"Even his own generals have conceded that a complete military victory in Afghanistan is not possible. The only solution most see is to persuade the Taliban to sit down to peace talks — something they have refused to do as long as American soldiers remain in the country. And with the insurgents gaining ground steadily in the past two years, the Taliban have even less incentive to negotiate."
"Our democracy has been hijacked by the private and largely unaccountable organizations that constitute today's political industrial complex"
"By failing to pass A.B. 375, the legislature demonstrated that they put the profits of Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast over the privacy rights of their constituents."
"It's like the battle for Berlin, where Soviet troops marched from one side, and the Allies on the other"
"Armed police in Spain have raided several print works and newspaper offices in Catalonia in recent days in a hunt for voting papers, ballot boxes and leaflets to be used in an Oct. 1 independence referendum which Madrid vehemently opposes."
Probably got golden parachutes too. This won't stop until execs are doing a perp walk.
"It reached an altitude of about 770km (478 miles), travelling 3,700km past Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido before landing in the sea, South Korea's military says. It is the furthest any North Korean ballistic missile has ever travelled overground"
Tillerson directs our attention to China and Russia, both of which are being encircled by U.S. military forces... (dream on, Rex)
"The campaign has led to the detention of up to 10 popular clerics – the biggest mass arrest of its kind in the kingdom’s recent history... the crackdown is aimed at sidelining influential clerics who the royal court believes have been muted in their support for the stance against Qatar"
"One and a half years later, the BND warned German federal agencies not to use Tor"
"The bill would require Internet service providers to obtain customers' permission before they use, share, or sell the customers' Web browsing and application usage histories."
"Wearing security force uniforms and driving stolen army vehicles, the attackers targeted a police checkpoint and two restaurants on a highway near the city of Nassiriya, using car bombs and suicide vests, the sources said."
Now you know why North Korea doesn't like War Games nearby...
"We know that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability. The vulnerability was Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638"
See Also: The FTC takes an interest.
The Russians and Chinese should do the same to Symantec, McAfee, and Windows Defender, for similar reasons. Let the Antivirus trade wars begin...
"One mysterious set of purchases – totaling $479.6 million – contains no end destination at all. An analysis of these procurement documents by BIRN and OCCRP reveals it is likely that much, if not all, of the arms in question are headed for Syria."
"Rarely does a government announce a strategy to assassinate a head of state, but South Korea wants to keep the North on edge and nervous about the consequences of further developing its nuclear arsenal."
Regime change threats will only reinforce the need for a nuclear deterrent...
[Exec Summary]"We found that Agency controls for monitoring query compliance have not been completely developed"
"The average household income for the poorest fifth of households fell by $571 over the decade that ended last year, adjusting for inflation. Over the same period, the average income for the wealthiest fifth of households rose by $13,479, adjusting for inflation."
"Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing"
"Russia says the S-400 system has a range of 400km (248 miles) and can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one."
"He knew exactly what America was, pushed its buttons and America did what bin Laden wanted to."
See Also: "We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy... the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations - whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction"
"At least three major state banks -- the Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China -- in the northeastern border city of Yanji have also banned North Koreans from opening accounts... The Chinese banks have yet to freeze the accounts, meaning that North Koreans can still withdraw money from them, but they are now prevented from making deposits or remittances"
"The pilots were so spooked by the Saudi passengers and their aggressive behavior that they made an emergency landing in Ohio. On the ground there, police handcuffed them and took them into custody. Though the FBI later questioned them, it decided not to pursue prosecution."
"Section 623 provides a Sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and its senior leadership resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors, and should be treated as such."
"Transcripts of messages from his telephone show a stream of increasingly harsh orders through the night — including to disperse crowds of protesters with gunfire."
"The problem is that companies like Equifax are able to accumulate – essentially, without limit – as much sensitive, personal data as they can get their hands on. There is an urgent need for strict regulations on what types of data companies can collect and how much data a company can possess, both in aggregate and about individuals."
"The problem in the Democratic Party? They haven't had a civil war."
Big money at work, Sanders rolled over instead of going nuclear. Sheep dog!
"The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance of mostly Kurdish and Arab militias (SDF) said it had reached Deir al-Zor’s industrial zone, just a few miles to the east of the city after launching operations in the area in recent days."
"The Syrian army and its allies, backed by Iran and by Russian air cover, meanwhile advanced from the west to seize full control of the Deir al-Zor-Damascus highway, a Hezbollah-run media unit reported."
"We are about to witness a giant experiment in the effectiveness of the NRC's strategy for protecting nuclear plants from natural disasters."
