publishedmedium:the washington post

  • Democrats and Republicans Passing Soft Regulations - The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/06/democrats-and-republicans-passing-soft-regulations/592558

    Your face is no longer just your face—it’s been augmented. At a football game, your face is currency, used to buy food at the stadium. At the mall, it is a ledger, used to alert salespeople to your past purchases, both online and offline, and shopping preferences. At a protest, it is your arrest history. At the morgue, it is how authorities will identify your body.

    Facial-recognition technology stands to transform social life, tracking our every move for companies, law enforcement, and anyone else with the right tools. Lawmakers are weighing the risks versus rewards, with a recent wave of proposed regulation in Washington State, Massachusetts, Oakland, and the U.S. legislature. In May, Republicans and Democrats in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform heard hours of testimony about how unregulated facial recognition already tracks protesters, impacts the criminal-justice system, and exacerbates racial biases. Surprisingly, they agreed to work together to regulate it.

    The Microsoft president Brad Smith called for governments “to start adopting laws to regulate this technology” last year, while the Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy echoed those comments in June, likening the technology to a knife. It’s a less dramatic image than the plutonium and nuclear-waste metaphors critics employ, but his message—coming from an executive at one of the world’s most powerful facial-recognition technology outfits—is clear: This stuff is dangerous.

    But crucially, Jassy and Smith seem to argue, it’s also inevitable. In calling for regulation, Microsoft and Amazon have pulled a neat trick: Instead of making the debate about whether facial recognition should be widely adopted, they’ve made it about how such adoption would work.

    Without regulation, the potential for misuse of facial-recognition technology is high, particularly for people of color. In 2016 the MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini published research showing that tech performs better on lighter-skinned men than on darker-skinned men, and performs worst on darker-skinned women. When the ACLU matched Congress members against a criminal database, Amazon’s Rekognition software misidentified black Congress members more often than white ones, despite there being far fewer black members.

    This includes House Chairman Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore native whose face was also scanned when he attended a 2015 rally in memory of Freddie Gray, the unarmed black teenager who died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody. The Baltimore Police Department used facial recognition to identify protesters and target any with outstanding warrants. Most of the protesters were black, meaning the software used on them might have been less accurate, increasing the likelihood of misidentification. Expert witnesses at the committee hearing in May warned of a chilling effect: Protesters, wary of being identified via facial recognition and matched against criminal databases, could choose to stay home rather than exercise their freedom of assembly.

    Microsoft and Amazon both claim to have lessened the racial disparity in accuracy since the original MIT study and the ACLU’s report. But fine-tuning the technology to better recognize black faces is only part of the process: Perfectly accurate technology could still be used to support harmful policing, which affects people of color. The racial-accuracy problem is a distraction; how the technology is used matters, and that’s where policy could prevent abuse. And the solution Microsoft and Amazon propose would require auditing face recognition for racial and gender biases after they’re already in use—which might be too late.

    In early May, The Washington Post reported that police were feeding forensic sketches to their facial-recognition software. A witness described a suspect to a sketch artist, then police uploaded the sketch to Amazon’s Rekognition, looking for hits, and eventually arrested someone. Experts at the congressional hearing in May were shocked that a sketch submitted to a database could credibly qualify as enough reasonable suspicion to arrest someone.

    Read: Half of American adults are in police facial-recognition databases

    But Jassy, the Amazon Web Services CEO, claimed that Amazon has never received a report of police misuse. In May, Amazon shareholders voted down a proposal that would ban the sale of Rekognition to police, and halt sales to law enforcement and ICE. Jassy said that police should only rely on Rekognition results when the system is 99 percent confident in the accuracy of a match. This is a potentially critical safeguard against misidentification, but it’s just a suggestion: Amazon doesn’t require police to adhere to this threshold, or even ask. In January, Gizmodo quoted an Oregon sheriff’s official saying his department ignores thresholds completely. (“There has never been a single reported complaint from the public and no issues with the local constituency around their use of Rekognition,” a representative from Amazon said, in part, in a statement to Gizmodo.)

    #Reconnaissance_faciale #Libertés #Espace_public #Etat_policier

  • Venezuela : maintenir l’opposition unie, c’est Mission Impossible,…
    (Mike Pompeo, …)

    Secretary of State Pompeo says uniting Venezuelan opposition ‘devilishly difficult’ - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/exclusive-pompeo-opens-up-about-venezuelas-opposition-says-keeping-it-united-has-proven-devilishly-difficult/2019/06/05/85385a33-8eae-4ba5-a9ac-6b7b8c3d5762_story.html


    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accompanied by Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez, visits a center for displaced Venezuelans in Cúcuta, Colombia, on April 14, 2019.
    (Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters)

    Exclusive: In secret recording, Pompeo opens up about Venezuelan opposition, says keeping it united ‘has proven devilishly difficult’

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a candid assessment of Venezuela’s opposition during a closed-door meeting in New York last week, saying that the opponents of President Nicolás Maduro are highly fractious and that U.S. efforts to keep them together have been more difficult than is publicly known.

    “Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult,” Pompeo said in an audio recording obtained by The Washington Post. “The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.”

    The remarks provide a rare window into the challenges the Trump administration faces as the momentum to oust Maduro stalls and some of the countries that initially backed the opposition explore alternative diplomatic paths to resolve the crisis.

  • Extreme weather has made half of America look like Tornado Alley - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/05/29/extreme-weather-has-made-half-america-look-like-tornado-alley

    Tornadoes have been popping up every day in the U.S. as if coming off an assembly line. They’re part of an explosion of extreme weather events, including record flooding, record cold and record heat. Wednesday brought more of the same, with tornado watches in the Midwest and Atlantic seaboard and 37 million Americans facing an “enhanced” risk of severe weather, according to the National Weather Service.

    All of which raises the question: Is this climate change, or just an unusually bad year?

    For years, scientists have warned that climate change caused by human activity — primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the spike in atmospheric greenhouse gases — would make extreme weather events more likely. But tornadoes have never fit neatly into the climate change narrative. They’re eccentric and quirky. Until this year, the U.S. was in something of a tornado drought.

    Twisters seem to follow a boom-and-bust cycle. There weren’t many tornadoes in 2018. So far this century, two years — 2008 and 2011 — jump off the charts, each with more than 2,000 reported tornadoes. This year, there have been nearly 1,000.

    The immediate driver of the violent weather is the jet stream, the powerful winds at high altitudes that sweep west to east across North America. The jet stream since May 14 has created conditions ripe for twisters. Seven deaths have been reported so far in the tornado assault of May. That’s a low death toll compared to some tornado seasons, but the steady, percussive nature of the storms — the daily pounding — has been anomalous.

    The Economic Cost Of Devastating Hurricanes And Other Extreme Weather Events Is Even Worse Than We Thought
    https://theconversation.com/the-economic-cost-of-devastating-hurricanes-and-other-extreme-weath

    June marks the official start of hurricane season. If recent history is any guide, it will prove to be another destructive year thanks to the worsening impact of climate change.

    But beyond more intense hurricanes and explosive wildfires, the warming climate has been blamed for causing a sharp uptick in all types of extreme weather events across the country, such as severe flooding across the U.S. this spring and extensive drought in the Southwest in recent years.

    #climat #tornades #etats-unis

  • ICC submission calls for prosecution of EU over migrant deaths

    Member states should face punitive action over deaths in Mediterranean, say lawyers.

    The EU and member states should be prosecuted for the deaths of thousands of migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean fleeing Libya, according to a detailed legal submission to the international criminal court (ICC).

    The 245-page document calls for punitive action over the EU’s deterrence-based migration policy after 2014, which allegedly “intended to sacrifice the lives of migrants in distress at sea, with the sole objective of dissuading others in similar situation from seeking safe haven in Europe”.

    The indictment is aimed at the EU and the member states that played a prominent role in the refugee crisis: Italy, Germany and France.

    The stark accusation, that officials and politicians knowingly created the “world’s deadliest migration route” resulting in more than 12,000 people losing their lives, is made by experienced international lawyers.

    The two main authors of the submission are Juan Branco, who formerly worked at the ICC as well as at France’s foreign affairs ministry, and Omer Shatz, an Israeli lawyer who teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris.
    Most refugees in Libyan detention centres at risk – UN
    Read more

    The allegation of “crimes against humanity” draws partially on internal papers from Frontex, the EU organisation charged with protecting the EU’s external borders, which, the lawyers say, warned that moving from the successful Italian rescue policy of Mare Nostrum could result in a “higher number of fatalities”.

    The submission states that: “In order to stem migration flows from Libya at all costs … and in lieu of operating safe rescue and disembarkation as the law commands, the EU is orchestrating a policy of forced transfer to concentration camps-like detention facilities [in Libya] where atrocious crimes are committed.”

    The switch from Mare Nostrum to a new policy from 2014, known as Triton (named after the Greek messenger god of the sea), is identified as a crucial moment “establishing undisputed mens rea [mental intention] for the alleged offences”.

    It is claimed that the evidence in the dossier establishes criminal liability within the jurisdiction of the ICC for “causing the death of thousands of human beings per year, the refoulement [forcible return] of tens of thousands migrants attempting to flee Libya and the subsequent commission of murder, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts against them”.

