Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Earthquake victims, writhing in pain and grasping at life, watched doctors and nurses walk away from a field hospital Friday night after a Belgian medical team evacuated the area, saying it was concerned about security. The decision left CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta as the only doctor at the hospital to get the patients through the night. CNN initially reported, based on conversations with some of the doctors, that the United Nations ordered the Belgian First Aid and Support Team to evacuate. However, Belgian Chief Coordinator Geert Gijs, a doctor who was at the hospital with 60 Belgian medical personnel, said it was his decision to pull the team out for the night. Gijs said he requested U.N. security personnel to staff the hospital overnight, but was told that peacekeepers would only be able to evacuate the team. He said it was a "tough decision" but that he accepted the U.N. offer to evacuate after a Canadian medical team, also at the hospital with Canadian security officers, left the site Friday afternoon. The Belgian team returned Saturday morning. Gijs said the United Nations has agreed to provide security for Saturday night. The team has requested the Belgian government to send its own troops for the field hospital, which Gijs expects to arrive late Sunday. Responding to the CNN report that Gupta was the only doctor left at the Port-au-Prince field hospital, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Saturday that the world body's mission in Haiti did not order any medical team to leave. If the team left, it was at the request of their own organization, he said. Edmond Mulet, the U.N. assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations, told reporters later that local security officers deemed the makeshift hospital unsafe. "It seems that we've heard some reports in the international media that the United Nations asked or forced some medical teams to not work any more in some clinic -- that is not true, that is completely untrue," Mulet said Saturday. CNN video from the scene Friday night shows the Belgian team packing up its supplies and leaving with an escort of blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers in marked trucks. View or add to CNN's database of missing persons in Haiti Gupta -- assisted by other CNN staffers, security personnel and at least one Haitian nurse who refused to leave -- assessed the needs of the 25 patients, but there was little they could do without supplies. More people, some in critical condition, were trickling in late Friday. "I've never been in a situation like this. This is quite ridiculous," Gupta said. With a dearth of medical facilities in Haiti's capital, ambulances had nowhere else to take patients, some of whom had suffered severe trauma -- amputations and head injuries -- under the rubble. Others had suffered a great deal of blood loss, but there were no blood supplies left at the clinic. Gupta feared that some would not survive the night. He and the others stayed with the injured all night, after the medical team had left and after the generators gave out and the tents turned pitch black. Gupta monitored patients' vital signs, administered painkillers and continued intravenous drips. He stabilized three new patients in critical condition. At 3:45 a.m., he posted a message on Twitter: "pulling all nighter at haiti field hosp. lots of work, but all patients stable. turned my crew into a crack med team tonight." Are you in Haiti and safe? Share your photos He said the Belgian doctors did not want to leave their patients behind but were ordered out by the United Nations, which sent buses to transport them. "There is concern about riots not far from here -- and this is part of the problem," Gupta said. There have been scattered reports of violence throughout the capital. "What is striking to me as a physician is that patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill, are essentially being left here, nobody to care for them," Gupta said. Sandra Pierre, a Haitian who has been helping at the makeshift hospital, said the medical staff took most of the supplies with them. "All the doctors, all the nurses are gone," she said. "They are expected to be back tomorrow. They had no plan on leaving tonight. It was an order that came suddenly." She told Gupta, "It's just you." A 7.0 magnitude earthquake flattened Haiti's capital city Tuesday afternoon, affecting as many as 3 million people as it fanned out across the island nation. Tens of thousands of people are feared dead. Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, lacked adequate medical resources even before the disaster and has been struggling this week to tend to huge numbers of injured. The clinic, set up under several tents, was a godsend to the few who were lucky to have been brought there. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who led relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said the evacuation of the clinic's medical staff was unforgivable. "Search and rescue must trump security," Honoré said. "I've never seen anything like this before in my life. They need to man up and get back in there." Honoré drew parallels between the tragedy in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in Port-au-Prince. But even in the chaos of Katrina, he said, he had never seen medical staff walk away. "I find this astonishing these doctors left," he said. "People are scared of the poor." CNN's Justine Redman, Danielle Dellorto and John Bonifield contributed to this report.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton meets voters at a campaign rally in St. Louis on Saturday. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post) Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was ahead by a slim margin in Missouri on Wednesday, but the race remained in limbo pending word on whether rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would seek a recount. The delay postponed a definitive answer to whether Clinton had made a clean sweep of five big primaries on Tuesday night. Even if she does not prevail in Missouri, her other victories push her closer to the Democratic presidential nomination even as the considerably weakened Sanders vowed to press on with his insurgent campaign. Clinton won big in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while claiming a narrower victory in Illinois. In Missouri, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was ahead 310,602 votes to 309,071. With a difference of less than 1 percent, state officials held off calling the race. A recount is not automatic, but Sanders could request one. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and her rival, Bernie Sanders, spoke about the challenges going forward after primary voters took to the polls in five states on March 15. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post) Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager, said the campaign has not made a final decision on whether to request a recount and is still looking at the numbers. Because delegates are awarded proportionately, it’s not clear how much a small change in the vote totals would matter, he said. “If it’s not going to make a material difference in the delegate count, we’re not going to put people through it,” he said. [A good night for Trump and a better night for Clinton] Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook issued a memo to supporters and the media Wednesday that claimed a decisive advantage. He also took Sanders to task for turning negative. "Both campaigns agreed that the measure of success for yesterday's pivotal contests was delegates," Mook wrote. "Sanders went all out in these 5 states, pouring more than $8 million on TV in the last 5 days alone," including at least one ad Mook termed negative. "It's pretty clear this negative strategy backfired," he wrote. Addressing supporters Tuesday night, Sanders did not mention the night's outcome, a disappointment for him after hopes that he could ride momentum from an upset victory in Michigan last week to victories in other large, delegate-rich states in the Midwest. In a statement issued overnight, Sanders congratulated Clinton and pledged to continue a primary fight that he said he is confident he can still win. He did not mention Missouri or the other contests by name. "With more than half the delegates yet to be chosen and a calendar that favors us in the weeks and months to come, we remain confident that our campaign is on a path to win the nomination," Sanders said. But that path looked much more difficult, if not impossible, on Wednesday. Clinton's victories set her more than 300 delegates ahead of Sanders, and she is on track to collect a large share of the more than 1,000 delegates she still needs to lock up the contest. Sanders ended the day further behind in the delegate count — and needing to win a slew of upcoming states by improbably large margins. “We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton said at her victory party here Tuesday. As if to prove the point, she quickly pivoted to the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump. “Our next president has to be ready to face three big tasks," Clinton said during a speech that looked past her primary fight with Sanders and ahead to a probable matchup with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. "First, can you make positive differences in people’s lives? Second, can you keep us safe? Third, can you bring our country together again?” Clinton’s indictment of Trump’s policy positions sounded like a preview of arguments to come. “When we hear a candidate for president call for the rounding up of 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering the United States, when he embraces torture, that doesn’t make him strong, it makes him wrong,” Clinton said. Clinton has been eager to refocus her campaign to confront Trump more directly. But asked Tuesday if she was concerned that a protracted primary fight with Sanders would hobble Democrats ahead of the contest against a Republican nominee, she declined to encourage Sanders to leave the race. Her campaign emailed a fundraising pitch Tuesday evening warning of the dangers of a Trump presidency and of complacency among Democrats. “Tonight, Donald Trump could become the presumptive Republican nominee for president,” the donation request began. Too many Republicans tried to ignore him until it was too late, it said. Sanders held a rally before about 7,000 people in Phoenix on Tuesday night, a week ahead of Arizona’s primary. He said his campaign had “defied all expectations” but made no mention of the three states that had already been called in Clinton’s favor. “What excites me so much as I go around the country is to see the incredible energy of people who love this country but know we can do so much better,” Sanders said to loud screams. Some of his die-hard supporters expressed hope that he could still pull out the nomination. “I still think the revolution is coming,” said James Homan, 55, a sound engineer for rock musicians, who has homes in Illinois and Arizona. Homan expressed frustration that, as he saw it, “the fix was in” for Clinton among Democratic Party leaders, but he said he could see paths for Sanders to prevail, including the possibility of more fallout from the FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Democratic primary voters were split on the candidates’ key attributes, with Clinton seen as more electable and Sanders as more honest, according to preliminary exit polls reported by ABC News. By roughly 2 to 1, voters across Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois and Missouri said Clinton had a better chance than Sanders of beating Trump in a general-election matchup. But roughly 8 in 10 said Sanders was honest and trustworthy, compared with about 6 in 10 who felt that way about Clinton. Sanders has dominated among honesty-focused voters all year, while Clinton has won by a wide margin those who care more about electability. Sanders had embarrassed Clinton last week in Michigan and saw Tuesday’s contests as a chance to pull off more come-from-behind wins in states where voters feel damaged by globalization. Repeating his playbook from Michigan, Sanders hit Clinton hard on her past support for “disastrous” trade deals, starting with the North American Free Trade Agreement when her husband was in the White House. With the lesson of Michigan in mind, her campaign moved to retool her stance on trade by strengthening her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and emphasizing support for manufacturing in her jobs plan. In Ohio, Clinton took specific aim at elements of the pending trade package seen as harmful to the auto and steel industries. Just over half of Ohio Democratic primary voters said free trade takes away U.S. jobs, according to the early exit polls. In Michigan, Sanders won among voters with that view by double digits. The anti-trade cohort was slightly larger in Michigan (57 percent) than in most states voting Tuesday, with less than half of Democrats in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina saying trade costs U.S. jobs. In Youngstown, Ohio, Dave Williams, 52, cast a ballot for Sanders. “I lost my house when the stock market crashed,” said Williams, a member of the local cement finishers union. “I’m an angry voter, how ’bout that? I’m angry about the way the country is working for the blue-collar worker. Hillary gets a big, fat zero on that.” In Missouri, Sanders aides were optimistic in part because much of the state closely resembles Kansas, where the senator easily defeated Clinton in the Democratic caucuses early this month. It’s worth noting, however, that Missouri was the smallest of the Democratic delegate prizes Tuesday. Before the polls closed in Missouri, Clinton’s campaign announced that she had been endorsed by the mother of Michael Brown, the teenager whose 2014 shooting by police in Ferguson, Mo., brought more attention to officer-involved slayings of unarmed black men. In Chicago, where Clinton spent her childhood, Sanders sought to leverage support from voters disenchanted with the tenure of the city’s embattled Democratic mayor, Rahm Emanuel, a Clinton ally. Emanuel’s approval ratings have dropped to all-time lows amid controversies over a police shooting and school closings, and his popularity with African American voters has taken an especially big hit. In the closing days of the race, Sanders blasted Emanuel’s decision to close schools in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods, and Sanders ran television ads featuring some of the mayor’s critics. And Tuesday, Sanders had breakfast with Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Emanuel in the Democratic primary last year. Clinton’s lead in Florida was never in doubt, and she ended up capturing almost the same number of votes as the Republican winner, Trump — perhaps a preview of how competitive the state will be in November. Florida posed several challenges for Sanders. It held a closed primary, meaning independent voters, who have propelled him to victory in other states, were not allowed to participate. The state’s voting population also includes a large number of older voters, who have sided with Clinton in previous contests. Sanders’s aides have argued that the back half of the nominating calendar is more favorable to him, with several potential victories in the West and no contests remaining in the Deep South, which has been Clinton’s strongest region by far. Sanders thinks he is well-positioned in all three states with contests next Tuesday: Arizona, Idaho and Utah. His decision to spend election night in Arizona signaled his intention to vigorously contest that state in the coming week. Scott Clement contributed to this report.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com. You have to give President Barack Obama credit for one thing: consistency. Nothing is ever his fault. Nothing will ever be his fault. Faulting Fox News and the American people, on the other hand, now that's a different story. Do you remember when Obama traipsed around the country and desperately pleaded with Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton because his agenda and his legacy were on the ballot? He made a similar pitch before the shellacking his party took in the 2014 congressional elections. Yet did he acknowledge after this 2014 failing that he had anything to do with it? Does he own up to his leading role in last month's presidential election? Let's rewind the tape further, to Obama's reaction to his party's stunning defeat in the 2010 congressional elections, which was largely about Obamacare. He didn't acknowledge any personal culpability for visiting that monstrosity on the American people through trickery and deceit. He simply lamented that he hadn't done a good enough job getting the message out to the American people about it, despite his 50 propaganda speeches trying to persuade us to ignore our lying eyes. Do you see the pattern here? Obama's view is that the American people -- those in the red states, anyway -- are a little slow, paranoid and bigoted and need to be brought along carefully into the 21st century, where progressivism has ushered in a new age of enlightenment. His only failing has been in inadequately re-educating the bitter clingers. Let me give you another example. Remember Obama's depiction of the Islamic State group as "a JV team"? How about his claim, the night before the terrorist massacres in Paris, that the Islamic State was "contained"? Did he ever acknowledge his errors there? No. Again, his only failing was in not having communicated sufficiently his counterterrorism strategies to the American people. He said his strategy against the Islamic State was working. (This was before, as I recall, his admission that he had no policy.) The problem was that saturated media coverage after the Paris attacks was fueling terror fears in the United States. He said: "We haven't, on a regular basis, I think, described all the work that we've been doing for more than a year now to defeat" the Islamic State. "If you've been watching television for the last month, all you've been seeing, all you've been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you. And so I understand why people are concerned about it." Again, there's nothing to see here. It's not a terrorism problem but a perception problem. There's no Obamacare problem; it's just that the American people don't get it. Even liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd acknowledged, in 2012, that Obama and his wife, Michelle, are condescending and aloof. The Obamas "do believe in American exceptionalism -- their own, and they feel overassaulted and underappreciated," she wrote. The Obamas haven't disappointed Americans; "we disappointed them." Even earlier, in February 2010, Obama pledged to "listen" to Republicans at a health care summit. But, as columnist Joseph Curl wrote, "turns out he meant he'd be listening to his own voice. By the end of the televised event, Mr. Obama had spoken for 119 minutes -- nine minutes more than the 110 minutes consumed by 17 Republicans. The 21 Democratic lawmakers used 114 minutes, giving the president and his supporters a whopping 233 minutes." And why do the rubes keep misperceiving Obama's greatness? Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. In a recently published interview with Rolling Stone, Obama denied that he and his party overlooked the "cohort of working-class white voters" that supposedly accounted for Donald Trump's victory. Absolutely not his fault. "Part of it," said Obama, "is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grass-roots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments." The challenge Democrats have, according to Obama, is not that they've neglected these communities from a policy perspective. "What is true, though, is that whatever policy prescriptions that we've been proposing don't reach, are not heard by, the folks in these communities. And what they do hear is 'Obama or Hillary are trying to take away (your) guns' or 'they disrespect you.'" I repeat: This guy is remarkably, incorrigibly consistent. He has made no policy errors; his message just isn't getting through, partly because the conservative media are lying about it and partly because people are just too darned dense. I hate to keep bringing up the past, but his war on the conservative media is nothing new, either. I wrote about it in 2010 in my book "Crimes Against Liberty." He began snubbing Fox reporters at news conferences for insufficiently pandering. The White House blog regularly denounced Fox News and other critics. White House communications director Anita Dunn recommended a "rapid response" to counteract "Fox's blows" against the administration, calling Fox News "part of the Republican Party." Presidential adviser David Axelrod said Fox News Channel is "not really a news station." Remember when Obamacare's principal architect, Jonathan Gruber, openly admitted that the Obama administration was able to deceive the American people about Obamacare and chalked it up to "the stupidity of the American voter"? So go ahead and cry us a river about how the conservative media are mistreating you, Mr. Obama, and misleading the public. You have been trying to deceive us for eight years, and the public has been onto you for at least 6 1/2 of those years. Now voters have handed you your biggest spanking yet, and you still will not listen. You can't listen. It's not what you do. But the American people have been listening, and they do understand your policies. And it's a new day in America.
