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11-28-2015 Science&Technology
Raspberry Pi Zero: computing in smaller size, smaller price

Although development boards, like Beagle Board and Arduino, have been in existence far longer than it, the Raspberry Pi ushered in a revolution by bringing down the price without compromising (too much) on features. Plus, it has been committed to open source and open hardware from the get go. Now it's trying to do that magic again, but this time in a new form factor. With the popularity of HDMI PC sticks, it's not surprising that the new Raspberry Pi Zero would come in that size. What's surprising, however, is its $5 price tag.

That's no small price dive considering a regular, full-sized Raspberry Pi costs around $20 to $35, depending on the model. A $5 dollar PC board "on a stick" will definitely sing to the hearts of even more hobbyists and makers. Of course, there will be even more compromises here, but not so much that you will feel too crippled.

For example, for the processor, it uses a Broadcom BCM2835, a 1 GHz ARM11 CPU that the Raspberry Foundation claims is 40% faster than that of the Raspberry Pi 1, which was clocked at 700 MHz. RAM is at 512 MB, which is also comparable to the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B though half of the latest Raspberry Pi 2. Suffice it to say, if you managed to bear with the first RPi, you'll be able to make do with the Zero. And at an even lower price to boot!

There are less and smaller ports though. For example, there is only a mini HDMI socket, though it does support 1080p video output. There are two micro USB ports for both data and power. For hacking, there's an unpopulated composite video header and, most importantly, an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header that has the same layout as the previous RPi's, making it compatible with many existing peripherals and attachments. Oh, and it also runs the Debian-based Raspian OS as well as apps like Minecraft.

Considering all that you're getting, $5 seems like a steal. It is available now from The Pi Hut and Pimoroni in the UK and from Adafruit and in-store at Micro Center in the US. Plus, if you buy the December issue of The MagPi magazine, you get one for free. The Foundation says that although they have produced several thousands Raspberry Pi Zeros, they expect that demand, which will undoubtedly be high, will outpace supply for a while.

Source: Slash Gear

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11-28-2015 General
Brothers survive 2 avalanches while skiing in Colorado

OPHIR, Colo. – Two brothers survived two massive avalanches while skiing in Colorado's backcountry even though both feared the other was dead.

Alex and Brian Holmes were skiing near Telluride, from Trout Lake to Ophir, on Wednesday.

Brian Holmes, 26, started to descend from the top of the Fatwa area near Waterfall Canyon when he triggered an avalanche, KUSA-TV reported Thursday.

Brian Holmes saw the avalanche sweep his brother out of sight.

When Alex Holmes, 27, tried to ski down, he triggered a second slide. He returned for help, believing Brian — who was 1,000 feet down in the slide —was dead.

The San Miguel County Sheriff's Office says Brian landed on his back and was mostly buried in snow, with only his face and one arm exposed. It took him 10 to 15 minutes to escape. He searched for an hour for his brother, who he feared was dead.

Alex had contacted search and rescue personnel, who launched a helicopter and sent out Telluride Ski Patrollers with a trained avalanche dog.

During the search, dispatchers received a call from Brian's phone. They say they heard someone breathing, but never spoke to anyone.

Brian made it back to Ophir, the sheriff's office said. He was injured but is expected to survive.

Source: Fox News

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11-28-2015 Science&Technology
New Android Phablet Will Embarrass Samsung's Galaxy Note 5

Fresh from the critical success of the Nexus 6P, the manufacturer of Google’s reference phablet has announced its own Android-powered handset. Huawei’s Mate 8 will be the flagship device for the Chinese manufacturer. The six-inch screen may give up some pixels to the competition (it’s only an HD 1080×1920 resolution) but that’s going to have a positive impact on the battery life. The Mate 8 also has some very stylish and small bezels which should give the illusion of a larger screen in the hand.

Inside is Huawei’s own octa-core processor, the Kirin 950. This is a 16nm based chip with four 2.3 GHz cores and four 1.8 GHz cores, along with the Mali-T880 graphics chip and the LTE 4G modem. Huawei has also popped in a co-processor for lower priority tasks stat don’t need ultimate computing power (such as playing MP3 files). Users can decide on the lower-end device with 32 GB of storage and 3GB of RAM, a 64 GB/4GB option, or the top-end 128 GB/4GB option.

