first_imgWASHINGTON – It was just before noon in Moscow on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious messages hit the Hillary Clinton campaign.The first 29 phishing emails were almost all misfires. Addressed to people who worked for Clinton during her first presidential run, the messages bounced back untouched.Except one.Within nine days, some of the campaign’s most consequential secrets would be in the hackers’ hands, part of a massive operation aimed at vacuuming up millions of messages from thousands of inboxes across the world.An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.The AP’s reconstruction— based on a database of 19,000 malicious links recently shared by cybersecurity firm Secureworks — shows how the hackers worked their way around the Clinton campaign’s top-of-the-line digital security to steal chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016.It also helps explain how a Russian-linked intermediary could boast to a Trump policy adviser, a month later, that the Kremlin had “thousands of emails” worth of dirt on Clinton.____PHISHING FOR VICTIMSThe rogue messages that first flew across the internet March 10 were dressed up to look like they came from Google, the company that provided the Clinton campaign’s email infrastructure. The messages urged users to boost their security or change their passwords while in fact steering them toward decoy websites designed to collect their credentials.One of the first people targeted was Rahul Sreenivasan, who had worked as a Clinton organizer in Texas in 2008 — his first paid job in politics. Sreenivasan, now a legislative staffer in Austin, was dumbfounded when told by the AP that hackers had tried to break into his 2008 email — an address he said had been dead for nearly a decade.“They probably crawled the internet for this stuff,” he said.Almost everyone else targeted in the initial wave was, like Sreenivasan, a 2008 staffer whose defunct email address had somehow lingered online.But one email made its way to the account of another staffer who’d worked for Clinton in 2008 and joined again in 2016, the AP found. It’s possible the hackers broke in and stole her contacts; the data shows the phishing links sent to her were clicked several times.Secureworks’ data reveals when phishing links were created and indicates whether they were clicked. But it doesn’t show whether people entered their passwords.Within hours of a second volley emailed March 11, the hackers hit pay dirt. All of a sudden, they were sending links aimed at senior Clinton officials’ nonpublic 2016 addresses, including those belonging to longtime Clinton aide Robert Russo and campaign chairman John Podesta.The Clinton campaign was no easy target; several former employees said the organization put particular stress on digital safety.Work emails were protected by two-factor authentication, a technique that uses a second passcode to keep accounts secure. Most messages were deleted after 30 days and staff went through phishing drills. Security awareness even followed the campaigners into the bathroom, where someone put a picture of a toothbrush under the words: “You shouldn’t share your passwords either.”Two-factor authentication may have slowed the hackers, but it didn’t stop them. After repeated attempts to break into various staffers’ hillaryclinton.com accounts, the hackers turned to the personal Gmail addresses. It was there on March 19 that they targeted top Clinton lieutenants — including campaign manager Robby Mook, senior adviser Jake Sullivan and political fixer Philippe Reines.A malicious link was generated for Podesta at 11:28 a.m. Moscow time, the AP found. Documents subsequently published by WikiLeaks show that the rogue email arrived in his inbox six minutes later. The link was clicked twice.Podesta’s messages — at least 50,000 of them — were in the hackers’ hands.___A SERIOUS BREACHThough the heart of the campaign was now compromised, the hacking efforts continued. Three new volleys of malicious messages were generated on the 22nd, 23rd and 25th of March, targeting communications director Jennifer Palmieri and Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, among others.The torrent of phishing emails caught the attention of the FBI, which had spent the previous six months urging the Democratic National Committee in Washington to raise its shield against suspected Russian hacking. In late March, FBI agents paid a visit to Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters, where they were received warily, given the agency’s investigation into the candidate’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.The phishing messages also caught the attention of Secureworks, a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, which had been following Fancy Bear, whom Secureworks codenamed Iron Twilight.Fancy Bear had made a critical mistake.It fumbled a setting in the Bitly link-shortening service that it was using to sneak its emails past Google’s spam filter. The blunder exposed whom they were targeting.It was late March when Secureworks discovered the hackers were going after Democrats.“As soon as we started seeing some of those hillaryclinton.com email addresses coming through, the DNC email addresses, we realized it’s going to be an interesting twist to this,” said Rafe Pilling, a senior security researcher with Secureworks.By early April Fancy Bear was getting increasingly aggressive, the AP found. More than 60 bogus emails were prepared for Clinton campaign and DNC staffers on April 6 alone, and the hackers began hunting for Democrats beyond New York and Washington, targeting the digital communications director for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and a deputy director in the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.The group’s hackers seemed particularly interested in Democratic officials working on voter registration issues: Pratt Wiley, the DNC’s then-director of voter protection, had been targeted as far back as October 2015 and the hackers tried to pry open his inbox as many as 15 times over six months.Employees at several organizations connected to the Democrats were targeted, including the Clinton Foundation, the Center for American Progress, technology provider NGP VAN, campaign strategy firm 270 Strategies, and partisan news outlet Shareblue Media.As the hacking intensified, other elements swung into place. On April 12, 2016, someone paid $37 worth of bitcoin to the Romanian web hosting company THCServers.com , to reserve a website called Electionleaks.com, according to transaction records obtained by AP. A botched registration meant the site never got off the ground, but the records show THC received a nearly identical payment a week later to create DCLeaks.com.By the second half of April, the DNC’s senior leadership was beginning to realize something was amiss. One DNC consultant, Alexandra Chalupa, received an April 20 warning from Yahoo saying her account was under threat from state-sponsored hackers, according to a screengrab she circulated among colleagues.The Trump campaign had gotten a whiff of Clinton email hacking, too. According to recently unsealed court documents, former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos said that it was at an April 26 meeting at a London hotel that he was told by a professor closely connected to the Russian government that the Kremlin had obtained compromising information about Clinton.“They have dirt on her,” Papadopoulos said he was told. “They have thousands of emails.”A few days later, Amy Dacey, then the DNC chief executive, got an urgent call.There’d been a serious breach at the DNC.___‘DON’T EVEN TALK TO YOUR DOG ABOUT IT’It was 4 p.m. on Friday June 10 when some 100 staffers filed into the Democratic National Committee’s main conference room for a mandatory, all-hands meeting.“What I am about to tell you cannot leave this room,” DNC chief operating officer Lindsey Reynolds told the assembled crowd, according to two people there at the time.Everyone needed to turn in their laptops immediately; there would be no last-minute emails; no downloading documents and no exceptions. Reynolds insisted on total secrecy.“Don’t even talk to your dog about it,” she was quoted as saying.Reynolds didn’t return messages seeking comment.Two days later, as the cybersecurity firm that was brought in to clean out the DNC’s computers finished its work, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a British Sunday television show that emails related to Clinton were “pending publication.”