Monthly Archives: June 2017

China’s All-Seeing Surveillance State Is Reading Its Citizens’ Faces 

SHENZHEN—Gan Liping pumped her bike across a busy street, racing to beat a crossing light before it turned red. She didn’t make it. Immediately, her face popped up on two video screens above the street. “Jaywalkers will be captured using facial-recognition technology,” the screens said.Facial-recognition technology, once a specter of dystopian science fiction, is becoming a feature of daily life in China, where authorities are using it on streets, in subway stations, at airports and at border crossings in a vast experiment in social engineering. Their goal: to influence behavior and identify lawbreakers.Ms. Gan, 31 years old, had been caught on camera crossing illegally here once before, allowing the system to match her two images. Text displayed on the crosswalk screens identified her as a repeat offender.

Source: China’s All-Seeing Surveillance State Is Reading Its Citizens’ Faces – WSJ

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Having a smartphone within arm’s reach reduces brainpower 

The researchers, from the University of Texas at Austin, say that smartphones act as a ‘brain drain’ because part of our brain is always thinking about our device.

Source: Having a smartphone within arm’s reach reduces brainpower | Daily Mail Online

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 “WHITE HELMETS ARE A COMPLETE PROPAGANDA CONSTRUCT IN SYRIA” 

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Obama holdover: Trump style ‘quicker, more decisive’

Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin is a rare bird in the Trump administration, having been a top Obama pick when he was the department’s undersecretary for health through the 2016 election.So, we asked him how things have changed under Trump, and he said it is all for the good.”I have found that mandate from him, to get this organization fixed and the support and freedom to go out and challenge old assumptions, as exactly what the VA needs right now,” Shulkin said.”I think the organization feels more empowered to fix problems than they have in the past, and my hope is that we will be able to set the path so that the organization is earning back that trust that it needs,” he added.Shulkin, who has won kudos for his management acumen, said that the president is using a businessman’s sense to fix government.

Source: Obama holdover: Trump style ‘quicker, more decisive’

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Facial Recognition Software Brings Personalized Ads To The Supermarket

Facial recognition software is getting to the point where there are some very interesting things that can be done with it in everyday life. That includes really bad ideas like enabling the police to run record checks on everyone who passes in front of their body-worn cameras. But it also means that businesses can start applying the technology in novel ways. Here’s what is happening on a trial basis in some German supermarkets and post offices, as reported by Deutsche Welle:There’s a camera and a screen set up by the check-out. A visual sensor scans the faces of waiting customers who have looked directly at the camera and detects whether they’re male or female and how old they are.Marketing company Echion is running the cameras and screens. The brands that advertise with them have clearly delineated target groups. If the visual sensor detects that enough people who fall into a company’s target demographic are looking at the screen, an ad by this company will start playing.Being shown ads that are likely to be more relevant to you is probably no bad thing. But once cameras are in place, it would be natural for shops to start using them for other more complex tasks, like spotting known shoplifters:

Source: Facial Recognition Software Brings Personalized Ads To The Supermarket | Techdirt

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CIA waterboarding was illegal human experimentation

For years now, the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program after 9/11 has been under fire for being torture. The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) says that it should also be framed as illegal and unethical human experimentation.According to PHR report released this week, recently declassified documents confirm that the CIA conducted experimental research to test an unsupported hypothesis that torture could break the resistance of detainees and aid interrogation. This research was conducted to support the operation of the “enhanced interrogation” program and to provide legal cover for the use of torture to the Bush administration.“The CIA torture program was based on the unproven theory that torture could produce compliance and ultimately assist with intelligence collection,” says Sarah Dougherty, the lead author of the report. “Although it was junk science, it was peddled by two psychologists who saw an opportunity to make a profit by setting in motion a crude program of experimentation to study the effects of torture on detainees. Even if this research had been benign, it’s still illegal to perform research without informed consent.”“Because their torture tactics were wholly unproven – even the CIA previously said torture was counterproductive – [James] Mitchell, [Bruce] Jessen, and nameless others used observations during torture to formulate clinical procedures to modify subsequent torture techniques and guide similar monitoring for future torture sessions,” said PHR’s director of programs, Homer Venters. “Instead of living by the ethical tenet of ‘do no harm,’ health professionals applied their professional skills and engaged in research to aid torture. This was human experimentation on nonconsenting prisoners who were being tortured, a crime within a crime.”The PHR also claims that health professionals were under pressure from the CIA to generate data to justify torture practices. They were also used to determine the threshold of pain and suffering of the torture subjects, calibrating levels as they progressed. That data was then used by CIA legal counsel to provide legal cover, with the CIA’s lawyers advising officers that such evidence could be used to sidestep criminal prosecution for torture.“Health professionals were used to give experimental torture practices a false mantle of safety and legitimacy,” says Dougherty. “There’s evidence that CIA personnel recognized that illegal human experimentation was taking place. The CIA’s own contracts with Mitchell and Jessen even referred to the program as ‘applied research.’ Any researcher or health professional even minimally versed in the basics of ethics and professionalism can tell you that such research without consent is completely outside the realm of the acceptable.”

