• A Secret Recording Reveals Oil Executives’ Private Views on Climate Change - The New York Times

    Last summer, oil and gas-industry groups were lobbying to overturn federal rules on leaks of natural gas, a major contributor to climate change. Their message: The companies had emissions under control.

    In private, the lobbyists were saying something very different.

    At a discussion convened last year by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, a group that represents energy companies, participants worried that producers were intentionally flaring, or burning off, far too much natural gas, threatening the industry’s image, according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The New York Times.

    “We’re just flaring a tremendous amount of gas,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, at the June 2019 gathering, held in Colorado Springs. “This pesky natural gas,” he said. “The value of it is very minimal,” particularly to companies drilling mainly for oil.

    #méthane #climat #gaz #énergie #mensonges

  • Cleaners Demand Harassment Safeguards From the Booking Service Handy

    Workers for a home services company say they face sexual harassment and unfair fees. A civil rights group is asking California regulators to step in. BERKELEY, Calif. — It was supposed to be just another routine job for Patti Cris, who in early 2018 was a contract worker for the home services booking site Handy. She got the key for the San Jose apartment she was scheduled to clean while its occupant was gone, and remembers knocking twice and announcing herself, just to make sure. But when (...)

    #GigEconomy #harcèlement #santé #travail


  • Opinion | When Algorithms Give Real Students Imaginary Grades

    In-person final exams were canceled for thousands of students this spring, so computers stepped in — to disastrous effect. Isabel Castañeda’s first words were in Spanish. She spends every summer with relatives in Mexico. She speaks Spanish with her family at home. When her school, Westminster High in Colorado, closed for the pandemic in March, her Spanish literature class had just finished analyzing an entire novel in translation, Albert Camus’s “The Plague.” She got a 5 out of 5 on her Advanced (...)

    #algorithme #racisme #biais #discrimination #enseignement #pauvreté


  • Court Approves Warrantless Surveillance Rules While Scolding F.B.I.

    The release of a newly declassified ruling follows a separate decision by an appeals court that a defunct National Security Agency program was illegal. WASHINGTON — The nation’s surveillance court found that the F.B.I. had committed “widespread violations” of rules intended to protect Americans’ privacy when analysts search through a repository of emails gathered without a warrant, but it nevertheless signed off on another year of the program, according to a newly declassified ruling. The (...)

    #Google #NSA #FBI #AT&T #procès #législation #écoutes #FISA #PatriotAct #PRISM #surveillance


  • Opinion | Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Is the Most Powerful Unelected Man in America - The New York Times

    On Thursday, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the company’s “New Steps to Protect the U.S. Elections.” They include blocking new political ads in the week leading up to Election Day and attaching labels to posts containing misinformation, specifically related to the coronavirus and posts from politicians declaring victory before all the results are counted.

    One can — and many will — debate just how effective these measures will be at preventing election night chaos during a pandemic. (So far Facebook’s “misleading post” labels are vague to the point of causing additional confusion for voters. Similarly, blocking new political ads one week out from the vote ignores the vast amounts of disinformation Americans are subjected to year after year.) But what seems beyond debate is just how deeply Facebook has woven itself into the fabric of democracy.

    “I think we underestimate Facebook’s power constantly,” Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, told me. “It’s really hard for human beings to picture in their head the actual size and influence of the platform. Something like one out of three people use the thing — it’s like nothing we’ve encountered in human history. And I’m not sure Mark Zuckerberg is even willing to contemplate his influence. I’m not sure he’d ever sleep if he ever thought about how much power he has.”

    Facebook wins in every direction. Its size and power creates instability, the answer to which, according to Facebook, is to give the company additional authority.

    This cycle is unsustainable. This summer has shown that the platform has been a prime vector for the most destabilizing forces in American life. It has helped supercharge conspiracies around the dangerous QAnon movement. It has provided organization for, and amplified calls to action from, militia movements, which have been linked to deaths in U.S. cities at protests. Its moderation policies have failed to catch blatant rule violations around voter disenfranchisement, and the conspiracy theories that go viral on the platform have found their way, time and again, to President Trump’s mouth.

    #Facebook #Politique #Responsabilité

  • Forget TikTok. China’s Powerhouse App Is WeChat. - The New York Times

    Ms. Li said. “It felt like if I only watched Chinese media, all of my thoughts would be different.”

    Ms. Li had little choice but to take the bad with the good. Built to be everything for everyone, WeChat is indispensable.

