• Greek election: Voters crave return to mainstream politics

    Left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the snap poll after being trounced in May’s European parliamentary elections and several months after his coalition with a nationalist partner collapsed. It followed a grueling four years in office for Tsipras, largely defined by economic hardship and a slow recovery after Greece limped out of an international bailout.

    si c’est vrai, ça fait quand même bien chier.

  • The Gnawing Anxiety of Having an Algorithm as a Boss - Bloomberg

    I recently got the internet in my apartment fixed, and my technician had an unusual request. I’d get an automated call after he left asking me how satisfied I was with the service, he explained, and he wanted me to rate him 9 out of 10. I asked why, and he said there was a glitch with the system that recorded any 10 rating as a 1, and it was important for him to keep his rating up.

    Since then, a couple of people have told me that technicians working for the company have been making this exact request for at least two years. A representative for Spectrum, my internet provider, said they were worrying over nothing. The company had moved away from the 10-point rating system, he said, adding that customer feedback isn’t “tied to individual technicians’ compensation.”

    But even if the Spectrum glitch exists only in the lore of cable repairmen, the anxiety it’s causing them is telling. Increasingly, workers are impacted by automated decision-making systems, which also affects people who read the news, or apply for loans, or shop in stores. It only makes sense that they’d try to bend those systems to their advantage.

    There exist at least two separate academic papers with the title “Folk Theories of Social Feeds,” detailing how Facebook users divine what its algorithm wants, then try to use those theories to their advantage.

    People with algorithms for bosses have particular incentive to push back. Last month, a local television station in Washington covered Uber drivers who conspire to turn off their apps simultaneously in order to trick its system into raising prices.

    Alex Rosenblat, the author of Uberland, told me that these acts of digital disobedience are essentially futile in the long run. Technology centralizes power and information in a way that overwhelms mere humans. “You might think you’re manipulating the system,” she says, but in reality “you’re working really hard to keep up with a system that is constantly experimenting on you.”

    Compared to pricing algorithms, customer ratings of the type that worried my repairman should be fairly straightforward. Presumably it’s just a matter of gathering data and calculating an average. But online ratings are a questionable way to judge people even if the data they’re based on are pristine—and they probably aren’t. Academics have shown that customer ratings reflect racial biases. Complaints about a product or service can be interpreted as commentary about the person who provided it, rather than the service itself. And companies like Uber require drivers to maintain such high ratings that, in effect, any review that isn’t maximally ecstatic is a request for punitive measures.

    #Travail #Surveillance #Algorithme #Stress #Société_contrôle

  • Revolt of the gig workers: How delivery rage reached a tipping point -

    Gig workers are fighting back.

    By their name, you might think independent contractors are a motley crew — geographically scattered, with erratic paychecks and tattered safety nets. They report to faceless software subroutines rather than human bosses. Most gig workers toil alone as they ferry passengers, deliver food and perform errands.

    But in recent weeks, some of these app-wielding workers have joined forces to effect changes by the multibillion-dollar companies and powerful algorithms that control their working conditions.

    Last week, Instacart shoppers wrung payment concessions from the grocery delivery company, which had been using customer tips to subsidize what it paid them. After outcries by workers on social media, in news reports and through online petitions, San Francisco’s Instacart said it had been “misguided.” It now adds tips on top of its base pay — as most customers and shoppers thought they should be — and will retroactively compensate workers who were stiffed on tips.

    New York this year became the first U.S. city to implement a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft, which now must pay drivers at least $17.22 an hour after expenses ($26.51 before expenses). Lyft, which sued over the requirement, last week gave in to driver pressure to implement it.

    For two years, drivers held rallies, released research, sent thousands of letters and calls to city officials, and gathered 16,000 petition signature among themselves. The Independent Drivers Guild, a union-affiliated group that represents New York ride-hail drivers and spearheaded the campaign, predicted per-driver pay boosts of up to $9,600 a year.

    That follows some other hard-fought worker crusades, such as when they persuaded Uber to finally add tipping to its app in 2017, a move triggered by several phenomena: a string of corporate scandals, the fact that rival Lyft had offered tipping from the get-go, and a class-action lawsuit seeking employment status for workers.

    “We’ll probably start to see more gig workers organizing as they realize that enough negative publicity for the companies can make something change,” said Alexandrea Ravenelle, an assistant sociology professor at New York’s Mercy College and author of “Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy.” “But companies will keep trying to push the envelope to pay workers as little as possible.”

    The current political climate, with tech giants such as Facebook and Google on hot seats over privacy, abuse of customer data and other issues, has helped the workers’ quests.

    “We’re at a moment of reckoning for tech companies,” said Alex Rosenblat, a technology ethnographer at New York’s Data & Society Research Institute and author of “Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work.” “There’s a techlash, a broader understanding that tech companies have to be held accountable as political institutions rather than neutral forces for good.”

    The climate also includes more consumer awareness of labor issues in the on-demand economy. “People are realizing that you don’t just jump in an Uber and don’t have to think about who’s driving you and what they make,” Ravenelle said. “There’s a lot more attention to gig workers’ plight.”

    Instacart customers were dismayed to discover that their tips were not going to workers on top of their pay as a reward for good service.

    Sage Wilson, a spokesman for Working Washington, a labor-backed group that helped with the Instacart shoppers’ campaign, said many more gig workers have emerged with stories of similar experiences on other apps.

    “Pay transparency really seems to be an issue across many of these platforms,” he said. “I almost wonder if it’s part of the reason why these companies are building black box algorithmic pay models in the first place (so) you might not even know right away if you got a pay cut until you start seeing the weekly totals trending down.”

    Cases in point: DoorDash and Amazon also rifle the tip jar to subsidize contractors’ base pay, as Instacart did. DoorDash defended this, saying its pay model “provides transparency, consistency, and predictability” and has increased both satisfaction and retention of its “Dashers.”

    But Kristen Anderson of Concord, a social worker who works part-time for DoorDash to help with student loans, said that was not her experience. Her pay dropped dramatically after DoorDash started appropriating tips in 2017, she said. “Originally it was worth my time and now it’s not,” she said. “It’s frustrating.”

    Debi LaBell of San Carlos, who does weekend work for Instacart on top of a full-time job, has organized with others online over the tips issue.

    “This has been a maddening, frustrating and, at times, incredibly disheartening experience,” said Debi LaBell of San Carlos, who does weekend work for Instacart on top of a full-time job. “When I first started doing Instacart, I loved getting in my car to head to my first shop. These past few months, it has taken everything that I have to get motivated enough to do my shift.”

    Before each shopping trip, she hand-wrote notes to all her customers explaining the tips issue. She and other shoppers congregated online both to vent and to organize.

    Her hope now is that Instacart will invite shoppers like her to hear their experiences and ideas.

    There’s poetic justice in the fact that the same internet that allows gig companies to create widely dispersed marketplaces provided gig workers space to find solidarity with one another.

    “It’s like the internet taketh and giveth,” said Eric Lloyd, an attorney at the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, which represents management, including some gig companies he wouldn’t name, in labor cases. “The internet gave rise to this whole new economy, giving businesses a way to build really innovative models, and it’s given workers new ways to advance their rights.”

    For California gig workers, even more changes are on the horizon in the wake of a ground-breaking California Supreme Court decision last April that redefined when to classify workers as employees versus independent contractors.

    Gig companies, labor leaders and lawmakers are holding meetings in Sacramento to thrash out legislative responses to the Dynamex decision. Options could range from more workers getting employment status to gig companies offering flexible benefits. Whatever happens, it’s sure to upend the status quo.

    Rather than piecemeal enforcement through litigation, arbitration and various government agencies such as unemployment agencies, it makes sense to come up with overall standards, Rosenblat said.

    “There’s a big need for comprehensive standards with an understanding of all the trade-offs,” she said. “We’re at a tipping point for change.”

    Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @csaid

    #USA #Kalifornien #Gig-Economy #Ausbeutung

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps | The New Yorker

    Like many arguments, the fight over the term “concentration camp” is mostly an argument about something entirely different. It is not about terminology. Almost refreshingly, it is not an argument about facts. This argument is about imagination, and it may be a deeper, more important conversation than it seems.

    In a Monday-evening live stream, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, called the U.S.’s detention facilities for migrants “concentration camps.” On Tuesday, she tweeted a link to an article in Esquire in which Andrea Pitzer, a historian of concentration camps, was quoted making the same assertion: that the United States has created a “concentration camp system.” Pitzer argued that “mass detention of civilians without a trial” was what made the camps concentration camps.

    #états-unis #migrations #enfants #camps_de_concentration

  • Days of palestine - Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, AOC Sign Bill To Stop US Aid to Israel Over Child Detentions
    Jun 14 2019

    Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) said they would be signing a bill to stop funding Israel due to its abuse of Palestinian children by detaining them.

    he bill was introduced by Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum and would prohibit aid from being used by the Israeli authorities to detain Palestinian minors. (...)

  • Call immigrant detention centers what they really are: concentration camps

    If you were paying close attention last week, you might have spotted a pattern in the news. Peeking out from behind the breathless coverage of the Trump family’s tuxedoed trip to London was a spate of deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody: Johana Medina Léon, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker; an unnamed 33-year-old Salvadoran man; and a 40-year-old woman from Honduras.

    Photos from a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso showed people herded so tightly into cells that they had to stand on toilets to breathe. Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees. These followed another report that showed that thousands of detainees are being brutally held in isolation cells just for being transgender or mentally ill.

    Also last week, the Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors — which were likened to “summer camps” by a senior ICE official last year. And there was the revelation that months after being torn from their parents’ arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center outside Port Isabel, Texas. In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in federal custody.

    Preventing mass outrage at a system like this takes work. Certainly it helps that the news media covers these horrors intermittently rather than as snowballing proof of a racist, lawless administration. But most of all, authorities prevail when the places where people are being tortured and left to die stay hidden, misleadingly named and far from prying eyes.

    There’s a name for that kind of system. They’re called concentration camps. You might balk at my use of the term. That’s good — it’s something to be balked at.

    The goal of concentration camps has always been to be ignored. The German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was imprisoned by the Gestapo and interned in a French camp, wrote a few years afterward about the different levels of concentration camps. Extermination camps were the most extreme; others were just about getting “undesirable elements … out of the way.” All had one thing in common: “The human masses sealed off in them are treated as if they no longer existed, as if what happened to them were no longer of interest to anybody, as if they were already dead.”

    Euphemisms play a big role in that forgetting. The term “concentration camp” is itself a euphemism. It was invented by a Spanish official to paper over his relocation of millions of rural families into squalid garrison towns where they would starve during Cuba’s 1895 independence war. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II, he initially called them concentration camps. Americans ended up using more benign names, like “Manzanar Relocation Center.”

