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1019: "#deletethebag"


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No Agenda Episode 1019 - "#deltethebag"

No Agenda Episode 1019 - "#deltethebag"

#deltethebag

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Credits

#deletethebag

Where The C Stands For

Executive Producers:

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Sir Cuss Media, Knight of Zootown, Missoula Montana

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Graham Scott

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Chris Remer -> Sir Cuss Media, Knight of Zootown, Missoula Montana

Robert Pinder -> Sir PinderNET of the Lucky 13

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FaceBag Analytica

Psy-ops propaganda goes mainstream.

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:03

A live "ops center" in a country SCL won't identify LONDON'--Over the past 24 hours, seven people have checked into hospitals here with telltale symptoms. Rashes, vomiting, high temperature, and cramps: the classic signs of smallpox. Once thought wiped out, the disease is back and threatening a pandemic of epic proportions.

The government faces a dilemma: It needs people to stay home, but if the news breaks, mass panic might ensue as people flee the city, carrying the virus with them.

A shadowy media firm steps in to help orchestrate a sophisticated campaign of mass deception. Rather than alert the public to the smallpox threat, the company sets up a high-tech "ops center" to convince the public that an accident at a chemical plant threatens London. As the fictitious toxic cloud approaches the city, TV news outlets are provided graphic visuals charting the path of the invisible toxins. Londoners stay indoors, glued to the telly, convinced that even a short walk into the streets could be fatal.

This scenario may sound like a rejected plot twist from a mediocre Bond flick, but one company is dead set on making this fantasy come to life.

Strategic Communication Laboratories, a small U.K. firm specializing in "influence operations" made a very public debut this week with a glitzy exhibit occupying prime real estate at Defense Systems & Equipment International, or DSEi, the United Kingdom's largest showcase for military technology. The main attraction was a full-scale mock-up of its ops center, running simulations ranging from natural disasters to political coups.

Just to the right of the ops center, a dark-suited man with a wireless microphone paces like a carnival barker, narrating the scenarios. Above him a screen flashes among scenes of disaster, while to his right, behind thick glass, workers sit attentively before banks of computer screens, busily scrolling through data. The play actors pause only to look up at a big board that flashes ominously between "hot spots" like North Korea and Congo.

While Londoners fret over fictitious toxins, the government works to contain the smallpox outbreak. The final result, according to SCL's calculations, is that only thousands perish, rather than the 10 million originally projected. Another success.

Of course, the idea of deluding an entire city seems, well, a bit like propaganda.

"If your definition of propaganda is framing communications to do something that's going to save lives, that's fine," says Mark Broughton, SCL's public affairs director. "That's not a word I would use for that."

Then again, it's hard to know exactly what else to call it. (Company literature describes SCL's niche specialties as "psychological warfare," "public diplomacy," and "influence operations.") The smallpox scenario plays out in excruciating detail how reporters would be tapped to receive disinformation, with TV and radio stations dedicated to around-the-clock coverage. Even the eventual disclosure is carefully scripted.

In another doomsday scenario, the company assists a newly democratic country in South Asia as it struggles with corrupt politicians and a rising insurgency that threatens to bubble over into bloody revolution. SCL steps in to assist the benevolent king of "Manpurea" to temporarily seize power.

Oh, wait, that sounds a lot like Nepal, where the monarchy earlier this year ousted a corrupt government to stave off a rising Maoist movement. The problem is, the SCL scenario also sounds a lot like using a private company to help overthrow a democratically elected government. Another problem, at least in Nepal, is that the king now shows few signs of returning to democracy.

The company, which describes itself as the first private-sector provider of psychological operations, has been around since 1993. But its previous work was limited to civil operations, and it now wants to expand to military customers.

If SCL weren't so earnest, it might actually seem to be mocking itself, or perhaps George Orwell. As the end of the smallpox scenario, dramatic music fades out to a taped message urging people to "embrace" strategic communications, which it describes as "the most powerful weapon in the world." And the company Web page offers some decidedly creepy asides. "The [ops center] can override all national radio and TV broadcasts in time of crisis," it says, alluding to work the company has done in an unspecified Asian country.

The government's use of deception in the service of national security is not new. During World War II, for example, Allied forces conducted a massive misinformation campaign, called Operation Fortitude, designed to hide plans for the Normandy invasion. More recent efforts have met with controversy, however. In 2002, the Pentagon shuttered its brand new Office of Strategic Influence after public outcry over its purported plans to spread deceptive information to the foreign press.

Government deception may even be justified in some cases, according to Michael Schrage, a senior adviser to the security-studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "If you tell the population that there's been a bio-warfare attack, hospital emergency rooms will be overwhelmed with people who sincerely believe they have all the symptoms and require immediate attention," Schrage says.

The problem, he adds, is that in a democracy, a large-scale ruse would work just once.

The U.S. government has generally sought to limit disinformation; some agencies'--such as the CIA'--are explicitly prohibited by law from misleading domestic press. And while the CIA is fond of concealment, it takes pride in the belief that truth is necessary for an open government, a sentiment chiseled into the agency's lobby.

A successful outcome means thousands, not millions, will die in a catastrophe What makes SCL's strategy so unusual is that it proposes to propagate its campaign domestically, at least some of the time, and rather than influence just opinion, it wants people to take a particular course of action. Is SCL simply hawking a flashier version of propaganda?

The spokesman's answer: "We save lives."

Yes, Broughton acknowledges, the ops center is not exactly giving the truth, but he adds, "Is it not worth giving an untruth for 48 hours to save x million people's lives? Sometimes the means to an end has to be recognized."

Who buys this stuff? Broughton declined to mention many specific clients, noting that disclosing SCL's involvement'--particularly in countries with a free and open media'--could make its campaigns less effective. However, he says that post-apartheid South Africa has employed SCL. So has the United Nations, he says.

The company's Web site is even vaguer, mentioning international organizations and foreign governments. A Google search produces only a handful of hits, mostly linked to the company's Web site. The company's work is based on something that even the spokesman admits you "won't find on the Web": the Behavioral Dynamics Institute, a virtual lab led by Professor Phil Taylor of Leeds University.

But the company, which is funded by private investors, is now taking on a higher profile, and visitors flocked to the flashy setup here at the show. "Basically, we're launching ourselves this week on the defense market and homeland security market at the same time," Broughton explained.

If SCL has its way, its vision of strategic communications'--which involves complex psychological and scientific data'--could be used to shape public response to tsunamis, epidemics, or even the next Hurricane Katrina.

Well aware that the company may face controversy, particularly with its push into the defense market, Broughton emphasizes the company's role in saving lives.

"It sounds altruistic," he said. "There is some altruism in it, but we also want to earn money."

Net Netrality

Tumblr Note on IRA

Dear sickenmcsluggets,

As part of our commitment to

transparency, we want you to know that we uncovered and terminated 84 accounts

linked to Internet Research Agency or IRA (a group closely tied to the the

Russian government) posing as members of the Tumblr community.

The IRA engages in electronic

disinformation and propaganda campaigns around the world using phony social

media accounts. When we uncovered these accounts, we notified law enforcement,

terminated the accounts, and deleted their original posts.

While investigating their

activity on Tumblr, we discovered that you either followed one of these

accounts linked to the IRA, or liked or reblogged one of their posts:

1-800-gloup

bellygangstaboo

cartnsncreal previously

known as: feelmydragonballs

destinyrush previously

known as: delightfullyghostlysong

gogomrbrown previously

known as: go-mrbrown, infectedv0ice, todd-la-death

honestlyyoungpersona

lagonegirl

mooseblogtimes

morningwoodz previously

known as: 5cubes, bangbangempire, empireofweird, gifemprireohh,

innerpicsempire, picsempire

sumchckn previously

known as: blondeinpolitics, blvckcommunity, classylgbthomie, hwuudoin,

politixblondie

thingstolovefor previously

known as: the-inner-mirror

You aren’t in trouble, and

don’t need to take any action if you don’t want to. We

deleted the accounts but decided to leave up any reblog chains so that you can

curate your own Tumblr to reflect your own personal views and perspectives.

Democracy requires

transparency and an informed electorate and we take our disclosure

responsibility very seriously. We’ll be aggressively watching for

disinformation campaigns in the future, take the appropriate action, and make

sure you know about it.

— Tumblr

Dutch referendum: Spy tapping powers 'rejected' - BBC News

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 11:35

Image copyright EPA Image caption The "no" vote is marginally ahead after an exit poll forecast a "yes" victory Voters in the Netherlands appear to have narrowly rejected new online data collection powers for intelligence agencies in a referendum.

With about 90% of votes counted, 48.8% have rejected the powers, with 47.3% in favour.

An exit poll by the national broadcaster had earlier suggested a victory for "yes".

Supporters say the powers could help fight terrorism, while opponents say the law could be invasion of privacy.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte promised to take the vote seriously. Although the result is non-binding a no-vote would need to be taken into account by the government.

What are the Dutch voting on?The Netherlands put to a referendum new legislation, officially the Intelligence and Security Law.

The bill gives new powers to the Netherlands' intelligence services.

They would be able to install wire taps on whole areas, rather than just individuals, store information for up to three years and share this data with other spy agencies.

An independent panel would have to approve these wire taps before they could go ahead.

Both the lower and upper chambers of the Netherlands parliament passed the law last year, but a "no" vote would force them to re-debate it.

The referendum coincided with municipal elections around the country.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption PM Mark Rutte has said the powers will protect the country from terrorism Why the controversy?From its introduction, opposition politicians, legal experts, civil rights organisations and journalists have come out against it.

There are complaints the powers go too far, could be a violation of privacy and do not have enough oversight.

A lawsuit is reportedly in progress claiming the new powers break human rights laws, while Amnesty International has condemned the law in its annual report on the country.

But Mr Rutte has insisted the spy agencies need these new powers to help fight terrorism.

"It's not that our country is unsafe, it's that this law will make it safer," he said.

Intelligence services head Rob Bertholee said: "This law is for the safety of the Netherlands and for the Dutch people... I am voting in favour."

The CLOUD Act: A Welcome Legislative Fix for Cross-Border Data Problems - Lawfare

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:21

Lawfare readers are familiar with the perennial regulatory challenge of determining which country's law enforcement agents ought to be able to access internet data stored in the cloud. This is a considerable problem in two distinct contexts: (1) American law enforcement officers seeking access to data held abroad and (2) law enforcement officers around the world seeking access to data held by American firms. The Stored Communications Act (SCA) is problematic in both cases, because it does not specify whether it allows the American government to compel U.S. providers to produce content they have chosen to store abroad (the first problem), and it has been interpreted to prohibit American firms from complying with foreign government requests for user content (the second problem). The first issue has percolated through the U.S. courts for the last few years, and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in United States v. Microsoft, or the ''Microsoft-Ireland'' case, on Feb. 27. In that case, the court must decide whether a warrant issued under the SCA can compel Microsoft to produce emails that it stores in an Irish data center.

On Tuesday, Sens. Orrin Hatch, Christopher Coons, Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse announced a bill that could address both problems at once and even moot the Microsoft-Ireland case. If passed into law, the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act of 2018 would accomplish two things: It would specify that an order under the SCA applies to all data that is in the ''possession, custody, or control'' of the provider, regardless of where that data is stored, and it would pave the way for executive agreements'--such as the contemplated U.S.-U.K. agreement'--to allow foreign governments to request content directly from American providers.

The Microsoft-Ireland Fix: U.S. Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad

The bill proposes amending the SCA by adding a section, 18 U.S.C. §2713:

A provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service shall comply with the obligations of this chapter to preserve, backup, or disclose the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information pertaining to a customer or subscriber within such provider's possession, custody, or control, regardless of whether such communication, record, or other information is located within or outside of the United States.' (Emphasis added.)

This provision reflects the Justice Department's position in the Microsoft Ireland case and would, if adopted, likely make that case moot. In other words, it codifies the so-called ''Bank of Nova Scotia standard'''--the standard, developed in United States v. Bank of Nova Scotia and a related line of cases, that allows for subpoenas to compel a bank to bring foreign-held records into the U.S. as long as those records are in the ''possession, custody or control'' of the bank. This will likely be decried as an exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction, but it is entirely consistent with longstanding notions of state authority to legislate in areas that have domestic effects, or notions of jurisdiction that are grounded in both domestic and international law.

Moreover, a number of safeguards are built into the bill. The bill creates a mechanism whereby providers can apply for a motion to quash or modify legal process if the provider reasonably believes the subscriber is not a U.S. person and that the required disclosure would create a material risk that the provider would violate the laws of a qualifying foreign government. It also requires a court to conduct a comity analysis in the event of such a motion to quash, which may alleviate foreign government concerns about sovereign interests. It is not clear why this comity provision is in the statute except as a symbolic gesture; courts were already free under the common law to conduct a comity analysis in thinking through whether to issue an order with extraterritorial impact. Its presence in the statute is perhaps a reminder that trust and mutual respect play an important role in these cross-border matters.

The idea is that if a provider is in the U.S., it should comply with the SCA, regardless of whether it chooses to offshore its data. The bill also provides a precedent for the reverse to be true: If an American provider is in a foreign market, in many instances (subject to comity principles) the provider ought to comply with local law, and law enforcement in that market ought to be able to compel the provider to respond to lawful requests.

Foreign Law Enforcement Requests to U.S. Providers (The U.S.-U.K. Agreement)

The other and perhaps more significant piece of the bill is that for certain nations the bill removes a number of blocking features'--those provisions of American law that prevent American providers from complying with lawful foreign law enforcement requests, which are the sources of enormous frustration for American providers and foreign law enforcement alike. The bill amends multiple parts of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) related to stored records, wiretaps, and pen/trap access, to allow providers to permit disclosures to certain foreign governments'--but only those that have struck executive agreements with the U.S. of the sort contemplated between the U.S. and U.K.

Those agreements are not available to every country'--only to those that meet a stringent set of requirements. The president can strike such an agreement with a country only ''if the Attorney General, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State,'' determines that:

(1) The country has ''robust substantive and procedural protections for privacy and civil liberties in light of the data collection and activities of the foreign government that will be subject to the agreement'' (to be determined by reference to a laundry list of human rights and rule of law standards);

(2) The foreign government has adopted minimization procedures regarding information concerning US persons; and

(3) The agreement has protections to prevent the foreign government from targeting or collecting information about US persons or persons located in the US, and to prevent the US government from requesting the foreign government to use the agreement as a runaround on current restrictions on data collection.

Foreign government orders issued under the agreement must relate only to serious crimes, including terrorism, and must meet a number of requirements. Orders must provide a ''reasonable justification based on articulable and credible facts, particularity, legality, and severity regarding the conduct under investigation;'' they must be ''subject to review or oversight by a court, judge, magistrate or other independent authority;'' they cannot be used ''to infringe freedom of speech;'' and more.

