/11

  • How Cheap Labor Drives China’s A.I. Ambitions - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/25/business/china-artificial-intelligence-labeling.html


    Workers at the headquarters of Ruijin Technology Company in Jiaxian, in central China’s Henan Province. They identify objects in images to help artificial intelligence make sense of the world.
    CreditCreditYan Cong for The New York Times

    Some of the most critical work in advancing China’s technology goals takes place in a former cement factory in the middle of the country’s heartland, far from the aspiring Silicon Valleys of Beijing and Shenzhen. An idled concrete mixer still stands in the middle of the courtyard. Boxes of melamine dinnerware are stacked in a warehouse next door.

    Inside, Hou Xiameng runs a company that helps artificial intelligence make sense of the world. Two dozen young people go through photos and videos, labeling just about everything they see. That’s a car. That’s a traffic light. That’s bread, that’s milk, that’s chocolate. That’s what it looks like when a person walks.

    I used to think the machines are geniuses,” Ms. Hou, 24, said. “Now I know we’re the reason for their genius.

    • via Antonio A. Casili sur FB, qui l’accompagne de ces utiles compléments :

      Ce n’est pas vraiment une surprise : d’après cette enquête du New York Times, derrière le système de reconnaissance faciale Face++ du chinois Megvii Technology, des micro-tâcherons qui, avec leur travail du clic, entraînent des IA depuis une ancienne usine de ciment. Là où ça redevient intéressant (et où l’enquête du New York Times s’interrompt) c’est quand on va fouiller sur les sites de sous-traitance de la tech chinoise et internationale, avec un petit coup de pouce de collègues sinophones que ma discrétion m’interdit de nommer ici. On y découvre l’étendue du portefeuille clients de la Nangong Yunzhi Data Processing, la petite usine à clics à laquelle le New York Times fait la part belle.

      Tout d’abord, ses micro-travailleur•ses font pas mal de classification de produits pour entraîner les algorithmes de recommandation des plateformes d’e-commerce, comme Jingdong & Taobao. Ils s’adonnent aussi à l’annotation audio pour l’entreprise spécialisée en traduction automatique SpeechOcean (contrôlée de la Beijing Haitian Ruisheng Science Technology Ltd., qui a son tour marchande des corpus annotés pour traduction et analyse lexicale sur sa propre plateforme, King Line Data Center).

      Après quoi, on sort les gros calibres, avec de la reconnaissance d’images pour Baidu Total View, concurrent chinois de Google Street View (pour la petite histoire, Google Street View semble recruter beaucoup moins de micro-travailleurs parce que... ses images sont largement reconnues par ses utilisateur•rices mêmes, digital laborers « gratuit•es », à l’aide des reCAPTCHA visuels).

      L’un des clients les plus inquiétants est Tencent, pour lequel notre usine à clics fait de la retranscription speech-to-text. Le géant chinois de la messagerie possède, entre autres, la communauté QQ et l’application WeChat avec son important trafic de voix-sur-IP et sa fonctionnalité de retranscription « automatique » de messages vocaux. Comme quoi, quand vous parlez dans ce machin, il y a toujours des chances que quelqu’un vous écoute pour retranscrire en temps quasi-réel ou pour corriger des transcriptions défectueuses de l’appli même. Bonjour, la privacy.
      Et à propos de privacy, notre Nangong Yunzhi Data Processing compte parmi ses projets la labellisation et la prépration des pièces d’identités indonésiennes — les tristement célèbres e-KTP qui contiennent une quantité pharamineuse de données biométriques et concernent plus de 100 millions de citoyen•nes.

      Enfin, le must : du véhicule autonome ! Plus précisément, de l’entraînement du système de reconnaissance faciale embarqué des véhicules NIO—nécessaire pour éviter vols, fraudes à l’assurance, ou vérifier que le conducteur ne soit pas distrait. Et oui, le « conducteur ». Parce qu’évidemment une voiture « driverless » doit toujours être conduit par quelqu’un.

      A suivre...

  • Federal Employees Are Warned Not to Discuss Trump ‘Resistance’ at Work - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/us/politics/federal-employees-hatch-act-trump-impeachment.html

    Generally, federal employees have been free to express opinions about policies and legislative activity at work as long as they do not advocate voting for or against particular candidates in partisan elections. But in a guidance document distributed on Wednesday, the independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act, a law that bars federal employees from taking part in partisan political campaigns at work or in an official capacity, warned that making or displaying statements at work about impeaching or resisting Mr. Trump is likely to amount to illegal political activity.

