40 Million Americans Already Don’t Have Enough Food To Eat… And It’s About To Get A Lot Worse

40-million-americans-already-don’t-have-enough-food-to-eat…-and-it’s-about-to-get-a-lot-worse

15-10-19 08:47:00,

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The things that I am going to share with you in this article are definitely very alarming.  But if you live in a wealthy neighborhood and are always surrounded by other wealthy individuals that never have to worry about missing a meal, then some of the numbers in this article may not ring true to you.  Today, the gap between the wealthy and the poor in the United States is larger than ever, and many wealthy Americans don’t have too much sympathy for the struggles that other people are going through. 

But the truth is that most Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.  And when you are living right on the edge financially, there are times when it can be really tough to even afford the basic necessities.  If you have never had to miss a meal involuntarily, good for you.  Unfortunately, there are millions upon millions of Americans for which hunger is a very real problem.

If you had to guess, what would you say if someone asked you how many Americans struggle with food insecurity each year?

According to a CBS News article that was published a few months ago, “roughly 4o million people” struggle with not having enough food to eat…

The U.S. economy is enjoying nearly a decade of expansion since the Great Recession. Yet food insecurity — a lack of money or resources to secure enough to eat — still grips almost one in eight Americans. That’s roughly 40 million people. While slowly improving, that figure remains stubbornly higher than before the recession, when more than one in 10 U.S. residents had difficulty knowing when and how they might eat next, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hungry people live in every county in America, according to the latest annual research from nonprofit relief organization Feeding America. It compiled federal and other data for 2017, its ninth year examining the issue, for a report called Map the Meal Gap. Feeding America serves 4 billion meals each year for one in eight Americans through 200 food banks and 60,000 meal programs and pantries.

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The Majority of Jews, 8 Million, Have No Wish to Live in a Conflicted Israel – Global Research

the-majority-of-jews,-8-million,-have-no-wish-to-live-in-a-conflicted-israel-–-global-research

30-09-19 10:33:00,

Out of a global Jewish population of 14.8 million, over 54% do not, and presumably have no wish to live in the hard-Right, Likud-dominated, settler-controlled, extremist state that is today’s Israel.

These population figures, recently published in the American Jewish Year Book, are instructive because they prove that Netanyahu’s claims to speak for the worldwide Jewish Diaspora, are demonstrably false.

But that should not come as any surprise to us about a failed politician desperately trying to avoid prosecution for alleged bribery and corruption during his term in office as Prime Minister.

Many Jews around the world, in New York, London, Paris and other centres of Jewish life, find the Netanyahu political influence both in Israel and outside, a shocking example of racist, even Fascist, political ideology – and are acutely ashamed by his actions.

The reports of heavily-armed IDF soldiers shooting young Palestinian protesters dead at the Gaza border, are repulsive and appalling to many thousands of observers worldwide, both Jewish and Gentile, who believe in human and civil rights for everyone – even protesting Palestinian schoolchildren with their mothers and fathers.

These observers of Netanyahu’s politics know full well that in addition to flouting U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 that demands the repatriation of all illegal settlers in the Occupied Territories back to their homes in Israel, the continued blockade of essential goods against 1.8 million in Gaza is a shocking stain on the claimed democratic principles of the Israeli state under Netanyahu’s influence.  The sooner he is gone and a true democratic leader elected, the better will be the future for both Jew and Arab in the land of Palestine and within the international Holy City of Jerusalem.

We can but hope that the international community of nations will come to a consensus that will condemn the illegal settlements and annexations and take concrete steps to bring about a long overdue equity to the indigenous peoples of Palestine.

*

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Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK.

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120 Million Workers Need To Be Reskilled Due To AI, Says IBM Study

120-million-workers-need-to-be-reskilled-due-to-ai,-says-ibm-study

09-09-19 07:43:00,

Over the next three years, 120 million workers in the world’s 12 biggest economies may need to be retrained as a result of widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the workplace, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study.

Only 41% of CEOs surveyed have the resources in place to close the skills gap brought on by new emerging technologies. That means 59% of the CEOs surveyed have no skills development strategies in place for their employees in the early 2020s.

“Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets with the potential to impact their futures as well as worldwide economies,” said Amy Wright, Managing Partner, IBM Talent & Transformation, IBM.

“Yet while executives recognize the severity of the problem, half of those surveyed admit that they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps. And the tactics the study found were most likely to close the skills gap the fastest are the tactics companies are using the least. New strategies are emerging to help companies reskill their people and build the culture of continuous learning required to succeed in the era of AI.”

The IBV study, “The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap,” includes input from 5,670 CEOs located in 48 countries, points to challenges that companies will face in the early 2020s with managing their workforce through the technological shift.

IBM said, the “era of AI” will be a transformative period for the global economy as the skill gap through employee training will take time to close. The company’s study indicates new skill requirements for jobs will be required due to the fast pace of AI and automation adoption, while other skills become out-of-date.

The study lays out a guide for businesses to better foster talent and close the skills gap in a timely fashion.

IBM said companies could use AI to determine what skills are already available throughout their business and share that info with employees to drive a culture of “continuous learning.”

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said AI impact on the workforce could be devastating.

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3.7 Million Students Returning to Schools Tomorrow in Syria

3.7-million-students-returning-to-schools-tomorrow-in-syria

02-09-19 02:27:00,

Syrian Students Return to Schools – Archive photo

Syrian Ministry of Education issued its latest figures on the status of education all over the country, especially after cleaning more towns and villages from NATO terrorists.

Keep in mind these millions of children are traumatized, terrorized, saw live before their own eyes horror western children would get life-long trauma watching on TVs. Many of these children lost their parents, or one of them or at least a close relative throughout the US-led War of Terror against Syria. The Syrian state through the educators and cadre of the Ministry of Education is working tremendously hard to comfort these children while the Syrian Arab Army and its allies continue to work effortlessly to clean more towns and villages from NATO terrorists, to keep Syria’s future safe and secure.

The following is a list detailing the distribution of 3,693,778 students over 12,791 schools who will resume studying tomorrow 2nd of September for the 2019 – 2020 school year as per the respective heads of provinces in the Ministry of Education.

The Syrian capital Damascus: 880 schools for 361,242 students, under the supervision of 21,212 teachers.

Damascus Countryside Province: 1,580 schools for 650,732 students under the supervision of 34,507 teachers.

Homs Province: 1,490 schools for 371,544 students under the supervision of 25,476 teachers.

Hama Province: 1,520 schools for 405,950 students under the supervision of 30,188 teachers. Intensified work is underway in the recently liberated towns and villages in the northern countryside to evaluate the needs of the schools there.

Aleppo Province: 1,430 schools for 514,603 students under the supervision 24,262 teachers.

Latakia Province: 1,220 schools for 261,221 students under the supervision of 36,200 teachers.

Tartous Province: 1,380 schools for 232,208 students under the supervision of 29,487 teachers.

Sweida Province: 611 schools for 106,618 students under the supervision of 10,396 teachers.

Daraa Province: 620 schools for 229,250 students under the supervision of 15,581 teachers.

Quneitra Province: 280 schools for 100,298 students under the supervision of 6,878 teachers.

Deir Ezzor Province: 570 schools for 100,000 students under the supervision of 8,529 teachers.

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US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II – Global Research

us-has-killed-more-than-20-million-people-in-37-“victim-nations”-since-world-war-ii-–-global-research

01-07-19 09:55:00,

Germany and Austria lost approximately 8 million people during WWII, Japan lost more than 2.5 million people. The US and Britain respectively lost more than 400,000 lives. 

This carefully researched article by James A. Lucas  documents the more than 20 million lives lost resulting from US led wars, military coups and intelligence ops carried out in the wake of what is euphemistically called the “post-war era” (1945- ). The extensive loss of life in Lebanon,  Syria, Yemen and Libya is not included in this study.

Continuous US led warfare (1945- ): there was no “post-war era“.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, January 20 2019

***

After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by an accelerated “war on terrorism.”

But we must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable.