    Even the Nazis’ camps started out small, housing criminals, Communists and opponents of the regime. It took five years to begin the mass detention of Jews. It took eight, and the outbreak of a world war, for the first extermination camps to open. Even then, the Nazis had to keep lying to distract attention, claiming Jews were merely being resettled to remote work sites. That’s what the famous signs — Arbeit Macht Frei, or “Work Sets You Free” — were about.

    Subterfuge doesn’t always work. A year ago, Americans accidentally became aware that the Trump administration had adopted (and lied about) a policy of ripping families apart at the border. The flurry of attention was thanks to the viral conflation of two separate but related stories: the family-separation order and bureaucrats’ admission that they’d been unable to locate thousands of migrant children who’d been placed with sponsors after crossing the border alone.

    Trump shoved that easily down the memory hole. He dragged his heels a bit, then agreed to a new policy: throwing whole families into camps together. Political reporters posed irrelevant questions, like whether President Obama had been just as bad, and what it meant for the midterms. Then they moved on.

    It is important to note that Trump’s aides have built this system of racist terror on something that has existed for a long time. Several camps opened under Obama, and as president he deported millions of people.

    But Trump’s game is different. It certainly isn’t about negotiating immigration reform with Congress. Trump has made it clear that he wants to stifle all non-white immigration, period. His mass arrests, iceboxes and dog cages are part of an explicitly nationalist project to put the country under the control of the right kind of white people.

    As a Republican National Committee report noted in 2013: “The nation’s demographic changes add to the urgency of recognizing how precarious our position has become.” The Trump administration’s attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census was also just revealed to have been a plot to disadvantage political opponents and boost “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” all along.

    That’s why this isn’t just a crisis facing immigrants. When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn’t usually stop with the first group he detains.

    There are now at least 48,000 people detained in ICE facilities, which a former official told BuzzFeed News “could swell indefinitely.” Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended more than 144,000 people on the Southwest border last month. (The New York Times dutifully reported this as evidence of a “dramatic surge in border crossings,” rather than what it was: The administration using its own surge of arrests to justify the rest of its policies.)

    If we call them what they are — a growing system of American concentration camps — we will be more likely to give them the attention they deserve. We need to know their names: Port Isabel, Dilley, Adelanto, Hutto and on and on. With constant, unrelenting attention, it is possible we might alleviate the plight of the people inside, and stop the crisis from getting worse. Maybe people won’t be able to disappear so easily into the iceboxes. Maybe it will be harder for authorities to lie about children’s deaths.

    Maybe Trump’s concentration camps will be the first thing we think of when we see him scowling on TV.

    The only other option is to leave it up to those in power to decide what’s next. That’s a calculated risk. As Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night,” one of the most comprehensive books on the history of concentration camps, recently noted: “Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He’ll take them as far as he’s allowed to.”
    #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #camps #camps_de_concentration #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #USA #Etats-Unis

    • ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System

      On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

      At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.

      The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States.

      So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity.

      On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections.

      In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported.

      Conditions for detainees have not been improving. At the end of May, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general found nearly 900 migrants at a Texas shelter built for a capacity of 125 people. On June 11, a university professor spotted at least 100 men behind chain-link fences near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas. Those detainees reported sitting outside for weeks in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees. Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration lawyer, described going into one facility and finding “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches… Another young child had to be restrained by his mother because he kept running full-speed into metal lockers. He was covered in bruises.”

      If deciding what to do about the growing numbers of adults and children seeking refuge in the US relies on complex humanitarian policies and international laws, in which most Americans don’t take a deep interest, a simpler question also presents itself: What exactly are these camps that the Trump administration has opened, and where is this program of mass detention headed?

      Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity.

      Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features.

      Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before.

      Under Spanish rule in 1896, the governor-general of Cuba instituted camps in order to clear rebel-held regions during an uprising, despite his predecessor’s written refusal “as the representative of a civilized nation, to be the first to give the example of cruelty and intransigence” that such detention would represent. After women and children began dying in vast numbers behind barbed wire because there had been little planning for shelter and even less for food, US President William McKinley made his call to war before Congress. He spoke against the policy of reconcentración, calling it warfare by uncivilized means. “It was extermination,” McKinley said. “The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness and the grave.” Without full records, the Cuban death toll can only be estimated, but a consensus puts it in the neighborhood of 150,000, more than 10 percent of the island’s prewar population.

      Today, we remember the sinking of the USS Maine as the spark that ignited the Spanish-American War. But war correspondent George Kennan (cousin of the more famous diplomat) believed that “it was the suffering of the reconcentrados, more, perhaps, than any other one thing that brought about the intervention of the United States.” On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war. Two weeks later, US Marines landed at Fisherman’s Point on the windward side of the entrance to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. After a grim, week-long fight, the Marines took the hill. It became a naval base, and the United States has never left that patch of land.

      As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

      Meanwhile, in southern Africa in 1900, the British had opened their own camps during their battle with descendants of Dutch settlers in the second Boer War. British soldiers filled tent cities with Boer women and children, and the military authorities called them refugee camps. Future Prime Minister David Lloyd George took offense at that name, noting in Parliament: “There is no greater delusion in the mind of any man than to apply the term ‘refugee’ to these camps. They are not refugee camps. They are camps of concentration.” Contemporary observers compared them to the Cuban camps, and criticized their deliberate cruelty. The Bishop of Hereford wrote to The Times of London in 1901, asking: “Are we reduced to such a depth of impotence that our Government can do nothing to stop such a holocaust of child-life?”

      Maggoty meat rations and polluted water supplies joined outbreaks of contagious diseases amid crowded and unhealthy conditions in the Boer camps. More than 27,000 detainees are thought to have died there, nearly 80 percent of them children. The British had opened camps for black Africans as well, in which at least 14,000 detainees died—the real number is probably much higher. Aside from protests made by some missionaries, the deaths of indigenous black Africans did not inspire much public outrage. Much of the history of the suffering in these camps has been lost.

      These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.”

      Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. The Daily Mail denounced aliens left at liberty once they had registered with their local police department, demanding, “Does signing his name take the malice out of a man?” The Scottish Field was more direct, asking, “Do Germans have souls?” That these civilian detainees were no threat to Britain did not keep them from being demonized, shouted at, and spat upon as they were paraded past hostile crowds in cities like London.

      Though a small number of people were shot in riots in these camps, and hunger became a serious issue as the conflict dragged on, World War I internment would present a new, non-lethal face for the camps, normalizing detention. Even after the war, new camps sprang up from Spain to Hungary and Cuba, providing an improvised “solution” for everything from vagrancy to anxieties over the presence of Jewish foreigners.

      Some of these camps were clearly not safe for those interned. Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations.

      In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat.

      However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory.

      It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001.

      In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell.

      This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways.

      I visited Guantánamo twice in 2015, sitting in the courtroom for pretrial hearings and touring the medical facility, the library, and all the old abandoned detention sites, as well as newly built ones, open to the media—from the kennel-style cages of Camp X-Ray rotting to ruin in the damp heat to the modern jailhouse facilities of Camp 6. Seeing all this in person made clear to me how vast the architecture of detention had become, how entrenched it was, and how hard it would be to close.

      Without a significant government effort to reverse direction, conditions in every camp system tend to deteriorate over time. Governments rarely make that kind of effort on behalf of people they are willing to lock up without trial in the first place. And history shows that legislatures do not close camps against the will of an executive.

      Just a few years ago there might have been more potential for change spurred by the judicial branch of our democracy, but this Supreme Court is inclined toward deference to executive power, even, it appears, if that power is abused. It seems unlikely this Court will intervene to end the new border camp system; indeed, the justices are far more likely to institutionalize it by half-measures, as happened with Guantánamo. The Korematsu case, in which the Supreme Court upheld Japanese-American internment (a ruling only rescinded last year), relied on the suppression of evidence by the solicitor general. Americans today can have little confidence that this administration would behave any more scrupulously when defending its detention policy.

      What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

      Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades.

      When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away.

      The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently.

      President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical.

      The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly.

      Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.

      The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?

    • #Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez engage le bras de fer avec la politique migratoire de Donald Trump

      L’élue de New York a qualifié les camps de rétention pour migrants érigés à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis de « camps de concentration ».

  • Ces femmes qui ont compté dans l’ombre

    photo apparaissant « par magie », donc non créditée

    On trouve beaucoup d’exemples de travaux scientifiques basés sur le travail de « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements.

    L’un de mes articles scientifiques préférés a été écrit par Edward Lorenz, en 1963, et s’intitule « Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow » (flot déterministe et non périodique). Il s’agit de l’un des textes fondateurs de la théorie du chaos. Son contenu passera dans le grand public un peu plus tard à travers la belle image de l’effet papillon : un battement d’ailes d’un papillon au Brésil pourrait engendrer un ouragan au Texas. Cette publication est un mélange extraordinaire de physique, de météorologie, de mathématiques et de simulations numériques. Je l’ai lue et relue un très grand nombre de fois et je croyais la connaître jusque la semaine dernière.

    Un article de Joshua Sokol dans Quanta Magazine m’a appris que j’aurais dû lire le dernier paragraphe dans lequel l’auteur remercie « Miss Ellen Fetter qui a pris en charge les nombreux calculs et les graphiques ». Comment ? Ce n’est pas Edward Lorenz qui a fait les calculs, mais une assistante ? Il faut comprendre que simuler le mouvement de l’atmosphère sur un ordinateur était une composante essentielle de l’article. En 1963, les ordinateurs étaient primitifs et « prendre en charge les calculs » aurait probablement mérité un peu plus qu’un discret remerciement.

    Ce n’est pas la première fois que des scientifiques utilisent des « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements. Dix ans auparavant, Enrico Fermi, John Pasta et Stanislaw Ulam publiaient la première simulation numérique d’un système physique complexe. On peut considérer cet article comme la naissance d’une nouvelle discipline de physique mathématique. Il s’agissait d’étudier, sur un ordinateur, les vibrations d’une chaîne constituée d’une soixantaine de ressorts « non linéaires ».

    Là encore, deux lignes discrètes dans la publication remercient Miss Mary Tsingou pour « la programmation efficace du problème et pour avoir effectué les calculs sur l’ordinateur Maniac de Los Alamos », ce qui représente pourtant une partie très importante du travail. Ce n’est qu’en 2008 que le physicien Thierry Dauxois lira ces deux lignes et proposera d’appeler Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou cette simulation numérique. J’aurais même proposé de respecter l’ordre alphabétique…


    • Nicole-Reine Lepaute — Wikipédia

      Détail d’un portrait de Nicole-Reine Lepaute
      par Guillaume Voiriot, là aussi, il faut aller chercher l’auteur qui n’est pas mentionné dans les infos WP de l’image, mais en note de l’article…

      Nicole Reine Lepaute, née Étable, le 5 janvier 1723 à Paris, morte dans la même ville le 6 décembre 1788, est une calculatrice et astronome française. Elle est, avec Caroline Herschel et la marquise du Châtelet une des principales femme scientifique du siècle des Lumières.

