publishedmedium:the new york times

  • For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One’ - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/us/edray-goins-black-mathematicians.html

    Fewer than 1 percent of doctorates in math are awarded to African-Americans. Edray Goins, who earned one of them, found the upper reaches of the math world a challenging place.

    #recherche #mathématiques #racisme



  • JPMorgan Chase Moves to Be First Big U.S. Bank With Its Own Cryptocurrency - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/business/dealbook/jpmorgan-cryptocurrency-bitcoin.html

    In 2017, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, declared Bitcoin a “fraud” and said that any employee caught trading it would be fired for being “stupid.”

    On Thursday, JPMorgan became the first major United States bank to introduce its own digital token for real-world use, the latest step in Wall Street’s evolving approach to the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

    Despite questioning Bitcoin’s legitimacy, Mr. Dimon has said he recognizes blockchain’s potential in the future of the global financial system. And JPMorgan has already released a blockchain platform, Quorum, that several institutions are using to keep track of financial data.

    The bank’s token is unlikely to shake up the financial system anytime soon. Because it will be run by JPMorgan, it lacks the fundamental qualities that have made cryptocurrencies so radical: the freedom from middlemen and from regulatory oversight.

    JPMorgan will control the JPM Coin ledger, and each coin will be backed by a dollar in JPMorgan accounts, giving the coins a stable value. That means JPM Coin will not be subject to the wild price volatility that has drawn speculators to other cryptocurrencies.

    The bank is following in the footsteps of several smaller players that have introduced similar digital coins tied to the dollar. A consortium of European banks has been finalizing a similar product, Utility Settlement Coin, that would make it possible to move money between banks more quickly. Several cryptocurrency exchanges already have their own so-called stablecoins.

    The advantage of such a token, Mr. Farooq said, is speed. Clients that want to move huge sums of money would traditionally need to do so via wire transfer, a process that could take hours or even days. With international transfers, changes in currency exchange rates during the long lag times could end up adding to customers’ costs.

    Mr. Farooq said JPMorgan’s offering would be useful for big clients, but not for the smaller speculators who have typically taken an interest in cryptocurrencies.

    “This is designed specifically for institutional use cases on blockchain,” he said. “It’s not created to be for public investment.”

    #Cryptomonnaies #Banques #Spéculation


  • India Proposes Chinese-Style Internet Censorship - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/technology/india-internet-censorship.html

    NEW DELHI — India’s government has proposed giving itself vast new powers to suppress internet content, igniting a heated battle with global technology giants and prompting comparisons to censorship in China.

    Under the proposed rules, Indian officials could demand that Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and others remove posts or videos that they deem libelous, invasive of privacy, hateful or deceptive. Internet companies would also have to build automated screening tools to block Indians from seeing “unlawful information or content.” Another provision would weaken the privacy protections of messaging services like WhatsApp so that the authorities could trace messages back to their original senders.

    Hum, pas forcément très différent de l’Article 13... quand les Le Pen (équivalent français de Narandra Modi) seront au pouvoir... Pas simple tout ça. Et puis si la Chine n’est plus la seule a devenir le repoussoir universel, où va-t-on ?

    Working independently as well as through trade groups, Microsoft, Facebook and dozens of other tech companies are fighting back against the proposals. They criticized the rules as technically impractical and said they were a sharp departure from how the rest of the world regulates “data intermediaries,” a term for companies that host data provided by their customers and users.

    In most countries, including under India’s existing laws, such intermediaries are given a “safe harbor.” That means they are exempted from responsibility for illegal or inappropriate content posted on their services, as long as they remove it once notified by a court or another designated authority.

    In a filing with the ministry last week, Microsoft said that complying with India’s new standards would be “impossible from the process, legal and technology point of view.”

    Officials have offered little public explanation for the proposals, beyond a desire to curb the kind of false rumors about child kidnappers that spread on WhatsApp a year ago and that incited angry mobs to kill two dozen innocent people. That wave of violence has since subsided.

