city:washington, dc

  • The Museum of the Palestinian People: ’We want our story told not just once, not as an event, but over and over again’
    Bridey Heing - June 24, 2019

    https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/art/the-museum-of-the-palestinian-people-we-want-our-story-told-not-just-onc

    The Museum of the Palestinian People opened its doors in Washington, DC, earlier this month. The museum is a first in the city and is dedicated to telling the stories of the people of Palestine, fostering a conversation about what it means to be Palestinian and nurturing a better understanding of an identity that remains highly politicised and largely obscured in the West.

    “It’s a museum where people get introduced to the Palestinian story and Palestinians as a people, not as a news item,” says Nizar Farsakh, chairman of the museum. Farsakh, who has advised Palestinian leaders, became involved with the project after meeting with founder and director Bshara Nassar. (...)

  • “CDU-Zerstörer” Rezo: Es kamen “Diskreditierung, Lügen, Trump-Wordings und keine inhaltliche Auseinandersetzung” | Telepolis
    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/CDU-Zerstoerer-Rezo-Es-kamen-Diskreditierung-Luegen-Trump-Wordings-und-keine-i

    Ce youtubeur prouve que les chrétiens-démocrates allemands sont coupables de tous les crimes et par leur incompétence et par la collaboration avec le crime organisé. Ce jeune homme est tellement populaire que la droite est obligée de réagir.

    Selten hat ein politisches Video in Deutschland ein so großes Echo bei Jugendlichen gefunden: Youtuber Rezo „zerstört“ die CDU.

    Les sources : https://www.youtube.com/redirect?event=video_description&v=4Y1lZQsyuSQ&q=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.

    Hier sind alle Quellen vom CDU-Video. Hoffe es ist alles korrekt übertragen. Falls irgendwo ein Flüchtigkeitsfehler drin ist oder so, schreib mir gern auf den verschiedenen Socialmedia Plattformen :)

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    Zusammenfassung:
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    [K99] https://youtu.be/OAoPkVfeTo0?t=972

    [L1]https://www.cdu.de/sites/default/files/media/dokumente/regierungsprogramm-2013-2017-langfassung-20130911.pdf

    [L2]https://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2014-07/bundestag-mindestlohn-entscheidung

    [L3]https://www.cdu.de/system/tdf/media/dokumente/071203-beschluss-grundsatzprogramm-6-navigierbar_1.pdf?file=1&type=field_collect

    [L4]https://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/freiwilligendienst-geplant-bundestag-beschliesst-das-ende-der-wehrpflicht/3985968.html?ticket=ST-1588365-InGS3BXc1Q4ycXsDsZeC-ap2

    [L5]https://www.cdu.de/system/tdf/media/dokumente/071203-beschluss-grundsatzprogramm-6-navigierbar_1.pdf?file=1&type=field_collect

    [L6]https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article13460039/Bundestag-beschliesst-Atomausstieg-bis-2022.html

    [L7]https://www.gew.de/aktuelles/detailseite/neuigkeiten/wie-deutschland-bei-der-bildung-abschneidet

    [L8]https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/angela-merkel-falsche-versprechungen-ueberlasse-ich-schroeder-1.309069-

    [L9]https://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/bundestagswahl-2013/tid-33778/kohl-ypsilanti-merkel-die-politik-umfaller-und-ihre-dreisteten-wahlluegen-spd-

    [L10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PUR_WPj0JM

    [L11]https://www.antenne.de/nachrichten/deutschland/pkw-maut-startet-oktober-2020-in-deutschland

    [L12]https://www.pressesprecher.com/nachrichten/caspary-cdu-artikel-13-demonstranten-gekauft-402064753

    [L13]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwQxRjFT2A&t=97s

    [L14]https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article187846390/Fridays-for-Future-Demos-Sollen-die-Schueler-bestraft-werden.html

    [L15]https://youtu.be/5VVM4ArDFhQ?t=57

    [L16]https://youtu.be/5VVM4ArDFhQ?t=256

    [L17]https://youtu.be/5VVM4ArDFhQ?t=290

    [L18]https://youtu.be/5VVM4ArDFhQ?t=302

    [L19] https://youtu.be/5VVM4ArDFhQ?t=336

    [L20] https://twitter.com/europarl_de/status/1100705082470027264?lang=de

    [L21]https://twitter.com/c_lindner/status/1104683096107114497?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    [L22] https://youtu.be/OAoPkVfeTo0?t=893

    [L23] https://www.scientists4future.org/stellungnahme

    [L25] https://twitter.com/tilman_s/status/1105864836892762112

    [L26]https://youtu.be/Yd2bYRKuYfo?t=180

    [L27]https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/koalitionsbeschluss-wehrpflicht-wird-zum-1-juli-2011-ausgesetzt/3597026.html

    [L28]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WY3wQDEWt8

    [L29]https://www.fr.de/politik/verfolgte-retter-10973351.html

    [L30]https://www.n-tv.de/politik/Polizisten-fordern-Cannabis-Legalisierung-article20268395.html

    [L31]https://www.heise.de/tp/features/15-Jahre-entkriminalisierte-Drogenpolitik-in-Portugal-3224495.html

    [L32]https://www.br.de/puls/themen/welt/drogenpolitik-portugal-102.html

    [L33]https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/portugals-drogenpolitik-therapie-statt-gefaengnis.795.de.html?dram:a

    [L34]https://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/cannabis-bund-deutscher-kriminalbeamter-fordert-ende-des-verbots-a-1191381.h

    [L35]https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Caspary#/media/File:Daniel_Caspary_2019.jpg

    [L36]https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axel_Voss#/media/File:Axel_Voss_01.JPG

    [L37] https://youtu.be/9GMiDy0LZQ4?t=585

    [B1] https://www.dw.com/de/935-l%C3%BCgen-zum-irak-krieg/a-3086399

    [B2] https://www.dw.com/de/irak-krieg-am-anfang-stand-die-l%C3%BCge/a-43279424

    [B3] https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/cdu-csu-merkel-verteidigt-irak-krieg-189806.html

    [B4] https://youtu.be/lxjahxsm3GU?t=145

    [B5] https://youtu.be/lxjahxsm3GU?t=224

    [B6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EaEVIh9t5I&feature=youtu.be&t=114

    [B7] https://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/110/1811023.pdf

    [B8]https://daserste.ndr.de/panorama/aktuell/USA-fuehren-Drohnenkrieg-von-Deutschland-aus,ramstein146.html

    [B9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0&t=300s

    [B10]

    [B11]https://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/drohnen-basis-ramstein-bundesregierung-bestreitet-mitwissen-fotostrecke-1258

    [B12]https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2015-05/drohnenkrieg-ramstein-jemen-opfer-klage
    [B13]https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/leitkolumne-ramstein-toetet-1.4378778

    [B14]https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article122884542/15-Tote-bei-Drohnenangriff-auf-Fahrzeugkonvoi.html

    [B15]https://qz.com/569779/drone-strikes-are-creating-hatred-towards-america-that-will-last-for-generations

    [B16]https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/step-back-lessons-us-foreign-policy-failed-war-terror#_idTextAnchor066

    [B17] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major_terrorist_incidents

    [B18] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genfer_Konventionen#Wichtige_Bestimmungen

    [B19]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/bradley-manning-zu-35-jahren-haft-verurteilt-a-917844.html

    [B20] https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2013-10/Drohnen-Moral-Voelkerrecht/seite-2

    [B21]https://www.amnesty.de/allgemein/pressemitteilung/vereinigte-staaten-von-amerika-voelkerrechtswidrige-us-drohnenangriffe

    [B22]https://netzpolitik.org/2015/live-blog-aus-dem-geheimdienst-untersuchungsausschuss-brandon-bryant-fr

    [B23] https://youtu.be/Y0_BxzSWdKI?t=889

    [B24] https://youtu.be/VMjUR_cY8g4?t=1529

    [B25] https://youtu.be/STqv600KN3k?t=219

    [B26]https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/us-drohnenkrieg-ramstein-urteil-ovg-muenster-1.4373794

    [B27] https://www.bundestag.de/parlament/plenum/abstimmung/abstimmung?id=540

    [B28] https://youtu.be/KdDULYzDBvg?t=213

    [B29]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/us-atomwaffen-in-deutschland-die-atom-eier-von-buechel-a-1251697.html

    [B30] https://yougov.de/news/2015/10/01/bevolkerung-will-keine-us-atomwaffen-deutschland

    [B31] https://youtu.be/C4RalenYhoY?t=37

    [B32]https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globale_%C3%9Cberwachungs-_und_Spionageaff%C3%A4re

    [B33]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/snowden-asyl-usa-sollen-deutschland-gedroht-haben-a-1024841.html

    [B34]https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/aktuelles/fuer-eine-welt-ohne-atomwaffen-479596

    [B35]

    [B36] http://www.ruestungsexport.info/info/BuReg_2017.pdf

    [B37] https://www.zeit.de/2018/29/waffenexporte-bundesregierung-jemen-krieg/komplettansicht

    [B38] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milit%C3%A4rintervention_im_Jemen_seit_2015

    [B39]https://www.fr.de/politik/waffenexporte-saudi-arabien-deutschland-liefert-wieder-waffen-12185951.html

    [B40]https://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2019-01/ruestung-waffenexporte-deutschland-bundesregierung-katar-raketensystem-teile

    [B41] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menschenrechte_in_Katar

    [B42] https://www.zeit.de/politik/2018-10/nachrichtenpodcast-was-jetzt-23-10-2018

    [B43] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain#Menschenrechte

    [B44]https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/weiter-waffen-fuer-jemen-krieg-mehr-ruestungsexporte-in-die-emirate/24156146.html

    [B45]https://www.dw.com/de/human-rights-watch-die-vae-sind-kein-toleranter-staat/a-47357520

    [B46]https://www.n-tv.de/politik/Milizen-im-Jemen-kaempfen-mit-westlichen-Waffen-article20845112.html

    [B47]http://www.ard.de/home/die-ard/presse-kontakt/pressearchiv/_Panzer_fuer_das_Kalifat____Waffen_fuer_Bahrain_/113308/index.html

    [B48]https://www.ipg-journal.de/rubriken/aussen-und-sicherheitspolitik/artikel/das-geschaeft-mit-der-ruestung-3437

    [B49 ] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-114_Hellfire

    [B50]https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/wikileaks/moderne-kriegsfuehrung-das-collateral-murder-video-1982035.html

    [B51]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/umstrittene-apache-angriffe-hoellenfeuer-aus-dem-himmel-a-724482.html

    [B52] https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2010-07/wikileaks-militaer-geheimvideo

    [B53] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeQM1c-XCDc

    [B54]https://www.google.com/search?q=ramstein&oq=ramstein&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l3j69i60j69i61j69i59.975j1j7

    [B55] https://youtu.be/Ses8mRjm-Ew?t=28

    [B56] https://youtu.be/Y0_BxzSWdKI?t=919

    [B57] https://youtu.be/rMHZTJQjnKc?t=112

    [B58] https://youtu.be/STqv600KN3k?t=470



    [B59] https://youtu.be/VMjUR_cY8g4?t=1468

    [B60]https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/nsa-ausschuss-ehemaliger-us-drohnenpilot-zwoelfjaehrige-galten-als-legi

    [B61]https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/prozess-in-koeln-us-drohnenkrieg-darf-ueber-ramstein-laufen-1.2495841

    [B62]https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/drohnenangriffe-was-in-ramstein-vor-sich-geht-1.3277427

    [B63]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/syrien-kampf-gegen-islamischer-staat-mehrere-zivilisten-in-baghus-getoetet-a

    [B64]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/syrien-luftangriff-der-us-koalition-toetet-mindestens-43-menschen-a-1239032.