BIGBANG is one of those musical entities that transcends language. It’s one of those rare groups that both innovates and defines the direction a genre takes. Covering a sound that includes hip hop, R&B and electronic dance, BIGBANG and its solo acts (G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Seungri and Daesung) have left a musical imprint that has affected the global music market. In fact, even Diplo, a household name in EDM, worked with G-Dragon and T.O.P for their rap album. So when the band announced its world tour to promote the release of its third full-length studio album MADE after a 3 year hiatus, fans lost their minds – including myself. In fact, tickets for each of BIGBANG’s North American legs sold out. As a result, I was lucky enough to witness this larger-than-life Korean pop group perform a couple Saturday nights ago on Oct. 10 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. As I waited in line to enter the venue with my friends, mobs of fans raved about BIGBANG's new tracks (and surprisingly, not everyone was Asian). Leading up to this particular leg of their North American tour, BIGBANG released 2 songs every month starting from May to August, resulting in 8 freshly minted tracks. After everyone pushed their way through security, a slew of fans rushed to the merchandise table hoping to get either apparel or light up accessories they could wave around during the concert. Being the broke boy I am, my friend and I instead made our way to our seats at the front of the upper level and waited for the BANG to make its appearance. (Floor admission was anywhere from $600 - $800.) In the hour leading up to BIGBANG’s presence, a large screen played popular music videos from both the group as a whole and its solo acts. Though the pit was half full and other fans were sparsely scattered in the seated areas, fans emphatically cheered when their favorite idol appeared in a music video. Prudential Center wasn’t even a quarter full yet. As the venue slowly flooded to capacity, the group finally made its appearance. Gradually, the lights dimmed while the sound of a motor revving filled the venue. Fans energetically waved their light-up flower accessories in anticipation and stood up. Almost immediately, the instrumentals to “BANG BANG BANG” blared through the speakers, and the 5 members walked out of the splitting screen previously used to play the videos. During the song, small fireworks burst from the top of the stage and popped timely on the hook’s lyric “bang.” It was then that everyone recognized the blissful hype BIGBANG was about to deliver for the rest of the night on. As their set progressed, the band showcased their sentimental side, performing a set of slow ballads at once to drive home the theme of their first album single “LOSER,” yet also re-energized the crowd with another set of R&B and pop songs. In between, as if to both recharge their energy and quickly change into their costume-like clothes, each artist performed a song from his solo work. This break from the group’s work gave more casual fans a chance to witness how the band dedicated its time during its hiatuses. The ultimate highlight came during T.O.P’s solo “DOOM DADA.” Adorning a suit printed with Mondrian’s patented “Composition” painting, instead of rapping his line, T.O.P looked at the audience and winked. And during that moment, my jaw dropped, and I questioned my sexuality. In between a set of maybe three or four songs, the band either took the time to interact with the audience or reveal extended scenes from their Quentin Tarantino-inspired short film uploaded in April. It was when the band members spoke to the audience that these Korean idols brought themselves down to earth. Despite occasionally tripping over their rehearsed English lines, each member gave us a glimpse of his more personal side. Some had further solidified their reputations. For instance, Daesung, the goofy, go-lucky singer and drummer, introduced himself just by yelling “YEAH” to the audience at least 5 times and waited for the audience’s response between each. T.O.P re-asserted himself as the cool, collected bad boy, asserting, “Yeah… You know who I am” when it was his turn at the microphone. The others seemed to break out of fan expectations. While Seungri was the most mysterious before the concert, known more for his dancing than his singing, he ended up being the most charismatic of the group and spoke the most English. Taeyang also shed the hip hop image he tries to convey in his videos when he’s clad in Supreme. His initial interaction with the audience was inviting the fans to sing pitches with him, and later on, he would be the one to interject between the other members’ later interactions with the audience. And while G-Dragon is the eclectic leader of the group, he was surprisingly toned down compared to the chameleon style that has garnered him the attention of fashionheads everywhere. The biggest surprise, though, was the group’s capacity for profanity. In an attempt to hype up the audience for his solo “Strong Baby,” Seungri yelled at the audience to “MAKE SOME FUCKING NOISE.” For his part in “Zutter,” T.O.P repeatedly rapped “bitch” despite his line only requiring him to say it once. And at the end, G-Dragon introduced the final song as “FANTASTIC MOTHERFUCKING BABY.” Of course, there are more moments that I could cover – like how Daesung made a scene about revealing his hair-covered eyes, or how he pelvic thrusted to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” or how T.O.P still uncoordinatedly dances in the back – but these moments are boring to read and seem underwhelming on paper. If there’s one thing to take away, it’s that this concert was an electric, out-of-body experience. I had the privilege of being in the presence of some of my favorite artists, foolishly screaming and singing and dancing along to some of my favorite songs live — all without the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite their huge break, this comeback concert only proved that BIGBANG’s presence is stronger than ever and cemented my opinion that they’re the absolute best in Korean pop. Unfortunately, as the concert concluded, the very real idea that each member would undergo required conscription loomed closer. But it didn’t matter — if this was BIGBANG’s last world tour, it ended perfectly. If there is another years from now, though, I can’t wait to be there too.
WHAT?!??! I know. That’s what you’re saying right now. “WHAT?! DISNEY HAS A DONUT SUNDAE AND I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT?!” How do I know you’re saying that? Because that’s exactly what I was saying when Tina (<– amazing DFB photographer who’s frigging awesome) spotted this at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in the Magic Kingdom this week! But it’s OK. It’s brand new — not even on the menu yet — so we didn’t miss out on too much of the Donut Sundae lifespan. And we’re hoping that lifespan is a nice, long one! The Main Street Plaza Ice Cream Parlor can be found at the intersection of Main Street USA and Tomorrowland, just before you get to Cinderella Castle. And the sundae joins a few other must-have treats on the Ice Cream Parlor’s menu, including the house-made ice cream sandwich (preferably ordered with a drizzled sauce!), the “kids’ cone” (it’s totally OK to order this as a grown-up, too) with Mickey ears, and the Plaza Ice Cream Sundae. So…I’m really not envying you the decisions you’ll have to make when you get there! ;-D After spotting the sundae on a placard, we grabbed it! It comes with a warm glazed donut, warm apple compote, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, a cherry, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. We found out that the donut was not house-made (it’s basically a Krispy Kreme), but it’s warmed just before serving. And with the warm donut and warm compote contrasting with the cold vanilla ice cream, there’s a LOT of amazing going on in this sundae! I’m doubting the apple compote is house-made, or even fresh (probably canned), but it still works well with the sundae. Though the combo of apple compote with peanut butter chips is a bit strange? At the moment, vanilla ice cream is the default flavor. The Cast Member we spoke to said that once this is officially on the menu, guests should be able to request whatever flavor they’d like. At press time, this costs $5.99 and is not a Disney Dining Plan snack credit option. But at $5.99, you’re still getting a bargain as far as we’re concerned! Our thoughts? This was fantastic! Donut? Good! Ice Cream? Good! Apple Pie Filling? Good! Whipped Cream? Good! It’s a winner all around. We can’t WAIT until this gets cemented onto the menu! Pin it for later! What do you think? Will you be heading to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor for your Donut Sundae the next time you’re on Main Street USA? Let us know in the comments below!
A notorious protester convicted of wilfully promoting hatred against Muslims and criminally harassing a Muslim man and his family was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail. Eric Brazau handed out a flyer that “vilified Muslims and disparages their religion,” Ontario court Judge S. Ford Clements said in February, when he found Brazau guilty. Eric Brazau was convicted of willful promotion of hatred against Muslims and criminally harassing a Muslim family. ( CARLOS OSORIO / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO ) The case was far from being on the borderline between “rough and tumble debate” and hate speech, as Brazau had argued, Clements said in a College Park courtroom. Brazau handed out the flyer, which contained many offensive references to Islam and Muslims, in August and September 2012. While distributing it, Brazau sometimes yelled obscenities about Islam “in a tone of voice that suggested he was very angry and had little interest in debate,” Clements said. Brazau had argued that he did not intend to promote hate speech; instead he wanted to stimulate debate about censorship, “blasphemy laws” and Sharia law, Clements said. Article Continued Below Clements disagreed. “He knew the material would deeply wound and anger Muslims,” said Clements. The content was not humorous, ironic or satirical, he said. “Mr. Brazau is far too intelligent to believe this to be so.” The flyer also contained a somewhat blurred photograph of a Muslim family on a downtown Toronto street. The man in the photo testified that Brazau called him a “terrorist” on the day Brazau took the photo. In a second interaction a few weeks later on a sidewalk, the man, whose name is protected by a publication ban, said that Brazau approached him aggressively while photographing the family, making him “concerned and fearful.” Article Continued Below Clements found this to be criminal harassment. During sentencing submissions, Crown prosecutor Derek Ishak described Brazau as an “unrepentant hatemonger … who abused his right to freedom of speech in a planned, deliberate manner,” Clements said Tuesday in his sentencing decision. However, Clements said that while Brazau’s conduct was “despicable” and his beliefs “repugnant,” the maximum sentence of six months for a summary conviction on willfully promoting hatred was unwarranted. He also noted the defence submission that Brazau committed his offences in public, where he was easily identifiable, rather than by stealth. Instead, he gave Brazau a four-month sentence, plus two months for criminal harassment and mischief and three months for breach of probation by not keeping the peace. Brazau, who had spent nine months in pre-trial custody, was sentenced to time served. Clements declined to ban Brazau from distributing flyers, since that could impede his right to freedom of expression. Outside the court, Brazau said he will appeal his sentence. He says he is aware the flyer was “problematic” and “would offend.” But his voice won’t be silenced, Brazau added, though he will keep in mind the hate speech laws, which he says he has learned to navigate over the past few months. “Hatred is the harvest he wanted to gather,” Clements said in his conviction decision, quoting William Butler Yeats. “I find this is true of Mr. Brazau.” Last month, a small claims court found that Brazau had been wrongfully arrested and detained while protesting near Sgt. Ryan Russell’s funeral procession in 2011. However, the deputy judge also found his conduct “reprehensible” and awarded him only $1,000 in damages.
× Some Seattle businesses closed for ‘A Day Without Immigrants’, but others decided against it SEATTLE — While there is no official list of local businesses participating in this movement, “A Day Without Immigrants”, we did find some businesses that had closed their doors and posted signs up saying they were participating. In fact, one business owner says he’s doing things a little bit differently. Instead of shutting down, he says he is choosing to pay it forward. Please enable Javascript to watch this video Edward Moran moved from Mexico to the United States in 1984. He opened El Norte Lounge in Lake City about seven years ago. And instead of closing up shop along with many other immigrant small business owners across the nation, Eduardo was open for business Thursday. “I don’t believe in closing a place just to protest,” says Eduardo. Instead, he says he’s paying it forward. Eduardo is asking customers to pay in cash to avoid bank fees from credit card machines. He says he plans to donate a portion of his proceeds to a nonprofit that focuses on helping immigrants here in the Pacific Northwest. And he’s calling on other business owners to do the same. “If we do this together for one week, I want to see the impact we have on this economy at the bank,” says Eduardo. “We’re supporting him and his efforts and he's paying it forward,” says customer Kim Lawson. “I think it's important to honor those people who are here and working really hard,” says customer Jill Scollard. While there is no official list of businesses participating in this protest locally, we drove around Seattle tonight and found a few shops, including one on Capital Hill and one in White Center, with notices on the door saying they were shut down in support of “A day without immigrants”. “I did think about closing, but my heart told me and my gut instincts said you are wrong,” says Eduardo. While he knows some may criticize him for staying open, he says he’s doing what he thinks is best for his business and his employees. “In this industry everybody makes money every day; tips, you stop it’s not just your paycheck, it’s your tips. Share the wealth instead of stopping and not doing anything work hard and share the wealth,” says Eduardo.
Today, Toyota announced changes in executives’ areas of responsibility, as well as personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level. The most important change by far is the appointment of Akio Toyoda, the company’s CEO and grandson of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, as President of a new ‘EV Business Planning’ department. Earlier this month, we reported–admittedly a little tongue-in-cheek–about Toyota announcing the creation of an electric vehicle division and putting only 4 engineers on the project with the goal to bring EVs to market by 2020. The move seems a lot more serious now that Akio Toyoda is leading the effort, and several other executives, managers, and engineers have been assigned new responsibilities in the electric vehicle planning department, including the chief engineer of the Prius. At the executive level, the changes will be effective today, while the managers were apparently put on the program throughout the month. You can see the full list of changes below. It appears to be a clear sign that Toyota is more serious than ever about electric vehicles and it is not simply investing in fuel cell hydrogen to comply to new fuel consumption standards. Changes to executives’ areas of responsibility (effective December 1, 2016) Name Current New Akio Toyoda ― President EV Business Planning Dept. (chief officer) Mitsuhisa Kato Executive Vice President Frontier Research Center (chief officer) Executive Vice President Frontier Research Center (chief officer) EV Business Planning Dept. (chief officer) Shigeki Terashi Executive Vice President Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office (secretary general) Corporate Strategy Div. (chief officer) Research Div. (chief officer) Executive Vice President Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office (secretary general) EV Business Planning Dept. (chief officer) Corporate Strategy Div. (chief officer) Research Div. (chief officer) Koki Konishi Managing Officer Mid-size Vehicle Company (executive vice president) Managing Officer General Administration & Human Resources Group Changes to executive general managers’ areas of responsibility (effective November 1, 2016) Name Current New Shinichi Yasui Mid-size Vehicle Company ZS (chief officer), ZV (chief officer), ZD (chief officer), ZE (chief officer), ZF (chief officer) Mid-size Vehicle Company ZS (chief officer), ZV (chief officer), ZD (chief officer), ZE (chief officer), ZF (chief officer, concurrent chief engineer) Personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level (effective November 1, 2016) Name Current New Kouji Toyoshima MSZ, Mid-size Vehicle Company (chief engineer) MSZ, Mid-size Vehicle Company (chief engineer) EV Business Planning Dept. (preliminary organization) (general manager) (effective November 14, 2016) Name Current New Kenichi Komuro Temporary External Transfer from Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. EV Business Planning Dept. (preliminary organization) (project general manager) (effective December 1, 2016)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. AP Images / Business Insider North Korea attempted to fire a missile Sunday, but it blew up within seconds. It happened one day after the anniversary of the country's founding. While North Korea's missile program may be the shadowiest on earth, it's possible that US cyber warriors were the reason for the failed launch. A recent New York Times report uncovered a secret operation to derail North Korea's nuclear-missile program that has been raging for at least three years. Essentially, the report attributes North Korea's high rate of failure with Russian-designed missiles to the US meddling in the country's missile software and networks. Although North Korea's missile infrastructure lacks the competence of Russia's, the Soviet-era missile on which North Korea based its missile had a 13% failure rate, and the North Korean version failed a whopping 88% of the time, according to the report. While the missile failure on Sunday could have just been due to poor workmanship, US Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland seemed to leave room for speculation about espionage, telling Fox News, "We can't talk about secret intelligence and things that might have been done, covert operations, so I really have no comment." Vice President Mike Pence on Monday visited the demilitarized zone between the Koreas, saying that "all options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country," and that "the era of strategic patience" with North Korea "is over." To those in the know, the campaign against North Korea came as no surprise. Ken Geers, a cybersecurity expert for Comodo with experience in the National Security Agency, told Business Insider that cyber operations like the one against North Korea were the norm. While the US hacking another country's missile program may be shocking to some, "within military intelligence spaces, this is what they do," Geers said. "If you think that war is possible with a given state, you're going to be trying to prepare the battle space for conflict. In the internet age, that means hacking." Reuters North Korea's internal networks are fiercely insulated and not connected to the internet, however, which poses a challenge for hackers in the US. But Geers said it was "absolutely not the case" that hacking requires computers connected to the internet. A recent report in The New Yorker on Russian hacking detailed one case in which Russia gained access to a NATO computer network in 1996 by providing bugged thumb drives to shops near a NATO base in Kabul, Afghanistan. NATO operators bought the thumb drives, used them on the network, and just like that, the Russians were in. "That's where SIGINT (signals intelligence) or COMINT (communications intelligence) comes into collaboration with HUMINT (human intelligence)," Geers said. He described the present moment as the "golden age of espionage," as cyberwarfare remains nonlethal, unattributable, and almost completely unpunished. But a recent missile salvo from North Korea suggests that even a prolonged, sophisticated cyberattack can't fully derail its nuclear-missile program. "Imagine you're the president. North Korea is a human-rights abuser and an exporter of dangerous technology," Geers said. "Responsible governments really need to think about ways to handle North Korea, and one of the options is regime change." The test fire of Pukguksong-2 in February. KCNA/Handout via Reuters Further, Geers said, because of the limited number of servers and access points to North Korea's very restricted internet, "if it ever came to cyberwar between the US and North Korea, it would be an overwhelming victory for the West." "North Korea can do a Sony attack or attack the White House, but that's because that's the nature of cyberspace," Geers said. "But if war came, you'd see Cyber Command wipe out most other countries' pretty quickly."
We’ve always pictured Scandinavia as the home of grisly crime fiction, weird pop music and IKEA. But it looks like there’s a growing custom scene too. Shops like the Wrenchmonkees and Unique Custom Cycles need no introduction. But straight after last week’s Norwegian Yamaha GTS comes this radical Honda tracker from Marcus Moto Design of Sweden. It has no seat, it’s painted in a vivid Arctic White, and it’s the custom equivalent of an ice-cold shot of Aquavit. The builder is Marcus Carlsson, a 41-year-old engineer who lives just outside Stockholm. “Bikes that are unique or a bit ‘weird’ are what get me going,” he says. “Too many custom bikes look the same nowadays.” Five years ago, Marcus caused an internet meltdown with his stunning Ducati F1 Tracker. He then started work on an Aprilia SXV 550, but killed that project after deciding he didn’t like the look of the frame. (“I move slowly on my bike builds,” he admits.) That’s fair enough—he builds his bikes in a small one-car garage, and has a full time job managing a team of 15 people for Ericsson. When his wife and 7-year-old twins are asleep at night, he sneaks into the garage to build. “I go in for a couple hours, and I basically just sleep less than them,” he says. After the hiatus with the Aprilia, Marcus found a 2006-model Honda CRF450 that lived near his family’s summerhouse, out in the country. It was a much better base for his vision of the ultimate street tracker. “Ultimate in my mind means minimal bodywork, centralized weight distribution, lightweight carbon fiber and a ‘concept motorcycle’ feel,” he says. And with a modern aluminum motocross frame and a powerful four-stroke thumper engine, the CRF fitted the bill. Marcus might work slowly, but he does everything himself—even the paint. So he welded and modified the FMF exhaust, welded on the aluminum sub frame, and made the foam bases for the new bodywork. The gas tank, belly pan and remaining body panels were then hand-shaped with carbon fiber. Various other parts were designed in the CAD program NX, before being 3D printed. The weight loss program is extreme: There’s no seat. “Every surface has been questioned,” says Marcus. “Is it needed or not? Seats are for touring bikes!” Marcus has lowered the forks for road use, but the frame and swing arm are stock: Honda motocross components are top quality. But everything else has been modified or simply removed, and the aluminum subframe does double duty as the mounting point for the gas tank. The license plate is Japanese, from a Tokyo moped market. “I’ll replace it with a Swedish one to reduce interest from traffic cops,” says Marcus. “They will probably have some opinions on the bike anyway…” Indeed. We’re pretty sure the lighting will be inspected closely, for starters. At the front is an LED ring mounted on a 3D-printed bracket; further down is a tiny battery, hidden underneath the lower yoke. We’re pretty sure that’s another first in the custom world. The tiny covers on either side of the front axle are also 3D printed, and there’s a matching aluminum cover for the rear brake caliper. Both are designed to add a touch of sleekness and a ‘concept bike’ vibe. The modified FMF exhaust system has a shortened silencer, itself partially shielded from view. It’s tucked in underneath the engine, but the header length is standard to maximize power. An aftermarket radiator keeps the engine cool, hooked up with red Samco silicone hoses. To slow things down, there’s an oversized front brake—and the rear brake has been treated to a Fasst Co. spring kit for a smooth, easily modulated feel—ideal for road use. Those gorgeous wheels are one-off numbers from Warp 9, shod with Goldentyre flat track rubber. Yes, this is a barely street legal racer, right down to the battery-powered lights. It’s perfect for short stints on the curvy village roads outside Stockholm. Marcus is a MotoGP fan, and if you look closely, you’ll spot a couple of HRC logos on the bike. “In my dreams, this bike would be HRC’s version of a street tracker. Or maybe a gift to Marc Marquez, so he can hit the streets after he wins the Superprestigio in Barcelona!” We reckon the pint-sized phenomenon would have a ball on this machine. And he probably wouldn’t even miss the seat padding. Marcus Moto Design | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Simon Hamelius
