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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 146,707

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Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade

Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade

By Lulu Chang — April 1, 2016

In this day and age, everything lies at the mercy of technology. Even our democratic processes. In a proactively titled new piece in Bloomberg, “How to Hack an Election,” hacker extraordinaire Andrés Sepúlveda tells a story of how he allegedly rigged elections throughout Central and South America for nearly ten years. The computer whiz currently sits behind bars as part of a 10-year prison sentence, the result of his involvement in Colombia’s 2014 election hacking scandal. But according to this latest report, 2014 was just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, in nearly 5,000 words, Bloomberg details the extent to which the Latin American political system has been shaped by one man, and several computers.

Branded most kindly as an “online campaign strategist,” Sepúlveda tells Bloomberg. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors — the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see.” The 31-year-old started his nefarious career back in 2005, initially completing much smaller, less substantial tasks. He would deface campaign websites, break into opponents’ donor bases — you know, your more run-of-the-mill illegal online activity.

But as his expertise and reputation grew, so too did the size of his jobs. He began putting together entire teams who ran digital smearing, hacking, and other unsavory campaigns. And then, in 2012, operating under a $600,000 budget, Sepúlveda says that the zenith of his career came with the Enrique Peña Nieto election in Mexico. “He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory,” Bloomberg reports.

On Thursday evening, Nieto’s office adamantly denied any involvement with the hacker, stating, “We reject any relationship between the 2012 presidential campaign team and Andrés Sepúlveda.” And of course, Sepúlveda says he’s destroyed all the evidence, drilling holes in flash drives, hard drives, cell phones, and anything else even remotely incriminating.


Supporters rally to save Brazil’s President Rousseff from impeachment

Supporters rally to save Brazil’s President Rousseff from impeachment

01/04 02:02 CET

| updated 018:28 mn ago

- video at link -

With a political crisis threatening to topple Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, thousands of her supporters rallied to her side in Rio and 17 other cities, as the embattled leader fights to survive a push to have her impeached.

Efforts to oust her have been growing amid allegations of corruption and account fiddling, budget irregularities and illegal campaign financing but her supporters see it as an attempt at a coup.

One woman at the protest agrees for the need for an end to corruption but “not removing the government, that would be a step back.”

Another supporter at the demo said that an impeachment would lead to civil unrest, saying that there is no legal basis for it, “so if it happens is something forced, and a forced (impeachment) is a coup. More and more each day we are in favour of consolidating the democracy.”


The Stones in Havana: Who paid for that “free” concert?

The Stones in Havana: Who paid for that “free” concert?

Posted on March 28, 2016 by Sabina Becker

Coño, indeed.

Now that all the dust has settled after the Stones oh-so-historically played in Havana, it’s time to start asking some hard questions about their “free” concert. After all, Mick Jagger is a notorious greedyguts; he’s even been known to stiff the ladies of paid company when purchasing their services. It’s hard to imagine him doing anything out of the goodness of his little puny heart, which makes the Grinch’s pre-epiphany ticker look downright gargantuan. There’s about as much goodness in a dried-up dog turd. So, let’s follow the money with El Confidencial:

The “who”, “when” and “where” have been the centre of attention for weeks. The Rolling Stones would perform at the Ciudad Deportiva de La Habana on March 25 before an audience of an estimated half-million spectators. Those are the facts which the news agencies have been replicating politely since the news came out on February 29. Also the “how”: It will be a free open-air megaconcert. But this time the dimensions of this “how” go far beyond the set list (from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” to “Brown Sugar” through “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Paint It Black”, “Sympathy for the Devil”…) and we really have to bring ourselves to ask the real “why” of the Cuban concert.

Regarding such an exceptional event, the question is not whether they played “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or not. Yes, there was something missing. When it comes to the Rolling Stones’ visit to Cuba, the essential question is: Who paid for all this?

The Cuban government would not pay for such astronomical cachet as that of the Stones, even if it were in a position to do so, cost it what it might. Come on, Cuba isn’t like the Deutsche Bank, which is able to put up four million euros, as it did in 2007 so that the Jagger/Richards band would play for 600 of their most select clients in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The Rolling Stones don’t leave their homes if there isn’t lots and lots of money on the table. And the estimated cost of the Havana concert was about $7 million. So…


Something I missed last year, still important:

Leamsy Salazar: The DEA’s useful spy
Posted on February 10, 2015 by Sabina Becker

Hey! Remember the spook I blogged about the other day? Leamsy Salazar, the presidential security officer who “defected” from the Venezuelan armed forces and is now a star witness for the DEA? Well, it looks like that won’t be the last we hear about him. Far from it. It looks like he’s turned into a very useful stool pigeon, at least as far as fascist media are concerned. And that’s not all there is to side-eye about him. So let’s scratch a bit and see what flakes off him, shall we?