    [B65]https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/04/syria-unprecedented-investigation-reveals-us-led-coalition-killed-more-than

    [B66]Experten gehen von insgesammt 7596 getöteten Zivilisten durch die Koalition aus. UN-Experten nehmen die Airwars-Zahlen sehr ernst.“ Video daneben zeigen: https://www1.wdr.de/daserste/monitor/videos/video-die-zivilen-opfer-der-anti-is-koalition-100.html

    [B67]According to Airwars, 1,472 civilians had been killed by the U.S. air campaign in Iraq and Syria in March 2017 alone https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-coalition-air-strikes-isis-russia-kill-more-civilians-march-middle

    [B68]an einem einzigen Tag: On March 17, a U.S.-led coalition airstrike in Mosul killed more than 200
    civilianshttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-air-strike-mosul-200-civilians-killed-isis-northern-iraq-pentagon-

    [B69]Hier auch gute Übersicht: https://airwars.org/conflict/coalition-in-iraq-and-syria

    [B70] https://youtu.be/Cb485CVJKBw?t=136

    bis 2:33

    [B71]https://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2018-01/waffenexporte-ruestungsexporte-deutschland-krisengebiete-rekordhoch

    [B72]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuiqnFpptYA

    [B73]https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/trotz-exportstopp-deutsche-ruestungsgueter-fuer-400-millionen-euro-an-jemen-kriegsallianz/24153698.html

    [B74]https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-12_Paveway_II#/media/File:GBU-12_xxl.jpg
    Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=593515

    [B75]https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-114_Hellfire#/media/File:Lockheed_Martin_Longbow_Hellfire.jpg
    Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=593515

    [B76]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSYSO7-cM0

    [B77]https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/deutschland-muss-drohneneinsaetze-der-usa-aus-ramstein-pruefen-a-1258647.htm

    [B78]https://youtu.be/HZ8YAiVWToI?t=697

    #Allemagne #CDU #politique #environnement

  • Statement by AAG regarding #Harassment_Free_Meetings and Recent Incidents

    The AAG is fully committed to having harassment free meetings. We have recently implemented a new wide-ranging Harassment Free AAG meetings policy that was rolled out at the Washington, DC meeting, and it has already made a positive contribution. The AAG is now compiling all the information currently available on each of the five harassment incidents which have been reported at the recent Annual Meeting. We have presented this information to our attorney, and will be undertaking formal investigations of each of the incidents as promptly as legally possible. The AAG also has a legally-reviewed policy in place on how to proceed regarding such incidents, and a special AAG Committee to handle these cases. That process is moving forward now on each of these incidents as rapidly as possible, and each will be thoroughly investigated, and enforceable sanctions will be forthcoming as warranted.

    http://annualmeeting.aag.org/conduct
    #science #université #congrès #conférences #conférences_scientifiques #sexisme #résistance #harcèlement #harcèlement_sexuel #AAG #géographie

    ping @reka

    • Geography, Green Resolutions, and Graduation

      Complex organizations have complex interests and responsibilities, especially in the 21st century. My October 2018 Column reminded us to keep our eyes on the prize of equity for all. Together, we Geographers have worked diligently over the last several years to shine a light on equity and banish harassment and bullying from our meetings, our places of work, and our lives. We have more work to do, but we do have a heightened awareness, and a strong, renewed resolve to move forward with justice. Even though we have a strong Statement of Ethics (2009) condemning workplace harassment and discrimination, we further renewed our resolve to fight bullying and harassment with the Harassment Free AAG Initiative of 2019 (Please also remember to take the Post-Meeting Survey). And we will keep working to improve the climate for all. While keeping an eye on our social and civil well-being, the well-being of our planet also needs our attention and actions as strongly as ever. Protecting the civil rights and human rights of scientists helps to advance and protect science, to the benefit of people and the planet.

      http://news.aag.org/2019/05/geography-green-resolutions-and-graduation

  • US court throws out lawsuit against academic boycott of Israel | The Electronic Intifada

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/us-court-throws-out-lawsuit-against-academic-boycott-israel

    A federal judge in Washington, DC, on Monday dismissed a lawsuit against the American Studies Association over its decision to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

    The ruling is a significant blow to efforts by Israel lobby groups to use courts to harass, intimidate and silence supporters of Palestinian rights in US universities – a tactic known as lawfare.

    In April 2016, several current and former members of the ASA filed the lawsuit against the group over its 2013 resolution backing the academic boycott.

    In his 20-page ruling, US District Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote that the plaintiffs had no standing to file a lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of the ASA, and that their individual damage claims came nowhere near the $75,000 minimum required for them to seek relief in federal court.

    At most, the individual plaintiffs could seek damages of a few hundred dollars to cover membership dues they allege were misappropriated, but they would have to find some other venue to pursue their claims, the judge found.

    “The court basically said, in no uncertain words, that the plaintiffs suing ASA lied when they claimed to have ‘suffered significant economic and reputational damage.’” Radhika Sainath, senior attorney with the civil rights group Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada. “But, as the court explained, ‘nowhere’ in the lawsuit could the plaintiffs explain what that damage was. It didn’t pass the smell test.”

  • Pan Am Flight 103 : Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/robert-muellers-search-for-justice-for-pan-am-103

    Cet article décrit le rôle de Robert Mueller dans l’enquête historique qui a permis de dissimuler ou de justifier la plupart des batailles de la guerre non déclarée des États Unis contre l’OLP et les pays arabes qui soutenaient la lutte pour un état palestinien.

    Aux États-Unis, en Allemagne et en France le grand public ignore les actes de guerre commis par les États Unis dans cette guerre. Vu dans ce contexte on ne peut que classer le récit de cet article dans la catégorie idéologie et propagande même si les intentions et faits qu’on y apprend sont bien documentés et plausibles.

    Cette perspective transforme le contenu de cet article d’une variation sur un thème connu dans un reportage sur l’état d’âme des dirigeants étatsuniens moins fanatiques que l’équipe du président actuel.

    THIRTY YEARS AGO last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack.

    TEN YEARS AGO last Friday, then FBI director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home.

    Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped Christmas gifts that would never be opened, a lonely teddy bear.

    A decade before the attacks of 9/11—attacks that came during Mueller’s second week as FBI director, and that awoke the rest of America to the threats of terrorism—the bombing of Pan Am 103 had impressed upon Mueller a new global threat.

    It had taught him the complexity of responding to international terror attacks, how unprepared the government was to respond to the needs of victims’ families, and how on the global stage justice would always be intertwined with geopolitics. In the intervening years, he had never lost sight of the Lockerbie bombing—known to the FBI by the codename Scotbom—and he had watched the orphaned children from the bombing grow up over the years.

    Nearby in the cemetery stood a memorial cairn made of pink sandstone—a single brick representing each of the victims, the stone mined from a Scottish quarry that the doomed flight passed over just seconds before the bomb ripped its baggage hold apart. The crowd that day had gathered near the cairn in the cold to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

    For a man with an affinity for speaking in prose, not poetry, a man whose staff was accustomed to orders given in crisp sentences as if they were Marines on the battlefield or under cross-examination from a prosecutor in a courtroom, Mueller’s remarks that day soared in a way unlike almost any other speech he’d deliver.

    “There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear,” Mueller told the assembled mourners. “Yet out of the darkness of this day comes a ray of light. The light of unity, of friendship, and of comfort from those who once were strangers and who are now bonded together by a terrible moment in time. The light of shared memories that bring smiles instead of sadness. And the light of hope for better days to come.”

    He talked of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.

    Mueller closed with a promise: “Today, as we stand here together on this, the darkest of days, we renew that bond. We remember the light these individuals brought to each of you here today. We renew our efforts to bring justice down on those who seek to harm us. We renew our efforts to keep our people safe, and to rid the world of terrorism. We will continue to move forward. But we will never forget.”

    Hand bells tolled for each of the victims as their names were read aloud, 270 names, 270 sets of bells.

    The investigation, though, was not yet closed. Mueller, although he didn’t know it then, wasn’t done with Pan Am 103. Just months after that speech, the case would test his innate sense of justice and morality in a way that few other cases in his career ever have.

    ROBERT S. MUELLER III had returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s and eventually headed to law school at the University of Virginia, part of a path that he hoped would lead him to being an FBI agent. Unable after graduation to get a job in government, he entered private practice in San Francisco, where he found he loved being a lawyer—just not a defense attorney.

    Then—as his wife Ann, a teacher, recounted to me years ago—one morning at their small home, while the two of them made the bed, Mueller complained, “Don’t I deserve to be doing something that makes me happy?” He finally landed a job as an assistant US attorney in San Francisco and stood, for the first time, in court and announced, “Good morning your Honor, I am Robert Mueller appearing on behalf of the United States of America.” It is a moment that young prosecutors often practice beforehand, and for Mueller those words carried enormous weight. He had found the thing that made him happy.

    His family remembers that time in San Francisco as some of their happiest years; the Muellers’ two daughters were young, they loved the Bay Area—and have returned there on annual vacations almost every year since relocating to the East Coast—and Mueller found himself at home as a prosecutor.

    On Friday nights, their routine was that Ann and the two girls would pick Mueller up at Harrington’s Bar & Grill, the city’s oldest Irish pub, not far from the Ferry Building in the Financial District, where he hung out each week with a group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, cops, and agents. (One Christmas, his daughter Cynthia gave him a model of the bar made out of Popsicle sticks.) He balanced that family time against weekends and trainings with the Marines Corps Reserves, where he served for more than a decade, until 1980, eventually rising to be a captain.

    Over the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks of the San Francisco US attorney’s office—an office he would return to lead during the Clinton administration—and then decamped to Massachusetts to work for US attorney William Weld in the 1980s. There, too, he shined and eventually became acting US attorney when Weld departed at the end of the Reagan administration. “You cannot get the words straight arrow out of your head,” Weld told me, speaking of Mueller a decade ago. “The agencies loved him because he knew his stuff. He didn’t try to be elegant or fancy, he just put the cards on the table.”

    In 1989, an old high school classmate, Robert Ross, who was chief of staff to then attorney general Richard Thornburgh, asked Mueller to come down to Washington to help advise Thornburgh. The offer intrigued Mueller. Ann protested the move—their younger daughter Melissa wanted to finish high school in Massachusetts. Ann told her husband, “We can’t possibly do this.” He replied, his eyes twinkling, “You’re right, it’s a terrible time. Well, why don’t we just go down and look at a few houses?” As she told me, “When he wants to do something, he just revisits it again and again.”

    For his first two years at so-called Main Justice in Washington, working under President George H.W. Bush, the family commuted back and forth from Boston to Washington, alternating weekends in each city, to allow Melissa to finish school.

    Washington gave Mueller his first exposure to national politics and cases with geopolitical implications; in September 1990, President Bush nominated him to be assistant attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department’s entire criminal division, which at that time handled all the nation’s terrorism cases as well. Mueller would oversee the prosecution of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, mob boss John Gotti, and the controversial investigation into a vast money laundering scheme run through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals

    None of his cases in Washington, though, would affect him as much as the bombing of Pan Am 103.

    THE TIME ON the clocks in Lockerbie, Scotland, read 7:04 pm, on December 21, 1988, when the first emergency call came into the local fire brigade, reporting what sounded like a massive boiler explosion. It was technically early evening, but it had been dark for hours already; that far north, on the shortest day of the year, daylight barely stretched to eight hours.

    Soon it became clear something much worse than a boiler explosion had unfolded: Fiery debris pounded the landscape, plunging from the sky and killing 11 Lockerbie residents. As Mike Carnahan told a local TV reporter, “The whole sky was lit up with flames. It was actually raining, liquid fire. You could see several houses on the skyline with the roofs totally off and all you could see was flaming timbers.”

    At 8:45 pm, a farmer found in his field the cockpit of Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas, lying on its side, 15 of its crew dead inside, just some of the 259 passengers and crew killed when a bomb had exploded inside the plane’s cargo hold. The scheduled London to New York flight never even made it out of the UK.

    It had taken just three seconds for the plane to disintegrate in the air, though the wreckage took three long minutes to fall the five miles from the sky to the earth; court testimony later would examine how passengers had still been alive as they fell. Nearly 200 of the passengers were American, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home from a semester abroad. The attack horrified America, which until then had seen terror touch its shores only occasionally as a hijacking went awry; while the US had weathered the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks almost never targeted civilians.

    The Pan Am 103 bombing seemed squarely aimed at the US, hitting one of its most iconic brands. Pan Am then represented America’s global reach in a way few companies did; the world’s most powerful airline shuttled 19 million passengers a year to more than 160 countries and had ferried the Beatles to their US tour and James Bond around the globe on his cinematic missions. In a moment of hubris a generation before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the airline had even opened a “waiting list” for the first tourists to travel to outer space. Its New York headquarters, the Pan Am building, was the world’s largest commercial building and its terminal at JFK Airport the biggest in the world.

