Eurasia Review: Television Programming For Children Reveals Systematic Gender Inequality

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Programming children watch on American TV shows systematic gender
inequality, according to new research co-authored by Dafna Lemish of the
School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University-New
Brunswick.

In the newly released report, “The Landscape of Children’s Television in the U.S. and Canada,” Lemish, associate dean for programs and professor of journalism and media studies at SC&I, and co-author, Dr. Colleen Russo Johnson found new data revealing gender inequality in both the content children watch and in the industry creating the content.

Their research reveals that in television shows geared toward
children aged two to 12, 64% of male characters are still dominant on
the screen, particularly for non-human characters (72%) and female human
characters were more racially diverse (46%) than male human characters
(25%).

“The fact that female characters are more likely to be portrayed
as persons of color suggests that some shows might be trying to ‘check
two boxes’ with one casting,” Lemish and Johnson wrote in the report.

Their findings are significant, Lemish said, because “television is a
major socializing force in children’s lives – they spend more time
watching and interacting with screens than in any other activity and
they learn from TV about societal values, who matters in society, what
one can aspire to become etc. It also matters because U.S. continues to
be the major producer and exporter of children’s TV and thus it
continues to disseminate such misguided values to the rest of the
world.”

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Eurasia Review: Cryptographic Breakthrough Helps Spies To Shake Hands

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When spies meet, they use secret handshakes to confirm their
identities, ensuring they are who they say they are. Now, researchers at
Stevens Institute of Technology, and colleagues, have solved a
15-year-old problem that allows handshake-style encryption to be used
for time-delayed digital communications such as email – a challenge once
thought to be impossible.

The work, led by Giuseppe Ateniese, David and GG Farber Endowed
Chair in Computer Science, dramatically expands the technology’s utility
not just for intelligence agencies and Web-savvy spies, but for anyone
with an interest in secure online communication, including journalists,
financial workers, lawyers, medical professionals, and others for whom
security and privacy are key priorities.

“The demand for tools like this is incredible,” said Ateniese, whose work appears in arxiv.org
and will be presented at Crypto 2019, one of the most competitive
conferences in this research area. “Privacy is growing more and more
important, and encryption is essential for almost everyone.”

Digital handshakes, like in-person handshakes, use real-time
interactions to verify participants’ identities. That’s fine for live
communication like online chats, explained Ateniese. But it’s a deal
breaker for email-style communications, in which messages may need to be
decoded long after they were originally sent.

Ateniese and his team, including Danilo Francati, a doctoral student
at Stevens, as well as Daniele Venturi from Sapienza University of Rome
and David Nuñez from Nucypher, a cryptography company, combined
existing key-based cryptographic algorithms in a novel arrangement to
create a system called matchmaking encryption, which simultaneously
checks the identities of both sender and receiver before decrypting a
message. Crucially, matchmaking encryption does away with the need for
real-time interactions, allowing messages to be sent on a “dead drop”
basis and read at a later date.

“A dead drop is like when a spy leaves a message behind a rock,”
said Ateniese. “It can be used when you need to send a message to
someone who’s not there at the moment, but will find it if he or she is
the intended recipient.

To use matchmaking encryption, both sender and receiver create
policies, or lists of traits, that describe the people with whom they
are willing to communicate. Only when both policies are satisfied will a
message actually be delivered and decrypted, ensuring that only the
intended recipients can read the message without anyone else knowing
they are communicating.

Matchmaking encryption can be used for individual-to-individual
communication, but also allows users to designate classes of people with
whom they are willing to communicate. An FBI agent in Philadelphia
could make their messages accessible only to CIA agents in New York, for
example; while CIA agents in New York could refuse to accept messages
from anyone other than Philadelphia-based FBI agents. “It’s a way to
combine these two requests, from sender and receiver, into a single
system,” said Ateniese.

Messages that don’t satisfy both users’ policies aren’t decrypted,
with neither sender nor receiver receiving information about the other
party. “This is important for intelligence — I don’t want to reveal to
you that I’m an FBI agent, so I want assurances that you are who you say
you are,” said Francati. “Matchmaking encryption provides that
assurance as well as a level of privacy that’s stronger than anything
else that’s available.”

As a proof of concept, Ateniese and his team created a matchmaking
encryption bulletin board accessible via the Tor Browser, a web browser
that anonymizes one’s web traffic, making it easy to protect one’s
identity online. Users can scan the bulletin board for messages that
match their policies and for which they match the sender’s policy, and
decrypt them in just a few milliseconds — a sign that the matchmaking
encryption system doesn’t unduly strain computing resources, suggesting
it is both effective and efficient.

Ateniese predicts that additional applications will quickly emerge
as researchers explore the new technology, and find ways to make
matchmaking encryption even more powerful for professions where security
and privacy are key priorities.

“The work opens up new frontiers in secure communication, said
Ateniese. “A very important result – a real and long-awaited
breakthrough.”

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Eurasia Review: New Forecasting System Alerts New Delhi Residents About Unhealthy Air

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Residents of New Delhi and nearby heavily polluted areas of northern
India now have access to air quality forecasts that provide critical
information for reducing their exposure to potentially unhealthy air.