"The 1,333 individuals, from 14 countries, surrendered to Kurdish forces at the end of August after an Iraqi offensive drove the extremist group from the northern town of Tal Afar, near Mosul, Iraqi security officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with military protocol."
"TrustID, seems to be telling people at random they may have been affected by the data breach.... It's clear Equifax's goal isn't to protect the consumer or bring them vital information. It's to get you to sign up for its revenue-generating product TrustID."
"First, this is the third major breach in about two years, so they had plenty of warning that their security, cybersecurity, was incompetent, and they obviously didn’t fix it. Second, they now say that the breach began in May and that they didn’t detect it ’til July, while they were, as you said, stealing at least 142 million people's worth of data, probably multiple times. Along the way, by the way, they said proudly, 'Ah, but there was no breach of our core system.' Before you ever get to the core, 142 million customers are thrown under the bus."
"Chinese conglomerate CEFC will buy a 14.16 percent stake in Russian oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM) for $9.1 billion from a consortium of Glencore (GLEN.L) and the Qatar Investment Authority, strengthening the energy partnership between Moscow and Beijing. "
"Spain's constitutional court has suspended a referendum law passed by the Catalan parliament to hold a vote on independence next month."
"Officials estimated that 5.6 million residents had been ordered to evacuate"
"While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has some supervisory and enforcement authority over the credit bureaus, the agency generally leaves data privacy enforcement to the main regulator in charge of it, the Federal Trade Commission. And the trade commission lacks the authority to impose big fines."
"Equifax made $3.1 billion in revenue last year"
"Durov was dumbfounded. As we sat talking, he told me he could not understand how people could trust a supposedly anti-government weapon that was being funded by the very same U.S. government it was supposed to protect its users from... imagine if the KGB funded a special crypto fax line and told Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and dissident samizdat writers to use it"
"Instead of finding political and democratic solutions to the government and corporate surveillance crisis plaguing our society, the privacy movement somehow ended up in a libertarian rut."
This is no accident. The oligarchs co-opted things early on, political solutions do not represent a profit center.
"What began as a way to catch black-market cigarette dealers quickly transformed into a nearly untraceable A.T.F. slush fund that agents from around the country could tap."
Evading taxes, exploiting subsidies, and generally keeping a low profile.
"Average CEO pay among the 92 firms rose 18 percent, to $13.4 million in real terms, between 2008 and 2016, compared to a 13 percent increase among S&P 500 CEOs. U.S. private sector worker pay increased by only 4 percent during this period."
"Including Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers... Criminals gained access to certain files in the company’s system from mid-May to July by exploiting a weak point in website software... hackers were also able to retrieve names, birth dates and addresses. Credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers were stolen"
And as you might expect, the higher ups move quickly to save their own god damn skin. Just like the investment bankers:
"Three senior executives, including the company's chief financial officer, John Gamble, sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the breach was discovered."
The in-house public relations team may try to sell this as a state-sponsored attack in an effort to deflect blame from their own security failings. This is something that Equifax could have prevented.
"Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which used to be called Jabhat al-Nusra, has long been the most powerful rebel group in western Syria. After the capture of east Aleppo by the Syrian army last December, it moved to eliminate its rivals in Idlib"
"The Protego project is a PIC-based missile control system that was developed by Raytheon. The documents indicate that the system is installed on-board a Pratt & Whitney aircraft (PWA) equipped with missile launch systems (air-to-air and/or air-to-ground)."
No rights, no due process, subject to the whim of tech oligarchs who reserve the right to exploit/abuse/deceive their human cattle, and cull the surplus population, as they see fit.
"Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians"
"U.S. officials have for months told Reuters that Trump had given Mattis the authority to send about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan."
"President Donald Trump last week, who said he could move to withdraw from NAFTA if he does not get concessions to reduce a U.S. trade deficit of around $64 billion with Mexico."
"And killed 2,048 since it began in April, and some districts are still reporting sharp rises in new cases, data from the World Health Organization and Yemen's health ministry showed on Tuesday. "
"During Trump’s visit, the White House accepted at least 83 separate gifts from Saudi Arabia, according to a document The Daily Beast has obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department."
"Leaked data shows that the Azerbaijani leadership, accused of serial human rights abuses, systemic corruption and rigging elections, made more than 16,000 covert payments from 2012 to 2014... The regime sought to blunt criticism from Europe and the US by allegedly bribing delegates in what has been called 'caviar diplomacy'"
"Few places need the federal government right now more than Texas does, as it begins to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Yet there are few states where the federal government is viewed with more resentment, suspicion and scorn."