It does come with the latest version of Android (v6.0 Marshmallow), although as is the case with almost every mainstream Android manufacturer Huawei has added its own software and UI layer on top of Google’s baseline. This is called EmotionUI, and it’s the fourth version of Huawei’s interface. The Huawei Mate 8 is going to be going head-to-head with some of the most well-known Android devices. First off there is the Huawei vs Huawei battle as the Mate 8 is in direct competition with the Nexus 6P. Huawei might be behind both devices but in terms of pride I suspect employees would far rather the Mate 8 range wins the sales battle.

The real battle is with Samsung. Both the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ are direct rivals to the Mate 8. Samsung has brand recognition – especially in Western countries where Huawei has little direct presence outside of the low-end and prepay markets – but this year has seen a number of critical missteps with its phablets, not least reworking the designs to use sealed batteries and dropping microSD card support. While the Mate 8?s 4000 mAh battery is as fixed in place as the Galaxy, it does have microSD card support, and that’s going to be one of the biggest selling points to the geekerati. Given the initial targeting of the Mate 8 to BRIC countries, anything that helps the Mate 8 be as independent of the cloud as possible will be a good thing. Samsung may be bringing microSD support back in 2016, but the loss of trust in the South Korean company’s plans should be one area where Huawei can capitalise, and the price difference in Huawei’s favour will also help.

The device will be available very soon in the Chinese market, but the US release is going to be held off until after CES in January, where the Mate 8 will have its official reveal.

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Source: Forbes

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11-28-2015 Society
New York's Thanksgiving parade draws huge crowd amid tight security

Crowds of spectators watched the marching bands, floats and giant balloons of Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, held without incident under tight security almost two weeks after deadly attacks in Paris.

New York officials expected more than 3 million spectators to have lined the route for the city's signature parade in its 89th year. They had urged residents and visitors to carry on with holiday plans, saying there were no credible threats to the United States' most populous city.

President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans on Wednesday they were safe to travel over the holiday..

Police, who were patrolling in record numbers, arrested a 41-year-old Russian tourist for flying a drone in Central Park near the parade route with his son, 14. No other incidents were reported, a spokeswoman said.

Police walked alongside many parade groups and helicopters hovered overhead amid enhanced security following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the assault in which 130 people died.

Debbie Irey, 50, a tourist from Salem, Oregon, said security was on her mind as she and her husband watched the parade.

"You can't live in fear," said Irey, who works in the financial sector. "The police officers with guns in Times Square heightens your awareness."

About 50 million people worldwide were expected to have watched the televised 2.5-mile (4-km) parade on a route ending at Macy's flagship store. The show ushers in the U.S. holiday season and the busiest time of year to travel.

Source: Reuters

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11-28-2015 Politics
Trump denies mocking journalist who has disability, demands an apology

A day after he was widely rebuked for mocking a reporter with a physical disability, business mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump on Thursday denied that he had done so and accused the reporter of “using his disability to grandstand.”

Trump also demanded an apology from the New York Times, the reporter’s employer, which earlier in the week issued a statement condemning Trump for ridiculing “the appearance of one of our reporters.”

The incident occurred Tuesday at a rally in South Carolina, as Trump was defending his recent claim that he had witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering in New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001, as the World Trade Center towers collapsed. On stage, Trump berated Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for his recent recollection of an article he wrote a few days after the attacks, which Trump has been citing to defend his claim.

Trump appeared to mock Kovaleski’s physical condition; the reporter has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits flexibility in his arms.

“Now, the poor guy — you’ve got to see this guy, ‘Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!’ ” Trump said as he jerked his arms in front of his body. Trump’s assertions about Muslims celebrating in 2001 have been fact-checked and discredited by law enforcement and government officials who were in New Jersey in the days and weeks after the terrorist attacks.

Trump has defended his recollections by citing a 2001 article by Kovaleski, who worked for The Washington Post at the time and wrote that “authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.”

Those allegations were never corroborated but have persisted in online rumors in the 14 years since the attacks. In an interview on CNN this week, Kovaleski said he did not recall “anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating.”

That is the statement that apparently drew Trump’s ire on Tuesday.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” said Kovaleski, who frequently covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993.

In a statement Thursday, Trump adamantly denied that his comments or gestures were meant to mock Kovaleski. He also denied remembering Kovaleski at all — “despite having one of the all-time great memories.”

