organization:u.s. government

  • How Libertarian theology and Trump are destroying the Internet — and America – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/01/how-libertarian-theology-and-trump-are-destroying-the-internet-and-america

    With speeds up to 100 times faster than current 4G cellular data, 5G will make possible everything from driverless cars to cell-connected long-distance drones to precision remote surgery. The amount of data flowing through our cellular systems will explode, along with places it can be used and the uses to which it can be applied.

    Remote applications that are currently too difficult to wire for high-speed internet or won’t work well at 4G speeds will easily become remotely controlled, spreading the internet revolution to every device in the home, office, and even remote workplaces.

    Along with all this data will, inevitably, come hackers, both criminal and state-sponsored. The amount of data that it now takes a third of a year to harvest with 4G can be scooped up in a single day using 5G.

    Given that the U.S. government invented the internet (yes, Al Gore did co-author the legislation) and has a huge stake in its security, doesn’t it make sense that our government should provide, at least in framework and standards, for its security?

    But, no. Trump and Pence want to do to the FCC what they’ve done to the EPA, the Department of the Interior, the FDA, and to oversight of our banking systems.

    According to Trump and his billionaire libertarian owners, the safety and security of America is not the proper role of government. Not our air, our water, our public lands, or even our internet.

    “Just turn it all over to the billionaires,” they say. “What could possibly go wrong?”

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer, even went so far as to say that “the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and leadership” with regard to internet security.

    Meanwhile, the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee—after looking at how 5G will blow open data operations across the country—wrote just three months ago that “the cybersecurity threat now poses an existential threat to the future of the nation.”

    #Cybersécurité #Libertariens #Idéologie_californienne #5G #Normalisation


  • Palestinian Authority tells U.S. it will stop taking aid to avoid multi-million dollar lawsuits - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-pa-informs-u-s-it-will-stop-receiving-aid-to-avoid-multi-million-d

    WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority informed the Trump administration that it will stop taking any form of government assistance from the United States at the end of the month, as a result of legislation passed last year by Congress.

    The law that led the PA to make this decision is the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act”, known as ATCA, which makes it possible for U.S. citizens to sue foreign entities that receive U.S. assistance for past acts of terrorism.

    The Palestinian decision could lead to the end of the U.S. support for the PA’s security forces. These forces work regularly with the Israeli military to thwart terror attacks. In his last appearance before the Israeli government last week, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the security coordination between Israel and the PA’s forces helps save lives and maintain stability in the region.

    >> Trump’s ’Arab NATO’ push against Iran comes to a head, and he’s the biggest obstacle | Analysis

    During 2018, the Trump administration cut all forms of U.S. civil assistance to the Palestinians, but it did not touch the security assistance, stating that the security coordination between the PA and Israel serves American foreign policy interests. Now, however, U.S. support for the PA security forces could end at the end of January, putting at risk the continuation of efficient security coordination.

    The ATCA bill, which the PA blamed for its decision, was promoted last year in Congress in response to rulings by U.S. courts that rejected multi-million dollar lawsuits against the PA. These lawsuits were filed by American citizens who were injured or lost loved ones in terror attacks committed by Palestinians, mostly during the Second Intifada. The Supreme Court in Washington affirmed a ruling by a lower court that the American legal system does not have jurisdiction to deal with such lawsuits.

    This led members of Congress to promote the ATCA bill, which states that U.S. courts will have jurisdiction to hear terrorism-related lawsuits against any foreign entity reviving U.S. government assistance. This means that if the PA will receive even one dollar of U.S. funding, it could face lawsuits asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. The law has also created concern in other countries in the Middle East that rely on U.S. assistance. It would not apply to Israel, however, because of the specific sources of funding through which Israel receives U.S. security assistance.
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    Only after the bill passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump, senior administration officials became aware of its possible impact on security coordination. In recent months, the administration tried to negotiate a “fix” to the law together with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. As reported in Haaretz two weeks ago, these efforts have stalled because of the ongoing government shutdown.

    The PA’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was first reported over the weekend by NPR, could create a sense of urgency in Washington to solve the security assistance question.

    Two sources who are involved in the negotiations on the subject told Haaretz that a possible solution could emerge with the involvement of the CIA or the Pentagon, but its exact mechanism hasn’t yet been drawn in full. “Everyone wants a fix, but it’s still not clear how we can get it,” explained one of the sources, who asked not to be named in order to discuss politicallly-sensitive negotiations.


  • Incroyable, encore une fois, le New-York Times va à l’encontre de ses positions sioniste (peut-être est-ce que c’est fait pour faire chier Trump ?) et publie cette tribune :

    Time to Break the Silence on Palestine
    Michelle Alexander, The New-York Times, le 19 janvier 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/opinion/sunday/martin-luther-king-palestine-israel.html

    And so, if we are to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face.

    We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions, and we ought to question the U.S. government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the U.S. government has pledged in military support to Israel.

    And finally, we must, with as much courage and conviction as we can muster, speak out against the system of legal discrimination that exists inside Israel, a system complete with, according to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians — such as the new nation-state law that says explicitly that only Jewish Israelis have the right of self-determination in Israel, ignoring the rights of the Arab minority that makes up 21 percent of the population.

    Michelle Alexander est une avocate, professeure, spécialiste du racisme aux Etats-Unis. En 2017, elle a reçu le Prix Martin Luther King de l’Université de l’Ohio. Dans cet article elle revient justement sur Martin Luther King qui eut le courage de dénoncer la guerre du Vietnam, pour dire qu’il est temps aujourd’hui de dénoncer la situation en Palestine...

    #Palestine #USA #Michelle_Alexander #Guerre #Martin_Luther_King #Occupation #Droit_au_retour #Apartheid #BDS #New-York_Times


  • Breaking: #Canada Announces That Its Border Wall Is Already Finished | The Inertia
    https://www.theinertia.com/comedy/canada-announces-border-wall-finished

    In incredible news out of Canada, officials have happily announced that the country easily finished its own border wall in the past 21 days while everyone was distracted by the U.S. government shutdown. And it was a simple solution: one of the snowiest countries in the world used its overabundance of frozen water to create a border wall spanning nearly 4,000 miles from the shores of British Columbia in the west to New Brunswick in the east. The purpose? Keep weed-puffing, hard-drinking Americans seeking better times out of the country.

    “For years, Americans have crossed our borders to bypass repressive laws and governments in their own country, simply to have a better time, be it the drinking age limit or, more recently, to smoke weed legally,” announced Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Well, those benefits are for our citizens.”

    #mur #etats-unis

    Editor’s Note: If you didn’t figure out this was #satire within the first few sentences, shoot us a note and we’ll send someone to hit you over the head with a frying pan immediately.


  • 10/2017 :

    Les « attaques acoustiques » qui, selon les responsables américains, seraient à l’origine des symptômes ressentis en 2016 par des diplomates américains, correspondent à des sons produits par des insectes selon des experts cubains – ACTU DIRECT
    https://actudirect.com/cuba/attaques-acoustiques-a-cuba-des-cigales-et-des-criquets-responsables

    1/2019 :

    Selon une étude de chercheurs de l’université de Californie, de Berkeley aux Etats-Unis, et de Lincoln en Angleterre, l’étrange crissement serait en réalité le fait… de criquets.
    https://www.marianne.net/monde/le-champ-de-force-evoque-par-des-diplomates-americains-tombes-malades-cuba

    #Cuba #Etats-Unis

    • Recording of “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Cuba spectrally matches the echoing call of a Caribbean cricket | bioRxiv (pdf accessible)
      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2019/01/04/510834

      Abstract
      Beginning in late 2016, diplomats posted to the United States embassy in Cuba began to experience unexplained health problems including ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties which reportedly began after they heard strange noises in their homes or hotel rooms. In response, the U.S. government dramatically reduced the number of diplomats posted at the U.S. embassy in Havana. U.S. officials initially believed a sonic attack might be responsible for their ailments. The sound linked to these attacks, which has been described as a high-pitched beam of sound, was recorded by U.S. personnel in Cuba and released by the Associated Press (AP).

      Because these recordings are the only available non-medical evidence of the sonic attacks, much attention has focused on identifying health problems and the origin of the acoustic signal.

