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19/09/2019 03:15:57  

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau says he deeply regrets appearing in brownface for a 2001 party, after an image of the incident emerged ahead of next month's general election. He also revealed another incident in which he wore 'makeup' in a high school talent show whilst singing the Harry Belafonte song 'Day-O'. 

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19/09/2019 03:15:55  

Details are unclear, but Washington Post reports intelligence official considers complaint ‘urgent concern’

Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the US intelligence community that it prompted the person to file a whistleblower complaint, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The Post, which cited two former officials familiar with the matter, said it was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver. The communication was a phone call, one former official said, according to the Post.

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19/09/2019 03:15:03  

Northrop Grumman Announces Organization and Leadership Changes
19/09/2019 03:12:00  

Fourteen-year-old Kai wants to go to classes but has only attended about 15 days since January.
19/09/2019 03:11:56  

From the Brit School to the Mercury Prize, experimental foursome Black Midi defy musical convention.
19/09/2019 02:17:57  

Both sides have different interpretations of the rules

The infosec duo cuffed during an IT penetration test that went south last week are out of jail, though not necessarily out of the woods.…

19/09/2019 02:17:51  

Strong civil society movements are needed to ramp up pace of change, says study

Greenhouse gas emissions could be halved in the next decade if a small number of current technologies and behavioural trends are ramped up and adopted more widely, researchers have found, saying strong civil society movements are needed to drive such change.

Solar and wind power, now cheaper than fossil fuels in many regions, must be scaled up rapidly to replace coal-fired generation, and this alone could halve emissions from electricity generation by 2030, according to the Exponential Roadmap report from an international group of experts.

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19/09/2019 02:17:30  

Aamna Mohdin tells Anushka Asthana how county lines gangs are stepping up their operations by using short-term holiday flats and recruiting local teens to sell drugs in small towns around Britain. Plus Owen Jones on Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘neutral’ stance on Brexit

Drug gangs in major cities such as London and Liverpool have been expanding their operations into small towns in recent years. They use teenagers as runners and have been known to take over the homes of drug addicts as bases to deal from.

The Guardian’s Aamna Mohdin has been reporting on the rise of county lines gangs and tells Rachel Humphreys that the gangs are now professionalising. They have begun using Airbnb flats and luring local teenagers into the trade with cash payments and free takeaways.

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19/09/2019 02:17:30  

Not only have blogs, explainers and podcasts made good TV better; they’ve also made bad TV good

On Monday night I rushed home from work to watch the latest episode of Succession, HBO’s sleeper hit following the toxic machinations of the Roy family.

The characters are stand-ins for the Murdochs: a news, media and entertainment dynasty trying to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. For the most part I followed what happened in the episode. I got the call backs to earlier drama, caught the in-jokes, and more or less stayed afloat of the swirling plot that’s made the show a critical darling. But honestly, if a show like this came out two decades earlier I don’t know if I could have said that.

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19/09/2019 02:17:29  

A tweet bearing photo evidence of the predicament quickly went viral, inspiring many to suggest solutions

How many co-workers does it take to open a door? More than a handful, members of the shared office space WeWork found out this week.

Employees of an unnamed company renting space in a Washington DC WeWork building returned to work after the weekend to find they were unable to enter the office – an umbrella had fallen sideways, jamming the door.

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19/09/2019 02:17:28  

New Zealand PM blames jet lag after hailing ‘relationship with China – excuse me sorry, with Japan’

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has blamed jetlag for an embarrassing gaffe on her first official visit to Japan.

Ardern had only just touched down in the country and was giving an interview when she said in her opening remarks it was an “incredibly exciting time for New Zealand in its relationship with China – excuse me sorry, with Japan”.

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19/09/2019 02:17:28  

Party to set up working group, as long as Scottish activists withdraw conference motion

Labour has promised to look again at clause IV of its constitution, which sets out the aims and values of the party, leading to speculation the party could revert to its pre-Blair commitment to socialism.