    For most Chinese people in China, WeChat is a sort of all-in-one app: a way to swap stories, talk to old classmates, pay bills, coordinate with co-workers, post envy-inducing vacation photos, buy stuff and get news. For the millions of members of China’s diaspora, it is the bridge that links them to the trappings of home, from family chatter to food photos.

    Woven through it all is the ever more muscular surveillance and propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party. As WeChat has become ubiquitous, it has become a powerful tool of social control, a way for Chinese authorities to guide and police what people say, whom they talk to and what they read.

    As a cornerstone of China’s surveillance state, WeChat is now considered a national security threat in the United States. The Trump administration has proposed banning WeChat outright, along with the Chinese short video app TikTok. Overnight, two of China’s biggest internet innovations became a new front in the sprawling tech standoff between China and the United States.

    While the two apps are lumped in the same category by the Trump administration, they represent two distinct approaches to the Great Firewall that blocks Chinese access to foreign websites.

    The hipper, better-known TikTok was designed for the wild world outside of China’s cloistering censorship; it exists only beyond China’s borders. By hiving off an independent app to win over global users, TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, created the best bet any Chinese start-up has had to compete with the internet giants in the West. The separation of TikTok from its cousin apps in China, along with deep popularity, has fed corporate campaigns in the United States to save it, even as Beijing potentially upended any deals by labeling its core technology a national security priority.

    Though WeChat has different rules for users inside and outside of China, it remains a single, unified social network spanning China’s Great Firewall. In that sense, it has helped bring Chinese censorship to the world. A ban would cut dead millions of conversations between family and friends, a reason one group has filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration’s efforts. It would also be an easy victory for American policymakers seeking to push back against China’s techno-authoritarian overreach.

    WeChat started out as a simple copycat. Its parent, the Chinese internet giant Tencent, had built an enormous user base on a chat app designed for personal computers. But a new generation of mobile chat apps threatened to upset its hold over the way young Chinese talked to one another.

    The visionary Tencent engineer Allen Zhang fired off a message to the company founder, Pony Ma, concerned that they weren’t keeping up. The missive led to a new mandate, and Mr. Zhang fashioned a digital Swiss Army knife that became a necessity for daily life in China. WeChat piggybacked on the popularity of the other online platforms run by Tencent, combining payments, e-commerce and social media into a single service.

    It became a hit, eventually eclipsing the apps that inspired WeChat. And Tencent, which made billions in profits from the online games piped into its disparate platforms, now had a way to make money off nearly every aspect of a person’s digital identity — by serving ads, selling stuff, processing payments and facilitating services like food delivery.

    While the Chinese government could use any chat app, WeChat has advantages. Police know well its surveillance capabilities. Within China most accounts are linked to the real identity of users.

    Ms. Li was late to the WeChat party. Away in Toronto when it exploded in popularity, she joined only in 2013, after her sister’s repeated urging.

    It opened up a new world for her. Not in China, but in Canada.

    She found people nearby similar to her. Many of her Chinese friends were on it. They found restaurants nearly as good as those at home and explored the city together. One public account set up by a Chinese immigrant organized activities. It kindled more than a few romances. “It was incredibly fun to be on WeChat,” she recalled.

    Now the app reminds her of jail. During questioning, police told her that a surveillance system, which they called Skynet, flagged the link she shared. Sharing a name with the A.I. from the Terminator movies, Skynet is a real-life techno-policing system, one of several Beijing has spent billions to create.

    Wary of falling into automated traps, Ms. Li now writes with typos. Instead of referring directly to police, she uses a pun she invented, calling them golden forks. She no longer shares links from news sites outside of WeChat and holds back her inclination to talk politics.

    Still, to be free she would have to delete WeChat, and she can’t do that. As the coronavirus crisis struck China, her family used it to coordinate food orders during lockdowns. She also needs a local government health code featured on the app to use public transport or enter stores.

    “I want to switch to other chat apps, but there’s no way,” she said.

    “If there were a real alternative I would change, but WeChat is terrible because there is no alternative. It’s too closely tied to life. For shopping, paying, for work, you have to use it,” she said. “If you jump to another app, then you are alone.”

    #WeChat #Chine #Surveillance #Médias_sociaux

  • Opinion | Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Is the Most Powerful Unelected Man in America

    Facebook is too big for democracy. On Thursday, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the company’s “New Steps to Protect the U.S. Elections.” They include blocking new political ads in the week leading up to Election Day and attaching labels to posts containing misinformation, specifically related to the coronavirus and posts from politicians declaring victory before all the results are counted. One can — and many will — debate just how effective these measures will be at (...)