    The reasoning behind the guidance centers on the fact that Mr. Trump is already running for re-election in 2020. It contends that arguments about his policies or impeachment prospects are effectively statements in support or opposition to his campaign.

    “We understand that the ‘resistance’ and ‘#resist’ originally gained prominence shortly after President Trump’s election in 2016 and generally related to efforts to oppose administration policies,” the guidance said. “However, ‘resistance,’ ‘#resist’ and similar terms have become inextricably linked with the electoral success (or failure) of the president.”

    The reasoning behind the guidance centers on the fact that Mr. Trump is already running for re-election in 2020. It contends that arguments about his policies or impeachment prospects are effectively statements in support or opposition to his campaign.

    “We understand that the ‘resistance’ and ‘#resist’ originally gained prominence shortly after President Trump’s election in 2016 and generally related to efforts to oppose administration policies,” the guidance said. “However, ‘resistance,’ ‘#resist’ and similar terms have become inextricably linked with the electoral success (or failure) of the president.”

    #Liberté_expression #Fonctionnaires #Trump #Etats_Unis

  • Nissan Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, Is Arrested Over Financial Misconduct Allegations - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/19/business/nissan-carlos-ghosn-misconduct.html

    Born in Brazil to Lebanese parents and educated at elite universities in France , Mr. Ghosn made his reputation after joining Nissan in 1999. Renault, where Mr. Ghosn was an executive vice president, had bought a large stake in the Japanese company, which was on the verge of collapse at the time.

    Mr. Ghosn made sweeping changes at Nissan, closing five domestic factories and cutting 21,000 jobs. Later, he engineered an arrangement between Renault and Nissan that allowed them to operate like a single carmaker. Short of a full merger, the alliance enabled them to share the cost of developing new models and to negotiate better deals with suppliers by buying components together.

    As chairman and chief executive of the partnership, Mr. Ghosn was celebrated in Japan: His life story was made into a manga comic, although critics on the left noted he had earned his French nickname, “Le cost killer.” Still, he had enough political savvy to retain the support of the French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault, despite some bitter pay disputes.

    In 2016 and 2017, Mr. Ghosn’s salary at Renault was questioned publicly, by French government officials and a shareholder group; this year he agreed to a 30 percent pay cut in return for another four-year term as chief executive.

    Mr. Ghosn’s pay was long debated there. In 2016, Renault was pressured by Mr. Macron, the finance minister at the time, to reduce his compensation. In 2017, he insisted on a package of 7.4 million euros, about $8.5 million. The French government balked but Renault shareholders ultimately approved that payout.

    In Japan, Mr. Ghosn’s compensation made him an outlier. Japanese executives typically earn far less than their American or European counterparts. Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota, for example, was paid ¥181 million in 2017, compared to Mr. Ghosn’s reported ¥735 million.

    1€ = 130¥, pff salaire de 6 millions € / an … ça fait du 34000€ de l’heure si il bosse 24/24 sur 365 jours mais ça ne suffit toujours pas ? et encore, ajoute à cela les stocks options et le fruit des magouilles fiscales pour lesquelles il est arrêté.

    #prédateur #élite_française

  • En Californie, l’ère des « tempêtes de feu »
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/181118/en-californie-l-ere-des-tempetes-de-feu

    Ces derniers jours, de nombreux commentateurs ont fait référence à un article prémonitoire publié en 1995 dans une revue historique par le théoricien et historien #Mike_Davis, professeur à l’université de #Californie, auteur de nombreux ouvrages sur la ville néolibérale – il a notamment publié en France City of Quartz, Paradis infernaux, ou Le stade Dubaï du capitalisme.

    Un feu venait alors de détruire dix maisons à Malibu. « Laissons Malibu brûler », écrivit Mike Davis. « Cela ne va qu’empirer, prévenait Davis, convaincu de l’absurdité de faire payer la collectivité pour des maisons presque mécaniquement vouées à brûler. De tels désastres périodiques seront inévitables : installer votre maison à Malibu et vous finirez par être confrontés aux flammes. »

    Il y a vingt-trois ans, l’article décrivait par le menu la privatisation et l’« aristocratisation » progressive du territoire de Malibu peu à peu planté de « châteaux », au mépris de l’environnement et des règles de sûreté élémentaires.

