At age 30, World Wide Web is ‘not the web we wanted’

At the ripe old age of 30 and with half the globe using it, the World Wide Web is facing growing pains with issues like hate speech, privacy concerns and state-sponsored hacking, its creator says, trumpeting a call to make it better for humanity.

Tim Berners-Lee on Tuesday joined a celebration of the Web and reminisced about his invention at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, starting with a proposal published on March 12, 1989. It opened the way to a technological revolution that has transformed the way people buy goods, share ideas, get information and much more.

It’s also become a place where tech titans scoop up personal data, rival governments spy and seek to scuttle elections, and hate speech and vitriol have thrived — taking the Web far from its roots as a space for progress-oriented minds to collaborate.

As of late 2018, half of the world was online, with the other half often struggling to secure access.

Speaking at a “Web@30” conference at CERN, Berners-Lee acknowledged that a sense among many who are already on the Web has become: “Whoops! The web is not the web we wanted in every respect.”

His World Wide Web Foundation wants to enlist governments, companies, and citizens to take a greater role in shaping the web for good under principles laid out in its “Contract for the Web.”

Under the contract, governments are called upon to make sure everyone can connect to the internet, to keep it available and to respect privacy. Companies are to make the internet affordable, respect privacy and develop technology that will put people — and the “public good” — first. Citizens are to create and to cooperate and respect “civil discourse,” among other things.

“The Contract for the Web is about sitting down in working groups with other people who signed up, and to say, ‘Ok, let’s work out what this really means,’” Berners-Lee said. It was unclear, however, how such rules would be enforced.

Berners-Lee cautioned it was important to strike a balance between oversight and freedom but difficult to agree what it should be.

“Where is the balance between leaving the tech companies to do the right thing and regulating them? Where is the balance between freedom of speech and hate speech?” he said.

The conference, which brought together Internet and tech experts, also gave CERN the chance to showcase its reputation as an open-source incubator of ideas. Berners-Lee worked there in the late 1980s, and had been determined to help bridge a communications and documentation gap among different computer platforms.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://apnews.com/1a944fcf10c445f2a87fcd5c2d0320e5

“Founders Did Not Want A King” – Democrats Vote Unanimously To Overturn Trump Border Emergency Plan

Less than two weeks after President Trump declared a national emergency to fund his border wall, House Democrats have voted unanimously to block Trump’s declaration, marking an unprecedented congressional challenge to a president’s authority to invoke emergency powers.

13 Republicans joined with Democrats to admonish Trump’s move — well short of the number Democrats would need to overturn the president’s promised veto.

As The Hill reports, the vote marks the first time Congress has taken formal action to block a presidential emergency declaration since the power was created in the National Emergencies Act of 1976.

Democrats hinged their opposition on the basic principles of constitutional law, arguing that Trump’s unilateral move marks a clear-cut violation of the separation of powers and the unique authority of Congress to dictate where federal dollars are spent.

“If it were truly an emergency we’d all be there with the president,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said several hours before Tuesday’s vote, during a conference of the American Legion in Washington.

“Our founders had great vision. They did not want a king.”

