AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1612733 times)

Offline knarf

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Australian newspapers black out front pages in 'secrecy' protest
« Reply #14325 on: October 21, 2019, 07:22:36 PM »

Australia's major newspapers ran "censored" front pages on Monday

Australia's biggest newspaper rivals have made a rare showing of unity by publishing redacted front pages in a protest against press restrictions.

The News Corp Australia and Nine mastheads on Monday showed blacked-out text beside red stamps marked "secret".

The protest is aimed at national security laws which journalists say have stifled reporting and created a "culture of secrecy" in Australia.

The government said it backed press freedom but "no one was above the law".

In June, police raids on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist generated a huge backlash.

The media organisations said the raids had been conducted over articles which had relied on leaks from whistleblowers. One detailed allegations of war crimes, while the other reported an alleged attempt by a government agency to spy on Australian citizens.

The campaign on Monday, by the Right to Know Coalition, was also supported by several TV, radio and online outlets.

Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australia, tweeted an image of his blacked-out mastheads which include The Australian and The Daily Telegraph. He urged the public to ask of the government: "What are they trying to hide from me?"

The company's chief rival, Nine - publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age - ran similar front pages.

ABC managing director David Anderson said: "Australia is at risk of becoming the world's most secretive democracy."

On Sunday, the Australian government reiterated it was possible that three journalists may face prosecution in the wake of the raids.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said press freedom was important to Australia's democracy, but added the "rule of law" needed to be upheld.

"That includes me, or any journalist, or anyone else,'' he said on Sunday.

What do the media organisations want?

The campaign argues that tougher security laws enacted over the past two decades have threatened investigative journalism, eroding the public's "right to know".

Since new counter-espionage legislation was introduced last year, media outlets have lobbied for journalists and whistleblowers to be given exemptions to report sensitive information.

This forms part of a list of seven demands put to the government on Monday which also call for reforms to freedom of information and defamation laws.


Unusual allies

Jay Savage, Australia editor, BBC News Online

You wouldn't typically expect Australian media chiefs to shelve their competitive instincts - if not occasional hostilities - to publish identical messages on their most prized news pages and bulletins.

But the police raids had an immediate galvanising effect on the nation's press, stirring them into a co-ordinated response. Some have described the unity as unprecedented.

The firms have sought to nullify possible criticisms of self-interest by arguing that Australian society is best served by more open scrutiny.

They argue Australia is weaker than comparable democracies at protecting whistleblowers and has unfairly strong defamation laws which effectively silence reporting.

Together the outlets wield significant power, but it remains to be seen if their demands will be met.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50119559
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Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse
« Reply #14326 on: October 21, 2019, 07:33:30 PM »
'We Should Be Worried'
"We have been warned."

The acidification of the Earth's oceans, which climate scientists warn is a dangerous effect of continued carbon emissions, was behind a mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to a new study.

Small-shelled marine organisms survived the meteorite that struck the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, according to researchers at the GFZ geosciences research center in Potsdam, Germany, but the subsequent sharp drop in pH levels in the ocean caused the marine life to go extinct.

"We show ocean acidification can precipitate ecological collapse," Michael Henehan, who led the study, told The Guardian.

Researchers examined shell fossils in sediment dating back to the time period just after the meteorite struck the planet, which showed that the oceans' pH dropped by about 0.25 units in the 100 to 1,000 years after the strike.

"In the boundary clay, we managed to capture them just limping on past the asteroid impact," Henehan said.

But, the newspaper reported, "It was the knock-on effects of acidification and other stresses, such as the 'nuclear winter' that followed the impact, that finally drove these foraminifera to extinction."

"We have been warned," climate campaigner Ed Matthew tweeted with a link to the research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Today, climate scientists warn that the continued burning of oil, gas, and coal is causing ocean acidification that, left unchecked, could cause a pH drop of 0.4 units.

If policymakers are able to help limit the warming of the globe to two degrees Celsius by ordering that fossil fuels be left in the ground and shifting to a renewable energy economy, the ocean's pH level could drop just 0.15 units.

"If 0.25 was enough to precipitate a mass extinction, we should be worried," Henahan told The Guardian.

As Common Dreams reported in July, MIT researchers also recently turned their attention to ocean acidification as well. The researchers released data showing that today's carbon levels could be fast approaching a tipping point threshold that could trigger extreme ocean acidification similar to the kind that contributed to the Permian–Triassic mass extinction, which occurred about 250 million years ago.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/21/we-should-be-worried-study-confirms-fear-intense-ocean-acidification-portends
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San Jose to propose turning PG&E into giant customer-owned utility - WS
« Reply #14327 on: October 22, 2019, 07:56:10 AM »
(Reuters) - San Jose, California’s third-biggest city, is proposing to convert PG&E Corp (PCG.N) into the country’s largest customer-owned utility, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing the city’s mayor.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said in an interview to the WSJ the city served by PG&E hopes to persuade other cities and counties in coming weeks to line up behind the plan.

Liccardo had earlier indicated the same, last week, according to other media outlets. (bayareane.ws/2W3tFe9)

The plan is to strip PG&E of its status as an investor-owned company and turn it into a nonprofit, electric-and-gas cooperative, the Monday's report on.wsj.com/2JaJWJg added.

Liccardo told the WSJ the time has come for the people dependent on PG&E for essential services to propose a new direction.

PG&E Corp said, in an emailed statement to Reuters, that while the company hasn’t seen the proposal the companies facilities are not for sale.

PG&E Corp had earlier this month rejected a $2.5 billion offer from San Francisco to buy the bankrupt Californian company’s power lines and other infrastructure within the city, calling the offer inadequate.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pg-e-us-sanjose/san-jose-to-propose-turning-pge-into-giant-customer-owned-utility-wsj-idUSKBN1X027A?il=0&utm_source=reddit.com
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UK judge rejects delay in Assange extradition case
« Reply #14328 on: October 22, 2019, 08:36:50 AM »
Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court in London yesterday—only his third public appearance since UK police seized him from the Ecuadorian embassy on April 11 and imprisoned him in the maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.

Assange, whose exposure of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan garnered worldwide attention and multiple journalism awards in Australia, the United States, Europe and Latin America, arrived at court in a Serco prison van.

Standing in the dock—a room enclosed by reinforced glass panels—Assange mentally paused and appeared to stumble as Judge Vanessa Baraitser asked him to state his name and date of birth.

