• ‘NYT’ journey to Israel/Palestine to be led by Israeli ‘expert’ who called on countrymen to ‘kill and kill’ Palestinians someone who criticizes The Times reporting regularly, I’m still occasionally taken aback by new examples of how far The Times bias on Israel and Palestine extends and how deeply embedded it is at the paper. A tweet yesterday from long-time Guardian reporter Chris McGreal provides another surprising indication of this phenomenon. McGreal tweeted, “The ‘featured expert’ of NYT readers trip to Israel-Palestine is Arnon ‘the Arab counter’ Soffer. So no bias there then.” Soffer is a politically influential Israeli professor whose views have helped to provide the “intellectual” justification for Israel’s policy of carrying out regular massacres in the Gaza Strip, as well as for ghettoizing and marginalizing Palestinians in other locations.

    #New_York_Times #laideur

  • “Our hearts are bleeding. We are mothers.”

    Last week, Guardian lead writer Anne Perkins wondered about the discrepancy between #MEDIA coverage of the South Korean ferry tragedy and the abduction of 200 girls from a girls’ school in #Chibok, in #Borno_State, in northeastern #Nigeria. She asked why there was so much coverage of the Korean children who died in a ferry […]

    #JOURNALISM #Boko_Haram #Million_Women_March

  • NSA collects nearly 200 million phone text messages a day - World Socialist Web Site

    NSA collects nearly 200 million phone text messages a day
    By Patrick O’Connor

    17 January 2014

    Britain’s Guardian and Channel Four television news programme yesterday released documents from former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden detailing yet another mass US surveillance operation. Under the codename Dishfire, the NSA has been intercepting and permanently storing the metadata and content of billions of mobile phone text messages sent by ordinary people around the world.

    The latest material from Snowden has been published at the same time as President Barack Obama is attempting to legitimise ongoing domestic surveillance of US citizens, under the guise of intelligence “reform” (see: “Obama’s NSA ‘reform’ defends illegal spying”).

    #nsa #prism #snowden

  • World of Warcraft, nid d’espions ? | Playtime

    D’après un document datant de 2008, publié sur le site Propublica et consulté par le New York Times et le Guardian, le jeu de rôle en ligne massivement multijoueurs World of Warcraft était sous surveillance des principales agences de renseignement. Selon le texte, une telle plateforme en ligne pouvait potentiellement être utilisée à des fins malveillantes, pour planifier secrètement des attaques terroristes ou pour procéder à des transferts d’argent. L’analyse de ces univers est décrite comme une « opportunité » par les agences, car ces services en ligne disposent de nombreuses données relatives aux joueurs. C’est pourquoi les agents des services ont utilisé des avatars à des fins de renseignement.

    #jeux_vidéo #wow #snowden #surveillance

    • Ah, tu m’as eu !

      Spooks of Warcraft : how the NSA infiltrated gamespace

      A new Snowden leak details how he NSA and GCHQ tasked its agents to infiltrate Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other MMOs to find jihadis and spy on them. The battalions of undercover orcs did indeed take much of gamespace, but there’s no evidence they ever spotted a plot. I was once questioned by members of an “unnamed branch of the State Department” at a games and public diplomacy event about the likelihood that jihadis were playing MMOs; and I said something like, “Sure, of course. Everyone plays MMOs.” I didn’t realize they’d take it all quite so much to heart.

      The absurdity of sending spies to infiltrate Warcraft can best be understood as a natural outflow of the doctrine that holds that if any two bad guys, anywhere in the world, can communicate in such a way that the NSA can’t listen in on them, all of society will crumble. Once you set yourself the insane task of eavesdropping on all conversations, everywhere, always, it’s inevitable that you’ll send Secret Squirrel and his pals to Azeroth.

      Attention, la mascotte #SPIP est désormais officiellement sous surveillance !

  • Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells MPs | World news |

    Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Newspapers around the world, from the Guardian to the Washington Post and Der Spiegel, have done what our own parliamentary oversight committee and other oversight bodies failed to do: they exposed unprecedented surveillance being undertaken without the knowledge or approval of our elected representatives.
    Spies spy, but they should not be able to write their own rules, exploiting woefully out-of-date legislation to collect information on millions of innocent people .

    “If the three intelligence chiefs had previously faced anywhere near as rigorous cross-examination then perhaps we would not have been so dependent on the Guardian and other newspapers to learn just how out of control surveillance had become.”

  • Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells MPs | World news |

    Argued that news organisations that had published stories from the Snowden files had performed a public service and highlighted the weakness of the scrutiny of agencies such as GCHQ and the NSA . “It’s self-evident,” he said. “If the president of the US calls a review of everything to do with this and that information only came to light via newspapers, then newspapers have done something oversight failed to do.”

    • Asked why parliament had not demanded to know how 850,000 people had been given access to the GCHQ top-secret files taken by Snowden, who was a private security contractor.

    Rusbridger said the Guardian had been put under the kind of pressure to stop publishing stories that would have been inconceivable in other countries.

    "They include prior restraint, they include a senior Whitehall official coming to see me to say: ’There has been enough debate now’. They include asking for the destruction of our disks. They include MPs calling for the police to prosecute the editor. So there are things that are inconceivable in the US.

    “I feel that some of this activity has been designed to intimidate the Guardian.”

    In one curious exchange, the committee chair, Keith Vaz, asked Rusbridger if he loved his country.

    “I’m slightly surprised to be asked the question,” replied Rusbridger. "But, yes, we are patriots and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of democracy, the nature of a free press and the fact that one can in this country discuss and report these things.

    “One of the things I love about this country is that we have that freedom to write, and report, and to think and we have some privacy, and those are the concerns which need to be balanced against national security, which no one is underestimating. I can speak for the entire Guardian staff who live in this country that they want to be secure too.”

    At one point, the MP Mark Reckless suggested a criminal offence had been committed by sharing some of the Snowden material with the New York Times.

    “You have I think Mr Rusbridger admitted a criminal offence in your response. Do you consider that it would not be in the public interest for the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] to prosecute?”

    Rusbridger replied: “I think it depends on your view of a free press.”

    He said the Guardian had not lost control of any of the documents and the newspaper had used “military-grade” encryption to safeguard the files.

    “No data was lost, we lost control of no data. No names have leaked from the Guardian.”

  • An open letter from Carl Bernstein to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger | Media |

    But your appearance before the Commons today strikes me as something quite different in purpose and dangerously pernicious: an attempt by the highest UK authorities to shift the issue from government policies and excessive government secrecy in the United States and Great Britain to the conduct of the press – which has been quite admirable and responsible in the case of the Guardian, particularly, and the way it has handled information initially provided by Mr Snowden.

    Indeed, generally speaking, the record of journalists, in Britain and the United States in handling genuine national security information since World War II, without causing harm to our democracies or giving up genuine secrets to real enemies, is far more responsible than the over-classification, disingenuousness, and (sometimes) outright lying by a series of governments, prime ministers and presidents when it comes to information that rightly ought to be known and debated in a free society. Especially in recent years.

    You are being called to testify at a moment when governments in Washington and London seem intent on erecting the most serious (and self-serving) barriers against legitimate news reporting – especially of excessive government secrecy – we have seen in decades.