      As shown here, the calling song of the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus) matches, in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse. The AP recording also exhibits frequency decay in individual pulses, a distinct acoustic signature of cricket sound production. While the temporal pulse structure in the recording is unlike any natural insect source, when the cricket call is played on a loudspeaker and recorded indoors, the interaction of reflected sound pulses yields a sound virtually indistinguishable from the AP sample.

      This provides strong evidence that an echoing cricket call, rather than a sonic attack or other technological device, is responsible for the sound in the released recording. Although the causes of the health problems reported by embassy personnel are beyond the scope of this paper, our findings highlight the need for more rigorous research into the source of these ailments, including the potential psychogenic effects, as well as possible physiological explanations unrelated to sonic attacks.


  • 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


  • Partial Government #Shutdown Impacting Federal Maritime Commission, National Maritime Center Operations – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/partial-government-shutdown-impacting-federal-maritime-commission-national

    The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is impacting operations as key maritime agencies and offices across the country.

    President Trump has warned of a “very long” shutdown as he pushes Republican-led Congress for new funds for a border wall.

    As a result, the Federal Maritime Commission has closed as of Wednesday due to the lapse in appropriations. With the exceptions of Acting Chairman Michael A. Khouri and Commissioner Rebecca Dye, who are Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed officials, all Commission employees have been placed on furlough and are prohibited by law from performing any duties during the shutdown.


  • Americans Are Increasingly Critical of Israel – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/11/americans-are-increasingly-critical-of-israel

    The firing of Professor Marc Lamont Hill as a CNN contributor after his speech at a United Nations event commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has generated considerable debate about free speech that goes beyond the case itself—what is legitimate criticism of Israel, and what constitutes anti-Semitism. A recent University of Maryland public-opinion poll indicates that many aspects of Hill’s views are widely shared among the American public—and that these views are not reflective of anti-Semitic attitudes, or even of hostility toward Israel as such. On these issues, there is a gap between the mainstream media and U.S. politicians on the one hand, and the American public on the other.

    While many issues were raised about Hill, the part of his speech that received the most criticism was his call for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which was seen by some as calling for the end of Israel. Hill himself clarified almost immediately that “my reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” In an op-ed he penned later, he acknowledged that the language he chose may have contributed to the misperception that he was advocating violence against Jewish people—and apologized for that.

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    But, perceptions aside, are Professor Hill’s views exceptional?

    The first issue to consider is advocacy for a one-state solution, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with equal citizenship for all, which would in effect threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority state, as Arabs might soon outnumber Jews on that territory. In fact, this solution has considerable support among the American public, as revealed in a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, fielded by Nielson Scarborough, which was conducted in September and October among a nationally representative sample of 2,352 Americans, with a 2 percent margin of error. When asked what outcome they want U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to seek in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans are split between one state with equal citizenship and two states coexisting side by side: 35 percent say they want a one-state solution outright, while 36 percent advocate a two-state solution, 11 percent support maintaining the occupation, and 8 percent back annexation without equal citizenship. Among those between 18 and 34 years old, support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

    Furthermore, most of those who advocate a two-state solution tend to choose one state with equal citizenship if the two-state solution were no longer possible; the last time the survey asked this question, in November 2017, 55 percent of two-state solution backers said they would switch to one state in such circumstances. Bolstering this result is Americans’ views on the Jewishness and democracy of Israel: If the two-state solution were no longer possible, 64 percent of Americans would choose the democracy of Israel, even if it meant that Israel would cease to be a politically Jewish state, over the Jewishness of Israel, if the latter meant that Palestinians would not be fully equal.

    When one considers that many Israelis and Palestinians, as well as many Middle East experts, already believe that a two-state solution is no longer possible, especially given the large expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, it’s not hard to see why more people would be drawn to a one-state solution—or see the advocacy for two states as legitimizing the unjust status quo through the promise of something unattainable.

    Second, while most Americans have probably never heard of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that Hill backs, our poll shows that a large number of Americans support imposing sanctions or more serious measures if Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to expand: 40 percent of Americans support such measures, including a majority of Democrats (56 percent). This comes as senators, including Democrats, are proposing, despite continued ACLU opposition, to delegitimize and criminalize voluntary boycotts of Israel or settlements through the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, while not differentiating between Israeli settlements in the West Bank from those in Israel proper.

    Third, there is a growing sense that the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies: 38 percent of all Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of those under 35 years old), say the Israeli government has too much influence on the U.S. government, compared with 9 percent who say it has “too little influence” and 48 percent who say it has “about the right level of influence.” While the number of Jewish participants in the sample (115) is too small to generalize with confidence, it is notable that their views fall along the same lines of the national trend: 37 percent say Israel has too much influence, 54 percent say it has the right level, and 7 percent say it has too little influence.

    These results indicate neither a rise in anti-Semitism nor even a rise in hostility toward Israel as such. As analysis of previous polls has shown, many who espouse these opinions base them on a principled worldview that emphasizes human rights and international law.

    Keep in mind that, in a polarized America with deep political antagonism, it’s hardly surprising that Americans would have sharply divided views on Israelis and Palestinians. What many read as a rising anti-Israeli sentiment among Democrats is mischaracterized; it reflects anger toward Israeli policies—and increasingly, with the values projected by the current Israeli government.

    On the question of whether Americans want the Trump administration to lean toward Israel, toward the Palestinians, or toward neither side, there is a vast difference between Republicans and Democrats in the new poll: While a majority of Republicans want Washington to lean toward Israel outright (57 percent), a substantial majority of Democrats (82 percent) want it to lean toward neither side, with 8 percent wanting it to lean toward the Palestinians and 7 percent toward Israel. Still, it’s inaccurate to label the Democrats’ even-handedness as “anti-Israel.”


  • Arctic posts second warmest year on record in 2018 -U.S. NOAA | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters
    https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1YG4NI

    The Arctic had its second-hottest year on record in 2018, part of a warming trend that may be dramatically changing earth’s weather patterns, according to a report released on Tuesday by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Arctic air temperatures for the past five years have exceeded all previous records since 1900,” according to the annual NOAA study, the 2018 Arctic Report Card, which said the year was second only to 2016 in overall warmth in the region.

    It marks the latest in a series of warnings about climate change from U.S. government bodies, even as President Donald Trump has voiced skepticism about the phenomenon and has pushed a pro-fossil fuels agenda.

    The study said the Arctic warming continues at about double the rate of the rest of the planet, and that the trend appears to be altering the shape and strength of the jet stream air current that influences weather in the Northern Hemisphere.


  • Is Saudi Arabia repaying Trump for Khashoggi by attacking Linda Sarsour?

    A Saudi-owned website considered close to the royal family claimed that Sarsour, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are agents of Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood who declared a ’jihad’ on Trump

    Allison Kaplan Sommer
    Dec 10, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-how-saudi-arabia-is-repaying-trump-for-his-support-on-khashoggi-1.

    There is nothing earth-shattering about seeing Women’s March leader and Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour criticized as a dangerous Islamist by the conservative right and pro-Israel advocates in the United States. But the latest attack on the activist comes from a new and somewhat surprising source: Saudi Arabia.
    Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned, pan-Arab news channel closely linked to the country’s royal family and widely viewed as reflecting Saudi foreign policy, published an article Sunday strongly suggesting that Sarsour and two incoming Muslim congresswomen are puppets planted by the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar to undermine the Trump administration.
    The feature, which profiles Sarsour, seems to cast her as the latest proxy figure in the kingdom’s bitter dispute with Qatar, and its bid to strengthen ties and curry favor with the White House.
    It also focused on two Democratic politicians whom Sarsour actively campaigned for in the 2018 midterms: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, who are set to be the first-ever Muslim congresswomen when the House reconvenes in January.

    The Al Arabiya story on Linda Sarsour’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood, December 9, 2018.Screengrab
    Headlined “Details of calls to attack Trump by US ‘Muslim Sisters’ allied to Brotherhood,” the article is light on actual details but heavy on insinuation.
    Activists like Sarsour, and politicians like Tlaib and Omar, the Saudi publication wrote, are “mujahideen” (a term used to describe those involved in jihad) – fighting against “tyrants and opponents of Trump’s foreign policies.”