    The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 began immediately, as police and investigators streamed north from London by the hundreds; chief constable John Boyd, the head of the local police, arrived at the Lockerbie police station by 8:15 pm, and within an hour the first victim had been brought in: A farmer arrived in town with the body of a baby girl who had fallen from the sky. He’d carefully placed her in the front seat of his pickup truck.

    An FBI agent posted in London had raced north too, with the US ambassador, aboard a special US Air Force flight, and at 2 am, when Boyd convened his first senior leadership meeting, he announced, “The FBI is here, and they are fully operational.” By that point, FBI explosives experts were already en route to Scotland aboard an FAA plane; agents would install special secure communications equipment in Lockerbie and remain on site for months.

    Although it quickly became clear that a bomb had targeted Pan Am 103—wreckage showed signs of an explosion and tested positive for PETN and RDX, two key ingredients of the explosive Semtex—the investigation proceeded with frustrating slowness. Pan Am’s records were incomplete, and it took days to even determine the full list of passengers. At the same time, it was the largest crime scene ever investigated—a fact that remains true today.

    Investigators walked 845 square miles, an area 12 times the size of Washington, DC, and searched so thoroughly that they recovered more than 70 packages of airline crackers and ultimately could reconstruct about 85 percent of the fuselage. (Today, the wreckage remains in an English scrapyard.) Constable Boyd, at his first press conference, told the media, “This is a mammoth inquiry.”

    On Christmas Eve, a searcher found a piece of a luggage pallet with signs of obvious scorching, which would indicate the bomb had been in the luggage compartment below the passenger cabin. The evidence was rushed to a special British military lab—one originally created to investigate the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.

    When the explosive tests came back a day later, the British government called the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for combating terrorism, L. Paul Bremer III (who would go on to be President George W. Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and officially delivered the news that everyone had anticipated: Pan Am 103 had been downed by a bomb.

    Meanwhile, FBI agents fanned out across the country. In New York, special agent Neil Herman—who would later lead the FBI’s counterterrorism office in New York in the run up to 9/11—was tasked with interviewing some of the victims’ families; many of the Syracuse students on board had been from the New York region. One of the mothers he interviewed hadn’t heard from the government in the 10 days since the attack. “It really struck me how ill-equipped we were to deal with this,” Herman told me, years later. “Multiply her by 270 victims and families.” The bombing underscored that the FBI and the US government had a lot to learn in responding and aiding victims in a terror attack.

    INVESTIGATORS MOVED TOWARD piecing together how a bomb could have been placed on board; years before the 9/11 attack, they discounted the idea of a suicide bomber aboard—there had never been a suicide attack on civil aviation at that point—and so focused on one of two theories: The possibility of a “mule,” an innocent passenger duped into carrying a bomb aboard, or an “inside man,” a trusted airport or airline employee who had smuggled the fatal cargo aboard. The initial suspect list stretched to 1,200 names.

    Yet even reconstructing what was on board took an eternity: Evidence pointed to a Japanese manufactured Toshiba cassette recorder as the likely delivery device for the bomb, and then, by the end of January, investigators located pieces of the suitcase that had held the bomb. After determining that it was a Samsonite bag, police and the FBI flew to the company’s headquarters in the United States and narrowed the search further: The bag, they found, was a System 4 Silhouette 4000 model, color “antique-copper,” a case and color made for only three years, 1985 to 1988, and sold only in the Middle East. There were a total of 3,500 such suitcases in circulation.

    By late spring, investigators had identified 14 pieces of luggage inside the target cargo container, known as AVE4041; each bore tell-tale signs of the explosion. Through careful retracing of how luggage moved through the London airport, investigators determined that the bags on the container’s bottom row came from passengers transferring in London. The bags on the second and third row of AVE4041 had been the last bags loaded onto the leg of the flight that began in Frankfurt, before the plane took off for London. None of the baggage had been X-rayed or matched with passengers on board.

    The British lab traced clothing fragments from the wreckage that bore signs of the explosion and thus likely originated in the bomb-carrying suitcase. It was an odd mix: Two herring-bone skirts, men’s pajamas, tartan trousers, and so on. The most promising fragment was a blue infant’s onesie that, after fiber analysis, was conclusively determined to have been inside the explosive case, and had a label saying “Malta Trading Company.” In March, two detectives took off for Malta, where the manufacturer told them that 500 such articles of clothing had been made and most sent to Ireland, while the rest went locally to Maltese outlets and others to continental Europe.

    As they dug deeper, they focused on bag B8849, which appeared to have come off Air Malta Flight 180—Malta to Frankfurt—on December 21, even though there was no record of one of that flight’s 47 passengers transferring to Pan Am 103.

    Investigators located the store in Malta where the suspect clothing had been sold; the British inspector later recorded in his statement, “[Store owner] Anthony Gauci interjected and stated that he could recall selling a pair of the checked trousers, size 34, and three pairs of the pajamas to a male person.” The investigators snapped to attention—after nine months did they finally have a suspect in their sights? “[Gauci] informed me that the man had also purchased the following items: one imitation Harris Tweed jacket; one woolen cardigan; one black umbrella; one blue colored ‘Baby Gro’ with a motif described by the witness as a ‘sheep’s face’ on the front; and one pair of gents’ brown herring-bone material trousers, size 36.”

    Game, set, match. Gauci had perfectly described the clothing fragments found by RARDE technicians to contain traces of explosive. The purchase, Gauci went on to explain, stood out in his mind because the customer—whom Gauci tellingly identified as speaking the “Libyan language”—had entered the store on November 23, 1988, and gathered items without seeming to care about the size, gender, or color of any of it.

    As the investigation painstakingly proceeded into 1989 and 1990, Robert Mueller arrived at Main Justice; the final objects of the Lockerbie search wouldn’t be found until the spring of 1990, just months before Mueller took over as assistant attorney general of the criminal division in September.

    The Justice Department that year was undergoing a series of leadership changes; the deputy attorney general, William Barr, became acting attorney general midyear as Richard Thornburgh stepped down to run for Senate back in his native Pennsylvania. President Bush then nominated Barr to take over as attorney general officially. (Earlier this month Barr was nominated by President Trump to become attorney general once again.)

    The bombing soon became one of the top cases on Mueller’s desk. He met regularly with Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent heading Scotbom. For Mueller, the case became personal; he met with victims’ families and toured the Lockerbie crash site and the investigation’s headquarters. He traveled repeatedly to the United Kingdom for meetings and walked the fields of Lockerbie himself. “The Scots just did a phenomenal job with the crime scene,” he told me, years ago.

    Mueller pushed the investigators forward constantly, getting involved in the investigation at a level that a high-ranking Justice Department official almost never does. Marquise turned to him in one meeting, after yet another set of directions, and sighed, “Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you want to be FBI director.”

    The investigation gradually, carefully, zeroed in on Libya. Agents traced a circuit board used in the bomb to a similar device seized in Africa a couple of years earlier used by Libyan intelligence. An FBI-created database of Maltese immigration records even showed that a man using the same alias as one of those Libyan intelligence officers had departed from Malta on October 19, 1988—just two months before the bombing.

    The circuit board also helped makes sense of an important aspect of the bombing: It controlled a timer, meaning that the bomb was not set off by a barometric trigger that registers altitude. This, in turn, explained why the explosive baggage had lain peacefully in the jet’s hold as it took off and landed repeatedly.

    Tiny letters on the suspect timer said “MEBO.” What was MEBO? In the days before Google, searching for something called “Mebo” required going country to country, company to company. There were no shortcuts. The FBI, MI5, and CIA were, after months of work, able to trace MEBO back to a Swiss company, Meister et Bollier, adding a fifth country to the ever-expanding investigative circle.

    From Meister et Bollier, they learned that the company had provided 20 prototype timers to the Libyan government and the company helped ID their contact as a Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who looked like the sketch of the Maltese clothing shopper. Then, when the FBI looked at its database of Maltese immigration records, they found that Al Megrahi had been present in Malta the day the clothing was purchased.

    Marquise sat down with Robert Mueller and the rest of the prosecutorial team and laid out the latest evidence. Mueller’s orders were clear—he wanted specific suspects and he wanted to bring charges. As he said, “Proceed toward indictment.” Let’s get this case moving.

    IN NOVEMBER 1990, Marquise was placed in charge of all aspects of the investigation and assigned on special duty to the Washington Field Office and moved to a new Scotbom task force. The field offce was located far from the Hoover building, in a run-down neighborhood known by the thoroughly unromantic moniker of Buzzard Point.

    The Scotbom task force had been allotted three tiny windowless rooms with dark wood paneling, which were soon covered floor-to-ceiling with 747 diagrams, crime scene photographs, maps, and other clues. By the door of the office, the team kept two photographs to remind themselves of the stakes: One, a tiny baby shoe recovered from the fields of Lockerbie; the other, a picture of the American flag on the tail of Pan Am 103. This was the first major attack on the US and its civilians. Whoever was responsible couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    With representatives from a half-dozen countries—the US, Britain, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Malta—now sitting around the table, putting together a case that met everyone’s evidentiary standards was difficult. “We talked through everything, and everything was always done to the higher standard,” Marquise says. In the US, for instance, the legal standard for a photo array was six photos; in Scotland, though, it was 12. So every photo array in the investigation had 12 photos to ensure that the IDs could be used in a British court.

    The trail of evidence so far was pretty clear, and it all pointed toward Libya. Yet there was still much work to do prior to an indictment. A solid hunch was one thing. Having evidence that would stand up in court and under cross-examination was something else entirely.

    As the case neared an indictment, the international investigators and prosecutors found themselves focusing at their gatherings on the fine print of their respective legal code and engaging in deep, philosophical-seeming debates: “What does murder mean in your statute? Huh? I know what murder means: I kill you. Well, then you start going through the details and the standards are just a little different. It may entail five factors in one country, three in another. Was Megrahi guilty of murder? Depends on the country.”

    At every meeting, the international team danced around the question of where a prosecution would ultimately take place. “Jurisdiction was an eggshell problem,” Marquise says. “It was always there, but no one wanted to talk about it. It was always the elephant in the room.”

    Mueller tried to deflect the debate for as long as possible, arguing there was more investigation to do first. Eventually, though, he argued forcefully that the case should be tried in the US. “I recognize that Scotland has significant equities which support trial of the case in your country,” he said in one meeting. “However, the primary target of this act of terrorism was the United States. The majority of the victims were Americans, and the Pan American aircraft was targeted precisely because it was of United States registry.”

    After one meeting, where the Scots and Americans debated jurisdiction for more than two hours, the group migrated over to the Peasant, a restaurant near the Justice Department, where, in an attempt to foster good spirits, it paid for the visiting Scots. Mueller and the other American officials each had to pay for their own meals.

    Mueller was getting ready to move forward; the federal grand jury would begin work in early September. Prosecutors and other investigators were already preparing background, readying evidence, and piecing together information like the names and nationalities of all the Lockerbie victims so that they could be included in the forthcoming indictment.

    There had never been any doubt in the US that the Pan Am 103 bombing would be handled as a criminal matter, but the case was still closely monitored by the White House and the National Security Council.

    The Reagan administration had been surprised in February 1988 by the indictment on drug charges of its close ally Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and a rule of thumb had been developed: Give the White House a heads up anytime you’re going to indict a foreign agent. “If you tag Libya with Pan Am 103, that’s fair to say it’s going to disrupt our relationship with Libya,” Mueller deadpans. So Mueller would head up to the Cabinet Room at the White House, charts and pictures in hand, to explain to President Bush and his team what Justice had in mind.

    To Mueller, the investigation underscored why such complex investigations needed a law enforcement eye. A few months after the attack, he sat through a CIA briefing pointing toward Syria as the culprit behind the attack. “That’s always struck with me as a lesson in the difference between intelligence and evidence. I always try to remember that,” he told me, back when he was FBI director. “It’s a very good object lesson about hasty action based on intelligence. What if we had gone and attacked Syria based on that initial intelligence? Then, after the attack, it came out that Libya had been behind it? What could we have done?”

    Marquise was the last witness for the federal grand jury on Friday, November 8, 1991. Only in the days leading up to that testimony had prosecutors zeroed in on Megrahi and another Libyan officer, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah; as late as the week of the testimony, they had hoped to pursue additional indictments, yet the evidence wasn’t there to get to a conviction.

