AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1944757 times)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Climate change: Elephants killing and injuring people due to drought
« Reply #14775 on: December 05, 2019, 07:38:41 AM »
Conservationists are collaring the giant mammals and tracking them to try to avoid rising clashes between humans and animals.

Elephants in Zambia are being collared to try to combat the rising conflict between wildlife and humans in the country as both struggle to survive a particularly devasting drought.

The lack of rain has led to animals encroaching on to human territory to seek out food and water.

Elephants have been trampling crops, tearing down fences, terrifying residents and even injuring and killing them.

But they are not the only wildlife problem. Crocodiles are lunging at people as both man and beast fight over the meagre amounts of water found in the bush.

And we spotted a hippo wandering around one of Livingstone's main roads - for hours. Hippos are among the most dangerous animals in Africa, killing several hundred people per year.

The desperation of the animals is matched by the increasing pressure on humans.

More than two million people in Zambia are estimated to be in need of emergency food help. And across the border in Zimbabwe, another seven million have been identified as urgently needing aid.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
A Facebook rumor about white vans is spreading fear across America
« Reply #14776 on: December 05, 2019, 08:01:31 AM »
Terrifying rumors initially propelled by Facebook's algorithms have sparked fears that men driving white vans are kidnapping women all across the United States for sex trafficking and to sell their body parts. While there is no evidence to suggest this is happening, much less on a national, coordinated scale, a series of viral Facebook (FB) posts created a domino effect that led to the mayor of a major American city issuing a warning based on the unsubstantiated claims.

The latest online-induced panic shows how viral Facebook posts can stoke paranoia and make people believe that spotting something as common as a white van, can be deemed suspicious and connected to a nationwide cabal.

"Don't park near a white van," Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young said in a TV interview on Monday. "Make sure you keep your cellphone in case somebody tries to abduct you."

The mayor said he had not been told of the apparent threat by Baltimore Police but said it was "all over Facebook."

Matthew Jablow, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, told CNN Business on Tuesday that while the department is aware of posts on social media it had not received "any reports of actual incidents."

Indeed, while there is no hard evidence of any such phenomenon in Baltimore, unconfirmed reports of suspicious white vans in Baltimore and other cities across the US have been shared hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook in recent weeks and have been seen by potentially millions of Facebook users. At least one person who drives a white van has reported being harassed for it as a result of the rumors.

Baltimore City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, co-chair of the Baltimore City Human Trafficking Collaborative, told CNN Business that he worried that the panic about white vans would distract from the wider issue of human trafficking.

"We need to make sure accurate information is out there especially because Baltimore is a hotbed of human trafficking in the country," Burnett added.

He said the rumors had spread mostly through Facebook, "which I think is sort of telling given the national conversation around Facebook's ability and inability to control the spread of inaccurate information on their platform."

In Georgia, police investigating reports of suspicious white vans have asked the public to call 911 rather than post on social media.

Going viral
Sightings of "suspicious" white vans in Baltimore have been reported on Facebook for years. For example, CNN Business found one 2016 post from a woman who warned there was a white van outside her home and that people should be careful because there was "a guy in a white van kidnapping kids."

Contacted by CNN Business Tuesday, the woman said she had no specific evidence to back up the claim but that she had heard it "plenty of times" and was only trying to warn her friends who have children.

While that posting barely received any attention, there has been a flurry of posts about white vans in Baltimore over the past month that have gone viral on Facebook and Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook.

On November 13th, Saundra Murray, a Baltimore resident, posted photos of a white van outside a gas station to Instagram. Murray said two men in the van would not stop staring at her while they were in the store. Murray told CNN Business she had seen the men in the store before she knew they were in a white van. She said she didn't report the incident to police "because I didn't have much information to report but I did want to make the [Instagram] post to let people know what is going on."

Murray said she had seen reports on social media of suspicious white vans but she thought people were exaggerating -- mysterious white vans are a "big thing in movies," she thought, and believed that might have added to the exaggeration.

However, after her experience, she now believes the men and the van are "part of a bigger story, I don't think they are two random guys."

Baltimore Police has received no reports of actual incidents.

Murray's post racked up more than 3,200 likes on Instagram. A few days later, on November 17, another woman in Baltimore posted screenshots of Murray's Instagram post to Facebook. That Facebook post had been shared more than 2,000 times by this Tuesday.

A separate Facebook post from another woman in Baltimore on November 18 that was shared more than 5,000 times showed a stock image of a white van and warned: "When you come out into the mall parking lot, and you see a van like this parked next to your car, DO NOT GO TO YOUR CAR."

The post claimed that sex traffickers had "these vans rigged where they lock from the outside, and, once inside, you can't get out."

But the posts were not only going viral in Baltimore. A Facebook post from a man in South Carolina on November 15 showed a photo of a white van with two external locks. The photo appeared to have been taken from Snapchat.


The post was shared an extraordinary 151,000 times.

