Category Archives: Uncategorized

Typhoon Damrey Devastates Vietnam

Compliments of AccuWeather.com  

Typhoon Damrey

Damrey, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in southern Vietnam in 16 years, has left at least 19 people dead with hundreds of homes destroyed.

Damrey made landfall in southern Vietnam, near Nha Trang, with the equivalent strength of a Category 2 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic oceans.

Not since Lingling in November 2001 has a typhoon that strong struck Vietnam south of Qui Nhon.

Damrey has left at least 19 people dead across central and southern Vietnam, according to Reuters.

MORE:  View AcceWeather Report

 

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Congressional Black Caucus 2017

Sept 20/2017 – 7 a.m. EST

Today on September 20th people from all over the country will be meeting in Washington D.C. to attend the Congressional Black Caucus. The event started with a press conference lead by Rep. Cedric L. Richmond speaking to the tumultuous current events affecting our country.

The entire week will be filled with spectacular events addressing all the walks of life in which people of color are effect. Universal Citizens Media Network in Tandem With The Revelation Network will bring you events as they unfold. We also will be updating this post as the week progresses so stay tuned !!

Pic 1 CBC

Sept 20/2017 – 3 p.m. EST An event titled : Improving Correctional and Reentry Outcomes Through Career, Technical, and Adult Education presented with Augustus Hawkins Foundation  was provided for those curious about the subject. For those who are unfamiliar with the topic of discussion, The CBC app writes

Incarcerated individuals face numerous barriers during and after incarceration. People in prison have  lower literacy and numeracy levels than people outside of prison. Crowded and under–resource prisons lead to  idleness and lapses in education, training, and skill development. Transportation, housing, employment, and education are vital components to a person’s success after their time in prison. Upon an individual’s return to the community, many of these needs go unmet or unfulfilled, resulting in the return to prison. This session examines how career and technical education (CTE) supports return citizens. Presenters will discuss efforts to reauthorize both the Carl D. Perkins Career and the Second Chance Act, the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES initiative and theU.S. Department of Education’s OCTAE Reentry Education Project and the Juvenile Justice Reentry Education Program as well as local initiatives to help to improve educational opportunities in correctional facilities and upon reentry for incarcerated individuals

Pic 3 CBC

The Panel included an astute group of presenters. Which included:

Lisa R. Ransom from the Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation

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Senator Tim Kaine, U.S. Senator (D-VA)

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Kim R. Ford, Acting Assisting Secretary/DAS,
U.S. Department of Education

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Melanie M. Shaw Geter, Judge, Maryland
Court of Special Appeals

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Kamau Bobb, Constellations Center of Equity
in Computing, GA Tech

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Lul Tesfai of CNA Institute for Public Research

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Yariela Kerr- Donovan, SPHR, SHRM-SCP,SWP

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David Clements of House of David, Advocates for Fathers, Inc.

David Clements

Pic 2 CBCThere was also as guest appearance of Rep. John Lewis who added some soft words to lighten the mood.

Friday Sept 22/2017 3.p.m

Universal Citizens Media Network covered the session titled Policing Black Man and Boys: Are the Odds Against Them. The panel consisted of:

Angela J. Davis of American University of Washington College.

Image result for Angela J. Davis of American University of Washington College.

Raymond Hart PH.D. who is The Director of Research, Council of Great City Schools.

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Cedric Alexander, Ph.D. The Deputy Mayor of Rochester New York.

Image result for Cedric Alexander, Ph.D. The Deputy Mayor of Rochester New York.

Paul Butler J.D. a professor of law and author.

Image result for Paul Butler J.D. a professor of law and author.

Angela Rye J.D. who is the CNN Political Commentator

Image result for Angela Rye J.D. who is the CNN Political Commentator

The CBC describes the session:

“Policing Black Men: Are the Odds Against Them?” This town hall will feature a group of experts and leaders in the fields of civil rights, justice reform and community race relations who will engage any thought–provoking analysis of the current state of relations between black males and law enforcement in the various cultural, legal, historical and psychological biases that often impede trust and understanding between African–American communities and the police.

