Monthly Archives: April 2018

Israel says Iran breaking nuclear deal – BBC News
Israel says Iran breaking nuclear deal

Image caption Mr Netanyahu sees a nuclear-armed Iran as the greatest threat to world peace
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed what he says are “secret nuclear files” proving Iran is covertly pursuing nuclear weapons.

He said 55,000 pages of material obtained by Israel showed Iran had deceived the world since signing a deal in 2015 to curb its nuclear programme.

It agreed to the deal in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Tweeting earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif appeared to accuse Mr Netanyahu of “fooling people”.

US President Donald Trump has long threatened to scrap the deal, which was reached under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

European powers have said they are committed to upholding the accord.

Could the nuclear deal collapse?
Why the bomb is back
Speaking in English from Israel’s defence ministry in Tel Aviv, Mr Netanyahu showed off what he said were “exact copies” of secret documents obtained by Israeli intelligence in Tehran.

“These files conclusively prove that Iran was brazenly lying when it said it never had a nuclear weapons programme,” he said.

How was the 2015 deal meant to work?
The agreement signed between Iran and six world powers lifted crippling economic sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

There had been fears that Iran would use the programme to create a nuclear weapon.

Under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran is committed to slashing the number of its centrifuges, which are machines used to enrich uranium.

It is also meant to cut its stockpile of enriched uranium drastically and not enrich remaining uranium to the level needed to produce nuclear weapons.

The number of centrifuges installed at Iran’s Natanz and Fordo suites was cut drastically soon after the deal while tonnes of low-enriched uranium were shipped to Russia.

Furthermore, monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been able to carry out snap inspections at Iranian sites.

Iran nuclear deal: Key details
How dangerous is the enmity between Israel and Iran?
Tension between the long-standing enemies has grown steadily since Iran built up its military presence in Syria, Israel’s north-eastern neighbour.

Iran has also been accused of supplying weaponry to Lebanese Shia Muslim militant group Hezbollah, an enemy of Israel, and also smuggling arms to Palestinian militants.

Mr Netanyahu vowed last year to stop Iran “establishing itself militarily in Syria”.

On Sunday night, a wave of unclaimed air strikes on targets in Syria reportedly killed a number of Iranians.

Both Israel and Western nations have bombed government-controlled sites in the country in recent months.

Read this on the Web

Is the Iran nuclear deal about to collapse?
BBC News
Trump and Macron hint at new Iran nuclear deal
BBC News
Iran nuclear deal: Macron urges Trump to stick with 2015 accord
BBC News
Expert: Iran not likely to renegotiate nuclear deal, Israel likely to act
Jerusalem Post
Flash – Netanyahu to speak on ‘significant development’ on Iran nuclear deal
France 24

Twitter also sold data access to Cambridge Analytica researcher – TechCrunch
Twitter also sold data access to Cambridge Analytica researcher
Jordan Crook

Since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users, one question has lingered in the minds of the public: What other data did Dr. Aleksandr Kogan gain access to?

Twitter confirmed to The Telegraph on Saturday that GSR, Kogan’s own commercial enterprise, had purchased one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period between December 2014 and April 2015. Twitter told Bloomberg that, following an internal review, the company did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.

Twitter sells API access to large organizations or enterprises for the purposes of surveying sentiment or opinion during various events, or around certain topics or ideas.

Here’s what a Twitter spokesperson said to The Telegraph:

Twitter has also made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica. This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.

Obviously, this doesn’t have the same scope as the data harvested about users on Facebook. Twitter’s data on users is far less personal. Location on the platform is opt-in and generic at that, and users are not forced to use their real name on the platform.

We reached out to Twitter and will update when we hear back.

Facebook points finger at Google and Twitter for data collection
In the age of Cambridge Analytica what are reasonable data norms?
Login With Facebook data hijacked by JavaScript trackers
Twitter Sold Data Access to Cambridge Analytica–Linked Researcher
Twitter sold data access to researcher in Cambridge Analytica scandal

BFI apologises after woman with Asperger’s ejected from cinema
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BFI apologises after woman with Asperger’s ejected from cinema
Tamsin Parker, 25, was removed for laughing during The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in London

Sarah Marsh @sloumarsh
Mon 30 Apr 2018 08.51 EDT First published on Mon 30 Apr 2018 07.05 EDT

Tamsin Parker

The British Film Institute has apologised after staff forcibly removed a woman with Asperger syndrome from the cinema in what onlookers described as a “disgusting” sign of “naked intolerance”.

Tamsin Parker, 25, an artist and animator, was watching a screening at the BFI’s cinema on London’s South Bank of her favourite film – the spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, directed by Sergio Leone – with two friends. She was asked to leave for laughing too loudly.

Parker’s mother, Lydia Parker, said some members of the audience applauded as she was removed: “[My daughter] said ‘I am autistic’ and a man said: ‘You’re retarded.’ Another man, who called her a bitch [for laughing], was thrown out, but only after she was.”


Her mother added: “She was completely humiliated and it ruined her birthday.”

The BFI released a statement saying it was sorry and had got it wrong in a “challenging and complex situation”.

“We are taking this situation extremely seriously and this morning we have been investigating further … We can and must do better in accommodating all the needs of our customers and we will be addressing what additional provisions and staff training we can put in place,” the institute said.

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Parker’s mother, who is speaking to a lawyer about what happened, said: “It would be nice to arrange a screening for Tamsin and her friends. The manager did not seem very apologetic at the time.”

Parker was eager to see the BFI screening and has watched the film eight times, according to her mother, who went to collect her daughter after she was thrown out. “She was in floods of tears … she was really scared,” her mother said.

Lydia Parker, a theatre director, said it had been heartening to see messages of support on Twitter. The story has been shared widely on social media, with people voicing concern.

One cinemagoer, Lloyd Shepherd, expressed his disgust after the incident. “She’d been laughing very loudly, but at moments which were supposed to be funny. Some people complained. She was dragged out shouting: ‘I’m sorry, I have Asperger’s.’ She was incredibly upset,” he said.

He said some people applauded her removal while others were upset, with a large number leaving.

“I am shaking with anger. That poor, poor woman. Just a little bit of empathy and everything would have been fine. Such naked intolerance. In the middle of London. Disgusting,” Shepherd said.

Other witnesses tweeted:

Wtf. Have just witnessed a woman with Aspergers being forcibly removed from a @BFI screening. Why? Because someone complained about her laughing. I feel sick to my stomach #bfi

April 29, 2018
Suki Bains
Thanks for covering this matter. I was there last night. @BFI aside, it’s the public reaction that has upset many of us. The lady was treated very poorly. She was sworn at in a very degrading offensive way. No empathy. People clapping. Awful experience. Sad. Angry. #london #2018

April 30, 2018
Parker’s sister, Sabrina Parker, tweeted that she had taken her sibling home to watch the rest of the movie. “Thank you for sharing this … we’re horrified that they would treat her so badly,” she wrote. “Obviously she’s still very upset. It’s her favourite movie and it was her 25th birthday celebration.”

The National Autistic Society said many autistic people felt venues were not autism-friendly enough, which is why it runs the autism friendly award to encourage businesses to be more accessible. The charity added that it works with cinemas and theatres to hold autism-friendly screenings.

Jane Harris, the NAS’s director of external affairs, said the incident was shocking and a colleague was at the screening, “along with others who were equally distressed by what they had witnessed”.

“It’s great to hear that so many audience members were sympathetic, but this incident shows just how far we have to go for autistic people to get the understanding they deserve,” she added.

Harris said the NAS would be reaching out to the BFI to discuss ways to improve its staff members’ understanding of autism.

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Trump should win Nobel Peace Prize, says South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in
Trump should win Nobel Peace Prize, says South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in
Chris Baynes

Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in in November 2017
Donald Trump should win a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the stand-off over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, South Korea’s president has suggested.

Moon Jae-in said he was “confident a new era of peace will unfold on the Korean peninsula” following a historic summit last week during which Seoul and Pyongyang pledged to end decades of hostilities and work towards “complete denuclearisation”.

He has previously said the US president “deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks”, which were the first between North and South Korea for more than a decade.

Read more
“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” the South Korean leader told a cabinet meeting on Monday, according to Seoul officials.

Mr Moon was greeted by standing ovation from cheering aides and staff at the presidential Blue House after signing a peace accord with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday, when the two countries pledged to officially end the Korean War that began in 1950.

In first small steps towards reconciliation, South Korea said on Monday it would remove loudspeakers that have blared propaganda across the border for decades, while Pyongyang is to shift its clocks to align with its southern neighbour.

South Korea turned off the loudspeakers, which have broadcasted a mixture of news, Korean pop songs and criticism of the North Korean regime, as a goodwill gesture ahead of the summit. It will begin removing them on Tuesday.

“We see this as the easiest first step to build military trust,” said South Korean defence ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo, adding Seoul expected North Korea to follow suit.

North Korea will shift its time zone 30 minutes earlier to align with South Korea, starting 5 May, state media reported on Monday. KCNA said Mr Kim found it “a painful wrench” to see two clocks showing different times on a wall during Friday’s summit in the “truce village” of Panmunjom.

The North’s time zone was created in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule after World War Two.

While Mr Moon lauded Mr Trump’s role in bringing together the two nations, experts have been less fulsome.

TJ Pempel, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, told The Independent the US president “deserves some credit but not as much as he’s taking”. He said China’s agreement to tougher sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear programme “was far more important”.

“Trump should receive minimal, if any, credit,” said Alison Evans, deputy head of Asia Pacific country risk at the research firm IHS Markit. The president’s “high-pressure tactics only confirmed to North Korea that they were on the right course” developing nuclear weapons, she suggested.

Mr Trump himself had no qualms about taking credit for the US role, tweeting immediately after Friday’s summit: “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

The peace declaration leaves many questions unanswered, however, particularly the meaning of “denuclearisation” and how it will be achieved. Much hinges on Mr Kim’s upcoming summit with President Trump, planned to take place for late May or early June.

Read more
Pyongyang has long demanded denuclearisation must include the United States pulling its 28,500 troops out of South Korea and removing its so-called “nuclear umbrella” security commitment to Seoul and Japan.