This approach'--with a stringent set of requirements'--provides a way to address the globalization of criminal evidence that is similar to how nations addressed the globalization of travel in the 1980s. At that time, the U.S. created the ''visa waiver program'' so that countries with stringent standards would permit citizens of the other countries to enter without the need for a visa interview. Now that evidence for criminal cases so often is housed in other countries, this ''ECPA waiver program'' would allow streamlined access to criminal data for the countries that meet the strict standards.

A Very Good Start

This bill does not resolve the cross-border data problem, but it is good start. Privacy and human rights groups will argue that the bill offers insufficient protections for foreign-held data. If you compare the due process protections in this bill with those provided under the Fourth Amendment, it is likely less privacy-protective'--meaning that foreign governments will get access to more information than they do currently. But that is not the right comparison. We are heading towards a world in which a growing number of foreign governments force providers to store data locally in order to comply with local orders, regardless of whatever strictures apply under U.S. law. As compared to that world, this bill'--which might forestall or prevent localization efforts'--offers privacy advocates quite a lot.

Perhaps a bigger concern is what happens if the bill passes and the president uses it to negotiate an agreement with the U.K. but no one else. This would leave some of the world's biggest markets, such as India and Brazil, in the cold and would incentivize them to mandate localization. That is a problem inherent to any attempt to address this issue bilaterally rather than by simply amending SCA to not apply to U.S. providers abroad (as Woods argued in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last year). One promising way to expand the ''club'' of countries that qualify could be to permit the executive agreements to apply to specific offices or agencies of a nation, rather than any criminal request from that nation. Swire and Deven Desai have suggested that approach forIndia, where requests from an office such as a specialized cybercrime bureau might qualify for the streamlined approach.

The challenges of the globalization of criminal evidence will not be solved by any one bill. Still, for a problem that has seen too little movement for too long, this represents a very compelling start.

War on Guns

The machine only knows how to make stars and then take them down child abuse as usual

Let us Remember the injustice BSO did to all the kids with their no reporting policy

Political Child Abuse

Freddie Mac texts

Hi Adam,

I wanted to send you the past week's texts from Freddie that

encourage students to participate in March for our Lives protest today. Our

family was encouraged to give our student's cell phone information so that they

could get financial aid offers for student loans and scholarships from what

they thought was related to their FAFSA application and with Freddie Mac or

Fannie Mae, only to discover they signed up with "Freddie" a real

human being who is marketing for DoSomething.org, which is a social organization

that directs students to do various protests and community activities to 'win'

scholarships by using their social media accounts or inviting their friends to

protest.

I want to share with you what they are directing the folks

who opted in for a chance to get a scholarship this week:

Tuesday, March 20, 5:28 pm

"Hi it's Freddie again! Just 4 more days until the

March for Our Lives, I'll be attending the NYC march with the DoSomething staff

and friends. Who will you march with?

Click here to find a march near you and tag a friend you

want to invite: https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/do-something-about-gun-violence/blocks/4grHyJPp60wecqmkOCG8UY?id+58ba9c3ea0bfad659b6b482d

"

Wednesday, March 21, 2:10pm

"Freddie here! Want to make a big impact at the

march on Saturday? Get as many people registered to vote! Imagine if all the

people who turn out at the march also show up at the polls.

We need your help on the ground. Click here for easy tips

and tools to register people vote at the march: https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/do-something-about-gun-violence/blocks/3R07b5fBiQaY86eA2WUwiw+58ba9c3ea0bfad659b6b482d "

Then they realized that the wrong link was sent and texted

at 2:21pm

"Whoops, I sent you the wrong link! Try this: https://www.dosomething.orgus/campaigns/do-something-about-gun-violence/blocks/3R07b5fBIQaY86eA2WUwiw?id+58ba9C3ea0bfad659b6b6b482d

Friday, March 23, 4:57pm

"Hi it's Freddie again! The march is tomorrow! I'm so

excaited to come out in support of students everywhere. we're having a sign

making party at the Dosomething office tonight.

Are you making signs of your own? Text START to share photos

of the signs you make - we'll be sharing our favorites on social."

Saturday, March 24, 8:09am

A photo of adults and students protesting is sent. The

participants are holding various signs that have the following messages:

Orlando shooting victims listed on a board, Black Lives Matter signs and signs

that are anti-NRA. Many are wearing 'Do Something' hats and t-shirts.

"Hi it's Freddie! I'm texting you from the March For

Our Lives sibling march in NYC. There are so many people here! show us what's

happening at marches in your city or town today. Text START to send back photos

of your at the march to share with the Dosomething community. We'llshare our

favs on social."

Here is one of the scholarshp posts that they offer:

http://blog.nextstepu.com/dosomething-org-march-scholarships-1-create-recycling-bin-to-reduce-waste-2-share-digital-guide-to-help-save-lives/

There was no other indicator stating that when the girls

used my phone number to sign up for FAFSA loan information that Freddie was

related to DoSomething.org. We were under the impression it was Freddie Mac or

Fannie Mae information for student loans that were associated with their FAFSA

information.

DoSomething has been very deceptive in gaining information

to promote their own agenda for the chance to win a scholarship. And I am

impressed how they are still permitted to collect young people's data in a

manner that is not immediately transparent.

Freddie is not Freddie Mac, he is Freddie from

DoSomething.org, but that doesn't stop students and parents from being confused

by their messaging regarding aid. It is diabolical how DoSomething.org was not

transparent when we reviewed information that came along with the Free

Application for Federal Student Aid.

I dug a little deeper into how they have developed their

message to be intermixed with offering college aid for volunteer community

protesting. Please review this when you have a moment: https://www.dosomething.org/sites/default/files/blog/2012-Web-Singleview_0.pdf

One exerpt I will highlight though:

"WORRIES For high school students who volunteer, their

worries for the future are all about college: getting in, doing well, and most

importantly, paying for it. That’s right: more young people worry about paying

for college than getting into college. High school students also ranked paying

for college as a bigger worry than getting a good job, having enough money, the

health of the environment, crime rates in their neighborhood, their personal

health, or dying. (Hint: for adults and organizations looking to engage young

people, incentives related to college are a strong option.)

Offer the Right Incentives: High school (and college)

students are worried about paying for school. So when offering incentives to

volunteer, don’t always turn to free t-shirts. Consider scholarships. (E.g.,

everyone who volunteers is entered into a raffle for a scholarship.)"

And this is how we were duped into thinking that applying

with them would be a valid scholarship offer.

All the best,

Lorraine

David Hogg: "Our Parents Don't Know How To Use A F*cking Democracy, So We Have To" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 11:32

The Outline interviewed David Hogg, a 17-year old survivor of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, who says he is the NRA's "worst nightmare." Hogg's interview was laced with profanity against his detractors, Gov. Rick Scott, the NRA, old people and others.

Watch the march live

Hogg said he became an activist because adults don't know how to "use a f*cking democracy":

"When your old-ass parent is like, 'I don't know how to send an iMessage,' and you're just like, 'Give me the fucking phone and let me handle it.' Sadly, that's what we have to do with our government; our parents don't know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to."

An edited down version of this clip was removed by YouTube as harrassment after it was linked by the Drudge Report.

"I'm beyond exhausted," Hogg said. "I get to a certain point where I just get so tired that I keep going. It creates a positive feedback loop in some ways '-- the more stress and work I put on me, the more stress and work I can deal with."

"It just makes me think what sick fuckers out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children, and honestly just get reelected," Hogg said. "What type of shitty person does that? They could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn't take action, because they all still see these dollar signs."

"Honestly, it's alright that people are buying more guns. I just care that they are being safe individuals. And they can practice their Second Amendment rights all they want. I don't give a f*ck about that. I just want to make sure that a crazy-ass individual doesn't get an AR-15 or any weapon at all," Hogg said about guns.

To Florida Gov. Rick Scott: "You're kind of like Voldemort at this point. You should just retire, because you aren't going to get elected to Senate."

To Sen. Marco Rubio: "What about the $176,000 you took for those 17 people's blood?"

F-Russia

Guccifer 2.0 unmasking makes it a lot harder for Trump to deny collusion '' VICE News

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 12:30

The hacker who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee was identified Thursday as a member of Russia's elite GRU intelligence agency, according to a Daily Beast report.

Known as Guccifer 2.0, the hacker claimed he was from Romania and had no connection to the Kremlin when he passed DNC emails to WikiLeaks months before the 2016 election.

But a single slip-up, when he failed to activate his VPN client before logging on, left an IP address on a server in France, which U.S. investigators traced back to the GRU's headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street, Moscow.

Officials have reportedly identified the particular GRU officer who is responsible, but the Daily Beast's sources didn't name them.

The sources did say the U.S. investigation into Guccifer 2.0 had been taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller, a move sure to rattle Trump campaign staff.

The hacker who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee was identified Thursday as a member of Russia's elite GRU intelligence agency, according to a Daily Beast report.

Known as Guccifer 2.0, the hacker claimed he was from Romania and had no connection to the Kremlin when he passed DNC emails to WikiLeaks months before the 2016 election.

But a single slip-up, when he failed to activate his VPN client before logging on, left an IP address on a server in France, which U.S. investigators traced back to the GRU's headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street, Moscow.

Officials have reportedly identified the particular GRU officer who is responsible, but the Daily Beast's sources didn't name them.

The sources did say the U.S. investigation into Guccifer 2.0 had been taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller, a move sure to rattle Trump campaign staff.

That Russia interfered in the U.S. election is widely accepted, and there is growing evidence that some members of Trump's campaign team had contact with people linked to the Kremlin ahead of the vote. However, confirmation of the long-held suspicion of U.S. intelligence officials that Guccifer 2.0 is a Russian spy brings the notion of collusion into sharper relief.

Trump and his allies have consistently disputed the claim that Moscow was behind the DNC hack, particularly Roger Stone, a member of Trump's inner circle, who claimed to be in contact with the hacker during the campaign. Stone even released chat messages he exchanged with Guccifer 2.0 last year, in an attempt to debunk claims of a Kremlin link.

Stone was already reportedly in Mueller's crosshairs before it came to light Thursday that he was admittedly in contact with a Russian intelligence agent during the campaign.

On Friday morning, Trump again tweeted a denial of collusion between Russia and his campaign:

Earlier this month Mueller signaled his intention to go after Moscow's agents when he charged 13 Russians tied to the Internet Research Agency, known as the ''Troll Factory,'' with a conspiracy ''for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.''

Cover image: President Donald Trump holds a working lunch with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

'Guccifer' calls Fox from Romania, says he shouldn't be sent back to U.S. | Fox News

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:41

EXCLUSIVE - Guccifer, the Romanian hacker who first revealed to the world that Hillary Clinton used a non-secure private email address while serving as secretary of state, has reached out to Fox News from behind prison bars in Arad, Romania to argue that he shouldn't be sent back to the U.S. to serve another jail sentence.

Marcel Lehel Lazar, 45, known by his famous moniker "Guccifer," told Fox he wants to stay in a Romanian prison and not be returned to America to serve his 52-month sentence for U.S. computer hacking crimes involving unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft.

Lazar made a series of calls to Fox Senior Executive Producer Pamela Browne from the prison where he is finishing his seven-year sentence for hacking crimes committed in his native country. After giving permission to be recorded by Fox, Lazar said he has an upcoming mid-August court hearing in Timisoara, the third largest city in western Romania, and will ask judiciary authorities to allow him to serve his U.S. and Romanian sentences concurrently in his country.

His wife and family live near the prison.

Lazar does not deny he hacked over 100 Americans, including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and members of the Bush family using Russian proxy servers because they were ''the fastest.''

In the midst of the highly contentious U.S. presidential campaign, on March 31, 2016, Lazar was extradited to the U.S. from his Romanian cell. Meanwhile, the FBI was pursuing its criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a non-secure private server and multiple non-government issued devices while she served as secretary of state. The timing for Lazar's extradition remains striking in the overlap of the cases.

Indeed, the summer of 2016 was a 'summer of hacking' and to this day, Guccifer's hacking remains at the epicenter.

After he pled guilty to two of the nine counts against him, Lazar was sentenced on September 1, 2016 to 52 months by U. S. District Court Judge James C. Cacheris, who noted that Lazar was cooperative with U.S. government officials, including the FBI. Still, the judge imposed a harsh sentence, citing escalated cyberattacks against Americans, the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and other revelations by WikiLeaks.

During Lazar's sentencing, Cacheris specifically noted that Romanian prison conditions are much "worse" than in the U.S.

In his wide-ranging new interview, Lazar weighed in on several current events, including a bombshell claim as to why he believes the hackers behind "Guccifer 2.0," who claimed to have hacked into the DNC computer network, are not "the Russians" but instead the "U.S. government." Lazar told Fox the idea came from one his handlers assigned to the State Department during his extradition plane ride to the U.S. in spring 2016.

''Ok, so now, now I think that it is maybe Guccifer two-zero, the State Department, or this guy from the State Department, who is handling my case,'' he said. ''I think it was more like they were planning this. I mean they, this guy from the State Department.''

''So I think Guccifer two-zero is an inside job,'' Lazar added. ''I think Guccifer two-zero is something made from some guys at the State Department. Some guys from the cyber command of the NSA, and some guys from the Vault, Vault 7 of the CIA. So there are these guys, you know Pam, I'm in this business for sort of 15 years now, this is my take on this whole. They were setting up something of Guccifer two-zero. Because the State Department guy was asking me, 'What is your opinion,' or something like this, 'what do you say if another Guccifer is showing up?'

''And I said, 'You know something, I expect that not one, but one hundred Guccifers will show up.'''

Lazar has made repeated claims to Fox News that he had successfully breached Clinton's private server. In May 2016, he made the same claims to NBC News. Today, Lazar still adamantly maintains that he breached Clinton's server in Chappaqua, New York despite a denial by former FBI Director James Comey. In a House hearing on July 7, 2016, Comey, responded to a question from Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, that Lazar lied about hacking into Clinton's server. Comey said, "He did not. He admitted that was a lie," but added: "We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account."

The FBI's files on the case showed that Clinton's private server was targeted immediately after "IP addresses from Russia and Ukraine attempted to scan the server on March 15, 2013, the day after the Blumenthal compromise, and on March 19 and March 21, 2013."

According to Lazar's highly redacted FBI 302 witness summary, reviewed by Fox News, Lazar hacked Blumenthal in March 2013. He said it only took him 20 minutes to get inside Blumenthal's AOL account. Once inside, "Lazar recalled that Blumenthal's account contained approximately 30,000 emails, which took him approximately six to seven hours to sort and review. Lazar downloaded approximately 25 attachments that were contained in the emails, including memorandums and briefing documents. He recalled that some of those attachments were official memos between Blumenthal and Clinton. Additionally, Lazar took screenshots of other items in the account that he deemed to be of interest. Lazar recalled taking a screenshot of an email that contained information related to the Benghazi incident." On Page 32 Lazar noted, "One of the screenshots captured a list of 19 foreign policy and intelligence memos authored by Blumenthal for Clinton."

