Monthly Archives: March 2016

With Hillary Clinton’s Email Lies Unravelling, 147 FBI Agents Are On Her Heels

The “OIL LEAK” may be one of the biggest corruption document leaks ever!

The “OIL LEAK” may be one of the biggest corruption document leaks ever!

 

Hundreds of thousands of leaked emails reveal massively widespread corruption in global oil industry

 

A massive leak of confidential documents has for the first time exposed the true extent of corruption within the oil industry, implicating dozens of leading companies, bureaucrats and politicians in a sophisticated global web of bribery and graft.

 

After a six-month investigation across two continents, Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post can reveal that billions of dollars of government contracts were awarded as the direct result of bribes paid on behalf of firms including British icon Rolls-Royce, US giant Halliburton, Australia’s Leighton Holdings and Korean heavyweights Samsung and Hyundai.

 

The investigation centres on a Monaco company called Unaoil, run by the jet-setting Ahsani clan. Following a coded ad in a French newspaper, a series of clandestine meetings and midnight phone calls led to our reporters obtaining hundreds of thousands of the Ahsanis’ leaked emails and documents.

 

The trove reveals how they rub shoulders with royalty, party in style, mock anti-corruption agencies and operate a secret network of fixers and middlemen throughout the world’s oil producing nations.

 

Corruption in oil production – one of the world’s richest industries and one that touches us all through our reliance on petrol – fuels inequality, robs people of their basic needs and causes social unrest in some of the world’s poorest countries. It was among the factors that prompted the Arab Spring.

 

Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post today reveal how Unaoil carved up portions of the Middle East oil industry for the benefit of western companies between 2002 and 2012.

 

In part two we will turn to the impoverished former Russian states to reveal the extent of misbehaviour by multinational companies including Halliburton. We will conclude the three-part investigation by showing how corrupt practices have extended deep into Asia and Africa.

 

The leaked files reveal that some people in these firms believed they were hiring a genuine lobbyist, and others who knew or suspected they were funding bribery simply turned a blind eye.

 

The leaked files expose as corrupt two Iraqi oil ministers, a fixer linked to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, senior officials from Libya’s Gaddafi regime, Iranian oil figures, powerful officials in the United Arab Emirates and a Kuwaiti operator known as “the big cheese”.

 

Western firms involved in Unaoil’s Middle East operation include some of the world’s wealthiest and most respected companies: Rolls-Royce and Petrofac from Britain; US companies FMC Technologies, Cameron and Weatherford; Italian giants Eni and Saipem; German companies MAN Turbo (now know as MAN Diesal & Turbo) and Siemens; Dutch firm SBM Offshore; and Indian giant Larsen & Toubro. They also show the offshore arm of Australian company Leighton Holdings was involved in serious, calculated corruption.

 

The leaked files reveal that some people in these firms believed they were hiring a genuine lobbyist, and others who knew or suspected they were funding bribery simply turned a blind eye.

 

But some knew much more. A handful of senior insiders at firms such as Spanish company Tecnicas Reunidas, French firm Technip and drilling giant MI-SWACO, not only actively supported bribery but pocketed their own kickbacks; US defence giant Honeywell and Australia’s Leighton Offshore agreed to hide bribes inside fraudulent contracts in Iraq; a Rolls-Royce manager negotiated a monthly kickback for leaking information from inside the British firm.

 

Many of those revealed to have been culpable, including the wealthy Ahsani family itself, which runs Unaoil, continue to operate with impunity.

 

The files expose the betrayal of ordinary people in the Middle East. After Saddam Hussein was toppled, the US declared Iraq’s oil would be managed to benefit the Iraqi people. Today, in part one of the ‘Global Bribe Factory’ expose, that claim is demolished.

 

It is the Monaco company that almost perfected the art of corruption.

 

It is called Unaoil and it is run by members of the Ahsani family – Monaco millionaires who rub shoulders with princes, sheikhs and Europe’s and America’s elite business crowd. At the head are family patriarch Ata Ahsani and his two dashing sons, Cyrus and Saman. Their charities support the arts and children, and Ahsani family members sit on the boards of NGOs with ex-politicians and billionaires. Ten years ago, a spreadsheet showed they had cash, shares and property worth 190 million euros. They are members of the global elite.

 

How they make their money is simple. Oil-rich countries often suffer poor governance and high levels of corruption. Unaoil’s business plan is to play on the fears of large Western companies that they cannot win contracts without its help.

 

The multi-million dollar fees Unaoil takes from its clients are funnelled into an industrial scale bribery operation which further entrenches corruption among the powerful few.

 

Its operatives then bribe officials in oil-producing nations to help these clients win government-funded projects. The corrupt officials might rig a tender committee. Or leak inside information. Or ensure a contract is awarded without a competitive tender.

 

If you believe Ata Ahsani, it’s all above board: “We are not in the business of fixing jobs for people. Our work is basically very basic. What we do is integrate Western technology with local capability,” he told Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post.

 

Did Unaoil bribe public officials? “The answer is absolutely no”.

 

But the evidence of their own internal email cache, leaked to Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post, clearly demonstrates that the multi-million dollar fees Unaoil takes from its clients are funnelled into an industrial scale bribery operation which further entrenches corruption among the powerful few.

 

Bankers in New York and London have facilitated Unaoil’s money laundering, while the Ahsanis have built a major property investment business in central London. Since 2007, Unaoil has been certified by anti-corruption agency Trace International. This in itself raises serious questions about the worth of such international accreditation.

 

But for the western companies confronted with questions under anti foreign bribery laws in their own jurisdictions, Unaoil appears to be a reputable and discrete middle-man, giving listed businesses what is known as “plausible deniability”.

 

Companies approached by Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post about their contracts with Unaoil have emphasised they have strong anti-corruption policies, and are committed to investigating their dealings with Unaoil.

 

Unaoil paid at least $25 million in bribes via middlemen to secure the support of powerful officials — while complaining internally that they were “assholes, and greedy”

 

After the US led coalition won the second gulf war, it went to guard the oil ministry – leaving the Baghdad museum undefended to be looted of its treasures.

 

But they did not save the oil industry from thieves. The Unaoil files reveal that Western companies, in concert with Iraq’s new elite, themselves began a sustained campaign of looting.

 

Unaoil paid at least $25 million in bribes via middlemen to secure the support of powerful officials – while complaining internally that they were “assholes, and greedy”.

 

Between 2004 and 2012, Unaoil corruptly influenced a Who’s Who of the country’s oil industry: the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq turned education minister Hussain al-Shahristani; Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi (who was replaced in 2014); the Director General of the South Oil Company, Dhia Jaffar al-Mousawi, who in 2015 became a deputy minister; and top oil official Oday al-Quraishi.

 

The most senior politicians received multi-million dollar lump sums, while those lower down the food chain were paid lesser amounts. Quraishi, who oversaw Iraq’s most important oil industry expansion project, pocketed a monthly kickback of $US6000 – “$5K for him, and $1k he needs for presents to people within” – along with additional large pay-offs.

 

The minister, Dr Shahristani, who is now Iraq’s education minister, denied he had been involved in any wrongdoing. Other Iraqi officials did not respond to requests to comment.

 

Unaoil also bribed senior insiders working for the international oil companies which were contracted by Iraq to manage its oil fields. The leaked files reveal rampant corruption inside Italian oil giant Eni, which ran the tender processes for contractors working on the giant Zubair oil field.

 

Unaoil’s clients in Iraq included British giant Rolls-Royce, US firms FMC Technologies and Cameron, Italy’s Saipem, German company MAN Turbo, the US listed Weatherford, Dutch company SBM Offshore and Australia’s Leighton Offshore.

 

Everything works and progresses on connections, relations with special talent”. So wrote an Iranian fixer, part of Unaoil’s remarkable network of insiders dedicated to paying and pocketing bribes. After the recent relaxing of United Nations, US and European sanctions, this network has become even more valuable.

 

In 2006, this Unaoil operative complained in emails that one of the company’s clients, UK firm Weir Pumps (now owned by US firm SPX), owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars which he had promised to use in part to sling to others in Iran.

 

“[It] is the end of Iranian new year here, expectations high, I am short in cash, and about five million pounds of business with Weir [is] in danger… Because I can not fulfill my obligations to my team of Supporters.”

 

If the money was not forthcoming, he warned, Weir Pumps risked “melting like a piece of ice, day by day.”

 

“…over half a million dollars of my consultancy fee… I have already spend it for the promotion of their businesses in Iran.”

 

A separate set of leaked memos from 2006 said Unaoil would pay “10 k/month” to secure the support of the managing director of a firm chaired by a high ranking Iranian official, part owned by an Iranian government entity and overseen by a board with “political influence.”

 

“MD [managing director]… wants $10k/month. AA [Ata Ahsani of Unaoil] agree to this given his excellent connections.”

 

Unaoil’s Iranian network – which was also used to assist firms such as ABB, Elliott and Japan’s Yokogawa – extends beyond the oil industry. In 2011, Unaoil helped solve a dispute involving one of its Australian clients by reaching out to “several influential contacts… including the head of the Iranian Police”.

 

Prior to the recent easing of sanctions, Unaoil used strategies including front companies to avoid the scrutiny of Western officials. It advised its corrupt fixers to not wire funds using US dollars and to use companies “not having the name Iran in it”.

 

“ … what type of Baksheesh is needed to present to these men in order to get work”

 

In 2004, when the West began removing sanctions against Libya, and the regime of Colonel Gaddafi started dealing with foreign companies, Unaoil stood ready.

 

By 2011, its network of corrupt insiders included officials and front men able to influence the dealings of many of Libya’s most important oil and gas agencies.

 

In late 2008, a Canadian drilling firm, Canuck Completions, told Unaoil it was “curious about … what type of Baksheesh is needed to present to these men in order to get work” in Libya.

 

Among Unaoil’s corrupt insiders was the powerful Libyan official, Mustafa Zarti, a confidant for the Gaddafi regime. Unaoil’s files describe Zarti as “good friends of President Ghadafi’s [sic] son of Libya and have lot of influence in lobbying the jobs in Libya”. Unaoil agreed to secretly pay Zarti millions of dollars. In return he would use his influence to advantage Unaoil’s clients.

 

“MZ [Zarti] sits on the board of LFIC [Libyan Foreign Investment Committee] … which controls… Oil fund ($6bn) … He sees his role as us executing and him fixing issues we come across. MZ has agreed to bring all his oil & gas work to us,” a September 2006 Unaoil memo said.

 

Unaoil’s multinational clients in Libya included Malaysian giant Ranhill, Korean conglomerate ISU and Spanish company Tecnicas Reunidas.

 

In Syria, Unaoil turned to a middleman close to the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

 

In 2008 and 2009, Unaoil promised the man 2.75 million euros who helped its British client Petrofac win contracts from Assad regime petroleum companies. “Strictly confidential” emails from 2008 show this middleman promised to pay others to win these contracts.

 

But when he was not paid on time, he complained the delays were causing problems with “friends” in Syria.

 

“It is becoming very unpleasant [sic] for me not delivering as expected,” he wrote to Unaoil in December 2009.

 

Petrofac is understood to be unaware of Unaoil’s involvement in its Syrian dealings and in response to questions said it “aspires to the highest standards of ethical behaviour”.

 

In Yemen, Unaoil paid millions to a. Swiss account belonging to fixer and businessman Haitham Alaini, the son of the former Yemeni prime minister. In return, Alaini used his contacts in the Yemen to help Unaoil.

 

In Kuwait, Unaoil had on its payroll a powerful official who they called “the big cheese.”

 

To direct a contract to Unaoil’s long term client in the Middle East, US firm FMC Technologies, Unaoil wanted a payment of $2.5 million. It then planned to assign a middleman to handle “the big cheese in Kuwait and to decide what portion… should go to that man”.

 

In the UAE, Unaoil’s network included a public official with links to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The leaked Unaoil files reveal this official had commercial dealings with the Ahsanis who, in return, were seeking the official’s backing in the region. This included an entree to a project funded by the office of “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed”.

 

Unaoil corrupted a senior official in a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s National Oil company. This insider rigged a tender panel for a Unaoil client, Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro.

 

 

 

White House Staff Found To be Inside the Ivanpah Google Crony Capitalism Scandal

 

Another Google “Green Cash” scam screws taxpayers. Google may have bought White House but it did not buy good technology!

 

 

“THE SKIM” – Google owners skim profits off the top during the U.S. Treasury transfer, via banks and stock market pump-and-dumps, and then let the fake “Cleantech” bait companies linger and die like Solyndra, Abound, Fisker, etc. If it was anybody else, the FBI would have hauled them off to prison long ago. Campaign financier Google, though, gets to commit unlimited crimes.

 

 

Energy

 

Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn’t Work

 

David Kreutzer / @dwkreutzer / /

 

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The $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Photo: Flickr / Atomic Hotlinks / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

As every 10-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “it’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.

 

The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity; they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.)

 

Here’s the story so far. Ivanpah…

 

  • is owned by Google, NRG Energy, and Brightsource, who have a market cap in excess of $500 billion.

  • received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy.

  • is paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural gas-powered plants.

  • is paid two to three times as much per megawatt-hour as other solar power producers.

  • has burned thousands of birds to death.

  • has delayed loan repayments.

  • is seeking over $500 million in grants to help pay off the guaranteed loans.

  • burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each morning to get its mojo going.

 

Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who’s who of those who don’t need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.

 

 

In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output is the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine-percent drop in sunshine causes a 32-percent drop in production.

 

More bizarrely, the natural gas used to get the plant all warmed up and ready each day would be enough to generate over one quarter of the power actually produced from the solar energy. Sorry, let’s not be haters.

 

The problem for Ivanpah’s customers (California power utilities) is that they planned on all those solar watt-hours to meet California’s renewable power mandates, which require that renewables produce a large and rising fraction of California’s electricity. That is why they pay so much more for Ivanpah’s output than for conventionally powered electricity.

 

Breaching their contracts with these California utilities threatened to shut down Ivanpah. More likely than permanently shutting Ivanpah down would have been a change of ownership at a price that came closer to reflecting reality.

 

But this would have been bothersome for Ivanpah’s investors and the Department of Energy’s ridiculous Section 1703 Loan Program, so the California Public Utilities Commission saved the day (for the fat-cat owners, of course, not for actual the electricity consumers) by granting the company an extension to meet the production targets.

 

The best part of the ruling is the section on the cost—it’s pretty succinct.

 

Here it is in its entirety:

 

 

THE COSTS ARE SECRET AND WITHHELD FROM THE PUBLIC

 

But hey, Ivanpah’s plant is a shiny new technological marvel. That’s what counts, right?

 

Ivanpah | The Green Corruption Files

 

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The Green Corruption Files. Exposing the largest, most expensive and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history…

 

http://greencorruption.com/tag/ivanpah/

 

Ivanpah – AgainstCronyCapitalism.org

 

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Posted in Crony Capitalism | Tagged big government, boondoggle, California, crony capitalism, cronyism, Ivanpah, Obama, solar, solar power, …

 

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Is The Ivanpah Google Solar Project Another DOE Crony …

 

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Google’s Ivanpah Crony-Funded Project Seeks Ways To … HOW THE CRONY CAPITALISM OF THE CLEANTECH … Follow THE CLEANTECH CRASH: A DOCUMENTATION on …

 

https://thecleantechcrash.wordpress.co%5B…%5Dject-another-doe-crony-kick-back-scam/

 

 

Crony-Cpitalism – Biden Staffer Solar Savior Filed under Corruption | Posted by yxrzmijmie

Editor’s Note – Add the Biden crew members to the long line of crony-capitalism, again.

Solar Company Hired Biden Staffer to Help Secure $1.6 Billion Federal Loan

By Lachlan Markay – Heritage Foundation

Internal emails show that BrightSource Energy, which received the largest federal loan for a solar energy project under President Obama’s stimulus package, leveraged its considerable political connections with top Democratic policymakers to secure its $1.6 billion in taxpayer backing.

BrightSource energy faced a “do-or-die momenIvanpah | The Green Corruption Files

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Ivanpah – AgainstCronyCapitalism.org

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Is The Ivanpah Google Solar Project Another DOE Crony …

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t,” according to a report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, as the Energy Department weighed a federal loan for its massive Ivanpah solar farm in the California Mojave Desert.

To spur the administration to approve the loan, BrightSource beefed up its lobbying presence, most notably by hiring Bernie Toon, former chief of staff for then-Senator Joe Biden, to lobby on its behalf. Toon was paid $40,000 for his efforts, according to disclosure forms.

Toon’s connections immediately paid dividends:

On March 9, 2011, just days after being hired, Mr. Toon went to the White House with three BrightSource executives, according to Senate and White House records. There he visited a former colleague, Alan Hoffman, now the top aide to Mr. Biden, whose office was working on green-energy programs, the records show. The White House didn’t make Mr. Hoffman available for comment.

Overall, BrightSource dropped half a million dollars on lobbyists in the run-up to DOE’s decision on the Ivanpah loan.

Biden staffer Bernie Toon hired by group

But its lobbyists were hardly the extent of BrightSource’s connections. Its chairman at the time, John Bryson, is now Obama’s Commerce Secretary. But even before his cabinet post, BrightSource considered leveraging Bryson’s considerable political clout to push Ivanpah approval.

And the company drew up plans to have its chairman, Mr. Bryson, lobby a friend, then-White House Chief of Staff William Daley. On March 7, the company sent the DOE’s loan-program director a proposed letter from Mr. Bryson to Mr. Daley requesting White House intervention, according to emails viewed by the Journal. It read, “We need a commitment from the WH to quarterback loan closure” by March 18.

The company eventually decided against sending that letter after a DOE official confirmed that the Ivanpah deal was on track for approval.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has incoprporated some of these facts into its investigation into DOE’s green energy financing.

But regardless of whether there was any misconduct or inappropriate lobbying by BrightSource or its representatives, these facts underscore one of critics’ chief complaints about political involvement in the economy generally: when government holds the purse strings, those with the most political connections inevitably benefit.

 

 

GOOGLE’S BIG CASH GRAB ON THE BACK’S OF TAXPAYERS AND DAY TRADERS:

 

 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was paid over $100 MILLION on his first …

 

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai was paid $100.5 million on his first year in … barely getting started,’ said Pichai, who was named CEO in August.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl%5B…%5DON-year-job-public-filing-reveals.html

 

Outgoing” Google CEO Schmidt Gets $100m Award |…

 

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“Outgoing” Google CEO Schmidt to get $100mn equity award By Peggy Kataveli, CMA, B2P

 

http://business2press.com/2011/01/24/g%5B…%5Dgoogle-ceo-schmidt-100mn-equity-award/

 

Google’s Schmidt Gets $100M Stock Award, $6M Bonus – NBC News

 

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Schmidt handed the CEO reins to Google co-founder Larry Page in 2011, after a decade leading the Internet search company. After the job …

 

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Eric Schmidt gets $100m in Google stock and $6m…

 

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Eric Schmidt gets $100m in Google stock and $ … The Google CEO is getting a whopping $6m cash bonus on 14 … Google posted a $16.86bn revenue …

 

http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/bus%5B…%5De-stock-and-6m-cash-bonus/7371.article

 

Google’s Schmidt gets $100m golden handshake – News – Macworld …

 

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Google’s Schmidt gets $100m golden handshake … Schmidt is getting an impressive parting gift of $100 million as he departs Google as CEO, …

 

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Google Inc’s Eric Schmidt takes home $100M in equity, plus a $6M …

 

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Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is getting paid a lot more than he did when he was running the Internet company. Schmidt is getting an award …

 

http://business.financialpost.com/news%5B…%5D-equity-plus-a-6m-valentines-day-bonus

 

USEC gets $100m after Obama nominates its lobbyist …

 

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An energy firm that plans to file bankruptcy in weeks is being given more than $60 million in federal money for unclear purposes after President Obama tapped a former …

 

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/usec%5B…%5Dpartment-of-energy-cfo/article/2542383

 

Schmidt gets $100M in Google stock — again | Computerworld

 

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Google said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that its former CEO and current executive chairman will be eligible for the same award again.

 

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2%5B…%5Dts–100m-in-google-stock—-again.html

 

Google CEO Eric Schmidt gets $100M in shares, $6M in cash for …

 

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It’s the second time in three years that Mountain View-based Google awarded its executive chairman and former CEO shares of that value.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/new%5B…%5D/05/googles-eric-schmidt-gets-106.html

 

Neal Mohan, Google’s $100 Million Man – Business Insider

 

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Fortune’s Jessi Hempel blasted Twitter for failing to launch exciting new products, generate meaningful revenues, or hang on to …

 

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Google Fails To Google “Executive Compensation For 2015,” Pays …

 

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Google chief’s pay tops $100M in first year [NY Post] … Google Fails To Google “ Executive Compensation For 2015,” Pays CEO $100 Million …

 

http://dealbreaker.com/2016/03/google-ceo-100-million-2015/

 

Google’s Eric Schmidt gets big raise to go with $100 million stock …

 

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Eric Schmidt took home a pay package worth $313219 in his final full year as CEO of Google. Now that he’s executive chairman, Schmidt is …

 

http://www.networkworld.com/article/22%5B…%5D-go-with–100-million-stock-award.html

 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai made over $100m in 2015, here are 5 …

 

cached Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s pay package for 2015 was over $100.5m, according to a filing from parent company Alphabet Inc. Tuesday.

 

http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/bus%5B…%5Dyou-didnt-know-about-him/12141.article

 

 

 

Tags

 

Barack Obama, big government, business, crony capitalism, cronyism, economics, energy subsidies, green cronyism, Ivanpah, solar subsidies, Washington DC

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Annouce The Golden Age of Masturbation

Oculus ushers in a Golden Age of masturbation

 

 

 

 

Your fantasy life is about to get much richer, thanks to the wonders of virtual reality.

The Oculus Rift virtual reality equipment began shipping Monday for those who preordered or contributed to the original Kickstarter campaign. Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, has called today “a historic moment” in a release, adding, “soon, people all over the world will be experiencing fully immersive VR in their own homes.”

By which they mean porn, of course.

Sure, there are plenty of VR experiences that will allow users to step into fantastic worlds, jump out of planes or mimic daring stunts, all from the safety of their home. But where goes technological advancement, there also goes pornographic advancement. Plenty of third-party extensions allowing Oculus users to get a virtual lap dance or do the nasty with a digital partner have already been made available, and some intricate systems even incorporate gripping robots and Fleshlight-esque devices to take the experience one step further.

Though Oculus didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article, founder Palmer Luckey has emphasized that there will be an “open platform” for third-party developers, porn studios included.

Todd Gilder, CEO of VR porn studio BaDoink, joked to The Post that “Luckey ought to give us a referral fee for every sale of the Rift.”

Indeed, self-fulfillment is certainly one thing you could use the $599 Oculus headset for. But is the experience worth it?

Terry Klee, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship specialist affiliated with Columbia University, told The Post that the new horizons virtual reality offers could make masturbation enthusiasts’ experience that much better.

“I think it’s going to depend on each person’s level of sexuality,” she said. “For some I think it might actually enhance it. I think it depends on how comfortable people are masturbating to begin with.”

According to a 2015 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, millennials tend to have fewer sexual partners than the generations preceding them. This could be owing to the twin factors of awareness of the dangers of unprotected sex and the easy availability of emotional intimacy via the Internet and dating apps. If you’re already being fulfilled emotionally, virtual reality porn is bound to be a big step up in the sexuality department.

“The definition of masturbation is self-pleasure, so whether you have a can or a vibrator or whatever, you’re by yourself. I think it’ll amp it up because much of masturbation is very similar to the pleasure principle of addictions, which is that you get accustomed to a certain level and you want even a higher sensation than you had previously,” Klee said. “The only reason that doesn’t really happen with our partners is emotions are included and shyness and inhibitions, but that all goes away when you’re by yourself, so people’s experimentation tends to increase.”

In addition to the physical safety of virtual porn, it could also allow people to experiment with kinks they may be too nervous or ashamed to try, or even experience sex from the point of view of another gender.

“You can’t go out and experiment with sex safely anymore,” Klee said. “With this, you could do that. It also removes the shame, there’s a lot of shame around masturbation.”

On the other hand, if you would be upset by your partner masturbating to porn, you’re likely to be unhappy with the new hyper-realistic advances in porn that the arrival of Oculus offers.

“For most couples, it could feel threatening because it’s going to disrupt the equilibrium that’s already established,” Klee said. Many people feel uncomfortable with how they’d stack up to the super-sexy behavior and perfect physiques that porn can offer, so a more immersive experience could be even more intimidating.

