• Project Raven — Inside the UAE’s secret hacking team of American mercenaries

    Ex-NSA operatives reveal how they helped spy on targets for
    the Arab monarchy — dissidents, rival leaders and journalists.

    By Christopher Bing + Joel Schectman

    In 2013, her world changed. While stationed at NSA Hawaii, [Lori] Stroud says, she made the fateful recommendation to bring a Dell technician already working in the building onto her team. That contractor was Edward Snowden.

    “He’s former CIA, he’s local, he’s already cleared,” Stroud, 37, recalled. “He’s perfect!” Booz and the NSA would later approve Snowden’s transfer, providing him with even greater access to classified material.

    Two months after joining Stroud’s group, Snowden fled the United States and passed on thousands of pages of top secret program files to journalists, detailing the agency’s massive data collection programs. In the maelstrom that followed, Stroud said her Booz team was vilified for unwittingly enabling the largest security breach in agency history.

    “Our brand was ruined,” she said of her team.

    In the wake of the scandal, Marc Baier, a former colleague at NSA Hawaii, offered her the chance to work for a contractor in Abu Dhabi called CyberPoint. In May 2014, Stroud jumped at the opportunity and left Booz Allen.

  • China’s vast fleet is tipping the balance in the Pacific

    The Chinese navy, which is growing faster than any other major fleet, now controls the seas off its coast. Once dominant, the United States and its allies sail warily in these waters. A former U.S. naval officer says China’s advances have caught America napping.
    #chine #etatsunis

    • la version en ligne “ classique ” de ce très bel article interactif :

      Special Report: China’s vast fleet is tipping the balance in the Pacific - Reuters

      FILE PHOTO - Warships and fighter jets of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018.
      REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

      For now, many of China’s warships are smaller vessels, including a big fleet of fast missile-attack craft. But Chinese shipyards are launching surface warships that are closing the gap in size, quality, and capability with the best of their foreign counterparts, according to interviews with veterans of the U.S., Taiwanese and Australian navies. China’s big fleet of conventional and nuclear submarines is also improving rapidly, they say.

      By 2020, the PLA navy will boast more big surface warships and submarines than the Russian navy, the former head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, told a congressional committee last year. Some American naval experts believe China could achieve rough parity with the U.S. Navy in numbers and quality of major surface warships by 2030.

      Crucially, the Chinese navy already has an edge in hitting power, according to senior officers from the U.S. and other regional navies. The best Chinese destroyers, frigates, fast attack craft and submarines are armed with anti-ship missiles that in most cases far outrange and outperform those on U.S. warships, these officers say.

      This firepower explains why Washington keeps its carriers at a distance. The last U.S. carrier to pass through the Taiwan Strait was the now-decommissioned USS Kitty Hawk, which made a transit with its battle group in late 2007 after being denied a port visit to Hong Kong.

      The U.S. Navy and other foreign navies still sail near the Chinese mainland. But they avoid overt shows of force that would increase the risk of clashes with modern Chinese warships and submarines. Retired U.S. Navy carrier-fleet officers say that in recent years the Pentagon has also avoided sending carriers to the Yellow Sea between the Korean Peninsula and the Chinese mainland, amid repeated Chinese warnings.

      An example of China’s determination to control its near waters came this month, when a French warship passed through the Taiwan Strait. After the April 6 transit of the frigate Vendemiaire, China informed Paris that France was no longer welcome to attend celebrations last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese communist navy, U.S. officials told Reuters.

    • On peut mettre cet article en perspective avec celui sur les conséquences de l’austérité sur l’armée britannique (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/27/world/europe/austerity-britain-military.html) alors que partout les dépenses augmentent (https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/rearmement-le-boom-des-depenses-militaires-un-parfum-de-guerr) ; La Russie est en recul, dépassée notamment par la France (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures)

  • #J&J knew for decades that #asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder

    J&J didn’t tell the #FDA that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc – in one case at levels reported as “rather high.”

    #etats-unis #criminels#pacte_de_responsabilité#poudre #cancer

  • Tracking China’s Muslim Gulag

    China is accused of incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Muslims in detention camps that are rising from the desert sands in Xinjiang. A forensic analysis of satellite images of 39 of these facilities shows they are expanding at a rapid rate.

    #chine #camps_de_travail #musulman #Ouïghours #détention

    • Très belle illustration visuelle !

      La légende des différentes étapes :

      Here are the footprints of all 39 camps. Prior to April 2017, these facilities had a total of 539 buildings covering 379,000 square meters.