    As news organizations, editors, and journalists who often report on government actions that officials seek to keep secret, we write to the Committee on the eve of the forthcoming appearance of Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger to express our grave concern over pointed calls by those in authority for censorship of The Guardian and criminal prosecution of its journalists in the name of national security. Such sanctions, and the chilling impact created by even the threat to impose them, undermine the independence and integrity of the press that are essential for democracy to function.
    At the height of the Vietnam War in 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court refused the request of President Nixon to enjoin a newspaper from publishing a classified Defense Department report on the war that had been leaked to a reporter. In rejecting censorship of true, newsworthy information as fundamentally inconsistent with a free press and a free people, Justice Hugo Black cautioned that “[t]he word ‘security’ is a broad, vague generality” that should not be invoked to abrogate the right of the press to educate citizens. “The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.”
    Recent disclosures concerning secret activities of GCHQ and the U.S. National Security Agency may have embarrassed or angered political leaders, but they have educated the public on critically important matters and sparked a valuable global debate over the proper exercise of the vast surveillance powers that now exist. It is the responsibility of journalists to provide the type of accurate and in-depth news reports published by The Guardian and others that have informed the public and framed important, unresolved issues concerning the balance between security and privacy. Vigorous news coverage and the debate it fosters advance the public interest.
    It is thus unwise and counterproductive to react to the reporting on disclosures from Edward Snowden by reflexively invoking security concerns to silence the press or to accuse a news organization of aiding terrorists simply by providing citizens with information they need to know. Published reports in The Guardian on the Snowden disclosures have been prepared with the care and sensitivity to security concerns that editors have long demonstrated. We understand that both GCHQ and the NSA were provided an opportunity, in advance of publication, to comment and alert the journalists to particular security concerns. The reporting has been both responsible and, given the intense displeasure of those in power, courageous.
    To the rest of the world, it appears that press freedom itself is under attack in Britain today. British politicians are publicly calling for the criminal prosecution of The Guardian for having published true, accurate, and newsworthy information. A Scotland Yard investigation has been launched. “D notices” have been threatened. And the Prime Minister has raised the prospect of seeking an injunction prohibiting The Guardian from publishing any further intelligence revelations. These aggressive actions intimidate journalists and their sources. They chill reporting on issues of national security and on the conduct of government more generally.
    In our Internet-connected world, the impact of actions in Britain extends far beyond the United Kingdom. U.N. Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue rightly expressed alarm that these actions do more than damage Britain’s international reputation as a defender of press freedom; they “provide encouragement to non-democratic regimes to justify their own repressive actions.” They undermine globally the essential independence of the press.
    We therefore urge the Committee to use the occasion of Mr. Rusbridger’s appearance to reaffirm Britain’s commitment to a vigorous, free, and independent press. It is important to acknowledge that the Snowden revelations, filtered to the public through responsible journalists, have served the public interest. And it is equally important to respect the autonomy of the newsroom. Damage to democracy and to the credibility of elected governments inevitably is inflicted when disapproval of truthful reporting causes officials to intrude into the internal editorial decisions of news organizations.
    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press American Society of News Editors
    The Associated Press
    The E.W. Scripps Company
    The McClatchy Company
    The New York Times Company
    The New Yorker
    Newspaper Association of America ProPublica
    The Seattle Times Company
    Society of Professional Journalists
    The Washington Post
    World Association of Newspapers and News
    Publishers (WAN-IFRA)

  • Deux mois après, le Guardian évoque les massacres des villages alaouites du mois d’août : Syria : massacre reports emerge from Assad’s Alawite heartland

    “The attacks started with treachery,” said Hassan, an officer in Syria’s special forces. “There was a unit of 40 troops. A Sunni defected from it and took 30 other Sunnis with him. A few days later they were part of the attack that started with the village of Hambushiya. The 10 Alawite troops left behind in the area were killed.” Hassan said he could listen to the rebel’s radio communications. “I heard a rebel telling another rebel: ’Kill this one, but not that one’ . One rebel asked: ’What do I do about the girls?’ The answer came: ’I’m sending a truck to pick them up’. Several were taken and raped, and have not been seen again,” he said.

    “They kidnapped Sheikh Badr Ghazal and stripped girls and the sheikh to humiliate him. The sheikh was then killed. Rebels videoed the events and we found the pictures on the mobiles of dead rebels when we retook the villages. They have not been shown on Syrian TV or media because they are too distressing.”

    Shadi, a 32-year-old officer in a local defence unit that is separate from the Syrian army, was lightly wounded during the government’s counter-attack. “When we got into the village of Balouta I saw a baby’s head hanging from a tree. There was a woman’s body which had been sliced in half from head to toe and each half was hanging from separate apple trees. It made me feel I wanted to do something wild,” he recalled.

