Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.
Man convicted at ten years old of murdering toddler James Bulger back in jail after being caught with abuse images for second timeMan convicted at ten years old of murdering toddler James Bulger back in jail after being caught with abuse images for second time
Jon Venables, one of two boys convicted of the murder of toddler James Bulger, has been returned to prison again after he was caught with child abuse images for a second time. Venables was 10 when he was jailed in 1993 alongside his friend Robert Thompson for murdering two-year-old James. He was released on licence in 2001 but returned to jail in 2010 for possessing indecent images of children. The 35-year-old was once again arrested last week after officials found indecent material on a computer during a routine check at his home.
The U.S. occupation of northeastern Syria is unsustainable, not to mention illegalThe U.S. occupation of northeastern Syria is unsustainable, not to mention illegal
The U.S. is now occupying north-east Syria. It wants to blackmail the Syrian government into "regime change". The occupation is unsustainable, its aim is unattainable. The generals who devised these plans lack strategic insight. They listen to the wrong people. The Islamic State no longer holds any significant ground in Syria and Iraq. What is left of it in a few towns of the Euphrates valley will soon be gone. Its remnants will be some of several terror gangs in the region. Local forces can and will hold those under adequate control. The Islamic State is finished. This is why the Lebanese Hizbullah announced to pull back all its advisors and units from Iraq. It is the reason why Russia began to repatriate some of its units from Syria. Foreign forces are no longer needed to eliminate the remains of ISIS. In its UN Security Council resolutions 2249 (2015) for the fight against ISIS the UNSC was: "Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and unity of all States in accordance with purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, ... Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, ... on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da'esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL ... and entities associated with Al-Qaida ... and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria; There is no longer any "territory under the control of ISIL". Its "safe havens" have been "eradicated". The task laid out and legitimized in the UNSC resolution is finished. It is over. There is no longer any justification, under UNSC Res 2249, for U.S. troops in Syria or Iraq.
An update: Sunspots ala CyclicCatastrophismAn update: Sunspots ala CyclicCatastrophism
This post is a response to "Variation of the Solar Microwave Spectrum in the Last Half Century", Masumi Shimojo et al. Astrophysical Journal, Volume 848, Number 1. The abstract states: "... we found that the microwave spectra at the solar minima of Cycles 20-24 agree with each other. These results show that the average atmospheric structure above the upper chromosphere in the quiet-Sun has not varied for half a century, and suggest that the energy input for atmospheric heating from the sub-photosphere to the corona have not changed in the quiet-Sun despite significantly differing strengths of magnetic activity in the last five solar cycles." See Figure 1 above.
Whoopi Goldberg: "Stupid" UCLA players embarrassed their country and their president - who got "their a**es" out of ChinaWhoopi Goldberg: "Stupid" UCLA players embarrassed their country and their president - who got "their a**es" out of China
Whoopi Goldberg and her co-hosts on ABC's "The View" expressed their astonishment Thursday at the fact that three UCLA freshmen basketball players were accused of shoplifting while on a team trip to China. The players were arrested by Chinese police and only released this week after President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to intercede. Goldberg said the players embarrassed Trump and the country, but credited the president for helping the players return to the U.S. "You embarrassed your families, you embarrassed the country, and you embarrassed the president," Goldberg said. "Now I'm not a big fan of the president, but the fact that he had to call and get your asses out of there is not anything to be proud of or think is cool." "If this isn't the stupidest thing a young person has done, particularly if you're over six-feet tall, and black-" she continued. "You kinda stick out," Sunny Hostin interjected. "Is this just the ridiculous stupidity of youth?" Goldberg asked, recounting how they were detained for stealing items from a Louis Vuitton store in a foreign country without many black people.
Educational exercise: A meteor struck the grounds of a school in Northern IrelandEducational exercise: A meteor struck the grounds of a school in Northern Ireland
When the children of Castle Gardens Primary School, in County Down, Northern Ireland, came traipsing to school on Monday morning, they found a scene of devastation in the playground. Trees were wrecked. Asphalt was torn up. The police service were on hand, in emergency-response mode. There, in the middle of the yard, was a smoking bundle from outer space: a meteorite.
New rules mean extra welfare benefits for UK polygamists - because multiculturalismNew rules mean extra welfare benefits for UK polygamists - because multiculturalism
Men with more than one wife will qualify for extra benefits under the new welfare system, according to official House of Commons research. Under the universal credit welfare system, which is not expected to be fully introduced until 2021, polygamous households will be rewarded with higher benefits, The Sunday Times reports. In the UK, it is illegal to marry more than one person. Polygamous marriages, largely confined to Muslim families, are only recognised in Britain if they took place in countries where they are legal, such as Middle Eastern states, Pakistan and Zambia. There no official figures but it is estimated that there may be as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community. Currently, a husband and his first wife are paid up to £114.85 a week. Subsequent spouses living under the same roof receive around £40 each.
