'A torrent of ghastly revelations': what military service taught me about America
My first and only war tour took place in Afghanistan in 2010. I was a US Marine lieutenant then, a signals intelligence officer tasked with leading a platoon-size element of 80 to 90 men, spread across an area of operations the size of my home state of Connecticut, in the interception and exploitation of enemy communications. That was the official job description, anyway. The year-long reality consisted of a tangle of rearguard management and frontline supervision.
Macron warns of rising nationalism as world leaders mark armistice
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has warned of the dangers of rising nationalism as he addressed Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at a ceremony in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the first world war armistice. As more than 60 heads of state and dignitaries gathered in the rain near Paris’s tomb of the unknown soldier to mark a century since guns fell silent on the western front, Macron delivered a pointedly political speech, warning that “old demons” were resurfacing and threatened the fragile peace. Later Macron commented that it was great to have world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe for the first world war memorial but asked how the photos would be seen in the future: “A symbol of lasting peace? Or the last moment of unity before the world falls into disorder? That depends on us.”
In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?
In 2011, Hany Farid, a photo-forensics expert, received an e-mail from a bereaved father. Three years earlier, the man’s son had found himself on the side of the road with a car that wouldn’t start. When some strangers offered him a lift, he accepted. A few minutes later, for unknown reasons, they shot him. A surveillance camera had captured him as he walked toward their car, but the video was of such low quality that key details, such as faces, were impossible to make out. The other car’s license plate was visible only as an indecipherable jumble of pixels.
Job Openings Bunk
The Republican National Committee and others have taken to claiming that the number of job openings exceeds the number of job seekers for the first time “in history,” a sweeping claim that is without factual support, and likely false. It’s true that the number of unfilled job openings is now greater than the number of unemployed people for the first time on record, but records only go back 18 years. Despite what some GOP spinmeisters would have you believe, “history” didn’t start in December of 2000. That’s when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. And BLS says, “Prior to JOLTS, there was no economic indicator of the unmet demand for labor with which to assess the presence or extent of labor shortages in the United States. ” Make no mistake, it’s remarkable when job openings exceed the number of jobless, as happened back in March, and several times since.
The Root of All Cruelty?
The philosopher David Livingstone Smith, commenting on this episode on social media, wondered whether its writer had read his book “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others” (St. Martin’s). It’s a thoughtful and exhaustive exploration of human cruelty, and the episode perfectly captures its core idea: that acts such as genocide happen when one fails to appreciate the humanity of others. One focus of Smith’s book is the attitudes of slave owners; the seventeenth-century missionary Morgan Godwyn observed that they believed the Negroes, “though in their Figure they carry some resemblances of Manhood, yet are indeed no Men” but, rather, “Creatures destitute of Souls, to be ranked among Brute Beasts, and treated accordingly.” Then there’s the Holocaust.
US 'war on terror' has killed over half a million people: study
Hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have been killed due to the so-called "war on terror" launched by the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attack, according to a new study. The report, which was published on Saturday by the Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, put the death toll between 480,000 and 507,000. The toll includes civilians, armed fighters, local police and security forces, as well as US and allied troops. The report states that between 182,272 and 204,575 civilians have been killed in Iraq; 38,480 in Afghanistan; and 23,372 in Pakistan. Nearly 7,000 US troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the same period. The paper, however, acknowledged that the number of people killed is an "undercount" due to limitations in reporting and "great uncertainty in any count of killing in war".
Soy formula feeding during infancy associated with severe menstrual pain in adulthood
News Release Friday, November 9, 2018 New research suggests that infant girls fed soy formula are more likely to develop severe menstrual pain as young adults. The finding adds to the growing body of literature that suggests exposure to soy formula during early life may have detrimental effects on the reproductive system. The study appears online in the journal Human Reproduction. Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, along with collaborators from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, examined data from 1,553 African-American women, aged 23-35, participating in the NIEHS Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids (SELF).
Fact-checking misinformation about the migrant caravan
Misinformation about a migrant caravan heading to the United States is spreading on Facebook and other social media platforms with users sharing false or misleading memes and posts that paint a skewed version of the facts. PolitiFact has fact-checked many of those claims. A hurricane about to strike the caravan? False.
John Oliver on Monty Python: 'inspirational idiots who changed comedy'
Writing about the importance of Monty Python is basically pointless. Citing them as an influence is almost redundant. It’s assumed. In fact, from now on it’s probably more efficient to say that comedy writers should have to explicitly state that they don’t owe a significant debt to Monty Python.
Arron Banks faces criminal inquiry over Brexit campaign
The National Crime Agency is to investigate allegations of multiple criminal offences by Arron Banks and his unofficial leave campaign in the Brexit referendum, prompting calls from some MPs for the process of departing the European Union to be suspended. The NCA would look into suspicions that a “number of criminal offences may have been committed”, the Electoral Commission said in a statement, saying there were reasonable grounds to suspect Banks was “not the true source” of £8m in funding to the Leave.EU campaign. The commission said the cases involve Banks, the insurance millionaire who heavily backed leave; Elizabeth Bilney, one of his key associates; Leave.EU itself; the company used to finance it; and “other associated companies and individuals”. News of the investigation prompted anti-Brexit campaigners to call for a delay to the process of leaving the EU.
Tropical disease outbreaks are growing threat in Europe as temperatures rise
Europe is facing a growing threat of tropical disease outbreaks, as rising temperatures linked to climate change cause illnesses brought by travellers to spread more easily, health experts warned. This summer has seen a sharp spike in West Nile virus infections in Europe, following soaring temperatures, compared with the past four years. Until the middle of August, 400 cases of the disease, which is carried by mosquitos, were recorded in Europe, with 22 fatalities, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Countries affected include Italy, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Romania, all of which have recorded cases of the tropical infection in the past. The spike was due to an early start to the transmission season, caused by high temperatures followed by wet weather, conditions ideally suited to mosquito breeding, according to the World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe.
Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father
President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found. Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C.
America colonisation ‘cooled Earth's climate’
Ed Hawkins, professor of climate science at Reading University, was not involved in the study. He commented: "Scientists understand that the so-called Little Ice Age was caused by several factors - a drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, a series of large volcanic eruptions, changes in land use and a temporary decline in solar activity. Ed Hawkins, professor of climate science at Reading University, was not involved in the study.