    Ali, a member of the regular army, said he also saw the baby’s head. “We found two mass graves with 140 bodies. They were not shot. They had their throats slit. About 105 people of different ages were kidnapped,” he said. “It’s really scary what happened. Nobody has gone home to the villages because so much has been destroyed and many houses have been burnt. The whole area is unusable. Salafists from abroad were behind the attack.”

    The officers’ accounts cannot be independently verified but the Guardian has obtained lists, compiled by local activists, with the names of victims from Hambushiya, Balouta, and five other villages. They include 62 people listed as killed, 60 kidnapped and 139 people who are missing. The dead range in age from a toddler of two to a man of 90. The vast majority are women, children and the elderly since most men in the villages were away on duty as part of the volunteer defence forces elsewhere in the region. They did not expect their own villages to come under attack.

  • Glenn Greenwald’s partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours | World news | The Guardian

    Cet événement a l’air d’être passé inaperçu dans la presse française, où j’ai mal regardé en ce dimanche pluvieux ?

    Ah non, quand même, bien que ce soit discret

    The 28-year-old was held for nine hours, the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual. According to official figures, most examinations under schedule 7 – over 97% – last under an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours.

    #snowden #prism #greenwald
    Miranda was released, but officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.

  • Snowden Censored by Craven Media

    Mr. Snowden, please send your 41 #PRISM slides and other information to less easily cowed and overly coddled commercial outlets than Washington Post and Guardian. Their arm-waving, self-aggrandizing verbosity, after conspiring to obey official demand to censor your information is a pattern well-documented by unfettered disclosure sites. Their piecemealing release is hoary dramatization, diverting cover-up, of failure to deliver untampered material. Your valor is yet to be fully disclosed, do not settle for being seduced by false promises portending being kicked under the bus.

    #NSA #censure #whistleblowing

  • Stephen Hawking boycotts Israeli academic conference, Guardian reports - Jewish World News - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

    The world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking joined the academic boycott of Israel when he decided to pull out of a Jerusalem conference hosted by President Shimon Peres in protest of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, British daily The Guardian reported Tuesday.

    According the Guardian, Hawking, 71, told Peres that he will not participate in in the annual “Facing Tomorrow” conference in June after consultation with his Palestinian colleagues, and “based on his knowledge of Palestine.”

    The conference, which is in its fifth year, gathers world leaders and intellectuals for public discussions on a variety of subjects.

    Hawking last visited Israel in 2006 at the invitation of the British Embassy.

    Hawking, who has ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, cannot move his body and uses a wheelchair. He communicates through a computerized voice system.

    The Guardian reported that although Hawking initially announced his participation in the conference, he received a deluge of appeals to refrain from attending in the last 4 weeks.

  • Treasury to Crack Down on UK’s Offshore Tax Havens

    Jamie Doward
    November 24, 2012

    The UK government is planning to force tax havens to reveal the names of account holders, according to this Guardian report. Similar to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the new changes would push the UK’s crown dependencies such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands to give up what was previously secret information. There is skepticism about the implementation of the plan, but if taken up, the UK’s tax transparency move could act as a stimulus for other governments restricting the billions in tax avoidance.

  • Faggots recipe « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    Faggots recipe

    A classic British recipe, perfect with some good mash, peas and some pokey English mustard

    Share 23

    Valentine Warner, Friday 30 September 2011 11.05 BST

    Faggots View larger picture

    Faggots from Valentine Warner’s The Good Table. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/Mitchell Beazley

    Faggots remind me of the less-comfortable pubs that are better for it: hard, dark-wood bench seating, whitewashed walls and a low ceiling, a small crackling fire and the low murmur of locals leaning against the bar. I come alone and like a corner table and a pint of bitter with a pickled egg. The faggots are quietly set down as I read the paper and I’ll probably have to ask for some mustard. Lunch will bring a quiet smile and then it’s back out into the drizzle. I like the old things.

