Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The girl and the cloud...

Why Lord of the Flies is the perfect Christmas gift for 2016 ...

It’s the story of a society in which democracy descends into tribalism and tyranny. One of a civilisation built by those committed to the rule of law who turn on each other, scapegoating the marginalised and powerless. Ultimately, it’s a reminder of a human barbarism lying just beneath the fragile veneer of decency.

Sound familiar? That’s right: it’s the plot of Lord of the Flies, a novel about a group of English boys who survive a plane crash and are marooned on an island in the South Pacific. After a short period of harmony, a power struggle between the two leaders, Ralph and Jack, causes the group to split. Jack wins out by promising to hunt and kill a common enemy – the strange phantom living in the jungle known only as the Beast. It’s a successful campaign of fear and division.

Lord of the Flies was first published in 1954, largely in response to the rise of Nazism and the horrors of World War II. And yet, in many ways, it speaks directly to the world of 2016, where austerity, the refugee crisis, Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump have emboldened nationalist fervour and stoked societal fragmentation.

The racialised language of tribal “savagery” in the novel quite rightly makes contemporary readers bristle. It marks author William Golding’s failure to move beyond a fundamentally eurocentric and colonialist view of the world. But ultimately, the book’s message is that “savagery” is universal. It is not racially or nationally defined. It’s a moral that encourages us to reflect on just how far-right extremism has crept back into mainstream politics throughout Europe and America. Full story...

Price of gold skyrockets in India after currency ban...

(...)

Several petitions in various courts across India were immediately filed against the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for repudiating its IOU obligation which the currency bills represent, after Modi’s announcement on 8th November.

Several postponements later, the first hearing at the Supreme Court will likely take place on 5th December 2016, almost a month after the announcement of the ban. That does not mean that the court did not deliberate over “more important issues” affecting this wretched poor country.

It inter alia heard a petition and passed a judgment that makes playing the national anthem compulsory at cinema halls before the start of every movie, to promote nationalism. It also decreed that people have to stand up while the anthem is played. Henceforth one can be charged with sedition for not actively showing proper respect to the flag and the anthem.

Only someone very numb can avoid being horrified by this. Full story...

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Spanish taxman investigates Ronaldo revelations...

Spanish tax authorities are investigating reports that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo hid 150 million euros ($160 million) from image rights in tax havens.

A group of 12 European newspapers made the allegations based on leaked documents obtained by German weekly Der Spiegel.

Other high profile clients of Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes were also implicated, including Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Both Ronaldo and Mourinho say that they have fully complied with British and Spanish fiscal requirements. Full story...

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Yemen conflict: the world has turned a blind eye...

 In the hands of the doctor, baby Ibrahim's head seems impossibly small. He cradles the child gently, conscious of his fragility. Everything around him seems improbably large.

The nappies Ibrahim wears are the smallest available but are still too big. With his large eyes and hollowed-out face, with ribs which press against his skin, the baby looks as if he is shrinking back into himself.

It seems perverse to describe a child in this state as "lucky". But Ibrahim has survived 21 days and doctors are hopeful he will endure. His twin brother died soon after he was born.

His mother, Wafaa Hatem, sits on the bed with her son, stroking his fingers when he cries. Full story...

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Indians mourn iconic leader Jayalalithaa...

The true history of chemotherapy & the pharmaceutical monopoly...

In 2016, approximately 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States alone, and approximately 600,000 people will die from the disease. The number of new cancer cases is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year, based on cases from 2008-2010.

Men have almost a 50 percent chance of contracting the disease at some point within their lifetime, and women have a 1/3 chance. Pretty crazy isn’t it? (source)

In a time where so much information is coming to light, challenging the belief systems of so many, it’s important to keep an open mind to new information to help us see through what’s really been happening on our planet. It’s no secret that a small group of corporations dominate almost every aspect of our lives, from energy to education, all the way to modern day healthcare. Full story...

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Is the global-warming hustle finally falling apart?

(Al Gore stuffed $98 million into his lockbox while saving the world)

“When you see a problem defined as ‘a threat to all humans’, you can be sure Globalists are using that fake or real problem to impose control on all humans.” (The Underground. Jon Rappoport)

With the election of Donald Trump, climate change and global warming have come back into the spotlight. In a different way.