It was Lazar's 2013 compromise of Blumenthal's email accounts that sent Clinton's aides into a frenzy of reaction, hammering non-secure Blackberrys. Blumenthal, although not listed by name, was Victim No. 5 in the (Plea Agreement) federal court proceedings against Lazar. The hacking of Blumenthal's account, although not listed by name, was part of Lazar's criminal conviction.

In a controversial July 2016 press conference, the former FBI Director declared that Hillary Clinton and her colleagues were ''extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information'' and had sent seven e-mail chains which concerned ''matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received.'' However, Comey said that Clinton's email practices were not criminal.

Lazar also offered Fox a new theory that Clinton's server was compromised as early as 2012 by multiple countries.

''Look, about the server in Chappaqua, in New York state,'' he said. ''That server was scanned well before me. It was scanned 2012, from IP numbers in Serbia, Belgrade, it was scanned again in 2013 from IPs in Ukraine and Russia. The point is, somebody had mirrored, had copied, mirrored the whole server of Hillary Clinton, the question is how many countries. One, two or three? At one point, it was the whole server. I just think, I'm sure some people, I can say some people, I'm sure some people have the server contents.''

''It's not the case that it was or it was not mirrored, her server,'' he said. ''The case is how many people did this. How many countries?

Asked if he thought there had been at least three intrusions between 2012 and 2013, Lazar replied, ''Yeah. Yeah. In 2012, it was, there were from Serbia, in '13, they were from Ukraine and Russia. I mean this is information from all sources.''

Morgan Wright, cybersecurity analyst and senior fellow at the Center for Digital Government, told Fox News, "There is nothing inconsistent about Lazar's statement, given the facts that Mrs. Clinton had a third rate homebrew setup while serving as secretary of state." As a security expert, he added, 'I would have expected it. Mrs. Clinton visited hostile countries with her unsecure devices--including Blackberrys and iPads--and her communications would have been targeted by foreign intelligence agencies."

Fox News spoke to both Romanian and U.S. authorities associated with Lazar's case and upcoming August court hearing. No one would comment on the record, with a State Department spokesman saying to contact the FBI, who declined to comment as did a spokesman for the Eastern District Department of Justice.

Fox was told by multiple sources that there are still outstanding legal matters in Lazar's case.

Recently returning from Romania, Father Chris Terhes, a dual Romanian and American citizen and president of the Romanian Community Coalition in California, said, "Marcel Lazar's attorney contacted us to look into his case."

Terhes was referring to the nearly six months Lazar was held at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention center in Alexandria, Virginia after his 2016 extradition to the U.S.

He told Fox in email and phone conversations that "Romania refuses to acknowledge the sentence he (Lazar) received in the United States, which is violating his rights and the law. As far as the pretrial detention time he spent in a U.S....this period of time is not acknowledged by either the U.S. or Romania, so he has to serve this time again, which is absurd."

Referring to the Romanian justice system, he added, "what we saw in his (Lazar's) court case in Romania is another proof of how the rights and the law means nothing to many Romanian judges."

Meanwhile, in the U.S. as Special Counsel Robert Mueller expands his investigation into possible ties between President Trump's campaign and Russia, Lazar still remains the only person behind bars who has been connected to the Clinton email affair. Lazar does not believe a Russian connection will be found because, "the Russians are more skillful than this, to let the tracks saved in the documents point to them. So, this is made by the other guys who want to put and point to the Russians."

And as for how President Donald Trump is doing? "People don't give him enough credit...understand-- the guy is not a politician, but he wants the good of his country. Ok."

Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine ''Fox Files'' and later, ''War Stories.''

Cyd Upson is a Senior Producer at FOX News.

ISIS

Prince Harry sprayed Taliban with bullets while rescuing US soldiers | Daily Mail Online

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:48

Prince Harry blew Taliban extremists to pieces in a helicopter rescue mission while he was serving in Afghanistan.

The royal's role in saving US soldiers after they were ambushed was revealed in a new biography detailing his time in the Army.

He co-piloted an Apache as it flew in to rescue injured servicemen who were then airlifted to safety in 2012.

The prince is pictured on an Apachi, the kind of helicopter he co-piloted to save US servicemen and spray the Taliban with bullets

The prince is understood to have sprayed the fundamentalist forces with bullets, allowing the soldiers to escape, The Sun reports.

One of those rescued was Christopher 'Tripp' Zanetis, whose 73-year-old father John said: 'Prince Harry came in with his protection squadron and blew the enemy to pieces.'

His 63-year-old mother Sarah, from Indiana, added: 'They provided enough cover for Tripp to get his men loaded on the helicopter. I believe there were Taliban members killed.'

The royal served two tours in Afghanistan, where he helped rescue soldiers in a mission revealed in a new biography

Harry - who was stationed at Helmand Province's Camp Bastion at the time - said 'see you at New Year's' to the soldiers when they were saved.

Tripp was killed aged 37 on Thursday when his helicopter hit a power line and crashed at the border between Iraq and Syria, killing seven.

His mother described her son as 'remarkable' and said that although he did not talk about his service a lot, he did talk about Prince Harry's rescue after he had dinner with the royal.

Called Captain Harry Wales by fellow servicemen, the 33-year-old completed two tours of Afghanistan, from 2007 to 2008 and then 2012 to 2013.

Tripp (pictured, left) was killed on Thursday along the Iraq Syria border. He was rescued by Prince Harry (pictured during his service, right) in 2012

He has talked previously of killing Islamic extremists while he was serving in his second tour, saying: 'Take a life to save a life. The squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount.'

Deployed with the Household Cavalry in 2007, he was first employed as a forward air controller watching out for heat signatures that would give away the positions of enemy fighters.

His surveillance led to a Taliban bunker being destroyed as Allied forces dropped a 500 lb bomb on the base.

Omnibus

White House: Congress only paid for 33 miles of new border barriers | Daily Mail Online

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:46

White House officials said Thursday that President Donald Trump will sign a hotly contested budget bill when lawmakers send it to him, despite the fact that it provides for only 33 miles of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump vowed in April 2017 that his long-promised border wall would be finished by the end of his first term in office.

'It's certainly going to '' yeah,' he told reporters then, answering a specific question about a four-year timeline and adding that 'we have plenty of time.'

But at the rate the White House has agreed to, the project could stretch through more than two administrations.

President Donald Trump promised to build a border wall in his first term to separate the U.S. from Mexico, but the latest congressional budget sets a pace that would take more than a decade to complete it

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that the six-month budget includes money for 110 miles of walls and fencing but just 33 miles of that will go up in places that don't already have them

More than half of the 110 funded miles '' 63 in all '' will look like this section, with replacement 'bollard walls' going up so weaker fencing can be torn down

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Thursday in a hastily assembled briefing that Capitol Hill inertia is to blame.

'If Congress would give us the money to do this, we would do it now,' he told DailyMail.com.

His team and that of Legislative Director Marc Short have secured funding for 110 miles of border barriers costing a sliver of the $1.3 trillion spending bill set to finish its path through Congress later in the day.

Including new roads, Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps assets, technological improvements, facilities, border patrol vehicles, boats, weapons and new personnel, he total package will consumer $1.6 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Some estimates put funding for border barriers in Thursday's spending bill at just $600 million of that

Trump has said he would only need to build between 700 and 900 miles of walls to secure the border; more than half of the 1,954 miles is lined by 'natural barriers' like mountains and rivers

The president made a show last week of visiting border wall prototypes in San Diego last week, but it's unclear if or when they'll ever be included in actual construction

Hundreds of miles of U.S.-Mexico border, like this area in southern Arizona, are completely unprotected

Those plans include only 33 miles of fencing and levee walls where there are currently no barriers. The rest consists of replacements for deteriorating structures and 'secondary' walls running parallel with existing ones.

The president agreed during his campaign that the entire 1,954 miles of U.S.-Mexico border doesn't need physical protection from illegal immigration and the drug trade.

He said last year aboard Air Force One on his way to Paris for a Bastille Day celebration that between 700 and 900 miles would be sufficient because the rest is blocked by 'natural barriers' including mountains and 'rivers that are violent and vicious.'

Ordinary fencing already stretches along 650 miles of the border. An administration official said this week that a stronger wall 'would have to be replacing all of that.'

The appropriations bill that Mulvaney said will get a presidential signature only covers about six months '' until the end of the government's fiscal year on September 30.

This fencing is all that separates Mexico from 'El Norte' in some parts of Arizona

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short (left) told reporters Thursday that his office is already pressing for more wall funding in 2019

At the rate of 33 miles per half-year, it would take the federal government between 10-1/2 and 13-1/2 years to complete the project, depending on the exact mileage targeted.

'Did we get everything we wanted when it comes to immigration? Absolutely not,' Mulvaney said.

Short emphasized that the administration is already preparing to go to battle over next year's budget, suggesting that Thursday's six-month deal is only a taste of what's to come.

'We're already halfway through this fiscal year,' he told DailyMail.com, adding that the White House has 'already submitted budgets for 2019.'

'We certainly continue to ask for additional funding to continue the wall throughout this year,' he said. 'This is for six months because Congress has been unable to complete the appropriations process.'

CLOUD ACT

Shut Up Slave!

Airlines Conquer Challenges of Long-Haul Flights. Now Can Passengers? - WSJ

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 12:18

LONDON'--Qantas Airways Ltd. is inaugurating one of the world's longest commercial flights on Sunday'--a roughly 17-hour journey between Perth, Australia, and London that adds another really long flight to a growing roster of them.

To help passengers start adjusting to the new time zone, Qantas is

rescheduling food service at the start of the journey to synchronize more

closely with meal times at the destination. It has bolstered the onboard menu

with lighter meal options such as a tuna poke salad bowl, a bespoke herbal tea to

encourage relaxation and a bedtime hot-chocolate drink containing Tryptophan,

an amino acid credited with helping to induce sleep.

Hate Trumps Love

Karen McDougal - Wikipedia

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 01:13

Karen McDougal (born March 23, 1971) is an American model and actress. She is known for her appearances in Playboy magazine as Playmate of the Month for December 1997[1] and Playmate of the Year of 1998.[3] In 2001, the readers of Playboy voted McDougal the runner-up of "The sexiest Playmate of the 1990s".[4]

McDougal taught pre-kindergarten before winning a swimwear competition that launched her career as a glamor, promotional, and swimsuit model. Since her appearances in Playboy, she has extended her career into a wide variety of appearances in mainstream media, including other magazine modeling, television commercials, and minor acting, with mixed success. She has been a successful fitness model, with multiple magazine appearances including being the first woman to appear on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine. She starred in The Arena, a direct-to-video film, and inspired the creation of a fantasy artstatuette and a doll.

McDougal is a fitness enthusiast, having since childhood engaged in ballet study and high school sports. She is an avid motorcycle and car collector. Since her Playmate days, she has maintained a largely private social life. The revelation of an alleged affair with Donald Trump from 2006-07 has put her into national headlines before and after the 2016 United States presidential election.

Although her Playmate datasheet stated she was born in Gary, Indiana, McDougal was actually born in Merrillville, Indiana, near Gary.[2] She is of Cherokee Indian, Scottish and Irish descent.[1] McDougal is the first daughter in the family, with 3 older brothers, Bob, Dave and Jeff, and a younger sister, Tina. Her mother, Carol,[5] remarried when McDougal was 9 years old and the family moved to Sawyer, Michigan[6] where she remained until college.

McDougal studied tap dance and ballet as a child. Her childhood dream, prior to teaching and modeling, was to become a ballerina.[1] She attended River Valley High School[6] and became a cheerleader, band member, color guard, volleyball and softball player, as well as Michigan state champion clarinet player for 4 years in a row in high school.[4] Her high school nickname was "Barbie" due to her wholesome sweetness.[1] After graduating high school in 1989,[7] she attended Ferris State University at Big Rapids, Michigan, majoring in Elementary Education.[6]

After 2 years of college, McDougal moved to a Detroit suburb where she taught pre-kindergarten, before being persuaded to try out for a swimsuit competition.[6] One of her professional goals has always been to open a learning center for children,[1] but she has put those plans on hold to focus on pursuing roles in acting and modelling.[7]

Playboy Edit In 1997, McDougal tried out and won her local Venus Swimwearswimsuit competition in Michigan, earning her place at the international final in Florida. Her victory caught the eye of Playboy photographer David Mecey.[4] Soon after that she was approached by Playboy for a test shoot at Playboy Studio West which she accepted.[6] Upon completing her test shoot, she was promptly selected to return for a complete photo and video shoot and chosen as Miss December 1997.[4] Her pictorial, which was shot by photographersRichard Fegley and Stephen Wayda, has a winter theme[1] and its outdoor portion was shot in the snowy fields near Park City, Utah.[8] Her video, the "Playmate Profile", was featured on Playboy TV soon after her magazine debut.[2]

In May 1998, she was announced to have been chosen by Hugh Hefner and fans as Playmate of the Year (PMOY) of 1998 at a luncheon at the Playboy Mansion.[9] As her reward, she was awarded $100,000 and a special edition silver Shelby Series 1 convertible with a customized Michigan license plate "PMOY 98".[3] McDougal's PMOY pictorial was featured in the July 1998 issue of Playboy where she also appeared on its cover.[10] In contrast to her Playmate pictorial, her PMOY pictorial has a tropical theme and its outdoor portion was shot at Saint Lucia.[3] According to her interview in her Playmate of the Year "Video Centerfold" which was released soon after her PMOY issue debuted, she believes her physical imperfections are her "funny" smile, her crooked pinkies which she inherited from her grandfather and her "ugly feet" which she wishes others would not look at.[5] Because of the popularity of the VH1television series "Pop-up Video" at the time, one of the segments in her PMOY video was done as a Pop-up Video parody filled with factoids about her and Playboy.[5] During her appearance on The Magic Hour to promote her PMOY issue, McDougal demonstrated her signature pose, straddle split on TV in front of a live studio audience.[11]

Many regard her as a favorite Playmate because of her combination of beauty, "Girl next door" appeal and curvaceous figure, according to a November 2001 Playboy poll in the special edition Sexiest Playmates. In that issue, she was voted runner-up of "Readers' Choice Sexiest Playmate of the 1990s", with Pamela Anderson taking the No.1 spot.[4] In an online chat in 2002, McDougal expressed interest in posing nude for Playboy again if offered.[12]

Fitness modeling Edit In March 1999, McDougal became the first woman to appear on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine.[4] Since then she expanded her career into fitness modeling by appearing in fitness and body building magazines such as Muscle & Fitness (January 2000), Physical (June 2004) and Iron Man (October 2005, January 2006, June 2007[13] and November 2009[14]).[15] She appeared in a 10-page pictorial in the January 2006 issue of Iron Man as "Hardbody" of the month,[16] and on the cover of its October 2005 and June 2007 issues. McDougal returned as "Hardbody" of the month in the November 2009 issue in a pictorial together with fellow Playmate Katie Lohmann.[14] In interviews, she stated that her transition to fitness modeling was unintentional.[14][17]