Rare November tornado touches down in PittsburghRare November tornado touches down in Pittsburgh
A tornado touched ground in the Pittsburgh area over the weekend and no one knew until now. The local National Weather Service reported Monday that an EF1 tornado - with peak winds of 90 mph - struck Plum and Murrysville early Sunday morning for about four minutes along Saltsburg Road, tearing shingles from roofs, snapping tree trunks and flipping a car. It was the second tornado to hit the region this November alone; another touched ground in Columbiana County, Ohio on Nov. 5. Before this year, there had been only five November tornadoes in the area since 1950, said NWS meteorologist Matthew Kramar. "This is a rare event for November, and even rarer because it happened after midnight," Mr. Kramar said. "Typically it happens during the day because you need intense thunderstorms to fuel them." The weather service, which typically examines damage firsthand after thunderstorms with high winds, received reports of damage in Murrysville Sunday. Mr. Kramar observed a flipped car and tree damage outside of a retirement community off of Saltsburg in Plum, substantial tree damage further east at Clover Commons and "considerable" tree damage near Sardis Road in Murrysville. "Just about every evergreen in a 100-yard swath was damaged. The storm cut a track right through those trees," Mr. Kramar said.
More remains of U.S. soldier found in Niger after widow questioned whether he was in casket for funeralMore remains of U.S. soldier found in Niger after widow questioned whether he was in casket for funeral
Additional remains of a U.S. soldier killed in a mysterious Niger ambush were reportedly found in the African nation earlier this month - even though his funeral had already been held, with his widow questioning whether he was even in the casket. The military and an FBI team in Niger discovered more remains of Sgt. La David Johnson about a month after he and three other American soldiers were killed in the ambush, CNN reported Tuesday. The announcement adds another layer of confusion to the ambush, which is still under investigation and has led to continuing factual disputes. Johnson's wife, Myeshia Johnson, had told ABC News in October the military barred her from seeing her husband's body, making her very suspicious of what was in the casket at his funeral in later that month. It was a closed casket funeral. "They won't show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband's body from head to toe, and they won't let me see anything," she said. "I don't know what's in that box. It could be empty, for all I know."
Flood of sexual assault allegations coming out of Hollywood puts LAPD into uncharted territoryFlood of sexual assault allegations coming out of Hollywood puts LAPD into uncharted territory
The flood of sexual assault allegations coming out of the Hollywood entertainment industry has the Los Angeles Police Department negotiating uncharted territory. Never before has the department received so many sexual assault allegations involving high-profile figures at one time, including many complex cases that are years old with multiple alleged victims, officials say. The department has re-engineered its detective staff to deal with the influx. The LAPD has established five teams of two detectives to exclusively investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. The teams include members of the cold-case unit, because those detectives are experts in dealing with old criminal allegations that lack physical evidence. "They know where to go. They know how to jog people's memories," said LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes, who oversees the Robbery-Homicide Division and is managing the task force. "We've [gotten] an unprecedented number of calls." The LAPD now has 28 open investigations related to Hollywood and media figures, including mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Ed Westwick, writer Murray Miller and agent Tyler Grasham. The department has also taken 37 other sex crimes reports that it has sent to other law enforcement agencies, believing the alleged crimes occurred in those jurisdictions.
Dep. AG Rosenstein is supervising the Mueller probe, but he's also a witnessDep. AG Rosenstein is supervising the Mueller probe, but he's also a witness
To the many mysteries swirling around the investigation of Russian election interference and the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, add this one: Why is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein continuing to supervise the investigation? Rosenstein is the Justice Department official who pulled the trigger and named special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe in May, only days after President Trump fired Comey under questionable circumstances. But Rosenstein also wrote a memo advocating the dismissal of Comey. The deputy attorney general testified he was put off by Comey's public remarks about the criminal investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email practices. "I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it," Rosenstein told Congress of his memo criticizing Comey. The president went on to tell a television interviewer that he had actually dismissed the FBI director over "the Russia thing," leading Comey and others to suggest he had been fired in a possible attempt to obstruct justice. Mueller's investigators are gathering information about the matter.
Facebook creates 'Russia portal' to cover news from Russia that would threaten nonexistent US democracyFacebook creates 'Russia portal' to cover news from Russia that would threaten nonexistent US democracy
Panicked about your feed getting hijacked by 'Russian trolls'? Facebook's got you covered, with a new tool that will allow users to check if the Kremlin messed with their minds during last year's US presidential election. The move is part of the social media giant's "continuing transparency of Russian activity" and efforts to protect users from "bad actors who try to undermine our democracy," the company said in a statement Wednesday. Last month, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch pledged to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Facebook would "up our game" to counter the "threat of foreign interference in elections." Committee members grilled Stretch, along with representatives from Twitter and Google, about how platforms were used for "Russian meddling" and shared a sample of the ads it classified as "Russian-linked."
Soros organization's 'secretive' push for Liberal prosecutors in 2018, and to potentially take away the people's right to elect judgesSoros organization's 'secretive' push for Liberal prosecutors in 2018, and to potentially take away the people's right to elect judges
A "secretive" network of liberal donors co-founded by George Soros is pushing to elect liberal prosecutors in 2018, according to a document obtained by the Free Beacon. But further behind the scenes, Soros is funding even-more-radical plans -- to potentially take away the people's right to elect judges. Democracy Alliance, the "largest network of donors dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States," hosted a conference at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA, last week focused on "reclaiming our progressive future." The conference mirrored a similar one hosted in November, 2016, to address the "cataclysm" of President Donald Trump's election. Democracy Alliance was co-founded by Soros, LGBTQ activist Tim Gill and the late insurance giant Peter Lewis in 2005. One of the November 2017 sessions focused on "Winning Big" in 30 "hot" prosecutor races in the 2018 election. As Free Beacon writer Joe Schoffstall noted, "Soros has quietly flooded prosecutor races with large sums of money as part of his efforts to "overhaul" the U.S. justice system." Other media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post ignored the event.
Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi says Iranian warships to head for Gulf of MexicoNavy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi says Iranian warships to head for Gulf of Mexico
The Iranian Navy will soon be sending a force to visit Latin America and the Gulf of Mexico, a newly-appointed naval commander has said. The move will be a demonstration of the country's ability to project power far beyond its shores. In his first press conference in Tehran since being appointed, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said that Iranian naval forces will cross the Atlantic and stop over at friendly South American countries before flying the Iranian flag in the Gulf of Mexico, local media reported on Wednesday. "Our fleet of warships will be sent to the Atlantic Ocean in the near future and will visit one of the friendly states in South America and the Gulf of Mexico," Fars news agency quoted him as saying.
What expiration dates on medications really mean: Most drugs aren't dangerous after they 'expire' and in fact retain their potency for yearsWhat expiration dates on medications really mean: Most drugs aren't dangerous after they 'expire' and in fact retain their potency for years
In 1979, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required drug companies to publish expiration dates on the drugs they produce. Prior to that, after drugs were sold, people used them until they felt it was time to dispose of them. As you're likely well aware, I'm not a fan of using prescriptions drugs for just about any reason. However, we are each on our own journey to health and it may be that you are transitioning from using prescription medication to manage health conditions, to providing your body with the nutrition, sleep, water and exercise needed to help you regain your health. Prescription drugs typically have an expiration date between one and five years, depending on the drug. If you are like most people, you'd think twice before taking a medication past the expiration date, as it may have either lost potency (no longer work) or may be harmful to your health. This medication turnover is costly, to you, hospitals, pharmacies and the U.S. military - often costing millions of dollars each year. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,1 researchers analyzed the potency of medications found in their original packages and unopened for nearly 30 years. It's important to remember these drugs were found in a pharmacy, stored away from heat and light, and in a cool, dry environment.
Second phase of the Chinese peace plan for Bangladesh and MyanmarSecond phase of the Chinese peace plan for Bangladesh and Myanmar
While the US barks, Chinese diplomacy has accomplished something substantial in a very short period of time and all with little fanfare. Today, both Myanmar and Bangladesh confirmed they have signed an agreement which will allow both countries to begin the implementation of a Chinese peace plan for the repatriation Rohingya refugees to Myanmar's Rakhine State. The sift and quiet implementation of a Chinese plan, officially announced only this week, is a clear demonstration of several things: - The businesslike nature of Chinese diplomacy - The clout China has in the wider Asian world - The effectiveness of a peace plan that seeks to address concerns from all parties - The attraction of a plan that promises enhanced economic stimuli in exchange for multilateral efforts to resolve a long burning civil and now bi-national crisis The first element of the peace plan called for an intensification of the existing ceasefire, while phase two called for the orderly return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. These refugees had fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the midst of a local conflict between Buddhists in Rakhine and Rohingya Muslims.
Israeli deputy FM snowflake says U.S. Jews have "convenient lives" far away from Palestinian "rocket attacks"Israeli deputy FM snowflake says U.S. Jews have "convenient lives" far away from Palestinian "rocket attacks"
Israeli deputy foreign minister has accused American Jews of living "convenient lives" and not understanding how it feels to be "attacked by rockets." It prompted a rebuke from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the statement is not Israel's stance. Tzipi Hotovely appeared on Israeli news channel i24 on Wednesday to address increased tensions between Israel and US Jews. Those tensions include disputes over restrictions on non-Orthodox prayer at the Western (Wailing) Wall and over the Israeli government's policies on Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. In her comments, Hotovely said that one of her goals is to "bring American Jews closer to Israel...everyone is welcome to come here to influence Israeli politics." She also stated that US Jews are too far away from the reality of Israeli Jewish life. "The other issue is not understanding the complexity of the region," she said. "People that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don't have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, or to Iraq. Most of them are having quite convenient lives. They don't feel how it feels to be attacked by rockets, and I think part of it is to actually experience what Israel is dealing with on a daily basis."
Dough Debacle: Ecoli outbreaks linked to raw flourDough Debacle: Ecoli outbreaks linked to raw flour
Eggs, long condemned for making raw cookie dough a forbidden pleasure, can stop taking all the blame. There's another reason to resist the sweet uncooked temptation: flour. The seemingly innocuous pantry staple can harbor strains of E. coli bacteria that make people sick. And, while not a particularly common source of foodborne illness, flour has been implicated in two E. coli outbreaks in the United States and Canada in the last two years. Pinning down tainted flour as the source of the U.S. outbreak, which sickened 63 people between December 2015 and September 2016, was trickier than the average food poisoning investigation, researchers recount November 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Usually, state health departments rely on standard questionnaires to find a common culprit for a cluster of reported illnesses, says Samuel Crowe, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who led the study. But flour isn't usually tracked on these surveys. So when the initial investigation yielded inconclusive results, public health researchers turned to in-depth personal interviews with 10 people who had fallen ill.
