AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1530305 times)

Offline RE

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Re: The end of capitalism has begun
« Reply #13770 on: August 18, 2019, 07:03:16 PM »
Post-Capitalism sounds a lot like Neo-Tribalism.

However, the energy dependence of our communications systems make it unlikely that this will be a big factor in the post-capitalist world.

The article also doesn't address the problems of population overshoot and resource depletion, which will in due time end in a massive population knockdown.  It's doubtful any large scale political structures or economic structures will survive that.

Whatever does replace capitalism in the long term is a long ways off, in the medium term we're likely to see either Fascism or Communism.  There are likely to be many wars at many levels and sizes throughout this period.  It's going to take quite some time to work through this clusterfuck.

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Offline K-Dog

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End of capitalism
« Reply #13771 on: August 18, 2019, 08:05:27 PM »
The author appears to be a utopian who thinks internet chatter will save the world.  Sad to say.  Don’t we wish.  Not going to happen!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 08:07:57 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline K-Dog

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End of capitalism
« Reply #13772 on: August 18, 2019, 08:11:12 PM »
Capitalism will evolve when all profits are distributed according to need and ownership is abolished.  Few boards of directors are going to be voting for that.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: End of capitalism
« Reply #13773 on: August 19, 2019, 05:06:53 AM »
Capitalism will evolve when all profits are distributed according to need and ownership is abolished.  Few boards of directors are going to be voting for that.

 :emthup:

Not before the next shareholder meeting, to be sure.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline knarf

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Google loophole allows anti-abortion clinics to post deceptive ads
« Reply #13774 on: August 19, 2019, 08:21:13 AM »
‘Crisis pregnancy centers’ seek to discourage women from getting abortions by ‘deceiving them about services they do or do not offer’


access to legal abortion is being curtailed in many states across the US.

A new Google policy that was meant to rein in deceptive advertising by “crisis pregnancy centers” has a loophole that is allowing the centers to continue to post misleading ads on the search engine.

Crisis pregnancy centers often seek to aggressively discourage women from getting abortions and have earned the ire of abortion rights groups for often seeming to resemble abortion clinics.

The loophole means only users who are specifically searching under the term “abortion” will be provided information on Google’s website about whether a particular health care clinic does – or does not – offer the procedure to women.

If a user searches under other terms, like “free pregnancy test” or “pregnancy symptoms”, no such information appears under the advertisements for the same clinics. While the difference might seem semantic, there is a worry that it will confuse women who might mistake a crisis pregnancy center for an abortion clinic.

The ability of crisis pregnancy centers to influence possibly vulnerable women with false information is seen by pro-choice advocates as a significant challenge at a time when access to legal abortion is being curtailed in many states across the US.

Carolyn Maloney, a Democratic congresswoman from New York, said that while she was pleased that Google had take a step toward transparency, “it was just a first step”.

“I hope [Google] will monitor loopholes in its policy that may still allow these centers to purposely deceive pregnant women about the services they do or do not offer,” Maloney said in a statement to the Guardian.

Google’s handling of abortion-related advertising has been a source of controversy for years, with pro-choice advocates saying that it has allowed crisis pregnancy centers to propagate false information about the services they offer in violation of Google’s rules against deceptive advertising.

In many cases, advertisements for crisis pregnancy centers suggest that women can visit their clinics to either obtain an abortion or get more information about their choices, even though such centers are vehemently opposed to abortion.

In May, Google unveiled a new policy to try to tackle the problem. It said that advertisers in the US, UK, and Ireland who ran abortion-related ads had to disclose to Google whether they did or did not provide termination services, and that the information would be tagged on to advertisements when users searched under “keywords related to getting an abortion”. The tags, which appear in small grey print under the advertisement, say “Does not provide abortion” or “Provides abortion”.

Google declined to comment on the number of ads that have been affected by its new policy and said that the fact that some ads were still being published without any tags – depending on the search term – was not a loophole. The policy, the company said, was purposely designed to only target “abortion” keywords.

Google said in a statement to the Guardian: “This additional transparency is meant to help users decide which abortion-related ads are most relevant to them. Our policies already prohibit misrepresentation in ads and if we find ads that violate our policies, we immediately remove them.”

Crisis pregnancy centers and anti-choice activists were angered by the change in Google’s policy when it was announced in May. An article on pregnancyhelpnews.com, a website run by Heartbeat International, a Christian organization, said the new tags were “reducing the ability for pregnancy centers to compete with abortion providers on a digital scale”.

“Women deserve to have the information they need before making an abortion decision, not just abortion information from those who profit from abortion,” the article stated.

But it added that there was also “good news for life-affirming pregnancy help organizations”, because not all Google ads were automatically impacted. It then pointed out that advertisements tied to keyword searches for “free pregnancy tests” did not have the tags.