There are two ways of looking at the press operation of the Spanish Franco-fascist newspaper, ABC, on the DEA’s new star: Corvette captain Leamsy Salazar, ex-member of the first ring of security around Comandante Chávez. One, consider that everything ABC says is “information”; the other, try to separate the facts from the operations. That [latter] is what we’re trying to do here.

Of what ABC has said, only one element can we give as proven: Leamsy Salazar deserted the ranks of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and will be in the United states, or at the disposal of that land. That is the only fact corroborated by diverse sources: the daily ABC, and on the other hand, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, the target of the Franco-fascist periodical’s attacks.

Diosdado Cabello told [journalist] Pedro Carvajalino, on VTV, in a video broadcast on Tuesday, January 27:

“This comrade was with Comandante Chávez. When the Comandante died, I decided, fine, in honor of the Comandante, I’ll take him to work with me. But suddenly I started talking to him, and he started to lower his eyes from mine…this was in the month of June. Month of June. He started to lower his eyes from mine, he wouldn’t meet my eyes, the deception began. I spoke with the Minister of Defence, and asked her for a replacement, and told her: Send him to study so he can be retrained, because he doesn’t look right to me. He went off to study, and never attended the course. On the contrary, he deserted. He deserted with his wife in December, which was decisive…but he deserted the course long before the course he was supposed to take, which all military officers do.”


Looters, Tourism, and Racism: Controversy Surrounds 'Discovery' of Lost City in Honduras

Looters, Tourism, and Racism: Controversy Surrounds 'Discovery' of Lost City in Honduras

By Gabriela Gorbea
March 31, 2016 | 9:21 am

Dario Euraque sounded fed up as he explained how the academic community is no stranger to the archaeological gems hidden in La Mosquitia, a rainforest region in the easternmost part of Honduras.

"A lot of the archaeological sites there have already been identified in the past, but they were kept a secret out of preservation efforts, and because the people who found them were not interested in attracting tourism," said Euraque, a historian and former head of the Honduran Institute for Anthropology and History.

Euraque's criticism is directed at an ongoing US-led archaeological expedition that claims to have found an ancient city hidden in the Honduran jungle. The report on their findings was published in National Geographic last year, and the team returned to Honduras to continue their expedition in January 2016.

The possibility that the archaeologists may be taking credit for a discovery that is not theirs is just one of the controversies swirling around the team. It also faces accusations of overplaying the significance of the discovery, offending local indigenous groups by using racist dialogue, and leaving the area vulnerable to looting.

. . .

Local indigenous groups are also angered by the way the US-led team and the Honduran government have handled the situation.

On January 13, the union of indigenous people of La Mosquitia wrote an open letter to President Juan Orlando Hernández stating their objections to his actions. Both the president and the team that published the report in National Geographic failed to ask the people of La Mosquitia to approve the exploration and the extraction of archaeological artifacts, the letter read. The locals asked to keep the findings within their lands, arguing that they have always known about the existence and location of the White City.

The letter also asked the media to stop referring to the area as the "City of the Monkey God," saying that they considered it "racist" and "insulting."

A group of more than 24 archaeologists and anthropologists also wrote an open letter challenging the alleged discovery. The expedition is yet another representation of "colonialist speech," and an offense against the indigenous people's knowledge, the experts said.


Urabeños ‘provide logistical support for Uribe’s anti-government protest’

Urabeños ‘provide logistical support for Uribe’s anti-government protest’
Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Mar 31, 2016

Colombia’s largest paramilitary successor group, Los Urabeños, are ordering people in the northwest of the country to take part in an anti-government march being organized for Sunday by former President Alvaro Uribe.

The accusation was made by El Tiempo, a newspaper with close ties to the family of President Juan Manuel Santos, Uribe’s political adversary.

According to El Tiempo, the feared neo-paramilitaries told locals in Arboletes, Antioquia and Valencia, Cordoba they are expected to take part in the protests organized by the conservative opposition already plagued by numerous accusations of ties to paramilitary death squads.

Additionally, said the newspaper, the Urabeños have been pressuring local journalists to promote Sunday’s march, during which Uribe and his Democratic Center party seek to express their opposition to peace talks with leftist rebel groups FARC and ELN, and the government’s economic policy.


A Black Environmental Group Joins Native Alaskans in Calling for Protections of the Arctic Refuge

A Black Environmental Group Joins Native Alaskans in Calling for Protections of the Arctic Refuge

Your Take: Outdoor Afro has joined forces with Alaska’s Gwich’in people to call for protection of this oil-rich wilderness as a human rights issue.

