Friday, November 24, 2017

Simon's cat: Fast food...

The US-Saudi starvation blockade...

(...)

A comparable crime is being committed today against the poorest people in the Arab world — and with the complicity of the United States.

Saudi Arabia, which attacked and invaded Yemen in 2015 after Houthi rebels dumped over a pro-Saudi regime in Sanaa and overran much of the country, has imposed a land, sea and air blockade, after the Houthis fired a missile at Riyadh this month that was shot down.

The Saudis say it was an Iranian missile, fired with the aid of Hezbollah, and an “act of war” against the kingdom. The Houthis admit to firing the missile, but all three deny Iran and Hezbollah had any role.

Whatever the facts of the attack, what the Saudis, with U.S. support, are doing today with this total blockade of that impoverished country appears to be both inhumane and indefensible. Full story...

Related posts:
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  3. Banned by 119 countries, US cluster bombs continue to orphan Yemeni...
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  6. ‘Apparent war crime’
  7. The death toll in Yemen is so high the Red Cross has started...
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Zimbabwe: Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe as president

Emmerson Mnangagwa is to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president, following the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe after 37 years of authoritarian rule.

The former vice-president - who returned from exile on Wednesday - will be inaugurated at Harare's stadium.

His dismissal this month led the ruling Zanu-PF party and the army to intervene and force Mr Mugabe to quit.

The opposition is urging Mr Mnangagwa, who has been part of the ruling elite, to end the "culture of corruption". Full story...

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Right for all to access the internet is ‘non-negotiable’

Given India’s focus on keeping internet open for localised ideas and concepts, the right for all to access the internet is “non-negotiable”, Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday. His comments come at a time when the US Federal Communications Commission announced it would scrap the laws related to open internet access.

“Internet is supposed to be democratic. It is a big global platform, but must be linked the local ideas and concepts. That is the very clear focus of India, and therefore the right of access is non-negotiable,” Prasad said at the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) here.

The two-day international conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in presence of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union Houlin Zhao.

Wickremesinghe also supported net neutrality. “Net neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet as a fair and level playing field and helps businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive online. Similarly, open internet facilitates the marginalised and oppressed segments that are not adequately represented in the mainstream media, to tell their stories and to mobilise justice, as we have seen in recent times,” he said. Full story...

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Who is Ajit Pai, the “Trump soldier” remaking America’s internet?

Donald Trump’s new Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai promised last December to bring a “weed-wacker” to the agency that oversees the US’s media and telecommunications industries. He appears to be wielding a chain saw instead.

Since taking the office in January, Pai, 44, a former attorney for Verizon and Congressional aide to attorney general Jeff Sessions, has trashed rules that protected local media competition, eviscerated a program that gives poor people greater access to the internet, and decided that competition exists even when there’s just one internet provider in a market.

On Tuesday (Nov. 21), he made the most brutal cut so far, saying the commission plans to wipe out net neutrality rules that require that all data that goes over the internet is treated the same. The move could force US companies and consumers to pick and choose what they can access online, and let broadband companies dictate what content they see, further dividing the fractured country by politics and paycheck. Full story...

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Kannukkul Pothivaippen...

Social media giants are burning your books- human beings are next!

Social media is engaging in unprecedented censorship when it comes to the American experience. Twitter is changing its rules to punish and ban anyone for not just what they publish on Twitter, but for what they say ANYWHERE. Within 90 days social media sites will be monitoring their users for their statements they make and the websites that they visit. To obtai that kind of information, the NSA would have to be involved and they are.

On an interview on last week’s The Common Sense Show, Pat Wood described a Chinese woman who made critical comments of the government. She was visited by the men-in-black and when they did not arrest her, she thought she was ok. However, the following week, the woman received an expulsion letter from her university. This was followed by her employment being terminate and this nightmare culminated with her eviction from state-owned housing. China controls Internet users through a point system and this woman lost all of her points for her post. This system was designed by Google. And it is coming here.

Social media sites, that the Independent Media (IM) uses to disseminate information, are cracking down on conservative, Christian viewpoints. At one time, the social media giants allowed the IM to use their sites without much interference because they could monitor public opinion and measure and calculate resistance to globalist programs. However, they miscalculated because they did not believe that the IM could have any real impact. Not only is the IM shaping public opinion, we got Donald Trump elected. Enough is enough, never again, the social media tyrants, controlled by allies of the Deep State and the New World Order, have decided to eliminate all electronic free speech that is not leftist, authoritarian, socialist and yes, Satanic! Full story...

