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posted by takyon on Monday November 05 2018, @11:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the Even-if-you-don't-agree,-remember-to-vote-on-November-6th dept.

In a law implemented last year, Georgia's 'Exact Match' requirement flags voters who have discrepancies in their official identifying documents and may be non-citizens.

As originally written, at the actual polling location, only Deputy Registrars could immediately clear individuals to vote (provisional ballots could still be cast). This was deemed burdensome in U.S. District Court and now Poll Managers can also clear individuals to vote who show proof of citizenship.

The announcement of this change is here: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/general/judge_includes_poll_managers_in_georgias_existing_non-citizen_verification_process_

Voters were notified in advance of discrepancies and multiple avenues to resolve the issue are available, including:

- in advance by faxing or emailing documents to the county registrar
- when balloting, providing documentation to a Deputy Registrar (or Poll Manager now)
- If the above are an issue, an individual can cast a provisional ballot and provide the proof of citizenship (in person, via fax, email, or text message) before Friday.

Also at NPR and The Hill.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Friday November 02 2018, @08:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the Doge-coin-in-my-wallet dept.

From the very richest Forbes Magazine (reprint) come news of a nefarious plot:

There's no better example of the power, and the terror, inspired by blockchain than Gab.com, the social network used by the accused Pittsburgh synagogue gunman to threaten Jews.

About a month and a half before the alleged gunman made good on those threats by opening fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue and killing 11 people, Gab submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $10 million via an initial coin offering (ICO). The offering, dated September 18, 2018, has so far received commitments to raise $5.6 million in capital for the "free speech" social network, which is a favorite of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other members of the "alt-right."

Since the shooting on Saturday, Gab has been shut down by a host of mainstream services including payment processors Stripe and Paypal, Web-hosting company Joyent and briefly, domain registry GoDaddy. But that might not matter, because Gab has already taken the first step toward freeing itself from dependence on traditional infrastructure and support mechanisms, thanks to its funding via the ethereum blockchain. Ultimately Gab's goal is to build an entire ecosystem beyond the reach of centralized authorities—whether Facebook, Twitter or venture capitalists—making it nearly indestructible. On this, the tenth anniversary of the publication of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper, which gave birth to bitcoin, Gab epitomizes the darker consequences of his vision.

[...] Gab can also use other blockchain services if mainstream providers try to kick it off the internet by refusing to provide critical services. If Gab needs to replace GoDaddy for domain service (the addresses people use to find websites), Ethereum Name Service provides domains for decentralized applications built on the ethereum blockchain. Web hosting? No problem. Ethereum's Substratum provides a decentralized alternative to Joyent. Others have already pioneered the idea. PeepEth is a nascent ethereum-powered social network, and Mastadon is a blockchain-based Twitter.

Previously: Social Media and the Pittsburgh Shooter: Gab.com Going Down


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday October 24 2018, @04:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the hate-machine dept.

Three Explosive Devices Sent to Clintons, Obama and CNN Offices

Explosive devices were sent to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as to CNN's offices in New York, sparking an intense investigation on Wednesday into whether a bomber is going after targets that have often been the subject of right-wing ire.

A law enforcement official said the three devices were similar to one found Monday at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and liberal donor.

[...] The device sent to CNN was contained in a manila envelope addressed to John Brennan, who was the C.I.A. director in the Obama administration and is a harsh critic of Mr. Trump. The president revoked Mr. Brennan's security clearance in what was seen as an act of retribution. The return address bore the name of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who formerly headed the Democratic National Committee.

In a statement, the White House condemned "the attempted violent attacks."

Update 1: The explosive devices have been described as pipe bombs. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that a device was also sent to his office.

Update 2:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's spokesman has identified the device sent to his office, originally believed to be suspicious, as a thumb drive containing files on the far right group Proud Boys. It does not appear to be related to the explosive devices.

[...] Another suspicious package has been intercepted at a Congressional mail screening facility in Capitol Heights, Maryland, according to CNN. [...] ABC News reported the package was addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat.

Live updates at The Guardian.


Original Submission

posted by chromas on Wednesday October 24 2018, @04:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the pulling-out-is-the-best-prevention dept.