“The science is settled” isn’t good enough now.

Neither is the Globalist plan to cut energy production in every country in the world, in order to “rescue us from frying.”

LA Times: “Donald Trump will be about the only head of state who does not believe in climate science or the responsibility of his government to act,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club…” Full story...

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Researchers prove 'reality doesn't exist if you're not looking at it'

Life is an illusion, at least on a quantum level, in a theory which has recently been confirmed by a set of researchers.

They finally have the means to test John Wheeler’s delayed-choice theory and concluded that the physicist was right.

In 1978, Mr Wheeler’s proposed experiment involved a moving object that was given the choice to act like a wave or a particle – the former acting as a vibration with a frequency that can distinguish it from other waves and the latter having no frequency that you can determine its position in space, unlike a wave – and at what point does it ‘decide’ to act like one or the other.

At the time, the technology was not available to conduct a strong experiment, but scientists have now been able to carry it out. Full story...

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

France bets on Bollywood to lure Indian tourists...

From the golden beaches of the Cote D'Azur to the roof of the Paris opera house and the historic bridges of the Seine, the blockbuster movie "Befikre" -- "Carefree" in English -- is filled with picture postcard scenes of France.

The makers of the blockbuster movie, which hits Indian screens on Friday, say it is the first Bollywood production to be shot entirely on the French mainland.

For French ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler the new movie, which features Bollywood star Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor, is worth "all the marketing campaigns in the world".

"In a country like India, the impact of movies on the dreams people have of visiting an unknown place and on the desire to discover is absolutely huge," Ziegler told AFP.

 "It is without doubt the biggest influence over travel today for the Indian middle classes." Full story...

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Famous mass murderer Madeleine Albright urges all-out war in Syria...

Of all the Clinton-era monsters who refuse to crawl under a rock and die, Madeleine Albright continues to distinguish herself as a monument to shameless hubris.

As you might recall, the former secretary of state made an eloquent, compelling case for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” And television pundits still can't wrap their heads around Clinton's spectacular defeat. Go figure.

Albright is also famous for championing the Clinton administration's decision to prevent Iraq from importing basic supplies like medicine and water purification equipment, which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, including around 500,000 Iraqi children - something Albright said was "worth it." Full story...

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Why Facebook isn't free...

Europe is realising the extent of its tragedy; Britain must understand its own opportunity...

So confident was the Italian prime minister of victory that he staked his own job on the outcome. Having finally lost a bet he was sure he would win, he has become the latest establishment figure forced to acknowledge the extent of the disconnect between himself and his electorate. In this country David Cameron has already paid a similar price, but there at least the comparison ends. For while the UK has decided on Brexit and will, however tortuously, leave the straitjacket of the European Union, there is no escape in sight for Italy, or indeed for those 19 members of the eurozone who now find the common currency to be nothing short of an economic ball and chain.

There are two important conclusions to draw from this. The first is that, as William Hague points out on the opposite page, Europe is locked into a highly toxic political confrontation between voters who now realise the destructiveness of the currency union to which they have been shackled, and the impotence of their political class to do anything about it. Indeed, many voters embody this contradiction – rightly understanding the economic devastation that the euro has wrought on their economies, but determined to avoid the inevitable collapse in the value of their own assets should there somehow be a way of reverting to a weaker, national currency. Full story...

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Thousands mourn beloved leader Jayalalithaa in south India...

Hundreds of thousands of people thronged the southern Indian city of Chennai on Tuesday to honor their late beloved leader, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, a former film actress and popular politician.

Jayalalithaa, chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, died overnight following a heart attack a day earlier.

A sea of weeping mourners surged toward the steps of a public hall where Jayalalithaa’s body, draped in the Indian flag, was kept on a raised platform.

Thousands of police officers formed chains to stop the heaving crowd from surging up the steps. Men and women wept, some breaking into loud wails. Several mourners fainted from the heat and dehydration. Police said some had been keeping vigil outside the Apollo Hospital since Sunday and then walked to Rajaji Hall at daybreak.

