position:driver

  • » 60 Year Old Palestinian Man Shot Dead By Israeli Soldiers– IMEMC News
    December 14, 2018 12:27 AM


    http://imemc.org/article/60-year-old-palestinian-man-shot-dead-by-israeli-soldiers

    The Israeli military, according to Israeli media sources, has admitted that its soldiers mistakenly killed Hamdan Tawfiq Arda , 60, after initially claiming that he had deliberately tried to ram his vehicle into soldiers, in the Industrial Zone in al-Biereh city, in central West Bank.

    Eyewitnesses told Maan News Agency that it looked like a car accident, and that the driver was startled by the military presence, and tried to turn away from them.

    Sources added that one soldier was lightly injured, but it was not from the car driven by the Palestinian man.

    The soldiers fired a barrage of live rounds at the car, fatally wounding the driver, who suffered gunshot wounds mainly to the head.

    His brain and fragments of his skull were on the car seat after he was removed by the medics, before they were collected for proper burial with his body later on.

    The Israeli military initially stated was an “attempt to ram his car into soldiers”, and then changed their statement, telling the Jerusalem Post that they believed it was an accident.

    The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has confirmed that its medics were at the scene shortly after the man was shot, and added that the soldiers stopped them and prevented them from approaching him.

    The slain Palestinian man was from ‘Arraba town, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

    The Israeli military had just finished invading the Industrial Zone, in an apparent search for the suspects of the killing of two Israeli soldiers earlier Thursday.

    #Palestine_assassinée



  • Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
    Dec. 11, 2018 10:55 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 11, 2018 11:41 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782040

    HEBRON (Ma’an) — A Palestinian youth was shot and killed by Israeli forces, on Tuesday morning, in the Ithna village in western Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

    The Palestinian Red Crescent identified the youth as Omar Hassan al-Awawdeh , 27, from Ithna.

    Al-Awawdeh was shot and critically injured in his back by Israeli forces in the village, when he allegedly did not stop his vehicle for search, upon order by soldiers, according to the Israeli army.

    Israeli forces claimed that the youth attempted to run soldiers over.

    Medical sources at the al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron confirmed al-Awawdeh’s death later.

    Israeli news outlets reported that Israeli soldiers were escorting Israeli Civil Administration employees during activity in the village, when a Palestinian driver allegedly attempted to run them over with his vehicle.

    #Palestine_assassinée


  • The Simple Truth that #ico’s Forgot
    https://hackernoon.com/the-simple-truth-that-icos-forgot-1d7b9ab9f77f?source=rss----3a8144eabfe

    Offer value to your customer.You can no longer magic value from thin air. The new reality for cryptocurrencies to acknowledge. A product or service must deliver value: it supports and incentivizes platform adoption.Ultimately, it’s the driver that dictates success.As of mid-2018, over 1,000 projects have failed. Too many forgot — or chose to ignore — that to survive, you have to build something useful; although, this didn’t stop founders from raising $13.7 billion in the first six months of the year.However, the second half has been a wake-up call — and cryptocurrencies must now adapt.The Tide Has TurnedThere was a moment when the technology could do no wrong.Then several high-profile ICO’s were revealed as outright scams, robbing some $1.34 billion from unsuspecting investors, and sentiment changed. (...)

    #blockchain-technology #blockchain #bitcoin #cryptocurrency


  • NYC passes minimum pay wage for Uber and Lyft drivers
    https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/04/nyc-minimum-pay-wage-uber-lyft-drivers

    New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today to establish a minimum wage for drivers working for companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via. The city is the first in the US to set a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. Going forward, the minimum pay will be set at $17.22 per hour after expenses, bringing it in line with the city’s $15 per hour minimum wage for typical employees, which will take effect at the end of the year. The additional $2.22 takes into account contract drivers’ payroll taxes and paid time off.

    “Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “We are thankful to the Mayor, Commissioner Joshi and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, City Council Member Brad Lander and all of the city officials who listened to and stood up for drivers.”

    Earlier this year, the Taxi and Limousine Commission released the results of a study it requested, which recommended the new pay floor. And in August, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill requiring the commission to set a base pay rate. The Independent Drivers Guild, which has been working towards a minimum pay rate for some time, estimates that contract drivers in the city are currently earning just $11.90 per hour after expenses.

    Across the US, there’s been increased scrutiny on what companies like Uber and Lyft are actually paying their workers. In May, San Francisco subpoenaed the two companies for their pay records, and both companies have faced lawsuits over driver wages. Last year, NYC began requiring all ride-hailing services to offer an in-app tipping option.

    The rules passed today aren’t sitting well with the companies affected by them, however. Lyft told Engadget that it’s concerned that calculating pay per ride rather than per week will incentivize short rides over long rides. Further, Lyft says the new out of town rates — which require companies to pay drivers more when they take passengers outside of the city and return without a passenger — will be hard to implement before the new regulations take effect in 30 days.

    “Lyft believes all drivers should earn a livable wage and we are committed to helping drivers reach their goals,” the company told Engadget. “Unfortunately, the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan. These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”

    Uber released a statement as well ahead of today’s vote. The company’s director of public affairs, Jason Post, said:

    “Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC - whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber - are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit.

    The TLC’s implementation of the City Council’s legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to immediately reduce congestion in Manhattan’s central business district.

    The TLC’s rules does not take into account incentives or bonuses forcing companies to raise rates even higher. Companies use incentives and bonuses as part of driver earnings to ensure reliability citywide by providing a monetary incentive to drivers to complete trips in areas that need them the most (such as outside of Manhattan).

    In addition, the rules miss an opportunity to immediately deal with congestion in Manhattan’s central business district. A recent TLC study authored by economists James Parrott and Michael Reich describes a formula that would financially punish companies who have low utilization rates. Instead, the TLC is choosing the adopt an industry-wide utilization rate that does not hold bases accountable for keeping cars full with paying passengers.”

    #USA #New_York #Uber #Mindestlohn



  • It took seven miles to pull over a Tesla with a seemingly asleep dr...
    https://diasp.eu/p/8120162

    It took seven miles to pull over a Tesla with a seemingly asleep driver

    The driver was arrested for drunk driving. Article word count: 293

    HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18575586 Posted by okket (karma: 34842) Post stats: Points: 92 - Comments: 105 - 2018-12-01T06:42:19Z

    #HackerNews #asleep #driver #miles #over #pull #seemingly #seven #tesla #took #with

    Article content:

    [1]The Tesla Model S.

    The California Highway Patrol on Friday [2]pulled over a Tesla Model S that was traveling down the road—but whose driver appeared to be asleep at the wheel. The vehicle was traveling southbound on Highway 101 in Palo Alto.

    Officers said that they were unable to get the manʼs attention.

    "One of the officers basically ended up going in front of the vehicle and basically (...)


  • Lyft Is Not Your Friend
    http://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/the-myth-of-the-woke-brand-uber-lyft-capitalism

    10.25.2018 BY MEAGAN DAY #UNITED_STATES #CAPITAL #CONJECTURES #LIBERALISM

    Lyft is the latest brand trying to build market share by posing as a “progressive” corporation. But the fight can’t be good corporations against bad ones — it’s working people against capitalism.
    In early 2017, liberals hit on a new strategy to resist the nascent Trump administration: #DeleteUber.

    It started when New York City’s taxi drivers refused to service JFK airport to protest Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, and Uber was spotted leveraging the ensuing crisis for profit. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick came under fire for accepting an appointment to Trump’s economic advisory council. He announced his resignation from the council, but only weeks later a video leaked of Kalanick reprimanding a driver for his company.

    Amid various ensuing scandals, Kalanick stepped down as CEO of Uber, but by then millions of consumers had turned on the brand in protest, deleting the Uber app from their phone and opting instead for the rideshare giant’s rival Lyft.

    Lyft leaned in, eagerly branding itself as the progressive alternative to Uber by pledging a $1 million donation to the ACLU and trotting out celebrities to promote it as a company committed to “doing things for the right reasons.” Lyft, of course, operates on the same labor model as Uber — its drivers are not employees but independent contractors, and are therefore denied all the benefits and protections that workers receive under more ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, a new refrain rang out across liberaldom: “I don’t use Uber, I use Lyft.”

    What socialists understand that liberals don’t is that brands are corporate enterprises, and corporate enterprises are fundamentally motivated by the pursuit of profit — even in their ostentatious acts of charity and wokeness.

    Three surefire ways to maximize profit are: suppressing labor costs by paying workers as little as you can get away with, lobbying the state for deregulation and lower taxes, and opening new markets by finding new things to commodify and sell. Businesses will always pursue these avenues of profit maximization where they can. It’s not a matter of ethics but of market discipline: if they don’t, they run the risk of losing out to the competition and eventually capsizing.

    Sometimes corporations do things for publicity that make it seem like their interests are not fundamentally misaligned with those of the working-class majority, who rely on decent wages and well-funded public services. But those efforts are meant to sustain public confidence in a given corporation’s brand, which is occasionally necessary for keeping up profits, as Uber’s losses in 2017 demonstrate. When corporate profits come into direct conflict with active measures to improve people’s wellbeing, corporations will always select the former. Case in point: Lyft just donated $100k to the campaign against a ballot measure that would create a tax fund to house the homeless in San Francisco, where the company is based.

    Why did the progressive alternative to Uber do this? Well, because the company doesn’t want to pay higher taxes. Because high taxes imperil profits, and profits are the point. Another likely rationale is to build stronger bonds with pro-business advocacy groups in San Francisco, so that the company will have allies if the city decides to implement regulations against ride-sharing services, which is rumored to be a possibility.

    Lyft has already mastered the art of suppressing labor costs and opening new markets. Next on the wish list, low taxes and deregulation. It’s pretty formulaic when you get down to it.

    San Francisco is home to an estimated 7,500 homeless people. Proposition C would tap the large corporations that benefit from the city’s public infrastructure to double the city’s homelessness budget in an attempt to resolve the crisis. The corporations opposing Proposition C say that the move would imperil jobs. This is not an analysis, it’s a threat. What they’re saying is that if the city reaches too far into their pockets, they’ll take their business elsewhere, draining the region of jobs and revenue as punishment for government overreach. It’s a mobster’s insinuation: Nice economy, shame if something happened to it. Meanwhile thousands of people sleep in the streets, even though the money to shelter them is within the city’s borders.

    Of course, in every struggle over taxes and industry regulation there may be a few canny corporate outliers looking to ingratiate their brand to the public by bucking the trend. In the case of Proposition C, it’s Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff has made a public display of support for the ballot measure. But before you rush to praise Benioff, consider that only two months ago he lauded Trump’s tax cuts for fueling “aggressive spending” and injecting life into the economy.

    You could spend your life as an engaged consumer hopping from brand to brand, as liberals often do, pledging allegiance to this one and protesting that one to the beat of the new cycle drum. You could delete Lyft from your phone the same way you did with Uber, and find another rideshare app that you deem more ethical, until that one inevitably disappoints you too.

    Or you could press pause, stop scrambling for some superior consumption choice to ease your conscience, and entertain the socialist notion that deep down all corporations are objectively the same. They all exist to maximize return on investment for the people who own them. They are all in competition with each other to plunder our commons most effectively, with the lowest overhead, which means compensating the least for employees’ work. And when the rubber meets the road, they will all prioritize private profits over the wellbeing of those who own no productive assets, which is the vast majority of the people on the planet. They will demonstrate these priorities on a case-by-case basis, and on a massive global scale so long as capitalism prevails.

    “We’re woke,” said Lyft CEO John Zimmerman at the height of the Uber scandal. It was horseshit — it always is. And until liberals stop believing than any brand can be truly “woke,” or can offer a genuine alternative to the predatory behavior they observe in other “unwoke” brands, they’ll be unable to mount a meaningful resistance to anything.

    Whether we want to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of Flint or to shelter the homeless of San Francisco, we have to draw clear battle lines that are up to the challenge. The fight can’t be good corporations against bad corporations. It has to be working people against capitalism.

    #USA #transport #disruption #Lyft


  • High score, low pay : why the gig economy loves gamification | Business | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/20/high-score-low-pay-gamification-lyft-uber-drivers-ride-hailing-gig-econ

    Using ratings, competitions and bonuses to incentivise workers isn’t new – but as I found when I became a Lyft driver, the gig economy is taking it to another level.

    Every week, it sends its drivers a personalised “Weekly Feedback Summary”. This includes passenger comments from the previous week’s rides and a freshly calculated driver rating. It also contains a bar graph showing how a driver’s current rating “stacks up” against previous weeks, and tells them whether they have been “flagged” for cleanliness, friendliness, navigation or safety.

    At first, I looked forward to my summaries; for the most part, they were a welcome boost to my self-esteem. My rating consistently fluctuated between 4.89 stars and 4.96 stars, and the comments said things like: “Good driver, positive attitude” and “Thanks for getting me to the airport on time!!” There was the occasional critique, such as “She weird”, or just “Attitude”, but overall, the comments served as a kind of positive reinforcement mechanism. I felt good knowing that I was helping people and that people liked me.

