Friday, April 20, 2018

Facebook moves 1.5billion users out of reach of new European privacy law...

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.

The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said. Full story...

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Are you ready to work until you die?

In the last 150 years, a previously unknown social concept has taken hold in the US and other wealthy countries: retirement. And just as we’re getting used to it, it’s being wrenched away from us.

A century and a half ago, only those who had accumulated great wealth could stop working in their fifties or sixties to enjoy a leisurely retirement. People worked as long as they were physically able to. Once they became too feeble to work, family members cared for them.

Those with no family were generally sent to the poorhouse, a residence where disabled and elderly people were supported by taxpayers. They were expected to work if they were physically able. As you might expect, living conditions were Spartan.

Retirement is possible only because industrialization has helped to facilitate capital accumulation. This capital can be used to support a person’s needs after a certain age.

Capital accumulation occurs through savings, investment, and economic growth. Unless all three factors exist in sufficient quantities, a society’s ability to provide retirement benefits to older citizens declines. Full story...

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India's blockbuster cricket league is beginning to rival even English soccer...

The latest edition of the Indian Premier League — a 48-day annual cricket tournament that showcases top talent from across the world — has some huge numbers to boast.
The opening match saw television viewership increase 37 percent over the prior year, advertising costs have almost doubled and some $94 million was spent by the eight participating teams to buy 169 players in an auction, compared with just $14 million for 66 players in 2017, industry data show.
The popular league is in its 11th year and features a shorter version of the sport called Twenty20 that is more appealing to television viewers. A game typically last 3 hours, a much faster pace compared to other formats of cricket where a game may last anywhere from a day to five days.
While the competition's reputation was briefly tarnished by a scandal that involved certain players agreeing to fix specific aspects of a match, the lure of IPL has only increased, say industry insiders. Full story...
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Should you eat every day?

Genesis Prize cancels ceremony after 2018 winner Natalie Portman says won’t visit Israel...

The Genesis Prize announced it was canceling its prize ceremony in Israel in June after 2018 recipient Natalie Portman said she would not take part in light of “recent events.”

On Thursday, the Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the “Jewish Nobel,” said it was “very saddened” that the Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony. The foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

The Genesis Prize Foundation cancelled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”

Portman did not specify which events caused her distress, although the United Nations and the European Union recently called for investigations into the use of live ammunition by Israel’s military following clashes along the border with Gaza that have left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded. Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence on Thursday. Full story...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New “politically incorrect” climate change book sells out everywhere...

Proving once again that the Left’s claims about human-caused “climate change” and “global warming” are anything but universal, a new book disputing their progressive nonsense has shot to number one on bestseller lists while selling out all over the place.

The appropriately named tome, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” by Marc Morano, has rocketed to No. 1 on Amazon’s Climatology, Environmental Science, Nature and Ecology list, and is maintaining a solid ranking among Amazon’s Top 100, having already sold out once. Retail giant Walmart is also selling the book now.

A reported by Climate Depot, a website dedicated to exposing the fraud that is man-caused global and climate change edited by Morano, both Target and Walmart list the book “out of stock” on their websites, as of this writing.

He notes that the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which publishes Climate Depot, does have copies of Morano’s book, however. Full story...

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Facebook calls out Google, Amazon and Twitter for also harvesting user data as it attempts to clarify how it tracks your activity on and off the site...

Facebook wants users to know that it's not the only one tracking their every move on the internet.

The social media giant pointed a finger at Google, Amazon, Twitter and other platforms for using many of the same data collection practices that some privacy advocates are referring to as invasive.

In a blog post published Monday, the firm described in depth all the ways it gathers information on you around the web -- even if you're not a Facebook member or are logged out of your account.

Facebook has been feeling the heat ever since it was revealed last month that more than 87 million users' data had been harvested without their knowledge.

Now, Facebook wants to make it clear that it's not the only platform collecting data on its users as they browse other websites.

'Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services,' David Baser, Facebook's product management director, wrote in a blog post. Full story...

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Terminal madness: what is airport security?

IN AMERICA AND ACROSS MUCH OF THE WORLD, the security enhancements put in place following the catastrophe of September 11, 2001, have been drastic and of two kinds: those practical and effective, and those irrational and pointless.

