Cops tell UK man to “check your thinking” after he tweeted questioning transgenderism

UK: HATE CRIME POLICE INVESTIGATE MAN’S “THINKING” AFTER HE CRITICIZED TRANSGENDERISM

Published: February 5, 2019
S

A man in the United Kingdom was subjected to a thought police investigation by authorities in Humberside after he criticized transgenderism. 

NBC “News” uses data from New Knowledge [sic] to smear Tulsi Gabbard as “the Kremlin’s candidate”

NBC News, to Claim Russia Supports Tulsi Gabbard, Relies on Firm Just Caught Fabricating Russia Data for the Democratic Party

Glenn Greenwald February 3 2019, 8:49 a.m.

NBC NEWS PUBLISHED a predictably viral story Friday, claiming that “experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.”

But the whole story was a sham: The only “expert” cited by NBC in support of its key claim was the firm New Knowledge, which just got caught by the New York Times fabricating Russian troll accounts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election.

To justify its claim that Gabbard is the Kremlin’s candidate, NBC stated, “analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted ‘chatter’ related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns.”

What NBC — amazingly — concealed is a fact that reveals its article to be a journalistic fraud: That same firm, New Knowledge, was caughtjust six weeks ago engaging in a massive scam to create fictitious Russian troll accounts on Facebook and Twitter in order to claim that the Kremlin was working to defeat Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones in Alabama. The New York Times, when exposing the scam, quoted a New Knowledge report that boasted of its fabrications: “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the [Roy] Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.’”

That fraud was overseen by New Knowledge’s CEO, Jonathon Morgan. At the same time Morgan was fabricating Russian troll accounts and using them to create a fraudulent appearance that Putin was trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate, he was exploiting his social media “expertise” to claim that Russians were interfering in the Alabama Senate election. In other words, Morgan used his own fake Russian accounts to lie to the public and deceive the national media into believing that Kremlin-linked accounts were trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate when, in fact, the accounts he was citing were ones he himself had fabricated and controlled. 

Click on the link for the rest.

Italy vetoes EU recognition of Guaido as Venezuela’s “interim leader” if Maduro won’t hold snap elections

Italy vetoed EU recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido – M5S source to RT

Published time: 4 Feb, 2019 09:31 Edited time: 4 Feb, 2019 13:45

Italy vetoed EU recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido – M5S source to RT

FILE PHOTO: Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido speaks to the media © REUTERS / Carlos Barria

Rome has effectively derailed an EU statement meant to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim leader if President Nicolas Maduro fails to set up snap elections, a Five Star Movement source confirmed to RT.

Italy announced the veto at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers that started on January 31 in Romania, the source said. The statement, which was supposed to be delivered by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini recognized Guaido as interim president if snap elections were not held.Read more

We must avoid mistake of Libya: Italian deputy FM speaks out against Venezuela regime change

We must avoid mistake of Libya: Italian deputy FM speaks out against Venezuela regime change

The European Parliament is the first European body to recognize Guaido “as the only legitimate interim president of the country until new free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be called in order to restore democracy.”

The parliament urged the EU to follow suit but the effort stalled due to internal discord. A range of European nations have separately recognized the opposition chief as Venezuela’s acting president, including the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, and Austria. The coordinated move came after an eight-day deadline for Maduro to call presidential elections expired on Monday.

The US announced that it is backing the new interim leader and pledged their full support immediately after what has been labeled “a coup” by officials in Caracas. However Russia, China, Turkey and Iran said they see Maduro as the only legitimate leader, warning against meddling in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.

Maduro himself rejected the EU ultimatum but promised to push for political reform. He suggested that parliamentary elections be held earlier than 2020, arguing that the National Assembly – a legislative body dominated by the opposition and headed by Guaido – needs to be “re-legitimized.”

Following the announcement, Venezuela witnessed massive rallies, both for and against Maduro. Some of the country’s high-ranking officials, including a defense attaché in the US, voiced their support for Guaido, but the majority remained loyal to Maduro, including the army.