By: Rue Mapp and Princess Daazhraii Johnson
Posted: March 31 2016 3:00 AM

[font size=1]
This undated photo shows the highly disputed Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, which sits atop plentiful oil reserves the
state of Alaska is anxious to drill. In January the Obama administration declared 12.8 million acres of the refuge to be protected
wilderness land, which prevents any drilling.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Getty Images

What does a woman who grew up in Oakland, Calif.—the heart of an urban center—have in common with a woman with roots in the remote outskirts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska? More than you think.

We are two determined women of color—united by our belief that human rights and social justice are inextricably linked to saving our shared planet.

When we met on an expedition to the Arctic to explore the impacts of climate change, we talked about what drives us and about our dedication to justice and sustainability. We shared stories about the dangers that climate change poses to communities of color like ours—communities that are at the crosshairs of the worst that climate change threatens to bring, including health issues and food insecurity. We shared our concern for local communities in places like New Orleans that experience flooding, and in northern Alaska, where the ice under Alaska Native communities is melting so quickly that entire villages are being forced to relocate. And we mourned the lives already lost to the destructive nature of climate change.

Then we made a commitment to work together to protect one place in particular: the Arctic Refuge.

Located in the northeast corner of Alaska, the Arctic Refuge is unique, majestic, irreplaceable and one of the last remaining intact ecosystems in the Arctic. It is a national treasure, like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, and it is the lifeblood of Alaska Native communities and animals. Protecting the refuge is about protecting what we hold in common—our connection to the land and animals and to each other.


Cuba Evokes the History of US Imperialism in Latin America

Cuba Evokes the History of US Imperialism in Latin America
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:00
By Cody Cain, Speakout | News Analysis

As President Barack Obama makes history as the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since 1928, we find ourselves reflecting upon our historic relationship with Latin America.

We were all taught in school that the United States is a "great" and "kind" nation that promotes "freedom" and "democracy" around the world. And many still drink the Kool-Aid of how the US can do no wrong.

History, however, paints a rather different picture.

Suffering Under Empire

Latin America has suffered grievously as a result of the unfortunate circumstance of being located inthe same neighborhood as the mighty empire of the United States. This is really no different from subjugated territories of other empires in history, such as the Roman Empire or the Ottoman Empire. It is no fun living in the shadow of imperial domination because the empire exploits you. And if you step out of line, you are crushed like a bug.

The island of Cuba has had a particularly rough time when it comes to being exploited.


The U.S. has terrorized Cuba for over 50 years — Fidel Castro is right to be wary of Obama’s claims

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 11:15 AM CDT

The U.S. has terrorized Cuba for over 50 years — Fidel Castro is right to be wary of Obama’s claims

Since the 1959 revolution the U.S. has invaded Cuba, tried assassinations, imposed an embargo & harbored terrorists

Ben Norton

“We don’t need the empire to give us anything,” asserted revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in a recent article criticizing President Obama in the wake of his trip to Cuba.

Obama made history this month as the first standing U.S. president to visit the neighboring island nation in 88 years.The president was applauded for a speech in which he described Cuba as “family,” and called for easing tensions between the countries.

“It is time, now, for us to leave the past behind,” Obama insisted. The former Cuban president scoffed at the idea.

. . .

For the crimes — and there is no question that they are crimes — the U.S. has repeatedly and continuously committed against its sovereign neighbor over the past five decades include:

•a violent invasion that left hundreds dead

•more than 600 assassination attempts

•myriad covert campaigns dedicated to fomenting “hunger, desperation and overthrow of government”

•the unilateral imposition of a suffocating embargo

•and the harboring of CIA-trained admitted terrorists who murdered Cuban civilians in hopes of toppling the socialist state.


AP news agency rejects Nazi collaboration claim

Source: Agence France-Presse

AP news agency rejects Nazi collaboration claim

4 hours ago

Washington (AFP) - The Associated Press on Wednesday defended its operations in Germany in the run-up to World War II after a researcher uncovered what was claimed to be evidence of collaboration with the Nazi regime.

The US news organization responded to a paper in the German-language journal Studies in Contemporary History claiming it supplied American newspapers with material selected by the Nazi propaganda ministry, and in turn allowed it to use AP images for anti-Semitic propaganda.

"AP rejects the suggestion that it collaborated with the Nazi regime at any time," said a statement from agency spokesman Paul Colford.

"Rather, the AP was subjected to pressure from the Nazi regime from the period of Hitler's coming to power in 1933 until the AP's expulsion from Germany in 1941. AP staff resisted the pressure while doing its best to gather accurate, vital and objective news for the world in a dark and dangerous time."

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/ap-news-agency-rejects-nazi-collaboration-claim-230544723.html
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