Posts tagged with "government"

WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in U.K.

by Tara McDonough

Earlier today WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested inside the Ecuadorian embassy for breaching U.K. bail conditions. He has also been further arrested by U.S. authorities with an extradition warrant on a conspiracy charge for publishing classified information by former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

On Thursday the Justice Department prosecutors confirmed that Assange was charged with conspiracy to hack into a classified U.S. computer. Prosecutors said WikiLeaks founder aided Manning in cracking a password and therefore logging into SIPRNET, a classified U.S. government network.

While Manning’s sentence was commuted under President Obama just before his term ended in 2017 and released from prison that May, she was arrested in March 2019 for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

The process of extraditing Assange from the U.K. to the U.S. could take years and the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

Relationship Advice from NASA Engineer

Conservatives stay single longer

A new study from NASA engineer Rashied Amini, Ph.D. analyzes factors that contribute to how long people stay single. Some surprising results include conservative political views, higher education and not so surprising factors like income as a deal-breaker. The results of the study were used to create Nanaya’s love prediction algorithm, which is available for free and premium memberships online, and for iOS and Android.“Somehow this is the first time someone’s seriously looked at this question. The answers we found aren’t just about how long people stay single but also why,” said founder and owner of Nanaya,Rashied Amini, Ph.D.,on why he decided to conduct this study and start Nanaya.

Levelof education and rebound time have an almost perfectly correlated relationship. With someone staying single 0.8 months longer for each additional year of secondary & post-secondary education obtained. In addition, people who work in Academia & Higher Education have longer rebound times compared to other industries, with those working in agriculture having the shortest rebound time.

People who take public transit frequently will on average find relationships four months faster than people who never or rarely take public transit.

The size of your company could impact your love life. The study showed that people in workplaces of ~30-70 people have the best odds of entering a relationship sooner compared to smaller companies or large corporations.

Those with unempathetic political views tend to spend significantly longer looking for a relationship. Some of the opinions that have the most impact include being against marriage equality and universal healthcare, supporting increased border security, and being opposed to expanding welfare.

Feminists have an easier time finding relationships by approximately 1-2 months. This includes men who support feminism.

Compared to straight men and women, gay and bisexual people find relationships faster. Gay men spend the least amount of time single, followed by bisexual men and women.

Since non-Americans find love approximately 8 months sooner than Americans, traveling internationally can increase your chances of making a lasting connection.

Level of education and rebound time have an almost perfectly correlated relationship. With someone staying single 0.8 months longer for each additional year of secondary & post-secondary education obtained. In addition, people who work in Academia & Higher Education have a longer rebound time compared to other industries, with those working in Agriculture having the shortest rebound time.

According to Nanaya’s data, psychology and belief systems have a stronger correlation to time spent single. When it comes to children, those who want children spend the shortest time single, followed by those who don’t know if they want children. Single parents or those who don’t want children spend the longest time single.

About Nanaya

Nanaya has built one of the largest databases of romantic outcomes to ever exist. Unlike dating sites, Nanaya has data on how people actual live their lives and have romances in the real world – not just in the “Tinderverse.” Nanaya also has plenty of data on people in relationships. Unlike Facebook, Nanaya has data on personal values, experiences, and accurate personality data. What all this means is that Nanaya research is going to be a lot more complete and accurate than what anyone else can hope to do. Over the course of their research, they’ve identified personality traits that have significant impact on romantic outcomes. As a result, they’ve developed the brand new Nanaya Romantic Personality Quiz. In about 30 questions, Nanaya can describe romantic personality and outcomes better than anything that exists, whether it’s Myers Briggs or any other personality test.

For a free personalized test, go to https://nanaya.co/.

Professor Jeffrey Swartz on Manafort Sentencing

LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR AND LEGAL ANALYST ON PAUL MANAFORT SENTENCING

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Jeffrey Swartz, a former prosecutor and former Judge in Miami-Dade County, is offering the below statement regarding the sentencing of Paul Manafort.