    The Triton policy introduced the “most lethal and organised attack against civilian population the ICC had jurisdiction over in its entire history,” the legal document asserts. “European Union and Member States’ officials had foreknowledge and full awareness of the lethal consequences of their conduct.”

    The submission does not single out individual politicians or officials for specific responsibility but does quote diplomatic cables and comments from national leaders, including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.

    The office of the prosecutor at the ICC is already investigating crimes in Libya but the main focus has been on the Libyan civil war, which erupted in 2011 and led to the removal of Muammar Gaddafi. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, has, however, already mentioned inquiries into “alleged crimes against migrants transiting through Libya”.

    The Mare Nostrum search and rescue policy launched in October 2013, the submission says, was “in many ways hugely successful, rescuing 150,810 migrants over a 364-day period”.

    Criticism of the policy began in mid-2014 on the grounds, it is said, that it was not having a sufficient humanitarian impact and that there was a desire to move from assistance at sea to assistance on land.

    “EU officials sought to end Mare Nostrum to allegedly reduce the number of crossings and deaths,” the lawyers maintain. “However, these reasons should not be considered valid as the crossings were not reduced. And the death toll was 30-fold higher.”

    The subsequent policy, Triton, only covered an “area up to 30 nautical miles from the Italian coastline of Lampedusa, leaving around 40 nautical miles of key distress area off the coast of Libya uncovered,” the submission states. It also deployed fewer vessels.

    It is alleged EU officials “did not shy away from acknowledging that Triton was an inadequate replacement for Mare Nostrum”. An internal Frontex report from 28 August 2014, quoted by the lawyers, acknowledged that “the withdrawal of naval assets from the area, if not properly planned and announced well in advance – would likely result in a higher number of fatalities.”

    The first mass drownings cited came on 22 January and 8 February 2015, which resulted in 365 deaths nearer to the Libyan coast. It is alleged that in one case, 29 of the deaths occurred from hypothermia during the 12-hour-long transport back to the Italian island of Lampedusa. During the “black week” of 12 to 18 April 2015, the submission says, two successive shipwrecks led to the deaths of 1,200 migrants.

    As well as drownings, the forced return of an estimated 40,000 refugees allegedly left them at risk of “executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses” in militia-controlled camps in Libya.

    “European Union officials were fully aware of the treatment of the migrants by the Libyan Coastguard and the fact that migrants would be taken ... to an unsafe port in Libya, where they would face immediate detention in the detention centers, a form of unlawful imprisonment in which murder, sexual assault, torture and other crimes were known by the European Union agents and officials to be common,” the submission states.

    Overall, EU migration policies caused the deaths of “thousands civilians per year in the past five years and produced about 40,000 victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the court in the past three years”, the report states.

    The submission will be handed in to the ICC on Monday 3 June.

    An EU spokesperson said the union could not comment on “non-existing” legal actions but added: “Our priority has always been and will continue to be protecting lives and ensuring humane and dignified treatment of everyone throughout the migratory routes. It’s a task where no single actor can ensure decisive change alone.

    “All our action is based on international and European law. The European Union dialogue with Libyan authorities focuses on the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees, on promoting the work of UNHCR and IOM on the ground, and on pushing for the development of alternatives to detention, such as the setting up of safe spaces, to end the systematic and arbitrary detention system of migrants and refugees in Libya.

    “Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean need to follow international law, and responsibility depends on where they take place. EU operations cannot enter Libya waters, they operate in international waters. SAR operations in Libyan territorial waters are Libyan responsibility.”

    The spokesperson added that the EU has “pushed Libyan authorities to put in place mechanisms improving the treatment of the migrants rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jun/03/icc-submission-calls-for-prosecution-of-eu-over-migrant-deaths
    #justice #décès #CPI #mourir_en_mer #CPI #cour_pénale_internationale

    ping @reka @isskein @karine4

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les sauvetages en Méditerranée :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/706177

    • L’Union Européenne devra-t-elle un jour répondre de « crimes contre l’Humanité » devant la Cour Pénale Internationale ?

      #Crimes_contre_l'humanité, et #responsabilité dans la mort de 14 000 migrants en 5 années : voilà ce dont il est question dans cette enquête menée par plusieurs avocats internationaux spécialisés dans les Droits de l’homme, déposée aujourd’hui à la CPI de la Haye, et qui pourrait donc donner lieu à des #poursuites contre des responsables actuels des institutions européennes.

      La démarche fait l’objet d’articles coordonnés ce matin aussi bien dans le Spiegel Allemand (https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-in-libyen-rechtsanwaelte-zeigen-eu-in-den-haag-an-a-1270301.htm), The Washington Post aux Etats-Unis (https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-in-libyen-rechtsanwaelte-zeigen-eu-in-den-haag-an-a-1270301.htm), El Pais en Espagne (https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/06/02/actualidad/1559497654_560556.html), The Guardian en Grande-Bretagne, et le Monde, cet après-midi en France... bref, ce qui se fait de plus retentissant dans la presse mondiale.

      Les auteurs de ce #plaidoyer, parmi lesquels on retrouve le français #Juan_Branco ou l’israélien #Omer_Shatz, affirment que Bruxelles, Paris, Berlin et Rome ont pris des décisions qui ont mené directement, et en connaissance de cause, à la mort de milliers de personnes. En #Méditerrannée, bien sûr, mais aussi en #Libye, où la politique migratoire concertée des 28 est accusée d’avoir « cautionné l’existence de centres de détention, de lieux de tortures, et d’une politique de la terreur, du viol et de l’esclavagisme généralisé » contre ceux qui traversaient la Libye pour tenter ensuite de rejoindre l’Europe.

      Aucun dirigeant européen n’est directement nommé par ce réquisitoire, mais le rapport des avocats cite des discours entre autres d’#Emmanuel_Macron, d’#Angela_Merkel. Il évoque aussi, selon The Guardian, des alertes qui auraient été clairement formulées, en interne par l’agence #Frontex en particulier, sur le fait que le changement de politique européenne en 2014 en Méditerranée « allait conduire à une augmentation des décès en mer ». C’est ce qui s’est passé : 2014, c’est l’année-bascule, celle où le plan Mare Nostrum qui consistait à organiser les secours en mer autour de l’Italie, a été remplacé par ce partenariat UE-Libye qui, selon les auteurs de l’enquête, a ouvert la voix aux exactions que l’on sait, et qui ont été documentées par Der Spiegel dans son reportage publié début mai, et titré « Libye : l’enfer sur terre ».

      A présent, dit Juan Branco dans The Washington Post (et dans ce style qui lui vaut tant d’ennemis en France), c’est aux procureurs de la CPI de dire « s’ils oseront ou non » remonter aux sommet des responsabilités européennes. J’en terminerai pour ma part sur les doutes de cet expert en droit européen cité par El Pais et qui « ne prédit pas un grand succès devant la Cour » à cette action.

      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/revue-de-presse-internationale/la-revue-de-presse-internationale-emission-du-lundi-03-juin-2019
      #UE #Europe #EU #droits_humains

    • Submission to ICC condemns EU for ‘crimes against humanity’

      EU Commission migration spokesperson Natasha Bertaud gave an official statement regarding a recently submitted 245-page document to the International Criminal Court by human rights lawyers Juan Branco and Omer Shatz on June 3, 2019. The case claimed the EU and its member states should face punitive action for Libyan migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. The EU says these deaths are not a result of EU camps, rather the dangerous and cruel routes on which smugglers take immigrants. Bertaud said the EU’s track record on saving lives “has been our top priority, and we have been working relentlessly to this end.” Bertaud said an increase in EU operations in the Mediterranean have resulted in a decrease in deaths in the past 4 years. The accusation claims that EU member states created the “world’s deadliest migration route,” which has led to more than 12,000 migrant deaths since its inception. Branco and Shatz wrote that the forcible return of migrants to Libyan camps and the “subsequent commission of murder, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts against them,” are the grounds for this indictment. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron were named specifically as those knowingly supporting these refugee camps, which the lawyers explicitly condemned in their report. The EU intends to maintain its presence on the Libyan coast and aims to create safer alternatives to detention centers.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=28&v=AMGaKDNxcDg

    • Migration in the Mediterranean: why it’s time to put European leaders on trial

      In June this year two lawyers filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) naming European Union member states’ migration policies in the Mediterranean as crimes against humanity.

      The court’s Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, must decide whether she wants to open a preliminary investigation into the criminality of Europe’s treatment of migrants.

      The challenge against the EU’s Mediterranean migrant policy is set out in a 245-page document prepared by Juan Branco and Omer Shatz, two lawyer-activists working and teaching in Paris. They argue that EU migration policy is founded in deterrence and that drowned migrants are a deliberate element of this policy. The international law that they allege has been violated – crimes against humanity – applies to state policies practiced even outside of armed conflict.

      Doctrinally and juridically, the ICC can proceed. The question that remains is political: can and should the ICC come after its founders on their own turf?

      There are two reasons why the answer is emphatically yes. First, the complaint addresses what has become a rights impasse in the EU. By taking on an area stymying other supranational courts, the ICC can fulfil its role as a judicial institution of last resort. Second, by turning its sights on its founders (and funders), the ICC can redress the charges of neocolonialism in and around Africa that have dogged it for the past decade.
      ICC legitimacy

      The ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court. Founded in 2002, it currently has 122 member states.