In New Delhi, lawmakers observed a minute’s silence Tuesday before both houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day in respect for the woman whom many referred to as “Amma,” or mother. Full story...

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Fake news: an insidious trend that's fast becoming a global problem...

The German political mainstream is getting increasingly nervous about the effect that the rise of fake news might have on federal elections next autumn. Fake news and Russian interference – either by influencing fake news sites, or by hacking or misinformation – are viewed as a serious threat to the democratic process, particularly since the US presidential elections.

From rumours that Merkel was in the east German secret police, the Stasi, to others suggesting she is Adolf Hitler’s daughter, Germans are also proving themselves susceptible to false information.

The most blatant example of fake news to hit Germany so far occurred earlier this year over reports that a 13-year-old girl of Russian origin, known as Lisa F, had been raped in Berlin by refugees from the Middle East. The story received extensive coverage on Russian and German media who reported the allegations that she had been abducted on her way to school and gang-raped. The attack turned out to have been fabricated, as Berlin’s chief of police was quick to point out. According to Berlin’s public prosecutor’s office the girl had spent 30 hours with people known to her, and a medical examination proved she had not been raped.

But having been shared widely on social media and through Russian news sites, hundreds took to the streets to protest at the “attack”, along with far right and anti-Islam groups. Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister went so far as to accuse Merkel’s government of “sweeping the case under the carpet”, heightening suspicions in Berlin that the Kremlin was deliberately trying to cause trouble. Full story...

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Europe starts to crumble after key vote in Italy...

If you feel like prime ministers resigning after losing a referendum sounds familiar it’s because, of course, it is.

And, in a bit of Brexit deja vu, that’s exactly what happened in Italy last night, when prime minister Matteo Renzi said he would quit after losing a key vote on reforming the country’s constitution.

The 41-year-old followed in David Cameron’s footsteps after saying that he’d step down if the referendum result didn’t return in his favour.

But, yesterday, it didn’t.

More than two thirds of the country turned out last night, with around 60% saying no to changes that included streamlining the Senate and reducing its powers. Full story...

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India: thousands gather after Tamil Nadu leader Jayaram Jayalalithaa suffers heart attack...

The south Indian state of Tamil Nadu is bracing for unrest after its ailing chief minister, Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, suffered a heart attack on Sunday evening.

The 68-year-old, known to her supporters as “Amma” (mother), starred in more than 150 movies before becoming a titanic figure in the state’s politics and serving as chief minister four times.

She was taken to Apollo Hospitals in the state capital Chennai where a spokesman on Monday said she had had surgery and was improving, but remained in “grave” condition.

Jayalalithaa was hospitalised two months ago with a fever, dehydration and a respiratory infection but was said to be recovering well.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party leader has an intense following in the state that is typical of a south Indian political culture, where politicians and film stars can develop a quasi-religious following. Full story...

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All about that base ( Star Wars parody...)

Catholic priest arrested in Buenos Aires for child abuse; victims are accusing the Pope of knowing yet failing to sanction the priest concerned....

Advocates for clerical sex abuse victims expressed outrage Thursday that a priest accused of sexually abusing deaf children in Italy wasn’t sanctioned by the Vatican and allegedly went on to abuse children in Pope Francis’s native Argentina.

Argentine police arrested the priest, 82-year old Nicola Corradi, this week. Corradi, priest Horacio Corbacho, 55, and three other men are accused of abusing at least eight children at a school for youths with hearing disabilities in northwestern Mendoza province.

BishopAccountability.org, an online resource about clerical abuse, reported that Italian survivor groups told the Vatican in 2008 and 2014 about Corradi and others accused of molesting children at a school for the deaf in Verona.

“Words fail. It is appalling and heartbreaking that Corradi was not stopped by Pope Francis or by other Church authorities. Corradi’s presence at the school in Mendoza was no secret,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability. Full story...

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A total of 55 British clubs now involved in growing football child abuse scandal...