    But one week, after completing what felt like a million rides, I opened my feedback summary to discover that my rating had plummeted from a 4.91 (“Awesome”) to a 4.79 (“OK”), without comment. Stunned, I combed through my ride history trying to recall any unusual interactions or disgruntled passengers. Nothing. What happened? What did I do? I felt sick to my stomach.

    Because driver ratings are calculated using your last 100 passenger reviews, one logical solution is to crowd out the old, bad ratings with new, presumably better ratings as fast as humanly possible. And that is exactly what I did.

    In a certain sense, Kalanick is right. Unlike employees in a spatially fixed worksite (the factory, the office, the distribution centre), rideshare drivers are technically free to choose when they work, where they work and for how long. They are liberated from the constraining rhythms of conventional employment or shift work. But that apparent freedom poses a unique challenge to the platforms’ need to provide reliable, “on demand” service to their riders – and so a driver’s freedom has to be aggressively, if subtly, managed. One of the main ways these companies have sought to do this is through the use of gamification.

    Simply defined, gamification is the use of game elements – point-scoring, levels, competition with others, measurable evidence of accomplishment, ratings and rules of play – in non-game contexts. Games deliver an instantaneous, visceral experience of success and reward, and they are increasingly used in the workplace to promote emotional engagement with the work process, to increase workers’ psychological investment in completing otherwise uninspiring tasks, and to influence, or “nudge”, workers’ behaviour. This is what my weekly feedback summary, my starred ratings and other gamified features of the Lyft app did.

    There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that gamifying business operations has real, quantifiable effects. Target, the US-based retail giant, reports that gamifying its in-store checkout process has resulted in lower customer wait times and shorter lines. During checkout, a cashier’s screen flashes green if items are scanned at an “optimum rate”. If the cashier goes too slowly, the screen flashes red. Scores are logged and cashiers are expected to maintain an 88% green rating. In online communities for Target employees, cashiers compare scores, share techniques, and bemoan the game’s most challenging obstacles.
    Advertisement

    But colour-coding checkout screens is a pretty rudimental kind of gamification. In the world of ride-hailing work, where almost the entirety of one’s activity is prompted and guided by screen – and where everything can be measured, logged and analysed – there are few limitations on what can be gamified.

    Every Sunday morning, I receive an algorithmically generated “challenge” from Lyft that goes something like this: “Complete 34 rides between the hours of 5am on Monday and 5am on Sunday to receive a $63 bonus.” I scroll down, concerned about the declining value of my bonuses, which once hovered around $100-$220 per week, but have now dropped to less than half that.

    “Click here to accept this challenge.” I tap the screen to accept. Now, whenever I log into driver mode, a stat meter will appear showing my progress: only 21 more rides before I hit my first bonus.

    In addition to enticing drivers to show up when and where demand hits, one of the main goals of this gamification is worker retention. According to Uber, 50% of drivers stop using the application within their first two months, and a recent report from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California in Davis suggests that just 4% of ride-hail drivers make it past their first year.

    Before Lyft rolled out weekly ride challenges, there was the “Power Driver Bonus”, a weekly challenge that required drivers to complete a set number of regular rides. I sometimes worked more than 50 hours per week trying to secure my PDB, which often meant driving in unsafe conditions, at irregular hours and accepting nearly every ride request, including those that felt potentially dangerous (I am thinking specifically of an extremely drunk and visibly agitated late-night passenger).

    Of course, this was largely motivated by a real need for a boost in my weekly earnings. But, in addition to a hope that I would somehow transcend Lyft’s crappy economics, the intensity with which I pursued my PDBs was also the result of what Burawoy observed four decades ago: a bizarre desire to beat the game.

    Former Google “design ethicist” Tristan Harris has also described how the “pull-to-refresh” mechanism used in most social media feeds mimics the clever architecture of a slot machine: users never know when they are going to experience gratification – a dozen new likes or retweets – but they know that gratification will eventually come. This unpredictability is addictive: behavioural psychologists have long understood that gambling uses variable reinforcement schedules – unpredictable intervals of uncertainty, anticipation and feedback – to condition players into playing just one more round.

    It is not uncommon to hear ride-hailing drivers compare even the mundane act of operating their vehicles to the immersive and addictive experience of playing a video game or a slot machine. In an article published by the Financial Times, long-time driver Herb Croakley put it perfectly: “It gets to a point where the app sort of takes over your motor functions in a way. It becomes almost like a hypnotic experience. You can talk to drivers and you’ll hear them say things like, I just drove a bunch of Uber pools for two hours, I probably picked up 30–40 people and I have no idea where I went. In that state, they are literally just listening to the sounds [of the driver’s apps]. Stopping when they said stop, pick up when they say pick up, turn when they say turn. You get into a rhythm of that, and you begin to feel almost like an android.”

    In their foundational text Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark write: “Uber’s self-proclaimed role as a connective intermediary belies the important employment structures and hierarchies that emerge through its software and interface design.” “Algorithmic management” is the term Rosenblat and Stark use to describe the mechanisms through which Uber and Lyft drivers are directed. To be clear, there is no singular algorithm. Rather, there are a number of algorithms operating and interacting with one another at any given moment. Taken together, they produce a seamless system of automatic decision-making that requires very little human intervention.

    For many on-demand platforms, algorithmic management has completely replaced the decision-making roles previously occupied by shift supervisors, foremen and middle- to upper- level management. Uber actually refers to its algorithms as “decision engines”. These “decision engines” track, log and crunch millions of metrics every day, from ride frequency to the harshness with which individual drivers brake. It then uses these analytics to deliver gamified prompts perfectly matched to drivers’ data profiles.

    To increase the prospect of surge pricing, drivers in online forums regularly propose deliberate, coordinated, mass “log-offs” with the expectation that a sudden drop in available drivers will “trick” the algorithm into generating higher surges. I have never seen one work, but the authors of a recently published paper say that mass log-offs are occasionally successful.

    Viewed from another angle, though, mass log-offs can be understood as good, old-fashioned work stoppages. The temporary and purposeful cessation of work as a form of protest is the core of strike action, and remains the sharpest weapon workers have to fight exploitation. But the ability to log-off en masse has not assumed a particularly emancipatory function.

    After weeks of driving like a maniac in order to restore my higher-than-average driver rating, I managed to raise it back up to a 4.93. Although it felt great, it is almost shameful and astonishing to admit that one’s rating, so long as it stays above 4.6, has no actual bearing on anything other than your sense of self-worth. You do not receive a weekly bonus for being a highly rated driver. Your rate of pay does not increase for being a highly rated driver. In fact, I was losing money trying to flatter customers with candy and keep my car scrupulously clean. And yet, I wanted to be a highly rated driver.
    How much is an hour worth? The war over the minimum wage
    Read more

    And this is the thing that is so brilliant and awful about the gamification of Lyft and Uber: it preys on our desire to be of service, to be liked, to be good. On weeks that I am rated highly, I am more motivated to drive. On weeks that I am rated poorly, I am more motivated to drive. It works on me, even though I know better. To date, I have completed more than 2,200 rides.

    #Lyft #Uber #Travail #Psychologie_comportementale #Gamification #Néo_management #Lutte_des_classes


  • What’s Driving the Conflict in Cameroon?
    Violence Is Escalating in Its Anglophone Regions.

    In recent months, political violence in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon has escalated dramatically. So far, at least 400 civilians and 160 state security officers have been killed in the conflict between the government and an armed separatist movement that, just two short years ago, started as a peaceful strike of lawyers and teachers. How did such upheaval come to a country that has prided itself for decades as a bulwark of stability in a region of violent conflict? And why has it escalated so quickly?

    THE ROOTS OF THE VIOLENCE

    The Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon have a special historical legacy that sets them apart from the country’s other eight regions: between 1922 and 1960, they were ruled as a British trust or protectorate while the rest of the territory was administered by France. This is why today, 3 million residents of the Northwest and Southwest regions—roughly 20 percent of the Cameroonian population—speak primarily English, not French. These two regions also use their own legal and educational systems, inherited from the British, and have a unique cultural identity.

    Many analysts argue that the current conflict stems from the intractable historical animosity between Cameroon’s Anglophones and Francophones. Yet if that is the case, it is strange that the violence is only occurring now. Why not in 1972, when Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon, ended the federation between the Anglophone and Francophone regions, forcing the Anglophones to submit to a unitary state? Or in 1992, when current President Paul Biya held Cameroon’s first multi-party elections, and narrowly won a heavily rigged contest by four percentage points against Anglophone candidate John Fru Ndi? Furthermore, if differences in identity are the primary driver of the conflict, it is quite surprising that Cameroon—one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Africa—has largely avoided ethnic conflict.

    Most Anglophones themselves say that they would be happy to put their national identity above their linguistic one if they weren’t systematically neglected and repressed by Cameroon’s central government. According to a survey from the Afrobarometer, an independent polling and research network, when asked whether they identify more as Cameroonians or more with their ethnic group, the vast majority of respondents in the Northwest and Southwest regions said they identified with these categories equally. Less than five percent said they identified more with their ethnic group. Nonetheless, members of this population have long felt themselves to be treated as second-class citizens in their own country. Anglophones who go to the capital city of Yaoundé to collect government documents, for example, often report being ridiculed or turned away by public officials because they cannot speak French. Separatists argue that this mistreatment and discrimination by Yaoundé, and Francophone Cameroonians more broadly, is grounds for secession.

    Yet regional neglect and mistreatment are not enough to explain the current wave of violence. If they were the root cause, then we should also be seeing separatist movements in Cameroon’s North and Far North regions, where state violence has become endemic in the fight against Boko Haram over the past four years. Moreover, in the North and Far North regions, the poverty rate is higher (more than 50 percent in each, compared to 15 percent in the Southwest and 25 percent in the Northwest) and state investment in public goods such schools, health clinics, and roads is lower than anywhere else in the country.

    To be sure, the Anglophones’ unique linguistic and cultural identity has played a role in the rebellion. But in order to understand why the escalating violence is taking place where and when it is, we must consider not only the Anglophone regions’ exceptional political isolation and relative economic autonomy from the rest of Cameroon, but also the increasing impatience of Africans living under non-democratic regimes.
    WHY THE ANGLOPHONE REGIONS?

    Biya, who last month won his seventh term in office, has been in power since 1982, making him one of the longest ruling leaders in the world. In fact, Cameroon has only had two presidents since gaining independence in 1960. Because the country’s median age is 18, this means that the majority of Cameroonians have only ever known one president. Yet the decline of Africa’s strongmen over the past two decades—most recently Blaise Compaoré in Burkina Faso, Yahya Jammeh in the Gambia, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, José Eduardo dos Santos in Angola, and even Jacob Zuma in South Africa—has made Biya’s continued rule increasingly untenable. Democracy may have begun to lose its appeal in many parts of the world, but it remains important to most sub-Saharan Africans. Many Cameroonians with an education and a smart phone consider their president’s extended rule increasingly illegitimate. The political tide currently washing away the strongmen of Africa has made this moment an exceptional one for mobilizing people against the regime.

    In spite of these democratic headwinds, Biya has managed to maintain his legitimacy in some quarters through his cooptation of Francophone elites and control of information by means of the (largely Francophone) state-owned media. He has masterfully brought Francophone leaders into government, offering them lucrative ministerial posts and control over various government revenue streams. Importantly, he has not been excessively repressive—at least not before the current outbreak of violence—and has gone out of his way to uphold the façade of democratic legitimacy through holding regular elections, allowing a relatively unfettered (although weak) independent media, and having a general laissez-faire attitude toward governing.

    The state media and elites within the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement are stalwart defenders of the president, operating whole-heartedly on the fictitious assumption that the regime is democratic. Many Cameroonians, especially those isolated from independent media, opposition parties, or information from outside of the country, earnestly believe this narrative. Another survey by the Afrobarometer conducted in 2015 before the outbreak of violence, showed that the presidency is the second most trusted institution of the state, after the army. It also showed that only ten percent of Cameroonian respondents believe that their country is not a democracy.

    In contrast, the Anglophone regions’ relative distance from both Biya’s networks of patronage and influence and the Francophone state media puts them in a unique position to see the autocratic nature of the regime and rebel against it. Although 75.4 percent of Francophone Cameroonian respondents said they trust Biya “somewhat” or “a lot,” in the Afrobarometer poll, only 45.5 percent of Anglophones felt the same way. Part of the reason for this is easier access to criticism of the Biya government. In electoral autocracies, opposition parties are often the only institutions that consistently voice the view that the regime is not truly democratic. The strongest opposition party in Cameroon—the Social Democratic Front (SDF)—is headquartered in the Northwest region, thus further exposing Anglophones to narratives of state repression. Other parts of Cameroon do not have occasion to become as familiar with opposition party politics. In the most recent 2013 elections for the National Assembly, for example, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement ran completely unopposed in 13 of the country’s 83 electoral districts.