      So far, it has only prosecuted Africans. This has led to persistent critiques that it is a neocolonial institution that “only chases Africans” and only tries rebels. In turn, this has led to pushback against the court from powerful actors like the African Union, which urges its members to leave the court.

      The first departure from the court occurred in 2017, when Burundi left. The Philippines followed suit in March of this year. Both countries are currently under investigation by the ICC for state sponsored atrocities. South Africa threatened withdrawal, but this seems to have blown over.

      In this climate, many cheered the news of the ICC Prosecutor’s 2017 request to investigate crimes committed in Afghanistan. As a member of the ICC, Afghanistan is within the ICC’s jurisdiction. The investigation included atrocities committed by the Taliban and foreign military forces active in Afghanistan, including members of the US armed forces.

      The US, which is not a member of the ICC, violently opposes any possibility that its military personnel might be caught up in ICC charges. In April 2019 the ICC announced that a pre-trial chamber had shut down the investigation because US opposition made ICC action impossible.

      Court watchers reacted with frustration and disgust.
      EU migration

      An estimated 30,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past three decades. International attention was drawn to their plight during the migration surge of 2015, when the image of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi face-down on a Turkish beach circulated the globe. More than one million people entered Europe that year. This led the EU and its member states to close land and sea borders in the east by erecting fences and completing a Euro 3 billion deal with Turkey to keep migrants there. NATO ships were posted in the Aegean to catch and return migrants.

      Migrant-saving projects, such as the Italian Mare Nostrum programme that collected 150,000 migrants in 2013-2014, were replaced by border guarding projects. Political pressure designed to reduce the number of migrants who made it to European shores led to the revocation and non-renewal of licenses for boats registered to NGOs whose purpose was to rescue migrants at sea. This has led to the current situation, where there is only one boat patrolling the Mediterranean.

      The EU has handed search and rescue duties over to the Libyan coast guard, which has been accused repeatedly of atrocities against migrants. European countries now negotiate Mediterranean migrant reception on a case-by-case basis.
      A rights impasse

      International and supranational law applies to migrants, but so far it has inadequately protected them. The law of the sea mandates that ships collect people in need. A series of refusals to allow ships to disembark collected migrants has imperilled this international doctrine.

      In the EU, the Court of Justice oversees migration and refugee policies. Such oversight now includes a two-year-old deal with Libya that some claim is tantamount to “sentencing migrants to death.”

      For its part, the European Court of Human Rights has established itself as “no friend to migrants.” Although the court’s 2012 decision in Hirsi was celebrated for a progressive stance regarding the rights of migrants at sea, it is unclear how expansively that ruling applies.

      European courts are being invoked and making rulings, yet the journey for migrants has only grown more desperate and deadly over the past few years. Existing European mechanisms, policies, and international rights commitments are not producing change.

      In this rights impasse, the introduction of a new legal paradigm is essential.
      Fulfilling its role

      A foundational element of ICC procedure is complementarity. This holds that the court only intervenes when states cannot or will not act on their own.

      Complementarity has played an unexpectedly central role in the cases before the ICC to date, as African states have self-referred defendants claiming that they do not have the resources to try them themselves. This has greatly contributed to the ICC’s political failure in Africa, as rights-abusing governments have handed over political adversaries to the ICC for prosecution in bad faith, enjoying the benefits of a domestic political sphere relieved of these adversaries while simultaneously complaining of ICC meddling in domestic affairs.

      This isn’t how complementarity was supposed to work.

      The present rights impasse in the EU regarding migration showcases what complementarity was intended to do – granting sovereign states primacy over law enforcement and stepping in only when states both violate humanitarian law and refuse to act. The past decade of deadly migration coupled with a deliberately wastrel refugee policy in Europe qualifies as just such a situation.

      Would-be migrants don’t vote and cannot garner political representation in the EU. This leaves only human rights norms, and the international commitments in which they are enshrined, to protect them. These norms are not being enforced, in part because questions of citizenship and border security have remained largely the domain of sovereign states. Those policies are resulting in an ongoing crime against humanity.

      The ICC may be the only institution capable of breaking the current impasse by threatening to bring Europe’s leaders to criminal account. This is the work of last resort for which international criminal law is designed. The ICC should embrace the progressive ideals that drove its construction, and engage.

      https://theconversation.com/migration-in-the-mediterranean-why-its-time-to-put-european-leaders
      #procès

  • While you’re sleeping, your #iPhone stays busy — snooping on you - NZ Herald
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12235267

    IPhone apps I discovered tracking me by passing information to third parties - just while I was asleep - include Microsoft OneDrive, Intuit’s Mint, Nike, Spotify, the Washington Post and IBM’s the Weather Channel. One app, the crime-alert service Citizen, shared personally identifiable information in violation of its published privacy policy.

    And your iPhone doesn’t feed data trackers only while you sleep. In a single week, I encountered over 5400 trackers, mostly in apps, not including the incessant Yelp traffic. According to privacy firm Disconnect, which helped test my iPhone, those unwanted trackers would have spewed out 1.5 gigabytes of data over the span of a month. That’s half of an entire basic wireless service plan from US telecommunictions company AT&T.

    “This is your data, why should it even leave your phone? Why should it be collected by someone when you don’t know what they’re going to do with it?” says Patrick Jackson, a former National Security Agency researcher who is chief technology officer for Disconnect. He hooked my iPhone into special software so we could examine the traffic. “I know the value of data, and I don’t want mine in any hands where it doesn’t need to be.”

    In a world of data brokers, Jackson is the data breaker. He developed an app called Privacy Pro that identifies and blocks many trackers. If you’re a little bit techie, I recommend trying the free iOS version to glimpse the secret life of your iPhone.

  • First-ever private border wall built in #New_Mexico

    A private group announced Monday that it has constructed a half-mile wall along a section of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico, in what it said was a first in the border debate.

    The 18-foot steel bollard wall is similar to the designs used by the Border Patrol, sealing off a part of the border that had been a striking gap in existing fencing, according to We Build the Wall, the group behind the new section.

    The section was also built faster and, organizers say, likely more cheaply than the government has been able to manage in recent years.

    Kris Kobach, a former secretary of state in Kansas and an informal immigration adviser to President Trump, says the New Mexico project has the president’s blessing, and says local Border Patrol agents are eager to have the assistance.

    “We’re closing a gap that’s been a big headache for them,” said Mr. Kobach, who is general counsel for We Build the Wall.


    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/may/27/first-ever-private-border-wall-built-new-mexico
    #privatisation #murs #barrières_frontalières #USA #Mexique #frontières #business #complexe_militaro-industriel
    ping @albertocampiphoto @daphne

    • The #GoFundMe Border Wall Is the Quintessential Trump-Era Grift

      In 2012, historian Rick Perlstein wrote a piece of essential reading for understanding modern conservatism, titled “The Long Con” and published by the Baffler. It ties the right’s penchant for absurd and obvious grifts to the conservative mind’s particular vulnerability to fear and lies:

      The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.

      Lying, Perlstein said, is “what makes you sound the way a conservative is supposed to sound.” The lies—about abortion factories, ACORN, immigrants, etc.—fund the grifts, and the grifts prey on the psychology that makes the lies so successful.

      Perlstein’s piece is all I could think of when I saw last night’s CNN story about the border wall GoFundMe, which seemingly has actually produced Wall. According to CNN, the group We Build the Wall says it has produced a half-mile of border wall in New Mexico. CNN was invited to watch the construction, where Kris Kobach, who is general counsel for the group, spoke “over the clanking and beeping of construction equipment.”

      #Steve_Bannon, who is naturally involved with the group, told CNN that the wall connects existing fencing and had “tough terrain” that means it was left “off the government list.” The half-mile stretch of wall cost an “estimated $6 million to $8 million to build,” CNN reported.

      CNN also quoted #Jeff_Allen, who owns the property on which the fence was built, as saying: “I have fought illegals on this property for six years. I love my country and this is a step in protecting my country.” According to MSN, Allen partnered with United Constitutional Patriots to build the wall with We Build the Wall’s funding. UCP is the same militia that was seen on video detaining immigrants and misrepresenting themselves as Border Patrol; the Phoenix New Times reported on the “apparent ties” between the UCP and We Build the Wall earlier this month.

      This story is bursting at the seams with an all-star lineup of right-wing scammers. The GoFundMe itself, of course, has been rocked by scandal: After the effort raised $20 million, just $980 million short of the billion-dollar goal, GoFundMe said in January that the funds would be returned, since creator Brian Kolfage had originally pledged that “If for ANY reason we don’t reach our goal we will refund your donation.” But Kolfage quickly figured out how to keep the gravy train going, urging those who had donated to allow their donations to be redirected to a non-profit. Ultimately, $14 million of that $20 million figure was indeed rerouted by the idiots who donated it.

      That non-profit became #We_Build_The_Wall, and like all good conservative con jobs, it has the celebs of the fever swamp attached to it. Not only #Kris_Kobach, a tenacious liar who failed at proving voter fraud is a widespread problem—but also slightly washed-up figures like Bannon, Sheriff David Clarke, Curt Schilling, and Tom Tancredo. All the stars are here!