"Mr. Cruz joined more than 20 of his Texas colleagues in Congress in voting against a $50.5 billion relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy"
Wake up call for climate change deniers.
"American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It's up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that's expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend."
"What they want is to preserve their regime, procure security guarantees from Washington, lift the embargo, normalize relations with the South, extricate the US from the political affairs of the peninsula, and (hopefully) end the irritating and endlessly provocative 64 year US occupation. Yankee go home. Please."
Compare this to the article at the New York Times. Hardly baffling, North Korea has been very clear about what they want...
"Ms. Evans was a full-time employee of Kodak. She received more than four weeks of paid vacation per year, reimbursement of some tuition costs to go to college part time, and a bonus payment every March. When the facility she cleaned was shut down, the company found another job for her: cutting film."
"Found on an insecure Amazon S3 bucket without the protection of a password, the cache of roughly 9,400 documents reveal extraordinary details about thousands of individuals who were formerly and may be currently employed by the US Department of Defense and within the US intelligence community."
"In interviews, more than three dozen leading Democratic donors, fund-raisers and operatives agreed that it was the earliest start they had ever seen... They are making their cases to wealthy donors, while spending briskly through political committees to pay staff members, organize fund-raisers, arrange travel and rally small donors and volunteers"
"The belief that we can defend our country against a large-scale attack is a fantasy, and it has led us to not only spend billions and billions of dollars needlessly... The greatest danger is not a surprise attack; the greatest danger is that we will blunder into a nuclear war, into a war."
"By tying search results to the use of Plus, Google was using that muscle to force people to promote its social network... Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down... Somehow, very quickly, search results stopped showing the original story at all."
"In total, the Monitor recorded 971 new cluster munition casualties in 2016, with the highest number in Syria (860), Lao PDR (51), and Yemen (38)."
"Musharraf, who is accused of conspiring to murder the former prime minister, has been in self-imposed exile in Dubai since 2016, when he left the country after a period in house arrest, after the ministry of interior lifted his travel ban."
"Wells Fargo (WFC) now says it has found a total of up to 3.5 million potentially fake bank and credit card accounts, up from its earlier tally of approximately 2.1 million. In other words, there are two-thirds more fake accounts than previously realized."
This won't change until bankers start pulling time.
"At $2.45, today's national gas price average is the highest recorded price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline so far this year. The near-term combinations of numerous refinery and pipeline shut downs, tightened access to supply levels in the Gulf and anticipated high gasoline demand surrounding Labor Day weekend"
"On Wednesday, August 23, MacEwan University discovered it had been the victim of a phishing attack. A series of fraudulent emails convinced university staff to change electronic banking information for one of the university’s major vendors. The fraud resulted in the transfer of $11.8 million [CAD] to a bank account that staff believed belonged to the vendor."
"At least 11 Afghan civilians were killed and 16 wounded on Wednesday when a NATO helicopter attacked a house where Taliban insurgents had taken shelter in Logar province, east of the capital, Kabul, the local governor said. "
"An additional 2,000 American troops, which military officials have not publicly acknowledged, are in Afghanistan to help local forces conduct counterterrorism missions."
"Iran stuck by its nuclear deal with world powers by keeping its uranium stockpile and production capacity below set thresholds, according to United Nations inspectors."
"Keystone is part of the Wolfcreek implant and responsible for starting malicious user applications. Loaded implants never touch the file system, so there is very little forensic evidence that the process was ever ran... BadMFS is a library that implements a covert file system that is created at the end of the active partition (or in a file on disk in later versions). It is used to store all drivers and implants that Wolfcreek will start."
"There is no general taxation, which means that there is no basic social contract between people and their rulers... The culture of dependency in Saudi Arabia, as elsewhere in the Gulf, relies above all on individual patronage"
This is exactly why professors are given tenure at universities. So that monarchs with deep pockets cannot use their wealth and influence to silence the truth.
Talk about tone deaf...
"Pushing civil society from talk and voting to violence and paramilitaries is what the fascists are trying to accomplish – moving from the rule of law to the rule of force. By every historical standard and also by almost every philosophical one, this is a victory for, if not fascism, then certainly authoritarianism. The answer to Nazis and white supremacists isn't flowery talk or left-wing paramilitaries. It’s a stronger rule of law and an empowered state behind it."
"At least 1,200 people have been killed and millions have been left homeless following devastating floods that have hit India, Bangladesh and Nepal, in one of the worst flooding disasters to have affected the region in years."
