Politics


Unvaccinated travellers bring deadly diseases back to Australia

3rd May 2017

Australian tourists returning home from Bali make up almost half of all cases of dengue fever and rabies in New South Wales, new data has shown.

Up to 400 NSW patients catch dengue fever – a potentially deadly disease spread by mosquitos – each year, with about half picking up the disease in Bali.

Close to 303 NSW patients were affected by rabies in 2015, and close to half of those cases originated in Indonesia, mainly from Bali.

The health department told News Corp travellers were ignoring rabies warnings overseas.

“Figures for 2016 have not yet been finalised but the trend appears to be continuing despite warning to travellers to avoid dogs and monkeys while overseas,” a spokesperson said.

It comes months after a measles outbreak affected more than 20 people in Western Sydney, which was believed to have also come from Bali.

The figures come as Health Minister Brad Hazzard slammed parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, warning their decision was risking similar outbreaks.

“We need to recognise we’re a very lucky continent – we’re on an island,” he said.

“We have greater capacity than almost anybody to be able to draw the vaccination curtains around us and keep us safe. But some people, who are either not vaccinated or not vaccinated adequately, travel overseas and bring back a disease the rest of us shouldn’t be exposed to.”

“People need to understand that by failing to vaccinate their children they are exposing them to the very real risks of death or disability,” he said

 

 

source: https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/may-2017/unvaccinated-travellers-bring-deadly-diseases-back-to-australia

Trump: ‘I’m a Nationalist and a Globalist’

30th April 2017

On the eve of the 100 days in office milestone, President Donald Trump claims he is both a nationalist and a globalist — despite campaign promises that his presidency would reject globalism and put America first.

“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “I’m both.”

“And I’m the only one who makes the decision, believe me,” Trump said.

But Trump also said that he would terminate NAFTA “if we’re unable to make a deal, but hopefully we won’t have to do that.”

Trump’s remarks come as debate swirls around his presidential campaign promise to end the North America Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA in contrast to his recent assertion that he will “negotiate” a revision of the treaty that has guided U.S. trade policy with Mexico and Canada since 1994.

The Journal reported that Trump received almost back-to-back calls from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Following those conversations Trump said, “They’re serious about it and I will negotiate rather than terminate.”

“Meanwhile, Sonny Perdue—the agriculture secretary who took office two days earlier—and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with Mr. Trump and showed him a map indicating the states where jobs would be lost if the pact collapsed, according to a person familiar with the matter,” the Journal reported, noting that many of the states on the map supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

“Those conversations, along with a flood of calls to the White House from business executives, helped steer Mr. Trump away from an idea that some of his own advisers feared was a rash and unnecessary threat to two trading partners who fully expected to renegotiate the agreement anyway,” the Journal reported.

“I expect the administration to closely consult with Congress before such major trade-policy decisions are made,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade. “Withdrawing from NAFTA would have significant effects on the America economy.”

Following Trump’s election in November, Chriss Street penned a commentary for Breitbart News focused on how Trump’s “America First” message would strike a blow to “world socialism.”

“The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet,” Street wrote. “Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.

“Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism,” Street wrote.

In an interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham last month, former presidential candidate and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan said abandoning his populist economic message would be “fatal” for Trump’s presidency.

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/28/trump-im-a-nationalist-and-a-globalist/

Turkish authorities block access to Wikipedia

29th April 2017

Turkey on Saturday blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, an internet monitoring group said, but it was not clear why the ban had been imposed.

A block affecting all langage editions of the website in Turkey was detected after an administrative order by the Turkish authorities, the Turkey Blocks monitoring group said in a statement.

Residents in Istanbul were unable to access any pages of Wikipedia without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), AFP correspondents said.

“The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country,” Turkey Blocks said.

Turkey Blocks and Turkish media, including the Hurriyet daily, said the site has been blocked under a provisional administrative order that would need to be backed by a full court order in the next days.

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying.

No reason was given for the order to block Wikipedia and other websites, including leading social media, appeared to be working normally.

Turkey Blocks said the restriction was in place with multiple Internet Service Providers..

Turkey has become notorious over the last years for temporarily blocking access to popular sites, including Facebook and Twitter, in the wake of major events such as mass protests or terror attacks.

Savvy internet users frequently resort to the use of VPNs to get around these bans although there have been complaints that the use of VPNs has now also started to be blocked.

The government says such measures are always temporary and needed for national security but critics see them as another restriction on civil liberties under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The move to block Wikipedia caused an uproar on social media in Turkey with users angrily denouncing the decision to restrict access to one of the world’s most popular websites.

Some speculated the decision may have been prompted by deeply unflattering updates by critical users to Erdogan’s Wikipedia profile after he won the April 16 referendum on enhancing his powers.