      Son travail est souvent inclus dans celui d’autres auteurs, dont Jérôme de Lalande et son mari. Mais, s’il faut en croire Lalande, qui l’aimait beaucoup, elle était « un maître plutôt qu’un émule ». Elle a notamment aidé au calcul de la date précise du retour de la comète de Halley de 1759 et contributrice majeure au calcul de l’éphéméride astronomique La connaissance des temps.

    • On trouve beaucoup d’exemples de travaux scientifiques basés sur le travail de « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements.

      L’un de mes articles scientifiques préférés a été écrit par Edward Lorenz, en 1963, et s’intitule « Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow » (flot déterministe et non périodique). Il s’agit de l’un des textes fondateurs de la théorie du chaos. Son contenu passera dans le grand public un peu plus tard à travers la belle image de l’effet papillon : un battement d’ailes d’un papillon au Brésil pourrait engendrer un ouragan au Texas. Cette publication est un mélange extraordinaire de physique, de météorologie, de mathématiques et de simulations numériques. Je l’ai lue et relue un très grand nombre de fois et je croyais la connaître jusque la semaine dernière.

      Un article de Joshua Sokol dans Quanta Magazine m’a appris que j’aurais dû lire le dernier paragraphe dans lequel l’auteur remercie « Miss Ellen Fetter qui a pris en charge les nombreux calculs et les graphiques ». Comment ? Ce n’est pas Edward Lorenz qui a fait les calculs, mais une assistante ? Il faut comprendre que simuler le mouvement de l’atmosphère sur un ordinateur était une composante essentielle de l’article. En 1963, les ordinateurs étaient primitifs et « prendre en charge les calculs » aurait probablement mérité un peu plus qu’un discret remerciement.

      Calculs faits à la main

      Ce n’est pas la première fois que des scientifiques utilisent des « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements. Dix ans auparavant, Enrico Fermi, John Pasta et Stanislaw Ulam publiaient la première simulation numérique d’un système physique complexe. On peut considérer cet article comme la naissance d’une nouvelle discipline de physique mathématique. Il s’agissait d’étudier, sur un ordinateur, les vibrations d’une chaîne constituée d’une soixantaine de ressorts « non linéaires ».

      Là encore, deux lignes discrètes dans la publication remercient Miss Mary Tsingou pour « la programmation efficace du problème et pour avoir effectué les calculs sur l’ordinateur Maniac de Los Alamos », ce qui représente pourtant une partie très importante du travail. Ce n’est qu’en 2008 que le physicien Thierry Dauxois lira ces deux lignes et proposera d’appeler Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou cette simulation numérique. J’aurais même proposé de respecter l’ordre alphabétique…

      En remontant encore dans le temps, on arrive à une période où les calculs étaient faits à la main, et où la main en question était bien souvent féminine. Dans les années 1940, un membre d’un institut de mathématiques appliquées ose parler du kilogirl (kilofille) : la quantité de calculs qu’une femme peut produire en mille heures ! Vers 1880, l’astronome Edward Charles Pickering recrute, à Harvard (Massachusetts), une équipe de plus de 80 calculatrices féminines surnommées « harem de Pickering » et payées moins qu’un ouvrier.

      On sait que la comète de Halley est visible dans le ciel à peu près tous les soixante-seize ans. Sa trajectoire est perturbée par l’attraction de Jupiter et de Saturne. Au milieu du XVIIIe siècle, certains savants doutaient encore de la théorie de la gravitation de Newton. Le calcul de la date du retour de la comète fut un grand moment de l’histoire des sciences. En novembre 1758, l’académicien Alexis Clairaut annonce un retour « vers le mois d’avril de l’année prochaine ».

      Ce fut un triomphe quand sa prédiction se réalisa. La théorie est en effet due à Clairaut, mais les calculs monstrueux ont été effectués par Joseph Lalande et Nicole-Reine Lepaute qui « calculaient depuis le matin jusqu’au soir, parfois même à table ». Clairaut « oubliera » de remercier sa collaboratrice. La Ville de Paris rendra partiellement justice à Nicole-Reine, en 2007, en donnant son nom à une rue.

      Nicole-Reine Lepaute (1723-1788), calculatrice et astronome.

      En 2017, l’ingénieur de Google James Damore a été renvoyé après avoir affirmé que le manque d’informaticiennes était d’origine biologique.

  • Charlotte Girard, figure de La France insoumise, quitte le mouvement

    Dans un long texte, l’universitaire pointe les dysfonctionnements internes au mouvement populiste de gauche.

    C’est une réplique de plus du séisme qui secoue La France insoumise (LFI) depuis plusieurs jours. Charlotte Girard, ancienne responsable du programme, a décidé de quitter le mouvement mélenchoniste. Elle s’en est expliquée dans un long texte publié sur Facebook, samedi 8 juin. Une décision qui intervient trois jours après l’envoi d’une note interne incendiaire, critiquant le fonctionnement interne de LFI, dont Charlotte Girard était l’une des quarante et un signataires et que Le Monde a révélée.

    • La capacité de la gauche à perpétuellement se scinder au lieu de prendre un chemin fédérateur sur base d’un projet à 10 ou 20 ans... Pendant qu’on continue à se disperser entre réformistes, révolutionnaires, éco-socialistes, etc. le monde du pognon se renforce, renforce l’individualisme et le capitalisme financier, s’appuye sur la haine et la’violence, déforce l’enseignement, la recherche, les politiques sociales et culturelles... #on_avance mais pas vers des politiques de solidarité, de coopération, d’écologie et de bien-être...

  • Varlam Shalamov versus Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn | The Charnel-House

    Few authors are so commonly cited in anticommunist literature as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Since the appearance of The Gulag Archipelago in the early seventies, it has been invoked at every turn by everyone from the “new philosophers” of France to the Canadian self-help guru Jordan Peterson. No doubt Solzhenitsyn is a great author, from a purely literary standpoint. His reactionary politics are quite separate from this consideration, but ought to have been of much more concern to Jewish ex-Maoists like Bernard-Henri Lévy and Alain Finkielkraut (who are constantly on the lookout for left antisemitism, yet seem to ignore Solzhenitsyn’s numerous antisemitic statements).

    #urss #ex-urss #littérature

  • La révolution sexuelle selon Alexandra Kollontaï

    Octobre 1917 côté femmes : quand Alexandra Kollontaï prônait l’amour verre d’eau et la monogamie successive

    A la veille de la révolution d’octobre (novembre dans le calendrier russe grégorien), Vladimir Ilitch Lenine ne pensait pas qu’aux formes de redistribution économique et sociale. Avec sa « vieille » complice Alexandra Kollontaï, ils redessinaient les relations amoureuses entre les femmes et les hommes. Et c’était tout sauf triste.
    Nikolaï Gavrilievitch Tchernychevski
    Son calcul reposait sur la conviction que les besoins sexuels des femmes sont bien plus importants que ceux des hommes. Et à ses compagnons de bagne qui lui demandaient, assis en rond autour de lui, comment on y arriverait puisque les femmes étaient aussi nombreuses (sinon légèrement plus) que les hommes, le philosophe mathématicien répondait sereinement et avec évidence, qu’il y aurait aussi relais entre les femmes, indiposées une semaine par mois, sans compter les trop âgées, moins demandantes. Et les gros durs comptaient sur leurs doigts, toujours songeurs...

    Ernst Lubitsch s’est laissé inspirer par Alexandra Kollontaï à un de ses films le plus célèbres avec Greta Garbo dans le rôle d’une émisssaire communiste qui doit rappeller à l’ordre des diplomates soviétiques tombés sous les charmes du capitalisme parisien. C’est une caricature grossière au niveau politique couplé avec l’humour sophistiqué jamais égalé de Lubitsch sur le plan du développement de l’action et des personnages.

    A nos yeux cette scène évoque des personnages du genre DSK, alors qu’il est question de l’opposé : les serveurs et serveuses sont attiré par le caractère généreux et épicuréen des diplomates soviétiques. Lubitsch dessine une allusion à un communisme idéal où chacun profiterait pleinement des richesses disponibles à l’humanité.

    La trame du film sur Wikipedia

    La Résurrection d’Alexandra Kollontaï ? | Dissidences : le blog

    Le discrédit au moins relatif jeté sur le communisme au lendemain du démantèlement du camp « socialiste » a-t-il balayé les réflexions et propositions sexuelles d’Alexandra Kollontaï ? Qu’est-il advenu de l’actualité dont avaient bénéficié, dans le contexte des années 60 et 70 du XXe siècle, ses thèses de l’Opposition ouvrière ? Enfin, sa biographie en tant que telle a-t-elle bénéficié d’un traitement dépassionné, disjoint de la conjoncture historiographique ? Pour tenter de répondre à ces questions, nous embrasserons une documentation relativement large, faite essentiellement d’ouvrages divers et de résultats d’une navigation sur Internet, son développement exponentiel durant ces quinze dernières années permettant de repérer quelques réutilisations emblématiques de la mémoire d’Alexandra Kollontaï.

    #histoire #féminisme #URSS #cinéma #communisme

  • Le numéro 13 de notre magazine critique et théorique consacré aux bandes dessinées, Pré Carré , est en cours de maquettage, sous les petits doigts habiles de Pierre Constantin qui va me remplacer à cette tâche après mes quatre ans de bons et loyaux services (pour tout dire, je suis grave soulagé).

    Si tout se passe bien, si la couverture de Oriane Lassus est tirée à temps en sérigraphie dans l’atelier de PCCBA, si Identic a imprimé à temps le cahier central, si le cahier mobile arrive à temps de Lyon, si tout ça est monté ensemble à temps, hé bien vous pourrez le découvrir au THC Circus, à « la générale » (Paris le week end des 15 et 16
    juin, au stand PCCBA où vous serez accueillis par moi.

    Au sommaire, des tas de trucs, comme toujours, de Gwladys Le Cuff, Alexandra Achard, Guillaume Massard, Samplerman, Jean-François Savang, Loïc Largier, François Poudevigne, Pedro Moura, Thomas Gosselin, moi-même et notre toute nouvelle collaboratrice, Claude Dominique.

    #pré_carré #bande_dessinée #critique #théorie #revue

  • Vox Pop : Les jeunes sont-ils les sacrifiés de l’emploi ? (ARTE)

    De notre côté Thomas est maintenant Boulanger en CFA depuis 1 an presque et est en alternance dans sa boulangerie et son frère Alexandre est suivi par la mission locale et il a trouvé un stage de 3 semaines en chaudronnerie, soudure, etc. chez un patron sympa... et pense enquiller sur un CAP en chaudronnerie.

