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Monday, May 15, 2017

News Homepage Bias Check, Random Stuff, and More

- decided to update (a bit) and run my scanner over international news websites and aggregators. Here's the new version with results included in the archive for download:
- summary of websites and metrics only (no count for the top 30 words on each homepage. You'll need to get/download the archive for that)...
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.google.com/news
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.bing.com/news
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     33 nwbclm
     14 th
     14 rs
     13 smh
     12 22rt
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://digg.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.yahoo.com/news/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     24 trump
      3 tumblr
      3 trumps
      3 shot
      3 pete
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://memeorandum.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    166 trump
     80 tgd
     73 new
     42 pml
     40 true
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.newslookup.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     41 new
     39 co
     34 trump
     28 reuters
     24 tv
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.foreignaffairs.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://nationalinterest.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .16
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://thediplomat.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     30 new
     25 trump
     15 defense
     13 posts
     13 post
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://foreignpolicy.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    267 trump
     50 fp
     44 new
     42 trumps
     41 turkey
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.npr.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.express.co.uk/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.pravdareport.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     23 trump
     18 hotspots
     12 new
     10 ru
      8 tech
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.radio.cz/en
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://eng.belta.by/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .10
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.chinatoday.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .11
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://en.mehrnews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.cnbc.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - 15.60
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    521 cnbc
     29 europe
     26 trump
     22 pro
     17 tech
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.cbsnews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     29 cbs
     24 trump
     16 cnm
     12 pm
     12 new
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://rbth.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    266 rbth
     26 how
     14 tech
     13 moscow
     13 blogs
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.heraldtribune.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.nytimes.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     27 new
     23 trump
     14 style
     12 technology
     12 how
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.9news.com.au/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.channelnewsasia.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://edition.cnn.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .09
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.kyivpost.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://theduran.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - 0
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://gulfnews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.economist.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .09
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://thezimbabwean.co/category/news/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .09
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.romania-insider.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .14
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.newyorker.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     28 new
     16 trump
     16 my
     13 booth
     12 mod
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.theepochtimes.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.politico.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     75 trump
     27 new
     12 energy
     11 defense
      9 kennedy
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.telesurtv.net/english/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    173 telesurtv
    173 net
     31 telesur
     19 en
     15 trump
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.military.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.counterpunch.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - 0
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.news.com.au/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.washingtonpost.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     79 wp
     52 op
     40 post
     37 trump
     36 mt
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.nypost.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.smh.com.au/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.abc.net.au/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .02
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.sbs.com.au/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.rt.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://sputniknews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     26 trump
     16 moscow
     10 cut
      9 trend
      9 mosul
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.presstv.ir/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .11
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    255 presstv
     45 trump
     19 yemen
     10 test
     10 mosul
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .06
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     17 trump
     13 technology
     13 my
     13 how
     13 home
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.zerohedge.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     20 trump
     19 pm
     15 new
     13 no
     11 do
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://russia-insider.com/en/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .18
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    249 en
     23 trump
     21 nut
     13 how
     11 defense
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://theconversation.com/au
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.tehrantimes.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
      7 trump
      7 new
      6 two
      6 envoy
      5 urges
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.thestar.com.my/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .08
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.democracynow.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .08
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     16 hot
     14 full
     11 end
      9 now
      7 trump
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.dw.com/en/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.eurasianet.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .20
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.aljazeera.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.salon.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     73 trump
     41 edt
     38 pm
     15 know
     14 so
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.france24.com/en/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.foxnews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .06
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     35 fox
     18 mom
     14 trump
     12 tech
     12 new
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.reuters.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     67 reuters
     55 new
     24 trump
     15 growth
     12 technology
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.bloomberg.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.fort-russ.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.usatoday.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.thetimes.co.uk/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.washingtonsblog.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.theguardian.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://atimes.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.jpost.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    425 jpost
     56 pm
     45 trump
     19 new
     16 promoted
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.israelnationalnews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .06
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     47 pm
     16 reuters
     11 trump
      8 co
      8 blogs
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.timesofisrael.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
    137 blogs
     48 new
     34 pm
     31 trump
     19 wp
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.haaretz.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     38 trump
     17 new
     16 europe
     13 pm
      9 reuters
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://allafrica.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .17
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://debka.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     22 trump
      8 trump’s
      7 new
      5 turkey
      5 move
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.presstv.ir/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .11
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://realiran.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.iranfocus.com/en/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.corbettreport.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.realclearworld.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .06
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.opendemocracy.net/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .12
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://consortiumnews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.wsws.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.euronews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .07
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.thedailybeast.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://dailysignal.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .06
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - https://www.nknews.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .06
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.japantimes.co.jp/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://intelnews.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.thelocal.es/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.thelocal.de/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.thelocal.fr/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .03
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
      7 tech
      7 john
      6 trump
      5 nz
      5 flops
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://www.blacklistednews.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .04
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://qz.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://english.cntv.cn/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - 0
[Following URL is OK for connectivity] - http://thehill.com/
[News Bias Scaled Metric (Metric divided by word count) for this URL RSS Feed is at] - .05
[Word Frequency Count for this URL RSS Feed]
     84 trump
     59 edt
     45 blogs
     40 blog
     36 pm
- using the homepage of websites seems to have normalised results a lot more then my previous experiments. What you think/feel about a website is now quantified in roughly the same fashion in these results now... This is particularly the case  for highly nationalist websites such as such as the following two:
which have metrics about 2-4 times the average news website
- extremely interesting results. Some of the world's top news aggregators (such as Google News, Bing News, Yahoo News, Newslookup, etc...) are actually pretty biased towards US news (I ran this over multiple days to make certain). You literally can not avoid it even if you want to (unless you go out of your way to setup feeds on particular topics). Moreover, they seem to be biased towards particular news agencies? Not surprisingly, watch enough foreign media and they all seem to imply that US media is strongly biased and/or propagandistic?
US video games focus on historical accuracy
EDWARD SAID - Framed - The Politics of Stereotypes in News
- you'll may be shocked when you realise what the word count breakdown is for various news websites and aggregators. To put into perspective how biased news agencies (US and Western ones in particular) are in favour of US news I downloaded a copy of the Holy Bible and did a word count on it. On a pure percentage basis the Jesus's name isn't mentioned as often as Trump's name in US/Western media when covering international issues
holy bible txt format
user@system:~$ wc -w pg10.txt 
824146 pg10.txt
user@system:~$ less news_feed_bias.sh 
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie jesus | wc -l
973
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie moses | wc -l
843
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie prophet | wc -l
481
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie jew | wc -l
310
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie israel | wc -l
2558
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie arab | wc -l
99
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | grep -ie lord | wc -l
7699
user@system:~$ cat pg10.txt | tr [:upper:] [:lower:] | tr '[:punct:]' ' ' | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z' | tr -s ' ' | tr ' ' '\n' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn > bible_wordcount.txt
- just because a news agency is biased doesn't mean that entire country is (though that political bias seems stronger in some countries then others). 
- who would have thought they'd have to be a new social media platform for 'free speech' and 'alternative views'?
New Twitter Alternative Creates Platform For Opposing Views
Julian Assange Speaks Out - The War On The Truth
- cutting through spin isn't that difficult. You can just ran an auto-summary tool over the text. Still doesn't tell you whether it's composed of lots of junk/false content though? 
perl summarise text script
python text summarizer

$ sumy lex-rank --length=10 --url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_summarization # what's summarization?
$ sumy luhn --language=czech --url=http://www.zdrojak.cz/clanky/automaticke-zabezpeceni/
$ sumy edmundson --language=czech --length=3% --url=http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitva_u_Lipan
$ sumy --help # for more info