Alice Huling, counsel at the Campaign for Accountability, a liberal ethics watchdog and Google critic, said Google’s policy change had not given enough thought to the ways in which users use the search engine.

“Google knows that there are a lot of CPCs out there that are actively trying to trick women about their reproductive health options,” Huling said. “There is no reason that those same tags couldn’t be applied across the board.”

Huling said many women turning to Google for information, especially about an unplanned pregnancy, might be doing a “generic” search for information about their options, and that crisis pregnancy centers were purposely targeting women who were possibly thinking about abortion.

“They are trying to locate and populate those searches so that in a face-to-face discussion they can try to convince a woman to not have an abortion, including through ultrasounds or providing false information about or health and safety concerns,” she added.

In one case found by the Guardian, a search using the term “abortion” resulted in an advertisement for a website called yourabortionchoice.org. The search produced a tag that stated that the center “Does not provide abortions”. But a search for “free pregnancy test”, which resulted in the same ad being shown, did not provide the information.

The yourabortionchoice.org website provides visitors with a phone number and states on its website “we’re here to empower you with the information you need to make the choice that is best for you, your body and health”. Although it is not immediately evident, the website is run by a company called Heroic Media, which states as its mission that it is seeking to “save lives from abortion”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/19/google-loophole-anti-abortion-clinics-deceptive-ads
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Huge wildfires in the Arctic and far North send a planetary warning
« Reply #13775 on: August 19, 2019, 08:43:17 AM »
The planet’s far North is burning. This summer, over 600 wildfires have consumed more than 2.4 million acres of forest across Alaska. Fires are also raging in northern Canada. In Siberia, choking smoke from 13 million acres – an area nearly the size of West Virginia – is blanketing towns and cities.

Fires in these places are normal. But, as studies here at the University of Alaska’s International Arctic Research Center show, they are also abnormal.

My colleagues and I are examining the complex relationships between warming climate, increasing fire and shifting patterns of vegetation. Using locally focused climate data and models from the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, the research group I help coordinate, we are finding evidence that is deeply worrying – not just for those of us who live within the fires’ pall of smoke, but for the world.

Recent fires are too frequent, intense and severe. They are reducing older-growth forest in favor of young vegetation, and pouring more carbon into the atmosphere at a time when carbon dioxide concentrations are setting new records.

Vast sub-Arctic forests

The boreal or taiga ecosystem, a swath of northern forest that covers 17% of the globe’s land area, is adapted to fire. It has been burning regularly for thousands of years. This vast landscape is mostly free of human roads, rail lines, power lines and cities. Blazes often spread until the wind changes and the rain falls.

Here in central Alaska, our spindly spruce trees open resinous cones to jump-start new seedlings when the parent tree is scorched. Fast-growing fireweed and other flowers cover recent burn scars. Soon afterward come wild blueberries, willows and birch and aspen trees that shoot up from still-living stumps and roots. Eventually flammable conifers take over again.

Typically, the cycle resumes about every 200 years. But today the cycles are about 25% shorter than in the past, and that changes everything.

The overall increase in burning can be hard to detect and measure because of enormous natural variability. This summer’s fires in Alaska were driven by an intense early-season heat wave. The relationship between hot dry weather and fire is clear. Climate change is causing an equally clear trend toward earlier springs and longer, hotter summers.

However, our state also has some cooler, wetter summers when little or no smoke chokes the air. It isn’t always easy to tell the difference between natural year-to-year fluctuations and ominous long-term shifts.
A blazing North

Nonetheless, shifts are occurring – driven by the unprecedented warming that we are seeing in Alaska. July 2019 now stands as the hottest month ever recorded in the state.

Many of us, including climate researchers, land managers, ecologists, meteorologists, rural and indigenous residents and fire experts, have been collaborating, studying this issue, gathering data, creating simulations and computer models, using satellite imagery and getting outdoors to measure exactly what is happening. In Alaska, state and federal agencies work together to monitor and manage fires through the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center and deploy firefighters to the front lines – including a record number of smoke-jumpers this year.

The evidence shows that overall, fires in the far North are becoming bigger, hotter and more frequent. Older conifers are losing ground to younger deciduous trees, altering whole ecosystems. Torched trees are releasing carbon, along with soils rich in dead plant matter that are burning more deeply than in the past. As these releases fuel further warming, climate change is causing more climate change, which affects the entire planet.

Too close for comfort

In Fairbanks, where I live, the human impacts of this summer’s fires have been obvious. As lightning triggered blazes statewide in late June, the Shovel Creek Fire sprang up on the western outskirts of town. Air quality rapidly deteriorated to “hazardous.” Two neighborhoods were evacuated, sending residents to stay with friends or hole up in my children’s school. Displaced sled dog teams were housed at the local fairgrounds.

