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Huawei revenue up by almost one quarter for third quarter
« Reply #14520 on: November 10, 2019, 04:31:29 PM »
Bans are yet to hit the Chinese giant's bottom line.

Huawei announced on Tuesday its revenue hit 611 billion yuan, approximately $86 billion, for the third quarter, a jump of 24.4% over the same period last year.

In a statement short on numbers, the company also said its net profit margin for the period was 8.7%.

The company added its smartphone business had shipped 185 million units over the three quarters for the year to date, an increase of 26% year on year.

On 5G, the company said it had signed 60 commercial contracts and shipped over 400,000 5G Massive MIMO antennas.

This week, Germany released draft rules for network security in the country, which indicated it could allow Huawei to supply 5G networking equipment.

Huawei welcomed the move, calling it a fact and standards-based approach.

"Germany has set higher and consistent security standards for all vendors. Advanced declarations and process-based inspections will be adopted, and all vendors are equally and fairly welcome to participate in the construction of 5G networks if they fulfill the security requirements," the Chinese giant said in a statement.

"Politicising cyber security will only hinder technology development and social progress while doing nothing to address the security challenges all countries face. Huawei will continue to work openly with regulators, customers, and industry organisations to ensure that mobile networks are secure."

Earlier in the week, Huawei announced it had opened a 5G research centre in Switzerland alongside Swiss telco Sunrise.

At the start of the month, Malaysian telco Maxis signed a deal to deploy its 5G network using Huawei equipment.

Huawei is currently banned from supplying 5G equipment in Australia, as well as being placed on the United States Entity List.

A recent report published by the European Commission and European Agency for Cybersecurity warned 5G would increase attack paths for state actors.

Central to the report's thrust is the increasing use of software within 5G, such as for network virtualisation and slicing, and how a lack of skills within telcos would see a reliance on suppliers.

The report especially warned about relying on a single supplier, especially ones not based in the European Union.

"The increased role of software and services provided by third party suppliers in 5G networks leads to a greater exposure to a number of vulnerabilities that may derive from the risk profile of individual suppliers," the report states.

"Major security flaws, such as those deriving from poor software development processes within equipment suppliers, could make it easier for actors to maliciously insert intentional backdoors into products and make them also harder to detect. This may increase the possibility of their exploitation leading to a particularly severe and widespread negative impact."

In March this year, the board that oversees security of Huawei equipment used in UK telco networks said that technical issues with the Chinese company's engineering processes have led to new risks.

A month earlier, it was reported that it would take Huawei three to five years and $2 billion to fix a number of flaws that were found in its equipment in 2018.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/huawei-revenue-up-by-almost-one-quarter-for-third-quarter/
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Iran begins work on second nuclear power reactor in defiance of deal
« Reply #14521 on: November 10, 2019, 04:44:23 PM »
Development emerges 18 months after Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord in May 2018

Iran has started construction on a second nuclear reactor at a power plant that Tehran cites as its reason for breaking the enrichment limit set by the unravelling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Officials celebrated the start of construction at the Bushehr facility, but the politics of the moment were not lost on them as a US pressure campaign of sanctions blocks Tehran from selling crude oil abroad.

The sanctions took effect after Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord in May 2018, lighting the fuse for the tensions now gripping the wider Middle East.

“It was not us who started breaking commitments, it was them who did not keep to their commitments and cannot accept the nuclear deal atrs a one-way road map,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.

Bushehr is fuelled by uranium produced in Russia and is monitored by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

But Iran began 4.5 per cent enrichment in part to supply Bushehr, despite the deal limiting it to 3.67 per cent.

While this is still nowhere near weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent, nonproliferation experts warn that Iran’s growing stockpile and increasing enrichment will begin to shave off time from the estimated year Tehran would need to gather enough material for an atomic bomb.

Iran has long maintained its enrichment is for peaceful purposes, though the deal was designed to limit its program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Those limits blocked its path to being able to have enough material for a bomb.

Concrete was poured into the prepared base of the second reactor in Bushehr, which is 440 miles south of Tehran, as journalists watched on Sunday.

Officials say the new reactor, and a third planned to be built, will each add more than 1,000 megawatts to Iran’s power grid.

It is being built with assistance from Russia, which helped bring Bushehr’s first reactor online in 2011 after decades of delays.

Mr Salehi praised the plant’s operations, saying: “The security of this power plant has been provided by the armed forces, and its safety has been endorsed by international institutions.”

This comment appeared to be a dig at Gulf Arab states opposed to Tehran, who earlier raised concerns to the IAEA that Bushehr was a risk to the wider region over earthquakes that routinely hit Iran.

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman rejected claims by the US and Israel over allegations of nuclear material being discovered at an undeclared site outside Tehran.

An IAEA meeting last week appeared to include discussions over what Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, described in a United Nations speech last year as a “secret atomic warehouse”.

The IAEA has said Iran “carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” in a “structured program” through to the end of 2003.

Israeli officials allege material recovered from the warehouse came from that program.

“The Zionist regime and others are trying to re-open this case. We don’t accept this and we condemn these efforts,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-power-reactor-second-atomic-trump-trade-sanctions-a9197376.html?utm_source=reddit.com
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The last #pterodactyl shot in the USA. #extinction
« Reply #14522 on: November 10, 2019, 04:55:21 PM »


7:58 AM - 10 Nov 2019
1 reply0 retweets0 likes
Reply 1 Retweet  Like

https://twitter.com/keeshu/status/1193558496215740416
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How Big Corporations Spy on Their Workers to Keep Their Wages Down
« Reply #14523 on: November 11, 2019, 05:14:25 AM »
"If corporations get the green light to spy on workers, they'll have an easier time ferreting out organizing campaigns and bullying employees into dropping them."


"Federal law prohibits employers from interfering in workers’ organizing rights. Right now, that means it’s illegal for corporations to surveil union activists or even give the impression that they’re snooping.cBut some companies spy anyway and invent all sorts of excuses when they get caught doing it."

Google’s computers are spying on its workers.

Anytime a Google employee uses an online calendar to schedule a meeting involving more than 100 co-workers, management gets an alert—a great way for the anti-union corporation to sniff out union organizing efforts.