The party’s ruling body has said it will set up a working group to look at updating the language in the clause controversially replaced by Tony Blair in 1995, in what was seen as a milestone moment for the direction of the party.

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19/09/2019 02:16:52  

On Monday night, unionizing employees at Kickstarter filed a complaint with the National Labor Review Board (NLRB) for allegedly wrongfully terminating two employees. Both of the employees were on the Kickstarter United organizing campaign. Motherboard reports: Kickstarter told Motherboard that the workers, Clarissa Redwine and Taylor Moore, were fired over performance issues within the past two weeks. But employees at Kickstarter are accusing the company of "discharging employees" because "they joined or supported a labor organization and in order to discourage union activities," according to the NLRB complaint, which was first reported and obtained by Slate's April Glaser. A third employee and member of the Kickstarter United organizing committee, Travis Brace, was informed on Thursday that he would no longer be needed in his role. In a September 12 email obtained by Motherboard, Aziz Hasan, the CEO of Kickstarter, wrote to employees, "There have been allegations that we are retaliating against union organizing. Those allegations are not true. No Kickstarter employee has been or ever will be fired for union organizing." Redwine says the company complained to her in recent months that she was not satisfactorily working with her managers. She claims that she was not given specific guidance on how she could improve. "Suddenly, after becoming a public union organizer, I started to get very strong negative feedback," Redwine told Motherboard. "After my best quarter at the company, I was told I was being put on a Performance Improvement Plan for slippery reasons like not building trust with my managers. I asked how progress would be tracked over and over and only received answers akin to 'just trust us.' I assume they never crafted the Performance Improvement Plan because they couldn't come up with anything concrete for me to improve." Redwine and Moore are asking for back pay and to be reinstated to their positions. In response to the complaint, Kickstarter said: "We'll be providing the NLRB with information about these firings and supporting documentation." Kickstarter told Motherboard that it "recently terminated two employees for performance reasons. A third was working on a service we shut down, so his role was eliminated, and there were no other positions here that would be a strong fit. That staff member will be transitioning out of the company. All three of these employees were members of the organizing committee, but this has nothing to do with their departures. (We have fired three other people who were not organizers since March.)" "We expect all employees -- including union organizers -- to be able to perform in their role and set up their teams and colleagues for success. We use a range of approaches -- twice-a-year performance reviews, peer feedback, manager feedback, one-on-one coaching and, in some cases, mediation -- to ensure that employees have the support they need to meet those expectations. When someone has been through this process and we have sufficient evidence that they are not meeting expectations, we must unfortunately part ways with them," the company continued.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19/09/2019 02:16:50  

A new report from Data and Society raises doubts about automated solutions to deceptively altered videos, including machine learning-altered videos called deepfakes. Authors Britt Paris and Joan Donovan argue that deepfakes, while new, are part of a long history of media manipulation -- one that requires both a social and a technical fix. Relying on AI could actually make things worse by concentrating more data and power in the hands of private corporations. The Verge reports: As Paris and Donovan see it, deepfakes are unlikely to be fixed by technology alone. "The relationship between media and truth has never been stable," the report reads. In the 1850s when judges began allowing photographic evidence in court, people mistrusted the new technology and preferred witness testimony and written records. By the 1990s, media companies were complicit in misrepresenting events by selectively editing out images from evening broadcasts. In the Gulf War, reporters constructed a conflict between evenly matched opponents by failing to show the starkly uneven death toll between U.S. and Iraqi forces. "These images were real images," the report says. "What was manipulative was how they were contextualized, interpreted, and broadcast around the clock on cable television." Today, deepfakes have taken manipulation even further by allowing people to manipulate videos and images using machine learning, with results that are almost impossible to detect with the human eye. Now, the report says, "anyone with a public social media profile is fair game to be faked." Once the fakes exist, they can go viral on social media in a matter of seconds. [...] Paris worries AI-driven content filters and other technical fixes could cause real harm. "They make things better for some but could make things worse for others," she says. "Designing new technical models creates openings for companies to capture all sorts of images and create a repository of online life."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19/09/2019 02:16:48  

Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, UCL, the University of Birmingham and their collaborators discovered that whereas vaginally born babies got most of their gut bacteria from their mother, babies born via caesarean did not, and instead had more bacteria associated with hospital environments in their guts. Science Daily reports: The exact role of the baby's gut bacteria is unclear and it isn't known if these differences at birth will have any effect on later health. The researchers found the differences in gut bacteria between vaginally born and caesarean delivered babies largely evened out by 1 year old, but large follow-up studies are needed to determine if the early differences influence health outcomes. Experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists say that these findings should not deter women from having a caesarean birth. Published in Nature today, this largest ever study of neonatal microbiomes also revealed that the microbiome of vaginally delivered newborns did not come from the mother's vaginal bacteria, but from the mother's gut. This calls into question the controversial practice of swabbing babies born via caesarean with mother's vaginal bacteria. Understanding how the birth process impacts on the baby's microbiome will enable future research into bacterial therapies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19/09/2019 02:13:45  

The Canadian PM says he's "really sorry" for wearing skin-darkening make-up at a 2001 event.
19/09/2019 02:13:44  

A blast propelled a metal tank into the air during a fire at a facility in Istanbul.
19/09/2019 02:13:37  

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Hall was abducted and killed on her way home from a nightclub.
19/09/2019 02:13:37  

Jason Lawrance had consensual sex with a woman but the jury decided his lies negated the consent.
19/09/2019 01:16:29  

Canadian prime minister says he deeply regrets image from 2001 party, which emerges weeks out from election

Justin Trudeau has apologised for wearing brownface makeup to a party when he was a teacher in 2001, saying “it was a racist thing to do”.

A photograph of Trudeau dressed in a turban and robes with brown makeup on his face, neck and hands, was published by Time magazine on Wednesday. It was taken when he was 29, while working as a teacher at West Point Grey Academy.

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19/09/2019 01:15:25  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Sega and Sports Interactive have announced that Football Manager 2020 will be sold in new eco-friendly package that uses much less plastic, and they're pushing for the rest of the entertainment industry to follow suit. The new packaging replaces the now-standard plastic DVD case used for most game discs with a folded, reinforced cardboard sleeve made of 100% recycled fiber. The shrinkwrap surrounding that package has also been replaced with a low-density LDPE polyethylene that's highly recyclable. Even the ink on the cardboard has been changed out for a vegetable-and-water-based version (so it's technically vegan if you're desperate for a snack). The new packaging does cost a bit more to produce -- about 20 (British) cents per unit (or 30 percent), according to an open letter from Sports Interactive Studio Director Miles Jacobson. But those costs are somewhat offset by reduced shipping and destruction costs for excess units, he added. And as Spanish footballer Hector Bellerin says in a video accompanying the letter, "if there's no Earth, there's no money to spend." All told, Jacobson says the new packaging will save 55 grams of plastic per unit, or 20 tonnes across a print run of over 350,000. That's an extremely tiny dent in the estimated 335 million tons of plastic that is produced annually worldwide. But Jacobson hopes it could add up to a sizable dent if the entire industry follows suit for the tens of millions of discs it produces each year. "We're not the biggest game in the world," Jacobson said. "Imagine what happens if every other game, every film company, every music company switches to this packaging... So I'm throwing down the gauntlet here to ALL entertainment companies who use plastic for their Blu Ray, DVD and CD packaging."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19/09/2019 01:12:48  
19/09/2019 01:12:13  

Crowds demand action after the latest abductions and murders of children in Kasur district.
19/09/2019 01:12:01  

An analysis maps the areas with the highest concentrations of sub-standard care home beds.
19/09/2019 01:12:00  

Financial experts say schools are receiving a big funding boost - but only back to levels of a decade ago.