continent:america

  • Colombie : Attentat-suicide par une voiture à l’École de police de Bogotá

    Atentado terrorista con carro bomba dejó nueve muertos en Bogotá
    http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/latinoamerica/atentado-terrorista-con-carro-bomba-dejo-nueve-muertos-bogota_266832

    Un atentado terrorista con carro bomba se registró sobre las 9:30 de la mañana de este jueves en la Escuela de Policía General Santander y dejó al menos nueve muertos y 54 heridos, según han confirmado hasta el momento las autoridades.

    Las primeras versiones señalan que un hombre llegó hasta la portería de la escuela y cuando fue detenido por los controles de seguridad aceleró el vehículo y lo estrelló contra una pared. El conductor está entre los muertos, según fuentes de la Policía. 

    A pocos metros, en las imágenes, se ve el cuerpo de una de las víctimas fatales.

    El vehículo se estrelló contra una pared y explotó, provocando la muerte de al menos cuatro personas más. Pocos minutos antes había terminado la ceremonia de ascenso de brigadieres generales de la Policía, por lo que los investigadores no descartan que el ataque hubiera estado dirigido a los máximos oficiales de la institución.


  • On a mission from God : Pompeo messages evangelicals from the Middle East - Asia Times
    http://www.atimes.com/article/on-a-mission-from-god-pompeo-messages-evangelicals-from-the-middle-east

    Commentaire ironique d’Elijah Magnier sur Twitter (https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/1085258903045238784) : Al-Baghdadi a également une « mission divine » et Dieu doit vraiment s’intéresser au Moyen-Orient pour y envoyer autant d’envoyés !

    “This trip is especially meaningful for me as an evangelical Christian, coming so soon after the Coptic Church’s Christmas celebrations. This is an important time. We’re all children of Abraham: Christians, Muslims, Jews. In my office, I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word, and The Truth.”

    He added that he was in Cairo to herald another truth, that America was a “force for good” in the Middle East.

    Pompeo then proceeded to rip into former president Barack Obama, who some fringe evangelists have accused of being a secret Muslim and even the Antichrist. The secretary of state used his speech to air domestic grievances, blaming Obama for the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) and the empowerment of Iran.

    “Remember: It was here, here in this city, that another American stood before you. He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology. He told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East.

    “The results of these misjudgments have been dire,” Pompeo told an assembled group of blank-faced students, eliciting little palpable reaction.

    “We grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism, a debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship or governance. ISIS drove to the outskirts of Baghdad as America hesitated. They raped and pillaged and murdered tens of thousands of innocents. They birthed a caliphate across Syria and Iraq and launched terror attacks that killed all across continents,” he said.


  • People behind bars in Europe / Data news / News / Home - edjnet
    https://www.europeandatajournalism.eu/eng/News/Data-news/People-behind-bars-in-Europe

    Globally, since 2000, the prison population “has grown by 24 percent”, the document says.

    Also, the study highlights trends relative to macro-regions. Since the beginning of the century, the variation in absolute numbers are positive in all regions (Africa +29 percent, the Americas +41 percent, Asia +38 percent, Oceania +86 percent), except for Europe (-22 percent).[...]

    A closer look at Europe

    From the outset, it is important to state that in the report the European macro-region includes as well Russia. Crucially, it is stated that the positive trend that has characterised Europe compared to other parts of the globe is due to the performance of Russia over the past 20 years or so (-45 percent in the prison population).

    So what can be said relatively to the Member States of the EU only? We extracted data.


    #prison #incarcération #visualisation #cartographie


  • Children’s & Teens’ Suicides Related to the School Calendar

    We get very upset by school shootings, as well we should. Every such instance is a national tragedy. We should be ashamed of ourselves for not doing something about gun control, as essentially every other developed nation has. But as serious as this tragedy is, it is dwarfed by another school-related tragedy–suicide.

    Suicide is the third leading cause of death for school-aged children over 10 years old, and the second leading cause (behind accidents and ahead of homicides) for those over 15 (here). The evidence is now overwhelming that our coercive system of schooling plays a large role in these deaths and in the mental anguish so many young people experience below the threshold of suicide.