Lots of other employers also would like to put union organizing campaigns under surveillance. And they’ll have their chance if the National Labor Relations Board gives corporations a free hand to snoop on employees, as two of the board’s right-wing members, John Ring and Marvin Kaplan, evidently want to do.

Ring and Kaplan want to reconsider the longtime ban on labor spying. It’s a sleazy idea, but typical for these two. They’re part of a three-member Republican cabal that’s taken over the board and issued a string of decisions eviscerating workers’ rights and giving ever more power to corporations.

Because of them, for example, employers can change working conditions in the middle of a contract, fire employees for engaging in what was previously considered protected union activity and misclassify employees as contractors, who aren’t protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Allowing corporations to spy on workers would be one more gift the pair could give to employers that are eager to suppress wages and keep workers from organizing.

Surveillance intimidates employees. It can kill organizing efforts. If corporations get the green light to spy on workers, they’ll have an easier time ferreting out organizing campaigns and bullying employees into dropping them.

Unions fight for higher pay and better working conditions. They give workers a voice in the workplace. So corporations desperately want to keep them out. Some even spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on union-busting law firms and human resources consultants to help them.

Federal law prohibits employers from interfering in workers’ organizing rights. Right now, that means it’s illegal for corporations to surveil union activists or even give the impression that they’re snooping.

But some companies spy anyway and invent all sorts of excuses when they get caught doing it.

Google claims that its meeting alert tool is to control email and calendar spam, not labor organizing. But workers accustomed to the company’s anti-union paranoia don’t buy that for a minute.

The employees discovered the calendar tool by accident, and there’s no way for them to remove it from their computers. Google watches its employees all of the time.

The growth of technology and social media has given employers new ways to spy. Walmart, for example, has been accused of monitoring employee discussions on Reddit.

And the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has accused Boeing of using cameras and wireless monitoring devices to track workers who voted to join the union. The company denied keeping tabs on union supporters. But as the union pointed out, there was no other reason for Boeing to spy on these employees but not others who were doing similar work.

If the NLRB were doing its job, it would be giving workers new protections against high-tech surveillance. Instead, as Ring and Kaplan indicated in a case involving the National Captioning Institute, they want to consider taking what little protection workers already have.

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians filed an NLRB complaint because the National Captioning Institute fired union supporters and spied on organizing efforts through an employee Facebook site.

An NLRB panel—consisting of Ring, Kaplan, and Democrat Lauren McFerran—ruled October 29 that the institute interfered with workers’ organizing rights. The panel ruled the surveillance illegal and ordered the employees reinstated.

But in a footnote to the ruling, Ring and Kaplan said they’d like to revisit the prohibition on spying in a future case—especially spying conducted so clandestinely that workers don’t find out about it during an organizing campaign.

How, they asked, can spying impede workers’ organizing rights if “not a single employee” is aware of it?

That’s like suggesting that a person spied on in a department store dressing room isn’t violated as long as he or she never finds out about the Peeping Tom.

Besides, in 1941, a federal court took up this question and came down firmly against spying. In that case, a vegetable growers association argued that its surveillance of vegetable packers was permissible because there was no evidence that the workers knew about it. And what they didn’t know, the association insisted, couldn’t hurt them.

The NLRB disagreed. And the court backed the NLRB on appeal, writing that “casual examination of the dictionary discloses that a person may be interfered with, restrained or coerced without knowing it.”

The problem is, neither Ring nor Kaplan has shown respect for past decisions benefiting workers.

In June, overturning a 38-year precedent, Ring, Kaplan, and Republican board member William J. Emanuel ruled that employers could bar union staff organizers from cafeterias and other “public spaces” in their workplaces. The ruling will make it more difficult for unions to connect with employees who want to organize.

In case after case, the Republican board members have rolled back worker rights.

In January, they delivered a devastating blow to gig workers by ruling that SuperShuttle drivers are independent contractors, not employees entitled to form a union.

And in July, they ruled that a company may withdraw recognition of a union before bargaining for a new contract if it believes that the union has lost the support of at least 50 percent of its members since the last agreement was signed. The employer doesn’t have to prove the union lost support, just gather evidence that it has. If the employer withdraws recognition of the union and the union subsequently wins a new election to represent workers, the employer faces no penalty.

Allowing companies to snoop on organizing campaigns would be the Republican board’s biggest giveaway to employers yet.

If that happens, all workplace laptops and company-issued cell phones could be programmed to inform on the workers who use them. And oftentimes the workers wouldn’t even know they’re being watched.

The NLRB’s job is to protect workers, not let employers think that it’s OK to engage in underhanded behavior as long as they don’t get caught. Ring, Kaplan and the rest of the board have a responsibility to set higher standards, not help employers climb down into the gutter.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/09/how-big-corporations-spy-their-workers-keep-their-wages-down
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Violence in Hong Kong continues, police shoot protester - a man is set on fire
« Reply #14524 on: November 11, 2019, 06:46:13 AM »


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has addressed the press after a day of violence in which at least one protester has been shot with a live round, while another man was set on fire during a dispute, as clashes continue across the city.
She condemns the actions of protesters, warning them that it is "wishful thinking" to expect that the government will yield to their political demands if faced with violence.
Commuters are facing transport chaos and disruption. Major thoroughfares across several districts have been blocked and MTR services suspended after objects were thrown onto the tracks of the East Rail line, a fire was set on a train at Kwai Fong and protesters vandalised several other stations.

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

Technology student Chow Tsz-lok, days after he fell in a car park near a police dispersal operation in Tseung Kwan O, where tear gas had been fired.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3037135/shots-fired-hong-kong-anti-government-protesters-cause
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US military armoured vehicles and soldiers on patrol near an oil well in Syria.

Syria became a testing ground for the US as it refines its tools to safeguard global hegemony, President Bashar Assad told RT’s Afshin Rattansi in an exclusive interview. He also explained what many Syrians are fighting for.
Washington sees its former dominant role slipping away and is trying to preserve it using all means available, the Syrian leader believes. So the US would “fight the Russians, the Iranians, the Syrians, whoever said ‘No’. Even their allies if they said ‘No’. Like the Western governments, they will fight with them,” he said.

In fact, Syria was targeted by the US after two very costly direct military invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the latter case, the US and its allies fought against Saddam Hussein – an Iraqi strongman, who enjoyed active support of Washington and London for decades – particularly in his war with another American rival – Iran.