Researcher believes there are thousands of serial killers in AmericaResearcher believes there are thousands of serial killers in America
A new report from The New Yorker estimates that 2,000 serial killers are currently at large in the United States. According to archivist and researcher Thomas Hargrove, tracking the habits and status of serial killers comes down to data analysis, which he's been carrying out independently for years. Hargrove is a part of the Murder Accountability Project (MAP), a non-profit that aggregates data on homicides and feeds it into Hargrove's algorithm, which he sometimes refers to as a serial killer detector. Serial murder, according to the FBI's official definition, is the "unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events." A pause in between murders is sometimes referred to as a "cooling off period". In 2016, Vox published analysis of similar data from Dr. Mike Aamodt at Radford University in Virginia. He found that serial killers were on the decline, as a whole, and that most killed simply because they enjoyed it.
Married Pakistani doctor blames "different cultural norms" after molesting 21-yo student nurse - UPDATE: Keeps jobMarried Pakistani doctor blames "different cultural norms" after molesting 21-yo student nurse - UPDATE: Keeps job
A married Pakistani doctor molested a Muslim student nurse then blamed it on 'different cultural norms' in the UK. Father-of-two Imran Qureshi, 44, from Manchester, said the 21-year-old woman was 'sexually available' because she had previous boyfriends. He grabbed her breast and told her he wanted an affair after he forced himself on her as they worked together at a hospital. Qureshi later admitted he made a 'misjudgement' - blaming his behaviour on 'cultural norms being different' in the UK and Pakistan. Comment: If that's his excuse, he should go to Pakistan. When you move to a different country, you adopt their cultural norms. It's pretty simple. But the nurse known only as Miss A, was said to be 'shaken up and distraught' after reporting how locum senior house officer Qureshi grabbed her chest before trying to 'make light' of it and then becoming aggressive. He was said to have told Miss A he was unhappy in his marriage and was hoping for a romance with her. Unbeknown to the doctor, Miss A was secretly recording the conversation on her mobile phone.
'Sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!': Dying woman granted final wish by compassionate paramedic'Sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!': Dying woman granted final wish by compassionate paramedic
A dying Australian woman was granted her final wish, when paramedics transporting her to palliative care took a detour, so she could look at the ocean one last time. The patient's story was posted to Facebook by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) who said the tale was "too good not to share." The post, which has been shared more than 13,000 times, was accompanied by a picture of paramedic Graeme Cooper holding the woman's gurney on a patch of rough ground as they both looked out to sea. "A crew was transporting a patient to the palliative care unit of the local hospital and the patient expressed that she just wished she could be at the beach again," the post read. "Above and beyond, the crew took a small diversion to the awesome beach at Hervey Bay to give the patient this opportunity - tears were shed and the patient felt very happy. Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills - sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!"
The VAWA, The Duluth Model, Feminism and the politicization of domestic violenceThe VAWA, The Duluth Model, Feminism and the politicization of domestic violence
A look at the evolution of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 The politicization of domestic violence by feminists began in the 1960s and '70s, with a small network of shelters for women escaping domestic violence. As was borne out by the experience of Erin Pizzey, who established the first shelter for domestic violence victims in the UK in 1971, the goal of the women's shelters was not actually to address the multifaceted issue of interpersonal violence, and seek solutions for couples affected. Rather, it was to establish the concept of the now well-known "patriarchy" as a conspiracy with frightening motives. Women's liberation was about encouraging women to not only question their marriages, but to expand the characterization of the in fact, rare occurrence of what was then called, "wife battering" to include almost all women as victims.
Bye-bye Great Bear: Body count is mounting for Yellowstone grizzly bears after US government strips endangered species protectionBye-bye Great Bear: Body count is mounting for Yellowstone grizzly bears after US government strips endangered species protection
With the recent cold snap, some Yellowstone grizzly bears are slowing down - but it will still be another week or more before they are snug in dens and out of harms' way for the winter. In a disturbing trend, this year the bear body count continues to mount at a time when the population has been, by weight of evidence, declining. This problem will likely worsen with the federal government's decision last spring to strip endangered species protections from Yellowstone's grizzly bears and give management authority to the states ("delist"). Here, as elsewhere in the lower-48 states, government scientists have found that most grizzly bears die from human causes. This year is no exception. Only three of the 51 recorded grizzly bear deaths may be from natural causes. And the rate of killing is shocking - one bear approximately every two days since hunting season began in October. Never have so many bear deaths been investigated for possible foul play in one year - 26 bears and counting, more than half of all known deaths.
Sudan's President meets Putin: 'We need protection from US aggressive actions'Sudan's President meets Putin: 'We need protection from US aggressive actions'
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, discussing bilateral cooperation and regional security. "In the end, it turned out that our country split into two parts, which resulted in a worsening of the situation, and as a result, we need protection from the aggressive actions of the United States," Sudanese President Omar Bashir said Thursday at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking about the situation in the Red Sea, the president has stated that the US interference is a problem, while it is necessary to discuss the issue from the viewpoint of using bases in the region.