The government insists that the new presidential system – largely due to come into force in 2019 – will improve efficiency but critics fear it will lead to one-man rule.

 

 

source:http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/04/29/turkish-authorities-block-access-wikipedia

Only 2.65 Percent of Immigrants into Italy Are Refugees

24th April 2017

According to official reports, during the year 2016, only 2.65 percent of those immigrating into Italy were awarded asylum as refugees, with the vast majority staying on in the country as illegal, undocumented immigrants.

According to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), a total of 181,436 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Italy during 2016, a record year in recent history. This figure does not include those who were able to enter the country undetected, but only those who were officially registered either by Italian officials or NGOs.

Of these, only 4,808 were recognized as refugees and awarded asylum in Italy, a mere 2.65 percent of the total number of those making the crossing.

A disturbing statistic that has recently come to light reveals that half of the migrants arriving in the country (90,334) never even requested asylum, but disappeared into the country as undocumented immigrants, commonly referred to by the Italians as “clandestini.”

The remaining 91,902 migrants applied for asylum, and 60 percent of these (54,252) had their petitions rejected unconditionally. Another 21 percent (18,979) were awarded “humanitarian protection,” allowing them a renewable yearly permission to remain in the country, and 14 percent more (12,873) were given “subsidiary protection.”

The 4,808 immigrants who were awarded asylum represent 5.28 percent of the asylum seekers and therefore only 2.65 percent of the total number of immigrants entering in the country during the year.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of immigrants into Italy were denied asylum, fewer than 5,000 were deported in 2016, meaning that more than 175,000 remained in the country, most of them illegally.

Despite last year’s record immigration into Italy, the first quarter of 2017 registered a 30 percent jump compared with the same period in 2016. Shortly afterward, Italy received another 8,500 migrants in a single weekend as migrants poured into the country over Easter.

The leader of the Northern League (La Lega) political party, Matteo Salvini, announced that he would bring a case against government leaders for promotion of illegal immigration into the country.

“It is now clear that illegal immigration is organized and financed and for this reason we have decided to bring a case against the government, the President of the Council, the ministers and the commanders of the Navy and the Coast Guard,” Salvini said.

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/04/24/report-only-2-65-percent-of-immigrants-into-italy-are-refugees/

Feds to Deploy Facial Recognition Tech at Border Checkpoints

20th April 2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is planning to unveil a facial recognition program that will track visa holders at U.S. airports while using the same technology on drones to patrol the southern border.

The system, called Biometric Exit, is currently being tested on a one-way flight from Atlanta to Tokyo and is expected to be rolled out to more airports this summer after being expedited by the Trump Administration, according to a report from The Verge.

The current practice used by Customs and Border Protection agents is to take photos and fingerprints of every visa holder who enters the U.S., but there is no system in place to verify that a visa holder has left before their visa expires. This is where Biometric Exit comes in.

Passengers will have their photos taken at the airport before boarding flights, that photo will cross-reference with “passport-style photos provided with the visa application.” If there is no match, then that will raise flags about whether the visitor entered the United States illegally.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Larry Panetta, who is leading the airport segment of the project, said, “We currently have everyone’s photo, so we don’t need to do any sort of enrollment. We have access to the Department of State records so we have photos of US Citizens, we have visa photos, we have photos of people when they cross into the US and their biometrics are captured into [DHS biometric database] IDENT.”

President Trump expedited the implementation of Biometric Exit when he signed the executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” the same document that called for the temporary halt of immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries.

“Sec. 7.  Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.  (a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States,” the executive order states.

The CBP is also looking to use facial recognition at the border to help identify any person that is in relevant law enforcement databases.

Officials with the CBP solicited proposals from companies for small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), like consumer drones, for deployment by Border Patrol agents along the southern border.

The agency is specifically looking for a drone that is small enough that it can fit into a truck, weighs under 55 pounds, and is deployable by a single agent in less than 5 minutes. Officials also want a drone fitted with state-of-the-art sensor technology which reportedly may include, “infrared cameras and facial-recognition capabilities.”

A document included with the solicitation, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Capabilities, said the agency is looking for a drone that can, “distinguish between natural and artificial features, and between animals, humans, and vehicles at long range.”

The same document also states that the agency is looking for a drone that, “would have facial recognition capabilities that allow it cross-reference any persons identified with relevant law enforcement databases.”

The goal will be to cross-reference the facial scans against multiple government databases that collect biometric information, including the FBI. “The bureau can draw from over 411 million photos spread across state and federal databases, including more than 173 million driver’s license photos, as part of the new biometric effort,” according to a government document that was analyzed by The Verge.

Ari Schuler, co-lead of CBP’s Silicon Valley office, which is managing the project, said that a drone that has these capabilities would allow Border Patrol Agents to identify traffickers who have violent criminal backgrounds, allowing the Agent the call backup.