    In comparison to other parts of the country, such as the north, Cameroon’s Anglophone regions are also more economically autonomous from Yaoundé. They have a robust cross-border trade with Nigeria, successful plantations in the Southwest, and fertile farming land. They are not overly-reliant on the export of primary resources, such as oil or timber, which funnels through state-owned corporations. And they are not as poor as, for example, the northern regions, which face chronic food insecurity. The Anglophones thus have not only the will, but also the resources to rebel.

    THE SUCCESSION QUESTION

    Unfortunately, an end to the crisis is nowhere in sight. Last month, Biya won his seventh term as president with 71.3 percent of the vote. The already unfair election was marked by exceedingly low participation in the Anglophone regions—just five percent in the Northwest—due to security fears. Meanwhile, Biya has responded to the separatists with an iron fist. He refuses to negotiate with them, instead sending in his elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (trained by the United States and led by a retired Israeli officer), which has now been accused of burning villages and attacking civilians in the Northwest and Southwest. But as long as the violence does not spill over into the Francophone regions, the crisis will likely not affect the president’s legitimacy in the rest of the country. Moreover, Biya remains staunchly supported by the West—especially France, but also the United States, which relies strongly on Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram. The separatists, meanwhile, remain fractured, weak, and guilty of their own atrocities against civilians. Apart from attacking security forces, they have been kidnapping and torturing teachers and students who refuse to participate in a school strike.

    It is extremely unlikely that Biya will make the concessions necessary for attacks from separatists to stop, and the fluid nature of the insurgency will make it difficult for state security forces to end the violence. The scorched earth tactics on both sides only work to further alienate the population, many of whom have fled to Nigeria. It seems likely that a resolution to the crisis can only happen once the questions of when Biya will step down and who will replace him are fully answered. Right now, there is only unsubstantiated speculation. Many assume he will appoint a successor before the next presidential elections, scheduled for 2025. But if there are any surprises in the meantime similar to the military move against Mugabe in Zimbabwe or the popular uprising against Compaoré in Burkina Faso, a transition may come sooner than expected. A post-Biya political opening might provide a way for Cameroon’ s Anglophones to claim their long-awaited autonomy.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/cameroon/2018-11-08/whats-driving-conflict-cameroon?cid=soc-tw
    #Cameroun #conflit #Cameroun_anglophone #violence #différent_territorial #autonomie


  • Norwegian frigate collides with oil tanker off country’s coast, 8 injured (VIDEO) — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/443399-tanker-frigate-incident-norway


    The Norwegian Navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” after a collision with a tanker.
    ©NTB Scanpix- Marit Hommedal via REUTERS

    A Norwegian Navy frigate returning from a NATO exercise collided with an oil tanker off Norway’s coast. Eight people received light injuries in the incident while the warship started slowly sinking.
    The early morning collision, which involved the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad and the tanker Sola TS, happened off Norway’s western coast near an island chain on which the municipality of Øygarden is located.

    Unlike the warship, the tanker, which carries around 625,000 barrels of crude, was mostly undamaged in the incident and no signs of an oil spill were reported. The ship was still ordered to return to port for inspection.

    The frigate, which reportedly received a long tear in the hull’s starboard side, started to take on water and listed dangerously. A tank of helicopter fuel was damaged and leaked some of its content, local media say. The crew of 137 was ordered to abandon ship, which was moved closer to land to prevent it from capsizing.

    The incident also triggered the shut-down of several oil industry sites in the vicinity, including a North Sea crude export terminal, Norway’s largest gas processing plant and several offshore fields.

    • Pas d’infos précises,…

      Cette après-midi, la BBC sort des fuites sur les communications entre les deux navires avant la collision qui ont été enregistrées. Pas glorieux, semble-t-il pour la marine norvégienne. En tous cas, les dégâts sont impressionnants et l’échouage volontaire a très certainement évité un chavirage rapide que l’on voit se profiler sur la première vidéo, alors que le navire est déjà à la côte.

      Norway warship Helge Ingstad ’warned’ before collision - BBC News
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46150048


      Chris Cavas — @CavasShips — 8 nov.
      Images of the damage caused to Norwegian frigate HELGE INGSTAD F313 from collision with tanker SOLA TS. Views are obviously before the ship partially sank. The below-water damage to the ship was more extensive than the photos can show.

      The tanker, which was heading northbound, contacted the frigate, heading southbound, to ask if they had a plan to safely pass them as they seemed to be on a collision course,” Kjetil Stormark, the editor of AldriMer.no told the BBC.
      Citing what he called key sources, he said: “The response was:We have everything under control.’”
      Lucky vessels
      The incident is undergoing investigation, both by the police and by the Accident Investigation Board Norway, officials told the BBC.
      Mr Stomark says that because the tanker was “slow, heavy and much larger”, it was the warship’s responsibility to move around it.

    • Version française, sans les informations sur les échanges radio.

      Frégate norvégienne : le point sur l’accident | Mer et Marine
      https://www.meretmarine.com/fr/content/fregate-norvegienne-le-point-sur-laccident


      Capture d’écran d’un direct de la télévision publique norvégienne
      © NRK

      C’est un accident spectaculaire qui risque bien de sceller le sort de la frégate norvégienne Helge Ingstad. À 3 heures 55 du matin, le pétrolier Sola TS a quitté le terminal pétrolier de Sture, près de Bergen, en direction du nord. Il était alors suivi du remorqueur Tenax. Huit minutes plus tard, le tanker entrait en collision avec le bâtiment de combat norvégien qui faisait route inverse. À 4 heures 50, la Marine norvégienne commençait l’évacuation des 137 membres d’équipage se trouvant à bord de la frégate, devenue incontrôlable.
       
      Heureusement, il n’y pas de victimes à déplorer pour les deux navires. Seuls huit marins de l’Helge Ingstad ont été légèrement blessés et c’est un miracle à la vue des images diffusées par les autorités. L’abordage a eu lieu sur tribord. Le pétrolier, probablement lourdement chargé de pétrole, a vu son écubier littéralement déchirer la coque de la frégate sur la moitié de sa longueur au niveau de la ligne de flottaison. Une importante voie d’eau n’a pas pu être maîtrisée. Sur les photos de la télévision publique norvégienne NRK1, on peut observer que le tanker a été très faiblement endommagé au niveau du bordé et de l’écubier tribord. Ce dernier est très proéminent sur ce bateau et est probablement renforcé pour soutenir son ancre et sa chaîne.

    • ça se confirme ; le centre de contrôle du trafic maritime avait également prévenu…

      Wrecked Norwegian Frigate Was Warned Prior to Collision
      https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/wrecked-norwegian-frigate-was-warned-prior-to-collision

      Prior to her collision with the Suezmax tanker Sola TS on Thursday, the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad was repeatedly called over VHF, both by the approaching vessel and by the nearby Fedje VTS center, according to a new report. However, the bridge team on the frigate allegedly responded that they had the situation under control. The Ingstad and the Sola TS collided shortly thereafter. 

      Norwegian defense outlet Aldrimer first reported the radio exchange in an update Friday, citing “five sources” with independent knowledge of the accident.

      According to the report, the Sola TS spotted the Helge Ingstad visually shortly after departing the Sture petroleum terminal outside Bergen. The Ingstad was inbound, heading for the Haakonsvern Naval Base at Mathopen. The Sola’s bridge team called the Ingstad to determine her intentions. The Fedje VTS center also noted the situation and called the Ingstad repeatedly to warn that she was on a collision course. 

      Shortly after 0400 on Thursday, the two vessels collided. The impact tore a large hole in the Ingstad’s starboard side, spilling fuel, injuring eight crewmembers and rendering her unable to maneuver. Aldrimer’s sources reported that the Ingstad’s crew turned on her AIS transponder after the collision so that she could be easily located by rescuers, thereby corroborating the sudden appearance of her AIS signal on commercial tracking services shortly after the collision. 

      On Friday, Fedje Maritime Transport Center confirmed that it had played a role in a VHF exchange with the Ingstad. The Norwegian military declined requests for comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

    • Communiqué officiel de l’OTAN, le 8/11/18

      Allied Maritime Command - SNMG1 ship accident at sea
      https://mc.nato.int/media-centre/news/2018/snmg1-ship-accident-at-sea.aspx

      NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom (November 08, 2018) HNoMS Helge Ingstad was involved in a collision with the Maltese oil tanker Sola TS in Norwegian waters around 0400 this morning (8 Nov) while sailing inner Fjords for navigation training.

      Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place and the crew was evacuated in a professional manner. There are no reports of damages or leaks from the oil tanker and no report of serious injuries, though eight crewmembers are being treated for minor injuries.

      The Norwegian Armed Forces are working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority to address the situation. The Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad is part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The group was sailing in and around the Fjords, following their participation in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 which concluded on November 7th.
       
      The rest of SNMG1’s ships are positioned nearby at sea in the event that further assistance is required.  The Norwegian Armed Forces Press Office has lead for further information, contact at +47 40 43 80 83, info@njhq.no.

    • Plan de situation, histoire de ne pas perdre la main ;-)
      https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t_JjDMYnt3uLCIBt3wotJxemMltL87uI

      On remarquera que le lieu de l’échouage est à un jet de caillou du terminal d’Equinor (ex-Statoil)

      source de la localisation de l’échouage :
      We Have Located The Precise Spot Where Norway’s Half Sunken Frigate Lies (Updated) - The Drive
      http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24795/we-have-located-the-precise-spot-where-norways-half-sunken-frigate-lies

    • Ça n’a pas trainé ! VesselTracker (l’autre site, celui que je n’utilise quasiment pas,…) a sorti l’animation basée sur les enregistrements AIS. La collision a lieu, sans doute, vers 0:18-0:19, le Helge Ingstad active son transpondeur AIS juste après. Le Vestbris manœuvre en catastrophe pour éviter le Solas TS

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izbXbQ1Shmk

      EDIT : pour mémoire, les sources indiquent un délai de 8 minutes de temps réel entre l’appareillage du Solas et l’abordage.

    • À l’instant, l’intégralité des échanges en VHF entre Fedje, Sola et Helge Ingstad avec visualisation des positions de tous les bâtiments (y compris après la collision). En norvégien,…

      Le locuteur en norvégien du Sola TS, navire de l’armement grec Tsakos, sous pavillon maltais et dont l’équipage est certainement cosmopolite a de grandes chances d’être le pilote, basé justement au centre de contrôle du trafic de Fedje qui assure (de tous temps, dit WP) le service de pilotes pour le fjord de Bergen.

      VGTV - Hør samtalen mellom skipene

      https://www.vgtv.no/video/167055/hoer-samtalen-mellom-skipene

    • Les fuites quant aux échanges radio étaient fausses :
      – dès la prise de contact (laborieuse…) le pétrolier demande une manœuvre,
      – ce que la frégate annonce accepter, apparemment, sans qu’il se passe grand chose,
      – presque tout de suite après, le Solas TS réclame, fermement !, tourne ! sinon, c’est la collision.
      – le Helge Ingstad n’a jamais indiqué contrôler la situation. En fait, il ne dit rien… Après la collision, il dit qu’il essaye de contrôler la situation.

      Hør samtalen mellom skipene

      Fedje VTS, det er Sola TS,

      Sola TS, hør

      Ja, jeg hørte ikke navnet. Vet du hvilken båt som kommer mot oss her ?
      jeg har den litt på babord

      (10 secondes)

      Nei, det er en en… Jeg har ikke fått noen opplysninger on den.
      Den har ikke rapportert til meg.
      Jeg ser bare den dukker opp på skjermen her.
      Ingen opplysninger om den, nei, nei.
      Nei, okey.
      Nei (?)

      (43 secondes)

      Sola til VTS ?

      Ja

      Det er mulig det er « Helge Ingstad »
      Han kom inn nordfra en stund tilbake. Det er mulig det er han som kommer her.

      Helge Ingstad, hører du Sola TS ?

      Helge Ingstad

      Er det du som kommer her nå ?

      Ja det stemmer.
      Ta styrbord med en gang.
      Da går vi for nærme blokkene.

      Svinge styrbord, hvis det er du som kommer.
      Altså, du har…

      (7 secondes)

      Jeg har et par grader styrbord nå vi har passert eh…
      Passert eh…
      (?) styrbord

      Helge Hingstad, du må gjøre noe. Du begynner å nærme deg veldig.
      Helge Hingstad, drei !
      Det blir en kollisjon her da.
      (15 secondes)
      Det kan være en krigskip. Jeg traff den.

      Det er mottatt.

      (16 secondes)

      Det er tauebåten. Over.

      Ja, tauebåten er her, ja.

      Jeg tror vi bare må kalle ut de…
      De andre tauebåtene.
      Får se på skadene her.

      Heldigvis er det et sett med de da. Vi må jo se…

      (?)

      (25 secondes)

      Fedje VTS til Sola TS ?

      Sola TS hører.

      Har du kontakt med vår DD krigskip ?
      Ingen kontakt ?

      Hei, dette er Helge Ingstad.

      Hei, Helge Ingstad. Dette er VTS.
      Hører du meg ?