Other appearances Edit

Karen McDougal at the Home Theater Forum 2007 in Las VegasPlayboy released a limited edition doll in 2002 based on the likeness of McDougal and emphasized that it was an accurate model of her statuesque physique. Her collectors' figure was originally slated to be the first in the series to be released, however it was delayed due to redesigns.[18] McDougal collaborated with fantasysculptor Bill Toma in creating a limited edition bronze statuette titled Warrior Princess in 2003. McDougal posed for Toma in the creative process and the pedestal of each statuette bears her signature.[19]

In early 2004, McDougal appeared in a photo spread in the Italian edition of Vogue with fellow Playmates, Pamela Anderson, Audra Lynn and Tishara Cousino. It was a tennis themed men's fashion spread shot in Las Vegas by photographerDavid LaChapelle. The spread contained her first published nudes since her contract with Playboy expired years earlier.[20] She traveled to Japan to be one of the eye candies for Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (The Outsiders) when they wrestled at Yokohama, Japan in May 2004.[21] McDougal also participated in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Playboy throughout the year at Las Vegas, New York and Moscow with other Playmates past and present.[15]

McDougal appeared in the 2005 Playmates at Play at the Playboy Mansion swimsuit calendar as the calendar girl of July.[22] The calendar was the inaugural Playmates at Play calendar and it was shot on the grounds of Playboy Mansion in 2004.[23] It was Playboy's first attempt at creating a non-nude swimsuit calendar featuring Playmates similar in style with those from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. While all Playmates appeared in bikinis in the calendar, McDougal and Hiromi Oshima were the only two Playmates actually wearing only painted on bikinis.[22]

In November 2006, she was part of a trio of Playmates (along with Tina Marie Jordan and Katie Lohmann) that appeared in the "Celebrity Playmate Gift Guide" pictorial of Splat magazine, a paintball enthusiasts magazine. The pictorial showcased new paintball products for the 2006 holiday season.[24] McDougal has also appeared in various pin-up posters, calendars, magazine covers, advertising campaigns, promotional events, clothing, swimwear and lingerie catalogs following her success as Playmate of the Year.[15]

McDougal appeared in a series of sexy television commercials for XFL football league on NBC and UPN with the theme of "Cheerleaders".[25] These edgy XFL commercials with implied nudity backfired and caused a controversy as they were deemed too risqu(C) by the media,[25][26] they were quietly withdrawn before the launch of 2001 XFL inaugural (and final[27]) season; the footage was nonetheless repurposed later in the season as a publicity stunt for a halftime telecast.

In 2001, she co-starred with Lisa Dergan in The Arena, a Roger Corman-produced, direct-to-video movie directed by Timur Bekmambetov. The entire production was shot in Russia. In her feature film debut, McDougal's character, Jessemina, is a slave girl who is forced into fighting as a female gladiator in an Ancient Roman colony by its corrupt governor. The role offered McDougal her first opportunity to act in a dramatic role and to demonstrate her physical abilities with the movie's sword fighting sequences. The movie, initially titled Gladiatrix was deemed to be a knockoff of Gladiator. Although the movie was not well received, it has turned into a lesser known cult film.[28]

McDougal was one of twelve contestants in the search for the new host succeeding Brooke Burke for Wild On! in 2002 (known as Wild Off!). The contest took place at The Palms in Las Vegas. Each contestant was given a "wild" challenge to complete and McDougal's challenge was to dress up as Cleopatra and roam the casino at Caesars Palace in the arms of an actor dressed up as Julius Caesar for a day. She completed her challenge and was considered an early favorite by fellow contestants, but did not advance to the final round of 5 contestants.[29]Cindy Taylor was the eventual winner of Wild Off!.[30]

After winning the local try out in Los Angeles, McDougal advanced to the 2004 WWE Diva Search special held at the Beacon Theatre in New York as one of 28 finalists. The special was televised live on Spike TV with a live audience on July 15, 2004.[31] McDougal, clad in a black bikini, survived 2 rounds of elimination during the 2 hour special, only to be eliminated by the judges in the last round at the end, just prior to the selection of the final 10 contestants eligible for online voting.[32]

McDougal appeared as one of the interviewees in E! True Hollywood Story of Hugh Hefner first broadcast on April 9, 2006. She briefly described her experience at the Playboy Mansion when she was Miss December 1997. In summer of 2006, McDougal appeared as a fitness model demonstrating all the exercises in a fitness training DVD with Hollywood celebrity fitness trainer Valerie Waters.[17]

She has guest hosted TV programs (Wild On! on E!, VIP Access on Showtime), appeared in other TV programs (such as: Lovespring International, Anger Management, The O'Reilly Factor, Playmate edition of Russian Roulette,[dead link ] [33] etc.), movies (cameos in Joe Dirt, Charlie's Angels, Grind, The Girl Next Door and Raising Helen) and music videos with singer David Lee Roth.[citation needed ]

McDougal is an avid motorcycle rider and car collector.[37] Her first modelling assignment was being a promotional model at a Harley-Davidson bike show in Detroit.[15] In 2004, she bought a pink custom-built motorcycle,[38] and entered an Easyriders sponsored motorcycle competition in Pomona, where her motorcycle won the Best Radical Custom award.[39] She also professes to be a chocoholic and junk food junkie even when she considers herself a "health nut".[4] In her spare time, she works out 5 days a week to stay in shape.[14] When she was Playmate of the Year of 1998, she had a healthy BMI of 19.[40] Although she is a swimsuit model, she is not a proficient swimmer because of her aquaphobia.[12] She is an animal lover and owned two cats: Brittany and Brandy.[4] McDougal has two tattoos,[41] one is a tattoo of a cat on the second toe of her right foot to honor her cats,[12] the other is that of a cross behind her right ear as a reminder of her spirituality.[41]

McDougal's family members initially did not support her decision to pose for Playboy.[7] Eventually, they embraced the fact and her mother appeared in interview segments of her Playmate of the Year "Video Centerfold" as a sign of support.[5] Her family has a history of breast cancer, and McDougal, who acknowledges having breast implants, is an advocate of breast cancer awareness.[42] In January 2017, she had her breast implants removed after her health condition worsened.[43] As of 2007, McDougal is residing in Los Angeles[16] and Phoenix, Arizona.[38] In March 2008, McDougal appeared in a topless pictorial and interview in Spanish magazine Interviu in which she discussed her relationship with Bruce Willis at the time.[44]

In 2018, McDougal said she is registered to vote as a Republican.[45]

Alleged affair with Donald Trump Edit In November 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that McDougal had told her friends that she had an affair with a married Donald Trump from 2006 to 2007, with various sources quoting that it had lasted from ten months to a year. It also reported that American Media, Inc. (AMI), the owner of the National Enquirer, had paid McDougal $150,000 for exclusive rights to her story, but never published it. AMI stated to The Wall Street Journal that it had paid the amount to McDougal not "to kill damaging stories about" Trump, but for "exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man" and "two years' worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers".[46][47]

The Wall Street Journal published the story four days before the 2016 United States presidential elections, in which Trump was the Republican nominee. Trump was endorsed by the National Enquirer, and was friends with David Pecker, the CEO/Chairman of AMI. Hope Hicks, speaking for the Trump campaign, denied the existence of an affair between Trump and McDougal.[46][48]

In February 2018, with Trump already elected as President, The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow wrote about the affair and AMI's purchase of the story, largely corroborating the 2016 Wall Street Journal report, except that the affair had gone on for nine months. The story was based on McDougal's handwritten memoirs of the affair, which McDougal's friend passed to Farrow. McDougal confirmed to Farrow that she had written the memoirs. Farrow quotes the memoirs as stating that McDougal first met Trump in June 2006 at a party hosted by Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion. Trump kept in contact with McDougal, and they had sex on the first date. During the affair, she met members of his family and he promised to buy her an apartment in New York. To avoid "paper trails", Trump had McDougal pay for flight and hotel expenses when she flew to meet him, then he reimbursed her. McDougal ended the affair in April 2007 due to guilt and being offended by some of Trump's comments.[45][49][50]

McDougal declined to discuss details of the alleged affair due to her agreement with AMI, but she told Farrow that she regretted signing that agreement, saying, "It took my rights away... I don't know what I'm allowed to talk about. I'm afraid to even mention his name." Farrow also wrote that AMI CEO/Chairman David Pecker has a "favorite tactic" of buying "a story in order to bury it". AMI said it did not publish McDougal's story as it was not credible, and a spokesperson for the White House denied the affair.[45]

In March 2018, McDougal filed a lawsuit against American Media, Inc. in Los Angeles Superior Court, aiming to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement.[51][52]

On March 22, 2018, McDougal was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on AC360 in which she detailed her affair with Donald Trump.

^ abcdefghijkl Fegley, Richard, & Wayda, Stephen (photographers). "Winter Wonder", Playboy, vol. 44, issue 12, p. 126-137, December 1997. ^ abc McDougal, Karen (herself) (1998). Playboy: Playmate Profile Video Collection Featuring Miss December 1997, 1994, 1991, 1986 (VHS). USA: Playboy Entertainment. ^ abc Fegley, Richard, & Wayda, Stephen (photographers). "Playmate of the Year: Karen McDougal takes a bow", Playboy, vol. 45, issue 7, p. 130-141, July 1998. ^ abcdefgh "About me", at Karen McDougal's official site. Retrieved on March 23, 2009. ^ abcd McDougal, Karen (Herself) (1998). Playboy Video Centerfold: Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal (VHS & DVD). USA: Image Entertainment. ^ abcde "Model of the Week: Karen McDougal"Archived August 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. at AskMen.com Retrieved on October 20, 2006 ^ abc "Karen McDougal: The Real 'Girl Next Door'" at Savvy.comArchived October 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on October 20, 2006 ^ Playboy CyberClub Chat Transcript: Karen McDougal, Miss December 1997 (membership required)Archived December 4, 2009, at Archive.is November 6, 1997. Retrieved on November 9, 2006 ^ "Good Day LA @ Skybar" video clip from Video Clips sectionArchived January 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. of Karen McDougal's official site. Retrieved on December 2, 2006"Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 27, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2006 . ^ Playboy Cover Gallery 1998Archived April 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. courtesy of Playboy.com. Retrieved on February 11, 2010 ^ McDougal, Karen (Herself) (1998). The Magic Hour: Episode dates July 2, 1998 (TV-Series). USA: 20th Century Fox Television. ^ abc Playboy CyberClub Chat Transcript: Karen McDougal, Miss December 1997, PMOY 1998 (membership required)Archived December 4, 2009, at Archive.is April 4, 2002. Retrieved November 9, 2006 ^ Cover of June 2007 issue courtesy of IronMan Magazine. Retrieved on May 7, 2007 ^ abcd Silverman, Ruth. "Karen McDougal & Katie Lohmann: The Yin and the Yang", Iron Man, Vol. 68, Iss. 11, pg. 222-229, November 2009 ^ abcd My Galleries of Karen McDougal's official site Retrieved March 23, 2009 ^ ab Neveux, Michael. (Photographer) "Playmate Power", Iron Man, Vol. 65, Iss. 1, pg. 228-237, January 2006 ^ ab "Pop Questions: Karen McDougal", Playboy, Vol. 53, Iss. 9, pg. 148, September 2006. ^ Raving Toy Maniac presents "A Playmate of Your Own" Retrieved on October 20, 2006 ^ Warrior Princess at the Nudes and Harlequins section of Bill Toma's official website Retrieved on February 7, 2007 ^ "Vogue Homme International: Net Gains Yuppie Story on David LaChapelle's official website Retrieved on February 25, 2017 ^ "Hustle-3" photo gallery at Sportsnav.comArchived March 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. (in Japanese) Retrieved on October 20, 2006 ^ ab Wayda, Stephen. (Photographer) "Playboy:Playmates at Play at the Mansion - 2005 Swimsuit Calendar", John F. Turner, 2004. ISBN 1-4038-1814-2 ^ "Playboy Swimsuit Calendar for 2005", Reuters by way of China Daily, July 9, 2004. Retrieved on November 9, 2006 ^ "Neveux, Michael. (Photographer) "Celebrity Playmate Gift Guide", Splat, pg. 56-73, December 2006/January 2007 ^ ab ""They are not Cheerleaders - but they play them on TV", XFL.com via XFLBoard.com, September 28, 2000. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 ^ Ninemire, Valerie "XFL Cheerleaders - Xciting or Xploiting?", About.com, February 2, 2001. Retrieved on December 2, 2006 ^ "XFL folds after one season", CBC News, May 11, 2001. Retrieved on November 27, 2006 ^ "The Arena" review by Joe Bob Briggs Retrieved on October 20, 2006 ^ McDougal, Karen (Herself) (1998). Wild On!: Wild Off! Las Vegas (TV-Series). USA: E! Entertainment. ^ "Model of the Week: Cindy Taylor" at AskMen.com Retrieved on December 2, 2006 ^ "Live Television Network Special To Determine Final 10 In The Worldwide Search For The Next WWE Diva!!" (Press release). World Wrestling Entertainment. July 12, 2004. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2006 . ^ McDougal, Karen (Herself) (2004). RAW Diva Search Casting Special (TV-Special). USA: Spike TV. ^ "Live Television Network Special To Determine Final 10 In The Worldwide Search For The Next WWE Diva!!Game Show Network Heats Up New Year's Eve With Special Playboy Playmate Edition of Russian Roulette; Long Walks on the Beach and Sensitive Men are Fun, but Falling Thru the Roulette 'Drop Zone' is Much More Exciting!" (Press release). Game Show Network (Archived at Goliath). December 2, 2002. Archived from the original on March 18, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2007 . ^ About us at Pharmore AlternativesArchived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 19, 2011 ^ "How to become beautiful", Playboy, Vol. 57, Iss. 7, pg. 121, August 2010. ^ 2011 AEE - Natures Uphoria. AdultXEvents.com. Retrieved June 21, 2011 ^ Kunam, Maman. "RPM Profile: Interview with Karen McDougal", RPM, Issue 7, pg. 70-81, December 2004/January 2005. ^ ab "If a Playmate bought a Bike" - an article from Hot Bike Retrieved on October 20, 2006 ^ Riggs, Curtis. "Award, Playmate and Giant bringing notoriety to Phoenix Choppers", Sonoran News, February 4, 2004. ^ Creager, Ellen. "It takes effort -- and maybe anorexia -- to be model-thin", Detroit Free Press, July 21, 1998. ^ ab "RipeTV presents Playboy Dating: Karen McDougal". Ripe TV via Sling.com Retrieved on February 6, 2008 ^ Martin, Jennifer (July 1, 1998). "Playmate plans to put title to good use". South Bend Tribune. ^ "I thought I was going to die': Former Playboy model has her breast implants removed after claiming they were causing migraines, vision loss and BLACK OUTS". Retrieved February 25, 2017 . ^ "Karen McDougal, la ºltima novia de Bruce Willis". Retrieved December 15, 2011 . ^ abc Farrow, Ronan (February 16, 2018). "Donald Trump, the Playboy Model Karen McDougal, and a System for Concealing Infidelity". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 16, 2018 . ^ ab Palazzolo, Joe; Rothfeld, Michael; Alpert, Lukas (November 4, 2016). "National Enquirer Shielded Donald Trump From Playboy Model's Affair Allegation". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 February 2018 . ^ Weprin, Alex (November 4, 2016). "Report: National Enquirer bought rights to Trump affair story, but never published". Politico. ^ Zarroli, Jim (November 8, 2016). "It's All Over But The Voting, As Trump And Clinton Cast Their Ballots". NPR. Retrieved November 10, 2016 . ^ Yuhas, Alan. "Trump 'had affair with former Playboy model', report says". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2018 . ^ Lang, Brent; Steinberg, Brian (February 16, 2018). "Donald Trump Had Affair With Playboy Model, Ronan Farrow Story Claims". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2018 . ^ "Karen McDougal v. American Media, Inc"(PDF) . ^ "Former Playboy Model Karen McDougal Sues to Break Silence on Trump". The New York Times. 2018-03-20. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-20 .