    The Good Table
    by Valentine Warner
    Buy it from the Guardian bookshop

    Search the Guardian bookshop

    Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book

    Makes 12 faggots

    50g butter
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
    12 sage leaves, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground mace
    2 teaspoons black pepper
    500g minced pork belly
    100g minced bacon
    4 lamb’s kidneys, rinsed, skinned,
    cored and finely but roughly chopped
    150g pork or lamb’s liver, finely but roughly chopped
    1 level tablespoon flaked sea salt
    (½ tablespoon if using fine salt)
    100g coarse white breadcrumbs,
    made from stale bread
    100ml whole milk
    200g beef caul

    For the gravy:
    2 large onions, finely sliced
    1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar
    2 tablespoons malt vinegar
    1½ level tablespoons plain flour
    500ml good dark beef stock, or a can of consommé mixed with water
    flaked sea salt and black pepper

    To serve:
    good mash
    cooked frozen peas
    English mustard

    Melt 30g of the butter in a frying pan and in it sweat the onion with the thyme, sage and spices over a medium–low heat for about 15 minutes, or until very soft. Add the mixture to the meats and salt in a big bowl, and mix all together well, then add the breadcrumbs and milk. Get your hands in there and squish the mixture through them until it is really well combined. Take a little of the raw mixture and fry it to see how it tastes; correct the seasoning accordingly.

    Tenderly open up the caul and hold it up to the light to see where any holes might be (to avoid when assembling the faggots), then spread it out on the work surface. Take an open fistful of the mixture and place it on the caul so that you can cut a sheet around it to the size of two-thirds of a piece of A5 paper. Fold the caul over the top of the meats as if you were wrapping up treasured possessions in a handkerchief. All the corners should overlap and the meats be tightly surrounded. Turn the faggot over. Repeat until all are done.

    Heat some more butter in a frying pan over a medium–high heat and put the faggots in, fold-side down. Briskly fry until brown, taking care not to burn them. Turn over and gently fry on the other side. They should not open, but if they do, place a plate over the top of the batch to secure the folds. Repeat until all are good and brown. Transfer them to a board.

    In the same frying pan, fry the onions in the leftover faggot fat over a medium–low heat for 30 minutes or so until richly coloured. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C fan/180°C/Gas 4. Add the brown sugar and malt vinegar to the frying pan and cook until the vinegar has evaporated completely. Then sprinkle in the flour and cook gently, stirring, for a further minute or so. The flour must not burn. Start adding the beef stock or canned consommé, bit by bit, stirring constantly. Taste for seasoning, remembering that the faggots are highly seasoned.

    Place the faggots in a good-sized, shallow casserole and cover with the gravy, then the lid. Bake gently for 1½ hours. For the last 20 minutes, remove the lid. What else could you serve it with but some good mash and some frozen peas? Oh! And, of course, some pokey English mustard.

    • This recipe is taken from The Good Table by Valentine Warner (Mitchell Beazley, £25). To order a copy for £20 visit the Guardian bookshop

  • Où l’on reparle de nos amis « pas vraiment d’Al Qaeda » du poste frontière de Bab al Hawa. L’article (qu’il faut vraiment lire) du Guardian indique pourquoi la brigade al-Farouq se serait opposée à eux : avant tout parce qu’ils donnent une mauvaise image qui pourrait effrayer les soutiens turques et occidentaux, et faire avorter une intervention de l’OTAN :

    At the border post of Bab al Hawa some days later, a confrontation was brewing between the jihadis and Syrian rebels.

    Fighters from the Farouq brigade – one of the best-equipped and most disciplined units in the FSA – were sleeping on the grass in the shadow of a big concrete arch. The fighters wore military uniforms and green T-shirts emblazoned with insignia of the brigade – an achievement in the disarray of the revolution. They had many tanks and armoured vehicles captured from the Syrian army parked around the border post, under cover.