On some days in June and July the smoke in Fairbanks was so thick that my neighbor, who has asthma, had to wear a respirator mask. Another friend who has heart trouble had to take refuge in a small conference room at the hospital that was offered as a filtered-air safety zone.

Shouldn’t these fires be prevented, and extinguished when they occur? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. First, the cost of firefighting across huge regions of the Arctic and sub-Arctic would be astronomical, as Russian officials have argued in response to public demands for action to control wildfires in Siberia.

Second, putting out fires now leaves that much more highly flammable fuel on the landscape for next year or the year after – a problem that many blame for catastrophic fires in other states. Fire managers in Alaska, in partnership with land owners, instead have set priorities for firefighting. Lands are grouped in four categories: limited, modified, full and critical. By far the largest fraction is classified “limited,” meaning that fires in these areas are monitored but allowed to burn freely where they don’t threaten lives or known resources.

But when fires threaten homes and lives, they are fought fiercely. After tireless efforts by fire crews from Alaska and the Lower 48, evacuated Fairbanks residents received an all-clear on July 10. People went home, and there were no injuries.

August brought rains to dampen our local fairgrounds, which were finally being used for family fun rather than housing displaced pets. I haven’t heard much complaining. Wet weather has shown up on time here, and we’re grateful. But we realize that other Arctic regions are still burning, and that fire is more than just a local problem for all of us.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/huge-wildfires-in-the-arctic-and-far-north-send-a-planetary-warning
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Critics blast Oregon repeal of tsunami-zone building ban
« Reply #13776 on: August 19, 2019, 08:46:14 AM »
7 pic slide show

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — With sunlight sparkling off surrounding Yaquina Bay, workers are putting up an ocean-studies building, smack in the middle of an area expected to one day be hit by a tsunami.

Experts say it’s only a matter of time before a shift in a major fault line off the Oregon coast causes a massive earthquake that generates a tsunami as much as seven stories tall.

Even as work on Oregon State University’s Marine Studies Building was underway in Newport, the Legislature went a step further and repealed a ban on construction of new “critical facilities” in tsunami inundation zones, allowing fire stations, police stations and schools to be built in the potential path of a tsunami.

Passage of the bill in June was little noticed during one of the most tumultuous legislative sessions in Oregon history. But it has since been roundly criticized — including by Gov. Kate Brown, who told journalists the bill’s passage was one of her disappointments, even though she signed the measure and previously said it benefited economic development.

Chris Goldfinger, an Oregon State University professor and an earthquake geologist, says putting the $60 million oceanography building in the path of a tsunami is “beyond ironic,” and allowing even more construction threatens lives in favor of development.

“It’s foolhardy. In every other country in the world, best practice for tsunamis is avoidance, not building in a tsunami zone,” Goldfinger said at a symposium for journalists in Newport that included a tour of the construction project.

Proponents of the university facility point out that the building will withstand strong earthquakes and be higher than the biggest tsunami. It will feature a rooftop evacuation site that can accommodate more than 900 people, accessed via an exterior ramp.

Two days of supplies, including water, food and first aid, will be kept on the roof, said Cinamon Moffett, research facility coordinator for the marine center. Once the water subsides, survivors would be evacuated to a community college on a nearby hill, she said.

An earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone, which extends in the ocean off Northern California to Canada’s Vancouver Island, has a 37 percent probability of happening off Oregon in the next 50 years, with a slightly lower chance of one striking near Washington state, Goldfinger said. Cascadia earthquakes have an average magnitude of around 9, making them among the world’s biggest.

Evidence of a Cascadia earthquake’s awesome destructive power is visible 30 miles (50 kilometers) up the coast from Newport.

There, a “ghost forest” of Sitka spruces juts up from a beach in the tiny town of Neskowin. An earthquake 2,000 years ago likely caused the ground beneath the trees to plunge, and tsunami debris buried them. The remnants were partially uncovered by storms in 1997. Today, the barnacle-encrusted trees stand like sentinels, facing the Pacific Ocean with vacation homes and a motel nearby.

The last time the ocean reared up from a Cascadia earthquake was in 1700. The estimated magnitude 9 quake sent a tsunami across the Pacific into the coast of Japan, where it flooded farm fields, damaged fishermen’s shacks and ascended a castle moat. In the Pacific Northwest and Canada, the impact was far worse, and is described in the folklore of indigenous peoples. One tale describes a struggle between a thunderbird and a whale that caused the earth to shake and the ocean to wash away people and homes.

Oregon became a leader in tsunami preparedness when the Legislature, in 1995, banned construction of certain public facilities in inundation zones.