    Four years ago I posted data (here)—from a mental health facility in Connecticut—showing the relationship between pediatric emergency mental health visits and the school year over a three-year period (2011-2013). Those data revealed that the average monthly number of emergency mental health intakes for school-aged children declined from 185 in May (the last full month of school), to 102 in June (the month in which school lets out), and then down to 74 and 66, respectively, in July and August (the full months of freedom from school). In September the rate started its climb back up again. Overall, the rate of such visits during the school months was slightly more than twice what it was in July and August. When I wrote that article, I did not know of any other studies assessing mental health breakdowns as a function of the school calendar. Since that time, more research has emerged.
    Psychiatric Breakdowns and Suicide Attempts as a Function of the School Year

    Collin Lueck and his colleagues (2015) examined the rate of psychiatric visits for danger to self or others at a large pediatric emergency mental health department in Los Angeles on a week-by-week basis for the years 2009-2012. They found that the rate of such visits in weeks when school was in session was 118% greater than in weeks when school wasn’t in session. In other words, the rate of emergency psychiatric visits was more than twice as high during school weeks as it was during non-school weeks. It’s interesting to note that the sharp decline in such emergencies occurred not just during summer vacation, but also during school vacation weeks over the rest of the year.

    The researchers also found a continuous increase in the rate of psychiatric emergencies during school weeks, but not during vacation weeks, over the 4-year period of the study. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that the increase in suicidal ideation and attempts over time is the result of the increased stressfulness of school over this time period and not attributable to some factor independent of schooling. In another, more recent study, Gregory Plemmons and his colleagues (2018), found that the rate of hospitalization of school-aged children for suicidal ideation and attempts increased dramatically—by nearly 300%—over the seven years of their study, from 2008 to 2015, and each year the rate of such hospitalizations was significantly higher in the school months than in the summer.
    Actual Suicides as a Function of the School Year

    On the basis of the data I’ve described so far, someone could argue that the school-year increase in emergency psychiatric admissions is a result of attentive behavior on the part of school personnel, who referred children for admissions and thereby, perhaps, saved children’s lives. According to that view, parents are less perceptive of children’s problems than are teachers. There are no data suggesting that this is true, however, and there are very strong reasons to believe it is not. If this hypothesis were true, then the rate of actual suicides—as opposed to suicide ideation or attempts—should be lower when school is in session than when it is not. But, in fact, the actual suicide data parallel the data for suicide ideation and attempts.

    Benjamin Hansen and Matthew Lang (2011) used data collected from state agencies to analyze suicides for teenagers across the US between 1980 and 2004. This is an older study, with data largely from a time when school was at least somewhat less stressful than it is today and the total teen suicide rate was lower than today. Yet, they found a much higher rate of suicides during the school year than during the summer vacation months. They also—unlike any of the other studies I’ve found—analyzed the data separately for boys and girls. For boys, the suicide rate was, on average, 95% higher during the school months than during summer vacation; for girls, it was only 33% higher. This finding is consistent with the general observation that boys have a more difficult time adjusting to the constraints of school than do girls. Stated differently, when girls commit suicide, school is apparently less likely to be a cause than is the case for boys.

    Hansen and Lang also found that the school-year increase in teen suicide rate held only for those of school age. For 18-year-olds, most of whom would be finished with high school, the increase was barely present, and for 19- and 20-year-olds it had vanished. Other research shows that suicides and suicide attempts for adults vary only slightly by season and are somewhat higher, not lower, in the summer than in the fall and winter (Miller et al, 2012; Cambria et al, 2016)—a trend that is opposite to the finding for school-aged children and teens.
    Just the Tip of the Iceberg

    Actual suicides and emergency mental health admissions are just the tip of the iceberg of the distress that school produces in young people. I have summarized some of the other indicators of that stress elsewhere (here and here). One finding that bears repeating comes from a large survey conducted a few years ago by the American Psychological Association, which revealed that teenagers are the most stressed, anxious people in America; that 83% of them cite school as a cause of their stress; and that, during the school year, 27% of them reported experiencing “extreme stress” compared to 13% reporting that during the summer.

    School is clearly bad for children’s mental health. The tragedy is that we continue to make school ever more stressful, even though research shows that none of this is necessary. Young people learn far more, far better, with much less stress (and at less public expense) when they are allowed to learn in their own natural ways, as I have pointed out in many of my previous posts and in my book, Free to Learn.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/201805/children-s-teens-suicides-related-the-school-calendar

    #jeunes #calendrier_scolaire #école #suicides #suicide #éducation #santé_mentale #USA #Etats-Unis


  • FYI France: Tom Paine!

    Une lecture critique du livre «Révolution Paine» (C&F éditions) par Jack Kessler depuis San Francisco.

    A new book which can remind us all, again, of what France and the US have in-common... at a good time for remembering all this, on both similarly-beleaguered sides of The Pond right now...