    Source(s) : via Contributeur anonyme

    Information complémentaire : : Trois millions de jeunes totalement oisifs, dont 40% issus de l’immigration

    #En_vedette #Divers

  • L’affaire Baring Vostok jette une ombre sur le Davos russe

    Le fondateur américain de Baring Vostok, Michael Calvey, sortant du tribunal à Moscou le 11 avril 2019. Il a été placé depuis en résidence surveillée.

    Au Forum économique international de Saint-Pétersbourg, qui se tient de jeudi à samedi, l’arrestation des dirigeants du fonds d’investissement privé le plus réputé de Russie sera au cœur des discussions de couloir.

    S’il a l’oreille du président Vladimir Poutine sur l’économie, le directeur général du fonds souverain russe RDIF, le libéral Kirill Dmitriev, reconnaît que son influence a aussi ses limites. Il en est ainsi du dossier Baring Vostok qui alimentera les discussions en marge du forum de Saint-Pétersbourg, organisé du jeudi 6 au samedi 8 juin. Les soudaines poursuites judiciaires contre le plus ancien et le plus réputé des fonds d’investissement privés en Russie, avec l’arrestation le 14 février de son fondateur américain, Michael Calvey, de son directeur financier français, Philippe Delpal, et de quatre employés non occidentaux, ont jeté un froid sur le climat des affaires. Un coup de semonce pour beaucoup. « Un problème sérieux », résume laconiquement M. Dmitriev, qui, à la veille du « Davos russe », a confié au Monde son inquiétude.

    Comme l’ancien ministre des finances Alexeï Koudrine, le président du patronat Alexandre Chokhine ou le PDG de la Sberbank, principale banque du pays, German Gref, M. Dmitriev a dès le début exprimé son soutien à Baring Vostok. Au nom de RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund, clef de voûte des investissements publics avec un capital de dix milliards de dollars, soit 8,9 milliards d’euros), il a envoyé des lettres au parquet pour rappeler la bonne réputation du fonds privé. Et demander que la détention préventive de ses dirigeants soit remplacée par de la résidence surveillée. A ce jour, seuls Michael Calvey et l’un de ses employés russes ont bénéficié d’un tel allégement. Le 21 mai, un juge a rejeté au contraire l’appel de Philippe Delpal.

    « J’ai fait tout ce que je pouvais. On espère une fin rapide de cette affaire », dit M. Dmitriev. Il ne commente pas les poursuites pour fraude d’au moins 33 millions d’euros qu’aurait initiées contre Baring Vostok un ex-allié du fonds, soupçonné d’avoir réussi, grâce à des contacts haut placés, à faire emprisonner ses anciens partenaires. Mais il regrette qu’un différend commercial se retrouve au pénal. Un scénario fréquent dans la Russie des affaires, faute d’indépendance de la justice. Mais, jusque-là, aucun Occidental n’avait été arrêté.

    A Saint-Pétersbourg, Kirill Dmitriev signera un accord avec Baring Vostok sur l’entrée de RDIF au capital d’un des actifs du fonds dans les nouvelles technologies. Pour pouvoir se rendre au « Davos russe », Michael Calvey a demandé au comité d’enquête de bénéficier d’une dérogation à s[a résidence surveillée ?]


    • L’affaire Baring Vostok jette une ombre sur le Davos russe

      Au Forum économique international de Saint-Pétersbourg, qui se tient de jeudi à samedi, l’arrestation des dirigeants du fonds d’investissement privé le plus réputé de Russie sera au cœur des discussions de couloir.

      S’il a l’oreille du président Vladimir Poutine sur l’économie, le directeur général du fonds souverain russe RDIF, le libéral Kirill Dmitriev, reconnaît que son influence a aussi ses limites. Il en est ainsi du dossier Baring Vostok qui alimentera les discussions en marge du forum de Saint-Pétersbourg, organisé du jeudi 6 au samedi 8 juin. Les soudaines poursuites judiciaires contre le plus ancien et le plus réputé des fonds d’investissement privés en Russie, avec l’arrestation le 14 février de son fondateur américain, Michael Calvey, de son directeur financier français, Philippe Delpal, et de quatre employés non occidentaux, ont jeté un froid sur le climat des affaires. Un coup de semonce pour beaucoup. « Un problème sérieux », résume laconiquement M. Dmitriev, qui, à la veille du « Davos russe », a confié au Monde son inquiétude.

      Comme l’ancien ministre des finances Alexeï Koudrine, le président du patronat Alexandre Chokhine ou le PDG de la Sberbank, principale banque du pays, German Gref, M. Dmitriev a dès le début exprimé son soutien à Baring Vostok. Au nom de RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund, clef de voûte des investissements publics avec un capital de dix milliards de dollars, soit 8,9 milliards d’euros), il a envoyé des lettres au parquet pour rappeler la bonne réputation du fonds privé. Et demander que la détention préventive de ses dirigeants soit remplacée par de la résidence surveillée. A ce jour, seuls Michael Calvey et l’un de ses employés russes ont bénéficié d’un tel allégement. Le 21 mai, un juge a rejeté au contraire l’appel de Philippe Delpal.

      « J’ai fait tout ce que je pouvais. On espère une fin rapide de cette affaire », dit M. Dmitriev. Il ne commente pas les poursuites pour fraude d’au moins 33 millions d’euros qu’aurait initiées contre Baring Vostok un ex-allié du fonds, soupçonné d’avoir réussi, grâce à des contacts haut placés, à faire emprisonner ses anciens partenaires. Mais il regrette qu’un différend commercial se retrouve au pénal. Un scénario fréquent dans la Russie des affaires, faute d’indépendance de la justice. Mais, jusque-là, aucun Occidental n’avait été arrêté.

      Demande de dérogation

      A Saint-Pétersbourg, Kirill Dmitriev signera un accord avec Baring Vostok sur l’entrée de RDIF au capital d’un des actifs du fonds dans les nouvelles technologies. Pour pouvoir se rendre au « Davos russe », Michael Calvey a demandé au comité d’enquête de bénéficier d’une dérogation à son strict régime de résidence surveillée à Moscou. « C’est la loi russe et il faut la suivre », a déclaré lundi 3 juin le porte-parole du Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov, qui a cependant apporté son soutien à Michael Calvey. « Bien sûr, nous aimerions voir Michael au forum car il en a été un participant actif depuis quinze ans. Nous le connaissons en homme d’affaires fiable, très dévoué au marché russe. » Ces propos ont semé le doute sur la position du Kremlin.

      Alors que la Russie peine à booster les investissements étrangers directs, l’affaire Baring Vostok assombrit le climat des affaires. M. Dmitriev en redoute les méfaits sur les partenariats étrangers. « Lors des rencontres, mes interlocuteurs français évoquent ce dossier », témoigne-t-il.
      Deux nouveaux accords devraient pourtant être signés, avec Schneider Electric. L’un d’eux se fait dans le cadre d’un fonds de 300 millions d’euros créé en 2013 par RDIF et la Caisse des dépôts. Depuis, les investissements croisés tardent à se concrétiser à cause des effets par ricochet des sanctions occidentales contre Moscou. « Il y a une méfiance générale en France et en Europe qui, du coup, perdent de nombreuses opportunités d’affaires en Russie », regrette le patron du RDIF. Des négociations sont en cours, notamment avec Dalkia et Veolia.

      Le fonds souverain russe profitera aussi du rendez-vous de Saint-Pétersbourg pour consolider les coopérations avec ses partenaires d’Asie et du Moyen-Orient, en particulier les fonds d’Arabie saoudite (PIF, 10 milliards de dollars de projets communs), des Emirats arabes unis (Mubadala, 7 milliards) et de Chine (CIC, 2 milliards). Des montants bien plus élevés que les 300 millions d’euros avec les Français. Et des coopérations bien plus aisées. Ces partenaires-là ne parleront guère de l’affaire Baring Vostok au forum…

  • Immigration : le vrai #coût des expulsions

    Les expulsions d’étrangers en situation irrégulière ont coûté 500 millions d’euros à l’Etat en 2018. Selon un rapport parlementaire, inciter un immigré au retour grâce à une aide financière coûte près de six fois moins cher qu’un retour par la force.

    Le dossier est ultrasensible. La question des étrangers en situation irrégulière en France, et surtout le coût de leur reconduite à la frontière, peut rapidement enflammer les débats. D’autant que le nombre d’expulsions forcées n’a jamais été aussi élevé depuis dix ans. Et leur coût pour les finances publiques a représenté la bagatelle d’un demi-milliard d’euros l’an dernier. De quoi aiguiser l’intérêt des députés en charge de la mission Asile-Immigration-Intégration, dont l’enveloppe globale annuelle pour l’Etat est d’1,7 milliard d’euros.

    Dans le cadre du Printemps de l’évaluation, ces élus ont décidé de passer au peigne fin la politique d’expulsion. Avec un double objectif : contrôler l’action du gouvernement et identifier des leviers d’économie.

    Jean-Noël Barrot (MoDem) et Alexandre Holroyd (LREM) ont donc toqué à la porte des ministères concernés - Intérieur, Justice, Quai d’Orsay, etc. - pour récolter des chiffres précis. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France dévoile en exclusivité leur rapport, présenté jeudi en commission des finances. Il livre un bilan rigoureux des expulsions en France, qu’il s’agisse de retours aidés, c’est-à-dire consentis et accompagnés d’une aide financière, ou d’éloignements forcés, quand la personne est reconduite par des policiers ou des gendarmes.
    Augmenter le montant de l’aide ?

    Contraires aux idées reçues, ses conclusions sont sans appel : les expulsions forcées, très majoritaires (entre 70 et 80 % des raccompagnements), coûtent plus de six fois plus cher qu’un retour aidé dans le pays d’origine. En moyenne, 13 800 euros contre 2 500 euros. Nos voisins européens sont nombreux à favoriser les retours aidés.

    Mais ces derniers sont-ils efficaces ? Dans son rapport de 2016, la Cour des comptes relevait qu’avec « l’adhésion de la Roumanie et de la Bulgarie le 1er juin 2007, de nombreux Roms repartis dans ces deux pays avec une aide au retour humanitaire (revenaient) en France et (faisaient) parfois des allers-retours pour percevoir plusieurs fois l’allocation de 300 euros ».

    Aujourd’hui, ce scénario n’est plus possible. Car depuis 2018, les ressortissants des pays membres de l’Union européenne n’ont plus accès à l’aide au retour. Et ce pécule ne peut être perçu qu’une seule fois. De quoi peser en faveur des retours aidés ? « Ce dispositif fonctionne de manière satisfaisante », observe Jean-Noël Barrot. « Et pour certaines destinations, si l’on augmente l’enveloppe, les retours dans les pays d’origine sont en hausse ». L’Afghanistan, le Pakistan, la Chine, l’Irak et le Soudan pourraient faire partie de ces pays à cibler.

