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Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,432

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Journal Archives

Belgian state TV threatened for asking Erdoğan about jailed VICE journalist

A Belgian television network was threatened by a government official after a reporter asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a question about VICE News journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool, who has been jailed in Turkey for nearly two months, VICE News reported on Friday.

The incident which took place during Erdoğan’s visit to Brussels earlier this month was all caught on camera and caused a storm in Belgium, the report said, adding that the European Federation of Journalists has already reported the Belgian government to the European Council for "intimidation."

A video published at the weekend by the public broadcasting organization of the French Community of Belgium, RTBF -- for which Rasool also worked while in Turkey and Iraq -- shows a reporter shouting a question in the direction of Erdoğan as he walks towards his car. "Mr. Erdogan — why is Mohammed Rasool still in prison in Turkey?" she says, as the Turkish leader looks over before disappearing into his vehicle.

Rasool, an Iraqi journalist working with two other VICE News reporters in Diyarbakır, was jailed in early September with his colleagues. Turkey released and then deported the two British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, but Rasool remains behind bars.


BB&T spent millions 'persuading' universities to teach Ayn Rand...

Fears of corporate influence on higher education are nothing new. But are colleges and universities, which receive smaller and smaller shares of their budgets from public funding, and which have struggled to bounce back from the 2008 recession, more likely to accept gifts with ideological strings attached than they would have been previously?

That’s the idea behind a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Academic Ethics, called, "BB&T, Atlas Shrugged and the Ethics of Corporation Influence on College Curricula." It says it is the first study to track a particular set of donations by the financial services holding company BB&T to colleges and universities stipulating that they teach the works of free-market capitalist Ayn Rand and address the “Moral Foundations of Capitalism.”

The paper says these agreements, which have largely ceased, happen under a veil of secrecy, often without the knowledge of faculty members, and that BB&T’s foundation is set on correcting what it sees as an overly liberal curriculum.

“This has been reported on ad hoc, mostly by individual universities and their campus newspapers,” said Douglas Beets, the article’s author and a professor of business at Wake Forest University, which has its own BB&T-funded program. “But otherwise you can’t find information on [BB&T’s] website, and that’s one of the major problems -- this is not transparent.” And Beets says that, given current discussions over allegations of corporate influence over university research agendas, the Ayn Rand grants need more attention.


U.S. Charges Man in Malaysia With Hacking, Aiding Islamic State

WASHINGTON—Federal prosecutors have charged a man in Malaysia with hacking the personal information of more than 1,000 U.S. military personnel and federal employees and giving that information to Islamic State terror group.

The suspect, a citizen of Kosovo named Ardit Ferizi, was detained in Malaysia based on a U.S. arrest warrant, officials said.

Officials say Mr. Ferizi called himself “Th3Dir3ctorY’’ online, and is the leader of a Kosovar Internet hacking group called Kosova Hacker’s Security. Prosecutors say he hacked into a corporate computer system in the U.S., stole data about Americans who worked for the government, including military personnel, and then gave it to Islamic State member Junaid Hussain, a hacker working for the group who was killed by an airstrike in August.

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who heads the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said the charges amounted to a first-of-its-kind case in which a hacker teamed up with a terror group to target Americans for violence.

“Ardit Ferizi is a terrorist hacker who provided material support to ISIL by stealing the personally identifiable information of U.S. service members and federal employees and providing it to ISIL for use against those employees,’’ said Mr. Carlin, using an alternate name for the group.


Detention of black teens by police outside D.C. bank sparks protests

Jason Goolsby stood outside a bank on Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Monday evening pondering whether to withdraw money from the ATM. The teen said a woman pushing a baby stroller approached, and he held the vestibule door open for her.

The 18-year-old, who was with two friends, lingered about 20 seconds outside the Citibank near Eastern Market on Capitol Hill before leaving. Moments later, Goolsby said, he saw D.C. police cars racing toward him. One, he said, nearly hit him. The college freshman said he ran.

Three blocks away near Barracks Row, officers caught him. One of his friends recorded the tail end of Goolsby’s forceful detention — two white police officers on top of the screaming black teenager, trying to force his hands to his back while saying, “Stop resisting.” The friend aiming the cellphone camera repeatedly yelled, “He didn’t do anything.”

Goolsby didn’t know that he and his friends had been suspected of casing the ATM for a possible robbery. A caller to 911 reported suspicious youths loitering at the bank’s entrance and according to a transcript of her call made available Wednesday, said, “we just left but we felt like if we had taken money out we might’ve gotten robbed.”

What happened next is a sign of the power of social media to drive activism amid a climate of distrust of police and heightened concerns about racial profiling. Goolsby said an officer told him that the woman, who is white, called 911 because he had made her feel “uncomfortable.”


