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11-27-2015 Society
Chicago's search for answers after video

CHICAGO (CNN) —Marlin Daniels was driving his car when police pulled him over and told him they were tracking cars like his because they had been reported stolen. He knew nothing of it and reached to take out his ID. When he showed it to them, he says the entire tone of the conversation changed.

"I had my military ID on me, my veteran's ID, they saw it, and they let me go. No conversation, anything else," he says. "It happens."

All too often, he says. Ask anyone.

"Every minority, well, black man that I know had an issue with police officers," he says.

But things still shock him, even if those everyday stops are more commonplace, he says. Tuesday night was one of those times. He was in utter disbelief at the content of the video released showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the length of time it took for officials to release it. Thirteen months to be exact.

"Why does it take that long to get this information out?" he asks, noting that in his 10 years of living in Chicago, he's seen enough incidents that he expected the case would've been taken more seriously from the start.

Daniels has a lot of friends who are cops and retired cops who have no issues with race or excessive force. He points to the "small percentage that spoils it for the whole bunch." He spoke to friends and family like others in the black community after the video was released. That conversation, he said, "wasn't nice, I'll put it like that."

"We come to expect this from Chicago police," he says. "It's a way of life sometimes. But at least something is happening."

He hopes the "something," that Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who shot McDonald 16 times, was charged with first-degree murder would spark a conversation. But justice?

"It will change [things] a little," he says. "But I think the officer is going to get off."

"We're helping them to kill us"

Darlene Perkins wants the black community to wake up.

She saw the video and was hurt like many others -- saying it's a feeling that cuts deep through her bones and picks at the scabs of old wounds.

"I was hurting from a long way back because our people have been suffering this racism since before I even was born, since slavery, over 400 years ago," the 61-year-old says says.

But she also believes you can't just blame the police for the recent spate of officer-involved shootings or attention to gun violence. Especially not in Chicago. And she says if there is to be real change, the black community has to look inward.

"What I don't like is there's so much black on black crime," she says. "So how can you speak totally out against other people, but we have to -- because we're helping them to kill us."

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Source: Koat

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11-27-2015 Science&Technology
Confirmed: Apple Acquired Faceshift, Maker Of 'Star Wars' Motion Capture Tech

Apple has acquired the motion capture group that created animated avatars for "Star Wars" in a move some experts believe will help advance the media device company's role in virtual reality technology.

Tech news site TechCrunch confirmed on Tuesday, Nov. 24, that the Steve Jobs co-founded company has indeed purchased Faceshift, the Zurich-based startup that provided motion capture avatars for various game and animation studios.

Rumors about a potential deal between the two companies circulated across different tech websites earlier this year. Apple, however, remained mum on the acquisition.

According to TechCrunch, sources and conclusive connections have been uncovered that could prove that a purchase agreement has been made between Apple and Faceshift. A spokesperson from Apple has also come out to confirm the deal.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the Apple representative said.

While it is still unclear what Apple intends to do with Faceshift's motion capture technology, observers believe the company could use it to create real-time avatars for video chats on FaceTime.

The technology could also be used to develop biometrics capable of authorizing payments or unlocking various devices through facial recognition.

Aside from Faceshift, Apple has also acquired other European-based motion capture startups such as Metaio, Polar Rose and PrimeSense.


Faceshift made its start in the computer-generated imagery industry in 2011 as a product of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology's (EPFL) Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory.

Since then, Faceshift has been involved in projects with different game and animation studios to develop technology capable of capturing facial expressions quickly and accurately through the use of 3D sensors.

In March, the Swiss company came out with the Faceshift Studio, a computer software that can analyze an actor's facial movements and describe them as a combination of basic expressions, including eye gaze and head orientation. The program then uses these descriptions to generate virtual characters for use in movie and game production.

Industry veteran Doug Griffin, who worked for Electronic Arts and Industrial Light & Magic, was brought on to Faceshift in 2013 to head the company's San Francisco branch.