The causes of wars are complex. In some instances nations other than the U.S. may have been responsible for more deaths, but if the involvement of our nation appeared to have been a necessary cause of a war or conflict it was considered responsible for the deaths in it. In other words they probably would not have taken place if the U.S. had not used the heavy hand of its power. The military and economic power of the United States was crucial.

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We Have Spent $32 Million Per Hour on War Since 2001 | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

we-have-spent-$32-million-per-hour-on-war-since-2001-|-light-on-conspiracies-–-revealing-the-agenda

05-05-19 09:17:00,

By Stephanie Savell

This March marked the 16th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

In 2003, President George W. Bush and his advisers based their case for war on the idea that Saddam Hussein, then dictator of Iraq, possessed weapons of mass destruction — weapons that have never been found. Nevertheless, all these years later, Bush’s “Global War on Terror” continues — in Iraq and in many other countries.

It’s a good time to reflect on what this war — the longest in U.S. history — has cost Americans and others around the world.

First, the economic costs: According to estimates by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the war on terror has cost Americans a staggering $5.6 trillion since 2001, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.

$5.6 trillion. This figure includes not just the Pentagon’s war fund, but also future obligations such as social services for an ever-growing number of post-9/11 veterans.

It’s hard for most of us to even begin to grasp such an enormous number.

It means Americans spend $32 million per hour, according to a counter by the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Put another way: Since 2001, every American taxpayer has spent almost $24,000 on the wars — equal to the average down payment on a house, a new Honda Accord, or a year at a public university.

(Cartoon: Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org)

As stupefying as those numbers are, the budgetary costs pale in comparison with the human toll.

As of 2015, when the Costs of War project made its latest tallies, up to 165,000 Iraqi civilians had died as a direct consequence of U.S. war, plus around 8,000 U.S. soldiers and military contractors in Iraq.

Those numbers have only continued to rise. Up to 6,000 civilians were killed by U.S.-led strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2017 –– more civilians than in any previous year, according to the watchdog group AirWars.

In addition to those direct deaths,

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Nearly 102 Million Americans Do Not Have A Job Right Now – Worse Than At Any Point During The Last Recession

nearly-102-million-americans-do-not-have-a-job-right-now-worse-than-at-any-point-during-the-last-recession

26-04-19 09:35:00,

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Wouldn’t it be horrible if the number of Americans without a job was higher today than it was during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009?  Well, that is actually true. 

As you will see below, nearly 102 million Americans do not have a job right now, and at no point during the last recession did that number ever surpass the 100 million mark.  Of course the U.S. population has grown a bit over the last decade, but as you will see below, the percentage of the population that is engaged in the labor force is only slightly above the depressingly low levels from the last recession.  Sadly, the truth is that the rosy employment statistics that you are getting from the mainstream media are manufactured using smoke and mirrors, and by the time you are done reading this article you will understand what is really going on.

Before we dig into the long-term trends, let’s talk about what we just learned.

According to CNBC, initial claims for unemployment benefits just rose by the most that we have seen in 19 months

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended April 20, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The increase was the largest since early September 2017.

And considering all of the other troubling economic signs that we have been witnessing lately, this makes perfect sense.

In addition, we need to remember that over the last decade lawmakers across the country have made it more difficult to apply for unemployment benefits and have reduced the amount of time that unemployed workers can receive them.  In reality, the unemployment situation in this nation is far worse than the mainstream media is telling us.

When a working age American does not have a job, the federal number crunchers put them into one of two different categories.  Either they are categorized as “unemployed” or they are categorized as “not in the labor force”.

But you have to add both of those categories together to get the total number of Americans that are not working.

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23.2 Million Hack Victims Used ‘123456″ As Their Password

23.2-million-hack-victims-used-82161234568243-as-their-password

22-04-19 06:10:00,

A shocking number of people who have been hacked used mind-numbingly simple passwords, according to a breach analysis conducted on behalf of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). 

According to data obtained from the website “Haver I Been Pwned,” more than 23 million people who were hacked used the password ‘123456,’ followed by ‘123456789’ (7.7 million) and ‘qwerty’ (3.8 million). 

