Showing posts from August 22, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

‘Don’t look!’ yells White House staffer as Trump looks at solar eclipse without glasses, The Star [Just the sort of bold, direct action we need to #MakeAmericaBlindAgain]
Coal Mining Health Study Is Halted by Interior Department, New York Times [Giving the middle finger to Appalachian communities.]
Millionaire wife of Trump’s treasury secretary mocks Oregon mom for not being rich, Think Progress
With No Timetable for Withdrawal, Trump Expands War in Afghanistan While Threatening Pakistan, Democracy Now!
The Activists Who Helped Shut Down Trump's CEO Councils, truthout
Trump's inability to get anything done is crushing one key area of the stock market, Business Insider

Former top Lloyds executives are suing the lender over unpaid bonuses

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[From the Unmitigated Gall Department. *RON*]

Camilla Hodgson, Business Insider, 22 August 2017
LONDON – Two former top employees of Lloyds Banking Group are suing the lender over unpaid bonuses, dating back several years.

Former Chief Executive Eric Daniels and former head of Lloyds' wholesale banking arm Truett Tate filed claims with the High Court, for what they allege was an unfair decision not to pay them part of a bonus in 2012.

Daniels is thought to be seeking about £500,000, while Tate's claim is as yet unknown.

Daniels was the lender's chief executive in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent £20 billion bailout

As a result of the bailout, Lloyds merged with HBOS and the state took 43% ownership, the last of which it sold earlier this year.

A source with knowledge of the claim told The Times that the bonuses had allegedly been based on performance targets, which both men had met and yet had not been paid. Both hav…

Gum disease sufferers 70% more likely to get dementia

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[Yet another reason to brush and floss regularly! *RON*]

Chris Smyth, The Times, 22 August 2017
People with long-term gum disease are 70 per cent more likely to develop dementia, researchers have found.

Scientists believe that inflammation caused by years of mouth problems could eventually damage the brain. Although the study of 28,000 people could not prove that gum disease directly caused Alzheimer’s, experts said that proper tooth-brushing could be advised to ward off dementia if further research confirmed the link.

Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque that results in swelling and infections. It can usually be treated by thorough cleaning but research is finding that long-term problems are linked to a wide range of illnesses including heart disease and cancer.

Previous studies have found that dementia patients with gum disease tend to get worse quicker but, unlike the new research, were unable to determine which condition came first.


How the tech sector can legally justify breaking ties to extremists

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[I still disagree. These guys thrive on their persecution complexes, so this will only fuel their righteous indignation. And they will find a new ISP. And censorship is nearly never a good idea. See also: Canada's conservative Rebel Media site down after service cut. *RON*]

David Kravets, Ars Technica, 17 August 2017
In the wake of recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, a swath of the tech sector has undergone a renaissance of sorts and announced that it was reducing or examining its ties to extremist groups.

CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said what a lot of executives were thinking when deciding to cancel service to the neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer. The site celebrated the death of a Charlottesville protester and sparked a tech-sector backlash against hate speech.

"My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I'd had enough," Prince said. "Let me be clear…

Barcelona attack: Van driver shot dead by police

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[Of the 12 members of the cell, 8 are dead and 4 are in custody. *RON*]

BBC News, 21 August 2017
Police have shot dead the main suspect in last Thursday's Barcelona attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub.

They believe he was the driver of a van which careered down the Las Ramblas avenue, killing 13 and injuring more than 100 others.

He was killed some 25 miles (40km) west of Barcelona near a sewage treatment works following a tip off.

Abouyaaqoub, wearing a fake explosive belt, is reported to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest").

An extensive manhunt was already under way when police closed in on the Subirats area, close to Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.

A petrol station employee spotted Abouyaaqoub and called the police who found him hiding in vineyards.

After he was shot, bomb disposal officers used a robot to examine the fake explosive belt. This led to some delay before Moroccan-born Abouyaaqoub could be officially identified.


In reversal, Cambridge University Press restores articles after China censorship row

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[Having caved in to pressure from the Chinese government, bold and brave Cambridge University now caves in to public pressure from academics. A good result, but not a shining moment for the university administration. And I think their saying that this was a temporary ban while they consulted with the academic community is, simply, a lie. *RON*]

Simon Denyer, Washington Post, 21 August 2017

BEIJING — Cambridge University Press reversed course Monday after facing a major backlash from academics over its decision to bow to Chinese government demands to censor an important academic journal.

The British-based publisher announced Friday it had removed 300 articles and book reviews from a version of the China Quarterly website available in China at the request of the government. But on Monday, it rescinded that decision after outrage from the international academic community.

It said the original move had only been a “temporary decision” pending discus…