Source: Tech Times

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11-27-2015 Science&Technology
Google gets 348,085 'forget' requests in Europe (Update)

Since a top European court ruled people have a right to be forgotten online, Google has received 348,085 requests for tidbits to vanish from search results. Silicon Valley-based Google, a subsidiary of newly-created parent company Alphabet, complied with less that half of the demands, basing decisions on criteria intended to balance privacy with the public's right to know. A report released on Wednesday by Google showed that the top country for requests was France, where the Internet giant is in a standoff with data protection officials. A European Court of Justice ruling in May 2014 recognizing the "right to be forgotten" on the net opened the door for Google users to ask the search engine to remove results about them that are inaccurate or no longer relevant. Google set up an online form that people in Europe can fill out to ask for information to be excluded from search results. Similar processes have been put in place to ask to be forgotten by Microsoft's Bing search engine that also powers queries at Yahoo. It is the Internet companies themselves who get to decide which requests to grant. Microsoft previously disclosed that in the first half of this year it got 3,546 requests that online information be forgotten by Bing, granting half of them. In the report released on Wednesday, Google said that right-to-be-forgotten requests have targeted slightly more than 1.23 million Internet pages (URLs), and that it agreed to remove 42 percent of them from online search results in Europe. Some crimes vanish France was the country with the top number of requests, accounting for 73,399 applications aimed at nearly a quarter of a million URLs, followed by Germany with 60,198 requests concerning 220,589 URLs. In both countries, about 48 percent of the unwanted links were eliminated from Google search results, according to the report. Meanwhile, the report indicated that Google granted about 38 percent of the 43,101 requests submitted in the United Kingdom; 37 percent of the 33,106 requests in Spain, and just shy of 30 percent of the 26,186 requests made in fifth-placed Italy. Google said it complied with nearly 46 percent of the 10,121 requests in Belgium, nearly 41 percent of the 9,687 requests in Sweden, and about 45 percent of the 8,339 requests in Switzerland. A Google outline of scenarios leading to information being forgotten in searches included pages with content solely about someone's health, race, religion or sexual orientation. Common causes for "delisting" pages also included criminal convictions regarding children or stories focusing on criminal charges that were subsequently overturned by courts.

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11-27-2015 Politics
Hollande to Urge Putin on Common Terror Targets as Splits Remain

French President Francois Hollande heads to Moscow Thursday to discuss combating Islamic State militants in Syria with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, as expectations fade of a united front involving Russia and the U.S. following a wave of terrorist attacks. Before leaving Paris, Hollande, who met with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday, reiterated French demands for the eventual ouster of beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been bolstered by a two-month bombing campaign by Russia. His meeting with Putin aims to “draw all the lessons” of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, Hollande told reporters Thursday. France sees no possibility of forming a coalition with Russia because that would mean sharing intelligence and a joint command, according to a French official with knowledge of his strategy. Instead, Hollande hopes to get Putin to agree at least on some common targets such as Islamic State’s oil business and command centers, the official said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. Efforts to rebuild ties between Russia with the U.S. and its allies have been complicated by a flare-up of tensions over NATO member Turkey shooting down a Russian military jet inside Syria. As the momentum toward reconciliation witnessed at a Group of 20 summit 10 days ago fades, Obama and Hollande called for restraint from Russia and Turkey to avoid escalation, while also urging Russia to focus its air strikes on Islamic State and avoid hitting moderate opposition to Assad. Russia said Turkey may have planned the downning of its aircraft, which Putin called “a stab in the back” from accomplices of terrorism, while ruling out a military response. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintained that the Russian jet was shot down after failing to heed multiple warnings and crossing into his nation’s airspace. Turkey, along with Gulf states and the U.S., is backing armed opponents to Assad, who is supported by Russia and Iran. Divisions on Syria and the worst confrontation since the Cold War between Russia and the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine mean there is little trust and no chance of formally joining forces against Islamic State, said Fyodor Lukyanov, head of the Moscow-based Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group that advises the Kremlin. At the same time, the Paris attacks and the Oct. 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt, both claimed by Islamic State, have led to a convergence of interests, Lukyanov said by phone. If the two sides can agree on an arrangement to ensure they “don’t interfere with each other,” that in itself would be a “big success,” Lukyanov said.

Source: Bloomberg

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11-27-2015 Religion
Pope, in Kenya, Calls for Compassion for Poor and Nurturing of Youth

NAIROBI, Kenya — At a rain-soaked Mass on Thursday morning with thousands huddled before him, Pope Francis called for Kenyans to remember the poor, tap into the idealism of youth and protect “the innocent unborn.”