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Source: Washington Post

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11-28-2015 Politics
Analysts: UK Airstrikes in Syria Won't Turn Tide Against Islamic State

LONDON— British warplanes are already conducting airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq. That operation, Prime Minister David Cameron told British lawmakers Thursday, must be extended to the group’s heartland in Syria.

“We do face a fundamental threat to our security," he said. "We can't wait for a political transition; we have to hit these terrorists in their heartlands right now.”

Striking IS from the skies over Syria may reduce the threat, but some analysts say it won’t make the West safe from attacks like those in Paris.

“What we need to be careful about here is to overemphasize the control that Islamic State has on attacks which occur in Europe, or even in the Sinai," said Michael Stephens, a research fellow with the Qatar-based Royal United Services Institute. "I think there is some evidence that those were slightly autonomous — and that’s a completely different issue. That’s a homeland security issue.”

Other analysts say the strikes won't defeat the IS militants.

“[Airstrikes] don’t hurt the group’s infrastructure," said Sajjan Gohel, an international security researcher with the U.K.-based Asia-Pacific Foundation. "More needs to be done to dismantle ISIS on the ground.”

Cameron is seeking to create a broad alliance against IS militants but ruled out deploying British troops on the ground.

“I think this has been the problem since 2013, of finding adequate forces, both in Iraq and Syria, that can take on the Islamic State and then secure and hold those territories," said Stephens. "And outside the Kurds, that’s been a challenge.”

British warplanes would add to the growing complexity of nations operating against IS in the skies above Syria — including the Syrian air force, U.S.-led coalition planes and Russian fighter jets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced his support Thursday for coordinating those operations.

“We hope that a really wide international anti-terror coalition will be formed and it will stand up as a well-coordinated, united force,” he said.

Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet Tuesday complicates any Western-Russian alliance. The two sides also differ on the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — whom Moscow and its Iranian allies want to keep in power.

“Military activity with Russia does not preclude the fact that we have differences with the Russians over Bashar al-Assad," said Stephens. "Those have to be respected and negotiated through.”

British lawmakers will be given a vote on extending the airstrikes to Syria, but only when the government is sure the bill will not be defeated. The main opposition Labor Party has yet to declare its voting intentions.

Source: Voa News

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11-28-2015 Entertainment
New Star Wars: The Force Awakens spot comes full circle

“There has been an awakening … Have you felt it?” Those were the words we heard a year ago when the very first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released on the Friday after Thanksgiving. At the time, we had no idea what it meant, or who was speaking, but over time we learned it was the voice of the dark-side dweller Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis.)

Now, on the anniverary of that teaser debut, Disney has released a new trailer that brings everything full circle – and gives Snoke his answer: “Yes.”

So says Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, a student of the dark side, a collector of Darth Vader icons. An angry young man out to unleash some hurt on the galaxy.

“Even you have never faced such a test,” the still-unseen Snoke replies. “It is time.” The focus of this trailer seems to be split between Ren and one of the movie’s new heroes, Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, whose confrontation with the masked villain gets a few more seconds of screentime. We see Ren doing a kind of faith-healer move on Dameron. What that means for Poe, and the story, is still unclear. We also see the familiar shot of The First Order assembled before Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux on the surface of Starkiller Base, only this time there’s a bright red glow in the sky. Looks like the show of force is not just the vast battalion of troops and machinery gathered for a rally, but a demonstration of that planet-sized weapon’s capabilities.

No wonder they all turned in unison.

The film is almost here: Dec. 18. But before then, director J.J. Abrams is calling back to last year, reminding us of what was, and exciting us even more for what’s to come.

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Source: Entertainment Weekly

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11-28-2015 Science&Technology
Sony confirms official PS4 Remote Play app for Windows and Mac

Well that was quick. It's only been a couple of days since someone came up with an unofficial app to stream PlayStation 4 gaming to PC, but earlier today, Sony's awesome Shuhei Yoshida confirmed on Twitter that his company is "indeed working on an official [Remote Play] application for PC/Mac." Yes, it will support both Windows and Mac OS X, which is already more than what the Xbox One offers, though Yoshida has yet to provide a date. Regardless, this is bad news for the unofficial app's developer, who has apparently been working on this project on and off for over a year and planned on charging $10 for the hard work, but at least we can give him or her some credit for getting Sony to up the game for its consoles.