Baraitser’s vindictiveness towards Assange was clear from the first moments of the hour-and-a-half-long case management hearing. She told Assange’s supporters watching silently in the public gallery that “those causing a disturbance … will be asked to leave.” WikiLeaks’ editor and veteran journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson, investigative journalist John Pilger and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone were among those seated.

James Lewis QC appeared on behalf of the US Department of Justice, stating, “Mr Assange is wanted by the United States government” for “spying” and “aiding and abetting Chelsea Manning” in relation to publication of US classified documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and of US State Department cables. Assange was “not a journalist,” Lewis asserted. His actions were “criminal in both the US and UK,” he claimed, citing the UK’s Official Secrets Act.

Mark Summers QC appeared on behalf of Assange and requested the extradition case against his client be dismissed. The 2003 UK/US extradition treaty expressly provided that “extradition shall not be granted if the offence for which extradition is requested is a political offence.” Summers said the political motivations of his client “are well known.”

Summers continued that the US government’s moves against Assange and former US Army private Chelsea Manning since 2010 were “part of an avowed war on whistleblowers to include investigative journalists and publishers.” Political pressure had been brought to bear by the US state on Ecuador and on Manning, who is now in jail for refusing to testify against Assange. WikiLeaks had been described as a “hostile non-state intelligence agency” and the case had been “reinvigorated” by the Trump administration. The attack on journalists was “unprecedented.”

Summers requested that Baraitser grant a three-month delay to the extradition hearing scheduled for February 25. He pointed to “extraordinary” revelations of illegal US interference against Assange’s legal rights. Legal action taken by Assange against a Spanish security company had exposed the US “actively intruding on privileged discussions” between Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian embassy.

The US state was involved in the illegal theft of information from telephones and computers, “hooded men breaking into offices” and “plans to kidnap and harm Mr Assange.”

“To be blunt, we need more time,” he told the court. The “enormity” of the issues in the case required “evidence gathering that would test most lawyers.”

Summers explained that a delay was also needed due to conditions facing Assange at Belmarsh Prison. His client had no access to information, no phone contact with his US legal team and mail restrictions meant he had only received court documents from his lawyers one week before today’s hearing.

Responding on behalf of the US government, Lewis told Baraitser, “You shouldn’t be beguiled into accepting” the three-month delay argued by Assange’s lawyers. “It’s just a guesstimate.”

Summers appealed to Baraitser that the February date for a full extradition hearing “isn’t sustainable.” He repeatedly stated that Assange’s right to a fair and equitable trial was being placed in jeopardy.

Baraitser was unmoved, stating: “My intention is to adopt the timetable suggested by Mr Lewis.” While granting to the defence a two-month extension to gather further evidence, she ruled the full extradition hearing would proceed on February 25.

In a final vindictive move, Baraitser declared that next year’s week-long extradition hearing would take place at Woolwich Magistrates Court near Belmarsh Prison. There were audible gasps in the public gallery at Baraitser’s announcement. The venue near Belmarsh has a “public gallery” of just three seats, all but denying public scrutiny and allowing a biased media to selectively report and spread disinformation and lies.

Summers immediately objected to Baraitser’s choice of venue. Not only was the court difficult to reach—adding to an already impossible schedule and workload for the legal team—its facilities were inferior to those at Westminster and it even lacked conference rooms that would be vital for confidential legal discussions. His concerns were dismissed.

As the hearing drew to an end, Baraitser to turned to Assange and asked him to rise. “Do you understand what has happened here today?”

Assange, who has endured months of solitary confinement and been cut off from daily access to outside information, replied after a long pause: “Do I understand? Not really.”

“Is there anything else you would like to say?” Baraitser asked.

“I don’t understand how this is equitable.” Assange replied, speaking softly and inaudibly at times. “This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case. I can’t remember anything. I can’t access any of my written work. It’s very difficult to do anything with such limited resources against a superpower intent on [inaudible]… They have an unfair advantage dealing with documents. They [know] the interior of my life with my psychologist. They steal my children’s DNA. This is not equitable what is happening here.”

“I can’t think properly,” he concluded, fighting back tears and raising both hands to his head. "The conditions of your detainment are not the subject of this court," Baraitser replied. These were the final words spoken before Assange was led from the dock, out of view of his supporters in the public gallery.

Speaking after the hearing, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said: “The case should be thrown out immediately. Not only is it illegal on the face of the treaty, the US has conducted illegal operations against Assange and his lawyers which are the subject of a major investigation in Spain.”

Outside the court, Hrafnsson and Pilger addressed around 200 demonstrators who had made their presence felt throughout the morning. The crowd included dozens of Yellow Vests who had travelled overnight by coach from France.

Pilger told demonstrators: “The whole thing is a grotesque absurdity. There is an extradition law between this country and the United States. It states specifically that someone cannot be extradited if the offences are political… It is not a bit of agitprop, it is not an opinion, they are political. All but one charge is based on the 1917 Espionage Act, which was used to jail conscientious objectors during the First World War in the United States.”

Pilger concluded: “The source of this is a rogue state—a state that ignores its own laws and international laws and the laws of this country.”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/22/assa-o22.html
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No to American fascism! Build a mass movement to force Trump out!
« Reply #14329 on: October 22, 2019, 08:39:55 AM »
President Donald Trump’s response to the impeachment inquiry initiated by Congress has assumed an openly fascistic character. In his speeches last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Lake Charles, Louisiana, Trump appealed openly to xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism. He incited his audience of police and other rightwing forces against his political opponents, whom he denounced as “far left” and “socialist” politicians who “hate America.”

In a manner unprecedented in American history, Trump is seeking to utilize the power of the presidency to create a dictatorial regime. Contemptuous of all constitutional restraints, Trump is making it clear that he is prepared to use criminal and violent methods to hang on to power. In his Minneapolis tirade, he shouted that he intends to remain in office for “16 more years,” which would not be possible without the overthrow of the US Constitution. He has made no secret of the violent implications of his illegal claims to personal dictatorship, declaring that any moves to displace him will lead to “civil war.” Trump’s statement that his political opponents are guilty of “treason” evokes the specter of arrests and murderous proscriptions.

In a particularly ominous passage of his speech on Thursday, Trump defended his decision to remove troops from Syria by declaring, “We’re bringing the soldiers home. We may need them for something else, and they’ll be ready.” In the context of his assertion of dictatorial powers, this “something else” is a clear threat to use the military against domestic opposition within the United States. The White House has already begun to do this by mobilizing troops to enforce its brutal attacks on immigrants along the US-Mexico border.