Top 10 most-frequently used passwords by hack victims: 

  • 123456 
  • 123456789
  • qwerty
  • password
  • 111111
  • 12345678
  • abc123
  • 1234567
  • password1
  • 12345

Separate of the release, the NCSC conducted its first “UK Cyber Survey” ahead of their CYBERUK 2019 conference in Glasgow this week, which found among other things; 

  • Only 15% say they know a great deal about how to protect themselves from harmful activity
  • The most regular concern is money being stolen – with 42% feeling it likely to happen by 2021
  • 89% use the internet to make online purchases – with 39% on a weekly basis 
  • One in three rely to some extent on friends and family for help on cyber security
  • Young people more likely to be privacy conscious and careful of what details they share online
  • 61% of internet users check social media daily, but 21% report they never look at social media
  • 70% always use PINs and passwords for smart phones and tablets
  • Less than half do not always use a strong, separate password for their main email account

“We understand that cyber security can feel daunting to a lot of people, but the NCSC has published lots of easily applicable advice to make you much less vulnerable,” said NCSC technical director Dr. Ian Levy.” 

Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided – nobody should protect sensitive data with somethisng that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band.

Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you,

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DoD Orders $250 Million Of Gas Masks – What Do They Know?

dod-orders-250-million-of-gas-masks-8211-what-do-they-know

30-03-19 10:04:00,

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Avon Protection Systems Inc., Cadillac, Michigan, a $245,961,250 firm-fixed-price contract for production of M53A1 Chemical Biological Protective Mask systems, according to the DoD contract website.

The Army estimates M53A1 gas masks will start delivery in the second half of this financial year ending September. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, will oversee the purchase order.

Avon Protection Systems is a world leader and major supplier to the military, law enforcement, first responders, and industrial sectors globally.

The M53A1 was developed to counter multiple threats encountered on the modern battlefield. “It provides excellent protection against traditional chemical and biological warfare agents, select Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs) and particulate matter including radioactive dust,” read the M53 brochure.

According to the company, the M53A1 protects soldiers from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks. Specifically, the mask protects against mustard, sarin, soman, and VX nerve agents.

The order comes one month after the U.S. government introduced science-based guidelines for how first responders decontaminate large numbers of Americans after a chemical-weapons attack.

The guidelines, published last month, are the first in the U.S. to be based on extensive research and testing.

“Terrorist threats and the use of chemical weapons in Syria have heightened awareness of the need for improved preparedness against chemical attacks,” said Gary Disbrow, deputy director of the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which prepared the guidelines.

“First responders are supportive of the fact that it is evidence-based guidance, and not just, ‘We used this last time, and it seemed to work,’” he added.

With lightning speed, the Army and U.S. government have been actively preparing for a biological incident on the homeland. With threats harder to anticipate today, the act of preparation suggests some fears that an attack of some sort could be imminent.

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Das Fressen der Millionäre

das-fressen-der-millionare

02-03-19 09:33:00,

Das ZDF strahlte am Sonntag, dem 17. Februar 2019, in der Sendung ZDF SPORTreportage einen Beitrag mit folgendem Titel aus: FC Liverpool – Ernährung auf „Weltklasse“-Niveau.

Der Bericht diente zum Teil als Vorberichterstattung auf die Spiele im Achtelfinale der UEFA Champions League zwischen dem FC Liverpool und dem FC Bayern München. Darin wird über Mona Nemmer berichtet, die beim englischen Fußballverein FC Liverpool arbeitet und die Ernährungsabteilung leitet.

Die Story über diese Frau ist umhüllt von Euphorie und wohlklingenden Phrasen. Der Reporter stellt begeisternd dar, wie wichtig und bedeutsam die Ernährung für Profifußballer ist. Wer jedoch wirklich hinhört und hinsieht, erschrickt über den Report. Denn diese kurze Dokumentation zeigt zugleich den Weg der unaufhaltsamen Kommerzialisierung im Fußball auf.

