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  1. #3001
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    U.S. Blacklists More Chinese Tech Companies Over National Security Concerns

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration added five Chinese entities to a United States blacklist on Friday, further restricting China’s access to American technology and stoking already high tensions before a planned meeting between President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China in Japan next week.

    The Commerce Department announced that it would add four Chinese companies and one Chinese institute to an “entity list,” saying they posed risks to American national security or foreign policy interests. The move essentially bars them from buying American technology and components without a waiver from the United States government, which could all but cripple them because of their reliance on American chips and other technology to make advanced electronics.

    The entities are one of China’s leading supercomputer makers, Sugon; three subsidiaries set up to design microchips, Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit and Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology; and the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology. They lead China’s development of high-performance computing, some of which is used in military applications like simulating nuclear explosions, the Commerce Department said.
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    The rise of the deepfake and the threat to democracy


    On 4 May 2016, Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, appeared in a sketch dressed as Donald Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee. Wearing a blond wig and three coats of bronzer, he pretended to phone Barack Obama – played by Dion Flynn – to brag about his latest primary win in Indiana. Both men appeared side by side in split screen, facing the camera. Flynn’s straight-man impression of Obama, particularly his soothing, expectant voice, was convincing, while Fallon played the exaggerated caricature that all of Trump’s mimics – and the man himself – settle into.

    Three years later, on 5 March 2019, footage of the sketch was posted on the YouTube channel derpfakes under the title The Presidents. The first half of the clip shows the opening 10 seconds or so of the sketch as it originally aired. Then the footage is replayed, except the faces of Fallon and Flynn have been transformed into, seemingly, the real Trump and Obama, delivering the same lines in the same voices, but with features rendered almost indistinguishable from those of the presidents.

    The video, uploaded to YouTube by the founder of derpfakes, a 28-year-old Englishman called James (he asked us not to use his surname), is a forgery created by a neural network, a type of “deep” machine-learning model that analyses video footage until it is able algorithmically to transpose the “skin” of one human face on to the movements of another – as if applying a latex mask. The result is known as a deepfake.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
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  2. #3002
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Spy satellite images reveal Himalaya glacier ice losses have doubled

    The speed at which glaciers in the Himalayas are losing ice has doubled since the turn of the century as the region warms, an analysis of declassified spy film has revealed.

    The rapid melting of the region’s glaciers has been grimly illustrated recently on Everest, where receding snow and ice has begun exposing bodies of the hundreds of people who have died climbing the peak. Glacier loss in the region could play havoc with water supplies for millions of people, crops and hydroelectric dams, as well as contribute to flooding from glacier lakes.

    But researchers charting losses in the region have been reliant on recent modern satellite records and only know ice mass losses well for the past two decades.
    Now a US team has used 42 images of the mountain range taken by US military satellites during the cold war to turn the clock back further. The spy film, which was ejected from the satellites in cartridges and parachuted down for collection mid-air by cargo planes, was declassified in the past decade and made publicly available online.

    As the images were taken at different angles, Josh Maurer at Columbia University in New York and his colleagues could use software to work out the depth of glaciers. Combining the results with data from modern depth-sensing satellites, they found on average 0.25 metres of ice thickness were lost per year between 1975 and 2002, a rate that doubled to half a metre per year between 2000 and 2016.

    The results show the Himalayas have lost a quarter of their ice mass since 1975. “Going back this far back in time for the entire region is great,” says Walter Immerzeel of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who wasn’t involved in the work.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
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  3. #3003
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    E. Jean Carroll Says She Will Not Seek A Rape Charge Against Donald Trump

    Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll said Friday that she would not seek a rape charge against President Donald Trump for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in the 1990s.

    Carroll's comments came during an appearance on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell where the journalist talked at length about the alleged assault that reportedly occurred in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

    The nearly 20-minute interview featuring Carroll giving an account of the alleged assault, including how she ran into Trump in the department store and he asked for her advice on what to buy a woman. According to Carroll, she suggested a handbag and then a hat, prompting Trump to pick a fur hat that Carroll said she derided as a bad choice.

    Eventually, Carroll said, Trump suggested they go to the lingerie department, and Carroll went with him. Once there, Carroll said Trump pointed to a sheer bodysuit and told her to put it on.
    Caroll then recounted the rest of the alleged assault, explaining that she kept the outfit she wore - a Donna Karan coatdress - hanging on the back of her closet door for years. Carroll wore the dress for the first time to pose for the cover shot for New York magazine, which published an excerpt of her account of the alleged assault that is part of a book Carroll wrote.
    O'Donnell then played a clip from a prosecutor speaking on a previous MSNBC program who said that New York no longer has a statute of limitations on first-degree rape, meaning that if Carroll chooses to, she could seek charges against Trump for the alleged attack.

    After the clip aired, O'Donnell asked if Carroll would try to charge Trump with rape and use the coat as evidence, provided it had not been washed or dry cleaned.

    "No," Carroll said. "I would find it disrespectful to the women who are down on the [Southern] border who are being raped around the clock down there without any protection. They're young women, they, you know, try to come here - as you know, they are there by the thousands. The women have very little protection there; it would just be disrespectful."