    Révolution Paine: Thomas Paine penseur et défenseur des droits humains, by Thomas Paine, Peter Linebaugh (pref.), Nicolas Taffin (dir.),

    (C&F éditions, 35 C rue des Rosiers, 14000 Caen, t. 02.31.23.39.48, fx. 01.40.09.72.67, cfedtions@cfeditions.com; août 2018) ISBN: 978-2-915825-85-5

    Tom Paine was British, it must be remembered — but then so were we all, back then, in revolutionary “America”, citizens of an empire which spanned the globe until very recently, our “shots heard round the world” the first of many which ultimately would bring that empire and others to heel and create new ways of thinking about government for the modern world.

    In all that mælstrom we very much needed ideas, and cheerleaders, for encouraging and inspiring ourselves and our fellow citizens, and Tom Paine was that. Whatever his opponents and most severe critics — and there were many — thought of him, and even friends and fans worried about him, but he was encouraging and inspiring, and for careful and conservative American “colonists” like the wealthy plantation-owner George Washington and the gentleman-printer Benjamin Franklin and the Boston lawyer John Adams, Paine’s encouragement and inspiration were enough, and at times they were very badly needed in fact.

    And the French were there for us, very different but close in spirit to the Americans, and always needed, for their spirit & their money & their guns & for many other resources and reasons — at the very least they were enemies of our enemies and so our friends, on whom we could rely for insight, breadth of vision, even occasionally at their own ruinous expense...

    France entertained Paine the rebellious Brit after the excitements of the British colonies had hosted him for a long while — in both places his own exciting language and the clarity of his vision helped citizens greatly, in the great troubles of their times — so now a glimpse of Tom Paine may help again, both to see our current troubles more clearly too, and to remember what we and the French share in-common in all this. When things change, for the US and France, neither of us is ever alone.

    https://cfeditions.com/paine

    The book is a “reader” — not a compendium, but a comfortable and thoughtful armchair-piece to browse-through and then keep handy, as headline-events of current troubled-times pour in, descending upon us daily.

    First comes a preface — avant-propos — by Nicolas Taffin, outlining why and how the idea for the book occurred to him: 2018 saw the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he says, and still we face troubles that first were defined for us by events of 1789 — after such a long time the birthday-celebration required a renewal of the effort, he thought, and who better than Tom Paine who first inspired it, in both the US and France, and the “Human Rights” and “Commons” forms in which the ideas were first presented.

    Then comes an elegant introduction to Paine and his works by historian Peter Linebaugh, translated from l’américain...

    It is a useful thing, to know Paine’s history, as he landed somewhat un-announced upon the Americans with his outrageous views and funny accent (?) and stunning phrasings. That he had a tradition, and a context, back home in also-turbulent England, only makes sense — and that early-on England experimented with many of the ideas the colonists were confronting later in their own contests with the Crown, deserves recalling, many of the same conflicts were heard before in early Industrial Revolution England, as workers and owners confronted one another, and governments moved to tax and otherwise control the new techniques.

    Paine and his East Anglia neighbors had rehearsed many of the confrontations he was to witness and comment upon in his sojourns in the American colonies — the issues were similar, new techniques & how to cope with change & the sharing of burdens and benefits & working conditions & and of course taxes... not exactly “taxation without representation”, there at-home in England, but taxation all-the-same...

    Whether Paine was a Che Guevara, as Linebaugh I-hope-playfully suggests, whether the Introduction successfully demonstrates that Americans of that time, “ambitiously risked class warfare on a global scale”, well, other readers will have to read and judge... Linebaugh, described by Wikipedia as a “Marxist historian”, does weave through initial attributions of Paine’s ideas to his having been, “conscious of classes, sensible to differences in power and wealth” — he describes Paine’s concerns for “Agrarian Justice” as involving “class injustice”.

    It matters that Paine’s life in mid-18th c. England greatly preceded the writings of Marx a century later; but also of course there may have been historical connections, workers’ lives a century earlier were very much what the historicist Marx was interested in and wrote about. Linebaugh carefully outlines that Paine, “lived at the time of an industrial revolution, of commercial expansion & urbanization & population increase” — he grants that Paine’s views did not fall cleanly into any contest between “communism and capitalism”, terms which, apparently per Edmund Burke, were, “still cartilaginous, not yet well defined or formed”.

    But Paine had a good sense for “the commons”, he insists, “and of its long presence in English history”, a matter which he says has not been well considered in previous studies of Paine. “A long anti-capitalist tradition in England”, Linebaugh believes he’s found, through Tom Paine, “one which contributes to our understanding about current notions of ‘revolution’ and ‘constitution’ in modern Britain” — for this suggestion alone, Linebaugh’s Introduction makes for some very interesting reading.

