NCW writes to Uttar Pradesh DGP on Unnao rape survivor

first_imgThe National Commission for Women on Monday wrote to Uttar Pradesh Director-General of Police O.P. Singh seeking a ‘free, fair and speedy’ investigation into the alleged road accident involving Unnao rape survivor.“The commission is seriously concerned about the unfortunate incident. Considering the gravity of the matter, it is required to ensure absolutely free, fair and speedy investigation into the matter and take action deemed appropriate for the crime committed. The commission also demands that it be kept apprised at every stage of the investigation,” NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote in her letter.Delay in casesSenior Supreme Court lawyer and women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover says it is the delay in disposing cases that render victims extremely vulnerable.“Where a perpetrator is powerful and victim is from a vulnerable group, it is apparent that that the law is not going to take its own course and the police are not going to act in accordance with the law. So, extraordinary measures will have to be taken to ensure the girl gets justice. I have always maintained that the best form of victim protection is a speedy trial. The chargesheet in the case was filed last July, but the case has not been adjudicated yet, while the survivor’s uncle has been framed in several cases which are moving by leaps and bounds. This is a classic textbook case of what happens when a victim comes from a very vulnerable group and seeks justice.”She added that if there was any political will to ensure reversal in crimes against women and girls, that the party ruling at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh so often talks about, the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar would have been suspended.White PaperMs. Grover says that the government must issue a White Paper providing details of what stage the case was at, why was there a delay in disposing it of, who got adjournments, what reports were sent by the court concerned to the district judge and what was the supervision being done by the High Court of such cases.According to the last NCRB report for 2016, 89.8% cases of crimes against women brought before courts remained pending.last_img read more

It’s just a beginning, I want to win more medals for India: Saina Nehwal

first_img“Winning an Olympic medal is a dream come true. It is unbelievable but I did dream of it when I was eight. There is nothing greater than standing on the podium dream come true. I will still remain in the game for Olympic gold,” declared badminton star Saina Nehwal, the first London Olympics medal winner to return home. She reached Hyderabad via Delhi from London at mid – day on Tuesday. Nehwal was conscious of the fortuitous circumstances under which she bagged the bronze after World No. 2 Xin Wang who was leading conceded the match. “It was sad to see the opponent fall down and withdraw. Initially she was 20-13 up and when she asked for water after every two points I thought she was tired. Then, she gave up. I have never won a match in this manner in my career. I was lucky on that day,” recalled the 20 year old during the first media conference after her victory at the Olympics which she opted to have at the Pullela Gopichand Academy, where she trained, in Hyderabad.”I have to thank a number of people beginning with my coach Gopi sir and my father without whom I am nothing,” said Nehwal in characteristic humility. “They gave me a lot of support.” She was particularly pleased to be congratulated by the Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy who travelled, by coincidence, on the same flight from Delhi to Hyderabad. He has already announced a Rs.50 lakh award from the state for the other Olympic bronze medal winner from Hyderabad ace marksman Gagan Narang.advertisementNehwal’s triumph is also a big boost for her coach Pullela Gopichand, a former all England champion. “It is the fulfillment of a wish. Without this medal my life would have been incomplete. I had told my family when starting the Academy that one day we will bring an Olympic medal.”Gopichand pointed she had pushed hard and with her confidence she was successful. “There have been ups and downs and it was a really big challenge for at one stage last year she felt that it is not happening. But , thereafter, I made sure that I was available before the crack of dawn every day here at the Academy whenever she was in Hyderabad during the last eight months for wholly focused preparation,” explained Gopichand, adding “all the hard work paid off with God’s grace.”Nehwal is the second Indian woman, after weightlifter Karnam Malleswari who bagged a bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games, also based in Andhra Pradesh, to bag an Olympic medal.Earlier, she was given a rousing welcome on her midday arrival at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. An official delegation led by the authorities of the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh,  large number of badminton buffs, besides fellow players of the Gopichand Academy where she trains in the city, gathered at the airport almost an hour before she landed, and greeted her with flowers and cheers. From there, Nehwal, accompanied by her father Harvir Singh and Gopichand, travelled atop a flower decked open top bus emblazoned with a banner “Mera Bharat Mahan” to the Academy.last_img read more