    The coming national election has added urgency to the proposals. India’s Election Commission, which administers national and state elections, is considering a ban on all social media content and ads aimed at influencing voters for the 48 hours before voting begins, according to an internal report obtained by the news media. To buttress its legal authority to order such a ban, the commission wrote to the I.T. ministry last week asking it to amend the new rules to specifically prohibit online content that violates election laws or commission orders.

    C’est comme si ça me rappelait quelque chose...

    Et puis, le Alibaba local est dans la boucle. Y’a que les européens qui n’ont pas champion local à opposer aux GAFAM.

    One of the biggest cheerleaders for the new rules was Reliance Jio, a fast-growing mobile phone company controlled by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest industrialist. Mr. Ambani, an ally of Mr. Modi, has made no secret of his plans to turn Reliance Jio into an all-purpose information service that offers streaming video and music, messaging, money transfer, online shopping, and home broadband services.

    In a filing last week, Reliance Jio said the new rules were necessary to combat “miscreants” and urged the government to ignore free-speech protests. The company also said that encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp, “although perceivably beneficial to users, are detrimental to national interest and hence should not be allowed.”

    Entre les architectures toxiques des plateformes et la toxicité des lois liberticides, on est malbarre.

    #Inde #Censure #Médias_sociaux #Article_13


  • Gifts Tied to Opioid Sales Invite a Question : Should Museums Vet Donors ? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/arts/design/sackler-museum-donations-oxycontin-purdue-pharma.html

    The New York Times surveyed 21 cultural organizations listed on tax forms as having received significant sums from foundations run by two Sackler brothers who led Purdue. Several, including the Guggenheim, declined to comment; others, like the Brooklyn Museum, ignored questions. None indicated that they would return donations or refuse them in the future.

    “We regularly assess our funding activities to ensure best practice,” wrote Zoë Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was listed as receiving about $13.1 million from the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation in 2012. “The Sackler family continue to be an important and valuable donor to the V & A and we are grateful for their ongoing support.”

    De l’usage de la philanthropie comme écran de fumée

    Robert Josephson, a spokesman for the company, pointed to its efforts to stem the opioid epidemic — distributing prescription guidelines, developing abuse-deterrent painkillers and ensuring access to overdose-reversal medication — and noted that OxyContin has never had a large share of total opioid prescriptions. In an email, he added, “Many leading medical, scientific, cultural and educational institutions throughout the world have been beneficiaries of Sackler family philanthropy.”

    #Sackler #Philanthropie #Opioides #Musées


  • Israeli Leader Sees ’Common Interest’ in Confronting Iran - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/02/13/world/middleeast/ap-ml-mideast-meeting-israel.html

    Israel’s prime minister on Wednesday sent out a belligerent rallying cry to his Arab partners at a U.S.-backed Mideast conference, saying he planned to focus on the “common interest” of confronting Iran.

    Netanyahu made the comments during an off-the-cuff interview with reporters on a Warsaw street, shortly after meeting Oman’s foreign minister.

    Un tweet vite effacé est encore plus explicite :


  • Opinion | My Father Faces the Death Penalty. This Is Justice in Saudi Arabia. - The New York Times

    The kingdom’s judiciary is being pushed far from any semblance of the rule of law and due process.

    By Abdullah Alaoudh

    Mr. Alaoudh is a legal scholar at Georgetown University.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/opinion/saudi-arabia-judiciary.html

    Despite the claims of Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his enablers, Saudi Arabia is not rolling back the hard-line religious establishment. Instead, the kingdom is curtailing the voices of moderation that have historically combated extremism. Numerous Saudi activists, scholars and thinkers who have sought reform and opposed the forces of extremism and patriarchy have been arrested. Many of them face the death penalty.