As a former prosecutor I am incensed at Judge T. S. Ellis III’s hubris at believing he sees the Manafort prosecution for one thing, while ignoring the greater issues of continuing to punish non-violent, but yet serious white-collar behavior so leniently.  Mr. Manfort’s attorneys successfully invoked the constant battle between the two theories of punishment that have been the stalwart of our system of justice for two hundred years, Utilitarianism (the certainty of punishment as a general deterrence to society not to violate the law) and Retributivism (addressing sentencing to the individual defendant based upon their own moral blameworthiness, i.e. their just deserts).

Judge Ellis’ findings give short shrift to the underlying criminality of Manfort’s conduct and business.  The prosecution sentencing memorandum and, although we have not seen it, what appears to be in the Pre-Sentence Investigation and Report seem to outline the long history of Manfort’s criminal behavior, contempt for the laws of the United States, our system of justice even while out on bond, including his attempt to tamper with witnesses, and his disregard for the undermining of our democracy and form of government.

The Sentencing Guidelines were promulgated by Congress to provide a means for judges to standardize the approach toward how to appropriately punish the conduct of defendants based upon objective criteria.  They also contemplate that the court will consider “all relevant conduct”, not just that conduct for which the defendant was convicted. Although they are just “guidelines” they provide for departures both upwards and downwards, giving the court “appropriate discretion” to adjust its ultimate decision, where the findings of the court support the exercise of that discretion.  In that regard they are both Utilitarian (certainty and consistency of punishment) and retributive (assuring an individualistic approach to a particular defendant).

Judge Ellis ignored everything other than his own opinion that there was an ulterior motive for this prosecution.  He more than exercised his discretion. I would argue that he abused that discretion in the grossest way. A guidelines range of 234 to 288 months may have been more severe than most thought appropriate.  However, Ellis reduced that to less than twenty percent of the bottom of those guidelines at forty-seven months less nine months credit for time served.

The penalty Ellis imposed, even in the face of not granting Manafort even the three-point adjustment for acceptance of responsibility, seems to indicate a disdain for white-collar prosecution in general.  A disdain many ex-prosecutors, who have appeared before him, have stated he has exhibited in the past. He also made clear his displeasure at the government’s prosecution of Mr. Manafort, which was exhibited on more that one occasion through specific statements he verbalized and his rulings at trial, by interfering in the government’s introduction of evidence and testimony.

The depth and breadth of Manfort’s criminality, and its effect on our society was set forth in the prosecution’s memorandum, which Ellis chose to ignore.  This was not a “one-off” as Ellis seemed to allude in the pronouncement of his sentence, but a lifetime systematic course of conduct. Manafort is a criminal in every sense of the word, who deserved far more than he received.

The only saving grace is that Manafort must face sentencing before Judge Amy Berman Jackson next week.  Judge Jackson has likewise indicated a disdain for a party in her case. Judge Jackson is the judge who ordered Manafort into custody for his actions while out on bond.  It was before her that Manafort entered into a plea agreement, which mandated his truthful and complete cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation, to which Manafort chose to not cooperate fully, but to actually lie to investigators and grand jurors.  I could argue that in so doing he was attempting to obstruct justice.

I can only hope that Judge Jackson corrects Judge Ellis’ lack of perspective and balance.  It is fair to expect that Jackson will sentence Manafort to an appropriate term of incarceration intended, not only to send a message to all those who would engage in the crimes in which Manafort engaged, but to give Manafort his just desserts.  Whether it amounts to a “life” sentence or not, anything less than 120 to 144 months would be a true miscarriage of justice, in light of the fact that those guilty of far less egregious behavior receive greater sentences than Manafort received from Ellis.

Cyber Florida Publishes Free Cybersecurity Guide

Cyber Florida is pleased to announce the launch of Cyber Defense for SMBs, a free resource for small and medium-sized businesses. This beginner’s guide introduces readers to the fundamentals of cybersecurity for business to help SMBs be better prepared to respond to, and recover from, cyberattacks. Cyber Defense for SMBs is available as a free digital download at https://www.cyberflorida.org/SMB.