Source: BioEdge: CIA waterboarding was illegal human experimentation: report

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Line-X – The Coating That Makes Any Object Virtually Indestructible 

Line-X is an ultra-durable line of spray-on coatings that is mainly marketed for use on truck beds, to make them tougher and provide protection against the elements. But this wonder spray can do so much more, including protecting a wall from an explosive blast, preventing an egg from shattering on impact when dropped from a tower, and rendering a Styrofoam cup able to withstand the weight of a full-grown adult. It basically makes just about anything virtually indestructible.Line-X coatings have been around for nearly a decade, but most people have only recently learned about its incredible properties after videos of the spray passing all kinds of crazy tests started showing up on social media. The product also made appearances on the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Mythbusters”, where it passed two of the three extreme tests it was subjected to, and on popular YouTube show “How Ridiculous”, where it was tested on watermelons, eggs and light bulbs, with some incredible results.

Source: Line-X – The Coating That Makes Any Object Virtually Indestructible | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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Ohio Town Proposes ‘Three Strikes’ for Heroin Addicts, With Treatment Denied to Some on Third Strike 

With the country in the grips of an opioid epidemic, cities and towns are quickly blowing through their budgets providing expensive live-saving treatments to overdose victims. One town in Ohio wants to save money by setting up a controversial three-strike policy to discourage addicts from relapsing.Middletown’s proposed policy would give heroin addicts two free chances to get Narcan (Naloxone) to treat their overdose. For each rescue, heroin abusers must then perform community service for the equivalent amount of money used on the medical treatment. On their third strike, the heroin users will not be given medical treatment if they have not completed the community service to pay for previous treatments.The town has already treated 577 heroin overdoses with Narcan so far this year. The previous year, there were 532 overdoses, which cost the town $11,000 on the life-saving drug. In 2017, the town has spent $30,000 on Narcan so far—a number that’s expected to rise.According to WCMH-TV Columbus, the number of overdose-related deaths has been on the rise, with 51 reported  this year. It was 74 for all of last year.

Source: Ohio Town Proposes ‘Three Strikes’ for Heroin Addicts, With Treatment Denied to Some on Third Strike |Heat Street

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Elderly flight passenger throws coins into engine for ‘luck’, delays take-off for hours

A flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou was delayed after an elderly woman passenger was suspected of throwing coins into the plane’s engine to ensure “good luck”, mainland media reported.Southern Airlines Flight 380 was held up at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport after an elderly woman passenger caused a disruption, according to the airlines official WeChat account. An investigation into the incident is under way.Passengers boarding the flight reportedly saw an elderly woman throwing coins at the engine for “blessings” from the middle of the boarding staircase and alerted the crew.

Source: Elderly flight passenger throws coins into engine for ‘luck’, delays take-off for hours | South China Morning Post

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Brutal Kangaroo: How CIA Hacked Offline Computers Using Infected USB Drives

Earlier this month, we told you about the latest leak in the WikiLeaks Vault 7 series. The leaked CherryBlossom firmware was made for taking control of the traffic by finding its way into network routers. Now, WikiLeaks has published the new set of secret documents of which further shed light on CIA’s hacking operations.The latest documents are 150 pages in length, and they describe a CIA malware toolkit named Brutal Kangaroo for taking control of air-gapped computers by using specialized USB drives. According to WikiLeaks, the components of Brutal Kangaroo create a covert network within the target network, which makes the job easier.It should be noted that Brutal Kangaroo contains 4 chief components — Drifting Deadline (thumb drive infection tool), Shattered Assurance (server tools for handling thumb drive infection), Broken Promise (postprocessor to take care of the collected information), Shadow (primary persistence mechanism).

Source: Brutal Kangaroo: How CIA Hacked Offline Computers Using Infected USB Drives

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Mozilla Is Giving $2 Million For Ideas On How To Decentralize The Web; Apply Now

If we talk abut the U.S., 10% of the country’s population doesn’t have access to quality internet connectivity. In developing countries like India, this number is disturbingly higher. In the case of disasters and emergency situations, people often lose vital communication channels when they are needed the most. To solve this problem, Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are inviting you to take part in a challenge.To decentralize the web and connect the people across the U.S., Mozilla is accepting applications for the Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) challenges.The total $2 million prize is being given as a part of 2 problems. These challenges are:Challenge 1: Off-the-Grid Internet Challenge: This challenge asks you to come up with ideas regarding how to use wireless technology to keep people connected in a disaster aftermath.Challenge 2: Smart Community Networks Challenge: This contest invites ideas to use existing infrastructure to deliver a reliable and efficient connectivity in areas that need greater internet access.