Marvin Williams’ 7 3-pointers lift Hornets past Pistons

first_imgIs Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “He’s a pick-and-popper,” Bullock said. “We’ve just got to be able to rotate to him quicker or whatever we want to do to be able to get to him a lot quicker. He had a lot of open looks and he was shooting pretty quick, so we just have to do better with our switches or peel-backs or whatever we call it to be able to get back to shooters.”When Hornets coach James Borrego speaks of Williams, he normally uses one word: pro.“He’s at the core of who we are,” Borrego said. “I’m really proud of him, he shot the ball well and his teammates were looking for him. He was locked and loaded tonight.”Kemba Walker finished with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting and hit two 3-pointers down the stretch to seal Charlotte’s second straight win at home. The Hornets moved back ahead of the Pistons for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.Blake Griffin had 23 points, and Andre Drummond had 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who shot 39 percent from the floor and scored their fewest points of the season.ADVERTISEMENT The Hornets opened a 15-point lead in the third quarter behind 13 points by Williams.But Pistons would cut the lead to three with five minutes left in the game after the Hornets missed their first eight shots of the fourth quarter.Enter Lamb.Lamb, who beat the Pistons on a last-second jumper 10 days ago, shook off a cold shooting night and scored on a driving left-handed layup and then buried a deep 3-pointer.Walker then connected on back-to-back 3s, the first coming after shaking off a defender. Walker even seemed to impress himself, smiling wide and holding his hands over his head mouthing the words “Oh my!” After his second, he ran back down the court lifting his legs high in the air while pumping his arms, knowing he had all but sealed the game.TIP-INSPistons: Bench was outscored 36-23. … Shot 23.5 percent from 3-point range. .. Only made 14 of 22 free throws.Hornets: Cody Zeller fouled out with 4:17 left and the Hornets leading 83-78. … Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 12 points and Willy Hernangomez had 11 off the bench.NOT UP TO SATISFACTIONPistons coach Dwane Casey wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ “Our give-a-crap level was very low,” Casey said. “For a very important game like tonight, when you are a winner you come out and take this game and come ready to fight. I’ll take the blame for it. I didn’t get our team ready enough to come out and compete and fight.”DEFENSE STEPS UPBorrego said it was his team’s best defensive effort of the season.“We found a group of men that’s committed to the defensive end these last two games,” Borrego said. “Four fast-break points for them, 46 points in the paint, I think that was our low for the season for opponent points at 86. … I think we made a lot strides defensively these last few days and that’s what’s got to sustain us, competing on both ends of the floor.”UP NEXTPistons: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.Hornets: Visit the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Kawhi Leonard scores 37 as Raptors beat Cavs Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker (15) reacts after making a 3-point basket against the Detroit Pistons during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When asked about the last time he made seven 3-pointers in a game, Marvin Williams paused for several seconds and then finally responded, “High school?”That was a long time ago for the 32-year-old Williams.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion The 13-year veteran found his shooting stroke on Friday night, making a career-high 7 of 11 shots from beyond the arc on the way to a season-high 24 points as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons for the third time this season, 98-86.“He was sniping tonight,” teammate Jeremy Lamb said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefThe Hornets skipped their morning shootaround, and Williams said he reported to the game feeling fresh.Detroit’s Reggie Bullock said the Pistons suffered defensive breakdowns in guarding Williams. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviñolast_img read more

Americas greatest gift A Thanksgiving story

first_imgWondering where I was going to get the pan drippings for the gravy and mashed potatoes I agreed to make for an expat Thanksgiving this year, I starting thinking about last year’s turkey. It was my first Thanksgiving in Costa Rica and away from family. As we sat down to the meal in Escazú, hosted by a Costa Rican family and complete with sweet potatoes and even canned cranberry sauce served in slices, I was struck by the endearing role reversal.Mercedes, the live-in maid of my partner’s father, served the half bird simply, lightly seasoned and roasted without much fanfare. How did this woman who knew so little about Thanksgiving get its culinary centerpiece so right? Nostalgia and a twinge of homesickness might have added their own special spice to the bird, but that does little to explain how the meat, so often dry and oft overcooked, came out so moist and flavorful with crisp mahogany skin.While we might not have had dressing and my grandmother’s pecan pie, the foods we celebrate over on Thanksgiving are part of the same culinary exchange that happened in Central America when Spanish conquistadors, indigenous Americans, and African slaves came together here in the isthmus and built a collective food culture over hundreds of years.Plus, turkey in Costa Rica is hardly the alien encounter it was for the Spanish conquistadors who first saw it served at Aztec banquets in Mexico hundreds of years ago. Native to the Americas, turkey has long been enjoyed in the New World and is a Christmas table staple here.Turkey has even been called “the greatest gift the Americas ever gave to the Old World,” according to food writer and poet Marjorie Ross, author of “Entre el comal y la olla: Fundamentos de gastronomía costariccense” (“Between the comal and the pot: Basics of Costa Rican Gastronomy”), which traces the history of Costa Rican cooking from its earliest incarnations.Ross points out in her book that many of Costa Rica’s national dishes — gallo pinto, casados, olla de carne — all have their roots in the first encounter. Spanish conquistadors brought sugar, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, rice, and wheat with them, along with their cooking styles, including ovens. The region’s indigenous inhabitants already enjoyed corn, beans, sweet and hot peppers, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, yucca, and cacao, among the wide array of fruits and other vegetables. A Caribbean-style casado served with chicken and patacones, a style of fried plantains. Alberto Font Any budget-conscious backpacker passing through Costa Rica has likely had a casado, a mix of rice, black beans, salad, beef (often served stewed in a sauce), sweet plantains, and sometimes a side of pasta. The carbo-loaded plate is a satisfying way to explore the marriage of ingredients that came out of the encounter between Europe and the Americas: beef and rice from Spain, and indigenous ingredients like beans and plantains from Central America.But gallo pinto, a mix of white rice, black beans, onions, sweet peppers and garlic, best embodies the mix of influences in Costa Rican cooking.Ross argues in her book that the dish brings together the three legs of the Tico table: Spanish, indigenous and African. The food writer says that while rice and beans came from European/Asian and American sources, it was African slaves brought to Central America who combined the two staples together into the iconic dish it is today.Ross likens the combination to the Southern classic Hoppin’ John, a rice and black-eyed pea dish cooked with spices, onions, and pork (smoked ham hocks if my dad’s making it).Colorful ears of corn are common decorations come November in the United States, but maize doesn’t reverberate there the same way it does with holidays here in Central America. Corn-flour tortillas have never gone out of style here and corn tamales are just as much a part of the Christmas table here as turkey is for Thanksgiving.    With the addition of milk and other dairy products to the Central American diet after European migrants brought cows to Costa Rica in the 16th century, staples like corn got a makeover, often as sweets. Costa Rican classics like churreadas, fried sweet corn pancakes served with sour cream, bizcochos, a simple cornmeal cake, and budín de elote, a syrupy moist dessert sometimes prepared with whole corn kernels baked inside, were all made possible thanks to sour cream.I like to think that the same kind of creativity that cooks in the isthmus channeled to make sense of new foods and create new flavors also manifested itself in Mercedes last year. Unburdened by Norman Rockwell notions of what a Thanksgiving Turkey is, serving a half turkey roasted flat without trying to stuff it or worry about last-minute gravy, she was able to approach the bird with a clean slate and just cook a damn good turkey.Maybe I’ll try my hand at it next year. But who am I kidding, I’ve got potatoes to mash. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Rep Lucido testifies on bill which will allow electronic proof of car