    The story says the policies they are fighting include “the siege of Iran, the fight against political Islam groups, and [Trump’s] choice of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a strategic ally.”
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    Tlaib and Omar, Al Arabiya asserts, are agents designed to “restore” control of political Islamist movements on the U.S. government by attacking Trump. The article says this effort is being directed by Sarsour – who, it writes, is purportedly funded and controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood - a claim it fails to provide any clear basis for.
    Tamara Cofman Wittes, a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, Washington, says it should come as little surprise to those familiar with the region that “a state-owned Arabic news outlet would publish conspiracy theories about people whose views don’t accord with those of the government that funds it.”
    Al Arabiya, based in Dubai, but Saudi-owned, was founded in 2002 as a counter to Qatar’s popular Al Jazeera TV station – which frequently runs material sharply critical of the Saudis – as well as other Arabic media outlets critical of Saudi influence and supportive of political Islam.
    The article comes as rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has heated up in recent times, with Qatar’s emir skipping this weekend’s Gulf Cooperation Council summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, which has led a diplomatic war on its neighbor for the past 18 months.
    Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-GCC member Egypt cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar in June 2017, charging that the country supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges and says the Saudi boycott aims to curtail its sovereignty. Last week, the Gulf nation announced it was withdrawing from the OPEC oil cartel.
    Islamists vs Islamists
    “Democrats’ battle against the Republican control of the U.S. Congress led to an alliance with political Islamist movements in order to restore their control on government, pushing Muslim candidates and women activists of immigrant minorities onto the electoral scene,” the report states.
    The “common ground” between Omar and Tlaib, the article adds, is to battle Trump’s foreign policy “starting from the sanctions on Iran to the isolation of the Muslim Brotherhood and all movements of political Islam. Those sponsoring and supporting the two Muslim women to reach the U.S. Congress adopted a tactic to infiltrate through their immigrant and black minority communities in general, and women’s groups in particular.
    The article ties Sarsour to Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood through multiple associations with the Arab American Association of New York, which “was created by Palestinian Ahmed Jaber, a member of the Qatar International Foundation responsible for funding the association,” and also her attendance at an annual meeting of the International Network of Muslim Brotherhood in North America and Canada in 2016.
    The article compares Sarsour’s rhetoric to that “used by Muslim Brotherhood teachings and in the views of Sayyid Qutb, a scholar and co-founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, as well as from Abul A’la Maududi’s books ‘Islam and Ignorance’ and ‘Fundamentals of Islam.’
    “From all that is mentioned, we can touch the influence of Muslim Brotherhood in shaping the thoughts of American activist Linda Sarsour and consequently her declaring her ‘jihad’ against U.S. President Donald Trump, in addition to her call for the application of ‘Sharia,’ the rule of Islam in the United States of America,” the piece asserts.
    No one knows for sure whether Al Arabiya received direct orders from the Saudi government to attack Sarsour, Tlaib, Omar and other politically active Muslim women on the American left.
    Those familiar with Middle East media say conspiracy-minded attacks against figures in American politics aren’t particularly unusual in Arabic,
    but what is unique about this article is the fact it appeared in English on the network’s website.
    It seems to be a highly creative attempt to somehow repay the Trump White House as it deals with the fallout from the Jamal Khashoggi assassination. As Trump continues to take heat for staying close to the Saudis, they, in turn, are demonstrating their loyalty with their willingness to vilify people who were President Barack Obama’s supporters and are now Trump’s political enemies – even if they wear a hijab.

    Allison Kaplan Sommer
    Haaretz Correspondent


  • Quand la guerre commerciale É.-U./Chine tourne au délire : les exportations de soja des É.-U. vers la Chine étant interdites, c’est l’Argentine qui s’y colle et… 3ème producteur mondial !, importe le soja américain.

    C’est bon pour le transport maritime en vrac, …

    Soy Trade Goes Topsy Turvy as Major Exporter Turns to Imports - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-13/soy-trade-goes-topsy-turvy-as-major-exporter-turns-to-imports

    The world of soybean shipping has turned upside down thanks to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

    Argentina, the No. 3 global soy grower, is making major purchases of U.S. supplies. A weekly measure of American shipments to the Latin American nation just rose to the highest in at least 35 years, U.S. government data showed Tuesday.

    With China shunning U.S. supplies, the Asian country is soaking up oilseeds from everywhere else. Argentina usually processes its beans at home before sending soy meal and oil abroad. Now, enticed by China’s voracious appetite and a changed domestic tax structure, the country is shipping more raw soy, with some analysts predicting exports could quadruple.

    In order to feed its domestic soy-crushing industry, Argentina is increasingly turning to imports, especially after a drought earlier this year hurt crops. Meanwhile, U.S. oilseed supplies have gotten relatively cheap. With China out of the market, demand for American beans has turned lackluster at a time when harvests are booming, signaling a surge in inventories. That’s good news for Argentine buyers.


  • Arizona border residents speak out against Donald Trump’s deployment of troops

    Residents from Arizona borderland towns gathered Thursday outside the Arizona State Capitol to denounce President Donald Trump’s deployment of at least 5,200 U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The group of about a dozen traveled to Phoenix to hold the event on the Arizona State Capitol lawn. The press conference took place as a caravan of migrants seeking asylum continues to move north through Mexico toward the United States.

    “The U.S. government response to asylum seekers has turned to military confrontation,” said Amy Juan, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, who spoke at the event on the Arizona State Capitol lawn.

    “We demand an end to the rhetoric of dehumanization and the full protection of human rights for all migrants and refugees in our borderlands.”

    Juan and her group said many refugees confronted by military at the border will circumvent them by way of “dangerous foot crossings through remote areas.”

    “Already this year, hundreds of remains of migrants and refugees have been recovered in U.S. deserts,” Juan said. “As front-line border communities, we witness and respond to this tragedy firsthand.”

    While she spoke at a lectern, others held a sign saying, “Troops out now. Our communities are not war zones.”

    As the press conference unfolded, the Trump administration announced a plan to cut back immigrants’ ability to request asylum in the United States.

    Those from Arizona borderland towns are also concerned that border communities, such as Ajo, the Tohono O’odham Nation, Arivaca and others, may see an increased military presence.

    “I didn’t spend two years in Vietnam to be stopped every time I come and go in my own community,” said Dan Kelly, who lives in Arivaca, an unincorporated community in Pima County, 11 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

    A major daily hiccup

    Many border-community residents complain the current law enforcement presence, absent the new U.S. troops, creates a major hiccup in everyday life.

    “Residents of Arivaca, Ajo, the Tohono O’odham Nation, they are surrounded on all sides by checkpoints. They are surrounded on all sides by border patrol stations. Every time they go to the grocery store, they pass a border patrol vehicle,” said Billy Peard, an attorney for ACLU Arizona.

    Juan says she gets anxiety from these checkpoints because she has been stopped and forced to get out of her car while federal agents and a dog search for signs of drugs or human smuggling.

    Juan calls the fear of these type of situations “checkpoint trauma.”

    “It’s really based upon their suspicions,” she said of authorities at checkpoints. “Even though we are not doing anything wrong, there’s still that fear.”

    Many of those speaking at Thursday’s event accused the federal government of racial profiling, targeting Latino and tribal members. They said they are often subjected to prolonged questioning, searches, and at times, harassment.

    “A lot of people can sway this as a political thing,” Juan said. “But, ultimately, it’s about our quality of life.”


    https://eu.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/border-issues/2018/11/08/arizona-border-residents-speak-out-against-trumps-troop-deployment/1934976002
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #résistance #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

    • In South Texas, the Catholic Church vs. Trump’s Border Wall
      A charismatic priest and the local diocese hope to save a 120-year-old chapel near the Rio Grande.

      Around the Texas border town of Mission, Father Roy Snipes is known for his love of Lone Star beer, a propensity to swear freely and the menagerie of rescue dogs he’s rarely seen without. At 73, Father Roy, as he’s universally known, stays busy. He says around five masses a week at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in downtown Mission, and fields endless requests to preside over weddings and funerals. Lately, he’s taken on a side gig: a face of the resistance to Trump’s “big, beautiful” border wall.

      “It’ll be ugly as hell,” said Snipes. “And besides that, it’s a sick symbol, a countervalue. We don’t believe in hiding behind Neanderthal walls.”

      For Snipes, Trump’s wall is no abstraction. It’s set to steal something dear from him. Snipes is the priest in charge of the La Lomita chapel, a humble sandstone church that has stood for 120 years just a few hundred yards from the Rio Grande, at the southern outskirts of Mission. Inside its walls, votive candles burn, and guestbooks fill up with Spanish and English messages left by worshippers.