Shuhei Yoshida ? @yosp Some people asked if we plan to provide Remote Play function to PC, and yes, we are indeed working on an official application for PC/Mac. :D 12:11 AM - 27 Nov 2015 749 749 Retweets 950 950 likes

Source: Engadget

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11-27-2015 Society
Chicago's search for answers after video

CHICAGO (CNN) —Marlin Daniels was driving his car when police pulled him over and told him they were tracking cars like his because they had been reported stolen. He knew nothing of it and reached to take out his ID. When he showed it to them, he says the entire tone of the conversation changed.

"I had my military ID on me, my veteran's ID, they saw it, and they let me go. No conversation, anything else," he says. "It happens."

All too often, he says. Ask anyone.

"Every minority, well, black man that I know had an issue with police officers," he says.

But things still shock him, even if those everyday stops are more commonplace, he says. Tuesday night was one of those times. He was in utter disbelief at the content of the video released showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the length of time it took for officials to release it. Thirteen months to be exact.

"Why does it take that long to get this information out?" he asks, noting that in his 10 years of living in Chicago, he's seen enough incidents that he expected the case would've been taken more seriously from the start.

Daniels has a lot of friends who are cops and retired cops who have no issues with race or excessive force. He points to the "small percentage that spoils it for the whole bunch." He spoke to friends and family like others in the black community after the video was released. That conversation, he said, "wasn't nice, I'll put it like that."

"We come to expect this from Chicago police," he says. "It's a way of life sometimes. But at least something is happening."

He hopes the "something," that Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who shot McDonald 16 times, was charged with first-degree murder would spark a conversation. But justice?

"It will change [things] a little," he says. "But I think the officer is going to get off."

"We're helping them to kill us"

Darlene Perkins wants the black community to wake up.

She saw the video and was hurt like many others -- saying it's a feeling that cuts deep through her bones and picks at the scabs of old wounds.

"I was hurting from a long way back because our people have been suffering this racism since before I even was born, since slavery, over 400 years ago," the 61-year-old says says.

But she also believes you can't just blame the police for the recent spate of officer-involved shootings or attention to gun violence. Especially not in Chicago. And she says if there is to be real change, the black community has to look inward.

"What I don't like is there's so much black on black crime," she says. "So how can you speak totally out against other people, but we have to -- because we're helping them to kill us."

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Source: Koat

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11-27-2015 Science&Technology
Confirmed: Apple Acquired Faceshift, Maker Of 'Star Wars' Motion Capture Tech

Apple has acquired the motion capture group that created animated avatars for "Star Wars" in a move some experts believe will help advance the media device company's role in virtual reality technology.

Tech news site TechCrunch confirmed on Tuesday, Nov. 24, that the Steve Jobs co-founded company has indeed purchased Faceshift, the Zurich-based startup that provided motion capture avatars for various game and animation studios.

Rumors about a potential deal between the two companies circulated across different tech websites earlier this year. Apple, however, remained mum on the acquisition.

According to TechCrunch, sources and conclusive connections have been uncovered that could prove that a purchase agreement has been made between Apple and Faceshift. A spokesperson from Apple has also come out to confirm the deal.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the Apple representative said.

While it is still unclear what Apple intends to do with Faceshift's motion capture technology, observers believe the company could use it to create real-time avatars for video chats on FaceTime.

The technology could also be used to develop biometrics capable of authorizing payments or unlocking various devices through facial recognition.

Aside from Faceshift, Apple has also acquired other European-based motion capture startups such as Metaio, Polar Rose and PrimeSense.


Faceshift made its start in the computer-generated imagery industry in 2011 as a product of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology's (EPFL) Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory.

Since then, Faceshift has been involved in projects with different game and animation studios to develop technology capable of capturing facial expressions quickly and accurately through the use of 3D sensors.

In March, the Swiss company came out with the Faceshift Studio, a computer software that can analyze an actor's facial movements and describe them as a combination of basic expressions, including eye gaze and head orientation. The program then uses these descriptions to generate virtual characters for use in movie and game production.

Industry veteran Doug Griffin, who worked for Electronic Arts and Industrial Light & Magic, was brought on to Faceshift in 2013 to head the company's San Francisco branch.