Source: Mozilla Is Giving $2 Million For Ideas On How To Decentralize The Web; Apply Now

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NASA cloud making rocket grounded for 10th time because of… clouds 

Sometimes in life, the sun just doesn’t shine on you and that’s pretty much every day for a NASA rocket trying to blast out of Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, as adverse weather means it has just been delayed for the tenth time.Having suffered nine previous launch delays, the NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was supposed to eventually take off Saturday. However, the day before the launch, NASA, once again, announced that it would have to be delayed because of unsuitable weather conditions.“The launch of the NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket scheduled for Saturday, June 24, has been postponed due to expected cloudiness in the region,” NASA said in a statement.

Source: NASA cloud making rocket grounded for 10th time because of… clouds — RT Viral

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US Admits to Implanting Cyberweapons in Critical Russian Infrastructure

 A new report from the Washington Post today quoted a series of Obama Administration officials reiterating their official narrative on Russia’s accused hacking of the 2016 election. While most of the article is simply rehashes and calls for sanctions, they also revealed a secret order by President Obama in the course of “retaliation” for the alleged hacking.This previously secret order involved having US intelligence design and implant a series of cyberweapons into Russia’s infrastructure systems, with officials saying they are meant to be activated remotely to hit the most important networks in Russia and are designed to “cause them pain and discomfort.”We’re revolutionizing the news industry, but we need your help! Click here to get started.The US has, of course, repeatedly threatened “retaliatory” cyberattacks against Russia, and promised to knock out broad parts of their economy in doing so. These appear to be the first specific plans to have actually infiltrate Russian networks and plant such weapons to do so.

Source: US Admits to Implanting Cyberweapons in Critical Russian Infrastructure

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CONNECTING THE AMERICAS – 2022 (NORTH AMERICAN UNION)

Those of us trying to bring the truth to our fellow Americans about the massive lies by the U.S. government regarding what really happened on 9/11, the breathtaking scope of the cover-up about the impostor sitting in the White House and more are called conspiracy nuts, right wing nuts, you name it. Is it any wonder the pond scum in the U.S. Senate is trying to define what is a journalist so that folks like me will not be covered by the shield law? I’m not surprised. The ‘alternative media’ has been replacing the liars for hire in the “mainstream” media and cable network for years.The global elites have been working for centuries to destroy this constitutional republic. They’ve done it courtesy of a media apparatus that quit telling the American people the truth longer than I’ve been alive. Trust Tom Brokenjaw, Dan Blather, Diane CFR Sawyer and all the rest? When pigs fly.They’ve done it through job killing treaties. Go take a look at this map published in the Denver Post (at the bottomof this article) titled A New North America. When I saw that as we were fighting tooth and nail to stop NAFTA, I was shocked. But, that was only a year or so into my journey for the truth, so I was a bit green back then and still learning. New World Order means just that: ordering of the world; connecting our financial well being to the rest of the world (i.e. Basil agreements; see my column) as well as free market killers like the fake global warming scam. Obama to Usher In New World Order at G-20While it’s difficult to accept that people like George Bush, Jr, his father as well as the Clinton duo are traitors, their actions prove them to be part of the cabal diligently working towards the complete and total surrender of the sovereignty of these united States of America as a country. It goes without saying the Manchurian Candidate squatting in our White House with his militant Marxist wife is working towards the same goals. Even the grand fatherly and popular Harry Truman didn’t get to the White House without being a player: “When Franklin Roosevelt died during the closing days of WWII, it fell to Truman to end the war and formulate policies for the new world order.” The Smithsonian Treasury: The Presidents (1991), pg 72.

Source: CONNECTING THE AMERICAS – 2022 (NORTH AMERICAN UNION)

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Wikileaks Attempts To Bully Wikileaks Documentary With C&D Notices

The history of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange is a tortured one, to be sure. Once the darling of the left for exposing important misdeeds by the American government, the site then became a tool for the right in the last Presidential election with the publishing of emails stolen in a hack of the DNC. From there, some have accused Wikileaks of being an arm of Moscow’s intelligence efforts, while the America government has made noise about prosecuting the site and Assange under the Espionage Act. Still others support the site for its efforts in exposing the secrets governments wish to keep hidden from the citizens to whom they are beholden.Through it all, Assange and Wikileaks have remained firm in their mission to expose information and secrets that were previously kept from the public. Except, it seems, when that information has to do with Wikileaks itself. According to the makers of a documentary about Wikileaks entitled Risk, on the topic of Wikileaks, Wikileaks is chiefly interested not in open journalism and unvarnished truth, but rather on its own image. And apparently the site is willing to wield legal threats and lawyers in a way that is almost absurdly hypocritical.We are the producers of Risk , a documentary film about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. We unequivocally defend WikiLeaks’ journalistic right to publish true and newsworthy information…We were disturbed, however, to learn that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks sent cease and desist letters to our distributors demanding they stop the release of Risk: “We therefore demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all images of the Named Participants and that you desist from this or any other infringement of the rights of the Named Participants in the future.”