    "Mine was three minutes; I'm a mature woman, I can handle it. I can keep going," she added. "You know, my life has gone on, I'm a happy woman. But for the women down there - actually, around the world, you know in every culture this is going on. No matter if you are high in society, low in society, this is disrespectful. It just doesn't make sense to me."
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  4. #3004
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    ‘There Is a Stench’: No Soap and Overcrowding in Detention Centers for Migrant Children

    A chaotic scene of sickness and filth is unfolding in an overcrowded border station in Clint, Tex., where hundreds of young people who have recently crossed the border are being held, according to lawyers who visited the facility this week. Some of the children have been there for nearly a month.

    Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.

    Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility, those who visited said. They have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap.

    “There is a stench,” said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility. “The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border.”
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  5. #3005
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Maybe this is the plan (probably cooked up by Stephen Miller, a.k.a. Kid Jackboot) to discourage immigrants from coming into the U.S.: Make conditions so intolerable and jaw dropping inhumane in the camps that people will think twice about crossing the border. The only flaw in that plan? Conditions where those immigrants come from are far more than just unsanitary, they’re life endangering, leaving them with no choice but to flee and take their chances in the States. Given a choice between stinking to high heaven and getting killed, often in the most brutal ways, those desperate people gladly opt for the former.
    Last edited by WestPhillyPunisher; 06-22-2019 at 06:49 AM.
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  6. #3006
    Extraordinary Member Tendrin's Avatar
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    On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

    At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.
    As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

    We're old hands at the concentration camp game.

    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/0...n-camp-system/

  7. #3007
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Let’s imagine that a married politician gets up to some sexual shenanigans.

    Er...like they do from time to time, and like dear old Boris Johnson has done repeatedly over the years.

    There’s a line of defence always trotted out on these occasions that always leaves me feeling distinctly uneasy.

    Namely the “Private life should stay private, it has nothing to do with public service”.

    To a limited extent I accept that. But it really is to a limited extent. A large part of me thinks any politician that is happy cheating wife, is not going to give a rats arse about cheating the public as well.

    Some either has honesty and integrity or they don’t..if they are dishonest in private life, they will act similarly in public service.

    Maybe I’m wrong. But certainly always surprised at people that pretend to be family loving moralists are so very often happy to trot out line “private life and public should be kept separate”...as long as a very senior politician is involved!

  8. #3008
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    https://news.yahoo.com/trump-adminis...jtc_news_index
    Of course, they don't need bed, soap toothbrush. Next is breathing.

  9. #3009
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Let’s imagine that a married politician gets up to some sexual shenanigans.

    Er...like they do from time to time, and like dear old Boris Johnson has done repeatedly over the years.

    There’s a line of defence always trotted out on these occasions that always leaves me feeling distinctly uneasy.

    Namely the “Private life should stay private, it has nothing to do with public service”.

    To a limited extent I accept that. But it really is to a limited extent. A large part of me thinks any politician that is happy cheating wife, is not going to give a rats arse about cheating the public as well.

    Some either has honesty and integrity or they don’t..if they are dishonest in private life, they will act similarly in public service.

    Maybe I’m wrong. But certainly always surprised at people that pretend to be family loving moralists are so very often happy to trot out line “private life and public should be kept separate”...as long as a very senior politician is involved!
    The adage about Private Life wouldn't apply here. It wouldn't apply because what the politician is doing extends outside his family, hence it is no longer private. The person he is having an affair with can just as easily become disgruntled and leak it to the press, or it could lead to a divorce. All of which is no longer private.

    If a married couple likes to dress up as Goku and ChiChi, in the privacy of their own home, as sexual foreplay, then that is private. if a couple has a mutually agreeable and beneficial open marriage arrangement where no one is harmed, then maybe (though only barely) ... but anytime one person cheats on another, someone is going to get hurt. Cheating is a form of abuse, and abuse always becomes a public issue eventually. Especially if the cheating is constant, repetitive, and without a shred of shame or remorse.

    If it happens within the confines of the family unit and home, if it is mutually agreeable, legal, and no one is harmed by it, then yes it should remain private. Otherwise, it is fair game.

    People who use the internet, some seem to believe that what they do on the internet is 'Private', it often isn't, not always and often not completely. Same goes for any actions outside the home, including interactions with people outside of one's family. That is a fact of life in the 21st century.
    Last edited by Tami; 06-22-2019 at 09:10 AM.
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  10. #3010
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    The adage about Private Life wouldn't apply here. It wouldn't apply because what the politician is doing extends outside his family, hence it is no longer private. The person he is having an affair with can just as easily become disgruntled and leak it to the press, or it could lead to a divorce. All of which is no longer private.

    If a married couple likes to dress up as Goku and ChiChi, in the privacy of their own home, as sexual foreplay, then that is private. if a couple has a mutually agreeable and beneficial open marriage arrangement where no one is harmed, then maybe (though only barely) ... but anytime one person cheats on another, someone is going to get hurt. Cheating is a form of abuse, and abuse always becomes a public issue eventually. Especially if the cheating in constant, repetitive, and without a shred of shame or remorse.