      How much sleazier could it get? Try this: the main contractor working at the site of New Wall, according to CNN, is Tommy Fisher. The Washington Post reported last week that Trump had “personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” to give the contract for the border wall to the company owned by Fisher, a “GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News,” despite the fact that the Corps of Engineers previously said Fisher’s proposals didn’t meet their requirements.

      Of course, like all good schemes, the need for more money never ceases: On the Facebook page for the group, the announcement that Wall had been completed was accompanied with a plea for fans to “DONATE NOW to fund more walls! We have many more projects lined up!”

      So, what we have is: A tax-exempt non-profit raised $20 million by claiming it would be able to make the federal government build Wall by just giving it the money for it and then, when that didn’t happen, getting most of its donors to reroute that money; then it built a half-mile of wall on private land for as much as $8 million, which went to a firm of a Fox News star whom President Trump adores.

      Perlstein wrote in the aforementioned piece that it’s hard to “specify a break point where the money game ends and the ideological one begins,” since “the con selling 23-cent miracle cures for heart disease inches inexorably into the one selling miniscule marginal tax rates as the miracle cure for the nation itself.” The con job was sold through fear: “Conjuring up the most garishly insatiable monsters precisely in order to banish them from underneath the bed, they aim to put the target to sleep.”

      The Trump era is the inartful, gaudy, brazen peak of this phenomenon. This time, instead of selling fake stem cell cures using the language of Invading Liberals, the grifters are just straight-up selling—for real American dollars—the promise of building a big wall to keep the monsters out.

      https://splinternews.com/the-gofundme-border-wall-is-the-quintessential-trump-er-1835062340

    • Company touted by Trump to build the wall has history of fines, violations

      President Donald Trump appears to have set his sights on a North Dakota construction firm with a checkered legal record to build portions of his signature border wall.
      The family-owned company, #Fisher_Sand_&_Gravel, claims it can build the wall cheaper and faster than competitors. It was among a handful of construction firms chosen to build prototypes of the President’s border wall in 2017 and is currently constructing portions of barrier on private land along the border in New Mexico using private donations.
      It also, however, has a history of red flags including more than $1 million in fines for environmental and tax violations. A decade ago, a former co-owner of the company pleaded guilty to tax fraud, and was sentenced to prison. The company also admitted to defrauding the federal government by impeding the IRS. The former executive, who’s a brother of the current company owner, is no longer associated with it.
      More than two years into his presidency, Trump is still fighting to build and pay for his border wall, a key campaign issue. After failing to get his requests for wall funding passed by a Republican-held Congress during his first two years in office, Trump has met resistance this year from a Democratic-controlled House. His attempt to circumvent Congress through a national emergency declaration has been challenged in the courts.
      On May 24, a federal district judge blocked the administration from using Defense Department funds to construct parts of the wall. The Trump administration has since appealed the block to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and in the interim, asked the district court to allow building to continue pending appeal. The district court denied the administration’s request.
      Despite the uncertainty, construction firms have been competing to win multimillion-dollar contracts to build portions of wall, including Fisher Sand & Gravel.

      Asked by CNN to comment on the company’s history of environmental violations and legal issues, the company said in a statement: “The questions you are asking have nothing to do with the excellent product and work that Fisher is proposing with regard to protecting America’s southern border. The issues and situations in your email were resolved years ago. None of those matters are outstanding today.”
      Catching the President’s attention
      The company was founded in North Dakota in 1952 and operates in several states across the US. It’s enjoyed public support from North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, who as a congressman invited the company’s CEO, Tommy Fisher, to Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018. Cramer has received campaign contributions from Fisher and his wife. A photo of the event shared by Fisher in a company newsletter shows Tommy Fisher shaking Trump’s hand.
      The Washington Post first reported the President’s interest in Fisher. According to the Post, the President has “aggressively” pushed for the Army Corps of Engineers to award a wall contract to Fisher.
      The President “immediately brought up Fisher” during a May 23 meeting in the Oval Office to discuss details of the border wall with various government officials, including that he wants it to be painted black and include French-style doors, according to the Post and confirmed by CNN.
      “The Army Corps of Engineers says about 450 miles of wall will be completed by the end of next year, and the only thing President Trump is pushing, is for the wall to be finished quickly so the American people have the safety and security they deserve,” said Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary.
      A US government official familiar with the meeting tells CNN that the President has repeatedly mentioned the company in discussions he’s had about the wall with the head of the Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite.
      Fisher has recently made efforts to raise its public profile, both by upping its lobbying efforts and through repeated appearances on conservative media by its CEO, Tommy Fisher.

      In the past two years, for example, the company’s congressional lobbying expenditures jumped significantly — from $5,000 in 2017 to $75,000 in 2018, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit that tracks lobbying expenditures.

      When asked about Fisher Sand & Gravel’s lobbying, Don Larson, one of Fisher’s registered lobbyists, said: “I am working to help decision makers in Washington become familiar with the company and its outstanding capabilities.”
      Media Blitz
      As part of a media blitz on outlets including Fox News, SiriusXM Patriot and Breitbart News, Tommy Fisher has discussed his support for the border wall and pitched his company as the one to build it. In a March 5 appearance on Fox & Friends, Fisher said that his company could build 234 miles of border wall for $4.3 billion, compared to the $5.7 billion that the Trump administration has requested from Congress.
      Fisher claimed that his firm can work five-to-10 times faster than competitors as a result of its construction process.
      The President has also touted Fisher on Fox News. In an April interview in which he was asked about Fisher by Sean Hannity, Trump said the company was “recommended strongly by a great new senator, as you know, Kevin Cramer. And they’re real. But they have been bidding and so far they haven’t been meeting the bids. I thought they would.”
      Despite the President’s interest, the company has thus far been unsuccessful in obtaining a contract to build the border wall, beyond that of a prototype.

      Earlier this year, Fisher put its name in the running for border wall contracts worth nearly $1 billion. When it lost the bid to Barnard Construction Co. and SLSCO Ltd., Fisher protested the awards over claims that the process was biased. In response, the Army Corps canceled the award. But after a review of the process, the Army Corps combined the projects and granted it to a subsidiary of Barnard Construction, according to an agency spokesperson.
      It’s unclear whether the project will proceed, given the recent decision by a federal judge to block the use of Defense Department funds to build parts of the border wall and the administration’s appeal.
      Fisher, which has a pending lawsuit in the US Court of Federal Claims over the solicitation process, is listed by the Defense Department as being among firms eligible to compete for future border contracts.

      It has moved forward with a private group, We Build the Wall, that is building sections of barrier on private land in New Mexico using private money raised as part of a GoFundMe campaign. Kris Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State who is now general counsel for the group, said a half-mile stretch is nearly complete, at an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million.

      In a statement, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said Fisher Industries has told them that the company has begun construction on private property along the border “in the approximate area of a USBP border barrier requirement that was not prioritized under current funding.”
      The spokesperson added: “It is not uncommon for vendors” to demonstrate their capabilities using “their own resources,” but the agency goes on to “encourage all interested vendors” to compete for border contracts “through established mechanisms to ensure any construction is carried out under relevant federal authorities and meets USBP operational requirements for border barrier.”
      In responses provided to CNN through Scott Sleight, an attorney working on behalf of the company, Fisher maintained that it’s “committed to working with all appropriate federal government officials and agencies to provide its expertise and experience to help secure America’s southern border.”
      The company says it has “developed a patent-pending bollard fence hanging system that [it] believes allows border fencing to be constructed faster than any contractor using common construction methods.” It also added: “Fisher has been concerned about the procurement procedures and evaluations done by the USACE to date, and hopes these issues can be remedied.”
      Relationship with Sen. Cramer
      A month after attending the 2018 State of the Union address with Cramer, Fisher and his wife, Candice each contributed the $5,400 maximum donation to Cramer’s campaign for the US Senate, Federal Election Commission records show.
      Fisher also donated to several Arizona Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, including giving the $5,400-maximum donation to Martha McSally’s campaign, records show.
      A recent video produced by Fisher Sand & Gravel demonstrating its ability to construct the wall includes a clip of Cramer at the controls of a track-hoe lifting sections of barrier wall into place, saying “this is just like XBOX, baby.” Cramer was joined at the demonstration by a handful of other Republican lawmakers from across the country.

      Cramer has been publicly critical of how the Army Corps has handled its border wall construction work, arguing that it has moved too slowly and expressing frustration over how it has dealt with Fisher. In an interview with a North Dakota TV station, Cramer said that he believes the corps “made a miscalculation in who they chose over Fisher” and that the company had been “skunked so to speak.” Cramer added that Fisher “remains a pre-qualified, high level, competitor.”