Source: Wikileaks Attempts To Bully Wikileaks Documentary With C&D Notices | Techdirt

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Woman Sues Casino That Won’t Pay Her $43M Jackpot

(NEWSER) – “I feel like they did me real dirty,” Katrina Bookman tells the New York Daily News. Last August, Bookman was on top of the world when a slot machine at Resorts World Casino in New York informed her she had won nearly $43 million. According to CNN, it would have been the largest slots jackpot in US history—and on a penny slot machine, no less. But when Bookman tried to collect her winnings, she was escorted out of the casino and told to come back the next day for a “decision,” Courthouse News reports. When she returned, the casino offered her a free steak dinner and $2.25—the balance left on the machine. On Wednesday, Bookman sued the casino.A Resorts World spokesperson says the slot machine was having an “obvious malfunction,” and the New York State Gambling Commission says the machine bore a disclaimer reading, “Malfunctions void all pays and plays,” the BBC reports. Bookman’s lawyer, Alan Ripka, calls those explanations “ridiculous.” The lawsuit claims the “bells, noises, and lights” on the machine all indicated Bookman had won the jackpot, and she even took a selfie with the machine bearing the message “printing cash ticket $42,949,672.76.” “You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken,” Ripka tells CNN. Bookman, who is claiming “mental anguish,” may need help from Lady Luck: An 87-year-old woman was denied a $42 million payout by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2011 in a similar case of an allegedly malfunctioning slot machine. (Were slot machines to blame for this man’s death?)

Source: Woman Sues Casino That Won’t Pay Her $43M Jackpot

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Pesto excluded from liquid ban by Italian airport 

In an era of high-security air travel, many a passenger has fallen foul of the rules banning liquids on planes.But now an Italian airport has decided to waive the 100ml maximum limit – as long as the liquid is pesto.More than 500 jars have made it through since Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo airport launched the “Il pesto è buono” (Pesto is good) scheme on 1 June.The cost? A donation to Flying Angels, which flies sick children abroad for treatment.Pesto – a popular pasta sauce made with basil, cheese, and pine nuts – is a local speciality in Genoa.The airport said the brainwave arose after staff were faced with “hundreds of jars that were seized in airport security checks”.How one man got the world making pesto by handThe Sikhs who saved ParmesanBBC Good Food: Best pesto recipesTourists with pesto jars of up to 500g can ask for a special sticker in exchange for a €0.50 (£0.44; $0.55) charity donation – although the airport says many are donating more.The pesto is then scanned in a special x-ray machine before proceeding onto the plane as hand luggage.

Source: Pesto excluded from liquid ban by Italian airport – BBC News

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Why Dr. Bronner’s Soap is Paying Millions on MDMA Research | Inverse

It’s best known as a party drug, but the reputation of MDMA could soon get a boost, thanks to a nonprofit research group and a big-hearted purveyor of hipster soaps. MDMA might help millions of Americans, veterans chief among them, and big pharma won’t touch the project, but not for the reasons that have to do with MDMA’s club reputation.This fall, the synthetic drug that chemically resembles both stimulants and hallucinogens, that’s capable of altering the brain’s neurochemicals to create feelings of emotional warmth, pleasure, and energy, will be put to the test as a psychotherapy treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.Technically known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, the illegal drug is not the same as “ecstasy” or “molly,” although sometimes those drugs may contain MDMA. It will soon undergo three Phase 3 clinical trials, with an eye on a 2021 FDA approval, meaning therapists could administer MDMA to their patients.

Source: Why Dr. Bronner’s Soap is Paying Millions on MDMA Research | Inverse

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How the CIA gained access to air-gapped computers 

A new WikiLeaks release of documents believed to have been stolen from the CIA show the intelligence agency’s capability to infect air-gapped computers and networks via booby-trapped USB sticks.The Brutal Kangaroo projectThe agency would start by infecting an Internet-connected computer inside the target organizations with malware, which would infect inserted USB sticks with another piece of malware. If such a USB is ultimately inserted in the air-gapped computer, it will get infected with exfiltration/survey malware.“The Brutal Kangaroo project consists of the following components: Drifting Deadline is the thumbdrive infection tool, Shattered Assurance is a server tool that handles automated infection of thumbdrives (as the primary mode of propagation for the Brutal Kangaroo suite), Broken Promise is the Brutal Kangaroo postprocessor (to evaluate collected information) and Shadow is the primary persistence mechanism (a stage 2 tool that is distributed across a closed network and acts as a covert command-and-control network,” WikiLeaks summarized.