Since large portions of the border lack cellular service, the biggest challenge for contractors is figuring out how to stream data from the drones. The CBP is also looking for a drone that is secure, not vulnerable to hacking.

The move to go from large military-style drones to small consumer ones comes from the disappointment the CBP has had with the Predator. A report from 2014 shows that the cost to operate 10 Predators over the course of a year exceeded $60 million. The drones failed to lower the cost of border surveillance and were vulnerable to GPS jamming and other attacks.

 

 

source:http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/04/19/feds-deploy-facial-recognition-tech-border-checkpoints/

CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks

20th April 2017

CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.

Sources familiar with the investigation say it is looking for an insider — either a CIA employee or contractor — who had physical access to the material. The agency has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen.

Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.

The trove was published in March by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks

In his first public comments as director of the CIA just last week, Mike Pompeo railed against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he said.

WikiLeaks has said it obtained the CIA information from former contractors who worked for U.S. intelligence. The CIA has not commented on the authenticity of the WikiLeaks disclosures or on the status of the investigation.

 

source:http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cia-fbi-on-manhunt-for-leaker-who-gave-top-secret-documents-to-wikileaks/

Battle intensifies between Trump’s CIA, WikiLeaks

15th april 2017

The battle between the CIA and WikiLeaks is intensifying.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo used his first major public remarks on Thursday to skewer WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” willing to work with Russia and other foreign actors to promote their interests.

He blasted Julian Assange as a “fraud” interested in his own fame, seeking to undermine efforts by the WikiLeaks founder to be viewed as a legitimate ally of civil libertarians.

“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said.“Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value,” the former Republican congressman charged. “He relies on the dirty work of others to make himself famous. He is a fraud—a coward hiding behind a screen.”

WikiLeaks was quick to respond, sending out a series of messages on Twitter claiming that Pompeo vowed to “silence” the organization over its purported disclosures of CIA hacking tools and using his remarks to promote an op-ed written by Assange in the Washington Post.

In the op-ed, Assange wrote that WikiLeaks had the same mission as news outlets such as the Post and The New York Times.

The organization also mocked Pompeo by sending out a since-deleted tweet he wrote last July, when the former Kansas lawmaker cited stolen Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks as proof that the presidential nomination had been “fixed” for Hillary Clinton.

Pompeo’s speech was a wide departure from President Trump’s praise of WikiLeaks on the campaign trail. Trump and his administration have taken a much more hostile approach to WikiLeaks since taking office.

U.S. national security experts welcomed Pompeo’s comments as a signal that the new director was taking a hard line on an organization that has leaked information damaging to American interests.

“I think what [Pompeo] did was putting him on notice, which I think is exactly the right thing to do,” James Carafano, a national security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said. “I think he’s throwing down the gauntlet.”

But the speech was not warmly embraced by all. Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published documents leaked by Edward Snowden, slammed Pompeo for his remarks, accusing him of “explicitly” threatening free speech and press freedoms.

“WikiLeaks now has few friends in Washington,” Greenwald wrote in The Intercept. “But the level of affection for WikiLeaks should have no bearing on how one responds to these press freedom threats from Donald Trump’s CIA Director. Criminalizing the publication of classified documents is wrong in itself, and has the obvious potential to spread far beyond their initial target.”

WikiLeaks for weeks has needled the CIA by releasing troves of leaked documents allegedly revealing the agency’s hacking programs.

The releases, called “Vault 7,” contain documents describing hacking techniques used by the CIA, such as tools to breach mobile devices and hack into smart televisions, as well as other internal communications.

Hours after Pompeo’s speech, WikiLeaks leaked yet another trove of documents that claimed to reveal information about a top-secret CIA hacking program called Hive.

Experts have largely described the contents of the periodic document releases as unsurprising, and evidence that the CIA is doing its job. Nevertheless, they have renewed the debate around privacy and intelligence community spying and also raised questions about the source of the leaks.

“Obviously, this hurts when other people know where you have been, what you have been thinking,” said former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said that the documents show no abuse of the agency’s powers.

“There is the danger that even though these things might reflect appropriate activities that Americans don’t object to, the fact that you can’t keep the tools secret, the fact that you can’t keep the data you collect from other prying eyes, that creates a real big, strong argument for, ‘then I don’t want you doing it in the first place,’” Hayden said.

Some note that the leaks underscore the persisting problem of insider threats, which has been a major cause for concern since the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and former soldier Chelsea Manning.

Pompeo acknowledged Thursday that the agency needs to strengthen its own systems to prevent leaks.

Adam Klein, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said that a major concern about WikiLeaks is that the organization provides an “outlet” for insider threats and encourages them.

“Insider threats are our intelligence agencies’ biggest security threat,” Klein told The Hill.