      Snipes belongs to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the congregation of priests that built the chapel in 1899. Nearly 40 years ago, he took his final vows at La Lomita, which was named for a nearby hillock. At sunset, he said, he often piles a couple canines into his van and drives the gravel levee road that leads to the chapel, where he prays and walks the dogs. Local residents worship at La Lomita every day, and as a state historical landmark, it draws tourists from around Texas. For Snipes, the diminutive sanctuary serves as a call to humility. “We come from a long line of hospitable, humble and kind people, and La Lomita is a reminder of that,” he said. “It’s the chapel of the people.”

      If Trump has his way, the people’s chapel will soon languish on the wrong side of a 30-foot border wall, or be destroyed entirely. Already, Border Patrol agents hover day and night at the entrance to the 8-acre La Lomita property, but Snipes thinks a wall would be another matter. Even if the chapel survives, and even if it remains accessible via an electronic gate in the wall, he thinks almost all use of the chapel would end. To prevent that, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, which owns La Lomita, is fighting in court to keep federal agents off the land — but it’s a Hail Mary effort. Border residents have tried, and failed, to halt the wall before.

      Here’s what the La Lomita stretch of wall would look like: As in other parts of Hidalgo County, the structure would be built on an existing earthen river levee. First, federal contractors working for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would cut away the levee’s sloped south half and replace it with a sheer concrete wall, about 15 feet high, then top the wall with 18-foot steel bollards. In total, the levee wall and metal fencing would reach more than three stories high. Longtime border activist Scott Nicol has called the proposed structure a “concrete and steel monstrosity.”

      And it doesn’t end there. The contractors would also clear a 150-foot “enforcement zone” to the south, a barren strip of land for patrol roads, sensors, camera towers and flood lights. Because La Lomita stands well within 150 feet of the existing levee, activists fear the historic structure could be razed. In an October online question-and-answer session, CBP responded vaguely: “It has not yet been decided how the La Lomita chapel will be accommodated.” The agency declined to answer questions for this story.

      This month, Congressional Democrats and Trump are feuding over further funding for the wall, but the administration already has the money it needs to build through La Lomita: $641 million was appropriated in March for 33 miles of wall in the Rio Grande Valley. In October, the Department of Homeland security also invoked its anti-terrorism authority to waive a raft of pesky environmental and historic preservation regulations for a portion of that mileage, including La Lomita’s segment. No contract has been awarded for the stretch that would endanger the chapel yet, so there’s no certain start date, but CBP plans to start construction elsewhere in Hidalgo County as soon as February.

      Unlike in Arizona and California, the land along the Rio Grande — Texas’ riverine border — is almost entirely owned by a collection of farmers, hobbyist ranchers, entrepreneurs and deeply rooted Hispanic families who can truly say the border crossed them. Ninety-five percent of Texas borderland is private. That includes #La_Lomita, whose owner, the diocese in #Brownsville, has decided to fight back.

      Multiple times this year, court filings show, federal agents pressed the diocese to let them access the property so they could survey it, a necessary step before using eminent domain to take land for the wall. But the diocese has repeatedly said “no,” forcing the government to file a lawsuit in October seeking access to the property. The diocese shot back with a public statement, declaring that “church property should not be used for the purposes of building a border wall” and calling the wall “a sign contrary to the Church’s mission.”

      The diocese is also challenging the government in court. In a pair of recent court filings responding to the lawsuit, the diocese argues that federal agents should not be allowed to enter its property, much less construct the border wall, because doing so would violate both federal law and the First Amendment. It’s a legalistic version of Snipes’ claim that the wall would deter worshippers.

      “The wall would have a chilling effect on people going there and using the chapel, so in fact, it’s infringing or denying them their right to freedom of religion,” said David Garza, the Brownsville attorney representing the diocese. “We also don’t believe the government has a compelling interest to put the wall there; if they wanted to put technology or sensors, that might be a different story.”

      It’s a long-shot challenge, to be sure. Bush and Obama already built 110 miles of wall in Texas between 2008 and 2010, over the protests of numerous landowners. But this may be the first time anyone’s challenged the border wall on freedom-of-religion grounds. “I’ve been looking for the needle in the haystack, but a case of this nature, I’m not aware of,” Garza said. A hearing in the case is set for early January.

      When I visited the Mission area in November, Father Snipes insisted that we conduct our interview out on the Rio Grande at sunset. Two of his dogs joined us in the motorboat.

      As we dawdled upriver, watching the sky bleed from to red to purple, Snipes told me the story behind something I’d seen earlier that day: a trio of wooden crosses protruding from the ground between La Lomita and the levee. There, he said, he’d buried a llama and a pair of donkeys, animals who’d participated in Palm Sunday processions from his downtown church to La Lomita, reenactments of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The animals had carried Jesus. So close to the levee, the gravesites would likely be destroyed during wall construction.

      As the day’s last light faded, Snipes turned wistful. “I thought the government was supposed to protect our freedom to promote goodness and truth and beauty,” he lamented. “Even if they won’t promote it themselves.”

      https://www.texasobserver.org/in-south-texas-the-catholic-church-vs-trumps-border-wall
      #Eglise #Eglise_catholique


  • Dernier rapport de « Inspector General for #Afghanistan Reconstruction » (SIGAR) : les #talibans, les trafiquants de drogue et les contractuels privés des #Etats-Unis ne se sont jamais aussi bien portés

    The Taliban is stronger now than at any time since Afghanistan war
    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/11/1/afghan-forces-losing-kabul-control-to-taliban-us-watchdog

    “From the period of May 1 to the most current data as of October 1, 2018, the average number of casualties the (Afghan forces) suffered is the greatest it has ever been during like periods,” it said. 

    The report also noted that “the Taliban now controls more territory than at any time since 2001”.

    Afghanistan : le contrôle des autorités au plus bas depuis 2015, selon un rapport - L’Orient-Le Jour
    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1141602/afghanistan-le-controle-des-autorites-au-plus-bas-depuis-2015-selon-u

    Military contractor received $1.6 billion to advise Afghans but results unknown | Ottawa Citizen
    https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/military-contractor-received-1-6-billion-to-advise-afghans-but-result

    The Afghan mission continues to be a money pit for the U.S. government and a cash cow for private military contractors. On Wednesday, the U.S. government’s Afghan mission watchdog produced a report on the Pentagon program to advise the Afghan Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Afghan Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

    Afghanistan : un rapport déplore le cuisant échec de Washington dans la lutte contre l’opium — RT en français
    https://francais.rt.com/international/55077-afghanistan-rapport-denonce-retentissant-echec-washington-dans-lu

    Washington a dépensé 8,8 milliards de dollars depuis 2002 contre le trafic de drogue, selon un organisme public américain. Résultat ? La production d’opium a connu un essor rapide, permettant aux talibans de tenir tête à Kaboul.


  • National Security Pros, It’s Time to Talk About Right-Wing Extremism

    Ask any of us who works in national security what to do about ISIS, and we’d have no problem pitching you ideas. Even if we lack expertise in the topic or don’t work directly on it, we’d still have opinions and thoughts, because we’ve been swimming in a sea of articles, op-eds, books, hearings, programs, and overall research and debate for years. But ask us about right-wing extremism, a violent ideology that’s killed more Americans than ISIS in the last decade, and most of us would pause — either because we were unaware of the problem or, worse, we were afraid to speak openly about it.

    So let’s talk about it now.

    Over the last decade, individuals and groups fueled by this virulent ideology have committed 71 percent of the known politically or religiously inspired killings in our country — that is, 274 of the 387 Americans murdered by extremists. Reports now indicate it was part of the recent murder of 17 school children and teachers in Florida, just as it was part of mass shootings that have happened everywhere from California to Charleston. It has not just hit inside the US, but has struck many of our closest allies, both causing near-tragedies and horrible massacres. It is not a new threat; it has killed hundreds of Americans in past decades. But it is growing in power and influence, worrisomely being stoked by foreign nations like Russia that wish our nation harm. It is a clear, present, and proven danger to the United States. Yet we find it awkward to talk about.