To downplay, let alone deny, the fact that the Trump presidency is metastasizing rapidly into a right-wing authoritarian regime, with distinctly fascist characteristics, is to close one’s eyes to political reality. The old refrain, “It can’t happen here”—i.e., that American democracy is eternally immune from the cancer of fascism—is hopelessly out of date. The very fact that a thug like Trump ascended to the White House testifies to the terminal crisis of the existing political system.

Trump’s administration is the product of the deep-rooted economic and social contradictions of American capitalism. The massive concentration of wealth within the richest one percent of the population and the unprecedented level of social inequality are incompatible with traditional democratic forms of rule. Over the past four decades, the United States has evolved into an increasingly oligarchic society. Isolated from the great mass of the population, viewing every demand for an improvement of conditions of life as a threat to its wealth, the oligarchy is increasingly hostile to democracy.

Trump, the product of New York’s financial underworld, articulates, with the necessary crudity and vulgarity, the authoritarian impulses of the oligarchy. His hysterical denunciations of socialism and communism voice the growing fear of the rich that demands for social reform will lead inevitably to a massive redistribution of wealth, culminating in the expropriation of capitalist property.

In its very foundation, the Trump administration has epitomized the negation of democracy. His presidency has been, from the very beginning, illegitimate. Through the anti-democratic mechanism of the Electoral College, Trump was elected despite having lost the popular vote by nearly three million ballots. Far from acknowledging the minority status of his administration, Trump acts as if he was swept into office in a landslide. But he knows full well that his policies—for all his cynical populist demagogy—evoke massive popular opposition.

Trump’s appearances before police, security personnel and military audiences, as well as his carefully staged mass rallies designed to attract politically disoriented and backward elements, are all part of a calculated effort to create a political constituency upon which he can base an authoritarian regime, operating outside all of the traditional legal boundaries of the US Constitution.

American democracy has come to a historic crossroads. As it seeks to maintain power, the Trump presidency will assume an increasingly illegal, authoritarian and violent character.

The removal of this administration from power is a political necessity. But by whom and through what methods this objective is achieved is a life-and-death question.

Up until now, the official opposition to Trump has been dominated by the Democratic Party. The impeachment inquiry is the outcome of the increasingly bitter factional struggle within the ruling class. Basing itself on disaffected sections of the intelligence agencies, the military and the corporate-financial elite, the Democratic Party is employing the methods of a palace coup.

Trump’s opponents within the state apparatus are acutely conscious of the implications of the long-term decline in the global position of the United States. They view Trump’s foreign policy as erratic and unpredictable and, particularly with regards to Russia and Syria, in conflict with what they consider key geostrategic imperatives of American imperialism. It is for this reason that they have centered opposition on matters of foreign policy, first through the anti-Russia campaign and now on the basis of Trump’s telephone call with the Ukrainian president.

The social and political interests motivating the opposition to Trump within the state determine its methods. While Trump is responding to the impeachment by seeking to develop a right-wing movement, the Democrats are determined to avoid anything that would mobilize popular anger against Trump. In this sense, Trump displays a far greater grasp of political realities than his opponents, who are always looking over their shoulders, fearful of anything that will ignite the explosive social conflicts within the United States.

This is why the impeachment inquiry is being conducted entirely behind closed doors and is confined to conflicts over imperialist foreign policy. It also explains the schizophrenic and hypocritical character of the Democrats’ attitude to the Trump administration, which has alternated between hysterical denunciations of the president for undermining “national security” and functioning as an agent of the Putin government, with efforts to collaborate with Trump on critical elements of domestic policy.

However bitter their disagreements, all factions of the ruling class are agreed on the destruction of social programs, the assault on wages and benefits, the attack on immigrants, the destruction of democratic rights, and the massive buildup of the military. In the midst of their conflicts, the Democrats passed Trump’s record budget for defense spending and smoothed the way for his tax cuts for the wealthy.

So long as the conflict is confined to the divisions within the ruling class, there can be no democratic or progressive outcome. Should the impeachment drive of the Democrats fail, it will strengthen Trump’s political position. Should it succeed, it will elevate Trump’s factotum, Mike Pence, to the presidency. Moreover, impeachment will actually strengthen the political influence of the CIA and FBI over the White House. It will legitimize a foreign policy based on an anti-Russia hysteria that will justify a dangerous confrontation with a nuclear-armed power. Either outcome represents an immense danger to the working class.

The obsession of the Democratic Party and the media with former Vice President Joe Biden and Trump’s Ukraine phone call is a diversion. A mass movement for Trump’s removal requires that his real crimes be identified. Moreover, the defense of democratic rights must be clearly connected to the fight to advance the social interests of the working class, which comprises the overwhelming majority of the population.

Trump must be removed for the following reasons:

        Trump is utilizing the power of the presidency to create an unconstitutional and illegal dictatorship.

        Trump is using the military to carry out his domestic policies, including the construction of a wall along the border.

        Trump is threatening to stay in power beyond constitutionally mandated term limits and has indicated that he will not accept as legitimate an election that leads to his defeat.

        Trump is instigating violence against his political opponents and politically encouraging fascistic individuals who have carried out acts of mass murder directed at immigrants and Jews.

        Trump is persecuting immigrants and refugees, including through the erection of concentration camps on the US-Mexico border.

        Trump is encouraging the violent actions of the police, which are responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 Americans every year.

        Trump is threatening countries that defy US dictates with “annihilation,” in violation of international and domestic law.

        Trump is equating opposition to capitalism with treason, in violation of constitutionally protected freedom of speech.

The fight against the Trump administration and the defense of the most basic democratic rights is a fight against capitalism and American imperialism, which must be conducted completely independent of and in opposition to the Democratic Party.

The United States is at the epicenter of a global crisis. Everywhere, democratic forms of rule are breaking down. In Germany, 75 years after the fall of the Third Reich, fascism is again a dangerous political force. In France, the government of Emanuel Macron has instituted rule by decree against growing social unrest. Britain is ruled by the fascistic Boris Johnson. In Brazil and India, far-right and extreme nationalist governments are in power.

Democratic rights are not compatible with a social system based on extreme inequality and endless war. The lesson of 1930s is that the fight against fascism and authoritarianism can be based only on an anti-capitalist and explicitly socialist program.

The methods required in this fight are the methods of the class struggle, and its objective is the establishment of a workers’ government to radically redistribute the wealth, place the giant corporations and banks under the democratic control of working people, and implement a planned economy based on social need, not private profit.