Das ZDF stellt in einer etwa neunminütigen Reportage eine Frau vor, die sich jeden Tag aufs Neue vor allem mit der Ernährung von Fußballspielern befasst. Der Grund für ihre Tätigkeit ist, dass es einem Profifußballer nur in einem herausragenden Leistungs- und Gesundheitszustand möglich wäre, auf dem Spielfeld eine Weltklasse-Leistung zu erbringen. Deswegen brauchen Profivereine geballte Ernährungskompetenz.

Dennoch steht dahinter einzig und allein ein Ziel: Der Sieg und das damit verbundene viele Geld für den Verein und seine Spieler.

Das ZDF zeigte quasi einen Bericht, wie sich Millionäre richtig ernähren, um schließlich noch reicher zu werden. Eine bessere Werbung für die reichsten Fußballspieler auf dieser Erde kann es wohl kaum geben.

In den einleitenden Worten kommentiert der Autor des Beitrages Claus Höfling: „In diesem Raum trifft Titelhunger auf echten Hunger.“ Zugleich wird der Speisesaal mit einigen Spielern, Mona Nemmer und aufgetafeltem Essen gezeigt.

Aber „echten Hunger“ kennen wohl nur die Menschen, die um das tägliche Überleben in den ärmsten Regionen der Erde kämpfen. Es sind Menschen, deren Einkommen in keinem Verhältnis zu den Einkommen der Fußballprofis stehen. Und der Fußball ist daran nicht ganz unschuldig. Er bietet vielen großen Unternehmen eine hervorragende Präsentationsplattform: Sponsoren wie der deutsche Sportartikelhersteller Adidas oder der schweizerische Nahrungsmittelkonzern Nestle beispielsweise unterstützen mit ihren Geldern Vereine wie den FC Bayern München oder den FC Barcelona und werden bei Fußball-Großereignissen dementsprechend beworben. Und das, obwohl Adidas zur Produktion seiner Sportwaren Menschen ausbeutet und sie mit Hungerlöhnen „abspeist“. Nestle hingegen kauft in Afrika von staatlichen Wasserbehörden Wasserrechte, um der Bevölkerung dieses Wasser anschließend als abgefülltes Trinkwasser weiterzuverkaufen.

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Where Is the One Million Tonnes of Toxic Tyre Dust and Particulates Discharged into the Environment Each Year in the US and Europe? – Global Research

where-is-the-one-million-tonnes-of-toxic-tyre-dust-and-particulates-discharged-into-the-environment-each-year-in-the-us-and-europe-8211-global-research

08-02-19 02:17:00,

An estimated 1.1m tonnes of toxic tyre waste including highly dangerous, polluting particulates are discharged into the environment/atmosphere each year from a combined total of about 590 million cars currently in the United States and Europe.

In the US, there is roughly an estimated one car for every person: each car having 4 tyres and these tyres wear out on average at between 3 to 4 years. A European Commission review reports that between 10-30% of the rubber from each tyre is lost as it wears out over its life and the tyres themselves are scrapped at the rate of an estimated 1.1 tyre, per person each year.

This toxic, tyre waste inevitably ends up polluting our rivers, streams and lakes and, of course, also the air that we breathe. And air pollution is known to contribute to heart and lung problems and premature death, also asthma and various cancers particularly in high density traffic areas. Every year in the UK, particulate matter is blamed for an additional 10,000 deaths, due to heart and lung disease.  However, even after a century of motor cars with rubber tyres, we are still unaware of the exact health hazards from lost tyre tread.

The primary ingredient in tyre rubber is a synthetic polymer called styrene-butadiene and the rubber contains carbon black, and hazardous compounds of lead, sulphur and zinc. All of these constituents are highly dangerous if ingested and the smaller the particles of these organic and inorganic chemicals contained in the lost rubber tyre dust, the more deeply they can penetrate the lungs.

The fact that over a million tonnes of tyre waste disappears into the environment every year and nobody knows exactly where, is a very frightening fact.

And this problem is in addition to that of toxic diesel and petrol exhaust emissions, and unfortunately will not be solved by the advent of electric cars which still require tyres and brake pads.