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Black Friday is a retail industry trick played on gullible consumers...

Being interested in business and economics I’ve known about Black Wednesday of 1992 since my school days. As a fan of Eighties music, I can tell you that "Blue Monday" is a great track by New Order. And Maundy Tuesday, Black Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Bloody Sunday are terms we're all familiar with.

But a few years ago, Black Friday was introduced into my expanding vocabulary of colour/day-of-the-week combos, and I’m holding out for a time when I can pretend it never did.

Of course I've always known that in the weeks leading up to Christmas the number of thrifty shoppers hitting Oxford Street, and other meccas of consumption, increases rapidly. Only within the last few years, though, have I realised the full extent of the annual spending orgy.

The epitome of that debauchery will be upon us again this Friday and I pity anyone caught up in the ordeal. They'll need steel nerves, flawless analytical skills and, for their own sake, more discipline than cash. Full story...

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US calls Myanmar treatment of Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'

The United States has called the Myanmar military operation against the Rohingya population “ethnic cleansing” and threatened targeted sanctions against those responsible for what it called “horrendous atrocities”.

“The situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya,” secretary of state Rex Tillerson said in a statement, using a term he avoided when visiting Myanmar last week.

“The United States will also pursue accountability through US law, including possible targeted sanctions” against those responsible for the alleged abuses, which have driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh, he said.

In a further ratcheting up of pressure on Myanmar’s military and civilian leaders, the UN envoy on sexual violence in conflict said on Wednesday that alleged atrocities against Rohingya women and girls by the military may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Full story...

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Singapore to use driverless buses 'from 2022'

Singapore plans to introduce driverless buses on its public roads by 2022.

The government says they will be piloted in three new neighbourhoods which will have less-crowded roads designed to accommodate the buses.

The buses will be used to help residents travel in their communities, and to nearby train and bus stations.

Densely-populated Singapore hopes driverless technology will help the country manage its land constraints and manpower shortages.

"The autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile," the Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said. Full story...

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ron Paul: Why are we helping Saudi Arabia destroy Yemen?

It’s remarkable that whenever you read an article about Yemen in the mainstream media, the central role of Saudi Arabia and the United States in the tragedy is glossed over or completely ignored. A recent Washington Post article purporting to tell us “how things got so bad” explains to us that, “it’s a complicated story” involving “warring regional superpowers, terrorism, oil, and an impending climate catastrophe.”

No, Washington Post, it’s simpler than that. The tragedy in Yemen is the result of foreign military intervention in the internal affairs of that country. It started with the “Arab Spring” which had all the fingerprints of State Department meddling, and it escalated with 2015’s unprovoked Saudi attack on the country to re-install Riyadh’s preferred leader. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and millions more are at risk as starvation and cholera rage.

We are told that US foreign policy should reflect American values. So how can Washington support Saudi Arabia – a tyrannical state with one of the worst human rights record on earth – as it commits by what any measure is a genocide against the Yemeni people? The UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs warned just last week that Yemen faces “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims.” The Red Cross has just estimated that a million people are vulnerable in the cholera epidemic that rages through Yemen. Full story...

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Weightless - Jean-Baptiste Chandelier...

The story that highlights an ugly American tribalism...

There've been a lot of sex stories recently. Or rather a lot of sexual harassment stories. Not surprisingly they are all quite grubby and they tend to show the worst in human nature.

Take the news in Alabama this week - it's a textbook case. An older guy in a powerful position is accused by women of molesting them when they were teenagers. One of the women says she was only 14.

Roy Moore is now 70 years old and running to be the next US senator for the state of Alabama. Some polls suggest he could win.

There is also a report in the New Yorker magazine that Mr Moore was banned from visiting a local shopping mall because of his tendency to badger teenage girls there. It takes quite a bit to be banned from a shopping mall.

There have now been a slew of these types of stories. I sincerely hope they do change our culture, especially for all the women who work in industries where the men aren't famous and so are less likely to be outed, and for the women who are so financially dependent on their jobs that they can't afford to turn down their lecherous bosses. Full story...

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Over 400 of the world's most popular websites record your every keystroke...