    Davis annonçait aussi l’émergence d’une nouvelle ère où les « tempêtes de #feu suburbaines » risquaient de devenir plus « apocalyptiques », quasiment impossibles à combattre. « La densité nouvelle du logement sur les collines a transformé la bataille contre les feux de forêt : c’était une guerre de manœuvres, cela devient une bataille de rues. » À l’époque, son texte avait été accueilli par un déluge de critiques.

    Il y a un peu plus d’un an, alors que le feu venait de ravager le magnifique paysage de vignes de Sonoma et Santa Rosa, juste au nord de San Francisco, Mike Davis publiait dans la London Review of Books un texte lumineux, « El Diablo in Wine Country », pointant le refus persistant des Californiens d’admettre que leur « paradis » est en train de devenir un enfer.

    « Il y a, écrit-il, une suffisance mortifère à l’œuvre derrière les politiques environnementales “mainstream” en Californie. Certains pointent le feu, d’autres le changement climatique, mais tous ignorent le pouvoir destructeur de la finance et de l’immobilier qui pousse à la surburbanisation de nos paysages sauvages de plus en plus “enflammables”. »

    Après chaque incendie, expliquait Davis, « le paradis est vite restauré, avec des maisons plus immenses que les précédentes ». Elles sont confortables, suréquipées, situées dans des endroits sublimes où l’on peut passer des heures à regarder les étoiles. Mais elles sont aussi situées dans des culs-de-sac cernés de maquis.

    « Une version rustique du couloir de la mort », commentait Davis, preuve « de l’absurdité de toute planification rationnelle dans une société fondée sur le capitalisme immobilier ».

    • En Californie, le blé protège des brasiers
      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/11/15/en-californie-le-ble-protege-des-brasiers_1692372

      Dans la patrie du capitalisme débridé, l’inégalité existe pourtant, aussi, face au feu. Selon le site TMZ, spécialisé dans les célébrités, Kim Kardashian et Kanye West ont ainsi recruté une équipe privée de pompiers pour combattre les flammes qui menaçaient leur villa à 60 millions de dollars. Ces derniers ont creusé des fossés pour stopper la propagation de l’incendie. La résidence a été épargnée, tout comme celles de nombreux voisins reconnaissants, assure TMZ. Pour l’historienne Amy Greenberg, citée par The Atlantic, l’exemple des Kardashian illustre « les ramifications de la disparité économique aux Etats-Unis. […] Les riches ne sont pas censés disposer de "meilleurs" pompiers ».

      Le couple star n’est pas le seul à pouvoir se payer une protection haut de gamme en cas d’incendie. Depuis 2005, le géant des assurances AIG, pionnier en la matière, propose à ses clients les plus fortunés, membres du très sélect « Private Client Group », un service exclusif. Sobrement baptisé « Wildfire Protection Unit » (« Unité de protection contre les incendies »), il déploie ses camions et équipes pour protéger les maisons de ses richissimes clients. Selon NBC, 42 % des membres du classement des 400 Américains les plus fortunés, établi par le magazine Forbes, appartiennent au Private Client Group.

    • As Inmates, They Fight California’s Fires. As Ex-Convicts, Their Firefighting Prospects Wilt.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/us/california-paying-inmates-fight-fires.html

      As the Camp Fire rages in Northern California, the deadliest and most destructive in state history, and wildfires scorch western Los Angeles, about 1,500 inmates have been deployed to help fight active fires, out of a firefighter total of roughly 9,400, according to California state officials.

      [...] California relies on prisoners to fight wildfires more than any other state. In 1946, the state opened Camp Rainbow in Fallbrook, which housed inmates to fight fires. Over the decades, the program would grow.

      Today, 3,700 inmates work at 44 fire camps across the state, said Alexandra Powell, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which helps run the fire camp program.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/656494

    • Sur le booming business in private firefighting aux Etats-Unis :

      Private firefighters fuel tensions while saving California vineyards and mansions [mai 2021]
      https://www.reuters.com/world/us/private-firefighters-fuel-tensions-while-saving-california-vineyards-mansio

      When they do battle blazes, private contractors run the risk of getting in the way or even accelerating a fire, state firefighters warn. That’s because the private groups are focused on saving a particular property rather than protecting entire communities.