Yet, later, relations between them soured in the wake of the Gulf War and Saddam’s Iraq was eventually designated a target for US invasion in 2003.

Campaigns against Saddam and the Taliban in Afghanistan turned out to be too costly for Washington and apparently brought lower yields than expected.

So, the US took a different approach in an attempt to topple his government, Assad said, a war through jihadist proxies. Contrary to the public declaration that terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, the Nusra Front or Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) were to be eliminated, the US had no qualms about supporting them as long as they were following their goals.

“Al-Qaeda is a proxy against the Syrian government, against the Russian government and the Iranian government,” he explained.

How did ISIS rise suddenly in 2014?! Out of nowhere! Out of nothing! In Iraq and Syria at the same time, with American armaments?! It’s very clear.

US hand in glove of terrorists
He said IS at the peak of its power could not have been smuggling oil worth millions of dollars per month out of Syria without the US turning a blind eye.

“Since ISIS started … looting Syrian oil in 2014, they had two partners: [Turkish President Tayyip] Erdogan and his coterie, and the Americans, whether the CIA or others,” he said. The US-supervised looting of Syria’s riches openly continues today, he added. Yet, that looting – so the president says – doesn’t stop when a war ends.

The Americans always try to loot other countries in different ways regarding not only their oil or money, or financial resources. They loot their rights, their political rights, every other right. That's their historical role at least after World War II.

Assad said that murky ties between Washington and hardline militants in Syria is the reason why he is skeptical about Donald Trump’s claim that American special ops indeed took down IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Just like in the case of Osama Bin Laden, no definitive proof of the death was made public, which contrasts sharply with what happened to people like Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Moscow, for its part, also has reservations about claims Baghdadi is dead, calling for the release of some definite proof.

Regardless of whether al-Baghdadi is dead or alive, the important thing is not to be sidetracked by the brouhaha, Assad believes.

The whole story was about whitewashing the American hand from being hand in glove with the terrorists during the last, not only few years, but during the last decades.

People fight and die for a cause, not a person
The narrative supporting regime change in Syria usually focuses on Assad and his inner circle, claiming that disposing of the so-called ‘dictator’ would be enough to ensure positive change in Syria. “Assad must go” has long been a mantra in the West. The man himself says the notion is ridiculous since hundreds of thousands of Syrians fighting on the side of Damascus are certainly not putting their lives on the line for his person.

People would die, especially en masse for a cause, and this cause is defending their country, defending their existence, their future.

The same is even truer for nations like Iran and Russia, which sent their troops to help the Syrians in the battle against terrorism. Believing that any government would bet its interests on the political survival of a single foreign leader “is against logic,” Assad said. The leader is often accused of using brutality and terror tactics against the civilian population to turn against the militant groups opposing Damascus and pledge allegiance to the Syrian government. He argued that such an approach would be not only immoral but also impractical.

“The war in Syria was about capturing the hearts of the people, and you cannot capture the hearts of the people by bombarding them,” he said. “How could the Syrian people support their state and their president and their army, if they are killing them?”

Economic warfare continues
Assad said that Western leaders who say that the Syrian people are suffering under his government are hypocrites because the very same leaders inflict suffering on Syrians through economic sanctions. It is basically just another way to try and ensure regime change, he argued.

This is maybe the last ditch-attempt in order to push them to be against their government. But they tried it last winter, they tried it before, and it did not work because the people knew the whole story, and they knew where their interest lies.

Syria traditionally has a strong public sector, which provides many services like healthcare or education free or at subsidized prices. With the economy crippled by the war even more people rely on the government to get basic things like food or heating oil.

The sanctions, however, are not limited to the government, Assad said. Private investors are strongly discouraged by the US and its allies from bringing capital into government-controlled parts of Syria, which makes economic recovery, reconstruction and return of refugees harder.

https://www.rt.com/news/473087-us-hegemony-assad-interview/
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Why tyranny could be the inevitable outcome of democracy
« Reply #14526 on: November 11, 2019, 07:02:54 AM »


Plato, one of the earliest thinkers and writers about democracy, predicted that letting people govern themselves would eventually lead the masses to support the rule of tyrants.

When I tell my college-level philosophy students that in about 380 B.C. he asked “does not tyranny spring from democracy,” they’re sometimes surprised, thinking it’s a shocking connection.

But looking at the modern political world, it seems much less far-fetched to me now. In democratic nations like Turkey, the U.K., Hungary, Brazil and the U.S., anti-elite demagogues are riding a wave of populism fueled by nationalist pride. It is a sign that liberal constraints on democracy are weakening.

To philosophers, the term “liberalism” means something different than it does in partisan U.S. politics. Liberalism as a philosophy prioritizes the protection of individual rights, including freedom of thought, religion and lifestyle, against mass opinion and abuses of government power.

What went wrong in Athens?
In classical Athens, the birthplace of democracy, the democratic assembly was an arena filled with rhetoric unconstrained by any commitment to facts or truth. So far, so familiar.

Aristotle and his students had not yet formalized the basic concepts and principles of logic, so those who sought influence learned from sophists, teachers of rhetoric who focused on controlling the audience’s emotions rather than influencing their logical thinking.

There lay the trap: Power belonged to anyone who could harness the collective will of the citizens directly by appealing to their emotions rather than using evidence and facts to change their minds.

Manipulating people with fear
In his “History of the Peloponnesian War,” the Greek historian Thucydides provides an example of how the Athenian statesman Pericles, who was elected democratically and not considered a tyrant, was nonetheless able to manipulate the Athenian citizenry:

“Whenever he sensed that arrogance was making them more confident than the situation merited, he would say something to strike fear into their hearts; and when on the other hand he saw them fearful without good reason, he restored their confidence again. So it came about that what was in name a democracy was in practice government by the foremost man.”

Misleading speech is the essential element of despots, because despots need the support of the people. Demagogues’ manipulation of the Athenian people left a legacy of instability, bloodshed and genocidal warfare, described in Thucydides’ history.