    Salman Alodah, my father, is a 61-year-old scholar of Islamic law in Saudi Arabia, a reformist who argued for greater respect for human rights within Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Quran. His voice was heard widely, partly owing to his popularity as a public figure with 14 million followers on Twitter.
    The author’s father, Salman Alodah, has been held in solitary confinement since 2017.CreditFamily photograph
    Image
    The author’s father, Salman Alodah, has been held in solitary confinement since 2017.CreditFamily photograph

    On Sept. 10, 2017, my father, who was disturbed by regional tensions after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar, spoke obliquely about the conflict and expressed his desire for reconciliation. “May Allah mend their hearts for the best of their peoples,” he tweeted.

    A few hours after his tweet, a team from the Saudi security services came to our house in Riyadh, searched the house, confiscated some laptops and took my father away.

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    The Saudi government was apparently angered and considered his tweet a criminal violation. His interrogators told my father that his assuming a neutral position on the Saudi-Qatar crisis and failing to stand with the Saudi government was a crime.

    He is being held in solitary confinement in Dhahban prison in Jidda. He was chained and handcuffed for months inside his cell, deprived of sleep and medical help and repeatedly interrogated throughout the day and night. His deteriorating health — high blood pressure and cholesterol that he developed in prison — was ignored until he had to be hospitalized. Until the trial, about a year after his arrest, he was denied access to lawyers.

    On Sept. 4, a specialized criminal court in Riyadh convened off-camera to consider the numerous charges against my father: stirring public discord and inciting people against the ruler, calling for change in government and supporting Arab revolutions by focusing on arbitrary detention and freedom of speech, possessing banned books and describing the Saudi government as a tyranny. The kingdom’s attorney general sought the death penalty for him.

    Saudi Arabia has exploited the general indifference of the West toward its internal politics and presented the crackdown against reformist figures like my father as a move against the conservative religious establishment. The reality is far from their claims.

    My father is loved by the Saudi people because his authority and legitimacy as an independent Muslim scholar set him apart from the state-appointed scholars. Using Islamic principles to support his arguments, he championed civil liberties, participatory politics, the separation of powers and judicial independence.


  • A tiny Swiss company that thinks it can help stop climate change (h...
    https://diasp.eu/p/8514041

    A tiny Swiss company that thinks it can help stop climate change

    Two European entrepreneurs think they can remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter. Article word count: 6675

    HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19142536 Posted by pseudolus (karma: 10419) Post stats: Points: 154 - Comments: 142 - 2019-02-12T11:00:29Z

    #HackerNews #can #change #climate #company #help #stop #swiss #that #thinks #tiny

    Article content:

    Image Christoph Gebald, left, and Jan Wurzbacher, the founders of Climeworks, at their plant in Hinwil, Switzerland.CreditCreditLuca Locatelli for The New York Times

    Feature

    Two European entrepreneurs think they can remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter.

    Christoph Gebald, left, and Jan Wurzbacher, the (...)


  • A Tidal Wave of Mud - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/09/world/americas/brazil-dam-collapse.html

    The deluge of toxic mud stretched for five miles, crushing homes, offices and people — a tragedy, but hardly a surprise, experts say.

    This article is by Shasta Darlington, James Glanz, Manuela Andreoni, Matthew Bloch, Sergio Peçanha, Anjali Singhvi and Troy Griggs.

    There are 88 mining dams in Brazil built like the one that failed — enormous reservoirs of mining waste held back by little more than walls of sand and silt. And all but four of the dams have been rated by the government as equally vulnerable, or worse.

    Even more alarming, at least 28 sit directly uphill from cities or towns, with more than 100,000 people living in especially risky areas if the dams failed, an estimate by The New York Times found.

    #Brésil #barrages #catastrophe #extraction_minière


  • Spotify. It’s Not Just for Music Anymore. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/business/dealbook/spotify-gimlet-anchor-podcasts.html

    No longer does it aim to be a go-to destination for just music fans. It now sees itself as a provider of online audio, period.

    The company’s chief executive, Daniel Ek, emphasized the shift in direction in a blog post on Wednesday. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but what I didn’t know when we launched to consumers in 2008 was that audio — not just music — would be the future of Spotify,” he wrote.