Most people who’ve spent time on the internet have some understanding that many websites log their visits and keep record of what pages they’ve looked at. When you search for a pair of shoes on a retailer’s site for example, it records that you were interested in them. The next day, you see an advertisement for the same pair on Instagram or another social media site.
The idea of websites tracking users isn’t new, but research from Princeton University released last week indicates that online tracking is far more invasive than most users understand. In the first installment of a series titled “No Boundaries,” three researchers from Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) explain how third-party scripts that run on many of the world’s most popular websites track your every keystroke and then send that information to a third-party server.
Some highly-trafficked sites run software that records every time you click and every word you type. If you go to a website, begin to fill out a form, and then abandon it, every letter you entered in is still recorded, according to the researchers’ findings. If you accidentally paste something into a form that was copied to your clipboard, it’s also recorded. Facebook users were outraged in 2013 when it was discovered that the social network was doing something similar with status updates—it recorded what users they typed, even if they never ended up posting it.
These scripts, or bits of code that websites run, are called “session replay” scripts. Session replay scripts are used by companies to gain insight into how their customers are using their sites and to identify confusing webpages. But the scripts don’t just aggregate general statistics, they record and are capable of playing back individual browsing sessions. The scripts don’t run on every page, but are often placed on pages where users input sensitive information, like passwords and medical conditions. Full story...

Monday, November 20, 2017

How the sex scandals might accomplish what Donald Trump and Brexit couldn’t...

For at least two years now, Western politics has been rocked by attempt after attempt to bring down the establishment and put outsiders of diverse and frequently conflicting political philosophies in charge of government.

Those movements have largely failed. The Bernie Bros couldn’t beat the Clinton Machine. The Trump Train did succeed, but only for the Trump administration to fill up with ex-lobbyists and Trump cronies installed prized positions, exerting much influence.

It’s the same across the pond: Brexiteers managed to force David Cameron from office, only to get the more moderate Theresa May as prime minister. Old Labourite Jeremy Corbyn managed to perform better against May than many expected, but ultimately, the man who makes Bernie Sanders look like Alan Greenspan is still not prime minister.

The establishment still reigns, even if the names and faces have been shuffled a bit.

But it may well be wiped out thanks to sexually harassing, threatening, assaulting, and predatory behavior it has too long tolerated, and which is now being exposed, ending careers, threatening some members with potential criminal records, and more. Full story...

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Another massive paedophile ring uncovered, with clear ties to Pope Benedict's brother...

Pedophilia is a big problem these days, and has been for a while. For decades, and more recently with the Harvey Weinstein case, Corey Feldman’s revelations and more, people in positions of great power have been implicated in this type of activity, but it doesn’t stop in Hollywood. Pedophilia and child trafficking has plagued the world of politics as well as the military industrial complex for a long time. The recent Pizzagate scandal involving long time high ranking politician Jon Podesta forced many people to look into it more. Jeffrey Epstein is another classic example, or the fact that a recent NBC news report claimed that Hillary Clinton, while acting as secretary of state, shut down an investigation into an elite pedophile ring in State Department ranks in order to avoid scandal and protect the careers of high ranking officials and an ambassador. James Grazioplene, a high ranking retired army general who worked in the Pentagon and as the Vice President of DynCorp, is currently facing six rape charges of underaged persons. As far back as 2005, U.S. congresswoman Cynthia Mckinney grilled Donald Rumself on private military contractor’s (DynCorp) child trafficking business of selling women and children.

The list literally goes on and on, from Hollywood, to politics and within the military industrial complex, all the way up to the hub which seems to be in charge of it all, the Vatican.

Many people have known about the problems of pedophilia, child abuse and violence that has plagued the vatican for a long time, but this information started to become more mainstream only a few years ago, and it coincided with Pope Benedict’s resignation, something that hasn’t happened for more than 600 years. Full story...

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Meet the people building their own internet in Detroit

Singapore rolls out tough measures to keep cars off the roads...

In the battle against the car, space-starved Singapore has deployed road tolls, massive spending on public transport, and a licence fee that bumps the cost of an average vehicle to over $80,000.

But urban planners looking for solutions to gridlock may find the draconian measures hard to replicate in other less-compliant cities.

Singapore has gone further than any other major city to avoid the monster jams that have blighted Asian metropolises such as Jakarta or Manila.

The tough approach has been possible as Singaporeans are used to strict control -- with media closely monitored and harsh punishments for minor crimes -- and are fearful the city-state will be flooded with vehicles without the curbs.

