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June 12, 2019

Jun 12 21:57

New Ebola outbreak in DRC is 'truly frightening', says Wellcome Trust director

The head of a major medical research charity has called the latest outbreak of Ebola in central Africa "truly frightening".

Nearly 1,400 people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, said the epidemic was the worst since that of 2013-16 and has showed "no sign of stopping".

A five-year-old boy has also died in neighbouring Uganda, the first case of Ebola reported in the country.

The Ugandan government is now reporting seven other suspected cases of the virus.


Jun 12 21:56

Google Stadia in 4K might push you past your home-Internet data cap

Google Stadia will bring 4K game streaming to customers in November, but the new service could be costly for users who face home-Internet data caps and want to play games at the highest possible settings.

Google says you'll need 35Mbps to play at maximum settings—that's 4K resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), and 60 frames per second (fps) with 5.1 surround sound. As PC Gamer noted last week, that adds up to 15.75GB per hour, which would use up an entire 1TB monthly data allotment in 65 hours of game time.

Jun 12 18:39

John Rubino - The Fed Can’t Save Us, $10,000 Gold will be a Bad World

Jun 12 18:27

Teacher's lesson on sexual harassment, rape sparks controversy: 'If you dress a certain way, you're asking for it'

Students at a Catholic high school in Michigan are fighting back after they say a Campus Life minister objectified women and blamed them for provoking men’s bad behavior in a sex education lesson on sexual harassment and rape.

Jun 12 18:26

Relatives ask jury to spare life of father who killed 5 kids

One more group of family members asked a jury Wednesday to spare the life of a South Carolina father convicted of murdering his five children, saying they have been through enough pain already.

Jun 12 17:03

Climate Change – the Elections Issue

Jun 12 16:50

Escalating Trade War Signals More Pain For Oil

Jun 12 16:17

Trump Says 'Thank Goodness We Can Fight Back On Social Media' As Supporters Are Banned

Does Trump not understand that nearly everyone who helped him win in 2016 is being systematically purged from social media and suppressed and censored by Google, or does he just not care?

Jun 12 15:36

AOC & Buffett Think Alike?

Jun 12 15:20

Teachers from two Chicago schools 'bullied a special-needs student, 11, relentlessly, calling him "stupid" and "dirty," before he attempted to hang himself and was left with permanent brain damage,' lawsuit claims

Teachers from two elementary schools in Chicago relentlessly bullied an 11-year-old boy with special needs, calling him names and even physically assaulting him, before he attempted to take his own life, according to a lawsuit filed by the child's mother.

Jamari Dent in February tried to hang himself in his bedroom after suffering for more than a year at the hands of both his classmates and teachers, his mother, Teirra Black, said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Medics were able to save the boy's life, but his suicide attempt left him with permanent brain damage.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wept when I read this.

If this kind of behaviour, on the part of both teachers and their students, is the US's "New Normal" for public schools toward their special needs students, then God help us!!!!

In my world, a society is only at is greatest heights, when it treats its most delicate, needful members, with absolute compassion, and kindness.

And this is precisely what special needs kids crave. I know this because many years ago, my first job out of college, was with a private care home, and I was hired as their music therapist. I didn't have the credentials, but the owner looked at me, and said that she believed I could think on my feet, and do a great job.

I would have music sessions with the kids, and used stories and games, as a way of gently try bringing them just a little out of their limitations, as much as possible.

I remember one kid, a fraternal twin, named Alonzo, who was deeply autistic, wheelchair bound, and not able to communicate, save with guttural cries, which gave us no clue about what he was experiencing.

I was partnered with him, to get him to be able to feed himself. I watched my predecessor try to do this, and I was immediately struck with the reality; the kid was a southpaw, and the teacher was forcing him to try to eat with his right hand. It took months, but finally, left handed, the kid could finally feed himself; and I remember very gently stroking his shoulders, and saying, very quietly, "Great work, Alonzo, good job!!" To most kids, this would be a minor issue, but for Alonzo, it was an Herculean leap. Kindness and consistency can really help these kids attain what potential might be still possible to develop.

But IF proven guilty, these teachers should be stripped from the profession, and never allowed to teach again, ever, anywhere, period, end of discussion, because this is child abuse writ large, and has absolutely no place in any public educational institutions.

