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Did You Really Drop Bombs On A Chemical Weapons Facility Mrs May?

Authored by Rob Slane via TheBlogMire.com, On April 14th, shortly after the United Kingdom, United States and France bombed the sovereign country of Syria, on the basis of unproven allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Douma on 7th April, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May made the following comment in her official statement: “Together we have hit a specific and limited set of targets. They were a chemical weapons storage and production facility, a key chemical weapons research centre and a military bunker involved in chemical weapons attacks. Hitting these targets with the force that we have deployed will significantly degrade the Syrian Regime’s ability to research, develop and deploy chemical weapons” [my emphasis]. It seemed to me when I heard these words – and the passage of time has not altered this impression – that Mrs May was admitting to one of two actions, either of which ought to see her removed from office. If we take her statement at face value, then it appears that she authorised a cruise missile strike on a number of depots that she believed contained chemical weapons, thus risking the dispersion of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. It hardly needs to be spelled out what this could have led to, especially as some of these sites were close to residential areas. On the other hand, if she authorised the bombing...

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These Countries Have The Highest Density Of Robot Workers

The rise of the machines has well and truly started. Data from the International Federation of Roboticsreveals that the pace of industrial automation is accelerating across much of the developed world with 66 installed industrial robots per 10,000 employees globally in 2015. A year later, Statista’s Niall McCarthy says that increased to 74. Europe has a robot density of 99 units per 10,000 workers and that number is 84 and 63 in the Americas and Asia respectively. China is one of the countries recording the highest growth levels in industrial automation but nowhere has a robot density like South Korea. You will find more infographics at Statista In 2016, South Korea had 631 installed industrial robots per 10,000 employees. That is mainly due to the continued installation of high volume robots in the electronics and manufacturing sectors. 90 percent of Singapore’s industrial robots are installed in its electronics industry and it comes second with a density of 488 per 10,000 employees. Germany and Japan are renowned for their automotive industries and they have density levels of just over 300 per 10,000 workers. Interestingly, Japan is one of the main players in industrial robotics, accounting for 52 percent of global supply. In the United States, the pace of automation is slower with a density rate of 189. China is eager to expand its level of automation in the coming years, targeting a place in the...

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How False Flag Operations Are Carried Out Today

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation, False Flag is a concept that goes back centuries. It was considered to be a legitimate ploy by the Greeks and Romans, where a military force would pretend to be friendly to get close to an enemy before dropping the pretense and raising its banners to reveal its own affiliation just before launching an attack. In the sea battles of the eighteenth century among Spain, France and Britain hoisting an enemy flag instead of one’s own to confuse the opponent was considered to be a legitimate ruse de guerre, but it was only “honorable” if one reverted to one’s own flag before engaging in combat. Today’s false flag operations are generally carried out by intelligence agencies and non-government actors including terrorist groups, but they are only considered successful if the true attribution of an action remains secret. There is nothing honorable about them as their intention is to blame an innocent party for something that it did not do. There has been a lot of such activity lately and it was interesting to learn by way of a leak that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has developed a capability to mimic the internet fingerprints of other foreign intelligence services. That means that when the media is trumpeting news reports that the Russians or Chinese hacked into U.S. government websites or the...

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How The Internet Turned Bad

Authored by Arnold King via HackerNoon.com, The 1990s Vision Failed… It has been 25 years since I formed my first impressions of the Internet. I thought that it would shift the balance of power away from large organizations. I thought that individuals and smaller entities would gain more autonomy. What we see today is not what I hoped for back then. In 1993, I did not picture people having their online experience being “fed” to them by large corporations using mysterious algorithms. Instead, I envisioned individuals in control, creating and exploring on their own. In hindsight, I think that four developments took place that changed the direction of the Internet. The masses came to the Internet. Many of the new arrivals were less technically savvy, were more interested in passively consuming entertainment than in contributing creatively, and were less able to handle uncensored content in a mature way. They have been willing to give up autonomy in exchange for convenience. At the same time, the capability of artificial intelligence grew rapidly. Better artificial intelligence made corporate control over the user experience more cost-effective than had been the case earlier. The winner-take-all mentality took over. Entrepreneurs and consultants were convinced that only one firm in each market segment would dominate. In recent years, this has become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, as stock market investors poured money into leading firms, giving...

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FBI Investigates Joy Reid Homophobic Blog Posts As Daily Beast Suspends Column

The FBI has opened an investigation into Joy Reid’s claims that some dozens of homophobic comments published to a now-defunct blog were actually “fabricated” by someone who either hacked into the “Wayback Machine”internet archive, or accessed her website before the controversial comments were archived.    “In December I learned that an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology,” Reid said in a statement to Mediaite. “I began working with a cyber-security expert who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach. The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago.” Reid’s lawyer, John H. Reichman, said the FBI is looking into the claims. “We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,” he said in a statement through MSNBC. Many of the offensive posts can be seen by clicking on the below tweet and reading the 48-part tweetstorm by user Jamie Maz, documenting Reid’s comments.  Thread – 1/x Joy Reid’s homophobic blog posts were far worse than 1st reported. They also had nothing to do with Republican hypocrisy on gay marriage....

