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Hungary fails to deport families to Afghanistan

Source: BBC

Hungary fails to deport families to Afghanistan

By Nick Thorpe
Eastern Europe Correspondent

8 May 2019

Hungary tried and failed to deport three Afghan families to Afghanistan on Tuesday, in a move that rights groups say is a breach of international law.

It was intended to prove the right-wing Fidesz government's resolve to fight what it calls "illegal migrants".

However, the European Court of Human Rights intervened in one family's case.

The mother of the second family fainted and was taken to hospital, while the third chose to be deported to nearby Serbia rather than Afghanistan.

The hardline stance by Fidesz comes ahead of elections to the European Parliament later this month.


Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48198645

241m Europeans 'may have received Russian-linked disinformation'

Source: The Guardian

241m Europeans 'may have received Russian-linked disinformation'

Research says malign actors online tried to craft individual narrative for each EU state

Daniel Boffey in Brussels
Wed 8 May 2019 10.23 BST Last modified on Wed 8 May 2019 10.24 BST

Around half of all Europeans could have been exposed to disinformation promoted by social media accounts linked to Russia before the European elections, an analysis suggests.

Evidence of 6,700 so-called “bad actors” posting enough content to reach up to 241 million users was discovered by researchers examining the scale of the threat.

There was no “all-purpose” content but locally created material was being amplified to craft a narrative for each EU member state, according to the study of a 10-day period from 1 to 10 March.

The report’s authors found specific evidence of malign actors seeking to shape specific news developments in Europe, including the debate over whether the Commons should back Theresa May’s Brexit deal during which divisive content was actively spread.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/08/241m-europeans-may-have-received-russian-linked-disinformation

How Chinese Spies Got the N.S.A.'s Hacking Tools, and Used Them for Attacks

Source: New York Times

How Chinese Spies Got the N.S.A.’s Hacking Tools, and Used Them for Attacks

By Nicole Perlroth, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane
May 6, 2019

Chinese intelligence agents acquired National Security Agency hacking tools and repurposed them in 2016 to attack American allies and private companies in Europe and Asia, a leading cybersecurity firm has discovered. The episode is the latest evidence that the United States has lost control of key parts of its cybersecurity arsenal.

Based on the timing of the attacks and clues in the computer code, researchers with the firm Symantec believe the Chinese did not steal the code but captured it from an N.S.A. attack on their own computers — like a gunslinger who grabs an enemy’s rifle and starts blasting away.

The Chinese action shows how proliferating cyberconflict is creating a digital wild West with few rules or certainties, and how difficult it is for the United States to keep track of the malware it uses to break into foreign networks and attack adversaries’ infrastructure.

The losses have touched off a debate within the intelligence community over whether the United States should continue to develop some of the world’s most high-tech, stealthy cyberweapons if it is unable to keep them under lock and key.


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/us/politics/china-hacking-cyber.html

Tennessee House Speaker's Top Aide Resigns After Accusations of Framing Black Activist and Sending R

Source: The Root

Tennessee House Speaker's Top Aide Resigns After Accusations of Framing Black Activist and Sending Racist and Sexist Texts

Anne Branigin
Today 10:51am Filed to: TENNESSEE

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada’s chief of staff, a white man who actually and truly goes by the name Cade Cothren, has resigned amid allegations that he framed a black activist, as well as sent racist and sexually explicit texts, some of which were received by his boss. Cothren announced his resignation on Monday, hours after admitting to using illegal drugs, including snorting cocaine, in his legislative offices.

Yes, it’s astoundingly messy. So, let’s take it slowly.

The first allegation to surface involves Cothren’s participation in framing Justin Jones, a Vanderbilt University divinity student who has protested at the Tennessee State House over a bust honoring a Confederate general, according to ThinkProgress. Tennessee politics being Tennessee politics, the state legislature refused to take down the statue. In February, following a protest at the Capitol, Jones was arrested for assault after a cup was thrown into Speaker Casada’s elevator.