      In an interview with CNN, Cramer said that the company has come up in conversations he has had with administration officials, including the President and the head of the Army Corps, but while the senator said that he would “love if they got every inch of the project,” he added that he has “never advocated specifically for them.”
      "Every time someone comes to meet with me, whether it’s (Acting Defense Secretary) Shanahan, General Semonite, even with Donald Trump, they bring up Fisher Industries because they assume that’s my thing," Cramer said.
      “One of the things I’ve never done is said it should be Fisher,” Cramer said. “Now, I love Fisher. I’d love if they got every inch of the project. They’re my constituents, I don’t apologize for that. But my interest really is more in the bureaucratic process.”
      According to an administration official familiar with the situation, Cramer sent information about Fisher to the President’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who then passed it along to the Army Corps of Engineers for their consideration. The source tells CNN that Kushner was not familiar with the company prior to getting information about them from Cramer.
      Cramer said he does recall passing along information about the company to Kushner, but that he did not know what Kushner did with the information.
      On May 24, Cramer told a North Dakota radio station that the President has asked him to examine the process of how federal border wall projects are awarded.
      “We’re going to do an entire audit,” Cramer said. “I’ve asked for the entire bid process, and all of the bid numbers.” Cramer told CNN the President said he wanted the wall built for the “lowest, best price, and it’s also quality, and that’s what any builder should want.”
      Asked about aspects of the company’s checkered legal record, Cramer said “that level of scrutiny is important, but I would hope the same scrutiny would be put on the Corps of Engineers.”
      Environmental violations
      Though its corporate headquarters are in North Dakota, Fisher has a sizable footprint in Arizona, where it operates an asphalt company as well as a drilling and blasting company. It’s there that the company has compiled an extensive track record of environmental violations.
      From 2007 to 2017, Fisher Sand & Gravel compiled more than 1,300 air-quality violations in Maricopa County, culminating in the third highest settlement ever received by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, according to Bob Huhn, a department spokesperson. That’s a record number of violations for any air-quality settlement in the county, Huhn said. The settlement totaled more than $1 million, though the department received slightly less than that following negotiations, Huhn said.
      Most of the violations came from an asphalt plant that the company was running in south Phoenix that has since closed. While the plant was still running, the City of Phoenix filed 469 criminal charges against the company from August to October of 2009, according to a city spokesperson.
      According to a 2010 article in the Arizona Republic, Fisher reached an agreement with Phoenix officials to close the plant in 2010. As part of the deal, fines were reduced from $1.1 million to an estimated $243,000 and all criminal charges were reduced to civil charges.
      Mary Rose Wilcox was a member of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors at the time the city and county were fighting Fisher over the asphalt plant, which was located in her district. “They tried to persuade us they were good guys since they were a family-owned company. But they were spreading noxious fumes into a residential area,” Wilcox said. “We tried to work with them, but their violations were just so blatant.”
      Michael Pops, a community activist who lived in the area around the plant, remembers fighting with Fisher for six years before the plant finally shut down. “The impact they had on this community was devastating,” Pops said, adding many low-income residents living near the asphalt plant were sickened from the fumes the plant emitted.
      The company has also racked up more than 120 violations with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality from 2004 until as recently as last summer, according to the department.
      In 2011, Fisher agreed to a Consent Judgement with ADEQ over numerous air quality violations the company had committed. As part of that settlement, Fisher agreed to pay $125,000 in civil penalties, and that it would remain in compliance with state air quality standards. Within two years Fisher was found to be in violation of that agreement and was forced to pay an additional $500,000 in fines, according to the state’s attorney general’s office.
      Legal trouble
      Internally, the company has also confronted issues.
      In 2011, Fisher Sand & Gravel agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual discrimination and retaliation suit filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit charged that the company violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it “subjected two women workers to egregious verbal sexual harassment by a supervisor and then fired one of them after she repeatedly asked the supervisor to stop harassing her and complained to a job superintendent.”
      The settlement required Fisher to provide anti-discrimination training to its employees in New Mexico and review its policies on sexual harassment.
      Micheal Fisher, a former co-owner of Fisher and Tommy’s brother, was sentenced to prison in 2009 for tax fraud, according to the Justice Department. Fisher pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the [Internal Revenue Service], four counts of aiding in the filing of false federal tax returns for FSG and four counts of filing false individual tax returns,” according to a Justice Department release.
      The company also admitted responsibility for defrauding the US by impeding the IRS, according to the DOJ. Citing a long standing policy of not commenting on the contracting process, the Army Corps declined to comment on whether Fisher’s history factored into its decision not to award Fisher a contract.

      https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/31/politics/fisher-sand-and-gravel-legal-history-border-wall/index.html

    • Private US-Mexico border wall ordered open by gov’t, fights back and is now closed again

      The privately funded portion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall is now fully secure and closed again after one of its gates had been ordered to remain open until disputes about waterway access could be resolved.

      “Our border wall & gate are secure again and we still have not had a single breach. I want to thank the IBWC for acting swiftly and we look forward to working with you on our future projects,” triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage posted to Twitter on Tuesday night.

      Kolfage created We Build The Wall Inc., a nonprofit that is now backed by former Trump Administration Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. The group crowd-funded more than $22 million in order to privately build a border wall and then sell it to the U.S. government for $1.

      A portion of that wall has been constructed in Texas for between $6 and $8 million. The 1-mile-long wall is located on private property near El Paso, Texas, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.

      However, the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) had ordered a 33-foot gate within the private border wall to remain open – not locked and closed – over a waterway access issue, according to BuzzFeed News. The IBCW addresses waterway issues between the U.S. and Mexico.

      “This is normally done well in advance of a construction project,” IBWC spokesperson Lori Kuczmanski said. “They think they can build now and ask questions later, and that’s not how it works.”

      BuzzFeed reported that the IBWC said the gate “had blocked officials from accessing a levee and dam, and cut off public access to a historic monument known as Monument One, the first in a series of obelisks that mark the U.S.–Mexico border from El Paso to Tijuana.”

      By Tuesday night, the IBWC said the gate would remain locked at night and issued a statement.

      “The U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) will lock the privately-owned gate on federal property at night effective immediately due to security concerns,” it said.

      The statement continues:

      The USIBWC is continuing to work with We Build the Wall regarding its permit request. Until this decision, the private gate was in a locked open position. We Build the Wall, a private organization, built a gate on federal land in Sunland Park, N.M., near El Paso, Texas, without authority, and then locked the gate closed on June 6, 2019. The private gate blocks a levee road owned by the U.S. Government. After repeated requests to unlock and open the private gate, the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), accompanied by two uniformed law enforcement officers from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, removed the private lock, opened the gate, and locked the gate open pending further discussions with We Build the Wall. The gate was also opened so that USIBWC employees can conduct maintenance and operations at American Dam.

      The USIBWC did not authorize the construction of the private gate on federal property as announced on We Build the Wall’s Twitter page. The USIBWC is not charged with securing other fences or gates as reported by We Build the Wall. The international border fences are not on USIBWC property. The USIBWC did not open any other gates in the El Paso area as erroneously reported. Other gates and the border fence are controlled by other federal agencies.

      When the proper documentation is received for the permit, USIBWC will continue to process the permit application.

      Before the statement had been released, Kolfage posted to Twitter.
      https://a

      mericanmilitarynews.com/2019/06/private-us-mexico-border-wall-ordered-open-by-intl-group-later-closed-locked-after-security-concerns/

  • The Statue of Liberty’s new museum: Lady Liberty celebrated freed slaves, not immigrants - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/05/23/statue-liberty-was-created-celebrate-freed-slaves-not-immigrants

    The new Statue of Liberty Museum in New York Harbor boasts a number of treasures: the original torch, which was replaced in the 1980s; an unoxidized (read: not green) copper replica of Lady Liberty’s face; and recordings of immigrants describing the sight of the 305-foot monument.

    It also revives an aspect of the statue’s long-forgotten history: Lady Liberty was originally designed to celebrate the end of slavery, not the arrival of immigrants. Ellis Island, the inspection station through which millions of immigrants passed, didn’t open until six years after the statue was unveiled in 1886. The plaque with the famous Emma Lazarus poem — “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — wasn’t added until 1903.

    “One of the first meanings [of the statue] had to do with abolition, but it’s a meaning that didn’t stick,” Edward Berenson, a history professor at New York University and author of the book “The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story,” said in an interview with The Washington Post.

    #esclaves #migrants #états-unis #statue_de_la_liberté

  • Tiens, Trump se pose des questions sur le #Venezuela, au moins sur la stratégie suivie jusque là, avec le succès que l’on sait…

    A frustrated Trump questions his administration’s Venezuela strategy - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-frustrated-trump-questions-his-administrations-venezuela-strategy/2019/05/08/ad51561a-71a7-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html

    President Trump is questioning his administration’s aggressive strategy in Venezuela following the failure of a U.S.-backed effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro, complaining he was misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman with a young opposition figure, according to administration officials and White House advisers.

    The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around national security adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires.

    Trump has said in recent days that Bolton wants to get him “into a war” — a comment that he has made in jest in the past but that now betrays his more serious concerns, one senior administration official said.

    The administration’s policy is officially unchanged in the wake of a fizzled power play last week by U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó. But U.S. officials have since been more cautious in their predictions of Maduro’s swift exit, while reassessing what one official described as the likelihood of a diplomatic “long haul.

    U.S. officials point to the president’s sustained commitment to the Venezuela issue, from the first weeks of his presidency as evidence that he holds a realistic view of the challenges there and does not think there is a quick fix.