''Dana Bash divorce ,marriage, affair, husband, boyfriend

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 01:43

Dana Bash is an American journalist and anchor who works for CNN. She was born in Montvale in New Jersey in 1971. She currently covers the Capitol Jill beat along with John King and Jessica Yellin. She moved to her career after completing a bachelor degree in political communication.

Dana Bash is the daughter of an ABC News producer and senior broadcast producer of ACS News. She graduated from George Washington University and became the on-air reporter in Capitol Hill specializing in coverage of the US senate. Her mother is an educator in Jewish studies and author of many books like 'A touch of the Sacred', 'Jewish Moral Virtues' and others. She has a brother who is a producer of Video news and video public relations under the name DMS Productions.

In 2008, she married fellow correspondent of CNN, John King. John King converted to Judaism, before marrying her and he was a Roman Catholic, by birth. Previously, she was married to Jeremy Bash. Dana Bash and King have a son and in 2012, the couple announced that they have separated. There was no indication of what made them to separate in less than four years of their marriage. King has a son and a daughter from his first marriage that ended in divorce.

Her personal life is filled with controversies. Her personal life and heartbreaks never affected her professional life. Dana Bash never had a stable marriage life. She was married and divorced, two times. Her first marriage with Jeremy B Bash, the chief of staff of the secretary of defense, ended in failure and Dana moved on and married John King in 2008. A son was born, in 2011.

When their son was born, John King sent an email to his colleague, stating that their son will be named after the two heroes of their life, John's mom and Dana's grandfather. There were many controversies about her affair with Ron Paul in many internet sites, but nothing was proved. It is revealed that Dana Bash is not in any kind of personal relationship, with another man or a boyfriend, after her separation with John King. Her first marriage ended very shortly, due to lack of understanding, between the two. Dana Bash married again shortly, after her first divorce.

Her second marriage life with Bash was heart wrenching as she mentioned and she had to face divorce, for the second time. There were rumors about John King having affair with one of the correspondents on CNN, after their announcement of separation. They started living in separate houses, even before their baby was one year old. When asked about the divorce, Dana Bash said that they will continue to co-parent their son, with maximum professionalism. She also has requested the media to respect their privacy, during these difficult times.

Her career life has many significant milestones. She works now as the chief congressional correspondent of CNN and was awarded the Dirksen award. The 42 year old single mother has many admirers in her career. Her fans follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

War on Men

This 'Effective' Male Birth Control Essentially Castrates Men | Daily Wire

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 09:41

The only way to equal the playing field in birth control, apparently, is to essentially create a pill that castrates men and lowers their testosterone.

According to LifeSiteNews, "a newly developed contraceptive pill for men, now in trials, works by reducing the presence of testosterone in adult males to levels typically found only in prepubescent boys and girls."

Not that men did not reap this humiliating invention on themselves, considering they have gone the past 50 years allowing women to pump themselves full of chemicals to the point of contaminating the environment.

Ironically, this male birth control pill will have the same side-effect on men as female contraceptives have women: decreased libido. So, basically, couples will be having less sex as a result of contraceptives that supposedly promise guilt-free sex.

Of course, mainstream media outlets like CNN are hailing the invention as ''a male birth control pill that is both safe and effective.'' From CNN:

The results of the study were presented Sunday at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in Chicago. The researchers found that the proposed hormone pill, called dimethandrolone undecanoate or DMAU, effectively reduced testosterone and other hormone levels responsible for sperm production without any serious side effects, according to Dr. Stephanie Page, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a lead author of the study.

''Our goal '' and everyone's goal in this field '' is to develop a method for men that has minimal side effects, and the holy grail would be to develop something that also has a health benefit for men,'' Page said.

The study involved 83 men between the ages of 18 and 50 who were divided into groups according to the assigned dosages of 100, 200, or 400 milligrams. CNN reported that after the men ingested the drug for 28 days, ''testosterone in the blood dropped to castrate levels for all three doses."

''Castrate levels' refers to the target range of testosterone in the blood after chemical or surgical castration and is usually defined as 50 nanograms per deciliter," CNN noted.

The drug, DMAU, makes the body think that testosterone levels are normal while reducing testosterone production for the sake of decreasing sperm count.

It may be effective, but has the West created enough Justin Trudeau soy boys to ensure a solid customer base? Time will tell.

Male birth control pill that lowers testosterone set for 3-month trial

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:32

Male birth control pill that lowers testosterone set for 3-month trialBusiness Insider LogoChevron IconChevron IconChevron IconChevron IconChevron Icon Logo for Business Insider over a transparent background.

Tech An angled chevron icon.Finance An angled chevron icon.Politics An angled chevron icon.Strategy An angled chevron icon.Life An angled chevron icon.PhotoStock10/Shutterstock.com

A new kind of male birth control pill was recently tested in a month-long trial, and is moving forward into a three-month study - the next step in the FDA approval process.The pill is taken once daily with a meal.Some men who took it gained a few pounds, and some decreased their levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.The experimental pill is at least five to 10 years away from coming to market.For decades, men have had only two ways to actively avoid impregnating a partner: wear a condom (which are about 85% effective) or get a vasectomy.

But doctors Stephanie Page from the University of Washington and Christina Wang from UCLA are testing a new drug for men that works a lot like "the pill" for women. They're hoping the once-daily hormone-suppressing pill might become a new option for preventing unwanted pregnancies.

"M en actually are very interested in contraception," Page told Business Insider. "Between vasectomy and condoms, they do about 17% of the contracepting in the United States. They just don't have a lot of choices."

The experimental drug was recently tested in a one-month trial involving 83 subjects. It's called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, and works by suppressing male body's natural sex hormone (testosterone). In its current form, the pill lowers a man's testosterone levels to what they were in boyhood or lower, essentially like a chemical castration.

To balance out the effects of men's low testosterone levels while taking the drug, the patients were given a synthetic androgen, or male steroid hormone, to help them maintain their "male" characteristics. The artificial hormone is designed to mimic the role testosterone plays in non-sperm-related functions in the body, like sex drive, musculation, and hair growth.

When men stop taking the pill, their natural hormones should have a resurgence, and they'll be able to impregnate again. It's similar to the way hormonal birth control works in women.

Page and Wang are readying their drug for a three-month, FDA phase-2 trial that's set to start next month. The pill looks a bit like a fish oil capsule, and will be tested in men from 18 to 50 years old, with doses ranging from 200 to 400 milligrams a day.

Now that the researchers have seen that their pill can indeed lower men's testosterone, the longer study will assess how effectively the men's sperm count is annihilated by those lower testosterone levels.

Why we don't have a male birth control pill yet"The pill" for women has been on the market for nearly 60 years. There are several reasons there's no male equivalent yet: part of the problem has been a lack of support from drug makers, but a more scientific challenge has been the mathematical reality that it's tougher to exterminate the millions of sperm that come out of men's bodies than the monthly egg or two that passes through a woman's reproductive system.

"Women only ovulate 1 or 2 eggs a month," Page said. "Men on the other hand, are making 1,000 sperm a second. So every time a man ejaculates, there's 15 to 100 million sperm."

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Many prior attempts to create male birth control drugs have had problems with side effects too, especially with liver damage. Page and Wang think they've fixed that issue in their new pill, but the initial one-month trial did raise concerns about other side effects.

Like a lot of women who take hormonal birth control, some men gained weight on the pill. Some put on a few pounds, some gained none, and one unlucky man gained nearly nine pounds in the one-month study. In general, the men also saw their levels of HDL cholesterol (considered the good kind) drop slightly.

Pharmaceutical companies haven't bought into male birth control yetPage said that even in a best case scenario, a male birth control pill for consumers is still between five and 10 years away, since much larger-scale studies need to be done before the FDA would give a seal of approval.

The men's pill also needs to clear another major hurdle: a pharmaceutical company has to pay to make the drug. That's something other male birth-control makers have struggled with in the past. Last year, Indian biomedical engineer Sujoy Guha was ready to take injectable birth control gel - in the form of a shot that men could slip into their scrotum - to market. But he couldn't get any big pharmaceutical companies to back the product, as Bloomberg reported.

We don't yet know what challenges might arise if men were to use hormonal birth control long-term. But 58 years of hormonal birth control use in women suggest that it can come with serious risks. Taking the pill heightens a woman's risk of developing breast and cervical cancer, increases her risk of depression, and can cause her blood pressure to rise.

That hasn't deterred roughly 16% of American women between the ages of 15-44 from taking the tablets every day, as Guttmacher Institute estimates. There's a reason they're willing to take on the risks.

"Pregnancy is still a life threatening condition," Page said. "The risks and the need for women is much greater."

SEE ALSO: What the color of your snot can reveal about your health NOW WATCH: How airplanes fly those giant banner ads - it's more dangerous than you think

Share This PostMale birth control pill that lowers testosterone set for 3-month trialBusiness Insider LogoChevron IconChevron IconChevron IconChevron IconChevron Icon Logo for Business Insider over a transparent background.

Tech An angled chevron icon.Finance An angled chevron icon.Politics An angled chevron icon.Strategy An angled chevron icon.Life An angled chevron icon.PhotoStock10/Shutterstock.com

A new kind of male birth control pill was recently tested in a month-long trial, and is moving forward into a three-month study - the next step in the FDA approval process.The pill is taken once daily with a meal.Some men who took it gained a few pounds, and some decreased their levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.The experimental pill is at least five to 10 years away from coming to market.For decades, men have had only two ways to actively avoid impregnating a partner: wear a condom (which are about 85% effective) or get a vasectomy.

But doctors Stephanie Page from the University of Washington and Christina Wang from UCLA are testing a new drug for men that works a lot like "the pill" for women. They're hoping the once-daily hormone-suppressing pill might become a new option for preventing unwanted pregnancies.

"M en actually are very interested in contraception," Page told Business Insider. "Between vasectomy and condoms, they do about 17% of the contracepting in the United States. They just don't have a lot of choices."

The experimental drug was recently tested in a one-month trial involving 83 subjects. It's called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, and works by suppressing male body's natural sex hormone (testosterone). In its current form, the pill lowers a man's testosterone levels to what they were in boyhood or lower, essentially like a chemical castration.

To balance out the effects of men's low testosterone levels while taking the drug, the patients were given a synthetic androgen, or male steroid hormone, to help them maintain their "male" characteristics. The artificial hormone is designed to mimic the role testosterone plays in non-sperm-related functions in the body, like sex drive, musculation, and hair growth.

When men stop taking the pill, their natural hormones should have a resurgence, and they'll be able to impregnate again. It's similar to the way hormonal birth control works in women.

Page and Wang are readying their drug for a three-month, FDA phase-2 trial that's set to start next month. The pill looks a bit like a fish oil capsule, and will be tested in men from 18 to 50 years old, with doses ranging from 200 to 400 milligrams a day.

Now that the researchers have seen that their pill can indeed lower men's testosterone, the longer study will assess how effectively the men's sperm count is annihilated by those lower testosterone levels.

Why we don't have a male birth control pill yet"The pill" for women has been on the market for nearly 60 years. There are several reasons there's no male equivalent yet: part of the problem has been a lack of support from drug makers, but a more scientific challenge has been the mathematical reality that it's tougher to exterminate the millions of sperm that come out of men's bodies than the monthly egg or two that passes through a woman's reproductive system.

"Women only ovulate 1 or 2 eggs a month," Page said. "Men on the other hand, are making 1,000 sperm a second. So every time a man ejaculates, there's 15 to 100 million sperm."

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Many prior attempts to create male birth control drugs have had problems with side effects too, especially with liver damage. Page and Wang think they've fixed that issue in their new pill, but the initial one-month trial did raise concerns about other side effects.

Like a lot of women who take hormonal birth control, some men gained weight on the pill. Some put on a few pounds, some gained none, and one unlucky man gained nearly nine pounds in the one-month study. In general, the men also saw their levels of HDL cholesterol (considered the good kind) drop slightly.

Pharmaceutical companies haven't bought into male birth control yetPage said that even in a best case scenario, a male birth control pill for consumers is still between five and 10 years away, since much larger-scale studies need to be done before the FDA would give a seal of approval.

The men's pill also needs to clear another major hurdle: a pharmaceutical company has to pay to make the drug. That's something other male birth-control makers have struggled with in the past. Last year, Indian biomedical engineer Sujoy Guha was ready to take injectable birth control gel - in the form of a shot that men could slip into their scrotum - to market. But he couldn't get any big pharmaceutical companies to back the product, as Bloomberg reported.

We don't yet know what challenges might arise if men were to use hormonal birth control long-term. But 58 years of hormonal birth control use in women suggest that it can come with serious risks. Taking the pill heightens a woman's risk of developing breast and cervical cancer, increases her risk of depression, and can cause her blood pressure to rise.

That hasn't deterred roughly 16% of American women between the ages of 15-44 from taking the tablets every day, as Guttmacher Institute estimates. There's a reason they're willing to take on the risks.

"Pregnancy is still a life threatening condition," Page said. "The risks and the need for women is much greater."

SEE ALSO: What the color of your snot can reveal about your health NOW WATCH: How airplanes fly those giant banner ads - it's more dangerous than you think

Share This Post

Demand for American Sperm Is Skyrocketing in Brazil - WSJ

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 12:34

.