Any deal with the US will require North Korea to demonstrate “irreversible” steps to shutting down its nuclear weapons programme, secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

Mr Kim told Mr Moon he would invited experts and journalists from the US and South Korea to witness the dismantlement of its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, the Blue House said on Sunday.

North Korea has conducted all six of its nuclear tests at the site, comprised of a series of tunnels dug into the mountains in the country’s north-east. Researchers have speculated that the most recent – and by far largest – blast in September had rendered the entire site unusable.

But Mr Kim said there were two additional, larger tunnels that remain “in very good condition” beyond the existing one, which experts believe may have collapsed.

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Henry IV of France – Wikipedia
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Henry IV of France
For other uses, see Henry IV (disambiguation).
“Henry of Navarre” redirects here. For other uses, see Henry of Navarre (disambiguation).
“Henri 4” redirects here. For the 2010 film, see Henri 4 (film).
Henry IV (French: Henri IV, read as Henri-Quatre [ɑ̃ʁi katʁ]; 13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), also known by the epithet Good King Henry, was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, another branch of the Capetian dynasty (through Louis IX, as the previous House of Valois had been through Philip III). He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.[1]

Henry IV
King of France
2 August 1589 – 14 May 1610
27 February 1594
Chartres Cathedral
Henry III
Louis XIII
King of Navarre
9 June 1572 – 14 May 1610
Jeanne III
Louis II
13 December 1553
Pau, Kingdom of Navarre
14 May 1610 (aged 56)
Paris, Kingdom of France
Basilica of St Denis, Paris, France
Margaret of Valois
(m. 1572; ann. 1599)
Marie de’ Medici
(m. 1600)
Louis XIII of France
Elisabeth, Queen of Spain
Christine, Duchess of Savoy
Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orléans
Gaston, Duke of Orléans
Henrietta Maria, Queen of England
César, Duke of Vendôme
Catherine Henriette, Duchess of Elbeuf
Full name
French: Henri de Bourbon
Antoine of Navarre
Jeanne III of Navarre
See details
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King Henry IV
Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre
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His Most Christian Majesty
Spoken style
Your Most Christian Majesty
Alternative style
Baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother Jeanne d’Albret, Queen of Navarre, Henry inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on the death of his mother. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. He later led Protestant forces against the royal army.[2]

As Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was a direct male-line descendant of Louis IX of France, and “first prince of the blood”. Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law.

He initially kept the Protestant faith (the only French king to do so) and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France’s crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith. As a pragmatic politician (in the parlance of the time, a politique), he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes (1598), which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby effectively ending the Wars of Religion.

Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts.[3] An unpopular king immediately after his accession, Henry gained more status after his death.[4] He was admired for his repeated victories over his enemies and his conversion to Catholicism. The “Good King Henry” (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects.[2] He was celebrated in the popular song “Vive le roi Henri” and in Voltaire’s Henriade.

Early life Edit
Childhood and adolescence Edit

Henry III of France on his deathbed designating Henry IV of Navarre as his successor (1589)
Henry was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn.[5] His parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre (Jeanne d’Albret) and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre.[6] Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother,[7] who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre. As a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother’s death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre.[8]

First marriage and Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre Edit
At Queen Joan’s death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de’ Medici. The wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572[9] on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral.

On 24 August, the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry’s wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed. Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict.[8] He named his 16-year-old sister, Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years.

Wars of Religion Edit

Henry at the Battle of Arques

Henry IV at the Battle of Ivry, by Peter Paul Rubens

Henry IV, as Hercules vanquishing the Lernaean Hydra (i.e. the Catholic League), by Toussaint Dubreuil, circa 1600
Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou, brother and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574. Because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor.[10] Salic law barred the king’s sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, and France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries. Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras.[11]

In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered,[12] along with his brother, Louis Cardinal de Guise.[13] Henry III thought that the removal of Guise would finally restore his authority. Instead, however, the populace were horrified and rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized. His power was limited to Blois, Tours, and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, the king relied on King Henry of Navarre and his Huguenots.

The two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of Catholics. Catholic royalist nobles also rallied to the king’s standard. With this combined force, the two kings marched to Paris. The morale of the city was low, and even the Spanish ambassador believed the city could not hold out longer than a fortnight. But Henry III was assassinated shortly thereafter (2 August 1589) by a fanatical monk.[14]

When Henry III died, Henry of Navarre nominally became king of France. The Catholic League, however, strengthened by support from outside the country—especially from Spain—was strong enough to prevent a universal recognition of his new title. Most of the Catholic nobles who had joined Henry III for the siege of Paris also refused to recognize the claim of Henry of Navarre, and abandoned him. He set about winning his kingdom by military conquest, aided by English money and German troops. Henry’s Catholic uncle Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, was proclaimed king by the League, but the Cardinal was Henry’s prisoner at the time.[15] Henry was victorious at the Battle of Arques and the Battle of Ivry, but failed to take Paris after besieging it in 1590.[16]

When Cardinal de Bourbon died in 1590, the League could not agree on a new candidate. While some supported various Guise candidates, the strongest candidate was probably the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, the daughter of Philip II of Spain, whose mother Elisabeth had been the eldest daughter of Henry II of France.[17] In the religious fervor of the time, the Infanta was recognized to be a suitable candidate, provided that she marry a suitable husband. The French overwhelmingly rejected Philip’s first choice, Archduke Ernest of Austria, the Emperor’s brother, also a member of the House of Habsburg. In case of such opposition, Philip indicated that princes of the House of Lorraine would be acceptable to him: the Duke of Guise; a son of the Duke of Lorraine; and the son of the Duke of Mayenne. The Spanish ambassadors selected the Duke of Guise, to the joy of the League. But at that moment of seeming victory, the envy of the Duke of Mayenne was aroused, and he blocked the proposed election of a king.

Jeton with portrait of King Henri IV, made in Nuremberg (Germany) by Hans Laufer
The Parlement of Paris also upheld the Salic law. They argued that if the French accepted natural hereditary succession, as proposed by the Spaniards, and accepted a woman as their queen, then the ancient claims of the English kings would be confirmed, and the monarchy of centuries past would be nothing but an illegality.[18] The Parlement admonished Mayenne, as Lieutenant-General, that the Kings of France had resisted the interference of the Pope in political matters, and that he should not raise a foreign prince or princess to the throne of France under the pretext of religion. Mayenne was angered that he had not been consulted prior, but yielded, since their aim was not contrary to his present views.

Despite these setbacks for the League, Henry remained unable to take control of Paris.

“Paris is well worth a Mass” Edit

Entrance of Henry IV in Paris, 22 March 1594, with 1,500 cuirassiers
On 25 July 1593, with the encouragement of his great love, Gabrielle d’Estrées, Henry permanently renounced Protestantism and converted to Roman Catholicism—in order to obtain the French crown, thereby earning the resentment of the Huguenots and his former ally Queen Elizabeth I of England. He was said to have declared that Paris vaut bien une messe (“Paris is well worth a mass”),[19][20][21] although there is some doubt whether he said this, or whether the statement was attributed to him by his contemporaries.[22][23] His acceptance of Roman Catholicism secured the allegiance of the vast majority of his subjects.

Since Reims, the traditional location for the coronation of French kings, was still occupied by the Catholic League, Henry was crowned King of France at the Cathedral of Chartres on 27 February 1594.[24] He did not forget his former Calvinist coreligionists, however and was known for his religious tolerance. In 1598 he issued the Edict of Nantes, which granted circumscribed toleration to the Huguenots.[25]

Second marriage Edit

Henry IV and Marie de Médicis
Henry’s first marriage was not a happy one, and the couple remained childless. Henry and Margaret separated even before Henry acceded to the throne in August 1589. Margaret lived for many years in the Château d’Usson in the Auvergne. After Henry became king of France, it was of the utmost importance that he provide an heir to the crown to avoid the problem of a disputed succession. Henry favoured the idea of obtaining an annulment of his marriage to Margaret and taking his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées as his bride; after all, she had already borne him three children. Henry’s councillors strongly opposed this idea, but the matter was resolved unexpectedly by Gabrielle’s sudden death in the early hours of 10 April 1599, after she had given birth to a premature and stillborn son. His marriage to Margaret was annulled in 1599, and Henry married Marie de’ Medici in 1600.

For the royal entry of Marie into Avignon on 19 November 1600, the citizens bestowed on Henry the title of the Hercule Gaulois (“Gallic Hercules”), justifying the extravagant flattery with a genealogy that traced the origin of the House of Navarre to a nephew of Hercules’ son Hispalus.[26]

Achievements of his reign Edit

Henri IV on Horseback Trampling his Enemy. Bronze, circa 1615-1620 AD. From France, probably Paris. Victoria and Albert Museum, London
During his reign, Henry IV worked through his faithful right-hand man, the minister Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully, to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, drain swamps, undertake public works, and encourage education. He established the Collège Royal Henri-le-Grand in La Flèche (today the Prytanée Militaire de la Flèche). He and Sully protected forests from further devastation, built a system of tree-lined highways, and constructed bridges and canals. He had a 1200-metre canal built in the park at the Château Fontainebleau (which may be fished today) and ordered the planting of pines, elms, and fruit trees. He used one construction project to attract attention to his power. When building the Pont-Neuf, a bridge in Paris, he placed a statue of himself in the middle.[27]

Itinerary of François Pyrard de Laval, (1601–1611)
The King restored Paris as a great city, with the Pont Neuf, which still stands today, constructed over the river Seine to connect the Right and Left Banks of the city. Henry IV also had the Place Royale built (since 1800 known as Place des Vosges), and added the Grande Galerie to the Louvre Palace. More than 400 metres long and thirty-five metres wide, this huge addition was built along the bank of the Seine River. At the time it was the longest edifice of its kind in the world. King Henry IV, a promoter of the arts by all classes of people, invited hundreds of artists and craftsmen to live and work on the building’s lower floors. This tradition continued for another two hundred years, until Emperor Napoleon I banned it. The art and architecture of his reign have become known as the “Henry IV style” since that time.