That record is why Socrates – before being sentenced to death by democratic vote – chastised the Athenian democracy for its elevation of popular opinion at the expense of truth. Greece’s bloody history is also why Plato associated democracy with tyranny in Book VIII of “The Republic.” It was a democracy without constraint against the worst impulses of the majority.

https://theconversation.com/why-tyranny-could-be-the-inevitable-outcome-of-democracy-126158
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Climate Change Is Breaking Open America's Nuclear Tomb
« Reply #14527 on: November 11, 2019, 12:47:55 PM »
The Marshall Islands say that plutonium is leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the concrete dome the U.S. built to dispose of nuclear waste.



During the Cold War, the United States nuked the Marshall Islands 67 times. After it finished nuking the islands, the Pentagon dropped biological weapons on the islands. Once the U.S. was finished, it scooped the irradiated and ruined soil from the islands, poured it into a crater left behind from a nuclear detonation, mixed it all with concrete, and covered the whole thing in a concrete dome. They called it “The Tomb.” According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, climate change is breaking that dome open. Rising sea levels and temperatures are cracking open The Tomb, threatening to spill nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.

The Marshall Islands is a collection of 29 atolls across 1,156 islands. More than 50,000 people live on the islands. From 1946 to 1958, it was a proving ground for America’s nuclear arsenal. On March 1, 1954, the Pentagon conducted Castle Bravo and detonated a 15 megaton thermonuclear warhead over the Bikini Atoll. It was the largest nuclear weapon the U.S. ever detonated.

The fallout from the explosion rained down on the people of the Marshall Islands.

“It was only a matter of two or three years before women on the island started to give birth to things less than human,” a Marshall Islands woman told diplomats on a fact finding mission decades later. Birth defects are so common on the islands that the people have a number of words to describe them, among them marlins, devils, jellyfish children, and grape babies.

The U.S. has largely dismissed its responsibility to the Marshall Islands. It relocated many of its people and claims the cost of relocation and installation of The Tomb at the Enewetak Atoll covers its liability. As sea levels and temperatures rise, however, the Tomb is cracking. As it cracks, water rushes over it, leaching out plutonium and dumping it into the sea.

The U.S. has said The Tomb is now the Marshall Islands’ responsibility.

“I’m like, how can it [the dome] be ours?” Hilda Heine, the president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, told The Los Angeles Times. “We don’t want it. We didn’t build it. The garbage inside is not ours. It’s theirs.”

"It's hard to imagine that the U.S. would consider its actions sufficient if the roles were reversed,” Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian at Stevens Institute of Technology, told Motherboard in a Twitter DM. “That somehow the world's richest nation can't seem to find the political will to make things right with a small, poor nation that sacrificed much in the name of American national security is a travesty. U.S. officials in the Cold War were quick to talk about how important the testing was to American survival, but somehow that importance never translated into a sincere gratitude to the suffering Marshallese."

The Tomb contains not just the irradiated soil and metal scrap from the Pacific proving grounds, but also 130 tons of soil shipped in from Nevada. The Pentagon buried not only the nuclear waste and byproduct of the Marshall Islands, but shipped in extra from out of town. A study by Columbia University researchers in July showed that regions of the Marshall Islands are more radioactive than Chernobyl.

The Nuclear Claims Tribunal, an independent ruling body with the authority to arbitrate legal relations between the United States and the Marshall Islands, awarded the Marshall Islands $2 billion in damages in 2001. Washington has paid only $4 million. At the time of its construction, a Lt. General for the U.S. Air Force said that, should the dome ever fail, it would be America’s responsibility to fix. Terry Hamilton, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Department of Energy’s Marshall Islands expert told The Los Angeles Times that “Under existing living conditions, there is no radiological basis why I or anyone else should be concerned about living on Enewetak.”

“The experts who assert that any given place is safe-enough to live never seem to live in such places themselves,” Wellerstein said. “I think it's easy to be confident about your data and look over the possible uncertainties when you don't personally suffer the consequences if you're wrong.”

Sea levels in the Pacific have risen 0.3 inches every year in the Marshall Islands since 1993. That’s faster than the global average of 0.11 to 0.14 inches. By the end of the century, experts believe the sea levels could rise by four or five feet, submerging the Marshall Islands and The Tomb. Under that kind of pressure, the concrete dome will crack, spilling America’s Cold War waste into the Pacific.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3kxmav/climate-change-is-breaking-open-americas-nuclear-tomb?utm_source=reddit.com
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A Trump-appointed federal judge decided Monday that President Donald Trump can't sue New York state officials in a Washington, DC, court at this time to stop the release of his tax returns to Congress.

The case is one of many where the President or his administration have asked federal judges to intervene before House Democrats obtain Trump's financial records.
Effectively, the ruling is a loss for Trump but a less significant one then the blows other courts have dealt him in cases involving Democrats' pursuits of his financial records. Courts have sided with the House multiple times in cases where its committees have subpoenaed Trump's financial records. Trump is still appealing those rulings, keeping the House subpoenas on hold.

If Trump wants to continue to challenge a New York state law that says Congress can request his state tax returns, he'll either need to wait for Congress to make the request or start over with a new lawsuit in a New York court, the judge, Carl Nichols of the federal district court in DC, said Monday.
"Mr. Trump may press his claims against the New York Defendants in this Court should future events support the exercise of personal jurisdiction over them, or he may opt to pursue those claims in an appropriate forum," Nichols wrote in his opinion, which dismissed Trump's lawsuit against the New York state officials. The judge is still considering whether Trump can sue the House Ways and Means Committee to stop it from requesting his returns under the state law.
In this case, Trump had sued New York state and the House to preempt a new New York state law, called the TRUST Act. Congress hadn't yet requested his state tax returns under the law.
The New York State Attorney General's Office had argued that the case "plainly belongs in a New York court."
Trump had argued that the DC federal court was the right place to sue because New York state would send the tax returns to Washington if Congress requested them.
But Nichols, a Trump appointee to the federal bench in Washington, sided with New York on Monday.
It's possible Trump could file a similar lawsuit with another court, such as in New York state, or later in an attempt to prevent the request from Congress, Nichols wrote.
"The Commissioner [of tax and revenue in New York] has not taken any such actions—at least not yet. But more importantly, the acts of corresponding with the Committee and transmitting Mr. Trump's state tax returns would not constitute transacting business" in Washington, DC, the judge wrote on Monday.
Trump also claimed he could be hurt, for the purposes of a lawsuit, in Washington. "Such acts, if taken, could be enough to satisfy" part of the DC code, the judge wrote. "But speculation that they might occur is insufficient to exercise jurisdiction over the Commissioner now."