Vancouver Island in Canada’s British Columbia province was slammed by the 1700 tsunami. But no law prohibits construction of public buildings in tsunami zones there, according to Emergency Management BC. Washington state requires municipalities and counties to establish rules to limit development in areas that are frequently flooded or could be hit by tsunamis, landslides or other calamities.

California has no state-mandated development restrictions in tsunami zones, said Rick Wilson, senior engineering geologist with the California Geological Survey. But the state recently adopted new language in its building code requiring that certain types of buildings be constructed to withstand tsunami forces, Wilson said. Other states are moving to do the same, using standards from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Japan, reacting to a 2011 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 18,000 dead or presumed dead, passed a law allowing towns to set tsunami warning zones and make evacuation and reconstruction plans. The government is spending 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) to build giant seawalls around the northern coastline. Moving to higher ground is not required, though some coastal communities have done so.

“Oregon has gone from sort of a leader in this to full reverse,” said Goldfinger, who was attending a seismology conference in Japan when the 2011 earthquake hit.

Oregon lawmakers overwhelmingly repealed the 1995 construction ban in June, as tensions in the Capitol ratcheted up over Republican opposition to a bill addressing global warming. Few people attended hearings at which lawmakers from coastal districts testified in favor of the repeal.

Democratic Rep. David Gomberg, one of its sponsors, told members of a House committee to imagine the impacts if the state banned new schools, parking garages and police and fire stations in their communities.

“What would be the consequence of that, to your ability to get insurance on your home, your ability to attract a new business into a neighborhood that’s not safe enough for fire departments, your ability to resell your home in a neighborhood not safe enough for police departments?” Gomberg asked.

He said the state geology department should “help us rather than to stop ... our communities growing, thriving or continuing.”

Gomberg said his bill gives the department responsibility for advising where a new inundation line should be and how risks can be mitigated. He also said he will introduce legislation for Oregon to adopt the American Society of Civil Engineers’ tsunami and earthquake building standards.

Republican Sen. Brian Boquist, who was at the center of a Republican walkout over the global warming bill, was the only senator to vote against the repeal. Boquist said in an email that it allows public entities to build, knowing full well the buildings will not survive a tsunami.

It is too soon to tell if coastal cities will use the new leeway to build facilities in inundation zones. Some have been doing the opposite. The town of Seaside, 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Portland, is moving schools out of the tsunami zone.

Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer said his city has no plans to build critical facilities in the inundation zone. But he praised the Marine Studies Building for its rooftop evacuation site, which can fit the population of an entire neighborhood of his fishing town.

“We consider it to be a unique solution,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Corvallis Gazette-Times noted in an editorial that while it is possible to design a building that can survive an earthquake and tsunami, “that doesn’t answer the question of why we should take the risk in the first place.”

The newspaper urged lawmakers to reassess the new law when they convene next year.

https://apnews.com/c5e6c1f5b1ad4e42ad835eb2eb296ed0
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Offline knarf

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Is The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor The Real Problem?
« Reply #13777 on: August 19, 2019, 09:07:21 AM »
One of the pet topics of anti-capitalists like Bernie Sanders is the gap between rich and poor. In their opinion, this is the greatest of the problems that afflict modern society. And yet the evidence they repeatedly cite in support of their claim that the gap between society’s most and least affluent is constantly widening is questionable at best. The global anti-poverty charity Oxfam publishes an annual report that is frequently referenced in this regard, despite the fact that objective analysis has clearly demonstrated that the report’s methodology is highly questionable and does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Nevertheless, the report is still widely cited by anti-capitalists—simply because Oxfam’s broad brushstrokes align with the socialists’ stated agenda.

Another source frequently proffered by critics of the “gap between rich and poor” is the research of left-wing French economist Thomas Piketty, who wrote the bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty’s ideas have become increasingly influential in the United States, especially because two of his closest allies, the economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, were instrumental in drawing up the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s economic program. Unsurprisingly, Warren’s policy proposals include tax increases for the rich, founded on the premise that the gap between rich and poor is widening.

Even Piketty admits that the gap between the poor and the rich has not grown for most of the twentieth century. At the same time, he does criticize the fact that “inequalities” in terms of income and wealth widened between 1990 and 2010. In fact, this forms the core of his criticism.

Dramatic Decline In Poverty

This period, however, has seen global poverty decrease at a faster rate than at any other time in history! In the 2018 book Enlightenment Now, the Harvard University professor Steven Pinker demonstrates that over the past 200 years the rate of extreme poverty in the world has fallen from 90% to 10%. Most interestingly, almost half of this decline has been achieved in the last 35 years.