However the model faces mounting criticism thanks to rush-hour jams that have frustrated commuters, surging vehicle prices after a freeze on car numbers, and public transport breakdowns. Full story...

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Charles Manson dead at 83...

Charles Manson -- the man who masterminded one of the most heinous murder sprees in American history -- is dead  ... this according to the sister of his famous victim.
Debra Tate tells TMZ she received a call from the prison telling her Manson died 8:13 PM Sunday.
We're told the prison is contacting all of the victims' families.
Manson was recently wheeled into Bakersfield hospital and escorted by 5 uniformed cops. Our sources had said at the time, "It's just a matter of time." He was covered in blankets and looked ashen in the gurney.
TMZ broke the story ... Manson was taken from Corcoran State Prison to the hospital back in January where he was being treated for intestinal bleeding. Full story...

Victims 'told not to report' Jehovah's Witness child abuse...

Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the church not to report the crimes.

Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religious organisation's own rules protected perpetrators.

One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward because of the "two witness" rule.

A spokesperson for the church said it did not "shield" abusers. Full story...

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Poor Robert Mugabe...

After 37 years of murderous and destructive rule, it looks like the curtain is finally coming down on the Mugabe regime. Military coups are seldom welcome, but few of Zimbabwe’s beleaguered citizenry are unhappy with this dramatic turn of events. After decades of misery, the prospect of life under “Gucci Grace,” the ghastly First Lady, provided a frightening future scenario that propelled the military into a direct and decisive confrontation. Almost universally this man is now reviled, and few will lament his political demise. But it was not always like that, and be mindful; he did not get to where he did without international help, and he could not have ruled for 37 years without the enthusiastic assistance of a liberal-socialist political and media machine that revered him no matter what he did.

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson spoke emotionally about “this beautiful country” that has suffered a “brutal litany of events” under the despotic rule of a man who has rigged elections and stands responsible for the “murder and torture of his opponents.” He said that “all Britain has ever wanted for Zimbabwe…is for Zimbabweans to be able to decide their own future in free and fair elections.” Prime Minister Theresa May expressed sincere concern for the safety of “British nationals” in the benighted country. These pronouncements resonate with the mood but invite some scrutiny.

Interesting to note that Her Majesty’s leader of the government is now concerned about Britons in the wake of a coup, but through the course of almost fifteen years of civil war, when Rhodesia fought to stave off the odious challenge posed by Mugabe and his forces, and thousands of “British nationals” faced the gravest of threats, the British government of the day resolutely backed the other side. And Boris Johnson’s recollection of history and Britain’s long-term commitment to “free and fair elections” is also rubbish. The fact is, the Mugabe accession to power was carefully choreographed through the ’70s by the wily mandarins of the Foreign Office, culminating in the Lancaster House Conference. Full story...

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Friday, November 17, 2017

The diversity of beauty...

Robot Apocalypse: With artificial intelligence we are summoning the Demon...

Have you noticed all of the news lately about artificial intelligence and robotics, including some things that sound like absolutely terrible ideas? It’s like scientists are deliberately trying to bring on a robot apocalypse. They clearly don’t watch the same movies that I do.

People are getting more and more onboard with this type of technology. From Alexa to Siri, humans are interacting with artificial intelligence on a regular basis. Siri makes jokes, making the voice from your phone seem more human. It all seems so non-threatening until you look a little deeper.

With robotic exoskeletons, scientists are handing over superior strength, agility, and endurance to human beings.

For example, Ford has been rolling out robotic exoskeletons for their workers in an attempt to battle human weakness. The wearable technology is called the EksoVest and it increases upper body strength, supports the arms, decreases fatigue, and reduces the chance of injury.

It’s related to technology created by DARPA, which has been trying to create supersoldiers with robotic technology for decades. More + videos...

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Scientists accused of scaremongering, 'overheated claims' with warning to humanity...

A recent warning to humanity endorsed by thousands of scientists around the world includes "scaremongering" and "overheated" claims while ignoring much of the progress made in recent decades, some experts say.

"It concerns me that the message from science is this doom-and-gloom scenario that just turns off about 75 per cent of people," said Erle Ellis, an associate professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

"There's a small percentage that loves the crisis narrative, and they just repeat it over and over to each other."​

Ellis said he's "somewhat embarrassed" for his scientific colleagues who have rallied behind this warning, arguing that it mostly talks about negative trends and ignores the increasing wealth, health and well-being of human populations globally. Full story...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

'Butter makes us happy': Shortage reveals French lust for beurre...