Source: Tech Times

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11-27-2015 Science&Technology
Google gets 348,085 'forget' requests in Europe (Update)

Since a top European court ruled people have a right to be forgotten online, Google has received 348,085 requests for tidbits to vanish from search results. Silicon Valley-based Google, a subsidiary of newly-created parent company Alphabet, complied with less that half of the demands, basing decisions on criteria intended to balance privacy with the public's right to know. A report released on Wednesday by Google showed that the top country for requests was France, where the Internet giant is in a standoff with data protection officials. A European Court of Justice ruling in May 2014 recognizing the "right to be forgotten" on the net opened the door for Google users to ask the search engine to remove results about them that are inaccurate or no longer relevant. Google set up an online form that people in Europe can fill out to ask for information to be excluded from search results. Similar processes have been put in place to ask to be forgotten by Microsoft's Bing search engine that also powers queries at Yahoo. It is the Internet companies themselves who get to decide which requests to grant. Microsoft previously disclosed that in the first half of this year it got 3,546 requests that online information be forgotten by Bing, granting half of them. In the report released on Wednesday, Google said that right-to-be-forgotten requests have targeted slightly more than 1.23 million Internet pages (URLs), and that it agreed to remove 42 percent of them from online search results in Europe. Some crimes vanish France was the country with the top number of requests, accounting for 73,399 applications aimed at nearly a quarter of a million URLs, followed by Germany with 60,198 requests concerning 220,589 URLs. In both countries, about 48 percent of the unwanted links were eliminated from Google search results, according to the report. Meanwhile, the report indicated that Google granted about 38 percent of the 43,101 requests submitted in the United Kingdom; 37 percent of the 33,106 requests in Spain, and just shy of 30 percent of the 26,186 requests made in fifth-placed Italy. Google said it complied with nearly 46 percent of the 10,121 requests in Belgium, nearly 41 percent of the 9,687 requests in Sweden, and about 45 percent of the 8,339 requests in Switzerland. A Google outline of scenarios leading to information being forgotten in searches included pages with content solely about someone's health, race, religion or sexual orientation. Common causes for "delisting" pages also included criminal convictions regarding children or stories focusing on criminal charges that were subsequently overturned by courts.

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11-27-2015 Politics
David Cameron Bolsters Call for Lawmakers to Authorize Syrian Airstrikes

LONDON — The British prime minister, David Cameron, stepped up efforts on Thursday to persuade wavering lawmakers to authorize airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Syria, arguing that it was wrong to expect other nations “to carry the burdens and risks” of striking a group that threatened terrorist attacks in Britain.

Responding to the concerns of a committee of lawmakers skeptical about attacking Syrian targets, Mr. Cameron released a 36-page document detailing a plan to try to tackle the threat posed by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, diplomatically as well as militarily.

“As the threat from ISIL to our national security grows, we must take action — recognizing that no course of action is without risk, but that inaction — not dealing with ISIL at source — also carries grave risk,” Mr. Cameron wrote in the document.

After Britain’s involvement in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, British politicians know that their voters are weary of military entanglements in the Middle East.

At present, Britain’s air campaign is limited to Iraq because of a parliamentary vote in 2013 that rejected the idea of bombing Syria. Mr. Cameron has said that he will not seek to overturn that decision until he is sure he has a parliamentary majority to do so, and, while there are signs that he may opt for a vote soon, there will not be one this week.

Mr. Cameron’s supporters point out that, in 2013, the proposal rejected by lawmakers was to attack the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

Now the question is whether to attack the Islamic State, the threat of which was emphasized by the attacks almost two weeks ago in Paris.

Mr. Cameron argued in the document that attacking targets in Syria was legally justified on the grounds of self-defense.

The composition of the British Parliament has changed after a general election in May in which Mr. Cameron’s Conservative Party won a full majority, allowing it to govern without its former coalition ally, the Liberal Democrats.

The opposition Labour Party has also changed leaders, electing Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing politician who is against airstrikes in Syria. However, his support among his lawmakers is thin, and, after the attacks in Paris, a number of them are likely to support airstrikes in Syria, despite what their leader says.

Source: The New York Times

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11-17-2015 Politics
Obama defends his strategy against the Islamic State, saying it will ‘take time’

The carnage of the Paris attacks and the largely stalemated war in Iraq and Syria have prompted heavy criticism of President Obama’s handling of the fight against the Islamic State over the past three years.