More than two years ago, in its statement, “Palace Coup or Class Struggle: The political crisis in Washington and the strategy of the working class,” the WSWS wrote:

    Mass struggles are on the agenda in the United States. Protest rallies, demonstrations and strikes will tend to acquire a general nation-wide character. The political conclusion that flows from this analysis is that the fight of the working class against Trump and all that he represents will raise ever more urgently the necessity of a political mass movement, independent of and opposed to both the Republicans and the Democrats, against the capitalist system and its state.

Mass struggles are no longer “on the agenda.” They have already begun and are intensifying. The past two years have seen many expressions of popular anger and working class opposition, in the United States and internationally.

In the US, the wave of teachers’ strikes over the past two years has been followed this year by the month-long strike by 48,000 GM workers, the longest strike of autoworkers in decades. As the trade unions have sought to shut down the GM strike, new strikes have been launched by 3,500 Mack Truck workers in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida, and 2,000 miners in Arizona and Texas. More than 20,000 teachers in Chicago could go on strike this week.

Herein lies the social power that can bring down Trump and expose his reactionary demagogy for what it is. Mass demonstrations and protests must be organized by workers and student youth against the Trump administration. The logic of this movement is toward a political general strike, which will raise the question of political power. The organization of such a movement requires the formation of an interconnected network of popular workplace and neighborhood committees to unite all sections of the working class, in opposition to the efforts of the trade unions to isolate and suppress workers’ struggles.

The fight against the Trump administration must be connected to the fight against social inequality, the destruction of social programs and infrastructure, the attack on jobs and wages, the terrible conditions facing an entire generation of young people, the vicious persecution of immigrant workers, the degradation of the environment, and the consequences of unending and expanding war, which threatens all of humanity. The opposition of workers and youth in the United States must be connected to the eruption of social struggles among workers throughout the world, who share the same interests and confront the same problems.

This objective movement must be guided by a conscious socialist program and perspective. The Socialist Equality Party and its youth organization, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, are spearheading this fight. We call on all those who agree with this perspective to make the decision to join and build the SEP and its sister parties in the International Committee of the Fourth International throughout the world.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/14/pers-o14.html
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Offline knarf

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We need systemic change and a green transition to reach the Canada we want
« Reply #14330 on: October 22, 2019, 08:47:54 AM »
With some courage, foresight, and imagination we can realize a better future. We need to treat the underlying problems of coked-up capitalism, not its symptoms. We need systemic change, writes Joe Salter.



Sometimes I grow hopeful for a green, equitable, just, and democratic future, but then I tune into Canadian politics — as unremarkable as bathroom breaks and week-old Cheez Whiz stains.

Political choices are typically presented as binary: either higher taxes on the working class accompanied by an expansion of essential services, or lower taxes plus devastating service cuts.

Do alternatives to these lose-lose scenarios exist? Is it possible to simultaneously strengthen vital public services and reduce the financial burden on the 10 million Canadians who struggle to pay for basic necessities?

Yup! Canadians are offered a very limited vision of all that is possible, and with some courage, foresight, and imagination we can realize a better future.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 67 per cent of Canada's wealth is concentrated in the hands of only 20 per cent of the population, yet the lower classes are squeezed. Since 1952, personal income tax contributions to the federal government doubled from 30 to 63 per cent while corporate contributions were cut from 30 to 18 per cent, saving them around $1 trillion. The money never trickled down.

The next government could quickly recover tens of billions of dollars by closing tax loopholes (remember, remember the Panama Papers), by increasing wealth taxes, and by holding companies that violate the law to full account.

Some might argue that redistributing wealth, upholding human rights, and honouring Treaties will result in capital flight to nations with weaker labour and environmental standards. However, this misleading claim oversimplifies globalization and serves to reinforce inequality. Arguments about "competitiveness" are similarly bunk, considering less than 1 per cent of corporations in Canada own two-thirds of all domestic assets. The word you are actually looking for is "hegemony."

Decent jobs are secured through worker solidarity, progressive legislation, and global co-operation. A race to the bottom accomplishes diddly-squat.

For over four decades, we have been fed a neo-liberal narrative that encourages Canadians to vote against their best interests, to act individually instead of collectively, to have faith in uncaring financial markets, to trust that employers will never abuse their power over workers. Over time, the public has been made Public Enemy No. 1, leading to debilitating infighting. Meanwhile, the rich get richer.

Face it, the status quo ain't gonna hack it. The world is changing and we are not changing with it.

Humanity is facing the full-frontal, existential crisis that is climate change. Canada lacks the infrastructure to support an aging population. Human migration is at historically high levels because of conflict, extreme weather events, and business-suit colonialism. Right-wing extremism and neo-fascism are on the rise and threaten global security. Social media is a thing. A really big, freaky thing. Job automation, opioid crisis, you name it!

Canada cannot expect to heal insults like poverty with financial incentives and tax breaks. They benefit many Canadians in the short-run, but these band-aid solutions only hide the damage while the wounds fester.

We need to treat the underlying problems of coked-up capitalism, not its symptoms. We need systemic change.

Take Canada's food system, for example. Supermarket food is wasted. Food is unnecessarily stored in single-use plastics. Taxes, subsidies, and tariffs are carefully designed so that transnational corporations are prioritized over local farmers and small businesses. Processed foods are cheaper than nutritious foods. Food deserts are common in impoverished and remote communities. Migrant workers are exploited. Health, justice, and sustainability are simply not valued.

In order to create a sustainable society, Canada's economy needs to be circularized: labour and government investment should be shifted from extractive industries to recycling and renewable industries. Out of the mines and into the junkyards!! A green transition could create millions of stable, well-paying jobs throughout Canada, so long as the movement is rooted in justice, openness, and inclusion.

Although modernizing our economy will be expensive, the cost of living will continue to rise without reform. Climate inaction will cost trillions of dollars as ecosystems collapse, cities and towns flood, insect-borne diseases spread, crops die, and heat waves kill children and seniors.

Canadians must first demand a democratic economy. Transparency and public accountability mechanisms have been dismantled by governments that put profit over people. Consequently, important decisions are made by sleazy people behind closed doors. Electoral reform, rigorous public consultation, citizen oversight committees, and greater worker control over the workplace will revitalize our democracy.

At times, it can be hard to feel any urgency to mobilize in our overstimulating world, where the knocking of crisis fails to cut through the commotion. No superhuman is going to save us, though. Nostalgia only provides so much comfort. Resistance is futile.