    Faut-il donc multiplier les retours aidés, quitte à augmenter le montant de l’aide ? « Notre travail était de fournir une estimation précise, répond prudemment Alexandre Holroyd. Désormais, c’est une décision politique. » Les deux députés envisagent de déposer une proposition de résolution dans les jours qui viennent pour inviter le gouvernement à statuer.
    #France #expulsions #renvois #asile #migrations #réfugiés #business
    ping @isskein @karine4 @daphne @marty

  • Les compagnies aériennes dénoncent « l’hypocrisie » des Etats sur le climat (IATA)

    Alexandre de Juniac, le directeur général de IATA

    Alors que des voix s’élèvent pour imposer des taxes sur le kérosène et arrêter de prendre l’avion, Alexandre de Juniac, le directeur général de l’Association internationale du transport aérien (IATA), a dénoncé l’attitude des gouvernements qui préfèrent imposer « des taxes punitives » plutôt que d’aider à soutenir la recherche et la création de filières dans les biocarburants. Les compagnies aériennes ont réaffirmé leur engagement de neutraliser leurs émissions de CO2 à partir de 2020, puis de les diminuer de moitié d’ici à 2050 par rapport à 2005.

    Avec la sécurité, la question environnementale est au coeur des discussions de l’Assemblée générale de l’association internationale du transport aérien (IATA), qui se déroule les 2 et 3 juin à Séoul, en Corée du Sud. La pression sociale s’accentue en effet sur les compagnies aériennes, accusées de ne pas prendre part à la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique. Même si le transport aérien ne représente que 2% des émissions mondiales (et 12% du secteur des transports), et que la consommation de carburant par passager a diminué de moitié depuis les années 90 avec l’amélioration continue de l’efficacité énergétique des avions, la forte croissance du trafic aérien est telle que le volume d’émissions de CO2 continue d’augmenter. Entre 2008 et 2018, les émissions de CO2 ont augmenté d’un tiers. En 2019, elles devraient selon IATA représenter 927 millions de tonnes, en hausse de 2%, un rythme largement moins soutenu que celui de la hausse de trafic (+ 5%).

  • As Thousands of Taxi Drivers Were Trapped in Loans, Top Officials Counted the Money - The New York Times

    [Read Part 1 of The Times’s investigation: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers]

    At a cramped desk on the 22nd floor of a downtown Manhattan office building, Gary Roth spotted a looming disaster.

    An urban planner with two master’s degrees, Mr. Roth had a new job in 2010 analyzing taxi policy for the New York City government. But almost immediately, he noticed something disturbing: The price of a taxi medallion — the permit that lets a driver own a cab — had soared to nearly $700,000 from $200,000. In order to buy medallions, drivers were taking out loans they could not afford.

    Mr. Roth compiled his concerns in a report, and he and several colleagues warned that if the city did not take action, the loans would become unsustainable and the market could collapse.

    They were not the only ones worried about taxi medallions. In Albany, state inspectors gave a presentation to top officials showing that medallion owners were not making enough money to support their loans. And in Washington, D.C., federal examiners repeatedly noted that banks were increasing profits by steering cabbies into risky loans.

    They were all ignored.

    Medallion prices rose above $1 million before crashing in late 2014, wiping out the futures of thousands of immigrant drivers and creating a crisis that has continued to ravage the industry today. Despite years of warning signs, at least seven government agencies did little to stop the collapse, The New York Times found.

    Instead, eager to profit off medallions or blinded by the taxi industry’s political connections, the agencies that were supposed to police the industry helped a small group of bankers and brokers to reshape it into their own moneymaking machine, according to internal records and interviews with more than 50 former government employees.

    For more than a decade, the agencies reduced oversight of the taxi trade, exempted it from regulations, subsidized its operations and promoted its practices, records and interviews showed.

    Their actions turned one of the best-known symbols of New York — its signature yellow cabs — into a financial trap for thousands of immigrant drivers. More than 950 have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Times analysis of court records, and many more struggle to stay afloat.

    Remember the ‘10,000 Hours’ Rule for Success? Forget About It
    “Nobody wanted to upset the industry,” said David Klahr, who from 2007 to 2016 held several management posts at the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the city agency that oversees cabs. “Nobody wanted to kill the golden goose.”

    New York City in particular failed the taxi industry, The Times found. Two former mayors, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg, placed political allies inside the Taxi and Limousine Commission and directed it to sell medallions to help them balance budgets and fund priorities. Mayor Bill de Blasio continued the policies.

    Under Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. de Blasio, the city made more than $855 million by selling taxi medallions and collecting taxes on private sales, according to the city.

    But during that period, much like in the mortgage lending crisis, a group of industry leaders enriched themselves by artificially inflating medallion prices. They encouraged medallion buyers to borrow as much as possible and ensnared them in interest-only loans and other one-sided deals that often required them to pay hefty fees, forfeit their legal rights and give up most of their monthly incomes.

    When the medallion market collapsed, the government largely abandoned the drivers who bore the brunt of the crisis. Officials did not bail out borrowers or persuade banks to soften loan terms.

    “They sell us medallions, and they knew it wasn’t worth price. They knew,” said Wael Ghobrayal, 42, an Egyptian immigrant who bought a medallion at a city auction for $890,000 and now cannot make his loan payments and support his three children.

    “They lost nothing. I lost everything,” he said.

    The Times conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed thousands of records and built several databases to unravel the story of the downfall of the taxi industry in New York and across the United States. The investigation unearthed a collapse that was years in the making, aided almost as much by regulators as by taxi tycoons.

    Publicly, government officials have blamed the crisis on competition from ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Lyft.

    In interviews with The Times, they blamed each other.

    The officials who ran the city Taxi and Limousine Commission in the run-up to the crash said it was the job of bank examiners, not the commission, to control lending practices.

    The New York Department of Financial Services said that while it supervised some of the banks involved in the taxi industry, it deferred to federal inspectors in many cases.

    The federal agency that oversaw many of the largest lenders in the industry, the National Credit Union Administration, said those lenders were meeting the needs of borrowers.

    The N.C.U.A. released a March 2019 internal audit that scolded its regulators for not aggressively enforcing rules in medallion lending. But even that audit partially absolved the government. The lenders, it said, all had boards of directors that were supposed to prevent reckless practices.

    And several officials criticized Congress, which two decades ago excepted credit unions in the taxi industry from some rules that applied to other credit unions. After that, the officials said, government agencies had to treat those lenders differently.

    Ultimately, former employees said, the regulatory system was set up to ensure that lenders were financially stable, and medallions were sold. But almost nothing protected the drivers.

    Matthew W. Daus, far right, at a hearing of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2004. CreditMarilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
    Matthew W. Daus was an unconventional choice to regulate New York’s taxi industry. He was a lawyer from Brooklyn and a leader of a political club that backed Mr. Giuliani for mayor.

    The Giuliani administration hired him as a lawyer for the Taxi and Limousine Commission before appointing him chairman in 2001, a leadership post he kept after Mr. Bloomberg became mayor in 2002.

    The commission oversaw the drivers and fleets that owned the medallions for the city’s 12,000 cabs. It licensed all participants and decided what cabs could charge, where they could go and which type of vehicle they could use.

    And under Mr. Bloomberg, it also began selling 1,000 new medallions.

    At the time, the mayor said the growing city needed more yellow cabs. But he also was eager for revenue. He had a $3.8 billion hole in his budget.

    The sales put the taxi commission in an unusual position.

    It had a long history of being entangled with the industry. Its first chairman, appointed in 1971, was convicted of a bribery scheme involving an industry lobbyist. Four other leaders since then had worked in the business.

    It often sent staffers to conferences where companies involved in the taxi business paid for liquor, meals and tickets to shows, and at least one past member of its board had run for office in a campaign financed by the industry.

    Still, the agency had never been asked to generate so much money from the business it was supposed to be regulating.

    Former staffers said officials chose to sell medallions with the method they thought would bring in the most revenue: a series of limited auctions that required participants to submit sealed bids above ever-increasing minimums.

    Ahead of the sales, the city placed ads on television and radio, and in newspapers and newsletters, and held seminars promoting the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

    “Medallions have a long history as a solid investment with steady growth,” Mr. Daus wrote in one newsletter. In addition to guaranteed employment, he wrote, “a medallion is collateral that can assist in home financing, college tuition or even ‘worry-free’ retirement.”

    At the first auctions under Mr. Bloomberg in 2004, bids topped $300,000, surprising experts.

    Some former staffers said in interviews they believed the ad campaign inappropriately inflated prices by implying medallions would make buyers rich, no matter the cost. Seven said they complained.

    The city eventually added a disclaimer to ads, saying past performance did not guarantee future results. But it kept advertising.

    During the same period, the city also posted information on its website that said that medallion prices were, on average, 13 percent higher than they really were, according to a Times data analysis.

    In several interviews, Mr. Daus defended the ad campaigns, saying they reached people who had been unable to break into the tight market. The ads were true at the time, he said. He added he had never heard internal complaints about the ads.

    In all, the city held 16 auctions between 2004 and 2014.

    “People don’t realize how organized it is,” Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial, a lender to medallion buyers, said in a 2011 interview with Tearsheet Podcast. “The City of New York, more or less, is our partner because they want to see prices go as high as possible.”

    Help from a federal agency

    New York City made more than $855 million from taxi medallion sales under Mayor Bill de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

    For decades, a niche banking system had grown up around the taxi industry, and at its center were about half a dozen nonprofit credit unions that specialized in medallion loans. But as the auctions continued, the families that ran the credit unions began to grow frustrated.

    Around them, they saw other lenders making money by issuing loans that they could not because of the rules governing credit unions. They recognized a business opportunity, and they wanted in.

    They found a receptive audience at the National Credit Union Administration.

    The N.C.U.A. was the small federal agency that regulated the nation’s credit unions. It set the rules, examined their books and insured their accounts.

    Like the city taxi commission, the N.C.U.A. had long had ties to the industry that it regulated. One judge had called it a “rogue federal agency” focused on promoting the industry.

    In 2004, its chairman was Dennis Dollar, a former Mississippi state representative who had previously worked as the chief executive of a credit union. He had just been inducted into the Mississippi Credit Union Hall of Fame, and he had said one of his top priorities was streamlining regulation.

    Dennis Dollar, the former chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, is now a consultant in the industry. 

    Under Mr. Dollar and others, the N.C.U.A. issued waivers that exempted medallion loans from longstanding rules, including a regulation requiring each loan to have a down payment of at least 20 percent. The waivers allowed the lenders to keep up with competitors and to write more profitable loans.