      Ja, så godt jeg klarer.
      (on entend l’alarme en fond…)
      Vi ligger da… like ved… nord for…
      Nord for Vetlefjorden.
      Har slått alarm. Prøver å få kontroll på situasjonen.

      Ja, er det du som har vært i kollisjonen der ved Sture ?

      Ja, det er korrekt.

      OK.
      Hvor mange personer har du ombord ?

      Vi har 134 personer ombord.

      OK.
      Gi meg status om situasjonen så snart som mulig, da.

      Ja, jeg skal gjøre det.

      Etter kollisjonen går Helge Ingstad inn mot land i rund 5 knop.

      Fedje VTS til Sola TS ?

      Sola TS svarer.

      Hvor mange personer har du ombord totalt ?

      (10 secondes)

      23

      Hvor mange passasjerer ?

      23

      23, ok, 2, 3

      Få en status av deg når du vet litt mer.

      Kan du gjenta ?

      Vi må få høre hvordan det går med deg etter hvert som du får litt mer oversikt.

      Det er ikke noe spesielt her.
      Vi går fram og sjekker på bauen, da. Så stoppet vi her.
      Forelopig så ser det bra ut, men vi må frem og se, vi vet jo ikke skadene der fremme.

      Ja, ok.

      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?
      (30 secondes)
      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?

      Ferje TS, KNM Helge Ingstad.

      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?

      Vi har en situasjon.
      Vi har gått på et ukjent objekt.
      Vi har ikke fremdrift.

      Helge Ingstad har ikke fremdrift ?

      De har vært i en kollisjon med Sola TS, forstår jeg.
      De driver inn mot land uten fremdrift.
      Har du gått på grunn ?

      Det er foreløpig litt løst fra min side, men vi trenger umiddelbar assistanse.

      Trenger umiddelbar assistanse.

      (?) rett fram.

      Vi skal se om vi kan få tak i en tauebåt.

      (?)

      Ajax, Ajax til VTS ?

      Trauebåten Ajax blir sendt fra terminalen med en gang.

      Ajax, Ajax, jeg gjentar.

      Ja Ferdje VTS til Ajax.

      (?) Helge Ingstad. Han ligger like nord for deres.
      Han ligger uten framdrift.

      (?)

      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?

      Helge Ingstad.

      Tauebåten Ajax fikk beskjed. Den er på vei.

      (?)

      Den (?) om mer enn tre minutter.

      Ajax, Ajax, KNM Ingstad K16.

      Ajax til VTS ?

      Helge Ingstad, Ajax.

      Ajax, KNM Helge Ingstad K16. Vi er på vei.

      Vi har ingen framdrift, vi går på noe anker.
      Vi trenger assistanse fra taeubåt.

      note (quelques à peu près de gg:translate) :
      • tauebåt, ce n’est pas « bateau-feu » mais remorqueur (tugboat)
      • framdrift / uten framdrift, ce n’est pas « progrès / sans progrès », mais propulsion / sans propulsion

    • Article de Defense News quelques heures après la diffusion des échanges. La présentation de ceux-ci souffrent toujours des à peu près des commentaires initiaux.

      Warnings and confusion preceded Norwegian frigate disaster : here’s what we know
      https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/11/11/warnings-and-confusion-preceded-norwegian-frigate-disaster-heres-what-w

      The Royal Norwegian Navy was dealt a devastating blow in the early morning hours of November 10 when one of its five capital Nansen-class frigates collided with a fully loaded oil tanker more than 10 times its size while returning NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise.

      The frigate Helge Ingstad lost steering and drifted at five knots onto the rocky shore near Norwegian port of Sture, north of Bergen, saving the ship from sinking in the Fjord, according to media reports. The crew of 137 was forced to abandon ship. Ingstad is now resting on its side on three points while crews move to secure it.

      The disaster has far-reaching consequences for the Norwegian Navy, which is facing the loss of one of its premier warfighting assets,

      This is a huge blow to the Norwegian navy,” said Sebastian Bruns, who heads the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel in northern Germany. The loss of the $400 million ship, which appeared likely, leaves the Norwegian Navy with a 20 percent cut to its most advanced class of ship, Burns said.

      The situation is made all the more painful as evidence mounts that Ingstad was repeatedly warned to alter course before the collision and failed to take corrective action to avoid the collision.

      Local media reported that the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS identified Ingstad and tried to avoid the disaster. The reports also revealed details that show that Ingstad did not have a firm grasp of the surface picture it was sailing into.

      The disaster developed quickly, with Ingstad transiting the channel inbound at 17 knots and Sola TS traveling outbound at 7 knots.

      Sola TS raised the Ingstad multiple times and was discussing the emerging danger with shore-based Central Station, according to the Norwegian paper Verdens Gang. The responses from Ingstad appear confused, at one point saying that if they altered the course it would take them too close to the shoals, which prompted Sola TS to respond that they had to do something or a collision would be unavoidable.

      Contributing to the confusion, the Ingstad appears to have been transiting with its Automatic Identification System switched off. That seems to have delayed recognition by central control and the other ships in the area that Ingstad was inbound and heading into danger, the account in VG seems to indicate.

    • Mon interprétation, au vu des échanges – et des dégâts provoqués par la collision (la capture de la visualisation de l’écran radar n’est pas vraiment lisible) : il semblerait que le Helge Ingstad après avoir accepté d’infléchir sa trajectoire vers la droite (à tribord) ait, en fait, viré vers sa gauche, d’où l’impact à tribord, au deux tiers de sa flottaison.

      On voit la déchirure provoquée par l’écubier, il n’est pas possible de savoir si le bulbe du pétrolier a entrainé des dégâts sous la flottaison. Sans doute, non puisque le Solas TS a pu reprendre sa route sans trop de problème et à vitesse normale.

      Sous le choc (17 noeuds entrant vs 7 noeuds sortant, presque 45 km/h de vitesse relative) le Helge Ingstad a pivoté sur sa droite est s’est retrouvé, désemparé, sans propulsion, ni gouvernail, à dériver vers la côte à 5 noeuds ; la manœuvre n’a pas du tout été délibérée, mais entièrement subie.

    • Il y a 3 jours, Le Figaro reprenait les éléments de langage de l’armée norvégienne, rien depuis. Quant au Monde, aucun signe de l’affaire ; la dernière mention de la frégate norvégienne est de janvier 2014, où elle opérait à Chypre dans le cadre du contrôle des livraisons d’armes chimiques en Syrie…

      Norvège : une frégate menace de couler après une collision
      http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2018/11/08/97001-20181108FILWWW00059-norvege-7-blesses-legers-dans-une-collision-entre

      « La KNM Helge Ingstad a subi des dégâts au-dessus et en dessous de la ligne de flottaison. Les dégâts étaient tels que la frégate n’était plus stable et n’avait plus assez de capacité de flottaison », a déclaré Sigurd Smith, officier de la Marine norvégienne, lors d’une conférence de presse. « Il a par conséquent été décidé de l’échouer énergiquement sur le rivage », a-t-il expliqué. La Marine a refusé de se prononcer à ce stade sur les causes de la collision.

    • en Norvège, tout finit par des chansons,
      sur NRK, (vidéo sur FB, uniquement)
      https://www.facebook.com/NRK/videos/582039188932786

      Vi hadde en gang en båt,
      en feiende flott fregatt
      men plutsellig så gikk det galt en november-nat.

      å grøss og gru
      å grøss og gru
      Hva skjedde nu ?
      Jeg bare undres :
      Hva skjedde nu ?

      Fregatten Helge Ingstad så stolt og kry.
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy,
      Kosta to milliarder da den var ny
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy.

      Nå var hun på øvelse smekker og grå
      sonarer og radarer passet godt på
      men tankern med olje kom ut av det blå.
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy,

      Hør skipsklokkens, klang
      noe galt er på gang
      men vi holder kursen som vi alt satt
      for dette er den norske marinen fregatt !
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy,

    • Une version officieuse qui circule en défense de la marine norvégienne : le Sola TS n’était pas sur le rail du trafic sortant, il est plus à l’ouest. À quoi, il est répondu :
      • il venait d’appareiller, sa vitesse n’était que de 5 noeuds, alors que le flux sortant était à 10 noeuds,
      • pour appareiller, vu la situation, il a besoin de l’autorisation du centre de contrôle du trafic (Fedje VTS)

      … qui lui a, sans doute, été accordée (ce n’est pas dit). Et c’est là, que l’absence d’information AIS prend toute son importance. L’écho radar était visible, mais pas l’identification, ni la vitesse (17 noeuds, ce qui n’est pas rien dans un détroit (un fjord, en fait,…) Le centre de contrôle ne devait certainement pas suivre manuellement (à l’ancienne !…) l’écho radar, se reposant sur les informations visualisées.

      Sjøoffiser mener at tankskipet « Sola TS » hadde feil kurs før ulykken – NRK Norge – Oversikt over nyheter fra ulike deler av landet
      https://www.nrk.no/norge/sjooffiser-mener-at-tankskipet-_sola-ts_-hadde-feil-kurs-for-ulykken-1.14290245

      Hvorfor « Sola TS » ikke legger seg på samme linje som den andre trafikken, er ikke klart. Det er noe som besetningen om bord og losen sannsynligvis kan forklare.
      […]
      Den andre trafikken var skip som hadde større hastighet enn « Sola TS ». Ut fra AIS-data så er det klart at disse måtte vike dersom tankskipet hadde fortsatt mer mot øst før det tok svingen mot nord.

      […]

      – Tankskip som skal forlate en terminal kaller opp trafikksentralen med informasjon om at de er klar for avgang, og angir seilingsrute. Deretter blir det gitt seilingsklarering dersom det ikke er noe hinder for dette, skriver regiondirektør John Erik Hagen i Kystverket i en generell kommentar til NRK.

    • DN : Berging av fregatten « Helge Ingstad » kan koste opptil 300.000 kroner per dag - Forsvaret - Næringsliv - E24
      http://e24.no/naeringsliv/forsvaret/dn-berging-av-fregatten-helge-ingstad-kan-koste-opptil-300-000-kroner-per-dag/24490783

      Trondheim-selskapet Boa Management har fått oppdraget å løfte havarerte KNM «Helge Ingstad» på lekter og frakte båten til verft. Det melder Dagens Næringsliv.

      Skipsmeglere avisen har kontaktet anslår med noen forbehold at det kan koste 30.000-35.000 dollar per dag å leie inn taubåt og lekter som trengs for jobben. Altså mellom 250.000 og 300.000 kroner.

    • Le texte d’Aldrimer.no repris ci-dessus par la NRK.
      KNM Helge Ingstad fryktet å gå på grunn ‹ aldrimer.no
      https://www.aldrimer.no/knm-helge-ingstad-fryktet-a-ga-pa-grunn

      Il contient une vidéo d’animation des trajectoires AIS plus claire, avec un champ plus large.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6I1twpZVIY

      elle permet de suivre, p. ex. la trajectoire de l’Ajax qui a aidé à l’appareillage du Sola TS et qui repart immédiatement, comme on l’entend dans la transcription VHF, à la demande de Fedje VTS, dès l’abordage. Son trajet permet, en creux de suivre celui du KNM Helge Ingstad, sur laquelle viennent s’agglutiner les remorqueurs. Malgré la localisation AIS, du navire de guerre de l’OTAN, F313 qui apparaît brusquement (à 0’09"), après la collision, derrière le Sola pour ne plus bouger ensuite, la MàJ de la position ne se faisant plus.

    • RIP KNM Helge Ingstad !


      A shipwrecked Norwegian navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” is seen in this Norwegian Coastal Administration handout picture in Oygarden, Norway, November 13, 2018.
      Jakob Ostheim/Norwegian Coastal Administration/Handout vis REUTERS

      Norwegian frigate now nearly submerged after collision
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-accident/norwegian-frigate-now-nearly-submerged-after-collision-idUSKCN1NI10Z


      A shipwrecked Norwegian navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” is seen in this Norwegian Coastal Administration handout picture in Oygarden, Norway, November 13, 2018.
      Jakob Ostheim/Norwegian Coastal Administration/Handout vis REUTERS

      A Norwegian navy frigate that collided with an oil tanker last week was almost completely submerged on Tuesday despite efforts to salvage the sinking vessel, pictures taken by the Norwegian Coastal Administration showed.

      The ship’s plight off the Norwegian coast is, however, not disrupting the nearby Sture crude oil export terminal. “We are in normal operations,” said a spokeswoman for the plant’s operator, Equinor.

      The Norwegian military has been working since Thursday to salvage the ship by tethering it with several cables to the shore. Some of these had broken.

      The ship sunk a meter further and, as a result, two wires broke. They were replaced with two stronger ones. We worked until midnight on this. After midnight, we realized it was not safe for our staff to carry on the work further,” said Haavard Mathiesen, the head of the salvage operation for the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.

      Around 0600 (0500 GMT), more wires broke and the ship sank further. It is now in deep water and stable,” he told a news conference.