    If it happens within the confines of the family unit and home, if it is mutually agreeable, legal, and no one is harmed by it, then yes it should remain private. Otherwise, it is fair game.

    People who use the internet, some seem to believe that what they do on the internet is 'Private', it often isn't, not always and often not completely. Same goes for any actions outside the home, including interactions with people outside of one's family. That is a fact of life in the 21st century.
    I completely agree. That’s helped to clarify my thoughts, thanks.

  11. #3011
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    Donald Trump Shares Bonkers Video Showing Him As President Forever

    The 30-second clip caused controversy online. Words just fail me.
    Nothing to be alarmed about. Just Trump, a man who praises dictators, once again “joking” about being president for life.

    Losing isn’t an option for him in 2020 as he knows that being president is the only thing keeping him out of prison. We’re going to see cheating and underhanded tricks like we’ve never seen before. Even though he’s not polling well I still think he’s gonna win. But even if he loses he’s not leaving. It’s gonna be an ugly scene.

  12. #3012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotman View Post
    Nothing to be alarmed about. Just Trump, a man who praises dictators, once again “joking” about being president for life.

    Losing isn’t an option for him in 2020 as he knows that being president is the only thing keeping him out of prison. We’re going to see cheating and underhanded tricks like we’ve never seen before. Even though he’s not polling well I still think he’s gonna win. But even if he loses he’s not leaving. It’s gonna be an ugly scene.
    What I don't get is that the far right were making comments online on how Obama was going to institute some emergency so he can stay in office. I don't know why they thought that but they don't seem to have any problems with trump doing this.

  13. #3013

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    Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax of Virginia says he's seriously considering a run for Governor, and thinks that the allegations of rape and sexual assault have raised his profile.

    Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said Thursday that he is “very hopeful about the future” and “thinking very seriously” about a gubernatorial run in 2021.

    Fairfax, who faces sexual assault allegations by two women, said the scandal has raised his public profile for good.

    “Many people a year ago would not have recognized me, now they really do,” Fairfax said. “People come up to me at gas stations, they say, ‘Hey, we recognize you. We love you. We know what they are saying about you is false.’ ”

    Fairfax’s comments came during a roundtable with reporters to talk about his recent trip to England, where he traced familial ties with an English family that freed his great-great-great grandfather from slavery in Northern Virginia.

    A compilation video of the trip shared on YouTube shows Fairfax walking through London’s Heathrow Airport, touring castles and spending time with the family of Nicholas Fairfax, whose ancestor freed Fairfax’s ancestor from slavery.

    “Going on that trip and even leaving that trip, I was really inspired,” said Fairfax, who traveled to England with a delegation from Fairfax County. “I’m very hopeful about the future. We’ve gotten a lot of encouragement about future political steps. I’m thinking very seriously about 2021.”

    The trip was paid for by Fairfax’s political fundraising arm, a spokeswoman said, adding that the lieutenant governor paid expenses related to his wife and children.

    The lieutenant governor said Nicholas Fairfax was up to date on the scandals that have befallen Virginia’s top elected leaders.

    “He told me he is appalled by what is happening to me and my family,” Fairfax said. “He said he knows it’s false and that it’s not OK.”

    In February two women accused Fairfax of sexual misconduct. Meredith Watson, who attended Duke University with Fairfax, said he raped her in 2000. Vanessa Tyson, a California professor, said Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 when they attended the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

    Fairfax has insisted the allegations are untrue and a “smear campaign” launched on the cusp of his likely ascent to higher office amid the blackface scandal that has plagued Gov. Ralph Northam.

    The two women have for months requested a public hearing before the General Assembly, where they could testify under oath about their allegations. Fairfax and Democrats in the General Assembly have sought to block efforts by Republicans to hold the hearing, claiming partisan antics and arguing in favor of law enforcement investigations.

  14. #3014

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Let’s imagine that a married politician gets up to some sexual shenanigans.

    Er...like they do from time to time, and like dear old Boris Johnson has done repeatedly over the years.

    There’s a line of defence always trotted out on these occasions that always leaves me feeling distinctly uneasy.

    Namely the “Private life should stay private, it has nothing to do with public service”.

    To a limited extent I accept that. But it really is to a limited extent. A large part of me thinks any politician that is happy cheating wife, is not going to give a rats arse about cheating the public as well.

    Some either has honesty and integrity or they don’t..if they are dishonest in private life, they will act similarly in public service.

    Maybe I’m wrong. But certainly always surprised at people that pretend to be family loving moralists are so very often happy to trot out line “private life and public should be kept separate”...as long as a very senior politician is involved!
    It goes out the window when you have campaign stops where Evangelicals declare you a Christian paragon. You can't declare someone utterly immoral as a moral champion and be surprised when people take exception that the supposed "chosen one" bragged on camera about sexually assaulting women, and lies about charitable donations. To name but a few egregious sins.
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  15. #3015

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    Trump made a statement, and his defense is, "I NEVER EVEN MET HER!"

    Carroll's article has a photo showing her meeting Donald and Ivana Trump in 1987, nine years before the 1996 assault. So he's already been proven to be lying.
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