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How Chinese gangs are scamming Japan’s Olympics ticketing system for major profits

A loophole in security measures designed to prevent illegal reselling of tickets for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games is allegedly being exploited by Chinese criminal gangs cashing in on sky-high demand among mainland residents.According to Japanese media, the gangs employ hundreds of Chinese living in Japan to buy tickets from registered ticket vendors then resell them at up to 10 times the price to rich Chinese desperate to see a slice of the action.They are easily able to get around measures…

Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei et autres affectés par une faille zéro-day dans le système d'exploitation mobile Android, qui déverrouille l'accès root des appareils cibles

Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei et autres affectés par une faille zéro-day dans le système d'exploitation mobile Android,
Qui déverrouille l'accès root des appareils cibles

Une vulnérabilité corrigée dans des versions antérieures du noyau Linux d'Android depuis le début de l'année dernière a refait surface. Les attaquants auraient été découverts en train d'exploiter activement une vulnérabilité de type zero-day dans Android qui leur permet de prendre le contrôle total de plusieurs modèles de smartphones,...

Un nouveau contrôleur de mémoire pour le noyau Linux promet des économies de mémoire significatives, notamment au niveau de la RAM, pour toutes les plateformes Linux

Un nouveau contrôleur de mémoire pour le noyau Linux promet des économies de mémoire significatives
Notamment au niveau de la RAM, pour toutes les plateformes Linux

Le gestionnaire de mémoire est un sous-ensemble du système d'exploitation qui partage la mémoire entre l'OS et les diverses applications. Le terme mémoire fait surtout référence la mémoire principale (=RAM), mais sa gestion demande la contribution de la mémoire auxiliaire et de la mémoire cache. Le gestionnaire de mémoire est notamment...

Guide de comparaison des bases de données d'entreprise : MariaDB Platform, SQL Server, IBM DB2 et Oracle

Guide de comparaison des bases de données d'entreprise
MariaDB Platform vs Microsoft SQL Server vs IBM DB2 vs Oracle DataBase

Les logiciels open source jouent un rôle de plus en plus important dans l'infrastructure moderne : les systèmes d'exploitation, les intergiciels (middleware) et, maintenant, la base de données. En fait, de nombreuses organisations ont des mandats stratégiques nécessitant l'évaluation de logiciels open source d'entreprise afin de limiter l'utilisation de logiciels propriétaires....

Vladimir Putin climbs mountain and picks mushrooms on Siberian birthday trip


Vladimir Putin climbs mountain and picks mushrooms on Siberian birthday tripVladimir Putin has climbed a mountain and picked mushrooms and berries in the Siberian wilderness to celebrate his 67th birthday, even as his ratings continue to flag.  In a video and photographs published by the Kremlin, Mr Putin drove an off-road vehicle through a forest with defence minister Sergei Shoigu and flew in a helicopter over jagged peaks, sweeping forests and a dramatic river canyon. Wearing sunglasses and carrying a large wooden staff, the president hiked up a mountain overlooking the Yenisei river at an altitude of “almost 2,000 metres”. “We've climbed above the clouds,” he remarked, gazing into the distance.  Mr Putin has become known for outdoor exploits to show of his health and daring Credit: Alexei Druzhinin /Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP He and Mr Shoigu gathered lingonberries and mushrooms, chuckling at one with a pine cone caught on top, and picnicked around a campfire.  The head of Tuva later said the video was taken in his remote region on the Mongolian border, where the Russian leader went hiking and boating last year.  Mr Putin took the trip a few days ago, his spokesman said, and plans to spend his actual birthday on Monday “in nature with relatives and friends”. Last year Mr Putin celebrated his birthday at his seaside residence in Sochi with Italy's former PM Silvio Berlusconi, and he has previously marked the occasion with vodka and sausages with Xi Jinping of China. Defence minister Sergei Shoigu is from Tyva and has taken Mr Putin there several times Credit: Alexei Druzhinin /TASS via Getty Images A host of post-Soviet leaders as well as Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbia president Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Mr Putin by phone, the Kremlin said.  In two decades in power, Mr Putin has often shown off his vigour and adventurousness through outdoor stunts like flying a glider with cranes, firing a crossbow at a gray whale, releasing tigers into the wild and putting a tracking collar on a polar bear.  On his holidays he's typically shown hunting, fishing, hiking or riding, often bare-chested.   By these high standards, the latest photo op was somewhat subdued, with Mr Putin apparently limping at one point during the hike. Mr Putin and Mr Shoigu also picked lingonberries, mushrooms and pine cones Credit: KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images This summer was one of strife as massive protests shook Moscow, further eroding the president's ratings after an unpopular pension age hike last year.  A poll published this month showed that only 43 per cent of Russians would vote for their current leader if elections were held on Sunday. This repeated his rating from August, which was his lowest since 2001.  However, 60 per cent of those surveyed said they approved of his performance.


Emmanuelle (1974) U.S. movie posters

Contributed by Chiara Gall

Source: illustractiongallery. License: All Rights Reserved.

Half sheet (22″×28″)

Posters for the 1975 U.S. release of Emmanuelle, a 1974 French film directed by Just Jaeckin.

It is the first installment in a series of French softcore pornography films based on the novel Emmanuelle. The film stars Sylvia Kristel in the title role about a woman who takes a trip to Bangkok to enhance her sexual experience.

Emmanuelle was distributed in the United States by Columbia Pictures and was their first X rated film. […] The advertising for the film took a highbrow approach to marketing the film opposed to focusing on its exploitative nature. Columbia’s president David Begelman and former Young & Rubicam president Steve Frankfurt developed the tagline for the film “X was never like this.”

The typeface chosen for the title is a film version of Cooper Black Italic, with swash alternates. ITC Souvenir Bold, a similarly soft and heavy face, is used for the slogan. The credits are set in Souvenir Light. The posters were designed by Philip Gips, who passed away this week at 88.

Source: partners65 (edited). License: All Rights Reserved.

One sheet (27″×41″)

Source: cinemasterpieces. License: All Rights Reserved.

U.S. insert (14″×36″)


La Spezia nella top 20 dei porti crociera del Mediterraneo

Sedicesimo posto con 650mila passeggeri movimentati e 147 toccate nave. Tra i primi 20 porti del Mediterraneo è la Spezia a registrare la crescita più rilevante per variazione di passeggeri movimentati sul 2018 (+45%). In crescita anche il numero degli accosti (+13,95%). Numeri dell'exploit di questa stagione appena finita, che vivrà una coda autunnale e invernale con l'arrivo della…

Kentucky’s underground rock star: Mammoth Cave National Park


Weeks before I headed to Mammoth Cave National Park for a weekend trip, and a day after I’d booked several guided cave tours, I encircled my chest with a tape measure. I was relieved to confirm I’d be an OK fit – quite literally, if just barely – for the Wild Cave Tour, the longest, most intensive cave tour offered at the Kentucky park.

The guided tour at the UNESCO World Heritage site involved more than five hours of hiking in massive caverns, shimmying up and down twisted passageways, clambering over boulders and belly crawling through exceedingly tight sections of rock that wouldn’t give an inch.

“Chest or hip measurement must not exceed 42 inches; if you are larger, you may not physically pass through the crawlspaces,” the National Park Service advised in no uncertain terms. I’d previously visited Mammoth, which features the world’s longest known cave system. Just walking into the massive cave was wowing. But I wanted to go farther – just as the cave does.

The park offers a number of cave tours for kids and adults of all ages, abilities and interests. Whether you feel at home in tight places or worry about claustrophobia, the cave is big enough (and definitely, in places, small enough) to accommodate different appetites for adventure or leisure exploration.

An accessibility tour allows visitors to use an elevator entrance to see Mammoth Cave’s grandeur without steps. The tours vary in length, duration and physical difficulty and – like the park guides who lead many of them – tell parts of the cave’s story.

Besides covering some serious ground underground, I wanted to learn more about the cave’s origins. How did its 412 miles of passageways and counting – with more discovered all the time – come to be?

That led me to the 2 1/2-hour River Styx Tour on the first morning of my August visit, which culminated in seeing the namesake underground river in the depths of the cave by lantern light.

That Saturday afternoon, I took the two-hour Gothic Avenue Tour, which shed light (in relative subterranean darkness) on the early roots of cave exploration, exploitation – including the mining of saltpeter for gunpowder during the War of 1812 – and tourism.

The Wild Cave Tour I saved for last on Sunday.

As our large group for the River Styx Tour approached Mammoth Cave’s historic entrance, I could feel the chill draft coming up. It contrasted with the summer heat as water – which has shaped so much of this hidden world – drizzled down in front of the earthbound black hole.

While many elements converged over millions of years to create this one-of-a-kind place, an intricate network of streams and rivers above and below ground is integral to the development of Mammoth Cave.

The River Styx is an example of a subterranean river that is actively creating new passages within Mammoth Cave. “Exploration is continuing – we have not found the end of the cave yet,” our guide, Chelsea Ballard, told the group.

Another highlight of the tour, Mammoth Dome – a vertical shaft rising around 200 feet up through which we took spiral stairs – showcases the continuing erosion. Pit or dome formations created by rapidly moving water are a much younger feature than the cave passageways formed by the underground river system, Ballard explained.

The River Styx Tour also passes through a narrow, short, winding passageway called Fat Man’s Misery. (Many cave features have names, some of which change over time.) As we went through, the passage looked like some unseen hand had taken a giant spoon and scooped out rock, as you might scoop bites from a cantaloupe.

I’m a latecomer to Mammoth Cave, as is everyone else who visits it these days. As I descended into the historic entrance again for the Gothic Avenue Tour, I was reminded that I was following in the footsteps of its first explorers, Native Americans who entered the cave millennia ago without the aid of concrete steps or any other infrastructure.

The mummified remains of some of these earliest explorers, estimated to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old, drew many tourists to Mammoth Cave in the early 1800s after commercial saltpeter mining ended there.

“Travelers in the area would make side trips to Mammoth Cave to see the geological wonder,” said guide Dave Spence, who led this tour. “But mostly, the fame of Mammoth Cave spread as visitors became witness to the artifacts and human remains from (the) earliest prehistoric explorers.”

We saw the names of early explorers, of cave owners – from when it was privately held, well before it became a national park in 1941 – and of tourists written in candle smoke on the ceilings. Such was the nature of early visitation, predating the leave-no-trace ethic and modern efforts to balance tourism, which still has an impact, and preservation.

In addition to the obvious underground attraction, Mammoth Cave features more than 80 miles of trails traversing 53,000 acres of hardwoods, bluffs and hills bisected by the Green River and bypassing sinkholes and cave entrances. So not only is there plenty to do, but you also get a glimpse from aboveground of the forces at work below.

The popular Cedar Sink Trail, for example, snakes through the wooded hills and passes a deep depression in an area pockmarked by sinkholes – a site where water from an underground river system ever so briefly sees the light of day.

I got a view of the geologic handiwork underground on the Wild Cave Tour. As I was worming my way through a narrow passage called Bare Hole that Sunday morning with 11 other park visitors, I took stock of the chest measurement I’d taken and found I had little wiggle room.

To call it an army crawl would be spatially generous; this section doesn’t allow one to raise up that high even. It’s a test nearly right out of the gate, and I calmed myself to take it – shimmying, my boots kicking hollow rock as I squeezed with the other visitors through the tightest section: 9 1/2 inches from floor to ceiling.

We all passed through in good spirits, and later I felt loose enough to laugh with the others through another tight squeeze, called No Name, that gets down to about eight inches. (I guess “Really Tight Squeeze” was taken.) We had to turn our helmeted heads and boots sideways to get through the most cramped segment.

Our park guides – Jenna Hammond, who was shorter and relished the tight squeezes, and the taller Jacob Bolton, who spidered his way up climbs with ease – kept the group on track. As Hammond pointed out, a highlight of the Wild Cave Tour is seeing parts of the cave that most people never get to. “You get to really experience it in such a unique way,” she said.

Between the tight spots, we came out into a corridor called Grand Avenue that cars could drive through. This, of course, isn’t an actual road, but it’s big enough to accommodate one. The area is going to be rehabbed to better accommodate future visitation.

In one space as awing as any I saw on my underground weekend, the 14 of us walked into a veritable canyon with a natural vaulted ceiling. Our wonderment seemed to match the fittingly named Cathedral Domes’ dimensions: 150 feet up and 140 feet long.

In Mammoth Cave, there are far fewer stalactites, stalagmites and other dripstone formations – in technical speak, speleothems – compared with caves such as Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, which I’d visited with my brothers in the spring.

Yet Mammoth Cave includes its flourishes, such as Frozen Niagara, where we ended the Wild Cave Tour. There the massive (everything seems bigger in Mammoth Cave) dripstone takes on the appearance of ancient falls stopped in their tracks eons ago.

But before we got to that final crescendo, it became clear even passageways that seemed barren could turn corners to wonders such as Cathedral Domes.

There, in quiet reflection, we turned off our headlamps to experience the capped chasm in total darkness and quiet – except for the sound of water, which never ceases its work in the cave, falling gently nearby. It was difficult to imagine as we sat there briefly, in silent reverence, that there could be anything like this exact place in the world.

And, in fact, with Mammoth Cave, there’s not.


The Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim VR sur PC (Dématérialisé)

29,99€ - Steam
Offre Steam. Le légendaire Skyrim en réalité virtuelle avec toutes ses extensions officielles. Le jeu nécessite un casque VR.

Casques compatibles :
Valve Index
HTC Vive

Oculus Rift
Windows Mixed Reality


    • Système d'exploitation : Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
    • Processeur : Intel Core i5-6600K or AMD Ryzen 5 1400 or better
    • Mémoire vive : 8 GB de mémoire
    • Graphiques : Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD RX 480 8GB or better
    • Espace disque : 15 GB d'espace disque disponible

    • Système d'exploitation : Windows 10 (64-bit)
    • Processeur : Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
    • Mémoire vive : 8 GB de mémoire
    • Graphiques : Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB / AMD RX Vega 56 8GB
    • Espace disque : 15 GB d'espace disque disponible


KL Rahul wishes to have Ben Stokes in his IPL team; names the most fearsome bowlers he’s ever faced

Despite being out of favor in Test cricket, KL Rahul is still a force to be reckoned with in T20 cricket and has proven the same with his exploits in the past two editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Rahul, who is currently playing for Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, has played along…

Eel appeal: new anguillid compendium published

On the day that Eels: Biology, Monitoring, Management, Culture and Exploitation, is launched, The Fish Site caught up with Paul Coulson, who co-edited the book with Andy Don, to find out more about th…

Lermontov in Kazbegi


Photo by Kamila at one, up at Literary Traveler. With actual blog content to come in the days ahead, I promise.

"That Black, Dragon-Haunted Pass: The Mystery of Lermontov’s Caucasus"  
“I was traveling along the military road back from Tiflis.” 

So begins Mikhail Lermontov’s 1833 A Hero of Our Time, the classic novel of the Caucasus: the mist-shrouded, emerald mountain range that once delineated the southern stretches of the Russian Empire. For Lermontov—whose own exploits in the Caucasus were as daring, dangerous, and unabashedly romantic as those of his anti-heroic protagonist, Pechorin—the Caucasus was more than merely a frontier outpost for Russia’s colonial power. For Lermontov, as for Pushkin before him, the Caucasus was the land of passion and possibility, of amorous intrigues with beautiful women, of frenzied duels and fatal blood feuds, where even the Tsar himself could not encroach upon the long-held customs of the region’s mountain tribes. 



Mariages temporaires : des religieux irakiens exploitent sexuellement des fillettes

Une enquête de la BBC révèle que des chefs musulmans irakiens se livrent à des "mariages de plaisir" avec des filles vulnérables. Ces religieux livrent ainsi leurs partenaires à la prostitution.

Time to install Microsoft's mainstream September patches – and avoid the dregs




     I will be rebooting all Intel-based servers later this evening or very early Saturday morning (near midnight), in order to load new kernels that address yet another newly discovered Intel exploit.      When I recompiled the client mail server … Continue reading

New zero-day vulnerability being exploited on Android phones


This particular zero-day vulnerability was exploited by the Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group who has been accused of selling exploits to governments who then gain control of targeted Android phones.

The post New zero-day vulnerability being exploited on Android phones appeared first on Techaeris.


No Future for Fur in the Golden State?

Before the 1849 California Gold Rush, American, English and Russian fur hunters were drawn to Spanish (and then Mexican) California in a California Fur Rush, to exploit its enormous fur resources. Before 1825, these Europeans were drawn to the northern and central California coast to harvest southern sea otters and fur seals, and then to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta to harvest beaver, river otters, marten, fisher, mink, gray fox, weasels, and harbor seals.  It has been said that California’s early fur trade, more than any other single factor, that opened up the West to world trade. Today, fur is banned in four municipalities of California: San Francisco, Berkeley, West Hollywood and Los Angeles. Assembly Bill 44, which was presented to Governor Gavin Newsome at 3:30 p.m. on September 20, 2019, would make it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, or otherwise distribute for monetary or nonmonetary…

Un exploit para iPhone no podrá ser parcheado por Apple y permitirá jailbreak permanente en millones de móviles

Un nuevo exploit para iPhone apodado «checkm8«, permitiría eventualmente un jailbreak permanente en millones de iPhones porque el tipo de vulnerabilidad donde se apoya no podría ser bloqueado por Apple con una actualización de software en iOS.  El exploit para iPhone es[...]

Ingénieur en développement logiciel d'exploitation (H/F) - Thales - Cholet

Description du poste : CE QUE NOUS POUVONS ACCOMPLIR ENSEMBLE : Au sein du secteur d'activité EWR (Guerre Electronique & Radiosurveillance) de la direction HEW (Hardening & Electronic Warfare), vous intégrez le laboratoire logiciel d'exploitation et système composé de 50 personnes spécialisées dans le développement logiciel de systèmes d'informations et d'exploitation d'équipements. Dans le cadre de votre mission, vous : intégrez une équipe Agile de développement logiciel d'un...

Ingénieur(e) d'Etudes et Développement JAVA (H/F) - Thales - Vélizy-Villacoublay

Description du poste : CE QUE NOUS POUVONS ACCOMPLIR ENSEMBLE : En nous rejoignant, vous vous verrez confier les missions suivantes : Rédaction des spécifications techniques et fonctionnelles Conception et développement de nouvelles fonctionnalités en Java/J2EE Réalisation des tests et de la mise en recette Correction des anomalies Rédaction des documents techniques et d'exploitation Aide à la mise en place de bonnes pratiques de développement Mise en...

Ingénieur étude et développement Java (H/F) - Thales - Vélizy-Villacoublay

Description du poste : CE QUE NOUS POUVONS ACCOMPLIR ENSEMBLE : En nous rejoignant, vous vous verrez confier les missions suivantes : Conception et développement de nouvelles fonctionnalités Réalisation des tests ainsi que la mise en recette et vous corrigez les anomalies Rédaction la documentation technique et d'exploitation Apporter votre expertise technique en interne comme auprès de nos clients Être force de proposition sur les améliorations à apporter et aidez à la mise en...

Ingénieur développement logiciel applicatif (H/F) - Thales - Cholet

Description du poste : CE QUE NOUS POUVONS ACCOMPLIR ENSEMBLE : Au sein du service « Radio Deployement Solution » (RDS) du secteur de la « Direction de l'Ingénierie Radios » (DIR) des Communications tactiques (TAP) vous participez au développement et à l'intégration de logiciels de type préparation de mission destinés au déploiement de radio tactiques (exploitation et configuration des radios ...) dans un environnement PC/Windows. Dans le cadre de votre mission : Vous assurez un...

Ingénieur développement logiciels applicatifs (H/F) - Thales - Cholet

Description du poste : CE QUE NOUS POUVONS ACCOMPLIR ENSEMBLE : Au sein du service « Radio Deployement Solution » (RDS) du secteur de la « Direction de l'Ingénierie Radios » (DIR) des Communications tactiques (TAP) vous participez au développement et à l'intégration de logiciels de type préparation de mission destinés au déploiement de radio tactiques (exploitation et configuration des radios ...) dans un environnement PC/Windows. Dans le cadre de votre mission : Vous assurez un...

Google Finds Zero-Day Android Exploit Affecting Pixel, Samsung, and More


The exploit affects a handful of phones from Google, Samsung, Huawei, and others. Google also notes there is evidence the exploit is already active in the wild. 

The post Google Finds Zero-Day Android Exploit Affecting Pixel, Samsung, and More appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Kenya: Tycoons Who Reap Big From the Migori Gold Mines of Death

[Nation] The closure of over 40 gold mining and processing plants in Migori County in the past three weeks has unmasked the powerful tycoons behind the lucrative enterprise that is also responsible for the suffering of thousands of workers who have for years been exploited by the owners for years.

Bets and updating

Published on October 7, 2019 11:06 PM UTC

Suppose the US presidential election is tomorrow. You currently assign a probability of 50% to each outcome. (We are ignoring the small possibility that neither of the main party candidates will win).

A man approaches you, and offers you a bet of $10, at 2-1 odds. In other words, if candidate one wins, he pays you $20, if candidate two wins, you pay him $10.

Should you accept this bet? What if the bet was for $10000 instead? Assume that your utility is linear in dollars (or assume that the bet is for utilons instead, whatever). If not, why not? Try to think about this before reading on.

The answer is that it depends on your priors - in particular, it depends on how you interpret the evidence of being offered the bet. In general, if someone offers you a large bet on some outcome, it's probably safe to assume they have access to a reasonable amount of information about the outcome. Depending on how much information your own probability estimate is based on, you should update towards the odds they offered you.

If you update too little, and accept too many bets, you will lose a lot of money to people with better information than you. On the other hand, you can also go too far in the other direction. If your response to being offered a five-cent bet is to immediately update to accept their probabilities (and refuse the bet), you will be very easy to fool (although hard to exploit by betting).

Now suppose there are two superintelligences, Omega and Omicron. They are both excellent at modelling both you and the presidential election. Omega has a strong preference for money, and a weak preference for having you believe false things about the presidential election. Omicron has this swapped - it wants you to believe that actual outcome of the election (which it has predicted) is extremely unlikely, and has a weak preference for money.

Omega executes the following plan: It looks through a large number of possible bets, looking for ones that will give it a lot of money (according to its predicted outcome of the election). For each of them, it predicts whether you will, if offered, take the bet, or simply update your belief to be more accurate (if the bet is such that Omega wins money, it must be "in the correct direction"). It finds the best bet you will take (if any), and offers you this bet.

Omicron does a similar thing, but instead looks for bets that you won't take - bets which will instead cause you to update strongly in the wrong direction, and not take the bet (since it doesn't want to give you money). Again, it finds the best bet you won't take (if any) and approaches you.

You are approached by someone and offered a bet, although you don't know if it's Omega or Omicron. What should your policy be?

If you accept a bet, the bet is likely to have come from Omega, and thus be extremely costly for you. So you shouldn't take the bet.

On the other hand, if you update strongly in the direction of the bet, it most likely came from Omicron, and this means it's probably an update in the wrong direction. So you shouldn't update.

This leaves you in the perplexing situation of believing that the bet is probably extremely good, but not wanting to take it.


“ROBBERY” Gets North American Release! - AICN EXCLUSIVE CLIP!


Snatch what ya can!

Read the full article on AICN

Toronto-based Indiecan Entertainment has announced the North Americanrelease of the Corey Stanton action-thriller, “ROBBERY!” Check out the description and a special AICN exclusive clip below!“Set in a lawless,  nameless county, Robbery is a crime drama that followsRichie, a down-on-his-luck screw up who longs to be free of the demons ofhis past. When his career criminal father, Frank, receives a dementiadiagnosis, Richie realizes that in order to pay off a dangerous gamblingdebt, he must exploit Frank’s illegal expertise before the disease can claimhis mind.”


Art Hindle (Face-Off), Jeremy Ferdman (“Man Seeking Woman”), and Sera-Lys MacArthur (“Artic Air”) help make up the talented ensemble cast. The film was written and directed by Corey Stanton. You can view the full cast and crew here! 
Robbery will be available On Demand October 15th! 

That’s it for now folks! I love a good indie flick so I’ll get back to you with my review of the film! Until then, comment below and let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends! 
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi

Finish the article on AICN





Read the full article on AICN

One of the recurring images in horror cinema is that of the Evil Mother, or “Monstrous-Feminine,” in which the female is represented as a castrating force who threatens male supremacy in a patriarchal world.  Due to its primal nature, the aforementioned idea has manifested in contemporary 35mm mythologies via the exploration of gender roles, archetypes, and destructive female empowerment.
The most misunderstood genre of horror film is arguably the “Slasher,” in which “Good Girls” are rewarded for their chastity while “Bad Girls” are murdered in particularly gruesome ways; these morality tales speak volumes about our view of gender roles, and contain more room for discussion than the simplistic exploitation vehicles they are often categorized as being.  FRIDAY THE 13TH stands apart within this subgenre, as it offers the clear and unique example of the Monstrous-Feminine in an otherwise male-dominated genre.  The plot twist in this claret-stained Ten Little Indians knockoff is that our shadowy killer is not a man at all; rather, the non-subservient maternal figure who threatens all sense of borders, of positions, and rules.  As in ALIEN the year prior, FRIDAY THE 13TH presents a Bad Mother who refuses to bend to the stereotypical distinctions of the “weaker sex,” and seeks to overcome those who stand in her way for the sake of her child.  Essentially, the female acts as a castrated male who then becomes the castrator.
The notion of the Monstrous-Feminine comes from Julia Kristeva

Finish the article on AICN


James Franco sued for alleged sexual exploitation

Two women filed a civil lawsuit against actor James Franco, accusing him of running a bogus film school where women eager to advance their acting careers were duped into auditioning nude or shooting explicit sex scenes. Eve Johnson reports.

Machiniste (Liste de rappel) - ArcelorMittal Exploitation minière Canada s.e.n.c. - Port-Cartier, QC

Date de début de l’affichage: Date de fin de l’affichage: Conduire et opérer des machines-outils conventionnelles afin d'usiner et de fabriquer des pièces… $40.86 an hour
From ArcelorMittal Exploitation minière Canada s.e.n.c. - Tue, 09 Jul 2019 20:46:24 GMT - View all Port-Cartier, QC jobs

Chef d'équipe - Sanitation - Fromagerie Bergeron - Saint-antoine-de-tilly, QC

Superviser le travail des laveurs et manœuvres participants au lavage. Une job*où tes qualités sont pleinement exploitées? $20.15 an hour
From Indeed - Fri, 04 Oct 2019 19:34:40 GMT - View all Saint-antoine-de-tilly, QC jobs

ePrint Report: B-SIDH: supersingular isogeny Diffie-Hellman using twisted torsion


ePrint Report: B-SIDH: supersingular isogeny Diffie-Hellman using twisted torsion
Craig Costello

This paper introduces a new way of instantiating supersingular isogeny-based cryptography in which parties can work in both the ($p+1$)-torsion of a set of supersingular curves and in the ($p-1$)-torsion corresponding to the set of their quadratic twists. Although the isomorphism between a given supersingular curve and its quadratic twist is not defined over GF($p^2$) in general, restricting operations to the x-lines of both sets of twists allows all arithmetic to be carried out over GF($p^2$) as usual. Furthermore, since supersingular twists always have the same GF($p^2$)-rational j-invariant, the SIDH protocol remains unchanged when Alice and Bob are free to work in both sets of twists.

This framework lifts the restrictions on the shapes of the underlying prime fields originally imposed by Jao and De Feo, and allows a range of new options for instantiating isogeny- based public key cryptography. This includes alternatives that exploit Mersenne, Solinas, and Montgomery-friendly primes, the possibility of halving the size of the primes of the Jao-De Feo construction at no known loss of asymptotic security, and more.

Conseiller Cyber SOC - OctoSave - Quebec City, QC

Forte compétence en exploitation système (Linux, UNIX, Windows Server) ; OctoSave est un acteur de référence dans le monde de la sécurité des systèmes d…
From OctoSave - Thu, 26 Sep 2019 11:07:26 GMT - View all Quebec City, QC jobs

Hackers continue to exploit the Drupalgeddon2 flaw in attacks in the wild


Researchers from Akamai uncovered a new campaign targeting the Drupalgeddon2 vulnerability to deliver malware. The popular security expert Larry W. Cashdollar from Akamai has uncovered a new campaign targeting the popular Drupalgeddon2 vulnerability (CVE-2018-7600) to deliver malware. Drupalgeddon2 is a “highly critical” vulnerability that affects Drupal 7 and 8 core, it could be exploited by an attacker […]

The post Hackers continue to exploit the Drupalgeddon2 flaw in attacks in the wild appeared first on Security Affairs.


UK NCSC agency warns of APTs exploiting Enterprise VPN vulnerabilities


The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warns of attacks exploiting recently disclosed VPN vulnerabilities in Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks and Pulse Secure According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), advanced persistent threat (APT) groups have been exploiting recently disclosed VPN vulnerabilities in enterprise VPN products in attacks in the wild. Threat actors […]

The post UK NCSC agency warns of APTs exploiting Enterprise VPN vulnerabilities appeared first on Security Affairs.


A bug in Signal for Android could be exploited to spy on users


Researcher discovered a logical flaw in the Signal messaging app for Android that could be exploited by a malicious caller to force a call to be answered at the receiver’s end without interaction. Google Project Zero white-hat hacker Natalie Silvanovich discovered a logical vulnerability in the Signal messaging app for Android that could be exploited […]

The post A bug in Signal for Android could be exploited to spy on users appeared first on Security Affairs.


Here Is How One Malicious Photo Can Hack Millions Of WhatsApp & Telegram Accounts


Being one of the most used instant messaging platform apps in existence, Whatsapp is subject to or rather prone to attempts of hacking by several malicious hackers out there. These guys always look for flaws that they can then exploit to breach the security. This seems to be the case as researchers at check point […]

The post Here Is How One Malicious Photo Can Hack Millions Of WhatsApp & Telegram Accounts appeared first on .


Session: Great War Commander:: Blood, sweat and tears in Saint Mihiel


by JMcL63

Great War Commander

Liam came round today for another Great War Commander random scenario. Today's game was again set during the September 1918 Battel of Saint Mihiel, and it pitted my line Americans against Liam's elite Germans in a fight across one of WW1's infamous lunar battlefields. From past experience, I knew what I'd be facing: a detachment of German Garde supported by FS10 artillery. I didn't want to attack across that open ground, so I went with a detachment of my own, and took just a French 75mm cannon in support, because I needed points to buy fortifications. For those, I invested in a pillbox with a trench, plus six more trenches, and the inevitable wire. Unfortunately, my leadership was poor - my HRL was a mere ML8, and he was my only Command-2 leader. Against this, Liam had two Command-2 leaders, ML10 and ML9. So he had very tough troops who were very well led.
Setup: the opposing forces face off across the valley

The game got off to a good start for Liam when his artillery drifted onto my cannon's position. The crew broke, never rallied, and were eliminated shortly thereafter. First blood to Liam. Liam then adjusted the artillery onto my HRL in his pillbox. The pillbox itself survived the impact, and its cover was more than adequate, but my two other platoons in the impact zone weren't so fortunate: their trenches were reduced to foxholes, and they were soon picked off by HMG fire. My return fire was pretty lacklustre because my platoons were largely out of range, leaving me just my MGs, and my setup meant that I could only activate one HMG per fire card. I did however get an Artillery Denied, and drew another, but Liam played an Artillery Request to repair his telephone the turn before I would have eliminated it. However, his artillery saw no more action in the game after I broke it for a second time.
The end: the Germans dominate the battlefield having suffered minimal casualties (one platoon saved from outright elimination by a Light Wounds)

As the midgame opened, Liam had manoeuvred his companies forward so that they could all bring their fire to bear on my main position. I did manage to drop a wire on one HMG stack, but even so, the firepower Liam could amass was simply sickening: attacks of 15 or 16FP before the dice roll were common. In the face of that, even the +5 cover of my pillbox couldn't prevail, and Liam swept the hill clear of my main company. Then, with his HRL's hilltop HMG, he turned his attention to my secondary position. My platoon there broke under the first attack. Then there was a time trigger. I drew a new strategy card, and got Battle Morale - Rally a friendly Leader and all Units within his Command Radius. I also had 3 Fire cards and a Probe - an unbroken Formation broken by fire doesn't break after all. So I just had to survive one turn and I might be able to hold on. Twas not to be though: Liam opened fire on his next turn and my platoon melted under the fire, forcing my surrender with half a deck to play, and me in front on VP.

Loser's lesson learned: well, Liam and I agreed that I hadn't done anything wrong in particular, but I did lose, so I'd have to say that allowing Liam to stand off and bring all his platoons' firepower to bear while they were out of range of my own troops wasn't a strong play. So I guess I couldn've deployed my wire to make moving further forward in the centre a more attractive proposition to Liam. Then again, why would Liam have come forward when he could just exploit his firepower advantage?

Well, this wasn't quite as close as our last game, but it was pretty damn close: I actually thought I was going to hold on for a VP victory for a change. And just to underline exactly how close it was: I checked what would've happened if I'd had the chance to play my fire card after rallying with that strategy card, and, there'd've been an event - Devil Dogs - which would have enabled me to increase my surrender level by one. Gah! (Again!) Also, we again used the variant artillery rules from our last game. Once again, I can't recall them having any material effect on the course of play, although the increase in points cost of Liam's FS10 artillery could've proved significant if the game had gone to VP.


Première société européenne de défense totalement intégrée, MBDA est un leader industriel mondial et un acteur global dans le domaine des systèmes de missiles. MBDA fournit des solutions innovantes qui répondent aux besoins opérationnels présents et futurs de ses clients, les forces armées. Entreprise fondamentalement multiculturelle, imprégnée d'une très forte culture d'innovation et de technicité, MBDA offre aujourd'hui des perspectives de parcours passionnants. Chaque jour, près de 10 000 collaborateurs se consacrent à la conception, au développement et à la production de nos systèmes et sont prêts à vous faire partager leur expérience. De nombreux stages et apprentissages sont proposés dans le but de former les jeunes et de faciliter leur insertion au sein de MBDA ou sur le marché de l?emploi. Convaincu que la diversité est une richesse, MBDA s'engage dans l'accueil et le maintien dans l'emploi des personnes en situation de handicap et veille au respect de l'égalité professionnelle entre les hommes et les femmes. Vous êtes passionné(e)s par le monde de l'aéronautique et de la technologie de pointe, vous voulez enrichir vos compétences et relever des défis, vous souhaitez intégrer des équipes dynamiques, conviviales et innovantes.. VOTRE ENVIRONNEMENT DE TRAVAIL : Venez partager et développer vos compétences avec nos 3000 collaborateurs sur notre site du Plessis-Robinson. Au sein de la Direction Engineering, vous rejoignez la direction qui soutient nos programmes dans la conduite des activités d'ingénierie et des essais, qui met en œuvre les méthodes d'optimisation de notre excellence technique et qui garantit un service optimal auprès de nos clients ! Intégré(e) au service < Missile Low-Layer Software > en charge de la conception des logiciels embarqués sur les calculateurs d'engins de vol permettant de mettre en œuvre et d'exploiter le calculateur. L'objectif de votre stage est d'étudier une architecture many-core, le Versal ACAP de XILINX proposé sur certains Systems-on-Chip poussés par les traitements fortement parallèles. Vous serez en charge d'étudier et de définir l'intérêt pour le service d'utiliser l'architecture, puis d'étudier l'intérêt de son utilisation pour le développement de futurs produits. VOS MISSIONS : Grâce à vos compétences, vous : Etudiez l'architecture Versal ACAP de XILINX et les outils de développement associés au composant, Comparez cette architecture face aux autres composants MBDA, Analysez les besoins auprès du service, Mettez en œuvre les DSP (Digital Signal Processor) de la partie de many-core, Développez de petits algorithmes sur les différentes unités de calcul (processeurs), Mesurez les performances associées à chaque architecture, Évaluez l'adéquation en terme d'utilisation de la plateforme au métier logiciel embarqué chez MBDA, Rédigez la documentation afférente et définissez la méthode utilisée, Formez les équipes. Lors de ce stage, vous devez analyser les gains en performance entre les différentes unités de calcul proposées au sein de ce même composant : co-processeur, monocore, multicore, many-core, etc.


STAGE : MODÉLISATION ET SIMULATION MÉCANIQUE H/F VOTRE ENVIRONNEMENT DE TRAVAIL Rejoindre notre site de Bourges, c'est bénéficier d'un panel d'opportunités professionnelles dans différents métiers (production, ingénierie, support client...). Au sein de l'Ingénierie Électronique spécialisée dans la conception et la réalisation de sous-ensembles et/ou d'équipements électroniques rentrant dans la composition de nos produits, vous intégrez le service < Bureau d'études mécaniques > en charge de la conception des moyens de tests, des installations de tir et des équipements d'avionique. Dans le cadre de votre stage, vous exploitez des conceptions existantes d'une structure mécanique, de type : équipement de test, installation de tir ou équipement avionique afin de participer à l'acceptation et l'intégration d'un logiciel de simulation mécanique au sein du bureau d'étude. Pour cela, vous serez en charge de la création d'un ou plusieurs démonstrateurs concrets qui permettront de valider le choix du logiciel. VOS MISSIONS Grâce à vos compétences, vous : Identifiez et synthétisez le besoin (exigences, rencontres et discussions avec les concepteurs, analyse du besoin), Elaborez des modèles numériques en prenant en compte les contraintes mécaniques liées aux équipements électroniques, Réalisez des prototypes instrumentés relatifs aux modèles numériques, Analysez des résultats numériques afin de valider ou invalider les données numériques, Réalisez un support technique sur la solution retenue.


STAGE : ANALYSE DE DONNÉES DE TESTS H/F Première société européenne de défense totalement intégrée, MBDA est un leader industriel mondial et un acteur global dans le domaine des systèmes de missiles. MBDA fournit des solutions innovantes qui répondent aux besoins opérationnels présents et futurs de ses clients, les forces armées. Entreprise fondamentalement multiculturelle, imprégnée d'une très forte culture d'innovation et de technicité, MBDA offre aujourd'hui des perspectives de parcours passionnants. Chaque jour, près de 10 000 collaborateurs se consacrent à la conception, au développement et à la production de nos systèmes et sont prêts à vous faire partager leur expérience. De nombreux stages et apprentissages sont proposés dans le but de former les jeunes et de faciliter leur insertion au sein de MBDA ou sur le marché de l'emploi. Convaincu que la diversité est une richesse, MBDA s'engage dans l'accueil et le maintien dans l'emploi des personnes en situation de handicap et veille au respect de l'égalité professionnelle entre les hommes et les femmes. Vous êtes passionné(e)s par le monde de l'aéronautique et de la technologie de pointe, vous voulez enrichir vos compétences et relever des défis, vous souhaitez intégrer des équipes dynamiques, conviviales et innovantes... VOTRE ENVIRONNEMENT DE TRAVAIL Participez à l'intégration finale de nos produits en rejoignant notre site de Selles-Saint-Denis, situé au cœur de la Sologne. Rejoignez la Direction des Opérations qui, tout au long du cycle de développement, conçoit, fabrique et teste nos systèmes de missiles, ainsi que les équipements associés ! Rattaché(e) au département Intégration, vous rejoignez une équipe de 5 personnes en charge des tests sur missiles anti-aériens. L'objectif de votre stage est de définir, de mettre en place, d'automatiser et d'exploiter des indicateurs de performance des moyens de tests, utilisés lors du processus d'assemblage de deux familles de missiles. VOS MISSIONS Grâce à vos compétences, vous : Déterminez les indicateurs les plus pertinents concernant la performance des bancs de test, Automatisez l'établissement de ces indicateurs, Analysez ces indicateurs pour en faire ressortir les actions d'amélioration possibles.


STAGE : EVALUATION LOGICIEL DE TEST H/F VOTRE ENVIRONNEMENT DE TRAVAIL Venez partager et développer vos compétences avec nos 3000 collaborateurs sur notre site du Plessis-Robinson. Au sein de l'Ingénierie Électronique spécialisée dans la conception, la réalisation et la validation de sous-ensembles et/ou d'équipements électroniques embarqués rentrant dans la composition de nos produits, vous intégrerez le service < Test et Validation > en charge de la conception des moyens de tests automatiques utilisés pour valider et accepter l'ensemble des produits électroniques de MBDA (calculateurs, systèmes embarqués). A ce jour, l'interconnexion au réseau de ces moyens de tests est sous-exploitée. Dans le cadre de votre stage, vous serez en charge de l'évaluation d'un logiciel dédié à l'exploitation de moyen de test : NI System Link. VOS MISSIONS Grâce à vos compétences, vous : Comprenez le contexte d'utilisation des moyens de test MBDA, Synthétisez les besoins utilisateurs et clients, Prenez en main un outil du commerce et vous l'appliquez aux besoins identifiés, Mettez en place un démonstrateur complet, Rédigez un document de synthèse.


STAGE : CONCEPTION LOGICIEL DE TEST H/F VOTRE ENVIRONNEMENT DE TRAVAIL Venez partager et développer vos compétences avec nos 3000 collaborateurs sur notre site du Plessis-Robinson. Au sein de l'Ingénierie Électronique spécialisée dans la conception, la réalisation et la validation de sous-ensembles et/ou d'équipements électroniques embarqués rentrant dans la composition de nos produits, vous intégrez le service < Test et Validation > en charge de la conception des moyens de tests automatiques utilisés pour valider et accepter l'ensemble des produits électroniques de MBDA (calculateurs, systèmes embarqués). A ce jour, l'interconnexion au réseau de ces moyens de tests est sous-exploitée. Dans le cadre de votre stage, vous serez en charge de concevoir, développer et tester un outil permettant l'exploitation des données des bancs de tests. VOS MISSIONS Grâce à vos compétences, vous : Comprenez le contexte d'utilisation des moyens de test MBDA, Synthétisez les besoins utilisateurs et clients, Développez et intégrez un outil répondant aux besoins, Validez formellement cet outil, Mettez en place un démonstrateur complet, Rédigez un document de synthèse.


Coriance, société spécialisée dans la gestion et l'exploitation de réseaux de chaleur et de froid, offre à ses clients une véritable expertise dans la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Proposant des solutions performantes par l'optimisation des coûts et des procédés technologiques, Coriance fait appel à des sources d'énergies traditionnelles (gaz naturel, fioul et charbon), mais également à des énergies non polluantes ou renouvelables (géothermie, bois-énergie, incinération d'ordures ménagères...) en inscrivant le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un technicien d'exploitation (H/F) pour la chaufferie située à Cergy. Missions principales : Rattaché à la Direction Opérationnelle, le technicien d'exploitation aura pour principales missions: . Réaliser l'entretien, la conduite et le dépannage des installations de production de chaleur sur la chaufferie biomasse et chaudière gaz de moyenne puissance, . Assurer la maintenance préventive et curative en relation avec les différents prestataires, . Effectuer les relevés de fin de mois, . Participation à l'astreinte.


Rejoignez notre équipe dynamique au sein de laquelle vous aurez plaisir à vous investir ! Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un ingénieur AMOA en CDD de 12 mois (H/F). Missions principales : Rattaché au chef d'agence, l'ingénieur AMOA aura pour mission de : o Piloter la prise en charge de l'exploitation d'un réseau de chaleur sur la partie < processus Clients >, o Déployer les méthodes sur le site à partir de référentiels nationaux préétablis, o Contribuer à la mise en place d'un CRM en tant qu'utilisateur référent et prescripteur, administration fonctionnelle du CRM et le déployer sur d'autres entités opérationnelles à l'issue de la phase pilote, o Alimenter un système d'information géographique orienté clients, o Réaliser et adapter des reporting pour le suivi interne de la qualité des données et des processus, de l'autorité délégante, o Manager deux assistantes.


Rejoignez notre équipe dynamique au sein de laquelle vous aurez plaisir à vous investir ! Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un ingénieur AMOA en CDD de 12 mois (H/F). Missions principales : Rattaché au chef d'agence, l'ingénieur AMOA aura pour mission de : o Piloter la prise en charge de l'exploitation d'un réseau de chaleur sur la partie < processus Clients >, o Déployer les méthodes sur le site à partir de référentiels nationaux préétablis, o Contribuer à la mise en place d'un CRM en tant qu'utilisateur référent et prescripteur, administration fonctionnelle du CRM et le déployer sur d'autres entités opérationnelles à l'issue de la phase pilote, o Alimenter un système d'information géographique orienté clients, o Réaliser et adapter des reporting pour le suivi interne de la qualité des données et des processus, de l'autorité délégante, o Manager deux assistantes.


CHEF DE PROJET MOA (H/F) Vous aimez relever les défis ? Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un chef de projet MOA (H/F). Le chef de projet a une mission d'interface entre les équipes métier et la maîtrise d'œuvre chargée de la réalisation de projet du système d'information. En amont du projet, il aide le client à définir les besoins, consigne les spécifications fonctionnelles et rédige le cahier des charges. Tout au long de la conduite du projet, il veille au respect des coûts, des délais et de la qualité. Missions principales : Rattaché au Directeur Performance & Transformation de l'entreprise, vos missions consisteront à : . Analyser les besoins des utilisateurs, . Recueillir et analyser les besoins des équipes métiers pour de nouveaux projets du système d'information métier ou des refontes importantes, . Réaliser des preétudes et mettre en œuvre les projets, . Accompagner la conduite de changement relative au déploiement des nouveaux applicatifs, . Participer à la conception et à l'évolution du système d'information.


TECHNICIEN D'EXPLOITATION (H/F) Coriance, société spécialisée dans la gestion et l'exploitation de réseaux de chaleur et de froid, offre à ses clients une véritable expertise dans la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Proposant des solutions performantes par l'optimisation des coûts et des procédés technologiques, Coriance fait appel à des sources d'énergies traditionnelles (gaz naturel, fioul et charbon), mais également à des énergies non polluantes ou renouvelables (géothermie, bois-énergie, incinération d'ordures ménagères...) en inscrivant le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un technicien d'exploitation (H/F) pour la chaufferie située à Chelles. Missions principales : Rattaché à la Direction Régionale Ile-de-France/ Grand-Ouest, vos missions consisteront à : . Participer aux suivis de la maintenance, . Assurer le contrôle et l'entretien des installations, . Effectuer des interventions en dépannage, . Assurer la gestion des intervenants, . Participation à l'astreinte.

Chef de projet assistance à maîtrise d'ouvrage (H/F)

Chef de projet assistance à maîtrise d'ouvrage (H/F) Vous aimez relever les défis ? Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un chef de projet assistance à maîtrise d'ouvrage (H/F). Le chef de projet a une mission d'interface entre les équipes métier et la maîtrise d'œuvre chargée de la réalisation de projet du système d'information. En amont du projet, il aide le client à définir les besoins, consigne les spécifications fonctionnelles et rédige le cahier des charges. Tout au long de la conduite du projet, il veille au respect des coûts, des délais et de la qualité. Missions principales : Rattaché au Directeur Performance & Transformation de l'entreprise, vos missions consisteront à : . Analyser les besoins des utilisateurs, . Recueillir et analyser les besoins des équipes métiers pour de nouveaux projets du système d'information métier ou des refontes importantes, . Réaliser des preétudes et mettre en œuvre les projets, . Accompagner la conduite de changement relative au déploiement des nouveaux applicatifs, . Participer à la conception et à l'évolution du système d'information.

Stagiaire Assistant Ingénieur Projet (H/ F)

Stagiaire Assistant Ingénieur Projet (H/ F) Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche un stage d'Assistant Ingénieur Projet (cellule ingénierie), sur notre site de Noisy-le-Grand (93). Missions principales : - Assistance à la réalisation d'études de dimensionnement en suivant les standards et méthodologies, études conceptuelles, - Assistance à l'évaluation budgétaire des travaux de production, réseaux et sous-stations, - Aide à la réalisation des standards et méthodologies, - Rédaction de retours d'expériences techniques et économiques.


TECHNICIEN D'EXPLOITATION (H/F) Coriance, société spécialisée dans la gestion et l'exploitation de réseaux de chaleur et de froid, offre à ses clients une véritable expertise dans la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Proposant des solutions performantes par l'optimisation des coûts et des procédés technologiques, Coriance fait appel à des sources d'énergies traditionnelles (gaz naturel, fioul et charbon), mais également à des énergies non polluantes ou renouvelables (géothermie, bois-énergie, incinération d'ordures ménagères...) en inscrivant le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un technicien d'exploitation (H/F) pour la chaufferie située à Bondy. Missions principales : Rattaché à la Direction Opérationnelle, le technicien d'exploitation aura pour principales missions: . Réaliser l'entretien, la conduite et le dépannage des installations de production de chaleur sur la chaufferie biomasse et chaudière gaz de moyenne puissance, . Assurer la maintenance préventive et curative en relation avec les différents prestataires, . Effectuer les relevés de fin de mois, . Participation à l'astreinte.

Comptable en CDD de 4 mois (H/F) (nouveau)

Comptable CDD 4 mois H/F Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Dans le cadre d'un remplacement de congé maternité, nous recherchons un comptable en CDD 4 mois. Missions principales : Au sein d'une équipe de 11 personnes, et sous la responsabilité indirecte du chef de service comptabilité & fiscalité (ou sous la responsabilité du Responsable Cellule Comptable), votre mission principale est de gérer la comptabilité de 9 sociétés de tailles variables : . Saisir et suivre la comptabilité générale, auxiliaire fournisseurs, . Etablir les liasses fiscales, préparation des situations comptables . Fiscalité : déclaration de TVA, CET, . Gestion de la trésorerie des sociétés (saisie, rapprochements bancaires), . Relations téléphoniques fournisseurs, . Réalisation des travaux d'inventaires lors des clôtures annuelles,  Classement, archivage des dossiers. Vous serez amené à communiquer régulièrement et à faire des retours sur vos dossiers auprès du Responsable Cellule Comptable.

Ingénieur études travaux en CDD (H/F) (nouveau)

Ingénieur études travaux en CDD (H/F) Vous souhaitez rejoindre un Groupe dynamique ? Venez nous rejoindre ! Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 60% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un(e) ingénieur études travaux en CDD pour une durée de 12 mois (H/F). Missions principales: Rattaché à la cellule ingénierie auprès de la Direction Ingénierie & Travaux, vos missions principales seront de : . Réaliser des études de dimensionnement et études conceptuelles en suivants les standards et méthodologies du Groupe, . Évaluer le budget des travaux de production, réseaux et des sous-stations, . Aider à la réalisation de standards et méthodologies, . Synthétiser les retours d'expériences techniques et économiques.


Coriance, société spécialisée dans la gestion et l'exploitation de réseaux de chaleur et de froid, offre à ses clients une véritable expertise dans la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Proposant des solutions performantes par l'optimisation des coûts et des procédés technologiques, Coriance fait appel à des sources d'énergies traditionnelles (gaz naturel, fioul), mais également à des énergies non polluantes ou renouvelables (géothermie, bois-énergie, incinération d'ordures ménagères...) en inscrivant le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche un chargé de facturation (H/F) Missions principales : Rattaché au Responsable de la cellule clients, vous intégrez une équipe composée de 3 collaborateurs. Les missions du chargé de facturation sont les suivantes : . Facturation clients selon la répartition du portefeuille de sociétés du groupe : Dans le cadre de nos Délégations de Service Public : - Analyse de la cohérence des informations remontées par les opérationnels, élaboration et édition des factures de vente d'énergie thermique, d'énergie électrique et de toutes autres factures (droits de raccordement, travaux...), - Gestion des fichiers Excel de calcul des prix unitaires, de calcul des régularisations ainsi que la gestion des bases de données regroupant toutes les factures émises. Dans le cadre de notre activité d'efficacité énergétique : - Facturation des P1, P2, P3, P5 des différents contrats, - Optimisation des états de facturation et délais, - Maintien de la base contrat. Dans le cadre de nos facturations intra groupe : - Facturation des opérations intragroupe business des différents contrats. . Participation active à la mise en place et optimisation de la facturation sur nos outils de facturation.