Story highlights Tyka Nelson says her brother's favorite color was ... orange The late musical artist's brand has been all about the color purple (CNN) Tyka Nelson just tweaked a major part of Prince's legacy. The sister of the late superstar talked to the Evening Standard about an upcoming exhibit of Prince artifacts set to open in London and mentioned one of his beloved instruments. "The standout piece for me is his orange Cloud guitar," the publication quoted Nelson as saying. "It is strange because people always associate the color purple with Prince, but his favorite color was actually orange." Full stop. The singer, who died last year from an opioid overdose at the age of 57, was known as "The Purple One" and shot to megastardom thanks to his now-iconic 1984 film "Purple Rain." Read More
There’s measuring the drapes, and then there’s measuring the drapes on a house you haven’t bought, and may never own, but you’re so convinced you will that, hey, let’s buy drapes! And there’s hubris, Joe Miller-style. So confident is Miller that he’ll win Lisa Murkowski’s Alaska Senate seat in November, he boasted last night to his over 4,000 Twitter followers that, on his trip to DC this week, he might do some house hunting. And perhaps buy some furniture. And also commission a name plaque for the door of his future Senate office. The tweets were flagged by a source and sent my way. Check it out. The blog Mudflats and Slate reporter Dave Weigel also noticed. Today, they’re gone. In Miller’s defense, he is leading his race. TPM’s Polltracker has him ahead by just over two points in a three way race with Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams. But it’s probably for the best that he took those Tweets down. After all, everybody knows there are no big egos in the United States Senate.
Attention! This news was published on the old version of the website. There may be some problems with news display in specific browser versions. Thunder League Division Structure Dear players! You have become acquainted with the Thunder League and watched some of the matches by the pro division teams. Your participation in the league events and the purchasing of League “Dog tags” has made it possible to increase the prize pool of the pro division. We thank you for your support with the eSports development in the game! The time has come for our supporters to become participants - gather your teams and start to make your way to the top of the Thunder League - to the pro division! The Qualifying tournament starts on February 2016 We announce two more divisions in the league: Novice Division – a division for the novice teams. Semi Pro Division – medium division. Semi Pro Division will be established after the qualifying Novice Division tournament, where all the Squadrons may participate. Rules of the qualifiers: Tournament format: 7 vs 7. Mode: realistic with markers for both sides. A match means a single battle between two Squadrons on a random map in [Domination] mode. Two respawns are available in every match. Players in a team can choose any vehicles from those that the arbiters have authorised. The best 24 Squadrons will be able to name 9 participants for the final group qualifying tournament. You can see the tournaments regulations here. 6 qualifying groups (4 teams per group) will determine 12 teams (2 best teams per group) and thus they will form the Semi Pro Division. After the Semi Pro Division qualifiers we will run the first season. First season rules: The team that took 1st place qualifies for the Pro Division. The team that took 2nd place will have a play-off match against the team that came 9th in the Pro-Division. The teams that took 9th to 12th position, will have a play-off round against the best 4 teams in the Novice Division before the second season of the League. Once the first season is over there will be no more final qualifying tournaments. Thus we will make the structure for the Thunder League, which will have constant rotation between the divisions. Good luck in the future battles! Index. Structure of the groups to qualify for the Semi Pro Division after the Novice Division results (numbers mean place taken in the qualifier). Group A Group B Group C Group D Group E Group F 1 2 3 4 5 6 12 11 10 9 8 7 18 17 16 15 14 13 24 23 22 21 20 19 Don’t know what the Thunder League is? Check WARTHUNDER.PRO​ Join the league by purchasing “Dog Tags”!
Ad blockers are often painted as the enemy of online publishers, but sometimes things are more complicated. AdBlock Plus, for example, just announced that they’re working with startup Flattr on a new product that allows readers to pay the publishers who produce the content they read, listen to and watch. As a result of the partnership, AdBlock Plus said it has also made a small investment of undisclosed size in Flattr . Together, the two companies have created a new product called Flattr Plus. Like Flattr itself, it allows users to allocate a monthly budget that they want to pay publishers. Unlike Flattr, users don’t have to click a button to “Flattr” a website — instead, it will automatically track their browsing activity and distribute the money based on their engagement. It sounds somewhat similar to the way a company like Spotify distributes subscription fees to musicians — except it’s not just for artists on a single website or app. Plus, the question of exactly how to calculate engagement is a tricky one. You probably don’t want to reward a worthless article with a dumb-but-effective clickbait headline. You might also leave an article open for hours without actually reading it. Ben Williams, who leads communication and operations at AdBlock Plus, told me that the product is still in beta testing (the plan is to do a full launch later this year) partly so the team can experiment with ways to measure engagement — it will involve some combination of factors like time spent and scroll activity. Publishers will have to sign up with Flattr Plus if they want to get paid, b ut Williams said that if they’re don’t, the money they’re due will be held for them until they join the program . (Update: Williams said that actually, AdBlock Plus won’t hold the money — it’ll just tell them how much money they could have earned.) The goal, he added, is to earn half a billion dollars in revenue for publishers next year. He doesn’t necessarily expect every AdBlock Plus user to volunteer to pay, but he predicted that many will — and when you’ve got 500 million downloads, just a small percentage of users paying a few dollars a month can add up. In fact, he said the AdBlock Plus users who opt out of seeing any advertising whatever (even if it’s part of the company’s acceptable ads program), are the ones who “have been the most vocal in asking for solutions like this.” Basically, these users have told the company they don’t like any ads, period, but they still want to support publishers and creators. Now we’ll get a chance to see if they meant it. Oh, and if you want to hear more about Flattr Plus and AdBlock Plus’ broader vision, I’ll be interviewing CEO Till Faida next week at Disrupt NY.
Get cool in-game extras with amiibo accessories! Just tap to score new characters, game modes, or other perks. One amiibo may work with multiple games. You might get new outfits, power-ups, or other fun bonuses. Link is the main character in The Legend of Zelda games. A young boy living in Hyrule, Link is often given the task of rescuing Princess Zelda and Hyrule from the Gerudo thief Ganondorf. Humble to the end, Link is known not merely as a hero but as a symbol of courage, strength and wisdom as well. Compatible Games: Write and Read: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Read Only: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Mario Kart 8 Hyrule Warriors Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ACE COMBAT® Assault Horizon Legacy + Mario Party 10 amiibo tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits Super Mario Maker Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash Yoshi's Woolly World Word Puzzles by POWGI (Nintendo3DS) Word Puzzles by POWGI (WiiU) Pokkén Tournament Hyrule Warriors Legends Metroid Prime: Federation Force Metroid Prime: Blast Ball Demo Style Savvy: Fashion Forward Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Kirby: Planet Robobot Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge (WiiU) Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge (Nintendo3DS) Picross 3D Round 2 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo Animal Crossing: New Leaf Mario Party Star Rush Mario Party Star Rush - Party Guest Mario Sports Superstars Miitopia Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Ready to fight back? Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week. You will receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here. Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week. Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Support Progressive Journalism The Nation is reader supported: Chip in $10 or more to help us continue to write about the issues that matter. The Nation is reader supported: Chip in $10 or more to help us continue to write about the issues that matter. Fight Back! Sign up for Take Action Now and we’ll send you three meaningful actions you can take each week. You will receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here. Sign up for Take Action Now and we’ll send you three meaningful actions you can take each week. Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue Travel With The Nation Be the first to hear about Nation Travels destinations, and explore the world with kindred spirits. Be the first to hear about Nation Travels destinations, and explore the world with kindred spirits. Sign up for our Wine Club today. Did you know you can support The Nation by drinking wine? Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States announces that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Ad Policy The attorney general of the United States is a civil officer. If he has lied under oath to the Senate, that act demands impeachment. After news reports published last Wednesday made it clear that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had deceived the Senate regarding his interactions with Russian officials, there were immediate demands that the attorney general recuse himself from investigations into issues relating to those lies and that he resign as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. Sessions announced Thursday afternoon that he would recuse himself from any examination of Russian involvement with President Trump’s campaign. But he gave no indication that he would consider the next necessary step of removing himself as attorney general. Sessions has made his position clear. This lawless attorney general is not going to do the right thing, so Congress must consider the prospect of impeachment. The founders anticipated such circumstance. This is why they outlined an impeachment process. Here’s why: The Washington Post has revealed that during the 2016 presidential campaign, when Sessions was a close counselor and top surrogate for Donald Trump, he spoke twice with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Sessions acknowledges the meetings now. But when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee as Trump’s nominee for attorney general in January, Senator Al Franken asked how Sessions might handle revelations that individuals associated with the Trump campaign had communicated with the Russian government. Sessions replied: “I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians.” This was not the only denial from Sessions. According to The Washington Post: In January, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked Sessions for answers to written questions. “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Leahy wrote. Sessions responded with one word: “No.” We now know that was not the case. And, unless Sessions is far too absentminded to continue to serve as attorney general (a circumstance that no one seriously entertains at this point), then we have been handed evidence that this man engaged in a blatant attempt to deceive the very Senate that was charged with determining whether he would take charge of the Department of Justice. Sessions and his aides were busy making excuses Wednesday night and Thursday morning, claiming that he spoke with the ambassador in his capacity as a senator rather than as a Trump surrogate—and that the Russian ambassador was one of many foreign officials with whom he met as “a senior member of the Armed Services Committee.” So what? The issue isn’t whether Sessions spoke with the ambassador. Nor does it matter whether he did so as a senator or as a Trump surrogate. He was both. What matters is what Sessions told fellow senators when he was asked straightforward questions. He volunteered, “I did not have communications with the Russians.” He replied “no” to a direct inquiry about whether he had such communications. If these were not overt lies they were, at the very least, legalistic attempts by Sessions to deceive colleagues who were charged by the Constitution with a duty to provide advice and consent regarding his nomination to serve as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. Of course, Sessions had to recuse himself from inquires into inquiries into allegations that the Russians meddled in the 2016 election. As New York Representative Eliot Engel, the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, explained, “[The] revelation about then-Senator Sessions’s contact with Russia’s ambassador removes all doubt that he must recuse himself from any investigation of Russia’s interference in last year’s election. He should do so without delay. The President should also appoint a special prosecutor to handle this matter whose work must complement a thorough investigation by a bipartisan commission.” Ready to Fight Back? Sign Up For Take Action Now Even Republicans who have been slow to hold the Trump administration to account were calling for recusal. House Oversight and Government Reform committee chair Jason Chaffetz tweeted: “AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.” The decision by Sessions to recuse himself addressed concerns about his personal involvement tainting specific investigations. But it did not address the issue of Sessions’s lying to the Senate. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi proposed a more appropriate response to the revelations regarding Sessions; declaring that “after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign. Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign. There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer agreed. So did Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said: “We need a special prosecutor totally independent of the AG. We need a real, bipartisan, transparent Congressional investigation into Russia. And we need Attorney General Jeff Sessions—who should have never been confirmed in the first place—to resign. We need it now.” True enough. But Sessions is not about to resign. And his record does not offer any indication that he intends to start telling the truth. The founders anticipated such circumstances, which is why they wrote a constitution that outlined an impeachment process. The catch-all phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” was intended to give guardians of the republic leeway for holding presidents, vice presidents, and cabinet members to account. An impeached official is not charged by a prosecutor and tried in the courts; nor is he or she jailed or fined if found guilty. An impeached official is charged by the House of Representatives, tried by the Senate, and removed from office if convicted. The signers of the Constitution did not intend that this tool would be used only by the opposition party; the intent was that all members of the House and Senate might rise above partisanship and ideology when it came time to defend the American experiment. And, while no one is naive about the level of partisanship in today’s Washington, no one should make excuses for House members or senators who fail to rise above it. Jeff Sessions disrespected the basic premises of that experiment and disregarded the Constitution. He did so in pursuit of a position: that of attorney general of the United States. He obtained that position under false pretenses. It is now time to relieve him of his responsibilities as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. The tool, impeachment, is at the ready. It should be employed by all members of Congress who believe that constitutionally defined oaths must be upheld.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s postal service was hit by Wannacry ransomware last week and some of its computers are still down, three employees in Moscow said, the latest sign of weaknesses that have made the country a major victim of the global extortion campaign. A man walks out of a branch of Russian Post in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov Wannacry compromised the post office’s automated queue management system, infecting touch-screen terminals which run on the outdated Windows XP operating system, one of the workers said. Terminals were still blank in some parts of Moscow this week but it was not clear exactly how many branches had been affected. A spokesman for Russian Post, a state-owned monopoly, said no computers were infected, but some terminals were temporarily switched off as a precaution. “The virus attack did not touch Russian Post, all systems are working and stable,” he said. Other institutions in Russia have said they were infected by the virus, highlighting Moscow’s readiness to show it too is a frequent victim of cyber crime in the face of allegations from the United States and Europe of state-sponsored hacking. The Interior Ministry, mobile operator MegaFon (MFON.MM) and state rail monopoly Russian Railways all reported infections, with employees locked out of their computers and the creators of the virus demanding ransoms of $300 to $600. The Russian central bank said on Friday the virus had also compromised some Russian banks in isolated cases. That the infected post office terminals ran on Windows XP - which Microsoft stopped supporting in 2014 - points to the widespread use of outdated software in Russia, which experts say left the country disproportionately vulnerable to the attack. Of 300,000 computers infected worldwide, 20 percent were in Russia, according to an initial estimate by cybersecurity researchers last week. Globally, few ransoms have been paid after many victims found they could restore their systems from backups. The post office outages also illustrate what investigators say is a common misconception about Wannacry: infected computers are more likely to be part of antiquated systems not deemed important enough to update with the latest security patches, rather than machines integral to the company’s core business. “Many companies in Russia use outdated unpatched systems and older anti-malware solutions,” said Nikolay Grebennikov, vice president for R&D at data protection company Acronis. “In big companies upgrades are hard to perform and avoided because of budget and scale.” SCRUTINY Russia’s relationship to cyber crime is under intense scrutiny after U.S. intelligence officials alleged that Russian hackers had tried to help Republican Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency by hacking Democratic Party servers. Moscow has denied the allegations. Investigators are yet to track down Wannacry’s criminal authors, saying they likely used a hacking tool built by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked online in April. It has not previously been reported that the Russian postal service, which employs more than 350,000 people, had been hit by the virus. “The head guys rang on Thursday and said we had to turn off the terminals immediately. They said this extortion virus had infected them,” a worker at a branch in northwest Moscow said, declining to be identified discussing internal company matters. “They rang again yesterday and said we could turn them back on. We did that, but you can see they still don’t work.” Employees at a second post office confirmed the electronic queuing system was broken but said they did not know why. Two sources at Russian Railways said the company had suffered a “huge” cyber attack and a small number of computers were infected without damaging any important files. The extent of the damage had been limited, one of the sources said, because a lot of computers were turned off at the end of the working week. “We were lucky it was a Friday night,” he said. Megafon, which is Russia’s second biggest mobile operator, declined to comment on how the virus had got into its system. It said the virus had caused a temporary outage of its customer support services. “Our sales points suffered worst of all because Windows, which had the exploited vulnerability, is more widely used in retail,” a company statement said. COMPUTER PIRACY The frequent use of pirated software in Russia also helped spread the Wannacry infection, investigators said, as unlicensed products do not receive security updates. Reuters has found no evidence any of Russian companies infected with the Wannacry virus were using unlicensed software. But computer piracy is a long-standing issue for technology companies in Russia, one which has as become increasingly acute as the country’s economic slump and falling earnings make licensed products prohibitively expensive. A woman walks past a branch of Russian Post in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov Data compiled by the BSA Software Alliance trade group shows 64 percent of software products in Russia were pirated in 2015 - a black market industry worth $1.3 billion - compared to a global average of 39 percent. “Piracy is still wide spread in Russia, especially if we are talking about home users,” Grebennikov said. “This is because of poverty. If an operating system costs say 500 rubles, people would buy it.” Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system currently costs around 8,000 rubles ($140.92) in Russia, around a fifth of the average monthly wage of 39,000 rubles. Online, the same product can be illegally downloaded for free.