Jun 12 15:11

The Next Big Privacy Hurdle? Teaching AI to Forget

Virtually every modern enterprise is in some way or another collecting data on its customers or users, and that data is stored, sold, brokered, analyzed, and used to train AI systems. For instance, this is how recommendation engines work—the next video we should watch online, the next purchase, and so on, are all driven by this process.

At present, when data is sucked into this complex machinery, there’s no efficient way to reclaim it and its influence on the resulting output. When we think about exerting the right to be forgotten, we recognize that reclaiming specific data from a vast number of private businesses and data brokers offers its own unique challenge. However, we need to realize that even if we can succeed there, we’ll still be left with a difficult question—how do we teach a machine to “forget” something?

Jun 12 15:08

Hydrogen Fueling Station Explodes: Toyota & Hyundai Halt Fuel Cell Car Sales

A hydrogen refueling station exploded and stood in flames yesterday in Sandvika, Norway, which could make June 10, 2019 the day when the perception about hydrogen stations and hydrogen fuel cell cars, in general, will forever change.

According to reports from the Uno-X station, the explosion was huge. It triggered airbags in nearby cars and caused the necessity to close off the busy E18 and E16 intersection. A safety zone of 500 meters was recommended by the fire service.

The good news is that there are no reports about direct injuries, but some reports say two people were sent to the emergency room because of injuries sustained from airbags in their cars.

Jun 12 15:03

Google Says It Isn't Killing Ad Blockers. Ad Blockers Disagree

Elsewhere, the Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi browsers upped the drama this week even more by saying that they would continue supporting the old Web Request API for ad blockers and other extensions regardless of what Google has in the official Chromium code base.

Jun 12 14:59

CERN Ditches Microsoft to ‘Take Back Control’ with Open Source Software

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, and also known as home of the Large Hadron Collider, has announced plans to migrate away from Microsoft products and on to open-source solutions where possible.

Why? Increases in Microsoft license fees.

Microsoft recently revoked the organisations status as an academic institution, instead pricing access to its services on users. This bumps the cost of various software licenses 10x, which is just too much for CERN’s budget.

Jun 12 14:51

Facebook launches controversial 'Study' app that will pay users to let it track what they do on their phone and claims it WON'T sell the data to advertisers

Facebook will now pay you to hand its market researchers otherwise out-of-reach data on what you do on your phone.

In a new program it announced this week, called 'Facebook Study,' the company says it will compensate users in exchange for an array of data points about exactly how and when they use apps their phones.

That data will include which apps are installed on a users phone, the amount of time spent using those apps, where the user is located, what device they're using and the type of network, as well as unprecedented, detailed insight into exactly which features are being used within those apps.

A spokesperson declined to share how much users will be compensated for their participation.

Jun 12 14:50

Google Autocomplete Blocks "It's Ok To Be White"

"It's ok to be white" is not okay, according to the search engineers at Google.

Jun 12 14:49

What to Do If You’re House Rich but Cash Poor

Jun 12 14:48

Facebook shares drop after internal emails reveal Mark Zuckerberg may have known about firm's controversial privacy dealings

Mark Zuckerberg may have known more about Facebook's controversial privacy practices than the company previously let on.

A number of internal emails uncovered by Facebook show Zuckerberg's connection to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources close to the situation.

The emails surfaced as part of Facebook's effort to respond to a continuing federal privacy investigation.

News of the emails caused Facebook shares to drop sharply by 2.5 percent to $173.64 on Wednesday afternoon.

Jun 12 14:43

Putin Warns of Nuclear “Global Catastrophe” Once Treaties Expire in 2021

Jun 12 14:39

A Russian-American-Israeli Meeting of National Security Advisors in Jerusalem: Syria and Iran on the Table

This month of June, the National Security Advisors of Russia, the US, and Israel, Nikolay Patrushev, John Bolton and Meir Ben-Shabbat, respectively, are expected to meet in Jerusalem to talk about Iran and Syria and what Israel considers the “threat to its security” in the Levant.

High-ranking sources among decision-makers say this:

“Netanyahu runs to his allies to cry on their shoulders when he is the aggressor, as in every single problem in the Levant, particularly when the Israeli military exceeds the limits and crosses red lines. Last year, Russia agreed with Iran to create a kind of safety perimeter for the Russian military to take control along the Quneitra-Golan Heights front. That would have made it possible to ease the situation on the borders and allow President Assad and his allies to concentrate on other fronts. Iran responded positively to the Russian request, following the approval of President Assad”.