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Black-White Homeownership-Rate-Gap Has Widened Since 1900

Authored by Skylar Olsen via Zillow.com, In 1900, the gap in the homeownership rate between black and white households was 27.6 percentage points. It’s now 30.3 percentage points. It’s the widest gap among whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians – although the difference between white and Hispanic homeownership rates has more than tripled. Asians have seen the largest gains, although their homeownership rate still lags whites. At the dawn of the 20th century, the end of slavery was still within living memory. Lynching was widespread. Segregation was the law in some states and practiced in others. Under those conditions, it probably is not surprising that black citizens had nothing approaching economic parity with whites. In 1900, 48.1 percent of whites in the United States owned homes, while only 20.5 percent of blacks did – for a homeownership gap of 27.6 percentage points. More disturbing is that that gap is even wider today. While more households of each race own homes now – 71.3 percent of whites and 41 percent of blacks – the gap is 30.3 percentage points, according to 2016 U.S. Census data. It’s the widest gap among whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians – although the difference between white and Hispanic homeownership rates has more than tripled over the past century from 7.9 percentage points in 1900 to 25.7 percentage points in 2016. Asians have seen the largest gains: By 2016,...

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How NBC’s $69 Million Bet On Megyn Kelly Completely Backfired

Once upon a time NBC snatched Megyn Kelly from her 12-year role at Fox News, agreed to pay her $69 million over there years, and then set her loose to do her “thing” on a now-canceled Sunday night show meant to compete with 60 Minutes, along with the 9 a.m. hour of the network’s iconic morning show – rebranding it “Megyn Kelly Today.” This was pretty much the result; an awkward dance around the corpse of Kelly’s once-legitimate career, and the terrible ratings that accompany a radioactive personality:  Before Trump, Megyn Kelly was set to become the Walter Cronkite of our time. Now she’s a dancing hooker. pic.twitter.com/Ym3GD6NWxx — ALEX FOR 🇺🇸 KANYE 2024 (@alexwitoslawski) October 20, 2017 As it turns out, fewer viewers continue to watch the Today show once Kelly’s segment begins. Breaking down overall viewership between pre-Kelly Today and, today’s Today, we see an 18% dropoff overall, with women in the 25-54 age demographic feeling particularly sour on Kelly. Kelly’s first gig with NBC was a poorly received “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin – attracting only six million viewers, around half of the show’s usual audience.  Weeks later, only 3.5 million viewers tuned in to watch Kelly try and skewer Infowars boss Alex Jones in the same time slow, only to come in behind a 60 Minutes rerun and America’s Funniest Home Videos. Ouch! Kelly’s Sunday night debacle was pulled before it finished its scheduled run of episodes, with the...

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Samantha Power Now Regrets Obama Going to Congress for Authority After Drawing Syrian ‘Red Line’

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Thursday that she regrets President Barack Obama going to Congress to ask for authority to strike Syria after drawing a “red line.” Obama had said that chemical weapons use in Syria by Bashar al-Assad’s regime would be the “red line” that would prompt a U.S. military response. Following a chemical weapons attack, however, Obama did not take military action, and Power told an audience at Harvard that the administration misjudged the situation. “In retrospect, I wish we hadn’t gone to Congress with the—in the red line moment, when we had already committed to using force,” Power said. “You know, I think, that was actually really a pivotal moment where we knew, prior to that point, that many of Obama’s critics were not at the level, you know, things they were for on a Monday if Obama was for them on a Tuesday they were then against them on a Wednesday.” Power then blamed those who were frequent critics and opponents of Obama for his lack of action in Syria. We knew that and yet that decision to go to Congress was made—and a lot of people don’t believe this, but in good faith, in believing that, given the number of people who in response to this monstrous attack on 1,500 people including several hundred kids, so many people come out kind of calling...

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Watch Live: Historic Summit Between North And South Korea

Live feed: Update 2: A live feed from inside the room, as Kim Jong Un, seated next to his sister, offers opening remarks to Moon Jae-in, together with intelligence chief Suh Hoon to his right and chief of staff Im Jong-seok to his left. Meanwhile, here’s the message Kim Jong Un wrote on the guestbook at the Peace House summit venue, which reads “A new history begins now – at the starting point of history and the era of peace.” (h/t Hawon Jung) * * * Update: *KIM JONG UN BECOMES FIRST NORTH KOREAN LEADER TO ENTER SOUTH As AP reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made history by crossing over to the southern side of the world’s most heavily armed border to meet rival South Korean President Moon Jae-in. It’s the first time a member of the Kim dynasty has set foot on southern soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953 and the latest bid to settle the world’s last Cold War standoff. The overwhelming focus of the summit, the country’s third-ever, will be on North Korea’s growing arsenal of nuclear weapons. Kim’s news agency said earlier Friday that the leader would “open-heartedly” discuss with Moon “all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations.” The two leaders shook hands and inspected an honor guard before later holding a closed-door discussion about Kim’s nuclear...

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An Orderly Unwind Of Stock Market Leverage?

Authored Wolf Richter via WolfStreet.com, That would be a first, but it might be happening. Everything in slow motion, even market declines?   There is nothing like a good shot of leverage to fire up the stock market. How much leverage is out there is actually a mystery, given that there are various forms of stock-market leverage that are not tracked, including leverage at the institutional level and “securities backed loans” offered by brokers to their clients (here’s an example of how these SBLs can blow up). But one type of stock-market leverage is measured: “margin debt” – the amount individual and institutional investors borrow from their brokers against their portfolios. Margin debt had surged by $22.9 billion in January to a new record of $665.7 billion, the last gasp of the phenomenal Trump rally that ended January 26. But in February, as the sell-off was rattling some nerves, margin debt dropped by $20.7 billion to $645.1 billion. By March, those worries have settled down, and margin debt ticked up a bit to $645.2 billion, but remained $20.5 billion below January, according to FINRA, which regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets, and which has taken over margin-debt reporting from the NYSE. In January, days before the sell-off began, FINRA warned about the levels of margin debt. It was “concerned,” it said, “that many investors may underestimate the risks of trading on margin and...

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