Source: How the CIA gained access to air-gapped computers – Help Net Security

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Brain of One of Italy’s Most Revered Saints Found in a Teapot 

It’s not every day you find a saint’s brain in the kitchen cupboard.John Bosco, one of Italy’s most popular saints, was a 19th century Roman Catholic priest, writer, and educator known for his work helping impoverished youth. He founded the Salesian religious order in 1859, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934. These days, more than 600,000 pilgrims a year visit his basilica in Castelnuovo, near Turin.But on June 3, some of those pilgrims were disappointed to find a small room near the altar of the basilica that normally holds some of his relics marked “Closed. Under Construction.” Soon the church revealed there was no construction—a thief dressed as a pilgrim had made off with a reliquary containing fragments of the saint’s brain the evening before.Police set up roadblocks around northern Italy and searched cars, while faithful Catholics around the world prayed for the relic’s safe return. Italian newspapers speculated that the relic had been stolen for ransom, or (more ominously) a “satanic rite.”Fortunately, it didn’t take long for police to find some suspicious fingerprints on the glass protecting the reliquary, as well as some shoeprints nearby. After submitting the prints to a forensic lab in Parma, digital fingerprint technology found a match, as The Telegraph reports: a 42-year-old man with a record living in Pinerolo, near Turin. The authorities have identified him only as “C.G.”After obtaining a search warrant, police found the reliquary intact in the man’s kitchen cupboard, nestled inside a copper teapot. C.G. apparently believed the reliquary was made of solid gold (it’s not), and would fetch a hefty sum. The recovery of the relic was announced on June 16, and it is now safely back in the basilica.Bosco’s brain is far from the only pilfered relic, which Catholics believe can be used for healing, protection, and sometimes even miracles. During the Middle Ages, when dead saints were celebrities, there was a thriving trade in relics stolen (or “translated”) from one church for another. More recently, thieves have been stealing relics for ransom, to sell to collectors, or for more obscure reasons—such as the theft of the 800-year-old preserved heart of St. Laurence O’Toole from Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

Source: Brain of One of Italy’s Most Revered Saints Found in a Teapot | Mental Floss

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 CNN Retracts Conspiracy Theory Hit Piece Attacking Trump, Associates Over Russian Fund

CNN has admitted it printed what President Donald Trump calls “very fake news” and retracted a demonstrably inaccurate hit piece on the President and his allies after a Breitbart News investigation uncovered significant inaccuracies and flaws in CNN’s work.“On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” CNN said in a statement late Friday night. “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.”The statement was sent out very late Friday evening on CNN’s Twitter account.

Source: Very Fake News: After Breitbart Investigation, CNN Retracts Conspiracy Theory Hit Piece Attacking Trump, Associates Over Russian Fund

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US Interrogates Detainees in Secret Yemen Prisons

(Tasnim) – Hundreds of Yemeni people have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme – including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that US forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses, according to an AP investigation.Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture. The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or followers of Yemen’s former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi created and trained by the Persian Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials.All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s former government, which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with revolutionaries over the last two years. The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to several sources.

Source: US Interrogates Detainees in Secret Yemen Prisons – The Fifth Column

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Thanks Google Cloud: Now, Google Won’t Read Your Emails For Gmail Ads

Advertising is the biggest model Google uses for roping in cash from. They take the help of the users who think every Google service is free, because it is, but not for advertisers who want to promote their content.Google Ads are also visible in the company’s mail service called Gmail and they have been largely criticized, even faced lawsuits, in the past for analyzing user’s emails and displaying relevant ads.Also Read: Google Is Launching New Cameras With 180-Degree VR Video SupportThanks to the guys at Google Cloud, according to a Bloomberg report, Mountain View is about to stop peeking into users’ emails in order to display ads.The reason behind this major change is G Suite – a set of paid work apps including Gmail, marketed by the Google Cloud division. Diane Greene, VP of Google Cloud, said that Gmail Ads never appeared in front of paying Gmail users. But the paying users have expressed concern over the distinction and its privacy implications.

Source: Thanks Google Cloud: Now, Google Won’t Read Your Emails For Gmail Ads

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PEW Claims Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws; Just One HUGE Problem

Surveys are an interesting thing. There are all kinds of surveys and polls that are tossed around on a regular basis, especially during elections.PEW Research is usually pretty reasonable with their surveys but they’ve done a recent one on firearms and it just doesn’t cut the smell test. PEW oversampled Democrats in the survey and they don’t break down the people surveyed by Independents either. Since Independents are a growing number of voters in this country, it makes sense to statistically include them and break them out.PEW also oversampled non-gun owners in our opinion. There are an estimated 90 million or more gun owners in the country, that’s out of 330 million people (not all of who can own firearms). There are an estimated 200 million people who are registered to vote in the United States. If you are trying to survey a likely voter sampling, you’d have to use at least 45% to be a representative sample of gun owners, right? Pew doesn’t. They use 66% non-gun owners and the rest are gun owners.