    Beyond this Introduction there are excerpts, then, from Paine’s own “Rights of Man” — fascinating, the differences, between one culture’s “emotive” language and another’s — French easily is the equal of English in this regard...

    And finally a fascinating Post-Script by editor Nicolas Taffin: he takes “Tom Paine of Thetford” several significant steps further than the little local American Revolution — several steps further, even, than the nascent Class Warfare of the Levellers and workers’-revolts of East Anglia which maybe-led to the Marxian revolutions of the 19th century — Taffin going-further finds, in Paine, the freeing of the human imagination, from the illusory securities and comforts and oppressions of the previous era’s religion-controlled philosophies, the emergence of the Enlightenment’s idealisms into a modern world of “real” rights and responsibilities and true-freedom, governed by reason alone...

    Paine may have had a glimmer. The American Founders who fought our little revolution here certainly had some glimpse as well... Certainly the young Virginia lawyer who boldly wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident” and then chafed as the elders to whom he submitted that draft picked it apart... Jefferson had read much of what the young Paine had read as well — in 1776, when arguably they both were at their most-inspired, Jefferson was age 33, Tom Paine was age 37 — as Wordsworth observed of youth in a slightly-later revolution, “Bliss was it in that Dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven”.

    But the true significance of what they all were doing did not emerge until much, much later... as late as the 1820s the two then very elderly American patriots Jefferson and Adams, both preparing for death and fondly reminiscing in their dotage-correspondance, could recall what they had done for the little United States, and for Britain, but only the more daring Jefferson seriously considered what they may have done ‘way back then to, “free the human spirit in general”...

    Taffin gives Paine the greater credit. Well, history has benefit of hindsight... Whether Paine himself, or truly his contemporaries, really understood what he was accomplishing with his amazing writings, back then, seems questionable. There are crackpots writing this sort of thing about The Future today — just as there were in East Anglia long before Paine’s birth there, which later he read, a few of them, in the Old School at Thetford — so qua-dreamer Paine’s contribution may well have been fortuitous, simply a matter of good timing... The poet appears to have felt this about his own contribution to the French Revolution, and others have suggested Paine contributed little there too...

    But ideas have lives of their own, and History has control of this. Taffin doubtless is correct that if we are “free” today — universally — then some part of that is due to the writings of Tom Paine, almost regardless of how exactly that happened and what agencies promoted it and why, Marxist or Liberal or French, English, American, or other... Mao Tse Tung and Ho Chi Minh both are said to have read Tom Paine, I expect Steve Bannon has as well, and Marion (Le Pen) Maréchal (age 29) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (age 29) are reading Paine now...

    So the mystery of origins and influences continues, but so do the ideas. Read Taffin’s fascinating rendition here of Tom Paine’s context and continuing influence, and see what you yourself think... it is what many of us are worrying about in both the US and France, now, & that particular “common-concern” coincidence has made vast historical waves before...

    —oOo—

    And now a Note:

    Tom Paine in epigrams, 1737-1809: & now I understand better why Ben Franklin must have enjoyed his company so much... —

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine

    “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

    “I love the man that can smile in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.”

    “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

    “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”

    “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”

    “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

    “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

    “’Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

    “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.”

    “Reason obeys itself, and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

    “Moderation in temper is a virtue, but moderation in principle is a vice.”

    “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.”

    “The most formidable weapon against errors is reason.”

    — and the following three Tom Paine épigrammes seem of particular relevance to our present Franco & américain mutual Times-of-Troubles —

    “Character is much easier kept than recovered.”

    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”

    “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

    Jack Kessler
    kessler@well.com
    fyifrance.com

    #Révolution_Paine #C&F_éditions #Peter_Linebaugh #Droits_humains


  • The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options

    During the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, coloniality emerged as a new structure of power as Europeans colonized the Americas and built on the ideas of Western civilization and modernity as the endpoints of historical time and Europe as the center of the world. Walter D. Mignolo argues that coloniality is the darker side of Western modernity, a complex matrix of power that has been created and controlled by Western men and institutions from the Renaissance, when it was driven by Christian theology, through the late twentieth century and the dictates of neoliberalism. This cycle of coloniality is coming to an end. Two main forces are challenging Western leadership in the early twenty-first century. One of these, dewesternization is an irreversible shift to the East in struggles over knowledge, economics, and politics. The second force is decoloniality Mignolo explains that decoloniality requires delinking from the colonial matrix of power underlying Western modernity to imagine and build global futures in which human beings and the natural world are no longer exploited in the relentless quest for wealth accumulation.