As a reminder, here’s a list of all the national emergencies…

  1. Nov 14, 1979: Blocking Iranian Government Property (EO12170)
  2. Nov 14, 1994: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (EO 12938)
  3. Jan 23, 1995: Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process (EO 12947)
  4. Mar 15, 1995: Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources (EO 12957)
  5. Oct 21, 1995: Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers (EO 12978)
  6. Mar 1, 1996: Declaration of a National Emergency and Invocation of Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels (Proc. 6867)
  7. Nov 3, 1997: Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan (EO 13067)
  8. Jun 26, 2001: Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans (EO 13219)
  9. Aug 17, 2001: Continuation of Export Control Regulations (EO 13222)
  10. Sep 14, 2001: Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks (Proc. 7463)
  11. Sep 23, 2001: Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism (EO 13224)
  12. Mar 6, 2003: Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (EO 13288)
  13. May 22, 2003: Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an Interest (EO 13303)
  14. May 11, 2004: Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria (EO 13338)
  15. Jun 16, 2006: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus (EO 13405)
  16. Oct 27, 2006: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (EO 13413)
  17. 17. Aug 1, 2007: Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions (EO 13441)
  18. Jun 26, 2008: Continuing Certain Restrictions With Respect to North Korea & North Korean Nationals (EO 13466)
  19. Apr 12, 2010: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (EO 13536)
  20. Feb 25, 2011: Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya (EO 13566)
  21. Jul 24, 2011: Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (EO13581)
  22. May 16, 2012: Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen (EO 13611)
  23. Mar 6, 2014: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (EO 13660)
  24. Apr 3, 2014: Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan (EO 13664)
  25. May 12, 2014: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (EO 13667)
  26. Mar 8, 2015: Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (EO 13692)
  27. Apr 1, 2015: Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (EO 13694)
  28. Nov 22, 2015: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (EO 13712)
  29. Dec 20, 2017: Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption (EO13818)
  30. Sep 12, 2018: Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election (EO 13848)
  31. Nov 27, 2018: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua (EO 13851)

…and since the National Emergencies Act went into effect in the mid-1970s, a total of 58 have been declared, most of which were in regard to foreign issues (like the War in Iraq).

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/founders-did-not-want-a-king-democrats-vote-unanimously-to-overturn-trump-border-emergency-plan/

Labor Market Crisis: Wages Not Rising With Inflation

As we reported last week, a record 7 million Americans have fallen 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments.

That’s 1 million more than the previous peak in auto loan delinquencies in 2010. But as Wolf Street points out, there is a big difference between then and now.

“Serious auto-loan delinquencies are now on par with Q2 2009 when millions of people had lost their jobs and when the economy was in free-fall. But today unemployment is low and the economy appears to be humming. What gives? “

Currently, there is about $1.3 trillion in auto loans outstanding. Looking at auto loan delinquencies in terms of a percentage of the total outstanding, the number hit 4.5% at the end of 2018. This is the same percentage as in the second quarter of 2009 as the economy was feeling the full effect of the 2008 crash.

Wolf Richter of Wolf Street highlighted some of the reasons for the surge in auto loan delinquencies in a recent episode of the Wolf Street Report.

In the first place, a lot of Americans are struggling with their jobs.

“While the unemployment rate is at around 4% and has been as low as 3.7%, there are many pockets of weakness in the labor market. A lot of people have gig work. A lot of people are underpaid. Their wages have not gone up with inflation. People have been discouraged and they’re not participating in the labor force anymore, and so they don’t show up in unemployment figures. So, there are many weaknesses in this labor market.”

Even so, Richter said it’s still the “cleanest dirty shirt of the labor market” we’ve had in a number of years, so the labor market itself cannot completely explain the surge in auto loan delinquencies.

A second issue is the rapidly rising cost of new cars. The average price of a new vehicle is now around $36,000. This represents a significant increase in the cost of vehicles and there has not been a corresponding rise in wages. Subprime borrowers face a double whammy. They not only have to pay the higher price; they also get hit with a higher interest rate.

A third, and according to Richter probably the most significant issue, is the number of subprime lenders who have plowed into the auto business over the last 10 years. This is an extremely profitable business for the lender, but an extremely risky position for the borrower.

“These are precisely the kind of customers who can’t afford those payments, and cannot afford to make those payments based on high-interest rates, and they can’t even afford that expensive of a car.”

The auto business actually looks a lot like the subprime housing market we saw blow up in the years leading up to the 2008 crash. These companies make risky loans. They use sloppy underwriting techniques. And then they package the loans together in auto loan-backed securities and sell them.

By 2018, the air was coming out of the auto bubble. A number of these specialized subprime auto lenders had already collapsed. Richter said now we’re starting to see many of these companies curtail their lending.