The panel addressed Police Brutality, Racial Profiling, Methods of staying safe if detained, and potential solutions to the issues the community of color is facing. The curiosity of the topics of discussion from the attendees of the conference were obvious by the repeated delivery of extra chairs to the room holding the discussion. The professional opinions of the panel offered a myriad of perspectives to help alleviate any previously held ignorances surrounding policing. The perspectives and insight varied  from those of The Police, Judges and Prosecutors.

Screen shot finalAngela Rye speaking to the attendees of the seminar

 There were a few excerpts that a stood out. For example, the statistical evidence proving a disproportionate castigation of people of color in the judicial system.   Although D.C. has a higher population of people of color in their city, the evidence supporting the disproportion is nationwide. Another  example that surprised many of the listeners was how People of Color are 4x as likely to be incarcerated for the same crime committed by  as their non-colored peers. After each speaker gave their professional opinions on how the Community of Color can work better together, the floor was opened to questions.  It was not until the final question was asked, where the sensitivity of the issue was distinct. The question was concerning the responsibility of the black community, how perhaps it is also the responsibility to behave better and potentially the fault of our community for provoking some of the interactions resulting in the shootings and brutality. Stunned at first glance Angela responded in a way that would only make sense if seen. We uploaded it to our Facebook page !

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Illinois Is Ready To Ban Geolocation Tracking Without User Consent 

By: Lisa Vaas of Naked Security 

The US state of Illinois is poised to pass a law that makes it illegal to track a phone’s location without the owner’s consent.
The law, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB3449), was passed in both houses of the state legislature last week. It’s now on the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner, ready to be signed into law.

The bill will make it illegal for a company to track a person’s geolocation without first getting permission. It sets criminal penalties and damages of at least $1,000, plus attorney’s fees and court costs, for working out a person’s whereabouts from their device without permission.

‘Geolocation information’ means information that: (i) is not the contents of a communication; (ii) is generated by or derived from, in whole or in part, the operation of a mobile device, including, but not limited to, a smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer; and (iii) is sufficient to determine or infer the precise location of that device.

IP addresses aren’t covered by the bill. It also includes exceptions for finding a missing child or to enable emergency responders to locate somebody. Breaking the new law will be considered a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Some question whether the bill will have any real-world impact, given that most devices, apps and websites now ask people for permission before they use location data.

True, and good for their developers. But there’ve been plenty of times when that permission wasn’t sought or granted, yet still our locations have been tracked. There are other times when our locations have been shared without our permission simply because some developer along the line introduced location-sharing by accident.

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Vaccines To Become Mandatory For All French Children

By: Katie Forster of The Independent 

Parents in France will be legally obliged to vaccinate their children from 2018, the government has announced.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said it was “unacceptable” that children are “still dying of measles” in the country where some of the earliest vaccines were pioneered.

Three childhood vaccines, for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, are currently mandatory in France. Others, including those against hepatitis and whooping cough, are simply recommended.
Announcing the policy, Mr Philippe evoked the name of Louis Pasteur, the French biologist who made breakthroughs in disease research and developed the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax in the 19th century.

He said all the vaccines which are universally recommended by health bodies – 11 in total – would be compulsory.

The move follows a similar initiative in Italy, which recently banned non-vaccinated children from attending state schools.

The World Health Organisation has warned of major measles outbreaks spreading across Europe despite the availability of a safe, effective vaccine. 

Anti-vaccine movements, whose followers are known as anti-vaxxers, are believed to have contributed to low rates of immunisation against the highly contagious disease in a number of countries.