“Small businesses are targeted by cybercriminals precisely because they are small,” remarked Cyber Florida Director Sri Sridharan. “Criminals know these businesses likely lack the financial resources necessary to employ state-of-the-art cyber defenses. Our goals with this guide are to help Florida’s small businesses avoid becoming victims of this troubling trend and if they are targeted, to help them be better prepared to recover and respond appropriately,” he said.

The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report stated that 58% of data breach victims in 2017 were categorized as small businesses. 

With input from experts in academia, private industry, government, and the military, this guide offers guidance to help SMBs identify the most cost-effective cybersecurity best practices for their business. Detailing some of the most important and urgent factors affecting cybersecurity, Cyber Defense for SMBs reviews the common threats SMBs are likely to encounter and industry-standard best practices for cyberattack prevention and mitigation, crisis management, and post-incident response.

In support of this effort, Cyber Florida has teamed up with the National Cyber Security Alliance to offer free workshops throughout the state of Florida that will provide SMB leaders with hands-on guidance. Workshops are planned for Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee during the first quarter of 2019. For more details and to register for a workshop, please visit https://www.cyberflorida.org/SMB. 

Accompanying this initiative is a resource-rich webpage, www.cyberflorida.org/SMB, that offers planning and assessment worksheets and links to other helpful organizations and resources. The webpage will be updated often with tips and articles to help SMB leaders stay abreast of best practices, as cybersecurity is a rapidly changing field. 

Cyber Florida Director Sri Sridharan is available for press interviews. To schedule an interview, please contact Kate Whitaker at the email or phone listed above. For all other inquiries or questions, visit the Cyber Florida website at www.cyberflorida.org.

Disclaimer:
Cyber Defense for SMBs is made available by the Florida Center for Cybersecurity for general educational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of obtaining competent legal advice from a licensed attorney and/or cybersecurity professional with the sufficient expertise necessary to address your organization’s specific needs. Use of this guide does not create any special or fiduciary relationship between you and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity or the University of South Florida.

About Cyber Florida: The Florida Center for Cybersecurity
The Florida Center for Cybersecurity (Cyber Florida) is a state-funded organization dedicated to positioning Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity through education and workforce development; innovative, interdisciplinary research; and community outreach. Hosted at the University of South Florida, Cyber Florida works with all 12 State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions as well as industry, government and defense to build partnerships and develop programs that grow and strengthen Florida’s cybersecurity industry.

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

Complaint Against Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Instagram

Just recently, Larry Klayman who is the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor, announced filing a class action lawsuit which alleges social media giants such as Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Instagram conspired by entering into an explicit or tacit agreement, in parallel to each other, to restrain trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. See Freedom Watch v. Google/YouTube et. al (Civil Action Number 18-cv-2030, U.S. District Court for District of Columbia).

Complaint alleges intent and effect of this agreement in restraint of trade is to quash and/or limit advocacy by conservatives and pro-Trump pubic interest groups, advocates, and others to further leftist anti-conservative agendas of these social media giants and help bring down the Trump presidency, nullifying the vote for the president by millions of citizens. These alleged illegal and anticompetitive actions are an integral part of the so-called “resistance” to remove President Trump and install a leftist government over the 50 states.

The class action complain can be found here.

The complaint is first of its kind in the wake of mourning proof that social media giants are illegally restricting free speech of conservatives, and promoting free speech from leftist sources such as CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others.

“Our inert and compromised Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unwilling to take strong action through his Antitrust Division as he has become the darling of the left given his refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, prominent Democrats and others who have allegedly committed crimes, while giving Robert Mueller carte blanche to proceed with his ‘witch hunt,” says Klayman.

“Freedom Watch seeks to right this discrimination against conservatives by social media giants. Our complaint asks for injunctive relief and over a billion dollars in damages, including punitive damages, pales in comparison to what the Commission of the European Union has already levied against such social media giants as Google for alleged ruthless tactics in stifling competition.”