"The company had 60 days to propose how it would 'stop its illegal content' and 90 days to make changes to how the company displays shopping results when users search for a product. Those changes need to be put in place by Sept. 28 to stave off a risk that the EU could fine the company 5 percent of daily revenue for each day it fails to comply."
"Several residents contacted by The New York Times said that the Taliban had left the area about three hours before the strikes, and that all of the victims were civilians, many of them women and children."
"The missile launched Tuesday was very likely a Hwasong 12, which is classified as intermediate range and is fired from mobile launchers"
Hello? Responding to military exercises. Trump blusters that "All options are on the table." South Korea ups the ante with a live-fire decapitation drill. That'll convince Kim Jong-un we have no intention of invading, right?
"It would have been far better to clamp down some anti-trust regulations before Facebook and Google consolidated their duopoly. But if meaningful freedom of the press is to be preserved in the digital age, it will have to happen, and soon."
"In an epically unequal society, with a constitution built for equality, we won't last long. Unless something changes quickly, we may experience revolution, instability, coup attempts, and violence"
"Around 15,000 ground sites across Indonesia were affected by the problem on the 'Telkom-1' satellite... A shift in the direction of the satellite's antenna, which was first detected last Friday, had disrupted connectivity."
"They told me there was a sense of revulsion. There was a sense of déjà vu. There was a sense of 'we've seen this movie before'"
"The explosives-laden car went off at the wholesale Jamila market in Baghdad's Shia district of Sadr City on Monday morning, a police officer said."
"Awarded Lockheed Martin and Raytheon separate $900 million contracts to start work on a cruise missile that is meant to be fired from a B-52 or B-2 bomber."
"Two contracts worth up to $359 million apiece have been awarded to the Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp"
"The Trump administration Monday lifted a controversial ban on the transfer of some surplus military equipment to police departments whose battlefield-style response to rioting in a St. Louis suburb three years ago prompted a halt to the program."
"The public did not learn about the existence of the equipment until 2011, after an inmate in federal prison, Daniel Rigmaiden, spent three years scouring government records and meeting transcripts on a hunch that investigators used some kind of secret device to catch him."
"Sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County asked to use the surveillance equipment for investigations 138 times in 2015 and 38 times in 2016."
"Instead of building barracks and improving our arsenal of weapons, we built schools, hospitals, and we improved our living conditions."
"A suicide bombing followed by gunfire as Shia Muslims gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in Kabul killed at least 28 people, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claiming responsibility."
"Since the first US airstrikes hit Kandahar in October 2001, more than 150,000 Afghan civilians have been killed. Still Afghanistan resists imperial dictates. Even after Obama's shameful troop surge in 2010, an escalation that went almost unopposed by the US antiwar movement, the Taliban now retains almost as much control of the country as it did in 2001. And for that Afghanistan must be punished. Eternally, it seems."
"When they [North Korea] fire salvos of missiles, it's usually because they're training, so in a way, they’re doing their own exercises"
Our leaders willfully ignore the following lessons:
"Nonproliferation policies must either address the proliferator’s underlying motives—in other words, their sense of insecurity—or they must enlist a strong multilateral coalition that enforces sanctions vigorously, with few exploitable cracks. "
"Trump signed an executive order barring dealings in new bonds and stocks issued by the government and the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, the parent of Citgo. Banks also cannot engage in new lending with the government or the oil giant."
"If the government has any evidence—or even compelling reasons for being suspicious—it should be sharing that, because many companies and consumers rely on Kaspersky Lab products. The fact that the government hasn’t done so makes it likely this is all just geo politics: Distrust the Russian government, distrust all Russians."
"Designed to be deployed alongside a biometric collection system that the CIA provides to partner agencies. In theory, those partners are agreeing to provide the CIA with access to specific biometric data — but on the off-chance those partners are holding out on them, ExpressLane gives the agency a way to take it without anyone knowing... If the partners refuse the phony update, there's a hidden kill-switch that lets agents shut down the entire system after a set period of time, requiring an in-person visit to restore the system."
"The storm could make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane or higher — with winds of at least 111 miles per hour — by early Saturday near Corpus Christi, Tex., the National Weather Service said."
"The prosecution indicted Lee in February for offering 43.3 billion won ($38.5 million) to former President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidant Choi Soon-sil in return for political favors to help him secure control of the nation's largest conglomerate."
Good luck trying to pull that off in the United States.
"In addition to the promised 50 jobs, Apple has agreed to buy 2,000 acres of land for the $1.4 billion project"
$4 million per worker, what a bargain!