      By August this year, the number of buildings at these facilities had more than doubled to 1,129. The area they covered had almost tripled to more than 1 million square meters - roughly the size of 140 soccer fields.

      And the expansion continues. A further 67 buildings, covering an area of 210,000 square meters, are now under construction in these compounds, according to the most recent satellite imagery that was analyzed.

      Infographie vraiment remarquable.

      #merci @odilon

    • Opinion: The Strange Silence Over China’s Muslim Crackdown

      President Trump says trade talks between the United States and China have been, “going very well.” The United States put $250 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods last year, to counter what it considers unfair trade practices and theft of U.S. technology.

      But there are no indications the United States, the United Nations, or any government is prepared to use any economic or diplomatic leverage to oppose China locking up between 800,000 and 2 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Chinese Muslims into internment camps in the western Xinjiang region.

      The camps are in remote locations — closed to the world — and ringed with barbed wire. But they have been photographed by satellite. The Chinese government calls them “re-education centers,” a phrase that carries a sinister history from the murderous purges of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

      The people in the camps are forced to denounce their faith and pledge loyalty to the Communist Party. According to multiple reports, a number of people in the camps have also been tortured.

      As Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, told The Independent, “If any other government in the world was locking up a million Muslims I think we can reasonably expect to have seen demands for a debate at the U.N. Security Council or an international investigation. That’s generally unlikely to happen with China.”

      There were calls in the U.S. Congress last fall for the Trump administration to consider sanctions against China for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced as “awful abuses.”

      But China is America’s largest creditor: it holds more than a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury securities. Look down at whatever you’re wearing, carrying, riding in or working on right now. American businesses get rich relying on Chinese workers who earn low wages to produce our clothing, mobile phones, building materials, and dazzling new tech devices.

      The Trump administration imposed tariffs on China over unfair trade practices. But it has offered no more than a few rhetorical flourishes over human rights crimes. Neither did the Obama administration, or the European Union.

      And Muslim countries — including Saudi Arabia and Iran — have been similarly, conspicuously, silent. China invests heavily, and strategically in their nations too.

      Sometimes, the price of human rights just cannot compete.


  • As a Saudi prince rose, the Bin Laden business empire crumbled

    The Bin Ladens’ undoing exposes the contradictions in Prince Mohammed’s plan to build a modern economy, some economists say. He has embraced privatisation, hoping to inject dynamism, yet the state has intervened in firms such as Saudi Binladin Group. He has tackled corruption, yet there has been little transparency around the process. One Saudi businessman said the Bin Laden saga had become a “symbol of what’s happening between the government and the private sector - a breakdown of trust.”

  • Under Sisi, firms owned by Egypt’s military have flourished

    In the four years since former armed forces chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became Egypt’s president, companies owned by the military have gone from strength to strength. Local businessmen and foreign investors are concerned.

    By Reuters staff Filed May 16, 2018, 11 a.m. GMT

    CAIRO – In a four-decade military career, Osama Abdel Meguid served in the first Gulf War and was an assistant military attaché in the United States.

    These days he issues orders from an office that overlooks the Nile, as chairman of the Maadi Co. for Engineering Industries, owned by the Ministry of Military Production.

    Maadi was founded in 1954 to manufacture grenade launchers, pistols and machine guns. In recent years the firm, which employs 1,400 people, has begun turning out greenhouses, medical devices, power equipment and gyms. It has plans for four new factories.

    “There are so many projects we are working on,” said Abdel Meguid, a 61-year-old engineer, listing orders including a 495 million Egyptian pound ($28 million) project for the Ministry of Electricity and an Algerian agricultural waste recycling contract worth $400,000.

    Maadi is one of dozens of military-owned companies that have flourished since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former armed forces chief, became president in 2014, a year after leading the military in ousting Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

    The military owns 51 percent of a firm that is developing a new $45 billion capital city 75 km east of Cairo. Another military-owned company is building Egypt’s biggest cement plant. Other business interests range from fish farms to holiday resorts.

    In interviews conducted over the course of a year, the chairmen of nine military-owned firms described how their businesses are expanding and discussed their plans for future growth. Figures from the Ministry of Military Production - one of three main bodies that oversee military firms - show that revenues at its firms are rising sharply. The ministry’s figures and the chairmen’s accounts give rare insight into the way the military is growing in economic influence.

  • Exclusive: U.N. watchdogs call for probe of Taser assaults in U.S. jails

    Quel beau pays les Etats-Unis.


    GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. special rapporteur on torture urged U.S. authorities to investigate and weigh criminal charges against jail officials in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the “clearly gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering” from the use of Tasers on inmates, citing a Reuters report this week.