On the brothers who destroyed America (MUST-READ new review of David Talbot’s book The Devil’s Chessboard)

Book Review: The Brothers Who Set Postwar America on Its Disastrous Course

By Josh Mitteldorf

Author 2756
Senior Editor
Become a Fan
(41 fans)

David Talbot, Harper Perenniel (2016)

Oliver Stone tells the story of the 1944 Democratic Convention. The crowd is wildly cheering VP Henry Wallace, and Sen Claude Pepper is pushing his way to the podium, eager to seize the moment and move that Wallace be nominated by acclamation to be FDR’s running mate for another term, just as FDR has wished. With three seconds to spare, Mayor Kelly of the Chicago Democratic machine fabricates a “fire hazard” in order to adjourn the meeting without a vote. He and other party bosses then work the delegates all night with bribes and threats, and in the morning the unknown Sen Harry Truman, who had placed eighth the night before, is voted to be Roosevelt’s VP.

The point is that FDR had only months to live, and that Wallace would have been an enormously popular president with a strong leaning toward pacifism and democratic socialism. There would have been no Hiroshima, no Cold War, and the New Deal programs would have been continued and expanded. The US economy would have followed a path more like Norway. We came within three seconds of a historic path in which the Military-Industrial Complex and the Deep State would never have gotten a toehold.

How did we get to this place, this crazy paranoid world where our country spills the worst aspects of its violent culture over the planet, murdering and subjugating and stealing resources in the name of “spreading democracy”, lying and deceiving for the sake of a handful of robber barons who are mostly oblivious to the carnage that is perpetrated in their name, while the rest of us are inestimably poorer for the waste, the devastation, the lost lives, the shattered bodies and fractured families?

Click on the link for the rest.

ICE sets up fake university to lure, and jail, 130 foreign students

Fake University of Farmington in Michigan leads to 130 arrests

University of Farmington office in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Photo taken in 2017. (Photo: Matt Friedman/Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications)

In a nationwide sweep, federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have arrested 130 foreign students who were enrolled at a fake university in metro Detroit that was created by ICE to lure in students trying to remain in the U.S. 

“We have arrested 130 foreign nationals on civil immigration charges,” ICE spokesperson Carissa Cutrell told the Free Press on Thursday. “This may increase.”

ICE made the arrests in the early morning hours Wednesday, the same day federal indictments were unsealed that charged eight people, six of them from metro Detroit, in a visa fraud scheme. The sweep was one of the largest targeting immigrants from India in recent years, attorneys say. 

The eight defendants were charged criminally for conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring aliens for profit. But the 130 students were arrested on only civil immigration charges. 

More: Farmington Hills fake university set up by ICE to nab foreign students

More: Marine’s mom: My son is a U.S. citizen, why was he detained by ICE?

The arrests took place across the U.S., in New Jersey, Atlanta, Houston, Michigan, California, Louisiana, North Carolina, St. Louis, according to immigration attorneys.  Some of the arrests of the students came at their homes early in the morning before dawn. BY LITTER GENIEHelps #StopCatLitterSmell!See more →

The students had immigrated legally to the U.S. on student visas and had transferred to the University of Farmington so they could work, said attorneys. Out of the 130 students, 129 are from India and one is Palestinian, said ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls.

Federal prosecutors claim the students were aware the university was not running a legitimate operation. But attorneys who have spoken with students or with family and friends of those arrested are pushing back against the government’s claims. 

Ravi Mannam, an immigration attorney in Atlanta, said the government’s fake university “kind of hooked these students by promising them credits for their previous master’s programs.”

The entrance sign at 30500 Northwestern Hwy. in Farmington Hills, Michigan references the University of Farmington.

The entrance sign at 30500 Northwestern Hwy. in Farmington Hills, Michigan references the University of Farmington. (Photo: Google)

He said that what the University of Farmington was offering — allowing students to work while enrolled — is not unusual. And so the students may have thought it was an authorized university and work program through a type of F-1 visa known as CPT (Curricular Practical Training).

Michael Sofo, an attorney in Atlanta with Mannan and Associates said based on what he has heard about the students, it’s “not been the case” that they were knowingly participating in an illegal operation. 

“There are specific universities who have advanced degree programs that primarily involved practical training from day one that allows them to enroll and the bulk of the time is spent working,” Sofo said. The courses “can be done at a remote location. It doesn’t have to be where they attend the university. … Programs like this exist and they are legal.”

