Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 20 Aug 2017
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters

2 + 2 = 4

Mississippi Attorney General sues Google for gathering personal data on students

© Alex Wong/Getty Images
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (R) at a news conference in 2015.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is sparring with Google once more.

Last year, Hood and Google wound down a court dispute over Hood's investigation into how Google handles certain kinds of online content, from illegal drug ads to pirated movies. E-mails from the 2014 Sony hack showed that Hood's investigation was spurred on, in part, by lobbyists from the Motion Picture Association of America.

Now Hood has a new bone to pick with the search giant. Yesterday, Hood filed a lawsuit (PDF) against Google in Lowndes County Chancery Court, saying that the company is gathering personal data on students who use Google's G Suite for Education, (previously called Google Apps for Education).

In a statement, Hood said that "due to the multitude of unclear statements provided by Google," his investigators don't know exactly what information is being collected.

"Through this lawsuit, we want to know the extent of Google's data mining and marketing of student information to third parties," Hood said. "I don't think there could be any motivation other than greed for a company to deliberately keep secret how it collects and uses student information."

Wall Street

Foreign central banks liquidate record $405 billion in US Treasuries as China sells most since 2011

The wholesale liquidation of US Treasuries continued in November, when according to the just released TIC data, foreign central banks sold another $936 million in US paper in November 2016, which due to an offset of $892 million in buying one year ago, means that for the 12 month period ended November, foreign central banks have now sold a new all time high of $405 million in the past 12 months, up from a record $403 million in LTM sales as of one month ago.

Where did the selling come from?

While Japan sold about $23 billion in November, its fourth month of consecutive selling, it was China which drove the selloff, dumping a whopping $66.4 billion in US Treasuries in its 6th consecutive monthly sale of US paper, and the biggest monthly selloff since December 2011. The monthly sale also brings China's total Treasury holdings to the lowest level since early 2010.

Wall Street

JPMorgan chief Dimon says Euro zone may not survive if concerns are ignored

© Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
The euro region could break up if political leaders don't get to grips with the discontent that's spurring support for populist leaders across the continent, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said.

Dimon said he had hoped European Union leaders would examine what caused the U.K. to vote to leave and then make changes. That hasn't happened, and if nationalist politicians including France's Marine Le Pen rise to power in elections across the region "the euro zone may not survive," Dimon, 60, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with John Micklethwait.

"What went wrong is going wrong for everybody, not just going wrong for Britain, but in some ways it looks like they're kind of doubling down," Dimon said in the interview Wednesday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Unless leaders address underlying concerns, "you're going to have the same political things about immigration, the laws of the country, how much power goes to Brussels."

Comment: Looks like the only thing Dimon is really worried about is bank regulation. As long as it doesn't restrict him from doing anything the big banks want to make money.


Majority of Americans believe Trump would have won anyway, hacked or not

© AP / Washington Post / Ghetty Images
A majority of Americans think the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections would have remained the same, despite Russia's alleged hacking. Donald Trump (left) won the election over Hillary Clinton (right) in November 2016
Most Americans think Donald Trump would have still won the election regardless of information leaks that came out of Russia's alleged hacking, a poll reported.

In the study, 58 per cent thought the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections would have remained the same, despite the hacking of files from the Democratic National Convention.

Americans thought 'regardless of the information released as a result of Russian hacking' Trump would still have won the election, according to a poll conducted by CNN and ORC.

A minority of 40 per cent of people said the information leak was damaging enough to change voter's minds.

Wikileaks published thousands of emails and documents pertaining to Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC, in June 2016.

Comment: So far there has been no hard evidence provided by the CIA that Russia was involved in the leaks. Most likely it was leaked by a Clinton insider.

Book 2

'Obama's decision on Manning very tepid attempt to address issue' - Assange's lawyer to RT

© Reuters
Julian Assange's lawyers are "assessing" the situation, following Chelsea Manning's commutation announcement and Assange's comments that he's willing to make a deal with the US should the whistleblower be granted clemency.

"Mr. Assange stands by everything what he has said," Melinda Taylor, Assange's lawyer told RT from the Hague, but added Obama's decision to commute much of the sentence "certainly falls far short of what Miss Manning deserves."

"Her sentence was commuted, but she wasn't pardoned. She should also never been convicted in the first place," Taylor said.