The new forecasting system, developed by the National Center for
Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in collaboration with the Indian Institute
of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune has begun providing 72-hour
forecasts of fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5. These tiny
airborne particles, 2.5 microns or less in diameter, are a major concern
because they are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs or even
the bloodstream, potentially causing significant respiratory and cardiac
problems.

The air pollution can become so extreme under typical wintertime
meteorological conditions that officials in New Delhi have closed
schools and restricted traffic on highly polluted days. The government
of India has also formulated a graded response action plan to impose
temporary controls on industries, power generation, and construction
activities to avert severe air pollution episodes.

“By developing this forecasting system, we are working to provide
timely and accurate information to the public about forthcoming episodes
of poor air quality,” said NCAR’s Rajesh Kumar, the lead scientist on
the project. “It’s critical to inform people so they can plan in advance
to reduce their exposure to air pollutants that can affect their
health.”

The system uses measurements of pollutants, computer modeling, and
statistical techniques. It updates the forecast every 24 hours.

Preliminary results indicate that it is accurately predicting
day-to-day variability in PM2.5, giving officials and residents advance
warning of unusually poor air quality. It does not always capture the
precise levels of the pollutant, but Kumar believes they can improve the
forecasting system to better predict that.

The technology, which scientists will refine during a two-year
research project in India, may eventually be adapted to provide air
quality forecasts in other polluted areas in developing countries, as
well as in the United States.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences in India is funding the project.

A major health and economic threat

New Delhi ranks among the world’s most polluted cities, according to
the World Health Organization. It suffers from particularly high levels
of PM2.5, a major threat to human health and economic activity
throughout much of India and many parts of the developing world.

Fine particulates are emitted from numerous sources, including
agricultural fires, motor vehicles, and smokestacks. On days when
atmospheric concentrations of PM2.5 in New Delhi soar to many times the
level that is considered unhealthy, prolonged exposure to the toxic haze
is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. During a
particularly severe pollution episode in 2017, the state of Delhi’s
chief minister tweeted: “Delhi has become a gas chamber.”

A recent study in Lancet found that fine particulates and other pollutants may have caused more than 1 million deaths in India in 2017.

Indian officials have turned to air quality forecasts in the past
that drew on computer modeling of basic atmospheric conditions. But the
forecasts were unreliable because they did not include detailed
atmospheric measurements or accurate inventories of emissions, nor did
they correctly capture some of the atmospheric processes that produce
particulates.

The new system attempts to address these limitations by
incorporating satellite measurements of particles in the atmosphere and
near-real time emissions from major fires associated with crop-residue
burning upwind of Delhi. It also draws on inventories of emissions from
transportation, industry, and other human activities. This information
is fed into an advanced NCAR-based atmospheric chemistry model known as
WRF-Chem (the chemistry component of the Weather Research and
Forecasting model).

NCAR scientists are developing a specialized statistical system to
combine the observations and WRF-Chem output, further improving the
accuracy of PM2.5 predictions and enabling scientists to reliably
quantify the uncertainties in the forecast. In addition, IITM is
conducting extensive field campaigns and monitoring air quality to
better understand processes that influence the formation and movement of
particulates in New Delhi’s atmosphere.

Kumar and his colleagues are also developing techniques to ensure
that the system accurately predicts spikes in PM2.5 related to special
events, such as the annual Diwali festival of lights that is celebrated
with candles and fireworks.

With air quality a pressing concern across much of the globe, the
research team is studying similar forecasting approaches in the United
States and in additional highly polluted developing countries. This work
is taking place under the umbrella of a new international project
called Monitoring, Analysis, and Prediction of Air Quality (MAP-AQ), led
by Kumar and by Guy Brasseur, director of NCAR’s Atmospheric Chemistry
Observations and Modeling Laboratory.

“The lessons we are learning in the United States are quite useful
in India, and vice-versa,” Kumar said. “This research can lead to
accurate forecasting systems in many regions, enabling millions of
vulnerable residents to take necessary steps to limit their exposure.”

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Eurasia Review: When Is Alzheimer’s Not Alzheimer’s?

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In the past, using the terms “Alzheimer’s disease” and “dementia”
interchangeably was common. Now there is rising appreciation that a
variety of diseases and disease processes contribute to dementia.

According to Nina Silverberg, Ph.D., director of the Alzheimer’s
Disease Centers Program at National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of
NIH, in the past many of the people who enrolled in clinical trials for
Alzheimer’s drugs likely did not have amyloid — the sticky substance
that gums up neurons and interferes with thinking — in their brains.

“Recent research and clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease have
taught us two things: First, not all of the people we thought had
Alzheimer’s have it; second, it is very important to understand the
other contributors to dementia,” she said.

For years, members of the scientific community have noticed that a
large number of people who died in advanced age had symptoms of dementia
without the telltale signs of amyloid or another common culprit, tau,
in their brains at autopsy. Emerging research seemed to indicate that
the protein TDP-43 contributed to that phenomenon.

“More than 200 different viruses can cause the common cold,” said
Dr. Peter Nelson of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University
of Kentucky, “So why would we think there is just one cause of
dementia?”

A group of international researchers co-chaired by Nelson and
Silverberg set out to define diagnostic criteria and other guidelines
for advancing future research into this newly-named dementia, called
LATE.