However you feel about porn, prepare to turn those feelings up to 11 when it comes to a virtual reality version.

“If you had a vibrator in your bedroom drawer, having this in your bedroom drawer is going to be that much better,” Klee said.

“It’s like the Wild West,” she said. “It’s very interesting.”

 

 

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Another Google “Green Cash” scam rapes taxpayers. Google may have bought White House but it did not buy good technology!

Another Google “Green Cash” scam rapes taxpayers. Google may have bought White House but it did not buy good technology!

 

 

 

Energy

 

Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn’t Work

 

David Kreutzer / @dwkreutzer / /

 

 

 

The $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Photo: Flickr / Atomic Hotlinks / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

By David Kreutzer @dwkreutzer

 

David Kreutzer is the senior research fellow in energy economics and climate change at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. In this position, Kreutzer researches how energy and climate change legislation will affect economic activity at the national, local, and industry levels. Read his research.

 

As every ten-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “It’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.

 

The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity, they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.)

 

Here’s the story so far, Ivanpah:

 

  • Is owned by Google, NRG Energy, and Brightsource, who have a market cap in excess of $500 billion

  • Received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy

  • Is paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural-gas powered plants

  • Is paid two to three times as much per megawatt-hour as other solar power producers

  • Has burned thousands of birds to death

  • Has delayed loan repayments

  • Is seeking over $500 million in grants to help pay off the guaranteed loans

  • Burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each morning to get its mojo going

 

Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who’s who of those that don’t need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.

 

 

In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output was the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine percent drop in sunshine causes a 32 percent drop in production.

 

More bizarrely, the natural gas used to get the plant all warmed up and ready each day, would be enough to generate over one quarter of the power actually produced from the solar energy. Sorry, let’s not be haters.

 

The problem for Ivanpah’s customers (California power utilities) is that they planned on all those solar watt-hours to meet California’s renewable power mandates, which require that renewables produce a large and rising fraction of California’s electricity. That is why they pay so much more for Ivanpah’s output than for conventionally powered electricity.

 

Breaching their contracts with these California utilities threatened to shut down Ivanpah. More likely than permanently shutting Ivanpah down, would have been a change of ownership at a price that came closer to reflecting reality.

 

But this would have been bothersome for Ivanpah’s investors and the Department of Energy’s ridiculous Section 1703 Loan Program, so the California Public Utilities Commission saved the day (for the fat-cat owners, of course, not for actual the electricity consumers) by granting the company an extension to meet the production targets.

 

The best part of the ruling is the section on the cost—it’s pretty succinct.

 

Here it is in its entirety:

 

 

But, hey, Ivanpah’s plant is a shiny new technological marvel. That’s what counts, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s 2015 Pay Hits $100.5M

 

by Georg Szalai

 

 

 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

 

Courtesy of Getty Images

 

A filing shows the new CEO’s pay package, that holding company Alphabet’s CEO Larry Page and president Sergey Brin again made $1 each last year, while executive chair Eric Schmidt earned $8 million, down from $108.7 million.

 

 

New Google CEO Sundar Pichai received compensation worth $100.5 million in 2015, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

 

His salary amounted to $652,500, plus he received stock awards worth more than $99.8 million. He also got “other” compensation worth $22,935.

 

The company didn’t disclose his 2014 pay.

 

Read More Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: “The Internet Will Disappear”

 

Pichai also received 273,328 Class C shares in February that will vest in quarterly increments through 2019 if he stays at the job, according to a previous filing. That will ensure he remains one of the highest-paid U.S. executives.

 

Pichai, the former deputy of Google co-founder Larry Page as senior vp products, was in August picked to run the Internet giant following a reorganization that created holding company Alphabet. It owns Google and a group of subsidiaries that Page at the time described as “pretty far afield of our main Internet products,” including the moonshot lab Google X. Pichai became Google CEO on Oct. 2.

 

Page, now CEO of Alphabet, and Sergey Brin, president of Alphabet, made $1 each last year. They have been receiving a $1 salary as compensation for years. 

 

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s 2015 compensation amounted to more than $8 million, Tuesday’s filing showed, down from $108.7 million in 2014, which was driven by more than $100 million in stock awards.

 

 

 

Scientists Slowly Reintroducing Small Group Of Normal, Well-Adjusted Humans Into Society

Scientists Slowly Reintroducing Small Group Of Normal, Well-Adjusted Humans Into Society (THE ONION)

A member of the endangered subtype of human, who possesses the unusual abilities to calmly reflect on situations and view the world from others’ perspectives, is reintroduced into the population.
 
 

ITHACA, NY—In an ambitious attempt to revive a population long considered to be on the brink of extinction, scientists announced Friday they have slowly begun to reintroduce normal, well-adjusted human beings back into society.

According to officials at Cornell University, where for the past 18 years conservation researchers have operated an enclosed sanctuary for humans who are levelheaded and make it a habit to think before they speak, the endangered group is being cautiously reintegrated into select locations nationwide in hopes that they can reestablish permanent communities and one day thrive again.

“We’ve worked for years to stabilize our society’s dwindling population of sane, generally reasonable people, and within the safe confines of our refuge we’ve finally seen their numbers start to bounce back a little,” said Josh Adelson, head of the Cornell research team, which moved the remaining members of the group into a protected habitat in 1998 to keep them from dying off completely. “Now, we can very gradually begin to release this rare breed of rational humans back into the general public. With luck, they can survive and prosper.”

“Even if this small group of humans able to deal with their negative emotions in a nondestructive manner manages to flourish, there’s still no telling whether the next generation will be able to survive.”

 

“Our hope is that within a century or so, the traits for making sound long-term decisions and being able to tolerate people different from oneself will propagate and begin to reemerge within the species at large,” he continued.

Prior to the conservation efforts, it is believed that even-tempered people with sound judgment and the ability to put the needs of others before themselves had dwindled to less than 150 within the country’s borders, and had gone completely extinct in the nation’s businesses and civic institutions. Experts widely agree that without isolation, protection, and captive-breeding programs, the remaining thoughtful, foresighted individuals would have been totally wiped out.

While admitting that the project’s reintroduction phase would be complex and its success far from assured, Adelson stressed that such measures were nevertheless absolutely necessary if responsible and emotionally mature humans able to see beyond the immediate gratification of their basest desires were ever to reestablish a foothold in society.

“Obviously, we have taken great precautions before releasing these individuals into an environment where demonstrations of good sense, open-mindedness, and basic human empathy are perceived as signs of weakness and quickly preyed upon,” said Adelson, who noted that to ease the transition during their first month acclimating to society, the endangered population would be kept away from television, the internet, advertisements, and all other forms of media. “For example, we’ve trained them for the inevitable encounters they will face with large groups of people incapable of separating emotions from arguments.”

“It hasn’t been easy,” Adelson continued. “Last month, members of our trial group were confronted by several aggressive and predatory individuals, and another was nearly torn apart by angry hordes on social media within just 48 hours of being reintroduced into a metropolitan area, forcing us to bring them back to our refuge immediately.”

Though researchers have expressed cautious optimism for the reintroduction program, many leading scientists have noted that the number of areas in the U.S. capable of sustaining well-adjusted humans has drastically decreased. According to experts, there is almost no chance the population will ever thrive again anywhere in the state of Florida.

“Even if this small group of humans able to deal with their negative emotions in a nondestructive manner manages to flourish, there’s still no telling whether the next generation will be able to survive,” Adelson said. “There are a lot of unknown variables, and we realize we’re taking a big risk here. But this program is our last, best hope of ensuring that people who are willing to go out of their way to help someone who can’t immediately offer them anything in return remain a part of our world.”

Top researchers confirmed that it was already far too late to halt the country’s dominant breed of humans—assholes—from spreading uncontrollably to every region on earth.

Will Hillary Clinton Purchase Playboy Magazine To Turn It Into Feminist Bible?

Playboy empire reportedly exploring sale of itself

Playboy Enterprises is exploring a possible of sale of the US adult entertainment group, reports say.

The Playboy empire could fetch more than $500m (£354m), say sources quoted by news outlets including the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

The reported move comes after Playboy magazine stopped publishing nude photos saying they had become outdated.

Circulation numbers have plummeted to about 800,000 last year from 5.6m copies in 1975.

Investment bank Moelis & Co has reportedly been hired to handle the sale process.

Mr Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with actress Marilyn Monroe as its debut centrefold “Playmate of the Month.”

It quickly became an iconic brand and its logo of a bunny wearing a bow tie has been used for a variety of businesses, including clubs and restaurants.

Playboy Mansion

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles is infamous for its wild celebrity parties

The company’s financial details are not easily available after Mr Hefner and investment firm Rizvi Traverse Management took the company private in 2011.

 

But under that deal, Playboy was valued at around $207m.

According to the reports, Playboy was approached about the sale of the entire company after Mr Hefner’s home was put up for sale in January.

The Playboy Mansion – famous for its decadent parties – has a $200m asking price and includes a lifelong lease for the velvet jacket-wearing Mr Hefner.

If sold at that price, the Los Angeles property will become one of the most expensive private residences in the US.

Free porn

The flagship magazine is struggling to attract subscribers and advertisers after dropping its famous nude spreads.

Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders has said the shift in the company’s strategy is due to its inability to compete with the availability of free internet pornography.

It has since toned down its content and images to be “PG-13” in order to attract more traffic to its website and social media .

Overall, the publishing industry is expected to lose $4bn in advertising sales over the next four years.

 

Hillary Clinton Calls Upon Aliens From Outer Space To Help Her Campaign

 

 

Hillary Clinton Calls Upon Aliens To Help Her Campaign

  • Hillary Clinton has now said she will show everybody the files on the aliens if she gets elected.

  • Donald Trump being pressed to match her “alien disclosure” campaign

  • Are campaigns in so much trouble that they need help from the Martians?

  • Drudge Report headlines Hillary “Aliens Don’t Respect Borders” tactic

 

By DAN GOOD

 

 

Auto Start: On | Off

 

 

 

Bill Clinton is intrigued by space aliens.

The former United States president appeared on Wednesday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He ended up discussing, among other things, extraterrestrial life.

Clinton admitted that soon after becoming president, he had his aides research Area 51, the Nevada military facility, “to make sure there was no alien down there.” He was also interested in Roswell, N.M., the site of a reputed UFO sighting in 1947, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary during Clinton’s presidency.

“I had all the Roswell papers reviewed – everything,” he told Kimmel.

“If you saw that there were aliens there, would you tell us?” Kimmel asked.

“Yeah,” Clinton said, nodding.

Given the size of the universe, and the continued discovery of new planets, Clinton believes we’re not alone.

“If we were visited someday I wouldn’t be surprised,” Clinton said. “I just hope it’s not like ‘Independence Day.'”

Clinton went on to discuss some of the potential benefits to an alien invasion, framing his argument around the 1996 sci-fi disaster movie.

“It may be the only way to unite this increasingly divided world of ours … think about all the differences among people of Earth would seem small if we feel threatened by a space invader,” Clinton said.

“That’s the whole theory of ‘Independence Day. Everybody gets together and makes nice.”

(Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

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Related Topics: Area 51, Unidentified Flying Objects, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Clinton, U.S., Space Alien, hillary clinton, hillary lizard aliens, Donald trump, election 2016,

 

Google’s purpose in life: POLITICAL MANIPULATION!

Google’s purpose in life: POLITICAL MANIPULATION!

By Winton Lee, Andrew Vester. Originally submitted to Politico

Google, in their attempt to rig elections and public perceptions, tried to get away with only removing defamations and character assassinations in French, on French sites under the dot “FR” domain. Google tries to ignore the fact that everybody reads all of the internet. The wise French saw through Google’s ploy and said “that cheese stinks Monsieur Google!”. France has ordered Google to stop acting like a “bitchy little school-girl” and to stop cheating. France also made Google pay them a fine. Russia has accused Google of being a “ruthless monopoly”. So has China. The European Union has sued and charged Google with intentional “human rights abuse”. Entire nations issued national reports, both internally and externally, proving that Google regularly engages in illicit activities. Only the United States regulators refuse to prosecute Google because Google has paid them “protection money”.

(For details, see: http://www.googlecases.com

http://www.capitolcrimesquad.com/

http://www.businessinsider.com/news-corp-ceo-slams-google-for-greed-censorship-corruption-and-piracy-2015-8

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/opinion/2232233/googles-tax-avoidance-highlights-political-corruption

and hundreds of thousands of other articles.

Google broke the law in almost every country in the world. Google crimes include paying bribes to elected officials, and the associates of those elected officials, in numerous countries. In the U.S., Google has illicitly manipulated White House, Department of Energy, FCC, and U.S. patent office staff in order to gain unfair business advantages. Part of their manipulations have involved paying senior elected officials to place all of Google’s employees in those, and other government departments in order to control policy decisions. Google’s actions have nearly amounted to an “attempted government coup”, according to analysts.

Google has illicitly expended billions of dollars in campaign financing, via services provisions, that it never legally reported. This is a fact: “Google has contributed over $45 billion in search results rigging, mood manipulation services, de-ranking and defamation attacks on political enemies to elected government officials, without reporting that campaign financing. This is a felony violation of the law”. When caught, Google owners lied to investigators about not being able to manipulate search results.  Google has manually, consciously and maliciously; illicitly rigged, manipulated, altered and synthetically modified election results in regional and national elections including multiple elections in India and the first Obama election, the mid-term elections in the U.S. and the 2016 elections in the U.S.

Hillary Clinton’s emails, USAID records and ex-Google employees have revealed that Google used surreptitious electronics to manipulate Middle East, EU and US social, economic and trade developments in order to gain an unfair business advantage for Google’s investors.

Google operates a massive illicit tax evasion program which has caused U.S. taxpayers to lose their expected social services because of “unjust rewards” that Google pocketed from “Flash Boy” stock market valuation rigging along with pump-and-dump stock scams which Google never paid taxes on. Google’s “Dutch Sandwich” tax evasion trick is currently under investigation by three different nations and Interpol.

The description of the Company “PollyHop” in the 2016 House of Cards television program, in episodes 6 & 7, is actually a description of Google’s illegal activities according to some of the writers and researchers for House of Cards.

Google has a documented, planned program to use it’s technology to attack, defame, harass and economically damage it’s business and political competitors. Google exists as an illicit monopoly that has bribed elected officials, via campaign funding and search engine rigging, to avoid anti-trust regulation. The owners of Google have developed a coordinated plan to manipulate public policy decisions for personal gain, and extremist ideologies, created by their owners. These Google owners and executives have been charged with operating “sex penthouses”, “escort clubs”, “murder-by-hooker” and “3-way sex affairs with employees” scandals in the published news. This indicates that Google management amy hold warped values compared to the national norm.

Google’s founder’s and owners steal technology from others, and never compensate them for those thefts. Their tactics are documented in the New York Times article called: “How Larry Page’s Obsessions Became Google’s Business” and in search results on non-Google search engines for the phrase: “Google steals ideas”.

Google altered the neutral information, that was presumed to be equally available to all voters, and modified that information, nationally and globally, in an attempt to trick the public into believing that the “opinions” of Google’s owners were “facts”. Google has covert “fact codes” and “truth codes” embedded in Google’s web links which assert that “opinions” are “facts”. Google has engaged in “Mood Manipulation” technology effects to attempt to trick the public into believing that something was true, even if it may not be true?:

Google takes advantage of it’s immature employees by subjecting them to cult-like indoctrination and information control. Google’s “mindfulness trainings” and HR programs more resemble “EST” or Scientology indoctrination material, than it does a corporate policy book.

Google is one of the largest, if not THE largest, campaign financier(s) of the very politicians who gave Google the biggest government kick-backs at the expense of the public. Google covertly owns interest in Elon Musk’s companies and Google coordinated, and got, kick-backs from those companies at taxpayer expense and in violation of the law.

Google owns and controls public policy manipulation companies, or has management and/or directive control of: Jigsaw, New American Foundation, IN-Q-Tel and other groups which seek to covertly alter laws and political actions at the expense of citizens.

Public reports have stated that: “Larry and Eric Schmidt have spent more time in the White House, dictating policy decisions, and getting their friends appointed to federal agencies, than every Senator combined has spent in the ivory edifice. The Google boys also spent tens of millions of their dollars trying to pay to have the U.S. Patent Office closed off to the very same small inventors who are now coming after Google. (Google’s legal boss now runs the U.S. Patent Office. Ironic, right?) The overt attempts to drastically close off America’s path to innovation, seems to provide strong evidence that Google knew that it had stolen a good chunk of its assets. In fact, American FTC investigators wrote in federal reports that Google was “a threat to domestic innovation…”

The question is: How can an ostensibly criminal company be allowed to operate when it violates the laws and rights of every member of the public? Google is allowed to exist by laws. The law says that a corporation may exist as long as it does not regularly break these laws. Clearly, Google regularly breaks the law. Do the facts prove that Google has “no right to exist”? Should Google be raided by the FBI?

(This article may be freely reprinted without the authors permission under standard creative commons and fair use protocols)

North Koreans Rumored To Be Trying To Make “Zombie-Bomb” with Cat Poop!

Walking Dead fans might finally get their day. Imagine a weapon that spreads a dust that turns people into raging maniacs like the most crazed zombies on the AMC hit TV series. It turns out that cat poop residue can start you on the way to zombie-land. It has now been proven that a disease is now known to exist that can enter your brain and turn you into an enraged butcher.

 

Germ from cat poop triggers rage disorder in humans

 

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay News

 

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WEDNESDAY, — Your cat’s litter box could be a source of explosive anger — and not for the obvious reasons.

A new study suggests that people prone to explosive bouts of rage might be under the influence of toxoplasmosis, an illness caused by a parasite found in cat feces and undercooked meat.

Folks diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) are more than twice as likely to carry Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, said lead researcher Dr. Emil Coccaro.

“If you’ve got someone with aggression problems, you might check them for toxoplasmosis,” said Coccaro, chair of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “People who blow up have a real problem. It’s not just a character problem or bad behavior. There’s something underneath that’s driving it.”

Coccaro noted that because this study was not a clinical trial, the results don’t establish a direct cause-and-effect link. He also added that not everyone who tests positive for toxoplasmosis will have aggression issues.

Intermittent explosive disorder involves recurrent and impulsive outbursts of verbal or physical aggression that are disproportionate to the situations that caused the anger.

“They’ve got a short trigger, and when they’re threatened by something, they blow up,” Coccaro said.

IED is thought to affect as many as 16 million Americans, more than bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined, the study authors said.

Coccaro and his colleagues suspected that toxoplasmosis might be linked to some cases of intermittent explosive disorder.

Toxoplasmosis is typically a relatively harmless parasitic infection. About a third of all humans have been infected, the researchers said. Newborns and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk for a severe toxoplasmosis infection, which can cause damage to the brain, eyes or other organs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, toxoplasmosis might also affect the brains of otherwise healthy carriers. Previous research has tied the parasite to an increased risk of suicide and suicidal behavior, which involve the same sort of impulsive and aggressive traits as intermittent explosive disorder, Coccaro said.

Researchers recruited 358 adults for this new study. The participants were split into three groups — people with intermittent explosive disorder, people with a psychiatric disorder other than IED, and healthy controls with no mental illness.

Twenty-two percent of people with IED tested positive for toxoplasmosis exposure. That compared to just 9 percent of the healthy control group, the study said.

Around 16 percent of the group with other psychiatric disorders tested positive for toxoplasmosis. But they had similar aggression and impulsivity scores to the healthy control group. IED-diagnosed subjects scored much higher on both measures than the other two groups, the researchers reported.

Toxoplasmosis-positive individuals scored significantly higher on measures of anger and aggression, the findings showed.

Toxoplasmosis could affect people’s mood and aggression by infecting areas of the brain that control emotional regulation, Coccaro said, or by altering brain chemistry. “We’re not really certain yet, but those are the two leading candidates,” he said.

These potential explanations make sense to Dr. Alan Manevitz. He’s a clinical psychiatrist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“We do know that things like Lyme disease have an impact on mood as well as on physical aspects of the body, so there’s no reason to think that other infectious agents would not have a similar impact,” Manevitz said.

These findings are provocative enough that they could spur new research into toxoplasmosis prevention, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh’s UPMC Center for Health Security, in Baltimore.

“There has been prior work on both veterinary and human toxoplasmosis vaccines, and I expect the results of this study will renew interest in developing such a vaccine,” Adalja said. “Toxoplasma is a ubiquitous microorganism, and in some parts of the world over three-quarters of the population are infected.”

People can avoid toxoplasmosis by cleaning their vegetables and cooking their meat thoroughly to prevent foodborne infection, said Dr. Greg Nelson, veterinarian and director of surgery and diagnostic imaging at Central Veterinary Associates in Valley Stream, N.Y.

Pet owners can avoid infection by keeping their cats indoors, which prevents them from eating the raw flesh of wild animals that might carry the parasite, Nelson said. Care also should be taken to avoid contact with cat feces when cleaning a litter box.

“People can acquire the disease from cleaning litter boxes, particularly if infected fecal matter has remained in the box for several days,” he added. “So, clean the box daily. Do not let immune-compromised people or women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant clean the litter box.”

Toxoplasmosis infections can usually be treated with a combination of an antimalaria drug and antibiotics, the CDC notes.

The study appears March 23 in the latest Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

More information

For more on toxoplasmosis, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Topics: Zombies, walking dead, cats, Toxoplasmosis, korean weapons,CDC, Zombie Apocalypse, bath salts

 

 

 

Gawker Trial Puts FBI, FTC, GAO spotlight on Nick Denton’s Russian ‘business-man” backer!

Jurors in Hulk Hogan v Gawker Trial Say They Made ‘Absolutely Correct’ Decision Awarding Hogan $140M

VIDEO: Hulk Hogan Exclusive: Verdict Was OverwhelmingABCNews.com
VIDEO: Hulk Hogan Exclusive: Verdict Was ‘Overwhelming’

The six jurors who awarded Hulk Hogan more than $140 million in damages in his invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media, after the website posted a video of the former wrestler having sex, said they stand by their decision.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Linzie Janis that aired Thursday on “Good Morning America,” the jurors — Paula Eastman, Robin Young, Shane O’Neil, Salina Stevens, Kevin Kennedy and Shelby Adkins — said they all believed Gawker broke the law.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that the decision we made was absolutely correct,” O’Neil said.

The breakdown of Hogan’s award is $55 million for economic damages, $60 million for emotional distress and $25.1 million in punitive damages.

 

 

“As human beings, we collectively said, you know … if we were all in the same circumstances, how would we feel about it, and, emotionally, we would have all been really devastated,” Eastman said of the video’s release.

Asked whether Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, deserved less privacy because he is a celebrity, Adkins said: “No, he’s still a human being just like everyone else, no matter how many people know his name and his face.”

Asked whether any of them thought Hogan may have been responsible for setting up the recording, Kennedy said, “Even if he knew he was being recorded, there’s still no right to put that out there if he doesn’t want it put out.”

The jurors told Janis when they watched the nearly two-minute excerpt of the tape during deliberations, they all felt it was clear Hogan did not know he was being filmed.

“He didn’t know that there was a video going on,” Young said.

“Definitely not,” O’Neil concurred.

Gawker argued that the website’s post with the video was newsworthy under the First Amendment, which protects journalists.

“They did something illegal,” Young claimed, referring to Gawker.

“If Hulk Hogan and his lawyers had asked them to take the post down and the verbage, it would have been a First Amendment issue,” Eastman said. “We would have sided with Gawker, for sure, but it just wasn’t the case.”

“They asked him to take the video down which was a privacy act,” she said. “It was very clear to me.”

Added O’Neil: “Gawker made it clear to everyone … that they were all about crossing the line.”

O’Neil also said the group hoped to send a message with the multimillion dollar verdict.

“It just wasn’t about punishment of these individuals and Gawker,” he said. “You had to do it enough where it makes an example in society and other media organizations … and we had to take that into consideration.”

The jurors had strong words for Gawker founder Nick Denton and the website’s former editor-in-chief, A.J. Daulerio, who was ordered in the verdict to pay Hogan $100,000 in punitive damages.

“I mean there was a quote in there that it was fair game for a celebrity that’s over five to be exposed, and we’re like, ‘What?,’ and this was a quote from A.J.,” O’Neil said. “You could tell he didn’t want to be there. He was very arrogant, very pompous in his response and he made that statement at the end.”

“I think it made everybody, it made me pause, and I was just like, ‘You did not say that,'” he said. “That means you really do think you’re above the law and it was that philosophy, we’re Gawker. We can get away with anything.”

“He treated the deposition the way he treats journalism,” Young said, while Eastman called Daulerio, “very flippant.”