SƒO PAULO'--With ''jewel-tone eyes,'' blond hair and a ''smattering of light freckles,'' Othello looks nothing like most Brazilians, the majority of whom are black or mixed-race. Yet the ''Caucasian'' American cashier, described in those terms by the Seattle Sperm Bank and known as Donor 9601, is one of the sperm providers most often requested by wealthy Brazilian women importing the DNA of young U.S. men at unprecedented rates.

Over the past seven years, human semen imports from the U.S. to Brazil have surged as more rich single women and lesbian couples select donors whose online profiles suggest they will yield light-complexioned and preferably blue-eyed children.

Brazil is one of the fastest-growing markets for imported semen in recent years, said Michelle Ottey, laboratory director of Virginia-based Fairfax Cryobank, a large distributor and the biggest exporter to Brazil. More than 500 tubes of foreign semen frozen in liquid nitrogen arrived at Brazilian airports last year, officials and sperm-bank directors said, up from 16 in 2011. Complete data from Anvisa, Brazil's health-care regulator, isn't yet available for 2017.

U.S. sperm-bank directors said preferences like those of Brazilian purchasers hold across their global market. ''The vast majority of what we have and what we sell are the Caucasian blond-haired, blue-eyed donors,'' said Fredrik Andreasson, CFO of Seattle Sperm Bank, which provides about a quarter of Brazil's imports.

Everyone wants a ''pretty kid'' and for many parents in Brazil, where prejudice often runs deep, that means ''the white biotype'--light-colored eyes and skin,'' said Susy Pommer, a 28-year-old data analyst from S£o Paulo who decided to get pregnant last year after a breast-cancer scare left her eager to raise a child right away with her partner, Priscilla.

Favored OffspringSperm buyers in Brazil, which is more than 50% black or mixed-race, have an overwhelming preference for white, blue-eyed donors.Brazil's semen imports from the U.S., 2014-16

Hair color

By donor's ancestry

Eye color

51.8

95.4%

63.5

White

Brown

Blue

Latino

Blonde

1.8

Brown

23.7

27.2

7.2

Green

Black

12.8

Mixed

1.5

Asian

Hazel

11.6

Red

1.2

2.1

Black

Black

0.1

0.2

Brazil's semen imports from the U.S., 2014-16

By donor's ancestry

Hair color

Eye color

63.5

51.8

95.4%

White

Blue

Brown

23.7

Latino

27.2

1.8

Brown

Blonde

12.8

1.5

Mixed

7.2

Green

Black

Asian

11.6

1.2

2.1

Hazel

Red

0.2

0.1

Black

Black

Brazil's semen imports from the U.S., 2014-16

By donor's ancestry

Hair color

Eye color

63.5

51.8

95.4%

Brown

White

Blue

23.7

27.2

Blonde

1.8

Latino

Brown

12.8

Black

1.5

7.2

Mixed

Green

1.2

11.6

Asian

Red

2.1

Hazel

0.1

0.2

Black

Black

Brazil's semen imports from the U.S., 2014-16

By donor's ancestry

95.4%

White

1.8

Latino

Mixed

1.5

1.2

Asian

Black

0.2

By donor's Eye color

51.8

Blue

23.7

Brown

12.8

Green

Hazel

11.6

0.1

Black

By donor's Hair color

63.5

Brown

Blonde

27.2

Black

7.2

2.1

Red

Source: Brazil's national health surveillance agency

. . The preference for white donors reflects a persistent preoccupation with race in a country where social class and skin color correlate with glaring accuracy. More than 50% of Brazilians are black or mixed-race, a legacy of Brazil having imported more than 10 times as many African slaves than the U.S.; it was the last Western country to ban slavery, in 1888. The descendants of white colonizers and immigrants'--many of whom were lured to Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the ruling elite explicitly sought to ''whiten'' the population'--control most of the country's political power and wealth.

In such a racially divided society, having fair-skinned offspring is often viewed as a way to provide a child with better prospects, from a higher salary to fairer treatment by the police.

Money is also a factor setting parameters for the DNA import boom. Carefully categorized and genetically vetted sperm from U.S. providers has to be procured from Brazilian fertility clinics at a cost of some $1,500 a vial, often as part of an in vitro fertilization procedure that costs roughly $7,000 an attempt. Whites are more likely able to afford that in a country where about 80% of the richest 1% are white, according to Brazil's statistics agency.

Baby BoomBrazilians' demand for human semen imports from the U.S. has skyrocketed, with demand growing fastest among same-sex couples.Brazil's semen specimen imports from the U.S.

By year

By purchaser's profile

%

50

500

40

400

30

300

20

200

10

100

2014

'16

'15

'15

'16

'12

2011

'14

'13

Brazil's semen specimen imports from the U.S.

By year

By purchaser's profile

50

%

500

40

400

30

300

20

200

10

100

2014

'15

'16

'14

'13

'12

2011

'15

'16

Brazil's semen specimen imports from the U.S.

By purchaser's profile

By year

%

50

500

40

400

30

300

20

200

10

100

'16

'15

2014

'16

2011

'15

'14

'13

'12

Brazil's semen specimen imports from the U.S.

By year

500

400

300

200

100

'15

2011

'12

'16

'13

'14

By purchaser's profile

%

50

40

30

20

10

2014

'16

'15

Source: Brazil's national health surveillance agency

. . Imports are rising in part because many Brazilians simply don't trust the national product. Unlike in the U.S., it is illegal to pay men to donate their sperm here, so domestic stocks are low and information about Brazilian donors sparse.

''It basically says 'brown eyes, brown hair, likes hamburgers' and what their zodiac sign is'--that's it,'' said Alessandra Oliva, 31, of the information available on local donors. She has 29 pages of information on the American father of her 14-month-old son, from a photo of him as a child to genetic tests for cystic fibrosis.

Globally, 5% to 8% of sperm sales are from donors who identify as black, said Ms. Ottey of Fairfax Cryobank. Brazil, however, buys almost all of its imported sperm from donors characterized as Caucasian, with a smattering of Asian or Latino donors, according to Brazil's health-care regulator, Anvisa. Almost a third of the specimens are from blond donors, and 52% from men with blue eyes.

Alessandra Oliva, 31, a Brazilian mother who chose a U.S. sperm donor. Photo: Samantha Pearson/The Wall Street Journal

. The trend speaks in part to social changes in Brazilian society. Success in reducing gender inequality means more women are pursuing professional careers and delaying childbirth. Some have little time or inclination to find husbands, and many can afford to raise a child alone. Meanwhile, more lesbian couples are seeking sperm donors after recent regulatory changes made it easier to register a child in both of their names.

In 2016, heterosexual couples bought 41% of Brazil's imported sperm, single women purchased 38%, and lesbian couples bought 21%, but demand is growing fastest among the latter two groups.

Eduardo Motta, a director at the Huntington fertility clinic here, said his well-off patients often insist on blue-eyed donors because they see that characteristic as a surefire way to get a donor that ''doesn't put in jeopardy the color of the skin.'' White heterosexual couples consider this important, he said, when an infertile husband plans to pass the child off as his own.

Jo£o Carlos Holland de Barcellos sees sperm donation as 'an atheist's way to achieve immortality.' Photo: Samantha Pearson/The Wall Street Journal

. For the many Brazilian women who can't afford the imported version but long to have a blue-eyed baby, there is always Facebook. Every month, scores of Brazilian men post offers there to impregnate women free, either by having sex or with a needleless syringe.Among them is Jo£o Carlos Holland de Barcellos, a 61-year-old computer scientist whose piercing blue eyes and silvery blond hair'--a legacy of what he says are his English and German ancestors'--make him popular with wannabe Brazilian moms. His wife manages his agenda and transfers his semen via syringe to the near-daily guests to their chaotic S£o Paulo home.

He sees children as a way to perpetuate his genes and ensure his existence beyond death. ''It's an atheist's way to achieve immortality,'' he said.

Corrections & AmplificationsAlessandra Oliva chose a U.S. sperm donor with brown hair. A photo caption in an earlier version of this article incorrectly said she had chosen one with blond hair and blue eyes. (March 22, 2018)

'All Men Are Guilty,' Says Mega-Mogul Barry Diller - The New York Times

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 12:36

We are eating cold salads and drinking hot tea, served by the butler, Victor. And we are hopscotching topics, from Silicon Valley taking over Hollywood to Jared & Ivanka & Josh & Karlie to pornography to his company's dating websites to the time Harvey Weinstein tried to throw Mr. Diller off a balcony in Cannes to how his friend Hillary Clinton is faring to the mogul's dismissal of Donald Trump (whose Secret Service code name is Mogul) as ''a joke'' and ''evil.''

I tell him that a friend of mine, an executive in network television, fretfully asked her Hollywood psychic how long Mr. Trump would last as president and the psychic asserted that it wouldn't be more than two years and that the president would be felled by a three-page email. (The only problem with this prediction being, I don't think Mr. Trump emails.)

''I would so love it if he were being blackmailed by Putin,'' Mr. Diller says with a sly smile. ''That would make me very happy. This was a man of bad character from the moment he entered adulthood, if not before. Pure, bad character. Ugh, Trump.''

Photo Diane von Furstenberg and Mr. Diller at the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year. Credit Mike Coppola/Getty Images He shrugs off what he calls Trump's ''normal, vicious Twitter attacks'' on him. After Mr. Diller mocked Trump's campaign in 2015, Trump tweeted: ''Little Barry Diller, who lost a fortune on Newsweek and Daily Beast, only writes badly about me. He is a sad and pathetic figure. Lives lie!''

Mr. Diller waves off talk of Mr. Trump opening the door to more celebrity presidents, saying, ''I want this to be a moment in time where you go in and pick out this period with pincers and go on with life as we knew it before.''

Has the media gone overboard in criticizing Mr. Trump?

''Are you kidding?'' he replies.

Mr. Diller says that he and his wife, Diane von Furstenberg, are friends with Josh Kushner and his supermodel girlfriend, Karlie Kloss, but do not hang out with Jared and Ivanka.

He has put Chelsea Clinton on the boards of two of his companies, but that is not likely to happen with this first daughter.

''I mean, we were friendly,'' he says of Ivanka, in the time before Mr. Trump became president. ''I would sit next to her every once in a while at a dinner. And I, as everyone did, was like, 'Oh, my God, how could this evil character have spawned such a polite, gracious person?' I don't think we feel that way now.''

At 76, having seen around the corner to tech and pulled together the ragtag group of internet ventures at IAC into a thriving whole, Mr. Diller has ''mellowed beautifully,'' as one producer here who has known him for many years puts it.

His dogs are jumping up on our chairs. He has three Jack Russell terriers cloned from his late, beloved dog Shannon, a Gaelic orphan he found wandering many years ago on a back road in Ireland.

For about $100,000, a South Korean firm ''reincarnated'' Shannon in three pups: Tess, short for ''test tube,'' and DiNA, a play on DNA, who live in Beverly Hills; and Evita, who lives in Cloudwalk, the Connecticut home of Mr. Diller and Ms. von Furstenberg.

''These dogs, they're the soul of Shannon,'' he says. ''Diane was horrified that I was doing this but she's switched now to say, 'Thank God you did.'''

Mr. Diller has started a trend in Hollywood, inspiring his friend Barbra Streisand, desolate over the loss of her Coton de Tulear, Samantha, to clone her.

Doesn't he want to clone himself into a ''Killer Diller,'' as his prot(C)g(C)s, including Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Eisner and Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi, are known?

''God forbid,'' he says with a grimace.

From Mailroom to #MeToo MaelstromI ask Mr. Diller what he thought of Sacha Baron Cohen's joke at David Geffen's recent birthday party at Jimmy Iovine's house in Los Angeles that Mr. Geffen, Mr. Diller and the other starry billionaires and millionaires there represented ''the world's third-largest economy.''

''It is a funny joke,'' he says. ''It's close to true.''

Is it a cool club to be in, I wonder, or a back-stabbing one?

''For me, it's stimulating,'' he says. ''Diane hates it. So I am both in it, because I like it, and ripped out of it, because Diane says, 'Too much money, too many rich people, let's go.' I've got a good personal boomerang process.''

He says he met Mr. Geffen, whom he considers ''family,'' when the two were teenagers in the William Morris mailroom in Los Angeles.

''It's Christmastime and this scrawny person comes into the mailroom and he said, 'I'm in the mailroom at William Morris in New York. I had a week off for the holiday so I wanted to come and work here.' And I thought 'Oh, my God, on your vacation?' Because for me, vacation was Hawaii.''

We talk about how Hollywood has changed, and I ask how the #MeToo era will affect the content of movies.

'''Red Sparrow' has some of the most violent and extreme sexual messiness that you could imagine,'' he says. ''O.K., it was made a year and a half ago. Would it be made today in the same way? Probably so. So I don't think it affects content.

''I mean, if you take the effect of pornography on young people today. Pornography until recently was fairly staid. Today, online, pornography is so extreme and so varied, with such expressions of fetishism and other things that boys are seeing. The idea of normal sex and normal romance has to be adversely affected by that.''

Photo Credit Harry Eelman for The New York Times Once, Hollywood taught us about desire and sex and romance, giving us a vocabulary for these experiences. But no more. I wonder what will happen as girls emboldened by the fall of male predators collide with boys indoctrinated by pornography.

''I see it in our companies, where the relationships between people are changing,'' Mr. Diller says. ''We recently had a formal complaint made by a woman who said that she was at a convention with her colleagues and she was asked to have a drink with her boss. Period. That was the complaint. And we said, 'Here's the thing. Anybody can ask you anything, other than let's presume something illegal, and you have the right to say ''Yes'' or ''No.'' If it's ''Yes,'' go in good health and if it's ''No,'' then it's full stop.'

''But the end result of that is a guy, let's presume he is heterosexual, and his boss, heterosexual, and guy asks guy for a drink and they go have a drink and they talk about career opportunities. And the boss says, 'Oh, this is a smart guy. I'm promoting him.' A woman now cannot be in that position. So all these things are a-changin'.

''God knows, I'm hardly a sociologist. But I hope in the future for some form of reconciliation. Because I think all men are guilty. I'm not talking about rape and pillage. I'm not talking about Harveyesque. I'm talking about all of the spectrum. From an aggressive flirt. Or even just a flirty-flirt that has one sour note in it. Or what I think every man was guilty of, some form of omission in attitude, in his views. Are we really going to have only capital punishment? Because right now, that's what we have. You get accused, you're obliterated. Charlie Rose ceases to exist.''

Twilight of the GodsMr. Diller is the chairman of the board of Expedia, and his IAC owns a gaggle of internet properties, including Vimeo, Dictionary.com, Investopedia, Tinder, Match and OkCupid. I wonder how he thinks online dating is reshaping the culture.

''It's just like the princess phone evolved to the internet,'' he says. ''Match.com has caused God knows how many more marriages than bars ever did. And now I'm starting to hear that out of Tinder. It's funny, though, on Bumble, the women get to choose first and they don't want to. I liked the sheer adventure of romance before online dating, which is less appealing to me.''