LATE, which tends to appear in the oldest-old, may seem the same as
Alzheimer’s to the lay person, but the disease inside the brain looks
very different. The incidence of LATE is almost as prevalent among the
oldest-old as Alzheimer’s.

The group’s work, published on April 30, 2019, in the journal Brain,
established that like Alzheimer’s disease, LATE affects multiple areas
of cognition, ultimately impairing activities of daily life, but it
appears that LATE progresses more gradually than Alzheimer’s. However,
LATE combined with Alzheimer’s–which is a common combination–appears
to cause a more rapid decline than either would alone.

Nelson likens the committee’s work to Benjamin Franklin’s “discovery” of electricity.

“People had seen lightning before of course, but Franklin helped
formalize a concept that augmented our ability to study electricity,” he
said. “By developing a sense of scientific focus around these data, we
hope to jump-start a broad field of work to advance our understanding of
this form of dementia and, ultimately, to open new opportunities for
treatment.

Most importantly, Nelson added, it’s time to stop thinking of dementia as a “one-size-fits-all” disease.

“LATE probably responds to different treatments than AD, which might
help explain why so many past Alzheimer’s drugs have failed in clinical
trials,” he said. “Now that the scientific community is on the same
page about LATE, further research into the ‘how’ and ‘why’ can help us
develop disease-specific drugs that target the right patients.”

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Eurasia Review: River Wildlife Contain Cocaine, Pharmaceuticals And Pesticides

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For the first time, researchers at King’s College London, in collaboration with the University of Suffolk, have found a diverse array of chemicals, including illicit drugs and pesticides in UK river wildlife.

The study published today in Environment International, looked at the exposure of wildlife, such as the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex, to different micropollutants (chemicals found at exceptionally low levels) and the levels of these compounds in the animals.

Consumer products, medicines and drugs can end up in rivers after use and comprise thousands of different chemicals which have the potential to cause environmental harm.

The team collected samples from five catchment areas, and 15 different sites across the county of Suffolk. Surprisingly, cocaine was found in all samples tested, and other illicit drugs such as ketamine, pesticides and pharmaceuticals were also widespread in the shrimp that were collected.

Lead author, Dr Thomas Miller from King’s College London said:
“Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds
that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might
pose a risk to wildlife.

“As part of our ongoing work, we found that the most frequently
detected compounds were illicit drugs, including cocaine and ketamine
and a banned pesticide, fenuron. Although for many of these, the
potential for any effect is likely to be low.”

Professor Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk said: “Whether the
presence of cocaine in aquatic animals is an issue for Suffolk, or more
widespread an occurrence in the UK and abroad, awaits further research.
Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due
to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution.
However, the impact of ‘invisible’ chemical pollution (such as drugs)
on wildlife health needs more focus in the UK as policy can often be
informed by studies such as these.”

Dr Leon Barron from King’s College London added: “Such regular
occurrence of illicit drugs in wildlife was surprising. We might expect
to see these in urban areas such as London, but not in smaller and more
rural catchments. The presence of pesticides which have long been banned
in the UK also poses a particular challenge as the sources of these
remain unclear.”

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Eurasia Review: Almost Half Of World Heritage Sites Could Lose Their Glaciers By 2100

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Glaciers are set to disappear completely from almost half of World
Heritage sites if business-as-usual emissions continue, according to the
first-ever global study of World Heritage glaciers.

The sites are home to some of the world’s most iconic glaciers, such
as the Grosser Aletschgletscher in the Swiss Alps, Khumbu Glacier in
the Himalayas and Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae.

The study in the AGU journal Earth’s Future and co-authored
by scientists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) combines data from a global glacier inventory, a review of
existing literature and sophisticated computer modeling to analyze the
current state of World Heritage glaciers, their recent evolution, and
their projected mass change over the 21st century.

The authors predict glacier extinction by 2100 under a high emission
scenario in 21 of the 46 natural World Heritage sites where glaciers
are currently found. Even under a low emission scenario, eight of the 46
World Heritage sites will be ice-free by 2100. The study also expects
that 33 percent to 60 percent of the total ice volume present in 2017
will be lost by 2100, depending on the emission scenario.

“Losing these iconic glaciers would be a tragedy and have major
consequences for the availability of water resources, sea level rise and
weather patterns,” said Peter Shadie, Director of the International
Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Heritage Programme. “This
unprecedented decline could also jeopardize the listing of the sites in
question on the World Heritage list. States must reinforce their
commitments to combat climate change and step up efforts to preserve
these glaciers for future generations.”

Several iconic landscapes found in World Heritage sites will be impacted by rising temperatures.

  • Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina contains
    some of the largest glaciers on Earth and a very large ice loss – about
    60 percent of the current volume – is predicted by 2100 within this
    site.
  • In North America, Waterton Glacier International
    Peace Park, Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and Olympic National Park
    could also lose more than 70 percent of their current glacier ice by
    2100, even under drastically lowered carbon dioxide emissions.
  • In Europe, the disappearance of small glaciers is projected in the Pyrénées – Mont Perdu World Heritage site before 2040.
  • Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand, which
    contains three quarters of New Zealand’s glaciers, is projected to lose
    25 percent to 80 percent of the current ice volume over the course of
    this century.