Stevens said she was looking at Denton in court while the verdict was being read because she wanted to see whether he would show any signs of remorse. She didn’t believe he displayed any remorse during his testimony.

 

Asked what they would say to Denton if they had five minutes with him, Young said she would tell him: “’Don’t demean yourself by going for the vulgar and the lewd and the trashy. Stick to the newsworthy journalism — you understand what that is.’”

“He’s enjoying being a bad boy,” Young said of Denton. “He basically said that if you’re on Facebook, you’re a public figure, so everybody needs to check their privacy settings.”

Kennedy said he would tell Denton: “’Put yourself in their shoes, if you have the ability to do that,’” before saying, “I don’t even know if they even have the heart to be able to do that. It’s just amazing, everything I listened to, that they have no heart. No soul. It’s all about the almighty dollar, and it’s sick.”

Jurors said they believe an individual’s right to privacy lies at the heart of the case, regardless of celebrity.

In a statement after this week’s verdict, Gawker’s General Counsel, Heather Dietrick, said, “Soon after Hulk Hogan brought his original lawsuits in 2012, three state appeals court judges and a federal judge repeatedly ruled that Gawker’s post was newsworthy under the First Amendment. We expect that to happen again — particularly because the jury was prohibited from knowing about these court rulings in favor of Gawker, prohibited from seeing critical evidence gathered by the FBI and prohibited from hearing from the most important witness, Bubba Clem.”

Asked how they would feel if their decision was overturned on appeal, Young replied: “We drew a line, and we hope others will draw a line.”

Eastman said, “I hope [Hogan] fights it all the way for all of us.”

Added O’Neil: “I think he’ll win.”

Did Pando Just Imply That Nick Denton and Gawker Are Connected With Russian Mobsters?

What if it’s not Gawker writing the check?

By Paul Carr for Pando

 

With $140m in damages awarded against them, the Hulk Hogan verdict certainly seems to be an existential threat to Gawker. To read the endless stream of op-eds around the verdict, you’d think Denton and his crew were already listing their office furniture on eBay.

And yet, nothing about Denton’s public demeanor or that of any of his employees betrays the slightest concern. We’re hearing no reports of writers circulating their resumes, and no one has leaked details of any attempt to sell the company. Sure, the company’s lawyers argued in court that any punitive damages would be devastating to Gawker, Denton and Daulerio but that’s what lawyers are supposed to do. At the very same time, Gawker PR was continuing to pump out its usual message: “The verdict will be overturned on appeal, or the damages significantly reduced.”

Of course that quiet confidence might be because they really do think the escrow will be capped at $50m or even suspended completely. It might also be because they have faith in the appeals process.

Still, with legal bills for the past twelve months fast approaching a million dollars and some legal experts warning that thing might not go Gawker’s way at appeal, there’s absolutely no guarantee that the company won’t still end up owing tens of millions of dollars after all is said and done. Given that possibility, the apparent calm at Gawker seems almost spookily misplaced.

Unless.

 

A few months ago, it was widely reported that Gawker had agreed to take investment from the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. As Mark Ames explained here, that means taking millions of dollars from the guy who “rolled up Russia’s aluminum industry, notorious as the most violent and corpse-riddledof all the newly-privatized industries.”

(Res. Note: See, also Frank Giustra Mining Connections and Afghan Mining Connections)

As if that weren’t bad enough, the deal saw Gawker agree to give Vekselberg veto power on selling the company, a seat on their board, control over senior hires and even the right to decide which senior editors are brought on board. That’s a level of editorial interference that most news organizations would balk at, especially a news organization that has previously gloated about the freedom that comes from having no investors. (By contrast, none of the venture capitalists who invested in Pando have a seat on our board and no investors have any editorial involvement whatsoever.)

Even even the smartest business commentators explained the deal in simplistic terms: Gawker needed cash to fight the Hogan lawsuit, Vekselberg was offering cash, ergo the slightly extreme terms made sense. But that reading doesn’t pass a basic smell test: One of the terms of the agreement was that Denton couldn’t sell Gawker for less than $100m without their permission. That strongly suggests Vekselberg was putting a current value of $100m on the troubled company, far lower than the $200-$300m some people were claiming. Indeed, yesterday in court, Gawker’s own lawyers set the value of the company at $83m.

Given we’re told the russians took a minority stake in the company, that would mean — at most— they’d put in around $40m. That’s barely enough to pay the minimum escrow under Florida law, an amount that all parties have long been aware could have been payable before appeal.

And yet, the Russians were willing to do a deal that could still see their portfolio company bankrupted in an instant.

And yet, Gawker remains relaxed and confident.

So what if…

What if the reason Denton agreed to such horrendous terms — not just to give up a large chunk of his company, but to hand over near-total control to a single investor — is that the Russians have promised to cover whatever amount of money the court demands? Even if that amount ends up being close to $100m. What if Denton’s calm demeanor in court, and the glib responses given by both Denton and AJ Daulerio on the stand come from a place of confidence that, whatever happens, the Russians will be the one writing the check.

What if that was the secret undisclosed term of the investment: A short term cash injection, but also financial indemnity against whatever the court might ultimately throw at Gawker. With an estimated net worth over $13bn, certainly Vekselberg can afford to make that guarantee. And certainly a deal like that would explain Denton’s willingness to accept what seem to be unreasonably brutal investment terms.

Wild speculation? Actually, not entirely. In fact it’s the persistent rumor I keep hearing from people familiar with the goings on at Gawker.  That Denton’s deal with the devil was for the civil equivalent of a get out of jail free card, in return for the heart and soul of Gawker.

Based on everything I’m seeing, I’m inclined to believe it’s true, or at the very least that Vekselberg and Denton have made an agreement for another cash injection if things go badly in court. We won’t know for sure unless someone at Gawker actually reports on the goings on inside their own organization (remember when Denton used to boast that his site would reveal everything that journalists were discussing in bars, without fear of favor) or if an appeals court demands Gawker pay the $50m or more. At that point, we’ll see if Denton magically finds a check for $50m inside his $83m company.

Of course if that does happen, and Vekselberg does have to write a much bigger check, then that’s when the real fun will start. If Denton thinks Vekselberg has him by the throat now, wait til he’s another $50m or more in the hole to a Russian oligarch.

Maybe that look in Denton’s eyes isn’t confidence but resignation.  

Let’s examine this further

In one theory, observers have noted that Denton devotes his Gawker Media resources to White House policy and White House enemies. The facts show that almost every hit-job article that Denton has published on someone has turned out to be a hatchet job on someone on the White House “enemies list”.

The Silicon Valley campaign financiers that Denton is most closely connected to also happen to be almost the only recipients of the notorious Steven Chu wrangled Department of Energy cash. (ie: Elon Musk, John Doerr Eric Schmidt, etc.). Ironically, Russian mobsters figure deeply into that very same Department of Energy cash. The Department of Energy funds were supposed to be for American companies in a time of financial crisis. The very crisis which coincided with Obama’s election.

Even though this money came out of American taxpayers pockets, a huge portion of it was handed to two Russian billionaires who are associates of Nick Denton’s Viktor Vekselberg. They owned companies called Severstal and another called Ener1. Ener1 got the taxpayer cash and immediately went bankrupt after certain investors skimmed their payola off the top. The U.S. Congress spotted the Severstal scam, part way through, and called for Senate investigations.

You heard it right, Nick Denton’s buddies from Silicon Valley handed billions of taxpayer dollars to Russian billionaires who had no need of a cash hand-out. In fact, some of them were on, and are still on, the FBI’s watch-lists. Mr. James Comey, the head of the FBI has to be looking hard at Mr. Denton.

The media are now looking hard at the FBI, Hulk Hogan, and Nick Denton triangle since an “FBI Sting Operation” has already been publicly acknowledged to have been underway in the Hulk Hogan case.

 

– Thanks to Andrea Lund for additional research

 

Topics: Nick Denton, FBI, Hulk Hogan, Terry Bollea, Gawker Media, Russian mobsters, Steven Chu, Ener1, Severstal, Department of Energy, Cheryl Attkisson, James Comey, Viktor Vekselberg, FBI Sting, Heather Clem, Bubba The Love Sponge,

 

Political information manipulator: Google; loses in court “All .com defamation links must be removed…”

Political information manipulator: Google; loses in court “All .com defamation links must be removed…”

 

 

Google, in their attempt to rig elections and public perceptions, tried to get away with only removing defamations and character assassinations in French on French sites. Google tries to ignore the fact that everybody reads all of the internet. The wise French saw through Google’s ploy and said “that cheese stinks Monsieur Google!”. France has ordered Google to stop acting like a “bitchy little school-girl” and to stop cheating. France also made Google pay them a fine.

 

Google Fined by French Privacy Agency for Not Removing Links

 

Aoife White aoifewhite101

 

 

 

  • Google to pay 100,000 euros for not removing links from site

  • Fine follows EU court ruling setting out right to be forgotten

 

 

 

Google was fined 100,000 euros ($112,000) by France’s data-protection authority for failing to remove “right-to-be-forgotten” requests from global search results.

 

The agency, CNIL, ordered Google to remove links after it got several complaints from people who wanted the search engine to delete search results that pointed to personal information about them. While Google removed links from its French “.fr” domain, it didn’t take them off the “.com” domain visible to European web users.

 

The right for people to have these links removed “must be carried out on all of the data processing and thus on all search engine’s domains,” CNIL said in a statement on its website Thursday. “Contrary to what Google asserts, delisting on all domains doesn’t limit the freedom of expression in that it doesn’t involve any removal of Internet content.”

 

The fine follows a judgment by the EU’s highest court in May 2014 which created a right to be forgotten — allowing people to seek the deletion of links on search engines if the information was outdated or irrelevant. The ruling provoked a furor, with Alphabet Inc.’s Google creating a special panel to advise it on implementing the law. The panel opposed applying the ruling beyond EU domains.

 

Google disagrees “with the CNIL’s assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France,” said Al Verney, a spokesman for the company in Brussels. “We plan to appeal their ruling.”

 

The company said earlier this month it would add geo-blocking technology to make it harder for users to find information, moving away from its practice of delisting links only on European domain names.

 

 

DAILY MAIL and Rudy Giuliani Skewer Obama for lack of concern over Belgian atrocity

‘You don’t send a picture of yourself laughing while people have just been blown up’: 9/11 Mayor Rudy Giuliani hits Obama for attending baseball game in Cuba after Brussels bombings

  • Republicans are criticizing Obama for staying in Cuba in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Belgium and going about his day as planned
  • All three GOP candidates slammed President Obama for staying put in Cuba – and watching baseball – in the wake of the Brussels attacks 
  • They say he should have returned to Washington instead of continuing on with his trip; he’s now in Argentina
  • Obama spent the first minute of a speech yesterday morning condemning the attacks and asking the world to join together to fight against terrorism
  • Wednesday afternoon it was announced John Kerry would go to Brussels Friday. He was also in Cuba at the baseball on Tuesday 

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ripped into President Barack Obama for attending a baseball game in Cuba yesterday afternoon instead of jumping on his plane and coming home after the Brussels attacks.

‘You don’t send a picture of yourself laughing ,while people have just been blown up at a level that…is the equivalent of September 11 to one of our allies,’ said Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time of deadly 2001 terrorist attacks. 

Republicans are angry with Obama for staying in Cuba in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Belgium and going about his day as planned.

That included a baseball game, which he was seen at with his family doing the wave and casually chatting with Cuban dictator Raul Castro, at Havana’s Latinoamericano stadium and an am speech cementing the United States and Cuba’s renewed relations. 

Obama spent less than a minute addressing the bombings at the top of his remarks yesterday and spent much of a press conference today in Argentina responding to Republicans’ criticisms as a result.

Scroll down for video 

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ripped into President Barack Obama for attending a baseball game in Cuba yesterday afternoon instead of jumping on his plane and coming home after the Brussels attacks

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ripped into President Barack Obama for attending a baseball game in Cuba yesterday afternoon instead of jumping on his plane and coming home after the Brussels attacks

'You don't send a picture of yourself laughing while people have just been blow up at a level that...is the equivalent of September 11 to our allies,' said Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time of deadly 2001 terrorist attacks

‘You don’t send a picture of yourself laughing while people have just been blow up at a level that…is the equivalent of September 11 to our allies,’ said Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time of deadly 2001 terrorist attacks

Obama spent less than a minute addressing the bombings at the top of his remarks yesterday and spent much of a press conference today in Argentina responding to Republicans' criticisms as a result

Obama spent less than a minute addressing the bombings at the top of his remarks yesterday and spent much of a press conference today in Argentina responding to Republicans’ criticisms as a result

 
 
 
 

Obama said the U.S. must show ISIS that it does not have power over its citizens.

‘Groups like ISIL can’t destroy us. They can’t defeat us. They don’t produce anything. They’re not an existential threat to us,’ he said. ‘They are viscous killers and murders who have perverted one of the world’s great religions.’

The terrorist group’s primary source power in in addition to taking innocent lives, he said, ‘is to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt our societies. so that that the effect cascades.’

Obama said they world must not give them what they want. ‘Even as we are systematic and ruthless and focused in going after them, disrupting their networks, getting their leaders….it is very important for us to not respond with fear.’

‘That’s hard to do because we see the impact in such an intimate way of the attacks,’ he acknowledged. ‘But we defeat them in part by saying: you are not strong, you are weak.’

‘We send a message to those who might be inspired by them to say, you are not going to change our values.’ 

Gesturing in the direction of Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, who was standing to his left at a joint news conference this afternoon in Buenos Aires, Obama said, ‘It is important for the United States president and the United States government to be able to work with people who are building and who are creating things.’

‘We have to make sure that we lift up and stay focused, as well, on the things that are most important to us,’ he said. ‘Because we’re on the right side of history.’

Earlier in the day, on MSNBC, Giuliani had lambasted Obama for ‘analogizing’ himself yesterday to the Boston Red Sox’ David Ortiz.

Recalling what he called one of his proudest memories during his time as president, Obama told ESPN that Ortiz’s reaction to the Boston bombings in April 2013 was spot on.

Obama said he felt the player spoke for the nation when he said, ‘This is our f**king city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom.’

‘David Ortiz is a designated hitter,’ Giuliani said on Morning Joe. ‘He’s the President of the United States, and he’s comparing himself to a designated hitter, and the wonderful speech that he gave?’ 

The retired Republican politician who once ran for president himself said of Obama, ‘This man’s job is to be the leader of the free world, which means the leader of NATO.’ 

Obama brought up ‘Big Papi’ again today and said, ‘At that moment he spoke about what America is.’

‘That is how we are going to defeat these terrorist groups,’ Obama said. 

Part of the strategy is tactical – airstrikes, intelligence and arrests. 

‘But a lot of it is also going to be to say: You do not have power over us,’ Obama declared. ‘We are strong, our values are right. You offer nothing, except death.’

On MSNBC this morning Giuliani said Obama should have responded to the terrorist attack yesterday the way that France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls did.

‘We are at war,’ Valls told the Associated Press on Tuesday. ‘We have been subjected for the last few months in Europe to acts of war.’ 

Giuliani claimed that Valls said it is an ‘Islamic, terrorist war against us.’

‘Quote, he’s willing to describe it this way,’ Giuliani said. ‘Words that will never come out of the president’s mouth.’

He added: ‘War against a NATO ally is war against us.’

Obama has said the United States is at war with ISIS and and its allies. But Republicans argue that’s not enough. They want him to declare war against ‘radical, Islamic’ terrorism.

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said today that the Obama administration’s approach to the situation seems to be that ‘ISIS is much ado about nothing.’ 

‘In the long run it’s an approach by this White House to say that Islamic, extremist terrorism, really is not at war against us,’ Giuliani said in response and referenced France again. ‘He acts like this is another criminal act that was committed in New York yesterday.’

Touting his own response to 9/11, the ex-mayor said, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, he rushed over from The Peninsula hotel in New York City to make sure he the right resources and plan in place.

‘And as it turned out, it was the wrong plan,’ he said, but he changed it the next day.

‘Obviously he’s got the wrong plan, and he’s got to change it. And you don’t change it from a communist country, communicating from a communist country.’ 

Giuliani brought up the pictures of Obama laughing at yesterday’s baseball game and said, ‘Imagine if there was a picture of the president of France laughing during September 11. How would we feel about that?’

 
 
 

Giuliani said he would have immediately returned to the United States immediately and called a meeting of his national security advisers and said, ‘When I wake up tomorrow morning, I want a complete plan to destroy ISIS – no BS.’

Asked if he believes that Obama doesn’t have one already, Giuliani laughed in disbelief and said, ‘If he does, it’s failing, he better get a new one.’

‘How many attacks have we had in the last year?’ he said. ‘If he has a plan for defeating ISIS, let’s go get another plan to defeat ISIS.’

Told that the U.S. has had more than 20,000 bombing raids on ISIS, Giuliani said, ‘Well maybe they’re not working.’

‘If he can’t figure out his strategy is not working, then we need someone else to that job,’ he added.

He dismissed during the lengthy discussion a suggestion that it wouldn’t have made a ‘difference’ if Obama had come back to Washington yesterday instead of continuing on to Argentina.

‘The difference it would have made is that it would have made people feel that he’s a leader, that he’s in charge,’ said Giuliani, who ran for president the same year as Obama, in 2008, but dropped his bid before the end of the GOP primary. 

Retired four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden, also on this morning’s MSNBC panel, said Obama does have a plan – it’s just ‘under-resourced and over-regulated.’

The United States is dropping 20 bombs on ISIS a day. ‘That is not a relentless campaign,’ he said.

As for Obama’s Cuba play, ‘That wasn’t a mistake, that wasn’t weakness, that was policy.

‘His going to the ballgame and his spending less a minute on the attack – I actually believe in his heart of hearts, the president’s policy is, that is not that big a deal. There are other things that are more important, and that was what he was messaging,’ Hayden, who worked for Republican President George W. Bush, said. 

Giuliani also hammered Obama this morning not just for his presence at the baseball game but for delivering his terror remarks from a communist Cuba.  

‘How absurd is that?’ he said.

Republicans are  criticizing Obama for staying in Cuba in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Belgium and going about his day as planned. That included a baseball game with his family and Cuban dictator Raul Castro

Republicans are  criticizing Obama for staying in Cuba in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Belgium and going about his day as planned. That included a baseball game with his family and Cuban dictator Raul Castro

A moment of silence was held at the start of the game for the victims of the Belgian attack

A moment of silence was held at the start of the game for the victims of the Belgian attack

President Obama stayed in Cuba yesterday to first address the island nation's people, pictured, and talked less than a minute about Brussels. And  then he went to the baseball game

President Obama stayed in Cuba yesterday to first address the island nation’s people, pictured, and talked less than a minute about Brussels. And  then he went to the baseball game

All three GOP presidential candidates condemned the president’s handling of the attacks yesterday morning.  

‘President Obama is spending his time going to baseball games with the Castros,’ said Sen.Ted Cruz, who is running for the Republican nomination for president. 

Cruz, who is half-Cuban, had already come out against the Obama family’s historic trip to Cuba this week, but the fact that the president’s schedule stayed intact after the attacks was salt on the wound.

The Texas senator has had equally strong words for Obama’s strategy to eradicate ISIS. Cruz said its ‘disaster’ and Obama’s failure to call it ‘radical, Islamic terrorism’ has contributed to its rise.’ 

His approval for thousands of Syrian refugees to relocate in United States is ‘lunacy,’ Cruz said this morning on Fox and Friends, because ISIS can ‘infiltrate those refugees’ like they did in Paris last year.

‘It makes no sense, and we need a president, a commander-in-chief, whose first responsibility is to keep America safe. That’s what I’ll do as president,’ Cruz said.  

Obama is due to return to Washington Friday morning and has made no indications that he’ll come back sooner in spite of Tuesday’s terror attack in Brussels.  

Responding to the criticisms today, Obama said beating ISIS is his ‘top priority.’

‘There’s no more important item on my agenda than going after them and defeating them,’ he said. ‘The issue is how do we do it in an intelligent way.’

Obama said his administration is ‘continuously’ adjusting its playbook for going after ISIS.  ‘What has been working’: airstrikes and special operations between the U.S. military and Iraqi security forces to go after ISIS’ bases and cut down the size of territory they control.

‘This is difficult work. It’s not because we don’t have the best and the brightest working on it, it’s not because we are not taking the threat seriously,’ he said, ‘it’s because it’s challenging, to find, identify very small groups of people who are willing to die themselves.’ 

The Commander-in-Chief said he’s directed his team to look at ‘every strategy possible to successfully reduce the risk of such terrorist attacks’ while  the military goes after ISIS’ ‘beating heart in places like Iraq and Syria.’

‘But what we don’t do and we should not do is take approaches that are going to be counter productive,’ he said. 

As he has said in the past in response to Cruz, who’s he would ‘carpet bomb’ ISIS, Obama said, ‘not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people that are willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station.’

‘That’s not a smart strategy,’ Obama said.

FANS: Awaiting Obama at the baseball game were 55,000 Cubans who had waited hours to see the American president in person

 

FANS: Awaiting Obama at the baseball game were 55,000 Cubans who had waited hours to see the American president in person

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz whacked President Obama for staying put in Cuba instead of coming home to deal with the terrorist situation in Brussels or heading to the country

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz whacked President Obama for staying put in Cuba instead of coming home to deal with the terrorist situation in Brussels or heading to the country

Secretary of State John Kerry was also in Cuba during the attack, stayed, and was pictured at the game Tuesday - above. Wednesday afternoon the US announced he will fly to Brussels Friday to offer condolences

Secretary of State John Kerry was also in Cuba during the attack, stayed, and was pictured at the game Tuesday – above. Wednesday afternoon the US announced he will fly to Brussels Friday to offer condolences

Yesterday Cruz said he’d direct law enforcement to increase its patrols of Muslim communities to keep attacks similar to Brussels from happening in America.

Obama said part of the reason there are attacks on the United States is that it has a ‘patriotic, integrated Muslim-American community.

‘They do not feel ghettoized. They do not feel isolated,’ he said. ‘Any approach that would single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and un-American, but it would also be counter-productive because it would reduce…the antibodies that we have to reduce terrorism.’

A bemused Obama said of Cruz’s proposal to patrol Muslim neighborhoods more aggressively: ‘I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which byt the way the father of Senator Cruz escaped. For America. The land of the free.’

‘The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It’s contrary to who we are, and it’s not gonna help us defeat ISIL,’ Obama asserted.

Attacks like the one in Belgium make ‘our hearts bleed’ because they strike so close to home, he said. The president said it ‘horrifies’ him to see the bloodshed and think of his own daughters, Sasha and Malia, and the possibility that they could be murdered.

‘So I understand why this is the top priority of the American people, and I want them to understand, this is my top priority, as well,’ Obama said. ‘But we are approaching this in a way that has a chance of working. And it will work.’

His second term nearly up, Obama will leave office in 10 months in January of 2017. Three Republicans and two Democrats are still in the race to succeed him. Cruz is one of them.

Obama said today that he won’t change his approach to combating ISIS ‘simply because it’s political season.’

‘We’re gonna be steady. We’re going to be resolute. And ultimately, we’re gonna be successful,’ he said.

John Kasich followed suit and suggested that President Obama return home 'immediately' instead of staying in Cuba through the rest of the day 

John Kasich followed suit and suggested that President Obama return home ‘immediately’ instead of staying in Cuba through the rest of the day 

Donald Trump came out against President Obama after his two Republican rivals, suggesting that the speech to the Cuban people looked 'ridiculous' in light of today's news 

Donald Trump came out against President Obama after his two Republican rivals, suggesting that the speech to the Cuban people looked ‘ridiculous’ in light of today’s news 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, another Republican running for president, had also chimed in yesterday and made demands similar to Cruz.

‘The president must return home immediately and get to work with our allies to respond with strength against the enemies of the west,’ Kasich said. 

Kasich brought up the baseball game, as well, at a press conference.

‘I’m a little surprised that the president is going to a baseball game when I believe – if I would have been president I would have cut short my visit, I would have flown home, I would have conducted calls jointly with heads of state and gone to assemble teams of people, intelligence experts, who can take a look at the serious breaches that we have in intelligence,’ Kasich said. 

‘I would also involve our friends in the Arab community who know that radical Islam is also intent on destroying and threatening them,’ he continued.  

Not to be outdone, GOP front-runner Donald Trump soon joined the pile on.

‘President Obama looks and sounds so ridiculous making his speech in Cuba, especially in the shadows of Brussels. He is being treated badly!’ The Donald tweeted.  

The president did not heed their advice. He dedicated a brief portion of a planned speech to the attacks and moved on. 