    https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-darker-side-of-western-modernity
    #colonialisme #colonisation #décolonialité #livre #Renaissance #Lumières #pouvoir #civilisation #modernité_occidentale #théologie_chrétienne #accumulation_des_richesses
    ping @reka


  • MegaFault (2009) [BluRay] [1080p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/megafault-2009#1080p

    IMDB Rating: 3.2/10Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-FiSize: 1.45 GBRuntime: 1hr 30 minWhen miner Charley ’Boomer’ Baxter sets off a series of massive mining detonations in West Virginia, a gigantic earthquake is soon rocking the North Atlantic, exposing a deep seismic fault that runs the length of the North American continent. Joining forces with government seismology expert Dr Amy Lane, Boomer must now race against time to stop the chasm that is threatening to tear America - and the entire world - in half.

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/BC89E2EDA05E6A7D8DCE703B015A110FE6770FB6


  • MegaFault (2009) [BluRay] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/megafault-2009#720p

    IMDB Rating: 3.2/10Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-FiSize: 775.11 MBRuntime: 1hr 30 minWhen miner Charley ’Boomer’ Baxter sets off a series of massive mining detonations in West Virginia, a gigantic earthquake is soon rocking the North Atlantic, exposing a deep seismic fault that runs the length of the North American continent. Joining forces with government seismology expert Dr Amy Lane, Boomer must now race against time to stop the chasm that is threatening to tear America - and the entire world - in half.

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/E9BCA652D043C1AA124A35C51DE03CF52FE46B8D


  • SGT. Will Gardner (2019) [WEBRip] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/sgt-will-gardner-2019#720p

    IMDB Rating: 4.9/10Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama / WarSize: 1.04 GBRuntime: 2hr 5 minWill Gardner tells the story about Iraq War veteran Will Gardner (Max Martini) who is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) he sustained during a bombing that he and his platoon suffered while in combat. His injuries make it difficult for him to reintegrate into society so after a series of setbacks, he goes on a spirited motorcycle journey across America to pick up pieces of his life lost since combat. Martini (13 Hours, Captain Phillips) also penned the script and directs the film.

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/CC01377833C9028EDF33D3DA4E2324871B9CF7F7



  • Stargate: Continuum (2008) [BluRay] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/stargate-continuum-2008#720p

    IMDB Rating: 7.5/10Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama / Fantasy / Sci-FiSize: 839.77 MBRuntime: 12hr 0 minWhen the Stargate team goes to see Ba’al, the last of the System Lords, being extracted from his host. All of a sudden, Tealc, Vala and all of their allies start to vanish. Later Carter, Daniel, and Mitchell try to escape through the Stargate but find themselves not on earth but on a ship trapped beneath the polar ice cap. They learn they are on the freighter that was delivering the Stargate found in Egypt in 1939 to America. The ship is about to sink and they evacuate. They are picked up by a submarine and brought to a Naval Base where they learn the SG project never happened. They try to warn the government that the Gouald might attack earth. But the government doesn’t believe (...)

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/BA386EA43D4EB489A043E69F0ECB208F83ED33E2


  • U.S. Carbon Emissions Surged in 2018 Even as Coal Plants Closed - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/climate/greenhouse-gas-emissions-increase.html

    WASHINGTON — America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a preliminary estimate published Tuesday.

    Strikingly, the sharp uptick in emissions occurred even as a near-record number of coal plants around the United States retired last year, illustrating how difficult it could be for the country to make further progress on climate change in the years to come, particularly as the Trump administration pushes to roll back federal regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions.

    #etats-unis #co2 #carbone #climat


  • The Thompsons (2012) [BluRay] [1080p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/the-thompsons-2012#1080p

    IMDB Rating: 4.7/10Genre: Drama / Horror / ThrillerSize: 1.3 GBRuntime: 1hr 22 minOn the run with the law on their trail, America’s most anguished vampire family heads to England to find an ancient vampire clan. What they find instead could tear their family, and their throats, apart forever.

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/8570989835F935016885E1AB17D317EB0823BD14


  • The Thompsons (2012) [BluRay] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/the-thompsons-2012#720p

    IMDB Rating: 4.7/10Genre: Drama / Horror / ThrillerSize: 685.48 MBRuntime: 1hr 22 minOn the run with the law on their trail, America’s most anguished vampire family heads to England to find an ancient vampire clan. What they find instead could tear their family, and their throats, apart forever.