What began as a harrowing account of child abuse suffered by a former professional English soccer player last month has lifted the lid on what could be one of the worst pedophile scandals Britain has ever known.,

As the inquiry that shocked Britons keeps growing "on a daily basis", child protection sources within Operation Hydrant, the national police body investigating the abuse allegations, reported that 55 professional and non-league clubs are so far involved in the investigations.

According to the Observer's report, a source at the National Police Chiefs' Council, which coordinates Hydrant, confirmed that 55 clubs in total have been referenced by players claiming they were abused.

Andy Woodward, 43, who played in the lower divisions of English soccer, told the Guardian newspaper in an interview two weeks ago how his life had been ruined because he had been molested as a boy by a youth team coach. Full story...

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Sunday, December 04, 2016

The invisible credit card of the future...

Imagine strolling into your local supermarket, popping your essentials into a basket, heading to the bagging area - where no items are unexpected - and walking out with your weekly shop.

There is no need to make a payment, no fiddling with coins, and no placement of a debit or credit card in a terminal. In fact, there is no till at all.

This is not casual shoplifting but a realistic prospect of the future way to pay - when technology recognises your presence, scans your shopping, and invisibly takes payment from your account.

Amer Sajed, the chief executive of Barclaycard, says it will spell the steady demise of the physical plastic credit card, which his company introduced to the UK 50 years ago. Full story...

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A recently declassified document suggests many of us may have superhuman powers...

A recently declassified document that was unearthed through the Freedom of Information Act, suggests that the Chinese government has conducted massive-scale studies on superhuman powers like telepathy, psychokinesis, approbation, aerokinesis, clairsentience, clairaudience, and more. The US Central Intelligence Agency was appraised of these studies, and could have conducted similar investigations, all while keeping the results hidden from the general public.

The document titled, “Chronology of Recent Interest in Exceptional Functions of The Human Body in the People’s Republic of China” can be found on the CIA’s website, and details studies which the Chinese government and other agencies funded to test thousands of children to see if they had superhuman abilities.

The government was so interested in the possibility of these superhuman individuals, that hundreds of testing centers were set up across China. Though they do not reveal the results, except for the mention of one individual, a Qi Gong grandmaster, Zhang Baosheng, who was able to ‘smell’ the contents of messages written on folded slips of paper, and once relocated physical objects from inside sealed containers to another location. Baosheng was named by high-ranking communist leaders as a “healer with extraordinary powers” in the 1980s. Baosheng was later arrested for fraud in 1995. It is said that he and others of the Qi Gong movement took a ‘shortcut to scientific exploration’ and utilized weird science and superstition to promote their abilities. Full story...

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Hiding in plain sight: The global paedophile ring exposed...

‘Paedophilia scandals continue to emerge around the world year after year while the corporate media and law enforcement agencies alike fail to treat the sexual exploitation of minors as a global, systemic problem. As the number of child abuse scandals involving the rich and powerful continue to grow, it is becoming impossible to cover up that these instances of child sexual abuse and exploitation are globally organized and often run by the very same people who greatly influence society and politics.

The entertainment industry, powerful political centers, and even organized religion have been shown to be major centers where this horrific abuse has been enabled and widely accepted among the “elites” and other powerful individuals that dominate these institutions. What follows are several examples of the widespread depravity practiced by some of the world’s most powerful people.’  Full story...

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Babies for sale in Malaysia...

Dressed in a white jumpsuit, mittens and socks, the baby girl lay quietly in the Malaysian heat.

"I picked her up and she smiled," said Hartini Zainudin, recalling the hot Saturday morning that changed her life.

Hartini is well known in Malaysia as a child rights activist who rescues unwanted babies.

She thought this was another of those cases. But then the woman who had been caring for the baby at a house in the port town of Klang, about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur, got down to business.

For $3,000, she said, Hartini could take the baby home immediately and raise her as her own.

"They said, 'You can buy her … or she'll go to Thailand'," Hartini recalled.

She stepped outside and phoned a fellow activist, who told her that trafficking gangs sometimes maim young children before forcing them to beg in Thailand. Full story...

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US woman alleges gang-rape by tour guide in Indian capital...

A US woman has told police she was gang-raped at a top hotel in the Indian capital during a visit earlier this year - the latest in a series of alleged sexual assaults against tourists.