    But Trump has nonetheless complained over the past week that Bolton and others underestimated Maduro, according to three senior administration officials who like others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

    Opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on Venezuelans to protest April 30 and urged the military to “keep advancing” in efforts to oust President Nicolás Maduro. (Reuters)
    Trump has said that Maduro is a “tough cookie” and that aides should not have led him to believe that the Venezuelan leader could be ousted last week, when Guaidó led mass street protests that turned deadly.

    • U.S. defense leaders regard any military scenario involving boots on the ground in Venezuela as a quagmire and warn that standoff weapons such as Tomahawk missiles run a major risk of killing civilians. The White House has repeatedly asked for military planning short of an invasion, however.

      Officials said the options under discussion while Maduro is still in power include sending additional military assets to the region, increasing aid to neighboring countries such as Colombia and other steps to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced Venezuelans outside of Venezuela. More forward-leaning options include sending Navy ships to waters off Venezuela as a show of force.
      […]
      John D. Feeley, a former U.S. ambassador and Univision political analyst, said there is another reason that military intervention is unlikely.

      It runs counter to Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection narrative,” Feeley said. “At a time when you’re pulling people back from Syria, back from Iraq, back from Afghanistan, how do you say we’re going to commit 50-, 100-, 150,000 of our blood and treasure to a country where you can’t tell the bad guys from the good guys?

  • Alabama abortion law: Alabama Senate tables controversial bill to criminalize abortions - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/after-shouting-match-breaks-out-alabama-senate-reverses-course-and-tables-controversial-abortion-vote/2019/05/09/b68a2d7c-71ae-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html


    Alabama’s Senate postponed a vote on a controversial abortion bill on May 9 after Democrats shouted demands for a roll-call vote. (Alabama Senate)

    After a shouting match broke out, the Alabama Senate on Thursday voted to table an amendment to a controversial bill that would criminalize abortions by making performing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment.

    A vote affecting the abortion bill was then tabled. Democrats shouted demands for a roll-call vote.

    The vote was then moved until next week. The bill would be the most restrictive in the country and would impose what is in effect a near-total abortion ban.

    Alabama is among more than two dozen states that have sought to impose new restrictions on abortion this year. Georgia on Tuesday became the sixth state to impose a ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.

    Alabama Rep. Terri Collins (R), who sponsored the bill, said its purpose is to spark litigation that would force the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guarantees a woman’s right to abortion.

    Under the Alabama legislation, doctors will not be able to perform abortions once a fetus is “in utero.

    The version that passed in the statehouse allowed for only a single exception, in cases involving a serious health risk “to the unborn child’s mother.” An amendment added in the Senate would also provide for exceptions in the case of rape or incest. That amendment was the subject of fierce debate Thursday.

    Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who has described herself as antiabortion, is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as this week, although she has declined to comment directly on the legislation until it is finalized.

    This is a developing story.

  • Why Russia is the big winner of the Iran deal fallout - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/05/08/why-russia-is-big-winner-iran-deal-fallout

    Iran announced Wednesday that it would stop complying with certain elements of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 60 days if the remaining signatories did not find a way to make the deal more economically beneficial to Iran.

    [...]

    “We urge the Iranians to think very long and hard before they break that deal,” Jeremy Hunt, British foreign secretary, said Wednesday, referring to Iran’s threat to hold onto excess uranium and heavy water stockpiles. “Today, nothing would be worse than Iran, itself, leaving this accord,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly told France’s BFMTV.

  • A new generation is ready to stand with Palestinians
    Noura Erakat, The Washington Post, le 16 avril 2019
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/16/new-generation-is-ready-stand-with-palestinians

    Young Palestinians, born and raised in the era of the Oslo Accords and Israel’s repeated wars in Gaza, are increasingly disillusioned with the two-state solution. They are cynical about all Palestinian national leadership from Fatah to Hamas and are seeking alternative futures. It was young people who launched the Great March of Return, the largest popular convergence in Gaza to demand freedom and the right to return of Palestinian refugees.

    Young Palestinians have been the driving force of new political efforts such as the Palestinian Youth Movement, which connects Palestinians ages 18 to 35 across a global diaspora with the aim of reconstituting a national politics of resistance. Young Palestinians are also the primary advocates of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that sidesteps political negotiations and makes rights-based claims for equality, the return of refugees and the end of occupation of Arab lands. Far from destitution, the grim status quo is fueling a politics of hope among Palestinian youths in particular.

    This hope echoes a similar trend in the United States, where young people are driving an unprecedented shift in U.S. politics on the Middle East, and Palestinian freedom has been steadily incorporated into a progressive agenda. Trump’s embrace of Netanyahu is making ever clearer to a U.S. public that the reactionary right embodied by Trump is the normalized state of affairs in Israel. The Trump-Netanyahu alliance is on full display in the concerted and hypocritical attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who, in her advocacy on behalf of all marginalized communities, has illuminated the negative impact that U.S. unconditional support for Israel has on Palestinians.

    Social movements such as Black Lives Matter and events like the Women’s March, driven by a similar base, have affirmed Palestinian freedom as part of their platforms. Polls indicate that since Trump took office two years ago, more Americans are less inclined to sympathize with Israel over Palestinians, while a majority of Democrats say they would support sanctions or stronger action against Israel due to settlement construction.

    A mettre avec l’évolution de la situation aux États-Unis vis à vis de la Palestine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/752002

    #Palestine #USA #BDS #Noura_Erakat #Washington_Post #Jeunesse

  • Saudi Arabia paying Jamal Khashoggi’s children thousands each month – report | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/02/saudi-arabia-paying-jamal-khashoggis-children-thousands-each-month-repo

    The children of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have received multimillion-dollar homes and are being paid thousands of dollars per month by the kingdom’s authorities, the Washington Post has reported.

    Khashoggi – a contributor to the Post and a critic of the Saudi government – was killed and dismembered in October at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 agents sent from Riyadh. His body has not been recovered.

    The payments to his four children – two sons and two daughters – “are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to reach a long-term arrangement with Khashoggi family members, aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements”, the Post said.
    Saudi crown prince wanted to go after Jamal Khashoggi ’with a bullet’ – report
    Read more

    The houses given to the Khashoggi children are located in the port city of Jeddah and are worth up to $4m, the newspaper reported.

    #arabie_saoudite #khashoggi ... beurk

  • Kenya: LGBTI Refugees Detained after Delay of Ruling on Decriminalising Homosexuality

    20 refugees who arrived to Kenya on February 22, the day of an expected land-mark ruling on decriminalising homosexual conduct by the High Court, have been detained and are suffering severe abuse.

    The ruling by the High Court was postponed last minute and the group of refugees who had arrived to escape repression and abuse in other African countries were instead arrested on charges of “creating a public nuisance, trespassing, and defecating in public,” near United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in Nairobi.

    Six detainees in the men-only prison identify as trans women. The Washington Post was allowed interviews with five of the detainees who revealed that they were facing sexual abuse and violence from prison guards and other inmates. According to UNHCR spokeswoman Yvonne Ndege, the agency is looking into the allegations and plans to visit the detainees.

    Following attacks on LGBT refugees in December 2018 in the Kakuma camp injuring 20 people UNHCR relocated victims to safe-houses in Nairobi. According to a UNHCR spokeswoman quoted at the time: “the Kakuma context does not provide a safe environment for LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers.”

    The annual report (https://ilga.org/downloads/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2019_light.pdf) on State Sponsored Homophobia from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) states on the situation in East Africa: “continued criminalization of private consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex, as well as the outlawing of diverse gender expressions are indicators of States’ interest to entrench discrimination and violence based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.”

    https://www.ecre.org/kenya-lgbti-refugees-detained-after-delay-of-ruling-on-decriminalising-homosex
    #Kenya #réfugiés #homosexualité #LGBT

  • Sackler family money is now unwelcome at three major museums. Will others follow? - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/two-major-museums-are-turning-down-sackler-donations-will-others-follow/2019/03/22/20aa6368-4cb9-11e9-9663-00ac73f49662_story.html

    By Philip Kennicott
    Art and architecture critic
    March 23

    When the National Portrait Gallery in London announced Tuesday that it was forgoing a grant from the Sackler family, observers could be forgiven for a certain degree of skepticism about the decision’s impact on the art world. The Sacklers, owners of the pharmaceutical behemoth Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, had promised $1.3 million to support a public-engagement project. The money, no doubt, was welcome, but the amount involved was a relative pittance.

    Now another British institution and a major U.S. museum, the Guggenheim, have said no to Sackler money, which has become synonymous with a deadly and addictive drug that boosted the family fortune by billions of dollars and caused immeasurable suffering. The Tate art galleries, which include the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain in London as well as outposts in Liverpool and Cornwall, announced Thursday that it will also not accept money from the family.

    The Sacklers are mired in legal action, investigations and looming congressional inquiries about their role in marketing a drug blamed for a significant early role in an epidemic of overdose deaths that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans since 1997.

    Is this a trend? These moves may affect immediate plans but won’t put much of a dent in the museums’ budgets. The impact on the Sackler family’s reputation, however, will force American arts institutions to pay attention.