Of course, it’s not just specialized companies making subprime loans. According to Richter, about 25% of the auto loans on the books of big banks are subprime. Credit unions have also gotten into the business.

The big difference between the subprime auto loan market today and the subprime housing market in the years before the crash is one of scale. A collapse in the subprime auto market will cause some pain, but it won’t likely bring down financial institutions.

(Photo by Mussi Katz, Flickr, Public Domain)

But that doesn’t mean this isn’t extremely problematic. The real question is how will the looming credit crunch affect the auto industry – an important part of the US economy? Richter says we’re already seeing the impact.

In 2015 and 2016, US automakers experienced record years. Since then, we’ve seen a downturn. As default ratios spike, lenders become more careful and that squeezed more and more potential customers out of the market.

“As auto-loan delinquencies continue to surge, as those losses are spreading, underwriting will continue to tighten and will make it more difficult for an entire layer of customers to buy new vehicles.”

And this is the rosy scenario. The real question is what happens if the economy goes into recession? What happens if we see growing job losses?

This gives us a glimpse of the underlying rot in the US economy. The Federal Reserve flooded the country with easy money. That blew up all kinds of bubbles, including the auto lone bubble. The simple truth is economies built on debt aren’t sustainable.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/labor-market-crisis-wages-not-rising-with-inflation/

Half of people who think they have a food allergy do not – study

The number of adults who think they have a food allergy is almost double the figure who actually have one, research has revealed.

While the study was conducted in the US, experts say a similar situation is also seen in other countries, including the UK. The researchers found that many people with an allergy do not have a prescription for potentially life-saving medication, while others might be avoiding foods unnecessarily.

The study suggests almost 11% of adults in the US have a food allergy, equating to more than 26 million people. About 12 million of these are estimated to have developed the allergy as an adult, highlighting that allergies do not only begin in childhood.

“This is really concerning because chances are they could eat the food and then all of a sudden they have a reaction to a food that they could previously tolerate – so what changed in their environment or in them that caused them to now develop this food allergy?” said Ruchi Gupta, a professor of paediatrics at Northwestern University and a co-author of the research.

“Some of these foods you know that they probably were able to eat [previously] because they are such common foods in the diet, but shellfish was interesting – it could be one that they are trying for the first time as an adult.”

Gideon Lack, a professor of paediatric allergy at King’s College London, who was not involved in the research, said the growing problem of food allergies in adults might be linked to the dramatic rise seen in children over the past 20 years.

“We have been focusing efforts and concerns about food allergy in children, and this study is telling us there is a very significant burden of food-allergic disease in adults and we ought to be directing more attention and resources towards diagnosing and treating those adults,” he said.

Writing in the journal Jama Network Open, researchers in the US describe how they conducted a survey in two groups of participants between October 2015 and September 2016. In total more than 40,000 adults in the US took part.

Participants were asked if they had a food allergy and were questioned about their reactions and diagnoses. The team then assessed whether the reported allergy, whether diagnosed or not, was “convincing” – for example if the participant had experienced symptoms such as throat tightening or vomiting.

“If they only had, say, bloating or stomach pain or diarrhoea then we took them out because that could be a lactose intolerance or a food intolerance,” said Gupta.

The results reveal that the most common “convincing” allergy was to shellfish, affecting 2.9% of adults, with milk and peanuts in second and third place, affecting 1.9% and 1.8% of adults respectively.

But while 10.8% of participants were deemed to have at least one convincing food allergy, almost twice as many – 19% – reported they had such a problem.

“There are so many adults out there who have a negative reaction to a food. It is really important to get a proper diagnosis so that they can really know is this something treatable like lactose intolerance, or is this a life-threatening food allergy that they need to be very careful with,” said Gupta.

Of those with a “convincing” allergy, almost half said they had developed at least one of their food allergies as an adult, while about 38% said they had undertaken an emergency hospital visit as a result of a food allergy. However, only 48% said they had received a diagnosis from a doctor and just a quarter said they had a prescription for adrenaline, a common allergy treatment.