    Mueller traveled to London to meet with the Peter Fraser, the lord advocate—Scotland’s top prosecutor—and they agreed to announce indictments simultaneously on November 15, 1991. Who got their hands on the suspects first, well, that was a question for later. The joint indictment, Mueller believed, would benefit both countries. “It adds credibility to both our investigations,” he says.

    That coordinated joint, multi-nation statement and indictment would become a model that the US would deploy more regularly in the years to come, as the US and other western nations have tried to coordinate cyber investigations and indictments against hackers from countries like North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

    To make the stunning announcement against Libya, Mueller joined FBI director William Sessions, DC US attorney Jay Stephens, and attorney general William Barr.

    “We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence agency, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103,” Barr said. “I have just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them and the organizations of the survivors that this indictment has been returned. Their loss has been ever present in our minds.”

    At the same time, in Scotland, investigators there were announcing the same indictments.

    At the press conference, Barr listed a long set of names to thank—the first one he singled out was Mueller’s. Then, he continued, “This investigation is by no means over. It continues unabated. We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice. We have no higher priority.”

    From there, the case would drag on for years. ABC News interviewed the two suspects in Libya later that month; both denied any responsibility for the bombing. Marquise was reassigned within six months; the other investigators moved along too.

    Mueller himself left the administration when Bill Clinton became president, spending an unhappy year in private practice before rejoining the Justice Department to work as a junior homicide prosecutor in DC under then US attorney Eric Holder; Mueller, who had led the nation’s entire criminal division was now working side by side with prosecutors just a few years out of law school, the equivalent of a three-star military general retiring and reenlisting as a second lieutenant. Clinton eventually named Mueller the US attorney in San Francisco, the office where he’d worked as a young attorney in the 1970s.

    THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the bombing came and went without any justice. Then, in April 1999, prolonged international negotiations led to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi turning over the two suspects; the international economic sanctions imposed on Libya in the wake of the bombing were taking a toll on his country, and the leader wanted to put the incident behind him.

    The final negotiated agreement said that the two men would be tried by a Scottish court, under Scottish law, in The Hague in the Netherlands. Distinct from the international court there, the three-judge Scottish court would ensure that the men faced justice under the laws of the country where their accused crime had been committed.

    Allowing the Scots to move forward meant some concessions by the US. The big one was taking the death penalty, prohibited in Scotland, off the table. Mueller badly wanted the death penalty. Mueller, like many prosecutors and law enforcement officials, is a strong proponent of capital punishment, but he believes it should be reserved for only egregious crimes. “It has to be especially heinous, and you have to be 100 percent sure he’s guilty,” he says. This case met that criteria. “There’s never closure. If there can’t be closure, there should be justice—both for the victims as well as the society at large,” he says.

    An old US military facility, Kamp Van Zeist, was converted to an elaborate jail and courtroom in The Hague, and the Dutch formally surrendered the two Libyans to Scottish police. The trial began in May 2000. For nine months, the court heard testimony from around the world. In what many observers saw as a political verdict, Al Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was found not guilty.

    With barely 24 hours notice, Marquise and victim family members raced from the United States to be in the courtroom to hear the verdict. The morning of the verdict in 2001, Mueller was just days into his tenure as acting deputy US attorney general—filling in for the start of the George W. Bush administration in the department’s No. 2 role as attorney general John Ashcroft got himself situated.

    That day, Mueller awoke early and joined with victims’ families and other officials in Washington, who watched the verdict announcement via a satellite hookup. To him, it was a chance for some closure—but the investigation would go on. As he told the media, “The United States remains vigilant in its pursuit to bring to justice any other individuals who may have been involved in the conspiracy to bring down Pan Am Flight 103.”

    The Scotbom case would leave a deep imprint on Mueller; one of his first actions as FBI director was to recruit Kathryn Turman, who had served as the liaison to the Pan Am 103 victim families during the trial, to head the FBI’s Victim Services Division, helping to elevate the role and responsibility of the FBI in dealing with crime victims.

    JUST MONTHS AFTER that 20th anniversary ceremony with Mueller at Arlington National Cemetery, in the summer of 2009, Scotland released a terminally ill Megrahi from prison after a lengthy appeals process, and sent him back to Libya. The decision was made, the Scottish minister of justice reported, on “compassionate grounds.” Few involved on the US side believed the terrorist deserved compassion. Megrahi was greeted as a hero on the tarmac in Libya—rose petals, cheering crowds. The US consensus remained that he should rot in prison.

    The idea that Megrahi could walk out of prison on “compassionate” ground made a mockery of everything that Mueller had dedicated his life to fighting and doing. Amid a series of tepid official condemnations—President Obama labeled it “highly objectionable”—Mueller fired off a letter to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill that stood out for its raw pain, anger, and deep sorrow.

    “Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision,” Mueller began. “Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of ‘compassion.’”

    That nine months after the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the only person behind bars for the bombing would walk back onto Libyan soil a free man and be greeted with rose petals left Mueller seething.

    “Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,” Mueller wrote. “You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification—the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.”

    For Mueller, walking the fields of Lockerbie had been walking on hallowed ground. The Scottish decision pained him especially deeply, because of the mission and dedication he and his Scottish counterparts had shared 20 years before. “If all civilized nations join together to apply the rules of law to international terrorists, certainly we will be successful in ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism,” he had written in a perhaps too hopeful private note to the Scottish Lord Advocate in 1990.

    Some 20 years later, in an era when counterterrorism would be a massive, multibillion dollar industry and a buzzword for politicians everywhere, Mueller—betrayed—concluded his letter with a decidedly un-Mueller-like plea, shouted plaintively and hopelessly across the Atlantic: “Where, I ask, is the justice?”

    #USA #Libye #impérialisme #terrorisme #histoire #CIA #idéologie #propagande

  • The mad, twisted tale of the electric scooter craze
    https://www.cnet.com/news/the-mad-tale-of-the-electric-scooter-craze-with-bird-lime-and-spin-in-san-fran

    Dara Kerr/CNET

    For weeks, I’d been seeing trashed electric scooters on the streets of San Francisco. So I asked a group of friends if any of them had seen people vandalizing the dockless vehicles since they were scattered across the city a couple of months ago.

    The answer was an emphatic “yes.”

    One friend saw a guy walking down the street kicking over every scooter he came across. Another saw a rider pull up to a curb as the handlebars and headset became fully detached. My friend figures someone had messed with the screws or cabling so the scooter would come apart on purpose.

    A scroll through Reddit, Instagram and Twitter showed me photos of scooters — owned by Bird, Lime and Spin — smeared in feces, hanging from trees, hefted into trashcans and tossed into the San Francisco Bay.

    It’s no wonder Lime scooters’ alarm isn’t just a loud beep, but a narc-like battle cry that literally says, “Unlock me to ride, or I’ll call the police.”

    San Francisco’s scooter phenomenon has taken on many names: Scootergeddon, Scooterpocalypse and Scooter Wars. It all started when the three companies spread hundreds of their dockless, rentable e-scooters across city the same week at the end of March — without any warning to local residents or lawmakers.

    Almost instantly, first-time riders began zooming down sidewalks at 15 mph, swerving between pedestrians and ringing the small bells attached to the handlebars. And they left the vehicles wherever they felt like it: scooters cluttered walkways and storefronts, jammed up bike lanes, and blocked bike racks and wheelchair accesses.

    The three companies all say they’re solving a “last-mile” transportation problem, giving commuters an easy and convenient way to zip around the city while helping ease road congestion and smog. They call it the latest in a long line of disruptive businesses that aim to change the way we live.

    The scooters have definitely changed how some people live.

    I learned the Wild West looks friendly compared to scooter land. In San Francisco’s world of these motorized vehicles, there’s backstabbing, tweaker chop shops and intent to harm.

    “The angry people, they were angry,” says Michael Ghadieh, who owns electric bicycle shop, SF Wheels, and has repaired hundreds of the scooters. “People cut cables, flatten tires, they were thrown in the Bay. Someone was out there physically damaging these things.”

    Yikes! Clipped brakes

    SF Wheels is located on a quaint street in a quintessential San Francisco neighborhood. Called Cole Valley, the area is lined with Victorian homes, upscale cafes and views of the city’s famous Mount Sutro. SF Wheels sells and rents electric bicycles for $20 per hour, mostly to tourists who want to see Golden Gate Park on two wheels.

    In March, one of the scooter companies called Ghadieh to tell him they were about to launch in the city and were looking for people to help with repairs. Ghadieh said he was game. He wouldn’t disclose the name of the company because of agreements he signed.

    Now he admits he didn’t quite know what he was getting into.

    Days after the scooter startups dropped their vehicles on an unsuspecting San Francisco, SF Wheels became so crammed with broken scooters that it was hard to walk through the small, tidy shop. Scooters lined the sidewalk outside, filled the doorway and crowded the mechanic’s workspace. The backyard had a heap of scooters nearly six-feet tall, Ghadieh told me.

    His bike techs were so busy that Ghadieh had to hire three more mechanics. SF Wheels was fixing 75 to 100 scooters per day. Ghadieh didn’t say how much the shop was making per scooter fix.

    “The repairs were fast and easy on some and longer on others,” Ghadieh said. “It’d depend on whether it was wear-and-tear or whether it was physically damaged by someone out there, some madman.”

    Some of the scooters, which cost around $500 off the shelf, came in completely vandalized — everything from chopped wires for the controller (aka the brain) to detached handlebars to bent forks. Several even showed up with clipped brake cables.

    I asked Ghadieh if the scooters still work without brakes.

    “It will work, yes,” he said. “It will go forward, but you just cannot stop. Whoever is causing that is making the situation dangerous for some riders.”

    Especially in a city with lots of hills.

    Ghadieh said his crew worked diligently for about six weeks, repairing an estimated 1,000 scooters. But then, about three weeks ago, work dried up. Ghadieh had to lay off the mechanics he’d hired and his shop is back to focusing on electric bicycles.

    “Now, there’s literally nothing,” he said. “There’s a change of face with the company. I’m not exactly sure what happened. … They decided to do it differently.”

    The likely change? The electric scooter company probably decided to outsource repairs to gig workers, rather than rely on agreements with shops.

    That’s gig as in freelancers looking to pick up part-time work, like Uber and Lyft drivers. And like Nick Abouzeid. By day, Abouzeid works in marketing for the startup AngelList. A few weeks ago, he got an email from Bird inviting him to be a scooter mechanic. The message told Abouzeid he could earn $20 for each scooter repair, once he’d completed an online training. He signed up, took the classes and is ready to start.

    “These scooters aren’t complicated. They’re cheap scooters from China,” Abouzeid said. “The repairs are anything from adjusting a brake to fixing a flat tire to adding stickers that have fallen off a Bird.”

    Bird declined to comment specifically on its maintenance program, but its spokesman Kenneth Baer did say, “Bird has a network of trained chargers and mechanics who operate as independent contractors.”

    All of Lime’s mechanics, on the other hand, are part of the company’s operations and maintenance team that repairs the scooters and ensures they’re safe for riders. Spin uses a mix of gig workers and contract mechanics, like what Ghadieh was doing.
    Gaming the system

    Electric scooters are, well, electric. That means they need to be plugged into an outlet for four to five hours before they can transport people, who rent them for $1 plus 15 cents for every minute of riding time.

    Bird, Spin and Lime all partially rely on gig workers to keep their fleets juiced up.

    Each company has a different app that shows scooters with low or dead batteries. Anyone with a driver’s license and car can sign up for the app and become a charger. These drivers roam the streets, picking up scooters and taking them home to be charged.
    img-7477

    “It creates this amazing kind of gig economy,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden, who is a former Uber and Lyft executive, told me in April. “It’s kind of like a game of Pokemon Go for them, where they go around and try to find and gobble up as many Birds as they can.”

    Theoretically, all scooters are supposed to be off city streets by nightfall when it’s illegal to ride them. That’s when the chargers are unleashed. To get paid, they have to get the vehicles back out on the street in specified locations before 7 a.m. the next day. Bird supplies the charging cables — only three at a time, but those who’ve been in the business longer can get more cables.

