Shares down as much as 10% after Europe’s largest software maker falls short of expectations
An embarrassing gaffe has severely compromised NATO defense security and readiness after a public document inadvertently revealed too much.
A NATO affiliate body called the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly published a draft report last April entitled, “A new era for nuclear deterrence? Modernization, arms control and allied nuclear forces,” specifically authored by a Canadian senator. In an egregious accidental leak, the document actually identified the locations of American nuclear weapons sites across Europe, which is considered highly classified information.
Though the leaked information was quickly deleted after it came to the attention of NATO officials, the Belgian newspaper De Morgen picked up on the mistake, after which its reporting went viral. The Belgian headline in De Morgen stated: “Finally in black and white: There are American nuclear weapons in Belgium.”
The document revealed secretive information related to the locations of some 150 US nuclear weapons at various bases, “specifically B61 gravity bombs.”
The report identified in a section titled, “NATO’s Nuclear Posture,” subsequently republished by De Morgen, the following classified information:
“These bombs are stored at six US and European bases — Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey.”
The sanitized version of the final edition of the document was republished last week, with the nuclear weapons site information deleted.
Interestingly, Italy is estimated to maintain the largest stockpile of US nuclear bombs – somewhere between 60 and 70 – with Turkey and Germany also housing a large amount, which is worrisome in the case of Turkey given rising tensions over its Russian S-400 deal.
Such an extensive US nuclear arsenal on European soil is a remnant and continuation of the historic Cold War build-up, when Washington was locked in battle to deter Soviet expansion in Europe, which also allowed US allies to not have to pursue their own nukes.
Via Statista: “The B61 is a low to intermediate-yield strategic and tactical thermonuclear gravity bomb which deatures a two-stage radiation implosion design. It is capable of being deployed on a range of aircraft such as the F-15E, F-16 and Tornado. It can be released at speeds up to Mach 2 and dropped as low as 50 feet where it features a 31 second delay to allow the delivery aircraft to escape the blast radius.”
European newspapers this week ran shocking and alarming headlines over the revelation. Indeed it reveals a dangerous situation given the recent collapse of one crucial Cold War era treaty which kept warhead delivery systems and missiles out of Europe, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
According to a NATO official statement in The Washington Post, the document did not originate within NATO itself, but by the group’s parliamentary assembly, specifically from one of the alliance’s founding members, Canada. The NATO statement to the Post said, “We do not comment on the details of Nato’s nuclear posture.”
Attempts to diminish the triumph of Apollo 11 and to reassign credit don’t just taint the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, but presage the technological decline of the US if it persists with identity politics…
With the Founding Fathers now rarely mentioned in the media without side notes about their slave ownership, and the Betsy Ross flag is offensive to Colin Kaepernick and Nike, there is nothing new about liberal attempts to strike at the very heart of American identity.
But – leaving aside the conspiracy theorists – the moment Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969 was objectively such a universal milestone that to qualify it seems a fight against human endeavor itself.
It would seem like the more logical route, for those who resent that this was a feat of white un-woke America, would be to try and diminish their role in favour of supposedly unsung heroes.
Hidden Figures, the Oscar-winning film from 2016 was the perfect archetype of this revisionist history, exaggerating and fictionalizing the role of a cadre of politically suitable black women, who did an entirely replaceable job and were no more important than thousands of others involved.
This way everyone would get to celebrate their own role models, even though in time such worthy changes of focus can end up with grotesque urban myths, like Crick and Watson stealing the Nobel Prize from (the actually dead) Rosalind Franklin.
Celebrating white men in the age of Trump
But while this unifying narrative, where people of different races and varying attainments are placed alongside each other in anniversary pieces, a more sour, radicalized note has begun to surface, compared to celebrations even five years ago, in the prelapsarian era of Barack Obama.
It is not yet dominant, but persistent enough to be more than a coincidence.