"The payroll overhaul will cost UC nearly $1 billion — triple the expected cost — and will take five years longer than planned... the overhaul, which was supposed to save UC $753 million. Those savings — mainly from reduced staff — 'will not materialize,' the audit says."
Thumbing their noses at the Saudis.
"At the very top of his list is an accident with nuclear weapons... the D.O.E. has the job of ensuring that nuclear weapons are not lost or stolen, or at the slightest risk of exploding when they should not."
"Number one on that list should be an offer to curtail the military exercises that began in late August and will pick up again—with a far greater number of troops—next spring."
"584,000 Americans, or about 0.2 percent of the U.S. population, with a combined net worth of $6.9 trillion. People in their 80s and 90s control $1.2 trillion of that wealth. Adults under 50, roughly 43 percent of the population , hold barely $1 trillion."
"Physician Ali al-Rakmi who was helping at the site of Wednesday's strike in Arhab town's Qaa al-Qaidhi district, said there were more than 100 people inside at the time of the attack, all farmers who work in growing qat"
"A stalemate where the equilibrium favors the government"
The permanent war economy beloved by defense contractors everywhere.
"Residents of Seoul — who live within artillery range of North Korea — have been pretty much carrying on as usual."
"German politicians and car bosses agreed earlier this month to overhaul engine software on 5.3 million diesel cars to try to repair the industry's battered reputation"
This is what Trump means when he says "micromanagement from Washington, D.C. does not win battles."
"The North Korean statement accused the United States of deploying unspecified 'lethal' weapons for the drills that it says involve a 'beheading operation' training aimed at removing absolute ruler Kim Jong Un."
"The sanctions against 10 companies and six individuals are designed to disrupt the economic ties that have allowed Pyongyang to continue funding its missile and nuclear program despite strict United Nations sanctions prohibiting it."
Military aggression has traditionally been framed in terms of self-defense...
"They are equipped with powerful surveillance technology used to monitor wireless communications on the ground, such as those sent and received by cellphones, radios, and satellite uplinks. They gather 'strategic and tactical military, scientific, political, and economic communications signals'"
"We're not going after people – we're going after their phones, in the hopes that the person on the other end of that missile is the bad guy"
"In May, while the president was visiting Saudi Arabia, Blackstone announced the agreement to manage the fund, the largest in the world to invest in infrastructure projects. The announcement was made at the royal palace in Riyadh as Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner looked on."
Bankers are at the apex of the Deep State.
"The result is the central government does not really control large swaths of its own territory, even where the Taliban is not a factor. Instead, it cedes authority to warlords, some in government and some just aligned with it, who are too powerful to be subdued and often too angry at one another to focus on their common enemy, the Taliban."
"Recently, TEPCO announced that it would dump 770,000 tons of radioactive tritium water into the Pacific Ocean."
"The Secretary of Defense is examining the possibility of separating United States Cyber Command from the National Security Agency. He will announce recommendations on this matter at a later date."
"Wisconsin's Republican-controlled state Assembly voted 59-30 on Thursday to approve a bill that paves the way for a $3 billion incentives package for a proposed liquid-crystal display plant by Taiwan's Foxconn."
"They included the New York investor Robert Mercer, the Kentucky coal executive Joseph W. Craft and the Wisconsin roofing magnate Diane Hendricks... Other donors also were invited to Thursday’s dinner but did not attend, including Paul Singer, the New York hedge fund billionaire."
"In the last week of the quarter we were hit by a cyber-attack, which mainly impacted Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco. Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July and as a consequence, our Q3 results will be impacted. We expect the cyber-attack will impact results negatively by USD 200-300m"
"At the point where North Korea is able to build an ICBM armed with a nuclear warhead, I believe that is where we need to draw a red line, and it appears that the North is drawing closer to that critical line."
"They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria)... and the U.S. administration"
"Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day. In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic."
"The three filed the lawsuit in October 2015 against James Mitchell and John 'Bruce' Jessen, contract psychologists who devised a menu of abusive interrogation methods and billed the CIA between $75m and $81m. The plaintiffs sought damages from the men for allegedly aiding and abetting torture, non-consensual human experimentation and war crimes."
"One person close to him said the coalition would amount to 'Democrats, bankers, and hawks.'"
"The 'crisis' then and now was created by the refusal of the U.S. to live under the same threat to which we subject others."
"Regional police are describing the deadly incident on Las Ramblas boulevard as a terrorist attack, while also emphasizing that they do not know the motive."