    With the acquisitions, Spotify becomes the latest player to invest in a medium once considered a low-stakes sandbox in the larger media environment. Now that podcasts have become part of the listening routine for millions of people, major companies have recognized them as an important — but still relatively cheap — source of content.

    In September, the radio giant iHeartMedia bought Stuff Media, another influential producer, and recently Hollywood has begun buying up rights to popular podcasts. “Homecoming,” an Amazon series starring Julia Roberts, is based on a fictional podcast from Gimlet.

    “I don’t think Spotify woke up one day and realized that audio storytelling has some incredible emotional place in the life of their brand,” said Owen Grover, the chief executive of Pocket Casts, a podcast app. “Strategically, if they can get their users to listen to podcasts in place of music, it improves their margins.”

    While podcasts are hardly a new invention — they became part of Apple’s iTunes in 2005 — their popularity has surged in recent years. By some estimates, more than 600,000 podcasts are available through Apple, a number that does not include shows that are exclusive to other providers, like Spotify.

    But while it may seem as if every other person on earth is either a podcast listener or a podcast host, the money thrown off by the boomlet has been relatively modest. According to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC, the podcast industry as a whole generated $314 million in 2017, though that survey also predicts that by 2020 the number will more than double, to $659 million.

    Spotify, which went public in April, announced on Wednesday that it ended 2018 with 207 million active users around the world, 96 million of whom paid for monthly subscriptions. Its revenue for the year was 5.3 billion euros, about $6 billion, an increase of 29 percent from 2017.

    And while in 2018 the company lost €78 million, about $89 million, it had a net income of €442 million, or about $502 million, in its fourth quarter. Spotify’s gross profit margin also grew in that quarter, to 26.7 percent, from 25.3 percent in the previous three months.

    Despite Spotify’s dominance among music listeners (its chief rival, Apple Music, has 50 million paying subscribers), Mr. Ek, the company’s chief executive, predicted that “over time,” about 20 percent of all Spotify listening would involve something other than music.

    #Culture_numérique #Podcast #Spotify



  • The Simplest Way to Drastically Improve Your Life: More Sleep - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/smarter-living/how-to-get-better-sleep.html


    Bonne nuit.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called sleep deprivation a public health crisis, saying that one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep. Some 80 percent of people report sleep problems at least once per week, and according to a 2016 study, sleep deprivation “causes more than $400 billion in economic losses annually in the United States and results in 1.23 million lost days of work each year.”

    If that’s not enough, here is a non-comprehensive list of the ways your sleep deprivation is personally harming you:

    Your overall cognitive performance — particularly your visual attention and ability to form memories — deteriorates. (More colloquially, this is that “brain fog” we all experience after a late night.)

    Your ability to learn new information is impaired, both by sleep deprivation before you learn new information and afterward.

    You’re less likely to correctly read facial expressions, even interpreting some expressions — even neutral ones — as threatening.

    You’re likely to be more cranky and react worse when presented with obstacles.

    Beyond your severely impaired mental abilities, your body is affected, too: A lack of adequate sleep can contribute to weight gain, puts you at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease, and makes you far less resistant to the common cold.

    That is insane! All of this from just not getting enough sleep!

    So what are we to do?
    ...
    First, learn how much sleep you need. Generally, if you’re waking up tired, you’re not getting enough.

    #wtf #sommeil


  • The Gay Penguins of Australia - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/style/gay-penguins-australia.html

    It was a young penguin colony, and all but one of the couples were pretty bad parents.

    They would get distracted from their nests, go for a swim or play, and so neglected eggs were getting cold, likely never to hatch. This was normal for inexperienced penguins, and the aquarium managers didn’t worry. Next mating season would be better.

    One couple, though, was extraordinary. Not because they were the colony’s only gay penguins, though they were, but because Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly.

    Curious, the aquarium managers gave the two males a dummy egg. They took to it. And so then, when a particularly negligent heterosexual penguin couple looked to be leaving an egg exposed (females lay two, but usually only one survives), the aquarium workers figured they would give it to Sphen and Magic.