“WikiLeaks has a very good year ahead,” he said.On Tuesday, June 14, the Democrats went public with the allegation that their computers had been compromised by Russian state-backed hackers, including Fancy Bear.Shortly after noon the next day, William Bastone, the editor-in-chief of investigative news site The Smoking Gun, got an email bearing a small cache of documents marked “CONFIDENTIAL.”“Hi,” the message said. “This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.”___‘CAN IT INFLUENCE THE ELECTION?’Guccifer 2.0 acted as a kind of master of ceremonies during the summer of leaks, proclaiming that the DNC’s stolen documents were in WikiLeaks’ hands, publishing a selection of the material himself and constantly chatting up journalists over Twitter in a bid to keep the story in the press.He appeared particularly excited to hear on June 24 that his leaks had sparked a lawsuit against the DNC by disgruntled supporters of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders.“Can it influence the election in any how?” he asked a journalist with Russia’s Sputnik News, in uneven English.Later that month Guccifer 2.0 began directing reporters to the newly launched DCLeaks site, which was also dribbling out stolen material on Democrats. When WikiLeaks joined the fray on July 22 with its own disclosures the leaks metastasized into a crisis, triggering intraparty feuding that forced the resignation of the DNC’s chairwoman and drew angry protests at the Democratic National Convention.Guccifer 2.0, WikiLeaks and DCLeaks ultimately published more than 150,000 emails stolen from more than a dozen Democrats, according to an AP count.The AP has since found that each of one of those Democrats had previously been targeted by Fancy Bear, either at their personal Gmail addresses or via the DNC, a finding established by running targets’ emails against the Secureworks’ list.All three leak-branded sites have distanced themselves from Moscow. DCLeaks claimed to be run by American hacktivists. WikiLeaks said Russia wasn’t its source. Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be Romanian.But there were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta’s inbox , according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.The official said the word “CONFIDENTIAL” was not in the original document .Guccifer 2.0 had airbrushed it to catch reporters’ attention.___‘PLEASE GOD, DON’T LET IT BE ME’To hear the defeated candidate tell it, there’s no doubt the leaks helped swing the election.“Even if Russian interference made only a marginal difference,” Clinton told an audience at a recent speech at Stanford University, “this election was won at the margins, in the Electoral College.”It’s clear Clinton’s campaign was profoundly destabilized by the sudden exposures that regularly radiated from every hacked inbox. It wasn’t just her arch-sounding speeches to Wall Street executives or the exposure of political machinations but also the brutal stripping of so many staffers’ privacy.“It felt like your friend had just been robbed, but it wasn’t just one friend, it was all your friends at the same time by the same criminal,” said Jesse Ferguson, a former Clinton spokesman.An atmosphere of dread settled over the Democrats as the disclosures continued.One staffer described walking through the DNC’s office in Washington to find employees scrolling through articles about Putin and Russia. Another said she began looking over her shoulder when returning from Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn after sundown. Some feared they were being watched; a car break-in, a strange woman found lurking in a backyard late at night and even a snake spotted on the grounds of the DNC all fed an undercurrent of fear.Even those who hadn’t worked at Democratic organizations for years were anxious. Brent Kimmel, a former technologist at the DNC, remembers watching the leaks stream out and thinking: “Please God, don’t let it be me.”___‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’On Oct. 7, it was Podesta.The day began badly, with Hillary Clinton’s phone buzzing with crank messages after its number was exposed in a leak from the day before. The number had to be changed immediately; a former campaign official said that Abedin, Clinton’s confidante, had to call staffers one at a time with Clinton’s new contact information because no one dared put it in an email.The same afternoon, just as the American electorate was digesting a lewd audio tape of Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women, WikiLeaks began publishing the emails stolen from Podesta.The publications sparked a media stampede as they were doled out one batch at a time, with many news organizations tasking reporters with scrolling through the thousands of emails being released in tranches. At the AP alone, as many as 30 journalists were assigned, at various times, to go through the material.Guccifer 2.0 told one reporter he was thrilled that WikiLeaks had finally followed through.“Together with Assange we’ll make america great again,” he wrote.___Donn reported from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Desmond Butler, Ted Bridis, Julie Pace and Ken Thomas in Washington, Justin Myers in Chicago, Frank Bajak in Houston, Lori Hinnant in Paris, Maggie Michael in Cairo, Erika Kinetz in Shanghai and Vadim Ghirda in Bucharest, Romania contributed to this report.___Editor’s Note: Satter’s father, David Satter, is an author and Russia specialist who has been critical of the Russian government. Several of his emails were published last year by hackers and his address is on Secureworks’ list.___Previously in this series: http://apne.ws/b8By82Blast_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to meet briefly Tuesday with the heads of three leading German automakers.The meeting comes at a time of elevated U.S.-European trade tensions in which car exports have been a focus. Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from Europe and other countries, citing U.S. trade deficits with those nations.The White House says economic advisers are meeting with Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW to discuss investment opportunities in the U.S., including in manufacturing and research and development.White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump will meet briefly with the auto executives.German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday in Berlin dismissed suggestions that the automakers could conduct trade diplomacy. Merkel stressed that trade negotiations are a responsibility for the European Union.Darlene Superville, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Rabat- The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has called on King Mohammed VI immediate intervention to prevent the “Judaization of Jerusalem” operation.The news was confirmed by Palestinian Shehab News Agency, which is affiliated with the Hamad movement.“We call on King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al Quds Committee, to intervene immediately and promptly to prevent the permanent violations of the enemy government, which seeks to Judaize Jerusalem and change its demographic and urban characteristics,” said a statement by Hamas. Hamas message to King Mohammed VI came a few months after Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the area.Trump’s recognition was massively condemned by Arab and Western countries alike. Leaders, including King Mohammed VI, denounced the US decision, considering it as a threat to peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel.The monarch sent a letter to the US President on the eve of Trump’s decision (December 5), stressing how such decision would undermine peace negotiations over the region.The King also sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in which he expressed his deep concern over Trump’s decision, emphasizing that such an action would end peace negotiations between the two states.Despite the Arab and Western condemnation, Trump is standing firm on his decision. On February 11, Trump told the Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom.Reaffirming his decision on Jerusalem, Trump told the Israeli newspaper that ‘by taking Jerusalem off the table I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as for specific boundaries, I would support what both sides agree to.’ read more