first_img Categories: Lucido News,Lucido Photos,News,Photos 16Feb Rep. Lucido testifies on bill which will allow electronic proof of car registration State Rep. Peter Lucido of Shelby Township testified before the House Insurance Committee today in support of his legislation to allow for electronic proof of registration.If approved, his bill would allow vehicle drivers to share either paper or electronic proof of annual registration from the Michigan Secretary of State during interactions with law enforcement during traffic stops.“This is another method to help both taxpayers and police officers,” Lucido said. “If a lawful driver can be prevented from getting a citation, simply because of a misplaced registration form, than it’s easier for all involved.”House Bill 4013 was not voted on during today’s meeting.###last_img read more

225 years ago a rather prescient James Madison wr

first_img225 years ago, a rather prescient James Madison wrote: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” Today, the encroachments against which he warned have become the rule rather than the exception, as cyberspying has afforded governments unprecedented means to gain control over their own citizens. It’s been a long and twisted path from the likes of Madison to Richard Nixon, who once famously said, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” For that, he was rightly vilified. Yet if the four decades since he passed from the scene have taught us anything, it’s that vast armies of government officials have come believe that whatever they do is legal. The fourth and fifth amendments to the Constitution are violated so routinely that few people bother to notice, and an entire generation has grown up without knowing why they were written into the document and what they mean—or even that they exist at all. The revelations from the Edward Snowden-orchestrated document leaks have been coming fast and furious for several months now. Each day, it seems, we learn about another government program we hadn’t heard of before. And yet, we are complicit. Each day we also enable our own surveillance. In early 2011, more than two years before Snowden surfaced, the humor website The Onion ran a spoof video about the supposed reauthorization of funding for Facebook by Congress, because it saves the intelligence community so much money. This quote purports to come from a deputy CIA director lauding Facebook: “After years of secretly monitoring the public, we were astounded so many people would willingly publicize where they lived, their religious and political views, an alphabetized list of all their friends, personal email addresses, phone numbers, hundreds of photos of themselves, and even status updates of what they were doing moment to moment. It is truly a dream come true for the CIA.” It’s hilarious but, like all good satire, it’s a little painful to watch, as well. Imagine, for example, that the government had demanded at gunpoint that we turn over all of the personal info we voluntarily post about ourselves. There’d be outrage. High-horse Congresspersons would hold hearings. Scathing op-ed pieces would appear. Luckily for the government, however, it doesn’t even have to ask. All that stuff is out there in cyberspace, almost begging to be harvested. Who can blame the authorities for taking advantage? In a sense, the same applies to our personal correspondence. At one time, opening someone else’s mail was a serious federal crime—it still is, actually. But email? We agree to let our server archive our e-letters, read them if it wants to, or turn them over to anyone who files the proper request. There is no such thing as a truly private electronic exchange. When we use Google, we give the company tacit permission to use the things it learns about us and our habits for its own or some affiliate’s purposes. That information, too, can be demanded by government agents, as can our credit card records, which reveal an enormous amount about us. Ditto for the paper trail you leave with those grocery store discount cards. And so on. Compromising Social Media Are we advocating going back to a world without Visa, iPhones, and Internet banking? No, of course not. But any consideration of the domestic cyberwar currently raging must include our cooperation with it, and the indisputable fact that we have quickly warmed to the convenience of the cyberuniverse without having paid much attention to the loss of privacy that has accompanied it. One of the clearest lessons of history is that government will happily embrace the latest in technological advances that offer it the possibility of greater control over its subjects. And use them. And then abuse them. But of course, “We don’t have a domestic spying program.” That’s what President Obama declared on August 6 on The Tonight Show, in one of the most disingenuous statements ever made by a politician—and that’s saying something. What Obama should do next is to try saying that to any of the increasing number of Americans like Brandon Raub. Raub, a 26-year-old decorated former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the mistake of posting political views and song lyrics to his private Facebook page that were critical of our current wars and of the government in general. Little did Raub know that the government is using Facebook as a surveillance tool. Even less did he suspect that in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security had launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which aims to track military veterans who are voicing feelings of discontent, because they are to be regarded as potential terrorists. As a result of Raub’s Facebook rants, on Thursday, August 16, 2012, a swarm of local police, Secret Service, and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s Virginia home, asking to speak with him about his postings. After a brief conversation and without providing any explanation, levying any charges against him, or reading him his rights, the officials handcuffed Raub and transported him first to police headquarters, then to a psychiatric hospital, where he was incarcerated against his will. Although he was sentenced only to 30 days of “observation,” involuntary psychiatric commitment is different from an “arrest.” It requires no proof, and can be very difficult to extricate oneself from. Raub is not unique. Other veterans around the country have been swept up by Operation Vigilant Eagle and similarly harassed. The Raub story has a relatively happy ending, because he was one of the lucky ones. Outraged onlookers filmed the bust on their cellphones, and it went viral on YouTube. The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit Constitutional law firm, jumped in and petitioned for his release, and an outraged Circuit Court judge ordered him immediately freed a week after his detention. The point, though, is that his ordeal exemplifies how closely Facebook and other social media are being watched. The default assumption must be that whatever you post to the Internet is going to be scrutinized—by someone, in some agency, somewhere—and that it constitutes evidence that may be used against you, even outside an actual court of law. Unleashing the Tech While the government can hardly be accused of illicit activity in the gathering of one’s publicly revealed Facebook information, surreptitious wiretapping without a warrant is another matter, with the legal niceties far from sorted out at this point. One of the truly disturbing facts about Edward Snowden’s leaks—which have caused such a commotion in the media and among civil libertarians, while also provoking calls in Congress for him to be tried as a traitor—is that they should have