He met Cuban dissidents at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, then made his way to watch the baseball in casual khaki pants, white shirt, no tie, and sunglasses.  

After observing a moment of silence for the hundreds of victims, a relaxed Obama said, ‘This is just one more example of why the entire world needs to unite against these terrorists.’ 

'The president must return home immediately and get to work with our allies to respond with strength against the enemies of the west,' John Kasich said yesterday

‘The president must return home immediately and get to work with our allies to respond with strength against the enemies of the west,’ John Kasich said yesterday

‘The notion that any political agenda would justify the killing of innocent people like this is … is beyond the pale.’

Obama said, ‘We are gonna continue with the over 60 nations that are pounding ISIL, and we’re going to go after them. In the meantime, obviously our thoughts and prayers are with those who’ve been lost and hoping for a speedy recovery or those who’ve been injured.’

When asked by ESPN why he had not returned to Washington, the president said to do so would show the terrorists they have the power to disrupt.

‘It’s always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24/7 news coverage,’ said the president. ‘You want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation, but the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives.’ 

In the opening minutes of his speech to the Cuban people on Tuesday he spent a minute discussing the attacks that killed 34 and injured many more.

‘Before I begin, please indulge me, I want to comment on the terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels. The thoughts and the prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium,’ Obama said. ‘We stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people.’ 

He said, ‘We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice whoever is responsible and this is yet another reminder that the world must unite – we must be together – regardless of nationality, or race, or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.

‘We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world,’ Obama added. 

 
 
 

At today’s press conference in Buenos Aires with Macri Obama spoke on both nations’ behalf and said the U.S. and Argentina sympathize with the Belgian people because they, too, have known the ‘scourge of terrorism.’

We ‘express our extraordinary sorrow for the losses that they’ve experienced,’ Obama said. ‘We’ve seen our own citizens impacted by this [kind] of senseless, viscous violence.’

Obama reiterated the United States’ willingness to help with the investigation of the bombings and said, ‘We will also continue to go after ISIL aggressively until it is removed from Syria and from Iraq, and it is finally destroyed.’

‘The world has to be united against terrorism,’ Obama said, ‘and we can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security not only of our own people, but of people all around the world.’

Britain to pay billions for monster internet surveillance network To Watch it’s citizens

Britain to pay billions for monster internet surveillance network

 

New questions raised about Britain’s snoopers’ charter after Denmark abandons its own UK-style surveillance programme for a second time

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Questions raised as Denmark abandons its own surveillance programme

Denmark drops surveillance plans for second time

What exactly are internet connection records?

Cost of UK surveillance programme hugely under-estimated

Why ‘database’ has become a dirty word for ministers

UK telecoms companies will need to store trillions of records a year

Snoopers’ charter will need exabytes of data

Home office does not know how bulk collection will work

Read More

Britain’s biggest web companies will be forced to build a national network of massive internet surveillance centres, likely to cost billions of pounds, if MPs approve proposals the Home Office is determined to rush through Parliament after Easter.

The centres will be needed to hold “internet connection records” (ICRs) – databases of all connections made by UK internet users from “devices” to “services” – with records being continuously and compulsorily gathered from all connected devices. Companies will be told to store complete records for one year, and to provide remote automatic unsupervised access for government and intelligence agency search systems.

 

Questions raised as Denmark abandons its own surveillance programme

Members of the House of Commons scrutiny committee on the new Investigatory Powers Bill, which will meet for the first time this week, on 24 March 2016, will be told that the only country in the world ever to have attempted to build such a system – Denmark – decided last week (17 March 2016) to abandon its plans for the second time.

The first Danish national internet “session-logging” system was installed in 2007, but it was found to have been technically worthless for police and security agencies six years later, despite costs imposed on internet service providers (ISPs) to install and operate it.

The Danish Ministry of Justice launched plans for a modified system at the same time as the British Home Office brought out its revised draft Investigatory Powers Bill, at the start of March. The Danes asked accountants Ernst & Young to challenge Danish industry claims that the system would cost DKK1bn (£104m). Ernst & Young found the industry estimates to be correct.

Denmark drops surveillance plans for second time

On 17 March, Danish justice minister Søren Pind abandoned the session-logging scheme for the second time. “A cost of over DKK1bn is not tenable for the government,” he said, adding that it was important to protect “a vibrant business community” in the technology sector. Danish internet surveillance plans have now been sent back to the drawing board.

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After launching the draft Investigatory Powers Bill in November 2015, Home Office sources claimed session logging had been revived in Denmark, using a system more similar to Britain’s. That claim has now rebounded.

The proposed new British law has been introduced partly to rectify technical flaws in the previous Home Office internet data retention law. Regulations passed under the 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act were intended to track multiple use of internet protocol (IP) addresses by customers of mobile phone companies. But the regulations, which are now said not to have provided adequate data specifications, failed after less than nine months’ operation.

What exactly are internet connection records?

The Home Office subsequently produced an operational case for collecting what it referred to as internet connection records (ICRs). What exactly ICRs are, and whether they will have any genuine practical application in fighting crime or terrorism, is a matter of some controversy.

Britain’s internet companies have told Parliament they do not have or hold “anything like an internet connection record”. Addressing a parliamentary review committee in December 2015, Hugh Woolford, director of operations for Virgin Media, said: “This is something completely new for us… there is no need for us to capture this information.”

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, told the committee: “We will have to deploy new equipment to comply with the legislation. That comes at a cost… we have never collected [ICRs] before.”

Cost of UK surveillance programme hugely under-estimated

On a head-per-head comparison basis with Denmark, a similar British system would require an initial investment of £1.2bn, as well as annual running costs. But operational figures provided by the Danish government suggest the proposed British system would be much more expensive.   

The Home Office has estimated to parliament that, although it does not know what internet connection records are, has no specifications and does not know how many will have to be stored every year, the complete cost of the system over 10 years would be £170m to £180m.

“A cost of over DKK1bn [for the session-logging scheme] is not tenable for the government”

Søren Pind, Danish justice minister

In December 2015, service providers told the parliamentary review committee on the bill that that amount, or more, could be needed to set up ICR storage systems by just one of the “big four” internet companies. “It would cover what we [BT] need to do,” BT’s Hughes, told the committee, leaving little or nothing left to pay the other companies or for the central query system.

Vodafone’s security director Mark Hughes told the committee: “Where this figure from the Home Office came from I cannot say. We were not consulted when it was put together. We were consulted only after that figure was put together.”

Rather than create a single central database for all ICRs, as in Denmark, the Home Office plan entails ordering each company to build its own high-security internet surveillance datacentre or centres. The datacentres would then be accessed and managed from central search facilities. The requirement for individual UK internet companies to create, back up and manage at least five new high-security datacentres would add to the cost and complexity of the plan, according to the internet companies.

Why ‘database’ has become a dirty word for ministers

The government has made clear its fury about the previous occasion on which home secretary Theresa May failed to secure a new surveillance law, after Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg blocked her previous plan, labelled a “snoopers’ charter”. The use of the word “database”, especially as in “national database”, now appears to have been banned from all Home Office publications and speeches.

“Database” now appears nowhere in two drafts of the Investigatory Powers Bill, nor in nearly 2,000 pages of supporting official documents – except for a single sentence that escaped censorship in a hastily written March 2016 report on the Operational case for bulk powers. The sentence states that “personal datasets [involve] the use of datasets such as travel data or government databases” (emphasis added). The fate of the Home Office civil servant who allowed the word to get printed has not been disclosed.

Because of the same sensitivities, the official Home Office title for a national internet surveillance database management centre is “the request filter”.

UK telecoms companies will need to store trillions of records a year

The Danish government said that for its population of 5.6 million – less than 10% of the UK’s population – 350 billion session-logging and communications data records were created in 2013, the last year of operation. This is an average of 62,000 records person per year, or 170 surveillance records per person per day. In a country the size of the UK, this would mean creating an equivalent annual database of about four trillion (thousand billion) records, spread between different companies.

This is likely to be a low estimate, because the Danish companies were refused reimbursement by their Ministry of Justice, and so generally agreed to sample only one in 500 internet packet connection records. The Home Office said it wants every internet connection session logged, claiming this is the main reason the Danish session-logging system failed to help law enforcement.

Scaling up to full internet tracking capacity could therefore mean British companies storing tens of trillions records a year

Scaling up to full internet tracking capacity could therefore mean British companies storing tens of trillions records a year. According to the Home Office, each record will have to contain, at a minimum: Customer account reference or device identifier; date and time of event; duration; source and destination IP and port number of each session; domain name or linked URL (up to the first slash); volume of data; and name of internet service or server connected to.

Snoopers’ charter will need exabytes of data

Even if such new records could be limited to 100 bytes per record, Britain’s internet companies would have to build datacentres to store many exabytes (many thousands of petabytes) of data annually, and make it all rapidly and centrally searchable. Wikipedia estimates that storing an exabyte is equivalent to 100,000 times the printed material in the Library of Congress.

A single exabyte storage centre would cost at least £100m for equipment alone, provided that a petabyte server rack could be acquired for £100,000. The companies have also pointed out that annual data volumes are continuing to grow almost exponentially.

Read more about the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill

To these costs would have to be added the costs of construction, cooling and security, as well as the design, installation and nationwide provisioning across at least five major networks of packet inspection equipment that has not yet been specified, to capture data to an as yet unspecified standard.

A single exabyte-sized storage centre would be likely to occupy the space of at least two tennis courts. Finding the space, power and locations to build such datacentres would not be easy, according to Virgin’s Woolford. “It is no mean feat. This bill potentially could look at all of us having almost to mirror our entire network’s traffic to enable us to filter it. It is a huge undertaking,” he said.

Home office does not know how bulk collection will work

In comparing its own plan to the failed Danish system, the Home Office admitted that it has no engineering definition of what it wants to do, or how to do it.

“There is no single set of data that constitutes an ICR – it will depend on the service provider and service concerned,” it said. Plans will be “developed in consultation with individual CSPs [communications service providers] taking account of their network architecture and operational requirements”.   

The way the internet is arranged and operated is not simple. The magnitude of data collected that would be processed would be massively more – a hundredfold more – than we collect today

Adam Kinsley, BskyB

Adam Kinsley, director of policy and public affairs at BSkyB, told the parliamentary review committee: “There will need to be investment in new types of technology for us to be able to get up to the first slash [of a web address]. The way the internet is arranged and operated is not simple. The magnitude of data collected that would be processed would be massively more – a hundredfold more – than we collect today.”   

As matters stood, Kinsley added: “Any capability based on the face of the bill … is pretty close to zero. We absolutely need more detail to be able to deliver.”

Virgin warned that even if “necessary discussions and detail were worked through”, and “depending on scale”, “earliest deployments” of Home Office surveillance equipment on its networks could not take place until 2018.


This is the second in a series of articles about the Investigatory Powers Bill by investigative journalist Duncan Campbell.   

U.S. Agency Experts Call Belgian Cops “shitty” and “just a bunch of hot girls with guns”…

WHITE HOUSE STAFF HATE THE BELGIANS BECAUSE THE BRUSSELS EU OFFICES ARE INVESTIGATING GOOGLE FOR PUBLIC CRIMES. GOOGLE FUNDS WHITE HOUSE CAMPAIGNS.

Reuters TV

written by

Michael Weiss

Nancy A. Youssef

Nadette De Visser

FIGHTING WORDS

U.S. Officials Bash ‘Shitty’ Belgian Security Forces

Americans claim the Belgians are like clueless ‘children’ who are too incompetent to handle today’s terror threat.

U.S. counterterrorism officials are frustrated and angry at Belgium’s inability to tackle ISIS terror cells that are successfully plotting murderous attacks on the West from inside the country’s tiny capital city.

The twin terror attacks in Brussels that left at least 30 dead and 230 injured on Tuesday, despite repeated warnings from Washington, left U.S. officials fuming.

A senior U.S. intelligence officer likened the Belgian security forces to “children.”

“It’s really shitty tradecraft,” the agent told The Daily Beast.

Brussels has become a hotbed of terrorism—concentrated in the Molenbeek district near the city center—and yet the Belgians have made little progress in disrupting a network of violent extremists linked to last year’s Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

Even before the arrest last week in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam, a suspected terrorist behind the Paris attack, there were worries among many U.S. counterterrorism officials of an attack in Belgium. The Belgian authorities had long struggled to resource a counterterrorism campaign. At the same time, it ostracized its burgeoning minority communities, creating isolated enclaves like Molenbeek where potential jihadists could easily hide.

 

After Abdeslam’s arrest, many in Belgium feared a retaliatory attack. But while U.S. officials sought to help as part of a growing push for U.S. and European cooperation, there were limits, given Belgium’s limited security resources and amid a growing migration community from places like Syria.

News of Tuesday’s attack was met in some parts of Washington with resigned frustration.

“There was only so much we could do to help,” one official explained to The Daily Beast.

“Belgium has been stepping up the amount of people they’re devoting to intelligence and law enforcement but they’re playing catch-up and we’re seeing the terrible results of that today,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said on MSNBC.

Indeed, an official said there were warnings as recent as this weekend.

A frustrated U.S. intelligence official bemoaned the state of the counterterrorism apparatus in Belgium and across Europe.

“Even with the EU in general, there’s an infiltration of jihadists that’s been happening for two decades. And now they’re just starting to work on this. When we have to contact these people or send our guys over to talk to them, we’re essentially talking with people who are—I’m just going to put it bluntly—children. They are not pro-active, they don’t know what’s going on. They’re in such denial. It’s such a frightening thing to admit their country is being taken over.”

The end result is that Belgium has been targeted as a base camp for violent extremists.

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“Jihadists think that Europe is the soft underbelly of the West and Belgium is the soft underbelly of Europe,” said French terror expert Gilles Kepel.

Many of the major recent attacks in Europe have clear links to Belgium. In May 2014, French ex-Syria jihadist Mehdi Nemmouche went to the Belgian capital to attack the Jewish museum in Brussels. There are Brussels links to the weapons used by Amedy Coulibaly in his attack on a Jewish supermarket on Jan. 9, 2015, shortly after the Jan. 7 attacks on Charlie Hebdo, and the Paris attack in November last year has clear ties to the Molenbeek neighborhood specifically. Many of its attackers either resided or grew up in the borough.

Jean-Charles Brisard, the author of a biography of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of ISIS’s earlier incarnation al Qaeda in Iraq, said it’s more useful to think about the ISIS phenomenon in Western Europe as a Francophone network because the operatives in Brussels are a mix of French and Belgian nationals.

Brisard calculates that 534 Belgians have gone to Syria and about 200 have returned; he believes the French-Belgian ISIS apparatus is much greater than European security officials initially thought.

Tracking the individuals is a mammoth task.

“For now, the networks comprise basically 20 individuals around the 10 [Paris] terrorists,” he said. “So it’s least 30. It’s still looking like four or five connected but there might be more that we don’t know yet.” For every terror suspect being surveilled it takes between 20 and 25 counterterrorism officials to track him. Coulibaly, for example, was using 20 different phones, according to Brisard, and each required a different officer to monitor the incoming and outgoing calls.

The Belgians are unwilling or unable to commit that kind of manpower, one of the country’s counterterrorism officials told BuzzFeed a week before the attack.

“Frankly, we don’t have the infrastructure to properly investigate or monitor hundreds of individuals suspected of terror links,” he said.

The problem is exacerbated in Brussels because the local police force is divided into six police corps spread over 19 boroughs (particularly odd since the population is only 1.3 million). Sharing intelligence is complicated by the silos.

Robin Simcox, a British-born specialist on European terror networks who now works at the conservative Heritage Foundation, says the Paris and Brussels attacks prove that European intelligence agencies have been comforting themselves—and their constituencies—with a fallacy for a decade.

“What have they been saying since 7/7?” Simcox asked, referring to the al Qaeda bombings in London in July 2005. “‘Oh, those kinds of attacks are not possible anymore. Any time a network gets too big, we find out about it. Anyone tries to construct a suicide vest, we’ll get it. The attacks will be knives and guns.’ Well, it’s the emperor has no clothes, isn’t it? It happened in Paris, now Brussels; it nearly happened in Verviers back in January [2015]. All kinds of assumptions about the kind of threat we were going to be facing in coming years. And we were all too complacent about it.”

The Belgian field commander, if not quite the “mastermind” of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, had previously been linked to four separate terror plots in Europe. He got away each time.

He was thought to have “guided” Nemmouche, the Frenchman who shot up the Jewish museum in Brussels. In the attack planned but later aborted in Verviers, Abaaoud had remotely instructed two Belgian nationals, Sofiane Amghar and Khalid Ben Larbi, who fought with ISIS’s elite Battar Brigade.

Abaaoud had been in Greece at the time, and subsequently returned to Syria after Belgian commandos raided Amghar and Ben Larbi’s safe house in Verviers. (The operation constituted the largest firefight in Belgium since the end of World War II.) Abaaoud was also involved in the failed attack on a high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam in August 2015. It failed only because three American tourists, two of them in the Oregon National Guard, wrestled the AK-47-wielding gunman to the ground before he could kill anyone.

In a February 2015 issue of ISIS’s propaganda magazine Dabiq, Abaaoud boasts about being able to slip by a continent-wide dragnet for him, despite the fact that European security services all had a recent photograph of him, which had been published by a Western journalist.

“I suddenly saw my picture all over the media, but… the kuffar were blinded by Allah. I was even stopped by an officer who contemplated me so as to compare me to the picture, but he let me go, as he did not see the resemblance! This was nothing but a gift from Allah!”

Abaaoud’s turn from first-generation Belgian into international terrorist follows an all-too-familiar script to those who monitor European jihadism. Although he was once enrolled in the Catholic college Saint-Pierre, an elite school in a tony suburb of Brussels, he dropped out and took to a life of gangsterism and petty crime.

He met Salah Abdeslam and Abdeslam’s brother Brahim (another one of the Paris attackers) when all three were in their late teens or early twenties, hanging about Molenbeek. In 2010, Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam were convicted of armed robbery after they tried to break into a garage in Ottingnes, a town southeast of Brussels. In 2012, Abaaoud went to jail again for hitting someone in the town of Dendermonde.

Abaaoud apparently radicalized in prison and upon his release, he fell in with a crowd of Islamists, including a veteran of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets in the 1980s, a Moroccan called Khalid Zerkani. The man went by the sobriquet Papa Noel (Santa Claus), owing to his generosity with money: he’d disburse as much as 4,500 euros for aspiring mujahidin seeking to travel to Syria.

Many of those wandering mujahidin have now returned to Brussels; and there is little confidence that the Belgian authorities will be able to stop their murderous plots against the West.

Did Pando Just Imply That Nick Denton and Gawker Are Connected With Russian Mobsters?

Did Pando Just Imply That Nick Denton and Gawker Are Connected With Russian Mobsters?

 

 

What if it’s not Gawker writing the check?

 

 

By Paul Carr for Pando

 

 

With $140m in damages awarded against them, the Hulk Hogan verdict certainly seems to be an existential threat to Gawker. To read the endless stream of op-eds around the verdict, you’d think Denton and his crew were already listing their office furniture on eBay.

 

 

And yet, nothing about Denton’s public demeanor or that of any of his employees betrays the slightest concern. We’re hearing no reports of writers circulating their resumes, and no one has leaked details of any attempt to sell the company. Sure, the company’s lawyers argued in court that any punitive damages would be devastating to Gawker, Denton and Daulerio but that’s what lawyers are supposed to do. At the very same time, Gawker PR was continuing to pump out its usual message: The verdict will be overturned on appeal, or the damages significantly reduced.

 

 

Of course that quiet confidence might be because they really do think the escrow will be capped at $50m or even suspended completely. It might also be because they have faith in the appeals process.

 

Still, with legal bills for the past twelve months fast approaching a million dollars and some legal experts warning that thing might not go Gawker’s way at appeal, there’s absolutely no guarantee that the company won’t still end up owing tens of millions of dollars after all is said and done. Given that possibility, the apparent calm at Gawker seems almost spookily misplaced.

 

 

Unless.

 

 

A few months ago, it was widely reported that Gawker had agreed to take investment from the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. As Mark Ames explained here, that means taking millions of dollars from the guy who “rolled up Russia’s aluminum industry, notorious as the most violent and corpse-riddled of all the newly-privatized industries.” As if that weren’t bad enough, the deal saw Gawker agree to give Vekselberg veto power on selling the company, a seat on their board, control over senior hires and even the right to decide which senior editors are brought on board. That’s a level of editorial interference that most news organizations would balk at, especially a news organization that has previously gloated about the freedom that comes from having no investors. (By contrast, none of the venture capitalists who invested in Pando have a seat on our board and no investors have any editorial involvement whatsoever.)

 

 

Even even the smartest business commentators explained the deal in simplistic terms: Gawker needed cash to fight the Hogan lawsuit, Vekselberg was offering cash, ergo the slightly extreme terms made sense. But that reading doesn’t pass a basic smell test: One of the terms of the agreement was that Denton couldn’t sell Gawker for less than $100m without their permission. That strongly suggests Vekselberg was putting a current value of $100m on the troubled company, far lower than the $200-$300m some people were claiming. Indeed, yesterday in court, Gawker’s own lawyers set the value of the company at $83m.

 

 

Given we’re told the russians took a minority stake in the company, that would mean — at most — they’d put in around $40m. That’s barely enough to pay the minimum escrow under Florida law, an amount that all parties have long been aware could have been payable before appeal.

 

 

And yet, the Russians were willing to do a deal that could still see their portfolio company bankrupted in an instant.

 

 

And yet, Gawker remains relaxed and confident.

 

 

So what if.

 

 

What if the reason Denton agreed to such horrendous terms — not just to give up a large chunk of his company, but to hand over near-total control to a single investor — is that the Russians have promised to cover whatever amount of money the court demands? Even if that amount ends up being close to $100m. What if Denton’s calm demeanor in court, and the glib responses given by both Denton and AJ Daulerio on the stand come from a place of confidence that, whatever happens, the Russians will be the one writing the check.

 

 

What if that was the secret undisclosed term of the investment: A short term cash injection, but also financial indemnity against whatever the court might ultimately throw at Gawker. With an estimated net worth over $13bn, certainly Vekselberg can afford to make that guarantee. And certainly a deal like that would explain Denton’s willingness to accept what seem to be unreasonably brutal investment terms.

 

 

Wild speculation? Actually, not entirely. In fact it’s the persistent rumor I keep hearing from people familiar with the goings on at Gawker.  That Denton’s deal with the devil was for the civil equivalent of a get out of jail free card, in return for the heart and soul of Gawker.

 

 

Based on everything I’m seeing, I’m inclined to believe it’s true, or at the very least that Vekselberg and Denton have made an agreement for another cash injection if things go badly in court. We won’t know for sure unless someone at Gawker actually reports on the goings on inside their own organization (remember when Denton used to boast that his site would reveal everything that journalists were discussing in bars, without fear of favor) or if an appeals court demands Gawker pay the $50m or more. At that point, we’ll see if Denton magically finds a check for $50m inside his $83m company.

 

Of course if that does happen, and Vekselberg does have to write a much bigger check, then that’s when the real fun will start. If Denton thinks Vekselberg has him by the throat now, wait til he’s another $50m or more in the hole to a Russian oligarch.

 

 

Maybe that look in Denton’s eyes isn’t confidence but resignation.  

 

 

Let’s examine this further

 

 

In one theory, observers have noted that Denton devotes his Gawker Media resources to White House policy and White House enemies. The facts show that almost every hit-job article that Denton has published on someone has turned out to be a hatchet job on someone on the White House “enemies list”. The Silicon Valley campaign financiers that Denton is most closely connected to also happen to be almost the only recipients of the notorious Steven Chu wrangled Department of Energy cash. (ie: Elon Musk, John Doerr Eric Schmidt, etc.). Ironically, Russian mobsters figure deeply into that very same Department of Energy cash. The Department of Energy funds were supposed to be for American companies in a time of financial crisis. The very crisis which coincided with Obama’s election. Even though this money came out of American taxpayers pockets, a huge portion of it was handed to two Russian billionaires who are associates of Nick Denton’s Viktor Vekselberg. They owned companies called Severstal and another called Ener1. Ener1 got the taxpayer cash and immediately went bankrupt after certain investors skimmed their payola off the top. The U.S. Congress spotted the Severstal scam, part way through, and called for Senate investigations.

 

 

You heard it right, Nick Denton’s buddies from Silicon Valley handed billions of taxpayer dollars to Russian billionaires who had no need of a cash hand-out. In fact, some of them were on, and are still on, the FBI’s watch-lists. Mr. James Comey, the head of the FBI has to be looking hard at Mr. Denton.