Demise of Dissent: How the web is being systematically stripped of independent voices of skepticismDemise of Dissent: How the web is being systematically stripped of independent voices of skepticism
In other words, we'll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and "approved" dissent. We've all heard that the problem with the web is fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that's designed to mislead or sow confusion. The problem isn't just fake news--it's the homogenization of the web, that is, the elimination or marginalization of independent voices of skepticism and dissent. There are four drivers of this homogenization: 1. The suppression of dissent under the guise of ridding the web of propaganda and fake news--in other words, dissent is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics and skeptics. 2. The sharp decline of advertising revenues flowing to web publishers, both major outlets and small independent publishers like Of Two Minds. 3. The majority of advert revenues now flow into the coffers of the quasi-monopolies Facebook and Google. 4. Publishers are increasingly dependent on these quasi-monopolies for readers and visibility: any publisher who runs afoul of Facebook and Google and is sent to Digital Siberia effectively vanishes.
Slain Baltimore detective was set to testify at trial of corrupt copsSlain Baltimore detective was set to testify at trial of corrupt cops
Slain Baltimore homicide Detective Sean Suiter was scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury in the case against a squad of indicted officers on the day after he was shot, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday evening. The revelation brings together two cases that have sent shock waves through the Police Department and the city as a whole: the federal prosecutions of eight members of the department's elite gun task force, who are accused of shaking down citizens and conspiring with drug dealers, and the killing of Suiter last week in West Baltimore, the first of an on-duty officer by a suspect in 10 years. Davis said Wednesday that federal authorities have told him "in no uncertain terms" that Suiter was not a target of their investigation into the Gun Trace Task Force. He said authorities have no reason to believe Suiter's killing was connected to his pending testimony. "The BPD and FBI do not possess any information that this incident ... is part of any conspiracy," Davis said. He said evidence shows the shooting occurred spontaneously, as Suiter investigated a suspicious person in the Harlem Park neighborhood. "There is no information that has been communicated to me that Detective Suiter was anything other than a stellar detective, great friend, loving husband and dedicated father," he said.
Jordan Peterson Was Right About Universities and Bill C-16Jordan Peterson Was Right About Universities and Bill C-16
Eric Schmidt: Google search algorithm can't recognize 'truth' when opinion is polarizedEric Schmidt: Google search algorithm can't recognize 'truth' when opinion is polarized
In the United States' current polarized political environment, the constant publishing of articles with vehemently opposing arguments has made it almost impossible for Google to rank information properly. So says billionaire Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet, speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday. "Let's say that this group believes Fact A and this group believes Fact B and you passionately disagree with each other and you are all publishing and writing about it and so forth and so on. It is very difficult for us to understand truth," says Schmidt, referring to the search engine's algorithmic capabilities. "So when it gets to a contest of Group A versus Group B - you can imagine what I am talking about - it is difficult for us to sort out which rank, A or B, is higher," Schmidt says. Ranking is the holy grail for Google. And when topics have more consensus, Schmidt is confident in the algorithm's ability to lower the rank of information that is repetitive, exploitative or false. In cases of greater consensus, when the search turns up a piece of incorrect or unreliable information, it is a problem that Google should be able to address by tweaking the algorithm, he says.
FCC plans to end net neutrality, telecoms will throttle select websites, charge more for servicesFCC plans to end net neutrality, telecoms will throttle select websites, charge more for services
The Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites. The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services. The announcement set off a fight over free speech and the control of the internet, pitting telecom titans like AT&T and Verizon against internet giants like Google and Amazon. The internet companies warned that rolling back the rules could make the telecom companies powerful gatekeepers to information and entertainment. The telecom companies say that the existing rules prevent them from offering customers a wider selection of services at higher and lower price points. "Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet," Mr. Pai said in a statement. "Instead, the F.C.C. would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that's best for them."
Secret Brexit report: Europe alarmed at UK's 'chaos and confusion' and 'low quality politicians'Secret Brexit report: Europe alarmed at UK's 'chaos and confusion' and 'low quality politicians'
A leaked document reveals Europe's alarm at Britain's Brexit "confusion." Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs quotes senior EU figures describing "chaos in the Conservative government" and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as "unimpressive." According to RTE News, which obtained the document, officials said "the biggest problem is the chaotic political situation in the UK government," with British ministers and civil servants unable to agree on a coherent Brexit policy. The report is based on an extensive round of meetings between senior Irish diplomatic figures and government officials in European capitals between 6 and 10 November. This was some three weeks after the EU summit in Brussels, during which EU leaders told Prime Minister Theresa May that Britain needs to do more. The UK wants to move on to the second phase of negotiations, covering trade, as soon as possible. So far, the EU has said that cannot happen until Britain makes concessions on its financial liabilities, citizens' rights and the border with Ireland.