Delhi police launched a formal investigation Saturday (Dec 3) after receiving a direct complaint from the woman, who is in the United States and had initially contacted them through an email by a US-based NGO.

"The police have registered a case of rape and will now verify all aspects of the woman's complaint," Joint Commissioner of police Mukesh Meena told AFP.

"We had received the email (from the US-based NGO) earlier but could register a case only after getting a direct complaint from the woman late Saturday," the officer added.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj urged police to "bring guilty to book" after initial media reports of the incident. Full story...

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The grim truth of Chinese factories producing the west’s Christmas toys...

Xiao Fang thinks she’s one of the luckier workers making Barbie dolls for the Christmas market at the Mattel toy factory in Chang’an.

True, she says, she works 11-hour days, six days a week, and shares a dormitory with nine other women and gets to see her husband only once a week. She had to leave her three-year-old daughter back home in Sichuan. And there is only a communal bathroom, and if they want hot water they must fetch it from another floor. But at least she has a job, she says. And others have it worse.

Xiao is one of thousands of workers in Chinese factories making some of this year’s must-have Christmas toys.

An investigation with the US-based NGO China Labor Watch reveals that toys including Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine and Hot Wheels were made by staff earning as little as 86p an hour. Full story...

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'Robin Hood' cafe in Madrid is charging rich customers to give to the poor...

A cafe in Spain is charging customers by day, and using the proceeds to serve meals to homeless people free of charge at night.

The Robin Hood restaurant opened on a side street in central Madrid on Tuesday, operating a simple but unique business model.

At breakfast and lunchtime the initiative runs as an ordinary Spanish bar, selling coffee, croquetas, and cigarettes, before reopening in the evening as a restaurant, serving a sophisticated sit-down supper to people who cannot afford to pay.

Run by local charity Mensajeros de la Paz, which means "messengers of peace", the cafe aims to feed 100 homeless men and women each day, in two sittings. Full story...

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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Stephen Hawking: We eat too much and move too little...

DEA paid millions to volunteers searching Americans’ luggage, mail...

Americans may have faced widespread privacy violations as outsourced government spies rooted through their luggage or mail looking for evidence to give to the Drug Enforcement Administration in exchange for cash rewards, a House committee heard Wednesday.

For a federal agency to snoop through the belongings of private citizens could be a Fourth Amendment breach. But the Justice Department says that the DEA allowed for exactly that behavior by recruiting and paying millions of dollars to “voluntary” sources working at Amtrak, airlines and parcel companies.

“If you incentivize an Amtrak employee or an airplane employee or a cargo company employee [to seize shipments of money for a reward], how many boxes are they opening? How many passenger manifests are they providing? How many people are getting pulled out of line to find the person or persons where a seizure results in a reward?” Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Department of Justice investigators spent two and a half years investigating the DEA’s confidential source program and released their findings in September. They uncovered a system rife with problems. Full story...

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China orders officials to stop believing in ghosts and ghouls…

China’s top graft buster has turned ‘Ghostbuster’ as he warned
members of the ruling Communist Party to stop believing in the supernatural.

Wang Qishan, one of Beijing’s top officials, said cadres should stick to the teachings of Marx, rather than shady spiritual gurus who preach about superstitious beliefs.

China’s Communist Party has been seeking to wipe out belief in the paranormal since before it seized power in 1949, and campaigns have increased in recent years.

“Currently, some Communist Party members don't believe in Marxism-Leninism but they believe in ghosts and supernatural beings,” said Mr Wang, who head’s the party’s graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

“They don't believe in the organisation, but choose to believe in "Masters", added the official, referring to those who teach supernatural or superstitious customs, who often carry great influence among Chinese leaders. Full story...

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The 7 "blind" men and the US elephant...

The famous Indian story of the Blind Men and the Elephant is a metaphor highlighting that while one’s subjective experience can be true, it can also be limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth. A similar metaphor can be used to try to explain the hidden forces guiding the US Government

From 1975 to 1976 the Church Committee in the Senate and the Pike Committee in the House attempted unsuccessfully to curtail the power of US intelligence agencies. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in particular, was investigated to see if it was a “rogue elephant” or under strict control of the President and the executive branch. However, besides some damning revelations outlined in the “whitewashed” report and some minor oversight changes, the “rogue elephant” was allowed to roam free.