    “I don’t know the fascination with all of these companies using gig workers to charge and repair,” said Harry Campbell, who runs a popular gig worker blog called The Rideshare Guy. “But they’re all in, they’re all doing it.”

    One of the reasons some companies use gig workers is to avoid costs like extra labor, gasoline and electricity. Bird, Spin and Lime have managed to convince investors they’re onto something. Between the three of them they’ve raised $255 million in funding. Bird is rumored to be raising another $150 million from one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, Sequoia, which could put the company’s value at $1 billion. That’s a lot for an electric scooter disruptor.

    Lime pays $12 to charge each scooter and Spin pays $5; both companies also deploy their own operations teams for charging. Bird has a somewhat different system. It pays anywhere from $5 to $25 to charge its scooters, depending on the city and the location of the dead scooter. The harder the vehicle is to find and the longer it’s been off the radar, the higher the “bounty.”

    Abouzeid, who’s moonlighted as a Bird charger for the past two months, said he’s only found a $25 scooter once.

    “With the $25 ones, they’re like, ’Hey, we think it’s in this location, it’s got 0 percent battery, good luck,’” he said.

    But some chargers have devised a way to game the system. They call it hoarding.

    “They’ll literally go around picking up Birds and putting them in the back of their car,” Campbell said. “And then they wait until the bounties on them go up and up and up.”

    Bird has gotten wise to these tactics. It sent an email to all chargers last week warning them that if it sniffs out this kind of activity, those hoarders will be barred from the app.

    “We feel like this is a big step forward in fixing some of the most painful issues we’ve been hearing,” Bird wrote in the email, which was seen by CNET.

    Tweaker chop shops

    Hoarding and vandalism aren’t the only problems for electric scooter companies. There’s also theft. While the vehicles have GPS tracking, once the battery fully dies they go off the app’s map.

    “Every homeless person has like three scooters now,” Ghadieh said. “They take the brains out, the logos off and they literally hotwire it.”
    img-1134

    I’ve seen scooters stashed at tent cities around San Francisco. Photos of people extracting the batteries have been posted on Twitter and Reddit. Rumor has it the batteries have a resale price of about $50 on the street, but there doesn’t appear to be a huge market for them on eBay or Craigslist, according to my quick survey.

    Bird, Lime and Spin all said trashed and stolen scooters aren’t as big a problem as you’d think. When the companies launch in a new city, they said they tend to see higher theft and vandalism rates but then that calms down.

    “We have received a few reports of theft and vandalism, but that’s the nature of the business,” said Spin co-founder and President Euwyn Poon. “When you have a product that’s available for public consumption, you account for that.”

    Dockless, rentable scooters are now taking over cities across the US — from Denver to Atlanta to Washington, DC. Bird’s scooters are available in at least 10 cities with Scottsdale, Arizona, being the site of its most recent launch.

    Meanwhile, in San Francisco, regulators have been working to get rules in place to make sure riders drive safely and the companies abide by the law.

    New regulations to limit the number of scooters are set to go into effect in the city on June 4. To comply, scooter companies have to clear the streets of all their vehicles while the authorities process their permits. That’s expected to take about a month.

    And just like that, scooters will go out the way they came in — appearing and disappearing from one day to the next — leaving in their wake the chargers, mechanics, vandals and people hotwiring the things to get a free ride around town.

    #USA #transport #disruption #SDF

  • Investigation launched into how Shulkin staffer got top VA hospital job - CNNPolitics
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/23/politics/va-shulkin-hospital/index.html

    At least one investigation has been launched into how a senior adviser to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin hired on a temporary basis ended up with a coveted job leading a Washington, DC, veterans hospital, CNN has learned.
    […]
    This is the latest in a string of problems plaguing Shulkin, who has been #on_thin_ice with President Donald Trump for weeks, starting with an inspector general report that said he used taxpayer dollars to pay for part of a personal trip. Things only got worse when internal turmoil over how to run the VA spilled over to news reports that Shulkin wasn’t speaking to key senior staff, who were actively lobbying to oust him.

    Prochain sur la liste des virés, le Secrétaire d’État aux Anciens combattants…

  • Briefing With Acting Assistant Secretary David M. Satterfield
    Special Briefing David M. Satterfield,Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Press Briefing Room, Washington, DC,
    December 7, 2017
    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/12/276349.htm

    (...) QUESTION: My name is Said Arikat. I just want to follow up on East Jerusalem because it is really – it’s not clear at all. Not in my mind. So what happens to the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem? Do they now become automatically Israeli citizens, would have full rights, and so on? What happens to 300,000 Palestinians?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Said, the President’s proclamation yesterday, his decision, have no impact on those issues. He is recognizing a practical reality. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And all of the other aspects – boundaries of sovereignty – we’re not taking a position. It’s for the sides to resolve.

    QUESTION: So if you’ll just bear with me for a second. So why not say West Jerusalem? I mean, the Russians have done that. It did not cause any problem and so on. Or why don’t you say that this part, East Jerusalem, as been negotiated as you yourself have been involved for so many years, this portion is designated to become the capital of the Palestinian state?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Said, the President’s decision speaks for itself. There are many words that are in his statement, in his remarks; there are words that aren’t. We recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. He didn’t go beyond that, and I’m not going to go beyond that.

    QUESTION: Can you – can you share with us —

    MS NAUERT: We need to move on (inaudible).

    QUESTION: — just one last thing?

    MS NAUERT: Said, (inaudible).

    QUESTION: Could you share with us, sir —

    MS NAUERT: Said, (inaudible).

    QUESTION: — one national security interest of the United States that this recognition has served? Can you identify one national security interest of the United States that this recognition has identified?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President is committed to advancing a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. In his view upon reflection, this step, he believes, assists in that process. Full stop.

    MS NAUERT: Nick, go right ahead.

    QUESTION: Can you explain that further, because —

    QUESTION: Can I just ask, Mr. —

    QUESTION: — that’s exactly what we’re trying to – or what I’m trying to figure out is —

    MS NAUERT: Nick, go right ahead. Hold on, Dave.

    QUESTION: Can you – just to Matt’s point, can you explain why a decision-making process needs to be made about maps and things like that, and consular services? I mean, you said yourself, the President declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Why does there need to be a further decision-making process on those other issues?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: It’s a very simple answer, and it’s wholly technical. What phrasing do you place upon government-issued maps? There are different word choices that can be used. To be clear, there will be a decision made. When the decision is made, you’ll have it and you’ll have the maps.

    QUESTION: And can you just explain why now? Why did he make this decision now?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Because December 4th was the trigger date for the next waiver required under the Jerusalem Act of ’95. That was the proximate timing issue. Full stop.

    QUESTION: So there was no strategic – this – it was solely based on —

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President had to make a decision. He did. But he’s —

    QUESTION: Why didn’t he do it on the 4th?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: That’s the legal requirement of the act. Every six months —

    QUESTION: No, but he —

    QUESTION: But he didn’t.

    QUESTION: But he didn’t.

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: — a waiver has to be issued.

    QUESTION: He didn’t do it on the 4th. He did it on the 6th.

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: We believe – and I believe the White House has spoken to this – technically, we were in compliance. We’ll leave it to the Hill on whether 48 hours constituted a problem or not. But the 4th was the trigger date.

    QUESTION: Wow. I wish my editors had your sense of deadline. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: Michelle with CNN. Thanks. Can you just say how – how this furthers the peace process?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President believes taking this issue – that is the fact of U.S. recognition, acknowledgement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – an issue that’s been pending out there since ’95, since the act was initially passed – was appropriate to make and that it helps in the process to no longer have that issue, which is the U.S. acknowledgement of the simple fact that Jerusalem is the location of the supreme court, the Knesset, the president and the prime minister’s residences, that that is a useful clearing of an issue that has been part of, grown as part of, this process for many decades.

    QUESTION: So it’s setting us up for what? To – if you’re saying that that gets that out of the way and it’s been a reality, how does that set the stage?

    AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President and his peace team have been engaged, as you all know, for many months now in discussions with the two parties, with regional states, with other key actors, to try to advance a peace. This is not an easy process; it’s a difficult one. But he believes this step assists in that process. I am not going to elaborate on that further.
    (...)
    QUESTION: Et une autre question. Considérez-vous les parties de Jérusalem-Est occupées par Israël en 1967 comme des territoires occupés?

    AMBASSADEUR SATTERFIELD: La décision du Président est de reconnaître Jérusalem comme la capitale de l’Etat d’Israël. Le Président a déclaré que cette décision ne touche pas aux questions de frontières, de souveraineté ou de frontières géographiques. Arrêt complet.

    QUESTION: Donc, il est encore territoire occupé, à votre avis?

    AMBASSADEUR SATTERFIELD: J’ai déclaré ce que la décision du président fait et ne fait pas.(...)

  • Mapping the slums | Erica Hagen | TEDxGateway - YouTube

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVkyBf_TM9s

    Mapping the slums | Erica Hagen | TEDxGateway

    Ajoutée le 10 mars 2015
    In her talk Erica Hagen describes how slums around the world are absent from maps online and on paper. She works towards empowering communities through open data, open mapping, citizen media and participatory processes.

    Erica is co-founder of Map Kibera, which created the first free and open map of the Kibera slum in Nairobi in 2009. Map Kibera has evolved to include Voice of Kibera, a website that maps stories citizen reporters; the online video initiative Kibera News Network; and more. She is also director of GroundTruth Initiative, in Washington, DC, using digital technologies, citizen media and mapping for greater citizen voice and impact around the world.

    Websites:

    www.mapkibera.org
    www.groundtruth.in
    Twitter: @ricaji

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

    #slums #cartographie #bidonvilles

  • Poll finds U.S.-Mexico border residents overwhelmingly value mobility, oppose wall

    Residents who live along the U.S.-Mexico border overwhelmingly prefer bridges over fences and are dead set against building a new wall, according to a Cronkite News-Univision-Dallas Morning News poll.


    http://interactives.dallasnews.com/2016/border-poll

    #sondage #murs #opposition #résistance #USA #Mexique #frontières #barrières_frontalières

    • Vigilantes Not Welcome : A Border Town Pushes Back on Anti-Immigrant Extremists

      In late August last year, 39-year-old Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer exited La Gitana bar in Arivaca, Arizona, took out his phone, and started recording a video for his Facebook page: “So down here in Arivaca, if you like to traffic in children, if you like to make sure women and children have contraceptives before handing them off to the coyotes to be dragged through the desert, knowing they’re going to get raped along the way, if you’re involved in human trafficking or dope smuggling, these individuals have your back.”

      Meyer, who had a trim red beard, dark sunglasses, and a camouflage American flag hat, aimed his cellphone camera at a wooden awning on a small white bungalow across the street from La Gitana, panning between two signs with the words “Arivaca Humanitarian Aid Office” and “Oficina De Ayuda Humanitaria” in turquoise letters.

      The video went on for nine and a half minutes, as Meyer, the leader of a group called Veterans on Patrol, which had more than 70,000 followers on Facebook, talked about stopping border crossers and searching abandoned mineshafts for evidence of trafficked women and children. Every couple of minutes he would return to the aid office.

      “If you’re ever down here in Arivaca,” he told his audience, “if you want to know who helps child traffickers, if you want to know who helps dope smugglers, if you want to know who helps ISIS, if you want to know who helps La Raza, MS-13, any of ’em, any of the bad guys, these people help ’em.”

      The claims were false and outrageous. But Meyer had an audience, and people in town were well aware of how media-fueled anti-­immigrant vitriol and conspiracies could spill over into real-world violence. It had happened there before.

      Arivaca sits just 11 miles north of the Mexico border in a remote area of the Sonoran Desert. For about two decades, anti-immigrant vigilante groups have patrolled the region to try to remedy what they perceive as the federal government’s failure to secure the border. In 2009, the leader of one of these groups and two accomplices murdered two residents—a little girl and her father—during a home invasion and robbery planned to fund their activities. Meyer’s video brought that trauma back and was quickly followed by a series of incidents revolving around various vigilante groups, La Gitana, and the humanitarian aid office. When I visited in mid-September, the town was clearly on edge. “If we don’t do something about [the situation], we’re going to have bodies here again,” Arivaca’s unofficial mayor, Ken Buchanan, told me.