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/11/politics/donald-trump-tax-returns/index.html
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Opioids emerge as key sticking point for US-China trade deal
« Reply #14529 on: November 11, 2019, 01:14:41 PM »
A joint operation that led to the conviction of three Chinese nationals for smuggling fentanyl is a hopeful sign for Trump as he faces election year


Donald Trump has personally pressed his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to do something to stem the flow of opioids from China. ‘You’ve got to help us with this,’ read one note.

The seemingly never-ending trade dispute between China and the US often seems like a game of snakes and ladders. Last week China signaled a breakthrough on a quarrel that has roiled economies around the world – only for the Trump administration to issue a denial. The sticking point, for some, appears to be the US opioid crisis.

America is in the grip of its worst drugs crisis in a generation. About 130 people die each day in the US from opioid-related overdoses and many – including Donald Trump – blame imports of cheap drugs from China.

Beijing’s acknowledgment of the issue’s importance to the US came on Thursday when China’s National Narcotics Control Commission held a press conference about a fentanyl smuggling case cracked in a joint operation between US and Chinese authorities.

The trial, which culminated in three Chinese nationals being sentenced to maximum punishments for smuggling fentanyl to the US and six others sentenced for up to two years, is one of China’s highest-profile cases aimed at curbing the illicit flow of opioids.

Chinese-produced fentanyl or Chinese-produced ingredients for the drug have been repeatedly blamed by Trump for the soaring number of US opioid-related deaths.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 28,000 synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths were recorded in 2017 alone, and fentanyl-laced pills have been blamed for several high-profile deaths, including the musicians Prince and Tom Petty.

The emergence of fentanyl as an underlying reason for trade tensions is not new, say observers of the on-again, off-again negotiations, but it has gained importance as a political issue as Trump heads into an election year.

“Fentanyl matters a lot in US politics, because it could be politically devastating among suburban housewives in swing states if fentanyl-related deaths are blamed on Trump’s political inaction on the issue,” said Derek Scissors, a scholar with the pro-market American Enterprise Institute.

“The administration knows they have to neutralize fentanyl as a political issue to make a deal with China, and the Chinese have figured out they have to cooperate on this if they want a deal with the US,” Scissors said. “There has to be progress or a deal can’t hold together.”

US pressure on China to crack down on fentanyl first emerged in trade negotiations in November 2017 when Trump warned the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, on a trip to Beijing, that he would make stopping the “flood of cheap and deadly” fentanyl “manufactured in China” a “top priority”.

“A special emphasis will be placed on the new phenomenon – fentanyl – destroying lives by the millions. We’re going to be focusing on it very strongly, the president and myself,” Trump said at the time.

But it was not until the G20 summit of world leaders in Buenos Aires last year, where Trump pressed Xi on the issue at a steak dinner that capped the conference, that China agreed to list fentanyl and its derivatives as a controlled substance, according to CNN.

That move came after the White House reportedly sent a copy to Xi of a Los Angeles Times article headlined “Fentanyl smuggled from China is killing thousands of Americans” with “you have to help us with this” scribbled on it.

In August, Trump again accused Xi of failing to crack down on the flow of Chinese-produced fentanyl.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, China is responsible for the precursor chemicals for fentanyl, while most of the production is now through Mexico, a marked shift from recent years when shipments went largely unchecked from China to the US.

In congressional testimony last year, the DEA deputy chief, Paul Knierim, described China as “one of the world’s top producers of the precursor chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine and fentanyl, as well as the chemicals used to process heroin and cocaine.

“Combating illicit fentanyl is a top priority of this administration,” Knierim said, welcoming “positive actions being taken by the Chinese government over the last year. Their actions are steps in the right direction, but more can be done.”

While US opioid-related deaths, estimated at 400,000 since 2000, appear to have peaked, China’s agreement to put controls on all fentanyl substances came only after years of bilateral dialog, according to the DEA.

“It is a very significant step for them and we appreciate China’s efforts,” a DEA spokeswoman, Katherine Pfaff, told the Guardian. But the effectiveness of China’s crackdown is unclear.

“Based on past actions, whenever China has put controls into place we have seen a difference in what is coming into the US from China, or sourced from China,” Pfaff added.

While the smuggling trial, which was broadcast on television, is widely held to be a signal that China is prepared to go some way to meet Trump’s demands, Beijing maintains it is not responsible for the fentanyl aspect of the US opioid epidemic.

In the past, Beijing has described the US holding China responsible for fentanyl production as political “fantasy”.

That position was repeated on Thursday when Yu Haibing, deputy secretary general of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said: “China’s control of fentanyl has become more strict, but the number of deaths in the US from fentanyl have risen. This shows that China is not the source of the problem,“ said Yu, reported Bloomberg.

Still, the trial was heralded as an important step by US authorities.

“As the success of the joint investigation demonstrates, Chinese and American investigators have the capacity to collaborate across international borders,” said Austin Moore, an attache with the Department of Homeland Security in Beijing, said at a briefing.

The issue of China and fentanyl is likely to remain tense for the administration. “Trump already said China is going to help us with this. If they don’t, Trump is stuck,” said Scissors. “The trial was a gesture of good faith. Now it’s up to the US to reciprocate.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/10/opioids-us-china-trade-deal-trump
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Not even data recovery companies

A data recovery company is dubiously claiming it has cracked decryption of Dharma ransomware – despite there being no known method of unscrambling its files.

Infosec researcher Brett Callow of Emsisoft had a little fun trying to replicate Emsisoft's exposure of ransomware middleman company Red Mosquito Data Recovery earlier this year, now he has turned his attention in another direction.

Australian biz Fast Data Recovery boasted that it is capable of decrypting Dharma, which data recovery biz Coveware's chief exec Bill Siegel described as implying "they have tools and computing power beyond that of the NSA".

"If this was the case, they would sell their technology for millions, if not billions, rather than using it to help small businesses," he added.

Callow posed as a customer (having borrowed his wife's business email address, with her consent) while contacting Fast Data Recovery, asking if the firm could decrypt encrypted files that mentioned the word Dharma. What Callow had done was encrypt the files himself.

He got back a standard auto-reply email:

Thank you for contacting Fast Data Recovery – The Ransomware Recovery Experts.