    #manipulation #domination #élections

  • A Coded Word From the Far Right Roils France’s Political Mainstream - The New York Times

    The word “ensauvagement” has been a favorite dog whistle of France’s far right in recent years, used to suggest that the nation is turning savage. With its colonial and racist overtones, it has been wielded in discussion of immigration and crime to sound alarms that France is being transformed into a dangerous, uncivilized place, stripped of its traditional values.

    “Behind it, there is an underlying imaginary world, with savages on one side and civilized humanity on the other,” said Cécile Alduy, a French expert on the political use of language who teaches at Stanford University.

    So it did not go unnoticed this week when sitting ministers of President Emmanuel Macron’s government started throwing around the word themselves, arguing forcefully that talk of France’s “ensauvagement” was legitimate.

  • ‘It’s a Joy for Me to Bury Them’: A Quest to Honor Migrant Dead - The New York Times

    Boubacar Wann Diallo is devoted to determining the names and origins of corpses that wash up on Morocco’s shores and to giving them a decent final resting place.

  • Your #Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be. - The New York Times

    Au lieu d’éliminer les #asymptomatiques de la sélection des sujets testés, les experts interrogés sont en faveur de l’utilisation de tests de détection d’#antigènes viraux, qui sont moins sensibles que les tests PCR (mais pouvant être très spécifiques https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/antigen-tests-guidelines.html), en partant du principe qu’en-dessous d’une certaine #charge_virale on aurait peu de chances d’être contagieux.

    Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

    Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time. But researchers say the solution is not to test less, or to skip testing people without symptoms, as recently suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Instead, new data underscore the need for more widespread use of rapid tests, even if they are less sensitive.

    “The decision not to test asymptomatic people is just really backward,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, referring to the C.D.C. recommendation.

    “In fact, we should be ramping up testing of all different people,” he said, “but we have to do it through whole different mechanisms.”

    #covid-19 #contagiosité #sars-cov2 #transmission

  • Why Does Walmart Want to Buy TikTok? - The New York Times

    Walmart’s late entry this week into the scramble to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations left some people with a question.

    Two questions, actually:

    Walmart? Really?

    But the proposed teaming up of the giant retailer and Microsoft to run the video app in the United States makes more sense in light of the direction TikTok’s owner has taken its sibling app in China, its home country.

    That version of the app, Douyin, which works much like TikTok but is available only in China, has become not only a platform for goofy videos but also an e-commerce destination with the kind of reach among young buyers that Walmart would love to have.

    The Chinese social media giant that runs both apps, ByteDance, began testing e-commerce features on Douyin in 2018. That was well before the company rolled out a “Shop Now” button on TikTok in recent months that redirects users to shopping sites.

    Smartphone users in China have taken, in a big way, to buying things while they watch people hawk the products — think QVC and late-night television infomercials reinvented for the mobile age. Chinese e-commerce platforms have for years been adding livestreaming to their apps, and video apps have been adding shopping functions. In all, $140 billion in merchandise could be sold in China this year via livestreaming, more than double last year’s amount, according to estimates by the research firm Bernstein.

    The sheer size of the Chinese consumer market has created a vast field for retail experiments of other kinds as well. One of the country’s newest e-commerce giants, Pinduoduo, has turned internet shopping into something more like a surreal video game. For Pinduoduo’s fans, the process of stumbling across strange new products, at ludicrously low prices, is a big part of the experience. Actually receiving those products is almost secondary. Currently, nearly 570 million people use Pinduoduo’s app every month.

    #TikTok #Commerce_electronique #Wallmart

  • When Covid-19 Hit, Many Elderly Were Left to Die - The New York Times

    Few countries embody this lethally ineffective pandemic response more than Belgium, where government officials excluded nursing-home patients from the testing policy until thousands were already dead. Nursing homes were left waiting for proper masks and gowns. — Permalien

    #belgique #covid19

  • Border Officials Weighed Deploying Migrant ‘Heat Ray’ Ahead of Midterms - The New York Times