    In October, that egg hatched. Now the chick of a gay penguin union is waddling around an ice enclosure by the touristy docks in Sydney.


  • Opioid Lawsuits Are Headed to Trial. Here’s Why the Stakes Are Getting Uglier. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/health/opioid-lawsuits-settlement-trial.html

    Uncontested: The devastation from prescription opioids has been deadly and inordinately expensive.

    Contested: Who should foot the bill?

    Just over a year ago, opioid lawsuits against makers and distributors of the painkillers were proliferating so rapidly that a judicial panel bundled all the federal cases under the stewardship of a single judge. On a January morning, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio made his opening remarks to lawyers for nearly 200 municipal governments gathered in his Cleveland courtroom. He wanted the national opioid crisis resolved with a meaningful settlement within a year, proclaiming, “We don’t need briefs and we don’t need trials.”

    That year is up.

    Far from being settled, the litigation has ballooned to 1,548 federal court cases, brought on behalf of cities and counties, 77 tribes, hospitals, union benefit funds, infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome and others — in total, millions of people. With a potential payday amounting to tens of billions of dollars, it has become one of the most complicated and gargantuan legal battles in American history.

    With settlement talks sputtering, the judge has signed off on a parallel track involving, yes, briefs, focused on, yes, trial. He will preside over three consolidated Ohio lawsuits in what is known as a “bellwether,” or test case. The array of defendants include Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt PLC, CVS RX Services Inc. and Cardinal Health, Inc. That jury’s verdict could determine whether the parties will then negotiate in earnest or keep fighting.

    The plaintiffs have long said that the companies deliberately looked the other way at the improbable quantities. But the lawyers did not have the hard numbers in hand to bolster their claims.

    Now they do.

    For the time being, the judge will not release the data to the public. But a passage from a congressional report gives a sense of the granular information in the data: during 10 months in 2007, one distributor, McKesson, shipped three million prescription opioids to a single pharmacy in a West Virginia town with 400 residents.

    Typically, patients who sue for medical malpractice or product liability must turn over their own medical records as proof. They forfeit conventional privacy rights.

    Here, the overwhelming majority of plaintiffs are government entities, not individuals. They are seeking to be reimbursed for the accumulated costs of drug addiction and its collateral damage. The defendants want them to produce precise evidence showing how those costs are calculated, including the chain of events — for example, from a drug’s development, to its delivery, to a pharmacy-filled prescription to, eventually, bills from hospitals and others.
    What on Earth Is Going On?

    That means the drug industry is asking for patients’ records and for every prescription the plaintiffs deemed medically “suspicious.” The plaintiffs are pushing back, saying that the depleted municipal budgets for health, social services and law enforcement paint a more telling picture.

    Why drug companies could have an upper hand

    Lawyers on both sides agree: This litigation presents a slew of novel legal issues.

    If the bellwether ends in a victory for plaintiffs, appeals courts, increasingly filled with conservative judges, would be unlikely to uphold all of Judge Polster’s rulings on these untested legal questions, much less a whopping, emotional jury award. Complexity favors the defense.

    And in settlement negotiations, the long game is the defense’s best friend: they can afford to drag this out. Typically, the longer it slogs on, the more the final tab gets driven down.

    #Opioides #Procès


  • Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/your-complete-guide-to-the-n-y-times-support-of-u-s-backed-coups-in-latin-

    A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here.

    Covert involvement of the United States, by the CIA or other intelligence services, isn’t mentioned in any of the Times’ editorials on any of the coups. Absent an open, undeniable U.S. military invasion (as in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Grenada), things seem to happen in Latin American countries entirely on their own, with outside forces rarely, if ever, mentioned in the Times. Obviously, there are limits to what is “provable” in the immediate aftermath of such events (covert intervention is, by definition, covert), but the idea that the U.S. or other imperial actors could have stirred the pot, funded a junta or run weapons in any of the conflicts under the table is never entertained.

