Edward Snowden Warns New Google App Will Aid ‘Big Brother’

Source:  TeleSUR
September 22 2016

Google’s new chat application will “record every message you ever send and make it available to police upon request,” said Snowden. 

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Whistleblower Edward Snowden appears via videolink | Photo: Reuters

U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has criticized Google’s new messaging application, saying it is a breach of privacy and will track everything that users will say.

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User data stored in Allo can easily be obtained

The technology giant launched its new so-called “smart chat” application, Allo, on Wednesday, promising more intelligent text conversation features, including auto-reply options.

Snowden, also a former CIA employee who is now living in exile in Russia, said via Twitter that Google’s application will “record every message you ever send and make it available to police upon request,” adding that Allo was “dangerous” while nicknaming the application “Google Surveillance.”

Snowden stressed that 100 percent of close to 1,500 surveillance requests were granted by the U.S. foreign intelligence court and that user data stored in Allo could easily be obtained too.

The application is intended to improve usability over time to make messaging quicker, including smart replies and assistance for quickly finding information in long message lists. However, there has been controversy over how the application stores the data and protects privacy.

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Less safe

Allo’s “incognito mode” was originally announced by Google to have encryption technology to secure privacy, but now it seems that all messages will be stored in the application. Snowden said that Allo was less safe for users than rival messaging applications WhatsApp and Signal.

Google has maintained the application will protect user privacy.

“We’ve given users transparency and control over their data in Google Allo… Your chat history is saved for you until you choose to delete it. You can delete single messages or entire conversations in Allo,” a Google spokesperson said.

USA: Charlotte Announces Curfew as Man Shot Yesterday Dies

Source:  TeleSUR
September 22 2016

Police are refusing to release videos of Keith Lamont Scott’s killing to the public, which his family is criticizing after watching the video themselves.

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Protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina, during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Sept. 22, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Charlotte, North Carolina issued a curfew starting at midnight Thursday following a third night of anti-police brutality protests after an officer shot a Black man who witnesses and family say was holding a book. A protester that was shot Wednesday night died shortly after the announcement, reported Reuters.

The family of Keith Lamont Scott watched two videos of his killing Thursday evening, leaving them with more questions than answers, they said.

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Release the videos

“It was incredibly difficult for members of the Scott family to view these videos, but as a matter of the greater good and transparency, the Scott family asks that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department publicly immediately release both of the videos they watched today,” the family’s lawyers said in a press release.

Police have resisted pressure to publicly release the videos of Scott, who was killed on Tuesday during a police search for someone else.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts issued the curfew “in order to more effectively protect the lives and property of the people” from midnight to 6 a.m. until the state of emergency is lifted.

Protesters chant, “Release the tapes.”

Scott’s wife and other family members viewed the police body camera and dashboard videos of a Black police officer shooting him dead in the parking lot of an apartment complex, but the family said it still “has more questions than answers.”

“While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time,” Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the family, said in the statement.

“It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands,” the statement said, adding that Scott’s hands were by his sides and he was slowly walking backward when he was killed.

RELATED: Amid a Militarized Charlotte, Protesters Demand Justice

Withholding the video from the public

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has claimed the video supports the police account of what happened but does not definitively show Scott pointing a gun at officers.

Police contend that he was carrying a gun when he approached officers and ignored repeated orders to drop the weapon. His family previously said he was holding a book, not a firearm.

“I never said ‘full transparency.’ I said ‘transparency,’ and transparency’s in the eye of the beholder,” Putney told reporters to explain why he’s withholding the video from the public.

On Wednesday night, at least nine people were injured—one critically—and 44 were arrested amid riots over Scott’s killing.

Cuba Reminds the World at UN That US Blockade is Still in Place

Source:  TeleSUR
September 22 2016

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Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York. | Photo: Reuters

The Cuban foreign minister also said that capitalism is not historically or environmentally sustainable.

Bruno Rodriguez, minister of foreign affairs of Cuba, said Thursday the country continues to endure the economic and financial hardships of the blockade imposed by the U.S. during a speech the 71st U.N. General Assembly in New York.

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Rodriguez said that there is still a long way to go for the two countries to re-establish diplomatic relations, citing the U.S. base in Guantanamo as an example.

“The territory illegally occupied by the U.S. navy base in Guantanamo must be returned to our country,” said Rodriguez.