Beyond Facebook
To help tackle its misinformation problem, Facebook has hired third-party fact-checkers. On November 21, one of the company's partners, Lead Stories, ran a fact-check that said people don't need to be particularly concerned just because they spot a van with external locks.

Lead Stories pointed out that external locks on vans are commonly used by construction workers who keep expensive tools in their vehicles.

The fact-check has been applied to some Facebook posts about white vans, meaning Facebook users who try to view those posts will be alerted that the information is false.

But while that might help slow or stop the spread of such posts in the future, it can't undo the damage done or prevent the information from going elsewhere. On Tuesday, screenshots of the Facebook post were circulating through an email listserv for parents in a New York suburb, CNN Business learned.

The biggest concern, of course, isn't just fear-mongering on Facebook, but how it can spread to the real world. In Detroit, a home improvement specialist told local media in late November he was harassed for driving a white van after he said speculation about white vans went viral on Facebook in the city.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Wanted Indian guru resurfaces to announce new 'cosmic' country
« Reply #14777 on: December 05, 2019, 08:09:20 AM »

Swami Nithyananda, a controversial self-styled 'godman', has been in hiding since he was accused of rape.

An Indian guru facing rape and sexual abuse charges has made headlines after he emerged from hiding and announced the birth of a new cosmic country with its own cabinet and golden passports.

Swami Nithyananda, a controversial self-styled "godman" with thousands of followers in southern India's Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, posted a video on his YouTube channel on Wednesday announcing the special project to his followers.

The 41-year-old guru announced that his country is called Kailaasa and is the biggest Hindu nation without boundaries.

"The Hindu nation exists in cosmos," he said in the now-viral video.

Local media reports cited a website allegedly created by the guru with details about his plans for Kailaasa, even as the police and other authorities investigating him for various criminal charges still do not know his whereabouts.

The website shares details of different government departments and agencies in his "country", including homeland security, commerce, treasury, housing, technology and one for enlightened civilisation.

Wrongful confinement of children
It also shared Kailaasa's flag and emblem, and announced Tamil, Sanskrit and English as its official languages.

Though not convicted, Nithyananda first made national headlines in 2010 after he was arrested and jailed for 53 days over a sex scandal involving him and a regional actress.

Subsequently, other women also accused him of abusing them at his religious retreat in Karnataka.

Last month, a case was registered against him in the western Indian state Gujarat on charges of wrongful confinement of children.

Indian media reports said the police believe he fled the country during the investigation.

The India Today news website reported that Nithyananda escaped to Ecuador via neighbouring Nepal. Al Jazeera could not verify the authenticity of the report.

India's Ministry of External Affairs has said it was unaware of Nithyananda's whereabouts.

"So far what we know is that he is not in the Ashram (his retreat) here for almost a year," a police officer told the Press Trust of India.

"This is one of the 10 to 15 Ashrams he has nationwide. His main areas of operation are Tamil Nadu and Gujarat," he added.

Meanwhile, the self-styled guru has continued to give sermons on his YouTube channel.

"Some people against me, they are looking for me, but I am in the Himalayas, in Kailasa," he said last week in a live YouTube address.

Nithyananda is one of several Indian gurus who've faced charges ranging from murder, sexual assault, rape and financial fraud over the last few years.

In 2017, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, another controversial self-styled "godman", was arrested and charged with raping two of his female disciples.

His arrest led to widespread rioting and clashes in northern Haryana state that killed at least three dozen people.

In November 2014, Indian guru Baba Rampal Maharaj, 63, was arrested in northern Haryana state in connection with a 2006 murder case.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Israel: Netanyahu cousin and associates to be charged with corruption
« Reply #14778 on: December 05, 2019, 12:28:33 PM »
PM’s relative David Shimron accused of using influence to push £1.5bn submarine deal

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases.

Israel’s state prosecutor plans to indict several associates of Benjamin Netanyahu, including his cousin, for corruption in relation to a contentious £1.5bn deal to buy German submarines.

The justice ministry said in a statement that seven men would be charged with various criminal offences, including bribery, money laundering and fraud, pending a pre-trial hearing.

While Netanyahu is not a suspect, he was questioned in the long-running and high-profile investigation, known as Case 3,000. Thursday’s announcement will increase pressure on the prime minister as he faces his own separate corruption indictments as well as a political battle that could end his decades-long career.

David Shimron, a relative of Netanyahuwho also worked as his personal lawyer, is accused of using his status and closeness to the prime minister to push Israel to buy nuclear-capable submarines and naval patrol boats.

The lawyer had received suspicious payments amounting to 270,000 shekels (£59,000) which were defined as a “reward for success” and for “opening the doors”, police said. He was given the money by an Israeli businessman and Thyssenkrupp’s former local agent, Miki Ganor, who first turned state witness but later recanted his testimony.

David Sharan, a former head of staff for Netanyahu, is also due to be indicted, as is the former head of the navy, Admiral Eliezer Marom.