Ambassador of Iraq in Colombo Mr. Kahtan Taha Khalaf Kali accompanied al-Rubaie, along with several other high-level officials from Iraq for the meeting. Minister al-Rubaie agreed and thanked the President for re-establishing diplomatic ties with Iraq. President Rajapaksa, remembering his own numerous visits to Iraq decades ago, said relations between the two countries must be strengthened to the level they were many years ago. Minister al-Rubaie also requested for Sri Lanka’s assistance in the construction sector. While the Minister pointed out the great need in Iraq for new structures, President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka has a very experienced construction sector and that businesses could make good use of this opportunity.Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris extended an invitation to Iraq to send a high-level delegation to the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) that will take place on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 in November. Minister al-Rubaie accepted the invitation and agreed to send a delegation. Iraq and Sri Lanka have sought stronger ties after both countries had re-established diplomatic ties.Iraq’s Labor and Social Affairs Minister Nassar al-Rubaie called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning at the President’s Office. read more

Niagara Regional Police are looking for suspects in a break-and-enter in Niagara on the Lake.Police say a home in the area of Niagara Townline Rd. and St. Paul Rd. was broken into just after midnight on Sunday Dec. 17.Several valuable art items were taken from the home. Police believe the home was targeted. Officers are asking anyone who may have seen a white pick-up truck in the area to contact them or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

While Monrovia’s relative calm has allowed the United Nations and other relief agencies to step up operations in and around the beleaguered Liberian capital, the humanitarian situation in the West African country remains critical as aid workers stretch dwindling stocks of food, water and medicines to help meet the needs of thousands of displaced civilians.According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), though a relative calm has prevailed for roughly one week, relief agencies are still confronted with great humanitarian needs in and around Monrovia. Many of the city’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) face shortages of basic services, and abuses against civilians, especially those living on the capital’s outskirts, are reported regularly.The UN World Food Programme (WFP), together with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Liberian officials, carried out preliminary assessments and began to distribute food to some of the more than 180,000 Monrovians in need of food aid. But food insecurity remains critical. Amid reports of increasing malnutrition among children under five both in the camps and host communities, IDPs fear to venture into the villages to look for cassava or any other commodities. Many are now begging or selling their few valuable possessions to buy food.On the health front, sustained humanitarian efforts have brought down the number of cases of cholera among the more than 30,000 IDPs that have been sheltering for weeks now at the National Sports Stadium. Contaminated water, however, still poses a health risk to most Monrovians, OCHA said. Agencies have identified 13 sites critically in need of water and sanitation services but hampered by shortages of water tankers, water bladders and jerry cans. At some camps, private companies are charging IDPs 10 Liberian dollars for five gallons of water. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the total number of cholera cases in Monrovia is now 1,630, including 15 deaths.Humanitarian agencies are also facing serious shortages of supplies and services. Though the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is providing some ambulance services, they are not sufficient to meet the demand for transporting IDPs from their camps to referral hospitals. Due in part to looting, hospitals lack food, water, stretchers, sheets, and beds. Health centres report that there is not a sufficient amount of blood available for transfusions, nor are there enough kits available for screening that blood for HIV/AIDS.Meanwhile, UNHCR reported that its rescue ship, MV Overbeck, has so far ferried home to Freetown more than 950 Sierra Leonean refugees since an emergency evacuation operation by sea kicked off on 4 July. The returnees reported that many more refugees desperately want to go home in the face of declining security in the camps in and around Monrovia. They also said that their already difficult situation in Liberia worsened after the Special Court for Sierra Leone announced the indictment against Liberian President Charles Taylor, who subsequently made public statements against Sierra Leoneans in Liberia. read more