Please note FREE evaluation can take up to 10 days and its dependable on our work load and its treated as a non-priority.

If this is an Emergency/URGENT please contact us or reply back to this email to use our Priority Evaluation Service for fast turnaround (4-24 hours) OR 1 HOUR quote for Dharma / Crysis Ransomware.

Dharma ransomware will have the following extensions at the end of your files (COMBO, BIP, GAMMA, JAVA, BRRR, HEETS, ETC, BTC, 888, ADOBE, GAMMA, Phobos). Click here for a full list of Dharma Ransomware.

Our Priority Evaluation service cost $350AUD for most for most type of infections with the exception to [sic] Dharma and Gandcrab infections.

Dharma / Gandcrab Priority evaluation cost $175 AUD.

Please note the cost of Priority evaluation will be deducted from the cost of recovery and in the unlikely chance we are unable to work with your encryption, a full refund will be issued.

We have a proven track record of 100% ransomware data recovery and back our claim with No Data = No Charge.

That was followed up with an offer to carry out a "server prevention and network security audit" at AU$750 per server and $120 per PC – with a discount to $70 if one had more than 10 PCs.

Michael Gillespie, creator of ID Ransomware, opined: "There is no way to 'reverse engineer the ransomware decryption key' for Dharma. The encryption is perfectly implemented, and it's simply not possible. The only way to recover files encrypted by Dharma is with the ransomware dev's key. Any company which claims it can recover files by other means is almost certainly just paying the ransom."

When Emsisoft's Callow didn't reply to the quote, Fast Data Recovery tried again:

After analysis our engineers have determined a very high chance of data recovery after the analysis was performed on your sampling files.

Your infection is part of the DHARMA ransomware family. One of the most active types of ransomware on the internet since 2016 with 2-3 new infections per week.

Your files have been identified to have a complex encryption key. A time consuming/complex process but the recovery is guaranteed.

Our team has been successful in 100% of all dharma ransomware cases presented to our company.

We will be using our streamlined process and latest technology to speed up the recovery process.

We utilise our resources to reverse engineer the ransomware decryption key on your sample files. Once the decryption key has been reversed-engineered, we will need to connect to your system to start the recovery process.

At this point, Callow broke off contact with the firm, but the case smells similar to other companies claiming to be able to decrypt ransomware when all they do is act as a middleman, taking money on the pretence of "decrypting" ransomware, then paying the ransom and in turn banking a margin for doing so.

The most outrageous case aside from Red Mosquito (as mentioned above) was Dr Shifro, a Russian firm that also claimed to be able to decrypt Dharma. This turned out to be one Belarusian man who had made around £300,000 from taking Bitcoin payments while negotiating with ransomware authors.

Emsisoft's CTO, Fabian Wosar, concluded: "Since emerging in 2016, Dharma has been reverse engineered to death by the entire malware research community. If a flaw existed that enabled the encryption to be broken, it would almost certainly have been discovered a long time ago. To break Dharma within any of our lifetimes without having discovered a flaw would require access to a quantum computer that is capable of running Shor's algorithm. The highest number ever factorized using said algorithm and quantum computers is 21, which is just short of the 307 digits that would be required to break Dharma."

Sometimes, these types of services really are too good to be true.

Fast Data Recovery has been asked for comment.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/11/dharma_decryption_promises_data_recovery/
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Brazil's next fire disaster, in the Pantanal wetlands
« Reply #14531 on: November 11, 2019, 05:18:57 PM »
Brazil's Pantanal wetlands are on fire. While the world was shocked by the wildfires that ravaged the Amazon, few seem to have noticed the destruction of the world's largest tropical wetland area.



Another Brazilian bioregion is ablaze. After devastating wildfires in the Amazon rainforest in August and September, fires are now burning in Pantanal. According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), in the past few days 122,000 hectares have burned in the region around the cities of Corumba and Miranda in the state of Grosso do Sul alone. Yet, the world media does not seem as interested in these fires as in those that ravaged the Amazon.

"Right now, it's raining, which will limit the number of fires but there are areas where it is not raining and where the fires are still raging," Felipe Dias, the head of the environment NGO SOS Pantanal, told DW from Campo Grande.

State of emergency

The number of fires in Pantanal has broken all records this year, with over 8,000 registered. In September, the authorities in Mato Grosso do Sul said that so far this year 1.3 million hectares had burned down and that a state of emergency had been declared in the region.

Felipe Dias estimates that at least 1.5 million hectares have burned since August. "It's normal to have fires here but what's not normal is the extent; the amount of burned areas," he points out. He says that one reason for the fires is that it has been so dry. Some fires were caused by lightning.

He also partly blames Brazil's neighboring states Bolivia and Paraguay. The Pantanal wetlands span all three countries. Dias says that some of the fires that have devastated the Brazilian Pantanal this year broke out across the border. "This year, the whole Pantanal caught fire."



Carlos Rittl from the climate think thank Observatório do Clima explains that "most of the fires are caused by humans," generally farmers, cow herders or loggers who want to clear the land. "The fires have been going on for months but they are not drawing the same attention as those in the Amazon. Yet, the situation here is very very critical."

He thinks that the fires in the Amazon may have received more attention than those in the Pantanol because of the dimensions. There is more diversity and more deforestation, and more fires, in the Amazon, so it makes sense that they should always be in the headlines.

Government inaction

The government in Brasilia has also been inattentive, says Dias. "Not many people really know the Pantanal. So they don't pay it much attention. We observed how late the government reacted to the fires. We need a preventative monitoring policy here and the government should participate."

Rittl also blames the government. "This is a consequence of the government's discourse of tolerance regarding the crimes, its promises that the laws will be changed and the fact that nobody is punished for the illegal fires.

President Jair Bolsonaro and environment minister Ricardo Salles are constantly meeting people who commit crimes in the gold mines of the Amazon. And constantly they raise hopes that everything that is illegal will be legalized. This means that people think the government will allow everything," Rittl says.

No soldiers for Pantanal

While the situation remains critical in Pantanal, the fires in the Amazon have subsided. Tens of thousands of soldiers were sent in at the end of August to fight the fires. Now, there are just a few left.