Stanley “Boom” Williams decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft after a productive three year career at Kentucky. Williams rushed for 1,170-yards and seven touchdowns in the 2016 season. He boasted an impressive 6.8 yards per carry and posed a threat to hit a home run every time he touched the ball. Now, he’s joining the Bengals as an undrafted free agent after going undrafted this weekend. Williams could be an effective back in the league if he’s able to stay healthy. At 5’7”, 190 pounds, Williams has always had issues with durability. His small stature also presents issues when pass-blocking and running between the tackles. However, Williams’ athleticism and ability to break off the big run makes him deserving of a chance to make the roster in Cincinnati. The Bengals selection of Joe Mixon was a big addition, but there’s still uncertainty in regards to when Giovanni Bernard will return from his ACL injury. On top of that, Jeremy Hill’s production has dropped off since his rookie season. Therefore, there is a legitimate opportunity for Williams sneak his way into a roster spot. If Williams can prove to be durable, he has the ability to be a productive change of pace back for the Bengals.
About This Game Casino Blackjack 21 with a TWIST!! Cheat and Play against Cheaters to Win Cash. Cheaters Blackjack updates the Classic Casino Gambling Game with Cheating, Wild West Type Showdowns, 6 Game Modes and Worldwide Internet Scoring Leaderboards. CHEATERS BLACKJACK 21 adds the 'Cheating' twist to the classic game. Cheating steals the next card in the deck and swaps it with the worst card in your hand *IF* it improves your hand (Improve Hand/Avoid Busting). Play against Cheating CPU opponents to win match play and compare your scores to other player Worldwide!! CATCH CPU players to prevent them from cheating to gain advantage. CHEAT to Improve your hand and chances of winning BUT if the CPU players catch you cheating it could spell trouble since they can challenge you in a Old West type showdown for Cash. Win hands to increase your Cheat Percent. Use Cheat Percent to CATCH Cheaters or CHEAT to improve your hand. Get ready to play the classic game like you've never seen it before. You know the rules, You've played the classic game, now try it with this exciting New Twist - Blackjack 21, Cheating and Wild West Showdowns - Whats not to Like? Compare your scores to players around the Globe. Good Luck!! ★ CHEAT to Steal/Swap Next Card if Better ★ CATCH CPU Players to Stop them from Cheating. ★ PLAY Multiple Seats to CHEAT Faster. (Each Win Improves Your Odds) ★ DISABLE Cheating for Normal Blackjack Play ★ Colorful HD Player/CPU/Table Graphics ★ WILD WEST Type Caught! CHEATER Showdowns ★ COMPARE Scores against Players Worldwide ★ 6 Exciting Game Modes - 6 Web LeaderBoards ★ Play Alone or with up to 4 CPU Opponents. ★ Perfect for a Quick Game or Extended Match. ★ EASY to Learn. Use Strategy to Win!! Cheaters Blackjack 21 plays a 100% fair gambling game. There is NO computer peeking or cheating to gain advantage over the player. Each 6 deck shuffle is randomized to maintain fairness. Players also can easily DISABLE cheating mode to practice proper Blackjack gambling strategy in a simulation quality mode. Steam Notes: Hi fellow Steamers!! Cheaters Blackjack is a program I created because I LOVE Blackjack. Its a reboot of a PC/Pocket PC app I created years ago. I made the game to play on multiple platforms (so I could enjoy it everywhere!!). All versions compete using the same scoreboards since no platform has an advantage. It can be played on PC (MAC, Linux coming soon), Mobile, Tablets and TV against the top scores of people on the other platforms. I tried to create a GUI that works equally well on all devices and think that CB21 has basically achieved the goal. Programmed by BlackOpzFX Labs.
F ancy cars have always been an important element in rap music. You can find many articles online talking about what cars rappers love the most, but they all lack the research, running their mouth with no backing evidence. Is rappers’ preferred ride Cadillac, Mercedes, Bentley, or Ferrari? Let’s turn to data science to settle this debate once and for all. By analyzing all lyrics on Rap Genius , we’ll see which rides have been celebrated the most. Check the results... Digging deeper to look at songs released throughout the years, the following is a time series analysis to see which makes have gained popularity and which have lost favor. An interesting correlation here is a dip for some of the most frequently mentioned luxury car makes around 2008, 2009 financial crisis. Shout out to Johnny McNulty at Someecards who have some interesting analysis around the trend’s correlation with economy here . As seen from the chart, the most frequently mentioned car make is Mercedes Benz. Rappers love to rap about their benzes, but they rarely mention what models. If we get down to the specific model that’s most frequently mentioned, there’s no debate — it’s the Chevy Impala, most specifically the ’64 year model. The chart above is an overall view. We’ll break it into several categories in the following: Top 3 Makes There were more mentions of Cadillac relative to Chevrolet between 1997 to 2006, but the trend inverted since 2007. Benz managed to stay on top most of the time, except between 2004 and 2007 where it was briefly surpassed by Cadillac. Makes Gaining Popularity Over Time The following are makes that have been on an upward trend over the years. Worth noting that Porsche, Ferrari, Maybach, and Bugatti peaked around 2012/2013 but have declined since. Makes Losing Popularity Over Time The following are makes that have declined or maintain the same level of mentions in rap songs over time. Due to the increase in rap songs released over the years, these are makes that are losing popularity amongst the artists. Jeep and Hummer serve similar functions and have very similar levels of mentions across time. Lexus was extremely popular around 1998, but has since lost steam. Endorsements Some major car companies benefit from rappers as endorsers, a task the rappers often take on voluntarily. But who is doing the best job as pitchman? Seeing song mentions as a form of endorsement, the following is an analysis of the top endorsers. Turns out The Game dominates the car endorsement game. The Compton artist wins the category hands down for seven of the major car makes, having logged more automobile mentions than any other rapper. The following are The Game’s most-endorsed cars, in order of frequency: Chevrolet Impala Chevrolet Impala Chevy mentioned in 93 of The Game’s songs, 82 of them mention Impala. His love for Impala is expressed in his song “In My 64.”
Refined mansion tax proposal being fed into debate on abolishing 50p tax rate for those earning more than £150,000 The Liberal Democrats are pushing for the eventual disbanding of the 50p rate of tax to see the implementation of a new land tax levied on properties above £1m. In a refinement of their controversial mansion tax policy launched at their party conference two years ago, the Lib Dems now believe there is an argument for levying capital gains tax on any money made from the sale of a property after the first £1m. The Lib Dem idea is being fed into the debate surrounding how to bring down the 50p rate for those earning more than £150,000. A review into the rate is expected to confirm suspicions it does not bring in much revenue but serves to deter international business from locating in the UK at a time when the chancellor is seeking to encourage inward investment and spur growth. Over the weekend, George Osborne gave his clearest sign that the top rate would come down. Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Osborne said there was "not much point" in having a tax that raised scant funds but that served to drive businesses out of Britain. Osborne said: "I've said with the 50p rate I don't see that as a lasting tax rate for Britain because it's very uncompetitive internationally, and people frankly can move. What is it actually raising? It's only been in operation for a year, this tax, put in place by the last government." Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem Treasury chief secretary, has said supporters of abolishing the 50p rate are living in "cloud cuckoo land". Vince Cable, the Lib Dem business secretary, has said if it goes it must be replaced by another imposition on the wealthy – possibly a mansion tax which would hit owners of the highest-value properties.
CHICAGO (STMW) — Three people were killed and at least 13 others wounded in shootings across the city between Friday evening and Monday morning. The latest fatal shooting happened Sunday morning in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side. About 11:25 a.m., officers responding to a call of a person on the ground in the 6500 block of South Fairfield found 18-year-old Dennis Bradford III unresponsive with gunshot wounds to the head and wrist, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Bradford, of the the 6200 block of South Mozart, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:43 a.m., authorities said. Earlier Sunday, a 28-year-old man died after being dropped off at a Far South Side hospital with a gunshot wound to the hip, police said. He showed up at Roseland Community Hospital, 45 W. 111th St., shortly before 5 a.m. and later was pronounced dead, police said. His name has not been released. Authorities are trying to determine where the shooting happened. Area South detectives are handling the homicide investigation. The weekend’s first fatal shooting happened Friday evening in West Elsdon on the Southwest Side. Lauren Membreno, 23, was in the front seat of a vehicle parked in the 5500 block of South Karlov about 7 p.m. when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside opened fire, authorities said. Membreno — who wasn’t the intended target — was shot in the head and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:37 p.m. Saturday. She lived in the 5300 block of South Spaulding, authorities said. A police source said her boyfriend, who was sitting in the driver seat, was thought to have been the target. The most recent nonfatal shooting happened early Monday in the West Side Austin neighborhood. A 25-year-old man was a passenger in a vehicle going westbound in the 5300 block of West Chicago about 12:30 a.m. when he heard gunfire and realized he’d been shot in the right foot. He was driven to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where his condition was stabilized, police said. Four people were wounded during a two-hour spate of gunfire Sunday night. About 10 p.m., a 14-year-old boy was shot in the hand in the Belmont Central neighborhood on the Northwest Side. He and two other people were walking in the 5700 block of West Belden when a gunman opened fire. The boy was taken to West Suburban Medical Center and transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, police said. Detectives were questioning a person of interest in the shooting Monday morning. Twenty minutes earlier, a 25-year-old man was outside in Austin’s 4800 block of West Monroe about 9:40 p.m. when a gray car drove by and someone inside fired shots, striking the man in the right arm. He took himself to West Suburban Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized, police said. About an hour earlier, a 43-year-old man was shot in both legs and the hand in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side. The shooting happened at 8:50 p.m. in the 9200 block of South Cottage Grove and he was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition was stabilized, police said. The circumstances of the shooting were unknown. At 8:05 p.m., a bullet grazed the right shoulder of a man who heard shots while walking in the 8300 block of South Houston in the South Chicago neighborhood. He declined medical treatment. At least eight more people were wounded in separate shootings between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
SAN FRANCISCO – A new edition of an international space exploration planning document to be released early next year will offer an updated plan for human missions to the moon and Mars, emphasizing the role that NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway could play. In January, NASA and 14 international space agencies plan to publish their common goals for exploration, including an extended presence in low Earth orbit, a cislunar habitat, moon missions and eventual excursions to Mars, in an updated Global Exploration Roadmap being drafted by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG). Since NASA’s first flight of its heavy-lift Space Launch System with an Orion capsule is scheduled for as soon as late 2019, it’s time to decide “what we are going to do with these vehicles,” Kathy Laurini, NASA senior adviser for exploration and space operations, said during a Global Exploration Roadmap community workshop at the NASA Ames Research Center Nov. 29. “We’ve been engaged with our international partners on how we’ll use these to explore together.” ISECG, a voluntary organization whose members share non-binding plans and objectives, published its last Global Exploration Roadmap in 2013. ISECG members will use the new Roadmap to show domestic policymakers and funding agencies how specific programs will contribute to global endeavors, said Laurini, who also serves as ISECG chair. NASA, for example, will point to the roadmap as it seeks funding and authorization for future SLS and Orion missions. NASA officials acknowledged, though, that the agency is waiting for confirmation of a new administrator and direction from the National Space Council. Future exploration plans will become clearer when the Trump Administration and Congress weigh in on the agency’s budget, said Mark Geyer, acting deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate. NASA also is seeking domestic and international support for its conceptual Deep Space Gateway. “We see an orbital platform as playing a vital and synergistic role with anything you do on the surface,” said John Guidi, NASA advanced exploration systems deputy director. For instance, reusable landers could move astronauts to the Deep Space Gateway, which could also serve as a jumping off point for exploration of near Earth asteroids and Mars. “Cislunar orbit is the sweet spot. It’s close enough to Earth and the moon but out of the gravity wells,” Guidi said. In the new Roadmap, ISECG will emphasize a shared commitment in the next 10 to 15 years to continue operations in low Earth orbit, where space agencies can conduct microgravity research and test life support systems for future exploration missions. Some of that work, though, may occur in new public or private space stations rather than the International Space Station. The ISS partners have agreed to keep funding the space station through 2024. To date, NASA and its international partners have been able to maintain the aging space station with spare parts. However, older components, including the solar arrays, will need to be replaced by the end of the 2020s, said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of NASA’s ISS Division. Even if the ISS partners do not make commitments to support it beyond 2024, the transition from space station to another platform should be gradual, Gatens added. The new Roadmap lays out a three-phase plan. The starting point, Phase 0, is ongoing research and testing on ISS. During Phase 1 in the 2020s, international agencies would explore the lunar vicinity. In that timeframe, NASA would work with partners to construct the Deep Space Gateway, a crewed outpost with less than 10 percent of the habitable volume of ISS, and agencies would send robotic missions to the lunar surface and prepare for human lunar exploration. By Phase 2 in the 2030s, agencies would send exploration missions to orbit Mars. Under current budget projections, NASA could launch one crewed SLS/Orion flight per year, with each Orion spending approximately 40 days at the Deep Space Gateway, Guidi said. Four SLS missions in the 2020s could assemble elements of the Deep Space Gateway, including its power and propulsion bus, habitat, logistics module and airlock, Guidi said. ISECG shared its draft Roadmap to encourage companies, government agencies and academic organizations to offer comments. “The Deep Space Gateway is a concept for government-led exploration endeavors,” Laurini said. “It is a commitment to being there. And because we are there, it will offer opportunities for commercial entities.” Those commercial opportunities, ISECG partners believe, include playing key roles in delivering cargo to the Deep Space Gateway, relaying communications from the lunar surface, sending instruments to the surface of the moon to support government investigations of volatile organic compounds and transporting cargo to the moon to support crews spending time there.
Introduction On Feb. 1, 2017, the United States led Coalition was accused by local activists and journalists that it had bombed the headquarters of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) located in the Carlton Hotel in the city of Idlib, Syria. Photos and videos allegedly showing the bombed headquarters quickly emerged online. This open source investigation aims to verify the various claims made surrounding this incident. Content Summary Claims Methodology Open Sources Findings Summary Based on open source research, it can be confirmed that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) utilised the Carlton Hotel in Idlib city as a headquarters. It can also be confirmed that the Carlton Hotel was recently severely damaged. The US-led Coalition was accused of conducting an airstrike on the building in the early morning of Feb. 1, killing one SARC member, but the Coalition denies any involvement. Neither the exact date of the attack nor the perpetrator can be established based on open sources. What can be observed, however, is that a bomb appears to have pierced at least four floors before detonating. Claims The following claims are circulating on social media: One or more airstrikes conducted by the US-led Coalition destroyed a part of the Carlton Hotel in Idlib city. The Carlton Hotel was used by the SARC as headquarters. This open source investigation aims to verify those claims by answering the following questions: Is there a Carlton Hotel in Idlib city? Was the Carlton Hotel in Idlib was used by the SARC as headquarters? Was the Carlton Hotel in Idlib was bombed? If so, was it bombed by the US(-led Coalition)? Methodology The investigation uses only openly available sources on the Internet. In addition, a request to comment on this incident and the accusation was sent to the Coalition’s public affairs office. Sources were found by, for example, searches on social media using certain keywords of internet. One can think of a search on ‘Red Crescent Idlib’ in Arabic: “الهلال الأحمرادلب‎‎”. These social media include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. After the exact location of the incident was found, the coordinates have been used to conduct location-based searches in a 2-km radius on those same social networks. Reference photos have been found via geotagged pictures on Panoramio. All YouTube videos have been checked for the date and potential other, earlier uploads using Amnesty International’s YouTube Data Viewer, and images Google’s reverse image search has been used to see if the photos were not posted before the date of the attack. Bellingcat has published several how-to guides to for beginning or advanced open source investigations. All sources but one has geolocated. Open Sources These are the main open sources found and used outside of the use of freely available mapping data and satellite imagery via Wikimapia, Google Earth, Google Maps, and Bing Maps. Pro-opposition media, local activists and organisations have shared videos and photos showing the same severely damaged building, and large number of them accuse the Coalition for conducting the airstrikes: Al-Baladi News also published a video showing SARC employees in a ravaged building [link/archived], and Al Jazeera Arabic also sent a reporter to the scene who said it is not clear who conducted the airstrike [link/archived]. Findings 1. Is there a Carlton Hotel in Idlib city? Yes, based on open sources it can be confirmed that there is a Carlton Hotel in Idlib city. First of all, the hotel (Arabic: فندق كارلتون) is listed as a four-star hotel on hotel booking websites (for example, hotelscombined.com [archived]) and Google Maps [archived]. The hotel is located in southern part of Idlib city, at the coordinates 35.9206001, 36.634748 (Wikimapia). Secondly, the hotel is referred to in media, for example by esyria.net [archived] and dp-news.com [archived]. The articles are an interview with the hotel director and a news report that the hotel closed its restaurant in 2011, respectively. Thirdly, photos that are geotagged on Panoramio, or that can be geolocated to the area, indeed show a building which bears a sign ‘Carlton Hotel’, including a logo and four stars. 