Shimron will be charged with money laundering, while Ganor, Sharan, and Marom will also face bribery indictments. All the suspects have denied any wrongdoing.

After the alleged scheme was uncovered, Thyssenkrupp suspended its ties with Ganor and launched an internal investigation that found no evidence of corruption in its handling of the 2016 contract. However, it said the results of the investigation were provisional.

Responding to Thursday’s announcement, the company said: “To the best of our knowledge, Thyssenkrupp or its employees will not be investigated in Israel. We are currently unable to provide any further information, even on detailed questions, because we have only taken all the information from the press.”

Separately, Israel’s attorney general has charged Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases.

The charge sheet accused the Israeli leader of accepting hundreds of thousands of pounds in luxury gifts from billionaire friends and for trading valuable favours with Israeli media and telecoms moguls for positive news coverage.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, alleging he is the victim of a witch hunt. After the indictments against him were announced, he launched a tirade against the police and judiciary, claiming the “politically motivated” charges amounted to an “attempted coup”.

The indictments arrived at a precarious time for Israel’s longest-serving leader. Netanyahu is scrambling to remain in power after failing to secure a clear win in two elections this year.

His wife, Sara, has also faced accusations of exploiting her position. In June, she was convicted of illegally misusing thousands of pounds of public funds for lavish meals, despite having an in-house cook provided by the state.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
With memories of Rwanda: The Gambian minister taking on Suu Kyi
« Reply #14779 on: December 05, 2019, 12:52:44 PM »
BANJUL (Reuters) - The genocide case brought against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) - the first of its kind initiated since the 1990s - may not have happened at all but for a scheduling conflict.

In May last year, Gambia’s foreign minister pulled out at the last minute from the annual conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Bangladesh, sending Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou instead.

For Tambadou, who spent more than a decade prosecuting cases from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, what he saw and heard in Bangladesh jogged some painful memories.

He joined an OIC delegation visiting overcrowded refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, where some of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who had fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since August 2017 recounted how, they said, security forces had burnt Rohingya children alive, raped women and killed men.

“I saw genocide written all over these stories,” Tambadou said in an interview in Gambia’s capital, Banjul.

Authorities in Myanmar, including its de facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, have denied almost all allegations made by refugees against its troops, who it says were engaged in legitimate counterterrorism operations.

Tambadou introduced a resolution to create an OIC committee to examine alleged abuses against the Rohingya, and this year convinced the 57-member organization to back a formal case against Myanmar - thrusting his tiny West African homeland into the center of one of the most high profile international legal cases in a generation.

When arguments are presented in The Hague next week, Gambia’s legal team will face off against a Myanmar delegation led by Suu Kyi.

Tambadou will ask the judges to immediately order Myanmar to cease violence against Rohingya civilians and preserve evidence that could eventually form the basis of a finding that Myanmar committed genocide. Myanmar has vowed to contest the case.

Gambia’s role in the case would have been unthinkable until three years ago.

For 22 years, former President Yahya Jammeh’s security forces had killed and tortured scores of real or perceived political opponents, according to evidence presented to an ongoing truth commission.

But a 2016 election unexpectedly ended in defeat for Jammeh, who fled into exile. Opposition leader Adama Barrow took power promising to restore human rights and stem corruption.

“Twenty-two years of a brutal dictatorship has taught us how to use our voice,” said Tambadou, seated behind a desk stacked with legal texts, his shirtsleeves rolled up as he sweated through a power cut.

“We know too well how it feels like to be unable to tell your story to the world, to be unable to share your pain in the hope that someone out there will hear and help.”

The son of a businessman from Banjul, the 46-year-old Tambadou studied law in Britain before returning to Gambia in the late 1990s to practice.

In April 2000, security forces killed 14 student protesters, an event Tambadou credits with pushing him toward human rights work.

Friends tried to steer him away from the kind of work that could have landed him in one of Jammeh’s notorious jails or worse, but Tambadou was committed, said Emmanuel Joof, who co-founded a coalition of human rights defenders with him in 2000.

In 2003, he left Gambia to join the United Nations’ Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where he successfully prosecuted some of the genocide’s most notorious figures, including former army chief Augustin Bizimungu, who was sentenced in 2011 to 30 years in prison.

As justice minister since 2017, his decisions have occasionally put him at odds with former colleagues, such as when he ordered members of a Jammeh-era hit squad released from prison on technical grounds.

“Sometimes we don’t agree with him,” said Joof, who is now chairman of the independent National Human Rights Commission. “But the fact that it’s (a) person who is passionate about these issues gives someone like me great comfort.”

Tambadou, a devout Muslim with a prominent prayer bump on his forehead, acknowledged that Islamic solidarity was a factor behind Gambia and the OIC’s actions but said “this is about our humanity ultimately”.