The first variety have taken place almost entirely behind the scenes. Comprehensive explosives scanning for checked luggage, for instance, was long overdue and is a welcome addition. It’s the second variety, unfortunately that has come to dominate the air travel experience. I’m talking about the frisking, X-raying, body scanning, and confiscating that goes on at thousands of concourse checkpoints across the globe — activities that by and large waste our time, waste our money, and humiliate millions of us on a daily basis.

There are two fundamental flaws in our approach:

The first is a strategy that looks upon every single person who flies — old and young, fit and infirm, domestic and foreign, pilot and passenger — as a potential terrorist. That is to say, we’re searching for weapons rather than people who might actually use weapons. This is an impossible, unsustainable task in a system of such tremendous volume. As many as two million people fly each and every day in the United States alone. Tough-as-nails prison guards cannot keep knives out of maximum security cell blocks, never mind the idea of guards trying to root out every conceivable weapon at an overcrowded terminal. Full story...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

France builds WhatsApp rival due to surveillance risk...

The French government is building its own encrypted messenger service to ease fears that foreign entities could spy on private conversations between top officials, the digital ministry said on Monday.

None of the world’s major encrypted messaging apps, including Facebook’s (FB.O) WhatsApp and Telegram - a favorite of President Emmanuel Macron - are based in France, raising the risk of data breaches at servers outside the country.

About 20 officials and top civil servants are testing the new app which a state-employed developer has designed, a ministry spokeswoman said, with the aim that its use will become mandatory for the whole government by the summer.

“We need to find a way to have an encrypted messaging service that is not encrypted by the United States or Russia,” the spokeswoman said. “You start thinking about the potential breaches that could happen, as we saw with Facebook, so we should take the lead.”

The U.S. social network, which bought WhatsApp in 2014, has drawn heavy criticism since it acknowledged that information about many millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Full story...

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Freddy Blond Oar...

Undercover author finds Amazon warehouse workers in UK 'peed in bottles' over fears of being punished for taking a break...

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos may be the world's richest person, with a net worth of about $112 billion (£78 billion), but at least some of those working on his warehouse floors are apparently so desperate to keep their jobs that they don't even take time to use a restroom.

The author James Bloodworth went undercover at an Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire, UK, for a book on low wages in Britain. He found that the warehouse's fulfillment workers, who run around Amazon's massive warehouses gathering products for delivery, had a "toilet bottle" system in place because the bathrooms were too sparse to get to quickly.

"For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs," Bloodworth told The Sun. "People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined over 'idle time' and losing their jobs just because they needed the loo."

Amazon is known to track how fast its warehouse workers can pick and package items from its shelves, imposing strictly timed breaks and targets. It issues warning points for those who don't meet its goals or who take extended breaks. Full story...

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Facebook’s tracking of non-users sparks broader privacy concerns...

Concern about Facebook Inc’s respect for data privacy is widening to include the information it collects about non-users, after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network tracks people whether they have accounts or not.

Privacy concerns have swamped Facebook since it acknowledged last month that information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign among its clients.

Zuckerberg said on Wednesday under questioning by U.S. Representative Ben Luján that, for security reasons, Facebook also collects “data of people who have not signed up for Facebook.”

Lawmakers and privacy advocates immediately protested the practice, with many saying Facebook needed to develop a way for non-users to find out what the company knows about them. Full story...

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Friday, April 06, 2018

Internal memo shows Sinclair threatening employees to keep mouths shut about 'Must-Read' scripts...

Sinclair Broadcast Group really doesn't want its employees talking to the press about the Trumpian "fake news" script it has recently been forcing local news anchors to recite.

This was made clear by a memo warning staff at the Sinclair-owned station KATU in Portland, Oregon that "giving statements to the media or sharing negative information about the company can have huge implications."

First obtained by FTV Live and published on Tuesday, the memo was sent amid outrage over the right-wing media giant's efforts to force local anchors to read propaganda railing against "false" and "fake" media—outrage that grew exponentially after Deadspin published a compilation of anchors reading Sinclair's script in unison. Full story...

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Despite overwhelming opposition from residents, Michigan permits Nestlé to draw more groundwater for bottling...

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has granted Nestlé Waters a permit to increase groundwater withdrawal from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute from its White Pine Springs well for the purpose of bottling drinking water.