$ sumy_eval lex-rank reference_summary.txt --url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_summarization
$ sumy_eval lsa reference_summary.txt --language=czech --url=http://www.zdrojak.cz/clanky/automaticke-zabezpeceni/
$ sumy_eval edmundson reference_summary.txt --language=czech --url=http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitva_u_Lipan
$ sumy_eval --help # for more info
- this guy seems to imply that spelling errors imply a greater likelihood of 'fakeness' but in reality it's more likely that those who employ 'spin' are educated? He seems to think it's like SPAM but I used to work in SPAM detection strategies and I can tell you that this is different and more difficult/subtle... 
cat test.txt | ispell
- I honestly don't think it'd be that difficult to build an automated fact checker? What's been clear from my studies is that some countries/opponents tend to definitely bias (not sure whether it's concious or not?) their news/content/media. This leads to interesting conundrums. Opponents often say the exact opposite things so that doesn't really tell you the truth but it does tell you something is 'wrong'. Run summarisers on opponent's statements, then run a Spectrogram/Polygraph checker over their video feeds, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/05/song-sound-and-polygraph-spectrum.html, as well as other tools/algorithms, etc... construct a metric to see who is more likely to be telling the truth? Not as difficult as it sounds. Wonder how different honest content is from dishonest content (structurally and algorithmically)?
‘Fake, real or otherwise’ - Look behind those claiming to fact-check news
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8ygHkZUpeM
[53] ABBY MARTIN & Lee Camp Reveal The Truth Behind The Headlines
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Bjmzs2d-c
‘Tips for spotting false news’ - Facebook takes out ‘fake stories’ ads in UK papers
Jeremy Corbyn on Andrew Marr Show (FULL Interview)- BBC News
‘Mutton-headed mugwump’ Boris Johnson colorful words for Jeremy Corbyn
HSBC Whistleblower Nicholas Wilson Throws His Hat In The Ring For Parliament To Fight Corruption
Sibel Edmonds & The Movement To Make The Agenda Driven Media Irrelevant
UN must lead battle against ‘pandemic’ of fake news & disinformation – Russia’s FM spokeswoman
Are governments finding new ways to suppress the media – Inside Story
‘Bit of irony here – Member states never could define terrorism’ – UN deputy secretary general
The Mainstream News Media Will Be Extinct As We Know It In Five Years
Wikipedia co-founder launches Wikitribune to combat fake news
detect sarcasm text
perl basic language processing
python language processing
- the whole fake news thing is funny in a way... Given that the world seems to require shenanigans to work it seems difficult to believe just handing people the truth would make things better. Moreover,it wouldn't work because if you know about regions you'll know that people have different biases? The process of finding the truth may be a personal journey? People may believe certain things as gospel until that they do further exploration/examination?
Fake News & Junk News Deception
‘Tips for spotting false news’ - Facebook takes out ‘fake stories’ ads in UK papers
War on Science ...or Corporate Pseudo-Science PR Campaign
- for some strange reason I can imagine AI driven journalism in future (I did some leadup work in this area previously to create automated reports from basic structured textual content)? I guess you could say we are already there with so many news aggregators and algorithms running our lives?
Counting the Cost - The rise of the tech titans
simple artificial intelligence python
simple artificial intelligence bash
Corbett Report Places Newsbud Under The Microscope
- with all the work in AI going on you wonder whether or not they're going too far? Moreover, if you understand enough about biology/medicine and the current state of AI (theorised or built it in particular) you'll know that there are enormous limitations in our current science and technology. What's the point of life and free will with all this manipulation?
Using Electronic Signals to Create Super Soldiers, Control Behavior, and Talk to Dolphins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAuaJTP3hiM
AI-Powered Sex Robots - The Destruction of Intimacy, Potential Criminality and Thought Police Horrors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaHBaIszeAI
Facebook Developing Ability to Read Your Thoughts... & The Dark Secret of Machine Learning
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj9AUTUliX4
Google, Facebook & DARPA  - The Transhumanist Agenda - David Icke 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpa4cW6jQMw
How The Elite Extract Energy Through Rituals _ The David Icke Dot Connector Videocast
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk9CdnCc8a8
https://www.youtube.com/user/davidicke/videos

Random Stuff:
- wonder whether Panda's are genuinely lazy or end up being that way because they're stuck in zoos?
- the comments section of articles are often more interesting/entertaining then the article itself?
Statism - The Most Dangerous Religion (feat. Larken Rose)
Adam Kokesh Discusses Plan to Peacefully Dissolve the Federal Government
The Economics of Happiness
Mass Hypnosis and Trigger Words
- Middle East politics is diabolically complex compared to a lot of what is experienced in many parts of the US/Western world
Iran In The Crosshairs
- middling quality investigation. When you examine some of the extreme Islam vs US rhetoric things look really weird. 6 private organisation control over 90% of US media. Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipres, David Yerushalmi, David Horowitz main fear digures of Islam in West
Islamophobia in the USA - Al Jazeera World
- latest in science and technology
- latest in defense
The Latest: Japan: Dialogue for dialogue's sake meaningless
- latest in finance and politics

Random Quotes:
- Taliban leaders tuned into Monday night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from a secret location in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the militant group told NBC News.

"We were very interested in watching," said Zabihullah Mujahid.

The spokesman added that "Trump ... [says] anything that comes to his tongue" and branded the Republican candidate as "non-serious."

He said the militant group's leadership had hoped that Afghanistan would feature more prominently in the discussion.

"There nothing of interest to us in the debate as both of them said little about Afghanistan and their future plans for the country," he said.

The ultra-conservative Taliban governed the country until they were toppled by U.S.-backed forces at the end of 2001. Since then, they have been fighting to oust the American-backed administration in Kabul.

The violence has claimed thousands of Afghan and U.S. lives. 
- “The United States is trying to deprive other nations of time required for evolutionary development, forcing them into making sudden leaps. The experiments in revolutions are being made in many nations, even in their natural partners such as the countries of the European Union,” Naryshkin wrote. “It seems that the transatlantic plans to achieve absolute domination have transformed into an unhealthy maniacal idea.”

He went on to emphasize the necessity of breaking the artificial connection between the internal politics of European nations and the processes developing in international politics. Naryshkin then stated that Russia is inclined towards constructive dialogue with its European partners and the United States, but only on condition that this will be a dialogue of equals.
https://www.rt.com/politics/360815-russia-could-make-cautious-return/
The White House has blamed congressional Republicans for recent breaches of two state voter databases.

In the two attacks, data from as many as 200,000 voter records in the US state of Illinois was stolen, according to the officials.

The attacks caused the FBI to issue a "flash alert" to election officials nationwide earlier this month. The agency urged them to remain vigilant in the face of any similar cyber intrusion.

US intelligence officials say the hackers were based in Russia and their attempts fueled concerns that the Russian government might be seeking to interfere in the US presidential election.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest blamed the Republicans when asked if the US is “doing a good job on cyber security.”

There was “more that we would like to do if Republicans in Congress were willing to do their job,” Earnest said.

He criticized Republicans for refusing to contemplate President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint, which entails specific proposals aimed at improving the nation’s cyber security.
- Hillary Clinton can tease - "Donald, I know you live in your own reality" - but the decision-makers for Australia's diplomacy are scrambling to urgently imagine life in the Trump universe.

Trump unloaded on America's allies during the candidates debate, reprising a complaint he's made before. "We defend countries," Trump fumed, but "they do not pay us".

"They should be paying us because we are providing a tremendous service. And we're losing a fortune."

He ignores that the spread of US military bases around the world gives America unprecedented global power, but no matter. Japan, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia all copped a frothy spray.

Trump didn't single out Australia, but might that change should the seemingly incredible happen, and he win the White House?

What then? Throughout the campaign he has proved unpredictable and capricious.

In foreign policy circles there are hopes - perhaps wishful thinking - that serious people will be appointed to temper his administration. They will deal with details, leaving Trump to preside over broad direction in a manner similar to Ronald Reagan.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with Republican Mike Rogers, a former chair of a congressional intelligence committee, in the past fortnight. Rogers is advising Trump on national security.

Australia's leaders like to boast that over the 65-year history of the ANZUS Treaty, we've fought in every major war alongside Americans, privately acknowledging this as a downpayment on the alliance.

It's an attitude that has led to foolish and costly adventures - think the invasion of Iraq or the war in Vietnam.

Yet the alliance with the US has won Australia influence in turn, assuaging historic fears of national vulnerability, real or imagined.

But all that might change if the Australian people decide the next big threat to be Trump's America.
- The United States is not pursuing a “no-first-use” policy in regard to its nuclear weapons, says US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter

“It has been the policy of the United States for a long time to extend its nuclear umbrella to friends and allies, and thereby to contribute to the deterrence of conflict and the deterrence of war,” Carter said at a nuclear research facility in New Mexico on Tuesday.

The comments were made after US President Barack Obama was considering an overhaul of the country’s nuclear policy, including implementation of a no-first-use one.

America and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization members do not currently stick to such a policy while China, considered and adversary nuclear power by Washington, maintains that.

According to Carter, opting for the first nuclear strike at a possible future war "has been our policy for a long time, and is part of our plans going forward.”
- The Philippines’ president said that growing influence of atheism and agnosticism leads to people disrespecting laws and committing heinous crimes. And “if there is no God,” capital punishment is the only way to make sure justice is served.

President Rodrigo Duterte has condoned the restoration of the death penalty in the Philippines “because the fear is not there” anymore. According to him, the previous presidents had given in to the pressure of the “bleeding hearts” and the Catholic Church who had been against the death penalty “because only God can kill”.

“The problem with that is, I ask you, ‘what if there is no God?’” Duterte said to reporters at the presidential palace in Manila.

“When a one-year-old, an 18-month-old baby is taken from the mother’s arms, brought under a Jeep and raped, and killed, where is God? And in Syria women and children, who don’t want to have sex with ISIS, they are burned. So where’s God? My God, where are you?” he addressed the creator directly.

Previously, Duterte promised to personally deal with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists by eating them alive in public.

Duterte professed that he personally believes in God, though existence of God have been a “perpetual question” for him, seeing “heartaches, sorrows and agony.” According to the Philippines’ president, the state needs a mean to punish wrongdoers, without a need to wait for “the end of the world, when he [God] will judge the living and the dead”, since growing atheism and agnosticism mean people lack fear and do not respect the law.

“That is why, I said give me back the death penalty,” concluded the president, saying he has “always been a hardliner when it comes to the penal laws.”

On Friday Duterte made a similar comment, while giving a speech to police officers about illegal drugs and a set of rules to deal with drug criminals.

“Maybe God doesn’t want all these killings. But never mind, God is not my enemy. I’ll talk to him when I get there,” said Duterte to the officers. “I'll ask him, 'If you are really God, you didn't do anything, and the Filipinos are going crazy.'”
- Russia’s privately-owned S7 Group plans to conquer the niche space launch market and compete with the likes of SpaceX after purchasing the Sea Launch complex, a mobile maritime platform that halted operations two years ago.

The agreement between S7 and the Sea Launch Group was signed Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. The assets purchased by S7 include the Sea Launch Commander vessel and the Odyssey Launch Platform, in addition to various pieces of support equipment and a port facility in Long Beach, California.