    The Sackler family, which includes branches with differing levels of culpability and involvement with the issue, has a long history of donating to cultural organizations. Arthur M. Sackler, who gave millions of dollars’ worth of art and $4 million for the opening of the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery in 1987, died long before the OxyContin scandal began. Members of the family involved with OxyContin vigorously contest the claims that Perdue Pharma was unscrupulous in the promotion of a drug, though company executives pleaded guilty to violations involving OxyContin in 2007 and the company paid more than $600 million in fines.

    A million here or there is one thing. Having a whole building named for a family with blood on its hands is another, and seeking yet more money for new projects will become even more problematic. And every institution that bears the Sackler family name, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (which has a Sackler wing) and the University Art Museum at Princeton (which has a Sackler gallery) is now faced with the distasteful proposition of forever advertising the wealth of a family that is deeply implicated in suffering, death and social anomie.

    Will any major U.S. institution that has benefited from Sackler largesse remove the family’s name?

    The National Portrait Gallery in London. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
    The usual arguments against this are stretched to the breaking point. Like arguments about Koch family money, which has benefited cultural institutions but is, to many, inextricably linked to global warming and the impending collapse of the Anthropocene, the issues at stake seem, at first, to be consistency and pragmatism. The pragmatic argument is this: Cultural organizations need the money, and if they don’t take it, that money will go somewhere else. And this leads quickly to the argument from consistency. Almost all of our major cultural organizations were built up with money derived from family fortunes that are tainted — by the exploitation of workers, slavery and the lasting impacts of slavery, the depredations of colonialism and the destruction of the environment. So why should contemporary arts and cultural groups be required to set themselves a higher, or more puritanical, standard when it comes to corrupt money? And if consistency matters, should we now be parsing the morality of every dollar that built every opera house and museum a century ago?

    Both arguments are cynical. Arts organizations that engage in moral money laundering cannot make a straight-faced claim to a higher moral purpose when they seek other kinds of funding, including donations and membership dollars from the general public and support from government and foundations. But the consistency argument — that the whole system is historically wrapped up in hypocrisy about money — needs particular reconsideration in the age of rapid information flows, which create sudden, digital moral crises and epiphanies.

    [The Sacklers have donated millions to museums. But their connection to the opioid crisis is threatening that legacy.]

    Moral (or social) hazard is a funny thing. For as long as cultural institutions are in the money-laundering business, companies such as Perdue Pharma will have an incentive to take greater risks. If the taint of public health disaster can be washed away, then other companies may choose to put profits over public safety. But this kind of hazard isn’t a finely calibrated tool. It involves a lot of chance and inconsistency in how it works. That has only increased in the age of viral Twitter campaigns and rapid conflagrations of public anger fueled by new social media tools.

    Why is it that the Sackler family is in the crosshairs and not any of the other myriad wealthy people whose money was made through products that are killing us? Because it is. And that seeming randomness is built into the way we now police our billionaires. It seems haphazard, and sometimes unfair, and inefficient. Are there worse malefactors scrubbing their toxic reputations with a new hospital wing or kids literacy program? Surely. Maybe they will find their money unwelcome at some point in the future, and maybe not. The thing that matters is that the risk is there.

    [Now would be a good time for museums to think about our gun plague]

    The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
    Much of the Sackler family money was made off a drug that deadens the mind and reduces the human capacity for thought and feeling. There is a nice alignment between that fact and what may now, finally, be the beginnings of a new distaste about using Sackler money to promote art and cultural endeavors, which must always increase our capacities for engagement with the world. It is immensely satisfying that the artist Nan Goldin, whose work has explored the misery of drug culture, is playing a leading role in the emerging resistance to Sackler family money. (Goldin, who was considering a retrospective of her work at the National Portrait Gallery, said to the Observer: “I have told them I would not do it if they take the Sackler money.”)

    More artists should take a lead role in these conversations, to the point of usurping the usual prerogatives of boards and executive committees and ethical advisory groups to make decisions about corrupt money.

    [‘Shame on Sackler’: Anti-opioid activists call out late Smithsonian donor at his namesake museum]

    Ultimately, it is unlikely that any arts organization will manage to find a consistent policy or somehow finesse the challenge of saying all that money we accepted from gilded-age plutocrats a century ago is now clean. But we may think twice about taking money from people who are killing our planet and our people today. What matters is that sometimes lightning strikes, and there is hell to pay, and suddenly a name is blackened forever. That kind of justice may be terrifying and swift and inconsistent, but it sends a blunt message: When the world finally learns that what you have done is loathsome, it may not be possible to undo the damage through the miraculous scrubbing power of cultural detergent.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Musées #Shame

  • What the Myspace wipeout says about the unreliable Internet - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/03/19/what-massive-loss-old-myspace-music-means-internet-culture

    the old social network’s accidental purge of 12 years’ worth of its users’ music uploads — that’s an estimated 50 million songs — is probably a close second.

    The tremendous loss of digital artifacts, such as the Flickr photo annihilation, the Tumblr porn purge and the coming Google+ disintegration, highlights the impermanence of the Web, and the ease with which files and posts that helped define Internet culture and history can be so readily discarded.

    #archivage #suppression #internet #histoire

  • Quelques “vieux” articles #effondrement #collapsologie #catastrophe #fin_du_monde #it_has_begun #Anthropocène #capitalocène pour la troisième compilation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/680147

    World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns
    Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, le 9 novembre 2011
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change

    Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years
    John Vidal, The Guardian, le 17 septembre 2012
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/17/arctic-collapse-sea-ice

    Warmer still: Extreme climate predictions appear most accurate, report says
    Brian Vastag, The Washington Post, le 8 novembre 2012
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/warmer-still-extreme-climate-predictions-appear-most-accurate-study-says/2012/11/08/ebd075c6-29c7-11e2-96b6-8e6a7524553f_story.html

    A Less Cloudy Future: The Role of Subtropical Subsidence in Climate Sensitivity
    John T. Fasullo and Kevin E. Trenberth, Science 338:792-794 (2012)
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/338/6108/792.abstract

  • (1) « Bon cul », « salope », « pétasse »… A « Vice », des mecs plus qu’ultras - Libération
    https://www.liberation.fr/france/2019/03/12/bon-cul-salope-petasse-a-vice-des-mecs-plus-qu-ultras_1714627

    Dans la filiale française du média nord-américain, des hommes, en grande partie des journalistes, ont longtemps dénigré, insulté et harcelé leurs collègues femmes. « Libération » a recueilli les témoignages de victimes de ce système sexiste généralisé dans l’entreprise.

    « Bon cul », « salope », « pétasse »… A « Vice », des mecs plus qu’ultras

    « Mitard Party. » C’est le nom d’un événement privé, organisé sur Facebook le 1er juillet 2017, par l’ancien directeur de la rédaction française de Vice. D’un ton badin, plein de forfanterie, Sébastien C. invite dans un bar parisien quelques collègues du média d’information et de divertissement, filiale hexagonale du géant nord-américain Vice Media, en ces termes : « Lundi 3 juillet à 9 heures […], je passe en jugement pour "violences volontaires avec arme" suite à une affaire ultranulle survenue l’été dernier et dont pas mal d’entre vous sont déjà au courant. Comme c’est pas tous les jours qu’on a une chance de se retrouver en taule - une chance mince, selon mon avocate, mais sait-on jamais -, j’aimerais fêter ça en buvant des trucs avec vous et en échangeant des regards virils qui en disent long comme dans les clips de rap. » En illustration de l’événement : une photo du rappeur américain Gucci Mane, plusieurs fois emprisonné pour violences et possession de drogue.

    #sexisme #culture_du_viol

    • A lire les titres des articles du violeur présumé on découvre des fantasmes et dadas bien maculins.
      https://motherboard.vice.com/fr/contributor/sebastien-chavigner

      Il m’a quand même eu avec un truc assez gros :

      Toutankhamon possédait un poignard forgé avec du fer extraterrestre
      https://motherboard.vice.com/fr/article/53ybzk/toutankhamon-possedait-un-poignard-forge-avec-du-fer-extraterrestr

      C’est qu’on a tous les deux vu Le Cinquième Élément , cette oeuvre de l’autre homme qui aimait les femmes qui depuis a été écarté du cercle des immortels pour cause d’avances inopportuns faites à ses contemporains féminins, enfin c’est ce qu’on m’a raconté sur Besson, je n’ai pas suivi l’affaire de près.

      Natalie Portman Audition for Léon (1994)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQsas1ST33Y

      A son age Natalie Portman ne se rendait sans doute pas compte de tout ce qui se passait, aujourd’hui elle comprend et explique très bien les mécanismes qui mènent au viol :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/766958

      Luc Besson and the Disturbing True Story Behind ‘Léon : The Professional’
      https://www.thedailybeast.com/luc-besson-and-the-disturbing-true-story-behind-leon-the-professional

      ... the film was a critical and commercial hit, grossing $46 million worldwide against a $16 million budget and elevating Besson to the A-list.

      What many were—and still are—unaware of was that Léon was a creepy example of art imitating life.

      According to The Washington Post, Besson met the child actress Maïwenn when she was 12, the same age as Mathilda in the film. He was 29. They claim to have started seeing each other romantically when she turned 15. Maïwenn gave birth to their daughter when she was 16 (and Besson was 33), and subsequently relocated to Los Angeles. She appears briefly during the opening sequences of Léon as “blonde babe”—her listed character name—lying naked in bed, her body wrapped in sheets, having just serviced a middle-age crime boss.

