Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 21 Nov 2018
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Picking up the pieces in Gaza: Prosthetic limb workshop races to keep up with demand from shootings at protests

Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City
© Mohammed Asad
Baha'a Abu Ayyad practices walking on a prosthetic leg at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City
Sitting on a white sheet on a bed in Gaza City, Anas Minerawi, a 26-year-old civil engineer/trainee, reimagines noon of last May 18th, when "everything turned into completely grayish-white mixed with gibberish noise".

"I felt like something very painful was going out of my chest," Anas stammered.

He had been shot by Israeli fire during the weekly protest east of Gaza city on the border with Israel. He told me:

amputated limb
© Mohammed Asad
Anas Minerawi holds his amputated limb, at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City

Pumpkin 2

Zuckerberg's "war face" has pushed key executives to leave, stoked tension with Facebook chief Sandberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gathered around 50 of his key executives and told them that the company was at war - more specifically, under siege from lawmakers, investors and angry users over the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal and Russian influence on the platform.

Zuckerberg, according to the Wall Street Journal, told his top lieutenants during that June meeting that while executives can move more slowly and methodically on key decisions during "peacetime," he would be acting more decisively going forward, said people familiar with the remarks.

The result? Tension which has boiled over to the point where several key executives have left the country - as well as friction between Zuckerberg and longtime COO, Sheryl Sandberg.
The 34-year-old CEO believes Facebook didn't move quickly enough at key moments this year and increasingly is pressing senior executives to "make progress faster" on resolving problems such as slowing user growth and securing the platform, said people familiar with the matter. Mr. Zuckerberg also at times has expressed frustration at how the company managed the waves of criticism it faced this year.

On Friday, that tension was on display when, during a question-and-answer session with employees at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., he blasted a fresh round of critical news coverage as "bullshit,"according to the people familiar with the remarks. -WSJ

Comment: Facebook's inner squabbles are also likely the result of the war party's pressure to weaponize the social social media platform:


Hollywood actors threaten to boycott Georgia film industry after Democrat's loss

Several Hollywood actors are calling for a boycott of Georgia's film industry after Republican Brian Kemp officially won the state's gubernatorial contest against Democrat Stacey Abrams. But like the threats to move to Canada if Donald Trump won in 2016, these are also more than likely going to be hollow.

tweet perlman

Comment: Wait a minute - a Democrat lost an election and no one's pinning it on 'Russian meddling'?! What's this world coming to??


Election fraud scheme on L.A.'s skid row got homeless to sign fake names for cigarettes and cash, D.A. says

skid row
© Los Angeles Times
Skid row in 2016.
A forged signature swapped for $1 - or sometimes a cigarette.

The crude exchange played out hundreds of times on L.A.'s skid row during the 2016 election cycle and again this year, prosecutors said Tuesday as they announced criminal charges against nine people accused in a fraud scheme.

Using cash and cigarettes as lures, the defendants approached homeless people on skid row and asked them to forge signatures on state ballot measure petitions and voter registration forms, the district attorney's office said. The defendants - some of whom were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday - face several criminal charges, including circulating a petition with fake names, voter fraud and registering a fictitious person.

The charges, which were filed three weeks ago but made public Tuesday, followed a Los Angeles Police Department crackdown on suspected election fraud on skid row earlier in the year.

"They paid individuals to sign the names," Officer Deon Joseph, the senior lead officer on skid row,told The Times in September. "That's an assault on our democracy."

Star of David

Next victory for BDS? Human Rights Watch pressures Booking.com to follow Airbnb, end business in Israel's illegal settlements

AirBnb locations illegal settlements israel
© Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch map shows former Airbnb rentals in the illegally occupied West Bank with red dots, blue dots to signify current rentals on Booking.com.
The nonprofit Human Rights Watch urged Booking.com on Tuesday to follow in the footsteps of the home-renting service Airbnb, which on Monday banned listings for apartment rentals in the illegally occupied West Bank.

"Many in the global community have stated that companies should not do business here because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced," Airbnb said in a statement.

Activists had long sought to get Airbnb to quit servicing the area, Sputnik News reported.