 

 

The media are now looking hard at the FBI, Hulk Hogan, and Nick Denton triangle since an “FBI Sting Operation” has already been publicly acknowledged to have been underway in the Hulk Hogan case.

 

 

– Thanks to Andrea Lund for additional research

Topics: Nick Denton, FBI, Hulk Hogan, Terry Bollea, Gawker Media, Russian mobsters, Steven Chu, Ener1, Severstal, Department of Energy, Cheryl Attkisson, James Comey, Viktor Vekselberg, FBI Sting, Heather Clem, Bubba The Love Sponge,

 

 

 

Elon Musk’s Tesla Powerwall large battery is now officially dead due to total lack of interest

Explosive Tesla Powerwall dies the death it is due.

Did toxic fumes and self-igniting lithium ion batteries in Tesla Powerwall finally kill the hype?

 

Tesla quietly kills its largest Powerwall home battery

Tesla’s larger home battery is no more, and probably won’t be missed thanks to better alternatives.

teslabattery2

Tesla has stopped selling the larger of its two Powerwall home batteries, citing a lack of interest from consumers.

All mentions of the 10 kWh Powerwall have disappeared from Telsa’s website and press kit. While Tesla didn’t initially explain the move, a representative confirmed to Greentech Media that it has discontinued the product, as customers preferred the smaller 7 kWh version.

The difference in the two products was not merely capacity. Tesla only designed the 10 kWh Powerwall to serve as a backup energy source for solar panel users, and the lithium ion only lasted for a mere 500 cycles. Greentech Media notes that some lead acid batteries are cheaper and last for more cycles, and even some state-of-the-art generators are more economical than Tesla’s backup solution, which cost $3500 for installers.

By comparison, Tesla’s 7 kWh Powerwall can be used for daily cycling, allowing solar panel owners to avoid using energy from the utility grid during peak hours, or to go off the grid completely. The Tesla representative said the Daily Powerwall can also be used for backup “simply by modifying the way it is installed in a home.” At $3000, it’s cheaper than the larger Powerwall as well.

Why this matters: Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed that Powerwall has been a huge success, apparently that popularity only extends to the smaller, more versatile version. It now seems the company will focus on daily use as it prepares to launch a second-generation Powerwall sometime this summer.

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Jared Newman

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Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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WHAT IS GOOGLE CHARGED WITH?

WHAT IS GOOGLE CHARGED WITH?

 

 

 

What does the evidence, which will be provided in court, prove?

 

 

 

Did Google break the law?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google pay bribes to elected officials?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google pay bribes to associates of elected officials?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google illicitly manipulate White House staff in order to gain unfair business advantage?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google illicitly manipulate Department of Energy staff in order to gain unfair business advantage?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google illicitly manipulate FCC staff in order to gain unfair business advantage?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google illicitly manipulate U.S. Patent Office staff in order to gain unfair business advantage?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google illicitly expend billions of dollars in campaign financing, via services provisions, that it never legally reported?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google owners lie to investigators about not being able to manipulate search results?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google illicitly rig, manipulate, alter or synthetically modify election results in regional and national elections?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google use surreptitious electronics to manipulate Middle East social, economic and trade developments in order to gain an unfair business advantage for Google’s investors?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google use surreptitious electronics to manipulate United States social, economic and trade developments in order to gain an unfair business advantage for Google’s investors?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google use surreptitious electronics to manipulate European Union social, economic and trade developments in order to gain an unfair business advantage for Google’s investors?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google operate a massive illicit tax evasion program which caused taxpayers to lose their expected social services?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Is the description of the Company “PollyHop” in the 2016 House of Cards television program, in episodes 6 & 7, actually a description of Google? : Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google have a planned program to use it’s technology to attack, defame, harass and economically damage it’s business and political competitors?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Is Google an illicit monopoly?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did the owners of Google develop a coordinated plan to manipulate public policy decisions for personal gain and extremist ideologies created by their owners?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google’s founder’s and owners steal technology from others, and never compensate them for those thefts?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Did Google alter the neutral information that was presumed to be equally available to all voters and modify that information, nationally and globally, in an attempt to trick the public into believing that the opinions of Google’s owners were facts?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Does Google have covert codes embedded in web links which assert that “opinions” are “facts”?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Has Google ever engaged in Mood Manipulation technology effects to attempt to trick the public into believing that something was true, even if it may not be true?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Does Google take advantage of it’s immature employees by subjecting them to cult-like indoctrination and information control? : Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

Have entire nations issued national reports, both internally and externally, proving that Google regularly engages in illicit activities?: Yes- Proof will be provided in court

 

 

 

To be continued in part two…

 

Tesla: Believe The Hype, Conditionally !!!

The “condition” to believe Tesla’s hype is if you are too dumb to read the news.

Elon Musk and Tesla appear to be organized-crime level crooks who are operating entirely off of crony kick-back payola from the White House.

 

Featured

IS ELON MUSK A MOBSTER AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION RACKETEER?

IS ELON MUSK A MOBSTER AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION RACKETEER?

Numerous parties would like this answered, in public, in front of a Grand Jury, A DOJ Special Prosecutor and a public federal court trial, but Elon Musk has spent vast amounts of money in order to delay the justice system from bring him to such a hearing.

 

The Following inquiries, though, should serve to resolve the issue.

 

All of the following questions have now been FAXED, EMAILED, U.S. POSTAL SERVICED MAILED to Elon Musk at his homes and offices and to the corporate offices of the companies and U.S. Senators that he owns. He is now fully aware that answers for each of the following questions is required from him. It is no longer possible for him to not have immediate answers to these questions should you encounter him in-person, at a conference or in a broadcast news interview.

 

If you see him, ask him: “Elon…

 

  1. Why was Tesla located on the same geological land, next door to, FBI-raided Solyndra?
  2. Did Senator Dianne Feinstein ever have a personal meeting with you?
  3. Did you or your staff ever promise, or deliver, any favors or items of value to Senator Dianne Feinstein
  4. Did you or your staff ever promise, or deliver, any favors or items of value to Senator Harry Reid?
  5. Have you, or any family members or friends ever placed money in a family trust fund that originally came from the U.S. Treasury?
  6. Had you ever met Steven Chu, Steve Spinner, Alison Spinner, Matt Rogers or Jonathan Silver before they were appointed to run the U.S. Department of Energy?
  7. Did you ever say, in a recorded conversation, that the NUMMI factory made no sense for Tesla to occupy?
  8. What is your relationship with Richard Blum, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein and his real estate company CBRE?
  9. When your Tesla and Powerwall batteries explode, do they release any toxic fumes? How many different kinds of toxic fumes do they release? In what year were you aware of these toxic fumes. Did your employee: Bernard Tse, ever warn you about these toxic fumes?
  10. Did you, or your associates ever benefit from lithium mining in the Afghanistan War?
  11. Did three of your employees suddenly die in a plane crash? What engineering information did they have about Tesla Motors?
  12. Did your patent filings include any language which specifically and intimately disclosed the deadly danger of your batteries? Please quote those paragraphs from your very own patent filings that you were forced to give away for free because they were rendered value-less by those disclosures?
  13. The news stories said that, even though you were a billionaire, you got over thirty billion dollars in taxpayer-funded handouts from California and Federal government officials in hard cash, tax waivers, free NASA buildings, government jet fuel, credits, stock market pumps and other things; Did you get all of this free cash in exchange for conduit-ing campaign funding for Obama, Reid and Feinstein?
  14. Were you involved in the death of your competitor: Gary D. Conley?
  15. Does Google rig search engine results about you because they covertly co-own some of your assets? Do Twitter and Google hype up PR aggrandizement about you and hide negative news stories about you?
  16. Have you hidden money from state and federal tax collection in off-shore tax evasion schemes?
  17. Do you hire troll-farms, click-farms and meat-puppet fake bloggers to write self-glory statements about you on reddit, twitter, facebook and other social media?
  18. Have Tesla’s killed anybody? How many people have died in, or near a Tesla, ever? Do you run cover-ups about the deaths?

 

 

 

….(More questions to be added, as submitted, and hot-linked to back-ground details, as they come in…)

 

 

 

 

Google planned to help Syria rebels to bring down Assad regime, leaked Hillary Clinton emails claim

Google planned to help Syria rebels to bring down Assad regime, leaked Hillary Clinton emails claim

 

One of Google’s interactive tools was reportedly meant to encourage defections from the Assad government, emails leaked by WikiLeaks have alleged

 

 

   
   
 
   
   
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An interactive tool created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails have reportedly revealed.

 

By tracking and mapping defections within the Syrian leadership, it was reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect and ‘give confidence’ to the rebel opposition.

 

It was allegedly described as a “pretty cool idea” by senior Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan, and Google said it had enlisted the help of Al Jazeera to broadcast the tool in Syria.

 

“We believe this can have an important impact.”

Google executive Jared Cohen on the defection-tracking tool

 

Thousands of Clinton’s personal emails have been published and indexed by WikiLeaks, and some reveal interesting details about the relationship between the State Department and major corporations.

 

The email detailing Google’s defection tracker purportedly came from Jared Cohen, a Clinton advisor until 2010 and now-President of Jigsaw, formerly known as Google Ideas, the company’s New York-based policy think tank.

 

In a July 2012 email to members of Clinton’s team, which the WikiLeaks release alleges was later forwarded to the Secretary of State herself, Cohen reportedly said: “My team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from.”

 

 

“Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition.”

 

The email said Google would be “partnering with Al Jazeera” who would take “primary ownership” of the tool, maintaining it and publicising it in Syria.

 

Cohen asked the Clinton team to tell him if there was anything the company needed to think about before launching the tool, before adding: “We believe this can have an important impact.”

 

The visualisation was eventually published by Al Jazeera in English and Arabic, and Jigsaw’s website claims it became one of the site’s most-viewed visualisations. 

 

A post about the tool on the site claims it successfully showed “patterns and trends” in support for the regime, but makes no mention of encouraging defectors or helping the opposition.

 

 

WikiLeaks has previously been responsible for publicising links between Google and high-ranking State Department officials, and founder Julian Assange’s 2014 book When Google Met WikiLeaks accused the company of helping to further the US government’s foreign policy agenda.

 

As the Daily Mail points out, the news comes as Google reveals its plans to expand internet access in Cuba, in an announcement timed to coincide with Barack Obama’s historic visit to the island.

 

Clinton’s thoughts on Google’s plan were not revealed in the WikiLeaks release, but she reportedly instructed an aide to print out Cohen’s email for later reference.

 

Google did not provide a comment.

 

 

Google’s Eric Schmidt and New America Foundation/IN-Q-Tel provide tricks for Middle Easterners

U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors, The New York Times

12.06.2011

 

 

By JAMES GLANZ  and JOHN MARKOFF, The New York Times, June 12, 2011 

 

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A00E4DC123EF931A25755C0A9679D8B63&ref=jamesglanz

 

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can  use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring  or shutting down telecommunications networks.  

 

The effort includes secretive projects to create  independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation  out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a  group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are  fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a  suitcase.”  

 

Financed with a $2 million State Department  grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to  allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global  
Internet. 

 

The American effort, revealed in dozens of  interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables obtained by The  New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication.  

 

Some projects involve technology that the United  States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created  by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe.  

 

The State Department, for example, is financing  the creation of stealth back-door’d wireless networks that would enable activists to  communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.  

 

In one of the most ambitious efforts, United  States officials say, the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50  million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers  on protected military bases inside the country. It is intended to offset the  Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, seemingly at will.

 

The effort has picked up momentum since the  government of President Hosni Mubarak shut down the Egyptian Internet in the  last days of his rule. In recent days, the Syrian government also temporarily  disabled much of that country’s Internet, which had helped protesters mobilize.  

 

The Obama administration’s initiative is in one  sense a new front in a longstanding diplomatic push to defend free speech and  nurture democracy. For decades, the United States has sent radio broadcasts  into autocratic countries through Voice of America and other means. More  recently, Washington has supported the development of software that preserves  the anonymity of users in places like China, and training for citizens who want  to pass information along the government-owned Internet without getting caught.  But the latest initiative depends on creating  entirely separate pathways for communication. It has brought together an  improbable alliance of diplomats and military engineers, young programmers and  dissidents from at least a dozen countries, many of whom variously describe the  new approach as more audacious and clever and, yes, cooler.  

 

Sometimes the State Department is simply taking  advantage of enterprising dissidents who have found ways to get around  government censorship. American diplomats are meeting with operatives who have  been burying Chinese cellphones in the hills near the border with North Korea,  where they can be dug up and used to make furtive calls, according to  interviews and the diplomatic cables.  

 

The new initiatives have found a champion in  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose department is spearheading the  American effort. “We see more and more people around the globe using the  Internet, mobile phones and other technologies to make their voices heard as  they protest against injustice and seek to realize their aspirations,” Mrs. Clinton  said in an e-mail response to a query on the topic. “There is a historic  opportunity to effect positive change, change America supports,” she said. “So  we’re focused on helping them do that, on helping them talk to each other, to  
  their communities, to their governments and to the world.”

 

Developers caution that independent networks  come with downsides: repressive governments could use surveillance to pinpoint  and arrest activists who use the technology or simply catch them bringing  hardware across the border. But others believe that the risks are outweighed by  the potential impact. “We’re going to build a separate infrastructure where the  technology is nearly impossible to shut down, to control, to surveil,” said  Sascha Meinrath, who is leading the “Internet in a suitcase” project as  director of the Open Technology Initiative at the New America Foundation, a  nonpartisan research group.  

 

“The implication is that this disempowers  central authorities from infringing on people’s fundamental human right to communicate,”  Mr. Meinrath added.  

 

The Invisible Web

 

In an anonymous office building on L Street in  Washington, four unlikely State Department contractors sat around a table. Josh  King, sporting multiple ear piercings and a studded leather wristband, taught  himself programming while working as a barista. Thomas Gideon was an  accomplished hacker. Dan Meredith, a bicycle polo enthusiast, helped companies  protect their digital secrets.  

 

Then there was Mr. Meinrath, wearing a tie as  the dean of the group at age 37. He has a master’s degree in psychology and  helped set up wireless networks in underserved communities in Detroit and  Philadelphia.  

 

The group’s suitcase project will rely on a  version of “mesh network” technology, which can transform devices like cellphones  or personal computers to create an invisible wireless web without a centralized  hub. In other words, a voice, picture or e-mail message could hop directly  between the modified wireless devices — each one acting as a mini cell “tower”  and phone — and bypass the official network.  

 

Mr. Meinrath said that the suitcase would  include small wireless antennas, which could increase the area of coverage; a  laptop to administer the system; thumb drives and CDs to spread the software to  more devices and encrypt the communications; and other components like Ethernet  cables.  

 

The project will also rely on the innovations of  independent Internet and telecommunications developers.  

 

“The cool thing in this political context is  that you cannot easily control it,” said Aaron Kaplan, an Austrian  cybersecurity expert whose work will be used in the suitcase project. Mr.  Kaplan has set up a functioning mesh network in Vienna and says related systems  have operated in Venezuela, Indonesia and elsewhere.  

 

Mr. Meinrath said his team was focused on  fitting the system into the bland-looking suitcase and making it simple to  implement — by, say, using “pictograms” in the how-to manual.  

 

In addition to the Obama administration’s  initiatives, there are almost a dozen independent ventures that also aim to  make it possible for unskilled users to employ existing devices like laptops or  smartphones to build a wireless network. One mesh network was created around  Jalalabad, Afghanistan, as early as five years ago, using technology developed at  the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

 

Creating simple lines of communication outside  official ones is crucial, said Collin Anderson, a 26-year-old  liberation-technology researcher from North Dakota who specializes in Iran,  where the government all but shut down the Internet during protests in 2009.  The slowdown made most “circumvention” technologies — the software legerdemain  that helps dissidents sneak data along the state-controlled networks — nearly  useless, he said.  

 

“No matter how much circumvention the protesters  use, if the government slows the network down to a crawl, you can’t upload  YouTube videos or Facebook postings,” Mr. Anderson said. “They need alternative  ways of sharing information or alternative ways of getting it out of the country.”     

 

That need is so urgent, citizens are finding  their own ways to set up rudimentary networks. Mehdi Yahyanejad, an Iranian  expatriate and technology developer who co-founded a popular Persian-language  Web site, estimates that nearly half the people who visit the site from inside  Iran share files using Bluetooth — which is best known in the West for running  wireless headsets and the like. In more closed societies, however, Bluetooth is  used to discreetly beam information — a video, an electronic business card —  directly from one cellphone to another.  

 

Mr. Yahyanejad said he and his research  colleagues were also slated to receive State Department financing for a project  that would modify Bluetooth so that a file containing, say, a video of a  protester being beaten, could automatically jump from phone to phone within a  “trusted network” of citizens. The system would be more limited than the  suitcase but would only require the software modification on ordinary phones.  

 

By the end of 2011, the State Department will  have spent some $70 million on circumvention efforts and related technologies,  according to department figures.  

 

Mrs. Clinton has made Internet freedom into a  signature cause. But the State Department has carefully framed its support as  promoting free speech and human rights for their own sake, not as a policy  aimed at destabilizing autocratic governments.  

 

That distinction is difficult to maintain, said  Clay Shirky, an assistant professor at New York University who studies the  Internet and social media. “You can’t say, ‘All we want is for people to speak  their minds, not bring down autocratic regimes’ — they’re the same thing,” Mr.  Shirky said.  

 

He added that the United States could expose  itself to charges of hypocrisy if the State Department maintained its support,  tacit or otherwise, for autocratic governments running countries like Saudi Arabia or Bahrain while deploying technology that was likely to undermine them. 

 

Shadow Cellphone System

 

In February 2009, Richard C. Holbrooke and Lt.  Gen. John R. Allen were taking a helicopter tour over southern Afghanistan and  getting a panoramic view of the cellphone towers dotting the remote  countryside, according to two officials on the flight. By then, millions of  Afghans were using cellphones, compared with a few thousand after the 2001  invasion. Towers built by private companies had sprung up across the country.  The United States had promoted the network as a way to cultivate good will and  encourage local businesses in a country that in other ways looked as if it had  not changed much in centuries.  

 

There was just one problem, General Allen told  Mr. Holbrooke, who only weeks before had been appointed special envoy to the  region. With a combination of threats to phone company officials and attacks on  the towers, the Taliban was able to shut down the main network in the  countryside virtually at will. Local residents report that the networks are  often out from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m., presumably to enable the Taliban to carry  out operations without being reported to security forces.  

 

The Pentagon and State Department were soon  collaborating on the project to build a “shadow” cellphone system in a country  where repressive forces exert control over the official network.  Details of the network, which the military named  the Palisades project, are scarce, but current and former military and civilian  officials said it relied in part on cell towers placed on protected American  bases. A large tower on the Kandahar air base serves as a base station or data  collection point for the network, officials said.  

 

A senior United States official said the towers  were close to being up and running in the south and described the effort as a  kind of 911 system that would be available to anyone with a cellphone.    

 

By shutting down cellphone service, the Taliban  had found a potent strategic tool in its asymmetric battle with American and  Afghan security forces.  

 

The United States is widely understood to use  cellphone networks in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries for intelligence  gathering. And the ability to silence the network was also a powerful reminder  to the local populace that the Taliban retained control over some of the most  vital organs of the nation.  

 

When asked about the system, Lt. Col. John  Dorrian, a spokesman for the American-led International Security Assistance  Force, or ISAF, would only confirm the existence of a project to create what he  called an “expeditionary cellular communication service” in Afghanistan. He  said the project was being carried out in collaboration with the Afghan  government in order to “restore 24/7 cellular access.”  

 

“As of yet the program is not fully operational,  so it would be premature to go into details,” Colonel Dorrian said.  Colonel Dorrian declined to release cost  figures. Estimates by United States military and civilian officials ranged  widely, from $50 million to $250 million. A senior official said that Afghan  officials, who anticipate taking over American bases when troops pull out, have  insisted on an elaborate system. “The Afghans wanted the Cadillac plan, which  is pretty expensive,” the official said.  

 

Broad Subversive Effort

 

In May 2009, a North Korean defector named Kim  met with officials at the American Consulate in Shenyang, a Chinese city about  120 miles from North Korea, according to a diplomatic cable. Officials wanted  to know how Mr. Kim, who was active in smuggling others out of the country,  communicated across the border. “Kim would not go into much detail,” the cable  says, but did mention the burying of Chinese cellphones “on hillsides for  people to dig up at night.” Mr. Kim said Dandong, China, and the surrounding  Jilin Province “were natural gathering points for cross-border cellphone  communication and for meeting sources.” The cellphones are able to pick up  signals from towers in China, said Libby Liu, head of Radio Free Asia, the  United States-financed broadcaster, who confirmed their existence and said her  organization uses the calls to collect information for broadcasts as well.  

 

The effort, in what is perhaps the world’s most  closed nation, suggests just how many independent actors are involved in the  subversive efforts. From the activist geeks on L Street in Washington to the  military engineers in Afghanistan, the global appeal of the technology hints at  the craving for open communication.  

 

In a chat with a Times reporter via Facebook,  Malik Ibrahim Sahad, the son of Libyan dissidents who largely grew up in  suburban Virginia, said he was tapping into the Internet using a commercial  satellite connection in Benghazi. “Internet is in dire need here. The people  are cut off in that respect,” wrote Mr. Sahad, who had never been to Libya  before the uprising and is now working in support of rebel authorities. Even  so, he said, “I don’t think this revolution could have taken place without the  existence of the World Wide Web.”  

 

Reporting was contributed by Richard A. Oppel  
Jr. and Andrew W. Lehren from New York, and Alissa J. Rubin and Sangar Rahimi
from Kabul, Afghanistan.

 

 

All iphones have now been broken into. Public no longer trusts “gadgets”!

All iphones have now been broken into. Public no longer trusts “gadgets”!

 

 

 

 

 

Apple has claimed the government’s request for assistance would potentially harm all its users. | AP Photo

 

Feds gain postponement of iPhone hearing

 

The Justice Department does not need Apple’s help any longer.

 

By Tony Romm and Josh Gerstein

 

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Citing a new possible way to access a locked iPhone used by a shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the Justice Department on Monday convinced a federal court to cancel a Tuesday hearing on whether Apple should be forced to help the FBI break into the device.

 

Government lawyers had insisted for months they needed Apple to write special software so the FBI could bypass security features on the iPhone being used by the San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook, and obtain what could be critical information for their ongoing terrorism investigation.

 

But the Justice Department unexpectedly told the court just hours before a scheduled hearing that it may not need Apple’s assistance after all.

 

“On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone,” federal prosecutors said in a filing Monday afternoon. “Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (‘Apple’) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.”

 

For the moment, the DOJ’s move hits the pause button on a case that has pitted Washington against Silicon Valley in a fierce debate over the role tech companies should play in terrorism investigations. The Justice Department now has until April 5 to test its prospective technical fix, which law enforcement sources, speaking with reporters on Monday, repeatedly declined to detail.

 

Apple did not immediately comment on the decision. Earlier Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook affirmed his company’s intent to fight this and other cases where the government seeks greater access to digital data. As he unveiled his company’s latest iPhone, Cook pledged on stage in San Francisco that Apple would not “shirk from [its] responsibility” to protect its users.

 

In the San Bernardino case, the Justice Department had asked a federal magistrate in February to require Apple to write software to help unlock Farook’s password-protected iPhone. Apple doesn’t retain a copy of device passwords, and the iPhone is programmed to erase itself after too many failed attempts to unlock it. The DOJ wanted the company craft special software to remove the restriction.

 

Federal Magistrate Sheri Pym initially sided with the DOJ in February, drawing a sharp rebuke from Apple, which lambasted the government’s request as a digital “backdoor.” In the eyes of the tech company, a win for the government would set a dangerous legal precedent, allowing the Justice Department unparalleled access to all digital communications in other major national security investigations. Apple argued Congress never gave law enforcement such power, and doing so now would only encourage foreign governments to seek the same access in the future.

 

The legal battle — marked by bitter rhetoric from both sides — quickly encompassed much of Silicon Valley. Top firms like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft filed legal briefs in support of Apple, urging the judge not to embolden the FBI as it seeks greater access to data it can’t currently intercept or decipher — a problem its director has called “going dark.” Both Apple and the Justice Department seemed to indicate they would continue fighting the case for as long as necessary, setting up an historic war between Washington and Silicon Valley.