    There are many reasons why we have a hard time acknowledging the deadly threat from the cluster of groups that gather inside our country under the hateful flags of white nationalism, white supremacy, anti-government militia, and Neo-Nazism. One reason is to avoid appearing too partisan, a desire to be even-handed. There is irony in that we seek to avoid appearing biased, even when the threat espouses bias to the point of justifying hating and even killing their fellow Americans. So, after each episode of right-wing violence, we avoid talking about it, even to the point of reaching in the opposite direction. For instance, after these groups united to march on Charlottesville, culminating in the killing of a young woman, major U.S. papers ran more op-eds condemning the counter-protesters, who have yet to commit a mass killing, than those who committed the crime.

    I must pause here to pre-empt the inevitable “what-aboutism” — the kind of attempts to change the conversation that wouldn’t happen in an article on a group like ISIS. Yes, far-left violence is bad. (See how easy it is to write that? There’s no need to caveat violent extremists of any flag as “very fine people.”) But over the last decade, 3 percent of extremist killings in the U.S. have been committed by members of far left-wing groups — a fraction of the 71 percent by right-wing extremists and 26 percent by Islamic extremists. Those figures are the ADL’s, which documents them case by case. If you don’t like the ADL’s categorization, you could use the data gathered by colleagues of mine at the New America Foundation, which drew on the statements of law enforcement officials to determine motivation in the various attacks. That dataset shows that attacks by right-wing extremists outnumber those by left-wing groups more than 17 to one. Or you could use the one compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which since the rise of the “alt-right” in 2014, has documented 43 people killed and more than 60 injured by young men whose social media use evinced a similar ideology — and often a “lone-wolf” style familiar from other forms of terrorism. And this was before Parkland. In short, from a standpoint of scale, trends, and impact, we have a problem that shouldn’t require what-aboutism or ignoring the bulk of the problem. Nor is the “alt-left,” or “violent left,” a viable political movement. Certainly, it has not bled into the broader mainstream of party politics and key media outlets, nor held multiple armed standoffs after seizing government facilities, nor even paralyzed entire American cities in fear.

    We also have to admit that we are quiet about right-wing extremist violence out of calculation. The cost-vs.-gain equations that shape our choices are simply different from other topics. Compare the professional benefits to the potential risks of publishing an article, creating a college course, writing a book or dissertation, organizing a conference, hosting a speech, creating a university or thinktank project, funding a foundation program, etc., on right-wing extremism. It is not just that there is no great profit in it. It is that every one of these endeavors would be far more difficult, and would likely create far more headaches for us and our bosses, than a similar project on pretty much any other topic in our field.

    This isn’t to say there aren’t fantastic researchers on this topic; there are many, who have valuably shaped much of what we know about the issue. But we in the rest of the field must acknowledge that they’ve chosen a more professionally risky path than most of us, even though the very object of their study has killed more Americans over the last few years than essentially any other problem we are working on.

    The same problem plagues government. For an elected official, or, worse, a U.S. government employee, to speak about this threat carries proven political and professional risks; doing so has literally cost people their jobs. And that was before we had the first president in the modern era to express sympathy for and be celebrated by these groups.

    The result is that far-right extremism mirrors that of Islamic extremism in its forms, spread, and goals. The head of counter-terrorism policing in the U.K., which broke up four planned far-right terrorist attacks in just the last year, says both groups “create intolerance, exploit grievances, and generate distrust of state institutions.” But the politics of doing something about these two dangers are directly opposite. In America, it is politically savvy to talk strongly and repeatedly about terrorism and extremism, except the version of it that has killed the largest number of our fellow citizens over the last decade.

    Finally, we avoid talking about right-wing extremism because to do so invites personal risks and annoyances that, generally speaking, don’t much afflict other areas of security studies. These range from online harassment (via social networks that have become a breeding ground for it) to physical stalking and violence.

    I don’t have all the answers about what to do about the plague of violence fueled by right-wing hate groups. But I do know we’ll never find them as long as those of us interested in national security downplay and avoid it. It is long past time to start talking about a threat that is regularly killing our fellow citizens.


    https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2018/02/national-security-pros-its-time-talk-about-right-wing-extremism/146319
    #sécurité #sécurité_nationale #USA #Etats-Unis #extrême_droite #extrémisme #massacres #violence

    Over the last decade, individuals and groups fueled by this virulent ideology have committed 71 percent of the known politically or religiously inspired killings in our country — that is, 274 of the 387 Americans murdered by extremists.


  • Engineers Say “No Thanks” to Silicon Valley Recruiters, Citing Ethical Concerns
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/at-work/tech-careers/engineers-say-no-thanks-to-silicon-valley-recruiters-citing-ethical-c

    Some engineers are turning down tech recruiters by citing concerns about corporate values Anna Geiduschek usually has no time to respond to recruitment emails that arrive in her inbox each week. But Geiduschek, a software engineer at Dropbox, recently made a point of turning down an Amazon Web Services recruiter by citing her personal opposition to Amazon’s role in hosting another tech company’s service used by U.S. government agents to target illegal immigrants for detention and (...)

    #Google #Microsoft #Palantir #ICE #IBM #Amazon #Facebook #GoogleSearch #Uber #algorithme #Dragonfly #biométrie #facial #web #surveillance #discrimination #LGBT (...)

    ##TechWorkersCoalition
    /image/MzEwNzYxMQ.jpeg


  • NEW VIDEO SHOWS MORE ATROCITIES BY CAMEROON, A KEY U.S. ALLY IN DRONE WARFARE.
    https://theintercept.com/2018/08/31/cameroon-video-execution-boko-haram

    Other news organizations have released censored versions of the video that do not show the killings. The Intercept is publishing a version that includes the massacre, and has an English translation. With the U.S. government — which has close ties with Cameroon’s armed forces and operates a drone base in the north of the country — offering little indication that it is seriously investigating the atrocity or reconsidering its military aid to the country, it is in the public interest to make the uncensored footage available.

    An investigation by Amnesty International, using digital analysis of the video footage that began circulating online, found that the mass killing of at least a dozen unarmed people took place during a Cameroonian military operation in the village of Achigachiya in the Far North region sometime prior to May 2016. An earlier Amnesty International report documented the extrajudicial executions of at least 30 civilians, including many elderly people, in the same village in January 2015. Local sources say as many as 88 people were killed. While much remains uncertain, the Cameroonian military operation in Achigachiya was apparently part of a mission to recover the bodies of fellow soldiers killed when Boko Haram militants overran a nearby Cameroonian military base in late December 2014. The attack on civilians was likely an act of retribution for perceived local assistance to the insurgents. The video appears to be footage of that 2015 operation.


  • Russia Is Hunting For Its Crashed Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile And The U.S. Might Be Too - The Drive
    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/23058/russia-is-hunting-for-its-crashed-nuclear-powered-cruise-missile-and-the-u


    (je reprends ici l’intégralité de l’article, non accessible en France)

    Russia is reportedly set to launch an operation to recover a prototype of its Burevestnik nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed cruise missile that came down in the Barents Sea in 2017. At the same time, the wreckage presents a prime opportunity for other countries, particularly the United States, to gain major insights into its design and true capabilities.

    CNBC was first to report the Russian expedition, citing unnamed U.S. government sources with knowledge of an American intelligence report on the matter, on Aug. 21, 2018. These individuals said that the Kremlin would dispatch three unspecified ships, including one specially configured to recover the missile’s nuclear reactor, but said there was no set timeline for when the operation would begin or how long it might last. 
    Russia test-fired four Burevestniks in total between November 2017 and February 2018, according to the new information. The longest test flight reportedly lasted over two minutes and saw the weapon travel a total of 22 miles, while the shortest experiment saw the missile fail within seconds, but it still managed to cover a distance of five miles. The missile reportedly uses a nuclear reactor to power its propulsion system, giving it theoretically unlimited range.

    The Russians have otherwise been very tight-lipped about the design, which read more about here. So, it’s not surprising that they would want to recover any wrecks both to prevent foreign intelligence services from getting their hands on it and to gather more information for their test program.

    The official video below offers the best views of the Burevestnik cruise missile available to date.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuwMsJlM-pg

    Though CNBC did not say which Russian ships might be heading out on the recovery mission, it is very possible that the Yantar might be among them. Officially an “oceanographic research vessel,” this spy ship has specialized equipment that can reportedly tap or cut submarine cables and investigate and retrieve objects from depths of up to 18,000 feet.