Once the ownership exchange process has been completed, the largest private aviation holding company in Russia plans to use the brain power behind the Russian space program and has signed a separate contract with Russian space corporation “ RSC Energia” to resuscitate the Sea Launch complex’s delivery capabilities.

RSC Energia, which has been conducting activities in the rocket-space industry since 1946, will offer the enterprise “all the required engineering support and assistance” for the preparation of launches and in system integration. After all, RSC Energia was involved in the creation of Sea Launch, which itself is more than two decades old.

“The deal is to be closed within six months, the timeline needed to obtain the necessary approvals of the relevant US authorities and sign a number of agreements that are part of the deal. The transaction is subject to approvals from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS),” S7 Group said in a press release.
...
“Depending on what S7 does chose to go with, if they can restart the Zenit rockets, the Ukrainian rocket that Sea Launch has traditionally used, they might be able to find a lot of customers waiting for that rocket capability. If they develop their own rocket, something brand new, with new [capabilities], they will manage to find [even more] unique customers or a new user base for that,” Malik said.

Sea Launch was established in 1995 as a consortium of four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. American Boeing owned 40 percent, RSC Energia controlled 25 percent stake in the enterprise. Norwegian Aker Kvaerner – owned 20 percent, while Ukraine’s Uzhmash had 10 percent and Yuszhnoe the remaining five. Sea Launch declared its bankruptcy in 2009 and in 2010 the Russian enterprise assumed the leading role in the project. The multi-stake holder firms announced the suspension of launches in the summer of 2014, following the Ukrainian coup and the instability in the relations between partner nations.

The first Sea Launch rocket blasted off in March 1999. By 2013, the company produces and launched 31 rockets carrying communications satellites into orbit. Out of those, three missions resulted in failures and one in a partial failure.
- “If the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian Army, it would cause a terrible, tectonic shift not only in the country, but in the entire region,” Maria Zakharova said during a talk show, which is to be aired fully later on Saturday and has been cited by RIA.

With no government in Damascus, there will be a power vacuum in Syria, which “so-called moderates, who are, in reality, not moderate at all but just terrorists of all flavors, would fill; and there will be no dealing with them,” the diplomat predicted.

“And later it would be aggravated the way it happened in Iraq. We know that [Saddam Hussein’s] Iraqi Army became the basis of the Islamic State. Everything that both the [US-led] coalition and Russia are fighting now stems from it,” Zakharova said.

Russia and the US are accusing each other over the collapse of the ceasefire which was signed last month, but has failed. The US says Moscow did not do enough to win the trust of rebel forces and to prevent the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad from attacking his opponents. Russia says Washington was incapable of separating ‘moderate rebels’ from terrorist groups and keeping them in check for the truce to take hold.
- OH sure. Most people think that having an extra hour of daylight to sip chardonnay and frolic in the sunshine is a wonderful thing.

But the truth is: daylight saving sucks.

It was implemented by the Germans to lower fuel costs back in 1916. The concept was that while changing the clocks reduces the use of artificial lighting in the evening but increased use in the morning, the evening reduction outweighed the morning increase.

That was all well and good a century ago. But recent studies show that at best, daylight savings reduces electricity usage by 1 per cent. Other estimates,
- "The Australian model of successful leadership is ordinary people who bring the people along with them, without these comets that flash up – poof! – and burn out." He could be referring to Rudd as well as Turnbull. "Bill's ordinariness will be a strength for him in the long term."

Wright might have spent too long drinking the Labor KoolAid. Or, of course, it's possible he's right.
- Nanyang Yongkang Medicine's example was reportedly followed by others, including an unnamed company in Henan province. According to one local news website the unnamed firm also said it would sack workers found in possession of an iPhone 7. The website said that when it contacted the company to check the story a company spokesman called Mr Liu confirmed that the warning was issued on behalf of the firm's chairman. He said it was intended to encourage staff to pay more attention to their family instead of luxury goods.

But there is no evidence that either company has yet to make good on their threat to sack staff found to have bought an iPhone 7. Mr Liu is reported to have added: "The company is discussing the notice further."

Mr Liu's boss is not the only employer who professes to be concerned that the iPhone 7 could lead their workers to developing an unhealthy obsession with pricey technology. This week Weibo users have shared photos of a notice issued by a hospital in Chongqing warning its staff not acquire an Apple habit.

It reads: "iPhone 7 has recently come onto the market and the price is a record high among the similar mobiles. In order to promote thrift and avoid waste, the hospital administration office has made a decision: we ban our staff from buying iPhone 7s." The notice goes on to warn that anybody who flouts the rule will be disqualified from receiving the top grade in their staff appraisal and will be urged to return their phone to the shop.

The hospital's manager told BBC Trending he had been prompted to act when a member of staff had bought an iPhone 7 even though it cost three times their monthly wage.

"I'm not against foreign brands but I don't like to see people buying expensive iPhones that they can't obviously afford. Some people borrow money from banks or family and friends, others even sell their organs to buy iPhones. I don't want my staff to do such things," he said.

"Although owning an iPhone won't affect people's work performance, I simply want to set up rules that promote our company's culture: diligence and frugality."

Some Chinese nationalists have also targeted the iPhone to demonstrate their displeasure against an international tribunal ruling which went against Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea. US President Barack Obama has called on China to respect the ruling which is part of a long-running dispute with the Philippines. 

Video of iPhones being smashed in protest went viral on Weibo. Some Chinese shops have also refused to stock iPhone 7s as part of a boycott of US goods.

However, Apple appears committed to developing its relationship with China. This week it confirmed plans to open a $45 million research and development centre in Beijing, its first ever in the country.
- The Chinese yuan has been added to the IMF reserve basket, becoming the first currency to be added to the list since the emergence of the euro in 1999.

The official entry was made Saturday, bringing to a close, at least partially, Beijing’s years-long struggle for international acceptance on the sort of level enjoyed by the US dollar. The currency now joins the big four: the US dollar, the euro, the yen, and the British pound.

The decision means the Chinese yuan will now be used as one of the International Monetary Fund’s lending currencies in times of emergency economic bailouts. This sort of internationalization is in line with China’s wish for increased legitimacy of its currency.

The move is also evidence of China’s growing role as a power to challenge the global economic dominance of the United States.

The limitations China places on its own markets, however, have themselves been to blame for this delayed outcome.

“It’s an irreversible path towards opening up, integrating into the global economy and playing the economic game by the rules,” proclaimed IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
- "But there's a problem because we have to change two different things: first we have to change the government and second we have to change the North Korean people.

"Say we try to start a revolution in North Korea; because the people are brainwashed they'll think it's an outside power trying to bring down their country.

"In order to move the people there should be one iconic person who can change their minds. That's why I think we need someone from the Kim family.

"If someone from the Kim family acted against the regime, it would shock the North Korean people; it could enlighten and awaken them."

Mr Kim said his attempts to reach the leader's family had brought him to the attention of the secretive state's diplomats.

He revealed to Daily Star Online that North Korean refugees were being blackmailed into spying by the London embassy.

He also said that party bosses in Pyongyang liked Europe because nations here were more neutral to the North.

"They have better relationships with European countries," he said. "Maybe they think it's a safe zone for them."
- SpaceX and ULA are competing for launch contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. ULA, an alliance between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, enjoyed a decades-long monopoly providing space services for the US military, until SpaceX sued the Air Force in 2014 for the right to compete. SpaceX’s cause won sympathy among some US lawmakers, who criticized ULA for its dependence on Russian-made engines used in the Atlas V rockets.

The Falcon 5 explosion has cast doubt over SpaceX’s other ambition – to provide manned space launches for NASA, according to Ars Technica. The US space agency is mulling buying trips to the International Space Station from Russia in 2019, the website reporting citing industry sources.

Since retiring the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has had no domestic capability to fly manned space mission and has purchased trips in Russian Soyuz capsules. SpaceX and Boeing are both developing capsules that would make the US a fully space-capable nation again. Boeing has pushed back its schedule from late 2017 to early 2018, and the SpaceX disaster seems to make a similar delay inevitable.

NASA planners are concerned that neither company will be able to deliver on time and are considering a Russian contingency plan. Negotiations over additional Soyuz launches would have to take place soon considering that each spaceship requires several years of planning and production time.
- Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned about the goals pursued by enemies in their “covert soft warfare” against the country.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with a group of officials from the provinces of North Khorasan and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad on September 26. Details of the address were published on Sunday.

The secret war, the Leader said, was meant to “turn people away from the arena of struggle and resistance, make them indifferent to [their] causes, and occupy the intellectual and spiritual climate of the country.”

The Leader added that the imperialists are trying to discourage the people by resorting to different tools including a costly propaganda campaign as well as political and economic pressures.

The Iranian nation has, however, “frustrated international powers in many of their goals through its resistance and steadfastness,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
- RT: Separately, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told The Sun newspaper that, following Moscow's policy in Syria "people now believe that Russia is in danger of becoming a pariah nation". Who are those people he's referring to, do you think?