The approval comes despite near universal opposition from residents, who cite the Swiss food and beverage giant's nominal $200-a-year fee to pump water from its wells. The fee will not change with the new permit.

Additionally, Nestlé's White Pine Springs well near Evart, Michigan happens to lie approximately 120 miles from the lead-poisoned city of Flint. Bottled water companies have drawn outrage from many communities for privatizing their public water supply in the face of Flint's years-long drinking water crisis, where some residents have been billed hundreds of dollars for water they cannot drink.

 "Michiganders know that no private company should be able to generate profits by undermining our state's precious natural resources, which is why an unprecedented number of people spoke up to oppose this permit," State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, who serves on the Senate's Natural Resources Committee, told Detroit Free Press. "Out of 81,862 comments filed by the people of our state, only 75 of them were in favor of the permit." Full story...

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Meghan Trainor - No Excuses...

Spaniard raised by wolves disappointed with human life...

They laugh at me because I don’t know about politics or soccer

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was once the “Mowgli” of Spain’s Sierra Morena mountain range, but life has changed a lot since then. Now the 72-year-old lives in a small, cold house in the village of Rante, in the Galician province of Ourense. This past winter has been hard for him, and a violent cough interrupts him often as he speaks.

His last happy memories were of his childhood with the wolves. The wolf cubs accepted him as a brother, while the she-wolf who fed him taught him the meaning of motherhood. He slept in a cave alongside bats, snakes and deer, listening to them as they exchanged squawks and howls. Together they taught him how to survive. Thanks to them, Rodríguez learned which berries and mushrooms were safe to eat.

Today, the former wolf boy, who was 19 when he was discovered by the Civil Guard and ripped away from his natural home, struggles with the coldness of the human world. It’s something that didn’t affect him so much when he was running around barefoot and half-naked with the wolves. “I only wrapped my feet up when they hurt because of the snow,” he remembers. “I had such big calluses on my feet that kicking a rock was like kicking a ball.”

After he was captured, Rodríguez’s world fell apart and he has never been able to fully recover. He’s been cheated and abused, exploited by bosses in the hospitality and construction industries, and never fully reintegrated to the human tribe. But at least his neighbors in Rante accept him as “one of them.” And now, the environmental group Amig@s das Arbores is raising money to insulate Rodríguez’s house and buy him a small pellet boiler – things that his meager pension cannot cover. Full story...

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Did Cambridge Analytica use Filipinos' Facebook data to help Duterte win?

It appears that 6 months before the United States presidential elections in 2016, Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, also had a hand in the Philippine presidential race.

Facebook data of Filipinos was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, according to the social media company itself.

In a post by Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer on Wednesday, April 4, he said that about 1,175,870 Filipino users may have had their Facebook information improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

The Philippines is only behind the United States in terms of the number of people whose data was compromised.

Cambridge Analytica is the communications firm at the center of a global scandal, amid allegations it harvested data of millions of Facebook users for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The end goal was to create software to predict and influence voters' choices at the ballot box. Full story...

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The myth of the Indian vegetarian nation...

What are the most common myths and stereotypes about what Indians eat?

The biggest myth, of course, is that India is a largely vegetarian country.

But that's not the case at all. Past "non-serious" estimates have suggested that more than a third of Indians ate vegetarian food.

If you go by three large-scale government surveys, 23%-37% of Indians are estimated to be vegetarian. By itself this is nothing remarkably revelatory.

But new research by US-based anthropologist Balmurli Natrajan and India-based economist Suraj Jacob, points to a heap of evidence that even these are inflated estimations because of "cultural and political pressures". So people under-report eating meat - particularly beef - and over-report eating vegetarian food.

Taking all this into account, say the researchers, only about 20% of Indians are actually vegetarian - much lower than common claims and stereotypes suggest. Full story...

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Thursday, April 05, 2018

Producer claims 'very powerful people' tried to stop his movie about Chappaquiddick scandal...

The chief executive from the film studio behind a movie about the Chappaquiddick scandal has said he was pressured to dump the project.

Byron Allen, the CEO of Entertainment Studios and the executive producer of Chappaquiddick, says ‘some very powerful people…tried to put pressure’ on him ‘not to release this movie.’