    In 2017, the vessel reportedly sailed off the coast of Syria to recover the remnants of two fighter jets, a Su-33 and a Mig-29KR, that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during operations from Russia’s aircraft carrier Kuznetsov. In that case, the goal was also, at least in part, to make sure other countries could not retrieve the wrecks for their own purposes.

    In June 2018, the U.K.’s Royal Navy escorted Yantar through the English Channel as it headed into the North Sea. Pictures showed a Saab SeaEye Tiger deep-sea robot on the ship’s deck. Russia acquired this piece of equipment after the Kursk submarine disaster. The Tiger can reach depths of 3,280 feet and private companies have previously used them to do work at sites with heavy radioactive contamination.


    The Russian spy ship Yantar.

    It’s not clear what state the missile wreckage, or the weapon’s reactor, might be in. We at The War Zone have previously explored in detail what might happen if these weapons came down on land or over water after reports that they were crashing first emerged earlier in 2018. It’s also worth noting that these apparent failures might have been successes depending on the actual test points and would have provided Russia important information for further development of the Burevestnik regardless.

    Of course, if the weapon is at all salvageable, the race may be on for the Russians to get it off the bottom of the Barents Sea before anyone else does. The United States has already reportedly been keeping a close eye on the tests and could have a good idea of where the missiles have landed. 

    If they spread any substantial amount of radioactive material when they came down, it might make them even easier to locate. In February 2017, well before the reported test flights, a U.S. Air Force WC-135 atmospheric reconnaissance aircraft was flying around the Barents Sea on what the service has insisted was a routine mission. This coincided with reports of increased radioactivity in the region, but that might have been linked to leaking Russian nuclear waste facilities.

    That U.S. Navy has its own deep sea intelligence gathering and salvage capabilities, notably the super-secret Seawolf-class submarine the USS Jimmy Carter. In September 2017, again before Russia reportedly began firing Burevestniks, that boat returned to its homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington State flying a Jolly Roger flag, a symbol representing the completion of a particularly successful mission.


    USN
    The secretive USS Jimmy Carter flying a Jolly Roger flag as it returns to port in September 2017.

    The U.S. government has a long history of trying to steal sensitive Russian equipment from the bottom of the ocean, as well. In the 1970s, the Central Intelligence Agency famously used the Hughes Glomar Explorer to pull a portion of the Soviet Golf II-class ballistic missile submarine K-129 up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

    Getting ahold of or even examining pieces of a #Burevestnik, one of six super weapons Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted in a speech in March 2018, would be a major coup for American intelligence agencies and the U.S. government’s foreign partners. NATO as a whole is also becoming more concerned with Russia’s aggressive policies and various advanced weapons developments, amid threatening training exercises, electronic warfare attacks, and deceptive information operations.

    All told, it might be worth keeping an eye on Yantar’s movements to see if she heads out into the waters above the Arctic Circle any time soon.

    Update: 5:20pm EST
    Canadian analyst Steffan Watkins has found that Russia’s Akademik Primakov, a seismic research vessel has been recently sailing a very deliberate pattern in the Kara Sea, which is to the east of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. To the west of Novaya Zemlya is the Barents Sea and the area was home to Soviet nuclear weapon testing.


    @steffanwatkins
    Russian seismic research vessel Akademik Primakov (MMSI:273392760) is certainly looking for something in the Kara Sea at 5kn. (Before you get too excited, it could be mapping the Arctic shelf, to aid in Russian claims to it.)

    It is possible that the initial report of where the missile went down was inaccurate and that it instead crashed into the Kara Sea. However, as Watkins notes, the Akademik Primakov is more likely mapping the region. The Russian company JSC Sevmorneftegeofizika acquired the ship in June 2017 specifically to conduct geological exploration activities in the Arctic Shelf.


  • CNBC : Russland har mistet atomdrevet missil i Barentshavet – NRK Finnmark – Lokale nyheter, TV og radio

    https://www.nrk.no/finnmark/cnbc_-russland-har-mistet-atomdrevet-missil-i-barentshavet-1.14175598

    Les russes avouent avoir « perdu » un missile à propulsion nucl"-éaire en mer de Barents. Les Norvégiens se font « du souci ».

    #nucléaire #armement #russie #norvège #se_faire_du_souci #terminologie

    Russland forbereder søk etter en atomdrevet rakett som er forsvunnet til havs, ifølge kilder med tilgang til en amerikansk etterretningsrapport.
    Vladimir Putin

    Russlands president Vladimir Putin framholdt i mars at Russland er nødt til å satse på nye og kraftigere atomvåpen som et svar på USAs rakettskjold. USA kalte det blant annet uansvarlig atomskryt og et klart brudd på internasjonale traktater om nedrustning og våpenkontroll.
    Foto : Mikhail Klimentyev / AP

    Kilde : NTB
    Publisert i dag kl. 08:00 Oppdatert for 2 timer siden
    Del på Facebook
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    Del på epost

    Daglig leder Nils Bøhmer i Bellona skriver på Twitter at han er bekymret over nyheten. Bøhmer jobbet i Statens strålevern før han begynte å arbeide for Bellonas Russlandsgruppe og jobber tett med spørsmål knyttet til blant annet atomulykker og Russland.


  • Photo Tampering throughout History

    http://tampering.izitru.com/index.html

    Though photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography. The pages that follow contain an overview of some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history. For recent years, an exhaustive inventory of every photo manipulation would be nearly impossible, so we focus here on the instances that have been most controversial or notorious, or ones that raise the most interesting ethical questions.

    Promoting the narrative that anti-government activists were actually puppets being manipulated by the U.S. government to undermine the Russian government, the Russian national television network REN-TV published a photo showing that U.S. ambassador to Russia John Tefft had attended a Moscow rally of these activists. The U.S. Embassy responded that Tefft had actually spent that day relaxing at home, and then mocked REN-TV’s coverage by releasing a series of composites showing Tefft at a variety of other historical events. After the original source photo was revealed to be from an interview Tefft gave in February at the site where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov had been murdered, REN-TV conceded that the version they had published was a fake that they had found on Twitter.

    Ultra-orthodox Jewish newspaper Actuali published on its front page a group photo of the new Israeli coalition government ministers, but it modified the photo to remove three women. Two of the women had been standing side-by-side, so the paper filled the noticeable gap by moving in a minister from another region of the photo which had been cropped. Another ultra-Orthodox news source, the website B’Haderai Haredim, also felt the need to hide the women when publishing the photo, but it took the less extreme measure of pixelating their faces.

    After the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense published a photo depicting its soldiers participating in a Victory Day parade in Moscow, online observers quickly pointed out that the image had been modified to hide the fact that Armenian soldiers were positioned immediately behind them in the parade, which was organized alphabetically. In an original version of the photo, the Armenian flag is clearly visible in the background, but this flag has disappeared in the “official” Azerbaijan version. The two countries have long had an adversarial relationship due to a territorial dispute.

    While it may not be the most outrageous example of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication removing a prominent woman from a photo, the website Kikar HaShabbat’s approach to removing Kim Kardashian deserves some recognition for its amusingly pragmatic simplicity. Before publishing a photo showing Kardashian and rapper Kanye West having lunch with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, the website hid Kardashian by clumsily compositing a dining receipt over that portion of the photo. When asked about the modification, editor Nissim Ben Haim said it was necessary because Kardashian is a “pornographic symbol” who is inconsistent with the values of their site.

    #photographie #manipulation #Photoshop


  • 2001 :

    Bush déclare la guerre aux #taliban - Libération
    http://www.liberation.fr/evenement/2001/09/22/bush-declare-la-guerre-aux-taliban_377871

    L’objectif immédiat de la Maison Blanche semble désormais être le renversement du régime taliban. « Si le fait de faire partir des gens protège les Américains et protège #le_monde_entier du #terrorisme, alors les #objectifs seront atteints »

    17 ans (et des dizaines de milliers de victimes civiles et des centaines de milliards de dollars) plus tard :

    « Signaux très positifs » entre Américains et talibans réunis à Doha - SWI swissinfo.ch
    https://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/toute-l-actu-en-bref/-signaux-tr%C3%A8s-positifs--entre-am%C3%A9ricains-et-talibans-r%C3%A9unis-%C3%A0-doha/44288436

    La délégation américaine était conduite par Alice Wells, sous-secrétaire d’Etat adjointe chargée de l’Asie du Sud et du centre (archives).