“The culture that put men on the moon was intense, fun, family-unfriendly, and mostly white and male,” tweeted the Washington Post, over a behind-the-scenes look at the life of those involved in the program.
The culture that put men on the moon was intense, fun, family-unfriendly, and mostly white and male https://t.co/x5vQBuU4IN
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 16, 2019
“In archival Apollo 11 photos and footage, it’s a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ exercise to spot a woman or person of color,” it continued in the article itself.
“We chose to go to the moon. Or at least, some did: watching [documentary film] Apollo 11, it is impossible not to observe that nearly every face you see is white and male,” left-wing magazine New Statesman wrote in a recent piece.
A recent Guardian review of the documentary Armstrong features the writer talking about “good ol’ boys from NASA – elderly white men every one of them, who you suspect are still pining for the days of American life when men were men and women waited by the phone in headscarves,” though no evidence is given for the assertion.
Why wasn’t von Braun a black woman?
This is not just bigoted, but astonishing in its unfairness.
Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins could not have helped being white at birth.
George Mueller and Max Faget were not proverbial “mediocre white men” – their deeds are tangible.
No one at NASA could have helped living in 1960s America, or made its social structures, workplace roles, and demographics fit in with 2019 journalists’ conceptions. For God’s sake, many were Germans who had served the Nazi Party with varying degrees of reluctance during World War II, before being whisked away through Operation Paperclip – how do they fit into 21st century privilege hierarchies? Could Wernher von Braun have been an African-American woman from Louisiana?
Wernher von Braun with John F. Kennedy © Getty Images/Bettmann / Contributor
Or would it have been better to stay on Earth until US society advanced enough to send the right people into space? Or perhaps let the Soviets get there first, since for all their class-based ideology they didn’t want to handicap themselves in the space race.
America weighs itself down
And handicap becomes the key word.
Rewriting history is a crucial weapon in the long-term culture war for the left, disappointed so often at the ballot box. But the implications of this go far beyond the past.
At the very edge of technological and scientific progress is a meritocracy – you can’t make someone a genius by appointing them. And for all the social changes, the key innovators at NASA and, more importantly, Silicon Valley, remain men, and predominantly white (though more often Asian). Whether it is more due to their superior opportunities, education or creativity, Elon Musk or Larry Page look just like the fathers of the space program.
Yet to avoid ever producing a picture like the sea of white shirts and black ties and pale arms at Launch Operations Center fifty years ago, there are demands for rectification, for diversity, essentially for positive discrimination.
Neil Armstrong leads his crew to the launchpad. © NASA
But picking people for posts on the basis of historic justice, skin color and chromosome combinations is a recipe for uncompetitive organizations, where the most talented never succeed, or merely drag along the quota-fillers.
And America’s rivals are not standing still – not just Russia now, but China, India and others. They would have no better chance to overtake the US in whatever is this century’s version of the space race, than if that nation decided to spit on its own achievements, and replace them with dogma.
The number of likes is a measure of how well content is doing on the social media platform.
The use of social media has been linked to an increase in depressive symptoms in teenagers, according to researchers at Montreal’s Sainte-Justine Hospital, according to the CBC.
In a new study led by University of Montreal psychiatry professor Patricia Conrod, adolescents were studied over a four-year period to investigate the relationship between depression and various forms of screen time.
“What we found over and over was that the effects of social media were much larger than any of the other effects for the other types of digital screen time,” said Conrod.
The researchers studied the behaviour of over 3,800 young people from 2012 until 2018. They recruited adolescents from 31 Montreal schools and followed their behaviour from Grade 7 until Grade 11.
The teenagers self-reported the number of hours per week that they consumed social media (such as Facebook and Instagram), video games and television.
Conrod and her team found an increase in depressive symptoms when the adolescents were consuming social media and television. –CBC
The study was published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal on Monday.
Unsurprising to some, the study found that all forms of screen time are bad, but that consuming social media was the most harmful. Conrod and her colleague, Elroy Boers, found that being active on platforms like Instagram – where teens can compare their dismal, boring lives to those of glitzy ‘influencers,’ cause the most depression.