Germany vows tougher control of spy agency after new revelations

Source: Thomson-Reuters

Germany's justice minister has called for tighter control of the national foreign intelligence agency, after media reported its spies had targeted the embassies of allied countries without the government's express permission. Heiko Maas told the Rheinische Post newspaper in an interview to be published on Friday that a fundamental reform of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) was needed.

"Parliament must get all the necessary means for an effective control of the intelligence services," he added.

The media reports were the latest in a controversy over German intelligence that has erupted since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 a widespread U.S. surveillance program that included tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

Germany's foreign intelligence agency is already under scrutiny after revelations earlier this year that its officials indirectly helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spy on European firms such as defense manufacturer Airbus.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/15/us-germany-spying-idUSKCN0S91O920151015?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=69

How on Earth is this possible? For two years, DU has repeatedly told me in a near-unanimous voice that the United States is the only country in recorded history to ever spy on her allies...

Remember when DUers still tried to defend RT?

Defend this, I triple dog dare ya:


Russia’s Reality Trolls and the MH17 War of Misinformation

MOSCOW — Every time more evidence has emerged that Russia-backed rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, someone in Moscow has called a press conference to throw smoke over the claims. It’s a tradition going back to the days after MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, when the Russian Defense Ministry held a briefing suggesting, improbably, that a Ukrainian missile or fighter jet had shot down the plane.

So it was little surprise when Almaz-Antey, the Russian state-owned maker of Buk missiles, held a press conference on Tuesday to shift the blame off Moscow and its separatist partners in eastern Ukraine. A report by the Dutch Safety Board released the same day found that MH17 was brought down by a Buk missile fired from an area near the town of Snizhne, which at the time was under rebel control. “It’s always special when people already know that they don’t agree with a report that’s not even published yet,” Dutch Safety Board chairman Tibbe Joustra told reporters when asked about the Almaz-Antey presentation, which took place hours before the Dutch findings were announced.

Packed with a nearly incomprehensible amount of graphics and data, the presentation argued that the Buk missile that hit MH17 was a type no longer used by the Russian military and had been fired from a location to the west of Snizhne. Russia’s state media immediately jumped on these findings to paint the Dutch report as incomplete and suggest that neither Moscow nor the rebels were involved in downing the plane — a response that corresponds with a larger Kremlin media strategy that has arisen during President Vladimir Putin’s third term. One aspect has been a Kremlin-linked “troll factory,” pushing disinformation and pro-Putin views online. But according to Nerijus Maliukevicius, a political science lecturer at Vilnius University who studies Russian media, the MH17 coverage is meant to “troll reality.”

The end goal is likely to prevent the missile launch being conclusively tied to Russia — and to prevent anyone linked to Russia from being punished for firing it. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including interviews with soldiers, secret military funerals, and satellite imagery — Moscow has denied it has been involved in the eastern Ukraine conflict, and Putin has previously argued against proposals to create an MH17 criminal tribunal until a “thorough and objective” investigation (in Putin’s eyes) has been completed.



I'm not allowed to name names, but it's not difficult to identify the DUers who only exist to spread agitprop.

Do-or-die time now...

I'm going to have a nervous breakdown just waiting out the 36 hours until Game 5...

Cambodia is way ahead of us...Light years ahead!

In many formerly warring regions, landmines remain scattered underneath the countryside. And finding them is no easy task. The most common solutions, like bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors, are costly and time-consuming. Now, a nonprofit organization called APOPO thinks that there’s a better solution: Bomb-sniffing rats.
Related Content

"The idea was very strange," APOPO Cambodia’s operations coordinator Theap Bunthourn tells Michael Sullivan for NPR. "Cambodian people kill rats. [They] don't like rats. But they're cost-efficient, they're easy to transport, they're easy to train, and they don't set off the mines because they're too light."

These aren’t your typical subway rat: The African giant pouched rat is about the size of a cat, writes Rachel A. Becker for National Geographic. While their eyesight isn’t great, they have an impeccable sense of smell and are able to identify and detect the smell of TNT from amounts as small as 29 grams, Sullivan reports.

The rats are also cheaper and easier to train and handle than dogs, which are commonly used to clear Cambodian minefields. While dogs can only work with the handler they bond with, the rats will happily hunt mines for anyone holding their leash, as long as they get a tasty reward whenever they find a mine.

When fully trained, a rat can search over 2,000 square feet in 20 minutes. It could take a human with a metal detector as much as four days to scour the same area, APOPO training manager Abdullah Ramadhan tells Becker. While training still costs about $6,500 per rat, the little explosives experts have helped find about 13,200 mines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and Cambodia over the last 20 years.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/watch-these-giant-rats-sniff-out-landmines-180956899/#AQxYHIT1svZ54wj2.99
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Which one of you Tom Brady cultists had this sign yesterday?

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