‘They went out of their way to try and influence me in a negative way,’ he told Variety.

‘I made it very clear that I’m not about the right, I’m not about the left.

‘I’m about the truth.’ Full story...

The Israel massacre forces...

The shooting on the Gaza border shows once again that the killing of Palestinians is accepted in Israel more lightly than the killing of mosquitoes

The death counter ticked away wildly. One death every 30 minutes. Again. Another one. One more. Israel was busy preparing for the seder night. TV stations continued broadcasting their nonsense.

It’s not hard to imagine what would have happened if a settler had been stabbed – on-site broadcasts, throw open the studios. But in Gaza the Israel Defense Forces continued to massacre mercilessly, with a horrific rhythm, as Israel celebrated Passover.

If there was any concern, it was because soldiers couldn’t celebrate the seder. By nightfall the body count had reached at least 15, all of them by live fire, with more than 750 wounded. Tanks and sharpshooters against unarmed civilians. That’s called a massacre. There’s no other word for it.

Comic relief was provided by the army spokesman, who announced in the evening: “A shooting attack was foiled. Two terrorists approached the fence and fired at our soldiers.” This came after the 12th Palestinian fatality and who knows how many wounded. Full story...

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This is what fake news looks like...

Facebook scandal 'hit 87 million users'

Facebook believes the data of up to 87 million people was improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica - many more than previously disclosed.

The BBC has been told that about 1.1 million of them are UK-based.

The overall figure had been previously quoted as being 50 million by the whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said "clearly we should have done more, and we will going forward".

During a press conference he said that he had previously assumed that if Facebook gave people tools, it was largely their responsibility to decide how to use them.

But he added that it was "wrong in retrospect" to have had such a limited view. Full story...

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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

'Being cash-free puts us at risk of attack'

It is hard to argue that you cannot trust the government when the government isn’t really all that bad. This is the problem facing the small but growing number of Swedes anxious about their country’s rush to embrace a cash-free society.

Most consumers already say they manage without cash altogether, while shops and cafes increasingly refuse to accept notes and coins because of the costs and risk involved. Until recently, however, it has been hard for critics to find a hearing.

“The Swedish government is a rather nice one, we have been lucky enough to have mostly nice ones for the past 100 years,” says Christian Engström, a former MEP for the Pirate Party and an early opponent of the cashless economy.

“In other countries there is much more awareness that you cannot trust the government all the time. In Sweden it is hard to get people mobilised.”

There are signs this might be changing. In February, the head of Sweden’s central bank warned that Sweden could soon face a situation where all payments were controlled by private sector banks. Full story...

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Monday, April 02, 2018

China aims for near-total surveillance, including in people's homes...

By 2020, China will have completed its nationwide facial recognition and surveillance network, achieving near-total surveillance of urban residents, including in their homes via smart TVs and smartphones.

According to the official Legal Daily newspaper, the 13th Five Year Plan requires 100 percent surveillance and facial recognition coverage and total unification of its existing databases across the country.

Authorities in the southwestern province of Sichuan reported in December that they had completed the installation of more than 40,000 surveillance cameras across more than 14,000 villages as part of the "Sharp Eyes" nationwide surveillance network, the paper said.

Guangdong-based Bell New Vision Co. is developing the nationwide "Sharp Eyes" platform that can link up public surveillance cameras and those installed in smart devices in the home, to a nationwide network for viewing in real time by anyone who is given access. Full story...

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Never mind Facebook, Google is the all-seeing ‘Big Brother’ you should know about...

The Cambridge Analytica scandal put Facebook through the wringer in recent weeks, losing the company $100 billion in stock value and prompting a global debate on internet privacy.

The social media giant was forced to apologize and overhaul its privacy and data sharing practices, but it still remains in the media spotlight and in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission, which says it may be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fines.

But amid all the furor, one monolithic entity has continued to harvest data from billions of people worldwide. The data gathered includes a precise log of your every move and every internet search you’ve ever made, every email you’ve ever sent, your workout routine, your favourite food, and every photo you’ve ever taken. And you have allowed it to happen to yourself, for the sake of better service and more relevant advertising.

Google is a ‘Big Brother’ with capabilities beyond George Orwell’s wildest nightmares. These capabilities are all the more chilling after Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., cut its famous “don’t be evil” line from its code of conduct in 2015.