“It exposes young people to images that promote upward social comparison and makes them feel bad about themselves,” said Conrod. “These sort of echo chambers — these reinforcing spirals — also continually expose them to things that promote or reinforce their depression, and that’s why it’s particularly toxic for depression.”
The researchers also observed whether the additional screen time was taking away from things generally known to reduce depression, such as exercise and fun interacting with other human beings, but found no link.
‘A good pastime’
The study suggests that the average gamer is not socially isolated, as over 70% of gamers play with other people online or in person.
“The findings surprised us,” said Boers. “Video gaming makes one more happy. It’s a good pastime.”
Dr. Martin Gignac, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, said there has been an increase in the number of emergency-room visits at the hospital related to teens having suicidal thoughts and behaviour in recent years.
“I don’t think that [social media] is the only reason, but it’s one of the risk factors we should monitor,” said Gignac, who was not involved with the study.
As online relationships supplant in-person communication, Gignac said it’s important that young people learn when posting about their lives online is healthy, and when it can hurt.
He’s hoping that schools expand programs teaching kids about healthy online activity, and that learning how to practise good “digital citizenship” eventually becomes a universal part of school curriculum. –CBC
Depression in adolescents is linked to substance abuse, lower self-esteem and poor interpersonal skills. According to Boers, teens are spending six-to-seven hours in front of a digital screen per day.
“What we found is quite worrisome and needs further investigation,” he said.
This video is based on the research of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG); The video was originally released in December 2017
According to a secret document dated September 15, 1945, “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas.
All major cities of the Soviet Union were included in the list of 66 “strategic” targets. The tables below categorize each city in terms of area in square miles and the corresponding number of atomic bombs required to annihilate and kill the inhabitants of selected urban areas.
Six atomic bombs were to be used to destroy each of the larger cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Tashkent, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa.
The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 bombs would be required to “Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. The targets for a nuclear attack consisted of sixty-six major cities.
One single atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima resulted in the immediate death of 100,000 people in the first seven seconds. Imagine what would have happened if 204 atomic bombs had been dropped on major cities of the Soviet Union as outlined in a secret U.S. plan formulated during the Second World War.
Hiroshima in the wake of the atomic bomb attack, 6 August 1945
The document outlining this diabolical military agenda had been released in September 1945, barely one month after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August, 1945) and two years before the onset of the Cold War (1947).
The secret plan dated September 15, 1945 (two weeks after the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, see image below) , however, had been formulated at an earlier period, namely at the height of World War II, at a time when America and the Soviet Union were close allies.
It is worth noting that Stalin was first informed through official channels by Harry Truman of the infamous Manhattan Project at the Potsdam Conference on July 24, 1945, barely two weeks before the attack on Hiroshima.
The Manhattan project was launched in 1939, two years prior to America’s entry into World War II in December 1941. The Kremlin was fully aware of the secret Manhattan project as early as 1942.
Were the August 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks used by the Pentagon to evaluate the viability of a much larger attack on the Soviet Union consisting of more than 204 atomic bombs?
“On September 15, 1945 — just under two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan and the end of World War II — Norstad sent a copy of the estimate to General Leslie Groves, still the head of the Manhattan Project, and the guy who, for the short term anyway, would be in charge of producing whatever bombs the USAAF might want. As you might guess, the classification on this document was high: “TOP SECRET LIMITED,” which was about as high as it went during World War II. (Alex Wellerstein, The First Atomic Stockpile Requirements (September 1945)
The Kremlin was aware of the 1945 plan to bomb sixty-six Soviet cities.
Had the US decided not to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclar arms race would not have taken place. Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of deterrence.
The Soviet Union lost 26 million people during World War II.
The USSR developed its own atomic bomb in 1949, in response to 1942 Soviet intelligence reports on the Manhattan Project.