The questions came in waves Monday at the Group of 20 summit in Antalya, Turkey: Hadn’t Obama underestimated the threat posed by the Islamic State? Wasn’t it time for a new and more aggressive attack plan? Did he really understand the group well enough to defeat it and protect the United States?

“All right,” Obama replied to the last question, his tone betraying utter indignation. “So this is a variation on the same question. .?.?. Let me try it one last time.”

In response to each of the questions posed by reporters, Obama made his case for a steady and persistent campaign that seeks to gradually shrink the Islamic State’s territory in Iraq and Syria with airstrikes, slowly build up indigenous ground forces and press for renewed diplomatic negotiations to end Syria’s civil war.

The questions reflected concerns following the Paris attacks — which killed 129 people and led France’s president to promise a “merciless” response — that Obama had missed opportunities to defeat the group when it was still gaining strength.

Now Obama is in the unenviable position of championing a strategy that even he admits could take years to work, and could be marked by significant setbacks and more terrorist attacks like those in Paris.

“The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that is ultimately going to work,” the president told reporters Monday. “But as I said from the start, it is going to take time.”

The story of how Obama landed on his approach is one of a president who campaigned for reelection on a promise to end America’s wars and came to office with other pressing priorities, such as reaching an agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

He was deeply skeptical that U.S. military power could produce lasting political change in the Middle East and heavily influenced by the steep costs and heavy casualties that America suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan to achieve only mixed results.

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Source: Washington Post

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11-17-2015 Politics
Raids spread across France and Belgium amid manhunt for suspects

PARIS — Police in France and Belgium staged more than 160 anti-terrorism raids on Monday as authorities expanded crackdowns and cast their nets wider for suspects in the Paris attacks, including the alleged mastermind who also could have links to an earlier foiled plot aboard a high-speed train.

The intense manhunt for the possible lead plotter — identified as Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud — came clearer portraits emerged of the network behind Friday’s carnage that left at 132 people dead and scores wounded.

Also coming into sharper relief: Indictions that more of the alleged plotters were known European investigators long before the massacres.

In Brussels, police sealed off the streets in the Molenbeek neighborhood as the dragnet appeared to tighten in the area. But there were no immediate reports on arrests or whether Abaaoud or others were among the targets. Abaaoud, son of Moroccan immigrants and raised in Melenbeek, appeared to move higher in the Islamic State ranks over the years and made no secret of his intentions to strike in Europe, the Associated Press reported.

In February, Abaaoud was quoted by the Islamic State’s online magazine, Dabiq, as saying he fled to Syria after Belgian authorities broke up an alleged terror cell in the eastern city of Verviers the previous month. At the time, Abaaoud was named as a suspect, the magazine said.

French officials also told the AP that Abaaoud is believed to have links to other thwarted attacks, including a gunman who attempted who terrorized an Amsteram-to-Paris train in August but was subdued by three American travelers.

Meanwhile, another top suspect was sought: a lone assailant who could have slipped away in the chaos after the gunfire and bombings.

At least eight assailants took part in the Paris attacks in three groups — with seven dying amid the bloodshed. But the possiblity that the remaining attacker was still at large raised hope he could be captured alive and provide other critical clues how the attacks took shape, were funded and directed.

French police on Sunday issued an urgent alert and released a photo of an eighth suspect: the 5-foot-7-inch Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national. Meanwhile, authorities have sketched out the possibility of a larger network linked to the Islamic State that could involve as many as 20 plotters with links stretching to war-ravaged Syria.

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Source: Washington Post

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11-17-2015 Science&Technology
Anonymous Launches ‘Biggest Operation’ Against ISIS in Response to Paris Attacks

"War is declared. Get prepared"

Responding to the Paris attacks, hacker collective Anonymous has declared war against ISIS by launching what they call their “biggest operation” against the militant group. In a video posted on YouTube on November 14, a person, who appears to be a man, wearing the group’s signature Guy Fawkes mask says that Anonymous intends to hunt the militant group down. The spokesman mentioned that the group would use hacking to weaken ISIS.

“Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared,” says the masked man in French. “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you. ”

The video, which has had close to a million views, is not the first call to action against ISIS made by the group of ‘hactivists.’ After the January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks, they attacked extremist websites and took down thousands of ISIS twitter accounts.