I ask Mr. Diller, a Los Angeles native, about a comment made to me by the playwright and TV writer Jon Robin Baitz, another Los Angeles native, that Hollywood is no longer relevant politically and culturally.

''Does Hollywood reflect in any possible sense what is happening in the world?'' Mr. Baitz asked. ''Hollywood abdicated films and became an empty exercise in male capes and superheroes. Can you imagine anyone now making 'Norma Rae,' 'Silkwood,' 'Five Easy Pieces,' 'Reds'?''

Since Mr. Diller was running Paramount in 1981 when Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton made Mr. Beatty's epic ''Reds,'' he should know.

''What an undertaking,'' Mr. Diller says. ''But isn't it amazing how it holds?''

Calling ''Red Sparrow'' ''awful'' and ''The Shape of Water'' ''beautiful but silly,'' he says he wouldn't want to run a movie studio now. ''It would be like saying, do I want to own a horse-and-buggy company? The idea of a movie is losing its meaning.''

Of the Academy Awards nominees this year, he said, ''essentially, no one went to see them.''

Growing up in Beverly Hills with a father in the construction business '-- he says there are still streets out here named ''Dillerdale'' and ''Barrydale'' '-- Mr. Diller was able to see the twilight of the men who invented Hollywood.

''They were real characters '-- overblown, exuberant, nasty, but each of them in their own way were genuinely interesting people,'' he says. ''The only thing that I've learned, that I think I've had some instinct for, is instinct. And these people operated completely out of instinct. As against today, when people operate out of research and marketing.''

He says that Netflix and Amazon have blasted Hollywood into ''a completely different universe.''

''It's something that's never happened in media before, when Netflix got a lot of subscribers early on and made the brilliant decision to pour it into original production, like spending more than $100 million dollars to make 'House of Cards,' instead of buying old stuff,'' he says. ''It blows my mind. It's like a giant vacuum cleaner came and pushed all the other vacuum cleaners aside. And they cannot be outbid. No one can compete with them.''

He calls Reed Hastings, the C.E.O. of Netflix, the most remarkable person in the media business: ''He has so much original thinking in so many different areas, he's really impressive.''

I ask how the tech community's noxious bro culture will affect the business here, given that Hollywood already has such entrenched sexism.

''They're tech people,'' he says with a shrug. ''They don't have a lot of romance in them. They don't have a lot of nuance in them. Their lives are ones and zeros.'' But they can grow, he says. ''When I met Bill Gates, I would say he had the emotional quotient of a snail. And now you can see him cry.''

He corrects me when I call the tech titans our overlords. ''Our overlords are not them,'' he says. ''Our overlords are artificial intelligence.''

At several points during our three-hour interview, Mr. Diller stops to ask me if this is any fun. When I assure him it's fascinating, he looks skeptical.

''Yeah, right,'' he says. ''Don't seduce me. I'm a very seducible person.'' He also says he's a ''jinxable'' person.

Ms. von Furstenberg says that when she met Mr. Diller 43 years ago, ''What I found so incredibly appealing is that behind the very forceful, determined and engaged human being, there was shyness and reservation. He's not a pig. I mean, in no way.''

He impressed her immediately on a trip to Vegas by driving his banana yellow Jaguar E-Type sports car barefoot and talking a policeman out of giving him a speeding ticket.

On another occasion, driving back into Manhattan fast from her Connecticut house '-- Mr. Diller likes to drive fast '-- they saw an octogenarian couple crossing the street slowly, holding on to each other.

''Both of us at the same time thought exactly the same thing: 'One day, we will be that couple,''' she recalls. ''The only thing we disagree on is, he thinks it was Madison Avenue and I say it was Lexington.''

The other quality his friends talk about is his voracious curiosity.

''When he knows about something, he knows more about it than anyone else, and when he doesn't know something, he wants to know more about it than anybody else,'' says Scott Rudin, who has produced movies, plays and television with Mr. Diller (including ''Lady Bird'' for the screen and ''Betrayal,'' ''The Humans,'' ''A Doll's House, Part 2,'' ''Three Tall Women'' and ''Carousel'' for Broadway). Mr. Rudin is also helping his friend develop the so-called Diller Island, an undulating pier floating on piles in the Hudson River adjacent to the meatpacking district.

Given that Mr. Diller helped create the Fox Broadcasting Company with Rupert Murdoch '-- and blessedly greenlighted ''The Simpsons'' '-- I wonder if he feels like Dr. Frankenstein.

''I left Fox before Fox News came into being,'' he says. About the sale of Fox to Disney, he notes that his former boss ''played a bad hand very well.''

I observe that he called Harvey Weinstein out publicly as a bully early on.

Mr. Diller recalls that once in Cannes, when he was the chief executive of Universal, Stacey Snider, the head of the movie division, told him that ''Harvey had treated her terribly and made her cry. So the next day I saw Harvey on the terrace at Hotel du Cap and I said, 'Harvey, don't ever treat an executive at my company that way. Don't you ever talk to anyone in that manner.'

''And Harvey, about six feet away, said, 'I'm going to throw you off the terrace.' And this gorilla, because he looks like a gorilla, starts walking towards me, right? And truly, I was scared. I thought, how, without cutting and running like a chicken, do I stop him? And somehow a bear came into my mind.'' He says he pulled himself up into a menacing stance, as you're supposed to do if you have to confront a bear.

''And it so surprised him that he stopped and I got out with a small amount of honor,'' he says.

(Ms. Snider told Kim Masters in a 2007 Esquirearticle that Mr. Diller was such a tough boss that she teared up with him, after she made a blunder at a meeting. Mr. Diller apologized to her afterward.)

He adds: ''Other than psychopaths, I think all of this bad behavior is finished.''

Speaking of bad behavior, I ask if he knew Mr. Trump back in the day in Manhattan.

He said that when he was in his mid-30s, running Paramount, Mr. Trump invited him to lunch.

''And you know when people compliment you without foundation?'' Mr. Diller says. ''And they do it too much? It's really irritating. It's kind of offensive. And he spent the entire time saying how great I was. He didn't know me. And afterward, I walked around the corner and I thought, 'I never want to see that man again.' Decades passed and we would run into each other, but I literally never spoke to him again.''

He says he has gone to a couple of Broadway shows recently with Hillary Clinton and that ''she's well with herself again and she has a role to play.''

After the interview, when the Cambridge Analytica scandal breaks, I call him to see what he makes of Facebook's role.

''Since the beginning of media and advertising, the holy grail has been the precise targeting of the ads,'' he says. ''Along comes the internet with almost perfect aim, and now the entire concept is being called antisocial. That's a most ironic but momentous thing.''

Mr. Diller's friends say he is quiet about his philanthropy. He flinches when I use the term ''Diller Island,'' saying it should be called ''Pier 55.''

Now he is working on an idea concocted by Alex von Furstenberg, Diane's son whom Mr. Diller also calls his son, to build a gondola up to the Hollywood sign and a circular catwalk around it, so that people can tour and hike around it.

He is very proud of the success of the High Line, the elevated park he helped fund on the West Side of Manhattan. ''Who would have dreamed so many people would come?'' he marvels.

Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor of New York, pulled the Hudson Island project, a $250 million family park and cultural center, out of the ashes, moving past attempts by Douglas Durst to block it. (Hasn't that family done enough damage?)

''The delay cost us $25 million or something like that,'' Mr. Diller says. ''But here's the thing. My family's lucky. So who's counting? Can I actually say, 'Who's counting?' That's awful. But it's true. There's a lot about the absurdity of wealth. I have so many friends who continue to make absurd amounts of money and count it. I think if you're really lucky, who's counting?''

MORE: Barry Diller confesses a major fear in a round of Confirm or Deny.

A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2018, on Page ST1 of the New York edition with the headline: 'I Think All Men Are Guilty'.

Continue reading the main story

War on Bugs

Drug laced with bug spray produces zombie-like effects - Story | KMSP

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:28

INDIANAPOLIS (WJBK) - A street drug laced with bug spray is taking a toll on drug users and producing zombie-like effects.

According to th Indianapolis Fire Department, they're seeing a big spike in overdoses from a drug called KD.

''We describe it as being like a zombie. They cannot talk to us,'' IFD Captain Chris Major told KXIN.

FOX 59 in Indianapolis was on the scene when crews responded to another drug overdose. Medics found a man in the grass who was unresponsive and struggling to breathe. Medics said he overdosed on KD.

''Their movements are slow and lethargic, a lot of drooling and a loss of function. We find them with their clothes off, eating the grass, pulling dirt out of the ground and trying to put it in their mouth,'' Major said.

Medics say it's a mix of either marijuana, spice, or tobacco and it's doused in bug spray and then smoked. IFD Captain Chris Major says his team has had nearly a dozen KD overdose runs in one day.

"They do not know what is in this stuff or who has made it so they are all taking chance. Which for some reason they are willing to do because we get the same people using over and over again," Major said.

Captain Major says there's not much they can do to help the user, except take their blood pressure and wait.

"We find people passed out with it still in their hand. That is how fast it has an effect on them," Major said. "We send them off to the hospital to get checked out and within two hours they may be back out there on the street doing it again. We have had the same person multiple times in one day."

War on Meat

Bill Gates and Richard Branson bet on lab-grown meat startup

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:27

Bruce Friedrich, the CEO and co-founder of a think tank accelerator called The Good Food Institute, estimates clean-meat products will be available at a high price within two to three years, and he believes they will be cost-competitive within 10 years.

Friedrich knows that until the infrastructure for clean meat is in place, companies will have to stay creative. "The soft opening will absolutely be at high price points," he said. "Certainly, foie gras is one way of going about that."

The problem, however, may be that the type of person willing to pay top dollar for such a controversial food is probably not likely to be interested in an environmentally and ethically friendly alternative. Verstrate understands the foie gras strategy but has different plans.

"Foie gras is a really emotional product for meat eaters," Verstrate said. "I don't think you would stand much chance in France or Spain with foie gras from a lab."

MosaMeat plans to start with burgers in high-end restaurants, where it can be price-competitive.

Both Tyson Foods and Cargill have invested in clean-meat company Memphis Meats, alongside billionaires Gates and Branson.

"It's a train that's leaving the station," Verstrate said of the need for the established meat giants to invest early. "It's relatively cheap to buy a train ticket today."

Tom Hayes, the president and CEO of Tyson Foods, said in a statement earlier this year: "A protein strategy inclusive of alternative forms is intuitive for Tyson Foods. It's another step toward giving today's consumers what they want and feeding tomorrow's consumers sustainably for years to come."

When digital cameras became available, Canon invested heavily and Kodak did not. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2011. "Everybody wants to be Canon; nobody wants to be Kodak," Shapiro said.

Retro

Waterbed Inventor Says They're Due For A Comeback, Because Millennials Have "Never Seen One"

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 11:41

iIf you're a child of the '70s or '80s - or your home is in serious need of some renovations - you know what it's like to sleep on a water bed.

While we can't deny sinking into the water is comfy, most of us wouldn't trade our old-fashioned mattress for one of these kitschy models. But people did buy them in droves, with waterbeds accounting for 15% of the mattress market in 1986.

Houston Librarian / YouTubeToday, waterbeds make up only a measly 5% of mattress sales, but the man behind the fad is looking to put them back in the spotlight 50 years after they hit the market.

As we described before, Charles Hall was a graduate student looking to ace his thesis project when he designed the first waterbed in 1968.

Charles Hall with his invention, the waterbed.The Seattle TimesThe mattress was stuffed with cooking starch and weighed over 300 pounds, but it was much comfier than most spring models.

The novelty of Hall's invention, combined with a decidedly unwholesome marketing gimmick, made the waterbed a household name. Who could resist trying the mattress with a tagline like, "Pleasure is a waterbed."

Waterbed ads knew how to get your attention.GoRetroBut competition from copycats and a laundry list of complaints hurt the bed's image. If you're looking to relive your childhood, we have good news, because Hall says this year the waterbed is back and better than ever.

CLIPS

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VIDEO - The CLOUD Act: A Dangerous Expansion of Police Snooping on Cross-Border Data | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 14:26

This week, Senators Hatch, Graham, Coons, and Whitehouse introduced a bill that diminishes the data privacy of people around the world.

The Clarifying Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act expands American and foreign law enforcement's ability to target and access people's data across international borders in two ways. First, the bill creates an explicit provision for U.S. law enforcement (from a local police department to federal agents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to access ''the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information'' about a person regardless of where they live or where that information is located on the globe. In other words, U.S. police could compel a service provider'--like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat'--to hand over a user's content and metadata, even if it is stored in a foreign country, without following that foreign country's privacy laws. [1]

Second, the bill would allow the President to enter into ''executive agreements'' with foreign governments that would allow each government to acquire users' data stored in the other country, without following each other's privacy laws.

For example, because U.S.-based companies host and carry much of the world's Internet traffic, a foreign country that enters one of these executive agreements with the U.S. to could potentially wiretap people located anywhere on the globe (so long as the target of the wiretap is not a U.S. person or located in the United States) without the procedural safeguards of U.S. law typically given to data stored in the United States, such as a warrant, or even notice to the U.S. government. This is an enormous erosion of current data privacy laws.

This bill would also moot legal proceedings now before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the spring, the Court will decide whether or not current U.S. data privacy laws allow U.S. law enforcement to serve warrants for information stored outside the United States. The case, United States v. Microsoft (often called ''Microsoft Ireland''), also calls into question principles of international law, such as respect for other countries territorial boundaries and their rule of law.

Notably, this bill would expand law enforcement access to private email and other online content, yet the Email Privacy Act, which would create a warrant-for-content requirement, has still not passed the Senate, even though it has enjoyed unanimous support in the House for the past two years.

The CLOUD Act and the US-UK AgreementThe CLOUD Act's proposed language is not new. In 2016, the Department of Justice first proposed legislation that would enable the executive branch to enter into bilateral agreements with foreign governments to allow those foreign governments direct access to U.S. companies and U.S. stored data. Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Postbroke the story that these agreements (the first iteration has already been negotiated with the United Kingdom) would enable foreign governments to wiretap any communication in the United States, so long as the target is not a U.S. person. In 2017, the Justice Department re-submitted the bill for Congressional review, but added a few changes: this time including broad language to allow the extraterritorial application of U.S. warrants outside the boundaries of the United States.

In September 2017, EFF, with a coalition of 20 other privacy advocates, sent a letter to Congress opposing the Justice Department's revamped bill.