JW: He is talking about himself, about the American administration, about the military industrial complex in the US. And about the oligarchy that is trying to impose a world order that would work for its own benefits. We need to admit that the essence of the war in Syria, in Ukraine, in Yemen, in the South China Sea is a part of a global American strategy to block Eurasia from having access to the maritime trade roots. And this was mentioned not only during the Obama administration but also it was mentioned by former scholars. It is part of the consistent strategy since the late 19th century to block any land power from having access to maritime trade roots, and this explains the policy of containment during the Cold War and later on the strategy of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security advisor for Jimmy Carter, and other geopolitical thinkers of the US. So, when Boris Johnson says this he is admitting that the essence of confrontation is not between the West and Syria, or between insurgents or Assad regime, but it is between the West and Eurasia.
- The NSA came under criticism after the dump for finding out vulnerabilities in commonly used products and keeping silent about them, as this appears to run contrary to published American government policy.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, and security expert Dave Aitel, who has worked for the NSA in the past, have both opined that the leak by Shadow Brokers was tied to an earlier leak of data about the Democratic National Committee that led to the resignation of its chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
- What we all need to be concerned with is all night long charging (or where a phone is constantly connected to a charger). The best advice is to use a lower amperage charger for this purpose.

For example, if you have a 3000mAh battery fast charge may take 45 minutes. But if you use a standard USB 500mAh charger it will take six hours and generate far less heat and stress. It is much safer this way.

Conversely plugging a 2.1A charger into an older USB device will generate more heat — excess amperage — and that can have long-term adverse effects on lithium batteries.

Clearly, the answer is wireless [inductive] charging where it uses intelligence to deliver just the current required to top up – nothing more. That has been a standard feature on the Samsung Galaxy and Note for some time, and one never suffers from broken USB ports.

Until this issue is resolved all smartphone users should not charge their devices in flight nor in environments where a fire could cause a catastrophe.
- Psychologists call stories like these narrative scripts, stories that tell you what you want to hear, stories which confirm your beliefs and give you permission to continue feeling as you already do. If believing in welfare queens protects your ideology, you accept it and move on. You might find Reagan’s anecdote repugnant or risible, but you’ve accepted without question a similar anecdote about pharmaceutical companies blocking research, or unwarranted police searches, or the health benefits of chocolate. You’ve watched a documentary about the evils of…something you disliked, and you probably loved it. For every Michael Moore documentary passed around as the truth there is an anti-Michael Moore counter documentary with its own proponents trying to convince you their version of the truth is the better choice.
- Western governments have long sought to mislead people by subjecting them to a systematic misinformation campaign through the mainstream media, says an American political analyst.

Scott Rickard, an Orlando-based former intelligence linguist, made the remarks while discussing recent revelations about the US government’s propaganda machine.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported on Sunday that the Pentagon had paid British PR firm Bell Pottinger over half a billion dollars in the wake of the 2003 Iraq invasion to create fake terrorist videos in a covert operation.

According to the report, both the White House and General David Petraeus, who was then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq, signed off on the content produced by the firm.

“It is no surprise here that Bell Pottinger is involved in propaganda and a tremendous amount of fake videos and fake new reports are coming out of not only Iraq, but also Syria and elsewhere,” Rickard said.
- The defense Industry is an indispensable strategic sector for countries like the US, Russia, China and Great Britain. America has long been the biggest international weapons exporter, but recently Pentagon officials warned that a dip could take place after 2016.

The recent military campaign executed by Moscow in Syria took the entire region by storm. Moscow not only played a vital role in achieving strategic and tactical objectives, but also displayed sophisticated weaponry. As of 2016, Russia remains the second largest arms exporter in the world after the United States and in the coming years, the two behemoths will collide more frequently in the arms race.

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the largest arms markets in the world and Russia has successfully penetrated that of countries interested in high-end, big ticket defense items. As per the U.S Congressional Research Service (CRS), Russia delivered military equipment to the Asia-Pacific region worth around $30 Billion between 2007-2014. Asia in particular has been Russia’s golden egg for arms export; 65 percent of all Russian made military equipment having gone to Asian states. Sophisticated Russian weaponry includes MiG and Sukhoi Jets, Combat Helicopters, Tanks, Air Defense Systems, APC’s.

As for China, the PLA’s military hardware mostly consists of Russian grade military products. Much of the technology in the People’s Liberation Army is based on imports from Russia, which supplies more than 80 percent of China’s arms imports and is still considered by many as the country’s largest external provider of military equipment.

After the reluctance by Germany, France and United Kingdom to provide conventional weaponry to Taiwan, its arms market is now wholly owned by the United States.  However, ruthless penetration of Russian defense products in the Asian-Pacific region changed the entire politico-military dynamic, and Russian arms sales surged rapidly in recent years.
- “There are a number of interesting revelations that will be coming out. We believe that our work is informing the public and ensuring that they can get access to this information so that they can understand the world around, including their leaders,” Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks editor and Assange’s adviser, told RT.

WikiLeaks is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Tuesday. The project, which aims to expose government and corporate secrets, has evolved from an obscure citizen journalism site to a global phenomenon headed by an embassy-harbored fugitive.

Among WikiLeaks’ releases have been documents detailing American military equipment deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq and operational procedures for dealing with terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
https://www.rt.com/usa/361533-assange-documents-elections-usa/
While 75 percent of Germans who live in the east said in 2014 that they considered their country's reunification a success, only half of western Germans agreed. With eastern and western Germans blaming each other for past mistakes over the past two years, that frustration has likely increased.

Younger citizens, especially — who do not usually identify themselves with their area of origin as strongly anymore — have grown worried about the persistent skepticism on both sides. But where do those divisions come from? And how different are eastern and western Germany today?
- The head of the Upper House Committee for International Relations, Konstantin Kosachev, commented on Slutskiy’s statement, saying that if the State Duma ratifies the agreement this week, the Upper House will look into it on October 12.

On August 9 of this year, President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a draft agreement between Russia and Syria on placing a Russian Air Force group at the Khmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province on an unlimited basis.

The agreement, which was signed in Damask, Syria on August 26 of last year, specifies that the Russian air force group will be deployed at the Hmeimim airfield in Latakia province to maintain peace and stability in the region. The document emphasizes that the placement is of a strictly defensive character and not targeted against any other state.

The document was published on Russia’s web portal for official government documents on January 14 of this year when Yevgeniy Buzhinskiy, the former head of the Defense Ministry’s directorate for international agreements, told reporters that this is the first time such an agreement has been declassified and made public so soon after signing. Previously, documents of this type had remained secret for decades.
- Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday told U.S. President Barack Obama to "go to hell" and said the United States had refused to sell some weapons to his country but he did not care because Russia and China were willing suppliers.

In his latest salvo, Duterte said he was realigning his foreign policy because the United States had failed the Philippines and added that at some point, "I will break up with America". It was not clear what he meant by "break up".

During three tangential and fiercely worded speeches in Manila, Duterte said the United States did not want to sell missiles and other weapons, but Russia and China had told him they could provide them easily.

"Although it may sound shit to you, it is my sacred duty to keep the integrity of this republic and the people healthy," Duterte said.

"If you don't want to sell arms, I'll go to Russia. I sent the generals to Russia and Russia said 'do not worry, we have everything you need, we'll give it to you'.

"And as for China, they said 'just come over and sign and everything will be delivered'."

His comments were the latest in a near-daily barrage of hostility toward the United States, during which Duterte has started to contrast the former colonial power with its geopolitical rivals Russia and China.

When asked about Duterte's comments, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday, "Frankly, it seems at odds with the warm relationship that exists between the Filipino and American people and the record of important cooperation between our two governments, cooperation that has continued under the Duterte government."
- SAN FRANCISCO — There are some firsts that don't give you bragging rights — and in Yahoo's case, that's particularly true if the claim involves customer emails.

A Reuters report Tuesday that Yahoo secretly agreed to search all its users' incoming emails for a specific but unknown word or phrase on behalf of either the National Security Agency or the FBI set off shockwaves in the tech sector, particularly on the heels of Yahoo's disclosure last month that information had been stolen on 500 million customer accounts.

Yahoo didn't confirm or deny the report, but also said it didn't break any law. Big consumer tech companies including Google and Microsoft noted they haven't done anything like the allegations claimed by the Reuters report, which cited unnamed ex-Yahoo employees.

If the charges are true, it would be the first case of a U.S.-based Internet company searching all incoming messages rather than scanning stored messages or focusing on a small number of accounts. It would raise serious questions about Yahoo's management led by Marissa Mayer, already heavily criticized for a failure to jumpstart Yahoo's user base and revenue, and could threaten Yahoo's pending sale to Verizon.
- Apple has a line of stores which are as much a feature of the company as the iconic phones themselves.

All the stores are designed the same way, the furniture too. To the cynical observer, it is indicative of somewhat cultish behaviour.

The service at the store — I have had personal experience — is like an apple: good in parts, rotten in others.

But there is no question that the stores do exist, they are staffed (often over-staffed it would appear) with enthusiastic youngsters who remind one of Shakespeare's famous line that life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

But Google has no such line of stores. Hell, getting an answer out of Google about anything is like squeezing blood out of a stone.

Finding an email address for a Google executive is also often an exercise in frustration. The company uses generic email addresses in order to avoid being pinned down.

Now comes a time when face-to-face and phone-to-phone contact is going to become a necessity. The honeymoon with a new phone lasts for a short time and after that comes the hard grind.

But one has to always remember, Google is not a technology company. It is an advertising company and that is where its real money lies.

So if the Pixel project doesn't quite work out, as happened with the modular phone, then Google will scamper away and issue some innocuous excuse which the mainstream tech press will faithfully reproduce.

Though planning for the phone has obviously gone on for at least the last two years, it is to be noted that Google, despite having plenty of cash stashed away, has not invested in any hardware infrastructure. HTC has manufactured the phones.