In addition to eight years of economic blockade, over the past six years, Gaza has endured three military operations that have shattered its ability to export and produce for the domestic market, ravaged its already debilitated infrastructure, and left no time for reconstruction and economic recovery.According to UNCTAD, conflict has accelerated the “de-development” of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed.The report highlights the severe crises in Gaza related to water and electricity, as well as the destruction of vital infrastructure during the military operations in July and August 2014. For example, it finds that Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants rely on coastal aquifers as their main source of freshwater, yet 95 per cent of this water is not safe to drink.In addition to the 500,000 people who have been displaced in Gaza as a result of the most recent military operation, the report estimates significant economic losses, including the destruction or severe damage of more than 20,000 Palestinian homes, 148 schools and 15 hospitals.Serious damage was also inflicted on Gaza’s sole power plant. The UN estimates that in 2014, unemployment in Gaza reached 44 per cent, the highest level on record. UNCTAD describes the economic well-being of Palestinians living in Gaza as being worse today than two decades ago. In fact, the report shows that with negative economic growth of minus 0.4 per cent last year, the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory witnessed its first recession since 2006 and a fall in income per capita for the second year in a row. The deteriorating situation is reportedly due almost entirely to a range of “discriminatory” economic policies imposed on it.These include Israel withholding almost $700 million of Palestinian clearance revenue, which comes from taxes on imports into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, compounding a fiscal crisis for the Palestinian National Authority, on whose behalf Israel collects the revenues.Finally, UNCTAD is warning that donor support remains a necessary but insufficient condition for Gaza’s recovery and reconstruction. Short of ending the blockade, it said donor aid will remain vitally important but will not reverse the ongoing de-development and impoverishment in Gaza. read more

“The spike in arrivals in Greece is sharply increasing reception pressures on the islands,” said UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming at the bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva. “Many of the refugees and migrants are desperate to quickly move onwards, fearing that borders ahead of them will close.”“As of this morning, there were more than 27,500 people on the islands – either awaiting registration or onward transport to the mainland,” she continued.“Additional police had to be called in on Sunday and yesterday to control the chaotic situation,” she said referring to an incident in which frustration amongst refugees and migrants boiled over at a reception centre on Lesvos, leading to the evacuation of UNHCR staff and the temporary suspension of processing.Ms. Fleming emphasized that it was important that reception centres in Greece and other parts of Europe be up to the task. “Without this essential element, the relocation programme agreed by Europe in September is in serious peril and may fail,” she cautioned.She also noted that Balkan routes for refugees and migrants had reopened after “chaotic and miserable scenes.”“On the Serbian border with Croatia, some 3,000 people were left waiting amid uncertainty in the rain from Sunday until late Monday afternoon without shelter, and with minimal assistance on hand,” said Ms. Fleming. “UNHCR staff and staff of our partner organizations provided what support they could at such short notice including food, water, and blankets. But many people, including the elderly, pregnant women and several physically handicapped people, were soaked through and instances of hypothermia were reported. There was similar misery on the Croatia-Slovenia border.”An additional 4,300 people had arrived in Austria from Slovenia Monday and, in Austria and Germany, Ms. Fleming noted that tens of thousands of refugees and migrants were sleeping in tents and temporary shelters because of accommodation shortages.She also spoke about the number of deaths at sea of refugees and migrants, noting that19 people, including infants and children, had died in the past nine days in five separate incidents, almost half of these over the weekend. In total, at least 3,135 people have died in the Mediterranean in 2015, she added.To address the situation, UNHCR recommends that various measures of stabilization are needed in countries of first asylum and all countries of secondary movements.These measures include support to countries hosting the majority of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees; an information campaign informing of the dangers of the sea journey; and the development of legal pathways to seek protection in Europe. In countries of secondary movement, significant efforts must be made to develop a robust reception and registration capacity. read more