    “The public health necessity and the economic necessity of controlling immigration has placed the view of the Democrat left even more radically outside the pale of mainstream American thought,” Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s immigration policies, said this week in an interview. The president tweeted last month that “the Radical Left Democrats want Open Borders for anyone, including many criminals, to come in!” Mr. Biden’s campaign said such false attacks would be as politically ineffective as they were in 2018, long before the coronavirus and economic recession.“Doubling down on divisive poison says one thing to voters: that even after all his devastating failed leadership has cost us — and even though Joe Biden has been showing him the way for months — Donald Trump still has no strategy for overcoming the pandemic, the overwhelming priority for the American people,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign. Mr. Biden has not called for “open borders” or embraced getting rid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as some on the Democratic left flank have sought. He has said he would roll back Mr. Trump’s immigration policies, promising to restore asylum rules, end separation of migrant families at the border, reverse limits on legal immigration and impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations.


  • How Zeynep Tufekci Keeps Getting the Big Things Right - The New York Times

    Ms. Tufekci, a computer programmer who became a sociologist, sounded an early alarm on the need for protective masks. It wasn’t the first time she was right about something big.

    In recent years, many public voices have gotten the big things wrong — election forecasts, the effects of digital media on American politics, the risk of a pandemic. Ms. Tufekci, a 40-something who speaks a mile a minute with a light Turkish accent, has none of the trappings of the celebrity academic or the professional pundit. But long before she became perhaps the only good amateur epidemiologist, she had quietly made a habit of being right on the big things.

    In 2011, she went against the current to say the case for Twitter as a driver of broad social movements had been oversimplified. In 2012, she warned news media outlets that their coverage of school shootings could inspire more. In 2013, she argued that Facebook could fuel ethnic cleansing. In 2017, she warned that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm could be used as a tool of radicalization.

    And when it came to the pandemic, she sounded the alarm early while also fighting to keep parks and beaches open.

    “I’ve just been struck by how right she has been,” said Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School.

    I was curious to know how Ms. Tufekci had gotten so many things right in a confusing time, so we spoke last week over FaceTime. She told me she chalks up her habits of mind in part to a childhood she wouldn’t wish on anyone.

    Add those things to a skill at moving journalism and policy through a kind of inside game, and Ms. Tufekci has had a remarkable impact. But it began, she says, with growing up in an unhappy home in Istanbul. She said her alcoholic mother was liable to toss her into the street in the early hours of the morning. She found some solace in science fiction — Ursula K. Le Guin was a favorite — and in the optimistic, early internet.

    In the mid-1990s, still a teenager, she moved out. Soon she found a job nearby as a programmer for IBM. She was an office misfit, a casually dressed young woman among the suits, but she fell in love with the company’s internal bulletin board. She liked it that a colleague in Japan wouldn’t know her age or gender when she asked a technical question.

    She stumbled onto the wellspring of her career when she discovered an email list, the Zapatista Solidarity Network, centered on Indigenous activists in southern Mexico who had taken up arms against neoliberalism in general and land privatization imposed by the North American Free Trade Agreement in particular. For Ms. Tufekci, the network provided a community of digital friends and intellectual sparring partners.

    Je suis pleinement d’accord avec cette analyse. Le 1 janvier 1994, à San Cristobal de Las casas, un nouveau monde militant naissait. Nous en mangeons encore les fruits.

    Ms. Tufekci is the only person I’ve ever spoken with who believes that the modern age began with Zapatista Solidarity. For her, it was a first flicker of the “bottom-up globalization” that she sees as the shadow of capitalism’s glossy spread. She claims that her theory has nothing to do with how the movement affected her personally.

    While many American thinkers were wide-eyed about the revolutionary potential of social media, she developed a more complex view, one she expressed when she found herself sitting to the left of Teddy Goff, the digital director for President Obama’s re-election campaign, at a South by Southwest panel in Austin in 2012.

    Mr. Goff was enthusing about the campaign’s ability to send different messages to individual voters based on the digital data it had gathered about them. Ms. Tufekci quickly objected to the practice, saying that microtargeting would more likely be used to sow division.

    More than four years later, after Donald J. Trump won the 2016 election, Mr. Goff sent Ms. Tufekci a note saying she had been right.

    “At a time when everybody was being stupidly optimistic about the potential of the internet, she didn’t buy the hype,” he told me. “She was very prescient in seeing that there would be a deeper rot to the role of data-driven politics in our world.”

    That optimism is part of what got her into the literature of pandemics. Ms. Tufekci has taught epidemiology as a way to introduce her students to globalization and to make a point about human nature: Politicians and the news media often expect looting and crime when disaster strikes, as they did when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. But the reality on the ground has more to do with communal acts of generosity and kindness, she believes.