Whether you are mad as hell for good reason (e.g. millennials), not mad as hell, or just PO'd by nature, find meaningful change in your community and vote for it. Chances are, the status quo does not care about you.

https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/9649191-we-need-systemic-change-and-a-green-transition-to-reach-the-canada-we-want/

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Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #14331 on: October 22, 2019, 11:37:17 AM »
Awww... the spec... The Hamilton spectator is a good old school ndp steel town paper. It leans heavily socialist. Redistribute, tax, power to the people right on ... Never mind that a third of the country wants less government not more and our most profitable export is oil. And Alberta was until recently overseen by an NDP government and did very little to change that narrative. Even that was seen as way too much by "we the people" in Alberta who wiped them out provincial last election and federally last night... It seems "we the people" like the goods and services that come from resource exploitation.
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Melting glaciers reveal five new islands in the Arctic
« Reply #14332 on: October 22, 2019, 01:48:33 PM »
Russian navy discovers yet-to-be-named islands previously hidden under glaciers

The Russian navy says it has discovered five new islands revealed by melting glaciers in the remote Arctic.

An expedition in August and September charted the islands, which have yet to be named and were previously hidden under glaciers, said the head of the northern fleet, Vice-Admiral Alexander Moiseyev.

“Mainly this is of course caused by changes to the ice situation,” Moiseyev, who headed the expedition, said at a press conference in Moscow. “Before these were glaciers; we thought they were (part of) the main glacier.Melting, collapse and temperature changes led to these islands being uncovered.”

Glacier loss in the Arctic in the period from 2015 to 2019 was more than in any other five-year period on record, a United Nations report on global warming said last month.

Russia has opened a string of military and scientific bases in the Arctic in recent years, with interest in the region growing as rising temperatures open up shipping routes and make hitherto inaccessible mineral resources easier to exploit.

This summer’s expedition to two archipelagoes – Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya – involved a team of 60 people, including civilians from the Russian Geographic Society, and was the first onboard a rescue towboat instead of an icebreaker.

Video of expedition members encountering an angry walrus that attacked their inflatable landing craft went viral last month.

“The two months this year when we held our expedition to Franz Josef Land can be described as warm,” said Denis Krets, commander of the northern fleet’s expedition force. “We were very lucky because we could land on islands where not every year the shore and the inshore water is free of ice.”

During the expedition, the defence ministry announced it had found five new islands in Vize Bay off Novaya Zemlya, a vast mountainous archipelago with two main islands. The islands had previously been seen on satellite images but the expedition was the first to see them.

It also said it had also confirmed the existence of an island that had been previously mapped as a peninsula of Hall Island, part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, west of Novaya Zemlya.

Moiseyev said names for the new islands were “upcoming”.

“Of course each island will receive a name but first you have to lay out the case for it,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/22/melting-glaciers-reveal-five-new-islands-in-the-arctic
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Banks At Risk of Extinction Shows Why The World Needs Bitcoin
« Reply #14333 on: October 22, 2019, 01:53:10 PM »
Bitcoin was designed to remove the monopoly banks have over the world’s wealth and put the control back into the hands of individuals, among many other reasons.

A new, damning report on the weakness of the banking industry serves as a powerful example as to why the world needs Bitcoin.
Banks Are In Danger of Failure

Bitcoin was created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, following bank bailouts, and the Great Recession, as a way to prevent future economic catastrophes from occurring at the hands of greedy bankers. But now the world is once again on the brink of economic collapse, and a large part of it is once again due to mismanagement by banks.

According to a report from US-based management consultancy firm McKinsey & Co, banks are at risk of becoming a “footnote to history” which is a nice way of saying they’ll soon become obsolete if abrupt and dramatic changes aren’t made.

The report claims that most banks across the globe aren’t generating returns on equity that can keep up with expenditures, and urged banks to develop new technology, outsource talent, and seek to merge with other large banks to prevent impending disaster.

Kausik Rajgopal, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co says that banks must “make bold moves now” to get back to more stable ground.

Even investors are expecting further decline in the banking sector, and valuations of banks across the globe have decreased by as much as 20% since the beginning of 2018.

Rajgopal expects mergers and acquisitions to increase the later in the economic cycle we get, as a means to scale operations, which the report says will “likely matter even more as banks head into an arms race on technology.”
Who Needs Banks When Bitcoin Exists?

The report also cites competition from the likes of Amazon or Facebook, who are hard at work developing more convenient payment technologies right under the noses of banks that have long enjoyed dominance over money.

The report, however, neglects to bring cryptocurrencies into the discussion, such as Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum. These new payment technologies not only are far more advanced than what current banking technology has to offer, they come with an added benefit: decentralization.

Bitcoin removes the need for a third-party to validate transactions, therefore eliminating the need for banks. And with banks on the brink of extinction, and with a surge of greed-driven corporations ready to take over, there’s never been a time when a technology like Bitcoin was needed more.

For example, when the economy went bust in Venezuela, the country’s central banking authority began controlling how much of its customer’s own money they were allowed to withdraw. And while this is an extreme example, it shows the type of situations that can occur when economies get turned upside down and banks are in control.

A widespread global recession unlike the world has ever known could be ahead, and time will tell if Bitcoin is able to serve its designed purpose.

https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/10/22/banks-at-risk-of-extinction-shows-why-the-world-needs-bitcoin/
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Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry
« Reply #14334 on: October 23, 2019, 07:30:17 AM »
Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators

House Democrats are threatening to force Trump administration officials’ compliance with their impeachment inquiry by targeting something they hold dear: their paychecks.

Democrats have twice referenced using an obscure provision in the annual Financial Services spending bill, referred to as Section 713, that says any federal employee who “prohibits or prevents, or attempts or threatens to prohibit or prevent” another official from communicating with lawmakers shouldn’t be paid during that time.

The process for carrying out such a threat is relatively simple. First, lawmakers request a Government Accountability Office investigation, after which the GAO would issue a legal opinion on whether administration officials have blocked certain federal employees from testifying or otherwise communicating with lawmakers or their aides.

If any wrongdoing is found, the GAO would inform the relevant agency and suggest it claw back salary paid during that time. The agency would then seek repayment from the offending federal employee — if timely payment wasn’t made, it could be sent to a collection agency.

The relatively unknown provision has rarely been used during its 22-year history, with at least two key exceptions.

Hardball at HUD

In 2017, a senior Department of Housing and Urban Development official felt Section 713’s sting after a four-year effort spearheaded by the top Republicans on the Judiciary committees at the time, as well as the then-House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Republicans said HUD employees tried to silence a Chicago-based regional director whom congressional investigators wanted to interview about potential violations of federal housing law by the city of St. Paul, Minnesota.