Francis seemed to be drawing from his signature mix of progressive and traditional Roman Catholic beliefs for the message delivered at the University of Nairobi in the Kenyan capital. Under a steady downpour, Francis told those in the crowds, who had been waiting for him since dawn with their umbrellas spread tip to tip, “May you always be concerned for the needs of the poor, and reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination, for these things, we know, are not of God.”

This is Francis’ first official trip to Africa, a continent where the number of Catholics is growing. The visit also comes at a time when African bishops and cardinals have been playing an increasingly influential role in the direction of the church.

Earlier on Thursday, Francis met with leaders from Kenya’s religious communities, including Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, and two individuals who described themselves as “traditionalists.” The pope said that dialogue between religions was not a “luxury” or “optional.” It is “essential,” he said, “something which our world, wounded by conflict and division, increasingly needs.”

One person at the meeting of religious leaders said he was surprised by how subdued Francis seemed. “I was expecting this little ball of energy to fill the room with his energy and aura, but that wasn’t the case,” said the person, who did not want to be identified because of the delicate nature of talking about the pope. “He seemed terribly, terribly tired.”

But, the person added, when he had the chance to meet Francis at the end of the meeting: “It was different. He was very warm, he made eye contact, you could see a sparkle.”

Francis mentioned the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Kenya, in which hundreds of civilians have been slaughtered by the Shabab, a militant group from Somalia.

“All too often, young people are being radicalized in the name of religion to sow discord and fear, and to tear at the very fabric of our societies,” Francis said. “How important it is that we be seen as prophets of peace.”

Security has been extremely tight during the whole of the pope’s visit to Kenya, which began on Wednesday afternoon with the 78-year-old pontiff rolling into town from the airport in a Honda Civic. The Kenyan officials all around him were riding in black Mercedes sedans, and Kenyans have praised Francis’ humility, saying their politicians could learn a thing or two from him.

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Source: The New York Times

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11-27-2015 Cars
Flagship Reborn: Driving the Turbocharged 2017 Mazda CX-9

Mazda has redesigned its three-row SUV for 2017, moving the CX-9 to the company’s latest vehicle architecture. Among the notable changes, the all-new flagship vehicle brings a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and significant weight reduction. Although it is not on sale until next summer, we had a chance to drive on right after its world debut at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show.

In the process of moving the CX-9 to Mazda’s current engineering philosophy called Skyactive (as demonstrated with the compact 3, midsized 6, and CX-5 small SUV), the CX-9 has shed some 250 pounds, partly due to jettisoning the heavy-and-thirsty 3.7-liter V6. The diet allowed adding some sound insulation to achieve a quiet cabin—a trait typically not associated with Mazda. With a slightly shorter overall length than the outgoing CX-9, the latest iteration gains a couple of inches in the wheelbase. While it has a more dynamic stance, the third-row seat appears to be less roomy than before.

Acknowledging the notion that small-displacement turbocharged engines don’t deliver the real-world fuel economy expected of them, Mazda Vehicle Development Engineer Dave Coleman explains that the development team focused on drivability and fuel economy rather than trying to hit a specific number in terms of horsepower. And, in an unusually candid way, Mazda specifies two horsepower ratings: 227 hp for regular fuel and 250 hp for premium. Peak torque of 310 lb.-ft. is available from 2000 rpm, intended to provide a smooth and effortless power delivery: more on that later. Mazda is not new to turbocharging, but in the process of expanding this technology beyond sports cars, it had to learn some lessons the hard way. Several previous attempts at turbocharging were less than stellar. The 2006 CX-7, for instance, suffered from so much turbo lag that it could leave you in an awkward situation, such as in the middle of an intersection, craving more acceleration.

On our roughly 20-mile semi-suburban drive route, the CX-9 delivered smooth propulsion with readily available power. The six-speed automatic provided smooth, timely shifts and prompt downshifts for passing and climbing hills. The only situation where the car felt momentarily unresponsive was when coming to almost a full stop with the intention of resuming progress immediately. This hesitancy tends to plague several models with small displacement turbo engines. The ultimate, oft-elusive, goal for the small turbos is fuel economy. This an area that the CX-9 needs to make significant gains, as the last model returned just 16 mpg.