      Shortly before making his video, Meyer had been sitting in La Gitana with several volunteers from Veterans on Patrol. Megan Davern, a 30-year-old meat cutter with work-worn hands and long brown hair, was tending bar. She had heard that a rancher living along the border was having issues with a vigilante group trespassing and flying drones over his property.

      “I walked into the bar at four o’clock one day to start a shift, and I saw this big group of people in fatigues with empty gun holsters and a drone on the table, and I felt it was probably them,” Davern recalled.

      Davern had heard the group’s name before and quickly did some internet research, reading highlights as the men drank. The group was founded to provide support to homeless veterans. Then, in May 2018, Meyer—who is not a veteran and has a criminal history—claimed he had discovered a child sex trafficking camp at an abandoned cement factory in Tucson. The camp, he said, was part of a pedophilia ring, and on his Facebook page he shared posts linking it to the Clintons, George Soros, and Mexican drug cartels.

      Meyer, who showed up for rancher Cliven Bundy’s 2014 armed standoff with authorities in Nevada and was present during Bundy’s sons’ occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, declined an interview request. But the story he was spreading mimicked right-wing conspiracies like Pizzagate and QAnon, and though Tucson police investigated and debunked his claims, Meyer gained tens of thousands of social-media followers. With donations of supplies and gift cards pouring in from supporters, he vowed to gather evidence and save the women and children he claimed were being victimized.

      Davern watched as Meyer and the other Veterans on Patrol volunteers left La Gitana and started filming the first video. Toward the end of the video, she stepped out of the bar to confront them. “We’ve been hearing about you for a long time,” she said, as Meyer turned the camera on her. “I’d appreciate if you don’t come in anymore.”

      Banning Veterans on Patrol, Davern told me, was an easy decision: “We have a strict no-militia policy at the bar because of the history of militia violence in this town.”

      Arivaca is a quirky place. To start with, it’s unincorporated, which means there’s no official mayor, no town council, no police force. The 700 or so residents are an unlikely mix of miners, ranchers, aging hippies, artists, and other folks who stumbled across the odd little community, became enchanted, and decided to make it home. A single road runs through it, linking an interstate highway to the east and a state highway to the west. The next town is 30 minutes away; Tucson is 60 miles north.

      There’s no official mayor, no town council, no police force…The next town is 30 minutes away.

      Jagged hills covered in scraggly mesquite spread in every direction until they meet towering mountains at the distant southern horizon. The vast landscape swallows up the dividing line with Mexico, but the presence of the border looms large.

      By the early 2000s, a federal policy called Prevention Through Deterrence had pushed border crossers from urban areas to more hostile terrain like the desert around Arivaca. Migrant deaths skyrocketed, and Arivaca eventually became a staging ground for volunteers caching water and food in the desert. Some settled down, and residents opened the humanitarian aid office in 2012.

      The border crossers also caught the attention of vigilante groups, many of which had formed in the late ’90s in Texas and California, and which ranged from heavily armed paramilitary-type organizations to gangs of middle-aged men sitting on lawn chairs with binoculars. “They realized that ground zero was really on the Arizona border,” said Mark Pitcavage, who researches right-wing extremism at the Anti-Defamation League.

      One group known as the Minutemen started organizing Arizona border watches in 2005. “It was a big deal in the press,” said Heidi Beirich, a hate group expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Beirich credits the Minutemen with helping mainstream the demonization of undocumented migrants, calling the media-savvy group “probably the thing that started off what ultimately becomes Donald Trump’s anti-­immigrant politics.”

      But by 2007, the organization was splintering. One spinoff, Minutemen American Defense (MAD), was led by a woman named Shawna Forde, a name that no one in Arivaca would soon forget.
      “The whole town has those emotional scars.”

      Just before 1 a.m. on May 30, 2009, Forde and two accomplices murdered nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her 29-year-old father, Raul, in their home. They also injured Brisenia’s mother, Gina Gonzales, before she drove them away by grabbing her husband’s gun and returning fire.

      Raul Flores was rumored to be involved in the drug trade, and Forde, a woman with a long criminal history, had devised a plan to rob his home and use the money to finance MAD.

      The murders shook Arivaca. “The whole town has those emotional scars,” Alan Wallen, whose daughter was friends with Brisenia, told me.

      The day that Meyer filmed that first Facebook video in Arivaca, Terry Sayles, 69, a retired schoolteacher with a long-standing research interest in far-right groups, was at his home in Green Valley, some 45 minutes away. Sayles had been following Veterans on Patrol since the cement plant conspiracy theory first surfaced. When he saw Meyer’s video outside La Gitana, he called the bar with a warning. “You guys know that you’re on Facebook?” he asked.

      “Oh, great,” Davern remembered thinking. Until then, she hadn’t realized Meyer’s video was online. “I didn’t know what the ramifications would be. Were people going to come into my work and harass me? Threaten me with violence? Were they going to find out where I live?”

      Around the time of Davern’s confrontation outside the bar, La Gitana put up a sign saying that members of border vigilante groups were not welcome inside. It didn’t mention Veterans on Patrol but instead singled out another group: Arizona Border Recon (AZBR).

      Tim Foley, the leader of AZBR, had moved to Arivaca in the summer of 2017. Before starting the group in 2011, Foley, who has piercing blue eyes and leathery skin from long hours in the sun, worked construction jobs in Phoenix until 2008, when the financial crisis hit. “Everything fell apart,” he told me over the phone.

      Foley said that after years of seeing immigration violations on work sites go unpunished, he went down to the border and decided to dedicate himself to stopping undocumented crossers. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers AZBR a nativist extremist group, but Foley now says his main mission is gathering intelligence on Mexican drug cartels.

      Just before I visited Arivaca, Foley was in Washington, DC, speaking at “The Negative Impact of Illegal Alien Crime in America,” a rally hosted by families of people killed by undocumented immigrants. Other speakers included former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is also a Trump pardon recipient; presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway; and Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Iowa with a history of racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

      A few days after Meyer filmed his video, a BearCat armored vehicle—the kind used by SWAT teams—came rolling into Arivaca. It had a mock .50-caliber machine gun affixed to a turret on its roof and belonged to the Utah Gun Exchange, a marketplace and media company based near Salt Lake City with a mission to build what one of its co-owners, 46-year-old Bryan Melchior, described as “web platforms that allow free speech and that promote and protect the Second Amendment.”

      Before coming to Arivaca, the group had followed survivors of the Parkland high school shooting around the country during the teens’ “March for Our Lives” tour. But after President Trump threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall, Melchior shifted his attention. “Ultimately, we came here to tell stories from the border, and that’s what brought us to Arivaca, because there are some outspoken public figures here. Tim Foley is one of them,” Melchior told me.

      Melchior, stocky with a scruffy salt-and-pepper beard and an ever-present sidearm, and his crew decided to get dinner at La Gitana. Davern was tending bar and asked the group what they were up to. When Melchior said they were a media company in town to tell border stories and that they were in touch with Foley, “the whole thing went to hell in a handbag,” he recalled.

      Davern said she left their initial conversation feeling optimistic that the Utah Gun Exchange’s platform could be a good avenue to reach a different audience with information about what life was actually like at the border. But when she found out it had a channel called BuildTheWallTV, she changed her mind.

      Melchior was down by the border when somebody sent him a picture of a new sign in La Gitana’s window listing the Utah Gun Exchange and Veterans on Patrol as groups that were not welcome. He later went into La Gitana with an open container of alcohol from a store across the street to ask about the sign. The interaction did not go well.

      The next day, Meyer came back to town ready to film again. Playing to an audience watching in real time on Facebook Live, he walked up to La Gitana, showed the signs hanging in the window, and knocked. “Do you stand by your convictions to tell tens of thousands of supporters [that they’re not welcome]?” he asked the bartender working that day.

      “Sure. Absolutely,” she replied.

      Meyer went on to say that Veterans on Patrol was going to build a wall around Arivaca to make it part of Mexico. He then walked across the street to again film the humanitarian office: “This town’s made it apparent they don’t want us. They’d rather have the illegals crossing over. They’d rather help traffic the children and the women.”

      To many Arivaca residents, it felt like things were building toward cataclysm. “People are terrified,” Davern told me. “These people come to town and they’re threatening. Extremely threatening.”
      To many Arivaca residents, it felt like things were building toward cataclysm.

      So they called a town meeting. It was held on September 9, and about 60 people came. Terry Sayles, the retired teacher from Green Valley, was there. He suggested that the town report Veterans on Patrol’s page to Facebook. The residents set up a phone tree in case they needed to quickly rally aid—local law enforcement is at least an hour away. Kelly and a couple of others formed a neighborhood watch of sorts. “We had a strategy that we had rehearsed so that if in fact there was some attempt by somebody to do harm, we could de-escalate it in a hurry and quietly defuse it,” he said.Arivacans weren’t so much concerned about Foley, Meyer, or Melchior, but about their followers, who might see their inflammatory videos and posts about Arivaca and take matters into their own hands. “Our greatest fear was some person incensed at the thought of this community engaged in sex traffic would come out here and have a shootout at our local tavern,” Dan Kelly, a Vietnam War veteran who lives in Arivaca, told me.

      One of the most important things, though, was channeling the spiraling fear into a productive reaction. “We worked hard to separate the emotional response to it and try to look at it logically and coldly,” Kelly said. “The visceral side, the emotional side, was the impetus to get organized and take a rational response.”

      Their containment approach worked. A couple of days after the meeting, Veterans on Patrol’s main Facebook account was taken down, stripping Meyer of his audience. The Utah Gun Exchange eventually packed up and left. Many people had refused to talk to the outlet. “Arivaca is the most unwelcoming town I’ve ever been to in my life,” Melchior complained to me.

      In January, Melchior was charged in Utah with felony drug and weapons possession. Meyer also faces legal trouble, some of it stemming from videos he took of himself trespassing on private property around Tucson. He currently has several cases pending in the Pima County court system.

      “There’s been significantly less obvious militia activity in Arivaca, which I contribute to a victory on our part,” Davern told me during a recent phone call. “There’s a lot less fear going around, which is great.” Town meetings continued for a while but have stopped for now. But to Davern, as long as Tim Foley is still in town, the issue isn’t resolved. “That person needs to leave,” she said, describing him as a magnet for conflict. High Country News detailed an incident in early March when locals eager to keep the peace dissuaded a group of reportedly self-described anarchists who had come to town to confront him.

      Foley knows what Davern and others in Arivaca think about him but insists there’s a silent majority in town that supports his presence. “They can keep calling me the bad guy. I already know I’m not, or else I still wouldn’t be walking the streets,” he told me. “I’m not moving. I’m staying in Arivaca. They can keep crying for the rest of their lives. I really don’t care.”

      Even at the height of their fear, a question hovered over the town’s residents: Were they overreacting?

      It’s a question more people across the country confront as they wake up to the reality of right-wing extremism and violence. When I was in Arivaca, the answer was clear to Clara Godfrey, whose nephew Albert Gaxiola was Shawna Forde’s accomplice in the Flores murders. He and Forde had met at La Gitana. “We can never say, ‘We didn’t know,’ again,” Godfrey told me. “If anything happens, we have to say, ‘We knew, and it was okay with us.’”

      https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/04/immigrant-vigilantes-arizona-border-arivaca

      Commentaire de Reece_Jones sur twitter :

      A truism of borders: the people who live there hate the way people in the interior politicize and militarize their homes.

      https://twitter.com/reecejhawaii/status/1116404990711492608
      ... ce qui me fait penser au fameux effet Tur_Tur !

  • Computer vision uncovers predictors of physical urban change
    http://www.pnas.org/content/114/29/7571.full


    Fig. 1.
    Computing Streetchange: (A) We calculate Streetscore, a metric for perceived safety of a streetscape, using a regression model based on two image features: GIST and texton maps. We calculate those features from pixels of four object categories—ground, buildings, trees, and sky—which are inferred using semantic segmentation. (B–D) We calculate the Streetchange of a street block as the difference between the Streetscores of a pair of images captured in 2007 and 2014. (B) The Streetchange metric is not affected by seasonal and weather changes. (C) Large positive Streetchange is typically associated with major construction. (D) Large negative Streetchange is associated with urban decay. Insets courtesy of Google, Inc.