Jun 12 13:56

Kirk: Botswana Decriminalizing Homosexuality is 'Monumental Achievement' for Trump

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk praised President Trump on Wednesday for the "monumental achievement" of potentially helping decriminalize homosexuality in Botswana, where the HIV rate is as least 25 percent.

Jun 12 13:55

Report: Trump Orders 'Simpler Path' For Genetically Engineered Food

"President Trump wants to make it easier for genetically engineered plants and animals to enter the food supply, and he signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to simplify the 'regulatory maze' for producers," the AP reports.

Jun 12 13:47


A new analysis reveals Wednesday that over 20 popular children's cereals and snacks are contaminated with glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup.

Jun 12 13:24

This indicates further pain ahead for stocks

Jun 12 13:19


Cops are increasingly turning to commercial gene-testing services to solve crimes, using a process called "genetic genealogy" that uses the records of people who are near-matches for DNA from crime scenes to zero in on suspects; that's how they caught the Golden State Killer, but cops don't just ask genetics services for data when they're after killers, sometimes they deputize these services to help them solve petty crimes.

Jun 12 13:06

The Netflix Effect: Teen suicides increased 29% after release of teen-suicide show ’13 Reasons Why’

Jun 12 11:46

WWII French Freedom Fighter Memorial Vandalized by Open Borders Far-Left Anarchists

Far-left anarchist graffiti was found on a war memorial to those who resisted and liberated the southern French commune of Névache from Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

The monument, located at the Col de l’Echelle mountain pass in the Alps, is dedicated to the Maquis resistance fighters from the Second World War and was also partially vandalised along with the anarchist symbols that were drawn all over it, Le Dauphine reports.

A chapel located near the monument was also subjected to vandalism with several far-left slogans spray-painted on it including a demand for open borders.

Jun 12 11:45

Vatican Whistleblower Says ‘Gay Mafia’ Is Blocking Needed Reforms

The former Vatican ambassador to the United States told the Washington Post a gay mafia among Church leadership is blocking attempts to seriously address clerical sexual abuse.

In an extensive interview, snippets of which were published Monday, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said that the sexual abuse crisis would be “far less severe” if the “problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed.”

“Given the overwhelming evidence, it is mind-boggling that the word ‘homosexuality’ has not appeared once, in any of the recent official documents of the Holy See” dealing with clerical sexual abuse, Viganò told the Post.

Instead, a “gay mafia” among the bishops, seeking to protect themselves, was “sabotaging all efforts at reform,” he said.

Jun 12 11:45

16,000 People in L.A. Now Live in Cars, Vans and RVs

Lot operators also would be required offer on-site case management and other services. And all of it must be done for less than $30 per car, per night — and ideally, less than $20, according to the homeless authority’s plan.

“The higher of the two funding levels is relatively similar to what we pay for a shelter bed,” said Heidi Marston, the authority’s chief program officer.

But a shelter bed sleeps one person, providers point out, while a car, van or RV often rolls up with a family in tow.

Jun 12 11:43


Thomas J. Franzen, 37, has never been arrested or committed a crime before he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer that has spread to both his lungs and abdominal cavity last year. However, because government claims the authority to throw people in jail over a plant, Franzen’s self-medication process for his cancer has now landed him in prison—for the next four years.

Last month, Franzen was forced to plead guilty in Kane County Circuit Court to possession of more than 5,000 grams (176 ounces) of cannabis, a felony that carried a prison term from 12 to 60 years. He ordered THC-infused chocolates from California to treat his cancer and he will now be put in a cage for it.

Because Franzen ordered such a large amount of the chocolates from California, police accused him of trafficking it, so prosecutors — who had to take this “dangerous drug dealer” of the streets — followed through with the case.

Jun 12 11:42


One of the key fears that critics of mass surveillance and the proliferation of facial recognition technology have warned about has been realized with new reporting Monday that a "malicious cyber attack" has resulted in photos of airport passengers and other personal data harvested by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol being stolen by unknown actors.

"This incident further underscores the need to put the brakes on these efforts and for Congress to investigate the agency's data practices. The best way to avoid breaches of sensitive personal data is not to collect and retain it in the first place."