Assistant administratif en CDD de 18 mois (H/ F)

Assistant administratif en CDD de 18 mois (H/ F) Rejoignez notre équipe dynamique au sein de laquelle vous aurez plaisir à vous investir ! Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 66% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance, Coriance vous propose de rejoindre son développement. Missions principales : Rattaché au chef d'agence, vous serez en charge des missions suivantes : . Gérer la réception de documents . Mettre à jour les bases de données et outils d'informations numériques . Suivre et centraliser les demandes d'information des clients . Vérifier et saisir les données . Contrôler les informations et effectuer les suivis de leurs modifications

Juriste sénior en droit des affaires (H/ F) (nouveau)

Juriste sénior en Droit Public des Affaires (H/F) Le Groupe Coriance, spécialisé dans la gestion des réseaux de chaud et de froid urbains et opérateur de services en efficacité énergétique et environnementale offre à ses clients des solutions innovantes et performantes pour la conception, la construction et l'exploitation de leurs installations énergétiques. Le Groupe est composé d'équipes qualifiées et expertes en leur domaine et a inscrit le développement durable au cœur de sa stratégie. 60% du bouquet énergétique de la société est composé d'énergies renouvelables et de récupération telles que la géothermie, le bois énergie ou encore l'incinération de déchets ménagers... Afin d'accompagner sa croissance et assurer son développement, Coriance recherche actuellement un(e) Juriste (H/F) Missions principales : Rattaché(e) à la Direction Juridique (6 collaborateurs), le (la) Juriste aura pour mission principale de : . Elaboration des montages contractuels, ainsi que rédaction et négociation des pièces contractuelles (protocoles d'accord, contrats et avenants, conventions de groupement...) avec les clients publics, les fournisseurs, les partenaires, . Conseil et assistance pour les dossiers de réponse aux appels d'offres, . Prise en charge des questions juridiques de droit public (domanialité publique, urbanisme), . Traitement des litiges, gestion des dossiers précontentieux et contentieux intéressant l'entreprise, en lien avec les avocats, . Conseil et assistance auprès de la Direction Générale et des différents services du Groupe, . Traitement et suivi des dossiers sinistres, en lien avec les assurances. Vous pourrez également intervenir en support auprès des différents services et directions du Groupe (conseil, notes juridiques...).

Taichi: A Language for High-Performance Computation on Spatially Sparse Data Structures

3D visual computing data are often spatially sparse. To exploit such sparsity, people have developed hierarchical sparse data structures, such as multilevel sparse voxel grids, particles, and 3D hash tables. However, developing and using these high-performance sparse data structures is challenging, due to their intrinsic complexity and overhead. We propose Taichi, a new data-oriented programming […]

waLBerla: A block-structured high-performance framework for multiphysics simulations

Programming current supercomputers efficiently is a challenging task. Multiple levels of parallelism on the core, on the compute node, and between nodes need to be exploited to make full use of the system. Heterogeneous hardware architectures with accelerators further complicate the development process. waLBerla addresses these challenges by providing the user with highly efficient building […]

ATLAS Run-2 Trigger Menu

The ATLAS experiment aims at recording about 1 kHz of physics collisions, starting with an LHC design bunch crossing rate of 40 MHz. To reduce the significant background rate while maintaining a high selection efficiency for rare physics events (such as beyond the Standard Model physics), a two- level trigger system is used. Events are selected based on physics signatures such as the presence of energetic leptons, photons, jets or large missing energy. The trigger system exploits topological information, as well as multivariate methods to carry out the necessary physics filtering for the many analyses that are pursued by the ATLAS community. In total, the ATLAS online selection consists of around 1500 individual triggers. A Trigger Menu is the compilation of these triggers, it specifies the physics selection algorithms to be used during data taking, and the rate and bandwidth a given trigger is allocated. Trigger menus must reflect the physics goals for a given run, and also must take into consideration the instantaneous luminosity of the LHC and limitations from the ATLAS detector readout and offline processing farm. For the 2017-2018 run, the ATLAS trigger has been enhanced to be able to handle higher instantaneous luminosities and to ensure the selection robustness against higher average multiple interactions per bunch crossing. We will describe the design criteria for the trigger menu for Run 2. We discuss several aspects of the process of planning the trigger menu, starting from how ATLAS physics goals and the need for detector performance measurements enter the menu design, and how rate, bandwidth, and CPU constraints are folded in during the compilation of the menu. We present the tools that allow us to predict and optimize the trigger rates and CPU consumption for the anticipated LHC luminosities. We outline the online system that we implemented to monitor deviations from the individual trigger target rates, and to quickly react to the changing LHC conditions and data taking scenarios. Finally, we give an overview of the 2015-2018 Trigger Menu and performance, allowing the audience to get a taste of the broad physics program that the trigger is supporting.

HOCKEY SUR GLACE. Rouen, Grenoble, Gap : les exploits des clubs français en Ligue des champions (CHL) - Le Dauphiné Libéré

HOCKEY SUR GLACE. Rouen, Grenoble, Gap : les exploits des clubs français en Ligue des champions (CHL)  Le Dauphiné Libéré

Comment on TICAD7 by Ambassador Estifanos

Ambassador Estifanos Afeworki

Comment on TICAD7 by H.E. Mr. Estifanos Ambassador of the State of Eritrea, Strengthening Peace and Stability Flagship and Compass of Navigation in the Horn of Africa

The annexation of Eritrea to Ethiopia imposed by the wining powers of World War II has exposed the people of the Horn of Africa since 1952 - to the long drawn out war, conflict, displacement of populations, refugees, underdevelopment, recurrent drought, famine, which sadly resulted in the total dilapidation of the promising Horn of Africa’s physical and social infrastructures for more than half a century. The recovery and rehabilitation challenges that this region had to face and tackle after the end of the independence war were daunting and complex as a result.

Although the long trek of the struggle to self-determination of the people of Eritrea was put in the ballot box, and the guns that roared for 30 long years were silenced through referendum, in 1993, the proxy politicking that haunted this region since the end of World War II remained unabated, even after, for the last two decades.

The vacuum left in 1991 by the forced evacuation of the powerful presence of USSR of 17 years - in the Horn of Africa - sucked-in new players to the region. Very rich individuals/extremist groups, including Osama Bin Laden, and new interest groups from far and near, took no time to put-in their ideological and monetary power to fill-up the vacuum. These powerful forces, with their tentacles spread all over our planet, tried all in their means – to deploy fully direct tools of subversion, including and not excluding carrot and stick, to take full control of the Horn of Africa.

Newly independent State of Eritrea born after half a century of political and armed struggle, roughly the size of England straddling on the strategic world trade corridor of the Red Sea 3300 km coast of East Africa – with 354 Islands and islets - bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti, was targeted and attacked, by one after another, from all sides since independence in 1993. The Horn of Africa was simultaneously exploited to the highest level by willful forces in power. The rule of law was given a deaf ear. Humanitarian disasters, piracy, illegal trafficking of human beings, finance, material, illicit drug, arms, ammunition and the prairie fire of corruption have spread engulfing the region for decades until now. Fortunately, these evil toolboxes did not and could not challenge the long history and cherished course of solidarity of struggle for freedom, equality and justice by the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Reversing the aims and damages inflicted by the different forces involved in the above-mentioned activities, the phenomenal tie-up of common past and destiny once again bear fruit to the Eritrea Ethiopia Peace and Friendship Agreement signed in Asmara on July 9, 2018.

This peace is based on our common struggle, resilience and trusts of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia and has no illusion of the power and capacity of the dark forces both upstream and downstream. This historic agreement is also aware of the continued challenges that can be posed by the same forces of darkness. At the same time, Eritrea and Ethiopia have high expectation that the “international community” is currently convinced fully and shall unequivocally desist reviving any of the past experiences of the rules of military engagements in the Horn of Africa. And they will be firmly willing and ready to promote and opt to engage constructively, with the only best future option availed by this agreement, i.e. to build partnerships through mutual efforts of boosting peace, stability, prosperity and cooperation in the Horn of Africa.

Peace building within this historic and very important region of the Horn of Africa also means peace to the Nile Basin countries, Middle East and beyond.

Japan has fully embraced strengthening peace and stability as a flagship and compass of navigation for its cooperation with the Horn of Africa in TICAD7 Yokohama 2019. Building mutual trust based on concrete diplomacy of common interest is the benchmark now.

By ESTIFANOS Afeworki, Ambassador
September 4, 2019


Extra Points: Beyond the End Zone

While you all have read the exploits of my dog Captain Jack, you may not be as familiar with our other Jack Russell mix, Bella. In today’s missive, you will get an opportunity to learn more about her and – importantly – gain a lesson for your business and career. Both Captain Jack and Bella… Read More

Ботнет Smominru ежедневно заражает еще 4700 компьютеров

Согласно данным из открытых источников, ботнет Smominru, активный с 2017 года, сейчас стал одним из самых быстро распространяющихся зловредов. Только в августе 2019 года он заразил 90 000 машин по всему миру. Ежедневно он захватывает до 4700 новых компьютеров. Основная масса атак пришлась на Китай, Тайвань, Россию, Бразилию и США, но это вовсе не означает, что эпидемия обошла стороной другие страны. Так, например, самая большая из атакованных Smominru сеть, где было заражено 65 хостов, находилась в Италии.

ATLAS Run-2 Trigger Menu

The ATLAS experiment aims at recording about 1 kHz of physics collisions, starting with an LHC design bunch crossing rate of 40 MHz. To reduce the significant background rate while maintaining a high selection efficiency for rare physics events (such as beyond the Standard Model physics), a two- level trigger system is used. Events are selected based on physics signatures such as the presence of energetic leptons, photons, jets or large missing energy. The trigger system exploits topological information, as well as multivariate methods to carry out the necessary physics filtering for the many analyses that are pursued by the ATLAS community. In total, the ATLAS online selection consists of around 1500 individual triggers. A Trigger Menu is the compilation of these triggers, it specifies the physics selection algorithms to be used during data taking, and the rate and bandwidth a given trigger is allocated. Trigger menus must reflect the physics goals for a given run, and also must take into consideration the instantaneous luminosity of the LHC and limitations from the ATLAS detector readout and offline processing farm. For the 2017-2018 run, the ATLAS trigger has been enhanced to be able to handle higher instantaneous luminosities and to ensure the selection robustness against higher average multiple interactions per bunch crossing. We will describe the design criteria for the trigger menu for Run 2. We discuss several aspects of the process of planning the trigger menu, starting from how ATLAS physics goals and the need for detector performance measurements enter the menu design, and how rate, bandwidth, and CPU constraints are folded in during the compilation of the menu. We present the tools that allow us to predict and optimize the trigger rates and CPU consumption for the anticipated LHC luminosities. We outline the online system that we implemented to monitor deviations from the individual trigger target rates, and to quickly react to the changing LHC conditions and data taking scenarios. Finally, we give an overview of the 2015-2018 Trigger Menu and performance, allowing the audience to get a taste of the broad physics program that the trigger is supporting.

10/8/2019: FRONT PAGE: Tricked into joining drugs trade


COUNTY lines gangs are exploiting autistic children’s “desire to be liked and accepted” to get them to sell drugs, experts have warned. Violent criminals find vulnerable children to groom into becoming drug mules between towns, cities and the...

James Franco sued for sexual exploitation by two former film students


The 41-year-old actor is accused of engaging in "widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students."

James Franco sued for sexual exploitation by two former film students
Alex Young


L’archevêque Michel (Donskoff) a inauguré l’exposition « Dieu est avec nous, que ressuscite la Russie ! » à Koursk


Le 28 septembre, au séminaire de Koursk, a été inaugurée l’exposition « Dieu est avec nous, que ressuscite la Russie ! », préparée par l’Union des descendants des combattants russes de Gallipoli et le Fonds de la mémoire de l’Armée blanche. L’exposition est consacrée aux exploits des officiers et soldats de l’Armée blanche, des membres de leurs familles, […]

L’article L’archevêque Michel (Donskoff) a inauguré l’exposition « Dieu est avec nous, que ressuscite la Russie ! » à Koursk est apparu en premier sur


472893-2019: France-Megève: Services d'exploitation de casinos

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: | Document: Avis d'attribution de concession

472470-2019: France-Paris: Services d'exploitation d'installations sportives

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: 22-10-2019 | Document: Informations complémentaires

472045-2019: France-Rouen: Mise en état d'exploitation d'installations de chauffage

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: | Document: Avis d'attribution de marché

472033-2019: Hongrie-Várpalota: Mise en état d'exploitation d'installations d'éclairage public

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: | Document: Avis d'attribution de marché

471633-2019: France-Rungis: Exploitation d'installations électriques

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: 04-11-2019 | Document: Avis de marché

471606-2019: France-Toulouse: Mise en état d'exploitation d'installations de chauffage

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: 05-11-2019 | Document: Avis de marché

471544-2019: Danemark-Frederikssund: Services d'exploitation de blanchisserie

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: | Document: Avis de préinformation sans mise en concurrence

Information Management Officer - Maternity Cover (INT6014)

Region: MENA, Division: International, Job Type: Fixed Term
Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty.

 The Role


We are looking for an information Management Officer for a maternity cover period of 3 months, to work with the programme team in Lebanon for improved management, protection, analysis and use of beneficiary, site and project data.




Our values and commitment to safeguarding


Oxfam is committed to preventing any type of unwanted behaviour at work including sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, lack of integrity and financial misconduct; and committed to promoting the welfare of children, young people, adults and beneficiaries with whom Oxfam GB engages. Oxfam expects all staff and volunteers to share this...


Conseiller Cyber SOC - OctoSave - Quebec City, QC

Forte compétence en exploitation système (Linux, UNIX, Windows Server) ; OctoSave est un acteur de référence dans le monde de la sécurité des systèmes d…
From OctoSave - Thu, 26 Sep 2019 11:07:26 GMT - View all Quebec City, QC jobs

Apples or avocados? An introduction to adversarial machine learning

A common principle in cybersecurity is to never trust external inputs. It’s the cornerstone of most hacking techniques, as carelessly handled external inputs always introduce the possibility of exploitation. This is equally true for APIs, mobile applications and web applications. It’s also true for deep neural networks.

Former Eagle High School Coach and Teacher Arrested on Sex Charges

This news is always particularly disturbing. A former high school teacher and boys basketball coach has been arrested on charges of rape, sexual battery of a minor, and sexual exploitation of a minor. Continue reading…

Lesotho local adult pictures and dating


fzinooh posted a photo:

Lesotho local adult pictures and dating likes armenian,exploited college,water, knives and used toilet paper,britney stevens,twins


GPG agent timeouts


This is see the GPG passphrase dialog pop up less often. Probably a security win because every time I get prompted for a passphrase there is a risk that I will fumble-finger it and type the passphrase into a chat window instead.


default-cache-ttl 28800
maximum-cache-ttl 28800

What I really want to be able to do is make ssh-agent and gpg-agent forget their keys before the machine suspends. Looks like Running scripts before and after suspend with systemd is a good way to do that.

Also, hey, kids, paper!

market for trading software issues | Journal of Cybersecurity | Oxford Academic

Open source software forms much of our digital infrastructure. It, however, contains vulnerabilities which have been exploited, attracted public attention, and caused large financial damages. This article proposes a solution to shortcomings in the current economic situation of open source software development. The main idea is to introduce price signals into the peer production of software. This is achieved through a trading market for futures contracts on the status of software issues.

(by Rao et al., and yes, I'm one of the "et al.")


SQL queries don't start with SELECT

4 ways KaiOS is spurring new interest in mobile development

Moving Your JavaScript Development To Bash On Windows

ORMs are backwards

Fuzz rising

Write Fuzzable Code

Sushi Roll: A CPU research kernel with minimal noise for cycle-by-cycle micro-architectural introspection

When should you be using Web Workers?

Broken by default: why you should avoid most Dockerfile examples

Tests that sometimes fail


The Consumption Response to Trade Shocks: Evidence from the US-China Trade War -- by Michael E. Waugh

This paper provides evidence on the consumption effects of trade shocks by exploiting changes in US and Chinese trade policy between 2017 and 2018. The analysis uses a unique data set with the universe of new auto sales at the US county level, at a monthly frequency, and a simple difference-in-difference approach to measure the effect of changes in trade policy on county-level consumption. As a lower bound, I estimate the elasticity of consumption growth to Chinese retaliatory tariffs to be around –1. This implies that counties in the upper quartile of the retaliatory-tariff distribution experienced a 3.8 percentage point decline in consumption growth. I further show that the consumption response corresponds with a decline in employment growth. These results suggest that Chinese retaliation is leading to concentrated welfare losses in the US.

10/06 Links: PMW: PA capitulates to Israel's anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law; It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite; Elizabeth Warren Fundraises for Anti-Semite; Caving to BDS

From Ian:

PMW: PA capitulates to Israel's anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law
After initially refusing to accept any tax revenues Israel collected and transfered to the Palestinian Authority because Israel implemented its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has now capitulated and agreed to accept the vast majority of the funds.

In February 2019, Israel's cabinet decided to implement one part of the 2018 anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law and started to deduct the sum the PA spent in 2018 paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners from the 2019 tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA.

Initially, rejecting Israel's implementation of the anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, because he argued that paying financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists is legitimate, Abbas refused to accept the money Israel tranfered and plunged the PA into a self-made financial crisis.

"[PA] Minister of Civil Affairs [and Fatah Central Committee member] Hussein Al-Sheikh said yesterday [Feb. 10, 2019] that he has conveyed an official message at the request of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas that emphasizes that 'He will refuse to receive the collected [tax] money if Israel deducts even one penny from it.'" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 11, 2019]

When he made that decision, Palestinian Media Watch speculated that Abbas was probably planning to use the ensuing impoverishment of the Palestinian population as a tactic to put pressure on Israel to transfer to him the money he uses to reward terror. PMW also suggested that he was using the decision as a means to leverage the international community to put pressure on Israel to ignore its own laws. Abbas was also hoping that the international community would again side with the PA against Israel and further subsidize the PA.

As a show of his resolve to plunge the PA economy into the abyss, Abbas decided to cut the salaries of the PA's law abiding employees by 40-50% while guaranteeing the payment, in full, of the salaries to the terrorists. The PA also stopped allowing Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, under the false claim that Israel was deducting $100 dollars a year for this service. This ban did not apply to senior Fatah figures like Jibril Rajoub who continued to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.

Abbas' decision to accept the tax revenues, even though Israel continues to implement its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, reflects an understanding that all these goals have failed.
Pay for Slay with funds from UK?
The Department for International Development (DFID) must now release documents to UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), having abandoned part of its appeal from the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO ordered DFID to disclose to UKLFI audits of accounts into which British grant aid was transferred and then used to pay salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists. British Ministers relied on these audits when concerns were expressed that British money was being used to pay terrorists.

Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi donor trust fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.

Funds from this account were used to pay convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.

On 26 July 2019, the ICO ordered DFID to disclose the audit reports of the PRDP-MDTF and the terms on which the auditors were engaged. The ICO concluded that there was a significant public interest in the disclosure of the information, which outweighed any harm that may be done to diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority.

DFID had filed a Notice of Appeal on 19 August 2019, saying that it intended to appeal the release of the documents, on the grounds that the ICO’s assessment of the public interest was wrong, and that it also disputed the ICO’s conclusion that the Palestinian Authority was not a State, for the purposes of section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act.
David Singer: Netanyahu and Liberman must stop Israel’s third election in a year
Israel is surrounded by enemies – especially Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and Hamas in Gaza that could be tempted to exploit the fractured nature of Israel’s current political circumstances.

There are pressing political issues awaiting Israel’s next Government – most notably negotiations on President Trump’s deal of the century and Netanyahu’s election promise to annex large parts of the "West Bank."

Ending this state of suspended uncertainty has now been thrust on the shoulders of Netanyahu and Liberman – following the failure of Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to achieve a deal they could both live with.

Netanyahu and Liberman would do well to heed the sage advice contained in the Ethics of the Fathers:

“Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor”

Achieving greatness and honor together by compromising their political expectations will secure Netanyahu and Liberman a special place in the annals of Israel.

Jonathan S. Tobin: It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite
It’s that at a time when a rising tide of anti-Semitism is spreading over the globe – and Jews are facing the twin threats of white-supremacist hate from the far-Right, as well as leftist anti-Zionists seeking to delegitimize both Israel and American Jews – using it as a partisan political weapon is dangerously irresponsible.

Trump’s actions and statements are fair game for criticism and, like any other leader, can be held accountable by Congress and the courts.

But labeling him an anti-Semite is a blatant falsehood. That’s not merely because he’s clearly the most pro-Israel president America has had, in addition to someone with Jewish family, and with a staff and cabinet filled with many Jews.

It’s also true that his administration has in some respects taken anti-Semitism more seriously than his predecessors. He has ordered civil-rights investigations into attacks on Jewish students and others on US college campuses that were ignored by Obama, and Trump’s Justice Department convened a summit on the subject that addressed issues not treated seriously before this.

If anti-Semitism is just one more brickbat to be tossed around with impunity in the course of bitter and all-too-savage debate on impeachment, then those who are using it in that way are effectively saying that it’s not as important as their partisan goals.

It’s time for both Democrats and Republicans of goodwill to recognize that whatever the outcome of the impeachment battle, injecting false charges of anti-Semitism into the discussion will not advance their cause. It will, however, materially damage the fight against hate.
Elizabeth Warren Fundraises for Anti-Semite
Senator Elizabeth Warren, well-known for cultural appropriation, sent a fundraising email on behalf of Leslie Cockburn late yesterday afternoon.

Warren’s support comes well after the Republican Party of Virginia revealed that Leslie Cockburn was a “virulent anti-Semite” for espousing bizarre conspiracy theories regarding the Jewish people and Israel. It was also recently discovered that Cockburn’s work has been used as source material for a number of white nationalist organizations. Notably, at least one of those websites was responsible for promoting and organizing the deadly Charlottesville rally of last August. Cockburn’s history of anti-Semitism has been well-documented since she wrote Dangerous Liaison in the early 1990s.

It is also worth noting that Cockburn’s co-author, at a debate at Oxford in 2007, said “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” Andrew Cockburn also had this to say about the so-called Israel Lobby: “I mean, you know, we’ve had comparisons of the National Rifle Association lobby, very powerful, supremely powerful in Congress, but you can get up and run for office against the National Rifle Association for gun control and no-one tries to demonise you or drive you out of public life. That’s different with the Israel lobby. It’s across, it’s the Congress, it’s the executive branch and it’s in the culture, in the media.”

“Either Elizabeth Warren didn’t do her homework, or she supports what Cockburn stands for; anti-Semitism.” said RPV Executive Director John Findlay. “Elizabeth Warren should answer whether she agrees with Leslie’s co-author when he said that “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” This endorsement by a Massachusetts Democrat exemplifies the truth about Leslie Cockburn – she is an out-of-touch, out-of-state liberal who only wants to go to Congress to push a far-left agenda.”
The UN's Insane Israel Bias: Ben Shapiro on UN Watch Statistics
Ben Shapiro calls out the UN's extreme bias against Israel, reading out UN Watch's data:
The U.N. and Israel: Key Statistics from UN Watch

Seth J Frantzman: Turkey re-writes international law with “safe zone” invasion doctrine
Turkey has re-written the rules of international law in Syria, declaring that when there is a presence of what it views as a “terrorist organization,” it has a right to invade and create a “safe zone” or “peace corridor” along the border. Other countries including India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Egypt may take note and begin to study Ankara’s doctrine that has wide implications for international affairs.

In international relations, countries generally enjoy a right to self-defense. This is enshrined in various international laws, precedent and treaty law. The UN Charter, for instance, argues in Article 2 that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” Article 51 notes that nothing in the charter “shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense.”

Ankara re-written these norms, arguing that when a country has designated an organization a “terrorist group” that it will have a right to invade the neighboring country and set up a “safe zone” along the border. This doesn’t require Ankara to present any evidence that there was a threat or attacks from northern Syria. Turkey simply took over Jarabulus and Afrin in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Now Turkey says it has a right to take over eastern Syria, redraw property lines and international borders, and settle one million Syrian refugees there, creating hundreds of towns regardless of the local population’s views.

This is a new step in international law, one which has broad implications. Israel’s conquest in 1967 of the West Bank and Golan Heights have generally been seen as illegal under international law. But Israel may now argue it is setting up a “safe zone.” This could also be Israel’s argument for distancing Hezbollah from the Lebanese border.

Wider ramifications mean that India can now argue that it needs a safe zone in Pakistan to keep extremists away from parts of the border of Kashmir. Pakistan may need to take over parts of Afghanistan to create Turkey-style safe zones. Russia can say that its role in eastern Ukraine is a “safe zone” or peace corridor. Saudi Arabia now likely needs a safe zone in Yemen. The number of safe zones that can be created on the Turkish model may be endless. Many porous borders across the Sahel in Africa mean that various countries may need to set up safe zones in the territory of their neighbor.

In English, Haaretz Whitewashes Temple Mount Killings
In an article last week on the occasion of IDF's Brig. Gen. Eran Niv wrapping up his post as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Haaretz's English edition whitewashes the July 2017 killing of two Druze police officers shot dead by three Israeli Arab assailants just outside the Temple Mount.

Haaretz's English edition, both in print (page 4, Sept. 29) and online refer to the "deaths of two Border Police officers" in the summer of 2017:
The perceived violation of religious symbols is a particularly potent accelerant for violence, Niv says, recalling the violence that erupted after Israel installed metal detectors at the Temple Mount in the summer of 2017, following the deaths of two Border Police officers, as well as the brief outburst that followed visits by Jews to the Temple Mount in August on Tisha B'Av, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Why does the English edition fail to note that the border police officers were killed by Israeli Arab assailants leaving the Temple Mount? Indeed, violence didn't erupt only after the officers' "deaths" -- their deaths themselves, ie murders, were violent.

The Hebrew version of the same article more precisely reported that the officers were killed
China pulls out of $5B deal to develop Iranian offshore gas field
China's state oil company has pulled out of a $5 billion deal to develop a portion of Iran's massive offshore natural gas field, the Islamic republic's oil minister said Sunday, an agreement from which France's Total SA earlier withdrew over US sanctions.

The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of America's pressure campaign on Tehran following US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the US from the deal.

It also comes as China and the US engage in their own trade war, as Beijing and Washington levy billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's goods.

Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, quoted by the ministry's Petroenergy Information Network (SHANA), said Sunday that the China National Petroleum Corp. was "no longer in the project." He did not elaborate or give any reason for the withdrawal, though SHANA said the company "had pulled out of a contract" to develop the field.

Officials in Beijing didn't immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.
Australia Denies Extradition of Iranian Academic to US
Australia will not extradite an Iranian academic to the United States, Australia’s attorney-general said over the weekend, following a 13-month detention of the researcher for allegedly exporting American-made military equipment to Iran.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement that “in all the circumstances of this particular case” the academic, Reza Dehbashi Kivi, should not be extradited.

“My decision was made in accordance with the requirements of Australian domestic legal processes and is completely consistent with the powers provided to the commonwealth attorney-general under our law,” Porter said.

The statement came hours after Iran had agreed to free an Australian couple from a Tehran prison who were held on spying charges. Later on Saturday, Iranian media reported that Dehbashi Kivi had already returned to Iran.

Porter would not say whether the two cases were related.

“The Australian Government does not comment on the details behind its consideration of particular cases,” Porter said in his e-mailed statement.

“And while it is likely that because of Mr Kivi’s nationality some will speculate regarding this matter, consistent with prior practice I do not intend to comment further on the particular details of this case, particularly when any such response from me may diminish our government’s capacity to deal with future matters of this type in Australia’s best interests.”
Iranian media calls on Iraqis to takeover U.S. embassy amid protests
An Iranian newspaper linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iraqis to seize the US embassy in Baghdad, in a move similar to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian revolution of 1979, according to Radio Farda.

"Historical evidence has shown that US embassies in all countries, even in friendly and allied countries, are the focus of conspiracy. The US Embassy in Iran is a clear and exemplary example of this bitter reality," wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan newspaper, in reference to the former US embassy that was taken over and held hostage during the revolution in 1979.

Documents found in the embassy in 1979 "revealed the betrayal of some Iranian political figures and exposed the countless US crimes in Iran and some other countries in the region," according to Kayhan.

The author of the Kayhan article asked "young Iraqi revolutionary believers" why they don't "end the presence of the US Embassy in Baghdad, the same espionage and conspiracy center against the oppressed Iraqi people."

Shariatmadari claimed that "There are many documents about the presence of U.S., Israeli and Saudi Wahabi agents, as well as Ba'thist elements behind the Iraqi protests."
Iranian health workers infect hundreds, including kids, with HIV - report
More than 300 people are accusing local Iranian medical officials of infecting them with the HIV virus, according to Iranian media sources.

The residents, located in the village of Chenar Mahmoud and the towns of Lordegan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari, say adults and children contracted HIV from local medical centers and health clinics due to unsanitary medical practices, including from contaminated syringes used by the local health organizations during a widespread test for diabetes two months prior.

There are similar unconfirmed reports by individuals in neighboring villages.

On Saturday, large groups of the affected townspeople, along with their loved ones and supporters, stormed the office of the Friday Prayer Imam and set it ablaze. Another group protested in front of the governor's building in the province, demanding that the courts investigate the case.

Radio Farda and the Mehr-news agency (MNA) both reported on the incidents.

"A limited number of 'opportunists' attempted to create disruption and sedition outside the Governor's building, but failed," MNA reported about the incident in front of the governor's office.
Merkel’s gov’t says Iran’s call to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ not antisemitic
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government declared the Iranian regime’s call to obliterate the Jewish state is not an expression of antisemitism in an eye-popping statement to The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

On October 1, Merkel’s Foreign Ministry merely labeled the call to destroy Israel by commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Hossein Salami “anti-Israel rhetoric.”

When the Post asked the Merkel administration if it agrees with the statement of its foreign ministry, a spokesman told the Post: “We have nothing to add to the reply of the foreign office.”

The Post specifically asked if Salami’s statements are antisemitic.

In late September, Salami delivered his call to exterminate the Jewish state before an audience of IRGC leaders that was publicized by the state-funded IRNA agency, as well as other Iranian regime-controlled outlets.

Salami said that “This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer… a dream [but] it is an achievable goal.”

He added that his country has “managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the impostor Zionist regime” 40 years after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

JPost Editorial: Caving to BDS
We don’t believe that Lovato is an antisemite but she does need to understand that by backtracking on her praise for Israel, she is playing into the hands of antisemites and forces that seek Israel’s destruction.

By caving to BDS pressure, Lovato let herself be used as a political tool. She backtracked on her praise for Israel out of some distorted sense of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

It is true that Israel has an unsettled conflict with the Palestinians and this paper is not alone within Israel of calling – repeatedly – on the government to find ways to reengage with the Palestinian Authority and to work toward a solution.

The BDS movement, Lovato should know, does not want peace and is not interested in a two-state solution. It openly seeks the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a right afforded to Israel by the United Nations.

Like Lorde, Lovato has joined the forces that believe the Jewish people do not deserve that right. They hold Israel to a double standard and believe that song line out the Jews is okay and not hypocritical or wrong.

She may have distanced herself from Israel and apologized for visiting here, but she needn’t be “Sorry, not Sorry,” as her famous hit song goes. Israelis might not get to hear her perform anytime soon in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but they will get to hear Celine Dion next summer. Our hearts, as Dion famously sings, will go on.
A beginner’s guide to the SJP national conference
In a surprise to nobody, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced that its upcoming national conference, set to commence on November 1, will be held on the University of Minnesota Campus in Minneapolis (UMN). Why is this not a surprise? Because Minneapolis happens to be the district of antisemitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a prominent figure in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

This is not a coincidence. In fact, the very first goal stated on the conference website is to capitalize on shifts in the political climate, represented by the elections of BDS supporters Rep. Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. However, the real shift in the political climate – one that SJP itself has played a substantial role in – is the resurgence of the world’s “oldest hatred” in the US under the guise of BDS.

Countless articles and in-depth studies have delineated the various calls for violence by the SJP leadership, as well as their intimate connection with Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all of which thrive off an ideology of Jew-hatred. It’s not just the leadership that is guilty of promoting antisemitism, but many student members of SJP as well.

How many times must an SJP chapter host convicted terrorists like Rasmea Odeh at its events before they are called out for their antisemitism? How many social media posts fawning over convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti and PFLP founder George Habash must be shared by official SJP accounts until the tech overlords ban SJP from their platforms? How many T-shirts glorifying PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled must be sold at their events before the world opens its eyes?
HonestReporting's Daniel Pomerantz Exposes BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti
HonestReporting's Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz goes head to head with on live television with Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This is a 3 minute highlight reel. For the full 20 minute segment click here:
This was originally aired on CGTN's The Heat news talk program. CGTN is China's English language international channel, with an estimated global viewership of 4 million.

Financial Times misleads on Muslim antisemitism
A Sept. 27th Financial Times book review written by David Feldman, director of the UK based Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, gave a mostly positive account of “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” by NY Times editor Barri Weiss.

However, on the topic of Muslim antisemitism, Feldman is critical.

Weiss is strong on how rightwing anti-Semitism functions, and she scores some hits in her attacks on the left and radical Islam. But sometimes she misses the target. Her writing about anti-Semitism among Muslims is a case in point. It is because of the growing Muslim presence, Weiss claims, that “it is dangerous to be a Jew in Europe.” In fact, so far as we can tell, most anti-Semitism in Britain stems from white men who are nominally Christian.

This is extremely misleading.

Whilst it’s narrowly true that most antisemitic incidents in the UK are committed by “white men”, this is not a terribly significant fact given the overwhelming majority of British citizens are white. When taking into account antisemitic incidents by perpetrator, based on the size of racial and religious groups, CST’s 2018 report demonstrates that Muslims commit acts of antisemitism at a rate disproportionate to their numbers. (page 8 of the report)

Further, according to a major 2017 study of antisemitic attitudes in the UK, by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and CST, levels of antisemitism in the UK are “2 to 4 times higher among Muslims compared to the general population“.
The BBC’s take on ‘Zionism’
On its website, the BBC has an animated series entitled An A-Z of -isms – including one episode titled “Zionism: A Very Brief History” – and gives this strapline: “Writers, academics and thinkers share their takes on some of the world’s most important ideas (plus a few fun ones).”

The corporation declares that it is “the world’s leading public service broadcaster,” and creates “distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.” Therefore, although, so far, only 79,300 or so of those millions have clicked the Zionism animation, it must be remembered that it is on the BBC’s website and not on some obscure ranter’s internet outlet.

As it is, for now, one of the most viewed -isms, it cannot be ignored and remains relevant. Also, Israel is a subject close to the BBC’s keyboards.

In setting itself up as educator, and because it is here dealing with “some of the world’s most important ideas,” the BBC is duty-bound to ensure editorial rigor of its content. Yet, the corporation shirks this duty when it complacently defers it to the author of the “potted history” of Zionism. Using drab and noisy illustrative cartoons that are in some cases inaccurate and inappropriate, with the voice-over veering high and low, further underlines the utter slovenliness of this BBC product.

Clearly, the Zionism -ism was also a “fun one” of the -isms. Theodor Herzl gets tomatoes thrown at him, Jews are swivel-eyed and other such – it adds up to a bit of a list in this 3.08-minute agitated animation.

Who or what was editing Colin Shindler’s “take” on Zionism? You won’t find out who Herzl was, a Jew, because you’re not told.

You are also not told about how Europe, with its fanatical crusades, was long ago set on its path to Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Nor is there any mention of the horrifically violent history of antisemitism across Europe, in which entire villages of Jews were regularly burned to the ground – and this was before the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, the latter of which was a wedding gift of sorts. Alfred Dreyfus was dispensable and so Shindler dispensed with him, and with this swipe, a major defining point in modern Jewish history is elided.

Russian antisemitism – the only mention of “antisemitism” – is quickly and quaintly dismissed as a “heavy hand.” Also not mentioned is the specially coined Russian term, “pogrom,” with all the wanton and brutal destruction of whole Jewish communities that it entailed. It is interesting, though, how the word “Diaspora” is used, without any irony about the way in which it has become a common term, far beyond the Jewish context – a bit like pogrom (but then again, it was not mentioned). Whereas Herzl got tomatoes thrown at him, “Arab nationalism” is treated reverentially. Not even one falafel flies (but then again, falafels are Pharaonic).
CAMERA Arabic prompts correction of three inaccuracies in one BBC report
A BBC article published on September 24th on the network’s Arabic website was corrected last week (no earlier than October 1st, based on the date attributed to a cached copy of the inaccurate version) following a complaint made by CAMERA Arabic on the day of publication.

The article – which aimed to provide a detailed, informed introduction to Israel’s major Arab parties – contained three factual errors, one memorable typo and one major omission – all in one subsection.

Under the headline “What are the components of the Joint Arab List in the Israeli Knesset and [what are] their orientations?”, the article discussed the Joint List – a union of four Israeli parties, three of which self-identify as “Arab” while the fourth, Hadash, describes itself as “Arab-Jewish” (although the vast majority of its voters are estimated to be Arab).

The inaccuracies appeared in the part of the article portraying one of the Joint List’s components: the nationalist Arab party of the National Democratic Alliance (Balad). The correction addressed all the issues raised by CAMERA Arabic. (all translations, emphasis and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic unless otherwise specified)
Anti-Semitic hate crimes in NYC have risen significantly in 2019
The number of hate crimes against Jews in New York City has risen significantly over the first nine months of this year, part of a citywide rise in such offenses.

The New York Police Department has reported 311 total hate crimes through September, as opposed to 250 reported through the same period in 2018, according to Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari, who heads the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Molinari said 52 percent of the reported hate crimes, or 163, have targeted Jews. Over the same period last year, the NYPD reported 108 anti-Semitic hate crimes.

At a meeting Thursday with Jewish philanthropists, Molinari discussed the numbers and how to prevent anti-Semitic crimes in the city. He recounted a list of anti-Jewish hate crimes that had made the news just this week:
- Two Jewish men had their hats knocked off by a group of teens.
- A separate group of children broke the windows of a Brooklyn synagogue during the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
- Also during the holiday, a third group of kids harassed a Jewish woman, pulling off her scarf and wig.
Robert Kraft names new exec. director of Foundation To Combat Anti-Semitism
Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, announced today the hiring of Dr. Rachel Fish as the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Fish will begin her new role on Monday, October 7.

Kraft established this new foundation in response to the growing rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in light of the spread of hateful rhetoric online and the initiation of hate crimes against the Jewish people through social media. He announced the foundation when he was awarded the Genesis Prize in June in Jerusalem, along with his own $20 million founding investment and the generous donations of others.

“I am thrilled to have Rachel lead this new and important effort,” Kraft said. “Rachel’s education, experience and, most importantly, her commitment make her the right person for this role. She is equipped to face the growing epidemic of antisemitism with tenacity and a proven track record of progress through a lifetime of work in this arena. Our family is honored and privileged to have Rachel lead this new foundation, which is so close to our hearts.”

Fish brings with her a thorough background and history in the fight against antisemitism, including a strong academic understanding of the issues and varied experience in advocacy work. Most recently, Rachel was Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at The Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City where she aided in developing the strategic approach for the foundation’s giving and worked directly with practitioners to implement their missions and initiatives.
Turkey’s Kanter Says He Was Harassed by Erdogan Supporters
Boston Celtics and Turkey center Enes Kanter said he had been harassed outside a Massachusetts mosque on Friday by two men he described as supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter, who filmed the incident and posted it on Twitter, is an outspoken critic of the Turkish regime and its human rights record.

He was indicted by a Turkish court last year on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group, which he denies.

“Erdogan thugs attacked and threatened me today after Friday prayers in Boston at a mosque,” he wrote.

“Turkish Government don’t even let me practice my religion freely in America let alone my freedom of speech is under attack.”

The video does not show any physical violence, but Kanter is clearly agitated as a crowd gathers around him on the sidewalk, and he seems particularly annoyed by one man who is not speaking English.

“I told you America, this is crazy,” Kanter said in the video.
Israeli defense firm Elbit secures $153 million drone deal with Asian country
Israel defense firm Elbit has secured a drone deal with an Asian country worth approximately $153 million, the company said on Sunday.

The contract will comprise a networked, multi-layer drone system, with aerial vehicles of varying sizes and capabilities, and will be delivered to the unnamed southeast Asia country over a 22-month period.

The materiel will include over 1,000 of Elbit’s THOR mini-drones, which look like consumer rotor drones and are meant to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The unmanned aircraft can fly at altitudes of 2,000 feet and at 65 kilometers per hour (40 mph).

It will also include dozens of Skylark drones, small aircraft launched and operated by a team of two that are widely used by the Israel Defense Forces. The Sky Rider, as it is known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone operated by the Artillery Corps that provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.
Israeli innovation is about to disrupt the fruit industry
“Disruption” is a common superlative applied to technology startups. Craigslist disrupted the classified advertising business. Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry.

Now, a new Israeli company aims to disrupt the fruit market, encompassing some 116 million acres of fruit orchards globally.

Markets in general are ripe for disruption when inefficiencies eat away at their core. The issue with fruit is knowing how much the trees on a farm will produce in a given year.

In industrial farming, this is known as “yield estimation” and it’s accomplished today in a remarkably low-tech way: Farm crews do a manual, visual “count” from the sampling of a few randomly selected trees in the field or in photographic images. From there, they extrapolate to the entire orchard.

But because it’s very difficult to distinguish unripe green fruit from green leaves, inaccuracies ranging from 30% to 40% are common. And wrong yield estimation results in less (or even no) profitability.
Pre-Mossad: How one man used espionage to bring Poland's Jews to Israel
Miri Nahari’s father, Tzvi Netzer, was the point-man for pre-Mossad clandestine efforts bringing 250,000 out of 300,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland to Israel.

Despite that near-miraculous accomplishment, strangely, Netzer is not as much of an international household name as his boss, Shaul Avigur.

Avigur helped found the Haganah’s intelligence wing, and at points headed all of Mossad Aliyah Bet and Nativ – which, respectively, brought massive numbers of European and Russian Jews to Israel.

Still, Netzer was the operational leader on the ground for “the Bricha” (the Jewish Escape) in Poland.

That meant getting Jews out of Poland post-World War II and essentially made him the pre-Mossad Israeli intelligence station chief in one of the key countries in Europe for Jewish survivors.

But before he got to that point, he, in typical Mossad-level spellbinding style, survived quite a few precarious situations, Nehari tells The Jerusalem Post Magazine with a flicker in her eye.

At this point, Nehari herself is a grandmother, and spent aspects of her career carrying out important activities for the state.
Her dynamic and bubbly personality is on full display as we make small talk and she offers a hot drink in the living room of her Ramat Hasharon home.
'A great privilege to see Ari rejoice in Trump's J'lem decision'
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman eulogized Ari Fuld in Gush Etzion Sunday evening, lauding the murdered father of four as an ‘outstanding American, an outstanding Israeli, and an outstanding Jew’.

Speaking during a ceremony marking the first yahrzeit (anniversary of his death) of Fuld in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem, Friedman recalled Fuld’s pro-Israel activism, and his jubilation over the White House’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“The voice of your brother cries out to me from this ground…and it reminds us, as only Ari can, that we must always stand for the truth. I remember how excited Ari was on the day that we opened the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, some 17 months ago,” said Friedman.

“He issued several moving videos. Through all his excitement and all his commentary, the point that reverberated over and over again was not that the opening of the embassy was good, not that it was the right policy, not that it was appropriate or that it was just. Rather what Ari said was that the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem was an act in solidarity with the truth.

“The United States did not discover something new when it opened our embassy there. Rather, the United States was the first among nations to take a stand for the truth, in recognizing Jerusalem’s undeniable eternal status as the capital of Israel, and Ari implicitly recognized this.”

“It was a great privilege to see Ari rejoice at President Trump’s decision. While we had no doubt that we had taken the right path, positive reinforcement from an American and an Israeli and a Jew of Ari’s stature was most welcome.”

Friedman went on to call Fuld, who was murdered in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian Arab terrorist near the Gush Etzion bloc last year, a ‘proud American, Israeli, and Jew’.
Yahya, a Muslim Arab Israeli Combat Soldier

5,000-year-old NYC-style metropolis uncovered in northern Israel
The ruins of a 5,000-year-old megalopolis were uncovered in northern Israel, the Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday, in one of the most significant archaeological findings in recent history.

The ruins were discovered in a major excavation project in the Ein Assur site near Harish. According to the IAA, the city was the largest and most central one in the area during the Bronze Age. According to the archaeologists, about 6,000 people lived there, a huge number at the time.

“About the same time that the first pharaoh established his rule over Egypt, this city was founded,” IAA official Yitzhak Paz, explained in a video, calling the city “the New York of that era.”

Paz explained that the location offered exceptionally good conditions to settle, such as sources of water and strategic proximity to ancient commercial routes.

The city was fortified and its urban design is clearly visible, he added.

The ruins clearly show a web of roads and alleys, as well as the design of the buildings. Among the most unique structures uncovered, was a temple where religious rituals were performed. A seal imprint featuring the figure of a stylized man raising his hands in prayer and a head figurine were found at the site.

An even earlier settlement, dating to the Chalcolithic period from 7,000 years ago, was uncovered in deeper excavations made beneath this city's houses. It seems that two abundant springs originating in the area in antiquity were a site of attraction throughout the period.

According to the authority, the finding will change everything scholars know about the urbanization process in the Land of Israel in ancient times.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

10/04 Links Pt1: The EU Demonstrates a Distinct Political Bias Against Israel; Meet the Palestinian Villagers Living Out the American Dream; Arab citizens of Israel undergo quiet revolution

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: Israel appears strong, but there are risks ahead
BUT ISRAEL has some issues on the horizon that, if they would come together at the wrong time, would be a perfect storm. Among these is the increasing hostility of Turkey. Ankara has become more nationalist and religious-nationalist, a toxic mix. It is flexing its muscles, taking over swaths of northern Syria and seeking to keep on track to totally remove the Americans from the region. That would be a setback for the US – and setbacks for the US also impact Israel. Turkey is buying the S-400, not in itself a problem for Israel. Ostensibly, both Ankara and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship with Moscow today, borne of Russia’s increased role in the region, particularly in Syria.

Russia’s role in Turkey is strategic and also related to energy and Syria. This can impact Israel in a complex way. Turkey’s current government is seeking to take up the mantle of being the main opposition to Israel in the region. It bashes Israel over Jerusalem, and its media run hyperbolic stories about Israeli abuses. Turkey is close to the Muslim Brotherhood today and wants to see Hamas have a more prominent role in Ramallah. Yet Israel can deal with Turkey’s anger. The question is whether it can deal with the emerging Turkey-Iran relationship.

Iran has been a challenge for Israel due to a variety of reasons, but lately it is capitalizing on the weakness of its adversaries. That means it is increasingly playing a role in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. That means it is transferring precision missile technology to Hezbollah.

Iran’s IRGC says that it can destroy Israel. It launched an attack on Saudi Arabia on September 14 that has ramifications for Israel. That Riyadh did not respond shows that Israel’s supposed common interests with the Gulf are more problematic than in reality. Saudi Arabia won’t confront Iran. So who will confront Iran? The US? No. The US has signaled it will not. And the next US administration may be more pro-Iran than this one. That could give Tehran what it wants in Syria, which means a kind of “land bridge” that ends near the Golan and threatens Israel.

What Israel faces today is potentially two strong adversaries in Turkey and Iran, although they are quite different in how they confront Israel. Turkey uses soft power; Iran uses hard power. But Israel, appearing strong, now faces these challenges in some ways alone. It is not like the 1950s, when Israel was truly alone. Israel has made major inroads in India, China and elsewhere. But the immediate challenges are still there. It is dangerous to be too confident and arrogant today, and it is essential that Jerusalem seek to analyze and deal with these challenges in the long-term because short term planning won’t work. Iran thinks in the long term – and its role in the region is a long-term role.
Jpost Editorial: No Third Election
Against that backdrop, the 22nd Knesset was sworn in on Thursday in Jerusalem. Many are wondering if, like the 21st Knesset, it will also last for less than two months and perhaps become the shortest-lived legislature in Israel’s history.

As the Post’s Lahav Harkov pointed out on Wednesday, there are only eight new members of this Knesset, as well as another nine who are returning from past stints as legislators, which means that 103 members of the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in for the second time this year.

A proud institution, the Knesset is in danger of becoming a laughing stock. But it’s no joke. Israel needs a stable government and a stable Knesset. Every attempt must be made to prevent the newly sworn-in Knesset from becoming the shortest Knesset in Israeli history.

All parties should take the responsibility upon themselves as if they alone are charged with insuring that a third election is not called for. The country has survived some nine months of paralysis, but it’s only a matter of time before the string starts to unravel out of control and the situation begins to do irreparable damage to Israel and its population.

At Thursday’s ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein led the MKs with “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.” And the newly sworn-in lawmakers responded: “I pledge.”

Let’s hope they take that allegiance and mission seriously and prevent a third election.

Amb. Alan Baker: The EU Demonstrates a Distinct Political Bias Against Israel
European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, writing in the Jerusalem Post on Sep. 21, evidently believes that incessant repetition of the phrase "two-state solution" adds some element of legitimacy and feasibility to the idea. But the two-state solution has never been agreed-upon between Israel and the Palestinians, and does not figure in any of the agreements between them. It is nothing more than an expression of wishful thinking within the UN and the EU.

To the contrary, the Oslo Accords, to which the EU itself is a signatory, clearly leaves the issue of the permanent status of the territories to be decided in negotiations. Thus, whether the outcome will be one, two or three states, or a federation or confederation, remains on the negotiating table. By incessantly plying a two-state solution, the EU is in fact prejudging an agreed negotiating issue.

Suggestions by Israeli leaders to "apply sovereignty" led EU representatives to complain that unilateral modification of the Oslo Accords "undermines the entire agreement" and "dismantles Oslo." One wonders why the EU did not view the recent declarations by the Palestinian leadership canceling the territorial division between areas A, B and C in a similar light. Did this not undermine the accords?

The EU representative also expressed support for a "Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines." Yet the issue of borders is an agreed-upon permanent-status negotiating issue, and her presumption of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines clearly contradicts and prejudges both the Oslo Accords and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967.

The EU cannot in good faith claim that it does not take sides in the conflict. The EU has not only taken sides, but clearly demonstrates a distinct political bias against Israel in virtually all its positions, policies, statements and dealings regarding the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process.

Iran displays ancient clay tablets, returned by US, from empire that freed Jews
The National Museum of Iran opened on Wednesday an exhibition of around 300 cuneiform clay tablets returned from the United States after a drawn-out legal saga.

The tablets were found at the ruins of Persepolis, capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (6th – 4th c. BC) in the south of Iran. Cyrus the Great, who ruled during the Achaemenid Empire, is said to have liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 539 BCE, allowing them to return home and build the Second Temple.

The works on display belonged to a group of 1,783 clay tablets or tablet fragments returned to Iran by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.

In the 1930s, the university had received on loan around 30,000 tablets or tablet fragments found at Persepolis for research purposes, Iranian media reported.

A large portion of the tablets were returned in three batches between 1948 and 2004 before their restitution was blocked by legal action initiated by American survivors of an attack in Israel in 1997 carried out by the Palestinian Hamas terror group.

Blaming Tehran for supporting the armed group, the plaintiffs demanded the seizure of the tablets and their sale put toward the $71.5 million that Iran was ordered to pay in the case.

The proceedings only ended in February 2018 when a US Supreme Court decision banned the seizure of the works.
Yossi Cohen: The Mossad Spy Chief Who Stole Iran's Secret Nuclear Archives
In March 2018, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, 58, updated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo on what the Mossad had found inside Iran's secret nuclear archives that it had stolen from the heart of Tehran in January 2018. Sources close to Cohen told the Jerusalem Post that the information the Mossad seized is "still being used right now" to glean high-quality and valuable intelligence. A map of nuclear sites captured in the operation has yet to be made public. These revelations "even go beyond Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's revelation of the Abadeh nuclear site" earlier this month. Cohen says Pompeo praised the Mossad for redefining "daring and boldness."

Dozens of agents were involved in surveillance missions and the heist itself. Neutralizing any electronic surveillance that could expose them, they spent six hours and 29 minutes nabbing Iran's secret nuclear files, which were kept in 32 safes. They used special torches to slice into these safes. They loaded the vast files onto trucks and used Iranian smugglers to get across the border.

Cohen's view is that relations with Sunni countries in the Gulf are "not as much about personal trust, but about overlapping national interests" - especially when it comes to Iran. For example, while Cohen would be against sharing sensitive Israeli technologies with the Saudis to combat the drone threat from Iran, he would seek to help states in the Gulf combat Iran together in other ways.