King Henry’s vision extended beyond France, and he financed several expeditions of Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain[2] to North America. France lay claim to New France (now Canada).[28]

International relations under Henry IV Edit

Engraving of Henry IV

Coin of Henry IV, demi écu, Saint Lô (1589)
During the reign of Henry IV, rivalry continued among France, the Habsburg rulers of Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire for the mastery of Western Europe. The conflict was not resolved until after the Thirty Years’ War.

Spain and Italy Edit
During Henry’s struggle for the crown, Spain had been the principal backer of the Catholic League, and it tried to thwart Henry. Under the Duke of Parma, an army from the Spanish Netherlands intervened in 1590 against Henry and foiled his siege of Paris. Another Spanish army helped the nobles opposing Henry to win the Battle of Craon against his troops in 1592.

After Henry’s coronation, the war continued as an official tug-of-war between the French and Spanish states, but after victory at the Siege of Amiens in September 1597 the Peace of Vervins was signed in 1598. This enabled him to turn his attention to Savoy, with which he also had been fighting. Their conflicts were settled in the Treaty of Lyon of 1601, which mandated territorial exchanges between France and the Duchy of Savoy.

Germany Edit
In 1609 Henry’s intervention helped to settle the War of the Jülich succession through diplomatic means.

It was widely believed that in 1610 Henry was preparing to go to war against the Holy Roman Empire. The preparations were terminated by his assassination, however, and the subsequent rapprochement with Spain under the regency of Marie de’ Medici.

Ottoman Empire Edit

Bilingual Franco-Turkish translation of the 1604 Franco-Ottoman Capitulations between Sultan Ahmed I and Henry IV of France, published by François Savary de Brèves (1615)[29]
Even before Henry’s accession to the French throne, the French Huguenots were in contact with Aragonese Moriscos in plans against the Habsburg government of Spain in the 1570s.[30] Around 1575, plans were made for a combined attack of Aragonese Moriscos and Huguenots from Béarn under Henry against Spanish Aragon, in agreement with the king of Algiers and the Ottoman Empire, but this project floundered with the arrival of John of Austria in Aragon and the disarmament of the Moriscos.[31][32] In 1576, a three-pronged fleet from Constantinople was planned to disembark between Murcia and Valencia while the French Huguenots would invade from the north and the Moriscos accomplish their uprising, but the Ottoman fleet failed to arrive.[31] After his crowning, Henry continued the policy of a Franco-Ottoman alliance and received an embassy from Sultan Mehmed III in 1601.[33][34] In 1604, a “Peace Treaty and Capitulation” was signed between Henry IV and the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I. It granted numerous advantages to France in the Ottoman Empire.[34]

In 1606–07, Henry IV sent Arnoult de Lisle as Ambassador to Morocco to obtain the observance of past friendship treaties. An embassy was sent to Tunisia in 1608 led by François Savary de Brèves.[35]

East Asia Edit
Further information: France-Asia relations
During the reign of Henry IV, various enterprises were set up to develop trade with faraway lands. In December 1600, a company was formed through the association of Saint-Malo, Laval, and Vitré to trade with the Moluccas and Japan.[36] Two ships, the Croissant and the Corbin, were sent around the Cape of Good Hope in May 1601. One was wrecked in the Maldives, leading to the adventure of François Pyrard de Laval, who managed to return to France in 1611.[36][37] The second ship, carrying François Martin de Vitré, reached Ceylon and traded with Aceh in Sumatra, but was captured by the Dutch on the return leg at Cape Finisterre.[36][37] François Martin de Vitré was the first Frenchman to write an account of travels to the Far East in 1604, at the request of Henry IV, and from that time numerous accounts on Asia would be published.[38]

From 1604 to 1609, following the return of François Martin de Vitré, Henry developed a strong enthusiasm for travel to Asia and attempted to set up a French East India Company on the model of England and the Netherlands.[37][38][39] On 1 June 1604, he issued letters patent to Dieppe merchants to form the Dieppe Company, giving them exclusive rights to Asian trade for 15 years. No ships were sent, however, until 1616.[36] In 1609, another adventurer, Pierre-Olivier Malherbe, returned from a circumnavigation of the globe and informed Henry of his adventures.[38] He had visited China and India, and had an encounter with Akbar.[38]

Character Edit

Henry IV, Versailles Museum
Henry IV proved to be a man of vision and courage.[citation needed] Instead of waging costly wars to suppress opposing nobles, Henry simply paid them off. As king, he adopted policies and undertook projects to improve the lives of all subjects, which made him one of the country’s most popular rulers ever.

Henry is said to have originated the oft-repeated phrase, “a chicken in every pot”[2]. The context for that phrase:

Si Dieu me prête vie, je ferai qu’il n’y aura point de laboureur en mon royaume qui n’ait les moyens d’avoir le dimanche une poule dans son pot!

(If God keeps me, I will make sure that no peasant in my realm will lack the means to have a chicken in the pot on Sunday!)

This statement epitomises the peace and relative prosperity which Henry brought to France after decades of religious war, and demonstrates how well he understood the plight of the French worker and peasant farmer. This real concern for the living conditions of the “lowly” population—who in the final analysis provided the economic basis for the power of the king and the great nobles—was perhaps without parallel among the kings of France. Following his death Henry would be remembered fondly by most of the population.

Henry’s forthright manner, physical courage, and military successes also contrasted dramatically with the sickly, effete languor of the last Valois kings, as evinced by his blunt assertion that he ruled with “weapon in hand and arse in the saddle” (on a le bras armé et le cul sur la selle). He was also a great philanderer, fathering many children by a number of mistresses.[2]

Nicknames Edit
Henry was nicknamed “the Great” (Henri le Grand), and in France is also called le bon roi Henri (“the good king Henry”) or le vert galant (“The Green Gallant”, for his numerous mistresses).[2][40] In English he is most often referred to as Henry of Navarre.

Assassination Edit
Henry was the subject of attempts on his life by Pierre Barrière in August 1593[41] and Jean Châtel in December 1594.[42]

In the third assassination attempt, King Henry IV was killed in Paris on 14 May 1610 by a Catholic fanatic, François Ravaillac, who stabbed him in the Rue de la Ferronnerie. Henry’s coach was stopped by traffic congestion related to the Queen’s coronation ceremony, as depicted in the engraving by Gaspar Bouttats.[43][44] Hercule de Rohan, duc de Montbazon, was with him when he was killed; Montbazon was wounded, but survived. Henry was buried at the Saint Denis Basilica.

His widow, Marie de’ Medici, served as regent for their nine-year-old son, Louis XIII, until 1617.[45]

Assassination of Henry IV,
engraving by Gaspar Bouttats

His assassin, François Ravaillac, brandishing his dagger

Lying in state at the Louvre, engraving after François Quesnel

Alleged skull of Henry IV in 1933; his tomb was ransacked during the French Revolution

Legacy Edit

Henri IV, Marie de’ Medici and family
The reign of Henry IV had a lasting impact on the French people for generations afterward. A statue was erected in his honour at the Pont Neuf in 1614, four years after his death. Although this statue—as well as those of all the other French kings—was torn down during the French Revolution, it was the first to be rebuilt, in 1818, and it stands today on the Pont Neuf. A cult surrounding the personality of Henry IV emerged during the Bourbon Restoration. The restored Bourbons were keen to play down the controversial reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI and instead emphasised the reign of the benevolent Henry IV. The song Marche Henri IV (“Long Live Henry IV”) was popular during the Restoration. In addition, when Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily (a descendant of his) gave birth to a male heir to the throne of France seven months after the assassination of her husband Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry, by a Republican fanatic, the boy was conspicuously named Henri in reference to his forefather Henry IV. The boy was also baptised in the traditional way of Béarn/Navarre, with a spoon of Jurançon wine and some garlic, imitating the manner in which Henry IV had been baptised in Pau. That custom had been abandoned by later Bourbon kings.

Royal Monogram
Henry IV’s popularity continued when the first edition of his biography, Histoire du Roy Henry le Grand, was published in Amsterdam in 1661. It was written by Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont, successively bishop of Rhodez and archbishop of Paris, primarily for the edification of Louis XIV, grandson of Henry IV. A translation into English was made by James Dauncey for another grandson, King Charles II of England. An English edition was derived from this, which was published at London in 1663.

Henry served as the loose inspiration behind Ferdinand, the King of Navarre in William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost.[46]

Genealogy Edit
Main article: Henry IV of France’s succession
Ancestors Edit
Ancestors of Henry IV of France[47]
16. John VIII, Count of Vendôme
8. Francis, Count of Vendôme
17. Isabelle de Beauvau
4. Charles, Duke of Vendôme
18. Peter II, Count of Saint-Pol
9. Marie of Luxembourg
19. Margaret of Savoy
2. Antoine of Navarre
20. Jean II, Duke of Alençon
10. René, Duke of Alençon
21. Marie of Armagnac
5. Françoise of Alençon
22. Frederick II, Count of Vaudémont
11. Margaret of Lorraine
23. Yolande of Anjou
1. Henry IV of France
24. Alain I, Lord of Albret
12. John III of Navarre
25. Françoise de Châtillon
6. Henry II of Navarre
26. Gaston, Prince of Viana
13. Catherine of Navarre
27. Madeleine of Valois
3. Jeanne III of Navarre
28. John, Count of Angoulême
14. Charles, Count of Angoulême
29. Marguerite de Rohan
7. Marguerite of Angoulême
30. Philip II, Duke of Savoy
15. Louise of Savoy
31. Marguerite of Bourbon
Patrilineal descent Edit
Patrilineal descent
Henry’s patriline was his line of descent in the male line, that is, from father to son only.

Patrilineal descent governs membership and succession in many royal and noble houses. Henry was a scion of the House of Bourbon, which was a branch of the Capetian dynasty, which sprang from the Robertians.

Henry’s patriline ran through the house of Bourbon-Vendôme (Counts and then Dukes of Vendôme), descended from a younger son of the Count of Marche, descended from a younger son of the Duke of Bourbon, whose father was a younger son of Louis IX. Louis was the direct descendant of Hugh Capet, who became King of France in 987 and made the crown hereditary. Hugh was the heir of the “Robertian” house, Counts of Worms, descended from Robert of Hesbaye.

This line has continued to the present day, more than 1,200 years in all, through kings of France, Navarre, France again, Spain, Portugal, and the Two Sicilies, dukes of Parma, grand dukes of Luxembourg, princes of Orléans, and emperors of Brazil. It is one of the oldest royal patrilines in Europe.