      [...] A recent job advertisement seeking private firefighters in California offered pay of $13 to $15 per hour - far lower than the average of nearly $42 an hour for the state’s firefighters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Brooklyn’s Visual Reboot
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/nyregion/brooklyns-visual-reboot.html

    Photographs of the most populous borough reveal a new landscape being experienced by people new to the terrain, with little investment in Brooklyn’s past


    Brooklyn Summit, 2014 Credit Pascal Perich
    #photographie

  • Tests Showed Children Were Exposed to Lead. The Official Response: Challenge the Tests
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/18/nyregion/nycha-lead-paint.html

    Within two weeks, a city health inspector visited the two Brooklyn public housing apartments where Mikaila spent her time — her mother’s in the Tompkins Houses; her grandmother’s in the Gowanus Houses — to look for the source of the lead exposure, records show. The inspector, wielding a hand-held device that can detect lead through multiple layers of paint, found the dangerous heavy metal in both homes. The Health Department ordered the Housing Authority to fix the problems.

    The discovery spurred the Housing Authority to action: It challenged the results.

    Rather than remove or cover the lead, the Housing Authority dispatched its own inspector who used a different test, documents show. The agency insisted that however Mikaila was poisoned, there was no lead in her apartments.

    #plomb #saturnisme

  • Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews? - The New York Times

    Jewish communities stand more divided than ever on whether to embrace or denounce Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

    By Amy Chozick and Hannah Seligson
    Nov. 17, 2018

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/style/ivanka-trump-jared-kushner.html

    On election night in Beverly Hills, Jason Blum, the hot shot horror-movie producer, was accepting an award at the Israel Film Festival. The polls in a string of midterm contests were closing, and Mr. Blum, a vocal critic of President Trump, was talking about how much was at stake.

    “The past two years have been hard for all of us who cherish the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this country,” Mr. Blum said.

    That’s when the crowd of mostly Jewish producers and power brokers started to chant, “We like Trump!” An Israeli man stepped onto the stage to try to pull Mr. Blum away from the microphone as the crowd at the Saban Theater Steve Tisch Cinema Center cheered.

    “As you can see from this auditorium, it’s the end of civil discourse,” Mr. Blum said, as security rushed the stage to help him. “Thanks to our president, anti-Semitism is on the rise.”
    ADVERTISEMENT
    In the weeks after a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in one of the most horrific acts of anti-Semitism in years, debates about the president’s role in stoking extremism have roiled American Jews — and forced an uncomfortable reckoning between Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and his daughter and son-in-law’s Jewish faith.
    Rabbi Jeffrey Myers greets Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump near the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
    Credit
    Doug Mills/The New York Times

    Image

    Rabbi Jeffrey Myers greets Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump near the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
    Rabbis and Jewish leaders have raged on Twitter and in op-eds, in sermons and over shabbat dinners, over how to reconcile the paradox of Jared Kushner, the descendant of Holocaust survivors, and Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism to marry Mr. Kushner.

    To some Jews, the couple serves as a bulwark pushing the Trump administration toward pro-Israel policies, most notably the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. To many others, they are the wolves in sheep’s clothing, allowing Mr. Trump to brush aside criticism that his words have fueled the uptick in violent attacks against Jews.

    “For Jews who are deeply opposed to Donald Trump and truly believe he is an anti-Semite, it’s deeply problematic that he’s got a Jewish son-in-law and daughter. How can that be?” said Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University.
    Sign up for the Of The Moment Newsletter
    Self-care and social change. Relationships and advice. Beauty and health. Fame and fortune. Stories picked for you. Get the Of the Moment newsletter.

    SIGN UP
    ADVERTISEMENT
    Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump serve as senior advisers in the White House. At a time when Judaism is under assault — the F.B.I. said this week that anti-Semitic attacks have increased in each of the last three years — they are unabashedly Orthodox, observing shabbat each week, walking to an Orthodox Chabad shul near their Kalorama home in Washington, D.C., dropping their children off at Jewish day school and hanging mezuzas on the doors of their West Wing offices.

    After the Pittsburgh attack, Mr. Kushner played a key role in Mr. Trump (eventually) decrying “the scourge of anti-Semitism.” And Mr. Kushner helped arrange the president’s visit to the Squirrel Hill synagogue, including inviting Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States to accompany them. There, in Pittsburgh, thousands marched to protest what one organizer described as the insult of the Mr. Trump’s visit.
    Arabella Kushner lights the menorah as her parents look on during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in 2017.
    Credit
    Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

    Image

    Arabella Kushner lights the menorah as her parents look on during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in 2017.CreditOlivier Douliery/Getty Images
    The White House has referenced Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump’s religion to dismiss accusations that Mr. Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened anti-Semites. “The president is the grandfather of several Jewish grandchildren,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told reporters.