Regarding the Palestinians, sources close to Cohen indicate that he does not believe anything will move on the peace process until PA President Mahmoud Abbas leaves office.
FDD: The Israeli–Palestinian Struggle, Continued.
There is no chance of a “peace party” returning to Jerusalem unless Israelis see that Palestinians have unequivocally denounced the past, that the celebrations of those who’ve died killing Israelis are rejected. That is impossible to envision in the near-term: neither Fatah, nor Hamas, nor the Israelis, nor Washington want the Palestinian people voting. All fear the worst—the wrong side winning. Perhaps most perversely, the Israelis are invested in a security status quo with Fatah that likely negates the chance of any Palestinian change, and surely makes Hamas more popular on the West Bank than its tyranny in Gaza has earned. But it’s possible that if there were a free vote among Palestinians the hostility towards Israelis—the fundamental rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state—could be the common denominator among Palestinians who otherwise loathe Fatah’s and Hamas’ dictatorships. Palestinians again voting could lead to intense violence, among Palestinians and against Israelis. Nonetheless, Palestinian popular sovereignty is likely the only way out of this cul-de-sac. We have two peoples wanting the same land with national and especially religious narratives that negate the other’s. For even non-practicing Muslims, Moses is a great prophet, trying to lead his people toward the one, true calling—Islam. A Jewish homeland wasn’t in Allah’s message. Yet the unrelenting secularism of Westerners reduces the most compelling stories we have to differences about water rights, East Jerusalem, and security checkpoints.

The basic character of a people and faith can change, but that usually happens after a truly devastating military defeat or a long evolution. The Palestinians haven’t actually seen a society-crushing catastrophe; they have endured foreign, non-Muslim overlords, with all of the indignities, and incompetent, avaricious, ambitious, insouciant, deluded and sometimes brutal native rulers (they, however, get a middling score in hideousness in the modern Middle East).

Since 2002, the Israelis appear to have a consensus: Palestinians cannot be trusted. On the other side, Palestinians seem more conflicted about the Jews, more divided religiously and culturally, more prone to internecine violence today than they were when the Israelis directly ruled all of the West Bank and Gaza.

The continuing decline of America in the Middle East will unavoidably remove certain delusions about what might be possible between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The torpor of the peace process under Obama and Trump is likely the new American standard. If they haven’t already, Palestinians will give up on the idea of Washington’s intercession, of American democracy coercing Israeli democracy into making concessions to unelected Palestinian officials. For the Palestinian people that will, at least, change the rhetoric and excuses of the ruling elite.

America’s retreat may tempt the Israelis to act more hubristically towards the Palestinians, to take land in the West Bank that has no plausible security value. But the most effective check on ugly Israeli actions has always been the internal debate, the tension between the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities in Israel’s messy democracy.

For decades out, it’s hard to see anything better than an unpleasant modus vivendi between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Given that it is the Middle East, however, that isn’t an awful state. Americans always want to believe that honesty is the best policy, that without honesty solutions aren’t possible. We are certainly tardy in applying that principle to the Israeli–Palestinian clash.
The Missile War in Southern Arabia: Lessons for Israel
UAV Warfare
Another hint of the effectiveness of Patriot defense are Houthi/Iranian alliance efforts both to suppress it and evade it. To elucidate this point, we need to refer to another aspect of the Houthi/Iranian war machine in Yemen: UAV warfare. UAVs are one of the main pillars of Iranian military doctrine. Together with other weapon shipments, Iran has been providing the Houthis with numerous types of UAVs, both of the larger types used for armed reconnaissance such as the Shahad 129 (roughly equivalent to Israel’s Hermes 450) and smaller “suicide” UAVs (such as the Ababil, used by Hezbollah in 2006 for attacks deep within Israel, which for the sake of Iranian deniability has been renamed Kasef 2). The Houthi arsenal is augmented by the acquisition of mail order UAVs such as the Chinese “Skywalker” available online from Ali Baba. More remarkable, the Iranians have provided the Houthis with knowhow, production machinery and expertise to set up a UAV industry of their own in their stronghold of Sad’ha in northern Yemen. The Houthi UAV industry is now producing unique designs of long-range machines, some equipped with jet engines, obviously designed in Iran. Beyond the classic UAV roles of reconnaissance and light bombardment, the Houthi/Iranian alliance is using them for direct “suicide” attacks on Patriot batteries. Three incidents of direct attacks on Patriot batteries have been claimed: Two attacks were within Yemen, probably targeting UAE batteries in Mocha and Marib, and one attack on a Patriot battery defending the Saudi border city of Najran, with unknown results.

Even more significantly, the Houthi/Iranian alliance exploits the Patriot’s system limitations in engaging low and slow threats in order to penetrate beneath the Saudi air/missile defense shield. In fact, UAVs are now being used by the Houthi’s as ersatz land attack cruise missiles. With immunity against air and missile defense, and with much better accuracy than ordinary ballistic missiles, UAVs now seem to be the preferred weapons for imaginative and audacious strikes deep within Saudi territory. For example, the civilian airport of the Saudi town of Abha, about 120 km. from the Yemeni border, was attacked by Houthi suicide UAVs no less than three times during the month of June 2019, wounding 28 passengers and airport workers. In August 2019, the Houthis managed to strike the Shaybah oilfield deep within Saudi Arabia, almost 1200 Km from the Houthi stronghold in Sad’ha. The attack was carried out by no less than 10 UAVs and sparked a fire in gas storage tanks. Such a complex attack needs precise coordination and excellent navigation, which demonstrates the proficiency achieved by Iran’s UAV operators. While those strikes did not cause excessive damage – perhaps intentionally so – they were propaganda coups for the Houthis, providing them with solid achievements in the cognitive battlefield.

The fourth lesson for Israel is the growing military role of UAVs both for missile defense suppression and for evasion. UAVs were first used by Hezbollah for reconnaissance over Israel even prior to the 2006 Lebanon war. At the closing stage of that war, four suicide UAVs were launched by Hezbollah against Israeli targets (One suffered a failure and fell near the border, two were intercepted by Israeli jet fighters, and the fourth vanished). In the 2014 Gaza war Hamas tried to attack Tel Aviv with its own UAVs (Two, perhaps three UAVs were shot down by Patriot air defense batteries). This experience is not indicative of the future. The Yemen war demonstrates how UAVs will be employed in future wars in significant numbers to erode Israel’s missile defense capabilities by attacking the Iron Dome, David Sling and Arrow batteries. Hostile UAVs, in conjunction with precision rockets, may well be tasked to damage Israel’s critical infrastructures such as desalination plants. Consequently, Israel needs to integrate air defense capabilities into its missile defense systems, and to provide its critical infrastructures with their own point defenses.

The current civil wars in the Middle East – especially in Syria and in Yemen – resemble the Spanish civil war of the 1930s inasmuch as they are exploited by outside powers to test new doctrines, weapons and tactics in realistic battle conditions. What the Axis powers (and to a lesser extent the USSR) did in Spain during the 1930s is being done today by Iran in Yemen.

It would be advisable for Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the IDF to closely study the civil war in Yemen, particularly its rocket and drone warfare aspects. The weapons and tactics in use in Yemen today will be employed against Israel tomorrow.
Israeli President Tells Papal Diplomat Israel Wants to Share Land with Palestinians
Israel wants to “share the land and find a way to live together” with the Palestinians, President Reuven Rivlin told Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, one of the highest-ranking Vatican diplomats, when they met at the President’s Residence on Thursday night.

Sandri, who is the Prefect of the Congregations for the Oriental Catholic Churches, came with a delegation that included several Franciscan priests, as well as the Papal Nuncio and the Custos of the Holy Land.

He is in the region to mark the 800th anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Peace to the Middle East by St. Francis of Assisi and his dialogue with the Sultan of Egypt.

Rivlin, who has met with Pope Francis and is aware of the efforts being made by the Vatican to bring about a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East in general and between Israel and the Palestinians in particular, told Sandri that he knows how hard the Vatican is working to find a solution to this century-old tragedy.

Knowing that Sandri is also going to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rivlin asked him to convey his regards, and noted that Abbas had sent New Year greetings to the people of Israel.

Emphasizing the need to build understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, Rivlin was of the opinion that a valuable asset in this regard was the restoration of the baptismal site at Qasr el-Yahud on the Jordan River near Jericho, where Jesus first met John the Baptist.

The restoration project was approved by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leadership, said Rivlin, who was personally involved in the process.
Dr. Martin Sherman: Alternative Jordans?
Although the details of the “Deal” are as yet obscure, it would appear the Jordan is slated to play a major role in it—grudgingly or otherwise. Accordingly, the feasibility of the “Deal”—indeed its acceptability—will be dramatically impacted by the nature of the regime east of the Jordan River and its prospective stability (or lack thereof).

After all, although some may hope otherwise, there seems little prospect that any successor regime in Amman will be more favorably disposed toward Israel than the current one.

This takes us back to the crucial strategic importance for Israel of the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley. As I have been at pains to point out on numerous occasions, not only are these highlands the only topographical barrier between Jordan and the heavily populated coast plain, but any forces—regular or renegade—deployed on them will have complete topographical command and control of virtually all Israel’s airfields (military and civilian, including Ben Gurion, the only international airport), its major ports and naval bases, is principal traffic axes (rail and road), vital infrastructure installations/systems (electrical power, desalination plants and water conveyance), centers of civilian government and military command and 80% of the civilian population and commercial activity.

All of these will be in range of cheap, readily available weapons that have already been used against Israel from areas evacuated by it and transferred to Arab control.

Thus, the rationale of any plan that entails Israeli evacuation of this vital territory will hinge critically on the nature of the regime-type in Jordan, which abuts it from the East.

For whatever other grave detriments their might be in such a plan, it will matter greatly if Jordan is ruled by a government that strives to reign in forces hostile to Israel, or one that is indifferent to their aggressive intent—or worse, is complicit with it.

After all, should the Trump plan entail significant territorial concessions, Israel may well find itself in a situation in which it will have to contend with a huge expanse of hostile territory, stretching from the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv to the border of Iraq—and perhaps beyond.

Accordingly, Israel’s security establishment should indeed draw up plans to deal with prospective alternatives in Jordan—not only how to cope with them once they arise, but to prevent them from arising at all.
Why Israelis should support the Iraqi protesters
Another Arab Spring-like protest movement now seems to be arising, seeking to topple the present Iraqi government. As Israelis, we should support the Iraqi people in their quest for true freedom and democracy.

Mendi Safadi, heads of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, has noted that if we want to prevent the creation of another Syria, we should call upon the community of nations to intervene as soon as possible to uphold the rights of the protesters, prevent additional bloodshed, and stop the radical Islamists, Iran, and the former Baathists from overtaking the protest movement.

“Today, this Arab Spring has begun to take over Iraq against a government that is corrupt and loyal to Iran,” Safadi said. “These protesters are against the Iranians taking over Iraq. Talks with activists on the ground and the leaders of the protest movement reveal that the people are repulsed by the government, who betrayed their nation by becoming a proxy of Iran. The Iranian takeover of Iraq has gotten the people to revolt, to take to the streets and to demand that Iraq be returned to its rightful owners. They seek freedom and basic human rights that every citizen of this world deserves.”

According to a report from the Internal Commission of Iraq, “The Iraqi government takes instructions from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani. Over 700 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot live fire at Iraqi demonstrators. There were demonstrators who were killed including men, women and children. The Iranians even went as far as burning a 2-year-old child in a car with her father. The Iraqi people are calling upon the international community to intervene urgently in order to save the Iraqi people, who have suffered under Iran and political Islam. We demand that all pro-Iranian parties be banished from Iraq and to take away all of Iran’s influence in the country. We seek to hold the regime accountable and to change from a parliamentary system to a republican form of government. We seek that the rights of women be respected, as the number of women in the country is very high. The Iraqi people will stop protesting only once our demands are met.”
Iraq crisis: Protests say anger could boil over Friday after 44 deaths
Protesters in Iraq prepared Friday for bloody clashes with security forces in Iraq after three days of protests that saw the government order live fire against the demonstrators. The protesters are angry. They have tried to block roads to the airport in Baghdad and break into the “Green Zone” where foreign embassies are located. They are shocked that officials have ordered live fire used against them.

The protests began on October 1 in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sidelining a popular Counter-Terrorism service commander named Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi. But the real reason for the protests are much larger. They are angry over corruption and wage stagnation and lack of opportunities.

The Prime Minister has closed down internet and sought to isolate cities in Iraq. He gave a speech on Thursday evening and has indicated he could meet the protesters. But there are no clear leaders of the protests. The demonstrators gained some solace when the Shi’ite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani appeared to express sympathy on Friday. Many believed that after prayers on Friday there would be bloody clashes unless the government retrains its tactics. It is not entirely clear which police have been ordered to fire on the protesters, because protesters say they cannot identify them by uniform. Some said it was not the Federal Police but other interior ministry forces. Others claims it was members of Shi’ite militias loyal to Iran, including the Saraya Khorosani unit. But much of this is rumors and has not been confirmed. What is clear is that security forces can be heard in dozens of videos using gunfire. Up to fifty demonstrators may have been killed and thousands injured, including members of the police.

The UN has called on Iraq to have a transparent investigation about the shooting of the demonstrators. “We call on the Iraqi government to allow people to freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Iran tries to blame Israel and US for Iraqi protests
Iranian media and local sources in Iraq have reported on the protests sweeping the country with increasing concern that the protesters oppose Iranian influence. This concern has now reached the highest levels of Iran’s regime where the narrative that has been concocted is to blame “foreign” hands for the unrest. Under this logic tens of thousands of young men, leaderless and braving the gunfire of security forces, have been sacrificing themselves by the dozens all because of some complex conspiracy.

Iraq’s government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shut down internet, social media and even made phone calls difficult in areas across Iraq, all to stop the protests. Yet the protests continue. To discredit them an Iranian cleric on Friday claimed the US and Israel are behind the protests. Supposedly it was to “disrupt a major annual Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage planned to be held in Iraq later this month,” Reuters reported. “The enemy is now determined against the Islamic nation, America and Zionism are targeting the Arabaeen pilgrimage in Iraq, causing trouble,” claimed Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani.

His full Friday sermon, published at Tasnim News in Farsi claims that “America and Zionism are the enemies of God.” He mentions the Houthi rebels in Yemen who “have shown themselves against the miserable Saudi rulers,” and notes that Saudi Arabia’s reputation has been weakened. This is a reference to the September 14 drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia. He also mentions the US “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran and says that it has not been successful. “Endurance is the way of the martyrs.” It is in this context he says that the “enemies” are targeting the religious pilgrimages to the holy sites in Karbala, where Shi’ites make pilgrimage. He calls on people to take refuge in the shrine of Imam Hussein.

In Iraq the senior Shi’ite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, lamented the deaths of dozens of protesters and called for an end to the deaths, casualties and destruction. He called on the government to listen to the people’s demands about corruption and other issues.
Russian journalist arrested in Tehran on suspicion of spying for Israel
A Russian journalist has been arrested in Iran on suspicion of spying on the Islamic Republic on behalf of Israel, according to family members and Russian media reports.

Yulia Yuzik was first declared missing earlier this week by family members who said she was arrested in Tehran days ago. Her ex-husband Boris Voytsekhovskiy posted on Facebook that Yuzik was facing charges of cooperating with Israeli intelligence services, and that her trial is scheduled for Saturday.

According to Voytsekhovskiy, Yuzik’s charges carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

It wasn’t clear when Yuzik was arrested; her last post on social media was a series of Instagram pictures taken in Kashan, a city in northern part of Isfahan province.

Voytsekhovskiy told Russian media outlets that Yuzik used to work as a correspondent in Tehran several years ago, and she returned to the Iranian capital last week at the invitation of an unknown party.
Engel bows to Arab lobbyists, pro-Israel friends are silent
An anti-Hamas bill has been severely watered down by Congressman Eliot Engel. It’s a turn of events that should trouble every supporter of Israel.

The New York Post revealed this week that Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed to change the bill after heavy pressure from Qatar and the Palestinian Authority (PA)

The Post quoted “a personal acquaintance of Engel’s” as saying, “Eliot told me directly that he was getting a lot of pressure from the Qataris” about the bill. At the same time, Engel or his representatives held seven meetings this past spring with lobbyists for the PA, apparently to discuss the bill.

The Qataris didn’t like the fact that the bill mentioned Qatar’s massive financial support for Hamas. The PA didn’t like the fact that it would have penalized regimes—like the PA—that assist Hamas in various ways.

So the bill, which was authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), was changed. The language about Qatar was removed, and loopholes were added so that aid to Hamas which is considered “humanitarian” would not be blocked.

We put “humanitarian” in quotation marks because we all remember how “humanitarian” concrete, which supposedly would be used to build homes, instead was used to build tunnels to kidnap and murder Israelis.

At this point in the story, you would imagine that those Jewish leaders who claim to be Engel’s buddies would have intervened to restore the original language of the Mast bill.
Behind the Lines: Pakistan and Israel: Much ado about nothing?
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week dismissed speculation that his country was moving toward the establishing of open diplomatic relations with Israel. Speaking at the Asian Society in New York City last Thursday, as reported by the Middle East Eye website, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s traditional stance on the issue:

“Pakistan has a very straightforward position,” the Pakistani prime minister and former cricket star said. “It was our founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was very clear that there has to be just settlement, a homeland for Palestinians, before Pakistan can recognize Israel.”

His remarks, according to Middle East Eye, were met with enthusiastic applause. They came amid widespread recent speculation at a possible diplomatic breakthrough between Jerusalem and Islamabad. Prominent Pakistani journalist Kamran Khan launched the rumors with a tweet on August 25, asking “Why can’t we openly debate pros cons of opening direct and overt channels of communication with the State of Israel?”

What is the background to the recent speculation, and is there a realistic chance of a breakthrough, or do Imran Khan’s remarks settle the matter in the negative?

THERE IS a school of thought in Pakistan that favors the abandonment, or at least the questioning, of Islamabad’s long rejection of formal ties with the Jewish state. Why now?
'Recent convert' to Islam stabs 4 to death at Paris police headquarters
A 45-year-old technology administrator at the police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker before he was shot dead by an officer, French officials said.

French broadcaster BFM TV said the attacker had converted to Islam 18 months ago.

Officials did not say anything about the motive for the attack and said they were still trying to discover if there was a terrorism link.

The man launched the attack in his office then moved to other parts of the large 19th-century building across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

An officer stopped the attack when he shot the assailant in the compound's courtyard, said a police official. The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the case and requested anonymity.
IDF thwarts weapons smuggling attempt from Lebanon to Israel
The IDF and Israel Police thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into Israel in September, according to an IDF spokesperson.

An IDF field observer from the 869th battalion spotted two suspects acting suspiciously on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel near the border fence. IDF soldiers went to the scene to check the issue.

Bags found in the area contained about 40 pistols and magazines which were meant to be smuggled from Lebanon into Israel. The background of the incident is being looked into.

One suspect was arrested on the Israeli side of the border and was transferred for questioning by security forces.

"I saw a suspect approaching the fence and immediately realized that this was an unusual incident," said Pvt. Adi ben Naim, the field observer who identified the suspects. "I alerted the troops and directed them to the location. It was only after the incident that I realized that a very large weapon-smuggling attempt was thwarted. My job as a field observer is to identify what takes place in the field and alert my commanders; which is exactly what I did in this incident.

Israeli military marks ‘Mean Girls Day’ by trolling Iran on Twitter
The Israel Defense Forces marked “Mean Girls Day” this week by tweeting a meme of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah.

The meme, posted on Thursday, October 3, was an altered version of a “never before seen” photo published by the Iranian government showing the supreme leader, Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani — the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

The IDF photoshopped the Iranians into a “Mean Girls” scene alongside Lindsay Lohan, with the caption: “There’s no one meaner than the mean girls of the Middle East…”

The IDF added #DontSitWithThem and #MeanGirlsDay to their post.

October 3 was a date that was mentioned in passing by Lohan’s character to her crush in Mean Girls, and has since become a pop cultural phenomenon marked annually by movie fans.

The “Don’t sit with them” refers to a line in the movie when Rachel McAdams’s character Regina George is turned away from popular clique’s table at lunch because she’s wearing sweatpants.

Arab citizens of Israel undergo quiet revolution
The Arab citizens of Israel need rapid development of their areas. They dream of having high-tech zones and industrial centers; they seek enhanced police work to battle the crime that is raging in the streets of Arab cities; and they resent the vicious incitement against them that was led for years by the prime minister and the ruling party. Will the future government, which for now is still nowhere to be seen, be able to fulfill all of these demands and build bridges between the establishment and one-fifth of Israel’s population?

During the recent political campaign, the Likud party accused Gantz numerous times of “planning to create a government with [Joint List MKs] Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh,” but the leaders of the bloc had ruled it out many times. When Blue and White MK Ram Ben-Barak, ex-deputy director of the Mossad, turned to the Arabs this summer, he said that Blue and White needed them “to change the government.” But what will happen the day after such a change is accomplished?

Amjad Iraqi, a contributing editor at +972 magazine, said to The Media Line that what is missing from the tactical decision of the Joint List is thought about the day after. “This decision is quite some gamble that could also backfire, especially if a unity government will be formed eventually between Likud and the Blue and White bloc. I do understand the logic —Ayman Odeh decided to prioritize getting rid of Netanyahu, and most of the public endorsed him because they want to change at least some part of the equation. But how do we know that the Blue and White bloc, whose leaders had their share of critical and negative remarks about Arabs, will be able to live up to its promises?” said Iraqi.

El-Sana believes that if the Joint List is unable to maximize its gains this time around, the alternative for the next time will be voting for existing Jewish parties or for a joint Arab-Jewish party, a project that el-Sana tried to run this time together with the former Knesset speaker, Avrum Burg. There are also many question marks about the participation of the Balad party, which is increasingly seen by many in the Arab public as a destabilizing element that fails to serve its people. “If they were to participate in the elections today by themselves, they would go down. They have three seats in the Joint List, but they are worth only 1.5 seats, or even less” says Darawshe. On the opposite side, Iraqi believes that Balad gives legitimacy to the Joint List, serving as a link between them and the wider Palestinian cause. “Balad still represents a significant portion of voters. They need the Joint List, and the Joint List needs them,” he concludes.

For now, Arab voters seem to be quite satisfied with the result. They proved to be resilient against incitement and intimidation, increased their representation at the Knesset, and now will wait just like everyone else to see how the current political reality TV unfolds.

The leaders of the Joint List will now have to prove to their voters that they can make some real gains with the increased power that they received this time. Considering the shaky structure of the bloc, which includes four different parties with contradicting ideologies, this will not be easy. If no government is formed and Israel goes to a third round of elections, the bloc will have to campaign extremely hard to maintain its success. For now, it is unlikely that the Joint List will top its current result—13 seats. The quiet revolution in the Arab sector, however, will continue, sweeping Arab Israeli citizens away from segregation and isolation, toward integration and equality.
Thousands of Arab Israelis march, block roads to protest deadly crime wave
Thousands of Arab Israelis held protests Friday at the conclusion of prayers, a day after a general strike over a wave of deadly violence within the minority community.

Protesters blocked roads, including sections of the major highways in the north of the country. Demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as “our children’s blood is not cheap” and chanted slogans about what they say is police inaction on the issue.

Ayman Odeh, the head of the Knesset’s predominantly Arab Joint List faction, called on the Jewish community to join the protests, saying that a society without weapons should be the ideal for everyone.

“I also urge the Jewish public to join the protests. A society without firearms is a civil and social aim for us all,” Odeh tweeted.
Some Israelis to Celebrate Sukkot with 4 Species Holders Made in Gaza
Some Israelis — many, in fact — will celebrate the holiday of Sukkot this year holding their four species bound with holders produced in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of the Jewish holiday, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has approved the import of tens of thousands of four species holders, used for the traditional customs of the holiday.

The four species – the etrog, a citron fruit; the lulav, a frond of a date palm; the hadas, a myrtle bough; and the aravah, a willow branch – are the species the Jewish people are commanded to bind together during the holiday.

The holders are made out of dried palm leaves, woven into a shape that allows the four species to be held together comfortably during the holiday prayers. The abundance of palm trees in Gaza, as well as cheap labor, makes the enclave a prime location for the production of the holders.

Despite the growing tension between Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza and Israel, COGAT was able to facilitate the import successfully, passing it through the Kerem Shalom Crossing under heavy security inspection.
Ha'aretz: Meet the Palestinian Villagers Living Out the American Dream
Halfway between the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, the road gives way to an exit unlike any other along Israel’s Highway 60. At first glance, this route — lined with palm trees and polished sidewalks that lead up to lavish stone villas — looks like a well-funded Jewish settlement. But a closer look reveals that unlike other typical settlements, there is no security gate at the entrance to the community and its houses are not lined up in rows along the hilltops.

The expensive homes scattered on slopes among olive trees, reminiscent of the famous Hollywood Boulevard, are actually a window into the Palestinian diaspora. The majority of their dwellers are dual American-Palestinian nationals who live in the United States for most of the year and treat the village of Turmus Ayya as their summer home.

Turmus Ayyans are not only based in the United States. These Palestinian villagers are spread throughout the world, with members of the community living in Spain, Panama, Cuba and Brazil. According to the village’s municipal office, there are some 11,000 Turmus Ayyans in total; 4,000 are permanent residents, while 7,000 made their home abroad.

Unlike the majority of Palestinians living in the diaspora, Turmus Ayyans are not refugees of the 1948 war. Rather, they are economic immigrants who chose to leave this West Bank village in pursuit of better financial opportunities. Residents told Haaretz that the first villager to immigrate was Odeh Abdel Qader, who left for the United States in 1909 and worked in Manhattan's Little Syria (where the Financial District is situated today). Local Wadi Abu Awad recalls Qader’s return to the village: "He was the guy who came from America," he says. Throughout the 20th century, Qader’s legacy became an inspiration for other Turmus Ayyans who wished to chase the American Dream.

Hamas Facing Growing Criticism in Gaza
A picture making the rounds on social media shows the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, with his six sons, standing healthy in tailored suits, and beneath it, a picture of Gaza youths who have had a leg amputated after rioting at the Gaza fence.

Another example is a recording by a Gazan father whose son was wounded at the border confrontations.

"I was told I needed to provide his medicine out of my own pocket. If he were the son of one of the Hamas higher-ups, the whole world would have given aid."

"Where am I supposed to get money for medicine? They told my boy to get on the bus and protest, and then they threw him out to die."

Iran not 'drawing back' militarily after Saudi attack-US admiral
Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence.

"I don't believe that they're drawing back at all," Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an interview.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike on the world's biggest crude oil-processing facility. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen has claimed responsibility.

Malloy did not comment on any U.S. intelligence guiding his assessment. But he acknowledged that he monitored Iranian activities closely, when asked if he had seen any concerning movements of Iranian missiles in recent weeks.

Malloy said he regularly tracks Iranian cruise and ballistic missile movements -- "whether they're moving to storage, away from storage." He also monitors whether Iran's minelaying capabilities head to distribution sites or away from them.

"I get a briefing of movements on a daily basis and then assessments as to what that could mean," he said.

Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated sharply since President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord last year and reimposed sanctions on its oil exports.

For months, Iranian officials issued veiled threats, saying that if Tehran were blocked from exporting oil, other countries would not be able to do so either.

However, Iran has denied any role in a series of attacks that have followed, including against tankers in the Gulf using limpet mines earlier this year.
UN nuclear watchdog says Iran taking ‘step in right direction’
The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday Iran had taken “a step in the right direction” towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program but cautioned that the issues have not been “completely addressed.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detail what the questions related to but said it was “discussing substance” with the Iranians.

There has been “engagement” from Tehran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency, IAEA acting head Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna.

“[That] engagement doesn’t mean that the issues are completely addressed but it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.

Feruta said the queries did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran’s separate safeguards agreement with the agency.

Diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.
France: Iran, US have one month to come to negotiating table
Iran and the United States have one month to get to the negotiating table, France's foreign minister warned, suggesting Tehran's plan to increase its nuclear activities in November would spark renewed tension in the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron attempted but failed to broker talks between US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York last week.

"We consider that these initiatives, which didn't succeed, are still on the table and it is up to Iran and the United States to seize [them] in a relatively short amount of time because Iran has announced new measures to reduce its commitments to the Vienna accord in November," Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament's foreign affairs committee.

Iran is breaching the restrictions of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers in response to US sanctions imposed since Washington pulled out of the agreement in May of last year.

It has said its next roll-back would be at the start of November, and diplomats fear that this next breach could force European powers, which are trying to salvage the accord, to respond.
Iran rejects French call for release of dual national scholar
Iran said on Friday that France's call for it to release a detained French-Iranian scholar was an interference in its internal affairs and would not help resolve the issue, the official news agency IRNA reported.

France's Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded Iran release dual national Fariba Adelkhah, a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris, who was detained on unspecified charges earlier this year.

"(Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas) Mousavi said the French Foreign Ministry's interference in the case of an Iranian citizen was irrelevant..., and added: 'This will not only fail to help resolve the issue, but rather make the legal process more complicated'," IRNA reported.

Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge that the Islamic republic has regularly dismissed.

Adelkhah's arrest came at a time when France and other European powers were caught up in an international standoff over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned last year.
U.S. Sanctions Paralyze Imports via Iranian Ports
More than 20 ships carrying around one million tonnes of grain are stuck outside Iranian ports as US sanctions create payment problems and hamper the country’s efforts to import vital commodities, sources directly involved in the trade said.

Trading companies such as Bunge (BG.N) and China’s COFCO International have been hit by payment delays and additional costs of up to $15,000 a day as the renewed US restrictions stifle the processing of transactions, trade sources said.

According to Reuters, food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington re-imposed after US President Donald Trump said he was walking away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred several foreign banks from doing any Iranian business, including humanitarian deals such as food shipments.

The few remaining lenders still processing Iranian business face multiple hurdles to facilitate payments as financing channels freeze up.
U.S. Sanctions Squeezing Iran-Backed Hizbullah in Lebanon
The conflict between Iran and the U.S. that has created tensions throughout much of the Middle East is now also being felt in Lebanon, where Washington has slapped sanctions on the Iran-backed Hezbollah and warned they could soon expand to its allies, further deepening the tiny Arab country’s economic crisis.

The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese militant group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.

Two U.S. officials visited Beirut in September and warned the sanctions will increase to deprive Hezbollah of its sources of income. The push is further adding to Lebanon’s severe financial and economic crisis, with Lebanese officials warning the country’s economy and banking sector can’t take the pressure.

“We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program,” Sigal P. Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, said in the United Arab Emirates last month.

Mandelker said Washington is confident the Lebanese government and the central bank will “do the right thing here in making sure that Hezbollah can no longer have access to funds at the bank.”
Iran’s regime lashes out at German antisemitism commissioner in response to 'Post' article
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign ministry blasted a prominent German official on Wednesday after the commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism told The Jerusalem Post that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Tehran for its nefarious conduct.

The Iranian regime-controlled PressTV wrote that "in an online statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the remarks by Uwe Becker, commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism.”

PressTV added that “Becker on Monday called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to put Israel's security above ‘possible economic interests’ that comes with the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told the Post on Monday that “the current escalation with Israel should be reason enough for Germany to advocate the.... Iran nuclear agreement, which has been undermined by Iran... [as] dead, and for the necessary sanctions against Tehran to become effective again in their entirety.”

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10/03 Links Pt2: BDS is face of old antisemitism: What will we do to stop it?; Neo-Nazi protestors in Germany call for Palestinian help against Israel; Eleanor Roosevelt: Palestine, Israel and Human Rights

From Ian:

If Jews Don’t Speak Up for Themselves, No One Will Speak Up for Them
In his sermon for Rosh Hashanah, Ammiel Hirsch, the rabbi of a prominent Reform synagogue in Manhattan, urged his congregants not to lose sight of “the central Jewish principle [that] all Jews are responsible one for the other.” It is impossible, he argued, to “live a full Jewish life” without feeling that “the pain of a Belgian Jew is our pain; the fear of an Israeli child terrorized by rockets is our fear; the insecurity of Orthodox Jews attacked repeatedly on the streets of Brooklyn is our insecurity.” Yet, in the face of the anti-Semitic threats that come from so many different directions—which Hirsch went on to analyze—Jews must not lose their sense of pride, or begin to see Judaism as a burden rather than a privilege.

Progress on Antisemitism and BDS at the UN and Women’s March
In the war against BDS, the most recent development in academia was the Department of Education censure of Duke University and the University of North Carolina for the misuse of Federal Title VI funds, prompted by complaints over a BDS related event in the spring. Title VI of the Higher Education Act is intended to support foreign language instruction and US national security needs, but has become a slush fund for tendentious Middle East Studies education and programming aimed at college students and K-12.

The Education Department’s letter to the Duke-UNC Center for Middle East Studies complained that fewer than 1,000 students were taking Middle East language courses, while almost 7,000 were enrolled in Middle East Studies courses with “little or no relevance to Title VI.” The complaint also criticized the lack of focus on religious minorities in the Middle East and the near exclusive emphasis on Islam, particularly for K-12 teachers.

The schools were instructed to respond with a compliance plan. In the interim, however, predictable complaints were voiced by academics regarding the alleged “chilling effect on academic freedom” and by BDS advocates, who characterized the move as “anti-Palestinian.”

The investigation comes after a recent study demonstrated that Arab and Muslim countries had donated billions of dollars to American colleges and universities in the past decade, with over $1.5 billion from Qatar alone. The impact of these donations is difficult to measure, but the deference and obsequiousness shown by universities and academics to donors generally is well known.

Underscoring the impact of BDS and biased pedagogy on campus, another report also indicated that Israel-related antisemitism on campuses increased dramatically between 2017 and 2018. Strong increases were seen in accusations of “genocide” against Israel, along with justifications for terrorism. Most important were dramatic increases in faculty-led BDS activities including sponsored events and individual boycotts of Israel and supporters.

Finally, it was announced that the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference would be taking place at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of November. The announcement also touted the election of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The conference is designed to train BDS activists, many of them already on record espousing violence, as well as expand “intersectional” alliances of those “who struggle against state violence, settler-colonialism, and imperialism — from Palestine to Turtle Island, from the Philippines to Mexico and beyond.”
Adam Milstein: BDS is face of old antisemitism: What will we do to stop it?
The majority of recent reports on the connection of the BDS movement to both terrorism and antisemitism make many different recommendations on how to stop the growing antisemitism of our era. One recommendation of particular note is that countries should accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, uphold its principles and outlaw the BDS movement.

The IHRA’s working definition is a concise description of a complex hatred that takes many forms. It reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The people who lead the BDS movement bring many different kinds of antisemitic hatred into our public conversation, and the IHRA definition helps identify the sort of bigotry they spread. It defines antisemitism as accusing Jews or Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; accusing Jews of dual loyalty; using blood libel to criticize Israel; comparing Israel to the Nazis; and holding the Jewish state to a double standard – or, in one of its purest forms of hate, denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination.
Now that many in the world are finally acknowledging just how evil BDS is, our Jewish community and fellow Americans must follow suit. Governments and NGOs must adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Our local, state and federal governments must pass laws and resolutions that condemn and delegitimize the vile hatred of BDS. Politicians and bureaucrats should stop funding educational programs that include BDS bigotry. Financial platforms should not be allowed to provide services to BDS organizations that publish antisemitic content or have links to terrorism. And we shall all demand that social media platforms remove antisemitic BDS content.

After a decade of excuses and inaction about BDS, it seems that some people are finally waking up to the danger this movement poses – not only to the Jewish people, but also to the basic values of the liberal societies in which we live.

It is the responsibility of our leaders to build on the recent momentum to inform the public about the BDS movement’s antisemitic agenda, its shadowy funding sources, its true aim of denying Jewish self-determination, its lopsided and underhanded tactics, and its connection to terrorism.

BDS is the new face of the old antisemitism, and when it comes to fighting antisemitism, the old adage “better late than never” is particularly apt for our moment. It’s time for us all to get to work.
Chief Rabbi of UK Speaks of BDS and the Rise of Antisemitism
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Kingdom spoke with Jordana Miller on the rise of antisemitism and the effects of the BDS movement in the UK.

Neo-Nazi protestors in Germany call for Palestinian help against Israel
Dozens of neo-Nazis marched through the German city of Dortmund on Monday, calling for Palestinian support to eradicate Israel.

The demonstration, which came on the heels of an anti-fascist protest in the western German city, involved approximately seventy neo-Nazi activists marching through the streets, holding flags of the Third Reich flag and chanting, "Palestine help us, Israel still exists" and "Israel no more."

Israel's Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff posted condemned the neo-Nazi rally, writing on Twitter: "Disgraceful to see neo-Nazis openly on the streets of Dortmund just as we celebrate the Jewish New Year, my wife’s great grand parents were from Dortmund and were murdered by the Nazis, where there is no remorse there can be no forgiveness."

Dortmund is considered to have the biggest neo-Nazi presence of any city in western Germany, with the majority of them living in the Dorstfeld quarter.

Dorstfeld is littered with graffiti of Third Reich's flag, symbols and writings.In September, anti-fascist activists arrived with police backup in Dorstfeld, where they covered the hateful graffiti with colors and messages calling for unity and tolerance.

When the neo-Nazis pledged retaliation for the clean-up, the anti-fascist activists vowed to march against them every Monday for the next 13 weeks.

Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs: Eleanor Roosevelt: Palestine, Israel and Human Rights
The creation of the State of Israel was an act of racism, imperialism, and colonialism. Eleanor Roosevelt supported it, which means she was not the humanitarian everyone believes her to be, but rather a racist, imperialist, and colonialist. That is the central thesis of Geraldine Kidd’s dissertation-turned-prosecutorial brief against the most influential first lady in American history.

Readers will have no trouble surmising where Kidd (who teaches at University College in Cork, Ireland) stands on the Arab–Jewish conflict, and why she is so disappointed in Mrs. Roosevelt’s sympathy for Zionism. Arab violence in Mandatory Palestine was merely a response to “incursions by the land-hungry Zionists” (p. 90) and “the insidious and ever-growing [Jewish] colonization” (p. 91), Kidd asserts. Arab leaders who violently opposed the creation of a Jewish state of any size were merely “vigorously defending Palestinian rights in the face of Jewish imposition” (p. 80). As for Mrs. Roosevelt, she “aspired for a Jewish-occupied Palestine” (p. 240) and her “growing interest in Palestine as a Jewish state bade ill for the indigenous people, whose land the Zionists coveted” (p. 54).

“Indigenous,” incidentally, is a term invoked by Kidd with almost comic frequency. She applies it to the Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine no less than eleven times in the first 100 pages of her book, yet never feels it necessary to explain the basis for that assertion. For Kidd, it is self-evident that the Arabs have been the rightful owners of every inch of the country since time immemorial, while “the foreign, migrating Jewish minority” should be regarded as usurpers and criminals (p. 31).

As she chronicles Mrs. Roosevelt’s views and record on Palestine, Kidd has trouble letting her have the last word. Again and again, she cites some remark by the first lady, then quickly follows with a rebuttal of her own. The book at times resembles a meeting of a debate club. Mrs. Roosevelt states that Palestine did not belong to Britain; Kidd interjects, “She was ignoring the fact that the Mandate granted them legal authority to govern it” (p. 123). Mrs. Roosevelt alludes to illegal Arab immigration into Palestine; Kidd retorts, “This statement is an extraordinary reversal of the facts, for it was not the Arabs who had moved into the Jewish orbit but instead it was the Jews who had steadily encroached on the Arabs” (p. 123). The former first lady finds fault with the Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948; an incensed Kidd responds, “This argument is weak, as obviously the Palestinians, in their panic, had no way of knowing what the future might hold for them.” Kidd adds, for good measure, that Mrs. Roosevelt’s point “neatly coincided with contemporaneous Zionist thinking” (p. 174).
Prime Minister condemns “antisemitic Marxists” at Labour Party Conference last week
In his Conservative Party Conference speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lambasted “the fratricidal antisemitic Marxists who were in Brighton [at the Labour Party Conference] last week.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism reported multiple instances of antisemitism or concern over anti-Jewish abuse at the Labour Party Conference, and has warned that the Labour Party is now institutionally antisemitic.

On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

In recent months, twelve MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
Top UK Cabinet Minister: Everyone ‘Has a Duty to Stop’ Antisemitism
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid reiterated his support for the Jewish state at a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) event on Tuesday.

Addressing the gathering, which was attended by six cabinet ministers as well as a slew of other prominent figures, Javid said, “When I look at Israel… it is a country that aligns with all of our values… it’s great to see how strongly this party supports the values of Israel at every level.”

Javid also condemned antisemitism in the UK, declaring, “Everyone in this room has a duty to stop it.”

“Anyone with a sense of history knows full well why the Jewish community feels uneasy now, and nowadays we don’t have to look to the past to learn, sadly you just have to look around you,” he continued.

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev told Javid, “You can be proud… that under this Conservative government, the Israel-UK partnership is stronger than ever before. Our trade is growing beyond the £8.6 million we had last year, we have just signed a trade agreement so that trade will continue to grow in the years to come. That’s prosperity and that’s jobs.”
Corbyn Sparks Controversy for Rosh Hashanah Video Featuring Hamas Supporter
Jeremy Corbyn sparked outrage for releasing a Rosh Hashanah video that features an activist who last year led a public Jewish mourning prayer for dead members of Hamas.

In the clip posted on Twitter ahead of the Jewish holiday, Corbyn visits a grocery store with Jewish Labour Party members to discuss the symbolism of honey and apples for the Jewish new year and promote Labour’s “Green Industrial Revolution” program.

Alongside him is Rob Abrams, a Jewish anti-Zionist activist who in May 2018 led the Kaddish prayer in Parliament Square for 62 Palestinians killed on the Israel-Gaza border, at least 50 of whom were Hamas operatives, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Israel activist David Collier wrote in response to the clip, “There is no way you are not aware much of the Jewish community were outraged when this person explicitly led a prayer service for dead Hamas terrorists. Which makes your actions here deliberate. Your spiteful nature highlights you are a real danger.”

Also in the video is Labour counselor Sue Lukes, who tweeted an article titled the “Jewish ‘War against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain” and wrote a piece to “honor” Malia Bouattia, the former National Union of Students president who was accused of antisemitism.
Local UK Labour Party Branch Planning No-Confidence Vote Against Jewish MP on Eve of Yom Kippur
A local UK Labour party branch is planning a no-confidence vote against a Jewish MP on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Dame Louise Ellman, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who is Jewish, has been active in Jewish Labour groups and critical of antisemitism in her party.

Labour has been beset by series of antisemitism scandals since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015.

Ellman has held leadership positions in the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, and is currently vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council.

The proposed motion by the St. Michael’s Labour branch states, “This Branch is fully behind Jeremy Corbyn,” and cites a statement by Ellman in which she said that she understood “why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM.”

As a result of her statement, says the motion, “We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our [Constituency Labour Party] and the Riverside constituency, or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”

“This Branch therefore calls on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign,” the motion concludes.

The motion will be taken up at a meeting to be held at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, which is the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Jewish Voice for Labour member Stephen Marks, who defended Jackie Walker, is re-elected to Labour’s disciplinary body
Stephen Marks, a member of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, has been re-elected to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, the Party’s disciplinary body.

Mr Marks signed a 2017 petition in support of Jackie Walker, a former vice-chair of Momentum and one of those exemplifying the institutionalisation of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Mr Walker was repeatedly suspended by Labour and finally expelled earlier this year. She has persistently claimed that complaints of antisemitism are part of a plot to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and has rejected the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Last year Mr Marks also reportedly shared a petition in support of David Watson, who was suspended from Labour in 2016 for allegedly sharing claims on social media comparing the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad with the Nazis and accusing Israel of genocide. Mr Marks is reported to have written in respect of Mr Watson: “It is cases like this which ‘bring the party into disrepute’. Those responsible are the ones who should be suspended!”

Earlier this month Mr Watson reportedly called for the abolition of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which launched a full statutory investigation into Labour antisemitism on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Jewish Voice for Labour co-chair to speak at “Stand up to racism” church event on Yom Kippur
Jenny Manson, the co-chair of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), is scheduled for a speaking engagement on Kol Nidrei, the night of Yom Kippur.

The event, titled “Resisting the rise of the racists and fascists”, will feature Ms Manson on a panel with Weyman Bennett, a member of the Socialist Workers Party’s central committee. The panel is part of a larger “West London stand up to racism” event at St Mary’s Church Hall in South Ealing on 8th October. It is anticipated that there will be debate on far-right extremism and antisemitism.

Although Ms Manson has previously admitted that JVL was founded in order “to tackle allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”, she has reportedly been “hurt” by suggestions that question her Jewishness and the organisation has also stressed its Jewish credentials (including in its name). Some have suggested that this stance is somewhat undermined by undermined by Ms Manson’s decision to participate in a speaking engagement at a church on Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and is marked by most Jews with fasting and synagogue attendance. Communal organisations are shut and work or public engagements are generally discouraged.
Labour MP sorry for liking Facebook comment claiming Israel disgraces Jews
Labour’s MP for Kensington has apologised for liking a Facebook comment claiming Israel “disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”

Emma Dent Coad, who was elected in 2017, ‘unliked’ the comment within hours of Jewish News reaching out for comment.

A spokesperson for the MP said: “Emma liked this in error and apologises.”

A comment posted by online user Earl Okin on Monday evening read: “I’ve always been a Bevanite – my ultimate political hero… as a Jew, the current Israeli apartheid regime disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”

It was reported to Jewish News by the anti-racism Twitter account GnasherJew.

The post was a response to another post by online user Bob Pandy critical of “Blairite” MPs and “members of the Netanyahu fan club”.
Grotesque: Al Sharpton Gives Rosh Hashanah Sermon at East Side Synagogue
On Monday, former pogrom leader and current Democrat kingmaker Al Sharpton boasted on his Facebook page the fact that he was “being presented to speak at the Rosh Hashanah Services of the East Side Synagogue by Rabbi Perry Berkowitz and Rabbi Leah Berkowitz.”

For the record, the ESS informed its members that “this year our worship space of many years, the All Souls Sanctuary, is undergoing extensive renovation and is not available for our use. We are blessed that services will be held instead at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at corner of 73rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. This is a beautiful and awe-inspiring space that will deepen our High Holyday (sic) experience.”

Like the old joke says, “The synagogue is closed for the holidays.”

By now practically every Jewish newspaper in New York has condemned the notion that Sharpton, who is identified more than anyone else with the August 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom, should be preaching to Jews on the “High Holyday.” Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of the 770 Eastern Parkway headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch shortly after the riot, leading some 400 rioters who were chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No justice, no peace!” Sharpton himself notoriously called Jews “diamond merchants,” which was his personal contribution to the anti-Semitic vernacular.
Twtichy: ‘Disgusting’: Socialist N.Y. State Senator (and AOC pal) Julia Salazar channels Ilhan Omar in response to Brooklyn synagogue being vandalized on Rosh Hashanah
Remember New York State Senator Julia Salazar? She’s the Democratic socialist who lied about being an immigrant and a Jew. This will probably come as a major shock to you, but it seems that the kind of person who would lie about being Jewish doesn’t actually have a whole lot of respect for Jews.

On September 30, teenage thugs threw large objects (reportedly milk crates) through the window of the Rivnitz synagogue in Brooklyn during a Rosh Hashanah service:

She might as well have written “Some people apparently threw something through some building.”
Conservative Group Severs Ties With ‘Brand Ambassador’ for Controversial Photo
Pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA (TPUSA) announced this week that it has severed ties with one of its brand ambassadors following a picture of her at a dinner over the weekend with accused antisemites and white nationalists.

A spokesperson confirmed on Monday to Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, which monitors far-right activities and content, that Ashley St. Clair is no longer part of TPUSA.

“TPUSA is a large national organization that touches hundreds of thousands of people all across the nation,” said the spokesperson. “Ashley is no longer one of our thousands of volunteer activists and ambassadors. [Founder and executive director] Charlie [Kirk] and TPUSA have repeatedly and publicly denounced white nationalism as abhorrent and un-American and will continue to do so.”

The spokesperson also noted that St. Clair wasn’t representing the organization while she was photographed.

St. Clair, who is Jewish, attended a dinner held after a debate between antisemitic and white-nationalist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes, who attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl.

St. Clair, who wasn’t at the debate, attended what she told Right Wing Watch was a “diverse dinner.”
Demi Lovato 'sorry not sorry' for Israel visit
Grammy-nominated American singer and actress Demi Lovato’s love affair with Israel on her recent visit here seems to have come to an abrupt halt.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday that was then deleted, Lovato apologized if her trip offended anyone.

Lovato’s visit initially appeared to have gone well, so the controversy that followed came as a surprise. The pop singer, who has more than 74 million Instagram followers, posted photos of herself at the Western Wall, being baptized in the Jordan River, touring Yad Vashem, and visiting the Shalva National Center for people with disabilities.

“There is something absolutely magical about Israel,” she gushed. “I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God… something I’ve been missing for a few years now... I’m grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart. Thank you for having me, Israel.”

But on Wednesday, she wrote in an Instagram story: “I’m extremely frustrated. I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I’m sorry if I hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention. Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return. This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT, and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry. Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience. Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”

The BDS backlash began as soon as Lovato posted photos of her Israel visit on Instagram. Angry fans responded with scathing comments that she was ignoring the plight of the Palestinians and that she should boycott Israel.

Lovato then deleted the comments on a photo showing her Jordan River baptism where she praised Israel as “magical.”
Her detractors took to Twitter to criticize the singer. Among the comments, Nouran Ahmed wrote: “Hey, Demi... actually, you need to read more about the history of this land because it’s called Palestine, not Israel, and the magical feeling that you felt, it’s back to the history of the land (Palestine) not Israel.”

While BDS supporters have long campaigned to persuade celebrities to cancel planned trips to Israel, the controversy over Lovato’s visit is unusual in that the pressure came following her visit. Apparently, the singer was taken by surprise by the criticism. But why she then removed her apology – which lives on in screen grabs – is unclear.

Meanwhile, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin took credit for inviting her as an initiative of his ministry. (h/t Esty)

German Museum to Give Walid Raad Art Prize Despite City Government’s Objection: Report
On Monday, the German city of Aachen announced that it had withdrawn a decision to give a prestigious art prize worth €10,000 (roughly $10,900) to artist Walid Raad, citing his alleged support for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, a pro-Palestine movement. But, according to a new report, that move is not the end of the story.

The German news network WDR reports that Raad will receive the award after all, via the Ludwig Forum for International Art, a museum in the city that facilitates the award, the Aachen Art Prize. The museum’s board reportedly made the decision on Tuesday night.

Marcel Philipp, the mayor of Aachen, previously said in a statement, “According to research, we have to assume that the designated prizewinner is a supporter of the BDS movement and has been involved in various measures for the cultural boycott of Israel.” He added that, when the city of Aachen had inquired with him about his alleged support for BDS, Raad had been “evasive.” The city alleged that Raad “could not distance himself from BDS,” which it referred to as an “anti-Semitic” movement.

The Ludwig Forum’s board reportedly disagreed with the city’s of Aachen’s decision, however, and WDR said that its members could not find any evidence that Raad was an anti-Semite.

The Ludwig Forum and Raad did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In an interview with the German publication Deutschlandfunk, the Ludwig Forum’s CEO, Michael Müller-Vorbrüggen, said that the museum had obtained the funds to give out the award, and it was therefore it did not need to the city’s permission to offer Raad the prize.
University and College Union apologises after failing to include Jews on list of groups of Holocaust victims
The University College Union (UCU) has apologised after it left out Jews from a description of the different groups murdered in the Holocaust, an omission the chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust called “completely unacceptable”.

The UCU had sent out an e-mail to branch and local association secretaries, in which chapters of the union were encouraged to observe HMD 2020, which takes place on January 27.

It described how the Nazis had persecuted groups such as “trade unions, including social democrats and Communists”, “Europe’s Roma and Sinti people”, “Black people”, “disabled people”, “freemasons”, “gay and lesbian people”, “Jehovah’s witnesses” and “'asocials’, which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts prostitutes and pacifists” were persecuted by the Nazi regime.

It also specifically mentioned “non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs”. However, it made no mention of Jews, the primary targets of the Holocaust.

When the e-mail was publicised, Jews on social media attacked the “shocking” and “sickening” omission, with others suggesting that the mention of “non-Jewish Poles” showed the Union had clearly been thinking about who to include – and who to leave out.

A link in the e-mail led to a specific page on the UCU about HMD, which also neglected to mention Jews as victims of the Holocaust, while mentioning other significant groups.