come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying the slightest attention. Clues have been popping up all over the place for more than a decade. “ECHELON,” for example, had been known about since before the turn of the century. A signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US), it’s a software system capable of interception, content inspection, and dissemination of downloaded commercial satellite trunk communications globally, including telephone calls, fax, email, and other data traffic. On the domestic front, “Carnivore” was an early “packet sniffer” software deployed by the FBI in 1997. It could select and capture particular data packets flowing across the Internet, decode them, and examine their contents. The FBI countered the objections of privacy advocates by saying that Carnivore could distinguish between communications that could be lawfully intercepted and those that could not. Carnivore was eventually replaced by the far more powerful “NaurusInsight,” noted for being the universal wiretap system installed in Room 641A at AT&T’s operations center in San Francisco, as revealed in 2006. But the big leap forward came when President Bush authorized the “President’s Surveillance Program” (PSP) shortly after the 9/11 attacks. It included an ultrasecret NSA intelligence-gathering project code-named “STELLARWIND,” involving data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including email communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. Almost immediately, there was fierce opposition within the Justice Department on the part of those who believed the president had exceeded his Constitutional authority. But the dissenters lost, and the project proceeded. Though STELLARWIND’s name remained secret, in December 2005, the New York Times alluded to it when it ran an article titled, “Bush lets U.S. spy on callers without courts.” In the article, the NSA—whose mission was previously thought to be limited solely to spying on communications abroad—was outed for the first time as operating domestically. The Times cited as its sources “a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program.” The nation yawned. The existence of the PSP itself has been known since 2008, when Thomas Tamm, a former attorney in the Department of Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, anonymously leaked information about it to the Times. Then, in early 2012, whistleblower William Binney—a 32-year NSA veteran—went on record with all the gory details about the architectural and operational elements of STELLARWIND, which he had helped design. Binney said that the program he worked on had been intended for use in cases of foreign espionage, but after 9/11 was converted to spying on citizens in the United States—a development with which he disagreed and which led to his resignation from the agency in late 2001. He went on to state that the NSA has highly secured rooms that tap in to major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon, an assertion that was supported by the exposure of Room 641A. STELLARWIND itself was theoretically discontinued in 2007, but it basically continued under various different names at the end of the Bush administration and straight through the Obama years. These include programs brought to public attention by Snowden, such as “Boundless Informant,” “PRISM,” “Fairview,” “Dropmire,” and “XKeyscore.” The Snowden File Obviously, enough facts were known that there should have been a public airing of the whole warrantless spying issue long before Edward Snowden appeared. But since it is he who has become the poster boy for the issue, it’s worth reviewing some of these revelations. PRISM (leaked June 2013) PRISM went operational in 2007, operating under the supervision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court. It’s a system the NSA uses to gain access to the private communications of users of nine popular Internet service providers: Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo!, Skype, and YouTube. The government contends that PRISM cannot be used domestically without a FISA warrant, but the leaked Snowden document calls PRISM “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.” FISA approval isn’t exactly tough to get. The Electronic Privacy Information Center reports that in 2012, the court received 1,856 applications and rejected none. (One day before PRISM leaked came the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.) The named companies went ballistic over this, insisting that their hands are clean. A typical response from Google CEO Larry Page stated that “any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.” However, it’s possible that a bit of legal game-playing is going on here. This is the leaked graphic about PRISM that caused all the fuss: About it, the Washington Post wrote: “This slide draws a distinction between NSA surveillance programs that collect communications ‘as data flows past’ on fiber optic cables and PRISM, which collects communications ‘directly from the servers’ of U.S. Internet companies. “Some have interpreted this to mean that the NSA has ‘direct access’ in a technical sense: automatic, unfettered access to the servers’ contents. But in context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination. That’s not inconsistent with tech company lawyers scrutinizing each request before complying with it.” XKeyscore (leaked July 2013) This is a computer system used by the NSA for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world. The program is run jointly with other agencies, including Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau. It detects the nationality of foreigners by analyzing the language used within intercepted emails. XKeyscore takes certain types of raw metadata that the NSA has already collected using other methods, and processes it with arrays of Linux machines. The Linux processing nodes look for specific key content in these captured network sessions; there are specialized plugins to enable the mining of packets for phone numbers, email addresses, webmail and chat activity, and the full content of users’ Web browser sessions. For selected traffic, XKeyscore can also generate a full replay of a network session between two Internet addresses. But rather than dumping everything back to a central processor, each XKeyscore site keeps most of the data in local caches. According to the documents leaked by Snowden, those caches can hold approximately three days of raw packet data—full “logs” of Internet sessions. There’s also a local database at the network tap sites that can keep up to 30 days of locally processed metadata. Boundless Informant (declassified document leaked June 2013) A Big Data analysis and data-visualization system used to give NSA managers summaries of the agency’s worldwide data-collection activities. As explained in a Guardian article: “By extracting information from every DNI and DNR metadata record, the tool is able to create a near realtime snapshot of GAO’s collection capability at any given moment. The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collection against that country. The tool also allows users to view high level metrics by organization and then drill down to a more actionable level—down to the program and cover term.” “GAO” (Global Access Operations) is an NSA operational branch whose motto is “The mission never sleeps.” “DNI” stands for “digital network intelligence,” and “DNR” for “dial number recognition.” According to the XKeystroke slide show, “Boundless Informant is hosted entirely on corporate services and leverages FOSS technology (available to all NSA developers).” “FOSS” stands for “free and