"We’re at economic war with China... There's no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it... Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it... If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats"
"Protecting the rights of people you hate is the price of protecting your own rights"
"The number of airstrikes in the first six months of 2017 totaled 5,676, according to the report by the Protection Cluster in Yemen, which is led by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), up from 3,936 for all 2016."
"Police records show that since the nationwide crackdown started, more than 3,200 alleged drug offenders have been killed in gunbattles with law enforcement. More than 2,000 others died in drug-related homicides, including attacks by motorcycle-riding masked gunmen and other assaults."
"A source in New Delhi, who had been briefed on the military situation on the border, said soldiers foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, near the Pangong lake."
Inflammatory events take center stage while a wave of deregulation hits in the backround...
"A key element of the new executive order rolls back standards set by former President Barack Obama that required the federal government to account for climate change and sea-level rise when building infrastructure."
"For all the talk about connecting people, building community, and believing in people, Facebook is an advertising company... The company offered advertisers an unprecedentedly precise tool for targeting their ads at particular consumers... Facebook, in fact, is the biggest surveillance-based enterprise in the history of mankind. It knows far, far more about you than the most intrusive government has ever known about its citizens."
"Facebook and Google get their revenue from advertising, the effectiveness of which depends on gaining and maintaining consumer attention. Borrowing techniques from the gambling industry, Facebook, Google and others exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose only goal is to generate profits for their owners."
"In 1983, Ben Bagdikian published his groundbreaking book, The Media Monopoly, which revealed that just 50 corporations owned 90 percent of the media. That number gradually dwindled over the coming 13 years and was accelerated by the Telecommunications Act. This has led us to the aforementioned crisis where more than 90 percent of the media is owned by just six companies: Viacom, News Corporation, Comcast, CBS, Time Warner and Disney."
"The banks were supposed to be estimating how much it would cost them to borrow cash. But they weren't borrowing cash from anyone. For decades now, the world's biggest banks have been dutifully reporting a whole range of numbers every morning at 11 a.m. London time – the six-month Swiss franc rate, the three-month yen, the one-month dollar, etc. And none of it seems to have been real."
"Mohammed bin Salman, the heir to the Saudi throne, confessed to two former US officials he 'wants out' of the brutal two-year war he started in Yemen, and added that he was 'okay' with Washington engaging with his arch-foe Iran, according to leaked emails obtained by Middle East Eye."
As cholera ravages half a million in Yemen.
"Workers at Yuzhnoye facilities in Dnipropetrovsk and Pavlograd were likely the first ones to suffer the consequences of the economic misfortunes, leaving them susceptible to exploitation by unscrupulous traders, arms dealers and transnational criminals operating in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere."
"The diplomatic contacts are occurring regularly between Joseph Yun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country’s U.N. mission, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the process. They weren’t authorized to discuss the confidential exchanges and spoke on condition of anonymity."
"The people are suffering and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a polssible military option if necessary"
"Based on detailed study of the type and size of the rocket motors used, the flight times of the stages of the rockets, the propellant likely used, and other technical factors—indicate that these rockets actually carried very small payloads that were nowhere near the weight of a nuclear warhead of the type North Korea could have, or could eventually have."
"Forget about North Korea. It is a big hedgehog: a lot of bother to catch and kill, many prickles and no meat. The only thing Kim wants to tell Trump is 'I am not a soft target, go look elsewhere'. Is North Korea dangerous? Only for those who want to step on it."
"Jeff Bezos is the richest man on our planet. If there is somebody to hate, it's got to be him. Do him in, Donald. Skin him. As opposed to North Korea, he is a soft target. A new-rich, a smart kid out of nothing. No old money, no old school ties behind him. Who will support him? The CIA? Cut the CIA budget for the exact amount they pay to Bezos, so the spooks will understand the message."
"'I have to tell you, you have become extremely famous all over the world. They are talking about Guam; and they’re talking about you.' And when it comes to tourism, he added, 'I can say this: You’re going to go up, like, tenfold with the expenditure of no money.'"
"Trump on Monday will call for an investigation into China over allegations that the nation violated U.S. intellectual property rights and forced technology transfers, the official said."
China probably won't budge on North Korea. This is theater.
"Doors to the floor are now frequently locked, and employees have to have an escort to gain entrance. Some employees say they are also told to leave behind their cellphones when they meet with Mr. Pruitt, and are sometimes told not to take notes. Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security."
The power of big oil on display while the earth burns: A new State of the Climate report confirmed that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping.
"The victims included women and children; eight were from one family, and four others from a second family. It was the second time since July 24 that an airstrike in that district killed civilians, according to Afghan officials."