    Nearby, a group of 20 jihadis had gathered in a circle around a burly Egyptian with a chest-long silver beard.

    “You are in confrontation with two apostate armies,” the Egyptian told the men, referring to the Syrian army and Free Syrian Army. “When you have finished with one army you will start with the next.”

    The confrontation had started a few weeks ago, when the foreign jihadis, who played a major role in defeating government forces at the border post, raised the black flag of al-Qaida, emblazoned by the seal of the prophet, on the border post.

    The Farouq brigade demanded the flag be lowered lest it antagonise the Turks and threaten the rebels’ vital supply route. One bearded fighter in the Farouq brigade, a salafi himself, said he had pleaded with jihadis, telling them that their presence would stop Nato from sending supplies. “They told me they were here to stop Nato,” he said.

  • Tu sais qu’il y a actuellement un procès israélien pour le meurtre de Rachel Corrie ? Si tu ne le sais pas, ça n’est pas étonnant : à ma connaissance (et à la connaissance de Google News), rigoureusement aucun quotidien ou hebdomadaire francophone n’en a parlé, et côté anglophone, seul le Guardian a un article (et les habituels usual suspects russes et chinois) :

    At a meeting at the US embassy in Tel Aviv last week, the ambassador, Dan Shapiro, told Corrie’s parents and her sister that the government did not believe the Israeli military investigation had been “thorough, credible and transparent”, as had been promised by Israel. The investigation concluded that Corrie’s death was an accident and that she had endangered herself by entering a combat zone.

  • #datajournalisme #visualisation #cartographie #presse

    Sixteen tips for better data journalism from the BBC, Guardian and Wales Online | Media news |

    At one of the sessions at news:rewired – full stream ahead,’s conference on digital journalism that took place on Friday (13 July), a panel of fantastic data specialists were assembled to talk about what they do best.

    Bella Hurrell, specials editor on the BBC News website, James Ball of the Guardian, Claire Miller of Wales Online and Damian Kimmelman, chief executive of Duedil shared their advice on getting more out of data and data-based stories. Here are their top tips:

  • Today’s Guardian (Phil Gyford’s website)

    I’ve made a new thing, Today’s Guardian, a website that features today’s edition of the Guardian (or the Observer on Sundays). Hopefully it’s as easy to browse through today’s newspaper as it would be with the print edition. It’s made using the Guardian’s Content API. Read on for the thoughts behind it…

    I wanted something with reduced friction. There should be as few difficult decisions as possible, nothing harder than “shall I turn the page?”. (...)
    I also wanted something with high readability. No clutter around the articles
    Finally, I wanted finishability. I wanted to be able to read today’s news, know I’d read it all, and that I’m done until tomorrow.

    #presse #web #design #api

  • Prince Charles has been offered a veto over 12 government bills since 2005 | UK news | The Guardian

    Ministers have been forced to seek permission from Prince Charles to pass at least a dozen government bills, according to a Guardian investigation into a secretive constitutional loophole that gives him the right to veto legislation that might impact his private interests.

    Since 2005, ministers from six departments have sought the Prince of Wales’ consent to draft bills on everything from road safety to gambling and the London Olympics, in an arrangement described by constitutional lawyers as a royal “nuclear deterrent” over public policy. Unlike royal assent to bills, which is exercised by the Queen as a matter of constitutional law, the prince’s power applies when a new bill might affect his own interests, in particular the Duchy of Cornwall, a private £700m property empire that last year provided him with an £18m income.

    Neither the government nor Clarence House will reveal what, if any, alterations to legislation Charles has requested, or exactly why he was asked to grant consent to such a wide range of laws.

  • Occupy protests mapped around the world | News |

    Where are the Occupy protests taking place in the world after the camps in Wall Street and Madrid? See the full list of places we have found so far - and help us collect more
    • Explore the list - and help us add more
    The map below shows events for which there is at least one independent verification, based on readers suggestions and Guardian research. It’s possible we’re missing details - go to the full list to add or change events