Beyond these alarming results, the authors emphasize the key role
that glaciers play for ecosystems and societies at a global scale.
Glacier conservation could thus serve as a trigger to tackle the
unprecedented issue of climate change.

“To preserve these iconic glaciers found in World Heritage sites, we
urgently need to see significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This
is the only way of avoiding long-lasting and irreversible glacier
decline and the related major natural, social, economic and migratory
cascading consequences,” says Jean-Baptiste Bosson, scientific advisor
for the IUCN’s World Heritage programme and lead author of the new
study. “The study on glacier decline further emphasizes the need for
individual and collective actions to achieve the mitigation and
adaptation aspirations of the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Climate change is the fastest growing threat to natural World
Heritage sites, according to the IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2 report,
with the number of sites threatened by climate change doubling between
2014 and 2017.

The authors of the study also developed the first ever inventory of
glaciers on the UNESCO World Heritage list, documenting about 19,000
glaciers present in 46 out of the 247 natural World Heritage sites.

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Eurasia Review: Will Saudi Arabia Be Hosting Spain’s Super Cup?

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Over the past week, it was reported that Saudi Arabia offered Spanish La Liga an offer of around 30 million euros to host the Supercopa de Espana – the Spanish Super Cup – in the country from 2020.

While the Spaniards are looking to
discover new markets and gain extra income in their desperate race to
overshadow the English Premier League, the Saudis are looking to widen
their reach in global football, especially as the 2022 World Cup in
Qatar moves closer.

On Monday, the Spanish FA assembly
confirmed that from 2020 the Super Cup will include four teams – the
league’s champions and second place team, as well as the cup winners and
runner-up.

This decision means that the Spanish Super Cup will transform into tournament players over a few days. If this happens then the road to a summer tournament in Jeddah is already being paved.

Original source

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Eurasia Review: Remember The Holocaust So Its Horrors Aren’t Repeated – OpEd

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By Ellen R. Wald*

Sometimes it appears as though hate and bigotry are overwhelming
societies across the globe. This past weekend, there was another deadly
shooting at a synagogue in the US and an anti-Semitic cartoon printed in
the international edition of the New York Times. Last week, terrorists
killed 250 people in attacks largely targeting Christians in Sri Lanka.
In March, 50 Muslims were killed during Friday prayers in New Zealand.
At about the same time, 280 Nigerians were murdered because they were
Christian.

We recently marked 104 years since the Ottomans began the Armenian
genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed. In Cambodia in the
1970s, up to 2.5 million people died and most of the population was
enslaved by the Khmer Rouge, a government that particularly despised
intellectuals and professionals. In just three months in 1994, Hutu
Rwandans slaughtered up to 1 million of their Tutsi neighbors and raped
as many as half a million Tutsi women in an unprecedented explosion of
ethnic rage. In the 1990s, when Yugoslavia was dividing into independent
countries, thousands of Bosnian, Croat and other civilians were
murdered or forcibly relocated.

It is important that we commemorate and acknowledge all of these periods
of savagery. However, there is one particular 20th century genocide,
the lessons of which we can never forget. This Thursday is designated
for Holocaust remembrance. In Israel, they call the day Yom Hashoah. In
the 20th century, when the world was often overwhelmed by hate and
violence, the Holocaust stood out because of its scope and the character
of its perpetrators.

The Holocaust should be studied by everyone, not just those with
personal connections. Between 1939 and 1945, the Nazis killed 6 million
Jewish civilians. They also persecuted and killed Romas, homosexuals,
the disabled, and political prisoners. In all, the Nazis are believed to
have exterminated about 11 million civilians. These murders were not
committed in fits of rage or hysteria. The Holocaust was a planned,
detailed and organized slaughter, in which Nazi Germany and its
collaborators across Europe and parts of North Africa used the most
sophisticated modern logistics and technology to murder human beings.

Germany was a modern country at the time of the Holocaust. It was the
home of Bach and Beethoven, Kant and Goethe. Germany had been at the
center of the Enlightenment. Its universities, in the 19th and early
20th centuries, were among the finest in the world and set the standard
for American schools. From 1901 until the start of the Holocaust in
1939, Germany produced 44 Nobel Laureates, more than any other country.

The Nazis took Germany’s state-of-the-art technology and industrialized
genocide. They began by stripping Jews of their rights, mandating that
they wear yellow badges that identified them as different, closing their
businesses and confiscating or destroying their property. Eventually,
Jews were rounded up. In cities like Warsaw and Vilnius, Jews were
forced into crowded ghettos to starve before the Nazis could implement
their “Final Solution.”

In other cities, like Kiev and Paris, the outcome came quicker. At Babi
Yar, a ravine in Kiev, 33,771 Jews were killed in just two days and,
ultimately, up to 150,000 Jews, Soviets and Roma died there over the
course of the Nazi occupation of Ukraine. In the summer of 1942 in
Paris, more than 13,000 Jews were forced into an indoor stadium for
bicycle races called the Velodrome d’Hiver, where they waited without
food or water before ultimately being transported by cattle car to the
Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

In September 1941, the Nazis began the systematic, mass killing of Jews
and other prisoners at Birkenau, a death camp that was part of
Auschwitz. Typically, prisoners were forced to strip naked in large
groups and taken into a shower room. However, the showers were not
functional and instead a poison gas was released that killed everyone in
the room. The bodies were then scavenged for gold fillings in their
teeth before being burned in furnaces.