Robert II of Worms and Rheingau (Robert of Hesbaye), 770–807
Robert III of Worms and Rheingau, 808–834
Robert IV the Strong, 820–866
Robert I of France, 866–923
Hugh the Great, 895–956
Hugh Capet, 941–996
Robert II of France, 972–1031
Henry I of France, 1008–1060
Philip I of France, 1053–1108
Louis VI of France, 1081–1137
Louis VII of France, 1120–1180
Philip II of France, 1165–1223
Louis VIII of France, 1187–1226
Louis IX of France, 1215–1270
Robert, Count of Clermont, 1256–1317
Louis I, Duke of Bourbon, 1279–1342
James I, Count of La Marche, 1319–1362
John I, Count of La Marche, 1344–1393
Louis, Count of Vendôme, 1376–1446
Jean VIII, Count of Vendôme, 1428–1478
François, Count of Vendôme, 1470–1495
Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, 1489–1537
Antoine, King of Navarre, Duke of Vendôme, 1518–1562
Henry IV, King of France and Navarre, 1553–1610
Marriages and legitimate children
Further reading
External links
Last edited 3 hours ago by Epolk
Catherine de Bourbon
French princess

Descendants of Henry IV of France
Jeanne d’Albret
Queen of Navarre

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It’s Impossible to Prove Your Laptop Hasn’t Been Hacked. I Spent Two Years Finding Out.

It’s Impossible to Prove Your Laptop Hasn’t Been Hacked. I Spent Two Years Finding Out.
Micah Lee

Digital security specialists like me get some version of this question all the time: “I think my laptop may have been infected with malware. Can you check?”

We dread this sort of query because modern computer exploits are as complex, clever, and hard to reason about as modern computers — particularly if someone has the ability to physically access your device, as is routinely the case with laptops, especially when traveling. So while it’s definitely possible to detect certain types of tampering, it isn’t always trivial. And even in controlled environments, it’s impossible to give a laptop a clean bill of health with full confidence – it’s always possible that it was tampered with in a way you did not think to check.

The issue of tampering is particularly relevant for human rights workers, activists, journalists, and software developers, all of whom hold sensitive data sought by powerful potential attackers. People in these vocations are often keenly aware of the security of their laptops while traveling – after all, laptops store critical secrets like communication with sources, lists of contacts, password databases, and encryption keys used to vouch for source code you write, or to give you access to remote servers.

How safe is it to leave your laptop in your hotel room while you’re attending sessions at a conference? If you come back to find your laptop in a different position than where you thought you left it, can you still trust it? Did someone tamper with it, did a hotel housekeeper simply straighten up the items you left on your desk, or did you misremember where you left it?

These questions typically can’t be answered with total confidence because clever tampering can be so hard to detect. But I hoped I could get a sense of the risks with a carefully controlled experiment. For the last two years, I have carried a “honeypot” laptop with me every time I’ve traveled; this computer was intended to attract (and then detect) tampering. If any hackers, state-sponsored or otherwise, wanted to hack me by physically messing with my computer, I wanted to not only catch them in the act, but also gather technical evidence that I could use to learn how their attack worked and, hopefully, who the attacker was.

While traveling by air, I checked this laptop in my luggage to make it easily accessible to border agents, both domestic and foreign, to tamper with if they chose to. When staying in hotels, I left the laptop sitting on the desk in my room while I was away during the day, to make sure that any malicious housekeepers with permission to enter my room, or anyone else who broke into my room, was free to tamper with it if they chose to. I also put a bunch of hacker stickers all over it, hoping that this would make it a more enticing target.

A “notice of baggage inspection” from TSA.

Photo: Micah Lee

Over the duration of this experiment, I traveled to Europe three times and domestically in the United States five times (including once to Puerto Rico). I found eight different notices from the Transportation Security Administration informing me that my baggage had been searched. I have no way of knowing how many times it had been searched by other authorities who weren’t kind enough to leave me a note.
I never caught anyone tampering with this laptop. But the absence of any evidence of tampering — and my obsessive thoughts about the various ways an attacker could have evaded by detection — serve to underline how fraught the process of computer forensics can be. If someone who makes their living securing computers thinks they could have missed a computer infection, what hope is there for the average computer user?

At the end of my experiment, I thought through all of the things that could have gone wrong. Perhaps someone did tamper with my honeypot laptop, and my methodology for detecting this wasn’t thorough enough to notice. Or maybe potential attackers noticed that the laptop I carried with me and used at the conferences I was attending was different than the one I left in my room, and decided against tampering with it in case it was a trap.

But the most likely reason I didn’t catch any attackers is that no one tried to tamper with my laptop. Hacking a target’s laptop by physically tampering with it while they’re traveling probably happens only rarely because it’s so expensive – it may require travel, physical surveillance, breaking and entering, and the risk of getting caught or breaking the laptop is high. Compare this to cheap forms of hacking like email phishing: You can target thousands of people at once from the comfort of your office, and the risk of getting caught is much lower.

Still, I believe actively checking devices for tampering is worthwhile. You’ll never catch an attacker in the act if you never look for evidence of their attacks. And just looking for evidence, even if you don’t find any, increases costs for attackers: If they want to be sure you won’t notice, they’re going to have to get more creative. I believe it’s useful to explain the technology and the methodology I came up with to detect tampering and share what I learned from the experience. Doing so gives a taste of just how many ways there are to tamper with a laptop.

Evil Maid Attacks
If you don’t use full disk encryption on your laptop, anyone who gains physical access to it, even for just a few minutes, can access all of your data and even implant malware on your computer to spy on you in the future. It doesn’t matter how good your password is because without encryption, the attacker can simply unscrew the case on your laptop, remove your hard disk, and access it from another computer.

Disk encryption does a great job of protecting your data in case you lose your laptop or someone steals it from you. When this person tries accessing your data, they should be completely locked out, so long as the passphrase you use to unlock your laptop is strong enough that they can’t guess it.

But there is a sneaky class of attack, called “evil maid” attacks, that disk encryption alone cannot protect against. Evil maid attacks work like this: An attacker (such as a malicious hotel housekeeper, for example) gains temporary access to your encrypted laptop. Although they can’t decrypt your data, they can spend a few minutes tampering with your laptop and then leave it exactly where they found it. When you come back and type in your credentials, now you have been hacked.

Exactly how an evil maid attack would work against your laptop depends on many factors: the type of computer you use, what operating system you use, which disk encryption software you use, and the configuration of firmware used to boot your computer, firmware which I’ll call “BIOS,” although it can also go by acronyms like EFI and UEFI. Some computers have considerably better technology to prevent evil maid attacks than others – for example, attackers have to do more advanced tampering to hack a Windows laptop encrypted with BitLocker than they do to hack a Mac laptop encrypted with FileVault (as of now, anyway) or a Linux laptop encrypted with LUKS.

The honeypot laptop I used, with red boxes around the hard disk and the SPI flash chip that stores the BIOS firmware.

Photo: Micah Lee

Here are the main ways that an attacker could physically tamper with your laptop:
An attacker could modify data on your hard disk. “Full disk encryption,” the term used to refer generically to systems like FileVault, really ought to be called “nearly full disk encryption” because, except in a few specific circumstances, there’s always a small part of a computer’s disk that isn’t encrypted.

When you power on your laptop, before your disk has been unlocked, your computer loads a program from this unencrypted part of your disk; it then runs the program, and the program asks you to enter your passphrase. The program converts your passphrase into an encryption key and tries to use it to unlock the disk. If you typed the correct passphrase, the disk unlocks, and the rest of the operating system (which is stored in the encrypted part of the disk) boots up. If you don’t know the right passphrase, there is no way to unlock the disk.

But since the program that asks for your passphrase isn’t encrypted, it’s possible for an attacker that physically has your laptop to replace it with a malicious version that looks exactly the same to the user, but that takes extra steps. For example, after you successfully unlock your disk, it might copy malware onto it that, after the computer finishes booting up, automatically runs in the background, spying on what you’re doing.

Computers that support “secure boot” or “verified boot,” such as Chromebooks and Windows laptops with BitLocker, aren’t vulnerable to this. The BIOS can detect if the unencrypted part of your disk has been tampered with, and if it has, it will refuse to boot. MacBooks and laptops that run Linux could potentially be attacked in this way.

An attacker could replace your BIOS firmware with malicious firmware. When you power on your computer, the very first program that your computer runs is your BIOS firmware. The job of this program is to initialize all of your hardware – your memory, disks, Wi-Fi adapter, video card, USB ports, and everything else – and then ultimately boot an operating system, typically the one stored on your hard disk.

When you format your disk and install a new operating system on your computer, your BIOS firmware doesn’t change. This is because this program isn’t stored on your hard disk at all. Instead, it’s stored in a small chip on your computer’s motherboard called an SPI flash chip.

This is why BIOS malware is so stealthy – you can’t get rid of it by formatting your hard disk, and it can spy on you across operating systems, such as if you boot to a Tails USB stick.

SPI flash chips have eight pins, including one for providing the chip with power, one for reading data, and one for writing data to the chip. This means that it’s possible for an attacker to power off your laptop, open up the case, and attach their own wires to the SPI flash chip pins in order to power it on, and then read and write data to it (the chip itself has no way of telling the difference between this, or just being part of the normal computer). Using this technique, an attacker with physical access to your laptop can replace your BIOS firmware with whatever malware they want.

The Italian spyware firm Hacking Team was caught selling such BIOS malware to its customers (the company’s clients include foreign governments with troubling human rights records). This specific firmware made sure that Windows was always infected with malware. If you’re a target of a Hacking Team customer, even formatting your disk and re-installing Windows would not remove the malware. As soon as you reboot, the malicious BIOS firmware would re-infect the freshly installed Windows with the same malware again.

Trying to dump BIOS firmware directly from the SPI flash chip by wiring it to a BeagleBone Black, a small and cheap external computer.

Photo: Micah Lee

An attacker could do other things to your hardware. Tampering with unencrypted data on your hard disk, or replacing your BIOS firmware with malware, are the most straightforward types of evil maid attacks, but the list of other potential attacks is only limited by the attacker’s creativity and budget.