When it comes to parting with the green stuff, Sergei Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt are parsimonious to put it politely, the opposite of the "less take, more give" slogan employed by the National Australia Bank. And Sundar Pichai is a good student.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch what tactics Google uses to push the Pixel line as it braces for a host of legal battles on other fronts in 2017. 
- Two Russian Blackjack bombers were intercepted by fighter jets from four European countries as they flew from the direction of Norway to northern Spain and back, it has emerged.

Norway, the UK, France and Spain all scrambled jets as the TU-160 planes skirted the airspace of each country.

It comes at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia.

Correspondents say the frequency of Russian bombers being intercepted by Nato planes has increased markedly.

Spanish media say it is the furthest south such an operation has had to take place.
- The agreement outlines the two countries’ intention to share C-130J Super Hercules military transport planes, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in Paris on Tuesday, according to AFP.

France ordered four C-130Js from US aviation company Lockheed Martin in January, and Germany has been looking to acquire four to six of the same aircraft and base them in France, German Foreign Minister Ursula Von der Leyen said.

The two countries are also looking at sharing an air base in Orleans, central France.

Both countries aim to have the arrangement in place by 2021.
In July, Von der Leyen accused Britain of “paralyzing” EU efforts for closer military integration with its vote to leave the bloc.

Germany is an advocate of a “permanent structured co-operation in the defense sector,” which Britain has consistently opposed as an EU member.
- The two guided missile fast attack craft left from the port of Sevastopol on October 4 and are currently sailing through the Black Sea in order to join up with the Russian fleet.

The Serpukhov and the Zeleny Dol already participated in Russia’s Syria operation in the Mediterranean in the middle of August, when they fired three Kalibr cruise missiles at Al-Nusra Front terrorists before returning to Crimea in September.

The US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is wary of the Kalibr missile, which “is profoundly changing its ability to deter, threaten or destroy adversary targets,” the report published in December said.

The weapon saw its first combat use in October 2015, when a salvo of missiles launched from four small Russian warships in the Caspian Sea hit targets in Syria. In December, the Russian Navy used the same long-range, low-flying cruise missiles to strike more terrorist targets in Syria from a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea.

In September, the Russian Navy announced that the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier would be joining up with the country’s naval group operating in the eastern Mediterranean as well.
- The Russian Navy currently has three 955 Borei nuclear submarines, which were produced for the Bulava ICBM.

Each of them can hold up to 16 Bulava-class missiles with a range of around 5,000 miles (8,000 km). The Bulava can carry from 6 to 10 hypersonic maneuverable individually guided nuclear warheads with a yield of 100-150 kilotons, which can alter their flight trajectory in terms of height and course.

By 2020 the Russian Navy will obtain eight project Borei and Borei-A missile strategic submarines (the Borei-A is a modified submarine that can carry 20 Bulava ICBMs).
- It first began in two regions of Khorasan province, in eastern Iran. Animals there had nothing to eat, and some of them began wandering into farms and eating produce – or livestock, in the case of carnivores. People started worrying that farmers would kill them. But then Ahmad Bari started this program, and it quickly caught on with farmers, including in my region, Isfahan. 

Farmers send tons and tons of their fodder, and then forest rangers, on a volunteer basis, set them out in the correct spots. Some farmers let rangers borrow their trucks, free of charge. Others give away parts of their water supplies. Some young engineers even pitched in to design water fountains that are simple for the animals to use.

While this initiative doesn’t solve the underlying problem of drought and climate change, it is saving thousands animals – deers, rams, antelopes, and even cheetahs are surviving on these donations. With a simple fountain that costs about 900 euros, animals living across areas as large as 120 hectares can be saved. 
- A sustained years-long campaign involving underwear being placed in front of a tree outside a house in Melbourne's east has left police and the homeowner baffled.

The perplexed Surrey Hills resident has told law enforcement that knickers of various styles and sizes have been appearing in her front yard since 2014.

At least five times, the woman has found a pair of undies carefully laid out in the same spot at the base of a tree trunk. On the sixth occasion, a black lacy number was put inside the woman's letterbox.
- MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) – Belarus is eager to implement print media and information projects with Saint Petersburg, Belarusian Information Minister Lilia Ananich said at a roundtable event in Minsk on 6 October, BelTA has learned.

“Exchange of practices among professionals is important for the development of the industry, and we have something to learn from each other. We need to establish close cooperation in the promotion of books, films, TV programs, and management of news content,” Lilia Ananich said.

She believes that organization of meetings for writers from Belarus and Saint Petersburg is an important cooperation avenue. She suggested that Writers' Bookstore (Knizhnaya Lavka Pisatelei), one of the oldest bookstores in Russia's northern capital that already offers books by Belarusian writers, can be a good platform for dialogue. Writers have been invited to present their books there.

Lilia Ananich invited Russian publishers to attend the Minsk Book Fair in February 2017, and also events to be held to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing.
- "Possibly a keyword or newsflow-focused algorithm started the selling in the pound based on that article, and other algorithms may have seen the volume and momentum coming into the pound at what is normally a relatively low volume time," Mr Nicholson said.

"And that may have brought in other algorithms which compounded the selling creating a feedback loop that resulted in a flash crash."
- Six US Army soldiers have allegedly stolen over $1 million worth of military equipment from Fort Campbell base and sold it to buyers both in the States and abroad. They have been indicted on federal conspiracy charges, along with two civilians.

According to the indictment, soldiers Michael Barlow, Jonathan Wolford, Kyle Heade, Alexander Hollibaugh, Dustin Nelson, and Aaron Warner were stealing US Army equipment between some time in 2013 and February of 2016.

The list of items they stole from Fort Campbell included sights for the M203 grenade launcher, a trigger group for the M240 machine gun, a rail adapter for the M249 machine gun, a magazine adapter for the M249 machine gun, a barrel heat shield and barrel assembly for the M249 machine gun, and a pintle mount for the M240 or M249 machine gun.

All of them the US Department of Defense classified as "DEMIL D,” meaning that they “must be destroyed and cannot be sold or conveyed.”

The indictment specifically stressed that the Pentagon never sells the equipment the six soldiers sold to two individuals, who then offered them for sale on eBay. The two buyers are civilians, John Roberts and Cory Wilson, who have been indicted.

“It was part of the scheme that defendants [Roberts] and [Wilson]  maintained a warehouse in Clarksville, Tennessee for the storage of US Army property that they listed for sale via eBay,” US Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera wrote in the indictment, signed October 5.
...
The two managed to sell over 1,600 items combined. It has been established that some of the US Army military items ended up in the hands of buyers from China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

Some items, such as NVG helmet mounts, were sold to buyers located in Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.None of individuals actually underwent background checks or even asked about purposes for buying such equipment.

"These are extraordinarily and inherently dangerous in the wrong hands and outside of the military or police tactical use," US Attorney Rivera said Thursday.
- Thus the basket of attached myths such as “freedom of navigation” - Washington’s euphemism for perennially controlling the sea lanes that constitute China’s supply chain – as well as an apotheosis of “China aggression” incessantly merging with “Russia aggression”; after all, the Eurasia integration-driven Beijing-Moscow strategic partnership must be severed at all costs.

Why? Because US global hegemony must always be perceived as an irremovable force of nature, like death and taxes (Apple in Ireland excluded).

Twenty-four years after the Pentagon’s Defense Planning Guide, the same mindset prevails; “Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival…to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and southwest Asia”.

Oops. Now even Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski is terrified. How to contain these bloody silky roads with Pentagon “existential threats” China and Russia right at the heart of the action? Divide and Rule – what else?

For a confused Brzezinski, the US should“fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.”
- As sociologists and others have demonstrated, displaced car workers — especially women and racial minorities — usually suffer "downward mobility", a drop in socio-economic status as a result of losing their job. Former automotive communities have suffered high rates of unemployment and depopulation for years after plant closings.

In 1950, when the industry was booming, Detroit had 1.86 million inhabitants. Today, it has fewer than 700,000.

Unlike Australia, the US has used incentives to maintain a viable automobile industry. While Australia's car industry was contracting, total domestic vehicle production in the US actually grew, and investments by foreign companies have also kept industry employment levels steady.

Many Americans believe that a viable automotive manufacturing sector is essential for their economy. It remains to be seen whether the Australian car industry can cope easily with the shutdowns.

The US experience, however, suggests that those displaced will not be able to move on so easily, and that Australia might be losing more than many of us realise.
- The case, while extremely unusual, does not surprise Associate Professor Tracey Bretag, who directs academic integrity at the University of South Australia's business school. Bretag has launched the first nationwide study into academic fraud and warns of a "perfect storm" in Australia which is threatening the integrity and reputations of the higher education sector.

As tertiary education becomes increasingly commercialised and the sector is faced with an uncertain funding future, universities have become addicted to the revenue provided by overseas students. This can lead to intense pressure on staff to support underperforming students.

One Sydney University senior lecturer who spoke confidentially to Fairfax Media said that 20 per cent of his student cohort this semester lacked the English skills to meet their study requirements, yet he felt he still had to pass them.

"It's terrible, but the sector needs the money to survive" he said, in comments that have been privately echoed by other academics in Melbourne and Sydney.

Melbourne University Provost Margaret Sheil describes the exam tampering it as a "freakish" singular event and says the elite university's high-performing students and academics are far less exposed to the integrity pressures faced by other education providers.