Trump to Pull US Out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, a decades-old agreement that has drawn the ire of the President.

[...] The treaty forced both countries to eliminate ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between approximately 300 and 3,400 miles. It offered a blanket of protection to the United States' European allies and marked a watershed agreement between two nations at the center of the arms race during the Cold War.

Former State Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby, a CNN military and diplomatic analyst, explained that the treaty "wasn't designed to solve all of our problems with the Soviet Union," but was "designed to provide a measure of some strategic stability on the continent of Europe."

"It's the dirt that does it."

Donald Trump: US will build up nuclear arsenal

President Donald Trump has warned that the US will bolster its nuclear arsenal to put pressure on Russia and China. Speaking to reporters, he repeated his belief that Russia has violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which he has threatened to leave. Russia denies this.

The Cold War-era treaty banned medium-range missiles, reducing the perceived Soviet threat to European nations.

Russia has warned it will respond in kind if the US develops more weapons. Mr Trump said the US would build up its arsenal "until people come to their senses".

[...] Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser John Bolton has been holding talks in Moscow after Russia condemned the US plan to quit the deal. Mr Bolton was told that the US withdrawal would be a "serious blow" to the non-proliferation regime.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

posted by martyb on Tuesday October 23 2018, @10:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the conflict-of-interest-much? dept.

The Guardian reports:

Georgia secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp improperly purged more than 340,000 voters from the state's registration rolls, an investigation charges.

Greg Palast, a journalist and the director of the Palast Investigative Fund, said an analysis he commissioned found 340,134 voters were removed from the rolls on the grounds that they had moved - but they actually still live at the address where they are registered.

"Their registration is cancelled. Not pending, not inactive – cancelled. If they show up to vote on 6 November, they will not be allowed to vote. That's wrong," Palast told reporters on a call on Friday. "We can prove they're still there. They should be allowed to vote."

[...] Palast and the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda filed a lawsuit against Kemp on Friday to force him to release additional records related to the state's removal of voters.

Under Georgia procedures, registered voters who have not cast ballots for three years are sent a notice asking them to confirm they still live at their address. If they don't return it, they are marked inactive. If they don't vote for two more general elections after that, they are removed from the rolls.


Original Submission

posted by chromas on Wednesday October 17 2018, @12:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the accidental-kidnapping-and-execution dept.

Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say

The Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey, according to two sources.

One source says the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible.

One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.

The Washington Post columnist was last seen in public when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in Turkey on October 2. Previously, Saudi authorities had maintained Khashoggi left the consulate the same afternoon of his visit, but provided no evidence to support the claim.

Saudi Arabia could hike oil prices over the Khashoggi case. Here's why it would backfire

Saudi Arabia's not-so-veiled threat issued in a government statement Sunday emphasized its "vital role in the global economy" and that any action taken upon it will be met with "greater action". But as oil ticks upward, a look at history and geopolitics suggests that while a Saudi-driven oil price spike would bring pain for much of the world, it would ultimately backfire on itself.

"If this is something the Saudis were allowed to do, they'd be really shooting themselves in the foot," Warren Patterson, commodities analyst at ING, told CNBC's Squawk Box Europe on Tuesday. "In the short to medium term we'll definitely see an incremental amount of demand destruction, but the bigger issue is in the longer term."

Any action in withholding oil from the market, he said, "would only quicken the pace of energy transition."

Previously: Turkey Says that a Missing Critic of the Saudi Government was Killed in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Monday October 15 2018, @09:25AM   Printer-friendly

Republican Senators Demand Answers about Google+ Cover-up

Senators Thune, Wicker, and Moran Letter to Google

takyon: Three Senators have written a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai requesting responses to several questions about the recent Google+ breach.

Also at Reuters, Ars Technica, and The Verge.

How Google's China Project Undermines its Claims to Political Neutrality

Submitted via IRC for chromas

How Google's China project undermines its claims to political neutrality

The company's official position on content moderation remains political neutrality, a spokeswoman told me in an email:

Google is committed to free expression — supporting the free flow of ideas is core to our mission. Where we have developed our own content policies, we enforce them in a politically neutral way. Giving preference to content of one political ideology over another would fundamentally conflict with our goal of providing services that work for everyone.