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Source: Consumer Reports

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11-27-2015 Politics
David Cameron Bolsters Call for Lawmakers to Authorize Syrian Airstrikes

LONDON — The British prime minister, David Cameron, stepped up efforts on Thursday to persuade wavering lawmakers to authorize airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Syria, arguing that it was wrong to expect other nations “to carry the burdens and risks” of striking a group that threatened terrorist attacks in Britain.

Responding to the concerns of a committee of lawmakers skeptical about attacking Syrian targets, Mr. Cameron released a 36-page document detailing a plan to try to tackle the threat posed by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, diplomatically as well as militarily.

“As the threat from ISIL to our national security grows, we must take action — recognizing that no course of action is without risk, but that inaction — not dealing with ISIL at source — also carries grave risk,” Mr. Cameron wrote in the document.

After Britain’s involvement in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, British politicians know that their voters are weary of military entanglements in the Middle East.

At present, Britain’s air campaign is limited to Iraq because of a parliamentary vote in 2013 that rejected the idea of bombing Syria. Mr. Cameron has said that he will not seek to overturn that decision until he is sure he has a parliamentary majority to do so, and, while there are signs that he may opt for a vote soon, there will not be one this week.

Mr. Cameron’s supporters point out that, in 2013, the proposal rejected by lawmakers was to attack the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

Now the question is whether to attack the Islamic State, the threat of which was emphasized by the attacks almost two weeks ago in Paris.

Mr. Cameron argued in the document that attacking targets in Syria was legally justified on the grounds of self-defense.

The composition of the British Parliament has changed after a general election in May in which Mr. Cameron’s Conservative Party won a full majority, allowing it to govern without its former coalition ally, the Liberal Democrats.

The opposition Labour Party has also changed leaders, electing Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing politician who is against airstrikes in Syria. However, his support among his lawmakers is thin, and, after the attacks in Paris, a number of them are likely to support airstrikes in Syria, despite what their leader says.

Source: The New York Times

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11-27-2015 Science&Technology
Google To Launch Accelerated Media Pages Early In 2016 Read more:

Tech giant Google recently announced that its open-source alternative to Facebook's Instant Articles and Apple's News app will finally arrive early in 2016. The platform dubbed Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google project aimed for mobile news publishing.

Along with the announcement, Google also revealed that 4,500 developers are following the project via Github and 250 code contributions and documentation have been made. The Accelerated Mobile Pages project has attracted some of the biggest names in publishing including The Washington Post, The Guardian, Vox Media and BuzzFeed. Google announced that DoubleClick, AOL, Outbrain, OPenX and AdSense are currently developing ads that will conform to the quick-loading framework of the project. According to The Verge, it is almost an industry norm for advertisers to swarm new and upcoming platforms like Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages. Time will come that AMP will be bloated with ads and it will be as slow as the mobile pages it was initially designed to replace. Posting on a blog, Google said, "As an open-source initiative, the AMP Project is open to ad partners across the industry who adopt the spec, and we're seeing incredible momentum from the ecosystem." When Google announced the Accelerated Media Pages Project in October, the Mountain View-based company said that it will improve the performance of mobile Internet. Google wants to create a fast loading framework for webpages that has rich content and plans to integrate it along multiple platforms and devices. The introduction of AMP will help users as webpages will load much faster that it is on mobile. On the other hand, publishers will face a hard decision as to which banner they want to publish their contents, Facebook or Google.

Source: Yibada

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11-26-2015 Society
United Nations Launches Campaign for Action on Violence Against Women

UNITED NATIONS: India's iconic India Gate and the Delhi Metro will join hundreds of monuments across the world that will be illuminated as part of a UN effort to galvanise support for global action to end violence against women and girls. India Gate will be illuminated in orange and messages of ending violence against women will be displayed on panel boards in two high-traffic lines of the Delhi Metro as part of the UN's 'Orange the World' campaign that includes parades, soccer matches, school debates and the lighting up of hundreds of iconic monuments.

"Violence against women and girls remains one of the most serious - and the most tolerated - human rights violations," said UN Under Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in a statement.