Here are a few examples:

An attacker could potentially figure out a way of spying on your computer use by replacing firmware on other components of your computer besides your BIOS, like your processor, video card, network card, or hard disk.
An attacker could install a hardware keylogger (they would plug your internal keyboard into the keylogger, then plug the keylogger into the motherboard) with the intention of stealing your laptop later, but with a record of your disk passphrase and your other keystrokes.
An attacker could completely replace your laptop with a different laptop of the same model – they could even put your real laptop case with all your stickers and scratches on the fake laptop, so that it looks exactly the same. When you type your passphrase into this one though, it could send that passphrase over the internet to the attacker, who could then use it to unlock your real disk.
When I decided to start this honeypot laptop project, I realized early on that I couldn’t possibly detect every form of tampering. Because tampering with the data on the hard disk or the BIOS firmware are the simplest and cheapest types of evil maid attacks to conduct, and because attackers have limited resources and prefer low-hanging fruit when it’s available, I decided to limit my detection to these two components. But who knows? It’s possible that my honeypot laptop has a malicious component in it that I never checked for.

Re-assembling the computer.

Photo: Micah Lee

In February 2016, shortly before I was planning to fly to Spain for the Internet Freedom Festival, I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch for about $700 to use as my honeypot laptop.

Here was the plan. Before each trip, I would:

Update all of the software on my honeypot laptop. (I wanted potential attackers to see that I’m using up-to-date bootloader software stored on the small unencrypted part of my disk, to believe that I actively use this computer.)
Power off the laptop, and don’t power it on again until the trip was over. (Just by powering on the computer, I risk slightly modifying data in my BIOS and hard disk.)
Remove the hard disk from the laptop, attach it to an external USB enclosure, and plug it into another computer, taking care not to modify any data on it. From there, I could make a record of the state of the disk.
Attach a BeagleBone Black, or BBB, a tiny $50 computer that’s great for hardware hacking, to the SPI flash chip on the motherboard and use it to dump the BIOS firmware, saving an exact copy of the data stored on the chip.
Re-assemble the computer.
Then, during the trip, I would:

Put the honeypot laptop in my checked luggage.
Leave the honeypot laptop unattended in my hotel room.
Once I returned home from a trip, I would:

Remove the hard disk from the laptop, plug it into another computer, and record the state of the disk again. If even a single bit of data on the disk has changed, I could detect it.
Attach the BBB to the SPI flash chip and dump the BIOS firmware again. I could then compare the firmware image I took from before my trip with the image I took after it, to detect if it was tampered with.
Along the way, I planned to document everything: I’d take photos of my laptop in my luggage, in hotels, and of the cards that TSA leaves informing me that they searched my luggage; I’d keep a log of the state of my hard disk and BIOS before and after each trip; and I’d keep a journal that includes all technical hurdles I ran into.

This is mostly how it went down, but I did run into a few snags. Bear with me, in the following sections I venture much deeper into the technical weeds than I already have.

Checking the Hard Disk for Tampering
Before I proceed, there a few concepts I need to explain.

Computer drives, whether disk- or flash- based, are organized into separate “partitions.” For example, if you install Linux with disk encryption, your drive will likely have two partitions: a small (often less than 1 gigabyte) unencrypted partition called “/boot” – this is where the program that asks for your encryption passphrase is stored, and where evil maids might put their malware – and the rest of the disk will contain a large encrypted partition. After you unlock the encrypted partition with the right passphrase, it will likely contain two other partitions inside, a “/” or “root” partition that holds the rest of the files on the computer, and a “swap” partition that’s only used when the computer is running low on memory. (I refer to both flash- and disk- based storage drives as “disks” and “hard disks.”)
There is a small amount of disk space at the beginning of every hard disk (which I call the disk header) that’s reserved for a bootloader program. When you power on a computer and boot from your hard disk, you run this program. In Linux, this program simply starts running another program called “grub” that’s stored in your unencrypted “/boot” partition. Grub is responsible for actually booting your operating system. In order to detect evil maid attacks, it’s important to make sure the disk header was not tampered with.
In cryptography, a “hash function” is a one-way function that takes an input of any size and outputs a fixed-size result called a “hash” or “checksum.” For example, with SHA256, the hash function I use in this project, whether your input is 5 bytes long (the size of the word “hello”) or 512 gigabytes long (the size of a hard disk), the output will always be 32 bytes long. The same input will always lead to the same output, but if you change the input in any way, even if only a single byte is different, the content of the output will be entirely different (although the length will be the same). You can use checksums to detect tampering.
When I started this project, I decided to dual-boot Windows 10 and Debian, a popular Linux distribution, on my honeypot laptop – that is, I installed both operating systems in different partitions on the same disk, and when I powered on the computer, I got to choose which to boot to. But due to various time-consuming and annoying issues related to Windows updates, I eventually chose to abandon Windows altogether and just run Debian on my honeypot laptop, which made my job of detecting hard disk tampering simpler.

Before each trip, I removed the disk from the honeypot laptop, plugged it into a USB enclosure, and then plugged the USB disk enclosure into a different computer. The first snag I ran into was that when I plugged in the USB disk, my computer automatically tried to mount the partitions. This isn’t good – just by mounting the partitions, I risked modifying the data. So I changed the settings on my computer (which was running Linux) to disable automatically mounting external drives by following these instructions.

Hard disk from the honeypot laptop, removed and plugged into a cheap external USB enclosure that can be plugged into a separate computer.

Photo: Micah Lee

Once the USB disk enclosure was attached to a computer other than the honeypot, I could generate checksums of all of the disk’s partitions, as well as the disk header, using a tool called sha256sum. In order to take a checksum of just the disk header, I used a tool called dd to copy the disk header into a file, and then used sha256sum to take a checksum of that file.
When I returned home from my trip, I repeated the same process to generate a new set of checksums. Finally, I compared the checksums from before my trip with the checksums from after my trip. If the checksums were not the same, then the data on the disk must have changed – this would be evidence of tampering. If I discovered this, I could then start looking into exactly what data had changed to discover how the tampering worked.

For example, in March 2017, before flying to Amsterdam to attend a Tor Project meeting with developers, volunteers, and advocates for the open-source anonymity network, these were the checksums I generated:

4040239f4f0a2090c3ca15216b6e42522c4c3cd291f2c78f3c9e815f25be8295 disk_header
ed6e8a3438e55d2aeae4ae691823c4005f7b5df0b62d856bd72d54fa00d886bb /dev/xvdi1
db3d92ed1cfa8621e5673da32100d9117a3835c06a613cf9ac0f2f90de404d17 extended_header
cbeb585b6fa39a8425f57fa095ac17353a583bccd93532d65d9274da628a4c72 luks_header
Ten days later, after I had returned from my trip, I generated another set of checksums. They all turned out to be exactly the same, which allowed me to confirm that the data on my hard disk had not changed at all.

Checking the BIOS for Tampering
When I started this project, I intended to dump BIOS firmware images externally using a BeagleBone Black (explained previously) and a software tool called flashrom, which is used for reading and writing data that’s stored on physical chips on circuit boards, roughly following the instructions outlined here. But I quickly hit a snag, one that I didn’t have the tools or knowledge of electronics to easily resolve.

The SPI flash chip that holds my honeypot laptop’s BIOS firmware has a pin for power and another pin for ground. With the laptop powered off, I connected the power and ground pins to my BBB, and then powered on the BBB.

I had hoped that the BBB would provide power to the SPI flash chip, allowing me to read and write directly to that chip. But instead the BBB immediately powered off. It turns out that, the way this specific laptop was wired, the power for the SPI chip was not isolated from the rest of the system. In order to provide power to that chip, I also needed to provide power to rest of the components of the motherboard, and that takes more watts than my BBB was able to handle. This was annoying because one of the reasons I chose a Lenovo computer as my honeypot laptop is because I have had success doing this exact process on other Lenovo computers in the past, dumping the BIOS firmware by connecting a BBB to the SPI flash chip.

So I decided to change strategies. Instead of dumping the BIOS firmware by connecting wires directly from the SPI flash chip, I would instead use a piece of software called chipsec, running on the honeypot laptop itself, to dump the firmware. However, this strategy has a few downsides compared to directly connecting to the chip:

In order to run chipsec, I needed to first power on the honeypot laptop and boot to an operating system. It turns out that this process, booting up the computer, slightly modifies the data stored in the BIOS firmware, which makes it more difficult to check for tampering.
It’s impossible to get a complete BIOS dump from within an operating system, but you can get most of it.
When I dump BIOS firmware using chipsec, it may be possible for sophisticated BIOS malware to lie to chipsec, which could be used to prevent detection. (I have never heard of BIOS malware that actually does this, though.)
In order to use chipsec, I set up a USB stick with the operating system Ubuntu (another popular Linux distribution). With the hard disk removed from the honeypot laptop, I plugged in my Ubuntu USB stick, powered on the laptop, and booted to Ubuntu. I put a copy of chipsec on an SD memory card, which I also plugged into the laptop. From there, I was able to run a specific chipsec command to dump the BIOS firmware and save it to the SD card, which I could then inspect on my other computer.

Dumping the BIOS firmware using chipsec.

Here is the VirusTotal report from the first BIOS firmware image that I dumped using chipsec from my honeypot laptop.
Once I successfully managed to dump the BIOS firmware, I came up with this plan:

Before each trip, I would remove the hard disk from the laptop, boot to the Ubuntu USB stick, and dump the BIOS firmware, making sure to save a copy of it on my other computer.
After I return from the trip, I would repeat the process, dumping a fresh BIOS firmware image.
Then I would generate checksums of the BIOS firmware images from before and after my trip. If the checksums were exactly the same, I could confirm that my BIOS was not tampered with.
Of course, it wasn’t this simple. It turns out, every time I booted my honeypot laptop to an Ubuntu live USB stick and dumped the BIOS firmware, that firmware image had a different checksum than the previous one. In order to investigate what was going on, I used a program called UEFITool. This is a graphical program that lets you load BIOS images, view and edit what data is stored inside, and extract data into separate files.

Inspecting BIOS firmware using UEFITool.