Contemporary main-stream pundits now openly describe these hidden forces as a “shadow government,” a “corporatocracy” or a “deep state” controlling American politics. None however can do justice to what truly is an amorphous, complex and intricate web of overlapping entities. All who have tried to define who really governs America have essentially behaved as “blind” men. Full story

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The "fake news" con: a case study...

The media have found a creative new way to explain away Hillary’s Clinton’s crushing defeat and their own humiliation. They have dubbed the agent of their mutual undoing “fake news” and talk about the phenomenon as though it made real sense.

In an all too typical New York Times opinion piece this week Michael Lynch defines “fake news” as “pure fiction masquerading as truth” and presents it exclusively as a “right wing” phenomenon. Like many of his colleagues, Lynch suggests the Russian government was involved in planting fake news items and believes that such items, regardless of source, may have cost Hillary Clinton the election.

To test Lynch’s thesis, we might profitably select a presumed “fake news” item and follow its course through what the Clintons once called the “communication stream of conspiracy commerce.” In August 2010, the Times identified a news item simple enough and seemingly fake enough, “Obama uses a phony Social Security number,” to makes a useful case study.

Tracking this story, one finds its source not in in Russia, but in Ohio. The person responsible for surfacing the number is a licensed private investigator named Susan Daniel. In 2009, troubled by the drift of the country under Barack Obama, she and fellow investigator Neil Sankey began to plow through proprietary databases and investigate Obama on their own time. What they discovered is that from 1986 on Barack Obama has been using a Social Security number that seemed to originate in Connecticut. Full story...

Friday, December 02, 2016

Simon's cat: Bed sheets...

Investigatory Powers Bill: Politicians exempt themselves from new wide-ranging spying laws...

Politicians have exempted themselves from Britain's new wide-ranging spying laws.

The Investigatory Powers Act, which has just passed into law, brings some of the most extreme and invasive surveillance powers ever given to spies in a democratic state. But protections against those spying powers have been given to MPs.

Most of the strongest powers in the new law require that those using them must be given a warrant. That applies to people wanting to see someone's full internet browsing history, for instance, which is one of the things that will be collected under the new law. Full story...

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China To Launch "Social Credit System" To Monitor Everything From Jaywalking To Internet Shopping Activity...

(...)

Hangzhou’s local government is piloting a “social credit” system the Communist Party has said it wants to roll out nationwide by 2020, a digital reboot of the methods of social control the regime uses to avert threats to its legitimacy.

More than three dozen local governments across China are beginning to compile digital records of social and financial behavior to rate creditworthiness. A person can incur black marks for infractions such as fare cheating, jaywalking and violating family-planning rules. The effort echoes the dang’an, a system of dossiers the Communist party keeps on urban workers’ behavior.

In time, Beijing expects to draw on bigger, combined data pools, including a person’s internet activity, according to interviews with some architects of the system and a review of government documents. Algorithms would use a range of data to calculate a citizen’s rating, which would then be used to determine all manner of activities, such as who gets loans, or faster treatment at government offices or access to luxury hotels. Full story...

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'Kill her, throw corpse to dogs': Saudi woman faces hate for not wearing hijab...

A Saudi Arabian woman is receiving threats and facing calls for her execution after she was photographed without wearing a hijab or abaya. The incident took place in Saudi Arabia's Riyadh.

The photograph was first put up on social media by a user named Malak Al Shehri. The account has been deleted since then.

The woman in the photograph received backlash on social media with many users calling for strict action against her. One of the users called on the state to "kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs."

A hashtag "we demand the imprisonment of the rebel Angel Al Shehri" has gone viral. A social media user wrote, "we propose blood" while another commented, "harsh punishment for the heinous situation".

However, there were some users who came out in support of the woman. One such user wrote, "Its about time to protest against this discriminative abaya prison against women".

"A brave Saudi lady decided not to wear her Abaya or Hijab out & about. Many praised her, others (males) said she should be killed for it," said a tweet. Source...