    Significance
    We develop a computer vision method to measure changes in the physical appearances of neighborhoods from street-level imagery. We correlate the measured changes with neighborhood characteristics to determine which characteristics predict neighborhood improvement. We find that both education and population density predict improvements in neighborhood infrastructure, in support of theories of human capital agglomeration. Neighborhoods with better initial appearances experience more substantial upgrading, as predicted by the tipping theory of urban change. Finally, we observe more improvement in neighborhoods closer to both city centers and other physically attractive neighborhoods, in agreement with the invasion theory of urban sociology. Our results show how computer vision techniques, in combination with traditional methods, can be used to explore the dynamics of urban change.

    Abstract
    Which neighborhoods experience physical improvements? In this paper, we introduce a computer vision method to measure changes in the physical appearances of neighborhoods from time-series street-level imagery. We connect changes in the physical appearance of five US cities with economic and demographic data and find three factors that predict neighborhood improvement. First, neighborhoods that are densely populated by college-educated adults are more likely to experience physical improvements—an observation that is compatible with the economic literature linking human capital and local success. Second, neighborhoods with better initial appearances experience, on average, larger positive improvements—an observation that is consistent with “tipping” theories of urban change. Third, neighborhood improvement correlates positively with physical proximity to the central business district and to other physically attractive neighborhoods—an observation that is consistent with the “invasion” theories of urban sociology. Together, our results provide support for three classical theories of urban change and illustrate the value of using computer vision methods and street-level imagery to understand the physical dynamics of cities.

    • Data and Methods
      We obtained 360∘ panorama images of streetscapes from five US cities using the #Google_Street_View application programming interface. Each panorama was associated with a unique identifier (“panoid”), latitude, longitude, and time stamp (which specified the month and year of image capture). We extracted an image cutout from each panorama by specifying the heading and pitch of the camera relative to the Street View vehicle. We obtained a total of 1,645,760 image cutouts for street blocks in Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York, and Washington, DC, captured in 2007 (the “2007 panel”) and 2014 (the “2014 panel”).* We matched image cutouts from the 2007 and 2014 panels by using their geographical locations (i.e., latitude and longitude) and by choosing the same heading and pitch. This process gave us images that show the same place, from the same point of view, but in different years (Fig. 1 B–D).

  • Iraq/Syria : Danger From US White Phosphorus

    (Washington, DC) – The use of artillery-delivered white phosphorus by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State (also known as ISIS) forces in Syria and Iraq raises serious questions about the protection of civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. This multipurpose munition should never be used as an incendiary weapon to attack personnel or materiel in populated areas, even when delivered from the ground.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/14/iraq/syria-danger-us-white-phosphorus
    #Irak #armes #conflit #guerre #Syrie #phosphore #phosphore_blanc (?) #white_Phosphorus #armes_chimiques

  • After US Bombs Syrian Government for Third Time in 8 Months, Media Ask Few Questions | FAIR
    http://fair.org/home/after-us-bombs-syrian-government-for-third-time-in-8-months-media-ask-few-ques

    On May 18, the US military launched an air raid against forces allied with the Syrian government, killing several soldiers. The Trump administration claimed Syrian- and Iranian-backed militias had entered a 55-kilometer (34-mile) “deconfliction zone” around a base in southern Syria, near the borders of Iraq and Jordan, where the US trains opposition fighters.

    Yet US officials also later admitted that they do not themselves recognize the legitimacy of these de-escalation zones—even while using them to justify carrying out such attacks.

    No major media outlets questioned the government narrative, or the notion that the Syrian-allied forces were a “threat.” (For context, 34 miles is the distance between Aleppo and Idlib, considered two separate theaters in the Syrian civil war. It is also roughly the distance between Baghdad and Fallujah, or between Washington, DC, and Baltimore.)

  • Activists demonstrate in Hebron against AIPAC conference
    March 26, 2017 10:57 P.M. (Updated: March 27, 2017 11:42 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=776128

    HEBRON (Ma’an) — The National Campaign to Lift the Closure of Hebron organized a protest in the southern occupied West Bank city on Sunday to denounce the policies of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as the lobby held its annual policy conference in the United States.

    Protesters held Palestinian flags and signs calling for the dismantlement of AIPAC and condemning its activities in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, while Israeli forces stationed in the area fired sound bombs towards the demonstrators.

    Hisham Sharabati, a coordinator of the Hebron Defense Committee, said that the protest was organized to condemn the pro-Israel lobby’s support of the Israeli “colonial racist regime” and the military occupation of the Palestinian territory in violation of international law.

    Badi Dweik, an activist with the group Human Rights Defenders, said it was time to stop AIPAC’s support of Israeli policies such as the segregation of Hebron’s Old City, notably in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida and Shuhada Street.

    Some 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians, as Palestinian residents of the neighborhood face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 20 checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets, as well as the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque.

    Meanwhile, representative of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements Yunis Arrar expressed appreciation for the solidarity of American activists with Palestinians, as proven by their participation in the protest in Hebron — as well as in a demonstration in Washington, DC outside of the AIPAC conference.

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    #JewishResistance: Protesters block AIPAC conference calling for end to Israel occupation (VIDEOS)
    https://www.rt.com/usa/382374-jewish-resistance-protest-aipac
    Published time: 26 Mar, 2017 18:41

    Jewish protesters blocked the entrance to the annual pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference at the Washington Convention Center, calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

    The three-day conference began Sunday in what AIPAC describes as the “largest and most important advocacy day” for the pro-Israel community. Up to 15,000 people were expected to attend the event, according to organizers, and its speakers on Sunday included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Rwandan President Paul Kagame

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    Alejandro Alvarez‏ @aletweetsnews
    https://twitter.com/aletweetsnews/status/846067886582091781
    LIVE: Hundreds blocking an entrance to #AIPAC2017 outside the Washington Convention Center. #ResistAIPAC
    .

    • USA : manifestation anti-implantation devant la conférence annuelle d’AIPAC
      26/03/2017 19:06:20
      http://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/ameriques/141143-170326-usa-manifestation-anti-implantation-devant-la-conference-annue

      Des centaines de jeunes militants juifs américains ont défilé dimanche en marge de la conférence américaine du Comité des affaires publiques d’Israël (AIPAC) à Washington protestant contre les implantations israéliennes en Cisjordanie.

      Les manifestants, qui s’opposent au soutien de l’AIPAC aux politiques de l’actuel gouvernement israélien concernant les implantations, ont défilé dans les rues de Washington scandant des slogans faisant appel à mettre fin à « l’occupation ». Certains d’entre-deux se sont également enchaînés à l’entrée du centre de conférence, bloquant l’entrée de ce dernier.

      D’après les organisateurs de la manifestation, IfNotNow, un groupe de jeunes Juifs américains de gauche, près de 700 personnes devaient se réunir afin d’exprimer leur position face à la politique israélienne en Cisjordanie.

    • Nikki Haley promet la fin du « dénigrement » d’Israël au sein des Nations Unies
      AFP Publié le mardi 28 mars 2017
      http://www.lalibre.be/actu/international/nikki-haley-promet-la-fin-du-denigrement-d-israel-au-sein-des-nations-unies-

      La nouvelle ambassadrice des Etats-Unis à l’ONU Nikki Haley a promis lundi devant la plus grande organisation américaine pro-israélienne que le « dénigrement » de l’Etat hébreu aux Nations unies était « terminé ». La représentante auprès de l’ONU de l’administration Trump a comparé l’historique absence de veto de l’administration Obama à la résolution 2234 du Conseil de sécurité, dénonçant la colonisation israélienne, à un « coup de pied dans le ventre ». « Tout ce que je peux vous dire, c’est que tout le monde aux Nations unies a peur de me parler de la résolution 2234 », a affirmé l’ambassadrice, sous un tonnerre d’applaudissement de la conférence annuelle de l’Aipac (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). « Et je veux qu’ils sachent que, certes, c’est arrivé, mais que cela n’arrivera plus ». « L’époque où l’on dénigrait Israël, c’est terminé », a-t-elle finalement lancé.

  • Uzbekistan : ILO Report Confirms Forced Labor

    (Washington, DC) – A recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) confirms the scope and systematic nature of forced labor of Uzbek citizens during Uzbekistan’s 2016 cotton harvest, the Cotton Campaign said today. But the Uzbek government’s involvement in the research appeared to undermine the results and may also have led the ILO to not give sufficient weight to the evidence of abuses presented by independent Uzbek civil society monitors.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/02/16/uzbekistan-ilo-report-confirms-forced-labor

    #Ouzbékistan #coton #travail #exploitation

  • swissinfo.ch | Trop peu de places de thérapie pour les victimes de torture et de guerre
    http://asile.ch/2017/02/01/swissinfo-ch-de-places-de-therapie-victimes-de-torture-de-guerre

    Les réfugiés provenant de pays en guerre ou de dictatures ont souvent vécu des choses terribles. Ils ont vu des hommes mourir, ont perdu des membres de leur famille ou ont peut-être été victimes de torture ou de violence. Une Conférence tenue à Berne a mis en évidence qu’en Suisse, les migrants traumatisés ne sont […]

  • Israeli embassy official caught on camera discussing ’taking down’ British lawmakers - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.763613
    http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.763614.1483841638!/image/3746778998.PNG_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3746778998.PNG

    The official, Shai Masot, was recorded by an undercover Al-Jazeera reporter apparently discussing his wishes to engineer the downfall of several British Members of Parliament, including Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, a supporter of a Palestinian state and outspoken critic of the Israeli settlements.

    C’est un agent russe ?

  • Largest bank in Norway pulls its assets in Dakota Access pipeline
    http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Largest-bank-in-Norway-pulls-its-assets-in-Dakota-Access-pipeline--401768696

    Finalement, la DNB a compris qu’elle avait plus à perdre en restant qu’en partant. #pragmatisme (la DNB st aussi mouillée dans le scandale Fonseca au Panama). Ça fait beaucoup.

    WASHINGTON, DC - A press release from Greenpeace Thursday says the largest bank in Norway, DNB, sold its assets in the Dakota Access pipeline. They say this news follows the delivery of 120,000 signatures gathered by SumOfUs.org to DNB by Greenpeace Norway and others urging the bank and other financial institutions to pull finances for the project

    Full press release from Greenpeace:

    November 17, 2016

    Largest bank in Norway sells its assets in Dakota Access pipeline

    Washington, DC - The largest bank in Norway, DNB, has announced that it has sold its assets in the Dakota Access pipeline. The news follows the delivery of 120,000 signatures gathered by SumOfUs.org to DNB by Greenpeace Norway and others urging the bank and other financial institutions to pull finances for the project. DNB [www.democracynow.org/2016/11/8/headlines/norwegian_bank_dnb_considering_cutting_funding_of_dakota_access_pipeline]recently indicated that it is reconsidering the loan it provided, which amounts to 10 percent of the total funding.

  • There is an orchestrated campaign for war in Syria, and it is in sync with the rise of Hillary Clinton
    http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2016/10/there-is-orchestrated-campaign-for-war.html

    Make no mistake about it. There is a universal campaign for war on Syria. The rise of Hillary has emboldened the war mongers out there. There are many elements of this campaign: it includes the leadership of Democratic and Republican parties; the Gulf regimes and their lobbyists in Washington, DC, and of course the Zionist lobby through all of its branches. The DC think tanks are now part and parcel of the Zionist-Gulf lobbies in the capital of the US. Gulf regimes are utilizing their media in its vicious and determined campaign, and they are resorting to the same Zionist tactics of vilification and defamation against Arab progressives and Western progressives who oppose war and destruction in Syria.

    When you read that Arab leftists have supported Bashshar Al-Asad and his mafia regime, you should not believe that. It is rather hilarious for this writer to read that by people who only a few years were official apologists or diplomats of the Bashshar regime when I, for example, was banned by the Syrian regime for years from entering Lebanon (for writings against the father tyrant, Hafidh Al-Asad), and was accused by official Syrian TV in 2012 of receiving money from the West to attack the Syrian regime. Arab leftists are not supportive of the Bashshar regime (there are some who are but they are in the minority) while the overwhelming majority of Arab liberals are supporters and apologists and stooges of Gulf regimes. Arab leftists are on the whole opposed to the Syrian regime and its brutality while also condemning the Western-Zionist-Gulf transparent conspiracy against Syria and the Arab world.