    Using the couple in this way has unnerved many Jews who oppose the president and say Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump violated the sacred, if sometimes unspoken, communal code that mandates Jews take care of each other during times of struggle. “I’m more offended by Jared than I am by President Trump,” said Eric Reimer, a lawyer in New York who was on Mr. Kushner’s trivia team at The Frisch School, a modern Orthodox yeshiva in New Jersey that they both attended.

    “We, as Jews, are forced to grapple with the fact that Jared and his wife are Jewish, but Jared is participating in acts of Chillul Hashem,” said Mr. Reimer, using the Hebrew term for when a Jew behaves immorally while in the presence of others.
    ADVERTISEMENT
    For Mr. Reimer, who hasn’t spoken to Mr. Kushner since high school, one of those incidents was the administration’s Muslim ban, which prompted members of the Frisch community to sign an open letter to Mr. Kushner imploring him “to exercise the influence and access you have to annals of power to ensure others don’t suffer the same fate as millions of our co-religionists.”

    Leah Pisar, president of the Aladdin Project, a Paris-based group that works to counter Holocaust denial, and whose late father, Samuel Pisar, escaped Auschwitz and advised John F. Kennedy, said she found it “inconceivable that Jared could stay affiliated with the administration after Pittsburgh” and called Mr. Kushner the president’s “fig leaf.”

    Those kinds of accusations are anathema to other Jews, particularly a subset of Orthodox Jews who accused liberal Jews of politicizing the Pittsburgh attack and who say that any policies that would weaken Israel are the ultimate act of anti-Semitism.
    Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May.
    Credit
    Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

    Image

    Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May.CreditSebastian Scheiner/Associated Press
    “Jared and Ivanka are one of us as traditional Jews who care deeply about Israel,” said Ronn Torossian, a New York publicist whose children attend the Ramaz School, the same Upper East Side yeshiva where Mr. Kushner’s eldest daughter Arabella was once enrolled. “I look at them as part of our extended family.”

    Even some Jews who dislike Mr. Trump’s policies and recoil at his political style may feel a reluctance to criticize the country’s most prominent Orthodox Jewish couple, grappling with the age-old question that has haunted the Jewish psyche for generations: Yes, but is it good for the Jews?
    ADVERTISEMENT
    To that end, even as liberal New York Jews suggest the couple would be snubbed when they eventually return to the city, many in the Orthodox community would likely embrace them. “They certainly won’t be banned, but I don’t think most synagogues would give them an aliyah,” said Ethan Tucker, a rabbi and president of the Hadar yeshiva in New York, referring to the relatively limited honor of being called to make a blessing before and after the reading of the Torah. (Mr. Tucker is also the stepson of Joe Lieberman, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party ticket in the U.S.) “I don’t think people generally honor people they feel were accomplices to politics and policies they abhor,” Mr. Tucker said.

    Haskel Lookstein, who serves as rabbi emeritus of the Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, the modern Orthodox synagogue on the Upper East Side that Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump attended, wrote in an open letter to Mr. Trump that he was “deeply troubled” by the president saying “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,” in response to the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va.

    When reached last week to comment about the president’s daughter and son-in-law days after the Pittsburgh attack, Mr. Lookstein said simply, “I love them and that’s one of the reasons I don’t talk about them.”

    Talk to enough Jews about Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, and you begin to realize that the couple has become a sort of Rorschach test, with defenders and detractors seeing what they want to see as it relates to larger rifts about Jewish identity.