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UK: Hundreds report football child abuse to police...

About 350 victims have reported child sexual abuse within UK football clubs, police chiefs have said.

The National Police Chiefs' Council said a "significant number of calls" had been received after several former players alleged past abuse by coaches.

Its figures are also based on details from existing investigations as well as referrals from a new NSPCC helpline.

Greater Manchester Police said it was investigating reports from 35 people, and had identified 10 suspects.

Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford said the force had received calls on a daily basis from victims as well as people with concerns. Full story...

Read also: Chelsea FC 'paid me £50,000 to keep quiet over abuse'

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Swiss postman and his dynasty...

SHOCK CLAIM: Elite preparing for Nibiru apocalypse NEXT YEAR but the rest of us are DOOMED...

WORLD leaders are planning to hide out in bunkers next year to escape the doom a gigantic planet will cause as it passes the Earth, according to a crackpot conspiracy theory.

The biggest of these is located in Colorado, beneath the city of Denver, and has room for just 10,000 people – with spaces earmarked for government officials and powerful individuals, he said.

The complex is connected to US capital Washington by an underground "high speed train", he alleges.

He said: "They built them with one of those giant drills which the British and French used to dig the Channel Tunnel.

“Except these are nuclear powered and they glazed the walls of site into glass so it hardened. Full story...

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What do the cash queues tell us about India?

I remember queues outside "fair-price shops", streetside taps, cinema houses and electricity offices. People lined up to buy cheap food and fuel, store up water, go to the cinema and pay bills.

Mailing a letter from the post office could involve several queues: one for buying stamps, another for weighing the letter. Even the dead queued up, waiting to be cremated.

India was an economy blighted by shortages - even the well-to-do had to "virtually" queue up for a car and telephone for years - and queues were linked to lack of supplies. When you booked a long-distance call on the creaky state-run telephone network, an automated voice reminded you that: "You are in the queue."

But, on the whole, the physical queues reminded many of us of Vladimir Sorokin's novel The Queue, a slyly funny tale about the chokehold of interminably long lines on the lives of people during Stalin's rule which, he wrote, had turned the Soviet Union into a gigantic "line of lines". Full story...

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The 'outrageous' 40-year-old film that predicted the future...

When Network was released in November 40 years ago, the poster warned audiences to prepare themselves “for a perfectly outrageous motion picture”. The film was written by Paddy Chayevsky (Marty, The Hospital) and directed by Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon), both of whom made their names in television in the 1950s, and both of whom believed that the industry, and the world, had been in decline ever since.

Network was their furious howl of protest. It was a triumphant black comedy, winning four Oscars, being nominated for two more, and going on to be held in ever higher acclaim. In 2006, the Writers Guilds of America chose Chayevksy’s screenplay as one of the 10 best in cinema history. Last year, BBC Culture’s critics’ poll of the 100 best American films ranked Network at 73.

But is it really “perfectly outrageous”? It’s easy to believe that, in 1976, Chayevsky and Lumet’s bleak view of television’s crassness and irresponsibility was deeply shocking. But the scary thing about re-watching Network today is that even its wildest flights of fancy no longer seem outrageous at all. The film was so accurate in its predictions that its most far-fetched satirical conceits have become so familiar as to be almost quaint. Full story...

Watch the movie here: Network the movie...

Light, water and heat become a luxury for millions in Spain...

To reduce the money they have to pay, they live in the dark, without heating, or shower just once a week -- victims like millions in Spain of energy poverty.

Welfare associations have for years warned against this situation, but the death earlier this month of 81-year-old Rosa in a fire caused by a candle she used for light has brought the issue firmly to the fore.

Socialist lawmaker Pilar Lucio asked the ruling conservative government to immediately implement a "winter truce" on companies cutting power to those who cannot pay - a measure with majority support in parliament and encouraged in a 2009 EU directive.

 Last year, according to Spain's National Statistics Institute, 10.6 percent of Spaniards were unable to properly heat their homes - or more than four million people - compared to just 5.9 percent in 2008, when an economic crisis kicked off. Full story...

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