*

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Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Largest Cache Of Hacked Data In History Discovered: Over 770 Million Email Addresses, 21 Million Passwords

largest-cache-of-hacked-data-in-history-discovered-over-770-million-email-addresses-21-million-passwords

17-01-19 10:00:00,

Security expert Troy Hunt has exposed a the largest publication of breached data in history, affecting over 770 million email addresses and 21 million passwords.

The new finding, called “Collection #1” by Hunt, consists of 2.6 billion rows and is made up of “many different individual data breaches from literally thousands of different sources.” 

New breach: The “Collection #1” credential stuffing list began broadly circulating last week and contains 772,904,991 unique email addresses with plain text passwords (now in Pwned Passwords). 82% of addresses were already in @haveibeenpwned. Read more: https://t.co/BAa3rbgZo4

— Have I Been Pwned (@haveibeenpwned) January 16, 2019

The database going back as far as 2008 is a staggering 87GB in size, and comprises 1.1 billion unique combinations of email addresses and passwords – many of which have been “dehashed,” or cracked and converted back to plain text. 

This is when treating the password as case sensitive but the email address as not case sensitive. This also includes some junk because hackers being hackers, they don’t always neatly format their data dumps into an easily consumable fashion. (I found a combination of different delimiter types including colons, semicolons, spaces and indeed a combination of different file types such as delimited text files, files containing SQL statements and other compressed archives.)

The unique email addresses totalled 772,904,991. This is the headline you’re seeing as this is the volume of data that has now been loaded into Have I Been Pwned (HIBP). It’s after as much clean-up as I could reasonably do and per the previous paragraph, the source data was presented in a variety of different formats and levels of “cleanliness”. This number makes it the single largest breach ever to be loaded into HIBP. –Troy Hunt

The collection was dumped on anonymous storage site MEGA before it was posted on a popular hacking forum for anyone to access. 

Last week, multiple people reached out and directed me to a large collection of files on the popular cloud service, MEGA (the data has since been removed from the service). The collection totalled over 12,000 separate files and more than 87GB of data.

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France will give to Iraq 1 000 million euro

france-will-give-to-iraq-1-000-million-euro

17-01-19 09:08:00,

Following the Head of US Diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, his French partner ‎Jean-Yves Le Drian also made a visit to Bagdad. His visit coincided with the visit of King Abdallah II of Jordan. ‎

To everyone’s surprise, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that France – while in the throes of a financial crisis – will give to Iraq 1,000 million euro (1 150 millions US dollars). This will go to participating in Iraq’s reconstruction following the war against the Islamic Emirates ‎‎(Daesh). ‎

The fact is that France is hoping to secure permanent military bases in Iraq so it can continue interfering in Syria after US troops are pulled out. ‎

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

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Eight Million Tonnes of Unexploded Mines and Munitions Endanger All Children in Northern Iraq – Global Research

eight-million-tonnes-of-unexploded-mines-and-munitions-endanger-all-children-in-northern-iraq-8211-global-research

20-11-18 07:37:00,

“I was playing football with friends when a bomb exploded right under my feet. They took me to the hospital: both my legs and also the lower part of my left arm were amputated.”

Kaum was just 14 when in 2014 he fled the village of Bartalla, 20km east of Mosul, as the Islamic State group began its rampage across Iraq. For three years, he lived in a refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. In December 2017, he finally returned home and his daily life was slowly returning to normality – when he accidentally detonated an explosive remnant.

His life was changed forever.

“I can’t go to school anymore because I am still traumatised. My friends are helping me, they always give me a ride to go out with them, but I know I will never be able to play football with them again.”

We met Kaum at the East Mosul rehabilitation centre. His story details an emergency inside the emergency. A year after its liberation, the area surrounding Iraq’s second largest city remains a ticking time-bomb.

According to UN Habitat, eight million tons of explosive remnants contaminate the city.

Thousands of people have been injured returning home from camps for the displaced.

“It is very difficult for those who return to rebuild their homes because under the rubble there are still many IEDs, explosive devices and remnants. IEDs were mainly home-made by [the Islamic State group] and for this reason they are even more dangerous,” says Hawar Mustafa, programme coordinator at Emergency, an Italian NGO.