2. Was the Carlton Hotel in Idlib was used by the SARC as a headquarters? Yes, based on open sources it can be confirmed that the SARC used the Carlton Hotel in Idlib as a headquarters. First of all, nearly forty SARC members of the Idlib branch posed with four ambulances in front of the Carlton Hotel in a picture uploaded to their Facebook page on Jan. 17, 2017. The same Facebook page also reported the attack which destroyed ‘most of [their] administrative offices but didn’t injure humans’ [link/archived]. Photos posted in Feb. 2016 shows that the Carlton Hotel was already used by SARC at that time [photo 1: link/archived; photo 2: link/archived; photo 3: link/archived; photo 4: link/archived]. Members of the SARC team declared to the Website for the Syrian Revolution that the building does not contain any headquarters of military factions. Secondly, the official Twitter account of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria condemned the bombing, “a clear violation of [international humanitarian law”, hours after the attacked reportedly happened. This tweet thus suggests that the ICRC Syria is aware that there is an aid branch operating in the destroyed location, which brings us to the next point: Was the Carlton Hotel in Idlib indeed bombed? 3. Was the Carlton Hotel in Idlib was bombed? If so, was it bombed by the US-led Coalition? Based on open sources, it can be established that the west wing of the Carlton Hotel has been severely damaged. Below are photos and screengrabs from videos showing that damage. All footage taken outside of the building can be geolocated to the immediate surrounding of the Carlton Hotel. The map below shows all locations from where photos or videos of the ravaged hotel were taken. In a news report [archived], MICRO SYRIA claims that the Carlton Hotel, which houses the Red Crescent, was targeted by unknown aircraft at three ‘o clock at night of February 1, 2017. A reconnaissance aircraft was seen in the sky an hour before the airstrike happened, media activist Ammar al-Adalba told Website for the Syrian Revolution. He said that it was most likely an airplane from the Coalition that struck the SARC headquarters, resulting in destruction and fire inside the building. As there is no (open or commercial) satellite imagery available around the date of the alleged strike, the exact date of the destruction cannot be confirmed. There are no obvious visual indicators, like weapon remnants, that could identify the perpetrator of the attack, or the cause of the damage. There is, however, footage of an object that appears to have pierced at least four floors of the building. A rescue worker interviewed by Step News Agency claims that “a missile went from the roof down to the first floor.” Some have suggested the damage at the Carlton Hotel may be due to a delay-action bomb, which is designed to explode some time after impact (think of a bunker buster, for example). Building upon that claim, it has been suggested that it must have been either the Coalition or the Russian Air Force that conducted the bombing; the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) is believed to be incapable of delivering such bombs during night time. However, as Tom Cooper detailed in this War Is Boring piece, may well have the capacity to operate at night. There is currently no visual evidence to confirm the use of a delay-action bomb, so the above remains speculation. In reply to a request of information, the Coalition’s public affairs office e-mailed Bellingcat that “the Coalition did not conduct airstrikes in Idlib on Feb. 1, 2017.” With regards to injuries and casualties, the estimates by the local sources range from nine to eleven individuals that were injured. At least one ambulance has also been severely damaged in the incident, photos and videos show. Update: In a previous version, the article stated that an e-mail was sent to US Central Command. This is not correct, the e-mail was sent to the US-led Coalition. The reply came from the Coalition’s press desk, which is was an e-mail-address associated with the US military. Update: An earlier version of this hotel incorrectly mentioned that the Ghreir family was killed in this incident. That is not correct, the Ghreir family was indeed confirmed by SARC as being killed in Idlib, but in a separate incident.
Winter isn't done with us yet. Ottawa can expect another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow Wednesday as a storm system moves through the United States today. Watch CBC Ottawa Go to Ian Black's weather page and follow his forecasts on TV on CBC News Ottawa starting at 5. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of Ontario, as a mixture of rain and snow is expected along Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and snow is expected further north and east. The advisory comes as a low pressure system passed over Arkansas this morning and moved northeast to Illinois this afternoon. The system is expected to move to northern Ohio by Wednesday morning. As much as 10 to 15 cm of snow is possible Wednesday for Ottawa and eastern Ontario, the weather agency estimated. School bus cancellations Will your bus be running Wednesday morning? Go to our school bus page for the latest updates. "Driving conditions are expected to deteriorate and may become hazardous due to rapidly accumulating snow on untreated roads and low visibility in heavy snow," the weather agency said. The snow is more likely to cause problems for commuters later in the day Wednesday, according to CBC Ottawa climatologist Ian Black. "Your morning commute will be better than your drive home," said Black. "It is also going to be snowing into a good portion of Thursday, but the worst tomorrow will be later in the day." The weather agency said it will issue snowfall warnings should estimates change and more than 15 cm is expected in a 12-hour period.
“It is something I have got used to since 9/11. From being called Osama Bin Laden to Paki-terrorist I have heard it all,” Zab Mustefa, a British Muslim journalist, who specialises in women's rights and culture, tells me. Since the terrorist attacks on New York City that brought down the twin towers, it seems life has not been the same for Muslims that live in the western world. Suddenly there was a spotlight shone on Islam when most non-Muslims had barely given it a second thought before. “Either you’re with us. Or you’re with the terrorists,” announced the then president of the USA George W Bush in a sombre tone at a press conference following the attacks. And many people decided that all Muslims were against 'us'. Everything was under scrutiny. Their style of dress, their beliefs, their way of life. People that had never even read the Qu’ran believed they had more knowledge than Islamic scholars. “Look at the way they treat their women!” is a statement that I often hear. “Forcing them to cover up. Not allowing them to go out alone and controlling everything that they do.” “What about Saudi Arabia? They don’t even let women drive!” But it's a false perception. I am not denying that there are countries where the predominant religion is Islam where women are treated badly. But patriarchy is the problem, not Islam. In Islam, the rights of women were recognised much earlier than they were in the West. In any case, we in the UK don’t come up smelling of roses when we examine the inequality between the sexes either. A UN human rights inspector recently declared the sexism in the UK to be more ‘pervasive’ and ‘in your face’ than any country she has ever visited and that included some Muslim countries. What I find totally abhorrent is the fact that since concern for Muslim women is so often cited, how come they are the targets of so much abuse in today’s society? 'Anti-Muslim hate' A report from the University of Birmingham, 'Maybe we are hated: The experience and impact of anti-Muslim hate on British Muslim women', says Muslim women are repeated victims of anit-Muslim hate. It cites verified figures from Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), which show attacks on Muslim women account for 58 per cent of all incidents reported to it. Of those, 80 per cent were visually identifiable (wearing hijab, niqab, or other clothing associated with Islam). I have witnessed some of it first hand. It ranges from petty microaggressions to full blown physical attacks. I was told of a pregnant Muslim woman who was pushed down and stomped on last week. She was too scared to go to the police. “Racist rhetoric from the likes of the EDL and Ukip is definitely making things worse,” Zab continues. “I am definitely feeling more hatred towards Muslims as a result. I went to the police but they failed to investigate, let alone take any action. This was the point, that an EDL supporter was threatening to come and ‘teach’ me a lesson simply because I am a Muslim woman. I have been called many things such as hummus eating, camel shagging, Paki Muslim slut. No joke.” One lady that preferred to remain anonymous told me: “I was in London, and on the Tube and a group of three well dressed white men were sitting opposite me. One was looking at me singing 'Kill them all. Kill them.' His friend pointed out that I could hear him. The guy singing said ‘I don't give a f**k.’ "On the same day a man in a business suit told me to ‘f**k off’. I was with a white male friend at the time. We both stopped in our tracks and the white guy who swore turned around, pointed at me and said, ‘yeah you!’ "I feel unsafe, my husband told me not to go into London, both of us were worried that I may be attacked or have my hijab pulled etc. He was also really angry with me when I didn't tell the police, as he said they ought to know that Muslim women are being harassed. I was just shocked because it wasn't the expected type that you see on EDL marches. It was ‘educated’ people.” Akeela lives in North West London but when she lived in Hull she often felt that she had to remove her hijab for her own safety. A lot of women have had their hijabs pulled off. She said that she has suffered a full range of abuse from the ‘v sign’ to being called a ‘Muslim bastard’. She also receives a steady stream of Islamophobic tweets. What's going on? Henna suggests a reason for these attacks: “It seems to me this flavour of violence is almost accepted as a 'cruel to be kind' compliment to integration to the British way of life, like bullying fat people to help them get healthier. I'm a South Asian looking woman, not obviously Muslim, I don't wear a hijab or any symbols. I'd consider myself culturally Islamicate or a secular Muslim. The fact that I get Islamophobic street harassment seems in itself a testament to the magnitude of the problem and degree of perpetrators' ignorance. "In my experience it has been constant since 9/11 - at school I had my white friends rounding on me asking me why, by being a Muslim I supported OBL [Osama bin Laden]. To which I had to provide some self-denying murmuring excuse in order to quell their fears even though I was barely conscious of Islam beyond using fasting as an excuse to avoid PE. "I've had a man pull up his Transit van in the street to scream ‘Afghan terrorist’. In Trafalgar Square, I had a guy walk in front of me to obstruct my path and then follow me down the street asking why ‘my people’ wanted to destroy the West and telling me I needed to go home. No one in the crowded square felt compelled to intervene. "It’s the constant and wearing rhetoric that is most difficult. Always having to be on the backfoot - apologetic - because otherwise you're on Team Evil. And that's now prevalent in even progressive circles, certainly with people I know as friends.” Her friend Annabel agrees, saying: “My Muslim identity would be defined very similarly to Henna's, except non-Muslim people rarely assume I'm a Muslim. This puts them in a supposedly safe space for making bigoted comments [like:] 'And obviously when I got on the plane I checked no-one looked like a terrorist.’ ‘They could have anything under those veils. I'm not gonna get killed in the name of political correctness.’ "A guy I know wrote as his Facebook status that he changed Tube carriage when a bearded man was reading a book written in Arabic script and speaking under his voice. "I should stress that it's not even solely white British people who make these comments - it's also fellow ethnic minorities, though from my experience the really angry rhetoric has come from white British people. Islamophobia is rampant - I must deal with multiple comments every week. It now exists as a social norm that provides a clear context for verbal or physical attacks on Muslims because racists create safe spaces for themselves to validate their own racism - which I see on a near daily basis.” Sadly with so much Islamophobic rhetoric being used, in some cases by politicians looking to score points by feeding people’s fears, this problem may get even worse. We should be ashamed to live in a society that treats people this way on a daily basis.
The Ice Light is “a portable, dimmable, daylight balanced, continuous LED light source with a built in battery” that costs $450. In this post I will show you how I made a DIY version for less than $30. Parts Used You’ll only need to pick up 6 things to build a DIY ice light: Defiant 700 lumen focusing LED flashlight ($19.88 from Home Depot. Model #: HD14Q406) 24″ PVC pipe, 1.5″ diameter (~$2) 1.5″ PVC coupler (~$1) 1.5″ PVC cap (~$1) 48″ Fluorescent bulb shield (~$2. This slides over a fluorescent bulb to prevent it from shattering) Small piece of aluminum foil. (Had it in the house, because we’re civilized) The Steps I redesigned the PVC pipe and made it about 5″ shorter. It was too long and unwieldy. I took a little more care in marking off the space to cut out. The blue tape worked perfect to keep a straight line. Cut the opening in the PVC pipe. This can be whatever width you want. Mine is a little less than halfway through. Cut the flourescent shield to the same length as the pipe. Then use a utility knife to cut it longways. Sand the inside and outside of the fluorescent shield to create a “smoked glass” look and set aside. This shows how I got the fluorescent shield to stay large enough to snugly fit into the pipe. Just a simple slit on one side and the other side slides in. Also you can see how the once clear plastic looks after sanding it: Remove the “crown” off of the bulb end of the flashlight. You will still have the reflector cone and clear focuser inside the light. This takes a bit of sanding for adjustment but the 1.5″ coupler almost threads perfectly onto the end of the flashlight. Sand as needed and test fit. Push 24″ PVC into the unsanded coupler end. PVC Cement can be used if desired. I shoved a wrinkled disc of foil in the end cap to reflect light back. Don’t make it too thick or the PVC pipe wont go in all the way. Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly bigger than then end of the PVC pipe, shiny side toward the flashlight. Fit it over the pipe and slide the PVC Cap about half way on. If there’s any foil sticking out, trim with utility knife. Then press Cap on fully. This step is optional: Using the leftover flourescent shield, insert it into the PVC pipe. This will be the paint shield so black paint won’t get on the inside of the light pipe. Place hose clamp around end of PVC coupler and snug tight. (this is only for paint purposes so it will be in place for paint and won’t scratch if you try to put it on after painting. I used Krylon matte black spraypaint that was specific for plastics. It bonds well and only takes about 15 minutes to dry. Several thin coats will work better than one thick coat. This is after a couple coats of paint (the paint shield keeps the inside clean and white): After its dried, its time to fit it onto the flashlight. Replace the painted fluorescent shield with the sanded white shield. For the Coupler I used, I had to cut a small (2 cm) piece of PVC pipe to fill in the gap on the flashlight side of the coupler. The clear plastic for focusing the flashlight falls out if there’s nothing there. This is a trial and error step. It will take some trimming to get a good fit. Once the coupler is fit and the focuser is in place, tighten the hose clamp. That’s it. The focuser on the flashlight acts as a dimmer for the light. When its set to wide beam it is dimmer since less light is reflecting off the foil at the end. This light also has two brightness settings so it dims down pretty well. Here’s a photo showing how dispersed the light from the DIY Ice Light is: Here’s an unedited photo of my unimpressed wife at 1am: Finally, here’s a video in which I demonstrate how this DIY Ice Light works: About the author: Justin Barr is a professional photographer based in Florissant, Missouri and serving the St. Louis area. You can visit his website here.
A Wall Street sign is displayed in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new all-time intraday of 18,873.6, and closed more than 200 points higher Thursday, as Wall Street fears related to Donald Trump's election win gave way to hopes that the president-elect's policies could boost the economy, CNBC reported. The S&P 500 gyrated between gains and losses, holding about 0.4 percent higher, with financials rising 4 percent to lead advancers. The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency's performance against a basket of currencies, rose 0.29 percent Thursday, with the euro near $1.089 percent. The safe-haven yen fell more than 1 percent versus the greenback, trading around 106.80. It marked the second day of what investors have dubbed the "Trump Bounce."
As President Barack Obama begins his second term, democratically returned to office by a majority of Americans who seem to buy what he is selling, it would profit us to pause a moment and examine the discrepancies between the vision he expounded in his inaugural address and the economic reality that surrounds us. This leads to a pivotal question: What, exactly, is the underlying purpose of Obamanomics, and how would we know? Logic offers two choices. We can take the president at his word, and then ask why the promised economic recovery, growth, prosperity, and equality, haven’t arrived yet. Or we can ascribe darker motives to the policies that have brought our country to the brink of ruin. That raises the horrifying possibility—unlikely as it might sound—that precipitating an existential crisis in order to bring about radical change has been Obama’s underlying agenda all along. If we take the high road and accept Obama at his word, as most Americans have, we are led to three alternatives. The first is that the Keynesian nostrums applied to goose the economy—bailouts, stimulus spending, money printing, artificial suppression of interest rates, government “investments” in all manner of money-losing schemes, and a rapid expansion of the welfare state, all with the goal of increasing “aggregate demand”—are working fine. All we need is to give Washington a bit more time, a little more spending leeway, and a few more tax dollars extracted from those who can most afford it, and all will be well. The second possibility is that the president’s macroeconomic policies are not working because they are too modest. Therefore, we must let Washington double down and play an even larger role in the economy, or all will be lost. Notables such as The New York Times’ Paul Krugman imply that this is the only way to restore prosperity, and that the one thing holding us back is stingy Republican recalcitrance. The third possibility is that, noble intentions aside, the Keynesian plan is not working, cannot work, never has worked, and never will work. This implies we need to change course if we want to revive our struggling economy and restore our government to solvency. The political battle being fought in Washington ranges largely across these three possibilities. But suppose none of them represent reality. Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the series of deeper and deeper crises the nation is experiencing are not unintended consequences of failed policies but were the primary goal all along. Yes, this requires taking a trip into the right-wing fever swamps occupied by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. But these days, it seems that only in such decidedly unfashionable neighborhoods are government policies measured not by their stated intentions but by results. Examining the dismal results of the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression through such jaundiced eyes, we come to two alternatives. The first is that our government is controlled by a group of self-serving, hopeless incompetents locked in mortal gridlock with a rival political party also comprised of self-serving, hopeless incompetents. This is the easiest hypothesis to defend, and the most likely, which makes it safe ground for critics and pundits. But suppose, just for a moment, that Obama is as brilliant as his supporters say he is. Suppose he knows exactly what he is doing and is not the least bit surprised by the outcome. Suppose he is methodically executing the infamous Cloward-Piven strategy—which, if it is not succeeding in its objective of totally remaking America, you sure couldn’t tell by looking at the results. Yes, I know, much ink has been spilled over this theory, the best being an American Thinker article from 2008, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. It’s worth revisiting, now that we have had a whole term to watch Obama in action. The idea that a new age of social justice and redistributive equality can be brought about by overloading government systems until they collapse, precipitating a populist demand for a wholesale rejection of free market capitalism, was first espoused by two Columbia University professors in the 1960s. The idea gained currency in radical circles that included a diverse cast of characters, many of whom make cameo appearance in the life and education of our president and read like a who’s who of the American radical left, including Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, George Wiley, Saul Alinsky, Wade Rathke, ACORN, and George Soros, among others. Yes, it is possible that Barack Obama has rejected all the radical ideas he marinated in as a young man, just as he claims to have rejected the vitriolic anti-Americanism of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, in whose pews he sat for years and whose sermons inspired Obama’s memoir, The Audacity of Hope. Yes, of course, it is possible that all of the formative influences that made our president who he is are irrelevant to the policies he is enacting now, just as it possible that we are living through a bad dream and that in the morning we will awaken refreshed in a country that is not in the process of destroying itself. Bill Frezza is a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a Boston-based venture capitalist. You can find all of his columns, TV, and radio interviews here. If you would like to have his columns delivered to you by email, click here or follow him on Twitter @BillFrezza. The cartoon is courtesy of TobyToons.
Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen U.S. soldier of Muslim faith, is responding to Donald Trump’s speculation that she didn’t speak at last week’s Democratic convention due to her religion. “I can say that my religion or my family or my culture never stopped me saying whatever I want to say,” Khan said in an interview with CNN’s “New Day.” “And my husband is very supportive of me in these things that I have all the rights as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter.” After Khan and her husband, Khizr, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention last week to deliver an emotional speech denouncing Trump’s proposed Muslim immigration ban, the GOP presidential candidate suggested that Mrs. Khan wasn’t allowed to speak because of her Islamic religion. Also Read: 'The Simpsons' Derides Donald Trump, Theorizes Dog Toupée (Video) “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump said. The Republican candidate received backlash for his comments, notably from Mrs. Khan. “I have done very well saying my mind out, but that time was different. And anybody can see it was different that time when I was standing there in front of America,” Khan said. Also Read: Ann Coulter Hammered by Conservatives for Smearing US War Hero's Dad as 'Angry Muslim' The Khans’ son, Army Capt. Humayun, had served in Iraq and died during a suicide car bombing. They said Trump’s ban would have prevented their son from serving his country.
And yet no one knows whether women will show up for Ms. Sandberg’s revolution, a top-down affair propelled by a fortune worth hundreds of millions on paper, or whether the social media executive can form a women’s network of her own. Only a single test “Lean In Circle” exists. With less than three weeks until launch — which will include a spread in Time magazine and splashy events like a book party at the foundation offices of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — organizers cannot say how many more groups may sprout up. Even her advisers acknowledge the awkwardness of a woman with double Harvard degrees, dual stock riches (from Facebook and Google, where she also worked), a 9,000-square-foot house and a small army of household help urging less fortunate women to look inward and work harder. Will more earthbound women, struggling with cash flow and child care, embrace the advice of a Silicon Valley executive whose book acknowledgments include thanks to her wealth adviser andOprah Winfrey? “I don’t think anyone has ever tried to do this from anywhere even close to her perch,” said Debora L. Spar, president of Barnard College, who invited Ms. Sandberg to deliver a May 2011 commencement address about gender in the workplace that caught fire online. (Ms. Sandberg, who will grant her first book interview to the CBS program “60 Minutes,” declined to comment for this article.) Despite decades of efforts, and some visible exceptions, the number of top women leaders in many fields remains stubbornly low: for example, 21 of the current Fortune 500 chief executives are women. In her book, to be published by Knopf, Ms. Sandberg argues that is because women face invisible, even subconscious, barriers in the workplace, and not just from bosses. In her view, women are also sabotaging themselves. “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in,” she writes, and the result is that “men still run the world.” Ms. Sandberg wants to take women through a collective self-awareness exercise. In her book, she urges them to absorb the social science showing they are judged more harshly and paid less than men; resist slowing down in mere anticipation of having children; insist that their husbands split housework equally; draft short- and long-term career plans; and join a “Lean In Circle,” which is half business school and half book club.
Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. Dec. 22, 2016, 2:19 PM GMT / Updated Dec. 22, 2016, 5:08 PM GMT By Carrie Dann and Andrea Mitchell Donald Trump is calling on the Obama administration to veto a now-delayed U.N. resolution regarding Israeli settlements, weighing in on one of the most significant pressure points in U.S. foreign policy just weeks before President Barack Obama leaves office. The draft resolution, circulated by Egypt on Wednesday night and originally slated for a vote Thursday, demands that Israel cease all settlement building in the West Bank, and it declares that existing settlements have "no legal validity." But the vote, originally scheduled for 3pm ET today, has been delayed under intense pressure from Israel. In a statement on Twitter and Facebook early Thursday, Trump called on Obama to veto the measure, saying the resolution "puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis." "As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations," he said. Trump's statement comes hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also urged the U.S. to veto the resolution, calling it "anti-Israel." The resolution would need nine affirmative votes and no vetoes by the United States or any of the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council in order to be adopted. But several diplomatic sources tell NBC NEWS that the outgoing Obama administration was planning to abstain - going against both Netanyahu and Trump. The White House has been trying to lay down markers against Trump on the Middle East - especially since the president-elect nominated hardliner and pro-settlement advocate David Friedman to be his Ambassador to Israel. Friedman and Ivanka Trump's father in law - Charles Kushner - co-founded the Bet El foundation, which supports the most radical of the settlers. At a DC conference two weeks ago, Friedman compared members of "J Street," prominent American Jewish leaders who support a two-state solution, to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis in concentration camps. Friedman's nomination requires confirmation by the Senate.
New York Red Bulls Homegrown midfielder Tyler Adams earned a start for the United States Under-18 National Team yesterday in a 4-0 win over a youth side from Chivas Guadalajara. Adams joined the U.S. U-18s over the weekend for camp in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. U-18s will face two other club sides based in Guadalajara, Club Universidad and Atlas Futbol Club, over the next week. Adams, a native of Wappinger’s Falls, N.Y., joined the Red Bulls youth system through the Regional Development School program, and then advanced through the academy system before signing his first professional contract with New York Red Bulls II in 2015. Adams joined the New York Red Bulls first team on an MLS Homegrown contract prior to the 2016 season. The midfielder made his MLS debut in April against San Jose. Adams has represented the United States at a number of youth international levels, including time with the U.S. U-17 residency program, and as part of the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup roster. ​ SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW YORK RED BULLS EMAIL NEWSLETTER
The eight World Cup second round matches are spread over the course of four days. Here’s previews for the first half… Uruguay v South Korea Uruguay have been one of the most impressive teams so far – playing for and achieving a draw against France, destroying South Africa and recording a solid 1-0 victory over Mexico. They started the competition with a 3-5-2 shape, which became more like a 5-3-2 when the wing-backs had to contain France’s wingers. They’ve since switched to a 4-3-1-2 with Diego Forlan playing behind the main two forwards, and they’ll surely play the same formation after their two wins. South Korea’s first XI is fairly predictable. The only changes they’ve made so far have been at right-back, bringing in Oh Bum-Suk against Argentina – but he was the worst player on the pitch, so Cha Du-Ri has regained his place. The formation will probably be 4-2-3-1. Playing Park Ji-Sung on the left-hand side might be useful to track the forward runs of Maxi Pereira, although he was fielded in the centre of the three against Argentina. Picking up Forlan is the obvious task – with two holding midfielders, Korea will have a man tracking him, but must worry this will concede the midfield ground to Uruguay. Korea should look to play down their left-hand-side, because Uruguay’s shape tends to be slightly lopsided. Alvaro Pereira, generally a left wing-back, is playing a more central role but tends to drift back out wide, sometimes meaning Uruguay look like two banks of four minus a right-sided midfielder. USA v Ghana The US start as favourites, but this one might suit Ghana tactically; they will be content to sit back and soak up pressure, before hitting the US on the counter-attack. The American full-backs have appeared a little slow in recovering their position after forays forward so far in the tournament, which will be perfect for the pacey Ghana wingers. The best course of action for the US is to put the Ghana centre-backs under as much pressure as possible early on. Ghana will probably have a 3 v 2 advantage in the centre of midfield, so more direct balls towards the strikers (with Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan supporting very close by, something they did particularly well against England) might be a better approach than playing through midfield. In particular, 20-year-old Jonathan Mensah has looked slightly nervy so far, and Jozy Altidore should be able to get at him. The midfield battle will probably be quite reserved. Both central midfields generally sit deep rather than look to make penetrative runs, so they may play in front of each other, and create a slightly static contest. The US will dominate possession and territory – but finding a way past Ghana’s good defence won’t be easy. This one calls for all of Bob Bradley’s tactical ability – so far he’s generally got his team playing better after half-time, but below-par first halves won’t be acceptable in the knockout stages. Germany v England If the two sides perform to the standard as they have so far in the competition, then England are in for a thrashing. First and foremost, their ball retention must be far better. As with all 4-2-3-1 v 4-4-2 battles, the main task for Fabio Capello is to work out how to deal with Mesut Ozil – the match-winner for Germany against Australia and Ghana. Those two teams both allowed him far too much space between the lines, and it’s likely that Gareth Barry will have the task of tracking him, something he did well against Algeria. This would mean a numerical disadvantage further forward in midfield, where Frank Lampard would be forced to pick up the runs of both Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger, so it’s likely one of England’s two strikers will be given more defensive responsibility when out of possession. The natural man to do this is Wayne Rooney, who has consistently shown his defensive awareness throughout his career, particularly when playing on the wing for Manchester United. However, Jermain Defoe has done well in recent months in this respect. Capello won’t want Rooney to become overburdened defensively, nor will he want Defoe playing a permanently withdrawn role and negating the threat of his pace in behind the German defence – so it’s likely they’ll take it in turns to pick up the Germans’ deepest holding midfielder – most likely Schweinsteiger, if fit. Germany’s most important player in a defensive sense could be Thomas Muller, on the right-hand side. He’s impressed at Bayern Munich for his discipline, and he’ll be up against Ashley Cole, possibly England’s best performer so far. With Steven Gerrard always likely to drift in from the left, stopping Cole is vital because it gives England no natural left-sided option, and with them struggling to keep the ball in the centre of the pitch, makes their attacking threat rather basic. German pressing will also be key – the distribution from England’s centre-backs so far has been appalling, and putting them under pressure early on will expose this even further. This all assumes that Fabio Capello will stick with 4-4-2 – but he shows no sign of ditching the system. Argentina v Mexico A fascinating contest, that Mexico might be reasonably well set up for with their fluid defensive system. 2 v 1 at the back against Gonzalo Higuain, Rafael Marquez marking Lionel Messi, the two Mexican full-backs picking up the Argentina wingers – Mexico might be able to blunt Argentina’s attack. That’s easier said than done, of course, and the all-Barcelona Marquez v Messi contest might decide things. Pace is the key in getting past the Argentina defence, who have maintained a surprisingly high line so far. Getting the ball towards Giovani dos Santos as early as possible will surely be Mexico’s main route of attack. The probable return of Efrain Juarez (after suspension) in the centre of midfield will offer the other driving threat from midfield, and he could get the better of Javier Mascherano, who often becomes isolated in front of his defence. In the one game Mexico have won so far, their biggest outlet has been Carlos Salcido, in the left wing-back position. Against France he constantly stormed forward, stretched the play and swung crosses in – but against Uruguay, he was muted because of the presence of either Edinson Cavani or Luis Suarez. Diego Maradona and Carlos Bilardo will look to occupy him, which means Carlos Tevez could revert to the right-sided role he played against Nigeria, rather than the left-sided one he played against South Korea. Related articles on Zonal Marking:
One family says the ratings-grabbing reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" turned their personal tragedy into a practical nightmare, leaving them with virtually nothing but a lawsuit. The Higgins family, five kids between the ages of 14 to 21-years-old, lived in a two-bedroom apartment in California, orphaned by the deaths of their parents. Their story grabbed headlines. Producers at the reality show took notice. The family's church first raised money to help them out. Then, “Extreme Makeover" contacted the church to arrange an interview with the young adults. Maybe they could be the next “deserving family.” Fellow church members, the Leomiti family, offered to take the Higgins family into their home. The lawsuit claims the family's motivation wasn't to save the kids from a life of despair. It was to get a newly built nine-bedroom house, mortgage paid, a weeklong vacation and other gifts like computers, stereos and cars. According to the suit against the Leomitis, ABC and the producers of “Extreme Makeover,” around the time the episode aired, the Higgins' moved out one-by-one as a result of a “orchestrated campaign” by the Leomiti family to get rid of them. Mrs. Leomiti called the lawsuit “bogus” in an interview with the Abrams Report over the phone. Charles Higgins, the oldest of the five Higgins children, and the Higgins' family attorney, Patrick Mesisca, explain their case to "The Abrams Report" DAN ABRAMS, 'ABRAMS REPORT’ HOST: Charles, first let me start with you. Tell me first of all what happened here. CHARLES HIGGINS, SUING 'EXTREME MAKEOVER': What happened was we were supposed to be promised a house that was to be built for everybody. My brothers and sisters were supposed to have a place to stay and now we‘re practically homeless. We‘re not together —we‘re not living together in one home. We‘re living in separate homes with each of our friends and it really hurts because I‘m 22. I‘m trying to pull an extra load. I‘ve got a lot on my shoulders here. I‘m trying to be a good role model but it's hard when you don't really have a place to stay or a place for your younger brothers and siblings to call home, so they can wake up in the morning and they don‘t have to worry about where they are going to live or what they're going to do. It really hurts, it hurts me to see the look on their face every day because I know they worry. ABRAMS: Patrick, were you literally thrown out of the house or is it basically that you felt that you weren‘t wanted there anymore? HIGGINS: I'm not really going to comment on that right now because all of that is in the lawsuit. But practically what I‘m going to say is my brothers were done wrong by the show, by ABC. ABC promised that we were going to have a home and that we were going to be together. And basically what happened was, we're not in a home. The thing is they keep airing our show almost like every other weekend and so that show, every time it gets aired, it makes money. They‘re practically making money off of us, and it's telling a story that's not really true. It's telling a story that we‘re all in a house together, we‘re happy, we're a loving family, we’re happier than we ever could be in our lives, but it's really not true. ABRAMS: Mr. Higgins look, I'm sorry. Charles' family‘' story is obviously a heartbreaking one. It's one the led them, ABC, to act and to try and build this home to accommodate them. But I don‘t get how the program is responsible for what sounds like a family versus family squabble. PATRICK MESISCA, HIGGINS‘ FAMILY ATTORNEY: The program, or, if you will, corporate entities that make up the program made a promise to the Higgins' family and told them that they were going to provide a home for them. The only home that was provided was an expansion of the residence in which the Leomitis live, and when all was said and done and the broadcast aired, the only benefit that the Higgins‘ children received was the right to be visitors in that home. ABRAMS: But everyone knew that. I mean that clearly happened. By the end of the show, there was this big house built and they were all in the house. I mean you would think that if you were going to sue, that would be the time to sue as opposed to now, when it appears for some reason that you won‘t discuss, there was some sort of family versus family problem. MESISCA: Well you have to realize that all this of has taken place since March 27 of this year. On March 27, that's when the program aired and here we are in August, a period of about four or five months and in that period of time, the Higgins children, all of them have left the Leomiti's home. ABRAMS: But why is that ABC‘s fault? That's what I do not understand. If they want to sue the family and say, look, this was the deal. You knew what the deal was. You effectively suckered ABC into coming in here because our family was the one that made a great story. I get that. What I don‘t get is how ABC or the production company is responsible for these problems. MESISCA: I can approach this on a number of levels. First, the Higgins have experienced a nightmare. This has been a very difficult time for them, loosing both of their parents last year. The home would have never been provided for the Leomitis in the absence of circumstances that the Higgins were involved... ABRAMS: So you sue the Leomitis. MESISCA: It was the Higgins who were told that a home would be provided for them, that a place would be constructed for them to live in. I think what happened was ABC and the production companies involved steered this into a joint enterprise, if you will, between the Leomitis and the Higgins', instead of just going forward and providing the Higgins with a place for them to live. There was never a disclosure made to the Higgins concerning the fact. ABRAMS: Why is ABC obligated to build houses? I mean, they get to choose who they want to build a home for and the Higgins have this very compelling story and they're very deserving of it. But again, it seems to me that you're focusing on the wrong defendant. MESISCA: We could argue this all day long. In California, and I think most jurisdictions, if a person responds to a need, a person is drowning in the middle of a river and you send a lifeboat out to get them, you can't turn the lifeboat around and not pick them up once you've reached the destination or worse, you can‘t just travel right past them and let them drown. ABC undertook here to provide a residence for the Higgins family. I believe that the way this was done, the failure to give proper advice to the Higgins, as to what options were available to them, how their interest might most properly be protected. ABRAMS: Very quickly, I got to read ABC‘s statement, “We‘re extremely proud of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ and the positive impact the show has had on people‘s lives. While we don‘t comment on litigation, it's important to note the episode is about the rebuilding of the Leomiti family's existing home to accommodate the inclusion of the five Higgins siblings, whom the Leomitis had invited into their lives following the death of their parents.” It sounds to me like you‘re going to have a real lawsuit against the Leomitis here. I predict that the lawsuit against ABC and the production company will be thrown out, but I am wrong in the past and more importantly, Mr. Higgins, look it sounds like you‘re a guy with a good head on his shoulders and I wish you the best of luck. You don‘t deserve any of this regardless of how the lawsuit comes out, so good luck to you. Watch the 'Abrams Report' for more analysis and interviews on the top legal stories each weeknight at 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV.
US-led coalition air strikes on a jail run by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria killed at least 57 people, monitors said on Tuesday. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air strike took place on Monday at dawn, hitting a building in the town of Mayadin, south of Raqqa, that was being used as a prison. "The strikes hit an IS jail in Mayadin at dawn on Monday, killing 42 prisoners and 15 jihadists," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. Many of the dead are thought to be civilians, as well as captured rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army. If the toll is confirmed, it would make it one of the deadliest single incidents since the US intervened in the Syrian war in 2014. Islamic State is believed to have moved most of its leaders to Mayadin in Syria's Euphrates Valley, southeast of the group's besieged capital Raqqa, two U.S. intelligence officials have said. Among the operations moved to Mayadin, about 50 miles west of the Iraqi border, were its online propaganda operation and its limited command and control of attacks in Europe and elsewhere, they said. "The Coalition conducted strikes on known ISIS command and control facilities and other ISIS infrastructure in (Mayadin), Syria, June 25 and 26," Colonel Joe Scrocca, coalition director of public affairs, said in an email.