first_img“We should expect reciprocal deals for Britons living in European countries, but Britain should make the first move to demonstrate goodwill.”Just 3 per cent of European citizens living in Britain are unemployed, with 51 per cent classed as employees, 9 per cent self-employed, 4 per cent students and 7 per cent retired, while 17 per cent are children, according to the report.More than a quarter of the food and drink manufacturing workforce and about 15 per cent of academics are from other EU countries, it added.The panel called for the permanent residence system, which is underpinned by EU law, to be converted into the indefinite leave to remain status available to international migrants living in the UK. Any EU citizen travelling to the UK after Theresa May triggers Article 50 should not be allowed to permanently stay in the UK after Brexit, a major inquiry concludes today.Amid growing fears of a “surge” of EU migrants travelling to the UK to take advantage of an expected amnesty, a major report by British Future calls for a “cut-off date” to ensure people coming to the UK do not simply “expect to stay after Brexit”.The inquiry, which includes both Remain and Leave MPs, calls for the three million EU migrants already here to be given an amnesty and offered permanent residence with the same health, social and educational rights as British citizens. Theresa May has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK, insisting that she will not do so until she has agreement from European leaders that they will do the same for British ex-pats.Around 1.2 million British nationals live in other EU countries. The report found that setting the date that Article 50 is triggered as the cut-off point would be fair and legally watertight, but would not lead to a surge in migration from across the bloc and European Economic Area nations.Gisela Stuart, a Leave campaigner and Labour MP who chaired the inquiry, said: “We determined that the triggering of Article 50 should be the cut-off date, after which EU citizens moving to the UK would not be entitled to stay permanently after Brexit. This would limit any ‘pull factor’ for EU citizens not already in the UK.”Britain should make clear at the start of the Brexit negotiations that EU citizens already here before that date can stay. This would send a clear signal about the kind of country the UK will be after Brexit and the relationship we want with Europe. Ending this worry and uncertainty, both swiftly and fairly, is not only the humane thing to doSeamus Nevin, IoD Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But the complex and expensive process should be streamlined and costs capped, it said.Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “Businesses throughout the UK are very clear that confirming the status of EU migrants resident here is the right thing to do.”The evidence the inquiry received showed that uncertainty from valued employees about what will happen to them is tangible in workplaces across the UK. Our members can’t plan for the future or give their employees the assurances they need until government sets out its plan.”Ending this worry and uncertainty, both swiftly and fairly, is not only the humane thing to do. It is also essential to avoid major disruptions to workforce planning and business development if British companies are to be able to prepare to succeed in life outside the EU.”last_img read more

6. IFK Kristianstad4103109:118(-9)2 3. Rhein-Neckar Löwen4211117:117(0)5 2. HC Vardar4400121:103(18)8 5. MOL-Pick Szeged4112108:111(-3)3 4. HC Meshkov Brest4202108:110(-2)4 8. HC Prvo plinarsko drustvo …400496:112(-16)0 7. RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko4103109:122(-13)2 RK Vardar extend winning series at the start of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2016/2017. The Macedonian champions are the only team with eight points alongside Vive Tauron Kielce after home win over PICK Szeged 30:27 (16:14). Raul Gonzales boys had control over the match against team of Carlos Pastor. The TOP scorer was Russian wing Timur Dibirov with eight goals, while Hungarian right back Zsolt Balogh netted nine for defeated squad.STANDINGS: ← Previous Story PSG beat Flensburg in derby – Bjerringbro Silkeborg demolish Wisla Next Story → ZRK Vardar sack Indira Kastratovic 1. KS Vive Tauron Kielce4400127:102(25)8 KielcePick SzegedRK Vardar read more

first_imgMINISTER FOR HEALTH James Reilly has given a personal pledge to “tackle the smoking problem” and called for combined measures to regulate tobacco products.Speaking in Brussels in a meeting of the EU Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, Reilly also called for comprehensive assistance to smokers who want to quit and media information campaigns.The committee was discussing the proposal to revise the 2001 Tobacco Products Directive which focuses on smokeless tobacco products, packaging and labelling, ingredients or additives, cross-border distance sales and traceability and security issues. It also aims to harmonise the implementation of international obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).Speaking about the proposal before the committee Commissioner Tonio Borg said tobacco “should look like tobacco and taste like tobacco as well, not like vanilla or other sweets”.“These products are produced in this way to be attractive to the young. Let’s not forget that most people start smoking below the age of 25 and the majority when they are still minors,” he said. Several other MEPs echoed his call for flavoured tobacco products to be abolished.However Danish MEP, Anna Rosbach, said that the committee should not forget that governments need the revenues generated by tobacco. “The fiscal impact is something we have to bear in mind”, she said. “Any smoker who stops is a good investment.”Minister Reilly said that economically, it is a “no brainer”, because of the heavy costs that smoking imposes on health systems and on the economy, through absenteeism from work.Italian MEP Oreste Rossi said he was worried that too many limits place upon people would result in an increase in the trade of illegal cigarettes. However Borg reassured the committee that security and tracking provisions were also proposed in the directive.A report will be drafted by European Parliament rapporteur Linda McAvan and put to an Environment Committee vote on 10-11 July.Related: Women who smoke ‘at greater risk of HPV infection’>last_img read more

first_imgThe buzz around the potential of HTML5 and the canvas tag to change video playback, interaction, and games on the web continues. This latest demo put together by Franz Enzenhofer, demonstrates some real-time video effects being applied to the modern version of the original Tron movie trailer.AdChoices广告The available effects include:Black & WhiteOutlineColorInvertMatrixOldBut the customization doesn’t stop there. As the video plays you can adjust how it is being displayed including changing its size, rotation, scale, and skew. All while it plays uninterrupted just using the HTML5 features of your browser.I’ve included a few screenshots of the video here, but urge you to go and have a play yourself at the Barbafan.de hosted web page.Here’s the trailer used in its original form for comparison:last_img read more