    Mr. Dollar, who left government to become a consultant for credit unions, said the agency was following the lead of Congress, which passed a law in 1998 exempting credit unions specializing in medallion loans from some regulations. The law signaled that those lenders needed leeway, such as the waivers, he said.

    “If we did not do so, the average cabdriver couldn’t get a medallion loan,” Mr. Dollar said.

    The federal law and the N.C.U.A. waivers were not the only benefits the industry received. The federal government also provided many medallion lenders with financial assistance and guaranteed a portion of their taxi loans, assuring that if those loans failed, they would still be partially paid, according to records and interviews.

    As lenders wrote increasingly risky loans, medallion prices neared $500,000 in 2006.

    ‘Snoozing and napping’

    Under Mr. Bloomberg, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission began selling 1,000 new medallions.

    Another agency was also supposed to be keeping an eye on lending practices. New York State banking regulators are required to inspect all financial institutions chartered in the state. But after 2008, they were forced to focus their attention on the banks most affected by the global economic meltdown, according to former employees.

    As a result, some industry veterans said, the state stopped examining medallion loans closely.

    “The state banking department would come in, and they’d be doing the exam in one room, and the N.C.U.A. would be in another room,” said Larry Fisher, who was then the medallion lending supervisor at Melrose Credit Union, one of the biggest lenders. “And you could catch the state banking department snoozing and napping and going on the internet and not doing much at all.”

    The state banking department, which is now called the New York Department of Financial Services, disputed that characterization and said it had acted consistently and appropriately.

    Former federal regulators described a similar trend at their agencies after the recession.

    Some former employees of the N.C.U.A., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said that as medallion prices climbed, they tried to raise issues with loans and were told not to worry. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Board also oversaw some lenders and did not intervene.

    A spokesman for the Federal Reserve said the agency was not a primary regulator of the taxi lending industry. The rest of the agencies declined to comment.

    “It was obvious that the loans were unusual and risky,” said Patrick Collins, a former N.C.U.A. examiner. But, he said, there was a belief inside his agency that the loans would be fine because the industry had been stable for decades.

    Meanwhile, in New York City, the taxi commission reduced oversight.

    For years, it had made medallion purchasers file forms describing how they came up with the money, including details on all loans. It also had required industry participants to submit annual disclosures on their finances, loans and conflicts of interest.

    But officials never analyzed the forms filed by buyers, and in the 2000s, they stopped requiring the annual disclosures altogether.

    “Reviewing these disclosures was an onerous lift for us,” the commission’s communications office said in a recent email.

    By 2008, the price of a medallion rose to $600,000.

    At around the same time, the commission began focusing on new priorities. It started developing the “Taxi of Tomorrow,” a model for future cabs.

    The agency’s main enforcement activities targeted drivers who cheated passengers or discriminated against people of color. “Nobody really scrutinized medallion transfers,” said Charles Tortorici, a former commission lawyer.

    A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement that during the mayor’s tenure, the city improved the industry by installing credit card machines and GPS devices, making fleets more environmentally efficient and creating green taxis for boroughs outside Manhattan.

    “The industry was always its own worst enemy, fighting every reform tooth and nail,” said the spokesman, Marc La Vorgna. “We put our energy and political capital into the reforms that most directly and immediately impacted the riding public.”

    Records show that since 2008, the taxi commission has not taken a single enforcement action against brokers, the powerful players who arrange medallion sales and loans.

    Alex Korenkov, a broker, suggested in an interview that he and other brokers took notice of the city’s hands-off approach.

    “Let’s put it this way,” he said. “If governing body does not care, then free-for-all.”

    By the time that Mr. Roth wrote his report at the Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2010, it was clear that something strange was happening in the medallion market.

    Mr. Daus gave a speech that year that mentioned the unusual lending practices. During the speech, he said banks were letting medallion buyers obtain loans without any down payment. Experts have since said that should have raised red flags. But at the time, Mr. Daus seemed pleased.

    “Some of these folks were offering zero percent down,” he said. “You tell me what bank walks around asking for zero percent down on a loan? It’s just really amazing.”

    In interviews, Mr. Daus acknowledged that the practice was unusual but said the taxi commission had no authority over lending.

    Inside the commission, at least four employees raised concerns about the medallion prices and lending practices, according to the employees, who described their own unease as well as Mr. Roth’s report.

    David S. Yassky, a former city councilman who succeeded Mr. Daus as commission chairman in 2010, said in an interview that he never saw Mr. Roth’s report.

    Mr. Yassky said the medallion prices puzzled him, but he could not determine if they were inflated, in part because people were still eager to buy. Medallions may have been undervalued for decades, and the price spike could have been the market recognizing the true value, he suggested.

    Meera Joshi, who became chairwoman in 2014, said in an interview that she was worried about medallion costs and lending practices but was pushed to prioritize other responsibilities. Dominic Williams, Mr. de Blasio’s chief policy adviser, said the city focused on initiatives such as improving accessibility because no one was complaining about loans.

    Worries about the taxi industry also emerged at the National Credit Union Administration. In late 2011, as the price of some medallions reached $800,000, a group of agency examiners wrote a paper on the risks in the industry, according to a recent report by the agency’s inspector general.

    In 2012, 2013 and 2014, inspectors routinely documented instances of credit unions violating lending rules, the inspector general’s report said.

    David S. Yassky, the former chairman of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

    The N.C.U.A. chose not to penalize medallion lenders or impose extra oversight. It did not take any wide industry action until April 2014, when it sent a letter reminding the credit unions in the taxi market to act responsibly.

    Former staffers said the agency was still focused on the fallout from the recession.

    A spokesman for the N.C.U.A. disputed that characterization and said the agency conducted appropriate enforcement.

    He added the agency took actions to ensure the credit unions remained solvent, which was its mission. He said Congress allowed the lenders to concentrate heavily on medallion loans, which left them vulnerable when Uber and Lyft arrived.

    At the New York Department of Financial Services, bank examiners noticed risky practices and interest-only loans and repeatedly wrote warnings starting in 2010, according to the state. At least one report expressed concern of a potential market bubble, the state said.

    Eventually, examiners became so concerned that they made a PowerPoint presentation and called a meeting in 2014 to show it to a dozen top officials.

    “Since 2001, individual medallion has risen 455%,” the presentation warned, according to a copy obtained by The Times. The presentation suggested state action, such as sending a letter to the industry or revoking charters from some lenders.

    The state did neither. The department had recently merged with the insurance department, and former employees said it was finding its footing.

    The department superintendent at the time, Benjamin M. Lawsky, a former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said he did not, as a rule, discuss his tenure at the department.

    In an emailed statement, the department denied it struggled after the merger and said it took action to stop the collapse of the medallion market. A department spokesman provided a long list of warnings, suggestions and guidelines that it said examiners had issued to lenders. He said that starting in 2012, the department downgraded some of its own internal ratings of the lenders.

    The list did not include any instances of the department formally penalizing a medallion lender, or making any public statement about the industry before it collapsed.

    Between 2010 and 2014, as officials at every level of government failed to rein in the risky lending practices, records show that roughly 1,500 people bought taxi medallions. Over all, including refinancings of old loans and extensions required by banks, medallion owners signed at least 10,000 loans in that time.

    Several regulators who tried to raise alarms said they believed the government stood aside because of the industry’s connections.

    Many pointed to one company — Medallion Financial, run by the Murstein family. Former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, the current governor’s father, was a paid member of its board from 1996 until he died in 2015.

    Others noted that Mr. de Blasio has long been close to the industry. When he ran for mayor in 2013, an industry lobbyist, Michael Woloz, was a top fund-raiser, records show. And Evgeny Freidman, a major fleet owner who has admitted to artificially inflating medallion prices, has said he is close to the mayor.

    Some people, including Mr. Dollar, the former N.C.U.A. chairman, said Congress excepted the taxi trade from rules because the industry was supported by former United States Senator Alfonse D’Amato of New York, who was then the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

    “The taxi industry is one of the most politically connected industries in the city,” said Fidel Del Valle, who was the chairman of the taxi commission from 1991 to 1994. He later worked as a lawyer for drivers and a consultant to an owner association run by Mr. Freidman. “It’s been that way for decades, and they’ve used that influence to push back on regulation, with a lot of success.”

    A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said Medallion Financial was not regulated by the state, so the elder Mr. Cuomo’s position on the board was irrelevant. A spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio said the industry’s connections did not influence the city.

    Mr. Murstein, Mr. Woloz, Mr. Freidman and Mr. D’Amato all declined to comment.

    The aftermath
    “I think city will help me,” Mohammad Hossain, who is in deep debt from a taxi medallion loan, said at his family’s home in the Bronx.

    New York held its final independent medallion auction in February 2014. By then, concerns about medallion prices were common in the news media and government offices, and Uber had established itself. Still, the city sold medallions to more than 150 bidders. (“It’s better than the stock market,” one ad said.)

    Forty percent of the people who bought medallions at that auction have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Times analysis of court records.

    Mohammad Hossain, 47, from Bangladesh, who purchased a medallion for $853,000 at the auction, said he could barely make his monthly payments and was getting squeezed by his lender. “I bought medallion from the city,” he said through tears. “I think city will help me, you know. I assume that.”

    The de Blasio administration’s only major response to the crisis has been to push for a cap on ride-hail cars. The City Council at first rejected a cap in 2015 before approving it last year.

    Taxi industry veterans said the cap did not address the cause of the crisis: the lending practices.

    Richard Weinberg, a taxi commission hearing officer from 1988 to 2002 and a lawyer for drivers since then, said that when the medallion bubble began to burst, the city should have frozen prices, adjusted fares and fees and convinced banks to be flexible with drivers. That could have allowed prices to fall slowly. “That could’ve saved a lot of people,” he said.

    In an interview, Dean Fuleihan, the first deputy mayor, said the city did help taxi owners, including by reducing some fees, taxes and inspection mandates, and by talking to banks about loans. He said that if the City Council had passed the cap in 2015, it would have helped.

    “We do care about those drivers, we care about those families. We attempted throughout this period to take actions,” he said.

    Federal regulators also have not significantly helped medallion owners.

    In 2017 and 2018, the N.C.U.A. closed or merged several credit unions for “unsafe business practices” in medallion lending. It took over many of the loans, but did not soften terms, according to borrowers. Instead, it tried to get money out as quickly as possible.

    The failure of the credit unions has cost the national credit union insurance fund more than $750 million, which will hurt all credit union members.

    In August 2018, the N.C.U.A. closed Melrose in what it said was the biggest credit union liquidation in United States history. The agency barred Melrose’s general counsel from working for credit unions and brought civil charges against its former C.E.O., Alan Kaufman, saying he used company funds to help industry partners in exchange for gifts.

    The general counsel, Mitchell Reiver, declined to answer questions but said he did nothing wrong. Mr. Kaufman said in an interview that the N.C.U.A. made up the charges to distract from its role in the crisis.