Authorities in Myanmar reacted swiftly to Gambia’s submissions, which cite U.N. investigators’ findings that Myanmar’s military acted with “genocidal intent”.

Suu Kyi’s office said she would attend the hearings to “defend the national interest of Myanmar” and supporters have rallied behind her in street demonstrations and on social media.

Tambadou said that after several years in which Myanmar had refused to engage with international organizations over its handling of the Rohingya crisis, he was pleased his initiative had elicited such a strong response.

“I am glad that very senior members of the government will be at the court,” he said. “It shows the seriousness ... with which they are taking this case.”
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Gambia's new Rastafarian Rebel Woman "Nattali Rize live Reggae On The River"
« Reply #14780 on: December 05, 2019, 01:01:26 PM »
<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

LYRICS in English at :
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 01:09:18 PM by knarf »
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Ryrkaypiy: Far-north Russian village overrun by polar bears
« Reply #14781 on: December 05, 2019, 01:18:23 PM »

Conservationists counted 56 polar bears near Ryrkaypiy, including cubs

More than 50 polar bears have descended on a village in Russia's far north.

All public activities in Ryrkaypiy, in Chukotka region, have been cancelled, and schools are being guarded to protect residents from the bears.

Conservationists say climate change could be to blame, with weak coastal ice forcing the bears to search for food in the village rather than at sea.

Other experts have said polar bear visits are now so frequent, Ryrkaypiy should be permanently evacuated.

Tatyana Minenko, head of Ryrkaypiy's bear patrol programme, told Ria Novosti that they had counted 56 polar bears in the village.

The animals were "both adult and young... there were females with cubs of different ages", she said - adding that almost all of them appeared to be thin.

The polar bears normally live on Cape Schmidt, just 2.2 km (1.4 miles) from Ryrkaypiy. WWF conservationist Mikhail Stishov said the area had been experiencing unusually warm weather.

"If the ice were strong enough the bears, or at least some of them, would have already gone to sea, where they could hunt for seals or sea hares," he said.

While waiting for the ice to freeze they are drawn to villages for food, Mr Stishov added.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Scott Morrison says China is a global “game changer” and will “reset the world order”, saying it’s something Australians need to get used to.

Scott Morrison says China’s “game-changing” position will “reset the world order”, saying it’s something we all need to get used to.

Speaking to Sky News Australia from Kirribilli House, the Prime Minister said China’s increased influence needed to be understood in terms of its rise.

“China in our lifetime has gone from a developing country, one of not great economic size or scale and not a large military, to the second biggest economy in the world with one of the largest militaries,” he said.

“So it’s obviously been the game-changing country of our era and our generation. That’s obviously going to reset the world order.

“We just need to understand that in its context. They’re a much bigger country than they used to be with much more influence, and that’s just something the system has to absorb and adapt to.”

Asked if the average Australian should be worried about China, he said “worry is not the word”.

“One of the things I’ve always sought to do with China is make our relationship direct with them … and the other thing I say openly is we’re not looking to adopt your system, and you’re not going to adopt ours. There’s a few things we’re not going to agree on, but that’s fine, and there’s so much else going on.”

The interview comes a couple of weeks after former prime minister Kevin Rudd lashed the Coalition’s relationship with China as self-serving, warning of a return of the “yellow peril”.

“I will be the first to the barricades if the most recent national security legislation becomes a political vehicle for Hansonism and a return to the days of the yellow peril,” he said.

“This approach … should be given effect as a legal and administrative process under Australian law, not as a populist witch-hunt.”

He urged the Government to develop and regularly update a clear and consistent China strategy.

“It would be negligent for Australia not to have our own,” he said.

“It should be crystal clear about our national objectives in relation to China, just as it should be clear in its understanding of what China’s objectives are in relation to Australia.”
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
In Kiev, Giuliani met with Ukrainian officials as part of a documentary series.

As impeachment drama marches forward in Washington, D.C., focusing on a call between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Kyiv.

The president's personal attorney is meeting with current and former Ukrainian officials who have served as key sources for his questionable theories about Ukrainian corruption and election meddling as part of a documentary series by far-right network One America News Network (OAN) that is intended to discredit the impeachment process.

OAN previously confirmed to ABC News that Giuliani is in Europe conducting interviews as part of their investigative documentary series, which seeks to debunk what it describes as "the impeachment hoax" and offer proof of Ukrainian corruption and 2016 election meddling, according to a spokesperson for the network.

Among those with whom Giuliani has met is pro-Russian Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach, a former member of the Party of Regions, the political party of Ukraine's toppled pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. In recent weeks, Derkach has held a series of press conferences pushing unsupported theories attacking ousted U.S. Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch and leveling allegations without proof that Hunter Biden received corrupt payments. At the press conferences, Derkach has presented dubious documents that he has also frequently misrepresented.

Derkach posted photos Thursday with Giuliani in Kyiv, and according to Derkach, the two discussed creating an anti-corruption group in Ukraine's parliament to investigate alleged misuse of American taxpayer money in Ukraine.