It is believed that 960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz — one out of
every six Jews killed in the Holocaust. This was the mass production of
death, and the efficiency rivaled that of the best factories. The Nazis
kept detailed records of the process, providing historians with an
archive of the particular evils they perpetrated.

For millennia, Jews have been the object of persecution and bigotry.
Hatred of Jews is the most ancient hate in the world, not just because
Judaism is the oldest major religion. Like all bigotry, anti-Semitism is
an irrational feeling. There is no one cause, since it has festered in
various societies among various peoples and with various excuses. What
we do know — what we have seen — is that such hate can lead to the most
horrible evils.

Nazism was a barbarity created by the world’s most sophisticated
society. German states were among the first to grant rights to Jewish
citizens in the early 19th century but, by the middle of the 20th
century, Germany was trying to eradicate Jews and other undesirables
from the world. From this history we learn that we cannot complacently
believe that humanity necessarily becomes better and more enlightened;
we must always strive to improve. The fight against bigotry, hate and
persecution is constant, and we must learn and remember what was done in
the past so that we never repeat it.

  • Ellen R. Wald, Ph.D. is a historian and author of “Saudi, Inc.” She
    is the president of Transversal Consulting and also teaches Middle East
    history and policy at Jacksonville University. Twitter: @EnergzdEconomy

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Eurasia Review: EU’s Failures Allow Israel, US To Act With Impunity – OpEd

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A statement made by the outgoing French ambassador to the US last week
regarding the nature of Israeli apartheid accentuates a larger ailment
that has afflicted EU foreign policy: The EU is simply gutless when it
comes to confronting Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Ambassador Gerard Araud was, of course, right when he told US magazine The Atlantic that Israel is already an apartheid state. Noting the “disproportion of power” between Israel and the Palestinians, Araud said: “The strongest (Israel) may conclude that they have no interest to make concessions.” And, since Israel “won’t make (Palestinians) citizens of Israel, they will have to make it official, which we know the situation, which is an apartheid,” Araud added. “There will be officially an apartheid state. They are in fact already.”

The fact that Araud has only divulged such obvious truths at the end of
his five-year diplomatic assignment is expressive of the nature of
politics in general and European politics in particular. The unpleasant
truth is that the EU serves as an American lackey in the Middle East and
consistently operates within Washington’s acceptable margins. EU
diplomacy rarely ventures away from this maxim. The fact that Araud
dared to speak out is the exception, not the rule.

But Araud’s revelations are unlikely to translate into anything
substantive. Moreover, they will not inspire a serious rethink in the
EU’s position regarding the Israeli occupation or the US’ blind support
for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s militant and racist
policies toward the Palestinians.

Some had hoped that the advent of an unpredictable and abrasive
president in the White House could jolt the Europeans into action. They
were encouraged by the January 2017 ParisMiddle East summitthat took
place despite American protests. More than 70 countries added their
voices to that of their French host, declaring their opposition to the
illegal Jewish settlements and calling for the establishment of an
independent Palestinian state as “the only way” to achieving peace.

The summit’s final statement urged Israel and the Palestinians to
“officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution.”
Then-French President Francois Hollande explained that his country’s
motive was to merely ensure the two-state solution was the frame of
reference for future negotiations.

But what good did that do? Israel ignored the summit as if it never took
place. Tel Aviv continued to pursue its apartheid policies, crowning
these efforts with the nation-state lawlast year, which declared Israel
to be “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” Trump also ignored the
French and the EU altogether. He selectedan ardent Israeli supporter,
David Friedman, to be his ambassador to Israel. Friedman opposes the
two-state solution and refersto the Occupied Territories using the
ancient biblical designations Judea and Samaria. Trump also did not
consider the French position when he movedhis country’s Israeli Embassy
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last May.

How did the EU respond to the concrete, albeit illegal, American
actions? With more redundant statements that emphasized its political
position but lacked any mechanism for serious action.

Last December, eight EU ambassadors, including that of France, issued a
statement at the UN that was clearly aimed at the US. “We, the European
Union members of the (UN Security) Council, would like to reiterate once
more and emphasize the EU’s strong continued commitment to the
internationally agreed parameters for a just and lasting peace in the
Middle East, based on international law, relevant UN resolutions and
previous agreements,” the statementread.

Again, words and no action. The same pattern was repeated after Trump
took it upon himself to grantthe occupied Golan Heights to Israel,
defying the UN, EU and, needless to say, the aspirations of millions of
Arabs. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini countered with
another statement, on behalf of the 28 EU states, that Europe “does not
recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.”

So what? While the US defies international law with concrete steps, the
EU settles for mere words, emphasizing a status quo that, even when it
was embraced by Washington, brought nothing but misery for Palestinians.

The EU’s ineptness is only matched by its hypocrisy. Israel still enjoys
advantageous trade privileges with Europe, and diplomatic ties between
Israel and most EU member countries are at an all-time high.