      The ship was stranded off Norway’s west coast early last Thursday after it collided with the tanker that had left the Sture terminal. The facility was shut for several hours as a result.

      Eight Navy staff, out of a total crew of 137, were slightly injured in the incident.

    • L’édito de gCaptain.
      Pas de piste, pas d’hypothèse, un appel à la vigilance.

      Who Sunk The Battleship ? – gCaptain
      https://gcaptain.com/who-sunk-the-battleship

      Again. There was a collision at sea again.
      […]
      Take the time to read up on this seemingly textbook collision. Think about the other maritime incidents that have happened recently. Don’t think that these accidents only happen to other people – it only takes one misstep between a near miss and a catastrophe.

      Take away what you’ve observed from this – discuss it with your colleagues. Find ways to ever be improving. Awareness, procedures, re-design from lessons learned.

      Fair winds and following seas – if not that a strong hull and a cautious mariner.

      Note : la première partie de la dernière phrase est traditionnelle, la suite moins.
      https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/NHC/fairwinds.htm

    • L’amiral commandant les forces navales états-uniennes en Europe était à bord de la frégate. C’est lui qui était le responsable de l’exercice OTAN Trident Juncture

      Amerikansk offiser om bord da « Helge Ingstad » kolliderte - Bergens Tidende
      https://www.bt.no/article/bt-VRJjWV.html

      TOPPADMIRAL: Sjefen for de amerikanske marinestyrkene i Europa, admiral James G. Foggo III, var om bord på KNM «Helge Ingstad» fire dager før ulykken. Etter ulykken har Havarikommisjonen sendt en henvendelse til Foggos styrke. De vil ikke si hvorfor.
      FOTO: MARIUS VÅGENES VILLANGER / FORSVARET

      Amerikansk offiser om bord da Helge Ingstad kolliderte
      En amerikansk marineoffiser var om bord på KNM Helge Ingstad da det smalt, bekrefter Forsvarsdepartementet. Offiserens rolle blir nå etterforsket.

      James G. Foggo III - Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_G._Foggo_III

      James “Jamie” Gordon Foggo III (born September 2, 1959) is a United States Navy admiral who currently serves as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe while concurrently serving as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples.
      […]
      25 October to 7 November 2018, admiral Foggo is responsible for conducting the NATO exercise Trident Juncture.

    • De mauvais esprits font remarquer la très faible efficacité (!) des travaux entrepris tout de suite après l’échouage pour empêcher le naufrage de la frégate…

      La glissade au fond a englouti les composants à forte valeur qui étaient initialement récupérables (radar Aegis et système électronique hypersophistiqués, idem pour la propulsion par turbine)
      (on remarquera sur la photo ci-dessous qu’il en va à peu près de même pour le dispositif anti-pollution à en juger par les irisations de chaque côté des barrages flottants…)

      Lokale selskaper bak mislykket « Helge Ingstad »-sikring - VG
      https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/i/EoryO2/lokale-selskaper-bak-mislykket-helge-ingstad-sikring

      Ifølge Forsvaret ble den beste kompetansen i Norge hentet inn da bergingen av KNM « Helge Ingstad » ble satt i gang. Kritikere sier arbeidet fremstår uprofesjonelt. Nå står milliardfregatten under vann, og er i fare for å gli videre ut på dypet.

      Therese RidarMagnus NewthOda Leraan Skjetne
      Publisert:16.11.18 21:15

      Da KNM « Helge Ingstad » ble grunnstøtt etter kollisjonen forrige uke, ble fregatten sikret med ti stålvaiere festet til land. Sikringsjobben var ferdig lørdag morgen. Slik lå skipet fram til mandag kveld, da vaierne foran på skipet begynte å ryke. Tirsdag morgen hadde alle festepunktene foran på fartøyet røket, og « Helge Ingstad » sank nesten helt under vann.

      Den mislykkede sikringen av fregatten til en verdi av fire milliarder har fått hard kritikk i ettertid.

    • Voici donc mon #Thread concernant l’accident du #HelgeIngstad, cette frégate que la Norvège a perdu sans combattre il y a une semaine..

      François Narolles @FNarolles
      https://twitter.com/FNarolles/status/1063493033969287170

      signalé par @unagi, https://seenthis.net/messages/736408#message736413

      Mon analyse est très voisine, mais j’aurais tendance à augmenter la responsabilité du centre de contrôle du trafic.

      • la frégate va vite, très vite, trop vite : 17 noeuds, c’est pratiquement le double de la vitesse de l’ensemble des bateaux environnants, la vitesse de rapprochement est donc de 44 km/h, soit 11 m/s
      • son AIS est éteint, alors que le navire est en vue des côtes, dans un trafic dense, ça n’a pratiquement que des inconvénients (c’est une des conclusions des analyses des accidents des destroyers de la marine états-unienne l’année dernière). D’un autre côté, on comprend que l’état-major soit réticent à ce que tout le monde (y compris les méchants) puisse connaître en une connexion à MarineTraffic ou VesselFinder la position des navires de sa flotte, du moins ceux qui sont en eaux côtières

      • le centre de contrôle du trafic échoue totalement dans sa mission et commet une très lourde faute. Quand le pétrolier lui demande qui il a en face de lui, le VTS ne le sait pas d’emblée. C’est proprement ahurissant. Il est probable que cela vient du fait que le suivi des navires se fait uniquement sur la base de l’AIS ; position, cap et vitesse sont affichés automatiquement. Il n’y a probablement pas (ou alors pas au même endroit) de suivi manuel du navire sans AIS ; celui-ci mobilise une charge mentale intense, une grande concentration et génère un stress non négligeable (souvenirs précis de service militaire en Iroise,…)
      • d’après ce que j’ai lu, le VTS doit autoriser l’appareillage des navires du port pétrolier. Si c’est exact, alors il a donné un clear pour une situation qui ne l’était pas du tout et était hautement problématique. En demandant de retarder l’appareillage d’une demi-heure, ça laissait le temps à la frégate de défiler et de dégager le terrain

      • je ne vois pas trop ce que le Sola TS aurait pu faire d’autre, il est à 5 noeuds, en phase d’accélération pour atteindre les 10 noeuds qui lui permettront de s’injecter dans le rail sortant, ce qui fait qu’il est décalé vers l’ouest par rapport à ce rail, fermant une partie du passage pour le Helge Ingstad. Ses capacités de manoeuvre sont très limitées, c’est d’ailleurs pour ça qu’il a toujours un remorqueur au cul (le Tenax).
      • sans doute, lui aussi, pouvait (aurait pu…) maintenir une veille radar et suivre les échos, y compris sans AIS, – cf. supra – mais, il est possible que son radar ait été masqué par les structures du port et, donc, que la frégate n’ait pas été perçue au départ du quai (par ailleurs, elle était encore « loin ») et, surtout, c’est normalement le boulot du VTS.

      À mon sens, à partir du moment où le pétrolier a appareillé, la situation est plus que problématique et il aurait fallu un enchaînement exceptionnel pour éviter la catastrophe (perception ultra-rapide de la situation et de sa gravité, manoeuvre sans hésitation de la frégate dès la prise de contact radio).

    • Le rapport préliminaire d’enquête de la commission norvégienne d’enquête. On peut saluer la performance et la transparence : moins d’un mois après l’événement !

      Investigation of marine accident, collision outside the Sture Oil Terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway | aibn
      https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Investigations/18-968

      On the morning of Thursday 8 November 2018, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) was informed of a collision between the frigate ’KNM Helge Ingstad’ and the Maltese registered tanker ’Sola TS’ in Hjeltefjorden, outside the Sture terminal in Øygarden Municipality in Hordaland County, Norway. The AIBN contacted the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and it was decided to initiate a joint investigation into the accident, led by the AIBN. The AIBN then contacted the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta (MSIU), which is also a participating party in the investigation; cf. Chapter 18 Section 474 of the Norwegian Maritime Code.

      29 November 2018 the AIBN publishes a preliminary report on the accident and two interim safety recommendations. This preliminary report is published to communicate the information obtained during the initial phase of the ongoing investigation. The purpose is to provide a brief update on how the investigation is progressing as well as a preliminary description of the sequence of events and disseminate safety-critical issues identified at this stage of the investigation. This preliminary report also identifies areas that need further investigation and describes lines of investigation that will be followed up.

      En lien, deux pdf
      • Preliminary report 29.11.201
      • Appendix : Interim safety recommendations 29.11.2018

    • De très utiles précisions :
      • le Sola TS avait laissé ses feux de ponts allumés le rendant difficile à distinguer des lumières du terminal pétrolier dont il s’éloignait doucement et ne permettant pas le repérage rapide de ses feux de navigation et donc la lecture de sa trajectoire
      • dans la version de la passerelle du KNM Helge Ingstad où venait de s’effectuer la passation de quart, cette masse lumineuse a été prise pour un obstacle fixe non identifié et c’est cette perception qui justifie l’absence de manoeuvre d’évitement vers la droite, justement pour éviter de percuter cet obstacle fixe

    • À noter surtout dans les recommandations préliminaires la mention d’un grave défaut de conception de ces frégates (et peut-être d’autres issues des chantiers espagnols Navantia.

      En effet, les dégâts provoqués par la collision ont noyé 3 compartiments étanches mettant en péril la stabilité du bâtiment mais lui permettant de se maintenir à flot, conclusion initiale à bord, conforme aux documents décrivant la stabilité du navire, ceux-ci mentionnant que l’envahissement d’un quatrième compartiment entrainait la perte du bâtiment.

      Or, l’eau s’est rapidement infiltré dans un quatrième compartiment en passant par les passages des arbres d’hélice, puis aux autres compartiments à travers les cloisons.

      To start with, flooding occurred in three watertight compartments on board KNM Helge Ingstad: the aft generator room, the orlob deck’s crew quarters and the stores room. There was some uncertainty as to whether the steering engine room, the aftmost compartment, was also filling up with water. Based on this damage, the crew, supported by the vessel’s stability documents, assessed the vessel as having ’poor stability’ status, but that it could be kept afloat. If more compartments were flooded, the status would be assessed as ’vessel lost’ on account of further loss of stability.

      Next, the crew found that water from the aft generator room was running into the gear room via the hollow propeller shafts and that the gear room was filling up fast. From the gear room, the water then ran into and was flooding the aft and fore engine rooms via the stuffing boxes in the bulkheads. This meant that the flooding became substantially more extensive than indicated by the original damage. Based on the flooding of the gear room, it was decided to prepare for evacuation.

      The AIBN considers the vessel’s lack of watertight integrity to be a safety issue relating to Nansen-class frigates and therefore issues the following two safety alerts.

    • Early report blames confused watchstanders, possible design flaws for Norway’s sunken frigate
      https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/11/29/early-report-blames-confused-watchstanders-possible-design-flaws-for-no

      In a statement to Defense News, Navantia spokesperson Esther Benito Lope stressed that the report is “very preliminary” and that the company has offered to work with Norway on the investigation.

      Navantia has offered, since the very beginning, its collaboration with the [Royal Norwegian Navy] in order to clarify the accident,” Benito Lope said. “Navantia will analyze all the possibilities, considering that some of the mentioned possibilities … are concluded from a very preliminary investigation.

      The statement went on to say that the company has not received any official notice or fielded any consultations about the cause of the accident.

      Navantia has not received any official communication, neither any consults about possible causes, nor participated in any action … in Norway,” Benito Lope wrote.

    • Navy divers arrive at KNM «Helge Ingstad» - Norway Today
      http://norwaytoday.info/news/navy-divers-arrive-at-knm-helge-ingstad

      The vessel is not lifted anytime soon. The vessel is filled with nearly 10,000 cubic meters of seawater, and a large part of this must be pumped out first, the Project Manager for the Salvage Operation, Commander Captain Arild Øydegard tells VG.

      We have great lifting capacity, but not to lift both a vessel of about 5,000 deadweight tonnes and another 10,000 metric ton of seawater. So this we have to get rid of underway – we have estimated that we might have 500 cubic metres left when we lift it up, he says.
      […]
      There is still no final decision as to whether the Frigate may be repaired. According to VG, two working groups have been established to assess that question; one who will try to salvage the material on board and one who is planning a possible repairing.

      Øydegard announces that the hull is relatively intact, except for the 45-metre tear that the Frigate sustained in the collision with «Sola TS».

      We have damage to the rudder and such, but this is a warship which hull has tolerated the stresses so far, Øydegard explains.

    • Grave problème d’étanchéité d’une frégate norvégienne construite par Navantia
      https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/grave-probleme-d-etancheite-d-une-fregate-norvegienne-construite-par-navan

      Le Bureau d’enquête sur les accidents de la Norvège a identifié dans un rapport préliminaire des « problèmes de sécurité critiques », qui nécessitent une « attention immédiate ». Notamment des problèmes d’étanchéité entre les compartiments de la frégate KNM Helge Ingstad construite en 2009 par Navantia.