    “It’s not about Jared and Ivanka,” said Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “People look at them through the prism of their own worldviews.”
    Editors’ Picks

    The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her

    Stone Mountain: The Largest Confederate Monument Problem in the World

    They Survived a Massacre. Then the Lawyers Started Calling.
    From left to right on front row, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu, Mr. Kushner, Ms. Trump, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
    Credit
    Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

    Image

    From left to right on front row, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu, Mr. Kushner, Ms. Trump, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.CreditSebastian Scheiner/Associated Press
    Those worldviews are rapidly changing. One in five American Jews now describes themselves as having no religion and identifying as Jews based only on ancestry, ethnicity or culture, according to Pew. By contrast, in the 1950s, 93 percent of American Jews identified as Jews based on religion.
    ADVERTISEMENT
    As Jews retreat from membership to reform synagogues, historically made up of political liberals who were at the forefront of the fight for Civil Rights and other progressive issues, Chabad-Lubavitch, the Orthodox Hasidic group with which Mr. Kushner is affiliated, has become a rapidly-growing Jewish movement. The growth of Chabad correlates with fierce divisions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a small but growing contingent of American Jews who prioritize Israel above any other political or social issue.

    Mr. Kushner, in particular, has become a sort of proxy for these larger schisms about faith and Israel, according to Jewish experts. “There is a great deal of anxiety around the coming of the Orthodox,” said Dr. Sarna, the Brandeis professor. “Jared in every way — his Orthodoxy, his Chabad ties, his views on Israel — symbolizes those changes.”

    Mr. Kushner is the scion of wealthy real-estate developers and his family has donated millions of dollars to the Jewish community, including through a foundation that gives to settlements in the West Bank. Mr. Kushner influenced the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy, to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and to shutter a Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington.

    “You’d be hard pressed to find a better supporter of Israel than Donald Trump and Jared plays a role in that,” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. Mr. Kushner is currently working on a Middle East peace plan expected to be rolled out in the coming months.

    Haim Saban, an entertainment magnate and pro-Israel Democrat, is optimistic about Mr. Kushner’s efforts. He said in an interview from his hotel in Israel that although he disagrees with some of Mr. Trump’s policies, “Jared and by extension the president understand the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel on multiple levels — security, intelligence, but most of all, shared values.”
    ADVERTISEMENT
    That embrace has only exacerbated tensions with secular Jews who overwhelmingly vote Democratic and oppose Mr. Trump. According to a 2018 survey by the American Jewish Committee, 41 percent of Jews said they strongly disagree with Mr. Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israeli relations and 71 percent had an overall unfavorable opinion of Mr. Trump. (In response to questions for this story, a White House press aide referred reporters to an Ami magazine poll of 263 Orthodox Jews in the tristate area published in August. Eighty-two percent said they would vote for President Trump in 2020.)

    “To wave a flag and say ‘Oh, he’s obviously pro-Jewish because he moved the embassy’ just absolutely ignores what we know to be a deeply alarming rise of anti-Semitism and all sorts of dog-whistling and enabling of the alt-right,” said Andy Bachman, a prominent progressive rabbi in New York.
    President Trump praying at the Western Wall.
    Credit
    Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

    Image

    President Trump praying at the Western Wall.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times
    In September, Mr. Kushner and his top advisers, Jason D. Greenblatt and Avi Berkowitz, hosted a private dinner at the Pierre Hotel on the Upper East Side. Over a kosher meal, Mr. Kushner, aware of concerns within the Jewish community that Israel policy had become an overly partisan issue, fielded the advice of a range of Jewish leaders, including hedge-fund billionaire and Republican donor Paul Singer and Mr. Saban, to craft his Middle East peace plan. “He called and said ’I’ll bring 10 Republicans and you bring 10 Democrats,’” Mr. Saban said.

    The undertaking will only bring more kvetching about Mr. Kushner. Indeed, some of Mr. Trump’s most ardent Jewish supporters have already expressed their displeasure at any deal that would require Israel to give up land.

    “I’m not happy with Jared promoting a peace deal that’s sending a message that we’re ready to ignore the horrors of the Palestinian regime,” said Morton A. Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America and a friend of Republican megadonor Sheldon G. Adelson.

    “But …” Mr. Klein added, as if self-aware of how other Jews will view his position, “I am a fanatical, pro-Israel Zionist.”
    Amy Chozick is a New York-based writer-at-large and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, writing about the personalities and power struggles in business, politics and media.

  • Top White House Official Involved in Saudi Sanctions Resigns - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/us/politics/trump-khashoggi-saudi-arabia.html

    A top White House official responsible for American policy toward Saudi Arabia resigned on Friday evening, a move that may suggest fractures inside the Trump administration over the response to the brutal killing of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

    The official, Kirsten Fontenrose, had pushed for tough measures against the Saudi government, and had been in Riyadh to discuss a raft of sanctions that the American government imposed in recent days against those identified as responsible for the killing, according to two people familiar with the conversations. Specifically, she advocated that Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, be added to the list, and he ultimately was.