    Those who advocated NATO bombing of Libya and who are responsible for the mess and destruction of Libya today are trying to replicate the Libyan scenario in Syria, under different headings and titles—or under the same headings and titles: the same propaganda techniques are being used, nakedly. And they are resorting to a variety of tactics and tricks: they sometimes roll out a Syrian supporter of Gulf regimes and label him as a leftist when he has not been a leftist for more than 30 years and when he writes against Arab leftists in Gulf regimes newspapers; they roll out people working for Gulf regime media and present them as neutral observers and as representatives of the silent majority; they roll out former Ba‘thists and operatives of the Syrian regime who now pretend they have been fighting for “peace and democracy” all their lives; they roll out people who have never studied the Middle East and present them as the foremost experts on the region because they want to push for war and destruction in Syria; they roll out Western journalists who never in their lives expressed emotions or sentiments toward Arab victims but allow them to pose for the moment in the media as arbiter of sentimentality and humanitarianism and as new lovers of the Syrian people. They roll out Zionist haters of Arabs and Muslims and tell us that they are the real champions of the interests of the Syrian people. They use people like Obama administration officials—people who have been in the administration of war and destruction throughout the world—and ask them to counsel for war and destruction in Syria.

    They are willing to revive the rhetoric of the Cold War to present the war on Syria as the only safe and rational option for the US and “national interests”. They even rely on the authority and opinions of a Jordanian regime royal who was put in the UN to handle human rights from the standpoint of the US-Israeli alliance—which put him in his post. It is time to raise our voice and to warn of the deadly and devastating consequences of war—or more war—on Syria.

    Those who are still laughably claiming that there are some secret secular and feminist and democratic Syrian rebels (whose names and identities are never revealed and identified) are engaged in the same propaganda which preceded the US war on Iraq and on Libya. The scenario is all too obvious for all to see. Too many leftists and progressives have been intimidated from speaking out against Western conspiracies in Syria for fear of being labeled as Asad regime supporters, just as Zionists have intimidated people from speaking out against Israel for fear of being labeled anti-Semites.

    Don’t let it happen, not this time, not any time. Western governments and media don’t want an end to the war in Syria; they want what has been the most favored Western policies for decades: the continuation of bloodshed by Arabs against Arabs, or by Muslims against Muslims. They want what they worked for in the Iran-Iraq war and the Lebanese civil war: they want a continuation of the war in order to keep Israeli aggression and occupation safe and protected.

    • La lecture des textes signalés dans la discussion suivante :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/530032
      (merci @sinehebdo pour le boulot) rend assez évident le fait qu’il y a une campagne de communication spécifiquement destinée à « la gauche internationale ». Toute une série de textes au ton plus ou moins acrimonieux, qui systématiquement moquent et parodient les positions de tous ceux, à gauche, qui ne partagent pas l’enthousiasme pour la rébellitude syrienne.

      Je pense que ce texte d’Angry Arab réagit précisément à cela.

  • The Believer - If He Hollers Let Him Go - by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
    http://www.believermag.com/issues/201310/?read=article_ghansah

    Chappelle’s comedy found fans in many worlds. At a recent barbecue in Philadelphia, a friend of the host dutifully but disinterestedly interrogated me about my life, and got excited only when my mother let it slip that I was working on a piece about Dave Chappelle. “Aw, man. I miss that guy,” he said. “He was my friend. I really felt like he was my friend.” I hear this a lot, usually from white people, and usually from white people without many black friends—like this seventy-year-old comparative literature professor in Birkenstocks. Part of what made the show so ingenious was that Chappelle’s racial invective found friends in strange places. With a regularly broadcasted television show, Chappelle was finally able to display what writer and activist Kevin Powell described in an Esquire profile as a “unique capacity to stand out and blend in, to cross boundaries and set up roadblocks.” Almost overnight, Chappelle became America’s black friend. He was a polyglot. He told Powell that, growing up, he used to “hang out with the Jewish kids, black kids, and Vietnamese immigrants,” and it was apparent that Chappelle had used these experiences to become America’s consul and translator for all things racial.

    #Dave_Chappelle

    • Chappelle did such a good job of truth-telling, on every subject, that nobody knew what to do when he just stopped talking. In no way did his quitting conform to our understanding of the comic’s one obligation: to be funny. To talk to us. To entertain us. To make us laugh. We aren’t used to taking no for an answer, to being rejected, especially not by the people who are supposed to make us smile. Especially not by black men who are supposed to make us smile. And yet Chappelle did just that. And so, like everyone, I wondered what had happened. What had happened, and, more so, what had brought Chappelle to—and kept him in—Yellow Springs?At a stand-up appearance in Sacramento in 2004, a frustrated Chappelle lashed out at his hecklers from the stage, yelling, “You people are stupid!” So what was it about this small college town—where hippies slipped me bags of Girl Scout cookies, where Tibetan jewelry stores and fair-trade coffee shops dotted the main street, and where kindly white ladies crossed the street to tell me my wild hair was giving them life—that made it more satisfying than celebrity or fame?

    • Seon was born in Washington, DC. Her father was a fair-skinned man who was adopted by a black woman. Although he self-identified as black, by all accounts he looked Greek. He was also blind. On the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, Chappelle’s grandfather was on a city bus and overheard rumblings of a beat-down about to happen to a white fellow on his bus. That guy’s gonna be in trouble, he thought. He did not realize that he was the white man being threatened. This anecdote about his grandfather would inspire Chappelle’s “Clayton Bigsby” sketch—the unforgettable short mockumentary about a blind white supremacist who does not know he is black.

    • Soit-dit en passant, où l’on apprend que le type a refusé un contrat de 50 millions de dollars préférant (re)partir vivre dans le bled où il a grandis, qui ressemble à ça (je suis nul en microblogage) :

      Although the city of Dayton is small and has been hit hard by the decline of industry, in Xenia and Yellow Springs the land is green, fecund, and alive, even in the relentless heat of summer. Xenia is three miles from where the first private black college, Wilberforce, opened, in 1856, to meet the educational needs of the growing population of freed blacks that crossed the Ohio River. Yellow Springs, a stop on the Underground Railroad, was initially established as a utopian community in 1825. In 1852, Horace Mann founded Antioch College and served as its president. During the ’50s and ’60s, Antioch and Yellow Springs were hamlets of anti-McCarthyism and antiwar and civil rights activism. Today there are a lot of hippies and there’s even more tie-dye. Between the villages, you can drive over rolling hills and pastures and not see another car for miles, and only far off on the horizon will you be able to spot a farmhouse.

      I spent a week in this part of Ohio, and during my stay I was invited to do all sorts of things with people of all kinds—rich and poor, white and black. I was invited to go flying, dig for worms at midnight, and plant raspberry bushes. My request to drive a tractor was turned down, not because I don’t know how to drive but because the tractor had been put away. In Ohio, there is space for people to do what they want. There is a lot of land, plenty of it. This is where enslaved people ran to, certain that they had finally evaded capture. This is where America’s first prominent black poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, wrote “We Wear the Mask.” And somewhere in the midst of it all is Dave Chappelle’s home.

  • First Self-Driving, 3D-Printed Smart Bus Hits the Streets of Washington, DC
    http://ecowatch.com/2016/06/19/self-driving-bus

    Public transportation users in Washington, DC, can now hitch a ride on a self-driving, 3D-printed bus.

    Olli, created by Arizona-based Local Motors, officially hit the streets of the nation’s capital Thursday. Using an app similar to Uber or Lyft, ride-seekers can order the bus to pick them up and drop them off at their destinations of choice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymz4SYVr_EE


    https://meetolli.auto

    #voiture_autopilotée #autopilote #bus #urban_matter via @odilon

  • No Thanks: How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide of Native Peoples (Truthout, 26-11-2015)

    Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Native American and Indigenous people. Its purpose is to serve the capitalism of empire.

    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33781-no-thanks-how-thanksgiving-narratives-erase-the-genocide-of-native-


    This mural, “Reconcile,” was produced by Gregg Deal in 2014 in Washington, DC. While offering commentary on the local professional football team, the mural also puts indigenous stereotype, identity and appropriation in a historical context. (Credit: Gregg Deal)

    Thanksgiving is a nationalist holiday defined by the rituals of making money and self indulgence. Nationalist traditions advance the idea of the freedom to be happy by erasing the consequences of imperial capitalism.

    Those traditions are certainly not about the “first Thanksgiving” in 1637. John Winthrop, governor of an English colony in what is now Massachusetts, held a feast in honor of a volunteer militia who had returned from their massacre of 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Nation. The federal holiday was established in 1863. By then, the mythic narrative had become the national truth: Pilgrims (Americans) gave thanks for surviving, thanks to the “Indians” who fed them and taught them how to grow corn.

    Nothing about the myth, of course, is about Native people, neither the genocide and enslavement - nor the survival - of the Pequot Nation or other Native nations in New England. Thanksgiving erases the genocide, sexual violence, land fraud and hate that defined early colonial histories and that continue to define US-Native relations. It distorts into a magically happy scene of an extended family dinner, including the “racial other,” a relationship that was and is actually based on slavery, poverty, war and rape. And it shames and belittles Native people who contest and contend the representations as wannabe politically correct, overly sensitive, “not enough” trying to grab onto the public spotlight for themselves.

    #US #Thanksgiving #histoire #Amérindiens #colonialisme #génocide #capitalisme #consommation #dip

  • Interview – H.A. Hellyer
    http://www.e-ir.info/2015/10/10/interview-h-a-hellyer

    Dr H.A. Hellyer is nonresident Fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Centre for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and Associate Fellow in International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. An analyst & political scientist on Arab affairs, Muslim-Western communities, Egyptian politics, European security policies, and political theory, Dr Hellyer was appointed as Deputy Convenor of the UK Government’s Taskforce for the 2005 London bombings. He served as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) first Economic & Social Research Council Fellow attached to the ‘Islam’ & ‘Counter-Terrorism’ teams with FCO security clearance, as a non-civil servant, independent academic with security clearance. He was previously Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick (UK) and Research Associate at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Some of his publications include “Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans” for Edinburgh University Press, “Engagement with the Muslim Community and Counter-Terrorism: British Lessons for the West” for Brookings Institution Press, and “The Chance for Change in the Arab World: Egypt’s Uprising” for Chatham House’s Journal of International Affairs. He is currently writing a book on the Egyptian revolutionary uprising of 2011 and its aftermath.

    Where do you see the most exciting research/debates happening in your field?

    I tend to focus on three different fields – and at the moment, I’m truly fascinated by the current developments in all three. The first relates to the politics of the Arab world, including Islamist politics; the second pertains to Muslim Western populations and their challenges to, as well as challenges from, the countries in which they reside; and the third around the interchange between Islam and modernity.

    Many of our assumptions have been challenged in the past 5 years, since the revolutionary uprisings took place in the Arab world. I can still remember a world where academics wrote about the ‘resistance axis’ in the region, and the likes of Hizbollah and Bashar al-Assad’s Damascus were a part of that, described as ‘counter-weights’ to the machinations of right-wing neoconservatism and imperialism. The frames are wholly different now, on both of those points, due to the Syrian revolutionary uprising – and that leads to an important question for the Arab anti-imperialist left, as well as the old left in the West. Is this what left-wing politics is about, where we sacrifice the Syrian revolutionary uprising on the altar of some kind of imagined ‘resistance’ – while another type of foreign interference, be it from Tehran, Moscow, or Hizbollah, is critical in propping up a regime that has overseen the killing of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians? That’s a question that ought to be asked. In so doing, I hope the answer is not for the left to decide that they ought to become akin to the right-wing, whether in the West or the Arab world, and lose their time-honoured commitments to social justice as leftists. But rather, that the left ought to become more nuanced, and really take seriously the autonomy of people as a motivating factor, even when it is politically inconvenient.

    I’ve also been interested to see the discussion unfold around Islamism. Pre 2011, there were certain basic elements that more progressive, liberal and left-wing thinkers had when it came to Islamism in general. The first was that Islamism was, generally, to be considered as ‘political Islam’ – i.e., that it was normative, mainstream, historically authentic Islam, but simply put into politics. The second was that the Muslim Brotherhood, as the mainstream of Islamism, was, across the board, rather moderate, pluralistic, and democratic.