The regional director, Maurice McGough, eventually spoke with lawmakers under threat of subpoena, but the GAO determined that Elliot Mincberg, HUD’s general deputy assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental relations, and associate general counsel Kevin Simpson barred McGough from cooperating for 12 business days in April 2013.

As a result, in June 2017 a HUD official told Mincberg he owed $7,176 based on his equivalent hourly rate of $74.75.

Craig T. Clemmensen, a senior HUD official and onetime acting secretary, told Mincberg to pay by check or money order, though he had the right to an appeal or a potential installment plan if repayment in full would have caused financial hardship. If Mincberg refused to pay, Clemmensen wrote, the matter could be sent to credit reporting bureaus and the Treasury Department could be brought in to collect the unpaid debt.

In Simpson’s case, HUD’s acting deputy secretary, Janet M. Golrick, wrote in June 2017 that he wouldn’t have to repay any salary due to coercion on the part of departmental higher-ups. “I have determined that the Department will not take any action against you since you acted pursuant to the direction of senior leadership,” Golrick wrote.
The case at HHS

In a 2004 case, the GAO found that Thomas A. Scully, then the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, barred the agency’s chief actuary, Richard Foster, from giving lawmakers preliminary cost estimates for legislation creating the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.

HHS and the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel argued the pay prohibition was unconstitutional, writing that “it could force the disclosure of privileged, classified, or deliberative information” and undermine “the president’s ability to supervise and control the work of subordinate officers and employees of the executive branch.”

But the GAO wrote that the administration “overstated” the provision’s “threat to the president’s constitutional prerogatives” and determined that HHS needed to recover payments.

Scully declined to be interviewed for this article. But he wrote in an email that he “never inhibited any employees from anything” during his time as CMS administrator.
Expedited process?

Should House Democrats ask the GAO to start an investigation and issue a legal opinion, the process could take months based on the two cases’ timelines. The Scully decision took about six months, while the HUD decision took around three years, not counting time between the GAO decision and notices from HUD to the affected staff.

But Irvin McCullough, a national security analyst at the Government Accountability Project, expects the focus on impeachment would speed up the process.

“We’re at a place in terms of administrative law where these investigations usually take quite a while, and they take quite a while, in part, because they take place outside of the public spotlight,” he said. “Now that this impeachment inquiry is dominating the news cycle and dominating the minds of members, I can see a more expeditious turnaround from the GAO.”

Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, added, “Politically, House Democrats have everything to gain and nothing to lose to taking aggressive steps to defending the integrity of their fact-finding.”

Devine also said Senate Republicans could feel pressure to back up their Democratic colleagues’ use of appropriations law to compel cooperation.

“This would give the Republican senators an interesting option that’s defending the rule of law and the system of constitutional checks and balances without taking a stand about impeaching the president,” Devine said. “Many senators have been wary about prejudging the facts if they are going to be jurors, but they have no excuse about defending the process of gathering the facts.”

The possibility that senior Trump administration officials might not get paid for any time they spend stonewalling congressional investigators was first referenced in an Oct. 1 letter from Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel, Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff and now-deceased Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings.

A week later, on Oct. 8, Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asking which administration official told the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, not to testify before the Intelligence panel, citing Section 713 as a potential repercussion.
Big stick

Lawmakers leading the impeachment inquiry have Section 713 as one of the options to force administration cooperation because more than a century ago, their predecessors were similarly frustrated with the White House.

In response to executive orders from Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft that sought to restrict or prevent federal employees from communicating with Congress, lawmakers added a provision to the fiscal 1913 Post Office appropriations bill that stated: “The right of persons employed in the civil service of the United States, either individually or collectively, to petition Congress, or any Member thereof, or to furnish information to either House of Congress, or to any committee or member thereof, shall not be denied or interfered with.”

Lawmakers inserted a similar provision in the fiscal 1972 Treasury appropriations law that applied exclusively to the Postal Service, after the postmaster general issued a directive that only the Congressional Liaison Office could communicate with Congress.

The modern application was first added to the fiscal 1998 Treasury-Postal appropriations law at the behest of House Republicans, who were frustrated by the Clinton administration and sought to keep direct lines open between agency program managers and appropriators, which historically had helped lawmakers understand what needs weren’t being addressed in the formal Office of Management and Budget submissions each year, said Michelle Mrdeza, a veteran House Appropriations aide.

“Agencies would come to Congress and complain about [the budget request] and say, ‘We don’t have enough money to do our jobs,’” said Mrdeza, who was the GOP clerk for the Treasury-Postal subcommittee at the time. “That’s when the executive branch came down hard on agencies and said, ‘Stop going to Congress and complaining to them about the president’s budget and stop going to Congress and explaining the impacts of the president’s budget beyond what’s in the official documents.’”

Mrdeza, who is now a senior consultant and director with Cornerstone Government Affairs, said the provision signals to agency officials that if they “want to come to us and talk about the impacts of their budget, they can.”

https://www.rollcall.com/news/democrats-could-tie-paychecks-to-testimony-in-impeachment-inquiry
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How pharmaceuticals will leave us ‘accelerating into a 24/7 society’
« Reply #14335 on: October 23, 2019, 07:56:32 AM »
You probably know someone who takes cognitive-enhancing drugs. Pilots, heart surgeons, famous novelists, pressured city traders, renowned professors (and their students), as well as astronauts, soldiers and IT analysts, to name a few. If you asked them about their diphenylmethylsulfinylacetamide use, they’d stare at you blankly. But mention Modafinil, and they’d know that you know. ‘With the knowledge economy, a lot of people require long periods of concentration and are having to use their brainpower for long periods of time,’ says Barbara Sahakian, professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University Of Cambridge. ‘People are using [smart drugs] to keep competitive, to get into the best universities, and then to get the best exam scores.’ The use of smart drugs, like Modafinil, is at an unprecedented scale – and it shows no signs of slowing down. Between 2015 and 2017, people using substances for ‘pharmacological cognitive enhancement’ jumped from 5% to 23% in the UK alone, according to a survey of tens of thousands of people. It’s predicted the global brain health supplement market will reach $10.7bn (£8.3bn) by 2025. As a comparison, it was worth $1.74bn (£1.35bn) in 2016, the most recent figures available. Though not all of that money will be spent on Modafinil, it shows the public’s creeping appetite for drug-based brain enhancements. Aside from the medically-approved Modafinil, a vast, often unregulated industry is booming, from podcast superstar Joe Rogan-endorsed Alpha Brain to actress turned wellness expert Gwyneth Paltrow’s own Goop-branded Nerd Alert. And the future will see not just the amount of drugs consumed go up but the level of impact they have on the people using them. All these drugs fall under the broadly-defined umbrella of ‘nootropics’ – a term coined by 1960s Romanian chemist Dr Corneliu Giurgea, when he accidentally discovered apparent memory-enhancing effects of a drug called piracetam. Dr Giurgea’s decree more than 40 years ago that ‘man is not going to wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain’ now seems prophetic. Today, nootropics spans from simple ‘natural’ supplements, like caffeine, to obscure ‘synthetic’ research chemicals tested by enthusiastic hobbyists – though some experts see less of a separation.