There can arguably be no greater threat to the French way of life than a lack of butter.

For months France has been gripped by a slow burning panic that it is running out of the golden ambrosia, which is the base of croissants and pains au chocolat as well as the whole mouth-watering panoply of French patisseries.

Supermarket shelves have been emptied of butter as shoppers worry they will have nothing to put on their breakfast tartines of toasted baguette, while worried bakers fear a "croissant crisis" as prices spiral.

"We always loved butter, but we never knew how much," sociologist Remy Lucas, who specialises in people's relationship with food, told AFP.

 "Now we realise how important it is in our daily lives. Obviously we can replace it nutritionally but the idea that we might be without it is really unbearable," he added. Full story...

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Assisted suicide increasingly popular in Switzerland...

More people in Switzerland than ever before are turning to assisted suicide to end their lives, according to the latest statistics.

In 2015, 965 Swiss residents used assisted suicide services in Switzerland, according to the latest figures from the Swiss statistics office.

That’s up from 742 the year before and a remarkable rise on the year 2000 when only 86 people resorted to assisted suicide, said the Tages Anzeiger.

Women are more likely than men to seek assistance to die (539 against 426 in 2015). In contrast, far fewer women commit unassisted suicide (279 against 792 men in 2015).

 The figures do not include people who come from abroad to commit suicide in Switzerland. Full story...

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Dystopian fiction: How reading transforms your mind...

Reining in the rogue royal of Arabia...

If the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has in mind a war with Iran, President Trump should disabuse his royal highness of any notion that America would be doing his fighting for him.

Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, the 32-year-old son of the aging and ailing King Salman, is making too many enemies for his own good, or for ours.

Pledging to Westernize Saudi Arabia, he has antagonized the clerical establishment. Among the 200 Saudis he just had arrested for criminal corruption are 11 princes, the head of the National Guard, the governor of Riyadh, and the famed investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The Saudi tradition of consensus collective rule is being trashed.

MBS is said to be pushing for an abdication by his father and his early assumption of the throne. He has begun to exhibit the familiar traits of an ambitious 21st-century autocrat in the mold of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Yet his foreign adventures are all proving to be debacles. Full story...

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From streets to smartphones: India grapples with online rape...

On a busy afternoon in the southern Indian city of Visakhapatnam last month, a young man raped a destitute woman on a pavement. Many pedestrians walked by as he forced himself on the woman, but a few paused - to record the rape on their smartphones.
The police seized one cellphone - of the person who alerted them to the crime - but found he had already shared the video on social media, officers in Visakhapatnam told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Women’s rights campaigners in India said countless rape videos circulate online with few of them reported to the police.
“I receive a dozen rape videos a day from people who are afraid of reporting the crime themselves,” said Sunitha Krishnan, a rape survivor and founder of the charity Prajwala. Full story...

Zimbabwe’s military, in apparent takeover, says it has custody of Mugabe...

Zimbabwe’s military said early Wednesday that it had taken custody of President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state and one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, in what increasingly appeared to be a military takeover in the southern African nation.

After apparently seizing the state broadcaster, ZBC, two uniformed officers said in a short predawn announcement that “the situation in our country has moved to another level.” While denying that the military had seized power, they said that Mr. Mugabe and his family “are safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed.”

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” said the main speaker, who was identified as Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army’s chief of staff.

General Moyo — who was not widely known to the public but who was considered close to the commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga — warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.” Full story...

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

'Way too little, way too late': Facebook's "fake news" factcheckers say effort is failing...

Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.

Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.

The reporters also lamented that Facebook had refused to disclose data on its efforts to stop the dissemination of fake news. The journalists are speaking out one year after the company launched the collaboration in response to outrage over revelations that social media platforms had widely promoted fake news and propaganda during the US presidential election.

Facebook has since revealed that it facilitated Russia’s efforts to interfere with US politics, allowing divisive political ads and propaganda that reached 126 million Americans.

“I don’t feel like it’s working at all. The fake information is still going viral and spreading rapidly,” said one journalist who does fact-checks for Facebook and, like others interviewed for this piece, was not authorized to speak publicly due to the continuing partnership with the company. “It’s really difficult to hold [Facebook] accountable. They think of us as doing their work for them. They have a big problem, and they are leaning on other organizations to clean up after them.” Full story...