Source: PEW Claims Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws; Just One HUGE Problem

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New Laser Technique Identifies Makeup of Space Debris

Hundreds of millions of pieces of space junk orbit the Earth daily, from chips of old rocket paint, to shards of solar panels, and entire dead satellites. This cloud of high-tech detritus whirls around the planet at about 17,500 miles per hour. At these speeds, even trash as small as a pebble can torpedo a passing spacecraft.NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense are using ground-based telescopes and laser radars (ladars) to track more than 17,000 orbital debris objects to help prevent collisions with operating missions. Such ladars shine high-powered lasers at target objects, measuring the time it takes for the laser pulse to return to Earth, to pinpoint debris in the sky.Now aerospace engineers from MIT have developed a laser sensing technique that can decipher not only where but what kind of space junk may be passing overhead. For example, the technique, called laser polarimetry, may be used to discern whether a piece of debris is bare metal or covered with paint. The difference, the engineers say, could help determine an object’s mass, momentum, and potential for destruction.“In space, things just tend to break up over time, and there have been two major collisions over the last 10 years that have caused pretty significant spikes in debris,” says Michael Pasqual, a former graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “If you can figure out what a piece of debris is made of, you can know how heavy it is and how quickly it could deorbit over time or hit something else.”

Source: New Laser Technique Identifies Makeup of Space Debris

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CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: the ’40s to the ’60s Part 1

For nearly sixty years, the CIA has resisted the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) efforts to perform a full audit of the Agency, even going so far as to not only render themselves exempt, but to spread this exemption throughout the rest of the Intelligence Community. When the GAO got fed up and quit, the CIA tried to have the letters detailing their frustrations classified.

Source: CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: the ’40s to the ’60s Part 1

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Black College professor fired in wake of Fox News interview

A New Jersey community college has fired an adjunct professor after officials say she made racially insensitive comments on Fox News.Lisa Durden was axed from Essex County College as the adjunct communications professor on Friday – roughly two weeks after she appeared on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’.

Essex County College’s president Anthony Munroe announced the decision Friday and said officials at the school had received complaints about her heated interview with Carlson.  Durden, who is black, discussed a Memorial Day event held exclusively for black people hosted by a Black Lives Matter group in New York.When Carlson asked her her thoughts, Durden interrupted the host, saying: ‘Boo hoo hoo. You white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white privilege card’ to attend the event.’

She added, ‘You’ve been having ‘White Day’ forever’ as she defended the group for wanting to have ‘one day for black folks to focus on ourselves.’

Carlson called her comments during the roughly six-minute interview ‘hostile, separatist and crazy.’

The school suspended Durden two days after the show aired.

Durden said the school ‘publicly lynched’ her. The school on Friday said ‘racism cannot be fought with more racism.’

In a statement, Munroe said that families who contacted the school over her comments expressed frustration.

‘When the administration receives an outpouring of concern regarding our student body, it is our responsibility to investigate those concerns,’ he said.

Source: College professor fired in wake of Fox News interview | Daily Mail Online

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CNN Producer Says Russia Narrative “bullsh*t”

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2 more plague cases reported in New Mexico’s Santa Fe County | KOB 4

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Department of Health on Monday confirmed two more human cases of plague.The recent cases involve a 52-year-old woman and a 62-year-old woman. The first case this year was reported in early June in a 63-year-old man.All three patients, who live in Santa Fe County, were hospitalized but there have been no deaths.PreviousNext State public health veterinarian Paul Ettestad said plague can be present in fleas that infest wild rodents in Santa Fe County, including within the city limits of Santa Fe and in other locations around New Mexico.”Pets that are allowed to roam and hunt can bring infected fleas from dead rodents back into the home, putting you and your children at risk,” he said.Health workers are conducted environmental investigations around the homes of the three patients to look for ongoing risk and to ensure the safety of the immediate family members and neighbors.Plague generally is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals including rodents and pets. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache and weakness.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe centuries ago. Antibiotics are now effective in treating the disease, but officials say without prompt treatment, it can cause serious illness or death.The CDC reports that hundreds of cases have been documented over the last century in the western United States, typically in northern New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and southern Colorado.In 2016, New Mexico had four human cases with no fatalities. Four cases were also reported in 2015 with one fatality.

Source: 2 more plague cases reported in New Mexico’s Santa Fe County | KOB 4

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Cyber attack sweeps globe, researchers see ‘WannaCry’ link

A major global cyber attack on Tuesday disrupted computers at Russia’s biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms with a virus similar to the ransomware that last month infected more than 300,000 computers.The rapidly spreading cyber extortion campaign underscored growing concerns that businesses have failed to secure their networks from increasingly aggressive hackers, who have shown they are capable of shutting down critical infrastructure and crippling corporate and government networks.It included code known as “Eternal Blue,” which cyber security experts widely believe was stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and was also used in last month’s ransomware attack, named “WannaCry.””Cyber attacks can simply destroy us,” said Kevin Johnson, chief executive of cyber security firm Secure Ideas. “Companies are just not doing what they are supposed to do to fix the problem.”The ransomware virus crippled computers running Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then demanded $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access. More than 30 victims paid into the bitcoin account associated with the attack, according to a public ledger of transactions listed on blockchain.info.