"It is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination. Its continued presence is one of the clearest markers of societies out of balance and we are determined to change that," she said.

Violence against women and girls affects one in three worldwide.

The call to action is part of the UN Secretary-General's' Unite to end violence against women' campaign, led by UN Women, the UN's agency for gender equality.

The colour orange, which has come to symbolise a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls, will help unify the large-scale social mobilisation.

It will be carried out during the civil society-driven '16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence', which will run from today commemorated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women until Human Rights Day on December 10.

This year's 'Orange the World' initiative will focus on the theme of preventing violence against women and girls, in the specific context of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes targets on ending violence against women and girls.

Globally, during the fortnight under the 'Orange the world' call, over 450 events are planned in more than 70 countries throughout the 16 days.

They include the lighting of major monuments and numerous activities involving civil society such as dialogue sessions with faith-based leaders, film screenings, theatre and dance performances, rallies, marches, marathons and digital activism via social media platforms.

Events will include the orange lighting of major landmarks including the Niagara Falls (Canada/USA), the European Commission building (Belgium) and Council of Europe building (France), the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen (Denmark), the archaeological ruins at Petra (Jordan), and the Palais de Justice (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

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Source: NDTV

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11-26-2015 Society
Chicago Awaits More Protests Over Police Shooting

The white officer who shot a black Chicago teen 16 times has been charged with murder and jailed. The graphic video of the slaying has been made public. And in the hours after the footage was released, protesters seemed to honor pleas for restraint. The question now is whether those efforts will be enough to address the simmering resentment that authorities took more than a year to share the footage and charge the officer who emptied an entire magazine into the teen even after he had crumpled to the ground.

City officials and community leaders had long braced for the release of the dash-cam video showing the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. They feared the kind of turmoil that occurred in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody.

A judge ordered that the recording be made public by Wednesday. Moments before it was released, the mayor and the police chief urged protesters to stay calm.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said residents will "have to make an important judgment about our city and ourselves and go forward." He referred to the episode as a potential "moment of understanding and learning."

Chicago authorities are right to be concerned. The sometimes violent protest movement that was galvanized by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson in August 2014 continues to disrupt cities nationwide. The Nov. 15 killing of black 24-year-old Jamar Clark by a white Minneapolis police officer has prompted days of protests outside a police precinct. And the demonstrations continue, despite calls from Clark's family to go home after a shooting near the protest site injured five people.

In Chicago, protest groups are expected to stage more demonstrations in the days ahead, including one at City Hall scheduled for Wednesday and another seeking to block the main city's shopping thoroughfare, Michigan Avenue, during Friday's holiday spending bonanza.

Among the protesters was Justin Taylor, an 18-year-old University of Iowa student who returned home to Chicago for Thanksgiving.

"It's powerful we're coming together," Taylor said. "Things like this happen too often."

The relevant portion of the video runs for less than 40 seconds and has no audio.

McDonald swings into view on a four-lane street where police vehicles are stopped in the middle of the roadway. As he jogs down an empty lane, he appears to pull up his pants and then slows to a brisk walk, veering away from two officers who are emerging from a vehicle and drawing their guns.

Almost immediately, one of the officers appears to fire from close range. McDonald spins around and collapses on the pavement.

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Source: ABC News

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11-26-2015 Science&Technology
FBI has lead in probe of 1.2 billion stolen Web credentials: documents

A hacker who once advertised having access to user account information for websites like Facebook (FB.O) and Twitter (TWTR.N) has been linked through a Russian email address to the theft of a record 1.2 billion Internet credentials, the FBI said in court documents.

That hacker, known as "mr.grey," was identified based on data from a cybsecurity firm that announced in August 2014 that it had determined an alleged Russian crime ring was responsible for stealing information from more than 420,000 websites, the documents said.

The papers, made public last week by a federal court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provide a window into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe of what would amount to the largest collection of stolen user names and passwords.

The court papers were filed in support of a search warrant the FBI sought in December 2014 and that was executed a month later related to email records.

The FBI investigation was prompted by last year's announcement by Milwaukee-based cybersecurity firm Hold Security that it obtained information that a Russian hacker group it dubbed CyberVor had stolen the 1.2 billion credentials and more than 500 million email addresses.