Everything you’ve ever searched for on any of your devices is recorded and stored by Google. It’s done to better predict your future searches and speed up and streamline your browsing. You can clear your search history, but it only works for that particular device. Google still keeps a record of everything. Click here to see everything you’ve ever searched on a Google device. Full story...

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Assemblage of crooks, weirdos, wife beaters ...

Stephen Hawking a victim of polio from a vaccine?

(...)

And it may have been a virus that confined Hawking to a wheelchair rather than that motor neuron disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) that befell him, beginning at age 21. He lived too long (76 years) for him to have ALS, which has a 2-year survival rate.

Stephen Hawking may have been misdiagnosed and was actually a victim of polio, a US medical expert has suggested.

Christopher B Cooper, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, says the likelihood the physicist’s debilitating condition was in fact amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was “low.” Hawking’s young age at diagnosis and 55-year survival is not typical of ALS.

There is speculation that Hawking may have developed his nerve paralysis as a side effect from a genetically engineered virus which “possesses significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards,” says a published report.

He may actually have been a victim of vaccines. Full story...

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Quitting Facebook leads to drop in cortisol levels...

According to Statista, Facebook currently has more than 2 billion active monthly users, which makes it the most popular social network by a large margin. The much-discussed Cambridge Analytica scandal may have damaged Facebook’s reputation, as well as its shares — which have, as Timenoted, posted their steepest drop since 2015 — but how does Facebook affect our mental health and well-being?
Eric Vanman and Rosemary Baker from the University of Queensland, and Stephanie Tobin from the Australian Catholic University have attempted to answer this question. In a study recently published in the Journal of Social Psychology, titled “The Burden of Online Friends,” the authors explore the effects of giving up Facebook on stress and well-being.
For the experiment, Vanman, Baker and Tobin recruited 138 active Facebook users. Participants were then separated into two groups, which the authors have decided to refer to as “Facebook Normal” and “No Facebook.” Sixty participants were instructed to quit Facebook for five days, and 78 of them were instructed to continue using it as normal. Each individual was surveyed prior and after the experiment. Vanman and his colleagues measured salivary cortisol, perceived stress, and well-being, and asked each participant a series of questions regarding mood, loneliness, and life satisfaction. Full story...

The day I picked up a Cuban hitchhiker...

The hitchhikers were the first thing we noticed when we left Havana, bound for Viñales. Dozens of people were waiting on the side of the highway: men on their way home from work; schoolchildren in pristine white-and-red uniforms; families with toddlers in tow. The early-afternoon sun shone bright, slicing through the mosquito-thick humidity. Yet the hitchhikers stood and waited, seeking respite from the heat under bridges or in the shade of a lone tree between the tobacco and sugarcane fields.

Every now and then a vehicle would stop and pick up some people. There seemed to be a system in place; there was never a fight over who would get a lift first. We saw a group of eight climb into a banged-up orange Plymouth Belvedere, and crowds of 50 or more packed into the back of a truck, hanging on for dear life as the driver swerved to avoid one of the numerous potholes.

‘Don’t pick up hitchhikers’ was the mantra repeated time and time again whenever my husband Nick and I told people we planned to hire a car in Havana and drive west to Viñales and onto Maria la Gorda, a windswept beach on Cuba’s westernmost point. The man at the car-hire shop had even told us that it was forbidden for foreigners to pick up hitchhikers. Full story...

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Sunday, April 01, 2018

Young man in China applies to women’s college to improve chances of finding a girlfriend...

An 18-year-old male teen in China recently became a social media sensation after applying to the Women’s University in Beijing and admitting that one of the main reasons for that was to improve his chances of finding a girlfriend.

Due to a preference for boys during the time that the one-child population planning policy was enforced in China (1979 – 2015), the Asian country now has the world’s second most distorted sex ratio. In some of its provinces, there are as many as 130 boys for every 100 girls, and some specialists estimate that tens of millions of Chinese men will be unable to find a wife in the coming decades. Unable to deal with those odds, an 18-year-old teen decided to improve his chances of finding a female romantic partner by applying to a women’s college.