first_imgIt’s not exactly a secret that Facebook is a breeding ground for viral scams. With close to 700 million users — many of whom are unwary and not-so-computer-savvy — the social networking site provides ample opportunity for cybercriminals to hawk their (mal)wares.Most of the time, the scammy links which go viral on Facebook are designed to push users to phishing sites, where they’re shown deceptively designed ads designed to generate click-through dollars (referred to as CPA or cost-per-action scams) for their hosts. F-Secure, however, has detected a new plague which ran rampant on Facebook for an entire day before raising alerts.Unlike the cash-grabbing CPA scams, the aim of this new attack is to push malware to both Mac and Windows users via fake Likes of an equally fake video of International Monetary Fund directory Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The attack is designed to target specific locations, with users from the U.S. and U.K. currently at risk. Visiting the link from elsewhere in the world will redirect to a harmless YouTube video.So how do unsuspecting users protect themselves from this type of viral attack and stay safe on Facebook? The first step is to be on your toes and watch for posts which look out of place coming from your friends — check the language and subject of what’s been liked and ask yourself if you think that person would actually have posted it.You may also want to check out (or recommend that friends and family check out) BitDefender safego, a Facebook app which is designed to check your wall for malicious postings. Even with a comparatively small number of Facebook acquaintances, safego has captured three scammy posts from my wall since I installed it a few months ago — and it just might help you avoid malware traps while you socialize online.More at F-Securelast_img read more

first_imgAt $199, it’s easy to dismiss the Gizmo Explorer as an overpriced Raspberry Pi alternative. That would be true if it was built as a competing device, which it’s not. The Gizmo is built by Sage Electronic Engineering, a company that specializes in embedded devices. Its goal is to deliver hardware that allows others to rapidly develop marketable products — a much different aim than that of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.It’s also important to note that the Gizmo Explorer utilizes an x86-compatible processor. That’s a major differentiation, and it gives the Gizmo software flexibility that the Raspberry Pi can’t yet match. In addition to being able to run just about any Linux distribution under the sun, this board can handle Windows, Androidx86, and probably even OS X if you don’t mind a little tinkering — which you don’t if you’re going to buy this board.The “Gizmo” is the main board, which runs a 1GHz AMD G-T40E Dual Core with an integrated Radeon HD6250 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The lack of an HDMI port here is a bit of a concern, but it’s not a major one since the board is a better fit for projects like kiosk computing. VGA should be sufficient in most cases. There’s a single SATA port available for hooking up a hard drive, two USB ports, and RJ45 Ethernet. Sage also includes an expansion IO board, which is where the “Explorer” comes from in the name. Sage also throws in a power brick, network and USB cables, an alphanumeric keypad, and a JTAG development tool with 20 hours of trial use.For DIY embedded projects where x86 is a must, the Gizmo is a nice option to explore. If ARM will suffice, the Raspberry Pi or one of the recent Exynos-based boards are more frugal options.More at ExrtemeTech and CNX Softwarelast_img read more