"Something changed in the Amazon when the fires became an international scandal and Brazil's agribusiness attracted negative headlines," says Rittl. "The government sent soldiers in to fight the fires. But this has not happened in Pantanal. The fact that there has been so little interest means that people are not afraid of committing crimes and setting fires."

Read more: Pope Francis opens divisive debate on preserving the Amazon

Dias thinks that more efforts should be put into protecting the Pantanal, which he describes as a paradise that still boasts 83% of its original vegetation. "It's unique and completely different from all other regions. There is less biodiversity than in the Amazon but you can really see the animals here. There is a huge potential for tourism."

Unfortunately, the situation will change with new laws regarding the cultivation of sugar cane in Brazil. "Pantanal will also be affected," warns Rittl. "The cattle industry will also become a more important economic development in the region," he adds — not a particularly encouraging prospect for Pantanal, Brazil or the world.

https://www.dw.com/en/brazils-next-fire-disaster-in-the-pantanal-wetlands/a-51199164
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Mouse deer species not seen for nearly 30 years is found alive in Vietnam
« Reply #14532 on: November 11, 2019, 05:31:00 PM »
Silver-backed chevrotain caught on camera after it was feared lost to science

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Mmju3lhRORg&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Mmju3lhRORg&fs=1</a>

A distinctly two-tone mouse deer that was feared lost to science has been captured on film foraging for food by camera traps set up in a Vietnamese forest.

The pictures of the rabbit-sized animal, also known as the silver-backed chevrotain, are the first to be taken in the wild and come nearly 30 years after the last confirmed sighting.

“We had no idea what to expect, so I was surprised and overjoyed when we checked the camera traps and saw photographs of a chevrotain with silver flanks,” said An Nguyen, a scientist and expedition team leader at Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).

“Discovering that it is, indeed, still out there is the first step in ensuring we don’t lose it again, and we’re moving quickly now to figure out how best to protect it,” he said.

The silver-backed chevrotain is a half-painted beast. Behind the russet head, neck and front legs lies a silver-grey body and hind legs rounded off by a white, grizzled bottom. Though probably preyed on by leopards, wild dogs and pythons, scientists fear that snares laid by hunters have pushed the species to the brink of extinction. Despite the name, they are neither mice nor deer, but the world’s smallest ungulate, or hoofed animal.


 It is unclear how many of the animals were captured on camera.

Nguyen and his team began their search by interviewing villagers and government forest rangers in provinces of Vietnam where the animals had previously been spotted. Some recalled seeing grey chevrotains, suggesting the species might not have died out in the wild.

Based on the information, the scientists installed three camera traps in a lowland forest in southern Vietnam. Over five months, they captured 275 photos of the animal. These were classified as 72 separate events, since multiple photos taken within the space of an hour are considered one event. Buoyed by the sightings, the researchers set up a further 29 cameras in the same area and took 1,881 more photographs, comprising 208 independent events. It is unclear how many individual animals the photographs represent.

The findings, reported in Nature Ecology and Evolution, have increased calls for swift action to protect what remains of the population. A chief priority is to reduce the widespread use of snares to capture animals for the wildlife trade. “Stopping snaring will not only protect the silver-backed chevrotain, but also numerous other species, including several mammals and birds that are only found in the Greater Annamites ecoregion and are threatened with extinction,” said Andrew Tilker, a member of the GWC team.

The rediscovery of the silver-backed chevrotain has raised hopes that other species thought lost to science could yet be found in the wild.

“A key aspect to future surveys for lost species will be to work with local communities, as we did for the silver-backed chevrotain project, to help guide on-the-ground survey efforts,” said Tilker. “Incorporating this local ecological knowledge was critical for our work, and this strategy could prove successful for other species in other parts of the world.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/11/mouse-deer-not-seen-nearly-30-years-found-alive-vietnam
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Climate change deniers’ new battle front attacked
« Reply #14533 on: November 11, 2019, 05:44:48 PM »
‘Pernicious’ campaign is unfair on well-meaning people who want to help – expert


 Melting sea ice off Greenland - climate change deniers are switching tactics in the face of mounting evidence of global warming, says Michael Mann.

The battle between climate change deniers and the environment movement has entered a new, pernicious phase. That is the stark warning of one of the world’s leading climate experts, Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

Mann told the Observer that although flat rejection of global warming was becoming increasingly hard to maintain in the face of mounting evidence, this did not mean climate change deniers were giving up the fight.

“First of all, there is an attempt being made by them to deflect attention away from finding policy solutions to global warming towards promoting individual behaviour changes that affect people’s diets, travel choices and other personal behaviour,” said Mann. “This is a deflection campaign and a lot of well-meaning people have been taken in by it.”

Mann stressed that individual actions – eating less meat or avoiding air travel – were important in the battle against global warming. However, they should be seen as additional ways to combat global warming rather than as a substitute for policy reform.

“We should also be aware how the forces of denial are exploiting the lifestyle change movement to get their supporters to argue with each other. It takes pressure off attempts to regulate the fossil fuel industry. This approach is a softer form of denial and in many ways it is more pernicious.”

Over the past 25 years Mann has played a key role in establishing that rising fossil fuel emissions and increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are heating the planet at a worrying rate. He was also involved in the 2009 Climategate affair in which thousands of emails – many to and from Mann – were hacked from the University of East Anglia’s [UEA] Climate Research Unit. Climategate marks its 10th anniversary this month. At the time, deniers on both sides of the Atlantic claimed the emails from UEA showed climate scientists had been fiddling their data, claims that may have contributed towards delay in the implementation of measures to tackle climate change over the next decade, say observers.

Subsequent inquiries found no evidence of any misbehaviour by researchers, however. The denial machine lost a lot of its credibility as a result, added Mann, and there has been a gradual rise in public acceptance of the idea of global warming.

However, deniers have not given up their opposition to plans to curtail fossil fuel use and among their new tactics they have also tried to encourage “doomism”, as Mann put it. “This is the idea that we are now so late in the game [in tackling global warming] that there is nothing that we can do about the problem,” he added. “By promoting this doom and gloom attitude this leads people down a path of despair and hopelessness and finally inaction, which actually leads us to the same place as outright climate-change denialism.”

