling covered 37 Java APIs and 11,500 lines of copyrighted code so it begs the question of just how much you can “reuse” before being culpable. In a separate ruling, the court also vacated a ruling that found the former US president Donald Trump could not block Twitter users, which opens up the question can Twitter block Twitter users? I suspect we will see a lot more on this last ruling in the coming months.

          - They said it would never happen, but in other Java-related news Microsoft has released its own OpenJDK variant with binaries for Java 11 for macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Microsoft also plans to make the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK the default distribution for Java 11 across Azure-managed services later this year.

          - Going even further back, nearly 30 years in this case, the eons old case of SCO vs Linux has reared up from the almost dead once more. As one source put it “the software zombie court case to end all zombie software court cases has woken from its slumber”. The SCO Group tried from a long time back to get money out of 1,500 companies, without success. IBM was a main target and they ended up paying out a little just to stop the harassment. In more recent times a group called Xinous found some money and are having another go but the word is that they will have even less luck than the SCO Group did back in the day. There is now after all such a thing as Ubuntu for Windows.

        • MSCHF’s ‘Exclusive’ Pirate Bay and Megaupload Email Addresses Sold Out Quickly

          Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF ‘dropped’ a set of exclusive email addresses, featuring The Pirate Bay and Megaupload domains. While these hype domains have nothing to do with the original sites and cost a healthy $250 apiece, they sold like hot cakes. Even the $1,200 box sets, including 4Chan, Heaven’s Gate, and Angelfire addresses, are no longer available.

        • ‘Pirate’ Law Firm Pressured Cooperative Housing Project to Settle Porn ‘Lawsuit’

          Under-fire law firm Njord Law pressured a cooperative housing association to settle a proposed lawsuit, despite none of the parties having any idea who the infringer was. In a clear sign that copyright trolls’ answer to every response is “pay us”, Njord simply kept dropping the settlement amount until paying became the least painful option.

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  1. Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

    Links for the day



  2. The New Microsoft? No, the New IBM.

    Microsoft GitHub and IBM: a strategic alliance between a monopolistic duo



  3. The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

    Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy



  4. King of Linux

    If the entire operating system is being called "Linux", then we fall for a publicity or misattribution stunt



  5. The Biggest Troll is the Linux Foundation, Still Looking to Provoke and Defame Free Software Communities in Order to Help a Monopolistic Takeover and to Shoehorn Tyrants Into Leadership Positions

    Contrary to what the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is trying to say, the most toxic element is itself; it’s maligning the real community while protecting abusive and racist corporations that profit from war and tribalism-motivated hatred



  6. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 06, 2021



  7. “The Lolita Express” and Prince Bill

    “The Lolita Express” scandals return to haunt pool old Bill, as it turns out his wife was upset and it's quite likely the reason for their divorce



  8. Links 7/5/2021: GNU/Linux Preinstalled, Plamo 7.3, LibreOffice 7.1.3

    Links for the day



  9. The Latest Reports About Bill Gates Serve to Confirm or at Least Reaffirm Many People's Suspicions

    So, just as many people suspected, Melinda Gates did not appreciate her husband sneaking behind her back to meet someone who had trafficked thousands of underage girls for sexual exploitation and there are high-profile calls right now for greater transparency, seeing the impact on the world’s biggest tax evasion vehicle



  10. Disregard Web Sites That Call Themselves 'News' and Instead Promote Proprietary Software for Companies Like Microsoft

    Publishers like IDG have long been paid-for marketing in ‘article’ clothing, sometimes with the veneer of ‘reporting’ (as if they have some inside knowledge or insight, e.g. speaking with or for the company they secretly coordinate with or market for); but sadly we’ve been seeing some so-called ‘Linux’ sites doing the same thing, in effect acting like de facto Microsoft marketers



  11. [Meme] Who Needs Examination Anyway When There's 'Hey Hi' (AI)?

    The patent production line could do away with 'pesky' and 'opinionated' examiners who actually wish to scrutinise alleged 'inventions'



  12. Europe's Second-Largest Institution Corrupting the Media and Buying Expensive Puff Pieces

    As annual reports reveal, the EPO wastes an extraordinary amount of money on reputation laundering campaigns and it pollutes the signal by paying publishers; we examine this issue using the new 'reports' shown in the video above



  13. Links 6/5/2021: Fedora’s Compiler Policy and Celemony Software GmbH Adopting Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. Free Software Proponents Don't Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

    There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 05, 2021



  16. Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

    The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)



  17. Links 5/5/2021: Mesa 21.1 Released and New Releases of Python

    Links for the day



  18. Links 5/5/2021: StarLabs, GNU Zile 2.6.2, Fedora i3 Spin

    Links for the day



  19. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  20. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  22. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  24. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  25. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  27. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that



  28. Links 3/5/2021: Sparky 5.15, Bill Gates Divorce, Netflix Fraud

    Links for the day



  29. Links 3/5/2021: New in OpenBSD 6.9 and Audacity Acquired By Muse Group

    Links for the day



  30. Adding, Seaming Together, Merging, or Concatenating Videos From the Command Line With FFMPEG (Scripting for Streamlining of Workflows)

    In order to enrich the looks of videos with almost no extra time/effort (all scripted, no GUIs should be needed) use ffmpeg with the concat operator; but there are several big gotchas, namely lack of sound and need for consistency across formats/codecs and even sampling rates


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