    Mauvais timing pour le renvoi de cette fonctionnaire de la Maison blanche en charge du dossier saoudien et qui souhaitait apparemment des sanctions : cela vient juste au moment des fuites sur le rapport de la CIA mettant en cause #MBS et, par dessus le marché, une vidéo (totalement invérifiable) se met à circuler montrant des morceaux choisis (!) du démantèlement (https://twitter.com/mazmbc/status/1063753281099325440)

    #gore de gore #arabie_saoudite #grand_jeu

  • El Chapo Puts the Drug War on Trial
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/opinion/el-chapo-trial-drug-war.html

    In the years between Mr. Escobar’s death and Mr. Guzmán ’s trial, which began this week, the war on drugs has stumbled on. In terms of taking down kingpins and burning heaps of their narcotics, it has been a stunning success. It terms of reducing the number of Americans killed from overdoses or Latin Americans murdered over smuggling profits, it has been a resounding failure.

    #stupéfiants #santé #criminalité

  • Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-data-russia-election-racism.html

    En partie de la manière suivante,

    Matt Stoller sur Twitter : “#Facebook is an impressive company. They both went after our coalition group @FacebookBreakup as Soros-funded AND worked with the Anti-Defamation League to accuse us of anti-semitism. https://t.co/MGZLJZO6hv” / Twitter
    https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1062816375046135808

  • Opinion | New York’s Amazon Deal Is a Bad Bargain - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/opinion/new-yorks-amazon-deal.html

    The city has what the company wants, talent. Why pay them $1.5 billion to come?

    Amazon wants to develop a four-million-square-foot campus by the East River because of the talent that resides in New York. Lots of it. According to the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, New York has more than 320,000 tech workers in the labor pool, the most in the nation. (Washington is second.) That talent commands high salaries, great benefits and won’t move to Pittsburgh or Austin or any other of the perfectly nice cities that tried to woo the online giant.

    Which raises the question: If New York has what Amazon wants, why is it paying the company so much to make the move? Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who offered to replace his given name with the company’s to land the deal, are doing a victory dance.

    But the plan calls for the state to dispense $1.525 billion to the company, including $1.2 billion from its Excelsior program, which will reimburse Amazon $48,000 for every job. Another state agency, Empire State Development, will offer $325 million to the Amazonians tied to real estate projects. As for the city, Amazon can apply for tax credits that could be worth north of $1 billion from programs known as ICAP and REAP that reward companies for job creation generally, and outside Manhattan specifically. (And the campus is in a federal redevelopment area that qualifies for corporate tax breaks, letting the company’s major stockholder, the world’s richest man, keep more of his wealth.)

    Oh, and Amazon wants a helipad for its chief executive, Jeff Bezos. No problem.

    The prospect of handing Long Island City over to a company recently valued at $1 trillion seems distorted to some Queens politicians. They sense gentrification by fiat — another neighborhood sacrificed to the tech elite.

    “I welcome the jobs if it means Amazon investment in L.I.C. infrastructure, without us having to pay a ransom for them to be here,” said the neighborhood’s state senator, Michael Gianaris.

    That is, rather than the state and the city paying off Amazon, Amazon should be required to invest in the subways, schools and affordable housing. It could also be required to include job guarantees for lower-income residents of Long Island City, not just flimsy promises of job training.

    #Amazon #New_York #Strategie_economique

  • Delay, Deny and Deflect : How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-data-russia-election-racism.html

    Sheryl Sandberg was seething. Inside Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, top executives gathered in the glass-walled conference room of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. It was September 2017, more than a year after Facebook engineers discovered suspicious Russia-linked activity on its site, an early warning of the Kremlin campaign to disrupt the 2016 American election. Congressional and federal investigators were closing in on evidence that would implicate the company. But it wasn’t (...)

    #CambridgeAnalytica #Facebook #élections #manipulation #données #BigData #lobbying

  • How Facebook Wrestled With Scandal : 6 Key Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-crisis-mark-zuckerberg-sheryl-sandberg.html

    For more than a year, Facebook has endured cascading crises — over Russian misinformation, data privacy and abusive content — that transformed the Silicon Valley icon into an embattled giant accused of corporate overreach and negligence. An investigation by The New York Times revealed how Facebook fought back against its critics : with delays, denials and a full-bore campaign in Washington. Here are six takeaways. Facebook knew about Russian interference In fall 2016, Mark Zuckerberg, (...)