In a video shot before the young man’s admission interview and posted online with the permission of the Women’s University in Beijing, he candidly admits that one of the reasons he wanted to study there was to make it easier for himself to find a girlfriend.

“This school has many girls – if I can study here, there won’t be a problem finding a companion,” the unnamed 18-year-old can be heard saying. Full story...

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"Gasolina" (Daddy Yankee) — Caribbean Cover by Robyn Adele Anderson...

Homeless people are moving tombstones and sleeping inside graves at cemetery...

Mill Road cemetery, in Cambridge, is a notorious haunt for drug users and is set to be targeted to tackle illegal camps, drug taking and dirty needles.

Passers-by have also spotted homeless people sitting in the graves while injecting themselves and drinking, and so far there has been 213 needles found at the site.

The council’s team of litter pickers regularly target the cemetery – and volunteers are clearing up vegetation so there is nowhere to camp.

A city council spokesman said: ‘Council officers have been working with the Friends of Mill Road Cemetery group to identify hotspots for anti-social behaviour in the cemetery, such as littering, rough sleeping and drug taking, and to draw up an action plan to tackle them. Full story...

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UN chief calls for independent investigation after 16 Palestinians killed near Gaza's border with Israel...

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Friday for an independent investigation into deadly clashes in Gaza between Palestinians and Israeli troops, while Security Council members urged restraint on both sides.

The council didn't decide on any action or joint message after an emergency meeting. Kuwait convened it hours after the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 cross-border war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the coastal strip.

At least 15 Palestinian protesters were killed and more than 750 injured in clashes with Israeli forces on the Gaza border.

Thousands of Palestinians marched towards the Israeli fence around Gaza as part of large-scale demonstrations supported by Hamas, the militant Islamist group that controls the enclave.

Israel’s military said that some of the demonstrators turned violent and hurled firebombs and burning tyres at Israeli troops on the other side of the fence. Soldiers fired live ammunition as well rubber bullets and lashes of tear gas dropped by drones. Full story...

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Facebook employees are reportedly deleting controversial internal messages...

Facebook employees are deleting potentially controversial comments and messages from the company’s internal communications systems, after the leak of a 2016 memo in which Vice President Andrew Bosworth appeared to place growth priorities ahead of public safety concerns.

According to Facebook employees who spoke with the New York Times, staffers are also urging the company to hunt down the leakers who released the Bosworth memo.

If the report is accurate, the deletion of internal communications could have legal implications, including in an ongoing Federal Trade Commission investigation into the company’s data-handling practices. Destruction of internal documents was a partial focus of the FTC’s recent investigation of Volkswagen.

Bosworth’s memo continued catastrophic PR fallout following findings that the Facebook data of as many as 50 million users was wrongly harvested by the election consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. In the memo leaked Thursday, Bosworth wrote that “connecting people” should be the company’s driving goal, even if “it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies” or “someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.” Full story...

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Donald Trump steps up attacks on Amazon...

President Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on Amazon, suggesting the online retail giant is ripping off the US Postal Service.

The US Post Office would lose $1.50 (£1.07) "on average for each package it delivers for Amazon", he tweeted, but supporters of Amazon dispute this.

Mr Trump also said the Washington Post newspaper was a "lobbyist" for Amazon.

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which publishes stories unpalatable to the president.

Like most mainstream media, the Post has reported on stories including Special Counsel Robert Mueller's continuing investigation into links between the Trump election campaign and Russia, as well has his alleged relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels. Full story...

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Sex, drugs and the Rolls Royce guru...

Every day at 2pm on a dusty road through the mountains of Oregon, hundreds of young people dressed head to toe in various 'sunrise' hues of red and orange would gather to wait solemnly for a car to go past.

It was always a Rolls-Royce, although a different one each day, and it would glide slowly past as they bowed and threw roses on the bonnet.

Inside, wearing robes, a tea cosy-style woolly hat, flowing grey beard and beatific smile, was the object of their devotion, the guru and mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

Once he had passed by, the crowds would return to toiling in the fields — or 'finding their true selves' in group sex sessions.

Rajneesh — not to be confused with the far tamer Maharishi, who was the Beatles' Indian guru — presided over a New Age sex cult that was second to none in its embrace of 'free love', unorthodox meditation techniques and sheer outrageousness. Full story...

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