For this specific laptop, each BIOS firmware image is exactly 4 megabytes. Some of that space is used to store the actual programs that make up the BIOS (an evil maid attacker would replace these programs with malicious versions), and some of it is used to store other data, such as saved BIOS settings.
Looking at two BIOS firmware images that had different checksums, I was able to use UEFITool to extract the same components from both, and then generate new checksums for those individual components to see if they matched. I discovered that there was only one small part of the firmware images that differed, and that part did not include any programs. It turns out, each time I powered on the honeypot laptop and opened the boot menu to tell it to boot from my Ubuntu USB stick, it saved information related to booting to a USB stick in that section of the firmware, and this information was slightly different each time, which caused the firmware images to always have different checksums.

So I amended my plan for detecting tampering in the BIOS firmware. To compare firmware images from before and after my trip, I would have to open each image in UEFITool, extract all of the components except for the one that I knew changed, generate checksums for those components, and then compare those checksums to make sure they matched.

What I Learned
Traveling with a honeypot laptop was a lot of work. It required spending a few hours both before and after each trip if I hoped to actually catch an evil maid attacker in the act. So after two years without catching anyone, I have decided to retire the project.

A tool exists today, that didn’t exist when I started the project, that makes it possible to catch evil maid attackers in the act in a different way. Haven is an Android app, designed to run on a spare phone that you leave in your hotel room while you’re away, perhaps sitting on top of your laptop. It uses all of its sensors – microphone, motion detector, light detector, and cameras – to monitor the room for changes, logs everything it notices, and can send Signal notifications to the phone you carry with you when it detects a change. Haven isn’t perfect – there are plenty of false positives – but it gets better all the time and is still likely to catch anyone attempting to tamper with the laptop that’s sitting under the phone Haven is running on.

I was able to do this entire project with 100% free and open source software, thanks to projects like Debian and Ubuntu and tools like dd, sha256sum, flashrom, chipsec, and UEFITool. Other than the honeypot laptop itself, you can buy all of the hardware tools I used, like screwdrivers, a USB enclosure, and a BeagleBone Black, for less than $100.

Top photo: Honeypot laptop in the luggage.

The post It’s Impossible to Prove Your Laptop Hasn’t Been Hacked. I Spent Two Years Finding Out. appeared first on The Intercept.

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My Duck today

My Duck today

My Duck today

Today’s Holiday: Butter and Egg Days

Today’s Holiday:
Butter and Egg Days

This is a promotional event in Petaluma, California, that recalls the historic days when Petaluma was the “World’s Egg Basket,” producing millions of eggs that were shipped all over the world. The first Butter and Egg Days was a modest affair in 1983; it now draws about 25,000 for a parade with floats, bands, bagpipers, and children dressed as such things as butter pats and fried eggs. There are also street fairs, an antiques show, an egg toss, a butter-churning contest, and the presentation of the Good Egg award to a Petaluma booster. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Yi Sun-Sin (1545)

Today’s Birthday:
Yi Sun-Sin (1545)

Considered a Korean national hero, Yi was a naval commander who repelled the Japanese invasion of Korea in the late 16th century. He is said to have been undefeated in any naval battle in which he was a commander. Part of his success in combat was due to his innovative “turtle ship,” which was covered with iron spikes and plates to prevent enemies from boarding. The ship’s bow featured a dragon head, through which a cannon could be fired. Why was Yi relieved of command in 1597? More…:

This Day in History: Mutiny on the HMS Bounty (1789)

This Day in History:
Mutiny on the HMS Bounty (1789)

The most famous mutiny in history, the setting adrift of Bounty captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal crew members in a longboat, has been much debated. Opponents of the captain claim his tyranny drove the crew to mutiny, but Bligh blamed their betrayal on their newfound love of Tahiti—where they had just spent five months—and its women. The captain and some of those with him survived the ordeal at sea, reaching Timor after a remarkable two-month voyage. What became of the mutineers? More…:

Quote of the Day: John Quincy Adams

Quote of the Day:
John Quincy Adams

By the power of filial reverence and parental affection, individual existence is extended beyond the limits of individual life, and the happiness of every age is chained in mutual dependence upon that of every other. More…:

Article of the Day: The Four Stages of Cruelty

Article of the Day:
The Four Stages of Cruelty

The Four Stages of Cruelty is a series of four engravings published in 1751 by William Hogarth, an English artist credited with pioneering Western sequential art. Each print depicts a stage in the life of the fictional Tom Nero. Beginning with the torture of a dog as a child, Nero progresses to beating his horse, and then to robbery and murder. In the final scene, which is grisly even by modern standards, Nero’s body is dissected after his execution. Why did Hogarth create the series? More…:

Idiom of the Day: high muckety-muck

Idiom of the Day:
high muckety-muck

slang An especially important, influential, and authoritative person, especially someone who is overbearingly or arrogantly so. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: tailing

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) The act of following someone secretly.
Synonyms: shadowing
Usage: The constant tailing of my husband by private eyes has caused him to become paranoid.:

I remember those tragic days: Watch “The Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)” on YouTube

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Weeping willows by the lake

Weeping willows by the lake

Weeping willows by the lake

Everliving music : Watch “Richard Wagner – The Valkyrie, WWV 86b, Ride of the Valkyries (Oslo Philharmonic/ Maris Jansons)” on YouTube

Everliving music : Watch “Wagner ~ Tannhäuser Overture, by Berlin Philharmonic Klaus Tennstedt German conductor” on YouTube

Yugoslav destroyer Dubrovnik – Wikipedia

Yugoslav destroyer Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik was a flotilla leader built for the Royal Yugoslav Navy by Yarrow Shipbuilders in Glasgow in 1930 and 1931. She was one of the largest destroyers of her time. Resembling contemporary British designs, Dubrovnik was a fast ship with a main armament of four Czechoslovak-built Škoda 140 mm (5.5 in) guns in single mounts. She was intended to be the first of three flotilla leaders built for Yugoslavia, but was the only one completed. During her service with the Royal Yugoslav Navy, Dubrovnik undertook several peacetime cruises through the Mediterranean, the Turkish Straits and the Black Sea. In October 1934, she conveyed King Alexander to France for a state visit, and carried his body back to Yugoslavia following his assassination in Marseille.

Yugoslav destroyer Dubrovnik
a black and white photograph of two ships moored side-by-side
Dubrovnik (left) and Beograd (right) photographed in the Bay of Kotor in 1941 after being captured by Italian forces.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia
City of Dubrovnik
Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down:
10 June 1930
11 October 1931
May 1932
Captured by Italian forces on 17 April 1941
Kingdom of Italy
The island of Premuda
17 April 1941
February 1942
Captured by German forces on 9 September 1943
Nazi Germany
9 September 1943
18 August 1944
Scuttled on 24 April 1945
General characteristics
Standard: 1,880 long tons (1,910 t)
Full: 2,400 long tons (2,439 t)
113.2 m (371 ft 5 in)
10.67 m (35 ft 0 in)
3.58–4.1 m (11 ft 9 in–13 ft 5 in)
Two shafts;
2 × Parsons steam turbines (48,000 shp (36,000 kW))
1 × Curtis steam turbine for cruising (900 shp (670 kW))
3 × Yarrow water-tube boilers
Maximum: 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)
Cruising: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
20 officers and 220 enlisted
4 × Škoda 140 mm (5.5 in) naval guns
2 × Škoda 83.5 mm (3.29 in) AA guns
6 × Škoda 40 mm (1.6 in) AA guns
2 × Škoda 15 mm (0.59 in) machine guns
6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
40 × naval mines
During the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Dubrovnik was captured by the Italians. After a refit, which included the replacement of some of her weapons and the shortening of her mainmast and funnels, she was commissioned into the Royal Italian Navy as Premuda. In Italian service she was mainly used as an escort and troop transport. In June 1942, she was part of the Italian force that attacked the Allied Operation Harpoon convoy attempting to relieve the island of Malta. In July 1943, she broke down and was brought to Genoa for repair and a refit. Premuda was the most important and effective Italian war prize ship of World War II.

At the time of the Italian surrender to the Allies in September 1943, Premuda was still docked in Genoa, and was seized by Germany. Plans to convert her into a radar picket for night fighters were abandoned. In August 1944, following the replacement of her armament, she was commissioned into the German Navy as a Torpedoboot Ausland (foreign torpedo boat) with the designation TA32. The ship saw action shelling Allied positions on the Italian coast and laying naval mines. In March 1945, she took part in the Battle of the Ligurian Sea against two Royal Navy destroyers, during which she was lightly damaged. She was scuttled the following month as the Germans retreated from Genoa.

Development Edit
Following the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (KSCS), Austria-Hungary transferred the vessels of the former Austro-Hungarian Navy to the new nation. The Kingdom of Italy was unhappy with this, and convinced the Allies to share the Austro-Hungarian ships among the victorious powers. As a result, the only modern sea-going vessels left to the KSCS were 12 torpedo boats,[1] and they had to build their naval forces almost from scratch.[2]

During the 1920s, many navies were pursuing the flotilla leader concept, building large destroyers similar to the World War I Royal Navy V and W-class destroyers.[3] In the interwar French Navy, these ships were known as contre-torpilleurs, and were intended to operate with smaller destroyers, or as half-flotillas of three ships. The idea was that such a half-flotilla could defeat an Italian light cruiser of the Condottieri class.[4] The Navy of the KSCS decided to build three such flotilla leaders, ships that would have the ability to reach high speeds and with a long endurance. The long endurance requirement reflected Yugoslav plans to deploy the ships into the central Mediterranean, where they would be able to operate alongside French and British warships.[5]

At the time the decision was made, French shipyards were heavily committed to producing vessels for the French Navy. So, despite its intention to develop a French concept, the KSCS engaged Yarrow Shipbuilders in Glasgow, Scotland, to build the ships. Unlike the French, who preferred to install guns of their own manufacture, Yarrow was happy to order the guns from the Czechoslovak firm Škoda. The initial Yarrow design was based on an enlarged version of the British Shakespeare class, with five Skoda 14 cm/56 naval guns. Excessive top weight resulted in the deletion of one of the guns, to be replaced with a seaplane mounting. The final version replaced the seaplane mounting with improved anti-aircraft armament.[5]

