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Member since: Sat Nov 5, 2016, 08:11 PM
Number of posts: 785

Journal Archives

Microsoft reveals first known midterm campaign hacking attempts

Source: Politico

Microsoft detected and helped block hacking attempts against three congressional candidates this year, a company executive said Thursday, marking the first known example of cyber interference in the midterm elections.

“Earlier this year, we did discover that a fake Microsoft domain had been established as the landing page for phishing attacks,” said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for security and trust, at the Aspen Security Forum. “And we saw metadata that suggested those phishing attacks were being directed at three candidates who are all standing for election in the midterm elections.”

Burt declined to name the targets but said they were “people who, because of their positions, might have been interesting targets from an espionage standpoint as well as an election disruption standpoint.”


Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/19/midterm-campaign-hacking-microsoft-733256

A quiet change in US policy threatens immigrants who apply for a change in status...

By Hassan Ahmad | Quartz | July 07, 2018

It went largely unremarked, just another bland procedural decision from a government agency. But a quiet policy change at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services last month is the next step toward a nationwide purge of non-citizens.

On June 28, USCIS announced that non-citizens who apply for a “benefit”–such as an extension or change of status, a green card, or citizenship—would be placed in deportation proceedings if that benefit is denied. For years, a criminal conviction has been required to be fast-tracked for deportation. Now, merely losing your petition for visa extension, being charged with a crime, or doing something DHS considers to be criminal (even if never arrested or charged) places you on the same fast-track.

Once in deportation proceedings, the non-citizen must prove she is eligible to stay in the United States. She will not be provided a lawyer; she may be detained, sometimes with no bond. There is no right to a speedy trial, nor trial by jury. Here are a few examples highlighting the full extent of the new rule.




USCIS is Starting a Denaturalization Task Force...

The bulk of the article is in the podcast in the link. Click on 'Listen' at the top of the article to hear.

Produced by Priscilla Alabi
Hosted by Tanzina Vega

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is creating a new task force. Its goal: to examine what they say are bad naturalization cases, according to Director L. Francis Cissna’s June announcement.

As a result, the organization expects to hire dozens of lawyers and immigration officers in the coming weeks to find U.S. citizens they say should not have been naturalized, to revoke their citizenship, and then eventually deport them.

Ur Jaddou, a former chief council for the USCIS, now the director of the immigrant advocacy group DHS Watch, and an immigration law professor at Washington College of Law at American University explains this development.

Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this segment. Don't have time to listen right now? Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts to take this segment with you on the go.

More in the podcast (see above).


Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent's Stealth Takeover of America...

By Lynn Parramore
May 30, 2018 | History of Economic Thought | Institutions, Policy & Politics

Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.

James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you’ve taken several classes in economics. And if the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many economics students have little understanding of his work.

The reason? Duke historian Nancy MacLean contends that his philosophy is so stark that even young libertarian acolytes are only introduced to it after they have accepted the relatively sunny perspective of Ayn Rand. (Yes, you read that correctly). If Americans really knew what Buchanan thought and promoted, and how destructively his vision is manifesting under their noses, it would dawn on them how close the country is to a transformation most would not even want to imagine, much less accept.

That is a dangerous blind spot, MacLean argues in a meticulously researched book, Democracy in Chains, a finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction. While Americans grapple with Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, we may be missing the key to changes that are taking place far beyond the level of mere politics. Once these changes are locked into place, there may be no going back.




Arguing with a Drumpf supporter...

...is like getting into a crap throwing contest with a chimpanzee. The chimp scores a point just for throwing and he doesn't care if you hit him.

Muslim Teen Poets Invited to Elks Club -- Which Called the Cops...

Slam poets Muslim Girls Making Change were invited to dine and perform last week at the Burlington Elks Lodge — where a club officer called the police on them. The teenagers have slammed the incident as racial profiling.

"This kind of stuff happens all the time and we're sick of it," member Kiran Waqar told Seven Days on Monday.

"Being a woman of color, I'm going to be getting all these experiences," said another one of the poets, Balkisa Omar.

The high schoolers were invited to a banquet hosted by the Women of UVM social group at the Elks Lodge on North Avenue last Wednesday. The quartet agreed to arrive early to help Omar with a school project. Since the event was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., the teenagers gathered at the back of the building, away from traffic, to do some audio recording.

"We were just talking a little bit, giggling ... average volume of four teenage girls," said Waqar. They were excited about their upcoming July trip to Minnesota, where they will join Michelle Obama and Colin Kaepernick in receiving awards from the National Education Association for their work in promoting human and civil rights.

At some point, a man later identified as lodge secretary Moe Decelles knocked on a window to get their attention, the young women recounted. A couple of minutes later, Decelles approached them and said, "I called the police on you. They're coming right now and I told them you're doing drugs," Waqar recalled.



More than 30,000 nursing home eviction notices to be sent in Louisiana Thursday...

Source: USA Today

BATON ROUGE -- Louisiana's Department of Health will begin sending nursing home eviction notices Thursday to more than 30,000 residents who could lose Medicaid under the budget passed by the state House of Representatives.

"The Louisiana Department of Health is beginning the process of notifying all impacted enrollees that some people may lose their Medicaid eligibility," Department of Health spokesman Bob Johannessen said. "The goal of the department is to give notice to all affected people as soon as possible in order that they begin developing their appropriate plans."

Gov. John Bel Edwards' staff has planned a press conference Wednesday for more details, a day before the notices are set to be mailed to 37,000 Medicaid recipients in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

"The Department of Health told us they're sending out the letters May 10," said Mark Berger, executive director of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, during testimony at the Senate Finance Committee meeting Monday.


Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/05/07/louisiana-nursing-home-eviction-notices-could-create-mass-chaos/588867002/

The Latest: 2nd Explosion Badly Injures Woman in Austin

Source: The New York Times

AUSTIN, Texas — The Latest on deadly package bombings in Austin, Texas (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Police are responding to another explosion in Austin that badly injured a woman, hours after a package bomb killed a teenager and wounded a woman in a different part of the city.

Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that an explosion Monday in southeast Austin injured a woman in her 70s, who has been hospitalized. A second woman from that address has been hospitalized with an unrelated medical issue.

Authorities have not said whether the most recent explosion was caused by a package bomb like the one that exploded earlier Monday.

Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference Monday that investigators believe the deadly blast Monday is linked to a March 2 package bomb that killed a 39-year-old man in another part of the city.


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/03/12/us/ap-us-deadly-package-explosion-the-latest.html

Federal Court: Pine-Richland H.S. Must Let Transgender Students Use Bathroom Of Their Choice

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A federal district court has ruled in the favor of three Pine-Richland High School transgender students, and ordered the district to allow the students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The court ruled in favor of Lambda Legal’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction that sought immediately to halt the enforcement of a new policy adopted by the school district.

Read more:

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