    (bourré de citations accablantes...) #venezuela #medias

    • More often than not, what one is left with, reading Times editorials on these coups, are racist, paternalistic “cycle of violence” cliches. Sigh, it’s just the way of things Over There. When reading these quotes, keep in mind the CIA supplied and funded the groups that ultimately killed these leaders:

      – Brazil 1964: “They have, throughout their history, suffered from a lack of first class rulers.”
      – Chile 1973: “No Chilean party or faction can escape some responsibility for the disaster, but a heavy share must be assigned to the unfortunate Dr. Allende himself.”
      – Argentina 1976: “It was typical of the cynicism with which many Argentines view their country’s politics that most people in Buenos Aires seemed more interested in a soccer telecast Tuesday night than in the ouster of President Isabel Martinez de Perlin by the armed forces. The script was familiar for this long‐anticipated coup.”

      See, it didn’t matter! It’s worth pointing out the military junta put in power by the CIA-contrived coup killed 10,000 to 30,000 Argentines from 1976 to 1983.


  • Why Vietnam Appeals as Possible Host for Trump-Kim Summit - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/world/asia/trump-kim-summit-vietnam.html

    Vietnam, a former enemy of South Korea and the United States, has joined the global economy and become a strategic ally and robust trading partner for both countries.

    Vietnam and South Korea normalized relations in 1992, and Hanoi is now Seoul’s fourth-largest trading partner after China, the United States and Japan, with two-way trade valued last year at $62.6 billion.

    Vietnam and the United States normalized relations in 1995, two decades after North Vietnam defeated the American-backed South Vietnamese regime to end the Vietnam War. From 1995 to 2016 — a period of heady economic growth in Vietnam — trade between the United States and Vietnam grew to nearly $52 billion from $451 million. Hanoi is now among Washington’s fastest-growing export markets.


  • Scientists Are Teaching the Body to Accept New Organs - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/health/organ-transplants-immune-system.html

    #Greffe d’organes sans recours aux (ou arrêt à terme des) #immunosuppresseurs.

    The idea is to isolate regulatory T cells from a patient about to have a liver or kidney transplant. Then scientists attempt to grow them in the lab along with cells from the donor.

    Then the T cells are infused back to the patient. The process, scientists hope, will teach the immune system to accept the donated organ as part of the patient’s body.

    “The new T cells signal the rest of the immune system to leave the organ alone,” said Angus Thomson, director of transplant immunology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

    Dr. Markmann, working with liver transplant patients, and Dr. Leventhal, working with kidney transplant patients, are starting studies using regulatory T cells.

    At Pittsburgh, the plan is to modify a different immune system cell, called regulatory dendritic cells. Like regulatory T cells, they are rare and enable the rest of the immune system to distinguish self from non-self.

    One advantage of regulatory dendritic cells is that researchers do not have to isolate them and grow them in sufficient quantities. Instead, scientists can prod a more abundant type of cell — immature white blood cells — to turn into dendritic cells in petri dishes.

    “It takes one week to generate dendritic cells,” Dr. Thomson said. In contrast, it can take weeks to grow enough regulatory T cells.

    The regulatory T cells also have to remain in the bloodstream to control the immune response, while dendritic cells need not stay around long — they control the immune system during a brief journey through the circulation.

    “Each of us is taking advantage of a different approach,” Dr. Markmann said. “It is not clear yet which is best. But the field is at a fascinating point.”


  • Venezuela Military Backs Maduro, as Moscow Warns U.S. Not to Intervene - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/24/world/americas/russia-venezuela-trump-pence.html

    CARACAS, Venezuela — The leader of Venezuela’s armed forces declared loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday and said the opposition’s effort to replace him with a transitional government amounted to an attempted coup.

    The pronouncement by the defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, came a day after an opposition lawmaker proclaimed himself the country’s rightful leader during nationwide antigovernment protests and pleaded with the armed forces to abandon Mr. Maduro.

    The defense minister’s declaration was a setback for the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, whose claim to legitimacy has been backed by a number of countries, including the United States. In a further blow to the opposition, Russia warned the United States on Thursday against meddling in Venezuela, a longtime Kremlin ally.