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) is calling for Monsanto Company to remedy inequities that are disadvantaging U.S. farmers in the global marketplace. ASA is concerned with the large disparity of Roundup Ready® soybean seed prices and business practices between the United States and Argentina, which was highlighted in a U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) report released today.“U.S. soybean farmers are being charged more than twice the amount for Roundup Ready soybean seed than growers in Argentina paid last year,” said ASA President Marc Curtis, a producer from Leland, Miss. “According to the GAO report, a bag of Roundup Ready soybean seed sold for about $9 in Argentina and about $21.50 in the United States in 1999.”One of the reasons that the price of Roundup Ready soybean seed is higher in the U.S. is because only U.S. growers are charged a technology fee of $6.50 per 50-pound bag on top of the price of the seed.“ASA understands that companies need to earn a return on their investment in research and development to continue investing in new traits and technologies. ASA strongly objects, however, to U.S. farmers alone being required to pay for these technologies while farmers in other countries have access to the same technology without paying for it,” said Curtis.Also, the base price of Roundup Ready soybean seed is lower in Argentina because growers there are allowed to save seed harvested from one year’s crop to sow the next year’s crop, a common farming practice. The Argentine farmer’s ability to save seed has put downward pressure on the price of new Roundup Ready soybean seed sold by Argentine seed companies. To remain competitive, seed companies must reduce the farmer’s incentive to replant last year’s soybeans. In contrast, U.S. soybean growers are required to sign a grower agreement with the seed company that prohibits U.S. growers from saving seed harvested for planting the next year.“Monsanto has told us that they can’t charge the technology fee and enforce the restriction on saved seed in Argentina because Argentina’s patent and plant variety protection laws differ from U.S. laws,” Curtis said. “The GAO report also indicates a large portion of Argentina’s soybean seed is sold on the black market and not through commercial firms. In the future, seed companies should consider their ability to protect intellectual property rights and enforce contracts in potential overseas markets before they decide to commercialize products in those markets. Otherwise, companies should amend their U.S. business practices so they don’t treat U.S. farmers less favorably than farmers in other countries.”Prior to 1998, the price charged for Roundup Ready soybean seed in Argentina was high enough so that the grower’s total cost was about the same as it was in the U.S. Over the past two years, however, the price of Roundup Ready soybean seed dropped to the equivalent of about $9 per 50-lb. bag from about $25 in 1997.Now that the price has dropped dramatically in Argentina, U.S. growers are caught in a situation that places them at a competitive disadvantage. Using seed prices contained in the GAO report and a seeding rate of 1.3 bags per acre (seeding rates in the U.S. and Argentina are similar), U.S. growers’ per acre Roundup Ready soybean seed costs in 1999 were $27.95 per acre versus $11.70 for Argentine growers. Assuming an average 40-bushel per acre soybean yield, the disparity in Roundup Ready seed costs puts U.S. growers at a 41-cent per bushel price competitive disadvantage.“Monsanto has the ability to quickly eliminate a large portion of this competitive disadvantage for U.S. growers by adjusting its business practices in the U.S. market,” Curtis said. “ASA is urging Monsanto to quickly resolve the current price inequity on Roundup Ready soybean seed by discontinuing and refunding technology fees for the 2000 soybean crop, dropping restrictions that prevent farmers from planting their own saved seed, or implementing other changes that will eliminate the disparity that exists between the seed prices paid by U.S. and Argentine growers.”“ASA continues to be a strong supporter and advocate of new soybean seed technologies—be they the result of biotechnology or convention breeding programs,” Curtis said. “There is no doubt that the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans, developed via modern biotechnology, has benefited soybean growers in both the United States and Argentina.”Producers have rapidly adopted Roundup Ready soybean technology since it was commercially introduced in 1996. One only has to look at the responses of growers in the U.S. and in Argentina, who planted 55 percent of U.S. soybean acres and an estimated 90 percent of Argentina’s soybean area to Roundup Ready varieties, to know that farmers welcome this technology.“ASA’s objection is that beginning in mid-1999, only U.S. growers are being asked to pay for the research and development costs for the Roundup Ready technology,” Curtis said. “That just isn’t fair, and that’s what ASA is asking Monsanto to remedy.Argentina, the world’s third largest producer and exporter of soybeans and soybean products, competes directly with the United States for overseas markets. Access to new soybean technologies has helped Argentine farmers increase their yields to a point where they are comparable with U.S. yields. With fields located in the Southern Hemisphere, Argentine farmers are now preparing to harvest the soybean crop they cultivated from seeds purchased in mid-1999.“ASA views this situation as an opportunity for Monsanto to take a leadership position and alter those business practices it has under its control in order to treat U.S. farmers as equitably as Argentine growers,” Curtis said. “ASA will work with Monsanto and other technology companies to aggressively identify solutions that will promote the development of new seed technologies and meet the challenges of international patent laws while maintaining the competitiveness of the U.S. soybean industry.”last_img read more

first_imgListen 00:00 /56:13 Xcenter_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: On Monday’s Houston Matters: On Saturday (June 22) President Trump “postponed” his threat of ICE raids across 10 major cities in the nation, including Houston. News 88.7’s immigration reporter Elizabeth Trovall tells us why immigrant families are preparing for the worst.And, we speak with Julie Pasch, managing attorney for Deportation Defense Houston, about Houstonians’ reactions to this latest threat of deportation and what families should do if ICE knocks on their doors.Then, amidst mounting tuition costs and a subsequent rise in student debt, we explore ways for would-be graduate students to ensure they don’t get trapped in a six-figure debt for a four-figure education.Also this hour: On this month’s edition of  The Bigger Picture, we examine identity and a sense of place in the new film The Last Black Man in San Francisco.Plus, Jeff Balke, who writes for Houstonia Magazine and the Houston Press, joins us to discuss developments in Houston sports.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img read more

first_imgNowadays you can’t open your newsfeed without seeing a retro product revival. This year has been especially great for beverages, and while it is great to get another crack at long-gone products like Ecto-Cooler and Crystal Pepsi, thousands of other tasty treats from our childhood only exist on the shelves of our memories. This is a real shame because taste and smell can be powerful triggers of memory. Just think how many of our positive childhood memories are tied to the sweet treats we received.No matter what the generational label, a lot of a child’s universe revolves around a sugary axis. So let’s take a look back at some of the candy from our youth that we will most likely never see again. Perhaps just seeing their photos and commercials will help unlock some wonderful memories. The Reggie Bar1/11The Reggie Bar was hardly a bar. Instead it was a circle of peanuts dipped in caramel and smothered in chocolate. While the Reggie only lasted from 1976 to 1981, you can find a similar confection in stores now. Just look for Pearson’s Bun Bars.<><> While we don’t currently have access to any of these wonderful candies. We can always hope or look for similar tasting alternatives. So keep scanning those shelves, and if you are feeling particularly nostalgic, take to social media and let those candy companies know on what you are willing to spend your adult dollars.You might scoff, but a delicious candy that would have made this list up until recently was the “Bonkers” fruit chew. That changed when the brand magicians at Leaf announced that Bonkers would soon be back in production. Now let’s just hope they revive those memorable commercials.last_img read more