These are exactly the same years in which, according to Piketty and his socialist devotees, the gap between rich and poor grew so rapidly. In reality, these decades saw the greatest reductions in global poverty the world has ever seen. In China alone, capitalist reforms between 1981 and 2015 reduced the number of people living in extreme poverty from 878 million to less than ten million. The crucial question is: What is more important to these hundreds of millions of people—that they are no longer starving or that the wealth of multi-millionaires and billionaires may have increased to an even greater degree than their own standard of living?

Paradoxically, it is the same “progressive” politicians who otherwise always argue that the world should not be viewed from an American-centric perspective who are suddenly no longer taking a globalist standpoint on this question, but are exclusively adopting an American point of view.

A Thought Experiment

Rather than focusing on whether the gap between the rich and the poor is widening or not, it is far more important to consider the fate of the poor. This becomes clear from the following thought experiment: On a Pacific island, three rich people have fortunes of $5,000 each, while 1,000 of the island’s poorer residents only have $100 each. The combined wealth of the island’s residents is thus $115,000. Now comes the experiment part: Due to economic growth, the total wealth of the island’s residents doubles to $230,000. The wealth of the three rich people triples to $15,000 each; they now own a total of $45,000 between them. Meanwhile, the wealth of the island’s remaining 1,000 residents grows by 85% to $185 per capita. The inequality gap between the richest and the poorest residents has widened considerably.

In an alternative scenario, let’s take the total wealth of $115,000 and split it evenly between all 1,003 residents. That’s $114.66 per capita. As one of the poor with a baseline wealth of $100, which of the two societies are preferable—economic growth or equal distribution? And what would happen if, as a consequence of economic reforms aimed at creating greater equality, the island’s total wealth shrank to a paltry $80,000, or less than $79.80 per capita?

Of course, it is possible to object that the best outcome would be economic growth and a higher general standard of living in tandem with greater equality. And that’s exactly what capitalism achieved in the twentieth century, as even Piketty admits. The above thought experiment is still useful as a way of demonstrating a fundamental difference between two competing value systems. Those who prioritize the fight against inequality over raising the standard of living for the majority will make different choices from those who believe the opposite.

The Power of Capitalism

Capitalism is the root cause of a global increase in living standards on a scale unprecedented in human history before the emergence of the market economy. This has been verified by calculations from the economist J. Bradford DeLong from the University of California: It took humanity 99.4% of its 2.5-million-year history to achieve a per-capita GDP of 90 international dollars about 15,000 years ago (the international dollar is a unit of calculation based on buying-power levels in 1990). It took another 0.59% of human history to double global GDP to 180 international dollars in 1750. Between 1750 and 2000—in a period that represents less than 0.01% of the total span of human history—global per capita GDP grew 37-fold to 6,600 international dollars. To put it differently, 97% of the total wealth created throughout human history was generated within those 250 years. Global life expectancy almost tripled in the same short period of time (in 1820, it was only 26 years).

None of this happened because of a sudden increase in human intelligence or industry—it happened because the new economic system that emerged in Western countries about 200 years ago proved superior to any other before or since: capitalism. It was this system, based on private property ownership, entrepreneurship, fair pricing and competition, that made the unprecedented economic and technological advances of the past 200 years possible.

The most obvious suspicion is that socialists, who are so myopically fixated on whether the rich are getting richer and whether the gap between rich and poor is widening, are more driven by envy than by any honest sympathy for the fate of the poor. If this wasn’t the case, they would not spend all of their time complaining about inequality and would instead focus on discussing the most effective measures to combat poverty around the world.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2019/08/19/is-the-gap-between-the-rich-and-the-poor-the-real-problem/#6fb50d8b7c3b
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Offline RE

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Re: Is The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor The Real Problem?
« Reply #13778 on: August 19, 2019, 11:52:49 AM »
Ugh. Capitalist Apologetics.

The real problem is that the Poor don't have enough $MONEY$ 🤑.  So where do you get the money?  From the Rich, who have more than they need.  CFS.

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/9Hvq7bMn4cM&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/9Hvq7bMn4cM&fs=1</a>

OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who attacked another man with a sword over a dump cart that was found in a trash pile in Oakland Park.

According to BSO, the incident took place July 15. Detectives said the victim was jogging around his neighborhood in Oakland Park when he came across a man searching through a bulk trash pile in front of a home near Prospect Road and Northwest 11th Terrace.

The jogger, who later identified himself as Todd Beavers, joined in on the search through the trash pile, which included rubble and discarded equipment. Eventually he came across a black plastic wheelbarrow that he took as his own.

However, deputies said, the other man became upset, feeling that he had rights over the pile.

“He apparently felt that he was there first, so he should have first dibs at anything that was in the pile,” said BSO spokesperson Keyla Concepcion. “Evidently, the jogger felt differently.”