    “Any external intervention is very dangerous,” Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, told reporters in Moscow. “We consider the attempt to usurp the top power in Venezuela as going against the foundations and principles of the international law.”


  • Opinion | There’s Nothing Wrong With Open Borders - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/open-borders-immigration.html

    The internet expands the bounds of acceptable discourse, so ideas considered out of bounds not long ago now rocket toward widespread acceptability. See: cannabis legalization, government-run health care, white nationalism and, of course, the flat-earthers.

    #migration #asile #états-unis


  • To Help Digitize and Preserve the Sound of Stradivarius Violins, a City in Italy Has Gone Silent | Open Culture
    http://www.openculture.com/2019/01/to-help-digitize-and-forever-preserve-the-sound-of-stradivarius-violins

    We all have respect, even awe, for the name #Stradivarius, even those of us who have never held a violin, let alone played one. The violins — as well as violas, cellos, and other string instruments, including guitars — made by members of the Stradivari family 300 years ago have become symbols of pure sonic quality, still not quite replicable with even 21st-century technology, with rarity and prices to match. But to truly understand the preciousness of the Stradivarius, look not to the auction house but to the northern Italian city of Cremona, home of the Museo del Violino and its collection of some of the best-preserved examples of the 650 surviving Stradivarius instruments in the world.

    “Cremona is home to the workshops of some of the world’s finest instrument makers, including Antonio Stradivari, who in the 17th and 18th centuries produced some of the finest violins and cellos ever made,” writes The New York Times’ Max Paradiso.

    #musique #violon



  • A Rift Over Power and Privilege in the Women’s March - The New York Times / The Daily
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/podcasts/the-daily/womens-march-anti-semitism.html?rref=vanity

    After the divisiveness of the 2016 election, the Women’s March became a major symbol of unity. But two years later, a rift in the movement has grown.

    *Accusations of anti-Semitism against leaders of the Women’s March organization are overshadowing plans for more marches.

    *Much of the recent controversy has centered on one leader’s ties with Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam.

    *As a result of the conflict, two competing protests of the Trump administration will be held in New York City on Saturday.


  • Khashoggi Killing Detailed in New Book: ‘We Came to Take You to Riyadh’ - The New York Times

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/world/middleeast/khashoggi-killing-book.html

    By Carlotta Gall

    Jan. 17, 2019

    ISTANBUL — A new book written by three Turkish reporters and drawing on audio recordings of the killing of a Saudi expatriate, Jamal Khashoggi, offers new details about an encounter that began with a demand that he return home and ended in murder and dismemberment.

    “First we will tell him ‘We are taking you to Riyadh,’” one member of a Saudi hit team told another, the book claims. “If he doesn’t come, we will kill him here and get rid of the body.”

    Turkish officials have cited the recordings, saying they captured the death of Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, in his Oct. 2 visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. And intelligence officials leaked some details in a campaign to force Saudi Arabia to own up to the crime.

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    But the new book offers the most comprehensive description to date of what is on those recordings. It sets the scene as a team of Saudi operatives lay their plans before Mr. Khashoggi arrives, and then recounts what happened next.
    A security guard at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after Mr. Khashoggi was killed there.CreditChris Mcgrath/Getty Images
    Image
    A security guard at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after Mr. Khashoggi was killed there.CreditChris Mcgrath/Getty Images

    The three journalists, Abdurrahman Simsek, Nazif Karaman and Ferhat Unlu, work for an investigative unit at the pro-government newspaper Sabah, and are known for their close ties to Turkish intelligence. They said that they did not have access to the audio recordings but were briefed by intelligence officials who did.

    A Turkish security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed separately that the details described in the book were accurate. The book, “Diplomatic Atrocity: The Dark Secrets of the Jamal Khashoggi Murder,” is written in Turkish and went on sale in December.


  • 3 Officers Acquitted of Covering Up for Colleague in Laquan McDonald Killing - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/us/laquan-mcdonald-officers-acquitted.html

    CHICAGO — Three Chicago police officers were acquitted on Thursday of charges that they had conspired and lied to protect a white police officer who fired 16 deadly shots into a black teenager, a contentious verdict in a case over what many viewed as a “code of silence” in the Police Department.