Let’s cut to the chase. How many bombs did the USAAF request of the atomic general, when there were maybe one, maybe two bombs worth of fissile material on hand? At a minimum they wanted 123. Ideally, they’d like 466. This is just a little over a month after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Of course, in true bureaucratic fashion, they provided a handy-dandy chart (Alex Wellerstein, op. cit)
This initial 1945 list of sixty-six cities was updated in the course of the Cold War (1956) to include some 1200 cities in the USSR and the Soviet block countries of Eastern Europe (see declassified documents below).
Source: National Security Archive
“According to the 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe. Major Cities in the Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings. (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015
Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order. National Security Archive
In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.
What distinguishes the October 1962 Missile Crisis to Today’s realities:
1. Today’s president Donald Trump does not have the foggiest idea as to the consequences of nuclear war.
2, Communication today between the White House and the Kremlin is at an all time low. In contrast, in October 1962, the leaders on both sides, namely John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev were accutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. They collaborated with a view to avoiding the unthinkable.
3. The nuclear doctrine was entirely different during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow understood the realities of mutually assured destruction. Today, tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity (yield) of one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb are categorized by the Pentagon as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”.
4. A one trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing.
5. Today’s thermonuclear bombs are more than 100 times more powerful and destructive than a Hiroshima bomb. Both the US and Russia have several thousand nuclear weapons deployed.
Moreover, an all war against China is currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon as outlined by a RAND Corporation Report commissioned by the US Army
“Fire and Fury”, From Truman to Trump: U.S Foreign Policy Insanity
There is a long history of US political insanity geared towards providing a human face to U.S. crimes against humanity.
On August 9, 1945, on the day the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, president Truman (image right), in a radio address to the American people, concluded that God is on the side of America with regard to the use of nuclear weapons and that
“He May guide us to use it [atomic bomb] in His ways and His purposes”.
According to Truman: God is with us, he will decide if and when to use the bomb:
[We must] prepare plans for the future control of this bomb. I shall ask the Congress to cooperate to the end that its production and use be controlled, and that its power be made an overwhelming influence towards world peace.
We must constitute ourselves trustees of this new force–to prevent its misuse, and to turn it into the channels of service to mankind.
It is an awful responsibility which has come to us.
We thank God that it [nuclear weapons] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it [nuclear weapons] in His ways and for His purposes” (emphasis added)
Wavecell, a cloud-communications platform for companies in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has been acquired by 8×8 in a deal worth about $125 million. The acquisition will help San Jose, Calif.-based 8×8 expand in Asia, where Wavecell already has offices in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Wavecell’s cloud API platform, which includes SMS, chat, video and voice messaging, is used by companies such as Paidy, Lalamove and Tokopedia. It has relationships with 192 network operators and partners like WhatsApp and claims its infrastructure is used to share more than two billion messages each year.
The terms of the deal includes $69 million in cash and about $56 million in 8×8 common shares. Founded in 2010, Wavecell’s investors included Qualgro VC, Wavemaker Partners and MDI Ventures.
In a prepared statement, 8×8 CEO Vik Verma said “8×8 is now the only cloud provider that owns the full, global-scale, cloud-native, technology stack offering voice, video, messaging, and contact center delivered both as pre-packaged applications and as enterprise-class APIs. We’re excited to welcome the Wavecell employees to the 8×8 family. We now have a significant market presence in Asia and expect to continue to expand in the region and globally in order to meet evolving customer requirements.”
Ex-Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris has fled the country with his family amid more than two-dozen lawsuits alleging he committed real estate fraud, reported IndyStar.
According to Natali Morris, Clayton’s wife and a former news anchor with MSNBC, the family moved last month from their $1.4 million mansion in New Jersey to a coastal resort town in Portugal.
Clayton left Fox News in 2017 to begin a new career in real estate, could have been inspired by the “greatest economy ever.” His wife tagged along; she became his partner, and both of them linked up with Bert Whalen and his company Oceanpointe Investments.