People make this distinction, but a lot of our drugs come from natural sources,’ says Sahakian. ‘Cocaine is one example. I think this sort of distinction is a false one. ‘There are things in the environment, and some of these are synthetic compounds, but what you’re essentially doing is finding what the active compound is, and whatever the natural product might be and enhancing it to some extent.’ While natural, so much is still unknown: just how many people are using any of these drugs for a competitive edge? How many more drugs like Modafinil are on the horizon? And how safe are they long-term? Pick-me-ups have always existed. Coffee beans and Guarana leaves have been consumed for their caffeine for hundreds of years, while amphetamine-based stimulants were consumed en masse on the battlefields of World War II. But drugs like these have unwanted side effects; take too much caffeine or amphetamines, and you’ll feel dizzy, nauseous or much worse. It wasn’t until the widespread recognition of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that neural enhancers became more refined. Methylphenidate (sold as Ritalin) and amphetamine salts (sold as Adderall) production boomed in the US, being prescribed to millions of kids (and inevitably ending up in the hands of not-kids, wanting the attention-focusing effects for non-ADHD reasons). These chemicals play with specific neurotransmitters in the brain, improving what’s called cold cognition – a sort of mental processing independent of your emotions. ‘Drugs like Ritalin block reuptake, so they increase the amount of dopamine and noradrenaline that’s around,’ says Prof Sahakian. ‘Noradrenaline is very useful for attentional purposes, while dopamine is very useful for what we call executive processes, being involved in motivation.’ However, the rush that some of these neurotransmitters produce also raise the risk of addiction and abuse (millions of ADHD-related drugs are prescribed in the UK each year). It’s these downsides that have led to resistance against wide-spread adoption of neurologically-enhancing drugs. But Modafinil, which also works on dopamine, has shown the first glimpse that an alternative exists. ‘A lot of these drugs are working through similar systems to some extent, but the difference is that Modafinil so far has not been shown to have any abuse potential,’ says Sahakian. The task-related motivation boost with no major downsides, previously the stuff of fiction like Bradley Cooper-blockbuster Limitless, appears to be within reach (though only under strictly controlled conditions). But could we do better, and will it ever become normalised? ‘People are becoming more accepting,’ Sahakian says. ‘Before, there used to be more people who thought that healthy people shouldn’t be taking these drugs, but now there seems to be a change. ‘A lot of what stops people is the concern about side effects and addiction. ‘If you could ensure these side effects and the addictive properties were very low, I think the drug would be very attractive.’ Even with the purported side effects of higher dosages, Modafinil use is remarkably widespread, with almost 1 in 4 Brits having tried it in the past year. This could just be the beginning. As we understand more about the specifics of the brain, and the ways in which different areas relate to cognitive tasks, the potential for new drugs increases. ‘We’re getting better and better in studies that we’ve been doing in animals with trying to deliver specifically to different brain areas,’ says Sahakian. Though not drug-related, one study found that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms could be reduced by targeting very specific regions in the brain.

This technique of a machine providing what’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has already shown to increase cognitive abilities in healthy people. It’s easy to imagine a future where you could walk into a pharmacy and choose between a single pill or ten minutes on a TMS machine, and walk out markedly smarter. Given the apparent lasting effects of TMS, it could even be both: smart drugs for a short term boost and TMS to cement your mental gains, or TMS to nullify the worst side effects of the smart drugs you’re taking. There is no scientific consensus on where this ends up: humans taking control of evolution could end up with microchips and/or telepathy being the norm, an increasing number of potions and pills being taken or a reaction back to a more ‘natural’ way of living. While controversial, acquired savant syndrome – where some kind of brain damage unlocks some kind of ‘genius’ ability previously hidden – has led some researchers to believe that there is so much untapped potential in the brain that is just waiting to get out. For now, there are still too many unknowns about the brain for the potential future uses to be clear. But smart drugs are already here and the history of human beings and their drug use can give us clues for the rest of us. The drugs of an era can often mirror the times people live in. The 1960s, with its mind-altering lysergic acid (LSD) echoed the remoulding of politics and protest. The 1980s embodied enormous growth and full-throttle capitalism, so cocaine was a natural choice. So what is the drug of the 21st century? ‘We’re accelerating into a 24/7 society,’ says Sahakian. ‘When people want to take a smart drug and cognitively enhance themselves, it’s usually in the context of what we call cold cognition. ‘They want to remember more, they want to do better in the exam, they want to be able to produce better, faster work than their colleagues. ‘But nobody really says “I’d like to improve my heart cognition, my emotional and social skills”, which is so important for bringing people together.’ And people don’t often realise there’s a cheap, drug-free way of making you smarter: exercise.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/23/the-smart-drugs-revolution-how-pharmaceuticals-will-leave-us-accelerating-into-a-24-7-society-10942928/
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 07:58:34 AM by knarf »
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Predators can use photos from social media to create child-like sex dolls
« Reply #14336 on: October 23, 2019, 08:11:26 AM »
Child predators have the ability to use photos of children taken in public or sourced from social media to create child-like sex dolls which are manufactured overseas, an Adelaide MP has warned.
Key points:

    Laws were passed last month to ban the child-like sex dolls in SA
    An Adelaide MP is in Japan urging the government to crack down on manufacturing
    She says predators can use photos of children online to create the dolls

Just last month, the South Australian Government passed legislation which banned the dolls in the state.

Under the reforms introduced, anyone guilty of producing, selling or possessing the objects, which resemble young children, will face jail terms of up to 10 years.

SA Best MP Connie Bonaros is now in Japan — where the dolls are predominantly manufactured — to urge authorities to crack down.