"Rudolf Giuliani landed in Kyiv. We straightway met with him about the question of creating an inter-parliamentary group 'Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption,'" Derkach wrote in a length post on Facebook. "Unfortunately our country finds itself in the center of scandals relating to international corruption."

Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, left, meets with Ukrainian lawmaker Adriii Derkach in Kyiv, Ukraine, Dec. 5, 2019.

Derkach added that he believed Giuliani's participation in creating the anti-corruption group would be "very useful for us. In particular, he can help with including in this group international experts, analysts, journalists and all those who are able to realise the tasks of the group and to benefit the strategic relations between Ukraine and the U.S."

Allegations put forth by Giuliani -- including a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election and accusations of malpractice by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden -- helped formed the contours of an impeachment report issued this week by the House Intelligence Committee.

In addition to his meeting with Derkach, Giuliani met with former Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko as part of the project, according to a spokesperson for Lutsenko. Removed from his post as the country's top law enforcement official earlier this year, Lutsenko has been one of Giuliani's key sources of information about Ukraine.

Giuliani's quest to concoct damaging narratives in Ukraine eventually played a major role in triggering the impeachment process, after Trump sought to push Ukraine's leadership into announcing investigations into the conspiracies.

In a previous episode of the OAN series that aired within the last few weeks, Giuliani said Trump had blessed his efforts in Ukraine, even as the White House continues to face scrutiny for holding up military aid to Kyiv in exchange for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's support of politically beneficial investigations, including one targeting a prospective 2020 rival, Joe Biden.

"The president of the United States, I can tell you this, is asking for this," Giuliani told OAN.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C, Democrats are moving swiftly in the impeachment of Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday morning, within hours of news breaking that Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine, that she would ask relevant committee chairmen to begin drafting articles of impeachment.

"The facts are uncontested," Pelosi said. "The president abused his power for his own political benefit."

Democrats in Congress issued a subpoena to Giuliani for documents and communication records related to his work in Ukraine. Giuliani has thus far refused to cooperate or provide the records. He is also the subject of an investigation in the Southern District of New York for his contacts with two Soviet-born associates with ties to Ukraine, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, sources have told ABC News.

Giuliani's work on matters related to Ukraine and his business dealings with two Soviet-born associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, is the subject of an on going investigation by prosecutors out of the Southern District of New York, sources have previously told ABC News.

As ABC News has previously reported, the House Intelligence Committee is in possession of audio and video recordings and photographs provided to the committee by Parnas.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
The average Canadian family will pay up to an extra $487 on feeding themselves next year, according to an annual food price report that highlights climate change as a major culprit for rising food prices, especially in the produce department.

Unexpected snowstorms, droughts and other weather events have impacted crops and food prices in the past, said Simon Somogyi, lead researcher from the University of Guelph.

But for 2020, he and others behind the report highlight climate change as the cause.

"We're deliberately pointing out that, you know: climate change is causing the droughts, is causing the bad snowstorms that's impacting prices," he said.

The report calls the impact of changing weather patterns on our food systems through droughts, forest fires, heavy precipitation, reduced freshwater access and rising sea levels "the elephant in the room" for 2020.

"Canadian farmers will face challenges in the future dealing with unpredictable crop yields, heat-wave livestock threats, pasture availability, and pest and disease outbreaks," reads the report from researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph.

That link between climate change and food prices comes along with a forecast that the average Canadian family will spend $12,667 on food at grocery stores and restaurants in 2020.

That's two to four per cent more than in 2019 -- thought the researchers expect it to be closer to the top end of that range. It's the second-highest prediction since 2013. It's outdone only by an anticipated three to five per cent, or $420, rise for the year 2017. The algorithm provides a two-per cent range for the national forecast.

The expected rise in food prices comes as Canadians face relatively steady inflation. The consumer price index rose 1.9 per cent year-over-year in October, according to Statistics Canada -- the same increase as the previous two months. Increases have remained below 2.5 per cent since Sept. 2018.

Next year, researchers expect price increases in all eight food categories they track with the biggest jump -- four to six per cent -- in meat.

Pork prices will likely lead that ascent due to the African Swine Fever outbreak in China roiling pork markets.

Food sold at restaurants, as well as seafood and vegetables, will likely see the next biggest price increases in 2020. The report estimates a jump of two to four per cent in those three categories. The estimated rise in vegetable prices comes after a staggering 12 per cent increase for the 12 months ended Sept. 2019. Much of that double-digit jump Somogyi attributes to climate change.

Storms and other weather events wreak havoc on logistics, he said. They can slow down transportation, for example, and create a shortage that results in higher prices.

A hotter climate is one factor behind an increase in bacterial outbreaks such as E. coli, Somogyi said, as hotter temperatures and unpredictable heat waves increase bacterial growth. In recent years, multiple E. coli outbreaks prompted grocers to pull romaine lettuce off their shelves and restaurants to stop serving the leafy green. That tends to drive up prices for alternatives, like spinach.