Big Brother: Twitter will monitor users behavior 'off platform'Big Brother: Twitter will monitor users behavior 'off platform'
In perhaps the most intrusive move of social media platforms' efforts signal as much virtue as possible and appease their potentially-regulating government overlords, Twitter has announced that it is cracking down on what it defines at hate-speech and not just by looking at its own site. In what amounts to a major shift in Twitter policy, Mashable's Kerry Flynn reports that the company announced on Friday that it will be monitoring user's behavior "on and off the platform" and will suspend a user's account if they affiliate with violent organizations, according to an update to Twitter's Help Center on Friday.
Cuba & N. Korea to strengthen ties to reject 'unilateral & arbitrary' US pressureCuba & N. Korea to strengthen ties to reject 'unilateral & arbitrary' US pressure
Havana and Pyongyang have agreed to strengthen ties to withstand Washington's "unilateral and arbitrary" demands. With tensions accelerating on the Korean peninsula, N. Korea's FM flew to Cuba to present a united front against "US imperialism." Cuban Foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez received his Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, in Havana Wednesday, where both diplomats firmly rejected Washington's approach to resolve political tensions around the world based on "coercive measures." The two foreign ministers "strongly rejected the unilateral and arbitrary lists and designations established by the US government which serve as a basis for the implementation of coercive measures which are contrary to international law,"the Cuban Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
'There's no evidence': FIS anti-doping expert slams disqualification of Russian athletes'There's no evidence': FIS anti-doping expert slams disqualification of Russian athletes
The International Ski Federation's (FIS) anti-doping expert Rasmus Damsgaards has criticized the disqualification of Russian athletes. Damsgaards is concerned as the alleged doping violations have not been confirmed by any evidence. Danish researcher Damsgaards' anti-doping program was used for the cycling team CSC in 2006, and was later adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to create a 'biological passport' system. The Dane has expressed his concerns regarding the recent imposition of lifetime bans on Russian skiers. In his recent interview with Finnish outlet HBL, he outlined that "it's worrying" when an athlete is punished without concrete evidence of his guilt.
Two wrongfully convicted men each get multi-million dollar settlements after decades in prison, police misconductTwo wrongfully convicted men each get multi-million dollar settlements after decades in prison, police misconduct
Two separate juries in Los Angeles and Baltimore have awarded multi-million dollar settlements to two innocent men wrongfully convicted of murder after police were found to have withheld evidence and pressured witnesses to testify against them. Frank O'Connell After spending 27 years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit, Frank O'Connell was awarded a $15 million payout by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, the largest single-plaintiff settlement in the past 10 years. "This brings a sense of closure. It's been a long road," O'Connell said, according to KTLA. "It'll be a new beginning for me, and I can really start my life over. I can't make up for the time that was stolen from me, but I can take positive action with what's left." O'Connell was arrested in 1984 for the fatal shooting of Jay French, the ex-husband of a woman with whom O'Connell was having an affair.
Saudi coalition will reopen Yemeni ports for humanitarian aid trafficSaudi coalition will reopen Yemeni ports for humanitarian aid traffic
The Saudi-led military coalition that has been blockading Yemen's ports of entry said that it will reopen the main airport and a important Red Sea port to humanitarian traffic on November 23. The airport in the capital of Sanaa will reopen to UN aircraft and the sea port of Hodeida will be able to receive urgent humanitarian aid, the coalition said in a statement. The coalition imposed the blockade two days after Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen fired a missile at Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on November 4. The United Nations officials cautiously welcomed the decision and said they also expect the port of Salef to reopen.
Canadian university's contemptible conduct proof of intellectual assault underway on campusesCanadian university's contemptible conduct proof of intellectual assault underway on campuses
This contemptible episode has proven that, as one WSJ letter-writer put it, "The left is no longer able to recognize opposing political thought as thought" The story of Wilfrid Laurier University grad student and teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd - who was recently subjected to a creepy, but instructive, grilling by campus superiors over material she'd used for her entry-level Communication tutorials - went viral on social media last week. A somewhat naive lament was posted by the host of TVO's The Agenda, Steve Paikin, who has been tangentially implicated in the story for having presided over the incident's contested terrain: an Agenda debate between University of Toronto professors Nicholas Matte and Jordan Peterson concerning transgender pronouns and compelled speech. Shepherd had shown the class parts of the debate to elicit discussion.
Mohammad bin Salman: The new balance of powerMohammad bin Salman: The new balance of power
The Crown Prince has set off a complex chain reaction of political moves that affect the region's political and economic stability. Morbid curiosity draw attention to the real-life Game of Thrones now playing out in Saudi Arabia, but the stories of intrigue among the Bedouin clans who control the kingdom are less interesting than the changes in the regional chessboard. Some of the facts are known, while others only can be inferred. The ascent of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman - with the assistance of the United States and the approval of China - occurs in the context of an effort to restore the regional balance of power, following 15 years of instability due to America's sponsorship of Shi'ite rule in Iraq. Saddam Hussein's Sunni government balanced Shi'ite Iran. When the George W. Bush administration overthrew him and imposed majority, that is, sectarian Shi'ite rule in Iraq, the disenfranchised Sunni minority supported non-state actors, namely al-Qaeda and its offshoot ISIS. The regional power balance shifted drastically in favor of Iran, and the Obama administration's jerry-rigged nuclear deal with the Iran gave it additional power.