    The judgment, rendered in a tense, cramped courtroom overflowing with spectators, was delivered by a judge and not a jury. Speaking from the bench for close to an hour, Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson rejected the prosecutors’ arguments that the officers had shooed away witnesses and then created a narrative to justify the 2014 shooting, which prompted citywide protests, the firing of the police chief and a wide-ranging federal investigation into the police force.

    The ruling came more than three months after Officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted in October of the second-degree murder of Laquan McDonald, and on the afternoon before he was scheduled to be sentenced for a killing that was captured on an infamous police dashboard camera video.

    The three police officers — David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney — contradicted what the video showed. In it, Mr. Van Dyke fires repeatedly at Laquan, who is wielding a knife, as he moves slightly away from the officers and even as he lies crumpled on the ground. Prosecutors cited that footage repeatedly as they built a case against the officers, who are white, on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice.

    Et cette merveilleuse pénétration des « faits alternatifs » dans le domaine de la preuve juridique :

    Judge Stephenson said that even though the officers’ accounts of the shooting differed from the video, that did not amount to proof that they were lying. “Two people with two different vantage points can witness the same event,” she said, and still describe it differently.

    La mafia (FOP ?) attend le jugement d’une complice dans l’appareil (ou de quelqu’un tenu) :

    It was “undisputed and undeniable,” Judge Stephenson said, that Laquan had ignored officers’ commands to drop his knife. While she spoke, the three officers sat silently, sometimes staring down at the carpet or nervously jiggling a leg. After she read the verdict, several people broke into applause.

    On croit rêver !!! Police partout, justice nulle part. Des applaudissements dans un tribunal !. La mafia...

    “There was clearly evidence from the video that Laquan McDonald was not attacking or seeking to attack any of the law enforcement officers,” Mr. Finney said. “How could they all three make up a story indicating that Laquan was threatening their lives?”

    Si cela ne vous rappelle pas les excuses de ce policier de Toulon qui vient d’être décoré de la légion d’honneur, et l’attitude du procureur en France, c’est que vous passez à côté d’un phénomène majeur : l’autonomisation de la police dans le monde entier, avec l’Amérique et son soft power (livres, films,...) comme modèle.

    There were no protests after the verdicts were read, and William Calloway, a prominent Chicago activist who is running for City Council, urged Chicagoans to refrain. “To the black community, I know this hurts,” he said on Twitter. “We know this was a cover-up. I’m not saying take to the streets anymore. It’s time for us to take to the polls.”

    “That blue code of silence is just not with the Chicago Police Department: It expands to the judicial system,” Mr. Calloway said at a news conference.

    On Friday morning, the courts are scheduled for the final chapter in the Laquan case — a killing that came amid national protests and a spate of police shootings of black people. A Facebook group implored a “call to action”: “In room 500 at 9 a.m., show up to stand in solidarity with organizers and the family of Laquan McDonald as we demand, again, #Justice4Laquan.”

    #faits_alternatifs #Police #Justice


  • O.K., #Google: How Much Money Have I Made for You Today? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/books/review-age-of-surveillance-capitalism-shoshana-zuboff.html

    A friend of mine says that whenever he walks into someone’s home he’s tempted to yell out, “Hey, Alexa,” or “O.K., Google,” and order 50 pizzas, just to see if there’s a device listening in on whatever gossip he planned to dish out next.

    Shoshana Zuboff would undoubtedly get the joke, but she probably wouldn’t laugh. In “The Age of #Surveillance Capitalism,” she warns against mistaking the soothing voice of a personal digital assistant for “anything other than the exploitation of your needs.” The cliché that “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product” isn’t alarming enough for her. She likens the big tech platforms to elephant poachers, and our personal data to ivory tusks. “You are not the product,” she says. “You are the abandoned carcass.”

    #silicon_valley #capitalisme