Prosthetic clinics have teamed up after the maunfacturer’s factory was targeted [Laura Cappon]

Mustafa coordinates the emergency rehab centre in Sulemaniya, which coordinates with its partner in Mosul to provide prosthetic limbs after the local factory that produced them was hit, seriously compromising production.

The emergency center in Sulemaniya still receives a high number of patients from Mosul. Mahfouz is one.

He was walking with his son through the streets of Bab Sinjar’s old district in Mosul when an explosive device inside a nearby car detonated due to a small fire.

“Since I lost my leg,

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As We Honour the 15 Million Dead of 1914-1918, a Demented US President Flies into Paris with Plans to Attack Iran – Global Research

as-we-honour-the-15-million-dead-of-1914-1918-a-demented-us-president-flies-into-paris-with-plans-to-attack-iran-8211-global-research

12-11-18 04:55:00,

As the leaders of Europe and the world gather in Paris to honour the millions of war dead of WW1, 100 years ago, the current US President together with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Israel, are even now finalising plans to attack and bankrupt Iran in a precursor to a devastating war in the Middle East that would escalate into Europe and beyond.

Trump is determined to abdicate any responsibility for peace, denuclearisation and democracy in his megalomaniac bid to rule the world in a storm of strident nationalism.

As we remember the 9 million military personnel and 6 million civilians who tragically lost their lives during the Great War in order to ensure peace in Europe and the world, we are treated today to the unedifying spectacle of an American president, who has never worn a uniform, strutting about Europe like a cardboard fuehrer mouthing nonsensical platitudes about climate change propaganda and American greatness.

The fact that this trumped-up autocrat with television credentials but no concept of political leadership, international diplomacy or economic strategy could have emerged as the apparent leader of the free world, is a parody of political common sense that ridicules democracy, freedom and morality.

Today is arguably the most dangerous moment for the world that at any time since the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 when we were one minute to nuclear midnight. That was averted by the then US President Kennedy, who whatever else, was a leader of his country.  Now we have to contend with an elderly, lumbering, womanising, self-publicist whose only expertise is apparently in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service.

How the US and the world arrived at this position is not readily understood other than the fact that American democracy is predicated upon money – from casinos or any other source – instead of leadership, statesmanship, truth and integrity, unlike democratic government in the vast majority of European states.

The international community has to make a decision: appease this dangerous political nonentity from New York or cut loose; establish a European army and an alternative global reserve currency to eliminate or reduce trade and military dependence upon America.

If the world is to be a different place,

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Eine Million Bücher mit automatisch erzeugten Texten

eine-million-bucher-mit-automatisch-erzeugten-texten

05-11-18 07:27:00,

Wenn Künstliche Intelligenz eine Doktorarbeit schreiben kann, was heißt dann Bildung? Interview mit dem Verleger Philip M. Parker

Im deutschsprachigen Raum ist er fast ein Unbekannter: Der in Singapur lehrende Wirtschaftswissenschaftler und Unternehmer Philip M. Parker. Der von ihm gegründete Buchverlag ICON Group International hat mehr als eine Million verschiedener Bücher publiziert, deren Inhalte komplett automatisch generiert wurden. Mit Apps, Spielen und Lehrbüchern zu landwirtschaftlichen Techniken, Lesen und Rechnen – auch diese allesamt komplett automatisch erzeugt – will er die Alphabetisierung und Bildung in der Dritten Welt vorantreiben. Sein Programm “Totopoetry” erzeugt automatisch Perlen der Dichtkunst, wie er eindrucksvoll zeigen kann. Und nun will Parker auch noch die Wikipedia revolutionieren: natürlich mit Bots, die die Inhalte automatisch erstellen und übersetzen.

“Das ist keine Software, die das Web automatisch crawlt und Informationen copypastet”, wehrt Parker gleich zu Beginn ab. “Insofern gibt es auch kein Plagiatsproblem.” Die von seinem Verlag produzierten tausenden und abertausenden Bücher haben also mit den dubiosen Praktiken sonstiger Wikipedia-& Co-Kopier- und Raubverlage wenig bis nichts zu tun.