    Public health officials seem to have had an ulterior motive when they told citizens that masks were useless: They were trying to stave off a run on protective gear that could have made it unavailable for the health care workers who needed it. Ms. Tufekci’s faith in human nature has led her to believe that the government should have trusted citizens enough to level with them, rather than jeopardize its credibility with recommendations it would later overturn.

    “They didn’t trust us to tell the truth on masks,” she said. “We think of society as this Hobbesian thing, as opposed to the reality where most people are very friendly, most people are prone to solidarity.”

    Now I find myself wondering: What is she right about now? And what are the rest of us wrong about?

    An area where she might be ahead of the pack is the effects of social media on society. It’s a debate she views as worryingly binary, detached from plausible solutions, with journalists homing in on the personal morality of tech heads like Mark Zuckerberg as they assume the role of mall cops for the platforms they cover.

    “The real question is not whether Zuck is doing what I like or not,” she said. “The real question is why he’s getting to decide what hate speech is.”

    She also suggested that we may get it wrong when we focus on individuals — on chief executives, on social media activists like her. The probable answer to a media environment that amplifies false reports and hate speech, she believes, is the return of functional governments, along with the birth of a new framework, however imperfect, that will hold the digital platforms responsible for what they host.

    #Zeynep_Tufekci #Portrait #Epidémiologie #Sociologie

  • #COVID-19 : des chercheurs disent avoir découvert un premier cas de #réinfection | JDM

    « Ce n’est pas un motif pour s’alarmer : cela illustre à merveille la façon dont l’#immunité devrait fonctionner », a quant à elle souligné sur Twitter la Dre Akiko Iwasaki, spécialiste de l’immunité à l’université Yale.

    « La seconde infection était asymptomatique. Si l’immunité n’a pas été suffisante pour empêcher la réinfection, elle a protégé cette personne contre la maladie », a-t-elle développé.

    « Puisqu’une réinfection peut se produire, il est improbable que l’immunité collective acquise par les infections naturelles suffise à éliminer le SARS-CoV-2 . La seule manière d’aboutir à une immunité collective est la #vaccination », a-t-elle conclu.

    • Coronavirus. Des cas de réinfection signalés en Belgique et aux Pays-Bas

      Pour confirmer qu’il s’agit d’une véritable recontamination, des tests génétiques sont nécessaires pour déterminer si la première et la seconde infection ont éventuellement été provoquées par des souches différentes du virus. Que des cas de réinfection émergent, cela ne m’inquiète pas, a souligné Marion Koopmans. Nous devons voir si cela arrive souvent, a-t-elle ajouté.

      Aucun commentaire n’a pu être obtenu dans l’immédiat auprès du ministère néerlandais de la Santé.

      « Ce n’est pas une bonne nouvelle »

      En ce qui concerne le patient belge, le virologue Marc Van Ranst a précisé à la télévision publique belge VRT qu’il s’agissait d’une femme ayant été contaminée une première fois en mars, puis une seconde fois en juin.

      Je pense que dans les prochains jours nous verrons d’autres histoires comparables […] Il pourrait s’agir d’exceptions, mais ces cas existent et il n’y en a pas qu’un, a-t-il dit en jugeant que ce n’est pas une bonne nouvelle.

      Marc Van Ranst a expliqué que, dans le cas de la patiente belge, qui présentait des symptômes légers de Covid-19, les anticorps développés après l’infection initiale pourraient être insuffisants pour prévenir une nouvelle contamination par une souche légèrement différente du virus mais pourraient malgré tout contribuer à limiter la sévérité des symptômes.

    • Covid-19 News: Live Updates - The New York Times
      A Nevada lab confirmed the first coronavirus reinfection in the U.S., a case that included severe symptoms.

      A public health laboratory in Nevada has reported the first confirmed coronavirus reinfection in the United States, and the first in the world known to have brought on severe symptoms.

      The first three confirmed reinfections in the world were reported this week, one in Hong Kong and two in Europe, all mild.

      Reinfection does not surprise researchers, given the millions of cases around the world, but it is not yet clear if such cases — particularly severe ones — are anomalies or will prove common.

      The patient is a 25-year-old man in Reno who apparently experienced a second bout of infection just 48 days after his first, according to health officials in Nevada.