When asked if Assange is likely to get on a plane to America shortly after Manning is freed in May, his lawyer said her colleagues are now "assessing" the situation.

Black Magic

Social Justice, Clinton and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis

We all know by now that the 2008 Crisis was the result of the unchecked and unregulated greed of Wall Street Fatcats. This greed, that infects the 1%, nearly brought the entire world economy to its knees, and could have brought it lower.

Money-mad psychopaths were able to convince the government to deregulate important parts of the financial markets, allowing them to glut their inhuman avarice, and when it all went sour, those same psychos were bailed out by a corrupt bipartisan political maneuver to further rob the taxpayers of the world and put their hard-earned cash right in the pockets of the same people whose criminal behavior had led to the crisis in the first place.

That's what we all know, what we all seem to agree happened. But it may not be true.


George H.W. and Barbara Bush both hospitalized

George H.W. and Barbara Bush
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, have both been hospitalized, his spokesman said Wednesday.

President Bush, 92, was admitted to intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital to address "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, said in a statement.

Barbara Bush also was admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning as a precaution after "experiencing fatigue and coughing," McGrath said in the same statement.

President Bush was first hospitalized over the weekend suffering from shortness of breath and a cough and was treated with IV antibiotics.

At first, McGrath reported that he was responding well to the drugs. But Wednesday, the 41st President's condition changed and he was admitted to the intensive care unit, sedated and intubated.

Comment: Looks like the former Warmonger-in-Chief is not long for this world.


Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard makes secret "fact-finding trip" to Syria

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), joins colleagues and members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in support for the permanent re-authorization of the Zadroga Act.
A US congresswoman made a secret "fact-finding trip" to the Syrian capital Damascus days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Democratic Representative and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard visited Damascus "to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders," Gabbard's spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

The exact dates of the trip were kept secret for security reasons, but her office said the Hawaii lawmaker was currently in the Middle East.

Gabbard, a vocal opponent of the Barack Obama administration's policy of regime change in Syria, has publicly acknowledged that the US government has been supporting terrorists in Syria.

The congresswoman unveiled a measure in Congress late last year that would prohibit Washington from funding or arming militant groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian government, including Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda, and Daesh.

Comment: Gabbard's secrecy for her trip is understandable considering the attack on the French delegation earlier in the month:

French delegation set to expose Western lies about Syria targeted by US backed 'rebels' in Aleppo


Nadia Savchenko draws condemnation in Ukraine by suggesting Crimea be put "on the back burner"

© RadioSvoboda.org (RFE/RL)
Nadia Savchenko
Ukrainian lawmaker Nadia Savchenko has caused controversy by suggesting that Kyiv must accept Moscow's grip on Crimea for the time being if it wants to regain control over eastern territory held by Russia-backed separatists.

Speaking on 112 Ukraine TV on January 17, Savchenko said that "the only peaceful way" to resolve the status of the eastern Donbas region in Kyiv's favor is to put the issue of Crimea, which was seized by Russia in March 2014, "on the back burner."

"We must not abandon" Crimea or the Donbas, Savchenko said. But she suggested that in order to regain control of separatist-held territory in the east, Ukrainian politicians will have to "give up" Crimea "for a certain period."

She suggested that if Kyiv focuses on demands for the return of control over Crimea, the Donbas will become "another Transdniester" -- a reference to a sliver of neighboring Moldova that has been held by pro-Russian separatists since a war in 1992.

The only other way to regain control over the Donbas is by force, she said.

Comment: It says a lot when a crazy-woman like Savchenko is outranked in craziness by other Ukrainian politicians.

Snakes in Suits

Deconstructing MI6 smear artist Chris Steele's 'dossier' on Trump's Moscow visit

Almost everyone goes to bed at night. Some get up to urinate. The older, less continent ones can't get up easily, so they urinate on themselves. If properly cared for, they do so in what is known in the geriatric product market as roll-ups.

A small minority arrange to be urinated upon by others, though not usually on the bed they aim to sleep in. This may be an erotic pleasure for you, a perversion to the next man. The name for it is Golden Showers. If conducted between consenting adults, it's not a crime. Paying for it may be a crime, depending on the local law on procuring. In the Russian criminal code it's not a felony but a misdemeanor with a fine so small it usually isn't enforced by the police; certainly not in expensive big-city hotels.