A recent survey found more than three out of 10 French people don’t trust vaccines, with just 52 per cent of participants saying the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
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UK Police Have The Ability To Shut Down Your Phone Remotely If Deemed Necessary

By: Joseph Cox of Vice

UK police could acquire a new power. Last Friday, the Digital Economy Act became law, much of which focuses around restricting access to online pornography, and what sort of sexual acts can legally be included in porn.

But with the legislation’s passing, law enforcement agencies may soon be able to remotely disable or restrict a mobile phone if it is suspected of being used for drug dealing or related to it, and in some cases regardless of whether a crime has actually been committed, according to legal commentators.
“The ‘drug dealing telecoms restriction order’ contained within Section 80 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 is an entirely unprecedented and potentially draconian power allowing police to prevent the use of phones or other communications devices,” Myles Jackman, legal director for activist organisation Open Rights Group, told Motherboard in an email.

As for how this would likely work in practice, a police officer ranked superintendent or higher, or the Director General or Deputy Director General at the National Crime Agency, would apply for a court order that would then be presented to a communications provider—a telco company—ordering it to restrict the specified device or phone number.
Judging by recently published amendments, some of these orders could last indefinitely, and they seemingly could also be used against people who have not committed a crime, or who are not drug dealers themselves. Orders can apply if the user is “facilitating the commission by the user or another person of a drug dealing offense,” or “conduct of the user that is likely to facilitate the commission by the user or another person of a drug dealing offence (whether or not an offence is committed).”

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Net Neutrality May Once Again Come Under Fire 

By: Seth Fiegerman 

The attempt to roll back net neutrality has officially begun.

Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, laid out plans Wednesday to limit the agency’s oversight of Internet service providers, potentially weakening enforcement of net neutrality.

The net neutrality rules, approved by the FCC in 2015, are intended to keep the Internet open and fair. The rules prevent Internet providers from playing favorites by deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.

As part of the 2015 process, the FCC voted to assert more regulatory control over Internet providers by reclassifying them as common carriers, similar to telephone services.

Pai has now issued a proposal to repeal that reclassification, called Title II, raising alarms among net neutrality advocates and throughout the tech industry.

“Two years ago, I warned that we were making a serious mistake,” Pai said in a speech at the Newseum in Washington D.C. “The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you’re likely to get.”

Pai and the telecom industry have framed the debate as less about the principle of net neutrality than the mechanism to enforce it.

“AT&T continues to support the fundamental tenets of net neutrality,” AT&T (T, Tech30) CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement Wednesday. “It was illogical for the FCC in 2015 to… regulate the Internet under an 80-year-old law designed to set rates for the rotary-dial-telephone era.”

AT&T has agreed to acquire Time Warner, the parent company of CNN. The deal is pending regulatory approval.

Net neutrality advocates, however, argue this approach effectively guts the rules safeguarding the Internet.

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Wikipedia Founder Launches New Site To Fix Fake News 

By: Estelle Shirbon

The founder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has announced plans for a crowd-funded news website offering stories by journalists and volunteers working together, an initiative he hopes will counter the spread of fake news.

Jimmy Wales said the new platform, Wikitribune, would be free to read and carry no advertising, instead relying on supporters to fund it, while the accuracy of its articles would be easily verifiable as source material would be published.

“The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it,” he said in a promotional video posted on the website’s homepage, which does not yet carry any news stories. The page indicates the platform will go live in 29 days.

The initial goal is to raise sufficient funds to hire 10 professional journalists. The website is set up to encourage supporters to give $10 a month, but the amount and frequency of gifts can easily be modified.

The online proliferation of fake news, some of it generated for profit and some for political ends, became a major topic of angst and debate in many developed countries during last year’s U.S. presidential election.

Charlie Beckett, media professor at the London School of Economics, welcomed Wikitribune as an attempt to tackle a lack of public trust in mainstream media, but questioned whether it would have the scale and reach to stem the flow of fake news.

“The kind of people who will pay attention to Wikitribune and contribute to it are people who are already pretty media-literate,” he told Reuters.