      Experts have said that even low levels of antibodies and T cells in response to infection should last for a few months and provide some protection against the virus, which appears to have been borne out in the other confirmed reinfections.

      The patient in Nevada had a sore throat, cough, nausea and diarrhea starting on March 25. He tested positive on April 18, recovered by April 27, and tested negative twice. He began to feel unwell again on May 28, and three days later sought help for a similar set of symptoms.

      He was hospitalized on June 5 for shortness of breath and needed oxygen; an X-ray showed the “ground-glass opacities” typical of Covid-19.

      Researchers genetically sequenced the viruses from each bout, and found they were too different to be accounted for by an extended first illness. The findings have been submitted for consideration to the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

      Mark Pandori, the director of Nevada’s state lab, said it wasn’t clear why the second bout was more severe. “There may be a biological reason for that, but we can’t sure at this time,” he said.

      The researchers did not test the man for antibodies after the first illness, but found that he had them after the second.

      Some experts said the severe symptoms could mean that the patient had not developed antibodies after the first infection, or that his immune response was overpowered by a massive dose of virus the second time. It is also possible that he suffered antibody-dependent enhancement, in which the immune response may worsen symptoms on a second encounter.

      The findings highlight the need for widespread testing and viral sequencing, said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York who was not involved in the work. “You really are going to need to look at a lot of these cases to try to start to narrow down which hypothesis is probably right,” she said.

    • Several have been reinfected with Covid-19. Here’s what that means

      It’s possible that these early cases of reinfection are outliers and have features that won’t apply to the tens of millions of other people who have already shaken off Covid-19.


      “The most important question for reinfection, with the most serious implications for controlling the pandemic, is whether reinfected people can transmit the virus to others,” Columbia University virologist Angela Rasmussen wrote in Slate this week.

      Unfortunately, neither the Hong Kong nor the Reno studies looked at this question. But if most people who get reinfected don’t spread the virus, that’s obviously good news.


      A crucial question for which there is not an answer yet is whether what happened to the man in Reno, where the second case was more severe than the first, remains a rare occurrence, as researchers expect and hope. As the Nevada researchers wrote, “the generalizability of this finding is unknown.”

  • Covid Limits California’s Efforts to Fight Wildfires With Prison Labor - The New York Times

    Prisoners have helped California fight fires for decades, playing a crucial role in containing the blazes striking the state with more frequency and ferocity in recent years.

    This past week, though, Mr. Martin and hundreds of other inmate firefighters were absent from the fire lines. They had already gone home, part of an early release program initiated by Gov. Gavin Newsom to protect them from the coronavirus.

    That has highlighted the state’s dependence on prisoners in its firefighting force and complicated its battle against almost 600 fires, many which continued burning across Northern California on Saturday. Experts worry that dry thunderstorms forecast to begin on Sunday could wreak more havoc, further stretching the resources needed to fight what are now the second- and third-largest fires in modern state history.

    To critics the prison program is a cheap and exploitative salve, one that should be replaced with proper public investment in firefighting; to others it is an essential part of the state’s response to what has become an annual wildfire crisis. Some have complained that participants were released just when the state needed them most.

  • Tu croyais que les fadaises d’Agamben en février, c’était terminé. Nope: the New York Times remet une pièce dans la machine.

    Opinion | Giorgio Agamben, the Philosopher Trying to Explain the Coronavirus

    In late February, Mr. Agamben began using the website of his publisher, Quodlibet, to criticize the “techno-medical despotism” that the Italian government was putting in place through quarantines and closings.


    In fact, “the threshold that separates humanity from barbarism has been crossed,” Mr. Agamben continues, and the proof is in Italians’ treatment of their dead. “How could we have accepted, in the name of a risk that we couldn’t even quantify, not only that the people who are dear to us, and human beings more generally, should have to die alone but also — and this is something that had never happened before in all of history from Antigone to today — that their corpses should be burned without a funeral?”

    Vraiment, au NY Times, on en est encore à imprimer des choses telles que: «in the name of a risk that we couldn’t even quantify»?

  • Kamala Harris’s Big Tech Connections

    Silicon Valley has enthusiastically backed Ms. Harris since she first ran for state attorney general in California a decade ago. When Kamala Harris, then San Francisco’s district attorney, was running to become California’s attorney general in 2010, she did not hide her excitement about speaking at Google’s Silicon Valley campus. “I’ve been wanting to come to the Google campus for a year and a half,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to come because I want these relationships and I want to cultivate (...)