Officials said the two men exchanged words, but Beavers then took the wheelbarrow home.

“He started to jog home with it. What he didn’t realize was that the man followed him home,” said Concepcion.

Investigators said Beavers eventually noticed that the other man had followed him to his home off Northwest 12th Avenue.

Speaking with 7News Monday evening, the victim described the frightening moment he realized the man was armed.

“When he pulled out the sword, I thought, ‘What am I doing?’ I thought, ‘Is he really going to do this?'” said Beavers.

Surveillance video captured the subject lunging at Beavers with the sword.

Area resident Valerie Lyons said she was across the street when she witnessed the altercation.

“It was crazy, ’cause he was definitely hitting my neighbor with a machete over a wheelbarrow,” she said.

“I really was in shock the whole time. I was really shocked that he would do it,” said Beavers. “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that he was going to really try to kill me for a cart.”

However, the video shows the sword apparently landing on the wheelbarrow. Beavers was not hurt.

The jogger is then seen pointing out that the man was being recorded, and the subject could be seen walking away.

However, deputies said, he told Beavers that he would return.

Beavers then left the cart sitting in his front yard, and it was later picked up by a woman who dragged it away while she insulted the jogger.

Area residents who saw the surveillance video were shocked by the confrontation.

“Wow! That’s nuts that for a wheelbarrow you’re willing to beat up people. That’s crazy,” said a neighbor.

Detectives believe the subject and woman know each other and are now looking to identify them.

“You need to take a pause and really think about what you’re doing and the consequences of your actions,” said Concepcion.

If you have any information on their identities, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

https://wsvn.com/news/local/bso-searching-for-man-who-attacked-jogger-with-sword-over-cart-found-in-trash-pile/
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CIA fuels Hong Kong riots – report
« Reply #13780 on: August 19, 2019, 05:30:31 PM »
A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed American foundation has been colluding with the heads of the recent Hong Kong riots with financial and strategic support, actions that Chinese experts said show the US’ intention of “Americanization” which is endangering Hong Kong.

Sentaku, a Japanese monthly magazine, revealed in August how the foreign forces represented by the US, manipulate the Hong Kong chaos.

The magazine said that Hong Kong extremists received significant funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which it called “a CIA soft-power cutout that has played a critical role in innumerable US regime-change operations.”


CIA JOB Protesters march during a rally from Victoria Park in Hong Kong Sunday. Japanese magazine Sentaku revealed that a Central Intelligence Agency-backed group, National Endowment for Democracy, is financing groups that are very active in organizing the nearly 12-week protests in the island-state.

Under the Reagan administration in 1983, the NED was founded to “support democracy in other countries.”

The NED’s website shows that it granted $155,000 to the Solidarity Center and $200,000 to National Democratic Institute (NDI) for International Affairs for work in Hong Kong and $90,000 to the Hong Kong Justice Center in 2018. NDI received $650,000 from 2016 to 2017, and SC received $459,865 from 2015 to 2017.

“US foundations like the NED have been promoting ‘Americanization’ around the world,” Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University’s Institute of International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times.

According to Li, the foundation conducts “transformation” in various regions around the world tangibly and intangibly, but in fact it is a behind the scenes player for color revolutions. It is also the US’ way of violating the internal affairs of other countries.

“This is a tradition of US diplomacy,” Li noted. “The US does not even try to cover its goal of promoting ‘Americanized’ governance, which has now been proven a failure and is ridiculous.”

Western forces have been directly or indirectly involved in the Hong Kong riots, Shi Yinhong, director of Renmin University of China’s Center for American Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

He noted that the interference also includes media promotion, which aims to encourage the protests to follow the desired direction. “The intention is obvious — to endanger Hong Kong and endanger China.”

Leung Chun-ying, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in 2014 warned that foreign forces had been involved in Hong Kong affairs, including the Occupy Central movement.

https://www.manilatimes.net/cia-fuels-hong-kong-riots-report/603122/
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Company also suspends thousands of accounts as it reports ‘state-backed information operation’


 Protesters in London demonstrate in solidarity with Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.

Twitter has removed nearly 1,000 accounts and suspended thousands of others tied to a campaign by the Chinese government against protesters in Hong Kong, the company announced on Monday.

Twitter disclosed a “significant state-backed information operation” originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) targeting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It removed 936 accounts and suspended approximately 200,000 accounts its investigation found were illegitimate.

“Covert, manipulative behaviors have no place on our service – they violate the fundamental principles on which our company is built,” Twitter said in a statement.

The company released an archive of offending tweets and accounts, many of which accused protesters of violence and being sponsored by western governments. “We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong,” one deleted tweet said.