ICE maintains that the students arrested were not in valid status because they were not enrolled in a full course of study as required by federal regulations. Prosecutors called it a “pay-to-stay” scheme.

ICE said that foreign students are granted what are called “F” and “M” visas to study in the U.S. and must maintain their legal status by enrolling in a university certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). ICE said that that since the University of Farmington did not offer courses, the students were using the program as a way to work.

Many of the students are from India and were trying to pursue master’s degrees. After they arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, some of them sought transfers because of accreditation problems their universities had, said Mannam.

Mannam said that the officials at the university were telling students that they could enroll and work through the CPT program. 

“They were in a distress situation and looking to transfer out to a different university and they saw the government website, the University of Farmington website,” he said. 

Logo of the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Prosecutors say it is a fake university created by HSI of ICE, part of the Dept. of Homeland Security, to investigate student visa fraud.

Logo of the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Prosecutors say it is a fake university created by HSI of ICE, part of the Dept. of Homeland Security, to investigate student visa fraud. (Photo: Dept. of Homeland Security)

The students were led to believe by officials at the University of Farmington — who were actually with ICE — that the students could work while enrolled at the university. 

The arrests and news of the fake university also made headlines in Indian newspapers and Telugu-language media outlets. 

An official with the government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, K. Rama Mohana Rao, wrote a letter Thursday to India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj asking her to help the Indian students who have been arrested. 

“All the students were made to believe that their admission was valid,” said Rao in a letter posted on social media and also reported by the Times of India. Rao said many of the students came from poor and rural backgrounds. 

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security shut down a website they had been created for the University of Farmington. On the website, it now reads: “The University of Farmington has been closed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

It tells affected students to contact their local office of Homeland Security Investigations, the ICE agency that did the investigation and undercover operation.

Update: On Friday, the Indian Embassy in the U.S. released hotlines to call for help and information on the detention of the 130 students, 129 of which are from India. The numbers are 1-202-322-1190 and 1-202-340-2590 or email cons3.washington@mea.gov.in

Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@freepress.com or 313-223-4792. Follow him on Twitter @nwarikoo

US/China war over 5G is NOT to help their people, but eventually to fight each other (2)

5G will enable ‘smart’ future warfare

From the South China Morning Post

Why 5G, a battleground for US and China, is also a fight for military supremacy

  • Next-generation networks will be vital to future military operations, raising the stakes between those developing the technology
  • It may be easier to hack 5G, but strategic motivations are also behind concerns of the United States, experts say

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2019Excerpt:Apart from its tremendous commercial benefits, 5G – the fifth generation of mobile communication – is revolutionising military and security technology, which is partly why it has become a focal point in the United States’ efforts to contain China’s rise as a tech power and its allegations against Chinese companies.

The future landscape of warfare and cybersecurity could be fundamentally changed by 5G. But experts say 5G is more susceptible to hacking than previous networks, at a time of rising security concerns and US-China tensions on various interconnected fronts that include trade, influence in the Asia-Pacific region and technological rivalry.

These tensions provide the backdrop to controversy surrounding Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier.

Long before the Chinese company was indicted in the US this week on multiple charges including stealing trade secrets and violating US sanctions – charges it denies – US intelligence voiced concerns that Huawei’s telecommunications equipment could contain “back doors” for Chinese espionage.

Huawei has repeatedly denied these allegations, but the controversies have underlined 5G’s growing importance and stepped up the technological arms race between China and the US.

To most people, the next-generation networks, which will be at least 20 times faster than the most advanced networks today, may just mean faster downloads of movies or smoother streaming. But they have much bigger potential than that.

SNIP

Read the full article here

******************************

Also see: The US-China fight over 5G is also about the future of warfare

BY Liu Zhen February 1 2019

Excerpt:

Imagine a group of skirmishers in a jungle.

They move forward rapidly, spread a few hundred feet apart. Each of them wears a device on their wrist that displays the position of each squad member.

Suddenly one soldier, ambushed by an enemy combatant, is shot and loses consciousness. His smart wearable device detects his condition, immediately tightens a belt around his wounded thigh, injects an adrenaline shot – and sends an emergency alert to the field hospital as well as the entire team.

The team switches to a coordinated combat formation. They surround downed comrade, as a helicopter arrives to evacuate him. Auto-driven armored vehicles arrive on site to reinforce the squad’s position – guided by the devices on each soldier.