Source: Time

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11-15-2015 Politics
Democratic Debate Brings Clashes on Economy and Terrorism

The fight against global terrorism took center stage Saturday night when Democrats gathered in Iowa to debate after the gruesome attacks in Paris that laid bare the kinds of threats the next American president will face.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, after a month in which he has lost some ground in the polls, quickly went on offense, criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2002 vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq, which he blamed for the rise of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

“I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely,” Mr. Sanders said, suggesting that the war had led to the rise of the Islamic State and that Mrs. Clinton’s vote discredited her foreign policy expertise. The candidates faced a heavy dose of questions on national security from the outset. But after nearly a half-hour, the discussion turned to domestic politics, and Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Sanders and former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland sparred over health care, Wall Street and the minimum wage.

After a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Paris attacks, the candidates each offered opening statements addressing the attacks and outlining their approaches to combating global terrorism and defeating the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Mrs. Clinton said that the United States must summon all of its resources to blunt the group’s rise.

“It cannot be contained,” she said. “It must be defeated.”

Despite the tragic nature of the events, the new backdrop provided Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, with an opportunity to shine as her two remaining rivals, Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Malley, neither of whom has much foreign policy experience, are under pressure to blunt her momentum.

The moderator pressed Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Sanders on their knowledge of international affairs, asked all three candidates about the level and allocation of military spending, and pressed them to address the contentious issue of the United States’ taking in Syrian refugees.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Malley both expressed a desire to streamline the military and accept refugees, with higher levels of screening. Mrs. Clinton offered a more moderate stance, warning that a robust military was needed to face challenges posed by more traditional rivals such as Russia and China.

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Source: The New York Times

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Top 100 World Newspapers (*)

No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 The Wall Street Journal / United States
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The People's Daily / China 7 The Daily Telegraph / United Kingdom 8 USA Today / United States
9 Los Angeles Times / United States 10 El Mundo / Spain 11 La Repubblica / Italy 12 The Times of India / India
13 Bild / Germany 14 Corriere della Sera / Italy 15 The Examiner / United States 16 The Independent / United Kingdom
17 El País / Spain 18 The Financial Times / United Kingdom 19 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 20 Daily News / United States
21 Chicago Tribune / United States 22 Le Monde / France 23 Marca / Spain 24 Hürriyet / Turkey
25 Die Welt / Germany 26 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 27 The Sun / United Kingdom 28 New York Post / United States
29 The Age / Australia 30 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 32 The Washington Times / United States
33 Die Zeit / Germany 34 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 35 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand 36 The Onion / United States
37 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 38 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 39 The Chicago Sun-Times / United States 40 Al-Ahram / Egypt
41 Le Figaro / France 42 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 43 The Hindu / India 44 Houston Chronicle / United States
45 The Seattle Times / United States 46 Libération / France 47 The Globe and Mail / Canada 48 De Standaard / Belgium
49 The Irish Times / Ireland 50 The Toronto Star / Canada 51 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 52 Mercury News / United States
53 The Australian / Australia 54 The Denver Post / United States 55 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 56 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea
57 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 58 Aftonbladet / Sweden 59 Kommersant / Russia 60 Bangkok Post / Thailand
61 Star Tribune / United States 62 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 63 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 64 Dawn / Pakistan
65 El Universal / Mexico 66 The Miami Herald / United States 67 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 68 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India
69 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States 70 Sports Nippon / Japan 71 L'Equipe / France 72 Die Presse / Austria
73 Detroit Free Press / United States 74 Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Switzerland 75 Clarín / Argentina 76 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
77 The Sacramento Bee / United States 78 China Daily / China 79 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 80 AS / Spain
81 The Baltimore Sun / United States 82 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany 83 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 84 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan
85 Boston Herald / United States 86 The Dallas Morning News / United States 87 The Times / United Kingdom 88 Newsday / United States
89 Orlando Sentinel / United States 90 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 91 Taipei Times / Taiwan 92 The Hindustan Times / India
93 The Economic Times / India 94 Kompas / Indonesia 95 The Observer / United Kingdom 96 Jornal de Notícias / Portugal
97 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 98 ABC / Spain 99 Le Soir / Belgium 100 The Kansas City Star / United States

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