The only collective European initiative that seemed to matter at the
time was in 2013, when the bloc requested that Israeli products made in
illegal Jewish settlements be labeled as such. However, after years of
haggling, the EUadmittedthat monitoring Israeli trade practices as far
as labeling is concerned has proven “impossible.”

The French position on trade with the illegal settlements was
particularly disgraceful. While the Irish Senatevotedlast December to
end the import of settlement-produced goods, the French had, shortly
before, done the exactoppositebysuspendingthe special labeling rules.

In truth, the ineffectiveness of EU policies is nothing new. And it
cannot be blamed on Trump’s unilateral measures either. In fact, the
words of French ambassador Araud are consistent with the frustration
felt by other EU diplomats over the years. In February 2013, a report
issued by EU diplomatsdescribedillegal Jewish settlements as “the
biggest single threat to the two-state solution” and called on Brussels
to take decisive measures to stop Israel’s “deliberate and provocative”
settlement enterprise. It has been more than six years since the report
was issued, but the EU has done nothing to stop the illegal settlements,
which have grown in leaps and bounds since then.

Worse, in the latest elections won by Netanyahu, he promised to annex
the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Considering the
unconditional American support regarding Israel’s previous illegal
annexations of Jerusalem and the Golan, this too could be a tangible
reality in the near future. After all, the Jewish nation-state law
recognized Jewish settlements as “national value” and the state “will
act to encourage and promote (their) establishment and development.”

In the face of the US backing of Israel, EU foreign policy is
inconsistent, weak and, ultimately, a failure. Unfortunately, the idea
which gained momentum during the early months of Trump’s presidency that
the EU could develop a truly independent foreign policy position on
Israel and Palestine has been proven wrong.

To change all of that, EU members should heed the words of the French
ambassador, recognize the apartheid reality in Palestine and act against
it as forcefully as the world acted against South African apartheid,
which led to that regime’s final, irreversible collapse in 1994.

Eurasia Review


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Eurasia Review: Trump Set To designate Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Group

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By Siraj Wahab

US President Donald Trump aims to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

The move would bring sanctions against the Islamist group’s leaders,
make it a crime for any American to assist them, and ban its members
from entering the US.

“The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders
in the region who share his concern and this designation is working its
way through the internal process,” White House Press Secretary Sarah
Sanders said on Tuesday.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi asked Trump to issue the
designation, which Egypt did in 2013, at a private meeting this month
during a visit to Washington. The move is supported by US National
Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo in particular has long advocated designating the Muslim
Brotherhood a terrorist group, and cosponsored legislation to do so when
he was a member of Congress.

The group was founded in Egypt in 1928 and sought to establish a
worldwide Islamic caliphate. Its opponents argue that it has become a
breeding ground for terrorists. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the leader of
Al-Qaeda, joined the Brotherhood in the 1960s, when he was 14.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense
of Democracies, said it would be difficult to designate the entire
Brotherhood network a terrorist group “but targeting the violent
branches is certainly viable. That, in turn, can enable further
designations based on financial ties.”

The Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar Dr.
Hamdan Al-Shehri said the Trump administration was headed in the right
direction. 

“It is about time for the US to unmask the Muslim Brotherhood for what
it is — a terror organization that is in league with the Iranian
regime,” he told Arab News.

“There is nothing religious or Muslim about this organization. It wears
the mask of Islam to hoodwink the people of the region. It propounds a
pernicious ideology of hate and destruction and creates chaos in the
region. It is in league with Iran and one must remember that terror
organizations like Al-Qaeda and Daesh drew inspiration from Muslim
Brotherhood ideologues.

“The Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood share the same ideology.
The explicit goal of both entities is to undermine the stability of our
states and our region. They have been carrying on this nefarious
activity for years. It is, therefore, good that the world is finally
waking up to their misdeeds.

“It is about time for the European nations to do what the US is doing.
They must follow the US example and ban the Muslim Brotherhood — only
then will the war against terrorism succeed.”

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Eurasia Review: Should NYT Fire Michelle Goldberg? – OpEd

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There are few columnists more passionate in their defense of abortion rights than New York Times op-ed columnist Michelle Goldberg. She is so obsessed with this issue that she can justify abortion for any reason and at any time during pregnancy.

In keeping with the position of pro-abortion zealots such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Goldberg is also a proponent of allowing a baby born alive after a botched abortion to die without medical care. That is called infanticide.

Goldberg is incensed that President Trump is drawing attention to this Nazi-like practice. Today she goes further by claiming that “Abortion providers are regular targets of domestic terrorism.” (My italic.)

There is no evidence to support such a wild accusation. Indeed, the one anecdote she offers has nothing to do with abortion. She cites a nut who three years ago fired a rifle at a pizzeria because it was the alleged home of a child sex trafficking ring involving Hillary Clinton.

Even more disturbing is Goldberg’s history of promoting violence and anti-Christian bigotry.

Recently, while doing research on some other topic, I stumbled across a New York Post article by Rod Dreher from 1999 where he discussed left-wing intolerance. One of the stories he mentioned caught my eye. Here is what he said.