Prof Clare Mills, an expert in food allergies at the University of Manchester, welcomed the study but said it had limitations, including relying on self-reported data, including for symptoms. What’s more, she said, the healthcare system in the US is very different to the UK, meaning access to healthcare, and even the way adrenaline is prescribed, is very different.

Stephen Till, a professor of allergy at King’s College London, said the prevalence of “true” allergies seen in the study seemed surprisingly high, but the widespread misapprehension of having an allergy chimed with his clinical experience in the UK.

“I often see patients who think that they have a severe allergy who either aren’t allergic or who have mild allergy. They may have been unnecessarily prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors and be on a restricted diet avoiding even trace exposure to the suspected culprit,” he said, noting that this could cause significant anxiety and difficulties.

“Unfortunately … we have a shortage of physicians who are trained in adult allergy and so this amplifies these kinds of problems.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/04/half-of-people-who-think-they-have-a-food-allergy-do-not-study

Trump Promises “Very Long” Gov Shutdown If Wall Not Funded

President Trump said the government shutdown will happen if Democrats in the Senate do not vote for funding the US-Mexico border wall.

Trump warns that the “very long” shutdown will be entirely on them as both parties are locked in a negotiation stalemate, according to CNBC:

Parts of the government will close if Congress cannot pass seven spending bills by midnight Friday. As of the morning, lawmakers appeared far from breaking an impasse over whether to fund the barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Republicans passed a bill Thursday night to keep the government running through Feb. 8 and put more than $5 billion toward the president’s wall. The Senate is expected to vote on, and reject, the legislation after it convenes at noon on Friday.

The GOP-controlled chamber already passed a temporary funding measure without wall money. Democrats, whose votes are needed to reach the necessary 60 in the Senate, have repeatedly said they will not approve funds for the barrier. Republicans hold a 51-49 majority.

Correspondingly, Trump set up a meeting with the Senate GOP while giving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the green light to use the “nuclear option” against the Dems, Washington Times reports:

President Trump is set to meet Friday with Senate Republicans ahead of a vote that could partially shut down the government over border security funding, the White House said.

“President Trump will meet with Senate Republicans this morning at 10:30 to discuss the Funding Bill and the importance of Border Security,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Missing from the meeting are Senate Democrats who have vowed to oppose additional spending on border security.

Additionally, the government shutdown may happen as a new poll reveals that polarization in politics has reached levels that makes any compromise unlikely.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/trump-promises-very-long-gov-shutdown-if-wall-not-funded/

Mueller got some answers, but he’s not done with Trump

President Donald Trump on Tuesday finally submitted a set of written responses to Robert Mueller, signaling that he was done for good with the special counsel’s questions.

But Mueller is far from done with him.

The special counsel still wants to question the president over his actions while in the White House — Tuesday’s answers only covered Russian hacking during the 2016 election. It’s a fight that could result in a historic subpoena and eventual Supreme Court ruling, pulling a defiant Trump into a legal squabble that could set groundbreaking precedent for presidential investigations for years to come. Depending on how the battle plays out, House Democrats may even try to pounce and launch impeachment proceedings.

Things could get explosive fast. Next comes the perilous round of negotiations between Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s prosecutors covering topics like Trump’s intentions when firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. That line of questioning — which Trump says he shouldn’t have to answer — is tied to Mueller’s ongoing obstruction of justice investigation.

“These are very deep waters and complicated questions,” said John Q. Barrett, a St. John’s University law professor and former associate who worked under independent counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Reagan-era investigation into secret U.S. arms sales to Iran.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/20/mueller-investigation-trump-answers-1009350

‘Simply not age appropriate’: Parent Slams Elementary School’s Transgender Awareness Campaign

The parent of a student at a Colorado elementary school is raising concerns over a transgender awareness indoctrination workshop.