open-source software,” and I guess this means it could be disseminated pretty widely. Fairview (leaked June 2013) A mass surveillance program aimed at collecting phone, Internet, and email data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens. According to Snowden: “The NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company… [which] partners with telecoms in the foreign countries, [which] then allow the US company access to those countries’ telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA’s repositories.” Dropmire (leaked June 2013) A program aimed at surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies. The Guardian reported that at least 38 foreign embassies were under surveillance—some as far back as 2007. Diplomatic spying by the United States had been known at least since 2010, when it was revealed that US agencies had spied on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, but at the time, it was not known that this had been done as part of a systematic program. Everyone Wants In These five are among the most important programs, but they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Many others had been catalogued before Snowden came along; one blogger in March 2012 compiled a list of code names for 97 NSA (and NSA-contractor) programs involved in all aspects of SIGINT collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and storage. Lest we forget, the NSA is hardly the only arm of the federal government in the domestic spying business. There’s also the FBI and the military. (Because we can’t know otherwise, we’ll give a reluctant assent to the CIA’s insistence that it is involved only overseas.) Almost certainly Homeland Security. Oh yeah, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For example, the FBI is spending $1 billion on its “Next Generation Identification” program. The program is designed to advance the Bureau’s biometric identification services, providing an incremental replacement of its current integrated automated fingerprint-identification capabilities with a multimodal biometric database. To fingerprints will be added iris scans, palm prints, DNA data, and even tattoos, as well as facial images and facial recognition software that will enable identification of individuals from private-sector security camera records. Whether the goal is to create a database containing biometrics on every American is unknown at this time. Just recently, it came out that the DEA has skin in the game, too. An August Reuters article based on leaked documents revealed that the agency is “funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.” For the record, the DEA is supposed to be hunting common criminals, not terrorists. But hey, who’s counting at this point? More interesting would be from whom it’s getting those intercepts, etc. That’s still classified. Furthermore, Reuters states that the documents show that “law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin—not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges,” and that “federal agents are trained to ‘recreate’ the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.” Not to mention that it would constitute a unique situation in law enforcement. However, we can make some wild guesses as to the source of the info. The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. And, oops, I almost forgot—the NSA. The military, through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has a large number of projects under way, focusing on algorithmic improvement, espionage, surveillance, natural speech recognition, and video and image retrieval systems. Among that last group is something called the “Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool” (VIRAT). It aims to develop a system to provide military imagery analysts with the capability to exploit the vast amount of overhead video content being collected. If successful, VIRAT will enable analysts to establish alerts for activities and events of interest as they occur. VIRAT also seeks to develop tools that would enable analysts to rapidly retrieve—with high precision and recall—video content from extremely large video libraries. This one is of particular interest, because it is probably critical to the success of “Argus,” a new 1.8-gigapixel camera meant to be deployed on drones. Argus merges information from 368 separate image chips and can surveil a medium-sized city with a resolution of six inches from 17,000 feet in the air. It creates a library, enabling the drone operator to “go back in time” to home in on a particular event in a specific time or place. And perhaps most significant, it can also pinpoint and automatically track anything that is moving within its field of vision. That means if you’re running or driving your car, it can zero in and follow you in real time. Though civilian applications are evident, the government is mum on whether there are any plans to deploy Argus domestically. Panopticon Arrives In that blogger’s list referred to earlier, there appears a particularly spooky term: “Panopticon.” Whether the NSA actually has a program with that code name has yet to be definitively documented, but the overall combined effect of its (and other government agencies’) efforts is eerily Panopticon-like. That is one of the few aspects of the Snowden-leak story that has been underreported. English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham first posited the idea of the Panopticon in the late 18th century. It was an architectural concept for a prison with cells arranged in a circle around a central tower where the guards—who couldn’t be seen by inmates—had direct visual access to every cell. The idea was to instill in the prisoners’ minds the notion that, since they could never know when they were being surveilled, they would have to assume that they always were. French philosopher Michel Foucault described how insidious and clever this was. It would serve “to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.” How’s that sound as a metaphor for the modern state? Inducing a condition of perpetual paranoia in the population may seem like an extreme measure, and it is certainly counterproductive for a society, as the KGB and Stasi should have demonstrated for us quite convincingly. Nevertheless, as Foucault correctly argued, that is the inevitable result of a surveillance that is perceived to be all-encompassing. Repeat the word one more time: Inevitable. Given the extent of what’s now going on in the US, it’s impossible to duck the question of government intentionality. Yet the problem goes even deeper than that. The Roman poet Juvenal nailed the concomitant danger nearly 2,000 years ago when he asked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or, as we tend to loosely translate it these days: Who will watch the Watchmen? Faced with all of this, the ordinary citizen may feel helpless. But one positive development from all the recent revelations about government surveillance is that a lot of people are questioning whether we’ve lost the allegiance to individual liberty on which the nation was founded, and are beginning to speak out that it’s time to get it back. That quaint notion is in for a long-overdue rebirth, which we may yet get. In the meantime, there are things that can be done to enhance individual privacy, which we’ve covered in past issues of Casey Extraordinary Technology. In addition, there are profits to be made from companies specializing in data security. Identifying them early and getting a jump on the crowd allowed us to make 102% with Fortinet and 46% in just one week with ArcSight. As always, we’ll be on the lookout for future opportunities in the sector.last_img read more