In a subsequent e-mail from the union’s “equality support official”, the organisation apologised for what it called “drafting errors” in its initial message.
Columbia celebrates anti-Semitism
I want to give Mohamad credit on one score: He’s honest about his Jew-hatred. He doesn’t pretend he’s only attempting to champion Palestinian rights. He doesn’t pretend to be supporting boycotts just to encourage Israelis to withdraw from “occupied territories.” He doesn’t claim that he’s not anti-Semitic but merely anti-Zionist.

That last claim I find particularly misleading and annoying. Because, given a choice, I’ll take anti-Semites over anti-Zionists any day. Garden-variety anti-Semites – I’m not talking about neo-Nazis or Stalinists or Khomeinists or Salafi/jihadis – disparage Jews. They don’t want them working in their businesses, living in their neighborhoods, or joining their clubs. That’s nasty but disparagement is survivable, and alternative businesses, neighborhoods and clubs can generally be found.

Anti-Zionists, by contrast, seek a more consequential goal. They want to deprive Israel of its fundamental right to exist. They want to end Jewish self-determination in any part of the ancient Jewish homeland, a unique refuge for Jews who fled not only from Europe but also – and in larger numbers – from Arab and Muslim countries.

Were anti-Zionists to achieve their goal, were they to succeed in eradicating the Jewish state, what would happen to the more than 6 million Jewish Israelis who live there? I think you know. I think Mohamad knows too. Perhaps he’d be “very sympathetic to them.” If he’s still around, of course.
When anti-Semites take advantage of liberal institutions
Last week, during a forum of world leaders held in my school, Columbia University, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad spoke.

The 94-year-old leader is probably the most anti-Semitic head of state. He doesn’t try to hide his anti-Semitism, he doesn’t just criticize Israel, he practices classic anti-Semitism, the kind that has been associated with various slurs against the Jewish people (they have long noses; they rule the world; they cause others to fight and die for them, and so forth).

Letting the Malaysian leader speak is only the latest example of the institution's problematic choice of speakers, having already let former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at the university about a decade ago.

The organization that I head, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), has refused to stay silent. Although we could not get Mahathir's speech canceled, we decided to generate a critical conversation so that the university won’t even consider inviting someone like the Malaysian prime minister ever again.

We were told that we would lose, that he would be welcomed with great honor at the university and that his anti-Semitic agenda would not be condemned.

But we did not relent. We created a petition that got more than 3,000 signatures, we sent a letter to the university president and to the professor who was to introduce the prime minister at the event, and we demanded that both university officials condemn Mahathir.
Seth J Frantzman: Khashoggi's abused to whitewash dictatorships' treatment of journalists
Websites that support the Iranian regime, state media in Turkey, and voices from authoritarian regimes and human rights abusers sought to cynically exploit the anniversary of the murder of former Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi. Since last year, the genuine grief over the death of Khashoggi has been hijacked in some countries and media to use it for ulterior motives, talking about press freedom while journalists are jailed, expelled and harassed.

“Even as Turkish leaders call for an international inquiry into Saudi Arabian journalist Khashoggi’s murder, the Committee to Protect Journalists found the Turkish government to be the world’s biggest jailer of journalists for the third consecutive year,” ABC news noted last year.

Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders were on hand in Istanbul this year to commemorate the murder of Khashoggi. Amnesty published a special call to honor his legacy.

While Amnesty was commemorating Khashoggi, the human rights organization also pointed out the long list of abuses of freedom in Turkey. Yet Ankara’s state media outlets have sought to highlight Khashoggi’s death as an example of press freedom.

A scientist was sentenced to 15 months in prison just days before the Khashoggi commemoration for the apparent crime of publishing environmental findings. Amnesty has called for charges to be dropped against the academic, whom it describes as a whistle-blower.

Amnesty noted in August that Turkey carries out mass blocking of websites, a “full-frontal attack on freedom of expression.” According to the human rights organization, the Reporters Without Borders representative that attended the Khashoggi event was himself detained in 2016 “after symbolically guest editing a publication for a day as part of a solidarity campaign.”
Guardian smears Israel with false claim of 50 ‘racist laws’
A Sept. 25th op-ed at the Guardian (“Ousting Netanyahu isn’t enough for Israel’s Palestinians. They want equality”) by former +972 contributor Amjad Iraqi included the claim that Israel has “dozens of discriminatory laws”.

Iraqi’s claim that Israeli Arabs are afforded less rights than Jews links to a report by the radical-left NGO Adalah (where he works as its advocacy director) alleging the existence of at least “50 racist laws” in Israel. However, CAMERA and other watchdog groups have refuted Adalah’s claims of racism – a term used so carelessly by the NGO that even an Israeli public health law requiring that parents vaccinate their children is included on their list of “racist laws”.

Among the most comprehensive analyses of the “50 racist laws” claim was conducted by the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), a policy and research organization dedicated to preserving Israel as a democratic Jewish state.

Here are the highlights from their detailed July 2016 report:

- The overwhelming majority of the laws featured in the list (53 out of 57) do not even relate to the citizens’ ethnic origins and those that do, are designed to prevent and avoid discrimination. For example, the Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) that defines the country’s official rest days, and the Law for Using the Hebrew Date, both explicitly exclude institutions and authorities that serve non-Jewish populations for whom the law provides for definitions and procedures appropriate for their specific needs.

- In 21 cases, Adalah’s claims of discrimination stem from the organization’s extremist stance that rejects the nature of Israel as a nation-state in general and as the nation-state of of the Jewish people in particular. For example, the Yad BenZvi Law is defined as a discriminatory law because of the institution’s objective of promoting Zionist ideals.

- 18 of the laws reflect customs in other Western democracies whose democratic character no one would disparage. For example, according to Adalah, the flag constitutes a discriminatory law. Needless to say, this unfounded reasoning would mean that any country, the flag of which bears a cross or crescent discriminates against its non-Christian or non-Muslim minorities. A more in-depth comparison between the laws frequently found that Israeli legislation is actually characterized by a higher degree of tolerance for its national minorities.
The Washington Post’s Skewed Worldview on Jews and Israel
The overwhelming majority of American Jewry has a positive view of Israel. Yet, the overwhelming majority of opinion pieces and reporting from major U.S. news outlets doesn’t reflect this reality. Instead, the media promotes a small and unrepresentative minority. The Washington Post offers a case in point.

Ninety-five percent of American Jews have a “strongly positive” view of Israel, according to an August 2019 Gallup poll. The pollster noted that this was “significantly more pro-Israel than the overall national averages of 71% favorable views of Israel and 21% favorable views of the Palestinian Authority.”

Similarly, a 2013 Pew survey observed: “76% of Jews (identified by religion) said they were at least somewhat emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, almost half said that caring about Israel is an essential part of being Jewish (with most of the rest saying it is important although not essential) and nearly half reported that they had personally traveled to Israel.”

In short: American Jewry is, except for a miniscule minority, pro-Israel. Yet, the American media often chooses to give a megaphone to Jews that actively oppose, or are hypercritical of, the Jewish state.

The Washington Post, for example, gives inordinate column space to the tiny fraction of Jews, American and otherwise, who are against the right of Jewish self-determination. In a Sept. 20, 2019 tweet, Mairav Zonszein of +972 magazine cheered that her publication was “all up in The Washington Post opinion pages today,” with two pieces from the same organization appearing on the same day. Zonszein proudly noted that editors of “mainstream outlets” were no longer editing out or tweaking her use of the term “apartheid.”

In Pittsburgh a year later, the shofar-blower is dead and the shul is shuttered
As this city’s Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, the Tree of Life synagogue stood closed, its doors blocked by a chain-link fence.

A brown, wilted wreath hung on a tree near the synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 worshipers last year in the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. Jewish stars bearing the names of the victims are taped to a glass door at the front entrance, behind a fence and under an Israeli flag and a sign thanking first responders. A makeshift wooden sign on a barricade next to the building reads “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”

The synagogue is built to welcome hundreds of Jews. But the only person to enter regularly now is a custodian who maintains the building while the three congregations that meet there decide what to do. Tree of Life has been shuttered since the attack.

“I hope it’s torn down,” said Ellen Surloff, who was president of one of the congregations, the Reconstructionist Dor Hadash, at the time of the shooting. “I don’t think that I could ever go back in that building and not be continually reminded of what took place there.”

Signs of the attack remain everywhere in Squirrel Hill, the quiet, warm, tree-lined community that has been the home to Pittsburgh’s Jews for more than a century, and which otherwise feels idyllic as summer turns into fall.

Local businesses display a sign created shortly after the attack that reads “Stronger than Hate” alongside a yellow Star of David and blue and red diamonds — the city’s traditional colors. The kosher supermarket hangs a banner with the names of the 11 victims. The local Starbucks has three large hearts painted on its windows with the words “love,” “kindness” and “hope” painted in Hebrew and English on each one.
‘A rapidly spreading crisis’
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD student began wetting himself in class after he was subjected to antisemitic bullying over the course of four months, while a 12-year-old student was forced to kiss the feet of a Muslim child and was physically assaulted.

Both Jewish students, who have asked to remain anonymous, had to leave their public schools because their families felt the principals did not provide them adequate support.

The first child, a prep student at Hawthorn West Primary School, started wetting himself in bed at night, and in class. He also became agitated, began using derogatory language and looked for an excuse each morning to avoid going to school. His parents knew something was wrong, but were unsure if it was all a part of the adjustment process from kindergarten.

Then, after spilling his cereal one morning, the five-year-old broke down. “He literally fell down on the floor,” his mother shared with The AJN, “and said, ‘Mummy, you shouldn’t love me. I’m a worthless, Jewish rodent. I’m vermin.'”

Mortified, his mother crumbled on the floor with him.

It was later revealed that the young boy was being bullied on a daily basis by five classmates in the school bathrooms. It started when he was questioned about being circumcised. Then came the barrage of antisemitic insults, including “Jewish vermin”, “the dirty Jew” and a “Jewish cockroach”.

But when raised with the school, the mother says they were “dismissive” of the antisemitic element. The school’s solution was to keep the student from using the regular bathroom, offering the facilities of another bathroom instead.

“But we felt uncomfortable because obviously you’re not addressing the issue,” remarked the student’s mother.

The parents called for an education policy about antisemitism to be rolled out. But the school declined.

According to the student’s mother, “they refused to accept there was an antisemitic issue. ‘It’s not antisemitism, it’s just bullying.’ The principal said, I don’t want to make other students feel uncomfortable”.
Daphne Anson: In the Lucky Country, Jewish Schoolkid Forced to Kiss a Muslim Schoolkid's Feet
Back in 2012, I drew attention on this blog to a disturbing trend identified at schools in north-west England.

The repellent state of affairs had been revealed by the noted Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman:

'Last November, in my capacity as a visiting professor at York St John University, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation by doctoral student Joy Schmack. Mrs Schmack, an extremely experienced teacher and inspector of secondary-school religious education, is researching the use of the word "Jew" in teenage classrooms in the north-west of England. She presented chilling evidence of the unmistakeable revival of the word "Jew" as a common term of abuse amongst teenagers, who apparently habitually use it as a synonym for "cheat" or "swindler", or "snitch". "Don't you dare Jew me", one Merseyside youngster might say to another - perhaps hardly realising the significance of these words.

Scarcely four months after hearing this presentation I received a communication from a retired gentleman whose family escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934 and who now devotes his retirement to talking about antisemitism to youngsters in schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. He had been moved to write to me because of his experience at one such school, where his presentation was discourteously received and where a teacher confessed to him that the word "Jew" had now replaced the word "gay" as a playground term of abuse. The teacher said: "If kids wish to insult each other, they now use (the word) Jew" [Emphasis added]....'

Now, the Australian Jewish News, in a scoop, reveals the antisemitic targeting that Jewish schoolkids at non-Jewish day schools in Melbourne have been enduring, causing them extreme anxiety and distress, and of the craven, odious response of the school authorities when the abused kids' parents (having tardily learned of the abuse from their persecuted offspring). That response was basically: "It's not antisemitism, it's bullying, and your kids should learn to toughen up".

They refused one set of parents' request to teach the school body about the realities and consequences of antisemitism.
Hitler-loving neo-Nazi who said it was his “dream” to create a bloodbath arrested at Luton airport and sentenced to four years in prison
Jacek Tchorzewski, an 18-year-old neo-Nazi Polish national staying in Buckinghamshire, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Mr Tchorzewski was arrested at Luton Airport in February on suspicion of terrorism offences as he tried to board a flight to Poland, with police recovering an “enormous amount” of digital documents, including manuals on making explosives and weapons. In one voice recording, Mr Tchorzewski said it was his “dream” to “plan some terrorism” and carry out an attack, and he wrote in a notebook found while he was remanded: “Let’s fill our hearts with terror and London’s streets with blood.”

Other documents included extreme right-wing material which praised Hitler, neo-Nazism and Satanism and also featured antisemitic sentiments and even called for genocide. He was also said to be connected to convicted terrorist Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, who was jailed in June.

Mr Tchorzewski pleaded guilty on 21st June at the Old Bailey to ten counts of possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was sentenced on 20th September at the Old Bailey.
Trial begins for German neo-Nazi group accused of plotting attacks
The trial of an alleged neo-Nazi terrorist cell accused of plotting violent political upheaval in Germany opened Monday amid reports the country’s far-right scene is growing more armed and radical.

Eight members of the so-called Revolution Chemnitz group aged between 21 and 32 will answer to charges of forming a right-wing terrorist organization, according to federal prosecutors.

Almost a year to the day after most of the suspects’ arrest in coordinated raids, the proceedings took place under tight security in Dresden, the capital of Saxony state, a stronghold of the extreme right.

Resentment runs deep in the region over Merkel’s liberal refugee policy that led to the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since 2015.

The anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany (AfD) party scored 27.5 percent in a state election earlier this month, just shy of the 32 percent garnered by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

The suspects are accused of “coming together to achieve their political goals — to shake the foundations of the state — with serious violent acts,” a spokeswoman for the superior regional court said.

They allegedly sought to carry out “violent attacks and armed assaults” against immigrants, political “opponents,” reporters and members of the economic establishment.
Argentina Holocaust museum takes custody of secret stash of Nazi artifacts
The Museum of the Holocaust in Argentina’s capital on Wednesday took custody of the largest collection of Nazi artifacts discovered in the country’s history.

Federal police and Interpol agents found the more than 70 Nazi objects hidden behind a bookcase in a collector’s home north of Buenos Aires in 2017 as part of an investigation into artworks of illicit origins. The Nazi items include busts of Adolf Hitler, an instrument to measure people’s heads to supposedly determine their racial purity and statues of the Nazi eagle with a swastika under its talons.

Owning Nazi objects in Argentina can be illegal if it is determined that the items incite racial or religious hate in public, although they can be allowed in private. It has not been determined if the collector violated the anti-discrimination law, although he has been charged with owning pieces of illegal origin.

Agents with Interpol began following the collector and with a judicial order raided the house on June 8, 2017. A large bookshelf caught their attention and behind it agents found a hidden passageway to a room filled with Nazi imagery.
Teen allegedly attacks Jewish woman in Brooklyn, pulling off her wig
Police said Thursday a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.

The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.

Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.

The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hate fliers circulated in Montana town on Rosh Hashanah
Fliers bearing white nationalist language and hate speech were circulated to businesses in Whitefish, Montana.

The fliers were circulated on Monday, the first day of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

“The hate literature was not only offensive in relation to the Jewish holiday, but it is concerning as there is a recorded rise and mainstreaming of antisemitism in the United States, including the troll storm perpetrated from outside the community onto the Jewish people of Whitefish just two and a half years ago,” Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network said in a statement.

The fliers included code words like the number “88,” which stands for “Heil Hitler” (because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet) and “14 Words” which represents a 14-word statement asserting white supremacy that was created by white nationalist David Lane, who is specifically named on the flier, according to the network.

Similar fliers appeared in Helena, Montana, over the weekend.

Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin launched a campaign in December 2016 against Jews in Whitefish in which he published personal details and photos of Jewish residents, including a child. The campaign stemmed from a real estate dispute in Whitefish between Tanya Gersh, who is Jewish, and Sherry Spencer, the mother of white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

Gersh said that anonymous internet users harassed her family after Anglin revealed her home address and phone number, her husband’s business contact information and her son’s Twitter handle.

Other Jewish families in Whitefish were also targeted. The Jewish population of the city is about 60.

Uber Expands Partnership With Israel’s Moovit
Ride-sharing company Uber is set to expand its collaboration — first announced in February — with Israel-based public transit app developer Moovit App Global, the latter said Wednesday. The original partnership saw Uber leverage Moovit’s application programming interface to provide users in London and four other cities with public transportation information, so that riders can access real-time transit data and route planning in the Uber app. As part of the expanded partnership, Uber is set to expand its service to 15 additional cities globally, including Paris and San Francisco.

Moovit also announced that ride-sharing company Lyft is set to implement a similar service in New York.

Founded in 2012 and based in central Israel, Moovit develops and offers a free mobile navigation app providing real-time public transit information in 3,000 cities and 92 countries. Its app has over 500 million users, adding to the company’s database of over 7,000 public transportation operators, according to the company’s statement.
CVC to Pay $450 Million for a 25 Percent Stake in Israeli Web and Mobile Monetization Company IronSource
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is negotiating a deal to acquire a 25 percent stake in web and mobile monetization company IronSource for $450 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The deal, which values IronSource at $1.55 billion, is expected to be signed in the upcoming 24 hours, the people said, adding that the company is expected to hand out $100 million-worth of dividends to shareholders before the deal is complete.

The negotiations almost came to an unsuccessful end two months ago due to disagreements over IronSource’s valuation, which has since been resolved, the people familiar with the matter said. If completed, the deal is expected to be the biggest secondary deal of an Israeli company. CVC will become IronSource’s largest shareholder, but its founders will keep a controlling share with a 45-50 percent stake held between them, down from the 60 percent they currently hold, according to the people. The company’s employees, which hold options worth $25 million, will also take part in the sale.

The CVC sale is expected to be the last funding IronSource raises before its initial public offering, scheduled for the second half of 2020. The company, which is expected to see revenues of around $1 billion for 2019 with an EBITDA of $150 million, expected to see its revenues and profit grow by its IPO. Its net profit for 2019 is estimated at $120 million to $130 million for 2019, according to the people familiar with the matter, and the company has no debt.

Founded in 2009, IronSource was originally a download optimization software developer, which shifted its focus to rewarded ads following a series of acquisi

The 21 Greatest Christmas Songs by Famous Artists, Ranked

I love Christmas music. I’m not one of those people (read: lunatics) who can listen to it year ‘round or anything, but when I flip the calendar over from November to December, I’m more than ready to hear a few ditties about sentient snowmen, thinly-veiled date rape references, bullying and exploitation, a childhood scarred by […]

Campaign in India to reduce exploitation effective: report


Football star fined $5K just for wearing an Apple Watch

The National Football League (NFL) signed a deal with Microsoft back in 2014 to replace the Polaroid cameras that used to be employed on the sidelines and in the press box. The cameras were used to snap photos of the opponents' offensive and defensive formations in an effort to find weaknesses to exploit. Instead of instant photography, teams now use Surface Pro tablets that are modified with a thick case to help them survive the wear and tear of a grueling NFL schedule. Other changes include a waterproof screen, and connectivity is limited to a wireless network available in each stadium.

Some ...

U.S. And U.K. Governments Issue Update Now Warning For Windows, macOS And Linux Users

When both the U.S. and U.K. government issue a rare “update now” warning about an ongoing cybersecurity exploit, it's time to start paying attention.

Author Eric Atno’s new book “Underway: Good Times in Uncle Sam’s Canoe...


Recent release “Underway: Good Times in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club” from Page Publishing author Eric Atno is a rollicking adventure bringing the experiences of an enlisted man, both on the high seas and...

(PRWeb October 07, 2019)

Read the full story at


TrustedSec Podcast Episode 3.20 – So Much is Broken


Welcome to the Trusted Security Podcast – a podcast dedicated to bringing the latest news on information security and the industry. This episode features the following members: Geoff Walton, David Boyd, Justin Bollinger, and Alex Hamerstone! Stories Title: Hacker Releases ‘Unpatchable’ Jailbreak For All iOS Devices, iPhone 4s to iPhone X URL: Author: Mohit...

The post TrustedSec Podcast Episode 3.20 – So Much is Broken appeared first on TrustedSec.


Vulnerabilidad 0-day que da control total sobre determinados teléfonos android

La existencia de una vulnerabilidad ZeroDay daría control total sobre al menos 18 modelos diferentes de teléfonos que usan el sistema operativo Android de Google, incluyéndose entre estos cuatro modelos Pixel, según informaba un investigador de Project Zero de Google el jueves por la noche.

Extraído de Black Market

La investigadora Maddie Stone de Project Zero publicó que se han encontrado pruebas de que la vulnerabilidad está siendo explotada de manera activa, ya sea mediante el desarrollador de exploits NSO Group o uno de sus clientes. Los exploits requieren poca o ninguna personalización para poder hacerse con el control total de los teléfonos vulnerables. La vulnerabilidad sobre la que aquí hablamos se puede explotar de dos maneras distintas:

Cuando la víctima instala una aplicación de una fuente poco confiable.

Mediante ataques en línea, combinando el primer exploit con un segundo exploit teniendo como objetivo una vulnerabilidad en el código que el navegador Chrome utiliza para mostrar el contenido.

El bug se trata de una vulnerabilidad consistente en la escalada de privilegios en local, la cual permite comprometer totalmente el dispositivo vulnerable, escribía Stone. Si el exploit se lanza vía web, solo necesita ser emparejado con un exploit de visualización, ya que esta vulnerabilidad es accesible a través de sandbox.

Una lista no exhaustiva de teléfonos vulnerables son:

Pixel 1

Pixel 1 XL

Pixel 2

Pixel 2 XL

Huawei P20

Xiaomi Redmi 5A

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Xiaomi A1

Oppo A3

Moto Z3

Oreo LG phones

Samsung S7

Samsung S8

Samsung S9

Un miembro del equipo Android de Google comunicaba en el mismo hilo de Project Zero que la vulnerabilidad sería parcheada – en dispositivos Pixel – en la actualización de seguridad de Android de octubre, la cual parece que estará disponible en los próximos días. Sin embargo, no está claro para cuándo estarán listas las actualizaciones para el resto de dispositivos. Los modelos Pixel 3 y Pixel 3a no se ven afectados por esta vulnerabilidad.

Este problema está catalogado como de alto riesgo según Android, y requiere de la instalación de aplicaciones maliciosas para que se lleve a cabo la explotación, escribía Tim Willis, otro miembro de Project Zero, citando a miembros del equipo de Android. Cualquier otro vector, como los navegadores web, necesita ser ejecutado con un exploit adicional.

Los representantes de Google escribieron en un email: Los modelos Pixel 3 y 3a no son vulnerables, y los modelos Pixel 1 y 2 quedarán protegidos con la actualización de seguridad que se lanzará en octubre en los próximos días. Además, se ha publicado un parche para otros dispositivos para asegurarnos de que el ecosistema Android queda protegido contra esta vulnerabilidad.

Ya en 2018 se solucionó la vulnerabilidad existente en el kernel de Linux mediante el lanzamiento de la versión 4.14, aunque sin el beneficio de la asignación de un CVE. Dicha solución se incorporó también en las versiones 3.18, 4.4 y 4.9 del kernel de Android. Por razones que no fueron explicadas en la publicación, los parches no fueron incluidos en las actualizaciones de seguridad de Android. Eso explicaría por qué los modelos Pixel son vulnerables mientras que versiones posteriores no lo son. La vulnerabilidad ahora ha sido identificada con el código CVE-2019-2215.

Stone dijo que la información que recibió del Grupo de Análisis de Amenazas de Google apuntaba a que el exploit presuntamente estaba siendo utilizado o vendido por NSO Group, un desarrollador de exploits que los vende a entidades gubernamentales. Constituida en Israel,, NSO se hizo con la atención del público tras el descubrimiento y desarrollo en 2016 y 2017 de un spyware avanzado para móviles llamado Pegasus. Este spyware gana privilegios root tanto en dispositivos iOS como Android para rastrear mensajes privados, activar el micrófono y la cámara, y recolectar cualquier tipo de información sensible. Investigadores del Citizen Lab de la Universidad de Toronto comunicaron que la versión de Pegasus que afectaba a iOS tenía como objetivo disidentes políticos de los Emiratos Árabes.

A principios de este año, Citizen Lab descubrió pruebas de que NSO desarrolló un exploit avanzado que afectaba a la aplicación de mensajería instantánea WhatsApp, el cual también instalaba spyware en teléfonos vulnerables, sin necesitar que el usuario realizara ningún tipo de acción. También se relacionó con NSO una operación encubierta que tenía como objetivo a Citizen Lab.

Como cliente de NSO, me preocuparía que la notoriedad que ha alcanzado NSO conlleve un fuerte escrutinio de equipos e investigadores de seguridad que pudiese acabar afectando a mis operaciones de espionaje más sensibles, comunicaba a Ars John Scott-Railton, un investigador senior de Citizen Lab.

Los representantes de NSO no respondieron de manera inmediata a un correo en el que se les pedía que hicieran algún tipo de comentario al respecto.

Project Zero da a los desarrolladores 90 días para resolver las vulnerabilidades antes de publicar informes sobre la misma excepto en los casos en los que existan exploits activos. La vulnerabilidad de Android fue publicada siete días después de que se reportase de manera privada al equipo de Android.

Mientras que la vulnerabilidad reportada el jueves es seria, no se pretende crear una alarma excesiva entre los usuarios de Android. Las posibilidades de que se produzca la explotación de una vulnerabilidad tan cara y específica como lo es la descrita por Project Zero son extremadamente bajas. No obstante, se recomienda no instalar aplicaciones que no sean esenciales y utilizar un navegador distinto a Chrome hasta que se instale el parche.

Ver información original al respecto en Fuente>

Ryuk es el actual ransomware que esta afectando a muchas instituciones españolas


Este es el virus que secuestra ayuntamientos españoles y también te puede afectar a ti

Ryuk es un 'ransomware' de origen ruso que ha encriptado las bases de datos de varios consistorios españoles y que preocupa incluso al FBI

Foto: (Foto: Reuters)

Los 'ransomware' son uno de los mayores quebraderos de cabeza de los expertos en ciberseguridad en la actualidad. Estos sofisticados virus han llegado a poner en jaque empresas a nivel global, haciendo saltar todas las alarmas, ocurrió con Wannacry en 2017 o Petya en 2016, y, pese al paso de los años, aún siguen haciendo estragos. En estos momentos no hay ningún gran virus que esté arrasando el planeta como los mencionados, pero sí desarrollos más pequeños pero muy lucrativos y peligrosos. Uno de ellos es Ryuk, el 'ransomware' que, según medios locales, tiene secuestrado, desde hace al menos dos días, el Ayuntamiento de Jerez de la Frontera y que atacó en esos mismos momentos a varias instituciones vascas.

Desde el pasado 2 de octubre el consistorio gaditano vive una situación de bastante gravedad y es que alguien ha cifrado toda su base de datos y pide un importante rescate en 'bitcoins' para liberarla. Aunque el propio consistorio, que ya ha avisado al Centro Criptográfico Nacional, no ha confirmado que sea este el virus en concreto, medios locales como MásJerez dan como bueno este dato citando fuentes internas. Lo cierto es que tiene bastante sentido tanto por el tipo de ataque como por el momento en el que se ha producido.

De Wannacry a Petya: cómo un 'ransomware' ha paralizado (otra vez) el mundo

Utiliza un gusano armado con un 'exploit' de la NSA que ha dejado en la estacada a ordenadores de grandes multinacionales de todo el mundo

Ese mismo virus ha atacado otras instituciones españolas este inicio de octubre como el Ayuntamiento de Bilbao, el de Santurtzi o la Fundación Hazi. Pero de confirmarse la noticia, Jerez no sería solo otro caso en España sino que se sumaría a una lista de afectados tan grande que hasta el propio FBI ha tomado cartas en el asunto.

En los últimos días varios hospitales de Estados Unidos y Australia han sufrido ataques muy similares al de Jerez, todos con la firma de Ryuk, y en lo que se refiere a ayuntamientos el problema no se queda atrás. En abril, la ciudad californiana de Imperial County y el pueblo de Stuart, en Florida, también recibieron la visita de este 'gusano'. El último caso mediático se dio en septiembre cuando New Bedford (Massachusetts) se negó a pagar los 5,3 millones de dólares en bitcoins que pedía el 'hacker' en cuestión.

Ayuntamiento de Jerez de la Frontera. (Foto: EFE)

En ese caso la institución supo lidiar con lo ocurrido y gracias a algo de suerte (el ataque no llego a afectar a toda la base de datos), una buena negociación y una fuerte inversión en ciberseguridad, se libraron de dar nada de dinero, pero otras sí tuvieron que rascarse el bolsillo. Las instituciones estadounidenses calculan que solo explotando este virus los piratas han conseguido hacerse con más de 3 millones de dólares en rescates.

¿Cómo funciona el virus?

Ya conocemos los casos, pero ¿cómo funciona concretamente este 'ransomware' y qué lo hace tan peligroso? Pues, como explica Sergio de los Santos, especialista en ciberseguridad de ElevenPaths, las claves están en su sofisticación. "Al final este tipo de virus funcionan casi como un producto empresarial más. Los que lo crean (esta vez para que son un grupo llamado Grim Spider, de origen ruso) y lo explotan lo hacen de forma muy profesional, sabiendo exactamente su objetivo y lo que buscan, y hacen todo para conseguirlo. Por eso es tan complicado detectarlos a priori".

De los Santos explica que Ryuk se trata de una evolución de un virus nacido en 2017 llamado Hermes y que funcionaba de forma muy similar. "Para que te hagas una idea, estos virus funcionan por campañas. Se actualizan se ponen a punto y se lanzan hasta que los sistemas de control se actualizan y consiguen encontrar una barrera contra estos gusanos. En ese momento vuelven a modificarlos y la rueda sigue".

En este caso, como explica el experto, tuvieron una primera gran campaña el verano de 2018, cuando lanzaron el primer Ryuk y luego han seguido actualizando, lanzando y recopilando dinero. "Al contrario que Wannacry y demás, son virus que intentan pasar desapercibidos. Atacan objetivos muy concretos, casi todo empresas o instituciones, les sacan el dinero y se van. Así no hacen saltar las alarmas y es más complicado que el resto se preparen contra él".

(Foto: EFE)

Además, su peligrosidad también reside en la profundidad del ataque. "Normalmente explotan siempre las mismas vulnerabilidades, que son las que tienen bien estudiadas, y entran hasta el fondo sin saber muy bien lo que se van a encontrar. Una vez dentro van hasta el 'core' (la base de datos central), la encriptan con uno de los sistemas más indescifrables que existen hoy en día y no salen hasta que les das lo que piden". De los Santos habla de que una de las vulnerabilidades que más explotan son los siempre delicados Escritorios Remoto o Terminal Server. "Aunque ya hay informaciones que hablan de que también aprovechan el 'Paso lateral' y se mueven por los equipos hasta llegar a la base central".

Por último, en cuanto a por qué atacar estas instituciones y no otras, De los Santos achaca todo a la arbitrariedad. "Ellos buscan servidores con las vulnerabilidades que conocen, y se van a por ellos. Luego dentro ven lo que es y qué pueden hacer. Da igual si es un hospital de Alabama o un ayuntamiento de Cádiz. Ni siquiera roban los datos, solo los encriptan hasta que reciben el dinero".

"Pagar o perder"

Lo más preocupante en este caso es que no hay nada que hacer una vez que te han infectado, o al menos eso asegura el experto. "Tienes que pagar o perder. Debes analizar todo lo que te han robado, ver las consecuencias y decidir. Si tienes 'backups' offline puede que tengas la posibilidad de recuperar parte de la información pero normalmente se hacen con todo". Según explica el ingeniero, la mayoría pagan porque volver a montar todo significa perder los datos, pero también una inversión más importante que el propio rescate.

Por ejemplo, el Ayuntamiento de New Bedford se negó a pagar, pero aceptó que tendría que empezar de cero tirando de 'backups' y gastando bastante dinero en volver a construir todos los sistemas "Es la eterna duda. Negarte y empezar de cero aunque eso suponga mayores problemas o pagar, que todo siga como estaba y alimentar al bicho. No es una decisión fácil".

(Foto: Reuters)

En lo que afecta a los ciudadanos, el problema está en lo que pase con esas instituciones o empresas ya que no es un 'ransomware' preparado para ir contra usuarios finales. No les interesa hacerlo. "Ellos quieren pocos ataques, rápidos y rentables. Prefieren hacer 5 ataques en los que se lleven 10.000 euros que 500 de 100. Saben que una empresa no puede parar su producción por algo así y lo aprovechan. La verdad que es algo muy profesional y deja pocas opciones".

Para terminar, De los Santos deja una recomendación para los usuarios que se vean afectados por un 'ransomware'. "Estos virus encriptan toda tu información pero algunos ya tienen fallos o han sido descifrados. Hay que tener esperanzas justas pero puedes acudir a webs como '' que ya cuentan con herramientas para descifrar estos virus y recuperar el control".

Ver información original al respecto en Fuente>



Spécialiste boulangerie, Est du Québec - Sobeys - Quebec City, QC

Relevant du Directeur exploitation de détail, le titulaire sera responsable de supporter les activités du rayon boulangerie.
From Sobeys - Mon, 30 Sep 2019 10:59:34 GMT - View all Quebec City, QC jobs

Sex Work with Siouxsie Q plus Matt Kirshen!

USING SEX TO SELL SEX! Sex worker, podcaster and writer Siouxsie Q sets Sandra straight on the sex industry. Comedian & podcaster Matt Kirshen shares surprising insight into sex work, comedy and the universe. TOPICS: Bad Day at Work, Lusty Lady, Whorientation, Firefly's Inara, Good vs Bad Sex Work, Politics, Human Rights, Emotional Health, Violence & Exploitation, The Happy Hooker Notion, Selling Sex, Annie Sprinkle, Companion Services, Self-Care, "Prostitute," Choice & Coercion, Criminalizing the Job, "Johns," Slixa, Better Crime Fighting.

Ruthless Hellomd Strategies Exploited


Ruthless Hellomd Strategies Exploited What You Should Do to Find Out About Hellomd Before You’re Left Behind The prices can fluctuate because the doctors set their own rates asking you to offer a charge card number to verify the appointment, which generally occurs within a couple of days. There are many reasons you’re in a […]

The post Ruthless Hellomd Strategies Exploited appeared first on Opti-Gone International.


Written Answers — Attorney General: Exploitation: Children and Young People (4 Oct 2019)

Michael Ellis: will review whether the prosecution should proceed or not. The guidance sets out that where there is sufficient evidence that the accused is a victim and the conditions provided for in section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 are met, the case should not be charged or proceeded with.

U.S. soldier Alvin York displays heroics at Argonne

On October 8, 1918, United States Corporal Alvin C. York reportedly kills over 20 German soldiers and captures an additional 132 at the head of a small detachment in the Argonne Forest near the Meuse River in France. The exploits later earned York the Congressional Medal of Honor. Born in 1887 in a ...

Bruno Invernizzi e Nicolas Beyeler all'IRONMAN 70.3 France-Nice 2018

MONDIALI  La Promenade des Anglais di Nizza ospiterà il
Mondiale IRONMAN 70.3 del prossimo anno.
Sebbene la stagione del triathlon sia ancora piuttosto lontana dall’entrare nel vivo (le prime competizioni su suolo svizzero sono in agenda per la fine di marzo, vedi il calendario, ma la stagione vera e propria inizierà in aprile), alcuni atleti di punta nostrani hanno già definito a grandi linee gli impegni per il 2018.

Tra questi sicuramente Bruno Invernizzi e Nicolas Beyeler che risultano tra gli iscritti, unitamente ad altri ticinesi, alla prima edizione dell’IRONMAN 70.3 Nizza (1,9/90/21), che si terrà il 16 settembre e che sarà una sorta di prova generale in vista dei Mondiali 2019.
Da sottolineare che le iscrizioni per Nizza sono già chiuse a sette mesi dall’evento e che saranno oltre 2500 gli atleti alla partenza della prova che metterà in palio 75 slots per il Mondiale. “Con 1000 iscrizioni in poche ore, c’è stata una vera e propria rincorsa al pettorale per l’IRONMAN 70.3 Nice. Essere già completi a sette mesi da un evento è cosa piuttosto rara e noi siamo impazienti di dare il via a questa prima edizione”, ha dichiarato Yves Cordier, Direttore di IRONMAN France.
La città francese, che già ospita l’Ironman nel mese di giugno e che è una delle sedi storiche del triathlon europeo, è infatti riuscita, grazie soprattutto al carisma di Yves Cordier (grande campione del passato, si ricorda il suo epico duello con Marc Allen proprio a Nizza nel 1992), ad aggiudicarsi la prova iridata che si svolgerà su un percorso molto suggestivo (quello che verrà testato anche quest’anno), con in particolare una tratta in bici molto selettiva, dove gli atleti, sui 90 km del tracciato, dovranno superare un dislivello di oltre 1200 metri.
Inutile dire che per Nicolas Beyeler e Bruno Invernizzi si tratta di un’ottima occasione per centrare il risultato, che nel caso specifico è in primo luogo la qualifica al Mondiale del prossimo anno. Ma non è neppure da escludere un esito ancora più importante e magari un nuovo exploit, qualora questi due atleti dovessero giungere a Nizza al top della loro condizione.
Si ricorda soltanto che proprio qui, sulla Promenade des Anglais, Nicolas Beyeler ha colto nel 2013 uno dei risultati più sensazionale mai ottenuti da un atleta ticinese, chiudendo quinto assoluto la prova su distanza Ironman (3,8/180/42,2). Per quanto riguarda Invernizzi, la particolarità è che sarà al via con il nipote Alex Trabucchi, con l’obiettivo di attenere una doppia qualifica “in famiglia”.
Non ci resta quindi che attendere il prossimo 16 settembre, nella speranza di vivere una giornata ricca di emozioni per i nostri atleti e i colori ticinesi.
PhotoN. Pfund (Ironman France 2017)


Daniela Ryf grande favorita all'Ironman delle Hawaii


FAVORITA Daniela Ryf a Kona parte come grande favorita.

Daniela Ryf sogna di entrare nella leggenda del triathlon. Nella notte di sabato su domenica la solettese potrebbe conquistare l’Ironman delle Hawaii per la terza volta di fila. L’ultima donna che ha realizzato un simile exploit è stata la campionessa del mondo Chrissie Wellington, che si impose dal 2007 al 2009.
Un’altra elvetica, Natascha Badmann, aveva centrato un tris fra il 2000 e il 2002. Dovesse raggiungere l’obiettivo, la Ryf diventerebbe la sola triathleta firmare l’exploit a 30 anni. Le altre sportive erano tutte più mature. «Daniela è stata la migliore in assoluto», aveva precisato il suo allenatore Brett Sutton dopo la gara dello scorso anno, quando la sua pupilla aveva chiuso con tanto di record alle Hawaii: 8.46’46’’. Dopo aver dominato la tratta in bici, la solettese aveva centrato il suo primato personale nella maratona (2.56’52’’). In questa stagione, oltre alla tripletta alle Hawaii, Daniela Ryf ha la possibilità di puntare alla doppietta, come nel 2015, campionato del mondo di Ironman e Ironman 70.3. Ma non solo: insegue anche il jackpot di un milione di dollari per un ulteriore exploit dopo quello di due anni fa. Nel suo mirino ci sono anche le gare di media distanza dell’Ironman. Dopo aver conquistato quella di Dubai e il Mondiale 70.3 negli Stati Uniti, punterà ad una terza corona il 25 novembre nel Bahrein. In campo maschile gli elvetici più quotati sono Ronnie Schildknecht, Rüedi Wild e Jan van Berkel. Tutti puntano a un posto tra i top 10.


Collègue en Entrepôt Magasin - JYSK Canada - Sainte-Foy, QC

JYSK est l’un des principaux détaillants d’ameublement pour la maison et à la croissance la plus rapide. Créé au Danemark en 1979, JYSK exploite des magasins…
From JYSK Canada - Tue, 30 Jul 2019 20:31:19 GMT - View all Sainte-Foy, QC jobs

Collègue en Entrepôt Magasin - JYSK - Sainte-Foy, QC

JYSK est l’un des principaux détaillants d’ameublement pour la maison et à la croissance la plus rapide. Créé au Danemark en 1979, JYSK exploite des magasins…
From JYSK - Tue, 30 Jul 2019 18:35:58 GMT - View all Sainte-Foy, QC jobs

Collègue en Entrepôt Magasin - JYSK - Trois-Rivières, QC

JYSK est l’un des principaux détaillants d’ameublement pour la maison et à la croissance la plus rapide. Créé au Danemark en 1979, JYSK exploite des magasins…
From JYSK - Wed, 02 Oct 2019 00:35:38 GMT - View all Trois-Rivières, QC jobs

Collègue en Entrepôt Magasin - JYSK Canada - Trois-Rivières, QC

JYSK est l’un des principaux détaillants d’ameublement pour la maison et à la croissance la plus rapide. Créé au Danemark en 1979, JYSK exploite des magasins…
From JYSK Canada - Wed, 02 Oct 2019 00:31:23 GMT - View all Trois-Rivières, QC jobs

Analysis of Surface Finishing and Pressing Time in Wooden Pieces for the Use of Wood Waste in the Furniture Industry.


In order to reduce the exploitation of wood from native forests, Brazil has been increasing forest plantations in recent years, with species such as pine and especially eucalyptus (Brazilian Tree Industry 2015). The Brazilian tree industry (Brazilian Tree Industry 2017) claimed that 7.84 million hectares of trees are planted, of which 5.7 million hectares are eucalyptus plantations.


Contribution of Nontimber Forest Products to Rural Household Income in the Kassena-Nankana West District of Ghana.


The contribution of income from nontimber forest products (NTFPs) to rural livelihoods and household income has received global recognition. However, there are growing concerns of overexploitation of NTFPs driven by poverty and policy neglect that threaten the sustainability of the NTFP resource base in Kassena-Nankana West District (KNWD) of Ghana. The study investigated the contribution of...


GCF reprend Desvignes Aîné & Fils à Chablis

Via sa filiale François Martenot, le groupe Grands Chais de France se renforce en Bourgogne avec le rachat de la maison Desvignes Ainé et Fils, à Ligny le Châtel (Chablis). Cette dernière a réalisé en 2017 un chiffre d’affaires de 7,2 millions d’euros, qui s’est soldé par une perte de 476.000 euros. Elle exploite notamment …

Lire la suite de GCF reprend Desvignes Aîné & Fils à Chablis


Apple censure l'émoji du drapeau taïwanais pour les utilisateurs iOS de la ville de Hong-Kong mais il y a toujours un moyen de l'utiliser

Apple censure l'émoji du drapeau taïwanais pour les utilisateurs iOS de la ville de Hong-Kong
mais il y a toujours un moyen de l'utiliser

Dans une récente mise à jour d'iOS 13.1, le système d'exploitation pour iPhone d'Apple, la société aurait retiré l'emoji du drapeau taïwanais de son clavier pour les utilisateurs iOS de la ville de Hong Kong. Ceci aurait été une décision impulsée par le gouvernement chinois qui tente d'établir sa souveraineté sur les zones qu'elle considère sous son contrôle....

The IPCC’s Report: act now against land degradation and climate change

Ending deforestation in Brazil
8 August 2019

The IPCC’s Report: act now against land degradation and climate change

On 8 August 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a new report on types of land use and their role in climate change and world food security. An occasion to recall the measures taken by the Government against climate change and its impacts on the planet.
Following publication of a report on climate change last October, the IPPC has now focused on analysing the already observed effects that climate change is having on natural land ecosystems, and on the risks likely to impact food security across the world.

The Panel stresses that climate change is continuing to aggravate degradation of vegetation and biodiversity, as well as of land (soil erosion, water shortages, etc.).

The IPPC highlights the need to review the ways in which land is used, in order to ensure food security.

The report states that we possess sufficient knowledge to act accordingly without further delay.

What the French Government is doing against climate change and land degradation

France has adopted a series of plans and measures designed to reduce climate change and foster better exploitation of natural resources:
  • The second National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change (PNACC), which implements the actions required to protect the population and adapt all sectors of the economy to future climatic conditions.
  • The Energy-Climate Bill, which asserts France’s aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and institutes a five-year Programming Act that will set action priorities and point the way forward.
  • Last July, the Assises de l'Eau (Water Conference) concluded a new pact containing 23 measures against climate change.
  • The National Strategy against Imported Deforestation (SNDI), which aims to put an end to deforestation caused by importation of non-sustainable forest and agricultural products by 2030.
France is also providing assistance to agricultural sectors in order to ensure their successful transition to agroecology.

Finally, at international level, France will be supporting the adoption of an ambitious international framework for protection of biodiversity during the Conference of Parties on Biodiversity (COP15) set to be held in China in 2020.


May be opportunity of body

In our worldwide today, breast malignant neoplasm is one of the most common diseases and causes of death largely among women. Breast malignant neoplastic disease also go off in men nonetheless it is little rampant since the breast is individual level-headed of similar tissues in some males and females.In the proterozoic stage, breast cancer can be in means of harrowing hunk and at present time be given as body part hurting. It can likewise come in as inflammation when it is related to with the features. In this satchel the breast growth itself is exploit inflammatory recoil of the cutis and this causes a lot of pains, swelling, redness of the breast and besides heat throughout the body part.In element to this, changes in the contour and production of the breast is also self-protective to body part malignant neoplasm. Before the arrival of X-ray of the breast (mammography) body part cancer is principally discovered as not screening the information of the unwellness earlier the grounds comes to existence, which mechanism that the X-ray helps a lot to notice this poisonous bug early.Post ads:China Glaze up & Away Collection: Re-fresh Mint 867/80937 / Creative Nail Shellac Rubble, 0.25 Fluid Ounce / Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion, SPF 30, / Creative Nail Shellac Dark Lava, 0.25 Fluid Ounce / Bellabe Facial Hair Remover / BaByliss Pro BABP6685N Porcelain Ceramic Carrera2 Dryer / Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action / Village Naturals Therapy Liquid Mineral Bath, Stress and / GiGi Mini Pro Waxing Kit / 8" -12" in Length Beautiful Natural Beige & Brown Feathers / Laila By Geir Ness For Women, Eau De Parfum Spray, / Mirror Hand Large Black / Nail Soaking Tray Acetone Proof (3 Assorted Pcs) / Shellac Romantique .25 oz. / The Naked Bee Naked Bee Hand & Body Lotion 6.7 oz lotion - / Conair HCT425GBV The Chopper 2 in 1 Custom Styler 24 Piece / Tolco Empty Spray Bottle 8 oz. Frosted Assorted Colors / GIGI Brazillian Body Hard WaxThough not all the breast symptoms turns out to be breast metastatic tumor but cutis changes of the nipples is one of the late appearance of malignant neoplasm. At any age, the resemblance of any breast grounds should be taken hopelessly by both the long-suffering and the medico meanwhile within may be opportunity of body part malignant neoplasm in any body part symptom.

Status of marine fish and shellfish stocks in European seas

The indicator tracks both the status of commercial fish stocks in European regional seas and the pressure exerted by fisheries on those stocks, as well as the quality of the information available. To that end, the following is reported: the status of marine fish and shellfish stocks based on the current level of exploitation and reproductive capacity; the importance of the (sub-)region, reflected by the total landings (as a proxy of catch) of fish from commercial fisheries in European seas per MSFD (sub-)region; the availability of appropriate information for the status assessment, as reflected by the proportion of those landings covered by quantitative stock assessments (i.e. the proportion providing the required indicators and their reference levels). Status of marine fish and shellfish stocks The MSFD requires GES to be achieved by 2020 (EC, 2008). According to the MSFD (Descriptor 3), three criteria are relevant to determining if a fish or shellfish stock has achieved GES:  (1) it should be exploited sustainably, consistent with high long-term yields; (2) it should have full reproductive capacity, to maintain stock biomass; and (3) a certain proportion of older and larger fish/shellfish should be maintained (or increased), as this is an indicator of a healthy stock. Sustainable exploitation: sustainably exploited stocks are stocks for which F is at or below levels that deliver MSY, i.e. F ≤ F MSY . Thus, a stock is considered to have been assessed against this criterion only if values for F and F MSY  are available, and the stock is considered to have achieved GES only if F ≤ F MSY . Reproductive capacity: in areas assessed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the criterion for sustainable reproductive capacity (SSB > SSB MSY ) has been changed, for pragmatic reasons, to SSB > MSY B trigger . SSB is consistently provided as part of ICES stock assessments, i.e. of the North-East Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, but not, for the most part, by assessments of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), i.e. of the Mediterranean and Black Sea stocks. Similarly to the above, a stock is considered to have been assessed against this criterion if values for SSB and a good proxy for SSB MSY  (i.e. MSY B trigger ) are available, and the stock is considered to have achieved GES only if SSB > SSB MSY  (or an appropriate proxy). Healthy age and size structure: in this case, the assumption is that a stock with sufficient numbers of old and large fish is healthy. However, this criterion is not sufficiently developed and no threshold for GES is known for this criterion. Therefore, it is not included. This has resulted in four assessment categories: not assessed: no sufficient information available to assess status; F: status assessed based only on F and F MSY; SSB: status assessed based only on SSB and SSB MSY  (or some proxy, i.e. MSY B trigger ); F and SSB: status assessed based on both F and SSB.   Because of ongoing discussions about the criteria integration rules for descriptor 3, the stocks are classified as: assessed stocks for which adequate information is available to determine GES based on F and SSB; assessed stocks for which insufficient information is available to determine GES based on F or SSB; assessed stocks for which insufficient information is available to determine GES according to both reference points F and SSB.   For those stocks for which adequate information is available to determine GES based on fishing mortality (F) and/or reproductive capacity (SSB), a second distinction is made between (1) stocks in good status based on both fishing mortality and reproductive capacity; (2) stocks in good status based on only one criteria (either because one of the two criteria is in good status or data are available for only one criteria and it is in good status); and (3) stocks not in good status (either because one of the two criteria is not in good status or data are available for only one criteria and it is not in good status). Total landings Landings information for the North-East Atlantic and the Baltic Sea is based on the ICES  official nominal catches, 2006-2017 data set . Fisheries nominal catch statistics are reported annually by national offices. In cooperation with Eurostat and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the ICES prepares and publishes the official nominal catch statistics data set for the North-East Atlantic (FAO major fishing area 27). Landings information for the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea is based on the FAO's capture production data set. For the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the figures are based on 2016 landings data. Only some of the species/taxa in the landings data can be considered 'commercial fish', which, for assessment purposes, may consist of several stocks. Only some of these stocks are covered by quantitative stock assessments such that their status can be assessed based on the above criteria. Stocks In the North-East Atlantic area, stocks are generally defined based on biological criteria and knowledge of population migration, mixing and spawning areas. For example, cod in the North-East Atlantic is currently considered to form 16 different stocks, between which mixing is generally negligible. These stocks are found over multiple MSFD ecoregions, and some individual stock distributions cover more than one ecoregion. However, in this analysis each stock has been assigned to a single ecoregion (see Methodology). In the Mediterranean and Black Seas, on the other hand, stocks are mostly defined by management area because of a lack of biological knowledge. Because these stocks are based on a specific geographical area, most can be attributed to a specific MSFD (sub-)region.

Moussa Ibrahim: Libya Was Destroyed Due to Western Leaders’ Lust to Continue Exploiting Africa’s Riches

The 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, which helped topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi, was done to put an end to his attempts to stop foreign exploitation of the continent, the strongman’s wartime spokesman told RT. The bombing campaign, which propped up rebel forces and ultimately led to the summary execution of Gaddafi, was justified...

Information Security Specialist - Trend Micro - Ottawa, ON

Whether you like to dig into vulnerabilities and exploits, you love hacking web applications, study malware, play with metasploit or run pen-tests, we are…
From Trend Micro - Wed, 30 Jan 2019 00:14:32 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs

L’art de l’optimisation thermique des tableaux de contrôle/commande

Dans un projet de tableaux de contrôle/commande, l’objectif est d’avoir des dépenses d’exploitation et d’investissement les plus faibles possibles. Cependant, de nombreuses variables entrent en jeu lorsqu’il s’agit d’améliorer ces OPEX et les (...)