The Superior Elementary School in Boulder County will show students as young as five-years-old videos from the Queer Kid Stuff Youtube channel, ahead of a performance in late November from the “Phoenix, Colorado’s Trans Community Choir.”

“We really don’t believe that you can be too young to learn about inclusivity and differences in the community,” said Boulder County Chief Communications Officer Randy Barber.

But one parent says it’s too early for elementary school children to be learning about transgender issues, and reportedly feel the district is “forcing” the agenda on children.

(credit: YouTube/Queer Kid Stuff)

“(The lesson) goes beyond a simple message of tolerance and acceptance. [We support tolerance and acceptance, but this is simply not age-appropriate],” one anonymous parent wrote to CBS Denver. “We are saddened that this highly controversial and divisive topic would be invited to be presented to such young children.”

The Queer Kid Stuff videos “address modern issues surrounding gender roles, identity and terminology,” according to CBS Denver.

Barber said parents are allowed to opt their children out of the presentation, scheduled for November 30.

A post from the Phoenix Trans Community Choir’s Facebook page suggests the group was disappointed with how they were portrayed by CBS Denver, whose reporter they claim was only interested in “reporting the controversy and stirring up hysteria.”

“I think regardless [the media coverage] will all work in our favor, but it is unfortunate since the real story is how lovely our time with the kids was yesterday.”

https://www.infowars.com/simply-not-age-appropriate-parent-slams-elementary-schools-transgender-awareness-campaign/

Consumers advised by CDC to not eat romaine lettuce following E.coli outbreak

Just days before Thanksgiving, the CDC is advising that U.S. consumers stay away from romaine lettuce following an E.coli outbreak.

On Tuesday, the CDC said any romaine lettuce should not be eaten, and retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve any.

This comes after an outbreak of E.coli infections has been linked to the lettuce.

32 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 11 states, including one person in Connecticut, according to the CDC. These illnesses started in October.

Related Content: Romaine lettuce outbreak tied to tainted irrigation canal

The CDC stated that this advisory includes all types and uses of romaine lettuce.

If you do not know what kind of lettuce is in your home, it is recommended that you throw it away.

The CDC said to wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in the refrigerator where the lettuce was stored.

The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing. For additional information, click here.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.wtnh.com/news/connecticut/consumers-advised-by-cdc-to-not-eat-romaine-lettuce-following-ecoli-outbreak/1609464911

Professor: Newborns Can “Ethically” Be Killed—Not “Sentient”

A professor emeritus of biology tries to make the case that newborn babies can ethically & morally be killed because they are not “cognizant of themselves” — i.e., they are morally equivalent to a fetus which he maintains is a non-person.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/professor-newborns-can-ethically-be-killed-not-sentient/

Calling Mohammed a Pedophile Not Covered by Free Speech, European Court Rules

Europe’s top human rights court has ruled that comments about Mohammed having pedophilic tendencies are not covered by the right to freedom of expression, agreeing with the assessment of courts in Austria that the remarks constituted “an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace.”

A seven-judge European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) panel in Strasbourg concluded that the Austrian courts had “carefully balanced the applicant’s right to freedom of expression with the rights of others to have their religious feelings protected, and to have religious peace preserved in Austrian society.”

Thursday’s decision came nine years after Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, an Austrian political scientist and activist, held a seminar in Vienna where among things she criticized the treatment of women in Islam. The topic of Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha, the youngest of his dozen wives and concubines, came up.

According to Islamic texts, the 7th century Arabian who founded Islam was betrothed to Aisha when she was six, and the marriage was consummated when she was nine.

The court record quotes Sabaditsch-Wolff as having said that Mohammed “liked to do it with children,” (other translations of the German comment render it “had a thing for little girls”) and saying, “A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?”

Read more

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/calling-mohammed-a-pedophile-not-covered-by-free-speech-european-court-rules/