The executive agreement language in the CLOUD Act is nearly identical to the language in the DOJ's 2017 bill. None of EFF's concerns have been addressed. The legislation still:

Includes a weak standard for review that does not rise to the protections of the warrant requirement under the 4th Amendment.Fails to require foreign law enforcement to seek individualized and prior judicial review.Grants real-time access and interception to foreign law enforcement without requiring the heightened warrant standards that U.S. police have to adhere to under the Wiretap Act.Fails to place adequate limits on the category and severity of crimes for this type of agreement.Fails to require notice on any level '' to the person targeted, to the country where the person resides, and to the country where the data is stored. (Under a separate provision regarding U.S. law enforcement extraterritorial orders, the bill allows companies to give notice to the foreign countries where data is stored, but there is no parallel provision for company-to-country notice when foreign police seek data stored in the United States.)The CLOUD Act also creates an unfair two-tier system. Foreign nations operating under executive agreements are subject to minimization and sharing rules when handling data belonging to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and corporations. But these privacy rules do not extend to someone born in another country and living in the United States on a temporary visa or without documentation. This denial of privacy rights is unlike other U.S. privacy laws. For instance, the Stored Communications Act protects all members of the ''public'' from the unlawful disclosure of their personal communications.

An Expansion of U.S. Law Enforcement CapabilitiesThe CLOUD Act would give unlimited jurisdiction to U.S. law enforcement over any data controlled by a service provider, regardless of where the data is stored and who created it. This applies to content, metadata, and subscriber information '' meaning private messages and account details could be up for grabs. The breadth of such unilateral extraterritorial access creates a dangerous precedent for other countries who may want to access information stored outside their own borders, including data stored in the United States.

EFF argued on this basis (among others) against unilateral U.S. law enforcement access to cross-border data, in our Supreme Court amicus brief in the Microsoft Ireland case.

When data crosses international borders, U.S. technology companies can find themselves caught in the middle between the conflicting data laws of different nations: one nation might use its criminal investigation laws to demand data located beyond its borders, yet that same disclosure might violate the data privacy laws of the nation that hosts that data. Thus, U.S. technology companies lobbied for and received provisions in the CLOUD Act allowing them to move to quash or modify U.S. law enforcement orders for extraterritorial data. The tech companies can quash a U.S. order when the order does not target a U.S. person and might conflict with a foreign government's laws. To do so, the company must object within 14 days, and undergo a complex ''comity'' analysis '' a procedure where a U.S. court must balance the competing interests of the U.S. and foreign governments.

Failure to Support Mutual AssistanceOf course, there is another way to protect technology companies from this dilemma, which would also protect the privacy of technology users around the world: strengthen the existing international system of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs). This system allows police who need data stored abroad to obtain the data through the assistance of the nation that hosts the data. The MLAT system encourages international cooperation.

It also advances data privacy. When foreign police seek data stored in the U.S., the MLAT system requires them to adhere to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirements. And when U.S. police seek data stored abroad, it requires them to follow the data privacy rules where the data is stored, which may include important ''necessary and proportionate'' standards. Technology users are most protected when police, in the pursuit of cross-border data, must satisfy the privacy standards of both countries.

While there are concerns from law enforcement that the MLAT system has become too slow, those concerns should be addressed with improved resources, training, and streamlining.

The CLOUD Act raises dire implications for the international community, especially as the Council of Europe is beginning a process to review the MLAT system that has been supported for the last two decades by the Budapest Convention. Although Senator Hatch has in the past introduced legislation that would support the MLAT system, this new legislation fails to include any provisions that would increase resources for the U.S. Department of Justice to tackle its backlog of MLAT requests, or otherwise improve the MLAT system.

A growing chorus of privacy groups in the United States opposes the CLOUD Act's broad expansion of U.S. and foreign law enforcement's unilateral powers over cross-border data. For example, Sharon Bradford Franklin of OTI (and the former executive director of the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board) objects that the CLOUD Act will move law enforcement access capabilities ''in the wrong direction, by sacrificing digital rights.'' CDT and Access Now also oppose the bill.

Sadly, some major U.S. technology companies and legal scholars support the legislation. But, to set the record straight, the CLOUD Act is not a ''good start.'' Nor does it do a ''remarkable job of balancing these interests in ways that promise long-term gains in both privacy and security.'' Rather, the legislation reduces protections for the personal privacy of technology users in an attempt to mollify tensions between law enforcement and U.S. technology companies.

Legislation to protect the privacy of technology users from government snooping has long been overdue in the United States. But the CLOUD Act does the opposite, and privileges law enforcement at the expense of people's privacy. EFF strongly opposes the bill. Now is the time to strengthen the MLAT system, not undermine it.

[1] The text of the CLOUD Act does not limit U.S. law enforcement to serving orders on U.S. companies or companies operating in the United States. The Constitution may prevent the assertion of jurisdiction over service providers with little or no nexus to the United States.

VIDEO - Carol Davidsen | You Are Not a Target - YouTube

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VIDEO - Podesta: WikiLeaks dump was 'done to try to divert attention' from Access Hollywood tapes - NBC News

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 13:37

Please select another video.

John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, told Andrea Mitchell today that he wants to know if there was coordination between the Trump Campaign and WikiLeaks, in light of new information about Cambridge Analytica's possible misuse of millions' of people's Facebook information.

VIDEO - Kiwi software developer accuses Facebook of recording texts and calls outside its app | Stuff.co.nz

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 10:59

A Wellington software developer is urging others to download and check their data after a shock discovery of just how much Facebook collects.

Dylan McKay was stunned to find out the social media giant recorded his calls and texts history from outside the app.

All users can download their data from the setting option on Facebook and have the results emailed or downloaded directly onto a computer's hard drive.

DYLAN MCKAY/TWITTER

McKay said he became interested in what Facebook had on him after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica's, working for the Trump campaign, improperly obtained data on 50 million Facebook users.

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* How Facebook made its CambridgeAnalyticadata crisis even worse

When McKay tweeted his discovery, it was retweeted 36,000 times in five days.

McKay said he was convinced the phone data was from his mobile service, not the Messenger app.

"Every single one of the call records is identified by a cell phone number, even prefixed by the +64 country code of New Zealand."

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'‹Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said he had not heard of others having their call data recorded, however he was not surprised it was.

"It's unnecessary, but what many data-gathering targeted advertising sales companies do is they capture any data that's technically within the sphere of the product they are delivering. We know that Facebook doesn't just record what you do on Facebook, it records what you do in and around Facebook," Cocker said.

"They do it because the more they learn about you the more accurately they can profile you, and therefore connect advertisers with you."

Cocker said he regularly advised users to download their own Facebook data, and it often surprised people to see how much was stored.

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Facebook was not subject to New Zealand privacy laws, which stipulated companies should not capture information they did not require, because they were based in Ireland and the United States.

"They're showing you what they capture, so they'll argue that's transparency.

"Every time you install new apps on your phone you have these very broad requests for permission to do quite wide-ranging things. Some app writers put those permissions in to give them room to operate, and others do it because they genuinely want to capture lots of other data. It's something people need to be more aware of than we currently are."

Alongside a record of photos and messages, McKay also found links to ads he had clicked on, and target words and interests for advertisers.

An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News reveals how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world. Bosses were filmed talking about using bribes, ex-spies, and fake IDs.

A lot of his stored data didn't come as a surprise, because in order for Facebook to show users their content he understood it had to be stored somewhere.

However, seeing his call metadata, including durations, and whether they were incoming or outgoing, was enough to make him uninstall the Facebook Messenger app.

"It doesn't seem like even for advertising it would be that useful... It's quite over-reaching."

Deciding what data Facebook should be allowed to retain was tricky, McKay said, but a simple test of whether the company actually needed it might be a good place to start.

Facebook shares slumped more than 9 per cent by mid-last week '' knocking about NZ$70b off the value of the company.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the data was stored, following permission being given after downloading the Messenger and Facebook Lite apps on Android.

"The first time you sign in on your phone to a messaging or social app, it's a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts. Contact uploading is optional. In Messenger and Facebook Lite people are expressly asked if they want to give permission to upload their contacts from their phone - it's explained right there in the app when they get started.

"People can delete previously uploaded information at any time."

Privacy commissioner John Edwards said last week that the organisation was monitoring the situation in the United Kingdom and had noted that his counterparts at the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the US Federal Trade Commission have announced investigations.

"We will continue to monitor developments, but at this stage have not taken any decision to launch a separate investigation of our own."

Stuff

VIDEO - Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Details 'Perverse Company Culture' Following Entrapment Expos(C) - YouTube 2min21

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:33

VIDEO - Facebook has gotten too big for Mark Zuckerberg

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:30

During his apology tour this week for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Zuckerberg lent support to the idea of regulating Facebook and admitted he'd rather not be the person making content policy decisions for the world.

But he pushed back on one thing: Facebook's immense power.

When CNN's Laurie Segall asked if Facebook (FB ) had become "too powerful," Zuckerberg responded: "I don't think so."

"The reason why we've succeeded as a company is because we serve people and give people power," Zuckerberg said. "The day that we stop doing that, we'll stop being a relevant company."

Zuckerberg argued that history shows any list of "the biggest [companies] in any given industry" will inevitably change "ten years later, or ten years after that."

And yet, at this moment, Facebook isn't just on the list, but nearly unrivaled in its dominance. It has billions of users and tremendous influence over the media and advertising industries. It also has no obvious direct competitor who can take it down thanks to years of acquiring and cloning newer social media companies.

"It influences how more than 2 billion around the world people see, think, and feel. I can't think of an institution that has close to that power, with the possible exception of Google," says Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and author of a forthcoming book on Facebook's impact on democracy.

"For Mark Zuckerberg to deny that," he added, "is insulting."

Related: Zuckerberg opens the door to testifying before Congress

Facebook is widely considered one of the "big four" tech companies, along with Apple (AAPL ) , Amazon (AMZN ) and Google's parent company, Alphabet (GOOGL ) . Like others in this group, Facebook has the ability to upend new industries overnight '-- and perhaps upend society itself.

News broke last weekend that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Facebook has faced other controversies over user data and privacy, but the stakes have grown with the platform's influence. This time, it wasn't simply a matter of selling ads, but potentially swaying an election.

Once again, Facebook was forced to account for its role in the 2016 election after what was already a bruising year full of stories about fake news, foreign election meddling and filter bubbles.

"Any company that can influence a US presidential election without being aware that it is doing so is demonstrably too powerful," Roger McNamee, Zuckerberg's former mentor and a venture capitalist, told CNN by email.

Brian Wieser, an analyst who tracks Facebook for Pivotal Research Group, says the real issue plaguing the company may not be whether it's too powerful so much as whether it became powerful too fast.

"It looks like a problem that has emerged is that they may have become big and powerful too quickly, without ensuring their foundations were solid enough to withstand the growth they have had," Wieser told CNN.

Dex Torricke-Barton, a former speechwriter for Zuckerberg and former executive communications manager for Facebook, disagrees that the company is too powerful. But the idea that it is does create a genuine challenge for Facebook, he said.

"The perception that Facebook is all-powerful places an unfair burden on the company," he said. "The challenges of misinformation, fake news and bad online actors didn't begin with Facebook, and can't be solved by Facebook alone."

Zuckerberg may play down how powerful Facebook is, but his interviews this week highlight his clear discomfort with the responsibility he now has, not just to make products, but to make policies with global impact.

"I feel fundamentally uncomfortable sitting here in California in an office making content policy decisions for people around the world," Zuckerberg told Re/code. "[The] thing is like, 'Where's the line on hate speech?' I mean, who chose me to be the person that did that? I guess I have to, because of [where we are] now, but I'd rather not."

In the CNN interview, Zuckerberg said if anyone had told him when he founded Facebook in 2004 that he'd one day be battling state actors, "I wouldn't have really believed that that would be something I'd have to work on 14 years later."

CNNMoney (New York) First published March 23, 2018: 9:50 AM ET

VIDEO - Superintendent Says Students Are Armed with Rocks In Case of a School Shooting '' WNEP.com

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:26

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. -- There's a rocky controversy when it comes to school safety in Schuylkill County.

The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District is in the spotlight after telling lawmakers in Harrisburg his students protect themselves against potential school shooters with rocks.

''Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone. If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full students armed with rocks and they will be stoned,'' said Dr. David Helsel.

That was Dr. Helsel testifying to the House Education Committee last week in Harrisburg.

The superintendent of the Blue Mountain School District was explaining his unconventional form of protecting the students in their schools in the event of an active shooter situation: give them rocks.

''At one time I just had the idea of river stone, they`re the right size for hands, you can throw them very hard and they will create or cause pain, which can distract,'' said Helsel.

Helsel says teachers, staff and students were given active shooter training through a program known as ALICE which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate and they routinely hold evacuation drills for active shooter simulations.

But if a teacher decides to lockdown a classroom, there are rocks in a five-gallon bucket kept in every classroom closet that students could throw if shooters get inside.

Still, Helsel says the rocks are seen as a last resort.

''We have devices installed in our doors that help to secure them, to make it very difficult to break through,'' said Helsel. ''We also have, we train kids and talk about barricading the doors.''

A teenager who is a senior a Blue Mountain High School and says he and other students like that plan.

''It matters because it will help protect the schools, anything helps, rocks are better than books and pencils.''

Parents do as well.

''At this point, we have to get creative, we have to protect our kids first and foremost, throwing rocks, it's an option,'' said Dori Bornstein.

But not everyone thinks this is a practical line of defense.

''I think that's rather comical,'' said one college student in Schuylkill Haven.

''It's absurd, arm the teachers,'' said a parent in Schuylkill Haven.

Helsel says the district has no plans to arm teachers, however, Blue Mountain does have a maintenance employee who is trained and certified to work as school security and is armed.

And the district plans to have more support staff get the same training to act a security.

VIDEO - Ted Cruz Campaign Takes Voter Micro-Targeting To Next Level : NPR

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:26

Ted Cruz Campaign Takes Voter Micro-Targeting To Next Level : NPRTed Cruz Campaign Takes Voter Micro-Targeting To Next LevelTed Cruz's campaign is taking micro-targeting one step further by investing significant resources and money into learning about voters' personality traits and behavior.

VIDEO - Jonathan Pie on Scottish pug nazi joke - YouTube

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:23

VIDEO - Roseanne Barr Tells Jimmy Kimmel To 'Zip That F**king Lip' About Donald Trump | HuffPost

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 10:59

Barr was ostensibly on the late-night show with co-star John Goodman to talk about the upcoming reboot of their hit '90s sitcom ''Roseanne.''

But Kimmel was keen to quiz Barr on why she voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. ''I'm shocked because I know you are a very socially liberal person in general,'' said Kimmel.

''I'm still the same, you all moved. You all went so fucking far out, you lost everything,'' Barr responded.

Barr then claimed no one, ''no matter who we voted for,'' wants to see Trump fail.

''You want Pence? You want Pence for the frickin' president,'' Barr asked, referring to Vice President Mike Pence. When Kimmel replied that he didn't, Barr responded: ''Well, then zip that fucking lip'' before collapsing on the couch in laughter.

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 2018-03-25  2h57m