Source: Cyber attack sweeps globe, researchers see ‘WannaCry’ link | Reuters

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Snortable Chocolate Arrives in U.S. Stores

One of the first things you notice after opening a jar of Coco Loko is that it looks like hot chocolate mix. Snorting a line of the brown powder with specks of white confirms its familiar flavor, followed by a rush of energy.Americans are beginning to see the product alongside candy bars and energy pills at local shops as the Florida company Legal Lean moves to take a European club-drug trend mainstream.“I can see it taking off, as long as it doesn’t get too controversial,” says Nick Anderson, director of marketing for the five-person Orlando company. “We feel like we’re cutting edge in what we’re doing.”Snorting chocolate has received significant international attention since 2007, when Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone created a device he calls the Chocolate Shooter to snort cocoa (not cacao) powder. Health conscious European clubgoers separately use raw cacao in pills and drinks for its mildly euphoric, energizing effects.Coco Loko uses cacao, which is processed at a lower heat than cocoa, retaining more beneficial nutrients. Raw cacao is hailed as a superfood full of mood-lifting anandamide and phenylethylamine, cognition-assisting flavonoids and muscle-relaxing magnesium.Cacao can be purchased on Amazon.com or at a Walmart. Until now, however, powder specifically intended for snorting has not been a mass-market product in the U.S.Coco Loko is cut to enhance cacao’s effects. The label lists B vitamins, ginkgo biloba, blood flow-improving amino acid L-Arginine and the energy drink stimulants guarana and taurine.

Source: Snortable Chocolate Arrives in U.S. Stores | US News

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For Men Only: The clitoris. What it is. Where it is. What you should do with it when you find it 

Like many women, Canadian screenwriter and animation director Lori Malépart-Traversy seems to have gotten frustrated with the weird aura of ignorance surrounding what is after all the primary vehicle for female sexual pleasure. You may have heard of it: the clitoris.She took matters into her own hands (stop!) and created this smashing three-minute animated movie about this sometimes misunderstood sexual organ, which is so goddamned adorable, it’s easy to forget that the content is pretty much X-rated.(Even having said that, it’s difficult to imagine a group of ten-year-olds that would be substantially harmed by watching a short film as engaging, funny, and informative as this one. Chances are they’ve seen worse by that age.)The movie is in French but there are helpful English subtitles. Frankly it’s pretty clear what’s going on—or at least it should be, your mileage may vary—even with no text at all. I have to admit that my life is improved by having the phrase “clitoral obscurantism” added to it. (Damn you, Freud!!)One waits eagerly for the day when the utility of the clitoris and the importance of the female orgasm are acknowledged by all of humankind. In the meantime, watch this terrific video:

Source: For Men Only: The clitoris. What it is. Where it is. What you should do with it when you find it | Dangerous Minds

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Need to Fake an Orgasm? There’s an ‘Intimacy Choreographer’ for That

STRATFORD, Ontario — On the last Saturday afternoon in May, when the season’s first productions at the Stratford Festival were still in previews, visitors to its Tom Patterson Theater were greeted with two warnings at the auditorium entrance. One was the usual kind of advisory, a heads-up that the show they were about to see contained fog, haze, strobe lighting and mature content.The other sign, in a bold black frame, was more eyebrow-raising — partly because the phrase “mature content” had evidently been judged insufficient on its own. “This production includes explicit scenes of erotocism,” the second warning read.Aside from the misspelling, it wasn’t wrong. The director Jillian Keiley’s feminist staging of “Bakkhai” — a new translation, by the poet and classicist Anne Carson, of Euripides’ ancient Greek tragedy “The Bacchae” — practically pulses with sexual pleasure, almost all of it female. The women in the play, followers of the god Dionysos, revel in their carnality without self-consciousness or shame — a theme Ms. Keiley was deeply interested in exploring in her dreamlike production, which is lush with music and dance.

continue https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/theater/need-to-fake-an-orgasm-theres-an-intimacy-choreographer-for-that.html

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Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed to resolve paternity case 

A Spanish judge has ordered the exhumation of Salvador Dalí’s body for DNA testing to settle a claim by a TV fortune-teller that she is the secret daughter of the Surrealist painter.Pilar Abel Martínez, 61, from Dalí’s home town of Figueres in Catalonia, has for years insisted that she is the product of a “clandestine love affair” between her mother and the then married artist. She is now suing the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and the Spanish state, which inherited his works, to be recognised as his biological daughter. The verdict is due later this year.Ms Abel, who describes herself as “Dalí without the moustache” for her supposed physical resemblance to the painter, previously arranged to carry out a test using material from his death mask. However insufficient DNA was found, and the Madrid judge overseeing the case has now ruled there is no other way to obtain samples other than to disinter Dalí’s remains.

Source: Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed to resolve paternity case 

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Birds fight parasites with cigarettes

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Man To Spend 180 Days In Jail For Turning Over Non-Working Password 

The protections of the Fifth Amendment are running up against technology and often coming out on the losing end. Court rulings have been anything but consistent to this point. So far it appears password protection beats fingerprints, but not by much.It all comes down to the individual court. Some view passwords as possibly testimonial in and of themselves, and side with defendants. Others view passwords as something standing in the way of compelled evidence production and punish holdouts with contempt of court charges.That’s what’s happening to a Florida man suspected of child abuse. He claims he’s given law enforcement his phone’s password already, but prosecutors claim the password failed to unlock his phone. They believe his phone holds evidence of the physical abuse alleged — a claim that seems a bit less believable than those made about child porn viewers and drug dealers.The court, however, has sided with prosecutors.

