Report: Number of Journalists Killed in Retaliation Nearly Doubles in 2018

20-12-18 08:31:00,

NEW YORK—The number of journalists killed in retaliation for their work nearly doubled this year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The New York-based organization found that at least 34 journalists were targeted and killed for their work as of Dec. 14. In all, at least 53 died while doing dangerous work. That compares with 18 retaliation killings out of 47 deaths documented by the committee in 2017.

The committee also said the imprisonment of journalists has been on the rise.

“The context for the crisis is varied and complex, and closely tied to changes in technology that have allowed more people to practice journalism even as it has made journalists expendable to the political and criminal groups who once needed the news media to spread their message,” the committee said in its annual report.

The report came a day after the media freedom group Reporters Without Borders issued its own tally, saying the U.S. was among the top five deadliest countries for journalists this year for the first time, with six dead. Four of those were journalists killed by a gunman in a June attack on the newspaper Capital Gazette in Maryland. In addition, another two journalists died while covering a storm.

The shooting, in which another newspaper employee was also killed, was the deadliest single attack on the media in recent U.S. history.

The Paris-based group documented 63 professional journalists worldwide who died in 2018.

Both organizations investigate and verify the circumstances of every journalist death before listing it in their tallies, but they differ in what circumstances they include. For instance, Reporters Without Borders included the two journalists who died covering the storm. The committee, in addition to retaliation killings, lists journalists who have died in combat, crossfire or on other dangerous assignments.

The Committee to Protect Journalists report includes the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a native of Saudi Arabia fiercely critical of its royal regime. His Oct. 2 death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has reverberated on the global political scene amid allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved.

Khashoggi lived in self-imposed exile in the United States,

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You Gave Facebook Your Number For Security. They Used It For Ads

29-09-18 07:53:00,

By Gennie Gebhart, Associate Director of Research, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Add “a phone number I never gave Facebook for targeted advertising” to the list of deceptive and invasive ways Facebook makes money off your personal information. Contrary to user expectations and Facebook representatives’ own previous statements, the company has been using contact information that users explicitly provided for security purposes—or that users never provided at all—for targeted advertising.

A group of academic researchers from Northeastern University and Princeton University, along with Gizmodo reporters, have used real-world tests to demonstrate how Facebook’s latest deceptive practice works. They found that Facebook harvests user phone numbers for targeted advertising in two disturbing ways: two-factor authentication (2FA) phone numbers, and “shadow” contact information.

Two-Factor Authentication Is Not The Problem

First, when a user gives Facebook their number for security purposes—to set up 2FA, or to receive alerts about new logins to their account—that phone number can become fair game for advertisers within weeks. (This is not the first time Facebook has misused 2FA phone numbers.)

But the important message for users is: this is not a reason to turn off or avoid 2FA. The problem is not with two-factor authentication. It’s not even a problem with the inherent weaknesses of SMS-based 2FA in particular. Instead, this is a problem with how Facebook has handled users’ information and violated their reasonable security and privacy expectations.

There are many types of 2FA. SMS-based 2FA requires a phone number, so you can receive a text with a “second factor” code when you log in. Other types of 2FA—like authenticator apps and hardware tokens—do not require a phone number to work. However, until just four months ago, Facebook required users to enter a phone number to turn on any type of 2FA, even though it offers its authenticator as a more secure alternative. Other companies—Google notable among them—also still follow that outdated practice.

Even with the welcome move to no longer require phone numbers for 2FA, Facebook still has work to do here.

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US Doubles The Number Of Marines In Norway: No Big Deal Or Serious Threat To Russia?

17-08-18 05:47:00,

The United States has confirmed plans to more double the number of troops based in Norway, a move Russia has already criticised as “clearly unfriendly”.

As The Local reports, the Norwegian Defence Ministry on Wednesday said that the US had recently informed them that they would push forward with a plan to increase the number of US marines stationed in Norway from 300 to “up to 700”.

“US authorities have recently confirmed that they are happy to continue and increase the rotation-based training and practice in Norway for units from the US Navy Corps,” Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a press release.

“This means that the scheme will continue beyond 2018 and could include up to 700 soldiers.”

The marines, the first foreign troops stationed in Norway since World War Two, were originally expected to leave Norway at the end of this year, but the posting will now last for up to five years. 