WikiLeaks has appeared to target CIA interns as potential sources of information. “CIA advertises internships. Whistleblowing opportunity?” the organized wrote on Twitter in mid-March.

“To the extent that there’s any news here, it’s that we have not gotten a handle on insider threats,” Klein said of the latest releases, noting that Congress should be concerned about the CIA leaks.

“I think it’s good news, frankly, that the CIA us thinking creatively about collecting information from foreign intelligence targets in the digital age,” Klein said.

The CIA has not confirmed the authenticity of any of the documents released, which Pompeo mentioned briefly on Thursday.

“As a policy, we at CIA do not comment on the accuracy of purported intelligence documents posted online,” Pompeo said. “In keeping with that policy, I will not specifically comment on the authenticity or provenance of recent disclosures.”

“But the false narratives that increasingly define our public discourse cannot be ignored,” he said.

 

source: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/328918-battle-intensifies-between-trumps-cia-wikileaks

Trump administration won’t release White House visitor logs

15th April 2017

The Trump administration will not voluntarily disclose logs of visitors to the White House complex, it announced Friday, breaking with the practice started under former President Obama.

The White House cited “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns” of people who visit the White House, according to Time. Officials said that keeping the visitor logs private is necessary to protect President Trump’s ability to seek advice from people “with some discretion.”

A limited number of records of visitors to White House departments, such as the Office of Management and Budget, will be accessible through Freedom of Information Act requests. But most will not, including those that apply to the president and his senior staff.

The announcement is likely to anger ethics and good-government watchdogs, who argue the public has the right to know who is visiting the White House.Three of those organizations sued the administration in federal court this week, demanding the logs be released.

“We hoped that the Trump administration would follow the precedent of the Obama administration and continue to release visitor logs, but unfortunately they have not,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement.

Under the Trump administration’s policy, the records will be kept secret until five years after the president leaves office.

Since Trump took office Jan. 20, a section of the White House website where the visitor logs were posted under Obama has been left blank.

“This page is being updated. It will post records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis, once they become available,” the webpage reads.

The Obama administration’s decision to disclose visitor logs came in response to a series of lawsuits that began under former President George W. Bush. Records were posted online on a monthly basis for people who visited 90 to 120 days prior.
But exceptions were carved out for “purely personal guests of the first and second families” and “records related to a small group of particularly sensitive meetings.”
That often sparked criticism that the Obama White House was being less than forthcoming about who was visiting. For example, the first family hosted a “private” concert in 2015 headlined by Prince and Stevie Wonder that was attended by 500 people, including influential business figures and campaign supporters.
Those guests were not included in the publicly released visitor records.
As a private citizen in 2012, Trump criticized Obama for trying to hide public records.
“Why is @BarackObama spending millions to try and hide his records? He is the least transparent President–ever–and he ran on transparency,” he tweeted.

 

 

source:http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/328857-trump-administration-wont-release-white-house-visitor-logs

Trump’s Victory Brought Back Childhood ‘Trauma’

14th April 2017

Pop star Katy Perry — one of Hillary Clinton’s top celebrity endorsers during the 2016 presidential campaign — says Donald Trump’s victory brought back painful childhood trauma.

“I was really disheartened for a while; it just brought up a lot of trauma for me,” the 32-year-old “Chained to the Rhythm” singer said in a cover story interview for this month’s Vogue magazine. “Misogyny and sexism were in my childhood: I have an issue with suppressive males and not being seen as equal.”

“I felt like a little kid again being faced with a scary, controlling guy,” Perry added. “I wouldn’t really stand for it in my work life, because I have had so much of that in my personal life.”

Months after the election, Perry has established herself as a vocal member of the anti-Trump “Resistance” movement. A month after Trump’s inauguration, Perry performed at the 2017 Brit Awards alongside giant skeletons meant to skewer Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Just ten days prior, Perry performed at the 2017 Grammy Awards while wearing an armband that read “PERSIST,” along with a Planned Parenthood button.

The singer’s “purposeful” pop has introduced what the singer hopes will be a new era of political activism, a time that has coincided with an “awakening” of young people she says are now more politically engaged than ever before.

“It’s an awakening that was necessary because I think we were in a false utopia, we can’t ever get that stagnant again,” Perry explained. “I am so grateful that young people know the names of senators. I think teenage girls are going to save the world! That age group just seems to be holding people accountable. They have a really strong voice — and a loud one.”

Just this week, Perry posted a picture of Clinton sporting a pair of pumps, called The Hillary, that the singer says were inspired by the former secretary of state.

 

The $139 pumps, now for sale on Perry’s website, include a clear heel embedded with golden moon and stars meant to inspire those who wear them to “step in and reach for the stars.”

 

 

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/04/13/katy-perry-trumps-victory-brought-up-a-lot-of-trauma/