    Shock Tactics: Inside the Taser, the weapon that transformed policing

    Shock Tactics: A 911 call, a Taser shot and the toll of stun guns

    A 911 plea for help, a Taser shot, a death - and the mounting toll of stun guns

    Part 1: In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths across America. Behind the fatalities is a sobering reality: Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help.

    Shock Tactics: Inmate deaths reveal “torturous” use of Tasers

    Inmate deaths reveal “torturous” use of Tasers

    Part 6: Reuters documents 104 prisoner fatalities after corrections officers deployed Tasers, often with other force. Most inmates were unarmed, and many were handcuffed or pinned to the ground. Some abuses, experts say, are akin to torture.

    #états)unis #prisons #torture #police #meutres #violence

  • Excellente et très détaillée enquête sur #Tezos, une #ICO (vente d’une #cryptomonnaie avant qu’elle n’existe) un peu plus malhonnête que la moyenne. Du bon travail de journalisme.


    Du point de vue politique, ce n’est pas mal non plus « He is still listed as a co-organizer and “dear leader” for the New York Anarcho-Capitalist Meetup in New York, which describes its philosophy as “a type of radical libertarianism that favors the abundant wealth production, rapid technological development, and high standards of living produced by capitalism.” Its website adds, “We are also fairly lazy about fighting the state.” »

    #Suisse #blockchain #anarcho_capitalisme

  • Saudi de facto blockade starves Yemen of food and medicine

    The de facto blockade is exacting a dire humanitarian toll. The Saudi-led coalition’s ships are preventing essential supplies from entering Yemen, even in cases where vessels are carrying no weapons, according to previously unreported port records, a confidential United Nations report and interviews with humanitarian agencies and shipping lines.

    A U.N. system set up in May 2016 to ease delivery of commercial goods through the blockade has failed to ensure the Yemeni people get the supplies they need.

    The result is the effective isolation of Yemen, a nation of 28 million people where a quarter of the population is starving, according to the United Nations. The war has claimed 10,000 lives. Half a million children under the age of five are severely malnourished, and at least 2,135 people, most of them children, have died of cholera in the past six months.

    Aid agencies have ramped up their deliveries of food to some parts of Yemen this year. But Yemen imports more than 85 percent of its food and medicine, and commercial shipments have plunged. In the first eight months of this year, only 21 container ships sailed to Hodeida, according to port data compiled by the U.N. World Food Programme and Reuters. By comparison, 54 container ships delivered twice the volume of goods in the same period last year. Before the war, 129 container ships reached the port in the first eight months of 2014.

    Food and medicine are being choked off. No commercial shipment of pharmaceuticals has made its way to Hodeida since a Saudi-led airstrike destroyed the port’s industrial cranes in August 2015, according to the administrator of the port, which is under Houthi control. In at least one case this year, a blocked commercial shipment contained humanitarian aid as well.

  • How They Did It: Reuters’ Database of #Taser Deaths

    In a sweeping investigation, a team of Reuters reporters, editors and data analysts raised serious questions about the claim of Taser’s manufacturer that no one has died directly from the device’s shock. Reviewing the results of hundreds of autopsies, filing hundreds of public records requests and other painstaking open-source research made the investigation possible.

    “For example, we might have a news story that mentioned a death, but we wouldn’t have the person’s identity or it would be unclear whether a Taser was involved, so we’d use police records to flesh out the facts and determine whether the case met the criteria we’d set for cases we were including in our database. Once a case was confirmed to meet our criteria, we’d move it to a master spreadsheet and it would be assigned to a reporter for further investigation.

    “We used a similar process to sort through legal databases, such as Westlaw, Lexis and Pacer. Again, we’d use the broadest possible search parameters to identify any lawsuit involving Tasers (in addition to using ‘Taser’ as a key word, we also used various iterations of the more generic phrases used to describe these weapons, such as ‘electronic control device’).

    “This process returned thousands of court records, and we went through every one of them to see if it qualified as a Taser-related wrongful death suit (we decided early in the project to focus only on fatalities and opted not to tally injury cases, because the universe simply would have been too large to manage). Reviewing the lawsuits was an enormously time-consuming and painstaking process.

    “Our search for lawsuits served two functions: not only was it the basis for our assessment of the litigation burden associated with fatal police incidents involving Tasers, it also turned up scores of deaths that got no coverage from local news media. So if we’d used only news reports as a way to track down fatal incidents involving Tasers, we would have missed a lot of them. This was particularly true in more rural areas or in big cities where a fatal police incident, in itself, might not get covered in local news accounts.”