Produce prices also trend up because Canada imports vast amounts of its food as the colder weather in the country limits what can be grown. Imported goods can fluctuate in price due to trade issues creating slowdowns at borders or weather events impacting delivery logistics.

Food trends can also prompt big swings. This year, celery costs skyrocketed partly due to a fad diet based on purported health benefits of celery juice. In May, one major Canadian grocer advertised celery stalks for $5.99 online -- compared to a more typical, roughly $3 per kilogram cost for much of the years prior to April 2018, when Statistics Canada stopped tracking the vegetable.

It's difficult to put a number on how much of the anticipated 2020 food price increase comes from climate change, said Somogyi, but it is responsible for "the bulk" of last year's vegetable sticker shock. In the case of the catapulting celery costs, months of unseasonably cold weather and heavy rainfall in California created supply issues.

But the stability of food supply isn't climate change's sole casualty, as it sparks changes to demand too, said Sylvain Charlebois, lead author from Dalhousie University.

"People, when they think about food, they see the planet on their dinner plates much more so than ever before," he said.

Younger generations especially decide what to eat in part by looking at the environmental impact of their meals, said Charlebois, and turn more toward full or partial plant-based diets. Fast-food chains and manufacturers raced to stock and create products to feed this demographic with Beyond Meat and Lightlife alternatives now ubiquitous at restaurants across Canada.

Somogyi anticipates climate change will continue to boost food prices, particularly in categories where Canada relies heavily on imports, unless big changes occur.

In particular, he'd like to see a national food policy that focuses on producing more high-cost items, like many vegetables, in Canada through vertical and indoor farming. That would reduce time to market, costs and risks of bacterial outbreaks, he said.

"If we maintain our current food, Canadian food distribution structure, I can see that happening each year -- four per cent, 10 per cent, 15 per cent," he said.

The federal government released a long-awaited food policy in June 2019 -- the first in Canada -- after starting public consultations in 2017. It addressed four significant areas for short- and long-term action to support the policy's goals. These include boosting community access to healthy food, making Canadian food a top choice domestically and internationally, supporting food security in Northern and Indigenous communities and reducing food waste.

Certain initiatives announced as part of the food policy could support vertical or indoor farming, said Agriculture Canada spokesman James Watson in an email.

The department is also exploring vertical and container agriculture beyond the food policy, he said, pointing to a Aug. 2017 workshop it held where experts identified research and development needs in this area.

"Vertical and greenhouse production show potential for increasing food security (particularly in remote areas of Canada), decreasing transportation costs and increased health for Canadians."

Agriculture Canada is working with others to optimize these farming systems so they can complement traditional ones, he said.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Chunks of ASH start falling down in Sydney as sky turns an apocalyptic orange...
« Reply #14785 on: December 05, 2019, 02:00:15 PM »
and bushfires continue to ravage mountains west of the city.

Chunks of black ash started raining down on Sydney today as the sky turned an apocalyptic shade of orange amid catastrophic bushfires west of the city.

The Harbour City has been covered in a thick blanket of smoke for weeks as bushfires burn on the city's fringe, including in the Blue Mountains.

But millions of residents woke up this morning to find a fresh layer of ash coating their homes and cars.

Sydney Harbour is covered in a thick layer of smoke as black ash rains down from the sky

'We're going to see the winds turn easterly over the weekend, which could reduce the smoke for a little but, but it wont be sustained until we put the fires out,' she said.

'The main thing we need is a good soaking, and we don't have any on the horizon at the moment.

'Through the month of December, we're more likely to see less than average rain. [The issue] is not quite as pronounced in January, but [the rainfall levels are] still quite low.'

Ms Chadwick said the amount of smoke sitting over the city depended on current fire activity, and she did not believe anyone could give a definitive answer on when the blazes raging across the state might be extinguished.

Meanwhile residents have suffered through the longest and most widespread period of poor air quality in the state's recorded history. 

NSW Health revealed in the week ending on December 1, 1126 people presented at emergency departments across the state, and 2214 people called an ambulance reporting they had trouble breathing.     

Strong westerly winds expected until Saturday will further hinder firefighters efforts, with hot and dry conditions set to exacerbate the situation.

Communities in fire-prone areas are urged to prepare their homes 'while they still have time' and to ensure they're prepared themselves in the event of a fire.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile

A New York plumber was on his way home from work in the middle of a snowstorm Monday afternoon when he saw someone standing on top of one of the Brooklyn Bridge's many beams.