The intention to build three flotilla leaders was demonstrated by the fact that Yarrow ordered a total of 12 Škoda 140 mm (5.5 in) guns, four per ship.[5] In July or August 1929, the KSCS (which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October) signed a contract with Yarrow for a destroyer named Dubrovnik.[6] This was the only ship built; the Great Depression prevented the construction of the rest of the planned half-flotilla.[5]

Description and construction Edit
Dubrovnik was similar in many respects to the British destroyers being manufactured at the same time, having a square box-like bridge, a long forecastle, and a sharp raked stem similar to the later British Tribal class. Her rounded stern was adapted for minelaying.[5] She had an overall length of 113.2 metres (371 ft 5 in), with a 10.67 m (35 ft) beam, a mean draught of 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in), and a maximum draught of 4.1 m (13 ft 5 in). Her standard displacement was 1,880 long tons (1,910 t),[7] and 2,400 long tons (2,439 t) at full load.[8]

Dubrovnik had two Parsons geared steam turbines, each driving a single propeller shaft. Steam for the turbines was provided by three Yarrow water-tube boilers, located in separate boiler rooms,[9] and the turbines were rated at 48,000 shp (36,000 kW). As designed, the ship had a maximum speed of 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph).[7] In 1934, under ideal conditions, she achieved a maximum speed of 40.3 knots (74.6 km/h; 46.4 mph).[9] A separate Curtis turbine, rated at 900 shp (670 kW), was installed for cruising, with which she could achieve a range of 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[9] She carried 470 tonnes (460 long tons) of fuel oil.[7]

The ship’s main armament consisted of four Škoda 140 mm (5.5 in) L/56[a] superfiring guns in single mounts, two forward of the superstructure and two aft. She was also equipped with two triple Brotherhoods 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes on her centreline.[10] For air defence, Dubrovnik had twin-mounted Škoda 83.5 mm (3.29 in) L/35 guns located on the centreline between the two sets of torpedo tubes,[10] and six Škoda 40 mm (1.6 in) L/67 anti-aircraft guns, arranged in two twin mounts and two single mounts.[11] The twin mounts were located between the two funnels, with the single mounts on the main deck abreast the aft control station. For anti-submarine work she was equipped with two depth charge throwers and two depth charge rails, and carried ten depth charges.[10] She also carried two Škoda 15 mm (0.59 in) machine guns and 40 mines. Her crew comprised 20 officers and 220 ratings.[11]

She was laid down on 10 June 1930 and launched on 11 October 1931. She was named after the former city-state and Yugoslav port of Dubrovnik.[11]

Service history Edit
Dubrovnik Edit

King Alexander on board Dubrovnik in October 1934 before his voyage to France.
Dubrovnik was completed at the Yarrow shipyards in Glasgow in 1932, by which time her main guns and light anti-aircraft guns had been installed. After sailing to the Bay of Kotor in the southern Adriatic, she was fitted with her heavy anti-aircraft guns.[9] She was commissioned with the Royal Yugoslav Navy in May 1932.[10] Her captain was Armin Pavić.[9]

In late September 1933, the ship left the Bay of Kotor and sailed through the Turkish Straits to Constanța on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, where she embarked King Alexander and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. She then visited Balcic in Romania and Varna in Bulgaria, before returning via Istanbul and the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, arriving back at the Bay of Kotor on 8 October.[12] On 6 October 1934, King Alexander left the Bay of Kotor on board Dubrovnik for a state visit to France, arriving in Marseille on 9 October. He was killed the same day by a Bulgarian assassin, and Dubrovnik conveyed his body back to Yugoslavia, escorted by French, Italian[13] and British ships.[14]

Soon after, Vladimir Šaškijević replaced Pavić as captain.[13] In August 1935, Dubrovnik visited Corfu and Bizerte in the French protectorate of Tunisia.[15] In August 1937, Dubrovnik visited Istanbul and the Greek ports of Mudros in the northern Aegean Sea and Piraeus near Athens.[16]

Despite trying to remain neutral in the early stages of the World War II, Yugoslavia was drawn into the conflict in April 1941, when it was invaded by the German-led Axis powers. At the time, Dubrovnik was still under Šaškijević’s command and was assigned as the flagship of the 1st Torpedo Division, along with the three smaller Beograd-class destroyers, Beograd, Ljubljana and Zagreb.[13]

Premuda Edit
The Italians captured Dubrovnik in the Bay of Kotor on 17 April 1941; she had been damaged by Yugoslav civilians prior to her seizure. Dubrovnik was sailed to Taranto in southern Italy on 21 May, where she underwent repairs and a refit. She was renamed Premuda, after the Dalmatian island near which an Italian motor torpedo boat had sunk the Austro-Hungarian dreadnought Szent István in June 1918. Her aft deckhouse and emergency bridge were removed and replaced with an anti-aircraft platform, and her mainmast and funnels were shortened. Her four single mount Škoda 140 mm (5.5 in) L/56 guns were replaced by four single mount 135 mm /45 guns and her twin Škoda 83.5 mm (3.29 in) /L55 anti-aircraft guns were replaced by a 120 mm (4.7 in) /L15 howitzer firing star shells for illumination, while the six Škoda 40 mm (1.6 in)/L67 anti-aircraft guns were replaced by four Breda Model 35 20 mm (0.79 in) /L65 machine guns in single mounts,[13] space for the latter being made available by removing her searchlights. A new director was also fitted to her bridge.[17] Later in her Italian service, the 120 mm (4.7 in) howitzer was replaced by a twin Breda 37 mm (1.5 in) /L54 anti-aircraft gun mount.[13] In Italian service, her crew consisted of 13 officers and 191 enlisted ranks.[9]

Premuda was commissioned in the Italian Navy (Italian: Regia Marina) in February 1942.[13] Later that month she rescued British prisoners of war who survived the sinking of the SS Ariosto, an Italian ship ferrying them from Tripoli to Sicily.[18] In early June, the Italian submarine Alagi fired on Premuda, mistaking her for a British destroyer owing to her similarities with a British H-class destroyer. The attack missed Premuda and struck the Navigatori-class destroyer Antoniotto Usodimare, sinking her.[19] During 12–16 June 1942, Premuda took part in operations against the Allied Operation Harpoon convoy attempting to reach the beleaguered island of Malta from Gibraltar. As part of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, Premuda supported the Italian 7th Cruiser Squadron, comprising the light cruisers Eugenio di Savoia and Raimondo Montecuccoli. The force that attacked the Operation Harpoon convoy included most of the fighting power of the Italian Navy, including two battleships and two heavy cruisers. The Allied naval escort lost one cruiser, three destroyers and several merchant ships to a combination of air attacks, submarines and naval mines. One Italian battleship was damaged, and the Trento-class cruiser Trento was sunk. One of the other damaged Italian ships was the Navigatori-class destroyer Ugolino Vivaldi, and Premuda was tasked to tow her to safety in the harbour of Pantelleria, an island in the Strait of Sicily, under escort from the destroyer Lanzerotto Malocello.[13]

On 6–7 January 1943, Premuda and 13 other Italian destroyers transported troops to the Axis-held port of Tunis in North Africa,[13] completing two more such missions between 9 February and 22 March.[20] On 17 July, she developed serious engine problems in the Ligurian Sea near La Spezia,[21] and was brought to Genoa for a major boiler and engine overhaul.[22] It was decided to rebuild her along the lines of the Navigatori-class, including a wider beam to improve her stability. As shells for her Škoda-built main guns were in short supply, the decision was made to replace them with Italian-made 135 mm (5.3 in) /L45 guns in single mounts.[21] The rebuild was also to have included augmented 37 mm and 20 mm armament, probably using space made available by removing her aft torpedo tubes.[17] The rebuild had not been completed when Italy surrendered to the Allies, and Premuda was seized by Germany at Genoa on 8 or 9 September 1943.[17][21] Premuda was the most important and effective Italian war prize ship of World War II.[22]

TA32 Edit
Premuda’s new guns had not been completed when she was captured by the Germans. Their initial plans called for the ship to serve as a radar picket for night fighters, with three 105 mm (4.1 in) /L45 anti-aircraft guns in single mounts, Freya early-warning radar, Würzburg gun-laying radar and a FuMO 21 surface fire-control system. These plans were soon abandoned because the Germans lacked destroyers and torpedo boats in the Mediterranean, and the decision was made to commission her as a Torpedoboot Ausland (foreign torpedo boat) with a DeTe radar instead of the Freya and Würzburg radar sets.[21][22] Her armament was replaced with four 105 mm (4.1 in) /L45 naval guns, eight 37 mm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft guns and between thirty-two and thirty-six 20 mm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns in quadruple and twin mounts. The number of torpedo tubes was reduced from six to three. The number of 37 mm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft guns was later increased to ten, in four twin and two single mounts.[21] In German service, she had a total crew of 220 officers and men.[9]

a black and white photograph of a warship at sea
HMS Meteor (pictured) and HMS Lookout outgunned TA32 and her companions during the Battle of the Ligurian Sea in March 1945.
The ship was commissioned in the German Navy (German: Kriegsmarine) on 18 August 1944, as TA32, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Emil Kopka. She served in the Ligurian Sea with the 10th Torpedo Boat Flotilla, and was immediately committed to shelling Allied positions on the Italian coast, then scouting and minelaying tasks in the western Gulf of Genoa.[21] On 2 October 1944, TA32, along with TA24 and TA29, sailed towards Sanremo to lay mines, where they encountered the destroyer USS Gleaves. After exchanging fire, the three ships returned to Genoa without being hit.[23] By mid-March 1945, TA32, TA24 and TA29 were the only ships of the 10th Torpedo Boat Flotilla that remained operational.[21] On the night of 17–18 March 1945, TA32 placed 76 naval mines off Cap Corse, the northern tip of Corsica, in an offensive minelaying operation, along with TA24 and TA29.[24] After being detected by a shore-based radar,[25] the ships were engaged by the destroyers HMS Lookout and HMS Meteor, in what would become known as the Battle of the Ligurian Sea.[24] Outgunned, TA24 and TA29 were sunk, while TA32 managed to escape with light damage to her rudder,[21] after firing a few rounds and making an unsuccessful torpedo attack.[24] TA32 was scuttled at Genoa on 24 April 1945, as the Germans retreated.[21] Her wreck was raised and broken up in 1950.[22]