Sheil also cautions that claims in the sector of pressure to pass underperforming foreign students are overblown and may "be used as a proxy" to shield lecturers who don't want to "work a bit harder" to better educate their students.
- "Globally we are obviously seeing issues relating to slower economic growth, but in South Korea that translates directly to fears over employment and job security," he said. "Even people with good jobs and salaries are now anxious about the security of their position, their retirement and the education of their children.

"You can really sense that lack of peace of mind here in Korea now," he added.

"There's a sense of angst or anxiety, which is a new phenomenon for these generations because the country is still a developed nation, with relatively high income levels, technological skills and industrialization levels. But the paradox is that people are less happy and feel less safe."
- Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd, the film studio unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Sunday they will co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences.

They will also collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partner films in China, the companies said in a joint statement.

Under the terms of their partnership, Alibaba Pictures will also acquire a minority stake in Amblin Partners, which is chaired by Spielberg, the award-winning U.S. movie director and producer.

Amblin Partners creates film, television and digital content under the Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media brands.

Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures has yet to release any films, although the company formerly known as ChinaVision Media Group Ltd has several projects in production.

Alibaba Pictures began investing in Hollywood films in 2015 with its stake in 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'. It was an investor in this year's blockbusters 'Star Trek Beyond' and 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'.

Billionaire Jack Ma's Alibaba Group paid about $800 million for a controlling stake in ChinaVision Media in 2014. The company later became known as Alibaba Pictures.

The investment was part of a wave of acquisitions by big Chinese companies looking to expand their Hollywood footprint while bringing more Western films to China, set to soon surpass the United States as the world's biggest movie market. 
- While the United States may have put its blimp-based missile defense system on hold, Russia is taking a more civilian approach to jamming cruise missiles. As Motherboard reports today, the Russian military is planning to mount anti-missile jamming devices called Pole–21s on civilian cellular network towers, giving the Kremlin a wide coverage area in the case of a US missile attack.

As the Russian newspaper Izvestiya noted, the system works with the same antennas already installed on the country's 250,000 cellular towers and could cover "entire regions like a dome that is impenetrable for satellite navigation signals." According to a spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, the system has already been tested.

On the other hand, US equipment like Tomahawk missiles are already designed with onboard anti-jamming devices intended to keep them on course in the face of such interference, so it's unclear how effective a Pole–21 network would be. Deploying the system would also jam Russia's own communications and navigation systems. Still, one Russian military analyst who spoke with Izvestiya said that even milliseconds of jamming activity is enough throw off a missile's accuracy. Regardless of its efficacy, US Army officials seem to believe the missile jamming plan is part of a larger effort by Russia to prepare itself for a major attack.
- The contract was awarded to Bendigo-based Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) who subcontracted the process to a Chinese firm.

Victorian Labor Senator Kim Carr asked Australian Defence chiefs whether they were aware ADA’s parent company in Canada, Logistik Unicorp, conceded it had radio frequency identification technology to track raw materials and finished goods. He questioned whether Army knew if this involved the embed in fabric of tracking material to see where there garments are at any time.
- The SPD believes that a majority of the German population supports its approach to Russia. Surveys regularly show that more than half, and sometimes up to two-thirds, of Germans believe that sanctions on Russia should be loosened or lifted completely. Sympathies for Putin are likewise astoundingly high. According to a survey commissioned by the influential German weekly Die Zeit in late August, 29 percent of Germans trust the Russia president just as much or more than the chancellor. The NATO dual strategy of deterrence and dialogue, by contrast, is unpopular. According to a survey conducted by the pollsters at Forsa, 63 percent of respondents believed that NATO should limit itself solely to dialogue.

German industry is also supportive of the course charted by the SPD, a party which business leaders have not traditionally seen as an ally. Germany is one of Russia's most important trading partners and the effects of the sanctions have been significant. In 2014, exports from Germany to Russia dropped by 18 percent and they dropped by another quarter last year.

In spring, Steinmeier proposed that sanctions against Russia be removed "step by step," and not just once Moscow has fulfilled all of the conditions laid out in the Minsk Protocol, the fall 2014 agreement that aimed to stop the fighting in eastern Ukraine. A short time later, Steinmeier warned NATO against "saber rattling and cries for war" when it came to Russia. "Of course the campaign is approaching," Steinmeier said in an August television appearance and invoked former SPD Chancellor Brandt's rapprochement with the Soviet Union in the 1970s. "You surely won't be surprised when I, as a Social Democrat, attempt to benefit from experiences that made our country safer."
- “We know your real purposes. It is first of all manipulation of public opinion by means of endless repeating lies in a bid that the larger part of society would finally believe in them. You are creating myths, repeating slogans, demonstrating pictures – they are all fakes,” Pawel Suski, MP from the liberal-conservative Polish Civic platform (PO) said on Friday, as cited by TASS.

Another MP, Marcin Kierwinski, accused Macierewicz of “misinformation which poses a real threat to the country’s security,” adding that no compelling evidence in support of the new version has been presented by the commission so far.  

Previously, Macierewicz went as far as saying the crash might have been a “terror attack” by Russia “aimed at depriving Poland of the leadership”.

“After Smolensk, we can say that we were ... the first great victim of terrorism in the modern conflict, that's playing out right before our eyes,” he said in March. 

The plane with 96 Polish officials, including President Kaczynski and his wife, senior military commanders and several lawmakers crashed as it was heading to a ceremony to commemorate the 1940 Katyn Massacre, in which thousands of Polish officers were killed by Soviet secret police.
- Allegations of human waste falling from aircrafts over residential parts of southern Delhi are being investigated by India’s environmental court.

The National Green Tribunal of India is to look into the allegations after a complaint was lodged by former senior army official Satwant Singh Dahiya, who is seeking criminal proceedings against commercial airlines for posing a health risk to householders in the areas hit, Deccan Chronicle reports. 
- But here's the thing: while Turnbull once reflected that you have to be irrational to choose a life in politics, perhaps it's not the PM's reason, in the end, that's in question here. He's done a deal to get where he is, and he's sticking to it – to the letter. The question is how rational are those that ditched their ideologically-preferred candidate to install a man whose policies they despised but whose approval ratings they coveted? Because they put all their chips on Turnbull's popularity, then sabotaged the very things at the core of his appeal.
- History shows that appeasing bullies never works. Maybe Comey has learned this lesson and will try to make amends in coming days.

As for the voters, my hope is that they reject this perversion of justice all the way down the ballot.
- China is known for copying technology as it has difficulty developing its own products. The export of sophisticated fighter jets, like the SU-35, one of the best fighters in the world, will have a serious impact on the capability of the Chinese air force in later years, as it will certainly clone the technology. And it’s not only fighter planes, Russia is exporting the S-400 anti-aircraft air defense system that will give the Chinese an ability to possibly deny Western aircraft from operating in theaters where it is deployed.

“We need China’s political support, so this is why we take this inevitable risk,” said Russian defense analyst Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST). “Obviously, anyone who can commit hundreds of millions of dollars to defense contracts is important, but because of the political dialogue China is doubly important,” reports The Moscow Times.

Russian arms manufacturers have learned that to counter Chinese cloning of technology, the Russian military must field more advanced systems to stay ahead of China, a long-term adversary of Russia in the past. Sounds like good advice for Western defense agencies as well.
- That's been my big problem with economists' obsession with economic growth. It defines prosperity almost wholly in material terms. Any preference for greater leisure over greater production is assumed to be retrograde.

Weekends are there to be commercialised. Family ties are great, so long as they don't stop you being shifted to Perth.

But I'd like to see if, in a stagnant economy, we could throw the switch from quantity to quality. Not more, better.
- As the robber tried to reverse the stolen car out of the garage in Wattle Grove the homeowner confronted him with a bow and arrow, causing him to crash the car into a fence, according to police, as reported by ABC.

The perpetrator then fled the car and jumped a fence towards a parked Mazda Tribute but before he reached the car he was hit in the buttocks area with the bow and arrow.

"We believe the arrow may have struck the offender in the buttocks or the lower back region," Detective Inspector Dean Johnstone said.

Police are continuing to hunt for the burglar and have inquired with local hospitals to identify anyone treated for an injury consistent with this incident.

"We're asking anyone in the medical profession … to contact police if a person comes in with a wound [consistent] with an arrow striking them," Johnstone said.
- In Evelyn Beatrice Hall's biography of Voltaire, she coined the following sentence to illustrate Voltaire's beliefs: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."[69] Hall's quote is frequently cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech.[69] In the 20th Century, Noam Chomsky states that: "If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Stalin and Hitler, for example, were dictators in favor of freedom of speech for views they liked only. If you're in favor of freedom of speech, that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise."[70] Lee Bollinger argues that "the free speech principle involves a special act of carving out one area of social interaction for extraordinary self-restraint, the purpose of which is to develop and demonstrate a social capacity to control feelings evoked by a host of social encounters." Bollinger argues that tolerance is a desirable value, if not essential. However, critics argue that society should be concerned by those who directly deny or advocate, for example, genocide (see Limitations, above).[71]
- Erdogan referred to the channel as Turkey's "window on the world," adding that he did not want TRT World to be an "official bulletin" but to tell "the truths of our nation through the best television."
- Minor cracks were found in several US Army and Marine Corps 155mm-howitzer Excalibur artillery shells, according to Audra Calloway, a spokeswoman at Picatinny Arsenal, an American military research and manufacturing facility, and home of the Excalibur program office.