Politically incorrect anthropology

I have been reading about Napoleon Chagnon for many years now.  I wrote about his findings as early as 2003. So I was pleased to see a recent comprehensive summary of his work in Quillette

As I learned myself by working in two academic departments that covered anthropology, anthropologists are the most Lefist discipline in the social sciences -- and that is saying something.  Chagnon, however, was simply interested in reality and was one of the most committed anthropologists ever.  He spent years living among the people he described -- under conditions that few modern men could endure. So he knew what he was talking about.  Below is a brief excerpt from the Quillette article.  As you can see, his findings went right against the old Leftist claim that man was naturally good and kind but had been corrupted by modern civilization:

In 1966, Chagnon began working with the geneticist James Neel. Neel had had managed to convince the Atomic Energy Commission to fund a genetic study of an isolated population and was able to pay Chagnon a salary to assist his research there. Neel’s team took blood samples from the Yanomamö, and began administering the Edmonston B vaccine when they discovered that the Yanomamö had no antibodies to the measles. In some ways, the Yanomamö sounded like something out of any anthropology textbook—they were patrilineal and polygamous (polygyny); like other cultures around the world, they carved a position for the levirate—a man who married his dead brother’s wife; they had ceremonial roles and practised ritual confinement with taboos on food and sex. But sometimes this exotic veneer would be punctured by their shared humanity, particularly their mischievous sense of humour.

But for all their jocularity, Chagnon found that up to 30 percent of all Yanomamö males died a violent death. Warfare and violence were common, and duelling was a ritual practice, in which two men would take turns flogging each other over the head with a club, until one of the combatants succumbed. Chagnon was adamant that the primary causes of violence among the Yanomamö were revenge killings and women. The latter may not seem surprising to anyone aware of the ubiquity of ruthless male sexual competition in the animal kingdom, but anthropologists generally believed that human violence found its genesis in more immediate matters, such as disputes over resources. When Chagnon asked the Yanomamö shaman Dedeheiwa t0 explain the cause of violence, he replied, “Don’t ask such stupid questions! Women! Women! Women! Women! Women!” Such fights erupted over sexual jealousy, sexual impropriety, rape, and attempts at seduction, kidnap and failure to deliver a promised girl.

Internecine raids and attacks often involved attempts by a man or group to abduct another’s women. “The victim is grabbed by her abductors by one arm, and her protectors grab the other arm. Then both groups pull in opposite directions,” Chagnon learned. In one instance, a woman’s arms were reportedly pulled out of their sockets: “The victim invariably screams in agony, and the struggle can last several long minutes until one group takes control of her.” Although one in five Yanomamö women Chagnon interviewed had been kidnapped from another village, some of these women were grateful to find that their new husbands were less cruel than their former ones. The treatment of Yanomamö women could be particularly gruesome, and Chagnon had to wrestle with the ethical dilemmas that confront anthropologists under such circumstances—should he intervene or remain an observer? Men frequently beat their wives, mainly out of sexual jealousy, shot arrows into them, or even held burning sticks between their legs to discourage the possibility of infidelity. On one occasion, a man bludgeoned his wife in the head with firewood and in front of an impassive audience. “Her head bounced off the ground with each ruthless blow, as if he were pounding a soccer ball with a baseball bat. The head-man and I intervened at that point—he was killing her.” Chagnon stitched her head back up. The woman recovered but she subsequently dropped her infant into a fire as she slept, and was later killed by a venomous snake. Life in the Amazon could be nasty, brutish, and short.

Chagnon would make more than 20 fieldwork visits to the Amazon, and in 1968 he published Yanomamö: The Fierce People, which became an instant international bestseller. The book immediately ignited controversy within the field of anthropology. Although it commanded immense respect and became the most commonly taught book in introductory anthropology courses, the very subtitle of the book annoyed those anthropologists, who preferred to give their monographs titles like The Gentle Tasaday, The Gentle People, The Harmless People, The Peaceful People, Never in Anger, and The Semai: A Nonviolent People of Malaya.

The stubborn tendency within the discipline was to paint an unrealistic façade over such cultures—although 61 percent of Waorani men met a violent death, an anthropologist nevertheless described this Amazonian people as a “tribe where harmony rules,” on account of an “ethos that emphasized peacefulness.”  Anthropologists who considered such a society harmonious were unlikely to be impressed by Chagnon’s description of the Yanomamö as “The Fierce People,” where “only” 30 percent of males died by violence. The same anthropologist who had ascribed a prevailing ethos of peace to the Waoroni later accused Chagnon, in the gobbledygook of anthropological jargon, of the “projection of traditional preconceptions of the Western construction of Otherness.”


Britain looks to Australia on immigration as it seeks to 'end the free movement of people'

Britain's government says it is moving ahead with plans to adopt an Australian-style points-based immigration system.

Addressing supporters at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government is working hard to make it happen. "I have a particular responsibility when it comes to taking back control: It is to end the free movement of people once and for all," she said to rounds of applause.

"Instead we will introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system."

Immigration officials in Australia assess skilled worker visa applications awarding points for proficiency in English, work experience and age. The screening system was first rolled out in 1979 and has in the years since been adjusted to better consider the preferences of employers.

Last month, Ms Patel wrote to the Migration Advisory Committee asking it to review if Australia’s points-based migration system could work in Britain. The committee has been asked to report back by January.

Ms Patel said she believes leaving the EU will provide Britain with a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to change the country's immigration system for the better.

"One that works in the best interest of Britain. One that attracts and welcomes the brightest and the best. One that supports the brilliant scientists, the finest academics and the leading people in their fields. And one that is under the control of the British government."

Canada and New Zealand have also adopted a points-style system for skilled migration.


Adults 'fail by giving in to trans teenagers'

Adults fail in their duty to children if they just give in to the "instant gratification" demands of transgender teenagers who protest they cannot wait until 18 for irreversible sex-reassignment surgery, clinical psychologist Paul Stevenson says.

Mr Stevenson, well known for helping trauma victims after the Bali and Jakarta terror bombings of the 2000s, said psychologists should not "disenfranchise" parents of trans teens, nor "drive a wedge" between child and family. He was commenting on a submission by the Australian Psychological Society that doctors should be able to go ahead with under-16 trans surgery, with both parents opposed and no mandatory counselling for the adolescent, as long as the clinicians were "competent" in assessing the teen's capacity to make the decision.

The APS claims 24,000 members but Mr Stevenson said his breakaway body, the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc, had picked up 2000 new members in the past year, taking the total to 8000, partly because of discontent with the APS.

The AAPi appears to be the first health or medical pro-fessional body in Australia to go public with scepticism about the "child-led" affirmation approach to trans, which critics say discourages thorough investigation of a young patient's history and too readily puts them on a path to risky medical treatment, including puberty-blocker drugs, cross-sex hormones and surgery, such as mastectomy for trans boys.

Gender clinicians claim children are experts in their identity and going along with their transition is best for mental health. Mr Stevenson said the sudden decision of a teen to come out as trans brought grief and stress not just to parents but to the extended family, and for everyone's long-term interests the crucial relationship between teen and parent had to be supported.

 "Psycholo-gists are not in the business of splitting up families," he said. He said the teenage years brought rapid and confusing development, and conflict with parents. Some neuroscience studies suggested the decision-making brain might not fully mature until a person reached their 30s, making it unwise to allow teens under 18 to consent to irreversible medical treatment.

"We've got to help parents get their children through this period of time when the (teenager's) frontal lobe is 'out for renovations'," he said. "Parents are the best-placed people to get their kids through this, we shouldn't be driving wedges between them."

Some parents have reported a pattern of teenagers, typically girls, suddenly declaring trans status with scripted lines from social media about the immediate need for hormones to stop them committing suicide.

Mr Stevenson said suicidal ideas — like any other mental health issues —should be treated directly. Flinders University's Damien Riggs, co-author of the APS submission, claims it is "scientifically, incorrect" to suggest social media or peer pressure might influence a trans teenager's stated identity. He has argued that Medicare should fund a trans mastectomy just as it does for a healthy woman with a genetic risk of breast cancer.

Online forums suggest trans mastectomy costs about $10,000. Dr Riggs, who won a $694,514 federal grant to study "family diversity", is cited as an authority in the 2018 treatment standards for children and adolescents issued by the gender clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (which does no trans surgery).

Yesterday, the APS said the courts already allowed trans surgery for patients under 18. Where parents opposed it, "minors should have the right to access the opinion and guidance of suitably qualified medical professionals, including psychologists".

From "The Australian" of 4 Oct., 2019

What ‘The Times’ Got Wrong About Slavery in America

The New York Times recently drew a lot of attention for its “1619 Project” initiative, which has been criticized for misrepresenting the role of the slave trade as the central core to the development of the United States. The Times “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

The project name purportedly refers to the date the first African slaves were brought to the English colonies that later became the United States. Like much else in the Times’ version of the role of slavery in American history, even the project name is rooted in distortion. Although the institution of slavery is a stain on national history, the true story is much more complex than the Times represents, and the United States plays a role both as a country that exploited the slave trade as well as a leader in the movement to end the African slave trade, and was not the primary instigator or beneficiary of the brutal trade.

1619 was not, in fact, the date of the first African slaves in the English colonies — those Africans were brought in under indenturement contracts, not bought as slaves. They were contracted to a fixed period of labor (typically five years) to pay for the cost charged by the Dutch slavers, at which point they were freed with a payment of a start-up endowment.

Indenturement Contracts, Not Slaves

This was not unusual or limited to Africans – approximately half of the 500,000 European immigrants to the thirteen colonies prior to 1775 paid for their passage with indenturement contracts. Anthony Johnson, a black Angolan, was typical – he entered Virginia as an indentured servant in 1621, became a free man after the term of his contract, acquired land, and became among the first actual slaveholders in the colonies.

The first actual African slave in the colonies was John Punch, an indentured servant sentenced to slavery in 1640 in Virginia by the General Court of the Governor’s Council for having violated his indenturement contract by fleeing to Maryland. In 1641, the Massachusetts Assembly passed the first statutory law allowing slavery of those who were prisoners of war, sold themselves into slavery, or were sentenced to slavery by the courts, but banning it under other circumstances.

Early slavery, like indenturement contracts, was not specifically targeted at those of African descent. The Massachusetts law was primarily intended to allow slavery of captured Indians in the aftermath of King Phillip’s War. The 1705 Virginia Slave Codes, for example, declared as slaves those purchased from abroad who were not Christian. A Christian African entering the colony, for example, would not be a slave — but a captured American Indian who was not a Christian would be.

Black vs. Black

Ironically, a freed black man initiated the court case that moved slavery to a race-based institution. The Angolan immigrant Anthony Johnson was the plaintiff is a key civil case, where the Northampton Court in 1654 declared after the expiration of the indenturement contract of his African servant John Casor that Johnson owned Casor “for life,” nullifying the protections of the contract for the servant and essentially establishing the civil precedent for the enslavement of all African indentured servants by declaring that a contract for such servants extended for life, rather than the fixed term in the contract.

It was not until 1662 that the children of such slaves became legally slaves rather than free men, in a law passed in Virginia. The African slave trade itself was minor until King Charles II established the Royal African Company with a monopoly on the slave trade to the colonies. As late as 1735, the Colony of Georgia passed a law outlawing slavery, which was repealed due to a labor shortage in 1750. The boom in the import of slaves actually began around 1725, with half of all imported slaves arriving between then and the onset of the American Revolution in 1775.

Relatively speaking, the United States was a minor player in the African Slave Trade — only about 5% of the Africans imported to the New World came to the United States. Of the 10.7 million Africans who survived the ocean voyage, a mere 388,000 were shipped directly to North America. The largest recipients of imported African slaves were Brazil, Cuba. Jamaica, and the other Caribbean colonies. The lifespan of those brought into what is now the United States vastly exceeded those of the other 95%, and the United States was the only purchaser of African slaves where population grew naturally in slavery – the death rate among the rest was higher than the birth rate.

While the institution, even in the United States was a brutal violation of basic human rights, it tended on average to be far more humane than in the rest of the New World.

The World Slave Trade

The Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean African slave trade, which began by Arabs as early as the 8th Century AD, dwarfed the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and continued up to the 20th Century. Between the start of the Atlantic Slave Trade and 1900, it is estimated that the eastern-bound Arab slave traders sold over 17 million Africans into slavery in the Middle East and India, compared to about 12 million to the new world – and the Eastern-bound slave trade had been ongoing for at least 600 years at the START of that period.

The Western-bound Atlantic slave trade, contrary to the misrepresentation in “Roots,” did not involve the capture of free Africans by Europeans or Arabs, but by the trading of slaves (already a basis for the economy of the local animist or Muslim kingdoms) captured in local wars to Western merchants in exchange for Western goods. The first such slaves brought to the Western Hemisphere were brought by the Spanish to their colonies in Cuba and Hispaniola in 1501, almost a century and a half before the first slave in the English colonies that became the United States.

The last African state to outlaw slavery, Mauritania, did not do so until 2007, and if the institution is illegal on the continent de jure, it still is widespread de facto in Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Sudan, as well as parts of Ghana, Benin, Togo Gabon, Angola, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Libya, and Nigeria.

The contradictions slavery posed on the rebel colonies during the Revolution sparked a backlash against slavery and the slave trade. Colonel John Laurens, son of a large South Carolina slaveholder, noted the contradictions in 1776, stating that “I think we Americans at least in the Southern Colonies, cannot contend with a good Grace, for Liberty, until we shall have enfranchised our Slaves. How can we whose Jealousy has been alarm’d more at the Name of Oppression sometimes than at the Reality, reconcile to our spirited Assertions of the Rights of Mankind, the galling abject Slavery of our negroes. . . . If as some pretend, but I am persuaded more thro’ interest, than from Conviction, the Culture of the Ground with us cannot be carried on without African Slaves, Let us fly it as a hateful Country, and say ubi Libertas ibi Patria.”

The US Constitution Banned the Slave Trade in 1808

More shared that sentiment and the first law in the European world to outlaw the slave trade was, in fact, the US Constitution, which in 1787 banned the slave trade as of 1808. In Massachusetts, a 1783 court decision ended slavery, and all of the Northern States had passed emancipations laws by 1803. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 outlawed slavery in territories north of the Ohio River. Other countries followed suit. Denmark-Norway banned the slave trade in 1803, but not slavery until 1848. Britain passed a law abolishing the slave trade in 1807, and enforced it with the Royal Navy, and abolished slavery itself in 1833.

In 1807, Congress passed legislation making the import of slaves to the United States a federal crime, and in 1820, Congress passed the Law on Slave Trade, which went beyond the British law in declaring slavers as pirates, punishable by death instead of mere fines – and the US Navy joined the Royal Navy in active interdiction of slave ships.

Economically, the institution of slavery, rather than develop the economy of the new nation, stunted its development. Although bonded labor, whether slave or indentured servant, clearly played an important role in developing a labor force in the early colonial days, its role in the advancement of the economy in the newly established country is questionable. Gavin Wright, in his classic book The Political Economy of the Cotton South, shows in fact that slavery hindered the development of the economy in those states where it remained legal. The artisans, tradesmen, and unskilled labor pool necessary for developing a thriving, diverse economy was discouraged by competition from bonded labor, and the slave-owning class showed little interest in such an economy.

How Slavery Stalled the Economy of the New Country

Increasingly, the economy came to be dominated by cotton monoculture, boosted by the invention of the cotton gin, and the value of the capital invested in slaves. In order to maintain the value of this capital investment, demand for slave labor needed to be maintained, which led to the slaveholding states demanding the opening of new lands for slave cultivation. Wright shows that, contrary to the assertions of many modern critics who try to claim that slavery was responsible for the development of the US economy and to the mistaken belief of secessionists prior to the Civil War, cotton was not King, but rather the greatest return from slaveholding was the capital increase from the reproduction of slaves.

Without new lands to be worked by the expanding slave population, the price of slaves would fall, and the wealth of the ruling classes in the Southern states would have plummeted. Thus, issues like the Wilmot Proviso or Kansas-Nebraska Act, which threatened to close off the expansion of lands to be worked by slaves, posed an existential threat to the wealth of the slaveholders. Meanwhile, unencumbered by the institution of slavery, those states that abolished the institution and emancipated existing slaves embraced other forms of generating wealth, including a manufacturing economy that rapidly outpaced that of the slave states. The Civil War was, in large part, won because the economy of free labor produced at rates that the economy of slave labor could not imagine. In fact, it was not until the abolishment of the Jim Crow laws preserving vestiges of the slave system that the economy of the New South truly began to take off.

While undoubtedly the issue of slavery and conflicts over its contradiction with the ideals of the new Republic shaped the political debates of the new country through the Civil War, it is going too far to assert that the slave trade and slavery were the central core of the development of the United States. Rather, it is more true to state that the ideals of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment and political beliefs shaped by the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution created an environment that exposed the immorality of slavery and established the political grounds for ending the slave trade, and eventually the institution of slavery in areas of Western European influence.

It was not a simple process, and required painful conflict to negotiate the conflicts and contradictions between the liberal ideal and the self-interest of those who owned human chattel, but ultimately rather than allow slavery to drive the growth of the nation, the new United States became a leader, along with their cousins in the Anglosphere, in the efforts to end the brutal and illiberal practice of slavery.

The New York Times does a disservice to its readers with the 1619 Project by presenting a simplistic and misleading story of the complex role that the institution of slavery played in the history of the United States, and it largely ignores the role that the underlying values of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment that undergird the new nation played in ending slavery and the slave trade.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here




‘Big Bad Trusts’ Are a Progressive Myth

Today’s tech titans, like yesterday’s industrial giants, will diminish in time thanks to competition

The resurgence of progressivism in America has brought growing support for a return to Progressive-era trustbusting. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a plan to break up tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Berkeley professor Robert Reich, once the resident progressive of the Clinton administration, opines, “Like the robber barons of the first Gilded Age, those of the second”—the tech giants—“have amassed fortunes because of their monopolies.” Even in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, a newspaper headline declares, “Big tech needs to face a Theodore Roosevelt -style trust busting.”

According to progressive legend, when trusts and cartels in the late 19th century exploited consumers, trustbusters rode to the rescue. Today’s progressives are ready to reincarnate yesteryear’s remedies. The problem with this narrative is that it has little basis in fact.

If the Gilded Age was plagued by anticompetitive behavior, the data should show output falling and prices rising in monopolized industries. In a 1985 study, economist Thomas DiLorenzo tested this hypothesis for industries accused of being monopolistic during the debate on the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. He found that output in those industries actually increased by an average of 175% from 1880-90—seven times the growth rate of real gross national product. On average, prices in the so-called monopolized industries fell three times as fast as the consumer-price index. When it comes to the progressive itch to attack large firms, a famous line comes to mind: “Ignorance lies not in the things you don’t know, but in the things you know that ain’t so!”

Steel output grew by 242% from 1880-90, but during the 10 years after the Sherman Act, it grew by only 135%. Other “monopolized” industries with large differences in growth rates in the decades before and after the Sherman Act include copper (330% vs. 133%), petroleum (74% vs. 39%), refined sugar (65% vs. 48%) and cigars and cigarettes (121% vs. 40%).

Prices tell a similar story. On average, in the industries for which data are available, inflation-adjusted prices fell at a faster rate, or rose at a slower rate, in the decade before the Sherman Act than in the decade after it. The real price of steel rails fell by 43% from 1880-90, but fell by only 0.7% from 1890 to 1900. The wholesale price of sugar fell 22.4% from 1880-90 but fell by only 6.1% from 1890-1900. A similar pattern played out for copper, pig iron and anthracite coal.

In reality, the turn of the 20th century was an era of vigorous industrial competition driven by the implementation of new technologies, new sources of supply, and improved management. Economies of scale produced industrial concentration. Most of the trusts and cartels that subsequently formed to keep out competition gradually failed without any government intervention.

The history of the American Sugar Refining trust, which formed in 1887, illustrates this pattern. The Sugar Trust had only fleeting success at limiting production or raising prices over the ensuing 20 years. U.S. refined-sugar production more than doubled from 1887 to 1907. Despite the trust’s efforts to keep them out, competitors built factories and undercut its prices in less time than it took to prosecute a major antitrust lawsuit. In 1893, when the Grover Cleveland administration filed its first Sherman antitrust suit against American Sugar, the margin between the prices of raw and refined sugar was 1.15 cents a pound. By the time the Supreme Court decided the case in 1895, new competitors had driven the margin down to 0.88 cent a pound—a 23% decrease.

Unlike the trusts, tariffs and regulations actually succeeded in squelching competition in the Gilded Age. Standard Oil benefited from tariffs on oil and refined products. Henry Havemeyer, the first president of American Sugar, stated at a congressional hearing in 1899 that “the mother of all trusts is the customs tariff bill. . . . Without the tariff, I doubt if we should have dared to take the risk of forming the trust.”

The first legislative action of the trustbusting era came with the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 to regulate rail freight rates. Economist George Hilton and historian Gabriel Kolko found that railroads supported federal regulation because their attempts to stabilize rates through cartels had repeatedly failed. Real rail freight revenues fell 17.7% per ton-mile from 1870-90. The Interstate Commerce Act banned price rebates, the mechanism the overbuilt railroad system had used to reduce prices. When trucks began to compete with the railroads, Congress brought trucking under ICC regulation. Whatever its initial impact or intent, over time evidence mounted that transportation regulation actually impeded competition.

By the 1970s, the anticompetitive effects of economic regulation, especially in transportation, were acknowledged by progressives from Ralph Nader to economist Alfred Kahn. In the greatest deregulatory effort of the 20th century, President Jimmy Carter led the opening of competition in the railroad, airline and trucking industries. Peer-reviewed economic studies have consistently shown that the transportation deregulation of the Carter era produced significant price reductions and improvements in service.

The rise of Big Tech is virtually a replay of the rise of scale-driven industrialization at the turn of the 20th century. We’ve seen rapid growth of large firms fueled by technological innovation and economies of scale accompanied by declining prices. This time around, extraordinarily, the new “monopolies” are giving many of their products away.

There are legitimate policy concerns involving Big Tech, such as claims of censorship. But history shows little evidence that breaking up big tech companies or regulating them as monopolies will benefit consumers. Before policy makers repeat the failed experiments of the past, they should determine whether trustbusting is really about protecting consumers or merely about expanding the power of government.


Book Review: ‘Order Without Design,’ by Alain Bertaud

An Urban Planner Describes the Flaws of His Profession

Who should run cities, economists or urban planners? This is a trick question: the answer is that neither group can fully know how to run such complex systems. But if planner Alain Bertaud had to choose, he’d vote against his own profession.

In his recent book Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities, Bertaud writes that planners have largely botched urban growth worldwide, and should approach it by using more insights from economics. For decades, Bertaud has trotted the world to study and help plan cities himself. He worked first for the United Nations, then the World Bank, then as a private consultant. He’s now a research scholar at NYU, where he’s learned from that school’s renowned economists.

Economics would be useful to planners, he writes, because it’s scientific. It uses technical, real-world data to create models on how cities behave, and how they would behave if given variables change. This means economists can better understand markets, predict outcomes, and determine best practices based on a defined set of goals.

Planners, by contrast, are “normative”, meaning they shape their premises not through empiricism, but norms and fads from their micro-culture. Their use of terms like “quality of life”, “neighborhood character”, “livability,” and “sustainability” are not technical, but derive from how they and their peers subjectively define these words. This means that planners depend on truisms and pseudo-science to shape policy.

One example Bertaud describes comes from his time spent in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which in the 1970s was exploding in population, as rural Haitians migrated there to escape poverty. Bertaud was part of a team of U.N. bureaucrats who visited the city to advise on its growth. Many of his colleagues thought the growth should be dispersed nationwide, rather than concentrating in Port-au-Prince.

“At the time,” writes Bertaud, “planners were debating about the optimum size of cities, usually advocating for a size between half a million and a million people.”

Yet the economics literature had already debunked this notion. Economists back then were saying (as they do now) that cities get more productive the more they grow, due to agglomeration benefits, and there was no reason to cap population at one million people. Bertaud didn’t understand these benefits until he met an economist for the first time, while in Haiti. From then on, he became convinced that economists should have a bigger role in educating planners.

If that happened, planners would then be less prone to view cities as tabula rasas that should be designed based on their own cultural tastes, and more prone to view cities as what they actually are: labor markets. This “cities as labor markets” theory is the second big premise of Bertaud’s book.

A city’s fundamental raison d’etre is that it’s where people go to find jobs. Cities grow based on their ability to provide economic opportunity, and decline if that opportunity vanishes. The key role planners should play is not to choose which industries bolster these labor markets, but to set the conditions for growth, by allowing the development of housing and transportation that lets people access and expand these labor markets. Housing and transportation is where Bertaud thinks planners could better apply economic thinking. For example, rather than mandating zoning laws that are arbitrary and fixed, planners should observe the price signals in their markets, and use it as feedback to adjust the zoning. Every few years, zoning regulations should be subject to cost-benefit analyses, to ensure they’re accomplishing their stated goal, not just inflicting financial hardship and high home prices.

For transportation, planners should ignore their preconceived biases about the “right” transport modes and layouts, and instead focus on what will actually shorten commutes and improve mobility. This too can be done through price signals – namely tolls and congestion charging – that more efficiently delineate road space and ease traffic flow. Whether or not this leads to the overwhelming use of rails, buses, carpools or single-occupancy vehicles will vary by city, and depend on how those respective modes are priced.

One flaw of Order Without Design is that Bertaud never really defines “planner”, which causes him to isolate planners for unfair blame. Globally speaking, planners from the U.N. or federal governments may have power over land-use decisions. But in the U.S., policy is made less by professional planners—who graduated from planning schools and have AICP certification—than by politicians. The anti-economic thinking that drives our land-use policy is really more a reflection of the American people and who they vote for than of urban planners, who are largely powerless (if still misguided) advisors.

But the basic message of Bertaud’s book holds. Cities are often viewed and treated like aesthetic or cultural objects, rather than labor markets where people go to work. Their housing and transport grids are planned as such, ignoring this functional role of cities. Introducing economics to the urbanization process would help solve the problems now common in cities worldwide.


Jeff Jacoby: Instead of resurrecting the 'People's Pledge,' let's bury it for good

REPRESENTATIVE JOE KENNEDY, the youngest member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, announced last week that he would run against Senator Ed Markey, the oldest member, because, he said, "I've got new ideas and a new approach." Really? In nearly seven years in Congress, Kennedy has emitted few whiffs of originality or unconventional thinking. Why would that change if he replaced Markey in the Senate? In any case, as skeptics promptly pointed out, on political issues there are no meaningful differences between the two left-wing Democrats.

As if to validate the skepticism, Kennedy's first big campaign proposal, delivered in a press release on Tuesday, was a so-called People's Pledge to keep third-party advertising out of the Senate race. That was anything but a new idea: Markey had proposed the exact same thing when he first ran for the Senate in 2013 — and he was only recycling a gimmick from the race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown a year earlier.

But the People's Pledge isn't just a tired, old idea. It's a tired, old, bad idea. It is arrogant and antidemocratic, and its purpose is to squelch free speech — in particular, the form of speech most valued in the American constitutional system: speech about politics, candidates, elections, and issues.

Kennedy wants his rivals (who include attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and businessman Steve Pemberton, in addition to Markey) to repudiate in advance any "outside" advertising — that is, any advertising from any source other than the candidates' own campaigns. The purpose of the "People's Pledge" is to put teeth into that repudiation. It provides that if an outside organization spends money on TV, radio, or online ads in support of any candidate in the race, the campaign being helped would pay a penalty: It would have to donate half the value of the ad buy to a charity named by the other campaign. Political groups wanting to weigh in on the Massachusetts Senate fight would thus be dissuaded, since the more they spent to assist any candidate, the more cash that candidate would have to forfeit.

Warren and Brown were extravagantly praised when they agreed to this arrangement in 2012. Their pledge was welcomed as a victory for "civility," and the candidates were awarded props for coming up with a way to reduce the influence of money on their high-profile Senate race.

But the "People's Pledge" proved a bust. When all was said and done, the 2012 Brown/Warren race, far from restoring civility to politics, was among the nation's nastiest. And the candidates' agreement did nothing to diminish the importance of money. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Brown and Warren battle turned out to be the most expensive Senate campaign in the country. As Rosie Gray reported in BuzzFeed, Brown and Warren's much-admired pledge "appears to have accomplished roughly the opposite of its goal."

So when Markey, running for the Senate a year later, attempted to revive the pledge, his Republican opponent sensibly declined. When Secretary of State Bill Galvin tried the same ploy during his reelection fight in 2018, his Democratic challenger, calling it an "empty gesture," likewise refused.

Now that he's facing a serious challenge to his Senate seat, Markey no longer seems quite so enamored of the idea that third-party advertising should be kept out of the race. His campaign manager agreed only to "review the proposal" made by Kennedy. It's hard to imagine that Markey, facing the toughest reelection fight of his career, will spurn the help of independent groups. One such group, Environment Massachusetts, has already said it will raise $5 million for a campaign "to promote the senator's remarkable record" to the state's voters.

"Remarkable" isn't the word I would choose to describe Markey's congressional career. But if Environment Massachusetts and its supporters want to spend money to sing Markey's praises, why should they be stifled? If the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which has endorsed Kennedy, wants to run ads promoting his virtues, why shouldn't it do so? For that matter, why should any group with strong opinions about the Senate race – charities, corporations, political parties, advocacy organizations, houses of worship, or simply an ad hoc amalgam of interested citizens – be deterred from weighing in?

The winner of the Massachusetts Senate race will have power to influence the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans, here in the commonwealth and around the nation. Health care, housing, taxes, immigration, foreign policy, judgeships, war and peace — senators have a say in all of them. Which means that virtually everyone has an interest in who gets elected, and compelling reasons, perhaps, to influence the voters' decision. Should they be silenced? Of course not!

Anyone with something to say about the Massachusetts Senate race should be encouraged to say it. No group with strong views on the issues or the candidates should be denounced for spending money to disseminate those views. Robust political expression is the very quintessence of free speech, and in an election campaign, "outside" and "third party" voices are just as legitimate as those of the candidates themselves.

The "People's Pledge" is a terrible idea. Let's hope we've heard the last of it.


Australia: Evidence of Cardinal Pell's innocence suppressed by the police.  They were always out to "get" him

Cardinal Pell was convicted of pedophilia on uncorroborated evidence

There was an interesting report in The Australian yesterday about two women of irreproachable standing whose testimony was sidelined by Victoria Police during its investigation of George Pell. Inexplicably, the women were not called by the defence. Jean Cornish and Lil Sinozic are not run-of-the-mill observers or blow-ins. Church office-holders and former senior school teachers with a hawkish concern for the safety of children, they were arguably the most authoritative eye-witnesses of all. Like everyone else who was at St Patrick’s Cathedral, they dismiss the claims against Cardinal Pell as impossible nonsense. By now the revelation is not surprising.

At the committal hearing for the case in March 2018, Detective Christopher Reed admitted he didn’t bother taking statements from “nuns, choir members and other church officials which he told the court were favourable to Cardinal Pell.” He also failed to obtain the exact dates the Cardinal presided at mass in 1996. Asked why, under cross-examination by Robert Richter QC, Reed admitted that he executed a warrant at the wrong address. “I didn’t know where the archives were,” he said. It is a concern when a detective in a case of this magnitude doesn’t have the skillset of a Dominoes delivery driver. Surprisingly, Reed and Detective Superintendent Paul Sheridan managed to find their way to Rome to interview Cardinal Pell.

From the start, VicPol’s decisions about whose statements to heed, whose to avoid, who to pursue and who to disregard have been peculiar; some would say suspicious. Remember “the swimmers”? They were the public prosecutor’s B Team. If the “choirboys” failed, the swimmers would be beckoned forth from the red-brick shed of times gone by to regale a second jury with tales of surreptitiously brushed buttocks and sneakily squeezed privates beneath warm waves of sun-drenched, chlorine-flavoured play contemporaneous with the last Shah of Iran. There were, of course, no corroborating witnesses for this malarkey but there were many exculpatory witnesses. Alas for the pool accusers, their case was thrown out by County Court chief judge Peter Kidd in February.

Having hoisted them aloft to make a splash, the ABC (also known as the Keli Lane channel) subsequently abandoned the swimmers. Both video and transcript of its bizarre special on their accusations have been deleted. That’s understandable. As well as actionable, the 7.30 Report episode is embarrassing. The transcript can still be found online, however. If the men were so credible that they merited the combined power and treasuries of the ABC and Victoria Police, why were recollections of “repeated abuse by a female relief teacher” and a “vicious teacher who made him masturbate and perform oral sex” not pursued? Robert Richter asked police if they scorned these allegations (at the high end of seriousness) because officers were only interested in ‘getting’ Pell. “Detective Superintendent Sheridan rejected the assertion, telling the court there could have been a viable explanation.” But he didn’t say, and apparently didn’t know, what it was.

One of three possibilities logically follows: one, the supposed culprits are dead. Two: that Victoria Police allowed two hard-core child rapists to remain unsought so as not to imperil their manic Pell operation. A public failure to find or successfully charge “female relief teacher” and “vicious teacher” would have been fatal to the more banal charges against the Cardinal. Or three: that police concluded the accusations against the mystery teachers were either false or indemonstrable but charged Pell using the complainant duo’s other ‘evidence’ anyway. Whether the latter two scenarios would be justiciable as perversions of the course of justice is for legal officials in Victoria to determine. I’m sure they’ll be all over it any day now.

Were it a leftist beloved of leftists and not Cardinal Pell in solitary confinement – I should say, being tortured in solitary confinement (cf. the UN Special Rapporteur and the ABC, 2014) – the calls for a royal commission would be frenzied and incessant.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here




Transgender Players Disrupt Women’s Rugby Football in Britain

Biological males who identify as transgender women are wreaking havoc in women’s rugby in Great Britain.

Women’s rugby referees in England are quitting their jobs over the inclusion of the male athletes, according to a report in The (London) Sunday Times.

“Being forced to prioritize hurt feelings over broken bones exposes me to personal litigation from female players who have been damaged by players who are biologically male. This is driving female players and referees out of the game,” one referee told the British newspaper under the condition of anonymity.

“If you even ask the question, you are told you are a bigot,” another referee told the Times, recounting that five different players with beards played with women’s teams over the course of half a season.

Former Olympic athlete Sharron Davies told the newspaper that allowing biologically male athletes who identify as transgender women to play on female rugby teams is nonsensical.

“My daughter Grace was told at the age of 11 she could no longer play with the boys because it was no longer safe. How can they have that rule in place and … say it is perfectly OK for a transgender woman who is a biological man to play with the girls, but girls who are girls are not allowed to play with the boys because it is dangerous?” Davies said.

Elsewhere in Great Britain, transgender rugby player Kelly Morgan is laying waste to opponents in a Welsh women’s rugby league.

“She’s going to be a good, good player for the next few years, as long as we can stop her injuring players in training,” Morgan’s coach, Brian Minty, told the BBC last month.

The team’s captain, Jessica Minty-Madley, told the British network that Morgan “folded a girl like a deckchair during a game, which was quite funny, but they’re still friends.”

“I do feel guilty, but what can you do?” Morgan told the British network in an interview. “I don’t go out to hurt anybody. I just want to play rugby.”

Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail have rallied behind the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make “gender identity” a protected characteristic under federal anti-discrimination law.

The bill passed in the House with unanimous Democratic support in May, but it hasn’t come up for a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. [Nor will it]


UK: Councils must do more to crack down on the illegal conversion of flats and houses to bedsits to stop young renters from being exploited, according to an influential MP

So it's going to help the poor to throw them out of their cheap accommodation??

Crowded accomodation arises because not enough homes are being built.  The huge influx of migrants into Britain has to be housed somewhere and in the absence of government action, private enterprise comes to help.

Home-owners see large market who need housing but can't pay much.  So they see a profit in subdividing.  They provide small living spaces for small sums in rent.  But those small sums add up to more than what the property was getting before subdivision. So everyone is happy.  The migrants have a roof over their heads and the property owner has more income than before.

What the do-gooders want is impossible unless as many as a million new modern apartments are built -- and that is not going to happen.  Only a new city's worth of new apartments could house the migrants in the style that the do-gooders want. If they succeed in their meddling and close down the subdivided houses, where will the occupants go? It will simply throw poor migrants onto the streets.  Is that good?

Clive Betts, the [moronic] chairman of the housing select committee, questioned whether some local authorities have the political will to deal with rogue landlords after a Times investigation found that unlicensed bedsits are being advertised with impunity online.

Analysis of 100 rooms offered in five-bed properties on the most popular house-share websites found that only 12 per cent were listed on council registers of approved Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

An HMO licence is mandatory for all rental properties where five or more unrelated people live. Every council has to publish a list of licensed properties so in most cases a check would be as simple as entering an address into a website.

Mr Betts said: “I know local authorities have suffered staff shortages and huge cuts but nevertheless these websites are easy and obvious places to go looking for these problems. Money is a big issue but political will is also important.

“This piece of work by The Times is very helpful. Every local authority should now be looking at these sites and taking action. Councils need to start enforcement. Once they do, compliance increases as well because word gets around.”

The investigation found that websites, such as, which is part owned by a founder of Uber, are offering rooms to rent as small as five square metres in converted houses and flats as the housing crisis encourages landlords to turn even upmarket properties into glorified bedsits. A consequence is that “generation rent” is facing the end of the sitting room with nine out of ten house shares in some areas being offered with no communal living space.

Mr Betts said: “These websites should also be answering questions about facilitating illegality. I think it is disgraceful if a company is making huge amounts of money out of the housing crisis.

“We might need to follow up our committee’s report on the private rented sector and see how much progress councils are making on taking action, and what the government is doing to drive this issue.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, added: “Solving this problem demands a two-pronged approach: councils need more funding to be able to clamp down on law-breaking landlords and we also need a decent alternative to private renting. That alternative must be social homes – three million of them in the next 20 years.”

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, insisted that local authorities are doing what they can to raise standards in the private rented sector..

David Renard, the organisation’s housing spokesman, said: “Enforcement would usually be a last resort for councils, who have to weigh up whether or not the fines available would be a significant deterrent to rogue landlords, or whether expensive prosecutions are a cost-effective use of taxpayers’ money at a time when councils are under significant financial pressures.

“It can take more than a year to prosecute a rogue operator and in many cases paltry fines are handed out to criminal landlords.

“There are things that central government can do to help – granting councils further banning powers for the minority of landlords not prepared to offer up-to-standard accommodation, and powers to levy more substantial fines on the worst offenders would be powerful incentives to bring the best out of the private rented sector and ensure it delivers quality accommodation for our residents and communities.”


Maybe you should NOT buy online

Bill O’Coin was cutting a tree stump in his daughter’s backyard last summer when the gas powered chain saw he was using stalled and wouldn’t restart, no matter how hard or how many times he pulled the starter cord.

Eventually, to finish the job, O’Coin grabbed one of the three other chain saws he owns.

But it bothered him that the chain saw his children gave him as a Christmas gift 18 months earlier had conked out. He hadn’t used it much, maybe 20 times, so he figured it was defective and that the Swedish manufacturer, Husqvarna, would quickly fix or replace it because it was still under warranty.

But that’s not what happened.

O’Coin, 67, of Leicester, is a retired department store manager. His wife recently retired after 36 years of teaching second-graders in the next town over. They live on a big, wooded spread where O’Coin spends a lot of time outside, sweating over chores and projects.

If you count all the hours O’Coin has put into getting his chain saw fixed or replaced, you might think he’s gone overboard for a $345 piece of equipment. But he insisted he’s not going away.

“Sometimes it comes down to the principle of the thing,” he said when we met.

The Husqvarna warranty is pretty standard. For two years, it covers anything that breaks, unless the customer is deemed to be at fault for damaging the product.

When his chain saw died, O’Coin contacted Husqvarna, which directed him to City Power Equipment, a retailer and authorized Husqvarna dealer in Charlton. Store owner Mark Mitchell found a small crack in the crankcase of O’Coin’s chain saw and concluded it was damaged by O’Coin, based on O’Coin’s account of getting it “stuck” in a tree stump.

O’Coin told me that was a misinterpretation of what he had told Mitchell. The stump he was cutting was half rotted, and the blade easily slipped out after it stalled.

But Husqvarna sided with Mitchell. “After speaking with the dealer they informed me that this is not” covered under “warranty,” Husqvarna wrote in an e-mail to O’Coin. “City Power had diagnosed that the saw had gotten pinched, and was damaged while attempting to remove the saw.”

When I visited Mitchell at his shop one of the first things he said was that O’Coin hadn’t purchased the chain saw at his store — and that “I don’t love the Internet.”

I’m convinced that’s a big part of O’Coin’s problem. The saw was purchased online, rather than at a store. Stores may charge a little more, but many, especially smaller ones, have sales people willing to lavish attention on walk-in shoppers they hope to retain as repeat customers.

Some of that attention comes into play when a warranty is invoked, I learned last week in interviews with people in the industry. Customers claiming warranty protection typically get sent to a store designated by Husqvarna as an authorized dealer, where the store owner makes the all-important recommendation on coverage to the manufacturer.

If that authorized dealer is the place where you bought your saw (and maybe other stuff, too), then you’re likely to get the benefit of the doubt.

That’s important because it’s often difficult to determine, based on the evidence (or lack of it), whether a malfunctioning chain saw is the result of a manufacturing defect or damage caused by the consumer.

“The dealer is in the middle, between the consumer and the manufacturer,” one store owner said.

No such personal relationships exist on Amazon. While a manufacturer’s warranty is just as valid on a purchase made on Amazon as one made at a local hardware store, there’s no one at Amazon to put in a good word for you with the manufacturer.

(You can return defective or damaged items directly to Amazon for a refund or replacement, but only within 30 days after purchase, according to its policy posted online. After 30 days, Amazon recommends contacting the manufacturer directly.)

By the time I got involved, O’Coin and Mitchell were at an impasse. Denied warranty coverage, O’Coin said he wanted Mitchell to return his chain saw, which by then had been reduced to a box of parts by a technician looking for the problem. But Mitchell refused unless he got $100, which he said was fair compensation for his time and effort. O’Coin refused to pay it.

After I contacted Husqvarna, the company reversed its position and promised to replace O’Coin’s saw at no cost (and without further explanation to me). I think that was the right thing to do.


Australia: A Christian private school principal has blasted Greta Thunberg in a newsletter, labelling her a “little girl with mental problems”

Rodney Lynn, head of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, wrote the letter to pupils and parents on September 26. In the letter, seen by, he implored his students to put their faith in God and “not in the predictions of a little girl”.

He did not refer to Ms Thunberg by name, but he made reference to “a little girl from Scandinavia” who was promoting “doomsday waffle talk”.

“No one knows when the final wind up of the world will be,” he wrote. “Jesus said no one, only the Father God, knows about that day or hour.”

He said Ms Thunberg was a “little girl with self declared various emotional and mental problems that she thinks give her a special insight into a pending doom”.

“She says she is anxious. You too can be anxious. My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters,” he said in his September 26 newsletter.

The letter was published the same week the 16-year-old made an impassioned speech at the United Nations in New York — hitting out at world leaders for failing to take strong measures to combat climate change.

Galvanised by Ms Thunberg, young people around the world have taken to the streets to demand stronger action on climate change, but Mr Lynn questioned their actions in his letter.

“You can skip school. Hold up a piece of cardboard in the streets and call out for the government to ‘do something to stop it all happening’ … really???” he wrote.

“Do not be afraid. Your word’s future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets,” he wrote before signing off.

“God’s promises have never failed yet.”

Mr Lynn’s letter has been met with some local opposition, with the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group writing on Facebook that “we don’t like amplifying the toxic words of this Coffs Harbour principal”.

However, the statement went on to say “other more responsible church leaders are calling out his dangerous comments and talking about the need to protect our planet’s climate for younger generations”.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here



Toţi utilizatorii de Android ar trebui să instaleze noul update de securitate. Telefoanele sunt vulnerabile atacurilor (Software)


Google va lansa astăzi actualizarea de securitate pe luna octombrie pentru sistemul de operare Android, iar toţi utilizatorii sunt încurajaţi să instaleze acest pachet atunci când va ajunge pe telefoanele lor. Acest patch repară o vulnerabilitate gravă depistată în Android, care poate afecta toate dispozitivele de pe piaţă. Problema de securitate a fost depistată de Project Zero, echipa Google de specialişti în acest domeniu, care în urmă cu câteva luni au găsit probleme similare şi cu iOS.

Update-ul pentru luna octombrie, pe care Google îl va livra pe dispozitivele Pixel, rezolvă bug-ul numit „CVE-2019-2215”, care permite unui hacker să primească acces root pe orice dispozitiv care rulează Android. Această problemă este una de tip „0 day”, fiind prezentă în sistemul de operare încă de la lansare, însă abia de curând a fost depistată. Se pare că există deja atacuri care au fost realizate folosind această metodă, deci ar fi indicat să instalaţi noul update imediat ce acesta devine disponibil.

Din fericire, cei care nu instalează aplicaţii din surse neverificate nu au multe motive de îngrijorare, întrucât este necesară mai întâi prezenţa unei aplicaţii „infectate” de către autorul atacului pentru a prelua controlul asupra dispozitivului. Totuşi, există în continuare un risc şi pentru cei mai conştiincioşi: un atac realizat prin intermediul Google Chrome care funcţionează într-un mod similar printr-o metodă similară.

Conform Project Zero, acest exploit a fost realizat de compania Israeliană NSO, care are clienţi printre agenţiile guvernamentale şi organizaţiile de securitate naţională. Compania spune că niciunul dintre clienţii săi nu foloseşte acest exploit în prezent. Cel mai probabil însă, nici dacă l-ar folosi, n-ar avea voie contractual să divulge această informaţie.

Întrucât este vorba despre o problemă atât de gravă, Samsung, LG, Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi şi mulţi alţi producători vor lansa actualizările de securitate mai repede decât de obicei. Project Zero spune că aceste modele sunt cu siguranţă afectate:

  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, 2 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, S9
  • Huawei P20
  • Taote telefoanele LG cu Android Oreo
  • Motorola Moto Z3
  • Oppo A3
  • Xiaomi A1, Redmi 5A, and Redmi Note 5

Pentru a vă proteja între timp, până când vine update-ul, ar trebui să nu instalaţi aplicaţii din surse necunoscute şi să folosiţi un browser alternativ la Chrome între timp, întrucât alte browsere nu par să fie afectate.



Cuvinte cheie: android, securitate, update, nso,

Subiecte asemănătoare:
» Ce funcţii noi adaugă update-ul 1909 în Windows 10
» Primele imagini cu Galaxy S11 de la Samsung. Cum ar putea arăta următorul flagship sud coreean
» Facebook lansează Instagram Threads, o nouă aplicaţie de mesagerie dedicată prietenilor apropiaţi
» Microsoft anunţă Surface Duo: un smartphone cu Android şi două ecrane
» Windows 10 are din nou probleme cu update-urile. Cel mai recent strică compatibilitatea cu imprimantele

Articol original - Toţi utilizatorii de Android ar trebui să instaleze noul update de securitate. Telefoanele sunt vulnerabile atacurilor, de pe site-ul


Zero-day published for old Joomla CMS versions

Proof-of-concept code available online; trivial to exploit.

Model-based physiological noise removal in fast fMRI.

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Model-based physiological noise removal in fast fMRI.

Neuroimage. 2019 Oct 04;:116231

Authors: Agrawal U, Brown EN, Lewis LD

Recent improvements in the speed and sensitivity of fMRI acquisition techniques suggest that fast fMRI can be used to detect and precisely localize sub-second neural dynamics. This enhanced temporal resolution has enormous potential for neuroscientists. However, physiological noise poses a major challenge for the analysis of fast fMRI data. Physiological noise scales with sensitivity, and its autocorrelation structure is altered in rapidly sampled data, suggesting that new approaches are needed for physiological noise removal in fast fMRI. Existing strategies either rely on external physiological recordings, which can be noisy or difficult to collect, or employ data-driven approaches which make assumptions that may not hold true in fast fMRI. We created a statistical model of harmonic regression with autoregressive noise (HRAN) to estimate and remove cardiac and respiratory noise from the fMRI signal directly. This technique exploits the fact that cardiac and respiratory noise signals are fully sampled (rather than aliasing) when imaging at fast rates, allowing us to track and model physiology over time without requiring external physiological measurements. We then created a joint model of neural hemodynamics, and physiological and autocorrelated noise to more accurately remove noise. We first verified that HRAN accurately estimates cardiac and respiratory dynamics and that our model demonstrates goodness-of-fit in fast fMRI data. In task-driven data, we then demonstrated that HRAN is able to remove physiological noise while leaving the neural signal intact, thereby increasing detection of task-driven voxels. Finally, we established that in both simulations and fast fMRI data HRAN is able to improve statistical inferences as compared with gold-standard physiological noise removal techniques. In conclusion, we created a tool that harnesses the novel information in fast fMRI to remove physiological noise, enabling broader use of the technology to study human brain function.

PMID: 31589991 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


How to Be a Radical Mayor


Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, comes from an activist family. His father, Chokwe Lumumba, was a legendary figure—a brilliant lawyer and organizer on behalf of communities that had been let down by both major parties. After the senior Lumumba was elected mayor of Jackson in 2013, the media described him as America’s most revolutionary city leader. When he died less than a year after taking office, his son ran to replace him and lost. That defeat did not dissuade Chokwe Antar Lumumba. He kept speaking up, organizing, and campaigning.

In 2017 he won by a landslide, taking 94 percent of the general election vote. As mayor, he has addressed national issues, but his primary focus has been on the grassroots work of delivering services, participatory budgeting, and community empowerment.

—John Nichols

JN: You promised as mayor to make Jackson the most radical city on the planet. What did you mean by that?

CAL: A radical is a person who seeks change. Here in Mississippi, those individuals that we have the most reverence for—whether it’s Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, or Medgar Evers—or, nationally, if we look at Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, or for those who look to Jesus Christ, we find that they were all radicals. I see it as a term of endearment.

JN: The word “radical” also speaks to going to the root of the problem. It isn’t just about changing things. It’s also trying to figure out what the core challenge is.

CAL: Absolutely. We often focus on the symptoms of our problems, as opposed to the root cause. My father talked about how people were lured into a place of complacency upon the election of Barack Obama. He said that sometimes we have to look at the presidency in the same manner as we look at the plantation.

He said on the plantation, you always had an overseer. Sometimes the overseer was white, sometimes the overseer was black. Maybe if he was black, he didn’t beat you as bad. But whether he was white or black, you were still on a plantation—you were no more free. We need to look at the structure of oppression. We need to look at multinational corporations and how they exploit people.

JN: You have said about governing that filling potholes is a part of radical change.

CAL: While potholes may not be the global issue that changes conditions for everybody, it is important that we focus on those things that people are concerned with. As you’re knocking on doors and talking to people about the larger things in life—discrimination, exploitation—you’re invariably confronted by a brother or sister who says, “Yeah, you know, that’s nice, but how are you going to fix that pothole in my street?”

For some people, that may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things. But we have to be able to bridge pothole to pothole and community to community. People in Jackson understand that there’s a nexus between them and people in Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana—that in those cities, they suffer from the same infrastructure problems. Then what we learn is that your problem was never just a pothole. Your problem is that you don’t control the decision-making process that leads to a pothole being fixed.

JN: You said, “People ask me how I felt after Donald Trump was elected. I say, ‘I woke up in Mississippi.’” What did you mean by that?

CAL: It’s a recognition that Mississippi has always been at the bottom. If you were poor before Donald Trump, you’re likely still poor now. If you were poor before Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, then you were poor after. It has mattered very little whether you consider yourself a Democrat or a Republican; you’ve been suffering under the same conditions. That is a unifying point for all of us—that what we do collectively will change the order of the day for Mississippi and that the calvary isn’t necessarily coming.

Adapted from the interview on John Nichols’s Nation podcast, Next Left.



PFLP threatens to 'open the gates of hell' if suspect hurt in interrogation dies Terror group says Israel responsible for consequences if livelihood of its members jeopardized, calls for further violence in support of 'our valiant prisoners'.

Crack in the anti-Iran front: US persuades Saudis to engage Tehran in regional deals Iran's president Hassan Rouhani disclosed on Monday, Sept. 30, that he had received "messages from Saudi Arabia," the day after Crown Prince Muhammed (MbS) warned that war with Iran would "collapse the global economy" by causing crude prices to spike to "unimaginably high numbers."

Everything You Need to Know About Iran's Massive Missile Force Iran has been building many advanced missiles.

Putin Clumsily Attempts to Exploit Gulf Tensions Vladimir Putin sees an opportunity in escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf, but his attempts to make the most of it have been clumsy and could be self-defeating.