The foreign minister said the blockade is still enforced and continues to hinder the Cuban economy and its relations with other countries.

Rodriguez also addressed the U.N. member states and said the organization should work toward the end of unilateralism and the political and economic control of capitalist countries.

“Any attempt to prolong the existence of a unipolar world will be suicidal,” said Rodriguez. “Capitalism will never be historically or environmentally sustainable.”

The Cuban diplomat also denounced the coup in Brazil against President Dilma Rousseff and the attempts by U.S. imperialism and oligarchies in Latin America to destabilize Venezuela and other regional countries.

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In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the normalization of relations between the two countries, after more than 50 years of hostilities against the island nation. The countries reopened their respective embassies in July 2015.

The U.S. approved a series of measures to ease travel and commerce earlier this year but still hasn’t ended the blockade that was imposed three years after the victory of the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro, which overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista, a U.S.-backed dictator.

Cuba presented a report this year that says the U.S. blockade on the socialist country has cost it US$4.7 billion over the last year and US$753.7 billion over the last six decades.

Last year the U.N. General Assembly voted 191-2 to condemn the U.S. blockade of Cuba, with only the U.S. and Israel in opposition.

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Highschoolers Join Pros in Weekend of Support for Kaepernick

Source:  TeleSUR
September 11 2016

High school, college and professional football players across the United States this weekend took a knee, locked arms, or sat silently during the pre-game rendition of the national anthem

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Woodrow Wilson players and coaches take a knee during the national anthem, while NFL Tennessee Titan players raise their fists. | Photo: Twitter / Philanastasia-Sports Illustrated

Against police violence against people of color

From Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay to Seattle’s Puget Sound, from Terre Haute, Indiana, to Washington D.C., from Nebraska to New Jersey—high school, college and professional football players across the United States this weekend took a knee, locked arms, or sat silently during the pre-game rendition of the national anthem, inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police violence against people of color.

OPINION:   Colin Kaepernick’s Political Rebellion Exposes US Reality

A show of unity

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised his right fist Sunday during the playing of the national anthem while his teammates stood on the sideline with their arms linked in a show of unity. Peters is a native of Oakland, California, where commuters filmed police shooting Oscar Grant—an unarmed, handcuffed Black man, as he lay face-down on the subway platform on New Year’s Day, 2009.

Later in the day, several Tennessee Titans players also raised their fists during the national anthem and one of the most outspoken teams in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks, locked arms before their home game against the Miami Dolphins, while several Dolphin players took a knee.

Seahawks receiver, Doug Baldwin described the gesture as a show of unity, and not a protest. “I’m extremely thankful for the men that we have in this locker room, for their resiliency, for their intellect and for their love and passion for one another,” he said before the game. “I hope that in our demonstration of unity, the people who are watching will see that.”

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Kaepernick

If they believe in a cause, that’s fine

Saturday, Indiana State University sophomore defensive back Lonnie Walker knelt before his team’s game against the Minnesota Gophers. At Lincoln Southeast High School in Nebraska, two players—one white, one African-American—took a knee as a silent protest Friday night as the national anthem blared. Another player at Waggener High in Louisville did the same.

At Auburn High in Rockford, Ill., a number of players took a knee during the anthem while their teammates stood with their hands over their hearts, and several players at Maury High in Norfolk, Va., also took a knee behind the end zone as the anthem played.

“Our school system has said, we’re of the belief, we let our guys do what they believe in,” Coach Chris Fraser told the Virginian Pilot. “And so we didn’t make an issue of it, and if they believe in a cause, that’s fine.”

RELATED:   Entire Seattle Seahawks Team to Protest During National Anthem

Since Kaepernick’s boycott was first revealed last month by a sports journalist who noticed him kneeling during the national anthem, his protest has sparked passionate debate in the U.S., with Blacks and other people of color in ardent support, while many whites, joined by some prominent former athletes excoriated the move as unpatriotic and disrespectful to both the flag and the military.

Kaepernick himself posted several of the high-school protests from Friday night on his Twitter feed.

Coach Preston Brown and his assistants took a knee with their players

In Camden, New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson Coach Preston Brown and his assistants took a knee with their players.

“This was our way of saying that things have to change in our country. There’s oppression, there’s social injustice, and these kids live it,” Brown commented.