"My first instinct was, 'oh my God, this person doesn't belong up there'" Joey Hansen, 29, told CNN. "This man was going to take his life and I knew that I had to step up and do something."
Hansen, who was in the passenger's side of a friend's car, rolled down the window and tried to get his attention.
"I was like 'Hey boss!'" said Hansen, who was born and raised in Bergen Beach, New York. "It's slang, like a term I call my friends."
But the plumber from UA Plumbers Local 1 didn't stop there.
"I started yelling at him 'Walk back, bro! It's not worth it! You can change anything in your life!' and I kept repeating it" said Hansen. "I tried to give him some inspiration, to reach out to him as a friend."
And it worked.
The man, 24, who the NYPD did not identify, walked back to safety.
"I saw him look at me and I could tell by his body language that he was starting to get upset, so I knew I was starting to impact him," Hansen told CNN. "I was so happy and relieved that he made the decision not to do it."
According to NYPD spokeswoman Sophia Mason, the man was "emotionally disturbed," taken into custody by police and a civilian and taken by emergency services to Beth-Israel Hospital for treatment.
Hansen said he is happy and relieved that the man decided not to jump.
"It was a cry out for help," Hansen said. "I just hope that he gets the help he needs and goes on to be happy with himself."
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile

Kansas City's streetcar has been free since it opened, and is now joined by the city's bus system.

Today, Kansas City became the first major American city to have fare-free public transit.

City council voted to make city bus routes fare-free, reports KSHB. The city’s light rail was already free.

Free bus service, which is expected to cost about $8 million has been pitched as a major help to low income residents who rely on transit to commute to work.

New mayor, Quinton Lucas, helped spearhead the plan with the support of city opinion leaders including the Kansas City Star‘s editorial board.

Other supporters included City Councilman Eric Bunch.

“When we’re talking about improving people’s lives who are our most vulnerable citizens, I don’t think there’s any question that we need to find that money,” Bunch told KSHB. “That’s not a ton of money and it’s money that we as a city, if we want to prioritize public transportation, it’s something that we can find.”

Public transit has been a focus on intense political activity in cities across the country as young climate change protestors demand investment in mass transit to help battle climate change.

While progressive Kansas City enacts universal fare-free transit, other cities, such as Portland, Oregon are redoubling efforts to crack down on scofflaws and hiring more transit cops to deter free riders.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
Evil Corp: US charges Russians over hacking attacks
« Reply #14788 on: December 05, 2019, 07:20:33 PM »

Maksim Yakubets (L) and Igor Turashev are accused of running Evil Corp

US authorities have filed charges against two Russian nationals alleged to be running a global cyber crime organisation named Evil Corp.

An indictment named Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev - who remain at large - as figures in a group which used malware to steal millions of dollars in more than 40 countries.

Those affected by the hacks include schools and religious organisations.

It is also alleged that Mr Yakubets worked for Russian intelligence.

Speaking at a news conference, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said the attacks were among "the worst computer hacking and bank fraud schemes of the past decade".

Mr Yakubets is accused of leading Moscow-based Evil Corp, while Mr Turashev allegedly acted as an administrator. The pair are thought to be in Russia.

Largest reward yet for cyber-criminal
Thursday's indictment came after a multi-year investigation by the FBI, and by Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) and Cyber Security Centre.

US authorities allege that the group stole at least $100m (£76m) using Bugat malware - known as Dridex.

Alleged members of Evil Corp have shared images of personalised sports cars on their social media accounts

The malware was spread through so-called "phishing" campaigns, which encouraged victims to click on malicious links sent by email from supposedly trusted entities.

Once a computer was infected, the group stole personal banking information which was used to transfer funds.

A network of money launderers - targeted by the NCA and Britain's Metropolitan Police - were then utilised to funnel the criminal proceeds to members of Evil Corp. Eight members of this network have been sentenced to a total of over 40 years in prison.

US authorities said Mr Yakubets was also involved in a similar scheme using another form of malware - known as Zeus - which stole $70m from victims' bank accounts.

The NCA alleged that Maksim Yakubets spent more than £250,000 ($328,971) of criminal proceeds on his wedding. He is also said to drive a customised Lamborghini with a personalised number plate which reads "Thief" in Russian.

In a separate statement, the US Treasury alleged that, since 2017, Mr Yakubets had worked on projects for the Russian state, including the theft of confidential documents and "cyber-enabled operations".

The department said it had rolled out sanctions against 17 individuals and seven "entities," including businesses associated with a member of the group.

A $5m reward has been offered for information leading to their arrest and prosecution. The US Department of Justice said the amount was the largest offered for a cyber criminal to date.
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15344
    • View Profile
The figure was among several alarming statistics made available in a first-of-its-kind company safety report released Thursday.

Uber received 235 reports of a rape occurring during a ride in the United States last year — an average of four a week, according to a company review released Thursday.

The ride-hailing company has come under increasing scrutiny amid a flood of lawsuits from riders alleging they were sexually assaulted by drivers.

In an extensive new report, Uber details for the first time the number of sexual abuse complaints made to the company in 2017 and 2018.