Because elevators matter more than black lives at the State House, a condition of Jones’ bond was that he was prohibited from contacting Casada. This is where our boy Cade Cothren comes in.

Jones maintains that he’s obeyed the order, but Cothren sent a photo to Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk showing Jones emailed Casada’s office one day after the order was handed down. The problem? Jones’ email records show the email was actually sent on February 25—before his arrest.


Read more: https://www.theroot.com/tennessee-house-speakers-top-aide-resigns-after-accusat-1834564808


Related: Black people are idiots’ scandal rocks Tennessee legislature (ThinkProgress)

Meanwhile in LBN: Embattled TN House Speaker Calls Explicit Sexual Texts 'Locker Room Talk'

ICE provides local police a way to work around 'sanctuary' policies, act as immigration officers

Source: Washington Post

By Abigail Hauslohner May 6 at 6:19 PM

Sheriff’s offices and police departments in jurisdictions that provide “sanctuary” to undocumented immigrants will have a new way to work with federal authorities to detain and deport them, immigration authorities said Monday.

The new Warrant Service Officer program, introduced Monday in Pinellas County on Florida’s Gulf Coast, will allow participating sheriffs and police departments “the flexibility to make immigration arrests,” according to ICE. The move would allow local authorities to detain a criminal suspect beyond the point at which they would have been otherwise released if ICE has requested their detention, essentially giving ICE an extra 48 hours to take them into federal custody.

Selected sheriff’s office personnel “will be nominated, trained, and approved by ICE to perform certain limited functions of an immigration officer,” within the local jail or correctional facilities, according to a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the agency and Pinellas County on Monday.

ICE framed the new program as a countermeasure to the so-called sanctuary cities across the United States that Acting Director Matthew Albence said “undermine public safety” by adopting policies of noncooperation with federal immigration authorities. President Trump has repeatedly blasted such jurisdictions, including San Francisco and New York City, where local authorities refuse to respect ICE requests to hold people in local jails on behalf of immigration officials.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/ice-provides-local-police-a-way-to-work-around-sanctuary-policies-act-as-immigration-officers/2019/05/06/f651ff38-7029-11e9-9eb4-0828f5389013_story.html

Related: ICE launches program to strengthen immigration enforcement (ICE)

'The colony within the colony': Puerto Rico fumes as FEMA deliberates over remote hospital

Source: Washington Post

‘The colony within the colony’: Puerto Rico fumes as FEMA deliberates over remote hospital

By Jeff Stein and Dennis M. Rivera May 6 at 11:41 AM

VIEQUES, PUERTO RICO — Sylvia Velez woke up at 4 a.m. one day in February to catch the ferry from this isolated island community to a hospital on the main island of Puerto Rico.

But when she arrived at the dock, Velez, 64, discovered the boat was already filled. There wasn’t space for her on the next ferry, either, or the one after that.

The cancer patient waited 32 straight hours — sleeping in her car, snacking on chips and soda from the vending machine, going to the bathroom off the side of the road — before securing a spot on the ferry that took her across the water and then to her doctor in San Juan.

Velez’s struggle to secure medical treatment reflects one of the many ways residents of Vieques, and Puerto Rico more broadly, have been frustrated with the pace of federal disaster recovery and its implications for their health.

More than 19 months after Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not decided whether to reconstruct Vieques’s only hospital amid conflicting estimates about how much the federal government is required to rebuild.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/colony-within-colony-puerto-rico-fumes-fema-deliberates-over-remote-hospital/

Call for students to film 'biased' teachers brings Brazil's culture wars to classroom

Source: The Guardian

Call for students to film 'biased' teachers brings Brazil's culture wars to classroom

President Bolsonaro has accused schoolteachers of indoctrination but educators say his aim is to stifle critical thinking

Anna Jean Kaiser in São Paulo
Fri 3 May 2019 10.00 BST Last modified on Fri 3 May 2019 14.49 BST

Jair Bolsonaro has encouraged school students to film teachers during class if they suspect them of pushing leftist ideas, reigniting a battle in one of the most contested arenas of Brazil’s raging culture wars.

“Teachers need to teach and not indoctrinate,” Bolsonaro tweeted this week as he shared a video shot in class by a student who accused her teacher of criticizing the far-right president.

Bolsonaro’s son Carlos also retweeted a student-made video with the comment: “Filming/recording in schools is an act of legitimate defense against ideological predators who are disguised as teachers.”

The call to film teachers originated with a movement called Schools without Party (known by its Portuguese acronym ESP) – a fringe rightwing movement founded in 2004 which gained influence as Bolsonaro rose to power.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/03/brazil-schools-teachers-indoctrination-jair-bolsonaro

Trump's new ambassador to Colombia was once expelled from Bolivia

Source: The Guardian

Trump's new ambassador to Colombia was once expelled from Bolivia

• Philip Goldberg was accused of fomenting dissent in 2008
• Conservative will oversee vast military aid budget

Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá
Thu 2 May 2019 17.15 BST Last modified on Thu 2 May 2019 18.45 BST

Donald Trump has nominated a controversial career diplomat who was once expelled from Bolivia as the new US ambassador to Colombia, in a move that is likely to raise eyebrows across Latin America.

Philip Goldberg served as the US ambassador to Bolivia for two years before its leftwing president, Evo Morales, accused him of fomenting dissent in 2008 and ordered him to leave the country.

Goldberg had provoked the Bolivian president’s fury by meeting with members of the rightwing opposition; the US denied Morales’s accusations and expelled Bolivia’s envoy to Washington in response.

Unlike Bolivia, which has been governed by Morales since 2006, Colombia has long been a staunch ally of the US, which views it as a bulwark against leftwing governments across the region.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/02/trump-philip-goldberg-colombia-ambassador-bolivia

Drug company founder, executives convicted of bribe scheme that fueled U.S. opioid crisis

Source: Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) - The founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc and four colleagues were found guilty on Thursday of bribing doctors to prescribe the drugmaker’s addictive painkiller, helping to drive the U.S. opioid drug abuse crisis.

A federal jury in Boston found John Kapoor, who served as the Chandler, Arizona-based drugmaker’s chairman, and his co-defendants guilty of racketeering conspiracy for a scheme that also misled insurers into paying for the drug.

Kapoor, 75, is the highest-ranking pharmaceutical executive convicted in a case tied to a drug crisis that has led to tens of thousands of overdose deaths annually. His 2017 arrest came the same day U.S. President Donald Trump declared the epidemic a public health emergency.

Prosecutors charged that Kapoor oversaw a wide-ranging scheme to bribe doctors nationwide by retaining them to act as speakers at sham events at restaurants ostensibly meant to educate clinicians about its fentanyl spray, Subsys.


Nate Raymond

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-insys-opioids/drug-company-founder-executives-convicted-of-bribe-scheme-that-fueled-u-s-opioid-crisis-idUSKCN1S81VB

Pepsi withdraws lawsuits against Indian potato farmers

Source: Reuters


Pepsi withdraws lawsuits against Indian potato farmers

Mayank Bhardwaj

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc said on Thursday it will withdraw its lawsuits against a number of Indian potato farmers accused of infringing its patent.

After suing four farmers for cultivating the FC5 potato variety, grown exclusively for PepsiCo’s popular Lay’s potato chips, the snack food and drinks maker said last week it wanted to “amicably settle” the issue.

Other than filing the lawsuit against the four farmers in April, PepsiCo had also sued five other potato growers.

“After discussions with the government, the company has agreed to withdraw the cases against the farmers,” a PepsiCo India spokesman said, adding that applied to all nine of them.

The decision comes after an influential Hindu nationalist group with close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party accused PepsiCo of coercing the farmers.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-pepsi-farmers/pepsi-withdraws-lawsuits-against-indian-potato-farmers-idUSKCN1S817I
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