Understanding how the enemy of your enemy is not your friendUnderstanding how the enemy of your enemy is not your friend
In political matters, the public are taught to believe that some political Party is 'good', and that the others are "bad"; but the reality in recent times, at least in the United States, has instead been that both Parties are rotten to the core (as will be clear from the linked documentation provided here). Belief in this myth (that the opposition between Parties is between 'good' 'friend' versus 'bad' 'enemy') is based upon the common adage that "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." One side is believed, and ones that contradict it are disbelieved - considered to be lying, distorting: bad. But, maybe, both (or all) Parties are deceiving; maybe all of them are enemies of the public, but just in different ways; maybe each of them is trying to control the country in the interests of (and so to obtain the most financial support from) the aristocracy, while all of them are actually against the public.
Even when location services are disabled, Google can still track youEven when location services are disabled, Google can still track you
Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven't used any apps, and haven't even inserted a carrier SIM card? Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they're connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed. Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers-even when location services are disabled-and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals' locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy. Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice.
Is Black Friday a thing of the past?Is Black Friday a thing of the past?
When it comes to holiday shopping sprees, the traditional Black Friday bonanza is no longer the number one event. More and more people across the US choose to sleep in instead of rising before dawn the morning after Thanksgiving. Despite favorable economic conditions, including the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years, cheap and easy-to-get loans, the annual sales fest doesn't expect a traditional avalanche of shoppers, standing in endless lines outside stores and then shopping until they drop. According to the latest survey by the National Retail Federation, 59 percent of consumers are planning to shop online instead of going to brick and mortar shops. That's reportedly the first year when buying online is the most popular choice for shoppers. "The holiday season is always important, but this year is more important than ever. Department stores are struggling to prove they are still relevant," said Robert Schulz, the chief credit analyst for the retail sector for Standard & Poors, as quoted by CNN Money.
Mueller begins probe of Jared Kushner's Israeli contactsMueller begins probe of Jared Kushner's Israeli contacts
Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly probing Jared Kushner's contacts with Israeli officials last year as Israel tried to derail a UN Security Council vote on its West Bank settlements. Kushner is Donald Trump's son-in-law, a senior adviser and fixer. Former FBI director Mueller was appointed by the Department of Justice in May to lead a broad investigation sparked by allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Wall Street Journal's revelation of the probe into Kushner's contacts with Israel comes as details emerge of an imminent Trump "peace plan" that would railroad Palestinians into surrendering their rights in exchange for a state in name only. According to the newspaper, Mueller's "investigators have asked witnesses questions" about the involvement of Kushner "in a controversy over a UN resolution" passed before Trump took office that condemned Israel's settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.
Hong Kong company will create a cryptocurrency mining farm and AI lab on Russian islandHong Kong company will create a cryptocurrency mining farm and AI lab on Russian island
A Hong Kong-based company called Genesis Engineering plans to create a cryptocurrency mining farm and an artificial intelligence lab on Russky Island (Russian Island) in Vladivostok. The Ministry for Development of the Far East, says the company is interested in the region's free plots of land and energy facilities, as well as preferential tax and customs duties. It plans to set up around 300 thousand square meters of production facilities, following a pilot project. "We see our presence as residents of this territory," said Genesis Engineering representative John Riggins. The free trade zone of Vladivostok covers Russky Island, so the tax preferences and the possibility of applying for a free customs zone are available to investors. Russia's Far East regions and the city of Vladivostok are expected to become an Asian hub for trade and transportation.
Ex-British PM Gordon Brown's new book: My life, my excuses over Iraq WarEx-British PM Gordon Brown's new book: My life, my excuses over Iraq War
Brown's political legacy is a rather dull affair, more in the shadows of the times that surrounded his time in government. With so little to acclaim, it's not surprising that Brown should now seek to whitewash Britain's - and his own personal - responsibility in the illegal war on Iraq. Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister who took over from Tony Blair in 2007, made headlines earlier this month when he claimed that Britain had been hoodwinked by the Americans about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and thus duped into joining the war on that country. The Independent, for example, ran the headline: 'US hid intelligence from Britain about Saddam Hussein's WMDs before Iraq War, Gordon Brown claims'. Several other British news outlets ran similar headlines along the line that "Britain had been deceived" into joining the American war plan on Iraq, which the George W Bush administration launched in March 2003. Brown's claim comes out of the publication this month of his autobiography which is grandly titled: My Life, Our Times.
"Something dark going on": Fear of offending trans people ruining healthy debate, says radical feminist"Something dark going on": Fear of offending trans people ruining healthy debate, says radical feminist
A radical feminist has accused public institutions of "reprehensible cowardliness" after being no-platformed by university students at King's College London. Heather Brunskell-Evans was due to deliver a speech on pornography and female sexuality. The research fellow at King's College London (KCL), who is also a spokeswoman for the Women's Equality Party, had her speech cancelled amid concerns it would breach the institution's "safe space" policy. It was called off after she was quizzed on the Moral Maze show, a Radio 4 series, on the definition of gender, along with two transgender activists and a psychotherapist. Questioning school and youth groups' policy of encouraging children to define themselves as trans if they feel such, Brunskell-Evans told The Times that KCL students cancelled her speech amid concerns her views on "transgender health ... would violate the student union's 'Safe Space' policy."