The FBI subsequently found lists of domain names and utilities that investigators believe were used to send spam, the documents said.

The FBI also discovered an email address registered in 2010 contained in the spam utilities for a "mistergrey," documents show.

A search of Russian hacking forums by the FBI found posts by a "mr.grey," who in November 2011 wrote that if anyone wanted account information for users of Facebook, Twitter and Russian-based social network VK, he could locate the records.

Alex Holden, Hold Security's chief information security officer, told Reuters this message indicated mr.grey likely operated or had access to a database that amassed stolen data from computers via malware and viruses.

Facebook and Twitter declined comment. The FBI declined to comment, and U.S. Justice Department had no immediate comment.

The probe appears to be distinct from another investigation linked to Hold Security's reported discovery that 420,000 websites, including one for a JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) corporate event, were targeted by the Russian hackers.

In a case spilling out of the discovery of the JPMorgan breach, U.S. prosecutors this month charged three men with engaging in a cyber-criminal enterprise that stole personal information from more than 100 million people.

Prosecutors accused two Israelis, Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein, and one American, Joshua Samuel Aaron, of being involved in a variety of schemes fueled by hacking JPMorgan and 11 other companies.

An indictment in Atlanta federal court against Shalon and Aaron names as a defendant an unidentified hacker believed to be in Russia.

Source: Reuters

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11-26-2015 Politics
Donald Trump claims he predicted terrorism

GOP front-runner Donald Trump is adding prescience to his list of accomplishments.

At a rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he declared to a riled-up crowd of thousands, "The other thing I predicted was terrorism. (A) friend of mine called (and said) ... 'you're the first guy that really predicted terrorism."'

He was referring to his book, "The America We Deserve," which was published in 2000, when he was considering a presidential run on the Reform Party ticket. Trump also referred to Osama Bin Laden in the book.

Trump has always been known as a braggart. It's that apparent self-confidence that has endeared him to his supporters.

"He is probably saying all the things out loud that we're thinking but don't have the nerve to say it," said 66-year-old Barbara Estelle, a retiree who moved to Myrtle Beach five years ago.

Trump insisted again that he had seen thousands in Jersey City applauding the fall of the Twin Towers, in spite of a dearth of evidence to support the claim. But he hypothesized that the media was intentionally keeping proof of the attacks under wraps.

"So I was taking heat," Trump said, "because you know the liberal media, they want to guard that. They don't want that out because that's not good for them."

Trump talked about why he didn't back down then, and also more broadly about why he doesn't make a habit of apologizing.

"So we have a case, and I could've said, 'Oh, I misspoke.'" Trump said. "I'm not big on that, am I? I'm not big on apologies. You know what, there's nothing wrong with an apology, but you have to be wrong. I believe in apologizing, but you have to be wrong."

"Sometimes I think the media is biased for one candidate or the other," Estelle, a committed Trump supporter said. "I think sometimes comments are taken out of context....I don't think he's mean spirited. I don't think he'd ever mean it in a mean-spirited way, I think he rises above it."

This was the first campaign stop attended by Trump's family. His wife, Melania, three of his children - Ivanka, Tiffany and Barron, and son-in-law Jared Kushner all briefly took the stage. Melania, who is rarely seen in public, addressed the audience.

"Good evening, isn't he the best?" she said. "He will be the best president ever. We love you."

The rally wasn't without its other odd moments. This was the third rally in which a man dressed like Trump. Earlier appearances of Trump impersonators were in Las Vegas earlier this year and in Norfolk, Virginia, on Halloween. On Tuesday, Terry Silliman, 46, showed up in a blonde wig, a red tie, a suit, holding two American flags, and donning multiple Trump badges.

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Source: CBS News

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11-17-2015 Politics
Obama defends his strategy against the Islamic State, saying it will ‘take time’

The carnage of the Paris attacks and the largely stalemated war in Iraq and Syria have prompted heavy criticism of President Obama’s handling of the fight against the Islamic State over the past three years.

The questions came in waves Monday at the Group of 20 summit in Antalya, Turkey: Hadn’t Obama underestimated the threat posed by the Islamic State? Wasn’t it time for a new and more aggressive attack plan? Did he really understand the group well enough to defeat it and protect the United States?