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/51D9A24EF977A89F367ECE7557E85C83F0270AF4


  • How is Technology Transforming #healthcare at Home
    https://hackernoon.com/how-is-technology-transforming-healthcare-at-home-1ce827b355b9?source=rs

    The potential for Transforming Healthcare at Home is growing tremendouslyhttps://medium.com/media/24aafa5d9039edf21952f173b4f78fad/hrefThe world today;Is experiencing a dramatic change in age demographics. Considering America as a prime example, it is estimated — In the year 2019, the group of people of age older than 65 will outnumber the group of those younger than five. As life expectancy increases, the number of people living with different chronic conditions and functional impairments, for instance, dementia, diabetes and the inability to manage household chores with growing age are further increasing.People belonging to the “old age” group are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases and require more care and attention. In such times, the need of the hour is to discover and (...)

    #telehealth #home-healthcare #remote-patient-monitoring #healthcare-technology


  • 10 Essential Computer Skills for Data Mining
    https://hackernoon.com/10-must-have-skills-for-data-mining-f12cc4349ed6?source=rss----3a8144eab

    Data mining is to extract valid information from gigantic data sets and transform the information into potentially useful and ultimately understandable patterns for further use. It not only includes data processing and management but also involves the intelligence methods of machine learning, statistics and database systems, as Wikipedia defines.Data mining is also the important technology in the field of Data science, which has been ranking as the №1 best job in the USA from 2016 to 2018, from Glassdoor’s list of 50 Best Jobs in America. Besides, comparing with 1700 job openings in 2016, the number of listed job openings has increased significantly by 160% in two years. It can be foreseen that the demand for data scientists or the people who have the skills or data analysis will keep (...)

    #data-mining-skills #computer-skills #data-mining #big-data #data-science


  • 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



  • Internet #culture Roundup #2: Top Five Everipedia Pages of the Week
    https://hackernoon.com/internet-culture-roundup-2-top-five-everipedia-pages-of-the-week-98138cc

    It seems if two things are for sure, it’s that the internet will always bring us a viral meme challenge and someone will always get fired from old tweets. In the second edition of the Everipedia Internet Culture Roundup, we have all of that plus the smartest 16-year-old in America, an inspiring bucket-list finisher, and a leader in the #bitcoin community. If you think we missed anything, leave a comment down in the responses!Still image from the movie Bird BoxBird Box ChallengeWith over 45 million accounts tuning into Bird Box, it’s safe to say that it was one of Netflix’s most popular original productions. A central part of the movie is the need for the characters to have their eyes blindfolded when outside, which has inspired a number of #memes online as well as the Bird Box Challenge in (...)

    #everipedia-partnership #bucketlist


  • Petition calls for U.S. to give Northwest Angle to Canada

    ’Make America great by correcting this critical survey error,’ petition says.

    There is a call for the U.S. government to adjust the border near #Manitoba to give Canada the geographic oddity known as the Northwest Angle.

    Known simply as the Angle to the 120 people who live there, it is a jetty of #Minnesota sandwiched between Manitoba and northwestern #Ontario.

    It is the only place in the United States outside Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel. And it was based on a flawed map from 1755.

    “Make America great by correcting this critical survey error,” states a petition, called “Give Canada back the Northwest Angle located in Manitoba,” and created as part of We the People.

    Launched in September 2011 under then-President Barack Obama, We the People is a section of the White House website for petitioning policy experts. Petitions that meet a certain threshold of signatures are typically reviewed by administration officials who are prepared to issue official responses.

    The threshold for a response is 100,000 signatures, so it could take some more for the Northwest Angle petition to find its way onto the desk of U.S. Congress.

    It was created Sunday, and as of Wednesday, had just 32 signatures.

    The international boundary that takes in the #Northwest_Angle was made shortly after the Treaty of Paris in 1783 between the U.S. and Britain.

    However, Benjamin Franklin and British representatives relied on a 1755 map from American John Mitchell, who was not a professional geographer or map-maker.

    He was a physician and botanist who developed an interest in geography and created his map based on materials he found in official archives and private hands. But he misattributed the source of the Mississippi River as being at the edge of Lake of the Woods, and drew the lake itself in the shape of an oval rather than bent and bowed by the multiple bays it actually contains.

    The Treaty of Paris stated the boundary between U.S. territory and the British possessions to the north would run “...through the Lake of the Woods to the northwestern-most point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi.”

    The source of the Mississippi River, however, actually lies nearly due south of Lake of the Woods, rather than north and west of it.