The Russians are not happy, as the embassy to Norway exclaimed that the stationing of US troops “contravenes the Norwegian decision from 1949.”

But, as The Local notes, Norway’s foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide dismissed these claims, repeating the Norwegian government position that the marines should not be seen as a permanent US military base.

“The Russians are very well aware of what it is and what it isn’t,” she told Marine Corps Times in May. “Of course, they are using it in their propaganda and we are countering that as best we can because this is something that is not new.”

The arrangement has also met with criticism in Norway from both the Social left and Labour parties, who argue that the priority should be maintaining a strong Norwegian troop presence near the northern border with Russia, but,as Arkady Savitsky writes, for The Strategic Culture Foundation, the transformation of Norway into the tip of the knife for an attack on Russia is taking place amidst the speedy militarization of other Scandinavian countries, the Baltic states, and Poland.

Norway has abandoned its traditional policy of “no foreign forces on our national soil.” On Aug.

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July was Mark by a Number of Important Events in World Politics | New Eastern Outlook

07-08-18 06:51:00,

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We have already commented on the large number of significant events in the first half of July – events which clearly demonstrated the special nature of the radical changes that the post-Cold War world order has undergone in the last few months.

The end of July has brought several equally important events, including the BRICS and G-20 summits, held in Johannesburg and Buenos Aires, respectively. Both these events can be seen as illustrations of that process, and also as new stages in it.

As for the significance of the “current moment in politics”, one of Japan’s leading newspapers, the Mainchi, published an editorial with the following headline: “Outbreak of US-China trade war a crucial turning point in postwar order”.

It is worth noting that the Mainchi sees the events of 1991, when the almost 50-year stand-off between the world’s two main military and political alliances came to an end, with consequences that we are familiar with, as an interim stage on the way to a global event that is literally unfolding before our very eyes.

For the purposes of that article, the “post-war order” means the system of international trade rules which were gradually developed over time with the aim of preventing the unilateral imposition of restrictive measures against any of the countries that had agreed to be bound by such system.

It was just such restrictive measures, taken by the USA against Japan at the beginning of the 1940s, that formed the last link in the chain of events that led to the Pacific “branch” of the Second World War.

The analogy drawn by the editorialists seems alarmist, but it is not without foundation. The trade war between the USA and China, which has, so far, been limited to symbolic actions, threatens to develop into a full-scale conflict which will inevitably have political implications both for the relationship between the two countries and on a wider, global level. For the intended beneficiaries of the American measures to “restore fairness” to global trade are the USA’s closest allies.

The bilateral increase of duties on goods imported from China, initiated by Washington, has so far affected only a small proportion of the total trade between the two countries (34 billion dollars out of a total trade volume of some 600 billion dollars).

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The Number Of Americans Living In Their Vehicles “Explodes” As The Middle Class Collapses

01-08-18 08:23:00,

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If the U.S. economy is really doing so well, then why is homelessness rising so rapidly?

As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, the middle class is steadily eroding.  In fact, I recently gave my readers 15 signs that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  More Americans are falling out of the middle class and into poverty with each passing day, and this is one of the big reasons why the number of homeless is surging.  For example, the number of people living on the street in L.A. has shot up 75 percent over the last 6 years.  But of course L.A. is far from alone.  Other major cities on the west coast are facing similar problems, and that includes Seattle.  It turns out that the Emerald City has seen a 46 percent rise in the number of people sleeping in their vehicles in just the past year

The number of people who live in their vehicles because they can’t find affordable housing is on the rise, even though the practice is illegal in many U.S. cities.

The number of people residing in campers and other vehicles surged 46 percent over the past year, a recent homeless census in Seattle’s King County, Washington found. The problem is “exploding” in cities with expensive housing markets, including Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, according to Governing magazine.

Amazon, Microsoft and other big tech companies are in the Seattle area.  It is a region that is supposedly “prospering”, and yet this is going on.

Sadly, it isn’t just major urban areas that are seeing more people sleeping in their vehicles.  Over in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, many of the homeless sleep in their vehicles even in the middle of winter

Stephanie Monroe, managing director of Children Youth & Family Services at Volunteers of America, Dakotas, tells a similar story. At least 25 percent of the non-profit’s Sioux Falls clients have lived in their vehicles at some point, even during winter’s sub-freezing temperatures.

“Many of our communities don’t have formal shelter services,” she said in an interview.

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