    #élections #GAFAM #lobbying

  • Grève des soignants au Kenya pour protester contre le détournement de 500 millions $ destinés à pallier un manque d’équipements de protection qui multiplie les taux d’infections.

    NEW YORK TIMES, NAIROBI, Kenya — Doctors in public hospitals say they have not been paid, some for as long as six months. They’re furious that they’ve been given faulty protective gear, or none at all. Hundreds of government health workers have fallen sick with the coronavirus, and yet many say their medical insurance was cut in July, just when hospitals became overwhelmed with cases.

    The situation in Kenya’s public hospitals is so dire that thousands of doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians in at least three counties walked off the job this month. On Friday, they were joined by more than 300 doctors working in 20 public facilities in Nairobi, the country’s capital, and thousands more across the country are threatening to strike in September if their demands are not met.

    The crisis comes as infections are surging, particularly in cities like Nairobi, and intensive care units in hospitals are filling up with coronavirus patients. The pandemic is now straining medical workers to the breaking point in a country known for having one of the better health care systems in Africa, experts say.(...)


  • Trump on QAnon Followers: ’These Are People That Love Our Country’ - The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday offered encouragement to proponents of QAnon, a viral conspiracy theory that has gained a widespread following among people who believe the president is secretly battling a criminal band of sex traffickers, and suggested that its proponents were patriots upset with unrest in Democratic cities.

    “I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” Mr. Trump said during a White House news conference ostensibly about the coronavirus. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.”

    “Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?” the president said lightly, responding to a reporter who asked if he could support that theory. “If I can help save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”

    Mr. Trump’s cavalier response was a remarkable public expression of support for conspiracy theorists who have operated in the darkest corners of the internet and have at times been charged with domestic terrorism and planned kidnapping.

    “QAnon conspiracy theorists spread disinformation and foster a climate of extremism and paranoia, which in some cases has led to violence. Condemning this movement should not be difficult,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. “It’s downright dangerous when a leader not only refuses to do so, but also wonders whether what they are doing is ‘a good thing.’”

    QAnon is a larger and many-tentacled version of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton was operating a child sex-trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant. In December 2016, a man who said he was on the hunt for proof of child abuse was arrested after firing a rifle inside the restaurant.

    QAnon supporters often flood social media pages with memes and YouTube videos that target well-known figures — like Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and the actor Tom Hanks — with unfounded claims about their links to child abuse. Lately, activists have used anti-child-trafficking hashtags as a recruitment tool.

    “It’s not just a conspiracy theory, this is a domestic extremist movement,” said Travis View, a host of “QAnon Anonymous,” a podcast that seeks to explain the movement. Mr. View said that Twitter and Facebook pages exploded with comments from gleeful followers after Mr. Trump’s comments.

    Mr. View pointed out that the president answered the question by supporting the central premise of the QAnon theory — that he is battling a cabal of left-wing pedophiles — rather than addressing the lack of evidence behind the movement.

    In recent weeks, platforms including Twitter and Facebook have rushed to dismantle a mushrooming number of QAnon-related accounts and fan pages, a move that people who study the movement say is too little and too late. On Wednesday, after a record amount of QAnon-related growth on the site, Facebook said it removed 790 QAnon groups and was restricting another 1,950 groups, 440 pages and more than 10,000 Instagram accounts.

    On Facebook alone, activity on some of the largest QAnon groups rose 200 to 300 percent in the past six months, according to data gathered by The New York Times.

    “We have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior,” Facebook said in a statement, adding that it would also block QAnon hashtags like #digitalarmy and #thestorm.

    But the movement made the jump from social media long ago: With dozens of QAnon supporters running this year for Congress — including several who have won Republican primaries in Oregon and Georgia — QAnon is knocking on the door of mainstream politics, and has done so with the president’s help.

    For his part, the president has often reposted QAnon-centric content into his Twitter feed. And QAnon followers have long interpreted messages from Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, as promoting tongue-in-cheek symbols associated with the movement.

    “I’m not surprised at all by his reaction, and I don’t think QAnon conspirators are surprised either. It’s terrifying,” Vanessa Bouché, an associate professor of political science at Texas Christian University, said in an interview. “In a democratic society, we make decisions based on information. And if people are believing these lies, then we’re in a very dangerous position.”

    #Qanon #Trump #Fake_news #Culture_numérique #Mèmes #Extrême_droite