Why Drivers Are Leading a Protest Movement Across France

Comment: Barely 18 months into his presidency, open rebellion has erupted in France. Now entering its fifth day, hundreds of thousands of people are protesting rising prices and taxes by donning the fluorescent yellow reflective vests all drivers are mandated to store in their vehicles at all times, giving this grassroots movement the name 'Gilets Jaunes' (yellow vests).

Protests occur regularly in France, and strikes of course - nobody does strikes quite like the French - but what stands out about this particular movement is that it's genuinely grassroots. No trade unions, no NGOs, no politicians, and no think-tanks were involved in promoting, leading or sponsoring it. It has no leadership and no spokesman. It doesn't even have a website...

gilets jaune protest france
France may have a tradition of boisterous protest, but this weekend's mass demonstrations against gas tax increases have still managed to take the country by surprise.

On Saturday and Sunday, at least 280,000 protesters took to the streets in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country, burning cars, blockading highways and fuel depots, and engaging in battles with police and motorists as they demonstrated against planned rises in gas and diesel taxes. So far, over 400 people have been injured in the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement - so named because the protesters are wearing the high-viz vests that French drivers are obliged to carry in case of emergencies. On Saturday, one was even killed after being run over by a panicked driver. The movement shows no signs of letting up, however, with protests continuing Monday and more major protest days planned for later in the month.

Comment: Protesters attempted to reach the Elysée Palace - Macron's residence - on Saturday:

The first day, Saturday 17 November, saw the biggest turnouts so far. The whole country pretty much came to a standstill. Here's footage from just some of the protests in just one of France's 96 departments on Saturday:


Blast near wedding hall kills 43 people in Kabul, Afghanistan

© Wikipedia
At least 43 people have been killed in a blast that took place near a wedding hall in the Afghan capital of Kabul, the country's health ministry has said.

The blast took place as attendees gathered to celebrate Eid Milad, an Islamic holiday marking the birthday of the prophet Mohammed.

More than 80 other people were injured in the explosion, officials say. A ministry spokesman told Afghan news network Tolo News that the blast was a suicide bombing.

Black Cat

Freedom from the press? Criminals Browder and Khodorkovsky bar Ruptly video agency from conference

browder Khodorkovsky
© Reuters / Yuri Gripas ; Reuters / Brendan McDermid
Hermitage Capital CEO William Browder (L) and Former Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky (R)
RT's video agency was refused accreditation for a press conference held by UK businessman Bill Browder, who is warning that if a Russian is elected to lead Interpol, democracy and freedom will suffer. Like freedom of the press?

RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan wrote in a tweet on Tuesday that Ruptly was denied credentials to cover a London press conference convened by two unscrupulous businessmen-turned-democracy activists, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Bill Browder.

Comment: Browder and Khodokovsky are a pair thieves who've managed to insert themselves on the world stage as "humanitarians" in a bid to cover up their thievery. Doesn't get more cynical than that. The facts show otherwise.


Democrats, Republicans and Independents are all getting fed up with social media, says new survey

people on phones
© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton
There are few things these days which unite liberals and conservatives, but according to a new survey, a growing dislike and distrust of social media companies is one of them.

Across the political spectrum, dissatisfaction with sites like Facebook and Twitter is growing - and growing quickly. An Axios survey conducted in November found that 57 percent of US adults felt that social media is damaging to society and democracy, up 14 percent from one year earlier.

When you break it down, Democrats, Republicans and Independents have all been souring on social media, with significant increases in the numbers dissatisfied seen across the three groups in the last year.


Passenger train derails outside of Barcelona leaving 1 person dead and 44 injured

train derailment
© Reuters / Albert Gea
Rescue workers survey the scene after a commuter train derailed outside Barcelona.
A passenger train has derailed near Barcelona, Spain, leaving at least one person dead and 44 injured, officials confirmed.

The incident took place outside the village of Vacarisses, near the Spanish city on Tuesday morning.

The latest data from the emergency services indicates that at least one person has been killed, and 44 others injured in the tragedy. The train was carrying some 150 passengers when the incident happened.