See also
Last edited 2 hours ago by Zchrykng
Beograd-class destroyer
class of three destroyers built for the Royal Yugoslav Navy in the late 1930s

Yugoslav destroyer Split
destroyer of the Royal Yugoslav Navy

Yugoslav destroyer Beograd
lead ship of the Beograd-class of destroyers built for the Royal Yugoslav Navy

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Today’s Holiday: Tanzania Union Day

Today’s Holiday:
Tanzania Union Day

On April 26, 1964, the East African countries of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Union Day celebrates this merger. In the city of Dar es Salaam, speeches and a parade mark Union Day. Dignitaries from nearby countries join Tanzanian government officials in these festivities. In 2004, to mark Union Day, Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa pardoned nearly 4,500 prisoners who had been sentenced for minor crimes or who had less than three years to serve of a longer sentence. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Fanny Blankers-Koen (1918)

Today’s Birthday:
Fanny Blankers-Koen (1918)

Representing her native Netherlands, Blankers-Koen made her Olympic debut at the 1936 Berlin Games but failed to medal. Two years later, she set her first world record in track and field. Unfortunately for her, both the 1940 and 1944 Games were cancelled due to WWII, so she had to wait until 1948’s Summer Games in London to compete again. In addition to losing precious years, the athlete gave birth twice in the interim. Still, she went on to win four gold medals in London, earning what nickname? More…:

This Day in History: Studio 54 Opens in New York (1977)

This Day in History:
Studio 54 Opens in New York (1977)

The disco craze was relatively short-lived, beginning in the mid-1970s and fading by the 1980s, yet it had a lasting influence on the music scene. A beat-driven style of dance music, disco got its name from the “discotheque,” the type of nightclub where it originated. No discotheque was more central to disco than Studio 54, the Manhattan club famous for its mix of celebrities, beautiful people, and hedonism. The club paralleled disco’s demise and closed in 1980. What is the space used for today? More…:

Quote of the Day: Alexandre Dumas

Quote of the Day:
Alexandre Dumas

Unless wicked ideas take root in a naturally depraved mind, human nature, in a right and wholesome state, revolts at crime. Still, from an artificial civilization have originated wants, vices, and false tastes, which occasionally become so powerful as to … lead us into guilt and wickedness.


Article of the Day: Tillamook Cheddar, Canine Artist

Article of the Day:
Tillamook Cheddar, Canine Artist

Tillamook Cheddar was a Jack Russell terrier that had the distinction of being the world’s most widely shown and successful living animal painter. Using her claws and teeth, she created abstract expressionist paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculptures that have been compared to those of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Her works have been featured in solo exhibitions in the US, Belgium, and the Netherlands. What have art critics said about her works? More…:

Idiom of the Day: move house

Idiom of the Day:
move house

To relocate from one house or place of residence to another. Primarily heard in UK. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: frequency

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) The number of occurrences within a given time period.
Synonyms: oftenness
Usage: The frequency of his seizures increased as he grew older.:

Scotland recognises social security as a human right
Scotland recognises social security as a human right
Libby Brooks

Scotland has taken control of its welfare system in a transfer of power from Westminster that campaigners have praised for recognising social security as a human right.

The first devolved welfare system also offers automatic split payments of universal credit to protect women’s financial autonomy and aims to end unnecessary disability assessments.

As the Holyrood parliament unanimously passed the final stage of the social security (Scotland) bill on Wednesday evening, the director of the Poverty Alliance, Peter Kelly, said it offered the possibility of the new welfare system playing a very different role in Scotland.

“With almost daily reports of the impact of the cuts to social security at the UK level, such as the freeze on levels of many UK benefits or the roll out of universal credit, it is time to show that a different approach is possible.”

The new powers, part of the package promised to the Scottish parliament after the 2014 independence referendum, account for 15% of Scotland’s total benefits bill and will affect 1.4 million people.

Eleven benefits are being wholly transferred, including disability living allowance and personal independence payments, along with the opportunity to top up existing payments and create new ones.

The bill was passed after an intense afternoon of debate, which showcased the cross-party and third sector expertise that has shaped the landmark bill, alongside the input of ordinary Scots canvassed in a country-wide consultation.

There were a number of significant last-minute amendments to the legislation, including the removal of any time limit on terminal illness. It was brought by the social security minister, Jeane Freeman, after senior medical professionals called for its inclusion. Current rules for disability benefits and universal credit say a patient must have six months or less to live before their illness is classed as terminal.

Scotland calls for halt on universal credit
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The feminist campaign group Engender welcomed the success of Labour MSP Mark Griffin’s amendment on split payments, in particular for those 89% of domestically abused women who experience financial restrictions by their partner.

Both the Poverty Alliance and the Child Poverty Action Group Scotland called on Freeman to reconsider Griffin’s unsuccessful amendment to top up child benefit by £5 a week, which he insisted would lift 30,000 children out of poverty. The Scottish government argued that the framework bill for the new powers was not the appropriate place for such a change.

Presenting the final bill to Holyrood, Freeman said: “The devolution of social security represents the greatest single increase in the responsibilities of this parliament since devolution. Today we write a new chapter in our history, a system built for the people of Scotland, designed in partnership with the people of Scotland, a system with dignity, fairness and respect at its heart, a system quite unlike any other that has gone before.”

The new system will include an unprecedented degree of independent scrutiny, put in place after anti-poverty groups expressed concerns about the extent to which the detail of new benefits is being left to regulations, rather than included within primary legislation, which could make it easier for subsequent governments to cut payments or change eligibility criteria.

UK’s entire nuclear submarine fleet to be based in Scotland at Faslane
The Guardian
Generation Yes: they’re young, they’re fervent … and they’re nudging Scotland closer to independence
The Guardian
A new channel backed by £30m? The BBC is selling Scotland short
The Guardian
Holyrood to approve social security bill
BBC News
Brexit has ‘deepened divisions’ in Scotland and Northern Ireland
The Scotsman

Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial – Wikipedia

Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial
The Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Lancashire Fusiliers killed in that conflict. Outside the Fusilier Museum in Bury, Greater Manchester, in North West England, it was unveiled in 1922—on the seventh anniversary of the landing at Cape Helles, part of the Gallipoli Campaign in which the regiment suffered particularly heavy casualties. Lutyens was commissioned in light of a family connection—his father and great uncle were officers in the Lancashire Fusiliers, a fact noted on a plaque nearby. He designed a tall, slender obelisk in Portland stone. The regiment’s cap badge is carved near the top on the front and rear, surrounded by a laurel wreath. Further down are inscriptions containing the regiment’s motto and a dedication. Two painted stone flags hang from the sides.

Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial
Lancashire Fusiliers memorial, Gallipoli Garden, Bury (5).JPG
For men of the Lancashire Fusiliers killed in the First World War
25 April 1922
53.59226°N 2.29872°W
Gallipoli Gardens, Bury, Greater Manchester
Designed by
Sir Edwin Lutyens
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official name
War Memorial to the Lancashire Fusiliers, Gallipoli Gardens
2 September 1992
Reference no.
The memorial was unveiled by Lieutenant General Sir Henry de Beauvoir De Lisle on 25 April 1922, using the novel method of pressing an electric button. The remaining funds were spent on drums and bugles for the regiment and donated to the Lancashire Fusiliers’ compassionate fund. After the Lancashire Fusiliers were amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968, the memorial was adopted by the new regiment and rededicated to all fusiliers killed in action. It originally sat outside the Lancashire Fusiliers’ headquarters in Wellington Barracks but was relocated when the barracks closed in the 1970s. It was moved again in 2009, this time to sit in a public park renamed Gallipoli Gardens, outside the Fusilier Museum, which moved at the same time. The memorial was designated a grade II listed building in 1992. It was upgraded to grade II* in 2015 (on the centenary of the Cape Helles landing), along with two other memorials related to the Gallipoli Campaign; later that year it was recognised as part of a national collection of Lutyens’ war memorials.

Today’s Birthday: Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (1287)

Today’s Birthday:
Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (1287)

Mortimer was imprisoned in 1322 for opposing King Edward II, but he escaped to France. When Edward II’s queen, Isabella, came to France in 1325, Mortimer became her lover. Together they invaded England in 1326 and routed Edward, whom they forced to abdicate and later had murdered. Having secured the crown for young Edward III, Mortimer, with Isabella, virtually ruled England and acquired great wealth. In 1330, he was seized by Edward III, convicted by Parliament, and executed by what means? More…:

This Day in History: 18-Year-Old Recalled From English School to Become King of Swaziland (1986)

This Day in History:
18-Year-Old Recalled From English School to Become King of Swaziland (1986)

During his 61-year rule as monarch, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland had 210 children by at least 70 wives. When Sobhuza died in 1982, one of his sons, Prince Makhosetive Dlamini, was selected as his successor. Four years later, Dlamini was crowned King Mswati III—just months before he was scheduled to take his final exams at his private English boarding school. Mswati’s power as monarch is nearly absolute, and he has been criticized for abuses of his rule and for what personal indulgences? More…:

Quote of the Day: Ambrose Bierce

Quote of the Day:
Ambrose Bierce

Acknowledgement of one another’s faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.


Article of the Day: Blindfold Chess

Article of the Day:
Blindfold Chess

In blindfold chess, players engage in a chess match without being able to see or touch the pieces. Moves are communicated via chess notation, a system which describes the pieces’ location on the board. While it is generally thought that most strong players can play at least one game blindfolded, some masters are able to play dozens of blindfolded games simultaneously with different opponents. What is the world record for the number of blindfold chess games played simultaneously by one person? More…:

Idiom of the Day: mouth-watering

Idiom of the Day:

Delicious; particularly appetizing in appearance, aroma, or description, especially as makes one’s mouth salivate. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: veneration

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) A feeling of profound respect for someone or something.
Synonyms: reverence, awe, fear
Usage: Cornelius bade farewell to De Ruyter, to the Ruart de Pulten, and to glory, kissed the knees of the Grand Pensionary, for whom he entertained the deepest veneration, and retired to his house at Dort.: