Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Samsung hypnotizing people and erasing their memory?

Samsung’s Swedish site recently revealed a new program that offers hypnosis so that you can erase your memories and re-watch your favourite shows for the first time. The program is called Unspoil Me and it’s comprised of 23 minutes of swirling patterns, mesmerizing music and a hypnotherapist directing your thoughts and attention in order to erase your memory.

Now, here’s the kicker, this is not a joke. 

This is totally real, and the implications of what this technology can do are concerning. We can only hope that people will not fall for this and that maybe tv shows are actually just not that important? We can only hope.

This isn’t something new, despite the fact that we don’t hear much about it. The U.S. military was using hypnosis in the Vietnam war, erasing soldiers memory and then sending them back out to battle.

We have to ask ourselves, what kind of other possible effects this could have on our brain? Full story...

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Christian girl in Pakistan who was set alight for turning down Muslim man’s marriage proposal dies...

A Christian girl who was set ablaze by a Muslim man in Sialkot for “refusing to renounce her faith and marry him” passed away at the hospital on Sunday evening.
25-year-old Asma was being treated in the burns unit at Lahore’s Mayo Hospital where her condition was stated to be critical.
According to the girl’s father Yaqoob Masih, his daughter used to work as a domestic help at the house of Saeeduz Zaman in Mohalla Pakpura area in Sialkot.
“On April 17, my son Maqsood and I went to Zaman’s house around to meet Asma and to inquire after the health of Zaman’s mother. We were sitting in a room when there was a knock on the front gate. Asma went out to see who had come when after some time we heard her screaming in pain. Zaman, Maqsood and I rushed outside to see what had happened and saw the accused Rizwan Gujjar fleeing from the scene while Asma was engulfed in flames,” Masih claimed in the First Information Report (FIR) registered with Sialkot’s Civil Lines Police. Full story...

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Bashar al-Assad, the man they love to hate...

Butcher of Damascus. Gasser of children. Baby Killer of Syria. Tool of Moscow. Cruel despot. Monster.
These are all names the western media and politicians routinely heap on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.  He has now become the top Mideast villain, the man we love to hate.
As a veteran Mideast watcher, I find all this hard to swallow.  Compared to other brutal Mideast leaders, Assad is pretty weak tea. The US/British propaganda effort to paint Assad in blackest colors is having a difficult time.
Mideast leaders who toe the US line and make nice to Israel are invariably called ‘statesmen’ or ‘president’ by the American government and its increasingly tame media.  There’s good old President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt, the military dictator who crushed that nation’s only democracy and imposed an iron-fisted rule.  But we will never hear from the US media of Egypt’s political murders, disappearances, secret prisons and torture.  Or that Egypt has been one of the world’s most draconian police states since the era of Anwar Sadat and successor Hosni Mubarak.
Saudi rulers are reverently treated by the US media and government in spite of leading the world in executions.  Last year, 44 people were publicly beheaded.  In some years, around 150 people have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia, often a quarter of them Pakistani guest workers.  Having been arrested by the Saudi religious police, I can tell you that the kingdom is a police state with sand dunes and camels.  Saudi vassal states Bahrain and the Emirates are better, but not much. Full story...
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'A vigilante state': Aceh's citizens take sharia law into their own hands...

Everyone in the village saw it, either in the flesh or later when it was immortalised on YouTube. Local children even stuck their heads through the grates of a fence to watch, their attention trained on the spectacle in front of them: a young couple being doused in sewage.

Humiliated but compliant, the couple sat on the edge of a well in Kayee Lee, a village in the Indonesian province of Aceh, as the liquid ran off them in thick black streams.
By the time Roswati arrived at the scene, about 70 people had gathered to watch her son and his girlfriend being publicly shamed in the courtyard of the mosque, the village equivalent of the public square.
“They were standing there looking at them like thieves,” says Roswati of the local youths involved. “I asked them, ‘Why did you do this,’ and they said, ‘Wait till we burn your house down.’” Full story...
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Sunday, April 22, 2018

How cults recruit members...

Kangaroo dies after visitors at Chinese zoo hurl rocks to force her to jump...

One kangaroo was killed and another injured at a zoo in southeast China after visitors to their enclosure pelted the animals with rocks and other objects in an apparent attempt to get the kangaroos to hop around. The abuse has sparked fury online and prompted renewed scrutiny into the mistreatment of animals at Chinese zoos, several of which have gained notoriety in recent years for cramped and cruel conditions.

Zookeepers at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian Province told the Haixia Metropolis News this week that at least one visitor threw “multiple” sharp-edged rocks at a 12-year-old female kangaroo in March to compel her to jump, leaving her badly injured and in “deep pain.” She died a few days later of profuse internal bleeding, her caretakers said.

A 5-year-old male kangaroo in the same enclosure was reportedly also injured last month after a visitor threw part of a brick at him. The younger kangaroo was not seriously hurt.

“Some adult [visitors] see the kangaroos sleeping and then pick up stones to throw at them,” a Fuzhou Zoo attendant told the Haixia Metropolis News. “Even after we cleared all the stones from the display area, they went elsewhere to find them. It’s abhorrent.” Full story...

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Why India's rape crisis is getting worse under Narendra Modi...

An 8-year-old Muslim girl was locked in a Hindu shrine, drugged, gang-raped for several days and bludgeoned to death with a stone.

As if the January killing in northern India weren't horrifying enough, lawyers and right-wing Hindus this month marched in defense of her assailants. Prime Minister Narendra Modi waited several days before condemning the crime, which was reported by police this month, then accused his critics of politicizing the issue.

The case has provoked nationwide outrage not seen since 2012, when a 23-year-old physiotherapist was gang-raped and killed on a bus in New Delhi. That crime prompted calls for tougher laws to address the nearly 39,000 sexual assaults that occur in this country every year.

But more than five years later, the number of rapes reported to police is rising. And the attack on the girl is just one of a series of recent cases that suggest India's religious and political divisions — which are widening under Modi's Hindu nationalist government — are making the crisis worse. Full story...

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GDPR: Are you ready for the EU's huge data privacy shake-up?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May, will be the biggest shake-up to data privacy in 20 years.

A slew of recent high-profile breaches has brought the issue of data security to public attention.

Claims surfaced last month that the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica used data harvested from millions of Facebook users without their consent.

It has been a wake-up call for data security. People are increasingly realising that their personal data is not just valuable to them, but hugely valuable to others.

The growth of technology and electronic communication means that every day, almost every hour, we share our personal data with a huge number of organisations including shops, hospitals, banks and charities.

But that data often ends up in the hands of marketing companies, analysts and fraudsters. Full story...

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Putting India's fair skin obsession to shame... (A poem by Hema)

Kali

It was my mother’s fault that she birthed
Me on the banks of Kaveri
For try as they did they could not wash the black alluvial soil off my skin

Kali
Little piece of coal my mother’s brother calls me
As he pretends he can’t spot me in the darkened birthing chamber
It sounds very cute when said in Tamil
An endearment.

Kali

This one just got baked a little longer in the oven laughs my father when
My mother guiltily presents him with yet another daughter
One whose skin only a paddy farmer could love.

Kali

I am six when I am made to understand that
I who was proudly showing off my 99% in Maths was less than my classmate,
At least I’m fairer than you she says,
Sadly looking down at her own 73% marks

Kali

Raahat Ali hisses the epithet in class 3, that I would get familiar with through the years
Because I refuse to let him hold my hand

Kali

The shame I feel looking at my white face black neck makeup at my Arangetram
The shame
Is for the secret pleasure that even though I look like a clown, I am fair
For two hours

Kali

I burn my skin to a crisp with hydrogen peroxide, congratulations.
I now possess blonde sideburns to contrast my black skin.

Kali

The proud mother of a prospective groom, who insisted on a fair skinned bride
For her son who was ‘white as milk’
Amma told her off in no uncertain terms that her daughter
Is dark as decoction and only when you mix the two.
Do you get rich aromatic
Coffee

Kali

The boy who said your skin shines
Like burnished copper.
I let him go, I thought he was lying.
Boris Becker declared that the only time
He noticed that his girlfriend was black
Was when he saw how beautiful her skin
Looked against his white sheets

Kali

Touching my husband’s peachy creamy skin when we make love
Wondering how he could find me desirable

Kali

Lakme has three shades white, off-white and peach
The joy I feel when I purchase my first compact
At Heera Panna smugglers market

At age 26
It is the mythical, never seen before MAC compact,
In the pre- Manmohan Singh era
And it is the exact shade of my skin,

NC45
They got me. They knew I existed.
I had a number.
I still have that compact. After 18 years.
But the shop assistant wants me to buy NC 44 Because it makes me look fairer.

Kali

I'm pushing my light-skinned daughter on the swings
Someone asks me where her mother is
I bristle that I'm the mother
The lady giggles apologetically,
Usually only maids are dark skinned no,
No offense meant ji
Kali
Stay indoors, don't swim, don't tan, it's OK
That your Vit D levels drop to 4.75
Depression, stress fractures are a reasonable price for fair-er skin
Melanin is a disease, there are treatments for it

Kali

Stick to gold jewellery, silver makes you darker
Leave the diamonds to the porcelain Punjabis
Don't wear white, don't wear black,
don't wear blue, don't wear pink,
Don't wear light colours, don't wear dark
Don't wear pastels, don't wear warm colours, don't wear cold either

Kali

She who stands naked
Wearing heads and blood
Suffering no one
Fangs are bared as are the talons
Fulsome, fearsome
Black of skin
Revered worshipped adored

Kali.

Hema Gopinathan Sah

Primitive Technology: Building a round hut...

Bill Gates backs plan to surveil the entire planet from space...

EarthNow is a new company looking to provide satellite imagery and live video in virtually real-time. Its unsettling pitch describes a network of satellites that can see any corner of the globe and provide live video with a latency of about a second. And a look at the startup’s top investors gives a lot of confidence that this thing is happening.
On Wednesday, EarthNow announced that it will emerge from the Intellectual Ventures ISF Incubator to become a full-scale commercial business. Its first round of investors is comprised of a small group of complimentary powerhouses: AirBus, the SoftBank Group, Bill Gates, and satellite-industry vet Greg Wyler.
The amount of the initial investment hasn’t been disclosed, but the announcement says the funding “focuses primarily on maturing the overall system design to deliver innovative and unique real-time Earth observation services.” That makes it sound like the company is in its very early stages, but don’t be so sure. Wyler’s OneWeb has already deployed highly advanced satellites with a blazing fast 130ms latency and its goal is to have a constellation of hundreds of satellites beaming broadband around the globe by 2020. Full story...

Is India running out of cash again?

There's a depressing sense of deja vu about similar stories pouring in of long queues of depositors outside depleted cash machines in at least five states - Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

It brings back fears of the chaotic scenes across India after Narendra Modi's ruling BJP government's November 2016 ban on high-value currency notes, which then accounted for 86% of the cash in circulation. Mr Modi had said the move was a shock government crackdown on illegal cash.

It is another matter that Indians returned almost all of the money - some $240bn (£169bn) - to the banks, and the currency gamble is now widely acknowledged, in the words of an economist, as a "failure of epic proportions".

So why is there a sudden cash squeeze in at least five states, home to more than 300 million people? Full story...

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Facebook moves 1.5billion users out of reach of new European privacy law...

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.

The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said. Full story...

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Are you ready to work until you die?

In the last 150 years, a previously unknown social concept has taken hold in the US and other wealthy countries: retirement. And just as we’re getting used to it, it’s being wrenched away from us.

A century and a half ago, only those who had accumulated great wealth could stop working in their fifties or sixties to enjoy a leisurely retirement. People worked as long as they were physically able to. Once they became too feeble to work, family members cared for them.

Those with no family were generally sent to the poorhouse, a residence where disabled and elderly people were supported by taxpayers. They were expected to work if they were physically able. As you might expect, living conditions were Spartan.

Retirement is possible only because industrialization has helped to facilitate capital accumulation. This capital can be used to support a person’s needs after a certain age.

Capital accumulation occurs through savings, investment, and economic growth. Unless all three factors exist in sufficient quantities, a society’s ability to provide retirement benefits to older citizens declines. Full story...

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India's blockbuster cricket league is beginning to rival even English soccer...

The latest edition of the Indian Premier League — a 48-day annual cricket tournament that showcases top talent from across the world — has some huge numbers to boast.
The opening match saw television viewership increase 37 percent over the prior year, advertising costs have almost doubled and some $94 million was spent by the eight participating teams to buy 169 players in an auction, compared with just $14 million for 66 players in 2017, industry data show.
The popular league is in its 11th year and features a shorter version of the sport called Twenty20 that is more appealing to television viewers. A game typically last 3 hours, a much faster pace compared to other formats of cricket where a game may last anywhere from a day to five days.
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Should you eat every day?

Genesis Prize cancels ceremony after 2018 winner Natalie Portman says won’t visit Israel...

The Genesis Prize announced it was canceling its prize ceremony in Israel in June after 2018 recipient Natalie Portman said she would not take part in light of “recent events.”

On Thursday, the Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the “Jewish Nobel,” said it was “very saddened” that the Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony. The foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

The Genesis Prize Foundation cancelled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”

Portman did not specify which events caused her distress, although the United Nations and the European Union recently called for investigations into the use of live ammunition by Israel’s military following clashes along the border with Gaza that have left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded. Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence on Thursday. Full story...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New “politically incorrect” climate change book sells out everywhere...

Proving once again that the Left’s claims about human-caused “climate change” and “global warming” are anything but universal, a new book disputing their progressive nonsense has shot to number one on bestseller lists while selling out all over the place.

The appropriately named tome, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” by Marc Morano, has rocketed to No. 1 on Amazon’s Climatology, Environmental Science, Nature and Ecology list, and is maintaining a solid ranking among Amazon’s Top 100, having already sold out once. Retail giant Walmart is also selling the book now.

A reported by Climate Depot, a website dedicated to exposing the fraud that is man-caused global and climate change edited by Morano, both Target and Walmart list the book “out of stock” on their websites, as of this writing.

He notes that the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which publishes Climate Depot, does have copies of Morano’s book, however. Full story...

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Facebook calls out Google, Amazon and Twitter for also harvesting user data as it attempts to clarify how it tracks your activity on and off the site...

Facebook wants users to know that it's not the only one tracking their every move on the internet.

The social media giant pointed a finger at Google, Amazon, Twitter and other platforms for using many of the same data collection practices that some privacy advocates are referring to as invasive.

In a blog post published Monday, the firm described in depth all the ways it gathers information on you around the web -- even if you're not a Facebook member or are logged out of your account.

Facebook has been feeling the heat ever since it was revealed last month that more than 87 million users' data had been harvested without their knowledge.

Now, Facebook wants to make it clear that it's not the only platform collecting data on its users as they browse other websites.

'Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services,' David Baser, Facebook's product management director, wrote in a blog post. Full story...

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Terminal madness: what is airport security?

IN AMERICA AND ACROSS MUCH OF THE WORLD, the security enhancements put in place following the catastrophe of September 11, 2001, have been drastic and of two kinds: those practical and effective, and those irrational and pointless.

The first variety have taken place almost entirely behind the scenes. Comprehensive explosives scanning for checked luggage, for instance, was long overdue and is a welcome addition. It’s the second variety, unfortunately that has come to dominate the air travel experience. I’m talking about the frisking, X-raying, body scanning, and confiscating that goes on at thousands of concourse checkpoints across the globe — activities that by and large waste our time, waste our money, and humiliate millions of us on a daily basis.

There are two fundamental flaws in our approach:

The first is a strategy that looks upon every single person who flies — old and young, fit and infirm, domestic and foreign, pilot and passenger — as a potential terrorist. That is to say, we’re searching for weapons rather than people who might actually use weapons. This is an impossible, unsustainable task in a system of such tremendous volume. As many as two million people fly each and every day in the United States alone. Tough-as-nails prison guards cannot keep knives out of maximum security cell blocks, never mind the idea of guards trying to root out every conceivable weapon at an overcrowded terminal. Full story...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

France builds WhatsApp rival due to surveillance risk...

The French government is building its own encrypted messenger service to ease fears that foreign entities could spy on private conversations between top officials, the digital ministry said on Monday.

None of the world’s major encrypted messaging apps, including Facebook’s (FB.O) WhatsApp and Telegram - a favorite of President Emmanuel Macron - are based in France, raising the risk of data breaches at servers outside the country.

About 20 officials and top civil servants are testing the new app which a state-employed developer has designed, a ministry spokeswoman said, with the aim that its use will become mandatory for the whole government by the summer.

“We need to find a way to have an encrypted messaging service that is not encrypted by the United States or Russia,” the spokeswoman said. “You start thinking about the potential breaches that could happen, as we saw with Facebook, so we should take the lead.”

The U.S. social network, which bought WhatsApp in 2014, has drawn heavy criticism since it acknowledged that information about many millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Full story...

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Freddy Blond Oar...

Undercover author finds Amazon warehouse workers in UK 'peed in bottles' over fears of being punished for taking a break...

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos may be the world's richest person, with a net worth of about $112 billion (£78 billion), but at least some of those working on his warehouse floors are apparently so desperate to keep their jobs that they don't even take time to use a restroom.

The author James Bloodworth went undercover at an Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire, UK, for a book on low wages in Britain. He found that the warehouse's fulfillment workers, who run around Amazon's massive warehouses gathering products for delivery, had a "toilet bottle" system in place because the bathrooms were too sparse to get to quickly.

"For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs," Bloodworth told The Sun. "People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined over 'idle time' and losing their jobs just because they needed the loo."

Amazon is known to track how fast its warehouse workers can pick and package items from its shelves, imposing strictly timed breaks and targets. It issues warning points for those who don't meet its goals or who take extended breaks. Full story...

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Facebook’s tracking of non-users sparks broader privacy concerns...

Concern about Facebook Inc’s respect for data privacy is widening to include the information it collects about non-users, after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network tracks people whether they have accounts or not.

Privacy concerns have swamped Facebook since it acknowledged last month that information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign among its clients.

Zuckerberg said on Wednesday under questioning by U.S. Representative Ben Luján that, for security reasons, Facebook also collects “data of people who have not signed up for Facebook.”

Lawmakers and privacy advocates immediately protested the practice, with many saying Facebook needed to develop a way for non-users to find out what the company knows about them. Full story...

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Friday, April 06, 2018

Internal memo shows Sinclair threatening employees to keep mouths shut about 'Must-Read' scripts...

Sinclair Broadcast Group really doesn't want its employees talking to the press about the Trumpian "fake news" script it has recently been forcing local news anchors to recite.

This was made clear by a memo warning staff at the Sinclair-owned station KATU in Portland, Oregon that "giving statements to the media or sharing negative information about the company can have huge implications."

First obtained by FTV Live and published on Tuesday, the memo was sent amid outrage over the right-wing media giant's efforts to force local anchors to read propaganda railing against "false" and "fake" media—outrage that grew exponentially after Deadspin published a compilation of anchors reading Sinclair's script in unison. Full story...

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Despite overwhelming opposition from residents, Michigan permits Nestlé to draw more groundwater for bottling...

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has granted Nestlé Waters a permit to increase groundwater withdrawal from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute from its White Pine Springs well for the purpose of bottling drinking water.

The approval comes despite near universal opposition from residents, who cite the Swiss food and beverage giant's nominal $200-a-year fee to pump water from its wells. The fee will not change with the new permit.

Additionally, Nestlé's White Pine Springs well near Evart, Michigan happens to lie approximately 120 miles from the lead-poisoned city of Flint. Bottled water companies have drawn outrage from many communities for privatizing their public water supply in the face of Flint's years-long drinking water crisis, where some residents have been billed hundreds of dollars for water they cannot drink.

 "Michiganders know that no private company should be able to generate profits by undermining our state's precious natural resources, which is why an unprecedented number of people spoke up to oppose this permit," State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, who serves on the Senate's Natural Resources Committee, told Detroit Free Press. "Out of 81,862 comments filed by the people of our state, only 75 of them were in favor of the permit." Full story...

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Meghan Trainor - No Excuses...

Spaniard raised by wolves disappointed with human life...

They laugh at me because I don’t know about politics or soccer

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was once the “Mowgli” of Spain’s Sierra Morena mountain range, but life has changed a lot since then. Now the 72-year-old lives in a small, cold house in the village of Rante, in the Galician province of Ourense. This past winter has been hard for him, and a violent cough interrupts him often as he speaks.

His last happy memories were of his childhood with the wolves. The wolf cubs accepted him as a brother, while the she-wolf who fed him taught him the meaning of motherhood. He slept in a cave alongside bats, snakes and deer, listening to them as they exchanged squawks and howls. Together they taught him how to survive. Thanks to them, Rodríguez learned which berries and mushrooms were safe to eat.

Today, the former wolf boy, who was 19 when he was discovered by the Civil Guard and ripped away from his natural home, struggles with the coldness of the human world. It’s something that didn’t affect him so much when he was running around barefoot and half-naked with the wolves. “I only wrapped my feet up when they hurt because of the snow,” he remembers. “I had such big calluses on my feet that kicking a rock was like kicking a ball.”

After he was captured, Rodríguez’s world fell apart and he has never been able to fully recover. He’s been cheated and abused, exploited by bosses in the hospitality and construction industries, and never fully reintegrated to the human tribe. But at least his neighbors in Rante accept him as “one of them.” And now, the environmental group Amig@s das Arbores is raising money to insulate Rodríguez’s house and buy him a small pellet boiler – things that his meager pension cannot cover. Full story...

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Did Cambridge Analytica use Filipinos' Facebook data to help Duterte win?

It appears that 6 months before the United States presidential elections in 2016, Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, also had a hand in the Philippine presidential race.

Facebook data of Filipinos was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, according to the social media company itself.

In a post by Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer on Wednesday, April 4, he said that about 1,175,870 Filipino users may have had their Facebook information improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

The Philippines is only behind the United States in terms of the number of people whose data was compromised.

Cambridge Analytica is the communications firm at the center of a global scandal, amid allegations it harvested data of millions of Facebook users for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The end goal was to create software to predict and influence voters' choices at the ballot box. Full story...

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The myth of the Indian vegetarian nation...

What are the most common myths and stereotypes about what Indians eat?

The biggest myth, of course, is that India is a largely vegetarian country.

But that's not the case at all. Past "non-serious" estimates have suggested that more than a third of Indians ate vegetarian food.

If you go by three large-scale government surveys, 23%-37% of Indians are estimated to be vegetarian. By itself this is nothing remarkably revelatory.

But new research by US-based anthropologist Balmurli Natrajan and India-based economist Suraj Jacob, points to a heap of evidence that even these are inflated estimations because of "cultural and political pressures". So people under-report eating meat - particularly beef - and over-report eating vegetarian food.

Taking all this into account, say the researchers, only about 20% of Indians are actually vegetarian - much lower than common claims and stereotypes suggest. Full story...

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Thursday, April 05, 2018

Producer claims 'very powerful people' tried to stop his movie about Chappaquiddick scandal...

The chief executive from the film studio behind a movie about the Chappaquiddick scandal has said he was pressured to dump the project.

Byron Allen, the CEO of Entertainment Studios and the executive producer of Chappaquiddick, says ‘some very powerful people…tried to put pressure’ on him ‘not to release this movie.’

‘They went out of their way to try and influence me in a negative way,’ he told Variety.

‘I made it very clear that I’m not about the right, I’m not about the left.

‘I’m about the truth.’ Full story...

The Israel massacre forces...

The shooting on the Gaza border shows once again that the killing of Palestinians is accepted in Israel more lightly than the killing of mosquitoes

The death counter ticked away wildly. One death every 30 minutes. Again. Another one. One more. Israel was busy preparing for the seder night. TV stations continued broadcasting their nonsense.

It’s not hard to imagine what would have happened if a settler had been stabbed – on-site broadcasts, throw open the studios. But in Gaza the Israel Defense Forces continued to massacre mercilessly, with a horrific rhythm, as Israel celebrated Passover.

If there was any concern, it was because soldiers couldn’t celebrate the seder. By nightfall the body count had reached at least 15, all of them by live fire, with more than 750 wounded. Tanks and sharpshooters against unarmed civilians. That’s called a massacre. There’s no other word for it.

Comic relief was provided by the army spokesman, who announced in the evening: “A shooting attack was foiled. Two terrorists approached the fence and fired at our soldiers.” This came after the 12th Palestinian fatality and who knows how many wounded. Full story...

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