Established in June 2009, US Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations © AP Photo/ Department of Defense, Cherie Cullen US Army Pushes to Grow Its Cyber Command Excalibur artillery projectiles use satellite guidance to provide precision accuracy at extended ranges for US Army and Marine Corps 155mm howitzers. The munition is noted for its exceptional accuracy and efficiency, and has been used in Afghanistan.
- "The most positive aspect of my job does not differ from your's — when it brings satisfaction and you achieve goals you set for yourself, when you're doing something important, necessary and good, it's beneficial for you and those for whom you work, that's the greatest satisfaction when you're satisfied with the results [of your work]", Putin said.

Speaking about the negative aspects of his work, the Russian leader said that there are a lot of negative emotions, but "nothing can be done." "… when something goes wrong or when somebody lets you down, when you face other unexpected circumstances, but this is the delight of our work as we are able to overcome these difficulties and achieve the desired result," the Russian president concluded.
- As well as analysing previously collected data, Ms Fitzpatrick is taking tiny DNA samples from tails of the skinks to look at how their cells age.

"I'm looking at the telomeres which are little caps on the end of DNA that prevent errors in recombination.

"Every time a cell divides these telomeres get shorter and shorter.

"Once they're too short, that's when the errors happen and we start to see these signs of ageing at the organism level."

Short telomeres show in humans as things such as wrinkles, stiff joints and weaker bones — typical signs of ageing.

Young mammals, including humans, have an enzyme called telomerase which helps protect telomeres from shortening as cells replicate.

As we age, we lose that enzyme, but this is not the case with skinks, Ms Fitzpatrick said.
- Today, a glance across the landscape illustrates the approximate political positioning of news sources that aspire to treat news and information with intelligence (we’re not including Buzzfeed or the Daily Mail gossip sites here): The Australian and the News Corp state-based dailies on the Right and Fairfax, the ABC, The Guardian online, Huffpo and Crikey on the Left.

I find nothing wrong with that. The right amount of bias is good.

Readers are not dumb. They are not cretins sitting around with empty heads waiting to have them filled with garbage. They see biases and they remember episodes such as emails dripping with malice promising to “nail” Joe Hockey. They have their own filters and they get where you’re coming from.

Some readers choose to read a particular outlet because they know they’ll get their news slanted the way they like it. Others tap into a variety of sources deliberately to get a variety of angles on the same story. It’s part of the way they inform themselves and make up their own minds about how they judge issues.

Bias is wrapped around a point of view and if there are enough points of view for us to take aboard and consider, we are in the perfect position to make reasoned and informed choices about where we sit. In other words, the parading of ­biases helps us find our own and we become an informed democracy.

What on earth could be wrong with that?
- "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, 1935.
- But American abandonment of leadership is one thing. It's quite another for China to assume the mantle.

It's inevitable that China will dominate by sheer scale. But size alone is not the qualification for leadership.

To become the true leader of the world's most dynamic zone, the Asia-Pacific, and perhaps even further afield, Beijing will need to supply the global public goods that other nations crave, the goods that the US has offered in recent decades: routes to prosperity; security; and leadership in solving shared problems like climate change. 

China has shown a capacity for some magnanimity, but its behaviour in the South China Sea and East China Sea has been narrowly and aggressively nationalistic. 

America is relinquishing leadership. But what sort of road rules will China write? A rules-based system for the good of all, or a selfishly chaotic zone of clashing interests?

The opportunity is now open. 
- The Iranian Navy will continue beefing up its operational capability by upgrading its existing fleet, and through the introduction of indigenous vessels and equipment, the admiral added.

“We need no foreign help to provide us with our equipment, and are a power in the fields of torpedoes and missiles now,” Sayyari said, adding that the navy will soon be equipped with surface-to-surface missiles, sea-based drones, and Low Probability of Intercept radars.

The construction announcement on Monday follows a number of tense encounters between the US and Iranian navies in the region. In the latest reported incident in September, seven Iranian fast-attack boats had an “unsafe encounter” with the USS Firebolt. There have been 31 encounters involving Iranian and US vessels in the Persian Gulf so far this year, up from 23 last year.

Bilateral encounters in the region intensified after Iran detained 10 US sailors earlier this year as they entered Iranian waters near the Farsi Islands on two military boats. The US claimed the incident was due to mechanical failure, with Iran later releasing all of the US servicemen.
- Facebook has developed software that would allow censorship of posts on the network in specific geographical regions, in order to help it break into the Chinese market, the New York Times has reported.

The social media network has been blocked in the world's most populous country since 2009.

Three employees of the company, both current and past, told the newspaper that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had supported and defended the effort.

Countries like Pakistan, Russia and Turkey often make requests to Facebook that certain content be blocked, but such requests always come after material has been posted.

The censorship software developed for China marks the first time that content blocks have been devised to prevent material from appearing at all, the report said.

The sources told the paper that Facebook would not carry out the suppression itself, but rather allow a third party to monitor material that is shared across the network. This third party would then be able to decide whether specific posts would show up in users' feeds.

The three employees told the newspaper that the censorship software was developed as one means of entering the Chinese market and in the end it may not be used at all.

However, the paper said, the project illustrated the extent to which Facebook may give up on its original goals, “to make the world more open and connected", in order to keep growing and gain access to the 1.4 billion people in China.

American companies like Google and Twitter have been blocked in China for refusing to heed the government's demands for censorship. LinkedIn has agreed to censor some of its content on Chinese platforms, the report said.

The report comes soon after Facebook faced a row over claims that fake news posted and shared on its network may have influenced the outcome of the US presidential election.
- In his helpful column on the “Gathering Storm” analysis, Franz-Stefan Gady points out the gulf between demands for 350 (or 450, or 600) ships and serious analysis that takes into account U.S. strategic aims, as well as the capabilities of U.S. adversaries. Given the extant global military balance, the United States does not need 350 ships to defend its territorial integrity. It doesn’t need 250; it doesn’t need 150, it might not need more than 50. Rather, the United States requires a large Navy to perform the obligations that the United States has taken on since 1945, and especially since 1991.  These include the protection of allies, the defense of international trade, and (broadly conceived) the protection of international order. These are the very things that Trump has repeatedly expressed minimal regard for.

Unfortunately, the reality of defense investment under Trump may more closely resemble storefront looting than to a serious strategic analysis.  Trump has promised to send tons of cash to the Defense Department in order to restore strength and Make America Great Again. Navalists believe that the enduring commitments of the United States require 350 ships, or at least a larger Navy.  The strategic incoherence of the Trump administration is both risk and opportunity; if Trump can be convinced that the United States needs 350 ships in order to project strength, then the Navy will get more ships regardless of any disconnect with Trump’s broader conception of America’s place in the world. And if the Navy doesn’t loot the storefront, then someone else will.  And when Trump is gone in four or eight years, the ships will still be there to help fulfill the broad demands for U.S. global presence.
- "For the young man in the USSR, being cultured in theater, music and film was a matter of belonging to a special class. In the West, we know these cultural figures as celebrities, but in Russia, they were the intellectuals," Khrushcheva told DW.
- As tired journalism professors often like to remind their students, it’s not news if a dog bites a man because this happens all the time. But a man biting a dog is certainly headline material.
As is the case for an alleged thief in the western town of Olsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Three men robbed a supermarket on Monday afternoon, hotly pursued by a shop worker until they reached a train station and the worker decided to alert police. The trio ditched their loot worth around €1,000 by the train station when they saw police coming and fled into a nearby wooded area, according to a police report.

Police then sent out their dog Pepper and her handler in search of the men. The perceptive pooch managed to track down and corner a 39-year-old suspect, who then tried to fend off the canine by - yes - biting her on the muzzle.
- To the extent that a U.S.-Russian adversarial relationship is tempered from the U.S. end—which otherwise can be a good thing, as far as international peace and stability are concerned—there can be consequences for other relationships commonly seen as adversarial.  Americans have a strong Manichean tendency to perceive the world as divided simply and rigidly between friend and foe, between good and evil.  A Washington Post article described this tendency as especially exhibited by military officers who are senior Trump appointees, although it has roots in broader American history and political culture.  The less that Russia serves as an evil empire, the more someone else must fill the role of evil-doer.  Those general officer appointees are already well primed to see political Islam—and as far as states are concerned, Iran—playing that role.  They are so well primed in that regard that the United States getting into trouble with a new war in that direction is not out of the question.

What Romney specifically said during the 2012 campaign about international threats was that he saw the “greatest threat that the world faces” to be “a nuclear Iran,” and that Russia was the prime geopolitical foe because “it’s always Russia” that “stands up with the world’s worst actors” such as Iran and North Korea, especially in blocking action in the United Nations.  Things haven’t worked out that way at all.  Russia was a key player in negotiating the multilateral agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear program and blocks any path to a bomb—an agreement blessed by the U.N. Security Council.  The frictions with Russia in the last four years have had to do not with Iran or North Korea but instead with Ukraine, Syria, and military shows of force in Eastern Europe.  With Putin’s Russia now having interfered in the U.S. election, there may yet be a connection of a different kind between U.S.-Russian relations and U.S. policy toward Iran—although blowing up the nuclear agreement would only complicate the U.S.-Russian relationship. 
- The suffering that comes with people who must endure chemotherapy due to a breast cancer diagnosis can often be acute, and one of the most difficult aspects of the regimen is losing all of your hair. However, a new clinical trial for a cooling cap system that was approved only last year proved so stunningly successful at preventing hair loss that it was halted midway in order to release the results immediately.