This is the new climate war, said Mann, and it is just as dangerous as the old one which focused on outright denial of the science. This new approach has a veneer of credibility, he added. It seems reasonable to many people. And that makes it, to some extent, even more dangerous, Mann concluded.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/nov/09/doomism-new-tactic-fossil-fuel-lobby
« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 05:59:13 PM by knarf »
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E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules
« Reply #14534 on: November 11, 2019, 05:49:46 PM »

Contaminated waste water flowing from the Lee Mountain mine near Rimini, Mont., into a retention pond last year.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking.

A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would require that scientists disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before the agency could consider an academic study’s conclusions. E.P.A. officials called the plan a step toward transparency and said the disclosure of raw data would allow conclusions to be verified independently.

“We are committed to the highest quality science,” Andrew Wheeler, the E.P.A. administrator, told a congressional committee in September. “Good science is science that can be replicated and independently validated, science that can hold up to scrutiny. That is why we’re moving forward to ensure that the science supporting agency decisions is transparent and available for evaluation by the public and stakeholders.”

The measure would make it more difficult to enact new clean air and water rules because many studies detailing the links between pollution and disease rely on personal health information gathered under confidentiality agreements. And, unlike a version of the proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place.

“This means the E.P.A. can justify rolling back rules or failing to update rules based on the best information to protect public health and the environment, which means more dirty air and more premature deaths,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association.

Public health experts warned that studies that have been used for decades — to show, for example, that mercury from power plants impairs brain development, or that lead in paint dust is tied to behavioral disorders in children — might be inadmissible when existing regulations come up for renewal.

For instance, a groundbreaking 1993 Harvard University project that definitively linked polluted air to premature deaths, currently the foundation of the nation’s air-quality laws, could become inadmissible. When gathering data for their research, known as the Six Cities study, scientists signed confidentiality agreements to track the private medical and occupational histories of more than 22,000 people in six cities. They combined that personal data with home air-quality data to study the link between chronic exposure to air pollution and mortality.

But the fossil fuel industry and some Republican lawmakers have long criticized the analysis and a similar study by the American Cancer Society, saying the underlying data sets of both were never made public, preventing independent analysis of the conclusions.

The change is part of a broader administration effort to weaken the scientific underpinnings of policymaking. Senior administration officials have tried to water down the testimony of government scientists, publicly chastised scientists who have dissented from President Trump’s positions and blocked government researchers from traveling to conferences to present their work.

In this case, the administration is taking aim at public health studies conducted outside the government that could justify tightening regulations on smog in the air, mercury in water, lead in paint and other potential threats to human health.

Scott Pruitt, the former administrator of the E.P.A., had made publication of underlying scientific data a top priority and tried to rush a proposal through the regulatory system in 2018. Mr. Pruitt resigned that July, and his successor, Mr. Wheeler, delayed the transparency rule and suggested the E.P.A. needed time to address the chorus of opposition from environmental and public health groups.

But a draft of the revised regulation headed for White House review and obtained by The New York Times shows that the administration intends to widen its scope, not narrow it.

The previous version of the regulation would have applied only to a certain type of research, “dose-response” studies in which levels of toxicity are studied in animals or humans. The new proposal would require access to the raw data for virtually every study that the E.P.A. considers.

“E.P.A. is proposing a broader applicability,” the new regulation states, saying that open data should not be limited to certain types of studies.

Most significantly, the new proposal would apply retroactively. A separate internal E.P.A. memo viewed by The New York Times shows that the agency had considered, but ultimately rejected, an option that might have allowed foundational studies like Harvard’s Six Cities study to continue to be used.

An E.P.A. spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, “The agency does not discuss draft, deliberative documents or actions still under internal and interagency review.”

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a hearing on the E.P.A.’s efforts. A top pulmonary specialist and a representative of the country’s largest nonprofit funder of research on Parkinson’s disease, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, are expected to testify that the E.P.A.’s proposed rule would eliminate the use of valuable research showing the dangers of pollution to human health.

Mr. Pruitt’s original proposal drew nearly 600,000 comments, the vast majority of them in opposition. Among them were leading public health groups and some of the country’s top scientific organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners said it was “deeply concerned” that the rule would lead to the exclusion of studies, “ultimately resulting in weaker environmental and health protections and greater risks to children’s health.” The National Center for Science Education said ruling out studies that do not use open data “would send a deeply misleading message, ignoring the thoughtful processes that scientists use to ensure that all relevant evidence is considered.” The Medical Library Association and the Association of Academic Health Science Libraries said the proposal “contradicts our core values.”

Industry groups said the rule would ensure greater public understanding of the science behind regulations that cost consumers money.

“Transparency, reproducibility and application of current scientific knowledge are paramount to providing the foundation required for sound regulations,” the American Chemistry Council wrote to the E.P.A. in support of the plan.

The new version does not appear to have taken any of the opposition into consideration. At a meeting of the agency’s independent science advisory board this summer, Mr. Wheeler said he was “a little shocked” at the amount of opposition to the proposal, but he was committed to finalizing it. Beyond retroactivity, the latest version stipulates that all data and models used in studies under consideration at the E.P.A. would have to be made available to the agency so it can reanalyze research itself. The politically appointed agency administrator would have wide-ranging discretion over which studies to accept or reject.

“It was hard to imagine that they could have made this worse, but they did,” said Michael Halpern, deputy director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group. He added, “This is a wholesale politicization of the process.”

Academics are not typically required to turn over private data when submitting studies for peer review by other specialists in the field, or for publication in scientific journals, the traditional ways scientific research is evaluated. If academics were to turn over the raw data to be made available for public review, the E.P.A. would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to redact private information, according to one federal estimate.

The Six Cities study and a 1995 American Cancer Society analysis of 1.2 million people that confirmed the Harvard findings appear to be the inspiration of the regulation.

The proposal gives the public 30 days to offer comments on the changes to the E.P.A.’s plan. Agency officials have said they hope to finalize the measure in 2020.

“The original goal was to stop E.P.A. from relying on these two studies unless the data is made public,” said Steven J. Milloy, a member of Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. transition team who runs Junkscience.org, a website that questions established climate change science and contends particulate matter in smog does not harm human health.

He dismissed concerns that the new rule could be used to unravel existing regulations, but he said he did expect it to prevent pollution rules from getting tougher.

“The reality is, standards are not going to be tightened as long as there’s a Republican in office,” he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/11/climate/epa-science-trump.html
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