In addition, Twitter said it was banning all advertising from state-controlled news media entities. “Any affected accounts will be free to continue to use Twitter to engage in public conversation, just not our advertising products,” it said, adding that the ban would not apply to entities that are taxpayer-funded but independent.

There has been significant unrest in Hong Kong over a now-suspended bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial in Communist party-controlled courts. The demonstrations have since swelled into wider calls for democracy.

The protests, which began in June, have presented one of the biggest challenges for the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, since he came to power in 2012.

The company also announced it would not accept money from any “state-controlled news media entities” in the future, including organizations such as China Daily. The new advertising rules do not apply to tax-funded state media organizations like BBC, PBS, NPR, or CBC.

Twitter has been ramping up its efforts to crack down on fake accounts and misinformation ahead of the 2020 elections, after the US government determined the platform was used in a “systematic” campaign by Russia to undermine the 2016 elections.

As part of those meddling efforts, the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), a center of state actors in St Petersburg, sent out more than 10m tweets attempting to influence US politics between 2013 and 2018.

Since then, other states appear to have attempted to adopt the playbook. In June, Twitter removed 4,800 accounts with ties to the Iranian government, four accounts tied to the Russian government, and 33 accounts tied to the Venezuelan government.

Following Twitter’s disclosure of the Chinese campaign on Monday, Facebook said it had removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts belonging to a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong.

“We’re constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people,” Facebook said.

Facebook, too, has faced intense criticism over the use of its platform by misinformation campaigns. Russia-backed content reached millions of Americans on Facebook during and after the 2016 presidential election. Facebook paid a $5bn (£4bn) penalty in the US in July for the Cambridge Analytica breach, which involved targeted manipulation campaigns of some of its 185 million users in Canada and the US. The fine was the largest privacy penalty in US history.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/19/twitter-china-hong-kong-accounts
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California Governor Signs Law to Limit Shootings by Police
« Reply #13782 on: August 19, 2019, 05:42:47 PM »
The measure passed with bipartisan support after major police organizations won concessions and ended their vehement opposition.



California is changing its standards for when police can kill under a law signed Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, as it tries to deter police shootings of young minority men that have roiled the nation.

"Training matters, yes. Accountability matters, certainly. Transparency, indeed. But culture - changing hearts, changing minds, changing our approach with dealing with one another. I am incredibly cognizant of that responsibilty," Newsom said, reminding those in attendance that the signing of the legislation is just the first step.

The legsilation will modernize the state's standards for the use of deadly force by officers, according to the governor's office.

The measure by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego will change California's existing lethal force standards to require that deadly force may only be used when necessary.

“The bill will basically make everyone in California safer. It will not bring back those that we’ve lost. But we hope and pray that it will prevent those from being lost,” Weber said in explaining her efforts to change the culture of policing in Cailfornia.

His office says it will encourage law enforcement to try de-escalation techniques such as verbal persuasion and other crisis intervention methods.

It was spurred by last year's fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, whose death sparked major protests in the state capital and reverberated nationwide.

The measure passed with bipartisan support after major police organizations won concessions.

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/California-Governor-to-Sign-Law-to-Limit-Shootings-by-Police-554445501.html
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Gran Canaria: 9,000 flee 'unprecedented' wildfires on holiday island
« Reply #13783 on: August 19, 2019, 05:49:01 PM »
About 9,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires rip through Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.

The fires, which started on Saturday, are advancing on two fronts in a mountainous area of the island.

In a press conference on Monday, authorities called the incident "an unprecedented environmental tragedy".

Efforts to tackle the fires are being hampered by high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity, officials said.

About 14 planes and helicopters, as well as about 700 firefighters on the ground including 200 from the military, have been deployed.

The blaze has so far spared residential areas and tourist hotspots, but has spread into the island's Tamadaba natural park, home to some of the island's oldest pine forests.

"The fire is not contained nor stabilised or controlled," Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres told a news conference on Sunday.


Planes and helicopters have been deployed to tackle the blazes


The fires are threatening old areas of pine forest

n some areas, the flames were so high that water-dropping planes were unable to operate.

The fires started near the town of Tejeda. Overnight, the affected area increased from 3400 to 6000 hectares and flames as high as 50 metres (164 ft) were reported.

Requests for assistance had been made to the Spanish central government, Mr Torres added.

Hundreds of people were evacuated due to separate wildfires on the holiday island last week.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49388823
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Renee Jensen was sitting in the backyard when this Pennywise doll entered her airspace. Police did not want to touch it, and suggested she destroy the toy.

Renee Jensen was enjoying the summer in her Harrington Park backyard on Saturday with her boyfriend, Alex, when she spotted something near the side gate.