For more information, contact daj142182@gmail.com: (4240 274-2579.

Media contact: Adrienne Mazzone

SOURCE: Freedom Watch

Donald Trump × a “March on Washington”

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), is calling on “all people of good will”, who are outraged by President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies, to join the SCLC at its 60th Annual Convention July 12 -15, 2018 in Washington, which will focus on the current conditions of global racism and poverty. Dr. Steele, who heads the organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., believes the people’s desire to send a strong message about immigration, poverty and other critical matters in the U.S. could lead to another massive March on Washington like the historic rally inspired by Dr. King nearly 55 years ago on August 28, 1963.

“We’re witnessing partisan political gamesmanship when we should be talking about protecting children,” said Dr. Steele regarding President Trump’s most recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has spark hundreds of demonstrations across the nation. “Separating children from their parents at the border is an abomination! This is a humanitarian disgrace.”

Dr. Steele, who has been actively involved with The Civil Rights Movement for more than 40 years, says he is hopeful that President Trump can find empathy for the thousands of immigrants affected by his policy.

“I recommend that the President considers the human aspect of this tragic situation and not merely the politics,” said Dr. Steele. “Immigrants are trying to get to America because they’re being terrorized in their own homes. They’re faced with daily violence, poor living conditions, and their human rights are being threatened every day.”

Dr. Steele, who is in Brazil examining the international concerns of poor people, added, “I will get a global perspective on the problems afflicting the poor and really highlight their concerns at this year’s conference.”

The 60th Annual Convention will also have a heavy focus on mobilizing large groups of people of color to “get out and vote”. There will be various workshops and panels on the power of voting.

“People are mad, people are moved, and people are fed up. It’s time to use this energy in a constructive manner,” said Dr. Steele, who believes if the people unify around another SCLC- inspired massive rally it can surpass the 250,000 who gathered in Washington in 1963.

The SCLC Convention will run from July 12 to 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C, 999 9th Street NW. For more information about the 60th Annual SCLC National Convention, please visit their website at nationalsclc.org.

ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.

Veteran US Diplomat Fears for Missing & Displaced Immigrant Children

Former U.S. Ambassador of Senegal Harriet L. Elam-Thomas, who currently sits on the advisory board of the University of Central Florida‘s The Center for the Study of Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery program, is concerned about the welfare of approximately 1,500 missing immigrant children, as well as the most recent group separated from their parents at the border.
As someone who has personally witnessed human trafficking, I know how crucial it is for us to police the police, says Elam-Thomas. What is the vetting process for those responsible for these children? Who is accountable for keeping track of them? There needs to be a thorough investigation into their safety, and the loopholes that make children vulnerable in a foreign country with no parent to protect them.
A Career Minister, with 42 years in the U.S. Department of Americas Foreign Service serving in France, Turkey, Greece and Africa, the former Ambassador is heartbroken by the inhumane treatment of immigrant families seeking asylum.
My heart is heavy, my soul is troubled and my faith in my country is being tested each and every day. Where is our conscience? Where is our sense of justice? Where are our morals? Where are we?
Historically, America has a different approach to non-Western or Eastern European refugees or laborers attempting to immigrate to the U.S. The Polish, Irish, Lithuanians, and other white immigrants had the privilege to acquire ambiguous last names and assimilate into society. Black, brown and yellow people cannot hide or become invisible.
Despite our frequent condemnations of other nations human rights violations, our history of human rights violations is not one for which we can be proud. A country that was founded on slavery, racism and unequal treatment of others is repeating the ugly history we would like to forget. I still remember images of children torn from their mothers’ arms and sold at the slave markets. The new Smithsonian Museum – The National Museum of African American History and Culture begins with that sobering history. Scores of people of all races visit there on a daily basis (8,000 per day). Sadly, our current Administration continues to be insensitive to the suffering of innocent children. I doubt the toddlers,orthose young teenagers seeking asylum with their parents, are members of M-13.
From 1942-1945, the U.S. Government instituted laws to intern Japanese citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese internment camps have come to be considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.
Until the presidents recent executive order, America was guilty, yet again, of manifesting the total opposite of the values that supposedly sets America apart from so many other governments. I cannot imagine being abroad and trying to explain the U.S. Government policy to foreign audiences this past month, or year.
Silence is consent. The unanimous outrage of so many citizens sparked change. We all must continue to use our voices and speak out against the atrocities happening on American soil.
Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas is Director of the University of Central Florida Diplomacy Program and author ofDiversifying Diplomacy: My Journey from Roxbury to Dakar.” Elam-Thomas’ stellar career with the U.S. Department of America’s Foreign Service spanned forty-two years, during which time President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
The retired Ambassador will be in New York City from
June 25-July 2, 2018, to launch an initiative titled,
“CIVILITY STRATEGIES: HEALING APPROACHES THAT UNITE PEOPLE AND STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY.