 

In its filings with the court, the Justice Department initially argued it had no option to obtain the data other than ask for Apple’s help — even as security experts suggested the FBI might have been able to extract the phone’s contents by other means. FBI Director James Comey was grilled about a potential technical solution by lawmakers like Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

 

The DOJ did not specify in its court filing Monday, however, exactly how it planned to obtain the contents of the San Bernardino device. Nor did law enforcement officials, speaking to reporters on background, explain who their “outside source” was or how the FBI got in contact with them.

 

“As a result of these efforts, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI this past weekend a possible method for unlocking the phone,” a DOJ spokeswoman said in a statement. “We must first test this method to ensure that it doesn’t destroy the data on the phone, but we remain cautiously optimistic. That is why we asked the court to give us some time to explore this option.”

 


Read more:
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/feds-move-to-cancel-iphone-hearing-221062#ixzz43aYdclBL
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http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/21/apple-fbi-encryption-battle

 

Beyond surveillance: The end of Apple

 

An Apple loss in the San Bernardino encryption case risks creating a world in which we can no longer trust the gadgets that track how we drive, when we’re home and whether the door is locked

 

 

Danny Yadron in San Francisco

 

@dannyyadron

 

 

This is how a former White House technologist envisions a future in which Apple loses its privacy battle with the US government.

 

The year is 2026. You get in your new Tesla for a milk run. You place your fingertip on the door handle, the door unlocks, and the car knows it’s you as you step inside because it read your fingerprint.

 

The car, on its own, pulls out of the garage while you scroll through live streams broadcast by your friends on whatever app has succeeded Instagram.

 

The doors lock. The car passes the convenience store and its dairy aisle. Instead, it makes two lefts then a right before pulling up to the local police station. The cops are waiting outside. They got a judge to make Tesla update your car’s self-driving software to lock the doors and deliver you to the local precinct. You looked like a guy caught on surveillance camera and the police had a few questions.

 

 

According to Ashkan Soltani, an engineer by trade who spent the past year working on privacy policy for the US government, this world might not be the realm of science fiction. If Apple loses its brawl with the US government over whether it must write code to defeat the security system of an iPhone linked to the San Bernardino shootings, Soltani sees that kind of scenario as a terrifying possibility.

 

That fight officially begins on Tuesday when Apple and government lawyers meet for the first time in a southern California federal court.

 

Soltani has some grounding here. He won a Pulitzer prize for helping the Washington Post sort through documents leaked by Edward Snowden and has published papers on privacy technology through Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard. He isn’t just a guy who watched too many dystopian films.

 

He and others make a compelling case that the Apple fight isn’t really about surveillance, or encryption, or who else may have known about the horrific killing of 14 people in a southern California office complex on 2 December.

 

It’s about who can manipulate the 1s and 0s that control our ever-increasing number of devices that track how we drive, when we’re home and if the door is locked.

 

“We already have a hard enough time trusting our technology and understanding what it’s doing,” says Soltani, who worked on regulation for the Federal Trade Commission with a brief stint at the White House. “What the government is asking Apple to do in some way is to further undermine that.”

 

James Comey FBI

 

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Consumers rationally enough gave up this agency when they allowed Microsoft to push automatic Windows updates or Apple to upload a U2 album on to every iPhone. The Apple case will decide if that power stops with a digital product’s maker, or if it can extend to the federal government. Washington, though it would never say it this way, effectively wants Apple to make its programmers agents of the state in its San Bernardino investigation.

 

 

If the FBI wins, Apple would fool gunman Syed Farook’s work iPhone into accepting a benign-seeming software update, the kind Apple regularly ships out to the nearly 1bn iPhones it has sold since 2007. But in this case, the software sent by Apple would disable certain iPhone security measures to make it easier for the government to guess the phone’s four-digit passcode. Because of Apple’s security features, only Apple can push such a system tweak to one of the phones.

 

As the government acknowledges, courts operate on precedent. So if the FBI wins this time, it means it is more likely to win the next.

 

This year, a favorable ruling could decide whether laptop cameras can be conscripted as spies or smartphones become permanent homing beacons.

 

In a year or two, the same ruling may have laid the groundwork for whether your car becomes your police van or your home becomes your holding cell.

 

Obviously, predicting the ripple effects of a court case that hasn’t started is perilous. The courts, for instance, could rule against Apple in this extraordinary case but decide to be silent on the broader questions about control of technology. Or Congress could find a middle ground with an update to woefully outdated wiretap law written for a pre-smartphone era.

 

Apple could very well win in a sweeping supreme court decision that puts computer code outside the reach of law enforcement officials. Or it could persuade Congress to craft new law protecting tech companies from law enforcement. That of course would raise its own issues about the power of private corporations.

 

One current federal prosecutor predicted a lot of “bad guys are better off and we only get the dumb ones”. Stewart Baker, a former attorney for the National Security Agency, took Soltani’s Tesla warning to the opposite extreme.

 

The thing about the world where the FBI doesn’t miss anything, that’s a world where the FBI knows everything

 

Moxie Marlinspike, developer

 

Baker, now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, asked: “Would you rather live in a world where the Tesla could be packed full of explosives, programmed to drive through the fence and into the White House” and the secret service unable to get Tesla to remotely stop the vehicle?

 

Either way, Americans will have to decide if they are OK with technology creating walled-off spaces. That can be now, or it can be the next time Silicon Valley gets in the way of a criminal investigation.

 

This is something both Apple and the government agree on.

 

As Apple lawyers recently wrote, the case pits “what law enforcement officials want against the widespread repercussions and serious risks their demands would create”. Or as James Comey, director of the FBI, told Congress in March, the case is about “this collision between public safety and privacy”.

 

Public opinion polls commissioned by Pew and the Wall Street Journal/NBC News show that Americans narrowly back the FBI over the iPhone maker. The problem for Apple and its backers is that consumers tend to put perceived near-term risks, such as mass shootings, over theoretical ones – like Big Brother.

 

Science fiction writer Bruce Bethke, who coined the term “cyberpunk” in 1983, doesn’t think like a typical consumer.

 

“Does your water meter report you to the local public utilities commission if you’re illegally watering your lawn on a Tuesday? It will. Does your cellphone call your health insurance provider if its GPS coordinates indicate you’ve just entered a tobacco shop? It will,” he wrote in an email. “Does your toilet report you to your doctor when you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet? It will.”

 

iPhone screen

 

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Nick Harkaway, the British author of The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World and currently writing a novel based on a surveillance state, said that if Apple loses, “Everything connected in your life now belongs to law enforcement: your phone, your satnav, your DVR,” or digital video recorders for TV reruns.

 

 

Such views aren’t just fantasies created by authors.

 

At a recent security conference in San Francisco, several leading cryptographers – the programmers and mathematicians who use complicated algorithms to make encryption work – pondered the deeper meanings of the Apple case.

 

Moxie Marlinspike, the developer behind the secure messaging app Signal and the encryption protocol used by Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger, worried that if Apple loses, the government could compel the company to alter programs downloaded from the App Store, such as his own, to be more surveillance friendly.

 

“The thing about the world where the FBI doesn’t miss anything, that’s a world where the FBI knows everything,” he said. He for instance noted that now accepted social movements – such as gay rights and the movement to end slavery – began as illegal forms of civil disobedience. If keeping a secret isn’t possible, these movements can’t start, he reasoned. “I think it should be possible to break the law,” he said.

 

On stage, Whitfield Diffie, the godfather of modern encryption donning a suit and long, groomed white hair, chimed in sternly. “In a tyranny you build mechanisms to deny people opportunities to take control of their actions,” he said.

 

Barack Obama and other Washington officials obviously aren’t proclaiming they want to create a surveillance state. The world they describe is one of balance. Consumers generally maintain digital privacy, but in times of duress, criminal suspects might lose theirs.

 

But where they draw that line becomes less clear as Americans connect more and more of their devices – their refrigerators, their thermostats, their cars, their door locks – to the internet. James Clapper, America’s top spy, told the US Senate in February that all of these things become inviting targets for intelligence agencies for “identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment”.

 

What may be a far-out spy trick today, has a history of becoming a tool for police departments five years later.

 

Even if Americans decide that’s a future they want, an Apple loss nevertheless could create a world in which consumers may no longer be able to trust the gadgets they buy are working for them.

 

“That’s something we’re going to have to get right as we embed these systems into our lives,” Soltani, the former tech regulator, said. “Otherwise we go back to this world where we keeping going, ‘What the hell is this thing doing?’”

 

Soltani, who left the White House in February, is taking some time off from government and plans to travel the untamed west coast in a camping van he alone controls.

 

He will bring his smartphone.

 

 

Snowden Warns World Against Trusting Privacy to Tech Giants Like Microsoft

 

© REUTERS/ Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB Scanpix/Files

 

Tech

 

The whistleblower who exposed the totality of the America’s mass domestic surveillance program suggested that users should look to free and open source software to preserve their privacy.

 

On Saturday, NSA whistleblower spoke to the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet2016 conference regarding free software, cybersecurity, and privacy. He joined the event through video conference from Russia. During the event, Snowden explained that he was able to release the secrets of America’s mass surveillance projects more securely by using free software.

 

 

© REUTERS/ Rhona Wise

 

‘No Respect’: Trump Offended by Castro’s Failure to Meet Obama at Airport

 

The whistleblower praised Debian, Tails, and Tor observing that what he did in 2013 never could have happened without the help of free software. He also advocates that activists and journalists switch to free and open source software to secure their privacy against the omnipresent US surveillance state.

 

“I didn’t use Microsoft machines when I was in my operational phase, because I couldn’t trust them,” explained Snowden. He went on to say that he couldn’t be sure that there wasn’t a backdoor coded into the Microsoft products that would enable government surveillance.

 

In making this dour assessment of Microsoft, he noted that of the current tech giants, the company has been the most cooperative with the US government.

 

 

© AP Photo/ Michael Dwyer

 

After Stealing Democratic Election, Corporate Elites Blackout Bernie

 

He cited Microsoft founder Bill Gates calling on Apple to install a backdoor into the iPhone at the request of a federal court which opens millions of end users up to the danger of a growing mass surveillance program. 

 

Snowden praised Apple’s fight with the FBI calling it an example of a corporation standing up for its users. Still, the whistleblower cautioned citizens against relying on multinational companies for transmissions that are intended to be secure. 

 


Read more:
http://sputniknews.com/science/20160321/1036696585/snowden-warns-world-against-trusting-privacy-to-microsoft.html#ixzz43aXF65s9

 

 

 

Snowden Warns World Against Trusting Privacy to Tech Giants Like Microsoft and Google

A chair is pictured on stage as former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is awarded the Bjornson prize Molde, Norway, in this September 5, 2015 file photo

Snowden Warns World Against Trusting Privacy to Tech Giants Like Microsoft

© REUTERS/ Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB Scanpix/Files
Tech

The whistleblower who exposed the totality of the America’s mass domestic surveillance program suggested that users should look to free and open source software to preserve their privacy.

On Saturday, NSA whistleblower spoke to the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet2016 conference regarding free software, cybersecurity, and privacy. He joined the event through video conference from Russia. During the event, Snowden explained that he was able to release the secrets of America’s mass surveillance projects more securely by using free software.

The whistleblower praised Debian, Tails, and Tor observing that what he did in 2013 never could have happened without the help of free software. He also advocates that activists and journalists switch to free and open source software to secure their privacy against the omnipresent US surveillance state.

“I didn’t use Microsoft machines when I was in my operational phase, because I couldn’t trust them,” explained Snowden. He went on to say that he couldn’t be sure that there wasn’t a backdoor coded into the Microsoft products that would enable government surveillance.

In making this dour assessment of Microsoft, he noted that of the current tech giants, the company has been the most cooperative with the US government.

He cited Microsoft founder Bill Gates calling on Apple to install a backdoor into the iPhone at the request of a federal court which opens millions of end users up to the danger of a growing mass surveillance program. 

Snowden praised Apple’s fight with the FBI calling it an example of a corporation standing up for its users. Still, the whistleblower cautioned citizens against relying on multinational companies for transmissions that are intended to be secure. 

Gawker pleas for mercy as punitive phase begins. Gawker editor found to be student loan mooch.

Gawker pleas for mercy as punitive phase begins. Gawker editor found to be student loan mooch.

 

– NICK DENTON AND GAWKER’S CAYMAN ISLANDS BANK ACCOUNTS TO BE INVESTIGATED IN CURRENT AND UPCOMING CASES

 

by Tom Kludt   @tomkludt FOR CNN

 

Lawyers for Gawker Media pleaded for mercy before a Florida jury that met Monday to consider adding punitive damages to the $115 million they already ordered be given to ex-wrestler Hulk Hogan.

When the six jurors returned to a St. Petersburg courtroom in the afternoon for the punitive damages phase of Hogan’s invasion of privacy trial, they were asked to consider the net worth of Gawker, its founder Nick Denton and former editor A.J. Daulerio.

For the company, that’s $83 million, and for Denton, the figure is $121 million, Judge Pamela Campbell told the jurors. Daulerio has no assets, but owes $27,000 in student loans.

The jury of four women and two men determined on Friday that Gawker Media should pay Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, $115 million for violating his privacy by publishing excerpts from his sex tape in 2012.

Hogan sued Gawker Media, Denton and Daulerio. Attorneys for the former professional wrestler argued that he suffered as a result of Gawker’s post.

The jury agreed, awarding Hogan $60 million for emotional distress and $55 million for economic injury. Now they will decide whether to tack on an additional amount in punitive damages.

Hogan attorney Kenneth Turkel urged the jurors to “make a statement” with punitive damages, and to use the $115 million they awarded as a “guideline.”

Related: Hulk Hogan awarded $115 million in Gawker sex tape case

“You send the message,” Turkel said.

“Literally everything was done with a complete and reckless disregard and intent to harm this man,” he added, referring to Hogan.

(Photo: Nick Denton, who openly described his love for attractive young men)

Gawker attorney Michael Berry’s closing argument amounted to a mercy defense, saying “an additional punishment is unnecessary.”

He said the verdict returned last week will be “financially devastating” to Denton, and could bring “financial ruin” to Daulerio. The $115 million awarded to Hogan “exceeds the value of the entire company by $30 million,” Berry said.

Related: Documents the Hulk Hogan jury didn’t get to see

And he told the jurors that their decision will have far reaching implications on the entire news media industry.

“Your verdict will send a chill down the spine of writers, producers and publishers throughout the country,” Berry said.

Related: How does Gawker survive Hulk Hogan verdict?

When the arguments were finished, jurors were allowed to submit questions, as they have throughout the trial.

The lone query, likely prompted by Daulerio’s financial standing, came from a female juror who wondered if community service could be imposed in lieu of punitive damages. The answer was no.

CNNMoney (St. Petersburg, Florida)

Former Reddit CEO: You’re All ScrewedGawker – …

cached

Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong is having a goddamn ball this week, bouncing around announcement threads and spilling site secrets to his heart’s content.

bing google

http://gawker.com/former-reddit-ceo-youre-all-screwed-1717901652

Valleywag – Sorry to disrupt.

cached

Here lies Valleywag, a Silicon Valley gossip and news site launched in 2006 by Gawker Media and decommissioned in 2015. Its editors and writers over the years …

bing yahoo

http://valleywag.gawker.com/

Napster Cofounder Shawn Fanning Is Allegedly a …

cached

When Jessica Wigsmoen first met Napster cofounder Shawn Fanning at a party at Sean Parker’s West Village party house, she didn’t think it would end like this.

bing yahoo

http://valleywag.gawker.com/napster-co%5B…%5Ding-is-allegedly-a-deadbeat-1500624424

 

 

 

 

Boaty McBoatFace incident tests the fundamentals of modern global democracy

Left-Wing Salon.com tells Democrats That Hillary brings the “worst of both parties” to White House

Democrats, you can’t vote for Hillary: The case for writing in Bernie Sanders If Hillary Clinton is the nominee

 

We need structural change: Clinton as president would merge GOPers and Dems into one party on war & foreign policy

Topics: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Democrats, Republicans, Democratic Socialism, Elections 2016, , , ,

 

Democrats, you can't vote for Hillary: The case for writing in Bernie Sanders If Hillary Clinton is the nomineeIn this March 9, 2016, photo, Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stand together before the start of the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College in Miami. Clinton and her allies had hoped to switch much of their focus to the general election after Tuesday’s primary contests, a plan thrown into doubt after her loss in Michigan last week. Wins on Tuesday would give Sanders fresh momentum in the contest, granting him months to continue criticizing Clinton’s positions on issues that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump wants to put front and center in the general election. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)(Credit: AP)

 

Between Iraq and Afghanistan, there are up to 400,000 Americans who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries from battling IED’s and other aspects of American counterinsurgency wars. In addition to the untold human suffering from these traumatic brain injuries, RAND states “Estimates of the total one-year societal cost of the roughly 2,700 cases of traumatic brain injury identified to date range from $591 million to $910 million.” Do the math for 400,000 Americans who’ve suffered TBI, and be sure to calculate the emotional and psychological toll as well.

The same neoconservatives who view the Iraq War as the right decision are now gravitating towards Hillary Clinton.

Only Bernie Sanders says “I’ll be damned” to quagmires. Trump is actually less hawkish than Clinton, which says a lot about Hillary Clinton, and lot about her supporters.

If Bernie Sanders doesn’t win the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton might be “better” than Trump in many ways, but certainly not from the vantage point of structural change. The word “better” doesn’t explain the global ramifications of allowing George W. Bush’s neoconservative advisers, and Henry Kissinger, into a Democratic White House.

Hillary Clinton as president would seamlessly merge Republicans and Democrats into one party on war and foreign policy, led by the same people who advised Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and even Richard Milhous Nixon.

I explain my philosophy in detail during this YouTube segment.

The merger of both American political parties on war is actually the foundation for fascism. When a Democrat appeals to neoconservatives, and legitimizes Henry Kissinger’s foreign policy, then we’ve altered our democracy forever.

As for risking a Trump future, I explain why none of Trump’s plans would pass Congress during my recent appearance on CNN International with John Vause.

One million Americans have been injured and close to 7,000 have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Again, one million Americans have suffered in ways you can never imagine; forever scarred by the global quagmires we hold less threatening than Donald Trump’s rallies.

President Obama just sent Americans to Syria, sent American soldiers back to Iraq, and prolonged our stay in Afghanistan. This has taken place, despite the fact that PBS states “Out of 2 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 800,000 have had multiple deployments, many five or more.”

With Clinton, Obama will be viewed as a pacifist.

The Middle East is engulfed in flames because of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq (aided by Democrats like Clinton) and unintended consequences, or blowback, like ISIS. As for the devastating toll on Iraq, over 174,000 civilian deaths have been documented, and this could be a conservative estimate. One study states that around 500,000 human beings have died, but that report was published in 2013. Still, there are far higher estimates of carnage.

I’m not saying writing-in Bernie, if Clinton is the nominee, will be perfect. However, as I’ve heard throughout this election, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.”

If you blame Ralph Nader for 2000, then remember Iraq was the biggest tragedy of the Bush years. Not only did Clinton vote for Iraq, she’s learned from her “mistake” by appealing to neoconservatives on foreign policy.

Take a second away from completely ignoring Clinton’s prison lobbyist donations and role in the Honduras coup to think about the consequences of a President Hilary Clinton utilizing the AUMF and implementing a Democratic version of Bush’s foreign policy.

We’ve seen President Obama utilize the AUMF to send troops to Iraq, Syria, and prolong their stay in Afghanistan, with hardly any Congressional approval.

Again, this is the foundation of fascism, when both parties unite on war and liberals defend neoconservative principles.

But Trump will eat your children and destroy the world!

In another appearance on CNN International with John Vause, I explain that a Hillary Clinton indictment could easily lead to a Trump presidency, and that you’d better vote for Bernie Sanders if you fear Donald Trump.

We’re finished as a democracy if the only two choices we have for leadership are a reality show buffoon, and a person who could possibly get indicted after Election Day; both of whom who happen to be friends. I still find it bizarre that Bill Clinton spoke to Trump on the phone before his presidential run.

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Therefore, why write in Bernie’s name if Clinton is the nominee, even with the possibility of Trump?

Four years of Trump, and we get eight years of a Democrat. Four years of Clinton scandals and inability to type an email, and we likely get eight years of Cruz or Kasich.

But think of the poor, you privileged white male, and what Trump will do to people mired in poverty!

First, I highlight why Hillary Clinton has benefited greatly from white privilege during an appearance on CNN New Day with Victory Blackwell.

Second, ask a poor person how Obama’s presidency has put money into his or her pocket, or how Bill Clinton’s welfare reform bill impacted his or her life.

Also, the notion that Trump could unilaterally build walls or deport millions is ludicrous. According to BallotPedia, “A total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress (34 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) are up for election on November 8, 2016.” Forget about fearing Trump, make sure America gets a Democratic Congress. Then make certain Bernie Sanders becomes nominee, because the FBI isn’t giving Hillary Clinton a parking ticket.

Rest assured, if Clinton’s FBI investigation runs through November, say hello to an even greater Republican majority in Congress.

In this YouTube segment, I state the case for writing in Bernie Sanders if Clinton is the nominee.

Below is a summary of the four major reasons I’ve highlighted in my YouTube segment.

1. Hillary Clinton will merge Democrats and Republicans into one party when it comes to foreign policy and war.

America’s president can unilaterally wage war and I don’t trust any president, Democrat or Republican, advised by both Henry Kissinger and the same neoconservatives who advised Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Neocons actually hate Trump, which says a lot about Clinton.

When the U.S. eventually has only one choice on war (and liberals are now hawks), we’ll become a fascist nation. I explained on MSNBC last year that Republicans have always wanted another major ground war, and now they might get their wish with Hillary Clinton.

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2. The FBI is investigating Clinton and I’m sending a message to the DNC.

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want my president linked to an FBI investigation. The FBI isn’t part of the GOP.

I also want the DNC to know that Clinton is far too conservative, on the major issues correlating directly to unilateral presidential power, to run as a Democrat in 2016.

3. Structural change is needed, now more than ever.

To settle for anything other than Bernie’s calls to break up banks, or other structural solutions to our dilemmas, is to pave the way for another collapse, or endless military quagmire. Neither Clinton or Trump will address structural change on major issues.

Structural change is needed to solve Wall Street collapses, endless counterinsurgency wars, a racist criminal justice system, and other endemic issues we face as a nation.

4. I don’t want the lesser of two evils, I want an honest politician, and Bernie is infinitely more honest than Clinton or Trump.

I can hear the logical fallacies already, so yes, all humans lie. Some humans lie a great deal less than others, and very rarely, a politician like Bernie Sanders exemplifies integrity in American politics. Choosing between Clinton or Trump, in terms of honesty, is like deciding between whether to put a cobra, or a rattlesnake, in your sleeping bag. One has less poison, but you won’t sleep well either way.

Finally, Christopher Hitchens made a compelling case that Henry Kissinger is indeed a war criminal, and I urge everyone voting for Clinton, out of the fear of Trump, to read the argument made by Hitchens.

As for Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s FBI email investigation makes him the true front-runner, and either by winning the remaining primary states, or by potential Clinton indictments, I still believe Sanders is poised to become our next president.

(This article first appeared On The Huffington Post)

 

 

As Boaty McBoatFace Crisis Escalates, John Cleese and Pope Francis Urged To Address the World!

SAVE Boaty McBoatFace

ELON MUSK’S EARNINGS SHENANIGANS COULD BRING HIM FACE TO FACE WITH FBI, FTC AND SEC

ELON MUSK’S EARNINGS SHENANIGANS COULD BRING HIM FACE TO FACE WITH FBI, FTC AND SEC

 

 

By Anthony Mirhaydari MoneyWatch

 

The return of earnings shenanigans

 

 

While Federal Reserve monetary policy has been the latest obsession for regular investors, last decade was all about the accounting malfeasance from the likes of Enron, the housing bubble and resulting financial crisis, and the regulatory responses — like the Dodd-Frank Act — that tightened standards with the intent of protecting working Americans.

And for a while, at least some of that crackdown — on shifty accounting — worked.

But driven by recent pressure on corporate profitability from a stronger dollar, weaker overseas growth and a collapse in energy prices, new evidence shows corporate executives are once again playing fast and loose with their earnings results. Warren Buffett even highlighted the problem in his recent shareholder letter.

They have a few reasons to play with the numbers. For one, the overall stock market has been unable to set new highs since last May, and management compensation is often tied to a rising share price. So, the pressure is on to do something, anything, to get stock prices higher.

Moreover, S&P 500 earnings have dropped for three consecutive quarters for the first time since the recession ended. According to FactSet, the first-quarter 2016 reporting season — which will unofficially kick off on April 11 when Alcoa (AA) releases results after the bell — is also expected to feature a drop in earnings. The chance to pad bad news, as any kid caught in the cookie jar will attest, is a powerful motivator.