A woman accused of abusing her 14monthold until

first_imgA woman accused of abusing her 14-month-old until he wound up in the hospital with severe head trauma and died was indicted by the Tuscaloosa County Grand Jury on aggravated child abuse and murder charges Wednesday.The incident happened Dec. 18, 2018, when Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit investigators visited Children’s Hospital in Birmingham after a report of the child named Tedarrius Ryce was brought into the hospital suffering severe head trauma.Doctors said the baby had no brain activity, and the baby’s injuries were consistent with trauma and shaken baby syndrome. Doctors placed the baby on life support, and he died Dec. 20.In April, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences medical examiner ruled the baby’s death as a homicide, and the Tuscaloosa Grand Jury indicted his mother, 30-year-old Temika Carter on aggravated child abuse and murder charges.Carter was placed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Wednesday pending a $30,000 bond.last_img read more

Whats it like to live in Honduras today — and why

first_imgWhat’s it like to live in Honduras today — and why do so many people want to leave?Those are the questions that photojournalist Tomas Ayuso, who grew up in the Central American country, explores in a project he calls “The Right To Grow Old.”He picked that title because for many Hondurans, he says, especially young men in low-income urban communities, “the right to grow old has been destroyed. One has to fight for their right to grow old, either by migrating out of the country or enlisting in a gang for protection. But it’s not a given.”Many of his images are set on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, a Honduran city of 850,000 that is one of the most violent in the world, with 142 homicides for every 100,000 people, according to 2015 data. Ayuso says he aims to show “the complex and difficult environments and choices facing youth in these neighborhoods” and follows the story of a teenager named Moises, who was being recruited by a gang.Like many parts of the country, the city struggles with poverty, crime and corruption. Boys are often forced to join gangs, according to a 2016 report by Insight Crime, a foundation that studies crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, and USAID.The violence is causing Hondurans to leave the country. From the time period of 2011 to 2016, 7,350 Hondurans sought asylum in U.S. immigration courts, a 166 percent increase from the previous six-year period, according to data from Syracuse University.Even amid the turmoil, Ayuso found moments of love and friendship: A couple comforts each other after a life-changing announcement; two friends atop a hill look down at the glittering lights of their neighborhood.Ayuso was able to win the trust of gang members and locals by spending time with them and making his intentions clear — “I’m capturing their stories,” he says.Ayuso, who had worked in the U.S. as a researcher on conflict in Mexico and Central America, took up photography in 2015. In 2016, he was a fellow at the International Reporting Project. He splits his time between Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.Here is a selection of images from his project. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

As Michigan Awaits Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue Massachusetts Still Waits