The battle is won, the casualty saved – all thanks to those devices strapped to the soldiers’ wrists.

This isn’t a movie plot. It’s an example of technology already or about to be developed, as the internet of things – built on 5G and AI technologies – reshapes warfare./..SNIP

Read the full article here

Two good videos on Venezuela

From Francis Feeley: 

Hello Mark,

In case you missed this, here are a couple of dynamite videos on Venezuela :

Allan Nairn: Trump’s Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/30/allan_nairn_trump_s_venezuela_envoy

(Published on January 30, 2019)

&

The Venezuelan Opposition – with Abby Martin.

(Published on July 3, 2017)

All the best,

Francis

“Our free press” continues to black out the Matamoros auto strike, although it’s spread to many other industries. Why is that?

Just as with the Yellow Vests, whose protests are reported by "our free press" only now and then; and just as with the massive post-election protests in Honduras, which started in December of 2017and raged throughout last year, until their violent suppression by the state—a story that "our free press" never mentioned, even though that crackdown fed "the caravan" that did get quite a lot of sentimental coverage here. 

Thus "our free press" consistently blacks out stories of mass solidarity, while daily, hourly, highlighting  (and sometimes fabricating) stories of division, always told divisively: of women/blacks/ Hispanics/Asian-Americans/Native Americans/trans-gender folk or (non-white) immigrants attacked, or treated as invisible, or somehow grossly disrespected by (it always seems to come down to) bad white men (like Trump), or bad white people (e.g., "Hollywood").

It's very easy to imagine (as we are encouraged to imagine) that the purpose of this endless"social justice" melodrama is, somehow, to make A Better World for all of us—but that is definitely not the case, since "our free press," while highlighting the grievances of disparate "victim" groups, is also as ferociously pro-war, and anti-anti-war, as it was back in 1917, when it was demonizing Germany as fiercely, loudly and dishonestly as it now demonizes"Putin" and/or Russia, and Maduro, and as it targeted Assad and Kim Jong-Un not long ago, and, earlier, Qaddafi. 

And even as "our free press" seems to side with "the oppressed," primarily in certain privileged sectors of American society—in corporate offices, in Hollywood, in academia, in stand-up comedy—it never takes our side against the powers that are oppressing all of us. Whether it's the mega-banks (and their enablers in the SEC and Federal Reserve), or Big Pharma (and its partners in the CDC), or the wireless juggernaut (and its partners in the FCC), or the "criminal justice" system, with its network of for-profit prisons, or—especially—the CIA/FBI/NSA: a/k/a the "national security" establishment, and its affiliated SWAT teams nationwide, or any of the other state-and-corporate combinations forged to keep us in subjection overall, "our free press" either blacks out that oppression, or ridicules the few who dare speak out against it. 

There is much more to say about the "social justice" fakery of "our free press"—about its blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinians, about its hostile lack of interest in the scandal of elite child trafficking (a lack of interest rather hard to square with its #MeToo obsession),or about its over half-a-century of whopping lies about the murders of JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy (even as it ritually "reveres" all four of them).  

While I'll say more about those oddities (if oddities they are) in weeks to come, the crucial point today is that the aim of "our free press" is not to serve democracy, but to prevent it at all costs, because it is essentially a weapon of imperial division.

MCM 

From Joe Surkiewicz: The Matamoros strike is spreading. Still no MSM coverage.

Matamoros strike grows as Mexican ruling class warns of national strike wave

By Eric London and Andrea Lobo 
2 February 2019

The strike of tens of thousands of Matamoros workers spread beyond the maquiladoras this week to new industries as workers in water purification, milk production, and Coca-Cola bottling walked out of their Matamoros workplaces Thursday and Friday.

Several additional auto parts maquiladoras also joined the strike at the end of the week, including at Spellman, Toyoda Gosei Rubber and Tapex. Although over a dozen plants have returned to work after the companies granted the 20 percent wage increase and $1,700 bonus, more than 25 remain on strike, costing the mostly US-based companies a whopping $37 million per day.

At the same time, a strike of 30,000 teachers in the state of Michoacan neared the end of its third week with thousands of teachers blocking train tracks linking industrial hubs with the critical Pacific ports at Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacan and Manzanillo in Colima. Last Monday, thousands of teachers in Oaxaca joined the strike.