“The intolerance hasn’t been limited to student newspapers. A few years ago, a pro-life student group at SUNY-Buffalo set up a ‘cemetery of the innocents’—4,000 wooden crosses symbolizing the number of unborn children aborted in one day. Pro-choicers stormed the exhibit and kicked the crosses down. Michelle Goldberg, a writer for the campus paper, urged readers to ‘do your part and spit at [pro-lifers]. Kick them in the head.’”

I checked to see if this was the same Michelle Goldberg who today writes for the New York Times, and who has a history of demonizing conservative Christians—she calls them “Christian nationalists” who want to impose a “totalistic ideology” on America. It sure was. She was born in Buffalo and graduated from SUNY-Buffalo in the same time period as identified by Dreher.

Forget about abortion and Trump. There is a much bigger issue here.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was condemned by many for what he allegedly did in high school. No one could corroborate any of the charges. Goldberg was in college, and we have indisputable evidence of her offenses.

Should the New York Times employ an anti-Christian bigot who promotes violence against them? Would the Times employ an anti-gay bigot who promotes violence against homosexuals?

Contact James Bennet, editorial page editor: james.bennet@nytimes.com

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Eurasia Review: Iran Busts Gold, Silver Smuggling Network

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Iran’s Intelligence Ministry disbanded a ring that smuggled large quantities of gold and silver into and out of the country.

The Iranian intelligence forces in the northwestern province of West
Azarbaijan arrested nine members of the network, including the
ringleader, who were involved in the “organized smuggling” of gold, the
ministry said in a statement.

The smuggling gang, including
Iranians and nationals of a neighboring state, have been colluding with a
number of officials of supervisory organizations to smuggle large
amounts of gold and silver at the border, the statement added.

It
said the main element had formed a team, each of whose members were
assigned a specific job in the illegal process of importing and
exporting cargos of smuggled gold.

According to the Intelligence
Ministry, the busted network is estimated to have smuggled gold worth
more than 6,170 billion rials into and out of Iran.

In January, the intelligence forces had arrested members of a network that had been earning huge profits by smuggling foreign currency, tax evasion and money laundering.

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Eurasia Review: Venezuela: Maduro Congratulates Military For ‘Defeating’ Coup Attempt; Guaido Calls For More Protests

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has congratulated the country’s military for “defeating” the plotters of a coup following a day of violence on Tuesday.

Addressing the nation following a sustained attempt by Juan Guaido and the opposition to oust him from power, the country’s elected leader has thanked the armed forces for defeating a “small group that tried to fill the country with violence”.

Confirming that his government has faced several “modalities” of a coup d’état, Maduro pinned Tuesday’s violence on the US, who the president believes masterminded the failed attempt to overthrow his government.

“The self-proclaimed, Juan Guaido, and Leopoldo López personally led the coup d’état,” Maduro said. 

The president also announced the appointment of “three special prosecutors” to examine “criminal” actions by the opposition, noting that “we have colonels wounded by bullets and in intensive care,” following the violence instigated by dissidents.

Those military officers who answered Guaido’s calls for regime change in the country, Maduro noted, were lured by the opposition “under false pretenses”, but once they came to their senses they “left the coup leaders alone” and surrendered.

In the televised address, Maduro also made public the appointment of Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez as the head of the Sebin intelligence agency.

He also revealed that five military personnel had received injuries during Tuesday’s protests.

The Venezuelan leader also refuted opposition claims that the military base of La Carlota, in the east of Caracas, was captured, stressing that the facility “was never taken.”

Maduro defended the use of force, saying the opposition planned to turn the country into a “civil war.” The president also vowed Venezuela would stay on course for a Bolivarian revolution and to fight the interventionist Monroe doctrine promulgated by the US.

Just before Maduro addressed the nation, Venezuela’s
opposition leader Juan Guaido called on his followers to continue the
coup attempt, which began on Tuesday morning. The US-backed politician
also called on the military to “keep advancing” in its efforts to oust Maduro from office.

While the opposition leader claimed that more officers were ready to desert, Maduro stated that 80 percent of troops involved in the mutiny attempt had abandoned Guaido, with only a small group of about 20 officers “handing over their souls to the coup-mongering far right.”

“As of now, there is no indication of any military support outside of this very small detachment of troops,” reporter Lucas Koerner told RT America from Caracas, claiming that many officers had been deceived into believing that Tuesday’s events were a “drill led by the government.”

“None of them are ranking officers that command troops of any standing, therefore they are largely irrelevant,” Koerner added.

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Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): The FBI News Review: Colorado AG Weiser on Mueller report: ‘… Can’t count on the rule of law’ – RealVail

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Feedly Logo
April 30, 2019
Colorado AG Weiser on Mueller report: ‘… Can’t count on the rule of law’ – RealVail
Adam Schiff: Intel agencies went ‘dark’ on Trump-Russia investigation after Comey fired – Washington Examiner
James Comey, Caroline Kennedy, Felicity Huffman: Who is donating to the 2020 presidential – WSB Atlanta
“Andrew McCabe” – Google News: 2019 TAPPS state golf results: Ursuline girls one of multiple Dallas-area teams to claim state titles – Dallas News
“mueller” – Google News: Watchdogs say Mueller report offers ‘roadmap’ for civil penalties against Trump campaign – CNN