"It would intervene if Washington strikes first."
"Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered all government staff to take Thursday off work because of exceptionally high temperatures. Forecasters expect air temperatures in the capital, Baghdad, to reach 50C (122F) on Thursday afternoon. "
"The subsidies were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later. According to the authors, these subsidies are important because first, they promote fossil fuel use which damages the environment. Second, these are fiscally costly. Third, the subsidies discourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy that compete with the subsidized fossil fuels. Finally, subsidies are very inefficient means to support low-income households."
"CouchPotato is a remote tool for collection against RTSP/H.264 video streams. It provides the ability to collect either the stream as a video file (AVI) or capture still images (JPG) of frames from the stream that are of significant change from a previously captured frame."
"The Republic of Macedonia's new government is stepping up its efforts to join NATO, arguing that membership in the military alliance will protect the Balkan nation from Russia 'interfering' in its affairs, the country’s defense minister said."
"Neither Mr. Tillerson nor Mr. Mattis had reviewed in advance Mr. Trump’s threat on Tuesday, when he said North Korea 'will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.' And the dissonance in their own follow-up statements reflected the struggle inside the Trump administration."
"Over the last two years, at least 12 large companies, from Verizon to General Motors, have said recent slips in mortality improvement have led them to reduce their estimates for how much they could owe retirees by upward of a combined $9.7 billion"
"The 'four P's' — purges, promotions, politics and profit — that have kept many military leaders loyal to the government"
"Guam’s governor, Eddie Calvo, on Wednesday attempted to reassure residents that there was 'no threat' of a North Korean strike, but added that the island was prepared for 'any eventuality'."
"North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles... up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "
"Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier, said on Tuesday its customers are increasingly asking about missile defense systems."
"Afghan government controls about 24 percent of the country's districts and influences an additional 36 percent. The Taliban, on the other hand, control and influence about 11 percent. Both sides contest the remainder, about 29 percent."
"Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate changes."
"In a set of guidelines issued to Google evaluators in March, the company instructed its search evaluators to flag pages returning 'conspiracy theories' or 'upsetting' content unless 'the query clearly indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.'"
"The property was amassed during the last 30 years to include 10.3 acres of grounds. Adjacent sites acquired to expand the estate include a Wallace Neff-designed guesthouse and the long driveway. The grounds contain manicured gardens, a tennis court, covered parking for 40 cars, a 75-foot swimming pool and a pool house."
Let them eat cake. And let them take on debt to buy it...
"In 2016 CEOs in America’s largest firms made an average of $15.6 million in compensation, or 271 times the annual average pay of the typical worker."
"Fighting was still going on but as many as 50 people, including children, women and elderly men, most of them members of the largely Shia Hazara community, may have been killed, according to local village elders."
"In the country’s central and southern regions, the United States, with help from the United Arab Emirates and allied Yemeni tribesmen, has been waging a shadow war against more than 3,000 members of the Qaeda affiliate and their tribal fighters... Since Feb. 28, the United States has conducted about 80 airstrikes"
In Syria, America is bombing the hell out of civilians.
"Australia's financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC announced that it had found over 53,500 occasions on which the Bank failed to submit reports on transactions over $10,000."
"US journalists reported those official claims as absolute truths, ignoring countervailing evidence and opening the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War and the deaths of over 50,000 Americans and millions of Southeast Asians."
"Venezuelan authorities suppressed a small rebellion at a military base near the city of Valencia on Sunday, arresting seven men who they say participated in a 'terrorist attack' against the government of unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro."
"Mattis and Kelly also agreed in the earliest weeks of Mr. Trump's presidency that one of them should remain in the United States at all times to keep tabs on the orders rapidly emerging from the White House"
"Pervasive digital tracking and profiling, in combination with personalization and testing, are not only used to monitor, but also to systematically influence people’s behavior."
"At one point leading up to the vote, managers delivered a slide presentation warning that in the event of a strike, most employees who walked out would not be guaranteed jobs afterward."
"If they have nuclear weapons that can threaten the United States. It's intolerable from the president's perspective. So of course, we have to provide all options to do that. And that includes a military option"
As the United Nations Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea. What are the odds that China will pick up the slack?
"A Saudi-led air strike has killed nine members of the same family in Yemen, local officials said. Three women and six children died after their house was hit during a dawn offensive on the outskirts of the northern city of Saada."