    #CambridgeAnalytica #Facebook #élections #manipulation #données #BigData #lobbying

  • Behind a Saudi Prince’s Rise, Two Loyal Enforcers - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-crown-prince-loyalists.html

    When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia convened an outdoor banquet this spring for his fellow Arab rulers, seated among the kings, princes and presidents were two friends with few qualifications other than their closeness to the young prince himself: a poet who has become known for orchestrating ferocious social media campaigns, and a former security guard who runs the Saudi sports commission.

    The two men had each played pivotal roles in many of the brazen power plays that have marked Prince Mohammed’s sprint to dominance of the kingdom — the ouster of the previous crown prince, the detentions of royals and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, the kidnapping of the Lebanese prime minister, and the kingdom’s diplomatic spats with Qatar and Canada. Even Saudi royals have come to fear the prince’s two friends — Saud el-Qahtani, 40, and Turki al-Sheikh, 37 — and the Arab potentates around the table could scarcely object to their presence.

    Lampistes ? #mbs #khashoggi

  • ‘Tell Your Boss’: Recording Is Seen to Link Saudi Crown Prince More Strongly to Khashoggi Killing - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/12/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-killing-saudi-arabia.html

    The recording, shared last month with the C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, is seen by intelligence officials as some of the strongest evidence linking Prince Mohammed to the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist whose death prompted an international outcry.

    While the prince was not mentioned by name, American intelligence officials believe “your boss” was a reference to Prince Mohammed. Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of 15 Saudis dispatched to Istanbul to confront Mr. Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate there, made the phone call and spoke in Arabic, the people said.

    Turkish intelligence officers have told American officials they believe that Mr. Mutreb, a security officer who frequently traveled with Prince Mohammed, was speaking to one of the prince’s aides. While translations of the Arabic may differ, the people briefed on the call said Mr. Mutreb also said to the aide words to the effect of “the deed was done.”

    “A phone call like that is about as close to a smoking gun as you are going to get,” said Bruce O. Riedel, a former C.I.A. officer now at the Brookings Institution. “It is pretty incriminating evidence.”

    #mbs #khashoggi

  • Peer Review: The Worst Way to Judge Research, Except for All the Others - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/upshot/peer-review-the-worst-way-to-judge-research-except-for-all-the-others.html

    A 1982 paper describes a study in which two researchers selected 12 articles already accepted by highly regarded journals, swapped the real names and academic affiliations for false ones, and resubmitted the identical material to the same journals that had already accepted them in the previous 18 to 32 months. Only 8 percent of editors or reviewers noticed the duplication, and three papers were detected and pulled. Of the nine papers that continued through the review process, eight were turned down, with 89 percent of reviewers recommending rejection.

    #publications

  • Opinion | Be Afraid of Economic ‘Bigness.’ Be Very Afraid. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/opinion/sunday/fascism-economy-monopoly.html

    In the aftermath of the Second World War, an urgent question presented itself: How can we prevent the rise of fascism from happening again? If over the years that question became one of mostly historical interest, it has again become pressing, with the growing success of populist, nationalist and even neofascist movements all around the world.

    Common answers to the question stress the importance of a free press, the rule of law, stable government, robust civic institutions and common decency. But as undoubtedly important as these factors are, we too often overlook something else: the threat to democracy posed by monopoly and excessive corporate concentration — what the Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis called the “curse of bigness.” We must not forget the economic origins of fascism, lest we risk repeating the most calamitous error of the 20th century.

    #concentration #économie #fascisme

  • Opinion | Who’s the Real American Psycho? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/opinion/sunday/dick-cheney-donald-trump-vice-movie.html

    Par #Maureen_Dowd

    Even for Washington, the capital of do-overs and the soulless swamp where horrendous mistakes never prevent you from cashing in and getting another security clearance, this is a repellent spectacle. War criminals-turned-liberal heroes are festooned with book and TV contracts, podcasts and op-ed perches.

    Those who sold us the “cakewalk” Iraq war and the outrageously unprepared Sarah Palin and torture as “enhanced interrogation,” those who left the Middle East shattered with a cascading refugee crisis and a rising ISIS, and those who midwifed the birth of the Tea Party are washing away their sins in a basin of Trump hate.

    #criminels #etats-unis