Noticieros Televisa wrote Thursday that the teachers’ blockades “impact not only national industries but also their principle trading partners in Asia. In Guanajuato, the auto industry already reports an impact to supply lines.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) attacked the teachers in a press conference Monday, ordering them to get back to work and absurdly calling them right-wing: “This has nothing to with left-wing politics,” he said. “This radicalism has everything to do with conservatism.”

The Mexican ruling class is terrified of the growing strike movement.

In an article titled “The end of labor stability,” Mexico’s main business paper, El Financiero, warned on Thursday that “not in decades has Mexico been presented with 44 strikes in only one blow.” In comparison to recent weeks, the six-year presidential terms of Vicente, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto saw only 49, 40 and 23 strikes respectively.

“As easy as one two three, the labor stability which we have maintained for decades, with hundreds of thousands of successful contract negotiations, is broken. And it won’t stop there,” El Financiero wrote, warning that the future will bring “polarization” and “a growth of the contradictions between capital and labor. It is the end of labor peace.”

An Associated Press report published Friday exposes AMLO’s anti-working class role in seeking to break strikes and suppress wages. According to business representatives cited in the AP article, AMLO and leaders of his Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) “actively discouraged the Matamoros union from seeking the pay increase.”

It wasn’t the union which demanded the wage increase, but the workers themselves who organized independently and against the explicit threats of the union. Now, the ruling class is leaning desperately on the trade unions and their backers to block the development of a nationwide strike movement.

Milenio newspaper warned that “there is a fear of a contagion in the border region, where millions hope for an increase to their incomes.” The paper quotes an anonymous business leader who said, “This is without precedent. We are all involved in what here will mark what will be the future of manufacturing in this country.”

The industry website Manufactura.mx reported that a corporate representative said industry workers were “contaminated” by the demands for a 20 percent wage increase and that companies anticipate the strikes will spread. The business representative said, “We have an excellent relationship with the union” and hoped the union would help the company avoid a strike.

According to Noticieros Televisa, in “the maquiladora industry in Baja California [where the largest maquiladora city, Tijuana, is located] there is a fear that workers will launch a strike for wage increases.” Noticieros Televisa reports that maquiladoras are “maintaining dialogue with the unions of the industry with the goal of avoiding a labor stoppage.”

Workers are both excited by the growth of the strike and concerned that the companies plan to betray whatever agreement they reach.

One Matamoros striker said, “We all have to go out together. The union is afraid that we are uniting. The majority of us are already out. The problem is that the union hasn’t helped us and hasn’t represented us. Now we have to go out and organize guards. We are not asking for gifts, only what we deserve.” The worker said a union official told her “you are nobodies for being out here.”

A striking Kearfott worker told the WSWS, “I’m glad for the new strikers. This is for all workers across the border that have that clause in their contracts” requiring wages increase in parity with the minimum wage. “The same companies put it there and now they have to pay. We are the most exploited and least rewarded class. I think that it’s time for them to give back to us what they have taken.”

A worker at Autoliv explained to the WSWS that after the company agreed to workers’ demands, “as soon as we went back to work, they began to fire people.”

A worker at Tyco, which also agreed to the wage increase and bonus, also told the WSWS there is a growing mood to strike again to protect their coworkers from retribution:

“At Autoliv, they are firing a bunch of people without severance or bonus. The manager fires workers and mocks them, telling them that they are not going to pay their bonus or severance. They are being sent to the conciliation and arbitration board and are told that they’ll have to wait half a year or a year to resolve things. Obviously this board is on the side of Autoliv.

“I think that the majority that are now working, many who didn’t even participate in the wildcat strikes, should all strike again to support their fired co-workers. They are already getting their bonus and raise. We are a new generation that didn’t know how to strike. We have won respect whether people like it or not. Maybe it’s not all the respect we need, but this is our first strike and if things don’t get better, our second strike will be more organized.”

Though the US business press is beginning to report on the impact of the strikes in Mexico from an economic standpoint, the websites of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and Socialist Alternative as well as the Democratic Socialists of America’s (DSA) Jacobin magazine have all ignored the strike entirely. None of these anti-working class, anti-socialist organizations has published a single article on the rebellion of Mexican maquiladora workers.