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT

“People with disabilities are entering the workforce in unprecedented numbers?” It’s worth looking at the reports that show how “no group has felt the benefits of accelerated economic growth more than Americans with a disability”

Indeed, people with disabilities experienced a four-fold increase in job opportunities last year – unprecedented growth

In states across the country, Governors are undertaking new efforts to expand job opportunities for all. For example, Gov.Edwards recently launched a task force focused on employment for Louisianans with disabilities. Gov. Walker just signed historic legislation that makes Wisconsin an Employment First and commits resources to expanding competitive, integrated employment. Remarkable progress and remarkable leadership.

During the Meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), our team and partner organizations spoke 1-on-1 with thirty-four different Governors. In each meeting we advocated for policies and practices that will expand economic opportunities. For several Governors, we had the chance to honor them with an award for their leadership and their continuing commitment to these issues.

At the end of the day, there are hundreds of self-advocates, community organizations and state leaders in a position to drive this change forward. Your involvement can move progress even faster! Expanding opportunities requires leaders across the public sector, the private sector and advocates to join forces and find solutions. First, check out where your state ranks and what challenges impact opportunities. You can also see what your state has done or is already doing to expand jobs for people with disabilities. We have written in-depth reports about what each of the 50 states is doing to advance opportunities for Americans with disabilities. image-2018-04-18 (1)

THE ECONOMIST x OPEN FUTURE

The Economist, a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, today announced “Open Future”, an editorially driven initiative (www.economist.com/openfuture) which aims to remake the case for The Economist’s founding principles of classical British liberalism which are being challenged from all sides in the current political climate of populism and authoritarianism.

“Although the world has changed dramatically since James Wilson founded The Economist to fight against the Corn Laws, the liberalism we have championed since 1843 is as important and relevant as ever,” said Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist.  “Yet the core tenets of that liberalism—faith in free markets and open societies—face greater resistance today than they have for many years. From globalization to free speech, basic elements of the liberal credo are assailed from right and left.”

Content for Open Future will be developed and organised around five themes: Open Society (diversity, and individual rights versus group rights); Open Borders (migration); Open Markets (trade, markets, taxes and welfare reform); Open Ideas (free speech); and Open Progress (the impact and regulation of technology). In addition to content from The Economist editorial staff, the Open Future hub will feature commentary from outside contributors, including from those with dissenting points of view.

The initiative launches with a debate between Larry Summers and Evan Smith about no-platforming and free speech at universities. Mr Summers is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and as the Director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. Evan Smith is a Research Fellow in history at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and is writing a book on the history of no-platforming.

A special report on the future of liberalism written by editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes will appear in the newspaper’s 175th anniversary edition dated September 15th. And on that Saturday, the newspaper will host the Open Future Festival, to be held simultaneously in Hong Kong, London and New York. There will also be an Open Future essay contest for young people; surveys and other data visualizations; podcasts; social-media programs and new video from Economist Films.