A 2013 report by the Malcolm X Grassroots movement concluded that a Black person in the U.S. is killed by police or security personnel every 28 hours.

Friday, Kansas City cornerback Peters told the media, “I salute Colin for what he’s doing. He’s standing up for a great cause.”

Nicaragua Mourns Death of President of National Assembly

Source:  TeleSUR
September 10 2016

The Sandinista Rene Nuñez Tellez fought in the guerrilla wars against the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship.

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Rene Nuñez Tellez (L) next to Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega | Photo: Presidencia Nicaragua

The President of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, Rene Nuñez Tellez, died on Saturday at a hospital in Costa Rica where he was receiving medical treatment for a lung condition.

OPINION:  Nicaragua’s Right-Wing: Ideology and Wishful Thinking

The 69-year-old Sandinista was a candidate for re-election under the Sandinista National Liberation Front, known as FSLN, in the coming November elections.

Three days of mourning

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega approved three days of mourning, in which Nicaraguan flags will fly at half mast at all public buildings in the country, according to the decree signed by the president.

Ortega praised Nuñez’s commitment to the cause of the Sandinistas before and after the overthrow of the Somoza dynasty, and praised his legacy in front of the legislative branch.

Video:  The Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua
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A tireless fighter

The executive decree on his death calls Nuñez a “tireless fighter for the welfare and progress of Nicaraguan families toward justice, peace and prosperity.”

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It also recalls his role in the ranks of the Sandinista National Liberation Front “as a guerrilla member who suffered persecution, imprisonment and torture.”

“In front of the National Assembly he promoted dialogue and consensus (…) and worked to modernize and equip the National Assembly with innovative tools to increase capacity and better serve the people of Nicaragua,” said the decree.

Nuñez began his parliamentary career as a member of the National Assembly in 2002 and became president of the institution in 2005. In the 1980s, Nunez was secretary of the National Directorate of the FSLN and was a member of the Sandinista National Council, considered the highest structure of the political party.

Video:  Augusto Sandino is a symbol of resistance for Nicaragua
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The US blockade of Cuba is the principal obstacle to national development

Source:  Granma
September 9 2016

by International news staff | informacion@granma.cu

The US blockade of Cuba is the principal obstacle to national development

Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, Minister of Foreign Relations, this afternoon September 9, presented the report calling for an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba which will be debated in the UN next month

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Cuban Foreign Minister: The blockade continues

Minister of Foreign Relations Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, this afternoon September 9, presented the country’s report on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 70/5, entitled, “The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba,” in a Havana press conference.

During the reading of the report, which will be discussed for the 25th time by the General Assembly in October, the minister reaffirmed that the blockade continues despite statements made by the U.S. President almost two years ago calling for its end. This policy has been maintained and continues having a profound impact on the Cuban economy, and limiting the right to development of the Cuban people, the minister insisted.

The impact of the US blockade

“The blockade hurts the Cuban people. Need and hardship are daily occurrences for the Cuban family. The impact of the blockade on Cuba cannot be underestimated. It is the principal obstacle to national development,” Rodríguez said.

“We recognize the progress in relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States, but effects include those on food, the pharmaceutical industry, foreign trade, and international cooperation, among others,” he reported, adding that no sector is exempt from the blockade’s impact, not health, social security, services, or education.

Between April of 2015 and March of 2016, the blockade’s damage to Cuba has been estimated to be approximately 4.68 million dollars, Rodríguez reported.

“For these reasons, the Cuban government will present to the UN General Assembly, the report entitled The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba,” he said.

Ryan Lochte Suspended From Swimming

Source:  TeleSUR
September 8 2016

Lochte and three other teammates have been suspended for filing a false police report at the Rio Games

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Ryan Lochte at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Brazil. | Photo: Reuters

Disgraced U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte has been suspended from the U.S. swim team for reporting to police a fanciful story about being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Olympic Games.

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Lochte, 32, will not be eligible to compete in a 2017 swimming tournament in Budapest, Hungary. Lochte’s teammates involved in the incident, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger have also been suspended for 10-months.

Brazilian authorities said that the group of swimmers were drunk and urinated on a gas station door leading to a confrontation with a security guard who demanded the athletes pay for damages to a bathroom door.

Brazil has charged Lochte with falsely reporting crime, a felony, carrying a maximum sentence of  a six-month jail time. He is expected to be summoned back to Brazil to testify.