Whenever something momentous happens in superhero comics history, mysterious figures always seem to appear and observe proceedings. In the Marvel Universe, it's the Watcher (we still have no idea why he was at the Black Panther/Storm wedding. I'm betting it was for the hors d'oeuvres). In the DC Comics Universe of the 1980s, the Monitor observed the actions of heroes and villains. In the new DC Universe ushered in by the publisher's New 52 initiative, the latest arcane observer -- and the record holder for the most appearances of a single comic book character within one month ( 53 to be precise) -- goes to the enigmatic and sensational character find of 2011, The Woman in the Red Hood. We don't know her true name or powers yet, which definitely cuts down on her potential to become a DC Direct action figure, but she does give the attentive comics reader a seek-and-find game in the style of Where's Waldo? I've read the New 52 comics and found the Woman in the Red Hood hidden in each and every comic, with varying degrees of difficulty. To paraphrase those Scrubbing Bubbles: I found her, so you don't have to. Red-Hooded Woman appears at the end of Flash's odyssey in Flashpoint #5 in the double-page spread on page 24-25 (all page references in this article are based on the story pages, not comic pages) and tells Barry Allen he's instrumental to weaving three earths together. Barry's able to put his universe back into place...but not quite . Fittingly for the first hero of the Silver Age, Barry's created this new DC Universe, a home of heroes and villains we're still exploring. But, with Barry's usual luck, he's not only created a world in which his mother was fated to die, but in which he hasn't (yet?) become romantically involved with wife Iris. Good job, Flash...and tough breaks. The Woman in the Red Hood won't speak again throughout the first month of the New 52, but she appears in one panel in each of DC's 52 relaunch comics , from Justice League to Voodoo . New 52, Week Zero - Justice League : She's in the bleachers at the Ford Titans football game starring Vic Stone (page 18, panel 2). No word on whether she was at the pre-game tailgate party. Why here rather than at the historic Batman/Green Lantern/Superman meeting? We'll find she doesn't always show up at what we think are the most "important events." New 52, Week One: Action Comics : She's the only calm passenger on the crashing Metropolis train (page 23, bottom panel) turned into a bullet targeting Superman. And, could this be her in the crowd at the bottom of page 17? If so, it's the only double appearance in a single book that I've spotted in the 52 books. Animal Man : She's present at the San Diego hospital where Animal Man defuses a hostage crisis, watching as Buddy's eyes start bleeding (page 12, bottom panel). He gets better, but that's gotta hurt. Batgirl : Speaking of hospital rooms, she's reflected in the window as Batgirl fights Mirror (page 19, bottom panel). Is she standing on a window ledge outside? Or floating ? Needless to say, everybody's a little too busy to notice her. Batwing : Standing alongside Batwing's Tinasha police car (page 17, panel 1). He gets into the car in the next panel and doesn't notice her. Is she invisible to those around her, or has she vanished quickly? And also, that's a rotten parking job. How's that red truck going to get out? Detective Comics : The Woman in the Red Hood is outside Roscoe's Pharmacy when the Joker's bomb explodes (page 15, bottom left panel). Batman spies a figure with a purple overcoat and umbrella entering an elevated rail station, but he doesn't seem to notice her , at the front of the crowd. Is she beyond the perception of the World's Greatest Detective? Green Arrow : While Oliver Queen quotes David Byrne, she's present in the crowd on a leisure boat cruising the Seine in Paris (page 8, first panel). She's a little overdressed for a high society party. Hawk & Dove : She's alongside the Capitol Reflecting Pool in the Washington, D.C. National Mall (page 19, first panel). Perhaps not unusually for a comic drawn by Rob Liefeld, we don't see her feet. Justice League International : Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice...she's glowing among the protestors behind Booster Gold (page 7, panel 1). Men of War : The Red-Hooded Woman is in the crowd as Rock's company fights a destructive superhuman (page 17, bottom panel) in an unnamed foreign country. You know, when armed men and jeeps with mounted guns are storming right in front of you, it's time to get out of the way. OMAC : She's present in the crowd of employees evacuated from Cadmus Industries during OMAC's attack (page 6, lower left panel). Appropriately for a comic created by Jack Kirby, she's surrounded by a subtle red Kirby Krackle energy signature. Static Shock : Peeping Woman in the Red Hood! She's outside the Hawkins home in New York City, looking in as Virgil talks to his Dad (page 15, top panel)... Stormwatch : ...and she's spying on Apollo in a Moscow alley (page 15, panel 1). Swamp Thing : The Woman in the Red Hood is unseen by Dr. Alec Holland and friend Paul on a construction site in Louisiana (page 5, panel 3). At this point it's worth noticing that she appears at what seem to be random moments of widely varying importance. She's at a vital emergency which will result in Superman's capture, and she's at a football game watching a future hero score touchdowns. She's present at a major explosion in Gotham City, but she's also hanging about a parking lot. Are these seminal or random moments to her? They aren't by any means the most vital and significant incidents in the story. Further, we can now tell she can either travel through time or has been appearing for many years. The Red-Hooded Woman is present prior to the formation of the Justice League, and during the early career of Superman. Both events occur before the current "now" time of most of the New DC 52 books. New 52, Week Two: Batman and Robin : The second week of the New DC begins and she's really getting around: she's standing alongside the pool Batman uses to extinguish a fire at Gotham University's Miller Building (page 17, panel 4). Why they built a swimming pool above an atomic research reactor, no one can say. Did you design this building, Frank Miller? Batwoman : Look for her in crowd behind Commissioner Gordon, in the upper right-hand corner of page 17, one of J.H. Williams' impressive double-page spreads. Since Batwoman was scheduled nearly a year ago and then postponed for the September launch of the New 52, it's probable this figure was added to the artwork well after the page was created. Deathstroke : Right on page one, third panel: observing an assault team facing off against Slade Wilson in Moscow. She's behind and to the right of the assault team; when you're facing Deathstroke the Terminator, you really don't want to be anywhere near his enemies. She's behind a concrete plinth, or maybe she can't be harmed by bullets, even the extra-special mega-deadly ones Deathstroke shoots. Demon Knights : Time traveling again? She's in the Dark Ages among the marching, conquering army heading for Alba Sarum (page 7). It's a splash page so here's a closer view of her, in her familiar red buttoned cloak. Hiding behind the giant "n." Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. : She appears smack-dab in the middle of a two-page spread of Frank battling monsters in Bone Lake, Washington (pages 17-18). She does not choose calm places to visit, does she? Also present: a "foom" sound effect, presumably on loan from Marvel. Green Lantern : ...and then she appears in the Coast City crowd as Hal Jordan has a conversation with Carol Ferris (page 12, panel 4). Nothing world-changing or dramatic here, if you don't count Hal asking Carol out for a date in the next panel. Grifter : Grifter five-finger-discounts a hat and scarf from a New Orleans costume shop (page 14, lower left panel) and Red-Hooded Woman is there! Wait a minute...red coat...knows when you're naughty and nice...I think we're on the right track here. She's Ms. Santa Claus! Eh, possibly not. Legion Lost : Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, in an atypical setting for the Legion of Super-Heroes: the 21st century! 31st century escaped criminal Alastor is tearing up the town (page 10, top panel). How bad is his rampage of destruction? He has totaled Van Halen's car. Mister Terrific : In London, the World's Third Smartest Man is too busy chasing battle-suited CEO Miles Dalton across London to notice the Woman in the Red Hood in the crowd (page 4, panel 2). Red Lanterns : Page 16, top panel: In Small Ockdon (a UK fictionopolis in the DC Universe), the Red-Hooded Woman watches as the grandsons of a murdered mugging victim address their blood-spitting rage. Is this the origin of a new Red Lantern? Ehhhhhhh...might be! Resurrection Man : She might not be immediately obvious, so I've highlighted her appearance here to save you many minutes searching (page 15, panel 1), while Mitch Shelley flees the scene of the plane crash that killed him (Spoiler: He got better). Suicide Squad : Nobody notices Red-Hooded Woman in the ultra-secret torture room (page 4, panel 2) holding Deadshot captive. It's a strong argument towards the theory that no one can see her. Except us. We are the most powerful beings in the DC Universe! Superboy : Zaniel Templar arrives at N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to order the release of Superboy from the virtual reality world (page 19, panel 1), and Dr. Caitlin Fairchild isn't happy about it. And the RHW is there...not to see Superboy released, but the landing of Templar's helicopter. Superboy narrates "There is someone else, too. No. Some...thing." Is he detecting Templar...or our mysterious woman? We're now halfway through the New 52 and a few more patterns begin to emerge. Although we have seen her travel to or exist in other time periods, we have not yet seen the Red-Hooded Woman off of Planet Earth. There are extensive off-planet scenes in Green Lantern and Red Lanterns, but her appearances in those books take place on Earth. Nor does she appear in Superboy's virtual reality or the Ant Hill, S.H.A.D.E.'s microversal headquarters in Frankenstein . We also see her in a cloak of different shades of red, violet, and sometimes even grey, with subtle design differences from appearance to next. I'm going to chalk that up to different artists rather than an in-story shape-changing ability. Week Three: Batman : At the bottom of the first panel on page one, the Red-Hooded Woman stands near, but not with, Gotham City homeless warming themselves around a burning garbage can. Her glowing eyes give her the look of a Jawa, but I think we can discount that theory. Unless she later says "utini," I'm not counting that as a possibility. Birds of Prey : In the Gotham City of "two weeks ago," she stands in a doorway as Black Canary is tailed to a meeting with Barbara Gordon (page 8, panel 3). She doesn't notice the woman in a red hood in the next doorway. Blue Beetle : El Paso, Texas: She watches as Jaime Reyes flees the pursuing Venom (page 17, bottom panel). No, sorry, not Venom, but an assassin sent to capture the beetle scarab from the Brotherhood of Evil. Captain Atom : She's in a crowd of onlookers in New York as Captain Atom battles radioactive meteors from a nuclear plant hit by a volcano (page 18, panel 1). Busy day for Cap there. Catwoman : If we weren't all so busy watch Batman and Catwoman boink in that last book, we might have spotted her on Catwoman 's page 8: in the large first panel, a hedonistic party of a Gotham City criminal mob is infiltrated by Catwoman and the Red-Hooded Woman. Catwoman's serving drinks, RHW's just watching. As we've learned by now, "she likes to watch." DC Universe Presents: Deadm an : Page 2, panel 3: the Woman in the Red Hood stands behind clowns at Deadman's circus. Nobody likes to look at clowns. She is clearly, as Monty Python taught, a master of not being seen. Green Lantern Corps : Another comic book with outer space action and still she only appears on Earth -- in, as we're reminded, Space Sector 2814 (page 9, panel 2). She's standing directly between construction workers -- some facing her directly -- and John Stewart's power ring-created architecture plans. AT this point it's clear she's invisible to human (Kryptonian, Martian) senses and technology (CCTV and Lantern rings), and most important, invisible to Batman . And he sees everything (as we saw in Catwoman ). Legion of Super-Heroes : At last! Concrete proof she can travel off-world, to the planet Panoptes in the 31st Century (page 7, first panel). She's watching Chameleon infiltrate a base on the border of Dominator space, but still, she's there at one of the quietest moments of the book. She's either not looking for specifically important periods in time, or these relatively peaceful moments are later to be of great importance. My cynical guess/theory: The DC New 52 creators were told to toss a cameo in each issue and like many things in analyzing superhero comic books, I may be overthinking specific appearances. That said, I bet she can keep track of all forty-seven thousand six hundred twelve active members of the Legion, and their civilian names and home planets. Nightwing : In Gotham City, Red-Hooded Woman is in the stands at Haly's Circus when Dick Grayson returns (page 12, panel 2). That's the second time she's been to the circus in one month. I hope she's getting her circus frequent guest card punched. Red Hood and the Outlaws : Let's get this out of the way first: she's not on this page: So you can stop staring at that page for hours at a time. In fact, she doesn't even pop in on the heroes -- she's outside a Chicago slaughterhouse (page 16, panel 1) for the "B" plot of someone discovering via internet that Starfire's on Earth. R.H.W.'s very clearly hovering in this panel, but her cloak appears white. Artistic license, probably? More important, what's she here for? What's she looking at? A truck full of sausages? Supergirl : With her new-found super-hearing, Supergirl's overwhelmed by deafening random noises and sounds from around the globe (bottom of page 14) including quotes we've seen spoken in Nightwing, Aquaman , and Birds of Prey . Nightwing is set in Gotham under night-dark skies, and there's storm lightning in the sky. Aquaman is in a Boston seafood restaurant at sunset. It's a rainy night in Gotham City when Starling quips about being damned in Birds of Prey . It's dawn in Russia, as the rising sun fuels Kara's superpowers. That scene in Gotham City (long set in DC history as located on the East Coast) can't be pure night at the same time it's sunset in Boston, but it could be a very dark dusk exaggerated by the pouring rain on the Birds of Prey's side of town and the fast-approaching storm around Nightwing. If this is the case, then whether by intent or design, this timing is all absolutely accurate . Many timezones encompass Siberia including twelve hours after East Coast time. In other words, dusk on the US's east coast equals dawn in parts of Siberia. That's the kind of cool synchronicity that makes me love shared-universe fiction, whether the creators planned this or not. (And oh, yes, the Red-Hooded Woman is there, too.) Wonder Woman : The Woman in the Red Hood is watching from the woods as Diana and Zola face off against murderous centaurs in Virginia (page 17, panel 4). I don't care how expert Wonder Woman is, that's definitely not a proper dressage mount there. After examining the first three weeks of the New 52, we can start to put together a rough timeline of some of the stories: The beginning of Birds of Prey #1 and the end of Nightwing #1 take place simultaneously with the appearance of Supergirl on Earth in Supergirl #1. The Red-Hooded Woman makes appearances (although likely not in this chronological order) two weeks before the events at the beginning of Birds of Prey . On the morning of the day BoP begins, she appears at Haly's Circus to watch Dick Grayson arrive; that evening she appears in Boston to watch Aquaman order but not eat a seafood dinner, then almost instantly to watch Kara Zor-El being attacked in Siberia. Instantly... or simultaneously ? Is the Red-Hooded Woman cross-crossing her own personal history by traveling in time? How much of a master of time is she, anyway? (And do we know any other red/purple hooded masters of time?) New 52 Week Four: All Star Western : Back in Gotham City of the 1880s, the Red-Hooded Woman is more difficult to spot than Waldo in a sea of cowboys, frontiersman, saloon girls, guns for hire, and stuffed animal heads (page 10, panel top panel). She's wisely gone by the time Jonah Hex starts a barroom brawl a few minutes later. Let's hope she paid up her tab before leaving. Aquaman : Here's the scene that happens concurrently with three other key moments in the DCNu (page 12, panel 4). A few seconds and two panels later Aquaman says "I don't talk to fish," but she's looking in completely the opposite direction. One of the themes of the new series is the perception the general public has of Aquaman. Is she watching the reactions of the civilians rather than Aquaman? Is that an important moment? Did she order the unlimited crab legs for $17.99? Batman: The Dark Knight marks yet another trip to Gotham City -- she's been here many more times than any place on Earth-DC, including Metropolis. You'll find her standing just inside the gates... the open gates of Arkham Asylum (page 14, top panel). Is it any wonder there's an Arkham break-out twice in four Batman #1 books? Geez, guys, invest in some Master Locks. Blackhawks : Red-Hooded Woman looks right at us...or more probably, the man taking a photo of the departing Blackhawks (page 8, panel 5). She probably doesn't show up on the iPhone anyway (or the LexPhone or WaynePhone either). Flash : Blink and you'll miss her: in Central City, watching Barry Allen's girlfriend (and co-worker... bad idea, Barry) Patty Spivot shepherd Barry away from the flirtations of Iris Allen (page 12, final panel). It occurs to me: if there's no Barry/Iris romance and marriage, then where did Kid Flash in Teen Titans come from? The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Men gives us not only the longest title in today's DC publishing plan but multiple Firestorms. R.H.W. is there at a critical and historical moment: the birth of Firestorms Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch (page 18, panel 2). Now that's the way to please fans of both iterations of the character. (Psst, DC: Batgirl, Inc . Everybody's happy. Call me!) Oh, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the name of Walton Mills High's football team: The Wikings. Green Lanterns: New Guardians : Kyle Rayner: PWNED! I bet even R.H.W. is giggling at that (page 15, middle bottom panel). And here's another book with substantial scenes taking place in outer space, but she appears on Earth, leaving her sole journey off planet in Legion of Super-Heroes . Even time travelers don't like to go that many time zones away, what with the spaceship lag. I would also point out that this comic book is the first time I've ever seen men line up for the restroom. Consider this: Kyle Rayner became Green Lantern because he stepped out into an alley to pee. I bet he doesn't want that in his Secret Origins issue. Insert your own "powerless against the color yellow" joke here. The Savage Hawkman : Carter Hall is on the wing; his Hawkman battle armor reappears in time for him to do some serious damage to a morphing alien warrior (page 16). The Woman in the Red Hood watches in the background. Is this comic saying that the best view of Hawkman is from the rear? In a line of comics featuring half-dressed Catwoman, naked-in-bed Wonder Woman and bikinied Starfire, why not? The DCU needs beefcake, too. Superman : AIIEEEEE! Red-Hooded Woman is nine feet tall! She's blown out of proportion at the dinner for the demolition of the old Daily Planet building and the opening of the new one (page 3, panel 2). You woulda thought Lex Luthor would have taken the old Planet globe and made a Kryptonite-lined Hamster Ball of Death out of it, wouldn't you? Teen Titans : Fake police cop is heavily caffeinated as he pulls over Cassie "Don't Call Me Wonder Girl" Sandsmark, while White -Hooded Woman lurks yet again in the woods (page 12, panel 1). I'm guessing this is just a coloring mistake, or a lighting effect, or maybe that's latter-day Raven and I'm completely mistaken. Another oddity: Who's this ultra-tall, top-hatted black-clad man in the background at the beginning of Teen Titans? That's just too distinct a figure to be just set dressing. Is it the Shade from Starman ? The Phantom Stranger with a new chapeau? A cross-dressing Zatanna? A goth version of the Mad Mod? Voodoo : Finally, and thankfully, RHW is not masquerading as a stripper at the Voodoo Lounge. You'll find her outside watching the aftermath of Fallon's fistfight with a bunch of young thugs (page 8, panel 6). There's other hooded women in the new DCU; don't mistake them for the one we've been looking at. Below: Rama from Deadman (top), Batgirl's enemy Mirror (bottom left), and the Brotherhood of Evil's Phobia in Blue Beetle (bottom right). Accept no substitutes for the real Red-Hooded Woman. Most of what we know is speculation and guesswork. We know she's watching the DC Universe. She watches in the past, watches in the future, and watches right now. She watches, mostly on Earth, but off-world as well. She can almost certainly travel in time and is undetectable to humans and tech. She needed Barry Allen's power to help her knit the DC, Vertigo superhero, and Wildstorm universes together, and now she's keeping watch over the result. But who is she? Could she be the Time Trapper, longtime nemesis of the Legion of Super-Heroes? Is she a new Harbinger, foretelling a brand-new Crisis on 52 Earths? Could she be the Marvel Universe's new Crimson Cowl, heralding a return to the great DC/Marvel crossover events? Maybe she's Red Riding Hood from Vertigo's popular Fables , leading up to the first team-up of Batman and Jack of Fables? (A: No.) The New DC Universe is still uncharted territory. Things we've taken for granted in a fictional universe that's almost 74 years old ( Wonder Woman's origin , Superman's pal, Flash's wife) have been changed dramatically. We've seen this multiverse break apart and change through several crises, reboots both hard and soft, and the too-soon abandoned concept of Hypertime. Maybe the clue is in that "almost 74 years." 2013 will mark the 75th anniversary of Superman's debut in 1938, and I bet DC has a big crossover event planned for that. But whenever and wherever the Red-Hooded Woman's story is told, I'm eager to be along for the ride. We're all pioneers in the New DCU, and the thrill is in the ride of discovery on the way.