Source: Man To Spend 180 Days In Jail For Turning Over Non-Working Password | Techdirt

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FBI Seeks $21M to Counter Encryption

The FBI is asking for more than $20 million in the 2018 fiscal year budget to counter what the bureau sees as the threat of encryption, both in devices and in real-time communications tools such as text or voice apps.The request is part of the Department of Justice’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a Senate hearing Tuesday that the FBI would use the money for a wide variety of things. In his testimony, Rosenstein said that the increased use of encryption, which the FBI and other law enforcement agencies refer to as the problem of “going dark”, is a growing challenge and needs funding support.“The seriousness of this threat cannot be overstated. ‘Going Dark’ refers to law enforcement’s increasing inability to lawfully access, collect, and intercept real-time communications and stored data, even with a warrant, due to fundamental shifts in communications services and technologies,” Rosenstein said.“This phenomenon is severely impairing our ability to conduct investigations and bring criminals to justice. The FBI will use this funding to develop and acquire tools for electronic device analysis, cryptanalytic capability, and forensic tools.”

Source: FBI Seeks $21M to Counter Encryption | On the Wire

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Intelligence Community ignored task force recommendations that could have prevented Snowden leaks

Task Group Six was an interagency working group for members of the National Security Council on the problem of intelligence compromises. As a result of its study, it made a number of recommendations to improve security and reduce the likelihood of insider threats – changing the way the intelligence agencies did business by putting a natural limit on the scope of their activities. If these policies had been pursued, it’s unlikely that Snowden would have had the justification or the ability to leak the materials he did. Instead, the recommendations that would have seen an actual shift in the status quo were ignored.Members of Task Group Six came from a cross-section of agencies, including CIA, DIA and NSA to review security breaches and cases of “treasonable activity” in five high profile cases to help prevent security breaches in the future. According to the previously SECRET / NOFORN document, Task Group Six built on the work of “five other integrated damage assessment task groups” which were likely the source of the 21 “additional cases” that Task Group Six reviewed.

Source: Intelligence Community ignored task force recommendations that could have prevented Snowden leaks

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ACORN’s FORMER HEAD SPEAKING AT BLACK CAUCUS MEETING: HERE’S HOW TO PUT FEAR INTO THE WHITE MAN

33986_1thmACORN’s former CEO Bertha Lewis urged Africans-Americans to support increased immigration as a strategy to gain political power.

“We got some Latino cousins, we got some Asian cousins, we got some Native-American cousins, we got all kind of cousins,” said Lewis, who spoke Thursday at the annual political conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Cousins need to get together because if we’re going to be [part of the non-white] majority, it makes sense for black people in this country to get down with immigration reform,” said Lewis, whose ACORN group was formally disbanded in 2010 after a series of scandals.

Lewis did not mention solidarity with whites in her appeal for power.

“Everyone, even all white folks in this country, acknowledge that in a minute, [the] United States of America will be a new majority, will be majority minority, a brand-new thing,” she said.

In 2012, “for the first time ever in history, African-Americans outvoted white Americans. Oooh. That’s the fear of the white man. That could change everything. That’s why [immigration] should matter to us,” she declared.

Lewis got only modest applause from the room of 300 attendees, nearly all of whom were black.

But her appeal for non-white solidarity was backed up by New York Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke.

“What will happen with comprehensive immigration reform will be a new landscape of humanity in the United States of America,” Clarke told the attendees.

“America is a shape-shifter, and based on who’s here, in what numbers and at what time, determines the political outcomes,” she said. Blacks should cooperate with Latinos, she said, adding “we all have skin in the game, literally.”

The racial appeal was echoed by William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO. “If we are going to be the new majority, we’re going to have to start acting like the new majority and start setting the new rules,” he said.

via ACORN’s FORMER HEAD SPEAKING AT BLACK CAUCUS MEETING: HERE’S HOW TO PUT FEAR INTO THE WHITE MAN

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U.N. Report Blames Israel for Palestinian Men Beating Their Wives

A new report by a United Nations expert, and submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council, blames Israel in part for Palestinian men beating their wives — offering more fuel to those in the Trump administration seeking to leave the council over its anti-Israel bias.

The document, first reported by U.N. Watch, which monitors the international body, was written by Dubravka Šimonović — the Special Rapporteur on violence against women — who filed dual reports based on her trips to the region in 2016. The report in question focuses on the “causes and consequences” of violence against women in the region.

In her filing on Israel, Šimonović highlights what she claims is a “clear linkage” between the “Israeli occupation” and Palestinian domestic abuse:

 

via U.N. Report Blames Israel for Palestinian Men Beating Their Wives

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