“All right,” Obama replied to the last question, his tone betraying utter indignation. “So this is a variation on the same question. .?.?. Let me try it one last time.”

In response to each of the questions posed by reporters, Obama made his case for a steady and persistent campaign that seeks to gradually shrink the Islamic State’s territory in Iraq and Syria with airstrikes, slowly build up indigenous ground forces and press for renewed diplomatic negotiations to end Syria’s civil war.

The questions reflected concerns following the Paris attacks — which killed 129 people and led France’s president to promise a “merciless” response — that Obama had missed opportunities to defeat the group when it was still gaining strength.

Now Obama is in the unenviable position of championing a strategy that even he admits could take years to work, and could be marked by significant setbacks and more terrorist attacks like those in Paris.

“The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that is ultimately going to work,” the president told reporters Monday. “But as I said from the start, it is going to take time.”

The story of how Obama landed on his approach is one of a president who campaigned for reelection on a promise to end America’s wars and came to office with other pressing priorities, such as reaching an agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

He was deeply skeptical that U.S. military power could produce lasting political change in the Middle East and heavily influenced by the steep costs and heavy casualties that America suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan to achieve only mixed results.

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Source: Washington Post

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11-17-2015 Politics
Raids spread across France and Belgium amid manhunt for suspects

PARIS — Police in France and Belgium staged more than 160 anti-terrorism raids on Monday as authorities expanded crackdowns and cast their nets wider for suspects in the Paris attacks, including the alleged mastermind who also could have links to an earlier foiled plot aboard a high-speed train.

The intense manhunt for the possible lead plotter — identified as Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud — came clearer portraits emerged of the network behind Friday’s carnage that left at 132 people dead and scores wounded.

Also coming into sharper relief: Indictions that more of the alleged plotters were known European investigators long before the massacres.

In Brussels, police sealed off the streets in the Molenbeek neighborhood as the dragnet appeared to tighten in the area. But there were no immediate reports on arrests or whether Abaaoud or others were among the targets. Abaaoud, son of Moroccan immigrants and raised in Melenbeek, appeared to move higher in the Islamic State ranks over the years and made no secret of his intentions to strike in Europe, the Associated Press reported.

In February, Abaaoud was quoted by the Islamic State’s online magazine, Dabiq, as saying he fled to Syria after Belgian authorities broke up an alleged terror cell in the eastern city of Verviers the previous month. At the time, Abaaoud was named as a suspect, the magazine said.

French officials also told the AP that Abaaoud is believed to have links to other thwarted attacks, including a gunman who attempted who terrorized an Amsteram-to-Paris train in August but was subdued by three American travelers.

Meanwhile, another top suspect was sought: a lone assailant who could have slipped away in the chaos after the gunfire and bombings.

At least eight assailants took part in the Paris attacks in three groups — with seven dying amid the bloodshed. But the possiblity that the remaining attacker was still at large raised hope he could be captured alive and provide other critical clues how the attacks took shape, were funded and directed.

French police on Sunday issued an urgent alert and released a photo of an eighth suspect: the 5-foot-7-inch Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national. Meanwhile, authorities have sketched out the possibility of a larger network linked to the Islamic State that could involve as many as 20 plotters with links stretching to war-ravaged Syria.

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Source: Washington Post

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11-17-2015 Science&Technology
Anonymous Launches ‘Biggest Operation’ Against ISIS in Response to Paris Attacks

"War is declared. Get prepared"

Responding to the Paris attacks, hacker collective Anonymous has declared war against ISIS by launching what they call their “biggest operation” against the militant group. In a video posted on YouTube on November 14, a person, who appears to be a man, wearing the group’s signature Guy Fawkes mask says that Anonymous intends to hunt the militant group down. The spokesman mentioned that the group would use hacking to weaken ISIS.

“Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared,” says the masked man in French. “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you. ”

The video, which has had close to a million views, is not the first call to action against ISIS made by the group of ‘hactivists.’ After the January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks, they attacked extremist websites and took down thousands of ISIS twitter accounts.