You can see this in the growing divergence between regular reported earnings per share on what’s known as a “GAAP” basis (that is, generally accepted accounting principles) and a pro-forma, or non-GAAP, basis that removes the impact of things management dubs “nonrecurring” or “one-time” events. There’s some discretion in what qualifies as a nonrecurring charge, which raises suspicion CEOs are trying to fool around.

Alcoa has been a poster child of this behavior: In January it reported “adjusted” earnings of 4 cents per share on $65 million in “adjusted” net income, easily beating the consensus estimate of 2 cents per share. The problem: Driven by an 18 percent year-over-year decline in revenue, the company should have reported a $500 million loss on a GAAP basis.

But thanks to $534 million in “one-time” charges, like magic, Alcoa was profitable. As the chart above shows, it has been a frequent user of this trick.

FactSet has noted a growing difference between non-GAAP and GAAP earnings per share for the companies in the Dow Jones industrials index as more and more one-time charges are used to pad the bottom line. The largest offenders? Merck (MRK), General Electric(GE), and Microsoft (MSFT).

They note that supporters of this practice argue that non-GAAP measures provide investors with a more accurate picture of profitability from day-to-day operations. Critics highlight the fact no industry standard prescribes what non-GAAP earnings should be. And that undermines the entire purpose of corporate accounting in the first place: To provide an honest and comparable testament of financial health to help investors make decisions.

Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research has also noticed the trend, and as shown in the chart above, he highlights that reported earnings (GAAP) and operating earnings (non-GAAP) tend to diverge during times of market weakness and stress. It happened in 2000-2001. It happened in 2007-2009. And it’s happening again now.

 

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

 

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  • Anthony Mirhaydari

    Anthony Mirhaydari is founder of the Edge , an investment advisory newsletter, and Edge Pro, options newsletter. Previously, he was a markets columnist for MSN Money; a senior research analyst with Markman Capital Insight, a money management firm; and an analyst with Moss Adams focusing on the financial services industry

 

 

Featured

IS ELON MUSK A MOBSTER AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION RACKETEER?

Numerous parties would like this answered, in public, in front of a Grand Jury, A DOJ Special Prosecutor and a public federal court trial, but Elon Musk has spent vast amounts of money in order to delay the justice system from bring him to such a hearing.

The Following inquiries, though, should serve to resolve the issue.

All of the following questions have now been FAXED, EMAILED, U.S. POSTAL SERVICED MAILED to Elon Musk at his homes and offices and to the corporate offices of the companies and U.S. Senators that he owns. He is now fully aware that answers for each of the following questions is required from him. It is no longer possible for him to not have immediate answers to these questions should you encounter him in-person, at a conference or in a broadcast news interview.

If you see him, ask him: “Elon…
            1. Why was Tesla located on the same geological land, next door to, FBI-raided Solyndra?
            2. Did Senator Dianne Feinstein ever have a personal meeting with you?
            3. Did you or your staff ever promise, or deliver, any favors or items of value to Senator Dianne Feinstein
            4. Did you or your staff ever promise, or deliver, any favors or items of value to Senator Harry Reid?
            5. Have you, or any family members or friends ever placed money in a family trust fund that originally came from the U.S. Treasury?
            6. Had you ever met Steven Chu, Steve Spinner, Alison Spinner, Matt Rogers or Jonathan Silver before they were appointed to run the U.S. Department of Energy?
            7. Did you ever say, in a recorded conversation, that the NUMMI factory made no sense for Tesla to occupy?
            8. What is your relationship with Richard Blum, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein and his real estate company CBRE?
            9. When your Tesla and Powerwall batteries explode, do they release any toxic fumes? How many different kinds of toxic fumes do they release? In what year were you aware of these toxic fumes. Did your employee: Bernard Tse, ever warn you about these toxic fumes?
            10. Did you, or your associates ever benefit from lithium mining in the Afghanistan War?
            11. Did three of your employees suddenly die in a plane crash? What engineering information did they have about Tesla Motors?
            12. Did your patent filings include any language which specifically and intimately disclosed the deadly danger of your batteries? Please quote those paragraphs from your very own patent filings that you were forced to give away for free because they were rendered value-less by those disclosures?
            13. The news stories said that, even though you were a billionaire, you got over thirty billion dollars in taxpayer-funded handouts from California and Federal government officials in hard cash, tax waivers, free NASA buildings, government jet fuel, credits, stock market pumps and other things; Did you get all of this free cash in exchange for conduit-ing campaign funding for Obama, Reid and Feinstein?
            14. Were you involved in the death of your competitor: Gary D. Conley?
            15. Does Google rig search engine results about you because they covertly co-own some of your assets? Do Twitter and Google hype up PR aggrandizement about you and hide negative news stories about you?
            16. Have you hidden money from state and federal tax collection in off-shore tax evasion schemes?
            17. Do you hire troll-farms, click-farms and meat-puppet fake bloggers to write self-glory statements about you on reddit, twitter, facebook and other social media?
            18. Have Tesla’s killed anybody? How many people have died in, or near a Tesla, ever? Do you run cover-ups about the deaths?

             

             

             

            The Tragedy of Boaty McBoatFace

            California Methane Leak, Another Scam Uncovered!

            During Porter Ranch, stealthy oil workers hid another methane gas leak

            118268 full

            In the midst of the much bigger Porter Ranch gas leak, another natural gas leak was spewing methane into the air.

            The oil company responsible for the second leak has been fined $75,000 by state oil regulators.
             
            The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal called the methane leak brazen and intentional violations of state law.

            Workers for The Termo Company had snaked a 2.5-inch pipe away from oil pumping equipment to hide its opening under a tree some distance away. The pipe was used to vent natural gas that was produced along with oil.

            In a written statement, state Oil & Gas Supervisor Ken Harris said, “Someone clearly made an effort to conceal the pipe, because even though we knew from aerial readings where it was generally, our field staff had to search carefully before finding it behind a tree.”

            The venting has since been stopped.

            Termo owns and operates oil wells on the grounds of Southern California Gas Company’s 3,600-acre Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility just north of Porter Ranch, and it has a request pending to add a dozen more. That gas field was the site of a massive leak of natural gas from a ruptured gas well from late October through mid-Feburary.

            An airplane pilot operating an infrared camera to record methane levels on the leak from a ruptured gas well noticed the second leak on Jan. 23. The flight was a joint effort of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

            Normally, Termo would have sent the gas to SoCal Gas to inject into the underground storage reservoir. But during the leak, SoCal Gas was barred from injecting more natural gas into the field. The idea was to lower the pressure in the field and the amount of gas escaping from the ruptured well by lowering the volume of gas.

            Termo representatives did not return a request for comment.

            Clinton Backer Amazon.com, With Billions In Bank, Mooches Taxpayer Funds For More Profits

            Not making enough money from hosting the CIA’s spy operations, Amazon goes all-in on government hand-outs

            Amazon Leans on Government in Its Quest to Be a Delivery Powerhouse

            Photo

             
            An Amazon Prime drone. Airline and pilots groups have said opening the skies to more commercial drones could create safety risks. Credit Amazon

            WASHINGTON — Ever since Jeff Bezos started the website Amazon to sell books, he has wrestled with how to deliver its products as quickly and cheaply as possible. Today, Amazon, now a retail giant, remains obsessed with this issue, building its own fleet of drones, buying trailers for trucks and signing up drivers for on-demand deliveries.

            And nowhere is the company’s push to become a logistics and delivery powerhouse more evident than here in the nation’s capital. Amazon has emerged as one of the tech industry’s most outspoken players in Washington, spending millions on this effort and meeting regularly with lawmakers and regulators.

            Amazon has pushed officials to allow new uses for commercial drones, to extend the maximum length of trucks, to improve roads and bridges and to prop up a delivery partner, the United States Postal Service.

            The efforts are mostly in the early stages, but Amazon already has detractors, particularly for its drone efforts. Some drone makers argue that Amazon is pushing too hard, too fast. And airline and pilots groups have said opening the skies to more commercial drones, which are remote-controlled flying machines, could create safety risks.

            “Amazon is disrupting huge industries; retail was a start, then the enterprise market with its cloud platform and now transportation logistics,” said Colin Sebastian, a senior analyst at Robert W. Baird. “This is Jeff Bezos’s playbook, and achieving it by influencing legislation would be consistent with that plan.”

            The money Amazon spent on lobbying in 2015 nearly doubled, to $9.4 million, compared with the year before, which helped to pay a bigger lobbying staff and pay for a new office to house them. The tally, compiled from public records by the Center for Responsive Politics, includes only the spending that Amazon must legally disclose.

            Amazon’s figure still lags those of some companies that made camp in Washington long ago, like Boeing, which spent about $21 million in 2015. And it trails the leading tech lobbyist, Alphabet, Google’s parent, by several million. But Amazon’s spending grew at a faster pace than any other big tech company’s.

            Continue reading the main story

            When Paul Misener, Amazon’s global head of policy, took over the company’s Washington office 15 years ago, he had a staff of two focused on retail tax laws and other technology-related issues. Amazon now has more than 60 people listed as its lobbyists — both employees and contractors — double what it had just two years ago, according to the data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

            The lineup includes people as prominent as Trent Lott, the former Senate majority leader, who helps persuade members of Congress. Representatives for Amazon have met with lawmakers dozens of times in the last year. The efforts also reached NASA, the postal commission and the Department of Transportation, among others.

            Amazon and Mr. Bezos, its chief executive, have other interests in Washington, too. Amazon is now a major government contractor with a $600 million cloud computing partnership with the C.I.A. And Mr. Bezos’s ownership of The Washington Post, which he bought in 2013, gives him a foothold in the political and media circles of Washington.

            Amazon declined requests to comment for this article. But on a recent earnings call, Amazon’s chief financial officer, Brian Olsavsky, explained why Amazon wanted to move more aggressively into delivery.

            “To properly serve our customers at peak, we’ve needed to add more of our own logistics to supplement our existing partners,” Mr. Olsavsky said. “That’s not meant to replace them.”

            In addition, the company’s shipping costs rose 19 percent, to $5 billion, in 2015. The millions of members of its Prime annual subscription service, Amazon’s most frequent customers, have helped feed the surge. Those customers receive free shipping for many products.

            Some analysts expect Amazon eventually to take over its entire logistics chain — in some cases, from factory to doorstep. Just this month, Amazon signed a deal to lease 20 Boeing cargo planes.

            A few analysts got excited when Amazon referred to itself as a “transportation service provider” in a recent regulatory filing. The company, they suggested, could even become a competitor to UPS and FedEx.

            Mr. Olsavsky insisted on the call that UPS and FedEx would continue to be important partners. FedEx’s chief executive, Fred Smith, also played down the possibility of Amazon becoming a rival. In a call with analysts and investors last week, he criticized “fantastical” reports about Amazon’s challenge to logistics companies.

            Satish Jindel, founder of the SJ Consulting Group, which advises transportation and logistics firms, said, “If my package doesn’t get delivered to my expectations, most people don’t think of FedEx or UPS.” He added, “They think of the retailer, so Amazon is getting into drones and delivery to enhance the customer experience and have a bigger influence over the customer.”

            Already, the company’s drone push in Washington has had some success. Amazon has worked with NASA, for example, to create an air traffic system that would establish lanes in the sky for drones.

            Amazon has also urged Congress to adopt rules that would allow the retailer to fly drones beyond a pilot’s line of sight, a crucial hurdle to Amazon’s goal of operating drones from its warehouses. This effort is expected to face an important test soon. This month, the Senate Transportation Committee drafted a bill that would ensure rules for delivery drones within two years.

            Airline and pilot groups have resisted many of Amazon’s proposed changes.

            “The chances of a collision will go way up when you have more unmanned aircraft up,” said Chris Dancy, a spokesman for the Helicopter Association International, a trade group.

            Some drone makers said in interviews that Amazon’s bold statements may be generating too much public angst, helping the safety advocates.

            Amazon is arguing for changes in many other areas, too. Already, Mr. Misener, the lead lobbyist, has called for an overhaul of an arcane system of international delivery rates that he says give foreign e-commerce rivals an unfair advantage to deliver to American homes.

            He also urged the approval of legislation that aims to improve roads, bridges and railways. The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law in December.

            “The private sector cannot make all the necessary improvements” in transportation, Mr. Misener said in July during a Senate hearing, a message that he has repeated to members of Congress. “Government needs to keep up.”

            Amazon has backed a proposal for 33-foot twin-trailer trucks, vehicles that would extend the current legal length of trucks by several feet; opponents say longer trucks could make roads more dangerous for other drivers.

            “The 33-foot trucks are going to be safer,” Mr. Misener said last July, “because there will be fewer of them on the road, driving fewer miles.”

            The proposal has been met with resistance from Ralph Nader, a longtime consumer advocate. He said he wrote Mr. Bezos, asking Amazon to stop its support of these trucks for safety reasons. He said Mr. Bezos never responded. The proposal was rejected last year as part of a broader transportation bill.

            “Drones and longer trucks, what are all these efforts for?” Mr. Nader said in an interview. “To get you your toothpaste faster?”

            Doris Burke contributed research.

            CLINTON Emails and Records Show Google Asking For Middle East Revolutions

            GOOGLE’S SOFTWARE PARTNERSHIP WITH NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION CALLED INTO QUESTION

            Clinton email reveals: Google sought overthrow of Syria’s Assad

             

             

            NSA Said No To Hillary Clinton Request For Secure Blackberry
            Inform
             

             

            Google in 2012 sought to help insurgents overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to State Department emails receiving fresh scrutiny this week.

             

            Messages between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s team and one of the company’s executives detailed the plan for Google to get involved in the region.

             

            “Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool … that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from,” Jared Cohen, the head of what was then the company’s “Google Ideas” division, wrote in a July 2012 email to several top Clinton officials.

             

            MORE FROM WASHINGTON EXAMINER

             

            “Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition,” Cohen said, adding that the plan was for Google to surreptitiously give the tool to Middle Eastern media.

             

            “Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria,” he said.

             

            “Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything [else] you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact,” Cohen concluded.

             

            The message was addressed to deputy secretary of state Bill Burns; Alec Ross, a senior Clinton advisor; and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. Sullivan subsequently forwarded Cohen’s proposal to Clinton, describing it as “a pretty cool idea.”

             

            Cohen worked as a low-level staffer at the State Department until 2010, when he was hired to lead Google Ideas, but was tied to the use of social media to incite social uprisings even before he left the department. He once reportedly asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to hold off of conducting system maintenance that officials believed could have impeded a brief 2009 uprising in Iran.

             

            The unusual involvement by Google in foreign affairs highlights the difficulty of involvement in the internal politics of foriegn states. While Cohen seemed to consider his company’s effort as helpful to American interests, the effort to overthrow Assad helped spur the rise of the Islamic State, which eventually filled a vaccuum resulting from Assad’s loss of control over of Syria.

             

            MORE FROM WASHINGTON EXAMINER

             

            The exchange on Syria was highlighted by Wikileaks on Saturday. Earlier in the week, the secret-leaking website posted more than 30,000 emails that Clinton sent or received during her tenure leading the State Department.

             

            U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors – The New York

            cached

            12 Jun 2011 … U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors … Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted … cables obtained by The New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication.

            google

             

            THE GAWKER COURT CASE OVERVIEW

            THE GAWKER COURT CASE OVERVIEW

            By Tom, Sandy and a few good lawyers… (extrapolated from case files and news articles)

            How do you help fix the internet (that your team helped create) when abusers try to break it?

            In wrestling parlance: You “go to the mat”!

            Thanks to wrestling personality Hulk Hogan, you have now heard of slasher-tabloid publisher Nick Denton and his “Gawker Media” gossip rag empire. Hulk Hogan recently won a $115 million dollar jury award against Nick Denton/Gawker for running a media character assassination “hit job” on Hogan.

            “Gawker Media” is the front organization for a number of other duplicate attack publications with names such as “Gawker”, “Gizmodo”, “Jalopnik”, “Jezebel”, “Valleywag” and an army of other facade websites where Denton publishes all of his attack articles. Denton sends his money to the Cayman Islands, and from there to parts unknown. The tax collectors and other federal investigators are interested in the details of those activities.

            The published news on these cases has implied that Hulk Hogan and other related and unrelated parties, were helping federal investigators, the U.S. Congress and the federal courts in a racketeering and corruptioninvestigation of some of the nation’s most esteemed politicians and their crooked campaign financiers. For their trouble, Nick Denton seems to have been hired to try to wipe them out in retribution for helping bring some of his clients to justice.

            Killing” someone in Nick Denton’s Gawker Media retribution world, as we learned in the Hulk Hogan trial, involves sabotaging their brand name, career, income and social life by having Gawker Media produce hatchet job videos and articles. In the case of many victims, Gawker made attack videos and authored false and malicious defamation articles in order to try to blockade those people from being either a public spokesperson, or a witness in front of a federal Special Prosecutor that Congress was trying to install in an attempt to reform corruption in Washington DC. Denton did this in the same manner, to multiple parties, in a methodology that reminds many lawyers of RICO statute violations.

            Nick Denton is the guy described in the article’s at:

            http://takimag.com/article/gawker_media_hypocrites_vs_douchecanoes/

            and

            http://theralphretort.com/vice-learns-what-gamergate-always-knew-gawker-sucks-1415/

            and

            http://slyoyster.com/newsandpolitics/2010/why-nick-denton-is-an-asshole/

            among thousands of others…

            In retrospect, now, the sequence of facts are devastating for Gawker Media.

            The facts are now supported by investigations by the FBI, Congress, the GAO, the FTC, the ACLU, news media and hundreds of other agencies.

            The facts prove that Gawker ran character assassination hit job programs. Here are some of the facts:

            • The victims are the ONLY people in history to have both reported federal crimes by Gawker’s client’s, and gotten a series of hit jobs from Gawker Media.

            • ONLY Gawker Media, out of tens of millions of publications, produced hit jobs on this handful of people.

            • Nick Denton and Gawker Media have received tens of millions of dollars of payments from the very parties under investigation for the crimes.

            • ONLY Gawker Media has the proven financial and lobbying connections to the subjects of the investigations.

            • Gawker Media suddenly did stories and videos about these people, after never covering them in the news before, at exactly the same point as when they were supposed to testify? The timing is epically beyond coincidental.

            • Gawker Media specifically never contacted the targets of their attacks prior to publishing their attacks. Gawker didn’t want to hear anything that might conflict with what it had already been paid to make up about the victims.

            • The Sony leaks, Snowden leaks, HSBC Swiss Leaks, Guccifer leaks and Chinese leaks demonstrate the connections.

            • Gawker had a link-based arrangement with Google to lock the attacks into certain locations on the internet.

            • Since the day Gawker existed until today, almost every single other hit job Gawker has done has been almost exclusively, against the enemies of Gawker’s handlers.

            • Investigator surveillance records of staff texts, emails and phone calls prove the connections.

            • Gawker and Google’s ex-staff now work for the very people that staged the attacks, and were the subjects of the law enforcement investigations.

            These facts alone, when cross indexed, are enough to make Denton think about the prospect of “The Slammer”. There are thousands of additional facts that lawyers are preparing to use in court. It is not likely that Denton and his crew will come out in one piece, when all is said and done.

            The two “Big G’s”: Google and Gawker, are essentially the same entity in this matter. They partner with each other on hit jobs. Hired private forensic investigators, federal investigators, Russia, China, the EU (and pretty much anybody with a brain), has caught Google rigging the internet. You can see a non-technical description of how Google and Gawker do it on House of Cards, the TV show. Samples of those descriptions can be found in “fair use” clips such as those at these links:

            http://www.globalscoop.net/wp-content/uploads/House-of-Cards-Exposes-Google-.mp4

            https://videos.files.wordpress.com/MRku6Zp1/house-of-cards-exposes-google_fmt1.ogv

            standards

            Gawker sets up and publishes the hit job videos, and Google locks them on the front page of the search results on the top lines of all Google assets, immovably, forever. Google puts hidden codes into the links saying that the links are “FACTS”. This alone pretty much screws Google in court. Google does this intentionally and refuses to remove the attack links even after hundreds of written requests by lawyers and victims. Google likes its political and competitive-market revenge served cold.

            INBOX

            Plaintiffs have proven that Google’s owners and executives were lying through their teeth to the EU and Congress when they claimed that Google’s search results and positioning was “arbitrary”. Google searches are staged and consciously manipulated to hype Google’s investments and attack Google’s enemies.

            Plaintiffs have worked with investigators to set up a global forensic server analysis network to prove with forensic computers set up all over the Earth, that Google and Gawker manipulate information in a contrived manner to attack individuals. Many other investigators have had similar results in their investigations including this study: http://www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/pnas/1419828112.full.pdf

            The Google/Gawker hit job system puts attack articles and videos in front of a BILLION people within a very short amount of time using billions of dollars of resources. If you live in a small Florida town, and you have a personal fight with Nick Denton, he gets to destroy you across your entire town, the entire country you live in, and the whole planet you live on. You have no option to defend yourself. You will have to come up with at least one million dollars to try to file a lawsuit, and you will never get your hands on a million dollars to defend against his attacks. Does that seem fair? Even if you are 100% on the side of the angels, Denton still gets to destroy you just because he has Google helping him “play God” with people’s lives, as Hogan’s lawyers pointed out.

            Denton uses angst-ridden bloggers like Adrian Covert, who openly advertises himself as a “character assassin” in social media, (below are his facebook and Linkedin pages),

             

            ADRIAN COVERT GAWKER ASSASSIN

            Adrian Covert now works at CNN Money hyping Elon Musk

            John Hermann, and the kinds of kids-on-the-edge that Denton dredges up on his cruises through New York, as described in this article: http://nymag.com/news/features/39319/

            Gawker gets hired to do hit jobs on innocent members of the public, the media or public policy staff, when the hidden handlers of Gawker get a bug up their back-sides (Ask CBS news reporter Sharyl Attkisson). Google helps Gawker do these hit jobs. Both have the same political agendas, stock interests, friends, social connections, server suppliers, IT links and beneficiary pools. Both are dedicated to manipulating election outcomes. Both have been publicly charged with illicit actions ranging from tax evasion, to campaign finance disclosure fraud, to defamation, to privacy abuse. READ MORE….

            (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AN ADOBE PDF OF THE ARTICLES AND COVERAGE)

            Microsoft hires strippers in under-age school-girl sexual-idolization outfits and feminists go berserk

            Microsoft hires strippers in under-age school-girl sexual-idolization outfits and feminists go berserk

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

            http://feministfrequency.com/ and Anita Sarkesian examine the issues. GAMERGATE gets all up in it.