Emerging Russia-Iran-Turkey Axis Can Be Dangerous for US: Expert As the attacks on Saudi oil facilities push the Middle East back into the limelight, President Donald Trump faces a stalemate.

'No force can shake this great nation': President Xi leads spectacular ceremony to mark 70 years of Communist rule in China and unveils top-secret hypersonic DF-17 missile for the first time China showed off its military power and economic prowess during a parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on Tuesday.

The Muslim Brotherhood Must Be Confronted The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) states: "Allah is our objective.

Report: Israel's Population Growth Built on Prosperity, World-Leading Life Expectancies Israel's population is expected to reach 10 million by the end of 2024, the latest figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics show, with the current total of over nine million representing an increase of 184,00 people, or 2.1 percent, since last year.

Ministry: Tourism in the Holy Land shatters records "This is the third consecutive record-breaking year for incoming tourism," said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

For PM, Wednesday sees both political and criminal woes come to a head Netanyahu to meet rival Gantz in final coalition-building effort before returning mandate to president if talks fail, on same day his pre-indictment hearing in 3 graft cases begins.


472118-2019: Roumanie-Bucarest: Services d'exploitation forestière

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: | Document: Avis d'attribution de marché

471989-2019: Roumanie-Alba Iulia: Services d'exploitation forestière

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: 21-10-2019 | Document: Avis de marché

471743-2019: France-Strasbourg: Services d'exploitation forestière

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: 06-11-2019 | Document: Avis de marché

Over 100 Jewish scholars condemn Trump admin for exploiting anti-Semitism


More than 100 Jewish academics sign open letter demanding the Trump administration stop exploiting anti-Semitism in order to quash criticism of Israel on college campuses. Jewish academics are fighting back against the Trump administration’s attempts to silence criticism of Israel on college campuses. More than 100 Jewish scholars have signed an open letter to the U.S. Department […]

The post Over 100 Jewish scholars condemn Trump admin for exploiting anti-Semitism appeared first on +972 Magazine.


Commentaires sur Gmail : les trucs et astuces à connaître absolument par jm m

Le temps passant il est de + en + difficile de croire qu’un géant comme Google, qui a sa propre filiale dans l’intelligence artificielle et qui propose son propre système d’exploitation soit incapable, techniquement parlant, de proposer la fonction « texte justifié » lors de la rédaction d’un message avec Gmail alors que même de petits services de messagerie ont cette option. Non la raison de ce mystère est sans doute ailleurs, peut-être parce que la G Suite (que je ne connais pas), qui est payante et destinée aux professionnels, a elle une version de Gmail possédant cette fonction, mais, si c'est le cas, je vous l'accorde, c’est très mesquin. Bien sûr avoir un texte justifié n’est pas quelque chose de vital et on peut, en rédigeant son texte dans Word, LibreOffice ou Google docs, obtenir la même chose en faisant un copier-coller mais il s’agit là de quelque chose de si simple que je ne vois pas de raison, mise à part peut-être l’obstination d’un de ses responsables, qui empêcherait Google de mettre cette petite fonction à la disposition de tout le monde, c’est-à-dire du 1,5 milliard d’utilisateurs de Gmail.

472893-2019: France-Megève: Services d'exploitation de casinos

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: | Document: Avis d'attribution de concession

Zero-day vulnerability gives attackers full control of Android phones


Attackers are reportedly exploiting an unpatched vulnerability to take control of Android devices and potentially deliver spyware. The flaw affects phones models from multiple manufacturers including Google, Samsung, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi.

The vulnerability is a use-after-free memory condition in the Android Binder component that can result in privilege escalation. The flaw was patched without a CVE identifier in Dec. 2017 in the Linux 4.14 LTS kernel, the Android Open Source Project’s (AOSP) 3.18 kernel, the AOSP 4.4 kernel and AOSP 4.9 kernel.

To read this article in full, please click here


Freebox Delta : les VMs s’invitent [enfin] avec la dernière MAJ


L’éventualité était soulevée depuis plusieurs mois et la mise à jour attendue depuis. C’est désormais chose faite et vous pouvez accéder à l’ensemble des disponibilités offertes par cette MAJ disponible ici. Ce sont maintenant une multitude de possibilités qui vous sont accessibles en utilisant votre box, comme : Le Choix d’un système d’exploitation parmi une liste [...]

L’article Freebox Delta : les VMs s’invitent [enfin] avec la dernière MAJ est apparu en premier sur Freenews.


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macOS Catalina débarque sur MacBook, iMac et Mac : adieu iTunes, bonjour Apple Arcade et autres nouveautés

10.15 – Apple a lancé ce lundi à 19h le déploiement de macOS Catalina, le nouveau système d’exploitation pour ses gammes MacBook, iMac et autres Mac. Cette version marque la disparition d’iTunes, la montée en puissance d’Apple Music et de multiples passerelles avec d’autres appareils.

Comment on Android devices hit by zero-day exploit Google thought it had patched by Paul Ducklin

The current product works on Catalina. There are some settings you need to change in Catalina itself to authorise our product to operate within Catalina’s new access control system - otherwise some files will be off-limits even to us:

Comment on Android devices hit by zero-day exploit Google thought it had patched by zele

Hello, nothing to do with Android, sorry. just want to ask when sophos for macos catalina will be released ??? since I did not see any mac related pub....I asked here. sorry. best wishes zeke

A Generation Deleted: American Bombs in Yemen Are Costing an Entire Generation Their Future


Yemen war children feature photo
Feature photo | A child injured in a deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike rests in a hospital in Saada, Yemen, Aug. 12, 2018. Hani Mohammed | AP
As a new school year begins in Yemen, Ahmed AbdulKareem investigates the impact that American weapons have had on the war-torn country’s schoolchildren.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!


TECHNICIEN(NE) EN INFORMATIQUE REC-2019-077 - CISSS de la Côte-Nord - Côte-Nord, QC

Sous l’autorité du chef de service exploitation et infrastructures, le technicien en informatique analyse et résout les problèmes reliés à l’utilisation des… $22.59 - $30.46 an hour
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471467-2019: Pologne-Cracovie: Logiciels de bases de données et d'exploitation

Date de publication: 08/10/2019 | Date limite: 22-10-2019 | Document: Informations complémentaires

471207-2019: Slovénie-Ljubljana: Logiciels de bases de données et d'exploitation

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Darjeeling, une nouvelle collection à la fois sensuelle et confortable

Après #Metoo, la lingerie de Darjeeling ne cesse d'exploiter sa fibre intimiste, voire militante.

AKM$^2$D : An Adaptive Framework for Online Sensing and Anomaly Quantification. (arXiv:1910.02119v1 [stat.ML])


Authors: Hao Yan, Kamran Paynabar, Jianjun Shi

In point-based sensing systems such as coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and laser ultrasonics where complete sensing is impractical due to the high sensing time and cost, adaptive sensing through a systematic exploration is vital for online inspection and anomaly quantification. Most of the existing sequential sampling methodologies focus on reducing the overall fitting error for the entire sampling space. However, in many anomaly quantification applications, the main goal is to estimate sparse anomalous regions in the pixel-level accurately. In this paper, we develop a novel framework named Adaptive Kernelized Maximum-Minimum Distance AKM$^2$D to speed up the inspection and anomaly detection process through an intelligent sequential sampling scheme integrated with fast estimation and detection. The proposed method balances the sampling efforts between the space-filling sampling (exploration) and focused sampling near the anomalous region (exploitation). The proposed methodology is validated by conducting simulations and a case study of anomaly detection in composite sheets using a guided wave test.


Quantum Physical Unclonable Functions: Possibilities and Impossibilities. (arXiv:1910.02126v1 [quant-ph])


Authors: Myrto Arapinis, Mahshid Delavar, Mina Doosti and, Elham Kashefi

Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) are physical devices with unique behavior that are hard to clone. A variety of PUF schemes have been considered in theoretical studies as well as practical implementations of several security primitives such as identification and key generation. Recently, the inherent unclonability of quantum states has been exploited for defining (a partial) quantum analogue to classical PUFs (against limited adversaries). There are also a few proposals for quantum implementations of classical optical PUFs. However, none of these attempts provides a comprehensive study of Quantum Physical Unclonable Functions (QPUFs) with quantum cryptographic tools as we present in this paper. We formally define QPUFs, encapsulating all requirements of classical PUFs as well as introducing new ones inherent to the quantum setting such as testability. We develop a quantum game-based security framework for our analysis and define a new class of quantum attacks, called General Quantum Emulation Attack. This class of attacks exploits previously captured valid challenge-response pairs to emulate the action of an unknown quantum transformation on new input. We devise a concrete attack based on an existing quntum emulation algorithm and use it to show that a family of quantum cryptographic primitives that rely on unknown unitary transformations do not provide existential unforgeability while they provide selective unforgeability. Then, we express our results in the case of QPUF as an unknown unitary transformation.


An Efficient and Accurate Method for Modeling Nonlinear Fractional Viscoelastic Biomaterials. (arXiv:1910.02141v1 [math.NA])


Authors: Will Zhang, Adela Capilnasiu, Gerhard Sommer

Computational biomechanics plays an important role in biomedical engineering: using modeling to understand pathophysiology, treatment and device design. While experimental evidence indicates that the mechanical response of most tissues is viscoelasticity, current biomechanical models in the computation community often assume only hyperelasticity. Fractional viscoelastic constitutive models have been successfully used in literature to capture the material response. However, the translation of these models into computational platforms remains limited. Many experimentally derived viscoelastic constitutive models are not suitable for three-dimensional simulations. Furthermore, the use of fractional derivatives can be computationally prohibitive, with a number of current numerical approximations having a computational cost that is $ \mathcal{O} ( N_T^2) $ and a storage cost that is $ \mathcal{O}(N_T) $ ($ N_T $ denotes the number of time steps). In this paper, we present a novel numerical approximation to the Caputo derivative which exploits a recurrence relation similar to those used to discretize classic temporal derivatives, giving a computational cost that is $ \mathcal{O} (N) $ and a storage cost that is fixed over time. The approximation is optimized for numerical applications, and the error estimate is presented to demonstrate efficacy of the method. The method is shown to be unconditionally stable in the linear viscoelastic case. It was then integrated into a computational biomechanical framework, with several numerical examples verifying accuracy and computational efficiency of the method, including in an analytic test, in an analytic fractional differential equation, as well as in a computational biomechanical model problem.


Tensor-based algorithms for image classification. (arXiv:1910.02150v1 [cs.LG])


Authors: Stefan Klus, Patrick Gelß

The interest in machine learning with tensor networks has been growing rapidly in recent years. The goal is to exploit tensor-structured basis functions in order to generate exponentially large feature spaces which are then used for supervised learning. We will propose two different tensor approaches for quantum-inspired machine learning. One is a kernel-based reformulation of the previously introduced MANDy, the other an alternating ridge regression in the tensor-train format. We will apply both methods to the MNIST and fashion MNIST data set and compare the results with state-of-the-art neural network-based classifiers.


On Tractable Computation of Expected Predictions. (arXiv:1910.02182v1 [cs.LG])


Authors: Pasha Khosravi, YooJung Choi, Yitao Liang, Antonio Vergari, Guy Van den Broeck

Computing expected predictions has many interesting applications in areas such as fairness, handling missing values, and data analysis. Unfortunately, computing expectations of a discriminative model with respect to a probability distribution defined by an arbitrary generative model has been proven to be hard in general. In fact, the task is intractable even for simple models such as logistic regression and a naive Bayes distribution. In this paper, we identify a pair of generative and discriminative models that enables tractable computation of expectations of the latter with respect to the former, as well as moments of any order, in case of regression. Specifically, we consider expressive probabilistic circuits with certain structural constraints that support tractable probabilistic inference. Moreover, we exploit the tractable computation of high-order moments to derive an algorithm to approximate the expectations, for classification scenarios in which exact computations are intractable. We evaluate the effectiveness of our exact and approximate algorithms in handling missing data during prediction time where they prove to be competitive to standard imputation techniques on a variety of datasets. Finally, we illustrate how expected prediction framework can be used to reason about the behaviour of discriminative models.


Data-Importance Aware User Scheduling for Communication-Efficient Edge Machine Learning. (arXiv:1910.02214v1 [cs.NI])


Authors: Dongzhu Liu, Guangxu Zhu, Jun Zhang, Kaibin Huang

With the prevalence of intelligent mobile applications, edge learning is emerging as a promising technology for powering fast intelligence acquisition for edge devices from distributed data generated at the network edge. One critical task of edge learning is to efficiently utilize the limited radio resource to acquire data samples for model training at an edge server. In this paper, we develop a novel user scheduling algorithm for data acquisition in edge learning, called (data) importance-aware scheduling. A key feature of this scheduling algorithm is that it takes into account the informativeness of data samples, besides communication reliability. Specifically, the scheduling decision is based on a data importance indicator (DII), elegantly incorporating two "important" metrics from communication and learning perspectives, i.e., the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and data uncertainty. We first derive an explicit expression for this indicator targeting the classic classifier of support vector machine (SVM), where the uncertainty of a data sample is measured by its distance to the decision boundary. Then, the result is extended to convolutional neural networks (CNN) by replacing the distance based uncertainty measure with the entropy. As demonstrated via experiments using real datasets, the proposed importance-aware scheduling can exploit the two-fold multi-user diversity, namely the diversity in both the multiuser channels and the distributed data samples. This leads to faster model convergence than the conventional scheduling schemes that exploit only a single type of diversity.


Regularization of a backwards parabolic equation by fractional operators. (arXiv:1910.02232v1 [math.NA])


Authors: Barbara Kaltenbacher, William Rundell

The backwards diffusion equation is one of the classical ill-posed inverse problems, related to a wide range of applications, and has been extensively studied over the last 50 years. One of the first methods was that of {\it quasireversibility\/} whereby the parabolic operator is replaced by a differential operator for which the backwards problem in time is well posed. This is in fact the direction we will take but will do so with a nonlocal operator; an equation of fractional order in time for which the backwards problem is known to be ``almost well posed.''

We shall look at various possible options and strategies but our conclusion for the best of these will exploit the linearity of the problem to break the inversion into distinct frequency bands and to use a different fractional order for each. The fractional exponents will be chosen using the discrepancy principle under the assumption we have an estimate of the noise level in the data. An analysis of the method is provided as are some illustrative numerical examples.


Self-supervised Feature Learning for 3D Medical Images by Playing a Rubik's Cube. (arXiv:1910.02241v1 [cs.CV])


Authors: Xinrui Zhuang, Yuexiang Li, Yifan Hu, Kai Ma, Yujiu Yang, Yefeng Zheng

Witnessed the development of deep learning, increasing number of studies try to build computer aided diagnosis systems for 3D volumetric medical data. However, as the annotations of 3D medical data are difficult to acquire, the number of annotated 3D medical images is often not enough to well train the deep learning networks. The self-supervised learning deeply exploiting the information of raw data is one of the potential solutions to loose the requirement of training data. In this paper, we propose a self-supervised learning framework for the volumetric medical images. A novel proxy task, i.e., Rubik's cube recovery, is formulated to pre-train 3D neural networks. The proxy task involves two operations, i.e., cube rearrangement and cube rotation, which enforce networks to learn translational and rotational invariant features from raw 3D data. Compared to the train-from-scratch strategy, fine-tuning from the pre-trained network leads to a better accuracy on various tasks, e.g., brain hemorrhage classification and brain tumor segmentation. We show that our self-supervised learning approach can substantially boost the accuracies of 3D deep learning networks on the volumetric medical datasets without using extra data. To our best knowledge, this is the first work focusing on the self-supervised learning of 3D neural networks.


Parallelizing Training of Deep Generative Models on Massive Scientific Datasets. (arXiv:1910.02270v1 [cs.DC])


Authors: Sam Ade Jacobs, Brian Van Essen, David Hysom, Jae-Seung Yeom, Tim Moon, Rushil Anirudh, Jayaraman J. Thiagaranjan, Shusen Liu, Peer-Timo Bremer, Jim Gaffney, Tom Benson, Peter Robinson, Luc Peterson, Brian Spears

Training deep neural networks on large scientific data is a challenging task that requires enormous compute power, especially if no pre-trained models exist to initialize the process. We present a novel tournament method to train traditional as well as generative adversarial networks built on LBANN, a scalable deep learning framework optimized for HPC systems. LBANN combines multiple levels of parallelism and exploits some of the worlds largest supercomputers. We demonstrate our framework by creating a complex predictive model based on multi-variate data from high-energy-density physics containing hundreds of millions of images and hundreds of millions of scalar values derived from tens of millions of simulations of inertial confinement fusion. Our approach combines an HPC workflow and extends LBANN with optimized data ingestion and the new tournament-style training algorithm to produce a scalable neural network architecture using a CORAL-class supercomputer. Experimental results show that 64 trainers (1024 GPUs) achieve a speedup of 70.2 over a single trainer (16 GPUs) baseline, and an effective 109% parallel efficiency.


Emergent naming of resources in a foraging robot swarm. (arXiv:1910.02274v1 [cs.RO])


Authors: Roman Miletitch, Andreagiovanni Reina, Marco Dorigo, Vito Trianni

We investigate the emergence of language convention within a swarm of robots foraging in an open environment from two identical resources. While foraging, the swarm needs to explore and decide which resource to exploit, moving through complex transitory dynamics towards different possible equilibria, such as, selection of a single resource or spread across the two. Our point of interest is the understanding of possible correlations between the emergent, evolving, task-induced interaction network and the language dynamics. In particular, our goal is to determine whether the dynamics of the interaction network are sufficient to determine emergent naming conventions that represent features of the task execution (e.g., choice of one or the other resource) and of the environment, In other words, we look for an emergent vocabulary that is both complete (a word for each resource) and correct (no misnomer) for as long as each resource is relevant to the swarm. In this study, robots are playing two variants of the minimal language game. The classic one, where words are created when needed, and a new variant we introduce in this article: the spatial minimal naming game, where the creation of words is linked with the discovery of resources by exploring robots. We end the article by proposing a proof of concept extension of the spatial minimal naming game that assures the completeness and correctness of the swarms vocabulary.


Multiplierless and Sparse Machine Learning based on Margin Propagation Networks. (arXiv:1910.02304v1 [cs.LG])


Authors: Nazreen P.M., Shantanu Chakrabartty, Chetan Singh Thakur

The new generation of machine learning processors have evolved from multi-core and parallel architectures (for example graphical processing units) that were designed to efficiently implement matrix-vector-multiplications (MVMs). This is because at the fundamental level, neural network and machine learning operations extensively use MVM operations and hardware compilers exploit the inherent parallelism in MVM operations to achieve hardware acceleration on GPUs, TPUs and FPGAs. A natural question to ask is whether MVM operations are even necessary to implement ML algorithms and whether simpler hardware primitives can be used to implement an ultra-energy-efficient ML processor/architecture. In this paper we propose an alternate hardware-software codesign of ML and neural network architectures where instead of using MVM operations and non-linear activation functions, the architecture only uses simple addition and thresholding operations to implement inference and learning. At the core of the proposed approach is margin-propagation based computation that maps multiplications into additions and additions into a dynamic rectifying-linear-unit (ReLU) operations. This mapping results in significant improvement in computational and hence energy cost. The training of a margin-propagation (MP) network involves optimizing an $L_1$ cost function, which in conjunction with ReLU operations leads to network sparsity and weight updates using only Boolean predicates. In this paper, we show how the MP network formulation can be applied for designing linear classifiers, multi-layer perceptrons and for designing support vector networks.


Robust Estimator-Based Safety Verification: A Vector Norm Approach. (arXiv:1910.02317v1 [math.OC])


Authors: Binghan He, Gray C. Thomas, Luis Sentis

In this paper, we consider the problem of verifying safety constraint satisfaction for single-input single-output systems with uncertain transfer function coefficients. We propose a new type of barrier function based on a vector norm. This type of barrier function has a measurable upper bound without full state availability. An identifier-based estimator allows an exact bound for the uncertainty-based component of the barrier function estimate. Assuming that the system is safe initially allows an exponentially decreasing bound on the error due to the estimator transient. Barrier function and estimator synthesis is proposed as two convex sub-problems, exploiting linear matrix inequalities. The barrier function controller combination is then used to construct a safety backup controller. And we demonstrate the system in a simulation of a 1 degree-of-freedom human-exoskeleton interaction.


Operational Calibration: Debugging Confidence Errors for DNNs in the Field. (arXiv:1910.02352v1 [cs.LG])


Authors: Zenan Li, Xiaoxing Ma, Chang Xu, Jingwei Xu, Chun Cao, Jian Lü

Trained DNN models are increasingly adopted as integral parts of software systems. However, they are often over-confident, especially in practical operation domains where slight divergence from their training data almost always exists. To minimize the loss due to inaccurate confidence, operational calibration, i.e., calibrating the confidence function of a DNN classifier against its operation domain, becomes a necessary debugging step in the engineering of the whole system.

Operational calibration is difficult considering the limited budget of labeling operation data and the weak interpretability of DNN models. We propose a Bayesian approach to operational calibration that gradually corrects the confidence given by the model under calibration with a small number of labeled operational data deliberately selected from a larger set of unlabeled operational data. Exploiting the locality of the learned representation of the DNN model and modeling the calibration as Gaussian Process Regression, the approach achieves impressive efficacy and efficiency. Comprehensive experiments with various practical data sets and DNN models show that it significantly outperformed alternative methods, and in some difficult tasks it eliminated about 71% to 97% high-confidence errors with only about 10% of the minimal amount of labeled operation data needed for practical learning techniques to barely work.


ChaosNet: A Chaos based Artificial Neural Network Architecture for Classification. (arXiv:1910.02423v1 [cs.LG])


Authors: Harikrishnan Nellippallil Balakrishnan, Aditi Kathpalia, Snehanshu Saha, Nithin Nagaraj

Inspired by chaotic firing of neurons in the brain, we propose ChaosNet -- a novel chaos based artificial neural network architecture for classification tasks. ChaosNet is built using layers of neurons, each of which is a 1D chaotic map known as the Generalized Luroth Series (GLS) which has been shown in earlier works to possess very useful properties for compression, cryptography and for computing XOR and other logical operations. In this work, we design a novel learning algorithm on ChaosNet that exploits the topological transitivity property of the chaotic GLS neurons. The proposed learning algorithm gives consistently good performance accuracy in a number of classification tasks on well known publicly available datasets with very limited training samples. Even with as low as 7 (or fewer) training samples/class (which accounts for less than 0.05% of the total available data), ChaosNet yields performance accuracies in the range 73.89 % - 98.33 %. We demonstrate the robustness of ChaosNet to additive parameter noise and also provide an example implementation of a 2-layer ChaosNet for enhancing classification accuracy. We envisage the development of several other novel learning algorithms on ChaosNet in the near future.


Joint Stereo Video Deblurring, Scene Flow Estimation and Moving Object Segmentation. (arXiv:1910.02442v1 [cs.CV])


Authors: Liyuan Pan, Yuchao Dai, Miaomiao Liu, Fatih Porikli, Quan Pan

Stereo videos for the dynamic scenes often show unpleasant blurred effects due to the camera motion and the multiple moving objects with large depth variations. Given consecutive blurred stereo video frames, we aim to recover the latent clean images, estimate the 3D scene flow and segment the multiple moving objects. These three tasks have been previously addressed separately, which fail to exploit the internal connections among these tasks and cannot achieve optimality. In this paper, we propose to jointly solve these three tasks in a unified framework by exploiting their intrinsic connections. To this end, we represent the dynamic scenes with the piece-wise planar model, which exploits the local structure of the scene and expresses various dynamic scenes. Under our model, these three tasks are naturally connected and expressed as the parameter estimation of 3D scene structure and camera motion (structure and motion for the dynamic scenes). By exploiting the blur model constraint, the moving objects and the 3D scene structure, we reach an energy minimization formulation for joint deblurring, scene flow and segmentation. We evaluate our approach extensively on both synthetic datasets and publicly available real datasets with fast-moving objects, camera motion, uncontrolled lighting conditions and shadows. Experimental results demonstrate that our method can achieve significant improvement in stereo video deblurring, scene flow estimation and moving object segmentation, over state-of-the-art methods.


Predicting popularity of EV charging infrastructure from GIS data. (arXiv:1910.02498v1 [stat.AP])


Authors: Milan Straka, Pasquale De Falco, Gabriella Ferruzzi, Daniela Proto, Gijs van der Poel, Shahab Khormali, Ľuboš Buzna

The availability of charging infrastructure is essential for large-scale adoption of electric vehicles (EV). Charging patterns and the utilization of infrastructure have consequences not only for the energy demand, loading local power grids but influence the economic returns, parking policies and further adoption of EVs. We develop a data-driven approach that is exploiting predictors compiled from GIS data describing the urban context and urban activities near charging infrastructure to explore correlations with a comprehensive set of indicators measuring the performance of charging infrastructure. The best fit was identified for the size of the unique group of visitors (popularity) attracted by the charging infrastructure. Consecutively, charging infrastructure is ranked by popularity. The question of whether or not a given charging spot belongs to the top tier is posed as a binary classification problem and predictive performance of logistic regression regularized with an l-1 penalty, random forests and gradient boosted regression trees is evaluated. Obtained results indicate that the collected predictors contain information that can be used to predict the popularity of charging infrastructure. The significance of predictors and how they are linked with the popularity are explored as well. The proposed methodology can be used to inform charging infrastructure deployment strategies.


Reactive Synthesis with Maximum Realizability of Linear Temporal Logic Specifications. (arXiv:1910.02561v1 [cs.FL])


Authors: Rayna Dimitrova, Mahsa Ghasemi, Ufuk Topcu

A challenging problem for autonomous systems is to synthesize a reactive controller that conforms to a set of given correctness properties. Linear temporal logic (LTL) provides a formal language to specify the desired behavioral properties of systems. In applications in which the specifications originate from various aspects of the system design, or consist of a large set of formulas, the overall system specification may be unrealizable. Driven by this fact, we develop an optimization variant of synthesis from LTL formulas, where the goal is to design a controller that satisfies a set of hard specifications and minimally violates a set of soft specifications. To that end, we introduce a value function that, by exploiting the LTL semantics, quantifies the level of violation of properties. Inspired by the idea of bounded synthesis, we fix a bound on the implementation size and search for an implementation that is optimal with respect to the said value function. We propose a novel maximum satisfiability encoding of the search for an optimal implementation (within the given bound on the implementation size). We iteratively increase the bound on the implementation size until a termination criterion, such as a threshold over the value function, is met.


Exact matrix completion based on low rank Hankel structure in the Fourier domain. (arXiv:1910.02576v1 [cs.IT])


Authors: Jinchi Chen, Weiguo Gao, Ke Wei

Matrix completion is about recovering a matrix from its partial revealed entries, and it can often be achieved by exploiting the inherent simplicity or low dimensional structure of the target matrix. For instance, a typical notion of matrix simplicity is low rank. In this paper we study matrix completion based on another low dimensional structure, namely the low rank Hankel structure in the Fourier domain. It is shown that matrices with this structure can be exactly recovered by solving a convex optimization program provided the sampling complexity is nearly optimal. Empirical results are also presented to justify the effectiveness of the convex method.


From Google Maps to a Fine-Grained Catalog of Street trees. (arXiv:1910.02675v1 [cs.CV])


Authors: Steve Branson, Jan Dirk Wegner, David Hall, Nico Lang, Konrad Schindler, Pietro Perona

Up-to-date catalogs of the urban tree population are important for municipalities to monitor and improve quality of life in cities. Despite much research on automation of tree mapping, mainly relying on dedicated airborne LiDAR or hyperspectral campaigns, trees are still mostly mapped manually in practice. We present a fully automated tree detection and species recognition pipeline to process thousands of trees within a few hours using publicly available aerial and street view images of Google MapsTM. These data provide rich information (viewpoints, scales) from global tree shapes to bark textures. Our work-flow is built around a supervised classification that automatically learns the most discriminative features from thousands of trees and corresponding, public tree inventory data. In addition, we introduce a change tracker to keep urban tree inventories up-to-date. Changes of individual trees are recognized at city-scale by comparing street-level images of the same tree location at two different times. Drawing on recent advances in computer vision and machine learning, we apply convolutional neural networks (CNN) for all classification tasks. We propose the following pipeline: download all available panoramas and overhead images of an area of interest, detect trees per image and combine multi-view detections in a probabilistic framework, adding prior knowledge; recognize fine-grained species of detected trees. In a later, separate module, track trees over time and identify the type of change. We believe this is the first work to exploit publicly available image data for fine-grained tree mapping at city-scale, respectively over many thousands of trees. Experiments in the city of Pasadena, California, USA show that we can detect > 70% of the street trees, assign correct species to > 80% for 40 different species, and correctly detect and classify changes in > 90% of the cases.


Effective Acoustic Energy Sensing Exploitation for Target Sources Localization in Urban Acoustic Scenes. (arXiv:1910.02709v1 [eess.AS])


Authors: M. Alves, R. Coelho, E. Dranka

This letter proposes a new approach to improve the accuracy of the Energy-based source localization methods in urban acoustic scenes. The proposed acoustic energy sensing flow estimation (ESFE) uses the sensors signal nonstationarity degree to determine the area with highest energy concentration in the scenes. The ESFE is applied to different acoustic scenes and yields to source localization accuracy improvement with computational complexity reduction. The experiments results show that the proposed scheme leads to significant improvement in source localization accuracy.


Transfer Brain MRI Tumor Segmentation Models Across Modalities with Adversarial Networks. (arXiv:1910.02717v1 [eess.IV])


Authors: Edoardo Giacomello, Daniele Loiacono, Luca Mainardi

In this work, we present an approach to brain cancer segmentation in Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) using Adversarial Networks, that have been successfully applied to several complex image processing problems in recent years. Most of the segmentation approaches presented in the literature exploit the data from all the contrast modalities typically acquired in the clinical practice: T1-weighted, T1-weighted contrast-enhanced, T2-weighted, and T2-FLAIR. Unfortunately, often not all these modalities are available for each patient. Accordingly, in this paper, we extended a previous segmentation approach based on Adversarial Networks to deal with this issue. In particular, we trained a segmentation model for each modality at once and evaluated the performances of these models. Thus, we investigated the possibility of transferring the best among these single-modality models to the other modalities. Our results suggest that such a transfer learning approach allows achieving better performances for almost all the target modalities.


Algorithmic Probability-guided Supervised Machine Learning on Non-differentiable Spaces. (arXiv:1910.02758v1 [cs.LG])


Authors: Santiago Hernández-Orozco, Hector Zenil, Jürgen Riedel, Adam Uccello, Narsis A. Kiani, Jesper Tegnér

We show how complexity theory can be introduced in machine learning to help bring together apparently disparate areas of current research. We show that this new approach requires less training data and is more generalizable as it shows greater resilience to random attacks. We investigate the shape of the discrete algorithmic space when performing regression or classification using a loss function parametrized by algorithmic complexity, demonstrating that the property of differentiation is not necessary to achieve results similar to those obtained using differentiable programming approaches such as deep learning. In doing so we use examples which enable the two approaches to be compared (small, given the computational power required for estimations of algorithmic complexity). We find and report that (i) machine learning can successfully be performed on a non-smooth surface using algorithmic complexity; (ii) that parameter solutions can be found using an algorithmic-probability classifier, establishing a bridge between a fundamentally discrete theory of computability and a fundamentally continuous mathematical theory of optimization methods; (iii) a formulation of an algorithmically directed search technique in non-smooth manifolds can be defined and conducted; (iv) exploitation techniques and numerical methods for algorithmic search to navigate these discrete non-differentiable spaces can be performed; in application of the (a) identification of generative rules from data observations; (b) solutions to image classification problems more resilient against pixel attacks compared to neural networks; (c) identification of equation parameters from a small data-set in the presence of noise in continuous ODE system problem, (d) classification of Boolean NK networks by (1) network topology, (2) underlying Boolean function, and (3) number of incoming edges.


Deep Learning for mmWave Beam and Blockage Prediction Using Sub-6GHz Channels. (arXiv:1910.02900v1 [cs.IT])


Authors: Muhammad Alrabeiah, Ahmed Alkhateeb

Predicting the millimeter wave (mmWave) beams and blockages using sub-6GHz channels has the potential of enabling mobility and reliability in scalable mmWave systems. These gains attracted increasing interest in the last few years. Prior work, however, has focused on extracting spatial channel characteristics at the sub-6GHz band first and then use them to reduce the mmWave beam training overhead. This approach has a number of limitations: (i) It still requires a beam search at mmWave, (ii) its performance is sensitive to the error associated with extracting the sub-6GHz channel characteristics, and (iii) it does not normally account for the different dielectric properties at the different bands. In this paper, we first prove that under certain conditions, there exist mapping functions that can predict the optimal mmWave beam and correct blockage status directly from the sub-6GHz channel, which overcome the limitations in prior work. These mapping functions, however, are hard to characterize analytically which motivates exploiting deep neural network models to learn them. For that, we prove that a large enough neural network can use the sub-6GHz channel to directly predict the optimal mmWave beam and the correct blockage status with success probabilities that can be made arbitrarily close to one. Then, we develop an efficient deep learning model and empirically evaluate its beam/blockage prediction performance using the publicly available dataset DeepMIMO. The results show that the proposed solution can predict the mmWave blockages with more than 90$\%$ success probability. Further, these results confirm the capability of the proposed deep learning model in predicting the optimal mmWave beams and approaching the optimal data rates, that assume perfect channel knowledge, while requiring no beam training overhead...


Exploiting Structural and Semantic Context for Commonsense Knowledge Base Completion. (arXiv:1910.02915v1 [cs.CL])


Authors: Chaitanya Malaviya, Chandra Bhagavatula, Antoine Bosselut, Yejin Choi

Automatic KB completion for commonsense knowledge graphs (e.g., ATOMIC and ConceptNet) poses unique challenges compared to the much studied conventional knowledge bases (e.g., Freebase). Commonsense knowledge graphs use free-form text to represent nodes, resulting in orders of magnitude more nodes compared to conventional KBs (18x more nodes in ATOMIC compared to Freebase (FB15K-237)). Importantly, this implies significantly sparser graph structures - a major challenge for existing KB completion methods that assume densely connected graphs over a relatively smaller set of nodes. In this paper, we present novel KB completion models that can address these challenges by exploiting the structural and semantic context of nodes. Specifically, we investigate two key ideas: (1) learning from local graph structure, using graph convolutional networks and automatic graph densification and (2) transfer learning from pre-trained language models to knowledge graphs for enhanced contextual representation of knowledge. We describe our method to incorporate information from both these sources in a joint model and provide the first empirical results for KB completion on ATOMIC and evaluation with ranking metrics on ConceptNet. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of language model representations in boosting link prediction performance and the advantages of learning from local graph structure (+1.5 points in MRR for ConceptNet) when training on subgraphs for computational efficiency. Further analysis on model predictions shines light on the types of commonsense knowledge that language models capture well.


Multilevel Monte Carlo estimation of expected information gains. (arXiv:1811.07546v4 [stat.CO] UPDATED)


Authors: Takashi Goda, Tomohiko Hironaka, Takeru Iwamoto

The expected information gain is an important quality criterion of Bayesian experimental designs, which measures how much the information entropy about uncertain quantity of interest $\theta$ is reduced on average by collecting relevant data $Y$. However, estimating the expected information gain has been considered computationally challenging since it is defined as a nested expectation with an outer expectation with respect to $Y$ and an inner expectation with respect to $\theta$. In fact, the standard, nested Monte Carlo method requires a total computational cost of $O(\varepsilon^{-3})$ to achieve a root-mean-square accuracy of $\varepsilon$. In this paper we develop an efficient algorithm to estimate the expected information gain by applying a multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) method. To be precise, we introduce an antithetic MLMC estimator for the expected information gain and provide a sufficient condition on the data model under which the antithetic property of the MLMC estimator is well exploited such that optimal complexity of $O(\varepsilon^{-2})$ is achieved. Furthermore, we discuss how to incorporate importance sampling techniques within the MLMC estimator to avoid arithmetic underflow. Numerical experiments show the considerable computational cost savings compared to the nested Monte Carlo method for a simple test case and a more realistic pharmacokinetic model.


A Covariance-Based Hybrid Channel Feedback in FDD Massive MIMO Systems. (arXiv:1902.05184v2 [cs.IT] UPDATED)


Authors: Shuang Qiu, David Gesbert, Da Chen, Tao Jiang

In this paper, a novel covariance-based channel feedback mechanism is investigated for frequency division duplexing (FDD) massive multi-input multi-output (MIMO) systems. The concept capitalizes on the notion of user statistical separability which was hinted in several prior works in the massive antenna regime but not fully exploited so far. We here propose a hybrid statistical-instantaneous feedback mechanism where the users are separated into two classes of feedback design based on their channel covariance. Under the hybrid framework, each user either operates on a statistical feedback mode or quantized instantaneous channel feedback mode depending on their so-called statistical isolability. The key challenge lies in the design of a covariance-aware classification algorithm which can handle the complex mutual interactions between all users. The classification is derived from rate bound principles. A suitable precoding method is also devised under the mixed statistical and instantaneous feedback model. Simulations are performed to validate our analytical results and illustrate the sum rate advantages of the proposed feedback scheme under a global feedback overhead constraint.


Age Progression and Regression with Spatial Attention Modules. (arXiv:1903.02133v2 [cs.CV] UPDATED)


Authors: Qi Li, Yunfan Liu, Zhenan Sun

Age progression and regression refers to aesthetically render-ing a given face image to present effects of face aging and rejuvenation, respectively. Although numerous studies have been conducted in this topic, there are two major problems: 1) multiple models are usually trained to simulate different age mappings, and 2) the photo-realism of generated face images is heavily influenced by the variation of training images in terms of pose, illumination, and background. To address these issues, in this paper, we propose a framework based on conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (cGANs) to achieve age progression and regression simultaneously. Particularly, since face aging and rejuvenation are largely different in terms of image translation patterns, we model these two processes using two separate generators, each dedicated to one age changing process. In addition, we exploit spatial attention mechanisms to limit image modifications to regions closely related to age changes, so that images with high visual fidelity could be synthesized for in-the-wild cases. Experiments on multiple datasets demonstrate the ability of our model in synthesizing lifelike face images at desired ages with personalized features well preserved, and keeping age-irrelevant regions unchanged.


Controllability of Bandlimited Graph Processes Over Random Time Varying Graphs. (arXiv:1904.10089v2 [cs.SY] UPDATED)


Authors: Fernando Gama, Elvin Isufi, Alejandro Ribeiro, Geert Leus

Controllability of complex networks arises in many technological problems involving social, financial, road, communication, and smart grid networks. In many practical situations, the underlying topology might change randomly with time, due to link failures such as changing friendships, road blocks or sensor malfunctions. Thus, it leads to poorly controlled dynamics if randomness is not properly accounted for. We consider the problem of controlling the network state when the topology varies randomly with time. Our problem concerns target states that are bandlimited over the graph; these are states that have nonzero frequency content only on a specific graph frequency band. We thus leverage graph signal processing and exploit the bandlimited model to drive the network state from a fixed set of control nodes. When controlling the state from a few nodes, we observe that spurious, out-of-band frequency content is created. Therefore, we focus on controlling the network state over the desired frequency band, and then use a graph filter to get rid of the unwanted frequency content. To account for the topological randomness, we develop the concept of controllability in the mean, which consists of driving the expected network state towards the target state. A detailed mean squared error analysis is performed to quantify the statistical deviation between the final controlled state on a particular graph realization and the actual target state. Finally, we propose different control strategies and evaluate their effectiveness on synthetic network models and social networks.


Enhancing Adversarial Example Transferability with an Intermediate Level Attack. (arXiv:1907.10823v2 [cs.LG] UPDATED)


Authors: Qian Huang, Isay Katsman, Horace He, Zeqi Gu, Serge Belongie, Ser-Nam Lim

Neural networks are vulnerable to adversarial examples, malicious inputs crafted to fool trained models. Adversarial examples often exhibit black-box transfer, meaning that adversarial examples for one model can fool another model. However, adversarial examples are typically overfit to exploit the particular architecture and feature representation of a source model, resulting in sub-optimal black-box transfer attacks to other target models. We introduce the Intermediate Level Attack (ILA), which attempts to fine-tune an existing adversarial example for greater black-box transferability by increasing its perturbation on a pre-specified layer of the source model, improving upon state-of-the-art methods. We show that we can select a layer of the source model to perturb without any knowledge of the target models while achieving high transferability. Additionally, we provide some explanatory insights regarding our method and the effect of optimizing for adversarial examples using intermediate feature maps.


VL-BERT: Pre-training of Generic Visual-Linguistic Representations. (arXiv:1908.08530v2 [cs.CV] UPDATED)


Authors: Weijie Su, Xizhou Zhu, Yue Cao, Bin Li, Lewei Lu, Furu Wei, Jifeng Dai

We introduce a new pre-trainable generic representation for visual-linguistic tasks, called Visual-Linguistic BERT (VL-BERT for short). VL-BERT adopts the simple yet powerful Transformer model as the backbone, and extends it to take both visual and linguistic embedded features as input. In it, each element of the input is either of a word from the input sentence, or a region-of-interest (RoI) from the input image. It is designed to fit for most of the visual-linguistic downstream tasks. To better exploit the generic representation, we pre-train VL-BERT on the massive-scale Conceptual Captions dataset, together with text-only corpus. Extensive empirical analysis demonstrates that the pre-training procedure can better align the visual-linguistic clues and benefit the downstream tasks, such as visual commonsense reasoning, visual question answering and referring expression comprehension. It is worth noting that VL-BERT achieved the first place of single model on the leaderboard of the VCR benchmark.


Empirical Analysis of Knowledge Distillation Technique for Optimization of Quantized Deep Neural Networks. (arXiv:1909.01688v2 [cs.LG] UPDATED)


Authors: Sungho Shin, Yoonho Boo, Wonyong Sung

Knowledge distillation (KD) is a very popular method for model size reduction. Recently, the technique is exploited for quantized deep neural networks (QDNNs) training as a way to restore the performance sacrificed by word-length reduction. KD, however, employs additional hyper-parameters, such as temperature, coefficient, and the size of teacher network for QDNN training. We analyze the effect of these hyper-parameters for QDNN optimization with KD. We find that these hyper-parameters are inter-related, and also introduce a simple and effective technique that reduces \textit{coefficient} during training. With KD employing the proposed hyper-parameters, we achieve the test accuracy of 92.7% and 67.0% on Resnet20 with 2-bit ternary weights for CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 data sets, respectively.


Bayesian Optimization for Iterative Learning. (arXiv:1909.09593v2 [cs.LG] UPDATED)


Authors: Vu Nguyen, Sebastian Schulze, Michael A Osborne

The success of deep (reinforcement) learning systems crucially depends on the correct choice of hyperparameters which are notoriously sensitive and expensive to evaluate. Training these systems typically requires running iterative processes over multiple epochs or episodes. Traditional approaches only consider final performances of a hyperparameter although intermediate information from the learning curve is readily available. In this paper, we present a Bayesian optimization approach which exploits the iterative structure of learning algorithms for efficient hyperparameter tuning. First, we transform each training curve into a numeric score. Second, we selectively augment the data using the auxiliary information from the curve. This augmentation step enables modeling efficiency while preventing the ill-conditioned issue of Gaussian process covariance matrix happened when adding the whole curve. We demonstrate the efficiency of our algorithm by tuning hyperparameters for the training of deep reinforcement learning agents and convolutional neural networks. Our algorithm outperforms all existing baselines in identifying optimal hyperparameters in minimal time.


Friday, 11 October 2019 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John XXIII, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes) Psalm 9 : 2-3, 6 and 16, 8-9 The wicked are in power; the weak suffer harassment; the poor become victims of evil schemes. Exploiters boast in their power and greed; the covetous blasphemes and defies God. All of them saying in their heart, “Nothing will trouble me. […]

Kinepolis remporte le prix de l"'Entreprise de l'année"

L'exploitant de cinémas Kinepolis a reçu mardi le trophée d'"Entreprise de l'année" (flamande), un prix organisé par le bureau de consultance EY en collaboration avec BNP Paribas Fortis et De Tijd.

Le tourisme durable aujourd’hui… et demain !

Surtourisme, tourisme de masse, exploitation effrénée de sites comme le Mont Blanc ou l’Everest, “folklorisation” des traditions et de l’artisanat, “marchandisation” du patrimoine, pollution des plages… : le constat de Marie-Paule Eskénazi, qui a fondé l’asbl “Tourisme Autrement” il y a plus de 20 ans, est sans appel, il faut agir et proposer autre chose

Florida Residents Charged in $2 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Seven Floridians, including four doctors, are among 35 people arrested Friday by the FBI for alleged involvement in a $2.1 billion fraud that charged Medicare for false cancer genomic tests (CGx tests). According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the alleged fraud was perpetrated by defendants in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas and exploited […]

Responsable avant du magasin (Superviseur) - Pharmaprix 1924 Ste-Foy - Quebec City, QC

S’assurer que les caissier(ère)s et les employé(e)s du marchandisage se conforment à toutes les politiques et procédures d’exploitation du magasin.
From Indeed - Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:02:05 GMT - View all Quebec City, QC jobs

Characterizing Real-World Agents as a Research Meta-Strategy

Published on October 8, 2019 3:32 PM UTC


Intuitively, the real world seems to contain agenty systems (e.g. humans), non-agenty systems (e.g. rocks), and ambiguous cases which display some agent-like behavior sometimes (bacteria, neural nets, financial markets, thermostats, etc). There’s a vague idea that agenty systems pursue consistent goals in a wide variety of environments, and that various characteristics are necessary for this flexible goal-oriented behavior.

But once we get into the nitty-gritty, it turns out we don’t really have a full mathematical formalization of these intuitions. We lack a characterization of agents.

To date, the closest we’ve come to characterizing agents in general are the coherence theorems underlying Bayesian inference and utility maximization. A wide variety of theorems with a wide variety of different assumptions all point towards agents which perform Bayesian inference and choose their actions to maximize expected utility. In this framework, an agent is characterized by two pieces:

  • A probabilistic world-model
  • A utility function

The Bayesian utility characterization of agency neatly captures many of our intuitions of agency: the importance of accurate beliefs about the environment, the difference between things which do and don’t consistently pursue a goal (or approximately pursue a goal, or sometimes pursue a goal…), the importance of updating on new information, etc.

Sadly, for purposes of AGI alignment, the standard Bayesian utility characterization is incomplete at best. Some example issues include:

  • The need for a cartesian boundary - a clear separation between “agent” and “environment”, with well-defined input/output channels between the two
  • Logical omniscience - the assumption that agents can fully compute all of the implications of the information available to them, and track every possible state of the world
  • Path independence and complete preferences - the assumption that an agent doesn’t have a general tendency to stay in the state it’s in

One way to view agent foundations research is that it seeks a characterization of agents which resolves problems like the first two above. We want the same sort of benefits offered by the Bayesian utility characterization, but in a wider and more realistic range of agenty systems.

Characterizing Real-World Agents

We want to characterize agency. We have a bunch of real-world systems which display agency to varying degrees. One obvious strategy is to go study and characterize those real-world agenty systems.

Concretely, what would this look like?

Well, let’s set aside the shortcomings of the standard Bayesian utility characterization for a moment, and imagine applying it to a real-world system - a financial market, for instance. We have various coherence theorems saying that agenty systems must implement Bayesian utility maximization, or else allow arbitrage. We have a strong prior that financial markets don’t allow arbitrage (except perhaps very small arbitrage on very short timescales). So, financial markets should have a Bayesian utility function, right? Obvious next step: pick an actual market and try to figure out its world-model and utility function.

I tried this, and it didn’t work. Turns out markets don’t have a utility function, in general (in this context, it’s called a “representative agent”).

Ok, but markets are still inexploitable and still seem agenty, so where did it go wrong? Can we generalize Bayesian utility to characterize systems which are agenty like markets? This was the line of inquiry which led to “Why Subagents?”. The upshot: for systems with internal state (including markets), the standard utility maximization characterization generalizes to a multi-agent committee characterization.

This is an example of a general strategy:

  • Start with some characterization of agency - don’t worry if it’s not perfect yet
  • Apply it to a real-world agenty system - specifically, try to back out the characterizing properties, e.g. the probabilistic world-model and utility function in the case of a Bayesian utility characterization
  • If successful, great! We’ve gained a useful theoretical tool for an interesting real-world system.
  • If unsuccessful, first check whether the failure corresponds to a situation where the system actually doesn’t act very agenty - if so, then that actually supports our characterization of agency, and again tells us something interesting about a real-world system.
  • Otherwise, we’ve found a real-world case where our characterization of agency fails. Look at the system’s actual internal behavior to see where it differs from the assumptions of our characterization, and then generalize the characterization to handle this kind of system.

Note that the last step, generalizing the characterization, still needs to maintain the structure of a characterization of agency. For example, prospect theory does a fine job predicting the choices of humans, but it isn’t a general characterization of effective goal-seeking behavior. There’s no reason to expect prospect-theory-like behavior to be universal for effective goal-seeking systems. The coherence theorems of Bayesian utility, on the other hand, provide fairly general conditions under which Bayesian induction and expected utility maximization are an optimal goal-seeking strategy - and therefore “universal”, at least within the conditions assumed. Although the Bayesian utility framework is incomplete at best, that’s still the kind of thing we’re looking for: a characterization which should apply to all effective goal-seeking systems.

Some examples of (hypothetical) projects which follow this general strategy:

  • Look up the kinetic equations governing chemotaxis in e-coli. Either extract an approximate probabilistic world-model and utility function from the equations, find a suboptimality in the bacteria’s behavior, or identify a loophole and expand the characterization of agency.
  • Pick a financial market. Using whatever data you can obtain, either extract (not necessarily unique) utility functions and world models of the component agents, find an arbitrage opportunity, or identify a new loophole and expand the characterization of agency.
  • Start with the weights from a neural network trained on a task in the openai gym. Either extract a probabilistic world model and utility function from the weights, find a strategy which dominates the NN’s strategy, or identify a loophole and expand the characterization of agency

… and so forth.

Why Would We Want to Do This?

Characterization of real-world agenty systems has a lot of advantages as a general research strategy.

First and foremost: when working on mathematical theory, it’s easy to get lost in abstraction and lose contact with the real world. One can end up pushing symbols around ad nauseum, without any idea which way is forward. The easiest counter to this failure mode is to stay grounded in real-world applications. Just as a rationalist lets reality guide beliefs, a theorist lets the problems, properties and intuitions of the real world guide the theory.

Second, when attempting to characterize real-world agenty systems, one is very likely to make some kind of forward progress. If the characterization works, then we’ve learned something useful about an interesting real-world system. If it fails, then we’ve identified a hole in our characterization of agency - and we have an example on hand to guide the construction of a new characterization.

Third, characterization of real-world agenty systems is directly relevant to alignment: the alignment problem itself basically amounts to characterizing the wants and ontologies of humans. This isn’t the only problem relevant to FAI - tiling and stability and subagent alignment and the like are separate - but it is basically the whole “alignment with humans” part. Characterizing e.g. the wants and ontology of an e-coli seems like a natural stepping-stone.

One could object that real-world agenty systems lack some properties which are crucial to the design of aligned AGI - most notably reflection and planned self-modification. A theory developed by looking only at real-world agents will therefore likely be incomplete. On the other hand, you don’t figure out general relativity without figuring out Newtonian gravitation first. Our understanding of agency is currently so woefully poor that we don’t even understand real-world systems, so we might as well start with that and reap all the advantages listed above. Once that’s figured out, we should expect it to pave the way to the final theory: just as general relativity has to reproduce Newtonian gravity in the limit of low speed and low energy, more advanced characterizations of agency should reproduce more basic characterizations under the appropriate conditions. The subagents characterization, for example, reproduces the utility characterization in cases where the agenty system has no internal state. It all adds up to normality - new theories must be consistent with the old, at least to the extent that the old theories work.

Finally, a note on relative advantage. As a strategy, characterizing real-world agenty systems leans heavily on domain knowledge in areas like biology, machine learning, economics, and neuroscience/psychology, along with the math involved in any agency research. That’s a pretty large pareto skill frontier, and I’d bet that it’s pretty underexplored. That means there’s a lot of opportunity for new, large contributions to the theory, if you have the domain knowledge or are willing to put in the effort to acquire it.