      Coup dur pour Navantia. Après la collision le 8 novembre entre une frégate norvégienne, un bâtiment moderne d’environ 5.000 tonnes construit par le chantier naval espagnol, et le pétrolier maltais Sola TV, le Bureau d’enquête sur les accidents de la Norvège (AIBN) a identifié dans un rapport préliminaire public daté du 29 novembre, des « problèmes de sécurité critiques », qui nécessitent une « attention immédiate ». L’AIBN a affirmé que le manque d’étanchéité entre les compartiments des frégates de la classe Nansen, est l’un de ces problèmes de sécurité. Il a déjà émis deux alertes de sécurité en attendant de poursuivre une enquête plus approfondie.

    • Frégate HNoMS Helge Ingstad : un rapport de la marine espagnole remet en cause la version norvégienne | Le portail des sous-marins
      https://www.corlobe.tk

      #C’était_à_prévoir : les critiques adressées au constructeur Navantia par le rapport préliminaire du bureau norvégien d’enquêtes sur les accidents maritimes ne passent pas en Espagne. La marine espagnole a rédigé son propre rapport qui dédouane complètement Navantia et conclut qu’une erreur humaine a été la cause principale de l’accident de la frégate Helge Ingstad.

      Ce rapport remet en cause la version des autorités norvégiennes : la semaine dernière, le bureau norvégien d’enquêtes sur les accidents maritimes avait pointé du doigt le chantier naval espagnol. Selon le rapport espagnol, « il existe des preuves claires que les dommages initiaux ont touché 4 compartiments étanches, et des indices que 5 aient été réellement endommagés dans la collision, ce qui dépasse les critères de survie fixés pour ce navire. »

      Le rapport interne de la marine espagnole explique que « la longueur de la déchirure visible sur les photos est de 15% de la longueur à la ligne de flottaison (18,2 m), soit 3 tranches contigües inondées. »

      Il ajoute aussi que l’avarie pourrait avoir aussi touché d’autres compartiments. « L’analyse des images indique que, probablement, sous la ligne de flottaison, un 4è compartiment étanche ait été éventré. »

      Pour la marine espagnole, une erreur humaine est la seule cause de l’accident. Une suite d’erreurs ont été commises : navigation à vitesse excessive (environ 17 nœuds), non-utilisation de l’AIS, non-respect du règlement international de prévention des abordages en mer, et non-prise en compte des avertissements du pétrolier.

      Le rapport conclut que « aucun navire ayant des caractéristiques similaires à la frégate n’aurait été capable de contrôler la voie d’eau et d’éviter le naufrage ».

      Remarque : que la cause de l’accident soit une erreur humaine ne fait guère de doute, ce qui est en cause est la suite, l’issue finale de l’accident : le naufrage…

    • Integrity of Nansen-class frigates questioned by Helge Ingstad investigation | Insurance Marine News
      https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/integrity-of-nansen-class-frigates-questioned-by-helge-ingstad-

      Meanwhile, during the weekend of December 1st and 2nd, the Coastal Administration continued monitoring the Helge Ingstad with daily inspections of the oil spill equipment. Patrol boat Bergen and anti-pollution vessel Utvær were in the area and had collected about 50m3 of oil mixture by December 1st. In total, about 90m3 of diesel mixed with water had been recovered by the Utvær.


  • Lyft Is Not Your Friend
    http://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/the-myth-of-the-woke-brand-uber-lyft-capitalism

    BY MEAGAN DAY
    Lyft is the latest brand trying to build market share by posing as a “progressive” corporation. But the fight can’t be good corporations against bad ones — it’s working people against capitalism.

    In early 2017, liberals hit on a new strategy to resist the nascent Trump administration: #DeleteUber.

    It started when New York City’s taxi drivers refused to service JFK airport to protest Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, and Uber was spotted leveraging the ensuing crisis for profit. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick came under fire for accepting an appointment to Trump’s economic advisory council. He announced his resignation from the council, but only weeks later a video leaked of Kalanick reprimanding a driver for his company.

    Amid various ensuing scandals, Kalanick stepped down as CEO of Uber, but by then millions of consumers had turned on the brand in protest, deleting the Uber app from their phone and opting instead for the rideshare giant’s rival Lyft.

    Lyft leaned in, eagerly branding itself as the progressive alternative to Uber by pledging a $1 million donation to the ACLU and trotting out celebrities to promote it as a company committed to “doing things for the right reasons.” Lyft, of course, operates on the same labor model as Uber — its drivers are not employees but independent contractors, and are therefore denied all the benefits and protections that workers receive under more ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, a new refrain rang out across liberaldom: “I don’t use Uber, I use Lyft.”

    What socialists understand that liberals don’t is that brands are corporate enterprises, and corporate enterprises are fundamentally motivated by the pursuit of profit — even in their ostentatious acts of charity and wokeness.

    Three surefire ways to maximize profit are: suppressing labor costs by paying workers as little as you can get away with, lobbying the state for deregulation and lower taxes, and opening new markets by finding new things to commodify and sell. Businesses will always pursue these avenues of profit maximization where they can. It’s not a matter of ethics but of market discipline: if they don’t, they run the risk of losing out to the competition and eventually capsizing.

    Sometimes corporations do things for publicity that make it seem like their interests are not fundamentally misaligned with those of the working-class majority, who rely on decent wages and well-funded public services. But those efforts are meant to sustain public confidence in a given corporation’s brand, which is occasionally necessary for keeping up profits, as Uber’s losses in 2017 demonstrate. When corporate profits come into direct conflict with active measures to improve people’s wellbeing, corporations will always select the former. Case in point: Lyft just donated $100k to the campaign against a ballot measure that would create a tax fund to house the homeless in San Francisco, where the company is based.

    Why did the progressive alternative to Uber do this? Well, because the company doesn’t want to pay higher taxes. Because high taxes imperil profits, and profits are the point. Another likely rationale is to build stronger bonds with pro-business advocacy groups in San Francisco, so that the company will have allies if the city decides to implement regulations against ride-sharing services, which is rumored to be a possibility.

    Lyft has already mastered the art of suppressing labor costs and opening new markets. Next on the wish list, low taxes and deregulation. It’s pretty formulaic when you get down to it.

    San Francisco is home to an estimated 7,500 homeless people. Proposition C would tap the large corporations that benefit from the city’s public infrastructure to double the city’s homelessness budget in an attempt to resolve the crisis. The corporations opposing Proposition C say that the move would imperil jobs. This is not an analysis, it’s a threat. What they’re saying is that if the city reaches too far into their pockets, they’ll take their business elsewhere, draining the region of jobs and revenue as punishment for government overreach. It’s a mobster’s insinuation: Nice economy, shame if something happened to it. Meanwhile thousands of people sleep in the streets, even though the money to shelter them is within the city’s borders.

    Of course, in every struggle over taxes and industry regulation there may be a few canny corporate outliers looking to ingratiate their brand to the public by bucking the trend. In the case of Proposition C, it’s Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff has made a public display of support for the ballot measure. But before you rush to praise Benioff, consider that only two months ago he lauded Trump’s tax cuts for fueling “aggressive spending” and injecting life into the economy.

    You could spend your life as an engaged consumer hopping from brand to brand, as liberals often do, pledging allegiance to this one and protesting that one to the beat of the new cycle drum. You could delete Lyft from your phone the same way you did with Uber, and find another rideshare app that you deem more ethical, until that one inevitably disappoints you too.

    Or you could press pause, stop scrambling for some superior consumption choice to ease your conscience, and entertain the socialist notion that deep down all corporations are objectively the same. They all exist to maximize return on investment for the people who own them. They are all in competition with each other to plunder our commons most effectively, with the lowest overhead, which means compensating the least for employees’ work. And when the rubber meets the road, they will all prioritize private profits over the wellbeing of those who own no productive assets, which is the vast majority of the people on the planet. They will demonstrate these priorities on a case-by-case basis, and on a massive global scale so long as capitalism prevails.

    “We’re woke,” said Lyft CEO John Zimmerman at the height of the Uber scandal. It was horseshit — it always is. And until liberals stop believing than any brand can be truly “woke,” or can offer a genuine alternative to the predatory behavior they observe in other “unwoke” brands, they’ll be unable to mount a meaningful resistance to anything.

    Whether we want to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of Flint or to shelter the homeless of San Francisco, we have to draw clear battle lines that are up to the challenge. The fight can’t be good corporations against bad corporations. It has to be working people against capitalism.

    #USA #Lyft #Uber #Arbeit


  • Facial image matching system risks ’chilling effect’ on freedoms, rights groups say
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/07/facial-image-matching-system-risks-chilling-effect-on-freedoms-rights-g

    System dubbed ‘the capability’ processes Australians’ information whether they are crime suspects or not Civil rights groups have warned a vast, powerful system allowing the near real-time matching of citizens’ facial images risks a “profound chilling effect” on protest and dissent. The technology – known in shorthand as “the capability” – collects and pools facial imagery from various state and federal government sources, including driver’s licences, passports and visas. The biometric information (...)

    #algorithme #CCTV #biométrie #facial #vidéo-surveillance #surveillance


  • 56,800 migrant dead and missing : ’They are human beings’

    One by one, five to a grave, the coffins are buried in the red earth of this ill-kept corner of a South African cemetery. The scrawl on the cheap wood attests to their anonymity: “Unknown B/Male.”

    These men were migrants from elsewhere in Africa with next to nothing who sought a living in the thriving underground economy of Gauteng province, a name that roughly translates to “land of gold.” Instead of fortune, many found death, their bodies unnamed and unclaimed — more than 4,300 in Gauteng between 2014 and 2017 alone.

    Some of those lives ended here at the Olifantsvlei cemetery, in silence, among tufts of grass growing over tiny placards that read: Pauper Block. There are coffins so tiny that they could belong only to children.

    As migration worldwide soars to record highs, far less visible has been its toll: The tens of thousands of people who die or simply disappear during their journeys, never to be seen again. In most cases, nobody is keeping track: Barely counted in life, these people don’t register in death , as if they never lived at all.

    An Associated Press tally has documented at least 56,800 migrants dead or missing worldwide since 2014 — almost double the number found in the world’s only official attempt to try to count them, by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration. The IOM toll as of Oct. 1 was more than 28,500. The AP came up with almost 28,300 additional dead or missing migrants by compiling information from other international groups, requesting forensic records, missing persons reports and death records, and sifting through data from thousands of interviews with migrants.

    The toll is the result of migration that is up 49 percent since the turn of the century, with more than 258 million international migrants in 2017, according to the United Nations. A growing number have drowned, died in deserts or fallen prey to traffickers, leaving their families to wonder what on earth happened to them. At the same time, anonymous bodies are filling cemeteries around the world, like the one in Gauteng.

    The AP’s tally is still low. More bodies of migrants lie undiscovered in desert sands or at the bottom of the sea. And families don’t always report loved ones as missing because they migrated illegally, or because they left home without saying exactly where they were headed.

    The official U.N. toll focuses mostly on Europe, but even there cases fall through the cracks. The political tide is turning against migrants in Europe just as in the United States, where the government is cracking down heavily on caravans of Central Americans trying to get in . One result is that money is drying up for projects to track migration and its costs.

    For example, when more than 800 people died in an April 2015 shipwreck off the coast of Italy, Europe’s deadliest migrant sea disaster, Italian investigators pledged to identify them and find their families. More than three years later, under a new populist government, funding for this work is being cut off.

    Beyond Europe, information is even more scarce. Little is known about the toll in South America, where the Venezuelan migration is among the world’s biggest today, and in Asia, the top region for numbers of migrants.

    The result is that governments vastly underestimate the toll of migration, a major political and social issue in most of the world today.

    “No matter where you stand on the whole migration management debate....these are still human beings on the move,” said Bram Frouws, the head of the Mixed Migration Centre , based in Geneva, which has done surveys of more than 20,000 migrants in its 4Mi project since 2014. “Whether it’s refugees or people moving for jobs, they are human beings.”

    They leave behind families caught between hope and mourning, like that of Safi al-Bahri. Her son, Majdi Barhoumi, left their hometown of Ras Jebel, Tunisia, on May 7, 2011, headed for Europe in a small boat with a dozen other migrants. The boat sank and Barhoumi hasn’t been heard from since. In a sign of faith that he is still alive, his parents built an animal pen with a brood of hens, a few cows and a dog to stand watch until he returns.

    “I just wait for him. I always imagine him behind me, at home, in the market, everywhere,” said al-Bahari. “When I hear a voice at night, I think he’s come back. When I hear the sound of a motorcycle, I think my son is back.”

    ———————————————————————

    EUROPE: BOATS THAT NEVER ARRIVE

    Of the world’s migration crises, Europe’s has been the most cruelly visible. Images of the lifeless body of a Kurdish toddler on a beach, frozen tent camps in Eastern Europe, and a nearly numbing succession of deadly shipwrecks have been transmitted around the world, adding to the furor over migration.

    In the Mediterranean, scores of tankers, cargo boats, cruise ships and military vessels tower over tiny, crowded rafts powered by an outboard motor for a one-way trip. Even larger boats carrying hundreds of migrants may go down when soft breezes turn into battering winds and thrashing waves further from shore.