      “When Luc Besson did Léon, the story of a 13-year-old girl in love with an older man, it was very inspired by us since it was written while our story started. But no media made the link,” Maïwenn said.

      In an interview with the French publication L’Express, Maïwenn claimed that Léon was “this love story between a 12-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man [that] was still very much inspired by ours,” and explained how she attempted to write a book about her relationship with Besson and years rubbing shoulders with movie stars in Los Angeles. But when the publisher gave it the title Beverly Hills or Lolita Love, she banned its publication. (Maïwenn did not respond to requests for comment for this story, while a representative for Besson issued the following statement to The Daily Beast: “Luc Besson has never commented [on] his private life, his approach remains unchanged.”)

      During the filming of Besson’s follow-up movie, The Fifth Element, wherein Maïwenn portrayed the memorable blue opera-singing alien Diva Plavalaguna, the director left her for the film’s lead actress, Milla Jovovich. “I had my daughter very young, so I had fulfilled my dream, and then… he left me. Everything then collapsed for me,” Maïwenn recalled. She moved back to France with their young daughter and gradually evolved into a gifted filmmaker.

      Her most acclaimed film to date is the 2011 drama Polisse, about a photographer (Maïwenn) assigned to shadow a Child Protection Unit that tracks down pedophiles and rescues sexually exploited children.

      Bon, fini les histoires anciennes, voici les parents moderndes de futures stars de cinéma :
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMgZ4kAt6PA

      #misogynie #pédophilie

  • The Heavy-Hitting #utah #tech Summit
    https://hackernoon.com/the-heavy-hitting-utah-tech-summit-da6e57277b90?source=rss----3a8144eabf

    Stewart Butterfield, Steve Young and Mitt Romney were among the speakers.“Avatar.” “Man of Steel.” “The Avengers.”Jarom Sidwell worked on digital visuals for each of those blockbusters and others.But he was far — far — from the only biggie to speak at the Silicon Slopes Summit 2018 in Salt Lake City, “the largest tech event in Utah history,” SS Executive Director Clint Betts said.Among others, the summit saw Ryan Smith, the CEO of Qualtrics, whose clients (numbering more than 8,500) include Microsoft, Healthcare.gov, CBS, Yahoo!, and The Washington Post; Todd Pedersen, Vivint CEO; Omar Johnson, former Beats by Dre chief marketing officer; Dave Elkington, InsideSales.com founder; Josh James, Domo CEO; Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight CEO; and Jim Swartz and David Fialkow, investors in documentaries, (...)

    #technology #community-board #politics

  • Jeremy Corbyn and the truth about Tom Bower’s book | Middle East Eye
    Peter Oborne - 9 March 2019
    A biography about the Labour leader systematically distorts the truth, writes Peter Oborne
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/tom-bower-book-dangerous-hero-jeremy-corbyn-labour-leader-truth

    Those of us who report on politics are at liberty to express, within limits, whatever opinions we like. These limits include an obligation to observe standards. We should strive to be accurate. We can make strong arguments but ought not to distort the truth or suppress relevant information to make our point.

    Writer Tom Bower fails catastrophically to meet these standards. It is not only that Dangerous Hero: Corbyn’s Ruthless Plot For Power, his new book on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, contains numerous falsehoods. It systematically omits relevant facts in order to portray Corbyn as a ruthless Marxist and anti-semite hell-bent on destroying Western liberal values.

    The Times, the nearest thing that Britain has to a paper of record, has awarded it a prominent review. Ditto the Sunday Times. Tom Harris, a former Labour MP, was not far short of reverential in the Daily Telegraph, calling it a “meticulous and highly readable account”. In the US, an interview with Bower has appeared in the Washington Post. (...)

    #Corbyn

    • This book fails at a basic intellectual level. For example, Bower often seems to equate Corbyn’s criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. Yet he makes little attempt to explain why the two should be treated as identical. The failure to explain his methodology is made worse by the lack of serious analysis of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-semitism. Bower says it is internationally recognised, but fails to add that as of September last year, it was thought to have only been formally adopted by eight countries. He also fails to address the concerns of experts who remain alarmed that the definition is confusing and conflates criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.

  • In a political earthquake, Dems pull bill condemning anti-Semitism after split over Ilhan Omar explodes
    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/03/condemning-semitism-explodes

    Divides among House Democrats exploded today beginning in a closed door session this morning where lawmakers argued with party leadership over a resolution to denounce anti-Semitism, an apparent move to condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar. 

    According to the Washington Post the meeting descended into a “full-scale brawl” when representatives, primarily from the Congressional Black Caucus called to cancel the vote, and in an unexpected turn, was delayed indefinitely by early evening. One source in the room said Rep. Jan Schakowsky demanded (D-IL), “Everyone stop tweeting!” as decorum fell.

  • Opinion | Jared and the Saudi Crown Prince Go Nuclear? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-jared-kushner-nuclear.html

    Why on earth would America put Prince Mohammed on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons? He is already arguably the most destabilizing leader in an unstable region, for he has invaded Yemen, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, started a feud with Qatar, and, according to American intelligence officials, ordered the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

    ##armes#nucléaire #arabie_saoudite #etats-unis

  • The U.S. is funding dangerous experiments it doesn’t want you to know about - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-is-funding-dangerous-experiments-it-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about/2019/02/27/5f60e934-38ae-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html

    In 2014, U.S. officials imposed a moratorium on experiments to enhance some of the world’s most lethal viruses by making them transmissible by air, responding to widespread concerns that a lab accident could spark a global pandemic. Most infectious-disease studies pose modest safety risks, but given that these proposed experiments intended to create a highly contagious flu virus that could spread among humans, the government concluded the work should not go on until it could be approved through a specially created, rigorous review process that considered the dangers.

    Apparently, the government has decided the research should now move ahead. In the past year, the U.S. government quietly greenlighted funding for two groups of researchers, one in the United States and the other in the Netherlands, to conduct transmission-enhancing experiments on the bird flu virus as they were originally proposed before the moratorium. Amazingly, despite the potential public-health consequences of such work, neither the approval nor the deliberations or judgments that supported it were announced publicly. The government confirmed them only when a reporter learned about them through non-official channels.

    This lack of transparency is unacceptable. Making decisions to approve potentially dangerous research in secret betrays the government’s responsibility to inform and involve the public when approving endeavors, whether scientific or otherwise, that could put health and lives at risk.

    #expériences #infection #etats-unis

  • Kremlin says cyber attacks on Russia often launched from U.S. territory | Reuters
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-russia-kremlin-idUKKCN1QG187

    The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the U.S. military had disrupted the internet access of a Russian troll farm accused of trying to influence American voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the day of the congressional elections.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he did not know how much truth there was to that media report.

    “But in general I can say that U.S. territory is constantly being used to organise a huge number of cyber attacks against various Russian organisations. That’s the reality with which we live.”

    #cyberattaques #Russie #Etats-Unis

  • FDA takes fresh look at whether opioids are effective for chronic pain - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fda-takes-fresh-look-at-whether-opioids-are-effective-for-chronic-pain/2019/02/25/227a5fe6-3917-11e9-a06c-3ec8ed509d15_story.html

    The Food and Drug Administration will require drug companies to study whether prescription opioids are effective in quelling chronic pain — another step in the government’s efforts to rein in use of the narcotics that spawned the drug epidemic.

    Some studies already indicate that opioids are ineffective for pain beyond 12 weeks and many experts say long-term use can cause addiction, by prompting patients to build up tolerance to the drugs and seek higher doses. But conclusive, controlled research is scarce.

    A finding of ineffectiveness in more rigorous studies supervised by the FDA could allow the agency to change the labeling on some opioids, impose special rules for prescribing, dispensing and taking them, and even prohibit their use in some cases, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

    But at least one longtime critic of the FDA’s response to the opioid crisis expressed frustration with the move. Andrew Kolodny, director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, said the FDA already has all the research it needs — and authority under existing law — to tighten restrictions on the use of opioids for chronic pain by changing instructions for how they should be prescribed.

    “Here we go again,” Kolodny said in an interview. “That’s exactly what the FDA said to us in 2013. . . . Five years later, we don’t have the studies and another FDA commissioner says, ‘We’re going to do the studies.’ ”

    In 2013, after Kolodny’s group complained that opioids should be labeled unsafe and ineffective for chronic pain, the FDA ordered similar research, including an attempt to determine whether painkillers cause hyperalgesia. Gottlieb said those studies were difficult to carry out because, at the time, the FDA had authority only to require post-market studies of safety, rather than effectiveness.

    On Sunday, the CBS program “60 Minutes” explored the FDA’s decision in 2001 to allow long-term use of OxyContin despite the lack of research showing it was safe and effective. Gottlieb conceded that “it’s regrettable we didn’t do this many years ago.”

    The vast majority of opioid prescriptions written in 2017 were for generic versions of the drugs. The research would be required only of companies that produce brand-name narcotics; generic producers would be required to adopt the same changes.

    #Opioides #USA #FDA #Efficacité