Tuesday update




Pompeo later met the county’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and is on Wednesday due to visit Istanbul, where a joint Turkish-Saudi (ahem) “investigation” is under way.
The Guardian

— Graham put the blame directly on the crown prince, who is known by his initials, MbS, and said he planned to share his views with the president and advocate suspending arms sales.
— “Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MbS knowing it,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
Read it at Reuters

— President Trump has emboldened Saudi Arabia by relying on his personal diplomacy and focusing on jobs rather than broader American interests or ideals. If the Saudis are able to keep the United States out of the Khashoggi affair, then Trump has opened the door to further limits on U.S. influence in the Middle East.
> Analysis by Russell E. Luca, Director of Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University.
> Read it at The Conversation


Sloan-Kettering doctors confess to cozy $$$ relationships
undisclosed “omissions” (ahem), including payments totaling millions of dollars, were first reported last month by ProPublica and The New York Times.

Harvard’s admissions process is on trial and things are already getting heated
Vice News

MIT betting $1 billion on Artificial Intelligence school
The Download
Reddit comment:
Survivors? Those of us forced to run on treadmills to power the AI.

Had to happen sooner or later
Teen shoots video of sex with teacher
The State
sex-teacher— The video came from the 16-year-old student, who recorded the incident on his cellphone and was sharing it with other students …

Police looked at the contents of the teenager’s phone and found evidence that led to Constance Robertson’s arrest…

Constance is way behind the times. Sex videos are so boring! A new TV show in France will show strangers having sex with one another, and then chatting with the audience about how it went …
Story at France 24

Coffee Rust Threatens Latin American Crop;
150 Years Ago, It Wiped Out An Empire
— Five years ago, Finca El Valle, a small, family-run coffee farm south of Antigua, Guatemala, was producing 140,000 pounds of superior-quality Arabica for a select handful of America’s premier specialty-coffee roasters.
— An outbreak of coffee leaf rust, caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, hit the celebrated coffee-producing region in 2012, and by 2014 it had infected the entire farm. That year El Valle harvested a meager 28,000 pounds of coffee, an 80 percent drop. The next harvests were even smaller.

 Uber $$$ fantasy: $120 BILLION IPO
Wall Street Journal
√ Why just fleece drivers when investors have SO much more money?

Court: No, cops can’t just shoot unlicensed dogs
… in the case of Nikita Smith, who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department after a narcotics raid left three of her dogs dead.


Defrauded students win class action status vs. DeVos
Courthouse News Service
— More than 100,000 students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges can team up to sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for rolling back Obama-era rules that provided full debt forgiveness, a federal judge ruled Monday.

KFC franchisee loses bid to market chicken as “Muslim-friendly”
Courthouse News Service

EU leaders “won’t even consider” Brexit deal as talks collapse
The Independent
“What we have found out in the process leading to this meeting on Wednesday is that it is not going to be so easy to find a deal between the EU and the UK.”

Bribe Contribute to  a politician with $116,000 … and it pays off in the millions.
How Lyin’ Ted Cruz lobbied the EPA to go easy on his buddies at Valero Energy.
Read it at The Intercept


√ Oh now it’s “rogue killers.” Which raises the possibility of a journalist being

murdered with the quiet pre-approval of the US government…
Trump throws bullshit as he caves to Saudi prince
NY Times
— So-called President Trump said on Monday that he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia and that the ruler denied any knowledge of what happened to a missing Saudi dissident journalist. After the call, Mr. Trump said it was possible that “rogue killers” were behind the disappearance of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.



“In Connecticut, utilities have reported days in which they detected and deterred more than a million probes to their operating systems, many from foreign actors.”
— Arthur House, chief cybersecurity risk officer, state of Connecticut.
WaPost via Raw Story


√ Yeah, that’ll work.
Nepal blacklists 25,000 web sites in attempt to block porn
Washington Times

Feds will require prices in drug ads
√ Court challenges all but certain. May make its way to the totally unbiased Supreme Court! We’ll believe it when we see the first commercial that says: “Fukupba will give you cancer, lymphoma, arthritis and scurvy, and costs only $2800 per dose.”

“Do Not Track,” the privacy setting used by millions, sucks real bad

Insects, and animals that depend on them, disappearing
LMT Online
— Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.
— In 2014, an international team of biologists estimated that, in the past 35 years, the abundance of invertebrates such as beetles and bees decreased by 45 percent. In places where long-term insect data are available, mainly in Europe, insect numbers are plummeting. A study last year showed a 76 percent decrease in flying insects in the past few decades in German nature preserves.

Dunkirk, France, takes a chance on free buses —
and it seems to be working
The Guardian
— One month on, the Dunkirk mayor, Patrice Vergriete, who promised free public transport in his 2014 election campaign, says the project has been an overwhelming success, with a 50% increase in passenger numbers on some routes, and up to 85% on others.

Americans spend $70 billion on pets …
— could that money do more good?
The Conversation
…  which is more than the combined GDP of the 39 poorest countries in the world.

Will San Francisco tax businesses to help homeless?
— The situation has become so dire that a coalition of activists collected enough signatures to put a measure on the city’s Nov. 6 ballot that would tax hundreds of San Francisco’s wealthiest companies to help thousands of homeless and mentally ill residents, an effort that failed earlier this year in Seattle. Proposition C would raise $300 million a year, nearly doubling what the city already spends to combat

Amazon’s robots advance, humans recede
Wall Street Journal
— Amazon’s robots signal a sea change in how the things we buy will be aggregated, stored and delivered. The company requires one minute of human labor to get a package onto a truck, but that number is headed to zero. Autonomous warehouses will merge with autonomous manufacturing and delivery to form a fully automated supply chain.

Manhattan’s richest neighborhoods becoming retail ghost towns
The Atlantic
These days, walking through parts of Manhattan feels like occupying two worlds at the same time. In a theoretical universe, you are standing in the nation’s capital of business, commerce, and culture. In the physical universe, the stores are closed, the lights are off, and the windows are plastered with for-lease signs. Long stretches of famous thoroughfares—like Bleecker Street in the West Village and Fifth Avenue in the East 40s—are filled with vacant storefronts. Their dark windows serve as daytime mirrors for rich pedestrians. It’s like the actualization of a Yogi Berra joke: Nobody shops there anymore—it’s too desirable.

Warren says DNA tests prove she’s got American Indian ancestry
— Sen. Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test on Monday that “strongly support” her claims of Native American ancestry, hitting back at President Donald Trump for mocking her and showing her seriousness about a 2020 presidential run.
— The DNA test, conducted by Stanford University professor Carlos Bustamante, showed Warren’s likely Native American ancestry dates back six to 10 generations.

“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.”
So-called candidate Trump 


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