In an email to IndyStar, Natali said the couple would fight the lawsuits from abroad. Both have denied responsibility for investor losses, have shifted the blame on Whalen.
“We have and continued to take responsibility for all of our legal challenges that came from our relationship with Oceanpointe. We have answered all of our attorney general requests in all states. We have answered all lawsuits,” Natali said.
“We have not run from anything,” she added. “We continue to show up for this until the last lawsuit is dismissed and it is clear that we neither had the money from Oceanpointe investors nor did we defraud anyone.”
Investors and their attorneys have sounded the alarm about how Clayton and Natali have left the country. They fear it would become complicated to serve Clayton and his wife with legal notices.
“In my clients’ opinion, innocent people don’t flee the country,” said Jynell Berkshire, an Indianapolis real estate attorney who is representing some investors.
At the moment, there are no criminal charges against the Morris’ or Whalen.
IndyStar asked local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Indiana and New Jersey about the Ponzi scheme; all agencies declined to comment at the time.
In a blog post on Natali’s website last Thursday, she outlined how legal problems with her and her husband forced the family to leave the country.
“I am not one of those who rejects America,” she wrote. “We had a good life there. But my husband and I have had a hard few years in our business and this collective soul challenge forced us to question everything.”
She said Clayton was mentally disturbed by all the negative press surrounding the lawsuits.
“Watching him endure this has felt like what I would imagine it is like to watch him endure chemotherapy,” she said. “I wish I could take it from him. I wish I could fix it. I wish it were me instead. I carry a pain with me knowing that he is in pain and it is with me always. His health began to suffer. He began to withdraw emotionally and it was hard on our family. We both knew that we had to make a change if we wanted to survive.”
IndyStar was the first to report Clayton’s Ponzi scheme with Whalen’s help back in March. They sold about 700 homes in distressed neighbors across Indianapolis.
Investors are claiming Clayton sold them homes with a guarantee to rehab them, find tenants, and maintain the properties. According to Clayton’s YouTube videos, all investors had to do was relax and collect rent checks.
The lawsuits claim Clayton and Whalen covered their tracks by giving investors fake lease forms and sending rent checks even though the properties were vacant. It only took a few notices of code violations and condemnation notices from the city of Indianapolis to convince investors that something was terribly wrong with their investment.
IndyStar published a report last month found tenants in the flipped homes were living in dangerous and disgusting conditions.
“On this site I share with you new ways to think about and use your money in order to build legacy wealth for you and your family,” she said.
As to why Clayton, Natali, and Whalen thought they could become stupid rich in flipping homes and renting them out for investors during a hiking cycle by the Federal Reserve and the eventual turning point in the economy that started in the summer of 2018 — is beyond us. All schemes tend to come undone at the end part of a business cycle.
Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should…
That is an expression I often quote in reference to various things people are doing and creating. When I hear about new AI capabilities and developments, it comes to mind.
Artificial Intelligence is developing at breakneck speed. While many technological advances benefit humanity, there are plenty of others that may have devastating outcomes.
Will AI eventually take over the world?
Even more horrifying, though, is the very real possibility that artificial intelligence will fully infiltrate every aspect of our lives and eventually take control of the world.
The thought of losing what freedom we have left to robot overlords is terrifying, especially considering that AI has no sense of humor and is willing to kill over a joke and that robots already can hate without human input.
Will humans serve robot overlords someday?
A new video from Truthstream Media poses a serious question we all should be considering:
Do People Realize They Are Creating Their Own Overlords?
“…sophisticated algorithms are being created to ensure the AI will know more about a person than they probably know about themselves, let alone what any spouse or significant other ever could.
Society is being programmed to not just trust but irrevocably merge their lives with these machines.
This will change us.” (source)
This is part two of a set of reports on where exactly these artificially intelligent digital assistants are taking society in the very near future.
To watch Part one, click here: The Infallible AI “Oracle” and the Future of “One Shot” Answers