The 84-page report reveals several startling statistics:
235 reports of rape in 2018, up from 229 in 2017.
280 reports of attempted rape in 2018, down from 307 in 2017.
1,560 reports of groping in 2018, up from 1,440 in 2017.
376 reports of unwanted kissing to the breast, buttocks or mouth in 2018, down from 390 in 2017.
594 reports of unwanted kissing to a different body part in 2018, up from 570 in 2017.
In all, Uber received 5,981 reports of sexual abuse between 2017 and 2018.

Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, acknowledged that the figures were difficult to confront.

"Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma," West told NBC News.

"But I’m not surprised by those numbers. And I’m not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize."

Drivers aren’t always the alleged attackers, according to the report. The company said riders were the accused party in 45 percent of the reports filed.

In the case of alleged rapes, however, riders were the victims in 92 percent of the 464 reports.

The report, remarkable in scope and detail, was released during a rocky period for the company.

Uber went public earlier this year, but its stock has floundered. In August, Uber reported a record quarterly loss of $5.2 billion. And in October, the company laid off 350 employees in what was the third round of cuts in recent months.

In an interview, West said the company felt a responsibility to release its sexual assault statistics. He emphasized that the overwhelming majority of Uber trips end safely.

"We do four million rides a day. That's 45 trips per second," West said. "And when you're operating at that kind of scale, thankfully, 99.9 percent of those rides end with absolutely no safety incident whatsoever."

Uber hired the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute to assist in the preparation of the report.

Karen Baker, chief executive officer of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, praised the ride-hailing service for making the results public, saying she wasn’t aware of any other company voluntarily releasing such unflattering information about itself.

"It's unprecedented," Baker said. "And it's very refreshing. It's absolutely what needs to happen to bring this out of the shadows."

"I think that Uber is setting a new high bar for corporate responsibility and transparency," Baker added. "And I hope a lot of others follow suit."

Safety concerns have dogged Uber since its launch eight years ago.

Allegations of sexual assaults during Uber rides have piled up in recent years in the form of lawsuits and media interviews. Other ride-hailing companies, including Lyft, have faced similar allegations.

Four alleged victims of predatory Uber drivers recounted their stories to NBC News in May 2018.

One of the women, Addison Hoover, said she hailed an Uber for what should have been a 13-minute ride from her boyfriend’s house to her sister’s apartment in Los Angeles in March 2018. But the driver instead took her to his home, forced her inside and raped her.

"I was so humiliated and felt like that I was in the wrong," Hoover said. "And then a few hours later, I tried to take my own life over this because I was so disgusted."

Stephanie Nam, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said at the end of a ride in July 2017 her Uber driver opened her door and jumped into the back seat with her. "He said, ‘I just need two minutes with you, baby,’" Nam said.

She escaped the car and made it home safely. But Nam said when she opened the app six months later, she noticed that her attacker was still driving for Uber.

"He just changed his picture to make him look like someone else, but it was the same guy," Nam said.

Uber declined to comment on the accounts from Nam and Hoover.

The company has ramped up its background checks and rolled out a fleet of new features intended to keep riders safe, including an emergency button that allows users to call 911 through the app.

The report says more than a million prospective drivers failed to make it through Uber’s screening process during 2017 and 2018. The report also notes that Uber banned more than 40,000 U.S. drivers in the last two years as a result of ongoing criminal and motor vehicle screenings.

Uber said it plans to, for the first time, share those names with other ride-hailing companies, including Lyft.

But when notified of a sexual assault, Uber doesn’t contact law enforcement unless directed by the victim. Uber was aware of law enforcement involvement in only 37 percent of the sexual assault cases reported to the company, the report says.

"One of the facts about sexual assault is that it is a very underreported offense, and there are a whole lot of reasons why individuals don’t report to law enforcement," West said.

"Uber shouldn’t make that choice for survivors," he added. "Survivors should make that choice for themselves."

In addition to the statistics on sexual assaults, the report also provides figures on fatal crashes and deadly assaults.

Between 2017 and 2018, 107 people died in Uber-related crashes, which the report says is roughly half of the national motor vehicle fatality rate.

Over the same period, 19 people were killed in fatal assaults during Uber rides. Of the victims, eight were riders, seven were drivers and four were third-parties such as bystanders outside the vehicles.

Uber says it will release a safety report every two years.

West, the company’s chief legal officer, said the decision to undertake such an effort was set in motion two years ago when he was hired by Uber’s new chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi.

"We had to measure what was happening on our platform," West said. "Because we know in business, if you don’t measure it, you can’t address it."

West said company executives are fully aware that releasing the statistics could hurt their business. But he said they felt an obligation to do so in order to combat the scourge of sexual violence.

"It exists everywhere," West said. "It exists in our companies, in our classrooms, in our homes."

"The only way to grapple with that is to push through the discomfort that we feel in talking about these issues. To count it where we can, to confront it, and thereby end it."
NECROCAPITALISM at ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)