             

             

             

            Microsoft hiring of Strippers in school-girl uniforms to …

             

            VENTURE CAPITAL Microsoft hiring of Strippers in school-girl uniforms to promote XBOX takes GamerGate to whole new level…. https://sanfranciscoventurecapital.wor%5B…%5Dox-takes-gamergate-to-whole-new-level/

             

            Microsoft Apologizes For Dancers At GDC Party – Forbes

             

            I asked if the dancers were hired by Microsoft itself or a contractor, or even perhaps the venue, but was told “we have nothing further to share …http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthickey%5B…%5Daming-event-and-promises-to-do-better/

             

            Microsoft Careers

             

            Stripper jobs. Every day I get to work on one of Microsoft coolest products the Xbox, and in the process help improve the way people play games and experience entertainment. https://careers.microsoft.com/

             

            Microsoft hires “dancers” for GDC after-party – Business Insider

             

            To its credit, Microsoft immediately recognized the error and apologized for it. Microsoft hired scantily clad “schoolgirl” dancers for its official … http://www.businessinsider.com/microso%5B…%5Dclad-dancers-for-gdc-afterparty-2016-3

             

            Microsoft apologizes for hiring scantily-clad go-go …

             

            Microsoft says it was “unequivocally wrong” for hosting a party with scantily dressed female dancers during a video game developers’ conference. http://globalnews.ca/news/2588127/micr%5B…%5Dscantily-clad-go-go-dancers-for-party/

             

            Microsoft regrets hiring strippers for afterparty – …

             

            Microsoft Corp apologized for hiring strippers for its Game Developer Conference (GDC) afterparty in San Francisco on Thursday night. “It has come to my attention … http://www.sakshipost.com/index.php?op%5B…%5DItemid=178%20&pfrom=inside-sakshi-post

             

            Microsoft regrets hiring strippers for afterparty – Sakshi Post

             

            Microsoft Corp apologized for hiring strippers for its Game Developer Conference (GDC) afterparty in San Francisco on Thursday night.http://www.sakshipost.com/index.php/bu%5B…%5Drs-for-afterparty.html?psource=Feature

             

            Microsoft Actually Had “Erotic Schoolgirl” Dancers at its GDC Party …

             

            Microsoft Actually Had “Erotic Schoolgirl” Dancers at its GDC Party …. This doesn’ t happen in other mediums…we aren’t seeing strippers hired …http://n4g.com/news/1880248/microsoft-%5B…%5Dic-schoolgirl-dancers-at-its-gdc-party

             

            Microsoft Apologizes For Hiring ‘Erotic Schoolgirl …

             

            Microsoft Apologizes For Hiring ‘Erotic Schoolgirl Dancers For It’s GDC Party . Amy Feinstein. Sexism has long … (developer) parties with strippers. …http://www.inquisitr.com/2904691/micro%5B…%5D-schoolgirl-dancers-for-its-gdc-party/

             

            Microsoft hiring of Strippers in school-girl uniforms to promote XBOX …

             

            Microsoft exploits young sexualized live girls at Show MS Pedo exploitation … Microsoft Says Hiring Go-go Dancers At Xbox Party Was Wrong.https://floridanewsdigital.wordpress.c%5B…%5Dox-takes-gamergate-to-whole-new-level/

             

            24 Hours After its “Women in Games” Event, MS Hires …

             

            Microsoft hosted Women in Games lunch 24 hours before hiring exotic dancers at a GDC party. This made attendees feel unwelcome.http://segmentnext.com/2016/03/19/24-h%5B…%5Dmes-event-ms-hires-exotic-dancers-gdc/

             

            Microsoft hit by social-media criticism over party at game conference …

             

            by the appearance of scantily clad female dancers at the Microsoft party. … The industry, they say, should be more inclusive in both its hiring ..http://www.seattletimes.com/business/m%5B…%5D-criticism-over-game-conference-party/

             

            Strippers – Microsoft Store

             

            Search Microsoft Search. Cart. Store Store. Devices Surface All PCs & tablets Xbox Microsoft Band … Strippers Registered Nurse.

             

            http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/m%5B…%5Degistered-nurse/strippers/8d6kgx77z47s

             

             

             

             

            Microsoft Says Hiring Strippers At Xbox Party Was Just For Fun

             

            THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (BRANDON BAILEY)

             

             

            San Francisco (AP) — Microsoft says it was “unequivocally wrong” for hosting a party with scantily dressed female dancers during a video game developers’ conference.

             

             

            The party sparked a firestorm of criticism this week, in an industry that’s been struggling to overcome longstanding complaints that it has objectified women and made them feel unwelcome as players and game-builders. In response, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division issued a statement saying the after-hours entertainment “represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values.”

             

             

            An Xbox spokeswoman declined to answer questions about the dancers, who wore abbreviated school-girl outfits as they reportedly greeted party-goers and danced on platforms. The party was held Thursday night during the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

             

             

            Several people who attended the after-hours party complained on social media that they were offended and disappointed at seeing the go-go dancers. Some also noted the irony that, just hours earlier, Microsoft had sponsored a “Women in Gaming” luncheon to promote diversity in the industry.

             

             

            In a statement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer acknowledged the event “disappointed many people” and pledged to “do better in the future.”

             

             

            Xbox also released an email that Spencer sent to employees, which said the criticism was deserved. “I am personally committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is central to our everyday business,” he added.

             

             

             

            Horrific Google Anal Sex Slave Case Uncovers Twisted Perversions Of Technology Executives and Strippers

             

             

            By Samantha Conners – APT

             

             

            Michael Goguen, Google’s married senior investor, “sexually and physically” abused Amber Laurel Baptiste with constant anal sex over more than 13 years after picking her up at a Texas strip club. His company: Sequoia Capital, has had other run-ins with cheating married executives, escorts and tax evasion schemes, per legal filings.

             

            Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, proclaimed that he would have a “open marriage” where he could have sex any time, with anybody, and is documented in a ream of news articles and video regarding his fifteen million dollar “sex penthouse” in New York.

             

            Sergey Brin, another head of Google, is featured in numerous news articles for his “three way sex romp” with multiple Google employees forcing one employee to move to China to escape him.

             

            A married Google senior executive named Hayes, who helped rig Google’s searches for political clients, was murdered on his “sex yacht” by his prostitute, which other Google executives had used.

             

            Ravi Kumar, another VC associated with Google Executives, was also murdered by a pack of hookers and pimps that frequented his Silicon Valley home.

             

            Valley Girls was a private escort service that used Stanford Co-eds to service the sexual kinks of Google executives.

             

            Ellen Pao famously sued Google founding investor John Doerr, and his company Kleiner Perkins, for sexual abuse.

             

            Google employee divorce filings hold the Silicon Valley record for use of the word “abuse” as one of the reasons given in the legal papers filed to initiate the divorce.

             

            The list of kinky, twisted, bizarre sexual antics of Google executives, and their investors, goes on for pages and pages…

             

            Google seems to attract the most twisted, perverted, morally decrepit men in the world.

             

            One has to wonder why, of all the large companies on Earth, only Google got to place the majority of it’s people in the White House? That’s right, Nike doesn’t have it’s people in the White House. Macy’s doesn’t either. Neither does Chevron, or John Deere tractor or any other company on Earth.

             

            Only Google, exclusively and uniquely, had all of their people placed in the White House and top federal agency lead positions. What’s up with that? Were they selected because of their technical skills or their ability to make people bend over?

             

            An addiction to dirty sexual perversions are not the only illicit trends that Google folks display. The Google investors are members of a financing cartel called the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). This group of frat boy elitists got busted for running the “Angelgate” scandal in which they were documented rigging, colluding, black-listing and contriving the whole Silicon Valley start-up industry.

             

            Then they were caught again when Eric Schmidt, Mr. “Sex Penthouse” and the head of Google, wrote emails ordering a conspiracy against Silicon Valley engineers. This “No Poaching” conspiracy got the Silicon Valley VC’s sued in a class-action lawsuit, which the VC’s lost. The Google founder’s best friend: Jacques Littlefield, kept the world’s largest private fully functional military tank squadron, in fully operational status, hidden in vast warehouses in his Silicon Valley estate in Woodside, California. He said he had this arsenal: “just in case”. Does Google make white frat house men insane or does it draw the crazy ones to it?

             

            The FBI is finally crunching down on these people. After so many years of the White House ordering the FBI to leave the Google VC’s and Silicon Valley perverts alone, it was just getting plain embarrassing for the FBI. The audacious impunity with which Google, and it’s friends, engaged in tax evasion, importing hookers, bribery, stock market rigging, anti-trust schemes and other crimes has become so overt, in the media, that it was created a spotlight on federal law enforcements avoidance of prosecution of the shenanigans of the Google crowd.

             

             

             

            Erin Brockovich has a map of 10,000 US communities with poisoned water

            Erin Brockovich has a map of 10,000 US communities with poisoned water

             

             

             

            The famous lawyer who played a part in exposing the toxic water in Flint, Michigan said these problems will keep happening all over the country  

             

             

             

             
             

             

             

            0

             

            Medium / Erin Brockovich

             

            Erin Brockovich has claimed she has made a map of 10,000 communities across the US whose populations are suffering due to a polluted and contaminated water supply like in Flint, Michigan.

            The real-life lawyer, who was played by actress Julia Roberts in a film about Ms Brockovich’s fight for the residents of Hinkley, California to receive clean drinking water, has written a blog post for Medium which details how the disaster of polluted water is lying in wait to be exposed across the US.

            She said she has been able to write a list of affected towns and areas because she receives “hundreds of emails” from worried citizens every day. 

            Read more

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/erin-brockovich-has-a-map-of-10000-us-communities-with-poisoned-water-a6939576.html

            Flint families file federal lawsuit over lead poisoned children

            Her comments come the same week that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder testified in court about how much he knew and when he found out about the water crisis in Flint that affects 100,000 residents in his charge.

            In the heated exchange between him and Republican Congressman Matt Cartwright, Mr Cartwright said: “[…] I’m not buying that you didn’t know about any of this until October 2015. You were not in a medically induced coma for a year and I’ve had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies.”

            “Susan Hedman from the EPA bears not one tenth of the responsibility of the state of Michigan and your administration and she resigned,” he added. “And there you are, dripping with guilt, but drawing your paycheck, hiring lawyers at the expense of the people, and doing your dead level best to spread accountability to others and not being accountable. It’s not appropriate.”

            .@RepCartwright “Governor Snyder, plausible deniability only works if it’s plausible.” #FlintWaterCrisishttps://t.co/ZuXjDEeTcp

            — CSPAN (@cspan) March 17, 2016

            When Ms Brockovich learnt about Flint, Michigan in Feruary 2015, her investigator Bob Bowcock was “on a plane the next day”.

            “People have been drinking water that’s contaminated with PFOA or lead or TCE or other chemicals for too long,” she wrote. ”Towns in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York are learning that their water is contaminated. Schools have turned off water fountains due to lead poisoning. Hannibal, Missouri and Tyler, Texas and Sebring, Ohio are all sounding the alarm.”

            Her post comes as reports are flooding in from Newark, New Jersey that authorities have started to test the levels of lead in the city’s water supply.

            Ms Brockovich said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charged with overseeing the Safe Drinking Water Act, is “over burdened, understaffed, and broke.”

            Read more

            “We learned just this week that, in a memo, an EPA official stated that “Flint was not worth going out on a limb for.” The fact that someone from the governmental agency that is there to protect the health and the welfare of the people made such a disgusting comment will tell you where the problem is,” she said.

            The 55-year-old lawyer and environmental activist has called for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to step down, instead of spending “millions of dollars of tax payers’ money to defend himself”.

            “Where is your decency? Where is your integrity as a human being, Governor? Please step down. Save that money, give it to those people who need it, get out of office, and let us begin the difficult task of repairing this problem,” she said.

            Her blog has been published the same week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Mr Snyder additional funding to deal with a crisis that has lasted over two years.

            There are around 3.3 million lead service lines and 6.4 million lead pipe-joiners in the US, and millions of US homes are still connected to lead pipes, according to a document from May 2010 from the US National Library of Medicine.

             

            LA Weekly

             Reiterating their distrust toward the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School … a plan to choose their own environmental testing expert – who would work … which can only occur if the affected community can verify the testing, the …

            Where regulators failed, citizens took action — testing their …

            http://www.publicintegrity.org/…/where-regulators-f…

            Center for Public Integrity

             Citizens concerned about toxic emissions near Buffalo tested the air themselves … Those taking samples can attach either a camping pump or a small …. other communities were testing their own air with household buckets, …

            About Time! FDA Will Begin Testing Foods for Toxic …

            http://www.commondreams.org/…/about-time-fda-will-begin…

            Common Dreams

             – FDA Will Begin Testing Foods for Toxic Weedkiller Residue … The agency has never tested for glyphosate, despite its status as the most … “get on board,” and increase glyphosate monitoring in its own pesticide testing program. …. providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997.

            Toxic Free Communities

            http://www.crpe-ej.org/crpe/index.php/campaigns/toxic-free-communities

            “My family and I lived in the toxic community of Autumnwood, in Wildomar, CA for more … Because it was built on toxic soil we could not breathe the air inside our homes … risks and are fighting to reduce these toxic exposures in their own backyard. … In search of answers, they asked DTSC to intervene and test their homes.

            Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 – Wikipedia, the free …

            https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Toxic_Substances_Control_Act_of…

            Wikipedia

            Second, producers should test their chemicals and report data to officials on the …. the risks of chemicals and the EPA has concluded that conducting its own testing ….. TSCA can promote environmental justice in communities where minorities …

            Autumnwood: A Community Living in Toxic Fear and …

            http://www.truth-out.org/…/23134-autumnwood-a-community-living-…

            Truthout

            – Beneath the façade, Autumnwood is a community riven by a fear held by many … an environmental consulting firm, conducted their own tests. …. If you can load a truckload of contaminated dirt somewhere else, who cares?

            [PDF]Safeguarding Communities from Chemical Exposures

            http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/…/…

            Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

            The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) works to … exposures based on previous similar situations (called modeling), test …… ners build their internal programs and skills so that they can lead in their own communities.

            Just Launched: Test for This Toxin in Your System …

            mamavation.com/…/just-launched-test-for-this-toxin-in-your-system.htm…

            – Now You Can Test Your Family for Glyphosate Exposure … about what levels of glyphosate are found in their own and their family’s bodies.” … and since then has assisted in over 3,500 lbs lost via the Mamavation community.

            Almost a year after Exide shut down its toxic plant …

            http://www.latimes.com/…/la-me-lopez-exide-annoyance-20…

            Los Angeles Times

            – Warmer days are coming soon to the working-class communities east and … with toxic lead, which can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. … Porter Ranch residents, to be fair, have their own legitimate fears and … The East L.A. resident requested a soil test at his home last October and is …

            [PDF]Guidelines on the prevention of toxic exposures – World …

            http://www.who.int/ipcs/…/prevention_guidelines.p…

            World Health Organization

            6.2 Measures that can be taken to avoid poisoning from toxic plants. 95 … five years of age tend to touch, test and explore their surroundings, getting in contact with ….. empowerment of communities, their ownership and control of their own.


             

            (800) 252-4752

            Simultaneous, Rapid Quantification Of Mycotoxins In Various Matrices.

            Enhanced Sensitivity · Ensure Compliance · Multi-Residue Screening

            Brands: ACQUITY UPLC Columns, ACQUITY QDa Detector, XBridge Columns

             

             

             

            Microsoft hiring of Strippers in school-girl uniforms to promote XBOX takes GamerGate to whole new level

            Microsoft exploits young sexualized live girls at Show

            MS Pedo exploitation using young school-girl outfits to promote sex with teens horrifies feminists

            Microsoft Says Hiring Go-go Dancers At Xbox Party Was Wrong

            THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (BRANDON BAILEY)

            San Francisco (AP) — Microsoft says it was “unequivocally wrong” for hosting a party with scantily dressed female dancers during a video game developers’ conference.

            The party sparked a firestorm of criticism this week, in an industry that’s been struggling to overcome longstanding complaints that it has objectified women and made them feel unwelcome as players and game-builders. In response, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division issued a statement saying the after-hours entertainment “represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values.”

            An Xbox spokeswoman declined to answer questions about the dancers, who wore abbreviated school-girl outfits as they reportedly greeted party-goers and danced on platforms. The party was held Thursday night during the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

            Several people who attended the after-hours party complained on social media that they were offended and disappointed at seeing the go-go dancers. Some also noted the irony that, just hours earlier, Microsoft had sponsored a “Women in Gaming” luncheon to promote diversity in the industry.

            In a statement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer acknowledged the event “disappointed many people” and pledged to “do better in the future.”

            Xbox also released an email that Spencer sent to employees, which said the criticism was deserved. “I am personally committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is central to our everyday business,” he added.

            Nick Denton and Me: The Story Of A Gawker Hit-Job

            Nick Denton and Me: The Story Of A Gawker Hit-Job

             

             

            As told to Donna Emmers (From an Interview )

             

             

            I, and my associates, provided expert witness testimony to federal investigators, The U.S. Congress and the federal courts in a racketeering and corruption investigation of some of our most esteemed politicians and their crooked campaign financiers.

             

             

            For my trouble, Nick Denton seems to have been hired to try to “kill me”.

             

             

            Killing” someone in Nick Denton’s Gawker Media world, as we learned in the Hulk Hogan trial, involves sabotaging their brand name, career, income and social life by having Gawker Media produce hatchet job videos and articles. Gawker made animated attack movies and authored malicious defamation articles in order to try to stop me from being a witness in front of a federal Special Prosecutor that Congress was trying to install in an attempt to reform corruption in Washington DC.

             

             

            Who is Denton? Nick Denton is the guy described in the article’s at:

             

            http://takimag.com/article/gawker_media_hypocrites_vs_douchecanoes/

             

            and

             

            http://theralphretort.com/vice-learns-what-gamergate-always-knew-gawker-sucks-1415/

             

            and

             

            http://slyoyster.com/newsandpolitics/2010/why-nick-denton-is-an-asshole/

             

            among thousands of others…

             

             

            I, personally, reported the crimes to Eric Holder, the head of the Department of Justice, at the time, and Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary at the time, and his staff, NHTSA Boss David Strickland and other leaders What did they do? They suddenly, out of the blue, quit their jobs. Investigators think that Mr. Gibbs was the one who, along with Eric Schmidt at Gawker’s partner: Google, set the hit job in motion. More on that later.

             

             

            Historically, now, the sequence of facts are devastating for Gawker Media. The facts are now supported by investigations by FBI, Congressional, GAO, FTC, ACLU, news media and hundreds of other agencies.

             

             

            The facts prove that Gawker ran a hit job program. Here are some of those facts:

             

            • I am the only person in history to have both reported a federal crime and gotten a series of hit jobs from Gawker Media.

            • ONLY Gawker Media, out of tens of millions of publications, produced hit jobs on me and my peers.

            • Nick Denton and Gawker Media have received tens of millions of dollars of payments from the very parties under investigation for the crimes

            • ONLY Gawker Media has the proven financial and lobbying connections to the subjects of the investigations

            • Why on Earth would Gawker Media suddenly do stories and videos about someone nobody has ever heard of at exactly the same point as when they are supposed to testify? The timing is epically beyond coincidental.

            • Since the day Gawker existed, until today, almost every single other hit job Gawker has done has been on an enemy of Gawker’s handlers

            • Investigator surveillance records of staff texts, emails and phone calls prove the connections

            • Gawker and Google’s ex-staff now work for the very people that staged the attacks and were the subjects of the law enforcement investigations

             

             

            In lawsuits with Gawker, Nick Denton likes to pull this trick where is says “..we were just writing opinions, not facts”. Tough luck Nick. The above bullet-points are “FACTS” and they will hold up in front of a Grand Jury, a Special Prosecutor or a fully resourced federal jury trial. On top of that, you have now been caught saying that opinions were “facts”. I have not had the funds to take you to task, yet, Mr. Denton but I gave Hulk Hogan and the FBI everything I had.

             

             

            Nick? How is that working out for you?

             

             

            The two “Big G’s”: Google and Gawker, are the same thing in this matter. They partner with each other on hit jobs. Our forensic investigators, the federal investigators, Russia, China, The EU and pretty much anybody with a brain has caught Google rigging the internet. You can see a non-technical description of how Google and Gawker do it on House of Cards, the TV show. Samples of those descriptions can be found in “fair use” clips such as those at these links:

             

             

            http://www.globalscoop.net/wp-content/uploads/House-of-Cards-Exposes-Google-.mp4

             

             

            https://videos.files.wordpress.com/MRku6Zp1/house-of-cards-exposes-google_fmt1.ogv

             

             

            Gawker sets up and publishes the hit job videos and Google locks them on the front page of the search results on the top lines, immovably, forever. Google puts hidden codes into the links saying that the links are “FACTS”, which pretty much screws Google in court. We proved that Google’s owners and executives were lying through their teeth to the EU and Congress when they claimed that Google’s search results and positioning was “arbitrary”. Google searches are staged and consciously manipulated to hype Google’s investments and attack Google’s enemies. We worked with investigators to set up a global sting to prove it with forensic computers set up all over the Earth to record Google’s and Gawker’s manipulations. Many other investigators have had similar results in their investigations including this study: http://www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/pnas/1419828112.full.pdf

             

             

            Denton uses angst-ridden bloggers: Adrian Covert, who openly advertises himself as a “character assassin” in social media, John Hermann and other the kinds of kids-on-the-edge that Denton dredges up on his cruises through New York, as described in this article: http://nymag.com/news/features/39319/

             

             

            Gawker gets hired to do hit jobs on innocent members of the public, the media or public policy staff when the hidden handlers of Gawker get a bug up their back-sides. Ask CBS news reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Google helps Gawker do these hit jobs. Both have the same political agenda’s, stock interests, friends, social connections, IT links and beneficiary pools. Both are dedicated to manipulating election outcomes. Both have been publicly charged in courts with illicit actions ranging from tax evasion, to campaign finance to defamation to privacy abuse.

             

             

            Denton has now started to see his karma come back around with the Hulk Hogan trial, but there are a number of other lawsuits lined up right behind Hogan, and that is only the beginning.

             

             

            (Fair Use, Feel Free To Re-Publish. Commons Rights Openly Offered)

             

             

             

            Social Media Joins Forces To Help Put Nick Denton and Gawker Out of Business

            Social Media Joins Forces To Help Put Nick Denton and Gawker Out of Business

             

             

            The Public, the Courts and Morality agree: Gawker and Nick Denton are a blight on humanity and they serve no positive social function. Now it is official: “Gawker Media and Nick Denton are evil, sick and perverted abusers staffed by mentally deformed children.”

             

            So the world, multiple additional lawsuits, and all of the bloggers have set out to terminate Nick Denton.

             

            $115 million verdict in Hulk Hogan sex-tape lawsuit could wipe out Gawker

             

            Hogan’s lawyer: Gawker editor was “playing God” with my client’s privacy.

             

            by Joe Mullin

             

             

             

            ^ndrew

             

            A Florida jury today ordered Gawker Media to pay $115 million for publishing a sex tape showing Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, having sex with his friend’s wife.

             

            The stunning sum, which may have punitive damages added to it, is a life-threatening event for the New York-based network of news and gossip sites. Gawker Media was one of the first successful, large, digital-only news companies. The final sum is even more than the $100 million Bollea was seeking. Bollea also sued Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor Albert Daulerio, and the jury found those two men personally liable as well.

             

            The sex tape was made about a decade ago, during a period in which the professional wrestler Hogan testified that he was going through a difficult phase with his then-wife. Todd Clem, a Florida radio personality who later legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge, encouraged Hogan to sleep with his wife Heather.

             

            In 2012, Bollea sued Clem, saying he didn’t know Clem had filmed him. Clem has made conflicting statements about whether Bollea knew about the taping. Clem settled the lawsuit, reportedly for $5,000. That left Gawker, Denton, and Daulerio as the targets of Bollea’s wrath. He sued them for $100 million in damages, and the case went to trial in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 7.

             

            The case raises issues about the limits of the First Amendment in the digital age. Gawker argued that it had a legitimate news reason to publish the tape, since Bollea had talked about his sex life—specifically about sleeping with Clem’s wife—in numerous venues.

             

            Bollea’s reputation took a huge hit last year, and he got fired from his job at World Wrestling Entertainment. That outcome wasn’t fallout from the Gawker article, however. In a section of the sex tape that could be described as “pillow talk” (which wasn’t published by Gawker), Bollea went on a racist diatribe. He repeatedly used the N-word and other racial insults, expressing disappointment that his daughter was in a relationship with a black man. The racial epithets were leaked by other news sites, including Radar Online and the National Enquirer.

             

            Other news sites posted stills from the tape, but only Gawker posted video. They showed one minute and 41 seconds of the tape, which included just nine seconds of sexual content. The company says it made about $11,000 from the post, countering assertions by Bollea attorneys that it was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

             

            “What’s disturbing about Gawker isn’t what they do in a vacuum,” Bollea lawyer Kenneth Turkel said during closing arguments. “It’s how proud they are of it.” Denton was “playing God over Bollea’s right to privacy,” he added.

             

            Bollea says he still feels humiliated over the tape’s publication. Gawker editors said the publication of the tape, and accompanying essay, was a commentary about celebrity sex tapes.

             

            “He’s talked about his sex life, how big his penis is, and when he talks about his penis it’s to promote his daughter’s singing career,” said Gawker’s attorney Michael Sullivan. “He’s discussed his sexual encounters. Now he tells you this was the Hulk Hogan character.”

             

            Gawker has a right to publish news stories, even ones with objectionable content, Sullivan told the jury.

             

            “If they can make a claim like this, the Internet as we know it will cease to exist,” Sullivan said.

             

            As the case went to the jury, Gawker Media released a statement saying that they expect an appeals court will need to resolve the case. It reads in part:

             

            We’re disappointed the jury was unable to see key evidence and hear testimony from the most important witness… Hulk Hogan’s best friend Bubba the Love Sponge—who made the tape and offered up his wife in the first place—originally told his radio listeners that Hulk Hogan knew he was being taped. The jury was only able to hear a questionable version of events. Bubba should have been required to appear in court and explain what really happened.

             

            Gawker owns several other popular online news sites, including the gadget site Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Deadspin, Kotaku, Jezebel, and Jalopnik. The company employs about 250 people and has been majority-owned by Denton since it was founded. He recently took outside investment for the first time to be able to pay for this litigation and possible damages.

             

            READ MORE…