first_img A tales of taxes in both states reveals the frustrations and benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana. 3 min read Free Green Entrepreneur App Will Michigan voters have green on their minds next week at the polls?  Marijuana supporters are hopeful, as they anticipate impressive tax revenue — as high as $520 million over the next five years — for the state if voters approve recreational marijuana sales. In Massachusetts, state officials also have money on their mind — the millions the state is losing each month by delaying the start of adult-use marijuana sales, two years after voters approved it.It’s a tale of two different states with two different priorities — but both aiming for the same goal. Related: What Will Happen if the U.S. Legalizes Pot Like Canada? A Mind-Boggling Economic Boon, That’s What.Michigan awaitsIn Michigan, voters will consider Proposal 1 on the November ballot. If passed, it will legalize recreational marijuana sales statewide.This could be a boon for the state’s economy. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, one of the groups backing the legalization effort, recently projected that legalization of adult-use marijuana will bring in $134 million in state taxes in 2023 alone.In total, they estimate marijuana taxes would reach $520 million in the first five years after sales begin. The taxes would come from a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana, according to Ballotpedia.There’s been precedent for these kind of numbers. Other states have seen an enormous influx of cash from marijuana. Washington, which has about two million less people than Michigan, collected about $319 million in marijuana taxes and license fees in 2017, according to the state treasurer’s office. But the excise tax is much higher at 37 percent.Colorado, which also is smaller than Michigan in population, collected about $247 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2017, the state’s Department of Revenue reported. Colorado has a 15 percent marijuana excise tax and a 10 percent tax on marijuana sales, reported Ballotpedia.According to the ballot proposal, tax revenue in Michigan would be sent to local governments. The money would pay for local government operations, improvements to schools, and road and bridge repair and maintenance.Related: Exclusive: New Report Estimates Over $1 Billion In Cannabis-Derived Taxes For NevadaMassachusetts waitsMeanwhile, in Massachusetts, leaders have grown concerned about not raking in the marijuana tax money they had counted on for the current fiscal tax year.That’s because Massachusetts, which approved legal recreational marijuana in November 2016, still has not launched its program. State officials now believe they are weeks away from the first dispensary being allowed to sell to the public.Massachusetts has been unusually slow to act. In comparison, Nevada had its program launched by July 2017 and California by January 2018. Voters in both of those states also approved adult-use sales in November 2016.What’s the holdup? There have been many, but the latest roadblock has been a slow licensing process for marijuana testing facilities.Sales were expected to start last July. Proponents of the measure said the state is losing about $176,000 a day since then. That’s an issue as state officials had hoped marijuana taxes would help to balance the state budget in 2019.Now they’re hoping to finally bring the earnings just like their beloved Red Sox. Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. As Michigan Awaits Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue, Massachusetts Still Waits Guest Writer October 30, 2018 Politics dispensaries.com Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. –shares Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Download Our iOS App Image credit: Shannon Price | Getty Images Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Add to Queuelast_img read more

Data Over Half of Consumers Will Pay More to Buy from a

first_img Yes Marketing Finds Most People Rank Value/Quality of Products as Their Top Driver for Loyalty to Retailers Over half of consumers say they will pay more to buy from a retailer they’re loyal to, indicating a significant opportunity for brands to drive long-term revenue from their loyal customer base, according to a new study by Yes Marketing.In “The Retail Shopper’s Journey to Loyalty” report, Yes Marketing surveyed over 1,000 retail shoppers to identify their priorities and motivations as they move along the customer journey, from initial interaction with a brand to brand loyalty. The report revealed that 41% of consumers rank product quality/value of products as the top reason they’re loyal to a retailer while 35% rank price highest.The findings indicate that elements like free shipping perform well in driving purchases with new customers but are less influential for long-term loyalty. In fact, only 3% of shoppers ranked free or expedited shipping as the top driver of loyalty. On the other hand, 40% of consumers ranked it as the top convenience factor they consider before making a purchase with a new retailer.Marketing Technology News: How to Solve Latin America’s E-Commerce ProblemMarketers can leverage these findings to prioritize the benefits they communicate to customers at different points in their journey.“The seamless and personalized consumer experience, which is a critical component of loyalty, has become table stakes,” said Jim Sturm, president of Yes Marketing. “It takes so much more to deliver on the different expectations customers have for retailers at each stage of their journey. Smart brands must differentiate between effective acquisition tactics and effective loyalty strategies. This distinction can help brands increase lifetime customer value and create truly successful lifecycle programs.”In terms of rewards, the report found that cash is king with 39% of consumers reporting that cash incentives make them feel most rewarded for their loyalty, followed by early access to products (23%) and exclusive promotions (18%).Marketing Technology News: Nielsen Launches Global Measurement For YouTube Mobile App“With the continuous evolution of the retail sector, retailers must build strong customer relationships to create lifetime loyalty and drive revenue,” said Michael Iaccarino, CEO and chairman of Infogroup, parent company of Yes Marketing. “Given the significant impact customer loyalty has on business results, retailers need to find a service and technology partner who can enhance and execute their marketing strategies to adapt to changing consumer expectations.”Marketing Technology News: Credorax Launches Smart 3D Secure Solution in Partnership With Netcetera free shipping performloyal customer baseMarketing TechnologyMichael IaccarinoNewsRetail ShopperYes Marketing Previous ArticleFinding the Whale and Other Ways Big Brands Can Learn from Start-UpsNext ArticleSecureAuth Innovates Secure Identity Management with its Intelligent Identity Cloud Service Data: Over Half of Consumers Will Pay More to Buy from a Retailer They’re Loyal to PRNewswireJune 5, 2019, 2:02 pmJune 5, 2019 last_img read more