“Das Prinzip ist immer dasselbe, aber jeder Use Case ist anders: Wir greifen entweder auf Datenbanken zu, oder auf Satellitendaten oder auf sonstige Daten. Die Programme schreiben wir immer neu – abhängig davon, ob das Endprodukt eine Marktvorschau, ein Kreuzworträtselbuch, ein Sprachlernbuch, ein Sonett oder ein Wetterbericht sein soll.”

Stefan Webers Buch “Roboterjournalismus, Chatbots & Co. Wie Algorithmen Inhalte produzieren und unser Denken beeinflussen” erscheint im November in der Reihe “Telepolis” (bei Amazon).

Chatbots, Sprach- und Schreibroboter sind vielen ein Begriff etwa durch (vermutete) Wahlmanipulationen oder Schlagzeilen zu Hasskommentaren in sozialen Netzwerken. Das vorliegende Buch zeichnet die Entwicklung der dahinterstehenden Technologien nach. Ziel ist ein umfassendes, aber leicht verständliches Bild der Anwendungen und ihrer zukünftigen Entwicklung.
Insbesondere wird erkennbar, wo sich die entsprechende Technologie bereits verbirgt (z.B bei automatisch generierten Zeitungsartikeln, Produktbewertungen oder Kommentare in sozialen Medien) oder auch ganz offen zeigt (Facebook-Messenger etc.). Immer effizientere Algorithmen erzeugen neben Texten auch Bilder und Filme, die neben den Menschen als Produzent solcher Inhalte treten und ihn vielleicht in Teilen ersetzen können.
Dieser kulturelle Wandel bleibt nicht ohne Folgen: Kreativität und soziale Umgangsformen, gerade unter jungen Menschen, leiden an der Entfremdung. Das Buch stellt die Frage, wie sich die Automatisierung des Schreibens,  » Lees verder

11 Million Reasons for Wall Street & London to Hate Russia | New Eastern Outlook

11 Million Reasons for Wall Street & London to Hate Russia | New Eastern Outlook

26-07-18 12:58:00,

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Why does the US media have an anti-Russian fixation? It’s not what the American people want to hear. 71% of the Ronald Reagan-loving, military-obsessed Republican Party approve of Trump meeting with Putin.   On the other side, top liberal CNN commentator and former President Obama’s adviser, Van Jones has admitted in a video recording that the “Russiagate” story is a “big nothing burger” which Democrats are not interested in.  The Russia-fixated, Hillary Clinton-DNC liberal establishment now faces an upsurge of opposition from Democratic Socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, who emphasize the need for populist economics reforms.

Conservatives don’t want to hear it. Liberals don’t want to hear it. Hating Russia is just not a bandwagon the U.S. public is ready to jump on. Yet, if one turns on American television, in the aftermath of the summit in Helsinki, the rhetoric and accusations against the government of the Russian Federation are almost endless.

Like Trump, Obama was also unable to resolve the tensions now being described as the “New Cold War.” Let’s not forget that Obama was elected saying he would “talk to Putin”. In the early years of Obama’s first term, he said he intended to “reset” relations with the Eurasian superpower, and was attacked for it by the Tea Party. The American people favor better relations with Russia, and politicians win votes for promising it, yet the dangerous trajectory continues. Why?

A New Day in the Energy Markets

One answer can be found in the field of economics. On July 18th, crude oil production in the United States reached 11 million barrels per day. This is the highest it has ever been. The drilling and fracking rigs are pulling more oil out of the ground and shale than ever before in U.S. history.

The longtime liberal aspiration for “Energy Independence” has been achieved.  The U.S. is no longer dependent on overseas oil. A new OPEC boycott wouldn’t be anything like the catastrophe of 1973. The longtime oil export ban has been lifted, and crude pulled from US shale and soil is now being shipped off to China and other countries.

Meanwhile, the spell of low oil prices that began in 2014 is long over.

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