Source: Time

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11-15-2015 Politics
Democratic Debate Brings Clashes on Economy and Terrorism

The fight against global terrorism took center stage Saturday night when Democrats gathered in Iowa to debate after the gruesome attacks in Paris that laid bare the kinds of threats the next American president will face.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, after a month in which he has lost some ground in the polls, quickly went on offense, criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2002 vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq, which he blamed for the rise of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

“I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely,” Mr. Sanders said, suggesting that the war had led to the rise of the Islamic State and that Mrs. Clinton’s vote discredited her foreign policy expertise. The candidates faced a heavy dose of questions on national security from the outset. But after nearly a half-hour, the discussion turned to domestic politics, and Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Sanders and former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland sparred over health care, Wall Street and the minimum wage.

After a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Paris attacks, the candidates each offered opening statements addressing the attacks and outlining their approaches to combating global terrorism and defeating the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Mrs. Clinton said that the United States must summon all of its resources to blunt the group’s rise.

“It cannot be contained,” she said. “It must be defeated.”

Despite the tragic nature of the events, the new backdrop provided Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, with an opportunity to shine as her two remaining rivals, Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Malley, neither of whom has much foreign policy experience, are under pressure to blunt her momentum.

The moderator pressed Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Sanders on their knowledge of international affairs, asked all three candidates about the level and allocation of military spending, and pressed them to address the contentious issue of the United States’ taking in Syrian refugees.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Malley both expressed a desire to streamline the military and accept refugees, with higher levels of screening. Mrs. Clinton offered a more moderate stance, warning that a robust military was needed to face challenges posed by more traditional rivals such as Russia and China.

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Source: The New York Times

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Top 100 World Newspapers (*)

No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 The Wall Street Journal / United States
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The People's Daily / China 7 The Daily Telegraph / United Kingdom 8 USA Today / United States
9 Los Angeles Times / United States 10 El Mundo / Spain 11 La Repubblica / Italy 12 The Times of India / India
13 Bild / Germany 14 Corriere della Sera / Italy 15 The Examiner / United States 16 The Independent / United Kingdom
17 El País / Spain 18 The Financial Times / United Kingdom 19 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 20 Daily News / United States
21 Chicago Tribune / United States 22 Le Monde / France 23 Marca / Spain 24 Hürriyet / Turkey
25 Die Welt / Germany 26 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 27 The Sun / United Kingdom 28 New York Post / United States
29 The Age / Australia 30 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 32 The Washington Times / United States
33 Die Zeit / Germany 34 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 35 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand 36 The Onion / United States
37 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 38 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 39 The Chicago Sun-Times / United States 40 Al-Ahram / Egypt
41 Le Figaro / France 42 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 43 The Hindu / India 44 Houston Chronicle / United States
45 The Seattle Times / United States 46 Libération / France 47 The Globe and Mail / Canada 48 De Standaard / Belgium
49 The Irish Times / Ireland 50 The Toronto Star / Canada 51 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 52 Mercury News / United States
53 The Australian / Australia 54 The Denver Post / United States 55 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 56 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea
57 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 58 Aftonbladet / Sweden 59 Kommersant / Russia 60 Bangkok Post / Thailand
61 Star Tribune / United States 62 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 63 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 64 Dawn / Pakistan
65 El Universal / Mexico 66 The Miami Herald / United States 67 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 68 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India
69 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States 70 Sports Nippon / Japan 71 L'Equipe / France 72 Die Presse / Austria
73 Detroit Free Press / United States 74 Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Switzerland 75 Clarín / Argentina 76 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
77 The Sacramento Bee / United States 78 China Daily / China 79 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 80 AS / Spain
81 The Baltimore Sun / United States 82 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany 83 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 84 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan
85 Boston Herald / United States 86 The Dallas Morning News / United States 87 The Times / United Kingdom 88 Newsday / United States
89 Orlando Sentinel / United States 90 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 91 Taipei Times / Taiwan 92 The Hindustan Times / India
93 The Economic Times / India 94 Kompas / Indonesia 95 The Observer / United Kingdom 96 Jornal de Notícias / Portugal
97 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 98 ABC / Spain 99 Le Soir / Belgium 100 The Kansas City Star / United States

(*) Selected by 4International Media & Newspapers

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