Of course, it's impossible to read the report or Google's statement without considering Project Dragonfly. According to Ryan Gallagher's ongoing reporting at The Intercept, Google's planned Chinese search engine will enable anything but the free flow of ideas. Even in an environment where American users are calling for tech platforms to limit users' freedoms in exchange for more safety and security, many still recoil at the idea of a search engine that bans search terms in support of an authoritarian regime.

And that's the unresolvable tension at the heart of this report. Almost all of us would agree that some restrictions on free speech are necessary. But few of us would agree on what those restrictions should be. Being a good censor — or at least, a more consistent censor — is within Google's grasp. But being a politically neutral one is probably impossible.

See also: Senator Says Google Failed to Answer Key Questions on China

Related: Leaked Transcript Contradicts Google's Denials About Censored Chinese Search Engine


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

posted by martyb on Friday October 12 2018, @11:18PM   Printer-friendly

Turkey 'has recording proving Saudi murder'

Turkish officials have audio and video evidence that shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the BBC has learned.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, has not been seen since he entered the building on 2 October.

Turkish intelligence had "documented evidence" of the murder, a source close to the investigation said.

Saudi Arabia denies the allegations. It says the journalist left the building.

Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and reported death have prompted international outrage and dented business confidence in Saudi Arabia. Tycoon Sir Richard Branson has halted talks over $1bn Saudi investment in Virgin space firms and several top business leaders have pulled out of a Saudi investment conference later this month.

Also at CNN.

See also: CNBC withdraws from Saudi conference over concerns about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Saturday October 06 2018, @08:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the let-'er-rip dept.

Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The vote was 50-48 in favor of Kavanaugh.

Senators Collins, Flake, and Manchin had already announced their intentions to confirm Kavanaugh before the vote was held. Senator Lisa Murkowski, who was previously ready to vote "no", agreed to vote "present" instead so that Senator Steve Daines could attend his daughter's wedding instead of being present in the Senate to support Kavanaugh.

SCOTUSBlog: Kavanaugh confirmed as 114th justice
Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

Previously: SCOTUS's Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire
President Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court
Trump's Supreme Court Pick: ISPs Have 1st Amendment Right to Block Websites

posted by chromas on Saturday October 06 2018, @06:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the Do-you-want-the-wizard-or-the-skull? dept.

The Mormon Church and Governor Gary Herbert have come out in favor of medical cannabis legalization in Utah. However, the legislative compromise would be more restrictive for Utahans than a November 2018 ballot initiative:

The Mormon church joined lawmakers, the governor and advocates to back a deal on Thursday that would legalize medical marijuana in conservative Utah after months of fierce debate. The compromise comes as people prepare to vote in November on an insurgent medical marijuana ballot initiative that held its ground despite opposition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[...] The Utah-based faith had opposed the ballot proposal over fears it could lead to more broad use, but its ranking global leader, Jack Gerard, said leaders were "thrilled" to be a part of the effort to "alleviate human pain and suffering".

Though it still must go to a vote, the deal has the key backing of both the church and leaders of the Republican-dominated state legislature, who said the regulations in the hard-won agreement had their seal of approval. Unlike the ballot initiative, the compromise won't allow people to grow their own marijuana if they live too far from a dispensary. It also doesn't allow certain types of edible marijuana that could appeal to children, like cookies and brownies.

Some medical cannabis advocates are not on board with the deal:

Medical marijuana advocates are backing the deal to avoid wrangling and uncertainty that could continue if the ballot initiative passes. "There will be medical cannabis here in our day in Utah," said the advocate DJ Schanz. The two sides agreed to scale back media campaigns supporting and opposing the ballot measure known as Proposition 2.

Not all medical marijuana advocates were convinced: Christine Stenquist with the group Truce said she remained skeptical about the deal and urged continued support for the ballot proposal. Smoking marijuana would not be allowed under the ballot proposal. It instead allows edible forms, lotions or electronic cigarettes.


Original Submission