    “I’m definitely a scapegoat,” Mr. Kaufman said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

    Glamour, then poverty
    After he struggled to repay his taxi medallion loan, Abel Vela left his family in New York and moved back to Peru, where living costs were cheaper. 

    During the medallion bubble, the city produced a television commercial to promote the permits. In the ad, which aired in 2004, four cabbies stood around a taxi discussing the perks of the job. One said buying a medallion was the best decision he had ever made. They all smiled. Then Mr. Daus appeared on screen to announce an auction.

    Fifteen years later, the cabbies remember the ad with scorn. Three of the four were eventually enticed to refinance their original loans under far riskier terms that left them in heavy debt.

    One of the cabbies, Abel Vela, had to leave his wife and children and return to his home country, Peru, because living costs were lower there. He is now 74 and still working to survive.

    The city aired a commercial in 2004 to promote an upcoming auction of taxi medallions. The ad featured real cab drivers, but three of them eventually took on risky loans and suffered financial blows.
    The only woman in the ad, Marie Applyrs, a Haitian immigrant, fell behind on her loan payments and filed for bankruptcy in November 2017. She lost her cab, and her home. She now lives with her children, switching from home to home every few months.

    “When the ad happened, the taxi was in vogue. I think I still have the tape somewhere. It was glamorous,” she said. “Now, I’m in the poorhouse.”

    Today, the only person from the television commercial still active in the industry is Mr. Daus. He works as a lawyer for lenders.

    [Read Part 1 of The Times’s investigation: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers]

    Madeline Rosenberg contributed reporting. Doris Burke contributed research. Produced by Jeffrey Furticella and Meghan Louttit.

    #USA #New_York #Taxi #Betrug #Ausbeutung

  • Paulette Dubost : « Dans ce métier, il y a beaucoup de gens qui croient avoir sucé la Tour Eiffel pour qu’elle devienne pointue »

    C’est avec une langue bien pendue et sans fausse pudeur que Paulette Dubost se livre. Celle qui tient à ce qu’on l’appelle Paulette « tout court », a commencé la danse en entrant à l’opéra à l’âge de huit ans. C’est le début d’une carrière prolifique sur les planches, au cinéma et à la télévision.

    Sans ambages, elle évoque ses parents. Un père coureur et une mère qui n’avait aucun intérêt pour le sexe. Sa naissance « dans le luxe mais vraiment le super luxe » avant que sa famille ne connaisse la ruine, « alors là, ça a été la débâcle ! » Peu importe, elle s’en relève. Très tôt elle gagne ses premiers cachets et… ses premiers admirateurs. Le sulfureux Alexandre Stavisky fut l’un d’eux dans les années 20.

  • Mémoires de Nestor Makhno

    Didier Giraud

    Dans la société dominante actuelle, après la débâcle spectaculaire du communisme à la sauce marxiste-léniniste, les têtes pensantes du capitalisme libéral s’évertuent à nous persuader que toutes les révolutions ont conduit à des impasses et des bains de sang. Ils oublient volontairement de mentionner les expériences communistes libertaires du XXe siècle — en Ukraine en 1917-1921 et en Espagne en 1936-1939 — où des anarchistes locaux avaient aboli les rapports marchands et créé des communautés où chacun participait en toute liberté selon ses moyens et recevait selon ses besoins, prouvant par là qu’une autre société et qu’une vie meilleure étaient possibles. Malheureusement, ces révolutionnaires avaient sous-estimé le danger des démagogues étatistes, lesquels n’avaient reculé devant aucune scélératesse pour les anéantir. Les Mémoires et écrits de notre compagnon Nestor Makhno démontrent ainsi, par son expérience personnelle sur plus de trente ans, la validité du projet révolutionnaire, à condition d’être sans cesse vigilant contre tous les parasites amateurs de pouvoir d’État et d’être précis sur les objectifs à atteindre, sans pour cela faire des promesses sans lendemains. Cette parution est donc un événement, attendu de longue date et promis depuis 1982 par Alexandre Skirda dans sa monographie Nestor Makhno, le cosaque libertaire. Ici, la parole et la plume appartiennent à Makhno lui-même (...)

    #Makhno #révolution_russe #Ukraine #Mémoires #Alexandre_Skirda

  • Russie. Des milliards envolés : détournements astronomiques dans le secteur spatial

    Un lanceur russe Soyouz.

    Le secteur spatial russe se trouve au cœur de détournements de fonds astronomiques qui entachent les ambitions de grandeur retrouvée de la Russie dans l’espace.

    Des milliards envolés, des responsables en prison et un dirigeant en fuite à l’étranger... Depuis des années, la Russie cherche à redresser l’industrie de son secteur spatial, source d’une immense fierté à l’époque soviétique et dont elle reste un acteur mondial incontournable, mais qui s’est retrouvée ruinée après la chute de l’URSS et qui a essuyé plusieurs humiliants échecs récemment.
    Mais les scandales de corruption continuent d’éclater et éclipsent les annonces de projets scientifiques de nouvelles fusées ou stations lunaires. Et le domaine spatial se retrouve aujourd’hui au cœur de détournements de fonds astronomiques qui viennent ruiner les ambitions de grandeur retrouvée de la Russie dans l’espace.

    « Des milliards sont volés » au sein du conglomérat public Roskosmos qui regroupe les entreprises de la filière, a résumé à la mi-mai le chef du Comité d’enquête Alexandre Bastrykine, cité par l’agence Ria Novosti. Des enquêtes sont en cours « depuis au moins cinq ans et sont loin d’être achevées », a-t-il ajouté.

    Récent épisode de ce feuilleton : en avril, le directeur général de l’Institut des recherches de la construction des équipements spatiaux Iouri Iaskine, a quitté la Russie pour un pays européen d’où il a annoncé sa démission, selon le quotidien Kommersant.
    Un audit venait d’être lancé au sein de son entreprise et il craignait la découverte de malversations, selon les sources du journal.
    Roskosmos a confirmé la démission de Iouri Iaskine, dont la société participe à la mise au point du système de navigation satellitaire russe Glonass, censé concurrencer le GPS américain, sans expliquer la raison.

    Des détournements ont notamment touché les deux projets majeurs du secteur de la décennie écoulée : Glonass et la construction d’un nouveau cosmodrome, Vostotchny, en Extrême-Orient russe, censé remplacer Baïkonour, au Kazakhstan.

    Au-delà, presque toutes les entreprises principales du secteur, dont les constructeurs de fusées Khrounitchev et Progress, ont été touchées par des scandales financiers, aboutissant parfois à des peines de prison pour escroquerie à grande échelle.

    La Cour des comptes a chiffré les diverses malversations financières au sein de Roskosmos à 760 milliards de roubles (plus de 10 milliards d’euros) en 2017, ce qui représente près de 40 % des infractions découvertes dans tous les secteurs de l’économie russe.
    Roskosmos affirme régulièrement coopérer avec les investigations en cours. « L’éradication de la corruption est l’un des objectifs principaux de la direction », a assuré le conglomérat à l’AFP.

    À la mi-avril, le président Vladimir Poutine a appelé à « résoudre progressivement les problèmes évidents qui freinent le développement du secteur spatial » : « Les prix et les délais qui sont fixés pour réaliser des projets spatiaux n’ont souvent pas de fondement ».

    Redresser le secteur spatial constitue une question de prestige pour le Kremlin, symbolisant sa fierté retrouvée et sa capacité à occuper les premiers rangs mondiaux, surtout dans un contexte de nouvelle Guerre froide avec les États-Unis.

    Ruiné dans les années 90, le secteur se maintenait à flot grâce aux contrats commerciaux étrangers. « Mais il restait encore des cadres d’un très haut niveau professionnel et il y avait moins d’accidents pendant les lancements », estime M. Egorov.

    Le premier module de la Station Spatiale Internationale (ISS), Zarya, a été fabriqué en Russie et lancé en 1998 en dépit des difficultés financières.
    Paradoxalement, la situation s’est dégradée au début des années 2000, lorsque ces problèmes ont été réglés. L’afflux de fonds publics a alimenté les fraudes et la recherche spatiale a cessé d’avancer, selon les experts.

    « Aujourd’hui, le secteur spatial fonctionne avec le principe : donnez-nous de l’argent et nous lancerons quelque chose… un jour », explique Vitali Egorov, auteur d’un blog populaire sur l’espace, le Chat Vert (

    Seule l’ISS - la Station spatiale internationale - constitue « une tour d’ivoire inébranlable », mais elle joue plutôt « un rôle politique » pour maintenir la coopération internationale et n’apporte rien de nouveau pour la recherche scientifique, estime l’expert.

    Les analystes estiment que le directeur général de Roskosmos Dmitri Rogozine, ex-vice-Premier ministre connu pour ses déclarations anti-occidentales et nommé il y a un an, a du mal à gérer les problèmes du secteur.

    Les milieux scientifiques reprochent à ce diplômé en journalisme sa méconnaissance du secteur.
    « Il aurait pu être un excellent porte-parole de Roskosmos », ironise M. Egorov, tout en relativisant : « Même Superman n’aurait pu gérer cette avalanche de problèmes ».