Seven chateaux and counting Chinese billionaire is big in Bordeaux

“I pictured a French country house, and it just so happened that it had eight hectares of vines around it,” he said.That was his first chateau, Haut-Brisson in Saint-Emilion, which he purchased in 1997, without ever having sampled the fruits of the vine.He quickly learned that winemaking isn’t just about planting and harvesting vines—it’s a way of life. And as in life, “there are many things that you cannot control. You do the best you can, but then you have to wait for nature.” Bordeaux’s ‘magnificent’ lost vintage pushes small growers to the edge Citation: Seven chateaux and counting: Chinese billionaire is big in Bordeaux (2018, May 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-chateaux-chinese-billionaire-big-bordeaux.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ‘Black coffee and baguettes’It wasn’t his love of a plummy merlot that brought the Vietnamese-born businessman to Bordeaux. “My children study in the United States, so I was looking for a place halfway for vacations. France is halfway,” he told AFP in an interview.But there was also a touch of whimsy in his decision to set up shop on the other side of the world.Growing up in Vietnam under French colonial rule—living in the capital’s sprawling Chinatown—he was enthralled by “images of De Gaulle, black coffee, baguettes and dreams of Paris.”But instead of buying a pied-a-terre in the French capital, Kwok opted for a house in the country. © 2018 AFP Peter Kwok pose dans la cave du Château Bellefont-Belcier, à Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, en Gironde, le 11 avril 2018 Peter Kwok pose dans le Château Bellefont-Belcier, à Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, en Gironde, le 11 avril 2018 Some left after seeing their investments wither on the vine, but Peter Kwok, who has no fewer than seven vineyards to his name, says he is here for the long haul.The 69-year-old Hong Kong-based billionaire has been in southwest France for the past 20 years, recently snapping up Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, a Saint-Emilion grand cru.Some in France’s winemaking community are sniffy about the Asian investors who have bought up 140 chateaux in Bordeaux.The acquisitions—though making up only 1.5 percent of the region’s 7,000 vineyards—have stirred sensitivities about growing foreign investment, particularly Chinese, in strategic or heritage sectors.In February, President Emmanuel Macron said he would work to prevent foreign investors buying French farms after it emerged that a Chinese fund had bought nearly 3,000 hectares (7,500 acres) of wheat fields in the centre of the country.The Chinese tycoons present in Bordeaux see wine mainly as a way of diversifying their fortunes.But Kwok, who has invested 60 to 70 million euros ($72.5-85 million) in the region, insists he’s not in it for the money—though as an investment banker he keeps a eye on the numbers.”Other friends who own vineyards warned me the only way to make a fortune in wine is to invest an even bigger fortune!” said Kwok, who heads the energy subsidiary of Chinese investment group CITIC. Explore further Kwok has earned respect from locals thanks to the quality of his wines At first, he sold most of his wines in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.But as the reputation of his wines grow so too has his global distribution.With a few harvests under his belt his goal now is to build his “Vignobles K” brand.”The other aim is to make good wine, which will also take years, but not quite as many.”Wine as artAt Bellefont-Belcier, something of a sleeping beauty in Saint-Emilion, one of his first tasks will be to clean up the woods that dot the rolling limestone hills over which the estate is spread.Kwok has earned his chops when it comes to revamping older chateaux, having restored the 18th-century dry masonry terraced vineyards at the Tour-Saint-Christophe estate he acquired in 2012. Reflecting on those Chinese peers who bid farewell to Bordeaux after a brief dalliance, he said: “It (owning a chateau) became the fashion. They just wanted the experience. But they slowly realised that winemaking is not the business they thought.”His time in France, which he visits three or four times a year, has taught him that the key ingredient in wine is not equipment or skilled labour, it’s the “terroir”—the land.”It’s like being the owner of a piece of art,” he said. “Only with wine, it’s a piece of art you can work on.” Over the past decade Chinese investors have conquered dozens of chateaux in Bordeaux, France’s famed wine-growing region. read more

German cabin crew join Ryanair strike nearly 250 flights cut

first_img Explore further German cabin crew said they would join pilots in Europe-wide strikes against Ryanair on Friday, as the airline announced it would have to cancel nearly 250 flights. © 2018 AFP Ryanair employees have been striking for higher pay and contracts that will let them access local benefits Citation: German cabin crew join Ryanair strike, nearly 250 flights cut (2018, September 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-german-cabin-crew-ryanair-flights.htmlcenter_img Ryanair says cancelling 190 flights over Friday strike The crews’ union Verdi said Thursday that after another four rounds of negotiations with the airline, “Ryanair did not submit a satisfactory offer”.Travellers in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Italy will also be affected by Ryanair walkouts.Germany’s Cockpit union (VC) had already said late Wednesday that its pilots would stage a strike in the protracted dispute.The Dublin-based carrier warned on Tuesday that 190 flights would be cancelled, affecting 30,000 passengers, before revising the figure downward a day later to 150 flights.After German staff announced they were joining the strike action, Ryanair increased the number again.”We have pre-cancelled some more flights (under 100) tomorrow (Fri 28) due to a short notice strike, called by the VC union in Germany,” it tweeted.Ryanair said the vast majority of its 2,400 normally scheduled flights would be unaffected by “these unnecessary strikes”.All affected customers have received email and text message notifications to advise them of cancellations and options, Ryanair said.Staff have been seeking higher wages and an end to the practice whereby many have been working as independent contractors without the benefits of staff employees. Another key complaint of workers based in countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair has been employing them under Irish legislation.Staff claim this creates huge insecurity for them, blocking their access to state benefits in their country. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more