The object appeared to be airborne, headed straight for the yard.

“Did a freaking bird die in midair or something?” she thought, going over to see what it was.

Looking down at the object, she jumped back.

It was Pennywise the clown. Albeit, a stout, cartoon version of the murderous clown from “It,” but Pennywise nonetheless. The plush character’s mouth was reddened with fake “blood.”

Adding to the mystery: some writing was scrawled in black on the doll’s forehead.

Jensen called Alex over. This was obviously a toy, but something just wasn’t adding up.

In Stephen King’s 1986 novel “It,” the 1990 miniseries adaptation and 2017 film, Pennywise is an evil clown who terrorizes children in Derry, Maine. His infamous line: “We all float down here. You’ll float, too.”
"It Chapter Two" opens in theaters on Sept. 6. Jensen wondered if the Pennywise toy she found might have been some kind of promotion for the film.

Warner Bros.

"It Chapter Two" opens in theaters on Sept. 6. Jensen wondered if the Pennywise toy she found might have been some kind of promotion for the film.

“It Chapter Two,” the sequel to the 2017 movie, staring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, is set to open on Sept. 6. In the film’s trailer, one scene features Pennywise floating through the air holding a mass of red balloons.

Jensen has read King’s book. She’s also seen the miniseries (starring Tim Curry as the evil clown demon) and the trailer for the upcoming sequel. But after her Pennywise encounter this weekend, she’s not so sure about watching the new film.

She wonders if someone set the Pennywise toy aloft as a promotion for the movie — perhaps by drone, given the way it entered her backyard.

Harrington Park, after all, is quite a leafy Bergen County suburb. Jensen lives off a county road, but her home is surrounded by trees.

“It came at an angle and I just watched this thing, it didn’t hit a single tree and went straight over, just cleared the gate and hit the pine branches and hit the ground," says Jensen, 42, still a bit shaken from the incident.

She only has one neighbor in the vicinity, and they were not around at the time little Pennywise entered the yard.

Even so, “there’s no way they could have launched this thing from their house," Jensen tells NJ Advance Media.
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the clown.

Warner Bros.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the clown.

“If you saw how many trees we have and where this thing came from, it made no sense at all," she says. “It didn’t even hit any of our trees until it was just about to land at our gate. It looked like a dog toy — they sell it at Hot Topic or something.”

Jensen decided to share news of the clown’s arrival on Facebook. She thought about calling the police, but Alex said they’d just get laughed at. Social media responses eventually convinced Jensen to contact the authorities.

After all, Jensen remembered the wave of “evil” clown sightings and scares that were reported across the country in 2016. What if such a clown landed in someone else’s backyard?

Two Harrington Park police officers showed up. Instead of laughing at Jensen and the found clown, they told her she wasn’t wrong to report the incident.

“They were hysterical,” Jensen says. “They wouldn’t touch it. they were totally creeped out too. It was so funny.”

And no, they didn’t take the clown down the station as evidence.

The cops were sitting there and we were all trying to figure it out,” she says, but so far, no answers have come to mind.

The officers recommended that Jensen get rid of the clown.

“I’m burning this thing,” Jensen said. She set about lighting the toy up. But the clown would not ignite, not because of any devious enchantment, but likely due to a flame retardant applied to the toy, she says. Jensen doused the clown in olive oil to help start a blaze. No dice. Finally, she successfully used some newspaper as kindling to reduce Pennywise to ashes.

The writing on the clown’s forehead, Jensen says, was the most disturbing part.

“It looked like weirdo occult satanic sh-t," she says. Jensen and her boyfriend furiously Googled the figures scrawled on the clown’s head.

“We couldn’t find anything,” she says.

On Saturday night, Jensen slept with a knife and the bedroom door locked.

“It’s funny, but it was creepy,” says Jensen, who owns a reiki and intuitive healing business in Ridgewood.

“I kind of live in the woo," she says. Throughout the clown ordeal, Jensen kept asking herself, "am I’m getting cursed or something?”

Just in case, she took every precaution.

“I had a stick of sage and I lit that thing," she says. "I was walking around our whole entire property.”

Jensen shared a photo of the backyard Pennywise and the burned aftermath in a Bergen County Facebook group to both entertain and notify her neighbors.

“It was pretty amazing," she says. “I’m just glad my kids weren’t here.”

At ages 10 and 12, she ventures they’d want to climb into their mother’s bed if they had witnessed Pennywise’s arrival.

Since Jensen moved to Bergen County from Chicago in 2011, other slightly odd things have happened, but they always had an explanation.

This? Not so much.

https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2019/08/pennywise-the-clown-floated-into-nj-womans-backyard-she-burned-it-then-slept-with-a-knife.html
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