    #complexe_militaro_industriel #criminel #etats-unis


  • Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy Could Leave U.S. Defense Industry Behind – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/18/trumps-america-first-policy-could-leave-u-s-defense-industry-behind
    #America_Last (appel de une…)

    Signs that President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy could harm U.S. businesses and curb the United States’ clout around the world surfaced this week in an unexpected place—a small town outside London, during the world’s largest civil and military air event.

    The biennial gathering at the #Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom brings together military officials, diplomats, and arms dealers from around the world for plane-watching and deal-making. In other years, the United States has sent the Defense Department’s top weapons buyers, and top-end American products, such as the F-35 stealth fighter jet, have taken center stage.

    But this year’s event is being held in the shadow of Trump’s most controversial policies: his erratic approach to foreign affairs and his economic protectionism, including steep tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum.

    Those measures and the resulting uncertainty are prompting some European countries to go their own way on major industry projects, including the development of a next-generation fighter jet, potentially leaving U.S. firms behind.

    I think it is forcing Europe together in ways that have unanticipated consequences for the U.S. defense industry,” said Byron Callan, an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners.
    […]
    So it came as no surprise when the Trump administration announced the decision to send a large delegation to help sell U.S. products at Farnborough, including top officials such as Navarro. The administration also used the opportunity to roll out the Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy, also known as the “Buy America” plan, an initiative to improve U.S. arms transfer processes and increase the competitiveness of U.S.-made products.

    But the U.S. government showing at Farnborough was disappointing from the start of the weeklong exhibition Monday. Navarro pulled out at the last minute, as did Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer; Heidi Grant, the U.S. Air Force’s head of international affairs; and other U.S. government officials. At the show itself, only five U.S. military aircraft appeared on static display in the Defense Department corral that normally showcases products built for the armed services by Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and other U.S. defense giants.
    […]
    It’s the lowest number of aircraft in the U.S. corral I’ve ever seen,” said Joel Johnson, an analyst with the Teal Group. “There’s this huge push in theory to go sell American … but the U.S. government [showing] in all its majesty is the smallest I’ve seen in all my years at trade shows.


  • The Myth of the Liberal Order
    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-06-14/myth-liberal-order

    Paywall; repris en entier ici http://viet-studies.net/kinhte/Allison_MythLiberalOrder_FA.pdf

    While I was on a recent trip to Beijing, a high-level Chinese official posed an uncomfortable question to me. Imagine, he said, that as much of the American elite believes, Trump’s character and experience make him unfit to serve as the leader of a great nation. Who would be to blame for his being president? Trump, for his opportunism in seizing victory, or the political system that allowed him to do

    No one denies that in its current form, the U.S. government is failing. Long before Trump, the political class that brought unending, unsuccessful wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, as well as the financial crisis and Great Recession, had discredited itself. These disasters have done more to diminish confidence in liberal self-government than Trump [...]

    #fabrication #mythes #états-unis


  • Top Climate Scientist: Humans Will Go Extinct if We Don’t Fix Climate Change by 2023
    https://gritpost.com/humans-extinct-climate-change

    In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole. Anderson says current #pollution levels have already catastrophically depleted atmospheric #ozone levels, which absorb 98 percent of #ultraviolet rays, to levels not seen in 12 million years.

    Anderson’s assessment of humanity’s timeline for action is likely accurate, given that his diagnosis and discovery of Antarctica’s ozone holes led to the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Anderson’s research was recognized by the United Nations in September of 1997. He subsequently received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005, and has been recognized by numerous universities and academic bodies for his research.

    #climat #extinction

    • The good news is there are a relatively small amount of culprits responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions, meaning governments know who to focus on. As Grit Post reported in July of 2017, more than half of all carbon emissions between 1988 and 2016 can be traced back to just 25 fossil fuel giants around the world. 10 of those 25 top emitters are American companies, meaning the onus is largely on the United States to rein in major polluters like ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Marathon Oil. Other offenders include Chinese companies extracting and burning coal, and Russian oil conglomerates like Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil.

      However, the bad news for humanity is that as long as Donald Trump is President of the United States, swift action to combat climate change seems unlikely prior to 2020, given that Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords and refuses to even acknowledge the threat of climate change despite warnings from U.S. government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.


  • The Opioid that Made a Fortune for Its Maker — and for Its Prescribers - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/02/magazine/100000005878055.app.html

    For Insys, Chun was just the right kind of doctor to pursue. In the late 1990s, sales of prescription opioids began a steep climb. But by the time Subsys came to market in 2012, mounting regulatory scrutiny and changing medical opinion were thinning the ranks of prolific opioid prescribers. Chun was one of the holdouts, a true believer in treating pain with narcotics. He operated a busy practice, and 95 percent of the Medicare patients he saw in 2015 had at least one opioid script filled. Chun was also a top prescriber of a small class of painkillers whose active ingredient is fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times as powerful as morphine. Burlakoff’s product was a new entry to that class. On a “target list,” derived from industry data that circulated internally at Insys, Chun was placed at No. 3. The word inside the company for a doctor like Chun was a “whale.”

    In the few months since Subsys was introduced, demand was not meeting expectations. Some of the sales staff had already been fired. If Burlakoff and Krane could persuade Chun to become a Subsys loyalist, it would be a coup for them and for the entire company. The drug was so expensive that a single clinic, led by a motivated doctor, could generate millions of dollars in revenue.

    Speaker programs are a widely used marketing tool in the pharmaceutical business. Drug makers enlist doctors to give paid talks about the benefits of a product to other potential prescribers, at a clinic or over dinner in a private room at a restaurant. But Krane and some fellow rookie reps were already getting a clear message from Burlakoff, she said, that his idea of a speaker program was something else, and they were concerned: It sounded a lot like a bribery scheme.

    But the new reps were right to be worried. The Insys speaker program was central to Insys’ rapid rise as a Wall Street darling, and it was also central to the onslaught of legal troubles that now surround the company. Most notable, seven former top executives, including Burlakoff and the billionaire founder of Insys, John Kapoor, now await trial on racketeering charges in federal court in Boston. The company itself, remarkably, is still operating.

    The reporting for this article involved interviews with, among other sources, seven former Insys employees, among them sales managers, sales reps and an insurance-authorization employee, some of whom have testified before a grand jury about what they witnessed. This account also draws on filings from a galaxy of Insys-related litigation: civil suits filed by state attorneys general, whistle-blower and shareholder suits and federal criminal cases. Some are pending, while others have led to settlements, plea deals and guilty verdicts.

    The opioid crisis, now the deadliest drug epidemic in American history, has evolved significantly over the course of the last two decades. What began as a sharp rise in prescription-drug overdoses has been eclipsed by a terrifying spike in deaths driven primarily by illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids and heroin, with overall opioid deaths climbing to 42,249 in 2016 from 33,091 in 2015. But prescription drugs and the marketing programs that fuel their sales remain an important contributor to the larger crisis. Heroin accounted for roughly 15,000 of the opioid deaths in 2016, for instance, but as many as four out of five heroin users started out by misusing prescription opioids.

    By the time Subsys arrived in 2012, the pharmaceutical industry had been battling authorities for years over its role in promoting the spread of addictive painkillers. The authorities were trying to confine opioids to a select population of pain patients who desperately needed them, but manufacturers were pushing legal boundaries — sometimes to the breaking point — to get their products out to a wider market.

    Even as legal penalties accrued, the industry thrived. In 2007, three senior executives of Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in connection with a marketing effort that relied on misrepresenting the dangers of OxyContin, and the company agreed to pay a $600 million settlement. But Purdue continued booking more than $1 billion in annual sales on the drug. In 2008, Cephalon likewise entered a criminal plea and agreed to pay $425 million for promoting an opioid called Actiq and two other drugs “off-label” — that is, for unapproved uses. That did not stop Cephalon from being acquired three years later, for $6.8 billion.

    Subsys and Actiq belong to a class of fentanyl products called TIRF drugs. They are approved exclusively for the treatment of “breakthrough” cancer pain — flares of pain that break through the effects of the longer-acting opioids the cancer patient is already taking around the clock. TIRFs are niche products, but the niche can be lucrative because the drugs command such a high price. A single patient can produce six figures of revenue.