    Two shipwrecks and the deaths of at least 368 people off the coast of Italy in October 2013 prompted the IOM’s research into migrant deaths. The organization has focused on deaths in the Mediterranean, although its researchers plead for more data from elsewhere in the world. This year alone, the IOM has found more than 1,700 deaths in the waters that divide Africa and Europe.

    Like the lost Tunisians of Ras Jebel, most of them set off to look for work. Barhoumi, his friends, cousins and other would-be migrants camped in the seaside brush the night before their departure, listening to the crash of the waves that ultimately would sink their raft.

    Khalid Arfaoui had planned to be among them. When the group knocked at his door, it wasn’t fear that held him back, but a lack of cash. Everyone needed to chip in to pay for the boat, gas and supplies, and he was short about $100. So he sat inside and watched as they left for the beachside campsite where even today locals spend the night before embarking to Europe.

    Propelled by a feeble outboard motor and overburdened with its passengers, the rubber raft flipped, possibly after grazing rocks below the surface on an uninhabited island just offshore. Two bodies were retrieved. The lone survivor was found clinging to debris eight hours later.

    The Tunisian government has never tallied its missing, and the group never made it close enough to Europe to catch the attention of authorities there. So these migrants never have been counted among the dead and missing.

    “If I had gone with them, I’d be lost like the others,” Arfaoui said recently, standing on the rocky shoreline with a group of friends, all of whom vaguely planned to leave for Europe. “If I get the chance, I’ll do it. Even if I fear the sea and I know I might die, I’ll do it.”

    With him that day was 30-year-old Mounir Aguida, who had already made the trip once, drifting for 19 hours after the boat engine cut out. In late August this year, he crammed into another raft with seven friends, feeling the waves slam the flimsy bow. At the last minute he and another young man jumped out.

    “It didn’t feel right,” Aguida said.

    There has been no word from the other six — yet another group of Ras Jebel’s youth lost to the sea. With no shipwreck reported, no survivors to rescue and no bodies to identify, the six young men are not counted in any toll.

    In addition to watching its own youth flee, Tunisia and to a lesser degree neighboring Algeria are transit points for other Africans north bound for Europe. Tunisia has its own cemetery for unidentified migrants, as do Greece, Italy and Turkey. The one at Tunisia’s southern coast is tended by an unemployed sailor named Chamseddin Marzouk.

    Of around 400 bodies interred in the coastal graveyard since it opened in 2005, only one has ever been identified. As for the others who lie beneath piles of dirt, Marzouk couldn’t imagine how their families would ever learn their fate.

    “Their families may think that the person is still alive, or that he’ll return one day to visit,” Marzouk said. “They don’t know that those they await are buried here, in Zarzis, Tunisia.”

    ——————

    AFRICA: VANISHING WITHOUT A TRACE

    Despite talk of the ’waves’ of African migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean, as many migrate within Africa — 16 million — as leave for Europe. In all, since 2014, at least 18,400 African migrants have died traveling within Africa, according to the figures compiled from AP and IOM records. That includes more than 4,300 unidentified bodies in a single South African province, and 8,700 whose traveling companions reported their disappearance en route out of the Horn of Africa in interviews with 4Mi.

    When people vanish while migrating in Africa, it is often without a trace. The IOM says the Sahara Desert may well have killed more migrants than the Mediterranean. But no one will ever know for sure in a region where borders are little more than lines drawn on maps and no government is searching an expanse as large as the continental United States. The harsh sun and swirling desert sands quickly decompose and bury bodies of migrants, so that even when they turn up, they are usually impossible to identify .

    With a prosperous economy and stable government, South Africa draws more migrants than any other country in Africa. The government is a meticulous collector of fingerprints — nearly every legal resident and citizen has a file somewhere — so bodies without any records are assumed to have been living and working in the country illegally. The corpses are fingerprinted when possible, but there is no regular DNA collection.

    South Africa also has one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime and police are more focused on solving domestic cases than identifying migrants.

    “There’s logic to that, as sad as it is....You want to find the killer if you’re a policeman, because the killer could kill more people,” said Jeanine Vellema, the chief specialist of the province’s eight mortuaries. Migrant identification, meanwhile, is largely an issue for foreign families — and poor ones at that.

    Vellema has tried to patch into the police missing persons system, to build a system of electronic mortuary records and to establish a protocol where a DNA sample is taken from every set of remains that arrive at the morgue. She sighs: “Resources.” It’s a word that comes up 10 times in a half-hour conversation.

    So the bodies end up at Olifantsvlei or a cemetery like it, in unnamed graves. On a recent visit by AP, a series of open rectangles awaited the bodies of the unidentified and unclaimed. They did not wait long: a pickup truck drove up, piled with about 10 coffins, five per grave. There were at least 180 grave markers for the anonymous dead, with multiple bodies in each grave.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is working with Vellema, has started a pilot project with one Gauteng morgue to take detailed photos, fingerprints, dental information and DNA samples of unidentified bodies. That information goes to a database where, in theory, the bodies can be traced.

    “Every person has a right to their dignity. And to their identity,” said Stephen Fonseca, the ICRC regional forensic manager.

    ————————————

    THE UNITED STATES: “THAT’S HOW MY BROTHER USED TO SLEEP”

    More than 6,000 miles (9,000 kilometers) away, in the deserts that straddle the U.S.-Mexico border, lie the bodies of migrants who perished trying to cross land as unforgiving as the waters of the Mediterranean. Many fled the violence and poverty of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador or Mexico. Some are found months or years later as mere skeletons. Others make a last, desperate phone call and are never heard from again.

    In 2010 the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and the local morgue in Pima County, Ariz., began to organize efforts to put names to the anonymous bodies found on both sides of the border. The “Border Project” has since identified more than 183 people — a fraction of the total.

    At least 3,861 migrants are dead and missing on the route from Mexico to the United States since 2014, according to the combined AP and IOM total. The tally includes missing person reports from the Colibri Center for Human Rights on the U.S. side as well as the Argentine group’s data from the Mexican side. The painstaking work of identification can take years, hampered by a lack of resources, official records and coordination between countries — and even between states.

    For many families of the missing, it is their only hope, but for the families of Juan Lorenzo Luna and Armando Reyes, that hope is fading.

    Luna, 27, and Reyes, 22, were brothers-in-law who left their small northern Mexico town of Gomez Palacio in August 2016. They had tried to cross to the U.S. four months earlier, but surrendered to border patrol agents in exhaustion and were deported.

    They knew they were risking their lives — Reyes’ father died migrating in 1995, and an uncle went missing in 2004. But Luna, a quiet family man, wanted to make enough money to buy a pickup truck and then return to his wife and two children. Reyes wanted a job where he wouldn’t get his shoes dirty and could give his newborn daughter a better life.

    Of the five who left Gomez Palacio together, two men made it to safety, and one man turned back. The only information he gave was that the brothers-in-law had stopped walking and planned to turn themselves in again. That is the last that is known of them.

    Officials told their families that they had scoured prisons and detention centers, but there was no sign of the missing men. Cesaria Orona even consulted a fortune teller about her missing son, Armando, and was told he had died in the desert.

    One weekend in June 2017, volunteers found eight bodies next to a military area of the Arizona desert and posted the images online in the hopes of finding family. Maria Elena Luna came across a Facebook photo of a decaying body found in an arid landscape dotted with cactus and shrubs, lying face-up with one leg bent outward. There was something horribly familiar about the pose.

    “That’s how my brother used to sleep,” she whispered.

    Along with the bodies, the volunteers found a credential of a boy from Guatemala, a photo and a piece of paper with a number written on it. The photo was of Juan Lorenzo Luna, and the number on the paper was for cousins of the family. But investigators warned that a wallet or credential could have been stolen, as migrants are frequently robbed.

    “We all cried,” Luna recalled. “But I said, we cannot be sure until we have the DNA test. Let’s wait.”

    Luna and Orona gave DNA samples to the Mexican government and the Argentine group. In November 2017, Orona received a letter from the Mexican government saying that there was the possibility of a match for Armando with some bone remains found in Nuevo Leon, a state that borders Texas. But the test was negative.

    The women are still waiting for results from the Argentine pathologists. Until then, their relatives remain among the uncounted.

    Orona holds out hope that the men may be locked up, or held by “bad people.” Every time Luna hears about clandestine graves or unidentified bodies in the news, the anguish is sharp.

    “Suddenly all the memories come back,” she said. “I do not want to think.”

    ————————

    SOUTH AMERICA: “NO ONE WANTS TO ADMIT THIS IS A REALITY”

    The toll of the dead and the missing has been all but ignored in one of the largest population movements in the world today — that of nearly 2 million Venezuelans fleeing from their country’s collapse. These migrants have hopped buses across the borders, boarded flimsy boats in the Caribbean, and — when all else failed — walked for days along scorching highways and freezing mountain trails. Vulnerable to violence from drug cartels, hunger and illness that lingers even after reaching their destination, they have disappeared or died by the hundreds.

    “They can’t withstand a trip that hard, because the journey is very long,” said Carlos Valdes, director of neighboring Colombia’s national forensic institute. “And many times, they only eat once a day. They don’t eat. And they die.” Valdes said authorities don’t always recover the bodies of those who die, as some migrants who have entered the country illegally are afraid to seek help.

    Valdes believes hypothermia has killed some as they trek through the mountain tundra region, but he had no idea how many. One migrant told the AP he saw a family burying someone wrapped in a white blanket with red flowers along the frigid journey.

    Marta Duque, 55, has had a front seat to the Venezuela migration crisis from her home in Pamplona, Colombia. She opens her doors nightly to provide shelter for families with young children. Pamplona is one of the last cities migrants reach before venturing up a frigid mountain paramo, one of the most dangerous parts of the trip for migrants traveling by foot. Temperatures dip well below freezing.

    She said inaction from authorities has forced citizens like her to step in.

    “Everyone just seems to pass the ball,” she said. “No one wants to admit this is a reality.”

    Those deaths are uncounted, as are dozens in the sea. Also uncounted are those reported missing in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. In all at least 3,410 Venezuelans have been reported missing or dead in a migration within Latin America whose dangers have gone relatively unnoticed; many of the dead perished from illnesses on the rise in Venezuela that easily would have found treatment in better times.

    Among the missing is Randy Javier Gutierrez, who was walking through Colombia with a cousin and his aunt in hopes of reaching Peru to reunite with his mother.

    Gutierrez’s mother, Mariela Gamboa, said that a driver offered a ride to the two women, but refused to take her son. The women agreed to wait for him at the bus station in Cali, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) ahead, but he never arrived. Messages sent to his phone since that day four months ago have gone unread.

    “I’m very worried,” his mother said. “I don’t even know what to do.”

    ———————————

    ASIA: A VAST UNKNOWN

    The region with the largest overall migration, Asia, also has the least information on the fate of those who disappear after leaving their homelands. Governments are unwilling or unable to account for citizens who leave for elsewhere in the region or in the Mideast, two of the most common destinations, although there’s a growing push to do so.

    Asians make up 40 percent of the world’s migrants, and more than half of them never leave the region. The Associated Press was able to document more than 8,200 migrants who disappeared or died after leaving home in Asia and the Mideast, including thousands in the Philippines and Indonesia.

    Thirteen of the top 20 migration pathways from Asia take place within the region. These include Indian workers heading to the United Arab Emirates, Bangladeshis heading to India, Rohingya Muslims escaping persecution in Myanmar, and Afghans crossing the nearest border to escape war. But with large-scale smuggling and trafficking of labor, and violent displacements, the low numbers of dead and missing indicate not safe travel but rather a vast unknown.

    Almass was just 14 when his widowed mother reluctantly sent him and his 11-year-old brother from their home in Khost, Afghanistan, into that unknown. The payment for their trip was supposed to get them away from the Taliban and all the way to Germany via a chain of smugglers. The pair crammed first into a pickup with around 40 people, walked for a few days at the border, crammed into a car, waited a bit in Tehran, and walked a few more days.

    His brother Murtaza was exhausted by the time they reached the Iran-Turkey border. But the smuggler said it wasn’t the time to rest — there were at least two border posts nearby and the risk that children far younger travelling with them would make noise.

    Almass was carrying a baby in his arms and holding his brother’s hand when they heard the shout of Iranian guards. Bullets whistled past as he tumbled head over heels into a ravine and lost consciousness.

    Alone all that day and the next, Almass stumbled upon three other boys in the ravine who had also become separated from the group, then another four. No one had seen his brother. And although the younger boy had his ID, it had been up to Almass to memorize the crucial contact information for the smuggler.

    When Almass eventually called home, from Turkey, he couldn’t bear to tell his mother what had happened. He said Murtaza couldn’t come to the phone but sent his love.

    That was in early 2014. Almass, who is now 18, hasn’t spoken to his family since.

    Almass said he searched for his brother among the 2,773 children reported to the Red Cross as missing en route to Europe. He also looked for himself among the 2,097 adults reported missing by children. They weren’t on the list.