first_imgÖzgür Aytürk Culture and Tourism Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in India takes pride in promoting his country’s culture and tourism and has taken several steps to tap into the ever-increasing outbound travellers market from India. In an interview with Millennium Post he speaks about how both Turkey and India are connected culturally.Can you tell us about the cultural of your country and how similar it is to India?Turkey is on the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East and that in itself makes it unique. And it is for this reason that for centuries Turkey has seen many civilisations come and go and has had the fortune of evolving a diverse and rich heritage and culture much like India. So when one visits Turkey today you will find richness of this diversity in every part of the country and especially in Istanbul as it was capital to three different empires in the history. So one would find a great mix of religious worship places, cuisine, and cultural all under one roof in Istanbul. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What steps have you taken to improve cultural relations between India and Turkey?We think that culturally we are close to India unfortunately, however, we have to remind this to the people of both the nations. Both India and Turkey share common platforms in terms of cuisine, general characteristics amongst our people, hospitality and even language.  In fact there are more than 9,000 words that are same or similar in both the languages. To remind both the nations of these similarities we have been organising several cultural nights or supporting them. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSufism is another string that binds both the countries musically and culturally hence we have orgainsed several Sufi festivals. The last one was performed at the Rastrapati Bhawan. So we are trying to promote and showcase these similarities in order to build stronger cultural ties. We had also organised a Turkish food festival some time back which got a good response. We are also looking at establishing a cultural centre in Delhi, once that is established we will be holding Turkish events more often in the city and we hope to have it established by the end of this year. What is the role of the Indian travel fraternity in promoting Turkey among Indian travellers?Now people are using websites more often but still when you look at this market, majority of them are still going to the travel agents before making their decisions. They still have a great impact on the end consumers while shaping their decisions and making their vacation plans. That is why we will be supporting the travel trade through road shows, fun trips, media campaigns that are going on. What segments are you looking to promote in India? Please tell us about your strategies in targeting these.MICE definitely. Although, we do not have certain breakup for MICE and leisure, we believe that more than 20 percent visit Turkey for MICE purpose and little less for leisure. We are focusing on MICE because we think Turkey has many things to offer. It has very beautiful and big convention facilities. Ontalia is hosting the ICCA 2014 conference, Ismeirs and some other cities have big convention venues.On the other side, wedding is becoming very popular for Turkish private sectors. We are getting queries from Turkish hoteliers and associations. We are willing do so something on wedding and golf. We are inviting decision makers and tour operators to showcase the gold destinations. We have been organising Istanbul shopping fest for the past two years. Istanbul shopping fest is 20 days shopping fest, where we have lucky draws every day and people can win every day.Has Turkey seen many repeat travellers from India?Turkey is  a destination which can’t be explored at one go. If you are curious about the country you have to definitely return. They visit Istanbul and when they return they tell their friends and start planning for other trips. I can’t say about promoting Turkey as a repeat destination because the numbers from India are still below our expectations.last_img read more

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Colombo City, Sri Lanka. | Photo: Anuradha Dullewe Wijeyeratne Right now, 71 countries make gay – and sometimes lesbian – sex illegal. And that’s not including the many more which persecute or discriminate against the LGBTI community.For Digital Pride this week, we are sharing a series of short videos where activists from Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Malaysia tell their stories.All of their countries make homosexual sex illegal. Worse still, in Northern Nigeria, Sharia Law punishes homosexual acts with death by hanging.But in the videos, the activists explain it’s not usually about the courts punishing LGBTI people. Instead, it’s often a case of police or mobs taking the law into their own hands.What the activists sayRosanna Flamer-Caldera of Equal Ground in Sri Lanka is one of the activists sharing her story. She told us:‘Especially gay men, transgender women, sometimes lesbians, they are stopped on the street, accosted by the police. Money is extorted, sexual favours are extorted, they are blackmailed.‘If they refuse this, they are dragged off to the police station, locked up and sometimes raped. I had an incident where one of my colleagues in a remote area was raped by 14 police officers.’While Nigerian gay activist Reverend Jide Macaulay, the founder of House of Rainbow, said:center_img LGBTI activists are telling their stories about countries which still criminalize homosexuality for Digital Pride. ‘There are so many examples where people take the law into their own hands. They call it “jungle justice” in Nigeria. If they know you are gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender, your life begins to crumble in front of you.’We’ll be putting their stories out on videos throughout Digital Pride week. Meanwhile you can see some of the highlights here:[embedded content]Join our Digital Pride Thunderclap for global LGBTI rightsWe believe all LGBTI people deserve equality, respect and protection. It shouldn’t matter where you live – our rights should be universal.If you agree, you can lend us your social reach for just one post on your Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.If you sign up for our Digital Pride Thunderclap, you will join the likes of Amnesty International, Peter Tatchell Foundation, All Out and many more in broadcasting this message, all at the same time:‘All LGBTI+ people deserve freedom, equality and protection. I am one of Millions of Us fighting for this world.’The Thunderclap will go out on 26 April at 17:00 London time. If you sign up, it won’t give us access to your account. And it only broadcasts this message, nothing else.You can sign up in a few clicks right here.So far, the Thunderclap has a forecast reach of over 31 million but we can still make it even bigger with your help.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . After India decriminalizes gay sex, which country might be next?Russian activists receive fines for trying to organize a Pride in St. PetersburgAnti-LGBTI groups warn Trinidad of ‘same sex marriage cancer’Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/anti-gay-laws-14-police-officers-raped-one-of-my-colleagues/last_img read more