    The end result is a thumb of land isolated from the rest of the U.S. In those months when Lake of the Woods is free of ice, Angle residents can reach the mainland U.S. directly by boat.

    However, to make the journey by land, residents must pass through two Canada-U.S. borders — at the east and southern boundaries of Manitoba.

    “Even the most mundane tasks involve a certain amount of shuttle diplomacy. Grocery shopping is once a week, and that’s an hour and 15 minutes, one way,” states a story on the region by CBS News in 2016.

    “First, residents have to notify Canadian authorities that they’re about to cross the border. Then, it’s a 60-mile [96.6-km] or so trek through Canada back to the U.S. boundary line to cross back into Minnesota and the nearest town.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/northwest-angle-petition-border-1.4962228
    #Canada #USA #Etats-Unis #frontières #disputes_frontalières #disputes_territoriales #différend_frontalier #frontières_mobiles #pétition

    La pétition:
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/give-canada-back-northwest-angle-located-manitoba

    ping @reka


  • A new hegemon

    The Chinese century is well under way
    Many trends that appear global are in fact mostly Chinese

    Print edition | Graphic detail
    Oct 27th 2018

    Get the data here : https://github.com/TheEconomist/graphic-detail-data/tree/master/data/2018-10-27_chinese-century/README_files/figure-markdown_github

    When scholars of international relations predict that the 2000s will be a “Chinese century”, they are not being premature. Although America remains the lone superpower, China has already replaced it as the driver of global change.

    There is one economic metric on which China already ranks first. Measured at market exchange rates, China’s gdp is still 40% smaller than America’s. However, on a purchasing-power-parity (ppp) basis, which adjusts currencies so that a basket of goods and services is worth the same amount in different countries, the Chinese economy became the world’s largest in 2013. Although China is often grouped with other “emerging markets”, its performance is unique: its gdp per person at ppp has risen tenfold since 1990. In general, poorer economies grow faster than rich ones, because it is easier to “catch up” when starting from a low base. Yet in other countries that were as poor as China was in 1990, purchasing power has merely doubled.

    China’s record has exerted a “gravitational pull” on the world’s economic output. The Economist has calculated a geographic centre of the global economy by taking an average of each country’s latitude and longitude, weighted by their gdp. At the height of America’s dominance, this point sat in the north Atlantic. But China has tugged it so far east that the global centre of economic gravity is now in Siberia.

    Because China is so populous and is developing so quickly, it is responsible for a remarkable share of global change. Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, for example, China has accounted for 45% of the gain in world gdp. In 1990 some 750m Chinese people lived in extreme poverty; today fewer than 10m do. That represents two-thirds of the world’s decline in poverty during that time. China is also responsible for half of the total increase in patent applications over the same period.

    For all its talk of a “peaceful rise”, China has steadily beefed up its military investment—even as the rest of the world cut back after the end of the cold war. As a result, the People’s Liberation Army accounts for over 60% of the total increase in global defence spending since 1990. And all of this growth has come at a considerable cost to the environment: China is also the source of 55% of the increase in the world’s carbon emissions since 1990.

    Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit; Global Carbon Project; Maddison Project Database; SIPRI; World Bank; World Intellectual Property Organisation; The Economist

    #chine #économie


  • Fascism in Chicago | WTTW Chicago
    https://interactive.wttw.com/playlist/2018/09/06/fascism-chicago

    September 6, 2018 - by Daniel Hautzinger - Last year, a pair of Chicago aldermen proposed renaming a Chicago street to honor the journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, and in July of this year the proposal was approved for a stretch of Congress Parkway. But Congress wasn’t the street originally considered for renaming; rather, it was Balbo Drive.

    7th Street became Balbo Drive in 1934, in recognition of Italo Balbo, a leading Italian Fascist under Benito Mussolini. There’s also Balbo Monument east of Soldier Field, a 2,000-year-old column donated by Mussolini to the city the same year. Why does Chicago have a street and monument honoring a Fascist?

    In 1933, Balbo led twenty-four seaplanes on a pioneering sixteen-day transatlantic journey from Rome to Chicago, flying over the Century of Progress World’s Fair before landing in Lake Michigan near Navy Pier. Balbo and the pilots were celebrated by Chicago’s high society over the next three days. Chief Blackhorn of the Sioux, who was participating in the World’s Fair, granted Balbo a headdress and christened him “Chief Flying Eagle;” Balbo gave the Chief a Fascist medallion in return. He and his pilots then continued on to New York City. Balbo was featured on the cover of Time magazine and had lunch with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The following year, Mussolini sent the column to Chicago to commemorate Balbo’s flight, and it was installed in front of the Fair’s Italian Pavilion. 40,000 people attended its unveiling, and a speech by Balbo was broadcast by radio from Italy. After the defeat of the Fascists in World War II and the revelation of their crimes, Italy’s ambassador to the United States suggested that marks of respect on the column to Balbo and the Fascist government be removed. Despite those changes, the monument still stands, and Balbo Drive retains its name despite the proposal to change it, being a point of pride for many Italian Americans in Chicago.