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Outrage in Paradise...

Mother Teresa’s secret billions and a Vatican seminary rampant with sex abuse...

By now nothing should surprise us about what goes on behind the protective walls of the not-so Holy See. But the latest book by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, titled Original Sin delves far beyond the sleazy rumors and alleges blatant criminal activity in Vatican City.

Two of Nuzzi’s last books, Merchants in the Temple published in 2015 and His Holiness published in 2012, landed the best-selling author in a Vatican courtroom for the so-called Vatileaks trials. This time, Nuzzi tells The Daily Beast he had his new book hand-delivered to the Vatican’s chief prosecutor. “There is proof of crimes committed by clerics against children,” he says. “Let’s see what they do with it.”

The book is filled with salacious scoops, backed up by copies of documents printed in an exhaustive index. He shines a light on the disappearance of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee who went missing 30 years ago after a music lesson and whose body has never been found. Conspiracy theorists waffle between theories that she was kept as a sex slave for priests for years or that she was murdered by a local Roman gang of criminals as a threat to her father, who may have witnessed a crime.

Nuzzi provides interview transcripts, sealed court documents and secret video from when police opened a mobster’s tomb in Rome to search for her body to support the theory that she was murdered by an “international group” that Pope Francis has been made aware of. He asks if justice has or will ever be served in the case. Full story...

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How Sicily became ungovernable...

This land, a place where lemon trees bloom four times a year, is blessed with abundance -- of sunshine, world cultural heritage sites, Greek temples, Byzantine frescoes, Arab art, sandy beaches and Michelin stars.

Sicily, a slice of paradise.

But then come the statistics. More than one in five members of the working-age population is unemployed, and almost half of all island residents are either poor or at risk of poverty. Sicily seems wealthy, and yet is falling further and further behind, not just in comparison with industrialized northern Italy, but with the rest of the Mezzogiorno. The partially autonomous island, which was part of the "Magna Grecia" in ancient times, is now viewed as "Italy's Greece," the nation's problem child.

Sicilians voted for a new regional government on Sunday Nov. 5, handing the victory to center-right candidate Nello Musumeci, who was backed by a coalition of three parties, including former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia. The anti-establishment Five-Star Movement came second, while the center-left Democratic Party, the party of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, came in third - a bad omen for its results in next spring's national elections. Full story...

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Evidence mounts that PLAGUE outbreak in Africa is an engineered depopulation bioweapon...

Thousands of people have been infected and over 143 are now reported dead from the plague outbreak that’s now threatening Africa, reports the UK Daily Mail. “Health officials are unsure how this year’s outbreak began,” reports the paper. “Experts warn the disease spreads quicker in heavily populated areas.”

Isn’t it interesting that just as Prince William is calling for “urgent depopulation efforts” in Africa, we suddenly have the rapid spread of the plague from unknown origins? As Natural News previously reported, Prince William appears to be pushing for depopulation efforts across Africa in the name of environmentalism:

“Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050 – a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month,” Prince William explained during a recent event hosted by the Tusk Trust, a charity that is committed to protecting African wildlife.

According to The Telegraph, Prince William continued, “Urbanization, infrastructure development, cultivation – all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now.” Full story...

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The disturbing history of the suburbs...

America breaks down...

(...)

That sense of unease is growing.

How do you keep a nation safe when not even seemingly “safe places” like churches and rock concerts and shopping malls are immune from violence?

The government’s answer, as always, will lead us further down the road we’ve travelled since 9/11 towards totalitarianism and away from freedom.

Those who want safety at all costs will clamor for more gun control measures (if not at an outright ban on weapons for non-military, non-police personnel), widespread mental health screening of the general population and greater scrutiny of military veterans, more threat assessments and behavioral sensing warnings, more CCTV cameras with facial recognition capabilities, more “See Something, Say Something” programs aimed at turning Americans into snitches and spies, more metal detectors and whole-body imaging devices at soft targets, more roaming squads of militarized police empowered to do random bag searches, more fusion centers to centralize and disseminate information to law enforcement agencies, and more surveillance of what Americans say and do, where they go, what they buy and how they spend their time.

All of these measures play into the government’s hands. Full story...