Wales argued in his video that because Internet users expected news to be free, news sites were reliant on advertising money, which incentivized them to produce “clickbait” rather than quality output.

He also said social media networks, where an ever-increasing number of people get their news, were designed to show users what they wanted to see, confirming their biases.

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China To Build Smog Eating City

By: Leanna Garfield of Business Insider 

The eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, like many of the country’s urban areas, suffers from intense smog. 

The Air Quality Index, which uses a scale from 0 to 500 (with higher numbers indicating worse pollution), rates Nanjing’s air quality as 132 – a level considered unhealthy for the public, especially those with respiratory disease.

The Italian design firm Stefano Boeri Architetti believes that building towers covered in plants could help the city reduce its pollution.

The company recently announced that it will build two skyscrapers that will hold a total of 1,100 trees and 2,500 cascading shrubs on their rooftops and balconies.

Construction on the buildings, called the Nanjing Green Towers, began in early 2017 and is set to wrap up next year.

The design will be similar to that of a two-tower complex that Boeri designed in Milan. Another tower in Lausanne, Switzerland will follow a similar plan and is expected to open by early 2018.

Though only two forest-like towers are currently underway, Boeri’s ultimate goal is to create an entire “forest city” in Nanjing and other Chinese cities.

The ‘forest towers’ in Nanjing will feature offices, a 247-room luxury hotel, a museum, and an architecture school.

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Trump Stands Corrected by The Relevance of Nato

By: Ben Kentish of The Independent

Donald Trump has rowed back on his claim that Nato is “obsolete”, saying his earlier comments were made when he did “not know much about” the military alliance.

The US President told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during the presidential campaign that the 28-member state organisation was redundant and overly expensive for the US – a claim he repeated shortly before taking office in January.

“We are paying disproportionately,” he said at the time. “It’s too much, and frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea.”

Asked about his previous comments during an interview with the Associated Press, Mr Trump said they were a result of him “not knowing much” about Nato.

”They had a quote from me that Nato’s obsolete,” he said. “But they didn’t say why it was obsolete. I was on Wolf Blitzer – very fair interview – the first time I was ever asked about Nato, because I wasn’t in government.

“People don’t go around asking about Nato if I’m building a building in Manhattan, right? So they asked me, Wolf … asked me about Nato, and I said two things. Nato’s obsolete — not knowing much about Nato, now I know a lot about Nato — Nato is obsolete, and I said, ‘And the reason it’s obsolete is because of the fact they don’t focus on terrorism.’ You know, back when they did Nato there was no such thing as terrorism.”

Mr Trump appeared to change tack during a press conference with Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s Secretary-General, earlier in April.

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Canada Votes For Net Neutrality 

By: Jordan Pearson 

On Thursday afternoon, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the country’s federal telecom regulator, dropped a bombshell ruling on the status of net neutrality—the principle that all web services should be treated equally by providers. And, blessedly, it’s good news.
The CRTC ruled that “[internet] service providers should treat data traffic equally to foster consumer choice, innovation and the free exchange of ideas,” a CRTC news release states. What this means is that service providers won’t be able to privilege certain services over others—say, YouTube or Apple Music—by letting you use them without dinging your data plan. This is a practice generally known as “zero-rating” or differential pricing.

Differential pricing contradicts the principle of net neutrality because it allows service providers to leverage their privileged position to decide which services are most attractive to their customers, effectively discriminating against others.
The CRTC’s decision is welcome news as its sister organization in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is right now starting to roll back some of its previous commitments to net neutrality.
The CRTC ruling originated from complaints against Quebec-based provider Videotron’s unlimited music streaming service, which launched in 2015. The service allowed subscribers to stream music from third-party apps without it counting against their data plans.
Those complaints sparked a series of hearings on the practice of differential pricing. At the time of the hearings in the fall of last year, two of Canada’s “big three” telecom providers came out in support of differential pricing—Telus and Bell—while Rogers was the sole dissenting voice among the trio.

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