    The World’s Fair was also the site of a subtle protest against fascism in Europe, when a pageant dramatizing Jewish religious history took place in Soldier Field in July of 1933. According to the Chicago Daily News, the event drew 150,000 people of various faiths, and the “spiritual kinship” and “fine fellowship” between Christians and Jews there would “carry rebuke to those who oppress the Jew” in “Hitler’s Germany.”

    Two years later, Soldier Field saw a different kind of demonstration that does not seem to have been explicitly anti-Semitic but did feature the Nazi swastika. In 1936, a “German Day” rally included a march with both the American flag and a flag bearing the swastika. But the German American community in Chicago mostly laid low during World War II, careful to conceal their ethnicity and avoid experiencing some of the anti-German sentiment they had already experienced during World War I. However, in 1939 a rally in Merrimac Park supporting the German-American Bund, an organization sympathetic to Nazism and Hitler, attracted several thousand people.

    Decades later, a tiny flare-up of support for fascism in Chicagoland attracted outsized national attention. In 1977, a small neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America sought to hold a demonstration in the northern suburb of Skokie, which had a large population of Jewish people, including some 7,000 survivors of the Holocaust. The suburb originally planned on letting the demonstration happen and moving on, but was convinced by members of its Jewish community to prevent it. (In 1966, the head of the American Nazi Party came to Chicago to march against Martin Luther King, Jr. as Dr. King protested unfair housing practices in the city.)

    After passing ordinances that would prevent the demonstration, Skokie was challenged in court by the neo-Nazis, who were supported by the legal backing of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU did not support the views of the group, but rather sought to protect the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. David Goldberger, the ACLU lawyer who led the case, was Jewish.

    30,000 members of the ACLU resigned in protest, and financial support for the organization dropped precipitately. Yet the lawyers persevered, fearing that any denial of free speech was a slippery slope. Through various courts, injunctions, and proposed legislation, the neo-Nazis eventually won the case, which even made it to the Supreme Court.

    But the neo-Nazis never demonstrated in Skokie. Instead, they staged two marches in Chicago, one downtown and one in Marquette Park. Counter-protesters vastly outnumbered the ten or twenty neo-Nazis in both cases. The leader who spearheaded the marches and garnered the media’s attention during the Skokie case was later convicted for child molestation. (The hapless National Socialist Party of America is famously satirized in the 1980 film Blues Brothers.)

    In the wake of the Skokie case, Illinois became the first state to mandate Holocaust education in schools. And in 2009, Skokie became the site of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, an implicit rebuke to the attempted Nazi demonstrations of three decades prior.

    #USA #Chicago #fascisme


  • Filling the gaps: Slowly but surely, Germany is attracting the skilled workers it needs
    https://www.handelsblatt.com/today/politics/filling-the-gaps-slowly-but-surely-germany-is-attracting-the-skilled-workers-it-needs/23787466.html

    Despite bureaucratic hurdles and rumblings from the far right, more skilled workers are coming to Germany, thanks in part to Trump’s America and Brexit-era Britain becoming less appealing.

    #migrants #immigration #compétences #Allemagne



  • Vice: A portrait of an American corporate-military gangster - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/29/vice-d29.html

    Vice: A portrait of an American corporate-military gangster
    By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier
    29 December 2018

    Written and directed by Adam McKay

    In May 2006, referring to #Dick_Cheney, the WSWS observed that if ever there were “an individual who personifies contempt for democratic rights, it is the American vice president.” Universally recognized as the most powerful holder of that office in US history, Cheney “has been the official most identified with the Bush administration’s policies of military aggression, domestic spying, government secrecy, and torture, and its wholesale assault on the US Constitution.”

    The WSWS article went to explain that the Bush-Cheney cabal had systematically erected “the framework for a police state in America over the past five years, while repudiating international law and asserting the right to wage unprovoked wars and kidnap, torture and murder anyone—including US citizens—whom it designates as an ‘enemy combatant’.”

    #armement #complexe_militaro_industriel