"Extreme weather could kill up to 152,000 people yearly in Europe by 2100 if nothing is done to curb the effects of climate change, scientists say. The number is 50 times more deaths than reported now, the study in The Lancet Planetary Health journal said. Heat waves would cause 99% of all weather-related deaths"
As the United States pulls out of the Paris Accord. America: the pull out king!
"For the FBI, this was uncomfortable territory, given the First Amendment's free speech protections"
"Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top 'bundlers' for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million."
"Even today, Venezuela is still vastly more of a democracy than Saudi Arabia, and a far greater respecter of human rights than Israel in its dreadful repression of the Palestinians. Yet support for Israel and for Saudi Arabia are keystones of the foreign policy of those who today are incessant in their demands that we on the 'left' condemn Venezuela."
"The assertion of control by Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS), the former al-Qaida affiliate previously known as the al-Nusra front and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham"
"The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms 'left' and 'right' are meaningless. Most of America's modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats."
"The federal probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has expanded to focus on possible financial crimes, including those not necessarily related to the 2016 presidential campaign"
"Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Friday that the Justice Department was pursuing three times as many leak investigations as were open at the end of the previous administration, a significant devotion of law enforcement resources to hunt down the sources of unauthorized disclosures of information that have plagued the Trump administration."
"Federal prosecutors accused Shkreli of cheating investors out of more than $11 million between 2009 and 2014 in what amounted to a Ponzi scheme."
Another textbook sociopath hopefully going where they belong.
"In June, the United States agreed to sell Qatar F-15 fighter jets worth $12 billion."
Oil for arms: the recipe for gulf state influence.
"Very little is known about the handful of regime insiders in the military, intelligence and security establishments who would fill the vacuum left by Kim's departure. There is no reason to think a replacement would be easier to work with"
"A capability to suspend processes utilizing webcams and corrupt any video recordings that could compromise a PAG deployment. The PAG (Physical Access Group) is a special branch within the CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence); its task is to gain and exploit physical access to target computers in CIA field operations."
"I know how tough these guys are – our military will knock them out like you never thought of, we will work to help you knock them out because your country does not want that."
"OUR FUNDAMENTAL INTERESTS IN VENEZUELA ARE: 1. THAT VENEZUELA CONTINUE TO SUPPLY A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR PETROLEUM IMPORTS AND CONTINUE TO FOLLOW A MODERATE AND RESPONSIBLE OIL PRICE POSITION IN OPEC"
American elites care about two things: cheap resources and new markets. And they don't care how many countries they have to light on fire to get them.
"We are evaluating all our policy options as to what can we do to create a change of conditions where either Maduro decides he doesn't have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution."
Political meddling is only an issue when other nations do it.
"Unlike other bills, Mr. Trump did not invite news media photographers to record the event, nor did he say anything about it to reporters. He ignored questions about the legislation at an unrelated event and instead relegated his comments to two written statements, one meant for Congress to describe caveats in his approval of the bill and the other issued to reporters to explain his grudging decision to sign."
"The USA will not launch any major military interventions (if only because the USA has run out of countries it can safely and easily attack). Some 'pretend interventions' (like the ill-fated missile strike on Syria) remain, of course, quite possible and even likely. This internal slow-mo coup against Trump will absorb the vast majority of the energy to get anything done, and leave foreign policy as simply another byproduct of internal US politics."
"It is expected that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) will this week announce the largest ever recorded dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to be larger than the nearly 8,200 square-mile area that was forecast for July – an expanse of water roughly the size of New Jersey."
"If you're defending banks like HSBC and Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, all of which have been engaged in kind of serial crimes since the 2008 financial crisis—you know, a total of more than 655 felonies and settlements by the top 22 banks in the world—I mean, Chris Wray has basically been doing nothing but that for the last dozen years"
"An explosion at a mosque in the Afghan city of Herat has killed at least 20 people and injured dozens more... Officials said one attacker was a suicide bomber, and a second had been armed with a rifle. Both are dead"
"Washington froze Maduro's assets, banned him from the United States and prohibited Americans from doing any personal business with him. 'Maduro is not just a bad leader: He is now a dictator,' National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster"
"The cleanup process that may last 40 years and cost 8 trillion yen ($72 billion) will require technology not yet invented."
"President Vladimir Putin signed the bill prohibiting virtual private networks (VPNs) and other technologies that anonymize users, according to the government's website on Sunday."
"Apple pulled down several VPN apps — programs that allow iPhone users to bypass the Chinese government's censorship apparatus — from its Chinese App Store. The developers behind the apps must register with the government under a cybersecurity law that went into effect in January."
Freedom takes a back seat when a market like China is at stake...