    Fentanyl is extremely powerful — illicitly manufactured variations, often spiked into heroin or pressed into counterfeit pills, have become the leading killers in the opioid crisis — and regulators have made special efforts to restrict prescription fentanyl products. In 2008, for instance, the F.D.A. rebuffed Cephalon’s application to expand the approved use for a TIRF called Fentora; in the company’s clinical trials, the subjects who did not have cancer demonstrated much more addictive behavior and propensity to substance abuse, which are “rarely seen in clinical trials,” F.D.A. officials concluded. An F.D.A. advisory committee reported that, during the trials, some of the Fentora was stolen. The agency later developed a special protocol for all TIRF drugs that required practitioners to undergo online training and certify that they understood the narrow approved use and the risks.

    Despite these government efforts, TIRF drugs were being widely prescribed to patients without cancer. Pain doctors, not oncologists, were the dominant players. This was common knowledge in the industry. Although it is illegal for a manufacturer to promote drugs for off-label use, it is perfectly legal for doctors to prescribe any drug off-label, on their own judgment. This allows drug makers like Insys to use a narrow F.D.A. approval as a “crowbar,” as a former employee put it, to reach a much broader group of people.

    That points to a major vulnerability in policing the opioid crisis: Doctors have a great deal of power. The F.D.A. regulates drug makers but not practitioners, who enjoy a wide latitude in prescribing that pharmaceutical companies can easily exploit. A respected doctor who advocates eloquently for wider prescribing can quickly become a “key opinion leader”; invited out on the lucrative lecture circuit. And any doctor who exercises a free hand with opioids can attract a flood of pain patients and income. Fellow doctors rarely blow the whistle, and some state medical boards exercise timid oversight, allowing unethical doctors to continue to operate. An assistant district attorney coping with opioids in upstate New York told me that it’s easy to identify a pill-mill doctor, but “it can take five years to get to that guy.” In the meantime, drug manufacturers are still seeing revenue, and that doctor is still seeing patients, one after another, day after day.

    Kapoor believed that he had the best product in its class. All the TIRF drugs — for transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl — deliver fentanyl through the mucous membranes lining the mouth or nose, but the specific method differs from product to product. Actiq, the first TIRF drug, is a lozenge on a stick. Cephalon’s follow-up, Fentora — the branded market leader when Subsys arrived — is a tablet meant to be held in the cheek as it dissolves. Subsys is a spray that the patient applies under the tongue. Spraying a fine mist at the permeable mouth floor makes for a rapid onset of action, trials showed.

    Once the F.D.A. gave final approval to Subsys in early 2012, the fate of Insys Therapeutics rested on selling it in the field. The industry still relies heavily on the old-fashioned way of making sales; drug manufacturers blanket the country with representatives who call on prescribers face to face, often coming to develop personal relationships with them over time.

    The speaker events themselves were often a sham, as top prescribers and reps have admitted in court. Frequently, they consisted of a nice dinner with the sales rep and perhaps the doctor’s support staff and friends, but no other licensed prescriber in attendance to learn about the drug. One doctor did cocaine in the bathroom of a New York City restaurant at his own event, according to a federal indictment. Some prescribers were paid four figures to “speak” to an audience of zero.

    One star rep in Florida, later promoted to upper management, told another rep that when she went in search of potential speakers, she didn’t restrict herself to the top names, because, after all, any doctor can write scripts, and “the company does not give a [expletive] where they come from.” (Some dentists and podiatrists prescribed Subsys.) She looked for people, she said, “that are just going through divorce, or doctors opening up a new clinic, doctors who are procedure-heavy. All those guys are money hungry.” If you float the idea of becoming a paid speaker “and there is a light in their eyes that goes off, you know that’s your guy,” she said. (These remarks, recorded by the rep on the other end of the line, emerged in a later investigation.)

    As a result of Insys’s approach to targeting doctors, its potent opioid was prescribed to patients it was never approved to treat — not occasionally, but tens of thousands of times. It is impossible to determine how many Subsys patients, under Kapoor, actually suffered from breakthrough cancer pain, but most estimates in court filings have put the number at roughly 20 percent. According to Iqvia data through September 2016, only 4 percent of all Subsys prescriptions were written by oncologists.

    Insys became the year’s best-performing initial public offering, on a gain of over 400 percent. That December, the company disclosed that it had received a subpoena from the Office of the Inspector General at Health and Human Services, an ominous sign. But a CNBC interviewer made no mention of it when he interviewed Babich a few weeks later. Instead he said, “Tell us what it is about Insys that has investors so excited.”

    In 2014, the doctors each averaged one prescription for a controlled substance roughly every four minutes, figuring on a 40-hour week. A typical pill mill makes its money from patients paying in cash for their appointments, but Ruan and Couch had a different model: A majority of their scripts were filled at a pharmacy adjacent to their clinic called C&R — for Couch and Ruan — where they took home most of the profits. The pharmacy sold more than $570,000 of Subsys in a single month, according to Perhacs’s criminal plea. Together the two men amassed a collection of 23 luxury cars.

    Over dinner, according to the Boston indictment, Kapoor and Babich struck a remarkable agreement with the pharmacists and the doctors, who were operating a clinic rife with opioid addiction among the staff: Insys would ship Subsys directly to C&R Pharmacy. An arrangement like this is “highly unusual” and a “red flag,” according to testimony from a D.E.A. investigator in a related trial. As part of the terms of the deal, the pharmacy would make more money on selling the drug, with no distributor in the loop. And there would be another anticipated benefit for all involved: Everyone could sell more Subsys without triggering an alert to the D.E.A.

    The local medical community felt the impact of the raid. Because refills are generally not allowed on controlled substances, patients typically visited the clinic every month. For days, dozens of them lined up outside in the morning, fruitlessly trying to get prescriptions from the remaining staff or at least retrieve their medical records to take elsewhere. But other providers were either booked up or would not take these patients. “Nobody was willing to give the amount of drugs they were on,” a nurse in the city said. Melissa Costello, who heads the emergency room at Mobile Infirmary, said her staff saw a surge of patients from the clinic in the ensuing weeks, at least a hundred, who were going through agonizing withdrawal.

    Two months after the raid in Mobile, Insys’ stock reached an all-time high.

    Insys itself is still producing Subsys, though sales have fallen considerably. (Overall demand for TIRFs has declined industrywide.) The company is now marketing what it calls the “first and only F.D.A.-approved liquid dronabinol,” a synthetic cannabinoid, and is developing several other new drugs. Some analysts like the look of the company’s pipeline of new drugs and rate the stock a “buy.” In a statement, the company said its new management team consists of “responsible and ethical business leaders” committed to effective compliance. Most of its more than 300 employees are new to the company since 2015, and its sales force is focused on physicians “whose prescribing patterns support our products’ approved indications,” the company said. Insys has ended its speaker program for Subsys.

    #Opioides #Pharmacie #Bande_de_salopards


  • THE U.S. QUIETLY RELEASED AFGHANISTAN’S “BIGGEST DRUG KINGPIN” FROM PRISON. DID HE CUT A DEAL ?
    https://theintercept.com/2018/05/01/haji-juma-khan-afghanistan-drug-trafficking-cia-dea

    IN OCTOBER 2008, the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration heralded the arrest of Haji Juma Khan on narcotics and terror charges. His capture, they said, dealt a punishing blow to the Taliban and the symbiotic relationship between the insurgent group and Afghan drug traffickers.

    Yet, unbeknownst to all but the closest observers of the largely forgotten Afghanistan War, Khan was quietly released from Federal Bureau of Prisons custody last month. After nearly 10 years at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, the terms of his release – like nearly everything else about his case – remain shrouded in secrecy.

    The secrecy reflects the U.S. government’s conflicted relationship with Khan. Before his arrest, the alleged drug trafficker worked with the CIA and the DEA, received payments from the government, and, at one point, visited Washington and New York on the DEA’s dime. After his arrest, federal prosecutors sought to link Khan’s support for the Taliban to a suicide bombing, as well as a separate attack on a Kabul hotel that killed one American. A trap set by the top DEA official in Kabul ultimately led to his arrest.

    Since 2012, the filings in Khan’s case have been under seal. As a result, it is impossible to determine whether he pleaded guilty to any of the charges against him, whether he received a sentence or was ordered to pay restitution to victims, or, upon his release last month, whether he was deported or allowed to remain in the United States.