    With one of the world’s longest-running exoduses, Afghans face particular dangers in bordering countries that are neither safe nor welcoming. Over a period of 10 months from June 2017 to April 2018, 4Mi carried out a total of 962 interviews with Afghan migrants and refugees in their native languages around the world, systematically asking a series of questions about the specific dangers they had faced and what they had witnessed.

    A total of 247 migrant deaths were witnessed by the interviewed migrants, who reported seeing people killed in violence from security forces or starving to death. The effort is the first time any organization has successfully captured the perils facing Afghans in transit to destinations in Asia and Europe.

    Almass made it from Asia to Europe and speaks halting French now to the woman who has given him a home in a drafty 400-year-old farmhouse in France’s Limousin region. But his family is lost to him. Their phone number in Afghanistan no longer works, their village is overrun with Taliban, and he has no idea how to find them — or the child whose hand slipped from his grasp four years ago.

    “I don’t know now where they are,” he said, his face anguished, as he sat on a sun-dappled bench. “They also don’t know where I am.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/global-lost-56800-migrants-dead-missing-years-58890913
    #décès #morts #migrations #réfugiés #asile #statistiques #chiffres #monde #Europe #Asie #Amérique_latine #Afrique #USA #Etats-Unis #2014 #2015 #2016 #2017 #2018
    ping @reka @simplicissimus


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

    Dara Kerr/CNET

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

    The answer was an emphatic “yes.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The scooters have definitely changed how some people live.

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

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

    Yikes! Clipped brakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I asked Ghadieh if the scooters still work without brakes.

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

    Especially in a city with lots of hills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Tweaker chop shops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    #USA #transport #disruption #SDF



  • A New Study Shows How Mushrooms Could Save Bees. Yes, Mushrooms. – Mother Jones
    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/10/a-new-study-shows-how-mushrooms-could-save-bees-yes-mushrooms

    Over the past decade, the honeybee story has been the stuff of science fiction. Back in 2006, beekeepers first noticed their honeybees were mysteriously dying off in huge numbers, with no clear cause. For some, a whopping 30 to 90 percent of their colonies were disappearing, especially on the East Coast. Worker bees were abandoning their queens and leaving hives full of honey. That first winter, beekeepers nationwide lost about a third of their colonies. Since then, the numbers haven’t improved.

    Researchers now call this ongoing phenomenon “colony collapse disorder,” but scientists still haven’t identified a singular cause. They say it’s a combination of factors: pollution, habitat loss, herbicides, and viruses, though some experts believe viruses may be the primary driver. For instance, “deformed wing virus,” which causes bees to develop disfigured, nonfunctional wings, can be nasty, and, like other viruses, is transferred to bees by parasitic mites. Until now, scientists haven’t developed any antiviral treatments to protect the bees.

    But in a landmark study published Thursday in Nature journal Scientific Reports, researchers revealed they’ve discovered the first-ever “vaccine” for bees, procured from an unexpected source: mushrooms. Specifically, it’s mycelia—cobweb-like fungal membranes found in and on soil—from two species, “tinder fungus” and Red Reishi mushrooms.

    #abeilles #champignons


  • The impact of ride-hailing on vehicle miles traveled | SpringerLink
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11116-018-9923-2

    Ride-haling such as #Uber and #Lyft are changing the ways people travel. Despite widespread claims that these services help reduce driving, there is little research on this topic. This research paper uses a quasi-natural experiment in the Denver, Colorado, region to analyze basic impacts of ride-hailing on transportation efficiency in terms of deadheading, vehicle occupancy, mode replacement, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Realizing the difficulty in obtaining data directly from Uber and Lyft, we designed a quasi-natural experiment—by one of the authors driving for both companies—to collect primary data. This experiment uses an ethnographic and survey-based approach that allows the authors to gain access to exclusive data and real-time passenger feedback. The dataset includes actual travel attributes from 416 ride-hailing rides—Lyft, UberX, LyftLine, and UberPool—and travel behavior and socio-demographics from 311 passenger surveys. For this study, the conservative (lower end) percentage of deadheading miles from ride-hailing is 40.8%. The average vehicle occupancy is 1.4 passengers per ride, while the distance weighted vehicle occupancy is 1.3 without accounting for deadheading and 0.8 when accounting deadheading. When accounting for mode replacement and issues such as driver deadheading, we estimate that ride-hailing leads to approximately 83.5% more VMT than would have been driven had ride-hailing not existed. Although our data collection focused on the Denver region, these results provide insight into the impacts of ride-hailing.

    En résumé : un chercheur se fait chauffeur de VTC pour établir un jeu de données sur les trajets. Ces données montrent que le nombre total de miles est très largement supérieur à celui qui aurait eu lieu sans ces services, car il faut compter la distance parcourue par le chauffeur tout seul quand il part travailler, tourne en ville ou rejoint le point de rendez-vous. Et comme la plupart des voyageurs sont seuls et sur des trajectoires courtes, ils auraient pu aller à pied, en vélo ou en transports en commun.

    (article dispo sur sci-hub si vous voulez éviter de payer 45$)

    #urban_matter #transport #taxi #voiture


  • Uber to pay $148 million in data breach settlement
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/26/uber-to-pay-148-million-in-data-breach-settlement

    Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to settle a data breach that affected some 57 million customers in 2016. The agreement was with the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to resolve their legal inquiries on this matter, Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West said in a statement released Wednesday. The data breach affected 50 million riders and 7 million drivers ; around 600,000 driver license numbers for U.S. drivers were also included in the breach. Uber’s (...)

    #Uber #données #procès #hacking


  • CppCast Episode 168: CppCon Preview with Bryce Adelstein Lelbach
    http://isocpp.org/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Posts&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fisocpp.org%2Fblog%2F2

    Episode 168 of CppCast the only podcast for C++ developers by C++ developers. In this episode Rob and Jason are joined by Bryce Adelstein Lelbach to discuss his work on the upcoming CppCon conference, his thoughts on the graphics proposal and more.

    CppCast Episode 168: CppCon Preview with Bryce Adelstein Lelbach by Rob Irving and Jason Turner

    About the interviewee:

    Bryce Adelstein Lelbach is a software engineer on the CUDA driver team at NVIDIA. Bryce is passionate about parallel programming. He maintains Thrust, the CUDA C++ core library. He is also one of the initial developers of the HPX C++ runtime system. He spent five years working on HPX while he was at Louisiana State University’s Center for ComCppputation and Technology, and three years at Lawrence Berkeley (...)

    #News,Video&_On-Demand,


  • Israel’s forgotten hero: The assassination of Count Bernadotte - and the death of peace
    He was charged by the UN with bringing peace to Palestine– but died at the hands of Jewish assassins. Now, 60 years after his death, the memory of the Swedish aristocrat Folke Bernadotte is dividing Israel.
    Donald Macintyre | @indyvoices | Thursday 18 September 2008
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israels-forgotten-hero-the-assassination-of-count-bernadotte-and-the-
    https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2008/09/17/20/54569.bin

    Sitting in the back seat, the blue-blooded Swedish aristocrat and the decorated French hero of two world wars had begun to relax from the tension of the journey as the big Chrysler, the last of a three-car convoy, started its final ascent up the narrow road through the now Jewish-occupied district of Katamon, towards Rehavia and the house of the Jerusalem military governor. No one in the first car, a DeSoto, least of all the Israeli captain assigned to escort the VIPs, showed much concern when a new-looking Israeli army jeep slewed across the road to bring the convoy to a halt: just another temporary checkpoint. As three soldiers in standard Israel Defence Forces khaki shorts, fingers on triggers, approached the DeSoto; the three young Swedes and a Belgian in the passenger seats, groped for their papers. “It’s OK boys,” the Israeli officer explained. “Let us pass. It’s the UN mediator.”

    At that moment, one of the three men ran to the Chrysler, pushed the barrel of his German-made Schmeisser MP40 sub-machine gun through the open rear window, and pumped six bullets into the chest, throat and left arm of the aristocrat and another 18 into the body of the French colonel sitting on his left. Rushing out of the first car, the Israeli captain, Moshe Hillman, ran back to the Chrysler. Aghast at the sight of the copiously bleeding bodies he kept repeating: “My God, oh my God,” before jumping in beside the driver, a UN security man recruited from the FBI, and telling him to head straight for the Hadassah hospital. But Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN mediator officially charged with bringing peace to a Holy Land at war, and his chief UN observer Colonel Andre Serot, who had only swapped places with Hillman at the last minute so that he could personally thank the count for saving his wife from a Nazi concentration camp three years earlier, were dead on arrival.

    The assassination of Bernadotte by Jewish militants disguised as regular soldiers on 17 September 1948, was commemorated in a series of Swedish and UN ceremonies in Jerusalem, Stockholm and New York yesterday. But no blue Israeli plaque marks the spot, as it does for so many military and Jewish underground exploits of the period. (...)


  • CppCon Preview with Bryce Adelstein Lelbach
    http://cppcast.libsyn.com/cppcon-preview-with-bryce-adelstein-lelbach

    Rob and Jason are joined by Bryce Adelstein Lelbach to discuss his work on the upcoming CppCon conference, his thoughts on the graphics proposal and more. Bryce Adelstein Lelbach is a software engineer on the CUDA driver team at NVIDIA. Bryce is passionate about parallel programming. He maintains Thrust, the CUDA C++ core library. He is also one of the initial developers of the HPX C++ runtime system. He spent five years working on HPX while he was at Louisiana State University’s Center for ComCppputation and Technology, and three years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (a US Department of Energy research facility) developing and analyzing new parallel programming models for exascale and post-Moore architectures. He also helped start the LLVMLinux initiative, and has (...)

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/cppcast/cppcast-168.mp3?dest-id=282890


  • Opinion | The Federal Agency That Fuels the Opioid Crisis - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/17/opinion/drugs-dea-defund-heroin.html

    Every day, nearly 200 people across the country die from drug overdoses. Opioids have been the primary driver of this calamity: first as prescription painkillers, then heroin and, more recently, illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The death toll has risen steadily over the past two decades.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency that most directly oversees access to opioids, deserves much of the blame for these deaths. Because of its incompetence, the opioid crisis has gone from bad to worse. The solution: overhauling the agency, or even getting rid of it entirely.

    A decade into the crisis, more and more prescription drug users turned to the black market. Even though the D.E.A. had tried to “eradicate” illicit drugs for nearly 50 years, users could easily buy stolen and counterfeit pills, along with a cheaper option, heroin. Soon, some began injecting. Outbreaks of H.I.V. and hepatitis C followed. Meanwhile, people who sought evidence-based treatment were rarely able to access it because of the agency’s evolving regulatory and enforcement strategies, like blocking the expansion of mobile methadone clinics and shutting down addiction treatment providers without arranging alternatives for affected patients.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration has had over 40 years to win the war on drugs. Instead its tactics have fueled the opioid crisis. To finally make a dent in this national emergency, we need to rethink the agency from the bottom up.

    Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, is the faculty director of the Health in Justice Action Lab, where Jeremiah Goulka is a senior fellow.

    #Opioides #DEA #War_on_drug


  • Classifying #drivers of #global_forest_loss | Science
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6407/1108/tab-figures-data

    #Mapping global #deforestation patterns
    Forest loss is being driven by various factors, including commodity production, forestry, agriculture, wildfire, and urbanization. Curtis et al. used high-resolution Google Earth imagery to map and classify global forest loss since 2001. Just over a quarter of global forest loss is due to deforestation through permanent land use change for the production of commodities, including beef, soy, palm oil, and wood fiber. Despite regional differences and efforts by governments, conservationists, and corporations to stem the losses, the overall rate of commodity-driven deforestation has not declined since 2001.

    Abstract
    Global maps of forest loss depict the scale and magnitude of forest disturbance, yet companies, governments, and nongovernmental organizations need to distinguish permanent conversion (i.e., deforestation) from temporary loss from forestry or wildfire. Using satellite imagery, we developed a forest loss classification model to determine a spatial attribution of forest disturbance to the dominant drivers of land cover and land use change over the period 2001 to 2015. Our results indicate that 27% of global forest loss can be attributed to deforestation through permanent land use change for commodity production. The remaining areas maintained the same land use over 15 years; in those areas, loss was attributed to forestry (26%), shifting agriculture (24%), and wildfire (23%). Despite corporate commitments, the rate of commodity-driven deforestation has not declined. To end deforestation, companies must eliminate 5 million hectares of conversion from supply chains each year.


  • Sobriété numérique imposée : merci LinkedIn ! – Jean-Marc Jancovici
    https://jancovici.com/publications-et-co/bric-a-brac/sobriete-numerique-imposee-merci-linkedin

    Driver: are you a robot, or a human?
    Cop: I say I am a human, but actually you have no way to check (and some reasons to doubt it because occasionally I omit a word – or add an extra one – in a sentence). But if you ever trespass again a limit that you do not know, I will act as a robot, applying my own (ill-)logic without any feeling.

    Many thanks to Kafka, Orwell, Terry Gilliam and Ubu Roi.