Dataset Card for "openwebtext"

Dataset Summary

An open-source replication of the WebText dataset from OpenAI, that was used to train GPT-2.

This distribution was created by Aaron Gokaslan and Vanya Cohen of Brown University.

Supported Tasks and Leaderboards

More Information Needed


More Information Needed

Dataset Structure

Data Instances


  • Size of downloaded dataset files: 13.51 GB
  • Size of the generated dataset: 41.70 GB
  • Total amount of disk used: 55.21 GB

An example of 'train' looks as follows.

This example was too long and was cropped:

    "text": "\"A magazine supplement with an image of Adolf Hitler and the title 'The Unreadable Book' is pictured in Berlin. No law bans “Mei..."

Data Fields

The data fields are the same among all splits.


  • text: a string feature.

Data Splits

name train
plain_text 8013769

Dataset Creation

Curation Rationale

More Information Needed

Source Data

Initial Data Collection and Normalization

The authors started by extracting all Reddit post urls from the Reddit submissions dataset. These links were deduplicated, filtered to exclude non-html content, and then shuffled randomly. The links were then distributed to several machines in parallel for download, and all web pages were extracted using the newspaper python package. Using Facebook FastText, non-English web pages were filtered out.

Subsequently, near-duplicate documents were identified using local-sensitivity hashing (LSH). Documents were hashed into sets of 5-grams and all documents that had a similarity threshold of greater than 0.5 were removed. The the remaining documents were tokenized, and documents with fewer than 128 tokens were removed. This left 38GB of text data (40GB using SI units) from 8,013,769 documents.

Who are the source language producers?

More Information Needed


The dataset doesn't contain annotations.

Personal and Sensitive Information

More Information Needed

Considerations for Using the Data

Social Impact of Dataset

More Information Needed

Discussion of Biases

More Information Needed

Other Known Limitations

More Information Needed

Additional Information

Dataset Curators

More Information Needed

Licensing Information

These data are released under this licensing scheme from the original authors (source):

We do not own any of the text from which these data has been extracted.

We license the actual packaging of these parallel data under the [Creative Commons CC0 license (“no rights reserved”)](https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/)

Notice policy

Should you consider that our data contains material that is owned by you and should therefore not be reproduced here, please:

Clearly identify yourself, with detailed contact data such as an address, telephone number or email address at which you can be contacted.

Clearly identify the copyrighted work claimed to be infringed.

Clearly identify the material that is claimed to be infringing and information reasonably sufficient to allow us to locate the material.

And contact us at the following email address: openwebtext at gmail.com and datasets at huggingface.co

Take down policy

The original authors will comply to legitimate requests by removing the affected sources from the next release of the corpus. Hugging Face will also update this repository accordingly.

Citation Information

    title={OpenWebText Corpus},
    author={Aaron Gokaslan*, Vanya Cohen*, Ellie Pavlick, Stefanie Tellex},


Thanks to @richarddwang for adding this dataset.

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