Colorado AG Weiser on Mueller report: ‘… Can’t count on the rule of law’ – RealVail

RealVail
Colorado AG Weiser on Mueller report: ‘We’re living in a time when we can’t count on the rule of law’ There’s a been a steady drumbeat of Democratic – and to a much lesser degree Republican – condemnation of President Donald Trump following the partial release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on 2016 Russian election interference.
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Adam Schiff: Intel agencies went ‘dark’ on Trump-Russia investigation after Comey fired – Washington Examiner

Washington Examiner
Adam Schiff: Intel agencies went ‘dark’ on Trump-Russia investigation after Comey fired Washington ExaminerIntelligence agencies stopped updating the House Intelligence Committee about the counterintelligence into President Trump’s 2016 campaign after former FBI …
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James Comey, Caroline Kennedy, Felicity Huffman: Who is donating to the 2020 presidential – WSB Atlanta

WSB Atlanta
0 James Comey, Caroline Kennedy, Felicity Huffman: Who is donating to the 2020 presidential With the Iowa caucuses less than a year away, the stars are aligning for some candidates as celebrities from movies, music, social media and politics are beginning to open up their wallets for their favorite candidates.
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“Andrew McCabe” – Google News: 2019 TAPPS state golf results: Ursuline girls one of multiple Dallas-area teams to claim state titles – Dallas News

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
A+ Academy With teams in playing Boys Basketball, Boys Soccer, Baseball, Football, Girls Basketball, Girls Volleyball, Softball, Adamson With teams in playing Boys Basketball, Boys Soccer, Baseball, Football, Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Softball,
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“mueller” – Google News: Watchdogs say Mueller report offers ‘roadmap’ for civil penalties against Trump campaign – CNN

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Mueller’s team did not charge Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign aides with breaking any laws by participating in a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower. Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after an email exchange between Trump Jr.
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The FBI News Review

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)


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Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites): “Next customers: Flynn and Jr.” – Google News: High schools: Mechanicville baseball is victorious – The Daily Gazette

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High schools: Mechanicville baseball is victorious  The Daily Gazette

Jacob Popiel had a huge day on the mound and with the bat Tuesday in a Wasaren League baseball game. He tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out eight, and …

“Next customers: Flynn and Jr.” – Google News

Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites)


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“counterintelligence” – Google News: Adam Schiff: Intel agencies went ‘dark’ on Trump-Russia investigation after Comey fired – Washington Examiner

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Adam Schiff: Intel agencies went ‘dark’ on Trump-Russia investigation after Comey fired  Washington Examiner

Intelligence agencies stopped updating the House Intelligence Committee about the counterintelligence into President Trump’s 2016 campaign after former FBI …

“counterintelligence” – Google News


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Russia News: “Russia Ukraine” – Google News: Daily Digest: Top news of Tuesday, April 30 | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice – Kyiv Post

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Daily Digest: Top news of Tuesday, April 30 | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice  Kyiv Post

Many Ukrainians are still taking a long weekend to mark the Orthodox Easter and Labor Day holidays. That includes President Petro Poroshenko and …

“Russia Ukraine” – Google News

Russia News


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Russia News: Аргументы и Факты: В Италии разрешили вооруженную самооборону

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Закон предполагает легализацию использования оружия для защиты жизни и имущества в границах собственного дома

Аргументы и Факты

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Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites): “elections 2016 russian ads on social media” – Google News: Why Facebook is offering research grants to map social media’s impact on democracy – Qrius

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Why Facebook is offering research grants to map social media’s impact on democracy  Qrius

For research on social media impact on democracy and elections, researchers will get grants to track popularity of news *content* and political ads.

“elections 2016 russian ads on social media” – Google News

Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites)


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“fbi” – Google News: Study analyzing FBI crime data ranks Detroit as 2nd-most dangerous big city in US – WDIV ClickOnDetroit

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Study analyzing FBI crime data ranks Detroit as 2nd-most dangerous big city in US  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

DETROIT – A study recently ranked Detroit as the second-most dangerous big city in the country. SafeWise analyzed FBI crime data to create the list of big cities.

“fbi” – Google News


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“political criminology” – Google News: Hate crimes in Canada surge with most not solved – The Globe and Mail

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Hate crimes in Canada surge with most not solved  The Globe and Mail

The vast majority of hate crimes in Canada are not solved by police, new data show, a finding that comes as these crimes surged to a record in 2017.

“political criminology” – Google News


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Russia News: Lenta.ru : Новости: США захотели выгнать Мадуро из Венесуэлы

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Президент Венесуэлы Николас Мадуро должен покинуть территорию страны, считают США. Об этом заявил госсекретарь США Майк Помпео. Помпео также призвал венесуэльского лидера «завести самолет», так как «цена для него и тех, кто его защищает, будет расти». 30 апреля лидер оппозиции Хуан Гуайдо призвал военных к восстанию.

Lenta.ru : Новости

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Russia News: “russia analysis” – Google News: Robert Mueller complained about Barr’s summary of his Russia probe – Financial Times

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Robert Mueller complained about Barr’s summary of his Russia probe  Financial Times

Special counsel sent letter to US attorney-general detailing his misgivings.

“russia analysis” – Google News

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