James Franco's former students sue, alleging sexual exploitation and fraud at his defunct school


James Franco's attorney says the actor will fight a class-action lawsuit filed Thursday by two women who studied at his Studio 4 acting school.


macOS Catalina disponible au téléchargement

Près de deux mois après la sortie de la bêta 4 , et avec un peu de retard par rapport à leurs homologues mobiles ( iOS , iPadOS et watchos ), voici la nouvelle version du système d'exploitation d'Apple dédié au Mac, nommé Mac OS Catalina. En plus de marquer la fin d'iTunes, le nouveau système d'exploitation ajoute le mode Sidecar avec lequel vous pouvez connecter un iPad comme second écran (ou tablette graphique) et de nouvelles commandes vocales conçues pour augmenter considérablement l'accessibilité de l'appareil. Quels sont les appareils compatibles avec la mise à jour? Ci-dessous la liste officielle: MacBook (2015 et ultérieur); MacBook Air (2012 et ultérieur); MacBook Pro (2012 et ultérieur); Mac Mini (2012 et ultérieur); iMac (2012 et ultérieur); iMac Pro (2017 et ultérieur); Mac Pro (2013 et ultérieur). Pour mettre à jour votre Mac, allez simplement dans Préférences Système et cliquez sur Mise à jour de logiciels. Le poids de la mise à jour peut varier en fonction de l'ordinateur, même si les rapports atteignent un maximum de 8 Go. (Lire la suite)

Episode #431 - Exploitation Did It First!!!

Exploitation did it before anyone else... don't let the studios fool you.

Episode #324 - The Danger of Nostalgiaspliotation.

With nostalgia running amok in the movies what dangers are there in exploiting it?

Grindhouse Purgatory Episode 6

Has the grindhouse been diminished with it's exploitation (oh the irony) in mass media?

Episode #269 - Nostalgiaspliotation

We take a break from the years and look at how nostalgia has become it's own exploitation sub-genre. Did we really need a Jem and the Holograms movie or were they simply exploiting your nostalgia? This is actually a thing they do now.

William Barr and Winnie the Pooh


Right now, Chinese users of WeChat, an app that includes text, video, and picture messaging plus a Facebook-style news feed (among many other features), can't message each other a meme of Winnie the Pooh. Why not? Because, being short and rotund, he supposedly evokes an unflattering comparison to President Xi Jinping. So, at the behest of the Chinese government, WeChat censors pictures of a beloved children's character in order to crack down on government criticism. Here in the U.S., if the Attorney General gets his way, Facebook and other U.S. services will be able to do the same to your private chats.


Late last week, Attorney General William Barr and the acting secretary of Homeland Security joined British and Australian officials in a letter to Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg that asked Facebook not to go forward with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services. The October 4 letter coincided with an event held by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that day, which featured Barr, the letter’s British and Australian co-authors, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, among others. Both the letter and the event focused on the use of online communications platforms for the transmission of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), warning that the roll-out of end-to-end encryption for messaging would risk stymying law enforcement efforts to detect, investigate, and prosecute that activity. The letter and event came hot on the heels of a New York Times article about the problem of CSAM on online platforms like Facebook. Barr’s demand may be the precursor to rumored anti-encryption legislation that might come out of the Senate Judiciary Committee soon, more than three years after the embarrassing debacle over a bill proposed by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein (who is on that committee).


This is a significant escalation in the current Crypto Wars. The U.S. government has not gone so directly head-to-head over encryption with a specific company since its showdown with Apple in early 2016, when the government blinked first. (Well, it hasn’t done so in public, anyway.) The suddenness of this new push is alarming. Also noteworthy is that suddenly the main reason to demonize encryption is CSAM, with terrorism and other ills playing second fiddle. Even as recently as late July 2019, when Barr revived his predecessors’ habit of castigating encrypted service providers, it was drug cartels he invoked. But CSAM is the dominant focus now, suddenly and thoroughly. 


It is beyond question that CSAM is a real and serious problem for Facebook (and every tech company that has ever given users the ability to upload, store, send, share, post, or otherwise communicate files). It is radioactive, it is illegal everywhere, and no legitimate company wants it on their servers. Nevertheless, this new single-minded focus on CSAM in the revived anti-encryption push feels like an exceedingly cynical move on the part of the U.S. government. Out of the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse (terrorism, drug trafficking, CSAM, and organized crime), terrorism didn’t work to turn public opinion against encryption, so the government has switched horse(men) midstream. 


It also feels like cynical exploitation of the “techlash,” as I’ve observed (a year ago, and a year before that). The techlash has made it more politically palatable to pick on tech companies -- particularly Facebook. Never mind that people distrust Facebook because of its privacy screw-ups, and so they should be glad that Facebook is adding end-to-end encryption to more of its services, because that will make Facebook less able to invade users’ privacy. It’s not important, for Barr’s purposes, that average people (or congressmembers) actually understand what Facebook’s end-to-end encryption plan will do; only that they create a mental link between encryption and crime, and another link between the problem of criminal activity on Facebook’s platform with the problem of Facebook’s own repeated privacy misdeeds, such that the privacy-related distrust commutes into distrust of the end-to-end encryption plan.


Who is the antagonist to be bested in this fight against Facebook’s effort to enhance the security and privacy of over a billion people? Not pedophiles -- or at least, not just pedophiles. The “problem” that Barr, Wray, and their counterparts are trying to solve is that of people being able to talk to each other privately without government ability to snoop on them. This was made plain in the October 4 letter. It stated, “Companies should not deliberately design their systems to preclude any form of access to content, even for preventing or investigating the most serious crimes.” All well and good so long as there’s the focus on crimes, right? But later, the letter called on Facebook “and other companies” to “[e]nable law enforcement to obtain lawful access to content in a readable and usable format.” All content should be accessible by law enforcement. To get at evidence of crime, law enforcement must be able to get access to everything. Every text, every private message, every call. Every communication you make with another person through an electronic medium like Facebook.


Of course, as is the norm in government exhortations to the tech industry, the letter doesn’t say how Facebook should go about doing that. Governments have been wary of making concrete suggestions ever since the failure of the Clipper Chip in the ‘90s. But in recent times, when they do, there’s been some change. As I wrote in a whitepaper last year, Wray and former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein both advocated around late 2017 and early 2018 for some kind of key escrow scheme. More recently, in November of last year, GCHQ (the UK’s NSA) made what’s called the “ghost proposal” for silently adding the government as a party to encrypted conversations. This reflects an evolution: by and large, government officials now understand that if they are going to make some sort of actual suggestion (rather than stating their goal of access to plaintext and leaving it to the tech companies to figure out how to get there, as the Oct. 4 letter does), rule #1 is now “don’t touch the crypto.” If you can say “this proposal isn’t a ‘backdoor,’ it doesn’t require breaking the encryption,” then that changes the proposal’s security impact -- and most law enforcement officials presumably do sincerely want to minimize adverse impact on user security. (Most of them.) So it changes the response by information security professionals. It also changes the optics of the proposal in terms of public relations, since the public learned from the Apple vs. FBI showdown that “breaking encryption” and “backdoors” are bad news. 


Enter “content moderation.” One proposal for enabling law enforcement access is to build a system where the provider (Facebook) would check content, such as a photo attached to a message, before it’s encrypted and transmitted to another user -- i.e. while the content is on the sender’s device, not traveling through the provider’s server -- to try to figure out whether that content is or might be abusive content such as CSAM. Jonathan Mayer has just published a very good short first-draft discussion paper about what content moderation for end-to-end encrypted messaging might look like. This is a technical paper. It is not a policy paper. Mayer expressly says that he is not claiming that the concepts he describes “adequately address information security risks or public policy values, such as free speech, international human rights, or economic competitiveness.”


So, allow me to state the obvious: There is no way in hell that Facebook or anyone else could introduce content moderation for end-to-end encrypted messaging without it inevitably sliding into abuse. It would start with CSAM, but it would not stop there. The predictable result is surveillance and censorship, a chill on privacy and free speech. No, client-side pre-encryption content moderation “doesn’t touch the encryption,” in keeping with snooping governments’ new rule #1 for proposals to “solve” the encryption “problem.” But that doesn’t put it in the clear (and, again, Mayer is emphatically not suggesting it does). As Jon Callas of the ACLU said in response to the GCHQ ghost proposal: this “proposal would not ‘break’ encryption, but it would nonetheless have the same effect by creating a situation in which people are no longer confident they are securely talking to their partners.”


A variant of this content moderation is already done in various contexts. Facebook already scans for attempts to upload and share CSAM on the parts of its service that are not (yet) end-to-end encrypted -- that’s the visibility that government officials are worried would go away if Facebook proceeds with its plan. Email service providers scan your email attachments against a hash database of known CSAM, as the Times article describes. Upload filters are also already in use for other purposes besides interdicting CSAM: for example, upload filters that are intended to prevent copyright-infringing material from being posted to YouTube. Upload filters have also been proposed for preventing the posting and sharing of “violent extremist” content such as the Christchurch shooting video. Indeed, as my colleague Daphne Keller explains, it appears that filtering requirements of some sort will now be the law of the land in the European Union thanks to a defamation case, though nobody knows what that filter is supposed to look like, exactly. So already, we are seeing CSAM, plus defamation, copyright infringement, and violent extremism (all concepts that are much harder to accurately spot on sight than child sex abuse), as the driving forces behind existing and government-demanded filters on people’s ability to engage in “one-to-many” speech online, through such mediums as YouTube or Facebook.


And already, “upload filters are inherently inconsistent with fundamental freedoms.” It’s a problem as-is from a fundamental-rights standpoint when filters are applied to interdict attempts to share content broadly to many people, through a channel that is not end-to-end encrypted. But it is even more troubling when the same idea is applied to flag blacklisted content (be it words or images) in a one-on-one or small-group conversation -- something we reasonably consider private. Particularly where the interlocutors are using end-to-end encryption to try to assure that their conversation is private (rather than broadcast it to the world à la YouTube). And it is especially troubling if the provider designs its messaging service so that this scanning for blacklisted content happens automatically, for every single user’s conversations, not just those users who are reasonably suspected of crime and for whom a wiretap order has been issued for their electronic communications.


I understand that the approaches Mayer describes include technical measures intended to respect the privacy of conversations as much as possible and winnow down the amount of unencrypted content that is ever actually reviewed by a human (though the potential false positive rates are very troubling given the criminal consequences). Designing privacy-enhancing technologies to deal with the trash fire that is the Internet is certainly an interesting, if depressing, research area. And I understand that ostensibly we are talking about systems that are only for CSAM, at present. But when you’re checking content against a blacklist (or fuzzily trying to predict whether content your system hasn’t seen before should be blacklisted), ultimately you are talking about a system that keeps a list of things that must not be said or shared, and that monitors and reports people if they do so. 


Interdicting and reporting unencrypted content pre-transmission surely sounds like a good idea when applied to CSAM (content the recipient is unlikely to report as abusive, if the content is being sent from one pedophile to another). Or malicious attachments that could do harm if you opened them — content you the recipient might think you wanted to look at and wouldn’t report as abusive because you didn’t realize it to be abusive (until it was too late).


But we do not live in a world where that system always stays tightly confined to CSAM, or malware scanning, and doesn’t end up enabling censorship of individuals’ private personal conversations with other people over content that is not illegal or harmful. That already happens in China (which is increasingly an object of envy by U.S. law enforcement). China uses its online censorship capabilities to keep its citizens from using WeChat to talk about Winnie the Pooh or “Tiananmen Square. An end-to-end encrypted messaging system that would do client-side scanning of content against a blacklist before it’s encrypted and report the positive hits? China would rush to fund that work, and likely already has.


The affinity for censorship is not limited to China. Here in the U.S., Hollywood, whose copyright supramaximalist views have long found favor in Congress, would be all too glad to have your private conversations filtered. Other Western democracies such as the European Union countries and New Zealand would want your end-to-end encrypted messages to be pre-scanned for “violent extremist content” and defamation. Never mind how hard it is to define “violent extremist content,” much less accurately identify it without false positives, and the fact that as a concept it covers speech that is not illegal in many countries. And the censorship demands won’t be just for images, but also for text. The recent EU court decision that Daphne discusses imposes a requirement to filter for defamatory textual phrases. 


And from CSAM, copyright claims, “violent extremist content,” and defamation, the blacklist will keep expanding. Tired of getting unwanted dick pics? Fine, the nudity filters Facebook would be called upon to implement in its end-to-end encrypted messaging apps might help you in some circumstances. But don’t be surprised when they deploy their Nipple Detection Systems, which have long come under fire for censoring Facebook and Instagram posts, to intervene to keep you from sending a nude to your romantic partner over Messenger or WhatsApp.


And on and on. “Hate speech” is impossible to define, but that won’t stop the calls to censor it, so that even willing recipients can’t get it, in addition to the people who would otherwise be abused by receiving such speech. There will be demands to stop and report any user who tries to send a picture of a swastika, followed by demands to do similar for the Confederate flag. Again, China is instructive: in the latest version of iOS, the soft keyboard no longer includes the Taiwan flag for users in Hong Kong and Macau. That’s a more extreme version of not allowing the user to transmit a message containing the flag—which seems so reasonable by comparison, doesn’t it?


When a government prevents you from speaking certain things or depicting certain pictures, it’s called prior restraint and, with narrow exceptions, it is almost invariably unconstitutional. When a platform does it at the behest of government, as Facebook might do if Barr had his way, we call it “content moderation.” That anodyne phrase obscures the evil at work here: of government ordering a private third party to censor speech that is, or under any human rights-respecting regime should be, legal. Yes, CSAM is and should be illegal everywhere. No one disputes that. But it is staggeringly naive to believe that, even in the United States of America, client-side pre-encryption “content moderation” would stop at CSAM.


And lest we forget, those measures won’t catch all content they’re intended to interdict. As Mayer notes, users could still encrypt their content separately and then send it. That means pedophiles can encrypt CSAM before transmitting it — just as they can now on services that are not end-to-end encrypted. So, getting Facebook to implement client-side pre-encryption content moderation would catch the pedophiles who are bad at opsec, but as Mayer notes, the rest would adjust, evolve their techniques for evasion, and teach those strategies to each other (which, again, they do already). 


Meanwhile, Hollywood would make damn sure you can’t just send someone a meme over WhatsApp unless you go to the extra effort of separately encrypting it first. Everyone’s perfectly legal speech would be burdened and chilled — because who wants to spend time separately encrypting everything? It’s easier just to not say the thing you wanted to say, to not send the picture that would be worth 1000 words, to express yourself in some other way. Some way that won’t trip up the censorship filter. Sure, you’ll find new ways, as the Chinese did by coming up with Winnie the Pooh as a stand-in for Xi. And then, as with Pooh, the filter will be updated, and you can’t say that either. So you stop saying the forbidden words or sharing the forbidden images. And then, eventually, you stop thinking them too.


If you are willing to accept Facebook (or Google, or Apple, or any other encrypted messaging service provider Bill Barr bullies into compliance) censoring all your private text conversations — and everyone else’s — because it might make it a little easier for the government to catch the most inept pedophiles, then I’m not sure I’ve got a lot else to say to you. But if this idea bothers you — if you don’t like the thought that before very long from now, you won’t be able to say what you please in private discussions over text, while pedophiles learn how to continue operating without detection — then I hope you’ll see Barr’s demand to Facebook for the grave danger it is. If so, let Facebook know. More importantly, let your congressional representatives know.


Now, this post isn’t a careful position paper like Jonathan Mayer wrote. All of the above is what is known as a “slippery slope” argument, and it’s easy to dismiss as hysterical. “Of course we would never do Y just because we are doing X,” platforms and the government would assure you. Then, once mission creep inevitably happens — which it always, always does — the official line would switch to: “Of course we would never do Z just because we are doing Y.” Slippery slope arguments might sound hysterical at the top of the slope; from the bottom, they sound premonitory.


Let’s look to China again. The highly intrusive surveillance of Uighurs in China used to be “just” for Uighurs in Xinjiang at first. Then it was “just” for them and people who visited Xinjiang, regardless of the visitors’ own religion or ethnicity. Then it was “just” for them and, oh, also Tibetans too, a totally different ethnic and religious group that China is fond of persecuting.


The ratchet of surveillance has a pronounced tendency to only go one way. End-to-end encryption is one of the best measures we have for pushing it back and maintaining our security and privacy. But while end-to-end encryption may be necessary to protect those rights, it is not sufficient, as proposals for measures like client-side pre-encryption moderation of private conversations demonstrate.


The rationale may change — national security and terrorism one day, and if that doesn’t work, child abuse the next — but the goal is the same: for governments to have the ability to eavesdrop on your every conversation, the legal power to require that all your conversations be recorded, and the authority to make private-sector providers do their bidding in the process. To have total control. And, if they really succeed, they will reach the ultimate goal: to not even need to exert that control to restrict what you say and do and hear and think — because you’ll do that yourself. You will save them, and Facebook, a lot of time.


It starts with something nobody could possibly oppose: reducing the scourge of child sex abuse. It will not end there. That is the slippery slope.


I don’t pretend to have the answer for how to fight CSAM without simultaneously opening the door to mass surveillance and censorship. I’m not sure there is one, but I appreciate the efforts of the technologists who are trying to find one, or at least to elucidate different technical approaches to different aspects of the encryption debate (such as Jonathan Mayer, who is hardly pro-surveillance). And I know that as long as I don’t have affirmative proposals of my own, just objections to others’, it makes me easy to dismiss as just another hysterical absolutist zealot. That is unfortunate, because, as some of my academic colleagues have privately observed, there is far more nuance to information security experts’ and civil libertarians’ positions in the debate than it might often appear from the outside, or than Bill Barr wants you to think there is. 


That said, this is not the most nuanced of blog posts. I find everything I’ve said above to be painfully obvious. And yet I feel it will still keep needing to be said as long as the Attorney General keeps pretending this debate is only about universally-reviled conduct such as terrorism and child sex abuse. After all, he is also the same Attorney General who was chosen to be, basically, the capo to a mob boss, one who wants Barr to investigate his political opponents. The sitting Attorney General of the United States is the last person we should trust with the ability to read everyone’s messages. We cannot afford the polite fiction that the nation’s law enforcement officials, even those at the very top, are all “the good guys.” 

Those who work for providers, in academia, or in civil society may be tempted to start down the slippery slope we can all see ahead of us, partially out of the commendable desire to help children, partially to show the U.S. government how “reasonable” and “adult” and “mature” we are when it comes to the encryption debate. Let me be clear: It is not reasonable for any government to demand that platforms build the ability to surveil and censor everyone’s private communications. You do not have to help brainstorm, design, build, rationalize, or excuse a system for pervasive surveillance and censorship. Technologists must design and build systems that acknowledge the uncomfortable truth: that China is much closer than we think.

Related Projects: 


R v JAS, 2019 ABCA 376 (CanLII)

sentencing — aggravating — gravity of the offence — sentence — sexual exploitation

America’s Good Intentions in Syria Have Led to This Dismal Outcome


America’s Good Intentions in Syria Have Led to This Dismal OutcomeRecent U.S. policy in Syria, from the moment that former U.S. ambassador Robert Ford showed support for Syrian protesters in 2011, has been one of good intentions that were mismanaged through conflicting policies. This week it led to the decision to withdraw. A new crisis will unfold in eastern Syria, an area that, liberated from ISIS, has seen too much war and where the people are just beginning to reconstruct their lives. Many are expressing feelings that the U.S. betrayed its partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, who are mostly Kurdish. The larger context is that the U.S. has been seen as abandoning one group after another in Syria, reducing American influence in Syria and the region.It is at least the third time that President Donald Trump has sought to leave Syria. In March 2018, he said that the U.S. was leaving “very soon.” In December 2018, he wrote that the U.S. was bringing the troops home after defeating ISIS. In fact, ISIS was not defeated on the ground until March 23, 2019, in its last pocket near the Euphrates river. ISIS sleeper cells are still active, and there are thousands of ISIS detainees in eastern Syria. However, Trump now says that Turkey or other countries will need to deal with the remnants of ISIS and the detainees in Syria.How did the U.S. get here? In 2011, Americans were outraged by scenes of Bashar al-Assad’s regime cracking down on protests. There was bipartisan support for backing the Syrian protesters and then the Syrian rebels. At the time, the Obama administration had a vast spectrum of options, from giving them anti-tank missiles to carrying out airstrikes against Assad and punishing him for using chemical weapons. But Obama walked back from his 2012 red line on the use of chemical weapons.Washington shifted from directly opposing Assad to training and equipping Syrian rebels, a program that cost up to $1 billion and was largely seen as a failure by 2015. By this time, the U.S. was working on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the “Iran deal,” and the overthrow of Assad, who is backed by Iran, was no longer a priority. ISIS had exploited the Syrian conflict to take over a third of Syria and Iraq, controlling the lives of 12 million people and committing genocide. The U.S. began anti-ISIS operations in Syria in September 2014 and helped the Kurdish fighters in Kobane resist ISIS. From there grew a unique partnership between the U.S. and these leftist Kurdish fighters, whom Turkey accused of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which the U.S. views as terrorists. The U.S. supported the creation of the Syrian Democratic Forces in 2015 in eastern Syria, as a way to rebrand the Kurdish fighters and distance them from the PKK, so that Washington could train and equip them without appearing to support the party.The Obama administration had moved from opposing Assad, to arming rebel fighters, to fighting ISIS and signing the Iran deal. At each juncture it narrowed its goals. By the time Trump was elected, the U.S. mission in eastern Syria, encapsulated in Operation Inherent Resolve, was to defeat ISIS on the ground and diplomatically oppose Assad through lip service in Geneva.Trump vowed during his campaign to defeat ISIS, but he also wanted to show that there was a red line with respect to Assad’s crimes. He ordered airstrikes against the regime in April 2017 and April 2018 but was reluctant to do more. He ended support for the rebels in July 2017, and a year later Damascus took back rebel areas that had previously enjoyed some U.S. support. By this time, Russia and Iran were deeply involved in Syria, supporting Assad, and Turkey had launched an operation in northern Syria to prevent the U.S.-backed SDF from expanding its areas of control.At each juncture, the U.S. found its choices narrowed in Syria, and America was isolated from having a say in the future of Syria as Russia, Turkey, and Iran excluded Washington from peace discussions they held at Astana. Nevertheless, by 2018, the U.S. and its SDF partners controlled a huge area in eastern Syria. National-security adviser John Bolton sought to push a strategy whereby America would hold on to eastern Syria until Iran left. The goal was to roll back Iranian influence and reduce Israel’s fears about Iran using Syria to attack. Bolton never got his way.Trump’s decision in December 2018 to leave Syria led to the resignation of defense secretary James Mattis and anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk. Bolton was gone by September 2019. Jettisoning these key officials, the White House narrowed its role in Syria even more, no longer seeing a way to use it as leverage against Iran. Since Trump didn’t want to do nation-building in Syria, and wanted Europe or the Gulf states to foot the bill to keep ISIS detainees locked up, he saw the area as a sunk cost. As for Iran, he said the U.S. would use Iraq to “watch“ it.All that was left of U.S. policy in Syria was the question of what to do about the U.S. partners, the mostly Kurdish forces that had been trained and that had done a phenomenal job defeating ISIS. The problem was that Turkey, sensing that Trump wanted to leave, kept threatening to launch an invasion of eastern Syria to attack the SDF. Turkey says it will resettle 2 million Syrians, mostly Arabs from elsewhere in Syria, in the Kurdish areas of eastern Syria.U.S. policy in Syria has been one of shutting one door after another to close off U.S. influence, at the same time that Iran, Russia, and Turkey are opening those doors to partition Syria for their own interests. The risks of U.S. withdrawal are clear. Not only will ISIS make some inroads, but Washington will lose influence in Syria, and America’s image will be tarnished for appearing to abandon friends and being bullied into leaving. Iran is already calling the US an “irrelevant occupier” and saying that it’s ready to help take over eastern Syria.Unfortunately, as the U.S. seeks to narrow its footprint and get out of the nation-building-humanitarian-intervention business that was a hallmark of the 1990s and early 2000s, Washington has chosen such a narrow goal that its allies are wondering whether there is a future for the U.S. in the Middle East. The U.S. had good intentions — the road to hell is paved with them — in Syria but badly mismanaged them. The result is that Iran, Russia, and Turkey got something and that all the U.S. got was a damaged reputation. It’s a far cry from 2011 when Syrian protesters all across the country, including Kurds and Arabs, looked to Washington for leadership and support.


APT Groups Exploiting Flaws in Unpatched VPNs, Officials Warn

U.S. and U.K. agencies warn consumers to update VPN technologies from Fortinet, Pulse Secure and Palo Alto Networks.

An Unseen Victim of the College Admissions Scandal: The High School Tennis Champion Aced Out by a Billionaire Family


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On a Monday morning in April 2017, students at Sage Hill School gathered in its artificial-turf quadrangle, known as the Town Square, to celebrate seniors who were heading to college as recruited athletes. The 10 honorees lined up behind an archway adorned with balloons. One by one, they stepped forward as their sports and destinations were announced. Patricia Merz, the head of the private high school in Newport Coast, California, placed a lei in the appropriate college’s colors around each student’s neck.

Most of the students were recruits to low-profile Division III programs. Only three had committed to play Division I college sports. Two were the captains of Sage Hill’s girls’ volleyball and girls’ soccer teams, bound for Columbia University and the University of Denver, respectively. The other, Grant Janavs, played tennis. As his shirt and blue-and-gray lei both showed, he would attend Georgetown, the elite Catholic university in Washington, D.C.

The Town Square is framed on three sides by Sage Hill’s gym, library and administration building. As Adam Langevin watched the ceremony with other seniors, sitting on four rows of steps at the quadrangle’s open end, across from the archway, he was stunned. Adam had been Sage Hill’s top tennis player for four years, and he had lost only three singles matches as a senior. He had trained long hours with renowned coaches, hit with college stars and budding pros, and acquitted himself well in regional and national tournaments. Although his two-handed backhand needed work, Adam had developed a solid serve and a forehand that one of his coaches, the former college and professional player Ross Duncan, described as “pro potential, tour level.” Between tennis and classes, he’d had little time left for other extracurricular activities or a social life. In four years, he’d attended only two school dances, and had no romantic relationships, or even casual lunches with friends. He’d sacrificed it all for his goal of playing for the best Division I college tennis team he could.

And yet his dream had narrowly eluded him. Although he would likely have played for a weaker Division I program, such as Georgetown, he had his heart set on California Polytechnic State University, which matched his academic interests and is a perennial contender in the Big West Conference. Unlike Georgetown, Cal Poly typically ranks among the top 75 of the more than 250 Division I men’s college tennis teams in the country. Earlier that month, Adam held back tears when a coach at Cal Poly phoned him in calculus class and said that there was no spot left on its team for him. He had been beaten out by players of similar ability whom the coaches had identified as prospects earlier. Desperate to hide his shame and embarrassment from classmates, he immediately fled school. That afternoon, when his father, Rick Langevin, came home, he found Adam sitting on the hood of his car in the driveway, disconsolate.

Now Grant was being celebrated as a future Division I Georgetown tennis player. When Grant had mentioned that he would be playing for Georgetown, Adam had privately thought that Grant was deluding himself. In their freshman year, Grant had played doubles regularly for Sage Hill, but, as the team improved, he lost his starting position. As a senior, Grant wasn’t even on the team. He hit the ball hard but sprayed his shots outside the lines; he couldn’t stay in a rally for more than three or four strokes. Grant had a private coach who went to his matches and practices, but he still didn’t get better. Adam sometimes wondered if Grant would prefer playing for fun rather than competing.

“I must admit it, I was jealous,” Adam recalled in June, as he sprawled on a couch in the living room of his family’s home, part of a residential development on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Adam, 5-foot-10 and a sturdy 155 pounds, wore white socks without sneakers because he was recovering from surgery for an ingrown toenail, a common tennis malady. “He was living my dream after I worked for so many years,” Adam told me. “I was known as the tennis kid. That’s what I did. Grant gets up there, and I felt people looking over. ‘Why aren’t you up there?’ The whole team was like, ‘What?’ It was really, really frustrating.”

Langevin and his high school tennis coach, A.G. Longoria (Courtesy of the Langevin family)

A.G. Longoria, who served as Sage Hill’s tennis coach from the school’s founding, in 2000, to his retirement, in 2015, coached both players. Adam “was the better athlete and devoted much more time to tennis as this was his number one passion — he was in an elite tennis academy, had high performance coaches and played USTA tournaments almost every week,” Longoria told me in an email. “He got good in a hurry” and “could have played at Georgetown.” By contrast, “Grant was limited by his form (strokes) which all his coaches tried to correct but either he could not or would not change them. I am guessing that Adam was surprised, as many were, that Grant was going to play for Georgetown.”

When Adam told his parents that Grant was a Georgetown tennis recruit, his father speculated that Grant’s billionaire family had endowed a building at the university. Grant’s mother, Michelle Janavs, is the daughter of Paul Merage, who, with his brother, co-founded Chef America Inc., which created the Hot Pockets microwavable snack. Universities frequently reward donors by giving their children or grandchildren an edge in admissions.

Nearly two years later, in March, 2019, the actual explanation emerged. An independent college-admissions counselor named William (Rick) Singer pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to fraud, racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice in a case known as Operation Varsity Blues. Singer’s clients had paid him more than $25 million to help their children enter an array of selective colleges with bogus credentials. He bribed college coaches and athletic officials to misrepresent students as recruited athletes, and he paid proctors at testing sites to improve their scores on the SAT or ACT by secretly correcting wrong answers.

One billionaire family paid Singer $6.5 million for their daughter’s admission to Stanford. Her application to Stanford was embellished with false credentials for the sailing team, according to a court filing by prosecutors. The university expelled the student, according to news reports, but she and her parents have not been charged in the case. Stanford’s sailing coach, who pleaded guilty, admitted to taking bribes to help some of Singer’s clients, but he spent the money on the sailing program rather than himself. The 33 parents who were charged included the television actresses Lori Loughlin, who pleaded not guilty, and Felicity Huffman, who apologized and was sentenced to 14 days in prison. There were also two Sage Hill trustees: Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Company, or PIMCO, one of the world’s largest bond managers, and Grant’s mother, Michelle Janavs.

In May 2017, after Georgetown admitted Grant, a foundation controlled by his grandfather had wired $400,000 to a California nonprofit that Singer had set up — the Key Worldwide Foundation, according to court documents. Prosecutors said that Singer, through that foundation, paid Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst more than $2.7 million in “consulting” fees to designate at least a dozen applicants, including Grant, as tennis recruits. Ernst, who declined to comment through his lawyer, pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy. Grant was not charged in the case, and no evidence has emerged that he knew or suspected anything inappropriate regarding his recruitment. His mother and Singer appear to have engineered his acceptance to Georgetown without him being aware of their alleged scheme.

Michelle Janavs’ alleged bribes continued after Georgetown admitted Grant. She paid $200,000 for her older daughter to get into the University of Southern California for beach volleyball, according to prosecutors. (The daughter had been on Sage Hill’s junior-varsity team.) She paid another $100,000 to rig both of her daughters’ standardized-test scores: a proctor on Singer’s payroll corrected their answers so that their scores would be within a preselected range. Janavs pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering. (Her lawyers declined to comment. Grant did not respond to requests for comment.)

Michelle Janavs, Grant’s mother, leaving a federal courthouse in Boston following a hearing. She has pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges. (Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Media coverage of Operation Varsity Blues has highlighted the accused celebrities, tycoons and coaches. The culpability of the students who gained admission has also been widely debated: Did they know of the bribery, or were they deceived by their own parents, like Grant? The elite colleges involved have portrayed themselves as helpless victims. In reality, they created the conditions for Singer’s scheme, from the lower admissions standards for athletes to the ever-increasing selectivity that ratchets up parents’ desperation. They’ve tacitly sold admissions slots for decades to major donors, yet professed shock that their coaches would as well.

Less understood is that the repercussions extended beyond the families and colleges entangled in the scandal. The true victims were other, and perhaps more deserving, high school students and athletes, like Adam. For every student like Grant who benefited from Singer’s crimes, there was a student who aspired to attend premier schools and sports programs. Despite their stronger credentials, some were rejected. To students like Adam, the scandal shows that the college-admissions game offers shortcuts, but only for the wealthy and well-connected. “Grant is a nice person, but he’s a god-awful tennis player,” Adam told me. “I knew he wouldn’t see a day on court. He would never play a match for Georgetown.”

In the wake of Rick Singer’s guilty plea, media reports portrayed him as a criminal mastermind who deftly hid his activities. He shrewdly exploited procedures that were vulnerable to abuse — such as college-admissions committees taking a coach’s word for an applicant’s athletic prowess. But Singer didn’t fool everyone. Long before 2011, when court documents indicate that his bribing of coaches and test administrators began, he was notorious among some guidance counselors and college advisers for boosting students’ chances by pretending that they were racial minorities or by burnishing their extracurricular activities. Singer had a white applicant identify himself as Hispanic to qualify for affirmative action, a former business associate told me. “It blew up,” this person said, after “the college questioned it because he didn’t put it on the SATs,” which ask about ethnicity. Many of Singer’s associates — other independent counselors, high school guidance counselors, his own employees — suspected him of cheating. At least one prep school banned him from its campus.

It didn’t matter. Singer knew how to appeal to the panic of wealthy parents who fear that their children will not get into exclusive universities. He promised the certainty they craved, and at a bargain price compared with the legal donation needed to improve their chances. In 1994, Singer, a former high school and college basketball coach, established Sacramento’s first independent college counselor business. A pioneer in the high-priced field of coaching college applicants, Singer helped upend the admissions process by increasing the advantage enjoyed by the affluent. Soon well-off parents — doctors, lawyers, businesspeople — were clamoring, and paying, for his advice. What he lacked in expertise, he made up for in chutzpah. “I did see him tell a kid, ‘You mind if I put in your application you were in the Key Club?’” the former associate recalled. When Singer requested brochures from colleges, he told them that he was working with more than 500 students; the actual number was about 50. “He did embellish, even back then,” the former associate said.

Margie Amott, another independent counselor in Sacramento, said that she knew a parent who hired Singer. The mother was astonished when Singer revamped her son’s college application, claiming that he had organized a fantasy football league, marketed an international blog on social responsibility, written several short films for television, spoken Spanish at home, ranked as a top-50 junior tennis player and coordinated the basketball program at Helen Keller Park. None of it was true, and there was no such park in Sacramento. The mother paid Singer’s bill, stopped working with him and had her son fill out the application accurately.

In 2004, Singer burnished his credibility by assembling an advisory board for his counseling firm, CollegeSource. The board included five higher-education heavyweights: William Bowen, Donald Kennedy and Ted Mitchell — the former presidents of Princeton, Stanford and Occidental College, respectively — as well as the former UCLA chancellor Charles Young and the former Princeton dean of admission Fred Hargadon. In January 2008, more than a decade before Singer’s guilty plea, Jon Reider, then the director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School and a former senior admissions officer at Stanford, emailed advisory board members Kennedy, Hargadon and Mitchell and urged them to stop working with Singer.

Rick Singer, architect of the college admissions scandal, leaving federal court in Boston, where he pleaded guilty to fraud, racketeering and other charges. (Steven Senne/AP Photo)

“Do you want to be associated with this guy? He is the epitome of sleaze in the private counseling business,” wrote Reider. “How did he get your names onto his website? There are some decent independent counselors, but he isn’t one of them . . . . .We can’t stop this guy, but we can slow him down a bit.”

Reider knew all three of the prominent administrators from his time at Stanford. Hargadon had been Stanford’s dean of admission before moving to Princeton, and Mitchell had earned three Stanford degrees and been Kennedy’s deputy. Mitchell’s response disappointed him. “I strongly disagree that Rick is the ‘epitome of sleaze,’” Mitchell replied to Reider. “Don and I got involved with Rick when he was trying to get college access info to poor kids and ‘break the code,’ for kids who didn’t have access to private counseling. . . Do you know Rick? He’s a decent guy, Jon, and I’d love to find a time to introduce the two of you.” Reider pushed back. “There are ways to go about this business in an ethical way, so that you do not earn the disapproval of other professionals. I am the tip of the iceberg.”

Mitchell went on to serve as the U.S. undersecretary of education in the Obama administration and the president of the American Council on Education, a higher-education lobbying group. When asked for comment after Singer pleaded guilty, Mitchell downplayed his ties to the disgraced counselor, saying that he “served briefly nearly 15 years ago in an unpaid role in an advisory board of one of his previous ventures.” Mitchell also expressed surprise, saying that he was “shocked, sad and angry that someone I thought I knew could perpetrate these crimes.”

In 2012, as he was carrying out what would become the biggest college-admission scandal in the country, Singer relocated from Sacramento to Newport Beach, where the Langevins lived. Adam Langevin was then a middle school student striving to become a tennis star. At the age of 4, he had taken his first tennis lesson. By the time he turned 8, the court was the only place he wanted to be. He trained four to five hours every other day at an academy run by Phil, Taylor and Jenny Dent — a father, son and daughter-in-law who had all been ranked among the top 60 players in the world. In 2010, Taylor Dent had blasted the fastest serve ever at Wimbledon — 148 miles per hour. The Dents’ academy practiced at the same club where the Sage Hill varsity tennis team trained. Adam sometimes hit with high school players who were four to five years older than him, which improved his game. When Adam began playing tournaments, he found that he also loved competing. “I just enjoyed being out there,” he said.

Tennis trophies, books and memorabilia in Langevin’s bedroom at his parents’ home. (Kendrick Brinson for ProPublica)

Adam’s father, a realtor and recreational tennis player, and his mother, Alisa, a homemaker, encouraged his passion for the game. Unlike some tennis parents, they prioritized education as well. Neither Rick nor Alisa had graduated from college, and they hoped that Adam would do so. “He’s extremely academic,” Alisa told me. “I felt that also needed to be nourished.” Until Adam entered ninth grade, they didn’t let him have a cellphone and limited his television viewing to an hour a day. He listened to audiobooks about world history and Greek mythology. As a seventh grader, Adam startled one of Rick’s real estate clients, who was purchasing a 17,000-square-foot home with outdoor pools and a movie theater, by identifying a painting on the ceiling as a copy of Raphael’s “The School of Athens” and the figures in a backyard sculpture as Pygmalion and Galatea.

As a child, Adam dreamed of turning pro, but, as that began to seem unrealistic, he switched his sights to playing Division I college tennis. Players with such lofty goals are often home-schooled so they have more time to practice and travel to national tournaments. When Adam asked his parents if they would consider home-schooling, they pointed out that he also loved science and might make a career of it. Sage Hill, which opened a science center with seven labs and four classrooms, in 2014, offered a far superior academic program to anything available online.

After Adam enrolled at Sage Hill, he initally balked at joining its tennis team. College coaches, he knew, pay scant attention to high school matches. They notice tournament results and the Universal Tennis Rating, or UTR, which enables them to compare U.S. and international prospects. But his father told him that, as Sage Hill’s top player, he had to support his school. For the next four years, high school and tournament practices and matches consumed Adam’s time.

In the 2017 Sage Hill yearbook, seniors were asked what they would like to say to their future selves. The responses from Grant and Adam were strikingly different. “Nothing because the future is going to be great,” Grant wrote. “You worked so impossibly hard to get where you are,” Adam wrote. “Remember that.” Their divergent attitudes were also reflected in their approach to academics and athletics. William Dupuis, who taught chemistry at Sage Hill and had both young men in class, said that Grant scraped by with B’s in first-year chemistry. Adam was “very good, very hard-working.”

Entries for Grant Janavs and Langevin in Sage Hill School’s 2017 yearbook. They gave very different answers to the question, “What would you like to say to your future self?” (Kendrick Brinson for ProPublica)

Longoria, the former Sage Hill coach, used a startling expression to convey how much Adam sacrificed for the sport. He “suicided” tennis, Longoria said. “He was all in.” Already the team’s best player as a freshman, Adam steadily improved, and his skill and drive set an example for his teammates. As a junior, he damaged a tendon in his left wrist, rendering him unable to hit his normal two-handed backhand. Instead of sitting out matches, he donned a brace and played doubles for Sage Hill, protecting his wrist by serving and volleying, and slicing the few backhands he couldn’t avoid. Adam enjoyed encouraging others. “My intensity for the sport got a lot of guys playing tournaments,” he told me. Rival coaches noticed. “He was a top-notch player and a great kid,” said T.J. Reynolds, the coach of Crean Lutheran High School, in nearby Irvine. “He stood out as a freshman to me. He was relentless, he would never give up. He played with a lot of intensity. As he got older, he started adding offense to his game.” A junior tennis website assessed Adam as a three-star recruit (out of five stars) and ranked him 135th nationally in 2017.

Grant was less single-minded about tennis. He enjoyed other pastimes, like surfing. His response to a yearbook question about his bucket list suggested a thirst for adventure. Grant said that he hoped to skydive, ride an elephant and send a message in a bottle. Longoria said that Grant couldn’t or wouldn’t change his unorthodox tennis strokes. He “hit a wall” and was replaced in the starting lineup. Longoria credited Grant for being “very ethical” and a “great competitor.” Once, Sage Hill’s hopes of defeating another school rested on a tiebreaker in Grant’s match. In the key rally, Grant made a correct line call in favor of his opponent on a close shot, depriving Sage Hill of victory. “Ninety percent of kids” would have called it the other way, Longoria, who is now a consultant to Sage Hill’s tennis program, said.

Grant’s mother supported the team and appeared to respect boundaries. “She opened up her beach house for team barbecues,” Longoria said. Like other parents, “she bought a lot of things for the team. But she never said, ‘I want my son to start.’” It didn’t occur to the coach that she might find another way to burnish Grant’s tennis resume.

In 2000, a group of Orange County parents and community leaders opened Sage Hill, the first nondenominational, nonprofit private high school on the Southern California coast between Irvine and San Juan Capistrano. Nestled in the hills above the Pacific Ocean, with a clock tower and low-slung concrete buildings painted to look like terra cotta, Sage Hill quickly gained a reputation for academic excellence. It also thrived financially. As of June, 2017, its net assets were $76.3 million. Depending on market conditions, its endowment fluctuates between $18 million and $20 million. The former Major League Baseball commissioner and U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth was integral to the school’s founding. The Sage Hill gym, known as the Ube, is named after him, and his daughter served as the chair of the school’s board. Current Sage Hill parents include the former Los Angeles Lakers standout Kobe Bryant, whose daughter Natalia plays volleyball for the school. “Most of the billionaires in Newport have a child or grandchild at Sage,” Adam’s father, Rick Langevin, told me.

At first, Sage Hill was strict with donors. It didn’t let them dictate how their money would be spent. When Bryant offered to fund a gym if he could practice there at night, the school turned him down, according to Longoria, the former tennis coach. Over time, financial pressures caused the school to loosen its approach. Today, buildings, classrooms, locker rooms and sports facilities are named for donors — with exceptions, such as the A.G. Longoria Center Court, which honors the ex-coach’s service. The exterior wall of the Sage Hill Athletic Complex displays 60 disks of varying sizes, with donors’ names printed on them. One of the largest is labeled “Merage Family Janavs Family.” In 2014, the year after Grant enrolled in Sage Hill, a foundation operated by his mother, Michelle Janavs, donated $82,500 to Sage Hill, and she became a trustee. After her two daughters also enrolled at Sage Hill, Janavs gave the school another $190,000. Torrey Olins, the school’s spokesperson, declined to comment on “rumors about who may or may not have considered making donations for our facilities.” She said that the school has “always recognized those who donate money, time or talents to our community.”

The athletic complex at Sage Hill School displays disks with the names of donors, including Janavs’ family. (Daniel Golden/ProPublica)

Ninety percent of Sage Hill’s almost 550 students pay the school’s roughly $40,000 a year tuition. Ten percent receive financial aid. A former student who received financial aid told me that many classmates donned expensive brand-name clothes and a few wore a different outfit every day. A May 2018 article in the student newspaper accused the school of grade inflation. The story, headlined “Inflated Grades, Inflated Egos, Inflated Futures,” reported that 70% to 75% of all grades given in the previous semester were A’s or A-minuses. There were few C’s and no D’s or F’s. Teachers told the newspaper that the school initially had rigorous academic standards, and that the soaring grades were a response to parental pressure and diminished enrollment caused by the 2008-9 financial crisis. “I remember when I got my first B, I was so surprised,” a 2017 graduate, Andrea Flores, told me in an interview. “I didn’t know they gave B’s.”

No evidence has publicly surfaced that Sage Hill participated in or was aware of Singer’s bribery of college coaches and test docents. The school says that its “consistent practice has been to not communicate directly with independent college counselors” and to recommend against their use. One prep school consultant, though, estimated that up to a fourth of Sage Hill parents may rely on independent counselors to help their children get into top colleges. One of them was Michelle Janavs, who hired an independent counselor for Grant. The counselor was well-respected and certified in both college counseling and educational planning. (The counselor asked not to be named and did not acknowledge that Grant was her client until I had identified him by other means.)

The counselor told me that she worked with Grant for three years, guiding him toward academic programs in sports management. She felt that it was a field that suited both his personal interests and his family connections; through a holding company, his aunt, Lisa Merage, co-owns the Sacramento Kings, a National Basketball Association franchise, as well as the Golden 1 Center, the team’s home arena. The counselor didn’t see tennis as a realistic route to college, given that Grant couldn’t start for his high school.

Apparently, Grant’s mother thought differently. Early in Grant’s senior year, Michelle Janavs asked Longoria to recommend Grant to the coach at either the University of Southern California (her alma mater) or UCLA. (Longoria initially said that it was USC, and later said that it was UCLA.) “I was sort of surprised,” Longoria recalled. Janavs’ request put him in an awkward position. Longoria believed in taking care of his players, and he never refused to write recommendations for them. But, he also valued his professional reputation, and “we all knew Grant couldn’t play” at either university, he said.

To protect himself, Longoria developed a code for recommendation letters that would please the parent and send the correct signal to college coaches. His letters always contained four paragraphs — one each about tennis, academics, family and outside interests. Longoria put tennis first if the player could start for the college team; second if he could be a backup; third if he couldn’t make the team but was responsible enough to be a student manager and handle equipment, laundry and other duties; and fourth if the candidate couldn’t help in any way and Longoria was simply pacifying the family. For Grant’s recommendation, the first two paragraphs were about his grades and his family. Tennis was third. “He could maybe be a manager,” Longoria told me. Apparently grasping his message, coaches declined to recruit Grant. His mother then insisted that Grant apply to Georgetown, which doesn’t offer an undergraduate degree in sports management and had not been on his initial college list. After the family visited Georgetown, Janavs fired the counselor and told her that they were going to work with a second counselor they had hired. His name was Rick Singer.

Federal prosecutors later found that Singer had a connection at Georgetown: Gordon Ernst, who had coached both men’s and women’s tennis there since 2006. Ernst had also given lessons to Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama. College coaches, especially in sports played by the wealthy, often supplement their modest salaries by taking outside pupils. Not long after Michelle Janavs hired Singer, he emailed her that he had spoken to Ernst: “I just spoke to Gordie and let him know” that Grant had applied to Georgetown.

Grant’s first college counselor, surprised by her sudden dismissal, checked out Singer’s website and found it to be “strictly a sales pitch.” Although Singer lived five blocks from her house, and 8 miles by car from Sage Hill School, she had never met him. Though she joined professional associations and visited college campuses to stay up to date, Singer didn’t appear to do either. “It seemed like he was gaining a big following, but I didn’t see him at any conferences or any college tours,” the counselor said. “He wasn’t part of that professional counseling landscape. It’s baffling to me that no one was vetting him.”

A few months later, when Sage Hill announced that Grant would play tennis for Georgetown, the counselor immediately sensed Singer’s handiwork. Because they had both worked with the same student, she worried about damage to her own reputation. She wanted her clients and colleagues to know that his methods were not hers. She warned fellow counselors about Singer and added a sentence to her standard contract with parents: “I do not pay coaches, administrators or others in the admission process.” Michelle Janavs called to let her know — for the counselor’s records, Janavs said — that, in addition to Georgetown, Grant had been admitted to a prestigious university that did have an undergraduate sports-management program, one that he and the counselor had selected as a fit for him. When the news of Operation Varsity Blues broke, the counselor felt vindicated. “Although I never met Rick Singer, I suspected that he engaged in unethical behavior,” she wrote in an email to her clients. “Students should not be thinking about manipulating the system but instead focusing on their own personal growth and journey. I believe in your student and you should too.”

Georgetown University’s admissions office has long maintained a strict policy against dealing with independent counselors. Its official contact is with high school counselors, and it won’t talk to independent counselors or accept recommendations or other materials about a candidate from them. But Singer didn’t need to approach the admissions office; he could approach Ernst, the tennis coach. Ernst may have initially classified applicants as tennis recruits as a favor to friends and not taken bribes, according to a person familiar with the situation. Court documents say that Georgetown accepted the older daughter of Douglas Hodge, the former PIMCO CEO, as a tennis recruit in 2008 but do not mention any money changing hands. “I spoke to my connection at Georgetown and he will work with us,” Singer wrote in an email to Hodge. “He helped me get two girls in last week.”

Singer told Hodge that his daughter’s chance of getting into Georgetown based on academics was 50% “at best,” but that “there may be an Olympic Sports angle we can use.” The application she submitted included fabricated victories in multiple United States Tennis Association tournaments. She didn’t play tennis at Georgetown and graduated in 2013. Hodge, who pleaded not guilty to fraud and money-laundering charges, declined to comment through his lawyer. (His daughter did not respond to requests for comment.)

Ernst was able to shepherd a dozen applicants incapable of playing Division I tennis into Georgetown without drawing attention in part because recruits aren’t always chosen for their athletic skills. Though athletic scholarships are generally allotted to the most promising recruits, who are counted on to be key contributors to the team’s success, an array of other factors can affect selection of nonscholarship players. A marginal athlete with a high GPA or SAT score may be chosen to offset the lesser academic records of top recruits.

Universities also often favor major donors’ children to fill out the last spot or two on a roster. In 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times, UCLA’s athletic department ushered in a track and field recruit, even though her personal best times weren’t fast enough for her to make the team, after her parents pledged a $100,000 gift. A university investigation concluded that families of tennis walk-ons at UCLA “made substantial donations to the program under circumstances that might suggest the donations were expected at the time the student was admitted.” Several families endowed coaching positions at Yale shortly before their children enrolled there, and Harvard’s fencing coach sold his home for almost double what it was worth to the father of a prospective recruit, The Boston Globe reported. In July 2019, Harvard fired the coach for violating its conflict-of-interest policy.

Longoria, who spent 15 years as a college coach, told me that administrators sometimes asked him to make room on his roster for the child of a donor. “You’d get a call from a dean, ‘Can you help us out?’” he said. “‘This family is very important to the school.’” If the student could play at all and wasn’t disruptive, Longoria would go along with it. Tennis aficionados who saw the Sage Hill announcement that Grant would be playing tennis at Georgetown assumed that he had some edge. “He would not have been recruited to play in the top six at Georgetown,” one said. “He certainly could have been a guy who could have hit with the team.” He added, “A lot of great tennis players who could play college tennis never get the opportunity, and a lot of mediocre players end up on the team.”

Ernst, the Georgetown coach, exploited the wide latitude that coaches enjoy in the admission of recruited athletes. Every year, universities designate their total number of admissions slots for preference — at Georgetown, it is usually 158 — and the athletic director divvies them up by sport. Each coach then vets prospects with the admissions coordinator for athletics, develops a prioritized list of recruits who are academically acceptable and submits the list to the admissions committee for formal approval. Crucially, the admissions committee takes the coach’s word regarding the candidates’ athletic prowess. Admissions officers then review their academic credentials. Many universities bend academic standards more for recruited athletes, especially those at or near the top of the coach’s priority list, than for any other applicant group, according to a landmark 2001 study, “The Game of Life,” by James Shulman and William Bowen (the same former Princeton president who served on Singer’s advisory board). From 2010 through 2015, Harvard admitted 86% of recruited athletes, compared with 6% of nonathletes, according to a filing in the recent lawsuit challenging affirmative action there.

Typically, athletic directors also trust the coaches, and they don’t vet recruits or closely monitor admissions files. “He deceived everybody,” a person familiar with the situation said, referring to Ernst. “It’s not that hard to do. There’s no coordination between athletics and admissions. These are minor sports, low on visibility, beneath the radar screen.”

Ernst was undone not by his own actions but by Singer’s decades-old habit of misrepresenting white clients as minorities to qualify them for affirmative action. The person familiar with the situation told me that another university had contacted a high school counseling office about a student whom it was eager to enroll. Her application to that university portrayed her as African American and the first in her family to attend college, qualifying her for two admissions preferences. Startled, the high school replied that the student was white and her parents were college graduates. The high school counseling office then called Georgetown, where she had also applied, to find out how she was portrayed on that application. Georgetown records showed her as a tennis recruit. When the high school said that she didn't play tennis, Georgetown began investigating. As it identified and talked with bogus tennis recruits, it uncovered a common thread; Singer had been their private college counselor. Georgetown placed Ernst on leave in December 2017 and fired him, in 2018, for violating university policies.