The results, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, showed that this new cooling cap saved the hair of 51 percent of the 95 patients who used it, and the 47 breast cancer patients who were in the control group and didn’t use it lost their hair in every single case.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed off on the new cooling cap system back in December 2015. If the cooling cap system can continue to show these results, it could take away a major part of suffering for a lot of breast cancer patients.

The reason why people lose their hair after chemotherapy is that chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells, which are a hallmark of cancer. But hair cells also rapidly divide and they get caught in the crossfire. The cooling cap system works by reducing the amount of chemotherapy agent that reaches the hair follicles.
- When Turnbull was still new and still popular, John Howard had this guidance for him: "An iron law of politics is that if you have a lot of political capital at some point, you can be certain it will disappear. The question is, do you dissipate it through trying to do something for the long-term benefit of the country or do you dissipate it by sitting around and doing nothing?"Key took option A. He acted on this fundamental principle of political power. He took bold political chances on big, unpopular reforms and succeeded.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-only-reason-malcolm-turnbull-still-has-his-job-20161209-gt7xh4.html
But as Israeli military commentator Ron Ben-Yishai perceptively asks, why did Israel use missiles instead of the aircraft that it usually does? “Accurately dropping bombs is usually cheaper than firing surface missiles,” Ben-Yishai writes. “The cost of one accurate rocket is higher than the cost of accurate aerial munition, even when taking into account the cost of operating the plane and the pilot. It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that if Israel did in fact use surface-to-surface missiles, as the Syrian media claimed, it had a good reason to do so.”
...
Israel has also long believed, as with the strike on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear site, that it’s better to neutralize potential threats before they become actual threats. If Israeli intelligence should detect, for example, Iranian weapons of mass destruction being transported across Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, would Jerusalem sit on its hands? Or would it decide that destroying the threat is worth a potential confrontation with Russia?

One war is Syria is bad enough. We don’t need two.
- In an apparent error Russia’s telecom regulator has attempted to ban an IP address reserved for “this computer,” an online freedom watchdog noticed, sarcastically adding that the agency tried to “ban itself.”

The gaffe happened on Saturday, when Roskomnadzor processed a ruling of the Moscow City Court to block a website infringing on copyright.

The entry of the blacklist, which Russian internet service providers use to enforce blocks for their users, listed the website name, karaoke-besplatno.ru as well as its IP address, the four numbers that identify nodes of a computer network.

The problem was that the address they put in was 127.0.0.1 – which is specifically reserved for localhost. This address designates a computer that is alone in a local network and used for loopback routing of data – when a single computer runs a server program and its client and basically “talks to itself.” Loopback is useful for testing network software in a secure environment.

Taken as written, Roskomnadzor has either asked internet service providers to block the agency itself or to ban themselves from the internet.

“The thing that so many have been waiting [to happen] for many years has happened: Roskomnadzor blacklisted localhost,” the watchdog, which calls itself Roskomsvoboda, reported. “Did Roskomnadzor try to ban itself from the internet. Well, good initiative!”

The erroneous order was canceled on Sunday. The mistake was apparently the regulator’s fault, since the court ruling doesn’t mention any IP addresses of the offending website, only its name.

Roskomnadzor accused the company that hosted the site of setting up a trap for the agency.

“It was an IT trick. They used it for the sole purpose of seeing ironic headlines in the media about Roskomnadzor. I believe this trickery makes things worse only for the reputation of the provider,” Vadim Ampelonsky, spokesman for the agency, told Govorit Moskva radio station, refraining from naming the hosting company.
- During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently against the Islamic State, U.S. Special Operations forces have taken advantage of their small numbers, high-tech communication gear and extensive training to achieve battlefield successes often reserved for conventional forces many times their size. Having gleaned this lesson from their American counterparts, the Russians are now implementing such forces for the first time Syria.

But much like Russia’s lone and problematic aircraft carrier — the Admiral Kuznetsov — steaming off Syria’s coast, the KSO is also another way for Russia to demonstrate its burgeoning post-Soviet defense capabilities in a combat environment.

“Russia is demonstrating a nascent capability similar to what we have in the United States,” Kofman said of the video. “Special Operations forces are a tool of national power and there are very few countries that can field units like this.”

While the KSO is billed as a command, it is only one unit and is composed of somewhere between 500 and 1,000 of Russia’s best troops that hail from traditional Spetsnaz and airborne units. According to Kofman, the KSO is relatively junior, and its first operations involved security for the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and shortly after helping secure Crimea’s parliament building with 50 or so troops when Russia helped annex the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014. As a byproduct of Russia’s military reforms that began in 2008, the KSO has benefited from individual equipment upgrade programs that have provided Russian soldiers with modern communications gear and weapons.

In the video that ran Sunday, some of the Russian Special Operations troops can be seen with red-dot weapon sights, thermal imaging devices, laser range finders, and modern bolt-action sniper rifles, including what appears to be a late 2000s Austrian SSG-08 rifle (this rifle was documented in August in Syria by an independent arms research group). Also, one of the Russian soldiers is wearing a Peltor noise-reducing communication headset. Peltor is owned by the U.S.-based company 3M. Its gear is also a staple for U.S. Special Operations troops.

While modeled similarly to the West’s elite military units, one of the key differences between the KSO and say, SEAL Team Six, is that the KSO was not created to conduct counterterrorism missions, Kofman says. Instead, the KSO focuses on more traditional Special Operations missions, including disrupting enemy forces, coordinating and calling in airstrikes and collecting battlefield intelligence.
- “We believe that we have no territorial problems whatsoever. It is Japan who believes it has territorial disputes with Russia. We are ready to discuss this,” Putin said, referring to Japan’s claim over four islands in the Kuril Archipelago, an issue that remains a big stumbling block in the relations between the two countries.

“We are natural partners in the world and the Asia-Pacific, but the absence of a peace treaty deprives us of an opportunity to develop our relations in a multifaceted way,” the Russian leader told Kasuya Takayuki, CEO of Nippon Television Holding, and Takeshi Mizoguchi, editor-in-chief of Yomiuri newspaper. He added that the state of ceasefire between the two countries is an “anachronism” that “must be eliminated.”

The interview came ahead of Putin’s much-anticipated visit to Japan, where he is expected to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this week. Finding ways to settle the decades-long dispute over the Kuril Islands and sign a peace treaty between Russia and Japan will reportedly dominate the meeting’s agenda, as it did in Putin’s interview to the Japanese media.

Building trust between Moscow and Tokyo through humanitarian, cultural, and trade relations would lay the groundwork to a peace treaty, the Russian President noted, adding that Russia and China have taken this path, successfully settling their territorial issues as a result.

“We settled our border issue. This didn’t cause any significant problems, if any, in either China or Russia, even though both of us agreed to concessions and compromise. That was a compromise between two friendly nations,” Putin explained.

Russia and Japan may settle their historical conflict, Putin said, but Russia is uncertain how far Japan is prepared to go, considering its “obligations to its allies.”

“With China we have the highest volume of bilateral trade and continue to liberalize our trade relations. Meanwhile, Japan imposed economic sanctions against us. Do you see the difference?” he asked rhetorically.

“I am not the one to judge what Japan could and should have done. That is absolutely not my business; it is up to the Japanese leadership. But we have to understand how the totality of our agreements would fit Japan’s obligations to its allies and how independent it is in making such decisions,” the Russian leader added.
- Army weapons developers are expanding and accelerating emerging technology for the Apache attack helicopter which enables crews to view real-time video feeds from nearby drones, control the drones’ flight path and therefore more effectively destroy enemy targets, service officials said.

Manned-Unmanned Teaming, or MUM-T, gives AH-64E Apaches an ability to control the flight path and sensor payload of Army Shadow and Gray Eagle drones.

As part of the continuation of the Army’s development of this technology, Boeing was awarded a $24 million contract for manned and unmanned teaming expanded compatibility on all Apache attack helicopter AH-64E configurations, a DoD announcement said. 

Army officials say the combination of the Apache’s lethal weapons and the drones’ sensors enable helicopter crews to find and go after dynamic or fast-moving targets from further ranges.

Manned-Unmanned Teaming was recently used with great success in Afghanistan by the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Army officials said. In addition, Apache helicopters are providing air support to Iraqi Security Forces advancing on Mosul. 

For instance, looking at real-time Electro-Optical/Infra-red images from drone cameras in the Apache cockpit gives crews an increased ability to, for instance, more effectively destroy groups of enemy fighters on the move in pick-up trucks or attack insurgents hiding near a known U.S. Army convoy route planning to launch an ambush.

Manned-Unmanned Teaming was recently used with great success in Afghanistan by the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Army officials said.

“Now before the unit even deploys out of the Forward Arming Refueling Point, or FARP, they can actually bring up the UAS (drone) feed, look through the sensors and see the target they are going to attack up to 50 or 60 miles away,” Apache Program Manager Col. Jeff Hager told Scout Warrior in an interview last year. 

Hager also explained that maintaining drone sensors on targets which can move and change gives the Apache crew an opportunity to make adjustments while en-route to a target location.  

“They have full situational awareness on that target as they fly inbound and do not lose any data on that target on the way,” Hager added. “They don’t go into a situation where they are surprised.”

Capitalist Liberalist Democracy Thoughts 3, Random Stuff, and More

On liberal capitalist democracy:  - before we go through this we need to preface this was the reasoning for this. Capitalism is literally...