  • +----+----------------------------------------------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+
    | | « Liste » | Nombre de voix | % des exprimés | % des inscrits |
    | 1 | Abstentions | 23613483 | — | 49,88 % |
    | 2 | PRENEZ LE POUVOIR - M. BARDELLA Jordan | 5281576 | 23,31 % | 11,16 % |
    | 3 | RENAISSANCE - Mme LOISEAU Nathalie | 5076363 | 22,41 % | 10,72 % |
    | 4 | EUROPE ECOLOGIE - M. JADOT Yannick | 3052406 | 13,47 % | 6,45 % |
    | 5 | UNION DROITE-CENTRE - M. BELLAMY François-Xavier | 1920530 | 8,48 % | 4,06 % |
    | 6 | LA FRANCE INSOUMISE - Mme AUBRY Manon | 1428386 | 6,31 % | 3,02 % |
    | 7 | ENVIE D’EUROPE - M. GLUCKSMANN Raphaël | 1401978 | 6,19 % | 2,96 % |
    | 8 | DEBOUT LA FRANCE - M. DUPONT-AIGNAN Nicolas | 794953 | 3,51 % | 1,68 % |
    | 9 | LISTE CITOYENNE - M. HAMON Benoît | 741212 | 3,27 % | 1,57 % |
    | 10 | LES EUROPEENS - M. LAGARDE Jean-Christophe | 566746 | 2,50 % | 1,20 % |
    | 11 | POUR L’EUROPE DES GENS - M. BROSSAT Ian | 564717 | 2,49 % | 1,19 % |
    | 12 | Blancs | 551235 | — | 1,16 % |
    | 13 | Nuls | 525793 | — | 1,11 % |
    | 14 | PARTI ANIMALISTE - Mme THOUY Hélène | 490570 | 2,17 % | 1,04 % |
    | 15 | URGENCE ECOLOGIE - M. BOURG Dominique | 411793 | 1,82 % | 0,87 % |
    | 16 | ENSEMBLE POUR LE FREXIT - M. ASSELINEAU François | 265957 | 1,17 % | 0,56 % |
    | 17 | LUTTE OUVRIERE - Mme ARTHAUD Nathalie | 176434 | 0,78 % | 0,37 % |
    | 18 | ENSEMBLE PATRIOTES - M. PHILIPPOT Florian | 147044 | 0,65 % | 0,31 % |
    | 19 | ALLIANCE JAUNE - M. LALANNE Francis | 122573 | 0,54 % | 0,26 % |
    | 20 | LES OUBLIES DE L’EUROPE - M. BIDOU Olivier | 51404 | 0,23 % | 0,11 % |
    | 21 | PARTI PIRATE - Mme MARIE Florie | 31684 | 0,14 % | 0,07 % |
    | 22 | EUROPE AU SERVICE DES PEUPLES - M. AZERGUI Nagib | 28447 | 0,13 % | 0,06 % |
    | 23 | ESPERANTO - M. DIEUMEGARD Pierre | 18567 | 0,08 % | 0,04 % |
    | 24 | PARTI FED. EUROPEEN - M. GERNIGON Yves | 12581 | 0,06 % | 0,03 % |
    | 25 | A VOIX EGALES - Mme TOMASINI Nathalie | 11604 | 0,05 % | 0,02 % |
    | 26 | DECROISSANCE 2019 - Mme DELFEL Thérèse | 10479 | 0,05 % | 0,02 % |
    | 27 | ALLONS ENFANTS - Mme CAILLAUD Sophie | 8203 | 0,04 % | 0,02 % |
    | 28 | PACE - M. ALEXANDRE Audric | 6875 | 0,03 % | 0,01 % |
    | 29 | INITIATIVE CITOYENNE - M. HELGEN Gilles | 6267 | 0,03 % | 0,01 % |
    | 30 | UDLEF - M. PERSON Christian Luc | 5016 | 0,02 % | 0,01 % |
    | 31 | LISTE DE LA RECONQUÊTE - M. VAUCLIN Vincent | 4835 | 0,02 % | 0,01 % |
    | 32 | DÉMOCRATIE REPRESENTATIVE - M. TRAORÉ Hamada | 3462 | 0,02 % | 0,01 % |
    | 33 | UNE FRANCE ROYALE - M. DE PREVOISIN Robert | 3393 | 0,01 % | 0,01 % |
    | 34 | NEUTRE ET ACTIF - Mme CORBET Cathy Denise Ginette | 2694 | 0,01 % | 0,01 % |
    | 35 | EVOLUTION CITOYENNE - M. CHALENÇON Christophe | 2120 | 0,01 % | 0,00 % |
    | 36 | LA LIGNE CLAIRE - M. CAMUS Renaud | 1897 | 0,01 % | 0,00 % |
    | 37 | REVOLUTIONNAIRE - M. SANCHEZ Antonio | 1458 | 0,01 % | 0,00 % |

  • Pakman, Alexis Leclef La langue des urnes !

    . . . . .
    Le seul droit politique de ce troupeau pompeusement appelé « Nation » que l’on convie aux urnes comme des bovins à l’abreuvoir, c’est de choisir la bouille de ceux qui, loin d’être leurs représentants, vont s’acquitter de cette besogne qui leur échoit dans tout êtat parlementaire bien réglé : Servir les puissants. La bouille des candidats, le bouillie de leurs discours, la couleur de leur parti aussi : Le bleu ou le rose, l’orange ou le vert, ou comme plan B le noir, le brun ou le merdoie. . . . . .

    _ Alexis Leclef - Le Batia Mourt Sou N° 80 - Heurs et malheurs de la conscience prolétarienne - Sortie le 24 Mai 2019 - Dans toutes les bonnes librairies de Belgique, s’il en reste. _

  • Franciliens et Franciliennes ceci est un avis de sortie obligatoire. Ce soir, à 20H30 au théâtre de L’Echangeur, Printemps le spectacle-concert de Sylvaine Hélary, Antonin Rayon, Thomas Gouband, Julien Boudart, Arthur Grand, Anne Palomeres, et Alexis Forestier.

    Les bailles sont là :


  • Procrastination nocturne 2. Quand tu t’endors crevé super tôt sans même l’avoir voulu, toute lumière allumée et que tu te réveilles à 1h35 la lampe dans la gueule…
    Après :

    Je me lève pour tout éteindre et me changer, j’envoie un message à mon amoureuse pour dire que je n’avais pas vu son mot vu que je m’étais endormi et…

    Du coup, devant l’ordi, je tombe sur l’onglet ouvert pour plus tard avec la préface par Robert Kurz au Debord d’Anselm Jappe

    Ce n’est pas très long, donc je me mets à la lire. Puis je suis un lien vers un article de Jappe de l’année dernière que j’avais déjà lu et épinglé :

    À partir de là, c’est foutu.

    Je me mets à relire sa fiche WP, pour lire des choses sur son suicide :

    Je retombe sur cet article sur le livre à charge d’Apostolidès :
    que @supergeante avait épinglé à l’époque :

    Du coup ça m’amène à lire sur Alice Becker-Ho et « l’affaire Riesel »

    Là je cherche des photos d’eux tous, et je retombe sur… le journal pro-situ américain Not Bored qui contient de nombreuses correspondances de Debord traduites en anglais et disponibles sur le web. Comme je n’ai pas les livres, pour résumer, je me plonge dedans et je passe plus de 3h à lire des lettres de Debord en pleine nuit.

    Je ne me rappelle plus trop dans quel ordre ça s’est passé : est-ce que j’ai d’abord cherché les mots de Debord sur Jappe, puis je suis retombé sur le conflit avec René Riesel, ou bien était-ce l’inverse ?…

    Le dernier mot de Debord sur Jappe est dans une lettre pour Makoto Kinoshita :

    Dis moi si un de tes amis sait lire italien. Dans ce cas, je t’enverrais un livre d’Anselm Jappe (Debord, Edizioni Tracce, Pescara). C’est sans aucun doute le livre le mieux informé sur moi, écrit par un Allemand qui assume explicitement un point de vue Hegeliano-Marxiste.

    Mais on trouve donc aussi des choses sur « l’affaire Riesel ». À commencer par sa lettre de rupture définitive à Riesel, où en goujat sans pincettes, il traite sa femme de misérable conne et de vache :

    À l’inverse dans une autre lettre il s’explique très en détail sur une autre relation libertine de son couple avec Eve et Jean-Marc :
    Le point commun étant qu’il haïssait absolument le mensonge (Apostolidès dit qu’il mentait et manipulait lui-même mais je n’ai pas lu de témoignage ailleurs, qu’il était excluant, violent, etc oui, mais pas menteur et Sanguinetti dit le contraire alors qu’Apostolidès est censé s’être basé sur ses sources justement). Et que donc toute relation amoureuse et/ou sexuelle doit toujours se faire sans jamais mentir à personne (y compris pendant l’acte, ce qui est le point qui a énervé Alice avec la femme de Riesel).

    Toujours autour des mêmes gens, je tombe aussi sur un article de Bourseiller, qui au milieu de notes sur Debord et le libertinage, détaille la vie de l’écrivain et pornographe Alexander Trocchi plus que sa fiche Wikipédia. À n’en pas douter c’était un aventurier… et une grosse merde qui a prostitué sa femme enceinte (et pas qu’un peu) pour se payer de l’héroine, et moult autre.

    Bon, ça a dérivé (haha) et j’avoue sans mal qu’il doit y avoir du voyeurisme à être parti dans tout ça. Je préfère généralement rester sur le contenu lui-même, comme le fait très bien le livre de Jappe justement. Mais je garde toujours en tête que les idées doivent être pratiquées au quotidien, donc il y a quand même un intérêt à savoir la vie réelle des gens (et c’était très exactement le crédo principal de Debord et tous les situs, et justement lui pensait être assez en accord avec ce qu’il disait).

    Et là, il était 5h45. Et le réveil à 7h.

    #procrastination #sérendipité #Debord #Guy_Debord #Alice_Becker-Ho #René_Riesel #situationniste #internationale_situationniste #nuit #sommeil #Robert_Kurz #Anselm_Jappe #théorie_critique #libertinage #Alexander_Trocchi #Christophe_Bourseiller #Jean-Marie_Apostolidès et #dérive !!

  • L’inquiétante convocation d’une journaliste du « Monde » pour des articles sur l’affaire Benalla (Le Monde)

    Update 23.05.2019 : Une journaliste de "Quotidien" dit avoir été convoquée par la DGSI pour "compromission du secret de la défense nationale" (

    Rappel : Armes françaises au Yémen : des journalistes convoqués par la justice (Arte)

    Ariane Chemin

    Ariane Chemin est convoquée par la DGSI pour ses articles. Nous maintenons évidemment nos informations.

    Une journaliste du Monde, Ariane Chemin, est convoquée, mercredi 29 mai, par les policiers de la section des atteintes au secret de la défense nationale de la Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure (DGSI). Cette enquête vise nos articles sur les affaires d’Alexandre Benalla, notamment nos informations sur le profil d’un sous-officier de l’armée de l’air, Chokri Wakrim, compagnon de l’ex-cheffe de la sécurité de (...)

    #En_vedette #Actualités_françaises

  • Européennes. Hamon, Lagarde et Dupont-Aignan débattront sur Yahoo avant France 2

    Benoît Hamon (Générations), Jean-Christophe Lagarde (UDI) et Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (DLF) vont débattre mercredi sur le site de Yahoo, juste avant le débat de France 2 qu’ils ont menacé de boycotter, a annoncé le site dimanche.

    Les trois chefs de file avaient qualifié de « scandale démocratique » leur relégation en deuxième partie du débat organisé mercredi par France 2 et France Inter, entre 15 têtes de listes aux élections européennes ou chefs de parti.

    Le site Yahoo Actualités leur a proposé de se retrouver à partir de 18 h pour un « débat avant le débat » dans son studio-appartement , soit une émission d’environ 1 h 30 diffusée en direct sur le site et sur les réseaux sociaux. Finalisé vendredi, le format de l’émission est baroque : les trois candidats débattront autour de la table de la cuisine, avec le journaliste Clément Viktorovitch, avant de migrer au salon pour débattre entre eux uniquement, a précisé à l’AFP Alexandre Delperier, directeur des contenus et des programmes du site.

    pour se retrouver à la cave ou dans le grenier le lundi 27 pour le bilan.