The case broke open when a suspect in a securities fraud case sought leniency by admitting to authorities that he had agreed to pay Yale’s longtime women’s soccer coach to designate one of his daughters as a recruit. The coach led investigators to Singer, who became a government informant. His calls with parents were recorded, including conversations with Janavs about getting her older daughter into USC as a beach volleyball recruit and fixing her younger daughter’s ACT score. Janavs worried that her younger daughter would suspect something was amiss. “She’s not stupid,” she told Singer. “How do you do this without telling the kids what you’re doing?” Singer replied, “Oh, in most cases, Michelle, none of the kids know.”

Langevin’s tennis trophies and medals in his parents’ home. (Kendrick Brinson for ProPublica)

Adam Langevin could have been a top player at a Division II or Division III college. Several Division III colleges courted him avidly, including the University of Redlands, in Redlands, California. Although schools in that division don’t give athletic scholarships, Redlands offered academic merit aid to reduce his tuition. “We followed and recruited him for the better part of a year,” Geoff Roche, the tennis coach at Redlands, said. “He had a very complete game. He was very focussed, very mature, extremely competitive. We felt he had all the ambition and the drive to take his game to the next level. His best tennis was still ahead of him.”

Adam could also have made some Division I teams. The U.S. Naval Academy, a Division I program, contacted him, but it requires a five-year service commitment, for which his peanut allergy could have disqualified him. After years of training, practice and sacrifice, Adam had no desire to be the best player on a lesser team. He wanted to continue to push himself. “I want to compete, to learn, to get better,” he told me. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo was his choice. It was the right distance from home. It had a strong chemistry department and a combined program that would allow him to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. And Adam’s Universal Tennis Rating was similar to that of the varsity’s bottom rung. He had a fighting chance.

Cal Poly coach Nick Carless told me that Adam is “at the Division I level. He’s pretty close to some of the lower guys on my team.” The difficulty, he said, was timing. Most college coaches sign up players a year in advance, so his roster was already set when he learned of Adam, he said. “Adam got in touch with me relatively late. It’s really bad timing for a really great kid who loves the sport, is passionate about it, and put in the hours.” Carless said that four of Cal Poly’s 12 players are foreigners, who increasingly compete with American players for roster spots in college sports like tennis. Overall, more than a third of Division I tennis players today are international students, reducing the roster spots available for U.S. players. Carless also acknowledged that “hands-on” majors like chemistry pose a scheduling challenge. “If you’re traveling as an athlete and you have a major that requires a lot of labs, you have to be there in person,” he said. “Other majors have online work or video conferencing. Many of our athletes at Cal Poly tend to be business majors because of the flexibility.”

Even after being passed over, Adam didn’t give up. He enrolled at Cal Poly with a new plan. He would be more motivated than ever, practice harder than ever, take lessons from the coaches, play club tennis and dedicate himself to improving his game until a spot opened up and he would be worthy of joining the team. “The greatest feeling is proving someone wrong and being successful,” he said.

Sage Hill administrators are sensitive about the school’s connection to a scandal that has made headlines. They instructed faculty and staff not to speak to me and to notify the school’s director of communications if I contacted them. When I tried to visit, security personnel escorted me off campus, even though I was the guest of an alumna. Then they escorted her out, too.

The school’s board, administration and faculty were “shocked and felt betrayed” by the allegations against Janavs and Hodge, Olins, the school’s spokesperson, told me. “The alleged actions are contrary to everything the school has stood for since its founding.” A review by its outside counsel concluded in June that no Sage Hill administrators or college counselors knew of “dishonest activities by students or parents in the college admission process” and that “no current trustee engaged in dishonest conduct.” The modifier “current” referred to the fact that both Hodge and Michelle Janavs have stepped down as trustees. Janavs’ sister-in-law, Lisa Merage, remains on the Sage Hill board.

Singer’s lawyer, Donald Heller, declined to comment. When I reached Singer directly, he politely thanked me for the opportunity but declined as well. “Nobody will talk to you until after sentencing,” he said.

Langevin is studying chemistry and playing on Cal Poly’s club tennis team. (Kendrick Brinson for ProPublica)

As Adam predicted, Grant has not played tennis for Georgetown, nor even been listed on its roster. Though Georgetown has expelled two students involved in the scandal, Grant remains enrolled and appears to be majoring in computer science. “Our review focused on whether students knowingly provided false information to the university during the admissions process,” a Georgetown spokeswoman said.

The Cal Poly coach, Carless, encouraged Adam to transfer to another university where he would make the tennis team. “I just kind of felt bad I didn’t have a spot for him,” Carless told me. “I said: ‘You can play. I see your work ethic, I see your love for the game. You could reach out to schools that are lower in the rankings or losing a lot of seniors.’” Adam considered transferring, but he stayed at Cal Poly and is glad he did. His life has expanded to include a girlfriend, a fraternity and chemistry research guided by a professor. He’s playing No. 1 singles on Cal Poly’s club team — and still trying to walk onto the varsity squad. For his 21st birthday, in June, his parents paid for a 90-minute off-season lesson with Carless.

Ross Duncan, one of Adam’s former private coaches, regrets that his dream of playing on a strong Division I team hasn’t panned out. “I think what stood out with him — and why I feel bad he never got the opportunity — is that his game still had a lot of room to grow,” Duncan said. “His style of play was aggressive. His game would have translated well to college tennis.”

Before leaving the Langevins’ home, I asked Adam a hypothetical question: How would he have felt if he had been recruited, like Grant, by a Division I team, only to find out that it was because someone had bribed the coach? “It wouldn’t feel right,” he told me. “My goal is to earn it. It’s not about being on the team. It’s about proving to yourself who the best player is. That’s how you become a legend. That’s what makes the best the best.”


Help for the children snared by drug gangs

A VITAL campaign has switched focus to directly helping children being exploited by ruthless out-of-town drug gangs.

Play it and they will come


In response to my post 'Today's Koan: what is the sound just before Beethoven Nine?' reader Tim Brooke added a comment asking 'Does Beethoven 9 even need an accompanying piece?' Which reminded me of this appreciation by the composer R. Murray Schafer of the Ten Centuries Concerts which ran in Toronto from 1962 to 1967.
What made Ten Centuries Concerts unique was that the choice of music always came first, above the performers and the tastes of the audience. In a lengthy article on Ten Centuries Concerts I tried to explain how putting two pieces of music together on a program is like a montage in film. The law was formulated by Sergei Eisenstein and it states that two agglutinated pieces of film combine to produce a third effect different from the sensations produced by either piece in isolation. As examples from the first year of Ten Centuries Concerts I might mention the thirteenth-century chant fable, Aucassin et Nicolette paired with Schoenberg's twentieth-century Pierrot Lunaire. I might also mention that in the 1960s Toronto audiences were as ignorant of medieval music as they were of twentieth-century music. Another flamboyant experiment was a performance of Bach's Musical Offering, based on a tune that Frederick the Great gave to Bach followed by compositions for jazz band based on the same tune.
R. Murray Schafer is seen above and the passage comes from his autobiographical My Life On Earth And Elsewhere. I have written previously in appreciation of R. Murray Schafer's music, and it is shameful that the thirteen quartets of this 86 year old Canadian composer remain neglected despite their incontestable merit - excellent recordings by the Molinari Quartet of all but the last quartet can be heard on Spotify. It grieves me to say this, but it would be far easier in today's paradoxical culture where virtue signalling takes precedence over merit to generate interest in his richly deserving music if R. Murray Schafer was a female composer.

Header image is taken from the Esprit Orchestra's video The Musical Mind #2: R. Murray Schafer. New Overgrown Path posts are available via RSS/email by entering your email address in the right-hand sidebar. Any copyrighted material is included for critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).


Thai students rental accommodation traps and pitfalls - แออัดยิ่งกว่าปลากระป๋อง: ปัญหาห้องเช่านักเรียนไทยในออสเตรเลีย


Finding the right accommodation in Australia’s big cities always been one of the fundamental problems among most of Thai international students. They experience varied dilemmas and exploitation such as overcrowded rooms, illegal rental contracts plus bond and fee exploitation. As this issue remains, what is the way out from this labyrinth of problems?




เรื่องที่พักอาศัย เป็นหนึ่งในปัญหาเรื้อรังที่นักเรียนไทยจำนวนมากต้องเผชิญ ทั้งเรื่องการอยู่อาศัยอย่างแออัด เรื่องสัญญาที่ไม่เป็นธรรม และการถูกเอาเปรียบในเรื่องค่ามัดจำ แต่ทำไมพวกเขาจึงตกอยู่ในวังวนนี้ซ้ำแล้วซ้ำเล่า 




La Safer 86 dresse le bilan de l'année 2018

La Safer s’est rendue ce jeudi 26 septembre dans les locaux de la chambre d’agriculture de la Vienne à Mignaloux-Beauvoir pour présenter une conférence sur le foncier rural nommée "LATERREÀQUI ?" Un dialogue voulu par cette instance entre les acteurs locaux, que ce soient les agriculteurs, les élus territoriaux, les organismes sur l'environnement. L'occasion aussi de comprendre comment procède le comité technique de la Safer qui donne son avis dans l’achat d’une terre ou d’une exploitation et pour soutenir un projet qui s’inscrit au mieux dans le tissu local. Avant tout, il était question de présenter le marché foncier rural de la Vienne, son évolution et l’activité de la SAFER en 2018.

A Week In New York, NY On A Joint $480,000 Income


A Week In New York, NY On A Joint $480,000 IncomeWelcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.Today: a finance lawyer who has a joint yearly income of $480,000 and spends some of her money this week on Vitamin C Serum.Occupation: Finance Lawyer Industry: Law Age: 30 Location: New York, NY Salary: $280,000 not including discretionary bonuses My Partner’s Salary: $200,000 (our finances are combined) My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $6,100 My Partner’s Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $4,900 Gender Identity: WomanMonthly Expenses Mortgage: $3,900 (mortgage + taxes + cc fees) Loans: $0 (we carry about $10,000 in credit card debt, but it is generally insignificant) Puppy Care: $400 (we have a little rescue dog, but living in NYC means daily walks House Cleaning: $200 Internet: $100 Cell Phone: $150 ($70 is reimbursed by my law firm) Health Insurance: $600 Gym Membership: $100 (for both of us) Utilities: $300 (this is NY and in the middle of the sweltering summer) Grocery Delivery: $450 (comes 2x/per month — we get our groceries delivered and there is a bit of a premium, but more than worth it for the convenience and, yes, generally, groceries in NY are crazy expensive) Streaming Services: $50 Day One7 a.m. — We roll out of bed after my partner of eight years hits the snooze button 13 more times and we cuddle as much as possible before my anxiety to get the day started forces me out of bed and into the world. Our morning ritual is always the same — she walks the pup while I make a quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, we drink coffee and chat about random (nonsensical) things while listening to NPR, we then spend 10-15 minutes meditating, and then (finally) hit the showers to go to work around 9. I can work from home a lot, but my partner can’t, and we both work extremely intense corporate jobs as a way to save up as much money as possible during our prime earning years, so our daily morning ritual is important as a way to stay connected as a couple. We also try to fit in a workout at least twice per week.12 p.m. — I’ve answered about 100 emails (not an exaggeration). What sucks about having a corporate job, other than the total lack of emotional/spiritual fulfillment (“all prose and no poetry”), are the deadlines. Sigh and eye roll. My partner’s job is similar. We whine about it a lot, of which we are both aware, but we both accept this as reality for now, since it has allowed us to grow our total net worth close to $1.5M (which includes some smart real estate and stock investments I made when I was younger). I quickly run out and grab lunch and then sit at my desk to eat ($16). I glance at a television that is quietly blaring in the background. Some guy is making an argument against raising the minimum wage…sometimes I think that if people truly understood how financiers enrich themselves (like, by the millions) by exploiting cleverly devised financial instruments that ultimately create little to no value for the overall economy, the socio-political conversation in this country would be so very different… $168 p.m. — My partner gets home from work and I take a break from responding to emails to have dinner with her (which we order). We feed our little pup too. We chat about our days and laugh at some of the weird shenanigans that go on in the workplace — people are just so funny and interesting. The last few years we have been really focusing on our health, and maintaining the most important thing to us — our relationship — by trying to always eat dinner together and also eating something fresh. I log back onto my computer and bang out another couple hours of work. As I climb into bed to join my partner, who is reading her latest novel, I get an email that I have to respond to immediately. I work until around 12 a.m., shut the lights off, and go to sleep, utterly exhausted. $20Daily Total: $36 Day Two8 a.m. — It’s Saturday — the weekend! We wake up and take little pup to the park, where he runs around off-leash and plays with other dogs. We walk around the local farmer’s market in our neighborhood, which always has amazing options. We pick up local meats and vegetables and head home. After meditation and yoga, we make a fresh lunch for ourselves and take turns reading aloud to each other from a new book we picked up last week. $301 p.m. — I get an email from work saying a project that was supposed to be due in a month is now due in 24 hours. I tell my partner the unfortunate news and we debate whether we should cancel our dinner plans. We decide to see what happens and I’m on back-to-back calls and emails for the next few hours. 6 p.m. — I manage to sneak away from work and we head out to dinner with friends at a new Lebanese spot a couple of miles away. We share some biodynamic wines and chat about the state of the world, and whether having children is a good idea when everything is such doom and gloom. I get a couple of emails during the dinner, which means I’m still working, but at least I don’t have to be in the office…we split the check and make it home by around 10:30. I check my emails one more time, send off a couple of replies where necessary, and hit the hay. $270Daily Total: $300 Day Three9 a.m. — We wake up a bit later than usual (because it’s Sunday, of course) and take the pup to grab Americanos from a cafe next to our apartment. After leisurely reading the Sunday Review, we come back and sit outside on our terrace and do some (very) light gardening work pulling dead grasses and trimming flowers and plants. I then log on to work for a few hours. $51 p.m. — We take the pup for an afternoon walk in the bright sunshine and grab soft-serve ice creams (dipped in fudge, of course) from one of those slightly creepy ice cream trucks that troll through NYC. I return home and work for a few more hours while my partner teaches herself how to tie nautical knots — she’s always trying to learn something new and I love that about her. $103 p.m. — We see that one of our favorite bands is coming to NYC. We hurriedly buy tickets before they sell out. Living in NYC, everything is a competition. $606 p.m. — We go to dinner with my partner’s parents, who are in town. They live about two hours away and visit sometimes. When my partner came out to them about five years ago, she wasn’t sure whether they would be supportive. They were, to our great surprise, and it has been pretty smooth sailing ever since. Through my interactions with them, I’ve learned that just because you disagree with someone politically, there are definitely meta-values that you can still share more generally as human beings — love of family, generosity with others, patience, etc. Sometimes we get on political subjects and the conversation can get heated, but we try to maintain a level of respect between us. At the end of the day, I think they are great parents. They pay for the dinner, despite our protest, and we hug goodbye. Daily Total: $75 Day Four7 a.m. — We wake up, do our morning routine, and I’m off to work.2 p.m. — The project still isn’t finished even though it’s been over 24 hours. I can feel the stress tingling up my spine and my heart palpitating. I am eating my lunch when a colleague emails to say that she’s leaving the law firm. We sneak out for lunch and she tells me that since there is no chance of making partner anyway, and she can’t take the 24/7 lifestyle anymore, she looked elsewhere. She doesn’t know whether she is making the right decision, but she never chose to become a lawyer for the money. She became a lawyer to do good for the world, but she got sucked in by the prestige and career trajectory promises of our firm. I think a lot about what she says, which echoes many of my own thoughts and doubts. $206 p.m. — I get home and tell my partner about how I think I should leave my job too. We eat dinner together (seamless, $20) and have a heated discussion on the future of the American law firm. She is supportive, but also concerned. She probes me on why I am leaving in order to test my resolve. When I don’t relent, she kisses me and tells me that she has my back no matter what. We spend the next couple of hours running different financial models every which way to help us understand what minimum salary I would need to live comfortably in NYC. We come up with a specific figure and a plan of attack. $209 p.m. — We get in bed and read some poems by Walt Whitman to each other, which we do often when change is coming. My partner goes to sleep and I get back to work.Daily Total: $40 Day Five7 a.m. — I’ve been up all night working on this project. I take the pup for an early walk, picking up a Red Eye for me and an Americano for my partner, along with an almond croissant. $119 a.m. — After my partner leaves for work, I get on a social media website for jobs. My friend who started her own tech company texts me — her latest round of venture capital funding hasn’t gone well. I call her immediately and give her a pep talk. She is one of only a few women in the tech world and a walking wonder, but she reminds me that having 30 employees looking to you for their bread and butter is no small weight to carry. My day is slow and I take little pup to the park where he plays while I enjoy the changing leaves as they signal the coming of Fall. I call my Dad. As a first-generation immigrant, he is appalled at the pay cut I would take if I left my job. As my Dad, however, he tells me he supports me no matter what. 4 p.m. — Another friend calls to say that her newly minted marriage isn’t going great — her husband is partying all night and doing drugs. I finish up some work and then head over to her place to pick her up. We go to the wine store and snag a bunch of bottles. I take her back to my apartment and we chat on my terrace for the next few hours. $1007 p.m. — My partner comes home and I run out to the grocery store to grab some ingredients to make a homemade dinner — roasted chicken with parsnips and carrots and potatoes. After a few more hours of talk therapy, we all head to bed. I offer our couch to my friend for the night, but she declines. She is adamant that she has to go home to face her husband. I give her a hug and tell her to call me anytime. $20Daily Total: $131 Day Six7 a.m. — Awake and normal routine.9 a.m. — I grab a smoothie from the cafeteria at work and browse a few emails from recruiters, looking to see what opportunities I’m interested in. I’m wary of recruiters because they make money from any job they place you in, and so are incentivized to sell you on any opportunity in the market, regardless of whether it is the right fit for you. I answer some recruiter emails and talk to one or two on the phone to let them know I’m looking for a new job. Work starts to pick up, and I answer emails for the remainder of the day. $73 p.m. — My partner and I meet up and grab some overpriced sushi rolls and sit outside to eat while we chat with our financial advisor on the phone. One of the best parts of our corporate jobs is that our offices are extremely close, so we have lunch together quite often. We check in with our financial advisor quarterly and he lets us know what he thinks we should be doing with our portfolio and whether there is room for improvement. Right now, we have about $300k in cash, $800k in stocks/alternative investments/401(k) accounts, and $350k in equity in our home. We are overweighted in cash, I know, but the market has me a bit spooked with the trade war, high levels of corporate debt, and the inability of the Feds to raise interest rates. We discuss these factors with my financial advisor, who nevertheless tells me to stop trying to time the market. He’s right, of course, but I’m still hesitant. $259 p.m. — We go out to see one of my partner’s favorite bands play live with a few friends, buying a few rounds of beer for all. The show is awesome, even if the venue is pretty grimy, and we can’t believe that we snagged these tickets. We head home around midnight and fall asleep. $60Daily Total: $92 Day Seven7 a.m. — Same morning routine, head to work, dive into emails.11 a.m. — During lunch, I do some much-needed wellness shopping on Amazon. We don’t spend very much on our beauty regimens, probably around $140 every three or so months for the both of us, but we do like to get all of the essentials — hydrating cleanser, vitamin C and A serums, eye serum, and moisturizer. $2606 p.m. — My partner and I both get home pretty early from work today and we eat our meal prepped dinners on the terrace where we get into a heated conversation about the amount of news that she reads — zero — which I think is absurd (!). She argues that she thinks the news is overrated these days and depressing. She doesn’t trust politicians or pundits. I can’t say I totally disagree, but her nihilism disturbs me. We come to a compromise where she agrees to read the Skimm every morning. In exchange, I promise not to check the NY Times every hour. We watch Netflix for the rest of the night — specifically a German television series we are both obsessed with about time travel and a serial killer in a small town. We hit the hay around midnight. Daily Total: $260Are you a Money Diary comment leader? We want to hear from you! Email us here with a brief description of yourself and a screenshot of your comment leader status for a chance to be featured in an upcoming story.Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women’s experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29’s point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?These Are The Richest Women In AmericaCouples Costumes That Are Actually CoolThe Best K-Beauty Brands To Shop This Fall


Dr.Web vxCube 1.4.0 fournit des fonctionnalités élargies


le 4 octobre 2019

Doctor Web présente l’outil d’analyse Cloud interactif et intelligent Dr.Web vxCube en version 1.4.0. Le service s'est enrichi de fonctionnalités assurant son intégration avec d'autres services. L'analyseur de comportement a été amélioré, la détection de menaces est désormais encore plus efficace, les possibilités d’analyse des Trojans bancaires ont également été élargies, l'analyseur des menaces ciblant les mobiles a reçu de nouvelles fonctions, l'interface est devenue plus conviviale. Les erreurs détectées ont été corrigées.

Nouvelles possibilités d'intégration

Nos utilisateurs ont désormais l'accès à une bibliothèque ouverte pour utiliser l'API de vxCube, elle peut être installée avec la commande suivante ::

$ pip install -U vxcube-api

Le code de l'interface d'interaction avec Dr.Web vxCube, ainsi qu'une liste des commandes et des exemples d'utilisation sont disponibles sur notre compte Github.

De plus, les résultats de l'analyse peuvent désormais être enregistrés dans des formats lisibles par des machines MAEC et STIX. Cela rend plus facile l'intégration de Dr.Web vxCube avec les solutions SIEM.

Rapports améliorés

Les utilisateurs de Dr.Web vxCube peuvent désormais enregistrer les rapports d’analyse en PDF. Lors de la création d'un rapport, il est possible de choisir les sections à ajouter au rapport.

screenshot DrWeb vxCube #drweb

Paramètres réseau avancés

Lors de l'analyse des menaces, il est désormais possible de sélectionner des paramètres spécifiques pour se connecter au réseau, ce qui permet de rediriger le trafic TCP/UDP vers le serveur proxy d'une manière transparente pour un échantillon examiné :

  • VPN
  • TOR
  • SOCKS4
  • SOCKS5

Prise en charge d'Android 7.1

Pour l'analyse des fichiers APK, vous pouvez maintenant utiliser le système d'exploitation Android 7.1. Nous avons également amélioré la protection contre la détection pour toutes les versions de l'analyseur des fichiers APK, nous avons ajouté la possibilité de scanner les applications système et amélioré la performance globale.

Interface améliorée

Lors de l'analyse d'un fichier en utilisant VNC, un indicateur de la progression est désormais affiché, il montre la durée nécessaire à l'analyse du fichier, le processus en cours et le pourcentage de l'exécution de la tâche d'analyse.

screenshot DrWeb vxCube #drweb

Les modules malveillants sont désormais indiqués dans le graphe des processus par une icône spécifique, ce qui permet d'attirer l'attention sur le téléchargement d'un code compromis dans des processus de confiance.

screenshot DrWeb vxCube #drweb

Analyseur du comportement amélioré

Désormais, lorsque vous sélectionnez une analyse avec la connexion au VNC, vous pouvez désactiver l'option de simplification de l'analyse et observer le comportement de tous les processus lancés dans le système.

La nouvelle version de l'analyseur est maintenant disponible pour tous ceux qui ont acheté une licence Dr.Web vxCube. Si vous ne disposez pas d'une licence, vous pouvez l'acheter sur la boutique en ligne Doctor Web. Avant l'achat, vous pouvez également tester la version démo de l'analyseur.

Tester Dr.Web vxCube 1.4.0


Joker, au sommet du box-office, aura-t-il une suite ?

Joker de Todd Philips a engrangé pour son premier week-end d'exploitation 93 500 000 millions de dollars aux USA.

A night in the JOL: the Queensland homefront

Much is known and celebrated about the exploits of Australian soldiers during the Great War. Far less is understood of the society they left behind and how the ordeal of waging war transformed it. Join historians Professor Raymond Evans and Mr Mark Cryle in conversation with Ian Townsend as they discuss the deep-seated social conflicts that intensified under the stress of wartime conditions.

Date: Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland


Deepen the Conversation: Transforming Tindale


Explore the history and legacy of Norman Tindale’s anthropological expedition to study Aboriginal Australians in Queensland and Northern NSW communities, and the importance that this collection of records has for family and descendants. Collected under exploitative conditions, years later these records are both a source of contention surrounding the treatment of Aboriginal Australians and a valuable resource for relatives.

Complementing this panel discussion, Vernon Ah Kee will talk on his desire to imbue the Tindale images of his family with new meaning by producing beautiful portraits that capture the unique personalities behind the scientific photographs.

When:Thu 25 Oct 2012

Venue: slq Auditorium 1, level 2


Review: Nothing Personal (Revised Edition):: Nothing Personal - Revised Edition Review


by majesticunicorn_xo

- Just remember... it's Nothing Personal

Players: 2 - 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Designed by: Stephen Avery & Cody Jones
Published by: Starling Games

Do you have what it takes to backstab, betray and trick your way to the top? The Capo is getting old and retirement is imminent, make your move to become the most respected gangster and take his place at the top.

Nothing Personal Revised Edition is a streamlined version of the original. In the original game, there were a lot of complaints that the game took too long to play and that a lot of the rules didn't make sense. So now gameplay has been reduced to 60 minutes compared to the previous 120 minutes which means that it should be a lot easier to get to the table. Some mechanics have also been taken out due to redundancy such as the white dice and the Omertà action has been substituted for blackmail.

The first version of Nothing Personal was a big hit when it first came out in 2013 and I think that it had something to do with YouTube board game reviewer and co-host of The Dice Tower Tom Vasel being part of the design team. Tom decided not to collaborate on the Revised Edition and relinquished all rights as he said he wasn't interested in designing games at the moment and probably won't be designing another one in the future.


-54 Gangster Cards -94 Influence Cards -5 Blackmail Tokens -150 Influence Tokens -1 Black Move Die -1 Red Whack Die
-5 Gangster Meeples -1 Gameboard -8 Exhaust Tokens
-80 Money Tokens -5 Turn Tokens -15 Reroll Tokens -1 Capo Ring -7 Reference Cards

I don't have any serious complaints with the components, all of the cards are high quality with a classic varnish finish. The cardboard tokens are all thick and sturdy, though it may have been a nice touch to include paper money (Monopoly-style) instead of the cardboard punch-outs just to mix up the components a little as there is a lot of cardboard components.

The meeples, or should I see "Meepsters", come in different colours for each player and couldn't be anymore gangster even if they tried. The little meeples come fitted with mafia-style hats and I'm definitely a sucker for a custom meeple. Lastly, and probably the most unique component is the Capo Ring, worn by the player who is currently acting as the Capo. It's actually made of metal and adds a nice bit of flavour to the gameplay.

There are a few components that have been removed since the original game including a die and the player boards, which have been replaced by reference cards instead.


Nothing Personal Revised Edition is played over four rounds (you can play a fifth round if you want a longer experience) each with three phases. Each player chooses a family and takes all of the influence tokens associated with that family. These will be spent over the course of the game.

The first phase is the Business Phase and the ultimate aim is to expand your family's control over the city's gangsters through influence. Each player takes it in turns to draw and play influence cards. These have a wide variety of actions on them ranging from "Add 2 influence to a Hitman" which will be a type of gangster laid out on the player board that players can add their family influence tokens to or "Add one blackmail token" which can be placed on gangsters controlled by other players and they will have to ask your permission to take actions with that gangster in the second phase. Players can choose to play all of the cards in their hand or pass. When everyone is finished playing influence cards, it's time for the second round.

The second phase, or The Crew Phase, is where the gangsters' abilities get activated and earn money for the family that control them. Each gangster will have a special ability that you can activate if you control them. Sometimes there is a tie between players and when this happens the Capo always decides which player wins. Gangsters who are placed towards the top of the board are the most powerful and therefore the most sought after when it comes to placing influence tokens. They also earn you more Respect Value, which is basically victory points, and the person with the most at the end of the game is the winner.

The third and final phase of the game, The Business Phase, is where dodgy gangsters who draw the attention of the police are found out and arrested. These are the gangsters that have 10 or more influence tokens on them at the end of the round. They are sent to prison and new gangsters are introduced to the scene. All remaining gangsters now move up the ranks where they can potentially earn a family more money and respect.

So, that's a very basic overview of the phases in each round but there are sooo many other things that you can do that keeps Nothing Personal interesting. The actions of each gangster vary so much that I couldn't possibly go through all of them. There is a lot of backstabbing, trickery, negotiating and flat out whacking of gangsters. The board is constantly changing and your family's best gangster might not make it to the next round so make sure to exploit him while you can. Families can also fight over the Capo position at the top of the board and whoever influences him the most becomes the Capo. Can your family come out on top?

Family Business Expansion:

If all of that wasn't enough for you then you'll be thrilled to know that there is an expansion for Nothing Personal Revised Edition. It adds so much to the game including a stack of gangster cards that you need giant hands to be able to shuffle, more influence cards, the new edition of a red and black casino and trait cards.

The gangster cards add a whole new variety to the game such that it's almost impossible to get through all of them so each time you play there will be a great variance. There are also a few friendly faces including Al Capone, Bugs Moran and Baby Face Nelson which is a nice touch and adds extra realism to the game.

The influence cards are simply just more of them with new conditions, but the Red and Black Casino are new additions to the game. These can be used in the second phase of each round. If you control a gangster but can't or don't want to complete any of the actions available then you can go to the casino instead. Players simply pick the red or black one and roll the associated dice, depending on the outcome of the dice is what they get. Some of the rewards are good such as "Gain $10" or "Gain $5 and an influence card" but they can be bad such as "Lose $3" or "Kill gangster visiting casino" and this just straight up kills your gangster. So it's definitely a risk to go to the casino but that's what gambling is all about right?

The last addition to the expansion is the inclusion of trait cards and these are additional ways to gain money or respect. A lot of the traits benefit you for meeting a certain goal at the end of the game. These are really interesting because it gives each player a goal to work towards or a benefit that the other players don't get and when playing the base game on its own, I thought it was missing a secret objective element so I'm glad they put this in for the expansion.

Scenes Of The Crime Expansion Pack:

This expansion adds new ways to spend your influence during the first phase. One location is randomly chosen at the beginning of the game and can be used by all players. Instead of placing influence tokens on a gangster in The Business Phase, you can choose to place an influence token on a location and immediately carry out the action. Some of the location actions include "Whack a gangster for $0" or "Add 3 influence to any gangster". Locations can be extremely useful if you're falling behind a little and need to make a comeback. They also add a bit of variance to the gameplay which is great. There are 5 locations altogether so the first few times you play, you're likely to get different locations and actions each time.


- An extremely high-quality product. All of the components are well made and sturdy.
- A great game for people who love negotiating and bribery games.
- Player turns are pretty quick so there isn't a lot of waiting around.
- Very interactive between players.
- With all of the expansions, you have so many available options on your turn.
- A really fun theme especially with the inclusion of some famous gangster cards.
- Plenty of fun with some long-lasting consequences.


- It's very confrontational. You are forever messing with other people so if you don't like this type of gameplay, it's probably not a game for you.
- Not a family-friendly theme.
- Some functionality is missing from the rulebook. 'On The Lam' tokens are supposed to be used after a gangster has been moved to show that actions cannot be taken on this gangster this round as he's you know, on the lam!
- The board is unpredictable so it's hard to map out a good strategy.
- The arrow lines on the board are quite faint so it's easy to mess up the order which the gangsters are scored.
- This version says it can be played with 2 players but some mechanics don't work as well such as blackmailing.

Final Thoughts:

If you have the older version and like the game but there are few to many annoyances for you then this could be the solution to those problems. If you don't want to buy a new game though, the new revised rules can be played with the older game by obtaining a copy of the rules online and following the optional instructions.

Nothing Personal Revised Edition is fun and unique. It's a great game to play with a group of people that won't take it too seriously. The theme is playful and fits perfectly for the style of game. There is absolutely tons of content with the base game and both expansions that each time you play, it will be a different experience.

Disclaimer: Nothing Personal Revised Edition and the expansions were kindly gifted to me from Starling Games to review but all opinions are completely my own.

Original review can be found at


Republican-Led Senate Investigation Finds Russia Helped Donald Trump In 2016 ‘At The Direction Of The Kremlin’


Donald Trump is touched by Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump now faces impeachment in part over his reported pressure on the president of Ukraine to help him show that it was Ukraine, not Russia, who interfered in the 2016 presidential election. As The Inquisitr reported, the purported theory appears to have started on the extremist internet message board 4Chan.

Even as Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, reportedly attempt to recruit other governments to back up their theory exonerating Russia in the 2016 election sabotage campaign, a bipartisan report issued and posted online Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee says that the result of the committee’s two-and-half-year investigation shows otherwise.

The report, which focuses on an extensive campaign of social media propaganda and fabricated “news” stories by Russia’s Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency (IRA), concludes that Russia’s extensive efforts online were designed to exploit divisions in United States society, mainly over racism and racial issues.

Click here to continue and


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Understanding America's Cultural And Political Realignment

Understanding America's Cultural And Political Realignment

Authored by Richard Tafel via,

Understanding American politics has become increasingly confusing as the old party labels have lost much of their meaning. A simplistic Left vs. Right worldview no longer captures the complexity of what’s going on. As the authors of the October 2017 “Pew Survey of American Political Typologies” write, “[I]n a political landscape increasingly fractured by partisanship, the divisions within the Republican and Democratic coalitions may be as important a factor in American politics as the divisions between them.”

To understand our politics, we need to understand the cultural values that drive it. The integral cultural map developed by philosopher Ken Wilber identifies nine global cultural value systems including the archaic (survival), tribal (shaman), warrior (warlords and gangs), traditional (fundamentalist faith in God), modern (democracy and capitalism), and postmodern (world-centric pluralism). When combined with Pew’s voter typologies, Wilber’s cultural levels offer a new map of America’s political landscape.

Of Wilber’s nine global value systems, the Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern categories are most useful to understanding our moment. Traditional culture values disciplined adherence to assigned gender and social roles: men are providers and heads of households, marriage is between one man and one woman, and the institutions of the military, law enforcement, and the clergy are all highly respected. Historically, traditional cultures were monarchies or states ruled by “strongmen.” Modern culture superseded traditional systems in the West during the Enlightenment, and values rationality, democracy, meritocracy, capitalism, and science. Individual rights, free speech, and free markets harness an entrepreneurial spirit to solve problems.

Postmodern culture offers a borderless, geocentric political view that values pluralism. It challenges a pro-American narrative by focusing on the horrors of American history, including the exploitation of Native Americans, slavery, and persistent inequality disproportionately affecting historically disadvantaged groups. Those left behind by modernity and progress now seek recognition, restoration, and retribution via a politics of protest, and show little interest in building political organizations or institutions. We are currently living in a postmodern political moment of disruption, best described by author Helen Pluckrose in her Areo essay How French Intellectuals Ruined the West: Postmodernism and its Impact, Explained”:

If we see modernity as the tearing down of structures of power including feudalism, the Church, patriarchy, and Empire, postmodernists are attempting to continue it, but their targets are now science, reason, humanism and liberalism. Consequently, the roots of postmodernism are inherently political and revolutionary, albeit in a destructive or, as they would term it, deconstructive way.

When we overlay Pew’s data with Wilber’s Value levels, six cultural political categories emerge: Traditional Left and Right, Modern Left and Right, and Postmodern Left and Right.

Traditional Left: Devout and Diverse

If you live in an urban bubble, you may not even recognize the Traditional Left. Pew identifies these Democrats as “Devout and Diverse,” mainly comprised of minorities. Pew describes them as “…fac[ing] the most difficult financial challenges among all Democratic categories.” They are “the most religiously observant Democratic-leaning group, and the only one in which a majority (64 percent) says it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values… they have a strong support for the social safety net and further action on racial equality.” These Democrats don’t support gay rights or increasing immigration and, as Pew notes, “40 percent describe their own ideology as conservative.” They are the oldest of the Democratic voter groups and make up around six percent of all engaged voters.

Traditional Right: Country First

While the Devout and Diverse voters have almost no public profile in the media, the Traditional Right is perceived to be much larger than it is. Pew refers to them as “Country First” Republicans, who “fear America risks losing our identity as a nation.” They have largely negative views of scientists and artists, and are the most elderly of all typology groups. Primarily comprised of white men, they hold a generally favorable view of Trump and uniformly oppose same-sex marriage. They make up about six percent of all engaged voters.

While both Republicans and Democrats have socially conservative, anti-gay, anti-immigrant voters in roughly the same numbers, the social conservatives on the Right play a more prominent role in American politics, partly because they play a larger role in the GOP, and partly because the media like to highlight them to fit their own narrative. Based on their aging demographic, the traditional value level is unlikely to be as significant a force in future elections.

Modern Left: Opportunity Democrats

The Modern Left is best represented by Pew’s “Opportunity Democrats,” who are optimistic and pro-business. They believe “most people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard” to achieve the American Dream. Almost half of them say “most corporations make a fair and reasonable amount of profit.” They are primarily white, financially well off, and describe themselves as moderate. They are socially inclusive, liberal on immigration, and supportive of gay rights. They are also less likely to believe that blacks and women face structural barriers to advancement. Until recently, this group defined what it meant to be a Democrat, but they have lost their center of power. Today, they make up around 13 percent of all engaged voters.

Modern Right: Core Conservatives and New Era Enterprisers

Two different groups in Pew’s study represent Modern values among Republican voters. The larger and older of the two are called “Core Conservatives,” while the younger, smaller group Pew calls “New Era Enterprisers.” Both groups share modern values evidenced by their belief in the power of capitalism and democracy. Both believe in the power of the free market and the importance of America’s global leadership. Both remain optimistic about the possibilities afforded by the American Dream. They make up the 66 percent of Republicans who support the “Dreamers.” Their pro-immigration position is also confirmed in a Gallup report, which states that “… significantly more Republicans favor a path to citizenship than support building a border wall or deporting illegal immigrants.”

Core Conservatives are the largest Republican voter group. Made up of mostly white men, they enjoy the highest rates of home ownership of any voter group, and a majority believe that they’ve achieved the American Dream. They are the best educated of any Republican group, yet have the most negative attitudes toward the impact colleges have on our country. They are most likely to invest in the stock market and their most important issue is the economy. “Sixty-eight percent express a positive view of US involvement in the global economy ‘because it provides the US with new markets and opportunities for growth.’” In addition to their largely pro-free market and pro-immigration views, they have the most favorable view of Donald Trump among all voting groups. They represent 20 percent of all engaged voters.

New Era Enterprisers, meanwhile, are young, urban, and much more ethnically diverse. Pew points out that they are “strongly pro-business and generally think that immigrants strengthen, rather than burden, the country.” Innovation and entrepreneurship are most important to them. They are pro-immigration and pro-gay rights with the highest opinion of a role for government among any Republican group. Only a quarter of them self-identify as strong Republicans. They are the least supportive of Donald Trump among Republican groups, and the least likely to express negative attitudes toward the Democratic Party. They make up nine percent of all engaged voters.

Together these two modern Republican groups total 29 percent of engaged voters, and represent the center of power within the GOP.

Postmodern Left: Solid Liberals and Disaffected Democrats

The two Pew voting groups which make up the Postmodern Left are “Solid Liberals” and “Disaffected Democrats.” Both groups have negative views of capitalism and are concerned about America’s treatment of minority groups.

Solid Liberals is a bit of a misnomer as they tend to reject liberalism in its classical form. They are progressives who hold strongly negative views of businesses, question or reject the concept of the American Dream, and see the world through the lens of identity politics. They are mostly white, well-off, and well-educated, and they are the most secular voters found across voting groups. Ninety-seven percent strongly disapprove of Trump’s job performance. They are unlikely to have friends outside their political circle, and over half of this group would say “that a friendship would be strained if someone voted for Trump,” much higher than any other Democratic group. It isn’t just Trump they dislike. They are highly partisan in general and the least tolerant of Republicans among all Democrat groups. They are the largest engaged Democratic voting group and the largest of all voting groups in Pews voter typologies. They make up 25 percent of engaged voters.

Pew characterizes Disaffected Democrats as a “financially stressed, majority-minority group [that] supports activist government and the social safety net…” They are unhappy with America and their “disaffection stems from their cynicism about politics, government and the way things are going in the country. Disaffected Democrats would be the most likely to see the world through the lens of identity politics.”

A large majority of Disaffected Democrats say their side has been losing in politics, while fewer than half believe that voting gives them a say in how the government runs things, highlighting another hallmark of their beliefs: they have very little faith in the system.” They believe government has failed them and that, “poor people have hard lives because government benefits do not go far enough to help them live decently.” Unlike the white elite Postmodern Democrats, they often have lived in the same neighborhood their entire lives. They make up 11 percent of all engaged voters.

Together these two diverse progressive groups make up 36 percent of all engaged Democratic voters, which makes them the largest of any groups on the Left or Right. When pundits refer to the Democratic Party moving “leftwards” there are trying to capture this movement toward the postmodern level—the new center of gravity of cultural power on the American Left.

Postmodern Right: Market Skeptic Republicans

The group that is least understood in American politics is the Postmodern Right. While postmodernism on the Left focuses on the failure of modernity to address social justice in term of identity politics, the Postmodern Right questions the fundamental economic worldview of the Modern Right. In Pew’s survey, they show up as a new category named “Market Skeptic Republicans.”

Like those on the Postmodern Left, they share a strong skepticism of America exceptionalism, an overriding pessimism about the country, and they are critical of both political parties. They are the first ever “Republican-leaning group that is deeply skeptical of business and the fundamental fairness of the nation’s economic system.” They do not believe in lower taxes, which until recently defined the modern GOP, and they have an unfavorable view of banks and other financial institutions. Unlike other Republicans, Market Skeptic Republicans believe American capitalism is unfair, “an overwhelming share (94 percent) say the economic system unfairly favors powerful interests.”

The media often lumps them in as traditional conservatives because of their opposition to immigration. But that’s a mistake. They favor legal abortions in higher numbers than the Traditional Left Democrats, and they are the most secular of all Republican groups. They are also most interested in a white identity politics, mirroring those on the Left.

They are also the least loyal to the GOP. As Pew notes, “They stand out for their criticism of both political parties when it comes to caring about the middle class.” They hold a more favorable view of Donald Trump than most other Republican groups. Though not well known and ignored by the media, they are a larger voting group than the religious Right in the Republican Party, making up 10 percent of all engaged GOP voters.

Using Pew’s voter groups on an integral value map illuminates how polarization is causing divisions within, and well as between, America’s Left and Right. It also shows that the center of American politics has moved from a modern base which held the center of gravity for over a century to a new postmodern base. Today, the Democratic Party energy’s is centered at that postmodern level, while the center of the GOP remains modern.

What this Map Tells Us about the 2016 Election

In 2016, instead of hiring DC-based consultants, Donald Trump listened to conservative talk radio to plot his strategy. Just as a bat uses sonar, Trump bounces ideas off audiences and recalculates his path accordingly. He intuitively understood that the element unifying the different aspects of the Traditional and Modern Rights was their united opposition to the growing dominance of the urban elite, and the identity politics favored by the Postmodern Left. He exploited those tensions by aggravating them and antagonizing the mainstream media as a means of uniting the Right.

In addition, his post-truth worldview and ability to criticize establishment Republicans provided him with access to a new, postmodern Republican voting group—Market Skeptics. Writer David Ernst has argued in the Federalist that Trump is the first President to “turn postmodernism against itself,” because he grasped the postmodern idea of the anti-hero. 

If politics flows downwards from culture, then it was only a matter of time before a politician mastered the role. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump cracked that code. Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Frank Underwood are just a few recent examples of the enormously popular characters who have, each in their own way, stood in for the role of the complicated bad guy who fascinates millions of Americans.

Clinton’s Loss

No one told Hillary Clinton that the political landscape in which she and her husband had learned politics had changed. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton successfully navigated the values divide between moderns and traditionalists by polling and then speaking successfully to both traditional and modern voters on the Left and center-Right. That’s not the political world Hillary inherited.

Neither she nor Bill are at home with the postmodern voters that are now the largest voting group in the Democrat coalition. Bill Clinton repeatedly proved to be a liability in the 2008 and 2016 races because he failed to understand the demands of the newly “woke” Democrat coalition. Hillary was a modern candidate in a postmodern party without the cultural translation skills she needed to communicate with progressives. Many of those progressives voted in unusually high numbers for Green party candidate Jill Stein or simply stayed home.

What to Expect in 2020

Trump will again seek to unite his coalition by goading the Postmodern Left. Though incumbents are usually judged by how they performed in office, Trump will try to make these opponents the focus of his 2020 campaign, just as he did in 2016. The more he’s scolded by the media, the better his chances will be of reuniting his coalition. However, this strategy risks losing New Era Entrepreneurs, and losing any voting group on the Right makes Trump’s re-election difficult.

Democratic primary voters, meanwhile, are becoming more postmodern. The pressure to move from the modern liberal to progressive postmodern worldview in the crowded primary field risks alienating modern Democrats. Worse, whoever wins the progressive primary will need to work hard to attract any modern voters in the center and on the Right. Though two aging straight white men lead the polls in the primary as of this writing, the reality of a postmodern base in the Democratic coalition doesn’t bode well for straight white male candidates, and offers new opportunities to candidates who are female, black, Latino, or gay.

The challenge for Republicans is that the Traditional Right voting block is aging out. The divisions around business and the role of government between Market Skeptic Republicans and Core Conservatives are as profound as—if not greater than—the divisions on the Left. Worse, their larger voting coalitions are demographically much older. Trump risks pushing the remaining younger entrepreneurial, ethnically diverse voters into the Democrat coalition.

There is, however, one bright spot in this chaos. According to Wilbur’s theory, a new “integral” value system is emerging that “transcends and includes” the best aspects of earlier value systems. Jordan Peterson’s popularity may be an early sign of this—while embracing aspects of tradition, science, and therapeutic culture, his message and best-selling book appear to be resonating.

If this marks an early shift towards integral values, such a move could put an end to our vicious culture wars as new leaders emerge with the ability to see multiple viewpoints and accommodate their contradictions. Understanding American politics will continue to be hard work. But only when we understand culture will we understand politics so that we can transform it for the better.

Tyler Durden Tue, 10/08/2019 - 18:05

Lundi Librairie : Une bête au Paradis - Cécile Coulon


Une bête au Paradis - Cécile Coulon : Depuis le décès de son mari puis de sa fille et de son gendre dans un tragique accident, malédiction familiale dit-on au village, Emilienne exploite seule le Paradis. Dans cette ferme à l’ancienne avec ses bêtes, ses champs, ses bosquets, ses étangs, elle mène une vie rude de labeur au rythme des saisons et des animaux. Femme de caractère, Emilienne élève ses deux petits-enfants, Blanche et Gabriel à qui elle tente de redonner le goût de vivre depuis la disparition de leurs parents. Elle a pris Louis sous son aile, un adolescent paumé, maltraité par un père violent, et lui enseigne le travail de la terre. Bientôt, Blanche, adolescente, s’éprend d’Alexandre, un camarade de lycée. Premier amour chargé d’espoir et de passion. Mais tandis que Blanche, brillante élève à qui tous les avenirs seraient ouverts, rêve de reprendre l’exploitation familiale, de mener une existence paisible au milieu de ses bêtes, Alexandre, le charmeur qui ne souhaite que partir, nourrit des fantasmes d’aisance matérielle, de réussite immédiate et facile loin de la campagne. 

Huis-clos passionné et cruel, Une bête au Paradis poursuit à travers le récit classique d’une trame familière le roman fébrile de la ruralité. Cécile Coulon, romancière et poétesse, convoque la part de sauvagerie en l’homme, la passion jusqu’à la déraison, le malheur par le biais des liens familiaux. Dans cette histoire de filiation, le drame se reçoit en héritage, frappant de sa malédiction chaque génération. Le fléau des disparitions tragiques s’abat aussi sûrement que les femmes ancrent leurs racines dans cette terre à laquelle elles vouent un attachement viscéral.

Sous la plume de Cécilé Coulon, écriture effilée et rigueur tranchante s’offrent le luxe de la poésie. L’épure du style mène à la sensualité dans une ode aux sens et aux corps des femmes. Amour, trahison, sensualité, elle décrit une humanité terrifiante dominée par ses passions bestiales. En chacun, en chacune, l’avidité prend l’ascendant dans une pulsion de dévoration inexorable. Une violence sous-jacente infuse les rapports entre les êtres. Violence contenue mais prête à exploser à tout moment, violence du désir, des choix douloureux, violence physique ou morale. 

Cécile Coulon fait planer une ombre sur ses personnages, la folie qui guette les esprits esseulés et s’immisce inexorable. Tandis que la romancière se joue des stéréotypes, les paysans sont taiseux, solides, rugueux et le gars de la ville volubile, charmeur, faux, les protagonistes du drame à venir, s’inscrivent avec force dans le récit. Emilienne, la grand-mère, la matriarche représente la force tranquille, l’obstination. Louis, fidèle et soumis, se sentira toujours pièce rapportée malgré tout. Tourmenté par les fantômes du deuil, l’inconsolable Gabriel, figé dans la douleur, vit un peu à côté du monde. Blanche semble à l’opposé, robuste terrienne que rien n’effraie. Seul Alexandre parvient à percer la carapace. Alexandre, créature d’apparences, fasciné par les illusions du monde moderne, l’argent roi, les ambitions mesquines. Portés par l’esprit de revanche, sur ceux qui les ont blessés, sur la vie elle-même, ils sont dévastés par le désir, la haine, les sentiments contenus qui contiennent la déflagration à venir.

Cécile Coulon questionne le thème de l’exode rurale. Le monde ancien de la campagne, beauté de la nature et puissance de solitude est lentement dévoré par celui de la ville, force destructrice inexorable. La ferme idéale, Paradis mal nommé, révèle son potentiel d’enfermement, devient piège, prison tandis que s’expriment la brutalité et noirceur de l’âme humaine. Il y a un singulier parallèle entre la vie grouillante des bêtes parallèle et les passions humaines morbides. 

Roman sombre, sensibilité à vif, Une bête au Paradis monte en puissance, crescendo habile vers une résolution terrible. A dévorer !

Une bête au Paradis - Cécile Coulon - Editions de L’Iconoclaste


Ailleurs : Château de Marsannay, dégustation au domaine sur la route des Grands Crus du vignoble de Bourgogne


Aux portes de Dijon, Marsannay-la-Côte est le premier village sur la route des grands crus du vignoble de Bourgogne et le Château de Marsannay, un heureux prélude. Ce dernier a été créé en 1990 par la famille Boisseau, fondatrice des Maisons Kircher et Patriarche, alors propriétaire depuis 1973 du Château de Meursault, domaine historique datant du XIème siècle en Côte de Beaune. Associé à un domaine de trente-quatre hectares sur le vignoble de la Côte de Nuits, répartis de Marsannay-la-Côte à Vosne-Romanée, du Bourgogne de Montre-Cul à Dijon au Nord aux vignes du Clos-Vougeot au Sud, la richesse de son patrimoine viticole a fait sa réputation. Sur les vingt-huit hectares en appellation Marsannay, treize lieux-dits qui comptent parmi les meilleurs Climats de l’appellation ont fait l’objet d’une récente demande de classement premier cru.


Au cœur du vignoble réuni par les Boisseau au début des années 1990, une vaste bâtisse est construite à grand frais, en moins de deux ans, afin de vinifier et élever les vins sur place. Aux deux niveaux de caves voutées, à la cuverie moderne sont ajoutées une boutique de vente ainsi qu’une salle de réception de 400m2, rareté en Bourgogne. Le Château de Marsannay accueille toute l’année amateurs éclairés et grands connaisseurs afin de leur faire découvrir au domaine une production composée en majorité de vins rouges mais également de deux blancs et d’un vin rosé. 

En 2012, convaincu de l’excellence des terroirs bourguignons, Olivier Halley, descendant d’une grande famille française du monde des affaires, fondatrice de Promodès qui a fusionné avec Carrefour en 2012, se porte acquéreur du Château de Marsannay et de la société d’exploitation du Château de Meursault. Si le clan Halley est d’origine normande, il est présent dans le négoce du vin depuis le XIXème siècle et partage les valeurs familiales des Boisseau. Avec cet investissement, le savoir-faire économique rencontre la volonté d’une philosophie pérenne.