"These child-like sex dolls were not prohibited items, not in Australia and certainly not in South Australia," she told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

"The laws that we passed, and were supported unanimously, make it clear that if you possess, manufacture, sell one of these dolls now, you will be subject to a criminal penalty with a maximum 10-year jail sentence.

"What we do know is that there is a growing trend in terms of these dolls being imported into Australia and being found in the hands and in the homes of known child sex offenders."
Children's images could be used to create dolls

Ms Bonaros said families had good reason to be concerned with the dolls and shared how easy it could be for a predator to use a child's identity to create one.

    "You can send a photo of a child to one of the manufacturers of these dolls and ask for that doll to look like that child," she said.

She said it terrified her that someone could download a photo of her children from the internet or take a photo in public and it could be used for sexual purposes.

In South Australian Parliament earlier this year, Ms Bonaros revealed that police investigations had led them to three individuals who had imported the dolls in South Australia.

She said police had found evidence that one of the individuals also had an inappropriate sexual interest in children.

"The fact that there are local paedophiles using these so-called dolls for sexual gratification, I am sure makes all of us physically sick, and this information from SAPOL provides the ultimate evidence that this bill is needed," she said in Parliament.
Online presence can 'put children at risk'

Her concerns were echoed by cyber security expert Jo Stewart-Rattray, who said online privacy was something parents and families needed to consider.

"It's great that we share photos with our friends and family, but when start putting children at risk, that's the real issue," she told the ABC.

"It's about ensuring that if you have an Instagram presence or a Facebook presence that you lock those presences down as much as you can.

    "You can make that private so people need to request access."

She said most people were exposed to "strange requests" and accounts on social media and having strong privacy settings would help keep children's faces, and identities safe.

"Something like this is absolutely odious, so of course we want to protect our children … against these predatory behaviours," she said.

"I am always really horrified that something that can have such a positive impact can be turned into something as distasteful and predatory as this."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-23/child-predators-using-photos-online-to-create-sex-dolls-mp-says/11630740
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Trump Says The 'Phony' Constitution 'Doesn't Matter' Because He's 'Rich'
« Reply #14337 on: October 23, 2019, 09:10:04 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/d-qKnvioXHc&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/d-qKnvioXHc&fs=1</a>
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1,900 manufacturing jobs lost in KC metro this year ( vanishing middle class?)
« Reply #14338 on: October 23, 2019, 12:42:49 PM »


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that the Kansas City area has lost around 1,900 manufacturing jobs so far this year.

The report sheds light on the continuing challenges the U.S. manufacturing sector faces.

According to the report, both Kansas and Missouri have seen a net losses of 600 manufacturing jobs since the start of 2019.

Locally, layoffs or plant closures at Harley-Davidson, Nestle, Pepsi and Haldex have impacted KC area employees this year.

“Manufacturing is really a risky position for workers to find themselves in right now,” Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO President Patrick “Duke” Dujakovich said. “It didn’t used to be that way.”

Dujakovich said the job loss numbers hit close to home for those he represents in the union.

“What unemployment means is that somebody’s daughter doesn’t go to the doctor," he said. "They go to the minute clinic because they don’t have healthcare. It seems the farther we go downhill, the faster we’re coasting towards the bottom.”

Dujakovich, who has served as union president for the last decade, said automation and jobs shifting overseas continue to plague the industry.

According to the report, New York has lost 10,000 manufacturing jobs, which is the most in the country followed by Pennsylvania (-8,10o) and North Carolina (-7,700)

Several states — most notably Texas (14,800), Arizona (6,500) and Florida (5,000) — have bucked the trend and added manufacturing jobs.

While the labor numbers painted a gloomy picture in parts of the country, positive signs in the economy could be found elsewhere.

During a stop Tuesday in the Kansas City area, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson touted an overall strong jobs report for the state.

“In the last year, there’s been over 30,000 new jobs added to the state of Missouri," Parson said. "Unemployment is at a record low at 3.1%. The biggest thing right now is finding people qualified to go to work.”

Parson also pointed to the new CVS distribution center in Kansas City, Missouri, as an example of manufacturing job creation, but Dujakovich said blue collar workers have reason to remain cautious.

“We’ve got a lot of workers in the manufacturing sector,” he said. “If we lose that, I don’t know where we make those jobs up.”

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/report-hundreds-of-manufacturing-jobs-lost-in-ks-mo-this-year?fbclid=IwAR01VdfJmlQgdhBgzbPbMz05PlUS8mRtlz13lc5S0B5c_ChpGBJLpx_abZU
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Google claims its quantum computer can do the impossible in 200 seconds
« Reply #14339 on: October 23, 2019, 01:09:47 PM »
Google claims it has designed a machine that needs only 200 seconds to solve a problem that would take the world's fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to figure out.
The speed achieved by the computer represents a breakthrough called "quantum supremacy," according to a blog post from the company and an accompanying article in the scientific journal Nature.
The results announced Wednesday herald the rise of quantum computers, which can store and process much more information than their classical cousins by tapping into the powerful forces contained in the field of physics known as quantum mechanics.

One big difference: Normal computers use data that exist in only one state at a time — a one, or a zero. Quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, which can simultaneously be any combination of zero and one. The difference means much faster processing speeds.
Google (GOOGL) will now try to build "a fault-tolerant quantum computer" as quickly as possible. The company sees applications in designing lightweight batteries for cars and airplanes, as well as new medicines.
"Achieving the necessary computational capabilities will still require years of hard engineering and scientific work. But we see a path clearly now, and we're eager to move ahead," it said in the post.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai with the company&#39;s quantum computer.


Google CEO Sundar Pichai with the company's quantum computer.

Quantum critics
The speed experiment devised by Google was criticized by some experts and rival companies after the results leaked online ahead of their official publication date.
IBM (IBM) said in a blog post Monday that Google had overestimated the difficulty of the computing task. Instead of 10,000 years, IBM argued the problem could be solved by a classical computer in just 2.5 days.

"We urge the community to treat claims that, for the first time, a quantum computer did something that a classical computer cannot with a large dose of skepticism," IBM said.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai defended the company's claim in an interview with MIT Technology Review published Wednesday, comparing it to the Wright brothers' attempts at flight.

"The first plane flew only for 12 seconds, and so there is no practical application of that," said Pichai. "But it showed the possibility that a plane could fly."
China is considered a leader in the development of quantum computing, which could have significant military applications. The United States is trying to catch up, sparking fears of a quantum arms race.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/23/tech/google-quantum-supremacy-scn/index.html
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