Scientists clone a clone just to see what happensScientists clone a clone just to see what happens
An international team of researchers have re-cloned the first dog to ever be cloned, to basically find out if genetically identical animals will suffer the same fate. The scientists from Seoul National University, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois had their paper on the monumental re-cloning published in the journal Scientific Reports. The group said they duplicated the original dog clone to learn more about the viability of cloning animals, and to find out if cloning animals speeds up the aging process or causes unknown birth defects. In 2005, the original dog Tai, a male Afghan hound, become the first dog to ever be cloned. Researchers at Seoul National University inserted Tai's cells into the eggs of a female donor and then implanted the them into the female's uterus. The result of that ground-breaking implantation, Snuppy, lived a seemingly normal and healthy life on Seoul National University campus until he died from cancer at age 10, as did the original, Tai, at age 12. Their ages of death was close to the 11.9 years a normal Afghan hound is expected to reach, and neither cancer was rare or unique, according to the team.
Heavy rains cause major flooding in Montego Bay, JamaicaHeavy rains cause major flooding in Montego Bay, Jamaica
Scores of Montego Bay residents are on edge following massive flooding that left them marooned in the second city on Wednesday. Residents in the tourist city told Loop News that the development reached a stage where people had to seek refuge on top of buildings as angry flood waters took over the city. "It is the worst I have ever seen flooding in the city and I have been living in the area for many years," said Sandra Samuels. Another man said he along with his family members had to abandon their vehicle as floodwaters took over a street that the group was travelling on. "We were travelling along Union Street when water came from nowhere and just started to wash away the vehicle. I had to secure my family members and take refuge at the top of a nearby building," the man who identified himself only as Charles told Loop News.
Snake in a Suit: Five of Obama's biggest & most outlandish lies (VIDEO)Snake in a Suit: Five of Obama's biggest & most outlandish lies (VIDEO)
Barack Obama was likely the most dishonest president in US history. After eight years of Obama we put together a list of his five biggest and most outlandish lies. 1.) If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan Number of mentions: 37 times
State Dept officials accuse Rex Tillerson of breaching Child Soldiers Prevention ActState Dept officials accuse Rex Tillerson of breaching Child Soldiers Prevention Act
A group of about a dozen US state department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing secretary of state Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters. A confidential state department "dissent" memo not previously reported said Tillerson breached the Child Soldiers Prevention Act when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a US list of offenders in the use of child soldiers. This was despite the department publicly acknowledging that children were being conscripted in those countries. Keeping the countries off the annual list makes it easier to provide them with US military assistance. Iraq and Afghanistan are close allies in the fight against Islamist militants, while Myanmar is an emerging ally to offset China's influence in southeast Asia. Documents reviewed by Reuters also show Tillerson's decision was at odds with a unanimous recommendation by the heads of the state department's regional bureaus overseeing embassies in the Middle East and Asia, the US envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the department's human rights office and its own in-house lawyers.
'Biased & inexperienced': Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards slams Macron for provocative statements'Biased & inexperienced': Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards slams Macron for provocative statements
The chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps has slammed French President Emmanuel Macron as being "young and inexperienced," claiming those characteristics were behind the leader's recent remarks on Tehran's ballistic missile program. Mohammad Ali Jafari took aim at the French president on Thursday, Reuters reported, citing state TV. It followed comments that Macron made during a visit to Dubai on November 9, when he suggested amending the JCPOA, the key agreement on Tehran's nuclear program, despite eight International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports confirming that Iran has fully complied with the deal. The French leader said that the "ballistic activity of Iran" should be renegotiated - though it is not covered under the accord - "with sanctions if necessary." Later that day, Macron made a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia where he said that he was "very concerned" by Iran's ballistic-missile program. He argued that the missile used in a failed attack on Riyadh from Yemen earlier this month was "obviously" an Iranian missile.
US sanctions boost Russian business in Latin AmericaUS sanctions boost Russian business in Latin America
"US sanctions only motivated Russia to search for new markets and mechanisms. And Latin America, discouraged by Trump's policy, is again looking for new footholds." The largely ineffective sanctions policies of the EU and Europe have only succeeded in impeding business with those countries, while stimulating Russian economic contact with developing and third world economies. The legacy of the Soviet era is still a meaningful advantage for Russia around the world, and Latin America is no exception.
Toxic cloud from waffle factory fire threatens Brussels suburbToxic cloud from waffle factory fire threatens Brussels suburb
A thick and potentially toxic cloud of smoke has engulfed a Brussels suburb following a huge fire at a waffle factory, officials said. Local residents were told to stay indoors and to keep windows and doors shut. The incident took place in a Milcamps plant in the Forest municipality, less than 1km from the center of the Belgian capital. "The fire has caused a thick plume of smoke that is potentially toxic," Forest Mayor Marc-Jean Ghyssels said, as cited by De Morgen newspaper. Local authorities advised the town residents to keep windows and doors shut, and to stay indoors. Some 200 students from a local school and employees from nearby companies were evacuated. "A significant amount of smoke is visible and we have asked [the local] population to close doors and windows, and to stay inside," police said, as cited by RTBF.